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Major News and Events of 20 January 2013

What Happened on 20 January 2013


Complete transformation of the party system: Rahul

The newly-appointed Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday stated that the country and its people were his life and asked for a "complete transformation" of the party system. He also said that more national level leaders "who can run the country" should be created. In his speech he said, "The Congress party is my life, the people of India are my life, and I will fight for the people of India and my party, I will fight with everything I have." He also added that "young and impatient India" wants more role in decision making and looks for expression. His speech touched on all the points like the issues in the centralized system of government, how youth was kept separate from the system. Rahul Gandhi, spoke in Hindi and English alternatively. He further added that the Congress party needed 40-50 leaders "who can run the country, not just a state". Similarly leaders should be created at the state level who can be made chief minister. He added an emotional touch to his speech when he said how party president Sonia Gandhi sat next to him and cried on Saturday night, because "she understands that the power many people seek is actually a poison" as she has seen the repercussions on people and those whom they love.

BJP will elect party chief Jan 23, Gadkari may get 2nd term

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced on Sunday the party president's elections amid possibility of Nitin Gadkari getting another term as no one has contended for the post. Notification specified that the filing of nominations will take place on Jan 23 in the party office between 10 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. and the result will be declared on the same day if the election is unanimous and in the event of a contest, the date of polling will be announced on Jan 23.Party sources stated that Gadkari will get 2nd term if no one contends for the post. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionaries and BJP leaders have been consulted on the choice of president. Senior party leader L.K. Advani's viewpoint was also taken. Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj though had emerged in the discussion, but she was happy on continuing in her current post.The RSS is in favor of Gadkari's continuation in the post.

Budget must stress on boosting infrastructure investment: CII

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) stated that in the upcoming union budget focus should be  on strengthening private as well as the government's investment in infrastructure. The CII in its pre-budget memorandum to the finance ministry stressed on the development of adequate infrastructure as the most critical prerequisite for bringing the growth again in the economy. The 12th Plan earmarks an investment of $970 billion (nearly RS.50,000 Crore) in infrastructure over the next five years and around 50% of that will be generated from the private sector, quick steps are needed to make the sector viable and capable of attracting capital. Steps like boosting investment in infrastructure sector,which includes exemption of infrastructure companies from the payment of Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT). At present the infrastructure projects get a tax holiday under section 80IA for 10 consecutive years during the first 15-20 years of their operation. 

Australian Open: Bhupathi-Petrova get into second round

Mahesh Bhupathi with Russian partner Nadia Petrova got into the mixed doubles second round at the Australian Open by winning over Anastasia Rodionova and Jean-Julien Roger at Melbourne on Sunday. The Indo-Russian duo defeated the Australian-Dutch pair by 6-4, 6-2 to join compatriots Leander Paes, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza in the second round. The Indian trio made a winning start with different partners. Bhupathi-Petrova next played Slovakia's Katarina Srebotnik and Serbian Nenad Zimonjic. The fifth seeds won the match in little over an hour. Bhupathi-Petrova will now play Paes and Russia's Elena Vesnina in the quarter-finals. Sania and Bob Bryan will meet American pair of Abigail Spears and Scott Lipsky for a place in the last eight while Bopanna and her partner from Chinese Taipei partner, Su-Wei Hsieh, will meet Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Italy's Fabio Fognini.

KBC 6 comes to an end, Big B sad

Amitabh Bachchan, who has been hosting "Kaun Banega Crorepati" (KBC) since its inception in 2000, completed the sixth season of the game show. He said that while shooting the last episode, there was "a feeling of great remorse".The last episode will be shown on Republic Day Jan 26. Amitabh posted on his Facebook page on Sunday, "The season endeth here of KBC! A sadness prevails and there is a feeling of great remorse..." Amitabh's popularity and his ability to connect with the people prompted producers to hire him again and again. Out of the six seasons all of them except the third one was hosted by Amitabh Bachchan.  Shah Rukh Khan got into the host's chair in 2007.

India's R&D efforts not up to mark: President

The President Pranab Mukherjee stated that India's initiative on research and development (R&D) activities are "not up to the mark" and the country will have to stress more on them to fill in the gap. He further added that this can be gauged from the fact that the number of patent applications, which is an indicator of innovation filed by Indian scientists are much lesser in number than Germany, Japan, China and the US. The president said the country should emphasize more on the R&D as there was a serious need to fill in this gap. Also there was a need to improve the quality of products so that India can compete well and the National Test House has a huge role to play in this scenario.