News Feed 06-Aug ‘2016

News Feed 6th August 2016

 

Vijay Rupani is the new Guj CM, Nitin Patel is the deputy CM

  • Vijay Rupani is all set to take over as the new chief minister of Gujarat. The post of the deputy chief minister of Gujarat will be taken up by Nitin Patel. The oath taking ceremony will take place on 7 August, 2016.
  • Rupani was chosen for the state’s top job by party MLAs at a meeting. The gathering saw the participation of BJP president Amit Shah and senior leader Nitin Gadkari as observers.
  • Rupani holds the position of the state president of BJP and was the minister for transport, water supply, labor and employment in Anandiben’s cabinet.
  • Senior leader Venkaiah Naidu firmly stated that Amit Shah would carry on in his national role.
  • Anandiben Patel handed over her resignation to Governor OP, which was accepted by the BJP’s parliamentary board. Patel had been at the receiving end of a string of high-pressure crisis in Gujarat.
  • Patel had received strong criticism for her handling of the protests demanding reservation for the powerful Patidar community. She has also been targeted over the protests by Dalit organisations in the aftermath of the beatings in Una.

Haryana to start process for merger of power discoms

  • BJP government in Haryana has started the process for merger of its two power distribution corporations, Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) and Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN), into a single unit.
  • The state power department has written to the two distribution companies to notify them about the merger move. The two discoms have been asked to set up a committee of chief engineers to work out the implications of merging of their various cadres into one cadre.
  • The two distribution corporations, along with Haryana Power Generation Corporation (HPGCL) and Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN), were created in 1999 after unbundling of the erstwhile Haryana State Electricity Board (HSEB), ridden with inefficiencies and huge debt.
  • Haryana was the second state after Orissa to begin power sector reforms, including restructuring and corporatization to bring operational competence in the functioning of the power sector. While the two new corporations had started with a clean slate, they failed to bring about much enhancement in their work culture, infrastructure and performance, landing in a dismal financial position soon.
  • The two power utilities have been in dismal state for a long time due to their continued inefficiencies and mounting losses, regardless of being bailed out twice. The merger proposal comes more than a year after the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) had advised the state government to merge the two discoms for improving efficiency in the delivery of electricity service and ensuring quality supply of electricity to consumers at a reasonable rate, citing the small size of the state.
  • The power sector regulator had cited enhanced cost control, reduction in supply cost, saving in transmission cost due to synergy in planning and operations, benefits of maintenance coordination, maximization of transmission system utilization, rationalization and redeployment of staff, reduction in working capital borrowings and enhanced managerial efficiency in support of its suggestion.
  • DHBVN, which supplies electricity to Gurgaon, Faridabad, Mewat, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, Bhiwani, Jind, Palwal, Rewari, Narnaul and Mewat, has lower distribution losses and outstanding receivables than the other utility. Jind district, considered an intricate area due to high losses, was initially part of UHBVN, but later transferred to DHBVN for level playing field. UHBVN supplies power to Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Ambala, Karnal, Kaithal, Rohtak, Sonepat, Panipat, Jhajjar and Panchkula districts.

UN rejects assertions of Ban Ki-Moon’s silence on Kashmir

  • The UN has stoutly rejected the assertion that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has a “vow of silence” on the issue of Kashmir.
  • Ban’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Ban’s standpoint on the Kashmir issue remains the same and cited a statement that had been issued a few weeks ago on the predicament in the Valley.
  • Ban had said he is closely following the latest clashes in Kashmir that broke out as the repercussion of the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.
  • He had called on all parties to “exercise maximum restraint” to avoid further violence and hoped that all concerns would be addressed through “peaceful means”.
  • Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric had discarded remarks that the Secretary General was unenthusiastic on the issue of Kashmir.
  • Dujarric was asked at the daily press briefing why the Secretary-General did not initiate efforts to settle the Kashmir conflict, even as the world body is trying to resolve conflicts in Cyprus and the Middle East.
  • When asked why there is “reluctance” on the part of the Secretary-General and the United Nations to offer any comments on the situation in Kashmir, Dujarric said when questions arise on the issue, the UN offers comments.
  • Protests broke out across Kashmir Valley on July 9, a day after Wani was killed in an encounter with Indian security forces, leading to clashes in which 50 people have been killed.

 

Rio Games open with ‘Samba’, global warming takes centre stage

  • Brazil showcased its affluent history and cultural heritage, combined with Rio’s famous ’Samba’ dance, as the 31st Olympic Games was officially launched with a subtle yet powerful message of global warming plaguing the world in a glittering opening ceremony.
  • The hour long ceremony to signal the opening of the 17 day extravaganza, which will be competed by more than 11,000 athletes from 209 countries, including India, and a refugee Olympic team.
  • After the formal announcement of the Games, Brazilian 2004 Athens Olympics marathon bronze winner Vanderlei de Lima lit the Olympic cauldron after former tennis world number one and three—time French Open winner Gustavo Kuerten brought the torch into the arena to the thunderous applause of spectators.
  • Greece, the native land of ancient Olympics, led the athletes’ procession with the hosts country Brazil coming last. The countries marched in alphabetical order based on the spelling of their names in Portuguese.
  • Approximately 70 Indian athletes (out of 118) and 24 officials took part in the march past with the male athletes wearing navy blue color blazer and trousers and their female counterparts donning blue blazer and traditional Saree.
  • Indian contingent was led by five-time Olympain Abhinav Bindra who marched their way out to the middle and was cheered aggressively by the capacity crowd.
  • Rio is famous for its arty dance floors from upscale Ipanema to Rocinha favela and pure genius was on display with a lit up floor and simple curtain for 3D effect.

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