Major News and Events of 07 May 2015
What Happened on 07 May 2015
Rahul Gandhi plays Amethi Card in Lok Sabha to Corner Narendra Modi Government on Food Park Issue
PM Modi Intervenes in RBI Governor's Favour to Change Finance Ministry's Plans
Liberal Saudi Arabian Intellectual Khalaf Al-Harbi calls India the Most Tolerant Country
Union Government Approves Over Rs. 2,000 Crore Funds for Building GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 Satellites
Four Athletes Attempt Suicide in Kerala, One Dies
Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Sub-Committee increases FIPB's FDI Threshold Approval Limit
SC gives Rahul Gandhi Breather in Defamation Case till 8 July Hearing
United Spirits Refuses to Make Internal Probe Report Public
IMF Expects India to become one of the Fastest Growing Economies in the World
Left Front Sweeps Tripura Tribal Council Elections
India's Rank Slides from 9th to 10th Position in Global Market Cap Ranking
Madhepura MP, Rajesh Ranjan, better known as Pappu Yadav, has been expelled by Rashtriya Janata Dal for six years after he failed to reply to RJD’s show cause notice on his alleged anti party activities. When contacted, Pappu Yadav denied receiving any show cause notice. Reports say that he was deviating from party’s official line for quite sometime. Differences started to show up when Pappu Yadav met Narendra Modi and praised him, followed by meeting with ex-Bihar CM Jitan Ram Majhi. Reports say that he also cajoled RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav in not supporting JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar in removing Manjhi from CM’s chair. Pappu Yadav went to the extent of appealing to RJD MLAs to listen to their conscience while voting during No Confidence motion against Jitan Ram Manjhi government.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today attacked the BJP-led NDA government during Zero Hour at Lok Sabha by accusing the Union Government of adopting “politics of revenge” instead of “politics of change” by scrapping mega food park project in Gandhi scion’s Amethi constituency. Rahul also said that he did everything he could to help farmers in his constituency by having the food park project allotted to Amethi and scrapping of the project is a letdown. Congress MPs supported him by shouting “shame shame”. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in his reply, assured Gandhi that he will look into the matter himself and let him know.
Union Finance Minister today gave up plan of removing Reserve Bank of India’s authority in managing public debt and regulating government bond market. Senior officials privy to the issue say that Jaitley’s decision comes after intervention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in favour of RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. However, neither the PMO nor the Union Finance Minister’s office commented on the matter when asked. RBI's central board member and economist, Indira Rajaraman, criticised Finance Ministry’s plan on the concerned matter and called it hasty and inconsistent. In fact, the information about Modi’s intervention in the concerned matter has been confirmed even by a BJP leader.
One of the Saudi Arabia’s liberal voices and columnists, Khalaf Al-Harbi has lauded India as being one of the most tolerant countries across the world. In his column, “India - A country that rides elephants” published in 'Saudi Gazette', he emphasized on the point that “peace and harmony” is maintained in India despite having over 100 languages and 100 religions. Khalaf said that he gets jealous by thinking that his country witnesses killing everywhere in spite of having a single religion and language. He hailed India as being the oldest and largest democracy in the world and went on to claim that Indians feel proud of British colonialists as well as Gandhi at the same time.
Science and Technology
Government of India has approved the manufacture of two indigenous communication satellites - GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 – that will support in-orbit back-up, television services, and telecommunication. Union cabinet has therefore approved cost of Rs. 1,013.2 crore for manufacturing GSAT-17 and Rs. 1,022 crore for GSAT-18 spacecraft project. A government statement said that both these satellites will have similar structures as GSAT-10 satellite and will be manufactured in 30 months time frame by following the proven bus system. While GSAT-18 will provide replacement capacity to support the present services such as VSAT, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG), telecommunication, and television, GSAT-17 satellite will provide all these service supports along with in-orbit back up.
One of the four woman athletes, who attempted suicide by consuming poisonous fruit named 'Othalanga', in Sports Authority of India’s hostel after alleged harassment by a trainer in Kerala died today. It is learnt that the three other athletes are also in a critical condition. A report says that the four athletes were finding it hard to tolerate the humiliation from a trainer, who was humiliating them after finding them in inebriated condition some days back. It is also alleged that some of the seniors even physically and mentally tortured relatives of the athletes. Hostel warden, however, denied allegations of torture. Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has promised strict action against the guilty.
Giving major boost to Foreign Direct Investment and ease of doing business in India, a Cabinet sub-committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi more than doubled the FDI threshold limit approved by FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board). After Cabinet sub-committee’s approval, FIPB (which facilitates foreign direct investment and accelerates the process of approving foreign investment in India by providing single-window clearance) will now be able to approve FDI projects worth up to Rs. 3,000 crore, increasing the FDI threshold limit from Rs. 1,200 crore. While approving the proposal of increasing FDI threshold limit by FIPB, Union government said that this will accelerate FDI approval process, leading to increased FDI inflows.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi got interim relief from Supreme Court today in a criminal defamation case, filed in a Maharashtra trial court, for allegedly blaming Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for assassinating Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Apex court today not only stayed all trial court proceedings against Gandhi scion but also exempted him from appearing before Bhiwandi’s magisterial court in Maharashtra’s Thane district in this case till next SC hearing on 8 July. While hearing Rahul Gandhi’s petition challenging IPC Sections 499 and 500 (seeking decriminalisation of defamation case), SC tagged two similar petitions, filed by Subramanian Swamy (BJP leader) and Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi CM), and wanted to hear them at length in the future.
The ongoing boardroom battle between Diageo-controlled United Spirits Limited and its non-executive chairman Vijay Mallya took a new turn when USL rejected the National Stock Exchange’s request of making public the probe report, which alleges Mallya of fund diversion between 2010 and 2013, citing ‘confidentiality’ issue. NSE had earlier asked USL to provide details on its findings on the contentious issue for “public dissemination purpose”. While rejecting the request of making the internal report available to NSE, USL said that they already disclosed the key findings of the probe along with the undertaken steps in a transparent manner on 27 April. USL went on to add that making internal report public may lead to misuse of evidence and interfere with probing done by the concerned authorities.
As per the latest economic health check of International Monetary Fund, India is expected to become one of the fastest growing economies of the world. IMF is expecting India to grow at the rate of 7.5 per cent this and the next year. Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific report of IMF says that China’s economy is slowing down to a more sustainable level and will grow at 6.8 per cent and 6.3 per cent in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Some of the positive factors that will help Asia and the Pacific countries to outpace rest of the world include low rates of interest, healthy labour markets, increasing domestic demand, and recent fall in crude oil price.
The Left Front performed magnificently yet again in its last citadel, Tripura, as it won all the 28 seats in the 30-member Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council or TTAADC. While CPIM won 25 seats, the three other seats were won by its allies including CPI, RSP, and Forward Bloc. It is the third consecutive time that Left Front has won the Tripura ADC polls. One significant development is the rise of BJP in the state as the saffron party came second in four seats and the loosening grip of the Congress as it came second in just three seats. IPFT or Indigenous People's Front of Tripura, which calls for the formation of a separate state, came second in 17 seats.
With the ongoing slide in the Indian browses, total market capitalization of the Indian companies has not dropped significantly, thereby adversely affecting Global M-cap ranking of India with respect to last year. In the concerned list, India slipped from 2014’s ninth position to 10th position, sliding even below market cap of Switzerland (9th rank) listed companies. European countries are the biggest gainers as strengthening Euro has increased their market capitalization. Analysts believe that some of the factors that have triggered negative sentiment in the Indian indices include comparative slow pace in reform (especially GST and Land Acquisition bills), retrospective tax issues and Minimum Alternate Tax imbroglio for FIIs and FPIs, and increase in crude oil prices as well as bond yields.