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Major News and Events of 06 May 2013

What Happened on 06 May 2013


SC gives approval for Kudankulam N-plant, people's protest to continue

Supreme Court gave its nod to Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) and the process to operationalise the first unit in Tirunelveli district is on.  The apex court also disposed off a public suit which sought putting a halt on its commissioning along with the government being directed to submit a report on the compliance of all safety steps before the commissioning of the plant.

The apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra gave out detailed directions to the government on the safety and the supervision of the plant's operations.

M.Pushparayan a main leader in the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) in response to SC's judegement stated that it was a delayed and unjust judgment. Their protest against the project will go on.

He also added that it was a matter of deep concern that the court did not take into account important issues like the substandard equipments used in the reactor; Coastal Regulation Zone specifications; spent fuel storage; holding of proper mock drill for the locals while issuing its judgement on the case.

On the other hand the court said that nuclear energy was very essential for the country's growth and a balance has to be maintained between the right to life and sustainable development.

CBI files affidavit in SC on coal allocations

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a nine page affidavit informed  the Supreme Court on Monday that modifications  were made as per the instructions  of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar in its draft report on the coal blocks allocation. CBI Director Ranjit Sinha stated that "there was no deletion of any evidence against any suspect" and the "central theme of the status report" was "not changed".

Sinha said the CBI's tentative research positing that the screening committee which supervised applications for the allocation of coal blocks did not compile a broadsheet or chart for its evaluation was removed at the instance of Ashwani Kumar from the draft report. The Law Minister also erased a sentence about the possibility of the inquiry with regards to the legality of the allocations.

The affidavit specified that also at the instance of the officials of the coal ministry and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), its "tentative findings about the non-existence of a system regarding allocation of specific weightage/points was deleted...".

Modifications were done in the final status report related to CBI’s preliminary inquiry about the absence of approved guidelines for allocation of coal blocks at the instance of PMO officials as well as of the ministry of coal.

The affidavit specified that, "The central theme of the status report had not changed post-meetings. There was no deletion of any evidence against any suspect or accused, nor were any let off."The affidavit also mentioned that former additional solicitor general Haren Raval also stated that he had no instructions from the investigating agency to inform the court that the draft status report was not shared with anybody apart from the court.

Reliance Communications increases mobile call rates by at least 20 percent

Reliance Communications increased the mobile call rates by 20-30 percent across India. Their headline tariff hiked from 1.2 to 1.5 paisa per second in October last year which did not experience any traffic elasticity and shortage in customer demand or variation in usage patterns, so now they have migrated their entire base to the headline tariff. The company slashed its promotional and concessional offers by 65 percent.

The statement released by the company stated that the Indian telecom industry was now moving towards a stage of consolidation, with smaller operators shutting down or scaling down their operations and thus relaxing the competitive pressures. 

Reliance Communications has a customer base of about 130 million, including over 2.5 million individual overseas retail customers.

Anurag Basu thinks television is more difficult than movies

Filmmaker Anurag Basu, who made his debut in 1996 with the hit daily soap "Tara", thinks films do not have the upper hand compared to television and for him film making is easier. 

Basu directed TV shows "Star Bestsellers" and "Koshish... Ek Aashaa" before he got into Bollywood with the 2003 movie Saaya starring John Abraham and Tara Sharma.

Anurag, who was given a special award at the award function at the red carpet of 12th Indian Telly Awards, said that when he was there in the television industry as a director and writer, there were no such awards.

Basu is at present co-judging the children's talent show, "India's Best Dramebaaz" on Zee TV where Sonali Bendre and Vivek Oberoi are the other judges.

Chit funds injected unrealistic salaries: Bhutia

Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia Monday stated if the chit fund scam came to fore earlier, teams like his United Sikkim could have got good players on realistic salaries.

Bhutia, who recently became the chairman of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) technical committee, said that Kolkata-based I-League clubs were adversely affected by the scam as they received lot of money from some of the chit fund companies, while clubs outside West Bengal were saved from this scam.

Kolkata's United SC had a huge expenditure in the last season with a budget of Rs.17 crore. But their future is grim now as their main sponsor Prayag is one of the 70 chit-fund companies under the scanner of Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

Due to the Saradha Group going bust Kolkata's two big clubs East Bengal and Mohun Bagan will also be affected even though the chief sponsors of both the clubs, United Breweries, have many chit fund companies as their associate sponsors.

The Saradha group had an investment of Rs.1.8 crore in Mohun Bagan and Rs.3.5 crore in East Bengal since 2010-11. Another chit fund company, Rose Valley, which is also under the government's scanner, is an associate sponsor of East Bengal. 

Bhutia stated this was a matter of concern and hoped that the new salary structure would be realistic.

Five rocket launches, including Mars mission, in 2013

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has plans to launch a total of five rockets in 2013 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh which would also include a mission to Mars later this year.

Four of the launches are scheduled to happen between June and December. There would also be the launch of communication satellite G-Sat 14 using heavier rocket - Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) - powered with a domestic cryogenic engine. The assembling of two rockets is progressing well at the rocket launch centre.

The assembling of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL (PSLV-XL) version is taking place at the first launch pad. It will carry the navigation satellite.