Major News and Events of 25 March 2013
What Happened on 25 March 2013
Helicopter deal had corruption issues: Antony
PPF, post office small savings interest rates slashed by 0.1%
Somdev, Paes and Bhupathi knocked out of Miami Masters
Salman Khan hit-and-run case deferred to April 8
MIcromax Canvas HD first phone whose price increased after launch
The home ministry on Monday demanded an investigation into the "controversial" arrest of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Sayyed Liyaqat Shah after there were contradictory claims between Delhi Police and Jammu and Kashmir Police.The ministry has directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe Shah's arrest by Delhi Police on March 20.The ministry's decision is in line with the demand of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who had requested for an NIA probe into the issue. Two conflicting versions on Shah's arrest are there.Delhi Police states he was part of a terrorist plot and aimed to launch a fidayeen (suicide) attack in the capital, Jammu and Kashmir Police specify he was returning home from Pakistan to surrender under the rehabilitation policy of the government.Abdullah had a discussion on Shah's arrest with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and had stressed that the case should be investigated by the NIA to establish the facts.Shah's family has also stated he was returning home in the Kashmir Valley under the rehabilitation policy for surrendered militants.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony confirmed that corruption was there in the controversial helicopter deal with the Italian company AgustaWestland. He also specified that a new defence procurement policy will soon be operative. He added that bribes were taken and that the CBI is after the case. When the reports of alleged corruption in the deal emerged, the defence ministry directed a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry to find out if kickbacks were paid to Indian middlemen in the Rs.3,700-crore deal to buy 12 high-security VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland.Antony also assured very strict action would be taken against those involved. He further added that the government was stressing on indigenisation in defence procurement and the new policy preparation is in the final stages, and will look into such requirements.
The small savers and PPF account holders will accrue less on their post office savings schemes, as the government has decided to reduce interest rates on them marginally by 0.10%.The interest rate of Public Provident Fund (PPF) has been reduced from 8.8% to 8.7% with effect from April 1, 2013 as per Finance Ministry statement.The rates on savings deposit schemes and on fixed deposit of up to one year run by post offices remain static at 4% and 8.2%, respectively. Monthly Income Schemes (MIS) of 5 year maturity will give an interest of 8.4%. The National Savings Certificates (NSC) having maturity of five and 10 years will now have 8.5% and 8.8% interest respectively, as there is a dip of 0.10% each. The interest rates apply for the entire 2013-14 fiscal.The rate for senior citizens savings scheme (SCSS) will be at 9.2%, down from 9.3%.The revision in interest rates came after a decision taken by government last year to connect the small savings returns with the market rate. The new rates will be announced at the beginning of a financial year.The decision is in conformance with the recommendations of Shyamala Gopinath Committee, which recommended returns should be in coordination with market rates determined by the returns offered by other securities.
It was a disappointing day for Indian tennis as Somdev Devvarman, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi all went out of the ATP Miami Masters as they lost their respective singles and doubles matches. Somdev went suffered defeat 6-2, 6-4 to two-time defending champion and World No.1 Novak Djokovic in only 68 minutes in their third-round clash on Sunday night. Paes and his French partner Michael Llodra were knocked out by Grigor Dimitrov and Frederik Nielsen 7-6(6), 7-6(4) while Mahesh Bhupathi and his Canadian teammate Daniel Nestor were ousted by Nicolas Almagro and Oliver Marach 6-3, 6-3 in second round matches. Djokovic won 28 of his 31 first serves and got just one break point in the entire match against World No.254 Somdev. Djokovic stated, "It was very difficult to kind of get into a rhythm because you couldn't really serve at 100 percent and you had to go more for precision and put twice as much effort into the step adjustments because of the windy conditions."
A sessions court in Mumbai Monday postponed the hearing to April 8 of the 2002 hit-and-run case against Bollywood actor Salman Khan. During the trial of the case by the magistrate court the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304 part II of the Indian Penal Code) had been invoked, and the case was transferred for trial to the sessions court last month. The charge, if established can lead to a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail. The actor had filed for a review petition to quash the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, hearing for which will happen on April 8 by Sessions Judge U.B. Hejib. Before this Salman Khan was tried by a magistrate under charge of causing death by negligence (Section 304 A IPC) that would have led to a maximum punishment of two years in prison.Salman Khan had run his car into a bakery in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002, that killed one person and injured four others who were sleeping on the pavement.
Science and Technology
Have you ever seen the price of phones increasing after their launch? We generally find it to remain the same or the rates are decreased as the phone gets older. But Micromax seems to have broken the record and has created history with the launch of the mobile phone the Canvas HD. The phone which has high-end features sold off within days of its launch. Micromax got the pulse of the Indian market when they could gauge the Indian mentality to want better features for a cheaper price. The phone which came at just Rs 13,999 on launch was out of stock within a week of launch and the waiting period is now almost a month. Micromax seems to have underestimated the reach of their phone and priced it much less than what they should have. So now the price is increased from the initial Rs 13,999 to Rs 14,999. Though it is a difference of only Rs 1000 it proves the reach and success of the phone. And there has been no slump in the demand even after the price increase.