Major News and Events of 17 December 2013
What Happened on 17 December 2013
Lokpal Bill discussed in Rajya Sabha Today, will be in Lok Sabha tomorrow
India reacts strongly to Khobragade issue
Freight traffic revenue of railway up by 7.91%
Hockey World League to be played from January 10-18
For wildlife census GPS technology to be used
The Aam Aadmi Party will be taking into account the views of the people of Delhi beginning today till Sunday regarding formation of a government with the Congress Party. Arvind Kejriwal the AAP chief specified as AAP is a people’s party so it would take people’s referendum for the future course of action. A letter to this effect has been written and 25 lakh copies will be circulated among the people who can call up, send SMS or even post a message on AAP’s Facebook Page. AAP as Kejriwal informed has also written letters to Congress and the BJP. Congress has said it will provide unconditional support. BJP on the other hand have said they will be offering issue-based support. In their letter AAP has also mentioned about the 18 issues in Delhi and it has come as a surprise to the party that the BJP did not reply to any of the issues. Congress on the other hand has stated that 16 of the issues do not need thei9r support as they are administrative issues for the other two they will offer support which was of statehood for Delhi and Lokpal Bill. Kejriwal stated that people’s views will be taken in consideration whether they want fresh elections or formation of government with the support of the BJP or Congress.
The Lokpal Bill was discussed in Rajya Sabhaon on Tuesday. The discussion was initiated by law minister Kapil Sibal who stated it was a "historic" day as the consensus was reached on the issue. The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, were not passed in the House in December 2011. It was again brought back to the House after the Parliamentary Select Committee referred it. The Parliamentary Select Committee has also made recommendations for amendments so that it is accepted by all the political parties. Kapil Sibal requested all the parties to come together and avoid politics in the issue. Arun Jaitley, the Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha extended support and at the same time stated that the jurisdiction of Lokpal be reviewed. He also stated that there should be clarity in the bill regarding the power of the investigative machinery under Lokpal to search and seizure without any notice. Jaitley also asked for passing of the Whistleblowers' Protection Bill and Citizens Grievance Redress Bill in its winter session. CPM leader Sitaram Yechury hailed the momentum given to the bill and stated that the corporate sector should be brought under the purview of the Lokpal Bill. The Samajwadi Party criticized strongly the bill and walked out. Its leader said that lawmakers will hesitate to take action if this bill is passed fearing anyone can file a complaint and the lawmakers will have to give statement to the police officers. The bill will be taken up by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
India has taken a strong stand over the disgraceful treatment given to the senior Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade and has asked for an unconditional apology.US diplomats were directed to turn in their IDs. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde also refused to meet US Congressional delegates who have come here. Import clearances were curbed and traffic barricades will be removed close to the embassy on Nyaya Marg in Delhi. Government has also asked for visa and other information of teachers employed in US schools and ban account details of Indians in these schools. Devyani Khobragade was arrested last week on a street in New York, handcuffed in full public glare. There were charges of visa fraud on her. She was released on a $250,000 (Rs 1.5 crore) bond after she pleaded not guilty in court. Khobragade was strip-searched, and was put in a cell along with the drug addicts and DNA swabbing was also done on her.
Freight traffic has helped the Railways generate Rs.59,069.73 crore of revenue from April 1-Nov 30 this year in comparison to Rs.53,923.37 crore during the same period last year, recording a rise of 7.91%. 677.58 million tonnes of commodity-wise freight traffic was carried during April-November. It was 647.01 million tonnes last year. There was a growth of 4.72%. In the total earnings of Rs.7,880.44 crore from freight in November 2013, the various components were:
- 39.91 million tonnes of coal transportation yielded Rs.3293.18 crore
- Rs.874.23 crore was earned from 10.58 million tonnes of iron ore transportation
- Rs.684.25 crore was generated from 8.26 million tonnes of cement
- Rs.575.88 crore was grossed from 3.71 million tonnes of foodgrain
- Transportation of 3.48 million tonnes of petroleum oil and lubricants brought Rs.478.98 crore
- Rs.484.82 crore was earned from carrying 3.23 million tonnes of pig iron and finished steel
- 4.39 million tonnes of fertilizers were carried to earn Rs.489.75 crore
- Rs.139.91 crore from carrying 1.36 million tonnes of raw materials for steel plants excluding iron ore
- 3.37 million tonnes by container service yielded Rs.327.95 crore
- Rs.531.49 crore earnings were from 6.02 million tonnes of other goods
In January inaugural edition of the Hockey World League will kick start. The matches will be played from 10th-18th in New Delhi at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. The Hero Hockey World League Final of a tournament that started in August 2012 has eight world class teams vying for the coveted trophy. India, the host nation will be joined by Germany who are the Olympic champions; Australia, the world champions; Argentina, the Pan American champions along with Belgium,the Netherlands, England and New Zealand. The Hockey World League (HWL) recent entrant to the international hockey and was conceptualized with the sole motive to popularize the sport across the globe. 53 teams in the men’s category have already competed for more than over 3 rounds. The teams which will be coming to play have all competed well in Hockey World League Semi Final events in the Netherlands, Rotterdam, and Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The team which wins will enter the pages of the history of hockey as this will be the first time they would be winning a world league tournament.
Science and Technology
The wildlife census begins on Wednesday and the forest officials and the ground staff are gearing up for that. The ground work has been completed in Nagarhole, BRT tiger reserve and Bandipur. The census will begin at 6 am to estimate the number of carnivores in the wildlife sanctuaries. What is an innovation this time is that GPS navigators will be used to demarcate the zone under survey. This is being done to get the precise picture of the area under survey. The tiger reserves are split in beats and will be surveyed by 3 persons, 2 volunteers and 1 staff. In Nagarhole the ground workers daily will do trekking of 10 km. In this survey the vegetation in the sanctuaries will also be analyzed. 324 volunteers are pitching in for the census. In Bandipur 230 volunteers will be doing the survey. The volunteers will be imparted with requisite training in the methodology before they are given the beats.