March, 2015


Despite a sluggish economy and falling State’s own tax revenue, Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, also the Finance Minister, presented a budget free of fresh taxes ahead of the election year (Mar.25).
•Though devoid of any major announcements, the Chief Minister has kept the tradition of a welfare state alive by allocating 33 per cent for social sector spending that included subsidies.
• Value Added Tax (VAT) for cellular phones, LED lamps, air compressors and pump sets up to 10 HP and their parts was reduced from 14.5 per cent to five per cent. A range of fishing equipment were exempted from VAT benefitting the fishermen community.
• To boost the manufacturing sector bogged down by negative sentiments, he provided certain critical concessions like withdrawal of electricity tax on generating plants using biomass (excluding bagassee).
• He announced withdrawal of input tax credit reversal imposed at the rate of three per cent on the inter-State sale of goods to make manufacturing industries in Tamil Nadu more competitive with their counterparts in neighbouring States. Tax concessions, which will result in a loss of Rs. 650 crore to the exchequer per annum, were also announced.
• Roughly estimating that Tamil Nadu would lose about Rs 35,485 crore in the next five years due to changes in devolution of Central taxes and grants-in-aid by the Centre based on the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, he said the State government would be burdened with a heavy responsibility of implementing additional schemes from its own resources.
• The State has fixed a moderate growth rate of 12.02 per cent for the fiscal year. Admitting that the growth in the SOTR was a serious challenge to the State consecutively for the second year, he said the government was not increasing any taxes to mobilise more resources, but would rely more on tightening the collection system to realise revenue projections.
• The Chief Minister said revenue deficit was inevitable due to the increase in the allocation of subsidies and allocation to social sector despite slow tax growth.
• The revenue deficit for the 2015-16 has been projected at Rs 4,616.02 crore with revenue receipts of Rs 1,42,681.33 crore and revenue expenditure Rs 1,47,297.35 crore. The fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs 31.829.19 crore.


From a distance, Australia and New Zealand’s flags appear similar. Closer look reveals there are six stars on one belonging to Kangaroos as against four on the Kieiws’ wave. On a day loyalty at Melbourne Cricket Ground
The 2015 Cricket World Cup was the 11th Cricket World Cup, jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March 2015. Fourteen teams played 49 matches in 14 venues, with Australia staging 26 games at grounds in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney while New Zealand hosted 23 games in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson and Wellington. The hosting rights were awarded at the same time as those of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, which Australia and New Zealand had originally bid to host, and the 2019 Cricket World Cup, which was awarded to England. The 2011 tournament was awarded to the four Asian Test cricket playing countries, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (Pakistan later lost the co-hosting rights due to a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team). The International Cricket Council were sufficiently impressed with the trans-Tasman bid that it was decided to award the next World Cup to Australia and New Zealand. This was the second time the tournament was held in Australia and New Zealand, with the first being the 1992 Cricket World Cup. Sachin Tendulkar was named as the 2015 Cricket World Cup Ambassador by the ICC for the second time, after 2011 Cricket World Cup where he was the ambassador. India were the defending champions, having won the tournament in 2011. Tickets for the Pool B match between India and Pakistan, played on 15 February 2015, reportedly sold out within 12 minutes of going on sale. The final match of the tournament took place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground between co-hosts New Zealand and Australia in front of a record crowd of 93,013 while the average attendance throughout the tournament was 21,071. Australia defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets to win their fifth ICC Cricket World Cup .
On 9 July 2013, as a result of a tied match against the Netherlands, Ireland became the first country to qualify for the 2015 World Cup. On 4 October 2013, Afghanistan qualified for their first Cricket World Cup after beating Kenya to finish in second place behind Ireland.
• New Zealand batsman Martin Guptil became the Highest score in the tournament with 547 runs • Highest wicket taker (22) – Trent Boult (New Zealand) and Mitchell Starc (Australia)
World Cup Champion :
Australia–5 (2015 (11TH), 2007 (9TH), 2003 (8TH), 1999 (7TH), 1987 (4TH))
West Indies–2 (1975 (1ST), 1979 (2ND)
India–2 (2011 (10TH), 1983 (3RD))
Pakistan–1 (1992 (5TH))
Sri Lanka–1 (1996 (6TH))

Vettori bids goodbye to cricket
Veteran left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori, the most capped ODI player for New Zealand, bid adieu to the 50-over format. Vettori ended an illustrious 18 year career in which he created many records for New zealand. In his 113 Test appearances, Vettori took 362 wickets and his tally in Tests stands at 4531 runs. He is the most capped Kiwi player but also the team’s leading wicket—taker with 305 scalps at an average of 31.71 from 295 games.

Vajpayee conferred Bharat Ratna

President Pranab Mukherjee on 27th made a departure from protocol by visiting former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s residence to confer Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award. The rare gesture showed that Vajpayee’s appeal and charisma was still intact despite being away from public life for several years.
Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita and son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya received the dignitaries.

Katsushi Inoue appointed as President & CEO of Honda Cars India Ltd

Katsushi Inoue on 30 March 2015 was appointed as President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL). He will assume charge on 1 April 2015 and succeed Hironori Kanayama who is due to retire. Inoue was associated with Honda Motor Co for past 29 years. About Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL)
•HCIL is a subsidiary of the Japanese carmaker Honda dealing with the production, marketing and export of passenger cars in India.
•It has started its operations in 1995 and was formerly known as Honda Siel Cars India Ltd.
•It was joint venture between Honda and Usha International of Siddharth Shriram Group. Later Honda had completely bought out Usha International’s entire stake and was renamed Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL). At present it is 100% subsidiary of Honda.

Japan organised World’s first Otaku Expo

Japan organised the world’s first Otaku Expo from 28 March 2015 to 29 March 2015 at Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba Prefecture. The Expo was organized as a part of a special comic book fair held every five years, which attracts about half a million visitors. For the first time groups from outside Japan were invited to mark the event. About four dozen overseas Otaku groups attended the Expo. The visitors so-called Otaku, usually translated as geeks, from at least 18 countries and territories, many dressed as their favourite anime characters. The culture of Otaku has grown into a major industry in Japan. The term is commonly used in the country to refer to people obsessed with Japan’s unique take on comics and animation. While it once carried a negative connotation, many Otaku are now proudly displaying their love for two-dimensional heroes while the number of foreign fans is also soaring.

Balbir Singh Senior conferred with Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award of Hockey India

Hockey India on 28 March 2015 conferred Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award on legendary Balbir Singh Senior. As an award, he received a trophy and a cash prize of 30 lakh rupees. Balbir Singh Senior was a member of three Olympic gold medal winning Indian team, viz., London Olympics (1948), Helsinki Olympics (1952) and Melbourne Olympics (1956). He was the Vice Captain of the Indian Hockey team during Helsinki Olympics and Captain during Melbourne Olympics. His 1952 record of most goals (five) in an Olympic final still remains unbeaten and he also figures in the list of 16 iconic Olympians of all-time. He is often called Balbir Singh Senior to distinguish him from other Indian hockey players named Balbir Singh.

Earth Hour 2015 observed globally from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm local time

Earth Hour 2015 was observed globally on 28 March 2015 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time. The tagline for the global campaign was Change Climate Change. This was the ninth edition of the Earth Hour that started in 2007. Earth Hour 2015 was observed across 172 nations and territories and around 1400+ iconic landmarks of the world switched off the lights. Earth Hour is a global campaign with a simple message to switch off non-essential lights for one hour on the last Saturday of March between 8:30 and 9:30 pm. This is done as a commitment to the planet. Earth Hour is organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) since 2007 when it was first observed in Sydney, Australia.
Earth Hour in India
•India joined the Earth Hour campaign in 2009 and over the years has seen an exponential growth in participation across cities, towns and even far-flung villages of rural India.
•The brand ambassadors for Earth Hour in India are Arjun Kapoor (actor), Priya Mani (actress), Sania Mirza (Tennis player), June Maliah (actress), and Suresh Gopi (Malayalam actor).

Reliance Power’s Sasan UMPP fully operational

Anil Ambani controlled Reliance Power Ltd has announced the commissioning of the sixth and last 660 MW unit of the 3,960 MW Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP). The Sasan UMPP is the largest integrated power plant cum coal mining project at a single location involving investment of over Rs. 27,000 crore. Reliance Power’s generation capacity has increased to 5,945 MW which includes 5,760 MW of thermal and 185 MW of renewable energy based capacity.

Cricket World Cup 2015: Australia crush New Zealand in final

Australia overwhelmed New Zealand to win the World Cup for a fifth time at an ecstatic Melbourne Cricket Ground. Aussies defeated the Kiwis by seven wickets to complete the fiver. James Faulkner was adjudged the Man of the Match. Mitchell Starc was selected as the man of the tournament for his breath taking performance in the tournament. ICC team of World Cup 2015: Brendon McCullum (c), Sangakkara, Smith, De Villiers, Maxwell, Corey Anderson, Vettori, Starc, Boult, Morkel, Brendan Taylor (12th man)

Aditi Arya crowned FBB Femina Miss World 2015

Aditi Arya was declared fbb Femina Miss India World 2015 at a star-studded event at the Yash Raj Studios. Aafreen Rachel Vaz walked away with the fbb Femina Miss India 2015 first runner-up crown, while Vartika Singh was fbb Femina Miss India 2015 second runner-up. Gurgaon girl Aditi Arya, a research analyst, received the crown from Miss India 2014 Koyal Rana. Aditi will represent India at Miss World 2015 to be held later this year.