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Major News and Events of 13 February 2013

What Happened on 13 February 2013


Centre wants food bill passed, states express doubt

The Congress-led UPA government is hopeful of passing the National Food Security Bill in the Budget Session of parliament which begins on Feb 21 even as the opposition-ruled states are not in the favor of the provisions in the bill. The food bill aims to provide the right to food to around 67 percent of India's 1.2 billion population. While Tamil Nadu asked for exemption from the bill, Bihar, Orissa, Punjab and Gujarat have demanded for modernization of the public distribution system (PDS) before implementing the proposed law. The proposed bill was part of the Congress manifesto in the 2009 general elections and it will be the flagship legislation of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA-II) in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. It was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011 and was directed to a parliamentary standing committee. The revised bill will be worked out on the basis of the panel's recommendations. While the initial bill had recommended seven kg of foodgrain per poor person a month with rice, wheat and coarse grains at Rs.3, Rs.2 and Re.1 per kg, the panel had suggestion for five kg grain at the same rate. The states had differences over the quantity of grains to be given at subsidised rates under the bill and regarding the beneficiaries. Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh desired for universal PDS, Orissa, Kerala and Bihar said the quantity of 5 kg grain per person per month suggested by the parliamentary panel was not enough.

Cop killing in Kolkata: 12 remanded to custody

In connection with the college violence at Kolkata, twelve people were remanded by a city court to custody. The clash between Trinamool Congress and Congress student activists at a college led to a death of a police officer. The opposition parties criticized Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's alleged silence on the issue.The two prime accused who have charges of murder on them, were remanded to police custody till Feb 26, the rest are booked under charges of attempt to murder and rioting, and have been sent to judicial custody till Feb 19 by the court. Television channels showed footage of a youth in a red shirt getting into the crowd and firing, before running away from the spot. The college was almost empty apart from the police positioned there on Wednesday. 

India's trade deficit increases to $20 bn in January

India's trade deficit increased to $20 billion in January. This gap was the second highest in a month. The exports stayed weak while imports increased thus mounting pressure on the country's current account deficit. After decreasing for the eight consecutive months, exports increased slightly by 0.82 percent to $25.58 billion in January as per data released by the ministry of commerce and industry on Wednesday. India's imports rose by 6.12 percent to $45.58 billion thus leading to a monthly trade deficit of $20 billion.  In October last year the trade deficit was $20.9 billion, this was the highest trade gap recorded in India so far. The trade deficit has widened due to increase in petroleum products and there was increased consumption in the power sector.

BCIM Car Rally to start in Kolkata on Feb 22 and end in China on Mar 5

The BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar) Car Rally will kick start on Feb 22 from Helipad Ground in the huge Salt Lake Stadium complex for an epic 3,000-km journey to Kunming in China. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will flag off the rally which will have 20 cars - 10 from Tata Motors and 10 from Hawtai of China. The BCIM Car Rally will cross mountainous terrains, dense forests, plains, deep valleys, streams to broad rivers via Jessore, Dhaka, Sylhet, Silchar, Imphal, Ka Lay, Mandalay, Ruili, Tengchong, Erhai Lake, and Dali before ending in Kunming March 5.In Imphal Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh will greet the teams before the rally crosses borders into Myanmar. The rally is sponsored by Tata Motors, and has support of the governments of the four countries. There are 80 participants from India, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar.The rally is organised and coordinated by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The BCIM region with a market of 2.8 billion people, and a GDP of $9.3 trillion as per 2011 data has huge scope for intra-regional cooperation.

Vidya will play Subbulakshmi in Rajiv Menon biopic

In all possibility Vidya Balan will be playing the role of Bharat Ratna awardee vocalist M.S. Subbulakshmi in a biopic. The story of 88 years will be narrated by admaker-cinematographer-filmmaker Rajiv Menon who has earlier given direction to Tamil feature films "Minsara Kanavu" ("Sapney" in Hindi) with Kajol and Prabhudheva, and "Kandukondain Kandukondain" with Tabu and Aishwarya Rai playing sisters. Menon said he has narrated the script to Vidya and she liked it. He would work on the project once he returns to India after an ad shoot abroad.  Subbulakshmi will be an ambitious project with an estimated cost of Rs.70 crore and to be made in three languages Hindi, Tamil and English.

Mobile phone sales down for the first time after 2009

Mobile phones sales plunged for the first time after 2009. In 2012, there was a sale of 1.75 billion mobile phones which was 1.7 per cent less from 2011, as per research firm Gartner. Samsung and Apple dominated the market, with Samsung selling 385 million phones in 2012, 53.5 per cent of which  were smartphones while Apple sold 130 million smartphones. Chinese company Huawei was at third position in smartphone sales for the first time in Q4 as they sold 27.2 million smartphones in 2012, with an increase of 74 per cent. It is also being said that sale of feature phones that is those which are not smart phones will fall more this year and predictions are that in 2013 smartphones sales will move ahead sales of feature phones for the first time.




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