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Major News and Events of 22 January 2017

What Happened on 22 January 2017

Jaipur Literature Festival: Amitabh Kant predicts death of ATMs in India

Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has asserted that soon the nation will become a significantly cashless economy and even cash dispensing machines will become irrelevant in years to come, given the exponential growth of mobile phones based transactions.

Kant was a panelist for session on the virtual economy and beyond, during the thirds day of Jaipur Literature Festival. However, other co-panelists were dubious of the timeframe and the availability of the required infrastructure.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategy of demopnetisation, Kant said that this step was necessary to enable the push towards a digital economy in a quicker manner.

In words of Kant, the nation is in the middle of a major disruption. At present, 85 percent of the transactions are in cash, thereby creating space for ‘black money’. But given the extraordinary growth in mobile phones, has set the base for a cashless economy.

Those from academia and business were skeptical of this possibility. Columnist and author Mihir Sharma said that mobile phone usage has grown as landlines didn’t work.

In words of Sharma, it all happened naturally, without the government pushing for it. Ambit Holdings CEO Ashok Wadhwa also has similar concerns. According to him, the transition from a cash major economy to a cashless one will take far more time.

Similar were the reactions of John Elliott who has authored several books on India.

Saina Nehwal's triumph at Malaysia Masters Final

Days after recovering from knee injury during Rio Olympics, Saina Nehwal is back with a bang as this Indian badminton ace thrashes Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand by 22-20, 22-20, thereby claiming the Malaysia Masters Grand title.

Quashing the air about her ability to win titles, the world No 10 Nehwal clinched her first Masters within five months since knee injury. Nehwal had to undergo surgery after an early exit from the Rio Olympics where her fellow citizen PV Sindhu created history by claiming the first silver medal for Indian badminton.

Silencing the critiques, Saina returned to action within a quarter of the surgery setback. Once the absolute queen of Indian badminton, she faced early exists and missed he qualification mark for Dubai World Superseries Finals. Also, she lost to Sindhu in the Premier Badminton League. However, Malaysia Masters Grand title has been her winning start to 2017.

The hyderabadi had to battle to claim the first game. With her opponent just five points away from winning the first game, Saina let out a series of cross court smashes to come back into the game. After leveling in the game for the first time at 19-19, she went on to nail it. 

Akhilesh Yadav release manifesto for UP assembly elections

After sealing the much-anticipated alliance with the Congress on Sunday, Akhilesh Yadav - the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and newly appointed of Samajwadi released the manifesto for the upcoming UP assembly polls.

Yadav went on about the developmental initiatives undertaken by his party in past five years including construction of metro and new roads. He also spoke about Samajwadi Party's government fulfilling all promises made in their 2012 manifesto.

The top highlight of the manifesto released by Akhilesh Yadav included 24-hour power supply. Also, monthly pension of Rs 1,000 to one crore women was a part of it along with 50 percent fare concession for women in public transport.

He spoke about making air ambulance available at Lucknow airport and improving 108, 102 service for emergencies. Apart from free pressure cookers for the poor, Yadav also emphasized on strengthening empowerment schemes including hostels for working women.

Akin to last year’s manifesto, free laptops to meritorious students were also a part of this manifesto, though this time the CM asserted of taking such schemes to next level. Also For transparency and easy connectivity with the people a smart phone will be given and over 1.4 crore people have already registered for the smartphone.

Taking a jibe at opposition he asserted that the elephant statues (installed in Lucknow and Noida) remind him if that party comes into power again, mammoth animals will come up.

He said that People will automatically vote for his party if they travel on the state roads as Lucknow-Agra Expressway project is a testimony to the development in the state.

He added that his party has not only fulfilled all their 2012 election manifesto promises, but also accomplished other major projects, Lucknow metro being one of them. 

Jallikattu row: Tamil Nadu govt moves to SC, files caveat in defence of its ordinance

Anticipating the possibilities of opposition on its ordinance allowing Jallikattu in the state, the government of Tamil Nadu government has filed for a caveat in the Supreme Court.

The development has been confirmed by Tamil Nadu government’s standing counsel Yogesh Kanna. Kanna said that the state has requested the Supreme Court that to hear if anyone challenges the newly promulgated ordinance.

The Governor of Tamil Nadu, Ch Vidyasagar Rao together with with Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had yesterday approved the ordinance for bull-taming sport jallikattu. The dup has announced that jallikattu will be held at Alaganallur in Madurai and other parts of the state tomorrow.

The apex court had on Friday agreed to not to pass a ruling for a week on the Jallikattu issue after considering the Centre’s suggestion that they were in talks with Tamil Nadu to find a way out.

The Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on December 7, 2015 on a batch of petitions challenging the Centre’s notification allowing the sport. Next, the Centre issued a notification on January 7, 2016 to lift the ban on the sport in Tamil Nadu while imposing certain restrictions. This was later opposed in the apex court by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals India (PETA), Animal Welfare Board of India, and others.

UP polls: Congress-SP alliance sealed, Akhilesh Yadav gives up 105 seats

After much of anticipation and confusion, the alliance has been sealed between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress for Uttar Pradesh elections. As per the alliance, the Congress party will be getting 105 seats to the Congress in upcoming polls for the 403-member UP assembly. Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and national president of SP will soon release his party’s manifesto while making an announcement on the alliance.

In words of Congress leader Ahmed Patel, the bipartite discussion took place at the highest level, which indicates that discussion took place between CM of the state, General Secretary, Congress in-charge and Priyanka Gandhi.

On Saturday, the strategist of Congress Prashant Kishor flew to UP capital to meet Akhilesh Yadav. According to Congress sources, a clear message way conveyed to the Chief Minister that the Congress party seeks 110 seats. UP CM was however reluctant to do away with anything more than 100 seats, reason being the party itself wanted to contest over 300 seats.

Uttar Pradesh will have elections in seven phases on February 11, 15, 19, 23, 27,  March 4 and 8. The vote counting will take place on March 11.

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