Wednesday, July 01st 2009
Nirupama Rao to be next Foreign Secretary
Foreign secretary Shivshanker Menon is to be succeeded by Ms. Nirupama Rao. Ms. Rao will be the second woman foreign secretary of India after Chokila Iyer. She has served several key diplomatic positions before. She was India's ambassador to China till date. This batch of 1973 IFS officer will succeed Mr. Menon after the latter retires on July 31st.
Thursday, July 02nd 2009
Petrol and diesel prices hiked
The Government decided to hike prices of petrol and diesel by Rs. 4 and Rs. 2 respectively effective from midnight on Wednesday. This decision has been taken ahead of the parliament's budget session which will begin on Thursday. The government will however not increase the prices of domestic LPG and kerosene. This move is expected to garner Rs.13,000 crore this fiscal even though the oil companies were projecting a loss of Rs 39,000 crore before the hike.
Thursday, July 02nd 2009
Bandra-worli sea link opens, chaos on day 1
The long awaited engineering wonder ,the Bandra-worli sea link was opened for the Mumbai public on the 1st of July after having been formally inaugurated by Sonia Gandhi on the 30th of June. The sea link is expected to improve traffic issues in and around Mahim and few of the western suburbs. It is expected to decrease the commuting time between the western suburbs and the main city by road. The first day of the sea link was, however, chaotic. Traffic moved at snail's pace with everybody wanting to drive on Mumbai's engineering marvel as toll of Rs 50 being waived off for four days. Many vehicles were on the road to get a free ride.
Friday, July 03rd 2009
Delhi HC says 'Homosexuality not a crime'
A 149 year old law enacted by the British was overturned by a verdict given by the Delhi High Court on July 2nd . In a landmark ruling the Delhi high court had re-written section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC0)which earlier imposed a maximum penalty of life sentence on anybody who has 'carnal intercourse against the order of nature'. The high court has now ordered to amend this law-by decriminalizing private consensual sex between adults of the same sex. This historic verdict makes India the 127th country in the world to decriminalize consensual homosexual sex.
Saturday, July 04th 2009
Railway budget 2009
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee presented the first Railway budget of the UPA in its second innings at the parliament. The budget has been termed as a "please all" proposal by political and media scribes. There has been no change in the passenger fares or freight rates. At the budget session the railway minister stated that the old mindset of economic viability must be substituted with social viability and that the Budget should be based on social viability. The Tatkal facility has been revamped, advance period cut from 5 to 2 days, minimum premium reduced from Rs 150 to Rs 100, proposal for 57 new trains, 53 new lines are also being considered. In addition, 12 non-stop long distance 'Duronto' trains will also be added. Ladies only suburban trains for Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata will also be introduced. Rs 25 monthly season ticket for distances up to 100 km for poor As per the budget plan 50 "world class" stations to be developed with public-private partnership and 375 stations to be turned into "Adarsh stations'' with drinking water, toilet etc The budget support to railways has now increased from Rs 10,000 cr to Rs 15,000 cr.
Tuesday, July 07th 2009
Budget for the common man
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee presented the union budget for 2009-10 in the parliament on Monday. The budget has been termed as one for the "aam aadmi" this time with rural India set to benefit a lot from it. Spending on job guarantee and Bharat Nirman to rise by 144% and 45% respectively. The government has introduced an additional Rs 10,000 personal income tax exemption and also scrapped the 10 per cent surcharge. Farmers are to get cheaper loans and there would be incentives for export. Infrastructure is to attain nine per cent growth. The UPA also managed to keep its poll promise through its budget which proposed a food security act ensuring 25 Kg of rice or wheat to the poor at Rs 3 per Kg.
Wednesday, July 08th 2009
Cracker fire kills 17 in Madurai
A fire which broke out at a licensed fire cracker manufacturing unit in Madurai has killed 17 and injured 40. Many of the critically injured are children who used to work at the factory after school. The accident took place at the manufacturing unit at Vadakampatti which is about 40 kilometers from Madurai. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Sunday, July 12th 2009
Indian ship hijacked by Somali pirates
Somali pirates have reportedly hijacked an Indian dhow with 16 Indian crew aboard. The officials from the Indian Directorate-General of Shipping(DGS) has however maintained that they have not received any information about the attack. The dhow was hijacked while on its way from the port city of Bosasso to Dubai. According to certain reports in the media the hijack could have been a result of a business deal that went sour.
Monday, July 13th 2009
Delhi metro link crashes
A Delhi metro viaduct which was under construction collapsed along with a portion of the girder launcher on Sunday killing six people and injuring 15. The prefabricated concrete segment crashed on the Central Secretariat-Badarpur line. The accident happened when one of the pillars of the bridge crumbled as it could not take the weight of the launcher which was being erected on top. A design flaw has been stated as the reason for the accident. Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation(DMRC) Mr. E Sreedharan resigned from his post taking moral responsibility for the collapse. The six people who lost their lives in the accident included an engineer from Gammon India.
Monday, July 13th 2009
36 Policemen killed by Maoists
In two violent incidents in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh and in an encounter at Sitagaon, about 36 security personnel were killed in a Naxal attack. The 36 jawans who were killed also included Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar Chaubey. The police contingent is said to have been surrounded by armed naxals and relentlessly fired at.
Tuesday, July 14th 2009
India-Pak dialogue set to take place
This would be the first time that India and Pakistan would have a dialogue post the 26/11 terror attacks. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to meet his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani along the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. Before the slated meeting between the two PMs, the foreign secretaries of the two nations will discuss regarding the action taken by Islamabad to bring the Mumbai attack guilty to justice.
Wednesday, July 15th 2009
Monsoon mayhem in Mumbai
Mumbai in its usual tryst with the monsoon received incessant rain for about 30 hours since Monday. Tuesday saw trains, and vehicular traffic coming to a halt due to flooding. Areas that were hit due to monsoon floods were Dadar, Khar, Santa Cruz, Goregaon, Malad, Kandivli, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Byculla, Sion, Mazagaon, Wadala, Vikhroli and Ghatkopar. The infamous Mithi river which runs through the city was flowing at dangerously high levels.
Wednesday, July 15th 2009
Indo-French alliance takes a step closer
India and France have taken a step closer to each other in the areas of strategy. The two nations discussed cooperation in areas like atomic energy, defence and space. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present in Paris as chief guest at the French National Day celebrations. Mr. Singh would be the first Indian leader to be the chief guest at the French celebrations.
Saturday, July 18th 2009
Hillary Clinton's India visit
United States secretary of state Ms. Hillary Clinton is in India on a five day visit to help launch a bright new chapter in strategic partnership between the two countries. This is Ms. Clinton's first visit since her appointment as US's chief diplomat. Hillary Clinton would be meeting the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 20th.
Monday, July 20th 2009
India takes a firm stand on the emissions issue
As the US secretary Hillary Clinton is on a state visit to India to launch a new strategic chapter between the two nations, other matters like the environmental issue was also on the table for discussions between India and the US. India clarified its stand on the emissions issue with the US on Sunday. Environment minister Jairam Ramesh informed Ms. Clinton that India would never take legally binding commitments to cut down on its emissions. The US wants India to agree to limit carbon emissions before it signs a UN climate treaty in Copenhagen in December.
Tuesday, July 21st 2009
India and US start new strategic dialogue
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton held talks with the Prime minister Manmohan Singh and foreign minister SM Krishna on Monday. The two countries opened up a new channel for strategic dialogue. An agreement was reached to have defence sales worth billions of dollars from the US to India. India also announced the two sites for American nuclear reactors. An agreement on science and technology was also signed by the two countries.
Thursday, July 23rd 2009
Court's verdict based on Kasab's confession today
The lone terrorist caught alive by the police Mohammad Ajmal Kasab confessed to his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks early this week. Public prosecutor Ujwal Nikam had asked for some time in order to analyze the guilty plea of the accused. The court is however expected to pass its verdict based on this plea today. The prosecution is of the view that the court should not accept or reject the guilty plea entirely.
Friday, July 24th 2009
India a bigger threat for Pak than the Taliban
Pakistan has refused to move troops from the Indian border and expects the US to walk away from Afghanistan. Pakistan feels that the American military pressure in southern Afghanistan might fuel the insurgency that is raging in Baluchistan. This would mean that Pakistani troops at the Indian border will have to be deployed to tackle the insurgency. The Pakistani military feels that it is better to negotiate with the Taliban than to fight them.
Saturday, July 25th 2009
UPA does damage control
In a move to answer criticism aimed at the government due to a joint statement released after a recent meeting between Pakistan and India on the sidelines of the NAM summit in Sharm-el Sheikh, Egypt, India has claimed that it will talk only matters of terror with Pakistan. The joint statement had come under fire from many political factions for delinking terrorism from composite dialogue and bringing Baluchistan into India-Pak talks. The government has stressed that Pakistan has not taken enough action against terror and so it would not engage in any composite dialogue for the time being.
Sunday, July 26th 2009
AI asks Govt for Rs. 20,000 crore as bailout
Air India – Indian airlines has sought financial assistance amounting to Rs. 20 thousand crore from the government in order to continue flying. An immediate loan assistance of about Rs 10,000 crore along with an annual equity infusion requirement of Rs 2,500-3,000 crore for the next 4-5 years that will be linked to the induction of new aircraft in its fleet is what has been sought by the airlines ina presentation made to the committee of secretaries (CoS) headed by cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar. The finance ministry will now look into the extent to which the airlines would need assistance. The National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL), has accumulated losses of Rs 7,200 crore till this March. The AI-IA combine is to receive 111 new aircraft worth $11 billion (list price) to replace decades-old planes in its fleet.
Monday, July 27th 2009
India joins the N-sub club
On Sunday India became only the sixth nation to produce a nuclear-powered submarine. India's own nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihant, was launched by the P M Manmohan Singh. The nation's new nuclear submarine is armed with 12 nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, anti-ship, land-attack cruise missiles and torpedoes. This underwater vessel is powered by a nuclear reactor so it can stay submerged for long periods. The other five nations which possess N-sub capabilities are US, Russia, France, UK and China.
Tuesday, July 28th 2009
Three convicted for the 2003 twin blasts
Special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) judge M R Puranik convicted Ashrat Ansari (32), Hanif Sayed Anees (46) and his wife Fehmida Sayed (43) who face a maximum sentence of death penalty for their role in the twin blasts which took place in 2003 at the Gateway of India and Zaveri bazar, Mumbai. Six years since the blasts which killed 52 people a special court passed the conviction on Monday.
Friday, July 31st 2009
Gujjar quota issue solved
S K Singh, the Rajasthan governor has given his approval for the quota bill which was drafted during the earlier BJP rule in the state under Vasundhara Raje. The bill provides for five per cent reservation in jobs to Gujjars and three other communities and 14 per cent to economically poor among forward castes. Following the approval the Gujjars have decided to call off their five-day-old sit-in demonstration.
Monday, May 10, 2010
GENERAL NEWS INDIA – JULY 2009
Wednesday, July 01st 2009