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June 15-22 Current Affairs

June 15-22 Current Affairs

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Published by Sudhir Shankla

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Published by: Sudhir Shankla on Jul 03, 2010
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India, South Korea to launch talks for civil nuclear pact
India and South Korea agreed to launch negotiations for a civil nuclear energy agreement, even as economic ties continued toexpand after implementation of a comprehensive economic pact. This was discussed during a India-South Korea jointcommission meeting in Seoul on Friday, which was chaired by Indian External Affairs minister S. M. Krishna and KoreanMinister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan. The negotiations are expected to pave the way for South Korea to exporta nuclear power plant to India. South Korea was among the countries that had supported India in the Nuclear Suppliers Grouplifting restrictions on civil nuclear trade. Apart from civilian nuclear cooperation, the two countries are looking at shoring up cooperation in various sectors. During the visit of President Lee Myung-bak to India in January 2010, the two countries had agreed to intensify bilateral ties and set atrade target of $ 30 billion by 2014. In 2009, trade between the two countries stood at $ 12.2 billion
in 2009. The trade target isexpected to be met considering the jump in trade between the two countries following the comprehensive economic partnershipagreement, which came into force in January this year. Apart from civilian nuclear energy, Mr Krishna, who is on a three day visit to South Korea, also discussed the implementation of the MoU on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. The MoU also includes the provision for launching Korean satellitesfrom Indian launch vehicles. Meanwhile, three MoUs were signed during the visit including an agreement between the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises of India and the small and medium business administration of the RoK on cooperationin the field of Small and Medium Enterprises.
Kadapa district to be renamed as YSR 
The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday gave its nod for renaming Kadapa as 'YSR district' after former Andhra Pradesh CM Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. Mr Reddy, who was killed in a helicopter crash in the Nallamala forest range on September 2 last year,hailed from Kadapa district.
Kishenganga Dam Dispute
India And Pakistan are gearing up for a legal battle over the Kishenganga dam project in the international court of arbitration.India announced its representatives in the upcoming legal battle, which was initiated by Pakistan, which has for long objected tothe dam project in Jammu and Kashmir. The two persons are Peter Tomka, Vice President of the International Court of Justiceand Professor Lucius Caflisch, an international Legal expert of repute and Member of the International Law Commission.Pakistan, which had nominated its representative, has sought arbitration by the international court under the 1960 Indus WaterTreaty. Following Pakistan’s move, India has had little choice but to nominate its representatives.Government of Pakistan has instituted arbitration proceedings on the Kishenganga Hydro-electric Project, being constructed onthe River Kishenganga, in Jammu & Kashmir, in terms of paragraph 2 (b) and paragraph 6 of Annexure G to the Indus WatersTreaty 1960, by appointing H.E. Mr. Bruno Simma, Judge of the International Court of Justice and Mr. Jan Paulsson, aninternational legal consultant, as its arbitrators for the 7-member Court of Arbitration, which is being set up in accordance withthe Treaty 
BASIC meet in July-end
The BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) countries will meet in Rio de Janeiro in late July. This will be the thirdquarterly meeting of the four countries. It is expected that the other developing countries will be invited to take part in thedeliberations. This is a part of the agreement that the four countries agreed to at their May meeting in Cape Town. In adeparture from practice, the Rio meeting will have technical segment followed by the high-level ministerial segment. Sourcessaid the technical segment would focus on three issues — equity, leveraging private finance, and science and possible scenarios.Each of the four countries is working on a model for equity in carbon space. India has prepared a paper on a burdensharingmodel based on the principle of per capita emission, South Africa is working on a study which is based on the globaldevelopment rights framework, China is preparing a carbon budget as well. Brazil already has an equity study, which itprepared in 1997.The four countries have clarified that the BASIC is a forum for discussion and not a negotiating group. This could explain thereason behind a session on “science and possible scenarios”.
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Garuda-IV Excercise
Six Indian Sukhoi-30MKI multi-role fighters, supported by IL-76 heavylift aircraft and IL-78 midair refuellers, tore into theskies over France to participate in the joint combat exercise with the French and Singaporean air forces. In ‘Garuda-IV’exercise, being held at the Istres airbase north of Marseille, France has deployed its Rafael and Mirage-2000 fighters, whileSingapore is participating with F-16s.The exercise comes at a time when India and France are trying to finetune the around Rs 10,000 crore deal to upgrade the 56Mirage-2000 fighter jets in IAF’s combat fleet. The first four to six Mirages will be upgraded in France, with the rest 50 or so being upgraded in India by Hindustan Aeronautics under transfer of technology. India’s defence ties with France are quite broad-based, including as they do the over Rs 20,000 crore project to build six French Scorpene submarines currently underway at Mazagon Docks. France has also offered its multi-role Rafael fighter for the ongoing competition in the gigantic$10.4 billion project to supply 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft to IAF.
India to take grain storage lessons from China
India looses huge of grain each year due to not so efficient storage system.In a move towards bolstering food grain storage in the country, India and China—the world’
s top two farm producing andconsuming nations—are likely to work together to the benefit of New Delhi. Technical experts and engineers from India’sleading agriculture warehousing and storage agencies, including the Food Corporation of India (FCI), will visit China to study modern warehouse construction and preservation methods for food grain storage.
Multi-crore Railways jobs exam scam unearthed
THECentral Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has unearthed a railway recruitment scam running into crores and arrested eightpersons including the son of the Mumbai Railway Recruitment Board chairman S M Sharma for allegedly leaking and sellingexam papers. This scam relates to the examinations of Assistant Loco Pilot and Assistant Station Master. It is estimated that thescam runs into several crores of rupees. This particular scam relates to examinations that were held on June 6 and June 13 this year for induction of staff in Group C category of the Indian Railways. According to the CBI, Jagannathan in connivance withthe officials of RRB, Mumbai, allegedly obtained a copy of the question paper before the examination date and provided thepaper to aspirants who were identified by agents. The CBI has warned aspirants against falling for such scams and bringing it tothe attention of the nearest CBI branch.Mumbai RRB chief S M Sharma has been suspended 
IAF women officers to get permanent commission
 After winning a three-year-long court battle, women officers of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will now be accorded permanentcommission, the exercise for which has already been initiated by IAF. The court orders came in March this year on a petitionfrom 22 IAF and another 30-odd Army women officers, who accused the government of discriminating against them vis-a-vistheir male counterparts. By the court verdict, All the 22 women officers, who had gone to the court, will be given permanentcommission.
Govt looking at providing insurance to 62L teachers
The Centre plans to provide 62 lakh school teachers life insurance and health insurance at highly subsidized rates.The HRD ministry has already held detailed discussions with LIC, with the public sector insurance giant coming up with an“indicative scheme” with two components. The first component on life insurance would be available for teachers in the agegroup of 18-59 or till retirement age, with the insured teachers having to pay a premium of Rs 840 per annum per member foran insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh payable in case of death. The ministry has proposed that the first component of Rs 840 perannum can be paid by the government on its own. Assuming the number of teachers to be 62 lakh, the ministry is looking at anannual expenditure of over Rs 500 crore as its contribution to the scheme.The second component suggested by LIC would be a monthly contribution which would earn an interest of about 8% per annumon a compounding basis, with the entire amount payable at the time of retirement. According to LIC, a contribution of Rs 500per month would generate Rs 4.76 lakh in 25 years and Rs 11.47 lakh in 35 years of service. However, the interest rate will vary from year to year.Both the proposals will be discussed in the meeting of National Foundation for Teacher Welfare. Government will decide whichof the two will be given the job. The health insurance would cover a family of six — the teacher himself or herself, the spouse,two kids and two parents. The maximum sum assured for family in a year could be Rs 1 lakh. There would also be a corporate buffer of about Rs 25 crore that would double the reimbursement in cases of need.
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Kerala govt gets to run golf club for all
The rich man’s sport, golf, will get a taste of socialism in Kerala. The Supreme Court allowed the Achuthanandan government to wrest control of the Trivandum Golf Club (TGC).The state had justified its bid to acquire the control of the golf course by saying that private management had made it a ‘‘rich-only’’ affair, and the lawns were being used for marriages and film shootings.
BP agrees to $20 billion fund for spill claims
Under intense pressure from President Barack Obama, BP Plc agreed to set up a $20 billion fund for claims from its huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill and suspended dividend payments to its shareholders. An April 20 explosion on an offshore rig owned by the British energy giant killed 11 workers and ruptured a deep-sea well. Theensuing spill has fouled 120 miles (190 km) of U.S. coastline, imperiled multibillion-dollar fishing and tourism industries andkilled birds, sea turtles and dolphins.BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said after emerging from the meeting that the London
-based company is cancelingquarterly payments of its $10-billion-a-year dividend for the rest of the year. He also issued an apology to the American publicfor the spill from a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico, the biggest in U.S. history.
Iran approves $7 billion pipeline deal with Pak 
Iran finalised a $7 billion “peace pipeline” deal to export natural gas to Pakistan by 2015. For 25 years Iran will export onemillion cubic metres of natural gas to Pakistan per day. The pipeline will connect Iran's giant South Fars gas field withPakistan's southern Baluchistan and Sindh provinces. pipeline was 1,000 km (620 miles) long, with about 907 km of it already  built.Iran has the world's second largest gas reserves after Russia but has struggled for years to develop its oil and gas resources.Iranian officials say the country needs $25 billion to develop its crucial energy industry. Sanctions by the West, political turmoiland construction delays have slowed Iran's development as an exporter.

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