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Major News and Events of 11 March 2015

What Happened on 11 March 2015


India Enters Quarterfinals of Women's Hockey World League

India has convincingly beaten Thailand in the Round two of Women's Hockey World League yesterday by 6-0 and emerged at top of Pool A. Jaspreet Kaur, Rani Rani, Amandeep Kaur, and Vandana Katariya scored goals for India. While Jaspreet Kaur scored at 38th and 60th minute of the game, Rani Rani put the ball in the net at 40th and 60th minute. Quarterfinal match will be played between India and Singapore tomorrow. In the earlier Pool A matches, India first beat Ghana by 13-0 and then Poland by 2-0. Other quarterfinal matches will be played between Kazakhstan-Thailand, Malaysia-Ghana, and Poland-Russia.  

ISRO Prepares Launch of its 4th Regional Navigation Satellite by March-end

Senior official at Indian Space Organisation (ISRO) has said that they are all set to launch their 4th regional navigation satellite by March-end. Available reports say that the concerned 1,425 kg regional navigation satellite named Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System – 1D was earlier scheduled to be launched on the evening of March 9 by PSLV-XL but it was deferred due to fault in one telemetry transmitter. Satish Dhawan Space Centre’s Director MYS Prasad told media that the Indian space agency is now in the process of replacing the faulty transmitter that is currently getting ready in the organisation’s Bangalore centre.

Apple Watch to Hit Indian Shores in Coming July

Reports say that Apple Watch, the well awaited smartwatch from the US-based Apple Inc., will be available for preview from April 10 in nine countries, excluding India. However, consumers in those countries will be able to purchase the smartwatch only from April 24. Apple Watch is believed to hit the Indian shores in the month of July. With the increasing demand for these kinds of gadgets and increasing importance of the Indian market, experts feel, Apple may even launch its smartphone in India in June. Analysts believe the base model of Apple Watch may cost more than Rs. 30,000 in India.

Manmohan Singh and Others Summoned as Accused in Coal Block Allocation Scam

Per agency reports, Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India, along with PC Parakh (former coal secretary), Alok Perti (former coal secretary), KM Birla, Hindalco, officials of Hindalco - D Bhattacharya and Shubhendu Amitabh, and others have been summoned by a Special Court as accused regarding coal block allocation scam. Accused are asked to appear before the court on April 8. Charges under which they (including former PM) are summoned include Prevention of Corruption Act’s provisions, breach of trust, and criminal conspiracy. PC Parakh shied away from making any comment as he hadn’t gone through the entire court order.

Controversial Land Acquisition Bill Passed in Lok Sabha with 9 Official Amendments and 2 Clauses

Union government has successfully passed the controversial Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill 2015 in Lower House of the parliament by voice vote yesterday. After continued cajoling, the government brought nine amendments and convinced NDA allies to vote in their favour. Reports say that two clauses were also added in the legislation. While Shiv Sena abstained from voting, Congress, TMC, BJD, RJD, and SP walked out. Government is now going to face tough challenge in Upper House of the parliament as they don’t have the required numbers to pass the contentious bill.

CAD Narrows in October-December Quarter

Current Account Deficit in the third quarter in comparison to the second quarter of 2014-15 has narrowed down significantly. Data published by RBI shows that CAD has decreased from second quarter’s $10.1 billion (GDP’s 2 per cent) to third quarter’s $8.2 billion (GDP’s 1.6 per cent). Slide in Current Account Deficit has been possible mainly due to the continued lower prices of crude oil. Import of petroleum accounts for around 35 per cent of India’s Gross Imports. Analysts are hopeful about witnessing surplus in India’s Current Account during fourth quarter of 2014-15 if slump in international crude prices continue.   

Telenor-Tata Teleservices Merger Enter Final Phase of Discussion

Telenor Group of Norway and Tata group are in their final phase of discussion of merging their wireless telephony operations in India. It is learnt that the merged entity’s day-to-day business operations will be run by Telenor Group. Sources also reveal that in the merged entity, Tata Group will be a minority stakeholder. Reports say that senior officials of both the companies will hold discussions in London throughout this week to reach a final deal. At 1.09pm IST, stock price of Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) was up by 3.10 per cent and was trading at 8.97 in BSE Sensex.        

Mohammad Salim of CPIM Presses Demand for Interrogating Mamata Banerjee on Saradha Scam

Mohammad Salim, Central Committee member of CPIM, has pressed for interrogating West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on multi crore Saradha Chit Fund scam as he alleged that her party is embodiment of chit fund corruption and the truth is coming out with Central Bureau of Investigation going ahead with its investigation under the supervision of Supreme Court. Salim went on to say that Mamata being the supremo of TMC, whose many top rung leaders are behind bars, is answerable for her party’s involvement in the scam. Salim also demanded probe of the “larger conspiracy” attune with Supreme Court’s directive.   

Narendra Modi Starts his 3-Nation Tour

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his three-nation tour (Seychelles, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka) on Monday and reached Victoria, capital of Seychelles, late at night after making a six hour flight on a special Air India plane. While stressing upon the importance of the tour, PM observed that maintenance of strong relations with countries of Indian Ocean Island is paramount for security as well as progress of India. Modi becomes the first PM in 33 years to visit Seychelles. S Jaishankar (Foreign Secretary) and Ajit Doval (National Security Advisor) have accompanied PM in this three-nation tour.

Reliance Infra and Reliance Defence to Acquire 26 Percent Stake of Pipavav Defence

The offer documents filed with SEBI shows that Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Defence Systems have shown interest in acquiring 26 per cent stake (190 million additional stocks) of Pipavav Defence through open offer from public stakeholders at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,263 crore. The offer price filed by Reliance Infrastructure is Rs. 66 per share. Following regulations of Securities and Exchange Board of India, public announcement of the open offer is published in leading newspapers today. Statutory approvals are needed by Reliance Infrastructure from Gujarat Maritime Board, Competition Commission India, and others to go ahead with the open offer.   

Uproar on J&K Hurriyat Separatist Leader Masarat Alam's Release Continues

Home Affairs Ministry has shown dissatisfaction with the two reports sent by Jammu and Kashmir government regarding Hurriyat separatist Leader Masarat Alam's release. Sources reveal that the ministry is not at all convinced by the second report because it reportedly has lots of loopholes and doesn’t explain the event sequence that led to release of Alam. After continued pressure from RSS, central leaders of BJP yesterday evening met the J&K leaders of the party in New Delhi. BJP has issued ultimatum to PDP by asking them to follow Common Minimum Programme or the former will call it quits.

Nitish Kumar-led Government to Prove Majority in Bihar Legislative Assembly Today

Seventeen days after being sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Bihar Assembly, Nitish Kumar-led government is going to prove its majority in the assembly today. Sources say that both RJD and JD(U) have issued whip to all their MLAs to cast their votes in favour of Nitish government. Sharavan Kumar, Parliamentary Affairs Minister as well as Chief of Janata Dal (United), said that the whip is applicable for Jitan Ram Manjhi-led rebel faction within JD(U). Abdul Bari Siddiqui, legislature party leader of RJD, told media that their party has also issued whip to ensure smooth sailing of Nitish government.