Hyderabad Current Affairs - 2020

Switzerland to seek closer ties with India at BioAsia 2020

The BioAsia 2020 is scheduled to be held in Hyderabad in between February 17 and 19, 2020. On December 10, 2019, the Ministry of Industries and Commerce and IT informed that Switzerland will serve as India’s partner at the conference.

Why Switzerland?

India is Switzerland’s 8th largest trading partner. The trade between the countries amount to 19.7 billion USD. Also, India is one of the eight non-EU countries with which Switzerland intends to deepen its scientific relations.

Also, Switzerland generated over 15.8 billion Swiss Franc (CHF) revenue in the health technology alone. There are over 1,400 companies and 58,500 professionals involved in the health sector technology and its innovation. Apart from this there are more than 312 biotech companies that generate 1.5 billion CHF in research and development alone.

BioAsia 2020

The BioAsia 2020 is a comprehensive framework hosted by the Government of Telangana. It is dedicated to investors, health care, pharma, biotechnology and startups.

Theme: Today for Tomorrow

The purpose of the event is to create business relations between life science sectors. It acts as a platform for the corporate and government agencies to interact with each other and provide valuable feedback that will aid in investments, policy making, reforms, etc.

Govt launches Pilot Project for using Fastags for Parking at Hyderabad Airport

To ensure the benefits of FASTag beyond tolling, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has launched a pilot project for using FASTags for parking purposes at Hyderabad Airport. Conceptualised as FASTag 2.0, the tag would cover parking payments, fuel payments, etc. After the success of project in Hyderabad, it will be launched at Delhi airport.

Key Highlights

Pilot project has been launched in two phases. In Phase I, a controlled pilot testing is being undertaken, wherein only ICICI tags would be used, while, the Phase II of pilot would cover all other Issuer Bank tags. Other banks such as SBI, HDFC, IDFC and Axis are also in talks with airports in Mumbai, Bangalore & few of the malls to launch FASTag 2.0.

The FASTag 2.0 has many exciting use cases such as Fuel Payments, Enforcement (E-challan) payments, Access Management at offices & residence. The GST council has also mandated FASTag for all commercial vehicles which would be generating an E-way bill from 1 April, 2020. This integration will be a big boost to GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) as it would help in identifying leakages with respect to non-issuance/ miss reporting of E-way bill.

About National Electronic Toll Collection (FASTag) programme

It is the flagship initiative of Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. It has been implemented on pan India basis across National Highway toll plazas. The programme has given a major fillip to digital India initiative by converting cash toll payments to electronic and has thus enhanced transparency in entire tolling ecosystem.

Government has recently mandated to declare all lanes of fee plazas on National Highways as ‘FASTag lanes’. This has seen a much wider adoption of FASTags both in terms of new tag sales as well as higher transactions at the toll plazas. The mandate would further increase the penetration of National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) and the higher NETC penetration will further ensure a seamless movement of traffic which would in turn bring down the overall Logistic cost in country.