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Major News and Events of 14 December 2013

What Happened on 14 December 2013


Indian Capital Market Needs High Level of Probity, says Finance Minister

P Chidambaram, Finance Minister of India, has today acknowledged some grave problems faced by Indian capital markets during 20th anniversary of NSE (National Stock Exchange). He specifically expressed concern on low level of participation by the retail. He feels that these problems need to be addressed urgently and pitched for high level of probity. Chidambaram stressed upon the fact that ethics deficit can bring down the entire financial system and that’s why highest standards of probity and highest ethics should be maintained in all our institutions.

During the event he also expressed his angst regarding some of the recent incidents that that alerted financial community about the grave concerns related to probity from managers and owners of financial markets infrastructure institutions. Financial and business community feels that such statement of Finance Minister is crucial, especially at a time when NSEL (or National Spot Exchange Ltd.) is facing Rs 5,600 crore payment crises.

Finance Minister also expressed his concern on increasing volumes of rupee trade in Forex derivative instrument such as Non-Deliverable Forward (NDF) abroad because it could adversely affect value of Rupee.  

Some of the other concerns highlighted by Chidambaram include lack of financial inclusion as well as financial literacy, coupled by low retain participation. As remedial measures he stressed upon optimal use of exchange infrastructure for investors and betterment of financial sector competitiveness.

First Lunar Rover of China is all set to Land on Moon

China is all set to join the lunar odyssey. Its first lunar rover is ready to land on moon this Saturday evening. Its successful landing will be a huge boost to ambitious space program of this Asian superpower. Per CCTV (China Central Television) the spacecraft is scheduled to touch moon surface at 1340 GMT. The rover named Chang'e-3 mission blasted off 12 days back on a Long March-3B carrier rocket. If landing on moon’s surface becomes successful, China will be the third country to send rover mission to moon, only after the USA and erstwhile USSR. In fact, it has been 37 years since the last soft landing took place on moon. Success of the entire mission rests upon the 12-minute autonomous landing of Chang'e-3 on moon’s surface. Interestingly, the probe will land at The Bay of Rainbows or Sinus Iridum (in Latin), which is a 250 miles or 400 km wide plain. Rover vehicle will be released only after the craft reaches moon’s surface. Per Shanghai Aerospace Systems Engineering Research Institute, the rover vehicle is capable of traveling at a speed of 200 meters per hour and can climb slope of up to 30°.  The rover vehicle is named Yutu, which means Jade Rabbit in Chinese.

Amartya Sen on Aam Aadmi Party's Success, Homosexuality and More

Aam Aadmi Party’s recent Delhi Assembly election success has caught fancy of Amartya Sen, the eminent economist and Noble Laureate. According to him AAP’s phenomenal rise is not only an ‘important departure’ in contemporary politics but has also challenged the established institutions. Most importantly, he also criticized Anna Hazare's decision of staying away from the ‘crusade’ to be unwise. When confronted with the question of the success mantra of Aam Aadmi Party, Sen quickly noted that they were able to raise basic demands of people and successfully mobilze people to ask for their basic needs. Replying to another question on the recent verdict of Supreme Court on restoring act of homosexuality as criminal offense, Prof. Amartya Sen criticized criminalization of homosexuality as violation of the minority rights’ protection.

Some other imminent personalities also came forward to praise the impressive success of Aam Aadmi Party. NR Narayan Murthy, mentor of Infosys, praised Kejriwal along with his party by saying that he showed election can be won with very little use of money. He also pointed out the fact that AAP has given confidence to many people urging them to participate in the political process. Arun Shourie, Former Union minister, has also praised the success of AAP. He said it is a "stunning announcement" to every political establishment in India that people are fed up. He also added that this will force all the political parties to field better candidates.

17-year-long Relationship of Hrithik Roshan and Sussanne comes to an end

Heartthrob of millions of women and Mr. Gentleman of Bollywood announces he and his wife, Sussanne, are getting divorced. In fact, problems had been erupting between them for quite sometime. Some years back when Hrithik Roshan was filming for the movie ‘Kite’ with Latin bombshell Barbara Mori, rumor mills reported great chemistry between them that led to tension between Sussanne and Hrithik. However, in the recent past reports revealed probable separation of this couple. In fact, Hrithik and Sussanne had stopped coming together in public for sometime now. Death knell to the 17 long years of their relationship took place when Hrithik Roshan announced his wife and childhood flame, Sussanne, has decided to annul their marriage and relationship. He also asked the media and fans to respect this mutual decision and requested privacy to the family during this trying time.

Announcement of the 39 year old hunk of Bollywood, whose look is sometimes compared to that of Greek Gods, announced end of their marriage only days before their 13th marriage anniversary. Just after the success of ‘Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai’, debut film of Hrithik, the duo solemnized their love on 20th December 2000. Sussanne and Hrithik have 2 sons - Hrehaan and Hridhaan.

Like a true gentleman Hrithik has urged his fans not to dishonor the institution of marriage as he still honors and respects this institution at the highest level.

Is Sourav Ganguly going to Join the BJP?

General election of 2014 is going to be interesting, it seems. It is now official that Sourav Ganguly, former Indian cricket captain, was offered with BJP ticket in the 16th Lok Sabha Election that is going to take place in 2014. However, Saurav is yet to decide on accepting the offer.  Sometime back Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate of BJP, told Saurav personally that the iconic sports personality of Bengal as well as one of the best captains of India would be made sports minister of India if BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi assumes power in 16th Lok Sabha election, to be held in 2014.

In a leading Bengali newspaper Ganguly has revealed that he has indeed received an offer but he is still undecided upon this. He said he will let everyone know his decision soon. Since mid-November the sports and political arena was abuzz with speculations of Sourav joining BJP. Rumor mills started working overboard when Ganguly met Varun Gandhi, who is observer of West Bengal BJP and also the national General Secretary of the party, through a common friend. In West Bengal, there are 42 Lok Sabha seats and the single BJP MP from the state is from Darjeeling. If Sourav reciprocates in affirmative, it needs to be seen from where BJP fields Sourav - will it be from West Bengal itself or outside the state?

India Maintains its 2nd Position in ICC Twenty20 Rankings

Latest rankings of ICC Twenty20 show that India has maintained its 2nd Rank. Sri Lanka still leads the chart, the position it has been holding for quite some time. According to the statement issued by ICC, Sri Lanka has maintained its first position in Reliance ICC T20I Team Rankings table in the recent Twenty20 International final match, held in Dubai, after beating Pakistan. Both Sri Lanka and Pakistan retained their pre-series ranking of 1st and 4th respectively. The concerned Twenty20 series resulted in a 1-1 tie. Sri Lanka has been holding the first position since October 8, 2012. In this Dubai series, Sri Lanka lost the first match to Pakistan by 3 wickets. After that they desperately needed to win the 2nd match to hold on to their first slot. Yesterdays convincing win of Sri Lanka over Pakistan helped them retain the cherished first position, denying India claim the coveted first slot.

New Twist of AAP to form Government in Delhi

Arvind Kejriwal, Convenor of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), gave a new twist to the game of forming government in Delhi. He not only met Lt Governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung, but also sent two letters to BJP President Rajnath Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, setting some conditions and also asking specific views of both the parties on 18 important issues including some of the most controversial issues such as removal of MLA local funds scheme, audit of electricity companies, and VIP culture in Delhi. Kejriwal also gave Jung the copies of the letters too. Political analysts believe that this fresh move of AAP is to fob off continuous criticism that they are shying away from assuming responsibility.  

About meeting Lt. General of Delhi, Kejriwal specifically said that he did not seek any time in forming government. Jung has asked him to come back when he acquires majority. Press release of AAP Legislative Party says that they will seek views of people of Delhi regarding forming of government, especially after receiving unconditional support from Congress.  Najeeb Jung is expected to submit a factual report to the President.

Earlier BJP, biggest party with 31 MLAs, had declined offer to form government in Delhi. However, Aam Aadmi Party, with 28 MLAs, has always maintained its stand that they will not take or give support to either Congress or BJP. After today’s Kejriwal’s letters to both BJP and Congress, the ball is clearly now in their court of two largest parties of India.

Chief Election Commissioner says Next Parliament will assume House before June 1, 2014

V S Sampath, Chief Election Commissioner of India, has said that the next national election will be held in several phases (5 or 6 phases) and the process will be completed to form the 16th Lok Sabha by 1st June 2014. He said this at an event organized in Brookings Institute, organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and US India Business Council. Mr. Sampath said that Election Commission has already started to prepare for the illustrative process where 780 million people will give their mandate at 800,000 polling booths through 1.18 million EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines).

Though he didn’t divulge the poll schedule but hinted that actual process will start from mid-March. 543 Member of Parliaments will be elected through the upcoming 16th general elections who will decide the fate of the largest democracy of the world for the next five years.

V S Sampath also informed the audience that the tenure of present government will officially end on 31st may 2014. Election notification will be issued 3 weeks before start of the first phase of polling. However, the announcement will be done 6 weeks prior to the first day of polling. Model code of conduct will be effective from the day of announcement. Chief Election Commissioner also added that the new electoral roll will be published within one month from now. However, the process of enrolling missing persons and eliminating the wrong ones will continue till end of polls.




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