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Major News and Events of 25 December 2012

What Happened on 25 December 2012

Injured policeman dies, rape victim critical, CM involved in a spat with police

A constable, Subhash Chand Tomar who was brutally attacked during gang-rape protests in Delhi died on Tuesday. The young rape victim on the other hand is fighting the battle for her life for the ninth straight day. The policeman was attacked brutally by a mob near India Gate when the protests against the gangrape went violent. His family blamed the protesters for his death. Additional Commissioner of Police V.V. Chaudhary said about him that he was an "exceptionally sincere and hard working" policeman who had earned 77 commendations since he joined Delhi Police in 1987.

There was also war of words made public between Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Police over the rape victim's statement given to a magistrate. Dikshit requested the Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to order a "high-level independent inquiry" against senior police officials for alleged interference when the rape victim's statement was recorded by magistrate Usha Chaturvedi. Police chief Neeraj Kumar rejected this allegation.


Doordarshan suspends five staffers in connection with PM speech

Doordarshan has suspended five staffers as they failed to reach in time to record a message by the Prime Minister on Monday. It was an appeal for peace by protesters who wanted justice for last week’s gangrape victim. This was recorded by a private news agency and was broadcast without any edits  by all television channels.The Prime Minister had asked after reading through the message “theek hai (Is it alright)?”, to confirm  whether the recording was fine. That last query was not edited and was broadcast by all private television channels. Angry protesters used this “theek hai “ to pass remarks at Manmohan Singh, thus causing major embarrassment for the Prime Minister. Doordarshan's staff couldn't reach to record the Prime Minister’s message because of traffic restrictions. They have been suspended and an inquiry has been set in place to see whether the reasons cited by them are justified or not.


India's oil economy experienced steps to fuel pricing reforms

2012 saw a record hike in retail prices of transport fuels and cut on subsidies on cooking gas as the main features of the oil economy in India.The sector awaited pricing reforms and a new boost in the production of hydrocarbons to gain energy security.The price hikes were a cause of concern for the consumers of petrol, diesel and cooking gas. The price of diesel increased by Rs.5 per litre, was the record hike in diesel prices and there was the first-ever cap on domestic cooking gas, or liquefied petroleum gas, at six cylinders per household per year. The state-run oil retailers incurred a staggering loss of Rs.138,541 crore in 2011-12 ($258 billion) by selling the fuel at below cost so the strong reforms were put in place. These corrective measures could not deter such losses, called under-recoveries, experienced by the three state-run oil firms -- Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum  and in the present fiscal are projected at around Rs.1,67,415 crore (over $300 billion). During the current financial year, the government share of subsidy on a cooking gas cylinder is Rs.23 (nearly half US dollar) out of a total subsidy of Rs.504 ($9). The balance is handled by the OMCs.

Pakistan defeats India by five wickets in T20 series

In a nail biting match similar to any encounter between the arch rivals, Pakistan defeated India by five wickets in the first T20 tie at Chinnaswamy stadium on Tuesday. Pakistan got a modest target of 134 runs from India and its first victory came in the T20 series when Shoaib Malik hit a six in the 20th over, off Ravindra Jadeja. Pakistan made a disastrous  start and lost three wickets in the first three overs to when debutant pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar from Uttar Pradesh struck through the opening lineup. But captain Mohammed Hafeez and Malik faced the Indian attack and surged ahead with a 106-run fourth wicket partnership. Even though Hafeez was caught by Kumar off Ishant Sharma for 61 in the 18th over were dashed as Malik stayed at the wicket with the innings with his 57 off 50 balls. Dhoni tried hard to break the Hafeez-Malik partnership with a mix of pace and spin but to no avail.

2012 was a phenomenal year for Bollywood

Eight big-starrers that joined the Rs.100-crore club were the unusual-themed small-budget movies. These turned into hits and there was no major upset among about 150 releases.  Bollywood's 2012 box office stats have set a benchmark as per the trade pundits.The movies grossed Rs.2,273-crore profit, in what is called a "balanced" year for the Hindi film industry, which can now get into the  Rs.200-crore club in the next two years. The small-budget non-commercial films with unusual themes like "Kahaani", the woman-centric thriller, "Vicky Donor" on sperm donation, and "Ishaqzaade", were major hits by earning Rs.75 crore, Rs.45 crore and Rs.40 crore respectively. Blockbusters like "Agneepath", "Housefull 2" and "Rowdy Rathore" too raked moolah at the box office by joining the Rs.100-crore club.The Khans- Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir – ruled the second half of the year. Their releases "Ek Tha Tiger", "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" and "Talaash" respectively were major grosser. So was Saif Ali Khan-starrer "Cocktail". Salman’s Dabangg 2 has now broken the record of Ek Tha Tiger. Eight films - "Agneepath", "Housefull 2", "Rowdy Rathore", "Ek Tha Tiger", "Barfi!", "Jab Tak Hai Jaan", "Son Of Sardaar", and "Bol Bachchan" – got into Rs.100 crore at the domestic box office.

Launch of satellites and suspensions marked the Indian space sector

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2012 put into orbit four satellites, including the heaviest one built by it till date. With this the country entered a select group of nations that can construct and launch radar imaging satellites (Risat). In the beginning of the year ISRO launched a new mission control center at its rocket port in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. If these were the highs then the lows were in February the government banned four former ISRO officials, including former chairman G. Madhavan Nair, to hold official posts for their alleged role in the cancelled $300 million (Rs.60 crore) spectrum deal between Antrix Corporation (ISRO's commercial arm) and the Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia Ltd.The other officials in this loop are, A. Bhaskaranarayana, a former scientific secretary at ISRO; K.R. Sridharamurthi, former executive director of Antrix; and K.N. Shankara, former director of the ISRO satellite center.  The Kerala High Court directed payment of compensation to former ISRO scientist S. Nambi Narayanan, framed in a false espionage case and later acquitted of the charges by the apex court in 1996.

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