Major News and Events of 04 March 2015
What Happened on 04 March 2015
Surprise Repo Rate Cut by RBI Governor following Union Budget Announcement
Auction for Twenty Nine 2G and 3G Spectrum Licenses Starts
Mumbai Police make Headway in National Spot Exchange Scam
PDP gets Key Portfolios in J&K
Land Acquisition Amendment Bill Tabled in Lok Sabha
Mohammed Shami Fit to Play Match against West Indies on March 6
HRD Ministry to Implement Increase in Fellowship for Researchers and ME/MTech/MS/MDes Students
IIT Hyderabad to Provide First 3D Technology Course in India
Indian Foreign Secretary meets Nawaz Sharif and Delivers Indian PM's Letter
Persons with Fake Currency Notes Nabbed in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal
I&B Ministry Stops Airing of Controversial Nirbhaya Documentary
The Aam Aadmi Party today held a crucial National Executive meeting. The meeting witnessed dramatic overtures from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who offered his resignation from the position of National Covener citing work overload as the main reason. However, sources within AAP reveal that the resignation letter is unlikely to be accepted. Though reports point out that Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav along with some left leaning leaders will be ousted from Political Affairs Committee, sources indicate that discussion are going on to make Prahant Bhushan head of the party’s Internal Lokpal. Kejriwal was absent in the meeting.
In line with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's announcement during Budget 2015-16, RBI governor Raghuram Rajan cut repo rate by 25 basis points to bring it down to 7.5 per cent. Indian bourses witnessed early morning rally. NSE Nifty and BSE Sensex touched new highs of 9,119.20 and 30,024.74 respectively. During early hours, banking stocks (ICICI Bank, HDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, etc.) and Bank Nifty witnessed 2-3 per cent rise. However, at 3.18pm IST, BSE Sensex was down by 218.30 points (trading at 29,375.43) and NSE Nifty by 78 points (trading at 8918.25).
The biggest ever Spectrum Auction of 2G and 3G airwaves began today. Eight telecom companies are participating for acquiring rights for spectrum in four bands. Global ratings agency Fitch has said that the telecommunication companies are likely to spend more than Rs. 80,000 crore in the ongoing auction. Rs. 82,395 crore has been set as the base price for bidding by the government in different frequencies of 2G and 3G spectrums. Sources reveal that the government is expecting the bids to go up to Rs. 1,00,000 crore for 29 spectrum licenses renewal for 2015-16.
Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing has made a major headway in the National Spot Exchange Scam case and consequently arrested 3 top officials of renowned brokerage firms - India Infoline Commodities, Anand Rathi Commodities, and Geojit Comtrade for custodial interrogation. Joint Commissioner of Police, EOW Mumbai, Rajvardhan Sinha told media that Amit Rathi, Chintan Modi, and CP Krishnan were arrested after they were found to give contradicting statements and at the same time were non-cooperative. Reports say charges slapped on them include criminal misappropriation, criminal conspiracy, forgery, and cheating.
Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohammed Sayeed will hold the charge of the Home ministry. Important portfolios of finance and education were allocated to PDP ministers. Haseeb A Drabu became the Finance Minister and also holds Labour, Employment and Culture portfolios. Nirmal Singh of BJP became the Deputy Chief Minister of J&K and holds additional portfolios of Power, Housing and Urban Development. While Naeem Akhter became Education minister, ex-separatist leader Sajad Lone will look after Animal Husbandry and Science and Technology ministries. Lal Singh of BJP became the Health Minister of the J&K government.
In an effort to pass the contentious Land Acquisition Amendment Bill in the Budget Session before April 5, the Union government tabled the bill today in lower house of the parliament. Reports point out that government needs to pass the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill within this session only otherwise they will not be able to introduce it again. With the united opposition calling it anti-poor and anti-farmer, Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday tried to reach out to the opposition by showing willingness to make changes in the proposed bill by calling his government pro-poor.
RN Baba, Media manager of Team India, has said that ace Indian bowler Mohammed Shami, who hurt his knee during a practice session and missed the match against UAE, is now fit and ready to play in the upcoming match against West Indies on March 6. Reports say that Mohammed Shami also took part in a training session yesterday at Murdoch University Oval Sports Complex ground. Sources reveal that Mohammed Shami will replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who played against UAE.
Science and Technology
Ministry of Human Resources Development has issued notice saying that they are going to increase research scholar’s stipends. According to reports, the MHRD had said that it would implement the increase in fellowships announced last year. The retrospective increase of assistantship/fellowship for PhD students will be effective from 1 October, 2014. However, revised notification issued on 2 March, 2015, shows that assistantship or fellowship for ME/MTech/MS/MDes students will be effective from 1 December, 2014. Reports indicate that scientists are not happy with allocation of budget for R&D (in spite of 17.2 per cent increase with respect to previous year) because Rs. 356 billion allocated is only 2 per cent of total Rs.17,775 billion budget.
Science and Technology
During a two-day international symposium on 3D printing, it was announced that the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad will offer a course on 3D printing or digital fabrication technology. According to UB Desai, IITH’s director, the institution will become the first Indian institute to offer such a course in the country. At the symposium, Keio University’s Dean of Environment and Information Studies, Jun Murai, stressed on the importance of this technology and how interdisciplinary collaboration between industries and academic institutions has helped in increasing the use of digital fabrication technology in manufacturing units.
Foreign Secretary of India S Jaishankar today met Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and reportedly handed over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s letter to him. The information was revealed to the media by Aizaz Chaudhary, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan. Reports say that NaMo had called his Pakistani counterpart last month to inform about Jaishankar’s SAARC tour. It is learnt that S Jaishankar, who flew-in from Dhaka, has also reportedly handed over a letter sent by Indian PM to Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.
Late last night Special Task Force’s sleuths arrested a suspected ISI agent named Ali Ahmad alias ‘Dr Salim’ from Naka area of Lucknow. According to reports, Ahmad had escaped from police custody nearly four years ago. At the time of arrest, Rs. 12,000 worth of fake currency along with some Nepalese currency were recovered from the suspected ISI agent. In a similar operation Kolkata Police arrested a person named Chandrasekhar Jaiswal from Manicktala area from whom fake currency of different countries to the tune of Rs. 10 crore were seized. NIA sleuths are currently investigating his alleged relation with Khagragarh bomb blast case.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has asked television channels not to air the ‘controversial’ Nirbhaya Documentary where an unrepentant rapist Mukesh Singh, who is sentenced to death, was caught on camera saying that the girl should have let them rape her to escape getting killed. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also briefed the Rajya Sabha on the matter. However, RS member Javed Akhtar said that India should be thankful as the documentary showed the mindset of rapists and stressed on changing their mindset. RS member Jaya Bachchan sought explanation from Modi government on Nirbhaya case. Nirmala Sitharaman told Jaya Bachchan that the case is subjudice and her government has no capacity to intervene.