New Delhi: The Cabinet on Friday referred the Right to Education Bill to an empowered group of ministers (eGoM), said science and technology minister Kapil Sibal.
“We still have to finalize details such as the extent to which the states would need to contribute to fund the programme and (quality) norms that need to be followed,” said the minister.
The government has put on hold taking a decision to decontrol the sugar industry on apprehensions that opening up the sector may add to the price rise in an election year.
The cabinet approved restructuring the capital base of unlisted state-run lender Punjab and Sind Bank to improve valuations before it launches an initial public offering, Sibal said.
The government will convert Rs160 crore of equity into tier-I debt and another Rs200 crore of equity into preference shares under tier-II debt, he said. The bank will have an equity capital of Rs183 crore after the restructuring, Sibal added. “This will make it easier for the bank to come out with an IPO,” said Sibal.
The cabinet also gave its approval to amend the constitution to empower co-operatives by providing for their formation and management. The bill will also provide for independent auditors from a panel approved by a state government or an authority authorized by the government.
The cabinet committee on economic affairs gave its approval for prospecting and exploration of uranium resources at an estimated Rs200 crore.
This is expected to help find an additional 75,000 tonnes of the radioactive substance to generate nuclear power.
India has cut the number of items on its “sensitive” list of goods that are banned from trading in South Asia after leaders from the region pledged last week to cut barriers to spur growth.
India lifted the ban on trading in 264 items and pruned the list to 480 commodities.
- Staff Writer/ Bloomberg
NPPA hikes retail prices of 186 drugs by 2-5%
Mumbai: Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, or NPPA, has increased retail prices of 186 drug formulations by 2-5%, following representations by the industry because of recent hikes in raw material costs.
The increases were for drugs based on basic ingredients, including ibuprofen, cefadroxil, betamethasone, prednesole, rifampicin and their combinations, NPPA said in a notification. The regulator, which routinely revises drug prices by analyzing cost fluctuations and patient access, has also reduced the retail prices of two insulin brands–Lantus Solostar and Lantus Optiset — sold by multinational drugmaker Aventis Pharma Ltd by 5.3% and 11.8%, respectively. Lantus Solostar’s price has been reduced to Rs855.60 per cartridge from Rs901.72 earlier, excluding taxes, while Lantus Optiset’s price has been cut to Rs734.34 from Rs821.39 per vial.
- C.H. Unnikrishnan
Mumbai NGO gets UNDP Red Ribbon Award
New Delhi: Sanghamitra, a Mumbai- based non-government organization working among sex workers, was on Thursday presented with the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Red Ribbon Award at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.
Sanghamitra also received a cash award of $20,000 (Rs8.44 lakh) in recognition of its “exceptional response to HIV at the local level,” a UNDP statement said.
“Sanghamitra is giving a voice to sex workers in Mumbai. This women’s collective lobbies for universal condom usage by sex workers, works with the police to protect legal rights as well as with health clinics to improve health services,” the statement added. In all 25 organizations from across the world were chosen for the prestigious awards but only five were selected for the $20,000 cash prize.
- Staff Writer
Trai directs MTNL to tie with other operators
New Delhi: The Telecom regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Friday directed state-run telecom operator Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd, or MTNL, top enter into agreements with all landline, and mobile service companies in the country for connecting to the so called Intelligent Services or toll free numbers.
“MTNL is directed to enter into agreement for Intelligent Network based services with all the remaining service providers with whom no such agreement had been entered into, within forty eight days, in accordance with the provisions of the Intelligent Network Services in Multi Operator Multi Service Scenario Regulations, 2006,” Trai said in a direction notice to the phone firm. The company has also been asked to submit signed agreements to Trai for registration within 15 days of entering into such agreements.
The direction pertains to connecting of phone calls emanating from other telecom service providers to be connected to toll free numbers in MTNL phone services network.
An Intelligent Network, typically stated as its acronym IN, is a network architecture intended both for fixed as well as mobile telecom networks. It allows operators to differentiate themselves by providing value-added services in addition to the standard telecom services such as PSTN, ISDN and GSM services on mobile phones.
- R. Jai Krishna