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Major News and Events of 20 December 2012

What Happened on 20 December 2012

Bodos threaten of agitation ahead of Telangana statehood meet

Prior to the union government's all-party meeting on Dec 28 for discussing Telangana, a powerful Bodos union in Assam on Friday stated any isolated decision on the statehood issue will not be accepted by them. The All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) demanded that the government takes an "inclusive decision" to look into demands of other statehood committees too and warned agitation if the demand for a separate state for Bodos was not met along with Telangana. They stated that since Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has called an important meeting to discuss Telangana and he being the home minister of the entire country they want to make an appeal to him to consider the issue of statehood demand of Bodos as well. If Telangana was into consideration for a separate state, there was no reason why Bodos of Assam cannot get a separate state to secure their identity. A rally was held here at Rowta in Udalguri district to commemorate 25 years of the demand for a separate state for Bodos. 

CBI files charge sheet against Airtel, Vodafone in 2G case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered charge sheet against mobile service firms Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India Ltd and Sterling Cellular Limited for supposed anomalies in excess allotment of spectrum during the NDA regime. The CBI has also included former telecommunications secretary Shyamal Ghosh and the three telecom firms as accused in the charge sheet filed for criminal conspiracy and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act which resulted in a loss of about Rs.846 crore to the national exchequer. CBI mentioned to the court that additional spectrum was assigned on July 17, 2002 to Bharti Cellular Limited (now Bharti Airtel) and Sterling Cellular Limited (now Vodafone Mobile Service Limited) for the Delhi metro area, and Hutchison Max (now Vodafone India Limited) for Mumbai metro area. The then communications minister Pramod Mahajan, along with Ghosh, allotted the additional spectrum in a rushed way and in not in conformance with the then telecom policy. The charge sheet states, "Investigation has revealed that Shyamal Ghosh, then chairman of Telecom Commission and secretary DoT, in conspiracy with late Pramod Mahajan, then telecom minister and the accused beneficiary companies i.e Hutchison Max and Sterling Cellular and Bharti Airtel Ltd through their representatives, abused his official position as public person and showed undue favour which caused loss of Rs.846.44 crore to the government exchequer and corresponding undue gain to the aforesaid telecom companies." The 32-page charge sheet, mentions  hat the telecom companies were charged additional 1 percent of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for allocation of additional spectrum from 6.2 MHz up to 10 MHz (paired) instead of additional 2 percent of the AGR as per the existing norms.

Amitabh, Sridevi voted as most admired actors

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan and yesteryear superstar Sridevi were voted as the most admired celebrities according to the 'Vuclip Icons of the Year 2012' mobile survey.  Amitabh got 43 percent votes. Sridevi, who returned to Bollywood after 15 years with "English Vinglish", surged ahead of  Kareena Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha and Vidya Balan with 33 percent votes.A.R. Rahman was adjudged the most admired Bollywood composers with 70 percent votes, while Sonu Nigam got the title of the most admired male playback singer. Aditya Chopra was voted the most admired Bollywood filmmaker.

BCCI clarifies ticket row with PCB

The Indian cricket board stated that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was provided 3,000 tickets for the short limited overs series but they wanted lesser number of tickets.In response to media reports that Pakistani fans were left in lurch due to unavailability of tickets, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Sanjay Jagdale specified: "We wish to clarify that the PCB had initially asked for 500 tickets each for their fans at Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Kolkata, and 1,000 tickets for Delhi." PCB later on reduced the number of tickets and said it didn't require any tickets for the two Twenty20 matches in Bangalore (Dec 25) and Ahmedabad (Dec 28) and only 25 tickets each for the first two ODIs in Chennai (Dec 30) and Kolkata (Jan 3). For the Delhi match on Jan 6 the arrival of the tickets are awaited from the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) and the same will be sent to PCB after delivery. 

Facebook to charge for message delivery to strangers

 Facebook made an announcement that it was testing a functionality where a message from a stranger will be fee based. The fee-based messaging service will guarantees that messages from strangers will arrive in the inbox of the recipients which as of now goes to other folder which is mostly ignored. One dollar will be charged for the message and Facebook intends to generate more revenues through this. Charging for such messages could curtail spamming and may be useful in certain situations, that is what Facebook thinks. 

Gang-rape victim fights on, rage spreads, all accused arrested

Delhi Police on Friday detained a person from Badaun in Uttar Pradesh. He will be brought before the four accused so that his identity can be confirmed. The fifth accused has stated that he is a minor but the Delhi police is yet to verify his age. The sixth accused person was also caught from the Aurangabad district in Bihar. He was the helper in the bus where the incident happened. The main accused has told the police that three men raped the girl and three beat her and her friend. The fifth accused was among those who raped her.

The rape has led to widespread protests through India's national capital Friday as students, activists and citizens assembled at various points in the city. The protesters marched  up till the gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan and one of them even managed to enter the complex. The parliamentary standing committee on home affairs, had called upon union Home Secretary R.K. Singh and Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar Dec 27 to discuss cruelty inflicted on women and the present law and order situation. Protests happened at India Gate, Rajpath, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Jantar Mantar in the heart of Lutyens Delhi and outside  Safdarjung Hospital, where the 23-year-old victim is battling  her injuries and her condition is still critical though her breathing is stable and she is off the ventilator. Doctors stated that next three to four days were critical and there are early signs of Sepsis which is a life threatening medical condition where the whole-body inflammation is caused by severe infection. 

Police has shown prompt action in arresting the accused but the Delhi High Court is not "convinced" with the status report filed by the Delhi Police. It does not specify the details of police officials patrolling the area where the woman was gang-raped.

Rape victim stable, accused show no sign of remorse

The Delhi rape victim is in stable condition but the doctors have said there are chances of her catching an infection. She had two surgeries in four days and had suffered a lot but she is conscious and alert and writing notes, where she had stated that the culprits should be punished and also inquired about her friend. The Delhi CM Sheila Dixit has said if there is a need to taker her out of the country that would be arranged. On the other hand the accused are behaving like hardened criminal and show no sign of repentance. 

Modi wins again in Gujarat, Congress gets Himachal

Chief Minister Narendra Modi won with a sweeping majority in Gujarat. This was a politically significant electoral win for him but the Congress easily defeated the BJP in Himachal Pradesh. The experts are trying to analyze the meaning for this third consecutive win while Modi stated that this  was a victory for "Mother India". Speculations are rife whether Modi would now take to national politics to pitch for the prime ministerial post ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election.In Gujarat, Modi's tenure has continued since 2001, the BJP bagged 115 seats, two short of its 117 tally of 2007. Congress got only 61 seats, two more than what it got five years ago.The Gujarat Parivartan Party of  Keshubhai Patel got just two seats including his own.The Congress win in Himachal was imposing. Here BJP's Prem Kumar Dhumal government had to accept defeat to the Congress that won a comfortable 36 seats in the 68-member assembly. The BJP, which had got 41 seats in 2007, got only 26 this time. 

Fake goods lead to Rs.26,190 crore loss to exchequer

There has been a loss of Rs.26,190 crore ($4.85 billion) to the exchequer due to sale of fake and counterfeit products in seven sectors, especially tobacco, auto components and fast moving consumer goods according to a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) study. The study was done on seven sectors - auto components, alcohol, computer hardware, fast moving consumer goods (personal goods), fast moving consumer goods (packaged foods), mobile phones and tobacco - which were adversely impacted by counterfeiting and smuggling. Rampant counterfeiting in these sectors led to a loss in sale of genuine products to a whopping Rs.72,969 crore in 2012. 30 percent of the total auto components sold and a quarter of the FMCG products are not genuine.

2013 will be busy for Anand

Chess icon Viswanathan Anand has an undying enthusiasm for success. The five-time World Champion facing a lean patch in 2012 comparable by his standards now is looking for action with a host of tournaments in the pipeline, which includes defending his World crown. He could only participate in a single event after his emphatic win against Israel's Boris Gelfand at the 2012 Moscow World Championship in May. He said he is very much motivated about competing and has accepted all invitations for next year. Five events till May are lined up for him and another two in later part of the year.

Sohail says Shah Rukh Bhai welcome to join CCL

 Actor and filmmaker Sohail Khan, being a part of Celebrity Cricket League (CCL), showed professionalism when he said it would be great if superstar Shah Rukh Khan decided to join it.The CCL has eight teams in it and Sohail plays for the Mumbai Heroes. Sohail said SRK was part of the industry and he would be more than welcome. There would be games in Kolkata and Pune. Sohail said this though his brother Salman Khan and SRK have issues among them. Sohail said that he still called him  Shah Rukh Bhai, and that the things have not changed between them. 

India tests nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile

The indigenously developed nuclear-capable ballistic Prithvi-II missile was test fired in Odisha.The 350-km range surface-to-surface missile shot off at about 9.20 a.m. from launch complex number three at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) of Chandipur-on-sea in Balasore district, 230 km from Bhubaneshwar. The mission was stated as successful by ITR director M.V.K.V. Prasad. This was part of the training exercise by the Indian armed forces as Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). India's first indigenous built ballistic missile, Prithvi is one of the five missiles developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.It has a flight duration of 483 seconds and touches a peak altitude of 43.5 km and can carry a 500 kg warhead. The technology used by it is an advanced inertial guidance system where maneuvering can be done within meters of its target.

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