Major News and Events of 17 March 2015
What Happened on 17 March 2015
BJP Favours Revocation of AFSPA from Peaceful Areas of J&K
AAP Crisis Nears End with Senior AAP Leaders Approaching Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan Intending to meet AK
Enraged Locals Block West Bengal CM's Convoy Seeking Justice for 72-year old Gangraped Nun
IMF Chief Starts Her 2-Day India Tour
MoS for I&B Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Discussed CBFC Censorship with Bollywood Delegation
IAS Officer Who Confronted Sand Mafia in Karnataka Found Dead
Ex-skipper of Bangladesh Expects Bangla Tigers to Defeat India on Thursday During World Cup Match
Path-Breaking Research at NCCS to Develop Vaccine for Preventing Certain Types of Cancer
Nifty and Sensex Witness Fresh Rally after Tepid US Manufacturing Data
WPI Falls to -2.06 per cent in February 2015; WPI Falls for 4th Month in a Series
Mirach Capital Group Announces to file $400-million Defamation Suit Against Sahara Group
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grave concern on recent attacks on Christians and churches across India, especially the gangrape of a 72-year old head nun of a convent school in West Bengal (Nadia) and ransacking of an under-construction church in Haryana (Hisar). Prime Minister's Office has sought facts on the dastardly incidents from the respective state governments and reports on actions undertaken. While Nadia police claimed detention of 10 people, the actual culprits are yet to be traced/arrested. Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said in Assembly that the vandalised under-construction church was built in an illegal colony. VHP’s Surendra Jain defended attack at Haryana Church. National Church organiser Father Savari Muthu reportedly said “Christians will not tolerate this humiliation”.
Sofi Yousef, senior leader of BJP and newly elected Member of the Legislative Council at Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council, told media that they have softened their earlier stand on Armed Forces Special Powers Act and are now in favour of its partial revocation in J&K’s peaceful areas. He quickly added that BJP is not in favour of lifting the law from Kashmir. Sofi Yousef went on to say that AFSPA will not be withdrawn from areas where danger to nation as well as people persists. Available information says that AFSPA may be lifted from Samba and Kathua districts soon.
Illustrious internal power and ideological struggle within Aam Aadmi Party is all set to come to an end with the warring factions establishing contact and discussion with each other. While senior AAP leaders - Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh – re-established contact with Yogendra Yadav and started discussions on the grievances, Prashant Bhushan has reportedly sought appointment with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for ending the rift within AAP. Bhushan has also told media that he is prepared to meet AK with Yogendra Yadav by his side to end disharmony within AAP “to whatever extent possible”.
Locals (led by school children and ex-students of the convent school) in Ranaghat, enraged by inability of West Bengal administration to arrest a single convict in the 72-year head-nun gangrape case of Nadia district, blocked West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s convoy at National Highway-34 for around one hour demanding justice. Though Ms. Banerjee called it a handiwork of BJP-CPIM, ground reports point out that the protest was spontaneous and was largely apolitical in character (similar to 2012 Nirbhaya rape incident outrage). Archbishop of Kolkata Thomas D'Souza wondered why Police couldn’t arrest a single culprit within 48 hours of the incident.
Christine Lagarde, Chief of International Monetary Fund, during a session organised at Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi yesterday called India as a “rare bright spot” in the “cloudy” economic landscape of world economy confronting excessive financial market volatility internationally. To emphasise on her optimism on India, she went on to express her willingness to invest in India on personal capacity. While answering a question, IMF chief called current RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan as pretty good at his job. She also reminded everyone at the audience that Rajan was IMF’s chief economist before becoming RBI governor.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, reportedly told a delegation of Bollywood producers, directors, and actors that Central Board of Film Certification’s job is not to censor films but to certify them. The minister also told the delegation (consisting Shabana Azmi, Rajkumar Hirani, Vishal Bhardwaj, Amir Khan, Mukesh/Mahesh Bhatt, Ramesh Sippy, Anurag Kashyap, Vidya Balan, Ekta Kapoor, et al) that the ministry is mulling the idea of rechristening CBFC as 'ratings' board. The delegation met Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to discuss board’s decision of censoring 23 English/Hindi words on the behest of Pahlaj Nihalani, CBFC chief.
36-year old D K Ravikumar, 2009-batch IAS officer, who confronted sand mafias in Kollar district of Karnataka, was found hanging in his official residence yesterday in Bengaluru. Police Commissioner M N Reddi told media that prima facie evidence points out suicide. However, Police has started checking his call records, CCTV camera data, official apartment's reception record, and others to see whether any foul play was involved. K J George, Home Minister of Karnataka, said that all possible reasons of Ravikumar’s death will be looked into. Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy has asked government to develop a mechanism so that the honest people can work without fear.
Habibul Bashar, ex-skipper of Bangladesh cricket team, today told media that he is hopeful about Bangladesh’s win over India during the upcoming ICC World Cup match on Thursday. It needs special mention that it was under Bashar’s captaincy the Bangla Tigers defeated India back in World Cup 2007. During an interview in Dhaka, Habibul Bashar reportedly said that the current cricket team of Bangladesh is far superior and matured to the one they had in 2007. However, he also advised the Bangladesh team to keep the cool and not think much about taking on the mighty Indians.
Science and Technology
Researchers at National Centre for Cell Sciences have reportedly found a mechanism, which is in its initial stage of research, which can pave way for development of vaccine for preventing certain kinds of cancers. Available reports show that the researchers at the Pune-based NCCS have recorded promising results while experimenting on animal models. Lalita Limaye, who is leading the group of researchers at NCCS on this project, said that they are using cord blood hematopoietic stem cells (extracted from bone marrow) to generate Dendritic Cells for developing vaccine against certain cancers.
Indian bourses today are witnessing impressive rally on positive global cues after the market remained flat throughout yesterday. At 11.45 am IST, BSE Sensex was up by 284.49 points (trading at 28,722.20) and NSE Nifty was up by 86 points (trading at 8,719.15). While Sensex opened at 28,437.71 (above previous close of 28,437.71 points), Nifty opened at 8,689.10 (above previous close of 8,633.15 points). All the major indices including FMCG, auto, metal, and healthcare are trading in green. Analysts believe that not so encouraging US manufacturing data has lowered investors’ expectation of a possible rate hike by Fed, making the funds to increase investment in India.
Wholesale Price Index has decreased from January 2015’s -0.39 per cent to -2.06 per cent in February 2015. Government data published yesterday shows that main reason of fall in WPI is continued slump in international crude oil prices. This is the fourth month in a row that Wholesale Inflation has fallen. February data of WPI has even beaten expectation of economists (per Reuters poll) of -0.70 per cent. While many in India Inc. are already pushing for another round of rate cut by RBI, reports say that most lenders have not yet lowered lending rate even after RBI’s 50 points rate cut.
Mirach Capital Group has announced to file lawsuit against Sahara Group on the charges of breaching exclusivity contract. In a press statement, Mirach has alleged that representatives of Sahara Group launched a series of false allegations intentionally to kill the loan package deal in an attempt to avoid selling offshore properties to Mirach. Mirach Capital Group is all set to file defamation suit to the tune of $400-million against Sahara for attempting to discredit the company as well as its CEO Saransh Sharma. Mirach is also learned to apply for injunction on any transaction Sahara may attempt to engage in.