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Major News and Events of 13 September 2012

What Happened on 13 September 2012

SC tells government to explain the allocation of 194 coal blocks

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the government, inquiring whether its own policies and guidelines were followed in the allocation of 194 coal blocks to the private sector players.The bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice Anil R. Dave also posed the question to the government that why it did not follow the competitive bidding process which was specified in a 2004 policy. The reply to this notice has to be sent by the coal secretary in eight weeks. Even though the parliament's Public Accounts Committee was examining the matter, the apex court would look into the issues.

PM says economy resilient, calls for proactive foreign policy

At the face of the global economic downturn, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the Indian economy and society are strong enough to sustain the "present adversities". He also emphasized on a foreign policy which would efficiently meet the domestic growth needs. It was also necessary that efforts are positioned toward finding economic opportunities in trade and financial domains.

Government opens retail, aviation to foreign investment

The UPA government went ahead with bold decision to allow 51 percent foreign investment in multi-brand retail - and opening the aviation sector. This may lead to outrage among some of UPA allies as well as the opposition.The government explained that states which did not support 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail - were free to not implement the policy.This would lead to opening up of India's estimated $450 billion retail market to foreign supermarkets like Walmart and Carrefour. It is expected that states ruled by Congress governments will implement the decision while states ruled by non-Congress parties or the central government's allies are not under the compulsion to implement it

Indian banks might get affected by coalgate: SBI offical

The coal block allocation controversy may not have a direct bearing on the banks, but managing director Diwakar Gupta of State Bank of India stated the banks may feel the impact due to an indirect link of the lenders to power companies. He also hoped that the matter will be sorted in three to six months.Rs 2.5 lakh crore of investment has been done in for 50,000 megawatt worth power generating projects now under various phases of implementation.Promoters' involvement would be around Rs.50,000 crore to Rs.75,000 crore in these projects while the remaining funding would be in the region of Rs.175,000 crore. Though not all the money would be affected.

Sindhu wins over London Olympics gold medallist

India's P.V. Sindhu posted the biggest win of her career on Friday when she surprsied everyone with a win over the London Olympics gold medallist Li Xuerui of China to enter the women's singles semifinals at the China Masters Superseries badminton event.Sindhu who is viewed as another promising world-class player after Saina Nehwal, maintained calm for a 21-19, 9-21, 21-16 win over the World No.2, who is also the reigning All England champion. Now she will have win over another Chinese, Jiang Yanjiao, for a place in the final.Ajay Jayaram reached the men's singles semifinals after defeating Sourabh Varma 12-21, 21-14, 21-16 at the Olympics Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium here.

"Barfi" wows audience

The movie does not have a conventional subject or the typical box- office success formula and the lead actor has no dialogues, still Barfi has got an overwhelmingresponseswith Ranbir Kapoor as happy-go-lucky deaf and mute guy touching the hearts of the viewers. Rakesh Sippy of Raksha Entertainment Pvt Ltd said that "Barfi!" has around 90 to 100 percent occupancy for the morning shows and was doing exceptionally well. He also expected it to pick up by word of mouth.Director Anurag Basu movie has wowed the critics and the audiences alike and the distributors are happy with the response to the movie.

Mobile phone calls can get costlier with diesel price hike

Mobile phone calls also stand to get expensive with the increase in diesel price by Rs 5 as it will increase the operating cost of the telecom firms. Most of the towers in the country run on diesel- generator sets. The telecom tower industry uses up two billion liters of diesel per annum and is expected to reach 3.5 billion liters per annum by 2020. As number of telecom towers are located in rural/semi-urban areas where there is limited or no grid connectivity these are solely dependent on diesel gensets. However alternate sources of power are being reviewed. Trai has already asked the tower companies to utilize hybrid power by 2015.

Indian telecom may not promote iPhone 5

India is detached from the hype around Apple’s iPhone 5 launch. The service providers here say that it is a good business decision for them as Apple’s business proposition for operators in India’s is quite competitive and the market just does not seem profitable or viable enough. Further Apple wants the service providers to sell a large number of the iPhone, which doesn’t translate into a viable commercial option.

India slips to 7th rank in ICC Twenty20 rankings

New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum and Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal are the leading batsman and bowler in the latest ICC Twenty20 player rankings.The rankings were released on Thursday to include the Pakistan-Australia, India-New Zealand and England-South Africa T20 series that were played before the World Twenty20, which starts on Sep 18 in Sri Lanka.Yuvraj Singh got his entry again in the rankings after his comeback and is at 15th spot.India's position has now slipped to seventh from fourth position after they lost to New Zealand in the recently concluded series.

Indian American director's thriller "9 Eleven" wins another US award

"9 Eleven", a Bollywood-style thriller directed by Indian American Manan Singh Katohara,got the Best Narrative Feature Award at the 2012 Third World Independent Film Festival (TWIFF).The film, that got the Best Feature and Best Director awards at the 2012 World Music & Independent Film Festival (WMIFF) in Washington, is now set for its West coast premiere on Sep 22.The director also got the 2012 Rising Star Award for the film at Canada International Film Festival. The movie, a fast paced thriller depicts undertones of terrorism and asks the question how one can survive in face of the growing phenomenon of terrorism.

MCX-SX looks to start trading with 1,200 stocks

MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX), which has made entry into the stock market trading has a target to start trading with about 1,000 stocks to 1,200 stocks once it starts operating in mid-November.MCX-SX managing director and CEO Joseph Massey said that the research team was working on it. The bourse which has some total of 5,500 scrips would at start enlist liquid stocks of BSE and NSE under permitted category. Further the exchange will be emphasizing on fixed income products in rural areas of the country since they were less risky investments in comparison to equity.

Center warns Assam that ethnic violence may continue

The central government has cautioned the Assam government that the situation which has emerged out of the ethnic strife between Bodos and Muslims "is far from normal" and further trouble can ensue in districts neighbouring the Bodo areas.Home Minister Sushilkumar Shindesubmitted an overall assessment of the Assam violence and the situation prevailing in the Bodo Territorial Autonomous District (BTAD) areas of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalgiri,to the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The assessment as per the sources specifies that Bodos' fear of becoming a minority in their own land was the cause for troubles in the state.In Assam there are 35 percent Bodos, 14 percent tribals, 15 percent Muslims, 10 percent Bengalis, 15 percent Assamese and others constitute the remaining 11 percent population in the Bodo areas.

Diesel price hiked by Rs 5, limited availability of six LPG cylinders in an year

A hike in heavily-subsidised diesel price by Rs.5 a litre to curtail fiscal deficit and limited availability of cooking gas cylinders per family to six per year is being viewed as a politically sensitive move by the government. This was effective from the midnight, September 13. Not only the opposition but the allies have also termed this as "anti-people".Trinamool Congress has demanded a rollback and party chief Mamata Banerjee stated she would be happy to withdraw support than be party to such "anti-people" policy. This steep hike will affect transportation right from locomotives to heavy duty trucks. Government on the other hand said diesel and cooking fuel prices have not been revised since June 2011 and there were financial compulsions which led to this move.Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said that a hike in diesel, LPG and kerosene prices cannot be avoided due to rise in global crude oil prices and devaluation of rupee. It was also specified that state-owned firms were suffering a loss of around Rs.550 crore per day on the sale of regulated diesel and cooking fuels and around Rs.16 crore per day on petrol.

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