Major News and Events of 12 December 2013
What Happened on 12 December 2013
Lokpal bill to be taken up in Rajya Sabha on Friday
Government looking for legal options to amend Section 377
Industrial output dip by 1.8%, retail inflation increase by 11.24%
South Africa clinch the series 2-0 from India
20000 Indians apply for staying at Mars space colony
The Bharatiya Janata Party has not accepted the offer to form the government in Delhi and has stressed that it does not have the requisite numbers for that. Its state president Vijay Goel specified the party’s stand for fresh polls for the Delhi Assembly. It was also stated that if AAP gave the proposal then they would think over it. The BJP has also made it clear that it had no issues sitting in the Opposition. As BJP and AAP are not willing to form the government, Delhi seems to be all set for the President's rule. The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi may ask Harsh Vardhan to form the government now and he can prove the majority later on. Chances of President’s rule seem imminent with AAP, Congress and BJP already making it clear that they will not enter into post poll alliance. The term of this assembly ends on December 18, 2013 and as per the Constitution a new assembly has to be formed by that date and in case no party is able to do so then the President's Rule will be in vogue on the recommendation of the Lt Governor. Sheila Dixit’s caretaker government can continue till December 17. President's Rule can be there only for six months. Fresh election to the Delhi assembly can be arranged along with the Lok Sabha polls in April-May 2014. When the President's Rule will be there the Lt. Governor will be holding the Constitutional and executive position. There will not be any crucial development work and growth of Delhi can be affected with President’s rule.
The Lokpal bill will be taken up in Rajya Sabha on Friday and has been termed as a “priority” for the government; this was informed by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath to the media. The government will be listing the measures in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. He also rejected the suggestions that there will be any initiative to shorten the winter session of the Parliament as there are list of priorities which has to be completed. The Winter Session began on December 5, 2013 and will end on December 20, 2013. Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had stated that the government was trying to shorten the session, so that the anti-graft bill can be stalled. Meanwhile SP has said it will be opposing the bill in the Rajya Sabha while the JD(U) and the NCP extended their support for it.
The government is delving in all the legal options that may include an ordinance so that the colonial era law which bans gay sex and was upheld by the Supreme Court can be amended. Law Minister Kapil Sibal stated that what was required was a firm action to be taken quickly as millions are affected and they should not suffer adverse effects due to Section 377. Government has an option for charting out an ordinance or an executive order which will need verification within 6 months by the parliament. Congress was vocal in its support to the cause but SP, TMC and JD-U were not in favor of decriminalization of homosexuality. What may be worrying the political parties is the mood of the conservative voters which may go against them if they support it considering the fact that the general elections are due in 2014.
India's industrial output slumped by 1.8% in October. This was because of poor performance shown by the mining and manufacturing sector as per the government data. Factory output which is estimated in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) has increased by 2% in September. On the other hand the retail inflation or the consumer price-based inflation for November increased to 11.24% in comparison to 10.17% in the previous month according to the government data. At the same time for the rural areas the corresponding provisional inflation rate was 11.74% and for urban 10.53% whereas the inflation rates for rural zones were 10.19% and urban areas 10.20%.
South Africa clinched the ODI series 2-0 with the third match getting washed out. There was torrential downpour for two hours which forced the umpires to call of the match after an innings. South Africa amassed a huge score of 301 for eight in 50 overs with Quinton de Kock smashing the third consecutive ton and skipper AB de Villiers made his 16th century. India’s innings was about to begin when the rain played spoilsport. Ishant Sharma took 4 for 40 runs and at one time South Africa was 28/3 but then De Kock and De Villiers put up a 171-run stand for the 4th wicket.Mohammed Shami grabbed three for 69. India will play two tests now and the 1st one begins from Dec 16 in Johannesburg and the 2nd from Dec 26 in Durban.
Science and Technology
As many as 20,000 Indians out of 200,000 have submitted the application for the private mission which will be sending four men and women on a one-way trip to the Red Planet in 2023. Here a permanent space colony will be established. The application period which was for five months within that Mars One got applications from 202,586 people from across the globe, and 10% was from India. An unmanned mission will be sent by Mars One foundation in 2018. 140 countries showed interest in the space colony and the maximum response came from US that is 24% followed by India 10%, 6% from China, 5% from Brazil, 4% from Canada, UK, Mexico and Russia, 2% from Philippines, Spain, Argentina, Colombia and 1% from France, Australia, Turkey, Ukraine, Chile, Peru, Italy, Germany and Poland. 6-10 teams will be shortlisted by 2015 for years of full-time training. In 2023 one team will be eligible to land on Mars and live there.