CONTENTS

1. THE UNFOLDING Pravasi Bharatiya Divas - 2012 ....................................................................................... 3

2. NATIONAL BULLETIN Parliament’s Winter Session - 2011 ............................................................................... 10 National News.................................................................................................................. 17 3. INTERNATIONAL BULLETIN Into the Dire Strait: Iran Flexes Muscle .......................................................................... 23 Death of ‘The General’, Kim Jong-Il .............................................................................. 25 International News........................................................................................................... 27 4. BILATERAL BULLETIN Indo-Russia Ties-An Anchor of Peace and Stability ....................................................... India and the Middle East: Towards Closer Ties ............................................................ Emergence of New Friend in Western Africa .................................................................. Bilateral News.................................................................................................................. 33 36 38 39

5. ECONOMY@ IP The Eurozone Crisis and its Impact on India .................................................................. 45 Economy News................................................................................................................ 47 6. SCIENCE SPECTRUM Science News................................................................................................................... 7. HEALTH ISSUES A Major Milestone in Polio Eradication ......................................................................... 8. ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY Protecting the Western Ghats .......................................................................................... 52 58 60

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8. PERSPECTIVES We the People .................................................................................................................. 63 9. INSPIRATIONS@IP TATA Legacy ................................................................................................................... 65 11. MOSAIC Dances Forms of India .................................................................................................... Expert’s Advice ............................................................................................................... 69 73

12. KNOW IT ALL............................................................................................................... 75 13. QUESTIONS@ IP Current Affairs Questions................................................................................................. 86 CSAT Model Paper........................................................................................................... 93 Indian Polity Questions ................................................................................................... 105

INDIA PREPARES

INDIA PREPARES
Volume 1 Issue 5 February 2012
RNI No.-DELENG/2011/39748 Owner, Printer and Publisher: Atul Kumar Garg Editor: Sonal Vats Senior Advisor : Neelam Nandan Editorial Team : Dr Jayant Rai Dr S.K. Gupta Kuldeep Singh Amit Shankar Raghunath Panigrahi Surendra Pandey Fidel Castro Shushant Singh

EDITOR’S NOTE
Dear Readers I would like to thank all my readers once again for their overwhelming response to our magazine. Your feedback has been critical to our success with many new readers joining us with every new issue. Change is the essence of existence. We change and surge ahead. With Civil Services Prelims exam inching closer every passing day, India Prepares is re-orienting itself to focus extensively on the prelims preparation. We have added another questionnaire based on Indian Polity this time in our section Questions@IP. This set of 80 questions will take care of both your conventional and current polity. CSAT and the Current Affairs questions will be continued as usual. Subsequent months will see questionnaire based on other sections of G.S. like Science, Economics, history etc. Also, I would like to inform that the section ‘Thinker’s Arena’ has been suspended for next few months till prelims. Mosaic section would continue to discuss Indian dance forms and our expert advice will take care of your basic Interview preparation based on the Mains Application Form. Enjoy the news and the discourse, both in our magazine and outdoors. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback. You can reach us at iphelpmail@gmail.com or indiaprepares@ gmail.com.
SONAL VATS Editor

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THE UNFOLDING...

PRAVASI BHARTIYA DIVAS- 2012
A meeting of minds and an amazing union of worldviews brought together by one idea – the idea of India
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever. PBD conventions are being held every year since 2003. These conventions provide a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities. These conventions are also very useful in networking among the overseas Indian community residing in various parts of the world and enable them to share their experiences in various fields. During the event, individuals of exceptional merit are honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to appreciate their role in India’s growth. The event also provides a forum for discussing key issues concerning the Indian Diaspora. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Global Indian - Inclusive Growth’ and over 10 Union ministers including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee addressed the delegates and threw light on the country’s growth and sought further investments from the diaspora. Indian-origin Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad Bissessar was the chief guest in the 10th PBD. Lately there has been a surge in workers going to work in the Gulf and other areas from the north Indian states including Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. In an effort to reach out to these workers, an office of the Protector of Emigrants has been set up in Jaipur. Earlier, they would have to travel to Delhi for their immigration formalities. The city will also have a migrant resource centre to provide support to overseas Indians and emigrating workers. The government has also unveiled a new e-migrate scheme to provide end-to-end online solutions for the emigration system. This will link semiskillled and unskilled workers who go for jobs overseas, offices of the protector of emigrants, recruiting agencies, immigration officials, employers and Indian missions abroad. Shir Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs said that over 1800 delegates from about 50 countries are participating in this Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas. He said that there is an estimated five million Overseas Indian Workers mostly in the Gulf and Malaysia. There is a net annual outflow of over half a million workers from India, excluding returnees. He said these workers make a significant contribution to India and account for close to 40 percent of the total remittances that India receives each year. Last year, India received over 50 Billion US Dollars as remittances. Mr. Ravi said the vast majority of these workers are temporary contractual workers in the informal sectors. They often do not have the protection of labor laws in the host country. This makes them especially vulnerable to economic downturns and sometimes to exploitation. In particular, the often appalling conditions of work and the absence of social security protection for women domestic workers, needs strong

Voting rights for NRIs
In what is seen as the end of a long wait, non-resident Indians will now be allowed to vote in the Indian elections. The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh announced at PBD 2012 that the government has issued notifications for registration of overseas voters under the Representation of People Act and nonresident Indians can now vote in the Indian elections. Those NRIs who have registered with the embassies of their respective countries of stay, will be eligible to vote from the upcoming assembly elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur. Postal ballot or online voting, however, has not been granted and the NRIs who want to vote will have to be present in their home constituencies to cast their ballot in person during the elections. The government has also initiated an effort to spruce up its existing People of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizen of India schemes. The two schemes will now be merged, thus rectifying some problems and overlaps between the two. Foreign spouses of overseas Indian cardholders will now become eligible for the overseas citizen of India cards - which have proved very popular among people of Indian origin who have acquired citizenship of other countries.

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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas-2012
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which is celebrated by the Indian government in an effort to reach out to the 28 million Indians overseas, entered its 10th year in 2012. This year, the event was held in Jaipur and had participation of 1800 delegates - the highest ever - from 50 countries.

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governmental interventions. Even the International Labour Organisation has recently drawn attention to the urgency in this regard. He said that India has therefore concluded bilateral agreements with many of the GCC states to work together to ensure decent work and suitable safe guards for women workers. In the past few years, the Indian government has entered into social security agreements with various European nations which benefit the Indian professionals who work there. These agreements are now being expanded into labour mobility partnership agreements which are being expanded to cover students, academics and professionals, besides skilled workers. Such pacts are being negotiated with the Netherlands, France, Australia and EU. Dr. Manmohan Singh while addressing the meet talked about the upheaval in Libya last year, when the Government undertook Operation Safe Homecoming to evacuate more than 16,000 people from the strife torn areas through special flights, passenger and naval vessels. Similar evacuations were carried out in Egypt and Yemen on a lower scale. He said that the Government stand ready to extend such help elsewhere should the need arise. Last year, the it constituted an inter-Ministerial Committee under the Cabinet Secretary to make recommendations on issues relating to repatriation, relief and rehabilitation of Indian nationals affected by recent developments in the west Asian region. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has prepared an Action Plan to implement its recommendations.

the Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries on January four. “The scheme will encourage, enable and assist overseas workers to voluntarily save for their return and resettlement and old age. It will also provide a low— cost life insurance cover against natural death. This scheme fulfils a long pending demand of our workers abroad,” Dr. Singh said.

on the formal sector. Rather, we must pursue an alternative model. One that is more balanced and holistic in a socioeconomic sense”. Overseas Indians, he said, should increase their contribution in social and economic areas like education, healthcare, and skill development and supplement the efforts of the government to promote inclusive growth. Also he added that India does not require just financial contributions from its diaspora, but dedication of time, ideas and endeavour. In a clear message that the government is serious about reaping the demographic dividend and in an effort to position India as a global supplier of skilled and trained workforce in the coming decades, the ministry of overseas Indian affairs has drafted a scheme for skills development. It is aimed to train over 10 million youth over the next two five-year plans and enable workers to move up the value chain and access better jobs overseas. The ministry of health made a strong pitch to Indians overseas during the PBD and urged them to help in the development of healthcare facilities in the country, especially in providing training, knowhow and advanced technologies. Many Indians in the Gulf and western countries have shown interest in setting up hospitals and medical colleges in India. Training of medical professionals is another area where they can help the Indian government.

Engaging the Diaspora
The ministry of overseas Indian affairs has announced that it will undertake an ethnographic study of the vast and diverse body of people of Indian origin across the world, through its think tank, the Indian Council of Overseas Employment. Such a database has never been undertaken before and the mapping will benefit both the Indian government and the communities of people of Indian origin around the world. Citing example of China, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that India too needs to fully tap the investment potential of NRIs and their entrepreneurial skills and promote inclusive growth. “We have not yet reaped the full benefits of India’s great diaspora. The most obvious area remains that of investment and entrepreneurship. For instance, in China a large chunk of foreign direct investment has come from overseas Chinese,”. Though there have been “large ticket investments” by NRIs and PIOs, he said, “it is far less than the potential and perhaps too concentrated

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Pension Fund for Indian workers
One of the highlights of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas this year was the launch of a new pension and life insurance fund for overseas Indian workers by the government. The Prime Minister told the overseas Indians that the government has decided to introduce and sponsor a new Pension and Life Insurance Fund for overseas Indian workers. The Union Cabinet had cleared a proposal for setting up of a Pension and Life Insurance Fund (PLIF) for them in

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India and Trinidad and Tobago sign five pacts
On 6 January, India enhanced its economic and cultural ties with Trinidad and Tobago by signing five pacts and agreed to step up energy collaboration with the oil-rich Caribbean nation, home to a large Indian diaspora. The agreement was signed at the end of the delegation level talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Trinidad-and-Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in New Delhi. The talks focused on expanding economic and cultural ties between India and Trinidad and Tobago, where persons of Indian origin constitute 42 per cent of the population. The two sides signed five pacts, including a crucial bilateral air services agreement and a pact on technical cooperation in the area of education, culture and medicine. They also signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in traditional Indian medicine, an MoU on setting up a chair of ayurveda in the University of West Indies and another MoU on cultural exchanges. In a joint statement issued after the talks, the two leaders expressed deep concern over the international, economic and financial crisis and agreed that the current situation demands restructuring of international, financial and monetary system. The two sides discussed in detail international development and multilateralism and said that they will take more steps to enhance cooperation between the two countries. The two sides agreed to step up trade and investment across a varied spectrum of areas ranging from conventional and renewable energy, SMEs, IT, pharmaceuticals, health, tourism and entertainment. India agreed to help the Caribbean nation to encourage its budding IT sector when the latter sought its partnership in the development of an Information Technology Park. India also agreed to promote Trinidad and Tobago as the hub of medical and healthcare tourism in the region. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan Mr. Ashok Gehlot announced a new scheme, “Know Rajasthan“ for non resident Indians. He said under this scheme 50 NRIs from 18-28 years of age annually would come on tour to the state. 90% expenditure of their Air Fare will be borne by the Rajasthan Government. He said that along with this, expenditure on internal transport and residence will also be borne by the State Government. (c) Building closer links between India, the overseas Indian community and their country of residence; (d) Social and humanitarian causes in India or abroad; (e) Welfare of community; the local Indian Canada; Deepak Naraindas Shivdasani (Cote D’Ivoire) for promoting India in Africa; and Victor Shahed Smetacek (Germany) for his outstanding contributions in the field of science. Awards were given for furthering the interests of the Indian communities abroad to Sri Prakash Lohia (Indonesia), Jose Parayanken (Mozambique), Kiran Navinchandra Aher (Oman), Hassan Abdulkarim Chougule (Qatar) Khorshed Noshir Ginwala-Rustomjee (South Africa), Rajesh Kumar Saraiya (Ukraine) and Surendra Kumar Kaushik (US) for his contributions in the field of economics. Kalpalatha Kummamuri Guntupalli (US), who spoke on behalf of all the awardees, was honoured for her contributions in the field of medicine. Also awarded in absentia was S.R. Nathan, former President of Singapore, for his contributions in the field of public service.

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(f) Philanthropic and charitable work; (g) Eminence in one’s field or outstanding work, which has enhanced India’s prestige in the country of residence; or (h) Eminence in skills which has enhanced India’s prestige in that country (for non-professional workers). Ms. Bissessar, the chief guest at the function, was the first one to be called out to receive the “Pravasi Bharatiya Samman” awards along with 14 others. The President, Smt Pratibha Patil gave away the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards also to P. V Radhakrishna Pillai (Bahrain) for his outstanding contribution to the Indian community; Sachchidanand Sahai (Cambodia) for his scholarly work, and for his role in fostering relation between India and

Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award
The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians. PBSA is conferred by the President of India as a part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Conventions on a Non-Resident Indian, Person of Indian Origin or an organization or institution established and run by the Non-Resident Indians or Persons of Indian Origin, who has made significant contribution in any one of the following fields: (a) Better India; understanding abroad of and

Diasporic Reconnect
In the realm of development, the competitiveness and growth of an economy is determined by its capacity to acquire and apply new knowledge. In a rapidly globalizing world, learning

(b) Support to India’s causes concerns in a tangible way;

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Fact-file
The decision to celebrate the “Pravasi Bharatiya Divas” was taken in accordance with recommendations of the ‘High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora’ (HLC) set up by Government of India under the chairmanship of Dr. L. M. Singhvi. The Prime Minister, receiving the report of the Committee at a public function at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on 8th January 2002, announced the “Pravasi Bharatiya Divas”(PBD) on January 9 that year. The day was chosen to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India in 1915. The occasion is marked by special programs to recognize the contributions of NRI/PIO individuals of exceptional merit, felicitate NRI/PIO individuals who have made exceptional contributions in their chosen field/profession (Pravasi Bharatiya Samman) and provide a forum to discuss issues and concerns of people of the diaspora. The event has been organized every year since 2003, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), initially sponsored by FICCI. The annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Program since 2003 has been organized in the following cities: o o o o o 2003 1st Pravasi Bharatiya Divas New Delhi 2005 3rd Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Mumbai 2007 5th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas New Delhi 2009 7th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Chennai 2011 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas New Delhi o o o o o 2004 2nd Pravasi Bharatiya Divas New Delhi 2006 4th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Hyderabad 2008 6th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas New Delhi 2010 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas New Delhi 2012 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Jaipur.

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new ways of doing things depends on the ability to integrate with the larger world outside. Beside the free movement of goods and capital across borders, the international migration of human capital (the movement of knowledge, talent and skills across borders) is central to learning and development. A Diaspora is the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland or people settled far from their ancestral homelands. The movement of the high skilled and low skilled workers from less to more developed economies and back opens several new opportunities for development. Active engagement with the Diaspora is significant for many reasons.

and this auspicious beginning, I hope, will build a global diaspora network of bridges or what we call in ancient India • The Diaspora may frequently serve “Setubandhanam”. Setubandhanam, as a as a bridge for trade and economic matter for some subdivision, ought to be cooperation between two countries at the heart of this festival of India and and sometimes they may also be of the festival of Indian diaspora. There has been emergence of agents of political persuasion between nations. The Indian Diaspora significant Diasporas in recent years. in the USA is a very good example in It highlights two key facts. There is a large expatriate population of skilled this • Overseas Indians have made people from emerging economies in the significant contributions to the developed world. Overseas communities economy of the country of residence can constitute a significant resource and have added in considerable for the development of the countries measure to knowledge and of origin. However, the success of any innovation. Thus, they also act as country’s relation with its Diaspora depends on two conditions: ‘ambassadors of goodwill’. knowledge, expertise, resources and markets for the development of the country of origin. - The ability of the Diaspora to develop and project a coherent, intrinsically motivated and progressive identity. - The capacity of the home country to establish conditions and institutions for sustainable, symbiotic and mutually rewarding engagement. It is a welcome fact that India is now beginning to recognize the need to pursue and promote the dynamic of the Diaspora and development. India has the second largest Diaspora in the world. The overseas

At the inaugural session of PBD, Dr L M Singhvi, Chairman, Organizing • First of all, the Diaspora is a large Committee of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas source of remittances and financial said “ The Indian diaspora is a rainbow flows in the economy, which increase and, if I may say so, my head soars with forex flow into the economy and give a fond aspiration and pride and my heart vibrancy to the local economy. leaps with boundless joy when I behold • A large number of expatriates the rainbow of India and Indians over the are investors of significance and globe. If globalization of India is to take their development impact can be place in the right perspective, I think it should grow in the right perception and considerable. right proportion must also take place • An overseas community can and does with our Indian diaspora as the catalyst serve as an important bridge to access of cross fertilization. This congregation

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Indian community estimated at over 25 million is spread across every major region in the world. The overseas Indian community is the result of different waves of migration over hundreds of years driven by a variety of reasons-mercantilism, colonialism and globalization. In the last three decades of the 20th century the character of migration began to change and a ‘new Diaspora’ led by high skilled professionals moving to the western world and semi-skilled contract workers moving to the Gulf, West and South East Asia emerged. The overseas Indian community now constitutes a diverse, heterogeneous and

eclectic global community representing different regions, languages, cultures and faiths. Overseas Indians comprise People of Indian Origin (PIO) and Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and today are amongst the best educated and successful communities in the world. Overseas Indians share a strong bond with their country of origin. The relationship between India and its overseas community is growing, new partnerships evolving and newer multifaceted dimensions being explored.

of our diaspora, who for various reasons, are unable to attend the main event in India and benefit from its deliberations. This is in response to a strong and persistent demand for holding such events regionally.

PBD-CANADA
The 2011 Regional PBD was held in Toronto on June 9 and 10th. Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce was the nodal agency for the event. The theme wasBuilding Bridges: Positioning Strategy of the Indian Diaspora. Indian Diaspora members in Canada, USA, Mexico and the Caribbean countries attended the PBD¬Canada 2011 convention in large numbers.

Mini Pravasi Bhartiya Divas
Mini PBDs are essentially Regional PBDs organized to reach out to a vast majority

NRI, PIO and OCI
It is important to know what each abbreviation stands for. An NRI (Non-Resident Indian) is an Indian citizen who is ordinarily residing outside India and holds an Indian Passport. As to where a PIO (Person of Indian Origin) /OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card holders are people whose ancestors were of Indian Nationality and who is presently holding another countries’ citizenship/nationality (i.e. he/she is holding foreign passport). In respect of facilities available in economic, financial and educational field, PIO/OCI is considered the equivalent of an NRI. Although PIO and OCI cards have the same description and are similar in nature, they do each have distinct differences. Let’s take a closer look:

PIO vs. OCI
A PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card allows for visa-free travel to and from India. However, a PIO card is only valid for 15 years. Also, if your stay in India is going to exceed 180 days on any single visit you will need to register within 30 days of the expiry of 180 days with the concerned Foreigners Regional Registration Officer/Foreigners Registration Officer or local Police Authorities. Unlike a PIO, an OCI card has lifelong visa-free travel and does not require the holder to register with any office regardless of the length of their stay.

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Eligibility for PIO/OCI
A person is eligible for a PIO/OCI Card if they at any time held an Indian Passport or either of his/her parents, grandparents or great grandparents was born in and are/were permanent residents’ in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or other countries which may be specified by the Central Government from time to time. The difference between OCI and PIO eligibility is: The PIO scheme is broad-based and includes up to four generations and also the foreign spouse of a citizen of India or a PIO/OCI card holder. OCI states that the spouse of the eligible person can apply for OCI only if they are eligible in their own capacity. Foreign Nationals, who are not eligible for an OCI, but married to someone who is eligible for an OCI, still cannot be granted an OCI. (Currently state is considering merging the two schemes.) The NRI and PIO population across the world is estimated at over 30 million. As per a UNDP’s 2010 report, after China, India has the largest diaspora in the world, estimated at 25 million, besides being one of the largest “sending” nations in Asia, with an emigration rate of 0.8%, out of which, 72% work in other Asian countries. Also, as per UNESCO Institute for Statistics the number of Indian students abroad tripled from 51,000 in 1999 to over 153,000 in 2007, making India second after China among the world’s largest sending countries for tertiary students.

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Overseas Citizenship of India Scheme
In response to persistent demands for “dual citizenship” particularly from the Diaspora in North America and other developed countries and keeping in view the Government’s deep commitment towards fulfilling the aspirations and expectations of Overseas Indians, the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme was introduced by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955 in August 2005. The Scheme was launched during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention 2006 at Hyderabad. The Scheme provides for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) of all Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who were citizens of India on 26th January, 1950 or there after or were eligible to become citizens of India on 26th January, 1950 except who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.

Not dual citizenship
OCI is not to be misconstrued as ‘dual citizenship’. OCI does not confer political rights( though they will now be elgible to cast their vote in elections). The registered Overseas Citizens of India shall not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of India under article 16 of the Constitution with regard to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment. It is mandatory for registered OCIs to carry their passports which carry the Universal visa sticker for entry into / exit from India. A registered Overseas Citizen of India is granted multiple entry, multi purpose, life-long visa for visiting India, he/she is exempted from registration with Foreign Regional Registration Officer or Foreign Registration Officer for any length of stay in India, and is entitled to general ‘parity with Non-Resident Indians in respect of all facilities available to them in economic, financial and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties’. Specific benefits/parity is notified by the Ministry from time to time. The Ministry has issued notifications granting registered OCIs further benefits as under: a. Parity with Non-Resident Indians in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children ; b. Parity with resident Indian nationals in matters of tariffs in domestic air fares ;

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c. Parity with domestic Indian visitors in respect of entry fee for visiting national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India ; d. Parity with non-resident Indians in respect of: i. Entry fees for visiting the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India; ii. Practicing the following professions in India, in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts, namely:
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Doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists; Advocates; Architects; and Chartered Accountants; and

e. Entitlement to appear for the All India Pre-Medical Test or such other tests to make them eligible for admission in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts. An on-line OCI miscellaneous service is now available for re-issuance /issuance of duplicate OCI documents, in case of issuance of new passport, change of personal particulars, viz, nationality, name, change of address/occupation, etc. and loss/damage of OCI registration certificate/visa. As on 20th April, 2011, 7.99 lakh OCI registration booklets and visa stickers have been issued

Act Governing the Scheme
7A. Registration of overseas citizens of India- The Central Government may, subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed, on an application made in this behalf, register as an overseas citizen of Indiaa. any person of full age and capacity,b. who is citizen of another country, but was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after, the commencement of the Constitution; or c. who is citizen of another country, but was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of the Constitution;or

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d. who is citizen of another country, but belonged to a territory that become part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947; or e. who is a child or a grand-child of such a citizen; or f. a person, who is a minor child of a person mentioned in clause (a): Provided that no person, who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an overseas citizen of India. 7B. Conferment of rights on overseas citizens of India- (1)Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, an overseas citizen of India shall be entitled to such rights other than the rights specified under subsection(2) as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf. (2) An overseas citizen of India shall not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of Indiaa. under article 16 of the Constitution with regard to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment; b. under article 58 of the Constitution for election as President; c. under article 66 of the Constitution for election of Vice-President; d. under article 124 of the Constitution for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court; e. under article 217 of the Constitution for appointment as a Judge of the High Court; f. under section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950(43 of 1950) in regard to registration as a voter; g. under sections 3 and 4 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) with regard to the eligibility for being a member of the House of the People or of the Council of States, as the case may be; h. under section 5, 5A and 6 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) with regard to the eligibility for being a member of the Legislative Assembly or a Legislative Council, as the case may be, of a State; i. for appointment to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State except for appointment in such services and posts as the Central Government may by special order in that behalf specify. (3) Every notification issued under sub-section (1) shall be laid before each House of Parliament. 7C. Renunciation of overseas citizenship-(1) If any overseas citizen of India of full age and capacity makes in the prescribed manner a declaration renouncing his overseas citizenship of India, the declaration shall be registered by the Central Government, and; upon such registration, that person shall cease to be an overseas citizen of India. (2) Where a person ceases to be an overseas citizen of India under subsection (1), every minor child of that person registered as an overseas citizen of India, shall thereupon cease to be an overseas citizen of India. 7D. Cancellation of registration as overseas citizen of India- The Central Government may, by order, cancel the registration granted under sub-section(1) of section 7A if it is satisfied thata. the registration as an overseas citizen of India was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact; or b. the overseas citizen of India has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India as by law established; or c. the overseas citizen of India has, during any war in which India may bee engaged, unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or been engaged in, or associated with, any business or commercial activity that was to his knowledge carried on in such manner as to assist an enemy in that war; or d. the overseas citizen of India has, within five years after registration under sub-section(1) of section 7A has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years; or e. it is necessary so to do in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of India, friendly relations of India with any foreign country, or in the interests of the general public.

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NATIONAL BULLETIN...

Parliament’s Winter Session - 2011
The working of Indian Parliament has always been infamous for its frequent disruptions. The year 2011 was no exception as the Parliament was frequently disrupted over a host of issues. If we look at the total business transaction time, Parliament sat for a total of 73 days. Since Lok Sabha is scheduled to sit for 6 hours and Rajya Sabha for 5 hours, this means that total available time was 438 hours for Lok Sabha and 365 hours for Rajya Sabha. Of the available time, approximately 30% time was lost to disruptions in Lok Sabha and 35% in Rajya Sabha. The Winter Session saw disruptions on issues such as the opposition’s call for an adjournment motion on price rise, the issue of FDI in retail, Telangana and Mullaperiyar. Time allotted to Question Hour was often lost to disruptions in both Houses. Though Rajya Sabha tried to experiment by shifting the Question Hour to 2pm, it did not bring any improvement and hence was moved back to 11 am. Parliament had initially planned to sit for 21 days during the Winter Session. However, it was later extended by three days. During the extended part of the session, anti-corruption Bills such as the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, the Constitution (116th Amendment) Bill, the Judicial Accountability Bill and the Whistleblowers Bill were taken up for consideration. Lok Sabha worked for a total of 85 hours (67% of planned time) and Rajya Sabha for almost 74 hours (71% of planned time). The loss of time was never recovered as out of 32 Bills listed initially, only 15 were passed in the winter session. Similarly out of 400 starred questions, only 41 could be answered orally. However, despite the lost time, Parliament fared better than in 2010 when an entire session was lost to disruptions. Let’s have a look on some of the important Bills presented in the Parliament: Status Passed by the Parliament

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S. No. Title of the Bill 1. The Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research Bill, 2010

Specifications The Bill seeks to establish the Academy of in association of the Council of Scientific Research (CSIR). It also seeks to declare the Academy as an institution of national importance. The main objects of the Academy would be to (a) disseminate knowledge in science and technology (b) undertake inter-disciplinary studies and research (c) Establish linkages with industries in India and abroad to promote science and technology. It seeks to focus on areas not ordinarily taught in Indian universities.

2.

The Constitution (111th Amendment) Bill, 2009

The Bill adds a new Directive Principles of State Policy stating that the “State shall endeavour to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of co-operative societies.” It inserts a new part IX B in the Constitution (adding Articles 243ZH through 243ZT), outlining guidelines for running co-operative societies.

Passed by the

3.

The Regulation of Factor (Assignment of Receivables) Bill, 2011

The Bill provides that no factor may commence or carry on the factoring business without a certificate of registration from the Reserve Bank of India. Applicants for registration must meet the eligibility requirements of a NBFC under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 It empowers the Reserve Bank of India to issue directions, call for information from the

Passed by the Parliament

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factor, and prohibit financial institutions from undertaking the factoring business if they fail to comply with its directions. 4. The Export-Import Bank of India (Amendment) Bill, 2011 The Bill amends the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of India Act, 1981. The Act establishes the EXIM Bank as a corporation that promotes international trade by financing exporters and importers. The Bill proposes to increase the authorized capital of the EXIM Bank from Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore. The Bill also proposes the appointment of two whole-time directors by the central government to the board of the EXIM Bank. Currently, the board consists of only the chairman and the managing director. 5. The Constitution (Scheduled Tribe) Bill, 2011 The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order specifies the tribal and tribal communities who are deemed to be Scheduled Tribes. The Bill amends It also amends Part XVIII of the Order which specifies the Scheduled Tribes in Arunachal Pradesh. The Bill amends Part X of the Order by substituting (i) “Kabui Inpui, Rongmei” for “Kabui” (ii) “Kacha Naga, Liangmai, Zeme for “Kacha Naga”; and (iii) “Koirao, Thangal” for “Koirao”. It also inserts a new entry for granting Scheduled Tribe status to the “Mate” tribal community”. The Bill also amends Part XVIII of the Order by substituting the tribe “Galo” for “Galong”. 6. The Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of Right of User in Land) Amendment Bill, 2010 The Bill seeks to amend the Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of Rights of Users in Land) Act, 1962, which provides for the acquisition of right of user in land for laying pipelines for the transport of petroleum and minerals. The Bill enhances punishment for any person making unauthorised connection with a pipeline or damages the pipeline or extracts petroleum from the pipeline or disrupts supplies to ten years imprisonment and a fine. For subsequent offences the person shall be liable to rigorous imprisonment between three to ten years. In the Act, the punishment varied between six months and three years. The Bill seeks to make these offences cognizable and non-bailable. 7. The Damodar Valley Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2007 The Bill seeks to amend the Principal Act to allow the corporation to consist of (a) a Chairman; (b) a member (technical), and a member (finance); (c) one representative from the central government; (d) one representative each from the state governments of Jharkhand and West Bengal; (e) three independent experts (one each from the fields of irrigation, water supply and generation of electricity). The central government representative and the three independent experts Passed by the Parliament Passed by the Parliament Passed by the Parliament Passed by the Parliament

Order (Amendment) Part X of the Order which specifies the Scheduled Tribes in Manipur.

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shall be appointed by the central government. The Chairman and other members shall be appointed by the central government in consultation with the state government. 8. The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting CoAmendment Bill, 2010 9. The Bill amends the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990 which establishes the Broadcasting Corporation (Prasar Bharati) and defines its composition, posts in Akashvani and Doordarshan other than some specified posts shall be deemed to have been transferred to the Prasar Bharati with effect from April 1, 2000. The Cable Television The Bill amends the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, Networks (ReguBill, 2011 and repeals the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment ‘addressable systems’ are required to be attached to the set top box. The Bill redefines ‘pay channels’ to mean channels for which the cable operator pays the broadcaster and the broadcaster’s permission is required for transmission of the channel. The Act empowers the central government to make it obligatory for cable operators to transmit any pay channel through addressable systems. The Act also requires the cable operators to submit reports on the lation) Amendment Ordinance, 2011. The Act defines ‘pay channels’ as channels for which Passed by the Parliament Passed by the Parliament

rporation of India) functions and powers. The Bill amends the provisions to state that all

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10. The Life Insurance Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2009

total number of subscribers, subscription rates, and the number of subscribers for free-to-air and pay channels. Seeking to meet the capital requirements as specified by IRDA, this Bill increases the capital of LIC from Rs. 5 crore to Rs. 100 crore. Currently, all life insurance policies of LIC are guaranteed by the central government; this Bill permits the central government to re-set the extent of such guarantee. The Act states that the central government guarantees the amounts assured by the policies of LIC. The Bill amends it by stating that the extent of the guarantee shall be determined by the central government. 11. Judicial Standards Bill, 2010 The Bill aims at laying down judicial standards and establishing a a judge of the Supreme Court or High Court. The Bill proposes that a judge can be warned, taken off work, censured or admonished, depending upon the misconduct. The Bill also proposes to make provisions for declaration of assets and liabilities of judges. At present, there is no legal provision for dealing with complaints filed by the public against the judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts. It provides for a five-member National Judicial Oversight Committee, headed by a former Chief Justice of India (CJI) and having Attorney Pending in Lok Sabha and Accountability mechanism to deal with complaints of ‘misbehaviour’ or ‘incapacity’ of Passed by the Parliament

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General as a member, which would look into complaints of misconduct by judges. 12. Constitution (114th The Lok Sabha took up of the Constitution (114th Amendment) Bill, Amendment) Bill, 2010 2010, for consideration which seeks to increase the retirement age of High Court judges from the present 62 years to 65 years, bringing it on par with the retirement age of Supreme Court judges. It is a Constitutional Amendment Bill which seeks to amend Articles 217 and 224 of the Constitution to increase the retirement age. 13. Constitution Order Amendment Bill 14. The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2011 The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Second Amendment) Bill, 2011 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 20th December to include Medara community in the list of Scheduled Tribes in Karnataka. The government on 27th December tabled the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill that seeks to introduce the concept of “corresponding law’’ to link the provisions of Indian law with the laws of foreign countries and provide for transfer of the proceeds of the foreign predicate offence in any manner in India. The Bill enlarges the definition of offence of money laundering to including activities like concealment, acquisition, possession and use of proceeds of crime as criminal activities and removes the existing limit of Rs 5 lakh as fine under the existing Act. 15. National Highway Amendment Bill The NHAI (Amendment) Bill, 2011 proposes to increase the number of full-time members from five to six and part-time members from four to six “to allow induction of professionals of repute in the field of financial management, transportation planning and other relevant areas. The aim of the bill is to enhance the capacity of NHAI to take strategic decisions, widen its perspective, bring in the best management practices and assist in achieving the goal of higher private participation. 16. The Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2011 A bill to provide for the establishment of a Regional Centre for Biotechnology for training and education as an institution of national importance was tabled in the Lok Sabha on 20th December. The Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2011, to be set up in the national capital region under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), will undertake research in the field of biotechnology. 17. Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011 Lok Sabha on 22nd December passed the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011. The bill proposes to establish autonomous and independent institutions called Lokpal at the central level and and Lokayukta for states. These shall have powers of superintendence and direction for Passed by Lok Sabha; pending in Rajya Sabha. Pending in Lok Sabha Pending in Lok Sabha Pending in Lok Sabha Pending in Lok Sabha Pending in Lok Sabha

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holding a preliminary inquiry, causing an investigation to be made and prosecution of offences in respect of complaints under any law for the prevention of corruption. The Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members of which fifty percent shall be judicial members. Fifty percent of members shall be from amongst Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC), minorities and women. The selection of chairperson and members of Lokpal shall be through a selection committee consisting of Prime Minister, Lok Sabha speaker, Lok Sabha leader of opposition, Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by chief justice. Eminent jurist can be a member of the selection committee, who shall be nominated by the President of India. In the case of Lokayuktas, the selection committee will have the Chief Minister, Speaker of assembly, Leader of Opposition, Chief Justice or Judge of the High Court and an eminent jurist nominated by the Governor. There shall be a search committee to assist selection committee in the process of selection. Fifty percent of members of search committee shall be from amongst SC, ST, OBCs, minorities and women. Prime Minister has been brought under the purview of the Lokpal with

Despite a 12 hr discussion, the Bill was not put to vote in RS.

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specific exclusions. Lokpal cannot hold any inquiry against the Prime Minister if allegations relate to international relations, external and internal security of the country, public order, atomic energy and space. Any decision of Lokpal to initiate preliminary inquiry or investigation against Prime Minister shall be taken only by the full bench with a 3/4th majority. Such proceedings shall be held in camera. 18. Citizens Charter Bill The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011, lays down obligations of every public authority towards citizens, specifying delivery of goods and services in a time-bound manner and, providing for a grievance redressal mechanism for non-compliance of citizens charter. The Bill makes it compulsory for every ministry and department to act within 30 days on complaints from the public, failing which an appeal could be filed with a higher authority. This authority will have to dispose of the appeal within 30 days failing which the official concerned would faceaction, including a fine of up to Rs 50,000 (to be recovered a from his salary) and disciplinary proceedings. 19. Whistleblowers’ Protection Bill, 2011 The Whistleblowers’ Protection Bill, 2011, which seeks to provide for setting up a regular mechanism to encourage persons to disclose information on corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants, Pending in Lok Sabha Pending in Lok Sabha

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including Ministers, was passed by the Lok Sabha on 27th December. The Bill also seeks to provide “adequate protection to persons reporting corruption or wilful misuse of discretion which causes demonstrable loss to the government or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant. A major amendment cleared by the Cabinet is the inclusion of Ministers, MPs, defence services, intelligence agencies, bank officials and PSUs under the ambit of the bill. The Special Protection Group (SPG) has been kept out of the ambit of the Bill. One of the recommendations of the Committee to include higher judiciary (Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts) has been rejected. 20. Electronic Delivery of Services Bill The Electronic Delivery of Services Bill, 2011 seeks to provide for electronic delivery of public services by the government to all persons to ensure transparency efficiency, accountability, accessibility and reliability in delivery of such services. The Bill seeks to provide government services and certificates to people electronically on their doorstep, sparing them “exploitation by officials.” As per the provisions of the Bill, the Centre, the States and all public authorities under them shall deliver all public services by electronic mode, except such services which cannot be delivered electronically, within five years from the date of coming into force of the Act. The receipt of forms and applications, issue or grant of licence, permit, certificate, sanction or approval and the receipt and payment of money— all of them can be done through the Internet. The Bill proposes penalties of up to Rs. 5,000 for officials if they fail to adhere to the norms. In case of persistent default, the penalty may extend up to Rs. 20,000. It will also result in the establishment of the Central Electronic Service Delivery Commission at the Central level and the State Electronic Service Delivery Commission at the State level and imposition of a penalty on defaulting officials for contravention of the provisions of this proposal Act. The legislation covers the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. 21. The National Commission for Human Resources For Health Bill, 2011 The NCHRH Bill, 2011 piloted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was tabled in the Rajya Sabha recently. The Commission will consist of a chairperson and six members, one of whom will be the chairperson of the National Commission for Human Resources for Health, who will be appointed by the President on the recommendations of a search-cumselection committee headed by the Prime Minister with the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Ministers in charge of medical education and higher education. The Bill proposes to replace independent regulatory bodies such as the Medical Council of Pending in Rajya Sabha Pending

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India (MCI), Dental Council of India (DCI), Pharmacy Council of India and Nursing Council of India with new national councils, including a Paramedical Council. 22. Higher Education and Research Bill The government on 28th December tabled the Higher Education and Research Bill, 2011 in the Rajya Sabha that seeks to establish the National Commission on Higher Education and Research (NCHER), an overarching regulatory body for university education including vocational, technical, professional and medical education. The existing regulatory bodies including the University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education would subsequently be scrapped. 23. The National Food Security Bill, 2011 The National Food Security Bill, 2011, considered to be the world’s largest experiment in ensuring food security to poor, was presented in the Parliament. The bill brings under its purview 63.5% of the country’s population —75% of rural households and 50% of urban households. The bill classifies all entitled households as “general” and “priority”. At least 46% of rural households and 28% of urban households would be designated as “priority”. Every person belonging to a “priority household” will be provided with 7kg of grain per month, comprising rice, wheat and coarse grain. Rice will be provided at Rs 3, wheat at Rs 2 and coarse grain at Rs 1 per kg. Others belonging to the “general category” would be entitled to not less than 3kg of grain per month at a rate not exceeding 50% of the minimum support price. Once passed, the food subsidy bill is expected to rise to Rs 95,000 crore. Initial estimates pegged the increase in subsidy at nearly Rs 28,000 crore. Pending in Lok Sabha Pending in Rajya Sabha

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NATIONAL NEWS...
JUDICIAL
‘Apprehension of Bail being Granted, no Ground for Preventive Detention’: SC
Observing that the right to life and liberty guaranteed to a citizen under Article 21 of the Constitution cannot be taken away without following due procedure, the Supreme Court has held that mere apprehension of the authorities that an accused was likely to be released on bail was not a ground for passing preventive detention orders. A three-judge Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir, S.S. Nijjar and J. Chelameswar while giving this ruling held that such prevention detention was “not justified.” Writing the judgment, Mr. Justice Kabir said: “Article 21 of the Constitution enjoins that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except, according to procedure established by law. Although the power is vested with the concerned authorities, unless the same are invoked and implemented in a justifiable manner, such an action of the detaining authority cannot be sustained, inasmuch as, such a detention order is an exception to the provisions of Articles 21 and 22 (2) of the Constitution.” The Bench also rejected the contention that going by the previous conduct of the accused, viz. if he was a habitual offender or he was involved in several other cases earlier, he could be detained under preventive detention law. In the instant case, Yumman Ongbai Lembi Leima, the appellant, challenged the judgment of the Gauhati High Court upholding the order of preventive detention of her husband, Yumman Somendro Somo Tiken, under the National Security Act on January 31, 2011. The said detention order, approved by the Governor of Manipur on February 7, 2011, was passed on the ground that the detenu was likely to be released on bail by the normal criminal Courts in the near future. Allowing the appeal, the Bench quashed the detention order and directed the appellant’s husband to be released forthwith. one V K Naswa seeking its direction to pass an order against Yoga guru Ramdev and frame rules to stop misusing of flag.

CJI’s Office cannot Withhold All Information: CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has held that all information in possession of the office of the Chief Justice of India is not completely exempt from disclosure under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. “While we concede that due to the stay granted by the Supreme Court [in the assets case], all information relating to the in-house procedure of the Supreme Court and vigilance matters relating to the judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Courts should not be disclosed, we cannot agree that every information held in the office of the CJI should not be disclosed till the Constitution Bench officially disposes of the issues referred to it by the Division Bench,” Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra said in his order. He said acceptance of the argument that information could not be provided because of the stay would virtually mean complete exclusion of the office of the CJI from the scope of the RTI Act, which was not the case. “Had the intention of the Legislature been so, there would have been an express provision in the law to exclude the office of the CJI from the operation of the RTI Act or the information held in the office of the CJI would have been kept out of the definition of information as given in Section 2 (f) [relating to exemptions].” Appellant RTI activist Subash Chandra Aggarwal had sought a variety of information in 11 cases. Some of these questions were about the appointment of some individuals as judges and some others related to questions arising out of the conduct of judges,. No information had been provided by the Supreme Court’s Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), and this order was confirmed by the appellate authority. The present appeal was filed against this order.

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Court Can neither Pass Law nor Ask Govt. to Frame it: SC
The judiciary can neither make laws nor can it direct the government and legislative body to enact legislation, the Supreme Court has said. The apex court’s remarks came while dismissing a plea to frame rules to stop misuse of national flags which was allegedly witnessed in Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev led agitation. “It is crystal clear that the court has a very limited role and in exercise of that, it is not open to have judicial legislation. Neither the court can legislate nor it has any competence to issue directions to the legislature to enact a law in a particular manner,” a Bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar said. The court passed the order on a petition filed by

NATIONAL
India’s Bureaucracy is ‘Worst in Asia’: Report
India’s bureaucracy is the worst in Asia, according to a report. The report by Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy ranks bureaucracies across Asia on a scale from one to ten, with 10 being the worst possible score. India scored 9.21. India fared worse than Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and China. The report said India’s bureaucracy was responsible for many complaints businessmen had about India, like lack of infrastructure and corruption. It also said that Indian bureaucrats were rarely held accountable for wrong decisions. Singapore remained the country with the best bureaucracy, with a rating of 2.25. It was followed by Hong Kong, Thailand,

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Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia.

take appropriate steps and file a report.

Citizens to be Allowed to Vote Online in Civic Polls
The Panchayati Raj Ministry has directed the State Election Commissions (SECs) to allow voters for online voting in municipal elections at the earliest. The State governments have accepted the proposal and the system will be in place as and when the urban local body elections are held in their States. EC’s decision came in a bid to encourage lax urban voters to exercise their franchise. The pilot project in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, proved successful. Under the system, voters who have registered online will have a separate ID with a password. They will be recognised by their mobile phone numbers and told of their time of voting through an SMS. Each voter will be allotted just two minutes to cast his/her vote once the ballot paper pops up on the screen for the ward where the voter is enrolled. The time control is to avoid a mass attempt at electors casting their votes at one and the same time. For, multiple hits could jam the website. However, this system is unlikely to be followed in panchayat elections given the profile of the electorate who are not expected to have a computer of their own or easy access to computer kiosks.

Govt. Notify RAW to Legally Intercept calls, Emails
Amid raging controversy over the UPA government’s plan to screen social media, Union Home Ministry has added and notified the external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), in the list of eight agencies to intercept phone calls, e-mails and data communications. RAW’s addition to the list is aimed at giving it a legal cover for intercepting phone calls, e-mails and voice and data communication domestically. This is the first time that the R&AW, since it was formed in 1967, has been authorised to tap phone calls. RAW would not be able to deploy its communication interception equipment at international gateways to snoop on all forms of data, be it international telephony emanating from India, or any form of electronic data including e-mails. Significantly, it was only last year that the Union government faced flak from courts on phone tapping, prompting it to tell the States to adhere to the guidelines strictly. The Supreme Court, in the PUCL vs. Union of India in 1997, had ruled that telephone conversation in private, without interference, would come under the purview of right to privacy as mandated in the Constitution; and unlawful means of phone tapping amounted to invasion of privacy and were uncivilised and undemocratic in nature. On an average, 5,000 to 6,000 telephones are tapped daily across the country by the Central investigation and intelligence agencies. On the questions of a citizen’s rights and privacy, the Home Ministry had reiterated that law enforcement agencies can tap phones of any individual for security or operational reasons for 72 hours even without permission from the Union Home Secretary or the State Home Secretary. In such a case, if the agency concerned does not get permission, it will have to destroy the tapped conversations within 48 hours. All requests by the Central government agencies, including those under the Finance Ministry and the Central Bureau of Investigation, need the approval of the Union Home Secretary. Initially, the approval to tap phones is given for 60 days; if the request is repeated for another 60 days, the agency concerned has to give detailed reasons. Yet another extension of 60 days is permissible, but no permission is given beyond 180 days.

Now a Chapter on Climate Change in Economic Survey 18
For the first time a chapter on Climate Change will be included in the forthcoming Economic Survey of India titled as “Change in life style and livelihood security required to deal with problem of climate change.

INTERNAL SECURITY
Center Sanctions Prosecution against Facebook, Google
Granting sanction to prosecute 21 social networking websites, including Facebook and Google, the Union government on 13th January said there was sufficient material to proceed against them for offences of promoting enmity between different groups of people. They are “doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony” and hosting content that is “provocative, assertive and propagates prejudicial to national integration,” it said. The Department of Information Technology placed its report before a Delhi court, after which the court directed the Ministry of External Affairs to get summons served on over 10 companies that are based abroad, after summons issued on December 23 remained unserved. Earlier the Delhi court had set a deadline for 22 social networking sites including the Facebook, the Google, the Yahoo and the Microsoft to remove all “anti-religious” or “anti-social” content and directed the companies to file compliance reports by February 6. It had also directed the Union government to

National Counter-Terrorism Centre gets CCS approval
The government on 12th December gave its approval to set up the National Counter-Terrorism Centre which will act as the nodal agency for all anti-terror activities in the country. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gave its nod to set up the NCTC which will streamline all terror- related intelligence, analyse and provide them for action to concerned agencies. A pet project of Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the NCTC will be the nodal agency for all counter-terrorism activities and coordinate

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with intelligence agencies such as Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and state intelligence agencies. The NCTC will connect Multi Agency Centre (MAC), which would be subsumed into NCTC, and all agencies reporting to it in Delhi and state capitals. The NCTC will not have any foot-soldier to collect information, but will depend on other agencies. It will come up through an executive order which will be issued soon. The government will not bring a legislation for setting up of this anti-terror body, unlike the NIA that was created through an Act. The head of the body, an additional Director General level police officer, will report to the Union Home Secretary.

SOCIAL ISSUES
Sub-quota for Minorities in OBC Quota
The Union Cabinet on 22nd December cleared a 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities, which will be carved out of the 27 per cent quota for Other Backward Castes (OBCs) in Central government jobs and Central educational institutions. The decision would benefit all minorities listed as OBCs. Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said inclusion or exclusion in the Central OBC list would be strictly on the basis of backwardness of minorities which include Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Parsis. Minister said that there will be no constitutional hurdle in implementing the sub-quota for minorities. It is apparent from the judgment of the Supreme Court in Indira Swahney case that the government is within its legitimate rights to make sub-categorisation amongst castes/communities included in the broad category of OBC. Mr. Khurshid said that the government’s decision to fix subquota of 4.5 per cent for minorities was in line with the Mandal Commission formula which was based on the caste census of 1931. The proportion between the two (Hindu OBC and nonHindu OBC) is currently approximately 1:5 because of the decadal growth of Muslims (which) has been higher compared to Hindus. Therefore, the Government has fixed the sub-quota of 4.5 per cent, he added.

Govt to Phase out SSB Cadre Created after Chinese Aggression
Government has decided to phase out a non-uniformed cadre comprising 4,000 personnel which was created to work in border areas in the wake of Chinese aggression in 1963 and worked under Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) till 2001. After 2001 SSB became a new armed force under the Union Home Ministry. The cadre is at present part of the paramilitary Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) which guards Indian borders with Nepal and Bhutan. The cadre, for the last 48 years, has been working in insurgency hit areas along the border and recently in Naxal-hit states, undertaking civic welfare programmes like teaching children in schools, conducting medical camps and organising vocational training courses. According to senior SSB officials, the cadre is fast losing its sheen as the personnel are not getting timely promotions and they cannot opt for combat posts as their physical fitness does not permit them do arduous tasks. The SSB, with 37 battalions (about 40,000 personnel), is now training its combatants in snooping skills required for operational purposes as they are designated as the ‘lead intelligence agency’ on both the borders.

ADB loan Cleared for Road Works in Naxal-hit Villages
The Union government has cleared an external loan to finance part of the programme launched by the Ministry of Rural Development in left wing extremism-affected villages. The clearance is for a loan of $500 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to speed up construction of rural roads. The ADB, which has already extended a loan of $800 million, has been petitioned with a fresh proposal for rural connectivity investment programme to construct or upgrade 7,000 km of roads connecting eligible habitations in Maoistaffected States of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, besides Assam where too the PMGSY has progressed with little to cheer. As per the programme drawn up by the MoRD, the Centre will supplement with a contribution of $127.6 million, in addition to the $5,00 million to finance the project that includes setting up of training and research centres pertaining to rural roads. The programme, now 11 years old, was supposed to have covered all habitations with a population of 500 people (250 people in the case of tribal and hilly areas) by 2007, but the current rate of progress precludes the possibility of accomplishing the mission even by 2017. Describing the slow pace of progress as unacceptable, Rural Development Ministry has directed that the target be met by 2014. These habitations have been identified on the basis of

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Govt. Launches Intranet Prahari Project
The Union Home Ministry on 5th January launched the Intranet Prahari Project. All the BSF Jawans posted in 237 locations will now be able to access their personal data from wherever they are posted. This is a major benefit from the Project apart from efficient office management which will help in quick decision making. The system will facilitate operational analysis, efficient planning in the domain of procurement, finance and manpower management resulting in quicker and better decision making and is also expected to considerably reduce paper work. Under this Project, worth Rs. 229 crores, network connectivity has been extended up to Battalion level i.e to 237 locations of BSF. State-of-the-Art Data Centres have been established; the Main Data Centre; a Disaster Recovery Data Centre (in a different seismic zone) and Mini Data Centres at Frontier HQrs for data storage. Sufficient cyber security measures to ensure network security and to prevent data loss or pilferage have been incorporated.

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the 2001 Census and the MoRD’s problem will compound if it were to be required to comply with the data enumerated in the latest Census of 2011.

Cabinet Nod to Filling SC, ST and OBC Vacancies
The Union Cabinet on 4th January cleared a proposal to fill pending vacancies under the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and OBC quota in the Central government, a move that will benefit around 50,000 people. A Cabinet note circulated earlier stated that the government had failed to fill up the SC/ ST and OBC vacancies in the Central government. The last such effort was made in 2008 when the government had launched a special recruitment drive for these categories.

also set up special schools and training centres in 60 districts based on the needs of affected children. While the Ministry of Women and Child Development will take special measures to train and sensitise anganwadi workers and their supervisors regarding JE/AES, it will also provide additional take-home rations to moderately undernourished children enrolled under the Integrated Child Development Schemes in these districts.

Infant Mortality Rate Drops from 50 to 47 per 1000 Births
According to the latest Sample Registration System (SRS), conducted by the Registrar General of India, the infant mortality rate (IMR) has shown a 3 point decline dropping from 50 child deaths per 1,000 live births to 47 and moving a step closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of 30. However, IMR increased by one point in Kerala, Mizoram and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The two worst performing States — Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh — have shown an impressive 5 point decline. In Madhya Pradesh, the figure dropped from 67 in 2009 to 62 in 2010 and in Himachal Pradesh the decline was from 45 to 40. While the IMR national average was 47, it stood at 51 in the rural areas and 31 in the urban regions. However, neo-natal deaths continue to be a challenge where 34 babies were still dying for every 1,000 born. Nine States had shown a four-point decline in the IMR. These are Bihar, Gujarat, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura. Ten States — Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Delhi, Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh — have shown a three-point decline. Similarly, in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the infant mortality rate came down by two points while it remained static in Lakshdweep and Puducherry. One point decline was reported from Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Daman and Diu. Government sources said efforts would now be focussed on home-based new born care as 52 per cent of child deaths take place in the first 28 days of birth.“Home-based newborn care through Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) has been initiated by providing an incentive of Rs. 250. The purpose of home-based new born care is to improve new born practices at the community level and early detection and referral of sick new born babies. Ministry of Women and Child Welfare has initiated the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram providing free transport, food and drugs and diagnostics to all pregnant women and sick new born would further promote institutional delivery and eliminate out-of-pocket expenses which act as a barrier to seeking institutional care. Importantly, the government intends to set up facilities for care of sick newborn such as Special New Born Care Units, New Born Stabilisation Units and New Born Baby Corners at

Inter-departmental Panel to Monitor Japanese Encephalitis Prevention Plan
The National Programme for Prevention and Control of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), proposed by the Group of Ministers, will be monitored and supervised by an inter-departmental committee chaired by the Union Health Secretary. The cost-sharing for the implementation of the programme between the Centre and States will be on a 90:10 basis. The Rs. 3,355-crore programme, to be rolled out in phases, will be jointly implemented by the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Social Justice and Empowerment, and Women and Child Development.

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To be set up with the goal of reducing morbidity, mortality and disability in children due to the JE and AES, which claim hundreds of lives every year and leave hundreds physically and mentally disabled, the programme will deal with strengthening and expansion of JE vaccination in affected districts, strengthening surveillance, vector control, timely referral of serious cases and increasing access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities to the target population in affected rural and urban areas. The disease burden is high in 171 districts, spread across 19 States. In the first phase, the programme will be implemented in 60 districts in Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Considering that 30 to 40 per cent of surviving children suffer from physical and mental impairment, the Health Ministry has decided to establish a physical medicine and rehabilitation department at 10 identified medical colleges in the five priority States. The departments will be equipped to provide specialised care to persons with locomotor and neurological disorders with the objective of reducing disability and handicap. Along with PMR departments, the Ministry will establish 60 counselling centres at district hospitals in priority districts for rehabilitating the children who have been rendered disabled. Importantly, it has been decided that a joint team of officials from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will draw up a tailor-made curriculum for children with special needs and

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different levels with at least one at the district level. Mother and child tracking system had evoked a huge response with 1.32 crore women and 82.6 lakh children already registered, identification of acutely anaemic mothers and low birth weight babies and improving universal immunisation programme.

HIV Awareness: Red Ribbon Express Flagged Off
Buoyed by the success of the first two phases of the Red Ribbon Express, the government on 12th January launched the third HIV awareness train which will traverse across the country. The initiative, which was started in 2007 by the Railway Ministry, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), National AIDS Control Programme (NACO) with support from other Ministries, has reached nearly 14 million people in the earlier phases Inspired by the Jeevan Rekha Express, a mobile hospital train, the Red Ribbon Express (RRE) comprises of seven coaches including three exhibition coaches on HIV counselling and four coaches on NRHM. The renewed focus of the train this time is on youth. Sexual health information and counselling would be provided to youngsters.

The Hunger and Malnutrition Report (HUNGAMA)
Taking a “sincere note” of the hunger and malnutrition report (HUNGaMA), released by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 10th January that said 42 per cent of India’s children underfive were severely or moderately undernourished, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said there was a need to redouble efforts, increase awareness and improve implementation of programmes and policies. The Hunger and Malnutrition (HUNGaMA) report by the Naandi Foundation, says that giving colostrum to the newborn and exclusive breastfeeding for first 6 months of a child’s life are not commonly practised. “About 51 per cent of the mothers did not give colostrum to the newborn soon after birth and 58 per cent mothers fed water to their infants before six months,” notes the survey. It emphasises need to provide better services through anganwadi centres. While a total of 96 per cent of villages had their own anganwadi centres, only 61 per cent operate in pucca buildings. “The anganwadi services accessed by the largest proportion of mothers [86 per cent] is immunisation; 61 per cent of anganwadi centres had dried rations available and 50 per cent provided food on the day of survey; only 19 per cent of mothers reported that the anganwadi centre provides nutrition counselling to parents,” it says.

STATE NEWS
Maharashtra Launches Health Scheme for Poor
The Maharashtra government launched the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Arogya Yojana on 18th December, enabling families with annual income of less than Rs. 1 lakh to avail free medical facilities worth Rs. 1.5 lakh. This scheme, when fully implemented, would benefit close to 2.5 crore families. Ninety per cent of the people will benefit from the scheme. The Yojana, which will be run in a public private partnership (PPP) mode with the National Insurance Company, will be first implemented in eight “most needy” districts in Phase-1, benefiting 50 lakh families. The beneficiaries will each get a health insurance policy, the EMIs of which will be paid by the State government. Maharashtra will be the only State to ensure cashless health service for the poor. The implementation of the scheme will cost the State Rs. 800 crore, he stated.

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Govt. Widens Scope of Swasthya Bima Yojana
Union Cabinet on 12th January decided to widen the ambit of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to provide health insurance cover to more people under the vulnerable sections of society. The scheme has already been extended to few segments of unorganised workers which include MNREGA beneficiaries, street vendors, domestic workers, beedi workers and those working in building and construction sites. The scheme has got wide appreciation from organisations like the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and World Bank. It was launched on 1st October, 2007 as the health insurance scheme for families living below the poverty line and operationalised on April, 2008. Under the scheme, beneficiaries are entitled to smart cardbased cashless health insurance cover of Rs.30,000 per family per annum on a family floater basis. The central government contributes 75 per cent of the annual premium of the scheme while states’ share is 25 per cent. In case of NorthEast region and Jammu and Kashmir, Centre’s share in the premium contribution goes up to 90 per cent and the State has to provide a mere 10 per cent of the total premium. The beneficiary family has to pay only Rs 30 per annum per family as registration and renewal fee. Administrative cost is borne by the State governments.

Goa Completes 50 Years of Liberation from Portugal
ON December 19, Goa completed 50 years of its liberation from Portugal’s colonial rule and integration into the Indian union. In 1961, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru decided to send the Indian armed forces into Goa, Daman and Diu – the last Asian outpost of Portugal’s Estado da India. In an action codenamed “Operation Vijay”, 40,000 troops from several Indian regiments were amassed at the Goa, Daman and Diu borders, and on the night of December 17 and 18 they were moved into Goa, where they met with little resistance from 3,000-odd Portuguese soldiers. Portugal’s last GovernorGeneral, Vassalo de Silva, in defiance of Salazar’s orders to burn Goa and defend it to the last, chose to surrender peacefully. In international fora and on the ground, the battle for Goa was over within 40 hours. Portugal, the first European power to enter Asia, was also the last to leave, having stayed on the continent for 451 years. The Union Territory status that Nehru accorded Goa lasted 27 years. Goa attained statehood in 1987.

Bihar Seeks Japanese Assistance to Spur Agri Sector

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Bihar, which is laying special emphasis on development of agriculture to spur economic growth, has sought assistance from Japan to help usher in the “second green revolution”. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who met Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Delhi recently, apprised him of the 10 year roadmap for agriculture development in the state. He sought cooperation in terms of Japanese technical and financial assistance for food processing, storage capacity and road connectivity to enable farm produce to reach market faster, according to a statement by the state government.

Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation for recognition under its Globally Important Agricultural Heritage sites programme. Odisha’s Koraput received the global recognition from FAO for their contribution to conserving biodiversity and climate resilient farming systems.

MISCELLANEOUS
Government to Step up Efforts to Promote Sanskrit
Describing Sanskrit language as the “spirit of India”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 5th January said Government will further strengthen efforts for promotion, development and enrichment of the ancient language. Addressing the 15th World Sanskrit Conference in New Delhi, Dr. Singh said the spirit of liberalism and tolerance embedded in it must be inculcated in our present day life. The IASS owes its origin to an International Sanskrit Conference that was held in Delhi way back in 1972 and was sponsored by the Government of India in collaboration with UNESCO. Since its inception, the IASS has been organising the World Sanskrit Conference every three years, with three previous Conferences having been held in India.

MP Govt. Passes Law against Cow Slaughter
BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh has brought in a stringent law against cow slaughter which has raised the jail term from the current three years to seven years for violators. The Madhya Pradesh Cow Progeny Slaughter Prevention (Amendment) Bill has received the Presidential assent following which it has become an Act. In fulfilment of its commitment to protecting and conserving cow progeny, the state government had passed the amendment bill in the state Assembly in 2010 to remove the flaws in the Madhya Pradesh Gauvansh Pratishedh Adhiniyam 2004. With the enforcement of the amended Act, now the responsibility of proving the prosecution wrong would lie with the accused in cases of cow slaughter. Similarly, those found guilty of cow slaughter would be liable to imprisonment for seven years instead of present three years and a minimum fine of Rs 5,000 which may be increased by the court. The amended Act provides that no person shall slaughter or cause to be slaughtered or offer for slaughter any cow progeny by any means. Besides, no person, including transporter, shall transport or offer for transport or cause to be transported any cow progeny himself or by his agent, servant or by any other person acting on his behalf within the state or outside the state for the purpose of its slaughter, in contravention of the provisions of the Act or with the knowledge that it will be or is likely to be slaughtered.

India’s Nuclear Material Among Less Secure in World: Report
India along with China, North Korea and Israel has low levels of transparency on nuclear materials and security, a Washingtonbased independent report ‘Nuclear Threat Initiative’ has said. The Nuclear Threat Initiative, in a project led by former US senator Sam Nunn and the Economist Intelligence Unit, aims to draw attention to steps that nations can take to ensure the safety of the world’s most destructive weapons. On 11th January it released, first of its kind, 32-nation index and country-by-country assessment of the status of nuclear material security conditions around the world. The list of 32 countries is topped by Australia, followed by Hungry and Czech Republic. United Kingdom is ranked 10th and the United States finds itself on the 13th spot. While China is placed 27th overall, India gets the next spot at 28th. Pakistan is second last at 31st and North Korea is at the bottom of the list of 32 countries. Israel is ranked 25th.

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FAO Recognizes Koraput as Agricultural Heritage Sites
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 3rd January applauded the tribal community of Koraput for being chosen by the United

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INTERNATIONAL BULLETIN...

INTO THE DIRE STRAIT: IRAN FLEXES MUSCLE
All eyes are at the Middle East again. With threatening rhetoric and military exercise, world is expecting oil prices to go up. It all began with the nuclear ambitions of Iran. The nuclear program of Iran attracted the attention of western countries as west perceived that Iran seeks to attain nuclear weapons. Iran is a signatory to NPT. Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a signatory state has the right to enrich uranium to be used as fuel for civil nuclear power. Such states have to remain under inspection by the IAEA. Iran is under inspection, though not under the strictest rules allowed because it will not agree to them. Only those signatory states with nuclear weapons at the time of the treaty in 1968 are allowed to enrich to the higher level needed for a nuclear weapon. Iran says it is simply doing what it is allowed to do under the treaty and intends to enrich only for power station fuel or other peaceful purposes. Iran hid an enrichment program for 18 years, so the Security Council says that until Iran’s peaceful intentions can be fully established, it should stop enrichment and other nuclear activities. Because the technology used to enrich uranium to the level needed for nuclear power can also be used to enrich it to the higher level needed for a nuclear explosion, the UN has imposed four sets of sanctions, in Security Council resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803 and 1929. These seek to make it more difficult for Iran to acquire equipment, technology and finance to support its nuclear activities. They ban the sale to Iran of materiel and technology related to nuclear enrichment and heavywater activities and ballistic missile development, restrict dealings with certain Iranian banks and individuals, stop the sale of major arms systems to Iran (Russia has cancelled the sale of an anti-aircraft missile system) and allow some inspections of air and sea cargoes. However, they do not stop the trade in oil and gas, the major source of Iran’s income. The latest muscle flexing by Iran is the result of new US sanctions and complementary sanctions under consideration by the EU. Iran, with sanction ridden economy, has threatened that if its oil companies are put under sanction, it will not allow even a drop of oil to pass through the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has backed up these words with concrete action. On December 24, it launched a public 10-day naval war game in the strait. Dubbed “Velayat 90”, the exercise entailed a massive show of force intended to convey one clear message: that the Iranian regime is willing to shut down the Strait of Hormuz in the event of additional pressure from the West, or outright conflict with it. Iran’s navy also test-fired a surfaceto-surface cruise missile during a drill. According to the official IRNA news agency the missile, called “Ghader,” or “Capable” in Farsi, is an upgraded version of one that has been in service before. An earlier version of the missile had a range of 124 miles (200 kilometres) and could travel at low altitudes. There were suggestions it could be used to counter the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf. Forty per cent of the world’s tankerborne oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic chokepoint that links the Gulf -- and its petroleumexporting states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- with the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean beyond.

US Response
The US has warned Iran against disrupting oil shipments at the mouth of the vital Persian Gulf waterway. The United States maintains a navy presence in the Gulf in large part to ensure that passage of oil remains free. The 5th Fleet which is based in Bahrain maintains a robust presence in the region to deter or counter destabilising activities. US has also started strengthening security of its ally in the Gulf by arming them. The Obama administration is moving ahead with the sale of nearly $11 billion worth of arms and training for the Iraqi military. Among the bigticket items being sold to Iraq are F-16 fighter jets, M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks, cannons and armoured personnel carriers. The Obama administration announced a weapons deal with Saudi Arabia as well, saying it had agreed to sell F-15 fighter jets valued at nearly $30 billion to the Royal Saudi Air Force. The United States also reached a deal to sell $3.48 billion worth of missiles and related technology to the United Arab Emirates, a close Mideast ally, as part of a massive buildup of defense technology among friendly Mideast nations near Iran. The deal includes 96 missiles, along with supporting technology and training support that will bolster the nation’s missile defense capacity. The deal includes a contract with Lockheed Martin to produce the highly sophisticated Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, weapon system for the U.A.E. Although the White House said the deals had not been accelerated to respond to threats by Iranian officials in recent days to shut off the Strait of Hormuz, its timing is laden with significance, as tensions with Iran have

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deepened and the United States has withdrawn its last soldiers from Iraq.

Response of EU
The International Atomic Energy Agency published a report that for the first time laid out evidence that Iran may be secretly working to design a nuclear warhead, despite the country’s repeated denials. In the wake of the IAEA report and a November attack on the British Embassy in Tehran, the European Union is also contemplating strict sanctions, such as an embargo on Iranian oil. Britain has already withdrawn its diplomats from the country. Britain’s Foreign Secretary has said that European nations will intensify pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, but insisted the West wasn’t pressing for military action. He said that the European Union would agree to tough new sanctions against Tehran’s oil sector but at the same time would continue to look for peaceful methods of persuading Iran to ditch its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

highlighted the importance of Iranian oil supplies to East Asia’s energy-hungry economies. They have led to a clash of interests between Washington and key commercial and strategic partners over efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear programme. China could be the toughest part of Washington’s thorny diplomatic challenge as it tries to enforce the sanctions. The fast-growing Chinese economy is the world’s biggest energy consumer and imports half its oil. Japan is especially dependent on imported oil and natural gas, one-third of it from the Gulf, after shutting down nuclear reactors following last year’s tsunami, said Koichiro Tanaka, director of the JIME Center at the Institute of Energy Economics Japan in Tokyo. Japan’s foreign minister will be visiting major oil exporters Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in the next few days on a previously scheduled trip, but Tanaka said it was unclear whether he would get directly involved in trying to line up additional oil supplies. “There are some thorny issues between the U.S. and Japan, but since we’re so dependent on the U.S. forces for our national defence, I don’t think we have any other choice but to follow the lead of Washington,” Tanaka said. India currently pays Iran about $1 billion every month through Turkey for the 370,000 barrels a day of crude oil it buys from the world’s fourth-largest oil producer. The problem of making payments for the crude oil to Iran has cropped up due to the recent move by the U.S. government to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme. U.S. President Barack Obama signed a Bill into law late

last month, empowering U.S. authorities to impose penalties on foreign banks dealing with the Central Bank of Iran to settle oil import payments.

Way ahead
Given the volatility of the region any sort of military response should be the last option. It has been seen that many a time use of force complicates the crisis rather than solve it. US should not only resort to diplomatic means involving major stake holders like UN, EU, Russia, China, GCC etc but also dissuade its closest ally Israel from any kind of misadventure. Any kind of unilateral step should be avoided and decision regarding Iran should come out of international consensus. As far as Iran threat to block Strait of Hormuz is concerned, doing so would have disastrous consequences, not least for Iran itself. The Islamic Republic currently ranks as the second largest producer in OPEC, exporting an estimated 2.4 million barrels of crude daily (mostly through the strait). In turn oil and gas sales account for some 80 per cent of the country’s hard-currency export earnings. A closure of the strait would be both self-defeating and ruinous for Iran’s energy economy. Secondly the strait is not an exclusive Iranian purview. Tehran has long used its strategic geography to bully and coerce regional states dependent on the smooth flow of energy commerce. But this dynamic can be made to work against Iran as well. If the Gulf States, working in concert with Washington, erect an independent security mechanism to police and monitor the strait, Tehran will find it much more difficult to use the waterway to its advantage.

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Response of Rest of the World
China, the biggest buyer of Iran’s oil, has publicly rejected U.S. sanctions aimed at Tehran’s energy industry while American allies Japan and South Korea are scrambling to find a compromise to keep critical supplies flowing. Beijing is buying less Iranian crude this month, but analysts say China is unlikely to support an oil embargo. Instead, they say, the smaller purchases might be a tactic aimed at obtaining lower prices as the West squeezes Tehran. The sanctions approved by President Barack Obama on New Year’s Eve have

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DEATH OF ‘THE GENERAL’, KIM JONG-IL
Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s reclusive “Dear Leader” who ruled the country for 17 years, leading it to nuclear power status died of a suspected heart attack on 17th December 2011. In the stark contrast from the deaths of other dictators around the world, Kim Jongil died a peaceful death brought about by long illness. Kim suffered “an acute myocardial infarction complicated with a serious heart shock” while on a train journey, according to the North Korean state media. The North Korean leader’s death was unknown to the rest of the world for almost two days underscoring how cut-off the “Hermit Kingdom1” has remained under his iron-fist rule, with the news evading even the South Korean intelligence officials who closely monitor the reclusive country. The news of his death alerted North Korea watchers in Seoul, Washington and Tokyo, who were worried about the war of succession in the nuclear armed state. The main worry of US is the stability in the Korean peninsula. South Korea responded to the news by placing its military on high alert, with renewed fears of regional instability as a new North Korean government under Mr. Kim’s son Kim Jong-un looks to assert control. Kim’s youngest son, Kim Jong-un, who has been groomed as his successor, especially after the older Kim suffered a stroke in 2008, was expectedly named by the ruling Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) as “the great successor.” Analysts doubt any sudden progress in the Six-Party talks or any policy change towards the southern neighbor under the new Kim. It is more likely that “the great successor” will concentrate on consolidating his hold on the party and army. With the standing army of perhaps 1 million soldiers, ballistic missiles aimed at South Korea and Japan and a small arsenal of nuclear weapon, world is closely watching the turn of events in North Korea. Pessimists argue that insecure young leader might just resort to hot-headed measures to assert himself. But this is less likely because Kim Jong-un is not the sole decision maker. Standing conspicuously behind the heir are an apparent troika of regents – his aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, her husband ,Chang Song Taek and General Ri Yong Ho, the crucial link between the party and the army. Even in a One Party State, power is shared at the levels below the helmsman. To keep the edifice intact, Kim Jong-un would need the full support of both the Workers Party of Korea — the name the ruling communist party in the country and the military. Kim Jongun is young, inexperienced and has not had sufficient time to establish chains of loyal apparatchiks reaching out to all the regional and sectoral power sectors. In contrast, his father Kim Jong-il was designated political heir in 1974 at the age of 33, and was by the side of his father for 20 years till the death of the elder Kim in 1994. Kim Jong-il and pledged to continue “consolidating and developing” ties with its troubled eastern neighbour. China’s biggest concern in the wake of Mr. Kim’s death is instability that could arise from internal succession politics — and potentially spill over across the Yalu river into northeastern China. For China, peace and stability in North Korea is most important. Beijing said that its policy towards Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will not change and it will continue to support those in power and will insist on peace and stability and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The real worry for China now is whether the North would be able to stave off a looming financial meltdown, with increasingly frequent reports of widespread food shortages. China has, in recent months, been pressing North Korea to consider adopting a Chinesestyle “reform and opening up” policy. On recent visits to China, Kim Jongil and other North Korean officials have been taken on tours of factories and special economic zones, with officials saying they were keen to learn how to implement reforms back home. But following Kim Jong-il’s death, any likelihood of that appears dim, said analysts, with the North now likely to focus on ensuring internal political stability.

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Apprehensions of South Korea
According to South Korean officials the North had test-fired a short-range missile shortly after announcing Mr. Kim’s death — it was, however, unclear whether the missile test was a related event — and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul placed all military units on emergency alert. The officials were keen to avoid any provocation from the north. According to the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, “Peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is more important than anything else.”

Six party Talks
The six-party talks aim to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns as a result of the North Korean nuclear weapons program. These talks were a result of North Korea withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2003. Efforts to negotiate an end to North Korea’s nuclear programme have been stalled since 2009, when the country walked out of

China’s Position
China, North Korea’s closest ally and biggest source of financial support, said that it was “shocked” by the death of

1. Hermit kingdom is a pejorative term applied to any country or society which willfully walls itself off (metaphorically or physically) from the rest of the world. The term is commonplace throughout Korea and is often used by Koreans themselves to describe pre-modern Korea.

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Fact file
North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea. The Amnok, or Yalu, and the Tumen rivers form the border between North Korea and China. A section of the Tumen River in the far northeast is the border with Russia. The peninsula was governed by the Korean Empire until it was annexed by Japan after the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. It was divided into Soviet- and American-occupied zones in 1945, after the end of World War II. North Korea refused to participate in a United Nations–supervised election held in the south in 1948, which led to the creation of separate Korean governments for the two occupation zones. North and South Korea each claimed sovereignty over the whole Korean Peninsula, which led to the Korean War of 1950. The Armistice Agreement of 1953 ended the fighting; but the two countries are officially still at war against each other, for a peace treaty was never signed. Both states were accepted into the United Nations in 1991. North Korea is a single-party state under a united front led by the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP). The country’s government follows the Juche ideology of self-reliance, developed by the country’s first and only President, Kim Il-sung. After his death, Kim Il-sung was declared the country’s Eternal President. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and a series of natural disasters, a famine occurred, causing the death of 900,000 to 2 million people. Facing these circumstances, leader Kim JongIl adopted Songun, or a “military-first” policy in order to strengthen the country and its government. Many outside organizations describe North Korea as a totalitarian Stalinist dictatorship with an elaborate cult of personality around the Kim family and one of the lowest-ranking human rights records of any country. The North Korean government denies this association. North Korea is the world’s most militarized nation, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel. It is a nuclear-weapons state and has an active space program. multilateral negotiations to protest the international condemnation that followed its test of a long-range missile — widely read as a threat to Japan. Mr. Kim’s death could derail recent moves to kick-start the stalled Six-Party talks — involving China, Japan, the United States and Russia, besides the Korean neighbours — to get the North to abandon its nuclear programme and move the Korean peninsula towards denuclearization. In the recent months, just before the death of Kim Jong il, the North has signaled that it would be willing to return to the talks. The North was even considering striking a deal with the U.S. for food aid. In return, it would suspend its uranium enrichment programme. But with the change in leadership any breakthrough would now be unlikely, as the new leadership under Kim Jong-un would focus more on maintaining political stability at home. powerful and prosperous nation”. The DPRK, with its 23-million population, stands apart from all other socialist states, past and present, through its system of dynastic leadership reinforced by a cult of personality. This time of transition and uncertainty is likely to see a rise in regional tensions. Internationally, the country’s closest ally, China, has made the strongest statement, which should end all speculation about Beijing’s support for its southern neighbour. Japan, for its part, hopes that “peace and stability” on the Korean peninsula will not suffer. Even the US will have to play constructive role and engage the new leader to bring long lasting peace in the Korean peninsula and East Asia in large.

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Conclusion
April 2012 marks the centennial birthday of Kim Il-sung — Kim Jongil’s father and the founder of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — which will be grandly celebrated, even as the nation struggles with food shortages and economic uncertainty. Mr. Kim’s death happened at a crucial time for both North and South Korea. For both countries, 2012 has been framed as a landmark year. While the South will see presidential elections next year, the North has declared 2012 as the year the country will become “a

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS...
SOUTH ASIA
Afghanistan Sets Ground Rules for Taliban Talks Afghanistan will accept a Taliban liaison office in Qatar to start peace talks but no foreign power can get involved in the process without its consent, the government’s peace council said. Afghanistan’s High Peace Council has set out ground rules for engaging the Taliban after Kabul grew concerned that the United States and Qatar, helped by Germany, had secretly agreed with the Taliban to open an office in the Qatari capital, Doha. U.S. officials have held about half a dozen meetings with their insurgent contacts, mostly in Germany and Doha with representatives of Mullah Omar this year to prepare the way for face-to-face talks between the group and the Afghan government. But the Afghan peace commission which has suffered a series of setbacks including the assassination of its head, Burhanuddin Rabbani, in September said that negotiations with the Taliban could only begin after they stopped violence against civilians, cut ties to al Qaeda, and accepted the Afghan constitution which guarantees civil rights and liberties, including rights for women. The council, according to a copy of the 11-point note also said any peace process with the Taliban would have to have the support of Pakistan since members of the insurgent group were based there. President Hamid Karzai’s administration recalled its ambassador from Doha last week, apparently angry that it had been kept in the dark about the latest round of contacts with the insurgent group. China Offers 135 million Dollars Aid to Nepal In a bid to woo its land-locked southern neighbour, China has offered USD 135 million in aid to Nepal to beef up its infrastructure and security during a brief and surprise visit by the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Holding hectic parleys with Nepalese counterpart Baburam Bhattarai, the country’s President Ram Baran Yadav, Maoist chief Prachanda and leaders of other parties, Wen inked as many as eight agreements. Under a series of agreements, Beijing agreed to provide massive assistance for a number of Nepal’s infrastructure projects and also bankroll the modernisation of the country’s police. China offered a 750 million RMB (USD 113) in aid to Nepal during the visit by Wen. Wen announced USD 20 million as one time special grant to Nepal. He also pledged to provide an annual grant assistance of 200 million RMB to Nepal this year as part of 750 million RMB worth three years grant assistance under economic and technical cooperation. China has also pledged to provide 4 million RMB to strengthen the Armed Police Force of Nepal and 10 million RMB to Nepal Police for enhancing its capacity. The agreements include among other things, relating to Management of Dry Ports along Nepal-China border, MoU on strengthening cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries, agreement on economic and technical cooperation between the two governments. The agreements also include, exchange on notes between the two countries on building Armed Police Force college, agreement relating to providing police equipment to the Ministry of Home and MoU on operationalisation of loan mechanism between the two governments and Exim Bank of China. The Chinese side agreed to expedite the implementation of various developments projects including the upgrading and expansion of existing Ring Road of Kathmandu and Tatopani Dry port in Nepal-Tibet border. China is one of the biggest investors in Nepal, financing highways, power projects and other development projects. Wen is the first high-ranking Chinese leader to visit Nepal in a decade after a visit by then premier Zhu Rongji in 2001.

EAST ASIA
China to Build World’s Highest Altitude Airport in Tibet China will begin constructing next year the world’s highest altitude airport in central Tibet under a $22 billion five-year development push to boost the region’s infrastructure. The airport, in Nagqu prefecture, will be built at an altitude of 4,436 metres - 102 metres higher than the airport at Bamda in Qamdo prefecture (also in Tibet), which is at present the world’s highest airport, according to the Chinese government. The airport, which will take three years to build, will cost 1.8 billion yuan ($286 million). The regional government expects Tibet’s airports to handle 2.2 million passengers next year and 15,000 tonnes of cargo. Chinese officials say the investment will boost the development of a region that has lagged behind the rest of the country. The government hopes that the new infrastructure will help promote tourism and encourage Chinese businesses to invest in Tibet, bringing the region economically closer to the rest of China. Many Tibetans, however, fear that the increasing number of Chinese migrants because of the added connectivity will restrict employment opportunities for the local population. China Launches Asia’s Largest Helicopter China’s largest-ever civil helicopter has got certification from the civil aviation administration, the country’s civil aviation authority. The move marks the official approval for the 13-tonne AC313, Asia’s largest helicopter, to enter the market, said the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC), which developed and manufactured the helicopter.

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US Treasury Secretary Geithner Visits China China and the United States have pledged during a visit by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to cooperate on boosting the global economic recovery, but Chinese backing for U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil industry appeared unlikely. China buys almost one-third of Iran’s oil exports and has rejected the U.S. sanctions as a tool to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program. That sets Washington up for a public setback if the government of the world’s second-largest economy refuses to cooperate. Wang also called on the United States to loosen export controls of high-tech products to China, one of China’s complaints about the countries’ trade relationship. U.S. critics, meanwhile, say Chinese currency controls keep the yuan undervalued and give its exporters an unfair advantage, distorting trade at a time when Washington and other governments are under pressure to bring down unemployment. China’s trade surplus with the United States widened 24.2 percent to $17.4 billion in December. China has criticized U.S. sanctions on Iran, approved by President Barack Obama on New Year’s Eve, as improper and ineffective. Beijing supported U.N. sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program but says action should be multilateral. The sanctions would target Tehran’s oil industry by barring financial institutions from the U.S. market if they do business with Iran’s central bank. China’s fast-growing economy is the world’s biggest energy consumer and imports half its oil. Some 11 percent comes from Iran, or about 600,000 barrels per day in November. Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Response was Riddled with Problems, Says Report Japan’s response to the nuclear crisis that followed the March 11 tsunami was confused and riddled with problems, including an erroneous assumption that an emergency cooling system was working and a delay in disclosing dangerous radiation leaks, a report has revealed. The 507-page interim report, compiled by interviewing more than 400 people, including utility workers and government officials, found authorities had grossly underestimated tsunami risks, assuming the highest wave would be 6 meters. The tsunami hit at more than double those levels. The report criticised the use of the term “soteigai,” meaning “outside our imagination,” which it said implied authorities were shirking responsibility for what had happened. The report, set to be finished by mid-2012, found workers at Tokyo Electric Power Co, the utility that ran Fukushima Dai-ichi, were untrained to handle emergencies like the power shutdown that struck when the tsunami destroyed backup generators, setting off the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Finding alternative ways to bring sorely needed water to the reactors was delayed for hours because of the mishandling of an emergency cooling system, the report said. Workers assumed the system was working, despite several warning signs it had

failed and was sending the nuclear core into meltdown. The report acknowledged that even if the system had kicked in properly, the tsunami damage may have been so great that meltdowns would have happened anyway. But a better response might have reduced the core damage, radiation leaks and the hydrogen explosions that followed at two reactors and sent plumes of radiation into the air, according to the report. N Korea Calls Heir Kim Head of Powerful Committee North Korea declared on 29th December the young untested heir Kim Jong-un as supreme head of the country, one day after the funeral of his father, Kim Jong-il. Kim Jong-un, believed to be in his late 20s, was unveiled as successor in September last year, following his father’s heart stroke. After his father’s sudden death on Dec. 17, he was rapidly elevated to the top military and party posts, although he has yet to assume those official titles. Earlier on 26th January, 2011 he was appointed as the head of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee, which gave him power over one of the country’s highest decision-making bodies.

SOUTH EAST ASIA
Myanmar Signs Ceasefire with Ethnic Karen Rebels Myanmar’s government signed a ceasefire agreement on 12th January with ethnic Karen rebels in a major step toward ending one of the world’s longest-running insurgencies and meeting a key condition for better ties with the West. The talks between officials and Karen National Union leaders were part of efforts by Myanmar’s new, nominally civilian government to seek international legitimacy through democratic reforms after years of military repression. The Karen group has been fighting for greater autonomy for more than 60 years, in a guerrilla campaign in eastern jungles that dates back to before Myanmar’s independence from Britain. It has been the only one of Myanmar’s major ethnic groups never to have reached a peace agreement with the government. For decades, Myanmar has been at odds with the ethnic groups who seek greater autonomy, but a military junta that took power in 1988 signed ceasefire agreements with many of them. Some of those pacts were strained as the central government sought to consolidate power, and combat resumed. However, the new government that took office after November 2010 elections has embarked on reforms to try to end its international isolation. Western governments had imposed political and economic sanctions on Myanmar because of repression under the junta. Ending war with ethnic rebels is one of the conditions set by the West for improved relations, a point emphasized by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her recent visit to Myanmar. Ending the long-running ethnic conflicts also has been one of the key demands by Myanmar’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. In recent months, the government has held talks with rebel groups to strike new peace deals

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or rebuild shattered ceasefires. The other groups reportedly involved in talks include the Shan, Karenni, Chin and Kachin. Suu Kyi’s Party Registers to run in Myanmar polls Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has formally registered her party for any upcoming elections, returning the Nobel laureate to the political arena. Ms. Suu Kyi and National League for Democracy leader Tin Oo registered the party at the Union Election Commission in the capital on 23rd December. Suu Kyi decided last month to formally rejoin politics in the militarydominated country. The party boycotted last year’s general elections because of restrictive rules that among other things prevented Ms. Suu Kyi from being a candidate. The government has since lifted many of those restrictions. Hong Kong Retains Top Spot as World’s Freest Economy Hong Kong has retained its position as the world’s freest economy, according to a ranking compiled by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Singapore ranked second, followed by Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland. The index evaluates economic freedom by looking at the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, the size of government and open markets. North America and Europe suffered declines in economic freedom over the past year, while economic freedom increased in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The US came 10th, down from ninth place in 2011. Mauritius, which ranked eighth, was the first sub-Saharan African country to enter the top 10, Mr Feulner said. Hong Kong retained its top ranking for the 18th consecutive year.

Putin has rejected demands for a re-run of the December 4 election to Parliament and accused the growing protest movement of lacking constructive goals and leaders. Russia’s Nuclear Submarine Damaged but Reactors Safe A Russian nuclear submarine got badly damaged in a shipyard fire, but its two reactors are safe and there has been no radiation leak, said the military. The fire broke out on 29th December during welding repairs on the Yekaterinburg submarine in a dry dock at the Roslyakovo shipyard of the Russian Northern Fleet in Murmansk Region. From burning wooden scaffolding the blaze spread to the rubberised coating in the nose section. The submarine had its two reactors switched off and all its nuclear missiles and conventional ammunition removed before entering the dock, defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told state television, adding that there was “no threat of nuclear radiation leak”. Yekaterinburg is a Delta IV class submarine which can carry 16 ballistic missiles, each with four nuclear warheads. To allay international concerns, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a special statement on Friday saying radiation levels around the shipyard were normal and continued to be closely monitored.

WEST ASIA & MIDDLE EAST
U.S. Military Operations in Iraq End After nearly nine years, the U.S. on 15th December formally ended military operations in Iraq, triggering a wave of celebrations inside the country that marked the end of a costly military occupation. At a simple ceremony in Baghdad, called the “casing of colours,” the flag of the American forces in Iraq was lowered, a military tradition that symbolised the end of the war which began in March 2003. The war, which began on the illusionary pretext of eradicating non-existent stockpiles of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, ended up causing large-scale Iraqi deaths, estimated anywhere between 100,000 to a million. The war also killed 4,487 Americans and wounded 32,226, according to Pentagon figures. The horrific war triggered a highly destructive sectarian conflict between the majority Shia and Sunni communities. Iran Downs U.S. Drone ‘RQ-170 Sentinel’ Iran has downed a sophisticated U.S. surveillance drone RQ170 Sentinel. Iran’s Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi, lauded Iranian scientists for enabling the capture of the RQ-170 Sentinel. The bat-shaped radar evading drone, used for the purpose of surveillance was first photographed at a Kandahar airfield in 2009. The event coincided with Iran’s ongoing naval exercises east of the Strait of Hormuz. Analysts point out that Iran began its 10-day naval manoeuvres on Saturday, mainly to press home the point that if attacked by the Americans or the Israelis, Tehran had the capability to seal the Strait of Hormuz — the main artery through which vast amounts of oil and gas from the Persian Gulf countries are shipped.

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RUSSIA & CENTRAL ASIA
Protesters Put Pressure on Putin to Cancel Election Protests are gathering momentum in Russia, with tens of thousands taking to the streets in Moscow to reiterate their demand for cancelling this month’s fraudulent parliamentary election and reforming the electoral legislation. It was the largest protest rally held after the December 4 election to the State Duma, the Lower House of Parliament. United Russia won the vote, but only through huge fraud, according to independent observers. Surging anger against Mr. Putin, who is set to reclaim presidency next year, was palpable at the rally, with demonstrators enthusiastically shouting “Russia Without Putin” and “Putin in the Dock.” The Kremlin promised a set of political reforms that would ease registration rules for opposition parties and restore the direct election of governors and individual constituencies. However, the concessions seem to have failed to placate protesters. The rally adopted a resolution demanding a probe in the election fraud, the sacking of the head of the Central Election Commission, free registration of political parties, adoption of a liberal election law by February 2012 and a re-run of the parliamentary poll. However, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir

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Any blockage of the strait of Hormuz can trigger a global energy shortage, and cause a meteoric rise in oil prices — a prospect that can severely undermine recovery of leading recession hit economies. Iran has so far denied having any plan to close the Strait of Hormuz, but, nevertheless, has also hinted that its decision could change in case of a war. The downing of the drone, the tightening of U.S. sanctions on Iran and the withdrawal from Tehran of its diplomats by Britain, after its embassy was stormed by Iranian youths has heightened tensions between Iran and the West in recent months.

“serious reservations” about provisions regulating detention and prosecution of suspected terrorists. The $662-billion defence authorisation bill for the year 2012, among other things, seeks to suspend 60 per cent of $1.1 billion military aid to Pakistan — under the category Pakistan Counter-insurgency Fund — till Secretaries of State and Defence report to the Congress that Islamabad is making progress in the war on terror, particularly progress in strategies to counter manufacturing of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). IEDs, which are mostly manufactured in Pakistan in its illicit factories, are one of the largest factors responsible for the death of American troops in Afghanistan. Under the provision of the bill, the Defence Secretary is also required to submit a report to the Congress on a discussion of U.S. strategic objectives in Pakistan; a listing of the terrorist or extremist groups in Pakistan opposing U.S. goals in the region and against which the U.S. encourages Pakistan to take action; and a discussion of the gaps in capabilities of Pakistani security units that hamper ability of Islamabad to take action against these organisations. The Defence Secretary’s report to the Congress needs to include the “metrics” that will be used to track progress in achieving the U.S. strategic objectives in Pakistan, to track progress of Pakistan in combating the terrorists organisations. However, Mr. Obama in his signing statement made no reference to this provision, which had drawn widespread condemnation in Pakistan. However, U.S. officials insist that the Department of Defence and the State Department would work with the government of Pakistan to meet the requirements of the bill.

AMERICAS
U.S. Panel Finds Gaps in Bioethics Protection Following last year’s revelations that U.S. researchers had conducted macabre human experiments on Guatemalan prison and mental hospital inmates between 1946 and 1948, a presidential Bioethics Commission has said it could not unequivocally say all federally funded research provided human subjects with “optimal protections against avoidable harms and unethical treatment”. After issuing a public apology to Guatemala, President Barack Obama urged the bipartisan presidential Commission to oversee a thorough review of regulations and international standards to assess whether they adequately protected human participants in federally funded research, no matter where such research occurred. The Commission recommended several areas where immediate changes could be made to current rules and procedures, which could increase accountability and thereby reduce the likelihood of harm or unethical treatment. In its study, the Commission considered a broad swath of global research operations, incorporating within its scope foreign sites and partners in biomedical research from 10 countries including India. Last December archival research by Professor Susan Reverby of Wellesley College revealed that vulnerable Guatemalans were clandestinely infected with sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhoea and chancroid. The study, funded by a Department of State grant to the U.S. National Institute of Health, was purportedly aimed at testing the effectiveness of penicillin, which was relatively new at the time. Earlier this year, Stephen Hauser, a member of the Commission, said with at least 5,500 prisoners, mental patients, soldiers and children being drafted into the experiments, around 1300 individuals were exposed to venereal diseases by human contact or inoculations in research meant to test the drug penicillin and within that group there were 83 deaths. Obama Signs Defence Spending Bill U.S. President Barack Obama has signed into law a massive $662-billion defence spending bill that also seeks to suspend a big chunk of $1.1 billion military aid to Pakistan, despite his

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AFRICA
Djibouti Sends Troops to Somalia A Somali government minister says 200 troops from Djibouti have arrived in Somalia’s capital to join the African Union force that helps protect the government and fight Islamist insurgents. Interior Minister Abdishakur Sheik Hassan said Djiboutian troops landed at Mogadishu on 20th December. The arrival of troops from the tiny East African nation gives a boost to the 10,000-strong African Union force, which is comprised mostly of troops from Uganda and Burundi. The AU force this year succeeded in driving out most Islamist fighters from the capital, Mogadishu. Kenya recently pledged to commit troops to the AU force, though the offer must be approved by the U.N. Kenyan troops moved into southern Somalia in October. First freely elected Tunisian Govt Sworn in Tunisia’s first freely elected government has been sworn in following a popular uprising earlier this year. The new government led by moderate Islamist party Ennahda received a vote of confidence in parliament on 22nd December and was sworn in 23rd December. Its new government is still only temporary, running the country until a new constitution is

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written and another round of elections held. Tunisia threw off decades of authoritarian rule in January and held widely praised elections, but Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali warned the country faces many challenges – high unemployment, pockets of unrest and a stagnating economy. Tunisia’s democratic transition is being closely watched since its revolt led to a rash of similar uprisings across the Arab world. Opposition Wins Jamaican Elections. The opposition People’s National Party, led by former premier Portia Simpson Miller, has won the Jamaica’s general elections. The party had already won more than half the 63 seats up for grabs in the 26th December elections. Karl Samuda, the campaign director of the governing Centre-Right Jamaica Labour Party, conceded his party’s defeat. The win for the Centre-Left People’s National Party means Ms. Miller would return to office after a gap of four years. Prime Minister Andrew Holness called the snap election after taking office when Bruce Golding resigned in October. About 1.6 million citizens of the Caribbean island were eligible to vote. A key election issue was the Caribbean island’s high national debt of about 130 per cent of its gross domestic product. High unemployment and crime were also key issues in the campaign Kenya Recalls ‘Faulty’ South Korean HIV Kits Kenya has recalled one million HIV testing kits because of fears about their accuracy. The WHO had raised an alert about the kit after finding half the test results could be wrong. But there was no reason to panic as the South Korean-manufactured kit was one of several used to diagnose the HIV status of people. Kenya, like most of Africa, is trying to contain the HIV/Aids pandemic. International aids charity Avert says HIV testing has increased sharply in the past decade in the East African state, following a government-backed campaign to create more awareness about the illness. In 2000, Kenya had only three voluntary testing and counselling sites, but the number had risen to nearly 1,000 by 2007. Dr Shahnaz Sharif, Kenya’s director of Public Health and Sanitation, told that the Standard Diagnostic Bioline (SDB) kit, manufactured by a South Korean company, had wrongly diagnosed people. “The discrepancy rate was about 50% and the WHO has asked all countries to put on hold use of Bioline,” he said. The WHO had detected the unreliability of SDB, which was widely used by countries in sub-Saharan Africa. But Kenyans should not be alarmed because the SDB test is one of three tests that health officials carry out on people to make sure their HIV status is correctly diagnosed, he said. Nigeria’s Ethnic Clashes At least 52 people, including women and children, have been killed in clashes between two rival ethnic groups in southeastern Nigeria, as President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in four States to crush the “cancerous”

growth of Islamist insurgency. The violence in the State of Ebonyi took place between the Ezza and Ezilo peoples due to a land dispute. The attacks came hours after a state of emergency was declared in parts of the country by Mr. Jonathan due to an unrelated spate of attacks by Islamist group Boko Haram. It has its base in four states of Borno Yobe, Niger and Plateau. Mr. Jonathan’s decision came after he visited St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Suleja, where some 47 worshippers were killed in a bomb attack on Christmas day, said he was poised to end the reign of terror in the country. There is growing concern that Boko Haram — whose name means “Western education is forbidden” — is spreading its presence across the region. The sect wants to impose Shariah law in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. Nigeria, with a population of 150 million, has both Muslim and Christian communities. Muslims are predominant in the north while Christians mostly live in the South. Libya Plans Vote on Assembly to Draft Constitution Libya’s interim government has proposed a draft law for electing an assembly to draft a new constitution, a first step to setting up a new government after the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi. The draft, published on 2nd January on the website of the ruling National Transitional Council, would bar former members of Gaddafi’s regime from running in the election. It would even ban anyone who got a degree based on academic research on the Green Book, Gaddafi’s rambling political manifesto that laid out his theory of government and society declaring Libya a “republic of the masses.” Libya is facing serious challenges to build state institutions from scratch after toppling Gaddafi’s 42-year dictatorship. The interim government must set rules for the transition to democracy and forge some sort of national reconciliation among the huge numbers of Libyans who were integral parts of former regime. One of the most serious and immediate problems facing the interim leaders is disbanding disparate armed groups of former revolutionary fighters, which are divided by the regions where they operate. Sudanese Army Kills Leader of Darfur Rebel Group The Sudanese army has killed Khalil Ibrahim, the leader of the main Darfur rebel group, in an attack west of the capital Khartoum. Ibrahim led the Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement, or JEM, which did not join a peace deal with Khartoum. The U.N. says 300,000 people have died in the government’s war on Darfur since 2003. CSTO Tightens Foreign Base Norms Russia has won the right to veto the establishment of new foreign military bases in the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). At their summit in Moscow the leaders of the CSTO agreed that the deployment of foreign bases in their territory is only possible with the approval of all partners of the defence alliance. Kazakhstan took over the rotating presidency of the CSTO from Belarus.

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The defence bloc of former Soviet states also includes Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. emphasised that the decision had been endorsed unanimously by all the seven member states. “The decision we have made with regard to military bases of a third country is very important for the consolidation of positions within the CSTO,” the Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev said. The tightening of rules for opening extraregional military bases apparently does not apply to existing facilities, such as the U.S. transit centre in Kyrgyzstan, a German air transit facility in Uzbekistan and French military aircraft based in Tajikistan. However, the decision gains importance in the light of reported plans by the Pentagon to redeploy to Central Asia some of the forces that will be pulled out of Afghanistan in 2014. Experts point out, however, that the agreement is still tentative as it was signed in the form of a protocol and does not offer a definition of a foreign military. Iraq and UN Sign Iranian ‘Camp Ashraf’ Exile Deal Iraq and the United Nations have agreed to re-settle more than 3,000 Iranian exiles who have been based at a refugee camp near Baghdad since the 1980s. The residents of Camp Ashraf were part of the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran, which fought alongside Iraqi soldiers during the IranIraq war. The deal has been welcomed by the US, which handed responsibility for the camp to Iraq in 2009. Iraq’s Shia-led government has repeatedly vowed to close Camp Ashraf. But under the terms of the deal signed with the UN on 25th December, camp residents would be moved to a temporary location where their refugee status would then be determined by the UN. The UN says this is a necessary first step before exiles are finally re-settled outside Iraq. The UNHCR will immediately deploy a team at the new location to proceed with the verification and adjudication of the claims for refugee status it had received. The statement said that re-location would be voluntary. It is unclear when the process would begin and if the dissidents based at the camp would agree to move. The PMOI, also known as Mojahedin-e Khalq, was welcomed in the 1980s by then-President Saddam Hussein, who was fighting a war against Iran. He funded and armed the group, which fought alongside Iraqi troops. But Iraq’s new leaders have improved relations with neighbours Iran since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and have sought to close down the camp. UN budget Cut by 5 per cent for 2012-13 Adjusting to tough economic times, the United Nations has taken a five per cent cut in its budget for 2012-2013 at USD 5.15 billion, making it only the second time in 50 years that the world body’s budget has declined over the previous year.

The budget was approved by the 193-member UN General Assembly. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the new budget reflects the commitment of the world body to “do more and better with less” at a time when governments and people everywhere are struggling. The UN’s budget in 2010-2011 stood at USD 5.41 billion. In October, Ban had proposed a budget of USD 5.197 billion, which represented a 3.2 per cent cut, as part of adjusting to the current sluggish global economy. Ban has proposed a series of modifications to improve UN’s efficiencies and “cut fat”, including a decrease of 44 posts as well as cost-cutting for travel, consultants, general operating expenses, supplies, materials and equipment. US deputy ambassador Joseph Torsella said in a statement the budget agreement was “historic,” given that it was the first time since 1998 and only the second time in the last 50 years that the UN regular budget declined from the previous budget’s actual expenses. The US pays 22 per cent of the UN’s administrative budget. The approved budget does not include peacekeeping, spending for which is approved separately. UN Human Rights Body Backs French Sikhs on Turbans Sikh communities in France have won the backing of the United Nations Human Rights Committee in their fight over religious headgear. Sikhs in France have been fighting a long battle over the turban. In 2004 France passed a law banning religious signs in schools. This included turbans and Muslim headscarves. In the following years, people renewing passports and certain official documents were also asked to remove the religious headgear for photographs. In its judgement, reached in July but only now revealed, the UNHRC said, that France had failed to explain how the Sikh turban hindered identification since the wearer’s face would be visible and he would be wearing it at all times. Therefore, it argued, the regulation constituted a violation of Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Samoa and Tokelau hop International Date Line The New Year’s Eve parties started a whole day early on the Pacific island nation of Samoa, after a hop across the international date line transported the country 24 hours into the future. Samoa and neighbouring Tokelau are close to the international dateline that zigzags vertically through the Pacific Ocean, and both sets of islands decided to realign themselves this year from the Americas side of the line to the Asia side. That makes them the first in the world to ring in the New Year rather than the last. Samoans began celebrating at the stroke of midnight on Thursday, Dec. 29. That’s when the country skipped over 30th December and moved straight into 12-01 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. Pools and beaches have been crowded with revellers.

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BILATERAL BULLETIN...

INDO-RUSSIA TIES- AN ANCHOR OF PEACE AND STABILITY
The Indo-Russia summit is an annual feature now, every December it is either the Russian president in New Delhi or the Indian PM in Moscow. This time, it was Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh who paid an official visit to the Russian Federation from 1517 December, 2011. This was the 12th Annual Summit since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership with Russia in 2000. IndoRussia cooperation, since 2000, has undergone a qualitative change in almost all areas of interaction, and particularly in the field of defense, space and nuclear energy. The international agenda of Dr. Singh’s talks with Russian leaders acquired special relevance in the light of India taking the Chair of BRICS in 2012 and hosting the group’s next summit in late March. Global challenges such as need to revive the world economy, the situation in West Asia and North Africa, challenges in neighbouring Afghanistan, cooperation within BRICS, as well as new threats posed by climate change and piracy have made it imperative that both countries shall further intensify the dialogue to settle down the imbalanced world order as well as certain bilateral issues like Kudankulam project protests and Gorshkov aircraft carrier issue. It is precisely for these reasons that last year, both countries elevated their Strategic Partnership to a ‘special and privileged status.’ months. Separately, highly placed sources in the Russian nuclear energy sector said the two sides have sorted out their differences over the setting up of the next two units (unit 3 & 4). The sources claimed that the nuclear liability legislation, main bone of contention will not apply on them. Kudankulam I and II are at an advanced stage and are very close to being operational. Recently there were some problems and agitations arising from concerns about nuclear safety and the impact on livelihood. But it was ensured from the Indian side that it will overcome all these problems and all the concerns of local people and civil society will be adequately taken care of. The Russian sources made it clear that Moscow’s proposal to New Delhi to set up a joint production of nuclear fuel on the Russian soil would not lead to transfer of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technologies to India. Russia will not under any circumstances violate its international commitments in this sphere, the sources explained referring to the Nuclear Supplier Group’s ban on sale of sensitive nuclear technologies to countries that have not signed the NonProliferation Treaty. It is the March 2010 InterGovernmental Agreement which lays down the broad roadmap for the partnership in the area of civil nuclear energy for both countries. In June last year, India signed an MoU with Russia on setting up the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, to be located in Haryana, to undertake advanced studies in the field of nuclear research along with other partners. India, Russia to focus on strategic communications: India and Russia also concluded negotiations on obtaining military and strategic communications from the Glonass constellation of satellites being put into orbit by Moscow

as an alternative to the West controlled GPS system. Among other measures in space cooperation, in April-2011 India launched the Youthsat from Sriharikota. The satellite is the fruit of efforts put in by a group of Indian and Russian University students. Work is underway on the Chandrayaan-2 mission and also on other manned Space Flight programmes. India’s bid for UN seat: Russia backed India’s bid for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council as well as its aspirations to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security grouping. Moscow, one of the five vetowielding members of the UNSC and one of the founders of the SCO, expressed it support in a joint declaration issued after the 12th annual India-Russian Summit .In their joint statement, both Mr. Medvedev and Dr. Singh underscored that the UNSC reform should be carried out in way to make it “more representative and effective” in countering the existing and new challenges. Russia-India scientific, technology centre: A Russia-India scientific and technological centre was opened in

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The important achievements at this meet were:
Going ahead with Kudankulam Units 3, 4: India and Russia have resolved their differences over the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu. In fact Dr. Singh elaborated about going ahead with Unit I of the Russia supplied Kudankulam plant in a couple of weeks. The second one will follow after six

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Mr. S. M. krishna’s Bilateral Meeting with Russian Foreign Minister in November 2011
This meet was the preparation for the forthcoming Summit meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Medvedev. A detailed agenda was finalized. India, Russia pledge to galvanise bilateral trade: Both the countries pledged to boost the bilateral trade after it missed the $10 billion target set for last year. The Indo-Russian Intergovernmental Commission (IRIGC) on trade, economic, technological, scientific and cultural cooperation, which met in Moscow, resolved to give thrust to four vectors of bilateral cooperation. The 17th annual meeting of the IRIGC was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov. The two sides decided to launch a Joint Public-Private investment fund that will invest in both countries. The two governments will also set up a Joint Study Group to prepare a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with the Customs Union, which unites Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. India and Russia will strive to revive the North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) through Iran that has failed to take off more than 10 years after the three countries signed an agreement to set up the trade route. India, Russia differ on foreign presence in Afghanistan: In a striking mismatch of perceptions that is rare for IndoRussian meetings, the diplomats of the two countries set forth distinctly differing perspectives on foreign military presence in Afghanistan. While Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov registered Moscow’s strong opposition to the permanent deployment of United States military bases in Afghanistan and in former Soviet Central Asia, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna stressed the need for foreign powers to help Afghanistan fight the menace of terrorism. Discussion on other international situation: Both the leaders discussed the international situation, particularly the developments in the Middle East and North Africa, the Iran nuclear issue, developments in the Asia Pacific region, including the recently concluded APEC and EAS Summits. India and Russia share similar perceptions on such issues. They decided to continue consultation on them in the future too, both bilaterally and in multilateral fora, such as the SCO, EAS, BRICS, at the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. Moscow to promote industrial uses for breakthrough technologies developed in both the countries. It is designed to provide a missing link to the wideranging scientific collaboration between the two nations – a mechanism for commercialization of technologies developed under the 20-year-long Indo-Russian Integrated Long-Term Programme (ILTP).A similar centre would be opened in New Delhi early next year. The Moscow and New Delhi centres would rely on soft government loans and help in land acquisition to support innovative technological projects in the two. Economic cooperation: India and Russia added another facet to their bilateral relationship by holding talks on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), an omnibus free trade agreement, during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s confabulations with the top Russian leadership. India and Russia have very close ties in defence, science & technology, nuclear and space sectors but have been trying to plug the gap of low bilateral trade for a number of years with modest success. “We are ultimately looking at a common Eurasian market,” said government sources while referring to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s vision of having a customs union with several republics of the former Soviet Union. “With Russia, most of the issues relating to CEPA have been sorted out. But we have to now see how this fits in with the Russia plan of customs union.” “Apart from the Inter-Governmental Commission, we have to set up several mechanisms to promote greater businessto-business interaction. These include the Forum on Trade and Investment and the CEO’s Council. In the last few years, the governments of both countries have taken a policy decision to bring economic and trade relations to the level of cooperation in the traditional areas of cooperation. We have set a target to raise our trade volume to 20 billion US dollars by 2015.” Existence of terror sanctuaries: India and Russia condemned in strong terms the existence of “safe havens” for terrorism, asserting that states that “aid, abet or shelter” terrorists were as guilty of such acts as their perpetrators. In a joint statement, the two countries said there was no justification for any act of terrorism and all states needed to combine efforts to vanquish the menace. They also reaffirmed that the United Nations had a central role in the combat against international terrorism and called for an early adoption of the UN’s draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. Taking into account the fact that illicit drug trafficking had become one of the main financial sources of international terrorism, the two sides stressed on the importance of joint bilateral and multilateral efforts in the fight against it. Exploration in Yamal peninsula: Having expressed disinterest in gas deposits in Yamal Peninsula on account of extreme weather conditions, given its energy woes, India is now keen on discussing modalities for teaming up with Novatech for exploration. Talks will also be held on other opportunities as Russia opens up its strategic deposits

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though there are stiff terms. The two sides will try sorting out the taxation problems facing Imperial Energy, bought in haste by ONGC and an important vehicle for taking forward India’s quest for fossil fuels in Russia. The Yamal Peninsula, located in Yamal-Nenets autonomous district of northwest Siberia, Russia, extends roughly 700 km and is bordered principally by the Kara Sea, Baydaratskaya Bay on the west, and by the Gulf of Ob on the east. Yamal holds Russia’s biggest natural gas reserves. An estimate of the gas reserves here is 55 trillion cubic meters (tcm), the worlds biggest gas reserves and Russia’s largest energy project in history. Mutual simplification of travel documents: The sides noted with satisfaction that the entry into force of the Agreement between India and the Russian Federation on Mutual Simplification of Travel Documents for Certain Categories of Nationals of the two countries would promote broader business and scientific cooperation, boost professional, student and other exchanges between India and Russia. Disarmament and non proliferation: Both sides agreed on the need for all states possessing nuclear weapons to accelerate concrete progress on the steps leading to global nuclear disarmament in a way that promotes international stability, peace and undiminished and increased security for all. Both sides expressed interest in strengthening multilateral export control regimes as an important component of the global non-proliferation regime. In this regard, the Russian side reiterated readiness to assist and promote a discussion and positive decision in the NSG on India’s full membership in the

NSG, and welcomed India’s intention to seek full membership. India underscored its determination to actively contribute to international efforts aimed at strengthening nuclear non-proliferation regime. The Russian Federation also took into consideration India’s interest in full membership in MTCR and the Wassenaar Arrangement. Gorshkov aircraft carrier issue: Dr. Singh raised with Russia the issue of delay in the delivery of Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier to the Indian navy, saying it was important for India that the ship arrives in time. India and Russia were clear that they would take necessary action to ensure there was “no slippages” in the delivery of the aircraft carrier which will be rechristened ‘INS Vikramaditya’. According to the Russian side, the delivery would be delayed till 2012. They also claimed that since last year New Delhi has not made any payments although the extra work to the tune of USD 1.7 billion has been done by the shipyard. The 44.5-thousand tonner Kiev class aircraft carrier was to be initially commissioned as INS Vikramaditya in August this year under the USD 1.5 billion deal signed in January 2004, which included the refit of the vessel and supply of 16 MiG-29K fighters. Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine: The sources said one of India’s major defence acquisitions in terms of technology and ability to strike fear in the adversary – the Nerpa nuclearpowered submarine – will be leased by the end of next month. Unlike a diesel submarine, the nuclear powered version does not have to intermittently come up for air to recharge its batteries, and can thus lurk beneath the waves for indefinite periods giving no clue about

its location. Russia to boost LNG supplies to India: Russia will significantly boost the supplies of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to India from 2016, President Dmitry Medvedev announced. Mentioning the success of ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) venture in Sakhalin-1 offshore oil block, Mr. Medvedev, also expressed Russia’s interest in expanding cooperation with India in hydrocarbons. OVL has 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin-1, which has estimated reserves of about 307 million tonnes of oil (2.3 billion barrels) and 485 billion cubic metres of gas. Mr. Medvedev said that Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom has inked the memoranda covering major supplies of LNG to India with several Indian companies.

Conclusion
The just-concluded 12th Indo-Russian summit in Moscow has every reason to be called one of the most successful and productive bilateral meetings in recent years. Its outcome must be judged not by the number of documents signed but by the depth and range of understandings that emerged in the course of an unprecedented six hours of interaction Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had had, first with President Dmitry Medvedev and then with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The agreements covered all the key areas that underpin the “special and privileged” strategic partnership between the two countries — energy, defence, space, trade and investment, and working together on the international scene. The summit reasserted the special character of the Indo-Russian relationship, which Prime Minister Singh had aptly described as an “anchor of peace and stability” in a world of shifting global power equations.

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INDIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST: TOWARDS CLOSER TIES
Mr. Krishna’s first stop was in Jordan after which he spent two days in Israel. He travelled to Palestine the next day and had a brief meeting in Dubai with a UAE Minister on January 11 before returning to the country. The meetings in Israel touched upon a number of areas but the most watched were the talks to expand the areas of cooperation in the defence sector as India want to move from a buyer-seller relationship to codevelopers of defence equipment. Terming Israel as an “important partner”, India’s top diplomat in Israel counted counter-terrorism, multi-billion dollar defence arena, agriculture, water and energy as sectors that will see growing cooperation between the two countries in the coming years. Celebrating the 20 years of diplomatic relations between Tel Aviv and New Delhi which was set up only in 1992, both groups stressed that the ties between the two have grown on a very fast pace. From a mere $200 million bilateral trade in 1992, it has grown to about $5 billion last year. Not only that, the bilateral defence trade stands at approximately about $9 billion and is growing at a very fast pace too. Defense diplomacy has emerged as an important component of Indian diplomacy. On January 9, the Minister called on H.E. Shimon Peres, President of Israel and discussed bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. The two leaders discussed issues such as cooperation in science & technology, water management, agriculture and combating terrorism. They also discussed recent developments in South Asia and the Middle-East. Both the countries also signed an Agreement for Reciprocal Extradition of each other’s nationals and an Agreement for Transfer of Sentenced Persons respectively. The Indian EAM visited the Indian Hospice in Jerusalem which dates back to the days of the revered Sufi saint Baba Farid. He announced a special grant of US$ 25,000 by the Government of India for setting up a Baba Farid Heritage Centre at the Indian Hospice.

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External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna recently made Indian Foreign Minister’s first visit to Israel in a decade. Being packaged as a four-nation visit which also included Palestine, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the focal point was Mr. Krishna’s meeting with almost the entire top Israeli leadership on January 9 and 10.This was a rare visit by an Indian External Affairs Minister to Palestine and Jordan as well. In an effort to stem criticism about timing of the visitwhen Israeli leadership has been making bellicose statements, the governmental resources insisted that each part of the trip was stand-alone in nature and in tune with India’s policy of dealing with countries on an individual basis.

Fact-file
After decades of non-aligned and pro-Arab policy, India formally established relations with Israel in January 1992 and ties between the two nations have flourished since, primarily due to common strategic interests and security threats. Defence relations: India is the largest customer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest military partner of India after the Russian Federation. Military and strategic ties between the two nations extend to joint military training and space technology. India is Israel’s largest defense market, accounting for almost fifty percent of Israeli sales. India purchased Barak-1 vertically-launched surface-to-air (SAM) missiles from Israel. Israel was one of the selected few nations, a group that also included France and Russia, that did not condemn India’s 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests. In naval terms, Israel sees great strategic value in an alliance with the Indian Navy, given India’s dominance of South Asian waters. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has serviced several large contracts with the Indian Air Force including the upgrading of the IAF’s Russian-made MiG-21 ground attack aircraft and there have been further sales of unmanned aerial vehicles as well as laser-guided bombs. Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd signed a $2.5 billion deal with India to develop an anti-aircraft system and missiles for the country, in the biggest defense contract in the history of Israel at the time. IAI is developing the Barak-8 missile for the Indian Navy and Air Force which is capable of protecting sea vessels and ground facilities from aircraft and cruise missiles. The missile has a range of over 70 kilometres. The missile will replace the current obsolete Russian system used by India. In 2011, defense news reported that India is about to buy 8356 Israeli Spike anti-tank missiles, 321 launchers, 15 training simulators and peripheral equipments, for a $1 billion deal, with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. India is also in the process of obtaining missile-firing Hermes 450s. Economic relations: India is also the second-largest Asian economic partner of Israel. In 2010, bilateral trade, excluding military sales, stood at US$4.7 billion. Currently, the two nations are negotiating an extensive bilateral free trade pact,

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focusing on areas such as information technology, biotechnology and agriculture. This includes manufacturing, satellite launch, agriculture and diamond industries and real estate projects in India. Science & Technology relations: India is building closer ties with Israel in the areas of nanotechnology, information technology, water technology and biotechnology. In 1998, the Indo-Israel Joint Symposium on Human Genome was held in Jerusalem. The Indo-Israel Joint Committee of scientists was constituted with the DST (Department of Science and Technology) and India as Co-chairmen with representatives from various research organizations in India and the Ministry of Information Technology as members. In 2004, the Ministry of Science and Technology in India signed a MoU with Israel for jointly funding industrial R&D projects. According to the official sources, there are five priority areas for enhanced collaboration: nanotechnology, biotechnology, water management, alternative energy, and space and aeronautics. India and Israel will each start by contributing US$1 million to provide risk-free grants to entrepreneurs in the two countries. Space collaboration: Israel’s Minister for Science and Technology has expressed interest in collaborating with the ISRO towards utilizing satellites for better management of land and other resources. Israel has also expressed interest in participating in ISRO’s Chandrayaan mission of sending an unmanned craft to the moon. Israel’s TecSAR radar satellite was launched by India on 22 January 2008.The Indian PSLV launch-vehicle was chosen instead of its own home grown Shavit rocket. Tecsar is an Israeli spy satellite, primarily meant to monitor Iran’s military activities. In March 2009, India launched the RISAT-2 satellite which is based on the technology employed in Israel’s TecSAR. The satellite has the capability to take high resolution images at night and can carry out reconnaissance operations even through a dense cloud cover. Most Indian satellites currently in operation lack these capabilities. Cultural ties: In April–May 2011, renowned Indian artists from India flew to Israel to participate in a three-week-long cultural festival commemorating 20 years of Indo-Israel diplomatic relations. According to a multi-national study conducted by an international market research company, India was found to be the most pro-Israeli nation. Jews have lived in India for over 2000 years and have never been discriminated against. This is something unparalleled in human history. The Bnei Menashe is a group of more than 8,000 people from India’s remote North-Eastern border states of Manipur and Mizoram who claim descent from one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. In 2005 Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar, one of Israel’s two chief rabbis, accepted the Bnei Menashe’s claim because of their exemplary devotion to Judaism. His decision Law of Return. In the past two decades, some 1,300 Bnei Menashe have moved to Israel.

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Krishna in Palestine
Mr. Krishna drove down to Ramallah (Palestinian city) from Jerusalem through the Beitunya check-point. The minister met top Palestinian leadership including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Mr. Krishna also held bilateral talks with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad alMalki and attended a wreath laying ceremony on the Mausoleum of Yasser Arafat. The External Affairs Minister reiterated India’s strong support to the Palestinian cause. Incidentally, India was the first non-Arab country to recognise the statehood of Palestine in 1988 when it was declared. Even though India has supported Palestine on a number of international forums, its friendship with Israel has not been affected by it. With the world’s second largest Muslim population, India has understandably been a traditional supporter of the Palestinian cause. This is still India’s position, and Israel is well aware of India’s principled stand on the Palestinian issue. But India is a diverse country, and while some sections feel that relations with Israel come at the expense of traditional support for the Palestinians, the government has adopted a balanced and pragmatic approach by continuing and deepening engagement with Israel. Nor has that stance harmed our elations with the Gulf counties. India-GCC trade in 2010-11 stood at $119 billion, and nearly 6 million Indian nationals work in the Gulf and send home remittances worth $30 billion annually. Nearly two-thirds of India’s energy imports are from the Gulf countries, including Iran.

Conclusion
Many recent developments have rapidly altered the political reality in the Middle East. To continue to look through the prism of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is to reduce the Middle East, where the Shia-Sunni, Riyadh-Tehran tensions, or the internal democratic struggles, make for many more tragedies. This is a moment when India should engage with all the major Middle Eastern players. Not only are Dubai and Riyadh important for two-way investments, but India is more dependent on Gulf oil today than the US. After 20 years of diplomatic relations, with a promising future of partnership, the stability of the Middle East is a necessity and responsibility India shares right now with Israel, and with its neighbours.

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EMERGENCE OF NEW FRIEND IN WESTERN AFRICA
- State Visit of the President of Mali
India and Mali have traditionally maintained warm and friendly political relations. Both countries are members of the NAM. India opened its resident Mission in Mali in 2009 and Mali reciprocated in 2010. The State Visit of President Amadou Toumani Toure in January 2012 provided an opportunity to further expand and consolidate the mutually beneficial relations between the two friendly countries. This was the firstever exchange of VVIP visit between India and Mali. The leaders of the two countries exchanged views in an atmosphere of warmth, cordiality and mutual trust on all aspects of bilateral cooperation as well as on the regional and international issues of mutual interest. Highlights: • An agreement on extending the line of credit was signed after talks were concluded. India announced a $100 million line of credit to set up power transmission lines connecting key cities in the southern part to the Malian capital Bamako. • Mali extended its support to India’s candidature for permanent seat in an expanded United Nations Security Council. • The two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation in the field of geology and mineral resources. • Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in areas like economy, trade and investment, finance, human resource development, culture and fisheries. The leaders agreed to further deepen the partnership, by adding more concrete programmes and projects and broadening it to new areas for cooperation. Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation between India and Mali in October 2009. • India noted with appreciation Mali’s offer for Indian participation in their mining industry, agriculture, food processing, dairy and poultry farming, cotton cultivation, pharmaceutical industry, leather industry, automobile and two-wheeler segment and other commercial activities and expressed its willingness to collaborate with Mali in these areas. • The leaders affirmed their desire and determination to work together for peace and stability in the region and the world, and agreed to further strengthen cooperation at regional and international fora, especially the ECOWAS1 as well as in AU, WTO, WIPO, UN and the Non-aligned Movement. The Malian side underlined the pioneering role played by India in consistently extending support and cooperation to African countries within the framework of South-South Cooperation. This has acquired an enhanced and significant role following the successful organisation of India- Africa Forum Summit in 2008 and the Africa-India Forum Summit in 2011 leading to the strengthening of Africa–India relationship. Economy of Mali and Indian prospects cashew nuts, peanuts, mangoes, sesame, sheaf nuts etc are widely used but poorly processed and exported. Mali has many mineral resources like, gold (third largest producer in Africa), phosphates, uranium, bauxite, zinc, manganese, tin, copper and oil. Mali government is keen to undertake exploration and exploitation of their mineral resources and has formally offered the rights on lease to GOI or government designated companies. With a population of around 14 million subjected to tropical diseases, Mali is a good market for Indian generic medicines and pharmaceutical products. There is also a good market for veterinary medicines. There is already good awareness of India’s capabilities and competitiveness in this area and brand India is a commercial advantage point. Automobile sector, particularly the two-wheeler segment, also offers good opportunities for automobile and autoparts manufacturers in India. Thus, both the countries have enough to offer and set a mutually beneficial relationship with each other. The Visit of President Toure has not only enhanced the relations between India and Mali but has also set a precedent for other African countries to benefit from the growing Indian economy and its goodwill in the world politics. The visit can be seen as a step forward in the growing Indo-Africa relations and increasing South-South cooperation.

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Malian economy is pre-dominantly based on agriculture and livestock husbandry, which together account for 45-50% of the GDP. Mali is the second largest producer of long staple cotton in Africa, after Egypt. Mali also has one of the largest livestock in Africa which provides opportunities in • Addressing a joint meeting of industry the food processing sector including meat chambers CII, ASSOCHAM and FICII, – processing and setting up of modern Mr. Toure gave assurance to the Indian abattoirs. Mali does not have any modern investors about the security of their tanneries. Modernization of dairy farming, investments in Mali. poultry farming, cultivation of rice, • Both sides called for an early convening maize and vegetables, modern processing of the first meeting of the Joint techniques of agricultural products, etc Ministerial Commission following the are some promising areas of investment signing of the Agreement on Political, in Mali. Many agricultural products like,

1. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of fifteen West African countries. Founded on 28 May 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos, its mission is to promote economic integration across the region.

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Bilateral/Multilateral News...
Russian Court Rejects Petition for Banning Gita
A Siberian court has thrown out a petition to ban a translation of Bhagavad Gita as “extremist” literature because it insults non-believers. The Leninsky District Court in Tomsk ruled on 28th December that there were no grounds for recognising “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” as extremist literature because it is “one of the interpretations of sacred Hindu scripture ‘Bhagavad Gita’.” “This court decision shows that Russia is indeed becoming a democratic society,” said lawyer Alexander Shakhov, who represented the local branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). State prosecutors had filed the petition against “Bhagavad Gita As It Is”, claiming it sowed “social discord.” The case was built on expert testimony from local professors of philosophy and philology, who said the book expresses religious hatred and discriminates on the basis of gender, race, nationality and language. On the eve of court’s hearing External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna had summoned the Russian Ambassador in New Delhi, Alexander Kadakin, asking the Russian government to provide all possible help to resolve the issue. The case against Bhagavad Gita had been filed on the basis of the 2002 Russian anti-extremism law, criticised in Russia for providing a loose definition of extremist activity. The Russian Christian Orthodox Church has also been accused of using the law to fight “non-traditional religions”, such as Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Hare Krishna movement in Russia.

INDIA & MAJOR POWERS

removed by the State Department in November after India’s strong objection.

India to Focus on Cheaper LNG from U.S.
India has decided to make a “strategic shift” in LNG (liquefied natural gas) sourcing with a “look U.S. policy” for contracting new import volumes. This follows an analysis by the Petroleum Ministry which showed that LNG imports from the Gulf were costlier than from the U.S. The decision was taken recently at a meeting of the Empowered Group on import of natural gas, LNG and polymers. The development comes close on the heels of state-run GAIL India entering into an agreement for supply of 3.5 million tonnes per annum liquefied natural gas with Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P., U.S. “The imports of LNG from U.S. are cheaper and stable. It was pointed out that the price of LNG based on Henry Hub (HH) from U.S. market was cheaper by $2-3 mBtu (million British thermal unit) compared to that based on oil index (Brent/JCC) from other sources. The Henry hub is the pricing point for natural gas futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). It is a point on the natural gas pipeline system in Erath, Louisiana. It is owned by Sabine Pipe Line LLC.

India, UK Agree to Combat Poverty, Achieve MDGS
UK’s Secretary of State for Department for International Development (DFID) Andrew Mitchell, and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee met on 16th December to discuss the strategic development cooperation partnership between India and UK. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral relations between the two countries and agreed to work together to strengthen partnership in all areas of mutual concern. Earlier this year, it was agreed that DFID would maintain its development cooperation programme in India at £ 280 million (Rs. 2250 crores) annually for the next four years until 201415. Both countries reiterated their commitment to ensuring a successful partnership in alignment with national priorities to promote prosperity, combat poverty and facilitate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Mr. Mitchell assured continuing support through grant assistance for some Centrally Sponsored Schemes as well as for projects currently being implemented in the States of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. He further stated that the two countries would work together to build on India’s own successful poverty-reduction programs, and to pilot a new approach to promote private sector investment in low income States which would help improve access to jobs, infrastructure and basic services. The initiative to promote private sector investment in selected low income States has been mutually

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India Objects to ‘Gross Inaccuracies’ in J&K Map on US Website
India on 4th January took strong objection to the “gross inaccuracies” depicted with regard to Jammu and Kashmir in a map on US State Department website. The US State Department has posted a map of India which reflects the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir with dotted lines, thereby projecting it as a disputed territory. Ministry of External Affairs said, “The Government takes this opportunity to reaffirm that the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and has consistently conveyed to the international community that maps of India should depict the boundaries of our country correctly.” Later, the US State Department has posted on its website a new map of India reflecting its long- standing position on the country’s geographical boundaries, acknowledging that it had earlier made a “goof up” that triggered strong protest from New Delhi. The previous controversial maps, which showed portions of Jammu and Kashmir as part of Pakistan, were

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agreed to be taken forward through Government of India sponsored organizations like SIDBI, on a pilot basis. However, Britain’s annual aid to India has been radically reengineered in response to criticism that as one of the world’s fastest growing economies New Delhi does not “deserve” foreign aid, the International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said on 27th December. He also said that British aid to India was “not forever” and there were no commitments beyond 2015. The restructured programme, which has resemblance to a sovereign wealth fund, is designed to bring returns to the recession-hit British taxpayers. It will see half the aid budget for India invested in private sector enterprises that are already working with poor people such as Milk Mantra, a dairy in Orissa which buys milk from small farmers.

common values and interests across the Asia-Pacific and the globe,” a joint statement issued by the three countries at the conclusion of the meeting said. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell co-chaired the meeting. “All sides welcomed the frank and comprehensive nature of the discussions, and agreed the talks help advance their shared values and interests,” the statement said. The group agreed to meet again in Tokyo in 2012 to continue their deliberations.

India Japan on Course to Trade Target of US $ 25 Billion by 2014
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on 27th December said his country is keen to step up cooperation with India in different areas including security issues. Mr. Noda, who arrived on 27th December for a three-day visit, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Japan has shown interest to have financial partnership in the ambitious $90 billion DMIC project, aimed at creating world-class industrial infrastructure along the DelhiMumbai Rail Freight Corridor which is under implementation. Terming the bilateral relationship between the two countries as “complementary”, Mr. Noda said that while Japan has technology and capital, India has a young workforce as well as abundant demand for infrastructure. “On the economic front, there still remains plenty of potential for beneficial mutual cooperation. Already over 800 Japanese companies have invested in India. The India-Japan bilateral trade has shown a robust increase of 24 per cent at $13.2 billion during January - September on the back of a mutual free trade agreement. Under the FTA, officially known as Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the two countries have slashed duties on large number of items of trade. Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said that, “The year 2011 is a watershed year in our relations as we signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) during my visit to Japan in February. Japan is an invaluable & strategic partner in the process of India’s development. India-Japan has to play major role in the globally changing economic landscape, he added. As a result of coming in to force of CEPA, the bilateral trade is likely to increase substantially and expressed hope that the target of US $ 25 billion by 2014 will be achieved during the specified period. The bilateral trade between India and Japan during the year 2009-10 was of the volume of US $ 10.36 billion. The bilateral trade during the year 2010-11 reached to US $ 13.823 On 24th October 2011, the National Manufacturing Policy was unveiled and seven industrial townships have been identified as the first National Investment and Manufacturing Zones based on models of sustainable development and smart communities, which has been perfected in Japan. The Japanese Government is committing US $ 4.5 billion for implementation of this project.

Protocol Amending India-Australia DTAA Signed
The Protocol amending India-Australia Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) was signed on 16th December. The original India-Australia DTAA was signed way back in 1991. The Protocol was finalised in February, 2011. This has a number of good features. The Exchange of Information Article is updated to internationally accepted standards for effective exchange of information on tax matters including bank information and also for exchange of information without domestic tax interest. It is further provided that the information received from Australia in respect of a resident of India can be shared with other law enforcement agencies with authorisation of the competent authority of Australia and vice-versa. This facilitates higher degree of mutual cooperation between two countries. The Protocol provides that India and Australia shall lend assistance to each other in the collection of revenue claims. The assets or moneys kept in one country can be recovered by the other country for the purposes of recovery of taxes by following certain conditions and procedure. Further, the concept of non-discrimination provision was not in the existing treaty. Hence, now it is provided that nationals of one country shall not be discriminated against the nationals of the other country in the same circumstances in line with international practices. In the existing treaty with Australia, no threshold limit for determining permanent establishment was provided. This is not in line with other treaties and international practice. Hence, threshold limit to avail the exemption for service, exploration and equipment permanent establishments and taxation thereof have been rationalised to encourage cross border movement of capital and services between the two countries.

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India Holds First Joint Meeting with Japan, U.S.
The first trilateral talk between the U.S., India and Japan concluded in Washington with the countries exchanging their views on a wide range of regional and global issues of mutual interest. “These discussions mark the beginning of a series of consultations among our three governments, who share

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India-Japan Group to Examine High Speed Rail Corridor Issue
India and Japan, a pioneer in bullet train operations, have decided to set up a high-level working group to examine various issues related to establishment of high speed rail corridors in the country. The decision was taken during a meeting between Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi and Japanese Minister for Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Takeshi Maeda in New Delhi on 12th January. Known for its expertise in running bullet trains, Japan has shown keen interest in India’s ambition to run high speed trains. Japan’s External Trade Organisation and Oriental Consultancy along with Parsons Brinkhoff India have recently bagged a contract to carry out pre-feasibility study of the Hyderabad-Vijayawada-Chennai corridor, one of the six corridors identified by Indian Railways for high speed train operations.

Consulate. The diplomat, S. Balachandran, was not allowed to leave a court room in a nearby city for medication following which he collapsed and was rushed to a hospital on December 31. He had gone to Yiwu city, 300 km from Shanghai, to provide consular assistance to two Indians businessmen. A website run by the Yiwu local government last month warned of “many Indian businessmen being involved in disputes” after one trader, named Ali, left China owing 16 million RMB ($ 2.5 million) to 145 businessmen. Following the incident, police issued a warning to traders “to be careful of Indian businessmen.” The annual bilateral trade between India and China is worth over $60 billion; nearly one-third of this comprises business deals in eastern China, where the Yiwu Market — one of the world’s largest wholesale commodity markets — is located. India has warned its businessmen they are not safe to trade in the Chinese city of Yiwu after this recent fracas there. An advisory on India’s Beijing embassy website says businessmen can be “mistreated” in Yiwu and have “no guarantee of legal remedies”.

India, France to Set up Virtual Institute on Mathematics
India and France have decided to set up a virtual institute for applied mathematics to take up joint research projects in the area. An agreement to set up the virtual institute on mathematics in Bangalore was signed on 5th January between the Department of Science and Technology and the National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) of France. The new initiative will have participation from six institutes from India led by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. The University of Toulouse will be the lead institute from France. Besides setting up a virtual mathematics institute, the two sides also signed agreements to set up two international associated labs in informatics and immunology to strengthen scientific collaboration between the two countries. The three projects will be funded equally by Paris-based CNRS and the Departments of Science and Technology, and Biotechnology. Each side will contribute Rs five crore towards the initiative. The funds would be spent over the next four years on joint research projects in mathematical sciences, exchange visits.

12 Diamond Traders Return after Detention in China
Twelve diamond traders returned to India from China early on 6th January after being released from a detention centre in Shenzhen, where they had been kept for nearly two years. The traders thanked the Indian and the Chinese governments for the “fair treatment” given to them. Media reports said more than 32 Indians and some foreigners were detained by the Chinese authorities on charges of smuggling in 2009 when they were found taking undeclared diamonds worth crores of rupees from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. The traders refused to talk about the case and said it was lack of communication that led to the detention. Most of the 12 traders who landed at the Mumbai International Airport are from Surat in Gujarat.

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Indo-Pak Talk on Conventional and Nuclear CBMS
Pursuant to the agreement between the two Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan in New Delhi on 27 July 2011, the Expert Level Talks on Conventional and Nuclear Confidence Building Measures was held in Islamabad between 26- 27 December 2011. Both countries agreed to move forward on proposals to extend two key agreements. Both countries agreed to recommend to their Foreign Secretaries to extend the validity of two agreements - “Agreement on Reducing the Risk from Accidents Relating to Nuclear Weapons” and “Agreement on Pre-Notification of Flight Testing of Ballistic Missiles” - for five years each. The two sides reviewed a range of existing nuclear and conventional CBMs and discussed proposals for additional measures in areas where the two countries could make forward movement. Among the CBMs that were reviewed during the meeting of the Joint Working Group were the hotline between the Foreign Secretaries, the ceasefire put in place along the

INDIA & ITS NEIGHBOURS
India-China Spat over Trade Disputes in China’s Yiwu city After two weeks of being detained illegally by Chinese businessmen, Deepak Raheja and Shyamsunder Agarwal were escorted away from Yiwu on 4th January and taken by Indian officials to Shanghai. Two Indian traders were kidnapped by Chinese businessmen on December 14, and they spent the last few days holed up in a Yiwu hotel facing threats to their lives. They stand accused of owing more than 10 million RMB (US$ 1.58 million) in dues to Chinese businessmen. The traders, however, say the Yemeni owner of their company fled, and they are only employees. The traders surrendered their travel documents, and are not allowed to leave the country. Earlier, India lodged its protest with China against the illtreatment meted out to its diplomat from the Shanghai

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Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir in November 2003 and the agreement on advance notification of military exercise. While emphasizing restraint and responsibility in the management of nuclear weapons, India during the CBM talks expressed the hope that Pakistan would begin talks on joining the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) at the next Conference on Disarmament (CD) session expected to start in January. Pakistan is the only hold out at the CD among 65 countries in substantial talks on the FMCT, a proposed pact that will ban the production of nuclear bomb making material. India feels the FMCT could serve as a stepping stone for a more serious global push towards disarmament. India has been prepared for a while and Pakistan was informed that it was also ready to join the talks if Islamabad agreed. But differences came to the fore when both sides discussed expansion of CBMs to cover other areas. Pakistan resisted India’s request to publicly enunciate its nuclear doctrine, including assurances on no-first-use of nuclear weapons (which India has done) and strict civilian control over nuclear weapons. Pakistan said it does have a minimum credible deterrent, though it is not in the public domain. On the other hand, India did not accept Pakistan’s suggestion for including nuclear safety and civil nuclear cooperation in the talks. “Pakistan has been asking for new measures which were not in the 1999 Lahore memorandum of understanding (MoU). India wants to first exhaust the potential of the Lahore MoU of which the main outstanding point is the exchange of nuclear doctrine.

to a decrease in violent incidents. Both sides reiterated the highest priority accorded by their respective Governments to the well being, safety and security of fishermen from the two countries. Both countries agreed that the use of force could not be justified under any circumstances, and reiterated in this regard the importance of extending humane treatment to all fishermen. Acknowledging that fisheries involved the socio-economic and livelihood dimensions of the fishermen living in coastal areas in India and Sri Lanka, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation that would allow both countries to pursue their fishing activity in a safe, secure and sustainable manner, including discouraging fishermen from using destructive fishing methods. They also discussed measures for the expeditious release of bonafide fishermen from both countries. The need to respect the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) was stressed by the Sri Lankan side. Emphasizing the need for conservation of marine resources and protection of marine ecology, they agreed to the joint development of fisheries and marine resources in the Palk Bay area and the Gulf of Mannar. The two sides agreed to develop programmes for bilateral exchanges in aquaculture and fishing related activities, including training in fisheries management, genetic improvement of cultured species, fishing technology, exchange of scientists, etc.

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INDIA & REST OF THE WORLD
India for Peace in West Asia: E. Ahamed
Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed has said that India has been very sensitive to developments in West Asia as the region is very close to the country. Inaugurating a seminar on ‘Arab spring: an appraisal’ organised by the district committee of the Muslim Youth League in Kannur on 26th December, the Minister said the country had been closely monitoring the developments in the region triggered by the ‘Jasmine revolution’ in Tunisia. Stating that the government would give importance to economic, industrial and cultural relationship with the countries in the region, he said that its non-intrusive and non-prescriptive approach in foreign policy issues had won it accolades from the countries in the region. Talking about the upheavals witnessed in the region, Mr. Ahamed said India was not proactive in its approach to the developments in the region because it was sticking to its stand that it was for the people in each country to decide their future. India’s interest in the region was the safety of large number of people working in the region; he said adding that nearly six million Indians were living in the countries. He recalled the efforts taken by the government to bring back 16,000 Indians working in Libya during the conflict there that had led to the ouster of the Qadhafi regime. He said that India was in favour of peace in the region. Referring to the developments in Syria,

India, Pak Exchange Lists of Nuclear Installations
India and Pakistan on 1st January 2012 exchanged lists of their nuclear installations and facilities under a two-decadeold pact prohibiting attacks on atomic assets, after the talks on nuclear and conventional CBMs. The governments of the two countries are required to exchange lists of their nuclear installations and facilities on January 1 every year under the terms of the “Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities” that was signed in December 1988. This was the 21st consecutive year that the lists of nuclear facilities were exchanged since 1992. The exchange was conducted even during a freeze in bilateral ties after the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The two sides also exchanged list of prisoners currently being held in each other’s jails under a separate pact. The two countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners twice a year under the Agreement on Consular Access signed in May 2008 India and Sri Lanka to Work on Faster Repatriation of Fishermen The 4th meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on Fisheries was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 13-14 January 2012. Addressing a long-standing issue raised by Sri Lankans, India agreed to work on faster repatriation of Sri Lankan fishermen who get stranded in Indian waters. The two sides acknowledged that the Joint Statement on Fishing Arrangements of 26th October 2008 had since led

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the Minister said India was taking a cautious approach vis a vis problems in that country. Though the government was in favour of non-intervention in another country’s affairs, it could not ignore the Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria. He said India hoped that Syria would honour the Arab League’s intervention to ensure peace in that country.

world community to effectively address the problem.

India- Saudi Arabia Trade touches US $ 26 Million
Union Commerce, Industry & Textile Minister Anand Sharma met with Dr. Tawfiq Bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Saudi Arabia in New Delhi on 4th January. Mr. Sharma in the bilateral talks informed that,” The total trade between India and Saudi Arabia has increased from US $ 15,946.10 million in 2006-07 to US $ 25,612.46 million in 2010-11. Mr. Sharma during the meeting observed that the focus is now to be shifted to investment and joint ventures for enhancing our trade as well as services. Minister also emphasised strategies to be developed for increasing volume of trade in traditional items and diversify the trade basket. He expressed satisfaction on the fact that both countries have pledged to elevate the current buyer-seller relationship into strategic energy cooperation. India would like to participate in the Petroleum and Gas sectors in Saudi Arabia both upstream and downstream and invites Saudi Arabia to invest in Indian petroleum and gas based mega industrial estates, fertilizers and petrochemical plants, refineries, etc.

‘No Hitch in India-Iran Pipeline Project’: Iran
India and Iran held high level talks in New Delhi on 23rd December during which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said bilateral cooperation between the two countries would continue despite problems in making payments for imported oil. Dr. Singh told International Affairs Advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and long-time former Foreign Minister Akbar Ali Velayati, that efforts would be made to find a permanent solution in making monthly payments of about $1 billion for oil imported from Iran, which the Prime Minister said was India’s second major source of crude. Pressure, direct and indirect, by the U.S. and its western allies has closed one avenue after another of paying for Iranian crude. Mr. Velayati said there was no problem between the two countries over the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. “The question is the problem of transit between India and Pakistan. There is no problem between India and Iran on this. Both countries want such a link up which is important to both sides. It is the nearest gas reserve for India and Iran cannot get a better customer like India,” he observed. Mr. Velayati termed India’s stand on Iran, expressed recently at the United Nations, as “positive” and “friendly.” India had spoken out against sanctions, favoured a diplomatic solution and urged Iran to answer clarifications sought by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

India Tourism Road Shows in Saudi Arabia
The Ministry of Tourism with the objective to tap the high end tourists from Saudi Arabia organised Tourism Road Shows in the cities of Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah. The shows were held from 7th to 11th of January. According to travel statistics, 4.5 million Saudis representing nearly a quarter of the population, travelled abroad and spent about US $33 billion last year. India is fast emerging as a preferred destination for the Saudi tourists. Foreign tourist arrivals into India have witnessed a steady increase over the years, touching 6.29 million in 2011, an increase of 8.9% over 2009. During the year 2010 there has been an increase of nearly 38% in the inbound tourism from Saudi Arabia to India with around twenty two thousand tourists. The Visa issuance figures of the Indian Mission indicate a similar high growth in the year 2011. One of the highlights of the Road Show was the focus on the ‘Medical & Wellness’ Tourism potential of India. India’s vast potential as a Health and Wellness tourism destination, backed by its medical facilities and world-class doctors, para-medical staff and hospitals, ancient healing systems such as ‘Ayurveda’ and other rejuvenating programs were show-cased. The cost of medical services in India is almost 30% lower to that in Western countries and the most cost effective in the region. Indian hospitals excel in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, joint replacements, transplants, cosmetic treatments, dental care, orthopedic surgery and much more. All medical treatments and investigations are done using the latest, technologically advanced diagnostic equipment. Moreover, India is just about four hours away making it easier for patients to visit even for follow-up – offering unmatched proximity and value-for-money.

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India, Oman Extend MOU on Military Cooperation to 2015
India and Oman have extended the validity of the existing bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Military Cooperation, signed in December 2005, for a further period of five years. Bilateral defense cooperation between India and Oman has been growing over the years. The Navies of both countries have conducted a joint exercise “Naseem Al Bahr” off the coast of Mumbai from December 26-31, 2011. The IAF and the Royal Air Force of Oman held a joint exercise “Eastern Bridge” at Jamnagar, Gujarat in October earlier this year. The visiting Minister of Defence Affairs of Oman, Badar bin Saud bin Harib al Busaidi held delegation level talks during which both sides noted that bilateral defence cooperation activities have been progressing satisfactorily. The 5th meeting of the India-Oman Joint Military Cooperation Committee was held recently in India in September, 2011. Defence Minister A. K. Antony noted that incidents of piracy were taking place close to the Oman coast and have also been spreading close to the Lakshadweep Islands. Both Ministers stressed the need for continued and concerted efforts of the

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The Road Show also highlighted destinations which are becoming popular for holiday and the business traveler like the Luxury Trains viz. Palace on Wheels, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, The Deccan Odyssey and the Golden Chariot etc. in addition to the Palace Hotels, Luxury Spas etc.

India, Thailand to Accelerate Extradition Treaty
After holding talks to step up defence cooperation recently, Thailand and India are aiming to accelerate pacts to ensure that Bangkok does not remain a magnet for fugitives. The two sides also held talks on connecting mega ports being built in Myanmar and Thailand with Indian ports during the ongoing visit of Thailand Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul. With several Indian gangsters known to have operated out of Bangkok and other cities of Thailand, the visiting Minister said the two sides were keen on accelerating negotiations on transfer of sentenced persons and an extradition treaty. At present, the India-Thailand Joint Working Group on Security Cooperation looks into transnational crimes, counter terrorism and criminal justice matters. The Thai Foreign Minister also touched on the issue of connectivity. He wanted both sides to step up air connectivity in the medium term by utilising all available capacity. In the long term, he suggested accelerating the India-MyanmarThailand trilateral highway besides focussing on connecting Indian ports with two mega port projects — Myanmar’s Dawei Port and Pak Bara in Thailand — where Thai companies are investing in a big way. On the trade front, the Minister pointed out that the Early Harvest Scheme of the proposed Free Trade Agreement had already led to near doubling of bilateral trade, making India Thailand’s 17th largest trading partner.

Sharma headed the Indian delegation to the Centenary celebrations of the African National Congress (ANC) in the South African city of Mangaung (Bloemfontein). He called on South African President Jacob Zuma, who is also the President of the ANC. Indian Prime Minister in his message described the centenary celebrations of ANC “a moving moment for all those across the world who cherish human dignity and freedom.” Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has said that economic engagement between the two countries has demonstrated dynamism in recent years and India and South Africa have coordinated their positions on many complex global issues. ANC is South Africa’s governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. Members founded the organization as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) on 8 January 1912 at the Waaihoek Wesleyan Church in Bloemfontein to increase the rights of the black South African population. John Dube, its first president, and poet and author Sol Plaatje are among its founding members. The organization became the ANC in 1923 and formed a military wing, the Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) in 1961. It has been the ruling party of post-apartheid South Africa on the national level since 1994. It increased its majority in the 1999 elections, and further increased it in 2004, with 69.7% of the votes. In 2009 its share of the vote reduced slightly, but it remained the dominant party with 65.9% of the votes.

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India for Security Council Representation from Africa
Strongly pitching for the expansion of permanent membership of the U.N. Security Council, India has said the powerful body should have representation from developing countries, including Africa. Taking part in a Security Council debate on U.N.-African Union partnership at the U.N. headquarters in New York, India’s Permanent Representative Hardeep Singh Puri said as much as two-third of the active items on the Council’s agenda concerned Africa and about three-fourth of the Council’s time was spent on African issues. Mr. Puri added that for an effective and enduring cooperation between the U.N. and A.U., it was necessary that the Council not adopt a selective approach to this cooperation. Partnership should not be restricted only to the areas of the Council’s convenience but also extend to areas where there may be differences, and be based on mutual respect. “This requires a mindset change in approach and demands expansion of the permanent membership to make the Council reflective of contemporary realities and increased representation from developing countries, including Africa,” he said.

India Signs MoU on Tourism with ASEAN
India has signed a MoU with ASEAN to promote tourism that will serve as the key instrument for more action oriented cooperation, encouraging both parties to cooperate in facilitating travel and tourist visit and further strengthening the close tourism partnership. India was satisfied with the progress made in the implementation of the work plan for the development of ASEAN-India cooperation in Buddhist pilgrimage tourism including the production and promotion of materials and documentary films on Buddhist pilgrimage in ASEAN-India. India said since the number of tourist arrivals between ASEAN and India had shown steady growth, the establishment of ASEAN Promotional Chapter in Mumbai would act as a tourism marketing and promotion agency of ASEAN National Tourism Organisation.

Centenary Celebrations of African National Congress
Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles Anand

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ECONOMY@IP...

THE EUROZONE CRISIS AND ITS IMPACT ON INDIA
The Eurozone’s experiment of different countries coming together to form a common Monetary Union is under a grave threat of disintegrating in the face of severe debt crisis facing several member countries. The welfare-oriented states in Europe have run up huge deficits that are fast becoming unsustainable. In the absence of readily visible solutions to the crisis, management of the issue is going to test European leadership to the limit. India would also not remain unaffected from the global contagion that a European crisis might unleash. Eurozone is an Economic and Monetary Union comprised of seventeen member states of the European Union. Members of the Eurozone have Euro (€) as their common currency and the monetary policy of the Eurozone is laid out by the European Central Bank (ECB). Fiscal Policy, however, is the domain of individual member countries. on overall global economy. Till the time the debt crisis was confined to a few small countries, they could be rescued by other European countries who gave loans to substitute for the credit denied by private lending markets. For example, Greece, Ireland and Portugal were all given loans by the ECB. However, whereas these countries could be extended some support in 2010, larger countries are now facing a crisis, making it difficult to come out with bailout packages. With Spain, Italy and possibly France now under financial assault, the situation has changed dramatically. There are more debtor nations and more debt at risk. In 2010, Italy’s debt was 1.8 trillion euros; Spain’s 639 billion euros; and France’s 1.6 trillion euros. With slowing GDP growth, large welfare budgets and popular opposition to measures towards curbing entitlements, the situation in Europe has become extremely fragile. At present, Germany is the only large Eurozone country with a sound economy, and it cannot be expected to bail out all of Eurozone on its own. Efforts at confronting the crisis have also been adhoc and short-sighted. Rather than trying to address the fundamental issues that gave rise to such a widespread crisis, leaders have so far tried to muddle through decisions such as devising rescue packages for Greece et al. However, while these steps were partially successful with the smaller economies, there is no hope of similar measures for the larger economies that now face trouble. First of all, there is not enough money to bail out these countries, and secondly, in the absence of fundamental changes to the economy and drastic restructuring of the welfareoriented European state model, there is little hope of avoiding a full-blown default, particularly in the face of poor GDP growth across the Eurozone. In addition, adoption of austerity measures through steps such as spending cuts (by governments), tax increases etc., that is a standard practice to deal with high public debt, may work for individual countries or even a few countries at a time. But if most of Europe embraces austerity, it would lead to slowdown of economic growth and possible recession. Lower economic growth translates into lower tax revenues which in turn makes it harder for countries to service their debts. This leads to further worsening of the financial crisis, creating a vicious circle. Countries find it difficult to raise further debt, and have to pay higher interest, again worsening the debt situation. This is precisely the situation Europe faces at present. Rates on sovereign bonds of the crisis ridden countries are steadily increasing with stagnant and even decreasing growth. Under the vaunted “European model” European citizens have become accustomed to one of the most generous welfare packages in the world, one that is now threatening the very vitals of European economy. However, as recent events in France, Greece and other European countries show, there is widespread public opposition to any attempt at cutting the welfare entitlements. This makes crisis management even more difficult. With a common currency and monetary policy, the weaker countries have been trying to shift costs to others, and this is straining the very idea of Eurozone to the limits, with many sceptics now calling for an end to the Euro experiment.

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The Sovereign Debt Crisis in Eurozone
The crisis now sweeping Eurozone arises from the basic fact that many countries have accumulated too much debt and do not have high enough growth to even finance this debt. In addition, due to a common monetary union, woes of countries such as Greece, Ireland, Spain etc are now being transferred to fiscally stronger countries such as Germany, thus impacting the economies of these countries as well. The Euro as a common currency of countries with disparate political and fiscal policies meant that the crisis spread across the Eurozone. If each of these countries would have had a separate currency and monetary policy, the crisis would have been localised instead of having spread across the Eurozone. Europe represents about one-fifth of the world economy and a crisis there is hence going to have a severe impact

Possible solutions to the crisis
A number of suggestions have been put forth to tackle the crisis. We examine these briefly. 1. Common European bond: Creation of a common Euro bond that would allow the weaker countries to share

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Germany’s credit rating and hence borrow at lower rates. However, for this, Germany would have to guarantee other countries’ debts. This is highly unlikely. 2. ECB buys bonds of weak countries: It has been proposed that the ECB buys bonds of the heavily indebted Eurozone members. The ECB has earlier bought Greek, Irish and Portuguese bonds and is now buying Italian and Spanish bonds. But this is not a bottomless pit and purchases would have to stop at some point. The ECB can theoretically keep on printing new currency and buy bonds, but this would lead to an inflationary flood of money, creating another crisis. 3. IMF rescue: Another suggestion is for the International Monetary Fund to organize a global rescue package worth trillions of euros. Europe’s debtor nations could borrow at low rates with long maturities. Once debt pressures were relieved, Europe could follow more pro-growth economic policies. However, such a large package would need financing from countries with huge foreign exchange reserves – the oil producing countries and/or China (which has reserves of $3.2 trillion). Whether China would bailout Europe remains to be seen, and entails complicated issues of geopolitics other than finance. 4. Partial write-off of debts or outright default: It has also been suggested that some European nations could negotiate write-downs on their debts or default on them. Superficially, this seems a solution. But it would create other problems. Defaults would inflict huge losses on banks, insurance companies and pensions. Many European banks might collapse unless rescued. Who would rescue them? Confidence would plunge. A recession would seem unavoidable. Defaulting countries would also have

trouble borrowing in the future. As we have seen, there are no easy solutions to the crisis confronting Eurozone. However, the urgency for solid steps to confront the issue is also increasing by the day, as otherwise, not only could the situation in effected countries worsen, it could also spread to other countries, and lead to a fullblown global economic crisis. It remains to be seen what action the European leadership finally takes to tackle this situation.

demand), and depreciation in currency (due to flight of capital). Another way in which India could be impacted is through a slowdown in remittances and NRI deposits. In the wake of a crisis, remittances from abroad could slow down and a significant number of expatriates might even lose jobs and move back to India, thus straining the local economy. Finally, a slowdown would impact global investor confidence and rather than taking even moderate risk, individuals and corporations might prefer to put their money in safe avenues such as gold and government bonds, thus leading to slowdown in capital investment. As a developing country, such a slowdown would adversely affect India which is in severe need of capital for long term growth. This would be another possible negative impact of the crisis. In addition to the possibilities outlined above, the Indian economy could be affected in thousands of other ways, as it is practically impossible to identify all the interlinkages between India and the global economy in this day and age of increasing integration.

Potential impact on India
The Eurozone crisis could impact India in a number of ways. First of all, the EU (excluding UK) accounts for roughly 30% of the country’s merchandise foreign trade (export and import). A slowdown in Europe would naturally have a negative impact on foreign trade and lead to loss of revenue as well as jobs in export-oriented industries. The impact of a slowdown would be much more severe in the service sector (particularly BPO and software) where trade is skewed in India’s favour. In addition, if the European contagion spreads and leads to a global slowdown, this would impact India’s trade with other countries as well and thus hit the domestic economy directly as well as indirectly. Lower incomes, job loss etc. would also translate into lower domestic demand, thus leading to slower growth even in the sectors dependent on domestic demand. Secondly, the impact of the crisis would be felt in the financial market. The first portends of this may already be visible, with the Indian markets declining by nearly 4% this last month alone. In addition to decline in security markets, one can expect to see a rise in gold prices (gold being the globallypreferred safe asset, its prices show a sharp spike during any crisis), fall in commodity prices (due to lower

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Conclusion
Another school of thought says that a slowdown in Europe and the US could benefit emerging economies such as India due to fall in commodity prices and flow of capital from those countries to countries such as India. However, in the absence of policy initiatives to kickstart economic growth and overall climate of crisis of governance, it is difficult to see this coming to fruition. Some bold steps on the reform side might induce flow of capital, but that, at the moment, seems like a distant dream. In addition, past experience also shows that while India may not have fared as badly as parts of the world in time of a slowdown, growth was negatively and not positively affected by these developments.

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Economy News...
MONEY & BANKING
Moody’s Upgrades Indian Bonds In a move that could again attract Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) to the Indian bond market and boost the gloomy economic outlook, the global rating agency Moody’s on 21st December upgraded the credit rating of the Indian government’s bonds from the speculative to investment grade. This could help companies raise funds abroad at competitive rates. According to a release issued by the Finance Ministry, Moody’s unified India’s local and foreign currency bond ratings at Baa3. “The credit rating incorporates the … strengths such as a large, diversified economy, robust medium-term growth prospects and a strong domestic savings pool that facilitates the financing and refinancing of the government’s relatively high debt burden,” the rating agency, Investors Services, said in a statement. RBI Cautions Banks on NRE Deposit Rates Following the deregulation of interest rates on non-resident (external) rupee (NRE) deposits by the Reserve Bank of India, many banks have queued up to increase the interest rates on NRE and NRO (ordinary non-resident) deposits. Some of the banks have gone on to increase the rates by three-fold. This has, predictably, forced the Reserve Bank to advice banks to exercise caution. In a circular, the apex bank has made it clear that the interest rates offered by banks on NRE and NRO deposits cannot be higher than those offered by them on comparable domestic rupee deposits. It has further said that a prior approval of the board/ asset liability management committee may be obtained by banks while fixing interest rates on such deposits. At any point of time, individual banks should offer uniform rate at all their branches. The revised deposit rates will apply only to fresh deposits and on renewal of maturing deposits. Further, banks should closely monitor their external liability arising out of such deregulation and ensure asset-liability compatibility from systemic risk point of view. The RBI has also directed that state co-operative banks (StCBs) and district central co-operative banks (DCCBs) are free to determine their interest rates on NRE and NRO deposits of one year and above with immediate effect. Many banks have come out with attractive offers in the past few days. These include State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Indian Bank. The aim is to boost foreign currency inflows amid a depreciating rupee. RBI Unveils Draft Basel III Capital Norms for Banks The implementation of Basel III capital regulation will kickstart from January 1, 2013. It will be fully implemented by March 31, 2017. The Reserve Bank of India indicated this while releasing the draft guidelines outlining the proposed implementation of Basel III capital regulation in India. These guidelines are in response to the comprehensive reform package entitled ‘Basel III: A global regulatory framework for more resilient banks and banking systems’ of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), issued in December, 2010. The draft guidelines prescribe minimum capital requirements and also capital conservation buffer. The apex bank has said that the common equity Tier-1 (CET1) capital must be at least 5.5 per cent of the risk-weighted assets (RWAs). While stating that the Tier-1 capital must be at least 7 per cent of RWAs, it has proposed the total capital to be at least 9 per cent of RWAs. The implementation period of minimum capital requirements and deductions from common equity will begin from January 1, 2013, and be fully implemented as on March 31, 2017. Under the Basel III norms, Tier-I capital should predominantly consist of common equity. The objective is to improve the quality of capital. The draft guidelines have also proposed a capital conservation buffer in the form of common equity of 2.5 per cent of RWAs. The capital conservation buffer is designed to ensure that banks build up capital buffers during normal times (that is, outside periods of stress), which can be drawn down as losses incurred during the stressed period. The requirement is based on simple capital conservation rules designed to avoid breaches of minimum capital requirements. The capital conservation buffer in the form of a common equity will be phased in over four years in a uniform manner. The capital conservation buffer requirement is proposed to be implemented between March 31, 2014, and March 31, 2017. The draft guidelines have also indicated that a counter-cyclical buffer within a range of 0-2.5 per cent of common equity or other fully loss absorbing capital will be implemented according to national circumstances. “The purpose of countercyclical buffer is to achieve the broader macro-prudential goal of protecting the banking sector from periods of excessive aggregate credit growth,’’ the Reserve Bank says. The countercyclical capital buffer would be introduced as an extension of the capital conservation buffer range. According to the guidelines, instruments, which no longer qualify as regulatory capital instruments, will be phased out during the period beginning from January 1, 2013, to March 31, 2022. For OTC derivatives, in addition to the capital charge for counterparty default risk under current exposure method, banks will be required to compute an additional credit value adjustments (CVA) risk capital charge. The parallel run for the leverage ratio will be from January 1, 2013, to January 1, 2017, during which banks are expected to strive to operate at a minimum Tier-1 leverage ratio of five per cent. The leverage ratio requirement will be finalised taking into account the final proposal of the Basel Committee.

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Economy@IP

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

No Floating Interest Rates on Small Savings Schemes: Fin Min The Centre on 4th January clarified that, barring the Public Provident Fund (PPF), the rates of interest on all small savings schemes will remain fixed throughout the tenure of investment. The Finance Ministry said that the interest rates applicable on small savings instruments schemes would be announced on April 1 each year and that the rate would remain valid till the maturity of the scheme. In the case of the 15-year PPF scheme, however, the rate of interest would not remain fixed for the entire period as the interest accruals in the PPF account each year would vary, depending on the interest rate announced for that particular year. It may be recalled that to stem the outflow of funds from small savings schemes administered by the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) in view of the investor preference for bank term deposits, which fetched higher returns, the government hiked the interest rates on small savings deposits schemes of various maturities with effect from December 1, 2011. Alongside, it also hiked the interest rates on PPF deposits from 8 per cent to 8.6 per cent while raising the ceiling on annual contributions to the fund to Rs.1 lakh from Rs.70,000. However, to clear the confusion over the returns on investment in small savings schemes, the Finance Ministry pointed out that the rate prevailing at the time of investments will remain fixed and unchanged till the maturity of the investment. Any revisions in interest rates in the subsequent years, it said, would only be applicable to the investments made in the relevant period.

their currencies, in case of need. According to the joint statement issued after the meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan sIngh with his visiting counterpart, Yoshihiko Noda, “This enhancement (of the currency swap) will further strengthen financial cooperation, contribute to ensuring financial market stability and further develop growing economic and trade ties between the two countries.” Both also agreed to take forward the talks on an Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy and seek early conclusion and to boost the bilateral trade to $25 bn (Rs 1.3 lakh crore) by 2014 from the present $15 bn. On civilian nuclear cooperation, both PMs directed their respective negotiators to “exert further efforts towards a conclusion of the Agreement, having due regard to each side’s relevant interests, including nuclear safety”. PM Noda also asked India to adhere to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty as soon as possible, something Indian foreign policy has been resolutely opposing for decades. Singh replied that India was committed to a unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. Both countries would enhance cooperation in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation through dialogue, bilaterally and at non-proliferation meetings, as well as at the Conference on Disarmament. They said they’d also decided to be meaningful partners at the Nuclear Security Summit at Seoul in March 2012. The joint statement also highlighted the need to conclude a social security arrangement between India and Japan to promote economic activities by private sectors of both countries. Japan also extended support for India’s bid to become a permanent member of the Nations Security Council. Prime Minister Noda also announced Japanese assistance in some gigantic infrastructure projects to be undertaken in India. Japan would help India establish high-speed trains on the DelhiMumbai route, part of the intended Golden Rail Corridor. Also, Japan has decided to extend loans totaling ¥134.3 bn to two projects – phase III of the Delhi Mass Rapid Transport System and the West Bengal Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Project. For development of the second phase of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, the Japanese PM announced assistance of $4.5 bn (Rs 23,800 crore) over the next five years. A cultural extravaganza to mark 60 years of diplomatic ties between India and Japan is set to be held in India early next year. The three-month ‘Passage to the next generation’ beginning January 2012 would include performing art events, exhibitions, symposiums, film screenings and more. Rich Nations cannot hold ‘hostage’ Interests of Majority: India Trade cannot flourish if interests of three-fourths of world’s population are held hostage to commercial interests of a few rich nations, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva. He conveyed India’s strong reservations on proposals, which seek to get global trade agreements involving only a small number of

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INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Japan and India Sign Currency Swap Agreement India and Japan on 29th December signed a revised $15 billion currency swap deal aimed at easing potential shortterm liquidity problems. The pact allows them to swap their currencies for US dollars and tap into each other’s foreign exchange reserves. The move came amid increased volatility in both the Japanese yen and the Indian rupee. The deal will help both nations stabilise their currencies, especially in the current uncertain global economic environment. A dollar swap arrangement can help emerging economies as it promises a supply of dollars in an emergency. The two Asian giants had a swap deal for $3 billion which was signed in 2008 but it expired June this year. Talks between the two countries have been on to finalise a revised deal which was signed during Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda’s visit to India. Japan’s foreign reserves hit an all-time high of $1.3 trillion in November, and experts say a swap arrangement may help support the Indian rupee, Asia’s worst performing currency this year. India’s reserves have declined because of the rupee depreciation. The currency swap would take place between the Reserve Bank of India and its counterpart in Tokyo, the Bank of Japan. The two central banks would give each other dollars to stabilise

INDIA PREPARES

Economy@IP

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

WTO members. As the Doha round talks continues to linger for almost ten years now, suggestions are being made by rich countries like the U.S. that the key members of developed and developing groupings can sit in smaller groups and work out deals, a move being vehemently opposed by India. Mr. Sharma said India was open to considering new issues within the mandates of the regular WTO organs as long as these are discussed in inclusive and transparent manner. India said the countries, which were once harbingers of free trade, had themselves started looking inwards. Protectionist measures must be resisted by all WTO members and the multilateral institutions must be strengthened. In the challenging backdrop of global economic downturn, all countries must eschew protectionism which can only be counter-productive as it will deepen the recession and delay recovery. He said the need of the hour was enhanced economic engagement and free flow of trade. He said the global community must maintain the spirit of multilateralism. Praising efforts of the multilateral agency he said the WTO has stood as a bulwark against a rising tide of protectionism. Government Opens Domestic Equity Market to Qualified Foreign Investors In a major policy decision, the Centre said it would allow Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) to directly invest in Indian equity market in order to widen the class of investors, attract more foreign funds, reduce market volatility and deepen the Indian capital market. The move comes in the wake of permission given to the QFIs to have direct access to Indian Mutual Funds schemes that were announced in the Union budget. The new scheme is expected to be operationalised by January 15 after the regulators, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI), issue relevant circulars. The scheme also comes in the wake of a sizeable foreign capital outflow from the Indian equity market that led to volatility of the rupee. Significant outflow by FIIs saw the rupee plunging to an all-time low of over Rs. 54 against the dollar last month. Foreign capital inflows to India have significantly gained importance over the years. These flows have been influenced by strong domestic fundamentals and buoyant yields, reflecting robust corporate sector performance.

cent between 2010 and 2011 – the slowest rate in a decade. Most of the growth in development assistance for health over the past two years came from the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which greatly expanded its loans to middle-income countries as the economic crisis worsened in 2009. Health funding through United Nations agencies plateaued in 2011, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced in November that it would make no new grants until 2014 due to funding shortfalls. Preliminary estimates indicate that health assistance channelled through the Global Fund declined by $529 million, or 16 per cent, between 2010 and 2011. After a decade of rapid increases in development assistance, the U.S. has greatly slowed the pace of growth to 2 per cent between 2010 and 2011 and development assistance to nongovernmental organisations increased by 8 per cent from 2010 to 2011, after two years of drops in funding, the report says.

INFRASTRUCTURE
Telecom Commission for Uniform Licence Fee of 8 % In a move that would put more financial pressure on telecom operators, Telecom Commission, the decision-making body of the Department of Telecommunications, has recommended a uniform license fee of 8 per cent of adjusted gross revenues (AGR) as against the prevalent rate of 6-8 per cent depending upon the type of service and circle a firm is operating. It is also learnt that the Telecom Commission is likely to impose one-time charges on extra 2G spectrum that operators have been holding beyond the contractual limit of 6.2 MHz. The universal licence fee will be implemented in two phases over a period of two years. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had also recommended a charge of 8 per cent of AGR for deciding the license fee. The TRAI has recommended that each MHz of additional spectrum (beyond 6.2 MHz of contractual radio waves) held by operators should have one-time cost of Rs.4,571.87 crore (pan-India). The Telecom Commission had also recommended that in future additional spectrum would be allotted through the auction route. The Telecom Commission had accepted the TRAI recommendation on merger and acquisition (M&A) that would help consolidation of the mobile sector that today has around a dozen players, highest in the world. TRAI has recommended to clear cases of M&A having below 35 per cent market share and spectrum not exceeding 25 per cent of the total spectrum. The Telecom Commission has also accepted the TRAI’s recommendations on spectrum sharing that would be permitted between any two licensees holding spectrum, subject to the condition that the total bandwidth would not cross the permissible limit under mergers. The permission would be for five years, subject to renewal for one more term of five years. NTPC Clears Two Mega Projects The board of NTPC has approved proposals for setting up two

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SOCIAL SECTOR
Slowdown in Growth of Global Health Funding Developed countries and funding agencies are putting the brakes on growth in development assistance for health, raising the possibility that developing countries will have an even harder time meeting the Millennium Development Goal deadline looming in 2015, according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Even as aid continued to grow, reaching $27.73 billion in 2011, significant cutbacks in the United States slowed the growth rate in development assistance to 4 per

INDIA PREPARES

Economy@IP

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

mega power projects in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka at an estimated cost of Rs.18,346.59 crore. The company said it would invest Rs.15,166.19 crore for the upcoming 3x800 MW Kudgi super thermal power project in Karnataka. The project is awaiting clearance of Ministry of Environment and Forests. NTPC would also invest Rs.3,180.40 crore for 500 MW Stage-V of the Vindhyachal super thermal power project in Madhya Pradesh. This unit is also awaiting environmental clearance. Stage-I (6x210 MW) Stage-II (2x500 MW) and Stage - III (2x500 MW) of the Vindhyachal project are under commercial operation. StageIV (2x500 MW) of the project is now under construction, it said. In a related development, NTPC has signed an agreement with Madhya Pradesh Power Trading Company (MP Tradeco) for supply of power from a 50-MW solar photovoltaic plant proposed to be set up at Rajgarh in Madhya Pradesh. Telecom Tribunal sets Aside Penalties on New Operators In a major development, Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on 13th January set aside all penalties imposed by the government on new telecom operators for delay in meeting roll out obligations of services. The TDSAT bench headed by Justice S. B. Sinha said that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) did not follow ‘principals of natural justice’ and did not give any opportunity to the telecom operators before imposing penalty or liquidated damages. The tribunal further directed the government to refund the amount collected from the operators with 12 per cent interest within four weeks. According to estimates available, the DoT has collected so far over Rs.300 crore against claims of about Rs.400 crore from the new telecom operators as liquidated damages in the last one year. The DoT had imposed penalty over the operators, who were allotted spectrum in 2008 during the tenure of former Telecom Minister A. Raja for delay in raising necessary infrastructure to commence their service obligations.

or process that it considers necessary from the point of view of health, safety, environment and prevention of deceptive practice. At present, about 77 items, including cement, mineral water and milk products, are certified through mandatory hallmarking under the BIS Act for conformity with expected quality levels. The BIS hallmark bestows on the consumer additional confidence on the quality of products such as gold jewellery. PSUs to Enforce Minorities’ Sub-quota The government on 2nd January directed the PSUs to ensure that its decision to carve out a 4.5 per cent sub-quota in jobs for minorities out of 27 per cent for OBCs, is implemented in all recruitment from January 1, this year. The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has written to the administrative ministries of different Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) asking them to seek compliance from the CEOs of the PSUs on minorities’ sub-quota from the quota for Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The Department of Personnel and Training has already notified the decision taken by the Cabinet on December 22. Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) have been notified as minority communities under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. The decision is based on the recommendations of the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities. There are 249 CPSEs employing about 15 lakh people. China Building Asia’s Biggest Thermal Power Plant China’s Shenhua Group will build the largest coal-fired power station in Asia over the next five years. China’s biggest coal company and officials in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region signed a deal for the 8-gigawatt thermal plant on 22nd December. The plant would be built in the southern port city of Beihai to help ease power shortages caused by drought, which has strained power supplies. China relies on coal for nearly 70 per cent of its energy needs. Shenhua’s plans come days after local governments were ordered to reduce emissions of “major pollutants” by as much as 10 percent by 2015. China is the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter. Shenhua and the Guangxi government will ensure the new plant’s eight power generators get a steady supply of coal from company mines in Indonesia and Australia by building four 100,000-tonne deepwater loading docks. Beihai city will also build a coal storage facility capable of handling 30 million tonnes a year in the nearby port of Tieshan. Israel to Help Boost Farm Output in 7 Indian States Israel will launch a plan in seven Indian states to boost agriculture productivity and help local farmers with technical know-how. The new action plan will be launched in April in the Indian states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Main objective of the new plan is to run activities in cooperation with state governments and local experts which can enhance productivity and benefit local farmers with know-how and technologies of Israel. Israeli techniques for a sustainable agriculture will

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MISCELLANEOUS
Hallmarking of Gold Made Mandatory In a move aimed at protecting the interests of consumers and prevent frauds in sale of gold jewellery, the Union Cabinet on 3rd January approved the proposal to make hallmarking of gold mandatory. At present, hallmarking of gold is voluntary in nature. The move to hallmark gold will certainly provide value and authenticity to the jewellery bought by the consumers and amounts to purity certification of the yellow metal. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), under the Consumer Affairs Ministry, is the administrative authority of hallmarking. The Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cleared the proposal by approving amendments to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act, 1986, that aims to expand the ambit of mandatory hallmarking to include more products, including gold. The BIS (Amendment) Bill, will empower the government to bring in compulsory certification regime any article and/

INDIA PREPARES

Economy@IP

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

be imparted to local farmers with the help of Indian experts to enable them to produce a quality crop in reasonable cost and help them yielding high results. A few projects with the cooperation of Israel are already running in parts of Rajasthan, Haryana etc. The activities will be related with different fields including cultivation and water management-treatment, he added. India to Become World’s 5th Largest Economy by 2020: CEBR Report Moving past the global economic powerhouses like the U.K., Germany and France, the Indian economy would become the world’s fifth largest by 2020 - a major jump from its 10th rank currently, economic think-tank ‘Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR)’ has said in its latest ‘World Economic League Table’ report. According to the latest data available with the World Bank, India was the world’s 9th largest economy at the end of 2010 with a size of USD 1.73 trillion (based on the GDP figures at the current U.S. dollar rates). The World Bank data puts the U.S. as the world’s largest economy (USD 14.6 trillion) for 2010, followed by China, Japan, Germany, France, the U.K., Brazil, Italy, India and Canada in the top ten. However, the 2010 figures were not available for all the countries, including Russia. The CEBR report has named the U.S. as the world’s biggest for 2011, followed by China, Japan, Germany and France in the top five positions. As per the CEBR projections, the U.S. would remain the world’s largest economy, followed by China, Japan, Russia and India in the top five in 2020. As per the CEBR forecast, India would be followed by Brazil (6th), Germany (7th), UK (8th), France (9th) and Italy (10th) in the top-ten league.

staple fibre (VSF) plant in the Adana Organised Industrial Zone in Turkey. The group, the world’s leading VSF manufacturer, plans to invest $500 million in the next five years to set up a 1.80-lakh tonne fully integrated VSF plant, with a captive power plant, CS2 plant and sulphuric acid plant. The VSF plant will come up in two phases. The Turkey plant capacity will cater primarily to the textile industries there. At present, 100 per cent of VSF used in the textile and non-woven sectors is imported. The group will export around 20 per cent of the VSF produced in Turkey to the European Union and other neighbouring countries. CMC Ltd. Named among top Firms for Corporate Governance CMC Ltd., a Tata group firm and subsidiary of the country’s top software company TCS, has been recognised as one of the top seven companies in India for adopting good corporate governance practices. CMC said on 23rd December that it has also been conferred by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) with ‘Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Corporate Governance’ for second consecutive year. Incorporated in 1975, CMC employs around 7400 people and has a wholly owned subsidiary in the US called CMC Americas, Inc. Reliance Makes a Major foray into Media Sector Reliance Industries, India’s biggest listed company, is expanding its footprint in the media sector, with a major investment in the TV18 group which will effectively fund a consolidation with the Eenadu TV media group. In return, the Reliance will get preferential access to content from TV18, which runs television channels and websites including CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV18 and Colors. This content can then be distributed through Reliance subsidiary firm Infotel, which is setting up a 4G wireless broadband network across the country. Samsung Gets Government Approval for China Chip Factory Samsung Electronics has won government approval for its plans to set up a memory-chip factory in China. Giving it the go-ahead, Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge and Economy said it would provide regular security consultancy to prevent any technology leaks. Samsung, the world’s biggest memory chipmaker, has been seeking to tap into the fast growing Chinese market. The new plant will make chips used in smartphones, tablets and MP3 players. Adani Group Commissions Largest Solar Power Project Adani Group on 5th January said it had commissioned the country’s largest 40 MW solar power project at Kutch district in Gujarat. Adani Group has commissioned a 40 MW solar power plant in Kutch district, Gujarat. This plant also marks Adani’s first big foray in the renewable energy sector. The Solar Power Plant is using Solar PV Technology and has over 4,00,000 Solar PV modules mounted on 21,600 structures, which are erected on 130,000 foundations. The power generated from this solar plant will be evacuated through a 66 KV line linked to a substation in Netra, located 20 km away from the project site. The project was awarded under Gujarat Solar Power policy of 2009.

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CORPORATE WORLD
TCS overtakes RIL as Country’s Most Valued Firm Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries on 30th December lost its position of the country’s most valued company to the IT giant TCS, part of the salt-to-software conglomerate Tata group. RIL’s market valuation slipped to Rs 2,26,886 crore -- a shade below Tata Consultancy Services’ Rs 2,27,282 crore. Consequently, RIL lost its long-held position (except for a brief period in August this year) of the country’s largest company in terms of market valuation. Earlier this month, RIL lost its tag of the country’s most influential stock in the Indian market to Infosys, as measured by their weightage on the stock market barometer Sensex. Earlier on August 17, Coal India had toppled RIL as the country’s most valued company, while the polyster-to-energyretail conglomerate had slipped to third position below ONGC two days later on August 19. ONGC is currently ranked third with a market cap of Rs 2,19,833 crore, while CIL is fourth at Rs 1,90,027 crore. Infosys is ranked fifth with a market cap of Rs 1,58,770 crore. AV Birla Group to invest $500 million in Turkey The $35-billion Aditya Birla group plans to set up a viscose

INDIA PREPARES

Science Spectrum

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

Science News...
NASA Powers down Discovery for the Final Time after 28 Years
NASA has powered down space shuttle Discovery for the final time, nearly three decades after it first rolled out and went on to deploy 21 satellites, including the Hubble Space Telescope, commercial spacecraft and military eavesdroppers. The payload bay of the space shuttle was closed and locked as the spacecraft was powered off for the final time on 16th December. Construction of Discovery began in August 1979 and the spacecraft was rolled out of the Palmdale factory in October 1983. It became NASA’s third operational space shuttle with its maiden voyage in August 1984. Discovery’s rich history of service featured 39 spaceflights, spanning 148,221,675 miles and 5,830 orbits of Earth. The spacecraft carried out both shuttle return-to-flight missions in 1988 and 2005 to help America’s space program rebound after tragedies, performed daring satellite repair missions in the early 1980’s, and deployed the Hubble Space Telescope and the Ulysses solar probe in 1990. It had the first rendezvous with Russian space station Mir in 1995 and final joint shuttle docking in 1998, and played an integral role in building the International Space Station. launched by a Russian Soyuz-2.1b rocket from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia on 23rd January. A malfunction occurred at the third stage of the rocket some 7 minutes after the launch. The Meridian-series communications satellites are designed to provide communications between vessels, airplanes and coastal stations on the ground. The Soyuz-2.1b is an upgraded version of Russia’s Soyuz rocket, which has been a workhorse of Russia’s manned and unmanned space programs since the 1960s. Since the beginning of the year 2011, Russia has suffered a string of failures in space industry. On February 1, Russia’s Rokot carrier rocket failed to send a military satellite to the designed orbit. On August 18, a Proton-M rocket carrying an high-power Express-AM4 communications satellite failed to reach the planned orbit. Only one week later, a Progress M-12M cargo ship also failed to reach the International Space Station due to a rocket malfunction. Russia’s Phobos-Grunt mission to Mars that carries China’s micro-satellite Yinghuo-1 was launched on Nov. 9 but also failed to reach the intended orbit.

China Launches Its Own Satellite Navigation System
In a bid to break away from the dependence on US-based Global Positioning System, (GPS), China has launched its homegrown Beidou Navigation Satellite System. Beidou started providing initial positioning, navigation and timing operational services to China and its surrounding areas from 23rd December. China was keen to assemble a home grown satellite system of its own to reduce dependence on GPS, especially for its armed forces that apprehend that that the reliance on US systems could be dangerous for the security. Six more satellites will be launched in 2012 to further improve the Beidou system and expand its service area to cover most parts of the Asia-Pacific region. China began to build the Beidou system in 2000 with a goal of breaking its dependence on the GPS and creating its own global positioning system by 2020. So far, China has launched 10 satellites for the Beidou system, with the tenth being lifted into orbit earlier this month. The Beidou system is compatible and interoperable with the world’s other major global navigation satellite systems. Beidou - which translates as the Big Dipper - promises to offer civilian users positioning information correct to the nearest 10 metres, measure speeds within 0.2 metres per second, and provide clock synchronisation signals accurate to 0.02 millionths of a second.

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Russia Launches 6 Satellites along Soyuz Rocket
A Soyuz rocket carrying six satellites launched on 16th December from French Guiana is the Russian-built rocket model’s second mission this year. It carried a French Earth observation satellite, Pleiades 1, four French micro-satellites and a Chilean Earth observation satellite. Pleiades is designed to provide images to military and civilian customers, while the four smaller satellites will be used to gather electronic intelligence for the military, according to Arianespace. The Chilean satellite will take images for mapping, agricultural monitoring and the management of natural resources, said Arianespace, the commercial arm of the 13-country European Space Agency. The satellites weighed a total of more than 4,400 pounds (2,000 kilograms). The mission was the final one in 2011 for Arianespace. A Soyuz rocket first launched from Arianespace’s complex in French Guiana in late October, carrying the first two satellites of the European Union’s Galileo navigation system. It was the maiden voyage of the Russian rocket outside the former Soviet Union.

Russian Satellite Fails to Reach Planned Orbit
The newly-launched Russian communications satellite “Meridian” failed to reach its planned orbit and crashed in the Siberia region on 23rd January, according to the Russian Aerospace Forces. The Meridian dual-purpose satellite was

Nasa’s Grail Gravity Twins Set to Orbit Moon
NASA kicked off the year 2012 with a pair of probes circling

INDIA PREPARES

Science Spectrum

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

the moon in the latest mission to understand how Earth’s closest neighbour formed. The action began on 31st December, 2011, when Grail-A swung over the south pole and braked into orbit around the moon. Its twin Grail-B executed the same maneuvers on 1st January, 2012. The arrivals completed a roundabout journey spanning three and half months and covering 2.5 million miles (4.02 million kilometres). Since Grail (Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory) were squeezed on a small rocket to save on costs, it lengthened the trip and took them 30 times longer to reach the moon than the Apollo astronauts, who took a direct three-day flight. Previous spacecraft have attempted to study the moon’s gravity about one-sixth Earth’s pull with mixed success. Grail was expected to give scientists the most detailed maps of the moon’s uneven gravitational field and insight into its interior down to the core. Since the dawn of the Space Age, more than 100 missions launched by the United States, Soviet Union, Japan, China and India have targeted Earth’s companion. NASA flew six Apollo missions that landed twelve men on the lunar surface and brought back more than 800 pounds (362.3 kilograms) of rock and soil samples. Despite all the attention, the moon remains mysterious. One of the enduring puzzles is its lopsided shape with the far side more hilly than the side that Earth sees. These differences are the result of an uneven distribution of mass. Obvious examples at the Moon’s surface include big mountain ranges or deep impact basins, but even inside the lunar body the rock will be arranged in an irregular fashion, with some regions being denser than others. All this will have a subtle influence on the pull of gravity sensed by over-flying spacecraft. Following the lunar orbit insertion, the spacecraft will perform a series on intricate burns that take about two months, and these are required to get both spacecraft down to a [55km] altitude; and once that’s done, that’s when the science for Grail can begin. Grail will map the small variations in gravity across the Moon. The Grail twins will make their measurements by carrying out a carefully calibrated pursuit of each other. As the lead spacecraft flies through the uneven gravity field, it will experience small accelerations or decelerations. The second spacecraft, following some 100-200km behind, will detect these disturbances as very slight changes in the separation between the pair - deviations that are not much more than the width of a human red blood cell. When the gravity map is combined with comparable-resolution topographical information showing the surface highs and lows, scientists should be able to deduce the Moon’s probable internal structure and composition. This is fundamental knowledge that will play into theories of how the lunar body formed and how it has evolved over time.

orbiting a sun-like star outside our solar system. The planets, called Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f, are too close to their star to be in the so-called habitable zone where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface, but they are the smallest exoplanets ever confirmed around a star like our sun. According to NASA, the new planets are thought to be rocky. Kepler-20e is slightly smaller than Venus, measuring 0.87 times the radius of Earth. Kepler-20f is a bit larger than Earth, measuring 1.03 times its radius. Both planets reside in a fiveplanet system called Kepler-20, nearly 1,000 light-years away in the constellation Lyra. In our own solar system, the small rocky planets are closest to the sun, while gaseous giants are on the periphery. But the five-planet system has no such dividing line; big and small planets alternate as one move away from the star. Since it was launched in 2009, NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler telescope has found evidence of dozens of possible Earth-sized planets. But this is the first to provide confirmation.

U.S. Regulator Approves New Reactor Design
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission has voted to approve a rule certifying an amended version of nuclear reactor producer Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor design for use in the U.S. The NRC said that this amended certification would be incorporated into regulations and be valid for 15 years. NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said “enhanced safety margins through use of simplified, inherent, passive, or other innovative safety and security functions, and also has been assessed to ensure it could withstand damage from an aircraft impact without significant release of radioactive materials.” Specifically, the AP1000 includes design improvements that will ensure that it shuts down safely in the event of a catastrophic loss of electrical power, as occurred in the Fukushima-Daiichi case. The NRC noted that the AP1000 was a 1,100 MW electric pressurised-water reactor that included “passive safety features that would cool down the reactor after an accident without the need for human intervention.” The biggest difference between the AP1000 and existing reactors is its safety systems, including a massive water tank on top of its cylindrical concrete-and-steel shielding building. In case of an accident, water would flow down and cool the steel container that holds critical parts of the reactor including its hot, radioactive nuclear fuel.

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Russia Hands over Nerpa to India
Russia has handed over the much-awaited nuclear-powered attack submarine NERPA to India on a 10-year lease, boosting the Indian navy’s fire-power. The Akula-II class Nerpa nuclear submarine had recently finished sea trials. “The signing ceremony happened on 31st December at the Bolshoi Kamen ship building facility in the (Far East) Primorye region where the Nerpa is now based. The deal for the submarine, which is being transferred on a 10-year lease, was worth $920 million.

Two Earth-size Planets Spotted Beyond Solar System
The Kepler mission has discovered the first Earth-size planets

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Indian crew would sail the Akula II class craft to its home base at the end of January. The submarine, capable of remaining underwater for months, will be rechristened as ‘INS Chakra’ and it would be for the first time in more than two decades that the Indian navy would have a nuclear attack submarine. When Russia makes the delivery, it will make India only the sixth operator of nuclear submarines in the world. The Nerpa, an Akula II-class attack submarine, had originally been scheduled for delivery in 2008 but an accident during sea trials on November 8 that year had forced the Russian authorities to put it on hold. The Akula-II class submarines are equipped with 28 nuclearcapable cruise missiles with a striking range of 3,000 km. The Indian version is reportedly expected to be armed with the 300-km Club nuclear-capable missiles. India had funded the completion of the Nerpa nuclear submarine at Amur Shipyard before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Vikrant. The keel of the carrier was laid in February 2009.

World’s First Hybrid Sharks Found in Australia: Report
Researchers have discovered the world’s first hybrid sharks in Australian waters, indicating that animals are adapting to climate change for survival. Leading researchers in marine biology have come across 57 animals along a 2,000-km stretch from Queensland to New South Wales which they believe are the result of cross-breeding between the common blacktip shark and Australian blacktip shark, two related but genetically distinct species. The inter-breeding between the two species shows that the animals are adapting to climate change and the hybridisation can make the fishes stronger, the scientists said. “Hybridisation can enable sharks to adapt to ecological change as the smaller Australian blacktip currently favours tropical waters in the north while the larger common black tip is more abundant in sub-tropical and temperate waters along the south-eastern Australian coastline,” one researcher said.

India to spend €950 million on Missiles for Mirage 2000

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India on 4th January cleared a €950-million deal to procure 500 air-to-air missiles from a French firm for the Indian Air Force’s Mirage 2000 aircraft fleet. Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared the deal to procure 490 MICA missiles manufactured by French firm MBDA for €950 million. The missiles would be deployed on 51 Mirage 2000 aircraft, which are already undergoing upgrades at French facilities under a €1.47-billion deal signed earlier this year. Under the deal, MBDA will have to do offsets worth 30 per cent of the deal meaning that they will have to invest €315 million back in the Indian defence sector. The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) mandates that foreign vendors bagging deals worth over Rs. 300 crore have to invest back at least 30 per cent of the contract’s worth into Indian defence, civil aerospace and homeland security sector.

British Survey Reveals Antarctica ‘Sans Ice’
An international team, led by British Antarctic Survey, has revealed the soaring mountain peaks and the deep valleys hidden beneath Antarctica’s ice sheet in its map, using decades of data acquired by planes, ships and satellites. The map, BEDMAP2, gives the close-up view of Antarctica without its ice, say the scientists, adding that it provides critical information for understanding how the white continent might respond to climate change. The Australian Antarctic Division and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) played a major role in collecting some of this data over three seasons of aerial radar surveys out of Casey and through the Antarctica’s Gamburtsev Province project (AGAP) in 2008-09. The map reveals deep troughs within the interior of the continent, where the bedrock is far below sea level, and rugged mountain ranges peaking at 3000 metres -- the height of European Alps -- but hidden below over 1000 metres of ice. Team member Dr Roland Warner said the map will enable scientists to use real bedrock to apply the physics of how ice flows across Antarctica. “These improvements are central to more accurate predictions of how Antarctica will respond to climate change and what that means for future sea level.” Dr Warner says that when radar pulses penetrate the ice sheet and hit bedrock, they bounce back, and these returning echoes can be used to measure the thickness of the ice and hence the depth of the bedrock. More survey data is needed to improve the detail of BEDMAP2 in two large regions; in the Australian Antarctic Territory between the Gamburtsev Mountains and the coast near Davis Station, and south of the Shackleton mountain range towards the South Pole, say the scientists.

US Unveils New Helicopter-like Surveillance Drone
The US Army will deploy a newly-developed helicopter-like unmanned drone in Afghanistan with a wide-area surveillance sensor suite that could beam back clearer images of the surrounding terrain. The army said the new Boeing-built A160 Hummingbird promised American soldiers “an unprecedented capability to track and monitor activity on the ground”. Beginning in May or June of 2012, the Army will deploy three A160 Hummingbird Vertical-Take-Off-and-Landing Unmanned Aerial Systems, or VTOL-UAS, to Afghanistan as part of a Quick Reaction Capability.

Navy Floats out First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier
The first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) of the Navy was floated out at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), on 29th December. The aircraft carrier, a 40,000-tonne fleet air defence platform of the Navy, will be named after the legendary INS

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The Hoff’ Crab is New Ocean Find
UK scientists have found prodigious numbers of a new crab species on the Southern Ocean floor that they have dubbed “The Hoff” because of its hairy chest. The animal was discovered living around volcanic vents off South Georgia. It is, however, a type of yeti crab, said Professor Alex Rogers who led the research cruise that found the animal, and it will be given a formal scientific name in due course. Yeti crabs were first identified in the southern Pacific and are recognised for their hairs, or setae, along their claws and limbs that they use to cultivate the bacteria which they then eat. But the new species found around the vents that populate the East Scotia Ridge are slightly different in that they exhibit long setae on their ventral surface - on their undersides.

last month from scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute who had identified this target within the parasite as a potential ‘Achilles’ heel’ that could hold significant promise for vaccine development. The most deadly form of mosquito, Plasmodium falciparum, is responsible for nine out of ten deaths from malaria. Vaccinating against malaria is likely to be the most cost-effective way of protecting populations against disease; however, no licensed vaccine is currently available. Another vaccine for malaria is also achieving promising but incomplete levels of protection in clinical trials in Africa; scientists believe a new and more effective vaccine will be required to eradicate the disease. In a paper in the journal Nature Communications, a team of scientists demonstrate that a vaccine they have developed induces an antibody response in animal models capable of neutralising all the tested strains of the P. falciparum parasite. The team has created a vaccine that confirms the recent discovery relating to the biology of RH5 antigen, given it can generate an immune response in animal models capable of neutralising many strains of the P. falciparum parasite, the deadliest species of malaria parasite.”

More Potent Ways to Design HIV Drugs Found
In perhaps the most comprehensive survey of the inner workings of HIV, an international team of scientists led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco has mapped every apparent physical interaction the virus makes with components of the human cells it infects. This work may reveal new ways to design future HIV/AIDS drugs. The papers published on December 22 in the journal Nature, the survey reveals a pathogenic landscape in which HIV’s handful of proteins makes hundreds of physical connections with human proteins and other components inside the cell. In one paper, the team details 497 such connections. Disrupting these connections may interfere with HIV’s lifecycle, and the existence of so many new connections suggests there may be several novel ways to target the virus. The researchers discovered that an HIV protein called Vif makes a physical connection with a human protein called CBF-â, hijacking its function. This virus requires this action to function, which suggests that disrupting the connection may be a viable way to design new HIV/AIDS therapies. The UCSF-led study has provided the most comprehensive and detailed picture to date of all the interactions HIV has with the human cells it infects, and identifying these interactions may lead to the development of new drugs to treat the disease. Of the 497 specific interactions between HIV and human proteins discovered in the new work, only 19 of those were previously reported. Interfering with this association may be a way to block the virus. Ultimately, if scientists can design compounds to do this safely and effectively, those compounds could form the basis for a new type of HIV/AIDS treatment.

LHC Reports Discovery of its First New Particle
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on the Franco-Swiss border has made its first clear observation of a new particle since opening in 2009. It is called Chi_b (3P) and will help scientists understand better the forces that hold matter together. The LHC is exploring some of the fundamental questions in “big physics” by colliding proton particles together in a huge underground facility. Detail in the sub-atomic wreckage from these impacts is expected to yield new information about the way the Universe is constructed. The Chi_b (3P) is a more excited state of Chi particles already seen in previous collision experiments, explained Prof Roger Jones, who works on the Atlas detector at the LHC. “The new particle is made up of a ‘beauty quark’ and a ‘beauty antiquark’, which are then bound together,” he told. “People have thought this more excited state should exist for years but nobody has managed to see it until now. “It’s also interesting for what it tells us about the forces that hold the quark and the anti-quark together - the strong nuclear force. And that’s the same force that holds, for instance, the atomic nucleus together with its protons and the neutrons.” The LHC is designed to fill in gaps in the Standard Model - the current framework devised to explain the interactions of subatomic particles - and also to look for any new physics beyond it. In particular, it is using the collisions to try to pin down the famous Higgs particle, which physicists hypothesise can explain why matter has mass.

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A Vaccine Neutralizes all Malaria Parasite Strains in Animals
A new candidate malaria vaccine with the potential to neutralise all strains of the most deadly species of malaria parasite has been developed by a team led by scientists at the University of Oxford. The results of this new vaccine independently confirm the utility of a key discovery reported

China Launches First 3D TV Channel
China has launched its first three-dimensional television channel (3D TV) on a trial basis. The channel, operated by China Central Television (CCTV) has five local stations. People

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who have 3D TV sets and high definition digital TV set-top boxes can watch the new service. Countries like Japan, South Korea and India have already launched similar services.

DRDO’s Participation in 26th Indian Engineering Congress 2011
DRDO (Defence Research Development Organisation) provided a glimpse of its strength in the field of engineering as related to key defence technologies at the “26th Indian Engineering Congress (IEC-2011)” that was inaugurated by Sh.D.V. SadanandaGowda, Chief Minister of Karnataka, at Bangalore Palace Grounds. The theme of the 26th Indian Engineering Congress being organised by the Institution of Engineers India (IEI) is “Towards Prosperous India: Challenges for Engineers” DRDO is India’s premier R&D organisation committed to empower the nation with self-reliance in the field of various defence technologies and strategic systems needed by the armed forces. With the strength of over 28000 strong work force that include over 7500 scientists, this knowledge centric organization is engaged in the design & development of stateof-the-art weapon systems & futuristic technologies.

Still, some researchers consider HPTN 052 a “game-changer” because of its near-100 percent efficacy in reducing HIV transmission rates. And, indeed, it has already sprung many clinicians and policy-makers into action. For all these reasons, Science spotlights the HPTN 052 study as the 2011 Breakthrough of the Year. Science’s and its publisher, AAAS, the non-profit science society, have identified nine other groundbreaking scientific accomplishments during 2011. The Hayabusa Mission: After some near-disastrous technical difficulties and a stunningly successful recovery, Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft returned to Earth with dust from the surface of a large, S-type asteroid. This asteroid dust represented the first direct sampling of a planetary body in 35 years, and analysis of the grains confirmed that the most common meteorites found on Earth, known as ordinary chondrules, are born from these much larger, S-type asteroids. Unraveling Human Origins: Studying the genetic code of both ancient and modern human beings, researchers discovered that many humans still carry DNA variants inherited from archaic humans, such as the mysterious Denisovans in Asia and still-unidentified ancestors in Africa. One study this year revealed how archaic humans likely shaped our modern immune systems, and an analysis of Australopithecus sediba fossils in South Africa showed that the ancient hominin possessed both primitive and Homo-like traits. Capturing a Photosynthetic Protein: In vivid detail, researchers in Japan have mapped the structure of the Photosystem II, or PSII, protein that plants use to split water into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The crystal-clear image shows off the protein’s catalytic core and reveals the specific orientation of atoms within. Now, scientists have access to this catalytic structure that is essential for life on Earth — one that may also hold the key to a powerful source of clean energy. Pristine Gas in Space: Astronomers using the Keck telescope in Hawaii to probe the faraway universe wound up discovering two clouds of hydrogen gas that seem to have maintained their original chemistry for two billion years after the big bang. Other researchers identified a star that is almost completely devoid of metals, just as the universe’s earliest stars must have been, but that formed much later. The discoveries show that pockets of matter persisted unscathed amid eons of cosmic violence. Getting to Know the Microbiome: Research into the countless microbes that dwell in the human gut demonstrated that everyone has a dominant bacterium leading the gang in their digestive tract: Bacteroides, Prevotella orRuminococcus. Follow-up studies revealed that one of these bacteria thrives on a high-protein diet while another prefers vegetarian fare. These findings and more helped to clarify the interplay between diet and microbes in nutrition and disease. A Promising Malaria Vaccine: Early results of the clinical trial

Blue Brain Project
The Blue Brain Project is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level.

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The aim of the project, founded in May 2005 by the Brain and Mind Institute of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) is to study the brain’s architectural and functional principles. The project is headed by the Institute’s director, Henry Markram. Using a Blue Gene supercomputer running Michael Hines’s NEURON software, the simulation does not consist simply of an artificial neural network, but involves a biologically realistic model of neurons. It is hoped that it will eventually shed light on the nature of consciousness.

Top 10 breakthroughs of the year 2011
The journal Science has lauded an eye-opening HIV study, known as HPTN 052, as the most important scientific breakthrough of 2011. This clinical trial demonstrated that people infected with HIV are 96 per cent less likely to transmit the virus to their partners if they take antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). According to a release from Science, the findings end a longstanding debate over whether ARVs could provide a double benefit by treating the virus in individual patients while simultaneously cutting transmission rates. It’s now clear that the drugs can provide treatment as well as prevention when it comes to HIV, researchers agree. These findings have added important momentum to a movement, already underway, that promotes the ongoing treatment of HIV to reduce viral loads in communities and could possibly eliminate HIV/AIDS epidemics in some countries. But there are many problems in implementing it on a large-scale.

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of a malaria vaccine, known as RTS,S, provided a shot in the arm to malaria vaccine research. The ongoing trial, which has enrolled more than 15,000 children from seven African countries, reassured malaria researchers, who are used to bitter disappointment, that discovering a malaria vaccine remains possible. Strange Solar Systems: This year, astronomers got their first good views of several distant planetary systems and discovered that things are pretty weird out there. First, NASA’s Kepler observatory helped identify a star system with planets orbiting in ways that today’s models cannot explain. Then, researchers discovered a gas giant caught in a rare “retrograde” orbit, a planet circling a binary star system and 10 planets that seem to be freely floating in space — all unlike anything found in our own solar system. Designer Zeolites: Zeolites are porous minerals that are used as catalysts and molecular sieves to convert oil into gasoline, purify water, filter air and produce laundry detergents (to name a few uses). This year, chemists really showed off their creativity by designing a range of new zeolites that are cheaper, thinner and better equipped to process larger organic molecules. Clearing Senescent Cells: Experiments have revealed that clearing senescent cells (those that have stopped dividing) from the bodies of mice can delay the onset of age-related symptoms. Mice whose bodies were cleared of these loitering cells didn’t live longer than their untreated cage-mates — but they did seem to live better, which provided researchers with some hope that banishing senescent cells might also prolong our golden years.

Philippines declares outbreak of deadly rat fever
Health authorities in the Philippines have declared an outbreak of a deadly rat fever in the flood-hit areas of the country’s southern region. At least five people have died and as many as 200 diagnosed in the southern city of Cagayan de Oro with leptospirosis, a fatal animal-borne disease that can result in high fever, internal bleeding and organ failure. Tropical storm Washi brought massive rains, leading to flooding in many areas of the country’s central and southern regions since December 16 in 2011. Presently, the toll caused by Washi stands at 1,258 people with many still believed to be missing. Rat-bite fever is an acute, febrile human illness caused by bacteria transmitted by rodents, rats in most cases, which is passed from rodent to human via the rodent’s urine or mucous secretions. Alternative names for rat bite fever include streptobacillary fever, streptobacillosis, spirillary fever, sodoku, and epidemic arthritic erythema. It is a rare disease spread by infected rodents and can be caused by two specific types of bacteria. Most cases occur in Japan, but specific strains of the disease are present in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Some cases are diagnosed after patients were exposed to the urine or bodily secretions of an infected animal. These secretions can come from the mouth, nose, or eyes of the rodent. The majority of cases are due to the animal’s bite. It can also be transmitted throughout food or water that is contaminated with rat feces or urine. Rats are not the only type of animal that can be infected with this disease. Others include weasels, gerbils, and squirrels. Household pets such as dogs or cats that are exposed to these animals can also carry the disease and infect humans.

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Health Issues

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

HEALTH ISSUES...

A MAJOR MILESTONE IN POLIO ERADICATION
The United Nations and leading world organizations celebrated India’s first polio free year and termed it as a major milestone in their fight against this dreaded disease. This success is the result of years of hard work on the part of Indian Government and great partnerships with Rotary International, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO and UNICEF as well as millions of volunteers, health workers and community leaders. Celebrating the occasion, the World Health Organisation said, if all pending samples for the virus test negative, India — once regarded as the world’s epicentre for polio — will become free of the disease for the first time in its history, reducing the number of polio-endemic countries to three: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. The last case of wild polio virus reported in India was exactly one year ago, on January 13, when stool samples showed that 18-month-old Rukhsar Khatoon in West Bengal had polio. She has since recovered, but it is the progress of whittling down from the largest number of cases in the world to zero that is fascinating to public health experts globally. target — eradication of polio by 2005. This involved better social mobilisation through involvement of millions of frontline workers from the private health sector, members of Rotary International, volunteers, anganwadi workers, besides the massive public health workforce. In addition, the PPI created systems – cold chains for storage and transportation of the vaccines, ensuring vaccine vial monitors on each vial, follow up and mop up campaigns to track children left out during immunisation days.

Hindrances in achieving the goal
Clearly, the nation had to overcome tremendous challenges to get here – not least of them, a huge population, the logistics of covering a vast geographical area, poor sanitation and infrastructure, resistance among some groups of people to taking the vaccine, and children of migrant communities who were difficult to cover. The greatest concern was the possibility of infections carried across borders by migrating populations. In 2011, Pakistan and Afghanistan both saw alarming increases in polio cases, and virus from Pakistan re-infected China (which had been polio-free since 1999). In Africa, active polio transmission continues in Nigeria, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with outbreaks in West and Central Africa in the past 12 months reminding the world that as long as polio exists anywhere, it remains a threat everywhere.

said to raise immunity in the mucosal lining of the gut. That makes it more difficult for the virus to replicate there and spread through faeces to others. But the oral vaccine has its drawbacks also. In rare cases, the live but attenuated viral strains in the vaccine can themselves cause polio. Moreover, these viruses can revert to virulence, resulting in what are known as vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPV). A high proportion of those immunised with OPV excretes revertant viruses,

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Polio eradication and injectable polio vaccine
With oral vaccines, India appears to have achieved what was once thought to be a Herculean task — decisively breaking the circulation of wild polio viruses that paralysed countless children. But the use of oral vaccines, which contain live but weakened strains of the virus, can be a bit like riding a tiger. Discontinuing them, without risking a resurgence of polio that would undo all that has been achieved, is going to be a tricky exercise. The endgame for complete polio eradication could well involve incorporating the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which must be administered as an injection, into the immunisation programme. While no child in India has been crippled by a wild polio virus during the past year, the country saw seven cases of paralysis caused by vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPV) during 2011. Such VDPV can

National Pulse Polio Programme
It was with the Expanded Immunisation Programme in the late 1970s that India started its battle against polio. In 1985, it became a part of the Universal Immunisation Programme launched throughout the country. A significant milestone in the journey was the launch of the National Pulse Polio Initiative (PPI) in 1995-96, targeting coverage of every child under five in the country with the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to be given on two National Immunisation Days, one each in December and January, followed by more focused state-level immunisation campaigns throughout the year. The PPI set for the nation a new

Oral polio vaccine in polio programmes
With the oral vaccine, two drops help raise the immunity of children who receive it. The ease of administration meant that gigantic mass immunisation campaigns could be carried out. Apart from blocking the polio virus from invading nerve cells and causing paralysis, the oral vaccine, by duplicating a natural infection, is

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readily circulate and spread. At present, the intention is to stop immunisation with the oral vaccine globally once the wild polio viruses have been eradicated. The challenge will be to synchronise global cessation of OPV immunisation and then manage the transition, potentially lasting several years, to the point where residual VDPVs have been eliminated. Many experts believe that the transition will have to be handled by introducing IPV, injectable vaccine that wealthy nations already use to immunise children. However, the cost of IPV, considerably more than that of OPV, has been an issue. For India, a sensible option would be to introduce IPV in its immunisation programme alongside the oral vaccine. OPV could be withdrawn as IPV immunisation levels picks up.

What’s next
For certification of eradication, two more years should pass without any case of wild virus polio. Poliovirus can remain silently in circulation for short periods; so, complacency must not set in. We must continue working as if we still have poliovirus lurking somewhere, only to show up when least expected. There is also the threat of importation of wild virus from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Vaccine viruses by themselves can rarely cause polio; the balance is roughly one case of vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) replacing 200 cases of wild virus polio. Yet, in the absence of wild virus polio, VAPP is unacceptable. Moreover, vaccine viruses may gradually

revert to wild-like properties if allowed to circulate. Such circulating vaccinederived polioviruses (cVDPV) cropped up in many OPV-using countries recently, including India since 2009. If allowed to grow, they can capture the niche vacated by wild viruses. We have to stop OPV to stop VAPP, but some cVDPV may already be in silent circulation to show up in outbreaks one or more years later. The safest solution is to introduce IPV, reach 90 per cent or more coverage and only then stop OPV. That will preempt the evolution of cVDPVs. Only after we ensure the absence of wild and vaccine polioviruses in the population can we claim complete success of polio eradication. That is the challenge of the present decade.

Poliomyelitis: pathogenesis and prevention
Poliomyelitis is caused by infection with a member of the genus Enterovirus known as poliovirus (PV). This group of RNA viruses colonize the gastrointestinal tract — specifically the oropharynx and the intestine. Poliomyelitis (polio) mainly affects young children. The virus is transmitted through contaminated food and water, and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system. Even those who do not show any symptoms can excrete the virus, thereby spreading the infection. Acute Flaccid Paralysis is a disabling condition where there is absence of muscle tone in one or both limbs, and tendon reflexes. While no ‘cure’ exists for polio, the oral polio vaccine (OPV) prevents the transmission of infection effectively. Three serotypes of poliovirus have been identified—poliovirus type 1 (PV1), type 2 (PV2), and type 3 (PV3)—each with a slightly different capsid protein. All three are extremely virulent and produce the same disease symptoms. PV1 is the most commonly encountered form, and the one most closely associated with paralysis. In immune individuals, infection or vaccination with one serotype of poliovirus does not provide immunity against the other serotypes, and full immunity requires exposure to each serotype. That’s why OPV also contains attenuated strains of the 3 types. So it is called trivalent OPV (tOPV). Among the 3 types, type 2 is the most efficient; that was why type 2 wild virus disappeared in 1999, within a few years of national pulse vaccinations. But type 2 in the tOPV also interferes with the others, making them very inefficient. From 2000, the frequency of campaigns with tOPV was increased in U.P. and Bihar, but to no avail. Type 2 had to be removed from tOPV to get the best out of types 1 and 3. In 2005 and thereafter, a new monovalent type 1 OPV (mOPV1) was used in U.P. and Bihar — it is three times more effective than tOPV. This was one factor of success. But gaps in immunity were created against type 3; consequently, type 3 outbreaks occurred in 2007-2009. Then, a bivalent vaccine (bOPV with 1 and 3) was developed. It was non-inferior to mOPV-1 or mOPV-3. From early 2010, bOPV has been widely used in U.P. and Bihar during campaigns, while tOPV is used everywhere for routine immunisation.

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Environment and Ecology

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY...

PROTECTING THE WESTERN GHATS
India has a rich and varied heritage of biodiversity, encompassing a wide spectrum of habitats from tropical rainforests to alpine vegetation and from temperate forests to coastal wetlands. India figures with two hotspots the Western Ghats and the Eastern Himalayas. The Western Ghats is an extensive region spanning over six States, 44 districts, and 142 taluks. It is indeed striking that the ghats represent an extraordinary sliver of diverse life in a populous country and have in fact survived with community support. Renowned for their flora and fauna, along with the Eastern Himalayas, these mountains and valleys hugging the Arabian Sea coast for a length of 1,500 km need an overarching protection regime that cares as much for the tribal people they have sheltered as for their biological diversity. the efforts of ecologist Norman Myers (British environmentalist specialised in biodiversity). Though this area covers barely five percent of India’s land, 27% of all species of higher plants in India (4,000 of 15,000 species) are found here. Almost 1,800 of these are endemic to the region. The range is home to at least 84 amphibian species, 16 bird species, seven mammals, and 1,600 flowering plants which are not found elsewhere in the world. Panel (WGEEP) has designated the entire hill range as an Ecologically Sensitive Area. • The panel, in its report, has classified the 142 taluks in the Western Ghats boundary into Ecologically Sensitive Zones (ESZ) 1, 2 and 3. • It recommended that no new dams based on large-scale storage be permitted in Ecologically Sensitive Zone 1. Since both the Athirappilly of Kerala and Gundia of Karnataka hydel project sites fall in Ecologically Sensitive Zone 1, these projects should not be accorded environmental clearance. • For Goa, the committee, suggested for an indefinite moratorium on new environmental clearances for mining in ESZ 1 and 2, phasing out of mining in ESZ 1 by 2016 and continuation of existing mining in ESZ 2 under strict regulation with an effective system of social audit. The moratorium on new clearances in ESZ 2 can be revisited when the situation improves and a comprehensive study on the impact of mining on the ecology, environment, human health, and biodiversity by a competent multidisciplinary team, working along with people’s institutions, has been concluded. • No new polluting industries, including coal-based power plants, should be allowed in ESZ 1 and 2. The existing red and orange category industries should be asked to switch to zero pollution by 2016, with an effective system of social audit.

Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP):
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had appointed an expert panel for the long-term conservation of this global biodiversity hotspot .The experts studied scientific reports and Supreme Court judgments, consulted the State governments involved, and listened to village panchayats and gave many salutary recommendations. The panel, headed by Madhav Gadgil (ecologist) was asked to assess the current status of ecology of the Ghats region, demarcate areas within the region that were to be notified as ecologically sensitive ones and make recommendations for the conservation, protection and rejuvenation of the entire area. The suggestion for the formation of the WGEA [Western Ghats Ecology Authority] was also among its mandate. It was subsequently asked to study the entire stretch of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts, including the coastal regions and to specifically examine the Gundia in Karnataka and Athirappilly in Tamil Nadu. The views of the panel regarding the moratorium on new mining licences in Goa were also sought by the Ministry.

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History
Historically the Western Ghats were wellcovered in dense forests that provided wild foods and natural habitats for native tribal people. Its inaccessibility made it difficult for people from the plains to cultivate the land and build settlements. After the arrival of the British in the area, large swathes of territory were cleared for agricultural plantations and timber. The forests in the Western Ghats have been severely fragmented due to human activities, especially for tea, coffee, and teak plantations during 1860 to 1950. Species that are rare, endemic and habitat specialists are more adversely affected and tend to be lost faster than other species. Complex and species rich habitats like the tropical rainforests are much more adversely affected than other habitats. The area is ecologically sensitive to development and was declared an ecological hotspot in 1988 through

• Regarding the mining and related activities in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts, the panel suggested that these are under severe environmental Recommendations of the comand social stress and it is essential mittee are: that a cumulative impact analysis • The Western Ghats Ecology Expert of various development activities in

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• A conservation biologist, an • The Panel has proposed a three-layer environmental lawyer, an agricultural system — comprising the (WGEA) scientist, a landscape ecologist, a Western Ghats Ecology Authority (as representative of a prominent tribal the apex body), the State authorities group on rotation from each State and the district ecology committees and a civil society representative — to address the environmental from each State, who has contributed challenges of the Western Ghats. The to the conservation of the Ghats, expert panel has proposed that the should be made members. The WGEA 24-member WGEA will deal with the will also have an Additional Secretary myriad environmental implications of the Ministry of Environment and in the Western Ghats, which enjoys Forests and the chairpersons of the the powers under the Environment Pollution Control Boards and the (Protection) Act. The WGEA should National Biodiversity Authority and a function in a networked fashion member of the Planning Commission. with six constituent State Western Conclusion Ghats Ecology Authorities, appointed jointly by the State Governments and The Centre is yet to take action on the the Central Ministry of Environment report as many of the concerned states have failed to submit their opinion to and Forests. the Environment Ministry. The Ministry • The panel has proposed that either had sought the opinion of all concerned a retired judge of the Supreme states including Kerala, Karnataka, Court, preferably from the Western Tamil Nadu, Goa and Maharashtra on the Ghats region, with proven integrity recommendations of the Western Ghats and sympathetic to the cause Ecology Expert Panel. Except BJP-ruled of conservation and pro-poor Karnataka, none of them have responded sustainable development or an to the Centre’s query on the report eminent ecologist/conservation prepared by the Committee. biologist of the Western Ghats

these tracts, ideally in conjunction with Raigad district of Maharashtra and Goa, must be undertaken, preferably by the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa.

region who has made substantial contribution to the conservation of the region in the last 25 years, be appointed chairman of the WGEA.

Meanwhile, six years after the Supreme Court ordered that mining operations in the Western Ghats be stopped because of environmental concerns, two government bodies, The Indian Council of Forestry and Research Education (ICFRE), Dehradun, and a working group of the Planning Commission have recommended the examination of underground techniques to see if these can be used to resume the hunt for iron ore in the area. However, the recommendations have met with resistance on the part of environmental activists. Thus, it seems clear that the political mood towards the report is not very positive. The report has once again raised the long confrontation between environment conservation and economic development. A central message that emerges from the report is that the entire ghat region meets the criteria for declaration as an ecologically sensitive area. The guidelines proposed are sound overall. Translating them into action through a statutory apex body such as a Western Ghats Ecological Authority holds the key. A balanced approach leading to a winwin situation is the need of the time and will definitely require a great deal of cerebral examination of the report and facts by the top political brass.

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Fact file
The Western Ghats or the Sahyadri is a mountain range along the western side of India. It runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain along the Arabian Sea. The Western Ghats block rainfall to the Deccan Plateau. The range starts near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra, south of the Tapti river, and runs approximately 1600 km through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala ending at Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of India. These hills cover 160,000 km² and form the catchment area for complex riverine drainage systems that drain almost 40% of India. The average elevation is around 1,200 metres (3,900 ft). The Western Ghats are not true mountains, but are the faulted edge of the Deccan Plateau. They are believed to have been formed during the break-up of the super continent of Gondwana some 150 million years ago. The major hill range starting from the north is the Sahyadhri (the benevolent mountains) range. This range is home to many hill stations like Matheran, Lonavala, Khandala, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Amboli Ghat, Kudremukh and Kodagu. The Bili giri rangana Betta, southeast of Mysore in Karnataka, meet the Shevaroys (Servarayan range) and Tirumala range farther east, linking the Western Ghats to the Eastern Ghats. In the South, the range is known as the Nilagiri malai or Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. The Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu are home to many tea and coffee plantations. The major gaps in the range are the Goa Gap, between the Maharashtra and Karnataka sections, and the Palghat Gap on the Tamil Nadu and Kerala border between the Nilgiri Hills and the Anaimalai Hills. The northern portion of the narrow coastal plain between the Western Ghats

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Environment and Ecology

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and the Arabian Sea is known as the Konkan Coast or simply Konkan, the central portion is called Kanara and the southern portion is called Malabar region or the Malabar Coast. The foothill region east of the Ghats in Maharashtra is known as Desh, while the eastern foothills of the central Karnataka state are known as Malenadu. The largest city within the mountains is the city of Pune, in the Desh region on the eastern edge of the range. The mountains intercept the rain-bearing westerly monsoon winds, and are consequently an area of high rainfall, particularly on their western side. The dense forests also contribute to the precipitation of the area by acting as a substrate for condensation of moist rising orographic winds from the sea, and releasing much of the moisture back into the air via transpiration, allowing it to later condense and fall again as rain. The Western Ghats have several manmade lakes and reservoirs. The well known lakes are the Ooty in Nilgiris, and the Kodaikanal and the Berijam in the Palani Hills. The majority of streams draining the Western Ghats and joining the Rivers Krishna and Kauveri carry water during monsoon months only and have been dammed for hydroelectric and irrigation purposes. Fast running rivers and steep slopes have provided sites for many large hydro-electric projects. There are about 50 major dams along the length of the Western Ghats. Most notable of these projects are the Koyna Hydroelectric Project in Maharashtra, the Parambikulam Dam in Kerala, and the Linganmakki Dam in Karnataka. Another major Hydro Electric project is Idukki dam in Kerala. Mullai Periyar dam near Thekkady is one of the oldest in the world and a major tourist attractions in Kerala. During the monsoon season, numerous streams fed by incessant rain drain off the mountain sides leading to numerous and often spectacular waterfalls. Among the most well known is the Jog Falls and Sivasamudram Falls. The Western Ghats are home to four tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregions – the North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests, North Western Ghats montane rain forests, South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests, and South Western Ghats montane rain forests The Government of India established many protected areas including 2 biosphere reserves, 13 National parks to restrict human access, several wildlife sanctuaries to protect specific endangered species and many Reserve Forests, which are all managed by the forest departments of their respective state to preserve some of the ecoregions still undeveloped. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve comprising 5500 km², Mudumalai National Park and Mukurthi National Park in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu form the largest contiguous protected area in the Western Ghats. The Silent Valley National park in Kerala is among the last tracts of virgin tropical evergreen forest in India.

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Perspectives

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

PERSPECTIVES...

WE THE PEOPLE
Elected Representatives vs the Civil society
When a handful of common citizens took onto streets to fight against what late PM Indira Gandhi once called 5000 yrs old malaise in India- Corruption, the Govt and many others could little fathom the nuances of the mass protest within the democratic fold of our Constitution. Many people, especially the Government tried to discredit the cause and the movement saying that the members of civil society are undermining Parliament and the Constitution. Members of the civil society, on the other hand, all this while claiming to don the mantle of the “true representatives” of the people made every attempt to legitimize all the means and tactics they employed in the protest and to prove/present themselves as more elected than the elect. All these developments led to a raging debate on the role of civil society and popular movements, and their impact on democracy. In a recent statement, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said “Elected members cannot yield to civil society” since this might undermine “parliamentary democracy.” A beleaguered UPA Government has been trying hard to discredit mass movements against corruption by declaring that civil society cannot usurp the right to legislate – a right which, in a democracy, is the exclusive preserve of elected representatives. This argument needs to be examined closely, because on the face of it, it seems to be premised on well-accepted principles of democracy. Are civil society activists and mass movements really holding Parliamentary democracy to ransom? Or is there a deeper, more shadowy threat to democracy that is kept hidden, with a skilful sleight of hand, by Chidambaram and his colleagues? In the first place, the accusation that civil society activists are seeking to replace Parliament does not hold water. Civil society activists are seeking to shape the draft of laws, and they also seek to mobilise opinion on the content of the laws and hold elected representatives accountable to such opinion. In the process, common people are more closely informed and involved about specific clauses of laws and specific debates surrounding them, than ever before. But the actual task of enacting the laws still rests with MPs in Parliament; though it is true that as a result of the civil society efforts at public participation, the debates within Parliament are more likely to be scrutinised intelligently and alertly by citizens. Chidambaram and the Congress party seem to be uncomfortable with this continuous process of public participation and scrutiny of the trajectory of laws before they reach Parliament. In an article, Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari warned against street protests, which he equated with ‘street coercion’ and fascism. P. Chidambaram criticised civil society members for challenging the Finance Minister to a televised debate, saying that after all, Parliamentary debates are televised and “voters exercise their franchise from time-totime.” What the Government seems to be suggesting is that democracy is restricted to voters’ right to elect representatives “from time-to-time.” Once people cast their vote, do they cede away their policy-shaping rights for the next five years to the representatives they elect? In other words, is the government suggesting that democracy be available to the citizens only once in five years? Do the people have no right to tell those representatives, through street protests when necessary, exactly what kind of laws they want enacted, especially when those laws often tend to have irrevocable consequences on their lives? Civil society is “the totality of voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state and the commercial institutions of the market. Together, state, market and civil society constitute the entirety of a society, and the relations between these three components determine the character of a society and its structure.” Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. This includes participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law. People’s sovereignty is the founding principle of such a system. A parliamentary system is nothing more than representative democracy in which citizens do have a right to tell their elected representatives what kind of laws they want enacted and what laws they want changed or scrapped. Mass movements for doing so strengthen democracy; they don’t weaken it as apprehended by our ‘intellectually arrogant’ ministers. In the context of the Jan Lokpal Bill, civil society activists are/were seeking to shape the draft, mobilise opinion on the content, and hold elected representatives accountable to such opinion. This is a process that is essential for the growth of democracy. Politicians and the government only expose their authoritarian streak by trying to discredit such participatory processes. The processes initiated by mass movements and civil society activists – whether we agree with all their views or not – strengthen democracy. The SEZ Act was passed by Parliament without a word of dissent. But when implemented, it became clear that those citizens it would affect most – farmers – would not accept it. Would it not have been far more democratic that farmers should have had a right to scrutinise such a law before it

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was passed in Parliament? Now, farmers’ mass protests against land grab are forcing governments to consider their opinions on existing laws on land acquisition and rehabilitation. Opinion is building in the country against the sedition law; earlier, mass protests have forced a debate on laws like AFSPA. However, despite all this a very pertinent question needs to be asked. What right does a bunch of self appointed people claiming to ‘represent’ the civil society have to undermine Constitution or its basic structure? The claim of Team Anna that they represent the Indian public is nothing but dictatorial. It is disturbing to hear ‘Team Anna’ calling themselves ‘we’. “They say – ‘We’ are better than the Parliament and ‘We’ know what is best for Indians. Who gave them the right to decide that? “Anna is India and India is Anna” reminds us of the personality cult chants of any authoritarian regime. Whether its Team Anna or any other civil society group, all groups and people, do have a right to dissent or protest in a democracy, however, holding Government or the Parliament at ransom is surely not their right. End cannot justify the means. Team Anna unwittingly conveyed a message that only coercive and unconstitutional methods work. They engaged in pure arm-twisting and blackmailing, thus setting a dangerous precedent in front of a billion plus population. There have been movements before but they all were based on constitutional methods like rallies, demonstrations, advocacy etc but Anna Hazare knew only one way- his own. It is my way or the high way. Experience with constitutional means shows that civil society activists, through their constant struggles, have persuaded the governments to acknowledge several basic rights and convert these into laws. The right to employment through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

(MGNREGA), the right to information, rights under the Forest Act, the right to education, and now the right to food, are some of the revolutionary measures that civil society has been able to accomplish through constitutional methods. Anna’s anti-corruption movement had at many times seemed more like an antigovernment protest. Anna Hazare’s movement would not have become a success if the TV and print media had not supported it. Large sections of the media went overboard in support of Team Anna, possibly because newsmen are so often excited by what is “new” that they forget to look beyond their nose. In their rush and excitement, the newshounds forgot to investigate who propped up Team Anna and what were the motives of those who were supporting a district level crusader and conferring on him the status of the second Mahatma. A democratic society should see Mr Hazare for what he is, without any illusion and without the halo of martyrdom hovering over him. The movement has been an aggregator of people but not knowledge. People are/were supporting the movement without much knowledge on deeper aspects of corruption or Jan Lokpal. Anna or Kejriwal had no time for providing this knowledge. The legitimacy of Hazare’s movement, rests solely on popularity and aggregation of people. Speaking on social media and internet, James Mayall, eminent political thinker, said while technology does play a key role in democratic decisionmaking, it, in itself, will not solve major issues. “Using e-democracy to increase public participation may work in small levels. On national and systematic levels, there will be people manipulating it. What India needs is not a new form of democracy but a structural change in the current system.”

All the people in the NAC and the IAC are exceedingly well meaning, well intentioned and incredibly capable. But, despite their qualifications, they are not accountable to the electorate of India. They are accountable to the organisations or interests that they represent. We cannot penalise them for an error in judgement the way we can our elected representatives. It is said that the Civil Society speaks for the silent majority. Therefore civil society movement should be encouraged. It is a tricky statement as it speaks for the “silent majority” which always remains silent. How are we to gauge the response of the silent majority from the actions of a few individuals who hold demonstrations in small pockets to the glare of TV and print media. Anna Hazare’s movement would not have become a success if the TV and print media had not supported it. It was an unorganized gathering of people who came there with different aims. In a political party, one can always know their approach to any subject and those who do not subsribe to that have to leave the same. Whereas in an unorgnised movement, only the loud voice prevails or the voice for which publicity is given by ridiculing the views of those who do not support it. The above narration makes one feel that a small group of people with the help of media can embarrass a Government elected through ballot papers, to succumb to the demands of a few people claiming to represent the “civil society.” This requires a deep study lest the country should lose its direction. One cannot deny that the Civil Society is not inherently virtuous; it is also fractured from within. Good governance thus does not only mean reforming the state; the reformation of society also needs to be simultaneously undertaken. Therefore the Civil Society should speak through the elected body in a state which has parliamentary type of democratic Government. Let us be cautious and not overdo it.”

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Inspirations@IP

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

INSPIRATIONS@IP...

TATA LEGACY
The 143 yr old, Tata Sons, the holding company for India’s second-biggest conglomerate will soon see a change of guard in the form of young Cyrus Mistry taking over the reigns from long standing chairman Ratan Tata. The chairman-in-waiting, who will head a group with revenues in excess of $83 billion, is expected to take the legacy of Jamsetji, JRD and Ratan many miles ahead. Mr Mistry’s job, in a sense, would be to take forward the global vision and processes initiated by Jamsetji. This essay is a modest exercise to provide an insight into the group’s history right from its inception and to appreciate the quality of the people who shaped it. Jamsetji Tata was more than merely an entrepreneur who helped India take her place in the league of industrialised nations. He was a patriot and a humanist whose ideals and vision shaped an exceptional business conglomerate. We live in an age where greatness in historical personalities is as easily exaggerated as it is inequitably scrutinised. To rise above this paradox of hyperbolic inanity on the one hand, and cynical revisionism on the other, is difficult even for those whom posterity has vindicated. One person who does soar beyond such judgmental trivialities is Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, industrialist, nationalist, humanist and the founder of the House of Tata. The industrialist in Jamsetji was a pioneer and a visionary, possessed of a spirit of entrepreneurial adventure and acumen never seen before or since in a native of colonial India. The nationalist in him believed unwaveringly that the fruits of his business success would enrich a country he cared deeply about. These attributes, by themselves, would have been enough to mark him as an extraordinary figure. But what made Jamsetji truly unique, the quality that places him in the pantheon of modern India’s greatest sons, was his humaneness. It is this characteristic from which stemmed Jamsetji’s generosity of heart and his compassion for a citizenry labouring under the twin realities of oppressive foreign occupation and overwhelming poverty. The distinctive structure the Tata group came to adopt after Jamsetji’s passing, with a huge part of its assets being held by trusts devoted to ploughing money into socialdevelopment initiatives, can be traced directly to the empathy embedded in the Founder’s philosophy of business. HISTORY The beginning of the Tata Group can be traced back to 1868, when Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata established a trading company dealing in cotton in Bombay (now Mumbai), British India. This was followed by the installation of ‘Empress Mills’ in Nagpur in 1877. Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai was opened for business in 1903. Sir Dorab Tata, the eldest son of Jamsetji Tata became the chairman of the group after his father’s death in 1904. Under him, the group ventured into steel production (1905) and hydroelectric power generation (1910). After the death of Dorab Tata in 1934, Nowroji Saklatwala headed the group till 1938. He was succeeded by Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata. The group expanded significantly under him with the establishment of Tata Chemicals (1939), Tata Motors, Tata Industries (both 1945), Voltas (1954), Tata Tea (1962), Tata Consultancy Services (1968) and Titan Industries (1984). Ratan Tata, the incumbent chairman of the group succeeded JRD Tata in 1991.

JRD- 52 YEARS OF SPIRITED LEADERSHIP
It is a measure of the man and the life he lived that long before his demise, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata came to represent an exalted idea of Indianness: progressive, benevolent, ethical and compassionate. It did not really matter that the country itself failed this utopian test. JRD, as he was known to commoner and king, had by then transcended the frailties of his milieu. JRD Tata is considered one among the few ideal industrialists. He was born in Paris, the second child of Mr. Ratan Dadabhoy (RD) and his French wife Suzanne Brière. He is known worldwide as JRD but was called Jeh by his close associates and even introduced himself as Jeh. He held the leadership of the Tata group of companies for fiftytwo long years and upheld his high ethical business standards even under business exigencies. He was known for his honest business dealings and his principle in never resorting to bribery under any circumstances. He became a prime example to the world for running large business and industry without compromising on ethics. It is said that an Indian uses a Tata product in all his sleeping and waking hours. Despite the diversity of the Group, JRD is prominently recognised outside the nation as the pioneer of India’s air travel; he established India’s first air travel company by the name of Tata Airlines which was later split into two companies, Air India for domestic, and Indian Airlines for international air travel. His extraordinary leadership was responsible for JRD’s successful career that spanned over fifty-two years. He was a workaholic and a perfectionist. He would always say that you could

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do excellent work if you strived for perfection. He was extremely enthusiastic. His business colleague Darbari Seth once said that he hadn’t met anyone who after meeting with JRD hadn’t been infected with the energy of his enthusiasm. JRD was extremely affectionate. He was always prompt to help his own people. His knowledge was vast and extensive. JRD was self-trained and learned a lot from others. He once visited the design department of NASA in America, and discussed various topics with the experts there. At that time Mr. Ratan Tata, the current Managing Director of the Tata Group who had accompanied him on his visit, had said that he thought JRD would come away impressed with the novelty he found at NASA, but it was the scientists in NASA who came away impressed with JRD’s knowledge. My love and respect for the House of Tata remains undiminished by the passage of time. I always looked up to JRD. I saw him as a role model for his simplicity, his generosity, his kindness and the care he took of his employees. Those blue eyes always reminded me of the sky; they had the same vastness and magnificence. (Sudha Murthy, widely published writer and chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, wife of Infosys chairman Narayana Murthy.) JRD was also socially conscious and socially concerned. He successfully fulfilled his social responsibility through establishing the institutes Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital for the benefit of the society. Even today these institutes are working in several fields of social work. He has made an important contribution to management in India by introducing the concept of collaborative management. JRD was a socialist with respect to decision-making. He selected extremely ambitious, impressive and distinguished people on the Tata Group’s management team. Mr. Darbari Seth, Mr. Rusi Modi, Mr. Sumant Mulgaonkar, Mr.Ratan Tata, Mr. Nani Palkhiwala and such other great people were handling the responsibilities of the Tata Group. They were called the

jewels of the Tata Group. JRD would arrive at decisions after consulting them. JRD had some business principles that he would diligently follow himself and expect his colleague to follow too. His principles regarding workers were pioneering and extremely generous. JRD was given the highest civilian honour with the Bharat Ratna award in the year 1991 by the Indian Government for his service to industrial and nation building. He was the second industrialist to have this honour. He was also the first Indian to have received America’s highest honour in aviation, the Tony Janus award. He also received the prestigious Guggenheim Medal for aviation in 1988. He received the first pilot license issued in India.

style that had no room for satraps and stars. He brought in a cutting edge to the group. You can be humane and be sloppy. Or you can be like the Tatas — humane, with extraordinary vigour of performance. His ability to deliver, with no fanfare, is what sets him apart. He has, most importantly, stayed true to the values that the Tatas stand for. Once, when Mr Gopalakrishnan suggested the idea of Tatas’ contribution to help those affected by the Latur earthquake being announced, he received a simple ‘No’ from Ratan. Some things are sacrosanct about the Tatas. Mr Ratan Tata was flying a plane even as he was rebuilding it from the inside. The fuel driving it was the Tata values. Timeless traditions of integrity, respect for the rule of law and commitment to human values are synonymous with Tatas. It will indeed be a Herculean task for Mistry to take the plane higher. The measure of a great leader is what the leader is within. Without integrity, nothing else matters.

Ratan Tata on the scenes
Satraps who felt that he would simply not be able to fill the shoes of J.R.D. Tata were running Mr Ratan Tata down during his early days. He changed the mindset and that perception. Behind the group’s success in India and abroad — the success of Indica, the concept of the Nano, Corus and all of that — was a very grounded leader following someone so much bigger in our consciousness. It’s like a Sachin following Gavaskar and going a number of rungs beyond. Mr Ratan Tata has taken the Tata legacy further. Ratan realized India was changing much before the other big houses did. He recognised that the old feudal, paternalistic structure that had worked so well in the JRD era, where the old man was the emperor and the companies were run by viceroys, would not work in the new India. He professionalised the Tatas, democratised the management, abandoned the feudalism and made the group adopt a low-key, matter-offact, get-things-done

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PHILANTHROPY
The Tata Group has helped establish and finance numerous quality research, educational and cultural institutes in India. The Tata Group was awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2007

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in recognition of the group’s long history of philanthropic activities. Some of the institutes established by the Tata Group are: Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, National Centre for Performing Arts, Tata Management Training Centre, Tata Memorial Hospital etc. The recent The Brand Trust Report, 2011 has ranked TATA as the second most trusted brands of India. One Tata project that brought together Tata Group companies (TCS, Titan Industries and Tata Chemicals) was developing a compact, in-home waterpurification device. It was called Tata swach which means “clean” in Hindi and would cost less than 1000 rupees (US $21). The idea of Tata swach was thought of from the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, which left thousands of people without clean drinking water. This device has filters that last about a year long for a family of five. It is a lowcost product available for people who have no access to safe drinking water in their homes. The advantage of this device is that it does not require the use of electricity. TCS also designed and donated an innovative software package that teaches illiterate adults how to read in 40 hours. “The children of the people who have been through our literacy program are all in school,” says Pankaj Baliga, global head of corporate social responsibility for TCS. Trusts created by Tata Group control 65.8% of company shares, so it can be said that about 66% of the profits of Tata Group go to charity. The charitable trusts of Tata Group fund a variety of projects, for example the Tata Swach and the TCS project. They founded and still support such cherished institutions as the Indian Institute of Science, Tata

Institute of Fundamental Research, the National Centre for the Performing Arts and the Tata Memorial Hospital. Each Tata Group company channels more than 4 percent of its operating income to the trusts and every generation of Tata family members has left a larger portion of its profit to them.

Corporate Social Responsibility
Today’s buzzword, Corporate Social Responsibility1 or CSR has been part of the Tata Group ever since the days of Jamshetji Tata. Even while he was busy setting up textile ventures, he always thought of his workers’ welfare and requirements of the country. From granting scholarships for further studies abroad in 1892 to supporting Gandhiji’s campaign for racial equality in South Africa to giving the country its first science centre, hospital and atomic research centre to providing relief and rehabilitation to natural disaster affected places - they have done it all. Jamshed Irani, Director, Tata Sons Ltd, says, “The Tata credo is that ‘give back to the people what you have earned from them’. So from the very inception, Jamshetji Tata and his family have been following this principle.” Moreover he says that for any business to sustain in the long run they have to look beyond business. Ages ago when Corporate Social Responsibility was either the government, or charitable organisations headache, the Tatas aggressively worked for the upliftment of the community. Tata initiated various labour welfare laws, like the establishment of Welfare Department was introduced in 1917 and enforced by law in 1948 or Maternity Benefit was introduced in 1928 and enforced by law in 1946. While today eyebrows are being raised about corporates doing social work, the Tata Group feels it is the need of

the hour. Thus, where in the West, companies are doubtful of spending the shareholders’ money and corporates are considering discontinuing Corporate Social Responsibility. Says Irani, “Which is fine for them, but not for a country like India. The governments of the western world have a strong social security net so corporates can concentrate on making profits and paying taxes regularly but in this regard India still lags behind. We are far away from reaching that phase of economic development where government is solely responsible for the basic needs of the public. We don’t have a social security, adequate health and education services. So till then corporate houses should fill the gaps.” Over the years, the Tata philosophy to ‘Give back what you get’ has been followed by all their enterprises across India. Be it relief measures, rural development, health care, education and art and culture, they have been very forthcoming. As result every year, the Tata Group’s contribution to society has been phenomenal. Moreover, Irani proudly claims that none of the Tata Board of Directors will ever be in the list of rich people. They have a trust that accumulates the profits of the company, which are then disbursed for various social causes. “We generate wealth but personally don’t get any of it. These trusts accumulate the funds and disburse accordingly,” concludes Irani. Apart from all this, there is the larger Tata legacy transcending narrow profit maximisation goals that Mr Mistry will inherit (despite not being a Tata himself). The Tata Group has acquired a reputation for upholding certain values in its conduct of business — one that has involved not cosying up excessively to the governments of the day. During the colonial period, the Tatas did not cross swords with the British rulers, unlike

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1. Corporate social responsibility (CSR, also called corporate conscience, corporate citizenship, social performance, or sustainable responsible business/ Responsible Business) is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby businesses monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. The goal of CSR is to embrace responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere.

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some other Indian business groups. Yet, they undertook industrial ventures from steel-making to hydro-electricity with far more ‘nationalistic’ content than jute or textile mills — this despite being pitted

on an unequal playing field against English steel firms. After Independence, too, the Tatas consciously cultivated an image of doing business in a non-

confrontational, straight manner. That is the unique ‘Tata’ brand that Mr Mistry may want to take forward as well.

RATAN TATA…..
• On the need to think big: We have been. . . thinking small. And if we look around us, countries like China have grown so much by thinking big. I would urge that we all, in the coming years, think big, think of doing things not in small increments, not in small deltas, but seemingly impossible things. But nothing is impossible if you really set out to do so. And we act boldly. Because it is this thinking big and acting boldly that will move India up in a manner different from where it is today. • On questioning: I kept saying, please question the unquestionable. I tried to tell our younger managers just don’t accept something that was done in the past, don’t accept something as a holy cow. . . go question it. That was less of a problem than getting our senior managers not to tell the younger managers, ‘Look young man, don’t question me.’ • On problems: There are solutions for most problems. The barriers and roadblocks that we face are usually of our own making and these can only be demolished by having the determination to find a solution, even contrary to the conventional wisdom that prevails around us, by breaking tradition.

Delete two days
Today I will delete from my diary two days:

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Yesterday & Tomorrow Yesterday was to learn and Tomorrow will be the consequence of what I can do today. Today I will face life with the conviction that this day will not ever return. Today is the last opportunity I have to live intensely, as no one can assure me that I will see tomorrow’s sunrise. Today I will be brave enough not to let any opportunity pass me by, my only alternative is to succeed. Today I will invest my most valuable resource: my time, in the most trascendental work: my life; I will spend each minute passionately to make of Today a different and unique day in my life. Today I will defy every obstacle that appears on my way, trusting I will succeed. Today I will resist pessimism and will conquer the world with a smile, with the positive attitude of expecting always the best. Today I will make of every ordinary task a sublime expression, Today I will have my feet on the ground, understanding reality and the stars’ gaze to invent my future. Today I will take the time to be happy and will leave my footprints and my presence in the hearts of others. Have a nice day……

INDIA PREPARES

Mosaic

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

Mosaic...

DANCE FORMS OF INDIA
Modern/ Contemporary Dance
In India, dancing, mainly classical dance is believed to be equivalent to praying to the Lord. Each and every step is taken with so much precision that you can hardly find out even a single fault in it. While the classical dance styles in India can be traced back to centuries, the contemporary dance styles are relatively new on the block. The classical dancers brought fame to the country since ages and continue to do so. However, even the contemporary dancers of India are receiving international recognition today, and are being appreciated the world over. Modern Dance in India has a relatively short history. Since the perception of ‘modern’ or ‘contemporary’ can vary from dancer to dancer, this dance form cannot be defined as easily as the classical dance styles of India. It is also not codified in a detailed manner, as are the classical styles. Uday Shankar (1900-1977), elder brother of Pandit Ravi Shankar, is widely accepted as the Father of Modern Dance in India. He was instrumental in bringing the Indian dance on the world map. This great dancer had a very wide vision, and he appreciated the wonderful variety and scope of expression afforded by the different classical and folk dances existing in this country. He traveled widely between 1929 and 1938 and introduced audiences in the West to Indian dance and music through the performances of his troupe, the ‘Hindu Dancers’. In 1923 he choreographed two Indian ballets, Krishna and Radha and A Hindu Wedding. In 1931 he presented the Tandava Nritya at the Theatre Champs-Elysées in Paris. Some of Uday Shankar’s famous works include the innovative ballet, Labour and Machinery and a path breaking film, Kalpana, on the theme of dance. Uday Shankar’s daughter Mamata Shankar is not only keeping his unique style of ballet alive but also focusing on contemporary issues like peace, love for humanity and conservation of environment. Her Mamata Shankar Ballet Troupe has given performances in several countries abroad including USA, UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, China, Japan, Greece and Egypt in the past two decades. Today, in addition to the line established by Uday Shankar, there are other practitioners of Modern Dance in India who belong to other schools. The Tagore School of Dance is one such school where ballets are choreographed in a new style by taking the best elements from many classical dances. Some of the most well known dance-ballets of this school are the Natir Puja, Tasher Desh, Chandalika and Chitrangada. Mrilani Sarabai, wife of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, is another renowned classical dancer who has introduced experimentation in Indian dance. Her ballets like Manushaya, Rig-Veda and Matsya-Kanya have gained immense popularity. Her daughter Mallika Sarabhai, who is a leading exponent of Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi and an internationally known choreographer, has also produced several creative and powerful dance-ballets like Draupadi, Shakti - The Power of Woman, Sita’s Daughters -- all on the issues of concern to modern Indian women while her Itan Kahani (the Story of Stories) was done in collaboration with a Nigerian dancer. This is the last part of the three part series on Indian Dance forms. Classical and Folk Dances were covered in the previous two parts. Mallika Sarabhai believes in the concept of “theatre for social purpose” and tackles subjects like arranged marriages, dowry system, violence, environment and communal harmony in her compositions. Her other noted compositions are Aspiration, Ganga, Surya, Mean Streets on Earth and “V for”. Another talented dancer is Daksh Seth who has choreographed vibrant pieces like Sarpagati, Yagna and In Search of My Tongue. Ivan Pulinkala is a young choreographer who believes in the fusion of classical Indian themes with modern western dance. He has choreographed productions of Evita, Tommy, West Side Story and Grease.

Famous Indian Dancers (all genres)
T. BALASARASWATI T.Balasaraswati (1918-1984) was born in a family that has been a repository of the Carnatic tradition of music. Her formal training started at the age of four under the late Guru Kandappa Pillai. Balasaraswati’s debut took place in her seventh year at Kancheepuram at the Amanakshi Amman temple. Soon she was in great demand for public performances. No dancer captured the public imagination as Balasaraswati did in the thirties and forties. Balasaraswati made the public aware of Bharata Natyam by the beauty and the eloquence of her dancing. She is the recipient of several honours and awards, which include the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Padma Bhushan and an honorary doctorate from the Rabindra Bharati University. BIRJU MAHARAJ Pandit Birju Maharaj (b.1937) is perhaps the foremost exponent of the country’s Kathak dancers belonging to the Lucknow gharana. Son of wellknown Kathak dancer Achchan Maharaj and nephew and student of Shambhu Maharaj, Birju Maharaj made his mark in the arena when he received the coveted Sangeet Natak Akademi award at the age of 28. He has mastered the various nuances of Kathak from Acchan Maharaj,

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Lacchu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj and developed his own unique style. In his own words, Birju Maharaj has likened Lacchu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj to the moon and the sun, and Acchan Maharaj to the sky. Combined they form his universe of Kathak. He has several honours and awards to his credit including the prestigious Padma Vibhushan (1986) by the government of India and the Sangam Kala Award (2000). At present Birju Maharaj heads the teaching faculty at Delhi’s Kathak Kendra. INDRANI REHMAN One of the greatest dancers of our time, Indrani Rehman was among the luminous names of the sixties and seventies who carried the glory of Indian classical arts to all corners of the world, through her varied performances imbued with grace of body and spirit, and her mastery over several dance forms. Having settled in the United States, Indrani Rehman had become a distant legend for dance enthusiasts in India, though she continued to work actively in the USA. Indrani Rehman helped in the revival and popularization of Odissi dance. She was awarded Padma Shri in 1969 and Sahitya Kala Parishad award in 1973. NARASIMHACHARI LAKSHMI & VASANTHA

His wife Vasanthalakshmi specialised in nattuvangam and also contributes the lyrics for their compositions. The Narasimhacharis have produced as many as 21dance-dramas. Natyaveda, one such endeavour, had for its theme the exploration of the Vedic origins of dance as expounded in the Natya Shastra of Bharata. They were on the faculty of the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) from the year 1995-1998. Narasimhachari choreographed a special programme titled “Jugal Bandhi” presenting three major classical dance styles of South India – Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohiniattam. Of the several dance-dramas choreographed by them, mention may be made of Kambaramayanam, Sivaleela, Saranam Aiyappa, Megha, Sandesa, Girija Kalyanam, Annamacharya, Nrityankita, Bharati Kannamma , Panchatantra, Voice of Ganga, Jesus Christ, Natya Veda and Challenge of Growth. MALLIKA SARABHAI Daughter of the dancing legend Mrinalini Sarabhai and the legendary scientist Vikram Sarabhai, Mallika Sarabhai is a renowned exponent of Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi and an internationally known choreographer, who has to her credit compositions like Draupadi, Shakti - The Power of Woman, Sita’s Daughters, Itan Kahani, Aspiration, Ganga, Surya, Mean Streets on Earth and “V for”. She played the role of Draupadi in Peter Brooke’s film Mahabharata, which was made in English and French. She has been an anchor on television for several programmes like Turning Point, Eye Witness and Show Reeland Kaleidoscope. She made an earlier unsuccessful attempt at acting in Hindi and Gujarati films. Later she directed many educational films on several general subjects. She is currently the co-director of the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts at Ahmedabad. PROTIMA GOWRI (BEDI) Protima Bedi was an accomplished Odissi dancer and an actress. In 1990 she founded Nrityagram, India’s first and

only dance village set up exclusively for the preservation of the seven classical Indian dance styles and two martial art forms of India. SANJUKTA PANIGRAHI Noted Odissi danseuse died on 24 June 1997 at the age of 53. Born in a respectable and orthodox family, Sanjukhta was the first Oriya girl to embrace this classical dance at an early age and ensure its grand revival. She started performing Odissi at the age of six under the guidance of Guru Padma Bhusan Kelu Charan Mahapatra and bagged the first prize in the International Children’s Film Festival in 1952. Panigrahi resurrected Odissi dance from obscurity and made it famous the world over. She was the first woman artiste to be allowed to perform in the Shankatmochan temple festival some years ago. She also founded the Kalinga Kalakshetra to impart training in Odissi dance and promote performing arts. Sanjukta was the first ever artiste who choreographed and performed the nontraditional lyric within the limits of the Odissi style and her experiment with the Surdas Padmavalli, Tagore songs, Bhagwad Geeta and Tulsi Ramayan were highly successful. Being the exponent of both Bharatnatyam and Odissi, she took great interest and initiative in explaining the originality of the Odissi style and established it as an independent style of Indian classical dance. She was awarded Padma Shri in 1975. SITARA DEVI Sitara Devi is a living legend known the world over as the ‘Kathak Queen’. She took her training in dance from her father Sukhdev Maharaj, Shambhu Maharaj and Acchan Maharaj. By the age of ten, Sitara was on stage as a professional solo dancer. When she was about 12, Niranjan Sharma, a film producer and dance director chose her for a three-month contract in Usha Haran and Sitara became a dancer with the Sagar Studios. Fame followed close behind and Allehlal, Nagina and Roti

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Narasimhachari made his debut in Kuchipudi at the tender age of five under the rigorous training of his father Sri Satyanarayanachari. He performed the Burra Katha (a ballad form in Telugu) along with his younger sister and brother. The trio very soon became the most popular group in Andhra Pradesh, so much so that they had the honour of performing for the then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Narasimhachari was trained in Bharatanatyam under the expert tutelage of Rukmini Devi at the Kalakshetra. Narasimhachari is a rare combination of a music composer, choreographer, singer, nattuvanar, mridangam player, concertmusician, dancer and a highly respected Guru.

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made her a movie sensation; Vatan made her a superstar. Sitara Devi was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1970. SONAL MANSINGH Sonal Mansingh has been on stage since 1964. Her role as a social activist, thinker, researcher,orator, choreographer and teacher combines admirably with her dancing. She founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances (CICD) in 1977 in Delhi and has trained many young men and women, some of who have earnedcritical acclaim already. A leading exponent of Odissi, with a background of decades of training in Bharata Natyam, Chhau and Indian music, she has made original choreographic works based on Indian mythology as well as contemporary issues. She is a recipient of several honours and awards which include Singar Mani from Haridas Sangeet Sammelan, Mumbai (1967), Medal of Friendship Vietnam (1983), Natya Kala Ratna from National Cultural Organization (1985), Nrityakala Kaumudi Kala Priya, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh (1986), Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award (1991), Padma Bhusan (1992), Indira Priya Darshini Award (1994) and the Medal of Friendship Cuba State Council (1995). She has widely traveled all over India and the world and participated in numerous festivals. Sonal Mansingh’s renowned

choreographic works include, Indradhanush (1999), Manavatta (1998), Sabras (Odissi Danced on Hindi film songs), Samanavaya (integration of India’s Tribal, Urban, Classical, folk dance), Panch-Kanya, Devi Durga, Aatmayan, Mera Bharat, Dharma Sringaara, Chaturang and Draupadi. UDAY SHANKAR Uday Shankar (1900-1977) is one of the most renowned dancers and choreographers of India, who brought the Indian dance to international attention. Born in Udaipur, Shankar formed his own company in 1929 and toured until 1938. While in London at the Royal College of Art, he choreographed two Indian ballets, Krishna and Radha and A Hindu Wedding. He formed a troupe of ‘Hindu dancers’ from among his family and friends and in March 1931 at the Theatre Champs-Elysées in Paris, he presented Tandava Nritya. In 1939 he set up the Uday Shankar India Culture Center at Almore, with a galaxy of great Gurus like Shankaran Namburi in Kathakali, Kandappal Pillai in Bharatnatyam, Amobi Sing in Manipuri dance and Allauddin Khan in classical music.He was a man of superb showmanship and perfectionism. By the sheer impact of his physical presence on stage he transformed the traditional forms into the most memorable works. He is widely accepted as the Father of

Modern Dance in India. Some of Uday Shankar’s famous works include the innovative ballet, ‘Labour and Machinery’ and a path breaking film, ‘Kalpana,’ on the theme of dance. RUKMINI DEVI ARUNDALE Rukmini Devi Arundale was a reputed dancer and choreographer of Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical dance form. Her charismatic personality and contribution to the renaissance of Indian Classical music attained her niche in the arena of Indian culture. It is believed that Rukmini Devi had declined the chair of the President of India, once offered by Morarji Desai, the then Prime Minister of India. SHOVANA NARAYAN Shovana Narayan is a Kathak Maestro and an outstanding dancer. She is an incarnation of the great artistic and social traditions of India. She created a new and innovative style of performing arts by enriching it with a deeper and wider canvas of expression and dimensions. YAMINI KRISHNAMURTHY Yamini ‘Poornatilaka’ Krishnamurthy, better known as Yamini Krishnamurthy is a renowned Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam dancer. She is also considered as the torch-bearer of the Kuchipudi form of dance. She started her career with a dance performance in 1957, at the age of seventeen years.

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Sangeet Natak Akademi
The Sangeet Natak Akademi - India’s national academy for music, dance and drama - is the first National Academy of the arts set-up by the Republic of India. It was created by a resolution of the (then) Ministry of Education, Government of India, dated 31 May 1952 notified in the Gazette of India of June 1952. The Akademi became functional the following year, with the appointment of its first Chairman, Dr P.V. Rajamannar, and the formation of its all-India council of representatives, the General Council. The first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, inaugurated it on 28 January 1953 in a special function held in the Parliament House. The Akademi’s charter of functions was expanded along the original lines in 1961, when the Sangeet Natak Akademi was reconstituted by the Government as a society and registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 (as amended in 1957). Since its inception the Akademi has been functioning as the apex body of the performing arts in the country, preserving and promoting the vast intangible heritage of India’s diverse culture expressed in the forms of music, dance and drama. In furtherance of its objectives the Akademi coordinates and collaborates with the governments and art academies of different States and Territories of the Union of India as also with major cultural institutions in the country. The Akademi establishes

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and looks after institutions and projects of national importance in the field of the performing arts. The National School of Drama, set up in 1959, was the first of their two national institutions of dance -- Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy in Imphal and Kathak Kendra (National Institute of Kathak Dance) in New Delhi - were set up in 1964 respectively. National Projects of Support to Kuttiyattam - the age-old Sanskrit theatre of Kerala - Chhau dances of eastern India and Sattriya traditions of Assam have been lauched subsequently. After ten years of intensive work under the Kutiyattam project, the UNESCO declared Kutiyattam as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in May 2001.It organizes performances of music, dance, and theatre. The Akademi Awards are the highest national recognition conferred on eminent artistes. The Akademi also confers Fellowships and Scholarship, their numbers being restricted to 30 living recipients. The Fellowship and Awards caries purse money of Rs. 3,00,000/- and Rs. 1,00,000/- respectively besides a shawl and Tamrapatra.. To subsidize the work of institutions engaged in teaching, performing or promoting music, dance, or theatre; the Akademi gives grants-in-aid for research, documentation, and publishing in the performing arts; organizes and subsidizes seminars and conferences of subject specialists; documents and records the performing arts for its audio-visual archive. As the apex body specializing in the performing arts of the country, the Akademi also renders advice and assistance to the Government of India in the task of formulating and implementing policies and programmes in the field. Additionally, the Akademi carries a part of the responsibilities of the state for fostering cultural contacts between various regions in India, and between India and the world. The Sangeet Natak Akademi is presently an Autonomous Body of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and is fully funded by the Government for implementation of its schemes and programmes.

Sangeet Natak Akademi Ratna and Akademi Puraskar
One of the important activities of the Akademi has been to give recognition and honours to artists as it would help in setting standards in these arts, and restore the art and artists to their rightful place in Independent India.

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The institution of Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards is now more than fifty years old and the large body of practitioners, gurus and scholars in the performing arts honoured by the Akademi represent the nation’s highest achievement in music, dance and drama. The Awards in Hindustani and Carnatic music were instituted as early as 1951, even before the Akademi was set up and these were known as Presidential Awards. With the formation of the Akademi, the Awards came to be known as Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards, and the investiture became the responsibility of the Akademi. The Presidential Awards for 1952 and 1953 were subsequently incorporated in the list of Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards. The most prestigious and rare honour of Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) was restricted to 30 eminent persons at any given time till last year. However, consequent upon the amendment of the Rules and Regulations in the meeting of the General Council on the 29th of January, 2010, ten more seats of Akademi Fellows have been increased to be filled up in a phased manner over five years – two seats per year. Hence, at present, there are only 32 living Fellows. The first Fellow of the Akademi was elected in 1954, and till date, the Akademi has honoured 123 eminent personalities as Akademi Fellows (Akademi Ratna). As regards the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards, the number of awards to be given annually is 33 at present and, till date, over 1000 artists have been honoured. The Akademi Awards carries purse money of Rs 1.00 lakh in cash, a Tamrapatra and an Angavastram.

Yuva Puraskar (Prizes to Young Artistes)
Sangeet Natak Akademi decided to institute “Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar” from the year 2006 to be awarded to artists who have shown/demonstrated conspicuous talent in the fields of music, dance and drama. Young outstanding practitioners upto the age of 35 years are eligible to be considered for the Yuva Puraskar every year. The age as on the date of nomination received will be reckoned from the 1st April of the year of the Puraskar. Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar carries a purse money of Rs 50,000/- (Rupees fifty thousand only). The Yuva Puraskar is presented at a special ceremony, presided over by the Chairman, Sangeet Natak Akademi.

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Expert’s advice
S.NO. 1. Educational institution • if the institution is named after some important/famous personality than you must gather all the information about that person. Wikipedia and libraries can help you a lot in this job. • Location of the institution e.g. road, park ,marg etc are also often named after various personalities ,so be aware and informed about these facts as well. • The students from sainik school or kendriya vidyalayas must be aware of some common questions as why these are called as sainik schools or KVs ?,What are the aim and objectives of these institutions? etc • For students passed out from convent schools, common questions include what is convent education and how is it different from a govt. school or a military school. • Students of Vidyamandirs , can be asked about sanatan dharma, how the chain of these shishumandirs and vidyamandirs are being maintained, what is sanskriti gyan pariksha etc. • One should always know the motto of your educational institution. • Which state is having maximum ST, SC and OBC population and which has minimum? • Composition and function of NCST, NCSC, National commission for backward classes, National commission for economically backward classes, Commission for denotified tribes etc. • These days there have been various instances of preventing dalits’ entry in temples. Give suggestions to tackle this issue and what do you know about its history. • Protection and developmental safeguards for ST, SC and OBC in Constitution. • Any question can be framed on the issue/provision of STs’ traditional rights, forest rights or problems of rehabilitation and resettlement of displaced persons.

2. 3.

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Engineering Students • Difference between technical college and engineering college. • Various questions that can be put across like Does present India requires more polytechnic institutes in comparison to engineering colleges? • Have IITs fulfilled the aim with which they were established? • What is the rank of your institution in India and what is the basis of this ranking. • Common question related with your branch can be asked and you have to answer these question in a cooperative manner • Being engineering student your views regarding various social issues can also be sought like regulation of social media, cyber crime, communication intelligence etc. Medical students • An all time favourite question for medical students is that given India is having a scarcity of doctors why you are opting for civil services, leaving a profession which is considered as one of the noblest among all other profession? • All India ranking of your college and any specialty of your college. • Issues of BRMS degree, rural medicine etc. • What reforms in the present medical education are required to make it rural friendly? • They can ask question on any of the national programs such as PPI, NRHM, RSBY, RNTCP, NACP, NACO etc or the issues of drug abuse, malnutrition, sanitation etc. • Role of doctors, paramedical staff, NGOS, to make this profession more people friendly, efficient and cheap. • Your opinion about euthanasia, fee splitting among doctors, the ongoing clinical trials. • Questions regarding gene therapy, issues of organ transplantation, recently introduced vaccines, generic medicines, narco analysis, robotic surgery, recent issues related with MCI etc

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4.

Law graduates Agricultural students University Appearance in previous exams of UPSC Subjects

• NFHS, PCPNDT, NDPS Act, NFHS, RGI surveys. • Any new bill related to health sector recently introduced in parliament. • Views on some controversial articles such as 355 IPC etc. or on common issues like feminism, misuse of domestic violence act , untouchability. • Recent impeachment case of Justice Soumitra Sen and various cases related to tainted judiciary. • Do you think the present practice and system of elevating judges to supreme courts is suitable? • Judicial Standard And Accountability Bill , regulation of social media, euthanasia, AFSPA act • Can honour killings be curtailed? • PIL and judicial activism • Issues such as bandh, right to life, relation between fundamental rights and DPSP. • Problem in corporate law and organized crime. • Questions regarding your specialization etc. • • • • • • • All the data related to agriculture should be updated. Issue of subsidy and agriculture in india Views on GM crops, organic farming, vermiculture, corporate farming etc Common problems of farmers in India and reasons for their pathetic situation Intrusion of Corporates in agriculture sector. Issues of insurance in agriculture and disaster management. Because of the present PDS system more foodgrains are being produced than required, how can this be managed? • How the agricultural base can be diversified by floriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry etc.

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7.

• Difference between deemed university and an open university, autonomous college and university • Issues of ragging in the university and ways to combat it. • Recent mushrooming of universities and deteriorating quality of education. • Does a super regulator is required, scrapping the UGC to regulate the universities? • Why no world class university in India despite so many good colleges? • Knowledge about Foreign Education Institution Bill, need of rural university, tribal university, vocational education university, or one specially catering to physically disabled. • Course design and changes to be brought about with changing times. • Motto of your university • Brain drain vs brain gain policy • • • • • • • • • If doctor/engineer then have you appeared for IES /CMS etc, Appearance in NDA/CDS will bring question from defence field so be prepared for it. Appearances in IES/IGS/ISS are definitely going to be questioned. If you were previously selected for any civil services exams conducted by UPSC than question related with services can be asked. This topic is an ocean of questions Why you opted for these optional? Is there any relation between these subjects? Is there any relation between these subjects and the subjects of your graduation? How these optionals can help you in administration? Etc.

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KNOW IT ALL
SPORTS
CRICKET
Virender Sehwag Virender Sehwag became the fifth Indian batsman to complete 8000 runs in Test cricket in the first cricket Test against Australia in Melbourne. Before Sehwag, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman are the Indian players who have reached the coveted milestone. He is the 23rd batsman in history of Test cricket to complete 8000 Test runs. Sehwag completed the feat in his 93rd Test match. Michael Clarke Australian captain Michael Clarke made his first Test triple century at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the second Test against India. He compiled an unbeaten 329, the fourth highest score by an Australian and the 14th highest in history. Clarke was only five runs short of Mark Taylor’s highest score by an Australian Test captain. It was, however, the best score by an Australian Test skipper on home soil, surpassing the legendary Sir Donald Bradman’s 270 at Melbourne in 1937. He took 468 balls and hit 39 fours and a six. J.C. Mukherjee Trophy Mohun Bagan won the J.C. Mukherjee Trophy Twenty20 cricket tournament defeating arch-rival East Bengal by five wickets at the Eden Gardens. played for Mohun Bagan in his hey days and was also a national selector. He won almost all the awards - KOA, Ekalavya and Rajyotsava awards. Mahesh Gawli Defender Mahesh Gawli has announced his retirement from international football. However, he will continue to play at the club level for some more years. A Dempo player, Gawli has represented the country in 82 matches. Gawli made his international debut in the pre-Olympic qualifier against Thailand in 1999. He captained the Indian team in one match (against Malaysia last month) and scored one goal (against Bhutan in SAFF Cup in 2005). He was part of the Indian teams which won SAFF Cup (2005), Nehru Cup (2007 and 2009), AFC Challenge Cup (2008) apart from the recent SAFF championship. Sunil Chetri Sunil Chetri has been named as the All India Football Federation’s ‘player of the year 2011. Chetri was chosen for the prestigious annual award by I-League coaches. The diminutive forward, who played 17 international matches this year, scored 13 goals — the most by an Indian — in 2011. He also found the target 11 times in 20 club appearances. Chetri also received the Arjuna award and won the ‘man of the championship’ honour in the recently-concluded SAFF championship. Barcelona Wins Club World Cup Barcelona has outclassed the Brazilian team Santos 4-0 to lift the Club World Cup and confirm its status as the best team on the planet. The clash between the European and South American champions in Japan had been billed as a showdown between Messi, widely acknowledged as the best player in the world, and 19-year-old Brazilian sensation Neymar. In the event, it was no contest — either between the two supreme talents or their teams — as Barcelona picked up its second World crown after winning the competition in 2009.Earlier, Al Sadd, which lost 4-0 to Barcelona in the semifinals, beat Japanese champion Kashiwa Reysol 5-3 on penalties to take third place at the annual intercontinental tournament. Spain tops World rankings World and European champion Spain has topped the year-ending football rankings issued by the governing body FIFA for the fourth year in a row. Spain commands the final 2011 list issued with 1,564 points ahead of the Netherlands (1,365) and Germany (1,345) to become Team of the Year again. Copa America champion Uruguay (1,308), England (1,173), Brazil (1,143), Portugal (1,100), Croatia (1,091), Italy (1,082), Argentina (1,067) complete the top 10.

HOCKEY
India wins bronze in four-nation tournament The Indian women’s hockey team notched up a facile 4-1 win over Ireland to clinch the bronze medal in the four-nation tournament held in Parana, Argentina. Both the teams were locked 1-1 at halftime but India came back strongly in the second session to fire three goals. India thus won bronze medals at both the four-nation tournaments held at Buenos Aires and Parana on this tour. In the final World champion Argentina beat South Africa 2-0 to win the tournament. National junior hockey championship Haryana has beaten Odisha via a tiebreaker to emerge champion in the National junior hockey championship. Following a 2-2 deadlock after regulation time, Haryana pipped Odisha 3-2 in the penalty shootout. Manish Rana, Ranjit Singh and Naveen Antil found the target for the winning team, while Mikhal Barla and Bikas Kujur scored for the losing side. Punjab outplayed Jharkhand 6-1 to take third spot. Mandeep Singh of

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FOOTBALL
K.V. Varadraj Olympian footballer K.V. Varadraj (89) has passed away. Varadraj played for India in both the London and Helsinki Olympics and won praise from his mates. Varadraj has been suffering from age-related illness for over a month. Varadraj, who began his formative years in football at Mysore and represented the then Mysore State at the National level, moved to Bangalore and joined HMT from where he retired in 1980. Varadraj

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Punjab was chosen the ‘player of the tournament.’ FIH Appoints two Indian officials for London Olympics RV Raghu Prasad and Claudius De Sales have been appointed as umpire and judge respectively for the 2012 London Olympics hockey event. 33-year-old Bangalorean, Raghu, has booked his berth as one of the 17 elite umpires. He has officiated in two men’s Champions Trophies (2005, 2009) and two Junior World Cups (2005, 2009). He made his first appearance in the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi. 47-year-old Claudius is from Mumbai and has been officiating in FIH tournaments for the past six years. Claudius has been appointed as a judge in the 2010 FIH World Cup. He was also appointed as a Technical Officer for both the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.

Hopman Cup The Czech Republic has thrashed France to lift its second Hopman Cup as World No. 2 Petra Kvitova sent warning signals to her closest rivals ahead of the Australian Open. Kvitova put her country ahead with the first victory of the day against Marion Bartoli, and her teammate Tomas Berdych wrapped up the contest beating Richard Gasquet, with neither dropping a set. Kvitova won 10 of the last 11 games on her way to an impressive 7-5, 6-1 win, while Berdych, ranked seventh, overpowered the 19th-ranked Gasquet, 7-6(0), 6-4. It was the second title for the Czech Republic, after Jana Novotna and Petr Korda lifted the Hopman Cup in 1994, while it was two losses out of two for France after its defeat in 1998. Czechoslovakia also won the inaugural Cup in 1989. Brisbane International tournament Tennis

Paes win his sixth Chennai Open doubles crown.

BADMINTON
Sourabh Verma Rising Indian shuttler Sourabh Varma has cracked into the top 50 in the latest world badminton rankings following his superb performance at the Syed Modi Grand Prix tournament. Sourabh, who finished runner-up at the season-ending tournament, jumped 22 ranking places to be placed at the 50th position in the ranking released recently. Saina Nehwal continued to hold the fourth position in the women’s ranking.

GOLF
Ian Poulter England’s Ian Poulter has carded a final round of four-under 67 to win the Australian Masters golf tournament. Honey Baisoya Delhi’s Honey Baisoya has become the youngest winner of the 22nd Goodricke East India amateur golf championship. The 15-year-old defeated the country’s No.1 amateur, S. Chikkarangappa, on the 34th green to win 3 and 2. Both had to play two rounds of 36 holes on the final day.

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Hyderabad will host the World junior table tennis championships for boys and girls under-19 years of age in November 2013. AITA ranking tennis tournament Rishika Sunkara outplayed Prerna Bhambri 6-1, 6-3 in the women’s final of AITA ranking tennis tournament at the DDA Sports Complex, Saket, New Delhi. The 18-year-old Rishika had beaten Prerna in their last meeting in an ITF women’s tournament three years ago. Prerna had won an ITF women’s tournament which pushed her ranking up, placing her as the second best Indian on the WTA computer after Sania Mirza. It was an effort that had fetched her a place in the national squad for the Fed Cup to be played in China soon. The men’s title went to stylish lefthander Sunil Kumar, on expected lines, as he overwhelmed Ronak Manuja 6-2, 6-3. The lad was crowned as the national men’s champion in 1999. Incidentally, it was a double crown for both Sunil Kumar and Rishika Sunkara, as they had won the doubles titles earlier.

Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi has produced a stunning display of attacking tennis to blitz Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova and win the Brisbane International on Saturday. Kanepi, ranked 34th, was in irresistible form as she destroyed her opponent, ranked 10 places above her, 6-2, 6-1 in 74 minutes in the Pat Rafter Arena. In the men’s event world No. 4 Andy Murray defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov in the final. Scotsman Murray showed no mercy against the World No. 15 from Ukraine as he cruised to the title 6-1, 6-3 in the Pat Rafter Arena. This was Murray’s 22nd title on the ATP tour. Aircel Chennai Open-2012 Canadian Milos Raonic defeated topseeded Janko Tipsarevic to clinch the Chennai Open title. The 21-year-old Raonic, took home his second ATP title following a 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 7-6(4) win over the World No. 9 Serbian. In the doubles final Leander Paes and his new partner, Janko Tipsarevic defeated the experienced former Grand Slam winning pair, Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram, to win 6-4, 6-4. With this title win

BASKETBALL
Senior National Championship Basketball

Punjab has clinched the men’s title known as Todd Memorial Trophy defeating Tamil Nadu 70-62 in the final of the 62nd Senior National basketball championships at the Nehru Indoor Stadium New Delhi. This win ended Punjab’s 13-year wait for the national title. This is Punjab’s sixth title. In the women’s final Indian Railways defeated Chhattisgarh by 94-70 to lift the title which is known as Baslat Jha Trophy. This is Railways’ ninth successive. Indian Railways and Tamil Nadu finished third in the men’s and women’s sections.

VOLLEYBALL
All-India volleyball tournament

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Veteran Tom Joseph and Vibin George made a mark as Kerala overcame Andhra Pradesh in straight sets to lift the men’s title in the 10th all-India volleyball tournament, for the Vajpayee Cup. Kerala won 25-20, 25-18, 25-18, making it a double for the State. Earlier, the Kerala women rallied from two sets down to narrowly defeat Central Railway (Mumbai) and claim the title. Karnataka and Southern Railway (Chennai) finished third in the men’s and women’s sections respectively.

silver was claimed by the Russians who finished with 13 points in all. Georgia ended with the bronze while India and Ukraine were tied for the fourth spot. AICF recommends Viswanathan Anand for Bharat Ratna All India Chess Federation has decided to recommend Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand for the coveted ‘Bharat Ratna’ award. At its Central Council meeting this morning, the Federation unanimously passed a resolution to recommend World Champion Anand for the most prestigious award. Chennai Open international GM chess For the first time an international open in India has been won by an untitled player. China’s Yu Ruiyuan, who achieved the feat, also completed the IM and GM norms in the SDAT-RMK Chennai Open international Grandmaster chess tournament. Yu, who held a half point lead at the start of the round, drew with Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb) with the white pieces to win the title. Remaining undefeated, he totalled nine points from eleven games. Pune’s Akshayraj Kore celebrated his return by completing his maiden GM. He won seven games, drew three and only lost to Yu.

the event, claiming four individual gold medals along with a bronze (individual) and silver (team). Ashish’s gold medals came in the all-round, floor, vault and hi-bar events. The Indian men’s team won a silver medal behind gold-medallist Uzbekistan. Sri Lanka settled for the bronze medal with 214.65 points in the competition. The women’s team secured a gold medal ahead of Bangladesh and bronze-medallists Sri Lanka.

ATHLETICS
Mumbai Marathon gets National status The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, given Gold Label status by IAAF, athletics world body, has been granted ‘National Status’ by the Athletics Federation of India.

WEIGHTLIFTING
National Weightlifting Championship Sita Jena of Odisha bagged two gold medals in the senior National Weightlifting Championship. Jena narrowly defeated Rajwant Kaur of Punjab to win the golds in clean and jerk and total in 63 kg women’s category. Earlier, two Odiya girls Tikina Gopal and Minati Sethi bagged three gold medals in women’s 53 kg and 58 kg categories respectively. While Gopal represented Odisha, Sethi represented Railways. The Punjab girl bagged silver medal finishing second in the women’s 63 kg category, Food Corporation of India (FCI)’s Gara Aruna Rani stood third. Kaur, however, stood first in snatch in this category and won gold medal. V.S. Rao has narrowly defeated Ramana to retain the men’s 56kg title in the National weightlifting championships at Berhampur.

MOTOR SPORTS
Armaan to drive for Fan Force United After racing in Asia and Europe, India’s Armaan Ebrahim will now drive in the United States. He will take part in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship with team Fan Force United, piloting the team’s No. 24 JK Tyre Dallara.

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SHOOTING
12th Asian shooting championship Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra has asserted his class as he beat the reigning Asian Games champion Zhu Qinan by 0.3 points for the gold in the air rifle event in the 12th Asian shooting championship in Doha, Qatar. For one who had won the World Champioship gold in 2006, it was the first individual gold at the Asian level for the 29-year-old Bindra. He had recently won the silver in the Asian Air Gun championship in Kuala Lumpur. The third Indian in the fray, Satyendra Singh shot 582 to be placed 30th in a field of 51, but it was good enough to help the team win the silver, one point ahead of Mongolia and Korea. China was streets ahead as it shot a world record 1793, 19 points ahead of India, for the gold.

KABADDI
Uttar Pradesh has defeated Tamil Nadu 18-12 in the boys’ final of the 38th junior National kabaddi championship, which concluded in Vadodara. In the girls’ final, Delhi put it across Punjab for a 37-24 win.

CHESS
World Women`s Championship Team Chess

The Indian team met another nemesis in China and went down 1.5-2.5 to miss out on a medal and sign off fourth in the World Women`s Team Chess Championship in Mardin Turkey. What looked like a certain medal after the first half of the championship, was blown away in the last two matches as, following a loss to Georgia, China also proved a tough nut to crack for the Indians. China won the gold medal with 16 points while the

GYMNASTICS
South Central Asian Gymnastics Commonwealth and Asian Games bronzemedallist Ashish Kumar has struck gold not once but four times as India notched up a whopping 17 medals at the South Central Asian Gymnastics Championships in Dhaka. The Indian team comprising five men and four women secured six gold medals in the total tally of 17. Ashish was the best male gymnast of

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AWARDS
Charles Correa Noted architect Charles Correa was on 15th December conferred Goa’s highest civilian award, the Gomant Vibhushan, by Governor K. Sankaranarayanan in Panaji on the eve of the culmination of the year-long golden jubilee celebrations of Goa’s liberation. M.S. Swaminathan Agricultural scientist, Ramon Magsaysay Award winner, and ‘Father of the Green Revolution’ M.S. Swaminathan, was conferred with the Dr. Pinnamaneni and Smt. Seethadevi Foundation Award on December 23. The foundation, established in December 1989 with the main aim of honouring eminent persons in the fields of literature, culture, fine arts, medicine, science, sports and social service, presented awards to V. Ramalingaswami and Sribhashyam Appalacharyulu in 1989. These were followed by stalwarts like Verghese Kurien, L.V. Prasad, Lata Mangeshkar, R.K. Laxman, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Yesudas, Kiran Bedi, Karan Singh, B.G. Verghese, Ramananda Sagar, Sudha Murthy, C.N.R. Rao, and Zakir Hussain. Ramachandra Guha Novelist Gopalakrishna Pai (Kannada) and eminent historian Ramachandra Guha (English) are among those who have won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award this year. Eight books won the award this year. Recommended by jury members representing 23 Indian languages, the awards were approved by the Executive Board of the Akademi which met in New Delhi on 21st December under the chairmanship of Akademi president Sunil Gangopadhyay. Poets honoured with the award are: (late) Kabin Phukan (Assamese), Manindra Gupta (Bengali), Premananda Mosahari (Bodo), Naseem Shafaie (Kashmiri), Melvyn Rodrigues (Konkani), Harekrishna Satapathy (Sanskrit), Aditya Kumar Mandi (Santali) and Khaleel Mamoon (Urdu). Other novelists who won the award are: Kashinath Singh (Hindi), Kshetri Bira (Manipuri),

Kalpanakumari Devi (Odia), Baldev Singh (Punjabi) and Atul Kanakk (Rajasthani). Lalit Magotra (Dogri), Grace (Marathi) and Samala Sadasiva (Telugu) received the award for their books on essays. Mr. Guha for his narrative history, Mohan Parmar (Gujarati) for his short stories, M.K. Sanu (Malayalam) for his biography and Mohan Gehani (Sindhi) for his book on plays have been honoured. Steve Jobs Computer visionary Steve Jobs is to be awarded a posthumous Grammy in honour of his profound affect on the music business, the Recording Academy has announced. The late co-founder and CEO of Apple will be the recipient of the organisation’s Trustees Award which recognises contributions to the music industry in areas other than performance. “A creative visionary, Jobs’ innovations such as the iPod and its counterpart, the online iTunes store, revolutionised the industry and how music was distributed and purchased.” said the academy. The academy also announced the recipients of its Lifetime Achievement Awards, including Glen Campbell, Allman Brothers Band, George Jones and Diana Ross. Jamil Ahmad On 21st December Jamil Ahmad’s book, The Wandering Falcon was presented the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize at the British Council Theatre in New Delhi. The book is a narrative about the lives of tribal people along the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. He started writing the book in 1971, it was completed by 1973 and then it hibernated for 40 years for it failed to find a publisher. The prize is set up in memory of writer and editor Shakti Bhatt. Bhartendu Harishchandra Awards The Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Shri S. Jagathrakshakan today gave away the Bhartendu Harishchandra Awards for the years 2009

and 2010. For 2009, the first prize in the Journalism and Mass Communication category was awarded to Dilip Chandra Mandal for his manuscript ‘Corporate, Loktantra aur Paid News’. Ms. Kumud Sharma’s book ‘Samachar Bazar ki Naitikta’ has been chosen for the second prize in this category. The third prize went jointly to Shivananda Kamde for his book ‘Cartoon Patrakarita’ and Dr. Akela Bhai for his book ‘Radio Sahitya aur Patrakarita’. In the Women’s Issues category, the first prize for 2009 was given to Ms. Lata Kot for her manuscript ‘Adha Asmaan Hamara’. Dr. Seena Rani’s manuscript ‘Nari ki Samasyayen aur Samadhan’ was awarded the second prize in this category. The first prize in Children’s Literature category for the same year was given to Ghamandi Lal Agrawal for his book ‘Geet Gyan Vigyan Ke’ and the second prize to Ms. Renu Saini for her manuscript ‘Bachpan ka Safar’. For 2010 the second prize in Journalism and Mass Communication category was awarded to Pranjal Dhar’s manuscript ‘Samkaleen Vaishwik Patrakarita Mei Akhbaar’. In Women’s Issues category in 2010, Dr. Suman Rai’s book ‘Gharelu Hinsa mein Mahila Sanrakshan Adhiniyam 2005, 2006’ was selected for the first prize while Ms. Pramila KP’s book ‘Stree: Yonikta banaam Adhyatmikta’ was selected for the second prize. In Children’s Literature category Sanjeev Jaiswal Sanjay’s book Dooba Hua Qila and the book ‘Cycle Par Thaa Kavva’ by Prabhat received the second prize. In the National Integration category for the year 2010 Dr. Shiv Kumar Rai’s manuscript Meri Jati Bhartiya has been selected for the first prize. The Bhartendu Harishchandra Awards are given to published or unpublished books in four categories- Journalism and Mass Communication, Women’s Issues, Children’s Literature and National Integration. The awards were instituted

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in 1983 to encourage original Hindi writings on topics related to journalism and mass communication. Awards for writings on women’s issues, children’s literature and national integration were included in from 1992-93. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, the renowned Indian-American scientist whose pathbreaking work in molecular biology won him the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is to be knighted along with two other foreign-born Nobel Laureates, Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of Russia. Prof. Ramakrishnan (58) had been conferred knighthood “for services to molecular biology” in the New Year Honours List 2012. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2010. Professor Ramakrishnan is based at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge while Profs. Geim and Novoselov, joint winners of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics, are at the University of Manchester. Nitish Kumar The Bill Gates and Melinda Foundation has accepted the proposal for conferring the Gates Innovation Award to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the first Gates Vaccine Innovation Award. The proposal came in the wake of Bihar’s remarkable contribution for effectively strengthening the immunisation programme. The Bihar Chief Minister will thus be the first recipient of the Vaccine Innovation Award, introduced globally by the Foundation carrying a cash of U.S. $ 250,000. The Foundation had taken the decision last year to bestow the award on an individual/team having made the most innovative contribution in vaccination field. The rise in routine immunisation played a major role in making Bihar a polio-free State in the country with not a single case of the dreaded disease reported in the year, 2011. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov Two Nobel laureates involved in the creation of graphene, a sheet of carbon just one atom thick, have received knighthoods in the 2012 Honours. Profs Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, from the University of Manchester, won the physics Nobel Prize in 2010 for their pioneering research. Dr Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, one of the 2009 chemistry Nobel Prize winners, has also received a knighthood. A knighthood has also been given to Prof Robert Watson, chief scientific adviser to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Profs Geim and Novoselov, both originally from Russia, first worked together in the Netherlands before moving to the UK. It was their work on the world’s thinnest material that was recognised by the Nobel committee in 2010 for “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”. Kamla Persad-Bissessar Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar was the chief guest at the Pravasi Bharati Divas 2012 in Jaipur and was honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award. Persad-Bissessar, who was on a 10-day official visit to the country, accompanied by several ministers and two prominent sporting Ambassadors, cricketers Brian Lara and Darren Ganga. This is the first state visit by a woman Head of Government of Indian origin. She also visited her ancestral village in Buxar, Bihar. Venkatesh Varma Senior Indian diplomat D. Bala Venkatesh Varma — a key member of the negotiating team that saw the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal through from the first agreement of July 2005 down to the Additional Protocol in 2010 — was given the first S.K. Singh award “for his extraordinary efforts to

strengthen India’s position in the global nuclear order” by Sonia Gandhi on 6th January. The award for excellence in the Indian Foreign Service is named after the former foreign secretary and Governor, Shailendra Kumar Singh, a diplomat widely respected within the IFS community for his acumen, professionalism and leadership. Mr. Varma was selected as the first recipient of the prestigious award. Mr. Varma is a 1988 batch officer of the Indian foreign service. Prime Minister Trophy and Steel Minister Trophy Center has announced the winners of the Prime Minister Trophy and Steel Minister Trophy for the year 2008-09 and 200910 for their outstanding contribution in the steel sector. The winners are: For 2009-10: • Prime Minister Trophy - Bhilai Steel Plant of SAIL • Steel Minister Trophy - Visakhapatnam Steel Plant of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd • Certificate of Excellence for year 2009-10 - Tata Steel Ltd For 2008-09: • Prime Minister Trophy - Tata Steel Ltd • Steel Minister Trophy - Bhilai Steel Plant of SAIL

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BOOKS & AUTHORS
The writing on the wall – India Checkmates America, 2017 - General S. Padmanabhan Collaborator - Mirza Waheed The Truth About Me - A. Revathi Chinaman - Shehan Karunatilaka A Free Man - Aman Sethi R.D. Burman: The Man, The Music Anirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal Tools of Justice: Non Discrimination and the Indian Constitution - Kalpana Kannabiran The Final Abode - Shivani Nath ‘Battle for the Soul of the ANC’; ‘Thabo

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Mbeki’ - William Gumede’ Gujrat and the Sea - Dr. Lotika Varadharajan

APPOINTED/ELECTED
Seema Malhotra Britain’s opposition Labour party candidate Seema Malhotra, daughter of an Indian immigrant, on 16th December won the bypoll to the Feltham and Heston constituency in London with an increased majority over the Conservatives. The by-election to the constituency, a stronghold of the Labour, was caused by the death of former party MP, Alan Keen. Ms. Malhotra increased Labour’s majority from 4,658 to 6,203 when she won with 12,639 votes. Conservative candidate Mark Bowen came second with 6,436 votes, while Roger Crouch, the Liberal Democrat, held on to the third place with 1,364 votes DV Sadananda Gowda Karnataka chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda has taken oath as member of the state Legislative Council, after he won the council by-poll. He is the first chief minister of the state to become the member of the Upper House. Later he resigned his Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha seat. Gowda, a Lok Sabha member, was sworn in chief minister in August after BS Yeddyurappa was asked by the BJP Central leadership to quit over his indictment in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining. Peter Praet The European Central Bank has named Belgian executive board member Peter Praet as its chief economist following the resignation of Juergen Stark. Mr Praet, 62, will oversee ECB economists who calculate projections on which interest rate decisions for the 17-country eurozone are based. He has been a member of the ECB’s six-member board since June 2011. Mr Stark resigned citing “personal reasons” in September, but stayed on until a successor was appointed. Mr Praet earned a PhD in economics from the Free University of

Brussels in 1980 and worked in the public and private sectors before becoming a board member of the Belgian central bank in 2000. He was a member of the Basel Committee on banking supervision and a first alternative of the board of directors of the Bank for International Settlements. Yussef al-Mangush Yussef al-Mangush, a former colonel in Muammar Gaddafi’s military has been appointed as the new chief of staff of the Libyan army. Yussef al-Mangush, who took voluntary retirement from Gaddafi’s military and even participated in the rebellion against the former leader, was promoted to the rank of general and appointed as chief of staff. The post has been vacant since the murder in July of General Abdel Fatah Yunis, who commanded the former rebels in eastern Libya against Gaddafi’s diehards. Mangush is currently a deputy defence minister in the interim government of Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib. Scott Thompson Yahoo has named Scott Thompson, president of eBay’s PayPal division, as its new CEO. The struggling Internet Company, has been without a permanent CEO since early September. It fired Carol Bartz after losing patience with her attempts to turn around the company during her two and half years on the job. Tim Morse, Yahoo’s Chief Financial Officer, has been interim CEO since Ms. Bartz’s ouster. Mr. Thompson has served as president of PayPal, eBay’s online payment service, since January 2008. He previously served as PayPal’s senior vicepresident and Chief Technology Officer. Alka Sirohi Ms. Alka Sirohi has assumed office as Member, UPSC. An IAS officer of 1974 batch of Madhya Pradesh Cadre, she served as Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, M/o Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution in Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution

in Government of India. Earlier, she was Special Secretary and Additional Secretary in the same Ministry and also held the post of Principal Advisor in the Planning Commission. A post graduate in Western History, Ms. Sirohi is trained in management and issues related to sustainable development. Rajeev Agrawal Chief general manager of BSNL’s Andhra Pradesh circle Rajeev Agrawal is likely to join as Secretary at the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Agrawal will be replacing R K Arnold who will become member of TRAI. Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has cleared the decks for Arnold to become permanent member in the TRAI. Arnold’s candidature for the post of permanent member was contested by Rakesh Mehrotra who was given the first preference in a list prepared by a search panel almost a year ago. He approached CAT alleging foul play in the selection. The post of permanent member has been vacant after R K Prabhakar retired in February, 2010. Dr. Arvind Gupta Dr. Arvind Gupta, an officer of the Indian Foreign Service 1979 batch, has taken over charge as the Director General, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA). Before assuming charge as DG, IDSA, he held the Lal Bahadur Shastri Chair in Strategic and Defence Studies at IDSA since March, 2008. Prior to joining IDSA, Dr. Gupta was Joint Secretary at the National Security Council (NSC) Secretariat (NSCS) from 1999 to 2008. Vice Admiral M.P. Muralidharan Vice Admiral M.P. Muralidharan has taken charge as the Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard. Prior to taking over as the Director-General, Muralidharan was the Chief of Personnel at the Integrated Headquarters (IHQ), Ministry of Defence, and earlier served as the first Commandant of the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, he was commissioned into the Navy in 1975.

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Daniel Ortega Daniel Ortega has been sworn in for a third term as Nicaragua’s president following his landslide victory in November’s polls. The former Sandinista guerrilla leader has promised “no dramatic changes” during his next five years in office. The former rebel won the election with more than 60% of the vote, while his Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) won a big congressional majority. Mr Ortega previously ruled Nicaragua for 11 years after leading the Sandinista revolution that overthrew dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979. Prasanna Kumar Pincha The Union Government has appointed Prasanna Kumar Pincha as the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. It is for the first time ever that a person with disability has been appointed as the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in the country. A Disability Rights Activist of caliber, Shri Pincha is Visually Disabled since his birth. Mr. Pincha is a former Founder Principal of the Government Institute for the Blinds in Jorhat, Assam, Former Joint Director of Social Welfare of Government of Assam, Former Regional – Senior Manager of ActionAid (an international NGO) of the North-East of India. Ma Ying-jeou Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou has been re-elected for a second term after a closely fought electoral contest, whose verdict was seen as giving his ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party the mandate to continue policies aimed at boosting economic ties and relations with China. Mr. Ma held off a strong challenge from the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen, who rode a wave of popular support amid increasing anxieties over rising unemployment and concerns about the island’s sovereignty. Mr. Ma ultimately emerged as the victor in a race that was closer than many expected. He won 51.5 per cent of the vote, while Ms. Tsai of the DPP garnered 45.7 per cent.

RESIGNED/SUSPENDED
Jacques Chirac In a historic judgment, the former French President, Jacques Chirac (79), was on 15th December given a two-year suspended sentence for misappropriation of public funds and embezzlement. This is the first time a French Head of State has been convicted since the trial in 1945 of Marshal Philippe Petain who collaborated with the Nazis. Mr. Chirac served two consecutive terms as President from 1995 to 2007. Mr. Chirac’s crimes date back to the 1990s when, as Mayor of Paris, he placed several of his party men and women on the public payroll in what has been described as “phantom jobs”. Non-government organisations and lawyers had filed the cases against Mr. Chirac. Mr. Chirac’s case took years to come to court because as President he was immune to prosecution. Elattuvalapil Sreedharan ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan on 31st December retired as the Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). 79-year-old Sreedharan, architect of the Konkan Railway project who joined the Delhi Metro in 1995, retired after 16 years of service in the Delhi Metro. During his tenure as Metro Chief, Sreedharan constructed and spread the network far and wide across the National Capital Region. The ‘Metro Man’, joined the Indian Railways in 1953. From 8 km in 2002, Delhi Metro now has a network of 190 km and carries two million passengers every day. During his tenure, Sreedharan also brought in a system at the organisation which is known for completing its project well before schedule. Mr. Sreedharan is a recipient of many awards including Padma Shri (2001), Padma Vibhushan (2008), One of Asia’s Heroes by TIME (2003), Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by the government of France (2005) and CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2007 (2008). He handed over the baton to his colleague Mangu Singh Mr. His successor

Singh is an Indian Railways Service of Engineers (IRSE) officer of the 1981 batch and worked with Sreedharan in the Kolkata Metro project. He has been associated with the Delhi Metro since its inception and particularly oversaw the high-speed Airport Metro Express Corridor. The engineer is also in-charge for consultancy works undertaken by Delhi Metro for planning Metro systems in cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Kochi. Deepak Parekh HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh, who is an independent director in Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) board, has resigned after 14 years of association. Philipp Hildebrand Switzerland’s central bank said its chairman Philipp Hildebrand has stepped down in the wake of a public uproar over his private currency deals. His departure coincided with a Swiss parliamentary committee hearing, to be held to get answers about the deals he engaged in while leading efforts to soften the Swiss franc. Swiss media have been awash with reports about public unease over the dollar swaps that netted Mr. Hildebrand tens of thousands of dollars last year. He said he has since donated the profits to charity. R. Sellamuthu Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission Chairman R. Sellamuthu, who is facing allegations of corruption in recruitment of candidates, has submitted his resignation to Governor K. Rosaiah. Mr. Sellamuthu, an IAS officer of the 1976 batch, was appointed to the post in January 2010, when the DMK government was in office. His term was due to end in June this year on his attaining the age of 62.

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DIED/KILLED
Khandige Shyambhat Khandige Shyambhat, acclaimed Kannada writer, Sanskrit scholar, and spiritual worker, passed away owing to age-

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related ailments. He was 93 years old. Shyambhat had stood in the forefront of agitations demanding merger of parts of Kasaragod district with Karnataka. He was also one of the directors of Karnataka Bank and had supervised the activities of various temples in the district. N.V. Balakrishnan Well-known Bharatanatyam Mridangam Vidwan N.V. Balakrishnan - affectionately known as Adyar Balu - died on 15th December. He was 64. He had also received many coveted recognitions, including honours from Naatyarangam Trust, Narada Gana Sabha, and Natyanjali Trust. Christopher Hitchens Christopher Hitchens, the author, essayist and polemicist who waged verbal and occasional physical battle on behalf of causes left and right and wrote the provocative bestseller “God is Not Great,” died on 15th December after a long battle with cancer. He was 62. Mr. Hitchens had become a popular author in 2007 thanks to “God is Not Great,” a manifesto for athiests that defied a recent trend of religious works. He wrote the anti-Clinton book, “No One Left to Lie To,” at a time when most liberals were supporting the president as he faced impeachment over his affair with Monica Lewinsky. His essays were compiled in such books as “For the Sake of Argument” and “Prepared for the Worst”. Vaclav Havel Former Czech President Vaclav Havel passed away on 18th December. He was 75. Mr. Havel became the icon of anticommunist dissidence and the symbol of the democratisation of Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Mr. Havel became the first President of non-Communist Czechoslovakia in 1989. He steered his country through a heart wrenching partition — described by many as “a velvet divorce” — in 1992 when the Czech and Slovak republics

were born. Mr. Havel remained the Czech President until 2003, steering his country into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 1999 and the European Union. He left office in 2003, a year before the Czech Republic became a member of the EU. He also wrote a famous book ‘Letters to Olga’, dedicated to his first wife. P.K. Iyengar The former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), P.K. Iyengar passed away in Mumbai on 21st December. He was 80. Dr. Iyengar was Chairman, AEC, and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) from 1990-93. He was Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), from 1984 to 1990. As the Director of the Physics group at BARC, Dr. Iyengar played a leading role in India’s first Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE) in May 1974 at Pokhran in Rajasthan. As AEC Chairman, Dr. Iyengar vigorously pursued the nuclear power programme with the commissioning of reactors at Narora in Uttar Pradesh and Kakrapara in Gujarat. He emphasised the importance of the development of the Fast Breeder Test Reactor at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research at Kalpakkam. He led a team that indigenously designed and developed the PURNIMA reactor, which was commissioned in 1972. He received several awards, including Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award and Padma Bhushan. Satyadev Dubey Renowned director, actor and screenplay writer Satyadev Dubey passed away in Mumbai on 24th December. He was 75. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Mr. Dubey had become a legend in Marathi-Hindi theatre. In his long career, he produced and directed plays of all the prominent playwrights of post-Independence period: Girish Karnad (Yayati, Hayavadana), Badal Sarkar (Evam Indrajit, Pagla Ghoda), Chandrashekhara Kambara (Aur Tota Bola — Jokumaraswamy in original Kannada), Mohan Rakesh (Aadhe Adhure), Vijay Tendulkar (Gidhade, Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe). He also penned film scripts and dialogue, including for Shyam

Benegal’s Bhumika. Rani Jethmalani Rani Jethmalani, social activist and Supreme Court lawyer passed away in Mumbai on 31st December morning due to terminal illness. Ms. Jethmalani, daughter of renowned lawyer Ram Jethmalani, worked relentlessly for women’s rights. Women’s rights issue was very close to Ms. Jethmalani’s heart. She founded the Mahila Dakshata Samiti to campaign against the social evils against women. She also co-founded the WARLAW (Women’s Action Research and Legal Action for Women) to research and challenge the outdated traditions, and to make the implementation and practice of law more gender-neutral. Rajmal Sanghi Veteran journalist Rajmal Sanghi passed away following prolonged illness. He was 88. He was the former General Manager of Samachar Bharti and was also associated with Hindustan Standard. He also served as a manager of the Hindi section of Samachar agency. The Pink city Press Club had felicitated him with Lifetime Achievement Award last year for his outstanding contribution to the field of journalism. Josef Skvorecky Czech author Josef Skvorecky, who took a stand against communist authorities in his native country by publishing banned works, has died aged 87. The writer fled after the 1968 Soviet-led invasion and founded an agency that published books by dissident authors such as Vaclav Havel. Havel, who died in December, became the first President of the Czech Republic. In 1990, he presented Skvorecky with the Order of the White Lion - the country’s highest honour. In 1982, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize and two years later was presented with the Canadian Governor General’s Award for English Language Fiction. In 1996, he was made a knight of the order of arts and letters - one of the highest honours in France - and he was named the recipient of the Czech Republic State

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Prize for Literature in 1999. Sukumaran Nambiar Senior BJP leader Sukumaran Nambiar passed away on 7th January, after suffering a heart attack. Mr. Sukumaran (60) was BJP’s National Executive Committee member. Son of legendary actor late M.N. Nambiar, the soft-spoken leader is believed to have enjoyed a good rapport with BJP veteran L.K. Advani and AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa. A former military instructor, Mr. Sukumaran Nambiar was seen instrumental in firming up alliance between the two parties in 1998 and 2004. An industrialist by profession, Mr. Sukumaran Nambiar had unsuccessfully contested the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, losing to DMK’s C. Kuppuswamy from North Chennai constituency. Zhang Jun Zhang Jun, a Chinese dancer who brought Bharatanatyam and Kathak to Mao’s China in the 1950s has passed away following a long battle with cancer. She was 79. Zhang first visited India as a curious 19-year-old in the early 1950s, when she was encouraged by former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai to study Indian dance and culture and serve as a bridge between the two newly founded young nations. In India, Zhang met Uday Shankar, regarded as the father of modern Indian dance, and studied with Birju Maharaj. She later helped found one of China’s most celebrated dance troupes, the Oriental Song and Dance Ensemble. Rauf Denktash Rauf Denktash, who headed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for more than 30 years, has died aged. Mr Denktash became president of the territory when Cyprus split in 1974 and retired in 2005. He was regarded as a staunch supporter of Turkish Cypriot independence. He took power in the northern half of the island after a Greek-inspired coup prompted a Turkish invasion. But his state has only ever been recognised by Turkey. UNsponsored talks to reunite the island have not so far born fruit despite a 2004

reunification plan, and the dispute has been a source of tension between Greece and Turkey for decades. Homai Vyarawalla India’s first woman photo-journalist Homai Vyarawalla died at the age of 98. Born on December 9, 1913 to a Parsi family, Vyarawalla grew up in Mumbai and moved to Delhi in 1942 where she photographed events leading to Independence, as an employee of the British Information Services. She also photographed the first flag hoisting ceremony at Red Fort on August 15, 1947, the departure of Lord Mountbatten from India and the funerals of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri. She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in January last year.

During the investigation, police on 29th December announced that the murder of Anuj was treated as a racially motivated hate crime though they insisted there was still no direct evidence to establish a “clear motive”. Until now, police had ruled out racist motive treating it as one of the many possibilities. Sheikh Hasina Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has received the degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) from by the Tripura Central University. She was offered the honorary degree in recognition of her “great contribution to the protection of multicultural democracy and peace” in her country and in the sub-continent.

PEOPLE IN NEWS
Jyoti Amge An Indian student measuring just 62.8 centimetres was on 16th January confirmed as the world’s shortest living woman, the Guinness World Records said. Jyoti Amge took the title as she celebrated her 18th birthday with family and friends in Nagpur. Ms. Amge is also the world’s shortest teenager. Ms. Amge, who has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia that has restricted her height to that of an average four-monthold baby girl, has just finished her high school exams. The previous holder of the title was 69.49-centimetre-tall Bridgette Jordan from Illinois, U.S., Mr. Molloy said. Anuj Bidve Anuj Bidve, an Indian student of Lancaster University in U.K., was shot in the head at close range in Salford on 26 December. Kiaran Stapleton, 20, is accused of the murder and is remanded in custody. Anuj, from Pune in western India, was doing a postgraduate course in microelectronics. The 23-year-old had been visiting friends in Greater Manchester over the festive period. As they walked along Ordsall Lane, Salford, in the early hours of 26 December, Mr Bidve was shot. He died later in hospital.

PLACES IN NEWS
YETI 2011 , Guwahati Leading ecologists, wildlife biologists, conservation experts and research scholars of the country on 15th December came up with a number of workable strategies to meet conservation challenges in the northeast at the conclusion of the three-day Young Ecologists Talk and Interact (YETI), 2011, held at the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati. WFP Delegation Reviews TPDS Pilot Project in Odisha A World Food Programme (WFP) delegation led by Mr. Torben Due, Director (Operation), WFP, Rome finished their visit to Rayagada District in the State of Orissa for reviewing the progress of WFP’s pilot project on technology based initiative for strengthening of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) to decide about its scalability and replication. The delegation debriefied the Food Minister regarding their visit and observations about the project. They have agreed to the suggestion of replicating the aforesaid initiative in some other States in consultation with the Government of India. Ramanujan Mathematics Centre to be Set up in Chennai

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The Ramanujan Mathematical Society (RMS) president and chair of the organising committee M.S. Raghunathan said on 26th December that a mathematics centre named after Ramanujan would be set up in Chennai. A documentary, tracing the history of mathematics in India, would be made. The year-long celebrations of Ramanujan birth anniversary would culminate in an international conference of mathematicians in New Delhi in December next. 99th Indian Bhubaneswar Science Congress,

President Inaugurates Mission Control Centre

New

SHAR

President Pratibha Patil on 2nd January dedicated the new Mission Control Centre to the nation at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC SHAR) at Sriharikota in Nellore. The new centre has been developed with state-of-theart facilities to meet the requirements for the launch of the Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III and future missions of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Jerusalem Municipality to Establish Bapu Memorial Looking up to Mahatma Gandhi’s message of peace, Jerusalem municipality is mulling over establishing a memorial for the Indian leader, which will include a statue of Bapu and a mediation centre, in an area connecting a Jewish neighbourhood and an Arab one. The statue of India’s Father of the Nation is being contributed by the municipality of Geneva and is identical to the one put up by it to honour the symbol of nonviolence.

in a major way. The reputation of this organisation enabled its participation in conserving monuments in other countries like Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos, etc. After becoming an active member of World Heritage Convention of UNESCO, India has so far 28 World Heritage Properties inscribed with UNESCO out of which 19 are under ASI. 2012 Declared Mathematical Year as National

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the 99th Indian Science Congress (ISC) at the KIIT University in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The 3-7 January event was held on the theme “Science and Technology for Inclusive Innovation - Role of Women.” In line with the theme, the first Women Science Congress was inaugurated by Ms Nirupama Rao, Indian Ambassador to the US, on the sidelines of the 99th ISC. The Indian Science Congress is headed by Geetha Bali, vice chancellor of the Karnataka State Women’s University, Bijapur. She is the fourth woman in the history of the ISC to head the Congress. The Prime Minister said the government was examining a proposal to build national capacity and capability in supercomputing which will be implemented by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, at an estimated cost of Rs 5,000 crore. He said there was another proposal for setting up a Neutrino Observatory at Theni in Tamil Nadu at a cost of Rs 1,350 crore to study the fundamental particles that form the universe. He declared that, it was a hundred years ago that Madame Marie Curie, one of the most outstanding scientists of the 20th century, won her first Nobel Prize. To honour her achievements, 2011 was declared as the “International Year of Chemistry”.

On 26th December Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared 2012 as the ‘National Mathematical year’ as a tribute to maths wizard Srinivasa Ramanujan at a function to mark the 125th birth anniversary of the great mathematician. Dr. Singh also declared December 22, the birthday of Ramanujan, as ‘National Mathematics Day. Honouring Professor Robert Kanigel, who has written a biography of Ramanujan, Dr. Singh said this book has made Ramanujan well known to the public at large all over the world. Happy Birthday ‘Jana Gana Mana’ ‘Jana Gana Mana’, the country’s national anthem penned by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, turned 100 on 27th December as it was first sung on this day a century ago at the 1911 Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress. Written in highly Sanskritised Bengali in 1911 by one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, the song was adopted as the country’s national anthem by the Constituent Assembly on January 24, 1950. Rabindranath Tagore translated “Jana Gana Mana” from Bengali to English in 1911 and also set it to music in Madanapalle, a small town in Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. After it was translated into English, Indian students took the song beyond

MISCELLANEOUS
150th Anniversary of Archaeological Survey of India The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has celebrated its centennial year of its founding in 2011. The ASI was founded in the December 1861 as a result of a series of antiquarian, artistic and architectural investigations since 1784, when the Asiatic Society was established under Sir William Jones. Sir Alexander Cunningham was the first Archaeological Surveyor of ASI. The ASI gradually grew as a pan-India organisation under Sir John Marshall. His period also saw the discovery of Indus Valley Civilization. Subsequently, the organisation grew under Sir Mortimer Wheeler. The ASI also expanded its activities in the protection, conservation, preservation and environmental upgradation of nationally protected monuments numbering 3677

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the country’s borders making it ‘The Morning Song of India’ and subsequently the national anthem. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army adopted Jana Gana Mana as the National Anthem, while Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi had in 1946 said the “the song has found a place in our national life.” The song was selected as the national anthem of India after considerable debate overruled Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s popular Bengali song ‘Vande Mataram’ in the face of opposition from certain communities. Cyclone Thane Cyclonic storm ‘Thane’ has claimed many lives as it hit the Tamil Nadu coast, leaving a trail of destruction and throwing life out of gear in Cuddalore district and neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry. It was formed over southwest Bay of Bengal moved further westward and crossed north Tamil Nadu coast. Jawaharlal Nehru Certification Port Gets ISO

requirements, promoting maritime trade with pollution control, reducing waste and creating environmental awareness in the Port community. The OHSAS 18001 certification demonstrates the commitment of JNPT to occupational health and safety, and continuous improvement of their related management systems. Cargo Ship ‘Rena’ A cargo ship grounded off the New Zealand coast since October has split in two, spilling sea containers and debris and sparking fears of a fresh oil spill. The wreck of the Greek-owned Rena was described as New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster even before the rear section of the ship, lashed by pounding seas, broke away. The ship previously spilled heavy fuel oil that fouled pristine North Island beaches and killed up to 20,000 seabirds, and despite salvage efforts nearly 400 tons of oil remains onboard. The Rena ran aground on Astrolabe Reef 14 miles (22 kilometres) from Tauranga Harbor on North Island on Oct. Jarawa Tribe Andaman Police on 12th December registered criminal case in connection with the shooting and uploading of a video footage showing a group of tribal women being ordered to dance for tourists by a policeman. The policeman had allegedly taken a bribe of £ 200 to take tourists into the protected Jarawa reserve. The issue had sparked controversy when British newspaper, ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Observer’, a weekly, had released video footage of police involvement in ’human safaris’ in the Andaman Islands. However, the Andaman and Nicobar administration ruled out closure of the Andaman Trunk (ATR) road ordered

by the Supreme Court a decade ago to protect the Jarawa habitat. The road cuts through South Andaman where the Jarawa reserve is located, linking Port Blair with Diglipur in North Andaman. A Supreme Court ruling in 2002 on the Shekhar Singh Commission report had ordered closure of the ATR road to protect the Jarawas. The scandal, first exposed by Survival International, an NGO in 2010, involves tourists using an illegal road to enter the reserve of the Jarawa tribe. Golden Jubilee of Paradip Port Trust Paradip Port Trust in Odisha on 13th January celebrated the Golden Jubilee year of its establishment. Paradip Port successfully crossed 50 years in the promotion of Indian trade and commerce and was blessed by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who laid the foundation stone of Paradip Port on the 3rd January, 1962. This Port is the first major port on the East Coast commissioned after Independence. The Port handled 56 million metric tonnes of traffic during 2010-11 comprising of 31.22 million tonnes of import cargo and 24.81 million tonnes of export cargo. The government aims to create a port capacity of around 3200 MT by attracting investments to the tune of Rs. 2,87,000 crore to handle the expected traffic of about 2500 MT by 2020. Italian cruise ‘Costa Concorida’ Many people died and dozens more went missing after a cruise ship ‘Costa Concorida’ ran aground near the Isola del Giglio, an island off Italy’s western coast on 13th January. The Costa Concordia had set off from the port of Civitavecchia, near Rome, for the start of a Mediterranean cruise, when its crew signaled an electrical fault to port authorities.

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Indian Register for Quality Systems (IRQS) has awarded ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification to Jawaharlal Nehru Port. With these certifications, JNPT has become the first major port to achieve the three certifications from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) - ISO 9001 / 14001 / 27001- and an Occupational Health and Safety Management System certification - OHSAS 18001. JNPT has obtained ISO 14001 certification by identifying the importance of sustainable development and has demonstrated its commitment to social and environmental responsibility by developing an Environment Management System beyond legal

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QUESTIONS@IP...

CURRENT AFFAIRS QUESTIONS@IP
1. The internal debt to GDP ratio increased to 32.3% of GDP during second quarter of 2011-12 from 31.4% in the April-June quarter. It is a matter of concern because 1. It may lead to hyper-inflation in the economy. 2. Economy may enter the debt trap 3. It may lead to fiscal crisis in the economy. Choose the correct combination. (a) 1 and 2 (b) 2 and 3 (c) 1 and 3 (d) None of the above. 2. The 103-year-old Calcutta Stock Exchange (CSE) launched operations on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) platform on 28 November 2011. In this context consider the following statements. 1. CSE becomes the only stock exchange in India to offer facility to trade on three trading platforms — Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), National Stock Exchange (NSE) and CSE with a single membership. 2. There are at present 20 demutualised stock exchanges in the country. 3. Ahmedabad stock exchange is the second oldest stock exchange in the country. Which is/are incorrect? (a) 1 and 2 (b) 2 and 3 (c) 1 and 3 (d) None of the above. 3. Rajasthan government has decided to grant Khatedari rights to 30000 farmers. Khatedari in the context of land reforms means (a) Non-transferable rights to the farmers (b) Heritable and transferable rights to the farmers. (c) Operational and ceiling rights to the marginal farmers. (d) Stability and protection of tenancy. 4. Recently the Working Group on Road Safety set up by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways submitted the Report. In this context consider the following statements 1. It has recommended for increasing the penalty for traffic rules violation and revise it every three years based on consumer price index. 2. Overloading of commercial vehicles should be treated as criminal offence. Which is/are correct? (a) 1 only (b) 2 only (c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2 5. Which among the following is the first-ever woman director of an Indian missile project and is set to place India in an elite club of nations like the US, Russia and China with the capability to produce their own long-range Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). (a) Nirmala Deshpande (b) Tessy Thomas (c) Krishna Ella (d) Manindra Agrawal 6. Consider following statements: 1. Indibacter Alkaliphilus, Pedobacter Himalayensis, Bacillus Aryabhattai and Sphingobacterium Antarcticus are among the 70 bacteria which are recently discovered from diverse habitats ranging from the cold regions of Antarctica, Arctic, stratosphere and ancient Lonar lake (in Maharashtra) that was formed when a meteorite hit the earth millions of years ago and the deep sea. 2. With their ability to survive, grow and divide in freezing climes, these psychrophilic or cold-loving bacteria serve as excellent model systems to understand molecular basis for cold adaptation. 3. One of the microbes found in Indian Ocean was named in honour of the founder-director of The Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), P.M. Bhargava (Bhargavaea Cecembensis). 4. Bacillus Isronensis, one of the seven bacteria isolated from stratosphere (10-50 km altitude) was named in honour of ISRO, which funded that part of the project, while another microbe from a Himalayan glacier was named after CCMB (Bacillus Cecembensis). Correct statements are: (a) 1, 2, 3 and 4 (b) 1, 2 and 3 (c) 2, 3 and 4 (d) 3, 4 and 1 7. Consider the following statements. I. The power to grant relief fund by the PM and the CM is a not a discretionary power and is subject to the approval of the Parliament. II. Sense of the House can be moved only by the Speaker and matter can be put to vote. Which is/are correct? (a) I only (b) II only (c) Both I and II (d) Neither I nor II 8. Which one of the following has not

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been matched correctly? (a) 96th Amendment Act : Substitutes “Odia” for “Orissa” (b) 91st Amendment Act: Anti-defection law (c) 94th Amendment Act: Extend the reservation for SCs/ STs (d) 93rd Amendment Act: Provides for reservation for OBCs 9. Consider the following statements: I. The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) will link Mumbai Island with the mainland at Raigad. II. The Indian Council of Philosphical Research (ICPR) was established in 1997 by the then Union Ministry of Education. III. The States covered by the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) include Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, and Maharashtra only. Which is/are incorrect? (a) I and II 10. EIR-21 is (a) The first electric locomotive of India. (b) World’s oldest locomotive. (d) The world’s supercomputer. steam (b) I and III (c) II and III (d) All of the above.

total planned expenditure on IT. 12. Nord Stream Pipeline is of strategic significance to the Russians because I. It will make Russia less dependence on other countries for exporting gas. II. It will lead to Russia playing an enhanced role in Europe. III. It will force Ukraine to give Russia a greater say in its foreign policy. Choose the correct combination. (a) I only (c) II only (b) I and II (d) All of the above

results at primary and district level. 3. It does not provide for private players which are dominant players in the health sector Which is/are correct? (a) 1 and 2 (b) 2 and 3 (c) 1 and 3 (d) None of the above. 16. Food inflation has come down to record low levels. In this context, consider the following statements. 1. It was the result of high vegetable and milk production 2. It was the result of high base effect in the previous fiscal 3. It was natural as inflation in India is cyclical in nature and not structural. 4. Primary articles have a very low weight in overall calculation of Wholesale Price Index Which is/are correct? (a) 1 and 2 (b) 2 and 3 (c) 1 and 3 (d) None of the above. 17. Which among the following statements is/are correct? 1. Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in kollam, kerala is a protected area in the Western Ghats. 2. The Southern Birdwing, the largest Indian butterfly, is seen in almost all the regions of this sanctuary. 3. According to a latest survey, large-scale use of herbicides in the plantations within the sanctuary has taken a heavy toll on the butterflies and other forms of life. Correct option is: (a) 1, 2 and 3 (b) Only 1 (c) 1 and 3 (d) Only 3 following 18. Which among the statements are correct?

13. Which state has recently launched Kishori Scheme for Adoloscent Girls? (a) Andhra Pradesh (b) Maharashtra (c) Tamil Nadu (d) Delhi 14. Consider the following statements 1. B K Chaturvedi committee has been set up to look into the issues related to power utilities reform in seven major states. 2. Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the two states among seven major states. 3. Haryana was the first state to allow private sector participation in the power sector. Which is/are correct? (a) 1 and 2 (b) 2 and 3 (c) 1 and 3 (d) None of the above. 15. The World Bank has raised concern over the proposed universal healthcare in the 12th Plan. The main concern raised are 1. It eliminates intermediation by insurance companies which play a critical role. 2. It provides for improving access but not emphasise at achieving

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(c) Magnetic rail unveiled by China. fastest

11. Which one of the following statements related to the Bihar Information Technology Policy 2011 is incorrect? (a) To make all department paperless by 2017. (b) To promote IT related subject in education and governance. (c) To make Bihar an attractive destination for investments. (d) It earmarks 3 per cent of the

1. Hargobind Khorana (January 9, 1922 – November 9, 2011) was an Indian-born British biochemist who won the Nobel

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Prize in Medicine in 1968 along with two other scientists. 2. It was his work on showing how genetic material is converted to proteins that won him the Nobel Prize along with Robert Holley and Marshall Nirenberg. 3. Scientists at the National Institute of Immunology (NII), Delhi have developed a new vaccine for cancer which centres around a cancer treatment modality called Dendritic cell therapy, in which a patient’s own immune cells are used to fight cancer. Correct option is: (a) 1 and 3 (b) 1 and 2 (c) 2 and 3 (d) 1, 2 and 3 19. Which of the following statements is incorrect? (a) Tiangong-1 (literally “Heavenly Palace 1”) is a Chinese space laboratory module and an experimental testbed to demonstrate the rendezvous and docking capabilities needed to support a space station complex. (b) Tiangong-1 was launched unmanned in September 2011 as a part of the Tiangong program, which aims to place a larger, modular station into orbit by 2020. (c) Tiangong-1 will be deorbited in 2016, and replaced over the following decade by the larger Tiangong-2 and Tiangong-3 modules. (d) Tiangong-1 is expected to be visited by three Shenzhou missions during its operational lifetime. The first of these, the unmanned Shenzhou 8, successfully docked with the module in November 2011, while the manned Shenzhou 9 and 10 missions are expected to launch in 2012. 20. Which among the following

statement/s is/are incorrect? 1. A “super strain” of yeast is developed by researchers at the University of Georgia which can efficiently ferment ethanol from pre-treated pine – one of the most common species of trees in Georgia and the U.S. 2. The breakthrough discovery could help biofuels replace gasoline as a transportation fuel. 3. The big plus for softwoods, including pine, is that they have a lot of sugar that yeast can use. 4. “Yeast is currently used in ethanol production from corn or sugarcane, which are much easier materials for fermentation. Correct option is: (a) 1 and 2 (b) 2 and 3 (c) 1 and 3 (d) None of the above. 21. The Approach Paper to the 12th Plan has been approved. In this light there is need to examine the nature of the planning after the economic reforms which has undergone a paradigmatic shift. In such a scenario what are the possible broad directions which Planning could lay down? I. Constructing medium-term economic projections for the entire economy. II. Ensuring a degree of consensus in the system through meaningful dialogues with “social partners” of the government. III. Evolving system of information pooling and dissemination. (a) I and III (b) I and II (c) II and III (d) All of the above. 22. Human Development Report, 2011

has brought some changes in the methodology for constructing HDI. In this context consider the following statements. I. Knowledge Index is now constructed on the basis of ‘mean years of schooling’ and ‘expected years of schooling’ II. Gender Inequality Index is constructed on the basis of five indicators and three dimensions. III. HDI is the simple average of the three dimensions, namely, life expectancy, education, and per capita GNI. Which is/are incorrect? (a) I only (b) II only (c) III only (d) All of the above. 23. Since Pittsburgh, the G20 has in fact become the victim of its own success in averting a global economic disaster. The main reason for this is/are I. Adoption of unilateral measures on a national basis. II. An unwillingness among members to engage in consultation with G20 partners. III. Constant quantitative easing programme in the US. IV. Volatile capital inflows in the emerging economies. V. China and Germany refusal to draw fiscal and foreign exchange surplus down to reduce global imbalances. Which is/are correct? (a) I, II and III (b) II, III and V (c) II, IV and V (d) All of the above 24. Which one of the following phases of development with respect to countries had/will fuel the global economic growth is not correctly matched? (a) 1950s and 1960s: USA (b) 1970s and 1980s: South Korea (c) 1990s and 2000s: China

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(d) 2010 and 2020: India 25. India is reconsidering to reopen the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with South Korea. In this context arrange the following CEPAs or Free Trade Agreements which India has signed with countries/regions chronologically. I. Singapore II. Sri Lanka III. Japan IV. BIMSTEC (a) IV, II, III, I (b) II, IV, III, I (c) II, IV, I, III (d) II, I, IV, III 26. In which one of the following countries of African continent the women from the Barefoot College of Tilonia, Rajasthan will be opening the first Barefoot College of Africa? (a) Nigeria (b) Sierra Leonne (c) South Africa (d) Kenya 27. Consider the following statements. I. INS Satpura is third of the indigenously built stealth frigate under Project-17. II. INS Karuva is a water jet fast attack craft built by Mazgaon Dockyard. Which is/are incorrect? (a) I only (b) II only following (c) Both I and II (d) Neither I nor II 28. Which one of the statement is incorrect?

the following statement. I. The decision to constitute the NSRA was taken in the wake of radiation leak at Kaiga Plant last year. II. The NSRA will replace the existing Atomic Regulatory Authority Board. III. It will comprise of a Chairperson, four full-time members and two part-time members. IV. The chairman of the Authority will be the serving chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. Which is/are correct? (a) I, II and IV (b) II and III (c) I, II, III and IV. (d) II only 30. Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research Bill, 2010 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. Which one of the following objectives is not correct? I. To stem the growing shortage of skilled manpower in the science and technology industry. II. To increase the expenditure on R & D form 0.9% of GDP to 2% of GDP. III. To arrest the dwindling number of PhDs. Which is/are correct? (a) I and II (c) I and III 31. Valfair is (a) A torpedo (b) A hockey club (c) Annual festival of Vladivostok (d) None of these 32. Which of the following is/are correct regarding committee on National small savings fund (NSSF)? i. The committee was headed by shyamala gopinath, (b) II and III (d) All of the above

iii. Such deregulation will have positive impact on government’s fiscal consolidation measures. (a) i only (b) ii & iii only (c) i & ii only (d) all the above 33. What is the reason for the government’s reluctance in disinvesting PSU stakes, which they have targeted to raise 40,000 crore in this fiscal? (a) continued weakening of rupee vis-à-vis dollar (b) strong opposition from trade unions (c) poor performance indices of stock

(d) anti-corruption movement and lokpal bill 34. Eurasian union is recently in the news, which is/are not correct regarding that? i. it is the economic and political union proposed for former soviet states which boken away after the end of cold war

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ii. Russia, kazhakastan and Belarus are the current members in the Eurasian union iii. Other countries also can join this union if they willing to do so but according to the eligibility rules framed by its members (a) i only (b) ii & iii only (c) i& ii only (d) all the above 35. Which city hosted WEF-2011? (a) Davos,Switzerland (b) Mumbai,india (c) Brussels,germany (d) Paris,france 36. Which of the following is/are correct regarding government’s new procurement policy? i. Public and private sectors should allocate 20% of

(a) The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of an endangered species not living. (b) Monal (impeyan pheasant) is an endangered species found in Uttarakhand. (c) IUCN Red List refers to a specific category of threatened species, and may include critically endangered species. (d) RUDRA is the first indigenously built Advanced Light Helicopter. 29. Government has decided to constitute Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority. In this context consider

ii. It recommended for linking the small saving instruments to market rates than fixed rate by the government.

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its purchases enterprises

from

SC/ST

(c) I, ii, iii, iv (d) iii & iv only 40. Which of the following events in Myanmar reflects its commitment towards democratic reforms? i. Peaceful protests allowed in the country recently

ii. The quota for SC/ST enterprises is to overcome social inequality in the economic domain by using the market mechanism. (a) I only (c) Both i&ii (b) ii only (d) None

4. Meta –university programme proposed by NIC will be launched in institute of higher learning recognized by national knowledge commission. (a) 1 and 2 (b) 1 and 3 (c) 1,2 and 4 (d) 1,2,3 and 4 43. Consider the following statements about RTE (RIGHT TO EDUCATION). 1. The right to education is enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Right. 2. In India right to education is a fundamental right under article 21 A that provides free and compulsory education between the ages of 6 to 14 year 3. Enaction of RTE 2009 comes automatically to throughout the country immediately from 1 April 2010. Which of the following statements given above is/are correct? (a) 1 (c) 1 and 2 (b) 2 (d) 1,2 and 3

37. Which of the following is/are true about fiscal union proposal of EU? i. Sovereign debt crisis countries should present their budget before EU parliament in each fiscal and can be implemented only after EU approval

ii. Suu kyi was awarded UNESCOMANJEETH SINGH price iii. Ethnic rebels like Karen, shan announced ceasefire iv. Quota was allocated to suu kyi party in parliament seats based on proportional representation system (a) I,ii,iii only (b) I&iii (c) I,iii,iv only (d) All the above 41. Vulture funds are recently in the news. They are: (a) It is the foreign hedge funds invested mainly in tax havens to evade tax in home country (b) It is the international fund raised through WFN to conserve vulture population (c) It is the speculation fund invested in debt ridden African countries (d) It is the name given to foreign funds which flow out of one country, causing economic instability because of its outflows. 42. With reference to the NATIONAL INNOVATION COUNCIL, which of the following statements are correct? 1. National Innovation council was established in the wake of the government of India declaring 2010-2020 as decade of innovation. 2. India inclusive innovation fund is created by ministry of finance to support innovation in India under the aegis of NIC 3. National Innovation council headed by sam patroda have completed a year in November

ii. European central bank will have the authority to impose penalties on those countries which violated budgetary targets iii. All the EU members should obey the common fiscal deficit target of less than 3% GDP (a) i & ii only (b) i & iii only

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(c) ii & iii only (d) iii only 38. Match the following cyclone names with its countries: (A) yasi (i) carribean (B) talas (ii) australia (C) washi (iii) japan (D) Irene (iv) philipines A (a) 2 (b) 3 (c) 1 (d) 4 B 3 2 2 3 C 4 4 3 2 D 1 1 4 1

44. The RBI has recently directed the banks to apply the Basel-III norms. Which of the following norms is true? 1. The Tier -I capital ratio has been raised to 7% of risky assets 2. Implementation period of minimum capital requirements and deductions from Common Equity will begin from January 1, 2013 and be fully implemented as on March 31, 2015 3. The capital conservation buffer in the form of common equity of 2.5% of RWAs (risk weighted assets) (a) 1 only (b) 1 and 2 only (c) 1, 2 and 3 only (d) 1 and 3 45. Consider the following statements about recently died personality

39. Which of the following is/are true about depreciation of rupee? i. Current account deficit widens ii. Exports will be cheaper and imports will be costlier iii. Inflation may have upside risks iv. Rupee is the most depreciated currency in Asia (a) I & ii only (b) I, ii & iv

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popularly known as Mamoni Baideo. Identify the correct choice. 1. She received the jnanpith award and sahitya academy award 2. She refused to accept the Padma shri award 3. Jahnu barua made a film ‘words from the mist’ on her life (a) 1 (b) 1 and 2 (c) 1 and 3 (d) 1, 2 and 3 46. Identify the person after assessing all the statements 1. Credit of introduction of Indian philosophy Vedanta and yoga to western world 2. Ministry of railways has started a train to commemorate his 150 th birth day. 3. Udbodhana and prabudha bharata were published by him Option are : (a) Mula Shankar (b) Narendranath Dutta (c) Gadoidhar Chattopadhya (d) Rabindranath Tagore 47. Government of India has decided to introduce pentavalent vaccine on the recommendation of WHO and NTAGI (national technical advisory group on immunization). Consider the following statements 1. Pentavalent vaccine are introduced in BIMARU states 2. Vaccine provides protection against five diseases.

3. At present 170 members of WHO is using pentavalent vaccine. 4. Introduction of vaccine will reduce number of injection to child from 9 to 5. Which of the following statements given above is /are correct? (a) 1 (b) 2 and 3 (c) 2 and 4 (d) 1,2,3,and 4 48. Read the below statements about NAG missle. 1. NAG is a second generation ‘fire and forget’ anti-tank missile developed by DRDO. 2. NAG is developed under the ambitious integrated guided missile development programme. 3. Indigenous developed mill metric wave seeker technology in nag missile, this will enhance missile capability to all weather missions. Which of the following information given above is /are not correct? (a) 1 (c) 2 and 3 (b) 2 (d) 1, 2 and 3

2. Space X a U.S Company will launch first ever commercial flight to space station. 3. Tiangong a is space programme, will be completed at the time of retirement of ISS. 4. Tiangong space programme is joint project of china and south Korea. Which of the statements given above is /are not correct? (a) 1 and 3 (c) 2 and 3 (b) 3 and 4 (d) 1 and 4

50. Analyse the below sentences and choose the 1. The Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel (WGEEP) is headed by Madhav Gadgil . 2. Athirappilly dam is on river Periyar River in Kerala. 3. Report presented by WGEEP designated the entire Western Ghats as an ecologically sensitive area and classified into ecological sensitive zones (ESZ) 1,2,3,4. 4. WGEEP has proposed a Western Ghats Ecology Authority as apex body, in four layer system for protection of Western Ghats. Which of the statements given above is / are not correct? (a) 1,2,3, and 4 (b) 2,3 and 4 (c) 3 and 4 (d) 4

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49. Consider the following statements: 1. International space station programme is joint project between six country including INDIA.

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ANSWERS
1. (d) Exp.: It is the sustained increase in internal debt-GDP ratio which leads to all the three consequences. In India since the macroeconomic fundamentals are strong and the increase is temporary. 2. (d) 3. (b) 4. (c) 5. (b) Exp.: She will achieve that when India tests its 5,000-km range nuclear capable Agni-V missile by February 2012. She is also known as ‘Agni Putri’ (Daughter of Fire), a sobriquet she had earned for her association with the Agni missiles since 1988. 6. (a) 7. (d) 8. (c) 9. (c) 10. (b) 11. (a) 12. (b) 13. (d) 14. (a) Exp.: Orissa was the first State. 15. (d) 16. (a) Exp.: In India the inflation is structural and primary articles contributes onefourth to the overall WPI and hence influence the overall inflation. 17. (a) 18. (c) Exp.: He was an American biochemist. 19. (c) Exp.: Tiangong-1 will be deorbited in 2013 20. (d) 21. (d) 22. (c) 23. (d) 24. (a) 25. (c) 26. (b) 27. (c) 28. (b) 29. (d) 30. (c) 31. (a) 32. (d) Exp.: Government will have some target to borrow money from the small savings in the budget,if there is no sufficient amount available then it will borrow from the market thus fiscal deficit widens.because of this recommendations there will be more savings available for govt and there is no need to depend on market,thus it is a having positive impact on fiscal consolidation measures 33. (c) Exp.: Because of the poor performance of stock market, govt thought that it will not be possible for them to raise the money which they have targeted. There is also possibility that PSU shares may be undervalued in these circumstances. 34. (c) Exp: (i) not correct, because it is only economic union (ii) false. because, these three countries are currently in customs union (iii) correct. there is procedure for other countries to join in this union. 35. (b) 36. (b) Exp.: (i) false, because only public sector is mandatory to procure from SC/ ST enterprises. 37. (d) Exp.: (i) false. Because there is no need for the debt ridden countries to present their budget before EU. But there will be oversight monitoring about all the countries budgetary target of fiscal deficit. (ii) European court of justice is having authority to impose penalty on those countries which violates the golden rule of keeping fiscal deficit less than 3% of GDP (iii)correct 38. (a) Exp.: These are the cyclones names which is considered as international disaster in 2011 39. (c) Expl: In the context of India all the above are correct. we are importing more crude oil which occupies the majority stake in the import basket. So if rupee gets weakened, we need to pay more foreign currency for imports. so current account deficit widens (we will not reduce imports of crude oil just because it is costly, so only CAD widens) (ii) it is the normal phenomenon (iii) now India has deregulated the petrol prices to international market prices. So if we are importing crude oil at costlier prices, it will be passed to consumers so there may be upside risks for cost push inflation (iv) correct 40. (b) Expl : (ii) false. Because it is award from UNESCO and it was announced a decade before but she was in house arrest that time. 41. (c) 42. (b) 43. (c) 44. (d) 45. (d) 46. (b) Exp.: Narendra Nath Dutta is birth name of Swami Vivekananda. 47. (b) Exp.: Vaccine introduced in tamil nadu and kerala, dose reduce to 9 to 3. 48. (a) Exp.: Nag is third generation anti tank missile. 49. (d) Exp.: Tiangong is a china project, The ISS programme is a joint project between five participating space agencies, the American NASA, the Russian RKA, the Japanese JAXA, the European ESA, and the Canadian CSA. 50. (b) Exp.: Athirapally dam on chalakudy river I kerala, presented report classified western ghats into three ecological sensitive zones,1,2,3. It is three layer system for protection of Western Ghats. The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel has proposed a three-layer system — comprising the (WGEA) Western Ghats Ecology Authority (as the apex body), the State authorities and the district ecology committees — to address the environmental challenges of the Western Ghats.

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CSAT MODEL TEST PAPER
Directions for the following 6 (six) items: Read the passage below, and answer the question based upon it; projecting thought process to draw conclusion from what the writer wants to say is also required: Passage (1-6) Greedy bankers, overpaid executives, anaemic growth, stubbornly high unemployment – these are just a few of the things that have lately driven protesters on to the streets and caused the wider public in the developed world to become disgruntled about capitalism. The system, in all its different varieties, is widely perceived to be failing to deliver. Business in the leading English-speaking countries attracts misgivings. Fewer than half of the American and British people sampled in the 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer have faith in business to do what is right. The survey rates the US and the UK only marginally ahead of Russia on this score. So there is talk of a crisis of legitimacy and an erosion of business’s “licence to operate”. This article, the first in a series on rethinking capitalism after the financial crisis that began in 2007, argues that popular acceptance – which is a basic condition for business success – has waned in the Anglosphere for good reason. At the heart of the problem is widening inequality. In a recent study, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the club of developed nations, declared that the wealthiest Americans “have collected the bulk of the past three decades’ income gains”. Much the same is true of the UK. In both cases, most of the spoils have gone to finance professionals and top executives. As Stewart Lansley, author of a recent book on inequality, puts it, the modern economy appears to consist of two tracks: a fast one for the super-rich and a stalled one for everyone else. Those in the slow lane enjoyed rising living standards before 2007, despite stagnant real incomes, thanks to increased borrowing on the security of their homes. Since the crisis, however, American and British homeowners have faced a long and deep squeeze on real living standards, while struggling to service an unprecedented level of indebtedness. At the same time, says Mr Lansley, finance has come to play a new role as “a cash cow for global super-rich elite”. In continental Europe, the increase in inequality is less pronounced and the legitimacy problem has more to do with the way imbalances in the eurozone are being addressed. Northern Europeans resent a monetary union that has permitted southern Europe to engage in what they see as fiscally profligate behaviour, while southern Europeans and the Irish are required to submit to extreme austerity programmes that exacerbate their sovereign debt problems. As the German-led policy elite inches towards “more Europe” as a solution to the fissures in the eurozone, it is far from clear that more Europe is what the citizens of Europe want. Democratic legitimacy has been largely lacking from the outset of this gigantic monetary experiment. On both sides of the Atlantic there is now a risk that reasonable aspirations to equality of opportunity are being undermined, accompanied by a growing threat of political instability. Support for open trade and free markets are also being adversely affected. 1. When the author says that there is talk of a crisis of legitimacy and an erosion of business’s “license to operate”; what does he mean from the word “license” (a) An unsaid sort of permission that the society as well as the State has granted upon the business fraternity to function within the current mode of production (b) A formal Article of Agreement that the State and the Capitalism entered (c) A MoU signed between the Government and the business underlining their right to operate (d) Both A and C 2. What does the author want to emphasize when he utters that capitalism needs to be rethinked? (a) Capitalism needs to be shunned (b) Capitalism needs to be applied not half way (c) Capitalism needs to be revisited (d) Capitalism was and will be ‘for good’ and just need slight twinning 3. In the passage, when the author says “those in the slow lane enjoyed rising living standards before 2007, despite stagnant real incomes”; how many other categories of income level is mentioned in the same breath excluding this one? (a) Two (c) One (b) Three (d) Four

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4. “A cash cow for global super-rich elite”. Here the author speaks about the financial sector in (a) Praise worthy sense (b) Critical manner (c) Disparaging way (d) Assuring manner 5. When the northern Europeans resent a monetary union with the southern Europe, what is the reason behind this resentment? (a) Extreme Austerity and slow

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growth by the European nations

Southern

(b) Inflationary Growth by the Southern European nations (c) Financial Mismanagement by the Southern European nations according to their Northern counterpart (d) Both B and C 6. When the words “more Europe” comes in the passage; how one should take the word “more”? (a) Quantitative manner (b) Metaphysical manner (c) Qualitative manner (d) All of the above 7. The average of 9 two-digit numbers is 35, if the digits of a number is reversed then the average of the 9 numbers becomes 36. Which of the following can be the difference between the units and tens digit of the number reversed?

What would be approximate difference between the average profits if he made the same profit in December too as he made for the rest of the year? (a) 100 (c) 200 (b) 128 (d) 208

(a) 4 (c) 8

(b) 6 (d) 2

Directions for the following 4 (four) items: After reading the passage, answer the questions that follow it. Conceptual clarity in understanding of the passage would be critical in making correct answers Passage (Q.17-20) I first met Amit Saigal in 1984. He had come down to IIT Kanpur for the annual festival from Allahabad with his band, and his bass player had done a bunk. He asked me to step in, and we jammed for some time and played at the festival. The next time I met him was almost nine years later, when he had just started Rock Street Journal. To me, it was amazing that a man could have the conviction and the confidence to start a magazine devoted to rock in India. He would print it in Allahabad, carry copies in a suitcase and he and his then wife Shaina would sell them outside college festivals. Gradually, RSJ started picking up, and you could buy copies in shops in Kamla Nagar behind Delhi University. Amit asked various bands to contribute a song each, and the first Great Indian Rock (GIR) cassette was distributed for free along with copies of RSJ, way back in 1995. An early instrumental version of our song Boll Weevil featured on the album. All the bands contributed songs out of appreciation for RSJ and its contribution to indie music. Gradually, the GIR became an important part of the Indian rockscape, and bands across the country would vie to get selected to perform at the final two-three day GIR festival. About two years ago, over 300 bands had sent in entries! At the festival, passes would be at a premium, and the mosh pit would be an active jumping, screaming organism, an awesome sight to witness for those of us who had never seen anything like it. We would meet occasionally, usually at concerts, sometimes at parties, and a couple of times at the RSJ office. The

Directions for the three items given below: A, B, C, D, E and F are the members of a family. There are two fathers, two mothers, one daughter and a son. The Teacher is the grandmother of Engineer F. D is the husband of C. E is a female and sister of Doctor who is married to a Dentist. B is a professor and the eldest member of the family. 11. How is E related to B? (a) Wife (c) Sister (a) A (c) E (b) Daughter (d) Grand daughter

12. Who is mother of Engineer? (b) C (d) Cannot be determined

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(a) 1

(b) 2

(c) 5

(d) 9

8. Two cars were racing against each other in a highway 120 km long. The driver of the car A drove at 50 km/hr for the first 75 kms and completes the race in 2 hrs. The driver of car B drove at a constant speed of 60 km/hr. What was the approximate distance between the two cars 10 minutes before the end of the race? (a) 1 km (c) 6 km (b) 2 km (d) 8 km

13. What is the relation between the Dentist and the Teacher? (a) Mother (b) Sister (c) Daughter (d) Daughter-in-law Directions for the three items given below: In a poll regarding the selection of college president among the two prominent prospects A and B, 278 people took part of which 164 were males. 138 persons voted for B of which 78 were males. 126 persons voted for A of which 48 were females. Some people votes were unclear and hence were considered invalid. 14. Approx. what percent of the total females voted for B? (a) 48% (c) 52% (b) 50% (d) 54%

9. A milkman mixes 12 litres of water in 20 litres of Milk bought at Rs 30 per litre and sells it at Rs 25 per litre. What is his profit percentage? (a) 10% (c) 33.33% (b) 20% (d) 50%

10. A salesman sells 250 Shoes per month and makes a profit of Rs 10000 per month. In December due to extreme cold he couldn’t go out for selling and hence sold 25% less shoes and hence his average profit per month for that year decreases.

15. What is the ratio of males voting for A to the females voting for B? (a) 39:27 (c) 30:27 (b) 39:30 (d) 33:31

16. How many male votes were invalid?

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initial sentences would always be in UP-accented Hindi, and many a swear word would figure. We could talk about anything, but very often would discuss music. He had a deep conviction about the positive future of rock in India, a conviction I did not share and many an argument was had between us. He had a very open mind towards music of all sorts, and would happily listen to Indian death metal bands with as much enthusiasm as he would show at Jazz Yatra concerts. Amit brought a very fresh approach to thinking about Indian indie music, was constantly bringing new acts and bands and performers into the limelight, and was in the process of initiating a larger cross-fertilisation between talented Indian and foreign musicians. Amit was also quite instrumental in formalising a system to get European metal acts to India, and Indian rock/ metal acts to perform in Europe. Winners of the GIR would tour a couple of European festivals, and a European band would headline the GIR. For the last couple of years, he had started the PubRock festival across four cities. I remember a long conversation in September last year at his home over whisky (he) and rum (I) about his plans for the India Music Week, the conference, and the steps he was considering towards creating a collaboration platform. In the middle of the conversation, he told me proudly about his daughter’s piano lessons. We had plans of going and jamming at a place in Hauz Khas later that night, but it rained too hard and we had one drink too many and I quietly went home. Little did I guess how much I would regret it! The last time I met Amit was at the India Music Week conference in Delhi in midNovember. The sessions were eclectic, broad-based and informed, like the man himself. Going to miss you a lot, buddy. Hope you’re hanging around with a bunch of musicians at one long jam session. 17. The passage is written by a person who is (a) A member of a rock band

(b) A friend of the main protagonist (c) A long time accomplice of the main protagonist (d) All of the above 18. The passage is probably a (a) An Obituary (b) A celebrity report (c) A News Item (d) An Editorial 19. According to the passage Amit Sehgal was probably fond of (a) Whisky (b) Rum (c) Wine (d) Inconclusive City B 23. Which city has the lesser number of SUV owners? (a) City A (b) City B (c) Same in City A and City B (d) No inference can be drawn 24. What can be inferred about the persons with more than one vehicle from the graph? (a) Persons of city A are more likely to have more than vehicles. (b) Persons of city B are more likely to have more than vehicles. (c) There is no person in either of the two cities having more than one vehicle. (d) No inference can be drawn. 25. Consider the figure given below and answer the item that follows: 20. The passage is set in (a) Allahabad (b) Delhi (c) Both the places (d) Inconclusive Directions for the two items given below: Each of the following two items consists of three statements, followed by two statements A and B. Mark your answer: (a) If only A is true. (b) If only B is true. (c) If both A and B are true. (d) In neither A nor B is true. 21. All Horses are Camels. Some Camels are Grass. All Grass are Green. (A) All Horses are Green. (B) Some Camels are not Green. 22. Some Roads are Runways. All Runways are Highways. All Flyovers are Roads. (A) Some Roads are Highways. (B) Some Flyovers are Highways. Directions for the two items given below: The following pie chart shows the distribution of different vehicles in cities A and B as a percentage of total vehicle owners in these cities. Based on these charts, answer the questions that follow: In the figure shown above, M1 and M2 are the two plane mirrors placed at 45o to each other. A ray of light R falls on the mirror M1 at 45o as shown in the figure. The direction of the reflected light that emerges City A

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out of the system is ________. (a) 90° in clockwise direction of R. (b) Exactly opposite direction of R. to the

The figure given below shows the production in litres of each machines for a given time period. Which machine has the most convenient raw material supply for a long time production? (a) A (c) C 28. What is the difference in number of mobiles sold by B and C together to that of D and E together? (a) 125000 (b) 150000 (c) 175000 (d) 200000 29. If a new company enters the market in 2012 and sells 10% of the total mobile phones sold in 2012, then a minimum of how many extra mobile phones should be sold in 2012, so that none of the companies see a decline in the number of phones sold than the previous year? (a) 500000 (c) 555556 (b) 550000 (d) 100000 (b) B (d) Either A or B

(c) 90° in anti-clockwise direction of R. (d) Parallel to R and in the same direction as that of R. 26. How many triangles are there in the figure given below?

32. Three cycles are having tyre diameters of 14 cm, 21 cm and 28 cm respectively. Then what should be the minimum distance covered by complete revolution of tyres so that the distance covered by them is equal? (a) 84 cm (b) 144 cm (c) 254cm (d) 264 cm Directions for the two items that follow. Two trains running on parallel tracks start together at 8 AM. Their speed time curve is shown in the figure given below. Answer the questions based on the figure.

(a) 20

(b) 21

(c) 22

(d) 24

27. Find the missing number in the below given grid?

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30. According to previous question, what will be the percentage share of sales of mobile B phones in 2012? (a) 25% (c) 22.5% (a) 3 (b) 4 (c) 5 (d) 7 (b) 24.2% (d) 21.8% 33. Which of the following statements is correct? (a) Train A and B travel the same distance till 1 PM (b) Train B overtakes train A at 1 PM (c) Train A stopped from 10 AM to 12 PM (d) Speed of train A is higher than that of B till 1 PM 34. Which of the following can be inferred from the graph given below? (a) Train A covers more distance than B in a long run. (b) Train B travels at a slower pace than A in a long run.

Directions for the three items given below: Study the following information along with the graph given below and answer the questions that follow: The sales of various mobile phones for the year 2011 in country X is shown in the graph below. It can be assumed that only the below mentioned companies sold the mobile phones in the country X that year. All the values given are in percentage. The total sale of mobile phones is 500000 mobile phones.

31. A cold drink making factory has 3 machines installed in it. Each machine independently produces cold drink and its production depends on the supply of raw materials to the machine. Each machine has different supply of raw materials for its production.

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(c) Train B is better for a long run. (d) Train A is better for a speeder journey. Directions for the following 4 (four) items: Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow them based on the “understanding” part of it: Passage (Q. 35 - 38) Many CBI directors have gone on record that there’s always meddling and political interferences in politically sensitive cases. And that’s the biggest problem with the CBI. Be it the Bofors scam case, be it the Babri Masjid demolition case; either the charge sheet is not filed or the investigation is not taken to its logical conclusion. Or even if the charge sheet is filed the case just fizzles out. This is the reason why people are saying that take the CBI out of government control. There are two aspects of this matter. One is if there’s an administrative control by any ministry over the CBI, it has the deleterious impact of the administrative control and it cannot be denied. The CBI is being looked after like a department of the government, by government. Do you think the government servants look at CBI as an independent body? They look at it as a department of the Central government. So there has to be a certain degree of distancing of CBI from governmental administrative control, I think that’s the first step. Even for daytoday expenses, say for example, even for buying three extra jeeps, the CBI requires a prior sanction. Have you actually travelled with a CBI investigating officer in a vehicle? I have and I can tell you that it’s pitiful. Nobody will be ready to work for the CBI if you know the kind of conditions in which they travel. I saw in a place like Aurangabad, they were borrowing old condemned jeeps of local police and using it. So first, they need to be treated with respect. They need to be totally modernised. They need to have proper equipments, machinery, computer, scanning, high-level equipments, wireless, etc. They have nothing. They

were not even able to get a Blackberry sanctioned for their own officers. And I don’t see why they should not have a Blackberry. Why they should not get the latest communication devices? Now what happens is when your purse strings are with a ministry, and you need clearances from the government for everything that you do, I’m afraid that the organisation is then seen as an extension of the government. So you must understand, in public perception, CBI is seen as a part of the Central government, which is entirely unhealthy. It’s unhealthy for the CBI officials for themselves as it corrodes on their self-worth. That self-worth and self-esteem, if it is chipped away by administrative control, by somebody in government, it can be disastrous. 35. As per the author CBI has (a) Financial autonomy (b) Political autonomy (c) Administrative autonomy (d) None of the above 36. The author does (a) Support autonomy for the CBI (b) More resource allocation for the CBI (c) Both the above (d) None of the above 37. With dependence even the morale of the official deputed with CBI gets (a) Bogged down (b) Is unaffected (c) Gets boosted 38. According to the author, CBI must be treated as (a) A governments’ department (b) An autonomous institution (c) A regulatory department (d) An investigative organization Read the following passage and answer the question that follows based on the “understanding” part of it: It would have been almost unimaginable five years ago that the Financial Times would convene a series of articles on

“Capitalism in Crisis”. That it has done so is a reflection both of sour public opinion and distressing results on the ground in much of the industrial world. Americans have traditionally been the most enthusiastic champions of capitalism. Yet, a recent public opinion survey found that among the US population as a whole 50 per cent had a positive opinion of capitalism while 40 per cent did not. The disillusionment was particularly marked among young people aged 18-29, African Americans and Hispanics, those with incomes under $30,000 and self-described Democrats. Three elections in a row in the US have been, by recent standards, bloodbaths for incumbents. In 2006 and 2008 the left did well; in 2010 the right won comprehensively. With the rise of the Tea Party on the right and the Occupy movement on the left, this suggests that far more is up for grabs than usual in this election year. So how justified is disillusionment with market capitalism? This depends on the answer to two critical questions. Do today’s problems inhere in the present form of market capitalism or are they subject to more direct solution? Are there imaginable better alternatives? The spread of stagnation and abnormal unemployment from Japan to the rest of the industrialized world does raise doubts about capitalism’s efficacy as a promoter of employment and rising living standards for a broad middle class. The problem is genuine. Few would confidently bet that the US or Europe will see a return to full employment, as previously defined, within the next five years. The economies of both are likely to be demand constrained for a long time. But does this reflect an inherent flaw in capitalism or, as Keynes suggested, a “magneto” problem – like the failure of a car alternator – that can be addressed with proper fiscal and monetary policies and which will not benefit from large scale structural measures. I believe the evidence overwhelmingly supports

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the latter. Efforts to reform capitalism are more likely to divert from the steps needed to promote demand, than to contribute to putting people back to work. I suspect that if and when macroeconomic policies are appropriately adjusted, much of the contemporary concern will fade away. 39. When the author says that “efforts to reform capitalism are more likely to divert from the steps needed to promote demand, than to contribute to putting people back to work”; he actually tends to support (a) That reform in Capitalism must be directed towards making people demand more (b) Reform must be towards people employment directed gaining

C to city D. How many routes are possible to travel from city A to city C? (a) 9 (c) 15 (b) 12 (d) 24

Find the profit percent. (a) 10% (c) 13.1% (b) 11.11% (d) 9%

Directions for the five items given below: Six friends A, B, C, D, E and F sit next to each other in a row from left to right not necessarily in that order. It is known that(a) C is to the right of D (b) A is to the left of B (c) E and F have two persons sitting between them and neither of these two persons is C or A Answer the following questions on the basis of the information given above: 48. What is the total number of possible arrangements? (a) 4 (c) 10 (b) 8 (d) None of these

42. A factory takes an order to be completed in a fixed time failing which the factory owner has to pay a penalty of Rs 500 for the first day and additional Rs 100 per next day, i.e. 600 for 2nd day and Rs 700 for 3rd day and so on. If the factory completes the order after 15 days of completion date, then what is the total amount the factory owner has to pay in the form of penalty? (a) 1500 (c) 17500 (b) 2000 (d) 18000

(c) Both are important for reforms but there can be variable degree of diversion as far as both the measures are concerned

43. Three bells ring at an interval of 20 sec, 30 sec and 50 sec respectively. If they rang together now then after what time will they ring together for the first time? (a) 50 sec (b) 90 sec (c) 150 sec (d) 300 sec 44. A car travels at 280 km in 7 hrs and a bus travels 240 km in 5 hrs. What is the ratio of the distances travelled in 2 hrs? (a) 7:5 (c) 5:6 (b) 6:5 (d) 5:7

49. Who among the following sit at the extreme ends of the row? (a) E and F (c) A and C (b) E and C (d) None of these

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(d) None of the measures can ever bring in the required reform in the Capitalism 40. Amar and Bikram are friends and their houses face North. Amar comes of his house turns left and walks 3 km and then turns right and walks 4 km. Bikram comes out of his house and turns right and walks 3 km and then turns left and walks 4 km. Both meet at this point C. Which of the following statements is correct? (a) The houses of Amar and Bikram are on the same straight road. (b) The shortest distance between their houses is 10 kms. (c) Point C will not lie on the road if both the houses are connected with a straight road having shortest distance between the two. (d) The houses of Amar and Bikram are more than 15 kms apart. 41. There are three routes from city A to city B. Four routes from city B to city C and two routes from city

50. If A sits to the immediate left of E, then who sits to the immediate right of B? (a) D (c) C (b) F (d) Cannot be determined

45. Some villagers start digging a pond. A man can dig a hole of 1m×2m×5m per day. How many men are required to dig the pond in 12 days if the dimensions of the pond are 100m×200m×300m? (a) 5000 (c) 50000 (b) 25000 (d) 75000

51. If A or C is permitted to sit between E and F, other conditions remaining the same, what is the total number of possible arrangements? (a) 36 (c) 18 (b) 48 (d) None of these

52. Who among the following sits to the immediate left of C, if B sits to the immediate right of E? (a) D (b) F (c) D or F (d) Cannot be determined Directions for the following 8 (eight) items: Read each of the following two passages and answer the items that follow. Your answers to these items should be based on the passages only.

46. Two varieties of rice – A and B are mixed in the ratio of 3 : 2. The mixture is sold at Rs. 100 per kg at 100% profit. If variety A costs Rs. 10 more than variety B, what is the cost of variety B per kg? (a) Rs. 44 (c) Rs. 54 (b) Rs. 46 (d) Rs. 56

47. The cost price of 10 articles is equal to the selling price of 9 articles.

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Passage-1 ( 53-55) The last year was bad for Indian industry. It was made to be so. I have been predicting for a long time that India was doomed if the RBI persisted with the kind of monetary policy it did: 13 hikes since March 2010. Finally, the government confirmed the doomsday prophecy: industrial production had shrunk 5.1 per cent in October. But there was a much bigger shock: capital goods had shrunk 25.5 per cent. Every sector is shrinking, except power, which too will due to the constraints on coal supply and delay in environmental clearances. In the long run, there is a huge funds crunch as well. All five manufacturing sectors turned negative. Basic goods: 0.1 per cent, intermediate goods: 4.73 per cent, consumer durables: 0.3 per cent, consumer non-durables: 1.3 per cent, and the biggest slaughter, capital goods: 25.5 per cent. It sent shock waves. Even the finance minister said he would try to persuade the RBI to do something about it. But there was no reason for the shock waves if somebody, with a little common sense, had seen the storm coming. There was a continued deceleration in output growth since the beginning of the year. Industrial production grew at the dismal rate of 3.8 per cent in July, the lowest in 21 months. Manufacturing, which constitutes 75 per cent in the Index of Industrial production (IIP), grew by just 2.3 per cent on a yearly basis, compared to 8.7 per cent last year. Mining output declined by 3.4 per cent, compared to the same month last year. Indicators for September were worse, especially industrial growth which slumped to 1.9 per cent, compared to 3.6 per cent in August. This was the lowest growth rate in two years. The RBI squeezed the Indian industry. A 25.5 per cent fall in capital goods is a nightmare. Production of capital goods is the best indicator of economic direction. Capital goods are used in the production of other goods. So, a shrinkage of capital goods production has a multiplier effect. This may not be visible soon, but it is

going to show itself in 2012 and in the coming years. No investment is taking place in the most crucial sector. On the investment front as a whole, the figures are disappointing. The 2011 September quarter saw new investment worth only Rs 2.6 lakh crore, compared to Rs 7.2 lakh crore in the 2010 June quarter. 2011 was one of the worst years for the stock market, losing a quarter of its value (down from 20,500 to 15,455 on the BSE index). Investors lost Rs 20 lakh crore. Who is to blame for this mess? The RBI believes the only way to combat inflation is through rate hikes. Milton Friedman must be happy with the conservative monetarists who follow textbook undergraduate macroeconomic theory. The simple Friedman logic is: the only reason for inflation is over-supply of money. According to Friedman’s k-per cent rule, if the money supply is squeezed, prices will come down. It is fallacious on many counts, just two of which are: nobody has succeeded in fighting food inflation or fuel inflation through monetary policy. Demand-side controls will not succeed in a country like India. It has to be dealt with on the supply side, which means good governance. Inflation, driven by costpush factors and supply-side constraints, cannot be fought through rate hikes. When global interest rates are close to zero, how can Indian industry compete when they have to borrow at 15 per cent? That’s a 15 per cent competitive disadvantage. Add another 10 per cent minimum overheads, and Indian industry starts with a 25 per cent disadvantage in the global market. How are they expected to export with such huge competitive disadvantages? The RBI wrecked Indian industry at a time when India should have been trying to capture the world market during the global turmoil. We are going to see one of the biggest trade deficits this year. I guess it will be close to $200 billion. Given the state of capital goods production, what are we going to produce that’s exportable? With such a huge trade deficit, the demand

for dollars is going to be insatiable. We have not seen the bottom yet. The rupee fell 19 per cent to the dollar in 2011. I predict it will go down close to 60 to a dollar in 2012. That is importing inflation in a big way. The RBI has not only wrecked Indian industry, but it has also wrecked the future of India. Who can afford a student loan at 15 per cent? The RBI’s meeting on December 16 was unusual: they didn’t hike rates. They patted each other on the back because food inflation was down. Perhaps they were sure they got Friedman’s k-per cent rule perfectly right for vegetables! Indian cricketers are getting thrashed Down Under by Pattinson & Co. The RBI is doing a fine Pattinson to Indian industry. I am told that even Kaushik Basu, chief economic advisor to the government, is very unhappy about the RBI’s hit-wicket policy. Here’s a message for the RBI: Get real and bring down the rates. Give India a chance in 2012. 53. The author is probably a (a) RBI official (b) Central Bank Governor (c) An Economist (d) A Journalist 54. In whole of the passage the author tone is (a) Appreciative of the RBI’s ROLE (b) Very Critical of the RBI’s role (c) Analytical (d) Pedagogical 55. In a nation like India the inflation can only be controlled by (a) Catering to the demand side (b) Catering to the supply side (c) Both (d) A sound monetary and fiscal policy Passage-2 (56-60) The finance ministry has asked all regional rural banks (RRBs) to migrate to a system- based identification of bad loans by 31 March.

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In a system-based identification, non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans, are identified according to a predetermined parameter set in a computer software and can’t be manipulated by bank officials. So all loans where interest or principal is due for more than 90 days will be automatically classified as bad loans rather than at the discretion of bank managers. A similar move to a systembased identification of NPAs by statecontrolled banks had resulted in a jump in bad debts for these banks. “There will be two advantages. The first is that RRBs will be forced to clean up their books, and second, they will look at the accounts more carefully,“ said a finance ministry official, who did not want to be identified. “We know it will throw up some huge unpalatable numbers. But it is better to clean up the books in one shot.” Currently, there are 82 RRBs with 16,000 branches. RRBs give loans to small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers and rural artisans. RRBs constitute more than half the network of commercial banks in rural districts and aid the priority-sector lending efforts of sponsor banks. With most RRBs having fully computerized their operations, it will become easier for banks to move to the new system. Of the 82 RRBs, 80 are fully computerized, the official said. Rising bad debts, however, will exert pressure on capital adequacy of banks.“The only problem will be of CRAR (capital to riskweighted assets ratio); but that can be managed,” the official said. As of 31 March, the average gross NPA ratio of RRBs was 3.66%, according to Reserve Bank of India data. RRBs had last month asked the finance ministry for relaxing the deadline; but the ministry did not yield. 56. As per the passage what does the system based identification of loans must incorporate (a) Double ledger system (b) Computer based software

(c) Core banking system (d) Interconnected banking system 57. According to the passage if a particular RRB out of the 82; has a loan size of Rs. 100, than the gross non performing asset is (a) Cannot be calculated (b) It is 3.66 (c) It may be 3.66 (d) Inconclusive 58. What will happen if the RRB shift to a system based identification of bad loans (a) There will be comprehensive and reporting of the same (b) The NPA will jump (c) The whole process will be automated leaving no room for the discretion of the managers of the bank (d) All of the above 59. The author seem to be suggesting that (a) The RRB must bring in the required changes (b) The financial autonomy of the RRB must be brought in (c) The level of automation must increase (d) Both A and C 60. The author is probably a (a) An employee of the RRB (b) A journalist (c) An economist (d) Could be any of the two; B or C or could be both 61. In an examination 40% candidates failed in Science and 30% failed in Mathematics, and 10% failed in both the subjects. If the total number of candidates who passed in Science alone is 900, what is the total number of candidate? (a) 2700 (c) 4500 (b) 3000 (d) None of these more correct

62. A Machine of price Rs. 520000 is installed in a factory. The value of the machine depricites 10% per year. What will be the value of the machine at the end of four years? (a) Rs. 347112 (b) Rs. 341172 (c) Rs. 312000 (d) Rs. 321000 Directions for the two items given below: Ajay gave Vijay and Rajat as many pens as each one of them already had. Then Rajat gave Ajay and Vijay as many pens as each already had. Now each had an equal number of pens. There were a total of 144 pens. 63. How many pens did Ajay initially had? (a) 24 (c) 84 (b) 48 (d) 96

64. How many pens did Rajat initially had? (a) 24 (b) 48 (c) 84 (d) 96 65. Matthew got 25% of the maximum marks in an examination and failed by 45 marks. However, Michael who took the same examination got 45% of the total marks and got 25 marks more than the passing marks. What was the passing mark in the examination? (a) 140 (c) 125 (b) 132.5 (d) 122.5

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66. Twelve points are marked on a straight line and ten points are marked on another straight line. How many triangles can be drawn with the given points as vertices? (a) 500 (b) 520 (c) 540 (d) 1080

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Directions for the following three items. The following chart shows the water level of an area for a given year. The regions are marked with A, B, C, etc which specify different conditions of that area. Analyze the figure and answer the questions that follow:

(a) 16.5 m2 (c) 8.25 m
2

(b) 165 m2 (d) 82.5 m
2

72. The owner of a sports shop decides to calculate the percentage of customers who purchase Bats. If 30% of the shop visitors decide to purchase items, and of those visitors 40% purchase Bats, what percent of the shop visitors purchase Bats? (a) 120% (c) 70% (b) 12% (d) 20%

the rich and the rest of society, whereby the wealthy tempered ostentation and engaged in philanthropy. Then, in the unstable 1920s and the Depression of the 1930s, the efficacy as well as the moral basis of capitalism was once again called into question. While F. Scott Fitzgerald chronicled the moral vacuity of jazz age capitalism in The Great Gatsby, John Maynard Keynes, who provided a theoretical basis for the mixed economy and a more humane form of capitalism, was notably acerbic on what he called “individualist capitalism” and the money motive. Such questioning was sharpened by the existence for the first time of a seemingly successful alternative to capitalism in the Soviet Union; also of competing models, such as the corporatist approaches developed in Germany and Italy. What, then, is different about today’s outbreak of disaffection? Perhaps the most important difference is that it is not the product of despair. The people in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park and on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in London had no need of soup kitchens and took to their tents out of choice, unlike many in the 1930s US who slept in cardboard box colonies – Hoovervilles – out of necessity. 74. With the tone of the passage, what can you interpret about the author (a) Dislikes Capitalism (b) Likes Capitalism (c) Neutral (d) Inconclusive 75. The passage is basically (a) Economical History (b) Historical Economy (c) Chronicle of Capitalism (d) Could be either of A or C Read the following situation based question and endeavor to give the “most appropriate” answer. There will be differential marking as none of the answer is wrong; only that there is one answer that is most correct and the other options following degrees in their respective correctness.

67. Which region(s) of the graph denotes the area to be drought affected? (a) Only A (c) C and G (b) A and E (d) B and F

73. A man wishes to cross a river perpendicularly. In still water he takes 5 minutes to cross the river, but in flowing river he takes 6 minutes. If the river is 150 meters wide, the speed of the flowing water of the river is (a) 4 m/min (b) 5 m/min (c) 6 m/min (d) Cannot be determined Read the following passage and incur the best possible answer for the questions that follows it: The problem of consent in relation to capitalism is nothing new. In fact, it returns with nagging frequency. In the early years of the industrial revolution, average per capita incomes were slow to rise and the contrast between the plight of the working population and the lifestyle of rich manufacturers prompted savage diatribes such as that of Charles Dickens in Hard Times. Even when living standards did rise, David Ricardo and Karl Marx worried whether the free markets trumpeted by Adam Smith could produce an income distribution that was politically tolerable. By the late 19th century the debate turned more heavily on the moral question posed by the unedifying behaviour of the American robber barons at a time of spectacular economic growth. The centrality of the money motive in wealth creation appeared to detract from capitalism’s legitimacy unless there was an implicit social contract between

68. Which region(s) of the graph show a heavy rainfall in short period of time? (a) Only C (c) B and F (b) Only D (d) Only G

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69. Which region(s) show the end of rainfall and the beginning of rise of temperature in the given area? (a) Only A (c) A and E (b) Only C (d) B and F

70. Aman writes a letter to six of his friends. He asks each one of them to copy the same letter and mail it to six different persons with the instruction that they move the chain similarly. Assuming that the chain is not broken and that it costs Rs 2 to mail one letter, the amount spent on the postage when the 6th set of letters mailed will be? (a) Rs. 93312 (b) Rs. 46656 (c) Rs. 12000 (d) Rs. 72 71. The diameter of a road roller is 2.1 m and it is 2.5 m long. How much area will it cover in 10 revolutions?
22    use π =   7

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76. In an election, if the incumbent political party endeavors to use the State machinery for its own advantage, CEC will (a) Stop it to do the same (b) Discard the party contesting the election (c) Make the political derecognized from party

bonfires (c) Allocate quilt on a priority basis (d) Open schools and colleges premise for the homeless 78. Suppose you are SP of a naxal affected district, and you catch a dangerous woman naxalite who is pregnant, you will (a) Ask Court for her remand (b) Use your discretionary power to incarcerate her (c) Take her to hospital (d) Use her as ransom to make demands from her naxal compatriots 79. You are on road and suddenly you see that a motorcycle driver breaks the red light and hits a bullock cart which makes the bull and the motor

cycle badly injured, what will be your reaction (a) Just get on with your life avoiding unnecessary problem with the police officials (b) Call a veterinary doctor (c) Take the bull to the hospital (d) Take the man to the hospital 80. In preparing for the UPSC, if you find a coaching teacher trying to dupe student by claiming about the ‘near’ connection that he has with the UPSC, you would (a) Give a nelson eye (b) Try to make yourself equipped so that you don’t get trapped (c) Make an awareness drive so that the students does not get trapped (d) File a case against the teacher

(d) Take Constitutional measures being appreciative of the autonomous status granted to the ECI 77. If you are the DM of a place that has experienced a sudden and unexpected snow-fall and there are a lot of homeless person than what would you do (a) Make the district official to prepare night shelter (b) Instantly prepare for 24*7

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1. (a) 2. (c) 3. (a) 4. (b) 5. (d) 6. (c) 7. (a) Sol: When the digits of the numbers are reversed then the average of 9 numbers increases by 1, so the sum increases by 9. So, if on reversing the digits the number increases by 9 this means that the difference between the units and tens digit is 1, such as 23 and 32, 34 and 43, 45 and 54, etc. 8. (d) Sol: The driver of car A took 1.5 hrs to complete 75 km, and hence drove the remaining 55 km in half an hour or at a speed of 110 km/hr. Distance travelled by car A in last 10 mins = 110/60×10=18.33 km Distance travelled by car B in last 10 mins = 60/60×10=10 km Difference between A and B = 18.33 – 10 = 8 km approx. 9. (c) 12. (b)

ANSWERS
Sol: Total CP = Rs 600. After adding water in milk, total SP = Rs 32 × 25 = Rs 800 Profit %age = 200/600×100=33.33% 10. (d) Sol: Total Sales in 12 months = 110000 + 7500 = 117500. Total Avg. = 117500/12 = Rs 9792 Avg. when the sales were 100% in last month = Rs 10000. Difference = Rs 208 11. (b) Sol: The family tree is as follows: 13. (d) Sol: The family tree is as follows: Sol: The family tree is as follows:

14. (c) Sol: The information tabulated below. provided is

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15. (b) Sol: The information tabulated below. provided is

Sol: The digit in the triangle is the HCF of the four numbers. The HCF of 28, 112, 35 and 84 = 7. 28. (c) Sol: Sum of B and C = (25 + 35)% of 500000 = 300000

43. (d) Sol: Time they will ring together = LCM (20, 30, 50) = 300 secs 44. (c) Sol: Speed of car = 40km/hr Speed of bus = 48 km/hr. Ratio = 80:96 = 5:6 45. (c) Sol: Volume dug in 1 day by 1 man = 10 cu. m. Total volume = 6000000. Total no. of men required = 6000000/(12 * 10) = 50000 46. (a) Sol: Let the total rice be 5 kg. Total SP = Rs 500. Total CP = Rs 250 Let price of variety B be Rs x. Then, price of variety A =x + 10. So, 3x + 30 + 2x = 250. So, x = 44. So, Price of variety B = Rs 44 per kg 47. (b) Sol: Let SP of one article be Re 1. So, SP of 10 articles = Rs 10. CP of 10 articles = Rs 9. So, profit % = 100/9 = 11.1% 48. (a) Sol: The positions are as follows: A 49. (c) Sol: The positions are as follows: A 50. (d) Sol: The positions are as follows: A 51. (a) Sol: Then the number of arrangements will be 36. 52. (b) Sol: The positions are as follows: A E B D F C 53. (d) 54. (b) 55. (a) 56. (b) 57. (d) 58. (d) 59. (d) 60. (d) E/F B/D D/B F/E C Position of B cannot be determined E/F B/D D/B F/E C E/F B/D D/B F/E C Total number of ways = 4.

Ratio = 78:60 = 39:30

16. (c) Sol: The information tabulated below. provided is

Sum of D and E = (10 +15)% of 500000 = 125000 Difference = 300000 – 125000 = 175000 29. (c) Sol: Total sales in 2011 = 500000 Total sales in 2012 = 500000/0.9 = 555555.55.= 555556 phones 30. (c) Sol: Total B mobile phones sold = 125000. % of total = 22.5% 31. (c) Sol: The raw material supply of C is constant and does not let the production stop. Hence, it is most convenient for long time production. 32. (d) Sol: Circumference of tyres are 44, 66 and 88 cm respectively. The minimum distance will be LCM(44, 66. 88) = 264 cm 33. (d) Sol: Statement (d) is correct as the graph tells about the speed not the distance. 34. (c) Sol: Train B is slower at first but gains speed later. So, it is best for long run. 35. (d) 36. (c) 37. (a) 38. (b) 39. (c) 40. (b) Sol: The two houses can be connected via a diagonal line of length 10 km which will pass through C. 41. (b) Sol: Total number of routes = 3 * 4 = 12. 42. (d) Sol: Total penalty = 500 + 600 + 700 + … + 1900 = 18000

Males invalid votes = 8.

17. (d) 18. (a) 19. (a) 20. (b) 21. (d) Sol: Statement A and B both cannot be inferred from the statements. 22. (a) Sol: Only statement A can be inferred but statement B cannot be inferred from the given statements. 23. (d) Sol: Since, the total population of the two cities are not known we cannot infer that which city has the maximum no. of SUV owners. 24. (a) Sol: The sum of all the values given for city A comes out to be 105% whereas the same for city B comes out to be 100%. So, some persons of city A own more than one vehicle. Hence, (a) 25. (b) Sol: The ray will reflect in 45 degree from M1 after which it falls on mirror M2 perpendicularly and reflects back and follows the same path in opposite direction. Hence, the ray of light will be exactly opposite in direction as that of R. 26. (c) Sol: Smaller triangles = 12. Bigger triangles = 10. Total = 22 27. (d)

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61. (c) Sol: 60% passed in Science and 70% passed in mathematics. 30% failed in mathematics of which 10% failed in Science also. So, the remaining failed 20% failed in Mathematics only and so, of 60% passed in Science only 20% failed in Mathematics. So, 20% of students passed in science only. So, 20% of Total = 900. So, total = 4500 62. (b) Sol: Value = 520000×(1-10/100) =341172
4

64. (b) Sol: On reversing the process we get All have 144 pens total. So, each has 48 pens at the end. Rajat doubled the pens Ajay and Vijay had. So, Ajay and Vijay had 24 pens earlier and Rajat had 96 pens earlier. Ajay doubled the pens of Vijay and Rajat. So, Vijay had 12 and Rajat had 48, and Ajay had 24 + 12 + 48 = 84 pens at the beginning. 65. (b) Sol: Difference in % age = 20%. Difference in marks = 70. So, 20% of Total = 70. So, 100% of Total = 350. Passing marks = 25% of Total + 45 = 132.5 66. (c) Sol: No. of triangles = 12C1 × 10C2 = 540. 67. (c) Sol: The areas C and G have very less water level and can be considered drought affected.

68. (b) Sol: Only D shows a steep increase in water level. 69. (c) Sol: A and E shows the end of rainfall and decrease in water level which indicates rise of temperature. 70. (a) Sol: Total amount spent on postage = 66 × 2 = Rs 93312 71. (b) Sol: Area = πDh = 165 sq. m. 72. (b) Sol: % of Visitors who purchased bats = 30% of 40% of 100 = 12% 73. (b) Sol: Speed of crossing in still water = 30 m/min Speed of crossing river in flowing water = 25 m/min So, speed of river = 5 m/min 74. (c) 75. (d) 76. (d) 77. (b) 78. (c) 79. (d) 80.(c)

63. (c) Sol: On reversing the process we get All have 144 pens total. So, each has 48 pens at the end. Rajat doubled the pens Ajay and Vijay had. So, Ajay and Vijay had 24 pens earlier and Rajat had 96 pens earlier. Ajay doubled the pens of Vijay and Rajat. So, Vijay had 12 and Rajat had 48, so, Ajay had 24 + 12 + 48 = 84 pens at the beginning.

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INDIAN POLITY QUESTIONS @ IP
1. The Governor of Kerala referred the Plachimada Tribunal Bill for presidential assent. Under which article of the Constitution of India can this power be exercised? (a) Article 175 (b) Article 198 (c) Article 200 (d) Article 201 2. Which of the following statements is/are true regarding customs duty as held by Supreme Court in a recent case? 1. Evasion of central excise and customs duties is a bailable offence. 2. The offender can be arrested without a warrant and then they can be produced in the court within 24 hours. (a) Only 1 (b) Only 2 (c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2 3. Which of the following are the features included in the Lokpal Bill passed recently? 1. It will have 8 members 2. Its chairman or member can be impeached only after at least 60 MPs make a representation. 3. Its term will be of six years duration. 4. Lokpal will be a statutory body. Correct option is: (a) 1 only (b) 1 and 2 only (c) 1, 2 and 3 only (d) All 1, 2, 3 and 4 4. Which of the following statements about the National Consumer Disputes Redressal commission is/ are true? 1. The commission was constituted in the year 1988. 2. It is headed by a sitting or a retired judge of Supreme Court. 3. Js Ashok Bhan is its present chairman. (a) 1 and 2 (b) 1 and 3 (c) 2 and 3 (d) 1, 2 and 3 5. Central government had written to state governments for their opinion about deletion of section 309 from the Indian penal code. The section refers to: (a) Suicide (b) Preventive detention certain circumstances (c) Accidental homicide (d) Euthanasia 6. Regarding The Citizenship Act, 1955, consider the following statements: (a) This act made elaborate provisions for the acquisition and termination of citizenship subsequent to the commencement of the constitution. (b) It was amended in 2003 to provide procedure for acquiring OCI to PIO of countries including USA, UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, ITALY, NEWZEALAND, ISRAEL etc. Identify the true statement: (a) Only (a) is correct. (b) Only (b) is correct. (c) Both (a) & (b) are correct. (d) None of the above. 7. Consider the following statements about OCI: (1) PIOs of certain category under who migrated to Pakistan & Bangladesh are also eligible for grant of OCI as long as their home country allow under their local law. (2) OCIs are given exemption from reporting to police authorities for any length of stay in India. (3) Parity with NRIs in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties. Which among the following is true: (a) Only (1) & (2). (b) Only (2) & (3). (c) All (1), (2) & (3) are correct. (d) Only (1) & (3). 8. The National Development Council consists of: (a) The Prime Minister, the Chief Ministers of all the states and the members of the Planning Commission. (b) The Prime Minister, the Chief Ministers of all the states, the Central Cabinet Ministers and the Members of the Planning Commission. (c) The Prime Minister, the Chief Ministers of all the states, Selected Central Cabinet ministers, Administrators of union territories and the members of the Planning commission. (d) the Prime Minister, all Union Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers of all the states, Administrators of union territories and the members of the Planning Commission. 9. The CAG of India can be removed from the office only in like manner and on like grounds as: (a) Chairman of the UPSC (b) Supreme Court Judge

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(c) Attorney General of India (d) Speaker of Lok Sabha 10. The correct statements Fundamental Rights are: about

of the Council of Ministers when he deems fit. (c) He can ask the Prime Minister to submit a decision of any minister for the consideration of the Council of Minister (d) He must be supplied with such other information about the administration of the country as he asks for it. 14. According to the Constitution of India, a New All-India Service can be created if (a) the Parliament of India enacts a law by a special majority prescribed under Article 312 of the Constitution. (b) the Rajya Sabha passes a resolution by a two-third majority of its members present and voting and an absolute majority of the whole house. (c) the President of India so desires and issues a proclamation to that effect. (d) the state government initiate such a proposal. 15. In the wake of recent elections in five states of U.P., Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa & Manipur. Election Commission & Central Board of Direct Taxes has taken steps to curb money power in elections. The steps taken is/are: (1) To open a new election expenditure account by the candidates contesting elections. (2) Wanted to know the status of the income-tax returns filed by recognized political parties. (3) Decision to set up a special investigation unit to regulate the funding and donations made to political parties. Select the correct statement: (a) All the three are correct. (b) Only (2) & (3) are correct.

(c) Only (1) are correct. (d) Only (3) are correct. 16. The Jammu & Kashmir government has approved amendment in the Public Safety Act (PSA) which now has following amendments: (1) It will prevent the slapping of the PSA on below 18-year-old state subject. (2) Detention would be subject to review and can be extended from three months to six months. (3) It will also be applicable to foreigners. (4) The detention period for timber smugglers will be one year. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (1) & (3) are correct. (b) Only (2), (3) & (4) are correct. (c) Only (1), (2) & (4) are correct. (d) All are correct. 17. Consider the following statement with respect to Public Safety Act: 1. It had come under criticism for being arbitrary and infringing upon the civil liberties of the people. 2. The PSA was enacted in 1978 by the then government headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. 3. The Amnesty International called for its withdrawl. Which statement is incorrect? (a) Only (1) is incorrect. (b) Only (2) is incorrect. (c) Only (3) is incorrect. (d) All the three are incorrect. 18. New Draft Policy on Senior Citizens 2011, headed by Dr. V. Mohini Giri, has following recommendations: (1) Extension of the IGNOAPS to all senior citizen living below poverty line. (2) Pension should be revised

1. They are enforceable in the court of law. 2. These rights are absolute. 3. They can be suspended during national emergency, except some. 4. They are available only to Indian citizens. 5. They are contained in Part IV of the Constitution. (a) 1, 3, 4 and 5 (b) 1, 2, 3 and 5 (c) 1 and 3 (d) 1, 3 and 5 11. Which of the following powers of the Council of States is provided in the Indian Constitution? (a) To reject or amend a money bill (b) To decide whether a bill is a money bill (c) To vote for public expenditure (d) To delay a money bill for a period not exceeding fourteen days 12. Which of the following statements is correct with regard to the power of Parliament in enacting the Budget? (a) It can increase a tax, but not reduce it. (b) It can increase a tax, as well as reduce or abolish it. (c) It cannot increase a tax, but can reduce or abolish it. (d) It can neither increase a tax nor reduce it. 13. Which one of the following statements is not correct regarding the executive powers of the Indian President? (a) He must be kept informed by the Prime Minister of all decisions of the Cabinet. (b) He presides over the meetings

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regularly taking into consideration of high cost of medical & nursing care. (3) Provision of additional pension in case of any serious injury or disease. Select the correct among the following: (a) Only (1) & (3) are correct. (b) Only (3) & (3) are correct. (c) Only (1) & (2) are correct. (d) All are correct. 19. The experts of the empower committee on the Mullaperiyar dam issue recently visited the Idukki arch dam and Cheruthoni in the Idukki dam reservoir. The team was led by former Central Water Resources Department secretary C.D.Thatte and D.K.Mehta. The empower committee was appointed by: (a) Supreme Court (b) CSRI (c) President on the recommendation of the Cabinet (d) National Water Commission 20. The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011proposes that private companies shall provide for rehabilitation and resettlement if they purchase or acquire land, through private negotiations, equal to or more than: (a) 100 acres in rural areas and 75 acres in urban areas (b) 100 acres in rural areas and 50 acres in urban areas (c) 50 acres in rural areas and 100 acres in urban areas (d) 75 acres in rural areas and 100 acres in urban areas 21. Consider the following statements: Assertion (A): In the matters of appointment and dismissal of ministers, the chief minister’s word is final

Reason (R): Governor appoints the leader of the majority party as the chief minister and on his advice appoints other ministers. In the context of the above two statements which one of the following is correct? (a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. (b) Both A and R are true and R is not a correct explanation of A. (c) A is true but R is false (d) A is false but R is true 22. Consider the following statements: Assertion (A): In India the estimates that relate to the expenditure charged upon the Consolidate Fund of India shall not be submitted to the vote of Parliament. Reason (R): Parliament is not empowered to discuss expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India. In the context of the above two statements which one of the following is correct? (a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A. (b) Both A and R are true and R is not a correct explanation of A. (c) A is true but R is false (d) A is false but R is true 23. Which of the following constitutionally correct? is

of the cabinet relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union. 24. Which one of the following is suggested as a good alternative principle to the noun of balanced budget? (a) Spending should not grow faster than the national income (b) Capital expenditure budget should be separated from revenue expenditure budget (c) Consensus must be established between the executive head and Central Bank of the country on the limits of deficit financial (d) The executive head and the legislature must determine the level of public borrowing 25. Which one of the following are duties of the inter-state Council created under Article 263 of the Constitution of India. 1. Inquiring into and advising upon disputes which may have arisen between /among State 2. Investigating and discussing subjects in which some or all of the States, or the Union and one or more of the States have a common interest 3. Making recommendations upon any such subject for the better coordination of policy and action with respect to that subject 4. Ensuring that officers belonging to All India Services posted in various State are not punished by the judiciary for acts of omission (a) 1, 2 and 3 (c) 3 and 4 (b) 1, 2 and 4 (d) 1 and 4

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(a) The Prime Minister decides allocation of portfolios among the Ministers (b) When the Prime Minister resigns the Council of Minister gets dissolved (c) All the principal police announcements of the Government are made by the Prime Minister (d) It shall be the duty of the Prime Minister to communicate to the President all decisions

26. Consider the following statements: 1. Sanitation status of India is very poor as 54% defecate in open. 2. One of the reason is inadequate central budget under the Rural Development Ministry.

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3. Only five states are better performer. 4. Pakistan and Afghanistan also follow India and they are at worst footing when compared with India. Select the incorrect statement: (a) Only (1) (c) Only (3) (b) Only (2) (d) Only (4)

any premises belonging to the Muncipal Corporation of Delhi or any notified area committee. Select the correct statement among the following: (a) Only (1) & (4) are correct. (b) Only (1), (2) & (3) are correct. (c) Only (2), (3) & (4) are correct. (d) All of the above are correct. 29. Sports Development Bill, which has been drafted by Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs, seeks to bring accountability & transparency in the running of sports affair in country by introducing following clauses which are as follows: (1) All National Sports Federation would be brought under the purview of RTI. (2) It will provide 25% reservations for sportspersons in the NSFs. (3) Bill was silent on age and tenure limitations. (4) It was criticized by civil society members Aruna Roy & Prashant Bhushan. Select the incorrect statement among the above given: (a) All the four are incorrect. (b) None of the above. (c) Only (3) & (4) are incorrect. (d) Only (1) & (2) are incorrect. 30. In the context of Unfair Practices Bill, read the following statements: (1) It brings technical educational institutions, medical educational institutions, and Universities under its purview. (2) The bill deals with entrance examinations and admissions to various courses. (3) Still having many provisions in this bill it leaves an unfilled but fillable gap between intent & content. (4) The bill doesnot deal with non-

refund of document by the institutions. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (1), (3) & (4) are correct. (b) Only (1), (2) & (3) are correct. (c) Only (3) & (4) are correct. (d) All are correct. 31. Lokpal bill, which had been tabled in parliament in winter session has following proposals: (1) It will include Prime Minister under its jurisdiction. (2) Group ‘C’ & ‘D’ employees would be brought under the Central Vigilance Commission’s jurisdiction. (3) It also merged the CBI with the institution of Lokpal. (4) Government promised to give constitutional status to Lokpal’s institution. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (1), (3) & (4) are correct. (b) Only (1), (2) & (3) are correct. (c) Only (2), (3) & (4) are correct. (d) Only (1), (2) & (4) are correct. 32. According to the Food Security Bill draft, consider the following statement: (1) It seeks to give legal entitlement to subsidized foodgrains to about 64% of the country’s population. (2) The bill seeks to provide 7 kg of rice & wheat to per person per month to priority household at Rs 3 & Rs 2 per kg. (3) The bill provide for cash reimbursement if the government fails to provide subsidized foodgrains because of natural calamities such as drought & flood.

27. Consider the following statements with respect to the Companies Bill 2011. (1) It would be mandatory for the corporate companies to spend two percent of their profit on welfare of the society under the corporate social responsibility. (2) Corporate companies which spent the money for the purpose should disclose the amount. (3) It will be also mandatory for the companies to disclose and explain why they have not spent a share of profit for society. Select the incorrect among the following: (a) Only (1) is incorrect. (b) Only (2) is incorrect. (c) Only (3) is incorrect. (d) None of the above. 28. The purpose to be served by the passing of The Public Premises (Eviction Of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill 2011 is/are: (1) It will protect DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) from any litigation over such eviction. (2) It will declare Metro properties as public premises. (3) It will confer power to an Estate officer or DMRC officer to deal with the problem of eviction in a more expeditious manner. (4) Public premises in Delhi mean

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Select the incorrect statement among the following: (a) Only (1) is incorrect. (b) Only (2) is incorrect. (c) Only (3) is incorrect. (d) None of the above is incorrect. 33. The LIC bill, already passed by Lok Sabha has following proposals: (1) It will increase the state owned insurer at par with the private players in the sector. (2) It will increase the paid-up capital of LIC from twenty-five crore to hundred crore. (3) The Government will discontinue to provide sovereign guarantee to the policies sold by LIC. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (1) is correct. (b) Only (2) is correct. (c) Only (3) is correct. (d) All of the above are correct. 34. Which of the following is/are false regarding a Supreme Court ruling concerning preventive detention? 1. The apprehension of the authorities that an accused was likely to be released on bail cannot form a ground for passing preventive detention orders. 2. Going by the previous conduct of the accused, viz. if he was a habitual offender or he was involved in several other cases earlier, he could be detained under preventive detention law on the basis of such apprehension. (a) Only 1 (b) Only 2 (c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2 35. The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Amendment Bill, 2010 has been passed recently. Which of the following regarding this are true?

1. The Prasar Bharati was established on November 23, 1997 and consists of Akashvani (All India Radio) and Doordarshan. 2. Any person recruited in Akashvani or Doordarshan after October 5, 2007 shall be officers and employees of Prasar Bharati. 3. Prasar Bharati shall have the disciplinary powers over these employees. 4. Prasar Bharati will not have power to dismiss these employees from service. (a) 1 and 2 only (b) 1, 2 and 3 (c) 1, 2 and 4 (d) All of the above 36. Which one of the following may be done under conditions of financial emergency? 1. Reduction in the number of districts in the country of effecting economy 2. Abolition of all State Legislative Assemblies to reduce expenditure 3. Reduction in the salaries of the judges of the High Court 4. Reservation of Money Bills of State Legislative Assemblies for the consideration of the President Choose the correct answer from the codes given below: (a) 1, 2 and 3 (c) 3 and 4 (b) 1, 2 and 4 (d) 1 and 4

38. Which of the following Committees consist of representatives of both the Houses namely Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha? (1) Estimate Committee (2) Committee Legislation on Subordinate

(3) Public Accounts Committee (4) Committee on Public Undertakings Select the correct answer using the codes given below: Codes: (a) 1 and 4 (b) 1, 2 and 3 (c) 2, 3 and 4 (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4 39. State Finance Commission is appointed by a State Government every five year to determine (a) financial resources of the state for placing state’s requirement before the Union Government (b) development requirements of the state for formulating state Five Year Plan (c) budgetary requirements of various departments of the state government (d) pattern of distribution of State’s tax revenue between the sate government and local bodies (both rural and urban) and the pattern of grants-inaid to local bodies 40. Which of the following regarding the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of Their Grievances Bill, 2011 is / are correct? 1. The Bill makes it mandatory for every public department to publish a citizen’s charter and address grievances within 60 days. 2. If the officer fails to do so, he would face action, including a fine of up to Rs 50,000 (to be recovered from his salary) and a disciplinary proceeding. (a) Only 1 (b) Only 2

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37. The most important device of supplying power to the judiciary to invalidate a Statute in India is provided by (a) The Directive Principles of State Police (b) The Fundamental Rights (c) Articles 350 and 351 (d) Prerogative Writs

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(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2 41. Which one of the following statements about ‘Audit’ is not correct? (a) It adopts approach a fault-finding

introduced in the Parliament except on the recommendation of the President of India. (3) This article has provisions to have the view of the concerned states but states view will not be binding on the Parliament. Select the correct statement among given above: (a) Only (1) is correct. (b) Only (2) is correct. (c) Only (3) is correct. (d) All of the above are correct. 44. Bill Giving ST Status to New Communities of Manipur Introduced in Lok Sabha. Consider the following statements: (1) It was introduced by Home Minister Mr P Chidambaram. (2) It will give ST status to Inpui, Rongmei, Liangmai, Zeme Thangal & Mate communities of Manipur. (3) The Bill will amend the original ‘the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1955’. Select the incorrect statement among the following: (a) Only (1) & (2) are incorrect. (b) Only (2) & (3) are incorrect. (c) Only (1) & (3) are incorrect. (d) All of the above given statements are true.

punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 & Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (1) is correct. (b) Only (2) is correct. (c) Only (3) is correct. (d) All of the above are correct. 46. The provisions of the draft Micro Financial Sector (Development & Regulation) Bill, 2011, are following: (1) It seeks to make it mandatory for all micro-finance institutions to be registered with the Reserve Bank Of India. (2) Such micro-finance institutions have to keep minimum netowned funds of Rs 50 lakh. (3) The RBI may pass an order directing a micro-finance institution to cease & desist from carrying out microfinancing if it is found acting in manner prejudicial to the interest of its clients or depositors. Select the incorrect statement among the above given: (a) Only (1) is incorrect. (b) Only (2) is incorrect. (c) Only (3) is incorrect. (d) All are incorrect. 47. Regarding PFDRA Bill 2011, consider the following statements: (1) The Government would like to retain the flexibility of changing the cap of FDI as and when required. (2) The PFDRA bill provides for the setting up of a statutory authority to undertake promotional, developmental and regulatory functions with regards to pension funds. (3) The Government want to provide 51% FDI in pension funds sector.

(b) It concerns itself with financial propriety (c) It is concerned with adherence to rules regulations and procedure (d) It critically examines income, expenditure and performance 42. Match List-I with List – II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the Lists: List –I A. India Act, 1858 B. India Council Act, 1861 C. India Council Act, 1909 D. Government 1919 List – II 1. All India Federation of Provinces and Princely States 2. Appointment of Secretary of State for India 3. Beginning of representation and legislative devolution 4. Dyarchy in Provinces 5. Morley-Minto Codes: A (a) 2 (b) 1 (c) 4 (d) 2 B 1 2 3 1 C 4 3 1 3 D 3 4 2 4 of India Act,

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45. In the direction to provide Good Governance in the state of Bihar, recently Bihar Lokayukta Bill 2011 was drafted. According to the draft provision: (1) The Lokayukta can, on receipt of complaint or suo moto, initiate action against the public servant accused of corruption. (2) The proposed Lokayukta will have its own investigation & prosecution wing. (3) Public servants prosecuted for can be offence

43. Orissa is now Odisha, we have article 3 in our constitution, which provides provision to alter the name of any state. Consider the following statement: (1) This article demonstrate the flexibility of our Constitution. (2) No bill for the purpose can be

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Select the correct statement: (1) Only (1) & (3) are correct. (2) Only (2) & (3) are correct. (3) Only (1) & (2) are correct. (4) Only (3) is correct. 48. Considering the Prevention of Communal & Targeted Violence (Access to Justice & Reparations) Bill. The draft of the bill has following provisions: (1) The bill made officials “criminally accountable” for dereliction of duty. (2) The bill encompassed forms of brutal sexual assault on the bodies of woman. (3) There had definition for forms of brutal sexual assault in the existing Indian Penal Code laws related to woman. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (2) & (3) are correct. (b) Only (1) & (2) are correct. (c) Only (1) & (3) are correct. (d) All the three are correct. 49. Read the statement carefully with respect to National Security Act (NSA) 1980. (1) It was promulgated by the President to prevent communal disharmony, social tensions, extremist activities. (2) It provides for detention for up to a year without charge or trail. (3) It is valid in all the states of India. Select the incorrect statement: (a) Only (1) is incorrect. (b) Only (2) is incorrect. (c) Only (3) is incorrect. (d) Only (2) & (3) are incorrect. 50. Consider the following statement and select the correct answer. Assertion: The Indian Electorate is increasingly becoming disillusioned with its political leaders, hence a

campaign to exercise Rule 49 (O) of the Code of Conduct Election Rules 1961, has gained momentum. Reason: As per Rule 49 (O), has provisions for Negative Vote, a voter can register his vote, but not vote for any Candidate & has to fill a form available with presiding officer. Select the answer among given below options: (a) If assertion & reason both are correct and reason explains assertion. (b) If assertion & reason both are correct and reason does not explain assertion. (c) If only assertion is true & reason is false. (d) If both Assertion & Reason are false. 51. Consider the following statements regarding Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI): (1) It was set up by Central Government resolution in April 1953. (2) It would investigate cases related with Central fiscal laws, major frauds related with Government of India departments, public joint stock companies. (3) Central Forensic Science Laboratory is one of the CBI’s division. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (1) & (3) are correct. (b) Only (1) & (2) are correct. (c) Only (2) & (3) are correct. (d) All are correct. 52. Draft of Judicial Accountability Bill provides provisions for: (1) It will make the declaration of assets mandatory for High court & Supreme court judges. (2) The non-declaration of assets by judges has been made a

violation of the Code of Conduct as per provisions of Judges (inquiry) bill 2006. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (2) (b) Only (1) (c) None of the above (d) Both (1) & (2) 53. According to the Cr.P.C Sec. 438, which deals with matters related with Anticipatory Bail it has following provisions: (1) The person will make himself available for interrogation by a police officer as & when required. (2) The person shall not leave India without taking prior permission from court. (3) Court should anticipate that a person shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement or threat to the other party. Select the incorrect statement: (a) Only (1) (b) Only (2) (c) Only (3) (d) None of the above 54. Match List-I (Provisions) with List–II (Schedules of Constitution of India) and select the correct answer using the codes given below the Lists: List –I A. The tribal area in the States of Assams, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram B. All-India Service C. Control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled tribes D. Comptroller and General of India List – II 1. Second Schedule 2. Fifth Schedule 3. Sixth Schedule 4. Seventh Schedule Auditor-

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Codes: A (a) 3 (b) 1 (c) 3 (d) 4 B 4 2 1 3 C 2 3 4 1 D 1 4 2 2 following

Codes: A (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 2 (d) 4 B 3 1 1 2 C 4 3 4 3 D 1 2 3 1

(c) Contingency Fund of the state (d) Consolidated Fund of the state 61. Which was the first country to introduce the Right to Information? (a) Canada (c) Sweden (b) Japan (d) USA

55. Which one of the statements is not true?

57. Which one of the following is not correct for the Local Government? (a) A constitutional obligation for the Village Panchayats to function as units of self government (b) The Constitution places the subject of local self-government as the responsibility of the States. (c) A constitutional obligation for the States to constitute Finance Commission to ensure f inancial viability of the Municipalities (d) A constitutional obligation for the municipalities to carry out the schemes related to public 58. The Union Public Service Commission submits its annual report to the (a) Parliament (b) Department of Personnel and Training (c) Cabinet Secretary (d) President 59. In 1953, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru announced the formation of the Commission to study the recorganisation of states on a linguistic basis under the chairmanship of (a) T.K. Krishnamachari (b) Vallabhbhai Patel (c) Fazl Ali (d) G.B. Pant 60. The salaries and allowances of the council of ministers of the state government are paid from the (a) Reserve Bank of India (b) Treasury of government the state

62. Consider the following statements: (1) The Law Commission of India is a statutory body constituted by the Government from time to time & is located in New Delhi. (2) The commission was originally constituted in 1955 & is reconstituted after every three years. (3) The various Law Commissions have been able to make important contribution towards the progressive development & codification of Laws of the country. Select the incorrect statement: (a) Only (b) (c) Only (c) (d) None of the above 63. The Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007 provides to: (1) Cast an obligation on the persons who inherit the property of their aged relative to maintain such aged relatives. (2) The Act proposes to provide better medical facilities to the senior citizens & provisions for protection of their life & property. (3) There is also provisions for the setting up of the Tribunals that can on a speedy & concentrated way sort out the cases that arises under the law. (4) These Tribunals are also empowered to impose penalties upto Rs 1,00,000 & award upto 1 year imprisonment. Select the correct statement among the above given statement: (b) Only (a)

(a) A member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) holds office for a term of six years or until he or she attains the age of 65 years (b) The Chairperson of UPSC is not eligible for turther employment under the Government of India or Government of any State after retirement (c) One half of the members of the UPSC should be persons who have held office for at least 10 years either under Government of India or Government of State

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(d) The Chairperson and other members of the UPSC are appointed by the Prime Minister 56. Match List-I (Provisions) with ListII (Contained In) and select the current answer using the codes given below the Lists: List I (Provisions) A. Tenure of office of persons serving in the Union or a State B. Public Service Commissions for the Union and for the States C. Recruitment and conditions of service of persons serving in the Union or a State D. Dismissal, removal, reduction in the rank of persons employed in civil capacity under the Union or a state List II 1. Article 315 2. Article 310 3. Article 312 4. Article 309

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(a) Only (1), (2) & (4) are correct. (b) Only (2), (3) & (4) are correct. (c) Only (1), (2) & (3) are correct. (d) Only (1), (3) & (4) are correct. 64. The Lyngdoh committee regarding student union elections has given its report which has following provisions: (1) Fixes 23 years as maximum age to contest student union elections. (2) Expense should not exceed more than Rs 50,000. (3) There should be political donation but only in kind and not in cash. (4) Outsiders can take part in elections but they cannot contest. Select the incorrect statement among the above given: (a) Only (1), (2) & (4). (b) Only (1), (2) & (3). (c) Only (2), (3) & (4). (d) All (1), (2), (3) & (4) are incorrect. 65. Draft of the HIV/AIDS Bill 2009, has provisions for: (1) To fight discrimination against people living with & affected by HIV/AIDS. (2) It contains special provisions to address the vulnerabilities of women & children to HIV. (3) The Law would make it easier for HIV positive people to access treatment. Select the incorrect statement among the above given statement: (a) Only (1) (b) Only (2) (c) Only (3) (d) None of the above 66. Communal Violence (Prevention, Control & Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill 2009 has empowered the centre

by having following provisions: (1) To declare any area in any state as “communally disturbed”. (2) It has made it mandatory for the central government to constitute a unified command whenever central forces are deployed to control a communal situation. (3) The bill gives the power to the centre to intervene & gives instructions to the state if communal clashes had resulted in death or destruction of property. Select the incorrect statement: (a) Only (1) is incorrect. (b) Only (2) is incorrect. (c) Only (3) is incorrect. (d) All are incorrect. 67. The amendment brought by Union Government in Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 read as: (1) The clerical staff in the railways had been brought under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923, making them eligible to claim compensation in the event of any mishap or accident. (2) The immediate relief given to the family of those who died while on duty has been increased from Rs 25,000 to 50,000. (3) The amount paid as relief would be linked to the price index through an enabling clause. Select the correct statement among the above given: (a) Only (1) & (3) are correct. (b) Only (2) & (3) are correct. (c) Only (1) & (2) are correct. (d) All are incorrect. 68. Read the carefully: following statement

hereafter be reffered to as “other” on the basis of willingness of the individual, instead of mentioning them as “male” or “female” in the electoral rolls. Reason: Until now, the transgenders were registered as male or female based on the statement given by the person concerned. Select the correct options among given below options: (a) Assertion & Reason both are true & reason is explains the assertion. (b) Assertion & Reason both are true but reason does not explain the assertion. (c) Assertion is true & Reason is false. (d) Assertion & Reason both are false. 69. Salient features of Competition Appellate Tribunal are as follows: (1) It has been designated as the appropriate forum for hearing grievances against the decision & remedies given by the Competition Commission of India. (2) The cases pending before the Monopolies & Restrictive Trade Practices Commission will be subsequently transferred to the Competition Appellate Tribunal. (3) The CAT would adjudicate on claims for compensation that might arise from the findings of the Competition Commission. Select the incorrect statement: (a) Only (1) & (2). (b) Only (2) & (3). (c) Only (1) & (3). (d) None of the above. 70. Consider the following statement with respect to the Armed Forces Tribunal. (1) It will have original jurisdiction in service matters & appellate jurisdiction in Court Martial matters.

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Assertion: The Election Commission announced that transgenders will

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Indian Polity Questions @ IP

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(2) The administrative members of the tribunal shall be officers of the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Army or equivalent rank in the Navy and the Air Force with three years of service in that rank. (3) The appointment will be for the period of three years from the date of assumption of office or till the age of 62 years. Select the incorrect statement: (a) Only (1) & (3) are incorrect. (b) Only (2) & (3) are incorrect. (c) Only (1) & (2) are incorrect. (d) All of the above are incorrect. 71. Select the correct sequence of the following amendments: 1. Voting age reduced from 21 years to 18 years 2. Right to property deleted from the list of Fundamental Rights

73. Which of the following are provided for by the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act in respect of planning of urban and rural local governments? 1. Constitution of the District Planning Committee. 2. Not less than 2/3rd of the total members of the District Planning Committee should be elected by, from amongst, the elected members of district panchayats and municipalities. 3. All other details regarding the composition of the District Planning Committee are left to the State Legislatures. 4. Constitution of the Metropolitan Planning Committee. Select the correct answer using the codes given below: (a) 1, 2 and 3 (c) 1, 3 and 4 (b) 2 and 4 (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

(1) This act has added a new Part-X to the constitution of India. (2) It is entitled as ‘The Panchayats’ & consists of provisions from Articles 243 to 243 O. (3) It gives Panchayati Raj Institutions a constitutional status & brought them under the purview of the justiciable part of the Constitution. (4) The act also added a new Eleventh schedule to the Constitution. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (1), (2) & (3) are correct. (b) Only (2), (3) & (4) are correct. (c) Only (1), (3) & (4) are correct. (d) All are correct. 76. Salient features of 73rd Amendment Act are as follows: (1) It provides for three-tier system of Panchayati Raj in every state i.e. panchayats at the village, intermediate & district levels. (2) A state having population not exceeding 10 lakh may not constitute panchayats at intermediate level. (3) All the members of the panchayat should be elected directly by the people. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (1) & (2) are correct. (b) Only (2) & (3) are correct. (c) Only (1) & (3) are correct. (d) All of the above are correct. 77. Read the following statements carefully: Assertion: The Rajya Sabha is a proper chamber to utilize the talent & experience of the country. Reason: The President can appoint 12 members to the RS considering their talent regarding Arts, Science, Literature and Social Service, so the senior politicians and statesmen, find it easy to be involved in the Rajya Sabha without getting

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3. Sikkim became a State of the Indian Union 4. Hindi version of the Constitution was accepted officially Select the correct answer using the codes given below: (a) 3-1-4-2 (c) 3-2-4-1 (b) 4-2-3-1 (d) 4-1-3-2

74. The coalition for GM-Free India, which represents various citizen groups, has called for scrapping of the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill. The coalition has objection over following provisions: (1) It overrides the State Government’s authority over Health & Agriculture. (2) It lacks redress mechanism where by stakeholders such as farmers & consumers can be compensated for damages. (3) It proposes to override Right to Information Act for the benefit of commercial interests. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (1) (b) Only (2) (c) Only (3) (d) All of the above 75. Consider the following statement with respect to 73rd Amendment Act:

72. Which of the following is/are the provisions under Article 18 of the Constitution of India that pertains to the Right to Equality to the citizens of India? (a) No title, not being military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State. (b) No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State. (c) No person holding any office of profit or trust under the State, shall without the consent of the President, accept any present, emolument or office of any kind from or under any foreign State. (d) All the above three.

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Indian Polity Questions @ IP

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

involved in the ordeal of contesting general elections. Select the correct option given below: (a) Assertion & Reason both are true & reason explains assertion. (b) Assertion & Reason both are true but reason does not explain assertion. (c) Assertion is true & Reason is false. (d) Assertion & Reason both are false. 78. With respect to Lok Sabha (L.S.), consider the following statement: (1) 31st Amendment Act 1975 increased Lok Sabha strength from 525 to 545. (2) 79th Amendment Act, 2000 extended the reservation of SCs and STs in Lok Sabha upto 2010.

(3) Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya & Tripura has one L.S. seat for each state. Select the incorrect statement: (a) Only (1) is incorrect. (b) Only (2) is incorrect. (c) Only (3) is incorrect. (d) All are incorrect. 79. Consider the following statement with respect to the Parliament: (1) Article 93-96 has provisions for the officer’s of the Lok Sabha. (2) Article 89-92 has provisions for the officer’s of the Rajya Sabha. (3) Parliament functions as the prime forum for conflict resolution and national integration. Select the correct statement: (a) Only (1) & (2). (b) Only (2) & (3).

(c) Only (1) & (3). (d) All of the above are correct. 80. Read the statement carefully: Assertion: Under Article 44 of Indian Constitution there is provision for Uniform Civil Code. Reason: It is a part of Gandhian principle ingrained under the Directive Principle of State policy of our Constitution. Select the correct answer based on above statements: (a) Assertion & Reason both are true & reason explains assertion. (b) Assertion & Reason both are true but reason does not explain assertion. (c) Assertion is true but Reason is false. (d) Assertion & Reason both are false.

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ANSWERS
1. (c) Exp.: The Plachimada Coca-Cola Victims’ Relief and Compensation Claims Special Tribunal Bill, 2011 was to adjudicate disputes relating to compensation of Rs 216.25 crore to be paid by the company for the damage its cola bottling plant caused in the village. 2. (a) Exp.: Authorities cannot arrest the offender without obtaining a warrant from a competent court. 3. (a) Exp.: Its chairman or member can be impeached only after at least 100 MPs make a representation. Its term will be of five years duration. Lokpal will be a Constitutional body. 4. (d) 5. (a) 6. (c) 7. (a) 8. (d) 9. (b) 10. (c) 11. (c) 12. (c) 13. (b) 14. (a) 15. (a) 16. (c) Exp.: It will not be applicable to foreigners. 17. (b) Exp.: The PSA was enacted by Sheikh Abdullah Government in1978 18. (c) Exp.: Provision of additional pension only in case of disability or death of adult children. 19. (a) 20. (b) 21. (a) 22. (c) 23. (d) 24. (c) 25. (a) 26. (d) Exp.: Pakistan & Afghanistan are at better footings when compared with India. 27. (a) Exp.: It would not be mandatory for corporate companies to spend 2% of their profit on welfare of the society under corporate social responsibility. 28. (d) 29. (c) Exp.: Bill has also provisions on age and tenure limitation and was supported by Aruna Roy & Prashant Bhushan. 30. (b) Exp.: It also deals with non-refund of document by the institutions and they have to have a document withdrawl mechanism. 31. (d) Exp.: It has not merged CBI with Lokpal thus it is still under the purview of Government and not became autonomous. 32. (d) 33. (a)

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Indian Polity Questions @ IP

Vol.1 Issue 5 February 2012

Exp.: It will increase paid-up capital from five crore to hundred crore &the government will continue to provide sovereign guarantee to the policies sold by LIC. 34. (b) Exp: Even in that condition he cannot be arrested under preventive detention. 35. (d) 36. (c) 37. (b) 38. (c) 39. (d) 40. (b) Exp: Time limit is 30 days. 41. (a) 42. (b) 43. (d) 44. (c) Exp.: The Bill to amend the original ‘the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950’ was introduced by the Minister of Tribal Affairs V. Kishore Chandra Deo. 45. (d) 46. (b) Exp.: The minimum net-owned funds should be Rs 5 lakh. 47. (c) Exp.: The Union Cabinet wants to provide 26% of FDI in pension sector. 48. (b) Exp.: The communal violence bill is unique in its own way as it has first time defined the forms of brutal sexual laws which was lacking in the IPC laws. 49. (c) Exp.: It is not valid in Jammu & Kashmir. There the J & K Public Safety Act 1978 is applicable. 50. (a) 51. (c) Exp.: CBI was set up in 1st April 1963 by

Government’s resolution. 52. (d) 53. (d) 54. (a) 55. (d) 56. (c) 57. (d) 58. (d) 59. (c) 60. (d) 61. (c) 62. (b) Exp.: The Law Commission of India is a Non-statutory body. 63. (c) Exp.: These Tribunals are empowered to impose penalties upto Rs 10,000 and award upto three month of imprisonment. 64. (d) Exp.: Maximum age to contest student union election is 25 years of age. Expense should not exceed more than Rs 5,ooo. Complete Ban on any political donation. Outsiders are completely banned in any capacity in the election process. 65. (d) 66. (c) Exp.: The communal violence bill 2009 gives power to the centre to intervene & gives instructions to the state if communal clashes had even not resulted in any loss of life or property. It was earlier in the draft of communal violence bill 2005 which has given power to the centre to intervene only if such clash has resulted in loss of life & property. 67. (a) Exp.: The immediate relief given to the family of those who died while on duty has been increased from Rs 2,500 to 5,000.

68. (b) 69. (d) 70. (b) Exp.: The officers should be above the rank of Major General in the Army or equivalent rank in the Navy & the Air Force with three years of service in that rank. The appointment will be for the period of four years from the date of assumption of office or till the age of 65 years. 71. (c) 72. (d) 73. (c) 74. (d) 75. (b) Exp.: This act has added a new Part-IX to the Constitution of India. 76. (c) Exp.: A state having population not exceeding 20 lakh may not constitute Panchayats at intermediate level. 77. (a) 78. (c) Exp.: Each States having only one L.S. seat are Sikkim, Mizoram, Nagaland, Chandigarh, Andaman & Nicobar Island, Dadra & Nagar Haveli , Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Puducherry. Each States having two L.S. seats are Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalay, Tripura. 79. (d) 80. (c) Exp.: Uniform civil code is a part of Western Liberal Ideas & ingrained in our Constitution. DPSP is a unique blend of Socialist, Gandhian, Western Liberal principles and objectives of freedom struggle.

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