Major News and Events of 12 March 2014
What Happened on 12 March 2014
Delay in execution will lead to commuting of death penalty to life term: SC
Arvind Kejriwal begins election campaign in Maharashtra in auto and train
SpiceJet and Boeing ink agreement worth Rs 26000 crore
IPL to be played in UAE and India, some matches may be played in Bangladesh
3G and 2G will converge in future: Vodafone
Avalanches as well as house collapse in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir led to death of 11 people as informed by the police. Two soldiers also lost their lives when the Batra army camp in Kargil district was hit by an avalanche. Further three laborers from Nepal lost their lives in Kaksar region of Kargil. They were engaged in their work in a stone quarry when avalanche hit the place.In Kashmir Valley’s Kulgam district’s Balsaran Danau Kandi Marg village a family of four was buried alive in snow while they were deep in sleep. Their bodies have been discovered. In Kulgam district a house collapse in Qazigund area led to death of an old woman while another woman succumbed due to house collapse in Shopian district. Warnings have been issued by the state disaster management authority that the higher altitudes of the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region will experience more of avalanches and landslides.
The Supreme Court went ahead with his verdict that death sentence may be commuted to life imprisonment if there was excessive delay in execution of the convicts sentenced to death. The apex court panel comprising of 3 judges and led by CJI Palanisamy Sathasivam had ruled on January 21 that sentences of 15 death row convicts will be commuted to life term and the reason cited was inordinate delay which has no explanation. This decision of the Supreme Court was welcomed by the human rights lawyers as this specifies conditions for carrying out the death penalty and thus will lead to less of its usage. The 15 convicts included aides of smuggler Veerappan and couple from Haryana who murdered their 13 relatives. This decision of the apex court can change the sentence of convicts like Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar and Rajiv Gandhi's assassins. The court’s ruling also states there cannot be any discrimination on the grounds of why the death sentence was awarded, be that for terror or any other heinous crime. The apex court stated that the president and the governor, exercised constitutional obligation when they decided on the mercy petition. The court had also said that there should be a period of 14 days when the mercy petition’s rejection is communicated to the convict and the sentence is executed so that there is no repeat of what happened in case of Afzal Guru. If a convict is mentally ill or has been solitarily confined that can reduce his sentence, the court opined.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has begun his 2 days election campaign in Maharashtra. He commuted by an auto from Mumbai airport to reach Andheri station. There was large crowd comprising AAP activists, huge media presence and as well as police contingent. Kejriwal when he came out of the airport he availed an auto. Along with him two other senior party leaders were also there. In fact the police, media and AAP activists all followed the auto for 5km till Kejriwal got down near Andheri station east. He was practically mobbed at the station by the overwhelming crowd. Quite interestingly the auto driver who was paid Rs 48 as far was also hounded by the media to give his inputs. Kejriwal tried to speak but his voice could not be heard in the noise. In a dramatic fashion he also got up on a wall to let his supporters have a look of him. Kejriwal boarded the packed 2nd class compartment of the suburban train. During the journey the AAP leader evaded the media and police had a tough time controlling the commuters.
SpiceJet and Boeing have got into an agreement worth RS 26000 crore or $4.4 billion on Wednesday for 42 aircraft. The record breaking deal was inked at the inaugural ceremony of India Aviation 2014, which is India’s largest civil aviation event being held at Hyderabad. In 2018 the 1st of the 737-8 MAX aircraft will be delivered. This aircraft will be operated in the world for the first time in 2017 in collaboration with Southwest Airlines in 2017. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked in front of Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh. The aircraft is 14% more fuel efficient, has Boeing sky interior, larger wings and new engine. It is a variant of Boeing 737-800. SpiceJet has in fact placed an order of 90 airplanes from Boeing, including the 737-800, 737-900ER and this time the 737 MAX. 31 of the airplanes have been delivered to SpiceJet.
The much popular IPL kick starts from April 16 in UAE. India will be co-hosting the event along with UAE and Bangladesh will be there as a standby as some matches may be played there as well. The Lok Sabha polls in April and May has forced BCCI to shift the tournament to other countries. There were speculations whether the tournament will be held in South Africa or Sri Lanka but now all guesses have been put to rest. In UAE matches will be held from April 16-30. Then the matches from May 1-12 will be played in India if and when adequate security is provided by the Home Ministry or else those matches will shift to Bangladesh. Matches from May 13 including the play offs and the final on June 1 will be played in India. BCCI had to shift the matches in a similar fashion in 2009 to South Africa due to Lok Sabha polls.
Science and Technology
More consumers nowadays are opting for 3G usage with the proliferation of smartphones in the market. Keeping this in mind, Vodafone has stated that there will be convergence of 2G and 3G tariffs very soon and ruled out any possibility of slashing the 3G rates. The 3G services when it was unveiled in 2010-11 were 6-7 times steeper than 2G now it is just 1.5 times. The convergence will happen with either hike in 2G rates or further dip in 3G rates, though the latter option doesn’t seem feasible. Vodafone has initiated ‘Be Smart’ campaign to target the users who are yet to opt for 3G services in Delhi and NCR region. Out of 92 lakh users here only around 1/8 of have opted for 3G services. There are 4,000 3G sites and Vodafone accounts for 25% of the market share in the revenue in this region.