The projects comprise construction and upgradation of highways in eight states, including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar
The National Highways Authority of India board on Monday cleared eight road projects worth Rs6,500 crore for construction and upgradation of highways in eight states, including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, reports PTI.
"The projects cleared by the NHAI board include six- laning of 179 km of the Delhi-Agra section on National Highway No. 2 in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh," a road ministry official said.
"The construction of the Delhi-Agra section will entail an investment of Rs1,928.22 crore and will be built under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) phase V on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis," the official added.
The board, comprising road secretary Brahm Dutt and NHAI chairman Brijeshwar Singh, among others, agreed on a concession period of 26 years for the project.
The board also approved six-laning of a 183 km section of National Highway No 5 in Andhra Pradesh at an expenditure of Rs 1,535 crore.
The other projects are in the states of Bihar, Orissa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
BoR plunged into a crisis early this year after the RBI slapped a Rs25-lakh fine on the bank for alleged violation of various norms
Trouble-torn Bank of Rajasthan (BoR) today announced that it would merge with India's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank, reports PTI.
An agreement for amalgamation was reached today between ICICI Bank and BoR, which as per today's share price is valued at Rs1,500 crore.
BoR shares surged 20% to Rs99.50 following the development.
Bank of Rajasthan said in a notification to the stock exchanges that its controlling shareholders, the Tayal family, "have entered into an agreement on 18 May 2010, with the ICICI Bank for proposing an amalgamation of both."
BoR promoters, the Tayal family had recently run into regulatory trouble with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) over its stake holding, which had risen contrary to the impression it conveyed.
The Tayal family has about 55% stake and it needs to bring it down to 10% to meet RBI guidelines.
The boards of both the banks met today on the merger.
BoR, one of the oldest private sector banks in the country, plunged into a crisis early this year after the RBI slapped a Rs25-lakh fine on the bank for alleged violation of various norms.
These include irregularities in transactions and misrepresentation of documents, norms pertaining to anti-money laundering, Know Your Customer (KYC) and irregularities in the conduct of accounts of a corporate group.
RBI also appointed Deloitte Haskins and Sells to conduct a special audit of the bank, which recently submitted its interim report to the central bank.
In March, SEBI banned 100 entities including Tayal Group firms from all stock market-related activities for fraudulently hiking the promoter holding in the bank, while conveying the impression that they were reducing their shareholding.
Incepted in 1943, BoR has a network of over 463 branches and a customer-base of over 20 lakh. In the December quarter, the bank's net profit declined to Rs44.7 crore as against Rs49.21 crore in the year-ago period while its total income dropped to Rs373.7 crore from Rs419.8 crore.
ICICI Bank has a network of over 2,000 branches.
The UIDAI proposes to collect data through various agencies of Central and State governments and others who, in normal course of their activities, interact with residents
The government today gave in-principle approval for adoption of standardised approach for collection of demographic and biometric attributes, including iris scan, of residents by various bodies for the Unique Identity (UID) project, reports PTI.
The approval was given at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India related issues (CC-UIDAI), UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani said in New Delhi.
To provide unique identity numbers to all residents of India, the UIDAI proposes to collect data through various agencies of Central and State governments and others who, in normal course of their activities, interact with residents.
These entities are described as "Registrars" of the UIDAI.
Explaining the significance of the decision, Mr Nilekani said a final approval will make it essential for any data-collecting department or organisation in the country to adopt the UIDAI standards.
This includes collection of demographic (name, age, sex, age among others) and biometric attributes of residents namely face, all ten fingerprints and iris scan for the UID project.
"It was also decided to include data of the iris for children in the age group of five to 15 years. The same standards and processes would be adhered to by the Registrar General of India for the National Population Register (NPR) exercise and all other Registrars in the UID system," Mr Nilekani said.
He said the biggest partner for the UIDAI was the NPR followed by the rural development ministry through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
The first set of the 12-digit unique set of numbers will be issued between August 2010 and February 2011. Thereafter, 600 million UID numbers will be issued in the next five years.
Mr Nilekani said talks were also on with the finance ministry, among others, for various projects that could be tied up with UID including issuing of Permanent Account Number (PAN) cards.
Apart from providing identity, the UID will enable better delivery of services and effective governance.
The UID project is primarily aimed at ensuring inclusive growth. It especially seeks to provide UID numbers to the marginalised sections of society.
CC-UIDAI was formed in October 2009 to look into all issues relating to UIDAI including its organisation, plans, policies, programmes, schemes, funding and methodology to be adopted for achieving the objectives of the Authority.