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19thFebruary - 25 February 2013 Issue-8/2013 (19th February to 25 February


CLASS NOTES: 19 Feb - 25 Feb, 2013
(Compiled from 11 Newspapers & 7 Magazines)
19 February 2013 NTPL signs pact for 1000-MW Power Project financing with multiple banks
A group of various banks agreed to loan 937 crore Rupees for 1000MW NTPL power project. NTPL power project is the joint venture of Tamil Nadu Power Generation and Distribution Corporation as well as Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC). The project will come up at Tuticorin. NLC Director (Finance) as well as the Bank of India Deputy General Manager (Mumbai) signed an agreement on 18 February 2013. The estimated cost of the project would be 4909.54 crore Rupees having debt-equity ratio of 70:30. The group of various banks included Indian Bank, the Central Bank of India as well as the Bank of India. In the meanwhile, it is important to note that NTPL had tied up with another group of banks earlier. The group was led by Bank of Baroda. NTPL had tied up with other group of banks for the debt which amounted to 2500 crore Rupees. After the pact was signed, NTPL sealed the debt component for this project which amounted to 3437 crore Rupees in all. As of now, 70 percent of the overall project was completed. First unit of the 500 MW would go on stream in December 2013. The second unit, which would have almost similar capability, will start operating in March 2014. For the fuel, NTPL signed the deal with Mahanadhi Coal Fields Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd. The power which would be generated from this project will be shared among the states of Puducherry, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. For this purpose, power purchase agreements were signed with Tangedco as well as respective State Electricity Boards. India from adoption of the drawdown technique of flushing for clearing the sedimentation of the run-of-the river project that had been designed and asked it to adopt a different technique for generation of 330 MW power facilities. The Court had also demanded the environmental flows statistics of the project. Pakistan initiated the arbitration against India with a charge that India violated the provisions of the Water Treaty between the two countries. But India denied the charges forced on to it by explain that the country reserved its rights to divert the water from one of the tributaries of Jhelum to another.

President confers the 2011 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development Award on Ela Bhatt
The President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 18 February 2013 conferred 2011 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development Award to Ela Ramesh Bhatt, a renowned Women social worker. The award was given away at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. Ela Bhatt was given away the award for life time achievements in women empowerment, promotion of grassroot level entrepreneurship as well as contribution towards promotion of equitable development and peace. Ela Bhatt has her organisation SEWA (SelfEmployed Women’s Association). President Pranab Mukherjee while giving away the award announced that SEWA was a vehicle of self employment and self reliance for the Indian women, while at the same time being synonymous with the rural inclusiveness. Ela Bhatt • Ela Bhatt is the founder of more than 1 million SEWAs in India. • Since years, Ela Bhatt has been working for women empowerment and bringing women out of poverty through promotion of Self Help Groups. • SEWA has empowered women with freedom as well as financial self- reliance.

Issues for Pakistan from its Perspective:
Pakistan on 17 May 2010 raised objections on the making of the Kishanganga Hydro-power project for which it demanded setting up of the Court of Arbitration.

The issues raised by Pakistan in the Court of Arbitration:
• The project is being developed at the downstreams of Kishanganga River that is known by the name Neelam in Pakistan and is a tributary of Jhelum. India is diverting the waters of the river from the dam site to Bonar Madmati Nallah that is another tributary of Jhelum. • India planned to use modern drawdown flushing technique for sedimentation management in the dam. The technique requires waters to be brought below the dead storage level (as per the treaty the water can be reduced below the dead storage level only in cases of unforeseen emergency) and was this plan was accepted by the neutral expert during the Bahlihar dispute with Pakistan. In June 2011, the members from the Court of Arbitration, The Hague visited India as well as Pakistan for inspection of the site.

India given a green signal on Kishanganga Project
The Court of Arbitration, chaired by Stephen M. Schwebel in its orders stated that India can move ahead with the diversion of water plans of Kishanganga that is a tributary of Jhelum, for generation of hydroelectric power. But it restrained

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Current Affairs Notes

19 February - 25 February 2013 Brief Provisions of Indus Waters Treaty 1960
i. The Indus system of rivers comprises three Eastern Rivers (Ravi, Beas and Sutlej and their tributaries) and threes Western Rivers (Indus, Jhelum and Chenab and their tributaries). ii. The Indus Waters Treaty 1960 was signed on 19.09.1960 between India and Pakistan. It is however effective from 01.04.1960. iii. Under the Treaty, the waters of Eastern Rivers are allocated to India. India is under obligation to let flow the waters of the Western Rivers except for the following uses: (a) Domestic Use (b) Non-consumptive use (c) Agricultural use as specified (d) Generation of hydro-electric power as specified ix. The Commissioners of the Indus Waters may discuss the questions arising under the Treaty under Article IX of the Treaty related to Settlement of Differences and Disputes and in the case of nonresolution, take further action under this Article for resolution through a Neutral Expert, negotiators or Court of Arbitration. Articles under Consideration: • Article III (2): Let flow all waters of the Western Rivers and not permit any interference with the water • Article IV (6): Both the countries require use of the best endeavors at each other’s end for maintenance of natural channels of the rivers and should avoid all the steps that may obstruct the flow of these rivers creating a material damage at the end of any of the two parties. As per Pakistan, the diversion of the water of Kishanganga as well as implementation of the drawdown flushing technique at Kishanganga project as well as other hydro-electric plants were the violation of the Treat signed in 1960, named Indus Water Treaty. crore project. Kishanganga is called Neelam in Pakistan.

Permanent Court of Arbitration
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) was established during the First Hague Peace Conference 1899 by a treaty. It is an intergovernmental organization (IGO) that provides a variety of dispute resolution services to the international community. It provides resolution to the disputes related to intergovernmental organizations, states, state entities and private parties. PCA is located in The Hague, Netherland. PCA provides services for the resolution of disputes involving various combinations of states, state entities, intergovernmental organisations, and private parties. The PCA can assist in the selection of arbitrators, and may be called upon to designate or act as appointing authority.

February 2013. UAE decided to invest 2 billion dollars in Infrastructure sector projects in India and the two countries decided to work for and support Strategic Oil Reserve in India. The meeting was co-chaired by the Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles, Anand Sharma and Sheikh Hamid Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court. As a part of the bilateral agreement, Five high level sub committees will be set up to promote investment in infrastructure and energy, trade and investment, manufacturing and technology, Information and communications technology and aviation sectors. India and UAE also decided to work together for third country projects, including Africa aimed at collaborating in the infrastructure sector and oil and gas exploration. The two countries also agreed to put in place Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA).

Sikkim to get the First Wildlife Skywalk of India in Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary
The first wildlife skywalk of India will be coming up in Maenam wildlife sanctuary, Sikkim. The State Government of Sikkim proposed to construct 22 km rope-way from Maenam sanctuary to skywalk which would be built on edge of Bhalleydhunga steep face. This will also have rain shelter as well as public conveniences. Maenam wildlife sanctuary in Sikkim is 65 km south from Gangtok, the capital of the state. It is a popular tourist destination as well. The environment ministry too has approved the proposal of Sikkim government for the first wildlife skywalk of India proposal that would cost 500 crore Rupees. This skywalk would be like the one in Grand Canyon in North America. The skywalk in Grand Canyon in North America gets more than 300000 visitors every year, inspite of opposition from the wild-lifers.

Viswanathan Anand won Grenke Chess Classic Trophy
Viswanathan Anand, the World Champion in Chess from India won the Grenke Chess Classic trophy of 2013 after defeating Arkadij Naiditsch from Germany on 17 February 2013. To secure his win in the Grenke Chess Classic, Anand also defeated Fabiano Caruana from Italy. This was his first title of the year. The 43 years old Anand, managed to take a 49 move win against Arkadij with his black pieces to claim the title for his all-play-all tournament title in five years. Anand last won a title in March 2008 at Linares, when he topped the field with 8.5 points in the eight player field. In January 2013, Anand finished at third position in the Tata Steel at Wijk aan Zee in although he lost the first round to Wang Hao from China. Standings of Players Point wise: 1. Viswanathan Anand from India (6.5/10) 2. Fabiano Caruana from Italy (6/10) 3. Michael Adams from England (5/10) 4. Georg Meier from Germany (5/10) 5. Arkadij Naiditsch from Germany (4/10) 6. Daniel Fridman from Germany (3.5/10)

Kishanganga Project
Kishanganga hydro-electric power project is a 330 MW project under its construction phase on the Kishanganga River and is developed by the National Power Corporation in Gurez Valley, near Bandipura in North Kashmir. The work on the project started in the year 1992. The Kishanganga hydro-electric project is a 3600

India and the UAE agrees to take their Trade Relations to a higher Level
India and the UAE agreed to improve their trade and investment relations during the first meeting of India-UAE High Level Task Force on Investment in Abu Dhabi on 18

Kai Po Che, Movie based on Chetan Bhagat’s Novel Premiered
Abhishek Kapoor’s Kai Po Che

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Current Affairs Notes

based on the novel of Chetan Bhagat- 3 Mistakes of My Life was premiered on 18 February 2013. Produced by Sidharth Roy Kapur, the movie premier witnessed some Bollywood stars such as Vidya Balan, Hrithik Roshan and his wife Sussanne Roshan as well as Ranveer Singh. Kai Po Che is the Bollywood debut of Sushant Singh Rajput as well as Amit Sadh. The plot of the movie revolves around three friends, the characters of whom are played by Sushant, Amit and Rajkumar Yadav. Kai Po Che will release on 22 February 2013. In the third week of February 2013, the movie attracted many at Berlin Film Festival.

19 February - 25 February 2013 Afghan Government against aking Air Support from International Forces
The order came after the death of at least ten civilians, including women and children in an air strike by the International Forces in the northeastern Kunar province of Afghanistan recently. The Afghan government on 18 February 2013 prohibited its security forces from taking any air support from the International Forces during security operations in residential areas of the country. The government also instructed the security forces to respect human rights during the security operations.

West continues to cause grave damage to non-target organisms. But in South Asia, the fact that the decline has significantly slowed and possibly even reversed has been directly attributed to prompt action over the past decade. Dr. Balmford says, “The vulture collapse is an immense problem — in its sheer extent as well as in its significance for people. So news that the declines are beginning to slow and even reverse is extremely welcome and a testament both to the tremendous hard work of all the NGOs in the SAVE consortium and to the responsiveness of governments in the region.” Though diclofenac, which is said to be as fatal for vultures as cyanide is for humans — just one meal on a contaminated carcass is enough to kill a bird — has been banned for veterinary use, the emerging challenge is the misuse by vets of multi-dose vials meant for human use. Vibhu Prakash, Head of the BNHS’s vulture conservation programme, says, “We have been pressing the Union Health Ministry to ban the production of multi-dose vials of diclofenac sodium, which are generally of 10 ml to 30 ml, and enough for one cattle dose. The other problem is that other veterinary drugs like acyclofenac and ketoprocin, which are also fatal for vultures, are still in use.” Since even the 2006 ban on diclofenac took about three years to be effective, he reckons that it will take another five years or so before significant numbers of this scavenger bird can be seen in the wild. The alternate pain killer, meloxicam, is expensive and not as effective, which is why veterinarians sometimes use the ones meant for humans. Just 0.05 per cent of diclofenac in a carcass is enough to kill a vulture, which dies of kidney failure, within days of ingesting the contaminated meat The lack of vulture safe zones where diclofenac does not linger in the food chain, in the country is also the reason why the BNHS is unable to release its captive bred vultures into the wild as yet. Some 300 birds, including 46 chicks, have been bred in the three BNHS breeding centres, Pinjore in Haryana, Rani in Assam and in West Bengal. The BNHS has set 2016 as the target year to begin releasing its captive vultures subject to the availability of vulture safe zones till then.

Meaning of the phrase Kai Vulture population rises Po Che
Kai Po Che is actually a Gujarati phrase which means I have cut. It relates to the kite competition where a competitor after cutting others’ kite shouts Kai Po Che. It is a held according to the Hindu calendar, but it has long crossed the boundaries of religion. Irrespective of anyone’s background, if one is in Gujarat, they are part of it.

The good news is that the fall of vultures in South Asia, particularly India, has stopped and is even reversing in the case of some species such as the white-backed vulture. A research paper in journal Science , titled “Pollution, politics and vultures,” says the 2006 ban on manufacture, import and sale of painkiller diclofenac for veterinary use, a cause for vulture mortality, and the timely response of the governments in India have helped. But the increase in the number of birds has been miniscule, after almost 99 per cent of them in the wild dying. The situation remains precarious, and vulture conservationists say the increase is too little to mean much. As against a population of 40 million vultures of different species in the 1980s, a rough estimate by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) in 2011 put the count at fewer than a lakh in India. This is up from the 40,000 or so documented by it in 2007. Oriental white-backed vulture, long-billed vulture and slender-billed vulture, all resident varieties, have been the most affected.

Mritunjay Singh is the Joint COO of Persistent Systems
Mritunjay Singh was appointed as the new joint Chief Operation Officer (COO) of the Persistent Systems, a software product and technology service providing company. At this post, Mritunjay had been made responsible for managing the operations of the company and work alongside the Executive Director and COO, Nitin Kulkarni. Mritunjay Singh had joined Persistent Systems from Infosys, where he served as the delivery head for the financial services and insurance application development and maintenance unit. He was also the head of Infosys Pune development centre.

Persistent Systems
Persistent Systems is a company of global repute, with an employee base of about 6000 employees. The company specializes in software product and technology services and serves customers in the global market, with services like Mobility, Analytic’s and Collaboration, Cloud Computing and others.

The research paper by Andrew Balmford of Cambridge University, while giving a perspective on the progress of vulture conservation in South Asia, documents the turnaround story of vultures and praises India for timely action in saving the species from extinction. It goes on to say that in comparison, the response of western governments was much slower in banning pesticide organochlorides and DDT 40 years ago. The pesticide effect in the

JTS Institute


Current Affairs Notes

but even this has proved enough to decimate the vulture population. Prakash. The water content that was measured is not actually liquid water but hydroxyl groups which were distributed in mineral grain. Says Dr. decided last July to approve goal-line technology at competitive matches after two systems passed extensive tests. Xavier Malisse and Frank Moser beat Lleyton JTS Institute 4 Current Affairs Notes . This is a one of the important tournaments held in Brazil and is played on the South American Clay Court circuit since 2004. to provide diclofenac free carcasses but the experiment has not been very successful. Raonic won third straight SAP Open singles titles. Rafael Nadal on 17 February 2013 won the finals of Brasil Open 2013 by defeating Argentinean David Nalbandian in straight sets by 6-2. The infrared spectroscopy work found out about the presence of 6 parts per million of water in lunar anorthosites. He won the tournament for the second time. On the other hand. therefore it is believed that water would have been there in the Moon when it was Judicial Probe in Allahabad Railway Station stampede The State Government ordered a Judicial Probe into the incident that occurred on the day of Mauni Amawasya 10 February 2013 at the Allahabad Railway Station during Kumbh Mela. formed. Introduction of the technology in football is being insisted to provide a high-tech aid to the World Cup referees to rule on the disputed incidents. Earlier theories revealed that Moon was formed when the Mars-sized body bumped into the young Earth. since Tony Trabert in 1953-55. His next event is Mexican Open that is scheduled to start on 25 February in Acapulco. he became first player to grab the trophy for three years consecutively.’ Only 5 per cent of the Indian cattle bear traces of the drug. • Railways have also appointed an Inquiry Committee being headed by the Additional member traffic Goal-Line Technology (GLT) Goal-line Technology is a technology that is used to determine the fact that has the ball passed the goal-line or not with the support of an electronic-device to help the referee decided to take a call that either it was a goal or not. Note: • Earlier. Maharashtra and West Bengal also set up vulture restaurants in the last few years. the retired Justice of Allahabad High Court to conduct Judicial Probe into the Allahabad Railway Station Stampede that occurred during Kumbh Mela. Rafael Nadal wins Brasil Open 2013 defeating David Nalbandian This was the second tournament for the former world number 1 Spanish tennis star after returning back from to the game after seven months. Milos Raonic beats Tommy Haas to win third consecutive SAP Open 2013 Singles Title Milos Raonic on 17 February 2013 won SAP Open 2013 at San Jose defeating Tommy Haas in the championship match. IFAB. Milos Raonic completed the tournament with 6-4. 20 February 2013 Researchers discovered water on the oldest rocks of moon obtained through the Apollo missions Researchers in the third week of February 2013 detected water traces inside the crystalline structure of one of the oldest lunar. “This concept does not work in India because here there is no dearth of food for vultures.25 February 2013 Some States like Punjab. Later the crust was solidified and played a crucial role in lunar basalts developments. Brazil. The State Government of Uttar Pradesh on 18 February 2013 appointed Onkareshwar Bhatt. he won it for the first time in 2005. leaving Moon arid. As per the study conducted by University of Michigan. Eventually the debris broke off and combined into new body. The decision by FIFA was expected once its rule-making panel. the state Government appointed Jagan Mathews. known as IFAB. The constituted committee that will probe into the matter is a one-man committee and was directed to submit its report in two months. the lunar highlands represent original crust which is actually crystallised from Magma Ocean that was found mainly on the molten early Moon. With this victory. Researchers made use of the Infrared spectroscopy for analysing water content in a part of plagioclase feldspar from lunar anorthosites. It is believed that these brightcoloured highlands rocks formed early in the history of the moon when plagioclase crystallised from the magma ocean and came up to the surface. It also stated that the technology could be introduced in the next season’s Premier league. FIFA had invited tenders from more service providers of the technology to conduct an official bidding ahead of the Confederations Cup to be held in June 2013. Because there are some oldest rocks from the Moon. It was believed that a lot of water would have been evaporated in the space. in SAP Open 2013 doubles final. Chairman of the UP Board of Revenue to conduct an inquiry and submit its report within one month.19 February . These hydroxyl groups that were detected are evident that the interior of the Moon contained water during the early molten state of it. Brasil Open The tournament is a part of ATP World Tour 250 Series and is held annually in Sao Paulo. to look into the matter FIFA confirmed use of Goal-Line Technology at the 2014 World Cup Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) on 19 February 2013 confirmed the use of goal-line technology during the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be organised in Brazil. 6-3 in Sao Paolo. Railway Board. 6-3 victory over Haas. Plagioclase feldspar from lunar anorthosites are basically the lunar rocks which are formed of over 90 percent plagioclase. It will work only if the authorities can ensure that for at least a 100 kilometre radius no carcass is available. so that the vultures eat only at the ‘restaurant. He was absent from the game due to the knee injury that he suffered from. the rule making panel of FIFA in July 2012 decided to approve the goal-line technology for the competitive matches after it passed an extensive test conducted by the body.

World’s first Mercury Treaty adopted by 140 countries at Geneva An international treaty that legally binds the nation to limit the use of health hazardous mercury was adopted by 140 nations in the third week of January 2013 at Geneva. as per the study of NIPFP are as follows: • 1975-76: 15-18 percent of GDP.e. • After this victory. above 10 lakh crore Rupees as per the size of the economy. The previous estimated of black money generated in India. 6-7(5). while the Sri Lankan side was led by G L Peiris. 13th Amendment of the Lankan constitution which provides autonomy to the provinces was also discussed. i. Japan. highest ranked player was Milos Raonic who ranked number 13th. Government of India and from various State Governments. The treaty would be signed in Minamata. The government. National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCEAR) and National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP). 31584 to 36784 crore Rupees About National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) • National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) is the centre for research in public finance and public policy. he has four career titles out of which three came from San Jose only. for example. • Apart from this. External Affairs Minister led the Indian side in the meeting. up to 36000 crore Rupees.. in October 2013 to honour the inhabitants of town who have suffered the consequences of serious mercury contamination for decades Discussions held during 8th India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission meeting • The agreements were signed after discussions on cooperation on various areas such as civil nuclear energy and many more. NIPFP report states that Black Money generated in India would exceed 10 percent of GDP A 1000 page report submitted by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) to the finance ministry estimated that unlawful wealth would exceed 10 percent or more of GDP. • SAP Open 2013 was last tournament held in Bay Area. Before this.e. i.e. Tzipi Livni. Tzipi Livni enteres a coalition deal with Benjamin Netanyahu. • Primary aim of NIPFP is contributing to policy making in areas which are related to public economics. A similar study like this was conducted last time by NIPFP in 1984 where it was estimated that black money generated in India was 19 percent to 21 percent of GDP. • In SAP Open 2013. It was established in 1976.19 February . • Issue of the fishermen as well as rehabilitation process of the Tamils in Sri Lanka was also discussed during the meeting. • SAP Open is the second-oldest tennis tournament in US. Livni will serve as the new Justice Minister and will oversee the peace efforts with the Palestinians. These three thinking tanks were-National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM). It is important to note that India and The treaty that was reached after four years of difficult negotiations will aim at • Reduction of global emission levels of the toxic heavy metal or the quick silver • Reduce the production and the use of mercury in industrial processes and product production JTS Institute 5 Current Affairs Notes . The report presented a sector-wise division of the scope of black money in India. India and Sri Lanka signed agreements on combating Terrorism and Avoiding Double-Taxation India and Sri Lanka on 22 January 2013 signed two agreements for fighting against international terrorism as well as avoiding double taxation. • The annual grant-in-aid is received by NIPFP from Ministry of Finance.e.e. it was agreed that a dialogue between the Commerce Secretary of India and Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of Sri Lanka would be initiated to progress the framework for special economic partnership between these two nations. Before winning the SAP Open 2013 singles titles. i. telecom sector. 10-4 to lift the trophy. mining sector and real estate sector. About SAP Open • SAP Open commenced in 1889 and it was called Pacific Coast Championships at the Old Del Monte Lodge in California. • Milos Raonic is basically a Canadian professional tennis player.25 February 2013 Hewitt and Marinko Matosevic 6-0. i... The agreements were signed after 8th India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission meeting which was held in New Delhi. Future tournament will have Rio de Janeiro as the venue. The study conducted by NIPFP was headed by the head of NIPFP’s tax policy and research and also included former director general of income tax investigation. After the meeting. Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. at Jerusalem. i. NIPFP had also carried out the studies in 1976 and 1981 where it was estimated that black money in India was around 15-18 percent of GDP and 18-21 percent of GDP respectively. Sri Lanka are the largest trade partners of each other in South Asia. 20362 to 23678 crore Rupees • 1983-84: 19-21 percent of GDP. The study was commissioned by NIPFP in last week of December 2012 in order to quantify the black money that was generated in India.. in order to combat this had also selected three thinking tanks in March 2011 in order to estimate the quantum of black money. About Milos Raonic • Milos Raonic has the 13th world ranking. the Prime Minister of Israel on 19 February 2013 announced a coalition deal with the rival centrist Hatnua Party Chairwomen and the former Israeli Foreign Minister. he has also won SAP Open 2011 and SAP Open 2012 singles titles.. Under the deal agreement. 9958 to 11870 crore Rupees • 1980-81: 18-21 percent of GDP.

Making of the treaty Switzerland and Norway pushed forward for making of an international treaty to limit the emission of Mercury in the atmosphere. But ISS was able to irregularly contact NASA through the Russian stations. gold mining activities as well as electrical goods and other consumer products. It is the 14th largest country of Europe. Usually. i. Boyko Borisov belonged to the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party. However. The imports of the country increased 7. The main problem was that the primary computer that has the responsibility of controlling the critical functions of the ISS defaulted to the backup computer. Factors affecting Japan’s export • The exports of Japan are crucial factors that drive its economic growth. But it did not allow the ISS to communicate with the Tracking and Data Relay Satellites of NASA. and set enforceable limits as well as to encourage alternatives where mercury in not used or released highest jump was in import of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) which increased over 28 percent. the approval was withdrawn. Eurozone. In the meanwhile. Impact of Mercury on Human Being The natural element Mercury cannot be created or destroyed.1 billion US dollars. Exports of Japan increased because the goods became affordable for the foreign buyers. Exports of Japan were affected because of various factors. These factors are as follows: • Demand from the biggest markets of Japan. • Prime Minister of Bulgaria. Interruptions like these have happened certain times in past. exports also increased 6. was hurt because of ongoing debt crisis of the region. Boiko Borisov earlier tried to bring peace by sacking the finance minister and assured cutting the power prices as well as punishing the foreign-owned companies. This was the 10 percent increase from 2012. The Prime Minister of Bulgaria. directed and produced by Kamal Haasan for public screening. While announcing his resignation.. but is released in air. It has remained a ruling party in Bulgaria since 2009. the import bill also increased which eventually led to a monthly trade deficit of 1. The movie received a go-ahead in Malaysia after the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the National Censorship Board studied the movie from all aspects including religious and security fronts and gave a green signal to its screening. Mercury enters the foodchain via fish and poses a threat to the living being more likely to pregnant women and children. Boiko Borisov did not mention anything about the parliamentary elections which are scheduled for July 2013. a host of products and industrial processes. NASA communicates to ISS from Houston through three communication satellites. Japan is the third largest economy of the world and there was an increase in the fuel imports because most of the nuclear reactors of the country remained shut down. Earlier on 24 January 2013 the authorities approved the screening of the movie in Malaysia but following the directives released by the Home Ministry that the content of the movie portrayed Islam in a negative light.6tn yen or 17. Malaysia lifted the Ban on public screening of Vishwaroopam The Malaysian Authorities on 19 February 2013 lifted the ban imposed on the screening of the Tamil movie Vishwaroopam. As per the data released by the World Health Organisation intake of mercury or any of its compounds to any limit is not safe and it may lead to memory loss. language impairment and kidney damage. Cause of resignation of Bulgaria’s government Bulgarians held protests in the country because of concerns over higher energy costs. • Territorial dispute with the biggest trading partner of Japan. The exports were driven considerably by shipment of the manufactured goods.e. power monopolies as well as corruption.19 February .4 percent.3 percent in January 2013 from January 2012. NASA loses communication with ISS for 3 hours The ground controllers of NASA reestablished its contact with International Space Station in just less than 3 hours after the computer failure had blocked their communication. • The exports also declined to the European Union during January 2013. China hit the sales of goods produced by Japan over the duration of past certain months. Government of Bulgaria resigned because of protest against high electricity prices The Government of Bulgaria resigned from the office on 20 February 2013 on grounds of protests in the nation against the high electricity prices. The Important Facts: • Bulgaria is located in Southeastern Europe. The deficit of Japan was also affected because of an increase in the fuel imports. The Boiko Borisov on 20 February 2013 announced his resignation. JTS Institute 6 Current Affairs Notes . which is abbreviated as GERB (Grazhdani za Evropeysko Razvitie na Balgariya). mining. headed by Boiko Borisov. • It is the center-right political party of Bulgaria which was established in 2006. lower living standards. The exports increased in January. Trade Deficit of Japan Hit a new high in January 2013 as Yen Weakens The monthly trade deficit of Japan hit record in January 2013 after the aggressive monetary policy weakened Yen. which was the first increase in 8 months time. The flight controllers of Houston were updating the ISS software when the data relay system broke down. because of the weakened Yen. its currency considerably. water and land from different activities like coal powder plants. The two nations came up with the plans of reducing the emission of mercury decades ago and it was finalized after a long conference in Geneva held in February 2013.25 February 2013 • To cut mercury pollution from utility plants.

The challenges which will be faced by him include taking the insurance industry to rural areas as well as simplifying the insurance products. Vijayan. educational institutions. TRAI announced that it would seek views from the stakeholders on certain issues through the preconsultation paper. the busy shopping area of Hyderabad. Vijayan will take over as the Chairman of IRDA when the entire industry is facing meltdown. Two blasts in Hyderabad claims 14 lives leaving 119 injured Two bomb blasts took place in Dilsukhnagar. which were placed on two different bicycles at a distance of 100 meters from each other near Konark and Venkatadri theatres. Vijayan will succeed J. Blasts in recent past in Hyderabad A bomb blast occurred at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad in May 2007 claiming lives of 9 people. The area of blasts lie on the Hyderabad-Vijaywada National Highway within Cyberabad police limits. He is a member of the Islamist Ennahda party. Dilsukhnagar Dilsukhnagar is a commercial and educational hub of Hyderabad. the former LIC chief took over as the Chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) on 21 February 2013. resigns Hamadi Jebali resigned from the office of the Prime Minister of Tunisia on 19 February 2013 after his attempt to end a political standoff by formation of a Government of Technocrats failed. At present. T.25 February 2013 21 February 2013 CCI approves the proposal for North Karanpura Super Thermal Power Plant in Jharkhand The Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) on 20 February has cleared the proposal of the Power Ministry to set up the North Karanpura Super Thermal Power Plant (NKSTPP) (3 x 660 MW) near Tandwa town in Chatra district of Jharkhand by the National Thermal Power Corporation. restaurants. number portability from one service area to another as well as amendments needed in the existing regulation. according to which Congress had committed to raise liquor buying and selling age from 18 to 21 years. NTPC. The tenure for IRDA chairman is five years or till 65 years. mobile number portability (MNP) services were available in one service area only. The safeguards of the project was recommended by the Chaturvedi Committee were accepted by the Group of Ministers that was chaired by the Finance Minister of Indian Union. T. Apart from this. Kerala Government raises T. The blasts were triggered using the Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). The power project is being developed for generation of 1980 MW power. TRAI releases pre-consultation paper on nation-wide Mobile Number Portability Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) started the preconsultation process for the country-wide mobile number portability services which will enable the users to have the same number even if they change their service area. The market of Dilsukhnagar is packed with shops. 22 February 2013 Hamadi Jebali was trying to create coalition because of the political crisis which took birth by killing of Chokri Belaid. Hari Narayan completed the five-year term on 20 February 2013. the opposition leader. Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali. exam preparation centers and theaters. Vijayan. S. against the consumption of liquor. About Hamadi Jebali Hamadi Jebali is the Tunisian Islamist politician. Assassination of Chokri Belaid on 6 February 2013 led to mass protests as well as resignations from the coalition government of Tunisia. He was also the Secretary-General of the Ennahda Movement which is the Islamist party in Tunisia. Investigations were ordered by both the Central Government and the State Government to find out the group involved in the blast. This was aimed at bringing down the consumption of liquor in Kerala. TRAI announced. the users would be able to have same number even if they change their location statewise. an outspoken critic of the government and a leading lawyer was shot dead and his death created a situation of mass protests across the nation. J. who remained in office as the PM from December 2011 to 19 February 2013. This supply will be made available in the 13th Five Year Plan. TRAI asked the stakeholders to offer their views by 7 March 2013 on methods or techniques that needed to be used for implementation of full MNP. Belaid. The CCI also agreed for restoring the original coal linkage for the project and declared that the project will be based on environment friendly super-critical technology. The Plant is expected to generate electricity for a period of about 35 years. The State Government of Andhra Pradesh appointed a probe team into the matter. Hari Narayan. S.19 February . As of now. in the serial blasts that rocked the city around 6:50 pm. S. the Capital City of Andhra Pradesh on 21 February 2013. the Former LIC Chief takes charge as age limit for buying and selling liquor from 18 to 21 the new Chairman of IRDA The State Government of Kerala on 20 February 2013 approved Kerala Abkari Act Amendment Ordinance 2013 that envisaged raising age limit for buying or selling liquor from 18 years to 21 years. A cabinet of apolitical technocrats was proposed by Jebali to suppress the disorder created after the assassination of the secular opposition politician Chokri Belaid on 6 February 2013. that there were two MNP service The new policy was announced in 2012. the Kerala Abkari Act Amendment Ordinance 2013 would obligate showing statutory warnings for movies and television. 14 people were reported dead and 119 were critically injured JTS Institute 7 Current Affairs Notes . But with the help of country-wide MNP services. He belonged to the Ennahda Movement political party of Tunisia.

5 percent more than the budget presented in the 2012-13 fiscal year. Also. Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) projects receive a nod The UTTIPEC (Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure Planning and Engineering Centre) on 21 February 2013 started efforts for developing vision as well as strategy for successful implementation of the plans for mass-rapid transport system in Delhi. He was given away the award for displaying great role for the Indian businessmen on global business level. this time is 7 working days. J&K as well as Assam is 15 working days. Also. Also.25 February 2013 providers which catered to 22 service areas. private transporters. The aim of these workshops is to create awareness about TOD policy. (BHPV) is the engineering and heavy fabrication company which was established back in 1966 in Andhra Pradesh. (BHPV) Bharat Heavy Plate & Vessels Ltd. pedestrians as well as high-density mixed use development. the former head of Tata Group was awarded the life time achievement award 2012 by Ernst & Young on 21 February 2013.19 crore rupees Budget Planned The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on 19 February 2013 presented a budget of 221201. The company had suffered immense loss because of various reasons. the time required for completing porting for North East. It is important to note that entrepreneur of the year award is an only business award which is based on self-nomination.K. Two other concentric zones of 800 metres and 2 km will be built with equal road-space distribution and high-density street network. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) acquired BHPV in 2008 as 100 percent subsidiary. The state finance ministry of Uttar JTS Institute 8 Current Affairs Notes . the workshops will include concerns raised by stakeholders such as NGOs. Francisco D’Souza. BHVP will be a unit of BHEL. BHVP will be able to participate in the tenders as well as obtain the orders. charging. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Presented Budget for Fiscal Year 2013-14 Aim of TOD The aim of TOD is building massrapid transport hubs which will have inner zone of 300 metres radius that would be called intense-zone. there would be a need to ensure connectivity between the MNP service providers. Uttar Pradesh Budget 2013-14: 221201. Implementing complete MNP service would have issues associated with processing of these porting requests. In other service areas. Ernst & Young announced names of successful entrepreneurs in various categories and these awards were given away to TT Jagannathan. because BHVP was a separate company. UTTIPEC is the division of Delhi Development Authority. DTC. After the merger. DMRC. The budget has not presented any new tax. Chairman and Managing Director. Ratan Tata awarded the life time achievement award 2012 by E&Y Ratan Tata. Bharat Heavy Plate & Vessels Ltd. Chairman. Chief Executive Officer. 23 February 2013 Justice Usha Mehra commission submitted its report to the Union Government of India Justice Usha Mehra Commission on 22 February 2013 submitted its report to on the 16 December 2012 Delhi gang-rape incident to the Union Government of India. therefore it was not able to derive complete benefits. The report was received by the Union Minister of Law and Justice Ashwani Kumar and the Union Home Secretary R. Apollo Tyres. The entrepreneur of the year (2012) award was given away to Adi Godrej. Cyrus S Poonawalla. green-field development and redevelopment. DTC as well as other experts. UTTIPEC planners on 21 February 2013 emphasised on the fact that TOD system would help in making the transport system friendly to women. testing as well as much more.19 crore rupees for the fiscal year 2013-2014 in the Vidhan Sabha. However. Managing Director.19 February . Already. This intense-zone will give preference to nonmotorised transport. cyclists and walkers. Post-merger. Major findings of the Usha Mehra Commission • Lack of Coordination between the Police and the transport department • Lack of cooperation between the police of National Capital Territory and National Capital Region plays a great role in escape of the criminals from one place to another • Lack of PCR vans and public transport facility in Delhi Akhilesh Yadav. (BHPV) Vishakhapatnam with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) on 21 February 2013. strategies as well as plans which would have nine themes and these are: • visualising of the TOD-based development • economic feasibility and market testing • strategy for sustainable infrastructure • transferring development rights as well as its implementation • strategy for incentivising redevelopment • strategy for sustainable transport infrastructure • strategy for effective parking • strategy for rolling out the TOD In order to select the models for retrofitting. Serum Institute of India and Onkar S Kanwar. Singh. TTK Group. The workshops would create Bharat Heavy Plate & Vessels Ltd. Cognizant Technology Solutions. As per the present MNP regulations. (BHPV) to be a subsidiary of BHEL The Union Cabinet of India approved merger of Bharat Heavy Plate & Vessels Ltd. It has plans for conducting around 25 workshops in coming months which would focus on metro corridors between Chattarpur to Arjangarh and Peeragarhi to Teekri Kalan. pilot projects along the four metro corridors as well as Karkardooma have got in-principal approval for first phase of transitoriented development (TOD). The budget presented for the upcoming fiscal year is 10. RWAs. design competitions will be held. Godrej Group Chairman. routing.

The guidelines for Sania Mirza and Bethanie-Mattek Sands won the 2013 Dubai Tennis Championship India’s Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie-Mattek Sands won the Dubai Tennis Championship on 23 February 2013. 1949 in December 2012. Expressways. The guidelines issued by the Apex Bank have opened gates for private players as well as the finance firms to enter into the strictly regulated banking sector of India. Prudential regulations and other Guidelines/Instructions issued by RBI and other regulators.774 crore rupees for Agriculture • 1. RBI may seek feedback from other regulators and enforcement and investigative agencies. 6-4. corporate structure should not impede effective supervision of the bank and the NOFHC on a consolidated basis by RBI. (vi) Foreign shareholding in the bank: The aggregate non-resident shareholding in the new bank shall not exceed 49% for the first 5 years after which it will be as per the extant policy. For this purpose. (xi) Other conditions for the bank: The Board of the bank should have a majority of independent Directors.200 crore rupees for unemployment allowance • 100 crore rupees for the development of Poorvanchal • The state Government have allotted a sum of 350 crore rupees for its scheme Hamari Beti Ushka Kal • 20292. Important points of the state budget 2013-14 • People with annual income less than 36000 Rs will be provided free houses in the state • Free education for girls in degree colleges.641 crore rupees for developing Infrastructure and Value-Addition on Bridges. OBCs. (x) Business Plan for the bank: The business plan should be realistic and viable and should address how the bank proposes to achieve financial inclusion. (v) Regulatory framework: The bank will be governed by the provisions of the relevant Acts.654 crore rupees for Health • 26. Key Features of the issued Guidelines: (i) Eligible Promoters: Entities / groups in the private sector. (vii) Corporate governance of NOFHC: At least 50% of the Directors of the NOFHC should be independent directors. The NOFHC shall be registered as a non-banking finance company (NBFC) with the RBI and will be governed by a separate set of directions issued by RBI. if considered eligible. (ii) Fit and Proper criteria: Entities / groups should have a past record of sound credentials and integrity. The bank shall not invest in the equity / debt capital instruments of any financial entities held by the NOFHC. be financially sound with a successful track record of 10 years.25 February 2013 Pradesh is led by the Chief Minister of the State Akhilesh Yadav himself. The Budgetary Allocation of Money • 32886 crore rupees for Education • 20292 crore rupees for Social Welfare Schemes • 10. The bank shall get its shares listed on the stock exchanges within three years of the commencement of business by the bank. Flyovers. (iii) Corporate structure of the NOFHC: The NOFHC shall be wholly owned by the Promoter / Promoter Group. The new budget had levied no new taxes but estimated a deficit of 2. relevant Statutes and the Directives. • Any non-compliance of terms and conditions will attract penal measures including cancellation of licence of the bank. 2-6. both in government and government aided colleges • 750 crore rupees was allocated for a loan waiver for farmers. The budget has assured construction of 313 junior schools and 1200 primary schools in the 2013-14 fiscal year.19 February . The NOFHC shall initially hold a minimum of 40 percent of the paidup voting equity capital of the bank which shall be locked in for a period of five years and which shall be brought down to 15 per cent within 12 years. the Licensing of New Banks in the Private Sector were finalized after amending the Banking Regulation Act. The NOFHC shall hold the bank as well as all the other financial services entities of the group. this is 25 percent more than the allocation made in 2012-13 budget • 17.92 crore rupees have been allocated for uplifting of SCs.999 as per the latest census) • The bank shall comply with the priority sector lending targets and sub-targets as applicable to the existing domestic banks. • Banks promoted by groups having 40 percent or more assets/income from non-financial business will require RBI’s prior approval for raising paid-up voting equity capital beyond ‘10 billion for every block of 5 billion. entities in public sector and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) shall be eligible to set up a bank through a wholly-owned NonOperative Financial Holding Company (NOFHC). may be permitted to promote a new bank or convert themselves into banks. RBI announced guidelines for licensing of new banks in private sector The Reserve Bank of India released the Guidelines for Licensing of New Banks in the Private Sector. JTS Institute 9 Current Affairs Notes . Minority groups as well as BPL families of general category The budget has displayed a revenue loss of 3 percent (24000 crore rupees) in the GDP. 10-7. STs. (iv) Minimum voting equity capital requirements for banks and shareholding by NOFHC: The initial minimum paid-up voting equity capital for a bank shall be ‘5 billion. The Indo-American duo defeated the second seeded Russian-Slovenian combination of Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik. (xii) Additional conditions for NBFCs promoting / converting into a bank: Existing NBFCs. (viii) Prudential norms for the NOFHC: The prudential norms will be applied to NOFHC both on stand-alone as well as on a consolidated basis and the norms would be on similar lines as that of the bank. physically handicapped. • The bank shall open at least 25 per cent of its branches in unbanked rural centres (population up to 9.94 percent in the new financial year. (ix) Exposure norms: The NOFHC and the bank shall not have any exposure to the Promoter Group. Roads.

Bumblebees can detect electric fields of flowers.25 February 2013 24 February 2013 Meanwhile. In the finals. New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory suggested a highly distorted supernova remnant may contain the most recent black hole formed in the Milky Way galaxy. The M23 group briefly seized control of the city of Goma in November 2012 after carving out an area for themselves in North Kivu province. Most of these explosions are generally symmetrical. Since then they have been discovered at about JTS Institute 10 Current Affairs Notes . He was an officer in the Rwandan army earlier. which is just 1000-years-old and only 26000 light-years away from Earth. who led the study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A careful search of the Chandra data revealed no evidence for a neutron star. offering the evidence for a peculiar explosion. By tracing the distribution and amounts of different elements in the stellar debris field. They stumbled across a previously-unknown site nearly 5000m below the surface. Scientists hinted that this method of signalling provides speedy and dynamic communication between plants and pollinators. said that W49B is the first of its kind to be discovered in the galaxy. 589 million kilogram teas was produced in the state. In the huge pressure of the sea three miles down. with the stellar material blasting away more or less evenly in all directions. Scientific study indicated that floral electric fields improve the bees’ ability to discriminate between different flowers. was gently steered around the vents. The remnant now glows brightly in X-rays and other wavelengths. It may be recalled that around seven lakh workers are engaged in the tea sector. As many as 800000 people were displaced since rebel group M23 revolted against the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government in May 2012. which is also known as ISIS. Hydrothermal vents are among the strangest features of the deep ocean and their existence was hidden until the 1970s. Afterwards. material near the poles of the doomed rotating star was ejected at a much higher speed than M23 Rebels As per the statement made by M23 rebels. Scientists used ROV (Remotely operated vehicle) in the Cayman Trough to make this discovery. He is accused of using child soldiers and he controls several mines in the east of the country. electrical cues can increase the bee’s memory of floral rewards. An earlier attempt to reach a deal Discovery of the deepest Hydrothermal Vents in the world by UK Scientists UK scientists in January 2013 discovered a set of hydrothermal vents. Tanzania. When used with visual signals. 1-6. Assam became the first Indian state to produce over 500 million kilos tea for 2 Years in a row Assam became the first state in India to produce over 500 million kilogram tea for two years in a row. the central region of the star collapses. Assam produced five hundred 88 million kilogram of tea in 2012. The investigation done by the scientists put emphasis on the possible importance of electrostatic forces. will result in setting up of a special UN intervention brigade in eastern Congo. the ROV. to take pictures and gather samples. patterns and enticing fragrances but this study for the first time revealed the significance of electrostatic information as an additional cue. ended up in failure in December 2012 after the rebels accused President Joseph Kabila of failing to honour a deal to integrate rebels into the army. NASA explained that W49B appears to be the product of a rare explosion in which matter is ejected at high speeds along the poles of a rotating star. in the W49B supernova. The deal was signed in the presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Addis Ababa. over seven thousand five hundred crore rupee as turn-over was recorded in Assam tea sector in 2012. material emanating from its equator. which is 53 percent of the country’s total tea production. 6-2. NASA Scientists spots the youngest Black Hole W49B in our Milky Way NASA scientists spotted the youngest black hole yet in the Milky Way galaxy called W49B. Usually when a massive star runs out of fuel. Usually. However. Flowering plants provide pollinators with nectar and pollen in exchange for their assistance in the flowers’ sexual reproduction. he left to join a rebel movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo. African Leaders signed UN-Brokered Accord in DR Congo Regional African leaders from Mozambique. Bosco Ntaganda set up M23. triggering a chain of events that quickly culminate in a supernova explosion. they want to better the conditions for the people of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Flowers attract pollinators using cues such as bright colours. capital of Ethiopia. the rebels declared a unilateral ceasefire. Earlier in 2011. Rwanda. Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova yesterday clinched the Women’s Singles trophy. Democratic Republic of Congo. The region’s mineral resources have been exploited by numerous groups and countries over the past 15 years and little has been aimed at improving the Democratic Republic of Congo’s infrastructure. Congo’s government and rebels are holding talks in Uganda aimed at reaching an agreement on a range of issues. Fifty percent of them are women. signed by leaders of the Great Lakes region. The lack of such evidence implies a black hole may have formed.A study Scientists discovered in their study that Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) can detect flowers’ electric fields. According to an estimate. the deepest anywhere in the world while exploring the ocean floor in the Caribbean islands. Laura Lopez. In January 2013. 6-1 to win her career’s 10th title. South Africa.19 February .The agreement. she defeated Sara Errani of Italy. researchers were able to compare the Chandra data to theoretical models of how a star explodes. however UN says they are supported by Rwanda who is responsible for the country’s genocide in 1994. Congo Republic and South Sudan signed UN-brokered accord which aims to bring peace to the troubled eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

known as Beebe.25 February 2013 200 sites across the globe which includes the Southern Ocean and the Atlantic. while Altikameter will be responsible for measuring the height of sea surface. SARAL (Satellite for Argos-3 and Altika) were launched successfully by ISRO’s PSLV-C20 rocket on 25 February 2013 from the spaceport at Sriharikota. Marina Erakovic Won the 2013 US National Indoor Tennis Championship making it her first WTA title Marina Erakovic won her first Women’s Tennis Association title. • ARGOS-2 will help in collecting the data. Erakovic became the first women from New Zealand to win WTA Title since Belinda Cordwell in Singapore in 1989.19 February . The match merely took place for one set with Marina Erakovic winning 6-1 and Sabine Lisicki unable to begin due to illness. the giant telecom companies for having link up with the Singapore Telecom for the purpose of international calls. • Two micro-satellites UniBRITE and BRITE from Austria • AAUSAT3 from Denmark • STRaND from United Kingdom • Micro-satellite (NEOSS at) • Mini-satellite (SAPPHIRE) from Canada Importance of SARAL • SARAL is said to be a very unique satellite which serves the research community. protection of biodiversity and coastal erosion. • This satellite will assist the researchers in oceanographic studies. The President of India. a deep trench formed by the boundary between two tectonic plates. Pranab Mukherjee witnessed this launch from mission control centre at Sriharikota. However it was in 2010 that vents were first detected in the Cayman Trough. About Marina Erakovic: • With this victory. 25 February 2013 Consecutive victory again for ISRO’s PSLV-C20 rocket with its 22nd successful launch carrying SARAL and six other satellites. • SARAL will also assist researchers in studying about the climatic developments. thereby violating norms of Department of Telecom (DoT). The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) of Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) flew from first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre and was successfully put into the orbit. • This is her first career victory CBI Registered Case against Airtel and Tata Communications for violating DoT Norms The Central Bureau of Investigation registered a case on 22 February 2013 against Bharti Airtel Ltd and Tata Communications Ltd. • Its practical applications include study of migration of the marine animals. Satellites launched by PSLV-C20 rocket • 410-kg SARAL with payloads Argos and Altika JTS Institute 11 Current Affairs Notes . • SARAL will study the sea surface heights and ocean currents. CBI on 24 February 2013 announced that the two companies were charged for causing a loss of around 48 crore Rupees to the Union Government of India since 2004 because of illegal arrangement. continental ice studies. Six foreign micro and mini spacecrafts as well as the IndoFrench oceanographic study satellite. US National Indoor Tennis Championship 2013 after beating Germany’s Sabine Lisicki in Memphis on 23 February 2013. CBI filed an FIR in the local court in Delhi after complaints of Communications and IT Ministry. was considered as the deepest on record prior to the recent discovery made in the Ocean floor of Caribbean islands. One set of vents.

Rupee has depreciated by about JTS Institute 1 Current Affairs Notes . the minister added. Jallikadavu and Siriyur in the Nilgiris North Forest Division. we have decided that from one division encompassing the whole park. thanks to the efforts of non-governmental organisations and the State Forest Department. The area is habitat to four species of vultures – Oriental White-backed.” Minister for Environment and Forest Rockybul Hussain said in Guwahati on Saturday. while the Kohora and Agratuli ranges would form the Kaziranga East Division head quartered in Bokakhat. Extremist groups are reportedly present in the area around the park and forest department personnel cannot deal with them. These watchers were selected from the local tribal community. the local people had reported that only about 20 nests of vultures were spotted in the area. which directly affected the vulture population. ‘Shoot-at-sight could be considered’ The government is taking all steps and shoot-at-sight orders could be considered in the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) to deal with poaching. Bharatidasan. This Kaziranga Eco Development division will be headquartered in Bokakhat. Last year. historically. we will have a separate Division for Eco Development and Eco Sensitisation outside the park area. the Assam government has decided to divide the park into four divisions with separate Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) for each park. S. a critically endangered species. has appointed nearly half a dozen vulture watchers. the highest CAD measured as a proportion of the GDP.18 Feb.” Mr.”Besides. who regularly monitor the nests and breeding of the forest scavengers. we expect the CAD to be significantly higher than that. Director. we will now have four divisions with each one having its own DFOs. Hussain said. He said the existing Burapahar and Bagori ranges will together form a new Kaziranga West Division with head quarters at Bagori. The vulture nests were found in Semmanatham.” he told reporters. He. which could be one of the reasons for the stabilisation of the four species of vulture population in the region. “Assam is the only State where forest personnel have been given power to use such sophisticated arms against poachers. including deployment of army and shoot-at-sight orders.18 February 2013 Issue-7/2013 (12th February to 18 February) CURRENT AFFAIRS CLASS NOTES: 12 Feb . The State Forest Department on its part to help the conservation effort.12thFebruary . warned the country against widening Current Account Deficit (CAD). the CAD was 4. CareEarthArulagam. “A committee which includes the Assam Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and other senior officials have been told to have the project implemented within one month. 2013 (Compiled from 11 Newspapers & 7 Magazines) 12 February 2013 Vulture population stabilising in Moyar Valley The population of vultures. here. the CAD is at 5. Use of diclofenac. A year ago. Indian.” said Dr. a drug. “As part of the Intensification of Management and Restoration of the Kaziranga National Park programme. Similarly. “Today.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). Mr. Subbarao. in 2012-13. Another 200 staff is likely to be added to the park after the new divisions are created.3 per cent of GDP in the second quarter of the current financial year. adding that “Poachers now use sophisticated weapons and we are trying to match them. Kaziranga Park to be separated into four divisions.Subbarao while speaking at the convocation of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR).” he added. says minister With a view ‘to strengthen the management system and boost operation efficiency’ in the Kaziranga National Park (KNP). At present.Subbarao had highlighted the issue of widening CAD. “Some of the demands made recently by the All Assam Students Union (AASU) are sound ones. on Monday. told The Hindu that through systematic protection measures the number of the forest scavengers’ nests had increased to 50 in January this year. however. In his review of third quarter policy in January-end.Hussain said. which is expected to be higher than last year.” he said. Dr. refused to provide details regarding current staff strength by citing security issues. RBI Governor warns of widening CAD The Reserve Bank of India Governor D. the nongovernmental organisation involved in the vulture conservation in the Moyar Valley. when the organisation began its work in the region. This year. which would disturb policy actions. he said. is stabilising in the Moyar Valley in The Nilgiris North Forest Division in the State. Red-headed and White Scavenger vultures. the number of vultures sighted also had also gone up. the external sector is vulnerable. The Biswanath range in the northern bank of Brahmaputra river would be converted into a separate North Zone which will have its headquarters in BishwanathChariali. is virtually absent in the Moyar Valley.

The emphatic letter stated: ”. one tasked to protect the environment and forests. weeks later. [sic] where linear diversion of forest land in several villages are involved” from obtaining the consent of the gram sabhas concerned. Growth was slow because consumption had fallen. the Tribal Affairs Minister wrote to Ms JayanthiNatarajan. if investments are not taking place today. the central bank would keep a tight policy. The 330 MW run-of-the-river power project is under construction by the National Hydro Power Corporation.. canals.” The RBI Governor said that the country was dismayed by the growth number put out by the CSO (5 per cent advanced estimate) as it was the lowest in the last decade. are strong-armed into relinquishing even the “bare minimum” required to implement the government’s flagship forest rights law. Dangerous consequences When two central ministries. net exports had fallen. It is located 5 km (3 mi) north of Bandipore in Jammu and Kashmir. Arbitration Court to give verdict on Kishenganga hydro project India and Pakistan are bracing themselves for the final order of the Court of Arbitration at The Hague in their dispute over the construction of the Rs.” The other concern is that the way India is financing the CAD which is increasingly through volatile flows instead of getting much of foreign direct investment (FDI). the consequences of this single action go well beyond the intents of those who embark on it. 3. then our growth potential on the way forward is going to be hurt The arbitration was initiated by Pakistan against India on the charge that it had violated the provisions of the bi-lateral Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 that regulates the use of Indus rivers. in the 2009 order. and Tribal Affairs even in the face of sustained pressure from more powerful quarters in government and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). 2006 (or Forest Rights Act) and duly incorporated in guidelines issued by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in July 2012.” One can imagine the pressures when the same Tribal Affairs Minister. It diverts waters from a dam site to Bonar MadmatiNallah. The best example comes from the affected gram sabhas of the DongariaKondh and KutiaKondh tribes in Odisha refusing their consent to Vedanta’s bauxite mining project in the Niyamgiri hills. was forced to set aside this requirement of gram sabha consent for power lines. Construction on the project began in 2007 and is expected to be complete in 2016. most importantly. On the other hand RBI reduced rates. the court only restrained India from certain activities of a permanent nature. Concept: The Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant is part of a run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme that is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin. Schwebel. For management of siltation/ sedimentation in the project.” A handwritten postscript said: “any dilution of the above mentioned circular of 2009 will have an adverse impact on the ‘Vedanta case. Highly placed sources told The Hindu on Monday that the court. Further.18 February 2013 20 per cent in the last two years. In December 2012. the ministry has exempted “projects like construction of roads. the Forest Rights Act and its requirement of gram sabha consent had been publicly supported by both the ministers for Environment and Forests. “This is a matter of concern because today’s investment is tomorrow’s production capacity. which made the consent of gram sabhasmandatory for projects seeking diversion of forest lands for non-forest purposes. Until the recent order. The requirement for gram sabha consent. On reducing the rate in the last policy review. Construction on the dam was halted though by the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration in October 2011 due to Pakistan’s protest of its effect on the flow of the Kishanganga River (called the Neelum River in Pakistan). India denied the charge and said the project was in conformity with the treaty. chaired by Stephen M. Development minus green shoots In early February. India proposes to use the modern drawdown flushing technique that requires waters to be brought below the Dead Storage Level — a technique accepted by the neutral expert in the Baglihar dispute with Pakistan. livelihoods and culture. the consent of the gram sabha. and. with at least a 50% quorum (as stated in the Rules and in the 2009 order) is the bare minimum that is required to comply with the Act before any forest area can be diverted. However. The project is under construction on Kishenganga (called Neelam in Pakistan). but we have the rupee depreciating and still CAD is high.Subbarao said that “the dilemma we faced in making our monetary policy in the context of the CAD was that we reduced rates at a time when CAD was so high because one would expect that if the CAD is going to go up.” “We would not worry so much if the CAD is high … if it was due to import of capital goods … but because of import of oil and gold. the Ministry of Environment and Forests partially revoked a crucial order it had issued in August 2009. his colleague in ParyavaranBhavan. Dr.12 February .. and the other to empower tribal and forest peoples. the environment ministry revoked the requirement for an even broader range of linear projects. has asked the two ambassadors to be present when it hands out its judgment on February 18. or destroyed. laying of pipelines/optical fibres and transmission lines etc.’ which is sub-judice. Now. Following this. investments had declined. in a letter to the Power Minister. it utterly discredits the United Progressive Alliance’s commitment to “inclusion” in its proclaimed agenda of inclusive economic growth. a tributary of the Jhelum river. “We expect the rupee depreciation to be a natural counter-force to increasing CAD. another tributary of Jhelum. in keeping with the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest JTS Institute 2 Current Affairs Notes . So. Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act.600 crore Kishenganga hydro-electric project in North Kashmir. India and will have an installed capacity of 330 MW. was provided to uphold the rights of forest-dwelling communities. Rejecting bauxite mining The 2009 order had empowered forest-dwelling communities to reject projects harming the local environment. Pakistan had sought a stay on it while the dispute was being heard.

both JTS Institute 3 Current Affairs Notes . “We talked to the government officials on all kinds of issues. besides providing for vital livelihood and resource needs of forest-dwelling communities. lists a range of ecological impacts caused by linear infrastructure intrusions in natural areas: habitat loss and fragmentation. sought opening of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the e-commerce sector as present policy restricts such companies from offering services directly to the consumers. degradation and conversion. Currently.12 February . Social impacts may include insensitive developments in tribal areas. on Tuesday. We are trying to find a better way to serve our Indian customers.. Paul E. 100 per cent FDI is allowed only in business to business (B2B) e-commerce. Where the government could be working to reconcile the needs of development and environment. it is instead driving further wedges between the two. Yet.18 February 2013 Linear infrastructure projects. such as roads and power lines. to dilute legal requirements meant to safeguard forest dwellers and the environment. India’s remaining forest cover. has declined in the last few decades. Amazon pushes for FDI in retail e-commerce Global online retail giant Amazon. The ministry’s exemption affects rights settlement processes and may lead to an unfair rejection of claims. changes in local communities due to the entry of a large workforce from other regions. especially in areas where economic interests vie with the claims of forest dwellers. may be undesirable. roadkills. fires. when asked whether he had sought a change in the policy for retail e-commerce during his meeting with the Commerce Minister. and minimise conflicts between people and wildlife.g. strengthening the democratic foundations of decision-making. “The question before the country is very. disruption of animal corridors. here. electrocution). Arguably. the spread of invasive alien species.Jairam Ramesh. power lines. Are these laws to be enforced or are they to just adorn the statute books. prepared at the initiative of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL). and canals (not to mention the ominous ‘etc. Bundling them together just because they are all linear is a serious error as the effects of roads or canals on the environment or forest cover and on local communities are substantially different from the effects of power lines. Remnant natural forests continue to be threatened by loss. favouring corporate-industrial interests over local people and marginalised communities. society will only stand to lose in the long run. as roads and canals are merely superstructures built upon the real infrastructure represented in human and natural capital. can also have negative effects. If the Forest Rights Act can be diluted of its most crucial provision for some categories of projects. and an increase in pollution and other disturbances. For example.” Mr.com. unlike power lines. making them explicit and transparent to citizens. Instead of viewing local consent as impeding development. particularly natural forests with native species (in contrast to planted forests of alien species such as eucalyptus). The recent order also appears unjustified and arbitrary because the criteria for arriving at exemption for linear projects and what is meant by “several villages” are unclear. honoured more in their breach than in their observance?” The gains of economic growth frequently carry environmental and social costs. and creating more efficient and faster processes so that projects that further inclusive growth and development are not unduly hindered. is a move towards greater opacity and central control. In the words of the previous Environment Minister. When large infrastructure projects such as roads and canals run roughshod over rural communities without paying heed to social and environmental costs. such as realignments. No evidence is provided as to whethergramsabha consent was in fact hindering vital development projects. it needs to be seen as a legitimate avenue for collective bargaining and peaceful action. Conserving remaining forest tracts is critical to safeguard India’s threatened biodiversity. Misener. A 2010 background paper. The recent order of the environment ministry also conflates projects such as roads. gram sabha consent can ensure that citizens are truly made partners in development and its benefits actually flow to the poorest. Misener told newspersons. while often integral to growth and development. increased developmental and hunting pressures. roads through forests can lead to soil erosion and wildlife deaths through collision with vehicles. which. vastly preferable to situations where forest communities are forced to turn to violent protest. as many rights groups have pointed out. or other ways of mitigating a project’s ecological and social impacts. The issue came up for discussion during a meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Amazon Global vice-president. Roads and canals can change hydrological and agricultural patterns. For more balance Another danger in the order is that it weakens and vitiates the process of settling rights under the Forest Rights Act. “We talked about it. and not in retail trading. even the term ‘infrastructure’ for such projects is a misnomer. and garbage. the distinctions are serious. The present order of the ministry. In ways that an exclusively bureaucratic clearance process can never achieve. has not been progressing smoothly. and an increase in tourism. Mr. watersheds. for large projects that involve a large number of gram sabhas. An overarching concern is the issue of precedent. masterminded by the PMO. Instead of denying their existence or making arbitrary exemptions for projects. a situation where dissent from one or a few gram sabhas holds up a project that most other gram sabhas want. very simple. what is to prevent a cascade of claims for other exceptions. revoking the requirement for local consent is an undemocratic step that also removes opportunities for critical exploration of alternatives.’). the tradeoffs need to be acknowledged. In that sense. animal mortality (e. While some social or environmental effects may be common to different kinds of linear projects. It is therefore important thatgramsabhas and rural communities retain their right to provide consent after due consideration of how such projects may benefit or affect them. as are already emerging in the case of mining projects? This leads to a slippery slope that can ultimately defeat the entire spirit and intent of this rightsenabling legislation. encroachments and land-grabbing along roads (witnessed recently in the Aravallis around New Delhi).

you can simply set the laser to the appropriate frequency. scientists have known of the existence of two continent-sized “thermochemical piles” sitting atop Earth’s core and beneath most of Earth’s volcanic hotspots – one under much of the South Pacific and extending up to 20 degrees north latitude. But the new laser ‘isotope ratiometer’ from RAL Space could change that.12 February . “These very large. researchers say. said the activity is creating a Florida-sized zone of partly molten rock that may be the root of either of two kinds of massive eruptions far in the future. and each of its isotopic forms. on the other hand. The Government has been very kind to Amazon. would be detected by the laser by scanning the carbon dioxide released from burning only a few milligrams of the product. The Ontong eruptions have been blamed for oxygen loss in the oceans and a mass die-off of sea life.” explained Dr Damien Weidmann. Thanks to its small.” said Weidmann.18 February 2013 sellers and buyers. highly accurate lasers. JTS Institute 4 Current Affairs Notes . India allows 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail stores and 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail. If. “This is the type of mechanism that may generate massive plume eruptions. which buried an Alaskasized area 125 million to 199 million years ago. and we are looking ways to better serve our customers.” Thorne said. the device could be sent into space to look for trace amounts of gas in very small samples. for example.” Thorne said. The study’s computer simulations “show that when these piles merge together. So don’t cancel your cruises. Fake honey made using sugar. specific to the isotopic gas. you know what you are looking for. An Australian scientist. Weidmann and his colleagues have been able to demonstrate that the laser can quickly root out counterfeit food. Using the highest-resolution method yet to make seismic images of the core-mantle boundary. Thorne and colleagues found evidence the pile under the Pacific actually is the result of an ongoing collision between two or more piles. counterfeit olive oil and chocolate could also be detected. robust.000 employees here in the country.900 km beneath the Pacific Ocean. a new research claimed. and we continue to grow here.” he added. “What we may be detecting is the start of one of these large eruptive events that . “Each molecule. they remained sunk in the seafloor roughly 500-1000 kilometers from the western coast of Australia. Indian region moved to Australia when splitted 100 million years ago The present size and form of Indian Ocean came into being after parts of the Indian region shifted back to the Australian plates during Gondwana split more than 100 million years ago. beam it at a gas sample. At least two “piles” of rock the size of continents are crashing together as they shift at the bottom of Earth’s mantle. However. which covered North America with volcanic ash.if it ever happens – could cause very massive destruction on Earth. “I wanted to develop this to help gather evidence as to whether or not there was life on Mars. disaster is “not imminent.”It’s a bit like doing a really big 3D jigsaw puzzle. Samples of. she has been able to reconstruct the movement of the tectonic plates. Though Weidmann said it was important for his project to attract Supervolcano forming under the Pacific could wipe out life Life on Earth could be facing threat from a catastrophic “supervolcano” which seismologists believe is due to erupt in 200 million years’ time. whose optical frequency or ‘colour’ can be continuously adjusted. the study’s principal author and an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah. has a unique fingerprint spectrum. it would mean a form of life occurred on Mars. Ana Gibbson who collaborated with Indian National Institute of Oceanography and Australian National University show that after the continental split. “You take a laser. Today’s equipment is large. Using the magnetic data from the seafloor provided by the institutes.” The new study. Likewise.” Through an ESA program. subject to sourcing conditions. the light passes straight through the sample until it reaches a particular frequency. Her findings are giving scientists new insights into the age and nature of Australia’s western margins. lightweight. “If it’s bacterial in origin. polluted soil must be collected in the field.” he added. and detect the level passing through the gas. Hotspot plume supervolcano eruptions like those during the past 2 million years at Wyoming’s Yellowstone caldera. sending the laser to Mars is his real goal.” said seismologist Michael Thorne. some Indian regions moved back to the Australian plate. Laser Spectroscopy Team Leader at RAL Space. but on the timescale of 100 million to 200 million years from now. Where they are merging is a spongy blob of partly molten rock the size of Florida.” he adds. interest from industry. Roughly the size of Tasmania. We have nearly 9. Weidmann stated that using the laser to measure carbon isotopic ratios in methane on Mars could help determine where the hydrocarbon came from. 2.com. Space laser could help detect counterfeit food post life on Mars The European Space Agency (ESA) has revealed that a laser device developed to measure carbon on Mars could soon be used here on Earth to detect counterfeit food. bulky and stationary. Since the early 1990s. and the other under volcanically active Africa. put in a flask and brought to the lab for testing – clearly unsuitable for space testing. India’s Deccan Traps some 65 million years ago and the Pacific’s huge Ontong Java Plateau basalts. Gargantuan flood basalt eruptions that created “large igneous provinces” like the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River basalts 17 million to 15 million years ago. they may trigger the earliest stages of a massive plume eruption. massive eruptions may be tied to some extinction events. published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.” she said. As the laser colour changes. say. Wisconsin or Missouri beneath the volcanically active Samoan hotspot. that is partially blocked.

It asked the Centre to bear the additional cost of setting up a State food commission. India has opted to side with the former Maldives President. Thomas. fair and credible. “being able to work with open-minded. feelers for official interactions with the current government have been ignored. 1 a kg respectively under the TPDS for 67 per cent of the population is estimated at Rs. At the same time.Waheed assuring Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that his Government would avoid such a course. 1. Sources familiar with the events drew attention to a Ministry of External Affairs statement that named Mr. Seeking a “credible road map.12 February . Kerala. wheat and coarse cereals at Rs. with the socio-economic caste census (SECC) — which will determine the eligibility and entitlement of rural households for different programmes and schemes — still not complete. At a consultation meeting of State Food Ministers here to evolve a consensus on the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee to which the government Bill was referred on Wednesday. Tamil Nadu. Mr. the Bill will be revised. Mr. The sources pointed out that while Mr.V. the Standing Committee recommended coverage of 67 per cent total population with 75 per cent in rural areas and 50 per cent in the urban areas as a single (inclusion) category with uniform entitlement of 5 kg a person. He would be barred from contesting the upcoming Presidential elections if sentenced for more than one year in jail. 3. particularly the ones relating to identification of beneficiaries. the States pointed out that the government was “hurrying through” the process. India is piqued at the current dispensation in Maldives cancelling a contract to an IndianMalaysian consortium for modernising and operating the airport at Male despite Mr. According to Minister of State for Food K. 13 February 2013 India opts to side with Nasheed Caught in a cleft stick. It is also upset over the free hand to minor but rabid politicians and religious figures who railed against India over the contract and sought the return of the Indian High Commissioner.Odisha said there was “utter confusion” about identification of beneficiaries. A majority of the States categorically JTS Institute 5 Current Affairs Notes . the Nasheed drama unfolded at a time when an Indian warship arrived in Maldives to conduct a five-day anti-piracy and maritime domain awareness exercises with the Maldivian Nation Defence Force (MNDF).Nasheed was in India and had missed the court’s order to appear before it on Sunday due to this reason. criteria for eligibility and the schemes. proposed cut in individual entitlement and additional expenses to be borne by them. This would exclude separate entitlement for existing Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households.Nasheed as a presidential candidate and its subsequent exhortation not to disqualify candidates between now and the elections to assert that New Delhi shares the former President’s apprehension of the court case being a ploy to fix him. The government Bill proposed a coverage of up to 75 per cent rural population with at least 46 per cent as “priority” (BPL) and up to 50 per cent of the urban population with at least 28 per cent as “priority. Moreover. grievance redress mechanism and operating the system. While New Delhi was confident of resolving the situation (by late evening the court had cancelled its order seeking Mr.” Tamil Nadu sought to be completely exempted from the purview of the Bill. West Bengal.Nasheed and his predecessor Maumoon Abdul Gayoom were granted appointments with senior officials here. Some of them cautioned the Centre against rushing through the Bill without adequate level of preparedness and availability of grains.Nasheed’s appearance). 2 and Re. who entered the Indian High Commission in Male on Wednesday after a court sought his appearance in a case. several States have expressed reservations on the Bill. The study has been supported by Australia-India Strategic Research Fund. opposed cash transfers in lieu of grains. It also indicated that Maldives President Mohd. Bihar bemoaned that while the Centre exercised its power for fixing the number of beneficiaries. Several consuming States such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu expressed the apprehension that their share of food grains allocation would decline under the new dispensation.” Gujarat cautioned about the “level of preparedness” and sought careful evaluation of resources. Seeking a revised Bill. Saying there was “no procedural clarity.17 lakh crore.Nasheed has been charged under Article 81 of the penal code Many States express reservations about Food Security Bill Even as the Centre hopes to introduce and pass the National Food Security Bill in the coming budget session of Parliament. the Maldivian government gave the assurance that it would uphold and respect its obligations under international law with regard to diplomatic immunities and privileges granted to resident diplomatic missions. which carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail or exile or a fine.Nasheed had sought refuge in its Male mission and in a message to the Maldives government asked it not to take any steps that would bar candidates from recognised political parties from contesting elections. As against this.The subsidy bill for mandatory distribution of 5 kg of rice. India admitted Mr. The States said they were utterly confused about how to identify the beneficiaries so that they could fit into the UPA’s eligibility criteria for 67 per cent of the population. many States differed on crucial provisions. it “unilaterally” put all financial burden on the States. Maldives hit back by asking India to respect its country’s judicial independence. Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh sought a universal public distribution system.” It suggested monthly entitlement of 7 kg a person. enthusiastic professionals from all over the world has helped a lot. Waheed is on watch by asking him to ensure that the elections were free. Ironically. Rs. Nasheed. She said. sustained availability of grains. a statement said. Mohd.18 February 2013 Ana attributed the success of the project to its international reach.

” Commerce and Industry Minister. The positivity in exports has come mainly on account of better performance by sectors such as engineering goods. notes a paper published recently in The Lancet. improve significantly in the coming months.89 billion from $14.3 per cent. Since April 2012. it is a race against time. But these are not designed to prevent infection or rid the body of the bacteria. Commerce Secretary S. “I hope with exports growing marginally in January. Though it fulfilled the primary objective of safety and despite inducing modest immune responses. and hence considered insufficient to protect the infants against TB. Thomas. who chaired the consultation meeting. is unlikely to help in reaching the $350 billion export target for 2012-13. But meanwhile. “The most worrying aspect as usual is the widening trade deficit. soaring to a three-month high of $20 billion. carpet.Rao said these imports were increasing mainly because of its high use in power generation. In November. While in August the imports grew by 3 per cent. While only 5-10 per cent people who are infected with TB develop active disease over their lifetime. However. textiles and gems and jewellery. will be successful. We will present a revised Bill in Parliament.56 per cent to $140. “Unfortunately. “We cannot satisfy all states. It took WHO’s declaration of TB as a global emergency for the world to shed its indifference and complacency.” he said. there has been an arrest in the fall of exports.17 per cent to $266. the country’s overseas shipments shrunk by 4. Imports.6 per cent and 8 per cent during AprilJanuary. In December. after a gap of eight months. it should help India in narrowing the trade gap at the close of the fiscal. the main contributors. said except Tamil Nadu all States welcomed the Bill albeit with certain reservations. Non-oil imports. they are aimed at boosting protection against the disease.12 February . petroleum and crude oil imports too have shown an increase. tobacco.37 billion in January.71 per cent during the month under review to $29. There are several other challenges too. notes a 2012 paper inPLoS Pathogens. Anand Sharma said in a statement here. Imports during the 10-month period rose by 0. BCG being a liveattenuated vaccine is “not recommended” for immunecompromised people.” The Bill was introduced in December 2011 in the LokSabha and referred to the Standing Committee. across the world. which registered positive growth. Exports have been contracting since May 2012. The trade deficit also continues to be a cause of concern. protection against TB does not lie in neutralising antibodies. We still do not know the protective antigens that will stimulate protective immune responses. “In the last couple of months.87 billion in the corresponding period last year.Rao said. however.5 billion in the month under review. which is being tested in HIV positive adults.6 per cent and 7 per cent respectively. have also been arrested. 23. The vaccine was given to infants in South Africa who had already received the BCG vaccine.86 per cent to $239. Mr. petroleum and crude oil imports went up by 16. For instance.17 per cent in November 2012. nearly 9 million people will develop active TB and about 1.8 billion. cumulatively include rice.9 per cent from 4. Unlike in the case of other pathogens. December and January.87 billion in the corresponding period of previous fiscal year. immunity that is important. During April-January 2012-13. power cuts are very distressing and it is close to 16 hours. In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. However.82 per cent growth at $25. the conversion rate dramatically shoots up to 5-10 per cent per year in the case of HIV positive people. The growth. fighting the killer disease is getting more complicated with the rapid emergence of drug-resistant bacteria. oil meals. which came into force in January. Setback in TB war The efforts to win the war against tuberculosis using an efficacious vaccine candidate (MVA85A) in infants aged 4-6 months have returned a disappointing verdict despite showing great promise in pre-clinical trials. too. Rao told journalists here that the export performance in January had shown marginally better resultsand cumulative exports too had shown a slight arrest.18 February 2013 Mr. Oil imports in January grew by 6. It will take a while to know the reasons behind its failure.42 billion from $125.16 billion.63 per cent from 11 per cent in September. there is still some hope that the vaccine. This is the first vaccine trial to be conducted after the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine was introduced in 1921. during the AprilJanuary period of 2012-13. The country’s exports stood at $25. An efficacious and safer vaccine that would replace BCG is urgently required for HIV positive individuals. 2012. every year. Hence. Worse. rose by 6. Fall in the exports of engineering.58 billion in January. too. pharmaceuticals and drugs. increased by 5. oil imports grew by 11. textiles and gems and jewellery. Trade deficit during the period stood at $167. Figures show that there is a substantial increase in the imports of petroleum and crude oil which is widening the trade deficit. The rationale was to prime the immune system with BCG and then boost it with the candidate vaccine to enhance the protective efficacy of BCG.68 billion.” Mr.43 billion.” he said. Meanwhile.5 million will die. The export sectors. There is still optimism as a dozen vaccines are being tested in clinical trials.8 per cent. recording a meagre 0. it will take a while to produce vaccines that are effective. nonoil imports during the period declined by 5. but whether it will translate to protective effect in humans is not known.91 per cent to $15. Mr Rao said he hoped that the incentive package. at least in 3-4 states power situation is adverse. it is the cell-mediated Trade deficit soars to $20 b India’s exports barely inched into the positive zone. the efficacy of the vaccine was just 17. in September it jumped by 30 per cent and in October by 31 per cent.01 per cent to $406.6 billion. Engineering exports declined by 4 per cent. while gems and jewellery and textiles exports shrunk by 0. we know that antigen 85A complex elicits strong immune response. shipments declined by 1. Now.12 per cent to $45. India’s exports declined to 1.In October 2012.R. would help the country’s exports Water from the cold underworld Water samples retrieved on January 28 from Lake Whillans. a JTS Institute 6 Current Affairs Notes . The AVA85A vaccine is the best example of this — it induced modest immune responses but the protective effect was low.

Powell added. The committee did a great disservice by listing selectively a number of reports which showed adverse effects while ignoring many reports which did not show any adverse impact.” Chemolithotrophs are microorganisms capable of getting their energy from inorganic compounds. He claimed that by accepting the ICNIRP guidelines we are accepting that a child can be safely kept in a microwave oven for 19 minutes a day! Actually. etc. Thereafter. As a result. showing there is viable life in this environment. have shown possible signs of life. it is patently absurd to say that using a Raising the bogey of radiation The cell phone industry has registered phenomenal growth in India. So.Prolonged exposure to cell tower radiation increases the risk of JTS Institute 7 Current Affairs Notes . While most countries accepted the guidelines of the International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).” Lake Whillans itself is part of a densely interconnected network of streams that carry water into and out of sub-glacial pockets. Dr. Upcoming studies on the samples will throw light on how these organisms exist in such extreme conditions. the IMC lowered the radiation levels on highly speculative reasons.. India enforced one tenth of the ICNIRP guidelines from Sept 1. headaches. a common dye was added to some samples to illuminate the DNA of microscopic organisms. This is in contrast to other life-forms. [together with] any organisms they may house.1Deg C. Dr.” “. They claimed that Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limit for cell phones — a safety standard of 1. the researchers inserted a probe to collect water samples from different points as well as some sediment from the lakebed.S. neurological disorders and cancer. increased heart rate. Helen Fricker. The retrieved samples are significant because they come from a lake that has been isolated from the rest of the world for thousands of years. The drill works by blasting a jet of scalding water into the ice to bore a hole.6 W per kg — is actually for six minutes per-day usage! So do not use phones for more than 18-20 minutes daily. We will be studying the cores we have collected after they arrive in our U. She and her colleagues studied satellite data of the ice surface above the Whillans Ice Stream from 2003 to 2006 and noticed a periodic rising and falling of the surface that hinted at the presence of a lake. The more regulatory mechanisms such as blood flow remove the heat establishing equilibrium in about six minutes. could shed more light on [their environment’s] history. one of the lead scientists on the expedition noted. such as elemental sulphur.. Researchers will also study the influence of such environments on the stability of continental ice-shelves. A cell phone kept near the ear will cause a small increase in temperature in regions close to the phone. team member. In order to get beneath the ice sheet. creating a phobia among the public. 2012. the possible temperature increase of a human body at ICNIRP level will be 0. The over conservative approach of the IMC also helped to fan the fire. was undertaken to look for the presence of and investigate life in such an isolated and extreme sub-glacial environment. labs and they. a custom-designed hotwater drill was used to reduce chances of contamination by the equipment itself. Moreover. the lake exists under immense pressure (which shifts the freezing point of its water to a lower temperature). in an email to this Correspondent. thiosulphates. that the organisms “would most likely be chemolithotrophs because of the setting under the ice sheet.” referring to natural satellites of Jupiter and Saturn. Describing Whillans Lake Whillans was first described by Dr. The announcement came from an American expedition that gained access to the 3. which depend on organic compounds as food. The sixminute interval is the time the body’s defence takes to reach equilibrium temperature. in 2007. joint pains. “The conditions faced by organisms in Lake Whillans are quite parallel to what we think it would be like on those icy moons. it cannot cause cancer.18 February 2013 sub-glacial lake about 800 metres beneath the western edge of the Antarctic ice-shelf. Many reporters publicized these scary sound bites. Ross Powell. fatigue. When an affirmative bright green glow was observed in response. they asserted . Once the surface of the lake was breached. researchers knew that the water indeed harboured life. Though it argued that safety standards should be rational and should avoid excessive safety margins.” they said. based on the advice from an Inter Ministerial Committee. memory loss.1-sq kilometre water body after boring through the shelf using a special hot-water drill. Agents who masqueraded as ‘experts’ and started selling radiation ‘protective’ screens. a glaciologist at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and principal investigator of the Whillans team. The water then freezes because of the low temperatures and is removed as ice before another jet of water is blasted. chemolithotrophs can survive harsh environments.01 Deg C. They told that cell tower radiation can cause “sleep disturbances. there will not be any increase in temperature. India’s guidelines have a safety factor of 500. “but we are starting to get some results now. at DOT levels. researchers will also study the lake for its role in stabilising Antarctic ice-shelves. They did not agree that since the energy of RF radiation from cell phone towers is not enough to break chemical bonds in DNA molecules.12 February . told National Geographic. IMC unwittingly gave a handle to scare mongers who are now demanding lower levels as standard. As Brent Christner. dubbed WISSARD (Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling). due to the weight of the massive glacier above it. hydrogen sulphate. The expedition. Cell towers have mushroomed all over the country and led to growing concerns about the health effects of radiofrequency radiation. An agent claimed that Mumbai with too many cell towers is like an open microwave oven. fanned the fire. like humans. Because of their unorthodox needs. The full analyses will take at least a year. As a first step in the hunt for life. 0.

this year The Hindu quoted the District Health and Family Welfare Officer (DHO) of Dakshina Kannada as saying: “enough” number of cases of cancer and mental retardation have been found among people residing within a 500-metre radius of cell phone towers. molluscs and aquatic plants. the journal Water Resources Research reports. is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish. show data provided by NASA satellites. Govt. farmers were finding it difficult to feed the fishes properly due to high cost of concentrate. researchers used data from space. tubewells were sunk in several locations and a solar operated pump was also established with the help of fishery department. of Bihar with the help of a local bank called KshetriyaGramin bank and RastriyaKrishiVikasYojana constructed a series of about 50 ponds for increased fish production. Concept: Aquaculture. which dictates how much water flows downstream into Syria. Iran and Iraq below — alone account for the unprecedented loss. provided by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites. neighbours don’t want each other to know how much water they’re using. • Energy of RF radiation from cell phone towers is not enough to break chemical bonds in DNA molecules to cause cancer (ICAR).In regions like the Middle East. Unable to conduct measurements on the ground in the politically unstable region. the Council integrated duck. Bihar have shown a way for productive utilization of water bodies (called chaurs) into an integrated aquaculture model. Several demonstrations for fish farmers for monitoring water quality in the pond were also done at periodical intervals by the scientist team. Kakinada by the State Fisheries Department. inputs and market the fishes.” he said. these chaurs were being utilized for capture of wild fishes. Since. as well as the reservoirs and infrastructure of its Southeastern Anatolia Project. Iran and Iraq.12 February . The reported output from global • India’s guidelines have a safety factor of 500. “This rate is among the largest liquid freshwater losses on the continents. it is expected that possible cancer clusters will occur near base stations merely by chance. Over-conservative approach of IMC helped fan the fire Dr Kari Jokela. A programme was organized to bring in awareness and encourage more farmers to take up this vocation. Researchers attribute the bulk of it — about 60 per cent — to pumping of water from underground reservoirs. according to a California statement. Government of Bihar. Patna through Central Institute of Fisheries Education Regional Station. which is the harvesting of wild fish.They found that depletion was especially striking after a drought struck the area in 2007.” The WHO is aware of such misunderstanding and noted thus in its Fact Sheet No 304: “Media or anecdotal reports of cancer clusters around mobile phone base stations have heightened public concern.” DOT levels are very safe and enforceable. goat and cattle with fish to facilitate the supply of organic wastes to improve the overall productivity. Water management is a complex issue in the Middle East. to uncover the extent of the problem. cancers are unevenly distributed among any population. who led the study. “a region that is dealing with limited water resources and competing stakeholders. Finland in an e-mail message to this writer stated that such interpretations are incorrect. water policy fellow with the California’s Centre for Hydrologic Modeling at Irvine. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions. Moreover. including cancer University of California-Irvine scientists and colleagues say the Tigris-Euphrates watershed is drying up at a pace second only to that in India. Turkey has jurisdiction over the Tigris and Euphrates headwaters. The State Fishery Department. Integrated aquaculture for improving productivity The farmers of Sonmar in Sarai Ranjan block. • “Experts” claimed cell tower radiation cause several health problems. Four countries of the region along the Tigris and Euphrates — Turkey upstream to Syria. It should be noted that geographically. The chaurs are spread over 44 hectares and about 43 farmers control their ownership. On January 4. Fruits and vegetable crops were planted on the pond bunds to give additional income to farmers. Due to delayed rainfall. where data are relatively inaccessible. Samastipur district.” they say. Till 2008. and can be contrasted with commercial fishing. If they are enforced effectively. Participatory mode ICAR joined the farmers to work in participatory mode to boost the economic status and nutritional security of the farmers by enhancing the aquaculture / agriculture production from the chaurs. also known as aquafarming.” says Katalyn Voss. a member of the International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and Research Professor at the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority. Research Complex for Eastern Region. the reported cancers in these clusters are often a collection of different types of cancer with no common characteristics and hence unlikely to have a common cause. facilitate the resources. “For political. Given the widespread presence of base stations in the environment. JTS Institute 8 Current Affairs Notes . About 43 farmers came together and formed Sonmar Chaur Matsya VikashSamiti to monitor these activities. Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments and in underwater habitats. satellite observations are among the few options.18 February 2013 phone longer multiplies the risk. there will not be any risk from cell tower radiation. crustaceans. Training About six young farmers from the area were trained by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research Middle East has lost 144 cubic km of water The Middle East has lost 144 cubic km of water between 2003 and 2010. economic or security reasons. nearly equal to the staggering volume of the Dead Sea.

The na-ka-ra/na-kar-r represents a town or city. While Prasanna is an assistant archaeologist in the Archaeological Survey of India. political and social power imbalances. The water demand from agriculture is set to increase tremendously and will have to be met to ensure food security in a high consumption scenario. their eyes fell on the steps leading to the pond and they saw 14 February 2013 UN report rings alarm on water scarcity in India India needs to formulate new indices to measure available water JTS Institute 9 Current Affairs Notes . The lines. These hills include Mankulam. Karthikeyan.” It points out that myopic approaches in attaining food security are risking agricultural sustainability by encouraging increased use of water. Ramesh like to climb the hills around Madurai.18 February 2013 aquaculture operations would supply one half of the fish and shellfish that is directly consumed by humans. “Moksha gadhi” could be changed into muccakati. The first letter “muu” can mean “three” or being ancient or old. there are issues about the reliability of the reported figures. the first letter “muu” again stands for “ancient or old. he attained nirvana. Anaimalai. The concept of inter-State Tamil-Brahmi script discovered on Tirupparankundram hill Young archaeologists M. where three Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions. products from several pounds of wild fish are used to produce one pound of a piscivorous fish like salmon. Lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation can be related to economic. The lack of water availability and poor management practices have also manifested in poor sanitation facilities. Pondicherry University. leading to the pond. “So the inscription can be read as goddess of the ancient city. 2013.000 million. Severe water shortages have led to a growing number of conflicts between users in the agricultural and industrial sectors. ca-ka-ti/ca-k-ti may represent a “yakshi. suggested that the inscription could be read as “the attainment of liberation or salvation (moksha) of a female monk (saadhvi). Behind this temple are bas-reliefs of Jainatirthankaras on the rock surface. one among the biggest environmental and social challenges India faces today. these comparisons will surely change. algaculture (such as seaweed farming).Rajan. Rajan of the Department of History. resources as the calculations per capita water availability do not include disparity in water allocation and access. Department of Tamil Studies in Tamil University at Thanjavur. There are also recently carved images of Ganesa. referring to a Jaina monk who fasted unto death. This is the first time that a Tamil-Brahmi script. shrimp farming.” Ramesh and Prasanna said. each having four letters. On the same grounds. But it is open to different interpretations. Particular kinds of aquaculture include fish farming. read as. V. Particular methods include aquaponics and Integrated multitrophic aquaculture. and the cultivation of ornamental fish. there is a pond and a shrine dedicated to Machchamuni (matsya muni).12 February . which have pre-historic rock art.” they said. With the present population of over 1. in current aquaculture practice. The duo aspired to discover a Tamil-Brahmi script on the hills. they turned the pages of the book titled “Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions. They read the pages on the earlier discoveries of the Tamil-Brahmi script at Tirupparankundram and found that this was a new discovery. putting forward the argument that increase in population leads to water scarcity needs rigorous debate.” The remaining three letters. This disparity is identified as a major determining factor for water access and use. A. facing north. Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions on the brow of natural caverns. namely elderly naakaraa. had been discovered. Other Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions referred to donors who cut beds on rocks for Jaina monks or sculpted rock-shelters for them. Excited. Bhairava and others. “It is difficult to assign a date to this inscription but it can be dated prior to the first century BCE. Pointing out that a farmer’s need of water for basic livelihood support often gets mingled with wasteful water uses of high-end consumers. and discrimination against certain groups or communities. The report further says it is imperative to initiate efforts for designing an appropriate industrial water use by this sector.170 cu m/person/year. As they were scanning the rock surface.” published by the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department in 2006. Tiruvadavur. Multiple uses of water and the traditional allocation priorities and quantities also need to be revisited. however.” a report ‘Water in India: Situation and Prospects’ brought out by UNICEF and Food and Agriculture Organisation has said. Near the temple. datable to the first century BCE. Varichiyur. Mettupatti. “In the present context. said the first line stood for an elderly Jaina monk and the second one could mean “motcha/moksha gadhi.” The first line has a trishullike symbol as a graffiti mark at its end. beautiful bas-reliefs of Jaina “tirthankaras” and beds cut on the flat rock surface for the Jaina monks to sleep on. India has about 16 per cent of the world’s population as compared to only 4 per cent of its water resources. “The validity of the per capita water availability index needs to be rethought in the light of social and economic disparities in water usage that exist. That is. they wondered whether they would be lucky this time. Muruga. Further. they suggested.” probably meaning Madurai. oyster farming. they climbed the Tirupparankundram hill. Ramesh works in the University Grants CommissionSpecial Assistance Programme under Professor K. as with a more disaggregated assessment. Prasanna and R. On January 20. both of which integrate fish farming and plant farming. So the first line could be read as “ancient town. meaning fish god. Professor. “Muu-na-ka-ra” and “Muuca-ka-ti.Rajan who confirmed that it had not been documented earlier. They rang up Dr. were discovered many decades ago. the meaning of ancient is more probable. In the second line.” they said. as also the domestic sector. As they climbed the several hundred steps leading to the KasiViswanathar temple. Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department.” So the script could stand for a Jaina monk who. what looked like a Tamil-Brahmi script in two lines. Keezhavalavu. The pond is full of fish. the report — a first of its kind by UNICEF — suggests developing new indices which are able to capture the underlying differences in water access. Vedachalam. the per capita water availability is around 1. went on a fast unto death there. There are steps cut on the rock. (Yakshis are women attendants of the 24 Jainatirthankaras). KongarPuliyankulam and Muthupatti. retired senior epigraphist.” said Dr. “The concept of scarcity and surpluses of water must look beyond State boundaries.

based on secondary information.S.000”. On inter-relation between gender and water in India. the two countries had last month signed two landmark agreements — an extradition treaty to facilitate transfer of criminals and terrorists and an agreement to liberalise the visa regime. this precious resource. The economic implications of poor sanitation in urban India and its impact on water quality are profound. weaponisation of outer space. from the current goal of 1.S. With the current rate of industrial expansion in the country. The report attempts to provide a comprehensive analysis of the state of water resource development and management in India. lack of progress in ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty by the U. gender intersects with class and caste and produces layered social hierarchies that impinge on one’s access to. said. diplomatic circles said. Thus. In India. The issue of gender disaggregated data needs to be taken up as priority by the state for any progress to be made in mainstreaming gender in water resources management. The maiden Bangladesh visit of Mr. Khurshid is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other Ministers. “Without addressing these issues.” Dhaka. without any support from the ground data on changing gender and social relations. Augmenting water supply to achieve millennium development goals (MDGs) will not suffice until its quality is ensured. until the two countries have “fully implemented” the New START and unless Washington shifts its stance on missile defence. The issues consolidated using secondary data are backed by consultations with major stakeholders. “In JTS Institute 10 Current Affairs Notes . at the invitation of Dipu Moni to attend the meeting of the commission — established under the landmark Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development signed by the two Prime Ministers in September 2011. White House officials said they were looking to cut deployed nuclear weapons to “just above 1. The bureaucratic set up that manages water also suffers from serious inadequacies with respect to gender mainstreaming. global missile defence. said diplomatic sources. In a welcoming development. and control over. including plans for the deployment of a U. would “engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals”. Khurshid will visit Bangladesh for two days from February 16. we would be ready to discuss possible further steps in the sphere of nuclear disarmament. After Mr. Obama announced in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday that the U.” Importantly. “The report becomes more important as the 12th Five-Year Plan will be implemented shortly. wellmeaning gender inclusion efforts will not lead to logical and intended outcomes. a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow to will not agree to further nuclear arms reductions with the U. water for industry and for the ecosystem. President Barack Obama’s pledge to pursue new cuts in the U. the report says any analysis would be incomplete without taking this into consideration. However. Independent analysts said the two accords would give impetus to widening the scope for taking up No arms cut till new START: Russia Russia has poured cold water on U. “Once the [New START] Treaty has been implemented.” Satya Priya. Mr. we will take into consideration all factors affecting strategic stability. National Programme Coordinator (Land and Water). Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and his Bangladeshi counterpart Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir signed the treaties. Landmark pact Mr.S. identify thrust areas and give directions for further growth of the bilateral partnership. It maps the current challenges and suggests feasible alternatives amidst increasing water scarcity and disenfranchisement of resource bases for the poor and the marginalised. and 44 more countries…. as the States with lower availability resources end up being the net exporters of virtual water to water surplus States. the water demand from this sector will also escalate in future. including workable solutions. There is no model in India that shows best ways to tackle the waste water generated through the industrial and domestic sectors.550 deployed warheads by 2018 — outlined in the New START the two countries signed in 2010. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and his Bangladeshi counterpart Dipu Moni will lead the respective sides in the high-level exchanges that are expected to contribute to the deepening and strengthening of bilateral relations. doing that. imbalances in the quantity and quality of conventional weapons in Europe and other factors. according to the report. the report says while adding that pollution contributes to water scarcity by polluting freshwater resources. nuclear tests. Gender and water issues remain at the level of rhetoric for the want of a broad based and shared understanding. The focus is to evolve an environment where water is available for all in a sustainable manner – safe drinking water for basic needs.18 February 2013 virtual water transfer also needs emphasis. unwillingness to renounce the deployment of weapons in space. The agencies responsible for checking industrial pollution have failed. Moscow made it clear that it would say ‘no’ Washington’s proposal to slash nuclear weapons by 60 per cent. it encompasses both a depiction of the state of freshwater resources and potential problems and progress towards identified goals. FAO-India.S. New Delhi to consolidate ties India and Bangladesh are set to review and consolidate their relations by holding the high-level second meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission in Dhaka on Friday. Another major issue is about how to tackle gender mainstreaming at the organisational level.12 February .” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in comments posted on the Ministry’s website on Thursday. and Russian nuclear arsenals even as it voiced its readiness to study American proposals. is likely to lay a concrete positive ground for Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi later this year. and conventional arms in Europe.S.S. adequate water for agriculture. the report points out that water quality issues in India have reached an alarming proportion. Khurshid as External Affairs Minister. Authoritative sources told The Hindu that the Commission’s meeting would review progress in various sectors.

during a chat at the recent Aero India 2013 at Bangalore. Futuristic thinking at the time of design. “The weapon system with its varied manoeuvrability options provides an operational level capability to Pakistan’s Strategic Forces.” said an official of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). after which series production of 40 aircraft ordered by the Air Force will commence.) P. which designed and developed the aircraft. causing sharp explosions and reportedly injuring around 100 people. “Once the aircraft is certified for induction.” he said. Fragments of the meteor fell in a thinly populated area of the Chelyabinsk region. the military said in a statement. Meanwhile.” Meteorite falls in Russian Urals. said weapon integration on LCA did not pose a challenge. with this aim. Tejas will then move into an operational environment. it would drop ‘dumb bombs. sharing of Teesta waters and putting an end to the border killings by the BSF. the statement said. In the run-up to complete initial operational clearance. you are free to change the weapons and avionics. The military had said the weapon system was specially designed to defeat anti-tactical missile defence systems. From a guarded and secured environment. Pakistan tested the nuclear-capable Hatf-IX tactical missile with a range of 60 km. but the earlier we get these inputs. Friday’s test was witnessed by Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne. the Emergency Ministry said in a statement. So unless we exercise utmost care while taking it to a higher angle of attack. which envisages quick thrusts by small integrated battle groups in the event of hostilities. at sea-level and at high-altitudes in Leh. as we know everything about the aircraft. missile systems”. “The LCA has had limited environmental trials in extreme hot and cold conditions. so to speak. The President and Prime Minister congratulated the scientists and engineers on the test “which consolidates Pakistan’s deterrence capability both at the operational and strategic levels”. “It is an aircraft intentionally designed to be unstable. LSP-8 has begun engine ground run and is expected to take to the skies in March. it could well depart from a controlled flight…” cautioned an ace test pilot. The test of the Hatf-II or Abdali short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile was part of the “process of validation of land-based ballistic JTS Institute 11 Current Affairs Notes . effortless maintenance. “No matter how much care you have taken. Tejas to be subjected to field conditions soon Set to demonstrate its ‘swing-role’ capability by firing both missiles and laser-guided munitions at the Air Force firepower demonstration ‘Iron Fist’ in Pokhran later this month. where it has been flying with a brilliant track record of 2. It facilitates you to plug a new system in without hassles. the quicker we can fix them. It will then become an Air Force fighter. will see the aircraft incrementally expand its flight envelope with a higher angle of attack — indicative of its agility and manoeuvrability without compromising on safety — and take on additional weapons like those beyond visual range [Derby. hopefully by the end of the year. in this case] and an air-to-air gun [still not decided]. This is what gives an edge to the platform.12 February . group director (flight test) of the National Flight Test Centre that test-flies the LCA.” it said. said the official. open architecture and other antiobsolescence features. Every programme goes through this rigour. an official associated with the development of the LCA told The Hindu.” Separately. likely by 2015. the period between IOC-2 and FOC will be decisive for the LCA. “Adding a new weapon on the LCA is easy. mostly for treatment of injuries from glass broken by the explosions. It would be a test of Tejas’ capabilities. Kolsenikov also said about 600 square meters of a roof at a zinc factory had collapsed. On February 11. upgrade of avionics. the statement said. It described the test as successful but did not say where it was conducted. IOC-2 as it is called. Army Strategic Forces Command chief Lt Gen Tariq Nadeem Gilani. Wing Commander (retd. 100 injured A meteorite streaked across the sky over Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday morning. marking the second test of a missile system in four days as part of measures to evaluate the capabilities of its Strategic Forces.K.” he added. it will get detached from the umbilical. where it will be subjected to field conditions. the aircraft would continue weapon trials in Pokhran to better its accuracy of delivery of ammunition. the long-delayed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will face its biggest ever challenge once it receives complete initial operational clearance. for better agility.18 February 2013 other long-standing problems like formalising the border demarcation agreements. Pak successfully tests nuclear-capable Hatf-II missile Pakistan on Friday successfully tested the nuclear-capable Hatf-II ballistic missile with a range of 180 km. The missile can carry nuclear or conventional warheads with “high accuracy”. given the aircraft’s modular avionics. Analysts say the short-range Hatf-IX missile is primarily aimed at deterring India’s Cold Start military doctrine. Besides test-firing laser-guided bombs.’ unguided munitions.000 flights without an incident. “While its aerodynamics is almost plateaued. and reduction of turnaround time. senior officers from the Strategic Forces and scientists and engineers of strategic organizations. Strategic Plans Division Director General Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai.” he said. Interior Ministry spokesman Vadim Kolesnikov said 102 people had called for medical assistance following the incident. and the last. Tejas — whose seventh Limited Series Production aircraft (LSP-7) is flying now — will soon be joined by the eighth. cutting of metal is under way for the series production aircraft. some issues will always crop up when it gets exposed to the field. he said. It is entirely ours. “The phase between full IOC and final operational clearance. but being an indigenous programme that has come under fire time and again. it is learnt that handling flight of the LCA by the Air Force pilots will soon begin. had taken care of issues such as weapon suite change. Raveendran.

That group also had fewer deaths from cardiovascular disease. Over the next two years. people getting hemodiafiltration were less likely to die of infections. a conceptual framework for understanding the nuts-andbolts of the cosmos. Dr. Death rates over three years were 27 percent among patients on standard dialysis. “Initially we thought we’d have the long shutdown in 2012. and more of them had diabetes. Francisco Maduell. A vast underground lab straddling the border between France and Switzerland. Maduell and his colleagues randomly assigned 906 people currently on dialysis in Spain to remain on their normal regimen or switch to hemodiafiltration. “We have what we think is the Higgs. such as light. Irina Rossius. Theorised back in 1964. then go offline on Saturday for an 18-month upgrade.000 people in the U. humans and all the other joined-up atoms in the Universe would not exist. A spokeswoman for the Emergency Ministry. which was used to accelerate electrons or positrons. a change in dialysis unit or another reason. “The aim is to open the discovery domain.18 February 2013 Reports conflicted on what exactly happened in the clear skies. head of CERN’s technology department. Many JTS Institute 12 Current Affairs Notes . but not by much. Maduell said hemodiafiltration is usually slightly more expensive. filtering clean fluid into the kidneys and toxins out. and had fewer symptoms such as low blood pressure during treatments with that technique. Of the remaining kidney disease patients. have none? That question was a gaping hole in the Standard Model of particle physics. although the finding could have been due to chance. the LHC crashes together protons. the cards may have been stacked against the group of people getting standard dialysis in the study.” said Frederick Bordry. From tomorrow. researchers said. she said. They calculated that eight people would have to switch from regular dialysis to hemodiafiltration to prevent one death each year. Its scientists said they were 99.S.” said Uhlig. theorists say.m. local time (0320 GMT). said she welcomed the new research. Elena Smirnikh.” he told AFP. Europe’s top physics lab will take a break from smashing invisible particles to recharge for the next leap into the unknown. are on dialysis. with some good results and with the perspective of discovering the boson. Why do some particles have mass while others.” she told Reuters Health. the researchers wrote Thursday in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Dialysis machines do the work of healthy kidneys for people with end-stage renal disease.S. compared to 18 to 19 percent for those on the more thorough filtration method. Maduell said hemodiafiltration has been available in Europe for almost two decades and more recently in Asia and Canada as well. Patients in his study tended to feel better.12 February . However. Peter Higgs. the cutting-edge facilities at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) will begin winding down. People on dialysis are most likely to die of complications such as heart disease and infection. 207 died. which mainly removes small molecules. Five billion collisions yielded results deemed worthy of further research and data from only 400 threw up data that paved the road to the Higgs Boson. About 350. Unlike the LEP. Amateur video broadcast on Russian television showed an object speeding across the sky about 9-20 a. “It’s about recreating the first microsecond of the universe. the study’s lead author from the University of Barcelona in Spain. essential for CERN to confirm definitively that its boson is the Higgs. and allow it to probe new dimensions such as supersymmetry and dark matter. Known as hemodiafiltration. we pushed the long shutdown back by a year. the Big Bang. CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was the scene of an extraordinary discovery announced in July 2012. and even for younger adults is covered by Medicare. was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying it was a single meteorite. larger toxins could play a role in inflammation and cholesterol buildup. a kidney disease researcher from Tufts Medical Center in Boston. but in 2011. Standard dialysis costs between $200 and $250 per session in the U.. people stay on dialysis for months or years while waiting for a kidney transplant. The Food and Drug Administration gave the okay for the first hemodiafiltration devices to be marketed in the United States less than a year ago. He calculated that a field of bosons could explain a nagging anomaly: More thorough dialysis may reduce deaths A more thorough dialysis technique may help prevent deaths due to heart conditions and infections in people with advanced kidney disease. but another ministry spokeswoman. scientists prepare for next quantum leap Seven months after its scientists made a landmark discovery that may explain the mysteries of mass.” said Bordry.9 percent certain they had found the elusive Higgs Boson. But we said that in 2013 we must do it. that method is better able to clean the kidneys of larger toxins than standard dialysis. For the new study. “Our survival numbers are not great for this population. leaving a thick white contrail and an intense flash. just under 40 percent of those participants left the study because of a kidney transplant. After Higgs Boson. The upgrade will boost the LHC’s energy capacity. In particular. according to a new study. who wasn’t involved in the new research. the boson also known as the God Particle carries the name of a British physicist. We need to increase the energy to look at more physics.” Bordry said. When not removed from the kidneys. We are reproducing in a lab the conditions we had at the start of the Big Bang. which are part of the hadron family. according to Dr. an invisible particle without which. in that those patients were a bit older. so there is some theoretical benefit that you might be removing stuff that might otherwise be harmful. Katrin Uhlig. and now we have all the theories about supersymmetry and so on. Hemodiafiltration “has some benefits in terms of the size of the molecules that you can remove. told The Associated Press that there was a meteor shower. on average. It’s about going into terra incognita (unknown territory).

Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak. Germany. Treasury bonds. This. One senior G20 source said late on Thursday that there would be no separate statement on currencies. BACK TO THE ’80S The maneouvring on currencies is reminiscent of the 1980s.in line with their own tough medicine for the currency bloc’s ailing periphery. and spectacularly failed. the source said. triggering a rally in Japanese stocks that. followed by several powerful blasts.which is now the world’s second-largest economy and holds much of its $3.12 February . chemical facilities safe A major Russian city in Siberia had a miraculous escape on Friday when a meteor streaked above it. The socalled Toronto goal expires this year. shaking the ground and injuring hundreds of people. The yen has fallen by around 20 percent since November. schools and sports facilities and damaged several industrial plants in the city. hospitals. which put together a huge financial backstop to halt a market meltdown in 2009. leaving a thick white smoke trail. nuclear. and then weakening. but ‘currency wars’ came to Moscow on Friday as finance officials from the Group of 20 nations sparred over Japan’s expansive policies that have driven down the value of the yen. want a new borrowing pledge . The euro zone’s largest economy. shattering windows. the world has changed. “There is no competitive devaluation.” he told Reuters Health.m. was blocking attempts to agree on a commitment to cut borrowing to replace a collective pledge to halve budget deficits agreed at the G20 Toronto summit in 2010. with the collapse of communism in eastern Europe and China’s adoption of its own brand of capitalism. 15 February 2013 Meteor rattles Siberian city. with Chelyabinsk.18 February 2013 “The tolerance is equal or better with hemodiafiltration. Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa defended the monetary expansion. “If we enter into a real currency war what will end up happening is adding a lot of volatility to markets. some emerging market exporters have sounded the alarm over ‘currency wars’ that they say will devalue their foreign reserves and hit their competitiveness.12 million people about 1500 km east of Moscow.” When the G20 last met in November. suggesting that Tokyo would not be singled out as a miscreant.which includes leading emerging markets and accounts for 90 percent of the world economy .S. Hosts Russia say the G20 . a city with a population of 1. the government hopes.” Storchak told reporters. Russia’s finance “sherpa”. hurting vision and causing headaches. it was important to refrain from rash rhetoric. local time. said the drafting discussion was proving “difficult”. but it would not repeat the G7 line that “we will not target exchange rates”. Emerging markets. “As the G20 meeting in Moscow gets underway. Before flying to Moscow. Amateur videos taken in and near Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains captured an incredibly bright fireball speeding across the sky shortly after 9 a. “What’s happening is market reaction to exclusively internal decision making. suffering largest damage.which shrank in the fourth quarter .000 by Friday JTS Institute 13 Current Affairs Notes . would not be acceptable to China . DEFLATION. as exporters and reserve holders.3 trillion in foreign reserves in U. But tension between Washington and Tokyo has risen over new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to end two decades of deflation. But. With the United States.” Carstens said. dollar. of the U. REFLATION Japan’s embrace of ‘Abenomics’ entails a huge round of fiscal and monetary expansion aimed at raising the inflation rate to 2 per cent. No fatalities have been reported so far. now demand a greater say in global financial management. The G7 has long been the powerhouse of financial diplomacy. Eyewitnesses said the fireball was brighter than the Sun. is back in the spotlight after a week in which the Group of Seven rich nations tried.it isn’t ‘G6 against Japan’ as much as it is ‘G7 against G13’.S.” French bank Societe Generale wrote in a note. The G7 issued a joint statement on Tuesday reaffirming “our longstanding commitment to market determined exchange rates”. to speak on currencies with one voice. A passage would be inserted into the main communique.and not at weakening the yen. pushing up risk premiums and no one would end up winning. But not all: Mexico’s central bank governor Agustin Carstens said that while he backed the G7’s commitment to market driven exchange rates. when the Plaza and Louvre accords sought to manage first the excessive strengthening. there are no currency wars. Currency wars come to Moscow as G20 spars over yen It may not be hand-to-hand combat. The United States. Britain and euro zone all running ultra-loose monetary policies. Russian officials note that Japan has not intervened on currency markets to weaken the yen. will kick-start growth by encouraging savers to spend and companies to invest. Meteor shock waves blew out windows in hundreds of multi-storeyed apartments. The G20 forum. The fragments hit several regions of Siberia and Kazakhstan. its statement contained a call to “refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies” that was omitted by the G7 this week in what Tokyo took to mean its policies had won a free pass. but the number of injured people reached 1. Yet the show of unity was quickly undermined by off-therecord briefings critical of Japan. The Russian Academy of Sciences estimated that a 10-tonne meteor entered the atmosphere over Siberia at a speed of 15-20 km a second and exploded into fragments at a height of about 50 km above the Earth. saying it was aimed at reviving the economy .will back the thrust of the G7 text when they issue their communique on Saturday. the battle lines are drawn . and the European Central Bank. G20 delegation sources said. but the final text would not single out Japan for criticism.

2015 and it is expected to submit its report by October 31. issued under Section 8A read with 11 (A) (2) and 10A of the Representation of the People Act. The FFC might still have a say in the final GST format. it is said. For. in Chelyabinsk alone. successive Finance Commissions have been saddled with a large. but still out of the way. Chelyabinsk region has several nuclear and chemical industry facilities. Though some of the contestants filed their returns within time. in a letter sent to the Chief Electoral Officers. The FFC’s other terms of reference include such omnibus items as the need for making public sector enterprises competitive. The Thirteenth Finance Commission was given the important. Meteors may occur in showers. A number of specific meteors have been observed. Maharashtra tops the list with 260 contestants. It has also been asked to suggest measures to raise the tax to GDP ratios of both the Centre and the States. Meteors typically occur in the mesosphere at altitudes between 76 km to 100 km (46–62 miles). the orbital speeds of meteoroids. informed sources said. The authorities declared a state of emergency in Chelyabinsk region and deployed 20. the SEC is independent of the EC and the disqualification order would not apply automatically to local polls. largely by members of the public and largely by accident. 1951. The military found three meteor impact sites. The disqualified candidates who wish to go in for an appeal will have to submit a petition to the EC with proper reasons for their failure to submit accounts/delay. with a former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. The FFC will look into the deficit of the States keeping in view its predecessor’s report. Fortunately for Chelyabinsk. Most meteoroids that cause meteors are about the size of a pebble. Recently. onerous agenda that has gone well beyond their main tasks of correcting fiscal imbalances between the Centre and the States on the one hand. it was not done in the proper format. which was due to pass close by the Earth later on Friday. Y. tackle challenges in ecology. Municipal services struggled to replace 100. and listing and relinquishing ownership of nonpriority enterprises. and the gravity well of Earth. including the Mayak fuel reprocessing factory and a huge nuclear waste storage. Concept: A meteor or “shooting star” is the visible streak of light from a meteoroid or micrometeoroid. 29 candidates have been disqualified. followed by Chhattisgarh (259) and Haryana (197). which arise when the Earth passes through a stream of debris left by a comet.000 square metres of smashed windows as temperatures in Siberia are well below zero degree Celsius. The EC. asked them to furnish a copy of the list of disqualified candidates to the respective returning officers. All of the orbits passed through the asteroid belt. including a six-metre crater near Lake Chebarkul and a large hole in the ice on the lake. Though the State Election Commissions (SEC) normally adopt the EC’s rules and procedures. A few other tasks such as calculating the level of subsidies needed and figuring out how to insulate the pricing of public utilities from policy fluctuations can be contentious. environment and climate change.eci. Mayak was the site of a nuclear catastrophe in the 1950s. The primary task of the FFC is the same as that of its predecessors: to make recommendations regarding the sharing of Union taxes. Two other core issues need to be addressed by the FFC. Most injuries were caused by flying glass. Its period of reference is five years commencing April 1. but with enough detail that orbits of the meteoroids producing the meteors have been calculated. Most of these issues do impact public finance but the FFC need not be burdened with some of these lest its primary function is diluted. most of them nonserious contestants. job of preparing a fiscal consolidation road map. Over the recent past. not associated with a specific stream of space debris. in per capita income across States have increased EC disqualifies 2.000 emergency response personnel to ascertain the damage and help the injured people.nic.171 candidates for not filing returns in time The Election Commission has disqualified 2. will be barred from contesting any election conducted by the EC for three years from the date of its disqualification order. as it sheds glowing material in its wake.18 February 2013 evening. Astronomers did not rule out that the meteor was part of the 2012 DA14 asteroid. a breakthrough in terms of compensating States for possible revenue losses post the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax appears to have been made. Reddy. JTS Institute 14 Current Affairs Notes .12 February . The widening inequality in growth and consequently. including 200 children. as its chairman.The atmospheric velocities of meteors result from the movement of Earth around the Sun at about 30 km/s (18 miles/ second).V. The list is also posted on the Commission’s website www. heated and glowing from entering the Earth’s atmosphere.in under the heading judicial reference-list of disqualified persons. Some of the candidates have been disqualified till January 2016. the fragments of the meteor missed it and crashed in a thinly populated area about 200 km away. the disqualification order could not restrain these contestants from contesting the local body/civic polls. after much delay and protracted discussions among State finance ministers at Bhubaneswar. Emergency officials said the facilities were safe and background radiation levels remained low. or as “random” or “sporadic” meteors. These persons. the principles governing grants-in-aid to States and transfer of resources to the States. 2014. The plate is full (Finance commission) The Fourteenth Finance Commission has recently been constituted under Article 280 of the Constitution. which however is not expected to roll out until April 2014 at the earliest. and among States on the other. when a blast in a liquid waste tank caused massive radioactive contamination in the region. Millions of meteors occur in the Earth’s atmosphere daily. divestment. Before disqualifying them. In Delhi.171 candidates who contested by-elections/general elections to the LokSabha and Legislative Assemblies and Councils for failing to submit their poll expenditure accounts within the stipulated 30 days from the date of announcement of results. notices had been issued to the candidates and the order was passed only against those who failed to give satisfactory reasons for the delay/ failure.

however. the main Opposition party said it had no problems with the probe covering the period when it was in power at the Centre.4 million tonnes of TNT and wiping out 750 square miles (1. “We do not have confidence in CBI. DA14 is a shrimp. The likelihood of a strike is once every 1. It is hoped that the FFC will recommend steps to safeguard the autonomy of States in fiscal matters and specifically suggest ways to overcome the restrictions imposed by stiff fiscal targets without.18 February 2013 inequalities in fiscal capacity. The best viewing locations. ‘We are in a shooting gallery’ “We are in a shooting gallery. over the Indian Ocean near Sumatra. and remain stable there for billions of years. As asteroids go. That’s why for BJP the suggestion of a CBI inquiry is not acceptable. to harass political opponents. but it will be a close fly-by A 45-metre (150-foot) asteroid on JTS Institute 15 Current Affairs Notes . the Enforcement Directorate and all other organisations are being misused by the government. less than 1 per cent — fewer than 10. Most of the solar system’s asteroids are situated in a belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. to win over neutrals. would be spared. Asteroid 2012 DA14 is too small to be visible to the naked eye even at its closest approach.” Mr. armed forces and most importantly the political leadership who were a part of it. DA14. But that’s still closer than many communication and weather satellites are to the planet. mutual funds shall put in place a written policy with regard to investment in GDS with due approval from the Board of the AMCs and the Trustees. and this is graphic evidence of it. Because.150 miles (27. Second.” he alleged.950 square km).000 — have been inventoried. the BJP today demanded a probe into the VVIP chopper deal by a Special Investigation Team monitored either by the Supreme Court or a parliamentary committee. Because we have seen how the CBI. With accusing fingers also being pointed at itself. Scientists insisted those. chairman emeritus of the B612 Foundation. the governor’s institution. CBI has no credibility and the government’s intention is also doubtful. Banks. destined to make the closest known fly-by for a rock of its size. While changing the maturity period of GDS on Thursday the central bank said that banks would not be required to obtain prior approval of RBI for introducing the scheme. asteroids or comets were out there. with binoculars and telescopes. “The total investment in GDS will not exceed 20 per cent of total asset under management of Gold ETFs. as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) changed the maturity period of gold deposits. “Gold certificates issued by banks in respect of investments made by Gold ETFs in GDS shall be held by the mutual funds only in dematerialized form. second. at least once a year. which will occur around 1925 hours GMT (0055 IST Saturday).” senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters. The one that supposedly wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was 6 miles (9. All efforts are now being made to cover-up this conspiracy”.” said former Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart. “Congress is notoriously known for misusing CBI for partisan political ends. He maintained that while the Indian government has been silent on this issue for so long. Before investing in GDS of banks. SEBI said that this policy would be reviewed by mutual funds. Mr. Some occasionally pop out. But this rock could still do immense damage if it struck. the uniform fiscal deficit targets that States have opted for under their fiscal responsibility legislations have most probably resulted in — and the FFC will confirm this — compressed development expenditure.400 mph (28. sacrificing fiscal prudence. are in Asia.6 km) across. Astronomers have organised asteroid-encounter parties. of course. releasing the energy equivalent of 2. the Income Tax department. BJP Secretary BalbirPunj told reporters: “The details coming out indicate a very serious conspiracy hatched at the top level which includes the bureaucracy.Schweickart said in a phone interview. asked to inform the details of the scheme including names of branches operating the scheme to the Reserve Bank of India Banks would be required to report the gold mobilised under the scheme by all branches in a consolidated manner on a monthly basis. Friday hurtled toward the Earth’s backyard.12 February . to keep its allies under control and third. from six months to seven years instead of three to seven years making the product more attractive for investors. is “such a close call” that it is a “celestial torpedo across the bow of spaceship Earth. Scientists at NASA’s Near-Earth Object programme at California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory estimate that an object of this size makes a close approach like this every 40 years. BJP for SIT probe into chopper deal monitored by SC. Even there. it is the Italians who took the initiative to uncover the scam.Schweickart noted that while 500. too. all anyone can see is a pinpoint of light as the asteroid zooms by at 17. Australia and eastern Europe.000 to 1 million sizable nearEarth objects. Further. though. committed to protecting the Earth from dangerous asteroids. yet.200 years. One. NASA said the asteroid would miss the Earth by 17. The fly-by provides a rare learning opportunity for scientists eager to keep future asteroids at bay. Parl panel Charging Congress with misusing the CBI.” said SEBI in a circular to asset management companies (AMCs). into the Earth’s neighbourhood. He wanted to know why the government acted belatedly despite the issue being raised in Parliament in 2011 and BJP MP PrakashJavadekar writing to the Defence Minister.600 km). In New Delhi. 2012 DA14 will miss Earth. He said the government talked about a CBI inquiry only after a case was filed over the issue in Italy and the “revelations” came to light that “payments were made to Indian middlemen also”. Gold ETFs allowed to invest in Gold Deposit Schemes The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Friday allowed Gold Exchange Traded Fund schemes (Gold ETFs) to invest in Gold Deposit Schemes (GDS) of banks.” it added.000 kph). which was discovered by Spanish astronomers last February.

The government is likely to challenge the order in the Supreme Court.18 February 2013 No capital gains tax on Sanofi for Shantha deal: HC In what showed the limitation of India’s recent retrospective amendments in tax laws concerning indirect transfers abroad of Indian assets. “Introduction of CTT would divert hedgers and speculators to rampant dabba trading. the amendment covers all such offshore transactions. The court held that ShanH was a company with commercial substance and so the deal was eligible for treaty protection. Thomas had recently written a letter to the Finance Minister saying that any move to impose CTT would affect the nascent market. won’t have to pay tax in India also thanks to the protection afforded by the IndiaFrench double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA). said: “This is a good judgment and sets out the law as applicable by the Indo-French treaty which continues even after retrospective amendments. The CTT of 0. partner. informal talks are on with Vodafone on reaching an amicable settlement over the Rs 11.000-crore tax demand raised. As the law stands today. including British brewing giant SAB Miller. which is liable to pay tax in France for the Rs 3. Ernst & Young said: “As long as the entity in the treaty-partner country has commercial substance and is not a sham entity or mere nominee. The transaction is chargeable to tax in France. The Sanofi case came up for hearing on Friday and law firm Economic Laws Practice appeared for the petitioners. direct tax. before it comes for trading on the exchange platforms. as it was then known. “There are apprehensions about futures trade that it is leading to price rise in commodities. the Andhra Pradesh High Court had dismissed the plea of the tax authorities against the Authority for Advanced Rulings (AAR) admission of Sanofi’s application regarding the Shantha Biotech deal. The government is apparently having a rethink on the retrospective amendments of Section 9 of the Income Tax Act meant to tax deals similar to Vodafone involving offshore transfer of shares. which bought out Foster’s Group for $10. 2012. had bought out ShanthaBiotechnics through acquisition of ShanH. The FCRA Amendment Bill. The ParthasarathiShome committee has voted against retrospective applicability of the law on indirect transfer of assets brought in through the Finance Act. is already taxed heavily.” “This is a goose (commodity market) that lays the golden eggs. which held a majority stake in Shantha. On reports that government was mulling imposing commodity transaction tax (CTT). the transaction of the sale of shares of ShanH by the French company Sanofi is not a design for tax avoidance. But a number of studies have indicated there is no evidence to prove it. “The market is gripped with fear of CTT. Economic Laws Practice. Rohit Jain. While the stock markets are to channelise investments for capital formation. among others. had earlier bought out Shantha in November 2008. Earlier also.” the Minister said while addressing an Assocham event on the commodity futures market. partner. The tax would also impact the volume and liquidity of commodity exchanges. he said. Rajiv Chug. the treaty protection is bound to be there.” Pavaskar said. but proposed some clarifications that would substantially reduce the irritant nature of the law.” According to the counsel. sources said. MCX. Separately.800-crore deal. the Minister said: “When the issue of CTT came before us in October last year. the French subsidiary of Merieux Alliance. JTS Institute 16 Current Affairs Notes .” he added. 2010 aims at developing the commodities futures market by arming the regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) with financial autonomy and facilitating the entry of institutional investors.12 February . Financial Technologies Director (Research and Strategy) MadhooPavaskar said. commodity markets are price discovery and risk management platforms. we should not take a partisan view. The court said Sanofi. Friday’s court ruling will have little effect on the high-profile Vodafone case. ShanH. SAB Miller claims that the transaction enjoyed protection of the India-Australia DTAA. Speaking on the occasion. as the relevant deal did not enjoy any duty protection. The HC ruling have positive implications for at least a couple of similar cross-border deals where the buyers face Indian tax demands. French drug multinational Sanofi need not pay capital gains tax in India for its acquisition of Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer Shantha Biotech in 2009. the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday ruled that notwithstanding the bolstered law. we immediately discussed it with stakeholders and an independent view has been passed on to the Finance Ministry. in terms of the provisions of the DTAA. adding that the commodity.” Financial Technologies is the promoter of leading commodity bourse.2 billion in September 2011. “I believe the Forward Contract Regulation Act (FCRA) Bill will be passed in the coming session of Parliament. Sanofi Aventis. and retrospective amendments to the Income Tax Act have no impact on the DTAA.017 per cent on commodity derivatives was levied in the 2008-09 Budget.” However. Food and Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas said here today.” he said. Indian tax authorities had asked Sanofi to pay over Rs 650 crore as capital gains tax. It said the government should apply the provision only to the taxpayer who earned capital gains (the seller) and suggested that no taxpayer in such cases be asked to pay interest and penalty on the tax computed. which have derived value substantially from assets located in India. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs FCRA Bill to develop the commodities futures market could be passed in Budget session: K V Thomas The FCRA Bill to develop the commodities futures market could be passed in the forthcoming Budget session of Parliament. but was not operationalised and was kept in abeyance. When the issue (CTT) comes. regardless of whether past cases remain within its domain.

51 lakh crore as on January 15 of the current financial year. Treat the water better Unabsorbed pharmaceuticals in the human body find their way to wastewater streams after being excreted. The three-day conference discussed the challenges of supplying clean and adequate water to the people of Rajasthan as well as the scope for development of new technologies for purification of water for domestic use.12 February . The Congress has promised to tap the rain water running off the hills to the plains of Bangladesh and neighbouring Assam by using the natural gorges and creating multilevel waterbodies along the river basins. the sword and spear are the primary weapons in thang-ta. Bhakre at a national conference on water quality management in Jaipur recently. “Sohra gets soaked in heavy rain. remembers her village and nearby ones facing acute water shortage during winter despite heavy rainfall during monsoon. Assam and other areas. This fact was highlighted by bio-scientist P. The third way is the true combat application. demonstration and combat. there are 21 commodity bourses with a combined turnover of Rs 136. Paediatrician Sunil K. The second way consists of a spectacular performance involving sword and spear dances. The deliberations covered chemical and biological aspects of water quality management. A village water supply scheme ensures that each family gets a bucket of water once or twice a week.” Ms. Persistent drought in wet State Ever since her childhood. Representatives of the Environmental Management Centre. contamination in distribution system. domestic devices for water and wastewater treatment. Such drugs reach wastewater and may kill the normal cells of people who use this water after treatment from water bodies such as rivers and lakes — calling for the development of an alternative system to dispose of the unused pharmaceutical drugs. In the Manipuri language. thang-ta is closely related to banshay. The first way is related to the tantric practices and is entirely ritualistic in nature. but the daily requirement is 40 to 50 buckets. Both can be practiced in three different ways: ritual. Yet for the parties. The State government has decided to use perennial sources of water for civic water supply because of the presence of fluoride in groundwater. Other weapons used include the shield and axe. Jaipur and the Communication & Capacity Development Unit (CCDU) of the State’s Water Resources Department.13 cr in December 2010 is catering to the Sohra town and adjacent villages but yet to cover thousands of people living in greater Sohra region — falling under Sohra and Shella assembly constituencies. resistance in bacteria and their presence in water may cause mutation in the human DNA. a partner in the Congress-led coalition government but fighting against each other in this poll. Thang-Ta Thang-ta or huyen lallong is a weapon-based Indian martial art created by the Meitei of Manipur. As its name implies. Currently. emphasised the need for developing new technologies for water purification. Monderal Dohling. Weathermen at the Met Office here said such freak weather phenomenon was normal at the advent of summer on the close of winter due to a variety of factors. the example 16 February 2013 Freak rains.” she says. Yet there is not a single drop of water in winter as if this is a desert. she says. while pointing out that a dollar invested in water quality management has returns of at least three times in the State’s economic development. besides causing extensive damage to standing rabi crops and mango trees which are at a flowering stage. Mumbai. in Jaintia hills. Pointing out that 50 to 90 per cent of administered pharmaceuticals are released into waste water.Gupta discussed the health aspects of fluorosis and nitrate toxicity from drinking water and threw light on hazardous effects of nitrates and fluoride content present in water. However. While top soil erosion. The event was organised jointly by the Malviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT). candidates as well as voters in a number of constituencies the water shortage has become a poll issue with the water crisis season coinciding with the current elections. The Greater Sohra Water Supply Scheme that was commissioned at an estimated cost of Rs 4. For it is the most important issue among all other issues raised by them. Dohling says. Because of Manipur’s cultural similarity. The United Democratic Party. a mother of six who lives in Umdingpoh close to Sohra (previously known as Cherrapunji). These dances can be converted into actual fighting practices. will recharge the critical catchment areas. recharge ever depleting underground water tables and ensure the availability of water for irrigation and drinking water in a sustained manner. including sudden troughs of erratic winds in the atmosphere. thang means sword and ta means spear. “When the parties and candidates came to our village for campaigning we tell them whoever gets elected must solve the problem of water crisis. Bhakre especially warned about the non-metabolised part of chemotherapy drugs that are used for treatment of cancer patients. the party said in its manifesto. Sohra (56 km from Shillong) and Mawsynram (68km from Shillong) in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya take turns in recording the heaviest rainfall on the planet. Dr. This. hailstorm in northern India Freak rains accompanied by gusty winds and hailstorm that lashed parts of the State on Friday night claimed 10 lives. in every election they make promises to solve it but conveniently forget them. In a presentation on membranebase technologies for water and wastewater treatment. they develop drug JTS Institute 17 Current Affairs Notes . The spear can be used in its non-missile form while in close or thrown from afar. deforestation are cited as key culprits behind the water running off to Bangladesh where it causes much hardship.P. Ninety per cent of the total groundwater in the desert State is used in the agricultural sector and the rest 10 per cent is used for domestic supply. has promised in its manifesto that it will go all out to tap all rivers flowing to Bangladesh. indiscriminate coal mining has polluted water sources.18 February 2013 regulates the commodities market through the FMC. geographic proximity and ethnic ties with Myanmar.

they can rightly be termed green technologies. too little is not good for you. But the average American eats more like 3. “The big majority of our intake of sodium is coming from those types of processed foods.300 mg. For example.” TOO LITTLE SODIUM? Dr. “The gradual reduction is something that many countries around the world are working on in various ways. he said. The MNIT plans to reuse 70 per cent of its treated wastewater on the campus to reduce the requirement for fresh water. and too much is not good for you. processed food environment.500 mg of salt per day across the U. Reduction in salt intake could prevent deaths The United States could prevent up to half a million deaths over the next decade if Americans cut their salt intake to within national guidelines. one blood pressure researcher not involved in the new study said the models don’t reflect the full picture of health consequences tied to too little or too much salt. Although the health effects of a salt cutback may be small for the average person. New York. the study’s lead author from the University of California. largely from heart disease or stroke. some countries have worked with bakers to cut back on sodium in bread. pointed out that water treatment segment in India was estimated to be of the size of $15 billion and was growing at the rate of 18 per cent every year. 82 under treatment Swine flu has claimed 23 lives in Gujarat since the onset of winter JTS Institute 18 Current Affairs Notes . “The individual at home with their salt shaker only controls maybe 20 to 25 percent of their intake. according to a new study. she said. Looking at its potential reuse. there is a vast scope for research in wastewater treatment.K. largely through processed food. desalination division. “Reducing sodium intake is important for everyone. The keynote address on “water purification technologies”.18 February 2013 of Dubai was cited in the context of seawater being treated there using a sequential process of conventional and membranebased methods. National Institutes of Technology and engineering colleges must join hands to fill up the knowledge gaps to resolve the issue of water quality. open defecation results in direct contamination of sources of water supply.000 to 500. taking into account uncertainties about sodium’s direct effect on the heart — Coxson and her colleagues calculated 280. population could prevent up to 1. A more dramatic and immediate decline to 1.12 February . Coxson and her colleagues ran three salt-reduction scenarios through models that predicted how a lower-sodium diet would impact a person’s risk of having high blood pressure or dying of cardiovascular disease. The Rajasthan government has invited technical education institutions as knowledge partners if they have expertise to investigate and deliver right solutions for water quality problems. Mumbai.000 mg of sodium per day is beneficial for the average person.” the researchers wrote in the journal Hypertension.000 MLD in 2050. According to the 2011 Census data on drinking water access. Based on their calculations — and Swine flu claims 23 lives in Gujarat. Besides.000 million litres per day (MLD) and is predicted to reach 83.” Alderman said there’s no evidence eating less than 2. But that isn’t very realistic.S. Coxson said diet changes are possible despite the influence of the country’s salty. with an upper limit of 2. Since membranebased technologies are not based on chemical treatment.2 million deaths. not just a small subset of people who are salt sensitive. Tiwari.” Coxson told Reuters Health. “They begin with the hypothesis that lowering sodium intake. CCDU director Hemant Joshi highlighted the plans for maintaining water quality in the State and said the quality had been affected because of overexploitation of ground water sources.” Coxson said. the researchers calculated. The Institute of Medicine recommends most healthy people get 1. Pankaj Mathur of Rajasthan office of UNICEF said the World Health Organisation and UNICEF had chalked out a joint monitoring programme for water supply and sanitation. said the researchers’ calculations are missing data on how too little sodium can also raise heart risks. A reference to the traditional source of water supply to the Walled City of Jaipur — Ramgarh Lake — drying up was also made at the conference. For people who do want to cut back on their sodium. A panel discussion at the conference led to a view that the technical institutions such as Indian Institutes of Technology. “The net effect of these conflicting consequences of reducing sodium will be the health effect. That goal would be “optimistic but potentially achievable. she said. through its effect on blood fats and insulin. while the participants suggested the use of membrane thermal desalination for the purification of water in the rural areas which lack adequate power supply. That finding — which comes the week New York City announced success toward its goals of cutting salt levels by one-quarter by 2014 — is based on computer simulations using data from various studies on the effects of extra sodium on blood pressure and heart risks. the results show they add up when projected across millions of Americans. Michael Alderman from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.500 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. The most realistic scenario was a gradual decline in Americans’ average sodium intake over ten years to about 2.” he said.” said Pamela Coxson. head. But in reality.” he told Reuters Health.will inevitably translate into a reduction in cardiovascular events. and others have focused on meat and canned goods. San Francisco.000 fewer Americans would die over the next decade as a result of that reduction. five out of 20 persons do not have access to improved drinking water sources in the country. “Like every other essential nutrient that I know of. delivered by P.200 mg per day. The gross wastewater generated in the country is 35. Presenting the Rajasthan perspective of the national rural drinking water quality monitoring and surveillance. policywise. Still. because it will lower blood pressure .600 mg each day.and nobody debates that .

Swine influenza virus (SIV) or swine-origin influenza virus (S-OIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs. I honestly feel that the benefits have not reached the intended beneficiaries. Health Minister and Gujarat government spokesperson. Eighty. 15-Point Programme Ahead of the next general elections in 2014. the government had rubbished the CES report. the known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1. The health of nations The United Nations has been drawing attention in recent years to the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases. hypertension. “The scale of government intervention is too small to touch even the fringes of the numbers who live with these deprivations. only 50 such transmissions have been confirmed. the World Health Organization declared the swine flu pandemic officially over. The immediate trigger for the proposal for the committee was another well-publicised research paper by chief scholar at the U. One of the countries that is at the epicentre of these health concerns is India. Concept: Swine influenza. swine flu. Sources in the Congress said the government came up with the proposal of constituting the committee after numerous delegations led by Muslim groups met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. H1N2. While highlighting the government’s attempt to reach out to more members of the minority community. The disease. Symptoms of zoonotic swine flu in humans are similar to those of influenza and of influenzalike illness in general. If transmission does cause human flu. and H2N3. muscle pains. Mr. The minority community’s argument about the need for restructuring of minority schemes was strengthened. told media persons here. As of 2009. Khan said that in the 12th Five-Year Plan the government has made blocks and not districts as the unit of planning for implementation of the MultiSectoral Development Programmes (MSDP). and a high body mass index. identification of influenza subtypes became possible. H3N1. However. allowing accurate diagnosis of transmission to humans. In August 2010. “The test kit of swine flu costs Rs 5. Talking to The Hindu. People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu infection. These strains of swine flu rarely pass from human to human. During the mid-20th century. This kit is being provided free in both staterun and private hospitals. weakness and general discomfort. he said.” he said. H3N2.12 February . Swine influenza virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide. Patel said.India Policy Institute Abusaleh Shariff in which he argued that there was no perceptible improvement in the status of Muslims.N.” he said.18 February 2013 and 82 patients are being treated. Mr. As many as 776 minority-concentrated blocks in 196 districts have been identified for coverage under MSDP which aims to improve the socioeconomic standards of the minority communities.” “Even though the government has implemented almost all the Sachar Committee recommendations. 17 February 2013 High-power panel to review Sachar panel report. H2N1. much of the burden of non-communicable diseases is linked to the consumption of tobacco. by several research reports. Amitabh Kundu from the Jawaharlal Nehru University and Dr. hog flu and pig flu. It will suggest ways to improve the delivery mechanism. In a declaration issued at a high-level meeting in 2011.000. while underlining the institutional failure in dealing with the development deficit which was highlighted by the Sachar Committee report. alcohol. would be given a timeframe to submit its report in. coughing. Transmission of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human flu. Rahman Khan said the Committee was needed as there was criticism from the community that the implementation of the Sachar Committee recommendations was actually an “eyewash. The public health community JTS Institute 19 Current Affairs Notes . which is expected to be announced soon.” the CES report had stated. also called pig influenza. Union Minority Affairs Minister K. 43 in 15-45 years and 32 patients above 45 years have been admitted in various hospitals. the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government has proposed constitution of a high-power committee to review and assess the implementation of Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee’s recommendations and Prime Minister’s 15-Point Programme. due mainly to weak public health policies and changing lifestyles. Experts like Dr. including one by former National Advisory Council member Harsh Mander. often resulting only in the production of antibodies in the blood. Manzoor Alam from the Institute of Objective Studies have been approached by the government to be a part of the committee. they said. has aggravated because of the prolonged winter. As The Lancet points out in recent commentary. namely chills. Since then.two people are being treated in various hospitals. This comes after a barrage of complaints from the Muslim community and a perception widely shared by people inside and outside the government that minority welfare schemes have failed to reach the intended beneficiaries. high cholesterol. Khan said the committee. severe headache. sore throat.” Nitin Patel. fever.S. “There have been 23 deaths due to swine flu in the state since the latest outbreak of the disease this season. is an infection caused by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses. the government said today. argued that low and middle income countries should actively pursue public health policies that will reduce the incidence of NCDs arising from diabetes. the U. So there should be an independent review by people outside the government. Seven patients in the age bracket of 1-14 years. it is called zoonotic swine flu. which have been adding to morbidity and premature deaths in most countries. whose Center for Equity Studies (CES) has termed the flagship programme — MSDP — “blunt and ineffective”. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to make a point about the minority welfare schemes being ineffective. and ultraprocessed food and drink (which are energy dense but nutrient poor).

Importantly. estimated to be about five million by 2020. drawing sharp criticism from nutritionists and development experts. But don’t expect a Hollywood style mission to fly a nuclear bomb into space and blow up the asteroid. They can only add to the risk of death by cardiovascular disease. Here’s a look at those objects in the sky — what’s the difference between a meteor and a meteorite? Meteors are pieces of space rock. WHAT CAUSED THE DAMAGE IN RUSSIA? Alan Harris. Bischoff says scientists and treasure hunters are probably already racing to find pieces of the meteorite.000-year-old SNRs IC443 (which is 5. By the time the remaining fragments hit the ground they would have been too small to cause significant damage far from the site of impact. fresh meals high in vegetable and fruit content must be encouraged. The agenda for social and political action is clear. it’s just cosmic coincidence. didn’t injure anyone. which enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Some meteorites can be very valuable. astronomers have finally found proof of what they had always suspected — but could not find direct evidence — that these highly energetic particles. WHAT CAN SCIENTISTS LEARN FROM THE URALS STRIKE? Mr. or supernovae as they are called. and consumption of wholesome. with its own packaged products. According to that theory. The results of both experiments have been published in the latest issue of Science. It is relevant to point out here that the biscuit industry has been lobbying in India to displace fresh-cooked food in the school noon meal programme. selling for up to •500 ($670) per gram depending on their exact composition.000 light years away in the constellation Meteorites strike Earth every few months A meteor exploded in the sky above Russia on Friday. Von Weyhe.12 February . the European Space Agency spokesman. Experts say smaller strikes happen five to 10 times a year.000 km an hour. Neglect of chronic diseases by India has. Studies confirm cosmic rays originate in the aftermath of exploding stars Hundred years after Victor Hess discovered cosmic rays in 1912. according to Addi Bischoff. but they’re still trying to prepare for such an event. Mr. The primary goal should be to use taxation. Over a 10-year period. While tobacco and alcohol are receiving close scrutiny as key factors influencing disease burdens. The first is based on years of data from two 10. cost the country $9 billion in 2005 due to premature deaths caused by heart disease. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF A METEORITE HIT A MAJOR CITY? Scientists hope never to find out. says experts from Europe. advanced markets are saturated. Harris. By contrast.000 light years away in the constellation Gemini) and W44 (which is 10. originate in the aftermath of exploding stars.18 February 2013 now unanimously accepts the link between these and a higher burden of NCDs. IS THERE ANY LINK TO THE ASTEROID FLYBY TAKING PLACE LATER FRIDAY? No. says some meteorites are also believed to carry organic material and may have influenced the development of life on Earth. Because meteors have remained largely unchanged for billions of years unlike rocks on Earth that have been affected by erosion and volcanic outbreaks scientists will study the fragments to learn more about the origins of matter. the role of ultra-processed packaged food is not getting the attention it deserves. the proof is doubly strengthened as the evidence has come from two different experiments — one space-based and the other ground-based — which have looked at different supernova remnants (SNRs) in different parts of the sky and interpreted their observations from different physical perspectives. Even that strike. stroke and diabetes. They often hit the ground at tremendous speed up to 30. The explosion caused a shockwave that sent windows and loose objects flying through the air in a radius of several kilometres. by the heat of the atmosphere. causing no known injuries. causing a shockwave that blew out windows injuring hundreds of people and sending fragments falling to the ground in the Ural Mountains. said most of the damage would have been caused by the explosion of the meteor as it broke up in the atmosphere. according to the European Space Agency. This travesty must be reversed through determined policy intervention. The makers of all forms of packaged food see India as a gigantic emerging market — and source of profit growth. the losses are projected to rise to a colossal aggregate of $237 billion. which are constantly bombarding the Earth’s atmosphere from all directions. which are the most energetic events in the galaxy. The largest known meteorite strike in recent times was the “Tunguska event” that hit Russia in 1908. the impact would have thrown up vast amounts of dust that blanketed the sky for decades and altered the climate on Earth. which was far bigger than the one that happened over Russia on Friday. sugar and salt are no substitute for fresh food and actually cause harm. WHEN WAS THE LAST COMPARABLE METEORITE STRIKE? In 2008. but those that survive and strike the Earth are called meteorites. Moreover. Large impacts such as the one Friday in Russia are rarer but still occur about every five years. a dramatic decline in death due to infectious diseases is projected. he said. according to the World Health Organisation. There is a deplorable trend among food manufacturers to push less harmful packaged food as being actually ‘healthy’. including cancer. usually from larger comets or asteroids. the United States and Russia are already discussing how to spot potential threats sooner and avert them. who says Asteroid 2012DA14 is unrelated to the meteorite strike in Russia. It is here that regulation of unhealthy food holds the key. Packaged meals high in calories. a senior scientist at the German Aerospace Centre in Berlin. That releases a huge amount of force. of the German Aerospace Centre. It exploded over the vast African nation of Sudan. Scientists believe that an even larger meteorite strike may have been responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. astronomers spotted a meteor heading toward Earth about 20 hours before it entered the atmosphere. Most of these strikes happen in uninhabited areas where they don’t cause injuries to humans. low nutrition foods unattractive to the consumer. according to European Space Agency spokesman Bernhard von Weyhe. a mineralogist at the University of Muenster in Germany. labelling and awareness creation to make high-energy. Many are burned up JTS Institute 20 Current Affairs Notes .

000-year-old supernova SN1006 with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. decay quickly into two gamma ray photons. It is for this reason that one could not unambiguously say cosmic rays are produced in the SNRs. whose efficiency is just right to look at gamma rays in this distinctive energy band. Again. or a black hole. Stefan Funk and colleagues. Detecting the lower-end cut-off would be clear proof that the gamma rays observed by the Fermi Telescope are from the decaying pions formed by protons accelerated within the SNRs. by measuring photons down up to 60 MeV. from the two SNRs. which can occur within the SNRs. eliminate the need for up to 2. but not yet conclusive. photons. it gathers the low density interstellar gas (about one particle/cm3) and gradually decelerates but the imprint remains in the sky for thousands of years which is what astronomers study to solve the mystery of cosmic rays. The problem is that there are different processes in the universe that produce gamma rays. auto-major Mahindra announced the launch of its new model electric vehicle e20. a cosmic ray scientist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental research (TIFR). Cosmic rays mostly comprise protons (about 90%). “The arguments are persuasive. One such signature is the production of gamma rays (high-energy photons). electrons and other nuclei. and how these properties change across the shock front. 14.12 February . which can be traced back to the source. under which the government plans to spend at least Rs. The two experiments claim to have found tell-tale evidence of the protons being accelerated to nearly the speed of light by the shockwave that precedes the ejecta from the supernovae. IC 443 and W44 and. In particular. the gamma ray spectrum declines steeply toward lower energies. Frost & Sullivan forecasts the market for electric passenger JTS Institute 21 Current Affairs Notes .” said Professor Sunil Gupta. The pions. The NEMMP document claims that the subsidies would reduce carbon dioxide emission up to 1. found that the gamma ray photons did have the low energy cut-off.5 million tons of fuel. Supernovae occur in our galaxy 2 to 3 times a century when a massive star explodes. With each round trip. the protons are travelling at nearly the speed of light when they are able to break free from the shockwave front. The experiment is led by scientists of the Kavli Institute for Particle Physics and Cosmology at the SLAC National Accelerator laboratory. The second is based on detailed observations of the remnants of a 1. These protonproton collisions create chargeless particles called neutral pions. But the authors. led by Sladjana Nikoloc. But because protons get deflected by any magnetic field they encounter on the way to the Earth. While the star’s core remains as a neutron star. 13. which dominate the spectra of hydrogen in the environments of shocks surrounding SNRs. have modelled the observed gamma ray spectrum based on both the possible processes but find that while the pion decay mechanism fits the spectrum without any further assumptions. the rest is ejected into the space in the form of rapidly expanding debris behind a powerful shockwave. in turn. The research was carried out by astronomers from the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy. But the energy of gamma rays from pion decays have a characteristic energy range arising from the fact that the pion has a rest mass of 135 MeV (in energy units through E=mc relation) which is divided between the two photons. the team has not just obtained information about the shock front but also built up a map of the properties of the gas. being neutral. This acceleration occurs due to a mechanism proposed in 1949 by Enrico Fermi — after whom the space telescope has been named — in which protons are trapped in the fastmoving shock region by magnetic fields that travel with the shock front and are boosted to high speeds when they are repeatedly reflected in the magnetic field. electron bremsstrahlung requires an ad hoc assumption to be made with regard to the electron energy spectrum in a way that is not consistent with the radio astronomy observations on the synchrotron radiation from such electrons. This directly probes the proton populations in the pre-shock and post-shock phases and the broadening of the spectral line is a measure of the velocity distribution of the protons. The team. For the first time. Unlike protons. The scientists wanted to study what exactly happens where the high-speed ejecta is ploughing into the expanding high-velocity shock front. After several tens to hundreds of such round trips. But such gamma rays can also come from another competing source: ‘electron bremsstrahlung’ where high energy electrons emit gamma rays because of deceleration when they pass atomic nuclei. and add six to seven million electric vehicles to the roads by 2020. Accordingly. they have looked at the characteristics of a particular emission line of hydrogen (protons are nuclei of hydrogen atoms) called H-alpha Balmer line. and their paths are totally scrambled. Heidelberg. The other ground-based experiment using the VLT has attempted to actually see the presence of fast-moving protons in the shock region through a different signature. Discharge-free transport The year 2013 started on a green note with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launching the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 (NEMMP). That was a good enough beginning for India’s nascent electric vehicle (EV) market.5 per cent. are unaffected by intervening stellar magnetic fields and travel in straight lines. This has led them to conclude that the observed gamma ray spectra provide direct evidence for the acceleration of protons in the SNRs. when these speeding protons meet slow-moving protons in the surrounding clouds of gas or dust in the debris. tracing them back to their source becomes impossible. protons gain energy by about 1 per cent. As the remnant expands.18 February 2013 Aquila) gathered by NASA’s Fermi Gamma Ray Telescope (launched in June 2008). So scientists look for indirect signatures of this acceleration. has used the instrument called Visible Multi Object Spectrograph (VIMOS) on the VLT to look at the remnant of SN1006 — designated so because it was seen in the south-western skies in the year 1006 in various parts of the world — in more detail than ever before.000 crore in the next eight years to promote electric and hybrid vehicle on Indian roads. The SLAC team analysed four years of data collected by the Fermi observatory’s Large Area Telescope (LAT).000 crore to Rs.

The proximity of the Gulf countries to Gwadar would facilitate the oil flow to it. Nevertheless.14 million units in 2009-10 to 0. it always carries the fear of battery running out. The Finance Ministry in December had sought certain clarifications with regard to the proposed amendments. the widely held perception is that former President Pervez Musharraf awarded the contract to the Singapore entity to keep the U. Sebi in 2011 forwarded a proposal conaining only critical amendments to securities laws. In August last year. It has also proposed the recovery of monetary penalties through Income-Tax arrear mechanism. Accordingly.” says the report. the port has failed as a business venture till date because the security situation in Balochistan discouraged PSA from investing in the development of the port and offshore infrastructure. impending public transport infrastructure breakdown and rising number of vehicles on road — all point to the need for green mobility options and EVs can fill that vacuum. a senior regulatory official said. happy as Chinese control over the port on a major shipping route not only facilitates access to oil producing countries but also provides a major gateway for Chinese goods. A recent TERI report says that the growth in EV market needs to be fuelled with organic consumer demand rather than being incentivised by the government to buy electric vehicle.400 units by 2014-15 from 810 units a year in 2009-10. Sebi had last sought amendments to the Securities Laws in 2009 and had sent its recommendations to the Finance Ministry. he pointed out. Add to this the government’s failure to transfer 584 acres under Navy’s possession to the port. “The Indian consumer is price. The market regulator has been facing impediments on its investigation and enforcement powers with regard to protecting investments by attachment of assets. 1 per 100 km.18 February 2013 vehicles in India to reach 20. 18 February 2013 China takes control of Gwadar Port China on Monday took control of Pakistan’s Gwadar Port located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf just outside the strategically important Strait of Hormuz. the President said nearly 60 per cent of China’s crude oil was imported from the Gulf countries. Last month. In India. which is currently the case. Zardari described the development as another manifestation of growing PakistanChina relations. the federal government announced that PSA Sebi seeks overhaul of securities laws for greater powers Market regulator Sebi has sought major overhaul of the securities JTS Institute 22 Current Affairs Notes .S. growth of the EV value chain must be fuelled by organic consumer demand. Similarly. An electric vehicle needs eight hours to fully recharge. However. In addition. About the project’s strategic importance. PSA bagged the contract for 40 years during the Musharraf era. the federal Cabinet had approved the transfer of Gwadar Deep Sea Port to the Chinese. rapid urbanisation. laws including greater authority to nail manipulators by way of powers to conduct ‘search and seizure’ operations and to demand information from any person in relation to its probes. and due to limited sharing of information with overseas regulators as well as lack of power to call for information from any person in relation to inquiry or investigation. which it felt cannot wait long and must be perused independent of the recommendation of the FSLRC. almost all the companies are finding it difficult to sell EVs to the Indian consumers who show reluctance to pay a premium to go electric. The running cost of an electric twowheeler is one-tenth of a conventional petrol-driven scooter at Re. Billed as Pakistan’s biggest infrastructure project. the Ministry later informed it that Sebi should pursue only critical amendments for the time being. Lohia Auto Industries and TI Cycles’ BSA Motors. and not pushed by unsustainable government subsidies for consumers. Sebi has decided to pursue these proposed amendments in view of the challenges faced by it in areas such as the recovery and realisation of monetary penalties and regulation of pooling of monies from public by schemes including those in the nature of collective investments. Though China — which had invested in the construction of the port — had been a contender for running the port. pursuant to which Sebi has now decided to limit its proposals to the “most important and critical amendments” and keeping the others for consideration after FSLRC recommendations. the twowheeler EV market will grow from 0. as the government had set up a Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) to rewrite and harmonise the entire gamut of financial sector laws. fuel economy and style conscious and will therefore appreciate the long term savings of EV versus Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). The official transfer of Concession Agreement from the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) to the China Overseas Port Holding Company was carried out in the presence of President Asif Ali Zardari. Sebi has been facing restrained in taking necessary actions against market manipulators as it lacks an effective power of search and seizure. The proposals have been discussed by the Sebi board and are being sent to the Ministry of Finance for necessary amendments to the relevant securities laws.45 million units in 2015-16. the major players in the electric bike segment include Hero Electric. Mr. setting up of special courts to deal with criminal prosecution for violation of securities laws and recognition of Sebi’s counsels as public prosecutors. While PSA won the bid. among others. However. to drive purchases. It has also faced challenges to enforcement and implementation of its orders. Yo bikes. which is just the cost of charging the battery.12 February . In which case. will also give visibility to electric vehicles and comfort potential buyers. the official said. The TERI report points to the need to invest in public charging point for the electric vehicle that would besides providing much relief against low battery life of these vehicles. Rising price of crude in the international market. Mahindra Reva is the only domestic electric car brand currently.

he added. 4G spectrum holders can provide call facility Inter-ministerial body Telecom Commission on Monday approved a recommendation that allows companies having ISP licences and holding 4G spectrum to offer phone calls services by paying a fee of Rs 1. These charges are abnormally high without spectrum. Indus Towers are involved in IP—1 business. This issue remains unresolved despite the federal and provincial governments offering land elsewhere in lieu to the Navy recommended the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to charge ISP companies amount equivalent to what companies mobile phone service providers paid for licences. GTL Infrastructure. Mobile WiMAX are currently (April 2012) not available for the European market. if they want. said the charge of Rs 1. It has however been debated if these first-release versions should be considered to be 4G or not. and MetroPCS was the first operator to offer LTE service in 2010. Conceivable applications include amended mobile web access. Chandrashekhar said. DTH.. a decision that left industry bodies divided. Two 4G candidate systems are commercially deployed: the Mobile WiMAX standard (at first in South Korea in 2006).” Auspi Secretary General Ashok Sud said. as discussed in the technical definition section below. Chandrashekhar said.. Sprint Nextel has deployed Mobile WiMAX networks since 2008. The framework for new licences will be ready by end of this financial year. will allow companies such as Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI). and to other mobile devices.658 crore will be levied for migration to unified licences (UL). Industry divided Reacting to the development.” Mr. and LTE smartphones since 2011.” Mr. however. USB wireless modems have been available since the start. In the U. said here. “This is the cost if you want to enter voice telephony business. The Telecom Commission deferred decision on single entity providing both telecom and television services like mobile calling services. Chandrashekhar said. “UL (Unified licence) does not include any spectrum.658 crore is minuscule compared to the amount that companies paid for 3G spectrum. which is only mildly positive.The ISP (Internet service provider) licence holder who hold BWA spectrum if they wish to provide using that spectrum then an additional fee of Rs 1.” Mr. gaming services. high-definition mobile TV.12 February . GSM industry body COAI said that it had How to balance growth and contain inflation? All the macroeconomic numbers are in. A 4G system provides mobile ultrabroadband Internet access. cable TV that would charge customers for all these services through a single bill. Internet Service Providers Association of India’s President Rajesh Chharia criticised the decision and said: “This is not at all a level-playing field. to smartphones. but barring headline inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI). The Telecom Commission decision. who is also the Telecom Secretary. and the firstrelease Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard (in Oslo. In Australia. Qualcomm.” Mr. none of the other indicators provide any level of comfort or confidence to Finance Minister P. For companies who wish to continue to “provide limited services like only Internet services under cafeteria approach they can do so with a lower entry fee which will be same as present.” Telecom Commission Chairman R Chandrashekhar. maintenance and development contract in view of the failure to transfer the 584 acres. “Telecom Commission’s reported action will allow BWA licencees to offer Pan India Voice after paying a paltry incremental amount of Rs 83 crores per MHz.. 3D television and Cloud Computing. The DoT committee had recommended bringing IP—1 companies under licence regime. “Issue of IP—1 operators under UL regime was deferred and it was decided that this required further study of certain aspects. called IP—1. Aircel. the companies need to go for unified licence. Grant of UL including migration to UL does not include any spectrum. if finally approved by Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal. “We are putting framework in place to enable this model but it will require recommendation from TRAI and can be done in phase 2 of UL. six private players — RJI. for example to laptops with USB wireless modems. Having committed to investors at home and at recent road shows abroad on presenting a JTS Institute 23 Current Affairs Notes . 4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone mobile communications standards.” In 2010. under licences. because of different frequency bands. Telecom regulator TRAI has recommended a charge of 8 per cent licence fee to IP—1 companies once they are brought under licences. IP telephony.033 crores per MHz. The Association of United Telecom Service Providers of India (Auspi).658 crore each. Norway since 2009).18 February 2013 had been allowed to quit the 40year management. It is a successor of the third generation (3G) standards. Equipment made for different continents are not always compatible. while WiMAX smartphones have been available since 2010. to offer mobile phone service using BWA spectrum that they won in 2010 auction. Decision on IP-1 deferred The TC also deferred decision on bringing telecom tower companies. Chidambaram in preparation of his budget for the new fiscal. operation. Companies such as Bharti Infratel. We support government not bundling spectrum with this payment. “The Commission broadly endorsed recommendation of DoT committee with regard to Unified Licensing regime. video conferencing. Telstra launched the country’s first 4G network (LTE) in September 2011 claiming “2–100 Mbps” speeds and announced an “aggressive” expansion of that network in 2012. Telecom service providers who want to provide any additional services apart from their current offerings. will have to go for unified licence. Tikona Digital and Augere — had won BWA spectrum. Bharti Airtel. Tikona Digital. Given that the difference between the prices of 3G and BWA on a per MHz prices was Rs 1. In case of mergers and acquisitions also.S.” Cellular Operators Association of India’s Director General Rajan S Mathews said. Concept: In telecommunications. Chandrashekhar said. Augere.

the second such consecutive monthly decline. possibly the toughest one among his earlier Budget presentations. the CSO’s growth estimate has turned out to be a major setback to Budget formulation.7 per cent as against a 3. To make up the shortfall. fiscal deficit is way up and needs to be contained and the CAD needs to be tamed by either higher exports or larger foreign capital inflows. For. with GDP growth in 2012-13 projected way lower at 5 per cent is likely to upset the budgetary arithmetic as the twin deficits on the fiscal side and current account deficit (CAD) are designated as a percentage of the GDP and both are burgeoning wide off the target. So.55. the controversy over GDP growth estimates has been set at rest by the dismal factory output figure as measured by the IIP (Index of Industrial Production). Chidambaram himself questioned the CSO’s projection. Chidambaram had said: “At the end of this year. Will be happy if it is closer to 7 per cent. Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand could receive heavy to moderate rain or snowfall between February 21 and 24. the CAD is widening beyond sustainable levels. the Finance Minister has a challenging task on hand. particularly irksome for Mr. industrial output contracted by 0. intermediate and consumer goods — and mining coupled with a deceleration in the services sector growth. While food inflation can be brought down by looking into the supply-side problems in the long term — and is not particularly a budget initiative per se — interest rates need to be eased to induce consumer spending as also kick-start investment by corporates at a time when there is not much space for either fiscal or monetary stimulus. In effect.3 per cent of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in 2012-13 and bring it down to 4.12 February . As per the data. According to the India Meteorological Department.8 per cent in 2013-14. Haryana and West Uttar Pradesh. industrial growth is straying almost to negative territory and needs steps to kick-start investment. adhering to the fiscal deficit target in a shrinking GDP will turn out to be a much more challenging task. Mr.” a statement from IMD said. Now.3 per cent owing to economic uncertainties — and other targets pegged in the Budget presented by the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee were based on a higher GDP growth assumption.8 per cent. The Finance Minister thus is faced with an exercise in contradiction. adversely impacting the exchange rate of the rupee. arguing that the GDP growth this fiscal would be in the region of 5. Chidambaram on February 28 tinged with some “populist” measures to woo the electorate. My own assessment is it will be between 6 and 7 per cent. another western disturbance was on its way and it could bring in more rain or thundershowers to Delhi and States adjoining it during the weekend – February 23 and 24.” he had said. Surely. the Finance Ministry as well as Mr. it was only in late January during his road show in Hong Kong that the Finance Minister had exuded confidence on economic recovery setting in. “The rainfall over Delhi is likely to commence in the early morning of 23rd and continue till 24th morning. tax realisations are tepid and the overall revenue collection target set for 2012-13 is unlikely to be met as the mop-up on the indirect taxes front.3 per cent of fiscal deficit and next year I will budget for fiscal deficit no more than 4. For the simple reason that the fiscal deficit at 5. the system is expected to affect north Rajasthan. aggressive measures are afoot to add whatever is possible to the revenue kitty. “The projection I have received is that [the] economy will grow above 6 per cent [in 2013]. but we should be happy if it is 6 to 7 per cent. The irony is that this is the UPA II government’s last fullfledged budget before the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and party constituents would be duly looking forward to a presentation by Mr. Chidambaram — possibly a rude shock — was the CSO’s (Central Statistics Office) Advance Estimates projecting a mere 5 per cent GDP growth in 2012-13. but also as a speculative commodity to make a fast buck. owing to poor shows by the entire manufacturing sector — including capital.7 per cent growth in the year-ago period with just the last quarter (January-March) left for a likely transformation as a result of the reforms initiated thus far. his optimism stemmed from the data Mr. we have a macroeconomic situation where the GDP growth rate is faltering and needs a dose of adrenalin. From all accounts. If this was not bad enough. The only silver lining is the decline in WPI inflation. Apart from high oil imports.6 per cent in December. adhering to the path of fiscal consolidation to contain the fiscal deficit at 5. As a consequence. in separate statements. the trade gap is also widening — at last count it was at $ 20 billion in January — following a steep rise in imports of oil and gold while exports have largely remained muted owing to downturn in markets abroad. In effect. North Block’s protests on GDP growth were not without reason.18 February 2013 “responsible” Budget. as threatened by global rating agencies. Not just that. But does the Finance Minister have the scope? Precious little. we will achieve the target of 5. Besides Delhi. To North Block’s chagrin. Jammu and Kashmir.1 per cent of the GDP — later eased to 5. Having buried the “ghost of GAAR” (General Anti Avoidance Rules) which had scared away foreign investors. Another wet spell likely over Delhi. not just as a hedge against inflation. No wonder. In addition.” Predictably. also released by the CSO. despite the fact that food inflation at the retail level is almost near 11 per cent. Thunderstorms accompanied by hail storms may occur at one or two places in the region during the two days. Unless these ills are effectively tackled. The upcoming event is the third JTS Institute 24 Current Affairs Notes . Punjab. With low manufacturing output and subdued consumer demand.7 per cent. making it one of the wettest Februarys for the region. It was also pointed out that the 5 per cent growth forecast was a gross underestimate as the CSO had failed to factor in the “green shoots” in the economy. the recovery process still remains illusive as the cumulative IIP growth for the ninemonth period (April-December) works out to a mere 0. a major reason for a widening CAD is the increased investment in gold. Chidambaram had on GDP growth. north-west India Delhi and other parts of north-west India could be in for another wet spell later this week. The current gloomy scenario thus calls for a fine balance between growth spurs and steps to contain inflation with effective measures to wean away investment from idle gold assets to the equity markets. India runs the risk of a rating downgrade.

phenomena with moisture usually carried in the upper atmosphere (unlike tropical storms where it is carried in the lower atmosphere). A team including Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) researchers Norbert Werner and Aurora Simionescu and led by Jorg Dietrich of the University of Michigan. Over 300 million years old asteroid impact zone found in Australia Scientists in Australia have found a major ancient asteroid impact zone on Earth in the country’s outback. which centres on the East Warburton Basin in north-eastern South Australia. astronomers have found direct evidence that the Universe is filled with a giant weblike structure of dark matter. The filament in question stretches between two large galaxy clusters. according to the study published in the journal Nature. which indicate the quartz grains had been shocked by an asteroid or meteor impact. consistent with JTS Institute 25 Current Affairs Notes .5 mm in 1990 and 96. weak lensing observations revealed that the mass distribution included an overdense filament between the two clusters. On one hand. In the case of the current measurement. “Asteroid impacts commonly occur in clusters of two or more projectiles. Weak lensing is where a concentration of mass subtly distorts the observed shapes of background objects because of the way matter bends light. From the X-ray data. This is a nonmonsoonal precipitation pattern driven by the Westerlies. the Earth-Moon system. while at Dehra Dun. adding “Where impacts are nearcontemporaneous they’re usually fragments of a larger body broken apart by the gravitational effect of Astronomers detect breakthrough cosmic dark matter filament For the first time.18 February 2013 spell of western disturbance to affect the north-west India since the beginning of this month. Lucknow. “This is the only way these features are formed. and another site at Woodleigh in Western Australia. which includes the locally important staple wheat. they were able to reconstruct the mass distribution of the two clusters and the region in between them using the technique of weak gravitational lensing. Extratropical storms are a global. Terrain around the impact site shows evidence of changes caused by shock-wave related deformation and heating of the ground by an impact event. “This new discovery is a twin for one we reported on last year in the Eromanga Basin in south-western Queensland called the Tookoonooka Crater. arrayed in vast filaments between the galaxies. some meteorological stations in the region have already broken old records for rainfalls for the entire month of February. the precipitation recorded so far is the highest after 1961 and at Barmer in Rajasthan it is highest after 1939. rather than a localized. they estimate that the mass of this collection of hot ordinary matter in the filament is about 6 trillion times the mass of the Sun. “This shock metamorphic terrain covers an area of over 30. has recorded a total rainfall of 135. To confirm the area was an impact zone.” he said. Concept: Western Disturbance is the term used in India. Noting that western disturbances were not unusual for February – normally five such systems affect the region during this month. Bangladesh and Nepal to describe an extratropical storm originating in the Mediterranean that brings sudden winter rain and snow to the northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent.”He also said that there is a link between this site and a nearby potential impact site on the South Australian/Northern Territory border known as the West Warburton geophysical anomaly. has presented evidence for the first detection of the presence of a cosmic web filament. The team’s evidence for a filament is two-fold. Following the first two spells – the first from February 4 to 6 and the second from February 15 to 17. 128. moisture is sometimes shed as rain when the storm system encounters the Himalayas. “This allowed us to determine the scale of the impact site which is buried under four kilometres of younger sediments.” Glikson said.000 square kilometres making it the thirdlargest site of its kind ever discovered on Earth. Andrew Glikson of ANU was quoted as saying by Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Optical and electron microscopic examination revealed tiny fractures. an all time record for the month. for instance. was caused by an asteroid up to 20 kilometres-wide that slammed into the planet between 298 and 360 million years ago. Follow up observations detected deep seismic anomalies below the terrain where the samples were taken. which they estimate from the measurements to be ten or more times that. the meteorological station at Safdardjung has recorded a total rainfall of 93 mm. The moisture in these storms usually originates over the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.” he said.2 mm in 1915. known as Abell 222 and 223. In Delhi. it is only a tiny fraction of the total mass of the filament. Even so. so that 90 per cent or more of the filament mass is in the form of dark matter. which is the fifth highest since 1901 for the entire month of February after 143. dating back to over 300 million years.” he said. In the case of the subcontinent. The impact zone. researchers at Australian National University (ANU) and University of Queensland have claimed. “It looks like both impacted at the same time.7 mm.2 mm in 1942. The spokesperson said the ensuing rains could be the last wet spell of the current winter season. This was because the induced systems associated with western disturbances this year were in the form of depression or a low pressure areas instead of the usual upper air cyclonic circulations and this led to moisture incursions from both Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal and their convergence over the region. 123.12 February . Pakistan. Western Disturbances are important to the development of the Rabi crop in the northern subcontinent. a spokesperson of the IMD said what was significant about this year was that the quantity and spatial distribution of the precipitation has been much more than normal both over the plain and the foothills of the Himalayas. Glikson and colleagues studied quartz grains retrieved from drill holes. He said that there is a link between this impact site and three or four other large impact sites of the same age scattered around Australia.6 mm in 1954.

” Zhang said. approximately the size of Mars. the hot ejecta have been degassed completely. eliminating all Zhang said. even in nominally water-free minerals such as plagioclase feldspar. The lunar highlands are thought to represent the original crust.” researcher Youxue Zhang said in a statement. “Under should almost water. and where the filaments intersect mass is concentrated and galaxy clusters form and grow from ordinary matter.”That is somewhat difficult to explain with the current popular moon-formation model. Any observation of the web has evaded astronomers. The results also contradict the predominant lunar formation theory that the Moon was formed from debris generated during a giant impact between Earth and another planetary body.” said study’s first author Hejiu Hui from the University of Notre Dame. the water content can be detected. “Actually observing the structure of the cosmic dark matter web would be a stunning confirmation of our current understanding of dark matter and dark energy over the history of the Universe. the water is inferred to have been in the Moon when it formed.18 February 2013 Scientists discover water on Moon’s oldest rocks Researchers have detected traces of water within the crystalline structure of one of the oldest rocks obtained from the Apollo missions on Moon. “It’s not ‘liquid’ water that was measured during these studies but hydroxyl groups distributed within the mineral grain. JTS Institute 26 Current Affairs Notes .highland rocks composed of more than 90 per cent plagioclase. according to a University of Michigan study. The infrared spectroscopy work detected about 6 parts per million of water in the lunar anorthosites. until now. crystallised from a magma ocean on a mostly molten early Moon. before the crust solidified. “The surprise discovery of this work is that in lunar rocks. 12 February .Researchers used Infrared spectroscopy to analyse the water content in grain of plagioclase feldspar from lunar anorthosites . The cosmic web structure arises due to the way that dark matter particles swarm together because of their gravitational attraction combined with the pull of the everexpanding Universe.predictions that the cosmic web filaments are entirely dominated by dark matter. In the past 15 years.” researchers said.” that model. Linear filaments of dark matter stretch across the enormous distances between galaxy clusters. The brightcoloured highlands rocks are thought to have formed early in the Moon’s history when plagioclase crystallised from a magma ocean and floated to the surface. a remarkable consensus has emerged that the Universe is completely dominated by unseen dark matter and dark energy. The new findings indicate that the early Moon was wet and that water there was not substantially lost during the Moon’s formation. This observation is confirmation that a filament of dark matter exists between two massive galaxy clusters. The hydroxyl groups the team detected are evidence that the lunar interior contained significant water during the Moon’s early molten state. and may have played a key role in the development of lunar basalts. and could open the door to much deeper understanding going forward.”Because these are some of the oldest rocks from the Moon. “We are able to detect those hydroxyl groups in the crystalline structure of the Apollo samples. in which the Moon formed by collecting the hot ejecta as the result of a super-giant impact of a martian-size body with the protoEarth. according to KIPAC statement.

the Mediterranean. The famous and very active San Andreas Fault zone of California is a transform fault which offsets a portion of the East Pacific Rise under southwestern United States and Mexico.The US Geological Survey said the quake struck 81 kilometres west of Lata.0-magnitude earthquake near Lata in Temotu province. In a 40. was to lift off on February 13/14 from the first launch pad at the SatishDhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. The southern portion is more complex. Kiribati. Mr. A powerful earthquake off the Solomon Islands generated a tsunami of about 5 feet that damaged dozens of homes in the South Pacific island chain on Wednesday. damaging around 50 homes and properties. Vanuatu. The motion of the fault generates numerous small earthquakes. Indonesia lies between the Ring of Fire along the northeastern islands adjacent to and including New Guinea and the Alpide belt along the south and west from Sumatra. said George Herming. 2. A tsunami watch is in effect for American Samoa. Kosrae. this portion excludes Australia. British Columbia. or just Ring of Fire for short. and out into the Atlantic. Concept: The Pacific Ring of Fire..000 mi) horseshoe shape. The vehicle will put six other satellites also into orbit. About 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. New Zealand and eastern Indonesia. The tsunami warning is in effect for the Solomons.11 February 2013 Issue-6/2013 (5 th February to 115 February) CURRENT AFFAIRS CLASS NOTES: 5 Feb . volcanic arcs. Fiji. As per earlier plans. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is the third most prominent earthquake belt. many of the world’s volcanoes are located here. the Pacific plate is being subducted along the Kamchatka Peninsula arcs on south past Japan. Tonga. The Ring of Fire is a direct result of plate tectonics and the movement and collisions of lithospheric plates. 3. Also.4 in 1970. a spokesman for the Prime Minister. a spokesman for the Prime Minister. The active Queen Charlotte Fault on the west coast of the Haida Gwaii. The next most seismic region (5–6% of earthquakes and 17% of the world’s largest earthquakes) is the Alpide belt. a PSLV-20. The eastern section of the ring is the result of the Nazca Plate and the Cocos Plate being subducted beneath the westward moving South American Plate. The PSLV core-alone version was “fully stacked up” in the launch pad and “the vehicles and the satellites are all right.Herming said. it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches.1 quake hit the western Solomon Islands.The centre cancelled earlier warnings for tsunami waves further away. Tuvalu. Solomons officials reported two 4 foot.”There was no immediate report of damages or any accidents.th February . The centre said an 11-centimetre wave was observed in neighbouring Vanuatu. Along the northern portion. with a number of smaller tectonic plates in collision with the Pacific plate from the Mariana Islands. New Caledonia. Australia. in Central America. Canada. All the seven satellites had arrived at JTS Institute 1 Current Affairs Notes . with the seven satellites. and New Zealand.The tsunami formed after an 8. and a magnitude 7.8 kilometres. most of which are too small to be felt. It is sometimes called the circumPacific belt or the circum-Pacific seismic belt. Farther west. The Cocos Plate is being subducted beneath the Caribbean Plate. sending waves crashing into coastal villages.More than 50 people were killed and thousands lost their homes in April 2007 when a magnitude-8. a magnitude 8.” 4. has generated three large earthquakes during the 20th century: a magnitude 7 event in 1929. the easternmost province of the Solomons. A portion of the Pacific Plate along with the small Juan de Fuca Plate are being subducted beneath the North American Plate.. and Timor. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a tsunami of about 3 feet was measured in Lata wharf. since it lies in the center of its tectonic plate. Papua New Guinea.” said George Herming. 11-inch) waves hit the western side of Santa Cruz Island. 2013 (Compiled from 11 Newspapers & 7 Magazines) 5 February 2013 Tsunami hits Solomon Islands 1.” he said. in the Solomon Islands.000 km (25. 3. Java. The launch of SARAL satellite that will study the ocean currents and sea surface heights by a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C20)0 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh will take place any time between February 22 and 25. but authorities cancelled warnings for tsunamis on more distant coasts. 2. Bougainville. the northwestward-moving Pacific plate is being subducted beneath the Aleutian Islands arc. “We’ve been hoping that reports will come in from the responsible authorities . which extends from Java to Sumatra through the Himalayas.1 in 1949 (Canada’s largest recorded earthquake). at a depth of 5. the Philippines. SARAL launch between February 22 and 25 1. and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. Flores. The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes.11 Feb. Nauru. Bali. There were no reports of injuries or deaths. Villagers were heading for higher ground as a precaution. at multiple times a day. Wallis and Futuna. is an area where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. very soon.

adopted by the CELAC Summit. debris. Mr. The stakes for India are high in this region five times its territory. The commitment to democracy was emphasised. In a bid to overcome any future problem. under pressure from the five-nation MERCOSUR. she suggested that foundations of such morainedammed lakes should be strengthened. and reveals the region’s collective determination to make up for lost time. On January 27-28. Continuous ice-melting due to glacier recession (loss of ice due to excess melting) caused the formation of seven new lakes near the mouth of the glaciers. Towards regional consensus 3. 15 large glacier lakes situated at an elevation between 4069 meters to 5252 meters were chosen for monitoring the changes that occurred. the melting of glaciers India-Latin America 1. was not lost on the former colonial power. She said many previous studies in the Himayalan region revealed that the rate of melting was increasing. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid began an official visit to Chile and Argentina on Tuesday night. Political relations are cordial. French space agency CNES contributed the two payloads to the 400-kg SARAL: Argos-3 for data collection and Altikameter for measuring the height of the sea surface. multilateral negotiations on disarmament. According to Farjana Sikandar Birajdar. lead author of the study.” revealed the distance the region has come from its troubled past.” The irony.” There were “small delays” but there was always “a cushion” for the launch and so the PSLV-C20’s liftoff had now been rescheduled between February 22 and 25. 4. “to a better world. with a population of 600 million producing over $10. The fact that Mr. Indian enterprise is increasingly aware of. she added. since its expulsion in 1962. pro tempore President of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States — CELAC — hosted leaders from the region in Chile. posing a serious hazard to settlements downstream.meters during the 47-year period. 2. Cuba remains outside the Organisation of American States. As the glacier starts moving. In all. This was preceded by the First CELAC Summit — planned biennially — with the 27 nations of the European Union. the region.” The Santiago Declaration. The CELAC-EU Declaration maintains a balance between the EU’s insistence on protection of investment and the assertion of overriding sovereign policy by the left in Latin America. The Commerce Ministry has negotiated an amplification of a preferential tariff agreement with Chile and is preparing to negotiate similar agreements with other LAC countries. aiming to “unite our continent as never before. sustainable development. would reduce the ice mass balance even as it resulted in formation of new lakes with loose moraine. SARAL stands for Satellite for Argos-3 and Altika.Khurshid will be there less than four months since taking charge is hopefully a sign of evolving priorities towards the region. plus the United States and Canada. Preliminary findings of an ongoing study by researchers from IIT. and a mountain of debt. Communist Cuba was simultaneously hosting peace talks between the conservative government of Colombia and the ultra-left guerrilla force.Ramakrishnan said. glacier melting over a 47-year period has led to formation of seven new glacial lakes in Chandra-Bagha Basin of western Himalayas. showed that glacier lakes underwent continuous changes between 1963 and 2010. narcotrafficking. orchestrates regional consensus on incandescent issues such as security. If the same trend continued. Indicating the impact of global warming. Mr. Bolivia.5 February . he said there were “no problems. Focus on India 6. while bilateral trade crossed $32 billion in 201112 (30 per cent compound growth over the past decade).000 on average annually per capita. 4. new lakes crop up 1. adversely impacting the storage of freshwater resources as also hydro-power generation.11 February 2013 Sriharikota but they have not been integrated with the rocket. Asked whether fresh glitches had arisen during the testing of SARAL. which includes all CELAC members. The Chilean presidency. Chilean President SebastiánPiñera. 5. Besides by studying the rate of glacier melting. This in turn could lead to a sudden breach of the unstable moraine dams and the phenomenon of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF). Colombia or FARC. the Revolutionary Armed Forces of JTS Institute 2 Current Affairs Notes . was represented by its President. It is the nerve centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 5. The CELAC Summit. 2. Paraguay did not attend the summit. and present across. As glaciers melt in Himalayas. Mr. accentuated by the self-confidence of the Latin American and Caribbean leaders. ‘SMALL DELAYS’ 1. which does not have diplomatic relations with host Chile on account of an ongoing territorial claim by the former. etc. principally between the left-leaning regimes and the hosts and their supporters. There was no significant change in the area of eight other glacier lakes which were situated at a higher altitude and not created by melting. Geographical Information System (GIS) tools and high resolution remote sensing technology were used to delineate glacier lakes situated in inaccessible Himalayan terrain. 3. ice fragments and soil. it accumulates small rocks. Its President. it could be predicted when a lake would burst and the people living downstream could be forewarned. The deliberations and ancillary events revealed fundamental differences in political and economic orientation. Moraine is a depositional feature of glacier. and the 12-nation UNASUR (The Union for South American Nations) — the sub-regional South American organisations from which it was suspended after a “legislative coup” deposing former Paraguayan President Lugo in June 2012. clearly with the tacit approval of the entire region. These were formed as moraine-dammed lakes and the glacier-lake area was estimated to have increased approximately by 2591 sq.Piñera welcomed Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain. August 2012 saw the most significant development in India’s relations with LAC countries. Bombay. Raúl Castro took over the Presidency of CELAC for 2013 in Santiago. struggling with 25 per cent unemployment.It is the VSSC which has built the PSLVC20. glaciers would vanish in the long-term. 2. This is the first ever visit of an Indian Foreign Minister to Santiago.Piñera admitted that “within CELAC we have learnt to live with our differences.

An important catalyst will be the business community. according to the American Diabetes Association. India needs to accelerate and upgrade its political and diplomatic exchanges with the region.The findings by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) could lead to a role for vitamin D supplementation in preventing this serious autoimmune disease in adults. the MEA convinced the Government of India of the need to “Look East. for seven consecutive months. A worthwhile return on diplomatic investment is guaranteed. of which close to 0. research associate at HSPH. Adequate levels of vitamin D during young adulthood may halve the risk of adult-onset Type 1 diabetes.11 February 2013 identified India as its first port of call. The people planted saplings that included naaval. agriculture. A CELAC-China Cooperation Forum finds mention in the Santiago Declaration. Mr.m. not having the disease. Soon. During 2005-10. Ms. 6. A similar exercise was carried out the following decade with Africa. and compared the samples with those of 613 people in a control group. It must be utilised to emphasise our determination to engage Latin America in all aspects of the relationship. Summit to focus on adolescent health 1. about 60 per cent of Type 1 diabetes cases occur after age 20. neem. according to a new research.. 9. Identifying 310 individuals diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes JTS Institute 3 Current Affairs Notes . and a conscious effort to invite more leaders from Latin America. culture and education — on separate platforms. The complexity of the diplomatic challenge cannot be underestimated. The mammoth task was possible because of an ordinary young man who sells bamboo furniture for a living — Piyush Manush.Khurshid’s visit comes at a crucial juncture. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) reciprocated the initiative with alacrity. About five per cent of the estimated 25. 2. 8. notably China. and children gathered at the polluted Mookaneri Lake in Salem. told reporters here on Monday. “It is surprising that a serious disease such as Type 1 diabetes could perhaps be prevented by a simple and safe intervention.S. 8. The government will unveil a national iron plus initiative targeting 13 crore adolescent girls.5 February . Venezuela and Cuba (the Troika of CELAC) signalled the start — or at least the definition — of a new era. 7. “It will engage with all partners to arrive at actionable goals and commitments for high-burden States aimed to reduce the deaths of children from preventable causes. Both were focused programmes. The time has now come to carry out a similar exercise with the 33 nations of Latin America and the Caribbean.” the meet is aimed at accelerating reductions in preventable child deaths through sharper national plans and improved monitoring and evaluation.” said KassandraMunger.” after having virtually ignored Asean and our relations with that vital part of the world.” she said. the team examined blood samples taken before onset of the disease. even though Chile has handed over the presidency. 3. arasamaram and vetiver on the islands. Curious birds flew in to check out the new green spot. India accounts for the largest number of under-five deaths — nearly 1. Green with Manush An enthusiastic bunch of people and plenty of hard work — this is what it took to create a bird sanctuary on a lakebed in Tamil Nadu. the American Journal of Epidemiology reports. Excavators were employed to dig out soil from the 58-acre lake and heap it to form islands on the surface. Today.S. In Type 1 diabetes. it is still among the top four nations that account for 50 per cent of global under-five mortality. At 6 a. Mr. the immune system attacks and permanently disables the insulin-making cells in the pancreas. A strategy for strengthening the nursing profession will also be launched at the summit. will help convince our friends across the South Atlantic of our sincerity. aalamaram. about 150 men. To the geographic distance and magnitude. Mookaneri came alive. Additional Director and Mission Director National Rural Health Mission. a lack of cultural appreciation. women. the Mookaneri is an example that wetland conservationists across Tamil Nadu want to emulate. between 1997 and 2009. followed by China.8 million die within 28 days of birth. suffer from this condition. 5.5 percent each year.Although it often starts in childhood. Steps to implement these have been initiated by the MEA and should find resonance among stakeholders on both sides. The identification of specific areas for collaboration — business. according to a Harvard statement.” Anuradha Gupta. “The big step forward for the summit is sharing of strategic approach. energy. Entitled “Strategic Approach to Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A). Even though the average under-five mortality rate Vitamin D levels could halve diabetes risk 1. historic proclivities to Europe and the U. and the deep inroads already made by others. we must add the difficulties of communication. 3. The Joint Declaration issued after the meeting of the External Affairs Minister with his counterparts from Chile. India’s decline in under-five mortality rate has accelerated to an average of 7. In the 1990s. including by the Prime Minister. who led the study. 7.Khurshid’s visit should largely fulfil the commitment to annual meetings. 4. More frequent visits at all levels.5 million. The strategy is to develop peer educators who can give out “very critical information” to adolescent girls through counselling so that when they get married they will have “very good understanding of basic things” such as birth control. science and technology. the skies opened up and the plants thrived. The results and benefits are evident. provides a road map.8 million people in the U. Gupta said neonatal mortality was very high in the country. 10. which will require official patronage to elevate the economic relationship to the next level. when the immune system starts damaging tissues. every Sunday. Though the child mortality rate in India has dropped by almost 50 per cent since 1990. India will launch a strategic roadmap with focus on adolescent health at the upcoming national meet on “India’s Call to Action: Child Survival and Development Summit” in Tamil Nadu later this week. 2. 4. funded and executed with determination by the ministry in concert with other stakeholders.

more staff.” says Dr. who came from Switzerland as a test pilot described Pilatus as a superior training aircraft.5 February . CHCs too have no takers among the public. Three tiers The current three-tier primary healthcare system consists of subcentres. Bangalore between February 6-10. Team work. said squadron leader SushantMitra of Indian Air Force after landing at Yelhanka in the Pilatus. C -17 Globmaster III. included in the Plan Implementation Programme of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) this year. Swiss made Pilatus also knows as ‘Astra’ would fill the void in basic flying training after indigenous HPT-32 Deepak was grounded around two years back. His co-pilot Stefan Greub.11 February 2013 has been always lower in urban areas. having been the Director of Public Health. controls systems and flexibility of avionics configuration are key features of the Pilatus” Pilatus named after a mountain in central Switzerland is an improved version of the PC-9‘s airframe and avionics. A shift is being envisaged in the role of CHCs. The Community Medicine Department at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College is thus being primed as a Primary Healthcare Department. The UHC pilot project envisages sub-centres as service delivery centres more involved in screening programmes. and a total revision of the traditional roles played by our health workers. The focus will be on better infrastructure. Professor of International Health. take up primary care research.’s NHS.” points out a senior Health Department official. Within a regulatory framework. and by envisaging a greater role for local communities.96 crore e-health initiative from the Centre.Rao has been working with a group here for a while now. multi-tasking. While being the smallest aircraft in the IAF inventory. for several years. as envisaged in the 12 Plan. the State can also rope in private sector healthcare providers. through an overhaul As Kerala aspires to move towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). reworking the role of healthcare providers. Technical support The project will have the technical support of the National Health Service (NHS) of U. “It would provide Stage-I flying training and also help streamline flying training of Stages II and III which had to be modified earlier in absence of the basic trainer. the Indian Air Force trainee pilots will now get a new set of wings to learn their basic flying skills. and creating portable workstations with Wi-Fi connectivity to ease workflow are being envisaged under the project “A lot of ground work needs to be done before we can achieve the vision of UHC. draw up clinical protocols.K. One. University of East London. the government is preparing to strengthen the primary healthcare system of the State by revamping the structure. instruments.” said a Senior Officer of IAF during interaction on condition of anonymity. Yelhanka. The Health Department has selected three institutions in Thiruvananthapuram district to pilot the UHC project — the primary health centres (PHC) of Kallikkad and Chemmaruthi and the community health centre (CHC) of Venpakal. 2013. and delivery of elderly care and palliative care through trained field workers and ASHAs. field work. “It is an excellent training aircraft. Dr. It will chart out the guidelines for CHCs. the PHCs have just one doctor who ends up doing clinics. The department is being assisted by Mala Rao. Healthcare for all. and develop care pathways and curriculum for doctors and nurses. skill development and a better use of technology are some of the watch words here. Kerala could be the first State in the country to pilot an experiment in UHC. I enjoyed my flight from Hyderabad to Yelhanka “.K. e-health initiative The State has already received approval for a Rs. immunisation. PHCs and CHCs. This would Pilatus: Wonderful Wings for Perfect Pilots With induction of Pilatus PC-7 JTS Institute 4 Current Affairs Notes . If the project proposal. to support the pilot project. equipping field workers with tablets or PDA devices for data collection. quality care at the primary healthcare-level alone can bring down the healthcare costs. Utilisation of information technology to build up a health database of communities. Nurses will have a more pro-active role.” Pilatus would thus lay the foundation for future generations of Indian Air Force pilots. Pilatus would also draw a lot of attraction during Aero India-2013. The Tiger Moth aircraft resurrected recently as part of the IAF vintage flight will fly for the first time in the Aero India 2013. the rate of decline has been much faster. The PHCs are to be equipped with more facilities and manpower to deliver most of the healthcare requirements of the community. gets the Centre’s approval. He said that “safety. Good. From ‘Moth’ to ‘Master’ 1. Every PHC will have at least three doctors and four staff nurses. with these becoming training centres and also offering rehabilitative care. We will have to work on building the infrastructure as well as the professional competency of doctors and nurses. on the lines of ‘nursepractitioners’ of U. who has a wealth of experience in strengthening public health systems. NHS. Training Training is to be a crucial area. the largest strategic heavy lift aircraft. Asia’s premier Air Show being held at Air Force Station. which will give academic inputs for training doctors and nurses to be posted at PHCs. fitted with the PC-7‘s smaller turbine ensures lower operating and maintenance costs. the vintage Tiger Moth and other the latest to join the Indian Air Force(IAF). Flying in new aircraft is always a fine experience. While the sub-centres are inadequately staffed. Mark-II trainer aircraft. “The concept of UHC cannot happen unless there is a wellfunctioning primary healthcare system — the friendly neighbourhood PHCs — where a chunk of the healthcare needs of local communities will be met. the Pilatus would shoulder a much heavier responsibility in building future generation of the IAF pilots. and a host of other administrative jobs. He said that “Pilatus would provide even better preparation during Stage-I flying training so that training for operational pilots can take place in quicker time frame. Air Force Station yelahanka displays an amalgamation of two generations of aircraft during Aero India-2013.Rao.

It was the primary trainer aircraft for the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and was also the basic trainer aircraft in the IAF right from 1940. 24. financial assistance or procurement subsidy for agriculture machinery and equipments. Roy said. barely 3.000 crore to depositors. Concept: What are optionally fully-convertible debentures (OFCD)? These debentures can be converted into shares.S. will be decided by the company Five books shortlisted for The Hindu Literary Prize A collection of short stories. and Eddie. The skies of Air Force Station Yelhanka would treat the spectators with the flight of these to aviation marvels representing different era. The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Sahara group. JeetThayyil for Narcopolis (Faber and Faber). enhancing hi-tech. Custom hiring of farm machinery envisages promoting establishment of farm machinery banks for custom hiring by way of providing financial assistance to individual self-help groups or Pak calls for OIC probe into LoC violations Seeking to internationalise JTS Institute 5 Current Affairs Notes . a member of the jury. the ‘de Havilland DH82 ‘Tiger Moth‘ is a two-seat. Europe to Shillong. “From Goa to Bangalore. While. For his unusual city story. 2012 directions of the court on refund of Rs. which also comprises Susie Tharu. “It concerns an entire family — not just one or two people.” The fifth book on the shortlist. which complained that the Sahara group had flouted the court’s directions and had not submitted documents to it (SEBI).” Ms. A Bench of Justices K. this collection of short stories reminds us of the power of craft and voice and our first nominee is AnjumHasan for Difficult Pleasures. artillery guns and battle-ready troops and will strengthen India‘s strategic capabilities. But the “rate”. The Indian Air Force is procuring this latest heavyweight from the US. Its focus is on increasing the reach of farm mechanization to small and marginal farmers and to the regions where availability of farm power is low.” “As the introduction of the book says. has written about “a neglected part of Indian history.” New Strategy for Promoting Farm Mechanisation during 12th Five Year Plan Dedicated Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation Proposed 1. a taxi-driver. A dedicated Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization has been proposed for the XIIth Plan which includes custom-hiring facilities for agricultural machinery as one of its major components. Training schools in the IAF operated the Tiger Moth and later it was replaced by the HT-2. The judgment tells you what you should do but you are not doing it. single bay biplane powered by a 145 hp GYPSY MAJOR four cylinder inverted air-cooled engine. it is about ‘ordinary people whose lives were completely overturned by the Naga struggle’.5 tones.” Ms. Nilanjana Roy. Justice Radhakrishnan told counselPratapVenugopal. is a sequel to his 1994 novel Ravan and Eddie. including combat vehicles. and creating ownership of appropriate farm equipments among small/marginal farmers in eastern/north eastern region. The second nominee. Our fourth nominee is Jerry Pinto for Em and the Big Hoom from Aleph Book Company. high productive equipment hub for custom hiring. Anita Nair and Paul Zachariah. The Extras by KiranNagarkar.The Tiger Moth has no electric system and has to be started manually. farmers’ co-operatives since the prohibitive cost of hi-tech and high productive equipments renders it difficult for individual ownership. EasterineKire for Bitter Wormwood. published by Penguin Viking.. and the companies as well — from personal appearance at the next hearing. asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against it for not implementing the August 31. Even it is refueled manually by pouring fuel in the tank above on the biplane.5 February . The family is described by the author as a family of ‘survivors — shipwreck survivors’. The Sub-Mission aims at catalyzing an accelerated but inclusive growth of agricultural mechanization in India. Narcopolis. a bouncer and bartender. published by Zubaan Books. 3. published by Fourth Estate. and four novels — Bitter Wormwood. when debt holder (investor) wishes.11 February 2013 showcase the spectrum of technological advancement between the ‘Moth’ and the ‘Master’.Em and the Big Hoom and The Extras — have been shortlisted for The Hindu Literary Prize. The other major components included in the Sub-Mission. the Bench exempted the contemnors — the managing director and directors of the Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and the Sahara Housing Investment Corporation. which obliterated its own history’ is the hero or heroin of this story. Roy said.S. The four-engine aircraft is capable of take-off and landing on makeshift runways. Globemaster is capable of carrying a maximum payload of 77. What steps are you taking? You are not taking any action. testing and demonstration. enhancing farm productivity at village level by introducing appropriate farm mechanisation in selected villages.” The jury member termed the fourth book on the list as an “unusual” love story. appearing for the SEBI: “Our directions were very clear. Our judgment provided for consequences. “His fans waited for decades to see these two back: Ravan. Pradeep Sebastian. apart from custom hiring facilities for agricultural machinery are promotion and strengthening of agricultural mechanisation through training. Khehar was acting on a contempt petition filed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India. establishment of farm machinery banks for custom hiring.500-feet long and 90-feet wide. Ministry of Agriculture is promoting a new strategy for farm mechanization through its various schemes and programmes. 2.” Ms. post-harvest technology and management (PHTM). 6 February 2013 Apex court pulls up SEBI for not freezing Sahara’s accounts 1. “The third book on the list starts with a sentence that I am not going to quote in its entirety: ‘Bombay. Radhakrishnan and J. announced the shortlist on Wednesday on the New Delhi leg of The HinduLit for Life. Roy said. Difficult Pleasures. While seeking its response in four weeks.

developmental delays and disabilities such as hearing impairment and vision impairment. even the entitlements provided for children in the NFSB were dropped. 6. 2. more than 4. Despite significant efforts to improve child healthcare. “Infant mortality an area of concern” 1.” 3. while those from six to 18 years were covered under the School Health Programme. 7. 5. She reiterated that Pakistan is ready to work with the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan to carry out an independent inquiry into the ceasefire violations. English and French. Clashes between Indian and Pakistani troops last month were among the worst violations of the ceasefire that was put in place along the 742-km LoC in late 2003. was chosen by the UPA government for launching the Rs.5 February . she said.600 schools are proposed to be covered under the scheme with more than 12 lakh children up to 18 years of age expected to be the beneficiaries with the long-term aim of stemming instances of child morbidity. As per the scheme.11 February 2013 tensions along the Line of Control. 130-crore RBSK under the NHRM. Medical teams will carry out screening of all the children up to six years enrolled at anganwadi centres at least twice a year besides screening all children enrolled in government and government-aided schools. The organisation attempts to be the collective voice of the Muslim world and to safeguard the interests and ensure the progress and well-being of its member countries in an atmosphere of international peace. Tertiary health services would also be made available for cases requiring surgery. The OIC has a permanent delegation to the United Nations. The official languages of the OIC are Arabic. In Thane district. 8. Pakistan’s attempt to rope in the United Nations by demanding a probe by UNMOGIP was foiled by India. Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (2012-14) on critical issues of children’s food and nutritional security have not found place in the Committee’s 27th Report — The National Food Security Bill. one auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) and one pharmacist. The district has a high infant Dropped from the agenda 1.The CBMs had contributed towards creating a “congenial environment between the two countries to address the issue of Jammu and Kashmir”. “More specifically. Gandhi said. comprising two medical officers. Concept: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is an international organisation consisting of 57 member states. 3. Ms. The initiative aims to provide a comprehensive healthcare package for all children up to 18 by conflating earlier programmes where children up to six years of age were examined in anganwadis by a medical officer.She said Pakistan chose to “exercise restraints to keep the PakistanIndia peace process on track. 11. Ms. 2. As the thrust was on bolstering healthcare in remote areas. including birth and heart defects.One Indian soldier was beheaded while the body of another jawan was mutilated by the Pakistan army men in ceasefire violations in Mendhar sector in Poonch last month. the infant mortality rate in the country was still an area of grave concern. District Early Intervention Centres are to be made operational in all districts to treat cases referred from block levels. 90. “We would also welcome an OIC fact-finding mission to investigate the recent incidents of ceasefire violations along the LoC. a predominantly tribal belt. As part of the programme. Islamabad is committed to finding a peaceful solution in line with UN Security Council resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiris. 10.000 crore to the States over a period of seven years to firm up their health apparatus. Palghar. Instead. the universal and unconditional maternal entitlements enabling exclusive breast-feeding to babies for the first six months of life that was provided for in the NFSB is now JTS Institute 6 Current Affairs Notes . 4.” Foreign Minister HinaRabbaniKhar said while addressing a meeting of the OIC contact group on Kashmir in Cairo on Tuesday.” “Pakistan has entered into dialogue with India in good faith to amicably resolve the Kashmir dispute. 2011 (NFSB) which guarantees some legal entitlements to the population at large”.Khar again contended that there were “negative and hostile statements emanating from the Indian leadership” during the ceasefire violations. Pakistan claims three of its soldiers were killed in Indian firing. Around three teams are to be provided for every block. mortality rate as manifested by the common prevalence of child deaths and malnutrition in areas such as Jawhar and Mokhada. 9.” she said in her address. when implemented. A set of 30 common ailments have been identified for screening and early intervention. The NCPCR has noted that it is widely acknowledged that 46 per cent of the country’s children in the age group of below six years are malnourished: “It was hoped that the Standing Committee would seize the opportunity of drafting the NFSB to remedy the bane of malnourishment in the country. We are earnestly implementing the cross-LoC confidence-building measures to bring relief to the divided families and reduce the sufferings of the Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC. is expected to benefit approximately 27 crore children across the country. said UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday. she said the UPA government had given a total of Rs. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) claims to have been “stunned to see that its submissions to the Standing Committee on Food.Earlier. deficiency conditions. She was speaking at the launch of Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) — an initiative of Child Health Screening and early intervention service at Palghar in Maharashtra’s Thane district. 12. The programme would soon be extended to all districts of the country in a phased manner. dedicated five-member teams will be established at the taluka level. This ambitious scheme. Expressing satisfaction at Maharashtra’s fund utilisation of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Pakistan has called for an investigation into the recent incidents there by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. which rejected it saying the matter can be settled bilaterally. she said.

Stating that this is clearly an irrational withdrawal from existing entitlements under the Supreme Court rulings in the Right to Food Case. Libraries and archives are bursting at the seams. California. “We had hoped that this Bill would deliver serious legal underpinnings to efforts being made to ensure children’s right to food and nutrition. the Committee imposed the two-child norm denying entitlements to the third born and higher order of babies in ‘order to encourage stabilisation of population’. Their paper titled “Towards practical. numbers and other symbols. the recommendations of the Committee do not even accommodate existing entitlements in law and policy. JPL Cox wrote in 2001 on long-term data storage in DNA. She said: “On the contrary.1038/nature 11875). DNA has been used since life was born over 2 billion years ago to store and transfer information right through evolution. 2. G. However. 4. as Dr. The provisions for quality food as exist in the ICDS policy are to be made available through law. Dr C. 1 and 2 using combinations of the bases A. But even so. The Goldman group is not the first one to think of DNA as a storage device.) decided to use DNA (yes.1) for alphabets and other such symbols.Sinha. 7.11 February 2013 withdrawn. images and music characters in DNA.” pointed out Ms. The invention of printing brought the Gutenberg revolution. consisting of 4 alphabets (chemical units called JTS Institute 7 Current Affairs Notes . “This is unjust and violates the fundamental right to equality. G. C and T) and encode the information into DNA. “We feel that the country’s children. Gao and Kosuri have discussed the next-generation digital information storage in DNA. 2013 issue). 5. It is a long chain. stable and easily synthesized storage hard drive. have largely been uncovered in terms of legal entitlements in the report/ recommendations of the Committee on NFSB. which has made electronic storage possible. leave alone create a vision for the future. While the current electronic storage devices require active and continued maintenance and regular transferring between storage media (punched cards to magnetic tapes to floppy disks to CD. UK told The Economist (in its January 26. inclusion of pulses and oils in entitlements. Why DNA? Indeed the question should be ‘why not DNA”. Just store in a cool. Goldman (together with 4 colleagues at Hinxton and 2 from Agilent Technologies. read the sequence of bases in it and understood much information about the animal. 9. the Committee has recommended that no ‘Take Home Rations’ may be needed as they recommend replacement with food grains to the family. high-capacity. People have isolated DNA from the bones of dinosaurs dead about 65 millions ago. papyrus sheets or paper. rather than synthesize one long string of DNA to code for an entire item of information. low maintenance information storage in synthesized DNA” has just been published in the journal Nature two weeks ago (doi:10.T. it was through the caveman paintings and symbols. Further highlighting the shortcomings in the report of the Committee. We now hope that Parliament will give serious consideration to these issues. Integrated circuits. and reading them using the on-off electrical signals. “This will prevent these entitlements from coming into play for the entire period of six months post-delivery. These chunks are then DNA as an information storage device 1. DNA is thus a long-lived. or digital computers with the combination of zeros and ones in chosen sequences.” said Ms. 3. Allenberg and Rotstein came up with a coding method for archiving text. bases and referred to as A. particularly when encountering repetitive base sequences. Printed books occupy space. and in 2012 Church. books were written and stored for future generations. It is stable and has an admirable shelf life. It is small in size — the entire information content of a human is stored in a 3 billion long sequence of A. Then we invented the alphabets.. Enter the computer age and digitization using the binary code of combining zeros and ones (0.5 February . Since time immemorial. mankind has wanted to share and use information for later use. the NCPCR has pointed out: “Experience of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) program clearly shows that food for children is not the same as for adults. G. cutting down the size and space for ‘hard copies’. “That means the cost of storage is rising but our budgets are not”. Nick Goldman of the European Bioinformatics Institute at Hinxton. DNA based storage needs no active maintenance. Dr E. Baum tried building an associative memory vastly larger than the brain in 1995.” said NCPCR chairperson ShantaSinha. First. the amount of information storable in a given ‘hard drive’ (from a printed book to an Amazon or Kindle e-book. The NCPCR claimed to have made specific recommendations to the Committee on facility and community-based entitlements for malnourished children. making multiple copies easily and spreading education to millions of people. in palm leaves. 6. Also. Clelland and others ‘hid’ messages in DNA microdots in 1999. processors and related electronic wizardry have shrunk the size of computers and storage devices from room-size to finger nail size. ideograms.” she noted.” 7. 8. etc..). or the Encyclopaedia Britannica to Google) is growing exponentially. C and T.” 5. This novelty avoids any reading errors. Using these. but “these have not found reflection in the Committee’s Report”. honouring Supreme Court rulings pertinent to children.Sinha. U. dark and dry place! 6. Meanwhile for children under two years.” 4. the NCPCR has noted that the group has imposed that the maternity benefits are to be availed by the pregnant woman after ‘three months into pregnancy’. The animal (shall we say the ‘host’ of the DNA) is long since dead but the information lives on. the molecule which stores the code to make life possible) as the information storage device. so that no errors occur during synthesis or read-out.S. especially in the 0-6 years age group. they broke the file down to smaller chunks. What is novel in the Hinxton method is that they moved away from the conventional binary (0 and 1) code and used a ternary code system (three numerals 0. C and T) put together in a string of sequence — similar to what the English language does with its 26 alphabets and punctuation marks. legal status for ICDS. rather than electronics. and packed into the nucleus of a cell smaller than a micron (thousandth of a millimetre). adding that ignoring the importance of exclusive breast-feeding would only perpetuate child mortality and malnutrition.B.

United Kingdom. In one model. new models have indicated.11 February 2013 read in an appropriate manner or protocol. two new models suggest different ways a giant impactor could produce a Moon chemically similar to Earth. It involves exaggerated startle response upon tactile or auditory stimulus. Rare disorder Stating that this was a rare disorder in which the child used to get startled at even a small touch. suggests a larger impactor than previously considered possible. The patient. infrequently accessed material. the clinical diagnosis had led them to confirm hyperekplexia. Robin Canup. they stored all 154 sonnets of Shakespeare (in ASCII text). “This seemed to create a problem: the match of lunar and Earth material is too perfect.Puri. the speed is slow and the reading using DNA sequencers is expensive. After the planet consolidated. when the child was brought in. the Moon has almost identical isotopic ratios. the speed has improved. to fit all of the world’s digital information into the back of a lorry”). and it is predicted that in a couple of years. Canup reported. in other words. Dr. “But she still has episode trips and we are confident that our work would lead to better understanding of her disorder and its treatment. as it turned out. a colour photograph of Hinxton (in JPEG) and a clip from the “I have a Dream” speech of Martin Luther King (in MP3 format). but in time both the speed will improve and the cost come down considerably. for the financial year 2012-13. analysis of budget estimates of government expenditure and performance of key sectors like. the discovery of the new gene offers greater hope of better treatment to such patients.Seo-Kyung Chung of Institute of Life Sciences College of Medicine. 8. However. 2. who is now six. “The genetics of this disorder is known and can be Advance Estimates of National Income. DNA–based information storage is a realistic option to archive long-term. not from pieces of Earth. Research on in premier institutes As per the research. Recall that it took $3 billion to read out the entire human genome a decade ago.5 February . railways. Swansea University.” Dr. 2012-13 The Central Statistics Office (CSO).” says William K Hartmann. The advance estimates at current prices are derived by estimating the implicit price deflators (IPDs) at sectoral level from the relevant Giant collision may have formed Moon from Earth Moon could have indeed been born from the compositionally similar Earth. following a giant collision. communication. Whereas all other known extraterrestrial bodies in the solar system today have different isotopic ratios than Earth. Today. Researchers stumble upon new gene with Delhi hospital’s input Quick to realise that a two-year-old girl admitted with them for problem of seizures and for getting started on touch was suffering from hyperekplexia and not epilepsy. What did Goldman and group store in DNA? For starters. In the 1980s. transport other than railways. suggested the Moon would have formed mainly from the remnants of the pulverised foreign body. about the same size as the early Earth.2 petabytes (a peta is a million billion or 10 raised to power 15) in one gram of DNA (and as The Economist says “enough. Today. ‘Earth’ magazine reported. The giant impact theory the idea that a catastrophic collision about 4. The perfect isotopic match called the giant impact theory into question and suggested the Moon likely formed from Earth material. newer analytical evidence has since shown that the Moon’s chemical composition closely matches that of Earth’s mantle. “At that time four years ago. How much information can be stored in DNA? Goldman and co have been able to store 2. The events that led to it As per senior consultant in the Department of Genetics at SGRH. the doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here sent her samples for further study abroad and these have now become part of a path-breaking research that has led to the discovery of a new gene. for a molecular analysis to a research group which was working on the genetics of this disease. was prescribed medication and her condition has improved with it. banking and insurance. the remaining debris would produce a chemically similar Moon. there were only two known genes for it and we did not have mutation in the known genes. available so far. What about the speed? And how does one read the files? 9. However. providing for 100 percent accuracy.Puri said it can run in families and can occur again. So. These advance estimates are based on anticipated level of agricultural and industrial production. she said. And we are now using DNA to store and archive the products of our brains. Now. But even today. 10. GLRB is the third major gene-of-effect in hyperekplexia. senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute (PSI). and months to do so. along with our findings. the 1953 Watson-Crick paper on the DNA double helix (in PDF format).Puri adds. Hyperekplexia is a severe paroxysmal neuromotor disorder that typically presents soon after birth or in the first week of life. What a twist! inherited. Natural selection and evolution have used DNA to store and read out to make our bodies.RatnaDuaPuri. A collision with a similar-sized impactor would leave in its wake a mixture of debris from Earth and the impactor. an astrophysicist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder.5 billion years ago between Earth and aprotoplanet about half Earth’s size created a disk of molten rock. The main research in the subject has been done by a group of premier medical institutes while the “corresponding author” is Dr. but how remained unknown. gas and debris that consolidated to form the Moon was first set forth in the mid-1970s. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the advance estimates of national income at constant (200405) and current prices.” says Dr. We sent her samples. the human genome can be read for $1000. computer modelling of the physics of such a collision JTS Institute 8 Current Affairs Notes . this child had a unique disorder and similarly around nine other patients across the world had similar mutations which led the research group to identify a change and the new gene is now called GLRB. Dr.

0 percent and 4.2 per cent growth in bank credit as on December 2012 (against the respective growth rates of 17. showing a rise of 13.4 percent.9 per cent during 2012-13 as against growth of 5. are normally measured at market prices.64. As various components of expenditure on gross domestic product. as compared to Rs.1 per cent and 3.74 per cent per cent in AprilDecember 2012. insurance. gas & water supply (4.1 per cent growth in aggregate deposits and 15. also known as national income. The NNI at factor cost at current prices is anticipated to be Rs.7 percent. transport and communication’. The key indicators of construction sector.075 crore. 52.7 percent. as compared to the growth rates of 4.5 February . forestry and fishing’ (1.2 per cent in 2011-12. hotels. The salient features of these estimates are detailed below: available on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). transport and communication sectors during 2012-13 is placed at 5. 83. In terms of growth rates.72. namely.6 per cent in the previous year.4 per cent in 2012-13 as against negative growth of 0.8 per cent. balance of payments.8%). The growth rate in per capita income is estimated at 2. in 2012-13. The growth in GDP during 2012-13 is estimated at 5. as against the First Revised Estimate of GDP for the year 201112 of Rs. respectively. The net national income (NNI) at factor cost. production of foodgrains is expected to decline by 2. These estimates have been compiled using the data on indicators available from the same sources as those used for compiling GDP estimates by economic activity.8 per cent as compared to growth of 5. 2011-12.571 crore during 2012-13.037. According to the information furnished by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC). released on 31st January 2013.11 February 2013 price indices. 73. the discussion in the following paragraphs is in terms of market prices only. 2012-13 13 Alongwith the Advance Estimates of GDP by economic activity. forestry and fishing’ sector is likely to show a growth of 1. II ESTIMATES OF EXPENDITURES ON GDP. The per capita income at current prices during 2012-13 is estimated to be Rs. at 2004-05 prices is likely to be Rs. detailed data available on merchandise trade in respect of imports and exports. is expected to show a growth rate of 8.53. ‘financing. Per Capita Income 9.5 per cent during the year 2012-13 as against 5. National Income 8. as against the previous year’s estimate of 4. The sectors which registered growth rate of over 5 percent are ‘Construction’. as against the previous year’s First Revised Estimate of Rs. cement production and steel consumption have registered growth rates of 6. consumption expenditure and capital formation.6 per cent during 2011-12. The estimated growth in GDP for the trade.47. Services 7. Private Final Consumption Expenditure 14. showing a rise of 11. real estate and business services’. 94. 201213.2 per cent in the previous agriculture year.819 crore during 2012-13. The growth rate of ‘community. ‘trade.1 percent in the previous year. Industry 6.61. There has been an increase of 4.0 per cent and 6. There may be slow growth in the sectors of ‘agriculture. the index of manufacturing and electricity registered growth rates of 1. manufacturing (1. Private Final Consumption ADVANCE ESTIMATES OF NATIONAL INCOME. The per capita income in real terms (at 2004-05 prices) during 2012-13 is likely to attain a level of Rs.495 crore.5 per cent in these sectors during April-November. social and personal services’ during 2012-13 is estimated to be 6. social and personal services’. the CSO is also releasing the Advance Estimates of expenditures of the GDP at current and constant (2004-05) prices.03. Per Capita Income 12. as against the previous year’s growth rate of 3. According to the latest estimates JTS Institute 9 Current Affairs Notes . namely. 2012-13.6 per cent. The sector. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at factor cost at constant (2004-05) prices in the year 2012-13 is likely to attain a level of Rs. on account of 11.979 crore. 4.9%) and electricity.1 percent. 61. The construction sector is likely to show a growth rate of 5. National Income 11.43. 68.8 per cent respectively in passengers and cargo handled in civil aviation and decline of 3.9 per cent. and ‘community.4%).0 per cent in the corresponding period of previous year).934 crore during 2011-12. respectively during April-December. and monthly accounts of central government. Estimates at Current Prices Gross Domestic Product 10. 83. The production of cotton and sugarcane is also expected to decline by 4. respectively during April-November.55. the national income registered a growth rate of 4.2 per cent as against growth of 7.9 per cent during 2012-13. 2012-13 Estimates at Constant (2004-05) Prices Gross Domestic Product 3.143 as compared to the First Revised Estimate for the year 201112 of Rs.3 per cent in stock of telephone connections as on November 2012.9 percent in GDP during 2012-13.0 percent in the previous year. showing a growth rate of 13.2 per cent in 2012-13 as against the previous year’s growth rate of 6. ‘financing. This is mainly on account of decline of 3.1 per cent. which has been used in compiling the estimate of GDP from agriculture in 2012-13. The growth in the mining and quarrying sector is estimated to be (0. hotels.2 per cent and 16.99.1 per cent in cargo handled at major sea ports during April-November.476 crore. The ‘agriculture.9%). GDP at factor cost at current prices in the year 2012-13 is likely to attain a level of Rs.564 during 2011-12. The mining sector is likely to show a growth of 0.5 per cent.747 as compared to Rs. production of fruits and vegetables is expected to increase by 3.582 crore. insurance.68.39. 38.2 per cent and 9.3 per cent over the First Revised Estimate of GDP for the year 201112 of Rs.0 percent as compared to the growth rate of 6. The sales of commercial vehicles witnessed an increase of 0. 2012-13. Agriculture 5. The manufacturing sector is likely to show a growth of 1.4 per cent and 4. Among the horticultural crops. real estate and business services’. 45.8 per cent in its GDP during 2012-13.6 per cent during 2012-13.

‘I didn’t gain weight. where they might play an important role in the development of organic farming.726 crore in 2012-13 as against Rs 10. the rates of GFCE at current and constant (2004-05) prices during 2012-13 are estimated at 11. Government Final Consumption Expenditure (GFCE) at current prices is estimated at Rs. deficiencies. In terms of GDP at market prices.93. diseases. “However. Samantha got interested in nutrition when her friend was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The newly-discovered worms have a rounded body tip. the GFCE is estimated at Rs. even after eating junk food everyday.3 percent and 59. When twisted. So why should I bother?’ But. 8.44. a more conventional explanation might be that they are used to aid copulation rather than respiration.42. while the end is square shaped. respectively in 2011-12. the rates of GFCF at current and constant (2004-05) prices during 2012-13 are estimated at 29.4 percent. as against the corresponding rates of 30.677 crore in 2011-12. the posterior end.4 per cent. A pharma major.Expenditure (PFCE) at current prices is estimated at Rs. it’s an obsession. and I think it’s making its way around the world. 29. The initiative is to provide comprehensive healthcare and improve the quality of life of children through early detection of birth defects. as against the corresponding rates of 56. 7 February 2013 10 new species of freshwater earthworms discovered in Thailand 1.11 February 2013 Rashtriya Bal Swasthya karyakram launched With the launch of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram. Estimates of gross/net national product.857 crore in 2012-13 as against Rs. 4.” says Samantha Lzzy.2 percent. 7. 17. which is normally above the soil surface. 50. UPA from Palghar. 57. Gross Fixed Capital Formation 16. the worms did well in areas of organic farming and so are likely to be sensitive to modern agrochemical contamination of the environment. diseases.279 crore in 2012-13 as against Rs. 27. respectively. Women. At constant (200405) prices.6 percent and 33. a Tribal Block in Thane district. They may play an important role in organic rice farming. 9. In terms of GDP at market prices.86. Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. including rice fields.7 percent.. as against the corresponding rates of 11. Maharashtra today. which prove to be lethal to the worms.9 per cent and 33. According to a report published in the journal ZooKeys. At constant (2004-05) prices.05. but it has been suggested that they evolved to assist breathing in such aquatic habitats. says Samantha. 5.” he said in a statement.0 percent and 2.7 percent. 72. it’s important to prevent problems. being a facilitator in the decomposition of organic matter to be a natural fertiliser. 34. gross/net domestic product and per capita income.630 crore in 2012-13 as against Rs. 6.980 crore in 2012-13 as against Rs.559 crore in 2011-12. 5 February . though not in pesticides. respectively. alongwith GDP at factor cost by kind of economic activity and the Expenditures on GDP for the years 2010-11 and 2011-12 and 2012-13. Thailand. She hoped that all State Governments would march in step with the Central Government and take proactive steps to roll out the screening and intervention services at the earliest to improve the survival. 3. regular health screening of children in public health facilities. deficiencies and development disorders will be done now.6 percent and 11. Chairperson. “The worms will survive in areas using chemical fertilisers but not those using chemical pesticides. Scientists have discovered an astonishing 10 new species of semi-aquatic freshwater earthworms in river systems in Thailand. The function of the wings is still unknown to scientists. in particular.S. A new health initiative “Rashtriya BalSwasthya Karyakram” was launched by Smt. Since the wings will be located deep in the burrow at a low oxygen supply and are absent in sexually immature juveniles. There are people who say.18. Another peculiar feature are the so-called “wings”. 11. development delays including disability. need to be armed with nutritional information. forms U-shaped channels.072 crore in 2011-12.34. scientist and researcher. Government Final Consumption Expenditure 15.309 crore in 2011-12. health and overall development of children. The rates of Change in Stocks and Valuables at current prices during 2012-13 are estimated at 3. “I realised nutrition was fairly important to bring diseases under control. 19.9 per cent and 59. respectively.60.” said the author of the report. and that made me switch my major.873 crore in 2012-13 as against Rs. This programme will cover 25 crore children all over the country in a phased manner and provide for free follow up management and treatment at the district hospitals and at tertiary levels.4 percent. 6. Dr. Aanganwadis and Government and Government aided schools for defects at birth. the earthworms in the genus Glyphidrilus occur in a wide range of natural freshwater habitats. the PFCE is estimated at Rs. The worms turn out to play an important role in the development of rice farming.SomsakPanha. respectively in 2011-12.97. These are used to allow water circulation down the burrow. 6.219 crore in 2011-12. In terms of GDP at market prices. instead of waiting for something to happen. respectively in 2011-12. Sonia Gandhi. The species also assist the release of essential minerals in some chemical fertilisers. respectively. or the expanded part of epidermis near the body tip. 2. 33.49. I also understand that people now have a greater desire to educate themselves about nutrition.” 2. from the Animal Systematics Research Unit. Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) at current prices is estimated at Rs.900 crore in 2011-12. while their bodies remain in the burrows. At constant (2004-05) prices. “Food is not just about weight management. the GFCF is estimated at Rs.56. “Women are JTS Institute 10 Current Affairs Notes . as well as improving the soil properties for better rice root system. at constant (2004-05) and current prices are given in Statements 1 to 6.34. In the U. Notes on nutrition 1. 10.3 percent. the rates of PFCE at current and constant (2004-05) prices during 2012-13 are estimated at 56.8 percent and 11. This is probably an evolutionary adjustment that ensures oxygen transport to the deeper surface of the worms.

Coconut.” What he does not know is that it is not only his village and its 740 acres of sacred MangarBani grove. Besides filling in the gaps in the diet. is abundant in lauric acid which is antimicrobial. borrowing) from traditional cuisines. statistics say it affects 200 million women worldwide. high in starch (carbohydrates) and hence is more inflammatory than a diet that is low in starch. 6. “Omega-3 is a wonder nutrient. ‘Identify forest areas’ Traditional treasures Modern nutritional research or ancestral wisdom? 1. Samantha studied the biochemical processes in the body. is rich in circumin which is now known to combat cancer. then long life can be accompanied by vitality. “If there’s emphasis on good nutrition. I can keep going but you get the idea. They were created with only one thing in mind — sustainable long-term health. Turmeric (manjal). The point here is that though we’ve been saying that we understand nutrition for many decades now. It’s true. it is just a matter of customising our traditional cuisine to suit our unique needs. everybody slips. tested and proven on millions of humans. But if you exercise. by design. During the course of her research. and vegetarians can rely on vegetable oils and flax seeds. “Take osteoporosis. The South Indian diet is. tasty and health promoting and end up learning (or in some cases. they and other villagers thought the buyers were fools to buy it up because they were assured that they could continue to use it for grazing cattle and firewood. she says. Use of supplements 5. was only discovered in 1994 but diet programmes that claimed to be the best fat loss solution and nutrition experts who claimed to have all the answers have been in existence for much longer. the Sohna master plan 2031 and the Gurgaon Manesar Master plan .” You get your daily dose of calcium. which we add to pretty much everything. it is a science that isn’t fully understood by modern man yet. 4. Based on what the rest of the diet looks like. But if you happen to be lactose intolerant. and so pregnant and lactating mothers should ensure they get their daily dose of it. a hormone which is now thought to be a key player in regulating appetite and metabolism and hence an integral factor in obesity research.000 publications in support of it. clove. Lentils (paruppu) are rich in magnesium which is a natural calcium channel blocker and protects against heart disease.” outrageous results in ridiculous periods of time. various types of cancers and promote optimal body composition. such protective and health promoting elements are incorporated accordingly. sustainable. again a regular in South Indian cooking. One must realise that the majority of health recommendations that make their way from developed countries originate from traditional cuisines. 5. cardamom. Gurgaon and Faridabad. Clarified butter sounds more 21st Century than nei. 4. Once we do that. All this applies not only to the South Indian diet.11 February 2013 traditionally the backbone of the family. In order to protect against such inflammation.” she reasons. get enough calcium and vitamin D while you’re young. it is. which are not only a natural recharge zone for several fresh water lakes in the vicinity. says Samantha. “Take circumin as a supplement” sounds more like health advice than “Add manjalpodi”. coriander. turmeric). you can always take supplements. Samantha stresses on the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle early. They have been tried. that is under threat. 11. Today. 10. They don’t contain additives or preservatives. where for centuries not even a twig was cut.5 February . 3. and the way nutrients affect it. What we need to do now is to merely break down our traditional diet and understand the importance of the different elements there in. They are not marketed or sold. Today. They don’t promise JTS Institute 11 Current Affairs Notes . supplements can also target specific issues like anaemia or menopause. high cholesterol. Nutrition. in fact. she says.2031 — drawn up last year. “The roots of black cohosh can help relieve menopausal troubles in women. in government offices and with fellow activists “to save the forests from a determined State government that wants to open it for colonisation. Every traditional cuisine has such elements of health in different forms and proportions. But let me tell you this — traditional cuisine rules! They are a result of thousands of years of experimentation and research. Be it Indian or Mediterranean or Mexican or Ethiopian. Dairy products and red meat are a great source of conjugated lineolic acid which is shown to protect against high blood pressure. 25-year-old poliostricken Sunil has dropped all his other dreams and moves with lightning speed on his crutch. For example. There are nearly 18. “A medley of multi-coloured mixed root vegetables in a coconutty broth” sounds fancier and healthier than avial. Take South Indian cuisine for instance. and they can influence healthy eating. leptin. you can prevent loss of bone density later. but are identified by the Central Ground Water Board as the last source for recharging depleting ground water reserves that are already inadequate to meet the drinking water needs of the population of Delhi. 2. but thousands of acres of gairmumkinpahar (uncultivable forested hills) in Gurgaon and Faridabad face the same prospect ever since they were designated as agricultural zones under the MangarBani development plan 2031.” With longevity on the rise. The land of some 25 villages from these master plans fall in the Aravalli hills. Aravallis being gobbled up by land developers Two decades ago when Sunil’s parents sold off 25 acres of their family’s share of land in the Mangar forests of Faridabad.For the thousands of researchers and nutritionists trying to crack the health and obesity code the answers are right in front of us. our diet is rich in spices that are anti-inflammatory by nature (ginger. 3. 7. affects everything from appearance to anaemia.” Seafood. cardiovascular diseases. Good nutrition also goes a long way in preventing debilitating conditions. across the forest. It’s very important for the brain development of babies. the most commonly used herb in the USA and Europe. if you have three glasses of milk. is an excellent source. If she slips. 8. all traditional cuisines have in them a plethora of nutritional wisdom. nutrition experts start off with an aim to create a diet plan that is satiating. 9.

close to the border with the Gujrat District. Australian sport is awash with peptides. Gujarat. Despite the efforts of civil society and environment activists. which sent a devastating tsunami over the island of Lata. Concept: An aftershock is a smaller earthquake that occurs after a previous large earthquake. the government presently recognises only these areas as forests. Jayalalithaa. ending in Delhi. degraded or cleared for other use. The Aravalli hills are not only rich in floral biodiversity. Mr. The Chief Secretary read out the notification of appointment of the new Judge. including mega recreational zones. Banas River. the Australian Crime JTS Institute 12 Current Affairs Notes . the aftershock is redesignated as the main shock and the original main shock is redesignated as a foreshock. Since he is the senior-most Judge of the Madras High Court. At a brief function in Durbar Hall. local news reported. emergency for the areas around Lata in the Santa Cruz area. the Governor K. recognised or classified under any law” and irrespective of whether they were once forests and now stand denuded. “Mr. it lies near the southwestern extremity of the range. Concept: The Aravalli range are the oldest fold mountains in India. have been bought up by realtors. About one-third of the Aravalli hills are protected under Section 4 and 5 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) 1900 and.The relief flight was carrying supplies and the Solomon’s Prime Minister from Honiara to the worst affected areas. The strength of the court has now increased to 49 against the sanctioned strength of 60. Some professionals were taking substances not yet approved for human use. some of which have turned seasonal in the last decade. SheelaBalakrishnan.” Strong aftershock disrupts Solomon Islands aid efforts A 6. an official report said on Thursday. Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal would perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court with effect from the date of assuming office in the High Court. which are not recorded as forests to be protected under the Forest Conservation Act 1980.Prime Minister Gordon Lillo is declaring a state of Doping widespread in Australian sport.0 earthquake on Wednesday. who have pointed out that these natural forests come under the definition of forests and need to be protected as deemed forests. The Chief Minister. An aerial reconnaissance team from Australia is surveying the damage. or any other protective mechanism. The delay in aid efforts comes as officials discover the tsunami damage is much worse that originally indicated. as Haryana’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests C. which traverses through South Delhi and terminates into Central Delhi where raisina hill is its last extension . Agrawal sworn in High Court judge Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal was on Thursday sworn in Judge of the Madras High Court. The highest peak is Guru Shikhar in Mount Abu in Rajasthan.’ which permits 22 kinds of real estate activities. On the other hand. Result: The Aravalligairmumkinpahar. the Supreme Court directed all States to “identify areas which are forests irrespective of whether they are so notified. Justice Agrawal by presenting a bouquet. Sahibi. The southern end is at Palanpur near Ahmedabad. he will be the acting Chief Justice. Raj Bhavan. bureaucrats in anticipation of the urbanisation as envisaged in the new master plans. after a site visit. so far. They are also the catchment for several lakes like Badhkal. As per the notification of the Ministry of Law and Justice. It is one of the world’s oldest mountain ranges. hormones and other banned drugs with whole teams believed to be doping. Rosaiah administered the oath of office to Mr. this has not been done. as per a notification. In December 2011. but are an important wildlife corridor between the AsolaBhatti wildlife sanctuary in Delhi and the Rajasthan Aravallis.The shallow aftershock southeast of Kirakira follows a powerful 8. finds probe 1. Mangar village alone has 3595 acres of gairmumkinpahar and nine Aravalli villages form part of the plan.Jayalalithaa greeted Mr. Aftershocks are formed as the crust around the displaced fault plane adjusts to the effects of the main shock. 2. The area of destruction is much larger than first thought with up to 20 villages badly damaged or destroyed. He also pointed out that it is critical to preserve this area because the district of Faridabad depends on groundwater for its domestic water supply and had recommended that the entire gairmumkinpahardeemed forests of Aravallis should be brought under PLPA to protect it. Justice Agrawal. If an aftershock is larger than the main shock. The city of Udaipur with its lakes lies on the south slope of the range in Rajasthan. Luni River. Haryana’s town planning department is pushing through its real estate zoning plans on these natural forests by designating them as agricultural zones.R. were present. These suggestions were not accepted. Sakhi. Jotriwal told The Hindu. and the Chief Secretary. The famous Delhi Ridge is the last leg of the Aravalli Range. Justice Agrawal was hitherto a Judge of the Allahabad High Court. In the MangarBani plan for instance. in the same area of the main shock. Surajkund. Dhauj and Peacock.The northern end of the range continues as isolated hills and rocky ridges into Haryana state. politicians. It’s dates back to pre-Indian subcontinental collision with the mainland Eurasian Plate. Rising to 5650 feet (1722 meters).6-magnitude aftershock has forced an aid flight to turn back on its way to Lata in the Solomon Islands. the Aravalli hills have been included as an ‘agricultural zone. Sabarmati River.11 February 2013 In 1996 and then in July 2011. Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and other Judges of the Madras High Court. Ms.The 1-metre wall of water swept away whole villages in the flat region and killed at least nine people. the Deputy Commissioner of Faridabad.5 February . Some area that comes under the Aravalli Plantation Scheme is also protected. Numerous rivers arises amidst the ranges including. opposed the Mangar development plan and recommended that the whole of the Aravaligairmumkinpahar zone should be excluded from the agriculture zone and delineated as a water recharge and forest conservation zone.

in a statement. Basically at the back of Mr. These memories still live with them and frequent reports of Tibetan monks immolating themselves has led them so far to politely stall China’s probes for a diplomatic presence in Bhutan. Bhutanese sources also refer to the general aversion to the Chinese among middle level officials as one reason why the opening up towards China will not take place soon. Mr.” Ms.5 February . the Finance Ministry is disappointed and has termed the growth estimates as “below expectations”. the robust services sector.200-mw Punatsangchhu-I. Chidambaram indicated his intention to take a closer look at the allocation for Bhutan as part of his overall drive to compress allocation of budgetary resources to most Ministries including the Ministry for External Affairs which channels India’s external assistance. The dispute with China over what some Bhutanese regard as traditional grazing pastures for their cattle around the Sikkim-Bhutan-China tri-junction also dissuades them from getting too close to China.6 per cent expansion achieved in 2011-12. The clearance schedule of all these projects has been pushed back by four to six months amid apprehensions that some of them involving central public sector enterprises may get further delayed. Between now and June. said government sources. in its advance estimates.” But he did not reveal which clubs and which sports stars were fingered by the investigators because that might impede criminal charges being laid.7 per cent in the previous fiscal. 4. are kept acquainted about the situation on his country’s borders by India’s Research & Analysis Wing.Thinley was a surprise winner in Bhutan’s maiden parliamentary polls and his group is keen to repeat the performance in the next elections as well.2 percent expansion witnessed in the previous fiscal year. Former ASDA head Richard Ings welcomed a promise from the government of enhanced powers for agency sleuths. on Thursday. During 10 years between the mid 60s to the mid 70s. Reacting to the GDP numbers. Mr. We are keeping a watch on the situation.8 percent for the fiscal year (2012-13) which is just one-half of the 3. The CSO.Thinley’s mind is the nervousness every politician suffers from before an election. the 1. which used to make up for the slide in other sectors. Likewise. tops the agenda of Bhutan Prime Minister Jigmi Y. projected a slide in the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth to a decade low of 5 per cent in 2012-13.9 percent from 2. Australia’s John Fahey. said the report “tells us how wide. pegged the expected growth in agriculture and allied activities much lower at 1. Growth estimates ‘below expectations’: FinMin The Central Statistics Office (CSO). doctors and pharmacists. rather than China. The silver lining is that the growth estimates for the entire year are extrapolated based on data for April-November and do not take into account the reform measures put in place by the government and its likely impact in the remaining months of 2012-13. This smooth flow of funds now appears to be in danger of being curtailed after Union Finance Minister P. said official sources here. There’s been a belief with some sports and even with some officials that doping just would not take place in Australian sport and if it did it was isolated and sporadic.” He said some had turned a blind eye to the use of performance-enhancing substances because “we’ve been seduced by the romantic nature of sport. who arrived here on a three-day visit. Sports Minister Kate Lundy said administrators should set up “integrity units” that would work with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASDA) and the police to root out doping. how deep. 6. Since then. when the elections are likely to be held. president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).Thinley’s focus on economic ties with India is not surprising. said: “The CSO’s growth estimate. owing to external turbulence and subdued demand at home. 7. which marks a sharp drop from the 6.000 MW. 3. 8. India contributed generously to Bhutan’s Tenth Plan as well as maintained the flow of funds for three ongoing mega hydel projects — the 1. is witnessing a growth deceleration. Thinley. describing the revelations as “the blackest day in Australian sport. It found dope being administered by sports scientists in cahoots with coaches. this projection is based on extrapolation of numbers till November 2012. hydel and other JTS Institute 13 Current Affairs Notes . is below what we had expected it to be. As for China. 5. the growth rate in the manufacturing sector is also seen as slipping to 1. Mr. Thimphu is keen that its development plans and hydel projects being constructed by India are not affected by the Finance Ministry’s move to reduce fiscal deficit. So far. The commission also alleged that criminal elements might have infiltrated professional sports and fixed matches to manipulate betting markets. sources close to Thimphu said the top leadership. Showcasing ongoing road.11 February 2013 Commission said in its report delivered after a year-long investigation. Needless to say. Lundy said. During its years of good economic growth. Also. they were witness to the pitiful state of Tibetan refugees as they sought shelter in their villages along the route to India. Beijing’s activities have not been an area of concern though middle ranking Chinese officials have visited Bhutan to test the waters on the prospect of establishing diplomatic ties. If you want to fix a match we’ll catch you. this problem is in a country that prides itself on fair play.Thinley is also keen to know the status of seven other major hydel projects that have a generation potential of over 7. “If you want to cheat we’ll catch you. including King JigmeKhesarNamgyalWangchuk. Justice Minister Jason Clare said the findings were “shocking and would disgust Australian sports fans. no doubt. when many of the officials were in their formative years.” 9.020-mw Punatsangchhu and the 720-mw Mangdechhu. With elections due in Bhutan towards the middle of this year.” development projects and ensuring they are not affected are said to be one of the keys to his party repeating the showing when elections are held in June this year. Bhutan-Indian equation Cash. We have taken and we will continue to take appropriate measures to revive growth…As per practice. leading indicators have turned up. the Finance Ministry. they don’t want a slowdown in Indian assistance for Bhutan’s budget or the hydel projects to become a factor.

The announcement came after the country’s Central Bank said annual inflation rose to 22. Under the controls. The advance estimates reveal that the services sector. The Protocol Division of the Ministry of External Affairs annually publishes the Diplomatic List. Also.N. it played a crucial role in establishing Pakistan’s aggression. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia sought to point to what could be a statistical fallacy.. In 1965. Seeking to confront such shortages. which has turned increasingly to borrowing to meet its spending obligations. head of UNMOGIP. government-set exchange rate. the change is expected to help alleviate a difficult budget outlook for the government. was not serious. the U. While those controls have restricted the amounts of dollars available at the official rate. for the simple reason that GDP growth in April-September stood pegged at 5.6 per cent this fiscal as compared to 11. indicating thereby that the CSO ignored the growth uptrend seen towards the second-half of the fiscal year while computing the data for the entire financial year. The oil-exporting country. when charges of violations of the Line of Control were traded. In black market street trading. through a bond market administered by the Central Bank. Pakistan’s aggression in 1965 The Group could have played a useful role last month.” he said. is anticipated to grow by 8. Planning and Finance Minister Jorge Giordani said the new rate will take effect Wednesday.6 percent contraction a year ago and the growth in construction is also likely to be slightly higher at 5. could it be that the economy bottomed out. “one and a half Pakistan tank squadrons crossed” the CFL supported by artillery. an illegal black market has flourished and the value of the bolivar has recently been eroding.30 bolivars to the dollar. All enjoy diplomatic status.7 percent in 2011-12. and it brought down the official value of the bolivar by 46. “Gen. UNMOGIP existed. tended to decelerate during the second-half of the fiscal. Spiralling prices have come amid worsening shortages of some staple foods. the government last week announced plans to have the state oil company turn over more of its earnings in dollars to the Central Bank while reducing the amount injected into a fund used for various government programs and public works projects.11 February 2013 suggesting some hope that we will end the year on a better note. crossing the CFL [Ceasefire Line] from the Pakistan side for the purpose of armed action on the Indian side.1 per cent at the end of 2012. The Council’s Resolutions fixed August 8 February 2013 Venezuela devalues its currency by nearly half Venezuela’s government announced on Friday that it is devaluing the country’s currency. if growth outcomes are better.” He reported artillery fire and shelling “from the Pakistan side”. In the past also. Offices. a member of OPEC. India knows that if the UNMOGIP is expelled. As per the CSO data.Giordani said at a news conference that the government also decided to do away with a second-tier rate that has hovered around 5.30 bolivars to the dollar. a fact few care to recall. the slide to 5 per cent growth would mean that the pace of expansion.30 bolivars to the dollar.H. International organisations and other Foreign Agencies. not very far from his office lie those of the UNMOGIP. The U. R. It lists “U. just a bit facetious. Nimmo. in that case straight forward linear projection would not be right.9 percent against 5. Gen. instead. dollars have recently been selling for more than four times the official exchange rate of 4. people and businesses must apply to a government currency agency to receive dollars at the official rate to import goods. the quarterly [GDP] data was very frequently adjusted… I get the impression that they have not actually addressed the question. in fact. has consistently had Latin America’s highest officially acknowledged inflation rates in recent years. For. Mr. On September 1.30 bolivars to the dollar to 6. sectors such as trade and transport. Security Council would be activated with predictable consequences. Nimmo has indicated to me that the series of violations that began on 5 August were to a considerable extent in subsequent days in the form of armed men.N. after the two-day holiday of Carnival. would tend to get revised upwards. though experts had been unsure about whether the government would act while President Hugo Chavez remained JTS Institute 14 Current Affairs Notes . PuranaQila Road. The only plus points are that the mining and quarrying sector is expected to return to positive territory with a growth of 0. It has offices in Srinagar and Muzaffarabad also. pay for travel or cover other obligations.4 percent. such as cornmeal. chicken and sugar. “I am not certain that whether they [CSO] have done it in a correct way. The devaluation had been widely expected by analysts in recent months. to prevent it physically from undertaking probes into complaints on the Indian side. It chose. UNMOGIP The senior official who reportedly asked whether the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan. generally not in uniform.” the ministry said in a statement.N. Officials said the fixed exchange rate is changing from 4.” UNMOGIP’s address is helpfully mentioned — 1AB. its phone numbers. up from 20. He said the old rate would still be allowed for some transactions that already were approved by the state currency agency.5 per cent against the dollar. It was the fifth time that Chavez’s government has devalued the currency since establishing the currency exchange controls a decade ago in an attempt to combat capital flight. in 1972. Venezuela’s government has had strict currency exchange controls since 2003 and maintains a fixed. which are related to industry. and names of three personnel besides the “Head of Mission/Chief Military Observer” are provided.2 per cent in January. In a similar argument. Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council was based on the Report of Lt. a long-anticipated change expected to push up prices in the heavily import-reliant economy.6 percent. By boosting the bolivar value of Venezuela’s dollardenominated oil sales.. That rate had been granted to some businesses that hadn’t been able to obtain dollars at the official rate.5 February . It was the first devaluation to be announced by Chavez’s government since 2010. out of sight in Cuba recovering from cancer surgery.4 per cent as compared to a 0.

1972. and both sides shall observe the ceasefire terms on the ceasefire line. later a Judge of the International Court of Justice. the U. Foreign Minister Swaran Singh spoke meaningfully of “some adjustments in the ceasefire line in order to make it more stable.’s agency like the UNMOGIP in the teeth is not the best way to secure a permanent seat on its Security Council. Lt Gen. 1972. On October 13. Gen. On January 15. Secretary General reported on May 12.” An accord on August 29. We have travelled a long way on the bilateral route.” India-Pakistan accords merely fortified it. but the agreement did not.N. make sad reading: “On my request. that the UNMOGIP’s role has been overtaken by the Simla Agreement is belied by the records. Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan was set up. 1965.000 ft. truce accords or ceasefire. Martin Nesirky. said in New Delhi: “there has been no written request from New Delhi to withdraw U. The Security Council adopted a resolution on December 21. Swaran Singh told the LokSabha that the CFL “was violated by Pakistan in December 1971 and no longer exists. and to rebuild the necessary bridges. Kicking the U. concluded under the U. flag meetings of both sides sufficed to resolve disputes. Gen. is his colleague Manish Gupta’s plea that the CFL is replaced by the LoC — ergo the UNMOGIP’s role “has been overtaken by these developments. each case yields an “LoC resulting from cessation of hostilities. Maurice Delvoie. The Tashkent Declaration of January 10.N. they invariably head for the office in Srinagar of the UNMOGIP. It will be judged in its own cause despite the clear legal position. In addition. After the 1965 war.” The Secretary-General’s spokesman. A ceasefire in Kashmir went into effect on New Year’s Day. Starke’s International Law. The 1949 Agreement merely abided by it. Observers from the Indian side of the old ceasefire line in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan disagreed. India has no use for such verdicts now. 1972 which simply stated that “in Jammu and Kashmir. telephonic liaisons between these two localities will be restored. We won a big moral and political victory. Definition of breaches was settled.” Chapter VI pertains to disputes on which the Council can make “recommendations. Violations do not destroy a CFL or anLoC. 1971 shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognised position of either side.11 February 2013 5 as the date of casus belli. Harbaksh Singh and Lt.” India’s Permanent Representative to the U. So. India wanted its mandate to extend to the international border. This was said after the Simla pact of July 3.” On July 27.” All doubt was removed when the UNCIP was replaced by a Special Representative. The UNMOGIP derived its authority from the Security Council Resolution of April 21. The absurdity is palpable.” Obstruction of the UNMOGIP began well before the Simla Pact and the LoC. BakhtiarRana signed an agreement at Lahore on their troops’ withdrawals. Hardeep Singh Puri’s assertion in the Security Council on January 22.N. By November 1. 1972. It said: “Both forces will withdraw 1. The UNMOGIP worked under the 1949 agreement but now “there is no subsisting agreement for this”.N. a JTS Institute 15 Current Affairs Notes . the line of control resulting from the ceasefire of December 17. C.N. This we propose to discuss with Pakistan. The LoC did not coincide with the CFL.V. If they did so. The U.” It functions under the control and supervision of the SecretaryGeneral.N. UNMOGIP survived.N. As a result “the authority for UNMOGIP was thus confirmed.” That was done at Suchetgarh on December 11.” What followed is very relevant. auspices. On the same day.” The U. an authoritative work. 1948 that empowered the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan to establish “such observers as it may require. But it was always open to the parties to vary the line.’s Charter even though that Article was not specifically mentioned. the line changed.N. ‘Adjustments in the ceasefire line’ New Delhi decided to use the 1971 war to settle Kashmir. It carries passengers as well as choppers At an altitude of about 6.” Chapter VII deals with acts of aggression on which it “decides. On May 17. the line was demarcated on the ground. opined in 1970 that “this resolution would seem clearly to fall within the terms of Article 40 of the U. 1972 amplified that the LoC “will be delineated along its entire length. 1971 calling for return of troops to their former positions. The authority for establishing UNMOGIP thus stemmed from Chapter VII rather than Chapter VI. 1949. No matter what the language. Since Pakistan opposed this.” He added that they were there under a Security Council resolution followed by an India-Pakistan agreement.N. “A cease-fire line is established”. both Commanders-inChief agreed to restore the communications by road between Srinagar and Rawalpindi.” Article 40 authorises the Council to “call upon the parties to comply with such provincial measures as it deems necessary. Narasimhan. 1949. Sir Owen Dixon. On January 29. Commission for India and Pakistan and later head of UNMOGIP.000 yards from the line of actual control” in specified sectors. the Under-Secretary General of the U. cites various “modes of terminating hostilities” — by Armistice Agreements. The United Nations India-Pakistan Observation Mission soon vanished. The UNMOGIP received a mandate from the Security Council. Military Adviser to the U. etc. 1966 bound the parties to withdraw “to the positions they held prior to August 5. India would do well to reflect on a sad fact of life — protesting Kashmiris do not go to Ministers’ offices. The Notes made that day by Lt. nor for that matter is doggedly avoiding a settlement of the Kashmir problem.5 February . 1966. representatives of the two armies signed an agreement on consolidating the ceasefire. Military Observers’ say on disputes was “final”. said on January 23 that “the Secretary-General’s position has always been that the UNMOGIP can only be terminated by a decision of the Security Council. 1972 that India has stopped complaining to the UNMOGIP. They could not be withdrawn as long as the resolution remained.N. even before the Simla pact. with some achievements en route. A new ceasefire line came into existence on 17 December 1971”. 1951 when the Council “decides that the Military Observer Group shall continue to supervise the cease-fire in the State”. It did not rescind the terms of the Agreement of 1949 on the ceasefire line. on March 30.. the parties signed at Karachi an Agreement defining the ceasefire line in Kashmir. rational and viable. Professor Rosalyn Higgins.

More than 1. three hours or more. So. well. The National Weather Service said on Thursday a “major and potentially historic winter storm” was expected to impact an area encompassing all of New York State. “At least 10 per cent of the flying crew of Globemaster are women.5 February . “The aircraft has a capacity to carry 77 tonnes of cargo and has a range of 5. In a statement here. The cruise speed of the aircraft is . A severe blizzard has winds over 72 km/h (45 mph). expressed confidence that subsequent revision in estimates — as is the norm — would peg the economic expansion figure higher at 5. likely that the advance estimates of 5 per cent will be revised and the final estimate will be closer to the government’s estimate of a growth rate of 5.” The Finance Ministry argued that since the CSO bases its advance estimates on the data till November or December. Japan. Basically. The Globemaster has a modest seating arrangement for 54 people. a loadmaster on board. Kenneth Kirkpatrick and co-pilot Captain Chris Ross conducted manoeuvres. Friday into Saturday. During the half-hour demonstration flight. including a couple of 360 degree turns. Thomas. the Finance Ministry pointed out that while the CSO’s advance estimates on GDP growth for 2012-13 at 5 per cent was ‘indeed disappointing’.000 km. for example.5 per cent or more. leaving a huge space in the centre where the floor can be flipped to make changes — either to move cargo and reconfigure seats. It took the 16-member team nearly 20 hours to reach Bangalore after a stopover at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. “There’s lot of cloud. It is also giving [us] many opportunities to participate in various missions. It is one of the nine Globemasters at the base. while it is probably underestimated now.000 to 7. Vermont. cargo and movement of people.11 February 2013 sudden. Massachusetts. In 2011. said the C17’s unique ability to fly long distances. “Use common sense. humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. depending on wind.000 flights were cancelled as of Thursday. New Hampshire. near zero visibility. Kenneth Kirkpatrick of 535th Airlift Squadron. the statement said: “It is. In addition to snow. led by Maj.” Mayor Thomas Menino said at a news conference at city hall. brief turbulence left some of us scrambling for support when the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III hit an air pocket somewhere over Bangalore. The first such sign is the Purchasing Manager’s Index (manufacturing) which started moving up since October 2012 and is accompanied by a seasonally adjusted stabilisation of the IIP (Index of Industrial Production) from the same month onwards. and Connecticut. temperature and weight. Otherwise the aircraft flies smoothly. Boeing. Stay off the streets of our city. the air. depending on availability. growth was overestimated as the economy slowed in 2008-09 and 2011-12. most of the state of Pennsylvania and all of New England. Loadmaster Thomas demonstrated the operation of the ramp.” said Marc E. Technically. the difference between a blizzard and a snowstorm is not the amount of snow but the strength of the wind.” said technical sergeant Jerome Thomas. said: “It is an honour to be flying the Globemaster and it’s doing a great job. the Finance Ministry. minutes after the aircraft demonstrated a steep landing at the Air Force Station.1 billion deal with Boeing to supply 10 aircraft. the weather service said. Hawaii.” The young captain has been flying the C-17 since 2007 and has been on missions in Iraq and Afghanistan that included medical evacuation. steep landing and backing among others.5 per cent or slightly more. Churning out CSO data on various estimates of GDP growth since 2005-06 which showed upward or downward correction in the final projection.” said Mr. Concept: A blizzard is a severe snowstorm characterized by strong sustained winds of at least 56 km/h (35 mph) and low temperatures lasting for a prolonged period of time — typically JTS Institute 16 Current Affairs Notes . The storm was expected to form just off the southern coast of Massachusetts when two weather systems — one approaching from the south and the other from the west — combine. stay home. such advance estimates had been revised more than once in the past years as more data is available to it in the months ahead. Deal with Boeing “On our missions. another pilot on board. New England consists of the states of Maine.76 Mach. Rhode Island. makes it the premier transporter for military. the statement also drew attention to certain indicators which point to “early sign of an upturn” in the economy. It could get as much as 30 centimetres of snow. that is why there’s some turbulence. providing details on the Globemaster that will equip the Indian armed forces. and land in remote airfields in rough terrains and landlocked regions. Maj.” To prove that there was still room for cautious optimism. who has been on missions to Iraq and Afghanistan. We were ambling around the aircraft’s innards. “this makes its estimates accurate when GDP growth is following a trend. on Friday. Yelahanka. and temperatures of “12 °C (10 °F) or lower. The flight has a call sign “Reach” on international missions and “Slew” at the home station. studying its finer details when we were jolted back to. therefore. New York City also was bracing for the storm. The weather service said the storm also was likely to take out electrical power to thousands of homes. Caudill. we have carried a lot of stuff — vehicles and helicopters among others on the C17. in a release. Moreover.” she added. India signed a $4. while the year-on-year growth in excise duty at 16 per cent and 33 percent in service tax in Blizzard threatens northeastern United States The mayor of Boston ordered all vehicles off the city’s streets from 12 noon (1700 GMT) on Friday as the north-eastern US braced for a blizzard. ‘Honour to fly it’ Captain Angela Kimler. The seating capacity can be reconfigured up to 184 depending on the need. The Globesmaster has been flown down here by a demonstration team of the Pacific Air Force based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. the storm will pack wind gusts as high as 100 kilometres per hour. but not when it is turning. FinMin confident of upward GDP revision Shrugging off the Central Statistics Office’s (CSO) dismal projection on GDP (gross domestic product) growth for the current fiscal as an underestimate.

is yet another indicator of a turnaround. The mission will also provide critical experience navigating around asteroids. The DRDO chief said his organisation was also working towards developing a cruise Co-op banks told not to give loans for gold purchase The Reserve Bank of India.” he said. which was test-fired in April last year.. the team will get a much better idea of the asteroid’s orbit. in his lecture at a symposium organised by CitiSloan here. Meanwhile.” he said.2 per cent in December. and at turning points in GDP growth. gold jewellery.. including primary gold.. we need to undertake policies that will enable us to reach at least to 8 per cent. OSIRIS-REx will determine if RQ36 is actually a rubble pile by orbiting it and revealing the subtle effects on the orbit from the gravity of any large and dense lumps within the asteroid. and by collecting a sample of material from the asteroid’s surface and returning it to Earth for study. Now we want to make Agni-VI which would be a force multiplier.” says Jason Dworkin. underestimates change. the moderation in inflation to 7. Tucson. As in the Ministry statement. it is reiterated that State and Central cooperative banks should not grant any advance for purchase of gold in any form. has a range of upto 5. We do need to up growth. he said the force multiplier capability of the missile would be because of its Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) capability. One of the first things that would be done if an asteroid appeared to be on a collision course with Earth is to send a probe to the asteroid that might look very much like OSIRISREx. these banks are permitted to grant loans against pledge of gold ornaments. but not permitted to grant any advance for JTS Institute 17 Current Affairs Notes .” the RBI said in a notification. The key to all these strategies is to discover the asteroid well in advance of its impact date and attempt to deflect it early.11 February 2013 April-December. The Yarkovsky effect happens simply because it takes time for things to heat up and cool down. deputy principal investigator for OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission.” DRDO chief V K Saraswat said here. directed State and Central co-operative banks not to grant loans for purchase of gold in any form to check the significant rise in import of the precious metal in recent years. on Friday.5 February . The Agni-5 ballistic missile. We can’t keep running large fiscal deficit and borrowing to finance it. A probe like OSIRIS-REx could map the internal structure of an asteroid this way. “We need to fix the fiscal deficit. Work is on in this area and designs have been completed. This is where Finance Minister has made a firm commitment that this year’s fiscal deficit will be 5. “Agni-V is a major strategic defence weapon.” Dr. According to NASA’s Near-Earth Object (NEO) programme. providing valuable information on where to target the deflection mechanism. which people think is lower bound for our potential growth. 2012. according to Edward Beshore of the University of Arizona. to be in world’s elite nuclear club India today said it is developing a long-range nuclear-capable Agni-VI ballistic missile that would carry multiple warheads allowing one weapon system to take out several targets at a time. OSIRIS-REx project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. At present. NASA said in a statement.5 per cent growth [for 2012-13] is way below potential.. purchase of gold in any form.Rajan also pointed to some problem in CSO’s estimate of GDP growth. Since the Yarkovsky effect may vary depending on the type of material and its distribution.. By communicating continuously with a spacecraft in orbit around RQ36. “It will have force multiplier capability by the MIRV approach which would enable us to deliver many payloads at the same time using only one missile. “One of the problems with the CSO estimate is that it is based on past data. particularly core inflation to 4. after hours of illumination by the high Sun. “We expect OSIRIS-REx will enable us to make an estimate of the Yarkovsky force on RQ36 at least twice as precise as what’s available now. it said. Objects tend to be coldest just before dawn and warmest at midafternoon. We are now in the hardware realisation phase. OSIRIS-REx will also determine the composition of RQ36 using remote measurements from both visible light and infrared spectrometers. DRDO officials said once the Agni6 is developed. gold coins. units of gold exchange traded funds (ETF) and units of gold mutual funds. “In view of the concerns. “CSO’s estimate of 5 per cent or 5.3 percent. Dr. NASA’s new mission to estimate impact of asteroids on Earth NASA plans to launch a new mission in 2016 to find potentially hazardous asteroids and predict their impact threat to Earth. Rajan noted that the CSO estimate for the fiscal year was “below potential” and the government would have to pursue policies to push growth to at least 8 per cent. The CEO also underscored the need to contain the fiscal deficit.Rajan said.” he said. it would propel India into the elite club of nations with such a capability including the US and Russia. 2012. Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram G. a probe with OSIRIS-REx’s capability to map the surface composition will enable a more precise estimate of the effect on the asteroid’s orbit. Refusing to divulge the range of the new under-development missile. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission will arrive at RQ36 in 2018 and orbit the asteroid until 2021. there are more than 1.” he said. India working on Agni-VI missile. and the Reserve Bank’s decisions to reduce policy rates by 25 basis points will also help in spurring growth. The team will use what it learns about the Yarkovsky effect on RQ36 to help estimate the effects on other asteroids.300 “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids” (PHAs) ¿ objects at least 150 yards across with a very small chance of impacting us someday because their orbital paths take them close to Earth’s orbit.Looking at past data. gold bullion. said Beshore.2 per cent.500 kms and it is believed that the Agni-6 would have a range longer than its predecessor.

609 times minus 1. “For some reason people decide they like diamonds and so they have a value. will be carried out. The global standard of building and equipping an aircraft is 36 months from the time its design is frozen. garments. textiles. done over nine to 12 months. prime search continues Researchers have identified the world’s largest prime number yet. 3 cities to boast of no-frills airports A study on creating no-frills airports in the country has been completed and the Civil Aviation Ministry is looking at the feasibility of generating an environment for a new kind of aviation. Chairman. is only the 48th Mersenne prime ever found and the 14th discovered by GIMPS. Mr. breaking a four-year dry spell in the search for new. there is no formula for generating these numbers. GIMPS software runs on around a thousand university computers. beating the previous record by over four million digits.” says Chris Caldwell at the University of Tennessee. A draft bill had been prepared. but it was smaller than the 2008 discovery.161 times minus 1. The new prime. All the top 10 largest known primes are Mersenne primes discovered by GIMPS. mainly to ensure no time is lost for cutting metal after the critical design review gets over and the project is sealed. which would replace the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Once the detailed concept design is done. People like these large primes and so they also have a value.5 February . Martin. Health officials said the number of cases so far this season now stands at 73. strengthening the regulatory body and modernisation. Tier-2. All prime numbers can only be divided by themselves and 1. while air cargo accounted only for a negligible proportion of the total cargo trade within the country. Until today. EADS Cassidian will be the consultant. Mr Bhave said that the Chennai airport had a good air cargo terminal. justified the introduction of user development fee at the new terminals here. Space was not a constraint for the cargo terminal. said S. An official of the Delhi Health Service said nine people tested positive for swine flu. Though there are an infinite number of primes. The Airports Authority of India had created the facility and incurred expenditure. Changing business models such as ‘Just-intime’ manufacturing and global outsourcing had contributed to the rapid growth of air cargo logistics. Machendranathan. whose concept design. it would take eight years from now for the first flight of LCA Navy Mark-2. Speaking at an interactive session on ‘Aviation Cargo Industry: A Vital Link in Logistics’. he said. which was also found by GIMPS in 2008. The demand for air cargo transportation has increased significantly over the last few years. which it was recovering. president of the SICCI. the Ministry proposed to start an Aviation University and had appointed a consultant. one of which spent 39 days straight proving that the number was prime. the ‘New Scientist’ reported. Machendranathan said that the no-frills airports would be created in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. who keeps a record of the largest known primes. pharmaceuticals. but there JTS Institute 18 Current Affairs Notes . the regulatory authority. a distributed computing project designed to hunt for a particular kind of prime number first identified in the 17th century. electronics and vulnerable cargo besides express mail items with the time definite delivery. It was in the process of creating a Civil Aviation Authority. will be optimised for an air defence role with the same weapons as on its Air Force counterpart. currently being developed. The airports would boost economic activity and smaller aircraft could be operated. 9 new cases of swine flu Nine new cases of swine flu were reported in the Capital on Saturday. The number has now shot up to 2 multiplied by itself 57. here on Saturday. organised by the Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI).885. The process of procurement of raw material would have already got under way then. the most recent addition to the list was found in 2009. The previous record holder. The rare Mersenne primes all have the form 2 multiplied by itself p times minus 1. Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA). said JawaharVadivelu. where p is itself a prime number. To upgrade the skills of personnel in the industry. sea cargo has been the most dominant form of shipping cargo from and to India. which was then independently verified by other researchers. World’s largest prime number discovered with 17 million digits. ever-larger primes. Curtis Cooper from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg made the finding as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS). The idea was to create connectivity for regional and remote areas.” said Caldwell. an addition on the Mark-1 variant. This was due to the increase in demand for rapid delivery of products. In all. one lucky user discovers a new prime. preliminary design review. It will be a lighter aircraft with better manoeuvrability. GIMPS uses volunteers’ computers to shift through each prime-number candidate in turn. Yeshwant Bhave. which would ensure that the authority had more powers and acted as a better regulatory agency. which will come equipped with an anti-ship missile. The main goods transported by air are perishables. 2 multiplied by itself 43. Additional Secretary in the Ministry. in consultation with the Navy. The airport could emerge as a hub not only for passenger movement but also cargo transportation. The Mark1. so discovering them requires intensive computation. will kick off in March. upgrading manpower skills required for the industry.11 February 2013 missile defence programme which would enable the armed forces to defend against low-flying cruise missiles and enemy aircraft. has just under 13 million digits.112. “It’s sort of like finding a diamond. which has over 17 million digits. until eventually 9 February 2013 Mark-2 to be powered by GE F-414 engine The LCA Navy programme would go it alone in the development of its Mark-2 version with a GE F-414 engine. Historically. The Ministry was concentrating on four important aspects — connectivity to remote areas by promoting tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

Forgiveness.” Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said. Constitution of India: Identifying Extraneous and Malafide Consideration The Constitution of India mandates that the rule of law is essential for all considerations. keeping the ground situation in mind and ensuring that all the reports were ready. Mr. he could have sat on the file — as there is no time limit for the President to take a decision. during his tenure as President. a total of 78 cases and one death were recorded. The Constitution of India permits any convict who is sentenced to death to appeal for mercy. When the President of Governor. the Congress-led UPA sent out a signal that it was prepared to take the harshest possible steps to deal with acts of terror. However.11 February 2013 were no deaths on Saturday. the President and the Governors of State are bound to act on the advice of the Union council of ministers while deciding on mercy petitions.P. the only survivor among the perpetrators of 26/11. When a decision is made on application of mind. it can set aside the decision of the President or the Governor. The exercise of these powers can be granted under Articles 72 and 161. Of course.. while articulating this view last year. he said.J Abdul Kalam.5 February . sent the file back on November 15. In matters pertaining to public welfare. Mukherjee also believed that the attack on Parliament was an attack on Indian democracy and a message needed to be sent out that such assaults would not be tolerated. Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde to remit the sentence of a Congress activist. has helped the Congress-led UPA government neutralise its critics who say this is an administration that is soft on terror. Constitution of India: Scope of Clemency Powers and Their Judicial Review According to the Constitution of India.Shinde’s hands. The Home Ministry returned the file to the President on January 23 this year. rejecting the petition. respectively. However. he said. PratibhaPatil. They pointed out that A. “Unlike the BharatiyaJanata Party. in dealing with acts of terror committed by Hindu organisations. respectively through Articles 72 and 161 of the Constitution of India. Repeating that view on Saturday to The Hindu .” To a question on the timing of the hanging. after taking charge. Concept: Clemency The Indian Constitution grants clemency powers to the President and the Governors of States. publicly. considers the mercy petition or clemency The role of Pranab Mukherjee The execution of two convicts on charges of terror in less than three months — a record of sorts in recent times — has unwittingly put the spotlight on President Pranab Mukherjee. “When you are dealing with a process under criminal jurisprudence. General secretaryDigvijay Singh. The Delhi Health Minister has directed 17 government hospitals and five private hospitals to gear up for swine flu treatment in the wake of a spurt in the number of cases. Though Afzal Guru’s mercy petition file came to RashtrapatiBhavan on August 4. we don’t politicise decisions that pertain to national security. “Any kind of mercy shown to the perpetrator of a terror attack on Parliament would not have been the right thing to do.” But government sources told The Hindu that their task had been made easier by having a Home Minister — SushilkumarShinde — and a President who were agreed on speedy disposal of the Afzal Guru case. on February 3. the Home Ministry had not recommended the case earlier as it had to consult the State [J&K] government. it becomes necessary to see whether granting pardon overturns the intention of the conviction. However. His successor. The purpose was to add a humane approach by means of a reprieve or mercy. you see that the law is followed rigorously.N. The Congress line for a while has been that the Supreme Court verdict must be executed.” Union Minister of State for Home R. There were 39 cases and one death in January. They are supposed to take their decisions on the basis of the advice given by the cabinet. who took office last July. “The timing had to be decided by the government. Symptoms of swine flu include high-grade fever. indicated to the then Home Minister ShivrajPatil — shortly after he cleared DhananjoyChatterjee’s execution in 2004 — his lack of enthusiasm for the death penalty. there had always been a question mark on the extent of his involvement in the attack on Parliament — and made that distinction in private conversations after the execution of the 26/11 accused last November. chest pain Sources close to Mr. he was aware that in Afzal Guru’s case. A clear instance of this principle was evident in a court judgment that set aside the decision of Andhra Pradesh Governor. the main accused in the case of attack on Parliament in 2001. This would also strengthen Mr. and Mohammad Afzal Guru.Patil was in office). However. and he sent it back. GouruVenkata Reddy. commuted as many as 35 death sentences to life imprisonment before she demitted office — and was seen as opposing the death penalty in principle. the scope of this judicial review is limited to examining whether the clemency powers have been used with reasonable application of mind or on the basis of extraneous or malafide consideration. adding. His quick rejection of the mercy petitions of AjmalKasab. Mukherjee take a more nuanced view of his rejection of these two mercy petitions: they say he viewed the two cases differently — while he felt that there were no two views on Kasab’s guilt. but they are subject to judicial review. cited two reasons: that the attack on Parliament was a serious terror attack and that the highest court in the land had handed the death penalty to Afzal Guru.P. Mukherjee. government managers sought to delink the hanging of Afzal Guru from any politics. Reddy was undergoing a ten-year prison sentence for killing two persons including a TDP activist. In 2012. the President and the Governors are not obliged to accept every mercy plea.. Mukherjee did send back the file for reconsideration once.In short. through the day. restraint and sobriety. 2011 (when Ms. is considered to be divine. as we all know. government sources said. Singh’s tone was equally sombre: “This is not a time for politics but calm. they added. 2012 to the Home Ministry for a fresh look. the court will take no action over it but if the pardon appears to be based on malafide or extraneous considerations. respiratory problems. paving the way for Saturday’s execution. JTS Institute 19 Current Affairs Notes .” With these two executions. Mr. these sources added. and 25 cases and two deaths so far in February.

Deputy Chief of Army Staff (P & S). Opportunities”. discuss topics of contemporary relevance technologies in Water Sector and deliberate on challenges being faced the Water Sector. 2013.2012 was “Water. anti-tank missiles. The President and the Governors can also exercise their power to pardon on the ground that they do not feel justice was done or the sentence passed by the court is too harsh. Ministry of Water Resources in his remarks highlighting the vital role of water in all spheres of life. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to Lt Gen Narendra Singh. and the film also took the editing trophy.Burkina Faso fell short of what would have been a surprising triumph in its first final.is the Mk IV variant of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) designed and manufactured by HAL. Shri P SoundaraRajan. first armoured helicopter . This is the new name of the inflight magazine. Senior Officers from MoWR. Organization of event will help in sharing the experience of professional working in the Water Resources Sector World over for better management of Water Resources. Energy and Food Security . ‘Rudra’ is designed indigenously at the Rotary Wing Research and Design Center (RWR & DC) to meet the mission specifications and tested extensively over varied terrains and firing ranges in India. Secretary(WR). He stressed on the need of conservation.Call for Solutions” which from 10-14 April. at Ahmedabad on 22nd February and at Kolkata on 1st March. at the British Academy Film Awards. Chairman. New Delhi. an exclusive monthly bi-lingual (Hindi & English) inflight magazine of Air India. lifestyle. He expressed the hope that Curtain Raiser Function/ Road Show will create awareness about the organization of IWW-2013. culture and entertainment in all colour and spice. 2012. Dr.5 February . Multi-disciplinary Dialogue in form of a Conference and a concurrently running exhibition enriching the theme and showcasing the technologies in water sector. He informed that the event has generated considerable interest amongst water resources professional community and 1008 registrations from 53 countries have already taken place. CWC. ‘Rudra’ is all set to redefine battle tactics in modern day conflicts. French revolutionary musical Les Water Resources Ministry to Organize “India Water Week-2013 Ministry of Water Resources is organizing the “India Water Week2013 from 8th-12th April. Mba decided the game in front of around 87. He also launched the Second Information Bulletin of IWW-2013. Managing Director said “Rudra.11 February 2013 petition on the basis of caste. equitable distribution and adoption of most rational and scientific approach for judicious use of Water Resources. The event will have two major components namely. Chairman. providing the required capability to search and destroy any targets”. The Organization of “IWW 2013” by Ministry of Water Resources will give a splendid opportunity for the stakeholders from all over the world to come together and exchange views. Handing over of ALH MkIV “Rudra” – A Milestone An Advanced Light Helicopter Mk-IV army version ‘Rudra‘ was handed over by Dr RK Tyagi. Director General.000 fans at Soccer City with a left-foot volley into the far right corner after he expertly controlled a rebound and clipped the ball over a defender. Shri Harish Rawat today issued. Large segments of industry are participating in the exhibition and showcasing their products. Sarkar. Civil Aviation Minister launches ShubhYatra Magazine Civil aviation minister. Indian Army during AERO India 2013 at Yelahanka Air Base. Head of Departments under MoWR and various Central Govt. Secretary. The technical themes have been well received with 245 papers likely to be presented at the Conference. It covers travel. On this occasion the Minister highlighted the importance of organizing IWW-2013 considering the limited availability of Water Resources of the country. At the outset of the ceremony. 10 February 2013 Nigeria wins Africa Cup of Nations Nigeria returned to the top of African football on Sunday by beating Burkina Faso 1-0 in the Cup of Nations final for its first continental title in nearly two decades.Sunday Mba’s goal in the 40th minute delivered another triumph for coach Stephen Keshi after he captained Nigeria to its last African Cup crown in 1994. S. made a detailed presentation covering the objectives and organizational details. Similar functions are proposed to be organized at Chennai on 19th February.” Daniel Day-Lewis won his universally expected best actor trophy for Lincoln the only prize out of 10 nominations for Steven Spielberg’s historical biopic. winning three prizes. Regional Center for Military Airworthiness has provided Initial Operational Clearance for the project facilitating delivery of helicopters to Indian Armed Forces. 2013 here at VigyanBhawan.K. This helicopter is fitted with Day and Night Targeting systems and can carry a mix of weapons (70 rockets. New Delhi with the theme “ Efficient Water Management: Challenges and JTS Institute 20 Current Affairs Notes . ShriAjit Singh today released ShubhYatra. having progressed beyond the group stage for only the second time at the African championship. a Curtain Raiser Function of “India Water Week”-2013 at Central Soil & Materials Research Station. Argo wins top Bafta prize Iran hostage drama Argo continued its journey from awards season outsider to favourite on Sunday. it becomes a case of extraneous consideration.Affleck dedicated his directing prize for “anyone out there who’s trying to get their second act. Ben Affleck was named best director for the based-on-reality story of a long shot plan to rescue a group of American diplomats from Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. air to air missiles and 20 mm turret gun). stressed on the need of better management and planning for prosperity through efficient and optimal use of water resources at the National level and International level. Ministry/ Departments/ Public Sector Undertakings/ Private Industries/ NGOs and individuals were present during the issuance of this curtain raiser. religion or political loyalty. Union Minister for Water Resources. The theme for India Water Week. including best picture. Bangalore today. In this connection. NWDA.Emmanuelle Riva was named best actress for Michael Haneke’s poignant old-age portrait Amour.

minutes and seconds left to the opening of the 14th Winter Olympic Games in the health resort of Sochi on February 7. Putin inspected the Olympic facilities. the games will cost $51 billion. particularly considering the need for a harmonious engagement between the States and Union. despite five nominations. Subtropical Sochi. especially targeting women and children. Lack of snow may be another headache for organisers. 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament. Kumar said the processes for exercising the sovereign power to pardon.11 February 2013 Miserables won four prizes. even though Affleck was not nominated for best director. agreed that there was a need to fix a timeframe. winning trophies for music and best British film. within which Presidential pardon could be granted to those on death row. The Minister said India had arrived at a moment in which all political parties needed to commit themselves to a constructive discourse that was anchored in the spirit of contestation of ideas and ideologies rather than remaining restricted to conflict-ridden rhetoric on all issues. Talking to The Hindu here. organisers take no chances. unanimously upheld the death sentence. Mr. He sought to dispute all suggestions that the execution of the death sentence had any political consideration as Guru went to the gallows after three courts Indo-French satellite set for launch Indo-French space cooperation is all set to soar to new heights with the scheduled launch of a satellite to study changes in the environment soon after the visit of JTS Institute 21 Current Affairs Notes . given the fact that summer games are far more expensive to prepare. hours. on the advice of the Home Ministry. who was convicted for his involvement in the December 13. Mr. which are two-third ready. Subsequently. Some slope-style skiing events had to be cancelled in Sochi this week because of heavy rain. experts find it hard to explain why the Russian Winter Olympics will Mercy pleas need to be settled within a time frame: Minister Union Minister for Law Ashwani Kumar on Sunday warned against any attempt to politicise the hanging of Afzal Guru. Sochi is woefully short of snow. He expressed satisfaction that the UPA government had risen to the challenge in bringing the ordinance in record time to respond to the sensitivities of a nation that had been shocked by the horrific incident in Delhi. Putin warned them to ensure “that no one steals anything and there are no unexplained [further] increases in costs. James Bond adventure Skyfall spied some elusive awards recognition. 2014. one of Russia’s warmest health resorts sitting on the Black Sea. They are busy hoarding snow for the next year’s Olympics. However. Mr. basked in 19 degrees Celsius on Thursday. started on Thursday counting down the days. Even considering that all facilities and infrastructure for the Sochi games had to be built from scratch. Reacting to concerns from various quarters. St. President Vladimir Putin and head of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge marked “one year to Olympics” in Sochi on Thursday. According to the Russian government. especially the timing that had been preceded by delays. five times the original price tag and 15 times more than Canada spent on the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. including best supporting actress for Anne Hathaway.5 February . Russian media said corruption was the main reason for the huge cost escalation. with more than two metres of snow falling in Moscow. Several hectares of snow are being covered with a 40-centimetre blanket of sawdust to keep it from melting during summer months. Winter Olympics on thin ice? Russia has launched the one-year countdown to its first ever Winter Olympics amid fears that the games will be too high on costs and too low on snow. the Producers Guild and the Directors Guild of America Awards. Giant timers. Responding to questions related to various issues being thrown up by the incident. the Minister said hanging Guru was a decision in the right direction to uphold the law as well as for the security of the Indian state. taking into consideration the exigencies of the situation and a variety of factors that must be brought to the knowledge of the President before a final decision was taken. were well established and reviewed from time to time. At a meeting with officials responsible for Olympic construction Mr. voicing concern over skyrocketing construction costs. While Russia as a whole is having its snowiest winter in 100 years. however. set up in Moscow. Petersburg and six other biggest cities of Russia. 24. Quentin Tarantino picked up the original screenplay award for Django Unchained. cost $7 billion more than the costliest 2010 Summer Olympics in China. which require a broad and sustainable political consensus to facilitate complex policy decisions. the President also rejected the mercy petition. Officials say they plan to save a total of 150. Kumar said the recent ordinance for amending the criminal law was just the first step towards revising and fine-tuning the relevant legal provisions to put in place an effective deterrent against crime.” He personally sacked a deputy president of the Russia Olympic Committee over delays and cost overruns in the construction of a ski jumping venue. He said the amendment would be discussed by Parliament and the government was completely responsive to any constructive suggestions to reduce the scope for abuse of power by the law-enforcing agencies. with Les Mis taking trophies for sound and makeup/ hair and Life of Pi receiving the honour for cinematography. following the legal course. and Christoph Waltz was named best supporting actor for playing a loquacious bounty hunter in Tarantino’s slave-revenge thriller.000 cubic metres of snow for the next winter — just in case. Kumar agreed that there was a case for fixing a time frame in which power to pardon should be exercised.Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden thriller Zero Dark Thirty was shut out of the prizes. and though mountains above the city are covered with thick snow. A day earlier. He.” he said. which has been building steam with big prizes at ceremonies such as the Golden Globes. It is now considered a front— runner for the best picture award at the Oscars on Feb. Mr. “There are far too many grave challenges before the nation.The early prizes were shared widely.This season’s movie with momentum is crowd-pleaser Argo.

SARAL is short for Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa.9 per cent of GDP.4. but here it is high on account of import of oil and gold. Banks yet to comply with norms on dormant accounts Several banks are yet to comply with the Reserve Bank of India norm to furnish details of accounts which have been remaining inoperative for a decade.8. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will put the satellite into orbit. 2010.1. after hitting a high CAD of 4.16 crore in them. The total amount of unclaimed deposits is being mentioned in the balance sheets regularly. Carelessness. which is the gap between forex gained and forex spent.” the Governor said. 2011.The satellite would help ocean scientists gather accurate data on the rise in the sea level which could threaten the low lying and coastal areas of the country. “Last year. scheduled commercial banks based in Kerala. CAD had declined to 3. a move he hoped would bring the single currency down to a level that would make it easier for French industry to sell its goods abroad. Dhanlaxmi Bank had 54. we should ideally be getting as much of FDI as possible to finance the CAD. 2012. had not extended the deadline.19 crore. official sources said here. German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined forces with Britain’s David Cameron at a Brussels summit to Subbarao warns of record current account deficit Reserve Bank of India Governor DuvvuriSubbarao today cautioned the country was headed for the highest ever current account deficit this fiscal. he said. In FY12.11 February 2013 French President Francois Hollande here next week. according to information available from RBI. Berlin rejected President Francois Hollande’s call on Tuesday to set a mid-term target for the euro. is being financed by volatile inflows instead of more foreign direct investments. 2010.000 inoperative accounts holding Rs. the launch was scheduled for December last year but it had to be put off to complete a few tests and validations.” a top official of the bank said. The bank has initiated steps to trace accounts holding low balance and follow-up measures have been initiated.2 per cent of JTS Institute 22 Current Affairs Notes .3 per cent.5 February . death of the account holder and failure of the legal successors to submit evidence are among reasons behind the existence of inoperative accounts.13. will complement the observations of the seas made by current satellites. which was the overriding theme of the third quarter monetary policy announced on January 29. Three days later. The satellite would be useful in studying the sea state. underlining a growing policy divide that is hobbling the core partnership. Besides building the spacecraft. as on December 31. maintained that the process of furnishing the account details was underway. On the other hand. Earlier. but a circular was issued as a followup to all banks to review the position by September 30. GDP. We are financing our CAD through increasingly volatile flows. “The RBI directive has prompted Union Bank of India to contact many dormant account holders and about 40-50 per cent of them have been reactivated.247 inoperative accounts with Rs. at least Rs. Instead. Catholic Syrian Bank had over 1. a senior official of the bank said. As on December 31. It’s going to be historically the highest CAD measured as a proportion of GDP. Subbarao was addressing the convocation ceremony of the RBIset up Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) here.” Subbarao said. Federal Bank had over 82.3 per cent of GDP in the second quarter.9 crore as deposits.79 lakh dormant accounts with Rs. though he refrained from giving any figure. but this year we expect it would be significantly higher than that. Most banks have complied with the norms. mean sea level and coastal altimetry. Flagging his concerns over CAD. The RBI wanted the banks to adopt a customer-friendly policy with a view to helping the account holders or their successors to revive the accounts. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has identified a launch window between February 22 and February 25 for putting the 450 kg Indo-French satellite into orbit from its spaceport at Sriharikota. a total amount exceeding Rs.15 crore. 84 lakh. one of the major public sector banks operating in Kerala. South Indian Bank has over 1. RBI officials said the apex bank France runs into German wall on EU growth drive French efforts to divert Europe from economic austerity have foundered twice in a week due to German resistance. are among banks which have already published the details of the dead accounts in their websites. Federal Bank and South Indian Bank. the two main devices on it which have been provided by French space agency CNES. what we are getting is a lot of volatile flows to finance it. an official said.4600 dormant accounts with Rs. State Bank of Travancore had over 63. 481 crore was lying as unclaimed deposits in 1.1 million accounts of various banks in the country. “We would not worry if the widening CAS is on account of import of capital goods.100 crore could be remaining idle in banks operating in Kerala. Subbarao said these were regarding its level. light rainfall climatalogy.The SARAL-Altika satellite. The delay was on account of the large number of inoperative accounts.2. He also expressed concern over the way the CAD. dedicated to accurate measurement of the rise in the sea levels. migration. according to the RBI. after it rose to 5. Some of the accounts are operated by government departments and involve litigations. a joint project of the space agencies of India and France. The RBI had asked all public sector and scheduled commercial banks to provide the details of dormant accounts online by June 30 last year.India’s warhorse rocket. “The other concern is the way we are financing it.AltiKa is anKaband altimeter system. as on December 31.SARAL would be one of the very few ocean-centric satellites and a vital cog in studying sea surface heights and other aspects. On a modest estimate. CAD was 4. The trade gap is widening mainly because of higher import of oil and gold. The third quarter numbers are expected later this week. quality and the way it is being financed.900 inoperative accounts with Rs. which was then a record. ISRO will launch and operate it through its life. though it was 10 bps above the year ago period. State Bank of Travancore.

which is reflecting off the chlorophyll in plants. A study by Deutsche Bank last month calculated that France’s exporters start being priced out of world markets when the euro rises above 1. it was a matter of salvaging what it could from the summit.” Jean-Dominique Giuliani. it was Hollande who looked isolated as his efforts to forge a coalition of southern and eastern European states demanding more generous spending were quashed by Germany. Until that point. But SiddharthHegde and Lisa Kaltenegger of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg. the pair looked at the light reflected by some of Earth’’s more extreme life forms: lichens in arid regions. would have to remain untouched. Both Hollande and Merkel have insisted that the Franco-German motor is still driving EU integration 50 years after the friendship pact between the former World War Two foes. energy and telecoms projects which Paris has argued would foster growth and make Europe’s economy more competitive. Earth gives off a large amount of nearinfrared light. It’’s an attractive idea. To find out what would these organisms look like from a distance. mainly at the expense of transport. cuts to an EU budget which in total represents barely one percent of the region’s economic output are unlikely to influence how quickly it comes out of the current downturn. Merkel and EU President Herman Van Rompuy on Thursday afternoon where key details of the deal were hammered out.” Colours of exoplanets could reveal signs of life One way to find whether exoplanets would contain life forms would be by looking at their distinctive colours. what Cameron called the band of “like-minded budget disciplinarians” including Germany. “Is it the budget I would have liked if it was just up to me? No. Germany. last week’s summit could have offered France and Germany the stage to rally together in a demonstration of European solidarity. said Nicolas Cowan of Northwestern University in Evanston. bacterial mats in very hot water and red algae in acid mine drainage. When seen from space. It is possible that we might see a similar “red edge” on distant exoplanets if they also host green vegetation. While the overall EU farm spending of which France is the main beneficiary will fall sharply from its 2007-2013 level. WIDENING GULF Ultimately. for instance. citing other engagements. “We do not agree on economic policy and a number of other areas. But he noted that the work has its limits. “The gulf between France and Germany is widening somewhat and that worries me. Moreover. chose not to attend a pre-summit huddle with Cameron. Illinois. where French forces have driven al Qaeda-linked rebels out of its main northern towns and into the hills. with Cameron having put Britain’s EU membership on the line by promising a referendum on it if re-elected.a level it has already long left behind to trade at $1. he said that atmospheres on other planets may be very different from our own and could scatter light in ways we wouldn’’t expect.” French political analyst Eric Zemmour said. EU officials were mystified when Hollande. the French voice is increasingly struggling to make itself heard. the Netherlands. appear more yellow than the algae or bacteria.11 February 2013 push through the first ever cut in the 27-nation’s budget. UN Security Council looms for Iran as IAEA tries again Iran faces possible referral to the UN Security Council in early March unless Tehran and the UN atomic agency defy expectations in talks Wednesday and reach a deal on JTS Institute 23 Current Affairs Notes . “EU budget: Hollande left out of pocket”. told Europe 1 radio. Britain and other northern countries. From then on. about which he had noisily complained in the run-up to the summit. Germany’s higher value-added export products. and that hardier life forms will dominate their surfaces. suggesting Merkel’s priority was to give Cameron ammunition at home to defend Britain’s membership in the EU.54. Lichens.5 February . ran the headline of the leftleaning Liberation newspaper on the roughly three-percent cut in EU spending. according to the New Scientist. a French think tank on Europe. Sweden and Finland had the upper hand and for France.24 dollars . Finding these patterns could help narrow down exoplanets for more detailed searches. taking an axe to spending on infrastructure projects backed by Paris. “Cameron and Merkel impose austerity on Hollande” was how the conservative Le Figaro summed up the meeting. However the clash between Paris and Berlin on the level of the euro currency points at deep-rooted differences in the national interests of the two countries that may prove more telling in the long run. say scientists. dryness or acidity. there is little damage to the German economy and indeed some benefit in a strong euro because it keeps the prices of imported goods and hence inflation in check. “We are seeing the Germans extending a hand more and more often to the British than to us. But he had to concede that Britain’s cherished 29-year-old rebate from EU spending.” a resigned Hollande told reporters after allnight talks secured a deal on EU funding from 2014-2020. head of the Robert Schuman Foundation. the scientists said. however. But the problem with Europe is that there are others involved. only start to be disadvantaged when the exchange rate is above $1.22-1. Hollande managed to limit the damage to French farmers with a small rise in related funds for rural development. They calculated that seen from afar each type of organism would create a unique colour pattern. But in the budget wrangling that ensued. For instance. think that many rocky worlds will possibly have extreme heat. But while they say achievements such as last year’s deal on EU banking supervision show that Paris and Berlin can still overcome their differences to forge compromises. PRE-SUMMIT HUDDLE Hollande could have expected a hero’s welcome in Brussels for his handling of his first war in the African state of Mali.33 now.

“Some rejoice at the offer of negotiations . The Iranian nation will not be intimidated by such actions. The commission acknowledged that hospitals had been shelled. last year would follow the same lead this year: “And the reason there would be another resolution this coming March is because we and the other 23 members of the Human Rights Council who voted for the resolution in 2012 believe that the government of Sri Lanka needs to fulfil the commitment that it’s already made through the LLRC to its people.. the lessons that should be learnt from those events and the institutional. The tone of comments Thursday by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested that Tehran is in no greater mood to compromise.” the 73-year-old said. France and Germany — to scale back parts of its nuclear work because it was not offered sanctions relief in return. And for the people of Sri Lanka as they continue to face these important issues. which went into the causes of the war with the Tamil Tigers. contradicting the government’s line that there were zero civilian casualties. Mr. The commission was mandated to investigate the facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the ceasefire agreement made operational on 27 February 2002. representatives revealed here that it had “decided to sponsor a procedural resolution at the March 2013 session of the U. The U. “You (Americans) want to negotiate when you are pointing the gun at Iran. The commission did however receive some eyewitness evidence alleging abuse by the military which warranted further investigation and. a transcript of which has been posted on the U. It is an open question but there is some optimism” that they will join Western countries in supporting such a procedure. our continued support. due to resume in Kazakhstan on February 26 after an eight-month hiatus. after being tabled in the parliament. “It doesn’t seem as if any of the areas of difficulty have been resolved. one Vienna diplomat told AFP. resulting “considerable civilian casualties”. U.” he said. announcement. In November. The commission concluded that the Sri Lankan military didn’t deliberately target civilians but the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) repeatedly violated international humanitarian law. “The impression is that (China and Russia) are increasingly frustrated with Iran. credible” evidence that until 2003 and possibly since. Sri Lanka has responded to the U. The consequences of another failure could be serious.S. The commission blamed Sinhalese and Tamil politicians for causing the civil war: the Sinhalese politicians failed to offer a solution acceptable to the Tamil people and the Tamil politicians fanned militant separatism.S. administrative and legislative measures which need to be taken in order to prevent any recurrence of such concerns in the future. The commission admitted that civilians had been killed by the Sri Lankan military.” the envoy said. The resolution will ask the government of Sri Lanka to follow through on its own commitments to its people. Concept: Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was a commission of inquiry appointed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in May 2010 after the 26-year long civil war in Sri Lanka. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Moore told select media here that “the resolution will be straightforward.” recommendations of the LLRC. (but) negotiations will not solve anything. the diplomat said. Official confirmation of the Indian stand was not available. have failed to overcome the differences. if necessary.S. Washington warned that if there was no progress. After an 18 month inquiry.. and “hopes are not high” at agency headquarters for these next talks. sure India will go with it again in new Sri Lanka resolution The United States is sure that India will support a country-specific resolution sponsored by it in the coming session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Embassy website. The report was made public on 16 December 2011. The commission has been heavily criticised by international human rights groups. in implementing the JTS Institute 24 Current Affairs Notes .S.” Responding to a question. saying that it will defend its rights record.S. it conducted nuclear weapons research. the latest in January. This will do little to improve the already frosty ambience in parallel diplomatic efforts between Iran and six world powers. Significant progress has been made. But it is reliably learnt that the issue did figure in all the recent high-level engagements. Iran has spurned calls from the P5+1 — the US. and to promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities. spurning an offer of bilateral talks with Washington.11 February 2013 enhanced inspections. it would push for the IAEA board at its next meeting from March 4-8 to take the rare step of referring Iran to the UN Security Council. The Vienna agency closely monitors Iran’s declared nuclear facilities but wants Iran also to grant access to sites. it contended. but it did not say who was responsible for the shelling. the prosecution of perpetrators.S. According to the commission the military gave the “highest priority” to protecting civilians whereas the Tamil Tigers had had “no respect for human life”.5 February . Human Rights Council along with international partners”. Moore said he was sure that India and all the countries that voted with the U. albeit accidentally.N. scientists and documents involved in these alleged military activities. A series of meetings over the past year. “So this new resolution would reflect our support for those commitments. including the implementation of the LLRC [Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission] recommendations. China. Iran has consistently rejected as unfounded what the International Atomic Energy Agency calls “overall. it will be a procedural resolution. the UN Panel of Experts and others due its limited 11 January 2013 February U. Iran accuses the IAEA of basing its conclusions on faulty intelligence from foreign spy agencies — intelligence it complains it has not been allowed to see.” he said. Britain. the commission submitted its report to the President on 15 November 2011. Russia. and it will build on the 2012 resolution which called on Sri Lanka to do more to promote reconciliation and accountability.

alleged lack of independence and its failure to meet minimum international standards or offer protection to witnesses. Banks were free to fix Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR) for credit limits over Rs. under which the states will be free to decide on the time of its introduction. “In Colombia. The BPLR system. July 2010).” Mr.” Additional Secretary in the Commerce Ministry Madhusudan Prasad said. with the introduction of Base Rate (explained below). 2010. Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group refused to appear before the commission Deposits and Advances. “ he said. said in a statement. the BPLR means the Benchmark Prime Lending Rate. sources said. Mr.e.50 percent. Concept: Double taxation GST rollout: Chidambaram to meet state FMs on Feb. when the matter was raised by India during the second meeting of the Joint Committee of Business Cooperation. As per RBI guidelines (as in July 2012). Mr. fell short of its original objective of bringing transparency to lending rates.11 February 2013 mandate. The bank also revised downward its benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) by a similar margin to 14. The Colombian side also raised the issue of high tariffs in the coffee sector. They believed that the Sri Lankan government was using the commission as a tool to prevent an independent international investigation of alleged abuses. After holding discussions with states. This was conveyed to India by the visiting Colombian Vice-Minister of Entrepreneurial Development. except in cases allowed by RBI. As a consequence of this Amnesty International. Carlos Andres de Hart Pinto.50 per cent from 16. on Monday. However. This was mainly because under the BPLR system.75 percent from 11 per cent. Base Rate shall include all those elements of the lending rates that are common across all categories of borrowers. There can be only one Base Rate for each bank. announced a cut of 25 basis points in its base rate to 10. Selvan Rajadurai. The banks were also to declare the maximum spread over BPLR with the approval of the ALCO/Board for all advances].5 February . Chidambaram had recently told state finance ministers that he would include a broad outline of the Constitution Amendment Bill on GST in his Budget speech if there was a consensus. Concept: Base Rate Vs BPLR In banking parlance. 14 Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram will meet state finance ministers here on February 14 to seek their approval on design of GST so that a broad outline of the indirect tax regime can be included in the next Budget. FMCG. Moreover. giving freedom to states to fix their own rates. For the same reason. introduced in 2003. Besides. subject to their reporting to the Board immediately thereafter. In a bid to boost trade and investments between the two countries. More banks cut lending rates Syndicate Bank. IT. (c) Loans to banks’ depositors against their own deposits The Empowered Committee also decided to suggest to the Finance Ministry incorporation of provisions for allowing states to opt out of the GST fold. it was also difficult to assess the transmission of policy rates of the Reserve Bank to lending rates of banks Thus. the Constitution procedure takes a little bit longer than it takes in India. both sides agreed to set up five joint working groups (JWGs) on pharmaceutical/bio-technology.75 per centeffective February 11. BPLR has now lost its importance and is made applicable normally only on the loans which have been sanctioned before the introduction of Base Rate (i. Pinto told reporters after the meeting. [ Although as per Reserve Bank of India rules. the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers had reached a broad consensus on the design of GST. Last month in Bhubaneshwar. “The ratification is likely to happen in the first-half of this year. “Their request is for opening up the domestic sector for Colombian coffee. the following categories of loans could be priced without reference to Base Rate :(a) DRI Advances. banks could lend below BPLR. S. The two sides had signed the treaty in 2011 in a bid to give a big boost to investment. Chidambaram is likely to recommend certain changes in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. The pact is yet to be ratified by Colombia. The Base Rate system has replaced the BPLR system with effect from July 1. automobile and textiles. Banks may choose any benchmark to arrive at the Base Rate for a specific tenor that may be disclosed transparently. General Manager. (b) Loans to banks’ own employees including retired employees. states had agreed to a lower payment of Rs 34. JTS Institute 25 Current Affairs Notes . However. a pre-condition for rollout of the GST. The Base Rate is the minimum interest rate of a Bank below which it cannot lend. BPLR was / is the interest rate that commercial banks normally charge (or we can say they were expected to charge) their most credit-worthy customers. we have agreed to examine the request after doing consultation with the stakeholders. And. and prime lending rate (PLR) to 16.000 crore for phasing out the Central Sales Tax. (Business Development). The meeting also assumes significance as the Centre is in the process of firming up indirect tax proposals for the Budget.25 percent with effect from February 13. The Union Budget is scheduled to be presented on February 28.2 lakh with the approval of their respective Boards yet BPLR was to be declared and made uniformly applicable at all the branches. thereby making it optional. they had agreed that instead of a single rate for GST there would be a floor rate with a band. banks have the freedom to choose any benchmark to arrive at a single Base Rate but the same needs to disclosed transparently. Tamilnad Mercantile Bank reduced its base rate by 25 basis points to 10. The Asset-Liability Management Committee (ALCO) of respective bank fixed interest rates on Double tax avoidance pact with Colombia may be delayed The ratification of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Colombia will take a “little more time” due to procedural delays by the South American nation.

U.On Monday. saying they were unambiguously opposed to any change and that “you should ask the question to the armed forces and ask why are they so opposed to even some amendment to AFSPA which will make [it] more humanitarian. This use of the term ‘double taxation’ is politically freighted since it selectively concatenates. The Communist Party-run Global Times said in an editorial last week. the rule of law and of civilian control over the military. An abomination called AFSPA At an institute that is virtually owned. the North’s only ally. in a move that brought quick condemnation from the United Nations and the North’s neighbours and is set to heighten regional tensions. yielded 6-7 kilotons. if not repeal it altogether. The North had notified the United States and China a day earlier. where the Punggye-ri nuclear complex that conducted tests in 2006 and 2009 is located. it is difficult for a civil government to move forward. “North Korea won’t be able to avoid grave responsibility. and its allies in the region.57 am local time (8. stark and frightening: who runs the north-east or Jammu & Kashmir or North Korea conducts third nuclear test North Korea on Tuesday said it had conducted a “successful” third underground nuclear test. out of all describable sequences of taxation. the Minister did not say why the Government of India has refused to publish the Reddy Committee’s report or even table it in Parliament eight years after it was submitted. two particular taxes on two particular transactions. views the country as a crucial strategic buffer against the U. according to initial estimates. to refer to the fact that corporate profits are taxed and the shareholders of the corporation are (usually) subject to personal taxation when they receive dividends or distributions of those profits. which is the North’s only ally and biggest source of financial and food aid.” However. Call for tougher approach In recent weeks.”The Chinese government should make this clear beforehand to shatter any illusions Pyongyang may have. had signalled that the North – officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – would continue with conducting longrange rocket tests despite recent warnings from the UNSC and even China. After all. Japanese officials said they would deploy military jets to survey the radiation levels following the test. the Seoul-based Yonhap news agency JTS Institute 26 Current Affairs Notes . suggesting Tuesday’s test had exceeded the yields reported in tests in 2006 and 2009. But the problem is far more complex than it appears to be. Secretary-General Ban Kimoon in a statement condemned the test as “a clear and grave violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions”. Chidambaram did the unthinkable the other day. Chinese analysts and State media have recently called on the country to take a tougher approach in dealing with the North. the place where the report was first leaked and published verbatim in 2005.” This raises a startling issue about democracy. South Korea described the test as a violation of U. an official toldYonhap. particularly in the USA. “if North Korea insists on a third nuclear test despite attempts to dissuade it. South Korea has requested the UNSC to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday evening. It remains accessible on The Hindu’s website. South Korea deplore test Tuesday’s test brought quick condemnations from the United Nations and the North’s neigbours. when a magnitude 5. The term ‘double taxation’ is additionally used. A third nuclear test was expected by Chinese and Western officials sometime this week. A South Korean defence ministry official told Yonhap the nuclear device had. Kim Jong-il’s son and successor Kim Jong-un. News of the test first emerged early on Tuesday morning. The previous nuclear test in 2009 resulted in fresh resolutions aimed at the North from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). UN. Tremors were also felt in parts of northeastern China near the border with North Korea. Chinese officials in Beijing have said they had cautioned the North against going ahead with the test.27 am IST). he tossed the issue squarely into the lap of the Army and the MoD.N. tighter sanctions and increased tensions with South Korea and Japan.11 February 2013 Double taxation is the levying of tax by two or more jurisdictions on the same declared income (in the case of income taxes). This double liability is often mitigated by tax treaties between countries.1 “artificial earthquake” was reported near a nuclear test site at 11. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the country was considering imposing “unilateral sanctions” on the North. We have [the] Jeevan Reddy Committee report but yet if the Army takes a very strong stand against any dilution or any amendment to AFSPA. Now that the most powerful figure in the Cabinet after the Prime Minister has spoken. funded and run by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). who took over as the new leader following his father’s death in December 2011. It is not that the question is simple. or financial transaction (in the case of sales taxes).5 February . and has shown no signs of rethinking its close strategic ties following the previous nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. While Beijing has continued to support the regime as it fears instability on its northeastern borders. He virtually attacked the Army for refusing to review and amend the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). “The assistance it will be able to receive from China should be reduced. perhaps someone will take notice. which was issued shortly after President Lee Myung-bak convened an emergency National Security Council meeting.N. “It is deplorable that Pyongyang defied the strong and unequivocal call from the international community to refrain from any further provocative measures. according to South Korean officials quoted by Yonhap. The State-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said a “miniaturised” nuclear device had been detonated successfully at the test site.” the newspaper said. reported. it must pay a heavy price”. Union Finance Minister P.S. China. with Saturday – the birthday of former leader Kim Jong-il – earlier seen as a likely date. resolutions and as an “unacceptable threat”. Like a clever politician.” he said.” said the statement. In Tokyo. The test was reported to have taken place at a test site in the North Hamgyeong province. asset (in the case of capital taxes).

The latter says no criminal prosecution will lie against any person who has taken action under this act. Chauhan. bombed Aizawl and civilian targets in the Lushai Hills (now Mizoram) to repulse an insurgent attack that had almost overrun the district headquarters. throw their belongings onto the back of a truck and move to a common site where they were herded together with strangers and formed new villages. Display statesmanship The Centre has lost more than seven years in coming to no decision on the recommendations. raped and tortured. But the MoD has not or is perhaps unable to do so. and that is our stand. according to a case now before the Supreme Court 15. Verma Committee even suggested that military men accused of sexual assault should be tried under normal law and not be protected by the law that guarantees absolute protection: Immunity. No prosecution in over 50 years Passed in 1958 when the Naga movement for independence had just taken off. This is a real matter of concern but it cannot be the rationale for blocking efforts to repeal or amend AFSPA.” These are aberrations to the law of military conduct with civilians. you commit murder. or paramilitary officer or soldier has been prosecuted for murder. This is the call of the State government or the Centre. which not only recommended AFSPA’s repeal but also proposed a legal mechanism by which the Army could be used in extraordinary situations involving national security? Our essential recommendation was that no one could be above the law. ignominious and bloody chapter in our nation’s history? We will need to go beyond Mr. It is not free of intimidation. declared clearly that AFSPA’s protection was limited to acts conducted in the line of duty. in March 1966. which facilitates the summoning of the Army to the aid of civil authorities who are unable to control armed insurrection. even to the causing of death” where laws are being violated. in what is known as the Pathribal incident. What is the greater abomination then? Is it that the Army. everyone must be equal before and under it. women and children) have disappeared from the killing fields of Manipur is everyone’s concern. are more powerful than the rest of the government put together. Now. it shows that the two. successfully stalled any effort to dilute or amend the Act. But this approach doesn’t work. But now it must.” The central government says that it can’t persuade the Army to back down. “You go to a place in exercise of AFSPA. Why did the “civilian” government not have the courage to act in 2005 when the Reddy Committee gave its report. A former general even said publicly that 97 per cent of all cases against army men were found to be false. It’s simple: you don’t rape or murder “in the line of duty. then where is the question of sanction? It is a normal crime which needs to be prosecuted. The question I will put is simple: how far back are you going? Do you forget those murdered. both sides are stuck. They have. Yes. no one has even mentioned the regrouping of villages in both places: villagers were forced to leave their homes at gunpoint. AFSPA is a bare law with just six sections.” declared the bench of Justices Swatanter Kumar and B. Nagaland today is peaceful. Many in Mizoram do not even talk about those days. in 1958. in its own interests and that of the country. It was sent to Nagaland and Manipur. The State government has been asking.S. the situation has become much more complex because the window of opportunity provided by the Reddy Committee has virtually closed.S.000 people (men.5 February . The Government of India refuses to listen. which is easy to blame and always in the line of fire. In 54 years. Come up with an alternative instead. What will it take to close this sad. such is the trauma that has been inflicted on people. for the removal of the Disturbed Areas Act. extortion or factional killings. you commit rape. who gave the orders and who carried them out? Nagaland is peaceful now We need to remember two points here about AFSPA and the place where it all began — Nagaland. you’ve got it completely wrong. The army says it is like its “Bible” and that if the Act is removed it will face the prospect of fighting “with one hand tied. to sweep it under the carpet and “move on”? Why should the victims continue to pay the price? Why not those who inflicted the devastation. And the Army is upset that the Justice J. which India knows little about and has cared even less for. rape. Chidambaram’s remarks — for what he was doing is to lay the blame at the door of the Army. the enabling provision of law. It did not ask to go anywhere. He is seeking to show that the “civilian” government is opposed to a doctrinaire securitised approach and that the MoD and the Army are isolated. get out of places where threats to JTS Institute 27 Current Affairs Notes . Army circles are worried that soldiers and officers will be dragged to civilian courts and that frivolous cases will be filed against them. not a single army. The most damning are those in the fourth and sixth sections: the former enables security forces to “fire upon or otherwise use force. In the discussions over the past days. two judges of the Supreme Court. A retired general came on a TV programme the other day and fumed that reviewing AFSPA was not the mandate of the Verma Committee. It is a shameful and horrific history. intervening in a case where the Central Bureau of Investigation was seeking to prosecute army officers accused of murdering five villagers in Jammu & Kashmir.11 February 2013 any area that is affected by insurgency? AFSPA is put in place after the area has been declared “disturbed” under the Disturbed Areas Act. The question of life and death in a “disturbed” area where. internal wrangling is difficult to resolve but how long should anyone have to wait for a resolution? Today. destruction of property (including the burning of villages in the 1960s in Nagaland and Mizoram). They are simply spoken of as “the troubles” and no discussion takes place. even when isolated. Sorry sir. their homes and granaries burned and their places of worship desecrated? Should these crimes go unpunished? Remember too that the Indian Air Force. And are we merely supposed to forget all this. That is not right for the civilian government is equally complicit in this. is stuck in a thankless task? Or is it that the civilian government which first sent them there is unable to take the political decision that will bring the boys home? Fifty-four years is a long time to have a law as revoltingly brutal and obscure as AFSPA. Instead. since 2005. but not a single Indian solider has fallen in combat here for the past five years. after all. The Army has bolted it because it does not want to be seen as the villain of the piece. Impact of Verma report A year ago.

The Australia-New Zealand region boasts a total of four cardinals. Latin America comes next with 30 cardinals (Brazil has nine and Mexico has four). senior officers from the armed forces and scientists and engineers of strategic organisations. we must ask. The cardinals are housed in private rooms in what is known as the House of Santa Maria and are cut off from the outside world during the electoral process. which has “inflight manoeuver capability”. Canon 332§2 of the Code of Canon Law states: “If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office. depicting Man’s fall from the Garden of Eden and The Last Judgement. However. Pope Benedict XVI will revert to his former name Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger and will no longer be addressed as His Holiness. if required. There is tremendous speculation on the name of the next Pope. helped along by chemicals to emit a thick dark smoke. can carry “nuclear warheads of appropriate yield with high accuracy”. After all. The system has become increasingly complicated over the centuries and voting for oneself was outlawed in 1621. how many more naked protests. there is no further elaboration on the subject in the Code of Canons and it is quite likely that the Pope will promulgate such a law before he steps down on 28 February. as we rest and wrestle with this tortuous story: how many more deaths. the ballots that are burnt send up a distinctive white smoke from the chimney which announces to the world that a new Pope has been chosen. it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.11 February 2013 national security simply do not exist. But we can write our common future with our collective. The test consisted of “successive launches of two missiles from a state-of-the-art multi-tube launcher”. ensures deterrence against threats in view of evolving scenarios. The Provisions in Code of Canon Canon Law makes provision for the resignation of a Pope. “This quick response system. Additionally Nasr has been specially designed to defeat all known anti-tactical missile defence systems.” the statement said. how many more hunger strikes. The voting system was first established in 1059. on the suffering that both sides had faced and sought to reach out and seek reconciliation: “Let us leave behind all the unfortunate things that happened in the past. Addressing scientists and military officers of strategic organisations. the new Pontiff appears on the balcony of the Vatican to give his first message to the world. So. many in the Vatican feel the next Bishop of Rome should in fact come from Rome or somewhere close by. There are 209 cardinals in all but only 118 of these are allowed to vote.5 February . There can be several rounds of voting and the used ballots are burnt in the chimney. how many more editorials and articles and broadcasts before AFSPA goes? Cardinals that will name his successor. Asia has 20 cardinals — India leads with seven followed by the Philippines with three. The odds appear to be stacked in Italy’s favour — Europe will be reluctant to let go of its hold over the Papal office — and after two non-Italian Popes. Election in March The next conclave will take place at the end of March. Latin American church officials as well as cardinals from Africa are pushing hard for a non European Pope since it is in Africa and the emerging economies that Catholicism is growing the fastest. When a Pope is finally selected. In order to be elected Pope a Cardinal must receive two-thirds plus one vote from the Conclave. The statement did not say where the test was conducted. how many more committees. But he did not follow this up because the opposition from the Defence Ministry was just too strong. Strategic Plans Division chief Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai. AtalBihari Vajpayee showed this in 2003 on his maiden visit to Kohima when he reflected. which can fire a four missile salvo. The Vatican has announced that he will not participate in the Conclave of JTS Institute 28 Current Affairs Notes . After the cardinal deacon announces “HabemusPapam” to the crowds outside — Latin for “We have a pope”. The Hatf-IX or Nasr. Cardinals aged 80 years and above are not allowed to vote. cooperative efforts. Most Popes have been Italian and there is speculation on whether the office will return to Italy.” The present situation demands measures no less significant from the current Prime Minister. When he has stepped down. that has not happened since 1415 and all successive Pontiffs have died in office. Europe is in a favoured position with a total of 115 Cardinals. When the result is inconclusive the ballots are burnt with damp straw. who decided that AFSPA must be reviewed. and when the central government thinks it should leave. The Conclave of Cardinals meets in the famous Sistine Chapel under a frescoed ceiling painted by Michelangelo. Army Strategic Forces Command chief Lt Gen Triq Nadeem Gilani. designed to defeat all known antitactical missile defence systems. the security forces can always be summoned again. Wynne congratulated them for a high standard of proficiency in operating the Nasr weapon system. It has been bled by the orgy of the killings of human beings by human beings… Each death diminishes us … The past cannot be rewritten. Pakistan successfully test fires nuclear-capable HatfIX missile Pakistan today successfully tested the nuclear-capable Hatf-IX tactical missile with a range of 60 km.” However. For too long this fair land has been scarred and seared by violence. probably during Holy Week which ends on Easter Sunday on March 31. as Prime Minister. The test was witnessed by Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne. Africa has 18 cardinals whereas the United States has 19 and Canada three. the military said in a statement describing the test of the short range surface-to-surface missile as successful. sources close to The Vatican told The Hindu. He said the armed forces were “fully capable of safeguarding Pakistan’s security against all kinds of aggression”. The situation calls for statesmanship of a very high order.

11 February 2013 successful test was appreciated by the President and Prime Minister. Sugar production and scenario in India and world: Indian Sugar Industry at a glance Sr. experts and analysts said the short-range nuclear-capable missile was primarily aimed at deterring India’s Cold Start military doctrine. 115 countries of the world cultivate sugarcane for sugar production and produce about 133 million tonnes of sugar which is three fourth of the total sugar production (169 million tonnes) of the world. sugarbeet cultivation may not remain a profitable proposition in European Union due to drastic reduction in subsidies on its production and processing. At present. At that time. Philippines. The first test of the Hatf-IX was conducted in April 2011. The lower cane productivity and sugar recovery in subtropical north zone is the main cause of variation between the zones. In India. or the ability to fire at a target and immediately relocate to another position to avoid enemy counter-fire. In this situation.17 10. India. Remaining sugar comes from sugarbeet.807 185. which was nearly 11. Experts said the Hatf-IX would be deployed with a mobile multi-barrel launch system that has “shoot and scoot attributes”. which contributes nearly 21.8 percent of the total sugar production of the world.912 10.5 percent of world sugar.4 tonnes/hectare in comparison to 81. Subtropical north whilecomprising 60 per cent of total cane area contributes only 48 percent to total cane and 37 per cent to total white sugar production in the country.6 70. tropicalsouth and subtropical north.7 and 56.20092011 2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 Number of Sugar Factories in Operation Crushing Capacity (million TCD) Sugarcane Crushed (million tons) Sugar Produced (million tons) Recovery % Cane Yield of sugarcane (tons per hectare) 527 490 24.0 JTS Institute 29 Current Affairs Notes . Pakistan. With the WTO agreement in place. etc.5 February . the shortfall in sugar may be compensated by sugarcane producing countries like Brazil. India is a major producer as well as consumer of the sugar in the world and during 2009-10.625 239. it produced 18. Particulars Crushing Season 2010. Australia. there are two distinct zones for sugarcane cultivation.9 and 80. who congratulated the scientists and engineers. respectively).8 tonnes/hectare in tropical south zone (2009-10 and 2010-11. which envisages quick thrusts by small integrated battle groups in the event of hostilities.548 24. The average cane productivity in subtropical north zone was 54. USA.9 million tonnes of sugar. China.394 18. Thailand.171 23.19 68. Sugarbeet cultivation and processing is highly subsidized in the European Union.

which. citing technical difficulties. as yet. The government has. officials say. 11. now it has the world’s highest burden of disease. 5.4 February 2013 Issue-5/2013 (29 th January to 4th February) CURRENT AFFAIRS CLASS NOTES: 29 Jan . they will be required to store large volumes of water for generating power. While India celebrates its near victory over polio. In addition to the 12. The government has also built at least six smaller hydropower projects on the Yarlung Zangbo’s tributaries. accounting for close to 58 per cent of the cases in the world. A third dam will be built at Jiexu. or Cabinet. which would not divert the Brahmaputra’s waters. Feasibility study 8. One of the three approved new dams is bigger than the Zangmu project. and the average annual discharge is 1010 cubic metres per second. The three new dams have been approved by the State Council. ending a two-year halt in approving new projects on the river amid concerns from India and environmental groups. Those affected by the disease continue to face social stigma and discrimination. on which construction is yet to begin. with the three new approvals under the energy plan. 16 States and Union Territories have also shown an increase in the number of cases. However. according to the Huadong Engineering Corporation. another dreaded disease. which is marginally less than that of 10. The plan said the government “will push forward vigorously the hydropower base construction” on the middle reaches of the YarlungZangbo. Diversion plan shelved 12. In the Twelfth Five Year plan period (2011-15). leprosy. a hydropower company that was tasked with conducting the study by the local government. A pre-feasibility study report for the 640 MW Dagu dam passed review in November. 4. that was overpowered in 2005 continues to haunt the government. The construction of the Zangmu dam in 2010 triggered concerns in India regarding possible impact on downstream flows. The catchment area at the dam site. Leprosy continues to haunt India. four hydropower projects will now be built — all located within a few dozen kilometres of each other — on the main stream of the middle reaches of the Brahmaputra. China has. The plan is part of the proposed Western route of the massive South-to-North diversion project. Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. which began to be built in 2010. Vigorous push 7. The notice said the study successfully passed review. A total of 1. 11 km upstream of Zangmu. which lies 18 km upstream of Zangmu. 2. considering the difficult terrain and technical problems. A notice posted on its website said a two-day review conference for the pre-feasibility study of the dam was held in November. 6. Another 320 MW dam will be built at Jiacha. so far. 3. The capacity of the Jiexu dam is. Their construction is likely to trigger fresh concerns in India on how the flows of the Brahmaputra downstream will be impacted.48 in 2010-11.4 Feb. social stigma remains 1. Though in 2005 leprosy was eliminated (having less than 1 patient per 10. 9. the government will begin construction of 120 million kilowatt of conventional hydropower. While they are run-of-the-river projects.305 child cases detected during the past year. adding that the dam would be located 18 km upstream of the already in-construction Zangmu dam.29 January . also on the middle reaches of the Brahmaputura downstream of Zangmu.400 square kilometres.35 per 100. for now. according to a copy of the plan available with The Hindu. under a new energy development plan for 2015 that was released on January 23. A 640 MW dam will be built in Dagu.000 population. Fresh concerns likely in India 14. only begun construction on one major hydropower dam on the main stream of the middle reaches of the Brahmaputra or YarlungZangbo as it is known in China – a 510 MW project in Zangmu in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). organised by the Tibet Autonomous Region government’s Development and Reform Commission. is 157. The dam will be built with a height of 124 metres and 640 MW capacity. however. which was released on January 23. Chinese officials. It usually affects the skin JTS Institute 1 Current Affairs Notes .000 population). unconfirmed. 4. according to the Huadong Engineering Corporation. 13. 2. 2013 (Compiled from 11 Newspapers & 7 Magazines) 29 January 2013 China gives go-ahead for three new Brahmaputra dams 1. will have no impact on downstream flows. China has given the go-ahead for the construction of three new hydropower dams on the middle reaches of the Brahmaputra river. 3. assured their Indian counterparts that the project was only a run-ofthe-river hydropower station. 10.27 lakh new cases were detected in 2011-12 which gives an Annual New Case Detection Rate (ANCDR) of 10. The three projects were listed in the State Council’s energy plan for the Twelfth Five Year Plan period (2011-15). Chinese officials and analysts say a diversion plan is very unlikely. shelved a long-discussed plan to divert the YarlungZangbo’s waters to the arid north.

California. Under the 11th Five Year Plan.4 February 2013 and peripheral nerves. It is not an infectious or a contagious disease any more but the stigma associated with it is unacceptable. but has a wide range of clinical manifestations. islands. clofazamine. and risk factors Leprosy is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It is not very contagious and it has a long incubation period (time before symptoms appear). According to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the eve of the Anti-Leprosy Day. Although Bihar has reached the PR of less than 1 in 2011-12. feet. Timely diagnosis and treatment of cases. 66. Hawaii. Both forms produce sores on the skin. Drug-resistant Mycobacterium leprae and an increased numbers of cases worldwide has led to global concern about this disease.Gopal. and in temperate.26 lakh new cases 5.29 January . a total of 0. “Even if they do not have the disease. “People in the rural areas do not even know MDT is available free and importantly they keep away from health facilities for fear of stigma. who also works for other programmes. Aspirin. More than one antibiotic is often given together. Isolating people with this disease in “leper colonies” is not needed. 10. Concept: Leprosy Leprosy is a disease that has been known since biblical times. and legs Signs and tests Lepromin skin test can be used to tell the two different forms of leprosy apart. Dr.7 in Meghalaya and 32.S.83 lakh cases are on record giving a prevalence rate of (PR) of 0. Symptoms Skin lesions that are lighter than your normal skin color Lesions have decreased sensation to touch. 67. For the first time in nine months. Chhattisgarh (1. remaining districts are managed by the District Programme Officer. or thalidomide is used to control inflammation. The disease is characterised by long incubation period generally 5-7 years and is classified as paucibacillaryor multibacillary.Gopal feels that there has been some complacency in the implementation of the National Leprosy Eradication Programme launched in 1983. 1. However. However.” says P. But there is a steady flow of new cases.7 per cent in Tripura. incidence. merely the address of a leper colony is reason enough for disqualification for applying to a job or being denied admission in a school. With the introduction of MDT. the government is still keeping an eye over it. Most cases are in the South.16 lakh completed their treatment within the specified period. who for over four decades has championed efforts to help eradicate leprosy and to further the cause of those who are affected by this disease. International President of the International Association for Integration. there are only 369 sanctioned posts of District Leprosy Officers. and minocycline) are used to kill the bacteria that cause the disease. and U. depending on the bacillary load. Effective medications exist. the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday cut the indicative policy JTS Institute 2 Current Affairs Notes . Causes. India with help from the World Bank and the World Health Organisation (WHO) started providing MDT free of cost to affected people from 1993 until 2004. Gopal. where a child was denied admission merely because someone in the family had the disease. and muscle weakness that gets worse over time. About 100 cases per year are diagnosed in the United States. Loans to become cheaper as RBI cuts policy rate 1.40 per cent) and Scheduled Tribes (15. However. 7. Leprosy is a leading cause of permanent physical disability. which makes it hard to know where or when someone caught the disease. which he helped to set up in 1994. 11.000 population) and Dadra and Nagar Haveli (2. Reduction in funds 12. “There has been a huge reduction in the funds ever since leprosy was eliminated that has adversely impacted the nongovernmental organisations and civil society activists working for the uplift of the leprosy-affected and cured people. but it is not used to diagnose the disease Skin lesion biopsy Skin scraping examination Treatment A number of different antibiotics (including dapsone. India took over the programme in 2005 after it pronounced that the disease was eliminated. Despite being part of a panel that is now busy preparing a new official programme for leprosy with on early detection and removal of stigma. says there are 700 leprosy colonies in the country where over 2 lakh people live marginalised lives. “I would say leprosy is effectively cured in India with MDT (multi drug therapy) since 1985. “There is some kind of lack of interest because the disease is believed to have gone. 700 leprosy colonies 8. and subtropical climates.68 per 10.000.26 lakh new cases deleted from record.” he explains. 9. The burden of the disease is highest among the Scheduled Castes (18.” says Mr. Dignity and Economic Advancement (IDEA). the lepromatous form is most severe. leprosy services were being provided through the PHC with general health staff. is the most effective way of preventing disability due to leprosy. prednisone.” Dr. arms.83 per cent).K.69 per 10. 13. Leprosy has two common forms: tuberculoid and lepromatous. fluoroquinolones. Narasappa of the National Federation of Leprosy Cured People in India. It causes large lumps and bumps (nodules).” says V. Children are more likely than adults to get the disease. a component called District Nucleus was kept at the district-level under the District Programme Officer with persons from the erstwhile vertical staff under NLEP. It causes skin sores. rifampin.5 per cent people were able to complete their treatment in Delhi.Narasappa.000 population though only 530 districts out of the 640 have achieved the elimination level. macrolides.4 per cent in Himachal Pradesh 6. a total of 1. or pain Lesions do not heal after several weeks to months Muscle weakness Numbness or lack of feeling in the hands. before nerve damage occurred. only 69.000) have the prevalence rate between 1 and 3 per 10. heat. nerve damage. Of the total of 1. Leprosy is common in many countries worldwide. tropical.93 per 10. As against 642 districts.Gopal told The Hindu while citing a recent case of Bihar. Dr.

5 percent to 6. it will take some time to reverse the investment slowdown and reinvigorate growth. In a letter written to Agriculture and Food Processing Minister SharadPawar. acting at the behest of these industries who stand to profit from these unneeded and hazardous technologies”. 2. The coalition has objected to the Ministry. “This is a programme wherein we will give the tablets to 6 crore girl students in schools and another 6 to 7 crore who are outside schools.75 percent. to resist pests and agents causing harm to plants and to improve the growth of these plants to assist in farmers efficiency.29 January . 7. from 4. “It is unethical for the Ministry to blatantly promote technologies such as genetically modified crops.Subbarao said. Critics have objected to GM crops per se on several grounds. and animal breeding. She also said the adolescent girls will be given six monthly dose of Albendazole (400 mg) tablet for deworming. GM crops also are involved in controversies over GM food with respect to whether food produced from GM crops is safe and whether GM crops are needed to address the world’s food needs. bankers said they would pass on the benefit to borrowers. Iron. After meeting RBI Governor D. group tells Centre 1.” the panel had observed. Subbarao. she said.5 per cent to 8 per cent. The coalition said the conference had “a predominance of vested interests behind it promoting the conference with full-page advertisements in newspapers such as the Pesticide Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India.The aim of the programme is also to inform adolescent girls of the correct dietary practices for increasing iron intake. safe and remunerative. or the production of a certain nutrient or pharmaceutical agent. It reduced the CRR from a peak of 6 percent to 4. she said.25 till midDecember 2012. farming and farmers’ livelihood sustainable. The Ministry of Agriculture has no intentions of keeping off a conference it has supported despite the Coalition for GM-free India having taken umbrage at the government associating with an event organised by the agrochemical industry to be addressed by speakers known for being promoters of genetically modified (GM) crops as an answer to food security. National Rural Health Mission.” Dr. including ecological concerns. and somaclonal variation. the group said that the panel had clearly warned the government against the “facilitative benevolence” of opening the agriculture sector up to private prospectors as done in communications. from 8. which is “answerable to the larger public. 6.Repo is the rate at which banks borrow funds from the central bank. and for the wholesale price inflation in March 2013.” Anuradha Gupta. The conference. 2. or biotech crops) are plants. Mission Director. folic acid tablets to be given to 13 crore girls every week 1. It has included controversial speakers who are known for their support to GM crops without supporting scientific facts or evidence. Genetic engineering techniques are much more precise[1] than mutagenesis (mutation breeding) where an organism is exposed to radiation or chemicals to create a non-specific but stable change.Subbarao said: “While the series of recent policy initiatives by the government has boosted market sentiment. 4. the group urged the government not to go ahead with the conference scheduled for next week. CRR is the portion of deposits banks must keep with the RBI. said on Tuesday. ‘Doubling Food Production in Five Years’. 4. since 1990. 5.8 percent. 3. is slated to be inaugurated by President PranabMukheree with Mr. Health Ministry will roll out the programme across the country in the next three months under which girl students will be administered the tablets every Monday.Pawar as a key speaker. there would not be any compelling need for adopting technologies which are yet to be proven totally safe for biodiversity. diseases or environmental conditions.” 5. 3. In an effort to prevent anaemia. plant breeding. 4. Standing Committee recommendations on Agriculture. from 5. the RBI has warned that retail inflation is still at a higher level. from 7. albeit limited. The step is likely to benefit retail borrowers.However. GM crops. human and livestock health and which will encourage monoculture — an option best avoided. saying it would provide a platform to hazardous industries and waste precious public funds in support of their cause. Briefing reporters about the India’s Call to Action Summit for Child Survival and Development in Chennai from February 7. Dr. pharma. the government will soon launch an ambitious programme to provide Iron Folic Acid (IFA) tablets every week to 13 crore adolescent girls in the age group of 10-19 years across the country.8 per cent to 5.5 per cent. “This provides space. The RBI first cut the repo rate in the current fiscal in April 2012. and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by 25 percentage points.25 per cent 4 percent. the child mortality rate in India has dropped by 45 percent. with a reduction of 50 percentage points. 2. environment. for monetary policy to give greater emphasis to growth risks.4 February 2013 rate (repo) by 25 percentage points.” it added.”The RBI has scaled down the projection for GDP growth for the current year. In most cases the aim is to introduce a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in this species. as lending rates are likely to come down. Quoting from the Parliamentary JTS Institute 3 Current Affairs Notes . when India is trying to come out of the pesticide treadmill and make its production. the DNA of which has been modified using genetic engineering techniques. organised in collaboration with UNICEF. In its third quarter review. and economic concerns raised by the fact these organisms are subject to intellectual property law. 3. mineral wealth and other sectors… “If the shortcomings in the food sector are addressed. the biotechlobby group [Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises] and the National Seed Association of India. The tablets will be given to them after the mid-day meals. from 8 percent to 7. Concept: GM crops Genetically modified crops (GMCs. Agro-conference teems with vested interests. Other techniques by which humans modify food organisms include selective breeding. Examples include resistance to certain pests.

She gets about five to six surrogacy cases a year and they are all Indian couples. parental responsibility etc. They handle about two to three surrogacy births and about a hundred IVF cases a year. but has had NRI customers. are also involved in training workshops as members of ISAR. Agencies and Contemporary Transnational Networks’.29 January . a doctor by profession who bore a surrogate baby for her sister-in-law who was also a doctor. Many of the commissioning couples also prefer the surrogate to stay in a hostel so that they could be in regular contact with the surrogate. “We do counsel about adoption. who now thrive. FAQ’s about surrogacy laws in India: What claims does a surrogate have over the child? In India the surrogate is not considered as the legal mother. so that their neighbours do not find out about their pregnancies.1 make it very much clear that the intended parents only would be the legal parents of the child with all the attendance rights. medical and ethical rules are flouted with aplomb. the surrogates are clearly doing this to educate their children and get ahead in life. She also admitted that there has been no progress in neo-mortality rate but hoped that the situation will improve in the coming years. At trust hospitals. This was. India co-convened the June 2012 Global Call to Action on child survival along with Ethiopia and United States of America. At the only private hospital that agreed to be interviewed for the study. The harvesting of up to 20 eggs. The study observed that immediate passage of the ART (Regulation) Bill in Parliament is the need of the hour.4 states that the surrogate mother shall not be the legal mother and the birth certificate shall be in the name of the genetic parents. the study was conducted by the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health. it will create transparency because ART banks. Her rights and obligations towards the intended parents as well the child are formulated in the gestational surrogacy agreement. since they could not have their own biological baby. against ICMR guidelines. which is Rs. They have been in this field for 20 years or more and all of them are members of Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Society of India (FOGSI) and the Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction (ISAR). JNU. says a new study. In this context. The hospital does not cater to foreign clients.5. While untrained doctors pass off as embryologists. She has restarted offering this service of late since she knows a reliable third party agency that handles all legal and other issues. All the doctors interviewed are highly qualified specialists. 3. All the doctors were aware of some doctors running hostels for surrogates where they could be monitored and supervised. but she did not like the issues attached to it and so had stopped catering to such clients. According to the doctor.India is still among the top four that account for 50 per cent of global under-five mortality. The registration of such banks would also mean that middlemen. questions.” she said. postgraduates are trained in assisted reproduction. India is very soon going to enact its legislation on the field Reproductive Tourism in India Expansion and proliferation of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has been facilitated by economic globalisation wherein reproductive tissues like sperm. It was found that public sector institutions offer only altruistic surrogacy services which are medically indicated. She is legally and psychologically counselled that she will not be having any rights over the child. till a pregnancy is successful. Also Guideline 3. the insertion of any number of embryos and the widespread practice of embryosharing are the unethical practices. The study focuses on the scenario in New Delhi where a large number of private hospitals and government institutions offer ART. One doctor said that she once had a patient. It was found that due to severe shortage of qualified embryologists. surrogates clearly need such institutions since they need to stay away from home for a long period and then return claiming that they had been away on work. the doctor said that she had been providing IVF services since the early 1990s. a surrogate mother cannot be genetically related to the child .1 and 3. the focus is on infertility and IVF and not on surrogacy. married to a doctor. ova. Leading obstetricians and gynaecologists from a top government-run hospital admitted that they have performed in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) in some cases where they were not sure if it was altruistic surrogacy. after which an obstetrician takes over.2. but the urge to have their own child is very strong here. Titled ‘Reproductive Tourism in India: Actors. and indeed bond with her.5 Provides that the surrogate mother shall relinquish in writing all the parental rights over the child. adding that India has emerged as the surrogacy outsourcing capital of the world. Who is the legal mother of the surrogate child under Indian law? As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR Guidelines) the surrogate mother should not be biologically connected to the child (Guideline 1.10. On the other hand. and uteri are traded like any other commodity to make profit. but makes sure that the papers are in order. one lakh per cycle. The other doctors interviewed. Also Guidelines 3. In the public sector institutions. would be weeded out. Their charge is same whether for IVF or surrogacy. The doctors in these institutions feel that sensational media coverage has boosted the industry that sorely needs regulation. and not clinics. She deals only with the medical aspect. inheritance and all other privileges which a child born naturally to the intended parents/s would have had. will deal directly with surrogates.33). As per ICMR Guidelines 2005. Moreover. Sama-Resource Group for Women and Health and King’s College London.5.16. She did have some clients seeking surrogacy.4 February 2013 5. The surrogate’s husband and children are permitted to visit her regularly. The commissioning couple brings the surrogate and the doctors ask no JTS Institute 4 Current Affairs Notes . one from the trust hospital and the other from a clinic.The Indian Law recognises the Intended mother only as the legal mother in surrogacy arrangements. a child born through surrogacy shall be presumed to be the legitimate child of the intended parents/s and shall have all the legal rights to parental support. there are no standard guidelines for facilities required or uniform rate of charges and payment. even as the doctor keeps an eye on her and supervises her diet and medication. of course.

The said contract can then become the basis of legal action against the surrogate mother also the law pertaining to surrogacy i. Even a year after registering their names with the Karunya Benevolent Fund. 14.Vijayakumar. Angamaly.500 registered haemophiliacs. 11. In Thiruvananthapuram.The district panchayat will provide Rs. Persons who lack blood factor that helps clotting need immediate treatment with externally supplied factor for every bleed. In the open market. Antarctic drillers reach lake buried beneath ice 1. “This is the first near-earth asteroid to pass so close to the earth”. which is among the most active societies in mid-Kerala region. a body of water buried almost one kilometre under the Antarctic ice. 9. construction work is yet to begin. The National Rural Health Mission and Kerala State Medical Services Corporation are also expected to chip in. According to Dr.5 crore is also in limbo.5 shall be bound to relinquish all the parental rights over the child so born. 5. The contract must clearly state that the child /children born out of surrogacy shall be the legal children of the intended parents and that the surrogate shall have no rights over the child/children. The World Federation of Haemophilia Societies provides the blood clotting factors only to registered societies. ‘BBC News’ reported. 15. there is no requirement to make a court application for prebirth order or post-birth order in India. Chronic shortage of the factor. In cases where the child is biologically related to the intended father the intended father only would be the legal father provided the child so born should not be biologically connected to the surrogate mother. panchayat president EldoseKunappilly said.29 January . a British team Lack of free pill bleeds dry haemophiliacs 1. high cost of treatment and poor financial capacity of patients make this genetically transmitted disorder a deadly disease. 6. In case the country of intended parents requires obtaining a court decree getting themselves declared as the legal parents the same can be obtained by applying to Indian Courts under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908. 2. neither have the identity cards come through nor has the government started making the blood factor available at the district hospitals. In such a scenario the donor egg should be used and the donor under guideline 3. As a unit of the factor costs Rs. There are 860 haemophilia patients registered with the Haemophilia Society. 4. Haemophilia is a genetically-transmitted disease that impairs the body’s ability to help blood clotting. 8 lakh is ready but there is no building to house it. he said. The quantity of the clotting factor required for a haemophiliac during bleeding depends on the weight of the patient’s body. 12.5. A camera was then sent down to verify the breakthrough. US scientists have successfully drilled into Lake Whillans. A full-fledged haemophilia centre proposed at the Regional Blood Transfusion Centre at a cost of Rs. 3. 40 lakh for setting up the centre. haemophiliacs in the district dry as they will have to shell out at least Rs. However there are some countries which require us to obtain the declaration decree for the intended parents. A judicial intervention about two years ago had made the factor available at all medical colleges in the State. However. Vijaykumar.500 HAEMOPHILIACS 7. What would be the legal position under Indian law if the surrogate mother changed her mind upon birth and refused to hand over the child to intended parents? However such instances have not been witnessed in the Indian scenario but still if a situation like this arises then the surrogacy contract can be the saviour. he said. A small cut will bleed JTS Institute 5 Current Affairs Notes . ICMR Guidelines also support the intended parents only as the legal parents. 24.000 to buy blood clotting agent in private hospitals.4 February 2013 of Assisted Reproductive Technology. John’s Hospital. Who is the legal father of the surrogate child under Indian law given that the surrogate mother is widowed and the sperm derives from the intended father. Asteroid to come close to earth on Feb 15 An asteroid will come close to the earth on February 15. The State has about 6. equipment worth Rs. The Proposed act also has the same favourable provisions. haemophilia patients here are yet to get blood clotting factors free of cost. Is there are any requirement for a court application to be made in India for a pre-birth order and a post-birth order such as is required in some other nations? No. (See graphic) 6. 3. thus making the intended father only as the legal father of the child as per Indian law. 8. 3. The Karunya Benevolent Fund was set up by the government to provide financial assistance to under-privileged people suffering from acute ailments. The asteroid ‘2012 DA 14’ measures about 50 metres and would swoop to about 27. said B M Birla Science Centre Director Dr B G Sidharth said in a release here. The Whillans project is one of a number of such ventures trying to investigate Antarctica’s buried lakes. 24. Karunya Fund was expected to issue identity cards for all registered patients so that they can access the factor free of cost from medical colleges and district hospitals. said N. Bangalore. HAEMOPHILIA CENTRE 13. 12. the blood clotting factor is available free of cost under the Karunya scheme. indicating contact had been made with the lake. While the State had given its nod for starting the centre. Scientists reported that sensors on their drill system had noted a change in pressure. “The project has been approved and tendering process is on”. 2. according to Birla Science Centre here.e. In December.000 for treating a small bleed. Such a centre would be the first in the State and third in the country after CMC Vellore and St. Indian law doesn’t put any bar on opting for donor sperm or eggs. the blood factor is expensive. But there could be a lot more in the population that go undetected. a patient on average may require up to Rs. Aluva. medical officer incharge of Regional Blood Transfusion Centre. ‘DEADLY DISEASE’ 10.000 km near earth or roughly about one tenth the distance to moon. 4.

or are continually borne aloft by winds and air currents. is to lower various sampling tools and sensors into the lake to study its properties and environment. RBI had given a free run to the banks to fix their BPLR and different banks do have different BPLR causing resentment among customers. The interest rate on car loans will be lower by 0.4 February 2013 had abandoned its efforts to get into Lake Ellsworth after encountering technical difficulties. Long distance travel by the airborne organisms may also help spread infections around the world. researchers believe. the report said. while their terrestrial cousins tended to occupy the air above land.75 per cent). which agreed well with the estimates from seismic imaging. 2011 that will be applicable to all banks across the country. it has been seen that they charge a higher rate of interest on home loans and car loans from customers.” said coauthor Professor Athanasios Nenes.” lead researcher Dr Kostas Konstantinidis. but not all bacteria make it into the upper atmosphere. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US. Around 17 different families of bacteria were detected. 6. loans will be cheaper by 0. “In the absence of dust or other materials that could provide a good nucleus for ice formation.50 per cent to 11.” Konstantinidis said. Concept: Base Rate vs BPLR Rate BPLR is the Benchmark Prime Lending Rate and is the rate at which banks in the country lend money to their most credit worthy customers. “We did not expect to find so many micro-organisms in the troposphere. More than 300 large bodies of water have now been identified under the White Continent.5 percentage point. Among the old private sector banks. The bugs were discovered in air samples scooped up by a DC-8 aircraft flying over both land and sea across the US. 8. almost like a delta. SBI cut rates following a 25 basis point cut in policy rate (repo) by the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday in its third quarter review of monetary policy from 8 percent to 7. also known as prime lending rate or simply prime rate.75 percent from 14 per cent. the ‘Daily Mail’ reported. In the two-wheeler segment. living off carbon compounds. RBI has suggested the use of a Base Rate in place of BPLR from July 1.50 per cent (from 10. the difference between BPLR and the rate of interest charged by the bank is as much as 4%. Caribbean and western Atlantic. “There seems to be quite a diversity of species. There was strong evidence that hurricanes affected the distribution and dynamics of microbial populations. Keeping all this in mind. The bugs can help trigger cloud formation by supplying the particles around which ice crystals form.25 percentage point ranging from 10. Marine bacteria were mostly found over the ocean. Scientists are still unsure whether the bacteria and fungi they found routinely inhabit the sky. In some cases. 30 January 2013 SBI cuts Base Rate marginally State Bank of India surprised the markets with a cut of only 0.20 per cent.5 percentage point. said.45 percent from 11. rates for heavy commercial vehicles loans will be down to 11 percent. The new rates would be effective from February 1.25 per cent to 4 percent to cushion the rate cut JTS Institute 6 Current Affairs Notes . just having a small number of these micro-organisms around could facilitate the formation of ice at these altitudes and attract surrounding moisture. Till now. DNA analysis revealed that bacteria made up 20 per cent of particles previously thought to consist of nothing but sea salt or dust. it was seen that banks began to misuse BPLR as they were at a liberty to set their own BPLR. It became difficult for a customer to compare BPLR of ‘Significant number of unknown bugs living above the clouds’ Scientists have discovered a significant number of bugs living in the middle and upper troposphere. HDFC Bank reduced its auto loan rates by up to 0.just a few metres in depth. Though BPLR. now that the hole is secure.70 percent with effect from February 4.05 percentage point in its Base Rate on Wednesday from 9. helping banks to transmit the rate cut to customers immediately. There is no mechanism at present to educate a customer about BPLR and the rate at which he is being offered a loan and why there is a difference between the two rates. The microbes could have a previously unrecognised impact on cloud formation. 7.25 percentage point. according to the research. The RBI has also cut Cash Reserve Ratio by 25 basis points from 4.29 January . Let us understand the differences between BPLR and Base rate in detail. With regard to commercial vehicles. which is considered a very difficult environment for life. The liquid body is quite shallow . 9. The Russians have taken water samples from Lake Vostok. Samples will be assessed onsite at the ice surface in temporary labs.75 percent to 9. that covers some 60 square kilometre. The thickness of the overlying ice was measured to be 801m. and others will be returned to partner universities for more extensive analysis. The bank reduced the interest rate on commercial vehicle loans by 0. It is less of a lake and more of a dense system of streams. the Wissard blog said. while that on light commercial vehicles to 13.The intention. the airy layer eight to 15 kilometres above the Earth’s surface. was originally meant to bring transparency in the system of loaning. Though all banks have a BPLR. The Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (Wissard) team has been using a hot-water drill to melt a 30cm-diameter hole through the overlying ice. Federal Bank slashed its interest rates on auto loans to 10.75 percent. Add to it the practice of banks to provide loans at a much higher rate than their BPLR and it completes the misery of the common people. also from the Georgia Institute of Technology. although they have yet to report any big discoveries.75 per cent to 11. Lake Whillans is situated in the west of Antarctica. 5. Samples were collected at altitudes of eight to 15 kilometres before and after two major tropical hurricanes in 2010. on the southeastern edge of the Ross Sea.

2. it said. 11. the bacteria take advantage of the body’s own mechanisms of self-renewal. 5. • This is why RBI has decided to scrape the BPLR system and introduced a Base Rate that will be applicable from July 1. have discovered a possible reason for the resistance of tuberculosis. news providers and their families are exposed to ruthless reprisals. In brief: BPLR Rate vs Base Rate • BPLR is Benchmark Prime Lending Rate which is set by banks to lend money to customers. The researchers and doctors conducted free general medical camps in five villages of Arunachal Pradesh in India and gave free medicines to all patients belonging to the Idu-Mishmis sub tribe. the team isolated the CD271+ stem cells. It became clear to RBI that BPLR system was not functioning in a transparent manner and complaints of consumers were increasing in an exponential manner. PhD. 10. giving them new insight on how TB remains a global JTS Institute 7 Current Affairs Notes . while in democracies news providers have to cope with the Arunachal tribe helps in TB research breakthrough 1. 8. the list is topped by three European countries — Finland.” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.” said Dean Felsher.” Reporters Without Borders said. from the Stanford University. Earlier banks gave loans to blue chip companies at rates even lower than their BPLR and compensated by giving loans at higher rates to common consumers but now they have been asked not to give loans at a rate lower than the Base Rate. 2011. — 9) is at its lowest since 2002 because of increasing impunity for violence against journalists and because Internet censorship continues to grow. The study as to “why TB treated patients remain sensitive to TB tests for life” made a breakthrough. On the other hand. professor of oncology and of pathology. had shown no sign of improving. The findings raise the possibility that other infectious agents may employ similar “wolfin-stem-cell-clothing” tactics. and successfully completed drug treatment. Now the banks will be forced to follow a consistent method of calculation as against arbitrary methods they chose while calculating BPLR. and found evidence of dormant TB bacteria in those stem cells. 12. and a profit margin that banks have to provide to RBI as to how they arrived at their base rate. and lead author of the study. 6. 3. India (140th. banks did not automatically followed suit and continued to lend money at a higher rate of interest. after studying the recommendations of a study group has decided to enforce a Base Rate instead of BPLR from July 1. epidemic causing 1. operational expenses.” 4. India has dropped nine places to 140 in the list of 179 countries in the 2013 World Press Freedom Index. while increasingly unpopular Internet censorship continues to be a major obstacle to access to information. “The Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders does not take direct account of the kind of political system. “In dictatorships.S. 2011 • Base rate will bring transparency in the loan segment as banks cannot give loans at rates lower than Base Rate. Studies carried on the people of Arunachal’s Idu-Mishmis tribe. 7.4 February 2013 different banks as all had different BPLR. but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted. China (173.” said postdoctoral scholar Bikul Das. they were in less detail and also RBI did not have the power to scrutinize BPLR of the banks. Reporters Without Borders. According to results of the study published in the prestigious “Science Translational Medicine” journal. this is because of the ability of the tuberculosis bacteria to infiltrate and settle down in a particular class of stem cell in the bone marrow. they were also able to isolate active bacteria from the cells of human patients with tuberculosis who had undergone extensive treatment for the disease. “Cancer scientists have noted that self-renewing stem cells like these in the bone marrow have properties — such as natural drug resistance.9 million deaths every year. 9. which its authors. From these individuals. RBI. “We now need to learn how the bacteria find and infect this tiny population of stem cells.29 January . though there were similar parameters in case of BPLR also. • Banks gave loans at even lower than BPLR to blue chip companies while charged higher rate of interest from common people. said the scientists from the Stanford University and Forsyth Institute. This is why. and what triggers it to reactivate years or decades after successful treatment of the disease. A small Arunachal sub-tribe has helped U. Another point of resentment is that when RBI reduced its prime lending rate. 2. And. North Korea and Eritrea continue to be at the bottom of the list as has been in the last three years. “the results now will have direct implications in anti-TB drug development and explain why it is so difficult to treat active and latent TB” said the RIWATCH release. +1). This effort led to identification of individuals who had TB. India slides down in press freedom index 1. 4. 3. Not only did the scientists find genetic material from the bacteria inside the stem cells.2 billion people worldwide. 13.These results supported Das’s laboratory and CamposNeto’s animal study evidence that dormant TB hide in the CD271+ stem cells. “In Asia. 5. the press statement said. All this obviously means the system of Base Rate will be more transparent than BPLR system. which infects nearly 2. By doing so. said was the lowest for the “world’s biggest democracy” since 2002. MD. Netherlands and Norway. “Its prisons still hold many journalists and netizens. they suggest a new possible target in the fight against tuberculosis.This medical research has brought the Idu-Mishmi people and Arunachal on the world map. Turkmenistan. As last year. scientists made a major breakthrough in tuberculosis research. The difference between BPLR and Base Rate is that now the banks are given parameters like cost of funds. suffering from this dreaded disease. although any new human treatments are likely to still be years away. infrequent division and a privileged immune status — that make them resistant to many types of treatment.

S. Finance Minister P Chidambaram has exuded confidence that the Rs.S.S. fears over compulsory licence for anti-cancer drug allayed 1. ‘Run-of-the-river dams won’t affect inflows into India’ 1. In March last. The Hindu reported on Tuesday that the Chinese State Council had approved the construction of three new dams on the Brahmaputra under a new energy development plan for 2015. The Indian government is working towards a solution based on recommendations of the Shome panel. 1961.4 February 2013 media’s economic crises and conflicts of interest. Hyderabad-based NatcoPharma was allowed to manufacture and sell cancertreatment drug Nexavar at a price that was just a fraction of that was charged by patent-holder Bayer Corporation. a senior government official said here on Wednesday that the run-ofthe-river projects would not affect inflows into India.880 for a pack of 120 tablets required for a month’s treatment as compared to a whopping Rs. “We are keeping a close watch.. a CL can be invoked by a national government. Energy and Environment RoberHormats. “The Minister informed him that India is a responsible state and it will not do anything which will hamper innovation in the pharma sector. Vodafone has offered to engage the government in a discussion to find a solution rather than persist with its Notice of Arbitration. Amid concern in India over China’s plans to construct dams upstream on the Brahmaputra.8. However. 6.’’ 12. including India. 2. India. Hormats raised the U.. The compulsory licence (CL) was issued after a due adjudication process. Sharma has assured him that the move was totally compliant with multilateral agreements. The liability arose following the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee amending the Income Tax Act. but the flow patterns may change and concern about flooding and erosion could not be overlooked. Chidambaram said he was “happy that Vodafone has formally written to the government offering to engage senior government officials to find a way out of the problem. the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation is constructing the Upper Siang Hydroelectric Project on the Siang tributary of the Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh and the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri project on Subansiri. According to the report. 2. the report said the Indian subcontinent was the region in Asia that saw the sharpest deterioration in the climate for those involved in news and information in 2012.29 January . British telecom major Vodafone was slapped with an income tax demand notice of Rs..It also asserted that such a move should not be seen as routine by the U. in almost all parts of the world. Brahmaputra on the Arunachal Pradesh. Mr. the Minister said. who raised concerns over the matter during a meeting here. the South Asia Network on Dams. which suggested that either the government should withdraw the retrospective tax amendment or waive the penalty in case it had to recover the taxes. 5. Assam border. Under Secretary for Economic Growth. They have held two rounds of discussions with my Revenue Secretary and the Chairman of the CBDT. influential countries. there may not be any change in the annual flows of the river. 6. we should pay tribute to all those who resist pressure whether it is aggressively focused or diffuse. terming U. Union Water Resources Secretary Dhruv Vijay Singh told The Hindu that the Indian government was aware of the dams being constructed/proposed by China. allowing someone else to produce a patented product or process without the consent of the patent owner in public interest.2.11.11. on Wednesday. Mr. “They (Vodafone representatives) are being invited to a third round of discussions this week. 10. 4. pharmaceutical industry’s concern over issuance of CL by India and said that patent holders should be assured that it should not be a routine thing. The Minister said he was confident about resolution of the dispute soon because “for the first time. Natco was allowed to sell the drug at a price not exceeding Rs. Reacting to the news that China plans to construct three new hydropower dams in the middle reaches of the Brahmaputra (or YarlungZangbo as it is known in China).they (the Central Board of Direct Taxes) expect them to come any time this week and I am looking forward to a resolution of the Vodafone issue. Vodafone India has sought withdrawal of the recently issued guidelines for the second round of spectrum auction. an NGO. under CL. 3.” he said. Meanwhile. When asked whether the issue would be resolved in the next month or so. 3.” the official added. so it should not be seen as routine. that it had not violated any multilateral trade agreement by issuing compulsory licence for Bayer’s patented anti-cancer drug Nexavar to a local firm so as to make it affordable. conveyed to the U. In India.200-crore Vodafone tax dispute will be resolved within a month. 7.S.’’ 14. Withdraw spectrum guidelines 17. As per the WTO agreement. said these being run-of-theriver projects. These are run-of-the-river dams with no storage and will not affect inflows into India. the official said. 13.200 crore on its 2007 acquisition of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa’s stake in its Indian telecom business.S. 11. 5. 16. The German firm has already filed an appeal against the Indian Patents Office’s order with the Intellectual Property Appellate Board. that are regarded as “regional models” have fallen in the index. Mr. “I am trying to resolve it even sooner than that.’’ 15. according to an official.” he told the Financial Times in an interview. another tributary of the JTS Institute 8 Current Affairs Notes . Rivers and People. with retrospective effect to undo the Supreme Court judgment that had ruled in favour of the company.” the official added. Drug price 8. ‘Vodafone issue will be resolved shortly’ 9.80 lakh charged by Bayer for its patented Nexavar drug.” he said. The message was conveyed by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma to U. 4. And I’m confident we will resolve that issue. While their situation is not always comparable. 7. Observing that there was a general decline in freedom of information in South Asia.

29 January - 4 February 2013
them “illegal, discriminatory and benefiting one set of players”. 18. Vodafone said the guidelines were “discriminatory” in nature, as they fix the reserve price of 900Mhz at three times the price of 800Mhz, while The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended both these bands to be treated on a par. 19. “Fixing reserve price of 800 MHz band at comparatively low levels benefits a certain set of telecom operators,’’ it said in a letter to Telecom Secretary R. Chandrashekhar, while seeking withdrawal of the guidelines. 20. Vodafone also said auction of 900MHz spectrum included the spectrum which was now being used by the company for Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata circles and since the same spectrum was already being used in its networks, it could not be put out for auction. X-ray or radio frequencies, a pulsar located 3,500 light years away has been found emitting both radio and X-ray radiation in sync When a star heavier than our Sun by eight to 50 times runs out of hydrogen, it blows away its outermost layers of gas in a supernova explosion and undergoes a gravitational collapse. The remnant of this is a core of neutrons called a neutron star — usually around 20 km across, densely compacted and highly magnetised. When the neutron star is spinning, it emits strong radiation from its poles which can be detected only when it is pointed towards the Earth. Because of the spin, these emissions point at Earth periodically, making it appear as though the neutron star is pulsating. For this reason, spinning neutron stars are called pulsars. In a paper published in Science journal on January 25, an international team of scientists working on the LOFAR telescope in the Netherlands and the GMRT telescope near Pune, India, announced a strange behaviour of a pulsar PSR B0943+10. Located 3,500 light years from Earth, PSR B0943+10 has been known since the 1980s to emit radiation in the radio frequency. Pulsars usually emit radiation at radio or X-ray frequencies exclusively, although ones emitting purely gamma radiation have also been found. Some other pulsars also switch modes, emitting brightly for some time and weakly for the some other time, within seconds. While this behaviour has been known for some time, a self-consistent theory to explain it still eludes astrophysicists. However, for the first time ever, a pulsar, PSR B0943+10, has been observed switching between two different modes of radiation – X-ray and radio – within a second. The Xray mode showed itself when the radio mode had weakened. Also, anomalous weak radio signals were observed when the pulsar was in the bright X-ray mode. As Dr.WimHermsen, the lead author of the study, in an email to this Correspondent noted: “The details of our findings were totally surprising, and cannot be explained with the different presently prevailing theories.” Dr.Hermsen is associated with the Netherlands Institute for Space Research. Dr.DipanjanMitra, from the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), Pune, led the Indian effort of the study, working with the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT). Alongside Dr. Joanna Rankin of the University of Vermont, Dr.Mitra continuously monitored the pulsar in 2009, and laid the foundation for the published paper. Spotting the anomaly The X-ray emissions were tracked using the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton orbiting space telescope, and the radio signals were studied using the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) near Exloo, the Netherlands, and GMRT. While LOFAR can detect only at a fixed frequency, GMRT can sweep a range of frequencies. First, the radio and X-ray emissions were recorded simultaneously over several days. The times at which the “flips” occurred were first noted in the radio data. Then, the scientists studied the behaviour of the X-ray mode during these flip times. They found that the radio and X-ray modes were perfectly synchronised with each other. While the radio signals were strong and highly organised, the X-ray signals were weak and disorganised, and vice versa. Also, each mode lasted typically for seven hours, although over the course of the study, they also observed that the X-ray mode sometimes lasted for only half-hour or so, making it unpredictable. As Dr.Mitra said, “It’s as if the pulsar has two personalities. We knew about this behaviour in the radio, but now we see it in the Xrays as well.” The team also found that the X-ray emission seemed thermal in origin. This suggests that a temporary “hotspot” appears close to the pulsar’s magnetic pole which switches on and off as the pulsar flips.The scientists will go on to analyse the data further to see if they have missed out anything, such as how much of an influence the pulsar’s plasma-atmosphere has on such emissions.

NASA launches communication satellite
NASA on Thursday launched a new communication satellite to stay in touch with its space station astronauts and relay more Hubble telescope images. An unmanned Atlas V rocket blasted into the starry night sky carrying the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite.This is the 11th TDRS satellite to be launched by NASA.The space agency uses the orbiting network to communicate with astronauts living on the International Space Station. The first TDRS spacecraft flew in 1983; it recently was retired along with No. 4. The second was lost aboard space shuttle Challenger in 1986; Monday marked the 27th anniversary of the launch disaster.This newest thirdgeneration TDRS carries the letter K designation. Once it begins working, it will become TDRS-11. It will take two weeks for the satellite to reach its intended 22,300-mile-high orbit. Testing will last a few months.NASA estimates the satellite costs between $ 350 million and $ 400 million. Another TDRS spacecraft, L in the series, will be launched next year.NASA wants at least seven TDRS satellites working in orbit at any one time. The one launched today will make eight.

At last, hideout of dormant TB bacteria found
The hiding place of dormant tuberculosis bacteria in humans has been finally found. The bacteria are present in a nonreplicating, dormant but viable state, and can get reactivated to cause active TB in people who have been successively treated earlier. The

Pulsar behaviour defies theories
Unlike pulsars that emit either at

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remarkable study published today (January 31) in the Science Translational Medicine journal unequivocally demonstrates that a particular kind of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (CD271CD45) provide a safe shelter for the dormant TB bacteria. Recurrence of TB after successful drug treatment remains a big challenge in controlling the disease. Recurrence could happen either due to reactivation of the dormant TB bacteria residing somewhere inside the body or through reinfection. Several studies have shown that more than reinfection, it is the reactivation that causes disease recurrence. Hence management to prevent reactivation is essential. But the precise location where the bacteria hides was not known. But, no longer. The first step adopted by Bikul Das from Departments of Medicine and Pathology, Stanford University, and the lead author of the paper, and others was to study bone marrow stem cells. There was a reason to target these cells — they provide a safe haven for the dormant TB bacteria to hide from the immune system; the bacteria are not exposed to TB drugs either. In fact, the stem cells have an efficient way of removing TB drugs that can kill the bacteria, thus providing the bacteria a perfect environment to remain viable for extended periods of time. The germ of an idea to look for TB bacteria in bone marrow samples occurred to Dr. Das way back in the mid 1990s when he was doing biopsies of bone marrow samples. “In those biopsies I saw AFB [stained] positive bugs in bone marrow [samples], and occasionally inside progenitor cells. I was not sure if they were stem cells, as a biopsy cannot confirm those cells to be stem cells or progenitor cells,” noted Dr. Das in an email to this Correspondent (see box item). “An idea came to my mind that if TB bugs indeed reside inside bone marrow stem cells, it could explain why it is so difficult to treat TB.” So they started off by studying different bone marrow stem cells from healthy humans to know if the bacteria could infect specific stem cells in vitro. They solved the first piece of the puzzle when they found that the bacteria could infect a few BM stem cells in vitro. Of them, the CD271/CD133 stem cells proved to be the “most permissive” for TB bacteria infection. After infection, the bacteria multiplied just twofold to threefold within four days and then remained “unchanged.” Also the bacteria remained viable inside the cells for about two weeks. Differentiation of the stem cells was the only factor that could affect the long-term viability. The viability reduced fourfold when the stem cells differentiated to form specific cell types. The stem cells contain both haematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells. On further scrutiny, they found that the bacteria “preferentially infects” only the mesenchymal stem cells (CD271). Mesenchymal stem cells are capable of becoming any of the specialised cells in the body. They are essentially found in the bone marrow but can migrate to the lungs. They then performed several experiments using mice. First, they demonstrated the ability of the TB bacteria to migrate to the mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) of mice once the animals were exposed to a low dose of aerosolised virulent TB bacteria. Four weeks after infection, the animals were killed and the presence of TB bacteria in MSC studied. They did find the bacteria in the bone marrow cells. By performing another kind of experiment, they found that TB bacteria “retained viability” in the mice mesenchymal stem cells. Besides bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, they found viable nonreplicating TB bacteria in lung mesenchymal stem cells too. They progressed to the next stage of studying the infectious nature of the nonreplicating bacteria hiding in the stem cells. To do this, they retrieved the dormant bacteria from the lung mesenchymal stem cells of some mice and injected them into other healthy mice. The recipient mice did develop lung granulomas. The final piece of the puzzle was solved by looking for the presence of dormant TB bacteria in humans who were successfully treated using anti-TB drugs. Nine individuals who had undergone complete treatment and a control group of six healthy people from non-endemic regions were chosen. While all the six healthy people in the control group did not “exhibit measurable” dormant TB bacteria, eight of the nine people who had successfully undergone treatment did have the bacteria in the CD271 BM mesenchymal stem cells. “Our work is only a basic research and does not provide any therapy for patients with tuberculosis,” stated Dean W. Felsher of Stanford University in an email to this Correspondent. “We do hope that our work will provide potentially new scientific approaches that may lead to new treatments for TB.”

‘Habitable Zone’ for alien planets redefined
Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have redefined the boundaries of the habitable zone for alien planets, kicking out some exoplanets that were thought to fall within it, and allowing a few others to be included in the zone. “This will have a significant impact on the number of exoplanets that are within habitable zone,” said research team leader Ravi Kumar Kopparapu of Penn State University. One of the most important characteristics of an alien planet is whether or not it falls into what’s called the habitable zone - a Goldilocks-like range of not-tooclose, not-too-far distances from the parent star that might allow the planet to host life. The habitable zone defines the region where a planet might be able to retain liquid water on its surface. Any closer to the star and water would vaporise away; any farther, and it would freeze to ice, Space.com reported. But water in its liquid state is what scientists are after, since that is thought to be a prerequisite for life. The new definition of the habitable zone is based on updated atmospheric databases called HITRAN (high-resolution transmission molecular absorption) and HITEMP (hightemperature spectroscopic absorption parameters), which give the absorption parameters of water and carbon dioxide - two properties that strongly influence the atmospheres of exoplanets, determining whether those planets could host liquid water. The scientists cautioned that the habitable zone definition still does not take into account feedback effects from clouds, which will also affect a planet’s habitability. The previous habitable zone definitions were derived about 20 years ago by Penn State researcher

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James Kasting, who was also part of the team behind the updates. The new definition isn’t radically different from the old one. For example, in our own solar system, the boundaries of the habitable zone have shifted from between 0.95 astronomical units (AU, or the distance between Earth and the Sun) and 1.67 AU, to the new range of 0.99 AU to 1.7 AU. “It’s a surprise that Earth is so close to the inner edge of the habitable zone,” said astronomer Abel Mendez of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, who was not part of the team behind the redefinition. “Right now as I see it as a significant change. Many of those planets that we believe were inside are now outside. But on the other side, it extends the habitable zone’s outer edge, so a few planets that are farther away might fall inside the habitable zone now,” Mendez said. He mentioned one planet in particular, Gliese 581d, was thought to lie at the outer edge of its star’s habitable zone. With the new definition, though, it falls almost smack in the middle, making it perhaps a better candidate for extraterrestrial life. The new habitable zone definition will be published in the Astrophysical Journal. Avoidance Agreement with Chile and has asked that country to further liberalise its visa regime to help the movement of professionals and businessmen. Chile’s main export to India is copper, and with the inking of the new trade agreement the product is expected to reach India with zero tariffs. Chile also exports paper pulp among other things to India. The two countries are seeking cooperation in areas like information technology, oceanography, science and technology, agriculture and food processing and engineering and infrastructure. India and Colombia have a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) which came into effect in June 2012. India has also urged Colombia to expedite ratification of a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) to boost investor confidence. Earlier this month, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), has discovered oil on an on land block, CPO-5, in Colombia. OVL holds 70 percent participating interest in the block located at the Ilanos basin of Colombia. The project was under phase-1 of exploration, with a commitment of drilling two exploratory wells. Argentina, a leading agricultural economy, has invited farmers from India to purchase land there and cultivate it. India is also a major importer of Argentine soybean oil, importing $1.8 billion in 2010. Indian companies have a major presence in Latin American countries. Indian IT companies in Chile include TCS. While in Argentina, there are over 15 Indian companies, with many being in the IT and IT-enabled services sector, employing thousands of people. The others are in various manufacturing areas, from pharma to cosmetics to agro chemicals. India-Latin American trade stood at $20 billion in 2010, way below the $140 billion trade between ChinaLatin American. Monday to push the long-pending India-EU trade accord. Khurshid will hold discussions with German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and would call onchancellor Angela Merkel during his two-day visit on January 28-29. Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe.

31 January 2013 ‘Look-East’ policy bring India into Asia Pacific: Hillary
1. Lauding India’s “Look East” policy, outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that America supports New Delhi’s move to weave it into the fabric of Asia Pacific region. 2. “We’ve encouraged India’s ‘Look East’ policy as a way to weave another big democracy into the fabric of the Asia-Pacific,” Ms. Clinton said on Thursday in her last foreign policy speech as the Secretary of State at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a Washington-based think-tank. 3. This was the only place in Ms. Clinton’s speech that mentioned India as she described America’s expanding engagement in the Asia Pacific region. 4. “Now, much attention has been focused on our military moves in the region. And certainly, adapting our forces posture is a key element of our comprehensive strategy. But so is strengthening our alliances through new economic and security arrangements,” she said. 5. “We responded to the triple disaster in Japan through our government, through our businesses, through our not-forprofits, and reminded the entire region of the irreplaceable role America plays. 6. First and foremost, this so-called pivot has been about creative diplomacy, like signing a littlenoted treaty of amity and cooperation with ASEAN that opened the door to permanent representation and ultimately elevated a forum for engaging on high-stakes issues like the South China Sea,” she said. 7. Referring to the agenda of the next four years and beyond, she said the U.S. would have to keep pushing forward on this agenda: consolidate its engagement in the Asia-Pacific without taking eyes off

Ties with Latin America to deepen further
Like Look East Policy of the Indian Government, “Focus on Latin America” has been the recent emerging policy and will get further boost when external affairs minister Salman Khurshid leaves on a ten-day visit to that region. Khurshid, who returns Thursday after a four-day visit to Germany and Belgium, will leave on Friday for Argentina, Colombia and Chile. India and Chile are close to formalizing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), an arrangement equivalent to a free trade agreement, which would help reduce or eliminate duties on maximum number of products they trade in. Chile is also considered to be the gateway to Latin America in the areas of investment and trade opportunities. With the bilateral trade at $2.6 billion in 2011-12, India has been pushing for a Double Taxation

Khurshid to visit Germany, Belgium to push EU accord
External affairs minister Salman Khurshid will visit two important European Union countries — Germany and Belgium —from

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29 January - 4 February 2013
the Middle East and North Africa. 8. She also called for keep working to curb the spread of deadly weapons, especially in Iran and North Korea; effectively manage the end of combat mission in Afghanistan without losing focus on al-Qaeda and its affiliates and pursuing a far-ranging economic agenda that sweeps from Asia to Latin America to Europe; and keep looking for the next Burmas. 5. Some Indian participants, evidently upset and taking advantage of this candour, reminded the Iranian gentleman that Iran had always sided with Pakistan and asked him what it was that Iran had done for India, that Iran was buying wheat from the U.S. but was not willing to buy it from India, that Iran was spreading radicalisation among the Shia community in India, that India says Iran is important for India but Iran never says India is important for Iran, etc. Someone pointed out that Shiite Iran supported the Taliban in Afghanistan, which was a diehard Sunni movement. 6. The Iranian friend — we have to describe him as a friend since friends are supposed to talk frankly without worrying about offending anyone — was not nonplussed. It was not Iran which placed obstacles for Indian wheat sales in Iran; this was a matter of business considerations. He added that India could not have an unfriendly attitude towards Iran and, at the same time, expect special consideration. Iran was a land of moderation, not a land of extremism; it never exported Shia extremism to India. If there is Shia extremism in India, there is also Hindu extremism, he added for good measure. As for supporting Pakistan, he said Iran had to, since Pakistan was a neighbour and a friendly country, but Iran had never done anything against India and wanted to be helpful to both. He rubbished the reports about supporting the Taliban and added that India had been in touch with the Taliban. 7. On the nuclear issue, the Iranian expert said Iran was not asking for anything more or less than the rights and obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran had always been in full compliance with its treaty obligations. No section of Iranian society saw nuclear weapons as a matter of privilege or security. Islamic jurisprudence specifically forbade intentionally polluting the atmosphere. Nuclear weapons did not provide security to nuclear weapon states; the U.S. and Nato had nukes but of what use had they been in Afghanistan? Had India been able to use them against Pakistan? As for some ‘evidence’ contained in a laptop revealed in Vienna, it was fabricated and a cheap argument. 8. The ‘friend’ used the very point raised by the Saudis and others; India, he pointed out, could easily get oil from other sources, Iran was not really important for India as an energy source.Instead of taking offence at his remarks, we ought to draw some lessons from them. 9. Unlike Iran, which never says India is important for it, Indian strategic community never tires of repeating how crucial Iran is to us for its energy resources, for alternative access to Afghanistan and for the northern corridor to Central Asia. For good measure, we often remind ourselves of the fact that there is a large Shia community in India, the assumption being that the Shias in India expect the government to be mindful of their religious sentiments while deciding on the policy towards Iran. Such talk only strengthens Iran’s attitude of being somewhat contemptuous or dismissive of India. It further makes people in Iran and India conclude that India needs Iran much more than Iran needs India, if at all. 10. As of today — and this must be emphasised — Iran certainly needs India’s friendship. It is true that our anti-Iran vote in IAEA has harmed our relations with Tehran, but international relations cannot forever be held hostage to past actions. We ourselves have long forgotten even the fact that many countries had voted against us in the United Nations at the time of Bangladesh’s war for independence in 1971. 11. The Iranian friend was right; there are other sources from where India can buy oil. Saudi Arabia would be delighted if we were to turn to it to make up the shortfall, since it would clearly be interpreted as India siding with it in the undeclared politico-sectarian war against Iran. (This is one reason why India would not want to do so.) But the number of buyers of Iranian oil is dwindling fast and Iran is hard put to find alternative buyers, even at discounted prices. Contrary to what our friend said, his Oil Minister has publicly acknowledged that Iran’s oil exports fell by 40 per cent last year. Iran needs India’s friendship 12. The Prime Minister paid an official visit to Iran last year for the non-aligned summit, no doubt upsetting the Americans. The fact that he was ‘granted an audience’ by the supreme leader should not flatter us. Iran certainly needs friends like India. Would the supreme leader have ‘received’ the Prime Minister if his country did not

Lesson on diplomacy, from an Iranian
1. Track II meetings can be useful when participants express their views candidly, without worrying about offending the sensitivities of others. When the event is held in India, visiting think tankers take pain not to upset their hosts. Since most foreigners have rightly concluded that Indians are not only flattery prone but credulous as well, they are usually complimentary about India’s role in various situations such as in Afghanistan, Syria, Middle East, etc. 2. It is therefore refreshing when a visiting participant in a Track II meeting gives free rein to his views about India’s foreign policy as was the case when an Iranian expert, familiar with the official thinking of his government, spoke his mind at an event in Delhi some time ago. Other Iranian participants at the same meeting spoke in a similar vein. 3. ‘Inclined towards U.S.’ 4. India, he said, was anxious not to make the United States unhappy. “Your ‘qibla’,” he said, “is Washington.” India was much inclined towards the U.S. and should reconsider striking a balance in its foreign policy; India had some shortcomings and should reconsider its relations with Iran; India was not being pragmatic but opportunistic. Traditionally, India enjoyed huge social capital in Iran; it was hugely popular with the Iranian people. All that had been destroyed for generations in one stroke because of India’s anti-Iran vote in the International Atomic Energy Agency. India could not vote against Iran and claim, at the same time, that Iran was important for India; it just did not make sense. A little later in the interactive session, he reiterated his view that India could not vote against Iran and, at the same time, say it wanted to work with Iran. “I repeat this because it was a very harmful act and it is very hard for any friend of India in Iran to accept this.”

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29 January - 4 February 2013
face sanctions? Iran surely knows that India has not joined in the unilateral sanctions imposed by the West. If Iran, in the face of these facts, has convinced itself that India’s ‘qibla’ is in the direction of Washington, there is nothing we can do to disabuse it of its thinking. 13. The above analysis is not an argument for downgrading Iran’s importance for us and for the region of which it is a part. Rather, it is meant to keep in mind what Harish Khare, the respected columnist, recently observed: Appeasement policy does not serve national interest, in domestic politics or in international relations. His advice is aimed at the government but is equally true at the non-governmental level. International relations must be conducted on the basis of reciprocity and mutuality of interests. We also have to keep in mind that countries which at present have strained, even hostile relations with Iran, can and will change their policy at a time of their choosing; we should not be left surprised. “We are trying to see what could be the best in terms of transparency so that issues that are hurting industry could be covered adequately,” Dr Shome said while noting that the Finance Ministry was also engaged in addressing the issue of expenditure control which remained a major challenge. expansion in GDP during 2011-12 was mainly on account of growth in sectors such as financing, insurance, real estate and business services by11.7 percent, transport, storage and communication (8.4 per cent), electricity, gas and water supply (6.5 per cent) and trade, hotels and restaurants (6.2 per cent). 10. As for gross domestic savings (GDS), the growth in 2011-12 at current prices fell to 30.8 percent of the GDP at market prices and is estimated at Rs.27.65 lakh crore during the year as compared to an increase of 34 percent to Rs.26.52 lakh crore in 2010-11 Deceleration 11. The deceleration in GDS growth in 2011-12, the statement said, was mainly owing to declines in household financial savings from 10.4 percent to 8 percent, in private corporate sector savings from 7.9 percent to 7.2 per cent and in public sector savings from 2.6 per cent to 1.3 per cent as compared to a year ago. 12. Among other major indicators, the gross national income at constant (2004-05) prices and at factor cost in 2011-12 is estimated at Rs.51.97 lakh crore as compared to Rs.48.82 lakh crore in 2010-11, which works out to an increase of 6.4 percent during the year and marks a decline from the previous year’s growth figure of 8.8 per cent. On the other hand, the GNI at current prices in 2011-12 is estimated at Rs.82.77 lakh crore as compared to Rs.71.85 lakh crore in 2010-11, an increase of 15.2 percent which is lower than the 18.4 percent growth achieved in the previous year. Household sector 13. Household sector savings in absolute terms, the data showed, increased from Rs.18.33 lakh crore in 2010-11 to Rs.20.04 lakh crore in 2011-12 to pose an increase of 9.3 percent while private corporate sector savings rose by 4.1 percent from Rs.6.19 lakh crore in 2010-11 to Rs.6.44 lakh crore in 2011-12. 14. Savings of the public sector, however, fell by a hefty 41.4 per cent from Rs.1.99 lakh crore in 2010-11 to Rs.1.17 lakh crore in 2011-12. 15. As per the data, gross domestic capital formation increased from Rs.28.72 lakh crore in 2010-11 to Rs.31.41 lakh crore in 2011-12 at current prices. 16. At constant prices (2004-05), it increased from Rs.21.20 lakh crore

GDP growth for 2011-12 lowered to 6.2 percent
1. The government, on Thursday, announced a downward revision in GDP (gross domestic product) growth to 6.2 percent for fiscal year 2011-12 from the earlier provisional estimate of 6.5 per cent. 2. Alongside, however, the GDP growth for 2010-11 fiscal stands revised upwards to 9.3 percent from 8.4 percent, as per the first revised estimates of ‘National income, consumption expenditure, saving and capital formation’, released here by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for 2011-12 along with second revised estimates for 2010-11 and the third revised estimates for 2009-10. 3. “GDP at factor cost at constant (2004-05) prices in 2011-12 is estimated at Rs.52.43 lakh crore as against Rs.49.37 lakh crore in 2010-11, registering a growth of 6.2 per cent during the year as against a growth of 9.3 per cent in the year 2010-11,” a CSO statement said. 4. As per the statement, the GDP in 2011-12 at current prices is estimated at Rs.83.53 lakh crore as against Rs.72.67 lakh crore in 2010-11, marking an increase of 15 per cent as against an increase of 19 per cent in the previous fiscal year. 5. The per capita income in real terms (at 2004-05 prices), the CSO said, is estimated at Rs.38,037 for 2011-12 as against Rs.36,342 in 2010-11, which works out to an increase of 4.7 per cent during the fiscal as against an increase of 7.2 per cent in the previous year. 6. However, the per capita income at current prices is estimated at Rs.61,564 in 2011-12 as against Rs.54,151 in the previous fiscal to mark a lower growth of 13.7 per cent as compared to an increase of 17.1 per cent posted in 2010-11. 7. Standard of living 8. As a measure to assess the standard of living, the per capita income on a monthly basis works out to Rs.5,130 during the fiscal as compared to Rs.4,513 in 2010-11. 9. According to the CSO data, the

Modified DTC soon, says Shome
A modified Direct Taxes Code (DTC) Bill is to be placed in Parliament for approval after incorporating changes as per the suggestions made by the Standing Committee on Finance. “[We] will come out with [a] modified DTC [Bill] in response to Standing Committee suggestions,” Advisor to Finance Minister ParthasarathiShome said at a FICCI event here. Dr.Shome informed industry leaders that the Finance Ministry was looking at the Bill, and working on the tax structures, as was suggested by the Parliamentary panel. In its report on the DTC Bill submitted to Parliament in March last year, the standing panel on finance headed by former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader YashwantSinha had suggested a hike in the income tax exemption limit to Rs.3 lakh as against Rs.2 lakh proposed in the original DTC Bill. The Bill, tabled in August, 2010, was referred to the standing panel for scrutiny. Among other things, the committee had also suggested that subsequent tax slabs be accordingly adjusted to provide relief to the taxpayers who were already burdened under the impact of inflation.

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Current Affairs Notes

in 2010-11 to Rs.21.32 lakh crore in 2011-12. 17. Accordingly, the rate of growth of gross capital formation at current prices stood at 35 per cent in 201112 as against 36.8 per cent in 2010-11 and at 37.9 per cent and 40.0 per cent during the two years at constant prices.

29 January - 4 February 2013 Tobacco use accounts $ 502 mn as indirect costs, says a Journal
1. The country suffers a huge loss of about $ 502 million a year as the “indirect cost” of tobacco-induced morbidity, says an article published in a medical journal. 2. While $ 398 million is estimated to be the indirect morbidity costs on smoked tobacco, smokeless tobacco products results in $ 104 million, says a review paper carried in the recent issue of Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology. 3. “Indirect morbidity costs” are explained as costs on caregivers and value of work loss due to illness. 4. This is apart from the direct medical costs of treating tobaccorelated diseases, which for the year 2004 was $ 907 million for smoked tobacco, and $ 285 million for smokeless tobacco. 5. The paper is authored by Dr Gauravi A Mishra of Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, with Dr Sharmila A Pimple and Dr Surendra S Shastri. 6. The total economic cost of tobacco use in India in 2004 was calculated to be 16 per cent more than the total excise tax revenues from all tobacco products during the year. 7. The total economic cost includes direct health care expenditure for inpatient hospitalisation or outpatient visits, expenditures incurred for transportation other than ambulance and lodging charge of caregivers and wage income lost to the whole household due to inpatient hospitalisation or outpatient visits. 8. The paper also underlines the need for adequate tobacco cessation services in the country. Lack of cessation services may lead to an additional 160 million global deaths among smokers by 2050. Cessation centres in India have reported quit rates of around 16 per cent, six weeks after intervention, the paper notes.

Yamuna river bank or water bodies near it. It also ordered the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and their agencies to immediately start removing the debris and dumping it at appropriate sites. “We hereby issue an injunction restraining anybody, any person, authority from throwing any debris of any kind including solid wastes on the river bank of Yamuna or the water body near the river. State of UP, DDA, Government of NCT Delhi and East Delhi Municipal Corporation shall forthwith start removing debris from the river bank of Yamuna and the water body,” NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said. The green panel directed the authorities to communicate this order to all, “primarily the builders who are involved in huge construction in and around NCT of Delhi”. According to the order, all municipal solid wastes will have to be taken to the MCD’s dumping site in Ghazipur while construction material and similar waste shall be removed to other identified sites.

Environment and developmental agendas linked: PM
The global environmental agenda and the global development agenda were interlinked, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday while stressing that resource efficiency was a necessary condition for sustainable development. A global growth model, which is inclusive and sustainable, would assist developing countries pursue their objectives, Dr. Singh said at the inauguration of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) in New Delhi. “Resource-efficiency is a necessary condition for sustainable development, and a key element of the economic pillar of sustainability. The global environmental agenda and the global development agenda are now inter-linked,” he said. “India is committed to meeting its domestic mitigation goal of reducing the emissions intensity of GDP by 20-25 per cent by 2020.” “What is required are regulatory regimes that are transparent, accountable and subject to oversight and monitoring. I would like to mention that protection of the environment and promoting development need not amount to a zero sum game,” he said. “We in India are fully conscious of the need to conserve our resources through their utilization in a sustainable manner,” he added. “We need to re-engineer our economies in ways that are both frugal and innovative in their use of resources,” Dr. Singh said. The 13th edition of the DSDS focuses on the theme The Global Challenge of Resource-Efficient Growth and Development. It provides an efficient platform for thought leaders and policymakers to discuss effective policy mechanisms to reduce energy and resource footprint, a statement from the organisers The Energy Research Institute (TERI) said.

‘May fall short of stake sale target’ (disinvestment)
In a challenge for the fisc, the finance ministry on Thursday conceded that it may fall short of the estimated target of Rs 30,000 crore from disinvestment proceeds during the current fiscal. “Rs 30,000 crore disinvestment target may be difficult to reach. My calculation is Rs 25,000 or Rs 26,000 crore. We will try to cover Rs 27,000 crore,” disinvestment secretary Ravi Mathur said on Thursday. The department of disinvestment has raised about Rs 6,900 crore from stake sales of in state owned NMDC Ltd and Hindustan Copper Ltd. On Friday, it is scheduled to auction 10 per cent stake in Oil India Ltd (OIL) that is likely to raise about Rs 3,065 crore. The government has fixed the floor or the minimum offer price for OIL stake sale at Rs 510 a share, which is a discount of 5.41 per cent over Thursday’s market price of Rs 539.20. “We expect a good response (to the OIL issue). It (Rs 510) is at a good discount,” Mathur said. The government is also planning to sell 9.5 per cent stake in NTPC Ltd

Green tribunal bans dumping of debris on Yamuna banks
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday issued an order restraining all individuals, companies as well as public authorities from throwing any debris or solid waste on the

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Current Affairs Notes

hospitals.6 lakh to intensities VIII-VII. the human loss that such a scenario can lead to. despite a difficult economic environment that has resulted in less than anticipated level of growth in tax and non-tax revenue. As a result fewer lives were lost — about 1.000 crore issue. The Himalayan region was counted among the most vulnerable on the global seismic hazard map prepared during the International Decade on Natural Disaster Reduction during 1991-2000. the Foundation’s head and Chairman of Microsoft Corporation. colleges. and. “NTPC roadshows are going on. authorities in the areas to be covered have mapped their resources. The imagined earthquake will have its epicentre at Sundarnagar in Mandi.4 February 2013 and has already begun roadshows in five countries. The government is aiming to contain fiscal deficit at 5. Factoring in the aftershocks that come 20-30 seconds after the first earthquake impact. The NDMA and Delhi’s DDMA had conducted the largest ever mock disaster drill on February 15 last year. the UK and Japan. commands the kind of attention among global policy makers that World Bank executives would envy.” an NDMA official said. fire brigades. Releasing his annual letter to policymakers this week. 323. disaster management. “There are three aspects to it — to develop realistic scenarios to know the vulnerability and preparedness of state machinery as well as the public’s response. In the years that followed. it is a ‘purely private sector’ supported organisation that drives these projects — the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. an early warning system was established. identified venues. Himachal Pradesh. Punjab and the Union territory of Chandigarh. administrative offices. disaster managers will simulate the aftermath of one of magnitude 8 on the Richter scale. NALCO and MMTC. despite advancements in science and sociology.29 January . and trained volunteers as dummies (dead. and check how all the emergency support functionaries — police control room. and the Chandigarh governor. and to conduct awareness campaigns and mock drills. volunteers — respond. bus stands. Himachal Pradesh. according to data released by the Controller General of Accounts. including SAIL.3 percent of the GDP during current fiscal. ambulances. the deficit was 92. DDMA officials said the process of laying the groundwork began six months ago in a series of meetings initiated between NDMA vice chairman Shashidhar Reddy and other officials. fire.. Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. a cyclone caused 20.” Over the last four months. a bridge collapse.30 am on February 13 and ruptured an entire 200-km faultline. offices. “Risk assessment and preparedness can mitigate effects of disasters to a great extent. 1 February 2013 Gates emphasises “quality metrics”.” Gupta said. Eventualities such as a chemical explosion.” said Prof Harsh K Gupta.3% of the GDP. the chief ministers of Punjab. “We have estimated the population that will be exposed to the risk as against the total population density. During the same period in the previous fiscal year. government and private schools and colleges.” Mathur said. In 1977. a seismologist and a member of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk programme as well as the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.000 — when the same area was hit by a cyclone of similar strength in 1996. including a focussed push to disinvestment. “Since there is no method of forecasting an earthquake — the most instantaneous natural disaster — we need to be better prepared. Bill Gates. markets. for promoting the proposed Rs 13. is credited with developing India’s tsunami warning system. FE 15 spots in Haryana. including the US.6 lakh to intensities IX-VIII.” Gupta said.000 deaths on the east coast of India. and 251. he said in an India-exclusive interview with The Hindu that one word Faking magnitude 8 in the Himalayas. and again in 2005. the NDMA has projected that 231. and to calculate their response time. to make the government machinery more knowledgeable about such scenarios. The improvement has been brought about by a strict tightening of the expenditure since September and some fruition of the efforts to arrest the fall in tax revenue growth. administration. 3. considering topography and other surface features.8 lakh people will be exposed to intensities X-IX on the MSK scale. member of the National Disaster Management Authority. The Army will be requested for observers to conduct a third-party assessment. The latest data signal the need for further aggressive measures to meet the revised target to reduce the fiscal deficit to 5. causing tremors of varying intensities and affecting JTS Institute 15 Current Affairs Notes . critically injured. railway stations.14 lakh crore.. The Delhi exercise will be the benchmark for the upcoming one.04 lakh crore or 78. “The idea is to first bring about participation of various stakeholders.8% of target The Centre’s fiscal deficit during the April-December period stood at Rs 4. a gas leak and building collapses will be simulated at flyovers. technological firepower 1. The government has already identified 10 PSUs for divesting stake. What links the efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality in Bihar. schools. when the death toll was just 27. Gupta.8 per cent of the Budget Estimate of Rs 5. And experts say the number of deaths due to natural disasters during the first 12 years of the 21st century has already crossed the total of the 20th century. to handle earthquakes better Rather than wait for an earthquake to happen in the high-risk Himalayan region. “The drills are likely to be held at bus stands. the battle against cassava plant diseases in Brazil and tuberculosis interventions in South Africa? 2. The DoD plans to divest stake in a host of bluechip PSUs in the current fiscal. complete with meteorological radars and emergency plans. airports and residential areas. markets. Fiscal deficit at 78. It will have struck at 11. While one would be tempted to assume these are United Nations or World Bank initiatives. minorly injured). railway stations. As soon as roadshows are over we will fix a date for share sale. hospitals.” Gupta said. prepared scenarios for the mock drill.3 per cent of the target.

holding firm to the view that philanthropy ought not to be “a passive thing that you should do through your will but. which has seen the breathtaking effectiveness of the polio eradication campaign. “I am afraid of unrest and instability. 5.” he said. His point resonates well in India. giving people. and there were at least 91 dollar billionaires who had pledged to give the majority of their wealth away during their lifetimes or through their wills.. Gates believes both the model and the skills behind it ought to be deployed more widely in development policy.S. India has a long way to go in other areas. along with Co-Chair and wife Melinda. Mr. Gates said.” 11. cheap software and databases”. it was focused on ultra-high-net-worth individuals in the U. Gates. Gates said a sharp focus on “quality metrics” and keenness to deploy technological firepower set his approach apart from standard public-sector strategies.S.. Apart from the sheer scale of resources — the Foundation. “it is just less of a tradition”. Gates argued that the status quo in the education sector was “highly defended by the teachers’ unions”.. Mr.. GP is a fundraising drive aimed at tapping the resources and skills of billionaires across the world for the express purpose of philanthropy. But to ask whether the Foundation can boost effectiveness of government policy implementation is to raise an even bigger question: Is it possible to harmonise private and public sector strategies when they are often driven by different motives and represent varied stakeholders? 12. even though there are more international billionaires than U. Mr. but it will be a long time before there are as many non-U. “A lot of what we are able to do. “Does grain for the poor get diverted corruptly?” he asked. “Do teachers show up? Are healthworker jobs filled? Are they properly trained? Why don’t kids get vaccinated? We should be able to register them digitally and follow up digitally. the Foundation soldiers on to meet vaccination targets in the two countries that have proved the most dangerous for vaccinators — Nigeria and Pakistan.29 January . The benefits of getting rid of these things are so clear. Going digital 10. 22. at least. However. members. 8. billionaires. Similarly.. tops 104 of the 190 nations ranked according to nominal GDP by the World Bank — Mr. such as Azim Premji in India”. Gates. 20. Mr.. Gates said. JTS Institute 16 Current Affairs Notes . Earlier this year. as he admits in his letter. 15. “Measurement is something that comes naturally to the private sector. Lavishing praise on one of India’s “biggest accomplishments in the last decade” in his letter. is hire what we call strategy units. because they have to have a theory about how their business works. Gates points to the importance of micro-level delivery mechanisms the country adopted.” said Mr.4 February 2013 summed up the guiding principle of his foundation in pursuing its broad. “Just this year we are recruiting internationally. rightfully demanding effectiveness in the programs they pay for”. create the right tools and salary structures for them and connect them up with a government activity like vaccination coverage or spending or getting contraception out and make sure that the increased government investment is actually being used appropriately. Indeed. 21. for example. While there were “wonderful. where Mr. Mr.. is there some way that the Foundation mantra of “personnel system reform and technology” could assuage concerns over employment. Gates praised his staff’s bravery. GP members as U. Mr. multi-pronged agenda: measurement. he added. analytical-type personnel..” 16. Giving pledge 19. “The quality of execution is a limiting factor. Any less. had actually taken root in Bihar after the Foundation ran the project in pilot districts and then handed it over to the government to propagate.. While it may sound like the perfect blueprint for a profit-driven firm such as Microsoft. Gates said with a twinkle of pride in his eyes. is unequivocal about this. This points towards the core debate on large-scale philanthropic interventions that sit beside government policies: can the private sector model be applied anywhere to developmental issues without severe modifications to suit local idiosyncrasies? 17.” 13. Mr. and “hundreds of thousands of polio cases” will start cropping up. 7. By persevering we honour the people in Pakistan who died. At a time of shrinking aid and development budgets in many Western economies. saying. Until 2013. Convinced by the data on the financing of their worldwide polio eradication drive. Mr. Gates revealed as much about his familiarity with the signs of failure as he did about his impatience to bring technology on board to mitigate the situation. the Foundation works with an impressive analytical arsenal. Quality metrics 4. equity and poverty? 18. Nigeria witnessed a crisis due to religion-based objections to vaccines and fears and misinformation about negative effects. When pressed on specifics regarding challenges to India’s policy implementation. a response to “governments. Nigeria and Pakistan 14.” he explained. But he cited Kerala as an example of a State that achieved “great health results not so much by putting in a lot more money than other places”. But it doesn’t mean we are not going to do our best to eradicate polio and partner with our government to try to save those million lives. cell phones.S. Mr.. When queried about this.. 6.6 billion. 9. Gates’ emphasis on ‘measurement’ is timely. This last innovation of “digital vaccines”. warns Mr. an enjoyable thing that you do with the same skills that helped you make the money”. Gates appeared enthused. he has launched what is called the ‘Giving Pledge’ (GP).. Mr. Sure enough. the nation marked two years since a child was crippled by polio — an impossible outcome had it not been for millions of volunteer vaccinators fanning out across the nation during immunisation weeks. In Mexico. with an asset base of $32. the organisation keeps a steady eye on the year-on-year requirement of $1 billion. militants in Pakistan “stalked and killed” nine women polio workers prompting the United Nations to suspended its anti-polio drive and risk a public health crisis. Gates. In December. Though governments and philanthropic groups had not done much measurement “the good news is that measurement is easier to do in a world of satellite photos. according to him. Not only is it rooted in an urge to ramp up project efficiency across the developing world but it is also.S.

100 crore. Bids for over 4. K. 10. fiscal consolidation and the balance of payments deficit. “This matters because the southern oceans play an ‘Steps on to boost investor trust’ 1. 4. this fiscal 1.Rangarajan sees growth rate moving closer to about 6 p. S. 3.” 4.94 crore shares were with 100 percent margin which meant that if the bidder decides to withdraw later they can do so.4 February 2013 Oil India share oversubscribed 1. While the macro-economic issues that needed to be tackled were inflation. Some recent actions by the Centre. with manufacturing expected to shift gears in the January-March period.Rangarajan presented the ‘Champion of Humanity’ awards instituted by the Chamber to G. Ozone thinning has changed ocean circulation 1. the growth rate would move closer to about 6 per cent this fiscal.096. According to Dr. Back from his road shows in East Asia and Europe to allay investor concerns over India’s taxation policies for attracting foreign investment and laying down the contours of the reforms agenda. The indicative price. the new economic policy had nothing that took away the role of the State. Finance Minister P.changes that are consistent with the fact that surface winds have strengthened as the ozone layer has thinned.04 a share. Economic Affairs Secretary ArvindMayaram. 5.01 crore shares or 10 percent of its stake in OIL through the offer for sale route.43 percent stake in the company which would come down to 68. 3.Rangarajan was addressing the Chamber Day celebrations of the Hindustan Chamber of Commerce. part of pre-Budget consultations. said that while medical technology saw amazing advances over the years. OIL got listed on stock exchanges in 2009. Mr. 2. Revenue Secretary Sumit Bose.01 crore as per data on National Stock Exchange. it’s not. and Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram G. Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister C. “This may sound entirely academic. 6. on Thursday. 3. founder of Penn Nalam.” said Mr. was Rs. Mr. “The next fiscal is going to be much better when the full impact of the change in investment sentiment that we are seeing now will manifest and result in private investment picking up.000 crore while two more months are remaining in the current financial year. 3. The Finance Minister also informed members that to encourage foreign flows into India and offer reassurance on the positive investment climate. Addressing the country’s financial sector regulators here as JTS Institute 17 Current Affairs Notes .” 5.c. In a study.000 crore for the current financial year. Dr. Hong Kong. which is the weighted average price of all valid bids. Disinvestment Secretary Ravi Mathur. 2012. Dr. Lakshmi Narayanan. Velu.” he said. With the OIL issue going through successfully. The disinvestment initiative of the UPA Government gather pace with Oil India Limited (OIL) stake sale getting an over-whelming response from the markets and getting over-subscribed even before the closure of market hours. Rajan. reiterated the government’s firm resolve on “observing the path of fiscal consolidation and imposition of fiscal targets and policies that will make necessary fiscal correction needed for the economy and take the economy back to the path of higher growth. Sinha. In his address while chairing the sixth meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC). The thrust of the policy was on removing entry barriers to improve domestic and international competitiveness of industry. Waugh of the Morton K. clearly indicated a commitment to taking this road to achieve higher growth rates. he said. which started in the morning. Shares of OIL were quoting at Rs 527. and RadhikaSanthanakrishnan. 3. In his estimation. the government would garner at least Rs. He called for applying technology for cost targeting. 3. 2.The situation has the potential to alter the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Chidambaram. Darryn W. the cost factor remained prohibitive. he said. Hari Narayan. The government holds 78.50 crore shares by noon against an offer of over 6. got bids for over 7. an NGO that works with women cancer patients. who was a special guest. The Finance Ministry was represented. The government has fixed a disinvestment target of Rs 30. A hole in the Antarctic ozone layer has changed the way waters in the southern oceans mix. 2. Rangarajan on Friday expressed optimism that the economy had the resilience to bounce back to eight to 9 percent growth rate and asserted that firm action would be taken on the macro-economic and sectoral fronts to achieve this goal. especially in the diagnostics sector that had a pronounced electronic component. 510 apiece. Vice Chairman.8 on NSE. PFRDA Chairman YogeshAgarwal and IRDA Chairman J. Managing Director of Trivitron Group of Companies. The FSDC meeting was attended by RBI Governor D.Rangarajan. 4. Waugh and his team show that subtropical intermediate waters in the southern oceans have become “younger” as the upwelling. 2. it only redefined its charter. reiterated the government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation along with efforts to boost investor confidence to get back to the high growth path. The auction.43 per cent after disinvestment. SEBI Chairman U. Chidambaram. The government is estimated to get a minimum of Rs.S. among others by Finance Secretary R. Gujral. Subbarao.100 crore from the third divestment this fiscal. which scientists say could impact global climate change. At this price. 29 January . 7. circumpolar waters have gotten “older” . London and Frankfurt last month and “hoped to get positive results. the company had employee strength of 8. Chidambaram highlighted the efforts being made to turn the economy around and create a more investor-friendly climate. The government is selling 6. 518. especially in improving the investment sentiment. Cognizant. the sectoral concerns that urgently required attention were those governing agriculture and infrastructure. he had recently held discussions with a cross-section of international investors at Singapore. N. according to an official statement here. published in the journal Science. Blaustein Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins’ Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. The government had fixed the floor price for the 10 per cent share auction of OIL at Rs. the receipts from PSU stake sale are set to cross Rs. but believe me. As on March 31.K.

” Cappellari said.” Zebrafish stem cells could heal human retinas 1. So never make the mistake of ignoring this life sustaining organ until it is too late. It’s as soft as a rose petal and doctors refer to it as the chemical factory of our bodies. “It produces bile (and other enzymes) which help in digestion of food. NGC 4526 was chosen as a test because it has been widely studied but the team believes the technique will work on a wide range of different galaxies.” says Dr A. “The liver has a multitude of functions. Researchers say this shows some hope for stem cell therapy that could regenerate damaged cones in people.” or CFC12. 6. 2. New technique to measures mass of black holes 1. This could have important implications for human eyesight. Almost all success in regenerating photoreceptor cells to date had been limited to rods. suggesting that stratospheric ozone depletion is the primary cause of the changes in ocean ventilation. “This is the first time in an animal research model that stem cells have only repaired damaged cones. can spot the tell-tale tracer of carbon monoxide within the cloud of gas (mostly hydrogen) circling a supermassive black hole at the centre of a distant galaxy. thought to be at the heart of most galaxies. 5. But while the heart gets star billing. while cones offer a fullcolour look at the world during the day. 3. “Now with this new technique and telescopes like ALMA we will be able to examine the relationship between thousands of more distant galaxies and their black holes giving us an insight into how galaxies and black holes coevolve. Michele Cappellari of Oxford University’s Department of Physics. By measuring the velocity of the gas at each position. which are hard to target using currently available techniques. promises to extend this black hole ‘weigh-in’ to thousands of distant galaxies. we can measure the mass of the black hole. vision. especially in the cone-rich regions of the retina that provide daytime/colour vision. Long live your liver 1.” Davis said. “Because of the limitations of existing telescopes and techniques we had run out of galaxies with supermassive black holes to observe. which have occurred primarily because of the Antarctic ozone hole. 11. lead author of the paper.are consistent with the observed intensification of surface westerly winds. pancreas and bile) at MS Ramiah Memorial Hospital. 5. according to an Alberta statement. whether stem cells could be instructed to only replace the cones in its retina. 4. “We observed carbon monoxide molecules in the galaxy we were monitoring using the Combined Array for Research in Millimetrewave Astronomy (CARMA) telescope.” he said in a statement. Stem cells from zebrafish. Because they knew that concentrations of CFCs at the ocean surface increased in tandem with those in the atmosphere. rods provide night JTS Institute 18 Current Affairs Notes . 6. The problem is that most other supermassive black holes are too far away to examine properly even with the Hubble Space Telescope. not cones. Scientists have developed a new technique of measuring the mass of Supermassive black holes which they say could revolutionise our understanding of how they form and help to shape galaxies.” said Allison. By detecting the velocity of the spinning gas they are able to ‘weigh’ (determine the mass) the black hole. Researchers were able to infer changes in how rapidly surface waters have mixed into the depths of the southern oceans. Detailed information is scarce on supermassive black holes. Bangalore. CFC-12 was first produced commercially in the 1930s and its concentration in the atmosphere increased rapidly until the 1990s when it was phased out by the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. it also aids in the storage of fats.“younger” in the subtropics and “older” nearer the South Pole . 2. Technique exhibited 7. 10. The team demonstrated the new technique on the supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy.” said Dr. 4. said in a statement. so any changes in southern ocean circulation have the potential to change the global climate. Researchers used measurements taken from the early 1990s to the mid-to-late 2000s of the amount of a chemical compound known as “chlorofluorocarbon-12. And while diseases that affect the liver can be treated. could regenerate damaged cones in retinas and restore eyesight to people.4 February 2013 important role in the uptake of heat and carbon dioxide. The method. With its super-sharp images we were able to zoom right into the centre of the galaxy and observe the gas whizzing around the black hole. “For people with damaged eyesight. many of us tend to completely ignore the life sustaining liver. It was not known. “This gas moves at a speed which is determined by the black hole’s mass. the staple of genetic research. they can hardly be cured. Rods and cones in the eyes are the most important photoreceptors. It is important that we take some simple steps on a daily basis to care for this organ better. NGC 4526.29 January . 4. in the constellation of Virgo. developed by a team including Oxford University scientists. says University of Alberta researcher Ted Allison.R NitinRao. As the largest single organ in our bodies and one of the most complex. when combined with new telescopes such as ALMA (Attacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array). 8. 3. 5. 6. repairing the cones is most important because it would restore day-time colour vision. The inferred age changes . eliminates poisonous substances from our bodies and provides us with better immunity. The new method. the journal Public Library of Science ONE reports. 2. 9. In humans. they were able to surmise that the higher the concentration of CFC-12 deeper in the ocean. another author of the paper. mostly because we’re not aware of how it tirelessly strives to ensure our good health. animals that require good night vision and have far more rods than cones. It will also enable the study of black holes in spiral galaxies (similar to our own Milky Way).” Tim Davis of the European Southern Observatory. in the southern oceans. Most previous experiments were conducted on nocturnal rodents. the more recently those waters were at the surface. consultant gastroenterologist and a specialist in hepatopancreatobiliary surgery (treating diseases associated with the liver. the liver is very difficult to replace or replicate artificially. and the distance from it.

the impact of geo services industry is valued at approximately 15 times of the current size. “Geo services helped generate $2 billion in revenue within the Indian accommodation and food services industry alone. it could lead to serious complications.” warns Dr Rao. one must avoid mushrooms grown in the wild. save $70-75 billion in costs and affect 8-9 million jobs in India. Regular check-ups and vaccinations: Today. “There is a species of wild mushroom that can cause liver failure immediately upon consumption. 7. researchers and consumers all need to encourage mapping innovations and investments in India. 8. However. “The paan leaf (vethilai) taken plain without the supari is an excellent source of antioxidants and has a protective effect. that 5-10% of the weight of the liver. there is tremendous room to grow this JTS Institute 19 Current Affairs Notes . However there is no vaccine to provide protection against Hepatitis C.” Google India Head Product LaliteshKatragadda said. “While some amount of fat in the liver is normal. Beware of a fatty liver: When you eat a diet that is rich in calories. geo services represent 0. excessive alcohol consumption—all this can cause a fatty liver. a study by Google has said. Ensuring that your alcohol intake is regulated in small doses should be the first step to maintaining a healthy liver. The curry leaf is good source as well. there exists a miraculous power of healing and restoration.” explains Dr Prof. never overdose on any medication. we tend to eat more carbohydrate rich food like idli-dosa for breakfast. “These herbs are effective in enhancing liver function and can be used as a preventive aid.” says Dr Rao. but what you don’t eat is as important as what you do.” So use medication judiciously and the next time you’re tempted to pop pills for a mild head or body ache.” it said. “Currently. Users benefit as it makes it easier for them to find the information on local offerings and creating valuable efficiencies in their day-to-day lives. “But cheap plastic has several layers and when this melts and is consumed.” says Dr Rangabashyam. when it makes up more. after the age of 35. “The liver has the remarkable power to regenerate itself. Stay away from plastic: Drinking a water bottle that lies in the sun.” says Dr NitinRao. Madras Medical College and Government General Hospital. Also. spare a thought for the health of your liver. The report also found that Indian consumers are also willing to spend $1. so no matter what abuse you have subjected it to.” says Dr Rangabashyam. dhal. Don’t overdose: There are many ways in which we unknowingly abuse our liver but drinking excessive alcohol is just one of these. then this is something you need to approach with caution. Too many chemicals can cause the liver to harden and can result in permanent damage. Every year. doctors recommend that you take a liver function test that can help ascertain whether the liver is functioning normally. 9. your liver will work overtime to process all that extra fat. Garlic and turmeric also help enhance liver function. An ultrasound is also essential. and paving the way towards future innovation. A fatty liver is undesirable because it produces a thicker bile solution. it can pose a serious hazard to the health of our liver. accompanied by a sambhar that is devoid of vegetables. governments.4 February 2013 3. geo services help Indian businesses drive $40-45 billion in revenue. he added.” Traditional herbs like keezhanelli have long since been used to treat a malfunctioning liver. N. when unchecked. Rangabashyam. obesity. For instance. Stock up on antioxidants: Foods that are rich in antioxidants are especially good for the liver. “In India.” 5. According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report commissioned by Google. spinach.35 lakh jobs in 2011 in the country.2 per cent of India’s GDP and affect 2 per cent of the national workforce.29 January .” says Dr Rao. make chick-peas (sundal). A variety of other industries like transportation use geo services for making their businesses more efficient and productive. placing food in a flimsy plastic take-away carton and reheating it at home— plastic is a part of our daily lives. but if you take medication often for chronic ailments. drumstick or ladies finger) is a must as it adds more fibre. “Paracetamol in particular (the most commonly prescribed fever medication) can be very damaging to your liver if taken in excessive amounts.” 6. Chennai. but studies are yet to prove that they can cure liver diseases. and soybean a regular feature in your menu. can lead to severe jaundice and have the potential to destroy the liver.35 lakh jobs in 2011 Geographic mapping and locationbased services (geo services) generated $3 billion in revenue and created 1. “While button mushrooms and most other species are harmless. Many of us tend to get careless about dosage. “This can cause stones to form in the gall bladder which require surgical intervention to remove. “Every medicine you ingest is full of chemicals that are finally processed in the liver. “Many vegetarians don’t consume enough protein. but though it is used in cooking. vaccinations are available to prevent two of the most dreaded liver diseases— Hepatitis A and B. because the poisonous variety can be sold unknowingly in rural areas. aids digestion and prevents other complications such as constipation and piles. The Indian geo services industry is comprised of companies that process location data. Avoid food traps and go green: Your diet plays an important role in keeping your liver sound. “A chronic protein deficiency can cause hardening and sclerosis of the liver. even causing liver cancer. a pioneer in pancreatic hepatobiliary surgery in India and former Head of the Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Proctology. it is unfortunately discarded when we consume the food.” Katragadda said. 4. and expert industries that use geospatial data to generate insights. 1. These viral infections. produce geo-enabled software. companies. navigation systems and local searches. though research is ongoing.” says Dr Rao. A vegetable dish with breakfast (for instance. Geographic mapping services log $3 billion sales. “An overload of iron in the diet.5-2 billion more than they currently do for geospatial services like online maps. Geo services like Google Maps are helping to grow the Indian economy by enabling job opportunities. “To enable continued growth. especially over-the-counter drugs. To ensure adequate protein intake. resulting in permanent damage.

The Greek historian Thucydides suggested in 426 BC that tsunamis were related to submarine earthquakes. arriving in a so-called “wave train”. The Chairman of Executive Committee on Climate Change may invite any other officer/Expert to the meetings as may be necessary. Ministry of Environment and Forests will be the MemberConvenor. 2007. volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions (including detonations of underwater nuclear devices).1 lakh streetlights will be installed. no tsunami A 6. Rather than appearing as a breaking wave. landslides. areas. typically an ocean or a large lake. Secretary. The LED streetlights will be commissioned in 45 days. Department of Economic Affairs. The initiative is also expected to bring down the level of energy consumption by 25 per cent and save power in the coming year. Secretary. Secretary. Assist the PM’s Council on Climate Change in evolving a coordinated response to issues relating to climate change at the National level.000 LED fittings in eight zones. Ministry of Urban Development. of the city have over 2. The Chairman of the Executive Committee on Climate Change will be the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and Secretary. The Executive Committee on Climate Change would focus on the following tasks: 1. Concept: A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water. the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was among the deadliest natural disasters in human history with over 230. Ministry of Coal. a tsunami may instead initially resemble a rapidly rising tide. Even though roads in the seven zones of Tondiarpet. glacier calvings. Ramanamma shared her experiences at the meeting in the presence of Dr. Secretary.9-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan’s Hokkaido island late on Saturday. The Chennai Corporation has floated tenders for over 9. Under the NAPCC. Manali. Planning Commission. as may be necessary. Kodambakkam and Adyar in the old city limits have superior illumination with a very low percentage of faulty streetlights. Secretary. their destructive power can be enormous and they can affect entire ocean basins. Secretary.29 January . Sheshadri received the award from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a function held in New Delhi on Saturday. Ministry of Power. The National Action Plan of Climate Change (NAPCC) was released by the Prime Minister in June 2008. km. the added areas continue to have the Quake rocks Japan island. Major areas of current research include trying to determine why some large earthquakes do not generate tsunamis while other smaller ones do. 2. with the approval of PM’s Council on Climate Change. Madhavaram. Finance Secretary. Teynampet. but there was no tsunami warning. 8. The civic body has initiated a programme to improve lighting with energy-saving lamps in the added areas of the city. Earthquakes. Alandur. The PM’s Council on Climate Change and the Executive Committee on Climate Change would be serviced by Ministry of Environment and Forests. 7. 2. Regularly monitor the implementation of the eight national missions and other initiatives on Climate Change. Royapuram. The 426 sq. Secretary. but the understanding of a tsunami’s nature remained slim until the 20th century and much remains unknown.[4] Wave heights of tens of metres can be generated by large events. In the first phase of the proposal. Secretary. Collector V. The Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change was constituted in 2 February 2013 NREGS: national award for Vizag The Steel City has received a national award for successfully implementing the Mahatma Gandhi NREGS and thereby improving social equality. Advise the PM’s Council on Climate Change on modifications in the objectives. Secretary. The LED lights will considerably improve lighting in the added zones as they last five times longer than sodium-vapour lamps. in order to co-ordinate National Action for Assessment. Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change. Executive Committee on Climate Change constituted The Prime Minister has decided to constitute an Executive Committee on Climate Change to assist the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. one of the BCG consultants who worked on the report. Co-ordinate with various agencies on issues relating to climate change. Although the impact of tsunamis is limited to coastal JTS Institute 20 Current Affairs Notes . Department of Agriculture & co-operation. eight national missions are being implemented. Anna Nagar. Valsaravakkam. Tsunamis generally consist of a series of waves with periods ranging from minutes to hours. 3. The civic body was also impressed by the aesthetic value of the LED streetlights. 1. Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar.” said PrashantAgrawal. Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi LED lights on roads in added city areas soon 1. 4. strategies and structure of the missions.000 streetlights. Other members of the Committee include Cabinet Secretary. Water Resources. A beneficiary K. meteorite impacts and other disturbances above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami. because their wavelength is far longer.2 lakh streetlights and the expanded areas have 88. 6. Secretary. trying to accurately forecast the passage of tsunamis across the oceans. Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. and for this reason they are often referred to as tidal waves. Perungudi and Sholinganallur. 4. The work will begin in the third week of February. Ambattur. Secretary. Department of Earth Sciences.000 people killed in 14 countries bordering the Indian Ocean. 3. Tsunami waves do not resemble normal sea waves.4 February 2013 industry and create a lasting source of competitive advantage for India. Department of Agricultural Research & Education. The initiative of the civic body is expected to help residents in the added areas of Tiruvottiyur. Department of Science & Technology. Secretary. and also to forecast how tsunami waves would interact with specific shorelines. 5. Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.

The streetlights will have underground cables. limit intake to 300 gm a week. sugar and hydrogenated oils. To be on the safe NH-5 to be widened The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will widen the National Highway (NH)-5 between Vijayawada-Gundagolanu. The significantly longer lifespan. This is a carcinogen that is present in foods that have been baked.backed Shah with an Islamic regime. The farmers of Gollapudi will have to appear on Monday. The LED streetlights have advantages such as improved night visibility due to higher colour rendering and higher colour temperature. Iran develops fighter jet Iran has trumpeted military. 3. Mr. 97 percent was with retail investors. Many of the roads are bus routes. which replaced the U.5 lakh crore. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled a futuristic-looking fighter jet he said ranks among the most sophisticated aircraft. D. Of the 45 million folios. and cauliflower contain a chemical component called indole3-carbinol that can combat breast cancer by converting a cancerpromoting oestrogen into a more protective variety. Green tea also modulates blood sugar levels. Nainavaram (February 7). pattadar passbook — before RDO Vijayawada. Unfortunately pickled foods may increase risk of cancer of the stomach. executive director . while Jakkampudi and Ambapuram farmers will have to appear on Tuesday. Chatterjee. 9. The unveiling comes as Iran marks the 34th anniversary of the 1979 revolution. Code-named the Qaher (Conqueror) F-313 and shaped similar to stealth bombers.coded mutual fund products to depict the level of risk involved with the instrument. which now commands an asset under management of Rs 7. and that “advanced materials” were used to build it. media reports said. Low radar signature Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi was quoted in media as saying the plane boasted a very low radar signature. Include the following foods with cancer-fighting benefits in your diet: Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli. according to a senior official of the capital market regulator. Addressing a conference here. Doughnuts: Doughnuts increase risk of cancer in more than one way. fried or grilled at temperatures higher than 120°C. lower energy consumption. Mushrooms: Many mushrooms contain compounds that can help the body fight cancer. Kundrika. Pickles: Everyone loves pickle because it enhances the taste of a boring dish. Sodas and soft drinks: These contain chemical additives. they are made with white flour. reishi and even the inexpensive button mushrooms all have immunity-boosting properies SEBI plans colour-coded MF products 1. which are closely linked to breast cancer. S V MuralidharRao. breast cancer. To balance this out. White rice has a high sugar content compared to brown rice. It contains antioxidants that help prevent damage to cells and help in cases of bladder cancer. especially in the pancreas. reduced maintenance costs. Cancer cuisine Red Meat: It’s more tempting than white meat but various studies suggest that it increases the risk of cancer death by 10 per cent. the grey warplane was designed and built domestically. The farmers will have to bring both original and photocopy of the documents. First. It also increases risk of breast. 5. Pathapadu and P. which has been linked to cancer. better distribution networks and increased investor awareness about mutual funds could propel a sustainable growth path for the industry. Unveiling it on Saturday. 12. space and nuclear advances in a series of announcements coinciding with a new bid by world powers to revive stalled talks with Tehran over its atomic ambitions. link. Having just two soft drinks a week appears to nearly double the risk of getting pancreatic cancer. White bread comes from bleached flour but even unbleached white flour is processed and contains a high level of saturated fats. The new streetlights will be put up 25 metres apart from each other. Organic green tea: This is one of the most well studied foods and has been on the health charts for many years because of its cancer fighting properties. The civic body has divided the work to install LED fittings into 68 packages in order to speed up work.000 roads in the added areas will be illuminated by the LED streetlights. encouraging growth and division of cancerous cells. maitake. Nunna farmers (February 6) and K. absence of disposal hazards and lower carbon footprint has made the civic body opt for LED streetlights. SEBI is planning to introduce colour. 2. 4. The farmers who claim ownership on the lands will have to produce relevant documents — registration. particularly if they are very salty. Mr Rao felt that sound business models.4 February 2013 old system of illumination put in place by many erstwhile panchayats in the region. Shitake. he said while insisting the F-313 was “a deterrent” meant to send a “message of peace” — despite its aggressive name. the managing director and CEO of SBI Funds Management Pvt Ltd felt that for the sustainability of AUM. cabbage. — AFP side.29 January . 11.V. and even skin cancer. Then they are deep-fried at high temperatures. On January 28. 13. colon and prostate cancers. It “is among the most advanced fighter jets in the world”. In a bid to caution people about the risks associated with a certain mutual fund product. sugar and caffeine. He also said that SEBI was working on a long-term policy for the MF sector. SEBI said that a SEBI subcommittee had been set up to deal with the introduction of product labelling for MF schemes. As many as 1. there are other foods that can help reduce the risk. A 3G notification has been issued in The Hindu on January 20. French fries and chips: The process in making French fries and potato wafers creates acrylamide. Iran said it sent a monkey into space to an altitude of 120 km for a sub-orbital flight. Defence Ministry brass. Ahmadinejad told an audience of JTS Institute 21 Current Affairs Notes .S. the MF industry should earn the trust of investors. challenging UNSC sanctions against development of its ballistic programme. White bread and rice: Anything that is white is unhealthy because white means processed food. The high sugar content influences the production of insulin. 10.

5. headache. grapefruits contain monoterpenes that help prevent cancer by sweeping carcinogens out of the body. Early detection is the best defence against cancer. Because of their anatomical location. There are two main types of lung cancers classified according to the Global warming leading to extreme rainfall In the most comprehensive review of changes to extreme rainfall ever undertaken. coupled with software that predicts the tumour’s location according to the respiratory cycle. central or peripheral. weight loss. The Solomon Islands are part of the “Ring of Fire”. As the lung does not contain nerve endings.6. The technology delivers high doses of radiation with great accuracy with minimal radiation exposure and side effects as compared to traditional radiotherapy procedures. This is experienced when the tumor reaches the pleura or the tissues surrounding the lungs. They are also a vital source of vitamin C antioxidant that can prevent cellular damage leading to cancer. The tumor can also compress or invade other organs and cause other symptoms. according to Geoscience Australia. The quake struck today near the Santa Cruz islands about 623 kilometres (387 miles) from the capital Honiara and was followed by a series of smaller aftershocks. The system’s advanced technology enables treatment to be tailored for the needs of the individual. especially bowel and colon cancer. They also contain vitamin C. lung cancer accounted for 18. India. New developments in imaging and radiation techniques have helped treatment of lung cancers. Garlic also releases a powerful antioxidant effect that helps protect against free radicals. whose levels are abnormally high in certain inflammatory cancers. Grapefruits: Like orange and other citrus fruits. Reishi mushrooms have been shown to inhibit the growth of malignant tumours. “There’s been four quakes over six (magnitude) in the last three days in that area. the healing process involves fewer complications. or when it presses on nerve structures in proximity. repeated lung infections.2 percent of cancer mortalities in 2010. abnormal shortness of breath.7magnitude but later revised it down to 6. 4. namely. recurrent. non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). Survival rates are poor partly because it goes undetected till it is in an advanced state. Symptoms Chronic cough.3 at a depth of 19 kilometres. persistent thoracic pain and permanent swelling of neck and face. “The results are that rainfall extremes are increasing on average globally. Garlic: Garlic contains a powerful plant phytonutrient called allicin that protects the body against cancer. 7. beta-carotene. “We’ve got it at 6. Compared to invasive surgical methods. a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific Ocean that is subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. evaluated the association between extreme rainfall and atmospheric temperatures at more than 8000 weather gauging stations around the world. According to the National Cancer Registry Project. it is an advanced method of robotic radiosurgery for lung tumors. Australian seismologists said. more than 60 per cent of patients are diagnosed late due to poor awareness of symptoms. A PETCT is the best to pick up distant metastases in lung cancer as it can detect tumors as small as 3-4 mm in any part of the body except the brain. In 2007 a tsunami following an 8. but there were no reports of damage and a tsunami threat was also ruled out. change in voice. A separate bulletin from the the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also ruled out the threat of a Pacific-wide destructive tsunami. the telegraph reported.6-magnitude quake hit the Solomon Islands. According to the World Health Organisation statistics. This is then confirmed by a biopsy. and folic acid. The US Geological Survey initially measured the quake at 6. Earthquake hits the coast of the Solomon Islands A 6. adding that the quake was “very unlikely” to have generated a tsunami. researchers from the University of Adelaide. Maitake mushrooms help reduce blood sugar levels and thereby reduce cancer risk.4 February 2013 that help prevent cancer. Other risk factors include occupational hazards. nervous disorders. Studies show that Allicin has the power to kill tumour cells. There could be some more to come or there could be nothing. Tomato: The antioxidant lycopene. A clinical examination followed by a chest x-ray or a CT scan are the first steps in diagnosis. or secondary.” Reducing mortality 1. Bathgate said the latest tremors follow two 6. chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Little known in India. including passive smoking.1magnitude earthquake killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and left thousands homeless. Lung cancer can also manifest through general symptoms such as fatigue.29 January . which can cause cancer. They show that there is a 7 percent increase in extreme rainfall intensity for every degree increase in global atmospheric temperature. size and appearance of malignant cells. lung tumors “move a lot” with respiration.” Geoscience Australia seismologist Jonathan Bathgate said. the occurrence of a tumor does not cause direct pain. unlike other imageguided conventional radiation techniques. allows for a correction of the radiation beam during the sessions. exposure to contaminated drinking water. One such innovation is the Radiosurgery-CyberKnife technique. breathing polluted air and a family history of the disease. 6. prolonged fever.” lead JTS Institute 22 Current Affairs Notes . The new technique’s image guidance capability. 2. It doesn’t necessarily indicate that there’s anything bigger to come. We just don’t know. 3. Lung cancer is hard to treat. which gives it the red colour. Turmeric: Turmeric possesses medicinal properties because it hampers production of the inflammation-related enzyme cyclooxygenase 2. progressive swelling of fingers. Traditional treatment options are surgery. Causes Chronic exposure to tobacco smoke. 8.1-magnitude quakes and one 6.4-magnitude in the same area over the past few days. coughing up blood. whether primary and early stage. plays an important role in reducing risk of many cancers.

who owns 2. our ancestors had cultivated more than 150 varieties of rice seeds. The affected persons had no property rights or even marriage rights. “Leprosy affected persons are not allowed to get driving licence in Maharashtra due to certain discriminatory provisions. Kayama and Jeerakasala. Eachmooda can hold 10 to 60 kg of rice seeds. including the RajyaSabha.4 February 2013 author Dr Seth Westra said. Gujarat and Karnataka). The Edathana Kurichiya tharavadu. helps in the event of a crisis. the Indian Christian Marriage Act and the Indian Divorce Act. The draconian Indian Lepers Act. each species of rice seeds are wrapped in a layer of dry hay or plantain sheaths with bamboo plinths. 5. in which people with infectious diseases are made to pay a higher premium. 1980. the representative of the vegetation cults. enacted by the British. 7. 5. seeking amendments to the discriminating clauses.5 hectares of land and is yet to get any assistance from governmental agencies. although some level of increase seems to be taking place at the majority of weather gauging stations. the occasions such as the sowing of paddy seeds on the field and the transplanting of paddy and harvest are celebrated with religious fervour. president. the Rehabilitation Council of India Act and the Prevention of Begging Act (in Maharashtra.” Brahmdutt. it is necessary to review and amend nearly 16 Acts. and droughtresisting varieties such as Chenthadi and Chenthondi.” he said. Section 13 (IV) of the Hindu Marriage Act. Several petitions have been filed before the Centre. With the advancement of science. “A few generations ago. the short-term seed varieties are used to avoid famine. which puts them in a larger threat of devastation. These include aromatic rice seeds such as Gandhakasala. The now annulled Indian Lepers Act. “Assuming an increase in global average temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century. Section 27 (1) (g) of the Special Marriage Act. near Kammana in Wayanad district. The seeds preserved in a mooda can be conserved for a longer period without fear of pest attack or moisture loss. is also a provision for monthly pension for those unable to work. day and night. on the lines of the Disability Commission. 2. Environmental and Mining Engineering and member of the Environment Institute. in addition to reservation in educational institutions and employment.” Therefore. Cheruvayaltharavadu (homestead). For many generations. Hence.” 4. also has a rare collection of germ plasm. Amendments have been sought to Section 56 of the Indian Railways Act 1989. the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act. It seeks to create a separate body for the welfare of leprosy affected people (LAP). Dr Westra. It was repealed in 1985 after leprosy was declared curable with multidrug therapy (MDT). different varieties of seeds are dried separately for nearly 15 days in an open place. at Edathana near Valad. the disease is curable and noncontagious now. short-term rice JTS Institute 23 Current Affairs Notes . 3. Federation of Leprosy Organisations. which empowers the Railways to refuse to carry a person suffering from leprosy. “Most of these tropical countries are very poor and thus not well placed to adapt to the increased risk of flooding. “If extreme rainfall events continue to intensify. If the long-term seeds are destroyed in climatic vagaries. 4. a Senior Lecturer with the University of Adelaide’s School of Civil. the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (Section 18). For preparing each Mood. under which the spouse can seek separation if his/her partner is suffering from a “virulent and incurable form of leprosy. Later. the tribesmen (including Kurichya and Kuruma) have been propagating the seeds by disbursing them to other farmers showing interest in cultivating rice. medicinal varieties such as Navara and Chennellu. 1898 that sought to shun people afflicted with the disease. sought to segregate the affected persons by creating asylums at least 10 km away from main cities. discrimination still stays on statute 1. the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act (Section 419). The process of “Moodakettal” takes place seven to 15 days after harvest. told The Hindu. varieties such as Thonnuramthondy and Palthondy. is a treasure house of indigenous rice seeds and the members of the tribal homestead have preserved a rare collection of 29 varieties. the Persons with Disabilities Act. and appear to be linked to the increase in global temperature of nearly a degree which also took place over this time. Every year. 3. the tribesmen of the Wayanad district of Kerala have employed a traditional method called “Moodakettal” to preserve nearly 35 varieties of indigenous rice seeds. we can expect to see floods occurring more frequently around the world. A draft Bill for The Leprosy Affected Persons Welfare is also in circulation. an amendment has been sought in the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation Act.” says Raman of Cheruvayal. which goes on for up to two months. said trends in rainfall extremes were examined over the period from 1900 to 2009 to determine whether they were becoming more intense or occurring more frequently. “The results show that rainfall extremes were increasing over this period.” he said. they consider the advice of Nikal (the spirit of their ancestors) or a shaman. 6. but most of them were lost over time. This process.” Dr Westra added.29 January . Besides preservation. 2. this could mean very substantial increases in rainfall intensity as a result of climate change. In this changed scenario. The strongest increases occurred in the tropical countries. the members of this homestead have been cultivating different varieties of seeds on 5. From the sowing of seeds to the harvest. may have gone long ago but there are more than a dozen laws discriminating against them despite its being curable and non-contagious now. An amendment also has been proposed in the Life Insurance Corporation Act. As far as the tribesmen are concerned every stage of paddy cultivation is a divine activity as well as a ritual. “I fear that the traditional practice may vanish 3 February 2013 Long after Lepers Act is gone. “There are misperceptions about leprosy and LAP. There The rice is right 1. the Industrial Disputes Act.6 hectares of land owned by the joint family.

Gujarat SILVER: “Electronic Benefit Transfer through BC Model Eat millet and steer clear of disease 1. speaking on the sidelines of the meet. it was a message that brought cheer.’ the small millets. Government of Assam SILVER: “Transformation of Mineral and Administration through eGovernance (Geology and Mining)”.4 February 2013 in the near future as the number of experts in ‘Moodakettal’ is very few now. Food & Drugs Control Administration. 7. Department of Mines and Geology. industry leaders and academia to deliberate. Category 1 . To recognise and promote excellence in implementation of eGovernance initiatives. as they prefer to store seeds in gunny or plastic bags.’ The women and children had assembled at the Tamukkam Ground at the culmination of ‘Walkathon 2013. a confederation of women’s self-help groups. Rajasthan. Government of India. financial & digital inclusion and transformation in governance through innovation and technology. Food processing centres to come out with value-added products such as cookies using small millets would be started in Peraiyur in Madurai district. and anaemia. “All the work. Jharkhand-01. they follow a type of barter system: for every pothi (approximately 60 litres) of rice seeds purchased. Chinnapillai. To hundreds of women gathered at the Tamukkam Auditorium. Gujarat Category 2 . Government of Karnataka BRONZE : “Online Voting System (OVS)”. says. and recommend actionable strategies. “The new generation has lost interest in ‘Moodakettal’.’ organised by Dhan Foundation with the theme — ‘Food security through agricultural biodiversity: relevance of small millets. 3. Karnataka-01. The Dhan Foundation had come out with a 10-point strategy to encourage cultivation of rain-fed millet. Palanichamy. The strategy includes creation of farm ponds. Instead of selling seeds for cash. they cheered. a tribal chieftain near Vellamunda in Wayanad.12 February. The National Conference on eGovernance has been providing a platform to policy makers. Revenue and Disaster Management Department. go back to small millets. she noted. Madhya Predesh02. Silver and Bronze icons will be awarded in each category. Jammu & Kashmir -01. 2. Govt. The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances. many farmers in the district are showing interest in traditional rice cultivation. from sowing to harvesting. said that the objective of organising the walkathon in 26 district headquarters in five States was to promote agricultural biodiversity through small millets. “Now. When the chairperson of Kalanjiam. 87.’ 3.” 6. In this scenario. The absence of millet in the daily diet was sending people to hospital. a. and Anjatti and Javvadu Hills in Krishnagiri district.. Category of Awards are: A) Excellence in Government Process Re-engineering B) Exemplary Horizontal Transfer of ICT-based Best Practice C) Outstanding Performance in Citizen-Centric Service Delivery D) Innovative Usage of Technology in e-Governance E) Exemplary Usage of ICT by PSUs F) Best Government Portal G) Sectoral Award (Focus Sector – Social Sector Programs) 4. Rajasthan-01.” high and low blood pressure. the convenor of Walkathon 2013. National Awards for E-Governance 1. Vasimalai. Executive Director. the chieftain of the homestead and traditional tribal healer.Excellence in Government Process Re-engineering GOLD: “Computerisation of Registration (Panjeeyan) Project in Assam”. 4. Andhra Pradesh -02. recommended the consumption of millet on a daily basis. the 16th National Conference on eGovernance based on the theme of “Towards an Open Government” seeks to explore effective strategies for social.29 January .” says AchappanVaidyar. Pandiammal from Peraiyur recalled how food made from small millets provided them with the strength and stamina to labour in agricultural fields from dawn to dusk. AchappanPeruvadi. presents National Awards for e-Governance every year. including Lakshmikanthan of VayalagaIyakkam. preservation of oorunis (used for drinking water) and kanmais (used for irrigation) and development of orchards and seed farms. Government of India and the Department of Information Technology & Communication. explained how consumption of small millets controlled the spread of diabetes. Exclusion of ‘God’s grain. State-wise award are as follows:Assam-01. thanks to the various afflictions suffered by the hybrid varieties recently. showcased the potential of small millets to prevent malnutrition among women and children. Government of Rajasthan. is organizing 16th National Conference on e-Governance on 11 . Government of India. of India -01.” 7. Their samples were kept on display. practitioners. Outside the venue were posters carrying information on the nutritious value of each variety of small millets such as ‘kezhvaragu’ (ragi) and ‘panivaragu’ (common millet). in association with the Department of Electronics & Information Technology. the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.02. and overdependence on rice and wheat had accelerated the spread of urban ailments into the hinterland. “I plan to set up a gene bank of traditional rice seeds to preserve the remaining seeds for our future generation.Exemplary Re-Use of ICT Based Solutions GOLD: “XLN–Xtended Licensing & Laboratory Node of SALES”. Odisha. interact JTS Institute 24 Current Affairs Notes . 2. Gujrat-04. Millet is the staple diet in many households. State Election Commission. The message was ‘boycott junk food. Several speakers. 8. Research conducted by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University showed that millets facilitated slow release of sucrose and glucose and helped in controlling diabetes. is being done by my family and we have no practice of purchasing rice from shops. even though it is not a remunerative business. 2013 in Jaipur. Bihar01. P. Dhan Foundation. M. the buyer should return 70 litres of seeds after harvest. 6. We are giving them seeds from our gene bank.” says AchappanVaidyar. Gold. 5.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). the renowned painter of Bengal School died on 1 February 2013 following a brief illness at the private hospital in Kolkata. Government of J&K BRONZE: “MAGIC: Mineral Administration and Governance Using ICT”. She was 85 years of age. At present. At 105. forms with Navratna status have the capability of 1000 crore Rupees. Rehabilitation & Strengthening of Handicapped – A healing touch for disabled. In terms of turnover. Even though all other conditions of Maharatna status were met by both these PSUs but their boards do not have requisite number of board members. Eastern Power Distribution Company of A. on the other hand is short of 6 nonofficial directors. Telomere length varies with age. Information Technology Department. India’s first woman photo-journalist HomaiVyarawala was honoured with the Padma Vibushan at the age of 97. BHEL and GAIL Granted Maharatna Status The Union Government of India gave the Maharatna status to two PSUs.Commissionerate of Geology and Mining. • The net profit should be over 2500 crore Rupees during past three years. Eligibility of a company to get a Maharatna status • For any company to qualify for Maharatna status. the protective cap of chromosomes. School Records 2. Department of Posts. TW3 Test (Tanner-Whitehouse Tests) or Bone Maturation Test – Has been introduced by BCCI to check age fraud in junior cricket. Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan is the oldest to get Padma Award Hindustani vocalist Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan (105) has become the oldest person to be chosen for this year’s Padma Shri award. Iran claims to have sent monkey into space Iran has claimed that it has successfully sent a monkey into JTS Institute 25 Current Affairs Notes . Directorate Social Justice. Bone age is correlated to chronological age. • The net worth of the PSU should be more than 10000 crore Rupees in past three years. Ajmer Category 7 Specific Sectoral Award .Outstanding performance in Citizen-Centric Service Delivery GOLD: “Students Academic Management System (SAMS)”.29 January . Madhya Pradesh SAIL. 5.4 February 2013 at Pragya Kendras”. which is why they cannot exercise their Maharatna powers. Bihar SILVER: “Measuring Physical Accessibility to Healthcare Network and Population Coverage Modeling in J&K State using Geoinformatics”. Limited. 3. Previously. Bhopal SILVER “EPIMRS”. However. Granting Maharatna status to BHEL and GAIL will provide them with better functional and financial freedom and will also guarantee them with better valuation of the shares. IT Wing.) 4. Tribal Welfare Department. The test is available in India. Government of Gujarat Category 5 .Focus Sector – Social Sector Programmes GOLD: “SPARSH – Special Project for Assistance. Government of India BRONZE: “Use of ICT for Delivering Mechanized Agricultural Implements” & “Effective Monitoring of Input Delivery System through ICT”. both these companies meet all the eligibility criterions. the annual turnover should be over 20000 crore Rupees in past three years. Government of Odisha Category 4 . Department of Higher Education. Department of IT. It works out skeletal maturity from hand and wrist bones. knee. in 2011. Directorate of Environment & Remote Sensing. Methods like Orchodometry which measures testicular volume. BRONZE “iMINE (IT Intervention for Managing Integrated Networked Enterprise)”. On the other hand. both BHEL and GAIL do not have enough non-official directors on the board. Jharkhand Agency for Promotion of IT. Ideally any Maharatna firm has a capacity to take investment decision of around 5000 crore Rupees without taking assistance from the government. X-Ray of elbow. Government of Madhya Pradesh and National Informatics Center. Khan is also a poet who has penned around 2000 compositions under the pseudonym ‘RasanPiya’. While GAIL is short of 4 independent directors. Informatics Center (IFX). She is survived by daughter Damayanti and son Arnab. BHEL. hip. as per the guidelines issued by Department of Public Enterprises. Information Technology Department. Government of Andhra Pradesh Category 3 . 6. Government of Bihar and National Informatics Centre. there are five Maharatna companies . networth as well as net profit.Innovative use of ICT by PSUs for Customer’s Benefits GOLD “Integrated System for Online Generation of Electrical Specifications for Transformers”. Directorate of Agriculture & Food Production. Telomeres Age determination based on the length of telomeres. wrist. She was cremated at the Keoratala Crematorium on 1 February 2013. Teeth (Forensic experts check teeth first.P. Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Limited (GMDC) Category 6 .Best Government Portal GOLD: “RPSC e-Governance”. Rajasthan Public Service Commission. All molars are up by 18.BHEL and GAIL on 1 February 2013. She passed away in 2012. ShanuLahiri.Innovative use of Technology in e-Governance GOLD: “iBHUGOAL”. shoulders and collar-bones are taken for bone ossification (hardening) test. including RashtriyaIspat Nigam Limited and NMDC. APTWREIS (Gurukulam). Government of Jharkhand BRONZE : “IT enabled services in Gurukulam institutions”. old age and destitute”. Government of Odisha SILVER: “Mail Network Optimization Project”.ONGC. Indian Oil. a great Bengali Painter Died at 85 ShanuLahiri. NTPC and CIL and 16 Navratna companies. Different ways to tell age of a person: 1.

If one warhead were to hit a place.000 km away. improve telecommunications and expand military surveillance in the region. boasting the launch as another step toward Tehran’s aspirations of a manned space flight. reached a height of 120 km. Natural systems. one after another. This can lead to greater legal protection.” the technologists said. the DRDO has done all the enabling studies. is all set to be developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). III. In the recent past. which requires stricter valuation of entities. SEBI said it “received applications seeking exemption from certain entities containing inadequate disclosures. mountains and their biodiversity. it would add to the uncertainty and would deprive shareholders of an exit opportunity. The definition of sustainability is far from settled. however. to also factor in human capital and account for public expenditures on education and health as productive rather than consumptive. another could fall 100 km away from it. Agni-VI belongs to the 65-70-tonne class and will be 20 metres long. The DRDO’s tactical missiles and supersonic cruise missile BrahMos can carry one conventional warhead each. As per reports. Both Agni-V and Agni-VI have three stages. “We have started working on the multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles [MIRV] version [Agni-VI]. which can reach targets 6. coastlines. His reference to the depletion of freshwater in particular. such as wetlands.5 metres long.” SEBI is of the view that granting listing permission or exemption from the requirements based on such applications would not be in the interest of minority shareholders. The broader discussion on development.29 January . and their diameter is two metres. The country has a key satellite launch complex nearSemnan. A model Bill has been circulated to the States to regulate groundwater. “Agni-VI will be a massive vehicle. to meet the actual cost of mitigating the pollution that is degrading this precious asset. water should be treated as a vital part of the commons and protected from pollution through a strong legal approach. how to disperse them and the pattern of their dispersal. all the strategic missiles developed by the DRDO — Agni-I. finalised the missile’s design and started working on the engineering part. It will carry four or six warheads depending upon their weight. While the country is consuming scarce resources rapidly. and its importance to agriculture. IV and V.000 km. The west is worried that Iran’s advancements in this technology from the space program could also be used to develop longrange missiles that could possibly be armed with nuclear warheads. It is critical. forests. It was too early to say when its first launch would take place. etc. and economists and environmentalists have not achieved convergence on the metrics to be included. about 70 km west of the Tehran. The unfortunate reality is that in the absence of any attempt at monetary quantification. SEBI asked listed companies to place before its audit committee the valuation report obtained from an independent chartered accountant. The warheads could be released in an order. goes well beyond water and needs to encompass the idea of sustainability in its entirety. nature is often seen by industry as inherently worthless. Green calculations At the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.4 February 2013 space. These should provide future generations a set of opportunities as large as the one available to the present. it carried out the maiden launch of Agni-V. So far. and help arrive at the real prices that commercial sectors must pay for these resources. but other components. Iran aims to place its own satellites into orbit to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation. It would be road-mobile and blast off from trucks with launching platforms. “The constraint is the vehicle’s mass. the rocket dubbed Pishgam (Farsi for ‘pioneer’). At the same time.” DRDO missile technologists said. six warheads in the vehicle. It also has a satellite monitoring facility outside Mahdasht. represent the GDP of the poor. which has a range of more than 5. And the comparison ends there. it is investing little in real terms in the key social areas. and the likelihood of alarming scarcities arising from a demand-supply mismatch in the future should give pause to stakeholders who are mindlessly extracting it. especially industries. and the submarinelaunched K-15 and its land-based version Shourya — can carry only single nuclear warhead. convoluted schemes of arrangement. about 200 km east of Tehran. if listing permission or such an exemption is delayed or denied. Forward-looking economists 4 February 2013 Agni-VI all set to take shape Agni-VI with multiple nuclear warheads. India has visibly failed on these counts. however. A more enlightened approach should set the balance right. have argued that a credible measurement of sustainability should include not just natural resources. While Agni-V weighs 50 tonnes and is 17. II. It had also figured out how to anchor four or SEBI revises rules for amalgamation of companies The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Monday revised rules for merger and amalgamation of companies. Given its life-sustaining role. Only in April last. exaggerated valuations. and it should help end the ineffectual approach of pollution control authorities towards the issue. is to recognise that progress has been made in narrowing down metrics that are important to assess future wellbeing. Now that the Prime Minister has acknowledged the need to adopt green accounting. it would be good to start the exercise of creating baseline knowledge on the contribution of the environment to many sectors of the economy. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh introduced a much-needed corrective to the GDP-focused development debate by underscoring the problem of replacing environmental resources consumed at a rapid pace. The monkey is learnt to have returned to earth safely. What he should also have emphasised is the need for users. JTS Institute 26 Current Affairs Notes . all powered by solid propellants. therefore. the technologists said. after all. What is important.” Although the Union government is yet to sanction Agni-VI project.

29 January - 4 February 2013
The audit committee would furnish a report recommending the draft scheme, taking into consideration of the valuation report. SEBI has also said that one of the stock exchanges, having nationwide trading terminals, would be the designated stock exchange for the purpose of coordination. The entities were asked to include the observation letter of the stock exchanges in the notice sent to the shareholders seeking approval of the scheme and bring the same to the notice of the High Court at the time of seeking approval of the scheme. The stock exchanges were asked to forward the draft scheme to the capital market regulator within 3 working days. The stock exchanges were also asked to process the draft scheme (including seeking clarifications from company and/or opinion from an independent chartered accountant) and forward their “objection/no-objection” letter on the draft scheme to SEBI. SEBI also asked exchanges to disclose the draft scheme and all the documents on its website. It shall also disclose the observation letter of the stock exchanges on its website within 24 hours of receiving the documents. “About 50 per cent of the population in Mumbai stays in slums. In cities like Delhi also, about 84 per cent of homeless people are selfemployed. Since they are an integral part of India’s urbanisation story, irrespective of location categories, we need to create affordable housing even in the premium locations of mega cities. It is required to bring these service providers nearer to service consumers,” Mr.Maken said. Adi Godrej, President, CII, said that with increased urbanisation, “India would need $800 billion in the coming years towards urban development, and out of this, $350 billion would go towards building roads.” According to K.C. Sivaramakrishnan, Chairman, Centre for Policy Research, “megacities contribute 14-36 per cent of GDP of their respective states and the urban centres have also become critical in deciding the political leadership at the state and central levels.” vaccine while the other half got a placebo. They were followed for up to three years. In the group that got the vaccine, there were 32 cases of TB, versus 39 cases in the group that got a placebo. The vaccine’s efficacy rate was about 17 per cent. No serious side effects related to the vaccine were reported. The study was paid for by Aeras, the Wellcome Trust and the Oxford—Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium. The results were published online Monday in the journal Lancet. “There is much that we and others can learn from the study and the data it has produced,” said Helen McShane of the University of Oxford, one of the study authors, in a statement. She and colleagues are further analyzing the samples from the trial to better understand how humans become infected with TB bacteria. McShane and her co-authors wrote that the vaccine could potentially protect adolescents or adults against TB since their immune systems work differently from those of infants. The shot is also currently being tested in people with HIV. “If this vaccine is effective in adults, that would be hugely valuable because the majority of TB disease and deaths are among adults,” said Richard White, an infectious diseases expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “But no one knows the answer to that right now.” “A vaccine is likely to be a cost— effective way of preventing TB,” he said, comparing the $650 million that has been invested into vaccine development in the past decade versus the more than $4 billion it currently costs to control the disease every year, according to the World Health Organization. White also warned the world couldn’t afford to ignore the spike in TB and its drug—resistant forms. “There are certain boroughs of London that have higher rates of TB than parts of Malawi,” he said. “TB is such a big problem that we really need to throw the book at it.”

New TB vaccine doesn’t protect infants: study
The world’s most advanced tuberculosis vaccine failed to protect babies against the infectious disease, according to a new study in South Africa. The vaccine, MVA85A, was designed to improve protection from the only existing tuberculosis vaccine, BCG, which is routinely given to newborns. Though the new vaccine appeared safe, scientists found no proof it prevented tuberculosis, an airborne disease that kills more than 1 million people worldwide every year. Previous tests of the vaccine in adults had been promising and researchers said the trial provided useful data to inform future studies. There are a dozen other TB vaccines currently being tested. Some health officials were discouraged by the results. “It’s pretty disappointing,” said Dr. Jennifer Cohn, a medical coordinator at Doctors Without Borders, who was not part of the study. “Infants are at really high risk of TB but this doesn’t seem to offer them any protection.” MVA85A was developed at Oxford University and was tested in nearly 2,800 infants in South Africa who had already been given a BCG shot, between 2009 and 2011. About half of the babies got the new

Mega cities should review FSI policy to boost affordable housing: Ajay Maken
There is a need to review the FSI (Floor Space Index) policy and make appropriate changes to boost affordable housing in mega cities like Mumbai, according to Ajay Maken, Union Minister for Housing and Poverty Alleviation. “The state is the responsible authority to do so, and, in our opinion, it should consider this option,” Mr.Maken said, while addressing an international conference on ‘Governance of Megacity Regions in India,’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Monday. At the central level, the policy for providing ‘infrastructure status’ to affordable housing schemes was on the cards to improve the urban housing scenario, the minister said, adding, “this can be treated as a sub sector of real estate and at least this sub sector can be given infrastructure status.”

Indian economy’s growth slashed to 5.6% in 201213 by NCAER
Indian economy will grow 5.6 per cent in the current fiscal, lower than 5.9 per cent projected earlier but will be higher in 2013-14,

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Current Affairs Notes

29 January - 4 February 2013
economic think-tank NCAER said today. “Based on quarterly model estimates, the GDP growth for 2012-13 is projected at 5.6 percent... Our preliminary estimates show GDP growth in constant 2004-05 prices (to be) at 6.1 percent in 2013-14,” National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) said its report on Quarterly Review of the Economy. It said economic slowdown is evident not only on the production side of the economy but also on the demand side. The estimates show downward revision of GDP growth rate in the final two quarters, as compared to the previous estimate in October, it added. “This is mainly due to contraction of output in all three sectors — agriculture, industry and services. While lower agricultural output is explained by high deficit in rainfall, lower industrial and services output growth are a result of decline in...growth and decline in government expenditure.” However, in 2013-14, it expected that all these sectors would perform better than the previous fiscal. The manufacturing sector alone, in the first half of 2012-13 declined steeply to 0.49 per cent, which is a record decline and acts as a severe pull-down factor for the growth of GDP, the report said. It said services sector has been slowing down and there are indications that the sector will register low growth in the current fiscal. Investment and private consumption were significantly contracted during the first half of the fiscal.

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Current Affairs Notes

15 th January - 21 January 2013 Issue-3/2013 (22 nd January to 28 January)

CLASS NOTES: 22 Jan -28 Jan, 2013
(Compiled from 11 Newspapers & 7 Magazines)
Union for telecom services.

22 January 2013 India committed to implementing TAPI Project by 2017
President Pranab Mukherjee said India is fully committed to implementing the TurkmenistanAfghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Project by August 2017. During his interaction with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov at RashtrapatiBhavan here on Monday, Mr. Mukherjee said India is deficient in energy resources, whereas Turkmenistan is rich in hydrocarbon resources. Concept: TAPI The TransAfghanistan Pipeline (also known as Turkmenistan–Afghanistan– Pakistan–India Pipeline, TAP or TAPI) is a proposed natural gas pipeline being developed by the Asian Development Bank. The pipeline will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India. The abbreviation comes from the first letters of those countries. Proponents of the project see it as a modern continuation of the Silk Road. The Afghan government is expected to receive 8% of the project’s revenue. GAIL India may become a part of TAPI project. Bangladesh is also keen to join the TAPI project.

3. “We have set up a lab in the country so that mobile phones can be tested here for electromagnetic radiations,” Mr.Sibal said. 4. He added more such labs will be set up across the country starting with Mumbai. 5. The Telecommunication Engineering Centre SAR lab, which has been commissioned at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, is the first lab in the country for independent audit of SAR value, self-certified by mobile handset manufacturers and importers in India. 6. The lab is capable of making SAR measurement for CDMA, GSM 2G and 3G mobile handsets in the frequency band of 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz. 7. The lab is also capable of making measurement of SAR value against the International Commission on non-Ionising Radio Protection (ICNIRP) limit of 2 Watt per kg measured over 10 gram of tissue as well as the recently adopted 1.6 watt per kg measured over 1 gm of tissue. 8. Mr.Sibal also commissioned a Next Generation Network (NGN) lab in TEC, which serves the objectives of testing and certification as well as network related study for any Internet Protocol (IP) based equipment. Concept: 4G In telecommunications, 4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone mobile communications standards. It is a successor of the third generation (3G) standards. A 4G system provides mobile ultrabroadband Internet access, for example to laptops with USB wireless modems, to smartphones, and to other mobile devices. Conceivable applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing and 3D television. Two 4G candidate systems are

commercially deployed: the Mobile WiMAX standard (at first in South Korea in 2006), and the firstrelease Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard (in Oslo, Norway since 2009). It has however been debated if these first-release versions should be considered to be 4G or not, as discussed in the technical definition section below.

Alarm in China over high gender imbalance
1. The gender imbalance in China has remained at an alarmingly high ratio of 117 newborn boys for 100 girls in 2012, officials said on Tuesday. 2. The imbalance, which has remained far higher than the normal 103 to 107 ratio, has prompted renewed promises from the government to crack down on illegal selective abortions, while also triggering strong calls for China to discard its unpopular family planning restrictions. 3. According to census data released on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics, the gender ratio was 117.7 newborn boys for every 100 girls in 2012, the official Xinhua news agency reported. 4. The report said China’s gender imbalance had widened after ultrasound examinations were widely available in the 1980s. The ratio reached a record 120.56 in 2008, the report added. 5. In 2011, the government had punished 13,000 people following a campaign to monitor selective abortions, she said. The government has announced a target to bring down the imbalance to 115, from the current 117, by 2015. 6. The widening gender imbalance, coupled with concerns over China’s ageing labour force, has renewed calls for the government to relax family planning policies. Enforced in the early 1980s, and known widely as the “one-child policy” although the rules are more

Govt to auction 700Mhz spectrum for 4G services next year
1. The government on Monday said it will auction spectrum in 700 Mhz band, which is used for offering high-speed Internet services through fourth generation technologies, in 2014. 2. The 700-Mhz spectrum band ranges from 698 Mhz to 806 Mhz and has been identified by the International Telecommunication

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Current Affairs Notes

“These results strongly suggest that auroras do occur on bodies outside our solar system. 4. 7. veteran space scientist K Kasturirangan said. Planning Commission Member Kasturirangan. In rural areas. researchers believe. them to glow.one hundred thousand times brighter than Jupiter’s . 1 in 6 cases of adult asthma caused by workplace environments There are many occupations that are thought to cause asthma in adults. Cholesterol is divided into ‘the good’ HDL cholesterol. according to researchers. People with high levels of ‘ugly’ cholesterol face three times increased risk of developing ischemic heart disease. 4.” he said. “By examining 73. Auroras also occur outside our solar system: scientists 1. 7. Persons with high ugly cholesterol should therefore be advised to lose weight. 3. the most common cardiovascular disease. 8. way to Jupiter’s auroras. the radio emissions are powerful enough to be detectable across interstellar distances . So.000 people living in Britain. The radio emission could provide key information about the length of the planet’s day. then you qualify yourself to be a partner of international programme. 2.” Kasturirangan he said. Ma Jiantang. “LDL cholesterol or ‘the bad cholesterol’ is of course bad. However.” Nichols said. said while the mission is indeed a logical extension of the country planetary exploration programme. all of whom were taking part in the National Child Development Study.000 persons. It found that the radio emissions from a number of ultracool dwarfs may be caused in a very similar. 4.21 January 2013 complex. India would be part of the global community because you have already demonstrated that you have reached the place (Mars).” 3. 6. the strength of its magnetic field.” he emphasises. 8. “We have recently shown that beefed-up versions of the auroral processes on Jupiter are able to account for the radio emissions observed from certain “ultracool dwarfs” . which is tracking the long term health of more than 11. head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). “I hope that this new knowledge will lead to better preventive treatment including lifestyle changes.that can be really harmful. According to ISRO officials. In addition. 7. The most important cause of high ugly cholesterol is overweight and obesity. Auroras occur when charged particles in an object’s magnetosphere collide with atoms in its upper atmosphere. In a new study. while members of China’s 55 minority groups are also exempt from the restrictions. “We also hope that the pharmaceutical industry will develop new drugs targeted specifically at raised ugly cholesterol levels.also called ‘remnant cholesterol’ . the proposed mission to demonstrate ‘Ugly’ cholesterol may triple risk of heart disease: study 1. However. which is caused by lack of oxygen to the heart muscle due to narrowing or blocking of the coronary arteries.” he said. 5. It is the so-called ‘ugly cholesterol’ . no auroras have yet been observed beyond Neptune. who was also former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation. and spared China a burden on resources it could not afford to bear. but drugs such as statins and fibrates may also lower levels of ugly cholesterol in the blood. but our new study reveals that the ugly cholesterol likewise is the direct cause of atherosclerosis resulting in ischemic heart disease and early death. 9. India’s proposed Mars mission in November would boost New Delhi’s credentials to become a partner in international ventures of such kind in the future besides achieving its scientific objectives and demonstrating capability. the start of asthma in adulthood was clearly linked to 18 types of job.bodies which comprise the very lowest mass stars . families can have a second child if their first-born is a daughter.to be detectable across interstellar distances. causing Mars mission to boost India’s global credentials 1. as more than one in five individuals in affluent countries suffers from high ugly cholesterol.‘failed stars’ which lie in between planets and stars in terms of mass. 2. “Once you show an affordable scale of the activity. it more than just a “technical bonanza. 10. The researchers base their findings on the job histories up to the age of 42 of almost 7. 5. “High ugly cholesterol is the result of high blood levels of normal fat (triglycerides). University of Copenhagen. Auroras occur on several planets within our solar system.” he added.” says BorgeNordestgaard.” Nichols said in statement. The government says the policy prevented 400 million additional births since the 1980s. The policy now covers two-thirds of the population. these particles also emit radio waves into space. we found that an increase in the ugly cholesterol triples the risk of ischemic heart disease. 3.15 January . ‘the bad’ LDL cholesterol and ‘the ugly’ cholesterol. and the auroral radio emissions are powerful enough .and “brown dwarfs” . and the brightest on Jupiter are 100 times brighter than those on Earth. 6. but significantly more powerful.500 British adults born in 1958.” said Professor Borge Nordestgaard from the JTS Institute 2 Current Affairs Notes . Researchers found that processes strikingly similar to those which power Jupiter’s auroras could be responsible for radio emissions detected from a number of objects outside our solar system. when future manned missions or even future important missions to Mars take pace. 2.meaning that auroras could provide an effective way of observing new objects outside our solar system. before hitting the atmosphere. A new study led by University of Leicester lecturer Dr Jonathan Nichols has shown that this phenomenon is not limited to our solar system. said at a press conference on Friday that the government would need to come up with “an appropriate and scientific” family planning policy to address the ageing labour force. the measures have been seen as a major reason behind the fast-widening gender imbalance. how the planet interacts with its parent star and even whether it has any moons. and the strongest evidence seems to be for jobs involving cleaning or cleaning agents.

During its ascent to the sea surface. the use of space for socio-economic sectors. a threshold scientists say would avoid the most harmful effects of climate change. Volcanic eruptions are commonly categorised as either explosive or effusive but researchers from the UK and New Zealand have uncovered a new type of eruption in underwater volcanoes. degasses to form solidified pumice that can be sufficiently light to float on water.21 January 2013 India’s capability to reach Martian orbit is planned to be completed by 2015-2016. But as carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise. We have our own pace. Inside volcanoes. are exploring how to mimic the way plants transform sunlight into energy and produce hydrogen to fuel vehicles. the Maori god of the sea. different to anything previously documented. wind and the waves. CUTTING CO2 Many countries have deployed at least one kind of renewable energy. the formation and expansion of bubbles in the magma created a buoyant foam. Wellington and the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton indicate that there is a third eruptive style unique to underwater volcanoes. wind power or biofuels. remain largely untapped resources.” she added. violently ejecting lava. such as solar. In the same way that gases dissolved in carbonated drinks bubble up when the lid is taken off. which is then released into the atmosphere. which rose to the seafloor and then buoyantly detached from the volcano as molten pumiceballoons but with chilled margins. explosive eruptions. or use a mixture to see which becomes most competitive with fossil fuels. On concerns in sections of the Indian space establishment about China “forging ahead” in the area of space. In explosive eruptions these vesicles expand so quickly they fragment the magma. They will join other researchers around the world studying artificial photosynthesis as governments seek to cut greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. Consequently underwater volcanoes flanked by highly vesicular pumice have.” said Wright. “These processes explain the unique bubble structure seen in the samples analysed. such as sunlight. and we are one of the well organised systems in the world in terms of getting mission benefits out a shoe-string budget”. 5. also been interpreted as having erupted explosively.” Wright said in a statement. when magma is erupted as lava. The Mars orbiter is planned for launch using India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. This is mainly due to the challenges that exist in converting these energy forms into Scientists discover new type of underwater volcanic eruption Scientists have uncovered a previously undocumented type of eruption in underwater volcanoes by looking at tiny original bubble spaces trapped in volcanic rocks. and name of the research vessel used to collect the samples. who co-authored the paper. “Many renewable energy supplies. “By documenting the shape and density of bubbles in pumices generated by an underwater caldera volcano in the southwest Pacific Ocean .” said lead researcher Julea Butt at the University of East Anglia (UEA).000 pound ($1. In air pumice is obviously associated with violent. with New Delhi “lagging behind”.the Macauley volcano . which could have only occurred with an intermediate eruption style and in an underwater setting. they said. “This range of bubble densities distinct in these pumice samples indicates that the lava erupting from the caldera was neither vigorous enough for an explosive eruption.” Hydrogen is a zero-emission fuel which can power vehicles or be transformed into electricity. gases are dissolved in the molten magma as a function of the very high pressures and chemistry of the magma. from which the technologies to release energy on demand are well-advanced. There are many things in which we have scored very high in terms of international reckoning. But the results of the new study by Victoria University. nor gentle enough for an effusive flow.000 km around Mars and will have a provision for carrying nearly 25 kg of scientific payloads onboard. the vesicles within the molten interior would have continued to expand as the pressure reduced. drugs and fine chemicals. Kasturirangan dismissed suggestions of a space race between the two countries. Kasturirangan underlined that India’s space programme is guided by the country’s own requirements and the nation has world-class remote sensing and communication satellites and rocket developments are contemporary in nature. to date. Sri harikota. The scientists believe copying photosynthesis could be more efficient in harnessing the sun’s energy than existing solar converters.we found large differences in the number and shape of ‘bubbles’ in the same pebble-sized samples. which cools and UK scientists to mimic plants to make zerocarbon fuel British scientists seeking to tap more efficient forms of solar power JTS Institute 3 Current Affairs Notes . The 800. We have our own priorities. “We imagine that our photocatalysts will prove versatile and that with slight modification they will be able to harness solar energy for the manufacture of carbon-based fuels. the pressure is relieved and the gases exsolve to form small gas bubbles or so-called “vesicles”. The authors proposed that this style of eruption be named Tangaroan. 6. which is neither effusive nor explosive. It will be placed in an orbit of 500 x 80. some experts argue more extreme methods are needed to keep the average rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius this century.3 million) project will be undertaken by scientists from UEA and Cambridge and Leeds universities. “We have never been at competition with China.” said Professor Ian Wright of the National Oceanography Centre. The research will use synthetic biology to replicate the process by which plants concentrate solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. “These will harness sunlight and drive the production of hydrogen. he said. “We will build a system for artificial photosynthesis by placing tiny solar panels on microbes.15 January . The study proposes that rather than exploding in the neck of the volcano.

Delhi-Lodi Road. homes for poor and other such institutions which house people belonging to low income groups in large numbers. development/movement of severe weather phenomena are regularly monitored through all available observing systems (Automatic Weather Stations-AWSs. Delhi-Airport. Imported susidised pulses will also be provided to youth hostels. Patna. moisture fields etc. for monitoring abnormal weather patterns and upgrading its forecasting capabilities. a programme on additional area coverage of pulses during Rabi/Summer 2012-13 has been sanctioned with an allocation of Rs. Chennai. take too long to prove and governments should concentrate on more mainstream renewable energy sources. especially for the people living under the low poverty line. per month. Despite the above. Under this service activity. Paradip and Karaikal for the want of clearances from the Ministry of Defence that is under the consideration of Committee of Secretaries (COS). of AWSs. • • Imposed stock limits from time to time in the case of pulses. heavy rainfall from lows/depressions over the land) in 3-6h range is issued. The centre will provide subsidy for this import to the states. etc. training and skill development opportunities not only to attain appropriate operating skills of advanced technological platforms but also contribute efficiently to the quality enhancement through customization of sector specific warning and forecasting services. 955 Nos.) are assimilated to generate predictions (prepared both in text as well as in graphical form) on 3h time range. are too costly. the Government is committed to set up and enhance gradually its observational network of DWRs. such as removing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and geo-engineering techniques such as blocking sunlight using artificial clouds or mirrors in space. The performance evaluation of the new global forecast system has demonstrated enhanced forecast skill quantitatively. Patiala and Mohanbari is made functional. of ARGs.nowcast of severe weather (Thunderstorms. Jaipur.” said Butt. Nagpur. Banned export of pulses (except Kabuli chana and organic pulses and lentils up to a maximum of 10000 tones per annum). state-of-theart 24X7 monitoring system comprising 14-DWRs. Automatic Rain Gauges-ARGs. Suspended Futures trading in urad and tur. pea and lentil during Rabi and green gram and black gram during summer. so that advance warning can be provided to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Kolkata. monitoring/early warning and data visualization/information processing and communication technologies under the Phase-I of the modernization of IMD. AWSs. Several measures have also been taken to increase domestic supply of pulses. satellite derived wind vectors. 15DWRs). Commissioning of the High Performance Computing (HPC) system at the ESSO-National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and ESSOIMD has provided opportunity to assimilate satellite radiance data in to the global/regional forecast systems and to enhance the spatial resolution of the global forecast systems from about 50km grid scale to about 22km grid scale. Critics argue these techniques manipulate the climate. With the commissioning of the state-of-the-art observing (675 Nos. Some of the more extreme methods which are being studied are controversial. The thrust of the scheme is to make pulses available to the BPL card holders at least one kg. that covers 117 urban centres currently on experimental basis. several manual operations have been fully automated. provided due orientation. The National Food Security Mission (NFSM)-Pulses is under implementation in 468 districts. the government has resumed import of pulses through State Governments for distribution under Public Distribution System. temperature. Doppler Weather Radars-DWRs. DWRs commissioning is put on hold at Goa. Lucknow. Besides this the centre has taken a number of steps recently to control prices of pulses which include- 23 January 2013 Nowcasting of Weather The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences has operationalised its location specific nowcasting weather services through Earth System Science Organization (ESSO)-IMD across the country. ARGs. All the manpower that was engaged earlier for such manual operations have been • • Reduced import duties to zero for pulses.21 January 2013 fuels from which energy can be released on demand. Such technology is far from being employed on a large scale and the costs are enormous. The Accelerated Pulses Production Programme (A3P) has been launched under the NFSMPulses from Kharif 2012 for demonstration of production and protection technologies on village level compact Blocks for enhanced production of pulses as well as motivating farmers. under the Macro Management of Agriculture (MMA) scheme. DWRs at Mumbai and Bhuj are undergoing site acceptance tests while it is under commissioning at Bhopal. Hyderabad. available/ emerging technology variants for their suitability as per terrain variability based frequency of operation over hill states and NE States etc. Commissioning of DWR network covering the whole country would have to happen in a phased manner in view of the various factors such as site selection. Visakhapatnam. Machilipatnam. An increase availability of pulses would also have a controlling effect on prices. Measure to Increase Availability of Pulses In order to increase the availability of pulses. and Ministry of Agriculture to tackle the impacts of the adverse and extreme weather phenomena. JTS Institute 4 Current Affairs Notes . To compensate the losses of production of Kharif pulses. Web GIS rendering of the nowcast products is implemented for enhanced spatial representation of the severe weather intensities associated with warnings.15 January . 100 crore to increase production of Rabi/summer pulses through area expansion of Rabi pigeon pea. Origin. gram. located at Agartala. Ministry of Home Affairs. assistance is also provided for pulses development in the states which are not covered under NFSM-Pulses. Besides. site survey for height of line of sight of locating the antenna. In order to capture the characteristics of the severe weather in real time. Automatic Weather Observing SystemsAWOS. This includes the web based inputs.

implementation of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project and policy reforms to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). 2012-13 compared to its 3. while absorbing surplus labour by providing them gainful employment opportunities. financial and institutional mechanisms for technology development.Ten NIMZs have been announced. Items such as Boilers. simple and expeditious exit mechanism for closure of sick units while protecting labour interests. The Master Planning for the Investment Regions and Industrial Areas taken up initially to be developed as New Cities in Gujarat. The major objectives of the policy are for enhancing the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25% and creating additional 100 million over a decade or so. In addition. National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) The National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) was approved by the Government in October. Moulding Machinery. NIMZs as key instruments to catalyze the growth of manufacturing are envisaged to be developed in the nature of green field industrial townships. The IIP growth rate was 2. enhancing global competitiveness of Indian manufacturing through appropriate policy support. trade policy etc. moderation in domestic demand. Transformers (Small). Manufacturing Growth During 2011-12. The Policy also provides special focus to the industries that are employment intensive. Low economic activity due to weak investment sentiments and global slowdown is well reflected in National Accounts Statistics. Capital goods witnessed a sharp decline in growth during 2012-13 (AprilOctober) with growth rate of – 11.1 percent in the second quarter of 2012-13 against 0.0 % in 2011-12 compared to 32. coordination and implementation of the numerous projects. Amongst the manufacturing goods the moderation in its growth rate is largely accounted by the performance of capital goods and intermediate goods which has been in the negative trajectory for most part of the year. Three important initiatives taken in this regard are announcement of National Manufacturing Policy (NMP). particularly with regard to the environment including energy efficiency. Gujarat and Maharashtra. Promoting clustering and aggregation. it is planned to be implemented in phases. So far the overall perspective plan for the entire DMIC Region has been completed.0%) was a main reason for moderation in IIP growth. The Zones are expected to help in meeting the increasing demand for creating world class urban centres in India. industrial training and skill up gradation measures. Accordingly the policy envisages among others rationalization and simplification of business regulations. These NIMZs will seek to address the infrastructural bottleneck which has been cited as a constraining factor for the growth of manufacturing. ensuring sustainability of growth. including green technologies. Plastic Machinery Incl. Haryana. specific instruments have been conceptualized under NMP to achieve its stated objectives. the reasons for moderation in the growth of manufacturing include global slowdown. Madhya Pradesh. enhance investments and attain sustainable development.9% compared to 8. Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project The Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project is being implemented on both sides of the 1483 km long Western Dedicated Rail Freight Corridor between Dadri (UP) and JNPT (Navi Mumbai).5% achieved in the year 2007-08. The DMIC Development Corporation (DMICDC) was incorporated in January 2008 for project development.4%. public sector enterprises besides industries where India enjoys a competitive advantage etc. Initially. During 2011-12 industrial growth in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). eight industrial cities have been taken up for development. benchmarked with the best manufacturing hubs in the world.5 % in previous year. hardening of interest rates etc. Computers has shown a consistent negative growth. This is quite evident from the deceleration witnessed in the performance of industrial sector in the recent past. Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) as a measure of addition in productive capacity of the economy grew at 5. clustering and aggregation support through National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs). increasing domestic value addition and technological depth in manufacturing. incentives for SMEs. Rajasthan and Maharashtra have been completed JTS Institute 5 Current Affairs Notes .2% growth registered in 2010-11. those having strategic significance. optimal utilization of natural resources and restoration of damaged/ degraded eco-systems etc. eight of which are along the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). those producing capital goods. Haryana. The project seeks to create a strong economic base with a globally competitive environment and state-of-the-art infrastructure to activate local commerce. Looking at the magnitude and diversity of the project. a low growth in manufacturing (3. Grinding Wheels.15 January .0 per cent during April-October. The GFCF as a percent of GDP at 2004-05 prices moderated to 32. small and medium enterprises. especially through creation of NIMZs is a major policy instrument of NMP.21 January 2013 Initiatives to Boost Manufacturing Growth The Global economic turmoil has impacted the overall economy in general and industry in particular. Measures to Boost Manufacturing The future trajectory of the index of industrial production (IIP) depends largely on the revival of investment. Similar to the overall industrial growth.8 per cent growth during corresponding period of the previous year. Rajasthan.5 percent in 2011-12 compared to 7. Gross Fixed Capital Formation grew at 4.5% in 2008-09 which improved slightly to 5. however had started in 2008-09. Madhya Pradesh. The Government has been taking confidence building measures for improving the industrial climate and manufacturing in the country. Earth Moving Machinery. The cumulative growth of manufacturing sector was 1. showed a low growth of 2. Sugar Machinery. Other quantitative and qualitative changes that are envisaged by the policy include creation of appropriate skill sets among the rural migrant and urban poor to make growth inclusive.5 percent in 2010-11. 2011. The DMIC Project covers the six States of Uttar Pradesh.7 percent in the first quarter. Textile Machinery. released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Cement Machinery.3% in 2009-10 compared to the peak growth rate of 15. The moderation in the industrial growth.

In addition. As the Master Plans progressed. The total goods earnings have gone up from Rs. mega industrial parks. Some recent changes in the FDI policy.84 crore till Nov. During 2008-11 share of Gross Domestic Capital Formation in the GDP was 35. It also brings in new management practices and technologies. it was felt necessary and essential that new industrial cities must be created on the back of world class trunk infrastructure i. Without the trunk infrastructure the development of PPP projects in greenfield cities was not feasible and it was felt that this may lead to real estate development without trunk infrastructure and a developed backbone. transport connectivity. 23025. preparation of feasibility studies for Early Bird Projects has been taken up on the recommendation of the State Governments.86 percent. water supply.34 crore compared to Rs. and has been set up as a Trust. The ‘DMIC Project Implementation Fund’. 62413. registering an increase of 25. For the corresponding period in 2011 sale achieved by JTS Institute 6 Current Affairs Notes . technical and managerial manpower. FDI up to 49 percent in Civil Aviation and Power Exchanges.21 January 2013 and Master Planning in Uttar Pradesh has started. The project aims at enhancing India’s business competitiveness through a service oriented.46 crore compared to Rs.15 percent. India’s attractiveness as an investment destination has to be seen in the context of major economic reforms embarked upon by the Government of India since mid-1990s. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy Domestic savings in India have not been adequate to meet the investment requirement of the country. world-class scientific. Japanese technology and expertise is being made available under collaboration with METI. Indian Railways Covers New Grounds in 2012 The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis during 1st April to 31st December 2012 were Rs. the FDI policy is being liberalized progressively on an ongoing basis in order to allow FDI in more industries under the automatic route. besides subsequently contributing to enhancement of the export potential/earning of the country.3% whereas share of domestic saving during the period was only 32. Accordingly the project was restructured in September. abundant natural resources. other bilateral channels like interaction with the delegations visiting the country and organizing visits abroad for discussions on issues of mutual interest and business/ investment meets between Indian and foreign entrepreneurs to stimulate foreign investment into India. The ratio of domestic savings to GDP has generally been lower than the ratio of GCF to GDP. as a not-for-profit. The advantages of India as an investment destination rest upon strong fundamentals.15 January . increasing FDI limit to 100% in Single-Brand Retail Trading. Significant progress has been reported by DMICDC in the development of Smart Communities or Eco-Cities. 89906. such as further simplification of rules and regulations. DMICDC had initiated development of Smart Communities or Eco-Cities that can contribute to improving the sustainability of the DMIC region. 2012. In the calendar year 2012.7%. sewage. internal roads.65 percent. knowledge cities etc.17 crore during the same period last year. cost effective and highly skilled labour. The Trust will also provide resources to DMICDC for project development activities. solid waste. independent judiciary. The State Governments have initiated the process of obtaining land for the new industrial regions/areas as well as for the Early Bird Projects. for prospective overseas investors and to act as a structured mechanism to attract investment. drainage.500 crore to be utilized over a period of five years and an additional project development Fund of Rs.41 crore during 1st April – 31st December 2012. besides consolidation of the policy into a single document include FDI in Multi-Brand Retail Trading up to 51% subject to specified conditions.e. 75009. 49868. It has announced the setting up of ‘Invest India’. 2011 with an Implementation Fund of Rs. The Japanese Government has also announced their financial support for DMIC project to an extent of US $ 4. registering an increase of 19. a Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) for promoting an online single window at the national level for business users. The funds will flow from the Trust to the SPVs and the Trust will receive upside from bidding and monetization of land values. a joint venture company between the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion and FICCI. is a revolving fund. the objective being the achievement of a greater level of integration with the world economy and the emergence of India as a significant player in the globalization process.5 billion in the first phase for the projects with Japanese participation. Along with the planning of each city. event-driven G2B interaction. The larger and ultimate goal however is to step up the scale of development of the economy. a large English speaking population. covering the entire life cycle on their operation. The objectives of setting up of the e-Biz Portal are to provide a number of services to business users. improvements in infrastructure are expected to provide the necessary impetus to increase FDI inflows in future. particularly of an investment nature. the Government has initiated implementation of the e-Biz Project. Ongoing initiatives. single window facilitator. Indian Railways has achieved scrap sale of Rs. 20999.95 crore during 1st April – 31st December 2011 to Rs. The land for the new industrial cities will be the contribution of the State Government. As a part of this process. Capital inflow from other countries. therefore adds to the domestic investment. These projects are in the sectors of water supply. It will be a repository of Government of India financial assistance. etc. logistic hubs. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Studies have been initiated for five industrial cities.01 crore during the same period last year. This is now recognized by a number of global investors. 3903. which include a large and growing market. The Government continues to make efforts to increase economic cooperation with the developing as well as developed countries through different fora such as Joint Commissions/Joint Committees.1000 crore for project development. FDI up to 49 percent in Broadcasting sector under the automatic route and FDI beyond 49 percent and up to 74 percent under the Government route both for Teleports and Mobile TV.17. The total passenger revenue earnings during 1st April – 31st December 2012 were Rs. registering an increase of 9. Government of Japan for the Smart Community projects.

developed and manufactured Air conditioned double decker train was introduced for the first time between Howrah and Dhanbad. AnandVihar (Delhi). All the major works have been completed and finishing touch is being given. Land acquisition is progressing well and as on November 2012.729 km long section consists of only one tunnel of 11. an improved design of the train has been developed and its services between Jaipur and Delhi and Ahemdabad and Mumbai have been introduced. out of total land of 10703 hectares to be acquired for both corridors. Whosoever contravenes any of the provisions of these rules or fails to comply with such provisions shall be punished with a fine which shall not exceed five hundred rupees. This new change of policy is aimed at facilitating the travel of bonafide and genuine passengers and simultaneously checking the scope for travel on transferred tickets. Trials by running trains have started in the section by Railways with the arrival of first Track Tamping machine at Banihal on 24th December 2012 from Qazigund. 7768 hectares i. As a major initiative to further facilitate the travel of bonafide and legitimate passengers and to reduce the scope for misuse of reserved ticketing system by unscrupulous elements/ middlemen. This section will be ready for opening shortly the 17. the two Ministries will work together towards a sustained sensitization campaign to train travelers and service providers under the Capacity Building for Service Providers scheme of Ministry of Tourism and for consultations and discussions with the stake holders including the travel trade to evolve strategies for the up-keep and cleanliness of the stations and coaches. There has been progress on both the corridors namely 1499 km long Western DFC from JawaharLal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai to Dadri/Tughlakabad (Near Delhi) and 1839 km long Eastern DFC from Ludhiana (Punjab) to Dankuni (Near Kolkata). congestion free platforms. Indian Railways have carried 735.10 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during April-December 2012.215 km length known as PirPanjal Tunnel. deadline has been set for such important infrastructure projects like the elevated rail corridor in Mumbai.000 crore. Hotels and other facilities. a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in February 2012 for setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) namely “Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited” (IRSDL) to take up work of redevelopment of railway stations along with station maintenance across India in a dedicated manner. The freight carried shows an increase of 31. rail tariff authority and Dedicated Freight Corridors. Concerned about the capacity constraint on the Corridor. the Ministry of Railways has issued a notification containing rules on prohibition of activities affecting cleanliness and hygiene in the Railway premises alongwith penalties for contravention of these rules. Indian Railways’ ambitious project of ‘Dedicated Freight Corridor’ (DFC) continued its implementation momentum during this year. modern ‘State of the art’ Catering facilities. 26 stations are proposed. A time bound action plan has since been initiated by the Railway Ministry on these issues. setting up of locomotive factories on public private partnership. Ministry of Railways has decided to augment the system capacity and has accordingly envisioned a two track elevated corridor along Churchgate-Virra section.15 January .e. This year. Chandigarh. It is also considered that this policy provision shall also be useful from the security point of view. In a path breaking initiative taken by the Ministry of Railways. the Ministry of Railways has now made it compulsory to carry prescribed original proof of identity cards during train travel on all reserved classes of tickets. out of which 5 stations would be underground.21 January 2013 Railway was 3748.33 million tonnes over the freight traffic of 703. AC double decker train with improved passenger friendly design is having capacity of 120 passengers per coach and are becoming popular among passengers. The indicative cost of 63. Opening of Banihal-Qazigund railway section will be a turning point not only in the history of Jammu & Kashmir State only. but for the Indian history. which is the longest transportation tunnel in India and second longest in Asia.12 million during the same period last year. Bijwasan (Delhi) Habibganj (Bhopal). Indigenously designed. Initial funding agreements for Western DFC through JICA and part of Eastern DFC (Ludhiana-Khurja-KanpurMughalsarai) through World Bank have already been formalized while remaining Dankuni-Sonnagar section of Eastern DFC is proposed to be implemented through PPP and MughalsaraiSonnagar section of Eastern DFC is being implemented through the resources of the Ministry of Railways. Under the MOU.68 crore. five stations. This new Elevated Rail Corridor (ERC) will be between Oval Maidan and Virar of Western Railway in Mumbai area.77 million tonnes actually carried during the corresponding period last year. Those travelling without an original identify proof shall be treated as without ticket and charged accordingly. 21. The Indian Railway has achieved one more milestone in transportation sector with the completion of Banihal-Qazigund section of ambitious and challenging UdhampurBaramullah-Srinagar Rail link Project. have been identified for implementation through IRSDC in the first phase. Meanwhile. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on ‘Campaign Clean India’ was signed between the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Railways.27 km-long ERC project is approximately Rs.45 percent. Under this corridor.29 million compared to 6210. registering an increase of 4. Under new SPV. easy access to the platforms. high quality waiting spaces. Continued efforts and constant persuasion by Railway Board and energy conservation initiatives by JTS Institute 7 Current Affairs Notes . it is proposed to provide the identified stations with well designed concourses. The total approximate numbers of passengers booked during 1st April – 31st December 2012 were 6422. Mumbai has one of the most crowded and overloaded suburban systems in the world. After conducting preliminary studies & holding consultations with zonal railways. 73% has been acquired.42 percent. After a review meeting on infrastructure held by the Prime Minister in the last week of November 2012. The year 2012 saw a big push for the key infrastructure projects of Railways. Shivaji Nagar (Pune). Such services are also planned between HabibganjIndore and Chennai-Bangalore in near future. 19 elevated and 2 at grade. showing an increase of 3.

Secondly. approximately 180 kilometres in length. train running information of only selected 36 important trains (Shatabdi. There is no change in other terms and conditions.simran. Based upon experience gained from ACD & TPWS systems. 2) North Corridor: Surajpur-Parsa-KatghoraKorba.. Human waste thus does not fall on the tracks. A complete switch-over to bio-toilets in new coaches has been planned by 2016-17 and the Indian Railway has targeted elimination of direct discharge passenger coach toilet systems by the end of the Thirteenth Five Year Plan i. 25/inclusive of all surcharges issued up to distance of 100 Kms to persons working in unorganised sector with monthly income not exceeding Rs. a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Railway. and comfortable passenger trains.in and through SMS on 9415139139. the Indian Railways has expanded the train running information facility.15 January . Examinations against 4 notifications.838 candidates mainly for safety category posts have been supplied to Zonal Railways/Production Units during the last 11 months period i. cleaner. have already been held in this year itself for 26. which were awarded by the President of India during National Energy Conservation Day on 14th December 2012. These corridors will be set up through PPP route. In order to make catering services effective. Railway sportspersons were felicitated by the Railway Ministry for their remarkable performance in the London Olympics – 2012. out of five issued in 2012. Panels of about 15. In these bio-toilets. it is quite easy for the mobile users to book a reserve ticket through their own mobile. With high pick-up and increased acceleration & deceleration characteristic. along with Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) have developed Environment Friendly Bio-toilets for its passenger coaches. the passenger l receives a reservation message with full details of the ticket including PNR. 1500/-. Supervision and monitoring of catering services both in trains and at stations has been strengthened. The gases escape to atmosphere and treated waste water is discharged after chlorination. Indian Railways is working on the concept of acquiring Electrical Multiple Units (EMU) Train sets for intercity journeys for operating speed ranging from 130160 km/hour.Ahemdabad corridor has been taken up for which pre-feasibility has been completed.trainenquiry. These corridors will be implemented through specific Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). The three rail corridors meant for both passengers and freight would be developed in northern region of Chhatisgarh state. Eight trains are running with 436 biotoilets and in the year 2012-13. 2500 more bio-toilets are planned to be introduced. After initial registration and downloading of suitable software on the mobile handset with internet facility.213 vacancies. seven corridors have been identified for conducting pre-feasibility studies for running high speed trains (popularly referred as) at speeds above 350 kmph. TCAS shall be a fusion of functionalities of TPWS & ACD and shall prevent Signal Passing at Danger as well as Collisions. Indian Railways is adopting a multi pronged strategy to provide a safer. Now the information on the running of all trains is available at www.e. 1st January 2012 to 30th November 2012. Rajdhani & Duronto) were available at website www. 2012) as compared to the corresponding period of last year. these proposed modern distributed powered EMU train sets will provide faster and safer movement and will substantially reduce run time. Earlier.. Indian Railways through Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). class etc.) during the calendar year (up to October. After invitation of Expression of Interest. covering 50515 vacancies. six Indian firms have been shortlisted. Sindurgarh. a Standard Bid Documents (SBDs) have been prepared for award of tenders for various catering services over Indian Railways. To provide accurate train running information to the public. faster. Katghora.e. Filling up of vacancies is a matter of priority and is being actively pursued by Railways Recruitment Boards. Continuing with the Indian Railways and State Government partnership model. In 2012. Mumbai.21 January 2013 Zonal Railways have resulted into bagging highest ever 11 National Energy Conservation Awards by the Indian Railways out of total awards of 87 from 773 applications during 2012. which is benign to the humans. approximately 452 kilometres in total length. 202122. Firstly. Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS) was extended on pilot basis on main line operations on Hazrat Nizamuddin – Agra Section of Northern/North Central Railway (200 Route Kilometres) where work is under progress. a MOU for the development of rail corridors in Chhatisgarh state was signed.1) East Corridor: Bhupdevpur-GharghodaDharamjaygarh up to Korba with spur from Gharghoda to Donga Mauha to connect mines of GarePelma block. This virtual message is treated at par with the print-out of the e-ticket. Similarly this facility is available through SMS on 139. Train No. Indian Railways. fourteen written examinations have been held for 271 categories. To bring further convenience to the rail users. as a result of this the number of complaint cases has reduced by 4. approximately 150 kilometres in length and 3) EastWest Corridor: Gevra Raod to Pendra Road via Dipka. This bacteria converts human waste into water and gases (methane and CO2). 20 12 by Zonal Railways for ensuring quality in catering. After booking. One of the firm has developed the Prototype which underwent field trials in Oct’2012 over South Central Railway. the human waste is treated by bacteria. 2012 to October. Five centralized notifications have been issued in 2012 covering 27. This extension of travel distance from 100 kms to 150 kms is admissible on IZZAT Monthly Season Tickets (MST) purchased on and after June 1. approximately 122 kilometres in length.com. a study is also being done on Delhi-Mumbai route with Japanese help to raise the speed of passenger trains from 160 kmph to 200 kmph being referred to as Semi-High Speed.82 % (approx. About 26860 inspections have been carried out during January. This distance has now been increased from 100 km to 150 km. 2012. With a commitment to provide hygienic environment to its passengers and staff. Initially. is offering the service of booking e-ticket over the mobile phone. Indian Railways has now taken up development of Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). date of journey.038 vacancies in 138 categories. Thirdly. Indian Railways continued its thrust on enhancing safety. IZZAT is a scheme of uniformly priced MST of Rs. They JTS Institute 8 Current Affairs Notes . These are:. The travel distance from l00 kilometres has been extended to 150 kilometres under IZZAT scheme.

and the near East. actuators. There is a tremendous concern that H5N1 poses an enormous pandemic threat. The Centre on Wednesday sounded ‘high alert’ in border States against avian influenza after JTS Institute 9 Current Affairs Notes . A MoU was also signed between Indian Railways and Belgium on bilateral co-operation for the effective development and modernization of railway sector of both the countries. A note for approval of the Union Cabinet in this regard is currently under preparation. 8. Canada and India. The epidemic was linked to chickens and classified as avian influenza A (H5N1). Eswar Reddy noted that Indian companies have been selected following a very stringent process. The telescope is being constructed by a consortium consisting of US. the Pacific. Border States on high alert after bird flu in Bhutan 1. its Project Farmers and others who work with poultry • Travelers visiting affected countries • Those who touch an infected bird • Those who eat raw or undercooked poultry meat. in particular. which will be the world’s most advanced ground-based observatory that will be operating in optical and midinfrared wavelengths. Indonesia. among others. incidence. a memento and the cheque of the award amount. Hundreds of people have become sick with this virus. signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Technical Cooperation in Railway Sector. 7. both the countries will enhance mutual cooperation across various areas of rail technology including High Speed Rail. 6. Vietnman. “The unprecedented light gathering capability and angular resolution of the telescope is expected to help shed new light on many unsolved and challenging problems in astronomy and astrophysics’’. Sanders said. 75 lakh. announced by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. has been engaged to produce 20 prototype actuators. India and China. Sushil Kumar. Several Indian companies are gearing up to play a major role in the construction of the $1. Edge sensors and actuators. 25 lakh cash award each. 5. who won silver medal in wrestling (66 kg. Another Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of India and Government of Spain on technical cooperation in the field of Railway sector. for the year 2012 which is a part of National Sports Awards. and telescope dome. The virus that causes the bird infectin can change (mutate) to infect humans. Europe. Manager Gary Sanders told newspersons here at the end of a meeting of the Project’s Governing Board. The following people have a higher risk for developing the bird flu: • Indian firms to supply parts for billion-dollar telescope 1. Krishna Punia who got 7th position in the final in Discuss Throw were given Rs. The avian flu virus (H5N1) has been shown to survive in the environment for long periods of time. China. Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) of Ministry of Railways has bagged “Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar”. Symptoms Symptoms of avian flu infection in humans depend on the strain of virus. Heavy Haulage and Station Development. segment support assemblies and provide services such as polishing of the mirror segments. Indian funding will be done through the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Atomic Energy. Such mutation could start a deadly worldwide epidemic. which is yet to be controlled. Concept: Avian influenza Avian influenza is flu infection in birds. Earlier this month. The edge sensors and the actuators would help in this task. 3. India is making a contribution of 10 per cent – 70 per cent of it in kind and 30 percent in cash. Free Style) event in London Olympics was given a cash award of Rs. samples of affected birds were sent to India’s High Security Animal Disease Lab in Bhopal and they tested positive. the mirror.15 January . The more the avian flu virus spreads. the main challenge in its working would be to ensure that the segments remained aligned properly all the time. Causes. would play a key role in the working of the telescope. Avasarala Technologies of Bangalore. and software to control the operations of the telescope. 4. Africa. The Indian companies will be supplying high-end components such as edge sensors. Human cases of avian influenza A (H5N1) have since been reported in Asia. or blood from infected birds Health care workers and household contacts of patients with avian influenza may also be at an increased risk of the bird flu. Birds who were infected with this flu can continue to release the virus in their feces and saliva for as long as 10 days. In a momentous recognition of the role and contribution of the Indian Railways in promoting sports in the country. outbreak of the dreaded poultry disease in Bhutan. the greater the chances of a worldwide outbreak in humans. 2. Under this MoU. Programme Director for the India component of the mega science project. Japan. eggs. said the telescope would be 81 times more sensitive and resolve objects by a factor of 3 times better than the largest ground-based telescopes that are available at present across the world. Slightly more than 60% of those who became ill have died. India presently has a status of an observer and it is in the process of becoming a permanent member. JoydeepKarmakar who got 4th position in the final in Shooting (50m Prone) and Ms. Work on producing prototypes of these have already been initiated. While Pondicherry-based General Optics Asia Limited [GOAL] has been asked to produce 25 prototype edge sensors. Since the primary mirror of the telescope would be made of an array of 492 identical mirror segments. 2. Dr.21 January 2013 were presented with a shawl. and risk factors The first avian influenza virus to infect humans occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. Bilateral cooperation in Railway sector with foreign countries is an ongoing process. Infection may be spread simply by touching contaminated surfaces. Delegation level talks were held separately with Switzerland and Germany on bilateral cooperation in the railway sector. Thousands of birds have been culled in Bhutan after the outbreak.2 billion Thirty Metre Telescope.

set up to suggest amendments to laws relating to crimes against women. Nagaland and Tripura. “As Bangladesh addresses the legacy of atrocities committed during the Liberation War and as we await further verdicts by the International Crimes Tribunal. • • • • • • • • • Cough (dry or productive) Diarrhea Difficulty breathing Fever greater than 100. Due process has also been frequently interpreted as limiting laws and legal proceedings (see substantive due process). rape and arson as the local cohorts of the Pakistani army during the war. This act has been regarded as a shameful act. and liberty. “This is necessary for determining the propriety of resorting to this legislation in the area(s) concerned. against the person who is acting against law or order in the disturbed area for the maintenance of public order.S. spoke at a press briefing in Washington DC on January 22. spokesperson of the U.S.” In its report submitted to the Union • • Destroy any arms dump. though two similar concepts are natural justice (which generally applies only to decisions of administrative agencies and some types of private bodies like trade unions) and the British constitutional concept of the rule of law as articulated by A. killing. prepared or fortified position or shelter or training camp from which armed attacks are made by the armed volunteers or armed gangs or absconders wanted for any offence • To arrest without a warrant anyone who has committed cognizable offences or is reasonably suspected of having done so and may use force if needed for the arrest. and is analogous to the concepts of natural justice. It grants special powers to the armed forces in what the act calls “disturbed areas” in the states of Arunachal Pradesh. V.S. a day after Bangladesh’s war crimes tribunal passed its maiden verdict ordering giving death sentence to an Islamist leader. However. due process was not upheld in England. including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”. Manipur. calls for due process in 1971 war trial The U. Odisha. stressed the need for holding the trial in a free and fair way. fair. was passed on September 11. Meghalaya. It was later extended to Jammu and Kashmir as The Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act. it was evident that there was a pressing need to try armed forces personnel guilty of sexual offences in conflict areas under the ordinary criminal law. Victoria Nuland. “However. According to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. Department of State. • To enter and search any JTS Institute 10 Current Affairs Notes . as explained below.instead of legislators may define and guarantee fundamental fairness. This interpretation of due process is sometimes expressed as a command that the government must not be unfair to the people or abuse them physically. presently contains many implied rights not found in the ancient or modern concepts of due process in England.” the statement said. Concept: Due process Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. and transparent. Washington. Chhattisgarh. has recommended review of the continuance of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the context of extending legal protection to women in conflict areas. which perpetuated all the ills in India and hampering the development of the country. so that judges . the committee recommend an immediate resolution of “jurisdictional issues. committee member GopalSubramaniam said going by the testimonies of the people from Jammu and Kashmir.15 January . however. which might include: of the law. Concept: AFSPA The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). Verma Committee. neither concept lines up perfectly with the American theory of due process. Mizoram. and procedural justice used in various other jurisdictions. and to fully respect the rule of law.S. Home Ministry on Wednesday. in an area that is proclaimed as “disturbed”.21 January 2013 Infection with the H5N1 virus in humans causes typical flu-like symptoms. on charges of genocide.” Simple procedural protocols must be put in place to avoid situations where the police refuse to register cases against paramilitary personnel. has extended support to the trial of the people who committed crimes against humanity during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The press statement was posted on its website. When a government harms a person without following the exact course Don’t allow Armymen to take cover under AFSPA. Dicey and others. says Verma The Justice J. This interpretation has proven controversial. justice. we believe that any such trials must be free. which. “There is an imminent need to review the continuance of the AFSPA and AFSPA-like legal protocols in internal conflict areas as soon as possible. and in accordance with domestic standards and international standards Bangladesh has agreed to uphold through its ratification of international agreements.S. but did become incorporated in the Constitution of the United States. 1990 in July 1990. which offends against the rule of law. Due process is not used in contemporary English law. Andhra Pradesh and the North-East. this constitutes a dueprocess violation. after giving such due warning.” it said. urges the government of Bangladesh to adhere to the due process standards that are part of its treaty obligations. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Due process developed from clause 39 of the Magna Carta in England. an officer of the armed forces has powers to Fire upon or use other kinds of force even if it causes death. the U. When English and American law gradually diverged.4°F (38°C) Headache Malaise Muscle aches Runny nose Sore throat U. Assam. Taking cognisance of the complaints and reports of sexual assaults on women by men in uniform and the civil society’s demand for repeal of the AFSPA. 1958. by the Parliament of India.

• Army officers have legal immunity for their actions. 14. told this Correspondent via email.Doser: “Without the motivation of attempting this experiment. They will improve upon. “precision measurements of antiprotons and anti-electrons” that “have been carried out in the past without seeing any difference between the particles and their antiparticles at very high sensitivity. physicists will attempt to produce an entire beam China confers top science award on noted scientist Dr C N R Rao 1. These scientists work with beams of antiparticles. In fact. is “to find out the truth: Do matter and antimatter obey the same laws of physics?” 5. Nor is the government’s judgment on why an area is found to be disturbed subject to judicial review. In fact. resulting in a highly unstable mixture of both electrons and anti-electrons called positronium (Ps). anyway. 12. 2. however.In the words of Dr. founder of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced JTS Institute 11 Current Affairs Notes . composed of not just anti-particles but anti-atoms by mid-2014. Dr. “until recently.” • Stop and search any vehicle or vessel reasonably suspected to be carrying such person or weapons. but know how to conduct the experiments that will yield answers to their questions. respectively. The ALPHA and ATRAP experiments will achieve this by trapping anti-atoms and studying them.670nanometre laser. There are some other scientists at CERN who know approximately what they will see in experiments. 13. except with the sanction of the Central Government. Consequently. while the ASACUSA and AEgIS will form an atomic beam of anti-atoms. Rao. • Any person arrested and taken into custody under this Act shall be made over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station with the least possible delay. With some probability. the feasibility of this application is being investigated by the ACE experiment at CERN. every particle has a corresponding particle with the same mass and opposite charge. 79. 3. and study the fallout. • For declaring an area as a ‘disturbed area’ there must be a grave situation of law and order on the basis of which Governor/ Administrator can form opinion that an area is in such a disturbed or dangerous condition that use of Armed Forces in aid of civil power is necessary A different kind of experiment at CERN 1.” as Dr. According to the Standard Model. Jeffrey Hangst. the excited Ps traverses a special chamber called a recombination trap. 4. The hope. ammunition or explosive substances and seize it. Noted Indian scientist Dr C N R Rao has been conferred with China’s top science award for his important contributions in boosting Sino-India scientific cooperation. experiments are conducted by many scientists who don’t quite know what they will see. Spectroscopic and gravitational techniques will be used to make these measurements. a particle storage ring which “manufactures” the antiparticles at a low energy. the dominant theoretical framework in particle physics.Doser explained. an antiproton will “trap” an anti-electron to form an antihydrogen atom. when it mixes with antiprotons that are controlled by precisely tuned magnetic fields. there are problems to be solved. While antiparticles were first discovered in 1959. as it is not much affected by magnetic or electric fields. Before a beam of such antihydrogen atoms is generated. All of them. and Russia. the ALPHA and AEgIS experiments at CERN provide a seminal setting for exploring the world of antimatter.Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) yesterday gave its 2012 Award for International Scientific Cooperation to three scientists from India.Hangst wrote. Last. and powerful cryogenic systems and ultra-cold vacuums. Precisely. At another location. AEgIS is one of six antimatter experiments at CERN that create antiparticles and anti-atoms in the lab and then study their properties using special techniques.21 January 2013 premise in order to make such arrests. will continue testing and upgrading through 2013. antiprotons are derived from the Antiproton Decelerator (AD). First. the spokesperson for the ALPHA experiment. AEgIS spokesperson. “The experiments concentrate on anti-hydrogen because that should be the most sensitive system. Thus. in exercise of the powers conferred by this Act. suit or other legal proceedings. To name an application: Antiprotons hold out the potential of treating tumors more effectively. near Geneva. but don’t know how to do the experiment itself. 10. The Ps is then excited to a specific energy state by exposure to a 205-nanometre laser and then an even higher energy state called a Rydberg level using a 1. The experiment is not so simple because preparing anti-hydrogen atoms is difficult. 2. Michael Doser.” Dr. suit or any other legal proceeding against anyone acting under that law. Anti-particles have been used effectively in many diagnostic devices such as PET scanners. it was impossible to measure anything about anti-hydrogen. at the little-known AEGIS experiment. Applications 11. stated in an email. They involve large electric and magnetic fields to control the speed of and collimate the beams. together with a report of the circumstances occasioning the arrest.Doser and his colleagues will spend many months making careful changes to the apparatus to ensure these requirements work in tandem by 2014. AEgIS will attempt to measure the interaction between gravity and antimatter by shooting an anti-hydrogen beam horizontally through a vacuum tube and then measuring how it much sags due to the gravitational pull of the Earth to a precision of 1 percent. 8.” 9. the experts in the corresponding fields would most likely never have collaborated and might well never have been pushed to solve the related interdisciplinary problems. • Protection of persons acting in good faith under this Act from prosecution. Germany. a nanoporous plate is bombarded with anti-electrons. At the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. They accelerate beams of particles called protons to smash into each other. improvements in our understanding of them feed immediately into medicine. Working principle 7. called an anti-particle. As Dr. contrary to charged antiparticles. or to recover any person wrongfully restrained or any arms. 6. Thus.15 January . Switzerland. There can be no prosecution. as Dr.

It shattered the previous record of 42 days set by Cream I. Company CEO David Gump said larger probes. “Dragonflies”. 4. or the edge of a nearby interstellar cloud that is being illuminated by Betelgeuse. shared the 2012 award with Herbert Jaeckle of Germany’s Max Planck Society and Russian space physicist G AZherebtsov. another cosmic ray experiment that flew during the winter of 2004-2005. with the red supergiant star itself hitting the bar roughly 12. creating a bow shock as the star moves through space at speeds of around 30 km/s. an inner envelope of material shows a pronounced asymmetric structure. has set a new record by floating in the air 45 days serenely in the Antarctica. “Rao is devoted to the research of solid-state and structural chemistry. Large convective cells in the star’s outer atmosphere have likely resulted in localized. CNN reported. A series of broken. dubbed “Fireflies. the nearest red supergiant star to Earth. Roughly 1. Bangalore. 9. water and compounds that can be used to make spacecraft fuel from the chunks of rock that float within about 50 million kilometres of Earth. CAS said. As much as 90 percent of the weight of a prospective monthslong Mars mission could be fuel and it costs between USD 5. Gump said the ability to produce fuel in space would be a boon for NASA. The team hopes it will complete the circuit in another 8 to 10 days. the outermost arc will collide with the bar in just 5.” on one-way missions to near-Earth asteroids as soon as 2015.German scientist Jaeckle specialised in the fields of molecular developmental biology. three or four times higher than passenger planes cruise. the CAS said.000 and USD 10. Closer to the star itself. as well as raising the scientific capabilities ofdeveloping countries”. and has circled the South Pole two and a half times at an altitude of about 130.500 years later. “If you give it one more month of active work in orbit. He has explored and put into practice approaches thatintegrate a Max Planck management model with the CAS’s scientific research system.000 feet. that will bring back 50-to 100-pound samples from prospective targets could be on their way by 2016. Betelgeuse’s impressive statistics come with a cost. and NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility. For this star is likely on its way to a spectacular supernova explosion. 5. “If NASA can launch just the hardware and tank up in orbit. It can easily be seen with the naked eye in the northern hemisphere winter night sky as the orange-red star above and to the left of Orion’s famous three-star belt.It has so far honoured 17 international scientists for their contributions in Sino-Foreign research cooperation. dusty arcs ahead of the star’s direction of motion testify to a turbulent history of mass loss. The announcement comes nine months after the unveiling of a similar project by Planetary Supergiant star nearest to Earth on its way to spectacular explosion New image from ESA’s Herschel space observatory has revealed multiple arcs around Betelgeuse. clumpy ejections of dusty debris at different stages in the past. useful ores and minerals as they hurtle past the Earth using the first rockprospecting spacecraft by 2015. The awards are given every year by the CAS. The new far-infrared view from Herschel shows how the star’s winds are crashing against the surrounding interstellar medium. since the prize was instituted in 2007. An intriguing linear structure is also seen further away from the star. The team celebrated by thanking everyone involved in a long series of tweets — including the balloon’s maker.21 January 2013 Scientific Research (JNCASR). He is currently the Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Indian Prime Minister.000 times the diameter of our Sun and shining 100.Rao has won various prestigious awards. While some earlier theories proposed that this bar was a result of material ejected during a previous stage of stellar evolution. having already swelled into a red supergiant and shed a significant fraction of its outer layers.000 per pound to put anything into space. He has actively promoted scientific cooperation between China and Germany. coming back round to McMurdo latitude. beyond the dusty arcs. If the bar is a completely separate object. The goal is to extract metals. Deep Space Industries says it wants to start sending miniature scout probes. which tracks and controls the balloon.” Gump said. It could also allow commercial satellite companies to extend the life of hardware that’s now written off when fuel for manoeuvring thrusters runs out. which is China’s top academic and research institution for natural sciences.000 Super-TIGER smashes ‘cosmic-ray’ balloon record in Antarctica Super-TIGER. 6. Betelgeuse rides on the shoulder of the constellation Orion the Hunter. state-run Xinhua news agency quoted CAS as saying in a statement. the balloon carrying the cosmic-ray detector. it said. He was awarded for his important contributions in boosting scientific cooperation between China and India. analysis of the new image suggests that it is either a linear filament linked to the galaxy’s magnetic field. New venture ‘to mine asteroids’ for metals within two years A US company plans to mine asteroids for metals. Raven Aerostar. where the fuel is cheap. that means we could get to the Red Planet a lot sooner than we currently expect. 2012. and scientists analysing the image have suggested that the star and its arc-shaped shields could collide with an intriguing dusty ‘wall’ in 5000 years. it’s worth about USD 5 (million) to USD 8 million to the owner of that satellite. or at least close enough that it can be retrieved. 3.15 January . as well as set up an international team of researchers. times more brightly.000 years. as the US space agency shifts its focus toward exploring deeper into the solar system. The Super-TIGER was launched from the Ross Ice Shelf on Dec. JTS Institute 12 Current Affairs Notes . Zherebtsov has actively promoted the construction of a Sino-Russian weather research centre and is currently working to get Russia involved in a CAS space science programme. then taking into account the motion of Betelgeuse and its arcs and the separation between them and the bar.” Gump said.

6. 3.2010 for decontrolled P & K fertilizers (w. In the total corporate debt limit of $50 billion.5. This type of security originally boasted gilded edges.15 January .” JTS Institute 13 Current Affairs Notes . Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Policy with effect from 1.Maturity restrictions for first time foreign investors on dated G-Secs removed. mutual fund debt schemes. NASA has outsourced supply missions to the International Space Station to the private rocket company Space X. Earlier it was mandated that the first time foreign investors of G-Secs must buy securities with at least threeyear residual maturity. a gilt-edged security is a stock or bond issued by a company that has a strong record of consistent earnings and can be relied on to cover dividends and interest. 1. The Centre has constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM).4. notified the enhanced limit of investing in government securities (G-Secs) by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and long-term investors by $5 billion to $25 billion from $20 billion. Subsidy under the NBS is being released through the manufacturers/importers. As per this policy. subject to a total overall ceiling of $1 billion.e. TSP. Since the retirement of its space shuttles.The RBI also relaxed some investment rules by removing the maturity restrictions for first time foreign investors on dated G-Secs. Government is not considering any change in the NBS. Urea is the only fertilizer that remains under full price control. it has been decided to dispense with the condition of one year lock-in period for the limit of $22 billion (comprising the limits of infrastructure bonds of $12 billion and $10 billion for non-resident investment in IDFs) within the overall limit of $25 billion for foreign investment in infrastructure corporate bond. endowment funds. 5. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Its current retail price is Rs. Additional subsidy is also provided on the fertilizers fortified with secondary and micronutrients as per the Fertilizer Control Order such as Boron and Zinc.f. Apart from Mr. “But such investments will not be allowed in short-term paper like Treasury Bills. 3. Chemical and Fertilizer Minister M. K & S) contained in these fertilizers. Since this scheme has just been launched about 3 months ago.” the RBI added. Dame Sally Davies. The GoM is likely to be headed by Agriculture Minister SharadPawar.21 January 2013 Resources. a company backed by investors such as filmmaker James Cameron and Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt. Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme for Fertilizers In the context of Nation’s food security. Long-term investors include SEBI-registered sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). qualified foreign investors (QFIs) would continue to be eligible to invest in corporate debt securities (without any lock-in or residual maturity clause) and 24 January 2013 GoM set up to review urea pricing policy 1. 4.Pawar. the declining response of agricultural productivity to increased fertilizer usage in the country and to ensure the balanced application of fertilizers.2010 for SSP). Alagiri and Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister VeerappaMoily.360 a tonne. P.It also hiked the investment limit in corporate bonds by these entities by $5 billion $50 billion from $45 billion. the GoM is likely to include Finance Minister P. Ammonium Sulphate (AS) and Single Super Phosphate (SSP) are provided to the farmers at the subsidized rates based on the nutrients (N. In the case of a firm. insurance funds. “This limit of $1 billion shall continue to be over and above the revised limit of $50 billion for investment in corporate debt. Chidambaram. 3. The proposal to hike urea prices was made to redress imbalanced use of soil nutrients and reduce government’s subsidy burden. which will look into the modified new pricing scheme (NPS) III for urea as well as consider earlier proposals for de-regulating the sector. and operate in space. NPKS complexes. As a measure of further relaxation. Reserve Bank eases rules for FII investment in debt 1. 2. the fertilizers namely DAP. Further. and a class of “Harvestor” craft to extract valuable material from the asteroids. NBS has been announced for 2010-11 on annual basis based on prevailing international prices and price trends. the central bank has also restricted foreign investors from buying certificates of deposits and commercial paper. Removal of rules requiring FIIs to hold infrastructure debt for at least one year Definition of ‘Gilt-Edged Securities’ High-grade bonds that are issued by a government or firm. The five-year residual maturity requirement for investments by QFIs within the $3 billion limit has been modified to three years original maturity. 7. multilateral agencies. MOP. pandemic flu or major coastal flooding. The residual maturity period (at the time of first purchase) requirement for the entire limit of $22 billion for foreign investment in the infrastructure sector has been uniformly kept at 15 months. Britain’s most senior medical adviser has warned MPs that the rise in drug-resistant diseases could trigger a national emergency comparable to a catastrophic terrorist attack. 2. such as the French-built Ariane rockets or the Falcon boosters developed by SpaceX. the RBI stipulated a sub-limit of $25 billion each for infrastructure and other than infrastructure sector bonds. an element abundant in asteroids. therefore at present. The group says it hopes to get its first unmanned probes into space by the end of 2013. on Thursday. She described what she called an “apocalyptic scenario” where people going for simple operations in 20 years’ time die of routine infections “because we have run out of antibiotics. K. pension funds and foreign central banks. MAP. the Government has introduced the Antibiotic resistance’s ‘apocalyptic’ threat 1. In addition.” the RBI added. the chief medical officer. 2. Its executives said the company is also developing a foundry designed to produce metal parts from nickel. thus the name. said the threat from infections that are resistant to frontline antibiotics was so serious that the issue should be added to the government’s National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies. Deep Space Industries said it can build its first class of probes largely with off-the-shelf parts and book them on other launch vehicles.5.

Rupesh K. being integral to the Constitution. “There is a broken market model for making new antibiotics. 2. The issue of drug resistance is as old as antibiotics themselves. Sharma of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Some of the best known are so-called hospital superbugs such as MRSA. cancer treatments weaken the immune system. but said its publication would coincide with a government strategy to promote more responsible use of antibiotics among doctors and the clinical professions. The equality of women. Verma. Resistant bugs carry a gene variant that allows them to destroy the drug.K. marital rape and other women related issues within the purview of criminal law. “What has changed is that the development pipeline is running dry. which was introduced in Parliament during the winter session. received the ICMR award for senior bio-medical scientists for the year Justice verma report reccomendations: 1. such as heart disease. Shiv S. but a major one is that drugs companies see greater profits in medicines that treat chronic conditions. headed by the former Chief Justice of India.” Davies told the MPs. The MHA has set no time frame to introduce the proposed amendments in Parliament as suggested by the panel. Notably. the committee. the last occasion on which a national emergency was declared in the U. 9. particularly on review of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and disqualification of tainted lawmakers. 7. Mr. She has met senior officials at the World Health Organisation and her counterparts in other countries to develop a strategy to tackle antibiotic resistance globally. 6. Das.K. this parasite gets transmitted to humans through the Leucosphyrus group of Anopheles mosquitoes that serve as vectors. Another worrying trend is the rise in infections that are resistant to powerful antibiotics called carbapenems. 10. according to the latest figures from the HPA. Port Blair. Powerful drugs losing efficacy 1. and over time can become unstoppable with frontline medicines. For example. resilient strains behind. 5.S. The survivors then multiply. and major flooding on the scale of 1953. What concerns some scientists is that the gene variant can spread freely between different kinds of bacteria. in 2003. Verma report for parliamentary panel The Union government is planning to send the Justice Verma Committee report to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs for consideration even as Law Minister Ashwani Kumar on Thursday hinted that it would not be possible to implement all recommendations. Das said. which have similar flora and fauna. From the infected monkeys that serve as its hosts. they said. has recommended harsher punishment for rape convicts besides bringing stalking. The highest priority risks on the latest register include a deadly flu outbreak. we are going to be in serious trouble. and arises when drugs knock out susceptible infections. 2013 2012-13 for his research. Mr. They located the plasmodium in tribal people in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. which patients must take for years or even decades. many of the recommendations given by the three-member committee on ‘Amendments to Criminal Law’ had been incorporated in the Criminal Law Amendment Bill. she said. Davies declined to elaborate on the report. Pant Hospital.Till date there has been no confirmatory report about any Plasmodium Knowlesi infection in the mainland. Malaria-causing parasite found in Andamans Researchers have located a new malaria-causing parasite — Plasmodium Knowlesi — for the first time in humans in India. and infections were rising in young and middle-aged people. but have since leapt to 333 in 2010.15 January . 8. Mr. who has spent 16 years of research as officer-in-charge of the field unit of the malaria research centre in the Car Nicobar island.B. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was studying the report and whatever fresh recommendations were found. Davies said 80 per cent of gonorrhea was now resistant to the frontline antibiotic tetracycline. “Probably this new malaria-causing parasite has been introduced to Indian islands through poachers. Davies said she would ask the Cabinet Office to add antibiotic resistance to the National Risk Register in the light of an annual report on infectious disease she will publish in March.” Johnson added. The numbers remained low until 2007. Tyagi and Yagya D. Singh of G. We don’t have new antibiotics that we can rely on in the immediate future or in the longer term. catastrophic terrorist attacks. Das. Drug resistance is emerging in diseases across the board.” she told the committee.” Changes in modern medicine have exacerbated the problem by making patients more susceptible to infections. Multi-drug resistant TB was also a major threat.Poachers from Thailand and Indonesia are said to secretly visit the islands. leaving hardier.Bacteria resistant to carbapenems were first detected in the U. during his visit to the city. which doctors rely on to tackle the most serious infections. consisting of Manoj Kumar Das of the National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR). If we don’t have new antibiotics to deal with the problems of resistance we see. served as hosts for this parasite. with 217 cases in the first six months of 2011. a senior government official said.” said Alan Johnson. have made this discovery. consultant clinical scientist at the Health Protection Agency (HPA). especially crabeating ones found in the islands.” Mr. A team of researchers. “We need to get our act together in this country. would be flagged and forwarded to the parliamentary committee. its JTS Institute 14 Current Affairs Notes . and the use of catheters increases the chances of bugs entering the bloodstream. Das said. It is likely that the parasite migrated to the islands from neighbouring south-east Asian countries. said Johnson. Speaking to MPs on the Commons science and technology committee. “We are becoming increasingly reliant on antibiotics in a whole range of areas of medicine.21 January 2013 4. The supply of new antibiotics has dried up for several reasons. 2012. “In the past. said monkeys. most people haven’t worried because we’ve always had new antibiotics to turn to. J. According to government sources. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited. when three cases were reported. The register was established in 2008 to advise the public and businesses on national emergencies that Britain could face in the next five years.

15 January - 21 January 2013
denial is a sacrilege and a constitutional violation. Sustained constitutional violations mean that governance is not in accordance with the Constitution. A fortiori, all limbs of the State - the executive, the legislature as well as the judiciary -must respect women’s rights and must treat them in a non-discriminatorymanner. 2. As a primary recommendation, all marriages in India(irrespective of the personal laws under which such marriages are solemnised) should mandatorily be registered in the presence of a magistrate, which magistrate will ensure that the marriage has been solemnised without any demand for dowry having been made and that the marriage has taken place with the full and free consent of both partners. 3. The manner in which the rights of women can be recognised can only be manifested when they have full access to justice and when the rule of law can be upheld in their favour. The proposed Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2012, should be modified as suggested, and to secure public confidence, be promulgated forthwith. Since the possibility of sexual assault on men, as well as homosexual, transgender and transsexual rape, is a reality the provisions have to be cognizant of the same. 4. In respect of certain categories of cases, such as those where the victim is in custody of persons in authority including police and armed personnel, certain statutory presumptions must apply under Section 114A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Every complaint of rape must be registered by the police and civil society should perform its duty to report any case of rape coming to its knowledge. 5. Any officer, who fails to register a case of rape reported to him, or attempts to abort its investigation, commits an offence which shall be punishable as prescribed. We have also taken into account offences of eve teasing, voyeurism, stalking as well as sexual assault and unsolicited sexual contact. 6. A special procedure for protecting persons with disabilities from rape, and requisite procedures for access to justice for such personsis also an urgent need. Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure, which are necessary, have been suggested. 7. The protocols for medical examination of victims of sexual assaulthave also been suggested, which we have prepared on the basis of the best practices as advised by global experts in the fields of gynaecology and psychology. Such protocol based, professional medical examination is imperative for uniform practice and implementation. 8. The insensitivity of the police to deal with rape victims is well known. The police respect a patriarchal form of society, and have been unable to deal with extraordinary cases of humiliation and hardship caused by the khappanchayats, as is evident from various judgments of the Supreme Court. The police are involved in trafficking of children (including female children) and in drug trade. To inspire public confidence, it is necessary that there must not only be prompt implementation of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh case, but also police officers with reputations of outstanding ability and character must be placed at the higher levels of the police force. In the present context, and in view of the facts revealed to us, it is necessary that every police commissioner and director general of police of this country must be selected in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh’s case, who can lead by example. The leader makes all the difference. As such, all existing appointments need to be reviewed to ensure that the police force has the requisite moral vision. 9. It is settled law that every policeman is bound to obey the law and any order of a superior officer, which is contrary to law, is no defence for his illegal action, which may be a punishable offence. Accordingly, any political interference or extraneous influence in the performance of the statutory duty by a policeman cannot be condoned.This principle has to be clearly understood by every member of the police force their accountability is only to the law and to none else in the discharge of their duty. Dereliction of this duty has to be punished according to the service rules and applicable law. 10. Authentic figures of missing children in India are not available for obvious reasons of the complicity of law enforcement agencies. Children have been driven into forced labour, sex abuse, sexual exploitation as well as made victims of illegal organ trade. Our report includes the testimonies of children (whose identities have been concealed for their safety) to verify facts from their personal experience. As a small gesture, this Committee has (at its own cost) taken necessary steps for proper rehabilitation and education of one of these children, payment of the minimum wages due to the said child, her safe passage and reintegration with her family, psychotherapeutic intervention, and to fulfil her educational aspirations.The Committee expects similar treatment by the State of all such deprived children. 11. Every District Magistrate is responsible for carrying out a census of missing children within his district. Having regard to the apathy shown by the district magistrates and the police in the matter of missing children, evident from advisories issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs as late as on 30th January 2012, this issue needs immediate attention. This is necessary also for the credibility of the political establishment. 12. The judiciary has the primary responsibility of enforcing fundamental rights, through constitutional remedies. The judiciary can take suomotu cognizance of such issues being deeply concerned with them both in the Supreme Court and the High Court. An all India strategy to deal with this issue would be advisable. The Chief Justice of India could be approached to commence appropriate proceedings on the judicial side. The Hon’ble Chief Justice may consider making appropriate orders relating to the issue of missing children to curb the illegal trade of their trafficking etc. Social activists involved in curbing this menace could assist the court in the performance of this task. The question of award of compensation and rehabilitation could also be considered in such cases by the court. 13. Juvenile homes in the country, i.e. child homes, and observation homes, are not being run in a manner consistent with the spirit of the Juvenile Justice Act. To ensure that the constitution of the Child Welfare Committee, Juvenile Justice Board, the infrastructural facilities in a home, the quality of food, the quality of counselling and psychotherapy required for a child

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to wipe out the scars of abuse and deprivation in early childhood and to mainstream him/her in society and to educate him/her fully requires a deeper and profound engagement of the State and civil society. This is the primary duty of the State, which is found wanting. We are shocked to note that so many of these children have been forced into bonded labour and beggary, which is in violation of Article 23 of the Constitution. India should not permit cheap child labour to be an incentive for foreign investment to boost our economy. 14. It is time for the judiciary to step in to discharge the constitutional mandate of enforcing fundamental rights and implementation of the rule of law. In performance of this obligation, the Chief Justice of the High Court in every State could devise the appropriate machinery for administration and supervision of these homes in consultation with experts in the field. For the safety and physical security of children, women, persons with disabilities, inmates of mental homes and widows, monitoring by the judiciary is necessary. The immediate and ultimate guardianship of such persons has to be with the court, founded on the principle of parenspatriae. 15. To augment the police force, there is a need to develop community policing by involving the local gentry, which would also motivate them to perform their duty as citizens. Respectable persons in each locality could also be appointed Special Executive Magistrates under Section 21, Cr.P.C. and invested with powers to deal with the traffic offences and other minor offences. In addition, to assisting the maintenance of law and order in the locality, their presence would inspire greater confidence of safety in the locality. 16. Street lighting everywhere would provide more safety since dark areas are more prone to facilitate crimes. There is great wisdom in the words of the American Judge Louis Brandeis, that “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectant; electric light the most efficient policeman”. 17. Street vending should be encouraged to make the bus stops and footpaths safe for communities and pedestrians, in addition to providing street food for the common man. 18. We recommend the creation of a new constitutional authority akin to the Comptroller and Auditor General for education, nondiscrimination, in respect of women and children. the Act? It is very doubtful, legally perhaps.” 6. Mr.Vahanvati said he did not want to give off-the-cuff answers. “I need time to go into these issues.” Justice Lodha told the AG: “From your affidavit itself, it appears that minerals and mining lease has to be executed by the State and not by the Centre. It strikes at the root of all allocations.” Referring to counsel PrashantBhushan’s submission that the Coal Secretary had filed an affidavit on how the blocks were decided by a Screening Committee, Justice Lodha observed: “This seems to be extra legal.”

“Coal allocation is none of your business”
The right vests with States, Supreme Court tells Centre 1. The Supreme Court on Thursday made it clear to the Centre that it had no power to allocate coal blocks to private companies and sought legal explanation from Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati for making the allotments. 2. A Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and J. Chelameswar told the AG that there was absolutely no power given to the Centre under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. It was vested only with the States. 3. The Bench was hearing a petition filed by a group of prominent citizens and Common Cause, a non-governmental organisation, seeking cancellation of the allocation of captive coal blocks made from 1993 and a probe by a special investigation team. The petitioners included T.S.R. Subramanian, former Cabinet Secretary; N Gopalaswami, former Chief Election Commissioner; Ramaswamy R. Iyer, former Secretary, Government of India; Admiral (retd.) R.H. Tahiliani; SushilTripathi, former Secretary, Government of India; and Admiral (retd.) L. Ramdas. 4. They said that according to the CAG’s conservative estimates, the allocation between 2004 and 2010 caused a windfall gain of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore to private companies, making it a bigger scandal than the ‘2G scam’. There was a related loss to the public exchequer. “Various political and commercial vested interests joined forces to block competitive bidding [auction].”A petition by advocate M.L. Sharma was tagged with this plea. 5. The Bench wanted to know from the AG whether the Centre derived any power to allocate coal blocks to private companies under the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act. Justice Lodha told Mr.Vahanvati: “You are required to give a lot of legal explanation. The question is: does the Centre have power under the MMDR Act and does it have the power to undermine the entire statutory mechanism? Can you override the statutory provisions of

25 January 2013 Norms revised for offer for sale mechanism
1. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), on Friday, revised the offer for sale (OFS) mechanism as the deadline is approaching for the promoters of listed companies to offload their stake to meet the minimum public shareholding norm of 25 per cent by June 2013. 2. “Based on past experience of sale of shares through OFS, the mechanism of OFS has been found to be useful by market participants and popular for offloading shares of promoters in listed companies in order to achieve minimum public shareholding,” said SEBI in a circular to all sock exchanges. 3. The revised norms would be “more economical, efficient and transparent,” it added. 4. The cumulative bid quantity will be made available online to the market throughout the trading session at specific intervals in respect of orders with 100 per cent upfront margin and separately in respect of orders placed without any upfront margin. 5. The indicative price shall be disclosed to the market throughout the trading session. This is also calculated based on all valid bid / orders. 6. Institutional investors have an option to pay either upfront 100 per cent margin in cash or without margin. However, non-institutional investors have to pay 100 per cent upfront margin in cash. 7. Orders with 100 per cent margin paid upfront by institutional investors and non-institutional investors can be modified or

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cancelled at any time during trading hours. Orders without paying upfront margin by institutional investors can not be modified or cancelled except make upward revision in the price or quantity. Institutional investors who placed orders / bids with 100 per cent margin upfront, custodian confirmation would be within trading hours and settlement shall take place on T+1 (trading plus one day) and without upfront margin it will be on T+1 and settlement will be on T+2 as it is now followed in secondary market transactions. 8. The extended half-an-hour time after trading hours given to the custodians earlier has been done away with. it out along with sewage, burdening the system. More important, the precious water is lost. In contrast, countries such as Japan extensively recycle water and successfully tide over their water deficit. Through a combination of strategies involving small treatment plants and closed loop water supply at building level, Japan reuses more than 53 million litres of water every day. In addition, innovative bathroom fixtures conduct used sink water directly to the flush tank of the toilet and save about 22,000 gallons every year. Recycling needs changes to plumbing arrangements in a building, but it is not hard to implement or monitor. What is missing is the will and regulatory framework. Cities such as Nanded have amended their building rules to make wastewater treatment in large buildings compulsory, but such provisions are present more on paper than in practice. If policymakers are serious about increasing water use efficiency through recycling — a goal set by the National Water Mission — buildings should be compelled to meet most of their non-potable water requirement through grey water reuse. the statute or amended or repealed. Cutting down delays 5. Another area that needed urgent attention would be amendments to the civil procedure code to cut down procedural delays, viz whether appeals could be cut down. He suggested that instead of legislation, the Supreme Court, after discussion with various stakeholders, could come out with guidelines on cutting down delays on account of arguments. 6. Asked about the Law Commission’s earlier report on rape laws and the Justice Verma Committee’s report, he said he would look into both reports. A large number of issues were pending with the Commission and would be examined. 7. On the government not acting on the Law Commission’s report, he said the Supreme Court had been using these reports in judgments and “I am sure these reports will get the attention they deserve.” Godhra cases 8. Justice Jain, heading a threemember Bench, monitored the Special Investigation Team probe into the Godhra and post-Godhra cases in Gujarat and the Gulberg Society case in which the court directed the Ahmedabad magistrate to decide on the closure report. Last week, the magistrate was restrained from pronouncing final orders on the report. 9. Justice Jain was heading the Benches on sensitive Mullaperiyar and Cauvery disputes cases. Election commission of India: A Constitutional Body India is a Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic and the largest democracy in the World. The modern Indian nation state came into existence on 15th of August 1947. Since then free and fair elections have been held at regular intervals as per the principles enshrined in the Constitution, Electoral Laws and System. The Constitution of India has vested in the Election Commission of India the superintendence, direction and control of the entire process for conduct of elections to Parliament and Legislature of every State and to the offices of President and Vice-President of India. Election Commission of India is a permanent Constitutional Body.

Recycle grey water
1. UN-Habitat has commenced a new global consultation to reiterate the crucial role of wastewater management in the water cycle and explore policy options for a sustainable future. These consultations have also become necessary to set a future goal for water use, particularly for the years following 2015, which is the target year for the Millennium Development Goals. For India — a severely water-stressed region — this offers an opportunity to reflect on its policies and draw lessons from best practices across the world. The core challenge facing the country is the yawning gap between demand for water and the severely constrained supply. From 813 billion cubic metres — the figure for 2010 — demand is set to reach 1,093 BCM by 2025. Conventional resources alone cannot meet this steep increase. There is a pressing need to explore alternative sources. In this context, policymakers have done well to promote water harvesting to improve supply. But they have utterly failed when it comes to reusing water. Industrial scale recycling would help, but it could be expensive. On the other hand, the often overlooked building level reuse of grey water — wastewater from kitchen sinks, showers and laundry fixtures — is a more effective strategy to pursue. 2. According to a Centre for Science and Environment estimate in 2011, kitchen use, shower and laundry consume more than 70 per cent of the 920 litres of water supplied per household per day. Building systems seldom trap this wastewater for non-potable use such as toilet flushing, fire fighting and gardening. Instead, they drain

Immediate priority to poll reforms, says new Law Commission chief Jain
1. Justice D.K. Jain, retired judge of the Supreme Court, took charge as Chairman of the 20th Law Commission of India at a brief ceremony here on Friday. 2. He laid down office as judge on the evening of Thursday when he was given a warm farewell by members of the Bar and the Bench at a function held on the Supreme Court lawns. 3. Justice Jain had been a judge of the Supreme Court from April 2006 and during the over six-year tenure he had delivered several landmark judgments and he endeared himself to the members of the Bar. 4. Speaking to The Hindu soon after assuming office as Law Commission Chairman, he said his immediate priority would be to look into electoral reforms, which, the government had asked him to do. In particular, the Commission would look into state funding of elections and preventing criminalisation of politics etc. There were many outdated laws and the Commission, in consultation with other members, would see whether these could be taken out of

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delegates some of its executive functions to its officers in its Secretariat. They have tenure of six years. The Commission ensures inner party democracy in their functioning by insisting upon them to hold their organizational elections at periodic intervals. in a hierarchical set up. expenditure related to preparation for electoral rolls and the scheme for Electors’ Identity Cards too. The Commission. The Setup The Commission has a separate Secretariat at New Delhi. Judicial. The latter generally accepts the recommendations of the Commission for its budgets. superintendence and discipline during the election period. with decision making power by majority vote. For Capital equipment. the expenditure is shared equally. Appointment & Tenure of Commissioners The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners. Again. compliance of Model Code of Conduct and new measures proposed to be introduced by the Commission on election related matters. Branches and sections. They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India.15 January . which is finalised directly in consultation between the Commission and the Finance Ministry of the Union Government. also settles disputes between the splinter groups of such recognised parties. and Secretaries. it is the Commission which decides on the location polling stations. The territorial work is distributed among separate units responsible for different Zones into which the 35 constituent States and Union Territories of the country are grouped for convenience of management. they are available to the Commission. Transaction of Business The Commission transacts its business by holding regular meetings and also by circulation of papers. assignment of voters to the polling stations. please click here Originally the commission had only a Chief Election Commissioner. consisting of about 300 officials. subject to overall superintendence. direction and control of the Commission. He is. Under Secretaries and Deputy Directors support the Deputy Election Commissioners and Director Generals in turn. Advisory Jurisdiction & QuasiJudicial Functions JTS Institute 18 Current Affairs Notes . whichever is earlier. They all perform their functions relating to elections in addition to their other responsibilities. They are generally appointed from the national civil service of the country and are selected and appointed by the Commission with tenure. In case of simultaneous elections to the Parliament and State Legislature. location of counting centres. the election work is supervised. Election Commission ensures a level playing field for the political parties in election fray. At the state level. For the first time two additional Commissioners were appointed on 16th October 1989 but they had a very short tenure till 1st January 1990. on 1st October 1993 two additional Election Commissioners were appointed. It currently consists of Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.States and Union Territories. The major expenditure on actual conduct of elections is. the expenditure is shared equally between the Union and the State Governments. each of the last mentioned units is in charge of a Section Officer. from time to time. a full time officer and has a small team of supporting staff. or up to the age of 65 years. as a part of its quasi-judicial jurisdiction. Later. The main functional divisions are Planning. Media and Secretariat Co-ordination. The Commission celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2001. through strict observance by them of a Model Code of Conduct evolved with the consensus of political parties. SVEEP. Electoral Registration Officers and Returning Officers. reflected in the budgets of the concerned constituent units of the Union . Principal Secretaries. There is functional and territorial distribution of work in the Commission. the District Election Officers. If elections are being held only for the Parliament. The work is organised in Divisions. extending over a period of one and half to two months. The gigantic task force for conducting a countrywide general election consists of nearly five million polling personnel and civil police forces. Directors. who are assisted by a large number of junior functionaries. Budget & Expenditure The Secretariat of the Commission has an independent budget. Two or three Deputy Election Commissioners and Director Generals who are the senior most officers in the Secretariat assist the Commission. During election time. Political Parties so registered with it are granted recognition at the State and National levels by the Election Commission on the basis of their poll performance at general elections according to criteria prescribed by it. however. who is appointed by the Commission from amongst senior civil servants proposed by the concerned state government. All Election Commissioners have equal say in the decision making of the Commission. Political Parties & the Commission Political parties are registered with the Election Commission under the law. the expenditure is borne entirely by the concerned State. Election Commission is insulated from executive interference. It is the Commission which decides the election schedules for the conduct of elections. perform election work. The Commission holds periodical consultations with the political parties on matters connected with the conduct of elections. The concept of multi-member Commission has been in operation since then. by the Chief Electoral Officer of the State. in most of the States. For details. This huge election machinery is deemed to be on deputation to the Election Commission and is subject to its control. whether general elections or bye-elections. Administration. The Commission. however. on a full time basis. Information Systems. more or less. arrangements to be made in and around polling stations and counting centres and all allied matters. Executive Interference Barred In the performance of its functions. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament. At the district and constituency levels. Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation. the expenditure is borne entirely by the Union Government while for the elections being held only for the State Legislature.21 January 2013 The Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950.

for what period. 2004. and generally results over time with a two-party competition. The Commission also publishes statistical reports and other documents which are available in the public domain. Media Policy The Commission has a comprehensive policy for the media. it was 60. The situation is no better. in the Assembly Elections with the percentage of the returned candidates on minority of votes cast going above 70 in several cases. “The conclusion is inescapable that a majority of elected members of the LokSabha in recent years. the judiciary does not intervene in the actual conduct of the polls. at close intervals during the election period and on specific occasions as necessary on other occasions. as the case may be. 3. on a regular basis. 4. It holds regular briefings for the mass media-print and electronic. rather than the majority. Addressing a function of the Election Commission. the Commission also has advisory jurisdiction in the matter of post election disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State Legislatures. Ansari said. 2009.” 5. which can be filed before the High Court. In respect of elections for the offices of the President and Vice President. Such a conscious rejection would be preferable to abstention from voting.15 January .28. Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Friday initiated a fresh debate on electoral reforms by suggesting introduction of the “right to reject” in the voting system. the cases of persons found guilty of corrupt practices at elections which come before the Supreme Court and High Courts are also referred to the Commission for its opinion on the question as to whether such person shall be disqualified and. Voter Education Voters’ Participation in the democratic and electoral processes is integral to the successful running of any democracy and the very basis of wholesome democratic elections. This figure went down to 58. The Commission has. representative of his/her electoral constituency. has brought out several innovative and effective short clips for this purpose. Mr. the Commission cannot review any result on its own.68 respectively — more candidates got elected to the LokSabha by securing less than 50 per cent of the total votes polled in their constituencies. and discussing the increasing number of candidates winning polls (to the LokSabha/Assemblies) with “minority votes” — getting elected by securing less than 50 per cent of the total votes polled in their constituencies. Ansari. The procedural modality for bringing this about can be worked out on the model of some of the democracies where it is in vogue. such petitions can only be filed before the Supreme Court.21 January 2013 Under the Constitution. won on a minority of votes cast in their constituencies. The representatives of the media are also provided facilities to report on actual conduct of poll and counting. in cooperation with the state owned media .Doordarshan and All India Radio. Judicial Review The decisions of the Commission can be challenged in the High Court and the Supreme Court of the India by appropriate petitions. It was argued “in terms of the democratic theory. “When this percentage is considered alongside the average voter turnout. In the general elections held in 1999. 75. but not universal. In the first general election in 1952. the percentage of successful candidates who secured less than 50 per cent of the total votes cast in their constituencies was 67. once the actual process of elections has started. who is also Chairman of the RajyaSabha.” 7. 2. The Commission has also the power for removing or reducing the period of such disqualification as also other disqualification under the law. Recognising this. Further. and even earlier. A corollary of this would be the right to reject if none of the candidates on the list found favour with the voter. The Vice-President also called for a fresh debate on the “right to reject” (the candidate during the polls by voters). They include members of both international and national media. The Commission has the power to disqualify a candidate who has failed to lodge an account of his election expenses within the time and in the manner prescribed by law. this system encourages candidates to focus on securing votes of a segment of the electorate and thereby accentuate or reinforce social divisions based on narrower considerations that derogate from inclusiveness and promote divisive tendencies and social conflict. Its limitation was evident from factual data. to celebrate the “third voters day” (to enrol new voters in the country). ‘First past the post’ not real victory in polls: Ansari 1. media representatives and anybody else interested. said there was need for taking corrective steps relating to the “first-past-the-post system” in which the successful candidate wins on the plurality. First past the voting system: A first-past-the-post (abbreviated FPTP or FPP) election is one that is won by the candidate with more votes than any other(s). The library of the Commission is available for research and study to members of the academic fraternity. Election Commission of India. The opinion of the Commission in all such matters is binding on the President or. in 2009. This can only be reviewed through the process of an election petition. taken up a major campaign for awareness of voters. it would suggest that the elected representative may not be. Law and Justice Minister Ashwani Kumar said the government remained irrevocably committed to electoral reforms in a major way. The Prasar Bharti Corporation which manages the national Radio and Television networks. formally adopted Voter Education and Electoral participation as an integral part of its election management. 6. Furthermore. of votes cast. By long standing convention and several judicial pronouncements. that the right to vote carries with it an obligation to exercise the franchise in favour of a candidate of choice.09 per cent in the 1957 election. the Governor to whom such opinion is tendered. perhaps worse.87 and 82. often is not. Once the polls are completed and result declared. It is a common. and Governor may ask Shettar to prove majority in House Chief Minister JagadishShettar may JTS Institute 19 Current Affairs Notes . feature of democratic political systems with single-member legislative districts.03. They are allowed entry into polling stations and counting centres on the basis of authority letters issued by the Commission.” Mr. if so. in respect of elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures.

be directed by Governor H. However it has also been awarded to some distinguished individuals who were not citizens of India and who did contribute in various ways to India Padma Bhushan The Padma Bhushan is the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India. who holds the Finance portfolio. The recent statement of the RBI Governor D. The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) have made it clear that they will vote against the government if it comes to a confidence vote. The departure of SubirGokarn. 26 January 2013 News Analysis . As is customary. is expected to receive the support of a few more legislators and two more Ministers prior to the commencement of the legislature session. Krishna Menon in the year 1954 determined government. Subbarao that “inflation remained too high” hit the hopes of a sharp cut of 50 basis points in policy rate. Since Mr. who guided the policy rates. and the relative strength. Meanwhile.21 January 2013 Padma Vibhushan: The Padma Vibhushan is the second highest civilian award in the Republic of India. In this period. is scheduled to present the State Budget on February 8. no directive issued by the Raj Bhavan calling upon the Chief Minister to face a vote of confidence.The first recipitants of this award were SatyendraNath Bose. The benchmark 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) shot up from 17257. The government expects that the measures announced by it and the central bank will stimulate the economy and reduce fiscal and current account deficits (CAD). The two Houses of the legislature are scheduled to meet on February 4.Gokarn had always maintained that inflation was a major worry for the central bank as he had said “Runaway inflation could be much worse in the long-run. ShobhaKarandlaje and C. Social Service and Public Affairs. Now a JTS Institute 20 Current Affairs Notes .RBI in a fix as growth concerns rise 1. Literature. he was able to cheer up the stock market substantially. 5. Medicine. Zakir Hussain. This is at present hovering around a “stubbornly high” level of 7-7. they would not like to be seen as aligning with the BJP. which already enjoys the support of 13 legislators. after the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan. It is evident that the Governor will wait for Speaker K. after the Bharat Ratna. the former Deputy Governor of RBI. With elections round the corner. It consists of a medal and a citation and is awarded by the President of India. The KJP. if required. Udasi. but comes before the Padma Shri.25 percent pumping liquidity to the banking system. 3. the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan. The RBI had forecast — which was unusual and surprised market participants — in the second half of monetary policy review in October that there was a “reasonable likelihood of further policy easing in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year”. Chidambaram took over the Finance Ministry last August. he would prove his majority on the floor of the House. and the Chief Minister. Padma Shri: Padma Shri (also Padmashree) is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India. bankers and the market expect a rate cut of 25 basis points to balance growth and inflation as envisaged by the government. The RBI had asked the government to cut subsidies and help fiscal consolidation but coalition politics made the decision-making difficult for the government for some time. It ranks behind the Bharat Ratna and comes before the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. the Governor has said that there appears to be a split in the BharatiyaJanata Party. BalasahebGangadharKher.” Rate cut hopes 4. after nine months. which were forwarded to him by the Chief Minister. There is. 2012. including government service.5 percent.38 on August 1.G. however. A rate cut by the RBI would provide an essential euphoria in the market. may have to be established in the Assembly. Should there be a need. It is awarded by the Government of India. The Governor on Friday accepted the resignations of two Ministers. the RBI had brought down the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from a high of 6 per cent to 4.53 on January 25. Education. the Chief Minister invited the Governor to address the joint session. Bhardwaj to prove his majority on the floor of the Legislative Assembly ahead of the joint session of the Legislature provided there is prima facie evidence that the government has been reduced to a minority. to 20103. Sports. has taken some bold decisions.S. more than $16 billion foreign institutional investor (FII) inflow was recorded. 7. It is awarded by the Government of India. Inflation rate. and efforts are on to shore up numbers. especially the wholesale price index (WPI). K. Retail inflation (based on consumer price index) is above 10 per cent. It is awarded to recognize exceptional and distinguished service to the nation in any field. No directive Meanwhile. is not in the comfortable level of 5-5. The repo rate is the rate at which banks borrow funds from the central bank. 6. Industry.5 percent which the central bank was anticipating for a long time. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Bopaiah to accept the resignations of the 13 legislators in the Yeddyurappa camp. NandLal Bose.R. With the expectation of a trust vote coming into play. 2. Dr.5 per cent to 8 percent. It is awarded to citizens of India to recognize their distinguished contribution in various spheres of activity including the Arts. particularly in the BJP. since the change of guard at the Finance Ministry. Mr. It was established on 2 January 1954. Shettar called on the Governor at the Raj Bhavan on Friday and is said to have conveyed that his government enjoys a majority. the political atmosphere in the State. The RBI’s last rate cut was in April 2012 when it reduced the repo rate by 50 basis points from 8. Yeddyurappa. Science. V. 15 January . While inflation and inflationary pressures are major concerns of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). 2013. There is also the talk of a Ministry expansion to win over legislators who may be tempted to cross over to the Karnataka JanataPaksha led by B. has raised expectations of a cut much before the end of the fourth quarter. is surcharged.M. Cash Reserve Ratio is the portion of deposits banks are required to maintain with the Reserve Bank of India.

high degree of accuracy in terms of impact and very good stealth features.000. 6. 4.” The yield of benchmark 10-year Government Securities (GSec) has fallen below 7. The Jhelum River through the Kashmir valley below Wular Lake provides an important means of transport for goods and people. 2. NASA and ESA recently signed an agreement outlining NASA’s role in the project. Indo-Pak water talks put off Talks between the Water Secretaries of India and Pakistan. Mr. The telescope will launch to an orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrange point L2 — the location where the gravitational pull of two large masses. The US space agency will contribute 16 state-ofthe-art infrared detectors and four spare detectors for one of two science instruments planned for Euclid.Saraswat. in a statement. have been put off in the wake of tensions over ceasefire violations along the LoC . a Defence Research and Development Organisation lab based here. Euclid will spend six years mapping the locations and measuring the shapes of as many as 2 billion galaxies spread over more than one-third of the sky. Even less is known about dark energy than dark matter. India says suspension of work is harming the interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir and also depriving the people of Pakistan of irrigation and power benefits that may accrue from regulated water releases. Euclid will map the dark matter in the universe. the RBI said risks to inflation remained. This is in addition to 14 US scientists already supporting the mission. It is called dark matter because it does not interact with light.21 January 2013 8. Dark matter first was postulated in 1932. India contends that this makes development of the Tulbul Project permissible under the treaty. 3. India to launch sub-sonic missile next month India would flight test sub-sonic. Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister. 10. 8. Even though it said that “the policy emphasis shifts towards growth”. One aim was to regulate the release of water from the natural storage in the lake to maintain a minimum draught of 4. the most recent in a long history of cooperation in space science between our two agencies. dark energy pushes the universe apart at ever-increasing speeds. the barrage was expected to be of 439 feet (134 m) long and 40 feet (12 m) wide. There has been an ongoing dispute between India and Pakistan over the Tulbul Project since 1987. “This is in the final stage of integration and we expect to launch it next month”. also Secretary in the Department of Solar cities 1. NASA said. 9. good control and guidance. 14. V K Saraswat.9 per cent from above 8 per cent prevailed in mid-December in anticipation of a rate cut. Matter as we know it — the atoms that make up the human body. Fifty-four cities across India have received in-principle approval to be developed as ‘solar cities’ by the JTS Institute 21 Current Affairs Notes . ESA’s Euclid mission. but still has not been detected directly. 9. dark energy dominates. such as the Euclid spacecraft. is dark matter consisting of particles of an unknown type. Nirbhay is being developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). The project was conceived in the early 1980s and work began in 1984. ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration. researchers said. Defence (R&D) and DRDO Director General.15 January . for example — is a fraction of the total matter in the universe. but has since pressed to restart construction. While dark matter pulls matter together. the Sun and Earth in this case.000 acre feet (370. a key defence official said on Friday. told a press conference here. In terms of the total massenergy content of the universe. and we welcome NASA’s contribution to this important endeavour. the policy stance would remain sensitive to two risks: falling growth and rising inflation. while Pakistan maintains that the project is a violation of the treaty. Dark matter interacts with ordinary matter through gravity and binds galaxies together like an invisible glue.” said Alvaro Gimenez. NASA has teamed up with the European Space Agency to probe one of the most fundamental questions in modern cosmology — the existence of dark matter. NASA joins probe to solve ‘dark energy’ puzzle 1.4 m) in the river up to Baramulla during the lean winter months. He said Nirbhay has good loitering capability. India stopped work on the project that year. However. when Pakistan objected that the it violated the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty. 11. 12. In addition. scheduled to begin in Islamabad on January 28. and the dark matter and dark energy that influence its evolution in ways that still are poorly understood. Tulbul project: The Tulbul Project is a “navigation lock-cum-control structure” at the mouth of Wular Lake. next month.5 feet (1. It will study the evolution of our universe. The central bank reiterated that in its mid-quarter review in December “Inflation patterns and projections provide a basis for reinforcing our October guidance about policy easing in the fourth quarter.000 m3) of water. said. “ESA’s Euclid mission is designed to probe one of the most fundamental questions in modern cosmology. 5. and would have a maximum storage capacity of 300. providing new clues about the evolution and fate of the cosmos. Euclid’s observations will yield the best measurements yet of how the acceleration of the universe has changed over time. 7. medium range cruise missile Nirbhay. “NASA is very proud to contribute to ESA’s mission to understand one of the greatest science mysteries of our time. 13. The rest. The two sides were scheduled to discuss the Tulbul navigation project-Wullar Barrage issue . NASA has nominated three US science teams totalling 40 new members for the Euclid Consortium. precisely equals the force required for a small object. associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. to maintain a relatively stationary position behind Earth as seen from the Sun.” said John Grunsfeld. According to the original Indian plan. To sustain navigation throughout the year a minimum depth of water is needed. about 85 per cent. a space telescope designed to investigate the cosmological mysteries of dark matter and dark energy will launch in 2020.

87 crore has been released. out of which Rs.S. Corporate merger and acquisitions (M&A) activity in solar industry amounted to $6. Aizawl (Mizoram) and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. “The slowdown in VC funding can be attributed to the grim prospects for thin-film. Peru and Chile. During the past three years. 19. The total installed capacity of renewable energy-based power in the country is 26. solar city cells and promotional activities for 41 cities. Indore (Madhya Pradesh). Merkel shared a joke with Brazilian Mercosur to unblock trade talks. the accord would encompass 750 million people and $130 billion of annual trade.98 crore has been sanctioned for execution of renewable energy projects in five cities.21 January 2013 Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. on the other side of the continent. But it is frustrated by Brazil and Argentina’s policies to protect local industry. Abdullah said renewable energy has the potential to be cost effective with advancement in technologies and economies of scale. But talks have yet to make real progress due to disputes over European farm subsidies and moves by Brazil and Argentina to shield local industry from cheaper.267 MW. out of which Rs. 2. “History taught us that in the ’20s and ’30s. may help to boost investment in the sector. the development of projects is in progress in Agra and Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh). 4. hurdles remain EU leaders won a promise from Argentina and Brazil on Saturday to revive stalled talks on a free-trade deal that would be a major prize for Europe as it emerges from crisis. Brussels has signed free-trade deals with a number of Latin American countries. Venezuela and Uruguay.7 billion in 52 transactions compared to $4 billion in 65 transactions in 2011. Brazil. The draft Master Plans have been prepared for 28 cities. Dr.” Merkel told a meeting of business leaders.9 billion raised from 108 deals in 2011. Further. More than 70 per cent of these companies were active in manufacturing and all but a few were based in Europe and the U. More than half the 52 M&A deals in 2012 involved solar manufacturers and equipment makers. Power generation from renewable is at present generally more expensive than that from conventional sources. concentrating solar and concentrating PV technologies. Paraguay. but disputes over key issues mean a breakthrough appears distant. German Chancellor Angela Merkel led the Europeans in a new push in the negotiations with the South American trade bloc Mercosur that is made up of Argentina. Venezuela became a member of the bloc last year. reduction in cost and to develop new applications. “A tremendous effort has been made to install new momentum into the discussions.” she said. however. although the total fell by 47 per cent to $314 million compared to almost $600 million in 2011. “The diminished funding activity is not a true reflection of the health of the solar sector. Twenty-five investors participated in the 27 deals in Q4. According to New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah. Europe’s. 3. 4. It’s moving on the political front.” Five years after the global financial crisis and with the euro zone in its second recession since 2009.23 crore has been sanctioned for preparation of Master Plans.Prabhu added. Thin-film manufacturers accounted for nearly 40 per cent of the bankruptcies. A capacity addition of 30. Merkel’s persistence appeared to pay off after she met her Brazilian and Argentina counterparts and warned them not to revert to the kind of protectionism of the 1930s that deepened the Great Depression. such as Brazil.” Mercom Capital Group managing partner Raj Prabhu said. he said: “I think we have to be careful with that word. because the demand side of global solar installations has continued to grow. About 35 solar companies filed for insolvency or bankruptcy protection over the course of 2012. The thin-film companies saw the largest amount of VC funding in 2012. foreign-made imports. 6. Both sides have now agreed to exchange offers by the end of the year on how far they are willing to go in opening up sectors ranging from services to agriculture and De Gucht said the European Union will reciprocate Mercosur’s offers. and no investor was involved in multiple deals. VC funding in Q4 2012 came in at $220 million in 27 deals compared to just $72 million in 14 deals in Q3.” the EU’s Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told Reuters during the summit.’’ he said. biomass and small hydro are comparable with cost of power from conventional sources. Standing out in orange among other leaders’ dark suits. Thane and KalyanDombivli (Maharashtra). “We need to have open markets in terms of free trade and not protectionism. The Ministry is supporting research in various renewable energy technologies for improvement in efficiency. an amount of Rs. with almost $1. Asked if there had been a breakthrough.5 billion. global venture capital (VC) investments in the solar sector have touched a five-year low — down by nearly 50 per cent in 2012 to $992 million involving 103 deals compared to $1. exposing a split between the free-trade advocates on the Pacific side and the more closed economies.11. If successful.” Mr. Hugo Chavez. initiatives and regulatory measures already taken along with a high level of commitment in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy. Meanwhile. including Mexico. solar power may take some more time to achieve grid parity.22 crore has been released. Kohima (Nagaland). Negotiations on a trade pact with Mercosur began in the 1990s and were relaunched in 2010. the criteria set by the Ministry for the identification of cities include a city population between 50.15 January . 5. is an outspoken critic of free trade.The ‘solar cities’ project. the European Union needs Latin America’s buoyant economies.000 to 50 lakh (with relaxation given to special category States. 7.000 MW is proposed from renewable energy during the 12th Plan period. including the north-eastern States). In the meantime. flanked by the pro-free trade presidents of Mexico and Chile. At a summit in Santiago. An amount of Rs. of which eight have been approved by the Ministry for implementation. thinfilm companies have received the most VC funding. Argentina and Venezuela. While cost of power generation from wind. “It was a buyer’s market in 2012 — acquirers were targeting distressed companies with the goal of buying technology or equipment on the cheap. Its president. In a further complication. In a region whose economies are in markedly better shape than JTS Institute 22 Current Affairs Notes . 3.

The ward has been instituted with a view to demonstrating due appreciation and recognition of the efforts of individuals and organisations for promotion of communal harmony and national integration in a sustained manner over a sufficiently long period of time. rose to an altitude of 20 km and reached a distance of about 700 km as it splashed down in the waters of the Bay of Bengal near the pre-designated target point. If that is not enough. the missile was tested for its full range of 700 km and the mission met all its objectives. Farmers of the forests Bangalore to Beijing and Baghdad to Bangkok there will be no husband worth his weight in gold when compared to the hornbill. Watching hornbills in the Silent Valley and Periyar Sanctuary of Kerala and in the jungles of Digboi. Meanwhile the reactor has been integrated with the submarine and it was expected to go critical in May/ June 2013. Latin America’s per capita gross domestic product could double by 2030. National Communal Harmony Award 2012 The National Communal Harmony Awards were instituted in 1996 by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH). In addition to a citation. slapped sweeping controls on imports in February 2012 in a bid to prop up the trade surplus and keep industry competitive as labor costs soar. one that Germany as Europe’s top exporter is especially keen to see resolved. each weighing six tonnes will be integrated with Arihant.21 January 2013 Voters’ day 25th January is also the foundation day of the Commission. banking services and pharmaceuticals. the beak of the bird is designed to fly like an 27 January 2013 India successfully testfires underwater missile India on Sunday successfully testfired the underwater ballistic missile.has also raised import barriers on goods ranging from European steel to powdered milk. meaning Europe will have more potential buyers of its cars. 3. an independent body monitoring commerce. ‘LATIN AMERICA’S DECADE’ 1. In its twelfth flight trial. Taking this into cognisance. especially of the newly eligible ones. to make universal adult suffrage a complete reality. luxury goods. Neighboring Brazil .K. which will be powered by an 80 MWt (thermal) reactor that uses enriched uranium as fuel and light water as coolant and moderator. In the first 10 months of 2012. 7. the harbour trials will begin. Kaziranga and Namdapha national parks in the north east. I wondered whether the birds topple forward with their oversized beaks. an autonomous organization set up by the Government of India. while the 17-nation euro zone will probably contract. “Within Mercosur. France and China. With the completion of developmental trials. Russia. those in favor of this agreement have won the battle. 6. However. The utility of such an enormous beak in these birds is intriguing because it is almost half the size of its body. After decades of hyperinflation and financial crises. Once that was done. most Hornbill species have an extra projection known as casque on the upper beak and the precise use of this outcrop has yet not been deciphered by scientists. Latin America’s economic fortunes are now better than Europe’s. I learnt that the big beak is not as heavy as it looks since it contains perforated spaces to make it lightweight. Gathered at a luxury hotel in a part of the Chilean capital dotted with newly built glass skyscrapers. more than double the number in all of 2011. Argentina is the world’s worst offender when it comes to protectionist measures because the policies affect so many industries and sectors all over the world. The National Voters’ Day is also utilized to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process. Saraswat.000 km. Latin America’s economic output is expected to grow almost 4 percent this year. which came into being on this day in 1950. off the Visakhapatnam coast. left-leaning Fernandez. which has to approve the EU’s trade pacts. the 10-metre tall Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) lifted off from a pontoon. the indigenously-built nuclear submarine. 2. Besides Arihant. the award carries a cash prize of Rupees five lakh for the Organisation. vice president of the European Parliament. Hornbills are a group of birds distinguished by very large bulky curved beaks.President DilmaRousseff and Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez as about 60 leaders posed for a summit photo. According to Global Trade Alert. according to the Inter American Development Bank. marking en end to a series of developmental trials.Latin America’s largest economy . three other nuclear-powered submarines were being constructed — one at Visakhapatnam and two at Vadodara. A bird blessed with immense patience and perseverance in the world of bird brain — a definition with which human beings tend to delight in describing other creatures. Ministry of Home Affairs. Brazil opened 47 trade defense cases. will begin soon. K-15 (code-named B05). India is also developing K-4 missile with a range of 3. But differences with Argentina and Brazil represent a new hurdle to a Mercosur deal.” 5. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared it was “Latin America’s decade. He said the impact accuracy of the medium range strategic missile was in single digit. As many as 12 nucleartipped missiles. Europe wants to retain its influence in a region it conquered 500 years ago and where it remains the biggest foreign investor as China steps up its investment in mining and energy. Argentina’s fiery. India is only the fifth country to have such a missile — the other four are the United States. for promoting communal harmony and national integration. According to scientific advisor to the Defence Minister V. The Commission’s objective through NVD is to increase enrolment of voters. 15 January . of integrating K-15 missile with INS Arihant. the process JTS Institute 23 Current Affairs Notes . Perfectly built and suitably streamlined. 8.” said Gianni Pittella. 4. recently the Environment Ministry declined a proposal to set up a RADAR installation on a secluded Island in the Andamans — thus saving the remaining 300 wild Narcondam Hornbills from extinction.

5 % of traffic exchange on the Net happens for free “We’ve become the bad gatekeepers. painting competitions. even rodents and small snakes are also relished. which was announced in the Budget for 201213. explain that hornbills are the only birds in which the first two neck vertebrae (the axis and atlas) are fused together. As hornbills are omnivorous. As per the notification issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on the RGESS. These birds cannot live and procreate without the help of large trees.000 in the stock market. which dole out huge investment for spectrum and network infrastructure. Basically arboreal. Telcos. yellow to orange and all hues in-between as they mature. they feed on fruits. The beaks also obtain grey. an individual with an income of less than Rs 10 lakh would get tax incentives for investing up to Rs 50. “He (Chidambaram) is going to Mumbai next month and will formally launch the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Scheme there. Internet tax. all hornbills are sighted in pairs as they tend to be life-long couples. trekking. By this clever modus operandi. All the while. A perfect example of interaction between two different organisms that is beneficial to both species. and the “sending party”— Facebook.” sources told PTI.N conference. CEO. and is gaining rapid popularity with service providers around the world. seeks to provide tax benefits to first-time investors in stock markets. Chidambaram will launch the much-awaited Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) in Mumbai on February 9. Somebody’s got to pay for that. While most hornbills inhabit thick jungles of the north-east and south-west India. Finance Minister P. is sighted even in Allahabad. assisted by the female from inside. Chandigarh and Delhi due to availability of tree canopy. The event used rock concerts. The RGESS. he curses under his breath at telecom operators. and the Government (which too might look to levy a similar tax) are immediate and obvious. a Hornbill Festival was held in Nagaland to enhance the understanding of hornbills through tourism and a variety of cultural activities. While the tree provides space to make a home in its wooden lair. USA. occasionally crunchy insects. This growing clamour for an Internet tax was obliquely backed by the Government at a U. their feathers turn black and yellow from grey. They are also excellent at dispersing seeds from the canopy to various locations propagating forest growth. Under the scheme. The scheme was notified by the Department of Revenue. Scientists at the San Diego Safari Park. Unfortunately. have been waiting for. the birds provide bird excreta rejected from the nest serving as manure for the tree. most of the 10 hornbill species in the subcontinent are now endangered due to fragmentation of forests. will be able to get a bigger slice of what goes to companies such as Google. Inside the nest.” lamented Sunil Mittal. the female uses its own feathers to line up the nest bottom to cushion the delicate eggs and the chicks as they hatch. The mutual fund houses have already started lining up mutual fund schemes focused on the RGESS. For transactions undertaken by investors through their RGESS designated Demat account. lizards. Indian Grey Hornbill. As the birds grow older. This is exactly the new source of revenue that operators. This probably provides a stable platform for carrying big beaks with ample agility even while airborne. The male. Two state-owned fund houses SBI and IDBI and one private fund house DSP Blackrock have filed draft offer documents for such schemes with the market regulator SEBI.” What Mittal suggested at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last year. It’s glaringly obvious to see where this idea. was an “inter-connect charge”. motor races. JTS Institute 24 Current Affairs Notes . But YouTube is consuming a massive amount of resources on our network. service providers would be able to essentially prioritize certain types of traffic. In December last year. Gated highway If this is put into practice. “When somebody watches YouTube on a mobile and ends up [with a] big bill. depositories would be required to seek necessary transactional details from stock exchanges for enforcing lock-in. an effective Internet tax that would force companies such as Google and Facebook to pay network operators a levy similar to the termination fee that networks pay one another to complete a voice call. which are suffering from shrinking revenue and rising costs. a flawed idea A levy will not work as 99.15 January . The big beak is. A peculiar characteristic of this bird during nesting is that the female stays inside the nest and is literally imprisoned. The advantages for both telecom operators such as Airtel. The fresh growth of feathers on the female hornbill corresponds with maturity of the young chicks at which point the nest entrance is broken open and the mother escapes from its captive tree hollow. hence scientists the world over acknowledge that hornbills as the farmers of the forests. vanishing woodlands and mushrooming concrete jungles. the smallest. BhartiAirtel. the eggs and hatchlings are protected from possible predators and vagaries of nature as well. the male feeds the female and the fast growing chicks even as it itself becomes emaciated with the toil. Now both parents feed the perpetually hungry chicks in the nest until they grow big enough to flutter away to freedom. seals the nest entrance leaving only a small opening for feeding the female. however. dance and drama to spread the message of nature conservation and to discourage tribal hunters who use hornbill beaks as decorative headgear for their rituals. The most exceptional aspect of all hornbills is that they nest in naturally ‘prefabricated’ cavity of large trees that are refurbished with love and care. while others may soon follow suit. held last month. where the “sending party Chidambaram to launch RGESS in Mumbai Aiming to attract first-time stock market investors. YouTube— would have to pay Airtel and BSNL for the privilege of reaching consumers. The entire process takes about three to four months depending upon specific species. there would be a lock—in period of one year on investments made under the scheme. dexterously deployed to pluck ripened fruits and berries from treetop canopies. Finance Ministry on November 23 last year.21 January 2013 airbus with a “nozzle nose” in front.

be used for the development and laying of fibre optic throughout the country. The funds collected from this tax could. Europe. feels that the move to tax Internet firms is strongly anticompetitive. is something that can be done easily and legally. This method.5 percent (OECD statistics) of the exchange of traffic between Internet networks typically happens for free.” Another section of the proposal stated: “Member States should endeavour to take measures to ensure that an adequate return is provided on investments in network infrastructure. a recent study shows that the “sending party pays” principle may not result in the growth of Internet-related development infrastructure – as it hasn’t worked for telecommunication networks. mobile subscribers per 100 people. independent of the U. “I don’t deny that if Governments and telcos collect the money. But for that. “If you are building a piece of infrastructure. It is also what has directly led to the rapid growth of the Internet over the past fifteen years — if a telephony inter-connection model would be imposed on the Internet. The curious part. saying. It is similar to how the less-than-average quality of ‘general-compartments’ on trains has led to the popularity of the more expensive air-conditioned compartments. A customer would also have to think twice before jumping onto Google to make a quick search.N agency. The conference. Eli Durado. has benefited both content providers and telcos. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). and we are building applications on top of that – there’s nothing wrong with your Government and companies building applications to compete with us. Director. This will not work on the Internet though. The author.. Internet users per 100 people and broadband subscribers per 100 people.in accordance with their national laws. This tiered. Lowest common denominator Having an inter-connection pricing model for a better quality service would also unwittingly create strong incentives for ISPs to let their current service get worse than what it is today.S.. For the other three variables – he found a negative correlation. wanted to call Lata in India. then other mechanisms may be used. The principle of allowing the ‘sending party’ to pay is a good. they might do something with it. where one must pay more and more for better service.” he said.” Home-grown GPS ‘Gagan’ likely by 2014 India will launch this year the first of its series of navigation satellites required to provide regional navigation service. He said that now we rely on the GPS for the navigation service. which is known as the ‘peering system’. Data inter-connections in the phone world work this way— where if Rajesh in America. and natural fit for the way phone networks work. Vint Cerf. and does not bode well for the spread of Google’s services in India. for content networks and ISPs would have to use massive resources to bill each other. however. a customer of Airtel. something the Government is planning. is that there are solutions with far less political implications and make more economic sense. The Indian Space Research Organisation too was planning to evolve indigenous navigation service to provide JTS Institute 25 Current Affairs Notes . will only result in the lowest denominator reaching rockbottom—a result that will have devastating consequences for a country where its population can hardly afford the basic package. for the simple reason that 99. Special Services and founder of the TCP/IP protocol. No chest-thumping “High international telephone collection rates have not led to greater build-out and adoption of telecommunications infrastructure in the past two decades. While most of this talk of an Internet tax was mere wishful thinking on the part of telcos. I am robbing the bank and getting this money and doing something good with it. If this cannot be achieved through market mechanisms. Russia and China were either having or evolving their own navigation services independent of the GPS. said S. it would create big problems. But when you oppose network neutrality and inhibit other people from using that pipe – it is anti-competitive and it is wrong. “My results contradict the hypothesis that the ability to charge more for international Internet traffic is all that is needed to build out telecommunications infrastructure in poor countries. for instance. that adopting a sender-pays model for Internet traffic would increase build-out of Internet infrastructure today.Internet. Even in places with limited broadband competition. Taxing Internet advertising. This would have nearly the same effect as taxing Internet companies directly. I see this proposal as a gun to the head. ostensibly. found little correlation between long distance rates and fixed telephone line construction. AT&T would then pay Airtel a little for their efforts in connecting the call. originates from however. saw a proposal from the Indian Government which said: “Member States are free to levy fiscal taxes levied on collection charges for international telecommunication services. It seems unlikely.” Dourado concludes. An additional tariff could be placed on the purchasers of ads being shown to Indian residents. Other disadvantages would surface – unregulated markets for Internet service have proved to work exceedingly well.15 January . a customer of AT&T.” Therefore. rather than collection of external funds which are often misused. I might as well go rob a bank and justify myself. the amount of bandwidth that consumers get for their money has increased at rates far beyond those of any other industry. Rajesh would first pay AT&T. the recent International Telecommunication Union conference in Dubai has shown that the Indian Government is only too willing to jump on board.-controlled GPS (Global Positioning System). minus the political fuss. for instance. lest he rack up his bill too much. it becomes clear that the development of the telecommunication/fibre optic network depends on the quality of domestic institutions. A study from the Mercatus Centre at George Mason University charted international billing rates against four statistics that measure the development of telecommunication networks: fixed telephone lines per 1090 people. Not that easy However.” These two statements point to the fact that the Government is indeed eager to cash in on a time when public finances have been stretched thin.21 January 2013 must pay”. Vice-President of Google. therefore. Ramakrishnan. which sought to bring the Internet under the framework of the U.

probably in the second half of this year. says Ansari Batting for advanced and emerging economies working in tandem to prepare a roadmap for global recovery. “Innovation and creativity will play an important role in reviving growth. alleging violation of RBI Interest Rate Directives and also that funds under RIDF could not be used for providing refinance to banks. has withdrawn its controversial scheme with retrospective effect under pressure from the Reserve Bank of India. especially in emerging economies that often struggle with limited resources and dated technology. Dr. organised by the Arunai Engineering College here.” This implies a loss of Rs. would be launched by the PSLV C-22 rocket. Ansari said the global market place would change with the formation of new trading blocks and enlarged markets and companies must gear themselves to meet the new requirements. 759. Restore trajectory He said the challenge before India was to restore as soon as possible the high growth trajectory. whose funding of corporate warehousing projects on terms far softer than those offered to poor and often suicidal farmers was highlighted by The Hindu last month. The grouping. including on whether any enquiry had been initiated to probe the matter. partner of the programme. has a combined GDP of about $17 trillion and accounts for about 40 percent of world trade. Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to contributing banks “in proportion to their contribution to the warehousing fund. a fourday event. The RBI’s unrelenting stance has forced the NABARD management to change tack.09 crore drawn under RIDF XVII to the contributing banks with interest as applicable. the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). which includes more than 3 billion people. “As the new economic order emerges and the weight of the global economy moves towards Asia. Two loans compared Investigation reveals that under the same scheme.” The RBI reiterated its objections on December 17. along with adequate employment generation. he said space science was playing a crucial role in surveying and assessing environmental damage like depletion of the ozone layer. said. shrinking of the polar ice cap and pollution of coastlines. to refund the amount refinanced to banks in the year 2011-12 with interest at applicable rates under the Rural JTS Institute 26 Current Affairs Notes . was completely reviewing the spacecraft design after the failure of its own mars mission. the management has also decided “NABARD (Warehousing) Refinance Scheme 2012-13 would be withdrawn with immediate effect.15 January . This would be the necessary condition for addressing the primary challenges of poverty alleviation and socio-economic development confronting us. “NABARD would refund the entire amount of Rs. linking the economies of 16 Asia-Pacific countries.21 January 2013 enhanced and more precise navigation. to be christened ‘Gagan. Earlier.” Chairman. Mr. global economy. Finally. Delivering the inaugural address at the Global Partnership Summit2013 here. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an international conference on “Bio energy. After all the required satellites were launched.” the board’s minutes note. such as the G-20. delivering the inaugural address at BEST 2013. Ansari said the emerging economies leveraged each other’s strengths and comparative advantages to create a new economic world order. 125. NABARD. diplomats and CEOs who descended here for the annual summit. 90 percent of world’s GDP and 80 per cent of world trade. Environment and Sustainable Technologies” (BEST 2013). NABARD refinanced Federal Bank at 8% for onward finance to a small entrepreneur Abdul Kareem for a small Rs.Ramakrishnan added. by paying interest rate at which NABARD raises money from open market through non-SLR and Non-Priority Sector bonds/ debentures for an equivalent tenor of RIDF deposits.25% for Commercial Banks). The RCEP is an ASEAN-led trade agreement. 8% pa) or carry the entire amount as per the repayment schedule prescribed by us at the prevailing rate of General Refinance (i.” he NABARD scraps controversial scheme for corporate warehousing The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). the following proposals are made: NABARD (Warehousing) Refinance Scheme 2011-12 will be withdrawn with retrospective effect in view of the RBI advice. whose member countries account for two-thirds of the world’s population. I invite countries from across the globe to partner with India so that we move together towards a better economic future for all our people. India would be in a position to provide navigation service through ‘Gagan’ probably in 2014. PrakashBakshi.e.e. organised by the CII. he said the moon mission was getting delayed since Russia. “In view of the above.” he concluded.” he said. 2012. To provide this service.” Further. 60-lakh loan as well as G-20 and RCEP will redefine contours of Indian. did not respond to a detailed questionnaire emailed by The Hinduon January 14. and the recently launched Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) — a group of 16 countries comprising ASEAN member-states and six countries with which they have free trade agreements — will redefine the contours of the global economy. The audience comprised trade ministers. 2012 — a week after The Hindu’s expose — and advised the NABARD “to either refund the entire amount to banks or treat the deposits used for refinancing as our own commercial borrowings from the depositing banks. Banks which availed [themselves of] refinance during 2011-12 would be advised either to refund the entire amount drawn by them at the contracted rate (i. “Partnerships. Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Sunday said partnerships would redefine the contours of the Indian economy.86 crore of losses will be booked by the NABARD in the present financial year. The minutes of a meeting of the sub-committee of the NABARD Board held last month confirm that the RBI had advised the NABARD on September 27. in a sustainable and inclusive manner. To a question on Chandrayaan-II.’ India needed to launch a number of satellites and the first of this series. Mr. 10% pa for RRBs/ SCBs/PUCBs and 10.

while the share of SCARDBs declined by from 63% in 2002-3 to 15.21 January 2013 for a Rs.72%) with a grace period of just 6 months on a small Rs.68%.20 crore in 2011-12. particularly those in the drylands of Asia and subAfrica for whom ICRISAT and our partners are working. 8 lakh being the lowest rate quoted by CAs empanelled by NABARD — and can only be viewed as a deliberate move to delay release of refinance and make these institutions unviable. “I am confident that the knowledge provided by this study will help accelerate the improvement of this crop through marker-assisted breeding. Chickpea is the second largest cultivated grain food legume in the world. Tanzania and Kenya. EMKE Group. The genome map can also be used to harness genetic diversity by broadening the genetic base of cultivated chickpea gene pool. Data bears out this claim. 573. the chickpea genome sequence will facilitate the development of superior varieties that will generate more income and help extricate vulnerable dryland communities out of poverty and hunger for good.100-crore loan to Emmay Logistics of the over $4. and is crucial to the food security in India. It also reveals clues on how the sequence can be useful to crop improvement for sustainable and resilient food production. the NABARD has been found to be choking the credit flow to farmers throughout the country by systematically withdrawing support to cooperative banks.77 crore to Rs. replaced this with a loan system. Following advice from its freshly appointed consultant the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). 2. Renowned agricultural scientist and RajyaSabha member M. EMKE has so far claimed only Rs. However. the NABARD. the share of commercial banks grew from 16. 9. Kareem. Federal Bank lent to Emmay Logistics at 10. In a breakthrough that promises improved grain yields and quality. 5. without prior warning to the State governments or SCARDBs. It contributes to income generation Foodgrains output may drop 1.269 genes of chickpea after sequencing CDC Frontier. According to Chairman. 7. with a bearing on their price levels. Mr. rice.S.” Dr.30 lakh as refinance. the NABARD delayed disbursement of refinance to most of the SCARDBs up to 9 months by placing additional conditions throughout the year. the largest producer and consumer of chickpea.5-billion Middle East retail giant EMKE Group (the parent company of the famous Lulu hypermarket chain).15%). From its inception. coordinator of ICGSC and Director — Center of Excellence in Genomics. coarse cereals and oilseeds.57% less interest than the aamaadmi. National Cooperative Agriculture & Rural Development Banks’ Federation Ltd. The NABARD also insisted on executing a revised guarantee deed as a pre-condition for refinance. while pulses JTS Institute 27 Current Affairs Notes . In effect.15 January . ICRISAT. did not respond to questions about its funding or whether the warehouse is used to stock material for the Hypermarket or for some other purpose. Yusuf Ali MA. Rajeev Varshney.5% for prompt repayment is only 9. “In the face of the growing global hunger and poverty amid the threat of climate change. Secretary. Though the NABARD’s refinance business grew 208% over a decade from Rs. Sivadasan Nair.73% to 54. led by the International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based here.22% interest (eventual interest burden of 11. Swaminathan said chickpea occupied a pride of place in the struggle against protein hunger.” Mr. In contrast. While active in supporting rich corporates. The Managing Director. K. greater drought and disease resistance and enhanced genetic diversity. 28 January 2013 Genome sequence of 90 chickpea lines decoded 1. 7. The paper provides a map of the structure and functions of the genes that define the chickpea plant. Moreover. with a grace period of 2 years. The crops that are under stress include minor oilseeds. the ideal target group for such welfare schemes. Director General of ICRISAT. a global research team has completed high-quality sequencing of not one but 90 genomes of chickpea. and improved livelihoods of smallholder farmers in African countries such as Ethiopia.” AshishBahuguna. Nair told The Hindu. succeeded in identifying an estimated 28. said the development was of great importance to India. 15.471. 2. the rate of interest charged is inversely proportional to the amount of loan sanctioned culminating in the powerful Emke Group paying 2. foodgrains production is likely to decline this year owing to the deficient southwest monsoon during the 2012-13 kharifseason.” said Dr. in September 2011. “This study will provide not only access to ‘good genes’ to speed up breeding.” says William Dar. Union Ministry of Agriculture. coarse cereals and minor oilseeds. but also to genomic regions that will bring genetic diversity back from landraces or wild species to breeding lines. But what may bring down the overall output is the slightly lower area sown under rabi wheat. 6. Nature Biotechnology featured the reference genome of the CDC Frontier chickpea variety and genome sequence of 90 cultivated and wild genotypes from 10 different countries as an online publication on January 27. jowar and bajra.86% in 2011-12. grown in about 11. was charged 13. Global partnership 4. After a record run in two consecutive years. 8. This adversely impacted the output of pulses.5 million hectares mostly by resource poor farmers in the semi-arid tropics. “ICRISAT and its partners have once again demonstrated the power of productive partnerships by achieving this breakthrough in legume genomics. “NABARD has never at any time in the past. Dar said. 3. ever pointed out any shortcomings in the audits conducted by the CAs empanelled by the States. This will help chickpea farmers become more resilient to emerging challenges brought about by the threat of climate change. a kabuli (large-seeded) chickpea variety. The global research partnership.60-lakh loan. This second audit results in the doubling of expenditure — with Rs. the NABARD was refinancing State Co-operative Agriculture and Rural Development Banks (SCARDBs) by way of contributions to debentures floated by them.65% (effective rate after rebate of 1. the NABARD imposed a second audit on the banks to be conducted by chartered accountants empanelled by it in addition to the statutory audit undertaken by the SCARDBs.418.

7. Kerala says the structure is weak and it has to be replaced with a new one. had submitted its report to the apex court in a sealed cover on April 25. allowing Tamil Nadu to raise the level of the dam to 152 ft (46 m) after strengthening it. 3. Critical finances 7. 3. Andhra Pradesh. 2. Prasad. comes to around Rs. 75 percent for 2011-12 and 50 percent for 2012-13. the country will be lucky if it can reap a harvest of 250 million tonnes this year. Lokur and M. It was constructed between 1887 and 1895 by the British Government to divert water eastwards to the Madras Presidency area (presentday Tamil Nadu).” Mr. “The loss in kharif output will be lower than the initial estimate of nearly 10 per cent. 8. Responding to it.44 million tonnes may be better by about one per cent in the final estimates that will be released shortly. said Sushil Kumar Modi. but higher by 4. 6. 4. They have lost heavily on account of gradual cut in the Central Sales Tax (CST).15 January . The good news is that the estimate of the highest ever foodgrains production of last year at 257. 8. He said.Modi said. There has been tension between the two states over the safety of the dam. “This year. South India. The dam is located in Kerala on the river Periyar.44 million tonnes last year.” Mr. “States are not responsible for the delay in introduction of GST. Mullaperiyar dam was declared an ‘endangered’ scheduled dam by the Kerala Government under the disputed Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation (Amendment) Act. Earlier.M. For the year 2010. According to him. Concept: The Mullaperiyar Dam is a masonry gravity dam on the Periyar River in the Kerala state of India. Although the Periyarriver has a total catchment area of 5398 km2 with 114 km2 in Tamil Nadu. Supreme court judgment came in 27 February 2006. and Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar.L. 7. Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. the area under rabi wheat this season is 0. The final hearing on the legal battle between Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the controversial Mullaperiyar dam will be held from April 9 in the Supreme Court. 5. The compensation formula has been prepared on the basis of the August 22. it may be close to that. H. 2010. 2. The Bench is hearing a suit filed by Tamil Nadu questioning the law enacted by Kerala in 2006 to restrict the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam at 136 ft though the Supreme Court had permitted Tamil Nadu to raise the water level up to 142 ft. 6. level has to be raised from 132 ft to 136 ft. 6. 2011.6 m (176 ft) from the foundation. 2006. 2008. while rabi sowing is down in Maharashtra and parts of Andhra Pradesh. Some States are of the view that they should revert to the earlier 4 per cent CST to make up for the huge losses in case there is a delay in introduction of GST beyond April 1. A five-judge Constitution Bench of justices R. including its safety. Chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers.” Agriculture Secretary AshishBahuguna told journalists here on Monday. 2014. Rice output will be hit in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh because of water deficiency. GST was scheduled to be launched on April 1. The last rabi wheat output was an all-time record of 93. Kharif production was lower by 12. Madan B. is understood to have examined all aspects of the 119-year-old dam.890 ft) above mean sea level. set up in February 2010 to look into all aspects of the dam. The provision for CST compensation could be reflected in the forthcoming budget. While Tamil Nadu contends that the dam is safe and its water JTS Institute 28 Current Affairs Notes . “According to initial estimates. 3.21 January 2013 remain an area of concern. As tension rose between the two states in December 2011. the total compensation which the States will receive.34.S.” he said.K. Eqbal directed both the states to exchange all documents and findings of the expert committee by March 15 and posted the matter for final day-to-day hearing from April 9. the picture has become clearer now and it is expected that against an output of 257. Idukki District of Kerala. but is controlled and operated under a period lease by neighboring Tamil Nadu state. Lodha. The Periyar National Park in Thekkady is located around the dam’s reservoir. Tamil Nadu. 5. The five-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India A. 5.1000 crore due to gradual cut in CST include Gujarat. With rabi sowing complete. 4. It is located 881 m (2. States had demanded a compensation of Mullaperiyar dam row: SC final hearing from April 9 1.000 crore. official sources said. The Empowered Committee has asked the Centre to prepare a payment schedule.4 hectares lower than last year. Odisha and Haryana. on the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats in Thekkady.200 ft).6 million tonnes this year. adding that the fine weather available for wheat in January-March of 2012 was the “best ever” in the last 22 years. a twomember technical team of apex court-appointed Empowered Committee visited the site and concluded that recent tremors in that region did not have any impact on the dam and that it was safe. It has a height of 53. which had finalised the report.000-odd page report so as to enable it to examine it. The States that have suffered the most due to rain deficit are Karnataka. C. Anand.1 lakh hectares if the average of the last five years is taken into account.Modi said. Consensus over key issues of GST 1. the apex court had directed the registry to digitise the 50. West Bengal. States have agreed to the compensation formula suggested by the Centre for their CST (Central Sales Tax) revenue loss for implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).Y. Tamil Nadu.7 m (1. “States will be given 100 per cent compensation of their claims for 2010-11. the catchment area of the Mullaperiyar dam itself lies entirely in Kerala. States that have lost more than Rs. Rabi crops will be harvested in MarchApril. here on Monday. guideline. The control and safety of the dam and the validity and fairness of the lease agreement have been points of dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu states. States having manufacturing base and mineral export are the worst sufferers. The Parliamentary Standing Committee has not given its views on the 115th Constitutional Amendment Bill.” Payment schedule 4.9 million tonnes. The committee. and a length of 365. Dattu.

and will also offer joined-up services where a single application submitted by a customer. approvals and registrations. The impact on temperatures may explain a climate puzzle of sorts: JTS Institute 29 Current Affairs Notes . 4. Infosys has been selected as the concessionaire/ project implementation partner. 8. 7.including jet streams . eBiz will create a 24x7 facility for information and services. Mr. Forget 3D as 4K TVs are now the latest must-have 1. 3. US scientists found. to see whether it could account for largescale regional warming. “The project aims to create a business and investor-friendly ecosystem in India by making all business and investment-related regulatory services across Central. LiveScience reported. researchers said. heating and cooling units. only Harrods in central London currently sells the television. 6.” Hu said. According to experts. 2. the Commerce and Industry Ministry.15 January . the changes to atmospheric circulation caused by the waste heat cool areas of Europe by as much as 1 degree Celsius. Sony has brought out a model that is more than 7ft wide and can play the new technology. and comes with five pairs of glasses for viewing the pin-sharp images.01 degrees Celsius. Even without 3D. 6. The study found that temperatures in some remote areas increase by as much as 1 degree Celsius. and is responsible for the design. 4. it led to winter and autumn temperature changes of up to 1 degree Celsius in mid. according to a new study. for those wishing to view the latest picture in their own living room.” said study researcher Aixue Hu. of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). 10. eBiz portal launched 1. When man-made energy was included in the model.” said meteorologist and study author Ming Cai of Florida State University. 5. development. thereby obviating the need for an investor or a business to visit multiple offices or a plethora of websites. “The burning of fossil fuel not only emits greenhouse gases. 5. point and then apportioned. the Daily Mail reported. This is because the total human-produced waste heat is only about 0.” he said.6.powerful narrow currents of wind that blow from west to east and north to south in the upper atmosphere. We have asked the Centre to evolve a mechanism to compensate States for subsequent five years as was done in the case of value added tax. The giant screen can convert ordinary television into 3D. the television’s picture is so technologically advanced that few broadcasters can yet take advantage of its full potential. 7. Heat generated by everyday activities in major cities affects temperatures across thousands of kilometres. implementation and maintenance of the eBiz solution. 8. The portal was launched by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma at the CII Partnership Summit here. However. The waste heat is also changing atmospheric circulation.21 January 2013 Rs. cars. 3. but the Centre could pay only Rs. The ultra-high quality definition is four times as sharp as standard quality high definition and is close to that viewed only in an Imax cinema. 5. The online single-window concept was visualised to enable businesses and investors to save time and costs and improve the business environment. and other sources in major Northern Hemisphere urban areas causes winter warming across large areas of northern North America and northern Asia. or agency) agencies along with generation of challans and MIS (management information systems) reports. 4. and other energy-consuming activities.000 crore-. 2. Modi said all the States were in favour of introducing GST. produced directly by transportation. The portal was developed by Infosys in a public-private partnership (PPP) mode. Mr. business. the researchers looked at “urban heat”. they must have plenty of room available for the 84inch screen and plenty of spare cash. “The energy consumption in highly populated areas can cause changes in wind patterns. clearances. The ‘waste heat’ generated from buildings. With the endless upgrades to high definition and screens that could show 3D images it seems it could all have be in vain as the technology is already out of date through the arrival of the 4K picture. The team studied the energy effect using the NCAR model and ran it with and without the input of human energy consumption. Costing 25. An in-built payment gateway will also add value by allowing all payments to be collected at one City heat affecting temperatures thousands of kilometres away 1. As part of the UPA Government’s National eGovernance Plan. 3.000 crore owing to the critical financial position. but also directly affects temperatures because of heat that escapes from sources like buildings and cars.19. The Empowered Committee would discuss the GST design on Tuesday. In the new study.” 9. “Although much of this waste heat is concentrated in large cities. on Monday.000 pounds. significantly warming some areas and cooling others.3 per cent of the heat transported across higher latitudes by atmospheric and oceanic circulations. will be routed automatically across multiple governmental agencies in a logical manner. corporation. it can change atmospheric patterns in a way that raises or lowers temperatures across considerable distances. for a number of permissions. 11. “States are afraid of incurring heavy losses in the initial years of the GST regime.Modi said States would continue to lose even after rolling out of GST. announced the launch of an eBiz portal aimed at providing Government-to-Business (G2B) services for India’s investor and business communities.and high-latitude parts of North America and Eurasia. 12. the ultra-high definition images are 16 times sharper than those on a normal television. and that causes climate change far away from the heating source. split and routed to the respective heads of account of Central / State / parastatal (a quasi-governmental organisation. 9. At the same time. 2. why some areas are experiencing warmer winters than predicted by climate models. The net effect on global mean temperatures is nearly negligible an average increase worldwide of just 0. State and local governments available on a single portal.

Nitrogen oxides. The expert believes the attack could have Russian roots. while the air quality scale index itself has a maximum reading of 500.Win32. “A country with a brown sky and hazardous air is obviously not beautiful. but it is more common in cities with sunny. India ranks fifth with 14 infections. 2013 (Compiled from 11 Newspapers & 7 Magazines) 15 January 2013 As pollution concerns rise. dry climates and a large number of motor vehicles. The Chinese capital has been shrouded under a cloud of smog since Saturday. the smog in the capital had lifted a little. 2. India and many other countries across the world have fallen victim to an unprecedented cyber espionage attack — uncovered.000 was given to the poor and needy as JTS Institute 1 Current Affairs Notes . 3. 7.000 to 1. has been stealing data both from computer workstations. and 128th when it comes to air pollution. India. The Union Ministry has also expanded the list of diseases for treatment of which financial help is given. China ranks 116th overall. 6. The Rocra malware. the cyber spying campaign was launched in 2007 and is still active.Sputnik. and Belgium (15). Nokia and phones running on Windows mobile. Concept: Photochemical smog Photochemical smog was first described in the 1950s. fares even worse.75. a maximum assistance of Rs. called Backdoor. Under the HMDG scheme. aerospace and military institutions and private companies.” Kaspersky cautioned. Kaspersky Lab detected the attack in November 2012 thanks to its security network. While Russia tops the list of countries with 38 detected infections. however. 50. after Kazakhstan (21). in dozens of countries for the past five years. Aldehydes 2. removable disk drives and smartphones. Unidentified criminals have been siphoning off secret data from hundreds of computer systems used by government agencies. The United States is also on the list with six attacks. but not yet neutralised by Russia’s leading internet security company. 3. China pledges emission curbs Rising public concerns over hazardous pollution triggered by intense smog that blanketed Chinese cities for much of the past week has prompted the government to pledge fresh emission curbs and to suspend work in 58 factories.5 particles – airborne particulate matter with a diameter of 2. while the bulk of servers the spy network uses are in Germany and Russia. The readings for PM 2. By Tuesday morning. It is the chemical reaction of sunlight. 4. warm.000. as also an increase in the financial limit for treatment. the report warned. it can affect sparsely populated areas as well. when pollution readings went off the charts. “It is quite possible there are other targeted sectors which haven’t been discovered yet.” said VitalyKamlyuk of the Kaspersky Lab. The majority of servers were used as proxies. a reading above 100 is unhealthy for sensitive groups. According to the Environmental Performance Index at Yale University. India among key ‘Red October’ victims 1. nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere. Volatile organic compounds All of these chemicals are usually highly reactive and oxidizing. Health Ministry’s healing touch to non-BPL poor 1. Because it travels with the wind. Photochemical smog is therefore considered to be a problem of modern industrialization. The official Xinhua news agency went as far as saying “in jeopardy are the efforts of the Communist Party of China and government authorities to advance ecological progress and their new promise to build a ‘beautiful China’. such as nitrogen dioxide 3. with air readings falling to less than 200. There is something to cheer about for poor people who do not fall under the Below the Poverty Line (BPL) category as the eligibility criterion of annual income to avail themselves of the Health Minister’s Discretionary Grant (HMDG) has been raised from Rs.st January . According to the World Health Organisation. Azerbaijan (15). Tropospheric ozone 5. nuclear. 8. 2. It is present in all modern cities. This noxious mixture of air pollutants can include the following: 1. including iPhones. ranking 125th overall and 132nd on air quality. said the Kaspersky Lab in a report released in Moscow.21 January 2013 Issue-3/2013 (15th January to 2115 January) CURRENT AFFAIRS CLASS NOTES: 15 Jan -21 Jan.00.5 microns or less which can cause health problems when inhaled – soared to a record 993 micrograms per cubic meter on Saturday night. 5. which leaves airborne particles and ground-level ozone. Termed ‘Red October’ or Rocra for short. Peroxyacyl nitrates 4. What makes this campaign different is that it uses the most sophisticated and elaborate modular structure yet with unprecedented number of spy codes. in order to hide the command server at the core of the operation. It is capable of regaining control of computers cured of the malware and has even stolen documents encrypted with classified software ‘Acid Cryptofiler’ used by NATO and the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization since 2011.” the commentary said.

hepatitis and tumour. secured. 50. 5. where financial assistance is provided for treating life-threatening diseases and medical aid is received in government hospitals. Though an agreement was reached between the two countries in 2011. 75. and an applicant can apply for a minimum of five bonds. The bonds will be listed on the BSE and NSE within 12 working days of the issue closing date.000. the entitlement will now be Rs. Ansari said that greater awareness needed to be generated about mutually beneficial business opportunities.21 January 2013 part of the expenditure incurred on hospitalisation for major surgical interventions and treatment of major diseases including heart ailments. The financial assistance is released in the form of a “one-time grant”. 6.” 4. Concept: How do firms determine share price for an IPO? In stock markets.114 crore through private placement of bonds. These ratings are considered to have the highest degree of safety with regard to timely servicing of financial obligation and carry lowest credit risk. pointed out that viability and sustainability of flights need to be considered.1. AIDS. “India is also prepared to continue extending lines of credit on concessional terms. OVL and petro Vietnam have a joint venture for oil exploration in Phu Kahn basin oversubscription of up to Rs. We buy rolling stocks. made a strong pitch for development of ties in the fields of information technology.10. 2. especially for infrastructure development. 7. As per the last Railways budget. CARE AAA by Care and AAA by ICRA. kidney transplant. nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Rs. Doan said: “We believe… India will continue to share with Vietnam your valuable experience in… information technology. 50. As per the existing guidelines.000). Managing Director. The ongoing visit of Vice-President. Tax-free bonds from IRFC The company has an option to retain oversubscription up to Rs. Hamid Ansari to Vietnam may be largely ceremonial in nature but the two sides are also using the opportunity to push trade and business ties and indeed the larger bilateral relationship. While a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of micro.18 per cent and 7. Speaking at the closing ceremony commemorating 40 years of friendship and 5 years of strategic partnership between the two countries.50. 6. the company had already raised Rs. IRFC has been authorised to issue bonds up to Rs. IRFC was to finance rolling stocks worth Rs. The bonds have a tenure of 10 years and 15 years and have an interest rate of 7. pharmaceuticals and space research. As per Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) notification. numbers speak louder than words. direct air services have not commenced yet. There are well-known price discovery mechanisms in case of an IPO. pharmaceutical industry… and oil extraction. Answering a question on this. Ranjit Rae.000 and up to Rs. approved by Health and Family Welfare Minister GhulamNabi Azad last week.34 per cent per annum respectively. Our income is the lease rentals from these assets and Indian Railways pays us twice a year and there has never been a default. gastroenterology.886cr Indian Railway Finance Corporation Ltd (IRFC) is launching a tax-free bond issue to raise Rs.000 if it is above Rs. But numbers don’t fall from the sky.000. India’s ambassador to Vietnam. Our friend Johnny thinks that one should clearly understand Expanding trade ties with Vietnam 1. Meanwhile. 50. The new areas covered under the scheme are urology.1. BPL families are covered under the Rashtriya ArogyaNidhi (RAN). However. 50.” said Rajiv Datt. Whether it is quarterly results of companies or price discovery mechanisms in an initial public offering (IPO). hip and knee replacement. biotechnology. satellite and space technologies. redeemable. 1. The public issue of tax-free. assistance is granted up to Rs. coaches and wagons and lease them out to the Indian Railways for 30 years. the Vietnam’s Vice-President NguyenThiDoan.000 crore in financial year 2012-13. biotechnology.00.50.886 crore.000 if the estimated cost of treatment is Rs. proposed to be issued. The face value of each bond is Rs. UTILISATION He said the funds raised through this issue would be utilised towards financing the acquisition of rolling stock which would be leased to the Ministry of Railways in line with the present business initiatives. nephrology. have been rated AAA/stable by Crisil. numbers are our trusted signposts. She invited Indian companies to invest in Vietnam’s infrastructure development projects such as construction of ports. up to Rs. Speaking at the event. Out of this. cancer. liver transplant and surgery for portal hypertension. including locomotives. 4. it is understood that direct air services are likely to take off later this year once the legal formalities regarding renewing the air services agreement are finalised.000 if the cost is above Rs.8.00. RATING The bonds. IRFC. nonconvertible bonds in the nature of debentures will open on January 21 and close on January 29.00. Mr. 5.8. This trench issue by the company is of bonds aggregating Rs. cases of complicated diabetes which require one-time treatment such as amputation or renal transplant.000 if the cost of treatment is Rs.8.886 crore to augment resources for buying rolling stock for the Indian railways. 3.000. 40.” he said. “We are a zero NPA (nonperforming assets) company and have been growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21 per cent.000. Ms. power generation and steel production.000 and up to 1. there is no upper limit.15.15 January .00. 1. As per the new guidelines.1.000 (above Rs 1.000 (above Rs. 20. The MoU signed on Tuesday will focus on developing policy and institutional frame work through exchange of experts for the development of MSMEs and conducting industrial surveys and feasibility studies to identify thrust areas and opportunities for development of MSMEs in Vietnam.000 crore with an option to retain JTS Institute 2 Current Affairs Notes . small and medium enterprises (MSME) was signed between the two countries on Tuesday.000) and Rs 1. nanotechnology. 1.000 crore during 2013 financial year.

The issuers arrive at the fixed price after taking into consideration the reasonable value of their company but if there is no demand in the market. The awards were received by Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh. Tripura. one lakh besides a trophy and citation. the issuers indicate either a floor price or a price band within which the investors can place their bids. Farmers for Outstanding Performance in 2011-12 Shri Pawar Reiterates Resolve to Achieve 4% Farm Growth in 12th Plan JTS Institute 3 Current Affairs Notes . The Minister of Finance. Fixed-price issues also face a similar problem. is known as the book-building method. in consultation with the issuer company. is known as the fixed-price method and the second. In case of ambiguity or a conflict of interpretation. evaluates the bids and decides the final price.will be presented by the President tomorrow to Chief Ministers or Agriculture Ministers of these States. discovery of price in an IPO is both a science and an art. States for total foodgrains category are further divided into three categories based on total foodgrain production capacity of the State.for 2011-12 . sources and instruments that require approval under the extant FDI Policy on a regular basis. This option is available only to retail investors and most of them submit their bid at the cut-off price. It helps in matching the price of shares with the demand. wheat. ShriPranab Mukherjee today presented Krishi Karman Awards to eight States for their achievements in foodgrains production in 2011-12. The awards are given to best performing States in two broad sets. For executing the whole process. You have to simply indicate in your bid that you are ready to accept the offer of shares at whatever cut-off price the company fixes in the book-building process. The book runner. Haryana and Manipur and Agriculture Ministers/ Agriculture Secretaries of other States. To overcome these kinds of problems. Assam. FIPB is mandated to play an important role in the administration and implementation of the Government’s FDI policy. So let’s try to understand how the book-building price discovery method is different from the fixed-price method. A selection committee headed by Secretary (Agriculture and Cooperation) assessed the performance of States against criteria that took into account production outcomes. However. and providing on-line clarification. This inter-ministerial body examines and discusses proposals for foreign investments in the country for sectors with caps. 1 crore for each of the four individual crops. Punjab. The issuer companies have two options for fixing the price. Department of Economic Affairs. you will not receive any allotment. Individual farmers get Rs. in which investors determine the price. Proposals involving foreign investment of more than 1200 crore require the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). The awards announced now . In the opposite scenario. They can either fix the price themselves or they can let the investors determine it. It is important to keep in mind that even in the fixed-price method. The first method. It does not take into account investor demand into price discovery. the FIPB has always stepped in with an investor-friendly approach. Ten States were given commendation awards. Bihar received the award for contribution to production and productivity of rice. the price fixed by the issuer may not reflect the true market value and the shares may get sold at a low price. The cash award is Rs. issuers use the book-building method. For the first time one female and one male farmer from the eight award winning States were also given awards for their outstanding performance. How does the book-building method work? In the book-building method. President. your piece of gold will not be able to fetch that price. It has a strong record of actively encouraging the flow of FDI into the country through speedy and transparent processing of applications. Jharkhand for pulses and Uttar Pradesh for coarse cereals. Rajasthan. considers the recommendations of the FIPB on proposals for foreign investment up to 1200 crore. Manipur and Nagaland received the awards for special contribution to total foodgrains production. Award winning States get a trophy. the issuers appoint the lead merchant banker as a book runner. 2 crores for total foodgrain production and Rs. Arunachal Pradesh. Uttarakhand.21 January 2013 these mechanisms before investing in IPOs. if the demand in the market is high. in which the company itself fixes the price. The cut-off price is the price at which the demand for the shares meets the price. Haryana for wheat. MoF in the chair. If you want to sell a piece of gold at its intrinsic value but there is no demand in the market. West Bengal. Background Krishi Karman Awards were instituted in 2010-11 for recognizing the meritorious efforts of States in foodgrain production. pulses and coarse cereals. FIPB comprises of Secretaries drawn from different ministries with Secretary. The bids received from investors are recorded in a book in electronic form. you can avoid this situation by submitting your bid without indicating any price. one for the total foodgrain production and the other for individual foodgrain crops of rice.15 January . which is also known as the cut-off price. Both retail and institutional investors can take part in the bid. Commendation award winners get a cash prize of Rs. Gujarat. But the fixed-price method has one drawback. 25 lakh. How is the price discovered during IPOs? Well. FIPB The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) is a government body that offers a single window clearance for proposals on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India that are not allowed access through the automatic route. the prices are not determined randomly and the company has to disclose all the quantitative and qualitative factors that justify the fixed price. the shares will fail to generate subscription. a citation and cash award. If all investors start submitting their bid at the cut-off price. Tamil Nadu. Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh received commendation awards. the price discovery would become a discovery without surprise. The book runner appoints syndicate members who collect bids from investors. Madhya Pradesh. implementation of crop production programs and innovative President Presents Krishi Karman Awards to States. In case your bid is below the cut-off price.

amongst the BRICS countries. Sarvott am Jeevan Raksha Padak. strengthening access to affordable medicines and delivery of quality care.60. determination of recent infections and HIV-TB co-infections. 9. procurement systems and logistics and management of HIV-associated tuberculosis in the primary health care system. The Ministers committed to strengthen cooperation to combat malaria through enhanced diagnostics. including injury surveillance. The Ministers renewed their commitment for effective control of both communicable and noncommunicable diseases through cooperation in sharing of existing resource information. research and development and committed to facilitate common access to the technologies developed or under development in the BRICS countries. The lump sum monetary allowance is given at the rate of 1. 10. 40. The Ministers renewed their commitment to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and stressed the importance of research and study by WHO and other stakeholders into the social and economic determinants of tobacco use and its control. They resolved to collaborate and cooperate to promote access to comprehensive and cost-effective prevention. 11.000 to the Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak. equitable and sustainable solutions for common health challenges. 7.000. risk mitigation methods. They reiterated their commitment to ensure that bilateral and regional trade agreements do not undermine TRIPS flexibilities so as to assure availability of affordable generic ARV drugs to developing countries. India. 5. and Jeevan Raksha Padak. health of the BRICS population. and in rapid scale up of affordable treatment. diagnostics and promotion of consortia of tuberculosis researchers to collaborate on clinical trials of drugs and vaccines. The Ministers recognized that multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is a major public health problem for the BRICS countries due to its high prevalence and incidence mostly on the marginalized and vulnerable sections of society. is the key strategy for controlling both communicable and non-communicable diseases. namely. exchange of best practices and experiences amongst BRICS countries. monitoring health impact assessments of all public policies at national and international levels. life course approaches. 3. Rs.21 January 2013 approaches adopted for effective service delivery. The Ministers recognized the significant role of BRICS countries in the global process of prevention and control of NCDs including the Moscow Declaration of April 2011. They committed to focus on cooperation in combating HIV/AIDS through approaches such as innovative ways to reach out with prevention services.The Ministers recognized the need for more research into the social and economic determinants leading to occurrence of non-communicable diseases. The Ministers drew attention to the current global threat of noncommunicable diseases and noted that in 2008. that surveillance is also the BRICS Delhi Communique on Health Issues 1. The Ministers also recognized the need to combat mental disorders through a multi-pronged approach including the World Health Assembly Resolution 65. The Ministers recalled that BRICS is a platform for dialogue and cooperation amongst countries representing 43% of the world’s population. Security and Prosperity” to address emerging health threats. certificate signed by the Home Minister and demand draft for lump sum monetary allowance) is presented to the awardee in due course by the respective State Government to which the awardee belongs.15 January .11 of May 2011 and the Political Declaration of the UN General Assembly of September 2011. the WHA Resolution 64. including access to medicines and diagnostics and other technologies. diagnosis and management. The meeting recalled the Delhi Declaration of 29 March 2012 during the BRICS leaders summit and the Joint Communiqué of the BRICS Health Ministers at Geneva of 22 May 2012 including specific areas of work under the BRICS Health Platform for each Member State. efficacious drugs and diagnostics. 8. met in New Delhi on 11 January 2013 at the Second BRICS Health Ministers’ Meeting. They resolved to collaborate and cooperate for development of capacity and infrastructure to reduce the prevalence and incidence of tuberculosis through innovation for new drugs/vaccines. and Rs. Recognizing that an effective health surveillance. The Ministers reiterated their commitment to the Beijing Declaration of July 2011 for strengthened collaboration in the area of access to public health and services in BRICS States including implementation of affordable. exchange of information on newer treatment regimens. The Ministers agreed to share experience and expertise in the areas of surveillance. development of risk assessment tools. The decoration of the award (medal. The award is given in three categories. The Ministers also recognized the need to cooperate for adopting and improving systems for notification of tuberculosis patients. People’s Republic of China and Republic of South Africa. represented by the Ministers of Health of the Federative Republic of Brazil. focussed on the theme “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability. referral systems. community empowerment. 6. availability of anti-tuberculosis drugs at facilities by improving supplier performance.000. The BRICS countries. the Russian Federation. 2. The award can also be conferred posthumously. Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak. The BRICS Health Ministers resolved to continue cooperation in the sphere of health through the Technical Working Group. treatment and care for the integrated management of noncommunicable diseases. Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padakand Jeevan Raksha Padak awardee respectively. consideration of a Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan through sharing of innovations in the field of Mental Health Promotion. 4. The Ministers committed to strengthen intraBRICS cooperation for promoting JTS Institute 4 Current Affairs Notes . Jeevan Raksha Padak Jeevan Raksha Padak series of awards are given to a person for meritorious act of humane nature in saving the life of a person.4. Persons of either sex in all walks of life are eligible for these awards. existing and new strategies to prevent the spread of HIV.00. around 80% of all NCD deaths occurred in low and middle income countries. The Ministers called for renewed efforts to face the continued challenge posed by HIV.

The Chief Minister sought the cooperation of FPS dealers for the success of the reforms being brought about in the PDS to check pilferages. State Level GST(SGST) b. In case of State GST. in particular those of developing countries. The Ministers confirmed their support for the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on universal health coverage and committed to work nationally. Chidambaram sought to induce consensus among States on issues that still stand in the way of progress towards implementation of the much delayed Goods and Services Tax (GST). now in the new Proposal of GST. Reaching consensus on GST Even as Finance Minister P. Thousands of FPS dealers from all over the State. all in anticipation of the much awaited ‘boons’. Currently Indian economy has various taxes on Goods and services such as VAT. VAT/ Sales Tax 16 January 2013 ‘ManaBiyyam’ (Andhra Pradesh) 1. The Ministers urged focus on the unique strength of BRICS countries such as capacity for R & D and manufacturing of affordable health products. they underlined the important role of generic medicines in the realization of the right to health. neo-natal mortality and under-5 mortality. In this context. Special Additional Duty g. we will be having only two taxes on all goods and Services as follows: a. 17. The basic principal governing behind GST is to have single Taxation System for Goods and Services across the country. Surcharge h. Kiran Kumar Reddy to give good quality raw rice to white cardholders at Rs. and welcomed the proposal to establish a financing dialogue based on priorities collectively set by WHO Member States in a structured and transparent process. 18. Service Tax e. The Ministers acknowledged the need of use of ICT in Health services to promote cost-effective treatment in the remote areas. Entertainment Tax. should be driven by WHO Member States and should be based on public health needs. The Ministers emphasized the importance of child survival through progressive reduction in the maternal mortality. The Ministers agreed to cooperate in all international fora regarding matters relating to TRIPS flexibilities with a public health perspective. the two committees which were set up — one to sort out the CST compensation issue and the other to look into the GST design network — are expected to submit their reports to the Centre on January 21. with the aim of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. 15. The Excise Duty levied under Medicinal and toiletries preparation Act d. the Ministers committed to strengthen cooperation in the mechanisms for planning. In case of Central GST. following Taxes will be subsumed with CGST which are at presently levied separately on goods and services by Central government: a. including priority setting. 12. The Ministers urged that the entire process.1 a kg ended with the government getting brickbats from fair price shop (FPS) dealers for its failure to announce promised sops. Service Tax. Additional Custom Duty (CVD) f. The Ministers acknowledged the value and importance of traditional medicine and need of experience and knowledge-sharing for securing public health needs. The Ministers discussed the recommendations of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Health on coordination and financing of R & D for medical products and welcomed the proposal to establish a Global Health R&D observatory as well as the move on holding regional consultations to set up R&D demonstration projects. they reiterated their demand for a higher compensation on account of reduction in the Central Sales Tax (CST) from four to two per cent. The Ministers reiterated their support to the continued discussions on the process of reform of WHO. The Ministers recalled the Beijing Declaration of the 1st BRICS Health Ministers’ Meeting in 2011. 20. 2. They urged for cooperation amongst the BRICS countries through visits of experts. Alongside. 13. Excise. mobilised in special buses. Education Cess and Secondary and Higher Secondary education Cess 3. monitoring and evaluating disease prevention and control activities and capacitybuilding for effective health surveillance systems. with a view to supporting efforts in developing countries to promote health for all and resolve to establish the BRICS network of technological cooperation. following taxes will be subsumed with SGST. in particular South-South cooperation. emphasizing the importance and need of technology transfer as a means to empower developing countries. The Ministers renewed their commitment to strengthening international cooperation in health. regionally and globally to ensure that universal health coverage is achieved. which are priestly levied on goods and services by State Governments: a. They confirmed their commitment to a renewed effort in this area and to enhance collaboration through exchange of best practices. infant mortality. They encouraged to strengthen cooperation amongst the BRICS countries to share their experiences in e-Health including tele-medicine. with the cost of R & D delinked from the final products. to better respond to global challenges in programmatic.21 January 2013 cornerstone around which the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) is based and further recognizing that the countries may be using different models for surveillance based on different realities and best practices. 14. Highlights of New Proposed Goods & Service Tax (GST) 1. organizational and operational terms.15 January . The Ministers called for strengthened cooperation in application of biotechnology for health benefits for the population of BRICS countries. Central Level GST (CGST) 2. and capability to conduct clinical trials. Central Excise Duty b. in all spheres of health. for the launch of JTS Institute 5 Current Affairs Notes . organization of symposia to encourage the use of traditional medicine. The formal launch of ‘ManaBiyyam’ scheme by Chief Minister N. turned up at Lalitha Kala Thoranam. 16. ‘ManaBiyyam’ here on Wednesday. Luxury Tax Etc. Additional Excise Duty c. including the future financing of WHO. 19.

677 monuments and has copied more than 74. The J. 6. Of the scant funds that the ASI receives in turn. but without the necessary emphasis on infrastructure. The gamut of issues surrounding teacher education needs a fresh look. salvage operations at Nagarjunakonda. and conservation efforts in Hampi. The poor performance of teacher-trainees in recruitment examinations is a clear indicator of the failed assembly-line system of training that exists today. history and heritage conservation in the country through these significant contributions. 8. Cross utilization of ITC between the Central GST and State GST would not be allowed. Standard rate for goods in General d. Karnataka. The overall system of teacher training in the country has been found wanting for decades and many recommendations have been made by expert panels for improvements. The Small Taxpayer: The small taxpayers whose gross annual turnover is less than 1. Andhra Pradesh. Making it compulsory to have a dedicated school attached to a pre-service teacher education institution.15 January . could be one way to ensure that graduates acquire the necessary competence and skills. GST Rate Structure: a. trainees with a B. Ed degree could not pass the examination designed to test their fitness for appointment as teachers in Central government schools. Ed programmes. as well as diplomas in education is to be found in the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education. Such a system would naturally be far superior to distance learning courses. Luxury Tax d. A key point the Framework makes is that state provisioning of elementary education is marked by an attitude of resignation towards the existing system of pre-service and inservice training. Center would levy IGST levy ( CGST + SGST) b. the Ministry of Culture. b. The basic principal for subsuming of taxes in GST is provided as follows: a. received only a fraction of what it needed. are some of its remarkable projects. IGST. the government has sanctioned only one-third of the requested Rs. Exports are fully exempted with Zero rates. suggests. 2. or a two-year programme after acquiring a Bachelor’s degree. The list is long and impressive: discoveries of existence of Harappan culture in places such as Kalibangan in Rajasthan and Dholavira in Gujarat. 9. Despite all this. It has shaped the discipline of archaeology. This poor funding pattern is unlikely to improve. The taxes. which leaves little inspiration for the practitioners to improve. The ITC will be allowed in this transaction will be SGST. excavations at Buddhist sites in Kanaganhali in Karnataka and Boxanagar in Tripura.16 per cent of the total Central Plan of the government in the Eleventh Five-Year plan allocation. 10.5 Crore are exempted from CGST and SGST.21 January 2013 b. A good critique of what ails the various B. The question is how to continue the good work and secure the past better for the future. The ASI protects 3. This exhibition displayed the achievements of ASI in the past five decades. Entertainment Tax (unless it is levied by local bodies) c. The failure of the vast majority of candidates in the Central Teacher Eligibility Test is convincing proof that the system of teacher education is in urgent need of repair. A lower rate for necessary items and goods of basic importance c.000 inscriptions. It is also important to note that 90 per cent of the pre-service teacher education courses are in the non-government sector and the state needs to play a more active role in improving institutional capacity especially in the East and Northeast. CGST as applicable. Two Rate Structure b. less than one per cent is spent on excavations (2011-12). faculty qualification and learning resources. But government can levy the extra Excise duty over and above GST. Exception: Inter State Supply of goods and services. Special Rate 13. Taxes on items containing alcohol and petroleum product are kept out of GST. State apathy and poor financial support have added to its woes. which the ASI is a part of. Those taxes which commences with import / manufacture / production of goods or provision of services at one end and the consumption of goods and services o other end. Taxes paid against SGST allowed as ITC against SGST. as the Verma panel Archaeology needs support The recently inaugurated exhibition — Rediscovering India: 1961-2011 — in Delhi was a fitting finale to the year-long celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Training & teacher 1. Art and culture received only a meagre 0. 11. The imperative to raise the entry-level qualification for training of teachers from Plus Two. This would neither help expand the investigation of the unexplored historical landscape nor lead to greater investment in JTS Institute 6 Current Affairs Notes . c. State Cess and Surcharge to the extend related to supply of goods and services. Tax on Tobacco products will be subject to GST. and some Central Board of Secondary Education institutions. 7. It is the poor preparation in both the disciplinary and pedagogical domains that produces trainees who are found wanting. Appropriate provision will be provided for consignment or Stock transfer. the fact remains that the ASI has not institutionally innovated to meet emerging challenges. PAN based identification number will be allowed to each taxpayer to have integration of GST with Direct Tax. They will continue to be taxed as per existing practices. levies and fees which are not related to supply of goods & services should not be subsumed under GST. In this case. 12.S. IGST Model and ITC: a. Input Tax Credit (ITC): Taxes Paid against CGST allowed as ITC against CGST. and make it a well-rounded degree programme has been underscored by the NCFTE. It would be worthwhile to invest in a four-year degree programme after senior secondary. 2. 5. As a result. For the year 2012-13. Demand for greater numbers of teachers has led to massive quantitative expansion of the number of institutions and courses at various levels in recent years.916 crore. Verma Commission appointed by the Supreme Court has also highlighted the importance of making teacher education a part of the higher education system to introduce the necessary rigour and exposure to various integral disciplines. 4. Tax on lottery e.

” “It is a challenging task. the government has taken the plunge to start a stroke registry at Bangalore — National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research. no mention is made in fact of reports that do not concur with authors’ statements and conclusions. cell tower radiation scare mongers selling protective shields and RF measuring instruments (complying with BIR 2007 recommendations) love to uphold BIR values. review of the literature in various topical areas. the Director of the Centre. 6. 5. 2. the report has clear scientific weaknesses including selection bias in several research areas. Biased. and to know the patterns of care in patients with stroke. prevention. and rehabilitation and to monitor patterns of care for patients who have had a stroke. The BioInitiative Working Group which prepared the report originated as a self appointed group from a mini symposium during the annual meeting of the Bioelectromagnetic Society in 2006 and has no official status. The Health Council of Netherlands highlighted the fact that [WHO’s and ICNIRP’s] multidisciplinary weight-of evidence method leads to a scientifically sound judgment that is as objective as possible.15 January . and the number of people who either die or suffer from morbidity is quite high. Nanda Kumar. the editors of the report clarified that each author is responsible for his/her own chapter in BIR 2012. a list of 95 statements from Governments and expert panels concerning health effects and safe exposure levels of radiofrequency energy (2000-2012). Responsible agencies roundly criticized the report. registries for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes would be started in the future.” In the absence of such information. There is a lack of balance in the report. Their conclusions were similar to those of ICNIRP and WHO—“that there is no established evidence that EMF exposure within the internationally accepted limits causes any adverse health effects. Though BIR is not based on sound science. The registry has been started with the sole intent of providing this vital information. 2013. From January 1. precise information on prevalence and incidence is lacking. Indian guideline at 450 mW per sq. progress has been tardy. “It will take a while before we know the exact prevalence and incidence of stroke. Despite the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport. BIR 2012 gave a shot in the arm of anti cell phone tower radiation enthusiasts and sellers of protective screens. The European Initiative EMF-NET noted that the ‘Summary for the public’ is written in an alarmist and emotive After cancer. UK Health Protection Agency and the International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) do not support the conclusions. According to the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection. The Committee on Man and Radiation (COMAR) Technical Information Statement stated that BIR has many weaknesses and is a selective. This writer received from Dr Mike Repacholi. Critique of BIR 1. This would be supplemented constantly and steadily. Agencies such as the World Health Organization. Despite knowing that a number of people suffer from stroke. BIR-2012 claimed that the evidence for risks to health from wireless technologies and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) has substantially increased since 2007. A self appointed group 1. cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are growing at an alarming rate in India. clinical and control research in stroke. According to Dr.” the website notes. 3. Chairman-Emeritus. language and its arguments have no scientific support from wellconducted EMF research. ICNIRP. The Council asserted that “(The report) is not an objective and balanced reflection of the current state of scientific knowledge and does not provide any grounds for revising the current views as to the risks of exposure to electromagnetic fields. rather than a comprehensive. “this data could be used to plan and implement future programmes on management.” According to a news piece in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). only those patients who are residents of the registry area for at least one year is required. 2. stroke. unscientific report on electromagnetic radiation The recently released BioInitiative Report 2012 (BIR-2012) on standards for electromagnetic radiation is a perfect clone of a similar report published in 2007. A. and ‘talisman’ against electromagnetic radiation! 3. It is pertinent to note that chronic diseases like cancer. the Working Group on Art and Culture for the Eleventh Five-Year plan recommended that more historical structures should be protected and the ASI should notify every year about 70 unprotected structures as monuments for better care.metre have a safety factor of 50.21 January 2013 archaeological science. he refused to provide even a ballpark figure of the number of stroke patients in India. BIR proposes an additional factor of 900! 7. According to many responsible agencies it is biased and unscientific. The studies alleged a link between cell phone radiation and brain tumours. Dr David Carpenter and Ms Cindy Sage. It is a very unusual procedure. Tourism and Culture reminding the ASI to speed up the publication of 56 pending excavation reports five years ago.” International guidelines at 4500 mW per sq. It is also restricted to those patients who are registered and/or diagnosed/treated in that respective institution/individual specialist.” notes the NCDIR website. They can then scare the public further and make hay while the sun shines! cancer registries for the last 20 years. India starts stroke registry After its successful operation of JTS Institute 7 Current Affairs Notes . 2013 The registration is only for all newly diagnosed patients with stroke diagnosed on or after January 1.” The Australian Centre for Radiofrequency Bioeffects Research (ACRBR) concurred.The views are that of individual authors. 4. The BIR report did not follow this procedure. “For purposes of calculation of incidence rates. In 2007. Objectives The Centre has two major objectives: “To generate reliable data on the magnitude and incidence of stroke.metre has a further safety factor of 10. The casual approach to publication of reports also reflects the declining importance of excavation.” said Dr. These objectives are expected to “generate researchable data bases and thereby lay a strong foundation for epidemiological. Nanda Kumar.

But the severe form of the disease requires hospitalisation for complications.000 people infected on the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira. “In the case of cardiovascular diseases or diabetes testing is easy and treatment can be started. causing 5. But researchers said it did show for the first time that a safe vaccine was possible.including carrier objects such as bamboo plants and used tyres . SILENT EXPANSION: Speaking to a news briefing after the WHO released a report on 17 neglected tropical diseases affecting 1 billion people.airports. registering a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the past 50 years. Tourism Parliamentary Secretary P.000 to 6. trials last year showed. about six times the $8. World Health Organization says Dengue is the world’s fastestspreading tropical disease and represents a “pandemic threat”. The most advanced vaccine against dengue is only 30 percent effective. dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease with an epidemic potential in the world. The viral disease. noting that it was hard to detect mosquitoes and their eggs. But what makes it simpler compared with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes? “In the case of cancer.15 January . Europe’s suffered its first sustained outbreak since the 1920s. and in the case of stroke MRI [and] or CT is required. The researchers believe doctors should be aware of thedanger. IVF is linked to more cases of pulmonary embolism. Hence hospitalisation or diagnostic requirement is necessary. It is pandemic-prone. 4. in 2015. “In 2012. The risk rose fivefold in early pregnancy compared with women who conceived naturally. as well as the ground crossings.7bn lost through these diseases in 2005. dracunculiasis. is now present in more than 125 countries . “The modus operandi of collecting stroke data is quite similar to that of cancer.” Velayudhan said. with 2. in which a blood clot causes a blockage in the main artery of the lung. or treponematoses. with the effect diminishing later in pregnancy. Raman Velayudhan. Sona produced a letter sent by Outlook Traveller president AlokSrivastava to the state’s tourism secretary SonamChombay.But the true number is far higher as the disease has spread exponentially and is now present on all continents. known as guinea worm disease.” notes BMJ. the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. “So today you have (the) aedes mosquito in over 150 countries.” Dengue is fastest-spreading tropical disease. said Dr. The WHO also said aims to eliminate globally two neglected tropical diseases.”Dengue is the most threatening and fastest spreading mosquito-borne disease. and diabetes will be about $54bn by 2015. Late last year. in 2020.21 January 2013 “It has been estimated that the combined annual cost to India of stroke. historically the most notorious mosquito-borne disease.” he saidMalaria caused more deaths but was on the decline. affecting fewer than 100 countries. by controlling entry of vectors at points of entry seaports. he said. Neither centre’s or individual’s data would be provided to another centre nor access provided. “The WHO estimates that on average about 50 million cases occur every year.” “The NCDIR is the custodian of a given centre’s/individual’s data. the disease is occurring more JTS Institute 8 Current Affairs Notes . coronary heart disease. and hence simpler.blood clots which form elsewhere but can break off and become life threatening. airlines and holiday destinations. Africa and Latin America.”But we are trying to address this in a more systematic way. 5. the United Nations agency said.” Velayudhan told Reuters.significantly more than malaria. Transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes. scientists have found in a first-of-its-kind study. Worldwide. a specialist at the WHO’s control of neglected tropical diseases department. allowing up to 15 eggs to mature and be removed from a woman’s body at the same time. saying the number of cases remains small but blood clots on the lung are a leading cause of death in pregnant women.Dengue causes flu-like symptoms that subside in a few days in some sufferers. including hotels. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay. In the latest study. Arunachal Pradesh voted favourite upcoming tourist destination Arunachal Pradesh has added another feather to its wings after being voted the ‘Favourite Upcoming Destination’ by a travel magazine.000 deaths. which affected only a handful of areas in the 1950s. 3. researchers found. including severe bleeding.” widely due to increased movement of people and goods . the aedes mosquitoes that cause both dengue and chikungya disease have spread to 18 countries. adding that some independent studies put the figure at 100 million. but it is a threat only. Informing that the outcome was the result of a survey conducted in 2012 by an IPSOS poll of readers through the magazine and its website.000 women having an IVF pregnancy and 117.” the WHO said in a statement. and yaws. Women who become pregnant through In vitro fertilisation (IVF) may be more likely to develop lifethreatening blood clots.Definitely a bigger threat now than ever.”In Europe. the ‘Daily Mail’ reported. 2. and venous thromboembolism . often via the importation of ornamental bamboo or secondhand tyres. microscopic analysis is done.” he said. he said. that may be lethal. Patient identity would be immediately encrypted on data entry. “The NCDIR–ICMR has the obvious strength of clinically neutrality and will act accordingly. researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden compared the risk of both pulmonary embolism (PE) and venous thromboembolism (VTE) in almost 24. mainly in Asia.D. 2 million cases of dengue are reported each year by 100 countries.” it states. Hormonal drugs are widely used in IVF to stimulate the ovaries. infecting an estimated 50 million people across all continents.” he said. Editing by John Stonestreet) In vitro fertilisation treatment may raise risk of life-threatening blood clots 1. he said the survey “is an authoritative benchmark of consumer preferences in travel and tourism across 18 categories. This is a very conservative estimate.000 women having a normal pregnancy. The threat of dengue exists all across the globe. Velayudhan said: “The mosquito has silently expanded its distribution.as well as floods linked to climate change. They suggest the reason may be a huge rise in oestrogen levels triggered by IVF drugs.

including satellites and launch vehicles. the two main devices on it which have been provided by French space agency CNES. The proportional risk for those who had had IVF compared with those who had not was highest in the first three months of pregnancy: 1. the Supreme Court held on Thursday. NASA relied on Oceansat-2 to get finer details of Hurricane ‘Sandy’ that wreaked havoc on the eastern U. 9.000 compared with 0. “It is highest during the first third of pregnancy. the CJI said: “In a case such as this. 6.3. restored GSLV for April SARAL will study sea surface heights and have an altimeter JTS Institute 9 Current Affairs Notes . IRNSS or the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System with its seven satellites is tipped to be India’s own regional Global Positioning System. with an average of 33. It would be similar to ISRO’s Oceansat-2. the official said. The lapses were analysed and corrections made.15 January .000 for those who had a natural pregnancy. they [the four MLAs] would continue to function as members of the Assembly. would be entitled to decide under paragraph 6 of the Tenth Schedule whether the member concerned had. it could very well undermine the very foundation of our democracy and the principles which sustain the same. filed an application to the Speaker seeking their disqualification. Around April this year. The risk in the IVF women was increased during the whole pregnancy and particularly in the first trimester.” After the four MLAs crossed over to the BJD.05 percent) having natural pregnancies. rules SC Not only an MLA but any interested person is entitled to bring to the notice of the Speaker the fact that a member has incurred disqualification under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution (antidefection law) and the presiding officer is bound to take action on the complaint.000 IVF women. indicated that the evil of political defection had become a matter of national concern and if it was not checked. the Speaker ISRO lines up SARAL for February. if the provisions of the Tenth Schedule are interpreted to exclude the right of any person interested to bring to the notice of the Speaker of the House the fact that any or some of its members had incurred disqualification on any of the eventualities indicated in paragraphs 2 and 4 therein. The December launch was put off to complete a few tests and validations.000 compared with 2. in the absence of any application for disqualification to the Speaker.” The Bench said: “The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill. with two to three additional cases per 10. Chelameswar and VikaramaitSen said: “On receipt of such information. SARAL would be one of the very few such ocean-centric satellites and a vital cog in studying sea surface heights and other aspects. As no action was taken on the complaint. 17 January 2013 Even non-member can move Speaker for disqualification of defectors. but with an altimeter (named ‘Argos’ here) to measure heights. the Supreme Court said: “Although disqualified under paragraph 2(1) (a) of the Tenth Schedule.” he said. which held that the writ petition was maintainable. SARAL is short for Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa. It will herald the 8 to 10 missions.” Writing the judgment on an appeal filed by Odisha Speaker. ISRO will launch and operate it through its life. Utkar Keshari Parida. 7.2 in 1.” The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has slated its first launch of the year — ocean study spacecraft SARAL — for February 14. in fact. The GSLV-D5 will lift the communications satellite GSAT-14 into orbit. Absolute risks for pulmonary embolism were low however. he moved the Orissa High Court. incurred disqualification and to pass appropriate orders on his findings.S. Flights of the GSLV rocket would be resumed and the first of the navigational spacecraft would be sent up.21 January 2013 Women were matched for age. the official said. the president of the NCP. SARAL will come up two months later than the earlier planned fancy date of 12-12-12. “During the IVF procedure hormonal drugs are given to stimulate the egg follicles to grow more eggs.5 in 1. ISRO had put the GSLV programme on hold after it suffered two successive failures in April and December 2010. the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will put into orbit six small experimental satellites built by western universities for a fee. Researchers identified 19 women with potentially nlife-threatening artery blockages in the IVF group (a rate of 0. which was not the object sought to be achieved by the 52nd Amendment. where all four members elected from the Nationalist Congress Party had changed their allegiance to the Biju Janata Dal. who was not an MLA. it would render the inclusion of the Tenth Schedule in the Constitution otiose and defeat the objects and intent of the 52nd Amendment. but hormonal drugs were a plausible cause. NAVIGATIONAL SATELLITE May will see the first of the national navigational satellites or navsats — the IRNSS-1 — which will fly on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice AltamasKabir and Justices J. 1985. Dismissing the Speaker’s appeal against this order. There was no difference in risk before pregnancy or during the year after delivery. which finally became the Constitution [52 Amendment] Act. ISRO expects to resume flying the GSLV rocket.5 in 1. by which the Tenth Schedule was introduced in the Constitution. the official said. Study leader Professor Peter Henriksson said it was not clear why IVF mothers were more at risk. 8. In October 2012. Besides building the spacecraft. found] the study. an ISRO official told The Hindu. In such an event. Along with the 450-kg Indo-French SARAL. there would be no one to bring the fact to the notice of the Speaker and ask for their disqualification. This increases oestrogen levels in the body between ten and 100-fold and is likely to impact on the coagulation of the blood and increase blood clot formation. which ISRO has planned this year. The study found the proportion of IVF women diagnosed with VTE was 4.08 per cent) compared with 70 women (a rate of 0.

a dedicated satellite for the Navy.2 per MMBTU. the floor price of KG Basin gas determined at a crude price of $25/barrel is $2. GSAT-7. though. The recommended formula estimates the price by averaging some numbers derived from foreign gas markets even though those numbers neither represent well head price of conventional natural gas anywhere in the world nor reflect the cost of service for producing conventional natural gas in India. gas sales.” by following this up with two more navsats in 2014 and the remaining a year later.2 to $5. Let me explain this in more detail. we normally need an interval of 45 days between two launches since we have two launch pads. it is recommended that total volume of all gas contracts in the respective jurisdictions be included irrespective of their differences. the Committee recommends that we estimate. it does not clarify if this is the price for dry or wet gas thereby forgetting the economic value of natural gas liquids extracted by producers before selling the dry gas as feed stock and/or an energy source. including spot purchases and term contracts. I dare say.25/MMBTU. To calculate this number it uses the Henry Hub spot index as the price for all U. the official said. KG basin produces dry gas thereby negating any additional bonanza from natural gas liquids. the KG Basin gas receives a price that was well beyond the price at which the same gas was bid out under an international tender or its cost of service. be included. Under the approved formula. The $3-$4 number representing current cost estimates of liquefaction. be used to compensate producers of conventional natural gas in India. finds the KG Basin gas price. such an exercise would yield a number. Can the Committee identify any significant independent conventional gas field in the world that receives or has received this high a well head price for dry natural gas year after year on an arms-length basis? The Committee justifies the formula approved for pricing natural gas from KG Basin’s D-6 field. that also triggered an increase in the gas prices approved for ONGC. Gas contracts vary from spot purchases to long term with widely varying basis for pricing. the full extent of the KG Basin scam is far from being completely exposed. what it calls the “Average Producer Net Back for Indian Imports” for the trailing 12 months by deducting $3 to $4 from the prices paid by India for import of LNG from different sources over the same period. The Henry Hub benchmark index is available Making a mockery of domestic gas pricing Price sensitivity The report recognises the price sensitivity of gas demand in India. will also use ‘procured’ or foreign launches on separate Ariane vehicles in the second half of this year. is also set to be launched around May on a European Ariane rocket. it is not the average well head price of conventional natural gas in the countries exporting LNG to India.1 and $4. Fortunately. over the same period. More importantly.50/MMBTU at a crude price of $26/barrel yielding a 40 percent increase in the price of gas for a 4 per cent increase in the price of crude. its cap. This exercise too will yield a number but what it represents or its relevance to Indian gas producers is beyond comprehension. transportation and sweetening natural gas would be updated regularly. What this number represents. nonprice elements that are not transparent. However. overlooking the objections that the then Cabinet Secretary and I had raised against the proposed formula. the NBP spot index of U. Surely. yet. under prevailing market conditions. The ownership structures in the industry make it difficult to fathom at what point in the value chain is the profit being booked and how much. are minor oversights when compared to the indefensible formula recommended for determining the well head price of conventional natural gas produced in India. Finally. the Committee recommends estimating. geo political considerations and security of supply concerns play an important role in the pricing of gas. something that it calls the “Weighted Average Price to Producers in the Global Markets” during the trailing 12 months. “For all these launches from the Sriharikota launch centre. Here too. nor is it relevant to determining fair well head prices for Indian producers of conventional natural gas. it presents indefensible demand and supply numbers completely independent of gas prices.21 January 2013 “We hope to complete the navigation constellation during 2015-16. the Committee recommends that the average of the two numbers calculated above. Again. with a more gradual slope between the floor price of gas and JTS Institute 10 Current Affairs Notes . based on hitherto unknown concepts in the global gas markets. It is recommended that all LNG imports. I cannot lay bare all the complexities of the regionally fragmented global gas markets here but let me simply state that natural gas varies widely in its characteristics across different sources and the three regions covered have distinctly different pricing mechanisms for gas. the Committee fails to point out that India is the only country in the world that adopted a formula by which the gas price rises exponentially with the price of crude between its floor price and its cap. for all gas sales in every country comprising Europe and the Former Soviet Union and the “Average Producer Net Back” for all Japanese LNG imports (computed on the same basis as recommended above for India). Two other larger satellites. not sufficiently remunerative. Finally. In essence. The structure of the regional gas market and the related gas infrastructure in the relevant jurisdiction impact gas prices significantly. Suffice it to say that despite the CAG’s report. the price of gas varies very narrowly between $4.S. like most government documents. on a monthly basis.50/MMBTU but it rises exponentially to $3. on a monthly basis. The above shortfalls. As a first step. In the then relevant range of crude prices between $50/barrel and the cap determined at $60/barrel. the approved formula violated international practice to ensure that. INSAT-3D and GSAT-10. the suggested formula establishes the fair price of carrots based on some imputed prices of bananas. The Rangarajan Committee.15 January . is anybody’s guess. In layman terms. The rest of the world follows formulae by which such linkage is a linear function.K. the report suggests that the above price is not sufficiently remunerative to encourage domestic natural gas production but fails to provide any evidence to support such a conclusion. nevertheless. apples and oranges. Next. Certainly.” he said. The report confirms that most Indian natural gas producers are currently guaranteed a well head price of at least $4.

militarised alliances like NATO strengthen Pushing Africa aside in Mali French jets are zipping past northern Mali. but also promote African-led conflict resolution. a participatory framework that had thus far allowed African states to troubleshoot what is first and foremost a regional political crisis. the council adopted Resolutions 2056. Tuareg militia — after all. if done properly. the more recent NBP benchmark index permits trading of gas as a commodity on spot and longer term basis.N. at a time when governments in North. France’s aerial assault and imminent deployment of ground troops is a volte face from its original plan to offer “logistical aid” to African peacekeepers in Mali. For all of French President François Hollande’s promises to treat Africa as a partner and friend. IEA projects that such disequilibrium will continue at least for the coming 10-15 years.Hollande could have harvested the many chances that came his way to not only engage this crisis. some in the latter’s ranks were trained by American troops — but France could have facilitated the adoption of preventive measures early on in the crisis’s timeline. as the UNSC urged members to do. The diffidence of the Committee in recommending these two approaches perhaps reflects its lack of confidence in India’s governance and regulatory capacity/capability. playing catch-up.N.” Mr. The forbidden citadel must open its gates to such professionals if India is to move forward. based on the Rangarajan Committee’s definition. Security Council had placed Mali at the centre of its agenda.’s efforts. As an important and responsible supraregional actor. Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian advertised a hands-off approach. peacekeepers continue to play second fiddle as they are delegated to clean up the trail of destruction left in the wake of this assault. Disequilibrium Unlike oil.73 cif — which.N. Recommending a Mickey Mouse formulation as a substitute to improving such governance and regulatory capacity/capability is. For a regional-led force Negotiating and sustaining an agreement is feasible only if there is a mechanism to enforce its terms. In late 2012. along with the U. The Security Council considered this blueprint. often interacting with fringe elements such as Ansar Dine. let me reiterate that. However. the U. would yield an “Average Producer Net Back” of $10. natural gas does not have a fungible global market thereby exacerbating the above complexity.21 January 2013 for next day delivery and up to 108 months in the future. the physical trade occurring at the typically quoted Henry Hub or NBP price is minuscule compared to the global trade in gas. which France has now upended. however. importantly. The U. he is contemplating a troop deployment that could reach 2. a well regulated cost of service would be the preferred option for determining the well head price of Indian gas. 2071 and 2085 — each facilitating progressively tough measures — to tackle this conflict.03 and the Japanese LNG imports averaged $14. And as the original proponent of price discovery through limited sectoral competition. The Ecowas and the African Union (AU) had therefore requested the Security Council’s blessings for an African-led stabilisation force in Mali.500 in number.N. The result The military intervention in Mali is France’s desperate attempt to rejuvenate its waning clout in the Sahel. As long as the PMO keeps appointing “acceptable” babus and academics to such important committees and specialised positions of governance and regulation. France now bombs Mali knowing that its actions will be met with no resistance — and maybe even support — among other permanent members of the U. African states drew up a Strategic Concept for the Resolution of the Crises in Mali as well a Concept of Operations that dealt with logistics.50/ MMBTU for Japanese imports. Secretary General’s ground report which highlighted the importance of a political settlement in Mali. clearly undesirable. Its monopoly over the rapid deployment of military force allows France to sustain a relationship of dependency with the continent. specifically suggesting France would not be directly involved in the intervention. Both these approaches have been successfully implemented in markets at a stage of development similar to India. intelligence gathering.15 January . the AU and Ecowas made repeated appeals to the council to help deploy the Africanled International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA).01 while at NBP it was $9. In the last few months. it too deserves a far more serious consideration than that given by the Rangarajan Committee. The resulting disequilibrium is illustrated by the fact that in 2011 the reported average dry gas price per MMBTU at Henry Hub was $4. In pursuit of their endeavour. Then. were aimed at bringing African stakeholders on board. The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) mediated this dialogue. the UNSC emphasised dialogue between various stakeholders in Mali. an area that Paris considers to be within its “sphere of influence. The collateral damage from all this remains the same: local or regional armed forces stay illequipped to tackle such crises without training or financial support. it will be the blind leading the blind and we will stumble from one blunder to another under historical myths that pervade India’s energy and other key sectors. This ruling clique’s inability to deal with well informed and well intentioned professionals who raise fundamental questions is evident in more arenas than just energy. need to support the intervention or struggle to stay relevant in this conflict. France could have helped bridge differences among Ecowas members and provide financial assistance as well as training to AFISMA at this stage.50 – 11. African states. Last year. his government’s military intervention in the Sahel is proof that Françafrique is alive and well. West and Central Africa are struggling to control armed rebels. the Islamist group that has now coalesced with other Tuareg outfits in northern Mali.N. Security Council. and even issues of internal displacement and humanitarian aid. Given above market realities and the current state of the gas industry in India. No such support was forthcoming. bombing the region and with it. U. Now. Where was France’s enthusiasm then to train or provide non-lethal support to this force? No one is suggesting African forces can overrun the JTS Institute 11 Current Affairs Notes . Similarly. In July 2012. while acknowledging the sovereign authority of Mali’s interim government. while coopting the concerns and counsel of West African states along the way.

following the global meltdown and its impact on the domestic economy.” SEBI warned. French intervention in Mali is likely to exacerbate regional conflict and strengthen the hands of extremists in the Maghreb. The NIF. representing the Centre. will be Companies can’t trade in ESOS. decided to utilise the disinvestment proceeds only for social sector spending. A vicious cycle has been set in motion. the NIF will also be used to recapitalise public sector banks (PSBs) and state-owned insurance companies. National Investment Fund gets nod to buy PSU shares Aimed at taking the disinvestment exercise forward at a faster clip. If anything. depressing. vive la Françafrique! used for “subscribing to the shares being issued by the Central public sector enterprise (CPSE) including public sector banks (PSBs) and public sector insurance companies.” SEBI added. the release said.” Alongside.” said the capital market regulator while adding a new clause in the guidelines. SBI Funds Management Company and LIC Mutual Fund Asset Management Company. 2009. “In order to address the concerns over acquisition of shares by Constitutional amendment must for GTA Act: Centre The Centre on Thursday informed the Calcutta High Court that a constitutional amendment is essential to validate the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) Act and for which it has asked the West Bengal government to hand over the draft of the Bill. public sentiment towards the already fragile Malian government could turn hostile. the cure to Africa’s ungovernable malaises will come from foreign shores. the NIF is being hitherto managed by three fund managers — UTI Asset Management Company. the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). 1999. the balance amount is utilised to meet the capital investment requirements of profitable PSUs and revival of sick state-owned units. the Fund will also be utilised for issuing “preferential allotment of shares of the CPSE to promoters as per the Securities and Exchange Board of India SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations. Essentially. in all cases where the CPSE is going to raise fresh equity to meet its capital expenditure programme. on Thursday. authorised the National Investment Fund (NIF) to buy shares of public sector undertakings (PSUs). “Such dealing in the company’s shares by the Trusts may also raise regulatory concerns regarding compliance with SEBI (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices relating to the Securities Market) Regulations. it said. and it is clear who profits most from Africa’s wars. In respect of those companies. “No ESOS / ESPS shall involve acquisition of securities from the secondary market. the government.” said SEBI in a notification.21 January 2013 their grip as the world’s policemen. ESPS shares: SEBI The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has amended its Employee Stock Option Scheme (ESOS) and Employee Stock Purchase Scheme (ESPS) Guidelines. It is no revelation that political violence in Africa comes at the cost of institution-building.” “It is apprehended that some entities may frame such schemes with the purpose of dealing in its own securities with the object of inflating. Vive la France.15 January . employee welfare trusts from the secondary market. the disinvestment proceeds with effect from the fiscal year 2013-14 will be credited to the existing ‘public account’ under the head National Investment Fund (NIF). while about 75 per cent of the income from NIF is being used to fund select social sector programmes. so that government shareholding does not go down below 51 per cent. with immediate effect. They were also asked to align any existing employee benefit schemes with SEBI (ESOS and ESPS) Guidelines on or before June 30. including banks and insurance companies. 2013. this assault too will have a ripple effect. With an increase in civilian casualties. only to be cultivated by separatist elements in the northern provinces and extremists elsewhere. and the adoption of open door policies in commodity-driven economies. without which many states are forced to rely on resource rents. on a rights basis so as to ensure that 51 per cent ownership of the government is not diluted. SomnathBasu. Connect the dots between intervention in a conflict. 2009. which have already framed and implemented before the date of this circular any employee benefit schemes involving dealing in the securities of the company and are not in accordance with SEBI (ESOS and ESPS) Guidelines. According to an official release here. it has been decided to prohibit the listed entities from framing any employee benefit schemes involving acquisition of own securities from the secondary market. by prohibiting companies from dealing in their own shares in the secondary market under these schemes. and they would remain there until withdrawn/invested for the approved purposes. SEBI said that some listed entities have been framing their own employees benefit schemes wherein Trusts have been set up to deal in their own securities in the secondary market. As in the past. The Tuareg rebels have shown little inclination to surrender. 2003. the ensuing political instability. As per the string of approvals given by the CCEA at its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to align the NIF operation to enhance the disinvestment policy. the regulator directed those companies to inform the details of their schemes to the stock exchanges within 30 days from date of this circular. If NATO’s Libyan intervention spawned armed militants who have now joined their kinsmen in northern Mali. “which was not envisaged within the purview of SEBI (ESOS and ESPS) Guidelines 1999. in November. and SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations. 1992. Which is another way of saying that there will actually be no cure. said the constitutional JTS Institute 12 Current Affairs Notes . maintaining or causing fluctuation in the price of the securities by engaging in fraudulent and unfair trade practices. Set up in 2005.” Fund managers now managing the NIF will stand discharged of their responsibility from the date the funds and the interest income are transferred to the NIF. However.

Derivatives are contracts and can be used as an underlying asset. forward contracts. The Bench said the two marines will be shifted to Delhi and will be considered to be under the custody of the Supreme Court till the Centre constitutes the special court. The exchange is implementing a pilot project in Karnataka. Since the government of India extended the application of the penal laws to the Contiguous Zone — that extends up to 24 nautical miles from the baseline — only the Centre could take cognizance of. and the third phase comprises development of technology and infrastructure for web-based mandis facilitating national trading. Most derivatives are characterized by high leverage. commodities. The written test has been held. such as the amount of rain or the number of sunny days in a particular region. with the trained ones.21 January 2013 amendment was required for a technical purpose otherwise there was no illegality in the Act. Several candidates who appeared in the examination challenged the recruitment process on the ground that the WBSSC could not put the candidates. the Supreme Court Bench held that Kerala had no jurisdiction to conduct the trial because the incident occurred in the Contiguous Zone. for replicating its mandi modernisation project. We are confident of rolling out full-fledged services. Futures contracts. investigate and prosecute persons for any crime. It asked them to report to Chanakyapuri police station once every week and directed that their passports be handed over to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The first phase of automating the mandis has been completed. either of the Flag State or of the State of which such person is a national. bonds.S. accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February last year. The case will come up for hearing next week. the investor could purchase currency futures to lock in a specified exchange rate for the future stock sale and currency conversion back into Euros. They were subsequently charged for murder and a Kerala court initiated their prosecution. although the interview process is yet to start. including quality assessment. says SC The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed India’s jurisdiction to try the two Italian marines. Concept: Derivatives A security whose price is dependent upon or derived from one or more underlying assets. president of Gorkha National Liberation Front and former chairman of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. but can also be used for speculative purposes. the court also made it clear that its judgment was confined to the limited aspects and that the marines as well as the Italy government will be at liberty to invoke pertinent provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) during the trial. MassimilianoLatorre and Salvatore Girone. the court said. Bose said yes. involves India has jurisdiction to try Italian marines. options and swaps are the most common types of derivatives. A Bench of CJI AltamasKabir and Justice J Chelameswara also clarified the bail conditions of the marines. “I am also of the view that till such 18 January 2013 NCDEX in talks with States for mandi modernisation project The National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) is in active consultation with various States. currencies. launched in 2010. standardisation of products. Article 97 of the Convention says no penal or disciplinary proceeding can be instituted against the Master or any other person in service of the ship. a European investor purchasing shares of an American company off of an American exchange (using U. while dismissing Italy’s plea to quash all criminal JTS Institute 13 Current Affairs Notes . killing two fishermen. Article 100 of the Convention obligates all countries to cooperate in the repression of piracy on the high seas or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of any state. The most common underlying assets include stocks. after underlining that a criminal act cannot be said to be an “incident of navigation”. Fresh petition against teacher hiring drive A petition was moved on Thursday urging the Calcutta High Court to stop the recruitment process initiated by the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) by an advertisement issued in December 2011. There are even derivatives based on weather data. dollars to do so) would be exposed to exchange-rate risk while holding that stock. Its value is determined by fluctuations in the underlying asset. interest rates and market indexes. including Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The petition contended that only BEd candidates could be recruited as per NCTE Act and Right to Education Act. “It is a fairly large pilot aimed at switching an entire State into the model. The second phase of the project. and inter-linking them is in progress. They said they mistook the boat for a pirate craft. within a year. Justice DipankarDutta asked whether the GTA Act was introduced before amending the Constitution. SubashGhising. For example. proceedings in view of lack of jurisdiction by any state in India to make its marines stand the murder trial. primarily aimed at providing better prices to farmers. In its verdict. except before the judicial or administrative authorities. The next hearing is on January 28. challenging the legal validity of the GTA Act which was passed in the state Assembly in September 2011. which lost its jurisdiction following the apex court judgment. state and GorkhaJanmuktiMorcha. To hedge this risk. who have not received training. who had been released on bail by the Kerala High Court. The Act paved the way for the formation of the GTA as agreed in the tripartite agreement between the Centre. It ruled that the two marines will be tried in a special court to be set up by the government after consultation with the Chief Justice of India (CJI). Marines Latorre and Girone were part of a military security team aboard cargo ship ‘EnricaLexie’ when they opened fire on a fishing boat. had filed a writ petition in June 2012. To which. covering 15 major mandis out of the 54 agricultural produce market committees and trading in eight commodities.15 January . The derivative itself is merely a contract between two or more parties. However. Derivatives are generally used as an instrument to hedge risk.

In the case of Bihar. of which the Contiguous Zone is a part. national parties can no longer ignore their sentiments. Jharkhand was on Friday brought under President’s Rule for the third time since its formation 12 years ago. If any party/alliance can show it has a majority or is in striking distance of such majority. especially if the parties in power at the Centre and in the state were different. had assured the court they will be properly tried as per the law of Italy for their alleged offences. However. the Supreme Court held that a state government could be dismissed only under extenuating circumstances. defined the use of Article 356 and imposition of President’s rule. Parliamentary approval should not be a problem. needed the President’s assent on imposing President’s rule. then the governor can invite the party/alliance to form the government and prove its majority.21 January 2013 time as it is proved that the provisions of Article 100 of the UNCLOS apply to the facts of this case. The Constitution says there should not be a gap of more than six months between the end of the last session of the assembly and the start of the new one. with both the Congress and BJP. JTS Institute 14 Current Affairs Notes . appearing for them. had recommended that President’s rule be imposed only as a last resort. Does politics play a part in imposing President’s rule? It sure does. subject to Parliament’s approval. What happens to the legislative assembly? When President’s rule is imposed. and that is the area relevant. delivered by the Supreme Court on May 11. while authoring a concurrent but separate judgment. It is also made clear that nothing in this judgment should come in the way of such reconsideration. The state was placedunder President’s Rule in 2009 and 2010.15 January . it is because regional parties have become powerful at the Centre and thus. How is President’s rule imposed? After Governor recommended President’s rule. The Union Cabinet had yesterday recommended imposition of President’s Rule. Concept: President’s rule What is President’s rule? Article 356 of the Constitution of India deals with the failure of the Constitutional machinery of India. if such an application is made.” The judge also the dismissed the contention of the marines that the sovereignty of India did not extend beyond its territorial waters and therefore. When then prime minister Indira Gandhi was in power dismissing state governments run by nonCongress parties almost became government policy. Who approves President’s rule? Parliament needs to approve President’s rule. and laid down guidelines for such a dismissal. to many observers. exercised through the governor. Harish Salve. in turn. Significantly. the extension of the IPC beyond the Indian territorial waters was impermissible. set up to look into Centre-state relations. who is on a visit to Kolkata. where Chief Minister ArjunMunda has resigned after his government was reduced to a minority. 1994. What is the Bommai judgment all about? The judgment. Bommai challenged the dismissal. The length of President’s rule in Bihar depends on the political situation. thus ending President’s rule in the state. quite keen to approve President’s rule. which is for a sixmonth period and can be extended. signed the proclamation imposing the Central rule in the state which is known for political instability and has seen eight governments since 2000. which will adjudicate it on the basis of the evidence and other records. The Cabinet discussed the report of Jharkhand Governor Syed Ahmed who has suggested imposition of President’s Rule while keeping the 82-member state Assembly in suspended animation. The complaint against President’s rule is that the words ‘constitutional crisis’ have often been interpreted to suit the interests of the ruling party at the Centre. the state comes under the direct control of the central government. the assembly is either dissolved or kept in suspended animation. The United Progressive Alliance government in New Delhi. but can be extended. The marines and the Italy government had moved the SC. in a letter to the governor. formally withdrew its support to the 28-month-old government pushing it into a minority. the Bommai case has made dismissing state governments and imposing President’s rule a little more difficult. In layman’s language. Justice Chelameswar held that “Article 97 of UNCLOS has no application to the Exclusive Economic Zone. President Pranab Mukherjee. If no party/alliance can cobble together majority within the next six months. it is the Union of India which has jurisdiction to proceed with the investigation and trial of the petitioners. Seeking to get all criminal proceedings quashed in India. How long will President’s rule continue? President’s rule is for six months. the two largest parties in the LokSabha. RashtrapatiBhawan sources said. in the context of the incident in question. this means when the government in a state is not able to function as per the Constitution. Munda had resigned the next day and sought dissolution of the state Assembly.” noted the court. saying no court in India had jurisdiction to try them since the incident occurred in international waters. the Supreme Court order leaves the marines and the Italy government with yet another opportunity to re-agitate the issues relating to the lack of jurisdiction by the Indian courts. In a landmark verdict. The present political instability erupted on January 8 when BJP’s ruling coalition partner JMM. the decision was taken by the central government. now before the special court. then the central Jharkhand brought under President’s Rule Ten days after it plunged into political crisis. Though political parties have flouted the Supreme Court norms. The Justice R S Sarkaria Commission. When the then Congress government at the Centre dismissed the S R Bommai government in Karnataka in 1993. And if recent years have seen a decline in the once common trend of dismissing state governments. In fact. it is usually a case more of politics and less of Constitutional crises. again subject to Parliament approval.

should be disclosed throughout the trading session. which reflects the wealth gap between rich and poor.a caapability that researchers have long tried to create with optical phased arrays. The order book shall display two World’s most complex 2D laser beam created Researchers. The index is named after its developer. The new 2-D optical phased array technology will enable advanced Light Detection And Ranging (LADAR) and other defence applications.” it added.” said Sanjay Raman. The indicative price shall be calculated based on all bids/ orders. 0. Sebi said that institutions may place orders/bids with 100 per cent upfront margin and modification/ cancellation of such orders/bids shall be permitted. have demonstrated the most complex 2-D optical phased array ever that can generate high-resolution beam patterns. “Integrating all the components of an optical phased array into a miniature 2-D chip configuration may lead to new capabilities for sensing and imaging. A wealthy country and a poor country can have the same Gini coefficient. the regulator said that cumulative bid quantity of 100 per cent margined orders as well as non-margined but noncancellable orders would be made available to the market throughout the trading session. The market regulator has also said that indicative prices during Offer for Sale (OFS) or auction route.15 January . Concept: GINI Index A measurement of the income distribution of a country’s residents. Sebi noted that OFS mechanism has been found to be useful by market participants and popular for offloading shares of promoters in listed companies to achieve minimum public shareholding. dropping to 0. Regarding OFS. Sebi today decided to abolish the 25 per cent margin money requirement for entities bidding through the auction route. institutions can place orders without upfront margin in line with secondary market practice. the index has been retreating gradually since hitting a peak of 0. an Italian statistician of the early 20th century. The Gini index is only as accurate as the gross domestic product (GDP) and income data that a country produces. against the warning level of 0.” Sebi said. state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Ma Jiantang.47 and 0. Known as the Gini coefficient. the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) created two new routes for raising public money and diluting promoter shareholding to meet the minimum public shareholding norms before the deadline. “Custodian confirmation shall be within the trading hours. The Gini coefficient has stayed at a relatively high level of between 0.49 in 2009. This number. which ranges between 0 and 1 and is based on residents’ net income.491 in 2008. Sebi said these decisions would make the OFS mechanism “more economical. “By bringing such functionality to a chip-scale form factor.21 January 2013 government will have no choice but to extend President’s rule for another six months and get Parliament’s approval for the same. helps define the gap between the rich and the poor.479 in 2003. abolishes 25% margin requirement To make it easier for companies to comply with public shareholding norms. was at 0.474 level for China in 2012 — well above the warning levels. LADAR provides a more detailed level of information that can be used for applications such as rapid 3-D mapping. However. sets of orders — cumulative orders/bids with 100 per cent margin and cumulative orders/bids without margin. CorradoGini. the settlement of funds and securities shall take place on T+1 (next day after transaction) day. except upward revision in the price or quantity. Gini coefficient shows China’s wealth gap at warning mark The Gini coefficient. The two routes—OFS and institutional placement programmes (IPPs)—allow all companies to pare the promoter stake through an auction of shares on stock exchanges during normal market hours to comply with minimum public holding norms. Further. a report has said. indicating that China must accelerate its income distribution reform to narrow the rich-poor gap. There is also a generally negative correlation between Gini coefficients and per-capita GDP. Many developing nations do not produce accurate or trusted economic data. which has dimensions of only 576 micro metre x 576 micro metre. including one of Indian origin. efficient and transparent”.481 in 2010 and 0. It is typically expressed as a percentage. The index stood at 0. “This chip is truly an enabling JTS Institute 15 Current Affairs Notes . he added.096 (64 x 64) nanoantennas integrated onto a silicon chip. Concept: Offer for sale route: In February. Ma said. because poorer nations tend to have higher index figures. Don’t mistake the measurement of income distribution with the measurement of wealth.” Sebi said. so the index Sebi tweaks OFS norms. when the present administration led by Hu Jintao took power in 2003 and gradually climbed up as Chinese economy opened up to private investment and reforms. and integrating the electronic and photonic components onto a single chip. is composed of 4. The array. with 0 representing perfect equality and 1 representing perfect inequality. “Indicative price shall be disclosed to market throughout the trading session.49 during the past decade. OFS route is being introduced because many participants have expressed their difficulty in following 25 per cent minimum margin requirement at the bidder stage. Key to this breakthrough was developing a design that is scalable to a large number of nanoantennas. becomes more of an estimate.477 in 2011. “However such bids/ orders cannot be modified / cancelled.4 set by United Nations. program manager for DARPA’s Diverse Accessible Heterogeneous Integration (DAHI) program. this array can generate high-resolution beam patterns . roughly the size of the head of a pin. so a 20 coefficient would be shown as 20%. even if the wealthy country has a relatively equal distribution of affluent residents and the poor country has a relatively equal distribution of cash-strapped residents. developing new micro-fabrication techniques.

The objectives structure and administrative arrangements. to at least 3 lakh students across India. Mysore MP.” said Raman. in all cases where the CPSE is going to raise fresh equity to meet its capex programme. Live webcast of the lecture will be streamed at www. scans a field of view to determine distance and other information. Beyond LADAR.in/nkn The NKN is a multi gigabit pan India network. Ajay Nagbhushan said. to outline policy recommendations and interventions to boost innovation performance in the country.Nagbhushan stated that if five members of a family were involved in the job scheme. Radio frequency (RF) waves travel through the atmosphere. The NIF was constituted by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 27th January 2005. but it uses optical beams instead of RF waves.1814. they communicate the essence and spirit of the UIDAI’s mandate to people across the country. Dr. Adviser to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation on 23rd January 2013. (iii) Fund Managers presently managing the NIF will stand discharged of their responsibility from the date the funds and the interest income are transferred to the fund. Currently. ‘No middlemen’ About 1. November. author of ‘What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets’.Nagbhushan stated. 2005. 3D holographic displays and ultra-high-data-rate communications. The amount of time it takes to return correlates to the object’s distance. In recent decades. M. Vishwanath. on rights basis so as to ensure that 51 percent ownership of the Government is not diluted.gov. Job cards of beneficiaries will be linked to the Aadhaar card. he said. or LADAR. from 10am to 11. (ii) The NIF will be used for the following purposes: (a) Subscribing to the shares being issued by the Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) including Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and Public Sector Insurance Companies. and they would remain there until withdrawn/invested for the approved purposes. which transmit the RF waves in a particular direction without mechanical movement. investment strategy were notified in National Innovation Council Launches the First Public Lecture Series on the National Knowledge Network The National Innovation Council is launching a Public Lecture Series where it will host eminent individuals from diverse fields to talk to students across the country via the National Knowledge Network (NKN). The name and logo for the unique numbers to be issued by the UIDAI have been developed keeping in mind the transformational potential of the program.000 beneficiaries under the MNREGA in the 235 gram panchayats in Mysore would be brought under the purview of the DCT scheme soon. NKN has connected over 900 nodes in the country with a dedicated bandwidth of 1Gbps/ 100mbps. reflect off of a target. was launched here on Saturday. and ‘Justice’.21 January 2013 technology for a host of systems and may one day revolutionise LADAR in much the same way that ESAs revolutionised RADAR. Chief Executive Officer of the zillapanchayat. A. laser detection and ranging. The lecture will be broadcast on NKN from Delhi University. Concept Aadhaar: The UID brand name and logo The brand name of the Unique Identification number (UID) will be Aadhaar. and the NIF started functioning from October. If the beneficiaries demanded that their accounts remain separate that could be done. 2007.64. and return to the RADAR system to be processed. (b) Preferential allotment of shares of the CPSE to promoters as per Securities and Exchange Board of India SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations. Similar to RADAR. The first public lecture on ‘Democratising Information. Together. Questions can also be submitted via Twitter (@pitrodasam). Government of India to connect all education and research institutions in the country and is being implemented by the National Informatics Centre.45 crore. under the Chairmanship of Mr Sam Pitroda. 2009 so that Government shareholding does not go down below 51 percent.000 beneficiary accounts in post offices in Mysore district.N. with a focus on inclusive growth. from Harvard University.webcast.30am. The UIDAI’s mandate is to issue every resident a unique identification number linked to the Aligning ‘National Investment Fund’ operation to enhance ‘Disinvestment Policy’ The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the following: (i) The disinvestment proceeds with effect from the fiscal year 2013-14 will be credited to the existing “public account” under the head National Investment Fund (NIF). comprising the disinvestment proceeds of Power Grid Corporation of India and the Rural Electrification Corporation Limited done during 2007-08. 19 January 2013 Aadhaar-linked DCT for job scheme workers launched The Aadhaar-linked Direct Cash Transfer (DCT) scheme. The National Innovation Council has been constituted by the Prime Minister. this chip may have applications for biomedical imaging. built by the JTS Institute 16 Current Affairs Notes . The lecture will be followed by an interactive Q&A session with students at NKN connected locations. This corpus is presently invested through three Public Sector fund managers (SBI. As on 31st August 2012 the corpus in the NIF consisted of Rs. launched the programme. this technology has been revolutionised by electronically scanned arrays (ESAs). (c) Recapitalization of PSBs and Public Sector Insurance Companies. LIC and UTI Mutual Funds). Equality and the Rule of Law’ will be delivered by Professor Michael Sandel. the wages would be transferred to one account. Justice. and Mr Sam Pitroda. There were over 50.15 January .H. under which wages of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) workers are transferred directly to bank accounts. Dr. Each emitter varies its phase and amplitude to form a RADAR beam in a particular direction through constructive and destructive interference with other emitters.

or ‘support’. which they can use to identify themselves anywhere in India.P. The documentation process will be similar to that of taking a loan on a new house/flat but the duration of the loan will have to be defined. Around 20 global business leaders. Not long ago. the women’s muscle strength and bone mass increased. based in Cologny. The meeting brings together some 2. It describes itself as an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business. Nagar. Buybacks can be carried out in two ways: 1. Beside meetings.21 January 2013 Reliance closes share buyback programme Reliance Industries on Saturday announced the closure of buyback of equity shares of the company. a mountain resort in Graubünden. This premium compensates investors for tendering their shares rather than holding on to them. How to go about it The loan will be sanctioned only upon entering into a formal sale agreement with the builder of the new house. Anand Sharma to woo global investors at WEF Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will woo global investors at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos from January 23 to 27 by offering them investment opportunities in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. constructed in J. new manufacturing zones and foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail which has been opened up for big retail chains. For women it is particularly effective in developing stronger. Novartis. The problem seemed to be the immediate cash required for payment. political. international political leaders. Manoj and Roopa were living in their own house in Ramamurthy Nagar along with their daughter Surabhi. Sharma to discuss and apprise him of their business plans in India. the foundation produces a series of research reports and engages its members in sector specific initiatives.P. The Forum is best known for its annual meeting in Davos. and to access a host of benefits and services. 15 January . Concept: Share buyback The repurchase of outstanding shares (repurchase) by a company in order to reduce the number of shares on the market. It gives you enough time to sell your existing property and make payment for the new house and also pay off the loan quickly. Unilever and Philips. A look by BALAJI RAO Apart from offering regular new home loans and house renovation loans. Diageo. Also. Nagar was found attractive enough for investing and the 3-BHK seemed good enough. By reducing the number of shares outstanding on the market. The company had announced its buyback programme on January 23. travelling to and fro on an everyday basis to their respective offices was cumbersome. Mr. The compulsions The compulsion of arranging the immediate substantial payment to the builder was the deciding factor for the choice of loan. 2. including health and the environment. Companies buy back shares on the open market over an extended period of time. After two years of cross-training. will meet Mr. including those from TESCO.resident’s demographic and biometric information. selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world. Consider the example given below to understand the same in a perspective. And the couple opted for a bridge loan from a housing finance institution. Home bridge loans are specially designed to meet such requirements for the interim period between sale of the existing house and purchase of a new one. in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. academic and other leaders of society to shape global. Nagar. The number (referred to until now as the ‘UID’) has been named Aadhaar. housing financial institutions offer the facility of bridge loans too. such as the hip.P. load-bearing bones. This word is present across most Indian languages and can therefore be used in branding and communication of the UIDAI program across the country. 2012. Merck. Sharma will also host a Global Investment Roundtable. Another recent study confirms that increasing muscle mass makes the spongy insides and the hard outsides of bones stronger. with effect from January 19. It was through Manoj’s colleague that an apartment being Strong muscles for strong bones It’s true that stronger muscles mean stronger bones. which usually will be for a period of two years. lumbar spine and thigh bone. A buyback allows companies to invest in them. there was a study of women who went through early menopause (that increases the risk for osteoporosis) and then adopted a workout routine combining a range of physical activities from lifting weights to jumping rope. The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss non-profit foundation. which translates into ‘foundation’. Shareholders may be presented with a tender offer whereby they have the option to submit (or tender) a portion or all of their shares within a certain time frame and at a premium to the current market price. The organisation also convenes some six to eight regional meetings each year in locations such as Latin America and East Asia. Geneva. or to eliminate any threats by shareholders who may be looking for a controlling stake. Standard Chartered. as well as undertaking two further annual meetings in China and the United Arab Emirates. Financial bridges Bridge loans are for the period between sale of an existing house and purchase of a new one.500 top business leaders. This is useful when you do not want to take a long-term home loan. Companies will buy back shares either to increase the value of shares still available (reducing supply). Surabhi was ready for her schooling stint which prompted them to contemplate moving out from their current house to the vicinity of J. Since their work place was in J. regional and industry agendas. What is to be noted importantly is that the interest rates for these types of loans are higher than the normal long-term loans since the duration of bridge loans are shorter. buybacks increase the proportion of shares a company owns. The HFI will lend approximately 80 per cent of the value of the new property. JTS Institute 17 Current Affairs Notes .

a 10 mg/dl reduction in LDL level at the age of 40 is likely to reduce the life-time risk of heart attacks by 50 per cent whereas the same reduction achieved at 70 years will lead to only 20 per cent reduction. It is better to start lowering LDL levels at a younger age. could be counted during mid-day over a period of some four hours. better known as ‘good cholesterol’. P. had not yet received the kind of official or non-official attention and patronage that it rightly deserves. your doctor is the best judge to monitor your condition. Later. like being active. 3. a sedentary lifestyle and obesity.e. which are of three types: lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL) which carries 60-70 per cent of the total blood cholesterol. The Climate Parliament group of MPs had recently met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and JTS Institute 18 Current Affairs Notes . With a recorded spread of some 3. the risk of heart attacks increases particularly rapidly when the LDL levels increase above 100 mg/dl. At any given LDL level. it is more often due to lifestyle factors such as diabetes. The MPs emphasised that sufficient budget allocation is crucial for a time bound development of transmission network and grid infrastructure for renewable energy absorption and supply. some 90 km west of Allahabad. LDL levels as low as less than 40 mg/dl have been shown to be safe. it gets filled with rain water each monsoon. the HDL levels should be maintained above 40 mg/dl in men and above 50 mg/ dl in women. But we were certainly disappointed by the fact that the wetland. more recent data suggests that among those with a heightened risk of heart attacks and strokes (such as those already having heart disease). Both travel in the blood in the form of lipoproteins. which is rich in triglyceride and carries 10-15 per cent of the blood cholesterol. For example. However. Manage your weight. better known as the ‘bad cholesterol’. Thus. a reference to the road map of Uttar Pradesh confirmed that it is a major riparian wetland called the AlwaraTaal in the district of Kaushambi. coots in particular. we came across not only the wetland’s aquatic richness. A number of birds flying in formation and out of counting distance certified to the wetland’s richness. This is all the Green energy 1. High input (chemical fertiliser and pesticides) farming on its fringe must be in form of run-off adding to the pollution load of the wetland. more disconcerting in the light of a recent TEEB (The Economics and Ecosystems and Biodiversity) report which states that the world has lost almost half of its wetlands in the last 100 years. And we were not really disappointed with its bird life when we could find time on December 19 to visit and briefly survey it. rather than being the cause of CVD itself. Although. over the year. we assumed that it must be a notified bird sanctuary teeming with birds of all kinds. there is no ‘normal’ range of LDL. and even beneficial to some patients with a history of heart attacks. LDL. removes cholesterol from blood vessels and returns it to liver where it is broken down. Certain medicines (steroids and some hormones) and disease conditions (thyroid problems) can also cause dyslipidemia. Impressed by its aquatic expanse. The two main forms are cholesterol and triglycerides. high-density lipoprotein (HDL) which carries 2030 per cent of the total blood cholesterol and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). HDL appears to protect against the development of atherosclerosis. every 1 mg/dl increase leads to a one per cent increase in heart attack risk. despite its size. its watery spread fluctuates with season. including 57 sarus cranes. There were signs of rampant poaching of birds. located along a pronounced meander in the river Yamuna. high blood pressure (BP). Any imbalance or abnormality in their levels is known as dyslipidemia. As always.15 January . newer evidence has clearly shown that raised triglyceride levels on their own also increase the risk of heart attacks. if requisite protective steps are not taken with a sense of urgency. A low level of HDL has been consistently shown to be associated with an increased risk of CVD and seems to be a stronger reason for heart attacks than increased LDL. most important of which are diabetes. and alarming spread of weeds like water hyacinth (besharam) and acacia (babool) plants. However. the Climate Parliament group of Members of Parliament asked the Finance Minister. HDL. CVD has a number of risk factors. in tandem with the renewable energy capacity addition plans in the country. are met fully. is the most important lipid element responsible for cholesterol build up. Ideally. balancing your calorie intake and expenditure.000 bighas (700 hectares) and a maximum depth of about five metres. so that the targets set in the National Action Plan of Climate Change (NAPCC) and in the draft 12 Plan document. 2. As we tried to approach. Although dyslipidemia can occur because of genetic causes. Dyslipidemia can be managed in simple ways. Lipids are types of fats in the body. collectively referred to as CVD (cardiovascular disease) by doctors.21 January 2013 The fats in your blood Almost everyone knows that the build-up of cholesterol in the arteries is harmful for the heart. presented recently to the National Development Council.200 birds of 55 species. But what many don’t know is that this build-up can occur anywhere in the body and might lead to lower limb gangrene and kidney damage in addition to heart attack and stroke. In a pre-budget exercise. smoking. We were informed by the locals that the high floods in the Yamuna in 1978 had flooded the entire expense of the natural depression right up till the raised ring road. the AlwaraTaal — named after the bordering village of Alwara — is a natural but shallow depression lying within the meander of the river. it is good to have even lower levels i. Surrounded by around 10 villages and a rural ring road. Wetland in search of a ‘Salim Ali’ It first caught our attention on a Google Earth image as a markedly unusual geographical feature. stop smoking and take precautions if you are a diabetic. Chidambaram to incorporate a series of financial measures for renewable energy in the Budget 2013-14. More than 1. the ramshackle bamboo lookout located approximately at the centre of the wetland. smoking and abnormal lipid levels or ‘dyslipidemia’. in a small country boat. A triglyceride level of less than 150 mg/dl is considered ideal. less than 70 mg/dl of LDL. Increased triglyceride levels point only towards coming cardiovascular risk. but many alarming signs of its possible destruction.

” said Joseph Gangestad. 2011 to June 6. India seems to have woken up to the urgency of having a single emergency response number on the lines of America’s 911. they can be as much as 16 minutes apart. so from November on. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to bring a consultation paper in this connection soon to kick-start the process of having a single emergency helpline where a call centre will receive all distress calls and then accordingly alert departments or agencies concerned depending upon the type of emergency. the sun would appear in the same spot in the sky each day and clocks and sundials would always match. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended the Pawan Hans service in the northeast region from May 5. perihelion comes after the winter solstice. Thus. Purdue University. For Earth. and that’s where things get complicated. Gray winter mornings explained 1. the perihelion. Add it all together and you get sunrise and sunset times that are not symmetrical. in New York fell as soon as November 30. the sky was clearly lighter around 5 pm. The result is more darkness in the morning and less in the afternoon. you have “different things going on at the same time. and making the day shorter. the achievement of 15 per cent renewable energy in the total electricity mix of the country by 2020 under the NAPCC and the target of achieving 30. a professor of astronomy at Williams College. It appears farther south and travels a shorter arc across the sky. 5. Earth is accelerating. Soon. Earth’s tilt means that every day during the fall. which pushes solar noon backward against clock time. The changes in the solar time follow a different cycle. But sunset is being pushed in both directions. Kepler discovered that planets move faster at the part of their orbit that is closest to the sun. Thus. the angle at which we view the sun changes. sunrise is being pushed later by both the changing angle of the sun and the slowing of solar time.000 crore for establishing the intra and interstate transmission for renewable energy. that killed the then Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu. In the first accident. Instead. In New York.21 January 2013 submitted a memorandum. some of the key programmes of the Ministry under the first phase of the National Solar Mission have faced serious setbacks due to the lack of adequate budget. “It’s is really a figment of our timekeeping system.15 January . 42. Singh had assured the MPs to positively look into the demands of viability gap funding for encouraging private sector investments in the enhancement of transmission infrastructure for renewable energy. 2011 of an AS 350 B3. “Today. and if its orbit were a circle instead of an ellipse. This number may be called for any emergency — police. We’ve all seen readout of the Equation of Time. 2. additional central assistance to such States that install progressively higher infrastructure for feeding renewable energy based electricity to the grids. 2011 after two helicopter crashes —one on April 19. That is. That shift is amplified because the sun is travelling a little south each day. 2011. 2011 of an Mi-172 and the second on April 30. 4. there must be an adequate allocation to the Ministry of Power. Dr. various states have separate emergency response numbers and in some states even JTS Institute 19 Current Affairs Notes . in the forthcoming Budget. at 4:29 pm. killing 19 persons. The letter submitted to the Finance Minister stated that the actual budget allocated to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in 2012-13 was only 50 per cent of the budget suggested by the Planning Commission and 25 per cent of the budget proposed by the MNRE. while mornings continued to stay dark later. specifically for strengthening the transmission network for renewable energy in light of the report “Green Corridors” carried out by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited where it estimates a requirement of Rs. That’s why the earliest sunset of 2012. Pasachoff. 5.000 MW by 2017 (more than the double of the capacity addition targeted in the last five year plan) are challenging ones. India to have common emergency response number Finally. the Mi-172 helicopter with 23 persons on board flying on the GuwahatiTawang sector crashed at the Tawang helipad while landing. we would never notice it if we all just used sundials. 6. An official of Arunachal Pradesh Civil Aviation Department told The Hindu on Sunday that Chief Minister NabamTuki would take the final decision on routes and timings for the Pawan Hans helicopter services once the necessary safety clearance was obtained. The answer to this mystery lay in the Equation of Time. 3.” said Jay M. if you track noon by the position of the sun instead of on a clock. In the early 1600s. The government had invited bids for twin engine large helicopter (Mi-172/Mi-171 or equivalent) not older than five years. That increased speed means we reach the sun’s maximum a little earlier each day. including two crew members. a shape known as an analemma. fire or ambulance. a PhD in orbital mechanics. As Earth moves toward winter solstice. a grandly name formula relating to the fact that not all days are 24 hours. establishing a partial risk guarantee fund for renewable energy projects and implementation of the Estimates Committee’s 13 Report with respect to increasing the allocations of Renewable Energy Ministry to one per cent of the total national budgetary allocation. According to the Climate Parliament. 20 January 2013 Arunachal Pradesh gets Pawan Hans helicopter The Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited has delivered an Mi-172 helicopter on wet lease to the Arunachal Pradesh government for resumption of passenger services that were suspended after the helicopter accident on April 30. It’s that uneven figure ‘8’ that can be found on globes in a deserted part of the Pacific. early January mornings seemed darker than ever while at the same time. 4. If Earth’s axis were perpendicular to its orbit instead of tilted. while clocks only count its east to west traverse. The MPs also asked the Finance Minister to implement the assurances given by the Prime Minister in the coming Budget. affecting sunrise and sunset equally. 7. In the weeks before the winter solstice.

there is going to be the inevitable political opposition to the move in the short-term which can be managed. including Central and state government bodies and private telecom operators. fire. a senior Ministry of Home Affairs official said it has been observed that people call up emergency number. can charge a price lower than that of the oil companies and cut into the bulk supplies business. For instance.” he said. diesel deregulation is only one part of that. Competition in oil industry In the oil industry. All this would have to be completed within a standard response time. How can an increase in prices be politically gainful? Part of larger political game-plan Simple. Pointing out that the current emergency response system was not appropriate. GSM or CDMA. “We want to make the new emergency mechanism a hi-tech one where all calls would be registered in a computerised system that would track the geographic location of the caller and then alert the closest PCR. That is when the national oil companies will feel JTS Institute 20 Current Affairs Notes . So. Ministers and bureaucrats may not want to call it deregulation given the political implications but the fact is it is indeed that. “Having a single emergency number will ensure that a person in distress does not gets diverted to other department or agency…the person manning the emergency number would take the call and then alert the department concerned. It will also help fix responsibility if someone is found guilty of any kind of laxity. which delays response time. as is the general expectation. the most important gain for the government from this move will be on the political front. increasing food subsidy and providing for the cash transfer scheme.police helpline 100 does not work properly. Imagine the ballast that this will provide for the government to dish out the lollies in the approach to elections in 2014! If the economy picks up.” he added. Within next couple of months we will seek opinion from various stakeholders. there is obviously a larger game-plan that is being played out. medical or disaster management. For a start.” the official added. all this can be done without attracting the disapproval of the rating agencies or the central bank. He further noted that today. where a person just needs to dial 911 to get immediate help. will begin when retail prices are fully linked to the market. Prudent economic decision Even so. the government has probably freed up at least Rs 50. Reliance Industries and Essar. if someone dials 911 and then hangs up. in this connection.” said a senior TRAI official. These two companies own large. The total subsidy on petroleum products in 2011-12 was close to Rs 70. cooking gas subsidy pruned by capping the number of subsidised cylinders per connection and now gradual elimination of diesel subsidy. The Reserve Bank of India has been impatient with the government for not carrying out necessary fiscal corrections and the ratings agencies have put India on watch for a possible downgrade. While there are obvious positive economic implications.S. the decision to free diesel prices will be seen by rating agencies as a signal of the government’s determination to rein in the fisc. fire or ambulance fitted with GPS system to reduce response time. This is of course assuming that the government does not chicken out from its policy of gradually increasing retail pump prices till the subsidy is wholly eliminated. There is also Shell which has the licence to retail petroleum products and has been keeping a symbolic presence the last few years. Interestingly. the move is likely to unleash competitive forces. of course. say police. medical and other kind of emergencies. for oil companies can now charge market prices to bulk consumers of diesel. we could begin to see competition in the bulk consumers segment where the oil companies now have the freedom to charge market prices. With petrol prices already marked to market. for police a person dials 100 and 101 for fire emergency. We should also not forget that the government has attempted to mollify consumers by increasing the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders per connection to 9 a year from 6 and by reducing petrol prices by a marginal 25 paise a litre. for medical emergency the helpline is 102 or 108 in many states. normally police helpline 100. “We need a number that could be reached by all types of technologies be it landline. there were separate emergency numbers and helplines in most states. Similarly.21 January 2013 The politics of good economics The government’s decision to allow oil companies to increase pump prices of diesel in small increments will help it kill many birds with one stone. only to get diverted to other departments. The twin deficits have kept the markets nervous and the rupee under pressure. put off any chances of a downgrade too. Will it be seen as a step towards fiscal consolidation (and hence add to the argument for cutting rates) or will it be seen as an inflationary move (and hence work against a rate cut)? Though it might not help prune the fiscal deficit this year materially. The gradual increase in pump prices of diesel will ease the subsidy burden on the government and free up precious funds for its social programmes. Of course. And hopefully. Small wonder then that on Friday the rupee shot up by 69 paise to close at a two-month high versus the dollar. 15 January . The RBI will announce its quarterly monetary policy later this month but it will be interesting to note how it views the diesel price adjustment. The Ministry of Home Affairs has also been pushing for a single helpline number in its bid to prepare better for police. the fact is that the decision couldn’t have come at a better time for the economy. the two large private players. fire.000 crore in the coming fiscal for spending on its social programmes which are politically more rewarding. There have been at least two occasions in the past when deregulation of petroleum products were announced but not carried through. then the government will have greater elbow room to spend on the social sector programmes that proved so rewarding for the UPA in the last general elections in 2009.” the official said. the call centre person calls that number back to check if everything was ok…We also need to have a similar system in India.000 crore. “But there is no single helpline as in the U. Importantly. state-of-the-art refineries that can process crude oil of inferior grades which are cheaper than that used by the national oil companies. The real competition.

Pneumonia vaccine may be taken after age 60. Elderly persons who had urinary catheterisation are at increased risk for infections too. In young persons. the treatment can be continued. restore the balance between petrol and diesel passenger cars which was tilted towards the latter. Possible gastro-intestinal infections in the elderly include food poisoning. there is insufficient oxygen supply to the brain. Inconclusive diagnosis In the young. believe authorities concerned. the temperature rises following an infection.21 January 2013 the full impact and consumers begin to reap the benefit. U. But. history of smoking/alcohol consumption. experience a low-grade fever. making it difficult to collect a sample. physicians can suspect infection and start treatment. the decision will also correct a serious flaw in fuel pricing because of which the upper classes that drive high-end saloons and SUVs powered by diesel engines enjoyed subsidy while the middle-classes driving petrol cars and two-wheelers ended up paying free-market prices. Dr Takayashi Yoshida. Oral typhoid vaccine may be taken once in three years. lack of information pertaining to patients seeking treatment in private hospitals stands in the way. coma or even dying. Influenza vaccine can be taken annually. “In elderly women. Rao to join Satellite Hall of Fame Prof U R Rao. Since 1987. they happen to be one of the most important causes of hospital admission and mortality among senior citizens. “White blood cells generally increase following an infection. Dr Harold Rosen. infections become very common. blood in the sputum. Magesh.R. especially by those with asthma. compared to younger persons. Prostate enlargement is common in elderly men. tuberculosis leads to cough. So. phlegm. or because they get less-than-adequate nutrition due to loss of appetite. S. Department of Space is being honoured by the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) by inducting him as a Member of the highly prestigious “Satellite Hall of Fame”. in the elderly.” explains Dr. ISRO and Secretary. diabetic boils. dullness and lethargy.” remarks veteran geriatrician Dr. as new strains emerge every year.” says Dr.C. especially those with co-morbid illness. physicians are not able to make an Bridging the gap in HIVAIDS treatment in private hospitals While government and nongovernment agencies are keen on pulling out all stops to ensure that children are no longer born with HIV-AIDS infection. dull appetite. Heart valve infection is also possible. typhoid and gall bladder infection. like the one that exists for infants. as the elderly person many not be able produce enough saliva. former Chairman. In fact. The elimination of artificial price difference between petrol and diesel will probably be the biggest gain from the government’s decision. “There may also be comorbid illnesses such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. cough and loss of weight. They can also develop pneumonia and other respiratory infections. but in the elderly. R. Natarajan. there may not be much of a cough following a respiratory infection. satellite related aerospace scientific research or development and delivery of applications for business. urinary infection is even more common. Could it be an infection? Restless. The individual may feel run down. this may not happen. 2013 at a gala function to be held in Washington. hopefully. because lung function is not optimum in the elderly. Meanwhile. And it will. in the elderly. The induction of Prof Rao into the Satellite Hall of Fame is scheduled to take place on March 19. “But often. diabetes. which predisposes them to urinary infections. but might indicate an infectious disease. amoebic infection. Dr William Pritchard. Sputum tests might not yield a definite diagnosis. early diagnosis because elderly persons show atypical and confusing symptoms. In old age. hence. especially following consumption of outdated/hotel food. Immunity compromised Infection occurs more often in the elderly because their immunity has been compromised. Again. but. This is dangerous and might result in the patient falling into a semiconscious state. Tetanus vaccination may be taken once every 10 years (as the elderly are prone to falls and wounds) and following any injury. a section of the medical community recommends a vaccination programme for the elderly.” suggests Dr. how does one proceed? If the diagnosis is inconclusive. it presents no gross symptom. leading to symptoms like restlessness and confusion rather than cough or fever. and the Mantoux test (for diagnosing TB) might be inconclusive. and loss of appetite. repeat this vaccination once every 10 years. Fuel-pricing flaw Finally. flagging appetite or even dullness… all these may not be signs of aging. USA. dormant TB can become resurgent. S. if necessary. fever. Possible skin infections include cellulitis (with painful legs that feel warm). the blood count may not be conclusive. and also because many symptoms of infection in the elderly get camouflaged by general agerelated symptoms and behaviour. vomiting. chills. it may not shoot up as much. Dr James Van Allen. confused.” says Dr. A PREVENTIVE MEASURE Elderly persons can benefit from vaccination. After the age of 70. institutions and government via satellite. V. Roping in more hospitals and doctors in JTS Institute 21 Current Affairs Notes . Dr Fredric d’Allest. consultant geriatrician.Natarajan. general physician. Apollo Hospitals. painful skin lesions because of resurgent herpes zoster (chicken pox virus) that had been dormant for long. and may pass urine only in dribbles. D. “Some physicians attribute the patient’s restlessness to ‘elderly behaviour’ and prescribe sedatives rather than drugs to fight infection. Washington. fungal infections. the SSPI Hall of Fame has been recognising the invaluable contribution of the visionaries who have transformed life on planet earth for the better through satellite technology. As a honoured member of Hall of Fame. loss of appetite and weight. which makes them vulnerable to infections.Natarajan. An X-ray can reveal a chest infection. Members of the Hall of Fame are recognised pioneers in communications. Other atypical symptoms of infection in the elderly are falls. incontinence. Dr Peter Jackson and Dr Olof Lundberg. compared with the symptoms these diseases would produce in the young. Ramani. Pneumonia vaccine gives lifelong immunity. in the elderly.15 January . Prof Rao joins over 40 past illustrious space scientists such as Sir Arthur C Clarke. if there is improvement. kidney disease. In fact. however.

they see a huge opportunity even if only a quarter of these new Mercury treaty adopted in Geneva by 140 countries Delegations from some 140 countries have agreed to adopt a ground-breaking treaty limiting the use of health-hazardous mercury. shows the vitality of international environmental politics and the will of states to together find solutions to world problems. the Swiss foreign ministry said today.Sathishkumar. It also affects development of the brain and nervous system and poses the greatest risk to foetuses and infants. the initiative could also bring modern banking to the doorstep of rural India. a move aimed at tackling graft in India’s creaky. Among the four common methods of transmission of HIV.15 January . a goal towards which progress has so far been fitful despite mandatory targets set by the government and Reserve Bank of India. an NGO that acts as a technical advisor for TANSACS.5-$9) of additional costs per account annually. but also ensures that treatment is standardised and uniform for all patients in the State. he or she is referred to ICTC centres for confirmatory tests.the move could burden them with 250 rupees to 500 rupees ($4. small biometric authentication machine and shelf stacked with passbooks. which poses risks to human health and the environment. A business correspondent. they can coordinate with doctors at government hospitals to ensure that patients they refer have turned up for testing or treatment. Indian government pushes banks to go rural Working out of a tiny rented room furnished with a wooden table. 300 private hospitals The Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme initiated by Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) is being strengthened by including more private hospitals and nursing homes under the programme. will aim to reduce global emission levels of the toxic heavy metal also known as quicksilver. to amalgam dental fillings and even facial creams. loss of teeth and problems with the digestive. The importance of screening all pregnant women for HIV-AIDS on their first visit to the gynaecologist is what the agency advocates to all doctors in the private sector. District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit. says Mr. especially in the production of products and in industrial processes. Franz Perrez. metal smelters and cement production. the number has risen only to 100 in 2012. or local representative. Banks fear early pain . Still. But things are set to change with 300 hospitals to be included by March this year. reached after a week of thorny talks. “The adoption of the mercury treaty JTS Institute 22 Current Affairs Notes .” says Selvakumar. While more than one lakh persons across the State are taking antiretroviral (ART) treatment in government hospitals. there is no information on children born to HIVpositive mothers in private healthcare sector. While the programme kicked off in 2009 with 76 hospitals in the State. district supervisor. “The partnership will help us track persons reporting to private hospitals and ensure they continue treatment. “The new treaty aims to reduce the production and the use of mercury. SAATHI. clinics. corruption-ridden public distribution system. Various meetings held in the district have issued a call to private hospitals to share this information as not only does this help in arriving at absolute figures. In simple terms.Sathishkumar. 40 km (25 miles) east of Udaipur city. If a person tests positive in the preliminary test. The world’s first legally binding treaty on mercury. for State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ) in Ranchhodpura village. which it has been doing in 800 hospitals across four States. Recently. Countries will be asked to sign the treaty next October in Minamata. Serious mercury poisoning affects the body’s immune system and can lead to problems including psychological disorders. the statement said.” head of the Swiss delegation to the talks.” the Swiss foreign ministry said in a statement. Japan. there are an undisclosed number seeking care in private hospitals. coalburning power plants. Dangi is racing to sign up villagers to new “no frills” plans to meet a government target that every family in the district should have a bank account. cardiovascular and respiratory tracts. and large amounts of the heavy metal are released from small-scale gold mining. If successful. and care for pregnant HIV-positive women. Ganesh Dangi is a one-man bank for a village of 650 people in northwestern India’s desert state of Rajasthan. New Delhi plans to directly transfer cash payments for subsidies into these accounts. Free testing kits are provided by TANSACS to hospitals enrolled in the programme. The PPP encompasses Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC) and Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission of HIV Centre (PPTCT) services in private hospitals.” Public-private partnership also enables providing free triple drug ARV ART to all HIVpositive pregnant women which in turn would ensure that infection is not transmitted to infants. Mercury is found in products ranging from electrical switches to thermometers to light-bulbs. The PPP programme also makes testing easily accessible for persons who are reluctant to visit an ICTC centre. and nursing homes. Ante-natal care “The main focus of the programme is to track women receiving antenatal care.Sathiskumar. “When a private hospital enters the PPP programme. a similar programme was organised by TRIOGS and IMA for city doctors here.” SAATHI will be engaged in the sensitisation of private hospitals and practitioners.” says Mr.21 January 2013 private health sector can strengthen public-private partnership. while profits may remain elusive for at least 2 years. said in the statement. “While we keep track of those in primary health care centres and government hospitals. coordinator. in honour of the town’s inhabitants who for decades have suffered the consequences of serious mercury contamination. mother to foetus transmission is one. Women who test positive after voluntary testing in private hospitals will be linked to the Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission Programme to ensure HIV virus is not transmitted to infants. according to A. the programme hopes to plug gaps in HIV-AIDS treatment in the private sector by providing free HIV-AIDS testing.

could detect the walls.” said Maxim Pospelov of the University of Victoria in Canada. The Shimla Agreement which enjoins India and Pakistan to bilaterally sort out their JTS Institute 23 Current Affairs Notes . Observations of how mass clumps in space suggest that about 86 per cent of all matter is invisible dark matter. the field froze. 4. he pointed out. whether the resources being spent on UNMOGIP would not be better utilised elsewhere. According to an agreement signed on November 12. said Pospelov. demanding loans. while Roskosmos was to design and build the lander for this combined orbiter-rover-lander mission. each with its own distinct value for the field. “So far nothing is found. This has added to operational challenges faced by peacekeepers and missions are overstretched due to shortage of personnel and equipment. This was disclosed here on Monday by S. Chandrayaan-2: India to go it alone 1. India has decided to go it alone in its second lunar mission. India has two main complaints against the U. years of searches for WIMPs have been coming up empty. say. manpower providers such as India must be kept in the loop while taking a decision on the mission and keeping everyone informed when it changes character.N. 5. peacekeeping operations. The programme could help banks and business correspondents earn about 40 billion rupees ($735 million) as fee income. the Russian Federal Space Agency. akin to the boundaries between tightly packed bubbles. so on a large scale a network of domain walls can look like concentrations of mass . 3. said Pospelov and colleagues in a new study. India has suggested the winding up of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) because its “role has been overtaken by IndoPak Shimla Agreement in 1972. and I feel like it’s time to broaden the scope of our search. What we propose is to look for some other signatures. Domain walls wouldn’t account for all the dark matter in the universe. disputes was “signed by the heads of the two governments and ratified by their respective parliaments”. In this context. Dr. Earth constantly crashes through dark matter walls Earth is constantly crashing through huge walls of dark matter. peacekeeping architecture.21 January 2013 accounts were to turn into regular customers. As a result peacekeeping missions are called upon to do more and more with less and less. devices that measure magnetic fields. Pospelov said.000 rupees. leaving a patchwork of domains. Mr. compared with 44. the device would sense the change when Earth passes through a domain wall. “In times of austerity.Puri pressed home the point about the U. Dark matter walls have not been detected yet because anyone using a single magnetometer would find the readings swamped by noise. said in a note this month. 3. 4. Although the field inside a domain would not affect a magnetometer. but they could explain why finding particles of the stuff has been such a challenge. 6. 7. there was a delay in the construction of the Russian lander.” he said. mutual funds and other products. This resulted in a complete review of technical aspects connected with the 21 January 2013 India for winding up UN mission on Kashmir 1. poor connectivity and low savings in areas where average per capita income is around 16.000 rupees in urban areas. You will go through the wall without noticing. 2. mission having outlived its utility. Murty of the Planetary Exploration Group of the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL). Mass and energy are interchangeable. The most popular theory is that dark matter is made of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPS). New Scientist reported.” 2. The second grouse is about resource allocation failing to keep pace with the mandate expansion. Participating in a debate on U.V. Pospelov said. he felt the U.N. As the universe expanded and cooled. we need to address the question. an institution under the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) here.Murty was speaking on India’s lunar and Mars missions at the ongoing workshop on exoplanets at the laboratory. GAME OF PATIENCE Banks are currently losing money in most of their rural operations. India’s Permanent Representative HardeepPuri reiterated India’s call for more effective utilisation of resources. which interacts with ordinary matter mainly through gravity. Finding the walls will require a network of at least five detectors spread around the world. Having different fields sit next to each other requires energy to be stored within the domain walls. hit by highs costs. One. If the grid of domain walls is packed tightly enough. like dark matter. But magnetometers. you wouldn’t feel a thing. should consider whether money being allocated for UNMOGIP could be allocated to another mission which required beefing up. scientists claim adding that the universe may be filled with a patchwork quilt of force fields created shortly after the Big Bang.” he added.N.that is. 2007 between ISRO and Roskosmos. His colleagues in Poland and California have already built one magnetometer each and have shown that they are sensitive enough for the scheme to work. Mumbaibased brokerage AnandRathi. ISRO had the primary responsibility to provide both the orbiter and the rover. Pospelov said. if the width of the domains is several hundred times the distance between Earth and the Sun .S. However. However. The mission had a lander to return soil sample from the Martian satellite Phobos. following the failure in December 2011 of Roskosmos’ Phobos-Grunt mission. the Chandrayaan-2.Earth should pass through a domain wall once every few years.15 January .N. which was originally proposed as an IndoRussian venture. “As a human. 5. 6. Pospelov and colleagues have been examining a theory that at least some of the universe’s dark matter is tied up in structures called domain walls. The idea is that the hot early universe was full of an exotic force field that varied randomly.

Gokhale passed the order. To justify the postponement. as well as financial problems. two of which will be improvements on instruments that were onboard Chandrayaan-1. 2. The road is used to reach the Limestone Cave. persons residing in the reserve and vehicles carrying essential commodities for the Jarawas would be allowed on the Trunk Road. among other reasons. It posted the matter for further hearing on February 26. 8. The Bench directed the Andaman and Nicobar Administration to file an affidavit. the onus of proof on the tax authorities rises exponentially. Yet the important takeaway from the modified GAAR is that it is meant to please the FIIs and portfolio managers even if. it has been decided that GAAR will cover only those transactions whose main purpose—as opposed to one of the main purposes—is to get a tax benefit. Ahmedabad. This is a retreat from the government’s stated position of wanting to know the identity of PN holders. sound principles of public finance are diluted. 5.Chandrayaan-2 will have five primary payloads on the orbiter. its deferment can be formalised only during the forthcoming budget. coming just weeks before the Union budget. only the tax official in the GAAR panel will be accountable to the income tax department and the government. are meant to reinforce the perception of a government not loath to take tough. adjacent and contiguous to the Jarawa Tribal Reserve Area — starting from the Constance Bay in South Andaman to Lewis Inlet Bay in Middle Andaman. Furthermore. companies to hike diesel prices in a graded manner. Supreme Court bans tourists from taking trunk road passing through Jarawa area in Andamans 1. 7. Justice Singhvi told counsel. 6. in this case specifically to assure them of the continuance of a less onerous tax regime. The design of the indigenous lander and the preliminary configuration study was completed by the Space Applications Centre (SAC). was quashed by the Calcutta High Court. 2. The Supreme Court on Monday banned tourists from taking the Andaman Nicobar Trunk Road that passes through the area where the Jarawas live. the notification declares a buffer zone of an area up to a fivekm radius. Since GAAR has been incorporated in the Finance Act 2012. 6. In addition. Perhaps the most controversial decision is to exclude offshore derivative instruments. 9. The court has already banned all commercial and tourism activities within a five-km radius of the Jarawa Tribal Reserve on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 3. of late. unpopular decisions. In a twin-policy remedial package aimed at checking the runaway rise in gold imports. the rover too will carry two additional instruments. along with a detailed map indicating the areas of Jarawas and settlement of others. the stock markets that have. Some of its other decisions. and is a serious setback to anti-money laundering efforts. as so often in recent times. This was followed by the January 17 notification. However. the Russian agency apparently expressed its inability provide the lander to meet even the revised time frame of 2015 for the Chandrayaan-2 launch. 9. 8. the government has opted for short-term expediency to support the external sector. A Bench of Justices G. The October 30. which may be prejudicial to the safety. security and interests of the Diluting GAAR 1. no one shall carry out any activity. On an appeal. 4. the Supreme Court. L. the so-called participatory notes or PN. Singhvi and H. which has been adversely impacting the CAD since last fiscal. in the process. 2007 notification. Once again.” “File affidavit” 7. from GAAR. the United Progressive Alliance government has accepted most of the ParthasarathiShome Committee’s recommendations.S. platinum The government on Monday hiked the import duty on gold and platinum from 4 to 6 per cent with immediate effect in an urgent bid to curb imports of the precious metals and contain the widening current account deficit (CAD). A significant change is to have a multi-member panel comprising just one senior tax official to determine the applicability of GAAR to specific transactions. The Bench directed that only government officials. which were also used in the lunar projects such as the lander for Chandrayaan-2. such as the hike in railway fares before the railway budget and the permission to public sector oil marketing Import duty hiked on gold. ought to be seen as one of the many signals the government has been sending to revive the ‘animal spirits’ of foreign investors. However. the need to train tax officials in the finer aspects of international taxation. taking on record the Andaman and Nicobar Administration’s January 17 notification to comply with the court directives issued last year. stayed the order and asked the administration to strictly enforce the notification till it was considered by the court. been driven by foreign institutional investors (FII) reached new highs. the government also announced its decision to link the Gold ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) with Gold Deposit schemes as a measure to increase the supply of physical gold in the JTS Institute 24 Current Affairs Notes . The status of double taxation avoidance agreements in a post-GAAR regime is still a matter of conjecture. PRL director Jitendra Goswami clarified that this did not mean that the Indo-Russian collaboration on planetary exploration had ended. 3. Except 30 villages notified in the schedule. “You provide helicopter service to… tourists to reach the cave as there is a total ban in the buffer area. imposing the ban. 4. The GAAR decision. Due to this. Days after the government’s announcement. 5. No person shall operate any commercial or tourist establishment directly or indirectly in the buffer zone. he said. The expectation is that the inclusion of a judicial and an academic member will ease concerns over possible high-handed behaviour by the tax authorities in their desire to maximise tax revenue. Jarawas in any of the settlement villages. In another important clarification. In postponing the General AntiAvoidance Rules (GAAR) of taxation to April 2016 and reducing its rigour. the Committee had cited. Chandrayaan-2 will be launched by a GSLV powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine.15 January .21 January 2013 Phobos-Grunt mission. domestic entrepreneurs and rentiers. As a result of this change.

Fearing the Government could be flooded with more notices in future. The freeze will continue till the Government reviews the model text of BIPA is completed. “All the ingredients were there for life. with the University of Aberdeen. scientists have suggested that the same may have been true for Mars. or other criteria of the item such as its size. Therefore. 6. “The government has decided to increase import duty on gold and platinum from 4 percent to 6 percent with immediate effect. India has signed BIPAs with 82 countries of which 72 treaties have been enforced. the Union Government has ordered a freeze of all Bilateral Investment Protection Agreements (BIPA) negotiations till a review of the model text of BIPA is carried out and completed. The spate of notices under BIPA JTS Institute 25 Current Affairs Notes . The adverse experience with BIPA with an estimated $5 billions hanging in balance could dampen the Foreign Office’s enthusiasm of inking the pact with a large number of countries.15 January . Vodafone was first off the blocks with a notice to the government stating that it was covered under BIPA as an investor defined under Article 1(d) of the treaty. Till date. 2.21 January 2013 market without resorting to imports. The group headed by Revenue Secretary also included Secretaries of the Department of Economic Affairs. Goods are considered to be dumped if it is established that their export price to the Community is less than the price of the same or similar goods on the domestic market of the exporting country.” Department of Economic Affairs Secretary ArvindMayaram said here. 5. would effect consequential changes in the additional customs duty and excise duty on gold ‘dore’ bars. Capital Global Limited and Kaif Investment Limited [both Mauritius basedinvestors in Loop Telecom Limited under BIPA with Mauritius]. Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs). When meteorites strike the surface of Mars. Dr. Also referred to as customs duty. Norwegian telecom company Telenor and UAE-based Etislat. the Ministries of Finance and Commerce & Industry felt it was time India carried out a review of the model text of BIPA and therefore decided to put on hold all negotiations pertaining to BIPA till a thorough review is carried out. In fact. Telecom Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs. Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation [Russia]. they analysed rocks and found they contain clays and minerals whose chemical make-up has been altered by water. Countervailing duty (CD)Countervailing duty is levied on goods which have received Government subsidies in the originating or exporting country. bringing up rocks from far beneath the crust. Among the companies that have served notices under BIPA are Devas Employees Mauritius [BIPA with Mauritius]. lead author and planetary geologist at the Natural History Museum said. dimensions. Looking at data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ESA’s Mars Express spacecrafts. The government will proceed to negotiate BIPA agreements expeditiously once the review is complete. The issue has figured in summit meetings with Russian President Valdimir Putin having raised the issue in his annual meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month. Besides. the Daily Mail reported. instead of hosting little green men. Vodafone International [the Netherlands]. However. Following outcry by foreign investors and show cause notice issued by Vodafone on the issue. and. pending review of the model text. the feedback to the IMG from all the Ministries had indicated that taxation issues were not covered under BIPA. This follows a spate of show cause notices on the Government by foreign companies seeking to recover their investments under the agreement. thus enabling the goods to be imported into the Community at prices substantially lower than the normal commercial value. The IMG had concluded that international taxation issues don’t come under BIPA. the Children’s Investment Fund Management [the UK and Cyprus]. 4. began with the Vodafone case but the Supreme Court’s cancellation of the 2G licenses led to more companies following suit with firm backing from governments where they are headquartered. gold ores and refined gold. BIPA talks put on hold 1. 7. The government. import tax and import tariff. our celestial neighbour was likely inhabited by simple microorganisms. Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). but only small single-cell organisms could have survived in those conditions. they act like natural probes.’’ said a communication by the Department of Economic Affairs. “It has been decided to review the model text of BIPA in the light of arbitration notice[s] received under different BIPAs. Telenor Asia [Singapore]. ‘Mars may have been inhabited by microorganisms’ All the ingredients that support life was present just below the surface of Mars for much of the red planet’s history.” Dr. The first BIPA was signed in 1994 with UK.Mayaram said. India has signed 17 Free Trade Agreements. the government had last year constituted an inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) to look into the issue. This tax is used to raise state revenue. tariff. all BIPA negotiations have been kept on hold. Import duty:A tax collected on imports and some exports by the customs authorities of a country. 3. With up to half of life on Earth consisting of simple microorganisms that lives in below the surface. Law and Justice Ministry. 8. found that all the ingredients for life were present just below the planet’s surface for much of its history. Joseph Michalski. In a significant development. a new study has claimed. The IMG had also concluded in the Vodafone case that the issue was not covered under the India and the Netherlands BIPA. This was soon followed by another round of notices issued in the aftermath of Supreme Court cancelling 122 telecom licenses resulting in companies like Russian telecom giant Sistema. Its Dutch subsidiary Vodafone International Holdings BV served the notice. The study led by the Natural History Museum. Concept: Anti-Dumping duty (ADD) Antidumping-duty is imposed to provide protection to Community industry against the dumping of goods from non-Community countries at prices that are substantially lower than the normal commercial value. It is based on the value of goods called ad valorem duty or the weight.

while the US has delayed the implementation and timetable of the Basel-III capital reforms. Eurogroup bids farewell to mercurial Jean-Claude Juncker. “We expect banks in high-growth systems such as India and China JTS Institute 26 Current Affairs Notes . It also noted the concerns of the respondents over the precarious fiscal deficit scenario of the government. it said that Asia Pacific banks were better placed than their peers elsewhere. which contain clay and carbonate minerals. The survey showed that majority of the respondents firmly believed that the fiscal deficit target set by the government is not achievable in the current scenario. there is an expectation of situation to be much better in the short to medium term horizon at both industry as well as firm level. as captured by the Assocham Business Confidence Survey for December 2012.was frequently discussed until the early hours of the morning over dinner and wine in a smoke-filled room. 58. handed the reins of the Eurogroup to a polished 46-yearold Dutchman. As per the agency. the survey said. India’s economic situation is expected to change for better in the coming months. It estimated that capital shortfall of major Indian and Chinese banks could reach about USD 100 billion by 2019 though. 5. In reference to the recent approval given to multi-brand retail. Juncker’s departure signals the end of an era during which policy including some of the most critical decisions of the debt crisis . 10. high cost of credit and increasing raw material prices. promising a new approach to how economic policy among the 17 euro zone countries is shaped and decided. to succeed Juncker. 3. Economic scenario likely to improve: Survey 1. consumers. “Rising fiscal deficit has been a major cause of concern not only for the policy makers but also for the industry. 4. 11. The mood. ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said today. he said.” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said. However.15 January . and also carry clues to how life developed on Earth. a final draft is under discussion in the European Union. than I would be if we did one day discover that simple life lived in that environment. It started as an informal dinner among European finance ministers more than 14 years ago and has steadily gained prominence under its veteran president. 4. Some deep craters on Mars also acted as basins where groundwater likely emerged to produce lakes. there is a chance it could still exist now. Further.21 January 2013 “But I would now be more surprised if there was never any life on Mars.1 percent to 5. rural youth. Banks from the Asia-Pacific region as a whole were better placed to meet the higher capital requirements under Basel III norms. Jean-Claude Juncker. 3. 12. “Asia-Pacific banks are poised to take the global lead in implementing Basel III in 2013.” Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Naoko Nemoto said. employment and in reducing inflation. but Indian and Chinese banks may find it difficult to raise funds to meet the new norms due to their rising bad assets. 3.3 percent. After a 16-1 vote. 4. ‘Indian banks may face hurdles to raise funds under Basel III 1. a survey has said. The government hopes to restrict fiscal deficit at 5. But on Monday the grey-haired Juncker. 9. heralds new era 1. factors affecting business were poor infrastructure. 8. Most countries in the region have published their final set of Basel III capital reform regulations effective from January 2013 and these banks will adopt the new capital regulations ahead of their global peers. to face challenges in maintaining or raising capital ratios to keep pace with growth in risk assets.” S&P said in report. as a whole. a Luxembourger who had headed the group for eight years. The government had earlier enhanced the fiscal deficit target from 5. it would negatively affect small retailers and SMEs. 2. the finance ministers named JeroenDijsselbloem.“The latest round of the survey connotes that economic situation has somewhat turned better in the last six months. The fluids that formed these minerals could one day tell us more as to whether there was life beneath the surface.3 percent of the GDP in the current fiscal year in view of savings on certain expenditure and the likelihood of garnering budgeted proceeds from disinvestment and spectrum sale. seems to be improving at both the economic and industry levels. Majority of respondents said they expect their sales volumes to be higher in the following quarter and investments are also expected to be somewhat constant in the coming six months. although the fiscal deficit target set by the government seems to be unachievable in the current scenario. 7. 6. an Irisheducated social democrat with flawless English. Further. Only Spain opposed the appointment. the Reserve Bank of India had last month rescheduled the starting date for implementation of the Basel III norms to April 2013.” it said. And if life existed then. the chamber said. 2. the survey said. 2.” Michalski said. it stated that the industry believes that while the measure would have a positive impact on farmers.

The quake. Knowing the temperature of a planet is key to whether or not the planet is habitable (not necessarily inhabited). This change must be periodic if it is caused by a planet. Jorhat in Assam. Determine the variety of orbit sizes and planet reflectivities. And the group’s leader says the number is probably more like half —which means there may be a staggering number of them within their stars’ so-called ‘habitable zones’. masses and densities of short-period giant planets. that fly around the sun and past the planets of our solar system. At least one in seven ‘exoplanets’ are flying close-in orbits around their suns much like Earth’s orbit around its sun. and the blobs grow into rocks. ppm). From the orbital size and the temperature of the star. are icy remnants of a time—billions of years ago—when all planets must have formed from clouds of frozen rocky rubble. all transits produced by the same planet must be of the same change in brightness and last the same amount of time. the rocks coalesce and become bigger things—planetesimals and comets —and finally. Like the comets in Earth’s night sky. hit the region at around 7. officials at the Regional Seismological Centre here said. “Interstellar dust under the influence of gravity becomes blobs. thus providing a highly repeatable signal and robust detection method.14 January 2013 Issue-2/2013 (7 January to 14th 7 January) CURRENT AFFAIRS CLASS NOTES: 7 Jan -14 Jan. where temperatures would be just right for water to exist. Unlike the comets of our own night sky like Haley’s. lasting for 1 to 16 hours. Determine the abundance of terrestrial and larger planets in or near the habitable zone of a wide variety of stars. Identify additional members of JTS Institute 1 Current Affairs Notes . sizes. and that might mean a ‘staggering’ number of planets. and with orbits around their stars that are closer than the orbit of Mercury to our sun. Only planets with Extra Terrestrial life Kepler Mission Scientific Objective: The scientific objective of the Kepler Mission is to explore the structure and diversity of planetary systems. By defining the volume of space needed for the search and By allowing SIM to target systems already known to have terrestrial planets. they said. and 6. you get planets. Estimate how many planets there are in multiple-star systems.” said Mr. Transits by terrestrial planets produce a small change in a star’s brightness of about 1/10. The epicentre was in Phek district of Nagaland. measuring 5. This is achieved by surveying a large sample of stars to: 1. 2013 (Compiled from 11 Newspapers & 7 Magazines) 8 Janaury 2013 Moderate earthquake hits North-east An earthquake of moderate intensity on Wednesday rocked the entire north eastern region. • • The Transit Method of Detecting Extrasolar Planets: When a planet crosses in front of its star as viewed by an observer. a team of scientist headed by Francois Fressin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics say there could be at least 17 billion exoplanets in the Milky Way.000 (100 parts per million. 2.January . the planet’s orbital size can be calculated from the period (how long it takes the planet to orbit once around the star) and the mass of the star using Kepler’s Third Law of planetary motion. the planet’s characteristic temperature can be calculated. But by factoring in the exoplanets discovered by Kepler to date. Dr. The quake lasted a few seconds and rocked all major towns in the region. 4. those objects that astronomers now call ‘exomets’. the scientists say. 3. but there was no report of any injury to people or damage to property. the event is called a transit. In addition. moderate temperatures are habitable for life similar to that found on Earth. Their analysis included only planets roughly the size of Earth.9 on the Richter scale. although the ingredients for planets do exist in clouds of gas and dust. The size of the planet is found from the depth of the transit (how much the brightness of the star drops) and the size of the star.12 AM with its epicentre being 89 km underneath the earth’s crust along the Indo— Myanmar border. Welsh at a press conference during a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Determine the properties of those stars that harbor planetary systems. The Kepler Mission also supports the objectives of future NASA Origins theme missions Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) and Terrestrial Planet Finder(TPF). • By identifying the common stellar characteristics of host stars for future planet searches.Lallenmawia said the technical information about the quake was received from the seismological centre of the North East Institute of Science and Technology. 5. objects are flying past stars where planets haven’t formed yet. Determine the distribution of sizes and shapes of the orbits of these planets. Once detected. The discovery of ‘exomets’ suggests they are just as common as ‘exoplanets’ in other distant solar systems. each discovered planetary system using other techniques.

f) The government has taken various tough measures such as raising diesel prices. 2. It is usually 60 cm long with a 140 cm wingspan and is brown above and white below. with each permit allowing 100 birds to be hunted by the holder. the Federal authorities in Pakistan reportedly issue permits during the “hunting season” in Sindh province every year. High Fiscal deficit 3.A.7 January . The Arab royals also used to visit Iran and Afghanistan for falconry till late 1970s. its membership has grown steadily to include over 100 Parties from Africa. India was ranked lowest among Fitch Threatens to downgrade India The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said it is not worried about the threat of ratings downgrade by global agencies like Fitch as it is moving on the right track and will restrict fiscal deficit to 5. Central and South America. Reasons for downgrade: 1. Europe and Oceania. 5.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). not to be confused with the Bonn Agreement) aims to conserve terrestrial. it is not enforced against the royal guests from the West Asian countries who believe that the Houbara meat has mythical aphrodisiac qualities. Diminishing exports 7.8 percent. the U. as against 5. Pakistan became a favourite destination for the bird hunters. b) Fitch as well as Standard & Poor’s have assigned the lowest investment grade rating to India and any downgrade would push it to the ‘junk’ grade making it difficult for corporates to raise finances from overseas markets at competitive rates. Geneva. rulers and influential people from countries such as Qatar. diesel and food subsidies to deal with the deteriorating fiscal situation. capping subsidised LPG cylinders and pruning non-Plan expenditure with a view to curtailing government expenditure and containing fiscal deficit. High subsidies 5. 4. WEF rates India lowest on tackling risks WEF: The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss non-profit foundation. as well as the availa-bility of assets and extent of liabilities. Because of its increased hunting especially in its winter habitats. The poaching mainly in Sindh province along the international border is not only a cause of serious concern for India but also in violation of wildlife protection laws and international conventions. academic and other leaders of society to shape global. The Houbara bustards migrate from the cold northern regions of Siberia to the warmer regions of the world. A leading environmental group working for conservation of flora and fauna has sought intervention of the External Affairs Ministry to put pressure on Pakistan to ban hunting of rare birds. the Finance Ministry has already raised the fiscal deficit target to a more acceptable level of JTS Institute 2 Current Affairs Notes . the Houbara bustards migrate from the cold northern regions of Siberia to the warmer regions of the world. is estimated to slip to around 5. No policy initiatives 4. Low growth rate. 3. Credit Rating: An assessment of the credit worthiness of individuals and corporations. 2. including the Indian subcontinent. based in Cologny. The Convention was signed in 1979 in Bonn (hence the name) and entered into force in 1983 Houbara Bustard: 1. Bahrain. Bird-lovers describe it as a beautiful bird with a black stripe down the sides of its neck. Under IUCN it is classified as vulnerable. which has drastically reduced India’s share of their annual winter migration and affected the desert eco-system. It is based upon the history of borrowing and repayment. including health and the environment. through falconry in Pakistan has led to an alarming decline in their numbers. It describes itself as an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business.14 January 2013 Issue of hunting of rare India-bound birds in Pakistan 1. Political Logjam 6. also known as the Bonn Convention. the Convention of the International Trade in Endangered Species has classified it as an endangered migratory bird.1 percent estimated earlier. Most of the permits go to royalty. Named “Taloor” in Sindhi language. 2. Bird-lovers describe it as a beautiful bird with a black stripe down the sides of its neck. concerned with the conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale.500 top business leaders. Since the fall of the Shah of Iran and the prolonged war in Afghanistan. e) The Committee had suggested that slew of measures like phased elimination of LPG. kerosene. 5. selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.E. concluded under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme. It is an intergovernmental treaty. Sluggish industrial sector a) In view of rising expenditure and subdued growth in revenue collection. Concepts: Bonn Convention 1. marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The Houbara bustard is listed in the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals. 6. taxonomically classified as Clamydotisundulata. regional and industry agendas.3 percent of the GDP in 2012-13. The Forum is best known for its annual meeting in Davos. Houbara bustards. which would be the lowest in the last decade. The species has been declared vulnerable due to a more than 60 per cent decline in its global population even as India’s share in the Houbara’s migration is “bagged” in the neighbouring country. political. c) India’s economic growth during 2012-13. d) The government is also looking into the various recommendations of the Kelkar Committee which had suggested a road map for fiscal consolidation. Since the Convention’s entry into force. a mountain resort in Graubünden. It is usually 60 cm long with a 140 cm wingspan and is brown above and white below. The meeting brings together some 2. Asia. The hunting of Houbara bustards. Though Pakistan banned hunting of birds in 1972. including the Indian sub-continent. Even as Houbara bustard is regarded as the provincial bird of Balochistan. The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known as CMS or the Bonn Convention. and Saudi Arabia. according to RBI. international political leaders.

while Switzerland is on the top. but soon this may no longer be the case. Jharkhand’s ruling coalition partner JMM submitted its letter to Governor Syed Ahmed today formally withdrawing support to the 28-month-old ArjunMunda government pushing it to a minority.that for the reasons mentioned by him.” ShibuSoren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha formally withdraws support from BJP-led Arjun Munda govt.14 January 2013 the world’s major economies for its preparedness to tackle global environmental risks and secondlowest for economic risks. water supply crises and mismanagement of ageing population. Earlier in the day. a free vote is not possible. A national task force in India had recommended ending overthe-counter sales of antibiotics. e.200 crore for projects that need cabinet approval. Japan. 3. Many people take for granted that antibiotics will always be available when we need them. Switzerland. Brazil.R Bommai’s case The language of Bommai is plain. he said investment limit has been raised from Rs 600 crore to Rs 1. the only way of testing it is on the floor of the House” (emphasis as in the original). India was ranked 38th in terms of its risk management effectiveness and 32nd for its resilience to global risks. b. while those positioned below India on this metric included Italy. the more quickly bacteria resistant to that antibiotic will be selected and increased in numbers.” “The assessment of the strength of the Ministry is not a matter of private opinion of any individual be he the Governor or the President” (emphasis added). Congress said today. Concept regarding dissolution of legislative assembly by the governor: Please refer to S. Steps Taken: 1 ‘India’s Growth: Greater Opportunities’. d. Deepening the political crisis in the state.and records the same in his report . Jharkhand Cabinet decision not binding on Governor: Congress New Delhi: Jharkhand Cabinet’s decision recommending dissolution of the Assembly was “not binding” on the Governor as it was done by the ArjunMunda Government after being reduced to a “minority”. chronic fiscal imbalances. 2 At present. who is in-charge of Congress affairs in Jharkhand. “the proper course for testing the strength of the Ministry is holding the test on the floor of the House. Singapore was ranked on top in both these surveys. Taking into account the scores of all the countries. While India is ranked ninth in terms of its ability to tackle global economic risks and comes last at tenth position for environmental risks. Italy. said that the party would await the decision of Governor Syed Ahmed before deciding its future course of action. The US and China were ranked fourth and fifth respectively. The more a particular antibiotic is used. although it ranks second-lowest in terms of its global competitiveness index score. Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma said today.7 January . Health-related risks: 1. the national investment rate is around 33-34 percent and by the end of 12th Plan. the policy has been made friendlier. f. he said. a report said on Tuesday. Italy is ranked lowest at tenth position for economic risks. For India. Greatest risk of hubris to human health comes in the form of antibiotic resistant bacteria.” Justices Sawant and Kuldip Singh held. 4. 3. c. Among the top-five global risks in terms of likelihood are: severe income disparity. Russia. a. the WEF report said. Japan and Russia. Justices Jeevan Reddy and Agarwal underlined the floor test procedure: “Whenever a doubt arises whether the Council of Ministers has lost the confidence of the House.are based on Global Risks Perception Survey of over 1. senior leader Shakeel Ahmed said. g. the report said that within four years (from 2002 to 2006) the antibiotic-resistance bacteria went from 7 drugs to 21 drugs. “It is not binding on the Governor to accept the recommendation of a minority government. India fared relatively better at sixth position in terms of the government’s risk management effectiveness. Germany. “In all cases where the support of the Ministry is claimed to have been withdrawn by some legislators. China. Surveys were conducted across a total of 139 countries. Switzerland and the UK are perceived by business leaders to have highest risk-management effectiveness. As per the annual Global Risks Report published by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF). rising greenhouse emissions. the UK and the US . It further said the “pharmacy sales of strong antibiotics which should be a last line of defence increased nearly six-fold from 2005 to 2010” in India. JMM”. rational and simple. India. but the proposal was rejected as it would deny access to antibiotics to patients in rural areas where there are no physicians to prescribe the drug. The sole exception to this will be a situation of “all-pervasive violence where the Governor comes to the conclusion .000 experts from across the world. the biggest global risk in terms of likelihood would be ‘severe income disparity’ for the next 10 years and ‘major systemic financial failure’ will be the top-most risk before the world in terms of impact. It was crystal clear that the BJP-led government had been reduced to a minority after withdrawal of support by the FDI policy made more friendly. The JMM action came even as the Jharkhand Cabinet decided to recommend dissolution of the state assembly to prevent any “horse trading-like situation”. Market diversification was JTS Institute 3 Current Affairs Notes . The report said that Switzerland is best placed among the world’s 10 major economies for adapting to or recovering from global economic and environmental risks. The rankings of the 10 major economic of the world-Brazil. Ahmed. Every dose of antibiotics gives an advantage for those small numbers in a bacterial population that are resistant to the drug 2. while Russia was seen as having the least effective risk management. rational: Anand Sharma Seeking to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country. The survey on risk management effectiveness found that Germany. the aim was to increase this to 36 percent. Munda submitted to the Jharkhand governor the Cabinet decision recommending dissolution of the Assembly and also his resignation.

5. The images were obtained during SOFIA flights in 2011 with the FaintObject Infrared Camera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST) instrument built by a team with principal investigator Terry Herter of Cornell. unlike other scissors that are thrown out after use. Known for their sharpness. while Matt Hankins of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway is lead author of the other paper. Structure of the Finance Ministry: The ministry of Finance consists of 5 departments. 7. The telescope also captured images of a neighbouring cluster of extremely luminous young stars embedded in dust cocoons. The tool is a pair of scissors made of metal scrap by a community in Meerut.Saluja said the GI tag was given to products based on certain information submitted to the Geographical Indication Registry. of Economic Affairs of Expenditure of Revenue of Disinvestment. and we need other sources 3. We have continued to receive considerable remittances from the Indian Diaspora which is our underlying strength. 5. 2. 3. Mr. region or country. 2. 8. 4. India. The first pair was made 360 years ago by Asli Akhun. such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to the fact of its origin in that defined geographical locality. as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). which is “the only scissor cluster in India” and which has been making the product for more than three centuries. Both the Central and Uttar Pradesh governments have helped the industry. While men make scissors. In 2012. the GI map. he said. the statement of case and the history of the product. he said.called photosynthesis. using carbon dioxide as a raw material for reactions powered by sunlight. adding the country had successfully found new markets in Africa and other neighbouring countries.20 to Rs. Biological reactions are good at forming carbon-carbon bonds. 4. They are also covered under Articles 22 to 24 of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. Giant ring of gas and dust spotted around Milky Way’s black hole 1. the scissors are used at home and by industrial garment manufacturers. 4. of Financial Saturn’s moon Titan’s lakes covered with hydrocarbon ice blocks 1. but the makers find it tough to meet the demand at home. he said. geographical indications are covered as an element of IPRs. 2. Typically. 3. Most chemical feedstocks come from petroleum and natural gas. using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).14 January 2013 Meerut scissors registered for GI tag 1. 9 Janaury 2013 Rajiv Takru is new Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Takru. The Meerut scissors are made of carbon steel blades sourced from scrap metal found in cars. 5 Department Department Department Department and Department Services. aluminium or alloys. They are sent only to the domestic markets. FORCAST offered astronomers the ability to see the CNR and QC regions and other exotic cosmic features whose light is obscured by water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere and interstellar dust clouds in the mid-plane of the Milky Way. Encouraging long term FDI flows would be more fruitful as the Government had decided to borrow as little as possible. 4. a handmade tool from micro and small and medium enterprises in India has been registered for a geographical indicator (GI) tag. women do the tasks that require handwork and pack the products. scientists have engineered bacteria which could help grow chemical precursors for fuels and plastics.” have been doing it for more than 3 billion years. an official of a body promoting this sector said on Wednesday. The challenge is to get the cyanobacteria to make significant amounts of chemicals that can be readily converted to chemical feedstocks. 4. which are sourced from old utensils. Researchers have captured new images of a ring of gas and dust seven light-years in diameter surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. and the scissors are sold at a price ranging from Rs. For the first time. plastics and fuels. trucks and railways. The tag would enable the crafters to make scissors of standard sizes and of high quality. 1999 has come into force with effect from 15th September 2003.3butanediol.They can be repaired. employing 70. Scientists on NASA’s Cassini mission have claimed to have JTS Institute 4 Current Affairs Notes . now Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 5.500. The researchers. 3.India’s strategic decision. product. The handles are made of plastic. and cyanobacteria. Under Articles 1 (2) and 10 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. 6. has been appointed as Financial Services Secretary in the Finance Ministry. the size varies. solvents. namely: 1. 5. All the parts are pre-used.000 people directly and indirectly. we received USD 80 billion leaving China behind with USD 76 billion 7 January . Concept: GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATORS Geographical Indications of Goods are defined as that aspect of industrial property which refer to the geographical indication referring to a country or to a place situated therein as being the country or place of origin of that Engineered bacteria make fuel from sunlight 1. In a bid to find a substitute to fossil fuels as raw material for the chemical industry. Chennai: proof of origin. from six inches to 14 inches. working a step at a time. Meerut has 250 small-scale scissors-making units. regarding the quintuplet cluster (QC). Ryan Lau of Cornell University and his collaborators studied the galaxy’s circumlunar ring (CNR). 2. buses. which was part of the Agreements concluding the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations. At present. built up a three-step pathway that allows the cyanobacteria to convert carbon dioxide into 2. a chemical that can be used to make paint. also known as “blue -green algae. enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act.

But while our planet’s cycle of precipitation and evaporation involves water. which are usually rocky or metallic. They are grouped with the outer bodies— centaurs. and changes in temperature. Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. It launched on October 15. it includes a Saturn orbiter and an atmospheric probe/lander for the moon Titan called Huygens. after Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. pockets of nitrogen gas. and its mission is ongoing as of 2012. 2005. although mountains and several possible cryovolcanoes have been discovered. as a prebiotic environment rich in complex organic chemistry with a possible subsurface liquid ocean serving as a biotic environment. 1997 on a Titan IVB/Centaur and entered into orbit around Saturn on July 1. Apophis is expected to come uncomfortably close. because solid methane is denser than liquid methane and would sink. 2. brushing past the Earth at a distance of just 30. That will put the asteroid inside the orbit of communication satellites. and so were often distinguished from traditional asteroids. Titan: Titan (or Saturn VI) is the largest moon of Saturn. and the only object other than Earth for which clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found. Neptune Trojans. their volatile-based surfaces were found to more closely resemble comets. It successfully returned data to Earth. The climate—including wind and rain— creates surface features similar to those of Earth. the ‘Daily Mail’ reported. JTS Institute 5 Current Affairs Notes . opaque atmosphere prevented under-standing of Titan’s surface until new information accumulated with the arrival of the Cassini–Huygens mission in 2004. They have also been called planetoids. including the discovery of liquid hydrocarbon lakes in the satellite’s polar regions. although only half as massive. rivers. there remains a nonnegligible chance of the asteroid smashing into Earth in 2036. the Heliosphere. and it is larger by volume than the smallest planet. while a more sporadic set of lakes bejewels the southern hemisphere. 3. In 2029. discovered in 1655 by the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens. and was the fifth moon of a planet apart from the Earth to be discovered. Cassini has seen a vast network of these hydrocarbon seas cover Titan’s northern hemisphere. 6. it is smooth and few impact craters have been found. This was the first landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System. which scientists think can be building blocks for the more complex chemistry from which life arose. minor components lead to the formation of methane and ethane clouds and nitrogen-rich organic smog. 2013).Titan is the only other body besides Earth in our solar system with stable bodies of liquid on its surface. and Jupiter. resulting in different mixtures of compositions. It reached Saturn’s moon Titan on January 14. The surface is geologically young. the dense. at least. Mercury. It is the second-largest moon in the Solar System. Much as with Venus prior to the Space Age. Launched in 1997 after nearly two decades of gestation. although at a much lower temperature. The presence of ice floes might explain some of the mixed readings Cassini has seen in the reflectivity of the surfaces of lakes on Titan. 2004. which entered and landed on Titan in 2005. We now know it’s possible to get methane-and-ethane-rich ice freezing over on Titan in thin blocks that congeal together as it gets colder—similar to what we see with Arctic sea ice at the onset of winter. Venus. but as small objects in the outer Solar System were discovered. The asteroid will not get closer than around nine million miles to Earth tonight (January 10th. Cassini is the fourth space probe to visit Saturn and the first to enter orbit. Titan was the first known moon of Saturn. Up to this point. These terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not show the disk of a planet and was not observed to have the characteristics of an active comet. 4. Titan is the sixth ellipsoidal moon from Saturn. Cassini: Cassini–Huygens is a Flagshipclass NASA-ESA-ASI robotic spacecraft sent to the Saturn system. and trans-Neptunian objects—as minor planets. and deltas. 5. and testing the theory of relativity. The atmosphere of Titan is largely composed of nitrogen. and is dominated by seasonal weather patterns as on Earth. is that winter ice will float in Titan’s methane-and-ethane-rich lakes and seas if the temperature is below the freezing point of methane —minus 297 degrees Fahrenheit (90. using the orbiter as a relay. However.4 Kelvins). Thus the term asteroid has come increasingly to refer specifically to the small bodies of the inner Solar System out to the orbit of Jupiter. a 900 foot-wide asteroid named after an Egyptian demon is set to pass by Earth has no chances of a cataclysmic collision. scientists found. lakes and seas (probably of liquid methane and ethane). especially the larger ones. 900 foot-wide asteroid Apophis to pass by Earth. It is the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere. The satellite is thought to be a possible host for microbial extraterrestrial life or. Titan is primarily composed of water ice and rocky material. according to scientists. It has studied the planet and its many natural satellites since arriving there in 2004. such as dunes. Titan has a diameter roughly 50% larger than Earth’s moon and is 80% more massive. which is the term preferred in astronomical circles.7 January . Titan’s cycle involves hydrocarbons like ethane and methane. Huygens separated from the orbiter at approximately 02:00 UTC. Frequently described as a planet-like moon.000 kilometres. Ethane and methane are organic molecules. Scientists will use this encounter to improve their estimate of just how dangerous the space rock really is. 2004.14 January 2013 found blocks of hydrocarbon ice decorating the surface of existing lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbon on Saturn’s moon Titan. The result. With its liquids (both surface and subsurface) and robust nitrogen atmosphere. On December 25.But the new model considers the interaction between the lakes and the atmosphere. Cassini scientists assumed that Titan lakes would not have floating ice. Titan’s methane cycle is viewed as an analogy to Earth’s water cycle. after an interplanetary voyage which included flybys of Earth. ‘may hit’ in 2036 Apophis. also observing Jupiter. when it entered Titan’s atmosphere and descended to the surface.

Temi Tea which apart from providing direct employment to over four hundred labors and thirty personnel. 3. LWE districts are treated as Special Focused districts for need based planning and sanctions.668 out of school children for age appropriate admission in regular schools. In the year 1974 Tea board was formed to govern the day to day functioning of the estate and later it went on to become the subsidiary of Industries Department under Sikkim government. 2. The scheme has been introduced in nine districts affected by civil strife in Sukhma in Chhhatisgarh. the rest is converted into retail packets and sold in the local market. also is a major employer in the Government sector.7 January . Switzerland and with the completion of observation period. Over 33280 lakh rupees have been sanctioned for 6. it is also a HACCP certified estate as per ISO 22000 standard under Food Safety Management System ensuring finest of quality product reaching the market. The Temi Tea estate was established in 1969 during the erstwhile regime of Chogyal and the commercial production started in the year 1977. the quality and the flavor it produces has been able to win the heart of tea aficionados within India and the world. 6. 4. The opening of residential schools has been quite effective in retaining children in schools. It is also sold in the form of ‘Orthodox dust tea’. The gentle slopes that originate from the Tendong hill range has loamy soils condition with slope of 30–50% that suits best for tea plantation and produces nearly 100 tons of tea annually. Portable Cabin Schools in Chhattisgarh In Chhattisgarh the state government there has installed pre-fabricated structures. In addition. Transportation/ escort facility for total of 47. the mid-day meal. Central Government Initiatives and Assistance 1.14 January 2013 Temi Tea – The Flavor of Sikkim Amidst the backdrop of picturesque and mighty Mt. Temi Tea Estate was certified 100 percent organic by IMO India. Educating Children in Naxal Affected Areas One piece of good news on the educational front from left wing extremist affected (LWE) districts in the country is that many areas have witnessed a declining trend in the dropout rates since the inception of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan as was stated by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development. Gadchiroli in Maharashtra.59. Balbandhus are young people recruited from within the JTS Institute 6 Current Affairs Notes . ShriShashiTharoor while replying to a question in Parliament during the just concluded winter session A number of steps have been taken over the years by the centre and the concerned state governments to enroll children in schools in LWE affected areas and most importantly to retain them in schools and thus arrest the high rate of drop outs that these schools have been witnessing for many years . Multi Lingual Education in early grades in tribal districts of Odisha. Under the provisions of a scheme of the Ministry for Tribal Affairs 100 percent central assistance is provided for construction of all Scheduled tribe girls’ ashram schools and boys’ ashram schools in naxal-affected districts identified by Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time. The porta cabin school scheme in Chhattisgarh has been implemented with the help of UNICEF and the state of Jharkhand has also approved funds for such schools. Sheohar. Khanchan Dzonga refreshed by the gentle breeze of river Teesta brews the morning sip of Sikkim – the Temi tea. East Champaran. The centre has also sanctioned special training for drop outs or never enrolled children. 889 Kasturba Gandhi Vidalaya residential schools for girls have been opened in the affected districts for class VI to VIII. The next in quality is the popular brand of ‘Sikkim Solja’ followed by ‘Mystique’ and ‘Kanchanjunga Tea’. It may be noted that Temi tea garden is also the recipient of All India Quality Award from Tea Board of India for the two consecutive years. Although the quantity of produce may seem insignificant in terms of major tea producing estates. The Coordination with Ashram Shalas and other SC/ST department schools by giving free text books. the Temi tea garden produces one of the finest orthodox tea that promises the appreciation of tea connoisseur. 7. Balbandhu Programme of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights • An innovative Balbandhu scheme initiated by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in strife torn areas two years back too has started making an impact. the Prefabricated structures can be moved to areas where Naxalites have destroyed schools or where ever they are required. Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh is another step that can improve KG to PG Educational Hubs in Maharashtra The Maharashtra government is planning an initiative towards starting “KG to PG” educational hubs for tribal students in areas affected by Naxalite violence. According to official figures there are 77 residential schools/ hostels in LWE districts with intake capacity of 31650 children. The geographical location and the young plantation supplemented by organic method of production have further added to the value and flavor of tea leaves produced from this estate. While nearly 70 percent of the produce is sold in public auction at Kolkata through its authorized broker. 5. Khammam in Andhra Pradesh. Jammui and Rohtas in Bihar and Kokrajhar and Chirang in Assam.909 children has been provided in 2011-12 and 2012-13 in LWE districts. porta cabin schools in all the districts of Bastar region. a member group of IMO Switzerland in 2008. teacher training school maintenance grant and teacher grant for teaching aids has also helped. The tea produced by the Temi Tea estate is packaged under many brand names like “Temi Tea” which is of the best quality consisting of pure tea golden flowery orange pekoe. While it takes a long time to build permanent infrastructure for schools. Temi Tea garden closely followed the guidelines issued by IMO. learning comprehension and retention of children in schools. Spread over 180 hectares of gentle slope with altitude ranging from 4500 to 6316 feet. These residential schools are meant to impart education to students from kindergarten to postgraduate level and are aimed at letting tribal communities enter the mainstream.

2 – 2. deployment of women police in every Police Station. more recruitment of women in police.135 enterprises have been created through clusters. The conference also came out with the suggestions for gender sensitization of police force. iv. The implementation and roll out of the NEMMP 2020 will be done through various specific schemes. While these balbandhus may not have the power to enforce implementation but they can put pressure on the authorities by involving the community and the Panchayats towards this end An evaluation report on the Balbandhu programme says that these young recruits have given a distinct confidence to the children in these areas specially the school going ones.3% to 1. Mitigation of the adverse impact of vehicles on the environment and growth of domestic manufacturing capabilities. the mission document for the NMEM that was approved by the National Council for Electric Mobility (NCEM) on 29th August. 3. innovation and knowledge. The NEMMP 2020 projections also indicate that the savings from the decrease in liquid fossil fuel consumption as a result of shift to electric mobility alone will far exceed the support provided thereby making this a highly economically viable proposition. besides scaling up of 1. cleaner technologies so that it builds its future competitive advantage around environmentally sustainable products. raw material depot.7 January . effluent treatment. Cluster Development Programme has facilitated growth and promotion of MSMEs in NER under various trades. A Regional Resource Centre (RRC) for cluster development has been set up at Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE). National energy security 2. etc. This will also result in substantial lowering of vehicular emissions and decrease in carbon di-oxide emissions by 1. To set up common facility centres (for testing. high end technologies. The NEMMP 2020 is a wellresearched document and relies on in-depth primary data based study conducted jointly by the Government and the Industry which indicates that high latent demand for environmentally friendly electric Recommendations of the Conference of Chief Secretaries and DGsP The conference of the Chief Secretaries and Director Generals Police held in New Delhi on January 04. market access. NMEM is amongst the most significant interventions of the Government that promises to transform the automotive paradigm of the future by lessening the dependence on fossil fuels. along with resultant liquid fuel savings of 2. access to capital. National data base for sexual offenders and amendments to Cr PC.14 January 2013 community to oversee the children in such areas go to school. Some of the important suggestions made by the participants at the conference are as follows: CRIME PREVENTION Prevention is most important. As per these projections. • Among many other suggestion. increasing energy efficiency of vehicles and by providing the means to achieve ultimate objective of cleaner transportation that is compatible with sustainable renewable energy generation. National data base of Industrial Clusters in North Eastern Region The Ministry of Micro. etc. interventions. skills and quality. upgradation of associations. The NEMMP 2020. recommendations. to provide their services more economically. with 7 SubCentres in all the North Eastern States. Clustering of units also enables providers of various services to them. Community policing should be introduced. 4. IPC and Juvenile Justice Act.760 enterprises in developed clusters through efforts of IIE. including banks and credit agencies.Guwahati. This Intervention will also help encourage the Indian Automotive Industry to shift to newer. National Electric Mobility Mission Plan Launched The Hon’ble Prime Minister unveiled the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020. The principal end objectives of the National Mission for Electric Mobility (NMEM): 1. 2012. thus reducing costs and improving the availability of services for these enterprises. vehicle technologies exists in the country. To support the sustainability and growth of MSEs by addressing common issues such as improvement of technology. 6-7 million units of new vehicle sales of the full range of electric vehicles. setting up of Fast Track Courts. etc). single help line for women across the country. To create/upgrade infrastructural facilities in the new/existing industrial areas/ clusters of MSEs. consortia. There should be zero tolerance for petty offences as the offender can escalate in the crime ladder and especially for cases u/s 509. training centre. complementing production processes.5 million tonnes can be achieved in 2020. Guwahati. iii. return to schools if they have dropped out and trace and restore the missing children to their families. ii. • Students should be encouraged to form self-help groups where the students good in studies could help weak children. that the Balbandhu programme should be extended for at least two years in the same block and a new block should be opened up in the neigh bouring district where the existing resource person and balbandhu can give basic operational training • The self-help groups and Balbandhu committee should monitor Midday meal scheme and send regular reports. strengthening of forensic capabilities and community Policing. To build capacity of MSEs for common supportive action through formation of self-help groups. lays the targets and provides the joint Government – industry vision for realizing the huge potential that exists for full range of efficient and environmentally friendly electric vehicle (including hybrids) technologies by 2020. Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has adopted the cluster development approach as a key strategy for enhancing the productivity and competitiveness as well as capacity building of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) and their collectives in the country. sets the vision. Therefore on all counts encouraging the faster adoption of hybrid & electric vehicles and their manufacture in India is a wise investment for our future generations.5% in 2020 as compared to a status quo scenario. Objectives of the Scheme: i. JTS Institute 7 Current Affairs Notes . policies that are currently under formulation and will be considered by the Government in the near future. 2013 has suggested increase in punishment for gang rape.

123 crore for providing infrastructure on this stretch. 7. SP should be the nodal officer for crime against women in every district. Preventive sections of Cr PC should be used more and coordination between police and citizens needs to be ensured. the Union Cabinet on Thursday decided to enact a law for the purpose and cleared Rs. an industry body representing the online and mobile industry in India. Police protection for the victim till the trial ends should be given.14 January 2013 sexual offenders should be initiated.9 million). Ahmedabad.7 January . 2012 According to the Vernacular Report. of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI): 1. and Pune. Cases need to be registered as and when women reach a Police Station. which provides aggregated information of interest to farmers and facilitates sale of farm produce. There should be no adjournments once trial starts with day to day hearing. Mumbai. With a low working knowledge of English in India (according to the National Readership Survey. By and large. the cities of Bangalore. Rights of the victims should be defined. It was conducted by the e-Technology group of the Indian Market Research Bureau and the IAMAI. There should be single helpline number across the country. the applications that are most used by regional language users include emails. Care centers for women who have no place to go at night should be started with the help of NGOs. Mahila help desk need to be established if not done in all Police Stations. hence America is JTS Institute 8 Current Affairs Notes . Union Women & Child Development Minister Smt.” says N. for northeast The 121-km stretch of LakhipurBhanga of the Barak River will soon become a national waterway. Manipur. Five non-metro towns and 10 small towns were also included in the study. Gender sensitization to be made a part of the curriculum. integrating the waterways in the northeast and helping cargo transport through Assam. Mizoram. Court procedure should prevent humiliation of the victim and character assassination must be stopped. 2006. things have changed dramatically.3 million active users out of a total 38 million) use the Internet in the local language. since content is primarily available in English. Hyderabad. Union Ministers of State for Home Shri RPN Singh and Shri M Rama chandran and senior officers from the Center and State Governments. Section 509 of IPC needs to be amended. 5. The reading problem was resolved long ago.Depending on the crime. Dy. 34. rural Internet users (24. land records and private initiatives such as eChoupal. and the Taliban issue has still not been resolved. 45 million users access content in the local language. 3. Today. discretion in grant of bail should be done away with.1% in rural areas). Chokkan. investigation should be completed within 30 to 90 days and a time frame for filing charge sheet should be defined. GPS system should be fixed in transport buses. According to the IAMAI report. DG of Police should be designated as nodal officer in every state. Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment KumariSelja. there are about 15 applications for the PC and five or six mobile apps purely for typing. WOMEN SAFETY There is a need to increase the number of response vehicles (PCR) and Women PCRs could be started. The one day conference was attended by Union Home Minister Shri Sushilkumar Shinde. One Addl. if not done in Police Training Schools and Colleges. Discretion in grant of bail for heinous offences should be removed. Prosecution needs to be supported. 4. Vernacular Report. text chat. Nagaland. Krishna Tirath. 2. CHANGES IN LAW Cr PC needs to be amended to aim at speedy trials. When there is presumption of offence having been committed. In India. The Obama angle: Obama needs to show some concrete results that have been achieved by the USAfghan war. In rural areas. The study covered the top metros of Delhi. Internet non-users have mentioned that lack of content in local language as one of the major reasons.2% of the population is English-literate. along with lack of infrastructure. Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. “With the introduction of Unicode to regulate the way Tamil is being used on the Net. ORGANISATION Accountability of police is essential. Chennai and Kolkata. The first will be completed by 2016-17 and the second by 2018-19. matrimonial services and online banking services. INVESTIGATION PROCESS Investigation process is delayed mainly because of delay in forensic science reports and hence forensic capabilities needs to be strengthened. Judges and prosecutors should be women. Amendment to Juvenile Justice Act to lower the age to 16 years and grading based on the magnitude of offence is necessary. A higher percentage of rural people are aware of regional language content than urban users. the sixth in the country. Awareness programmes are necessary. The Inland Waterways Authority of India will execute the project in two phases. Punishment for gang rape should be higher. TRIAL Fast Track courts are necessary and need to be supported. Around 64 percent of The Afghanistan’s turmoil The Issue = American troops to leave Afghanistan by 2014. Recording of information should be only by women and if necessary by audio/video recording. the report shows a bias in favour of sites offering government services. one of the first-generation users of Tamil on the Internet. search engines and news content. Medical practitioner who examines a rape victim must be a woman. at least for Tamil. Women help line should be toll free.2% in urban and 11. Security of women in the trains should be ensured. and 12 smaller cities. Internet penetration in India is only 12%. 2012. 10 Janaury 2013 National waterway number 6. only 18. More women Police Stations need to be opened. But only 25 per cent of the total 84 million urban users browse the Net in regional languages (20. There is need for more Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for investigation. Prosecutor should be of the choice of the victim. Placement agencies need to be brought under law. Approving the proposal. Expansion of civil Police is necessary and reluctance of women to join should be reduced by reserving posts for them in Police. 6.

Woman in Indian workforce The labour participation rate of women = it is the number of women in the labour force as a proportion of the total female population.000 females (all ages) in India’s rural areas. In rural areas. A woman’s work in her own household is not counted as an economic activity.7 million of the 9. Given this. They denounced the Constitution. any instability in Afghanistan is most likely to first wash across the Durand Line. In 2009-10. the number of self-employed female workers engaged in agriculture and related activities decreased by 19 million in India.14 January 2013 speeding up the political dialogues. Locked out of the process after all the talk of a ‘regional’ solution. On the other hand. National Sample Survey reports tell us that. that defeating the Taliban was impossible triggered cautious efforts at exploring ways to deal with them politically. As 2014 approaches. the female labour participation rate is one of the lowest in Delhi. Quite often. The labour force includes not only the employed but also unemployed persons who are actively seeking jobs. women periodically enter and exit from agricultural work. What are the reasons for such a massive withdrawal of educated women from the work force? Lower wages than men could be one reason. which is considered an economic activity and is counted in the national income. women’s domestic duties include childbirth. a region also known for its harsh treatment of women. but was part of a last-ditch effort to escape impoverishment. it appears that in India. 3.000 respectively.7 million new manufacturing jobs created in the country. Believe their Islamic Emirate. There was no renouncing of ties with al-Qaeda. out of every 1. It visualises a deal based on respect for the Constitution—a ceasefire with the Taliban and other armed groups by the end of 2013. supplement the falling incomes of their families during times of agrarian distress. not least because it is no secret that Pakistan has been working both sides of the table. adding to its existing woes. this number was even bigger: 465 per 1000. As is well known. In reality. 4. yet the number of self-employed female workers engaged in agriculture and related activities increased by 17 million. 5. their transformation into political parties and participation in the following year’s elections. Moreover India has invested its time. was the best thing that happened to Afghanistan.S. Thus. the High Council’s “Peace Process Roadmap to 2015” sounds unrealistic. 1. women’s employment is increasingly in the low-paid. 2. it was 68 percent for females in China. possibly indicating ‘distress employment’. 2. In India. Within Indian manufacturing. for a return to power. The Indian Angle: India’s primary worry is Pakistan’s intentions. 2. the proportion of those attending to domestic duties (and therefore out of the labour force) was 57 per cent among urban females with graduate degrees or higher. In India. 3. and a range of other activities that are crucial for the upkeep of the family. Compare this to the number of rural and urban men who were attending to domestic duties: only 5 per 1. A large proportion of these women were employed in the export-oriented sectors such as garment-making. ‘attending to domestic duties’ in their own households. forces after 9/11. Among Indian States. But it is not clear if it realises that any attempt to use its influence with the Taliban to create instability in the neighbourhood after 2014 would rebound on it. However. as described in the official statistics. 4. in 2009-10. caring for the young and old. it makes a huge pragmatic concession to the Taliban by envisaging “non-elected” positions in the “power structure. Hence it is hard to escape the impression that the Taliban are not so much interested in negotiation with Kabul as a deal with the U. They do not want the 2014 elections to be held. by 2009-10. Through the facilitation of a French think-tank. representatives of the Karzai government’s High Peace Council met Taliban representatives in France last month. vulnerable sectors. The realisation. but female labour participation has been high in these countries. With the underlying tone one of contempt towards the Karzai government. In the case of urban females. In 2008. compared to just 31 percent among rural females with primary or middle school education. money and people in Afghanistan hence it would be injurious to Indian interests that Taliban regime comes back into power. with the Obama administration keen to leave behind an arrangement that can help it claim a semblance of political achievement from the military intervention. during the 2000s. the growth of agricultural incomes in the country was stagnant. female employment in agriculture was not driven by any real opportunities for income generation. This is unlike the case of services by a paid domestic help. 1. cooking. social factors play a significant role in reducing women’s labour participation. India’s manufacturing sector was suffering JTS Institute 9 Current Affairs Notes . But then female-male wage disparities exist in Japan and South Korea as well. women’s participation in agricultural activities as self-employed workers is to Urban. This decline in employment could be attributed to a modest revival in the growth of agricultural incomes and to the positive impact on rural employment and wages created by the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act).S. between 200405 and 2009-10. This is what seemed to have happened in India between 1999-2000 and 2004-05. and 3. women accounted for 3. those efforts have picked up speed. Between 1999-2000 and 2004-05. 347 were attending to domestic duties. Pakistan’s stakes are understandable: post2014. and does not get reported in the national income statistics. as recently cross-border tensions have increased.7 January . 2. substantial numbers of women who are not counted in the labour force are. By way of comparison. two years ago. ousted by U. the labour participation rate in India was only 33 percent for females as compared to 81 percent for males. The position that the Taliban representatives took at the meeting contained: 1.” This has already raised concern within and outside Afghanistan.000 and 4 per 1. During this five-year period. Educated Women 1.

(One nanogram is one billionth of a gram). It is heartening to note that state government is trying to give some incentives to generate higher employment. Vitamin-D and its importance 1. In both Burma and Indonesia. the military consolidated its position by expanding into civilian administration and business and by establishing a military-dominated political party. It was found that those who had low level had twofold the risk of heart disease than those with adequate levels. which is manufactured in our body when our skin is exposed to the sun. 3. pollution. 2.from a variety of problems. The new policy allows an exit route for special economic zone (SEZ) developers. trademarks. Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre (IPFC). protects against and betters prognosis for colorectal cancer and TB. sell licences for patented products online MSMEs will get concessional rates for trading on the portal An online portal where micro. mainly in low-paid services such as domestic help. 7 January . There are different IPR instruments. or bowel surgeries are prone to Vit D deficiency. the policy on conversion of SEZ seems to be going nowhere. Both are multi-ethnic states are haunted by the twin spectres of racial tension and a separatist periphery. Getting appropriate Vit D (or sunlight) reduces risk of heart diseases and diabetes. small and medium enterprises (MSME) can trade licences for patented products will be launched in April. the pathology. Levels over 30 nanograms/ millilitre are termed sufficient. those taking glucocorticoids. Gave high premium to intelligence agencies in maintaining regime survival. developers’ apex body CREDAI on Wednesday said integrated industrial parks may not be successful as Special Economic Zones have failed to take off. are obsessed with law. unity and territorial integrity 2. 2. whose projects have got stuck due to issues like land acquisition or changes in tax laws by the Union government. stroke and death in people with deficient levels of the vitamin. 4. HOW VITAMIN D AFFECTS OUR HEALTH The Health Professional Follow up Study of 50. The 25-hydroxy Vitamin D blood test can tell you if you are deficient or not. 3. very few people actually expose themselves to direct sunlight.000 healthy men monitored the Vitamin D level over a span of 10 years. In both countries. And. Obese people who have BMI (body mass index) of over 30 too don’t make enough. People over 65 years make only a quarter of the vitamin than those who are in their twenties. both have inflated views of their importance to national survival. Despite minor differences. shades of Indonesia There are many parallels between Myanmar and Indonesia as: 1. 3. order. and legitimised the political role of the armed forces through constitutional provisions. Maharashtra’s SEZ exit policy may not be successful: CREDAI Raising doubts about the success of the new industrial policy for Maharashtra. and entrepreneurs should know which instrument should be used when. seem to catch a cold more often. said Karamjeet Singh Saluja. 6. Those who are especially prone to deficiency are the elderly. Adults who don’t. Unfortunately. Just 10 to 15 minutes of exposure to the direct sun on our limbs will provide us most of the required Vitamin D. Government needs to understand as to why and how SEZs have failed. having intervened decisively. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). schizophrenia and even wards off the flu! JTS Institute 10 Current Affairs Notes . Vegetarians too run the risk of deficiency as animal foods are a major source of Vitamin D. Between 2004-05 and 2009-10. the military had played a prominent part in the achievement of independence. cloudy sky and seasons with less sunshine could act against acquiring sufficient ultraviolet B (UVB) rays that create Vitamin D in our body. The militaries of both nations are inheritors of the legacies of Japanese occupation. The new industrial policy is welcome in that sense.including power shortage and a slowdown in export demand from western countries. Those with dark skin tones and those who have fat malabsorption due to cystic fibrosis. some of them are. Children who play under the sun seem to have lesser incidence of respiratory infections. As in Indonesia. staying indoors or covering up to protect the skin against the sun or harsh cold. copyrights. patents. Patients with liver or kidney disease. 3. Sunshine vitamin or Vitamin D. is popularly known for its muscle strengthening and bone building properties. the ideological outlook and the experiences of the two countries are so similar that Myanmar is likely to follow the same trajectory in its movement towards democracy—a guided political system with a certain role for the armed forces till the economy grows to accommodate both the security and economic interests of the armed forces through an expanded defence budget. celiac or Crohn’s disease. 4. the major source of employment for women has been in the services sector. who are home bound or live in a/c rooms (glass panes block UVB rays) and those who live in the northern latitude fall into the risk group. During the post-1990 years. discipline. 5. A study on Finnish children over a span of 30 years found that those with Vitamin D deficiency were 90 In Myanmar’s transition. what with all the sunscreens. Deputy Director. acquired stakes in the country’s economy. and creates a middle class demanding greater transparency and accountability from the government. multiple sclerosis. debilitated their civil societies. VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY RISK GROUP 1. Even though the body can make Vitamin D from sunlight. Separate studies on the same have shown sudden cardiac arrests.14 January 2013 Soon MSMEs can buy. geographical indication (GI) tags. Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME).7 million manufacturing jobs were lost in the country. nationalism flowered in Burma during World War II and Burma’s post-independence leadership had been closely associated with the anti-colonial Burma Independence Army (BIA) recruited and trained by the Japanese. However. and more than 80 per cent of those who lost their jobs were women.

the Planck lengths should disperse the light. Gamma-ray bursts are shortlived bursts of gamma-ray photons. one wouldn’t notice the scattering over short distances. the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere. Some theories of quantum gravity say that the universe is not smooth but foamy – made of fundamental units called Planck lengths that are less than a trillionth of a trillionth the diameter of a hydrogen atom. premature aging of the skin. especially water vapour. they are stopped by the earth’s atmosphere and do not reach earth’s surface. It mainly affects the outer layers of the skin. except via photons like those that make up gamma-ray bursts. Concept: There are 3 types of UV rays: UVA: A stands for Aging. a preferred route for HNIs and hedge funds from abroad. often billions of years before Earth was formed. e. UVC: UVC radiation is the strongest. in a virtual tie. And three photons from the same gamma-ray burst should not have crashed through the Fermi telescope at the same moment. only a retired judge of the Supreme Court or a former Chief Justice of a High Court could be appointed as SAT presiding officer. “Gamma-ray bursts can tell us some very interesting things about the universe. the eligibility criteria stands slightly diluted in that a retired judge of a High Court with seven years of experience would now be eligible for appointment as SAT chief. a. the photons should be dispersedscattered-on their trek through Planck length-pixelated spacetime. Investments into Indian shares through participatory notes (P— Notes).77 lakh cr 1. i. c. Under the modified norms. The post has been lying vacant since November 2011 as the government could not find a willing judge meeting the eligibility criteria.14 January 2013 per cent more at risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. a post that has been lying vacant since November. those three photons recorded by the Fermi telescope suggest that spacetime may not be as bubbly as some scientists think. ATTREX will study moisture and chemical composition in the upper regions of the troposphere. most dangerous form of UV light. ozone and other gases enter the stratosphere.164 crore JTS Institute 11 Current Affairs Notes . The photons originated about 7 billion light years away from Earth in one of three pulses from a gamma-ray burst. the total value of P—Note investments in Indian markets (equity.The tropopause layer between the troposphere and stratosphere. Criteria for SAT chief selection modified The Union Cabinet.” Nemiroff said. Astrophysicist Robert Nemiroff of Michigan Technological University and NASA Goddard.7 January . hit 9—month high of Rs 1. causing sunburns. These rays are strongest during the summer months – especially between 11 am and 4 pm.This limits scientists’ ability to predict how these changes will influence global climate in the future. And if they interact. NASA to send aircraft in stratosphere to study climate change 1. According to the latest data released by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). will take off from and be operated by NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The first flights of the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX). debt and derivatives) rose to 1. the ‘Science Daily’ reported. 7. ATTREX will use the Global Hawk to carry instruments to sample this layer near the equator off the coast of Central America. on Thursday. is the point where water vapour. In particular. However. science campaign with a heavily instrumented Global Hawk aircraft.77 lakh crore (about $32. just as a ping pong ball and a softball might take alternate paths down a gravely hillside. they should disperse in different ways if their wavelengths differ. approved the modified norms for expanding the eligibility criteria for presiding officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT). 4. f. are not well understood. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to both insulin resistance and impaired pancreatic secretion of insulin. Water vapour and ozone in the stratosphere can have a large impact on Earth’s climate. but across billions of light years. the most energetic form of light.” said Eric Jensen. h. 5.000 feet over the tropical Pacific Ocean this month to probe unexplored regions of the upper atmosphere and detect how a warming climate is changing Earth. g. Tanning beds can emit 2 to 5 times more UVA radiation than the sun. California.4 billion) in November. UVB radiation is stronger than UVA radiation.77. ATTREX principal investigator at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field. j. UVA radiation penetrates deep into the skin and is responsible for premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. reached this conclusion after studying the tracings of three photons of varied wavelengths that were recorded by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in May 2009. They can originate far across the universe. The reason the wavelengths of these photons are some of the shortest distances known to science – so short they should interact with the even smaller Planck length. 2. NASA will send a remotely piloted research aircraft 65. UVB: B stands for Burning. “The ATTREX payload will provide unprecedented measurements of the tropical tropopause. a scientist has claimed. They arrived at the orbiting telescope just one millisecond apart. 2. Studies have shown even small changes in stratospheric humidity may have significant climate impacts. In this case. 12 km to 17 km above Earth’s surface. and skin cancer. 6. As per the earlier norms. d. a multi-year airborne FII inflows through P-Notes rise to Rs 1. Predictions of stratospheric humidity changes are uncertain because of gaps in the understanding of the physical processes occurring in the tropical tropopause layer. 2011. Spacetime more like clear whisky than frothy beer Space-time continuum may be less like a frothy quantum beer and more like a sipping Einsteinian whiskey. and astronomers believe many are caused by giant stars collapsing. b. The processes that drive the rise and fall of these compounds. 3. Also. Planck lengths are so small that there’s no way to detect them.

The President has to make a formal proclamation to this effect. P—Notes have been accounting for mostly 15—20 per cent of total FII holdings in India since 2009. 3. washing machines and refrigerators. two surveys on the prevalence of mental retardation and cancer 3. 4. however. Developed nations are trying to use the next ministerial meeting of the WTO scheduled in December in Bali to sign a number of plurilateral agreements as the on-going Doha round of talks has not reaped results. mostly used by overseas HNIs (High Networth Individuals).4 percent in the previous month. New Delhi would be part of the trade facilitation agreement that JTS Institute 12 Current Affairs Notes . We are fighting against it. and the vote on Friday. the report.M.83. India said that it had lost heavily after signing the first instalment of the IT agreement that involved eliminating duties 217 items like parts of microscope. published in the latest online edition of the Current Science journal of research. multidisciplinary study to bring out the true picture of the issue that shook the conscience of the whole world. Besides. when the cumulative value of such investments stood at Rs. FIIs. “Persons with all types of common diseases and those living 10 to 15 km away from the cashew estates are included in the list of victims to avail of free medical aid and financial benefits. declined to 13. biased findings about change in sex ratio. the process is very cumbersome. while saving on time and costs associated with direct registrations. 10. a brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.” 4. seeks to upgrade infrastructure at ports and customs stations on its own terms.D. Ms. Ms. It was as high as over 50 per cent at the peak of Indian stock market bull run during a few months in 2007. the judiciary cannot accept the impeachment.7 percent in November. The November figure has reached highest level since February. “The developed countries including the EU and the US are trying to cherry-pick areas where they want to have plurilateral agreements totally by-passing the Doha round so that they can have some early gains. 8. Market analysts say investment through P—Notes has been raising in the past three months on policy reform measures taken by the government and its initiatives to address tax related issues. The published report said no criterion. there is no other process by which a Judge can be removed from office before his term comes to an end. But Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa.14 January 2013 at the end of November after falling to a near three year low of Rs 1. allowed the vote to go ahead late on Friday. from 14.7 January . and absence of data to substantiate higher incidence of cancer. The quantum of FIIs investments through P—Notes. Sreekumar. Sri Lankan parliament impeaches Chief Justice The Sri Lankan parliament impeached Chief Justice Shirani Bandara nayake on Friday. effectively throwing the judiciary into disarray and signalling a breakdown of the Constitution. Concept: the judicial impeachment in India: What is impeachment? A member of the higher judiciary. 5. 6.151 crore. 9. In effect. since the PSC report itself is void. was at an Rs 94.Bandaranayake can continue as CJ till the executive implements the orders of the legislature. lack of clarity in the incidence of physical disability. i-pads. Prathapan of the College of Agriculture. The report called for a comprehensive. Vellayani.28. Also. Padannakkad. clinical or biochemical was applied for the selection of victims of endosulfan spraying. and K.895 crore in May.28 lakh crore) into Indian equities in 2012—second highest net inflows since 1993 when India opened up its door for foreign investors. He later announced that the President will be informed that the impeachment motion was passed with 155 votes for the motion and 49 against. Authored by K.658 crore at the end of November. SOCIAL REALITIES 1. P—Notes. and he has said that he would first consult a panel of eminent persons ahead of taking such a decision. the official added. can be removed from service only through the process of impeachment under Article 124 (4) of the Constitution on grounds of proven misbehaviour or incapacity. A host of procedural issues delayed the debate on Thursday. In India. hedge funds and other foreign institutions. value of P—Notes issued with derivatives as underlying.” the official said. 2. 11 Janaury 2013 KAU scientists challenge studies on impact of endosulfan Two scientists from Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) have come out with a report highlighting serious flaws and inconsistencies in two independent epidemiological studies carried out in the endosulfan-affected areas in Kasaragod. poured in $24 billion (around Rs 1.Bandaranayake is still some distance away from being thrown out. the key driver of Indian markets. allow them to invest in Indian markets through registered Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs). entomologist at the College of Agriculture. semiconductor equipment. The report said the inferences on reproductive health events in women had not taken social realities into account and there was no statistical comparison between the data generated during the period of pesticide application (1980 to 2000) and the period after.1. However. spraying appliances and still image video cameras. Their share has fallen after SEBI tightened disclosure and other regulations for such investments. while it used to be much higher—in the range of 25—40 per cent in 2008. Despite the impeachment. alleges major lapses in the analysis of endosulfan residues. which means the Judges and Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of India and the state High Courts. It also highlighted the inconsistencies in the data generated by the India not to be part of extended IT pact of select WTO members India will not be party to the second instalment of the IT agreement that a number of World Trade Organisation members are negotiating as it would lead to zero import tariffs on a number of sensitive electronic and consumer products including mobile phones. 7.

58 MPs of the Rajya Sabha moved a motion for impeachment of Calcutta High Court Judge SoumitraSen for his involvement in financial misappropriation before he was appointed as a Judge. the entire process— debate onwards—has to be completed within a single session of the House. Ramaswamias failed “TO DO COMPLETE JUSTICE”. in a large number of cases. In most cases. Judicial over Activism The judgment delivered on September 13. However.G Balakrishnam had recommended him for impeachment to the parliament because he had misappropriating Rs. the matter is debated in both Houses of Parliament.K. The Judge who is facing impeachment is also given the opportunity to rebut the charges. Like almost all Supreme Court judgments. either from the government or the private sector. 75 MPs of the Rajya Sabha submitted a signed motion for impeachment of controversial Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran on 12 counts. qualifications and disqualifications of the CIC and Information Commissioners. S. respectively. CONCLUSION: The impeachment process is levied on the official who is unable to do his or her work properly or who had done the unconstitutional work which harms the country. amassing assets much beyond his known sources of income and causing loss to the exchequer. Dinakaran is accused of encroaching upon government and village common land. Ironically. if the House decides to put the motion to vote. 1968. Thereafter. The Act must also prescribe a mechanism for consultation with the judiciary for such appointments. On Monday. Two judges are: (1) Justice V. What is the majority needed to pass the impeachment motion? After the debate ends and the Judge has been heard. JTS Institute 13 Current Affairs Notes . failing which the motion is deemed dropped and can only be taken up if the entire process is repeated afresh in any subsequent session. transfer is the only course of action followed by the Supreme Court collegium if it feels that the offence of the Judge is not so grave so as to attract the penalty of impeachment.83 lakh . the supreme court had charged Justice V. the highest court of the land has ruled that transfer is no punishment. the chief justice of India K.14 January 2013 Who decides if a Judge should be impeached? As per the Judges Inquiry Act. The issue before the court was simple. the petition contended that the criteria for eligibility did not specify the qualifications or consultation with the judiciary. either in person or through his representative. INTEMPERATE COMMENTS Proceedings for its review had to be halted because its author Justice Swatanter Kumar retired last month and was immediately appointed Chairman of the National Green Tribunal. The only time. belongs to an impressive lineage of Supreme Court rulings which create havoc and confusion in institutions—and even in the conduct of examinations—of which its judges were blissfully unaware. The resolution is then sent to the President.7 January . What is of graver import and long-term consequence is that it is a wanton and reckless assault on parliamentary democracy. Is the government mulling a new law to rein in and punish errant Judges? Yes. Parliament came close to impeaching a Judge was in the case of former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice V Ramaswami for corruption in 1991. have judicial experience. a complaint against a Judge has to be made through a resolution either by 100 members of the Lok Sabha or 50 Rajya Sabha members. before making a recommendation to the House. A good copy editor would have reduced its 107 pages to one-third. 2005 prescribe.than on 2009 a three members commitee was set up and investigation was started and he was found guilty and finally on 17 August 2011 he was impeached by Rajya Sabha. and two Supreme Court Judges if the complaint is against a sitting Judge of the apex court—and a jurist to probe the complaint and determine if it is a case fit for initiating the process of impeachment. if the committee has concluded that impeachment proceedings be launched. This team can involve any independent agency. Patnaik. this one is rich in florid prose. thus defeating the motion. 15 (5) and (6) replicate them for their counterparts in the States. 22. to investigate the charges. That this one called for a complete overhaul of the system of the Central Information Commission (CIC) and the many States’ Information Commissions is the least of its blemishes. The matter is pending before a three-member committee constituted by the RajyaSabha Chairman. on behalf of himself and Justice A. Has any Judge ever been impeached since Independence? None till date. the resolution has to be passed by two-thirds majority in both Houses in the same session. After the MPs submit a duly signed motion to this effect to their respective presiding officers —Chairman of the RajyaSabha or Speaker of the LokSabha—the presiding officer constitutes a three-member committee comprising two Judges—one from the Supreme Court and one Chief Justice of a High Court if the complaint is against a HC Judge. therefore. However. Briefly. 2012 by Justice Swatanter Kumar. who orders removal of the Judge. The impeachment is the process to stop the corruption in the higher level officials and to remove them from their offices because as we had studied we were came to know that by impeachment only the higher level officer is removed from the office. Once the signatures are verified. Ramaswami: He was the Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice of in the year 1993 when he was impeached by the LokSabha by 196 votes because of his incapacity to do work. Among other things. (2) Justice SoumitraSen: He was the Calcutta high court chief justice. Section 12 (5) and (6) of the Right to Information Act. the matter will be referred to a committee to be constituted by the Chairman of the RajyaSabha. but not before delivering intemperate comments during the review proceedings. Is there any other way to punish errant Judges? No. Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily has already announced on the floor of the Parliament that a new law in this regard could be introduced in the ongoing Session of Parliament itself. disdainful of brevity and is animated by a desire to legislate. They perform judicial or quasi-judicial functions and should. the move failed as the then Congress government headed by Rajiv Gandhi asked all Congress MPs to abstain from voting. Last year.

with legislators from the ruling party. Singhvi and S.C. another Bench comprising Justices G. It is somewhat difficult to state with exactitude as to what class of persons would be eligible under these categories.P. The judge finds a way out to save S. The legislature in its wisdom has chosen not to provide any specific qualification. He opted for Judges M. Verma and the M.S. Judge Swatanter Kumar’s objection takes one’s breath away as does his “reading down” of its terms. the Wadhwa Commission on the Staines murders and the Lieberhan Commission on the demolition of the Babri Masjid? Consultation with the CJI is no safeguard.” How anyone can possibly object to these bars passes comprehension.S. in breach of the fundamentals of parliamentary democracy.” ‘UNCERTAIN TENOR’ The Bench holds. Gaps are detected where none exist and are filled in by an improper exercise of judicial power. however. had “raised serious issues relating to integrity of judges” and that “there is a competition among the judges to get those appointments. the RanganathMisra Commission on the Delhi rots. is ineligible in terms of Section 12 (6). in government service.J. To put it differently. the Thakkar Commission on Indira Gandhi’s assassination. “the bench” — as correspondents timidly reported. 12 (5) and disqualification is S. Twelve directions are given. management. Parliament could have laid down that the CIC and the ICs be presided over by judges. How have successive judges of the Supreme Court conducted themselves on the Press Council of India? At least six CJIs left office in the last quarter century under a cloud. then the question arises as to what class of persons would be eligible. hearing the petition for review. Central and State.14 January 2013 S. or one who is holding an office of profit. science and technology.’ are terms of uncertain tenor and amplitude. as the case may be. the J. the persons would fall under one or the other unacceptable categories. Pathak. these disqualifications will only come into play once a person is appointed as Chief Information Commissioner/ Information Commissioner at any level and he will cease to hold any office or profit or carry any business or pursue any profession that he did prior to such appointment. On November 22. 12 (6) of the Act which states the disqualifications is simplicity itself. It chose consciously and wisely not to do so. However. What have the judges to show for themselves as they ran Commissions of Inquiry and the Press Council? The Kudal Commission on the Gandhi Peace Foundation. Piling error upon error. The Almighty was content with 10. The statute book abounds with such sensible bars. probably for Justice Kumar — said that the CIC and ICs “are persons who have been in the government’s good books”. 12 (5) says: “The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law. Natarajan. that “the terminology used by the legislature. carrying on any business or profession. party officials. S. The judge says that it debars “all persons” and asks “if anyone. while inclusion is uncertain. social service. including the NGT. provided only that they resigned from their jobs to fill these plum postings. it excludes practically all classes while not specifying as to which class of persons is eligible to be appointed to that post. The section does not specify any such period.S. Judges Kumar and Patnaik subvert its will and do so by a reasoning which is shockingly absurd. mass media or administration and governance. “The Chief Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner shall not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union Territory. the bar is thus judicially modified to apply after appointment. Jain Commissions on different aspects of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. The Section is silent on that behalf. b