Centre approves 3rd revival package for BSNL worth Rs 89,047 crores
Union Cabinet has approved the third revival package for BSNL with the total outlay of Rs. 89,047 crore. With this revival package the authorized capital of BSNL will increase from Rs. 1,50,000 crore to Rs. 2,10,000 crore. BSNL connects the most remote parts of India and powers many government-run facilities. If private companies flounder, BSNL is the only alternative for the government.Also BSNL plays a vital role in advancing the government’s rural broadband agenda. Centre approves 3rd revival package for BSNL worth Rs 89,047 crores.
The aim of this revival package is to help emerge BSNL as a stable telecom service provider focused on providing connectivity to remotest parts of India.The package will be utilised for enhancing BSNL’s 4G and 5G services.
Previous revival package
Government had approved the first revival package for BSNL/MTNL in 2019 which amounted to Rs. 69,000 Crore and brought stability in BSNL/MTNL.
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited.
In 2022, Government approved second revival package for BSNL/MTNL amounting to Rupees 1.64 Lakh Crore. It provided financial support for capex(capital expenditure), viability gap funding for rural landlines, financial support for de-stressing the balance sheet, merger of BBNL(Bharat Broadband Network Limited) with BSNL, etc.
As a result of these two packages, BSNL has started earning operating profits since FY 2021-22. Total debt of BSNL has reduced from Rs. 32,944 Crore to Rs. 22,289 Crore.
BSNL was established in 2000 and is one of the largest telecommunications service providers in India. It offers a wide range of services including landline, mobile, broadband and enterprise solutions.
Kerala’s first ‘Ashoka Chakra’ winner Havildar Alby D’Cruz passes away
Alby D’Cruz, one of Kerala’s proud Defence personnel who always maintained a low profile despite being the first Keralaite to be conferred the Ashoka Chakra, passed away. It was way back in 1962, he received the Asoka Chakra (Class III) from the country’s first president Rajendra Prasad. Since 1967, this award has been called ‘Shaurya Chakra’.
D’Cruz joined the Indian Army as a Lance naik in the paramilitary force- Assam Rifles as a radio officer and his battalion was given the job of busting the Naga rebels. Incidentally, his presence in the coastal hamlet was never known and his exploits also never made news, but it was when he turned 80 years in 2017, a local Coastal Organization decided to honor him, when many knew that he was a highly decorated soldier.
Commission of Railway Safety (CRS): Ensuring Rail Travel Safety in India
The Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) is a crucial government commission in India responsible for ensuring the safety of rail travel and train operations. Established during the British era, the CRS has evolved over time to become an independent authority under the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). This article provides an overview of the CRS, its organizational structure, responsibilities, and its role in investigating rail accidents.
Origin during the British Era: The CRS traces its origins back to the British era when private players were involved in the construction and operation of railways.
Appointment of Consulting Engineers: Initially, consulting engineers were appointed by the British government of India to exercise control over the private railway companies.
Evolution of Inspectorate: With the government taking over railway construction, consulting engineers became Government Inspectors, and in 1883, their position was officially recognized.
Separation from the Railway Board: After the tragic Bihta derailment in Bihar in 1939, the Pacific Locomotive Committee recommended separating the Railway Inspectorate from the Railway Board to ensure independence in inspections.
Organizational Structure and Jurisdiction
Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS): The CRS is headed by the CCRS, based in Lucknow, who serves as the Principal Technical Advisor to the Central Government on railway safety.
Commissioners of Railway Safety (CRS): Nine CRS, under the administrative control of the CCRS, are responsible for specific jurisdictions, covering the 17 Zonal Railways, as well as Metro Railway (Kolkata), DMRC (Delhi), MRTS (Chennai), and Konkan Railway.
Deputy Commissioners of Railway Safety: The headquarters in Lucknow has five deputy commissioners, while Mumbai and Kolkata each have one, assisting the CRS in matters related to signaling and telecommunication disciplines.
Designations and Responsibilities
Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS): Since 1979, the CCRS and Commissioners of Railway Safety have been the designated positions responsible for railway safety matters.
Recruitment and Independence: Commissioners of Railway Safety are recruited from Indian Railways but do not report to the Railways. They are absorbed within the independent Commission of Railway Safety under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Inspections and Approvals: Safety commissioners inspect new railways to determine their fitness for public carriage. They conduct periodic inspections of existing railways and rolling stock. No new lines can operate without their approval.
Accident Investigations: In the event of a serious accident, the CRS conducts inspections of the accident site, records relevant particulars, and initiates inquiries. They consider eyewitness accounts and public evidence during investigations.
Cyclone Biparjoy: IMD issues alert for fishermen
Cyclone Biparjoy is a low-pressure area that is currently forming over the Southeast Arabian Sea. It is expected to intensify into a depression in the next 48 hours and may reach cyclonic storm intensity in the subsequent 72 hours. The track of the cyclone is not yet clear, but it is likely to move towards the West Coast of India. Cyclone Biparjoy is the first cyclone to form in the Arabian Sea this season. The monsoon season in India typically begins in June and lasts until September.
The cyclone is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the West Coast of India. The heaviest rains are expected to fall in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. The strong winds could cause power outages and damage to property. People in the affected areas are advised to take precautions and stay safe.
Cyclone Biparjoy: IMD issues alert for fishermen
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has given a notice to all ports in Gujarat, directing them to raise the distant warning (DW II) signal as a deep depression in the Arabian Sea has developed into a cyclonic storm named “Biparjoy.” As per the IMD, the storm has changed its course towards the north and presents potential dangers to the coastal areas.
How Cyclone Biparjoy got its name?
The name Biparjoy was given to the cyclone by Bangladesh. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) names tropical cyclones in alphabetical order according to the names submitted by member countries. Bangladesh submitted the name Biparjoy, which means “Disaster” in Bengali.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is closely monitoring the cyclone and will issue advisories as needed. Residents of coastal areas are advised to be prepared for possible flooding and other impacts from the cyclone.
Here are some of the possible impacts of Cyclone Biparjoy:
Damage to property and infrastructure
Possible route for Cyclone Biparjoy
As of June 6, 2023, Cyclone Biparjoy is a low-pressure area over the southeast Arabian Sea. It is expected to intensify into a depression by June 8 and a cyclone by June 9. The cyclone is forecast to move northwards along the west coast of India and make landfall in Gujarat on June 10. After landfall, the cyclone is expected to weaken and move into Pakistan.
The following is a possible route for Cyclone Biparjoy
June 8: Low-pressure area intensifies into a depression over the southeast Arabian Sea.
June 9: Depression intensifies into a cyclone over the east-central Arabian Sea.
June 10: Cyclone makes landfall in Gujarat.
June 11: Cyclone weakens and moves into Pakistan.
How IMD decide cyclone named?
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) decides cyclone names in a collaborative effort with other countries in the region. Each country in the region submits a list of 13 names, and the names are then rotated through a pre-determined schedule. The names are chosen to be short, easy to pronounce, and gender-neutral. They are also chosen to be culturally sensitive and not offensive to any group of people.
The IMD uses a six-year cycle for its list of cyclone names. Once a name is used, it is retired and cannot be used again. The current list of cyclone names for the North Indian Ocean is as follows:
Akash (Sri Lanka)
How it will impact weather, monsoon in India?
The usual arrival of the southwest monsoon in Kerala on June 1, with a standard deviation of around seven days, has been delayed due to a low-pressure system in the Arabian Sea. However, scientists clarify that this delay does not necessarily mean that the monsoon will be late in other parts of the country, nor does it affect the overall rainfall during the season.
The Meteorological Department has stated that the cyclonic storm will significantly impact the progression of the monsoon towards the Kerala coast. Currently, no specific date has been provided for the monsoon’s arrival in Kerala. The private weather forecasting agency, Skymet Weather, suggests that it may occur on either June 8 or June 9, but with a relatively gentle and subdued onset.
Federal Bank Launches ‘I am Adyar, Adyar is Me’ Campaign in Chennai
The Federal Bank has initiated a unique campaign in Chennai, titled ‘I am Adyar, Adyar is me,’ to celebrate the rich culture and stories of the local community. The campaign transforms an entire bank branch into a museum of local stories, showcasing the struggles and triumphs of individuals who make Adyar special. With vibrant paintings adorning the walls and an exclusive exhibition featuring 40 compelling stories, the campaign aims to capture the essence of Adyar.
Transforming the Adyar Branch into a Living Museum:
The Federal Bank’s Adyar branch has undergone a remarkable transformation for the ‘I am Adyar, Adyar is me’ campaign. The branch has been converted into a living museum, showcasing the soul of Adyar through art and stories. Vibrant paintings now adorn the walls, reflecting the lively spirit of the locality.
Capturing Compelling Stories:
In preparation for the campaign, the Federal Bank’s team ventured into the neighborhoods of Adyar, engaging with the local community. They listened to the people’s stories and collected around 100 stories and photographs from the individuals they interviewed. Out of these, 40 of the most compelling stories were selected for the exclusive exhibition at the Adyar branch.
An Exclusive Exhibition:
The heart of the ‘I am Adyar, Adyar is me’ campaign lies in the exclusive exhibition at the Adyar branch of the Federal Bank. For two weeks, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., visitors can experience the diverse stories and experiences of the people of Adyar. The exhibition serves as a tribute to the residents of Adyar, showcasing their everyday journeys, joys, and accomplishments.
A First-of-Its-Kind Micro-Marketing Initiative:
The ‘I am Adyar, Adyar is me’ campaign sets a new precedent in the banking industry as a first-of-its-kind micro-marketing initiative. By celebrating the local culture and stories, the Federal Bank aims to connect with the community on a deeper level. The campaign goes beyond traditional marketing approaches, emphasizing the importance of human experiences and personal connections.
Auto-Rickshaws as Brand Ambassadors:
To further spread the message of the campaign, over 100 auto-rickshaws in Adyar have been decorated with the branding of the ‘I am Adyar, Adyar is me’ campaign. These mobile advertisements serve as moving billboards, capturing the attention of residents and visitors alike. The vibrant branding on the auto-rickshaws reinforces the campaign’s spirit and creates additional buzz within the community.
Celebrating Life, Living, and Memories:
According to M.V.S. Murthy, Chief Marketing Officer of the Federal Bank, the ‘I am Adyar, Adyar is me’ campaign represents a sincere effort by the bank to celebrate the life, living, and memories of the people of Adyar. The bank is honored by the gracious sharing of stories by the neighbors around its Adyar branch. Murthy emphasizes that the faces and stories showcased in the exhibition reflect the everyday journeys, joys, and accomplishments of Adyar.
India Successfully Flight-Tests New-Generation Ballistic Missile ‘Agni Prime’
In a significant achievement for India’s defense capabilities, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted the maiden pre-induction night launch of the new-generation ballistic missile ‘Agni Prime.’ The test, held at the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha, showcased the missile’s exceptional accuracy and reliability, meeting all objectives set for the trial.
Validation of Accuracy and Reliability
The recent launch of ‘Agni Prime’ marked the first pre-induction night launch following three successful developmental trials of the advanced ballistic missile. The flawless execution of these developmental trials demonstrated the system’s superior accuracy and reliability, setting the stage for the latest test.
Comprehensive Range Instrumentation:
To capture vital flight data covering the entire trajectory of ‘Agni Prime,’ an array of range instrumentation systems was deployed at strategic locations. These included radar, telemetry, and electro-optical tracking systems, strategically positioned on the island and two down-range ships. The comprehensive data collection facilitated a meticulous assessment of the missile’s performance, further bolstering its credentials.
Key Observers Witness the Successful Flight Test
The successful flight test of ‘Agni Prime’ was witnessed by esteemed officials from the DRDO and Strategic Forces Command, who closely monitored the missile’s trajectory and performance parameters. Their presence at the event highlighted the significance of the test and reflected the nation’s commitment to enhancing its defense capabilities.
Pathway to Induction into Armed Forces
The flawless execution of the pre-induction night launch of ‘Agni Prime’ marks a crucial milestone in the missile’s journey towards being integrated into the armed forces. The test’s success validates the confidence in the system’s operational readiness and showcases its potential to significantly augment India’s defense capabilities. With this achievement, India takes a significant step forward in strengthening its deterrence capabilities and bolstering national security.
Recognition from the Defense Minister
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh conveyed his heartfelt congratulations to the DRDO and the armed forces for the successful test of ‘Agni Prime.’ The minister’s appreciation reflects the government’s unwavering support for indigenous research and development efforts in the defense sector. The successful flight test of ‘Agni Prime’ underscores India’s commitment to self-reliance in defense technology and its pursuit of excellence in safeguarding the nation.
NTPC Kanti Launches Girl Empowerment Mission (GEM)-2023 for 40 Underprivileged Girls
NTPC Kanti, as part of its CSR initiative, has launched the Girl Empowerment Mission (GEM)-2023, a four-week residential workshop program aimed at empowering 40 underprivileged rural girls from the Kanti block. This program, organized for the first time by NTPC Kanti, seeks to provide academic training, skill development, and overall personality enhancement to the participants.
Inauguration and Objectives:
The GEM program was inaugurated by DSGSS Babji, Regional Executive Director, East – I NTPC Ltd, and K.M.K Prusty, Head of Project, NTPC Kanti. The workshop aims to prepare the girl students to become well-rounded individuals, instilling curiosity and developing better communication and social skills.
Selection and Participants:
Eight students have been selected from five schools in the Kanti Block to participate in the GEM-2023 program. These girls come from underprivileged backgrounds, and the workshop offers them an opportunity to enhance their educational and life skills.
The four-week residential workshop program will encompass various components to empower the participants:
Academic Training: The girls will receive academic training to improve their educational foundation and expand their knowledge in different subjects.
Skill Development: The participants will be exposed to various skill sets, including soft skills, life skills, communication skills, and computer applications, to equip them for future endeavors.
Personal Growth: The workshop will focus on holistic development, offering sessions on meditation, yoga, self-defense, and sports activities to enhance physical and mental well-being.
Extra-Curricular Activities: The participants will engage in a range of extra-curricular activities, fostering creativity, teamwork, and leadership skills.
Impact and Future Prospects:
NTPC Kanti aims to bring about a positive change not only in the lives of the participating girls but also in their families and the entire society. By empowering these girls and nurturing their confidence and enthusiasm, the program strives to create a ripple effect of transformation within the community.
DSGSS Babji, Regional Executive Director (East-I), NTPC, expressed gratitude to the teachers, parents, and headmaster for their support in this noble initiative. KM Prustyi, Project Head, NTPC Kanti, believes that the GEM program will leave a lasting impact, leaving the participants with heightened confidence and enthusiasm.