Major News and Events of 09 February 2014
What Happened on 09 February 2014
Thomas Cook India bought Sterling Holiday
Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite e-book in India
IPL-2014 may be held outside India
Rahul Gandhi's rally at Salepur, Odisha
Cane farmers protested at Mulayam Singh Yadav's conference in Lucknow
Social activist Anna Hazare made comments on Arvind Kejriwal for accepting and moving to a bungalow. He accused Kejriwal for not keeping his promises and added that there are people who first say that they won’t take vehicles and bungalow then accept everything. Shortly after this Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare met each other on Saturday. The meeting went on for 20 minutes at Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi. As per senior leaders it was just a "courtesy call" by Kejriwal. Kejriwal was part of Hazare’s anti corruption crusade. Difference between the two cropped up when Kejriwal decided to form a political party to fight elections. Hazare was against this and made it clear that anti-corruption movement would remain non-political. But anti-corruption movement played an important role in the victory of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi. Anna Hazare also said that he will travel across the country to find out ‘good persons’ as the country is preparing for the Lok Sabha elections this year.
Thomas Cook India made its second purchase by buying Sterling Holiday Resorts for Rs 870 crore. Before this it bought Ikya Human Solutions in February 2013. Thomas Cook India has now entered into the hospitality sector. For the transaction both cash as well as stock swaps over a year have been used. With the completion of transaction Sterling Holiday Resort will become 100% unit of Thomas Cook India. Thomas Cook India in the first phase will invest Rs 187 crore and tour operators will enjoy 23% stake in Sterling Holiday. After this, it will acquire 23% share from the main shareholders of Sterling including Siddharth Mehta's Bay Capital, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Radhakrishna Damani. Thomas Cook India will then shell out 26% stakes for Rs 230 crore. It will be sold at a fixed price of Rs 98 whereas stake of Sterling Holiday’s is of Rs 93. Swap ratio of Thomas Cook is to Sterling Holidays is 120:100. Started by R Subramanian, Sterling Holiday works on the concept of timeshare vacation. Though the company did very well initially but it started to loss with time and went into debt. Bay Capital in 2009 acquired most of the stake’s of Sterling Holiday. The company started to recover but still into debt. Ramesh Ramanathan, MD, Sterling Holiday who will lead the business said that company needs to run for which new energy and cash was required. Now they are confident to stand up.
Science and Technology
Amazon India is now ready with new Kindle Paperwhite e-book readers. Buyers can buy it from Amazon India as well as 250 retail outlets including Croma, Reliance Digital, E-Zone and Vijay Sales stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Pune. Price of Kindle Paperwhite is Rs 10,999 and that of Kindle Paperwhite 3G is Rs 13,999. Both of these were introduced in mid of Jan and were available on pre-orders. Whereas in US Kindle Paperwhites were launched mid of September last year. User will get faster and enhanced Kindles because the new Kindles are better in display, laced with the latest touch technology and have high-contrast display. A community Goodreads that was acquired by Amazon will also be available to the new Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Paperwhite 3G e-readers. Kindle users can also see what their friends are reading, rate the books and even share highlights.
Because of the elections in India venue for the Indian Premier League (IPL) might be changed from India to outside the country. The expected new venues for IPL are South Africa, Bangladesh and UAE. But Governing Council has yet to decide the spot as waiting for the final dates of the elections. Players’ auction is likely to take place on 12th and 13th February in Bangalore. As per the BCCI official, venue of the match will depend upon the election dates. If the elections are held in April then there is a possibility that half of the matches are played abroad and if the elections occur in May then it is likely that all the matches will be played out of India. Most likely South Africa will be the final choice as UAE is not regarded as a spectator friendly and Bangladesh has already hosted the Asia Cup and the World T20. So logically South Africa will be selected to play the game. If this happen then it would be the second time when IPL will be played outside India. Earlier also the IPL was hosted in South Africa in 2009 because of elections when Indian Government refused to provide security to the cricketers.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today addressed a rally at Salepur, district Cuttack in Odisha. While addressing the rally he attacked the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-led Odisha government and said that it did not allow the benefits of central schemes to reach to the people. The BJD led Odisha government was also siding the mining mafia, he added. Gandhi even invoked the protest by the tribal community and said that they have fought for the Niyamgiri’s tribal. He even attacked the Naveen Patnaik's government on the issue related to mining scam. Out of 192, 94 iron-ore mining leases in Odisha are working without environmental clearance. 75 iron-ore mining leases are mining far beyond the prescribed limit. Gandhi added that Congress-led UPA government was working for the welfare of the underprivileged people. He even said that the mid-day meal scheme and the rural job scheme were adversely impacted because the funds had been misused. A good number of members comes to Lok Sabha from Odisha so he asked the Congress workers to get ready for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
The Samajwadi Party’s national president Mulayam Singh Yadav’s conference in Lucknow turned into a matter of awkwardness. He was addressing an Indian Farmer’s Representative Conference and wooing farmers of UP. But instead of listening, cane farmers started shouting slogans against him and made demands of paying cane dues for the past and present sugarcane crushing season. Chairmen and farmers of different district cane committees came with their grievances regarding the nonpayment of dues. The distressed farmers did not get opportunity to explain their demands before the former CM. They started shouted slogans against him even after Yadav left the venue. Rishipal Bhati, chairman of Khatauli Cane Development Committee, Muzaffarnagar said that approximately 125 crore of the present season and Rs 59 crore from the last season have not been paid to the cane farmers. Yadav in his speech commented on BJP and its Ram Temple issue. He said that the party collected funds and donations on the name of constructing the Ram Temple which has never been done. The party should come forward and explain where the funds have gone. He even targeted the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, and said that no other state in the country has seen better development than UP. Apart from dues farmers also demanded to run the closed sugar mills in the state, give 50% subsidy on farming equipments and diesel and to lower down the interest rate on agriculture loan.