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Major News and Events of 17 March 2013

What Happened on 17 March 2013


UPA looks for consensus on anti-rape bill

A day prior to an all-party meeting to debate the controversial anti-rape bill, the UPA government specified that it would generate a consensus on the issue.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) have stated they had reservations over the legislation.The SP is against  the bill, specially the clause on reduction of the age for consensual sex from 18 to 16 years and they would vote against the bill in the parliament they said. The BJP also has concern over the clause.BJP leader Najma Heptulla specified: "If a person below 18 is a juvenile and is given relaxed punishments because he is not mature enough to know the consequences of what he is doing, how is a child of 16 mature enough to consent to sexual activity?" The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) though supported the government and is open to discussions in parliament.

Nitish demands for special status for Bihar, eyes national role

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar continues his political fight in the national capital and asked for a special status for Bihar. He also disclosed about his ambitions for a national role. Nitish also specifed that the criteria to give special status to Bihar should be changed as it has been stated that all the criteria were not met.  He was addressing a huge crowd of around a lakh people at his "Adhikar Rally" at the Ramlila Maidan. He in his speech said, "Only those who understand the pain of the poor and the backward must rule Delhi." He said that Bihar was neglected all these days and it is not like begging for grants,but asking for the rights. If it was not given now, it will be given in 2014.The chief minister specified that his demand would not only benefit Bihar, but other backward regions of the country as well. The budget 2013-14 speech in parliament was also referred to and the need to revisit the criteria for granting special category status to backward regions was also referred to.

Himachal to slash 'wasteful expenditure' to fix loan liability

Himachal Pradesh's loan liability will stand by the end of this fiscal (2012-13) over Rs.28,513 crore, and the government aims to slash "wasteful expenditure" to better the financial health of the state as per Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. He said the government's focus in the next five years would be on education, health, infrastructure like roads and agriculture. Virbhadra Singh stated that the state's loan liability increased by Rs.7,272 crore in the past five years. The loan dues that was Rs.21,241 crore in March 2008, are expected to be Rs.28,513 crore in March this year.Singh, who also has the finance portfolio, stated that the salary burden on the state was Rs.2,615 crore in 2007-08 and that has  increased to Rs.6,956 crore in 2013-14. While the pension burden also rose during this period from Rs.880 crore to Rs.2,839 crore and the interest payment burden from Rs.1,778 crore to Rs.2,431 crore.The chief minister said the implementation of the Pay Commission recommendations influenced the finances of the state.

David Dhawan miss Govinda

David Dhawan, who gave many hits with Govinda, says his relation with the actor was very strong, and he missed him while shooting for "Chashme Baddoor" remake.Dhawan-Govinda duo got fame with blockbusters "Shola Aur Shabnam", "Aankhen", "Coolie No 1", "Hero No 1", among others.Dhawan said Govinda is a versatile actor. He termed his bonding with Govinda like that of Amitabh Bachchan and Manmohan Desai's bonding. The director also paired up with Salman Khan in "Judwaa", "Biwi No. 1" and Rishi Kapoor in "Bol Radha Bol". He didn't cast Govinda as this is a youth oriented film. But he said in future he will work with the actor.

Australia 75/3 at stumps, trail India by 16 runs, India all out for 499

Australia were 75 for three at stumps in their second innings and were behind India by 16 runs at stumps on day four of the second cricket Test at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium at Mohali on Sunday. Australia lost the wickets of David Warner, Ed Cowan and Steven Smith during the 21 overs of their innings. Swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar took all the three wickets.Earlier India scored 499 in response to Australia's 408 and were 479 for seven at tea with Virat Kohli (50) scoring his sixth half century as the hosts led by 71 runs.

Smartphone app for metro commuters

Delhi Metro will launch a mobile application which will offer information regarding fares and stations including new ones coming up in Phase III. The app can work offline and users will also be able to download the latest version. A tender has been floated by DMRC for which final date of submission is March 28. With this app the user will get information about nearest metro station, fare between stations, timings of the last and first train at different stations,travel time, route information, metro map and parking availability. Landmarks and tourist spots near metro stations, feeder services and helpline numbers. User's current location can also be determined based on the phone's operating system. Host of the information like feeder buses available at different stations along with their routes, DTC buses in the route of metro station, details of Metro Museum will also be there in the mobile app.