Major News and Events of 16 April 2015
What Happened on 16 April 2015
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi Back after 57-day Sabbatical
J&K CM says waving of Pakistani Flag by Hurriyat Supporters is "Unacceptable"
Nuclear-capable Surface-to-Surface Agni-III Ballistic Missile Successfully Tested
RBI Governor Receives Threat Email; Mumbai Police Starts Investigation
India's First Location-Based Fashion Discovery Platform for Android Launched
WPI Witnesses one of the Fastest Fall in March on Year-on-Year Basis
Arun Jaitley stresses upon India's Potential to Grow at 9-10 Per cent
PM Signs $254 million five-year deal with Canada
Delhi Daredevils Clinch a Thriller against Kings XI Punjab
Australian Foreign Minister hopes for Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement to Conclude by 2015-end
MoS Finance Jayant Sinha Vouches for Full Capital Account Convertibility in India
Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly may replace Duncan Fletcher as the coach of the Indian cricket team in the coming days. As per reports, Duncan Fletcher’s term ended after ICC World Cup 2015. Reliable sources at Cricket Association of Bengal said that Sourav already had an informal discussion on the matter with the newly elected BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya and reportedly expressed his desire for the coveted position. Reports say that Dalmiya has not given any assurance on the matter but Sourav’s personal cricketing achievements in addition to his tactical knowledge on cricket makes him a strong contender for the post.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi ended his 57-day sabbatical by landing from a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok at Delhi Airport on Thursday. He was welcomed by his mother Sonia Gandhi (President of Congress) accompanied by Priyanka Vadra. Reports say that the long sabbatical of Gandhi scion included a course on silent meditation, known as ‘Vipassana’. He, along with Sonia, headed directly from the airport to his Central Delhi residence at 12, Tughlaq Lane and then to 10 Janpath at 1.30pm IST. INC workers celebrated outside Rahul’s residence by bursting crackers.
A day after recently released Kashmiri separatist leader Masarat Alam-led mob welcomed Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani at a rally in Srinagar with Pakistani flags, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed called the incident "unacceptable" and warned of not tolerating anything illegal. Mufti’s statement comes after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called the J&K CM hours after the concerned incident asking him to take stringent action immediately. Till now an FIR has been lodged but the state administration is yet to make any arrest. When inquired, CM said that administration can’t ignore law and "The law will take its own course”.
India successfully test fired a 3,000 km range nuclear-capable ballistic missile named Agni-III from Inner Wheeler Island launch complex, off the course of Bhadrak district’s Dhamra, in Odisha. Sources say that the missile, which weighs 48 tonnes, is 16 meters long and can carry warheads up to a maximum of 1.5 tonnes. Reports also say that this nuclear capable rail mobile system missile comes with two-stage solid propellant system and is capable of re-entering atmosphere at very high velocity. M.V.K.V. Prasad, director of the test range, said that user trial of Agni III was successful.
Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan, received a threat email after which the RBI officials informed about the matter to Mumbai Joint Commissioner, Crime Branch. It is learnt that Cyber Crime Investigation Cell of Mumbai police has accordingly launched an investigation into the matter. Sources reveal that the concerned email was sent from a Gmail account and the police have asked for details on the same from Google. Available information reveals that the threat email was sent from Google and the police sources believe that the mail from the alleged terror outfit ISIS is nothing but a ‘hoax’.
Science and Technology
Fashalot has created a unique mobile platform/application that is the first location-based fashion discovery platform in India. Available information shows that with the help of this new Fashalot web platform cum app, Indian consumers will be able to check out the best available prices of accessories, footwears, and apparels from the finest labels available in the stores situated in a nearby location. As per reports, at the event launch of the app on Android, Co-Founder of Fashalot Amit Khosla said that this new initiative will give Indian consumers first-of-its kind virtual experience of checking out prices and look of the products at nearest stores even before walking into it.
Wholesale Price Index dropped at their fastest pace in at least nine years on a year-on-year basis by 2.33 percent in March 2015. Though the actual WPI was above the provisional 2.06 percent decline in February, it has surpassed Reuters economists’ poll 1.95 percent fall forecast. One of the most eagerly watched indicators by Reserve Bank of India, the retail inflation, have also fallen to a three month low level 5.17 percent in March. Analysts now believe that both low retail inflation and below 6 per cent WPI may prompt RBI to cut key interest rates by another 25 bps.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while delivering his speech at 'Deepening the US-India Commercial Partnership: The First Year of the Modi Government' conference, said that India has enough potential to grow at a normal rate of 9 per cent to 10 per cent. The day-long event was organised by a Washington-based renowned American think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies. During his address, Jaitley also said that the Indian economy that has a vast resource of unutilised or underutilised young workforce, needs to grow at double digit figure instead of 5, 6, or 7 per cent growth rate.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a speech in front of 8000 audience wooing investors and building confidence among Indian diaspora at Canada’s Ricoh Coliseum, an ice hockey arena, in Toronto. Draped in Indian colours, the PM emphasised on the achievements of his government after assuming office and said that a new atmosphere of trust has been created on India. Narendra Modi vouched for changing perception about the country from 'Scam India' to 'Skill India’ and also directly aired his special interest in solar and nuclear energy. The speech of the Indian PM comes within hours after signing a historic $254 million five-year deal with Canada according to which the latter will supply 3,000 metric tonnes of uranium to help India power its atomic reactors.
Delhi Daredevils was ultimately successful in putting an end to their 11-match losing streak at the Indian Premier League, thanks to a splendid 106-runs partnership between Yuvraj Singh and opener Mayank Aggarwal against Kings XI Punjab. Batting first Kings XI Punjab put up a formidable 165 runs on the scoreboard at the loss of 5 wickets in 20 overs. However, brilliant knocks by Yuvraj Singh (55 runs) and Mayank Aggarwal (68 runs) helped Delhi Daredevils reach 169 runs at the loss of 5 wickets with one ball to spare.
Science and Technology
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who is in India on a four-day visit, said in Chennai that India and Australia are exploring ways of concluding the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement at an early date. Bishop also said that both the strategic partners are hoping to reach a framework agreement by 2015-end and supply of uranium will be done by Australia after that. Back in September 2014, preliminary civilian nuclear agreement was signed by both countries when Australian PM Tony Abbot visited India. Access to Australia uranium market is crucial for India as the former is the reservoir of 40 per cent of total uranium available in the world.
Airing a similar view expressed by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Jayant Sinha (Minister of State for Finance) batted for requirement of full capital account convertibility in India for becoming a leading economy in the world. Though Sinha has always been a proponent of full capital account convertibility, his recent comments come a day after IMF in its report expected the Indian economy to grow at a faster rate than China in the coming years. Current account convertibility of currency to any other foreign currency for meeting trade related expenses are in place since 1994. However, the same for acquiring overseas assets is still not in place. MoS Finance didn’t specify any timeline for implementation of full capital account convertibility in India.