Major News and Events of 30 March 2015
What Happened on 30 March 2015
ISRO to Help Ministry of Environment and Forest for Detection of Illegal River Mining
Pharma Sector's FDI Policy in Review Mode After Unabated Takeovers of Indian Drug Companies
Road Transport and Highways Ministry to Offer 9 Road Projects this Fiscal
J&K Government Declares Flood in Kashmir Valley; Over 16 People Missing after Mudslides
S&P's Report Points out Sluggish Growth Expectation in India's Capital Spending
SBI to Buy Air India Properties of Rs. 90 Crore from Air India
Tata Steel Jamshedpur Becomes 1st Indian Company to Produce 10 million Tonnes of Hot Metal Every Year
Prashant Bhushan Removed from AAP's National Disciplinary Committee
Government Expecting 1 Crore Consumers to Voluntarily Surrender Subsidised LPG Connection
PM Expected to Announce Vision-2025 Plan on April 1 for Increasing Capacity of SAIL to 50 MPTA
Rajnath Singh on Banning Cow Slaughter Nationally
Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal has won India Open Super Series title by defeating Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon. She won the match yesterday at New Delhi’s Siri Sports Complex in straight sets 21-16, 21-14. The win comes a day after Saina became the first woman Indian badminton player to achieve World Number 1 ranking. Saina secured second title of the season rather easily against Ratchanok Intanon as the latter seemed a bit slow in the game. Experts believe Intanon’s one and and half hour marathon semifinal struggle made her slow in the final. Ultimately, Saina’s powerful and accurate smashes couple with better movement made the day for Saina.
Science and Technology
As per Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Centre’s (NRSC) Director, VK Dadhwal, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to help Ministry of Environment and Forest for detecting illegal mining in rivers by letting them use satellite images. While talking to media-persons at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Dadhwal said that The Indian Bureau of Mines have been assigned the work of drawing boundary lines for sand mines. The NRSC Director made these statements while responding to a media question on Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar statement on the similar use of ISRO pictures for mapping river for identifying illegal mining of sand.
Foreign Direct Investment Policy of the Centre is being reviewed by Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) after unabated takeovers of Indian drug companies by foreign entities, without much significant investment in new projects, has worried the government about possible low-cost generic drug scarcity. After discussing the matter with other departments and ministries, DIPP is expected to place the review report before Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) soon. An official said that the Government is currently checking whether the existing FDI policy has adversely affected “availability of cheap generics”. Reports say that over 90 per cent FDI has come in existing Pharma projects or Brownfield projects.
Sources in Union Ministry for Road Transport and Highways have said that the central government is all set to offer its final batch of 9 road projects of the on-going financial year soon. Per available information, the total stretch of road construction is expected to be 895 kms at an estimated cost of Rs. 17,815 crore. While 6 projects are expected to be created under Engineering-Procurement-Construction model, 3 projects (Solapur-Bijapur, Agra-Etawah, and Mukarba Chowk (Delhi)-Panipat) will be built under Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model. A ministry official said that they are close to meeting the target of awarding 7,000 km stretch of roads.
Jammu and Kashmir government declares flood in Kashmir Valley after flood levels at Anantnag’s Sangam, Srinagar’s Ram Munshi Bagh, and Bandipora’s Ashim reached 22.8 feet, 19 feet, and 11.55 feet respectively today morning. Except Ashim, status of the flood levels are red in both Ram Munshi Bagh and Sangam. All concerned flood control operation officials have been asked to report on duty. People living along the banks of Jhelum river have been asked by the administration move to other safer places. After mudslides, while more than 16 people are reported missing 10 to 12 people are still buried under debris.
Report published by Standard and Poor's says that due to the ‘wait and see’ approach of the private companies recovery of capital spending may take another 12 more months time. The report points out that inspite of the fact that India is one of the few brightest spots in the Asia-Pacific region, capital spending will continue its downward movement throughout 2016 fiscal. However, the report also says that capital spending will be led by Reliance Industries, on one hand, and government owned companies, on the other. In general, private companies in the capital-intensive sector is concentrating more on improving profitability rather than expanding new projects.
State Bank of India, largest lender of India, is all set to buy Rs. 90 crore of Air India properties located in South Mumbai. Sources reveal that SBI has received all possible approvals in going ahead with the purchase. Per available reports, SBI is going to buy the properties so that they can allocate them for residential purposes to the general managers and deputy managing directors. However, the proposal of selling four 3-BHK (of 2,033 sq ft in carpet area each) residential flats in south Mumbai’s Peddar road to SBI has been sent to the Civil Aviation ministry for required approval.
Tata Steel’s Jamshedpur unit in Jharkhand achieved a new feat when it achieved the target of producing 10 million tonnes of hot metal per annum. In fact, it is the first Indian steel plant to achieve this feat in the iron making industry. In a statement, the company said that the production capacity increased by 63 per cent to 10 mtpa from a mere 2.4 mpta back in 1992. The statement emphasised on the fact that financial year 2015 has been a watershed moment for blast furnaces as incorporation of innovative operational strategies has led to considerable fuel rate reduction, helping in annual savings every year.
Prashant Bhushan, one of the leading Supreme Court lawyers and rebel AAP leader, has been removed from National Disciplinary Committee of the party yesterday after removing him and AAP rebel Yogendra Yadav from the National Executive. Internal Lokpal of the party has also being reconstituted by forming a 3-member panel (consisting educationist S P Verma, and IPS officers Rakesh Sinha and Dilip Kumar) by replacing Admiral (retd) L Ramdas, who is a rebel faction loyalist. AAP has justified the decision of replacing Ramdas from the position by calling it “long overdue” as they reason the term had completed long back.
A top government functionary has said that the Union Government is expecting around one crore well-to-do consumers to surrender their subsidised LPG connections after Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to people on the concerned issue. Last week during global energy conference Modi said that 2.8 lakh people have voluntarily surrendered their subsidised LPG connections, saving the government around Rs 100 crore. He also said that this sum will be productively used in providing more social welfare schemes to the poor. In recent past, executives of PSUs, senior government officials, MLAs, MPs, and ministers were urged by Oil Minister to surrender subsidised LPG connection.
While inaugurating modernised unit of SAIL's Rourkela steel plant on 1 April Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, is expected to make announcement of the plant’s capacity expansion plan to the tune of Rs 36,000-crore. The market is expecting the PM to announce SAIL’s Vision-2025 on April 1 for achieving a stellar target of 50mpta. The Odisha based plant has been modernised by investing Rs. 12,000 crore to raise capacity from a mere 2 mtpa per annum to 4.5 million tonnes per annum. For achieving Vision-2025, approximate investment need is expected to be Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister, has said that the current BJP-led NDA government at Centre will give a “level best” effort in reaching a consensus of banning cow slaughter throughout India. While addressing a gathering of spiritual leaders of Shwetambar Jains the Home Minister said that “cow slaughter cannot be accepted” in India. While giving example of ban on cow slaughter in BJP-ruled states such as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, Singh stressed that no one should doubt Centre’s commitment on the same. Home Minister referred to Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act for extending ban on slaughter of bullocks and bulls too.