Major News and Events of 29 January 2013
What Happened on 29 January 2013
US to help India tackle Pakistan terror: Clinton
RBI cuts key rates
Apps for latest BlackBerry phone will be developed in Kochi's Startup Village
Lata Mangeshkar had declined 'Ae mere watan ke logon' song
India, Pakistan war of words - this time over Shah Rukh Khan
Leander Paes is searching for a new doubles partner after his team mate Radek Stepanek had a spinal surgery on Monday. Paes stated his partner was out of the ICU and from next week will start his rehabilitation. It will be some time for him till he is back on track and in the mean time he is looking for a new partner. Paes and Stepanek, the defending champions, got a major upset in straight sets 3-6, 5-7 by South African Kevin Anderson and Israeli Jonathan Erlich in the first round of the Australian Open. Paes specified he was always aware of the extent of Stepanek's injury and also had the option of changing partner but he carried on since he made a commitment.
The fight against terrorism was an "unfinished business" as stated by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. She said her country will enhance its information sharing and law enforcement cooperation with India to tackle the terrorism threat from Pakistan. She was a participant in a "Global Townterview" at the Newseum in Washington, her last engagement before she leaves office later this week. Clinton stated she was not satisfied with Islamabad's initiatives to deal with terrorism. The secretary of state had given an approval of a reward of $10 million on the head of Hafiz Saeed, Lashkar-e-Taiba who is the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, and she is aware of the fact that the present Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri was in Pakistan. She specified,"We have been successful in capturing and eliminating a number of the most dangerous terrorists who have safe havens inside Pakistan." Though she is leaving office she said, "but I can assure you and the Indian people that this remains one of our very highest priorities."
The RBI slashed the key rates but only marginally to boost growth and keep a control over the inflation. This will lead to interest rates on automobile, housing and commercial loans come down and banks to have Rs.180 billion more to lend.The repurchase rate, or the interest on short-term borrowings by commercial banks, has been reduced by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent. The reverse repurchase rate, or interest on short-term lending, also was cut by 25 basis points to 6.75 percent. With this the cost of borrowings for commercial banks will be lowered. If passed on to customers, it will bring down interest rates on loans taken by households and commercial sector. Also the cash reserve ratio, or the money commercial banks have to keep in the form of liquid assets in proportion to their deposits, has also been reduced from 4.25 per cent to 4 percent. The central bank governor stated that the growth rate for the current fiscal was being estimated at 5.5 percent against 5.8 percent earlier, while inflation rate was projected at 6.8 percent March-end, against 7.5 percent. There was serious concern over increasing current account deficit due to high value of imports against exports especially with reference to a large fiscal deficit and slowing growth. The bank further added that the price rise was due to high demand and lower supply. Now as the demand was lower it was necessary to look into the supply-side constraints to keep inflation under control.
Science and Technology
BlackBerry, whose smartphones have been a trademark of the professional class, is now eyeing for younger users. Its latest phones will have applications developed by 57 companies in Kochi's Startup Village, which is an incubation centre backed by the Kerala government. Students who are the employees of these companies have come up with around 150 apps on the BlackBerry platform. The device maker, Research in Motion (RIM) is aiming to take a slice of the market share of larger rivals Apple and Samsung. BlackBerry was until recently giving its users about 1,05,000 apps, compared with 7,00,000 for Android phones and 7,75,000 for Apple. To fill this gap, RIM resorted to sourcing innovation from new locations and Kerala was chosen as its first destination in Asia-Pacific last year. The students who develop apps get free toolkits, BB 10 devices and developer from RIM. From India a tenth of the 4,00,000 developers work on the BlackBerry platform.
Lata Mangeshkar reminisced about Ae mere watan ke logon song that continues to touch hearts at patriotic celebrations in the country. It completed 50 years ago this January 27, since it was first sung to an audience comprising leaders of India's freedom struggle. She remembered how she did not have time to do the song and was on verge of refusing to sing the song but Kavi Pradeep insisted and later on she had to give in. She also wanted Asha Bhonsle to sing it with her but Pradeep wanted her solo rendition. Asha Bhonsle also walked off and did not agree to do the song in spite of Hemant Kumar and she herself requesting her to sing the song. Lata Mangeshkar also said that she did not get to rehearse the song properly before performing it and could listen to only tape of the number. She never thought it would get so popular, she said, "Since it was not part of a film, I thought it would have a limited impact. 'Ae mere watan ke logon' became my signature tune. No show of mine, no concert or event is complete until I sing it."
Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan is now the discussion point between two neighbours, India and Pakistan with Pakistan's minister Rehman Malik's specifying that India should provide the actor security which invited strong reaction from New Delhi that Islamabad should mind its own 'minorities'. Malik in Islamabad had stated that the Indian government should give security to Shah Rukh, who is embroiled in a controversy over his remarks on being a Muslim. The Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed also added that the star could move to Pakistan. Manish Tewari stated, "Instead of introspection of how minorities in India are being treated he (Malik) should contemplate how he can improve condition of minority in his country." The home secretary R.K. Singh said, "We are quite capable of looking after security of our own citizens... let him (Malik) worry about security of his own." Shah Rukh had written in Outlook Turning Points magazine, published in association with The New York Times: "I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India." He had further added that he was being accused of having allegiance to our neighbouring nation rather than India in spite of the fact that he was an Indian and his father fought for the freedom of India.
On the other hand Shah Rukh Khan termed the entire episode as nonsense and stated he was very safe in the country and there was no need to start unnecessary controversy over an article where he specified that he had received great amount of love here in the country.