Major News and Events of 16 June 2015
What Happened on 16 June 2015
Delhi ACB Launches Probe against Delhi Home Secretary
Shiv Sena Mouthpiece backs External Affairs Minister as Rahul Gandhi opens another Front against PM on Sushma
"Make in India" gets a Major Boost as Mahindra Aerospace bags Multi-Million Dollar Aerospace Contract with Airbus
Alstom Transport Announces Major Plan of Expanding India Presence under "Make in India" Initiative
Modi Reaches out to Muslim Nations by Hosting their Envoys; Praises Islam
Union Government to Unveil Special Economic Package and Policy Roadmap for Jammu and Kashmir
ED to Slap Penalty Notices to Ex-IPL Chairman Lalit Modi in Alleged 16 Forex Violation Cases
Monsoon proving IMD Wrong as Rainfall 13 Per Cent above Normal Till Now
ISRO to Launch First Reusable Launch Vehicle in July and Dedicated Satellite for Astronomy by September 2015
Kohli slips to 11th Position as Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan Achieve Career Best Ranks at ICC Rankings
Indian brouses remained choppy today and witnessed a late recovery with BSE Sensex recovering 200 points at end of the day since morning trade. During early trade today, NSE Nifty breached the 8,000 point support level due to downward pressure from global cues such as possible Greece default of 1.6-billion-euro payment debt to IMF by June-end and keenly awaited US Fed’s monetary committee meeting. Today Nifty opened at 8,004.20, slightly lower than previous close at 8,013.90 and traded in a narrow-gapped spread between intraday low and high of 7,952.35 and 8,061.85 respectively. Analysts believe that the next strong support level of Nifty, in case it closes below 8,000 in the coming trading sessions, will be 52 week low of 7,422.15. BSE Sensex closed at 26686.51, 99.96 points higher than previous close. With two-day US FOMC policy meeting ending tomorrow, the market is expected to remain cautious.
On the basis of alleged corruption charges leveled by bureaucrat Ashish Joshi (IP&TAFS officer ousted by the AAP government from Delhi Dialogue Commission), the Anti Corruption Branch of Delhi has started an investigation against Rajendra Kumar, Delhi Home Secretary. Reports say that Ashish Joshi (working under Union IT Ministry currently) has accused Rajendra Kumar of violating tender norms and awarding Rs. 50 crore worth IT/SAP related works to a company within 2002 and 2005 when he was involved with Delhi government’s education, IT and Health departments. In the complaint filed to L-G appointed ACB chief, Joshi said that Kumar used to open “benami” companies (placing his relatives as directors) such as Endeavors Systems Private Ltd. and offered government projects to them without tender by empanelling them with PSUs. However, Delhi Home Secretary, Rajendra Kumar, refuted the accusation.
Shiv Sena has stood strong behind External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as the editorial in its mouthpiece claimed that there is a dangerous politics being played for destabilising foreign ministry and at the same time demoralise Union Government. The reaction comes after Vice President of Congress Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of tacitly supporting Sushma Swaraj in the alleged Lalit Modi visa row. Congress went on to the offensive by referring it as “Modigate”. However, BJP shot back by saying that Congress is resorting to lies and therefore lowering standard of political discourse. Prakash Javadekar, Union Environment Minister, rubbished Rahul Gandhi‘s demand of sacking Sushma Swaraj from the Narendra Modi cabinet. Informed sources in the saffron circle say that External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj offered her resignation almost a week before the controversy broke out in the open. On RSS’s intervention the offer was rejected.
Mahindra Aerospace, subsidiary of Mahindra Group, has bagged a multi-million dollar aerospace component manufacturing and supplying contract from Airbus, European consortium, at the Paris Air Show. Analysts believe that this will give a major boost to Narendra Modi’s flagship programme of transforming India into a manufacturing hub through “Make in India” initiative. Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd’s Chairman and MD Anand Mahindra told media that clinching of the project is not only a “vote of confidence” in Mahindra but also to “Make in India” initiative. He went on to add that with the bagging of this project, Mahindra Aerospace entered the “inner circle of suppliers”. Production of the aerospace components will be done at Narsapura’s Mahindra Aerostructures facility, located close to Bengaluru. Delivery of the finished parts will start this year itself and will be delivered to Germany’s Premium Aerotec’s facilities.
Alstom Transport, major French transport company, has shown intent to double their Indian presence in the coming three years to 800 million Euro or Rs 5,700 crore. President of Alstom Transport, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, said that in the last one year, business environment has improved markedly in India. Alstom Transport is on the verge of opening its new factory in India in 2015. Reports say that currently the company employs 800 engineers and is going to employ 200 new ones per year. Alstom has planned to introduce trackless trams in various Indian states including UP, that uses Axonis elevated tramway technology. It bid for Eastern Corridor’s Khurja-Bhaupur section’s signaling and electrification contracts as part of expansion programme. Alstom has planned to be part of the Make in India initiative by partnering Indian Railways in locomotives as well as power supply.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for the first time, invited high commissioners of Muslim and SAARC countries to his residence for having informal tea on the occasion of releasing a book written by JS Rajput (historian) and Sirajuddin Qureshi (President of India Islamic Culture Centre). Modi played the role of a perfect host to the envoys of Qatar, Indonesia, Egypt, Bahrain, and other SAARC countries. While addressing high commissioners of the invited nations, PM Modi praised the teachings of Islam and also emphasised on education. During his speech Narendra Modi said that the word 'ilm' has been mentioned in Quran 800 times and therefore is the most repeated word after Allah, the almighty. PM also highlighted the importance of unity in diversity as the base of Indian culture and went on to say that “Understanding each other is the meeting point between various communities”.
Reports say that Narendra Modi government is all set to announce a comprehensive policy roadmap along with special economic package for Jammu and Kashmir. Highly placed sources in the central government say that the announcement will be done today by two Union Ministers – Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh. Though details of the special package amount are not known yet, a comprehensive package is going to be announced by the Union government. Reports say that there are around more than 6.5 lakh hectares damaged crops, around 4.5 lakh damaged structures, and ill affected 5,500 villages. PMO has already approved the interim package, finalised by the finance ministry. Announcement of a comprehensive J&K policy roadmap became essential as the separatist leaders had upped their ante against Indian administration by repeatedly provoking the latter through waving of Pakistani and ISIS flags.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) is gearing up to issue final penalty notices to ex-IPL Chairman Lalit Modi on charges of violating forex regulations on 16 counts, which aggregate to a massive 1,700 crore. Sources say that the net of investigation is being widened on alleged financial irregularities related to the T-20 format of Indian Premier League. Highly placed sources in ED say that investigation is currently also carried out on suspected hawala transactions and contravention of foreign exchange laws by central investigating agency. In fact, during the probe, Lalit Modi’s involvement is also being investigated. Reports say that investigation is being carried out on Lalit Modi’s involvement in fund misappropriation in cricket media rights allotment in 2009 by BCCI. Source information reveals that penalty charges, if found guilty, can go up to three times that of the estimated fund violation amount of Rs. 1700 crore.
Monsoon is proving the drought year prediction of Indian Meteorological Department wrong as till now the available data shows that rainfall throughout India has surpassed the normal limit by 13 per cent in the month of June 2015. Rainfall meter from 1 June to 15 June, 2015, shows that actual rainfall has been 69.6mm in place of normal rainfall limit of 61.4mm. Met officials have informed that IMD estimates are proving wrong because of the favourable weather system in the Indian Ocean. Reports say that favourable rainfall will continue in the coming four to five days. Current northern limit of the monsoon is passing through West Bengal’s eastern part, southern Odisha, Gujarat’s southern tip, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh. Monsoon is expected to enter Bihar and Jharkhand in coming three to four days and will spread to more parts of West Bengal and Odisha.
Science and Technology
Union Government announced that India is all set to test its first ever reusable launch vehicle in July 2015. This will help ISRO slash cost of launch vehicle by 1/10th of the original cost, helping India lead the race in space vehicle launch. A S Kiran Kumar, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said that in the first attempt this reusable vehicle will land in ocean. However, in the ultimate attempt, effort will be made to land it at a Sriharikota air-strip. Reports say that ISRO will also launch its first ever dedicated satellite for astronomy, Astrosat, by September 2015. During an event highlighting successes of NDA government in the last one year in office, Jitendra Singh (MoS, Department of Space) told media that ISRO is in the process of launching two Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System satellites in 2016 and three satellites in 2017.
Recently published ICC Rankings of cricketers shows that Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli has slipped out of the top 10 list and his current ranking is 11. While Murali Vijay achieved his career best ranking of 20th position by moving three positions ahead, the greatest gainer is Shikhar Dhawan who jumped fifteen positions ahead to 45th rank. Ajinkya Rahane also moved up to the career best 22nd rank by moving four places up. Ravichandran Ashwin, Team India’s ace off-spinner, gained one position to reach 16th rank. Number 1 position in the ICC Ranking chart is held by 26-years-old Steven Smith of Australia, who surpassed Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara. Smith becomes the second youngest batsman, after cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, to achieve first spot in ICC Ranking for Test batsmen. Another South Asian player, Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, has achieved 12th rank.