Major News and Events of 19 July 2015
What Happened on 19 July 2015
Parliamentary Committee Examining Lokpal Bill to seek Second Extension
India to Create Strategic Uranium Reserve for Continued Supply of Nuclear Fuel to Atomic Power Reactors
Somdev Devvarman bounces back to level Score 2-2 at Asia/Oceania Davis Cup tie with New Zealand
Narendra Modi to become First PM after Nehru to Visit California during Silicon Valley Visit in September
Narendra Modi Government Planning to Re-Promulgate Land Ordinance after Monsoon Session
Reports say positive outlook on equities and availability of capital has made over 30 listed companies (including SBI, UBI, Ashok Leyland, Videocon Industries, JSW Steel, Natco Pharma, etc.) plan to raise funds to the tune of Rs. 55,000 crore. Reports say that the funds will be raised through Institutional Placement Programmes (IPPs) and Qualified Institutional Placements (QIPs). Though there are many companies belonging to various sectors raising funds from institutional investors, most companies belong to banking sector as they need additional capital to meet Basel-III norms. Sources say most of their raised funds will be used for meeting working capital requirements, debt refinancing, and to carry on expansion plans. Reports say that Rs. 55,000 crore fund raising plans is up and above the already raised Rs. 13,000 crore fund by listed companies from institutional investors through issuance of shares in 2015.
31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice will seek second term extension for examining impending Lokpal Bill. The panel, led by Congress MP E M Sudarsana Natchiappan, was supposed to submit its examination report on Lokpal and Lokayuktas and Other Related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014 by July 30. However, Natchiappan told media that the committee needs more time for examining the bill as there are very important and tricky issues. That’s why they will seek extension of the same by writing to Rajya Sabha chairman. He went on to add the bill must be made more people friendly and that’s why more consultations are required with all the stakeholders so that it becomes easier to pass the law. Wide ranging views on Lokpal bill provisions have been heard by the panel from multiple stakeholders including CBDT Chairman, Director of ED, CVC Secretary, and CBI Director.
Science and Technology
Union Government has decided to create a “strategic uranium reserve” for ensuring uninterrupted supply of crucial nuclear fuel to the atomic power reactors. Reports say that reserve pool can be anywhere between 5000 MT and 15,000 MT so that it can meet the increasing uranium demand in the nuclear reactors for 5 to 10 years. Uranium stocking proposal of 5000 MT has already being sent to the Cabinet. In the past, India was not able to create such a uranium pool because of international sanctions but now USA is supporting India in developing a strategic nuclear fuel reserve in accordance with the India-US nuclear deal. In addition to uranium import by India from Russia, Australia, France, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, domestic production of uranium in India has crossed 1,252 MT, a milestone in itself as it is almost double that of the atomic reactors’ annual fuel requirement (650 MT) currently.
Young Indian tennis Turk Somdev Devvarman bounced back at the right moment when his country needed him most at Asia/Oceania Davis Cup tie with New Zealand by defeating Marcus Daniell in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. It took Somdev 2 hours and 18 minutes to level the score 2-2 against New Zealand. Devvarman started the game coolly and broke the serve of Marcus Daniell in the very first game of the first set. The Indian broke Daniell’s serve in the 3rd game of the second set. Somdev broke the Kiwi’s serve in 5th game of the third set, making it a straight set win for the Indian. Yuki Bhambri will next play the 5th crucial match with Michael Venus in the Asia/Oceania Davis Cup tie to seal the deal in favour of India and help the team advance to the World Group Play-offs.
Itinerary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming September visit to the USA reveal that he will visit Silicon Valley in California. In that case, PM Modi will be the second Prime Minister, only after first Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru in 1949, to visit California’s San Fransisco. Sources say PM Modi’s California visit will be aimed to woo over half a million overseas Indians living there. Narendra Modi is likely to address the Indian audience either at San Fransisco’s AT&T Park or Cow Palace, which is expected to be a successful reprise of New York’s Madison Square Garden address last year. Renowned venture capitalist, Father of the Pentium chip, and ex-Intel Vice President, Vinod Dham, said that this time he expects PM Modi’s audience not to consist big companies of the Silicon Valley only but also the start-ups, which create the real essence of Silicon Valley’s ecosystem.
Reports say that Narendra Modi government is all set to re-promulgate land ordinance for an unprecedented 4th time. The back-up plan has been made as the prospects of finding a consensus on the contentious land bill seem bleak. Union Government is learned to be re-promulgating the ordinance after monsoon session of the parliament comes to an end. Reports say that BJP MP S S Ahluwalia led joint parliamentary committee, trying to find a consensus on the issue, is all set to seek an extension of 2-weeks (till August 3) for finalizing the report. Government sources say that re-promulgation of an ordinance multiple times are not unusual as instances of over fifteen ordinances, which had been promulgated twice or even more, are available. Reports say that 670 out of the 672 representations received by the joint parliamentary committee opposed the NDA government brought amendments in the land bill.