Major News and Events of 01 May 2016
What Happened on 01 May 2016
78.25 Per Cent Votes Polled in Penultimate Phase of West Bengal Assembly Election
President Pranab Mukherjee becomes the First Indian Prez to visit New Zealand
Finance Business Bills to rule Parliament Agenda Next Week
Indian Smartphone market witnesses 23 Per Cent Market Growth in Q1 2016
Uttarakhand Forest Fire till now guts 3000 acres of Forest Cover
BJP sharpened attack on Congress on alleged AgustaWestland scam with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley calling blacklisting of the concerned company by Congress as "figment of imagination". BJP spokesperson G V L Narsimha Rao alleged it was Sonia Gandhi who overrode the then defence minister A K Antony’s objections regarding field trial of the choppers. Interestingly, AK Antony did tell media 2 years back (at Naval Headquarters in Kochi) that bribes were taken by "somebody" in the deal. Incumbent Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has now questioned why no action was taken till 2014 by UPA2 government. Parrikar will place AgustaWestland deal related documents in the Parliament on May 4.
5th phase assembly poll in West Bengal was by-and-large peaceful under strict supervision of Election Commission. Polling percentage till 5pm was 78.25 per cent. Scattered reports of post-poll violence were reported including roughing up of Jadavpur University Professor and Left-Cong supported Independent candidate Ambikesh Mahapatra by alleged TMC-backed miscreants. Despite Left-Congress contesting together, all opinion polls predict return of Mamata government. March’16 projections of India TV-C Voter, News Nation, ABP-Neilsen, Elections.in, and ETV Bangla showed TMC winning 160, 165, 178, 190, and 201 seats respectively out of 294 seats. Mamata Banerjee and Derek O’Brien sounded confident in winning the election.
President Pranab Mukherjee kick-started his 3-day New Zealand visit yesterday. He became the first ever President of India to visit New Zealand. He was welcomed to Government House in Auckland with heart-warming traditional greeting from indigenous Polynesian people. In the evening, President attended state dinner. In the presence of New Zealand PM John Key and President Mukherjee a bilateral air services agreement was signed today that will “boost trade, tourism, and personal ties” between India and New Zealand.
Official statement issued by Parliamentary Affairs ministry said second week of Parliament’s second budgetary session will discuss finance business bills pertaining to 2016-17 general budget. Finance Bill 2016, Appropriation (No.2) Bill 2016 and Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015 will be taken up in Lok Sabha for consideration and passage in the coming week. Some other important bills that are likely to be taken up in the Rajya Sabha are Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill,2015 and Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016.
Science and Technology
Research firm Counterpoint said that despite flat global sales, smartphone market in India increased by 23 per cent in 2016’s Q1. Research Director Peter Richardson said Indian smartphone market is showing strong smartphone demand even after becoming the second largest smartphone market after surpassing that of USA. He also said there is immense potential for all players in the mobile value chain in India. Advent of 4G LTE network infrastructure will usher in new wave of smartphone adoption in India.
Till now 3000 acres of forest cover along with 7 lives are lost in one of the worst forest fires in Uttarakhand. Union minister Prakash Javadekar told media that Rs. 5 crore has been allocated for fire-fighting purposes and the entire operation is being closely monitored by PMO and Home Ministry. 6000 fire-fighting personnel belonging to National Disaster Response Force, Army, and State Disaster Response Force are deployed to tackle the fire. Two Mi-17 helicopters are also deployed to douse fire.