Major News and Events of 27 July 2015
What Happened on 27 July 2015
SC to hear Yakub Memon's Death Warrant Challenge Petition
Terror Attack in Gurdaspur kills 7 Persons including 1 SP and 1 Terrorist, Rajnath Singh to give Statement in Parliament Tomorrow
Union Government Sanctions Rs. 1000 Crore for Indo-Bangladesh Railway Project
ONGC Plans Investing $8.8 Billion to Bring KG-Basin Oil and Gas Discoveries for Production by 2018-19
CAG Report points out release of Rs. 44,000 Crore Funds without Proper Grant Accounts or Utilisation Certificates
Indian Women's Wrestling Team finishes 2nd in the Senior International Wrestling Tournament
Former Indian Hockey Coach Jose Brasa makes Serious Allegations against Hockey India
Parliamentary Standing Committee Expresses Concern on Yamuna River Pollution affecting Taj Mahal
PM Modi Highlights Road Casualties and Road Safety Bill during his "Mann ki Baat"
CBI Registers Fresh FIR against 38 Accused in Vyapam Scam including MP Governor's OSD
GoI Blocks Multiple Webpages having Inflammatory Content
BSE Sensex nose dived 582 points today to close at 27561 points. NSE Nifty also dipped 160 points to close at 8,361. Analysts believe bloodbath in the Indian stock market happened due to two reasons – recommendation of stiff norms for Participatory Notes (P-notes) by a special investigation team (SIT) and biggest stock market crash (to the extent of 8 per cent) in China. After the severe bloodbath, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has to chip in and assure the market that government will not undertake any knee-jerk reaction to SIT recommendation so that it adversely affects investment climate of India.
Supreme Court today started hearing plea of Yakub Memon (1993 Mumbai terror blast convict and brother of main accused Tiger Memon), pleading to stay his execution announced by Maharashtra government on 30 July on the ground that all the legal options to him are not yet exhausted. Today SC took no decision and said that the arguments will go on tomorrow. Many respected eminent citizens have signed a petition asking President Pranab Mukherjee to grant mercy to Yakub Memon. BJP's Shatrughan Sinha, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, CPIM Genera Secretary Sitaram Yechury, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, actor Naseeruddin Shah, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, and others signed the petition.
Four Gun-totting persons (including a woman) stormed a police station in Punjab’s Gurdaspur today morning and fired indiscriminately leading to death of seven persons (including 3 civilians, 3 police persons on duty, and 1 suspected terrorist). Many people were injured during the gun battle. Punjab Police personnel said that the ‘fidayeen’ attackers were shouting 'Allah hu Akbar' during the attack, thereby doing away with the theory of Khalistani terrorist attack. While Ministry of Home Affairs will meet NSA Ajit Doval at North Block today in the evening (6pm scheduled meeting) for reviewing the situation, Home Minister will give statement in the parliament tomorrow.
Union Government has taken the next step of increasing bonhomie with Bangladesh by sanctioning Rs. 1,000 crore funds for building 15.06 kms of railway tracks for connecting India with Bangladesh through northeast India. Samarjit Bhowmik, Transport Secretary of Tripura, said that central government has informed the state that funds to the tune of Rs. 580 crore has been sanctioned for land acquisition for laying 5 kms railway tracks on the Indian side. Rs. 400 crore was sanctioned by MEA earlier for Bangladesh to acquire land and lay railway tracks on that side. While IRCON will construct the entire railway route, the project will get completed by 2017.
Reports say that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has planned of investing more than $8.8 billion to start production in KG-basin oil and gas discoveries by 2018-19. A senior ONGC official has said that the twelve oil and gas finds (KG-DWN-98/2 or KG-D5 and G-4) in the block has been divided into 3 clusters so that production can be started there at the earliest. $8.843 billion investment will be done by ONGC in 11 oil finds along 3,800.6sqkm stretch of KG-D5 block’s Northern Discovery Area and 1 gas find in 3,494sqkm of Southern Discovery Area. 45 development wells will be drilled with this investment.
Report submitted by Comptroller and Auditor General has pointed out that the ministries released funds of around Rs. 44,000 crore in the last few years without getting accounts of grants or utilisation certificates to statutory organisations or bodies. This practice has led to spending without evidence of profits going to beneficiaries. Sources say that the amount is expected to escalate as similar information has not been shared with the federal authority by over 13 ministries. Pending utilisation certificates by some ministries at March 2014-end are Rs. 10,046 crore by Social Justice & Empowerment, Rs. 7,100 crore by Youth Affairs & Sports, Rs. 6,724 crore by health, etc.
Just before the World Championship, Indian women's wrestling team got a shot in the arm after securing second position in 5th Senior International Wrestling Tournament, thereby winning US$10,000. In the 8-member Indian team, Anita won her bout in 63kg category, Lalita Sehrawat in 55kg category, and Vinesh in 48kg category. However, in the 58kg category, Sakshi Malik lost the bout even after putting impressive performance. Other members of the Indian team such as Nikki in 75kg, Navjot Kaur in 69kg, Sarita in 60kg, and Nirmala Devi in 53kg categories also put up impressive respective performances. Host country Kazakhstan won gold, followed by India and Mongolia.
After the sudden sacking of Indian hockey coach Paul van Ass (from Netherlands) by Hockey India, another former hockey coach of India – Jose Brasa – from Madrid shot back by saying that Hockey India treats coaches as “marionettes”. He opined that lack of freedom of foreign coaches and repeated interferences are the two main reasons of sudden exit of most foreign Indian hockey coaches. Brasa went on to add that Hockey India starts interfering if the chosen players are not in accordance with their satisfaction. While emphasising his point Jose Brasa said that Hockey India even sacked world’s best coach Ric Charlesworth.
Science and Technology
Congress MP Ashwani Kumar headed Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology and Environment and Forest expressed concern over ever increasing pollution of Yamuna River and its ill effect on Taj Mahal. In its report the parliamentary committee has suggested formation of a water body near the Taj Mahal so that it gets back its sheen. The report pointed out tanneries around Taj Mahal to be the real reasons of increasing pollution and slammed the authorities of not taking adequate action to check it. The committee questioned why untreated sewerage is discharged into Yamuna and recommended strengthening of waste management system of Agra city.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 10th edition of “Mann ki Baat” programme on AIR yesterday he concentrated on the importance of Road Transport and Safety Bill and expressed his concern on high rate of casualties in accidents. Though PM Modi avoided any mention of the ongoing logjam in the parliamentary sessions, he went on to stress upon launching cashless treatment for mishap victims soon by the government. In his 15 minute address, PM Modi announced that an official team will visit northeastern states soon to understanding their problems so that they can be addressed properly. He also offered his tributes to scientists, farmers, and the armed forces.
CBI registered a fresh FIR related to Vyapam multi-crore scam against 38 persons including against Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav’s ex-Officer on Special Duty. Spokesperson of CBI has said that a case has been registered on the basis of Special Task Force’s FIR for violating the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, Information Technology Act, and Indian Penal Code (on charges of forgery, cheating, and criminal conspiracy). STF had alleged that officials of Vyapam took OMR answer sheets out of the strong room, manipulated them. Many OMR answer sheets were intentionally left blank and numbers were granted to the candidates in lieu of money.
Reports say that around 40 webpages including popular video sharing platforms and social media posts have been blocked by the government for posting inflammatory content that incited religious intolerance. The concerned inflammatory videos were intended to incite minority community and therefore GOI has issued order under Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009. All Internet service providers have been passed on the concerned order and most of the online videos and posts inciting religious intolerance have been blocked. However, ISPs have told government of their inability to block some webpages as they were reportedly done through secure internet protocols.