How the $10-billion clean air drive is set to boost Indian pipe makers

Source: Business Standard, Oct 15, 2018

Steel pipe makers are set to become beneficiaries of India’s $10 billion push to expand its natural gas network to more of its urban masses and cut pollution.

India has just completed its biggest city gas distribution auction that would extend coverage to more than half of its 1.3 billion people across a third of the nation’s area. This project aims to see 10 million homes linked to gas grids by 2020 and bring relief to smog filled cities.

“There will be a lot of requirement for steel pipelines coming in from next year,” said E.S. Ranganathan, managing director of Indraprastha Gas Ltd., which supplies gas for homes and transport in New Delhi and its suburbs. This will require about 12,500 kilometers of pipes within the next three to four years, he said. Read the rest of this entry »


Draft policy on drug demand reduction withdrawn from Cabinet to include new survey data

Source: The Economic Times, Oct 14, 2018

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has withdrawn the draft National Drug Demand Reduction Policy from the Cabinet so as to include data from an ongoing national survey on the extent and pattern of substance use.

A decision in this regard was taken as the survey is likely to be completed soon.

The survey being conducted by the ministry in collaboration with the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) under the AIIMS is already underway to reach an estimated figure on the number of people in the country who are into drug use.

“The survey is about to end. Already data from 24 states/UTs have been collected and submitted. Data collection from 12 states including West Bengal, Goa, Sikkim and Chandigarh is still in process,” a senior Social Justice and Empowerment ministry official said. Read the rest of this entry »

WEF launches Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution in India

Source:, Oct 12, 2018

New Delhi: The World Economic Forum on Thursday announced its new Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in India, which would aim to bring together the government and business leaders to pilot emerging technology policies.

The centre, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a function here, would be based in Maharashtra and it has selected drones, artificial intelligence and blockchain as the first three project areas, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said.

Geneva-based WEF, which describes itself as an international organisation for public-private cooperation, said the new centre will work in collaboration with the government on a national level to co-design new policy frameworks and protocols for emerging technology alongside leaders from business, academia, start-ups and international organizations.  Read the rest of this entry »

India’s manufacturing sector likely to witness robust growth in Q2

Source: Business Standard, Oct 11, 2018

New Delhi: India’s manufacturing sector output is expected to register robust growth in the July-September quarter on account of higher production even as the hiring outlook for the sector remains subdued, a survey said Thursday.

Moreover, half of the participants in the survey expect exports to rise in the second quarter.

The estimates are part of Ficci’s latest quarterly survey which assessed the sentiments of manufacturers for the second quarter for twelve major sectors — automotive, capital goods, cement and ceramics, chemicals, fertilisers and pharmaceuticals, electronics and electricals, food products, leather and footwear, medical devices and technologies, metal and metal products, paper products, textiles machinery and textiles. Read the rest of this entry »

Telcos seek alternative digital identification process for new users

Source:, Oct 11, 2018

After the Supreme Court barred telecom operators from using Aadhaar to validate identity of mobile subscribers, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has suggested several alternative measures to the government to prevent a return to the days of paper-based identity verification.

These include entering various fields in the customer acquisition form electronically on the operator’s app, capturing GPS coordinates while capturing the customer’s live photo at the point of sale of the mobile connection, watermarking the photo and assigning a unique operator code so that the photo cannot be copied or re-used.

As additional safeguard, the system will also verify that the geotag of the customer’s picture and final submission of request by the point of sale is not more than 50 metres away, the letter added. Read the rest of this entry »

Two institutions merged to form regulator for skill training

Source: The Economic Times, Oct 11, 2018

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet has approved setting up of an overarching regulatory body, National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET), to regulate the functioning of several entities responsible for skill

Group of Business People Discussing About Skills


The National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), the two existing institutions under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, will be merged to form NCVET. The council would be headed by a chairperson and would have executive and non-executive members.

Several new posts would be created for its smooth functioning.

“NCVET will regulate the functioning of entities engaged in vocational education and training, both long-term and short-term, and establish minimum standards for the functioning of such entities,” a government statement issued after the cabinet meeting said.

The government is of the view that setting up a regulator in the skills sector will lead to improvement in quality and market relevance of skill development programmes, lend credibility to vocational education and training, besides encouraging greater private investment and employer participation in the skills space.

“This in turn will help achieve the twin objectives of enhancing aspirational value of vocational education and of increasing skilled manpower furthering the Prime Minister’s agenda of making India the skill capital of the world,” the government said.

UDIN to become mandatory for CAs from Jan 1

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Oct 09, 2018

New Delhi: Come January 1, all practising chartered accountants will have to register all certificates issued by them with the recently launched UDIN portal.

It may be recalled that the CA Institute had, in an effort to tackle the menace of forged certifications of financial statements and documents, come up with the concept of Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN). The new system had gone live from July 1, but was only recommendatory to start with. Now, this has become mandatory from January 1. Under UDIN, the unique number will be generated for every document certified by a practising CA and registered with the UDIN portal. Regulators and banks can use the portal to check the authenticity of the documents. It had come to the notice of the CA Institute that financial statements and documents are getting certified by “third persons” who are not actually CAs.

This could mislead authorities/other stakeholders who rely upon them, it was felt.