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Major News and Events of 25 January 2013

What Happened on 25 January 2013

India celebrates 64th Republic Day

India's 64th Republic Day celebrations started on Saturday when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid homage to the unknown soldier at the India Gate war memorial in the heart of the capital. The three service chiefs were in attendance and the Prime Minister was greeted when he arrived at the World War I monument by Defence Minister A.K. Antony. He placed a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti eternal flame, an honor guard reversed arms and the buglers sounded the Last Post. Two minutes silence was observed after this. Millions celebrated the Republic Day and in some areas like Chattisgarh people defied  the rebel groups to join official flag hoisting functions.It was the first Republic Day for President Pranab Mukherjee, and King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk of Bhutan was the chief guest at the main event. What marked the celebrations was the display of military hardware of indeigenous origin barring some exceptions. The armed forces, the paramilitary forces, the National Cadet Corps and school students took part in the colorful parades and tableaux from 19 states and government departments also was a part of the celebrations. The important feature of the 100-minute parade was the nuclear-capable 5,000 km Agni-V ballistic missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, which was flight-tested last year. The grand finale was marked by a  flypast by the air force.

Indian, Pakistani armies exchange sweets on LoC

Sweets were exchanged by the Pakistani and Indian troops on Saturday on the occasion of India's 64th Republic Day Saturday, just weeks after tension brewed on the Jammu and Kashmir border. This took place at Chakan-da-Bag along the Line of Control (LoC) as an expression of goodwill. The Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers also exchanged sweets at Suchetgarh on the international border, about 40 km west of Jammu. The India-Pakistan relations were strained when Pakistani soldiers killed  two soldiers and beheaded one of them along the LoC Dec 8. On the other hand Pakistan put a charge on the Indian troops of killing two Pakistani soldiers on two separate days. The Indian and Pakistani armies have greeted each other on the LoC, which divides Jammu and Kashmir between the two countries, ever since a ceasefire was operational in 2003.

Kolkata Metro carries record number of passengers in April-December period.

Kolkata's Metro Railway carried on a record number of 1401.79 lakh passengers in the first nine months of fiscal 2012-13, thus recording a growth of 13.41 percent compared to the same period a year ago period when it carried 1236.05 lakh passengers. The earnings increased by 4.82 percent to Rs.7215.28 lakh in the April-December period of the ongoing financial year, in comparison to the figure in the same period of 2011-12. The Kolkata Metro was the country's first underground Metro railway, it got a record 7.42 lakh passengers on Oct 19 last year, breaking its earlier highest of 7.16 lakh passengers carried on Jan 3, 2011. The journey started on Oct 24, 1984, and now over six lakh passengers on an average commute on week days over a length of 25.135 km spread in the busy north-south stretch of Kolkata.

Kumbh Mela fire, 19 injured

Nineteen people were injured, six of them including three women suffered serious burns, as fire engulfed tents at the Kumbh Mela.The fire started in the Ram Govind Das camp area in sector 11 of the Mela premises, while the devotees were listening to a 'katha' (sermon) close by. In all, 19 'kalpwaasis' (pilgrims) got injuries from the incident.The state government has directed a probe into the fire and a Rs.50,000 financial aid has been announced for each of the six persons seriously injured.Chief fire officer Animesh Singh stated that there were no casualties. Firemen think the fire may have started as incense sticks were left behind in the tent by devotees and then it led to the explosion of a gas cylinder. The fire was controlled in 20 minutes and a major mishap was averted. The Kumbh Mela started on Jan 14 and would continue till March 10.

Reliance Power records 30 percent jump in Q3 profits

Reliance Power has registered a 30 percent increase in net profit for the quarter which ended on December 2012 year-on-year, doing away with all the street estimates.The profit after tax (PAT)increased to Rs.266 crore compared to Rs.204 crore in a similar period a year ago. The net profit was supported by record generation from the 1,200 MW Rosa power plant (Uttar Pradesh) as per J.P. Chalasani, company chief executive. Sales also increased to Rs.1,464 crore from Rs.457 crore year-on-year on the other hand EBITDA spiked by 252 percent to Rs.493 crore. The company's total income increased two-fold at Rs.1,586 crore for the September-December period, there was a total income of Rs.674 crore in the third quarter of the previous fiscal.

India to continue its demand for Headley's extradition

 India stated that it would go on with its demand for the extradition of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley, who was sentenced by a US court to 35 years in prison for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attack. It was also stated that more punishment would have been sought if he had been tried here. Ministers of the ruling Congress as well as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stated that the government should continue pressing for the extradition. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had said that there was bit of disappointment with the decision as it would have been better if he was brought here and tried as the real loss has been of India even though he understood that there was a law of land in the United States. He further added, "I can simply say that the fact that an American court has recognized the role of an accused in perpetrating the crime in India is actually a good beginning."

Screening of 'Viswaroopam' restricted in Hyderabad

The Andhra Pradesh government has put a hold on the release of Kamal Haasan's film "Viswaroopam" in Hyderabad when Muslims organisations expressed discontent that the movie had hurt religious sentiments of the community. Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy had asked the police to restrict the screening till Jan 28 when some Muslim leaders met her and demanded a ban on it. After this Hyderabad police commissioner have asked the cinema distributors not to screen the movie. Cyberabad police commissioner also ordered the theaters in the areas around Hyderabad to not show the movie. There could have been law and order problems on the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi being celebrated on Friday. It was not confirmed whether the movie would be released in the rest of the state.

Kolkata Half Marathon will see celebrities run for a cause

 20,000 participants from India and abroad that include celebrities, will participate in the Kolkata Half Marathon on Feb 3 with the vision to educate the under-privileged girl child. This has been jointly organized by Amity University and Dollar Industries Ltd., the 21-km marathon will see celebrities like Nigel Akkara and Rahul Bose leading the way in the third edition of the Kolkata Half Marathon - The Royal Bengal Run. The marathon will start from Mohammedan Sporting Club at 6 a.m.The half marathon has been arranged to create generate awareness and generate funds for support of the under-privileged girl child under Amitasha, a project which was undertaken by the Amity Humanity Foundation.

Kerala forges ahead in e-governance

Kerala's e-governance initiatives has got impetus with more stakeholders from participating organisations as well as the general public utilizing it optimally. Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM) which is the nodal agency for implementation of various IT initiatives of the government has enabled free flow of information and 24X7 access through internet. Some of the  e-governance initiatives, that were popular among the masses include a direction which was sent to procuring government departments/ PSUs/ boards under the state government to strictly adhere to the e-procurement for all purchases worth Rs.25 lakhs or above, with effect from March 31, 2013. Another IT enabled programme that is successful is the Information and Data Exchange Advanced System (IDEAS), a web based online file, petition and government order tracking system that ensure monitoring of government documents for the general public. KSITM has has also implemented IDEAS for the offices of the ministers, all the departments in the Secretariat, forest headquarters and nine subordinate offices in districts. It is based on open source technology and helps citizens track their petitions/letters from anywhere in the world, using internet. Till now there has been 75, 21,762 file movements, and some 10,88,148 petitions were filed to various government departments.

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