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Major News and Events of 03 March 2015

What Happened on 03 March 2015


Ban on Beef in Maharashtra: Five-Year Jail for Sale or Possession

President Pranab Mukherjee has finally signed a bill to ban cow slaughter in Maharashtra. The bill was originally passed by BJP-Shiv Sena government in 1995 but will be effective from now onwards. According to the new law, anyone found in possession or indulging in sale of beef can be fined Rs. 10,000 and be imprisoned for a term of up to five years. The new bill will now put a ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks; however, slaughter of water buffaloes will still be permitted. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis expressed his gratitude to the President for his assent on the bill. On the other hand, the beef traders are disappointed saying this decision will make many people jobless and will also affect the price of meat in the market.

Jaitley stresses on Requirement of 9-10 Per Cent Growth Rate for Over 10 years

Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister, has said that for bringing down extreme poverty in India and improving infrastructure the Indian economy needs to grow at 9-10 per cent annually, followed by sustenance of that rate for another ten years. During his speech at the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University, Jaitley said that India needs this growth rate to generate more resources and stressed upon the fact that India’s banks can’t generate enough resources. That’s why his government needs foreign funds.

Core Sector Industries witnessed Drop in Growth in January 2015

Eight important industries forming the core industrial sector in India have witnessed a significant fall in growth this January from corresponding month last year. The growth rate fell from 3.7 per cent during Jan’14 to 1.8 per cent in Jan’15. Analysts believe that slower growth of core industries is going to have significant adverse impact on IIP or Index of Industrial Production. Data published by Ministry of Commerce and Industry show that pace of growth mainly slowed in production of natural gas (fall of 6.6 per cent) and crude oil (fall of 2.3 per cent) respectively.

Sun Pharma buys Opiates Business of GlaxoSmithKline

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has reportedly signed an agreement with pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline for buying their opiates business in Australia. This information has been revealed to the media by Sun Pharma through their disclosure of financial details. Reports say that the deal includes purchase of manufacturing sites located in Victoria’s Port Fairy and Tasmania’s Latrobe. Officials of Sun Pharma reveal that they expect the deal to get completed by August this year. It is reported that employment offer will be made to all the employees of these two manufacturing units by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries.

Indian Bourses Gaining but at Slower Pace

Indian bourses, after oscillating between green and red in the morning today, have started to gain momentum during afternoon hours. At 1.17pm IST, BSE Sensex was trading at 29550.73 (up by 91.59 points from previous close) and NSE Nifty at 8979.80 (up by 23.05 points from previous close). While Sensex opened today at 29,500.19 (above previous close of 29,459.14), Nifty opened at 8,962.85 (above previous close of 8,956.75). Biggest gainers in both the bourses till afternoon are Reliance, TCS, Sun Pharma, Dr. Reddys Labs, and Cipla.    

AAP Crisis Continues

With the reported rift between Yogendra Yadav-Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal camps widening, it is learnt that Prashant Bhushan is likely to miss the National Executive meeting of Aam Aadmi Party scheduled tomorrow. The rift within AAP widened today with close aides of Arvind Kejriwal releasing recorded conversation between Yogendra Yadav and a reporter where the former is alleged to have leaked critical information about the party’s internal affairs and key poll strategies/decisions. Kejriwal today told the media that he is ‘deeply hurt’ by what is happening currently but refused to get involved in the fight as he is trying to govern Delhi.  

Nitish calls Coalition of BJP and PDP in J&K 'Opportunistic' and 'Unprincipled'

CM of Bihar and senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar has called PDP-BJP alliance, parties having diametrically opposite beliefs, for forming government in Jammu and Kashmir as opportunistic and unprincipled. While speaking at 'Janata ke Durbar mein Mukhiya Mantri', Nitish reportedly said that by compromising on BJP’s original stand of opposing Article 370 the saffron party has killed Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, ideological parent of BJP, for the second time. Reports say that Nitish made this comment when the press asked him about his reaction on BJP President Amit Shah’s comment calling JD (U) and RJD alliance ‘unethical’.

'Nirbhaya' Rapist Unrepentant; Blames Women for getting Raped

In an interview conducted by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin, one of the accused in ‘Nirbhaya’ rape case, Mukesh Singh (who is sentenced to death along with other 3 accused) has gone on record to say, without showing any sign of remorse, that women are more responsible for rape than men. It is reported that in the interview Singh claimed that the girl wouldn’t have died if she had remained silent while they were raping her. Mukesh Singh said that the execution of the rapists will endanger lives of the victims because the rapists of ‘criminal’ type will not spare their victims’ lives.     

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Meets Sushma, Offers Brief on Transparency of their Financial System

Jean Asselborn, Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, met Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs minister of India, in New Delhi and offered to send a team of experts to brief the government about the steps undertaken by them for curtailing financial transactions done illegally. Analysts believe that Luxembourg’s foreign minister briefed Sushma about his country’s transparency and accountability of system because it is one of the biggest investors in India. It is learnt that since 2002 total investment done in India by funds, based in Luxembourg, has crossed US$ 1 Billion. Jean Asselborn assured Swaraj that his country is going to support the candidature of India as UN Security Council’s permanent member.

Farmer suicide toll goes up to 93 in Maharashtra

Agrarian crisis in Maharashtra’s Marathwada region is getting worse with every passing day, media reports stated. In this year itself 93 farmers in the region have reportedly committed suicide. Analysts believe faulty agriculture policy, 2014’s hailstorm, and repeated droughts in the Marathwada region made the situation worse. Available reports say that last year 569 people committed suicide. Analysts believe that the situation worsened in this area when farmers started to farm perennial crops and orchards, which are both capital and water intensive in nature, in the arid Marathwada region, and incurred large insurmountable debts.       

S Jaishankar to Hold Talks with Pakistan PM and Foreign Secretary Today

Foreign Secretary of India, S Jaishankar, who started his ‘SAARC Yatra’ on Sunday, is all set to visit Pakistan today and meet Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary. He is expected to talk on the contending issue of repeated ceasefire violations. Jaishankar has already visited Bangladesh and Bhutan during this SAARC tour. Sources in the foreign ministry say that another issue that is likely to come up during the bilateral talks is the Motor Vehicle Agreement and India is likely to push for better connectivity. S Jaishankar is scheduled to hold talks with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif.

India all set to Launch its 4th Satellite on March 9

Indian space agency is all set to launch its 4th satellite on March 9 tentatively, as per a senior official of the agency. With the successful launch of this satellite India will move one step closer to having its own satellite navigation system. Satish Dhawan Space Centre’s director M.Y.S. Prasad said that the launch is scheduled at 6.35pm IST on March 9. However, a final decision will be taken just days before the launch. He went on to say that complete test is going to be done today and tomorrow the rocket will be shifted to the 2nd launch pad.

Sania Changes her Partner and Teams Up With Martina Hingis

Sania Mirza, India’s ace woman tennis player, has decided to end her partnership with Chinese Taipei player Hsieh Su-wei and team up with Martina Hingis, former world number one in women’s singles, on WTA circuit. During a press statement Sania, the current world number 5, said that the four tournaments she played by partnering Hsieh Su-wei were not extraordinary. The 28-year-old Indian tennis sensation has added that she is now going to team up with Ad court specialist and one of the most experienced players in the circuit Martina Hingis.