President Pranab Mukherjee on April 9, 2015 appointed the senior-most Election Commissioner, Dr Nasim Zaidi, as the next Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of the country. Zaidi will assume the charge of office of the Chief Election Commissioner with effect from April 19, after the incumbent Hari Shankar Brahma will retire on April 18.
The Law Ministry, which initiated the file to appoint the next CEC as present incumbent HS Brahma retires on April 19, had reportedly cited convention of appointing the senior-most EC as the CEC. After Zaidi’s appointment, the government will set in motion the process to appoint two Election Commissioners to fill vacancies in the three-member body. After VS Sampath demitted office in January, Brahma was elevated as CEC. But the post which fell vacant after Brahma’s elevation has not been filled up so far. After Brahma retires on April 19, Zaidi will be the only member of the three-member poll watchdog.
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Zaidi will have a tenure up to July, 2017 when he attains the age of 65. An EC or a CEC has a tenure of six years in office or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.
A special court trying the multi-crore accounting fraud in erstwhile Satyam Computer Services Ltd in its judgment on April 9, 2015 found the firm’s founder and then Chairman B Ramalinga Raju guilty in the case and sentenced him to seven years in Jail.
Raju and his brother B Rama Raju have also been fined Rs five crore each while the eight others accused have been fined varying amounts up to Rs 25 lakh by the special court.
The special court found Raju guilty of cheating, forgery and criminal breach of trust. The court has also found all the other 9 accused guilty in the case and sentenced them to seven years rigorous imprisonment.
Touted as the country’s biggest accounting fraud, the scam had come to light on January 7, 2009, after Raju allegedly confessed to manipulating his company’s account books and inflating profits over many years to the tune of crores of rupees.
The National Green Tribunal ban on all diesel vehicles over ten years old plying on Delhi roads will come into effect from April 8, 2015. In an effort to curb air pollution in the national capital, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order and noted that countries like Denmark, Brazil, China and Sri Lanka are in the process of banning diesel vehicles.
The Tribunal said due to the increasing pollutants of air, the life of residents of NCR Delhi is becoming more vulnerable to various diseases and the greatest sufferers are young children.
The Tribunal’s direction came while hearing a petition of Vardhaman Kaushik who had contended that “the level of particulates in Delhi is rising manifold”. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), Delhi had the worst air quality in the world while 12 other Indian cities also figured among the world’s worst 20.
A single number ‘112’ can be used for all emergency phone calls across the country including for police, fire and ambulance, telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) proposed on April 7,2015.
Similar to the ‘911’ all-in-one emergency service in the US, government can integrate all existing emergency numbers such as 100, 101, 102 and 108 into the proposed ‘112’ helpline number, TRAI said in its recommendations on emergency number.
The regulator suggested existing emergency numbers such as 100, 101, 102 and 108 can be retained as secondary numbers. If any call is made to these numbers, the call should be directed to the new single emergency number 112, TRAI said. People will be able to make calls on 112 from their mobile or landline phones even if their outgoing call facility has been debarred or the service is temporarily suspended.
An SMS-based access to new emergency number, in which telecom operators may be asked to provide location information of the device from where SMS has been sent, can also be provided, the regulator said. TRAI also recommended setting up of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) to handle people’s call in distress.
Legendary cricket commentator and player Richie Benaud has died in a Sydney hospice at the age of 84. A veteran of 63 Test matches, Benaud played a pivotal role in the formation of World Series Cricket in the 1970s and was one of the world’s most recognised commentators. In a broadcast career spanning more than five decades, he was instrumental in establishing one-day cricket on television.
The Indian football team took a leap of 26 places to occupy 147th spot in the latest FIFA ranking on April 9, 2015 after scoring a win and a draw against Nepal last month in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers Round One.
India defeated Nepal 2-0 and drew 0-0 over the two legs on March 12 and 17 respectively to gain 87 average points from the previous month when it was lying at a lowly 173rd among 209 countries. This was the best ranking for the Indian team in the FIFA charts in nearly a year after its identical 147th in the May 2014 list.
India, who got a new coach in Stephen Constantine just before the Nepal matches, now has 161 points to be placed at 24th among Asian countries. Among the SAFF countries, India is at third spot behind Afghanistan and Maldives.
The jump of 26 places was the third biggest in history for India since the FIFA rankings started in 1993. The previous two biggest were 29 and 30 places in October 1993 and February 1996.Overall, world champions Germany continued to be at the top spot followed by runner-up Argentina, Belgium, Colombia and Brazil in the top five slots.
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