Major News and Events of 02 January 2015
What Happened on 02 January 2015
December PMI Improves Further
Defence Minister of India Slams Pakistan
Pranab asks Union Government about Urgency of Bringing Land Bill Ordinance
Congress Releases 1st List of Candidate Names for Delhi Assembly Elections
14-Day Judicial Custody for Mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai Attack
Gujarat's Anti-Terror Drill Stereotype Terrorist from Muslim Community; CM Apologises after Protest
Ruckus on Central Railway in Mumbai Today
India's Mangalyaan completes 100 Days
Finance Ministry still Hopeful of meeting Fiscal Deficit Target
IT Dept. issues Notice to Company owned by Congress President's Son-in-Law
Two Gold Medals for India in Junior Weightlifting Championship
Both the benchmark indices of India witnessed significant upward movement during early part of today’s trading. While NSE Nifty rose by 91 points to reach 8,375, BSE Sensex reached 27,818 points after a rally of 311 points till 11.30 in the morning today. BSE Smallcap as well as Midcap also reported similar gains, implying an overall healthy market conditions. Rally in the market was led by robust performances by major financial stocks/indices such as ICICI Bank, HDFC, HDFC Bank, SBI, and BSE Bankex.
Purchasing Managers’ Index of HSBC for the month of December shows further improvement. December PMI is recorded to be 54.5, which is 2-year high level. It comes a month after PMI reported to be 53.3 in the month of November 2014, which was 21-month high level. Per Markit Economics, across market groups there has been a faster paced improvement of business condition. Reports indicate that the fastest improvement has been witnessed in the consumer goods section. Inspite of good PMI figure, India’s job market remained tight and lay-offs in certain companies are also reported.
Manohar Parrikar, Union Defence Minister of India, has slammed Pakistan by saying India’s troubled neighbour didn’t seem to have learnt their lesson. His scathed attack comes at a time when Pakistani Rangers have allegedly targeted patrolling party of BSF jawans, killing one. Parrikar has reportedly referred to Pakistan as well as China as not being comfortable with India. During the ongoing spat between India and Pakistan, 4 Pakistani Rangers and 1 BSF jawan have died till now.
Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, asked central government about the reasons of urgency to bring the Land Acquisition Ordinance before signing the dotted line. Per source information, Pranab even told the ministers that it would have been better if the government passed the bills in Lok Sabha, where BJP has a majority, instead of bringing the ordinance. It is reported that a team of three ministers including Nitin Gadkari, DV Sadananda Gowda, and Arun Jaitley briefed the President on the issue and only after that the latter signed the ordinance.
Congress released the list of its 24 candidates who are going to contest the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections of 2015. Interestingly, INC has given ticket to all the 8 candidates who won along with the 12 candidates who came second during Assembly elections of 2013. Political analysts point out that this time INC has broken away from the custom of releasing candidate list during nomination process because the grand old party is desperate to gain lost ground in the capital. Sources indicate that ex-CM Sheila Dikshit will not contest this election but will restrict herself to campaigning only.
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, mastermind of 27/11 Mumbai attack and Lashkar-e-Toiba operative, is now in judicial custody for 14 days in Pakistan. On January 15, Lakhvi will be produced again. This development comes after Government of Pakistan moved to Supreme Court in protest of Islamabad High Court’s suspension order of the dreaded LeT operative’s detention. Pakistan has reported to have challenged Lakhvi’s bail order after Indian Prime Minister strongly condemned it, followed by outrage resolution passed by Indian Parliament.
Videos showing mock anti-terror drill of Gujarat Police that stereotyped terrorists belonging to Muslim community attracted widespread protest, forcing Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat, to apologise. She regarded it a mistake. In the footage, dummy terrorists were seen shouting ‘Long Live Islam’ slogan, thereby stereotyping all terrorists as Muslims. Gujarat CM said that rectification of the mistake has been done. All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s Kamal Farooqui described this as highly condemnable and atrocious. Surfacing of the video is especially humiliating for Gujarat government as the state gears up to host Vibrant Gujarat Investors' Summit this month.
After technical glitch and disruption in train services in Mumbai, thousands of agitated passengers resorted to ‘Rail Roko’ and violence. It is reported that angry passengers not only ransacked several railway properties but also pelted stone, seriously injuring many railway staffs. Initial reports say that it all started at 6.30am at Thakurli station where pantograph of a local train, going to CST, broke down. Similar technical failures happened with two other trains, one coming from Badlapur railway station and another CST-bound train from Kalyan. Motormen went on strike but called it off after intervention of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Science and Technology
Indian Space Research Organisation’s officials told press that Mangalyaan or Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has completed 100 days on 1 January 2015. Mangalyaan was launched from earth by ISRO on 5 November 2013 with the help of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket. Reports confirm that MOM, which entered orbit of Mars on September 24, 2014, is in perfect condition.
Finance Ministry is still confident of meeting fiscal deficit target, which is pegged at 4.1 per cent of GDP. This statement comes a day after it was reported that most of the budget estimate for on-going fiscal has already being reached. Finance ministry sources reveal that in the last 8 months of this financial year, gross tax collection has increased by 14 per cent. In fact, it is expected to increase by 20 per cent during last quarter of the fiscal because a major part of the tax revenue comes to government coffers during January-March period.
Income Tax Department has issued a notice to Sky Light Hospitality, a company owned by INC President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. Per the notice the IT Department has sought disclosure of details pertaining to sale deeds as well as transactions from 2005-2006. Sources reveal that IT Department initiated investigation after receiving public reports in this matter. It is reported that I-T department issued notices only after gathering information about the company from local inputs as well as registrar of companies.
Indian women weightlifters, Manalisha Sonowal and Mohin Chavan, won two Gold Medals at Junior Women Weightlifting Championship, held in Qatar’s Doha. While Mohin Chavan won Gold in 44kg Youth Girls category by lifting a total weight of 131 kg (58 kg + 73 kg), Manalisha Sonowal won Gold Medal in 48kg Junior Women category by lifting 154 kg weight (66 kg + 88 kg).