Major News and Events of 17 February 2015
What Happened on 17 February 2015
Infosys buys Panaya at $200 Million
Cabinet Ministers to Use Kindle Devices During Meeting
RR Patil Passes Away; Politicians Pay Respect
Death Toll Due to Swine Flu Rises in Rajasthan
Odisha Government Places Annual Budget; Emphasises on Education, Agriculture, and Infrastructure
Wholesale Price Index Falls Again
K M Singh Recommended as NHPC MD and Chairman by PESB
India Makes Breakthrough in Mending Relations with Sri Lanka by Signing Nuclear Pact
Noted Trade Unionist Govind Pansare Shot at in Maharashtra by Assailants
4G-enabled Smartphones Launched by Samsung at Affordable Price
Yuvraj Got the Maximum Bid During IPL Auction
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, ideological mentor of Bharatiya Janata Party, has stepped in to damage control the Bihar crisis that is gradually getting out of hand of the ruling party at centre. The move comes just days before government of Jitan Ram Manjhi is scheduled for a trust vote. Sources revealed that Dattatreya Hosabale, functionary of RSS, met key BJP leaders such as Murlidhar Rao (General Secretary), Bhupendra Yadav (in-charge of Bihar BJP), and others to discuss the issue. It is learnt that RSS is against any direct intervention of the saffron party in the Bihar's constitutional crisis.
Indian technology giant Infosys is all set to buy automation technology provider Panaya at $200 million (around Rs. 1,244 crore). Information about this all-cash deal was released to the media through a company statement. It is learnt that the acquisition has been done in accordance with the strategy laid out by Vishal Sikka, MD and CEO of Infosys. The circulated company statement also said that Panaya’s employees as well as senior management will join Infosys and will report to head and senior VP of analytics and big data Abdul Razack.
Media reports point out that union government is all set to implement a working system according to which Cabinet notes will be put on Kindle devices and after every meeting the Cabinet Ministers will have to immediately return the devices to Cabinet Secretariat. Per available information, this is done to stop information leakage. However, Congress has criticised this move saying the PM doesn’t even believe his cabinet ministers and hinted about his autocratic style of functioning. Randeep Surjewala, spokesperson of INC, also sought reasons from NDA government on such moves.
RR Patil, senior leader of Nationalist Congress Party and former Home Minister of Maharashtra, passed away yesterday at Mumbai’s Lilavati hospital at 57 years of age. He was undergoing treatment for oral cancer in the last 3 months. Sharad Pawar, NCP Chief, remembered Patil as a simple and disciplined politician. PMO paid condolence to Patil’s family. Some of the leaders who paid homage to Late RR Patil at Mumbai’s NCP office include Supriya Sule, Chhagan Bhujbal, Ajit Pawar, Praful Patel, Manikrao Thakre, Ramdas Athawale, Ashok Chavan, and others.
Rajasthan has emerged as one of the worst hit states in India where 165 people are reported to have died from swine flu untill now since 1 January 2015. It is also reported that over 2569 people have been diagnosed with swine flu. Available information from health department indicate that the most number of people affected by the flu belong to the age group 26-50 years. Health department’s additional director Dr KC Meena told that out of 165 deaths, 1/3rd died within 48 hours of its detection.
The Odisha government placed its annual budget yesterday with the major focus on education, infrastructure, and agriculture. Rs. 84,487.77 crore expenditure has been proposed in estimates of the budget. Pradip Kumar Amat (Finance Minister of Odisha) said that the estimated fiscal deficit is going to be Rs. 10,400.28 crore, which will be financed by Rs. 9,893.68 crore net borrowing and Rs. 506.61 crore net surplus public account. The outlay for agriculture has been increased by 14.27 per cent. Amat also said that 12 per cent of the budget has been allocated to education.
Wholesale Price Index fell again in the month of January 2015 by 0.39 per cent annually. Analysts say that this decline in WPI was mainly due to fall in fuel prices. In the last 3 months this is the second time when WPI decreased due to falling fuel prices. During December 2014, inflation declined by 0.11 per cent. However, in November 2014, 0.17 per cent deflation was witnessed. Most analysts believe that fall in WPI will not prompt RBI to cut key interest rates.
Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) has recommended the name of K M Singh for the position of full time Chairman and MD of NHPC. PESB, the head hunting organisation of GOI, has said on its website that K M Singh's name was finalised after screening 12 equally capable candidates. Managing Director and full time Chairman’s position was lying vacant from January 2011. K M Singh is a BE (electrical) and has 29 years of experience in the power sector.
India-Sri Lanka bilateral relationship reached a new high when both the countries signed the Nuclear Energy pact. This deal is a breakthrough for India because analysts believe this will give India a chance to mend relation with the island country where China was increasing its clout in the last few years through construction of highways and ports. An Indian analyst and a Sri Lankan official told media that India will sell Sri Lanka small and lightweight nuclear reactors, which will in turn help the island country reach nuclear capacity to the tune of 600MW by the year 2030.
Bike-borne gunmen shot at 82-year old noted trade unionist and communist leader Govind Pansare and his wife in Kolhapur district’s Sagarmala locality of Western Maharashtra during their morning walk. It is learnt that the octogenarian has been shot with three bullets in the chest and neck region and is still not out of danger. However, his wife Uma Pansare, who suffered from depressed skull fracture, is learnt to be out of danger and is conscious now. Devendra Fadnavis, CM of Maharashtra, has ordered state police to launch a massive manhunt to nab the assailants.
Science and Technology
Samsung, the South Korean tech giant, has launched a series of affordable 4G-enabled smartphones in India - Galaxy J1 4G, Galaxy Core Prime 4G, and Galaxy Grand Prime 4G - which will be available from the first week of March. Samsung Galaxy J1 4G will be available at Rs. 9,900. Samsung also introduced Galaxy A7 (slimmest Galaxy handset) in the Indian market at Rs. 30,499. Hyun Chil Hong, CEO and President of Samsung India Electronics, told media that the company is all set to introduce a wide array of products having advanced technologies.
Yuvraj Singh has been bought by Delhi Daredevils at a whooping sum of Rs. 16 crore during auction of Indian Premier League. Other players who were bought for hefty sums by Daredevils include Mathews (at Rs.7.50 crore), Zaheer Khan (at Rs.4 crore), and Mishra (at Rs.3.5 crore). Dinesh Karthik was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore at Rs.10.5 crore. Kings XI Punjab bought Murali Vijay at Rs. 3 crore. Kolkata Knight Riders bought KC Cariappa at Rs. 2.4 crore on the insistence of Jacques Kallis, who found him extremely talented.