26 February 2015 Current Affairs

Railway Budget 2015-16

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu presented the Railway Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha on 26 February 2015. In his first Railway Budget, Prabhu outlined a plan to invest over 8 lakh crore rupees over 5 years. The size of the Plan Budget has gone up by 52 percent from 65789 crore rupees in 2014-15 to 100011 crore rupees in 2015-16.
Highlights of Railway Budget 2015-16 :-
* No increase in railway passenger fares.
* Passengers can book tickets 120 days in advance instead of 60 days which was available till date
* ‘Operation 5 mins’, wherein passengers travellling unreserved can purchase a ticket in 5 minutes.
* Bio toilets and airplane-type vaccum toilets in trains.
* Surveillance cameras in select coaches and ladies compartments for women’s safety without compromising on privacy.
* The speed passenger trains across nine corridors will be increased to 160-200 km from 110 km
* Wi-fi will be available at 400 railway stations
* Facility of online booking of wheelchair for senior citizens.
* Satellite railway terminals in major cities.
* Centrally managed Rail Display Network is expected to be introduced in over 2K stations over the next 2 years.
* All india 24/7 helpline – 138 from March 2015 ; Toll free No.182 for security.
* 917 road under-bridges and over-bridges to be constructed to replace 3,438 railway crossings; at a cost of Rs. 6,581 crore.
* Four Railway Research Centres to start in four universities.
* 24 to 26 coaches in certain identified trains, more general class coaches, ladders to be replaced.
* 17000 more toilets to be replaced by bio-toilets.
* The facility of e-ticketing will help railways to go paper less.
* SMS alert services for passengers to inform them about arrival and departure of trains.
* Modern facilities for disabled citizens, senior citizens, patients through IRCTC.
* Rs 8.5 lakh crore will be invested in Railways in next 5 years.
* Cleanliness in Railways highest priority under Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat.
* Surveillance cameras on select mainline and ladies compartments.
* A1 category stations will be given the facility of Wi-Fi.
* Freight rate for cement, coal, others hiked by up to 10%
* More General class coaches to be added.
* On-board entertainment on select Shatabdi trains.
* A new department to keep stations, trains clean.
* Collision Avoidance System to be installed on select routes.

Six Indians Among Forbes’ 50 ‘Power Businesswomen’

Six Indian women CEOs and Managing Directors, including State Bank of India head Arundhati Bhattacharya and ICICI CEO Chanda Kochchar, have been named by Forbes magazine in its 50 ‘Power Businesswomen’list. The Asia’s 50 Power Businesswomen list showcases a year of accomplishments by the region’s female entrepreneurs and executives. Included in the list are women CEOs and founders who are active in the upper echelons of the business world in Asia, wield significant power and have access to robust financial resources.  Apart from Bhattacharya and Kochchar, the Indian executives on the list are Akhila Srinivasan, MD/Non-Executive Director of Shriram Life Insurance/Shriram Capital, Biocon Founder, Chairman and MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Axis Bank CEO and MD Shikha Sharma and Life Insurance Corp. of India MD Usha Sangwan 56 (India).


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