Major News and Events of 08 July 2015
What Happened on 08 July 2015
Madhya Pradesh CM rules out Resignation, High Court reserves order on CBI Investigation of Vyapam Scam
PM Modi reaches Russia to Attend Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS Meet
Bopanna-Mergea enter Semis of Men's Doubles of Wimbledon
Supreme Court Dismisses Plea on Underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim
Government decides to spend $2.4 million in 5 years on STEM's Advanced Studies
Flipkart to take App-only Route after Myntra
Pakistan Provokes India before Modi-Sharif Meet in Russia by saying Option of Using Nuclear Weapon is Open
Reports say Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje Recommended ex-IPL Chief Lalit Modi's Name for 2007 Padma Award
Union Government to Roll Out Rs 1.24 Lakh-Crore Food Welfare Plan in 2015
BRICS Nations agree to set up $100 Billion Foreign Exchange Reserve Pool to hedge Dollar Liquidity Risk
Heineken buys Offloaded Shares of United Spirits
BSE Sensex today bled over 500 points as the intraday low touched 27,635.72 from previous close at 28,171.69. The market was hardly able to recuperate from the low and closed at 27687.72, a dip of 483.97 points or 1.72 per cent. However, most worrying aspect today is the closing of NSE Nifty, which nosedived 147.75 points (or 1.74 per cent) to close at 8363.05, much lower than the psychologically significant 8,400 support level. Metals also lost their shine. Gold bled profusely today as its value tumbled down by Rs. 330 to reach Rs 26,170 per 10 gm, a 3-month low level. Silver also lost Rs. 1,550 of its shine to reach Rs. 34,450 per kg value. Reports say that weak global cues, led by China-led equity market rout throughout Asia and uncertainty over Greece’s prospect, had its effect on metals as well as equity market of India.
Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, has ruled out Congress’s demand of resigning from CM’s chair, owing responsibility of the multi-crore Vyapam scam as well as the long list of persons who have died during the SIT investigation. Chouhan earlier requested High Court in written for ordering CBI investigation into the scam. However, today Madhya Pradesh HC reserved its order on CBI probe as Supreme Court is scheduled to give an order on possible CBI investigation tomorrow. HC has reportedly reserved the order till 20 July. However, Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi has said that his party doesn’t want a “CBI simpliciter” but a SIT that will supervise the investigation done by the central investigating agency, if it is being entrusted with the probe. Rajan Katoch, Director of Enforcement Directorate, has said that their investigation in the alleged money laundering in Vyapam scam is “on track”.
PM Narendra Modi has reached Russia’s Ufa city for attending two important summits of BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). During the 2-day tour of Russia, PM Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping today as well as Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif on 10 July. After reaching Russia, PM Modi tweeted that it has always been special for him to be in Russia, owing to the remarkable friendship Russia has with India for such a long time. He also said that he is looking forward to have productive interactions as well as meetings during the very important meetings of both SCO and BRICS. During the SCO meeting, India as well as Pakistan are expected to be given the full membership status from the current observer status. During BRICS summit, the new development bank of the group will be launched where KV Kamath will be its first head.
Indian tennis sensation Leander Paes with his Swiss partner Martina Hingis has cruised into the Wimbledon Mixed Double’s quarterfinals by beating the Kiwi-Australian partners Artem Sitak and Anastasia Rodionova in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. The Indo-Swiss pair took just 48 minutes to win the 3rd round match. With this win, the multiple Grand Slam winning pair won 56 points. In the mixed doubles tournament, Paes-Hingis pair was the first team to reach the quarters at the Grass Court Grand Slam tournament. India’s upcoming tennis star Rohan Bopanna with his Romanian partner Florin Mergea entered semi final of men’s doubles by defeating legendary Bryan brothers (B. Bryan - M. Bryan) by 5-7, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6. Another Indian ace player Sania Mirza along with Martina Hingis will take on C. Dellacqua - Y. Shvedova duo in the Wimbledon Women’s doubles quarterfinal match later today.
Supreme Court today dismissed a plea, filed by Kishore Samrite, that sought SIT investigation (headed by a retired Supreme Court judge) to probe the allegation that previous governments didn’t respond to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s offer of returning back to India. The petitioner said in his plea that Dawood had contacted influential Indians twice or thrice and expressed his desire of coming back to India but previous governments didn’t pay heed to the offer. The petitioner had also mentioned claims of Ram Jethmalani (senior lawyer and Rajya Sabha member) and Neeraj Kumar (ex-Delhi police commissioner) in the petition. Chief Justice H.L. Dattu-led SC bench observed, while dismissing the plea that it is out of the ambit of judiciary to intervene in the matter. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena has challenged BJP to bring back Dawood to India if it has courage and political will to do so.
Science and Technology
As per the agreement inked between Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Indian government has decided to finance the outstanding Indian students studying at Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh’s (USA) for coming 5 years on advanced studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (in short, STEM). Reports say that the total amount of fund earmarked for the students over next 5 years is $2.4 million. Basic aim of SERB fellowship, which starts from 2016, is aimed to provide stipends to at least 5 students of outstanding performance for their doctoral studies at Carnegie Mellon University. Reports say that CMU is going to encourage all its students, coming from India, apply for the coveted fellowship of Science and Engineering Research Board. The concerned agreement was signed by T K Chandrashekar, Secretary of SERB, and Subra Suresh, President of CMU.
Science and Technology
India’s largest ecommerce platform, Flipkart, has decided to close its website and operate through mobile application only from coming September. With this decision becoming public, Flipkart will be the second eCommerce company that will go app-only, after Myntra. In fact, Flipkart acquired Myntra, popular e-tailing company, last year. In a statement Flipkart has said that this move has been initiated by it to help the customers get additional mileage while shopping and noted that the decision comes at a time of the transition period when India is transiting “from a mobile first to a mobile only country”. The statement read that they always want to create an application that provides the best possible shopping experience to the customers. It also noted that they have been following a mobile-first approach for quite sometime as most of their customers (70 to 75 per cent) come from mobile apps only.
As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on 10 July at the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet in Russia, Pakistan has yet again provoked India by saying that they are open with the idea of nuclear weapon usage. Reports say that Khawaja Asif, Pakistan’s Defence Minister, while accusing India of waging a proxy war against it through terrorism, threatened India with the nuclear weapon usage option they have with them. Khawaja Asif went on to claim that thy have evidence of India’s involvement in supporting terror groups in Pakistan such as Baloch separatists and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. He also said that the nuclear weapons have been created not as mere showpieces but as deterrents. Political analysts find the defence minister’s statement similar to the one given by Pervez Musharaf, ex-President of Pakistan, sometime back.
New revelations published in various media reports claim that Rajasthan’s Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had recommended former Indian Premier League Chief Lalit Modi’s name for the prestigious Padma Awards for the year 2007. Reports say that the recommendation was done on 28 July 2007 and while recommending LaMo’s name the then Rajasthan government wrote that he should be conferred with the prestigious award by keeping his contributions in the field of business as well as development of cricket in Rajasthan. Though the reports, which are currently under scrutiny for truth, if found true will stack up to the already overburdened woes of Vasundhara in connection with quid-pro-quo charges leveled against her by the Rajasthan Congress. Reports also claim that the recommendation was done by Vasundhara Raje, who was Chief Minister of Rajasthan from 2003 to 2008, through Rajasthan Sports Council.
Ram Vilas Paswan (Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution) has announced that Narendra Modi government is all set to roll out Rs 1.24 lakh crore (equivalent to $20.11 billion) Food Welfare Plan by December 2015. As per reports, this plan will help 67 per cent of the total 1.2 billion populace in accessing wheat and rice at affordable price. National Food Security Act (NFSA) was approved by UPA2 government back in August 2013 that required all the states along with the union territories implement NFSA in a year’s span. However, till now just eleven states have been successful in introducing the plan. Paswan told media that the latest deadline is coming to an end in September 2015 but most states and URs have agreed to implement the coveted National Food Security Act by December 2015. $20.11 billion was allocated for food subsidies during Budget 2015-16 by Union Finance Minister.
All the BRICS group countries including India have signed a historic pact of creating a foreign exchange reserve pool of $100 billion for helping one another in cases that may erupt due to dollar liquidity. Analysts believe that this reserve fund will help BRICS countries hedge risks in case of dollar illiquidity in the future. India has pledged to provide $18 billion in the pool, which is the same monetary amount pledged by Russia and Brazil. While China will contribute maximum of $41 billion to the pool, minimum contribution will be done by South Africa of $5 billion. An Operational Agreement has been signed by the representative of all the 5 countries of the group yesterday in Russian capital Moscow. In a statement, Russian Central Bank has said that the concerned Agreement on BRICS Pool of Conventional Currency Reserves outlines the terms of mutual support.
Heineken, the Dutch beer giant, has gained controlling right of Vijay Mallya controlled United Breweries (UB), largest brewer of India, by buying the 3.12 per cent offloaded shares of United Spirits. Heineken now controls 42 per cent of UB, much above the 32 per cent personal stake of Mallya. With this stake acquisition, the Dutch beer giant has come out of the understanding with Mallya, forged in 2009, that was based upon an equal stake partnership (both having 37.5 per cent) with the CFO’s position going to Heineken. Mallya’s woes started to stack up when he was knee deep in debt after his Kingfisher Airlines (KA) got grounded and Heineken picked up 2 per cent additional stake in UB, pledged by Mallya as guarantee for KA. Heineken’s external spokesperson said that they have belief in Indian beer market and are delighted in increase of their exposure in UB.