Major News and Events of 20 February 2014
What Happened on 20 February 2014
Release of 7 convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case suspended by SC
Rs. 6,400 crore worth of FDI proposal approved for GlaxoSmithKline
2 crore voters in the country between 18 and 19: Election Commission
WhatsApp now a Facebook entity, acquired for $19 billion
'Facebook Talks Live' with Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal, Lalu Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee
The Rajya Sabha passed the Telangana Bill. Now the matter is with the President as the bill has been passed by both the houses of the Parliament. Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde moved the Telangana bill amid complete chaos in the Rajya Sabha. There were many adjournments in the day prior to the day when the Parliament session ends tomorrow and this is the reason why there is so much earnestness on part of the UPA government to get it passed. Deputy chairman PJ Kurien did his best to bring in order in the House but the house had to be adjourned as members carried on placards which read as "Illegal Bill from Lok Sabha". 3 adjournments were already there since the bill was moved. Hamid Ansari in the day had called for an all party meeting in his room. Shinde had to be shielded by the Congress MPs when he was tabling the bill as TDP and TMC members tried to stop him. Arun Jaitley opposed the bill but he was not allowed to speak by the MPs from Seemandhara. BJP's Venkaiah Naidu stated the party will support the bill but at the same time demanded for Seemandhara Rs 10,000 crore financial package and tax incentives. Mayawati welcomed the bill and stated that 4 new states should be carved from Uttar Pradesh and Vidarbha should be formed from Maharashtra. CPI opposed the bill. The discussion on the bill ended in the Rajya Sabha and it was put to vote by PJ Kurien. A special package was announced by the Prime Minister for the Seemandhara region. BJP asked for amendment of the bill at the last moment.
The Supreme Court stayed the decision of the Tamil Nadu government which had declared yesterday it will be releasing 7 persons convicted in assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. The Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam specified the court will be looking into the procedural lapse in the decision of Tamil Nadu government wherein it had stated it will be releasing the seven convicts within 3 days. The court was informed by the Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran that the state government cannot grant permission to release the convicts as the investigating agency of the central government investigated in the matter. On the other hand Tamil Nadu government has specified no final decision has been taken as the matter has been referred to the central government whereas yesterday CM Jayalalitha had stated that if the center did not reply within 3 days the convicts would be released anyway by the state.
Rs. 6,400 crore worth of FDI proposal was cleared by the government for GlaxoSmithKline which will now have 24.33 per cent additional stake in its Indian unit. The nod came from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). The acquisition will be done under SAST regulation of SEBI through a voluntary open offer. This would entail to foreign investment worth Rs. 6,390 crore in India. GSK group already has a majority stake in GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals and with this purchase it will be 75% from the present 50.67%. GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals which has a strength of 5000 employees manufactures, distributes and does trading of prescription medicines and vaccines in verticals like anti-infectives, dermatology and gynaecology.
The Election Commission has stated that within the age group of 18 to 19 years there are 2 crore voters in the country. The total number of voters in the country are 814,591,184, out of which 23,161,296 are between 18-19 years, and they comprise 2.8% of the national electorate as specified by the Election Commission which has taken note of the 2014 data unveiled on February 14. Dadra and Nagar Haveli has the maximum young voters comprising 9.88% of the population while in Jharkhand there are 9.03%.In Andaman and Nicobar Islands there is the lowest percentage that 1.1% of the population. Second lowest population is there in Himachal Pradesh at 1.3%. If numbers are considered then Uttar Pradesh has 38.1 lakh voters and West Bengal has 20.8 lakh voters. These are the leading states.
Science and Technology
Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion. Herein it has to be noted that Instagram was acquired for $1 billion. What made Facebook partake with such a huge amount of money is anybody’s guess. The news which was doing the rounds was that WhatsApp was growing stronger by the day, 450 million users sharing messages, audio and video files and forming groups. People were believed to be spending less time on Facebook and more on WhatsApp as it was more direct, personal, served the purpose and most importantly did not confuse the users with numerous features day in and out. Moreover the ads did not clutter the timeline. One thought is that Facebook got WhatsApp for such a huge price to end competition and that it had panicked to pay such a price. On the other hand the thought process is that this would impact on its market value. Whatever may be the outcome in future as of now it seems that Facebook wanted to strengthen its position in the mobile domain and what better way than having WhatsApp with it.
Science and Technology
On Facebook now there will be 'Facebook Talks Live' where people can ask questions to Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal, Lalu Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee. This will start from next month. There would be discussions on the electoral agenda with the politicians and Facebook users directly communicating with them. Questions related to the political agenda will be sent directly to these leaders who are contending for the 2014 general elections. The questions can be posted on a page dedicated for this purpose from today itself. This would be moderated by renowned journalist Madhu Trehan who would be asking questions on the users’ behalf and then this would be live streamed and also shown on TV. The session will start on March 3 with Narendra Modi as the first leader to answer the queries.