Major News and Events of 24 February 2015
What Happened on 24 February 2015
Arvind Kejriwal Takes Jibe at RSS Chief for Remarks on Mother Teresa
Tech Mahindra to Implement 'Fightback Plus' Initiative for Women Safety
S&P Rating Agency Expects India to Accelerate Reforms, Boost Growth Rate
Lava Smartphone Manufacturer to Invest Rs.150 cr in Hardware and Software Development in Two Years
Tablet Market in India Grew by 3.6% During Q4 of 2014: Study
Sachin "Happy but Not Satisfied" with Indian Cricket Team's Performance
Land Acquisition Bill Likely to be Tabled in Lok Sabha Today; Amendments on Cards
BJP, PDP Likely to Announce Formation of Kashmir Government Today
PSU Bank Employees Reach a Deal on Wage Hike, Call Off Strike
TRAI cuts call connect charges; Landline, mobile tariffs likely to fall
ITC to Buy Park Hyatt Hotel in Goa, Offers Rs. 515.44 cr
Mehmet Simsek, Finance Minister of Turkey, told media that his country is keen to become a part of 'Make in India' programme, the pet project of Indian PM Narendra Modi. He went on to say that the biggest advantage of India is predictability and stability of the implemented policies of the new government. Mehmet Simsek also said that Turkey is interested in increaing the currently low volume of bilateral trade between the two countries by four folds from mere $7.5 billion as in 2014. Turkey’s Finance Minister is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart today.
After Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Mohan Bhagwat told at a gathering in Rajasthan that Mother Teresa served the poor to convert people to Christianity, newly appointed Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal has asked Bhagwat through media to spare the noble soul from conversion controversy. Kejriwal also told media that he worked with Mother Teresa in Kolkata at Nirmal Hriday ashram. However, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh through a tweet said that media wrongly attributed the comments made by Ex-DG BSF as Bhagwat’s comment.
Tech Mahindra, one of the leading IT software firms, has started a unique ‘Fightback Plus’ initiative for providing enhanced security to women employees of the company, sources with the company revealed. The company is all set to provide its 27,000 odd women employees with digital hand rings, lockets, and key chains that come with GSM-based chips. These digital devices will reportedly help female employees send SOS messages in emergency cases to selected contacts and let them know the location of despair.
Standard & Poor's, one of the leading rating agencies of the world, has issued statement just before the Union Budget that it expects Indian government to achieve its stated objectives of lowering fiscal deficit, boosting growth rate, and carrying forward with fiscal and financial reforms for justifying credit rating upgrade. S&P has given India 'BBB-minus' rating with a stable outlook (upgraded from negative outlook during September 2014). S&P categorically mentioned that India must not expect rating upgrade in the coming three to five years as rectifying fiscal balance sheet is a gradual process.
Science and Technology
Lava International, one of the leading indigenous smartphone manufacturers, have decided to invest Rs. 150 crore on development of proprietary software and hardware along with user interface in the coming two years. It is learnt that the company, headquartered in Delhi, is all set to expand its turnover to Rs. 6,000 crore (out of which Rs. 2,000 crore will be contributed by their Xolo brand alone) by end of 2014-15 fiscal. Sources claimed that Lava has set its eyes to become the second largest indigenous vendor through online sales of its Yu sub-brand.
Science and Technology
International Data Corporation’s data revealed that during the fourth quarter of 2014, total shipment of tablets increased by 3.6 per cent on quarter-on-quarter basis. Reports suggested that during the fourth quarter, 960,000 units of tablets have been shipped. IDC report has pointed out that the growth in tablet market has been ushered in by the strong performance of local technology companies. The report indicated a possibility of a further boost in tablet sales in 2015 owing to large-scale demand from education and government projects.
Indian cricket legend Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar spoke his mind when he told media that India’s performance in the first two crucial games against Pakistan and South Africa has been ‘good’. However, he quickly added that he is happy but not yet satisfied with their overall performance. Referring to Indian win over Proteas a couple of days back, Sachin expressed desire to see the team continuing with the performance. Sachin went on to say that he expects the Indian batting order to perform better as he affirmed that the batsmen can play better than their current form.
Union Government is all set to replace the Land Acquisition ordinance it promulgated in December 2014, and table Land Acquisition Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha today. Sources say that in a high profile meeting of senior BJP leaders it was decided that the government is ready to make amendments in the proposed bill by including mandatory permission of local panchayats before land acquisition. It is learnt that a two-hour long meeting took place on Monday at Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence where farmers’ union briefed their apprehensions. Singh is believed to have briefed the ground realities to the PM.
According to the media reports, PDP and BJP have come to an understanding to form next government in Jammu & Kashmir. BJP President Amit Shah is all set to meet PDP Chief Mehboob Mufti today for making formal announcement. PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed told media that both parties have taken great care in reaching the Common Minimum Programme for alliance. Sources say that PDP has got written assurance from BJP on maintaining sanctity of Article 370. On AFSPA, it is learnt both parties have agreed to gradual removal of military from improved areas and replace them with local police.
United forum of bank unions successfully negotiated for better pay package and work-life balance as Indian Banks' Association (IBA) agreed partially to accept their demands and averted 4-day strike (February 25-February 28). IBA has agreed to increase wage of employees of state-run banks by 15 per cent, which will cost the banks an estimated Rs. 4,725 crore annually. According to the agreement between IBA and united forum of bank employees, the banks will remain closed on alternate Saturdays. The bank unions had earlier demanded 5-day working week and wage hike of 19 per cent. It took 18 rounds of negotiations for both parties to reach the agreement.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has slashed the inter-operator charges on domestic landline-to-mobile and landline-to-landline phone calls to make these calls more affordable. In case of mobile-to-mobile calls, the inter-operator charge or termination charge has been slashed from 20 paise to 14 paise per minute. Analysts believe that this will help new entrants (Reliance Jio and Uninor) to offer tarrif discounts to their customers, but may lead to erosion of revenues of existing companies (Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel). Termination charge has been increased for incoming international calls from 40 paise to 53 paise per minute, which will help incumbents recoup some of their lost revenue. BSNL is expecting more people to opt for landline connections due to lower tariff.
The ITC Limited. has acquired Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa property at Arossim Beach in South Goa for Rs. 515.44 crore. ITC Limited has revealed that it has emerged as the highest bidder of the auction, which took place under SARFAESI Act, 2002. As per the media reports, 25 per cent of the total bid value (Rs. 129 crore approximately) has been remitted by ITC and the company is scheduled to pay the rest 75 per cent in the coming 15 days.