Major News and Events of 02 March 2015
What Happened on 02 March 2015
Sri Lankan President: Economic Partnership Deal with India Deliberately Avoided
Madhya Pradesh Minister Wants Domestication Laws for Tigers, Lions
India Safest Country to Live for Muslims: BJP MP Yogi Adityanath
RBI, Government Sign Monetary Policy Framework Agreement
AAP Leader Acknowledges Turbulence Within Party
Union Government Increases Fund Allocation for Research on Science and Technology
Indian Manufacturing Activity Expands but at Slower Pace
World Cup 2015: Former Pakistani Bowler Accuses ICC of Favouring India
Jagmohan Dalmiya Elected as New BCCI President
Global Credit Rating Agencies React to India's Union Budget 2015-16
Sensex, Nifty Start on Optimistic Note; India Oil Among Top Gainers
Death toll due to H1N1 virus has reached 1,075 in 2015, according to Health Ministry data. Till February, the number of reported cases of swine flu across India reached 19,972. Available reports show that Gujarat is the worst affected state as the death toll reached 265 followed by 4,368 reported cases of swine flu. Gujarat is closely followed by Rajasthan where total 5,528 cases have been reported with 261 confirmed deaths from H1N1 virus. Union Government has urged people not to panic and asserted that it is earnestly combating the disease.
Maithripala Sirisena, newly elected President of Sri Lanka, while addressing Sri Lankan businessmen, told that he didn’t enter into Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India intentionally during his recent 4-day visit to India. He assured the business fraternity that he will never enter into any agreement until and unless it is beneficial for Sri Lanka. It is learnt that the business community of the island country had shown apprehension about CEPA because they feel it will provide lopsided benefits to the Indian companies. Indian PM Narendra Modi is going to visit Sri Lanka later this month.
Madhya Pradesh Minister Kusum Mehdele has sent a written proposal to the state government for formulating a law (citing similar laws present in Thailand and in some African countries) that allows people to keep tigers and lions as pets. While pointing finger at the ineffective tiger conservation laws, which failed to increase number of tigers in India significantly, Kusum Mehdele urged the state government to consider the proposal of domesticating tigers and lions for increasing their numbers. This suggestion was accessed through RTI application by Ajay Dubey, a wildlife activist.
BJP MP Yogi Adityanath claimed that Muslims are safer in India than any other country. He went on to add that Muslims are safe because Hindus are generally liberal in outlook. However, he also made it a point to mention that religious conversion in the name of providing service to poor is wrong. Yogi Adityanath said that the Karnataka government’s decision to bar entry of senior VHP leader Pravin Togadia from Bengaluru was wrong.
Finance Ministry today said that Reserve Bank of India and Union Government has signed a monetary policy framework deal to restrain consumer price inflation for fiscal year 2016-17 to 4 per cent. It is learnt that a target corridor of 2 per cent is kept at either side of 4 per cent, which means that the target of inflation is going to be symmetrical. Official statement of the Finance Ministry pointed out that if rate of inflation moves beyond the target corridor the apex bank is required to report that to the Union Government.
Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh today acknowledged a ‘churning’ that is currently going on within AAP. He clearly stated that the churning is a clash of ideas rather than personalities. While stressing upon ushering in of new age politics, Ashutosh hoped something fresh and new to come up through this ‘churning’. It is learnt that two senior leaders of AAP - Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav – had dissented over the ‘autocratic’ functioning style of Arvind Kejriwal. One of Prashant Bhushan’s letters written to the party warned about AAP’s transformation into a ‘one man party’.
Science and Technology
Union Budget 2015-16 has increased government allocation for Science and Technology by Rs 1,793 crore with respect to that of ongoing fiscal. During Budget 2015-16, the total allocation for Science and Technology stands at Rs 7,288 crore. Available report shows that maximum allocation of fund (to the tune of Rs 3,401 crore) has been done to Department of S&T, followed by Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (Rs 2,281 crore) and Department of Biotechnology (Rs 1,606 crore). It is learnt that Rs 1,179 crore has been allocated to Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Indian manufacturing activity grew at a slowest pace in the month of February 2015, as witnessed in the last 5 months. Result of a survey done by Markit Economics shows that new orders as well as output kept on increasing in the previous month, too, but at a slower rate. HSBC PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) decreased from 52.9 in January to 51.2 in February 2015. An economist at Markit Economics, Pollyanna De Lima said that input costs decreased for the first time in the last 6 years and most importantly the export orders increased at an accelerated pace.
Sarfraz Nawaz, former Pakistan bowler, has kicked up a storm by saying that in the ongoing World Cup tournament ICC is favouring Indian Cricket Team by creating customised pitches that favour their strengths. While speaking at a TV channel show, he also said that Pakistan Cricket Team has been made to play on pitches that are not suited to their strengths and urged Pakistan Cricket Board in taking up the issue with ICC. However, Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal, former off-spinner said that Pakistan won the match against Zimbabwe even on a challenging surface.
After 10 years, Jagmohan Dalmiya once again became the BCCI President today (2 March). After Supreme Court barred BCCI’s chief in exile Narayanaswami Srinivasan in participating in the BCCI election due to involvement in the IPL scam, it became easy for Dalmiya to make a comeback. Though election took place on all other positions, the 74-year old Jagmohan Dalmiya was the consensus candidate. Anurag Thakur has been elected as the new secretary, who defeated Sanjay Patel by a single vote (15-14). While TC Matthews became one of the vice-presidents, Anirudh Chaudhary and Amitabh Chaudhary became Treasurer and Joint Secretary respectively.
Standard and Poor's today appreciated Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s effort of keeping on the commitment of restraining increasing fiscal deficit to a certain level inspite of slower rate of revenue growth than expected. S&P observed that large extent of budgetary subsidies coupled with debt burden may slow down improving pace of credit metrics in India. Moody's Investors Service observed today that Union Budget 2015-16 is a mixed bag for banks but a positive one for the corporate sector. Moody's VP, Vikas Halan, lauded the budget propositions such as bettering ease of doing business, boosting economic growth, and rationalisation of taxes.
Indian markets reflected optimism as Nifty today opened above psychologically important 8,950 points level and BSE Sensex inched towards 52-week high of 29,844.16. At 10.42am IST, Sensex was trading at 29485.30 (an increase of 123.80) and Nifty at 8946.20 (a gain of 44.35 points). The top gainers are India Cements Ltd., Bajaj Finserv, Shree Cement Limited, and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Factors that boosted traders’ expectations include Union Budget's propositions such as increase in infrastructure spending by more than Rs. 70,000 crore, decrease in corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent, etc.