1. South Sudan becomes Olympic movement's 206th member
South Sudan became the 206th member of the Olympic family after the
International Olympic Committee approved its inclusion, despite ongoing fighting in the African country.
The unanimous recognition of the country's Olympic Committee drew a loud round of applause from the IOC members with South Sudanese officials visibly moved and some in tears.
South Sudan's marathon runner Guor Marial competed at the London 2012 Olympics but did so under the Olympic flag after refusing to run for Sudan and with South Sudan not yet an IOC member at the time.
With the country now officially part of the IOC, it can send a team to next year's Rio summer Olympics who can compete under its own flag.
2. Russia’s Rosneft to acquire 49% stake in Essar Oil
The Russia’s state owned Oil Company Rosneft signed strategic agreement with Shashi Ruia’s Essar Oil to acquire its 49 per cent. The two companies have also agreed exploration and production of hydrocarbon in concurrence. As per the agreement Rosneft will get a stake in 1,600 retail chain stations of Essar Oil and has planned to increase it to 5,000 within the next two years. It has also agreed to deliver 100 million tonnes of crude oil over next ten years to Essar Oil.
3. BNP Paribas to acquire broking firm Sharekhan
French global financial services group Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) Paribas to acquire retail brokerage firm Sharekhan at about 2,000 crore rupees. BNP Paribas a key player in retail brokerage and digital banking services that have over 1.7 million patrons in Europe is one of the largest bank in the world. This acquisition would help BNP Paribas to expand its footprint in India. Sharekhan India’s second largest stock broker portal for online trading and stock marketing has over 575 branches in India. It accounts seven per cent market share in online trading market of India with 1.2 million clients. Henceforth Sharekhan will participate in service like brokerage, asset-based investment services, mutual funds and savings products.
4.Government to Infuse Additional Rs. 800 Crore Into Air India
The Finance Ministry has sought Parliament's nod for making an additional equity infusion into Air India worth Rs. 800 crore, less than half the amount sought by the Civil Aviation Ministry for the national carrier.
The amount sought for making investment in Air India is part of the first supplementary demands for grant presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
To make up the shortfall, the Ministry had sought Rs. 1,800 crore through supplementary demand for grants.
As per the supplementary demand for grants, the Civil Aviation Ministry is to be given additional Rs. 820.25 crore, including Rs. 800 crore equity infusion in Air India.
Besides, Rs. 12.83 crore would be for providing remuneration to Flight Operations Inspectors deployed at the irectorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Rs. 6.75 crore towards payment of service tax with respect to Flight Operations Inspectors and Rs. 0.46 crore for funds related to minor works in the premises of DGCA.
Loss-making Air India, whose debt burden is about Rs. 40,000 crore, is surviving on a bailout package approved in 2012.
In the last financial year, Air India reduced its losses to Rs. 5,547.47 crore.
5. Government Announces Highway Projects Worth $93 Billion to Woo Investors
Projecting the country's highways sector as a "unique opportunity" for investments, government has rolled out projects worth USD 93 billion, including the USD 45 billion flagship road building programme NHDP.
Investment opportunities include "new models being rolled out both for greenfield (hybrid annuity) and brownfield projects (monetisation)," according to the Road Transport and Highways Ministry which has come out with a list of such projects.
To woo bidders, it said a "peep into opportunity" unfolds "20,000 kms of NHDP length with total investment of USD 45 billion over next three years."
National Highways Building Project (NHDP) is government's flagship road building programme which envisages development of existing National Highways (NHs) into world-class roads in different phases.
It is among the largest government-led PPP development programmes in the world.
It said it intends to award 26,000 kms of NH projects, of which 20,000 kms are NHDP projects.
The government, releasing a document on highways sector, said the opportunities comprise "Bharat Mala project of USD 12 billion for 6,000 kms" scheme for providing connectivity to 123 district headquarters for USD 15 billion and construction of 350 bridges/ROBs in two years for USD 8 billion.
Besides, it includes 'Char Dham' connectivity for 2,500 kms in mountainous terrains for USD 8 billion and a "strong network of roads in the North-East and Border areas for USD 5 billion."
6. India, Bangla border guards to begin talks tomorrow
With the historic exchange of enclaves along the India-Bangladesh border accomplished, high-level delegations of both countries’ border forces will commence their annual DG level bilateral talks here, beginning tomorrow.
A 22-member delegation of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) will sit across the table with their counterparts Border Security Force (BSF) for their four-day annual Director General level talks on a host of border issues at the paramilitary forces’ headquarters here.
The visit assumes significance as this is the first official Bangladeshi team to arrive in Delhi after the historic Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) has been conducted with the exchanges happening between the two countries.
The BGB delegation, set to arrive here today, is led by BGB DG Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed while the BSF side will be headed by BSF DG D K Pathak with representatives from Ministry of Home Affairs, External Affairs, Survey of India, NIA and other law enforcement agencies.
The two sides will sign a joint declaration on August 6, a day before the Bangladeshi delegation leaves for Dhaka.
The BSF said the two sides are expected to discuss issues related to trans-border crimes including instances of cattle smuggling, illegal movement of fake Indian currency, activities of Indian insurgent groups based in Bangladesh, prevention of illegal migration, joint efforts for effective implementation of common agenda programmes and host of other confidence building measures.