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Current Affairs - 28 March 2017

General Affairs 

Tell Us Plan To Tackle Farmer Suicides: Supreme Court To Centre
  • The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to inform it about the line of action to be taken by states for dealing with the "serious issue" of farmers' suicide.

    "It is a very serious issue and the Centre should file the proposed line of action to be taken by states with regard to the farmers' suicide with the apex court registry within four weeks," a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said.

    During the hearing, the bench, also comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and SK Kaul, said the government should come out with a policy which deals with the root causes of farmers taking the extreme step.

    Additional Solicitor General (ASG) PS Narasimha said that the government is taking all possible steps like procuring food grains directly from farmers, increasing insurance cover, granting loans and crop loss compensation.

    He said the government is coming up with a comprehensive policy to deal with the issues of farmers committing suicide. The bench said, "Agriculture is a state subject and the Centre will coordinate with states and come up with a line of action to address root cause of farmers committing suicide."

    Appearing for the petitioner NGO 'Citizens Resource and Action and Initiative', senior advocate Colin Gonsalves said over 3,000 farmers have committed suicide and the government should address all the real issues and implement a proper policy.

    Expressing concern over farmer suicides, the top court had earlier said that it felt the government was going in a "wrong direction" in tackling the real problem. Asking the Centre to apprise it of the policy road-map to address the issue, the court had said the issue of farmers' suicide was of "extreme importance" and paying compensation to the families of such victims "post-facto" was not the real solution.

    The ASG had earlier told the court that the government has initiated many schemes for farmers and the 2015 crop insurance scheme would drastically reduce such fateful incidents. He had said other schemes also needed to be strengthened to make farmers feel that the government would stand behind them in distress.

    The plea was filed by the NGO on the plight of farmers in Gujarat and suicide committed by many of them there. The bench had expanded the scope of the petition to the entire country.

Below Normal Monsoon Expected In Major Parts Of India
  • Unlike 2016, many regions of the country would receive below normal rainfall this monsoon season, says a weather analyst. According to private weather forecaster Skymet, the north-west, west, southern peninsula and southern regions of the country would experience deficient rainfall.

    The regions of Punjab, western Madhya Pradesh, central Maharashtra and Goa would receive below normal rainfall.

    The weather patterns analysed by Skymet, however, predict good rainfall for eastern Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.

    "These patterns may see some slight changes in future however overall monsoon in many parts of the country would remain below normal," Skymet director Mahesh Palawat told IANS, adding that overall monsoon in the country would be around 95 per cent.

    According to the standards, between 96 to 104 per cent rainfall is considered a normal monsoon while between 90 to 95 per cent is considered below normal.

    The monsoon generally reaches mainland India in first week of June.

Lawyers Across India To Go On Strike On March 31
  • Lawyers all over India will abstain from work on March 31 to protest against a proposed bill that bars advocates from going on strike. Bar Council of India (BCI) Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said the proposed amendments by the Law Commission in the Advocates Act were "draconian, anti-lawyer, unconstitutional, undemocratic and anti-people".

    "The recommendations of the Law Commission are against the legal profession and legal education of the country is in danger because of this proposed bill," Mr Mishra said.

    "The regulation and control of legal profession and legal education is proposed to be handed over to non-lawyers and the advocates will have to face the disciplinary proceedings before people not connected with the legal profession."

    According to the BCI website, there were some 12 lakh lawyers all over the country as of 2013.

    The Council said there were chances that charted accountants, architects, politicians, doctors and others would dominate the Bar Council due to the proposed legislation.

    The Council urged the government to reject the recommendations of the Law Commission.

    It said the Commission appeared to have acted hurriedly without considering the recommendations of the BCI and instead considered the suggestions of only non-lawyers.

    "It (proposed bill) has defined the misconduct in such a provocative manner that any judge, judicial official or a client can easily say that the behaviour of the lawyer was unlawful, disgraceful or dishonourable," the Council said.

    "In a nutshell, the Council is of the unanimous opinion that the autonomy, democracy and the mandate of the Constitution of the country are proposed to be throttled by the said bill."

    Judicial work in Delhi was paralysed on March 23 when some 6,000 lawyers went on strike to protest against suggestions that lawyers should be banned from going on strike and slapped with penalties if they do.

Children Will Get Both Aadhaar And Mid-Day Meal, Says Minister Prakash Javadekar
  • Union Minister Prakash Javadekar today said the government will not make Aadhaar mandatory for mid-day meals, but will issue a unique identity to every child so the siphoning of funds earmarked for food served at schools can be stopped. The minister's comment came in face of massive opposition criticism of the plan and the Supreme Court's objection to linking Aadhaar to all welfare schemes. Currently, 7.5 crore children are served food in schools - for many of them, it is the first meal of the day.

    Mr Javadekar said he has made it "very clear in parliament" that no student will be denied mid-day meal scheme because he doesn't have Aadhaar. "We will give mid-day meal scheme to all students and we will give Aadhaar to all students," he said.

    The mid-day meal scheme was introduced by the erstwhile UPA government in 1995 with an aim to increase enrollment in school in rural areas, where the drop-out rate is extremely high.  It was expected that hot-cooked meals will help draw the students to school and induce them to stay on. It was also expected to help curb undernourishment of children from poor families, which later leads to a number of health problems.

    But the government has planned to club it with a host of welfare schemes meant to be linked with Aadhaar - including cooking gas subsidy, MNREGA, pension and provident fund. It triggered a barrage of protests, with the Congress, activists and the civil society expressing concern about a majority of students going hungry if food is served only to students who have Aadhaar.  Such a step, they pointed out, will violate a child's right to education, nutrition and health.

    The Supreme Court -- which had made mid-day meal a legal entitlement in a 2001 order --  has also expressed reservation for linking Aadhar to welfare schemes. The court has said it would be an infringement on citizens' Right to Privacy.

    "Our aim is to stop theft, not to stop anyone's food," Mr Javadekar said. He said at some of the places where the government linked Aadhaar to the scheme, it has been proved that money was being siphoned off.  "In the current phase, we have found that 4,40,000 bogus of students were registered...  Those students don't exist but their names were registered," the minister added.

Yogi Adityanath's Warning: 18-20 Hours Of Work A Day, Else, You're Out
  • Without convening a single cabinet meeting in his opening week as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath has spring-boarded 50 policy decisions - following through on the promises that his party waged before Prime Minister Narendra Modi won India's most populous state for the BJP with unquestionable authority.
    The 44-year-old Yogi Adityanath, a monk in saffron clothes, has stressed that his policies will be fair and enforced equally upon all sections of society -a counter to critics who allege that in choosing a Hindu hardliner known for inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric, the PM has made it clear that his party will seek to implement a more radical agenda in the bellwether state.

    "Na jaati, na mazhab," said the Chief Minister on Saturday in his home turf of Gorakhpur after taking office. Neither caste, nor religion will colour his government, he said, adding that appeasement will find no room in his administration.

    The BJP and its top leaders have repeatedly accused previous governments of favouring Muslims, who make up about 20 per cent of Uttar Pradesh's population, for electoral reasons - a charge that resonated heavily with the state's Hindus who collated around the party allowing it a massive victory. Like PM Narendra Modi, Yogi Adityanath has said that from here on, Uttar Pradesh's future will be shaped by one mantra alone: "sabka saath, sabka vikas" (development for all).

    Among the Chief Minister's early and headline-stealing initiatives are the crackdown on slaughterhouses, run mainly by Muslims, and the dispatching of police squads to secure women from sexual harassment and stalking in public places. Both the "anti-Romeo squads", as they are known, and the police inspecting slaughterhouses have been cautioned publicly by Yogi Adityanath against over-reach; they have been told not to harass couples in the name of safety patrols and ensure that lockdown is forced upon slaughterhouses that are either functioning illegally or violating environmental laws.

    "He is like a God to us," said Kiran Rana, the mother of one of the 14 men arrested over the killing of 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq on suspicion of killing a cow in 2015.

    "He will get them (our children) out," she said to news agency AFP in the village of Bishara, barely 20 miles from central Delhi.

    The village only has electricity from seven in the evening to the next morning. Potholes cover the main road, and jobs are in short supply. Asked what she hopes to get from the priest-turned-politician, Rana said simply, "development".

    Her brother-in-law, Rajiv Rana, thought his priority should be to ensure that cows are protected.

    "The cow is our mother. When we prepare food, the first bite goes to our cow. If we have to choose between the cow and development we will choose the cow," he said.

    Hindus and Muslims alike in Bishara told AFP that they hope Yogi Adityanath will rule in the name of both their communities, and will focus on improving life in the region.

    The Chief Minister has said that while the turnaround may be a challenge, his government will not be found wanting for effort.

    Yesterday, during a triumphant return to his home town of Gorakhpur, the Chief Minister warned, "Those who can work for 18-20 hours every day can remain with us, others can go their own way."

    To diminish the infamous VIP culture, he has asked for security and lal batti privileges to be reviewed to weed out unnecessary beneficiaries. He has also ordered his ministers to furnish details of their assets and wealth within 15 days.

Business Affairs 

GST draft bills tabled in Parliament; peg peak rate at 40%
  • Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday introduced four bills on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the lower house of parliament, paving the way for the government to launch the landmark tax reform.
    The bills introduced are the Central GST Bill, the Integrated GST Bill, the Union Territory GST Bill, and the GST (Compensation to States) Bill.
    Jaitley introduced a Central Goods and Service Tax or CGST bill which will amalgamate all the indirect central government levies like sales tax, service tax, excise duty, additional customs duty (Countervailing Duty), special additional duty of customs, surcharges and cesses.
    CGST provides for a maximum tax of 20 per cent.
    Actual rates would however be a four-tier tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent as approved by the GST Council.
    The peak rate of 40 per cent is only an enabling provision for financial emergencies.
    A Union Territory GST Bill will take care of taxation in UTs of Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
    A Bill on Integrated-GST -- to be levied and collected by the Centre on inter-state supply of goods and services, was also introduced in the Lok Sabha.
    The IGST law provides for a maximum tax of 40 per cent.
    Jaitley also introduced a fourth legislation called GST (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017 that provides for mechanism for making good any loss of revenue of states from introduction of GST in first five years of rollout.
    These four bills will be taken up for discussion together.
    Another mirror legislation of CGST, called State-GST, will amalgamate all state taxes like VAT, will be levied by states and has to be approved by all state legislatures.
    Together, CGST and SGST will enable the GST incidence of 40 per cent. GST will not apply to Jammu and Kashmir.
    The CGST Bill also provides for e-commerce companies to collect tax at source at a rate not exceeding 1 per cent of net value of taxable supplies, out of payments to suppliers supplying goods or services through their portals.
    To protect small businesses, the CGST provides for a tax of no more than 1 per cent of turnover for manufacturers with annual turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh. A 2.5 per cent tax is prescribed for suppliers.
    To ensure that benefit of lower taxes is passed on to consumers, an anti-profiteering measure has been incorporated in the law.
    It provides for constituting an Authority to examine whether input tax credits availed by any registered taxable person, or the reduction in the price on account of any reduction in the tax rate, have actually resulted in a commensurate reduction in the price of the said goods and/or services supplied by him.
    The law provides for arrest, ordered by no less than a Tax Commissioner, in case of suppression of any transaction or evading taxes. A person convicted is punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment and/or fine.
    The Compensation Law provides for levy of cess on top of the peak rate of approved tax (28 per cent presently) on paan masala, tobacco, aerated waters, luxury cars and coal to create a non-lapsable fund for compensating states.
    Such cess has been capped at 135 per cent in case of paan masala, Rs 4,170 per thousand cigarettes sticks or 290 per cent ad valorem, Rs 400 per tonne on coal and 15 per cent on aerated water and luxury cars.
    Compensation will be paid bi-monthly and the amount due would be calculated after considering a 14 per cent growth rate in taxes over the base year of 2015-16.
    Touted as the biggest taxation reform since independence, GST is expected to boost GDP growth by up to 2 per cent. The government proposes to roll out GST by July 1.
    "The Integrated Goods and Services tax Bill provides for on all inter-state supplies of goods and services or both except supply of alcoholic liquor for human consumption at a rate to be notified not exceeding 40 per cent, as recommended by the GST Council," said the statements of objects and reasons of the IGST bill.
    The 40 per cent would be apportioned equally between the Centre and the states.
    As Jaitley introduced the bills in the Lok Sabha, Opposition, Congress and TMC, protested saying it was not listed in today's agenda for the House.
    Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs S S Ahluwalia said the bills were uploaded on the government website on the midnight of Friday.
    The Opposition MPs, however, took strong objection saying how could the government expect the members to check the website at midnight and why the issue was not discussed at the meeting of Business Advisory Committee last week.
    Dismissing the opposition objections, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the bills were sent to the MPs on Saturday morning and there was nothing wrong in these being tabled.
    The GST Council, comprising Union Finance Minister and his state counterparts, has already approved the 4 legislations over a series of 12 meetings. The Council will meet again on March 31, and will finalise the rules and formats for the new indirect tax regime.
    Deloitte Haskins Sells LLP Senior Director M S Mani said the introduction of the bills "mark the successful culmination of a series of steps taken by the government since August 2016 and it now appears certain that India is headed for a GST rollout from July 2017".
    Earlier, the Union Cabinet and GST Council had cleared four supporting GST legislations.
    Last year in August, the Rajya Sabha cleared a bill that amended the Constitution to enable India's biggest tax reform - GST.
    GST is a proposed system of indirect taxation merging most of the existing taxes into single system of taxation. It was introduced as The Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act 2016.
    GST would be a comprehensive indirect tax on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services throughout India, to replace taxes levied by the central and state governments.
    The GST is consumption based tax levied on the supply of Goods and Services which means it would be levied and collected at each stage of sale or purchase of goods or services based on the input tax credit method. Once it is in force, GST will replace at least 17 state and central taxes.

Supreme Court to government: Aadhaar card can't be made necessary for welfare schemes
  • The Aadhaar card can't be made mandatory by the government for extending the benefits of its welfare schemes to the people, the apex court said on Monday.
    The Supreme Court, however, said that the government cannot be stopped from using Aadhaar in other schemes like the opening of bank accounts.
    The Supreme Court said that a seven-judge bench needs to be set up to hear the pleas challenging Aadhaar, but right now it is not possible.
    The apex court refused to give an early date to hear a petition on making the Aadhaar card mandatory, saying it would hear the case in due course of time.
    Chief Justice of India JS Khehar today said that Aadhaar can't be mandatory for social welfare schemes but can be used for non-benefit schemes.  
    Last week, the government had said the Aadhaar card may become the only identity card in future, and will be mandatory for filing of Income Tax returns to curb tax evasion and frauds. Aadhaar was also made compulsory for scholarships and other schemes for backward castes and the disabled.
    Replying to the debate on the Finance Bill in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said that Aadhaar may become the only card in future replacing all other types of identity cards such as Voter ID and PAN cards.
    A number of Opposition parties walked out of Lok Sabha last week, accusing the government of forcing Indians to get Aadhaar cards.
    The Supreme Court today reiterated its earlier stand that Aadhaar cards cannot be mandatory for people to get benefits under government welfare schemes.

Cellular operators' body favours auction in 2018, wants market to settle down
  • Cellular operators' body COAI has said the government should not rush to spectrum auction this year and instead, allow the market to settle down in the wake of recent mergers and acquisitions.
    COAI emphasised that the next round of sale of airwaves should ideally be scheduled in 2018.
    "In the immediate context, we don't expect a whole lot of demand for the spectrum because mergers and harmonisation will lead to efficiencies in terms of use of existing spectrum. Companies like Idea Cellular and Vodafone (which have announced decision to merge in India) will put their spectrum together for efficiencies," COAI DG Rajan S Mathews said.
    Companies will be keen to wait a little more to see how the market dynamics plays out, Mathews said, adding that other factors which need to be taken into consideration are demand for data and smartphones.
    "The problem with having an annual spectrum auction (that is being talked about) is that it requires three months of preparation, hence a 12-month window is too small... Companies cannot spend three months every year in recalibrating their strategy on airwaves," he said.
    After buying airwaves, telecom companies also need time to order equipment, get infrastructure ready and be tuned in to the existing network. Also, typically companies tend to buy spectrum keeping in mind their requirements for the next 2-3 years, he said.
    "Other than the dynamics of licence requirement, a 2-3 year timeframe to conduct auction is more than adequate to allow for predictability and strategic planning by firms," he said. Mathews' comments come at a time when the industry is going through a massive phase of consolidation, intensified by the disruptive entry of challenger Reliance Jio.
    Idea Cellular and Vodafone have decided to merge in India to create the country's biggest telecom service provider with a customer base of over 394 million. Telecom operator Bharti Airtel, the current market leader, has said it will acquire Norwegian Telenor's India unit, and more recently announced the acquisition of Tikona Digital's 4G airwaves.
    Last month, then telecom secretary J S Deepak had said the government is looking to make spectrum auction an annual event. "We are not worried if there is no demand for spectrum. We are interested in giving the industry an opportunity to buy spectrum," Deepak had said on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona just a day before he was named India's next Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) from June this year.
    Last week, however, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha had said the government had no immediate plan to provide telecom companies with an option to buy spectrum annually.

    Coal India stock closes over 2% lower as CCI imposes Rs 591-crore penalty
    • Shares of Coal India fell by over 2 per cent on Monday after the Competition Commission imposed a fine of Rs 591 crore on the state-owned firm for having discriminatory conditions in fuel supply pacts. The stock ended the day with a loss of 2.18 per cent at Rs 291.55 on BSE.
      During the day, it declined by 2.51 per cent to Rs 290.55. At NSE, shares of the company went down by 2.13 per cent to close at Rs 291.50.
      In terms of volume, 8.40 lakh shares of the company were traded on BSE and over 49 lakh shares changed hands at NSE during the day.
      Apart from directing the company to "cease and desist" from anti-competitive practices, the watchdog has ordered modification in the agreements.
      In a 56-page order, the watchdog has found the company violating competition norms by "imposing unfair/discriminatory conditions in the matter of supply of non-coking coal to power producers".
      The penalty amount of Rs 591.01 crore translates to one per cent of Coal India's average turnover for the three-year period from 2009-10 to 2011-12. 

      Sensex closes 184 pts lower, Nifty ends below 9,050-mark; Tata Steel top loser
      • Marking an end to a day of strained trading session, the S&P BSE Sensex ended the day at 29,237.15, falling over 184 points while the NSE Nifty closed 9,045.20, down 62.80 points. 
        The market was in red following weak global cues after US President Donald Trump failed to push his healthcare bill through, raising eyebrows among investors who feared the possibility of Trump not being able to pass his tax reforms and public spending plans.
        3.37 PM:
        The benchmark indices closed in the negative after a volatile day of trade today.
        The S&P BSE Sensex ended the day at 29,237.15, falling over 184 points while the NSE Nifty closed 9,045.20, down 62.80 points.
        The top loser, dragging the BSE down ws Tata Steel, whose shares fell nearly 3.5 per cent in trade on Monday.
        Shares of Reliance Industried Ltd took a beating, falling 3 per cent after Sebi accused co of having committed a "fraud" in taking a short trading position at the time of selling a stake in a unit in 2007.  It has also ordered Reliance Industries to surrender most of gains, plus interest; bars it from trading in derivatives for one year.
        Coal India fell over 2 per cent in trade and was among the top losers on the BSE after the state-owned miner announced its second interim dividend of Rs 1.15/ share for current financial year as the dividend amount declared slightly less than market expectations.
        On the Nifty index, Idea Cellular was the top loser shedding over 3 per cent in today's trade.
        Hindalco and Tata Steel also dropped over 3 per cent in trade. 
        12.27 PM:
        Government keen to roll out GST by July 1.
        12.15 PM: 
        NEWS ALERT
        Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tables GST related bills in Lok Sabha, however, Congress opposes the tabling of the bills. 
        12.02 PM:
        Goods and Services Tax
        The government is most likely to table the supplementary GST legislations in Parliament on Monday.
        C-GST, I-GST, UT-GST and the compensation law are likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha and could be taken up for discussion as early as March 28.
        Also, amendments to the excise and Customs Act to abolish various cess as well as furnishing Bills for exports and imports under the new GST regime will be placed before the House.
        12.00 PM:
        The S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 29,209.21, nosedives 212.19 points, while the Nifty Index was trading at 9,039.65, down 68.35 points.
        Tata Steel was the major loser, falling nearly 3 per cent on the BSE. 
        9.20 AM:
        The Indian benchmark indices dipped in opening trade with the BSE Sensex plunging nearly 100 points, contrary to its pre opening session numbers.
        The S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 29,343.48, down 77.92 points, while the Nifty Index was trading at 9,081.65, down 26.35 points.
        On the BSE, Coal India was the major loser, falling nearly 2 per cent followed by Reliance.
        9.09 AM:
        The BSE Sensex looks promising with 89 points in th green. The Nifty Index, however, is 14 points down.
        9.05 AM:
        Rupee report:
        "After gaining significant strength against dollar, rupee is consolidating but bias is still in positive side. Good FIIs flows in both Indian Equity and Debt market is boosting sentiment in currency market whereas weakness in Dollar index and Crude oil is another trigger for strength of rupee. Dollar index may continue to remain under pressure as it has surrendered sacrosanct mark of 100 and continuously trading below this. USDINR pair is likely to remain in 65.25-65.5 range with positive bias," Said Amit Gupta, co-founder and CEO, TradingBells.
        9.02 AM:
        Asian Markets:
        At 9.00 AM, the Shanghai Composite was trading 4 points higher, while the Hang Seng Index was 43 points in the red. Japan's Nikkei took a beating and was over 1 per cent down, plunging 291 points.

        Wall Street:
        US equity futures slump after Trump's healthcare bill issue which could mean that Wall Street would start the week on the lower side.
        The Republicans pulled the healthcare legislation to examin the US healthcare system which is a setback for the US president Donald Trump.
        The S&P 500 e-mini futures were down over 0.65 per cent after electronic trading resumed on Sunday.
        Markets were unnerved last week by Trump's inability to get enough support for legislation to reform the US healthcare system, a major 2016 election campaign promise of the president and his allies.
        Investors had worried that the difficulties with the health bill could delay other legislation such as tax reform. Trump said he would now turn his attention to getting "big tax cuts" through Congress.
        Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the administration was open to working with moderate Democrats and Republicans to pass other aspects of Trump's agenda, such as revamping the tax code.
        David Ader, chief macro strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence, said about the failed health care bill: "The friction in Washington over all this is tempting to extrapolate to Trump's broader economic plans - lower taxes, fiscal stimulus - in that these, too, may stumble or at least retreat from the levels initially offered."
        News that Republican leaders pulled the bill broke just before the markets closed on Friday, sending stocks lower.
        For the week, the S&P 500 fell 1.4 percent, its worst weekly decline of the year.
        The equity run-up since Trump's election, which was largely based on expectations of tax cuts and deregulation of financials, appeared to be waning, said Putri Pascualy, managing director and partner at Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company, which has $24 billion in assets under management.
        "Recent market pullback tells me that some of the euphoria is starting to ebb as reality sinks in," Pascualy said. "Congress can throw a big wrench into how some of these plans are going to be executed."
        Mark Grant, chief strategist and managing director at Hilltop Securities, recommended investors move into 5-10 year corporate bonds "because I don't see stocks posting double-digit returns after their huge run-up since the elections."

      General Awareness

      India ends with 73 medals from 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games, Austria

      • Indian team finished in a high note in the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games with a triumphing 73 medals held in Austria between March 18 and March 24. These games are meant for the specially-able person and India finished as a special team with 89 participants.
        • India finished the games with an overall medal tally of 37 gold, 10 silver and 26 bronze with total tally of 73 medals.
        • To achieve this great success athlete competed with 2,277 athletes from 113 countries. Our troop of athlete is lead by Special Olympics Bharat (SOB) board.
        About Special Olympic World Winter Games, 2017
        2017 Special Olympic World Winter Games, is the 12th Special Olympic World Winter Games held in Graz and Schladming, Austria  with a motto “Heartbeat for the World”It took place from March 14 through March 25, 2017 with 27 events (9 sports).
        • The games include Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing and Floor ball, Figure Skating, Snowboarding, Speed Skating, Snowshoeing and Stick Shooting.
        • The highest number of participation is from the hosts (Austria) with total of 320 athletes followed by USA (139 athletes).
        • The next Special Olympic World Winter Games will be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE in the year 2019.
        Indian medal reports
        The highest numbers of gold medals are won in three team events. They include Floor Hockey (male), Unified Floor ball and Traditional Floor ball where India clinched 30 out of 37 gold medals in a single day.
        • The highest number of bronze medal is collected by ‘special’ women hockey team with 16 bronze medals.
        • Indian team also done well in the sport called Alpine skiing raking, where it won a total of 10 medals including 3gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze.
        • In Snowboarding, India finished with 8 medals including 4 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals which is followed by snow shoeing with a total of 5 medals including 2 silver and 3 bronze.
        • Our team also done well in Speed and figure skating where it collected 4 medals with 3 silver and 1 bronze.
        Indian athletes medal report
        Indian medal tally is opened with the Punjab sportsperson named Shamsher Singh, for his splendid performance in snow shoeing on the first day which is India’s first silver medal.
        • India’s first gold medal was won by six special athletes on March 21 for Alpine skiing and snowboarding.
        • Megha , a Himachal young woman created history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in the games which were held in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria. She bagged the gold for Alpine Skiing.
        • The another teammate from Himachal named Sanjay Kumar who is an Indian Army soldier and recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, got two gold’s for Snowboarding .
        About Special Olympics Bharat (SOB) 
        Special Olympics Bharat (SOB) is the special Olympic board operated in India for training the persons with disability and who got handicapped in their service for the nation. Founded in 1987, it is headquartered in New Delhi.
        • A total of 885 Special Olympics Bharat athletes have participated in eight World Summer Games and five World Winter Games between 1987 and 2015.
        • They have won 322 gold, 343 silver and 397 bronze medals in the world summer and world winter games bringing a combined count to 1062 Medals. With these 73 medals the tally of Indian medal list gets bigger.

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