- Seismological research centre to be set up in Patna University
- Patna University (PU) is likely to get a Centre for Advanced Seismological Research soon. Decks for its establishment were cleared by the PU syndicate.
- The syndicate had given its nod to the proposal of the Bihar State Disaster Management Authority (BSDMA) for setting up the central station of Bihar State Telemetric Network (BSTN) at Patna Science College, paving the way for the establishment of the proposed seismological research centre.
- PU syndicate had earlier decided to set up National Dolphin Research Centre on the university campus. The centre would come up on a plot of 2.5 acres of land on the bank of the Ganga near Rani Ghat on PU campus under the state department of environment and forest.
· UN World Food Programme, Alibaba Group form strategic partnership to eliminate hunger
- United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group have formed strategic partnership to support efforts eliminate hunger globally by 2030.
- Under this agreement, Alibaba will lend its cutting-edge technology and resources to support digital transformation of WFP’s operations.
- In particular, Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba will work with WFP to develop digital “World Hunger Map”.
- WFP was established in 1961 after 1960 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Conference. It is headquartered in Rome (Italy) and has more than 80 country offices around the world.
- First India-Nepal passenger train on broad gauge to make first run in December
- The first passenger train to run on broad gauge between India and Nepal will run from December this year.
- The train will run from Jayanagar in Bihar to Kurtha in Dhanusa district in Janakpur Zone of south-eastern Nepal.
- No visawill be required for Indian and Nepalese nationals crossing the border through this stretch.
- After Beijing decided to extend its railway network up to Kathmandu, New Delhi proposed the construction of new railway links during Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s recent visit to India.
- The move is being seen as part of efforts to counter China’s plans to forge rail links with Nepal.
· India overtakes US to become 2nd largest smartphone market behind China
- According to research firm Canalys, India has overtaken US to become second largest smartphone market in the July-September 2018 quarter. India saw shipment of 40.4 million units during third quarter and was second to China where 100.6 million smartphones were shipped. Smartphone shipment in US was at 40 million units.
- Samsung led vendor tally with 20.4% share in said quarter, followed by Huawei (14.9%), Apple (13.4%), Xiaomi (9.6%), and Oppo (8.9%).
- Cabinet approves leasing out six airports – Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru through PPP
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the following:
“In-principle” approval for leasing out six airports of AAI viz. Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru for operation, management and development under Public Private Partnership (PPP) through Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC).
The PPP airports in India have been ranked among the top 5 in their respective categories by the Airports Council International (ACI) in terms of Airport Service Quality (ASQ).
- PPP in infrastructure projects brings efficiency in service delivery, enterprise, expertise and professionalism apart from harnessing needed investments in public sector. Presently, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Cochin airports are being managed under PPP model.
· Reserve Bank of India liberalised norms for infrastructure creation
- The modified norms are Reduction in minimum tenor for borrowing through the ECB route, from 5 years to 3 years.
- The average maturity requirement for mandatory hedging has been reduced to 5 years from earlier 10 years.
- These changes will facilitate infra companies to raise resources overseas.
· RBI may set-up a digital payments ombudsman by March 2019
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may set-up an ombudsman for digital paymentsby March to reduce the burden on banking ombudsman because of a rising number of complaints.
- The Banking Ombudsman actually is a senior officialappointed by the RBI to redress customer complaints against pitfalls in the stipulated banking services covered by the Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006.
- The Banking Ombudsman may award compensation not exceeding Rs 1 lakhto the complainant for mental agony and harassment.
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