National Political News:
1.The JNU row has escalated further as Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister ArvindKejriwal and CPM General Secretary Sita Ram Yechuri are amongst the 9 booked for sedition on the orders of a Delhi Court against a complaint filed by a lawyer under relevant section of the IPC. These politicians had issued statements in favour of Kanhaiya Kumar and others associated with the JNU rumpus.
A Delhi Court has bailed out Kanhaiya Kumar on a 6 month interim conditionalbail.
2. The Government of India has appointed the former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)VinodRai as chairman of the Banks Board Bureau. The top level public sector bank appointments shall be recommended by the Bureau henceforth.
3. The budget for the financial year 2016-17 has been presented to the Parliament by the Finance Minister ArunJaitley. The highlight of the budget is that the fiscal deficit for the year 2016-17 shall be maintained at 3.5% of the GDP against 3.9% in the current fiscal. The budget is infra and agri oriented. Taxes/ Duties have been raised on cars, air travel, cigarettes, tobacco, jewellery, smart watches and other luxury goods. Duty reduction is there on broad band modems, cctv cameras, dialysis equipment etc. The government has also announced a 4 month window for bringing black money back to proper channels, subject to the condition of paying 45% tax etc. on it.
4.The controversy over the 2 affidavits filed in the IshratJahan terrorism case encounter in the Court has taken the issue to the door steps of the previous Home Minister Chidambaram of UPA. He has acknowledged to having authored the second affidavit filed in the Court. Former Home SecretaryGopalPillai has stated that the killing of 4 terrorist including IshratJahan of LET was a successful intelligence operation.
5. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari claims that the government shall get the GST bill passed in the budget session which is underway.
6. The Government has stated in Parliament that the JNU student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar was behind the pro Afzal Guru event in the JNU campus. The Delhi Police has taken into custody his other accomplices Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.
7. The Army has been called out in various parts of Haryana in the ongoing Jat Quota agitation which continues to wreck havoc. At least 19 people have been killed and countless injured in the violence besides huge loss to Government and private property.
Haryana has 29% Jat population in the state. The Supreme Court had quashed the quota for Jats under the central list of OBC’s. The Jats are pressing for a suitable legislation for restoration of their quota in Government jobs. Drinking water supply to Delhi through Munak Canal which passes through Haryana stands stopped by the Jat agitation.
8. A severe encounter has ended at Pampore EDI building on the outskirts of Srinagar between the security forces and the holed up LET militants. Death toll in the over 30 hour encounter is over 6 now. 3 militants have been killed and 120 civilians successfully evacuated from the building.
9. DMDK party’s actor politician leader Vijay Kant losses his leader of the opposition status in Tamil Nadu assembly as 8 DMDK MLA’S quit his party reducing its tally to 20 from 28. 24 MLA’s are required by a party for having the leader of opposition from amongst themselves in the Tamil Nadu assembly as per the current strength of various parties in the T.N. assembly. The total strength of the Tamil Nadu assembly is 234 MLA’s.
10. Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli is on a India visit to improve the bilateral relationship with India in the backdrop of the Madhesi agitation in Nepal against their new constitution. The Madhesis are enforcing a blockade of essential supplies to Nepal from India on the Indo-Nepal border.
11. India’s first nuclear armed submarine passes several deep sea diving drills and tests and is awaiting a requisition for operational use.
International Political News:
1. Democratic Party front runner Hillary Clinton brushes aside the Bernie Sanders challenge in the Super Tuesday round of primaries in 7 US states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia besides South Carolina primary. Bernie Sanders on the other hand wins Colorado, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Vermont.
Republic party’s Donald Trump wins Alabama,Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.
2. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his associates win the Iran elections for the 290 seat Majlis (Parliament). Iran’s population of 80 million has 60% of it under 30 years old who are eager to get in line with the world. Belief in Islam is a must to contest the Iranian elections.
3. Pakistan executes former police commando MumtazQadri convicted for brutally assassinating Pakistan Panjab Governor Salman Tasser, a liberal, who sought reform in blasphemy laws of Pakistan.
4. Pieces of the Malaysian flight MH370 aircraft, Boeing 777 which vanished on March 8/2014 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing washed ashore in the African nation of Mozambique.
5. Democrat party’s candidate for Presidential elections in US, Hillary Clinton takes home the Nevada Caucus with 53% votes. The Republican Party candidate Trump wins the South Carolina primary. Jeb Bush, son and brother of two former US Presidents bows out of the Presidential contest as a contestant for the Republican Party nomination.
6. Syria continues to be on a boil as bomb attacks in Central city of Homs near capital Damascus kill at least 87, as Shia shrines are targeted by ISIS.
7. Indonesia the world’s largest archipelago nation with 1700 islands sinks 27 impounded foreign boats for having violated its waters. The boats indulged in illegal fishing and belonged to Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar.
8. Sri Lanka’s former army chief Field Marshal SarathFonseka accused of human rights violation by United Nations Human Rights council (UNURC) during the final phase of the 30 year old war with LTTE has been sworn in by the Sri Lankan government as a cabinet minister under the current President Maithripala Sirisena. He was accused by the previous regime of Rajapaksa for engineering a military coup and was thus under arrest during that Government’s tenure.
1. RBI gives Rs. 35,000 Crore relief to Public Sector Banks by revising norms to assign higher value to hidden assets in the bank balance sheets at current values. Real Estate, Foreign Currency reserves and other assets have been up graded from tier 2 to tier 1 capital.
2. CBI is probing Mondelez India, the makers of Cadbury Chocolates and other food items for showing a phantom factory and paying Rs. 580 crores in bribes to politicians and officials for a cover up in the year 2010-11. The probe has been referred to by the US government which is already probing the company under law of US Securities Exchange Commission.
3. The Jaypee group has reached agreement to sell its cement plants in 6 states to Birla Ultratech for Rs. 17000 Crores to pair of its debts.
4. The rail budget has been presented in the Parliament. There is no hike in the passenger or freight fares. The budget has announced the creation of 2 new locomotive factories and dedicated freight corridors. 400 railway stations to be redeveloped through PPP and another 400 to get WiFi. 7 km of new broad gauge line to be constructed every day against the current average of 4.3 kms. The railway electrification budget is also up by 50% to shift over to electric traction.
5. The chief economic advisor has presented his pre-budget yearly economic survey.
6. Vijay Mallya, a Rajya Sabha member quits as chairman of United Spirits (USL), the largest liquor manufacturer in the country. USL is now controlled by London based Diageo Plc. $75 million is compensation is to be paid by USL to Vijay Mallya in a non-compete deal. The grounded Kingfisher Airlines of which Vijay Mallya is the chairman is saddled with a debt of Rs. 9000 crores. SBI and PNB have declared him as a willful defaulter because of nonpayment of loans undertaken by his business ventures.
Science and Technology:
1. University of Washington Scientists have developed Wifi transmission system using less power that may help save battery life in smart phones. Known as passive Wifi system it consumes 10000times less power than Bluetooth low energy and Zigbee.
2. Technological work is underway at Surrey in England for the development of 5G– the fastest cellphone network to be initiated in the world. Researchers and telecom companies like Samsung of Korea, Ericson of Sweden, Huawei of China, NIT Docomo and Fujitsu of Japan, AT&T of US are working on internet speed 100 times faster than what is available now. Subscriber’s appetite for accessing videos on their mobile devices is making the world’s largest telecom device maker and operators to rush into this.
3. The setting up of a Ligo telescope system in India is on the cards. Gravitational waves can be discovered by it resulting from interstellar explosions.
4. Scientists in Toronto, Canada have designed shape shifting nano particles attached to strands of DNA to deliver drugs directly to cancer cells to destroy them. This shall minimize hair loss and skin damage in chemotherapy and radiation used conventionally for treatment of cancer.
1. In the ongoing Asia Cup, India has reached the finals by beating Sri Lanka. Bangladesh also entered the final in a surprise result by beating Pakistan.
2. The soccer’s Annual Premier League played in England is heading towards the quarter finals stage. Amongst others Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal Clubs are the key contenders for the title.
3. Australia beat New Zealand at Christchurch in the 2nd test of the Australia -New Zealand series for the Trans Tasman Trophy.
Brendon McCullum the retiring New Zealand captain scored the fastest century in the test match of 54 balls and created the record of being the first captain to score a century in his final test. Australia scored 506 and 201 for 3 wickets in the match against New Zealand’s 370 and 335 runs in both the innings and won the match.
4. Asia Cup of cricket gets underway in Bangladesh. India defeated Bangladesh in the opening match and then went on to defeat Pakistan in their second match.
5. In the Champions League soccer, Barcelona defeated Arsenal to head to the quarter finals. Juventus drew their match with Bayern Munich in the last 16. Both these teams are also on their way to the quarter finals of the tournament.