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Major News and Events of 15 August 2013

What Happened on 15 August 2013

US proud of its partnership with India


The US has extended its heartiest greetings to India on the occasion of the latter’s Independence Day. It has expressed immense pride at the fact that India and itself are almost inseparable partners. The North American nation has also expressed optimism that it will be able to cooperate with India for greater peace, progress and democracy around Asia as well as elsewhere in the world. John Kerry, the Secretary of State of the US, issued a press statement where he talked about the latest visit to India for the fourth US-India Strategic Dialogue that is a yearly affair. He said that a major part of that event was forging partnerships on different issues such as empowerment of women and regional security.

He has also stated that there are many aspects that are common between India and the US like the similar democratic ideals as well as the spirit of entrepreneurship. The relations between people of both the countries are pretty good as well. Kerry has expressed hope that in the foreseeable future both the countries will be able to work together and says that the US honours Indian leaders and freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi who proved that change could be achieved by adopting non-violent methods.

Manmohan Singh calls for greater stability and a secular India


On the Independence Day of India, 15th August, the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh advocated greater stability in the political arena as well as more appreciations for secular ideals. In the same speech he also asked Pakistan to end all activities against India emanating from its territory if it wanted to be friends with its neighbour. This was the final Independence Day speech that he was making from the Red Fort considering the fact that fresh elections to the Lok Sabha are supposed to be held in 2014. During the speech he also enumerated the various achievements of the UPA since it came to power in 2004.

The 81 year old dignitary gave this speech under a clouded sky and spoke in Hindi. He attempted to provide a wider perspective to the UPA regime and emphasized on areas where it had been successful. He also projected the potential of the coalition by giving details of what they were capable of achieving. However, he also admitted the areas where they had come up short. He described that India was an advanced, secular and forward looking country that had no place for sectarian thought processes, thus adding a political colour to the proceedings.

Feeling the pressure of media hype says Saina


The 4th best female badminton player of the world, Saina Nehwal, stated on 15th August 2013 that she was feeling the pinch of the hype generated by the media ahead of her match against PV Sindhu at the Indian Badminton League (IBL). Saina, who is representing the Hyderabad Hotshots outfit, was able to defeat Sindhu who is playing for the Awadhe Warriors with a score-line of 21-19, 21-8. The match, held at the Siri Fort Sports Complex, helped the Hotshots get an important 2-0 lead. Sindhu has recently won a bronze at the World Championships of badminton and she was the first woman shuttler from India to do that. This fact basically led the Indian media to term the match as the encounter between the two leading badminton stars of India.

After the match she informed the reporters that she and Sindhu normally play with each other regularly at the academy but since the match was being talked up so much by the public and media it got a little tense to start with. In fact, Sindhu made Saina work hard for her victory by taking a lead in the first game. However, the Olympic medal winner mounted a strong reply and was able to close out the encounter in her favour at the end.

World Bank to provide loan for affordable housing in India


The World Bank is expected to provide India a loan of 100 million dollars that will be aiming to develop the low cost housing sector in the country. This sum will be used for buying, improving and setting up the economically efficient residential areas across India. This information was provided on 15th August 2013 by the Union Finance Ministry. The responsibility for carrying this project out will be done by the National Housing Bank, which is a state-owned financial entity. In its statement the finance ministry has stated that the money being made available through this project will be utilized for creating incentives and rewards.

As per the ministry these incentives will be provided to lenders so that they are able to focus on families where the levels of income are on the lower side. There will also be an estimated net deduction of 200 to 300 basis points as far as the costs of funds incurred by the lenders are concerned. One of the main aims of the project is to make sure that the maximum possible amount of low income families can be accessed but it will also look to maintain some standard as far as portfolio quality is concerned.

India looking for solutions to technological problems


The Indian government has collaborated with the private sector in an effort to create a center of excellence that will deal with the issue of internal security. This center will be operating as a resource center that will perform top-of-the-line research in order to come up with security solutions that are fairly easy on the pocket yet feature the best possible amount of technological expertise. These solutions will be used to deal with menaces such as Naxalism, cyber infiltration and terrorism in the urban areas. The center would be established at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) and primarily concern itself with electronic gadgets.

These equipments will consequently be used by security agencies such as the paramilitary forces as well as police and they will most likely be made in India. In the decade gone by, there have been some groundbreaking changes in the internal security scenario of India. The economic base of India is on its way to expansion and this has led many to believe that there will now be greater threats to security. As it stands now, the security environment in India is fairly complex and this has led the government to seek ways to make the internal security set-up stronger and better than before.

English Vinglish to be released in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan


English Vinglish, a film made by Gauri Shinde on language related problems is now supposed to be released in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan which are not territories where Hindi films are normally released. Shinde has likened this whole affair to a baby that has grown up and is now moving on its own. She says that each time she is thinking that the movie is done and dusted, some new and pleasant surprise crops up. She has expressed immense pride at the way the film is being appreciated. The film was produced by S Balki who is himself a filmmaker.

Since its release the film in the later part of 2012 has been a game changer of sorts and features an exceptional performance by Sridevi who came back to the movie business after a gap of 15 years for this film. Balki feels that English Vinglish is a film with a proper global appeal and stated that it has been widely appreciated in every country where it has been released thanks to the cultural connection that the audience have had with it. He has also expressed excitement at the film’s release in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, thanks to the popularity of films in these countries.

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