Major News and Events of 24 March 2015
What Happened on 24 March 2015
Row on Land Acquisition Bill Makes Top RSS and BJP Leaders Meet in New Delhi
Sitaram Calls UPA2's Land Acquisition Bill Better than Modi's Bill
VK Singh's Tweets Leads to Full Blown Political Controversy
Jaguar Land Rover India's Range Rover Evoque SUV, Assembled in India, to be Available From April 2015
BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty End in Red After Early Rally
L-1B Work Visa Process Eased by US Administration; Expected to Help Indian IT Professionals
ADB Expects Indian Growth Story to Surpass that of China's in coming Two Financial Years
Supreme Court scraps Section 66A of IT Act
Samsung Launches Well-Awaited Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 in India
MOM Completes 6 Months Today; To Keep Functioning for Extended Time Period
World Cup Cricket Potpourri Just Before India-Australia Semi-Final Clash on Thursday
Supreme Court of India today sought response from the two lawyers - AK Singh and ML Sharma, representing the four alleged rapists and murderers of the rarest of rare 2012 Delhi Rape Case, on their reported outrageous comments made in the ‘India's Daughter’ BBC documentary (directed by Leslee Udwin, a British Filmmaker). While commenting on the heinous rape of ‘Nirbhaya’ (the 23-year medical internee and BPO professional) the two defending lawyers made derogatory statements on women and defined ‘Indian Culture’ in a bizarre manner. While asking for response, SC observed that the comments made by the lawyers are unjustifiable, inhumane, scandalous, and biased.
Uproar on Land Acquisition Bill and united opposition in the parliament trying to portray Narendra Modi ‘anti-farmer’ has made top rung leaders of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh meet in New Delhi yesterday and discuss on the contentious issue. Sources say that many leaders in these saffron organisations, especially representing farmers’ front, are against the new Land Acquisition Bill. The meeting was attended by Suresh Bhayyaji Joshi (GS of RSS), Suresh Soni and Krishan Gopal (Joint GS of RSS), Amit Shah (National President of BJP), and other prominent leaders of BJP such as Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, and others.
With Land acquisition Bill uniting the warring opposition, Sitaram Yechury (Rajya Sabha member and Politburo Member of CPIM) gave another dimension to the debate by calling the Land Acquisition Bill, brought by erstwhile UPA2 government, far better than the present bill, which Narendra Modi government is trying to table. While emphasising on the fact that BJP supported the bill brought by the earlier government, Yechury pointed out that the present BJP-led government is trying to dilute the most important rehabilitation and farmer compensation clauses. Sitaram went on to add that left parties always wanted better law on land, which BJP never supported.
Two tweets (with hastags #DUTY and #DISGUST) of V. K. Singh, MoS for External Affairs and ex-Chief General of Army, yesterday done after attending Pakistan’s National Day celebration event, organised in New Delhi by Pakistan High Commission, has come under fire from opposition parties. INC’s Manish Tewari and AAP’s Ashutosh asked the ex-general to resign from his post if his duty is becoming a burden on him. Some believe V. K. Singh’s ‘controversial’ tweets went against Indian PM’s insistence on continuing bilateral talks with Pakistan. While some see Hurriyat-role in India-Pakistan talks, Syed Akbaruddin (Foreign Ministry spokesperson) made it clear that there is no 3rd party involvement in resolving India-Pakistan issues.
Reports say that Jaguar Land Rover India, highly profitable section of Tata Motors, has decided to assemble Range Rover Evoque SUV in the manufacturing facility of Pune, India. Rohit Suri, President of Jaguar Land Rover India, has said that indigenous assembly of the premier sports utility vehicle will help the company cater to a wider target audience that craved for a SUV from Jaguar Land Rover brand. Per company statement, pre-Octroi ex-showroom price of Range Rover Evoque will be anything from Rs. 48.73 lakh to Rs. 56.21 lakh and will be available in India from early-April.
After BSE Sensex increased by 263.3 points (reaching intraday high of 28,455.32) and Nifty by 76.85 points (reaching intraday high of 8,627.75) today from previous close, both the bourses closed in red. While Sensex fell by -0.11 per cent or 30.30 points to close at 28161.72 points, CNX Nifty fell by 0.09 per cent or 7.95 point to close at 8542.95. While 1,717 stocks declined 1,087 gained, making the overall market breadth at BSE negative. 0.4 to 0.6 per cent fall have been witnessed in BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices too.
Indian IT companies get a shot in the arm as US President Barack Obama eased the entire process of obtaining L-1B work visas for corporate professionals. This relaxation of process is expected to help IT professionals get work visas easily and therefore avoid the harassment they used to face earlier while getting them. While making the announcement, US President said that his administration is relaxing the process to make it easier for foreign companies to move their workers temporarily from their foreign base to the US office. Obama expects that this move will help US get more Foreign Direct Investment.
Asian Development Bank released its annual publication Asian Development Outlook today. It expects Indian economy’s growth to surpass that of China’s in the coming two fiscal. Per ADB’s projection, growth rate of India is all set to become 7.8 per cent during 2015-16, followed by 8.2 per cent during 2016-17. Growth rate of Indian economy in the current FY is 7.4 per cent. Shang-Jin Wei, Chief Economist of ADB, has said that main reasons of improving growth rate are improved external demand, current government’s positive outlook on reform, improving CAD and Fiscal Deficit conditions, and improving business climate in India.
In a landmark judgement today, SC scrapped Section 66A of Information Technology Act. The section is considered “unconstitutional and untenable”. The apex court delivered judgement on the petition filed by Shreya Singhal, who sought amendment of Section 66A following arrest of Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan from Maharashtra’s Palghar (Thane district). The duo were arrested after one of them made a Facebook post (another liking it) protesting shutdown of Mumbai due to death of Balasaheb Thackeray, founder and supremo of Shiv Sena. SC observed that grounds mentioned in IT Act’s Section 66A for arresting a person were vague, thereby adversely affecting Freedom of Speech and Expression.
Science and Technology
Samsung has finally launched its well-awaited flagship smartphones - Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 – in India yesterday. Pre-booking of the concerned smartphones started yesterday. However, from April 10, they will be up for sale. Samsung Galaxy 6 is now available in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB variants with official price points Rs. 49,900, Rs. 55,900, and Rs. 60,900 respectively. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge also comes in three variants and their prices in the Indian market are Rs. 58,900 (32GB), Rs. 64,900 (64GB), and Rs. 70,900 (128GB) respectively. 64-bit 14-nanometer Exynos processors, the new Samsung processors, power both the handsets.
Science and Technology
Mangalyaan, one of the most successful and cost effective missions of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) completed six months today in the orbit of Mars. Reports say that official lifespan of the mission was six months and was expected to end today. However, around 37 kgs of fuel are still left in the Mars Orbiter, which will enable it to go on for extended period of time. Per last available information, the satellite is working fine and all five instruments aboard are in good condition. Minister for Space’s MoS, Dr. Jitendra Singh, called it “shining example” of “Make in India initiative”.
As India prepares to take on the mighty Australians at Sydney Cricket Ground pitch on Thursday, Darren Lehmann (Australian Cricket Coach) said that he is expecting a high scoring semi-final match between the two favourites of ICC World Cup 2015. Aaron Finch, Australian opener, has said that he considers India as a formidable opponent to take on in the semis. Brett Lee, former Australian pace bowler, expects his country to win against India smoothly on 26 March. Whatever be the outcome, Indian cricket fans (led by Swami Army cricket fan outfit) have decided to paint SCG blue during India-Australia match.