Daily NEWS Update - 1st July 2015

1. Digital India huge opportunity for health, education: Anil Agarwal 
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Digital India' drive will open up huge opportunities in health and education for rural areas, creating a large number of jobs.

ii. The initiative aims to digitally deliver all the essential services to citizens and transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy by leveraging IT. 
iii. Agarwal, who heads the mining giant Vedanta Resources Plc, is the Non-Executive Chairman of Sterlite Technologies Ltd which is involved majorly in laying the optical fibre network to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchyats.
iv. It is undertaking Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployment in India to enable high speed broadband connectivity and is developing several transmission infrastructure projects spanning over 5,000 Circuit Kms across India.

2. World Bank approves $650 mn loan for Eastern Freight Corridor
i. The World Bank said on Wednesday it had cleared a $650 million loan for a huge Indian freight rail corridor that will span 1,840 kms (1,140 miles) across the northern heartland of the country.
ii. Construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor will help speed up the carrying of goods between Ludhiana in the western region and Kolkata in the east, and is part of a series of new freight lines the World Bank says India needs to ease congestion on its network.

iii. The loan is the third from the World Bank to help fund the freight corridor. Last year the bank approved a $1.1 billion outlay and in 2011 $975 million.
iv. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, banking on big investment in infrastructure to boost the economy, approved a $137 billion investment plan for the railways in February.

3. BHEL commissions Sudan's largest power project
i. State-owned power equipment maker Bhel today said it has commissioned Sudan's largest power plant.
ii. Bhel has executed this project on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis. It has designed, manufactured, supplied and installed the complete power project (4 units of 125 MW each) including associated civil works.

iii. The project uses crude oil from South Sudan as fuel, for which Bhel has designed special boilers. All the major equipment for the project -- boilers, steam-turbines, generators, Controls & Instrumentation (C&I), transformers -- have been manufactured in-house.
iv. The company has also constructed a canal from the White Nile River to supply water for the project. The project is funded by the India's Line of Credit of USD 350 million.
v. The Kosti plant is Bhel's largest oil-fired thermal power plant in the overseas market. It is also Bhel's first crude oil fired thermal power plant in Africa and comes on the heels of the successful completion of Bhel's 28 MW Nyaborango Hydro project in Rwanda.

4. SBI partners with MakeMyTrip for travel biz
i. In its series of digital initiatives and tie-ups, State Bank of India, country’s largest bank, partnered with online travel company MakeMyTrip.com to capitalise on the business opportunities of the booming e-commerce and m-commerce ecosystem.

ii. The alliance includes partnership with personal banking unit for consumer facing propositions – including EMIs on purchase of holidays & international travel, customized travel products like Forex cards and travel products that inspire SBI customers to travel.
iii. It also includes partnership with SME & Acquiring Business -- MMT suppliers, such as 2-3 star hotels, franchisees, Trade & Travel partners will get access to SBI products, loans, bank guarantees, PoS payment instruments at preferential rates and partnership with cards for promoting card usage which will help in pushing the agenda of a less cash economy.
iv. MakeMyTrip constitutes about 46% of the bookings in the online space and a lot of product work is being done in the $22-23 billion travel industry ecosystem.

5. Shimla Rs 643 Cr water scheme cleared for World Bank funding
i. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh here disclosed that a Rs 643 crore project for augmenting the water supply to the growing hill city had been approved by the union government.
ii. The project got the union finance ministry nod yesterday (29.6.2015) and it would be placed before World Bank for funding purposes, said a government spokesman. PC Dhiman, additional chief secretary, on behalf of the state attended the meeting.
iii. The loan component would be Rs 514 crore and the state government would be contributing Rs 129 crore for funding the project.
iv. The new project involves lifting water from Kol Dam reservoir on River Satluj and it would meet the water needs of Shimla municipal corporation as well suburban areas under the special planning area.

6. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu Inaugurates Integrated Security System in Mumbai
i. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the Integrated Security System (ISS) at 6 railway stations in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The system was inaugurated Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Dadar, Kurla and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Kalyan and Thane.

ii. The ISS is advanced security systems that aims at improving security on Railway premises and also ensure safety of the people and avert terror attacks in extreme case. The system has a total of 118 CCTV cameras. They will beam the live images of railway stations under its coverage on six monitors.
iii. In the first of the project which was completed in June 2015 it covered four stations CST, Dadar, Kurla and LTT.
iv. The second phase is expected to be completed by December 2016. Apart from this, he also inaugurated a modified foot over bridge (FOB) to facilitate passenger movement at Diva.

7. Matti Makkonen, Father of SMS technology passes away
i. Finnish telecom engineer and father of messaging service (SMS) technology Matti Makkonen passed away following serious illness.

ii. He was 63. In 1984, he had pioneered the idea of sending messages via mobile networks but failed to patent it was merely idea and was not actual implementation.
iii. Matti Makkonen was born on 16 April 1952 in Suomussalmi, Finland. He had graduated as an electrical engineer from the Oulu technical college in 1976.
iv. He had served as vice president of PTL and was actively involved in the development of the GSM-technology from 1984 to 1988. In 1989, he was appointed as President of the mobile communication unit which was later renamed as Telecom Finland.
v. he was awarded The Economist’s Innovation Award in the computing and telecommunications category.

8. Abhijeet Gupta wins 19th Commonwealth Chess Championship
i. Former world junior champion and Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta won the 19th Commonwealth Chess Championship.

ii. He won the gold medal after settling for a quick draw with his opponent Arghyadip Das in the ninth and final round played at Mumbai, Maharashtra.
iii. In this Chess Championship, Arghyadip Das came second winning the silver medal and M R Lalith Babu won the bronze medal in men’s section.
iv. In the women’s section, Padmini Rout won the gold medal. While S Vijayalakshmi and S Meenakshi won silver and bronze medal respectively. In this championship both Vijayalakshmi and Meenakshi had won the last six games.