Major News and Events of 18 December 2014
What Happened on 18 December 2014
SoftBank Invests Heavily in eCommerce Space
ADB pegs Indian Growth Story at 5.5 and 6.3 per cent in 2014 and 2015 Respectively
Conversion Row Continues in Parliament
HRD Ministry Faces Heat on Celebrating Good Governance Day on Christmas
Successful GSLV-3 Launch Brightens Hopes for Indian Manned Mission to Space
Jayalalitha's Bail Extended by Supreme Court
Revenue Secretary on Extent of Black Money in Indian Economy
AIBA Bans Sarita Devi for 1 year; Government Writes for Ban Reversal
India starts Badminton World Super Series with a Bang
Early hours of the day witnessed significant gains by public sector banks due to increased market optimism after cabinet nod to dilute government stake in public sector banks to 52 per cent. At 9.55 am, CNX PSU Bank index jumped by 3 per cent. At NSE, stock of PSU banks (Syndicate Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Canara Bank, Allahabad Bank, IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, and Andhra Bank) increased by 3 per cent. Stocks that increased by 2 per cent are of Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank, and Oriental Bank of Commerce.
SoftBank, technology major of Japan, is increasing its stake in the Indian eCommerce space steadily as India gears up to witness e-retail revolution. Recently, SoftBank invested $90 million in retail portal Housing.com, which takes the company’s total investment in eCommerce sector in India to $1 billion. Some of the websites where they have made significant investments include Snapdeal.com, ScoopWhoop, and Ola Cabs. Per report of Motilal Oswal Securities, Indian eCommerce space is expected to become $20 billion in 2015 from the current $11 Billion.
In 2014 outlook, Asian Development Bank expects India to grow at a rate of 5.5 per cent in 2014, due to renewed confidence of the international market on India because of Narendra Modi government’s reform initiatives. The report has also said that the Indian economy can grow at 6.3 per cent in 2015 if the current government keeps on the momentum of reform push.
Opposition parties in the Parliament is in no mood to relent on conversion issue. In Rajya Sabha they sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on the issue. PM was today present in the RS. Parliament witnessed repeated adjournments as united opposition pitched for statement of NaMo on the issue of increasing incidents of communal violence in India. Anand Sharma of INC also accused the government of showing ‘arrogance’ of not agreeing to the opposition’s demand. However, Arun Jaitley asserted that Rajnath Singh (Union Home Minister) will respond to the concerned discussion instead of the PM.
After Congress-led united opposition made scathed attack on the Union government on the reported HRD Ministry’s insistence on declaring the day of Christmas (December 25) as Good Governance Day, the concerned ministry has dug out a 1987-circular, issued by the then INC government to Navodaya Vidyalayas, that restricted students of residential schools from visiting homes during holidays. HRD Minister Smriti Irani has made it clear that students will not be required to visit school on Christmas to celebrate birthday of ex-PM atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Science and Technology
GSLV-3, the heaviest rocket, has been successfully launched by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) from Sriharikota on December 18. The successful launch has brightened hope for ISRO’s capability of making Indian manned mission to space a success. Mission of GSLV-3 was to take Crew module Atmospheric Re-Entry Experiment mission with it above atmosphere of earth and then send it back to earth’s surface. Per available information, ISRO is planning to send a manned spacecraft to space in the coming 5 years.
AIADMK supremo J Jayalalitha today received a bail extension of 4 months, till April 2015, from Supreme Court. The apex court of India asked Karnataka High Court’s Chief Justice to form a special bench for deciding on the appeal of AIADMK Chief in three months time. SC also ordered hearing of the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case on a day-to-day basis. Jayalalitha is on bail since October 17.
Shaktikanta Das, Revenue Secretary, recently revealed while addressing an audience in CII that the problem of black money circulating in the Indian economy is as grave as the quantum stashed in foreign locations. Das also revealed that Union Government has initiated the process of renegotiating tax treaties with other countries. SIT has already being formed by the central government for investigating Black Money list of HSBC Bank, Geneva. Per SIT report, out of 628 names, action can be initiated against 427 people only because 201 people are either untraceable or non-residents.
International Boxing Association banned ace Indian woman boxer Sarita Devi for 1 long year and also fined her 1000 Swiss Francs for defying Asian Games authority by not accepting her bronze medal during Incheon Asian Games on the grounds of controversial decision against her. Sources say that AIBA lessened the earlier threatened life ban on Sarita to a 1-year ban because of the support and persuasion from cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and Union Sports Ministry. Sarbananda Sonowal, Sports Minister, said that he has written to the AIBA President for revoking imposed ban on Sarita.
Indian badminton team started its final campaign of World Super Series with twin wins. India’s Saina Nehwal (5th seeded) defeated China’s Shixian Wang, reigning Asian Games champion and former World No. 1, in women’s singles match by 21-17, 21-18. In the men’s group, 6th seeded Srikanth defeated Japan’s Kento Momota by 15-21 21-16 21-10.