Major News and Events of 08 September 2014
What Happened on 08 September 2014
SC asks CBI Director to file Counter-Affidavit against Prashant Bhushan's Allegations
Execution of Nithari Killer Stayed by SC
Maruti's R&D Facility Stalled by Haryana Government
Gujarat's Business Delegation Sells PM's Economic Model
4G Spectrum Auction Expected Soon
Consolidation Plan for Banks to Expedite Soon
Leander Teams to Pair Up with Bopanna
PM Emphasies on Merit in Government Appointments
Rural Development Ministry Goes for Digital Monitoring
US Counter-Terrorism Expert Dismisses the idea of Al-Qaeda opening Branch in India
India Pushes for Crude Premium Rate Cut to save $3 Billion Forex
Jammu and Kashmir is facing one of the worst floods in around 60 years. Thousands are marooned and over 160 have already died. Most of the places in Srinagar, the capital city, are submerged and people are waiting on their rooftops and terraces for rescue. The communication facilities are also down even as the Indian Air Force and the Army continue their massive rescue operations.
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha has been asked by the Supreme Court to file a counter-affidavit for countering allegations leveled by senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan against him regarding 2G Spectrum case. The apex court has adjourned the case till next Monday. The apex court has observed that the charges leveled against the CBI director are serious and Sinha just can’t say he will not file any affidavit.
The Supreme Court has stayed the death sentence of Surinder Koli, the infamous Nithari killer. Koli had been sentenced to death for killing children in Noida in 2006. The execution has been stayed by the bench comprising A R Dave and H L Dattu for one week. The rapist-cum-serial killer Surinder Koli was earlier scheduled to be hanged in the Meerut Jail on September 12, 2014.
Science and Technology
Narendra Modi’s “Made in India” drive faced a setback in Haryana when the state government asked Maruti Suzuki to halt construction of Rs 3,500-crore-plus R&D facility in Rohtak on the grounds of environmental clearances. It would have been the first ever R&D unit of Suzuki Motor outside Japan. The company has already taken a decision of setting up its next production hub in Gujarat instead of Haryana.
A High-level Gujarat business delegation has urged the US companies to explore business opportunities as well as invest in Gujarat and of course in India. A 15-member delegation led by resident commissioner of Gujarat, Bharat Lal, focused on PM Narendra Modi’s vision of “Minimum government and maximum governance” during an event organised in Chicago by CII and US India Business Council.
The Finance Ministry has asked telecom department to explore 4G auction feasibility, on one hand, and also urged them to accelerate negotiation process with defence ministry to free 3G airwaves. It is expected that the Department of Telecommunications will seek recommendation of regulator on 3G and 4G spectrum prices. In the forthcoming auctions, the department may offer 4G airwaves.
State-run banks are going to witness consolidation among them after announcement of September Quarter results. The Finance Ministry has already started nudging large state-run banks for looking at all kinds of possible combinations. The Ministry is expected to hold a meeting in this regard soon. As per estimates of the ministry, by the year 2018 public sector banks will need equity to the extent of Rs 2.4 lakh crore. As the government has limited capital, in this fiscal the government has allocated just Rs 11,200 crore for bank capitalisation.
Indian non-playing captain Anand Amritraj has confirmed that 41-year-old veteran Tennis star Leander Paes will pair up with Rohan Bopanna against Serbia during Davis Cup doubles tie. Inclusion of the veteran player means that Saketh Myneni, who was earlier selected, is going to miss the tie. He along with Ramkumar Ramanathan and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan will be in the reserve team.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked his ministries to remove all obstacles in the way of appointment of right candidates for specific roles. Merit should be given topmost priority during selection process. It is believed this HR overhaul is being stressed by the PM to implement government agendas correctly and in a time-bound manner in the coming five years.
The Rural Development Ministry is gearing up to monitor the durable assets created under numerous social sector schemes throughout India. The ministry is giving importance to click pictures of the assets and send them directly to the ministry. To this end, the ministry will rope in an Information Technology company for Geo-tagging every house built under rural housing scheme and then upload it on website of the ministry.
One of the top US counter-terrorism experts, Peter Bergen, has said that no evidence has been found that can point to the presence of Al-Qaeda in India. Though he admitted that there are some ‘Jihadi’ elements in the country, the idea of Al-Qaeda opening branch in India is simply a crazy one. Regarding the surfaced video tape, the analyst pointed out that Ayman al-Zawahiri circulated the video to get mileage for his organisation, which is out of news due to rise of ISIS in Iraq.
India is looking for ways, through collective bargaining, to convince oil and gas producers of West Asia for cutting Asian premium that amounts to more than $3 billion per annum. Asian Premium is given by the Asian countries over the gas and crude prices for ensuring proximity and stability of supply. India believes this is the best time to bargain on the premium as India has access to cheaper alternatives, on one hand, and the global prices are declining, on the other.