Major News and Events of 24 July 2015
What Happened on 24 July 2015
ISRO Signs MoU with Russian Federal Space Agency to Expand Space Exploration Cooperation
CBI Registers FIR against Vyapam's Controller of Examination with 37 Others
ED to Move Special Court in Mumbai to seek Non-bailable Warrant against Lalit Modi for Non-compliance of Summons
Governing Council of TERI asks RK Pachauri to step down from Director General's Position
Lupin buys US Generics Company GAVIS Pharmaceuticals and Novel Laboratories at US$ 880 Million
Government Proposed Revised Draft Indian Financial Code seeks Removal of RBI Governor's Veto Power
Onion Prices Nears 2 year High Level, Increasing Worries of Worsening Food Inflation
Lok Sabha adjourned till 27 July
Top US Senators vow to Strengthen India-US Strategic and Trade Relationships
Delhi Government Overrules Announcement of New Helpline Number by ACB Chief
Maharashtra Government Drafting Bill for Preventing Attacks on Media Persons
Indian golf prodigy Shubham Jaglan won his second world golf tournament within a week’s time after he won IJGA World Stars of Junior Golf event in Las Vegas yesterday. Last Sunday he won Junior World Golf Championships. In the Boys 9-10 years category title, 10-year-old Shubham accumulated a score of 106 at the end of 3 rounds, thereby defeating Justin Dang, Sihan Sandhu, and Pongsapak Laopakdee (of Thailand). Anjala Jaglan, Shubham’s mother, when contacted expressed her delight and hoped that her son wins the upcoming tournament too. She credited Shubham’s coach for her son’s success and also thanked Delhi Golf Course.
Science and Technology
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has signed a new MoU with Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS) for expanding cooperation in exploration as well as outer space usage for peaceful purposes. Reports say that signing of this MoU will help India space agency in further consolidating as well as augmenting space programmes in multiple domains including space exploration. MoS for Department of Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, informed media that the MoU doesn’t include space technology transfer. He also told Lok Sabha that India has earned US$ 100 million or Rs. 637.35 crore from commercial launch of 45 satellites belonging to 19 countries.
CBI has registered an FIR against the then Controller of Examination, Pankaj Trivedi, during multi-crore Vyapam scam as he is believed to be one of the main masterminds of the scam. Reports say that FIR has been filed against 37 others who are suspected to be involved in the scam including the then System Analyst Nitin Mohindra. Two more Preliminary Enquiries have been registered on mysterious deaths of two persons related to Vyapam scam - Ramendra Singh (who police allege to have committed suicide due to a failed relationship) and Deepak Jain (a middleman in the PMT scam who died in a road accident).
Enforcement Directorate (ED) will reportedly move a special court in Mumbai on 27 July for getting non-bailable warrant against former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi for not responding or complying with its summons, issued on 3 July. ED officials say that they are forced to seek a non-bailable warrant after Lalit Modi failed to respond to the warrant issued to him through thrice – first to LaMo’s Mumbai solicitors - Wadia Ghandy & Co. – who returned the summons even after receiving it, second to him through email, and third to his Nirlon House official address in Worli.
Dr. RK Pachauri (who received 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of IPCC, along with former US Vice-President Al Gore) has been asked by the governing council of TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) to step down from Director General’s position. Pachauri will now be replaced by Dr. Ajay Mathur, current Director General of Bureau of Energy Efficiency, which works under power ministry. Though TERI made the process look like a routine job and called it “the culmination of an extensive search process”. Sources say the decision came after an internal search committee found a female employee’s sexual harassment charges valid.
Lupin, third largest drug company of India, has bought GAVIS Pharmaceuticals and Novel Laboratories (Gavis), a privately-held US generics company, for US$880 million. This move will strengthen Lupin’s market presence in the US as it will help the Indian drug giant access various specialty generic drugs and niche products, especially in the gastro-intestinal, dermatological, and injectable categories. It is the largest ever overseas acquisition in the pharmaceutical industry by any Indian company in recent years, where the purchase is nine times above the FY2014’s market capitalisation/sales (US$96 million). Lupin CEO Vinita Gupta justified the steep valuation to its access to "scale and calibre of the Gavis pipeline".
Union government unveiled proposal of a revised draft Indian Financial Code yesterday where it sought removal of RBI Governor’s veto power in deciding interest rate. Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission earlier proposed veto powers to the RBI governor for overriding decision taken by a seven-member Monetary Policy Committee by issuing public statement. Currently, the decision of interest rate fixation is taken up by RBI and Finance Minister is consulted by the governor. Analysts believe RBI governor’s veto power removal will hamper independence of the apex bank in deciding interest rate. A senior RBI official slammed the proposal by saying it is undesirable.
Raising fears of worsening food inflation condition, reports indicate that onion price (one of the major vegetables in the Indian food habit) has soared up to the highest level, witnessed in the last two years. Consumer Price Index of June’15 witnessed an 8-month high level mainly due to the rising food inflation. Available data shows that average onion price has increased by 54 per cent in just two weeks time to the highest level - Rs 2,550 per 100 kg – witnessed since November 2013. National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation’s ex-director Changdev Holkar said that prices are likely to witness further upward trend due to weak monsoon rains.
Just after beginning of the proceedings today in Lok Sabha, the house has been adjourned till 27 July. With the start of proceedings in Rajya Sabha today, opposition parties continued their demand for resignation from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan’s CM Vasundhara Raje, and MP CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan till investigation is over. With continued uproar, Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 12 noon. While Rahul Gandhi in a press meet accused Sushma Swaraj of committing criminal act, CPIM GS Sitaram Yechury in a televised interview called PM Narendra Modi as “Maunendra Modi” for remaining silent on BJP leaders’ involvement in Lalit Modi controversy and Vyapam scam.
Co-Chairs of the Senate India Caucus – Republican Senator John Cornyn and Democrat Senator Mark Warner – in a reception hosted to welcome Arun K Singh, new Indian Ambassador to the USA, said that relationship between India and the US has become stronger in the ever changing and very dangerous world. Both the top US senators said that the time has come for both the countries to converge strategic as well as economic fields more strongly. The Republican senator reminded about the challenging Indo-US relationship 25 years back and went on to say that the scenario has now changed as relationship has become stronger from trade, FDI, and strategic perspectives.
Power tussle between Delhi Government and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is brewing again as the former overruled the latter’s appointed Anti-Corruption Bureau chief MK Meena’s announcement of a new helpline number. AAP government has also threatened ACB of pursuing legal actions if such announcements are made in the coming days. Early in the day, Meena said that his office is issuing a new helpline number because the persisting 1031 number is not getting routed to their office. However, Delhi CM’s office said that SS Yadav is the ACB chief and any decision regarding ACB will be taken by Yadav and not Meena.
Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra CM, told media yesterday that his government is preparing first draft of the bill that will prevent attacks on media persons and will be ready in one month’s time. It will be then put in open domain for objections and suggestions. Fadnavis assured of making a fool proof law for preventing attacks on journalists, for which he sought to take opinions from senior lawyers. Maha CM also said that recommendations of the Rane Committee will be rejected by the state cabinet after journalists’ organisation complained against it. He added that attack on journalists will be made non-bailable under the Special Act.