Major News and Events of 05 May 2015
What Happened on 05 May 2015
Lok Sabha Likely to Pass The National Waterways Bill 2015 and GST Bill Today
Minister of State for Home Affairs Claims Government has No Information about Dawood Ibrahim
Internet.org Opened by Facebook to Outside Applications after Uproar
ATP Rankings: Yuki Bhambri improves; Somdev drops four positions
Indian Army to get Akash Weapon System
MIM's Asaduddin Owaisi Objects to Conferring Highest Civilian Awards to Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Report finds 35 Per Cent Children in India Suffer from Lung Capacity Problem
Future Retail Merges with Bharti Retail
Moody's Gives 'Goodwill Impairment Charges' of Vedanta Resources Plc Negative Credit Rating
BJP Top Brass discusses on Ramifications of Excluding Assam from Land Boundary Bill
John Kerry calls External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, during an interview said that India has the capability to grow at a rate of 9 per cent to 10 per cent. However, he added that to achieve such a steep trajectory Government of India must invest more heavily in irrigation and rural infrastructure. Jaitley also said that one of the areas where lots of investment is required is the infrastructure sector, which in turn will benefit the manufacturing sector. While vouching for reforms, Indian Finance Minister went on to say that poverty level in India can be decreased if the 9-10 per cent growth rate can be maintained for 10 years or so.
Nitin Gadkari, Union Transport Minister, introduced The National Waterways Bill 2015 in the lower house of the parliament today. The bill proposes converting one hundred and one rivers in India into waterways for promoting more affordable ways of transportation in comparison to railways and road transport. Available data says that there are 14,500 kms of inland waterways (including rivers, backwaters, creeks, canals, lakes, and rivers) across India. Gadkari in an event earlier said that per kilometer cost through water transport is just 50 paise in comparison to Rs. 1.5/km in road transports and Re. 1/km in railways. It is learnt that GST Bill is likely to be tabled and passed in the Lok Sabha later today.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary told Lok Sabha today that Dawood Ibrahim, one of the most wanted terrorists of India, is not being searched by Indian intelligence agencies. He went on to say that the whereabouts of Dawood Ibrahim is not known to India and an extradition process can only be started after his location is known. However, Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary’s statement has kicked off a major row because his statement contradicts Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement given back in December 2015 vouching for extraditing Dawood. However, Rajendra Kumar, ex-IB Special Director, said that Dawood can’t leave Pakistan as ISI just moves him from one place to another.
Science and Technology
Facebook has opened Internet.org that now provides connectivity to people in developing countries to outside applications. The move comes after news organisations in India pulled out of the concerned programme sighting net neutrality violation issue. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said that this will work as a free platform that will enable anybody to build free basic services. He went on to add that he wants to provide people with more free access to services over a period of time. Facebook in a statement said that any developer can use the free internet.org service free of cost.
Rankings released by ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) shows that Somdev Devvarman has dropped four positions and his current ranking is 173. However, another ace Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri’s ATP ranking has improved by thirty positions, helping him enter the top 200 ranking. His current ATP rank is 186. Bhambri’s current jump in position was possible because for his good performance in the Taipei Challenger, where he entered the semi-final. In the women’s doubles ATP ranking, Sania Mirza held her World No. 1 ranking. In the men’s doubles ATP ranking list, Leander Paes is ranked 23rd followed by Rohan Bopanna at 24th spot.
Science and Technology
Indian Army is all set to induct almost entirely the indigenous AWS or Akash Weapon System today, after a long wait of 32 years. This missile system creates a proven shield up to a maximum of 25 kms and 20 kms altitude from possible aerial missile threats released from unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, helicopters, and fighter planes. Defence Research Development Laboratory developed this surface-to-air short ranged defence system and is capable of launching missile from the information obtained from radar system. This defence system will be handed over to Indian Army at a ceremony that will be attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Asaduddin Owaisi, controversial leader and MP of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen, objected to conferring the Padma Vibhushan award to BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani and Bharat Ratna to former PM of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on grounds that both these leaders were involved in the destruction of historic Babri Masjid. He went on to say that Advani spread venom across India with his ‘Rath Yatra’ and this is the first time a man facing criminal charges has been conferred with one of the highest state honours. Owaisi also accused former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee of fomenting hatred by vouching to level the ground by referring to the Babri mosque.
A nationwide survey done by Breathe Blue'15 found that around 35 per cent of India’s school going children have poor lung health. As per the all-India survey report, Delhi fared worst in the Lung Health Screening Test’s 'Poor' lung capacity. Delhi tops the chart in the cumulative result of poor (21 per cent) and bad (19 per cent) lung capacity with 40 per cent of children surveyed in Delhi found suffering from Lung capacity problem. The second, third, and fourth positions in the survey report list are held by Bengaluru with 36 per cent, Kolkata with 35 per cent, and Mumbai with 27 per cent children found suffering from lung capacity ailment.
Kishore Biyani-led Future Group’s retail arm, Future Retail, has announced grand operations merger with Bharti Enterprise’s Bharti Retail, making it one of the biggest retail chains in India. After the merger, the entity will have 570 stores spread across 243 cities. This retail chain will now have 203 'Easyday' hypermarkets and Big Bazaar, 197 'Easyday' supermarkets and Food Bazaar, and 171 other retail stores including Foodhall, FBB, eZone, and Home Town. Kishore Biyani said that after the merger, combined turnover of the merged entity will be around Rs. 15,000 crore. He also said that Rs. 2,000 crore will be added by Bharti Retail to Future Retail’s business.
Moody’s, global rating agency, has regarded the Rs. 19,228-crore “goodwill impairment charges” to be credit negative for Vedanta Resources Plc. The Anil Agarwal-led company wrote off non-cash impairment charge to the tune of Rs. 19,180 crore from March quarter of 2014-15 FY for acquiring Cairn India’s goodwill after significant fall in crude oil prices. In its statement, Moody’s has observed that this move has been given negative credit rating (Ba1 negative) because it means longer payback period for acquiring majority stake (59.9 per cent in 2011) of Cairn India. The statement also said that the goodwill impairment charges have also increased repayment challenges of $4.4 billion, debt for acquisition, from operating cash flow of the company.
A meeting was held at BJP National President Amit Shah’s residence yesterday to discuss matters related to Assam. Sources say that during the discussion, the contentious Land Boundary Agreement issue with Bangladesh was also discussed. Other than Amit Shah and leaders of Assam, the meeting was attended by heavyweights of the party including Rajnath Singh (Home Minister), M Venkaiah Naidu (Parliamentary Affairs Minister), Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs Minister), and RSS joint general secretary Krishna Gopal. Ramifications of delinking Assam from the proposed land boundary Bill, moved in the parliament this week, was criticised by the opposition as they want inclusion of Assam too in the bill along with Meghalaya, Tripura, and West Bengal.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted that US Secretary of State John Kerry called External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj last night and discussed about the overall regional situation, emphasising on the relief operations in earthquake hit Nepal. Last week, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of US, Wendy Sherman, had a discussion with India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Indo-US partnership and the progress of the decisions undertaken during Obama-Modi summit back in January. USA and India are all set to hold strategic dialogue in the ongoing year. While talking to the media yesterday, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that the National Disaster Response Force, which was deployed in Nepal on 25 April, had accomplished its task.