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National

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Andhra Pradesh,first legislation to implement Sub-Plans for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes A new chapter was opened for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Andhra Pradesh when its Assembly adopted a Bill to give legislative backing to the implementation of Sub-Plans for these disadvantaged sections with a mandatory provision for allocation of nearly a fourth of the State’s annual plan of the budget for them hereafter. This makes AP the first State in the country to enact the law giving legal status to the Sub-Plans as sought by the Planning Commission and National Development Council (NDC) which are insisting on States to adopt this piece of law for a long time. The legislation will be effective from the State’s 2013-14 budget, a huge sum of Rs. 11,157 crore would have gone to them straightaway from the Rs 48,935-crore plan outlay of the State’s 2012-13 budget (calculated at statutory 16.23 per cent for SCs and 6.6 per cent STs). First commutation of death sentence by Pranab Atbir Singh, lodged in Tihar Jail, New Delhi, is the first death-row convict whose sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment by President Pranab Mukherjee. Mr. Mukherjee passed the order on November 15. Atbir is one of the 16 death-row convicts whose mercy petition, Pratibha Patil, Mr. Mukherjee’s predecessor, left undecided while completing her tenure. Atbir was convicted and sentenced to death by a sessions court in 2004 for the murder of his step mother, step sister and step brother in 1996 over a property dispute. The High Court confirmed the sentence in 2006 and the Supreme Court dismissed his appeal against the sentence in 2010. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) recommended commutation as the crime had a socio-economic basis. Ranjit Sinha takes over as CBI Director Senior IPS officer Ranjit Sinha today took over as the new CBI Director and said he would lay special emphasis on addressing delays in execution of Letters Rogatory and improving forensic capabilities of the agency. A 1974-batch Bihar cadre officer, Sinha, who is also holding charge as Director General Indo-Tibetan Border Police, succeeds A P Singh who retired on November 30. Australian film festival begins The three-day Australian Film Festival (AFF) got off to a magnificent start with enthusiasts queuing up to view the films. Dehra Dun is the only non-metro city where the screening of the Australian movies will take place apart from New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. This also happens to be the first international film festival in the city. 'Yes, Madam Sir' is the most anticipated film of the festival. This award-winning documentary on the first woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi has been directed by Megan Doneman. India among nations most impacted by terrorism: Study India, Pakistan and Afghanistan were among the nations most impacted by terrorism in 2011, according to a new global study, which said the terror strikes worldwide had increased fourfold since the start of the Iraq war in 2003. The inaugural Global Terrorism Index (GTI) said Pakistan, India and Afghanistan accounted for 12 per cent, 11 per cent and 10 per cent of global terrorist incidents respectively from 2002 to 2009. In 2011, Middle East, India, Pakistan and Russia were the areas most impacted by terrorism. The US, Algeria and Colombia had the biggest improvements over the last ten years.

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Adopted child has no right to property of biological father: HC The Bombay High Court has held that a child given away in adoption cannot claim any right in the property of his biological father. Justice Mridula Bhatkar who observed that once a child is given away in adoption, his rights to property of his biological father ceased to exist. He said "family is not defined under Hindu Succession Act. Thus, who can be a member of the family is not described by the statute”.

International:
UK govt banned ministers to meet Dalai Lama The British government had imposed a "blanket prohibition" on two ministers meeting the Dalai Lama, forcing the duo to accuse Prime Minister David Cameron of buckling to Chinese pressure on the vexed Tibet issue. The ban on meeting the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader imposed by the Prime Minister's team during crisis talks over Eurozone countries at a meeting of G20 countries prompted a fierce backlash from the two ministers Tim Loughton and Norman Baker. Ukraine govt resigns Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his government and told the cabinet to stay on in an interim capacity. In his two and a half years as prime minister, Azarov has sought to revive an indebted economy which was hard hit by recession in 2009. He has also been at the forefront of tough and so far unsuccessful negotiations with Russia, Ukraine's main energy provider, to try to persuade Moscow to bring down the price of strategic supplies of natural gas which the government says are way above market price and are a huge drain on the economy. Typhoon Bopha lashes Philippines Typhoon Bopha smashed into the Philippines uprooting trees and power lines and forcing more than 40,000 people to cram into shelters to escape the strongest storm to hit the country.

Technology:
Voyager 1 probe leaving solar system reaches ''magnetic highway'' exit NASA's long-lived Voyager 1 spacecraft, which is heading out of the solar system, has reached a "magnetic highway" leading to interstellar space. The probe, launched 35 years ago to study the outer planets, is now about 11 billion miles (18 billion km) from Earth. At that distance, it takes radio signals traveling at the speed of light 17 hours to reach Earth. Light moves at 186,000 miles (300,000 km) per second). Voyager 1 will be the first manmade object to leave the solar system. Scientists believe Voyager 1 is in an area where the magnetic field lines from the sun are connecting with magnetic field lines from interstellar space. The phenomenon is causing highly energetic particles from distant supernova explosions and other cosmic events to zoom inside the solar system, while less-energetic solar particles exit. Voyager 1 hit the outer sphere of the solar system, a region called the heliosphere, in 2004 and passed into the heliosheath, where the supersonic stream of particles from the sun – the so-called "solar wind" - slowed down and became turbulent. That phase of the journey lasted for 5.5 years. Then the solar wind stopped moving and the magnetic field strengthened. Based on an instrument that measures charged particles.

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Business & Economy:
India decides to adopt liberal visa policy with Bangladesh India's Ambassador to Bangladesh Pankaj Saran said it has decided to adopt a liberal visa policy for people of Bangladesh to promote economic engagement, people-to-people contact and tourism between the two neighbouring nations. However, India did not wait for joint working group (JWG) to be set up to sort out the issue of liberal visa regime. India at present gives nearly 500,000 visas to Bangladesh nationals every year. India has already signed a liberal visa regime with its other neighbour, Pakistan-- introducing for the first time group tourist and pilgrim visas, multi-city and multi-entry visa for businessmen. D. K. Mittal to head Department of Disinvestment Department of Financial Services Secretary D. K. Mittal has been accorded additional charge of the Department of Disinvestment following the retirement of Mohammad Haleem Khan as DoD Secretary on November 30. He will hold the additional charge for two months with effect from December 1 or till the appointment of a regular incumbent to the post. Mr. Mittal was appointed as Secretary in the Department of Financial Services 2011. Adani completes coal exploration work in Australia Adani Group, an integrated infrastructure player, announced the completion of the single largest and most comprehensive coal mining exploration programme undertaken in Australia. A record number of drill rigs were deployed to drastically reduce the exploration time frame at the Carmichael mine in the Galillee basin of Queensland to nine months. Bangalore best Indian city to live: Mercer Technology hub Bangalore has emerged as the best city to live in India, pipping other metro cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, in terms of of overall quality of living. Amongst Indian cities, Bangalore (139) ranks higher than New Delhi (143), Mumbai (146), Chennai (150) and Kolkata (151) in overall quality of living, according to Mercer's 2012 Quality of Living Index. In terms of city infrastructure, however, Mumbai (134) was ranked highest among Indian cities followed by Kolkata (141), New Delhi (153), Chennai (168), Bangalore (170). However, no Indian city could manage to find a place in the global list, which was topped by Vienna and was followed by Zurich and Auckland in second and third place, respectively. FIPB nod to stay for FDI in domestic pharma units The government, has decided that all foreign investments in existing domestic pharma firms should be allowed only after clearance by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), amid mounting concerns over availability of affordable essential drugs in the wake of multinationals acquiring local companies. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, among others. State Bank of India may use POS terminals for utility bill payments The State Bank of India is evaluating the prospects of utilising the point of sale (POS) terminals installed at merchant establishments to accept remittances towards utility bills. Even while working towards a string of services on the terminals, the bank is also working on deploying its POS terminals at more commercial establishments. “Right now there are 30,000 POS machines of SBI and we want to take this to one lakh by March-end,” he said. The focus would be on taking the POS terminals across the country and into semiurban and rural areas as well.

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