Major News and Events of 29 August 2015
What Happened on 29 August 2015
Indian Women's Hockey Team secures Olympics berth for the 2nd Time since Independence
ISRO-NASA working closely to Launch US NISAR Satellite by using GSLV-Mk II Rocket in 2021
India's Forex Reserve Swells by $920.6 Million
Union Government Discards Land Ordinance Route, Includes 13 Central Acts for Benefiting Farmers under 2013 Act
Home Minister meets PM Modi and apprises him about Ex-Servicemen's OROP related Grievances
A major bureaucratic reshuffle was carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After the reshuffle, new secretaries have been appointed for 16 ministries and departments. One of the most glaring inclusions is that of Hasmukh Adhia (a Gujarat cadre officer), who has been brought to Revenue secretary's office from the post of banking secretary (under Finance Ministry). Sources say Adhia came to PM Modi’s good books after he successfully spearheaded the implementation of Jan Dhan Yojana plan (a grand financial inclusion plan for poor), a pet project of Modi. Another noteworthy reshuffle is that of Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das, who is now being appointed as the Economic Affairs secretary.
Women hockey team of India sealed their berth for 2016 Rio Olympics on National Sports Day, which is also the birthday of Major Dhyan Chand. It is a historic achievement for the team because since independence it is only the second instance that they have qualified for the Olympics, first time being during 1980 Olympic Games. India’s women hockey team achieved the feat this time after Spain lost to England EuroHockey Championships’ semi-final. The other teams who have qualified for Rio Olympics are USA, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, China, Great Britain, Argentina, and South Korea. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid tribute on 110th birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand’s birthday.
Science and Technology
A.S.Kiran Kumar, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has said that ISRO will launch a US NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite in the year 2021 by using GSLV-Mk II rocket, as part of the on-going cooperation between NASA and ISRO. He went on to say that ISRO is in the process of targeting launch of 2 tonne satellites as there is a good international market for it. The announcement comes after the Indian space agency launched its communication satellite GSAT-6 successfully by using GSLV Mk II rocket. Reports say that ISRO will launch 4 nano-satellites from US next month using PSLV.
On account of higher foreign currency assets, foreign exchange reserves of India increased to US$355.353 billion, swelling by US$920.6 million, in the week to August 21. This figure is important as it neared $355.46 billion, the all time high achieved in the week to June 19. In the previous week too, India witnessed a healthy increase of its foreign exchange reserve (by US$1.086 billion) to a whooping US$354.433 billion. Latest RBI data show that Foreign Currency Assets also witnessed a healthy increase. RBI has said that special drawing rights of India with IMF have increased by $19.9 million in the week under review to $4.075 billion.
Sensing the general mood against increasing wrath against the Land Ordinance route, Union Government has decided to avoid issuing Land Ordinance (3rd ordinance lapsing on August 31) for the record 4th time. Instead government has issued statutory order including 13 central acts (Railways Act, National Highway Act, etc.) for extending benefits to the farmers, whose lands were acquired under the existing Land Acquisition Act, 2013. With the issuance of this order, government has removed difficulties clause such as 2013 Act’s Section 113. Now, the government will be able to extend provisions related to determination of resettlement, rehabilitation, and compensation to all the land acquisition cases, done through the 2013 Act, by utilizing 13 central acts.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh met PM Modi yesterday night and has apprised the Prime Minister about the concerns of ex-servicemen regarding One Rank One Pension (OROP). Sources say that the meeting between PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister took place after a delegation of ex-servicemen met the later and urged him to impress upon the union government in implementing OROP. On-going tussle between ex-servicemen and the government widened with the former boycotting golden jubilee celebrations of 1965 war, after they found the latest government offer insufficient and rejected the same. Ex-servicemen today sought President Pranab Mukherjee’s intervention to resolve the impasse over OROP by writing a formal letter.