Current Affairs 2017 - March

Government, NDB ink $350 million loan pact

India has signed its first loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB)/BRICS Bank for $350 million to be used in the development and upgradation of district roads in Madhya Pradesh.

The objective of the project is the upgrade major district roads in Madhya Pradesh to improve road connectivity of the interior areas of the state with the national and state highway networks.

The project will include upgradation, reconstruction and rehabilitation of approximately 1,500 km of district roads to intermediate lane, all-weather standards. It will also have road safety features and improved road maintenance and management.

About New Development Bank

  • The NDB is a multilateral bank created by BRICS nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • The goal of the bank is to fund infrastructure projects in emerging economies for sustainable development.
  • It had started its operations in July 2015 with initial authorized capital of $100 billion. It is headquartered in Shanghai, China.
  • In the NDB, each participant country has been assigned one vote, and none of the countries have veto power. Renowned Indian banker Kundapur Vaman Kamath is the President (first) of NDB.

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IIT Madras, Indian Army ink MoU to strengthen critical technological areas

The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) and Indian Army have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to identify the critical technological areas that can be enhanced in the armed forces.

The MoU was signed by IITM Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi and Deputy Chief of Army Staff (P&S) Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Key Facts
  • The MoU will facilitate IITM to achieve a better understanding of the critical technology requirements of the Indian Army through seamless interaction between the Army officers and IITM faculty.
  • Under it, Indian Army will sponsor four officers for doctoral programmes besides a five-day Technology Development Programme for 15 officers on a biannual basis.
  • The IITM faculty will work closely with the Indian Army to identify areas where the institute can contribute positively to enhancing the capabilities.

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