Delegation of foreign journalists from IIMC meet Maharashtra Governor

Delegation of foreign journalists from  IIMC meet Maharashtra Governor


A  delegation of 22  foreign journalists from  14 countries called on Maharashtra Governor, Mr. C Vidyasagar Rao, at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai today.  They are working journalists from Non-aligned and developing countries and are participating in the 65th Diploma Course in Development Journalism in Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi.

Governor Vidyasagar Rao said that Journalism is often referred to as the Fourth Pillar of Democracy.  He appealed to the journalists to uphold the cherished values of journalism and  lend the voice to the muted millions. “As development journalists you are uniquely placed to highlight the problems of people, problems of the backward regions, problems of the poorest of the poor, the vulnerable, problems of women, problems of the socio-economically backward classes, problems of the physically and mentally challenged persons and others. Most importantly, you have got the power to make the government, government functionaries and bureaucrats accountable to the people,” Mr. Vidyasagar Rao added.


The IIMC trainees are in Mumbai as part of their study tour. The Mumbai visit is expected to give them an opportunity to get an exposure of media and entertainment industry in India.  IIMC is a premier institute under Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India with the basis objective of teaching, training and undertaking research in the areas of journalism, media and mass communication. IIMC has so far trained over 1500 candidates from over 125 countries under its Development Journalism course.

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CBI Mumbai consolidates its operations under one roof at BKC

Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI has consolidated its operations in Mumbai and commenced working from its new office building located at the Bandra-Kurla Complex.  The 13 storey new building of CBI was inaugurated by its Director Mr. Anil Sinha earlier this month.

CBI which commenced its operations in Mumbai in 1964 had been operating from five different locations spread across the city.  It may be recalled that while CBI’s  main office was located ay Tanna House, Colaba, the Economic Offences  Wing was located at Phirozsha Mehta Road in Fort.  The Banking Security Fraud Cases Office was at Ballard Estate while the Special Task Force was housed at Madame Cama Road.

The new CBI building brings together all investigating units in Mumbai under one roof.  The new office complex is expected to facilitate better coordination among the branches of CBI and promote bonhomie among its staff members.

The new integrated model office complex house all investigating units in Mumbai under one roof.  As the CBI Director says, the new office complex would The new office building located in ‘G’  Block of Bandra-Kurla Complex is a green building built by Central Public Works Department (CPWD) at a cost of Rs. 103 crores.

The building has various facilities, including solar power provision, power efficient sensor-based lighting and centralised air conditioning, double glass unit for natural light and power efficiency, an auditorium, a regional training centre, conference rooms, scientific interrogation rooms, canteen, rainwater harvesting, fire alarm system and fire fighting system, sewerage treatment plant, RO water filtration and library.

CBI Mumbai Zone, headed by the 1986 batch senior IPS Officer Keshav Kumar, has jurisdiction over Maharashtra, Goa and Guajrat.


Juvenile Justice Consultation Round Table to be held at Utthan on March 12 & 13.

The two day Second Roundtable of the Western Regional Consultation on Juvenile Justice will be held at the Maharashtra Judicial Academy in Uttan, Bhayandar on 12th-13th March, 2016.

The event is being jointly organised by the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Bombay High Court, under the aegis of the Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Justice.  UNICEF, the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Maharashtra, Maharashtra Judicial Academy and the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority.

Justice Madan B. Lokur, Judge Supreme Court of India will deliver the key note address at the inaugural session.

The conference will follow up on key recommendations of first round of consultation and also discuss best practices on rehabilitations of children.  State presentations will be made by Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi.

The 2-day conference will also deliberate upon rehabilitations of children in Conflict with Law in the Homes and Role of Police, Probation Officers, Restoration and after care.

The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, recognises that- childhood is entitled to special care and assistance.  The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection.



Cabinet approves Rs 8,000 crore Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana LPG scheme

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana -a scheme for providing free LPG connections to women from BPL Households.

Under the scheme, Rs 8000 crore has been earmarked for providing five crore LPG connections to BPL households.

The Scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households.

The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories. This Scheme would be implemented over three years, namely, the FY 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country. This measure will empower women and protect their health. It is also expected to reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking.

The announcement about the scheme was made by the Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley during his budget speech on February 29, 2016.

Cabinet clears new price formula for undeveloped gas finds

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today approved a proposal to grant marketing and pricing freedom for the gas produced from High Pressure High Temperature, Deepwater and Ultra Deepwater areas.

The policy guidelines would be applicable to future discoveries as well as existing discoveries which are yet to commence commercial production as on 1.1.2016.

If there is pending arbitration or litigation filed by the contractors directly pertaining to gas pricing covering such fields, this policy guideline shall be made applicable only on the conclusion/ withdrawal of such litigation/ arbitration and the attendant legal proceedings.

The marketing freedom so granted would be capped by a ceiling price arrived at on the basis of landed price of alternative fuels.  The landed price-based ceiling will be calculated once in six months and applied prospectively for the next six months.

The decision is expected to improve the viability of some of the discoveries already made in such areas and also would lead to monetization of future discoveries as well.  The reserves which are expected to get monetized are of the order of 6.75 tcf or 190 BCM or around 35 mmscmd considering a production profile of 15 years. The country’s present gas production is around 90 mmscmd.

The decision is expected to result into monetization of the 28 discoveries creating substantial employment potential. Besides, there are around 10 discoveries which have been notified and whose potential is yet to be established.

Nod for IMF’s South Asia Regional Training & Technical Assistance Center in India

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on March 10th has given its approval for signing an MoU  between India and the International Monetary Fund, IMF for setting up of South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center in India.

The SARTTAC will be a collaborative venture between the IMF, the member countries that is Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka and development partners for supporting the capacity development needs of the members.

The MoU will help in capacity building of Government officials including state level in macro, fiscal, monetary policies by the IMF and greater coordination between the six member countries of South Asia.

Capacity development by the IMF will bring in the best practices from across the globe, as well as the South Asian region, resulting in innovative solutions to fiscal, monetary and financial issues and effective response through use of IT and innovative techniques.

The MoU is likely to be signed during the upcoming IMF Regional Conference on ‘Advancing Asia: Investing for the Future’ to be held in New Delhi.

Cabinet nod for Dubai Port World to change its shareholding in container terminal ports.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for grant of ‘No Objection’ to the proposed change in shareholding in the Container Terminal Projects of M/s. Dubai Port World (DPW) Limited in major Ports.

DPW Limited is contemplating restructuring of its assets in India in a bid to consolidate  the ownership of its port infrastructure in India into a single holding company namely, Hindustan Ports Private Limited (HPPL). The New Company will take over all liabilities of the existing subsidiaries of DP World in relation to the Concession Agreements.

The Government has agreed to the proposal for restructuring by DPW subject to the condition that the net worth of the holding company HPPL after acquisition of the shares of the project SPVs shall be higher than US $ 80 million.

The restructuring of its assets of DPW in India will help in better coordination and control as the Port Authorities have to deal with a single company registered in India. The decision will also promote Foreign Direct Investment and private sector participation in the port sector.

Minimum capacity utilization criteria for SSP Fertilizer units for availing of subsidy to be lifted.

In order to push major policy reforms in the fertilizer sector, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved the proposal for removing the minimum capacity utilization criteria for the Single Super Phosphate (SSP) units to be eligible for the subsidy under the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme with immediate effect.

From 01.10.2009, it was made mandatory for the SSP units to utilize minimum 50% of their recognised production capacity or to produce 40000 MT, whichever is less, per year to become eligible for subsidy.

Due to this minimum capacity utilization criteria, large number of small SSP units which failed to reach this level were not able to avail of subsidy, in spite of having passed on the subsidy benefit to the farmer in the form of lower MRP.

There was some capacity addition in the beginning, but for the last four years the production and consumption of SSP in the country has remained more or less stagnant. Non eligibility to receive subsidy created financial problems including working capital issues for the SSP units,

The decision to remove the minimum capacity utilization criterion would put the SSP units on the same footing as other fertilizers and they would be eligible for subsidy irrespective of quantity of SSP produced and sold for agriculture purposes.

This new policy will help revive smaller SSP units and encourage new SSP units to come up in the country to further boost indigenous production of SSP. It would also provide freedom to the SSP manufacturers to plan their production as per the market dynamics.

SSP is a phosphatic multi-nutrient fertilizer, which contains 16% phosphate, 11% sulphur, 16% calcium and some other essential micro-nutrients. Because of the simple production technique, it is one of the cheapest chemical fertilizer available. It is more suited for crops like oilseeds, pulses, horticulture, vegetables, sugarcane, etc

Cabinet approves extension of Currency Swap facility availed by Sri Lankan Central Bank

The Union Cabinet on March 10th has given its ex-post facto approval for extension of the value date to 8th March 2016 of the Existing Currency Swap facility of USD 1.1 billion availed by Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) from Reserve Bank of India.  Earlier due date was March 3rd, 2016.

Approval of this proposal will provide a temporary relief to Sri Lanka till alternative arrangement is in place.

The Union Cabinet also gave its approval for providing a special swap of USD 700 million to Sri Lanka for a period of 3 months or till the time Sri Lanka avails the IMF facility whichever is earlier.

Approval of this proposal shall help Sri Lanka in strengthening its economic stability and official reserves which have witnessed downward trend in 2015. This will also further foster India’s bilateral relations and economic ties with Sri Lanka.