Major News and Events of 21 June 2015
What Happened on 21 June 2015
India starts Hockey World League Campaign with a Win against France
WHO urges India to Undertake Preventive Measures against 'Camel Virus'
Tanzania seeks Urban Metro Project Funding from India; Sign 8 MoUs on Tourism, Combating Terrorism, and Others
India Celebrates First International Yoga Day with the World and Eyes for a Guinness World Record
Jaitley regards India a Bright Spot in Troubled World Economy; US Raises Intellectual Property Right Concerns
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, has shown confidence on Indian sports team, which is preparing to represent India in the upcoming Rio Olympics. He told media persons that India is confident of securing more than 10 medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics, which is scheduled to start on August 5, 2016. India bagged 6 medals during London Olympics, held in UK in the year 2012. He said this when a reporter asked him whether the medal count will increase this year. Sonowal went on to add that he is vouching for it because of the success expected from Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme, launched by Sports Ministry. He also said that the scheme was launched in order to help the “medal prospect athletes” in all possible manners so that they can achieve the coveted goals of securing medals in accordance with their merit.
Indian hockey team started with a emphatic win over France at FIH Hockey World League semifinal’s opening match, played at Belgium’s Antwerp. Though France took lead by scoring in the first 3 minutes of the game, India bounced back quickly and netted two goals in the following 2 minutes to take a 2-1 lead. While the first goal on behalf of France was scored by Olivier Sanhez, the first two goals on behalf of India was done by Manpreet Singh and Devindar Walmiki. France dominated first two quarters of the game through better penetration of Indian defence and were duly rewarded in the third quarter of the game when Simon Marin scored the second goal for France, leveling the score 2-2. However, India clinched the match at penultimate minute when Sardar Singh netted the third goal for India and secured an emphatic win.
Science and Technology
World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged India to take preventive measures and remain vigilante on possible attack of new lethal 'camel virus', which has shaken confidence of South Koreans from the core. Regional Director of WHO (South-East Asia Region), Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh has urged India has urged India to focus on three main aspects to prevent any casualty from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS), commonly called ‘camel virus'. The first step she has prescribed is enhancement of surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections. Per Dr. Poonam, focus should be given to early diagnosis of the disease, followed by stepping up of control and infection prevention procedures in Indian health care facilities. Reports say that the concerned virus is similar to the pathogen causing common cold but is so deadly that almost 1/3rd of infected patients have died. No vaccine or specific treatment is available yet.
Tanzania has asked India to fund development of urban metro rail project Dar es Salaam, commercial capital of Tanzania. Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said that India’s IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd.) has expressed interest in investing in metro rail project of Dar es Salaam – fastest growing sub-Saharan African country that is plagued by the crippling traffic congestion problem. Kikwete, during his India visit, made an official request to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fund the coveted project. President Pranab Mukherjee thanked Tanzania for supporting India’s bid for permanent membership to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). During Tanzanian President’s India visit, both the countries signed 8 Memorandum of Understandings that includes cooperation agreements on tourism, combating terrorism (through establishment of Joint Working Group), boost gas exploration, hydrography, statistics, agricultural science, and others. Both the countries have agreed to increase bilateral trade much above the current $4 billion mark.
PM Narendra Modi led celebration of first International Yoga Day by participating in a record breaking yoga session held in New Delhi’s Rajpath, where he was joined by an estimated 37,000 people. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the event today and said that this ancient Indian practice is both an art and science that helps people towards holistic well being including proper time-work management. PM Modi thanked United Nations for acknowledging the healing powers of yoga and declaring June 21 as International Yoga Day. He also thanked those countries who backed the resolution at UN. Modi called the day beginning of a new era of peace and harmony. The event was joined by members of Muslim community. While Congress called the Rajpath drill a "propaganda and public relation exercise" by Modi government, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (who participated the Rajpath event) said that no one should do politics over yoga.
While briefing media about his ongoing 10-days US trip, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that with improving growth rate and controlled fiscal discipline India is a bright spot in the “otherwise troubled time of the global economy”. He also vouched for Indian economy by saying that growth rate this year is expected to be 8 per cent and that’s what makes India an impressive destination for the foreign investors. Jaitley stressed upon the structural changes undertaken by the government for ease of business coupled with tax rationalisation (through reduction of “direct tax rates to 25 per cent” and moving towards GST regime), usage of DBT mechanism, rationalization of subsidy, and transparency in functioning of government. Jaitley also said that US representative raised the contentious Intellectual Property Rights issue with him and they expect “substantive and measurable improvements”. Reports say Totalisation Agreement and Bilateral Investment Treaty were also discussed.