Major News and Events of 18 June 2015
What Happened on 18 June 2015
AIBA Forms Ad Hoc Committee; Boxing India Claims Ignorance
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches his Own App to Stay Connected with Citizens
PM Modi welcomes Tanzanian President; To Hold Bilateral Meet Today
ED starts Proceedings against Lalit Modi on 16 Cases of FEMA Violation
Indian Brouses Closes 283.17 Points on Encouraging Global Cues, Value Buying, and Encouraging Macroeconomic Readings
Arun Jaitley starts a New Chapter of Optimism for India by Ringing Closing Bell at New York Stock Exchange
Cabinet Committee takes major Decisions to Provide Shelter for Urban Mass and Help Farmers
BJP backs Sushma Swaraj on Lalit Modi Controversy but leaves Rajasthan CM to Fend for Herself
On the eve of Emergency’s 40th anniversary, BJP Patriarch Lal Krishna Advani kicks up a Storm
Rahul Gandhi meets Family of Punjab Farmer who Committed Suicide
Science and Technology
A comprehensive report created by the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) International and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) says that social media usage in rural India has increased by 100 per cent in the last one year. The concerned “Social Media in India 2014” report categorically says that the total number of social media users in rural areas has reached 25 million. The report also points out that as of April 2015, the total number of social media users in the urban areas has reached 118 million but the growth rate is much slower than the rural areas during last one year, which stands at 35 per cent only. As of April 2015, the total number of social media users in India in aggregate is 143 million but around 50 per cent of them are concentrated in the top four metro cities of India.
International Boxing Association (AIBA) has constituted an ad-hoc committee of five members, whose main responsibility will be to find out a group who will be entrusted with the responsibility to organise as well as administer boxing in India. The concerned ad-hoc committee will be chaired by AIBA Representative Kishen Narsi. The other noted names in the concerned committee are Injeti Srinivas (SAI DG), Manisha Malhotra (ex-tennis player), and Jay Kowli (ousted Secretary General of Boxing India). The fifth person of the committee will be a national coach, whose appointment will be finalised only with AIBA approval. Ching-Kuo Wu, President of AIBA, has informed Kishen Narsi, through a letter, about forming the ad-hoc committee, and also said that Randhir Singh will act as advisor of the concerned committee. State units affiliated to Boxing India claimed they are ignorant about any such decision.
Science and Technology
In a unique effort, India’s tech savvy Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a smartphone application in his name – “Narendra Modi Mobile App”. He has asked citizens to stay connected all the time with the help of this new app. Reports say that people with this new app, downloaded to their Android smartphones, can receive latest posts at Narendra Modi’s blog, messages and emails from Mann Ki Baat aired on AIR, and latest news/updates from PM himself. In fact citizens can also share their thoughts, suggestions, and ideas with NaMo as well as get a chance to interact with him directly. Description of the “Narendra Modi Mobile App” at Google PlayStore says that it will help users learn more about Indian PM, his government’s initiatives, and achievements.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete was warmly welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday on his arrival to India and went on to say that the former’s visit will increase bonhomie between the two countries. Reports say that the Tanzanian President is on a six-day India visit and is accompanied by ministers as well as senior officers. Sources say that bilateral talks will be held between the Tanzanian President Kikwete and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is learnt that Kikwete will also pay a visit to President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari. A banquet has been hosted by President Mukherjee in honour of visiting Tanzanian President. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete will also visit Jaipur during his stay. Major bilateral talks will include closer cooperation, trade, and many other agendas of national and international importance.
In a major blow to ex-IPL Chief Lalit Modi, Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated proceedings in 16 cases of alleged violation of FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) rules. Reports say that ED is all set to issue him a notice for alleged money laundering to the extent of Rs. 1,206 crore. An ED official said that they are probing Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) violations too and are going to issue show-cause notice in the coming days. Sources say that Lalit Modi, along with many other BCCI functionaries, has already given replies to FEMA violation cases, where the total money laundering amount is estimated to be Rs. 2,062 crore. Mehmood Abdi, lawyer of Lalit Modi, said that they have not received anything as of now and proper action will be taken by them as per the law and procedure.
Indian bourses today rose again, which makes it the fifth straight trading day to close in the green. Sensex today closed at 27115.83 points, an increase of 283.17 points or 1.06 per cent from previous close at 26,832.66. Today’s intraday high and low at BSE Sensex are 27,175.39 and 26,910.26 respectively. 50 share broader index NSE Nifty also performed well and closed t 8174.60 points, an increase of 83.05 points or 1.03 per cent from previous close at 8,091.55. Nifty’s intraday high and low are 8,186.90 and 8,101.80 respectively. Reliance Industries gained five per cent today, which reports say is the highest single day gain made by the stock in the last fifteen months. RIL closed at Rs. 979. Some of the other major gainers today are BHEL, HDFC, SBI, Maruti Suzuki, Wipro, Idea Cellular, ONGC, Tata Motors, BPCL, and Lupin.
Beginning a new chapter for Indian economy in the emerging world economic scenario, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today rang customary closing bell at New York Stock Exchange, largest stock exchange of the globe, to mark trading day closing at 4PM. He also met senior officials of the exchange and toured the trading floor before ringing the bell. Finance minister started his 10-day tour of the USA yesterday and the high-level business delegation accompanying him includes Rajan Bharti Mittal (Vice Chairman and MD of Bharti Enterprises), Jyotsna Suri (Chairperson and MD of Bharat Hotels), Onkar Kanwar (Chairman of Apollo Tyres), Harshavardhan Neotia (Chairman of Ambuja Neotia Group), and others. Reports say that the foreign investors in New York aired their concern on India’s policy stability and pace of reform process. Jaitley assured them about expediting reform process and also provide transparent tax regime.
Union Cabinet and CCEA have increased Minimum Support Prices (MSP) bonus for farmers on pulses by Rs 200 per quintal and also increased annual income range for unprivileged categories. As per new “Housing for All by 2022” norm, subsidised housing loans for 15 years will be provided to economically unprivileged sections. Households having annual income up to Rs. 3 lakh (up from Rs. 1 lakh) will come under Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category and those with annual income in Rs. 3-6 lakhs per year (up from Rs. 1-2 lakhs) will come in the Low Income Group (LIG) category. The newer MSPs per quintal for Maize, Cotton, Paddy, Moong, Urad, and Tur for ongoing year w.r.t 2014-15 are Rs. 1325 (Rs. 15 increased), Rs. 3800 (Rs. 50 increased), Rs. 1410 (Rs. 50 increased), Rs. 4850 (Rs. 250 increased), Rs. 4625 (Rs. 275 increased), and Rs. 4625 (Rs. 275 increased) respectively.
While BJP has clearly stood behind External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Lalit Modi Visa row, reports say that the saffron party has backed off from supporting Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje until “facts are ascertained”. BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP, Chandan Mitra, told media that there has been no “gag order” issued for Sushma. However, when asked about Vasundhara, he avoided comments by saying that BJP will give statement when they get all the facts. Reports say that Lalit Modi bought Rs. 10 per share in Raje’s son and BJP MLA Dushyant Singh’s company at astonishingly high premium, totaling Rs. 11.6 crore, leading to the claim of quid pro quo between Raje and Lalit Modi. At a time when Congress (led by Sachin Pilot) is asking for Vasundhara’s resignation from Rajasthan CM’s position, sources say that top rung BJP leaders, including party’s national president Amit Shah, are unconvinced by her explanation.
BJP patriarch Lal Krishna Advani kicked up a storm on the eve of the 40th anniversary of emergency (on 25 June), by saying in an interview that similar horrendous situation may arise again in the future. He categorically mentioned that “forces that can crush democracy” are stronger at present. Though he said that the political leadership in India is mature but due to the presence of weaknesses he is not confident enough to say that emergency like situation will not happen again. The veteran BJP leader also pointed out that not enough has been done yet that assures him that an emergency-like situation will not crop up again. While he criticised former PM Indira Gandhi for imposing such a draconian system in India for almost two long years (from 25 June 1975 to 21 March 1977), he went on to criticise the Congress for not acknowledging the ills done during the period.
Rahul Gandhi vowed to resolve farmers’ issues as he met the family members of the Punjab farmer, who committed suicide on 10 June. Only a month back, he had briefed Rahul on difficulties they were facing due to unseasonal rains and crop loss in Fatehgarh Sahib district’s Dadu Majra village. Police records say that due to crop loss for two consecutive seasons, 60-year-old Surjit Singh was unable to pay off his Rs 7 lakh debt and took his own life by consuming poison. Reports say that Rahul Gandhi assured Singh’s family that he would do everything for waving off the farm loans. Meanwhile Partap Singh Bajwa, President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for Surjit Singh’s family. Though Union government announced monetary compensation for the farmers, who incurred loss due to hailstorm and unseasonal rain, farmers say that they are yet to receive any money.