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  • GIC Re To Operate From Lloyds In London

    General Insurance Corporation is going to start operations at the Lloyd’s London office in April  2018 thereby increasing its share of international business. This will also facilitate Indian becoming a regional reinsurance center. This will help GIC Re increase its share of international reinsurance business. The company had received approval to set up a syndicate at Lloyd’s of London in December 2017. GIC Syndicate 1947 will be the first Lloyd’s syndicate to be backed solely by capital from an Indian reinsurance group.

    USA Bans Use Of Venezuelan Cryptocurrency- Petro

    The Donald Trump administration banned all use by Americans of Venezuelan cryptocurrency (Petro) that its introduction is intended to skirt U.S. sanctions. The prohibition applies to all people and companies subject to U.S. jurisdiction. In February 2018, cash-strapped Venezuela became the first country to launch its own version of bitcoin, the petrol.

    Third Edition Of National Conclave On Mines And Minerals

    The Ministry of Mines organized the 3rd National Conclave on Mines & Minerals in New Delhi. The event was inaugurated by the Minister of Mines, Narendra Singh Tomar. Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has agreed to partner in the event. A portal on Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojna (PMKKKY) scheme was also launched on the occasion.

    BHEL Commissions 1st Unit Of Kishanganga Hydro Project In Jammu & Kashmir

    State-run power equipment maker BHEL commissioned 1st unit of 110 MW of the Kishanganga hydroelectric project (HEP) of NHPC in Jammu and Kashmir. It is Located on the river Kishanganga, a tributary of the Jhelum in Bandipora district, all the three units of the 340 MW project will generate 1,350 million units (MU) of clean electricity annually. The other two units are also in advanced stages of commissioning. In J&K, Bhel has so far commissioned 31 Hydro sets with a cumulative capacity of 1,257 MW.

    IRCTC Ties Up With Ola

    With an aim to providing first-and-last-mile connectivity, railway PSU IRCTC announced a partnership with cab aggregator Ola, giving commuters an option book taxi on its app. The tie-up, a six-month pilot project, will give customers access to Ola booking services when they visit the IRCTC Rail Connect App and on its website. The Ola cab facility will provide all the services offered.

    Telangana and Kay Ventures Tie Up For Apparel Hub

    The Telangana government is setting up an Rs. 100-crore Apparel Super Hub in Sircilla. It signed a memorandum of understanding with Kay Ventures to roll out the project. To be set up on 20 acres, the hub will be completed in three phases. The first phase will be taken up with an investment of Rs. 30 crores in a year. While the State government will infuse 90 percent of the phase-1 funds, Kay Ventures and its associates will take care of the balance amount.

    Saudi Arabia Cabinet Approves Nuclear Power Program National Policy

    Saudi Arabia's Cabinet approved the national policy of its atomic energy programme, as the kingdom prepares to award contracts for its first nuclear power plants. The policy insists on limiting nuclear activities to peaceful purposes and calls for enhanced safety measures as well as the use of best practices for radioactive waste management. Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, is seeking nuclear power to diversify its energy supply mix in order to free up oil to boost exports.

    Paytm Money Receives Sebi Nod As Registered Investment Adviser

    Financial services platform Paytm announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Paytm Money received approval of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to become a registered investment advisor. The nod from Sebi will allow the company to roll out investment and wealth management products to consumers across the country.

    BlackBerry sues Facebook for stealing its messaging ideas

    BlackBerry sued Facebook, alleging that WhatsApp and Instagram have infringed upon its intellectual property by copying features from its patent-protected BBM service. It accused Facebook of stealing functionalities such as innovative security and user interface were stolen from its Messenger service. BlackBerry had sold its rights over the brand phones to a Chinese firm in 2016.  It alleges that Facebook, created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry’s innovations, using a number of the innovative security, user interface, and functionality enhancing features that made BlackBerry’s products such a critical and commercial success in the first place. “BlackBerry’s suit sadly reflects the current state of its messaging business. Having abandoned its efforts to innovate, BlackBerry is now looking to tax the innovation of others.

    Flipkart Limited invests 4843.4 crore into its India units to take on Amazon

    The Singapore-based holding firm of Indian online retailer Flipkart had invested 4843.4 crores into two of its India entities, in a bid to take on its rival Amazon. Flipkart Limited had put 4472.4 crores into the marketplace unit of Flipkart India, Another Singapore-based unit Flipkart Marketplace Private Limited had invested₹370.9 crore into Flipkart Internet Private Limited, which owns and operates an online shopping portal in India. The funding is expected to help Flipkart build its war chest in the battle against Inc., which is rapidly gaining share in India’s online retail market. The investment comes at a time when the company had raised about $4 billion last year in two funding rounds from investors including Chinese Internet giant Tencent, U.S.-based e-commerce firm eBay, software maker Microsoft and Japan’s SoftBank Group. Last August, SoftBank, led by CEO Masayoshi Son announced an investment in Flipkart through its $100 billion technology-focused fund Vision Fund. Flipkart, which had in excess of $4 billion of cash on the balance sheet after that round, is now penetrating deeper into the Indian market.

    Union Cabinet clears setting up of NFRA to oversee auditors

    The Union Cabinet approved the establishment of National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA).  Briefing media in New Delhi yesterday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, the NFRA will act as an independent regulator for the auditing profession which was one of the key changes brought in by the Companies Act 2013.  The jurisdiction of NFRA for investigation of Chartered Accountants and their firms will be extended to the listed companies and large unlisted public companies.  The Cabinet also gave nod to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill - 2018 to deal with those escaping overseas to avoid getting caught.  The Bill will help in laying down measures to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian Courts.  The economic offenses worth 100 crore rupees or more will come under the purview of the Bill.

    Tamil Nadu and Microsoft Tie-Up To Accelerate Cloud Technology Adoption

    The government of Tamil Nadu announced signing an agreement with IT Major Microsoft to improve the integration of technology in teaching and learning in the state. The partnership aims to reform education sector, build tech capacity and enhance digital literacy across all levels. As a part of the agreement, Microsoft will adopt seven schools identified by the government and train their teachers and students around building 21st-century skills.

    Asian Development Bank And India Sign $84 Million Loan For Water Supply In Bihar

    The Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an $84 million loan for improvement and expansion of water supply in Bhagalpur and Gaya towns in Bihar. The tranche 2 loan is part of the $200 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for the Bihar Urban Development Investment Program that was approved by ADB in 2012. The loan will have a 25-year term, including a grace period of 5 years, an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s lending facility based on the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), and a commitment charge of 0.15% per year.

    Paytm Launches Two Insurance Companies

    Digital payments startup Paytm launched two insurance companies, Paytm Life Insurance and Paytm General Insurance. Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CFO Madhur Deora, and Shankar Prasad Nath are the three signatory stakeholders in both the companies.

    India offers $1 million aid to Tonga

    India contributed $1 million aid Tonga for rehabilitation efforts after the island was hit by Tropical Cyclone Gita which had caused massive destruction. Tonga was recently hit by worst Tropical Cyclone Gita. US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had reported it Category 4 cyclone. Wind gusts of the cyclone with intensity between 225 and 279 km/hr had destroyed nation’s parliament and affected about 70% island’s population. Tongatapu. The fund is managed by UNOSSC. The fund prioritizes projects reducing poverty and hunger, improving health, education, and equality. It mainly focuses on transformational sustainable development projects in the least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States.

    Uttar Pradesh Government Signs Pact With Amazon India For Khadi Products Sale

    Uttar Pradesh's Khadi and Village Industries Board signed a pact with Amazon India to facilitate online selling of Khadi products. As part of a MoU, Amazon India will educate, train and enable rural khadi artisans to directly sell their products to customers across the country under the brand of UP Khadi.

    India International Textiles Expo Begins In Colombo

    A three –day India International Textiles Expo (IITExpo) of India began in Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. It is being organized by Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL) with the support of Union Ministry of Textiles & Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The event was inaugurated by Sri Lankan minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama. At the event, about 45 exhibitors from various textile clusters of India displayed a variety of fabrics, home textiles, traditional items etc. suitable for apparel, industrial, technical application and general consumers.

    Google Launches Google Pay To Take On Apple Pay

    Google combined its two payment services, Google Wallet and Android Pay, into a new app called Google Pay.  The platform includes features like the ability to pay at checkout counters with a smartphone or pay for public transportation.

    Union Government Clears Private Commercial Mining In Coal

    In a major reform in the coal sector since its nationalization in 1973, the government allowed private companies to mine the fossil fuel for commercial use. This move ended the monopoly of state-owned Coal India Ltd. The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) under the Chairmanship of PM Narendra Modi. Currently, the private sector is allowed coal mining for captive use only. The reform will bring efficiency into the coal sector by moving away from the era of monopoly to competition and lower power tariffs.

    Amazon Launches Its 1st Food Retail Service In India

    Amazon becomes the first foreign e-commerce firm to start its own food retail venture in India called Amazon Retail, piloting its services in Pune. It will reportedly be available on Amazon India platform and sell locally made and packaged food to the consumers directly. Amazon also has Amazon Now app, which connects retailers with customers for sale of groceries.

    Milkbasket Recognised As 'Startup Of The Year' 2017

    Milkbasket, India's first and largest micro-delivery platform recognized as 'Startup of the Year' 2017 at the 7th Small Business Awards held in New Delhi. The startup of the year award is dedicated to young SMEs, aged 7 years or less, with great potential to become big in local/international markets.

    Sanjiv Bajaj named as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017

    Business consultancy firm EY named Bajaj Finserv’s Sanjiv Bajaj as the entrepreneur for 2017. Sanjiv Bajaj will now represent India at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year award (WEOY) in Monte Carlo. The company also conferred E. Sreedharan, who spearheaded metro projects in Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, and Lucknow, with the lifetime achievement award. The awardees were selected by a nine-member jury led by Sun Pharmaceuticals’ managing director Dilip Shanghvi.

    PhonePe Partners With IOCL For Deployment Of PoS Terminals

    Digital payments entity PhonePe partnered with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for the adoption of its indigenously-designed Point of Sale (POS) device at IOCL retail outlets. As part of this partnership, customers can pay using UPI, credit and debit cards, PhonePe wallet and other external wallets like Jio Money & Freecharge for their fuel purchases, through the PoS device at 30 IOCL retail outlets in Bengaluru.

    ONGC to introduce Asias first large scale CO2 injection technique at Gandhar field

    State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is planning to introduce carbon dioxide (CO2) injection technology in its Gandhar oil field in Gujarat. It will be first large-scale CO2-injected project in Asia. Its purpose is to recover extra 20 million barrels of crude oil under enhanced oil recovery. Gandhar located in Gujarat is one of ONGC’s major brownfields and was discovered in 1983. The field produces approximately 30,000 barrels of oil per day.

    LinkedIn launches Scheduler feature to ease hiring process

    Professional social network site LinkedIn on Wednesday launched a new tool called ‘Scheduler’ that will help ease the hiring process both for recruiters and candidates as well as avoid fallouts. ‘ LinkedIn Scheduler’ automates initial interview scheduling for recruiters and candidates, directly via InMail. The new tool would help candidates and recruiters save time spent on scheduling a meeting and help recruiters focus their energies on hiring strategically and onboarding the best candidate, the Microsoft-owned company. LinkedIn ‘Scheduler’ is just the latest way that we’re working to make recruiters more productive, powerful, and personal,” Rigano added. To use the feature, recruiters first need to automatically provide availability via InMail by syncing ‘Scheduler’ to Office 365 or Google calendar.

    ONGC acquires 10 per cent stake in UAEs Zakum oilfield

    Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC)-led consortium of Indian state oil firms have acquired 10% stake in Abu Dhabi’s offshore Lower Zakum Concession. The acquisition is part of deal inked between company executives and UAE officials in presence of visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi. The Lower Zakum Oil Field is located 84 km north-west of Abu Dhabi Islands. It was discovered in 1963 and is owned and developed by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. The total proven reserves of it are around 17.2 billion barrels and production is centered on 425,000 barrels per day (67,600 m3/d)

    India Retains Top Spot As Source Market For Dubai In 2017

    Dubai witnessed 15% growth in tourist arrivals from India in 2017, hosting 2.1 million visitors, retaining top spot as the source market. It also became the first country to cross the 2 million mark in a single year, according to the latest data published by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). The growth is mainly due to the success of Dubai Tourism's ongoing collaboration with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the 'BeMyGuest' campaign.

    Forbes Releases Its First-Ever Cryptocurrency Rich List

    Business magazine Forbes released its first-ever Crypto Rich List, comprising 20 wealthiest people in the cryptocurrency space. The list was topped by Ripple Co-founder Chris Larsen, who is estimated to have a crypto net worth of $7.5-8 billion. He is followed by Ethereum Co-founder Joseph Lubin ($1-5 billion) and Founder of cryptocurrency exchange Binance Changpeng Zhao ($1.1-2 billion).

    Google and NCERT Join Hands To Teach Students Digital Safety

    Google and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) signed a pact to integrate a course on 'Digital Citizenship and Safety' in information and communication technology curriculum. It was signed on the occasion of Safer Internet Day (06th February). The curriculum developed by NCERT in collaboration with Google will be used to train students from class I - class XII across 1.4 million schools in India where they will learn how to become good and responsible digital citizens. The curriculum is spread into four themes - being smart, being safe, being a digital citizen and being future ready.

    IOC to invest Rs 3,400 crore in Assam to augment operations

    Indian Oil Corporation will invest Rs 3,400 crore in Assam over the next five years to expand its operations by setting up new units as well as upgrading the existing ones. The company will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Assam Government to this effect at the two-day ‘Advantage Assam – Global Investors Summit 2018’, beginning in Guwahati. They are signing an MoU with the state government that will empower us to invest Rs 3,400 crore in Assam over the next five years. This will be for various projects across the state,” Indian Oil Corporation, Executive Director (IndianOil-AOD), Dipankar Ray.

    Twitter notifies 1.4million users who fell to Russian propaganda

    The controversy regarding alleged Russian interference in US Presidential election 2016. Social media site Twitter has notified at least 1.4 million people engaged with content created by Russian trolls during the 2016 presidential election. The platform has already blocked accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) of Russia. This time it is almost double than the accounts initially announced to fall to Russian propaganda. Earlier, Twitter announced that that 677,775 people had received such notifications. Analysts are telling that, there is lot more accounts that then fell to Kremlin propaganda. Twitter acknowledged that the current number did “not encompass every person that ever saw this content. As our review continues, we may also email additional users,” the company continued. “If and when we do so, we will do our best to keep the public updated.” Twitter is committed to providing a platform that fosters healthy civic discourse and democratic debate. We have been cooperating with congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

    Google Introduces A New App Named as Bulletin

    Google introduced a new app named "Bulletin" that allows anybody to submit stories for and about their communities. This is a free, lightweight app for telling a story by capturing photos, video clips and text right from your phone, published straight to the web. The app is made for contributing hyperlocal stories about your community. The application has been launched as a limited pilot project and is available in Nashville, Tennessee, and Oakland, California.

    India becomes third largest producer of crude steel

    According to a recent report published by World Steel Association (WSA), India overtook the US to become the world’s third-largest steel producer in 2018. China has remained world leader by producing 831.7 MT in 2017, up 5.7% from 786.9 MT in the year-ago period.   Japan is second largest global steel producer. The Global steel production had reached 1,691.2 MT in 2017, up by 5.3% compared to 2016 when output was 1,606.3 MT. It includes over 160 steel producers with 9 of the 10 largest steel companies, national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes. It was founded in July 1967 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

    AAI allocates nearly 3,400 crore rupees for upgradation of airports in North East region

    The Airports Authority of India allocated nearly 3,400 crore rupees for the up gradation of airports in the North East region.  AAI chairman Guruprasad Mahapatra told reporters in Guwahati that an amount of 1,720 crore rupees for Assam, 525 crore rupees for Tripura and 800 crore rupees for Manipur has been allocated.  Stating that projects worth 934 crore rupees have already been completed, he said work on the rest will be over in the next two or three years.

    SoftBank may back Indian insurance startup PolicyBazaar

    Multibillion-dollar Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is reportedly in talks to invest in Indian online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar at a valuation of $800 million. Indian regulatory policies limit foreign domestic investment in the country at 49% while PolicyBazaar already has foreign investors, namely Tiger Global Management and Temasek Holdings, which control 48% stake in the company.

    India is the 5th Most Attractive Market for Investments: PwC Survey

    India emerged as the fifth most attractive market for investments and the optimism over global economic growth is at a record level, as per the survey of CEOs by global consultancy PwC. The US remains the top spot for global investment. Around 46% of global CEOs consider the US as one of the three most important countries for growth, followed by China (33%) and Germany (20%) at second and third places, respectively. India (9%) bumps Japan (8%) as the fifth most attractive market in 2018.

    India to Grow at 7.4% in 2018: International Monetary Fund

    According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India is projected to grow at 7.4% in 2018 as against China’s 6.8%, making it the fastest growing country among the emerging economies. Due to demonetization and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), India’s economy slowed down a little bit to 6.7% in 2016.  In 2017, India’s growth rate dropped to 6.7%. In its latest World Economic Outlook update released in Davos, Switzerland on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, the IMF projected a 7.8% growth rate for India in 2019. 

    Apple named the world's most admired company for 2018

    Technology giant Apple topped Fortune magazine's list of the 'World's Most Admired Companies' for 2018. E-commerce giant Amazon has retained its second spot, followed by Google's parent Alphabet. Social media giant Facebook lost its place in the top ten most admired companies this year and was ranked 12th on the list.

    Facebook appoints its 1st African-American Member to Board

    Facebook appointed outgoing American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to its board, making him the first African-American to be on the board. Chenault serves on the Boards of IBM and Procter & Gamble and is also a Harvard Law School graduate.

    Google awarded 72 lakh for finding bugs in Pixel phone

    Google awarded nearly 72 lakh to researcher Guang Gong for finding bugs in its Pixel devices. The exploit chain consisted of two bugs which together could inject arbitrary code into system server by accessing a malicious URL in Chrome. Around 67 lakh of the reward was given from Google's Android Security Rewards program, the highest in the program's history.

    India Ratings Projects Economic Growth at 7.1 Next Fiscal

    India Ratings and Research have projected the country’s economic growth to improve to 7.1 percent in 2018-19 from 6.5 percent in 2017-18, buoyed by robust consumer demand and low commodity prices. In its outlook for 2018-19, according to the agency, there will be a gradual pickup in growth momentum owing to structural reforms like GST and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in place. The projection is a tad lower than 7.4 percent growth estimated by Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund for next fiscal.

    NPPA fixes retail price of 30 drug formulations

    Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) fixed retail price for 30 drug formulations, including those used for the treatment of Diabetics, bacterial infections, and high blood pressure. NPPA is an independent body under Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. It was set up in 1997. Its mandate is to fix/review. Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the country’s population.

    TCS bags over $690 million deal from M&G Prudential

    India’s largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) signed an over GBP 500 million (USD 690 million) deal with M&G Prudential, the UK and European savings and investments business of Prudential plc.  Under the contract, TCS will digitally transform M&G Prudential’s business and deliver enhanced service for its UK savings and retirement customers. “The value of this agreement exceeds GBP 500 million (USD 690 million) over 10 years and covers the support of over 4 million customer policies.

    BSE's India International Exchange Lists IRFC's First Green Bond

    The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)'s India International Exchange listed the first bond on its Global Securities Market.  The bonds issued by Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC) are one of the highest credit rated bonds issued by an Indian corporate and has been IRFC's first foray into the Green Bond market. 

    As per the National survey, Bihar is the poorest state in India, Delhi richest

    Fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) on around 6 lakh households in 2015-16 has revealed that Bihar is India's poorest state, while Delhi is the richest. The survey classifies all households into five wealth quintiles, according to which Bihar has more than half of its households in the bottom quintile, while Delhi has over 60% households in the top quintile.

    Facebook co founder Zuckerberg loses 4th richest persons spot to Zara Founder

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has lost his place as the world's fourth-richest person to Zara Founder Amancio Ortega. Zuckerberg's fortune fell by $3.3 billion after he revealed plans to shift users' News Feed towards content from family and friends, instead of content from publishers and businesses. Facebook shares tumbled nearly 4.5%, reducing Zuckerberg's fortune to $74 billion.

    Telecom regulator TRAI cuts ISD incoming call termination rate to 30 paise

    Telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) reduced international incoming call termination rate ie., ITC - international termination charge to 30 paise, from 53 paise, to curb the "grey route". The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said the new rule "shall come into force from the 1st February, 2018".

    China became second internet service provider for Nepal, breaking Indias monopoly in Nepal

    The Hong Kong and Beijing based China Telecom Global (CTG) - a company formed in 2012 - has teamed up with Nepal Telecom to provide alternate cyber-connectivity to Nepal. So far, Nepal had been linked to the global internet network through Indian telecom operators, using optical fiber connections in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Birgunj, among others. But a new terrestrial fiber cable launched in 2016 by CTG will now connect Nepal and China through the Jilong (Rasuwagadhi) border gateway.

    Reliance Jio planning to launch its own cryptocurrency

    Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is planning to create its own cryptocurrency, JioCoin. The Jio coin project is being led by Mukesh Ambani’s elder son Akash AmReliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is planning to create its own cryptocurrency, JioCoin. The Jio coin project is being led by Mukesh Ambani’s elder son Akash Ambani. The blockchain is decentralized incorruptible digital ledger for storing data across a peer-to-peer network.

    Pankaj Jain assumes Charge as IIFCL Managing Director

    Pankaj Jain, Joint Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS) assumed charge as the Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL). He will be holding additional charge of IIFCL along with his present position as Joint Secretary at DFS. IIFCL is a state-owned company focused on infrastructure financing and development.

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