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Major News and Events of 28 May 2016

What Happened on 28 May 2016


Iran tells Pakistan India-Backed Chabahar Port Not Rival to China-backed Gwadar Port

Iranian ambassador to Pakistan, Mehdi Honerdoost, said that agreement of developing Chabahar Port (which gives India access to trade route to Afghanistan and other land locked central Asian countries by bypassing Pakistan) in Iran is not about India and Afghanistan and is definitely not a rival to Gwadar port in Balochistan (modernised by China). While mentioning India being a good friend of Iran during sanction era, Honerdoost said that the Chabahar deal is not complete yet and both Pakistan and China are welcome.

US assures Pakistan that India's NSG is not about Arms

State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner, while talking to reporters during his daily news conference, said that Pakistan must understand that India’s application to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and US’s tacit support to it is not about arms race or nuclear weapons but about “peaceful civil use of nuclear energy”. Toner’s reaction came while responding to a question on India’s NSG application. USA is reportedly dissatisfied with Pakistan’s opposition to India’s application of becoming NSG member. However, he stressed on reaching consensus over the issue.

TRAI Chief says Open to Free Internet Idea

TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) Chief RS Sharma has said that he is open to the idea that internet content should be provided at free of cost or even at discounted rates. TRAI doesn’t have any reservation if any service provider provides content free, provided the facility is available to all mobile subscribers. Sharma’s comment comes at a time when TRAI’s February-proposal, prohibiting differential tariffs, is under consultation and Government of India is looking at ways of increasing internet access across India.

PM Modi says RBI Rajan's reappointment not Issue of Media's Interest

With current Reserve Bank of India’s Governor Raghuram Rajan’s term coming to an end this September and newly elected Rajya Sabha BJP MP Subramanian Swamy beating up the rhetoric of sacking Rajan immediately, Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence in a question to Wall Street Journal. PM Modi said that reappointment of Rajan as RBI Governor is purely an administrative issue (finalised after consultation between Finance Ministry and Prime Minister) and went on to say that it shouldn’t “be an issue of interest to the media”.

Mamata Banerjee starts her 2nd Innings as West Bengal CM

Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as Chief Minister of West Bengal for the second consecutive term yesterday by Governor of the state Keshri Nath Tripathi at a ceremony at Kolkata’s Red Road. The ceremony was attended by 25,000 people, including VVIPs, VIPs, and the common people. 41-member council of ministers was also sworn in during the event out of which 18 are new faces. National/regional ministers/leaders who attended the event are Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, MoS Babul Supriyo, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, NC’s Farooq Abdullah, and many others. PM Narendra Modi and INC VP Rahul Gandhi greeted Mamata’s 2nd innings through their respective Twitter accounts.

Defence Minister boasts of breaking Middlemen-Defence Ministry Nexus

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said under current NDA-government’s tenure, nexus of middlemen and arms agents with Defence Ministry officials have been broken. He went on to regard this as one of the biggest achievements of two-year-old NDA government. Parrikar said he inherited a ministry that was suffering from “fear psychosis and frozen mindset” as many in the ministry knew that wrong-doings were being done during UPA2 regime for ensuring Italian firm AugustaWestland was shortlisted for VVIP chopper contract. The minister said he has been able to “create atmosphere of trust” partially and for the time being it is “good enough”. Defence Minister also highlighted implementation of transparency, ease-of-doing business, and faster decision-making as other successes of NDA government.