1) Modi govt's budget session begins: The first big Parliament session for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government started on a heated note on 7 July 2014 after the Opposition created a ruckus over price rise and railway fare hike forcing the adjournment of Lok Sabha briefly till noon and again till 2pm. The opposition parties have a number of issues to target the government with including the recent controversy after it rejected the name of former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium for appointment as a judge of the apex court, and the rape case controversy surrounding Union minister Nihalchand. While presentation of the Railway Budget is scheduled for July 8, the economic survey will be released the next day and Union Budget 2014-2015 will be presented on July 10. The session ends on August 14.
2) New poverty line: Rs 32 in villages, Rs 47 in cities: Those spending over Rs 32 a day in rural areas and Rs 47 in towns and cities should not be considered poor, an expert panel headed by former RBI governor C Rangarajan said in a report submitted to the BJP government last week. The recommendation, which comes just ahead of the budget session of Parliament, is expected to generate fresh debate over the poverty measure as the committee's report has only raised the bar marginally. Based on the Suresh Tendulkar panel's recommendations in 2011-12, the poverty line had been fixed at Rs 27 in rural areas and Rs 33 in urban areas, levels at which getting two meals may be difficult.
3) SC refused to stay Dalbir Singh’s appointment as army chief: The Supreme Court on 7 July 2014 declined to issue a stay order against the appointment of Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh as the next army chief. “There is no reason to stay the appointment. Your petition before us is to vindicate your post,” a bench of justice TS Thakur told advocate RK Anand, appearing for petitioner Lt Gen Ravi Dastane who challenged the promotion of Dalbir Singh to army commander from core commander. Dalbir Singh would take over as the army chief on August 1.
4) Former Real Madrid star Alfredo Di Stefano passed away: Alfredo Di Stefano, who died Monday at the age of 88, was one of the greatest footballers ever to grace the earth, held in the same esteemed regard as Pele, Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff, and will forever be known as the "Blonde Arrow" of the all-conquering Real Madrid sides of the 1950s and 1960s. Di Stefano died in Madrid's Gregorio Maranon hospital where he had lain in a coma after suffering a heart attack.
5) Bangladesh All-Rounder Shakib Al Hasan Suspended for Six Months: Bangladesh cricket authorities on Monday, suspended star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for six months due to a "severe attitude problem", the cricket board chief said. "He has a severe attitude problem, which is unprecedented in the history of Bangladesh cricket. We think that his behaviour is such that it's directly impacting the team," Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan told reporters. The suspension came as Shakib reportedly threatened to quit international cricket after he was called back to Dhaka before a planned appearance in the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament.
6) TRAI doubled minimum broadband speed: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has notified that the minimum broadband speed has been raised to 512 kilo bytes per second (kbps) from the earlier 256 kbps. The amendment has been made to the Telecom Consumers Complaint Redressal Regulations, 2012, and the regulations will be called the Telecom Consumers Complaint Redressal (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2014, TRAI said in the notification. Accordingly, the new definition of broadband is “a data connection that is able to support interactive services including internet access and has the capability of minimum download speed of 512 kbps to an individual subscriber from the point of presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide broadband service“.
7) Three new Supreme Court Judges sworn in: The Chief Justices of the Calcutta and Orissa High Courts, Arun Kumar Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goel, and senior lawyer Rohinton Nariman were on Monday sworn in as Supreme Court judges. They were administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha at a brief ceremony, held in the court hall of the CJI, attended by all the judges, law officers and family members of the new judges. The strength of judges in the apex court has now gone up to 27, against the sanctioned strength of 31.