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Major News and Events of 09 April 2015

What Happened on 09 April 2015


CBI Court Sentences Former Satyam CEO and Nine Others to Seven Years in Jail

Special CBI court in Hyderabad has sentenced former Satyam CEO B Ramalinga Raju along with nine other convicts to jail for seven years. Both Ramalinga Raju and B Rama Raju (Managing Director of Satyam and brother of CEO Ramalinga Raju) were also slapped with a fine of Rs. five crore by the special court judge BVLN Chakravarthi. The other eight accused in the case who are also sentenced to seven years jail include VS Prabhakar Gupta (former internal chief auditor of Satyam), Ch Srisailam, D Venkatpathi Raju, G Ramakrishna (former employees), B Suryanarayana Raju (CEO’s brother), Vadlamani Srinivas (former CFO of Satyam), T Srinivas, and Subramani Gopalakrishnan (former PwC auditors).

Pakistan Court Orders Immediate Release of 26/11 Terror Attack Mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi

The Lahore High Court declared the detention of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi illegal and asked the administration to release him immediately. The 26/11 massacre left 166 people dead in Mumbai. Back in December 2014, an anti-terror court granted bail to Lakhvi but issued detention order under public order laws after strong protest from India. India has said that it is up to the Pakistan government to ensure keeping Lakhvi behind bars. Reports say that Lakhvi and six other accused are in jail for over five years but there is hardly any progress in the case.    

Vodafone India Strives for Better Customer Satisfaction in Mumbai

Ishmeet Singh, Mumbai circle’s Business Head of Vodafone India, told media that the company has invested more than Rs. 1,000 crore in Mumbai itself for expanding network, distribution, and retail from April 2014 to March 2015. He went on to say that the company has extensive plans of investing more on non-spectrum related programmes in the near future for providing better product and services to the customers to enhance customer satisfaction. As per Singh, Vodafone India sees great opportunity in data and 3G services and has plans of launching 4G services.

Indian Badminton Players Advance in Singapore Open

H.S. Prannoy, Parupalli Kashyap, Kidambi Srikanth and Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa duo moved ahead to the second round of $300,000 Singapore Open Superseries. Parupalli Kashyap defeated South Korean Lee Hyun Il in just 33 minutes in straight sets (21-11, 21-13). In the 2nd round Kashyap will play against South Korea’s Son Wan Ho. H.S. Prannoy took 40 minutes to defeat Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong by 21-15, 21-17 to advance to the second round where he meets Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark. In another match, Kidambi Srikanth had a tough time against Tien Minh Nguyen from Vietnam but secured a win after 51 minutes (21-18, 19-21, 21-14).  

KKR Wins Opening Match of IPL 2015

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday beat Mumbai Indians in the opening match of T-20 Indian Premier League 2015 at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. While Mumbai Indians (MI) scored 168 runs at the loss of three wickets in 20 overs, KKR scored 170 runs in just 18.3 overs at the loss of three wickets. MI captain Rohit Sharma scored an unbeaten 98 and was well supported by Corey Anderson who scored 55 runs. However, KKR outperformed MI mainly led by KI skipper Gautam Gambhir’s 57, Manish Pandey’s 40, and a blazing 46 of 20 ball knock by Surya Kumar Yadav.

President Confers Padma Awards to 50 Noted Personalities

President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday awarded fifty people with Padma Vibhushan awards during a civil investiture ceremony organised at Rashtrapati Bhawan. As per reports, some of the important guests present during the ceremony included Hamid Ansari (Vice President), Narendra Modi (Prime Minister), Arvind Kejriwal (Chief Minister of Delhi), L K Advani (senior BJP leader), and other senior ministers. Veteran nuclear scientist Ramaswamy Srinivasan, legendary Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan, and Shia leader Prince Karim Aga Khan were conferred with Padma Vibhushan award. Dilip Kumar (yesteryear legendary actor), who was awarded Padma Vibhushan, was unable to attend the ceremony. Some of the others who received Padma awards include renowned filmmaker Jahnu Barua, mathematician Manjul Bhargava, endocrinologist Ambrish Mithal, Niti Ayog member Vivek Debroy, and others.   

Government rethinking Raising Mountain Strike Corps to Guard Chinese Borders

Government sources say that the Indian Government is rethinking the decision taken by erstwhile Manmohan Singh government two years back of raising 17 Corps (based in West Bengal’s Panagarh) or Mountain Strike Corps for guarding the hilly northern borders with China. Reports say that UPA2 government took up the decision hastily after Chinese troops’ repeated transgression in 2013. As per the earlier plan, eighty thousand people will be trained in the concerned corps over an eight-year period at Rs. 64000 crore cost. However, Narendra Modi government is learnt to be rethinking the decision of raising such a corp with a more “disruptive” technology oriented alternative to get ready for “future wars”.

CBI Seeks More Power from PMO

The Central Bureau of Investigation has asked the Prime Minister’s Office to make it a nodal body for investigating financial frauds and vest it with more power for proper investigation. As per reports, the agency has asked PMO for more powers so that they can take up investigative cases on their own. CBI has reportedly asked for amending Delhi Special Police Establishment Act. Currently, Delhi Police Act gives powers to CBI for investigating cases and either the government or the court directs it to take up cases. Sources in PMO said that the final decision on CBI’s request will be taken only after consultation with all the ministries.     

J&K Government calls for Integrating Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmiri Society

After Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to provide land in the state for creating “Composite Township”, J&K government made it clear on Wednesday that all efforts will be made to integrate Kashmiri Pandits back in the Kashmiri community not as an isolated community but as an integral part of Kashmir with dignity and honour. The official spokesperson of the J&K government said that some quarters are trying to create mischievous, misconceived, and misconstrued impression among people about establishing a completely separate habitation meant for Kashmiri Pandits.

PM Likely to Sign Deals with Canada and France on Import of Uranium and Cooperation in High-Speed Trains

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi kickstarting his eight-day (April 9 to April 16) three-nation (France, Germany, and Canada) tour today, sources say that PM is likely to sign a deal with Canada for importing uranium for running nuclear reactors. Canada had earlier severed nuclear ties with India by alleging that the latter used plutonium, supplied by Canada for use in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, for testing first nuclear bomb back in 1974, media reports said. Before leaving for the tour the PM tweeted that this three-nation tour will be aimed to boost economic ties and in turn create job opportunities for Indians. Sources have said that Modi is likely to sign a deal with France on high-speed train in the Punjab-Delhi route.

Snapdeal Acquires FreeCharge at $400 Million to Boost its Mobile Business

In an effort to increase its mobile business, Snapdeal has acquired FreeCharge, a mobile transaction platform, at around $400 million through cash and stock deal. After this acquisition, Snapdeal has become India’s largest mobile commerce company that offers around eleven million products and services to its customers including utility payments, mobile recharge, and financial services. CEO and co-founder of Snapdeal, Kunal Bahl, said that by 2019 the total number of mobile recharges will increase to 1 billion per month and by then most of the recharges will be done online, in sharp contrast from current situation.

Moody's Upgrades Outlook on India from "Stable" to "Positive"

Global rating agency Moody's Investors Service has upgraded its outlook on India from “stable” to “positive”. The announcement was made a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi starts his three-days tour of the three developed nations seeking success for ‘Make in India’. As per reports, with this upgrade, India moves closer to an actual sovereign rating upgrade. In a statement Moody’s rating agency has said that some of the measures undertaken by the government including keeping a check on external balances, restricting inflation to a certain level, boosting FDI inflow, facilitation of infrastructure development, and simplification of regulatory regime for investors, will help India decrease sovereign credit constraints.