Major News and Events of 24 February 2014
What Happened on 24 February 2014
Constitutional validity of the President's rule in Delhi to be examined by SC
Arvind Kejriwal targets Rahul Gandhi now, sends a letter
Moily writes to PM that RIL contract cannot be terminated
Somdev at 78, Paes at 10, Sania out of top 10 in ATP rankings
Unilever and Internet.org tie up to enhance internet access in rural India
The Supreme Court on Thursday will be hearing the petition by the centre asking for restraining the Tamil Nadu government so that it does not release the persons convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam gave the matter for hearing on Thursday acting on the plea after Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra informed the court that the Tamil Nadu government had not authority to release the conspirators as the case was handled by the central investigation agency and so the center can decide on the release and not the state government. The Supreme Court had stayed the release three conspirators whose death sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment as there was inordinate delay in decision of their mercy petition.
The Supreme Court acting on the petition of AAP has agreed to look into the constitutional validity of President's rule implemented in Delhi by the UPA government. AAP had challenged the President's Rule in Delhi. The apex court bench of justices R M Lodha and Dipak Misra sent the notice to the Centre and has asked it to respond within two weeks. For AAP senior advocate Fali S Nariman stated the facts which culminated in filing of the petition. At the same time Supreme Court dismissed the demand to issue notices to the Congress and the BJP and specified that the court will look into the constitutional aspect. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for AAP on February 21 had specified that since there was no alternative to form the government the assembly should have been dissolved by the lieutenant governor. AAP has charged the president’s rule has been imposed to shield Congress leaders and former chief minister Sheila Dikshit from charges of corruption.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal has now written a letter to Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi. He has asked him the reason for his silence over the gas pricing issue. He has also questioned the need for doubling the gas price just before the elections and whether it was in return of the favors done by Mukesh Ambani to the party. He also specified that given the fact he will be the Prime Minister as it is widely believed and that his family is always consulted on crucial matters what was his stand on gas now selling at $ 8 per unit was he fine with that? Kejriwal has also questioned Rahul Gandhi whether he will allow tainted ministers in his government. He also queried the reason for Congress’ opposition regarding the FIR AAP led government had filed, when it was in power, against Moily.
Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily has informed the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a letter that the contract of Reliance Industries for KG-D6 gas fields cannot be subjected to termination as there are pending arbitration on it over lag of output targets. In the contract it is specified that there can be termination in case of a default and in May 2012 fine of $ 1.005 was imposed on it by the Oil Ministry under Jaipal Reddy. This was due to failure in complying with the output targets. This order was disputed by RIL and adjudication was invoked. Now since the matter is pending before the arbitral tribunal, the contract cannot be terminated. Moily’s letter comes in wake of Arvind Kejriwal making the gas price issue a poll issue. Moily also specified that the gas prices were raised as it was becoming difficult to operate at the current price of $4.2 per million British thermal unit.
Somdev Devvarman with his victory in the Delhi Open has climbed 18 spots to get the world ranking 78 in the recent ATP rankings. India’s top singles player, Devvarman acquired 100 points after toppling top seed Alerksandr Nedovyesov in the final of the Delhi Open on Sunday. He will be now meeting 2009 US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro, who is ranked 5th in the world in the 1st round of the ATP 500 Dubai Duty Free championships on Tuesday. Devvarman though had secured 62nd rank in July 2011 which is his career best. Yuki Bhambri who is ranked 2nd in India in singles category, slipped three places and is now at 146. He was out in the 1st round at the Delhi Open. Leander Paes maintained his top slot in the country with his world ranking at number 10 in doubles category. Rohan Bopanna slipped a position and is now positioned at 16th while Mahesh Bhupathi who will be hanging his boots has dipped to 41st position. Divij Sharan in doubles was at 65. Sania Mirza at 11 slipped out of the top-10.
Science and Technology
Unilever, the FMCG major has collaborated with Internet.org (Facebook led alliance) to assess how internet access can penetrate rural India. At present only 13% of India has access to the internet. For understanding the matter a study will be carried out and would try to understand other components which are hindrance to the rapid spread of the internet apart from cost and infrastructure factor. Once the research is completed this would act as a base for number of projects targeting enhancing lives of the people in rural India. Unilever has the expertise in carrying out awareness programmes like importance of handwash through its product Lifebuoy and the company will be utilizing this along with its partner Internet.org with its hold on the virtual domain to get into the psyche of the rural India regarding what stops them from connecting to the virtual world.