QBullet: BJP Bastion Falls in UP Bypolls; RIP Stephen Hawking 

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6 min read
To suffer a shocking defeat by losing close to 4 lakh votes compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections is a huge setback.

1. In UP Bypolls, Cycle-Riding Elephant Crushes Yogi’s Gorakhpur Fort

Ending the BJP’s 29-year rule in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur, the Samajwadi Party’s Praveen Kumar Nishad on Wednesday, 14 March, won by 21,881 votes the bypolls in the Lok Sabha constituency that is Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home turf.

From 1989 to 2018, the seat was held twice by Mahant Avedyanath and five times by Yogi Adityanath, both of whom headed the Gorakhnath temple, a religious centre often described as the nerve-centre of eastern UP politics.

The seat fell vacant last year after Adityanath resigned from Lok Sabha after being chosen as the UP chief minister.

Meanwhile, in the Lok Sabha constituency of Phulpur, SP’s Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel defeated BJP’s Kaushlendra Singh Patel by a massive 59,460 votes. Nagendra Pratap polled around 3,05,172 votes, while the BJP’s Kaushlendra Singh Patel polled 2,57,821 votes.

Read the full story on The Quint.


2. ‘Bihar Bypoll Victory a Result of Lalu’s Ideology’: Tejashwi

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA suffered an electoral shock in the Lok Sabha bypolls in Bihar. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Wednesday, 14 March, managed to retain Jehanabad seat as well as the Araria Lok Sabha seat in Bihar, while the saffron party clinched the Bhabua Assembly seat.

Dedicating the win to the people of Bihar, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav called the results
“a victory of the ideology of (RJD chief) Lalu Prasad Yadav.”

"You have not jailed Lalu Yadav, you have jailed an ideology. This very ideology will destroy your ego," Tejashwi Yadav tweeted as the results were pouring in.

The bypolls were considered the first electoral test after Nitish Kumar dumped the Grand Alliance and joined hands with the BJP last year. Yadav also slammed the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government, calling it an “opportunistic alliance.”

Read the full story on The Quint.

3. Physicist & Cosmologist Stephen Hawking Dies at 76

British theoretical physicist and renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76, a family spokesperson told news agencies on Wednesday, 14 March.

Professor Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 (exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo) in Oxford, England, to Frank and Isobel Hawking.

Hawking lived with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, since his time at Oxford University. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 1963, at the age of 21.

His body of scientific work includes his analysis of gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity with Roger Penrose, as well as the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, commonly termed ‘Hawking radiation.’

Read more on Stephen Hawking here.


4. ‘Pained & Angered’: RBI Guv Breaks His Silence on Banking Frauds

Urjit Patel will complete a year as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
Urjit Patel will complete a year as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
(Photo: Reuters)

The governor of the Reserve Bank of India has responded to criticism that the regulator was not alert enough in recent cases of fraud, saying dual regulation owing to the Finance Ministry’s involvement and weaker market discipline mechanism for public sector banks had a role to play.

"Banking regulatory powers in India are not ownership neutral. This legislative reality has in effect led to a deep fissure in the landscape of banking regulatory terrain; a system of dual regulation, by the Finance Ministry in addition to RBI," said Urjit Patel.

No banking regulator can catch or prevent all frauds, Patel said, adding that it is infeasible for a banking regulator to be in every nook and corner of banking activity to rule out frauds by “being there.”

Read the full story on The Quint.

5. Opposition Agitated as Lok Sabha Passes Budget Bill Without Debate

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday, 14 March, passed the Union Budget without any debate amid din, leading to a walkout by members of the Congress and Trinamool, while the TDP, YSR Congress, AIADMK and SP protested near the Speaker's podium.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved the Finance Bill 2018, as well as the Appropriation Bill, which were passed by voice vote.

Members from the Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Left parties, who have been protesting over the PNB fraud case, were seen standing at their seats, as the Speaker went ahead with the different Bills related to passing the demands for grants and the Finance Bill.

As the Speaker went ahead with the process, the members standing near the Speaker's podium continued to raise slogans, while the Congress, TMC, Left and other MPs protested against the manner in which the Bills were passed.

The Congress and the Trinamool members staged a walkout later, calling it a “murder of parliamentary democracy.”

Read the full story on The Quint.


6. Rohit Sharma Gets Among the Runs, Guides India Into Nidahas Final

Skipper Rohit Sharma performed when it mattered the most as India outclassed Bangladesh by 17 runs to cruise to the final of the Nidahas T20 tri-series on Wednesday, 14 March.

It was Rohit's 89 off 61 balls that took India to a competitive 176 for three in 20 overs and then young Washington Sundar (3/22 in 4 overs) blew away the top-order to help restrict the 'Tigers' to 159 for six in 20 overs.

Read the full match report on The Quint.

8. BSNL Case: Maran Brothers Discharged

File photo of former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran. 
File photo of former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran. 
(Photo: Reuters)

Former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother and Sun Group chairman Kalanithi Maran were discharged by a special CBI court from the illegal telephone exchange case in Chennai on Wednesday. 14 March.

Five others — the private secretary to the former Union minister, two former chief general managers of BSNL, and two employees of Sun TV — were also discharged from the case. All seven persons, including Dayanidhi and Kalanithi, were present in the packed court hall.

Pronouncing orders on the discharge petitions, XIV Additional Sessions Judge S Natarajan said since there was insufficient material to frame charges against any of the accused, he had discharged them all.

The CBI had registered a case against the seven accused on 23 July 2013. The prosecution’s case was that from 2004 to 2007, while Dayanidhi was Union minister, 764 telephone lines were provided by BSNL to his Gopalapuram and Boat Club Road residences.


8. Short of Firefighters, IAF Commits to 324 Tejas Jets

QBullet: BJP Bastion Falls in UP Bypolls; RIP Stephen Hawking 
(Photo Courtesy: IAF)

After years of being critical of the Tejas fighter, which is still not combat-ready 35 years after the light combat aircraft project was first approved by the government, the IAF has now agreed to induct 324 of the indigenous jets in the long-term to make up for its fast-depleting number of fighter squadrons.

The IAF has “firmly committed” to 123 Tejas jets at present, which will come at a cost of over Rs 75,000 crore if both developmental and production costs are taken into account. But it wants the next 201 Tejas Mark-II jets to be “entirely new fighters” with much better avionics and radars, enhanced fuel and weapons carrying capacity, and more powerful engines, say top sources.

The existing single-engine Tejas has limited “endurance” of just an hour, with a “radius of action” of only 350-400-km, and weapon-carrying capacity of 3-tonne. Other single-engine fighters like Swedish Gripen-E and American F-16 have roughly double the weapon-carrying capacity and triple the endurance.

(Source: The Times of India)

9. India’s Largest Military Transport Aircraft C-17 Lands Near China

C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a historic landing at Tuting Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) near the China border in Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday, 13 March.

The flight crew included Group Captain K Rama Rao, Wing Commander Amiya Kant Patnaik, Wing Commander K Trivedi and Squadron Leader L Nayak. The landing ground is located only 30 km from China near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The landing ground is challenging as it is located in the midst of high hills in a narrow valley. The mammoth C17 Globemaster could execute this mission flawlessly owing to its agile manoeuvrability.

The C-17, the largest aircraft with the Indian Air Force, has a capacity to carry 102 para-troopers and cargo such as tank and Armoured Security Vehicles, among others. The plane has a payload capacity of 77,520 kg.

Read the full story on The Quint.

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