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40 TONNES OF RELIEF MATERIAL AIRLIFTED TO CYCLONE-HIT FIJI
India on Thursday dispatched relief material to cyclone-hit Fiji as part of its humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts in the neighbourhood.
A C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force took off from the Palam air station here to Fiji, via Chennai, with 40 tonnes of relief material, an Air Force officer said. The consignment includes food, medicines and tents. Fiji was hit by the massive Cyclone Winston last Saturday, leaving at least 44 dead.
The island nation has requested foreign aid. India has already announced aid in the aftermath of the disaster.
RAIL BUDGET 2016: NO HIKE IN PASSENGER FARES; CONFIRMED RAIL TICKETS TO EVERYONE BY 2020
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu made no changes either in passenger fares or freight rates while presenting his second Rail Budget in Parliament on Thursday.
Prabhu announced introduction of three new super-fast trains and creation of dedicated north-south, east-west and east coast freight corridors by 2019.
Railway Minister also promised rationalising of the tariff structure by undertaking a review to evolve competitive rates vis-a-vis other modes of transport and to expand the freight basket as a means of additional revenue mobilisation.
The three new super-fast trains announced by him include ‘Humsafar’ which will be a fully air-conditioned 3AC service with option of meals. ‘Tejas’ will showcase the future of train travel in India with speeds up to 130 km per hour with onboard services such as entertainment, local cuisine and wifi.
30 MILLION-YEAR OLD ROCK FOUND DURING STADIUM CONSTRUCTION
Rock samples about 20 to 30 million years old have been unearthed under one of the stadiums being built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, organisers said.
The ‘Dukhan rock’ was found during construction of the 40,000-capacity Qatar Foundation stadium in Doha, which is set to host matches up to the quarter-final stage.
SPORTSPERSONS LEAD INDIANS ON FORBES ASIA LIST
Tennis star Sania Mirza, Indian batting mainstay Virat Kohli and top-seeded badminton player Saina Nehwal lead the pack of over 50 Indians in Forbes’ inaugural list of top “promising young leaders and game changers” under the age of 30, in Asia.
The Forbes ‘30 under 30 Asia’ list includes 300 “young and driven entrepreneurs and game-changers” from countries including India, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Pakistan, Vietnam and Australia, who are contributing to their industries in a significant way.
As many as 56 Indians feature in the list with Kohli, Mirza and Nehwal and actress Shraddha Kapoor leading the pack.
Sania Mirza, Virat Kohli and Saina Nehwal among young leaders from various fields under the age of 30
AMMUNITION FROM PRIVATE SECTOR SOON, SAYS PARRIKAR
The Defence Ministry is working on proposals to further open up and streamline the defence procurement process.
These include allowing the private sector to manufacture ammunition and longer tenures for Army officers in the acquisition wing to ensure continuation, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursday.
As the requirement for various types of ammunition by the Army keeps changing, the private sector will be given orders for 10 years to ensure financial viability, Mr. Parrikar said, while speaking at the inaugural session of the Defence Innovators and Industry Association.
E-TOURIST VISA EXTENDED TO 37 MORE NATIONS
Delivering on the commitment made by finance minister Arun Jaitley in his 2015-16 budget speech, the home ministry will extend e-tourist visa scheme to 37 more nations starting Friday, taking the number of beneficiary countries to 150.
The countries added in the latest round include Albania, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cote D’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Iceland, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Moldova, Namibia, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
VIRTUAL REALITY IS NEXT AS SMARTPHONE SALES SLOW
Phone makers, trying to renew consumer appetite, are turning to virtual reality headsets that can be paired with their devices to view videos and play games.
“With a slowing smartphone market, one of the ways to generate additional profit is to become a major player in new categories like smartwatches, cameras or virtual reality goggles,” said Ian Fogg, head of mobile at research firm IHS.
“These are markets where there is not yet a leader so there is a lot more room for growth,” he said.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC SEES OFF MALEK JAZIRI IN DUBAI FOR 700TH WIN
Novak Djokovic claimed the 700th victory of his career as he breezed into the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Championships. The world No1 needed only 65 minutes to beat Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-1, 6-2 and become only the 12th player in tennis’ post-1968 open era to hit the 700 mark of singles victories.
The Serb said on the ATP Tour website: “The first set and a half I enjoyed it, and then I started missing a lot of forehands, easy forehands from mid-court. It frustrated me, honestly, a little bit.
“But I managed to win the match. I will take the positives out of tonight’s match and hopefully I will be able to raise my game even more.”
Djokovic, winner of the year’s first grand slam in Australia last month, now meets Feliciano López, a 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) winner over Lukas Rosol, in the last eight.