Major News and Events of 21 December 2013
What Happened on 21 December 2013
A case of hurting Muslim religious sentiment booked against Salman Khan and producer of Big Boss
Jan sabha and public opinion crucial for making government in Delhi- AAP
Temporary immunity to Devyani Khobragade
Facebook to acquire Little Eye Labs, a startup company based in Bangalore
Positive doping cases brought shame for Indian athletics
Since long time retail investors had been waiting for the inflation indexed bonds because of the protection these will provide to the savings from the price hike. These bonds will be launched on Monday. A finance ministry release said that Inflation Indexed National Savings Securities Cumulative can be issued to the retail investors when it opens on December 23. The closing date is December 31 but it could be closed earlier as well. Each applicant can make the investment ranging from Rs 5000 (minimum limit) to Rs 5 lakh (maximum limit) per year. Individuals, Hindu Undivided Family, charitable institutions and universities can get the subscription. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) will define the interest rates on these bonds which is divided into a fixed rate of 1.5% per annum and inflation rate. Interest can be paid at the time of maturity which would be compounded on half yearly basis on the principal amount. Senior citizens can redeem it after a year from the date of issue and other citizens have to wait for three years with penalty of 50 per cent of the last coupon paid. SBI, nationalised banks and three private banks HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank will distribute or sell the bonds.
A case against actor and present host of Big Boss 7 Salman Khan and producer of the show has been booked for hurting religious sentiments of muslims by showing "Jannat" (heaven) and "Jahannum" (hell). Salman Khan is hosting a reality TV show Big Boss season 7 on Colors channel. The case was booked under section 295 of the Indian Penal Code at Falaknuma police station in the old city of Hyderabad. City court provided the direction for booking the case after a petitioner made the complaint stating that the religious sentiments of Muslims have been hurt. The complaint had been filed by Mohammed Fasihuddin in the court of VIth Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. The court then directed police to register a case.
Aam Adami Party’s (AAP) main agenda at present is whether it should form a minority government in Delhi or not. For this they have again turned towards common man to share their views through sms, voice messages or comments. More than 75% of public response is asking them to form the government. In order to come to the conclusion the party is planning to hold 272 jan sabhas on Saturday and Sunday. Arvind Kejriwal, party chief has even written a letter to ‘Delhi Residents’ stating his dilemma to form collation government. Party spokesperson Manish Sisodia also said that public opinion matters a lot for AAP and this will play a major role in making this decision. But the final call will be taken after jan sabha meeting. Open debate has been organized at jan sabha in which merits and demerits of forming a government would be discussed. After debate people’s decision will be sought. Party is hesitating to take decision just on the basis of messages as these may have been manipulated. In jan sabha there will be direct people-to-people contact. Congress and BJP has offered an outside support to AAP and in response Kejriwal has sent letters to Sonia Gandhi and Rajnath Singh. In his letter he has talked about 18 issues and asked their opinion on the same. Only Congress has responded to the letter. Congress said that 16 points are administrative and agreed on two points – Jan Lokpal and full statehood for Delhi. Congress also said that it is providing outside support because it could not provide support to the BJP which won 32 seats. At the same time it is not in the favor of re-elections in Delhi.
The US has made it clear that it will not take back the charges against Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade. Devyani received her full-diplomatic immunity temporarily with a transfer to India's Permanent Mission at the United Nations. This will prevent her arrest in the US but a visa fraud case against her will go continuously as said by US official. The State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki said that receiving diplomatic immunity does not waive off the previous criminal charges. Also the immunity will remain for the period of time of that status. She added that diplomatic immunity means that the diplomat with this immunity is not subject to any criminal jurisdiction until he or she is in that position. She said that granting diplomatic immunity does not mean that all the previous charges are wiped out. The immunity is granted for a period of time and does not mean the clean state of past charges. Khobragade was arrested last week in New York and a week later she was shifted to India’s Permanent Mission at the UN from the Indian consulate. She will receive full diplomatic security till she is posted at the UN. After arrest she was handed over to the US Marshals Service (USMS) and released on a USD 250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court. In case a case goes against her then she could face a maximum sentence of 10 years for visa fraud.
Science and Technology
Little Eye Labs, a startup and founded by group of program analysis geeks in Bangalore is all set for a new game with Facebook acquiring it. Main product of this lab is to develop tools which assist android developers in measuring, analyzing and optimizing their apps. The social media giant Facebook will acquire Little Eye Labs in a deal worth between $10 million and $15 million. TechCrunch has stated that this acquisition means a lot to Little Eye Lab which has also approached Twitter but got really big deal with Facebook. It is expected that the final deal will occur mid of January with most of the founding team of the Lab moving to the Facebook’s headquarter in US. They will be a part of their mobile engineering team. Just regarded as a social newspaper of Bangalore, this company takes data from Twitter. Each day 10 millions tweets are sorted and segregated into different categories. Content is collected from 55 different cities from six countries. It is really a big startup company that analysis tweets for creating more awareness by covering different verticals.
This year was not good for Indian athletics except for hosting Asian Championships. Doping and administrative mistakes brought bad name to Indian athletics. National Anti-Doping Agency conducted test to detect cheats in doping and surprisingly athletics remained at the top. Shot-putter P Udaya Laxmi did not participate in July 3-7 Asian Championships in Pune. She was pulled a day earlier because of positive for stimulant methylhexaneamine, a test conducted by NADA during National Inter-State Championships in Chennai in June. Ashwini Akkunji who was banned in doping case was tried to enter in quartermiler. But this request was refused by the technical delegate of the championships. Renjith Maheswary, a national record holder in triple jumper also created controversies because of doping case that happened five years back. Just few hours before the Arjuna Award ceremony he was eventually refused to be honored with this award. Sports ministry after investigation found out that Maheswary failed the dope test in the Kochi Nationals in 2008. The Athletics Federation of India faced strictness of the sports ministry which later informed that dope violations took place during the Kochi Nationals.