Major News and Events of 19 March 2015
What Happened on 19 March 2015
Delhi High Court Dismisses Petition to Cancel Registration of Aam Aadmi Party
India to Buy Petroleum from Iraq's Basra Oil to Fill in Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Telecom Spectrum Auction Fetches Rs. 1.08 Lakh Crore till Wednesday
Amit Shah's Speech Provoked Rumors of PDP-BJP Alliance Termination; Harshad Patel Clears the Air
Home Minister Shares Views on Terrorism, Pakistan's Proxy War, and Failure of ISIS to Recuit Indian Muslims
ICC World Cup Quarterfinal Match Begins: India elects to Bat after Winning Toss
Mars Orbiter Mission to Outlive Planned 6-Months Lifespan
Petition of Karnataka IAS Officers Seeking CBI Probe in DK Ravi's Death Signed by 13.5 Lakh People Sent to PM
RBI Governor Says India Has Enough Foreign Exchange Reserve to Deal With Rise In US Fed Rate
Nun Rape Case in West Bengal's Nadia Handed Over to CBI by Mamata
With US Fed Rate to Stay Low, Indian Bourses Witness Rally of Stocks
Science and Technology
Report published by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) says that digital commerce market in India is all set to increase by 53 per cent to cross Rs.1 lakh crore by December 2015 from corresponding period last year. The report also pointed out that the industry is currently increasing at 33 per cent rate. It is learnt that Indian Market Research Bureau helped IAMAI in preparing the report. The top two revenue generators in eCommerce segment, per report, are online travel and e-retail. IAMAI report said that other segments that are pushing eCommerce sales include classifieds, matrimony, and financial services.
Plea filed by petitioner Hans Raj Jain, to cancel registration of Aam Aadmi Party on the basis of allegation that documents filed by AAP with Election Commission of India at the time of registration were false and fabricated has been dismissed by a bench (consisting Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw) of Delhi High Court. While the petitioner claimed that the addresses furnished at the time of registration of some AAP members didn’t match with that of their respective voter cards’, Election Commission contended that all the requirements and formalities were completed before granting registration to AAP.
Reports say India is all set to buy petroleum from Iraq to fill in India’s first SPR or Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Sources in finance ministry say that the ministry has already sanctioned around $383 million or Rs. 24 billion fund from revised budget estimates of ongoing financial year to buy from Iraq’s Basra Oil. It is reported that Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and Indian Oil Corporation have already being asked by Oil Ministry to get 8 million barrels of Basra Oil (to be delivered by two VLCCs or Very Large Crude Carriers), which are scheduled to arrive in May-June 2015.
Spectrum auction at the end of thirteenth day has fetched government Rs. 1.08 lakh crore and that’s too from just 89 per cent of the airwaves (2G as well as 3G) put on sales on a provisional basis. However, 3G spectrum airwaves (900 Mhz and 2100 Mhz bands) didn’t witness bidding from any telecom operator yesterday. With sixth round of spectrum auction ending yesterday, most bids were placed for two bands to be used for 4G services - 800 MHz and 1800 MHz. Per available information, twenty nine licenses spread over eighteen service areas are going to expire in 2015-16.
National President of BJP, Amit Shah, while speaking to party members in Naranpura constituency, emphasised that “national interest” is supreme to BJP and they will never hesitate to end alliance with PDP in case “Kashmir issue” is not solved. Shah said this while defending his party from the allegation that PDP-BJP government in J&K has become soft on separatists, as they released separatist leader Masarrat Alam a few days back. Putting an end to rumors Harshad Patel (BJP’s spokesperson in Gujarat) clarified that Amit Shah never referred to ending the alliance but only vouched for national interest as BJP’s supreme objective.
Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister, while speaking on terrorism said that Pakistan should stop using it (by patronising terrorist organisations such as Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba) as a tool to launch proxy war against India. He emphasised on the fact that South Asian region’s security situation will significantly improve if Pakistan stops supporting terrorism. While emphasising on overall failure of worldwide terror group ISIS to recruit Indian Muslims, Home Minister said that deep ingrained patriotism among Indians belonging to Muslim community deterred them from joining ISIS. Rajnath Singh pointed out Pakistan’s flawed perception of "good terrorists and bad terrorists".
Indian Cricket Team won the toss today and elected to bat first during ICC World Cup quarterfinal match between India and Bangladesh, played at Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia. Though India retained the team that won against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh team made one change in comparison to their last match played against New Zealand. Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza made a comeback by replacing Taijul Islam. At 10am IST, India scored 60 runs at the end of 13.2 overs (4.4 run rate) with no loss of wicket. While Rohit Sharma was not out at 31, Shikkhar Dhawan was batting at 25.
Science and Technology
Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office, while replying to a question in Lok Sabha, said that planned life span of Indian Space Research Organisation’s celebrated Mars Orbiter Mission will end on 24 March 2015, which entered Mars’ orbit on 24 September 2014. He went on to say that after considering all the parameters of spacecraft’s health, it seems MOM is going to outlive the planned six months lifespan. Report says that the MOM satellite is equipped with 37 kgs of additional propellant. Jitendra Singh also said that increase in MOM’s lifespan will help collecting more scientific data on Mars.
Karnataka’s IAS officers have sent a petition (signed by 13.5 lakh people) to PM Narendra Modi, asking for a CBI inquiry in ‘sudden death’ of honest and courageous IAS officer DK Ravi. He not only took on sand mafia in the past but also was gearing up to take on real estate developers just before his death. Additional Chief Secretary (Environment, Forest and Ecology) M Madana Gopal reportedly told media that the IAS officers of the state will not allow death of Ravi for the second time as some quarters are trying to point finger at the ‘personal life’ and ‘character’ of Ravi.
Raghuram Rajan, Governor of RBI, while speaking to media said that foreign exchange reserves of India are in a comfortable position, which gives India adequate cushion to deal with the consequences of any rise in US Fed rate. The statement came just before the announcement of the policy statement by US Federal Reserve. However, US Fed negated the possibility of raising rate in a hurry but most importantly didn’t include the word “patient” in the policy statement. While speaking to the reporters, Raghuram Rajan did acknowledge that some volatility in the market can be witnessed with increase in US Fed rate.
With mounting domestic and international pressure, West Bengal government handed over the case of 72-year old nun’s gangrape in Nadia district’s Ranaghat to CBI. The decision comes just hours after PMO sought detailed report on the case and action undertaken from West Bengal administration. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has written a letter on the matter to Union Home Affairs ministry, asking for a CBI probe as the incident is “very serious”. Though in the letter Banerjee claimed that police administration is taking adequate steps in nabbing the culprits, even after five days of the heinous incident just ten people were detained and all the main accused run free.
Indian bourses today reacted jubilantly as US Fed decided not to increase its crucial Fed rate in haste. Both BSE Sensex and NSE CNX Nifty opened with enough premium on previous close, after witnessing a rather choppy market yesterday. At 10.34am IST, CNX Nifty was 1.01 per cent or 88 points above previous close of 8,685.90 (trading at 8773.90) and BSE Sensex was up by 1.09 per cent or 311.15 points to previous close of 28,622.12 (trading at 28933.27). While Sensex reached an intraday high of 28,978.74 points, Nifty reached an intraday high of 8,788.20.