NHAI to Develop 10,000 km of Optic Fibre Cables Across India by FY 2025
NHAI's OFC infrastructure project to revolutionize India's digital transformation.
NHAI’s special purpose vehicle to develop 10,000 km of Optic Fibre Cables in India
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has announced plans to develop an integrated network of around 10,000 kilometers of optic fiber cables (OFC) infrastructure across India by the fiscal year 2025. The project will be implemented by NHAI’s special purpose vehicle, National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML), which will create utility corridors along the national highways to develop the OFC infrastructure. The OFC network will provide internet connectivity to remote regions in India and facilitate the country’s transition to modern telecommunication technologies such as 5G and 6G. Pilot tracks for the development of digital highways have already been identified by NHAI, with the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and Hyderabad-Bangalore corridor included in the plan.
NHAI targets to complete OFC infrastructure project in a year
The OFC infrastructure development project is already underway, with a goal to complete it within a year. The OFC network will be leased out on a fixed-rate allocation system on an open-for-all basis through a web portal to eligible users. An official OFC allotment policy is being finalised in consultation with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The development of digital highways in India is expected to expedite the country’s digital transformation and have a catalytic effect on its growth and development.
British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab Resigns Following Bullying Investigation
Dominic Raab, the British Deputy Prime Minister, has resigned after an independent investigation found that he acted in an intimidating manner towards colleagues.
Tolley’s Conclusions on Raab’s Behavior
Dominic Raab, the British Deputy Prime Minister, has resigned after an independent investigation found that he acted in an intimidating manner toward colleagues. The 48-page report by lawyer Adam Tolley investigated more than a dozen complaints about Raab’s behavior, with Tolley concluding that Raab did act in an intimidating way with colleagues in two of the three sets of complaints against him.
Raab’s Resignation Letter: Apology and Criticism
Raab has apologized for any unintended stress or offence caused and defended his conduct, stating that he had never shouted or sworn at officials. However, he has also criticised the inquiry’s “dangerously low threshold for bullying”, stating that it would encourage spurious complaints against ministers and have a chilling effect on those driving change on behalf of the government. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak accepted Raab’s resignation with sadness, but also acknowledged shortcomings in the way initial reports of concerns about Raab were handled.
Tamil Nadu assembly passes Bill allowing 12-hour work days, DMK allies
The Act's provisions to extend the mandatory working hours from 8 hours to 12 hours have been the main point of contention for the opposition, with concerns raised about worker's work-life balance.
The passage of the Factories (Amendment) Act 2023 in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, which provides for flexible work hours for employees in factories, is reportedly facing opposition from political parties, including DMK allies. The Act’s provisions to extend the mandatory working hours from 8 hours to 12 hours have been the main point of contention for the opposition, with concerns raised about worker welfare, safety, and work-life balance.
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The Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu stated that the total working hours would remain unchanged. However, workers would have the option to work four days a week and take three days off, which could benefit women workers.
The Labour Welfare Minister C V Ganesan also mentioned that the three days off would be paid leave, and the existing rules regarding leaves, overtime, and salaries would remain the same. The government would take action against any factories that forced their employees to work against their will.
Assam-Arunachal Pradesh Resolve Long-Standing Border Disputes with Landmark Pact
Assam-Arunachal Pradesh Resolve Long-Standing Border Disputes: An agreement was signed between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to resolve a border dispute that had been ongoing for over 50 years.
Assam-Arunachal Pradesh Resolve Long-Standing Border Disputes
In the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, an agreement was signed between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to resolve a border dispute that had been ongoing for over 50 years. This agreement will lead to the settlement of 123 villages located in areas shared by the two northeastern states.
Landmark Pact between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh: Key Points
The agreement was signed by the Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, and his counterpart from Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu.
There has been a border dispute between the two states since Arunachal Pradesh became a union territory in 1972, which continued when it became a state in 1987.
The length of the disputed border is 804.1 kilometers.
Shah announced that the disagreement over 123 villages located on either side of the state border has been conclusively resolved.
This noteworthy occurrence took place during the country’s 75th Independence Day celebrations.
Shah expressed his satisfaction that Assam and Arunachal Pradesh were able to peacefully settle their longstanding border dispute, which had been ongoing since 1972.
He also expressed confidence that this boundary settlement would lead to comprehensive progress and tranquility in the Northeast region.
The minister responsible for domestic affairs stated that Modi has been strongly advocating for the development of the languages, literature, and culture of the Northeast region.
The outstanding achievement of the Bihu dance is an excellent illustration of this.
The minister also mentioned that the report on the border dispute from the Local Commission has been circulating for many years. However, it has now been accepted by both states.
He believes that this agreement will be a significant step forward in fulfilling Modi’s vision of a peaceful, prosperous, and conflict-free Northeast region.
Home Minister on Landmark Pact between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh
Amit Shah mentioned that the central government has entered into multiple agreements since 2018, including with the Bru tribe, insurgent groups such as NLFT, and some from Karbi Anglong in Assam, resulting in peace and cessation of violence in the Northeastern region.
He noted that there has been a significant decrease in violent incidents, with a 67% reduction since 2014, a 60% decrease in security forces’ deaths, and an 83% reduction in civilian deaths in the area, which is a commendable achievement.
The minister of home affairs also highlighted that the Modi administration has revoked the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from most places in Assam, 15 police stations in six Manipur districts, all but three districts in Arunachal Pradesh, seven districts in Nagaland, as well as the entire Tripura and Meghalaya regions.
CM of Assam and A.P. on the Landmark Pact
The chief minister of Assam, Sarma, referred to the signing of the MoU as a significant moment in history and believed that it would bring about peace and prosperity. He stated that this resolution was only possible due to the prime minister’s support, the guidance of the union home minister, and the unwavering support of the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh. This agreement ends one of India’s most prolonged inter-state disputes after 51 years.
Similarly, the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Khandu, described the resolution of the boundary dispute as an important moment in history and was optimistic that it would transform the peace and development of both states.
About the Landmark Pact between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh
There are a total of 71 villages along the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, and changes will be made to which state they belong to.
One village will be transferred from Arunachal Pradesh to Assam, while 10 villages will remain in Assam and 60 will be transferred to Arunachal Pradesh.
The status of 49 villages will be finalized by regional committees within six months, while three villages located in an IAF bombing range will require rehabilitation.
The agreement aims to resolve the dispute over the 123 villages along the border, taking into account historical background, demographics, administrative convenience, proximity to the border, and the residents’ aspirations.
The agreement is considered final, and neither state can make new claims to any area or village in the future.
After the agreement, representatives from both state governments will conduct a thorough survey with the Survey of India to determine the state boundaries. As a goodwill gesture, the Arunachal Pradesh government will give a large piece of land under its possession in Jorhat to the Assam government, according to Sarma.
Russia now the biggest Oil Supplier to India
Russia now the biggest Oil Supplier to India: Official data revealed that Russia remained the biggest supplier of crude oil to India in terms of value in February.
Russia now the biggest Oil Supplier to India
Official data revealed that Russia remained the biggest supplier of crude oil to India in terms of value in February, even though there was a cap on western prices at $60 per barrel. In February, India imported crude oil worth $3.35 billion from Russia, with Saudi Arabia coming second at $2.30 billion and Iraq at $2.03 billion.
Russia now the biggest Oil Supplier to India: Key Points
During the period from April to February, India’s imports of Russian oil surged to $27 billion, placing Russia as the second-largest crude oil exporter to India in FY23, following imports from Iraq which totaled $30 billion.
Other significant exporters included Saudi Arabia at $26.8 billion, followed by the UAE at $15.6 billion, the US at $10.05 billion, and Kuwait at $7.59 billion.
In February, Russia continued to be the leading oil exporter, with India importing crude oil worth $3.35 billion from Russia, $2.30 billion from Saudi Arabia, and $2.03 billion from Iraq, indicating that there was little change in the import trends despite the price cap imposed in December.
India’s Oil Needs fulfilled by Imports: Deepto Roy
Deepto Roy, a Partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, has stated that since 80% of India’s oil needs come from imports, and a large part of that is being supplied by Russia, it is strategically important for India to continue purchasing Russian crude even if it exceeds the price cap.
However, whether Indian companies should buy above the price cap would depend on various factors, such as the availability of alternative sources.
Additionally, Indian entities purchasing Indian crude are not recognized or subject to sanctions under Indian law.
According to Roy, companies could face sanctions from international banks, shareholders, or directors. The sanctions system is intricate and extensive, so Indian companies should seek legal guidance on how sanctions could affect them and what steps they should take.
Tata Steel to set up a pilot plant for methanol
G7’s attempt to limit Russia Oil Revenue
BP’s top economist, Spencer Dale, recently commented that the price cap imposed by the G7 countries aimed to limit Russia’s oil revenue while ensuring a sufficient oil supply.
He observed that the price cap has been more successful than expected in achieving this goal.
During the fiscal year 2023, Russia became a significant oil supplier to India for the first time, providing oil at discounted rates amidst the conflict in Ukraine.
Despite concerns expressed by the West regarding India’s imports from Russia during the conflict, India has remained firm, stating that it will explore all options to secure its energy needs.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently stated that India could continue purchasing Russian oil even if the price exceeded the cap.
Star Sports signs Rishabh Pant as brand ambassador
The Walt Disney Company-owned Star Sports has signed cricketer Rishabh Pant as its latest brand ambassador. The company said it also has other cricketers as its ‘Believe Ambassadors’.
The Walt Disney Company-owned Star Sports has signed cricketer Rishabh Pant as its latest brand ambassador. The company said it also has other cricketers as its ‘Believe Ambassadors’ like Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, and Shreyas Iyer. Star Sportssaid it only had two ambassadors in 2017. Cricketer Virat Kohli is also part of this association. The ambassadors will represent different parts of the country as well as different IPL Teams, the broadcaster said. “The ‘Believe Ambassadors’ represent different parts of the country as well as different IPL Teams. Star Sports will work closely with the Cricketers to develop new campaigns and properties to grow the popularity of the sport and drive fandom, especially amongst youngsters.
Earlier today competitor Viacom18-owned JioCinema also signed Rohit Sharma, captain of the men’s cricket India, as its brand ambassador. The Reliance Industries-controlled broadcast network outbid rival Disney Star to pick up the five-year digital rights of the league with a bid amount of ₹23,757.5 crore, while the latter retained TV rights for ₹23,575 crore.
Uttar Pradesh on track to be first Indian state with 100% EVs in govt depts
The government of Uttar Pradesh, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has launched an ambitious plan to promote the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state.
The government of Uttar Pradesh, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has launched an ambitious plan to promote the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state. As part of this initiative, the government has set a target to convert all vehicles used by government departments into EVs by 2030, in a phased manner.
More About The 100% EVs in govt depts:
The Uttar Pradesh government has issued instructions to all government departments to promote the usage of electric vehicles (EVs) by purchasing them on a nomination basis without tender. The departments can also spend more than the maximum limit to purchase EVs as per their requirement. By achieving the target of converting all government vehicles into EVs before 2030, Uttar Pradesh aims to become the first state in the country to have 100% EVs in its government departments.
To further encourage the adoption of EVs, the Uttar Pradesh government has also notified the Uttar Pradesh Electric Vehicle Manufacturing and Mobility Policy 2022. The policy includes the following incentives:
Tax and registration fee exemption for three years on the purchase of EVs.
Tax and registration fee exemption for five years on the purchase of EVs manufactured in the state.