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Major News and Events of 15 May 2015

What Happened on 15 May 2015


No Decision Yet on Indo-Pakistan Bilateral Cricket Series

MoS for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, told media that the Ministry of Home Affairs has not yet taken any formal decision on the proposed India-Pakistan bilateral cricket tournament to be played in UAE. Sources say that government is not interested in mixing sports with politics and is likely to give the official nod in the coming months. PCB President Shahryar Khan told media that he had fruitful discussions with Arun Jaitley, Arunag Thakur and Jagmohan Dalmiya on the proposed tournament but the government has not yet given the final official go ahead. He also went on to appreciate PM Narendra Modi’s statement during a parliamentary party meeting expressing his eagerness to play cricket with Pakistan.

DoT asks ISPs to Block Websites of Ola Cabs, TaxiForSure, and Uber to Stop Customer Booking through Apps

After receiving a request from the Delhi Government, Department of Telecom (DoT) has formally asked Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block websites of three renowned taxi operators - Ola Cabs, TaxiForSure, and Uber. A DoT official said that the concerned ban order was issued two to three days back. It is learnt that DoT issued the website URL blocking notice under Section 69A of IT Act, 2000 and IT (Procedures and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009. Reports say that Delhi Government had written to Department of Electronic & Information Technology  back in March that despite the ban for blocking the websites the taxi operators’ continued customer bookings through their apps.

Lalu Vouches to form Electoral Alliance to Defeat BJP during Bihar Assembly Elections

After doubts emerged that the “Janata Parivar” will not be established before the crucial Bihar election, RJD President Lalu Prasad told media that formation of Janata Parivar is only a matter of time and is stuck due to some technical issues. He said that the idea of the splinter groups of erstwhile Janata Party to come together is to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party. Lalu went on to add that even if “Janata Parivaar” doesn’t materialise before Bihar Assembly election, all the similar minded parties, constituting the grand party, will forge electoral alliance to defeat the surging saffron party.

Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar briefs Media on Recent Developments during Modi's China Visit

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, while briefing media on the developments of India-China talks during the second day of Modi’s China visit, said that both the countries are seriously mulling the idea of increasing the number of Personnel Meeting (BPM) points from the current 4 BPMs for strengthening “peace and tranquility” on border areas. He also added that the context as well as frequency of meeting can also be increased. In a major move to increase bonhomie between the neighbours, PM Narendra Modi announced, while addressing students in Tsinghua University, that India will provide e-visas to Chinese tourists.

Sushma Swaraj assures Families that 39 Indian ISIS Hostages in Iraq are Safe

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told victims’ families that all the thirty nine Indians, who were abducted from Mosul in June last year by ISIS militants, are safe. Swaraj reassured the families about their safety when she met them for the seventh time since their abduction. While meeting hostages’ families, External Affairs Minister told them that till now eight sources have confirmed that all the Indian hostages are alive and her government is making efforts for their early release and to consequently bring them back safely. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing, also accompanied Sushma Swaraj for the meeting.

Delhi Police Seeks Court's Permission to Conduct Lie Detector Test on Three Witnesses in Sunanda Pushkar Murder Case

Delhi Police is all set to conduct lie detector test on three witnesses regarding alleged murder of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. Accordingly, they have sought permission from a Delhi court for conducting polygraph test on family friend Sanjay Dewan, driver Bajrangi, and domestic help Narain Singh. Sources say that the sleuths investigating the case believe that these three key witnesses are deliberately hiding something. The court has summoned all three individuals on May 20. Reports say that the sleuths of Delhi Police are also looking into the multimillion dollar Indian Premier League link as Pushkar claimed before death that she was made a scapegoat in IPL controversy.  

Modi Takes Firm Stand on Contentious Issues between India and China

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today emphasised on the need for China to reconsider its current approach towards some of the contentious issues that are holding back both the countries in attaining full potential of the partnership. While reminding China about the requirement of remaining sensitive towards each others’ interests, Indian PM stressed on maintaining “peace and tranquility” along the Indo-China border region. In the joint press statement with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, he told media that he sought "tangible progress" from Chinese Premier on trans-border rivers and visa policy issues.  Modi asked his counterpart on clarifying 4,057 km long Line of Actual Control. China's Premier Li Keqiang reciprocated by saying that mutual political trust is needed for achieving a more reasonable and fairer international border.

Narendra Modi Issues Joint Press Statement with Chinese Counterpart

In a joint press statement with Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the need of realizing full potential of Indo-China partnership. While accepting the complexities that have cropped up in the relationship between the two neighbours, PM stressed upon changing the dynamics in each other’s strength, ultimately emerging as a good force for betterment of the world. Modi also stressed upon the need of bilateral economic partnerships including that of urbanization. He also expressed satisfaction in the progress achieved in some of the commitments made by China during President Xi Jinping’s visit back in September 2014. This includes cooperation in special projects of Railways as well as Chinese industrial parks in both Maharashtra and Gujarat. Both countries agreed to create high-level task force for creating strategic roadmap for enhanced economic relationship.

Rahul Gandhi starts his 15 Km Padyatra in Telangana's Drough-hit Villages

Rahul Gandhi today started his 15 kms walk across five villages in Telangana’s drought hit Adilabad district and met families of farmers who committed suicide last year. The first family he met today is of Velma Rajeshwar, who committed suicide for failing to repay Rs. 12 lakh debt burden and gave his widow a Rs. 2 lakh cheque. Gandhi scion is also scheduled to meet four other families of farmers in Vadial, Rachapur, and Laxmanchanda. While Congress, TDP, and BJP accused TRS government of neglecting farmers, leading to their death, TRS called Rahul’s “Padyatra” politically motivated. While talking to media after the padyatra, Rahul said that it was Congress-led UPA government that waived off Rs. 70,000 farm loans, changed archaic land acquisition law, introduced consent clause of farmers, increased agricultural credit by 700 per cent, among others.      

24 Bilateral Agreements Signed Between India and China

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day China visit is turning out to be a success if the number and worth of bilateral agreements signed between the two countries are taken into consideration. This morning 24 agreements have been signed between India and China that are worth more than 10 Billion Dollars. Some of the most important bilateral agreements signed include action plan between the Indian Railways and national railway administration of China; MoU on establishment of India-China think tanks forum, cooperation between NITI Aayog and Development Research Centre, establishment of sister cities/states (Aurangabad and Dunhuang, Hyderabad and Gingdao, Chennai and Chongqing, and Ichuan and Karnataka), and others.

UN ESCAP Report Expects Indian Economy to Grow at 8.1 and 8.2 Per Cent in 2015 and 2016

A UN report expects the Indian economy to grow at 8.1 per cent during the 2015-16 financial year. UN ESCAP report titled 'Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015’ said that lower inflation induced increased consumer spending, acceleration in infrastructural projects, reform measures undertaken by the new government, and gradual market sentiment improvement will help India grow at 8.1 per cent and 8.2 per cent respectively in 2015 and 2016. Rebound of investment is expected but in an uneven manner as capacity-utilisation rate still remains at a low level, hovering around 70 per cent. UN growth estimate is significantly higher than those projected by IMF, World Bank, and RBI but in line with the Finance ministry’s projection.

Optimistic Opening for Indian Bourses

Strong global cues have helped the Indian bourses open on a positive note today. In relation to previous close, 50-stock NSE Nifty index opened at 8270.55 (an increase of 0.56 percent or 46.35 points) and 30-stock benchmark BSE Sensex opened at 27346.45 (a jump of 0.52 percent or 140.39 points). During early hour, the major gainers are Bharti, Vedanta, M&M, NTPC, and SBI. In fact, value of rupee with regard to US dollar has improved from 63.65 to 63.48, an increase of 17 paise. At 10.25am IST, Sensex was trading at 27280.53 points (an increase of 74.47 points) and Nifty at 8252.05 points (up by 27.85 points). Nifty is still trading below 200 days simple moving average 8296.87.




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