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Major News and Events of 14 March 2013

What Happened on 14 March 2013


Cabinet agrees for reduction of age of consent to 16

The union cabinet on Thursday gave clearance to the anti-rape bill by consenting to replace the word "sexual assault" with "rape" and reducing the age of consent from 18 to 16. As per the bill, voyeurism, for the first time, would be a bailable offence and stalking amounts to a non-bailable offence.The bill was cleared at a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It had deferred its decision on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill due to lack of unanimity. A Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram also consented to use the word "rape", where the victim was a woman and the perpetrator a male, as the women activists were opposed to the use of term "sexual assault", which would have made the bill gender neutral. The government will now see whether to go to the parliament directly with the bill or do the legislative procedure at an all-party meeting March 18 called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath to bring out consensus on the issue. The bill has to be passed by March 22 as it will replace the ordinance promulgated by the President on February 3, and has to be passed six weeks within that date.

Shinde reads parts of his statement twice in Lok Sabha

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde added one more thing to the list of gaffes committed by him as he read out parts of his statement twice in the Lok Sabha regarding the attack on CRPF troopers in Srinagar. He in fact stopped reading only when an official told him that he has read twice the parts of his statement. BJP raised a protest on this issue. Shinde had been earlier too embroiled in controversies. He had to regret over his statement in January when he linked the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to terrorism. He had to face criticism over the alleged intelligence failure behind the Hyderabad blasts that killed 16 people and injured 117 when the intelligence reports had come about the blasts. He faced criticism for the delay in informing the family of Afzal Guru about his execution on Feb 9. He also invited the ire of the opposition for not responding in a suitable manner to the comment made by Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik where he compared the 2008 Mumbai attacks with the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya in 1992.

Italian ambassador restrained by SC from leaving India

The Supreme Court stopped the Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving India till March 18 without its permission. The apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir sent out notice to the Italian government, its ambassador, and the two marines who are charged with the killing of two Indian fishermen on Feb 15, 2012. The notices are returnable by March 18 as per the court.The Italian ambassador was sent notice on not conforming to his undertaking to the court where he gave assurance of the return of the two marines after their four weeks' stay in Italy.The court sent the notice after Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati apprised the court about the sequence of events.The Supreme Court in February had given permission to Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, to go to Italy to vote in the Feb 24-25 national election. Rome's ambassador in India Daniele Mancini had given assurance that the two would positively return to India.

Inflation 6.84 percent in February

India's wholesale price-based inflation increased to 6.84 percent in February as against 6.62 percent in the previous month due to a sharp hike in fuel, food and vegetables prices as per the government data.Onion is now costlier by 154.33 percent, potato prices have almost doubled up and vegetables prices increased by 12.11 percent in the month under review year-on-year. Prices of cereals and fuel also hit the common people hard. The country's main inflation analysis based on Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was 7.56 percent in February last year. Cereals prices increased by 19.19 percent, price of rice moved up by 18.84 percent, wheat was dearer by 21.63 percent and pulses became costlier by 14.96 percent. Steep hike in the prices of diesel and cooking gas also occurred as the government gave the permission to the oil marketing firms to increase diesel prices and put a limit on cooking gas supply. Fuel and power inflation spiked to 10.47 percent. Prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) increased by 26.21 percent and diesel became dearer by 19.19 percent year-on-year.

Saina gets No.2 again, Kashyap at career-best No.7

Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal again acquired the second spot in women's singles rankings while Parupalli Kashyap moved up two places in men's singles to attain a career-best No.7 in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released on Thursday. Saina got the No.2 ranking by edging past current World Champion Yihan Wang of China to third as she trails though she is behind World No.1 and Olympic champion Li Xuerui by quite a margin. P.V. Sindhu maintained her 16th position. Kashyap consistent performances, beating top 10 players helped him jump two places. Mumbai's Ajay Jayaram maintained 31st while R.M.V. Gurusaidutt, Sourabh Varma and Anand Pawar moved up places to be ranked 36, 39 and 44, respectively, in the men's singles rankings.The Indian shuttlers are at present playing at the $125,000 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold tournament held in Basel.

Dilip Kumar, Big B, SRK in one frame

It was a union of three generations of Bollywood when Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan came together for a special photo shoot to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema at the Dilip Kumar's residence in Mumbai. Dilip, 90, ruled over the silver screen in the 1950s and 1960s dishing hits like "Madhumati" and "Devdas", Amitabh was the king of the box office in the 1970s and the 1980s with super hits such as "Zanjeer" and "Sholay", and Shah Rukh Khan became the 'king' of Hindi cinema in the 1990s which movies like "Baazigar", "Darr" and "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge". The shoot was for a leading film magazine. Amitabh even tweeted,"Photo shoot with Dilip Saheb and Shah Rukh for the cover of Filmfare - 100 years Indian cinema... threatening Filmfare to put out pictures." He also posted pictures with Shah Rukh from the shoot on his blog srbachchan.tumblr.com.

75 percent paper-free campus in Punjab

The campus of Aryans Group of Colleges (AGC), located in Nepra village that is 35km from Chandigarh is 75 percent paper-free. Social networking sites and new media applications are the main channels of communication between students and teachers. Students read the notices on their smartphones. Whenever a seminar has to be organized or for leave information they switch on their laptops or smartphones. This has made the campus technologically sound and considerably reduced the use of paper. Wi-fi is there in the campus and the hostels.




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