Topic Covered :
No Chinese company to be allowed to bid for any highway project: Nitin Gadkari
In a first, india speaks up on Hong Kong
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun among nine designated as terrorists under UAPA
Railways seeks private investment for running passenger trains over 109 pairs of routes
NO CHINESE COMPANY TO BE ALLOWED TO BID FOR ANY HIGHWAY PROJECT: NITIN GADKARI
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No Chinese company will be allowed to participate in any future highway project and companies entering into joint venture (JV) with any firm from China will also be banned from bidding for projects, road transport and MSME minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.
Our focus is to encourage Indian companies to take up more work. However, foreign companies can also participate for technology and consultancy-related works. But there also, we won’t entertain any Chinese player directly or indirectly.
The minister, who had first talked about growing discontent among global investors against China due to the coronavirus pandemic, said his ministry is not touching already awarded projects and other works to avoid “litigations”.
The tender norms have to be tweaked to bar any Chinese player or investment. It’s not yet clear whether any of the active tenders will also be scrapped where Chinese companies are bidding in any form.
The move comes in the wake of the government’s decision to ban 59 Chinese Apps amid heightened tensions between India and China as troops of the two countries remain locked in a stand-off in Ladakh and last month’s violent clashes at the border.
Even in the MSME sector, Chinese investors won’t be entertained.
IN A FIRST, INDIA SPEAKS UP ON HONG KONG
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After its ban on 59 Chinese apps, the government Wednesday seemed to launch a fresh diplomatic offensive against China by breaking its silence on China's new security law for Hong Kong.
At the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the government said Wednesday that given the large Indian community that makes the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China its home, India has been keeping "a close watch on recent developments".
"We have heard several statements expressing concern on these developments. We hope the relevant parties will take into account these views and address them properly, seriously and objectively," said India's permanent representative to UN in Geneva Rajiv Chander.
He didn't name China though.
This is the first time that India has spoken out on the Hong Kong issue and, perhaps not surprisingly, it comes in the middle of aggressive Chinese behaviour at the LAC that saw a violent scuffle last month in the Galwan valley resulting in casualties on both sides.
India was also the only Quad nation to have not spoken up on Hong Kong until now.
GURPATWANT SINGH PANNUN AMONG NINE DESIGNATED AS TERRORISTS UNDER UAPA
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India on Wednesday declared nine individuals, including Gurpatwant Singh Pannun – a US-based member of the banned ‘Sikhs for Justice’ – as terrorists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Pannun, who organised the Khalistan 2020 referendum, has been seen actively running a campaign against India and motivating Sikh youngsters in his home state of Punjab to join militancy.
Following an amendment in the UAPA, the government had first designated four as terrorists under the changed provisions of the Act.
They included Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim.
With Wednesday’s listing, the total number of people declared individual terrorists stands at 13.
In an official statement the MHA said, “These individuals are involved in various acts of terrorism from across the border and from foreign soil. They have been relentless in their nefarious efforts of destabilising the country, by trying to revive militancy in Punjab through their anti-national activities and through their support to and involvement in the Khalistan Movement.”
RAILWAYS SEEKS PRIVATE INVESTMENT FOR RUNNING PASSENGER TRAINS OVER 109 PAIRS OF ROUTES
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Indian Railways on Wednesday said it has invited proposals to shortlist bidders and allow private companies run 151 modern passenger trains over 109 Origin Destination(OD) pairs of routes.
The project would entail private sector investment of about ₹30,000 crore.
The move to allow private players to operate passengers will not only end the longstanding monopoly of the national transporter in running trains, but will also start a rush of private investment into the Indian Railways.
The objective of this initiative is to introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced maintenance, reduced transit time, boost job creation, provide enhanced safety, provide world class travel experience to passengers
The railway ministry said that the majority of these modern trains will be manufactured in India and the private entity shall be responsible for financing, procuring, operation and maintenance of the trains.
The concession period for the project will be 35 years and the private firm will have to pay the fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption and a share in gross revenue determined through a transparent bidding process to the national transporter.