Major News and Events of 20 March 2015
What Happened on 20 March 2015
Dehradun-Varanasi Janta Express Derails in UP's Rae Bareli District; 22 Feared Dead and over 50 Injured
BCB to Lodge Protest with ICC on 'Unfair' Umpiring during India-Bangladesh Quarterfinals; ICC President Threatens to Quit
Nifty Plunges below Psychologically Significant 8600 Level
Government Hopes to Pass Contentious Mines and Minerals Bill by Breaking Opposition Unity in Rajya Sabha
23 Coal Block Winners Sign Coal Mine Development and Production Agreement
Terrorists Open Fire in Rajbagh Police Station in J&K's Kathua District
Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan Elected as New President of Royal Society
Xolo Launches New 4G LTE Enabled LT2000 Smartphone in Budget Category
India Through to the Semis after Humiliating Bangladesh in the Quarterfinals of ICC World Cup 2015
Top Pentagon Commander Testifies that US-India Strategic Partnership Energised During Modi Regime
Delhi Jal Board Increases Water Tariff by 10 Percent
Suresh Prabhu, Union Railway Minister, has told media that Railway ministry has decided to constitute a council named ‘Kaya Kalp’ that will be headed by noted industrialist and Chairman Emeritus of Tata Group - Ratan Tata. Per available information, Kaya Kalp will have to recommend new and innovative processes and methods to transform and improve Railways. The council will also have representatives of the railway workers - General Secretary of All Indian Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF) Shiv Gopal Mishra and General Secretary of National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) M Raghavaiah. Railway minister said that more members will be included in coming days.
Dehradun-Varanasi Janta Express’s two coaches derailed today at around 9.30am IST while halting at Bachhrawan railway station in Rae Bareli district of Uttar Pradesh. Over 22 deaths have been confirmed till now and more than 50 people are reported to be injured due to derailment. Railway sources say prima facie evidence shows brake failure as primary reason of derailment. Railway officials have told media that among the two compartments one was vacant as it was a guard compartment. Railway Minister Suresh Parbhu has informed through series of tweets that an inquiry has been ordered and stressed upon the need of prioritizing safety among core areas of railways.
Mustafa Kamal, ICC President, has threatened quitting from the position by alleging foul play during India-Bangladesh Quarterfinal match yesterday. Per allegation, Man of the Match Rohit Sharma (at that time was batting at 90 runs in fortieth over of the match with 196 runs on board) was ‘unfairly’ not declared out because of a ‘controversial’ marginal no-ball decision by the umpire. However, after the ‘controversial’ decision Rohit Sharma added 47 runs to his personal score of total 137 runs. Bangladesh Cricket Board has decided to lodge protest with ICC, which is expected to get backing from ICC President Mustafa Kamal.
Weak global cues coupled with poor showing by major global indices made the Indian bourses hover in the red today. Major selling is witnessed in all the sectors, making the indices fall deeper in red. Both the Indian bourses opened marginally below previous close. At 12.26pm IST, NSE CNX Nifty was down by 51.80 points (trading at 8582.85) and BSE Sensex was down by 158.44 points (trading at 28311.23). It needs special mention that Nifty broke the psychologically significant 8600 resistance level, leading to speculation of further plunge in the coming days if it can’t recover the 8600 level by day-end.
Rajya Sabha witnessed high decibel ruckus in Upper House of the parliament until late night yesterday as the Union Government and opposition were at loggerheads on passing the contentious Mines and Minerals Bill. Speaker repeatedly adjourned RS. However, the government made major headway, as it was successful in breaking the united opposition on this contentious bill. Nationalist Congress Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, and Trinamool Congress walked to the Treasury Benches. TMC spokesperson Derek O'Brien told media that the government has listened to their concerns about the bill and therefore they have no problem in supporting the same.
Twenty-three coal block winning companies including Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group, Jaypee Group, Balco, and Hindalco have completed (signed as well as executed) Coal Mine Development and Production Agreement with the Union Government. The companies need to provide performance bank guarantee (which is estimated to be more than Rs. 5,000 crore) by March 23 to the government. Union government is estimated to earn 2.09 lakh crore from e-auction and royalty of thirty-one auctioned blocks. Auction of 8 blocks are reexamined due to outliers in pattern of bidding. The companies that won the bids for these eight reexamined blocks haven’t signed the agreement.
Fresh terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Katua district claimed lives of one CRPF personnel and one police officer. Two CRPF personnel reportedly were injured when the suspected ‘fidayeen’ attackers open fired in Kathua district’s Rajbagh Police Station at 6am IST. The attackers have taken a new strategy where one group is firing at police and CRPF personnel and another group is going deeper in the interior. The situation has become dicey as the terror outfit has taken hostages in the Rajbagh Police Station. Home Secretary is monitoring the situation on the instruction of Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Indian-American scientist, Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, who won Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 due to his path breaking contribution in molecular biology, has been chosen by the fraternity of scientists to head prestigious Royal Society of Britain. The decision was reached through voting by the eminent scientists of the fellowship and the result was confirmed this week during a council meeting of the Royal Society. 63-year-old Ramakrishnan is expected to assume the President’s position of the society from 1 December 2015. In an interview, Ramakrishnan expressed his gratitude to the society and reminded that the society is part of Commonwealth.
Science and Technology
One of the leading Indian smartphone brands Xolo has launched its new budget smartphone that supports 4G LTE connectivity. The new phone is named Xolo LT2000 and will be available to the Indian customers at Rs. 9,999. Though this dual-SIM smartphone runs on Android 4.4 KitKat OS, the company has promised to upgrade it to Android 5.0 Lollipop in the coming days. 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Quad Core processor clocked at a speed of 1.2GHz powers the device. Other notable specs of Xolo LT2000 are 400MHz Adreno 306 GPU, 1GB RAM, 5.5-inch HD display having scratch resistant Dragontail Glass, 8MP rear camera, etc.
India humiliated Bangladesh during ICC World Cup quarterfinal match yesterday at Melbourne Cricket Ground by defeating them by 109 runs. Man of the Match, Rohit Sharma, scored a responsible 137-run (off just 126 balls) knock to take India’s score to 302. 122-run fourth wicket partnership between Suresh Raina (scoring 65 runs) and Rohit Sharma changed fate of the game. Chasing a target of 303 runs, Bangladesh never looked settled and was bundled out at 193. While ICC World Cup 2015’s highest wicket taker Mohammad Shami took two wickets for 37 runs, Umesh Yadav took four wickets for 31 runs.
United States Navy Commander of Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel J Locklear, has reportedly said that the strategic partnership between India and United States has energised after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India. While stressing upon the energizing relationship between the two countries, the top Pentagon commander didn’t forget to remind that security interest assertion of India in EEZ is not in sync with law of the sea. Locklear, while testifying before Congressional sub-committee, pointed out that Indian Navy strongly participates in multilateral exercises with USA (MALABAR), Russia (INDRA), Japan (MALABAR), and twenty-three other navies (RIMPAC) across Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Manish Sisoida, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, gave nod to decision of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to increase water tariff by 10 per cent for households consuming over 20,000 litres of water per month. The decision was finalised during Delhi Jal Board’s 121st Board Meeting yesterday. Though BJP-Congress called it betrayal of people’s trust in unison, report say this hike will not affect any household consuming less than 20,000 litres of water. A senior government official told media that DJB has also decided to encourage customers to regularise unauthorised water connection by decreasing one-time fee from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 3,310.