1. On visit to Taj, Yogi calls it a ‘gem’ of India
Taking a dig at political opponents over his maiden visit to the Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said only those who had “divided the society into camps of caste” had an objection to his tour of Agra.
In Agra, Mr. Adityanath was addressing a public meeting moments after he made his maiden visit to the Taj Mahal, which has been shrouded in controversy after some provocative and dismissive remarks by BJP legislators and the State government’s omission of it from a tourism-development booklet.
2. Defence Minister takes note of key shortfalls in Navy
Commending the Navy on maintaining continuous deployment of ships, submarines and aircraft in India’s areas of interest in the last one year, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took note of the critical capability shortfalls that the service is facing in various platforms.
She made these comments while addressing the on-going biannual Naval Commanders Conference.
3. British Minister allays Indian investors’ concerns
Indian businesses with investments in Britain would see that it was business as usual, Britain’s Minister for Asia Mark Field said, as he sought to offer reassurances to investors and others looking to the U.K. market amid the uncertainty of Brexit.
4. India, Sri Lanka ink housing project deal
Weeks after pro-Rajapaksa protesters clashed with the police outside the Indian consulate in Hambantota, Sri Lanka signed an agreement with India to build 1,200 houses in a public ceremony held in the southern port city.
The signing of the MoU in Hambantota amid assumes significance not only in its timing, but also in taking India’s housing project to the Sinhala-majority Southern Province.
5. SEBI tweaks block deal norms
Markets regulator SEBI on Thursday revised the framework for ‘block deals’ by providing two separate trading windows of 15 minutes each and increasing the minimum order size to Rs. 10 crore, such deals are usually negotiated before their execution.
The move is aimed at ensuring confidentiality of the large trades and stable prices for such transactions.
6. NHAI eyes bond issue to finance highway projects
Road Transport and Highways Minister,Nitin Gadkari said, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will soon issue bonds to finance highway projects.
Mr. Gadkari had said in a press conference on Wednesday that NHAI has a AAA rating that would help it tap into the capital markets. He had said that funds to the tune of Rs. 4-5 lakh crore can be raised from the markets for highway projects.
7. ‘India has to spend Rs. 50 lakh cr on infra’
Rating agency Crisil said India would need to spend about Rs. 50 lakh crore between fiscal 2018 and 2022 to build its infrastructure in a sustainable manner.
Ashu Suyash, MD and CEO, Crisil Ltd. while unveiling the agency’s Infrastructure Yearbook 2017 said “India will see close to Rs. 3,000 crore investment per day in infrastructure sector, and 56% more than the Rs. 37 lakh crore projected spend between fiscals 2013 and 2017.”
8. Govt. working on tougher consumer protection law
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a new consumer protection law is on the anvil to crack down on misleading advertisements and simplify the grievance redressal mechanism.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day international conference on Consumer Protection for East, South, Southeast and Asian nations.
9. ‘Don’t deny food items for lack of Aadhaar’
The Centre has instructed the States not to deny PDS benefits to any person who does not have Aadhaar or has not linked the ration card to the 12-digit biometric identifier, and warned them of strict action for violations. It also asked the States not to delete eligible households from the list of beneficiaries for non-possession of Aadhaar.
10. Kohli ahead of Messi in Forbes List
Virat Kohli, Indian cricket team captain, has been ranked above the Argentinean and Barcelona football legend Lionel Messi as one of the most valuable brands among sports athletes by Forbes.
According to Forbes, Kohli is ranked seventh in the list released by Forbes ahead of Messi, who is at ninth. Between Kohli and Messi is the Irish golfer Rory McIlroy. Kohli is placed at seventh with a brand value of $14.5 million, compared to Messi’s $13.5 million.