Major News and Events of 03 June 2015
What Happened on 03 June 2015
Union Government invites Rs 2,500cr 'train sets' project Bid from Global Players under "Make in India" Programme
BSE Sensex Falls below Psychologically Important 27000 Support
May 2015 Services PMI Contract as Firms Raise Prices leading to Fall in Demand
BJP says RJD-JD(U) Marriage is Heading Towards Separation
Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari alleges "Big Corruption" in Transport Sector Stalling Passage of Road Safety Bill
PM Narendra Modi Meets 30-member Muslim Delegation
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter to Meet Indian Defence Minister in New Delhi Today
President says India will Extend E-Visas Soon to Swedish Nationals
Ex- AIIMS Forensic Director Claims he was Pressurised to Term Sunanda Pushkar’s Death Natural
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Minister Announces Free National Roaming from 15 June
BCCI in Talks with South African Cricket Board on Gandhi-Mandela Series
India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted 88 per cent rainfall of the average monsoon, thereby predicting a drought year. Rainfall below the 90 per cent level of long term average (LTA) during June-September season is considered a drought year. In fact, last year was also a drought year as the total rainfall was just 88 per cent of LTA. If the prediction comes true, India will witness back-to-back drought year after 28 years (since 1986-87). Reports say monsoon is delayed because of warm Indian Ocean and strengthening El Nino. IMD forecast also says that July will get 92 per cent rains and August 90 per cent. While south India is likely to get 92 per cent rainfall, north east and south India 90 per cent rainfall, North West will be the worst sufferer with just 85 per cent rains.
Indian Railway has invited global players to bid for projects to the tune of Rs. 2,500cr under the “Make in India” initiative. Available reports say that international bids are invited for manufacturing, procurement, and maintenance of fifteen EMU train sets or three hundred fifteen rail cars. Reports say that bids are floated for “train sets” because Indian Railways wants to cut travel time of trains by transforming the way of running trains, from being driven by locomotives currently to train sets in the coming time. Sources say the initial bids will be for Delhi-Mumbai and Kolkata routes. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu introduced “train sets” in railway budget 2015-16 for speeding up train travel as it is a more feasible and less investment intensive than that of bullet trains or running comparatively faster trains by upgrading tracks.
Traders had a tough day in the market as Indian bourses continued their poor show today too. While 30-share S&P BSE Sensex dipped 351.18 points to close at 26,837.20, 50-share NSE Nifty fell 101.35 points to close at 8,135.10. Technical analysts believe that both the bourses are at a crucial point as Sensex has slipped below the psychologically important 27000 point support, NSE Nifty is heading towards 8000 level. Out of the 30 benchmark stocks of Sensex, 24 stocks ended in red today. Analysts believe the three factors that made the market slip today include less than expected cut in repo rate by RBI coupled with no change in CRR, IMD downgrading its monsoon forecast from its earlier 93 per cent estimate to 88 per cent, and most importantly Sensex target growth to 28,500 by end of December 2015.
Markit compiled HSBC Services Purchasing Managers' Index shows that service sector has actually decelerated in May 2015. PMI of service sector, dominant sector of Indian economy, in May 2015 was 49.6 (which is below the 50-level, segregating growth from contraction). This is the lowest level witnessed in the last 13 months. Reports say that PMI of service sector contracted in May because most service sector companies increased their service prices at the fastest pace compared to other months in the last one year, which led to significant fall in demand. Economist at Markit, Pollyanna De Lima, said that the factors that made the service sector contract include restrained demand and falling of work due to earthquake and sweltering heat throughout India. However, he expects a rebound in the coming months.
Siddharth Nath Singh, BJP’s National Secretary, today took potshot at the troubled prospects of electoral alliance between Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Janata Dal (United) by saying that the current state of affairs between the two parties is like a marriage that is on the way towards separation. He also said people of Bihar will not elect a “divorce alliance” for running Bihar assembly. The two political outfits of the erstwhile Janata Parivaar are at loggerheads on the issue of announcing a chief ministerial candidate for the alliance before the assembly elections. Bihar state unit chief of JD(U) made it clear that they will not compromise on the question of leading the alliance and Nitish Kumar must be the CM candidate of the proposed alliance. With both parties hardening their respective stands, formation of the “secular alliance” seems tough.
Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari told media that his government is not able to place the long-awaited Road Safety Bill in the parliament because “big corruption” in the higher echelons of transport sector is restricting passage of the coveted bill. He went on to add that vested interests in the transport sector are creating problems but he believes the bill will be tabled in the parliament in the upcoming Monsoon session. Gadkari informed media that the draft road safety bill has already being circulated and is expected to be taken up in the cabinet soon. The union minister acknowledged the fact that 30 per cent of the licenses in India are “bogus”. However, he also mentioned that his government is committed to giving license transparently and that’s why they are mulling the idea of using e-governance more proactively.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met a delegation of 30 Muslim leaders, led by All India Imam Organization’s Chief Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi in New Delhi and discussed about various issues including education, economy, and social aspects pertaining to Muslim community. As per a PMO statement PM Modi asserted the Imams that he doesn’t believe in the politics of hatred that divides people on communal lines. Reports say that Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (MoS of Minority Affairs) was also present in the meeting. PM assured the Muslim leaders that all the associated problems with the lives of Muslims can be lessened with employment generation and education for all, and that’s what his government is currently doing. PMO statement also said that the delegation told PM that Muslim community wants development as they have rejected vote bank politics.
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter is all set to meet Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today evening in New Delhi to discuss important defence issues. Issues that are likely to be get prominence during the talks include 10-year Defence Framework Agreement renewal between India and the USA, annual Indo-US bilateral naval exercise, and possible request by US government to the Indian counterpart to invite Japan for participating in the annual Indo-US bilateral naval exercise in Malabar. Some analysts believe inclusion of Japan in the joint drill will give China a strong message of the strengthening ties among India, USA, and Japan. Erstwhile UPA2 government had refused to entertain such a request of USA. India is likely to follow the same path even now as such a “trilateral grouping” may be termed “anti-China” by Beijing and India doesn’t want to anger the economic Asian powerhouse.
President Pranab Mukherjee, while speaking in a seminar on "India and Sweden: Co-creating a brighter future" in Sweden announced extension of e-visas to citizens of the country. He also asked Sweden to become a part of the “Make in India” initiative. Stressing upon the research acumen of the two countries, Mukherjee said that the entire world can benefit if the two countries “pooled their innovative energies”. President also met the top business honchos of Sweden and asked them to invest in India, to which the CEOs replied that they are waiting for the outcome of Indian government’s decision on Goods and Services Tax (GST). CEOs of Swedish companies expressed their willingness to expand their manufacturing base in India. Mukherjee also briefed them about the changed political scenario and business environment in India.
Former forensic director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Dr. Sudhir Gupta, who conducted a post-mortem on Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar, claimed in a letter written to Health Minister that he was pressurised by the erstwhile UPA2 government to provide a false report of “natural death”. Dr. Sudhir Gupta went on to say that he was "victimised by the previous government” as he refused to give a report of natural death. When inquired health ministry officials said that they didn’t receive any such letter. Dr. Sudhir went on to allege that Congress MP Shahshi Tharoor, who was a minister in UPA2 government, had a "tacit understanding" with MC Mishra, director of AIIMS. He also said the request of creating false report came from AIIMS director MC Mishra.
Science and Technology
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that BSNL is going to provide its mobile subscribers free incoming roaming call facility from 15 June for one year and said that BSNL is recovering currently. BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava in a press meet said that this decision will of course reduce their revenue but they expect to offset the loss by the increase in number of subscribers due to the first mover’s advantage before the full mobile number portability (MNP) becomes effective from July 2015. Telecom minister acknowledged that BSNL was making profit in 2004 but by 2014-end it is incurring loss of Rs. 7,500 crore. However, he also said that Union Government is trying to revive both BSNL and MTNL by improving the facilities provided (by easing congestion and reducing call drop by commissioning 15,000 new base tower stations under phase VII of BSNL).
BCCI, Indian cricket control board, is currently holding discussions with their South African counterpart Cricket South Africa on finalising details of proposed Gandhi-Mandela series. This series, if finalised, will be played between South Africa and India in the coming two years. This announcement was made by Haroon Lorgat, Chief Executive of CSA, while launching new kit to be worn by the South African cricket team in all three formats of cricket (tests, one-dayers, and T20). Haroon also said that they will play four games in India and in turn India will also play four matches in South Africa in 2018. He went on to add that the South African team has in the recent past concentrated more on 20-20 match format and are expecting to do well in the World Twenty20 challenge, to be played in March 2016 in India.