Major News and Events of 23 July 2015
What Happened on 23 July 2015
Majority Proposals of GST Bill endorsed by Rajya Sabha Panel
India gearing up for Huge Show of Strength in Indian Ocean during Malabar Exercises in October
Pakistan toes 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed version of Peshawar Massacre and accuses India just before NSA-level Talks
Yakub Memon asks Supreme Court to stop his Death Sentence
Modi Government likely to do away with Controversial Clauses of Land Bill by Next Week
Lok Sabha Congratulates Leander Paes, Sania Mirza, Sumit Nagal and Shubham Jaglan for bringing Laurels to India in International Tournaments
MoS Department of Space says India will bear Building and Launching Cost of SAARC Satellite
Union Department of Science and Technology hands over National Isotope Facility to Kerala
Defence Ministry does away with Export Regulations for both Private and Public Companies
With bouncing back of Dollar, Gold Prices reach 5 Year low
Seven Indian Companies make it to Fortune 500 List
Government lawyer, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, while countering charges that personal data collection for Aadhar Scheme violates Right to Privacy, told Supreme Court during the hearing that “Right to Privacy is not a fundamental right under our Constitution”. He also informed the apex court that the Union Government is trying to put into place a “fool proof” system for proper implementation of the Aadhar scheme. Rohatgi asked Supreme Court to dismiss the petition filed under Article 32, as right to privacy is not a fundamental right and it can’t be invoked for scraping the welfare programme of Aadhar.
Prospects of introducing Goods and Services Tax (GST) through passage of GST bill during ongoing Monsoon session brightened after most of the proposals in the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill have been endorsed by most of the political parties. Some of the opposition parties that pledged support to the bill include Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Janata Dal United (JDU), and Trinamool Congress (TMC). BJP's Bhupender Yadav headed committee on GST submitted report to RS where the same suggested levying of 1 per cent additional tax on inter-state supply of goods by states and changes in the clauses that deals with compensation.
Reports say that Narendra Modi government is all set to show its strength in the Indian Ocean this October along with USA and Japan during “Malabar” exercises. Though the exercise usually is a naval drill of India and the USA, as per India-US strategic partnership, this year, Japan has been allowed to participate in the yearly drill. Diplomatic source in New Delhi say that military officials of India, USA, and Japan are attending a two-day meeting (Wednesday and Thursday) in Yokosuka’s US naval base in Japan for planning the “Malabar” exercise. The meetings will decide deployment of the fighter planes and warships.
Pakistan has claimed that India was involved in the Peshawar Army Public school massacre, which led to 150 deaths (including 136 school children). The claim comes just before the NSA level meet. Pakistan went on to say that they will share dossiers during NSA-level talks that will prove involvement of India in multiple terror activities in Peshawar, Afghanistan, FATA, and Baluchistan. Though Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the Peshawar attack (in retaliation to Pakistan Army’s operation in North Waziristan), Pakistan’s recent claim is conspicuously similar to that of 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed and ex-Pakistan President Pervez Musharaf.
Yakub Memon, brother of Tiger Memon and convict for helping the 1993 Mumbai serial blast, has yet again appealed to the Supreme Court for stopping his hanging, scheduled by Maharashtra government on 30 July. In his new petition, Yakub has claimed that the issued death warrant, ordering hanging till death, is illegal because he claims proper procedure hasn’t been followed. Reports say that Yakub Memon called himself innocent and claimed that he surrendered to the Indian administration to cooperate. However, officials deny this. CPIM, in a statement, asked for accepting Yakub’s mercy petition and instead of hanging offer him life sentence.
Reports indicate that after getting stiff resistance in the Rajya Sabha from opposition parties and also within a section of BJP, Union Government is all set to finalise the contours of reworked land acquisition bill by coming week. Sources indicate that the government may do away with the controversial clauses of the bill and may also allow the state governments to come up with their own land acquisition laws with the central law as point of reference. It is also learnt that the refurbished land acquisition bill is likely to have pro-people measures with “five sweeteners” so that Congress can’t project Modi government as “pro industry”.
Lok Sabha yesterday congratulated Leander Paes, Sania Mirza, 17-year-old Sumit Nagal, and 10-year-old Shubham Jaglan for their respective feats in the international tournaments, bringing laurels to India in the international sphere. While Leander Paes, Sania Mirza, and Sumit Nagal won Wimbledon mixed doubles, Wimbledon Women’s Doubles, and Wimbledon junior doubles trophy respectively, Shubham Jaglan won Junior World Golf Championship. Sumitra Mahajan (Lok Sabha speaker) congratulated the concerned players on behalf of the Lok Sabha, while members of Lok Sabha applauded. She said that their “stupendous achievements” is “a matter of national pride”.
Science and Technology
While responding to question in Lok Sabha, Jitendra Singh (Union Minister of State for the Department of Space) said in a written statement that India will bear cost of both building and launching of the SAARC regional satellite. He went on to say that ground system expenditure will be borne by other constituent countries of the regional bloc. Singh also said that development of this satellite will help all the participating regional countries in accessing multiple services (broadcasting and telecommunications) including disaster management, tele-education, DTH, and television. He added that ISRO will commercially launch 28 satellites of 6 countries during 2015-17.
Science and Technology
Union Department of Science and Technology (DST) has handed over National Isotope Facility to Kerala. This laboratory is believed to reinforce works of Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), established in 2004 in Kozhikode. The full-fledged state-of-the-art isotope laboratory has been provided with all kinds of advanced machines and equipments for measuring and analysing environmentally stable radio isotopes so that processes governing water cycle as well as its climatic conditions variability can be better understood. Prof. T K Chandrasekhar, Secretary of Union S&T department, handed over the concerned documents in presence of PJ Joseph (Resource Minister of Kerala).
Defence Ministry, in an effort to boost export scenario of the country, has set up new rules for both public and private companies manufacturing defence equipments. As per reports, the controversial “ultimate end user” certificate clause, required for military equipment components and parts, have been done away with. Most importantly, the provision regarding multiple foreign government assurances for companies supplying defence parts have also being done away with. The sub-sectors of defence manufacturing such as engines, armoured equipments, sensor systems, and software have been opened up. However, strict export control has been kept on explosive, small arms, vessels, and fighting vehicles.
As US Dollar witnessed a bounce with the expected increase of U.S. interest rates in a decade’s time, Gold prices witnessed continued heavy selling pressure. This led Gold prices to touch a 5 year low level. In fact, the Gold price slided down below the psychologically important Rs. 25,000 per 10 gm level by yesterday’s closing. Standard Gold price yesterday decreased to Rs. 24,870 closing, Rs. 250 less in comparison to Tuesday’s closing price of Rs. 25,120. In fact, gold price also witnessed bloodshed in the international market. At 1400 GMT, Spot gold price per ounce fell 1 per cent to reach $1,090.70.
Seven Indian companies have made it to Fortune 500, a list of world’s 500 largest companies. This list includes Indian corporate behemoths such as Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (158th position), Tata Motors (254th position), SBI (260th position), Bharat Petroleum (280th position), Hindustan Petroleum, and ONGC (449th position). While SBI and Tata Motors improved their respective positions in the concerned list, RIL, Indian Oil, ONGC, and Hindustan Petroleum have actually slipped in ranking. First five spots in the list have been secured by Walmart, Sinopec Group (from China), Royal Dutch Shell, China National Petroleum (another Chinese firm), and Exxon Mobil.