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Major News and Events of 13 January 2015

What Happened on 13 January 2015


India-US Investment Initiative Launched just before Obama's India Visit

American investors in India have launched a unique investment initiative as both the USA and India gear up for US President Barack Obama’s visit to India. Reports indicate that objective of this initiative is to help US investors plan for long term investment by focusing on policy measures and reforms related to capital market. Formal launch of India-US Investment Initiative took place yesterday when Ajay Tyagi (Additional Secretary of Finance Ministry) and Additional Secretary (US Assistant Secretary of Treasury for International Finance) signed an agreement during a meeting.

Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 turns out to be a Grand Success

Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 has become a huge success as the event saw submission of 21,000 investment intensions from both indigenous and overseas investors, where the total investment pledged to a mammoth Rs. 25 lakh Crore. Available figures show that the summit of 2013 attracted investment proposals to the tunes of Rs. 10-12 lakh Crore. Anandiben Patel, CM of Gujarat, announced that her government is making all possible changes in the policies so that the investors who signed MoUs get maximum assistance from the summit.

ONGC and CIL Stocks may not be Divested, as of Now

Stake sales of public sector behemoths, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Coal India Ltd., are likely to be put on hold for indefinite time-period because of their tumbling stock prices, reports say. Sources reveal that sales of these PSUs are currently under reconsideration by finance ministry officials. It is learnt that reconsideration of disinvestment decision in ONGC and CIL is going on because sharp fall in stock prices is expected to bring in much lesser proceeds than original budget estimates.

BJP Meeting to Improve Delhi Poll Prospect; Party to assume 'Collective Leadership' Approach

President of BJP’s Delhi Unit, Satish Upadhyay, has said that this assembly election their party will function under ‘collective leadership’. He said this when asked about announcement of their chief ministerial candidate in Delhi. It is reported that just after announcement of February 7 polling, top leadership of BJP held a meeting in the capital where they not only discussed about the poll strategies but also sought suggestions for maximising poll prospects. Amit Shah, National BJP president, asked cadres to maximise efforts for reaching out to voters and focus on booths.

BJP MP Shakshi Maharaj Showcaused by BJP Top Brass

Shakshi Maharaj, controversial MP of BJP, has been sent showcause notice by BJP’s top leadership. The lawmaker has been given 10-days time for replying on the controversial comments made by him in the recent past, even after Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi asked every Member of Parliament  to restrain from  making controversial comments in public. Shakshi Maharaj, who in an earlier instance called Nathuram Godse (killer of Mahatma Gandhi) a patriot, was caught on tape asking Hindu women to protect ‘Hindu’ religion by giving birth to 4 babies each.

One-Day CWC Meet Ended Today Amidst Speculation of Rahul's Ascent

Congress Working Committee, highest decision-making body of Indian National Congress, has ended today in Delhi for chalking out future political strategy. While answering to a question on the rumors about Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as Congress’s Working  President, Randip Surjewala (spokesperson of INC) said that Rahul was their leader even at the time he was General Secretary of the party. Sonia Gandhi had reportedly said yesterday that Rahul Gandhi is perfect for leading liberal as well as progressive forces, fueling speculation about possible ascent of Gandhi scion as Working President of INC.

Government Urges Lawmakers to Surrender Subsidised LPG Connections

Union Government urged Member of Parliaments and Chief Ministers to surrender their subsidised LPG connections, by the virtue of which they get 12 LPG cylinders at subsidised cost every year. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Petroleum Minister, reportedly asked 3 CMs (including Jitan Ram Manjhi of Bihar and Akhilesh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh) to give up their subsidised connections. It has been learnt that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already given up his subsidised LPG connection. Reports indicate that the government can save significant amount of ‘subsidy bill’ if the lawmakers surrender their LPG connection.  

India- Pakistan Diplomatic Standoff Hits a New Low after Defence Minister of Pakistan Accused India of Helping Terror Groups in Pakistan

Khwaja Asif, Defence Minister of Pakistan, has hit out at India for ‘helping’ terror groups in his country causing heinous crimes. While pointing at insurgency in Balochistan, Asif even went on to say that there are links of Taliban with India. However, the minister shied away from answering question when asked to back up his claims with evidence. Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of India’s External Affairs Ministry has rubbished the allegations. International political analysts believe that such a statement from Pakistan’s Defence Minister has deepened diplomatic stand-off between the neighbours. John Kerry, US Secretary of State, has advised both India and Pakistan to end terrorism through increased cooperation, leaving behind their historical differences.

Report Reveals need of Rs. 15.7 Lakh Crore Investment for Providing Continuous Electricity Supply by 2018-19

Forum of Regulators’ appointed sub-group, headed by M R  Sreenivasa Murthy (Chairperson of Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission), has submitted report revealing that the government will need investment to the tune of Rs. 15.7 lakh crore for supplying power round-the-clock by the financial year 2018-19 to every household in India. Sources reveal that finding of the report have been sent to the Union Power ministry for taking proper action. The report has placed maximum importance to fuel linkage.

Goa State Youth Policy under Scanner after Goa Sports Minister Announces Setting Up Centres for Treating LGBT Youths

Ramesh Tawadkar, Sports Minister of Goa, has stirred hornet’s nest when he said at the sidelines of an event, meant for launching Goa State Youth Policy, that his government is mulling the idea of setting up centres for treating non-traditional sexual orientation of young people belonging to LGBT community. These centres will administer medicines as well as train them to correct the LGBT orientation. Goa State Youth Policy has put LGBT community in list containing targeted groups such as drug addicts and juvenile offenders.

NSS Gives 2015 Space Pioneer Award to India's MOM Team

National Space Society, a US-based organisation, has conferred 2015 Space Pioneer Award to the team of ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission programme. Prize has been conferred under science and engineering category. ISRO representative will be handed over this prestigious award during 34th International Space Development Conference, to be held in Toronto, Canada, from 20 May to 24 May.

Mary Kom Mulling Idea of Retiring after Rio Olympics 2016

MC Mary Kom, the ace woman boxer of India, has told media that she is contemplating the plan of retiring from international boxing circuit after participating at Rio Olympics of 2016, to be played in Brazil. However, Mary Kom also said that she has not yet taken a final decision on her retirement. At the sidelines of an event celebrating Dalmia Cements’ 2nd anniversary in North East, Kom said that she wants to win more medals for India and that’s why she is currently concentrating on her training.