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Major News and Events of 23 April 2013

What Happened on 23 April 2013

Meeting of Indian and Chinese officers to defuse tension

India and China's senior army officers held a flag meeting in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday after an incursion by troops of the Peoples Liberation Army. India is hopeful that the issue would be sorted out peacefully as it has happened in the past.The brigadier-level meeting was scheduled at Daulat Beg Oldie, the highest airstrip in the world at 5,100 metres that was made operative by India in 2008.

As per reports, Chinese troops got 10 km into Indian territory in the proximity of Daulat Beg Oldie and set up a tented post there. The Indian Army, as per reports, moved in more troops in the region. Beijing did not agree to any incursion across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which is a notional line.

Flag meetings are for dealing with emergent situations. They are done along with the border personnel meetings that are hosted twice a year at various locations along the India-China border.

VIP chopper scam: CBI freeze bank accounts of former Air Force chief SP Tyagi

The bank accounts of former Air Force chief S.P. Tyagi and others accused in the VIP chopper scam were frozen by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today.

There are charges of corruption and conspiracy by the CBI on Tyagi. The Tyagis have denied that they were involved in any wrongdoing whereas the charges specify that he and his three cousins were bribed to swing a 12-helicopter contract in favor of AgustaWestland (AW).

The accounts that have been frozen include those of the Indian agents of Finmeccanica, the parent company of AW.

CBI stated that it has found all the documents that point that he modified the Air Force's requirements for the helicopters so that to match AW's offerings, to help it edge over two other competitors.

Tyagi has stated that the contract was signed three years after his retirement. This inquiry emerged after an Italian investigation revealed that AW and Finmeccanica had paid bribes to the tune of Rs. 350 crores through a complex web of companies and middlemen to land the deal.

Economy bottomed out; to grow at 6.4 percent in 2013-14: PM panel

The Indian economy touched bottom and is now expected to grow at 6.4 percent in the current financial year against the estimated 5 percent expansion recorded in the previous year as per the Prime Minister's economic advisory panel.

Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chairman C. Rangarajan stated that the agriculture sector growth will increase to 3.5 percent 2013-14 in comparison to the estimated 1.8 percent growth in the fiscal that ended on March 31, 2013. The manufacturing sector's growth will increase to 4 percent in the current financial year as compared to 3.1 percent in the previous year. The services sector is projected to expand by 7.7 percent in 2013-14 as compared to 6.6 percent growth estimated for the previous fiscal.

Rangarajan added that growth would increase further if the government hastens the clearance for major projects.

India is freestyle wrestling champion, Amit wins gold

On the final day of the Asian Wrestling Championship, India showed a spectacular performance as it ended with its best-ever medal haul in the tournament and clinched the title of champion in the freestyle category. India was followed by Iran and Mongolia. 

Amit Kumar Dhankhar (66kg), who replaced injured Sushil Kumar, won gold as India finished with a rich medal haul of two gold, one silver and six bronze medals. In the last edition, India had won a gold medal and four bronze medals. Amit's bout was both action and drama.

He followed the common trend of losing the first round and then sprang back in action to win the bout. Facing Mongolia's Mandakhnaran Ganzorig in the final, Amit fell 0-1 behind in the first round in the second round it was 4-0. He had defeated Kyrgyzstan's Ulukman Mamatov and European champion Ruslan Pliev of Uzbekistan to reach the final.

Sonam, Anil will feature in a special song in 'Bombay Talkies'

Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor will feature together for the first time in a special song in "Bombay Talkies".

"Bombay Talkies" is a compilation of four short films which celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema. This movie has direction by Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar.There is one special song for the film which will have some of the known Bollywood stars including Sonam and Anil Kapoor. 

Choreographed by Vaibhavi Merchant, the song is common to the entire film and may be featured either in the opening or the end credits. For the song, the leading ladies will be in golden-coloured costumes, while the male actors will be seen in tuxedos.

New roaming packs for Vodafone pre-paid customers

Vodafone India came up with a new national roaming plan for its pre-paid customers.

With this plan, incoming calls while roaming on the Vodafone network at will cost 30 paise per minute across the country. Outgoing call rates will be 1.5 paise per sec for all local & STD calls, while roaming or at home.

The price point for the new national roaming plan differs from state to state and is between Rs 26 to Rs 47. For example, in Delhi, there are two price points - Rs 21 and Rs 42. 

With the new plan, Vodafone looks to profit from the upcoming holiday season where most people will be on vacation, allowing this new roaming plan to let them enjoy better roaming rates.

The plans come with a roaming incoming benefit of 30 days and tariff validity of 180 days. Standard rates apply for SMS, data roaming and ISD roaming. Standard national roaming tariff for pre-paid customers in Delhi is 1 rupee per minute for all incoming and local outgoing calls, and 1.5 rupees per minute for outgoing STD calls. Similarly the special recharge of Rs. 24 gives customers free incoming calls while roaming in Bihar, with outgoing calls (both local and STD) at 1.5 paise per sec. 

The new roaming plans for pre-paid customers will be available in all Vodafone circles, except Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and J&K.

Child's rape, 2G and coal allocation scam disrupt parliament

The first day of parliament after a month-long break was full of adjournments on Monday with issues like the rape of a five-year-old, irregularities in coal allocation and the draft JPC report on 2G spectrum disrupting both houses a number of times.

Lok Sabha was adjourned till Tuesday, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned many times till 2 p.m. after which the debate of the rape and torture of a five-year-old girl in an east Delhi colony was taken up. Need was felt for tough laws against the offenders and many leaders were in favor of the death penalty. It was also noted that only making strict rape laws won’t stop the crime, a change in the attitude of the people was also required. The general consensus was that rape crimes are increasing with each passing day and the leaders asked who will take responsibility for stopping the crime.

Other issues which were discussed included heckling of Mamata Banerjee by SFI activists and separate statehood of Telengana.

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