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WEEKLY CURRENT AFFAIRS BULLETIN

20TH MAY 2013 TO 26TH MAY, 2013

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CHRONICLE IAS ACADEMY GS MAINS UPGRADATION PROGRAMME A SOLUTION TO 1250 MARKS

NATIONAL
Gujarat to provide free medical aid for victims of acid attack, sexual violence The Gujarat government has directed all private and public hospitals in the State to provide free treatment to women who have suffered acid attacks and sexual violence and said doctors refusing to provide such treatment would face imprisonment of up to a year. This direction from the Home Department follows the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, passed by the Centre last month - Section 166 (B) of the new law deals with these provisions. The Home Department had also asked the DirectorGeneral of Police to inform all police stations to file complaints of acid attack and sexual violence under the new law. The department stipulates greater punishment for gang-rape cases, in keeping with the new Act. Top police officials have been told to ensure that all subordinate offices implement the Act in earnest. They have been told to conduct orientation for all policemen, if necessary. According to the new legislation, gang-rape accused will now have to undergo a minimum sentence of 20 years in jail and maximum of life imprisonment until death. The law provides for a minimum of 10 years rigorous imprisonment or a life term for those who cause permanent or partial damage or disfigure a woman by throwing acid or any such substance on her. Police officials or public servants who refuse to register a complaint from a victim of acid attack or sexual violence will face rigorous imprisonment from six months to two years or a fine, or both. Acts of voyeurism will also be considered a serious crime under the new law. These acts include watching or capturing images of a woman indulging in a private act with someone or by herself, or using a toilet, or changing clothes. Trailing, tracking or hacking a woman's internet usage will also be considered a crime. Trafficking a minor girl could invite punishment of up to life imprisonment. Ordinance promulgated to extend Medical Council board's term because the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2013 which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 19th March 2013 could not be taken up for consideration and passing, and the term of the present Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India ended on 14th May 2013. Though the Board of Governors has been given an extension, the provisions of the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2013 have been modified in the Ordinance so that the Board can exercise the powers of the Council till the Central Government is able to reconstitute the Council within 180 days. In other words, the Government will have to re-constitute the Council latest by 10th November 2013. As regards the composition of the Council, the amended IMC Act provides for separate representation to the Union Territories and more representation to Health Universities, depending upon the number of medical colleges affiliated to them. The term of President, Vice President as well as an ordinary member will now be restricted to two years. The provisions of the existing Act have been amended to allow Overseas Citizens of India to practise medicine in the country and restriction on foreign doctors to practise only for the purpose of teaching, research or charitable work stands removed. The amendments would enable the Government to give directions to the Council on policy matters. The Government has reconstituted the Board of Governors and appointed Dr. R. K. Srivastava, former DGHS as the new Chairman of the Board. New age norms for Janani Suraksha Yojana

The President of India promulgated an Ordinance amending the Indian Medical Council Act 1956. It has promulgated the Ordinance
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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has relaxed eligibility parameters for the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), Launched in 2005, the JSY is the government's main scheme to enable women - especially those from vulnerable sections - to access institutional delivery. This was done to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality. Under the new norms, Below Party Line (BPL) women can access JSY benefits irrespective of their age and number of children i.e. all women from
Weekly Current Affairs 20th May to 26th May, 2013

BPL category, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in all States and Union Territories will be eligible for JSY benefits if they have given birth in a government or private accredited health facility. BPL women who prefer to deliver at home can also get JSY benefits. Till now, the scheme provided assistance for institutional delivery to all pregnant women who give birth in a government or private accredited health facility in Low Performing States (those with bad health indicators, such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Assam). A woman gets Rs.1,400 for delivery in a government facility or accredited private facility and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) gets Rs. 600 in rural areas. In the urban areas, the amounts paid are Rs.1,000 and Rs. 400 respectively. However, in High Performing States (those with good health indices, such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka), assistance for institutional delivery was available to women from BPL/SC/ST households, aged 19 or above and only up to two live births for delivery in a government or private accredited health facility. The financial entitlement was Rs. 700 to the mother and Rs. 600 for the ASHA in rural areas and Rs. 600 and Rs. 400 in urban settings. Further, in all States/Union Territories, the scheme provided Rs. 500 to BPL women - aged 19 or above and who deliver up to two live births who prefer to deliver at home. With the amendments, all women who deliver at home will be entitled to this amount, basically for nutrition. The decision was taken as a majority of women, who needed JSY benefits, remained out of the purview of the scheme because they had to prove they were 19 years of age and had no more than two children. The highest maternal mortality is reported among girls aged 14-15; the majority of these were out of the purview of the JSY as they were unable to produce proof of age or verify the number of children they had. The government claims that as a result of the scheme, there has been an increase in institutional deliveries - from 47 per cent in 2007-08 to 72.9 per cent in 2009 (Coverage Evaluation Survey) and, most recently, to approximately 79 per cent - as per Health Ministry data. World Bank funded National HIV/AIDS control support project

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a proposal by the Department of AIDS Control, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Weekly Current Affairs 20h May to 26th May, 2013

for the implementation of National AIDS Control Support Project (NACSP) under the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) for an amount of Rs. 2550 crore. NACP is financed by the Government of India and the World Bank in equal proportion. It will contribute towards intensifying and consolidating prevention services with a focus on highly vulnerable populations, high risk groups and bridge population and strengthening behaviour change communication (BCC) and demand generation, besides institutional strengthening and financial management. The primary objective of the project is to increase safe behaviour among high risk groups in pursuance of the national goal of accelerated reversal of the HIV epidemic by 2017. Its primary focus would be to strengthen and scale up prevention interventions and related BCC strategies for sub- groups of population identified to be mostat-risk by the NACP. These include Female Sex Workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), Transgender (TG)/Hijra populations and Injecting Drug Users (IDU). The project would also support the planned expansion and consolidation of tailored interventions for other at-risk populations, including migrant workers and truckers which play a critical role in the transmission dynamics of HIV in the country. The BCC strategies developed under the project would provide emphasis on demand generation for prevention services among high risk groups and vulnerable populations, including a specific focus on youth. This component would also address the need for reduction of stigma associated with HIV by focused IEC to change the prevailing attitudes and perceptions. This would help in providing the desired impetus required for further consolidation of gains made in containing the spread of HIV infection in the country. The NACP of India has been a remarkable success in its third phase (2007-2012) and the country is on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for HIV prevention and control. Over the last decade, there has been a reduction of 57 percent in the new HIV infections and 29 percent reduction in AIDS-related deaths. This has led to the recognition of India`s HIV programme as a global best practice, and has been an important factor behind the decision of the World Bank to support the prevention component of the HIV programme, at a time of global financial meltdown and decreasing support from international donor agencies.
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Malayalam get the status of 'Classical Language'

service can be deployed by different agencies to verify a resident's identity and address. Only demographic information (Name, Address, Date of Birth, Gender, Photograph & Mobile Number) that is collected during Aadhaar enrolment will be shared, at the request of, and/or with the consent of the Aadhaar number holder. However the information will be available only for few seconds to the service provider to avoid any misuse. The OTP service enables Aadhaar based authentication of all residents using their mobile telephone anytime, anywhere on a self service mode without having to use biometric authentication device. The third service will enable residents to authenticate identity for availing Aadhaar-enabled services by providing a combination of Aadhaar number and Iris image. Under the OTP and iris authentication, the authority's digital platform would not share the demographic details and respond in yes or no to authenticate the identity of the resident. Authentication and eKYC services of UIDAI will help residents avail benefits of Aadhaar-linked services and give public/private entities an economical, secure and flexible mode of verifying user identity. Centre notifies scheme for implementation of Cauvery award

The Union Cabinet has approved classifying Malayalam as a 'Classical Language' subject to the outcome of Writ Petition No. 18810 of 2008 (R. Gandhi Vs UOI & Ors) in the High Court of Judicature at Madras (Chennai). The benefits which are extended to Classical Languages include the following :a) Two major annual international awards for scholars of eminence in classical Indian languages. b) A 'Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Languages be set up. c) The University Grants Commission be requested to create, to start with at least in the Central Universities, a certain number of Professional Chairs for Classical Languages for scholars of eminence in classical Indian languages.

The Government has earlier notified both Telugu and Kannada as Classical Languages. Classical languages status is based on four norms: (i) (ii)

high antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years; a body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers;

(iii)

the literary tradition should be original and not borrowed from another speech community;

(iv)

the classical language and literature being distinct from the modern, there may also be discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or offshoots.

UIDAI launches New Authentication Services

Developing on its vision of "Empowering residents of India with a unique identity and a digital platform to authenticate anytime, anywhere", the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has unveiled three new AadhaarEnabled Services and announced the establishment of first set of permanent enrolment centres (Aadhaar Kendras). The services are Authentication services using Iris, Authentication service using One Time Pin and eKYC (Electronic- Know Your Customer) service. The e-KYC service will enable individuals to authorise service providers to receive electronic copy of their proof of identity and address. The e-KYC
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In a major step towards implementation of the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT), 2007, the Union government has notified Cauvery Water (Implementation of the Order of 2007) Scheme, 2013. Under the scheme, the Ministry of Water Resources notified the formation of a supervisory committee headed by the Water Resources Secretary, with Chief Secretaries of the Cauvery basin States/Union Territory (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry and Kerala) as members. The Central Water Commission (CWC) chairman shall also be a member, while the CWC's chief engineer will be the Member-Secretary. The scheme - notified as a "purely temporary measure" - will be in place until the Cauvery Management Board, as envisaged in the award, is constituted. In case of any "difficulty," the chairman of the Committee and, if necessary, any of the parties may apply to the Supreme Court for appropriate
Weekly Current Affairs 20th May to 26th May, 2013

directions with notices to other States. The panel will have its headquarters in New Delhi. As per the notification of the final award in February, the Cauvery River Authority (CRA), headed by the Prime Minister, and the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC), chaired by the Water Resources Secretary, no longer exist. Both were formed on the Supreme Court's orders to monitor the implementation of the interim orders of the tribunal. The current notification of the 'scheme' follows apex court orders. In its interim order on May 10, 2013, it directed the Centre "to constitute a supervisory committee for implementation of the final order of the CWDT dated February 5, 2007, as notified on February 19, 2013." Cauvery final verdict The Tribunal, comprising Chairman Justice N.P. Singh and members N.S. Rao and Sudhir Narain which was set up in 1990, in a unanimous award in February 2007 had determined the total availability of water in the Cauvery basin at 740 thousand million cubic (TMC) feet at the Lower Coleroon Anicut site. In the final order the Tribunal gave Tamil Nadu 419 TMC of water (as against the demand of 562 TMC); Karnataka 270 TMC (as against its demand of 465 TMC); Kerala 30 TMC and Puducherry 7 TMC. For environmental protection, it had reserved 10 TMC.

Weekly Current Affairs 20h May to 26th May, 2013

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Block Institutes of Teachers Education to be Established The HRD Ministry has approved setting up of Block Institutes of Teachers Education in 196 districts during the current Five Year Plan. These institutes will be opened in SC/ST/Minority concentrated districts. More than 690 crore rupees have been approved with 1/3rd of this investment being made in 8 high deficit states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. Over Rs. 6300 crore are earmarked in the 12th Five Year Plan for training of untrained teachers. Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan more than 6 lakh in-service teachers need to be trained. Several states including the 8 states mentioned above have requested the centre to extend time for training of these teachers. The maximum no. of 190000 teachers need to be trained in Bihar followed by Uttar Pradesh where a total number of 124000 teachers needs to be trained. While the number of teachers to be trained in Chhattisgarh is over 45000 in Madhya Pradesh the number is 35000. The training of teachers will be through National Institute of Open schooling as in Jharkhand, State Open Universities as in Assam, State Councils of Education Research and Training as in Chhattisgarh and through State Board of Primary Education as in West Bengal. To strengthen teacher education capacity, the states have obtained recognition for opening of 81 new Government institutes. It will help in the training of more than 4000 teachers in the 8 high deficit states. The curriculum has been revised in light of National Curriculum framework for teachers education.

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CHRONICLE IAS ACADEMY GS MAINS UPGRADATION PROGRAMME A SOLUTION TO 1250 MARKS

INTERNATIONAL
Russia, Chinese military to hold anti-terror exercise Russia and China are devising tactics of cooperation between their armed forces in case of a common threat to their security. Joint exercises of the two countries will be conducted in August. Joint ground force exercises will upgrade the combat readiness of both countries. Beijing is in urgent need of strengthening cooperation with Moscow because it has become the major strategic rival of the US in Asia. China is facing the necessity of countering the growing influence of the block involving the US, Japan and South Korea. At the same time, US presence in the Pacific is strengthening. In these circumstances, Beijing wants to be confident in defence cooperation with Moscow. In fact, China has no experience in establishing cooperation with the armies of partners, like the US, and the future joint exercises with Russia will help to get rid of this deficiency. State of School Feeding Worldwide report response to a crisis, whether related to food prices, conflict, natural disaster or financial volatility. During the food and fuel crises in 2008 many Governments struggled to protect the most vulnerable from hunger and looked to school meals to achieve that. In the current recession, even wealthy nations are examining how school meals can prevent families sliding deeper into poverty and hunger. WFP has been operating school meals programmes in developing countries for almost 50 years. In 2012, the agency provided meals or nutritious snacks in school for 24.7 million children in 63 countries, including take-home rations for 1.3 million girls and 500,000 boys - providing an incentive for poor families to keep their children in class, rather than pull them out to work in the fields, in factories or in the home. Some key findings of the State of School Feeding Worldwide 2013: a) The coverage and quality of school feeding programmes vary with national income. In lowincome countries, where the need is greatest in terms of hunger and poverty, the coverage is the lowest (see graphs on back page). b) The greatest opportunities for containing costs are in low-income countries - in some countries school feeding per child costs more than education itself and there is opportunity for efficiency savings. c) School feeding works as part of social protection systems to support the most vulnerable families and children and can be scaled up in response to crises. At least 38 countries surveyed have scaled up their programmes in response to armed conflict, natural disasters, and food and financial crises. d) School feeding contributes to having healthy and well-educated children, but can only help if teachers, textbooks, curriculum and an environment conducive to learning are also in place. e) Addressing the nutrition needs of school-aged children can help ensure that the development gains in the crucial first 1,000 days of life are not jeopardized by later failures.
Weekly Current Affairs 20th May to 26th May, 2013

The State of School Feeding Worldwide report, produced by WFP, provides a global analysis of school feeding programmes in developed and developing nations, as well as data on how governments use school meals as a safety net in times of crisis.

According to WFP, around 368 million children - about one in five - get a meal at school every day in 169 developing and developed countries. However, despite the global nature of school feeding, the coverage of these programmes is lowest where they are most needed. In low-income countries, only 18 per cent receive a daily meal at school, compared to nearly 49 per cent of children in middle-income countries. Global investment in these programmes is about $75 billion, with most coming from government budgets. While these may seem like a large investment, the benefits are even greater as the report states that for every $1 spent by government and donors at least $3 is gained in economic returns. Over the past five years, at least 38 countries have scaled up their school feeding programmes in
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f)

Linking programmes to the agriculture sector has direct economic benefits and provides an opportunity to engage with the private sector at all stages of the supply chain.

g) Development partners should improve coordination to ensure that children in low income countries have access to programmes that are common almost everywhere else. Israel calls off Unesco's Jerusalem mission

been lobbying for the base closure with the Kyrgyz authorities. Former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, ousted in 2010, promised to close the facility after Moscow offered him a $2 billion credit line in 2009. The Kyrgyz Parliament even passed a law to close the base and Mr. Bakiyev signed it, but changed his mind when Washington tripled the rent and renamed the airbase into a transit centre. Shortly after taking office in November 2011, incumbent President Almazbek Atambayev again pledged to shut the base and to turn it into a civilian cargo transit hub between Europe and Asia. Russia, which also has an airbase in Kyrgyzstan, last year extended its lease till 2032. China-Pakistan strike deal on economic corridor through PoK

Israel has calling off a United Nations investigative mission to the Old City in annexed east Jerusalem because of Palestinian efforts to politicise the visit. Israel in April agreed that the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation could assess the state of the Old City of Jerusalem, the first such monitoring mission since 2004, following pressure from Jordan and the Palestinians, who became members of the organisation in 2011.

But ahead of the start of the delegation's work, the Palestinians were trying to "politicise" it, contrary to understandings reached by the sides, and to change the action plan UNESCO decided upon in 2010.

The Palestinians are also pushing for the delegation to visit the Temple Mount," which is revered as Judaism's most sacred place, using the Israeli term for the complex known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif that houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Cultural and religious heritage is a highly politicised issue for Israel and the Palestinians. In March, the Palestinian Authority confirmed a verbal agreement dating back to 1924 giving Jordan custodianship over Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem, whose eastern sector Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war. Kyrgyzstan to shut U.S. base

Kyrgyzstan will shut a key United States airbase in July 2014 despite Washington's efforts to retain the facility beyond its forces drawdown in Afghanistan. The Pentagon has been using the airbase, which sits at Kyrgyzstan's main civilian airport Manas in the capital Bishkek, since 2001 as a major supply centre for Afghanistan. It hosts about 1,500 U.S. troops and operates round-the-clock, with planes hauling thousands of troops and hundreds of tonnes of cargo every month. Russia, which is opposed to American longterm military presence in Central Asia, has long
Weekly Current Affairs 20h May to 26th May, 2013

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During the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Pakistan, they have agreed to cement their strategic partnership and deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation in various areas China has signed a memorandum of understanding with Pakistan on a transport corridor expected to pass through the disputed region. Chinese planners have called for a transport and economic corridor to link China's far-western Xinjiang region to the port of Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea, which China helped build and is now managing. The corridor will speed up development in Xinjiang, which has seen intermittent unrest, and also open up a new route for China's energy imports from West Asia. The corridor will pass through PoK, which borders Xinjiang and provides the only feasible transport link between China and Pakistan. The two sides regarded the terrorist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) group as a common threat, and stand united in upholding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. On economic front, the two nations agreed to link China's strategy to develop its western region with Pakistan's domestic economic development, with a view to translate their political partnership into results of pragmatic economic cooperation. The two sides have also agreed to carry forward free trade negotiations, deepen energy cooperation, and continue the implementation of currency-swap agreement, among others. To tap the potential of trade, logistics and flow of personnel between the two sides, China and Pakistan have agreed to enhance interconnectivity and jointly develop a long-term plan for ChinaPakistan economic corridor.
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CHRONICLE IAS ACADEMY GS MAINS UPGRADATION PROGRAMME A SOLUTION TO 1250 MARKS

To strengthen maritime cooperation, China and Pakistan agreed to build and develop a joint marine research center to tackle the growing non-traditional threats to maritime security and safeguard international sea routes. On aviation and aerospace, the two sides welcomed the signing of an agreement on cooperation on the Beidou Satellite Navigation System in Pakistan and vowed to make continuous progress in the remote-sensing satellite system project. To build strong public support for ChinaPakistan ties, the two sides agreed on a series of measures to step up people-to-people exchanges, including expanding Chinese language training in Pakistan, opening more Confucius Institutes in the country, and designating 2015 as China-Pakistan Year of Friendly Exchanges.

response centre in Fukushima, the coastal city devastated two years ago when a massive earthquake and tsunami set off meltdowns at a nuclear power plant. The IAEA, supported by the Government of Japan, will designate a new Response and Assistance Network (RANET) Capacity Building Centre in Fukushima next week. The Centre will be home to several IAEA activities aimed at enhancing emergency preparedness and response capacity, both in Japan and worldwide, in light of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant accident. In March 2011, Japan was struck by a 9.0magnitude earthquake and forceful tsunami that killed more than 20,000 people in the eastern part of the country. The tsunami also slammed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, disabling cooling systems and leading to fuel meltdowns in three of the six units. The incident was reported to be the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. IAEA is working hard to help Japan deal with the consequences of the accident. Member States are also making serious efforts to implement the lessons learned from this and from previous accidents. The RANET Centre will be part of that ongoing effort. A ceremony to mark the designation of the Centre will be held next week, on 27 May. The Centre's first activity, an IAEA RANET workshop, will start the following day, and conclude on 31 May. About 40 experts from 18 countries will participate in the workshop, which will involve a field exercise in Fukushima Prefecture. Through RANET, the IAEA can mobilize the expert support and equipment to facilitate the provision of international assistance by request under the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency. The IAEA is the world's center of cooperation in the nuclear field. It was set up as the worlds "Atoms for Peace" organization in 1957 within the United Nations family. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.

On defense and security ties, the two sides agreed to further cooperate on defense technology and production, and continue cooperation to jointly combat the "three evil forces" of extremism, terrorism and separatism. China also expressed its appreciation and continued willingness to help Pakistan build up counter-terrorism capacity.

On international and regional affairs, China and Pakistan agreed that all countries in the Asia-Pacific region should make united efforts to tackle global and regional issues, maintain peace and stability, resolve disputes peacefully and promote regional development. The two sides called for the establishment of an open, transparent, equal and inclusive security and cooperation framework in the Asia-Pacific region, based on the fundamental principles of international law.

As both sides are concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, they agreed that political reconciliation is a key step toward peace and stability in that country, and affirmed their support for the "Afghan-owned, Afghan-led" peace and reconciliation process. IAEA planning to open nuclear emergency preparedness centre in Fukushima

Experts from the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are heading to Japan to launch an emergency preparedness and

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Weekly Current Affairs 20th May to 26th May, 2013

ECONOMY
RBI links inflation bonds to WPI, may look at CPI later Inflation-indexed bonds - the government's strategy to promote savings- will make its debut next month with several limitations which might reduce its attractiveness for retail investors. Recently RBI has conducted a conference to familiarize market participants with features of the new instrument. About IIBs planning an ATM-like application submission system which will make it unnecessary for a Bareilly, Surat or Indore resident to travel to a consulate to apply for a visa. The ViKi - a smart application submission system--enables visa applicants and travel agents to submit the applications on a self-service basis, without any staff. The company that provides consular and biometric enrolment services to governments across the world has already conducted test runs in Mumbai. The ViKi works like an ATM where one can submit visa or passport application, fees, biometrics and receive papers at home. There is no need to go to a consulate. The ViKi has a string of security controls such as 360 degree CCTV monitoring, automatic intrusion detection and shutdown. It is designed to support the application submission lifecycle by accepting payments, printing receipts and refunding the unspent balance. It is also capable of handling biometric enrolment and digital signatures with a touch screen menu and users can choose their desired function and follow simple on screen instructions. The company, part of the Kouni Travel group, plans to use the machine not only as a temporary mobile service in remote locations but also as permanent service to increase the number of application submission locations in a flexible manner. It can be used within diplomatic missions and within visa application centres to extend submission timings and is expected to enhance convenience for visa applicants. Withholding tax norms eased

The first issue of inflation-indexed bonds (IIBs) on June 4, 2013, and will have one auction of IIBs on the last Tuesday of every month. The bonds will be indexed against wholesale price index (WPI) which measure variation in producer prices while what is more relevant to the consumer is the consumer price index (CPI). In India, WPI is much lower than CPI partly because of the difference in weightage to items and also partly because of higher demand side pressures due to rising wages. Whereas when the CPI in India stabilizes, RBI will consider coming out with a bond indexed to CPI but for the present the choice is WPI. Secondly, unlike small savings schemes like public provident fund and other post office schemes, investing in inflation-indexed bonds will not have any tax benefits. The income under the bonds would be taxable as in any other government security. Computing tax on the bonds will be complicated because the IIBs will have a fixed real coupon and nominal principal value that is adjusted against inflation. Thirdly, while the securities market regulator has made purchase of corporate bonds easy through the demat route, retail investors would have to make physical applications for the bonds under the noncompetitive segment. Finally, the natural investors are insurance and pension companies. However, due to lack of depth in the pension market, there is unlikely to be much of a demand from this segment. ATM-like device for visa submission

In recognition of the Indian traveler's wanderlust, visa outsourcing major VFS Global, is
Weekly Current Affairs 20h May to 26th May, 2013

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To enhance resource availability for infrastructure development in the economy, the rate of With-holding tax (WHT) on interest payments on the borrowings of Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDF) was reduced from 20% to 5 % in the 201112 Budget. Subsequently, in the 2012-13 Budget, Section 194 LC was introduced in the Income tax Act to reduce the rate of WHT from 20 % to 5% in respect of interest paid on money borrowed in
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CHRONICLE IAS ACADEMY GS MAINS UPGRADATION PROGRAMME A SOLUTION TO 1250 MARKS

foreign currency from a source outside India in a period of three years i.e. 1/7/2012 to 30/6/2015 under a loan agreement and by way of long term infrastructure bonds issued in foreign currency. In the Budget Speech 2013 it was announced that necessary changes are proposed to be made to section to provide benefit of reduced WHT to cases where investment is made by a non-resident in rupee denominated long term infrastructure bonds. However, in order to provide broad based incentive and encourage greater off-shore investment in debt market by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) and Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs), it has been decided that the benefit of lower withholding tax [i.e. 5% instead of 20%] shall be available in respect of interest on investment made in bonds issued by Indian companies and Government securities. The benefit would be available in respect of interest income of FIIs and QFIs accruing between 1/6/ 2013 and 31/5/2015 irrespective of the date of investment. The necessary amendment to the Income-tax Act has been made through the introduction of new section 194LD and other consequential changes.

(EU) for import of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) into the EU. APIs are commonly referred to as bulk drugs in the pharmaceutical industry and are used in the making of formulations (medicines). European Union issued a new Directive/2011/ 62/EC dated 8th June 2011 amending earlier Directive 2001/83/EC. The stated objective of this Directive is to lay down a community code relating to medicinal products for human use and to ensure that the defective products do not reach consumers. The Directive lays down a system of control over the entire supply chain for pharmaceuticals. It controls manufacture and import to marketing, wholesale and retail distribution. The said directive will be operational from 2nd July 2013. Current Regulation: Exporter of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) to EU countries should either have a Certificate of Suitability (COS) issued by EU Authority of a Drug Master File (DMF) filed with respective Regulatory Authorities of the respective Member State. Also a Qualified Person (QP) of the company in EU intending to use the API has to certify that the API is manufactured under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) prescribed in International Conference for Harmonisation (ICH) guideline Q7A. New Legislation: The new legislation coming into force from 02.07.2013 requires a 'written confirmation' by a competent authority nominated by the Government of India that the API has been manufactured in accordance with EU-GMP standards and that the Manufacturing Facility where the API was manufactured is subject to control and enforcement of GMP standards and is equivalent to those in the EU countries. To comply with the above requirements, the Department of Health & Family Welfare officially declared the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) on 12.11.2012. It was also decided that a protocol for the procedure to be complied by the India API Exporters would be laid down by the CDSCO. which has been done. Following are the salient features of the guidelines laid down by the CDSCO, which is also hosted on their website: a) Application for issue of "written confirmation" for APIs for medicinal products for human use is to be made by the exporter in prescribed format b) After satisfying the completeness of documents submitted, inspection shall be conducted and
Weekly Current Affairs 20th May to 26th May, 2013

Further, in cases of investment in long term infrastructure bonds covered under section 194LC, where PAN of non-resident investor was not provided, the benefit of 5% WHT could not be availed due to the conditions of section 206AA. Considering the practical difficulty involved in obtaining PAN of non-resident investor in case of investment in long term infrastructure bonds, it has been provided that the benefit of reduced WHT shall be available even if the PAN of foreign investor is not obtained by the Indian company which is responsible for payment of interest and deduction of tax in respect of long term infrastructure bonds. It is expected that aforesaid reduction in rates and simplification of the with-holding tax norms would encourage greater subscription in Indian debt securities by foreign investors, encourage development of the Indian debt market and accelerate the pace of growth of the Indian economy. Government Takes Action for Complying with New Standards for Import of Bulk Drugs into EU.

The Government of India has demonstrated its keenness to meet international requirements for exports of pharmaceutical products yet again by taking timely action for complying with the new procedural requirements of the European Union
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after satisfactory outcome thereof, formal written confirmation shall be issued. c) Non-compliances noticed after inspection shall be communicated to the EU as per their requirement. d) A time frame of 45 days has been prescribed for disposal of satisfactory applications and the written confirmation shall be valid for the three years. e) Detailed forms have been laid down for purposes prescribed under various Articles of the EU Directives by the CDSCO - running into nearly 70 pages. The Department of Commerce has been seized of this issue right from the beginning since EU is an important market for the pharma industry.

Various EU industry members have been expressing their concern about the ability of India to comply with the new procedure by the deadline of 2nd July 2013. However, Government of India is optimistic that its pharma industry would be able to meet regulatory requirements within the given time frame. In due course of time, online application filing and tracking system would be evolved to bring in sufficient expediency and transparency in the system. This landmark achievement underlines the seriousness the Government of India towards pharma exports. Compliance by pharma industry with the EU directive is expected to have a very positive impact on the companies as many of them aspiring to export to the developed countries shall in the process upgrade their plants to WHO GMP standards.

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INDIA AND THE WORLD


India moves to Hague for "clarification'' on Kishanganga order India has moved the Court of Arbitration at The Hague for "clarification" or "interpretation" of its order delivered in February on its dispute with Pakistan over the 330 MW Kishanganga project under construction in North Kashmir. In the order, the Court does not permit New Delhi to use the modern "draw down" technique for removal of silt deposits in run-of-the-river dams on rivers allocated to Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960. India has proposed that the order should be amended to make it "project-specific" as in the case of the Baglihar dam - another run-of-the-river project - the neutral expert appointed by the World Bank had accepted this state-of-the-art technique for removing silt and sedimentation from the reservoir. The "draw down" technique requires depletion of reservoirs below the "dead storage level", on which Pakistan had reservations. In its second part of the order, the Court held that "except in unforeseen emergency" the Treaty does not permit India's reduction below "dead Storage Level'' of the water in the reservoirs of runof-the-river plants located on rivers allocated to Pakistan. "The ruling does not apply to plants already in operation or under construction. In its partial award delivered in February this year, the Arbitration Court, however, upheld the legality of India's right under the treaty to divert waters from Kishanganga /Neelam river (a tributary of Jhelum) to Bonar Nallah, also a tributary of Jhelum for the Rs.3,600-crore Kishanganga hydro-electric project in Baramullah district. The Court, however, held that India will have to maintain a minimum flow of waters in Kishanganga at a rate which will be determined by the Court in its final award, expected by the end of the year. India and United Kingdom Sign MOU on cooperation in Health sector State for Health, UK, Mr. Jeremy Richard Hunt signed an MOU on cooperation in the field of health sector. The agreement between India and UK will promote wide-ranging cooperation in the health sector between the two countries and spur the exchange of information and expertise for the common good of people. The areas identified for cooperation in the MOU include: a) Promoting exchange on healthcare policy in India and the UK; b) Human resources for Health; c) Regulatory issues; d) Health technology development: e) Primary healthcare; f) Strengthening of public infrastructure and capacity;

Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare India, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad and Secretary of
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g) Health security, including cooperation on infectious diseases, emerging infections and drug resistance. India is a strategic partner to the UK and has been a recipient of UK's bilateral assistance in the form of grants since 1975 for health sector. The aid agency of the UK is Department for International Development (DFID). The priority for the DFID (UK)- Government of India partnership has been improvement of maternal & child health and reducing the burden of communicable diseases. India, China bilateral meet

India and China held Delegation level talks in New Delhi in which the Indian side was led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while the Chinese side was headed by Premier Li Keqiang. Bothe the nations sought to further improve their bilateral relations and firmed up eight agreements to enhance cooperation in a range of areas including trade, culture and water resources. The agreements are as follows: a) Protocol on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra: Both sides have agreed to conduct the Yatra every year from May to September. The Chinese
Weekly Current Affairs 20th May to 26th May, 2013

side will make further improvements to the existing facilities on the route of the pilgrims and to maintain smooth communication has agreed to assist in renting wireless sets and local SIM cards. b) To enhance trade, both the sides decided to set up three working groups under the Joint Economic Group. The three groups are Services Trade Promotion Working Group, Economic and Trade Planning Cooperation Group and Trade Statistical Analysis Group. c) Memoranda of Understanding on Buffalo Meat, Fishery Products and Agreement on Feed and Feed Ingredients: It aims at strengthening mutual cooperation in trade and safety of buffalo meat, fishery products and feed and feed ingredients, and to meet the regulatory requirements with respect to safety & hygiene & quarantine. d) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Sewage Treatment: Aims at enhancing cooperation in the field of Sewage Treatment and experience sharing in the areas of mutual interest in the urban sectors. e) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Water Efficient Irrigation: It aims at enhancing bilateral cooperation in the field of water efficient technology with applicability in the area of agriculture and exchange of best practices. f)

In 2012, bilateral trade between the two countries was USD 66 billion, a decline from over the USD 74 billion mark in 2011. The two countries have set a target of USD 100 billion by 2015 for bilateral trade. Afghanistan President invites investments in critical sectors Indian

Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Mutual Translation and Publication of Classic and Contemporary Works: It provides for a Joint Working Group that will coordinate translation and publication of 25 books of Classic and Contemporary Works of each side over a period of 5 years in to Chinese and Indian languages respectively.

g) Memorandum of Understanding on Hydrological Information: China will provide India with information of water level, discharge and rainfall of 8:00 hrs and 20:00 hrs (Beijing Time) twice a day from June 1st to October 15th each year in respect of three hydrological stations on the mainstream Brahmaputra river. h) Agreement to facilitate cooperation and linkages between Indian and Chinese cities & states/provinces: Both sides agreed to identify sister cities and sister states/provinces in India and China with a view to establishing relationships between them in areas of mutual interest for enhancing greater people to people contacts.
Weekly Current Affairs 20h May to 26th May, 2013

Afghan president Hamid Karzai called for Indian investment in critical sectors such as healthcare, telecom, agri-business and capacity building. During an interaction with a group of company chief executives, Karzai spoke about emerging business opportunities in Afghanistan and asked the Indians to benefit from a business friendly regime and investment climate. He highlighted that Agriculture is a priority sector in Afghanistan and provides basic means of livelihood in Afghanistan, generating 36 per cent of the country's GDP and supporting 85 per cent of the total population. He apprised the Indian Industry of international export potential for Afghan agricultural products and invited Indian companies to import dry fruits and a fruit as India is a big market for Afghanistan. He also briefed members on the increased scope and collaboration in new farming techniques, setting food processing unit and agriculture machinery for improved agriculture produce in Afghanistan. In the healthcare sector, President Karzai appreciated the developments in the Indian healthcare sector and invited Indian Hospitals to set up facilities in Afghanistan. Whereas CII briefed him on the various facilities being offered by the Indian hospitals and offered to set up similar facilities in Afghanistan, enhance capacity for Afghan doctors and talent building in Afghanistan in view of the shortage of trained doctors, practitioners and nurses in Afghanistan. During the meet CII reveals initiatives in enhancing India-Afghanistan economic cooperation and future plans in promoting Indian Investment in Afghanistan through sending sectoral delegations, organising Investment promotion road shows in India and Capacity Building through Training the Trainer programmes for Skill Building. They also stressed on setting up of IndiaAfghanistan CEOs Forum for strengthening and promoting investment and trade relations. CII further highlighted on the opportunities in Soft Skills and vocational training and building institutions specific to the need of Afghanistan.
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India, US & Australia join hands to develop climate-resilient crops

India, the United States and Australia have joined hands to develop new climate-resilient varieties of rice and wheat, two of the "big three" primary crops required to feed the world. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will work in collaboration with the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) and India's Vibha Agrotech. This new collaboration will leverage ACPFG's unique gene technologies and considerable expertise in cereal stress tolerance and Vibha's field evaluation and rice transformation capabilities to develop new rice and wheat varieties with enhanced tolerance to drought and salinity, allowing farmers more stable production in the face of sudden drought and evolving salt water intrusion. The new lines will be evaluated under representative field conditions and the most successful will be transferred into the varieties that farmers grow.

merchandise trade that will not only be helpful in reducing trade imbalance of India but also in China's food security by providing quality and hygiene meat products. The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) and AQSIQ signed a MoU on cooperation for import and export trade of fishery products. The MoU aims to institutionalise cooperation in promoting trade of fishery products and healthy development of trade between India and China. India is expecting more exports from India to China through this cooperation. A MoU was also signed between Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) and The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products (CCCMHPIE). India has been finding it difficult to expand its trade with China in the pharmaceutical sector. The signing of the MoU is expected to facilitate access to the China market in pharmaceuticals. The average imports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products from China during last five years were USD 4332.37 million vis--vis exports from India of USD 692.44 million. An agreement was also signed between Export Inspection Council of India (EIC) and AQSIQ on trade and safety of feed and feed ingredients. India hopes a big merchandise trade for feed & feed ingredients after the resumption of trade as China has suspended import of feed and feed ingredients since January 1, 2012. A work programme was also constituted on the Working Groups constituted during the 9th Joint Economic Group (JEG). The programme proposes concrete deliverables to constitute and define detailed mandate of the Working Groups as per the spirit of the JEG held on 27th August 2012 in New Delhi. The bilateral trade between India and China had gone up from USD 2.09 billion in 200102 to the high of USD 75.59 billion in 2011-12; which tapered to USD 67.83 billion during the year 2012-13. Indo- Swiss Bilateral Meet Held

Work will initially take place in Australia and India, but the technologies will be made available to developing countries in South Asia and globally where climate stresses impact cereal yields, so that farmers can be more confident that they will have a good harvest, even as climate change creates more unpredictable growing environments. The ambitious program is part of Feed the Future, the US Government's global hunger and food security initiative. India, China Sign MoUs to Address Concerns on Trade Deficit

India and China have signed three Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on buffalo meat, fisheries and pharmaceuticals; and one agreement on feed and feed ingredients. These MoUs will address the growing trade deficit between the two countries. The trade deficit has increased from USD 1.08 billion in 2001-02 to USD 40.77 billion in 2012-13.

A MoU for the export of buffalo meat from India to China was signed between Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and India's Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). The export of buffalo meat is not allowed from India to China and this has been a long pending issue between two countries. With the resumption of trade, India hopes a big
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With the aim of giving further impetus to cooperation in the field of healthcare, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad and Minister of Health Switzerland, Mr Alain Berset held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of World Health Assembly at Geneva. The friendship between India and Switzerland goes as back as Independence of India, strongly
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rooted as it is in shared values of multi-culturalism, democracy and rule of law. Many high level visits have been exchanged in the recent past and many bilateral institutional arrangements like Indo-Swiss Joint Commission, Swiss- India Chamber of Commerce, Indo-Swiss Joint Committee on Science & technology, etc. signed to further strengthen relations. A MOU in the field of health is being signed to promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The major areas of cooperation will be as under: a) Non-Communicable Diseases including controlling the associated risk factors of tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, unhealthy diet, etc.

b) Communicable Diseases and Anti- Microbial resistance c) Universal Health Coverage d) Maternal & Child health e) Sexual & Reproductive Health f) Health & Medical Research g) Therapeutic Products h) Electronic Medical Records i) Global Health Governance Further Switzerland will extend full support to India on global platforms in order to carry forward the sale of high quality generic medicines at affordable prices from India.

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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY


Loss Of Genetic Diversity causing extinction of tigers A new study from Cardiff University researchers revealed that Indian tigers face extinction because of a lack of "genetic diversity." Partnering with India's National Center for Biological Sciences, researchers compared current DNA samples from tigers on the Indian subcontinent to genetic data obtained during the time of the British Raj, a period of British rule in India from 1858 to 1947. They found that 93 percent of the tiger DNA variants from that historical period are no longer present in the current tiger population. Three sancturies in the Uttaranchal, Shivaliks Rajaji, Motichur and Chila were amalgamated into a large protected area and named Rajaji National Park in the year 1983 after the famous freedom fighter Late Sri C. Rajgopalachari; popularly known as "Rajaji". This area is the North Western Limit of Asian elephants. Spread over an area of 820.42 sq km, Rajaji is a magnificient ecosystem nestled in the Shivalik ranges and the beginning of the vast Indo-Gangetic plains, thus representing vegetation of several distinct zones and forest types like sal forests, reverine forests, board-leaved mixed forests, scrubland and grassy. The tiger reserve at the Rajaji National Park will cover an area of 1150 square km including Shyampur of Haridwar forest division besides Kotdwar and Laldhang ranges of Lansdowne forest division. Uttarakhand will have another tiger reserve now after the Corbett National Park. There are at present 42 tiger reserves in the country. New urine-based test to detect breast cancer developed

This is due to loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation, meaning lower population sizes, and the prevention of tigers from dispersing as they once would have, which means their gene pool is no longer mixing across the subcontinent. The lack of genetic diversity in Indian tigers presents an obvious "red flag" for conservationists.

Genetic variation can be crucial for species survival and adaptation to environmental change. Although recent studies demonstrate that Indian tigers retain the highest proportion of the species's genetic variation, this study demonstrates that some components of that genetic variation have been lost, and what remains is now subdivided. Though conservation efforts -- from protected reserves to endeavors to mitigate human-tiger conflict -- are currently in place, researchers state that "it is critical to maintain within-population variation, as well as increasing population connectivity" on a large scale.

The tiger is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the tiger population is estimated to be as low as 3,200, with as few as 1,400 tigers in India. Tiger reserve status for Rajaji Park

The Centre has cleared a proposal to grant the famous Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand the status of a tiger reserve.
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Scientists have developed a new urine-based screening method to diagnose breast cancer and determine its severity even before it can be detected with a mammogram. A Missouri University of Science and Technology researcher used a device called a Pscan, to detect the concentration of certain metabolites called pteredines in urine samples. These biomarkers are present in the urine of all human beings, but abnormally high concentrations can signal the presence of cancer. This study is part of the validation process required by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eventually make the P-Scan available in clinics across the country as an inexpensive, noninvasive test that could be used during routine physical examinations. The P-scan works by using a capillary to pass a small sample of urine into the device, separate different pteredine molecules and then pass the
Weekly Current Affairs 20th May to 26th May, 2013

sample through a light source. The researchers then use a spectrophotometer to identify and measure the pteredines in the sample. Pteredines are normal metabolites that are present in the urine of all human beings. But when cancer is present, the levels rise. Mars rover Opportunity examines rock altered by water

There, they found an outcrop called "Whitewater Lake," containing a small amount of clay from alteration by exposure to water. Water that moved through fractures during this rock's history would have provided more favourable conditions for biology than any other wet environment recorded in rocks Opportunity has seen. BARC, Mangalore varsity to conduct study at Challakere

The fractured rock, called "Esperance," provides evidence about a wet ancient environment possibly favourable for life. Esperance had enough water not only for reactions that produced clay minerals, but also enough to flush out ions set loose by those reactions, so that Opportunity can clearly see the alteration. This rock's composition is unlike any other Opportunity has investigated during nine years on Mars - higher in aluminium and silica, lower in calcium and iron. The next destination, Solander Point, and the area Opportunity is leaving, Cape York, both are segments of the rim of Endeavour Crater, which spans 22 kilometres across.

The team identified Esperance while exploring a portion of Cape York where the Compact Reconnaissance Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had detected a clay mineral. Clays typically form in wet environments that are not harshly acidic. For years, Opportunity had been finding evidence for ancient wet environments that were very acidic. The CRISM findings prompted the rover team to investigate the area where clay had been detected from orbit.

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NASA's Mars rover, Opportunity, has examined a fractured rock on the red planet intensely altered by water, providing evidence about a wet ancient environment possibly favourable for life. Opportunity will now drive to a new study area after a dramatic finish to 20 months on "Cape York."

Mangalore University and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) will conduct a collaborative research on the amount of radioactivity in and around Dodda Ullarti near Challakere in Chitradurga district, where the BARC is building a new campus on 1,810 acres. The special material facility is meant to upgrade nuclear fuel, which will be used for power production and strategic purposes. The University Science Instrumentation Centre at Mangalagangotri and the BARC have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to for the purpose. The objective of the MoU is "to carry out a detailed independent study to establish extensive baseline database on radiation levels and radionuclides and concentration of stable elements in environment around Dodda Ullarti." The baseline data will be used to compare radioactivity in the region after the facility becomes functional. Environmental samples - terrestrial, atmospheric and aquatic - would be collected from around the project site, within a radius of 30 km and analysed. "Detailed studies will be undertaken on 222 Rn concentration in indoor and outdoor air and in ground water," it said. 222 Rn is radon, a colourless, radio-active gas formed in process of thorium and uranium decaying into lead.

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2 - MARKERS
Shashi Kant Sharma Shashi Kant Sharma has been sworn in as CAG by President Pranab Mukherjee. The 1976-batch Bihar cadre IAS officer has held senior and sensitive positions in the MoD, including that of Joint Secretary (Air) and Director General Acquisitions. He was the Joint Secretary (Air) from 2003 to 2007 and it was during this period that the ministry decided on a number of Air Force modernisation projects, including the purchase of the BAE Systems' Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers and other air platforms. He was also instrumental in the MoD decision to purchase six C-130Js of Rs 6,000 crore from the US in 2008 and the Rs 11,000-crore deal for eight P-8I maritime reconnaissance planes in 2009, again from the US, apart from the Rs 45,000crore approval for building seven new frigates for the Navy. All these defence deals and much more from the ministry's purchase list would come up for audit before the CAG and it could happen when Sharma is holding the high office. Indian-American Srikanth Srinivasan completed the climb with her brother Mirza Ali, who became the third and youngest Pakistani male to scale the mountain. BrahMos missile successfully test fired from ship

Indian-American Srikanth Srinivasan has been appointed as the first South Asian judge to America's second highest court.

He was first nominated by Obama on June 11, 2012. On January 2, 2013, his nomination was returned to the President, due to the sine die adjournment of the Senate. On January 3, 2013, Obama re-nominated him for the same office. Srinivasan began his legal career by serving as a law clerk for Judge J Harvie Wilkinson on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 1995 to 1996. For his work, he has received the Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Furthering US National Security in 2003 and the Office of the Secretary of Defence Award for Excellence in 2005. First Pak woman atop Everest

The BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from the Indian Navy's newest guided missile frigate INS Tarkash off the coast of Goa. The missile performed high-level "C" maneuvere at pre-determined flight path and successfully hit the target. The surface-to-surface missile, having a range of 290-km, was test launched from the Russian-built Project 1135.6 class warship. The launch was carried out by Indian Navy as part of Acceptance Test Firing (ATF) of the ship. Indian Navy commissioned INS Tarkash on 9 November, 2012. The warship along with two other frigates of the class - INS Teg and INS Trikand have been built as part of a $1.6 billion contract signed between India and Russia in July, 2006. The advanced warship has been fitted with an upgraded multi-role combat suite to make it one of the most potent platforms of the Indian Navy. All the three ships will be equipped with 8 vertical launched BRAHMOS missile system as the prime strike weapon. The vertical launch configuration of BRAHMOS enhances the stealth capabilities of the ship as the missiles are under the deck and not exposed. The Universal Vertical Launcher (UVLM) being used in these ships has a unique design, developed and patented by BrahMos Aerospace. The same also ensures manoeuvring of the missile in any direction after launch, independent of ship movement, thereby providing the surprise attack concepts to the ships. Vyas Samman

Samina Baig has become the first Pakistani woman to scale Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain with a peak at 8,848 metres. She has
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Eminent Hindi writers Ramdarash Mishra and Narendra Kohli have been awarded the prestigious Vyas Samman for 2011 and 2012 respectively. Instituted by the K K Birla Foundation in 1991, the award is given annually for an outstanding literary work in Hindi published during the past 10 years. The award carries a cash purse of Rs 2.5 lakh.
Weekly Current Affairs 20th May to 26th May, 2013

Ramdarash Mishra bagged the award for his tenth Kavya Sangrah 'Aam K Patte' which was published in 2004 while Narendra Kohli was selected for the award for his novel 'Na Bhooto Na Bhavishyati' based on Swami Vivekananda and the era he belonged to. 'Na Bhooto Na Bhavishyati', published in 2004, gives an account of the incredible impression that Vivekananda cast on the history of the country and its culture. Man Booker International Prize 2013

Davis is also a renowned translator, having recently done acclaimed translations of Swann's Way and Madame Bovary. Her translation work led her to be named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. Previous winners of the prize are Ismail Kadar, Chinua Achebe, Alice Munro and Philip Roth. Gap between prime numbers found

Weekly Current Affairs 20h May to 26th May, 2013

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Lydia Davis has been awarded the fifth Man Booker International Prize at an award ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The prize, worth 60,000, is awarded for an achievement in fiction on the world stage.

Chinese mathematician Yitang Zhang has made a breakthrough in number theory. He has solved the famous twin primes problem, the question whether there are infinitely many pairs of consecutive prime numbers that differ by 2. Dr. Zhang has come up with facts that there is an infinite numbers of consecutive prime numbers that are separated by a gap bounded by 70 million.

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EDITORIALS
Chinese takeaway: Li in Pak The political transition underway in Pakistan will not dampen in any way the enthusiasm in Islamabad for serenading visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. After wrapping up his engagements in Mumbai, Li heads out to Pakistan, the next destination in his four-nation tour that also includes Switzerland and Germany. Gwadar upgrade The Indian security establishment would want to pay special attention to new agreements that Li is likely to announce on upgrading the Gwadar port. It might be recalled that Islamabad had handed over control of the Gwadar port on the Balochistan coast to Beijing earlier this year. According to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, Li is expected to sign three MoUs on expanding the facilities at the Gwadar port. Pakistan hopes Li will unveil a commitment to construct an international airport at Gwadar and undertake new projects to link Gwadar to Pakistan's road and rail networks in the Sindh province adjacent to Balochistan. Without developing its hinterland and connecting it to the rest of the country, Gwadar's potential as a commercial port will remain entirely on paper. Li's visit is likely to see the two sides underline their commitment to transform it into a strategic facility in the coming years. While some civilians in Delhi have made light of the Chinese "String of Pearls" in the Indian Ocean, India's military planners can't afford to be so complacent. They must see the developments at Gwadar as emblematic of the deepening maritime and naval cooperation between China and Pakistan. Karakoram Highway As China prepares to transform Gwadar into a place to reckon with in the Arabian Sea, Beijing is quite close to completing the modernisation of the Karakoram Highway that connects China's Xinjiang province with Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK). At the end of 2006, the governments of Pakistan and China decided to rebuild the Karakoram Highway that was constructed in the early 1970s. The 1,224-km road across one of the world's most difficult mountainous terrains is expected to be ready by the end of this year. Unlike in the past, the Karakoram Highway will now be open round the year. It will also be able to handle trucks with 40-foot containers. The highway, linked to Gwadar and Karachi ports, helps Beijing realise China's longstanding search for the warm waters of the Arabian Sea.
Weekly Current Affairs 20th May to 26th May, 2013

Beijing and Islamabad never stop celebrating their "all-weather partnership", often described as higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the Indian Ocean. The partnership, launched way back in the 1950s, has survived political tumult in both countries over the decades. During his two-day stay in Pakistan, Li will meet President Asif Ali Zardari and have talks with the leaders of the caretaker government and sit down with incoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is expected to be sworn in shortly. Li's engagements include an address to the Pakistan Senate. Much has been made in Delhi of Li's decision to make India the first stop abroad in his tenure as prime minister. The UPA managers are visibly relieved at the peaceful resolution of the Depsang crisis. They are also pleased that PM Manmohan Singh has been frank in telling Li of India's profound concerns about the Chinese approach to the border issues.

But the boundary dispute is only one set of India's difficulties with China. Another perennial problem is China's determination to prop up Pakistan as a counter to India. There is nothing to suggest that the smiling Chinese Premier Li would dilute the partnership with Pakistan in order to please Delhi. Quite the opposite. Delhi must assume that Beijing will continue to build up Pakistan's strategic capabilities to ensure its parity with India. There is no cheaper option for Beijing than using Pakistan to keep India off balance. Every visit by a senior Chinese leader to Pakistan includes the signing of major new agreements for bilateral cooperation. Li's visit will be no exception. According to the foreign office in Islamabad, at least 12 MoUs will be signed during Li's visit this week.
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Li is expected to sign another MoU on the development of a 1,000-megawatt hydropower project in PoK where China's economic and military presence has rapidly risen over the last decade. For all the smiles in Delhi this week, the problem of Pakistan is unlikely to disappear any time soon from the agenda of Sino-Indian relations. Source: Indian Express Renewable energy, a land guzzler

In Himachal Pradesh, for instance, the hillside forests have been bearing the brunt of the desire to increase the potential of renewable energy. In the last three decades, more than 6,000 hectares of forests have been destroyed for hydro power projects or for laying power transmission lines. Land diversion To put all this in perspective, for solar energy alone, India's ambitious target is to produce 20GW of power by 2022. The aim was not just to provide an alternate renewable energy option but also to utilise large tracts of wasteland in hot sunny areas. However, some of JNSM's initial projects have shown that State governments have helped private companies acquire productive agriculture land to set up solar thermal and photovoltaic units. The dedication of land area near substations for solar cell installations might edge out other necessities that require land. For example, the generation of electricity from photovoltaic solar panels or the solar tower requires vast amounts of land, and these panels must be built in specific regions in order to achieve maximum efficiency. Typically, a coal power plant requires 2023 sq. m of land per MW for plant installation, whereas the land area required per MW of installed solar power is around 20,234 sq.m. Most of the wasteland, which could have been utilised to set up solar energy plants, is not connected with roads, and providing connectivity means huge infrastructure costs which inhibit companies from setting up plants there. In context of bioenergy, the National Biofuel Policy in India has set an indicative target of 20 per cent ethanol and biodiesel in transportation fuel by 2017. The Planning Commission's 'Vision 2020' report called for the plantation of non-edible oil-yielding plants in large areas of waste and degraded land. Although the Government says no agricultural land or food crops will be diverted for production of biofuel, businesses often target productive farmland. Instances of farmland, particularly that belonging to small farmers, being diverted for production of biofuel crops like jatropha are not uncommon. This and the possibility of increasing the use of oilseeds and other foodgrains for biofuel, could impact other goals like food security as productive tracts move away from foodgrains production to biofuel generation.
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Unfortunately, renewable energy is being promoted on prime farmland rather than wasteland. A policy solution is needed. India is blessed with a variety of these clean renewable energy alternatives - biomass, solar energy, wind energy and hydro power. This has encouraged the Government of India to set ambitious targets for renewable energy.

The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) has set an ambitious goal of a one per cent annual increase in renewable energy generation. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNSM) has set its own ambitious target of adding 1GW of capacity between 2010 and 2013 and seeks to increase combined solar capacity from 9MW in 2010 to 20GW by 2022. However, India's interest and efforts in promoting renewable energy may soon create newer sustainability concerns. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy appears to have overlooked the growing conflict between renewable energy and land. Scarce resource Land is an already scarce resource in India, with demand from farmers to industrial houses to service institutions and the Government. To this list another claimant has been added; many forms of green energy, especially solar, wind and biomass, rely on huge tracts of land in order to be viable. Setting up renewable energy plants can lead to both direct land transformation that comes with the setting up of the project, and land degradation created by pollutants from fuel and material cycles associated with running these plants. The increased demand of land is met in many cases through the diversion of land from agriculture and the forestry sector. Indian farmers engulfed in poverty are forced to engage in distress sales or those who have been short-sighted have made it easy for private companies to acquire agricultural land for setting up renewable energy projects. The support extended by Government has also been a common cause.
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CHRONICLE IAS ACADEMY GS MAINS UPGRADATION PROGRAMME A SOLUTION TO 1250 MARKS

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Policy required For these reasons, there should be clearly defined policy and mandatory usage of Geographical Information System (GIS) for land use, land cover analysis and identification of wasteland for projects while mapping the renewable energy potential over different regions. The Government could also take into consideration renewable energy resource availability as well as land and water uses. This could further be integrated with other concerns on land acquisition. As more land per square metre is required for every watt of solar and wind energy produced compared to fossil fuel energy, a policy mandating the dual use of land for such projects should be studied. Indian Government agencies could draw from their own experiences and those of various other nations that have gone through these stages in their quest for non-fossil fuel-based energy. At the same time, it is essential to prevent the misuse of the Urgency Clause in the Land Acquisition Act, restricting its application to exceptional cases.

Japan Inc faces the challenge of modernizing economy

Sony Corp's curt dismissal of a foreigner's advice last week didn't shock Michael Woodford, the former chief executive officer of Olympus Corp. "The club, meaning corporate Japan, will do everything it can to mask and hide what's wrong. That's what's most important," said Woodford, a Briton who was fired in late 2011 after he exposed a $1.7 billion accounting fraud in his own company. Woodford's tale is worth revisiting as Sony rebuffs a proposal from hedge-fund investor Daniel Loeb for the company to sell off its entertainment divisions and focus on hardware. Far from being rewarded for trying to clean up the 93-year-old Olympus, Woodford was ousted by his board, which criticised him for being culturally insensitive. Clearly the non-Japanese CEO didn't understand the clubby, docile ways of Japan Inc. Now Loeb is running into a similar wall of disdain. Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has 100 billion reasons - the market value in dollars the company has lost since 2000 - to consider the American's plea to bring more focus to Sony's disjointed businesses. Yet Hirai is unmoved. Why? Even though Loeb holds a sizable $1.1 billion stake in the company, Hirai knows a critical mass of domestic investors, the ones who really matter, will support him against any outsider. Willful Blindness A willful blindness seems to have infected all too many of Japan's leaders, both corporate and political. Toru Hashimoto, the 43-yearold Osaka mayor who's often touted as a future prime minister, enraged China and South Korea last week by saying women forced into Japanese military brothels during World War II were needed to provide relief for battle-crazed soldiers. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been similarly blithe about offending Japan's neighbors - a strange attitude for the man who is supposed to revive Japan's exportfocused economy. Abe has brushed aside visits that his subordinates made to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's war dead, including several convicted war criminals. Last week he posed inside the cockpit of a training jet with the number "731" prominently painted in the side. (The Imperial Japanese Army's Unit 731 tested chemical and biological weapons on human prisoners during World War II.) The prime minister's hubris is as short-sighted as Sony's. Markets are hailing Abe as a turnaround
Weekly Current Affairs 20th May to 26th May, 2013

The setting up of an independent and representative regulatory authority at the State level to ensure strict compliance of land use norms could be explored. Regulation could also be used not only to mitigate negative impacts and maximise opportunities, but also to strengthen property rights and greater community consultation. Economic instruments like a tax on land being bought or claimed for renewable energy, similar to a carbon tax, could be applied. This tax could be calculated on the basis of loss of biodiversity, and possibly other factors, and would create an economic disincentive for increased land use.

Although this might have the effect of severely limiting the expansion of some forms of renewable energy such as biomass, it would also force companies to focus their efforts on discovering more land-friendly forms of biomass energy. Subsidies on purchase of wasteland for setting up renewable energy plants may further incentivise the use of wastelands and lessen the diversion of land from agriculture and forestry. No coal is all very well, but solar power should not take up productive land. Source: Business Line
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CHRONICLE IAS ACADEMY GS MAINS UPGRADATION PROGRAMME A SOLUTION TO 1250 MARKS

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expert for injecting new vitality into the longmoribund Japanese economy. Yet all he's done so far is pressure the Bank of Japan to open its wallet. "Abenomics" really amounts to a hope that radical monetary easing will boost asset prices, which in turn will encourage companies to expand, pay workers more and hire new ones. Yet how can that happen when companies are unrepentant about their mistakes? The flood of cash hasn't opened executives to new ways of thinking, ushered more outsiders into the boardroom or women into the workforce, or prompted companies to get out of unprofitable businesses. Corporate Hubris Japan Inc. seems unable to shed fully the hubris of its boom years. Executives haven't eased up on the 1980s-era takeover defenses that thwart pesky foreigners such as T. Boone Pickens or Warren Lichtenstein of Steel Partners. The practice of crossshareholding, whereby companies load up on stocks of friendly businesses, thrives. Courts and lenders are more prone to circle the wagons than to let the creative destruction emphasized by economist Joseph Schumpeter play out. Japan's refusal to look in the mirror is all the more surprising given the country's history. It was the first Asian nation to catch up to the West precisely because its Meijiera leaders admitted how far behind they'd fallen. Today, scant accountability breeds a lack of business focus, murky corporate dealings and little regard for returns on investment. This corporategovernance environment produced something even worse than Olympus (7733)'s fraud: the incompetence at Tokyo Electric Power that led to the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl. Thanks to Tepco's negligence, the world almost lost Tokyo, home to 30 million people and the second-biggest stock market, to radiation.

How the world looks from India

All those investors now loading up on Japanese stocks should ask themselves this: How do you modernise an economy when your corporate sector is anchored in the past? All the hype surrounding Abenomics will probably confirm Japan's dinosaurs in their ways. The prime minister and his corporate cheerleaders need to understand that a weaker yen will do little good if Japan's neighbours boycott its goods. In politics as well as business, the best way to accomplish a true turnaround is to admit past faults, learn from them, and only then to move forward. Source: Economic Times
Weekly Current Affairs 20h May to 26th May, 2013

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Indians are anxious about Chinese policies and capabilities, but a new survey finds as many prefer partnering Beijing as those who favour joining hands with other countries to contain it The Government of India may have rolled out the red carpet for Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who arrived in New Delhi yesterday, but popular opinion in India is deeply sceptical of Chinese ambitions in Asia and its policy towards India. This is the clear verdict of arguably the most comprehensive survey of Indian public opinion in recent years. But while there is great warmth for the United States, and discomfort at China's rise, the percentage of Indians who believe India should cooperate with China at the global level equals those who support plans to contain China.India Poll 2013 , the findings of which are being released today, was carried out late last year, much before last month's incursion by Chinese troops in Ladakh. Predictably, there continues to be deep concern within India about possible terrorist attacks from Pakistan as well as the motives of the Pakistan Army, but a courageous, reconciliatory move towards Islamabad by the Indian Prime Minister would invite widespread domestic support. India Poll 2013: Facing the Future is a survey of opinion of 1,233 adults, a representative crosssection of Indians from all sectors of society; interviews were conducted face-to-face in India between August 30 and October 15, 2012. The poll was commissioned by the Australia India Institute at the University of Melbourne and the Lowy Institute for International Policy, and the fieldwork conducted by a reputable international polling company. China and threat factors Not surprisingly, Indians see Pakistan and China as the biggest foreign threats to their nation. Only nine per cent of Indians believe China does not pose a threat, while 84 per cent believe it does, with 60 per cent identifying it as a major threat. Seventy per cent of the respondents agreed that China's aim is to dominate Asia. The responses were roughly equal, however, between those who believed that India should join with other countries to limit China's influence (65 per cent), and those who believed India should cooperate with China to play a leading role in the world together (64 per cent). In fact, some Indians clearly hold both views at once, an interesting sign of the tensions or indeed duality within Indian foreign policy expectations.
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CHRONICLE IAS ACADEMY GS MAINS UPGRADATION PROGRAMME A SOLUTION TO 1250 MARKS

From all those who had identified China as a threat, over 80 per cent agreed that threat was for the following reasons: China possesses nuclear weapons, it was competing with India for resources in other countries, it was strengthening its relations with other countries in the Indian Ocean Region, and it was claiming sovereignty on parts of India's territory. Only a slightly smaller number believed that the threat was because of China's stronger military, its bigger economy, its military assistance to Pakistan, and because it does not "show respect" to India. On a scale This does not mean, however, that Indians do not want better relations with China; 63 per cent of the respondents want bilateral ties to be stronger. On a scale of 0 to 100, in terms of feelings towards a country (with 100 meaning very warm, and 0 very cold) of the 22 countries listed, China ranked right in the middle along with Brazil, at 44 degrees; the United States, Singapore, Japan, Australia, France, Nepal, Russia, Great Britain, Sri Lanka and South Africa ranked higher.

While the findings may suggest a schizophrenic Indian attitude towards China, the message is relatively straightforward. Indians are deeply apprehensive about what they perceive as China's assertive or even aggressive attitude towards India, fearful of its policies in the region and anxious of its growing capabilities. And yet, while Indians generally hope that relations with China will become better and with little ill feeling towards the Chinese people, there is a lack of clarity on how India should respond to a Rising China. Should India partner with China to create a united front among Asia's rising giants, if possible? Or be part of a balancing coalition to ensure that China's rise remains peaceful and not destabilising at a time when there are widespread concerns that Beijing is aspiring for a dominant role in Asia? It is this policy dilemma which New Delhi needs to resolve. Likewise, Chinese diplomacy clearly faces a major challenge in terms of Indian public perceptions. Pakistan On Pakistan, the findings are along predictable lines, but with a significant counter-intuitive finding. Ninety-four per cent of Indians believe Pakistan is a threat, of which 78 per cent consider it a major threat. Of all those who identified Pakistan as a threat, over 90 per cent did so because of the possibility of terrorist attacks from Pakistan, the Pakistan military's animosity to India, its possession of nuclear weapons, and because it
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claims sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan ranks lowest in terms of warmth of feeling in the list of 22 countries. And yet, despite great scepticism about Pakistan, 89 per cent of Indians agree that ordinary people in both India and Pakistan want peace. Eightyseven per cent agreed that a big improvement in India-Pakistan relations requires courageous leadership in both countries and 76 per cent felt that India should take the initiative in seeking peace with Pakistan. Seventy-two per cent felt that trade and economic cooperation would bring peace between the two countries, while 67 per cent felt that without an agreement on Kashmir, peace would not be possible In sum, the findings suggest that if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were to have a summit meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and take the lead on a dialogue with Pakistan, he would have popular support. While a grand reconciliation with Pakistan had been central to Dr. Singh's vision of South Asia, he seems to have abandoned the goal for fear of a political backlash. India Poll 2013 indicates that even in the last year of the present government, peace with Pakistan is an opportunity worth pursuing. Ties with U.S. At 62 degrees, Indians feel most warmly towards the U.S. in the list of 22 countries surveyed. Eighty-three per cent feel that India's relations with the U.S. are strong, while only four per cent think they are weak, 75 per cent want them even stronger and only one per cent want them weaker.

During most of the Cold War and beyond, suspicion of America was a striking feature of Indian, particularly elite, opinion, even while the U.S. became a "land of opportunity" for Indian professionals. American sanctions after the 1998 nuclear tests further compounded this feeling. In January 2009, however, after the U.S.-India nuclear
Weekly Current Affairs 20th May to 26th May, 2013

discussions with the new Premier of China and quite possibly will also be engaging the Government recently elected to power in Pakistan. The discussions take place against the backdrop of New Delhi's difficult bilateral relations with the two countries, which is sure to have a direct impact on the strategic concerns of India. Let us start with Pakistan: It is a fact that in his previous tenures as Prime Minister, Mr Nawaz Sharif, who will now once again be at the helm in Islamabad, had engaged the Indian leadership in positive dialogue. His Lahore summit of 1999 especially was a big step towards a meaningful resolution of bilateral conflicts, even though not much progress could be made because Mr Sharif was overthrown by his Army chief. However, it is also a fact that even this time around, Mr Sharif has campaigned in favour of friendly relations with India. Now, his statements will be put to test. But the Prime Minister-elect may not have a free hand in the making of his foreign policy towards New Delhi because the Pakistani Army, the Taliban and other jihadi groups remain entrenched within the power structure of Pakistan - and they are avowedly antiIndia. Now, let's move to China: That country's new political leadership, led by President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang, has already made clear that its relationship with New Delhi will not merely be bilateral in scope but also look at South and East Asia as a whole. Of course, the border dispute between these two countries will have to be discussed, negotiated and resolved. But there is a larger picture that both New Delhi and Beijing will have to consider.

deal, Manmohan Singh surprised many by telling President George W. Bush: "The people of India deeply love you." India Poll 2013 confirms the

affection the people of India have for the United States, if not for a single President. Source: The Hindu Meet the New Neighbourhood Leaders in India's

Regime change in both Pakistan and China has brought forth leaders who are publicly pro-India. While New Delhi should welcome them, it cannot ignore the contentious issues that plague bilateral relations with those countries. The lame duck, semi-paralysed regime led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already had
Weekly Current Affairs 20h May to 26th May, 2013

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The Chinese Premier's decision to make India the first stop on his maiden foreign trip, followed by Pakistan, is a clear indication that Beijing takes both countries seriously. Of course, much like Mr Sharif who has talked of extending a hand of friendship towards India, the Chinese Premier has also made many positive statements about India-China ties.

However, these are all in the realm of diplomatic niceties which convey nothing as far as the hard issues of national interest are concerned. For instance, the Chinese Premier has said that Pakistan is still very much an ally. But again, the larger picture should be kept in mind. In the existing multi-polar world order, China
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CHRONICLE IAS ACADEMY GS MAINS UPGRADATION PROGRAMME A SOLUTION TO 1250 MARKS

wants to be counted as one of the great powers. Already an economic and military powerhouse, it is determined not to play second fiddle, particularly to the US, the self-appointed policeman of the world. In fact, the US should be prepared to face more of Chinese 'veto-power' on the global arena - as it has had to grapple with in recent times. Traditionally, the Americans have always had the upper hand in West Asia but on the matters of Iran and Syria, they now find themselves on tenterhooks as neither China nor Russia are prepared to follow in their footsteps. This is a new and powerful China at work, for

which India is both an important partner and a competitor particularly in Asia. Here, India is following its Look East policy in trying to strengthen ties with Japan, South Korea and Vietnam. In the process, it is coming in conflict with China which is also seeking to increase its footprint in the region. Also, China is competing against the American dollar and pushing its own currency as an instrument of international trade and exchange yet another reason why the Asia Pacific is set to enter a new stage of competition in international relations. Source: The Pioneer

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CHRONICLE IAS ACADEMY GS MAINS UPGRADATION PROGRAMME A SOLUTION TO 1250 MARKS