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Major News and Events of 13 December 2012

What Happened on 13 December 2012

With rising extortion cases, Goa invokes NSA

To control increasing instances of extortion and surge of high tourist traffic to happen during the forthcoming peak season in December, the Goa government started the National Security Act (NSA) in the state for a period of three months. The home ministry issued a notification on this invoking the act to both the north and south Goa districts of the state. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar stated that cases of extortion were on increase in Goa, which has initiated him to think of imposing the NSA on the state.The NSA enables the state as well as central government to detain a person in the name of law and order for a period of 12 months. This will be in vogue a few days ahead of Goa's peak tourism season from mid-December to early January.

More reforms and some 'bitter medicine' in the pipeline

India would bring in more reforms in the coming weeks to strengthen the "green shoots" of recovery and infuse confidence in Asia's third largest economy as informed by the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. He also stated that  some "bitter medicine" was required to get back on track of high.After the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took an array of decisions aimed at spurring growth, Chidambaram stated that he was sure about  the steps government has taken, and some more steps were in the pipeline for the coming weeks, that will help turn the Indian economy around. India's growth increased at over nine per cent and then slumped to nine-year low of 6.5 per cent in 2011-12 and during the current year, as per Reserve Bank of India's projection, it is estimated to be 5.8 per cent.

India tottering at 87 for four wickets

India were 87/4 at stumps on the second day of the fourth and final cricket Test against England at the VCA Stadium on Friday. Virat Kohli and  skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni were batting on 11 and 8, respectively.England pacer James Anderson ripped through Indian batting taking three wickets for 24 runs. Earlier leg-spinner Piyush Chawla grabbed four wickets to wrap up England's first innings for 330 runs while India lost opening batsman Virender Sehwag on the third ball for a duck.  

Salman to groove in 'Gangnam style'

Bollywood star Salman Khan who is popular for inventing new dance trends, will dance to South Korean rapper Psy's hit single "Gangnam style"  at a forthcoming awards function. Salman's  belt step got quite popular with "Dabangg". He will perform for the BIG Star Entertainment Awards in Mumbai on Sunday.There will be  three performances firstly he will dance with a bevy of belly dancers, then he will enact his true-blue "Dabangg 2" style, and his final performance will be "Gangnam style". The strange dance steps of the song became a viral worldwide and actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan also  attempted it on TV game show "Kaun Banega Crorepati 6". The song's video has been declared by Guinness Book of World Records as most viewed YouTube video.

India-Pakistan liberal visa regime starts; Malik equates terror attacks with Babri

A liberalized visa regime for more people-to-people contact was made operational between India and Pakistan on Friday. At the same time Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik equated terror attacks with the Babri Masjid demolition. Malik made controversial statements on Babri Masjid and then evaded stating about Kargil martyr Saurabh Kalia's death. He also remained stubborn on the fact that there were enough evidences provided by India which links Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed vis-a-vis the 2008 Mumbai terror attack and considered them not enough to stand investigation in a court. He stated, "Terrorism brings grief, we do not want a 9/11, Bombay blast, Samjhauta Express blast, Babri Mosque demolition. We want peace not only in India and Pakistan but in the region."

Net, broadband subscriber much below the government targets

In India there were 22.86 million Internet subscribers at March end 2012 -that is much below the target fixed for 2010. The shortfall is due to many reasons. The report regarding this was submitted to the Parliament. The number of Internet subscribers as per the report by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for the last three years was 16.18 million (2009-10), 19.67 million (2010-11) and 22.86 million (2011-12). The target under the Broadband Policy 2004, was of 6 million, 18 million and 40 million Internet users for the years 2005, 2007 and 2010 respectively.The number of wireline Internet users were 6.7 million (2005), 10.36 million (2007) and 18.69 million (2010). The target for broadband users was at 3 million, 9 million and 20 million for 2005, 2007 and 2010 but the actual figures stood at 0.90 million (2005), 3.13 million (2007) and 10.99 million (2010).

New visa regime for India and Pakistan from Dec 14

A revised visa agreement between india and Pakistan will become operative on Friday when Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik comes on a three-day visit to India. The two countries will also discuss counter-terrorism, border management, fake Indian currency notes and cooperation among security and investigation agencies. Malik will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Dec 15.The official delegation with Malik includes members from interior ministry, foreign ministry, and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) among others. From the Indian side, besides Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, his junior R.P.N. Singh and senior officials from home ministry, external affairs ministry and various security agencies would be discussions. Malik has come to India at Shinde's invitation.

Bengal approves land allotment for ITC Infotech campus

 The proposal to allot a 15-acre plot of land to ITC Infotech for setting up its first campus in the state,  was cleared by the West Bengal cabinet. The cabinet also cleared proposal for 14 more projects in the state.The cabinet's approval came just two days after ITC Ltd. chairman Y.C. Deveshwar called on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat. Banerjee "assured" Deveshwar that she would "look into the matter". The firm,which is a fully owned IT subsidiary of the diversified conglomerate, was waiting for the Banerjee government nod on land allotment in the satellite township of Rajarhat.

'Midnight's Children' cleared without cuts

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) passed the movie "Midnight's Children" by Deepa Mehta without any cuts. Mehta is very happy with this and tweeted, "India here we come - intact! Great news - 'Midnight's Children' went through Indian censor board today without one pic cut. Salman Rushdie and I THRILLED." The movie is based on Salman Rushdie's 1980 Booker Prize-winning book of the same name. The film cast includes Satya Bhabha, Shriya Saran, Siddharth, Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Seema Biswas, Shahana Goswami, Rahul Bose, Soha Ali Khan and Darsheel Safary. The shooting has been done mainly in Sri Lanka, and the movie depicts the time during the national emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi from June 1975 to March 1977.

Slow start on the first day of fourth Test, England 199/5

England ended the first day's play at Nagpur with 199/5 in 97 overs at the VCA Stadium on Thursday.Matt Prior and debutant Joe Root were at stumps batting on 34 and 31, respectively. It was a dull day as England scored runs at a rate of 2.05 runs per over on a pitch which showed turn.  Kevin Pietersen played the anchor role on this  flat and dry wicket. The early overs were disastrous for the visiting team as Ishant Sharma grabbed the early wickets of the two openers. From the score of 16/2, Jonathan Trott (44) and Pietersen (73) made a 86-run partnership to take England out of danger. Trott and Pietersen struck seven and 10 boundaries, respectively, in their innings before Trott was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja in the 50th over.  England skipper Alastair Cook (1) was unlucky to get out LBW as he nudged a delivery away from the off-stump, the ball struck his pads to which Indians appealed and he was declared out by Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharamsena. Replays revealed that the ball was moving outside  the line of the stumps.

NASA releases video on apocalypse 10 days early

US space agency NASA confident of the fact that the apocalypse will not happen on Dec 21 as predicted by the Mayan calendar launched the video titled "Why the World Didn't End Yesterday", 10 days ahead of schedule before its date of release that is December 22,2012. In it the astronomical and planetary experts dismiss theories that the sun will illuminate  the atmosphere or a planet will crash into the Earth. The video begins with the statement, "If you are watching this video then that means one thing... the world didn't end yesterday." The prediction that the world will end is based on an interpretation of the ancient Mayan calendar which mentions the world will end on Dec 21, 2012. Various theories are at place regarding how Earth will meet its end, all of which have been challenged by the NASA video. John Carlson, director of the Center for archeo-astronomy, stated that the Mayan calendar does not end on Dec 21, 2012.

Polling starts in Gujarat

The first phase of the assembly elections in Gujarat started today at 8 a.m. and the polling will end at 5 p.m.Voters in 87 of the 182 constituencies of the state assembly will vote at 44,579 polling stations.17,029 of these stations have been declared as critical. There are 19.9 million male and 18.1 million are female among the total 38 million voters. Total of 846 candidates including 46 women are there.The Bharatiya Janata Party's candidates are there in all 87 seats, the Congress has 84 candidates, Gujarat Parivartan Party 83, and the Bahujan Samaj Party 79 and there are 383 Independents, while others are 130. Abdasa (6,278 sq km) is the largest constituency as per area, while the largest constituency by population is Kamrej (304,621 voters).Maninagar in Ahmedabad, where incumbent Chief Minister Narendra Modi faces suspended officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife, Shweta also will witness polls in the first phase.

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