Major News and Events of 29 April 2015
What Happened on 29 April 2015
British PM offers help to India to Manufacture own Fighter Jets
Narendra Modi Chaired Cabinet Meeting Clears Smart City Project
Cabinet Approves Development of 12 Contentious Natural Gas Discoveries by ONGC and Reliance Industries
CBI files Charge Sheets Against Madhu Koda, Naveen Jindal, and 13 Others in Jharkhand Coal Scam Case
TRAI to Implement New Service Quality Benchmarks for Mobile Operators to Check Call drop Menace
India's Women's Chess Team Secures 4th Position in World Team Chess Championship
ISRO Successfully tests Indigenous Cryogenic Engine
Indian Army's Gorkha Soldiers sent to Nepal to Expedite Rescue Operations
Rahul Gandhi says Make in India meant only for Few Industrialists
Afghan President Promises Closer Ties with India
Market Falls Sharply during Early Trade
Delhi Police in its letter to Home Ministry claimed that the Rajasthan farmer Gajendra Singh, who came to Delhi to participate in Aam Aadmi Party’s rally in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar against Land Acquisition Bill, was incited to commit suicide by a mob that included AAP volunteers. The report also claims that Gajendra Singh’s body fell from the tree because the untrained worker of Aam Aadmi Party climbed the tree to free his body. Delhi Police claims that Gajendra engaged himself in more and more dangerous acts as the mob incited him to do so through intense sloganeering and clapping.
British Prime Minister David Cameron today lauded India’s pursuit of becoming a global manufacturing hub and at the same time offered assistance to India’s Hindustan Aeronautical Limited in manufacturing its own global standard fighter planes, which claims to be better than the recently purchased Rafael fighter planes from France. While renewing the Eurofighter Typhoon offer to India, British PM said that the deal will be provided along with engineering and technical assistance to India. The announcement comes at a time when France is hesitant on transferring Rafael technology to India, even after signing the deal on 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts during PM Narendra Modi’s France visit.
After announcement of Smart City project back in July 2014 during first Union Budget of Narendra Modi government, it took the Cabinet almost nine months time to finally clear 100 Smart City Projects. Today, the cabinet also cleared old housing projects that were also cleared by the erstwhile UPA2 government. The total outlay for the new urban renewal mission along with the development of 100 smart cities is almost Rs 1 lakh crore (Rs. 50,000 crore for Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation for 500 cities and Rs. 48,000 crore for developing hundred Smart Cities Mission). Rs 100 crore per year for five years will be provided to each selected city under Smart City project.
Development of twelve contentious natural gas discoveries by both ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation) and RIL (Reliance Industries) have been given a go ahead today by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reports say that at current prices, the discoveries amount to Rs. 1 lakh crore. The official statement says that a clear policy needs to be established first for settling the long pending issues of development of 6 natural gas discoveries by each ONGC and RIL. It is learnt that development of the projects will monetise around 90 billion cubic meters gas.
Central Bureau of Investigation has filed chargesheet against fifteen people as well as five companies in Jharkhand’s Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block allocation scam case. The cases slapped against them are criminal conspiracy, provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, and cheating. Some of the most influential persons who have been chargesheeted include industrialist Naveen Jindal, former CM of Jharkhand Madhu Koda, former coal secretary H C Gupta, Dasari Narayan Rao (Jharkhand’s former Minister of State for Coal), and others. The 5 companies that have been accused in the CBI charge sheet include names such as Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd., Jindal Steel and Power Ltd., and others.
Science and Technology
Telecom Regulator of India (TRAI) is all set to implement “service quality benchmarks” for checking call drop menace. Available information say that after implementation of this benchmark, the mobile operators have to adhere to the standards otherwise they have to face strict action. Rahul Khullar, Chairman of TRAI, said on the sidelines of an Assocham event that announcement of the new parameters will be done within one month’s time and the work to this end is still in progress. The response comes after Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad received call drop complaints from many Members of Parliament.
Even as women's chess team of India secured fourth place during World Team Chess Championship, commendable individual performances of D Harika and Koneru Humpy gave Indian team a sigh of relief. While D Harika won silver medal, Koneru Humpy won bronze. Harika secured silver by defeating Lilit Galojan in the final game. However, Humpy was a bit unlucky in securing the silver as time gave her a miss in a balanced middle game. Soumya Swaminathan and Padmini Rout played their respective last two boards and lived up to the expectation. In the World Team Chess Championship, Georgia won gold medal, followed by Russia winning the silver medal.
Science and Technology
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully tested an indigenous cryogenic engine, which is capable of putting up to four tones of satellites in geostationary orbit. The test was carried out at Mahendragiri’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district. Sources in Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre say that testing took place at 4.30pm and it went on for 635 seconds. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the space scientists on achieving this milestone. Successful testing of the indigenous cryogenic engine opens doorway to manufacture of next generation GSLV MK-3 satellite lift launch vehicles.
The Union Government has sent Indian army’s Gorkha soldiers to expedite rescue and relief works, an All India Radio tweet said. The special team has been sent to remote corners of Nepal to assert the requirements of the people trapped in those places. Major General Ranbir Singh, Additional Director General of Military Operations, confirmed the report. Available reports say that nineteen mountaineers trapped in Nepal’s Lukla were also rescued by IAF helicopters. To help people undertake their journey in a smooth manner, Indian Railways has opened reservation counters in Indira Gandhi International Airport’s Terminal Three.
A resurgent Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project “Make in India” and asked whether it is meant only for a handful of industrialists and crony capitalists. He also urged the government to help the farmers. BJP returned Rahul’s volley on Make in India by saying that he has no moral right of asking such question as they allege INC did nothing when they were in power. While replying to Rahul Gandhi, Ram Vilas Paswan (Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution) assured his Government will procure every grain the Indian farmers produce. Majeed Memon of NCP lauded Rahul Gandhi’s gesture of travelling in a passenger train to meet the farmers of Punjab.
While reassuring India about maintaining close ties, President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani said that India figures in four out of five circles of foreign policy priorities of Afghanistan. He also vouched for enhanced regional cooperation among countries to deal with terrorism. While India asked Afghanistan’s delegation to let them know their defence requirements, Afghan President said that his country is prepared to open its vast natural resources (including rare earth metals, iron ore, and copper), amounting to $1-$3 trillion for economic regional development. During Ghani’s visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday, President of India Pranab Mukherjee said that India shares Ashraf Ghani’s goal to build independent, strong, and prosperous Afghanistan. The President of Afghanistan will meet Indian business magnets during a meeting with CII, FICCI, and Assocham.
BSE Sensex witnessed sharp fall early today, a day before expiry of April derivative segment due to strong profit booking trend. Sensex dipped by 108.97 points to 27,287.41, a fall of 0.7 per cent during early trade. 50-share benchmark NSE Nifty is also showing weakness as it also slid by 0.7 per cent or 57.20 points to 8228.20. Some of the top losers today include Vedanta (which dipped 4 per cent), TCS, ITC, Tata Motors, and HDFC. Top gainers till now are Tata Steel, GAIL, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, and Wipro. US Dollar reached a two-month low level against most major currencies as the market seems to be hedging its position on uncertain Federal Reserve's two-day policy review, followed by an expected dovish tone in the FED statement.