Major News and Events of 16 December 2014
What Happened on 16 December 2014
Rupee Weakness Effect: Sensex Sheds 450 Points; IT Stocks Make Handsome Gain
SpiceJet Stock Sheds 17 per cent Value on Viability Concerns
PM's Assurance on Tribal Land
Row over Religious Conversion Issue Continues
Coal Scam Case of 2005: Manmohan Singh's Statement to be Recorded by CBI
Diesel and Petrol Prices Cheaper by Rs. 2
Black Money List of Global Financial Integrity puts India on 3rd Position
2 Indians Reported Safe as Cafe Siege in Sydney Ends with 3 Deaths
XPRIZE to be Launched in India in 2015
Dual SIM HTC Desire 620G is now Available in India
Vishy wins London Classic
Union government reached a compromise formula on GST with the states by trading off subsuming entry tax in proposed new tax regime, proposed to be implemented in new fiscal, with non-inclusion of petroleum in GST. Finance Ministry is currently seeking legal opinion on including the issue of revenue loss compensation to states (caused due to indirect tax subsuming in GST) in Constitution Amendment Bill. The deadlock between the states and center came to an end when compromise formula was reached between Union Finance Minister and finance ministers of 7 states including J&K, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Haryana, and Punjab.
Rupee-US Dollar exchange rate hit 13-month low level (Rs. 63.53 per dollar) as concerns on global surplus growth increased after Russia announced steep rate hike coupled with indegenous factors such as widening trade deficit of India in November 2014 and dip in industrial production to 3-year old level in October. Indian bourses reacted sharply as Sensex shed more than 450 points to trade below psychological support of 27,000 points. At 11.38 a.m, Nifty was trading at 8,110 and Sensex at 26,937. IT stocks such as TCS, Tech Mahindra, and HCL Tech made significant gain as rupee weakened.
SpiceJet’s stock crashed to Rs 11.25, a fall of 17 per cent, as viability concerns of the low cost carrier increased. Many analysts have started predicting a similar fate of SpiceJet that Kingfisher Airlines faced two years back. SpiceJet has a liability of Rs 2,000 crore and the carrier needs infusion of equal amount of fund from getting grounded. After Sanjiv Kapoor’s (CEO of SpiceJet) meeting with Ashok Gajapathi Raju (Civil Aviation Minister), the ailing airliner has got a breather from Airports Authority of India as latter has agreed of not immediately pressing for dues amounting to Rs 200 crore.
While addressing a rally in support of BJP candidates in Jharkhand’s Dumka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the gathering that the opposition parties are lying about BJP wanting to do away with the constitutional provisions (Santhal Pargana Tenancy and Chhota Nagpur Tenancy) that protect tribal lands from getting usurped. He also assured that no one can usurp lands from tribal populace and went on to say that Indian democracy will get strengthened only if welfare for tribal people is ensured.
Forced religious conversion issue again became a point of contention as opposition political parties demanded Prime Minister’s statement on the issue. As opposition parties create ruckus on the issue, Rajya Sabha was first adjourned till 12.16pm and then till 2pm. Government, however, accused opposition parties of not participating in a discussion on conversion issue by creating the uproar. Meanwhile, Yogi Adityanath (MP from Gorakhpur) raked up the religious conversion issue by asking UP government of launching anti-conversion law if the latter disapproves Aligarh’s 'ghar wapasi' (Home Coming) event.
Manmohan Singh’s, former Prime Minister of India, statement is going to be recorded soon by the CBI, after the investigating agency was directed by a court for recording statement of the then Union Coal Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Coal Scam case of 2005. CBI has been asked by the special judge to submit special report on the same on January 27, 2015.
‘Achche Din’ for Indian Oil consumers seem to have come as leading oil refineries (such as Indian Oil Corporation Limited) keep on lowering petroleum prices. With falling price of crude petroleum in international market, IOC has announced Rs. 2 cut in prices of both diesel and petrol. The announcement came only days after Petrol and Diesel prices were revised on December 1 by Rs. 0.91 and Rs. 0.84 per litre respectively.
Global Financial Integrity, an international think-tank, has given 3rd rank to India in its recently published black money list. It is estimated that around Rs 6 lakh crore or $94.76 billion black money was stashed in the year 2012. While the list is topped by Russia (having $122.86 billion of black money stashed abroad), China adorned the second spot. GFI’s latest estimate shows that during 2003-2012, Rs 28 lakh crore or $439.59 billion of black money has been moved out of India and stashed in overseas destinations.
Over 16-hour Sydney terror siege came to an end as the security forces gunned down the gunman, Man Haron Monis, who reportedly took 17 people hostage at Lindt Chocolate Cafe. The two Indian hostages, Pushpendu Ghosh and Ankireddy Vishwakanth (both working for IT giant Infosys) are reported to be safe. Two hostages killed in the ordeal are identified as Tori Johnson (manager of the concerned cafe) Katrina Dawson (a lawyer).
Science and Technology
XPRIZE awards for tapping innovation potential will be launched in India along with Coca-Cola India support in the coming year. This is the first time XPRIZE will be launched in a country outside the USA. Per available information on the global innovation competition of India, prizes will be given for innovations in multiple fields including food and nutrition; waste management; energy; and water. Some of the renowned XPRIZE trustees are Larry Page, Arianna Huffington, Naveen Jain, Ratan Tata, and many more.
Science and Technology
Dual SIM smartphone Desire 620G from HTC is now listed on Indian eCommerce sites at a price of Rs. 15,900. HTC Desire 620G is the 3G variant of 4G connectivity-enabled HTC Desire 620. Dual SIM HTC Desire 620G is powered by an Octa Core processor (MediaTek MT6592) clocked at a speed of 1.7GHz. The other specs are Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS, IPS HD display of 5 inch, dual camera (8MP rear and 5MP frontal), 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM, and 2100mAh battery (removable).
Viswanathan Anand won his first London Classic by defeating Michael Adams of England in the fifth round. This win by the 5 time World Chess Champion is a relief as he suffered a humiliating defeat against Norway’s Magnus Carlsen during Sochi’s World Championship. Vishy cliched the title in a tie-breaker, when his score equalled with that of Anish Giri and Vladimir Kramnik.