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COME JUNE 1, RAHUL JOHRI WILL BECOME BCCI’S FIRST CEO
In a major step to create an impression of itself as a professional set-up, the BCCI has announced that Rahul Johri will be its first-ever chief executive officer. After spending two decades in the media industry, Johri will assume his new role on June 1.
Johri was the Asia Pacific’s executive vice-president and general manager for South Asia with Discovery Networks where he had been working for 15 years.
Johri, according to the BCCI statement, will report to the BCCI secretary. Interestingly, according to the BCCI rulebook, which in itself is under the scanner, the secretary is vested with all the executive powers.
It remains to be seen if Johri will be given freedom to work independently in a set-up that is traditionally controlled by honorary office-bearers.
NAVY GRANTS PERMANENT COMMISSION TO WOMEN OFFICERS, INDUCTS 7
Breaking gender barrier, seven women officers of Short Service Commission batch of 2008-09 have been granted permanent commission by Indian Navy. Navy is the last of the three wings of the armed forces in the country to allow permanent commission for women.
While the Army and Air Force allow permanent commission for them, the Navy had limited women officers only to short service commission of 14 years.
“Recognising the importance of providing equal opportunities to women officers, seven women officers from the batch of Short Service Commission officers of the Education branch and Naval Constructor cadre, who joined in 2008-09, have been granted permanent commission,” a statement issued by the Navy said.
It added that the Navy is also finalising a policy for women officers to serve on select warships that have appropriate facilities for women.
Defence sources said the women officers will have to meet four main conditions for permanent commission including being medically fit and having a good annual confidential report, besides the vacancy available for the post. The women officers will have to also opt for permanent commission as this will not be an automatic route.
OBAMA VISITS SAUDI AMID TENSIONS WITH HISTORIC ALLY
US President Barack Obama lands in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to intensify the struggle against jihadists and efforts to end wars in Syria and Yemen, while trying to ease tensions with Riyadh.
After his early-afternoon arrival in the Saudi capital, Obama is to hold talks with King Salman, 80, who has presided over a more assertive foreign policy since acceding to the throne last year.
On Thursday, the president will attend a summit with the six Gulf Cooperation Council monarchies, joined by US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter and Secretary of State John Kerry.
They will gather in an atmosphere of bitterness with regional leaders offended by Obama’s tone and actions, particularly what they see as his reluctance to get involved in Syria and other regional problems, as well as his tilt towards Iran.
The Sunni Gulf monarchies are worried after the lifting this year of international sanctions against their regional rival, Shiite Iran.
Riyadh and its neighbours fear the US-supported international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme will embolden the country, which they accuse of interference throughout the Middle East.
Mustafa Alani, a senior adviser to the Gulf Research Center, said Obama’s presidency has been “100 percent negative” for the region, a legacy of “keeping his distance”.
But the White House has emphasised the strength of an alliance that has endured more than 70 years, seeking to minimise the frictions.
CRUDE OIL IMPORT BILL HALVES TO $64 BN IN 2015-16
India’s crude oil import bill nearly halved to $64 billion in 2015-16 fiscal as global oil prices slumped to multi-year lows.
India imported 202.1 million tonnes of crude oil in the fiscal year that ended March 31, for $64.4 billion, according to latest data available from Petroleum Ministry.
This compared to import of 189.4 million tonnes of crude oil for $112.7 billion in the previous 2014-15 fiscal.
In rupee term, import of crude oil, which on processing converts into fuel like petrol and diesel, was Rs 4,18,931 crore in 2015-16, down from Rs 6,87,416 crore a year ago.
While the basket of crude oil India imports averaged $84.16 per barrel in 2014-15, it cost only $46.17 a barrel in FY16. Indian basket averaged $105.52 per barrel in 2013-14.
Domestic crude oil production was marginally lower at 36.9 million tonnes in 2015-16 from 37.5 million tonnes in the previous financial year. Consumption however fuel consumption at 183.5 million tonnes, registered a growth of 10.9 per cent, the highest in 15-years
NHAI ROLLS OUT NEW PAYMENT SYSTEM FOR NON-STOP TOLL PLAZAS
To ensure non-stop vehicle movement at toll plazas, the National Highways Authority of India has rolled out cashless payment mechanism, FASTag, at 250 tolls on highways across the country.
FASTag offers near non-stop movement of vehicles through toll plazas and convenience of cashless payments of toll fee with nationwide inter-operable electronic toll collection services.
“FASTag is operational on over 275 toll plazas on national highways across the country,” National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said on Wednesday.
FASTag has a one-time fee of Rs 200 and is affixed on the wind screen of the vehicle.
It employs RFID technology for making toll payments directly from the pre-paid account linked to it. A vehicle using FASTag will use dedicated FASTag lane to have cashless travel.