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PM NARENDRA MODI LAUNCHES STAND UP INDIA TO PROMOTE FINANCIAL INCLUSION
Aiming to provide an entrepreneurial platform to SC/ST and women entrepreneurs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Stand-up India scheme on Tuesday, under which 1.25 lakh bank branches will provide loans up to Rs 1 crore to aspiring entrepreneurs.
At a function organised to mark the birth anniversary of former deputy Prime Minister Babu Jagjivan Ram in Noida, Modi flagged off 5,100 e-rickshaws.
Explaining the contours of Stand-up India, Modi said that this will help in creating 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs throughout the country as every bank branch will be required to provide two such loans ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore without collateral for setting up a new enterprise.
Stressing that it is not possible for the government to provide jobs to everyone, Modi said that the scheme will convert job seekers into job creators.
US TO SELL NINE AH-1Z VIPER HELICOPTERS TO PAKISTAN
The US is poised to sell nine AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters worth USD 170 million to Pakistan, weeks after Obama administration decided to provide eight F-16 fighter jets to the country despite strong opposition from some Congressmen and India.
The Pentagon has awarded Bell Helicopter a contract to manufacture and deliver the choppers to Pakistan under its foreign military sales funds.
The contract, which also includes nine auxiliary fuel kits for Pakistan, is part of the USD 952 million military hardware sale by US which was notified to the Congress last April.
On April 6 last year the State Department had notified to the Congress its decision to sale military hardware worth of USD 950 million to Pakistan.
As per the State Department notification to the Congress, Pakistan has requested a possible sale of 15 AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters, 32 T-700 GE 401C Engines (30 installed and 2 spares), and 1000 AGM-114 R Hellfire II Missiles in containers.
It also included 36 H-1 Technical Refresh Mission computers, 17 AN/AAQ-30 Target Sight Systems, 30 629F-23 Ultra High Frequency/Very High Frequency Communication Systems, and 19 H-764 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems.
Other military hardware were 32 Helmet Mounted Display/Optimised Top Owl, 17 APX-117A Identification Friend or Foe, 17 AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems, 17 AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispenser Sets, 18 AN/APR-39C(V)2 Radar Warning Receivers, 15 Joint Mission Planning Systems and 17 M197 20mm Gun Systems.
AS RBI CUTS REPO RATE, HOME LOANS COULD BECOME CHEAPER
The cut should be seen in the backdrop of banks reducing lending rates by 25 to 50 bps since adopting a new loan pricing mechanism.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday cut the benchmark repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 per cent, as widely expected, with Governor Raghuram Rajan assuring that the monetary stance will remain “accommodative.” Bankers said the comment signals that the central bank is leaving the door open for further reductions.
The rate cut could help lower the cost of loans for consumers, including automobile and home buyers.
ICELAND’S PM RESIGNS OVER PANAMA PAPERS SCANDAL
Iceland’s prime minister has resigned following massive protests in the wake of the Panama Papers investigation which revealed how the world’s wealthy avoid tax.
Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson stepped down on Tuesday hours after thousands of protesters gathered outside parliament to demand his resignation.
Agriculture Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson – who will replace the prime minister for an interim period – confirmed to Icelandic broadcaster RUV that Gunnlaugsson was stepping down as leader of the country’s coalition government.
Gunnlaugsson is the first major scalp from a leak of more than 11 million documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm, showing tax-avoidance arrangements of the rich and famous around the world.
NAVEEN LAUNCHES ADARSH VIDYALAYA PROJECT
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the Odisha Adarsh Vidyalaya (OAV) project at Sasan Ambagaon village in his home constituency Hinjli in Ganjam district on Tuesday with an aim to provide modern schools on the lines of Kendriya Vidyalayas in the underdeveloped rural pockets of the State.
The government aims at opening one Adarsh Vidyalaya in each of the 314 revenue blocks of the State. On Tuesday, 100 of these schools started functioning with the official launch of the project. The inauguration ceremony organised on the premises of the newly-constructed Vidyalaya at Sasan Ambagaon was attended by Naveen Patnaik, and Ministers including Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Minister for Higher Education Pradeep Panigrahy, Usha Devi and Bikram Arukh.
Adarsh Vidyalayas are expected to have hostel facility in future and will be affiliated to the CBSE. They would have English as the first language and Odia as the second language as medium of teaching. These schools will have teacher-pupil ratio of 1:25 and classroom-student ratio of 1:40. Around 50 per cent of total seats would be reserved for the scheduled categories and girls.
The State government has appointed special teachers and principals and these schools are to be managed by the Odisha Adarsh Vidyalaya Sangathan, formed by the State like the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan.
PALWAL-MANESAR STRETCH OF KMP EXPRESSWAY INAUGURATED
The pace of building highways has picked up to 20 kms a day: Gadkari
The pace of building highways has picked up to 20 kms a day, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday as he inaugurated the long-awaited Palwal-Manesar stretch of the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway.
About the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway, Mr Gadkari said the project had been languishing for several years but the Centre and Haryana government resolved the issues plaguing it and the 52.33 km long section has been completed in a record time of eleven months.
Addressing a well attended public meeting, Mr Gadkari announced that the remaining part of KMP E-way, connecting Manesar with Kundli, would be constructed with cement-concrete and a communique in this regard would be sent to the Haryana government.
Such a construction will not need maintenance for next 50 years and the drive will also be smooth and hassle free, he pointed out.
About the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways, Mr Gadkari said there are plans to complete these projects within 400 days.