Regulations
Telecom regulator sticks to compensation order on call drops
The Indian telecom watchdog's decision to impose a penalty of Re.1 for dropped calls from January 1 next year will stand as of now, an official said on Thursday.
 
"We have given a clear message to the telecom companies that order on compensation will be effective from January 1, 2016," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman R.S. Sharma said after a meeting here between the watchdog and the service providers.
 
He asserted that the order on compensation was a valid one. The regulator and the telecom service providers have decided to meet every two weeks to iron out issues regarding call drops.
 
TRAI will conduct its next test drive to assess call drops in five locations -- Patna, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Surat and Indore. Earlier, test drives were conducted in Delhi and Mumbai.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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India to develop 78 lighthouses as tourism beacons
 India has taken up an ambitious plan to develop 78 of its 189 lighthouses dotting the country's vast coastline as new tourism beacons, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said here on Thursday.
 
"All over the world, lighthouses enthrall tourists with their scenic and serene surroundings and a rich maritime heritage. In India, there is a vast tourism potential which remains largely untapped," Gadkari said.
 
In this context, the Directorate-General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL), Noida, plans to develop 78 out of the total 189 lighthouses into tourist attractions on a public-private partnership model, he told an Investor Summit here on 'Development of Lighthouses as Beacons of Tourism'.
 
Some of the lighthouses identified for the purpose are in the coastal states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
 
In Maharashtra, nine lighthouses are planned to be developed namely Sunk Rock, Kanhoji Island, Uttar Point, Korlai Fort, Jaigadh, Ratnagiri, Devgadh, Vengurla Rocks and Tolkeshwar Point, while there are two in Goa, at Fort Aguada and Sao George, the minister said.
 
The shipping ministry has already held road shows in Chennai, Kochi and Visakhapatnam and a whopping 236 potential investors in the lighthouse tourism project have come forth.
 
Gadkari admitted there would be some roadblocks like CRZ clearance, security aspects and subsidy from the Centre, but the government would adopt a positive attitude in tackling them.
 
"An Inter-Ministerial Group comprising representatives of various ministries and participating states will be set up to iron out any problems, while the Shipping Ministry has already consulted Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Environment for security and environmental clearances," Gadkari added.
 
Director General of Lighthouses and Lightships Captain A.M. Surez said four lighthouses -- in Chennai, Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Allepy and Kannur (Kerala) -- have already been developed as tourist attractions and are seeing substantial footfalls.
 
He added that the development of lighthouses would boost the local economy, generate more employment, and involve creating infrastructure like hotels or resorts, thematic restaurants, viewing galleries, museums and allied facilities.
 
South Korea, Scotland and South Africa pioneered the development of lighthouse tourism and, though a late starter, India hopes to catch up with them soon, the officials said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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India announces $10 bn credit for Africa
Prime Minister Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced a credit of $10 billion to Africa which will be in addition to the ongoing credit programme.
 
"To add strength to our partnership, India will offer concessional credit of $10 billion over the next five years. This will be in addition to our ongoing credit programme," said Modi.
 
He was speaking on the last day of the India-Africa Summit Forum here.
 
Modi also pledged an assistance of $600 million to the continent and 50,000 scholarships for African students in India.
 
"We will also offer a grant assistance of $600 million. This will include an India-Africa Development Fund of $100 million and an India-Africa Health Fund of $10 million," Modi said.
 
"It will also include 50,000 scholarships in India over the next five years. And, it will support the expansion of the Pan Africa E-Network and institutions of skilling, training and learning across Africa." he added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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