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Major News and Events of 20 March 2013

What Happened on 20 March 2013


Government, parties in discussion on resolution on Sri Lankan Tamils

The government stated it was in the process of discussion with the political parties on a resolution regarding the Sri Lankan Tamil issue in parliament, but this was not related to the withdrawal of support by DMK to the UPA. This was informed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram while addressing the media and he further stated that the government was thinking over the resolution, after observing the sentiments of the Tamils. He also added that  the government was stable.Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said understanding the feelings of the people of a state was part of the duty of the government and discussions were on regarding the resolution. With reference to the resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council, he specified that India's foreign policy was formulated keeping the national interest in mind. The government also specified that it will move amendments to the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC by giving a "resolute message". It was also clarified that the US-sponsored motion denouncing Sri Lanka over alleged rights abuses was not diluted by New Delhi. Chidambaram specified that India's stance was that the UNHRC should take  a strong resolution to send a "resolute message" on Colombo's human rights violations and to initiate Sri Lanka to agree for an independent and credible investigation into charges of "war crimes". Colombo has continuously denied killing Tamil civilians during its military campaign against the Tamil Tigers four years ago.

Five Maharashtra legislators suspended for assaulting cop

The Maharashtra legislature suspended five of its members, one each from the BJP, Shiv Sena and MNS, for the charges of assault on a police officer within the legislature premises.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshwardhan Patil informed about the suspension of the five legislators from the house till the end of the year.The legislators are Kshitij Thakur and Pradeep Jaiswal, Shiv Sena's Rajan Salvi, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's (MNS) Ram Kadam, and the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Jaykumar Rawal booked by police for assaulting Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Suryawanshi on the first floor of Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan on Tuesday afternoon. This happened after an incident on Monday when Suryawanshi supposedly stopped the vehicle of independent legislator Kshitij Thakur and slapped a fine of Rs 700 for violating the speed limit on the Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli Sea Link. This led to a heated argument between them. Thakur moved a breach of privilege notice against the police official, who was in the visitors' gallery to reply to the charges against him. When Thakur had given detailed account several legislators demanded Suryawanshi's suspension for his misbehavior with a law-maker. In the meanwhile some legislators saw Suryawanshi, who they say was allegedly gesticulating at the members below from the visitors' gallery. Thakur after recognizing him along with some other legislators went outside to run after him and caught Suryawanshi on the first floor. There he was assaulted, slapped, punched and kicked. After this incident police did not keep quiet and several top IPS officers of Maharashtra, like city Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, called on Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and asked for an action in the matter. The chief minister condemned this incident and said a legislative remedy should have been adopted. On Tuesday night, police booked 14 legislators from various parties for the assault, while police and legislature security officials did CCTV footage surveillance to investigate the incident.

Rajasthan gets approval for Rs.40,500 crore plan outlay

The Planning Commission has agreed to Rs.40,500 crore outlay for Rajasthan for the financial year beginning April 1, 2013, and has asked the state to formulate a long-term strategy to meet water requirements.The plan outlay for the next financial year was approved during a meeting between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. In the meeting, Ahluwalia stated that water security was a major concern for Rajasthan and a careful initiative was needed to meet the growing demands.Drip irrigation and recycling of used water were required. Ahluwalia said the Planning Commission will support the initiation of a long-term plan to meet the state's water requirements. The plan panel also lauded Rajasthan for achieving an impressive 7.9 percent average annual farm sector growth during the 11th Plan period (2007-12) in comparison to the national average of 3.7 percent. Overall growth was also better compared to many other states. Gehlot stated that electronics and information technology will be the main focus of development during the 12th Plan period (2012-17). The chief minister stated Rajasthan has acquired a sound financial health due to an innovative measures adopted by his government.

Sri Lanka officials concerned over players' safety in IPL

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials are worried over the safety of its national players who are to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 tournament next month after the recent attacks against Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu.The Sri Lanka Cricket Players' Association (SLCPA) has asked its parent organisation, the Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA), to analyze the safety of its players during the IPL, which begins from April 3, and to chalk out a course of action that will guarantee the cricketers' safety.Ten IPL matches are slated to be played in Chennai where two Buddhist monks and several Sri Lankan tourists were attacked by Tamil groups. SLCPA chairman Ken de Alwis said that they were waiting for a response from FICA. With the increase of such incidents against Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu, the Sri Lankan government asked all its nationals to exercise caution while planning visits to Tamil Nadu. If it were an urgent visit, Sri Lankan nationals were asked to apprise the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai well in advance. Sri Lanka's national airline also stated that it will reduce the number of flights, and the frequency of flights to Chennai has been reduced from 28 to 14 per week.

Films should be made on real subjects: Big B

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan is of the opinion that the filmmakers should be making movies based on real life subjects, which affect the society. He shared his views on his blog post after he met a girl named Kankana, who is in the process of making a documentary on violence against women, and has asked for his help for a video byte for it. Bachchan was very much impressed with the effort.Big B is also happy that there are changes in Indian cinema,that is evident through the awardees at the 60th National Awards, announced earlier this week. Offbeat movies like "Paan Singh Tomar", "Kahaani" and "Vicky Donor" got awards, and Amitabh stated it will be good for the industry.

Andhra leads as e-commerce destination in India, says eBay study

Andhra Pradesh is the leading e-commerce destination in India, recording the highest number of ecommerce hubs but at the same time is at seventh place in terms of transactions, as per study by eBay India, the leading ecommerce company.Andhra has 565 ecommerce hubs in a total of 4,306 in 28 states and seven union territories. Tamil Nadu comes at second place with 443 hubs and Maharashtra third with 341 hubs. As per eBay India Census 2012 the ecommerce hubs in the country have increased by 30 percent over the previous year. Consumers from over 3,281 Bharat hubs and 1,015 rural hubs shopped online. Consumers from India export to 201 countries and import from 141 countries.India's top five ecommerce hubs are Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Bangalore and Chennai. Hyderabad is the sixth largest ecommerce hub. Guntur in Andhra Pradesh is the top rural hub in the country.The top tradng partner includes the US, Britain, Australia, China and Canada.Electronics continue to dominate with 48 percent of domestic transactions along awith lifestyle (41 percent) gaining importance with the increase in number of women consumers. Samsung followed by Apple, Sony and Nokia are the most transacted brands




FAQs and Answers on Indian History and Geography
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