Major News and Events of 17 December 2015
What Happened on 17 December 2015
USA not entering into India-Type Nuclear Deal with Pakistan because of Extremism Concerns
US Fed Rate Increased, Experts believe Indian market already factored in Rate Hike
Large Indian IT Firms may feel the heat as US imposes Special Fees on H-1B and L-1 Visas
2,000 Indian Students create Guinness World Record for conducting Largest Practical Science Lesson
ISRO successfully Launches 6 Singaporean Satellite in Orbit
SC clears Deck for Premier Badminton League
Nirbhaya's mother names daughter in public
SC directs fresh Maggi Noodles Sample Testing
CBI’s raid in Delhi CM’s Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar’s office has not only left Arvind Kejriwal fuming but also united Aam Aadmi Party and Congress in seeking Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s resignation over alleged financial scam in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Jaitley said that he is unable to respond to the charges because of the unavailability of any specific charge against him. He called the allegations vague and baseless. When inquired by media, working President of DDCA, Chetan Chauhan, said that the allegations of "gross financial irregularities" against Jaitley are “absolute rubbish”. Chauhan thanked the Finance Minister for helping build a state-of-the-art stadium like Feroz Shah Kotla.
After continued diplomatic level Indo-US talks and concerns expressed by India, Obama Administration has finally made it clear that they are not inking any nuclear deal that is similar to the 123 agreement done with India. Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Golson, has said that US and Pakistan are well aware of the security threats the nuclear weapons have from extremists and insurgents and that’s why US has urged Pakistan to avoid any kind of development that can risk “nuclear safety, security, or strategic stability”. Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Ed Royce, has called “addition of small tactical nuclear weapons” in Pakistan’s arsenal troubling.
US Federal Reserve, after 7 long years, have decided to increase crucial Fed rate in the 0.25-0.5 per cent range from the near-zero level. Federal Reserve has acknowledged that the US economy is still expanding at a moderate rate and is likely to accelerate in 2016. Indian economy seems to have factored in the rate hike as Indian stock market welcomed the Fed move with a 0.5 per cent jump today during opening hours. Indian rupees strengthened against US Dollar to 66.64 from Wednesday’s 66.73. CEA Arvind Subramanian said that effect of Fed rate hike will be minimum in India.
While agreeing on $1.1 trillion spending bill (for funding 9/11 healthcare act and biometric tracking system) yesterday, the US Congressional leaders yesterday decided upon imposing US$4,000 and US$4,500 on H-1B and L-1 visas respectively. Reports say that this agreed upon bill will be applicable for those companies that have more than 50 employees and hire 50 per cent of those employees having H-1B or L-1 visas. Experts believe that the bill will adversely affect the Indian IT companies’ profit share as the punitive measure will increase their cost from anything between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion per annum for the coming one decade.
Science and Technology
India has entered Guinness Book for World Records for conducting largest practical science lesson of the world. In the national capital, 2,000 students from 40 different schools participated in a large practical science session organized in IIT Delhi during International Science Festival (IISF). Each participating school sent 50 students along with some backups. The grand event, organized by an NGO named Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA) along with Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, helped students turn methylene blue "reddish-brown" and decompose hydrogen peroxide rapidly for producing foamy soaps as Elephant's toothpaste reaction’s part. Earlier record was held by Northern Ireland involving 1,339 students.
Science and Technology
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched 6 Singaporean satellites from Sriharikota’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre and successfully put them into orbit. It was the 50th successful big rocket launch and 32nd PSLV flight. 6 satellites were launched less than a minute apart while maintaining a distance of 20 kms from one another. PSLV-C29/TeLEOS-1 Mission’s 59 hour countdown started on Monday at 7am. The launch service was provided by ISRO’s commercial arm, Antrix Corporation Ltd. Main Singaporean satellite is capable of capturing images of threats and natural disasters in sea as well as air in and around Singapore after every 100 minutes.
Supreme Court’s bench of Justices C Nagappan and M Y Eqbal suspended Meghalaya High Court’s restraint order imposed on Premier Badminton League (PBL) tournament, thereby clearing deck for Badminton Association of India (BAI) in organizing the coveted tournament. The tournament, scheduled to be played from 2 January to 17 January, was earlier stayed by the HC while hearing one of the Shillong franchisee’s, Sobhagaya Media Private Limited, plea of suspending the tournament on the grounds that they were not invited for participating in the 7 December auction. Sobhagaya Media called the concerned auction illegal as well as arbitrary.
Asha Devi, mother of December 16 gang rape victim “Nirbhaya”, while attending “Nirbhaya Chetna Diwas” commemorating 3rd death anniversary of “India’s daughter” at Jantar Mantar, said that she is not ashamed of any social stigma in revealing her daughter’s real name – “Jyoti Singh”. She went on to say that it should not be the rape victim’s family that should be ashamed but the people who commit the crime. Both “Nirbhaya’s mother and father (Badri Singh Pandey) called the juvenile culprit (scheduled for December 20 release) the “most brutal” among the 6 offenders and referred him a threat to the city.
A Supreme Court bench of Justice Prafulla C Pant and Justice Dipak Misra has stayed union government’s class suit proceedings before National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) over raging controversy on Maggi noodles, thereby giving Nestle India a huge sigh of relief. However, the bench has directed fresh Maggi Noodles sample testing at Mysore’s government-accredited laboratory, as per the direction of the commission. SC has also asked for placing all Maggi related reports before it while agreeing to adjudicate the controversy. The next hearing will be on January 13.