Evening digest: 25 Congress MPs suspended for 5 days for grave disorder in Lok Sabha

| August 3, 2015

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has suspended 25 members of the Congress for five days for causing "grave disorder" in Parliament and for "persistently, wilfully obstructing" the House". While taking the tough action under Rule 374(A), she said the members were being suspended for "persistently, wilfully obstructing the House".
She ruled that the members will not attend five sittings of the House. Congress has 44 members in all. Congress president Sonia Gandhi said tt's a black day for parliamentary democracy.

The 25 Congress members were carrying placards and shouting slogans while pressing for resignation of external affairs minister Sushma swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje over Lalit Modi row and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over Vyapam scam.  Meanwhile,  Aam Aadmi Party has announced boycott of Lok Sabha for five days to show solidarity with suspended Congress members.

82 per cent jump in corruption complaints; Railways tops infamous list
An unprecedented over 64,000 corruption complaints were received by the Central Vigilance Commission last year, a rise of 82 per cent than the preceding year. The Commission received 64,410 complaints, including 2,048 brought forward, during 2014. It had received 35,332 complaints in 2013. There has been a rise of 82.29 per cent in the corruption complaints in last year. As many as 12,776 complaints of alleged corruption against Railways employees followed by 6,836 against bank officials, 3,572 against Delhi government employees and 3,468 against Income Tax officials were received in 2014

No final decision on curbs on RBI governor's powers
Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said today it is not right to conclude that the government wants to curtail the powers of the Reserve Bank of India. His remarks came in the backdrop of a controversial proposal to strip the RBI governor of his veto power in interest rate decisions. Mehrishi said the draft Indian Financial Code is under government consideration and that it is still a discussion paper.

Meanwhile, Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) member M Govinda Rao  has revealed that the commission actually favoured governor having the last word. The revised draft of the IFC, which proposes that any decision on monetary decision should be taken by majority by a seven-member committee without any veto power to the RBI chief, has been seen as an attempt to curtail the central bank’s autonomy. This prompted the government to claim the draft IFC was not a “report of the government or of the finance ministry” and was based on the FSLRC report. The finance secretary said today "it is irrelevant whose ideas the IFC represents. We only collated ideas,".

Social media protest over porn sites ban
With the Internet service providers (ISPs)blocking more than 800 pornographic websites, the online community took to social media to lodge its protest. A conversation thread titled “Are porn sites getting blocked?” started on Reddit India and the hashtag #PornBan became a top Twitter trend in the morning. Angry posts criticised service providers for blocking porn sites, but the government ordered the ISPs to block these sites as per the direction issued by the supreme court. India has the second largest number of internet users after China. According to data from Pornhub, one of the world’s largest porn sites, Indians are among the most "prolific consumers" of internet pornography, accounting for 40% of its 14.2 billion visits. Mizoram consumes most porn and Delhi comes a close second.

"Porn ban is anti-freedom, impractical, not enforceable. Politically not very smart too. Avoidable. Let's not manage people's private lives" best-selling novelist Chetan Bhagat posted on Twitter.

Sensex gains for a fourth consecutive session
After trading in the positive terrain through out the day, the BSE Sensex ended 72 points up at 28,187.06 on Monday following hopes of stable asset quality after ICICI Bank’s positive outlook and a reduction in bad loans at some of the state-run banks. NSE Nifty closed 10.20 points up at 8,543.05. Shares of public sector banks rallied after the government unveiled a Rs 70,000 crore capital-infusion plan.

No change in June-Sept monsoon rainfall forecast, likely drought year
India has retained its forecast for this year's monsoon rains at 88 percent of the long-period average, the weather office said on Monday, adding the El Nino weather pattern could strengthen during the rest of the season. Monsoon rains are expected to be 84 percent of the long average in the August-September period, India Meteorological Department said.

German carmakers buy Nokia maps to fend off digital rivals
German carmakers BMW, Audi and Mercedes, will pay around 2.5 billion euros ($2.75 billion) to buy Nokia's maps business, a transformational deal that will help them develop self-driving cars. HERE is the leading supplier of high-resolution digital maps for most of the world's top automakers and also supplies Internet customers including Amazon, Yahoo and Baidu.It competes with Google and also with Dutch navigation firm TomTom. Intelligent mapping systems like HERE's form the basis on which self-driving cars linked to wireless networks can perform functions such as recalculating a route if data about a traffic jam or an accident is transmitted to the car.

Parliament panel gets four more days to submit report on land bill
The Joint Committee of Parliament examining the land acquisition bill today got an extension of four more days to submit its report on the controversial legislation. At a recent meeting of the Committee, it was decided to seek two more days' extension till August 5 to submit its report. But since the panel could not meet for two days following the demise of former President A P J Abdul Kalam, it was decided to seek the extension till August 7.

6-year-old critically injured as crude bomb explodes in Kolkata
A locally made bomb went off at Tala in Kolkata on Monday, critically injuring a six-year-old boy. Police suspect local criminals hid several bombs under some pipes abandoned by the city’s civic body. Bhuto Mollah, a child living in a nearby shanty, was playing in the area when he found a ball-like object. It exploded when he started playing with it.

352 lactating mothers' rooms, milk banks in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today inaugurated, through video conferencing, 352 rooms in bus terminals across the state where women can feed their newborns. She also inaugurated Mother's Milk Banks in seven government hospitals, including Tiruchirappalli and Madurai. Each bank has been provided with equipment worth Rs 10 lakh to preserve the milk donated by mothers. Such milk can be stored for three months and will be given to babies who cannot get milk from their mothers.  World Breast Feeding Week is observed from August 1 to 7.

ED Chief Rajan Katoch gets third extension
Senior IAS officer Rajan S Katoch was given yet another extension as the Chief of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). This is the third extension being given to the 1979-batch IAS officer in the post. The government has "approved continuation" of the additional charge of Katoch in ED for three more months beyond July 31, which is till October 31.



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