Major News and Events of 13 March 2015
What Happened on 13 March 2015
16GB Xiaomi Mi Pad Launched in India at Rs. 12,999
Saina Becomes World Number 2 Again after Brilliant Performance in All England Championship
Indian PM Reaches Sri Lanka; Signs 4 Agreements
Indian Bourses Lose Shine after Early Trading Rally; Trading in Red Now
Islamabad High Court orders release of 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack Matermind; India Reacts
Published February CPI and January IIP Data increase India's Concerns
Spectrum Auction Bidding Fetches Rs. 1,02,057 crore after 49 Rounds
Modi Government Sails through Smoothly on Insurance Bill in Rajya Sabha
Park Street Rape Survivor Dies due to Meningoencephalitis
President Stresses on Success of Make in India and Clean India for Realising Gandhi's Dream
Kerala Finance Minister Places State Budget in Assembly within Ruckus
The central sleuth agency has conducted multiple raids in Delhi as well as Mumbai for investigating sale of confidential documents by government officials in Union ministries of finance and commerce. Sources reveal that officials allegedly sold information related to FDI to a chartered accountant based in Mumbai. Raids were conducted at two places in Mumbai and six places in Delhi. However, MoS of Finance, Jayant Sinha, told media that such raids by CBI was shocking to him. Reports say that companies that allegedly gained from leak of these documents include DLF Limitless Pvt Ltd, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, Novalead Pharmaceuticals, and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.
Science and Technology
Xiaomi has launched 7.9 inch Mi Pad (16GB) tablet in India at an attractive price of Rs 12,999. However, it will be up for sales to the Indian customers only from March 24 through Flipkart. Redmi 2 will also be available to customers for sale from March 24. Manu Jain, head of Xiaomi India, has said that they will not adopt the flash sale strategy in case of Mi Pad tablet and it will go on open sale without the requirement of pre-registrations. Hugo Barra, VP of Xiaomi, told media that they would launch 64GB model of Mi Pad later.
Recent ranking list published by Badminton World Federation shows that India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal has regained her world number 2 position. While reacting to the news Saina told media that she is happy about regaining the position and she will work harder to secure world number one rank. The ranking report shows that Saina has accumulated 74,381 points but still lags behind the world number one LI Xuerui from China by 4,833. China’s Shixian Wang, who had accumulated 72,227 points, closely follows Saina. Nehwal first gained No. 2 spot back in July 2010 and went on to regain it in November.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after visiting Indian Ocean Island nations Seychelles and Maldives during his three-nation tour, reached Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Modi becomes the first ever PM to visit Sri Lanka in 28 years. Ranil Wickramasinghe, PM of Sri Lanka, received his Indian counterpart. Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold talks with newly elected Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickramasinghe during the 2-day visit. The two countries signed four agreements – mutual assistance and cooperation in customs, visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders, MoU to establish Rabindranath Tagore museum at a University of Sri Lanka, and MoU for youth development.
Though Indian bourses witnessed paced rally during early trading session today due to positive global cues and passage of Insurance Bill at Rajya Sabha, the early gains were quickly erased by strong downward pull from heavyweight automobile, pharma, and IT stocks including Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma, Wipro, Hero Moto, and Hindalco. At 12.36pm IST, BSE Sensex was down by 275.33 points (trading at 28655.08) and NSE Nifty was down by 77.10 points (trading at 8698.90 points). Sensex and Nifty, both, opened higher than previous day close and reached intraday high of 29,183.76 and 8,849.75 by 12.43pm IST.
Islamabad High Court has today observed that the detention of 26/11 Mumbai attack accused Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is illegal and therefore ordered his release. However, Indian Home Ministry reacted sharply by saying that the onus is on Pakistan to ensure that the 26/11 mastermind is not released from jail. In a statement home ministry accused agencies of Pakistan of not presenting “overwhelming evidence against Lakhvi” before the court. It is learnt that Indian investigators had submitted enough evidence and voice samples of Lakhvi giving instructions to and taking stock of the situation from the ten terrorists who carried out 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, killing 166 people including foreigners.
Raising India’s concerns, Consumer Price Index in the month of February 2015 witnessed a rise to 5.3 per cent from January’s CPI figure of 5.19 per cent. Report published yesterday show that the major reason of rise in consumer price is higher food prices. The February CPI figure has even crossed the 5.2 per cent CPI estimates of economists, obtained through a poll conducted by Reuters. India’s woes increased manifolds with the publication of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data for January 2015 yesterday as it dipped to 2.6 per cent from December 2014’s 3.2 per cent.
Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, told media that his government is satisfied that spectrum bid amount has surpassed Rs. 1 lakh crore. Available reports say that after 49 rounds of bidding during spectrum auction, revenue earned by the government reached Rs. 1,02,057 crore, clearly surpassing government estimates. Ravi Shankar Prasad, during his media brief, went on to say that this overwhelming response of the private companies in the largest ever spectrum auction only shows renewed optimism and trust of the investors in the new government. The auction, which started on March 4, will conclude next week.
Narendra Modi government, which is a minority in the Rajya Sabha, was able to pass the long pending Insurance Bill in the Upper House of Parliament as Congress decided to support the bill. The contentious bill, which raises foreign investment limit in the insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent, was cleared in Lok Sabha last week. It is the first major economic reform bill that Narendra Modi government successful clears in both houses during its less than one-year tenure. Analysts believe this will rejig the overcrowded insurance sector and bring in foreign funds.
40-year old Suzette Jordan, Park Street Rape survivor, died early in the morning today due to multi-organ failure at a Kolkata hospital. Rape survivor (who revealed her name as she considered her rape to be shame of the society and not hers) was suffering from Meningoencephalitis and was hospitalised for the last three days. A man in his car raped Suzette in February 2012 on the pretext of offering lift when she was coming out of a popular Park Street Night club. Suzette Jordan even dared the West Bengal government by walking with other protesters in 2013 revealing her identity.
While inaugurating international seminar on 'Clean and Capable India of Gandhi's Dream', President of India Pranab Mukherjee said that Gandhiji’s dream of a self-sufficient, green, and clean India must become guiding vision of Indians to guide them through the current challenges. While vouching for success of Make in India and Swachh Bharat, the President said that success of these missions would help India realise Gandhi’s dream of a clean and prosperous India. Mukherjee also said that Make in India initiative will increase manufacturing capability of the country and enhance skill development, promotion of innovation, infrastructure, facilitate investment, and ultimately economic development.
KM Mani, Finance Minister of Kerala, today placed state budget in a hurry (read out in just seven minutes) amidst an unprecedented ruckus within and outside the Kerala assembly by lawmakers of opposition Left Democratic Front and BJP. Staffs of Kerala assembly had to cordon 81-year old KM Mani at the time of his budget placement to keep away the opposition leaders from reaching him. LDF MLAs also clashed with Watch and Ward personnel for blocking entrance of the assembly. During the ruckus, 3 MLAs fainted, Speaker’s mic and chair were torn apart, and four MLAs taken to the hospital.