National

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Named for Pushkin Award K. Govindan Nair, former Head of the Department of Russian, University of Kerala, has won the Pushkin Award of the Russian Federation. The Pushkin Award is given by the Federation to citizens of India for overall contribution in popularisation of Russian culture, language, and literature. The first Keralite to get a PhD in Russian Literature and the first Indian teacher in the Department of Russian of the Kerala University. Gandhiji's 40-feet tall bust to be installed at Gandhi Maidan Mahatma Gandhi's 40-feet tall bust will be installed on January 30,2013 at the historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna on his 65th death anniversary. The bust, which is made of bronze metal and is in three pieces, has been made by a Delhi-based firm. Gandhi's bust was set for installation on his 143rd birth anniversary on October 2, 2012, but got delayed due to various reasons. Gujarat BSF gets MoD nod for women battalion The Ministry of Defence has given its go-ahead to the Gujarat Frontier of Border Security Force (BSF) to raise a battalion of women personnel to guard the Munabao railway station on the India-Pakistan border in Rajasthan. This will be the second such battalion of the BSF after Punjab. The Gujarat Frontier had written to the Ministry a few months ago requesting to form a women battalion for the Munabao railway station in Barmer district where New Thar Express halts. There will be 100 constable-rank women in the battalion who will be stationed at all BSF outposts of the Frontier for a small period before being permanently stationed at Munabao. U.P Govt plans Aadhar-based payment of scholarships in five districts The Department of Social Welfare is planning to launch Aadhar-based payment of scholarships for students on a trial basis in five districts of Uttar Pradesh. On the recommendations of the Government of India (GoI), the department is planning to hold special camps in these districts for getting students enrolled for the unique identification (UID) numbers. The trial will cover post-matric scholarship and fee reimbursement schemes for schedule castes and schedule tribes, other backward castes, minorities as well as general category students. Apart from the scheme for general category students, which is funded by the state government, the scholarships of all other categories are partly or fully financed by the GoI. The selected districts are Lucknow, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar and Agra. The Government of India has decided that in the second phase of the Aadhar scheme in Uttar Pradesh, the collection of biometric data for Aadhar number is to be done by the Directorate of Census, rather than the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Gujarat plans Knowledge Cities on lines of S Korea, Taiwan The Gujarat government is planning to set up Knowledge Cities, hubs of academia, research, technology and industry, for promoting innovation, on the lines of countries such as South Korea and Taiwan. Hshinchu Technology park of Taiwan and Gwangju Metropolitan City in South Korea are examples of this model. Gujarat currently has around 51 universities and over 1,400 institutes of higher education catering to over 7 million students. However, only a few institutes have active tie-ups with international institutes. MoD clears mega deals for radars, missiles, Navy vessels, AWACS Defence ministry has cleared proposals to buy several thousand crore worth of military hardware, including four hydrographic survey vessels for the Navy for Rs 2,324 crore and two Phalcon airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) for the Air Force for Rs 3,306 crore. Israel, which has emerged as a leading arms supplier to India, will rake in a major chunk of these contracts.

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Wildlife management hits a low in Assam in 2012 Assam, famed for its national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, faced one of its worst years in wildlife management as it lost an estimated 800 animals, including one-horned rhinos, during 2012. Among the positives in the wildlife sector was a healthy population of Royal Bengal Tiger in Kaziranga National Park with 114 animals captured by the camera trapping method. Another major achievement was the successful shifting of 18 rhinos to Manas National Park, including one which strayed out of the Park, along with others from Kaziranga and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. Seventy rhinos died in the Kaziranga Park -- 25 killed by poachers, 22 dying due to natural causes and 23 drowned in floods.

International:
Switzerland freezes $300 m of Mubarak sons’ assets Swiss authorities have frozen $300 million sitting in Credit Suisse accounts in Geneva held by the sons of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The funds are held in accounts belonging to Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, sons of the ex-president who are currently being held in an Egyptian prison. The brothers are accused of using their position as scions of Egypt’s longtime ruler to help themselves to villas, luxury cars and stakes in the country’s key companies. According to the newspaper, the funds were deposited at the Credit Suisse in 2005, which was after Switzerland tightened rules governing transactions by politically exposed depositors. China tightens law against internet use China has tightened control over Internet usage making it mandatory for the users to register with their real names with the service providers, belying expectations of opening up after once-in-a-decade leadership change. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) China’s Parliament has approved the draft stating that it was aimed at protecting personal information. According to China Internet Network Information Centre (CINIC), 274 million Chinese people had microblog accounts as of June 2012. 23 Indian-origin figure in Queen's New Year Honours List 2013 Mark Ramprakash, a former English cricketer of Indian descent, is among the 23 people of Indian origin who figure in the Queen's New Year Honours List 2013. Ramprakash, a right-handed batsman who played for England between 1991 and 2001, has been given the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to sport. Geetha Nagasubramanian, consultant gynaecologist, also gets an MBE for services to women and young People. Vina Mayor, also gets the same honour for services to the National Health Service (NHS). Beijing 14th safest city in China, Lhasa tops the list China's capital city Beijing is less safe when compared to most of China's other major cities, a recent survey conducted by the government-owned China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) has revealed. The Tibetan capital of Lhasa has been ranked as the safest followed by Shanghai. Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province, got the lowest marks for safety by its residents. People in coastal cities in east China and municipalities feel much safer than those in other regions of the country. Technology: Bacteria causing UTI infections becoming immune to drugs E coli bacteria, a major cause for urinary tract infections (UTI), is increasingly becoming resistant to the most prescribed antimicrobial, ciprofloxacin (Cipro) drug used for treating the disease. Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR), the study also warns that the patients mostly get infected from the pathogens including E coli producing UTIs from the hospitals and other sources. The disease is caused by variety of microorganisms such as E coli, which affects different locations of urinary tract system. E coli accounts for 75 per cent to 95 per cent of UTIs. Of the 4,956 culture positives, E coli was the most common (59%) isolate. Seventy three per cent of all Ecoli isolates were found to be resistant to Ciprofloxacin. Page 2 of 3 31st December 2012

Business & Economy:
Panel to assess if HP can provide 15 lakh laptops The Uttar Pradesh government is assessing the supplying capacity of Hewlett Packard (HP), which has quoted the lowest bid for supplying 15 lakh laptops that the government will distribute among students who passed Class XII in 2012 and are pursuing higher education. The assessment of the supplying capacity has to be done by a high-level committee formed under Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani. The matter has come to the table of the chief secretary after a technical committee, formed under the UP Electronics Corporation Limited Managing Director Prabhat Mittal, found that four companies qualified for supplying laptops. HP quoted a price of Rs 19,058, including duty and taxes, for each unit of laptop, HCL quoted Rs 21,983, Lenovo quoted Rs 23,919 while Acer made the highest bid of Rs 25,199.

Sport:
Clarke on top in ICC rankings with career-best points Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke has reached a career-best 900 points to retain the top spot in the ICC Test Rankings for batsmen after his side’s innings and 201-run win against Sri Lanka in Melbourne. The win guaranteed Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Clarke began the Test on 888 ratings points and earned 12 ratings points for his knock of 106 to become only the seventh Australian batsman to achieve the rare distinction as he retained his position at the top of the batting table. Don Bradman, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Doug Walters, Neil Harvey and Mike Hussey are the other Australian batsmen to break the 900-point barrier.

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