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GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 3 to 9, 2011 Current GK

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Weekly Current Affairs update
For the Week April 3 to 9, 2011

Major news of the week

Section A: INDIA

Indias population reaches 1210 million Census 2011
Govt. constitutes committee for drafting Lok Pal Bill
Health research in India poor: Lancet study
Govt sets up committee on superbug report
No blanket ban on proposals for mining coal in forest areas Jairam Ramesh
CBI charges Raja, 8 others, 3 cos. in 2G case
Committee set up to fine-tune National Sports Development Bill
Youth Employability Skill project launched
Journalist Ajit Bhattacharjea passes away
Former IAF Chief La Fontaine passes away
Astronomer Hafiz Saleh Muhammad Alladin passes away
Ajai Malhotra is new ambassador to Russia
India-Bangladesh plan Robi Tirtha for Tagore birth anniversary
Sangeet Natak Akademi launches magazine Sangna
National Maritime Day celebrated
Environment ministry calls for banning diclofenac to save vultures
C-DAC introduces tool to detect data duplication in documents
C-DAC launches tool to detect epidemics
NHAI starts Secret Service Fund to reward whistle-blowers
Gujarat, HP to set up Aryabhatta Space Centre
Uttarakhand opposes eco-sensitive zone along river Bhagirathi
Karnataka to revise tariffs of The Golden Chariot
AP launches subsidised medicine scheme Jeevandhara

Section B: WORLD
World Health Day 2011 observed
President Guelleh wins 3rd term in Djibouti
Ivory Coasts Laurent Gbagbo arrested
Singer Michel Martelly elected new President of Haiti
Nazarbayev re-elected President of Kazakhstan
UN commission to probe human rights excesses in Libya
US-Ecuador in diplomatic row over Wikileaks
Japan quake moved sea bed 24 metres coastguard
SAARC conference on sanitation organised in Colombo
SAARC conference on police matters organised
IRENA to have permanent HQ in UAE
Guatemala president divorces to enable wife to contest
Humala-Fujimori to contest in Presidential election run-off in Peru
Jahangir portrait sold for Rs. 10 cr at Bonhams auction

Section C: AWARDS
Gopinath Muthukad wins Merlin Award
S. L. Bhyrappa wins Saraswati Samman


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D. Seshagiri Rao selected for The Pride of India Leadership Award
M. S. Dhoni offered honorary commission in Territorial Army
Goldman Environmental Prizes announced
Iranian journalist wins UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize
WikiLeaks coverage wins Guardian Newspaper of the Year award
Russian cosmonauts awarded Belgian Order of the Crown
Bernardo Bertolucci to receive Palme dOr
14 win India Development Marketplace grant
T3 awarded gold-rating for eco-friendly features
Wisden selects 4 in Cricketers of the Year list
Kapil wins Global Diversity Award for Sport 2011

Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
India, Thailand to double bilateral trade in three years
Commerce Ministry launches Buyers Credit to boost project exports
India signs chemicals test data-sharing pact with OECD
Union government increases minimum wage hiked by Rs.15
Cairn-Vedanta deal referred to GoM
Task force set up to address pharma industry issues
National Clean Energy Fund gets Cabinet nod
Committee on Central Economic Intelligence Bureau constituted
National Water Mission document approved
3rd Advance estimates of crop production for 2010-11 released
CACP calls for lifting of ban on wheat exports
ADB lowers Indias 2011-12 GDP forecast to 8.2%
CII National Conference organised
IRDA issues guidelines for distance marketing of products
Passenger vehicle sales grow 29% in 2010-11
World Gold Council unveils India: Heart of Gold
BEE starts energy efficiency labels for laptops
Record power capacity added in 2010-11
Railways acquire highest no. of wagons in 2010-11
Railways earn Rs 94,850 crore in 2010-11
Major ports handle 569.90 mt of traffic in 2010-11
FIIs invested Rs 10 lakh crore in 2010-11 SEBI
Indias forex reserves at $305.486 bn on April 1
Bank loans grow 21.4% in 2010-11, deposits rise 15.8%
Govt ups stake in Indian Overseas Bank to 65.87%
India offers to host International Centre on Energy Access
India to study Indonesias Zero Kero programme to reduce kerosene use
Pratip Chaudhuri appointed new SBI Chairman
Munhot appointed SIDBI CMD
Coal India Ltd. to bid for The Kraal

Section E: SPORTS

Sangakkara named captain of ICC dream team
Shane Watson hits world-record 15 sixes in ODI match
Bhupathi, Paes win Sony Ericsson doubles
FIFA confirms bin Hammam, Blatter as candidates for presidency




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Section A: INDIA


Indias population reaches 1210 million
Census 2011

UP remains most populous state with 199 million
Overall sex ratio at 940 7 point increase over 2001
Literacy rate goes up to 74.04% from 64.83%

The population of the country as per the provisional figures
of Census 2011 is 1210.19 million of which 623.72 million
(51.54%) are males and 586.46 million (48.46%) are
females. The provisional figures of Census 2011 were
released in New Delhi on March 31, 2011 by Union Home
Secretary G. K. Pillai and Registrar-General of India C.
Chandramouli.

Population Balance Sheet (in crore)
2011 2001 Increase
Total
Population
121.10 102.8 18.15 (17.64)
(a) Male 62.37 53.22 9.15 (17.19)
(b) Female 58.64 49.65 8.99 (18.12)
Sex Ratio 940.27 932.91 736
Population
Density+
382 325 57
0-6 years
population
15.88 16.38 0.50 (3.08)
(a) Male 8.29 8.5 0.20 (2.42)
(b) Female 7.58 7.88 0.29 (3.80)
Child Sex
Ratio*
914.23 927.31 13.08
Literacy rate
(%)
74.04 64.83 9.21
(a) Male 82.14 75.26 6.88
(b) Female 65.46 53.67 11.79
Note: Figures in brackets indicate percentage increase
*Females per 1000 males; +Number of persons/sq. km

The major highlights of the Census 2011 (Provisional
figures) are as under:

Population growth:
The population of India has increased by more than 181
million during the decade 2001-2011.

Percentage growth in 2001-2011 is 17.64; males 17.19 and
females 18.12.

2001-2011 is the first decade (with the exception of 1911-
1921) which has actually added lesser population compared
to the previous decade.
Uttar Pradesh (199.5 million) is the most populous State in
the country followed by Maharashtra with 112 million.

Growth rates of six most populous States

The percentage decadal growth rates of the six most
populous States have declined during 2001-2011 compared
to 1991-2001:

Uttar Pradesh (25.85% to 20.09%)
Maharashtra (22.73% to 15.99%)
Bihar (28.62% to 25.07%)
West Bengal (17.77 % to 13.93%)
Andhra Pradesh (14.59% to 11.10%)
Madhya Pradesh (24.26% to 20.30%)

Child population:

The total number of children in the age-group 0-6 is 158.8
million (-5 million since 2001)

Twenty States and Union Territories now have over one
million children in the age group 0-6 years. On the other
extreme, there are five States and Union Territories in the
country that are yet to reach the one hundred thousand
mark.

Uttar Pradesh (29.7 million), Bihar (18.6 million),
Maharashtra (12.8 million), Madhya Pradesh (10.5 million)
and Rajasthan (10.5 million) constitute 52% children in the
age group of 0-6 years.

Population (0-6 years) 2001-2011 registered (minus) 3.08
percent growth with 2.42 for males and 3.80 for females.

The proportion of Child Population in the age group of 0-6
years to total population is 13.1 percent while the
corresponding figure in 2001 was 15.9 percent. The decline
has been to the extent of 2.8 points.

Sex ratio
Overall sex ratio at the national level has increased by 7
points to reach 940 at Census 2011 as against 933 in
Census 2001. This is the highest sex ratio recorded since
Census 1971 and a shade lower than 1961. Increase in sex
ratio is observed in 29 States/UTs.

Three major States (J&K, Bihar & Gujarat) have shown
decline in sex ratio as compared to Census 2001.
Kerala with 1084 has the highest sex ratio followed by
Puducherry with 1038, Daman & Diu has the lowest sex
ratio of 618.


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Child sex ratio (0-6 years) is 914. It was 927.31 in 2001.
Increasing trend in the child sex ratio (0-6) seen in Punjab,
Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram
and A&N Islands. In all remaining 27 States/UTs, the child
sex ratio show decline over Census 2001. Mizoram has the
highest child sex ratio (0-6 years) of 971 followed by
Meghalaya with 970. Haryana is at the bottom with ratio of
830 followed by Punjab with 846.

Literacy rate

Literacy rate has gone up from 64.83 per cent in 2001 to
74.04 per cent in 2011 showing an increase of 9.21
percentage points.

Percentage growth in literacy during 2001-2011 is 38.82;
males: 31.98% & females: 49.10%.

Literates constitute 74 per cent of the total population aged
seven and above and illiterates form 26 per cent.

Tripura and Mizoram are the best performers on the literacy
front. Literacy level is 91.58 per cent in Mizoram and 87.75
per cent in Tripura. They are only behind Kerala (93.91 per
cent), which continues to occupy the top position in the
literacy chart.

Analysis

There is finally some encouraging news on the population
front. For the first time since Independence, the country has
added fewer people during a decade compared with the one
preceding it.

The lower absolute growth revealed by the latest Census
could well be the precursor to Indias population stabilising
at around 165 crore by 2060 or so, according to projections
by demographers. This is also suggested by the Census
data pertaining to the population in the 0-6 years age group
that again for the first time has registered an absolute
decline. Since these children would be the parents of
tomorrow, their diminishing numbers may contribute to a
further population growth slowdown.

The sex ratio has shown a marginal improvement while only
three States Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir and, significantly,
Gujarat have shown a decline over the Census of 2001.
This can be explained by the greater natural longevity of
women and improvements in health care over the years. But
the improved overall sex ratio masks a rather worrying fall in
the child sex ratio which is the lowest since Independence.
What this indicates is that while the overall female share in
the population may have gone up due to better nutrition and
access to healthcare, there is still a widespread preference
for male children. It can only be explained by the tendency
of the son preference on a growing scale through the
instrumentality of sex-selective abortion, or female foeticide.
Attempts to tackle female foeticide through bans on sex-
determination tests imposed by the Pre-Natal Diagnostic
Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act have
been largely ineffective.

The full census data, to be released next year, should
provide policymakers a comprehensive view of where India
stands on key indicators of socio-economic development,
set against the goal of creating a more egalitarian and just
society.

Govt. constitutes committee for drafting Lok
Pal Bill

The Government of India on April 9, 2011 issued a
notification constituting a Joint Drafting Committee to
prepare a draft of the Lok Pal Bill. The Joint Drafting
Committee shall consist of five nominee Ministers of the
Government of India and five nominees of Anna Hazare
(including himself).

The five nominee Ministers of the Government of India are:
(i) Pranab Mukherjee, Union Minister of Finance; (ii) P.
Chidambaram, Union Minister of Home Affairs; (iii) Dr
Veerappa Moily, Union Minister of Law and Justice; (iv)
Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Human Resource and
Development and Minister of Communication and
Information Technology and Salman Khursheed, Union
Minister of Water Resources and Minister of Minority Affairs

The five nominees of Anna Hazare (including himself) are:
(i) Anna Hazare; (ii) Justice N. Santosh Hedge; (iii) Shanti
Bhushan, Senior Advocate; (iv) Prashan Bhushan,
Advocate and (v) Arvind Kejriwal.

The Chairperson of the Joint Drafting Committee shall be
Pranab Mukherjee while Shanti Bhushan shall be the Co-
Chairperson. The Convenor of the Join Drafting Committee
shall be Dr M. Veerappa Moily.

The Joint Drafting Committee shall commence its work
forthwith and evolve its own procedure to prepare the
proposed legislation. The Committee shall complete its work
latest by 30th June, 2011.

Health research in India poor: Lancet study

A paper on Research to achieve health care for all in India
published in the latest edition of The Lancet medical journal
has expressed concern over the scarcity of research on the
health-information system in India. It has suggested that
major national organisations of health research in India
come together to provide effective stewardship.

Co-authored, among others, by Vishwa Mohan Katoch,
Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research


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(ICMR), the paper suggests that there are useful lessons to
be learnt from the systematic efforts of other countries
aimed at matching research with public health priorities to
more effectively improve population health.

Quoting PubMed United States National Library of
Medicine the paper says that the proportion of published
papers from India increased from 04 per cent of the global
total in 1988 to 18 per cent in 2008, but the proportion of
public health research continues to be small, at 5 per cent of
the total health research published.

Additionally, many of the leading causes of disease burden
across communicable diseases, non-communicable
diseases, and injuries continue to be under-represented in
this published research, indicating that even among the
limited papers on public health research, public health
priority conditions in India are not adequately addressed.


Govt sets up committee on superbug report

The government on April 9, 2011 formed a committee to
look into the findings of a study published in the latest
edition of the British medical journal The Lancet Infectious
Diseases which claims the presence of superbug in water
samples in the capital. In their study British researchers had
found the NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo-Beta lactamase-1)
superbug in two out of the 50 tap-water samples and 51 out
of the 171 samples of water from puddles in Delhi. A
scientific committee comprising experts and health officials
was formed by the Union Health Ministry to examine the
findings so that appropriate action can be taken.

The Health Ministry on April 7 had rejected the study, saying
it had been conducted with motivated intentions. Asserting
that it was illegal in the first place to remove water samples
from the country, the Ministry questioned the authenticity as
the samples were lifted by a TV journalist.

The Health Ministry claims that there was a conflict of
interest as the researchers received payment for lectures,
travel and accommodation from pharmaceutical companies.
Dr V M Katoch, DG, Indian Council of Medical Research,
refuted the studys that claims to have found the NDM-1
superbug in 11 different types of bacteria, including those
that cause dysentery and cholera. The government said
there was no evidence to suggest that NDM-1 was a threat
to public health. The chlorination carried out for making
water safe for drinking inactivates sensitive and drug-
resistant bacteria alike.

No blanket ban on proposals for mining coal
in forest areas Jairam Ramesh
In a compromise that effectively ends the divide between
go and no go areas with regard to coal mining in forested
land, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has offered to
let his Ministry consider clearance applications from both
go and no go categories, and send the rejected projects
to the Cabinet for a final decision.

In the Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting held in April 2011,
Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh offered to let all
projects be considered for a clearance by his Ministrys
Forest Advisory Committee (FAC). The original purpose of
the categorisation was that coal projects in the heavily
forested no go zones should not be considered for
clearance at all.

Those in no go zones would be subject to scrutiny and
possibilities of a compromise will be tried. The example
given was the case of IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertilizer
Cooperative Limited) in Chhattisgarh, where dense forest
area diversion was reduced by 61 per cent. Finally, in no
go cases where the FAC was unable to find any possible
compromise, the decision on approval or rejection of the
project would be taken by the Union Cabinet.

The categorisation was the result of a joint survey of nine
major coal fields carried out jointly in February 2010 by the
Coal and Environment Ministries, which superimposed
forest maps onto coal maps to identify go and no go
zones.

The Power Ministry told the GoM that a fast-track decision
on coal mining projects was important as any delay could
jeopardise the commissioning of plants. It warned that the
coal shortage would become acute in 2011-12 as PSU Coal
India could supply only 331 million tonnes as against a
requirement of 426 MT. The Environment Minister
responded that Coal India already had 200,000 hectares of
land in its possession and could easily meet production
targets from this area. The Coal Ministry reportedly
accepted that under-production was largely due to internal
problems relating to rehabilitation and resettlement, land
acquisition and equipments.



CBI charges Raja, 8 others, 3 cos. in 2G case

The CBI on April 2, 2011 filed its first charge-sheet in the 2G
spectrum allocation case before a Special Court here
naming nine individuals and three companies. It said the
wrongful acts of the accused deprived the exchequer of
possible revenues amounting to Rs 30,984.55 crore.

The accused include the former IT and Communications
Minister, A. Raja; former Telecom Secretary, Siddhartha
Behura; Rajas personal secretary, Mr R.K. Chandolia;
Director of Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB), Shahid Usman
Balwa; and Managing Director of Unitech Ltd and Unitech
Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd, Sanjay Chandra. The other


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accused are Gautam Doshi, Group MD, Reliance Anil
Dhirubhai Ambani Group; Hari Nair, Senior Vice-President,
Reliance ADA Group; Surendra Pipara, Senior Vice-
President, R-ADA Group and Reliance Telecom Ltd, and
Vinod Goenka, Director, Swan Telecom and Managing
Director of DB Realty.

The three companies named are Swan Telecom, Unitech
Wireless (both alleged to be ineligible applicants for 2G
licence) and Reliance Telecom.

The accused face charges including that of criminal
conspiracy, cheating, forgery and abetment under the Indian
Penal Code as well as abuse of official position, criminal
misconduct (by a public servant) and corruption under the
Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act).

The CBI has named 125 witnesses, including the Attorney-
General, G.E. Vahanvati, and corporate lobbyist, Niira
Radia.

The charge-sheet has accused the former telecom minister
of manipulating the priority list for awarding licences based
on compliance of eligibility for letter of intent, instead of the
existing practice whereby seniority is based on the date of
applications.

The charge-sheet details CBIs investigation into five issues
concerned with the 2G scam. These include:

how the cut-off date of applying for new licences was
manipulated
violation of first-come-first-serve policy
how irregularities in awarding dual technology permission
deprived Tata Teleservices from getting GSM spectrum
how Reliance Telecom concealed its association with
Swan Telecom and
how the exchequer was cheated of revenues by not
revising the entry fee.


Committee set up to fine-tune National Sports
Development Bill

The Union Sports Ministry on April 6, 2011 formed a
committee, headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, Retd. Chief
Justice of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, to make
appropriate recommendations to fine-tune the draft National
Sports Development Bill that puts a limit on the age and
tenure of sports federation heads. The other members of
the committee include badminton legend Prakash Padukone
and former sprinter Ashwini Nachappa, who is also the
Vice-President of Cleansports India, a body that advocates
the theory that sports bodies should essentially be run by
former sportspersons.

The other members of the panel are: Jhanja Tripathi,
Secretary and Executive Director, Railway Sports Promotion
Board, a representative of the Indian Olympic Association
(IOA) and the Joint Secretary (Sports) of the Ministry of
Youth Affairs and Sports. The committee would look into
suggestions and comments from sports governance and
legal angles; give specific comments on role delineation
among the Government, the IOA, the federations and the
Sports Authority of India (SAI); and provide comments on
sports arbitration mechanism, among other things.

The ministry had placed the exposure draft of the proposed
National Sports Development Bill in the public domain since
February 22, seeking comments from all stakeholders and
the general public. The IOA has so far opposed the
proposed Bill, while the International Olympic Committee
(IOC) has cautioned the Government that any step that
could be a direct interference in the autonomy of the
Olympic Movement could attract sanctions against the
country that can eventually lead to its isolation from
international sports.


Youth Employability Skill project launched

Ajay Maken, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs
and Sports, inaugurated Youth Employability Skill (YES)
Project at Imphal, Manipur, on April 4, 2011 by enrolling 100
youths for skill development. Under the Project, skill relating
training would be given to the youths in the North-Eastern
Region to boost their chances of finding jobs or starting their
own enterprises. The scheme has been launched keeping in
view the Prime Ministers vision to create 500 million
certified and skilled persons by the year, 2022 throughout
the Country.

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), which
has been co-promoted by the Ministry of Finance to
catalyze private sector involvement in skill development,
would partner the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports
(M/oYAS) for the YES venture. The YES initiative would see
training in employable skills being provided to unemployed
youth in 59 districts of 8 North Eastern states.

The Minister also announced the setting up of 10,000
Mentor Youth Club throughout the Country. It was
mentioned that earlier approximately 3 lakhs Youth Clubs
were set up, out of which only 1.25 lakh Youth Clubs are
surviving. Out of these Clubs, the Mentor Youth Clubs will
be picked up. Local Member of Parliament will be a part of
the selection Committee. These Mentor Clubs will be
provided with back up and Master Trainers. They will be
involved in the process of selecting other clubs and training
the youths. Marketed as human resource pool, they can
take up activities of other govt. departments/schemes and
liaison with corporate sector, wherever required.



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Journalist Ajit Bhattacharjea passes away: Veteran
journalist Ajit Bhattacharjea, a leading figure of the right to
information movement, passed away on April 4, 2011 at the
age of 87. In a career spanning 37 years, Bhattacharjea
served as Editor of The Hindustan Times, The Times of
India and The Indian Express and after retirement had held
the post of Press Institute of India Director among some of
his assignments. He began his journalistic career in 1946
with The Hindustan Times. In 1971, he moved to Bombay
as Resident Editor of The Times of India. He became a
close associate of Jayaprakash Narayan and in 1975 quit
ToI to edit JPs weekly Everymans. When the weekly was
closed during the Emergency, Bhattacharjea became the
Editor of the Indian Express. In 1995, Ajit Bhattacharjea was
appointed Director of the Press Institute of India where he
edited the journal Vidura and launched Grassroots, a
monthly compilation of reportage on local development
issues from English and Indian-language press. He retired
from the Press Institute of India in 2004 at the age of 80 but
went on to serve as the Editor of Transparency Review, a
journal of the Centre for Media Studies, New Delhi, which
focuses on the right to information. Bhattacharjea edited,
and wrote, several books which include Dateline
Bangladesh, Kashmir: The Wounded Valley, Jayaprakash
Narayan: A Political Biography, Countdown to Partition,
Tragic Hero of Kashmir: Sheikh Abdullah and Social
Justice and the Constitution.

Former IAF Chief La Fontaine passes away: The former
Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Dennis A. La Fontaine,
passed away on April 6, 2011 at the age of 84 at
Brahmanapally near Hyderabad.

Astronomer Alladin passes away: Astronomer Hafiz
Saleh Muhammad Alladin, 80, educational adviser to former
president APJ Abdul Kalam passed away on March 21,
2011. He was known for his research on the solar and lunar
eclipses of 1984. He was also president of the Ahmadiyya
Muslim Community of India.

Ajai Malhotra is new ambassador to Russia: Ajai
Malhotra was on March 28, 2011 appointed as the new
ambassador to Russia. He is currently the ambassador to
Kuwait. He succeeds P.P. Shukla. A 1977-batch IFS officer,
Malhotra served in Moscow from 1982-85 and from 1993-
96.

India-Bangladesh plan Robi Tirtha for Tagore birth
anniversary: Joint commemoration of the 150
th
birth
anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, a Tagore tourist
circuit, Robi Tirtha, dramatisation of his works and feature
films on him, and expansion of terms of the 1972 cultural
agreement these were the issues discussed by Culture
Secretaries of India and Bangladesh on April 8, 2011. The
joint commemoration of Tagores birth anniversary will begin
in Dhaka on May 6 and in India the next day. This will be
followed by a range of joint programmes, including painting
exhibitions, cultural events, scholar retreats and seminars till
May 2012. Robi Tirath will include three sites in
Bangladesh, including Zamindari headquarters on Padma
river where Tagore spent some of the most productive years
of his life, Shantiniketan and his ancestral home at
Jorasanko.

Sangeet Natak Akademi launches magazine Sangna:
Sangeet Natak Akademi chairperson Leela Samson and
Member of Parliament Kapila Vatsyayan launching the
Akademis first Hindi quarterly magazine, Sangna, in New
Delhi on April 4, 2011.

National Maritime Day celebrated: April 5, 2011 was
celebrated as the National Maritime Day. The theme for this
year is Indian Coast Line-A New Opportunity. Every year
5
th
April is celebrated as the National Maritime Day. It was
on this day in 1919 that the first Indian Steamship S.S.
LOYALTY of M/s.Scindia Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.,
Mumbai, ventured into international water on her maiden
voyage from Mumbai to London (UK). National Maritime
Day is celebrated by several maritime countries like U.S.A.,
Japan and Germany. In India the 48
th
National Maritime
Week began with Union Minister of Shipping, G.K. Vasan
pinning the first Merchant Navy Flag on the wearing apparel
of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on March 29. The
week-long celebrations culminated today with a number of
programmes all over the country.

Environment ministry calls for banning diclofenac to
save vultures: The Ministry of Environment and Forests
has said that support from State agriculture departments
was crucial to save the three critically endangered species
of vultures in India. Scientists have concluded that the
painkiller diclofenac was the cause for extermination of
about 95 per cent of the estimated populations of oriental
white-backed, slender-billed, and long-billed vultures in the
subcontinents. Feeding on carcasses of cattle that had been
administered the drug proved fatal to the birds. The Ministry,
in April 2011, recommended banning veterinary
formulations of diclofenac and popularising the use of drug
meloxicam to eliminate the threat to vultures from
contaminated carcasses.

C-DAC introduces tool to detect data duplication in
documents: Pune-based Centre for Development of
Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has introduced a tool that
can help in detecting the problem of data duplication where
a single individual is issued more than one copy of a
document. The tool, Namescape, can help in detecting
names which can be spelling variants or sound-alikes. The
areas in which the tool can be used are public distribution
system, election commission, I-T department, passport and
visa offices, banks, insurance and credit card companies
and mobile phone providers. The tool was announced to
mark C-DACs 24
th
Foundation Day on April 4, 2011.



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C-DAC launches tool to detect epidemics: Apart from
Namescape, C-DAC has developed another tool named
TaxoGrid that can help in rapid identification of the causes
of an epidemic. This will help speed up development of
vaccines by about 20 times.

NHAI starts Secret Service Fund to reward whistle-
blowers: NHAI has come out with a Secret Service Fund
that is aimed at rewarding whistle-blowers and cleansing the
system of corruption in April 2011. The fund with an
allocation of Rs. 10 lakh for 2011-12 will be used to offer
cash rewards to informants providing authentic information,
regarding corruption and irregularities. The move is the first
such step by NHAI to refurbish its image, as it faces
corruption charges in appointments and bids. Cash rewards
of up to Rs 25,000 crore, depending on authenticity of
information and in terms of gain to the organisation, would
be given to the informants whether from NHAI or from
general public,.

Gujarat, HP to set up Aryabhatta Space Centre: Gujarat
and Himachal Pradesh on April 6, 2011 signed a
memorandum of understanding to set up Aryabhatta Geo-
Informatics and Space Application Centre (AGiSAC) in
Himachal Pradesh collaboration with the Gandhinagar-
based Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and
Geo-Informatics (BISAG) to facilitate use of geo-spatial
technologies for decision-making and planning of
developmental activities in the hill State.

Uttarakhand opposes eco-sensitive zone: Uttarakhand
has opposed the 135-km eco-sensitive zone along the river
Bhagirathi from Gangotri to Uttarkashi in the Garhwal
region, describing it as an anti-development measure. Chief
Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank asked the centre to
reconsider the decision of declaring the region between
Gangotri and Uttarkashi as eco-sensitive zone during his
meeting with the Union Minister for Environment and
Forests Jairam Ramesh at New Delhi on April 6, 2011.
Nishank said that Uttarakhand was a small state that had 67
per cent land covered under forests; and because of tough
forest laws, the state government was facing problem in
carrying out development activities.

Karnataka to revise tariffs of The Golden Chariot: The
Golden Chariot, the luxury train run by the Karnataka State
Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) will see
another round of tariff revision in October. The state says
this has been necessitated due to high haulage charge
imposed by the Indian Railways. With the revision, the tariff
for the Pride of the South trip, covering Karnataka and
Goa, has gone up to $ 495 per person per day from $ 425
for an international traveller. For Southern Splendour,
covering Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the cost has
gone up to $ 570 per person per day from $ 490.

AP launches subsidised medicine scheme: Andhra
Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on April 9,
2011 launched JeevanDhara, a concept outlet to provide
quality medicines at affordable prices to the poor, in the
state. The Jeevandhara programme is expected to reduce
states expenditure on the overall healthcare for branded
medicines, patient coverage and popularisation of the use of
unbranded generic medicines.



Core industries grow 5.7% in Apr-Feb 2010-11
The Index of Six core industries having a combined weight of 26.7 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) with
base 1993-94 stood at 268.9 (provisional) in February 2011 and registered a growth of 6.8% (provisional) compared to 4.2%
registered in February 2010. During April-February 2010-11, six core industries registered a growth of 5.7% (provisional) as
against 5.4% during the corresponding period of the previous year.
PERFORMANCE OF SIX CORE INDUSTRIES IN FEBRUARY 2011
(Weight in Index of Industrial Production IIP: 26.68 %) Base Year: 1993-94
Sector-wise Growth Rate (%) in Production
Sector Weight (%) Feb 2010 Feb 2011 April-Feb 2009-
10
April-Feb 2010-
11
Crude Oil 4.17 4.0 12.2 0.3 11.9
Petroleum Refinery Products 2.00 0.7 3.2 -0.4 2.5
Coal 3.22 6.7 - 5.7 7.9 0.1
Electricity 10.17 6.9 7.2 6.0 5.4
Cement 1.99 7.9 6.5 10.8 4.3
Finished steel (carbon) 5.13 - 0.2 11.5 5.2 8.1
Overall 26.68 4.2 6.8 5.4 5.7





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9
Section B: WORLD
News round up

World Health Day 2011 observed

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for
intensification of the global commitment to safeguard
antibiotics for future generations on the occasion of the
World Health Day 2011 on April 7, 2011. Growing
resistance by microbes to antibiotics has threatened the
continued effectiveness of many medicines. The WHO has
made increasing effects of antimicrobial resistance as the
theme of this years World Health Day.

The rise of resistance as a natural consequence of the
process of evolution is perhaps inevitable. But the misuse of
antibiotics greatly hastens this process. The WHO has
outlined several steps to be taken to ensure continued
effectiveness of antibiotics. These include: Over-the-counter
sales of antibiotics must be stopped. Physicians need to be
educated on when it is appropriate to use antibiotics. Even
when an antibiotic is needed, it is essential that the right
drug is given at an adequate dosage and for a suitable
duration. A proper system of surveillance for antimicrobial
resistance as well as regularly updated guidelines for
treatment would help doctors make the right choices.
Further, the use of antibiotics as growth-promoters in
livestock needs to be curtailed. In all of this, the
government, the medical fraternity, and the public must play
their part.

President Guelleh wins 3
rd
term in Djibouti: The
president of Djibouti has
secured a third term in office
after a landslide election
victory, despite recent
protests against his rule.
Ismail Omar Guelleh has
won 80% of the votes cast,
according to the countrys
electoral commission. The opposition had urged a boycott of
the polls on April 8, 2011 alleging irregularities. The East
African nation of Djibouti has a population of only about
800,000 people, but is strategically important. The country
hosts the only US military base in Africa, as well as being
the base for international navies fighting pirates off
neighbouring Somalia. Guellehs family has governed the
Red Sea city state since independence from France in
1977.

Ivory Coasts Laurent Gbagbo arrested: Having refused
to stand down for four months after losing the presidential
election, even as the country descended into civil war, Ivory
Coasts Laurent Gbagbo was on April 11, 2011 detained at
his personal residence by forces loyal to the countrys
elected president, Alassane Ouattara. French troops and
United Nations peacekeepers, who had earlier struck
Gbagbos home in the main city, Abidjan, from the air,
provided crucial support. The political trajectory of Laurent
Gbagbo is that of a democratic reformist who became a
dictator. A history lecturer by profession, with a doctorate
from a Paris university, Gbagbo was crucial in Ivory Coasts
transition toward multi-party democracy in the 1980s and
early 1990s. After becoming president in 2000, however, he
adopted draconian measures to stifle political dissent and
manipulated issues of nationality and religion to maintain
power.

Singer Michel Martelly elected new Haiti President:
Michel Joseph Martelly was elected President of Haiti
following his victory in the Haitian presidential election of
2011. Before entering the political scene, Martelly was a
performing and recording artist, composer, and
businessman. Martelly won the run-off Presidential Election
against candidate Mirlande Manigat on April 4, 2011.
Martelly, 50, will succeed President Rene Preval, who has
been in office for five years. Haiti is still struggling after the
2010 earthquake and a cholera epidemic. Turnout in the
second round was high and voting was largely peaceful,
although still marred by fraud.

Nazarbayev re-elected as Kazakh President:
Kazakhstans President of two-decades Nursultan
Nazarbayev was re-elected for another five-year term
winning an astonishing 95 per cent of the vote in the poll on
April 3, 2011 that saw a record 90-per cent turnout.
European monitors criticised the election as falling short of
democratic standards, citing cases of people being pressed
to vote, ballot box-stuffing and lack of transparency in the
vote count.

UN commission to probe human rights excesses in
Libya: The UN on April 8, 2011 decided to send a three-
member commission under veteran war crimes expert Prof
Cherif Bassiouni to probe the human rights excesses in
Libya in the ongoing civil war with both rebels and
government agreeing to give the panel an access. The
beleaguered Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi has
agreed to allow an International Commission of Inquiry to
investigate all human rights violations, in what appears to be
a move to expose the alleged killing of civilians by NATO
forces.

US-Ecuador in diplomatic row over Wikileaks: The
United States on April 7, 2011 expelled the Ecuadorian
ambassador in retaliation for the expulsion of the U.S.
envoy to Ecuador, who was asked to leave the country after
her confidential allegations of official corruption were
exposed by the website Wikileaks. The expulsion of Luis


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Gallegos follows Ecuadors recent expulsion of Heather
Hodges, the U.S. ambassador in Quito, over corruption
allegations she made about senior Ecuadorian authorities in
documents released by WikiLeaks.

Japan quake moved sea bed 24 metres coastguard:
The seabed near the epicentre of the massive earthquake
that rocked Japan last month was shifted 24 metres by the
tremor, the countrys coastguard said on April 6, 2011.
Sensors found that one part of the ocean floor had been
stretched to a point 24 metres east-southeast of its position
before the 9.0 undersea quake, which triggered a massive
tsunami that engulfed large areas of Japans northeast
coast. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said in March that
the force of the quake moved Honshu Japans main island
by 2.4 metres.

SAARC conference on sanitation organised in
Colombo: The fourth South Asian Conference on Sanitation
(SACOSAN-IV) was organised in Colombo on April 4, 2011
to discuss plans for creating sanitation facilities for the 700
million plus uncovered people of the SAARC region. India
has the largest uncovered population in the world.

SAARC conference on police matters organised: Top
police officers from the South Asian Association for
Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries discussed
terrorism and drug traffic-related problems in the region,
among other policing issues, at a two-day conference in
Colombo on April 4-5, 2011. Meetings of the SAARC
terrorist offences monitoring desk (STOMD) and the SAARC
drug offences monitoring desk (SDOMD), consumed a
major part of the deliberations at the ninth SAARC
conference in Police Matters. While SDOMD has made
some progress treading on common ground, the terrorist
offences monitoring desk is yet to achieve the same amount
of success.
IRENA to have permanent HQ in UAE: The UAE will
house the permanent headquarters of the International
Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the body that aims to
help its 149 members define their strategy in renewable
energies. The announcement was made April 4, 2011
during the assembly being held in Abu Dhabi as part of its
transition into a fully-fledged international organisation from
the status of a preparatory commission. This is the second
headquarters of an international agency affiliated to the UN
in a developing country after Nairobi in Kenya, which
houses the headquarters of UNEP (United Nations
Environment Programme).

Guatemala president gets divorce to enable wife to
contest: A family court in Guatemala on April 8, 2011
approved the divorce of President Alvaro Colom and his
wife Sandra Torres. The decision clears the way for her to
stand for election to be his successor. The couple filed for
divorce to overcome a constitutional ban on close relatives
of the president running for the top office.

Humala-Fujimori to contest in Presidential election run-
off: Perus presidential election will go to a second round on
5 June, pitting former army officer Ollanta Humala against
Keiko Fujimori, daughter of disgraced ex-President Alberto
Fujimori after no candidate received the 50% needed to
secure victory outright in the first round on April 10, 2011.

Jahangir portrait sold for Rs. 10 cr at auction: A six-foot
high, life-size portrait of Mughal Emperor Jahangir attributed
to Abul Hasan, Nadir al-Zaman and dated 1617 AD, was
auctioned for 1.42 million (Rs. 10 crore) at an Bonhams
auction in London on April 5, 2011. It went to a Middle
Eastern museum. Other items sold included an inscribed
18
th
century Mughal emerald seal, owned by an officer of
the East India Company that fetched 90,000.




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Section C: AWARDS

INDIA

Gopinath Muthukad wins Merlin Award:
Thiruvananthapuram-based illusionist and stunt performer
Gopinath Muthukad has been selected by the International
Magicians Society (IMS) of the US for the International
Merlin Award this year. He is the second Indian magician,
after P.C. Sorcar Jr. of West Bengal, to receive the award.
The jury selected Muthukad April 2011 for his contributions
to the development and popularisation of magical art and
science over the last 35 years.

S. L. Bhyrappa wins Saraswati Samman: Kannada writer
S. L. Bhyrappa was on April 5, 2011 chosen for the
prestigious Saraswati Samman for his novel Mandra. The
award, constituted by the K. K. Birla Foundation, consists of
Rs.7.50 lakh, a citation and a plaque. The jury which
selected Bhyrappa was headed by former Chief Justice of
India G. B. Patnaik. Seventy-five-year-old Bhyrappa has so
far published 22 novels, the first being Bheemakaya in
1959. He is one of the bestselling novelists in Kannada over
the past 25 years.

D. Seshagiri Rao selected for The Pride of India
Leadership Award: D. Seshagiri Rao, cardiologist and
Head of the Department, of Hyderabad-based Nizams
Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), has been selected for
The Pride of India Leadership Award, an international
award given by NRI Institute, a Delhi-based not-for-profit
NGO of People of Indian Origin. The award is being given to
Dr. Rao for the outstanding service and excellence in
cardiology. It will be presented on April 15 by Mauritius
President Sir Anerood Jugnauth in Delhi.

M. S. Dhoni offered honorary commission in Territorial
Army: World Cup winning captain of the Indian team,
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was offered an honorary
commission in the Territorial Army, during his meeting with
the Chief of the Army Staff General V.K. Singh in New Delhi
on April 5, 2011. Dhoni readily accepted the offer. The
commission would go through as per the laid-down
procedure of the service. It may be noted that former
captain Kapil Dev, is already an honorary Lieutenant
Colonel in the Territorial Army, while Sachin Tendulkar was
conferred an honorary Group Captain rank of the IAF in
September last year, which was approved by the President
of India.

WORLD
Goldman Environmental Prizes announced

Raoul du Toit, a Zimbabwe-based conservationist who has
made efforts in saving Africas Critically Endangered black
rhino, was selected as one of the six winners of this years
Goldman Environmental Prize on 11 April 2011. The prize,
founded by American philanthropist Richard Goldman, is the
worlds largest award for grassroots environmentalists. One
recipient from each of the worlds six inhabited continents
will receive the $150,000 prize. This years other winners
are:

Francisco Pineda, from El Salvador, led a citizens
movement that stopped a gold mine from destroying the
countrys water resources. He now lives under constant
threat of assassination and has 24-hour police protection.

Dmitry Lisitsyn, from Russia, who has fought to protect the
threatened ecosystem of Sakhalin Island in Russias far
east from being damaged by a large petroleum
development project.

Ursula Sladek, from Germany, created her countrys first
cooperatively-owned renewable power company.

Prigi Arisandi, from Indonesia, initiated a local movement
to stop industrial pollution from flowing into a river that
provides water to three million people.

Hilton Kelley, from the US, has fought for poor
communities affected by pollution from petrochemical and
hazardous waste facilities on the Gulf coast of Texas.

Iranian journalist wins UNESCO World Press Freedom
Prize: Imprisoned Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi was
on April 7, 2011 selected as winner of this years UNESCO
Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. A former
editor-in-chief of the Azad newspaper and contributor to the
Tehran-based daily Hamshahari, the BBC Persian service,
and the Persian/English news site Rooz, Zeidabadi is
currently serving a six-year jail sentence after he was
convicted of spreading propaganda against the ruling
Islamic establishment on Irans disputed presidential
election in 2009. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova
says Zeidabadi has courageously and unceasingly spoken
out for press freedom and freedom of expression.

WikiLeaks coverage wins Guardian Newspaper of the
Year award: British newspaper The Guardians coverage
of the secret U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks
has won it recognition as Britains Newspaper of the Year
at the prestigious 2011 Press Awards given on April 5,
2011. The publication of thousands of secret cables,
including a cache of India cables by The Hindu, revealing
controversial aspects of American foreign policy, has
embarrassed the U.S. administration and its friends abroad.
The Guardian was one of the worlds four leading
newspapers, besides the New York Times, Le Monde and


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Der Spiegel, that originally collaborated with WikiLeaks to
publish the cables.

Russian cosmonauts awarded Belgian Order: Belgiums
Crown Prince Philippe, the Duke of Brabant, on April 6,
2011 presented the Order of the Crown, Commander Class,
to Russian cosmonauts Sergei Zaletin, Roman Romanenko,
and Gennady Padalka in Moscow. The three cosmonauts,
together with Belgian astronaut Franc De Winne, had flown
a six-month space mission aboard the International Space
Station in 2009. The Order of the Crown (Ordre de la
Couronne) was instituted by King Leopold II in 1887 and is
awarded for distinguished artistic, literary or scientific
achievements or for commercial or industrial services to the
kingdom subjects in the Belgian Congo.

Bernardo Bertolucci to receive Palme dOr: An honorary
Palme dOr award is to be presented at the Cannes Film
Festivals opening ceremony from this year onwards. The
inaugural award will be given to director Bernardo
Bertolucci, of Last Tango in Paris and The Last Emperor
fame in May. Festival organisers on April 11, 2011 said the
award would go each year to an important film-maker
whose work is authoritative but who had never won
Cannes top award, the Palme dOr.

CORPORATE & ECONOMY

14 win India Development Marketplace grant

A competitive grant programme jointly organised by
International Finance Corporation and Development
Marketplace has announced 14 winners out of 30 finalists
from Rajasthan, Bihar and Orissa in the India Development
Marketplace Competition in April 2011. Each of these 14
winning business models will receive a grant of US$50,000
(about Rs. 2,247,500). The selection was made through
screening and online assessment of the proposals received
this year by officials from the World Bank Group.

The jury reviewed the 30 shortlisted proposals on
parameters including social impact, sustainability, growth
potential and innovation during their presentation at the
Marketplace event in Jaipur. The winning models outlined
activities to address vital development needs in Rajasthan,
Bihar and Orissa. A majority of them addressed two sectors
Handicrafts and Education and skills training.

T3 awarded gold-rating for eco-friendly features:
Terminal-3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New
Delhi has been conferred the Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design New Construction gold rating by the
Indian Green Building Congress for green buildings in April
2011. The IGBC is the local chapter of U.S. Green Building
Council. A gold rating was awarded to T3 on the basis of its
features with regard to sustainability, water efficiency,
energy and atmosphere, material and resources, indoor
environmental quality and innovation in design.

SPORTS

Wisden selects 4 in Cricketers of the Year list

The 2011 edition of the Wisden Cricketers Almanack will
feature only four Cricketers of the Year, instead of the usual
five, after one of the chosen Five Cricketers became
embroiled in the spot-fixing furore which broke during the
Lords Test between England and Pakistan last August. The
truncated list will feature in the Almanacs 148
th
edition,
which was officially unveiled on April 3, 2011. Pakistans
Mohammad Amir was to be chosen for his 19 wickets at
18.36 in four Tests against England followed by a further 11
in the two-match series against Australia last year.

The other four nominees include the first players from
Bangladesh and Ireland to receive the award. Tamim Iqbal
struck hundreds at both Lords and Old Trafford during
Bangladeshs Test tour in May and June 2010, while Eoin
Morgan helped propel England to the World Twenty20 in the
Caribbean, as well as secure home ODI series wins over
Australia and Pakistan. The other two players are Jonathan
Trott, who scored 1,325 Test runs for England in the
calendar year, including scores of 226 and 184 in
consecutive Lords Tests, and Chris Read, who captained
Nottinghamshire to a County Championship victory.

Kapil wins Global Diversity Award for Sport 2011: Indias
first World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev was on April 7,
2011 chosen for the Global Diversity Award for Sports 2011
in London for his outstanding achievements in cricket and
his recent induction into the ICC Hall of Fame 2010. The
award was instituted by the Next Step Foundation, a not-for-
profit organisation set up Labour MP Keith Vaz that
promotes diversity and leadership issues in the United
Kingdom.





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Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
News round up

India, Thailand to double bilateral trade in
three years

India and Thailand on April 4, 2011 agreed to intensify
Defence and security cooperation as well as double bilateral
trade over the next three years. Bilateral trade between the
two countries has grown 6 fold in the last decade and
touched US $ 6 billion last year, growing at over 30% from
the previous year. A joint statement, which was released
after the summit meeting between Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh and his Thai counterpart Abhisit Vejjajiva
in New Delhi, announced the establishment of a regular
High-Level Dialogue on Defence Cooperation that would
consider widening the scope of cooperation in the sector.

This dialogue is expected to lead to a Memorandum of
Understanding on Defence Cooperation and is part of
Indias burgeoning defence ties with ASEAN (Association of
Southeast Asian Nations) countries, South Korea and
Japan. In addition to taking a closer look at the ongoing
exchanges between the armed forces, the dialogue would
attempt to broaden the scope of cooperation to include the
Defence industry and technology.

The summit meeting saw both sides agreeing to intensify
coordinated patrolling, which would be aimed at sanitising
the busy but narrow and vulnerable Malacca Straits. Ever
since the September 11, 2001 attacks, naval ships from
both countries jointly patrol their respective stretches to foil
any piracy or disruption of shipping through the deliberate
disabling of a ship.

On the security side, the two Prime Ministers resolved to
improve sharing of intelligence, develop more effective
counter-terrorism policies and increase interaction between
law enforcement agencies. In this respect, they decided to
expedite discussions on some of the building blocks, such
as the Extradition Treaty, the Mutual Legal Assistance
Treaty in Civil and Commercial Matters.

Commerce Ministry launches Buyers Credit
to boost project exports

The Union Commerce and Industry Ministry on April 6, 2011
launched a new product Buyers Credit under the National
Export Insurance Account (NEIA) to boost project exports
from India. The product is to ensure that Indian companies
are in a competitive position in project bids vis-a-vis their
peers from other nations. The Buyers Credit facility can be
used by sovereign Governments and Government-owned
entities overseas to finance import of projects from India on
deferred payment terms. Project exports include civil
construction (of structures and infrastructure), turnkey
projects, process and engineering consultancy services.

The loan would be disbursed for large project exports
especially in the infrastructure sector, such as roads,
bridges, railways, power line, sewerage plants, water
treatment facilities and housing. A single project exposure
covered by the loan could be $100 million (or Rs 450 crore).
A higher amount, of even up to $2 billion, could be
considered if the project is strategically important to India,
sources said.

The scheme has been developed by Export-Import Bank of
India (Exim Bank) along with the Export Credit Guarantee
Corporation of India (ECGC).

NEIA, a Trust with a corpus of Rs 2,000 crore, was set up
by the Ministry to provide export credit insurance cover for
promoting project exports from India administered by
ECGC. The ECGC aims to strengthen the export promotion
drive by covering the risk of exporting on credit.


India signs chemicals test data-sharing pact
with OECD

India has joined the system for the Mutual Acceptance of
Data (MAD) in the Assessment of Chemicals, a multilateral
agreement supported by the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD). The objective is to
bring about quality parity with international standards in the
manufacturing of non-clinical chemicals. Its decision to join
the OECD pact in April 2011 makes India the third key
emerging economy after South Africa and Singapore to get
on board the platform for ensuring that the results of its non-
clinical chemical safety testing will be accepted in all other
participating countries.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurra said that the MAD
system saved governments and chemical producers around
150 million every year by allowing the results of a variety of
non-clinical safety tests done on chemicals and chemical
products, such as industrial chemicals and pesticides, to be
shared across OECD and other countries that adhere to the
system.

Under the system it would be mandatory for testing to be
carried out using OECD standards for test methods and for
data quality and governments would have to verify
compliance of laboratories by using the OECD-agreed
procedures. These procedures would now apply to India, as
they do to all OECD countries.


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In most cases the rules for testing and quality have been
implemented via the appropriate legislative and
administrative procedures, the OECD said, highlighting the
benefits that would arise from the MAD system through the
removal of a potential non-tariff trade barrier between
countries for marketing chemicals.


Minimum wage hiked by Rs.15

The Union government has revised the minimum wages,
payable for any work, coming under the schedule of
employment, by Rs.15 per day and fixed the new National
Floor Level Minimum Wage (NFLMW) at Rs.115 instead of
Rs. 100/- per day effective from April 1.

The new rate has been fixed on the basis of All India
Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers. The NFLMW
is a non-statutory measure. All the State governments and
the Union Territories have been requested to revise
minimum wages in such a way that in none of the scheduled
employments, the minimum wage is less than NFLMW of
Rs.115 per day.

The last time NFLMW revised was on November 1, 2009. It
moved up by Rs.20 per day to Rs.100 from Rs.80 then. In
the Central Sphere, minimum rates of wages were revised
for workers in the employment of agriculture, stone
breaking and stone crushing, sweeping and cleaning and
watch and ward.


Cairn-Vedanta deal referred to GoM

DEAL DISPUTE
The deal has been delayed cue to a dispute over royalty
payments by Cairn Indias partner, PSU ONGC
ONGC, which has a 30% stake in the Cairn operated
Rajasthan fields, pays 100% of the royalties
Petroleum Ministry and ONCC have been pushing to
share the royalty burden. Cairn has opposed the move
Cairn has set an internal deadline of April 15 to seal the
deal. Vedanta on April 6 said it would go ahead with its
open offer as scheduled

Cairn Energys proposal to sell majority stake in its Indian
arm to Vedanta Resources suffered a set back on April 6,
2011 after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
(CCEA) referred the deal to a Group of Ministers (GoM).

Cairn Energy Plc proposes to sell a maximum 51 per cent
stake in Cairn India Ltd to Vedanta Resources for up to
$8.48 billion. The decision to refer the deal to a ministerial
panel follows differences among some ministries on certain
legal issues relating to the transaction. Issues of royalty and
cess have continued to plague the deal. The CCEA was to
take a call on issues relating to royalty, being borne by
ONGC for the pre-NELP (New Exploration Licensing Policy)
Rajasthan oil fields and the dispute on cess being paid
under protest by Cairn for the fields. Foreign companies
were provided incentives such as 100% royalty waiver on
their share of oil produced in the pre-NELP era to
encourage them to form JVs in India. So even though
ONGCs share in the oil produced from its JV is 30%, it pays
the entire royalty while Cairn pays nothing for its 70% share.

Vedanta Resources and Cairn Energy on April 8, 2011
extended the April 15 deadline for conclusion of their deal
by more than a month.

Task force set up to address pharma industry
issues

An task force comprising top representatives of the
health ministry, the Department of Industrial Policy and
Promotion, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority,
various drug industry bodies and business chambers has
been formed to bring out a report on a long-term policy for
the pharma sector.

The task force, headed by V M Katoch, director general of
Indian Council of Medical Research and secretary to
Department of Health Research, has been asked to give its
report within three months of its first meeting. The order to
set up the task force was issued on April 3, 2011.

The task force would evolve policies and strategies to make
India a hub for drug discovery and research and
development. It has been told to recommend strategies to
further the interests of the pharma industry in the light of
issues related to intellectual property rights. It will also
suggest steps to capitalise the opportunity of drugs worth
$60 billion going off-patent over the next five years.

National drugs security is another focus area of the task
force. It will find ways to promote indigenous production of
bulk drugs, prevent takeover of Indian pharma companies
by multinational companies, tackle problems of spurious
drugs and promote generic drugs. The task force will also
make recommendations on drug pricing.

National Clean Energy Fund gets Cabinet nod

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on April 7,
2011 approved the constitution of a National Clean Energy
Fund (NCEF) along with guidelines and modalities for
approval of projects to be eligible for financing under this
fund. The fund was set up to serve as a separate non-
lapsable corpus for funding green energy projects with the
broader objective of cutting down Indias carbon footprint.

An inter-ministerial group has been constituted to approve
the projects or schemes eligible for financing. NCEF will be


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used for funding research and innovative projects in clean
energy technologies. Government assistance under it will
not exceed 40 per cent of the total project cost. The group
will design a standard format for submission and evaluation
of the projects. There will be a time frame specified under
the scheme for processing of applications at each stage.
The group will identify or appoint appropriate professional
agencies to monitor the progress of NCEF-funded projects.

The Union Cabinet also approved the comprehensive
document for the National Water Mission drafted by the
Ministry of Water Resources. The National Water Mission is
one of the eight national missions which form the core of the
National Action Plan for Climate Change. The objective of
the mission is conservation of water, minimising wastage
and ensuring its equitable distribution both across and
within states through integrated water resources
development and management.

Committee on Central Economic Intelligence
Bureau constituted

The President of India on April 5, 2011 has sanctioned the
constitution of a Committee to review the role, functioning
and structure of the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau
(CEIB) in the changed economic scenario.

The members are: S. S. Khan Retired Member, Central
Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT); Vijay Lakshmi Sharma
Member, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC); Dr.
Kewal Ram, Senior Economic Advisor Department of
Consumer Affairs and Deputy Director General (CEIB)
Member (Secretary) to the Committee

Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) is a nodal
point in the Ministry of Finance for collection and
dissemination of information to the various Intelligence
Organizations.

The Committee will have the following terms of reference:
a. To study the existing structure of CEIB and make
recommendations on measures
(i) To streamline and strengthen the existing financial
intelligence gathering and its dissemination.
(ii) For effective coordination amongst the intelligence
Organizations in the Ministry of Finance and with
Intelligence Organizations of the Government of India.
b. To identify relevant commercial databases for business
intelligence analysis by CEIB
c. To suggest structural linkages between CEIB and FIU-
IND
d. To prepare a roadmap for CEIB to work in line with the
best global practices.
e. Any other related issues.
The Committee will furnish its Report to the Government of
India within two months of its constitution.

About CEIB

The Role of Central Economic Intelligence Bureau

It is well recognised that the evasion of one tax usually
entails evasion of other taxes as well. For the purpose of
effective information gathering, collation and dissemination,
a close co-ordination between the Agencies enforcing
different tax laws is essential. The Central Economic
Intelligence Bureau was set up with the intention of creating
a body which would coordinate and strengthen the
intelligence gathering activities as well as investigative
efforts of all the Agencies which enforce economic laws.

Accordingly, the following functions have been entrusted to
the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau:-

To collect intelligence and information regarding aspects
of the black economy which require close watch and
investigation. Also, keeping in view the scene of
economic offences, the Bureau is required to collect
information and provide periodical and special reports to
the concerned authorities;

To keep a watch on different aspects of economic
offences and the emergence of new types of such
offences. The Bureau was made responsible for evolving
counter-measures required for effectively dealing with
existing and new types of economic offences;

To act as the nodal agency for cooperation and
coordination at the international level with other customs ,
drugs, law enforcement and other agencies in the area of
economic offences.

To implementation of the COFEPOSA (i.e. Conservation
of Foreign Exchange & Prevention of Smuggling
Activities Act, 1971 which provides for preventive
detention of persons involved in smuggling and foreign
exchange rackets under certain specified circumstances)

To act as a Secretariat of the Economic Intelligence
Council which acts as the apex body to ensure full co-
ordination among the various Agencies including Central
Bureau of Investigation, Reserve Bank of India,
Intelligence Bureau etc.

National Water Mission document approved

The Union Cabinet on April 6, 2011 approved the
Comprehensive Mission Document of the National Water
Mission.

The National Water Mission is one of the 8 National
Missions which form the core of the National Action Plan for
Climate Change. The Mission Document for National Water
Mission was drafted by the Ministry of Water Resources


GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 3 to 9, 2011 Current GK

16
through consultative process with involvement of State
Governments, concerned Central Ministries, Non-
Governmental Organizations, academicians and other
stakeholders.

The objective of National Water Mission is conservation of
water, minimizing wastage and ensuring its equitable
distribution both across and within States through integrated
water resources development and management.

Five goals identified in the National Water Mission are
Comprehensive water data base in public domain and
assessment of the impact of climate change on water
resources; promotion of citizen and state actions for water
conservation, augmentation and preservation; focused
attention to vulnerable areas including over-exploited areas;
increasing water use efficiency by 20%; and promotion of
basin level integrated water resources management.

A two-tier setup has been proposed, one at Central level
and the other at State level for framing the policies and
guidelines for implementation of the National Water Mission.
At the Central level, an apex Board under the Chairmanship
of the Minister of Water Resources and at the State level, a
Monitoring Committee under the Chairmanship of the
Principal Secretary / Secretary will be constituted.

A very compact Mission Secretariat under a Mission
Director to be supported by Adviser (Technical) and Adviser
(Coordination and Monitoring) is envisaged under the
National Water Mission. The technical support to the
Secretariat will be provided by Central Water Commission,
Central Ground Water Board, Brahmaputra Board and
National Institute of Hydrology.

The prioritized strategies of the Mission will be taken up
through the continuing schemes of Ministry of Water
Resources by suitably modifying scope and outlay of the
respective schemes. The overall additional requirements for
such activities have been duly taken into consideration while
working out the revised outlays of the various schemes of
the Ministry of Water Resources.


Advance estimates of crop production for
2010-11 released

Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister, Sharad
Pawar on April 6, 2011 released the third advance
estimates of crop production for 2010-11. Despite a setback
in the production of rice due to drought in some of the major
rice producing areas in the country, foodgrains production
reached the record level due to significant improvement in
production of wheat, pulses and coarse cereals.

As per the latest estimates, India has produced 235.88
million tonnes of foodgrains during 2010-11 compared to
218.11 million tonnes in the previous year. This is highest
ever foodgrains production, surpassing the earlier record of
234.47 million tonnes achieved in 2008-09.

The production of wheat, estimated at 84.27 million tones, is
an all time record. Similarly, production of pulses, estimated
at 17.29 million tones, is an all time record.

Contributed by steady increase in production of soyabean
and a quantum jump of 2.62 million tonnes over its
production during 2009-10, the oilseeds production,
estimated at 30.25 million tones, is also an all time record.

Cotton production has increased from 24.23 million bales in
2009-10 to 33.93 million bales in 2010-11.

The production of sugarcane, which had attained a record
level of 355.52 million tonnes during 2006-07 and declined
in subsequent years, has again started witnessing
increasing trend with an estimated production of 340.55
million tonnes in the current year.

The production estimates for major crops for 2010-11 are as
follows:
Foodgrains 235.88 million tonnes: highest ever
Rice 94.11 million tonnes
Wheat 84.27 million tonnes: highest ever
Coarse Cereals 40.21 million tonnes
Maize 20.23 million tonnes
Pulses 17.29 million tonnes: highest ever
Tur 3.15 million tonnes
Urad 1.82 million tonnes
Moong 1.37 million tonnes
Oilseeds 30.25 million tonnes: highest ever
Soyabean 12.59 million tonnes
Groundnut 7.09 million tonnes
Cotton 33.93 million bales of 170 kg each: highest ever
Sugarcane 340.55 million tonnes

CACP calls for lifting of ban on wheat exports

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP)
said that the country can easily export 3-4 million tonne of
wheat to take benefit of higher global prices as the
government godowns had foodgrains stock worth Rs
40,000-43,000 crore over and above the buffer norm. The
government had banned wheat exports in early 2007 and
rice in April 2008.

CACP Chairman Ashok Gulati on April 10, 2011 warned that
if export of rice and wheat are not allowed now, the
government will end up having huge stock of 60 million
tonne plus as on July 1, this year, when wheat procurement
would be over. The country could be faced with a scenario
of higher foodgrains stocks and lower global prices. This
was the situation in 2002 when India had to liquidate excess
stocks (to save them from rotting) by subsidising exports as


GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 3 to 9, 2011 Current GK

17
global prices had gone down drastically. But today, the
government can liquidate a part of the stock for export
without subsidy.

CACP, which suggests minimum support price (MSP) of 40
agri-commodities, has recommended to the government
allowing export of the grain in its recent report submitted to
the Agriculture Ministry. Food Corporation of India (FCI), the
nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains,
has a huge stock pile of foodgrains of over 47 million tonne
as against the required buffer norm of over 25 million tonne.
India is estimated to have produced a record 84.27 million
tonne of wheat in 2010-11 crop year ending June. Rice
output, too, is expected to rise to 94 million tonne from 89
million tonne in the previous crop year.

ADB lowers Indias GDP forecast to 8.2%

The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) on April
6, 2011 scaled down its projections for Indias economic
growth in 2011-12 to 8.2 per cent from earlier forecast of 8.7
per cent, expecting high global crude prices and RBIs tight
monetary policy to cast shadow on economic expansion. At
8.2 per cent, economic growth would be lower by 0.4
percentage points over the expected economic growth rate
last financial year. Governments Advance Estimates have
put economic growth at 8.6 per cent during 2010-11.

Blaming lack of reforms for decline in FDI in 2010-11, ADB,
in its Asian Development Outlook Report, expects India to
pursue industry-friendlier environment that would push
economic growth to 8.8 per cent during 2012-13. This
means that Direct Taxes Code, Goods and Services Tax,
expected by next financial year, as well as pension, banking
reforms and likely FDI in multi-retail will fetch dividends for
economic expansion.

However, inclusive growth will continue to remain a
challenge as buoyancy in services is yet to be spread to
agriculture and manufacturing, that give higher employment
than the tertiary sector. For making Indian manufacturing
competitive, the official said India should not protect small
sector, but promote it to tap economies of scale.

CII National Conference organised

The Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on April 8,
2011 said that the greatest challenge before us today is to
create and sustain more and better opportunities for a
young, growing and aspiring India. He specifically
mentioned some of these concerns which include:

accelerating capacity in key infrastructure and core
industries, which also entails dealing with financing
issues in view of large investment needs;
focusing on universalisation of elementary education and
improvement in its quality to raise transition and retention
at middle school and at secondary level;
upgrading vocational skills of the workforce, improve job
opportunities and productivity, thereby reaping the
demographic dividend in full measure; and
addressing environmental concerns and promoting
cleaner technologies while sustaining the growth
momentum.

The Finance Minister was addressing the captains of Indian
business and industry at CII National Conference and
Annual Session 2011.The theme of this year annual
conference was Securing the Future: Framewoprk for
Inclusive Growth.

The Finance Minister appreciated the leadership CII is
providing to the National Skill Development Corporation and
the platform to address its members, there is scope to
enhance the role of industry in this area. He told them that
large sustainable skill development initiatives could be taken
up to contribute to meeting the NSDC target of 150 million
skilled persons. The CII could also take the lead in at least 5
to 10 sectors in setting-up sector skill councils including in
manufacturing, healthcare and mining.

IRDA issues guidelines for distance marketing
of products

The sale of insurance products through telemarketing, SMS,
Internet or through any other modes of distance marketing
will soon be more reliable. The new guidelines will require
every tele-caller to be trained by any institute accredited by
the Authority. J. Hari Narayan, Chairman, Insurance
Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), released the
new guidelines on distance marketing of insurance products
on April 6, 2011.

The guidelines require insurers, brokers and corporate
agents to maintain a register of all persons engaged by
them or by the telemarketers hired by them for the purpose
of lead generation/solicitation of insurance business.
Further, all calls would have to be recorded to be
transferred to the insurer.

ULIP: The IRDA had also barred the insurers from soliciting
Unit-Linked Insurance Products (ULIPs) of non-single
premium type for annualised premiums exceeding Rs
50,000 over telephonic mode (voice as well as SMS). The
single premium ULIPs shall not be solicited for a premium of
more than Rs 1 lakh over telephonic mode.

No variable insurance product shall be solicited or sold over
distance marketing mode, according to the guidelines,
which would come into effect from October 1, 2011.



GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 3 to 9, 2011 Current GK

18
Passenger vehicle sales grow 29% in 2010-11

The cumulative production data for April-March 2011 shows
production growth of 27.45 percent over same period last
year. The industry produced 17,916,035 million vehicles of
which share of two wheelers, passenger vehicles (cars),
three wheelers and commercial vehicles were 75 percent,
17 percent, 4 percent and 4 percent respectively.

Domestic Sales

The growth rate recorded for Domestic Sales for 2010-11
was 26.17 percent amounting to 15,513,156 vehicles.

Passenger Vehicles segment grew at 29.16 percent during
April-March 2011 over same period last year. Passenger
Cars grew by 29.73 percent, Utility Vehicles grew by 18.87
percent and Multi-Purpose Vehicles grew by 42.10 percent
in this period.

The Commercial Vehicles segment registered growth of
26.97 percent during April-March 2011 as compared to the
same period last year. While Medium & Heavy Commercial
Vehicles (M&HCVs) registered growth of 31.78 percent,
Light Commercial Vehicles grew at 22.88 percent.

Three Wheelers sales recorded a growth rate of 19.44
percent in April-March 2011. While Passenger Carriers grew
by 22.03 percent during April-March 2011, Goods Carriers
registered growth of 9.45 percent.

Two Wheelers registered a growth of 25.82 percent during
April-March 2011. Mopeds, Motorcycles and Scooters grew
by 23.53 percent, 22.86 percent and 41.79 percent
respectively.

Exports

During April-March 2011, overall automobile exports
registered a growth rate of 29.64 percent. Passenger
Vehicles registered marginal growth at 1.64 percent in this
period. Commercial Vehicles, Three Wheelers and Two
Wheelers segments recorded growth of 69.51 percent,
55.86 percent and 35.04 percent respectively during April-
March 2011.

World Gold Council unveils India: Heart of Gold: A
study by the World Gold Council, India: Heart of Gold,
states Indian households hold the largest stock of gold in
the world at 18,000 tonnes. Gold purchases in India
accounted for 32 per cent of the global total in 2010, says
the study unveiled in April 2011. The consumer demand for
gold is estimated to touch 1,200 tonnes, at a value of Rs
2500 billion, by 2020, from 963 tonnes (Rs 1700 billion) in
2010, fuelled by GDP growth, rapid urbanisation,
emergence of strong middle class, and increased savings
and income levels.
BEE starts energy efficiency labels for laptops: The
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in April 2011 launched a
voluntary endorsement label BEE STAR Ver 1 for
notebook computers and laptops, which will indicate that the
product is among the most energy efficient models available
in the country. The label provides an endorsement
indicating that a product meets specified criteria of energy
efficiency. The purpose of endorsement labelling is to
indicate to the consumer that the product saves more
energy than similar products in the category. Devices
carrying the energy star label, such as computer products
and peripherals, kitchen appliances, buildings and other
products, generally use 20-30 per cent less energy than
required by Government standards.

Record power capacity added in 2010-11: Union Power
Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on April 5, 2011 announced
that the country had achieved the addition of a record power
generation capacity of 15795 MW in 2010-11. The earlier
record for generation capacity commissioned in a single
year was in fiscal 2009-10, when 9,585 MW was added.
Notwithstanding the new landmark in terms of the highest
capacity added in a single year since independence, the
achievement is well short of the official target of 21,441 MW
set for the period. The prominent companies which added to
the capacity include NTPC, Adani Power, Reliance Power
and Tata Power etc.

Railways acquire highest no. of wagons in 2010-11: The
Indian Railways recorded the highest-ever rolling stock
acquisition/production of more than twenty thousand units
during fiscal 2010-10. Indian Railways acquired 16,638
wagons, produced 3079 passenger coaches and 497
locomotives (267 diesel & 230 electric) which all total to
20214 rolling stock units in the year 2010-11. The wagons
were procured from companies including Texmaco,
Titagarh, Besco, Modern, HEI, and Railways-run public
sector units.

Railways earn Rs 94,850 crore in 2010-11: Against the
target of Rs 94,742 crore, the Railways approx. total
earnings stood at Rs 94,850 crore for 2010-11, informed
Railway Board Chairman, Vivek Sahai on April 7, 2011. Of
this, freight earnings accounted for about Rs 62,900 crore
while passenger earnings were Rs 26,007 crore. The
growth in earnings was primarily because of positive trends
in loading of coal, foodgrains and fertilisers.

Major ports handle 569.90 mt of traffic in 2010-11: During
2010-11 fiscal, the countrys major ports handled a total of
569.90 million tonnes (mt) of traffic, up from 561.09 mt in
2009-10 thus posting a 1.57 per cent growth, according to
tentative figures released by the Indian Ports Association. In
2009-10, the volume growth was 5.8 per cent. Volumewise,
the Kandla port topped the list with a throughput of 81.88 mt
(79.5 mt in 2009-10) followed Visakhapatnam 68.04 mt
(65.50 mt), the Jawaharlal Nehru port 64.29 mt (60.76 mt),


GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 3 to 9, 2011 Current GK

19
Chennai 61.46 mt (61.05 mt) and Paradip 56.03 mt (57.01
mt). Commoditywise, the highest growth was recorded in
the throughput of finished fertilisers 13.47 per cent at
12.41 mt (10.9 mt in 2009-10), followed by containers 12.64
per cent at 114.04 mt (101.24 mt) and raw fertilisers 12.42
per cent at 7.6 mt (6.77 mt).

FIIs invested Rs 10 lakh crore in 2010-11 SEBI:
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased stocks and
debt securities worth Rs 9,92,595.15 crore in the financial
year ending March 31, 2011, according to the latest
available data with SEBI in April 2011. At the same time,
FIIs sold shares and bonds worth Rs 84,6157.71 crore
during the financial year, still leaving behind an investment
of over Rs 1.46 lakh crore for the financial year. In dollar
terms, foreign funds invested $32.22 billion. FII inflows are
described as hot money because they can be pulled out
anytime. In the calender year 2010, overseas investors
infused a whopping Rs 1.79 lakh crore or $39.47 billion. FIIs
had poured in Rs 83,423 crore in the Indian market in 2009.

Indias forex reserves at $305.486 bn on April 1: The
countrys foreign exchange reserves have gone up by
$2.004 billion to $305.486 billion for the week ended April 1,
according to the Weekly Statistical Bulletin released by the
Reserve Bank of India. In the week under consideration,
foreign currency assets increased to $275.019 billion while
the countrys reserve position at the IMF increased to
$2.939 billion. Meanwhile, SDRs declined to $4.556 billion,
while gold reserves were up to $22.972 billion.

Bank loans grow 21.4% in 2010-11, deposits rise 15.8%:
Bank loans registered a growth of 21.38 per cent in 2010-
11, while deposit growth stood at 15.84 per cent, according
to data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on April
7, 2011. Deposit growth for 2009-10 was 17 per cent, while
the growth in credit was 16 per cent.

Govt ups stake in IOB to 65.87%: The governments stake
in public sector Indian Overseas Bank has increased from
61.23 per cent to 65.87 per cent as a result of capital
infusion of Rs 1,054 crore into the Bank. IOB allotted
7,39,49,343 equity shares of Rs 10 each at an issue price of
Rs 142.53 per equity share totalling Rs 1,054 crore to
Government of India on preferential basis, the Bank said in
a statement in April 2011.

India offers to host International Centre on Energy
Access: India on April 5, 2011 offered to set up an
international centre on energy access to boost the provision
of energy to remote and inaccessible areas. The offer was
made by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister for New and
Renewable Energy, at the assembly of the International
Renewable Energy agency-IRENA held at Abu Dhabi, UAE.
IRENA is the worlds first intergovernmental agency on
renewable agency was established in 2009 with the
objective of fostering international cooperation and
promoting international understanding on renewable energy.
India has been associated with the formation of IRENA from
the beginning and was among the first 25 countries to ratify
its statute. The Minister offered Indias expertise in building
and hosting, in cooperation with IRENA, a Centre of Energy
Access in India. This centre will serve as Centre of
Excellence in the field of energy access through the use of
renewable energy.

India to study Indonesias Zero Kero programme to
reduce kerosene use: An Indian delegation on April 5,
2011 visited an LPG bottling plant near Jakarta to study a
key programme in Indonesia under which LPG kit is
provided to customers to stop kerosene supply. The
delegation led by Minister of State for Petroleum and
Natural Gas R P N Singh visited the LPG bottling plant of
Pertamina near Jakarta to study Zero Kero Programme
implemented by Indonesia. As part of the programme
Indonesia is providing an LPG kit comprising 3kg cylinder,
cooking stove and pressure regulator free to kerosene
customers and thereafter stop kerosene supply. The
Government of Indonesia has converted 48 million kerosene
users to LPG in the last three years.

Pratip Chaudhuri appointed new SBI Chairman: Pratip
Chaudhuri on 8, 2011 took over as the new Chairman of the
countrys largest commercial bank State Bank of India (SBI).
Chaudhuri succeeds managing director R Sridharan, who
was the acting chairman after O P Bhatt retired on March
31.

Munhot appointed SIDBI CMD: Sushil Munhot, Executive
Director, IDBI Bank, was in April 2011 appointed as
Chairman and Managing Director of the Small Industries
Development Bank of India (SIDBI). SIDBI was established
on April 2, 1990 as the principal financial institution for the
promotion, financing and development of industry in the
small scale sector and to co-ordinate the functions of the
institutions engaged in the promotion and financing or
developing industry in the small scale sector. Small scale
industries are the industrial units in which the investment in
plant and machinery does not exceed Rs.10 million.

Coal India Ltd. to bid for The Kraal: India is once again
trying to acquire The KraalMahatma Gandhis house in
Johannesburg. The Union government, in March 2011, gave
PSU Coal India Ltd the approval to acquire the property and
convert it into a Gandhi memorial. Indias earlier attempt to
acquire the heritage property was unsuccessful. The house
was designed by Hermann Kallenbach, whose relation with
the Mahatma was in news in Joseph Lelyvelds new book
Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his Struggle with India.
Indias father of the nation is said to have lived there
between 1908 and 1911.



GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 3 to 9, 2011 Current GK

20
Section E: SPORTS

Sangakkara named captain of ICC dream team: Sachin
Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan have found a
place in the International Cricket Councils Team of the
Tournament unveiled on April 4, 2011. Kumar Sangakkara
has been named the captain of this team of 12 that was
chosen by a select group of experts who were given the
task of picking a balanced side for sub-continental
conditions on the basis of performances in the tournament.
The Team: Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan
(all from India), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara
(WK and captain), Mahela Jayawardena,Muttiah
Muralitharan (all from Sri Lanka), AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn
(both South Africa), Shane Watson (Australia), Shahid Afridi
(Pakistan), Dale Steyn (South Africa). 12th man: Tim
Southee (New Zealand).

Shane Watson hits world-record 15 sixes in ODI: Shane
Watson hit a record 15 sixes on his way to making the
highest one-day innings by an Australian as Bangladesh
were beaten by nine wickets in the one-day international at
Mirpur on April 11, 2011. Australia 232-1 (26 overs) beat
Bangladesh 229-7 (50 overs) by nine wickets. The 29-year-
old, who also hit 15 fours, scored 185 off 96 balls - beating
Matthew Haydens previous total of 181 made against New
Zealand in 2007. Watson beat West Indies Xavier
Marshalls record of 12 sixes.

Bhupathi, Paes win Sony Ericsson doubles: Mahesh
Bhupathi and Leander Paes beat Belarusian-Canadian pair
of Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 6-7(5), 6-2, 10-5 in the final
to win the mens doubles title at the Sony Ericsson Open in
Miami on April 2, 2011. The title also gave them No. 1
position in the ATP World Tour doubles team rankings. It is
Paes and Bhupathis second team title of the year, following
the Chennai Open at the start of the season. Mens Singles
title was won by Serbias Novak Djokovic who beat Spains
Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) in the final.

FIFA confirms bin Hammam, Blatter as candidates:
World footballs governing body FIFA on April 4, 2011
confirmed the incumbent Joseph S. Blatter (Switzerland)
and Mohamed bin Hammam (Qatar) as candidates for the
FIFA presidency. Blatter, 75, has served as FIFA President
since 1998, while bin Hammam, 61, is currently president of
the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Blatters image has
taken a knock recently after he refused to look into goal-line
technology despite a series of refereeing errors at the World
Cup.



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GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 10 to 16, 2011 Current GK

21
Weekly Current Affairs update
For the Week April 10 to 16, 2011

Major news of the week

Section A: INDIA

Jacob Mathew elected WAN-IFRA president
Yasmeen Abrar is new Chairperson of NCW
SC asks govt to appoint Lalit as prosecutor in 2G
Dr. Binayak Sen granted bail by SC
C. Bhaskaran, first SFI president, passes away
Screenwriter Sachin Bhowmick passes away
Supervisory board on child sex ratio reconstituted
India Water Forum 2011 organised
Reprieve for 44 deemed univs. facing derecognition
Tata Sons files defamation case against Outlook
SC finds large-scale illegal mining in Karnataka
Govt. to promote Nagpur as Tiger Capital
Navy to get INS Vikramaditya from Russia in Dec
Assam Rifles celebrates 176th anniversary
New guide for relief agencies released
Festival organised on 75 years of Odia Cinema
German grant received for Chausath Khambha
SC admits petition against jallikattu
Lancet says India concealing presence of NDM-1
Bourn Hall Clinic opens first IVF centre in India

Section B: WORLD
3rd BRICS Summit concludes with Sanya Declaration
Indian PM, Chinese President hold bilateral talks
50th anniversary of worlds space flight observed
India, Kazakhstan sign civil nuclear agreement
India in world's top 7 economies under G-20 scanner
Global military growth slowest since 2001 SIPRI
World Bank launches new Education Strategy 2020
Fukushima accident reclassified as a major accident'
International Contact Group on Libya meets
Russian copters for NATO in Afghanistan
UNSC passes anti-piracy resolution
Piracy reaches all-time high in the first Q of 2011
France returns ancient Korean books
Sweden is most competitive digital economy WEF
China launches 8th navigation satellite
World Parkinson's Day observed
India to participate in Venice Biennale
NASA releases WISE data for Cosmos gazers
Mitchell is Special US envoy for Myanmar
Laurent Gbagbo captured in Ivory Coast
Croat commander convicted of war crimes at ICJ
Worlds oldest man Bruening passes away
Archaeologist Binford passes away

Section C: AWARDS
Vikas Jha wins Indu Sharma Katha Samman
Nandita Das receives French civilian award
Kanishtha Dhankhar is PFMI World
Dharmendra is Bollywood Evergreen Hero'
41 CRPF men get gallantry medals on Valour Day
Moroccan journalist wins Gebran Tueni Prize
SCOPE awards conferred on Public Sector Day
O&M wins highest no. of golds at Goafest 2011
FICCI Young Women Achievers Awards conferred
National Architectural Design awards conferred
Four Indian students win Gates Scholarship
P.M. Belliappa conferred MBE

Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
National Telecom Policy 2011 announced
TRAI calls to boost telecom manufacturing
Rural India has 12.1 mn active internet users IMRB
Insurance penetration at 5.2% of GDP FICCI-BCG
CACP calls for freer trade in foodgrains
Govt. to introduce simpler IT return form Sugam
IMF lowers India's growth forecast to 8.2 % for 2011
Indias rate of GDP growth higher than China IMF
Govt eases rules for posts of CMDs in banks
Banks get more time on new NPA norm
Government to issue biometric PAN cards
RBI survey to gauge manufacturing growth
Govt bans Nokia pushmail
Top 5 control over half of the MF businessAMFI
Cement sector to grow in double-digits E&Y
Tatas bag deal to modernise Air force bases
Security policy stresses on local IT products
Auto majors lose car market share in 2010-11
Indians work 8 hours a day OECD
RIL declines govt.s prioritisation directive
Metro earns Rs. 2 crore from carbon credits sales
Retail customers happy with Indian banks E&Y
Muthuraman takes over as CII President

Section E: SPORTS

Sania-Vesnina win WTA title in Charleston
Charl Schwartzel wins 75th U.S. Masters
SSP Chowrasia is No. 1 ranked Indian Golfer
Anirban Lahiri wins Panasonic Open
Tendulkar is Wisden's Leading Cricketer for 2010
India wins $175,000 for No. 1 Test side
Alok Kumar wins Billiards & Snooker Asian titles
Rajput wins gold at Shooting World Cup
Vettel wins Malaysian GP
Kiptoo, Jeptoo win Paris marathon
Come And Play scheme for CWG venues launched
Force India sports academy to identify racing talent
Two Centres of Excellence in sports to come up in Delhi
Spain retains No. 1 position in FIFA ranking
1960 Rome Olympics football team felicitated


GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 10 to 16, 2011 Current GK

22
Section A: INDIA


NEWSMAKERS

Jacob Mathew elected WAN-IFRA president

Jacob Mathew, Executive Editor of the Malayala Manorama
Group of Publications, has unanimously been elected
president of WAN-IFRA at its annual general meeting held
in Dublin, Ireland. He is the first Indian and second Asian,
after Seok Hyun Hong of Korea, to be elected to this office.
He will take over from Gavin K O'Reilly, Group Chief
Executive Officer of The Independent News and Media
Group, Ireland, on July 1, 2011. Tomas Brunegard, CEO,
Stampen Group, Sweden, has been elected vice-president.

WAN-IFRA, based in Paris and Darmstadt, Germany, is a
global organisation of newspaper editors and publishers,
representing more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online
sites and over 3,000 companies in more than
120 countries. The World Association of
Newspapers, founded in 1948, and IFRA, the
research and service organisation of the news
publishing industry, founded in 1962, merged
in 2009 to form WAN-IFRA. Its core mission is
to defend and promote quality journalism,
editorial integrity, press freedom and
development of new media business.

Jacob Mathew is now a trustee of the Press
Institute of India/Research Institute for
Newspaper Development and is also on the
Asia Board of the International Newspaper Marketing
Association (INMA).


Yasmeen Abrar is new Chairperson of NCW:
Yasmeen Abrar, member of the National Commission for
Women, has assumed charge as chairperson of the
National Commission for Women following completion of the
tenure of Girija Vyas. She will hold the Office of
Chairperson, NCW till the vacancy is filled by a fresh
nomination under sub-Section IV of Section IV of NCW Act
1990, a government press release said on April 11, 2011.

The NCW was set up as statutory body in January 1992
under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 ( Act
No. 20 of 1990 of Governemnt of India) to review the
Constitutional and legal safeguards for women; recommend
remedial legislative measures, facilitate redressal of
grievances and advise the Government on all policy matters
affecting women.

The First Commission was constituted on 31
st
January 1992
with Jayanti Patnaik as the Chairperson. The Fifth
Commission has been constituted on February 2005 and
the government has nominated Dr. Girija Vyas as the
Chairperson.

SC asks govt to appoint Lalit as prosecutor in 2G:
The Supreme Court on April 11, 2011 directed the
government to appoint senior advocate U U Lalit as Special
Public Prosecutor for the trial of 2G spectrum case involving
former Telecom Minister A Raja and others. The apex court
said that Lalit will be at liberty to choose his team of
prosecutors from the panel of advocates working for the CBI
which said it will file its supplementary charge sheet by April
24 in the case. Earlier, the Centre had objected to the
appointment of Lalit as Special Public Prosecutor saying he
did not meet the eligibility criteria for the task.

Dr. Binayak Sen granted bail by
SC: The Supreme Court on April 15,
2011 granted bail to Dr. Binayak Sen,
observing that no case of sedition was
made out against the rights activist, who
was convicted and sentenced to life
imprisonment by a trial court in
Chhattisgarh. A Bench of Justices H.S.
Bedi and C.K. Prasad, after hearing
senior counsel Ram Jethmalani for the
petitioner and senior counsel U.U. Lalit
for the State, granted bail to Dr. Sen.

Bhaskaran, first SFI president, passes away: C.
Bhaskaran, first all-India president of the Students
Federation of India (SFI) and editor of the Chintha
Publishers of the CPI(M) in Kerala, passed away on April 9,
2011 at the age of 65. Born at Vengad in Kannur district,
Bhaskaran became a political activist at an early age and
played a key role in the formation of the SFI, becoming its
president in 1970. He remained in the post till 1974.

Screenwriter Sachin Bhowmick passes away:
Bollywood screenwriter Sachin Bhowmick passed away on
April 12, 2011 at the age of 82. Among the last of his
achievements was the creation of superhero Krissh.
Bhowmick started his writing career in 1958 with Mohan
Segals Nargis. Working for over five decades, he was
associated with films such as An Evening In Paris (1967),
Aradhana (1969), Caravan (1971), Khel Khel Main
(1975) Golmaal (1979), Karz (1980) Karan Arjun (1995),
Koi Mil Gaya (2003) and Krrish (2006).



GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 10 to 16, 2011 Current GK

23
NEWS ROUND UP

Central supervisory board reconstituted to
tackle declining child sex ratio

The Union government has reconstituted the Central
Supervisory Board set up under the Pre-conception & Pre-
natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 (PC & PNDT Act) to
address the sharp decline in the child sex ratio as reflected
in the provisional Census figures.

The new Board will have 35 members including Ghulam
Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare as
the chairperson and Krishna Tirath, Minister of State
(Women & Child Development) as Co-Chair. The non-
official members include representatives from non-
governmental organisations working in the field of women's
health, gynaecologists and obstetricians, social scientists,
paediatricians, and health experts.

The Board advises the Centre on policy matters relating to
use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, sex-selection
techniques and against their misuse; review and monitor
implementation of the Act and rules made under it and
recommend to the Union government changes in the said
Act and rules. It also helps to create public awareness
against the practice of pre-conception sex selection and
pre-natal determination of sex of foetus; lays down code of
conduct to be observed by persons working at genetic
counselling centres, laboratories and clinics; and oversees
the performance of various bodies constituted under the Act
and take appropriate steps to ensure its proper and effective
implementation.

In order to check female foeticide, the Pre-natal Diagnostic
Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act,
1994 was brought into operation from January 1, 1996. The
Act was amended to make it more comprehensive and was
renamed Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic
Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.


India Water Forum 2011 organised

A three-day India Water Forum (IWF) was organised by The
Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the Ministry of
Water Resources to discuss water issues faced by the
country from April 13 to 15, 2011 at the India Habitat
Centre, New Delhi. Water Security and Climate Change:
Challenges and opportunities was theme of the IWF.

The National Water Mission (2009) has called for reforms
on regulation of water resources including that of pricing of
water for various uses and penalties for polluters. India has
only 4 per cent of available fresh water, though the country
hosts 16 per cent of the world's population. About 85 per
cent of the water is used for irrigation, whereas drinking
water accounts for 7 per cent and the rest is used by
industry including the energy sector. The per capita water
availability has seen a drastic decline of 70 per cent in the
past 60 years from 5,177 cubic metres a year in 1951 to
1,544 cubic metres a year in 2011.

The main objective of the National Water Mission is
conservation of water, minimizing wastage and ensuring its
more equitable distribution both across and within States
through integrated water resources development and
management. The five identified goals of the Mission are:

(a) comprehensive water data base in public domain and
assessment of impact of climate change on water resource;
(b) promotion of citizen and state action for water
conservation, augmentation and preservation;
(c) focused attention to over-exploited areas;
(d) increasing water use efficiency by 20%, and
(e) promotion of basin level integrated water resources
management.

Reprieve for 44 deemed universities facing
derecognition: The Supreme Court on April 11, 2011
gave a reprieve to the 44 deemed universities (DUs) facing
de-recognition on the basis of the deficiencies pointed out
by the Tandon Committee, by extending the status quo
order (viz., restraining the government from taking further
action on the basis of the report). This would mean that
these DUs would be at liberty to take admissions for the
academic year 2011-12. A Bench of Justices Dalveer
Bhandari and Deepak Verma also directed the Centre to
reconstitute the three-member committee to examine the
responses submitted by the DUs to the deficiencies pointed
by the Tandon Committee. The responses would be
examined by the three-member committee and thereafter
they would be sent to the Tandon Committee for its
comments vis--vis the deficiencies. Thereafter each
institution would be heard and orders passed.

Tata Sons files defamation case against Outlook:
Tata Sons Ltd on April 12, 2011 filed a criminal defamation
complaint against news magazine Outlook for publishing
articles which had claimed that the group received undue
pecuniary advantage from former Disinvestment Minister
Arun Shourie during divestment of state-owned VSNL in
2002. According to the complaint, the article published by
Outlook in its March 28 edition titled Arun Shouries Gift to
Tatas suggests that the Tatas received undue pecuniary
advantage from Arun Shourie in his capacity as Minister of
Disinvestment in relation to the groups acquisition bid for 25
per cent stake in VSNL when it was privatised by the Centre
in 2002. It further said another article published in April 4,


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24
2011 edition titled A Land of No Return also related to the
disinvestment of VSNL levelled certain additional
allegations without any basis.

Committee finds large-scale illegal mining in
Karnataka: The Supreme Court-appointed Central
Empowered Committee (CEC) on April 15, 2011 criticised
the Karnataka Government for allowing large-scale illegal
mining in the State, particularly in Bellary district, in
connivance with officials and public representatives. Taking
on record the CEC's interim report submitted by senior
counsel and amicus curiae Harish Salve, the Bench
comprising Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice Aftab Alam
and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan issued notice to the State
Government and sought its response by April 21.

Govt. to promote Nagpur as Tiger Capital: Union
Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam
Ramesh on April 15, 2011 announced that Nagpur will be
promoted as the tiger capital and a gateway to tiger land, he
said. The Minister also complimented Maharashtra on the
increase in tiger population in the State. Thirteen of the
country's 39 tiger reserves are in Maharashtra. New tiger
reserves have been approved in the state at Nagzira-
Navegaon and Bor. Another major decision was to
decentralise the National Tiger Conservation Authority
(NTCA) and set up three field offices and the first one would
be opened in Nagpur. In addition, Rs.50 crore will be
provided for resettlement of villages inside the Melghat and
Tadoba tiger reserves. The environment ministry also
announced that bamboo can now be treated a minor forest
produce (MFP). Also forest officials will now be required to
take mandatory permission of the gram sabhas for filing
cases against tribals.

Navy to get INS Vikramaditya from Russia in Dec:
The Navy has started preparations to take charge of aircraft
carrier INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov) from Russia,
with the first batch of officers and sailors having
commenced training there ahead of its induction next year.
The Navy has sent a 152-member crew for training on the
45,000-tonne aircraft carrier in St. Petersburg, Russia. The
warship is to be delivered by December next. Earlier, the
Navy began a shore-based test facility in Goa to train the
naval aviators who would eventually fly the MiG29-K fighter
aircraft that would be operated from INS Vikramaditya. The
INS Vikramaditya project, sanctioned in January 2004
envisaged delivery of the warship in August 2008 but it got
delayed over price with Russia demanding $2.9 billion to
carry out repair and re-equipping for converting the cruiser
into an aircraft carrier.

Assam Rifles celebrates 176
th
anniversary: Assam
Rifles, the oldest Para-Military force in the country,
celebrated its 176
th
anniversary on April 9, 2011. Assam
Rifles is the only para-military force to have taken part in
both the World Wars and all operations in Independent
India. Since is humble birth in 1835 as a civil protection
force, known as the Cachar Levy during the British Colonial
rule, the Assam Rifles has metamorphosed into a tough
paramilitary force, providing peace and political stability in
the insurgency-ravaged region as well as safeguarding
tenuous frontiers.

New guide for relief agencies released: A handbook
defining minimum standards for relief and response
mechanisms during natural calamities and man-made
disasters across the world was released in New Delhi on
April 14, 2011. The objective of the handbook put together
by the Sphere Project is to guide relief agencies involved in
protecting rights of people affected by disasters. The
Sphere Handbook: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum
Standards in Humanitarian Response was launched as part
of a three-day Collaborative learning and advocacy
programme hosted by Sphere India and GDFR. The latest
edition of the handbook covers responses to disasters such
as the recent earthquake in Japan. Sphere India is a
national coalition of humanitarian agencies in India that
works in collaboration with government agencies, UN
agencies, Red Cross, international, national and local NGOs
and communities. GDFR works for promotion of sustainable
disaster reduction through knowledge and skills.

Festival organised on 75 years of Odia Cinema: A
three day Odia Film Festival was organised by the
Directorate of Film Festival in New Delhi from April 15 to 17,
2011 to mark 75 years of Odia Cinema. Sita Bibah in 1936
was the first Odia Talkie

German grant received for Chausath Khambha:
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) on April 13, 2011
received a Rs.96-lakh grant from the German Government
for conservation and restoration of the 17
th
Century Mughal-
era tomb Chausath Khamba at Nizamuddin in Delhi. The
AKTC will undertake conservation work as part of the
Humayun's Tomb-Sundar Nursery-Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti
Urban Renewal Initiative, a public-private partnership
between the Aga Khan Development Network and the
Archaeological Survey of India, the Municipal Corporation of
Delhi and the Central Public Works Department. Chausath
Khambha, built in 1623-24 A.D., is the tomb of Mughal
Emperor Akbar's foster brother Mirza Aziz Kokaltash. A
unique structure built entirely in marble, the monument has
suffered severe damage due to excessive water seepage
and inappropriate repair work in the 20
th
Century.

SC admits petition against jallikattu: The Supreme
Court on April 11, 2011 admitted a writ petition filed by the
People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, challenging the
Tamil Nadu law regulating the conduct of jallikattu. The


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25
petitioner challenged the TN Regulation of Jallikattu Act,
2009 contending that it had declared legal an activity, which
was an offence under Section 11 of the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals Act. Apart from the cruelty to animals,
this was a fatal event where not only tamers but also
spectators were killed and injured seriously year after year.

Lancet says India concealing presence of NDM-1:
International health journal Lancet has accused the
Government of India of suppressing truth about the
presence of a drug-resistant bacteria in the public water
system here by threatening and abusing its own
scientists. It also dubbed as unfortunate the government's
denial of presence of such bacteria. Mark Toleman, one of
the co-authors of the study that claimed to have detected
the bacteria in the capital's waters, said it was named New
Delhi-beta-lactamase' first in an American journal called
Antibiotic Agents and Chemotherapy in 2009 and the
naming had nothing to do with Lancet. The journal says that
the debate over naming the bacteria should not detract from
the importance of the findings and the implications that they
might have for human health.

Bourn Hall Clinic opens first IVF centre in India:
Bourn Hall Clinic, the world's first IVF (In-vitro Fertilisation)
clinic, has opened a centre in Kochi, Kerala the first one
outside the United Kingdom. The assisted conception clinic,
which has to its credit the world's first test tube baby, will be
opening 16-18 centres across the country in the next three
to five years. The IVF pioneers, the 2010 Nobel laureate
Professor Robert Edwards and Dr. Patrick Steptoe, set up
the Bourn Hall Clinic in 1978 when they first revolutionised
infertility treatment with the birth of the first test tube baby,
Louise Brown.


RECENT BOOKS:
The Eichmann Trial by Deborah E Lipstadt
Indias New Economic Policy: A Critical Analysis by (edited) Waquar Ahmed, Amitabh Kundu and Richard Peet
Communalism Explained! A Graphic Account by Ram Puniyani and Sharad Sharma
Getting it Right - India's Unfolding Infrastructure Agenda' by Vinayak Chatterjee
Report On The State Of Food Insecurity In Urban India by MS Swaminathan Research Foundation
South Asia, Envisioning A Regional Future by Smruti S. Pattanaik
News as Culture - Journalistic Practices and the Remaking of Indian Leadership Traditions by Ursula Rao
The Marshall Albums: Photography and Archaeology by Sudeshna Guha
Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson
Financial Policies And Everyday Life (The Indian Context) by S. S. Tarapore
Challenges of Nation-Building in Developing Societies edited by Suranjan Das, Shantanu Chakrabarti
India's Higher Defence by R. Venkataraman
The Oxford India Anthology of Business History by Medha M. Kudaisya
'An Envoy Looks Back - A Memoir by KH Patel
Vinod Kambli: The Lost Hero by Kunal Purandare
5 Years Guarantee How to Make India Richer by Shrawan K. Vikram
CBI Top Cop Recalls by S.K. Datta
Secrets of RSS - Demystifying the Sangh by Ratan Sharda
Free the CBI - Power Games in Bhopal & Other Cases by BR Lall
Speeches that Reshaped the World by Alan J Whiticker
The Splendour of Hyderabad - The Last Phase of an Oriental Culture by MA Nayeem
Travelling with Darwin - Evolution of an Evolutionary by Gaurangi Maitra
Exploring Medieval India by Meena Bhargava
Afghanistan - A Role for India by R.K. Sawhney, Arun Sahgal, Gurmeet Kanwal
Literary Criticism - A New History by Gary Day
Great Indians - Surendranath Banerjea to Gandhi by Balraj Krishna
Towards Freedom 1941 - Part-1 by Amit K. Gupta and Arjun Dev
How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism by Professor Eric Hobsbawm
Standing My Ground by Mathew Hayden
Patrons of the Poor: Caste Politics and Policymaking in India by Narayan Lakshman
The Crisis This Time - Socialist Register 2011 by Leo Panitch, Greg Albo, Vivek Chibber




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26

Section B: WORLD
NEWS ROUND UP

3
rd
BRICS Summit concludes with Sanya
Declaration

BRICS leaders of five emerging economies concluded their
third Summit at Sanya, China on April 14, 2011 in which
they discussed the global economic situation hoping to build
up a new era of prosperity in the world.

Participants: The Forum, which initially began as BRIC
(without South Africa), has held two Summits earlier (June
2009 at Yekaterinburg, Russia & April 2010 at Brasilia,
Brazil). This year South Africa was formally admitted to the
Forum. All the five BRICS nations are members of the UN
Security Council and G-20. The Summit was attended by
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Presidents of China
Hun Jintao, Russia Dmitry Medvedev, Brazil Dilma Rousseff
and South Africa Jacob Zuma

Share in world GDP: The BRICS countries are the most
representative countries among emerging markets. The
combined population of the five countries is close to three
billion, accounting for 43 per cent of the world total. Their
combined gross domestic product, or GDP, is $11 trillion, or
16 per cent of the worlds total GDP. Their GDP share in the
global pie, however, goes up to almost 25 per cent when
compared against their GDP on a purchasing-power-parity
basis.

Trade in local currencies: India on April 14, 2011 agreed
to an arrangement to facilitate and expand the system of
settling in local currencies all trade transactions among
members of the BRICS group of countries. The agreement
followed consultations among development banks
representing Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa,
held with a view to strengthening the BRICS inter-bank
cooperation. At $4.6 trillion, the five BRICS countries
account for almost 15 per cent of global trade volume, but
trade among them is only about $230 billion a year. The
expanded system of settling trade in local currencies could
boost intra-BRICS trade.

Permanent membership of UNSC: India has secured a
significant endorsement of its aspirations for a permanent
place in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The
endorsement came in the form of the Sanya Declaration,
adopted after the BRICS Summit held in Sanya on April 14,
2011, when leaders of the five countries met and reviewed
the global economic and political situation. The Declaration
has reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the
UN, including the Security Council. In addition, it has noted:
China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to
the status of India, Brazil and South Africa in international
affairs and understand and support their aspiration to play a
greater role in the UN. India, Brazil and South Africa at
present are non-permanent members of the UNSC for
2011-12.

International economic issues: The Sanya Declaration is
significant also for the stance it has adopted on major
international economic issues. It has stepped up the
pressure on the developed world to expedite necessary
reforms in the international financial and monetary system,
so that they can remove the inadequacies and deficiencies
brought to light by the financial crisis in 2008. The leaders
reiterated the need for a broad-based international reserve
currency system and welcomed the discussion about the
role of special drawing rights or SDRs in the existing
international monetary system, including the composition of
SDRs basket of currencies. It has also endorsed the need
to resist all protectionist policies, conclude the Doha round
of trade talks under the World Trade Organisation without
further delay and strengthen the institution of the Group of
20, already in place as the primary instrument for settling all
international economic issues

Libya: The Sanya Declaration does not shy away from
politically sensitive international developments. On the
developments in Libya, the leaders have affirmed to
continue the BRICS solidarity and co-operation in the UN
Security Council, in addition to supporting the African Union
High-Level Panel Initiative on Libya.

IBSA: The grouping of India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA)
on April 14, 2011 reaffirmed its relevance despite the
formation of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South
Africa). This was endorsed in separate meetings Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh held with Brazilian President
Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma at
Sanya.

Indian PM & Chinese President meet at Sanya

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese
President Hu Jintao conducted a bilateral meeting at Sanya,
China on April 14, 2011 opening up new possibilities of
stronger ties between two of the worlds largest emerging
and neighbouring economies. The two leaders, meeting a
day before the BRICS Summit, agreed to establish a
working mechanism to handle border-related problems. The
mechanism would be in addition to the existing dialogue that
the special representatives of the two countries were
holding to settle boundary disputes.


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27
The Indian PM called for deepening Indias strategic and
economic partnership with China. Both countries foresee
the two-way trade target to reach $100 billion by 2015, from
the 2010 level of $60 billion.Hu reciprocated when he
offered to find a solution to Indias vexed problem of rising
trade deficit with China. In 2010, Chinas exports to India
were $40 billion, while Indias exports to China were only
$20 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $20 billion. Singh raised
the issue of greater market access for Indian
pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, engineering goods
and information technology services.

Year of the India-China Exchange in 2011 was also
launched on the occasion. China will invite 500 young
Indians from all walks of life and support teaching of
Chinese in Indian middle and high schools.


50
th
anniversary of worlds space flight
observed

First man in space: Russia on April 12, 2011 marked a half
century since
Yuri Gagarin
became the first
man in space.
On the morning
of April 12,
1961, 27-year
old Soviet
Cosmonaut Yuri
Gagarin blasted
off in a Vostok
spacecraft from
the Baikonur cosmodrome in the Soviet republic of
Kazakhstan. After a voyage lasting just 108 minutes,
Gagarin ejected from his capsule and parachuted down into
a field in the Saratov region of central Russia.

In a break with tradition in a country which unlike the U.S.
space agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space
Administration) never gives names to its spacecraft,
Moscow named a Soyuz spaceship after Gagarin which in
April 2011 brought a new team to the International Space
Station (ISS).

April 12 is marked in Russia every year as Day of
Cosmonautics. The U.N. General Assembly on April 7,
2011 adopted a Russia-moved resolution declaring April 12
International Day of Human Space Flight.

With Gagarin's flight, the Soviet Union scored its greatest
propaganda victory over the United States, spurring its Cold
War foe to take up the challenge in the space race. Just a
month after Gagarin's historic space voyage, President
John F. Kennedy declared that the U.S. would put a man on
the Moon by the end of the decade. The space race was on
and it was a race that America won hands down. In July
1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin became the first
men to set foot on the moon with the success of their Apollo
mission. The U.S. space agency then turned to building the
world's first reusable spacecraft that could take humans and
cargo into orbit. The first space shuttle, Columbia, flew in
1981, followed by four of its siblings, Challenger, Discovery,
Atlantis, and Endeavour.

In contrast to the tense battle of the 1960s, space is
increasingly a matter of international cooperation with the
orbiting International Space Station a joint effort between
Russia, the United States and other partners. Many major
space initiatives are now joint endeavours involving many
countries. The launch of the Hubble space telescope in
1990, a joint venture between the U.S.'s and the European
Space Agency was the first such initiative. The International
Space Station (ISS) involving 16 countries, including the
U.S. and Russia, is another example. NASA has announced
the shut-down of its shuttle programme by the end of this
year. Russia's Soyuz spacecraft will now be the only way
that astronauts can travel to the ISS.

Russia is also remembering the genius of the man who
created the rocket that put him into space and
masterminded the flight chief Soviet rocket engineer
Sergei Korolev. One of the most remarkable figures in the
history of space travel, Korolev survived being sent to the
Gulag under Stalin to become a figure of such importance
his role was only disclosed after his death in 1966.

The anniversary has also prompted a release of information
from Russia about the most mysterious aspects of
Gagarin's life, most notably his still unsolved death in a
plane crash in 1968. Declassified documents released
recently said his jet likely manoeuvred sharply to avoid a
weather balloon, prompting it to crash in a region outside
Moscow and killing Gagarin and instructor Vladimir
Seryogin.

India, Kazakhstan sign civil nuclear
cooperation agreement

India and Kazakhstan on April 16, 2011 signed an inter-
governmental framework agreement on civil nuclear
cooperation and some other key pacts, including a Mutual
Legal Assistance Treaty. The pacts were inked following
talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Kazakh
President Nursultan Nazarbaev at capital Astana.

The agreement will broad-base the cooperation and is
expected to cover aspects like research, technology transfer
and exploration of uranium in Kazakhstan, which is known


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28
to have one of the richest reserves of the nuclear fuel that
India needs in increasing quantity.

India and Kazakhstan already have civil nuclear cooperation
since January 2009 when Nuclear Power Corporation of
India Limited (NPCIL) and Kazakh nuclear company
KazAtomProm signed an MoU during the visit of Nazarbaev
to Delhi. Under the contract, KazAtomProm supplies
uranium for use by Indian reactors.

Ever since the Nuclear Supplies Group (NSG) ended India's
34-year-old isolation in 2008 by giving a one-time waiver to
have cooperation in civil nuclear field, it has signed such
civil nuclear agreements with a number of countries
including the US, France, Russia, Canada, Argentina and
Mongolia.

Another agreement signed on April 16 was the one between
state-run ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and Kazakhstan's
national oil firm KazMunaiGaz JSC under which the Indian
company will acquire 25% stake in the Satpayev block in
the Caspian Sea. The agreement will provide for exploration
and production of oil from the Satpayev block which is
spread over 1,582 sq km and is believed to have 1.75 billion
barrels of reserves. OVL is expected to invest to the tune of
$400 million in the block.

The two countries also signed a Mutual Legal Assistance
Treaty during the Indian Prime Minister's visit who arrived in
Astana on a two-day visit as part of his two-nation tour that
earlier took him to the Chinese city of Sanya, where he
attended the summit of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South
Africa (BRICS) grouping.


India among world's top 7 economies under G-
20 scanner

The G-20 on April 15, 2011 announced that International
Monetary Fund (IMF) would review policies of the world's
seven largest economies, including India and China, with
the objective of rectifying flaws before they imperil growth.
The US, Japan, Germany, France and Britain are the other
five countries that influence the global economy
significantly.

The seven countries would be examined for economically
destabilizing policies, such as large government budget
deficits and debt, high personal saving rates and debt, or
big trade surpluses or deficits, the G-20 said after taking the
decision at a meeting of member finance ministers and
heads of their central banks in Paris. Further, it said that the
group also settled on approaches for evaluating the causes
of the imbalances and barriers for reducing them.

Christine Lagarde, Finance Minister of France, which holds
the G-20 presidency this year, said seven countries, clearly
large economies, were filtered through the process to go to
the second stage of analysis, and possibly some policy
adjustments will be recommended for them ". The IMF will
conduct its evaluations based on methods the G-20
members have developed.


Global military spending growth slowest
since 2001 SIPRI

Growth in global military spending slowed to its lowest level
since 2001 last year as the world economic crisis hit
defence budgets, Swedish think-tank SIPRI said on April 11,
2011. World military spending rose only 1.3 per cent in 2010
to USD 1.63 trillion (1.14 trillion euros), after average annual
growth of 5.1 percent between 2001 and 2009, the
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
said as it released its latest report on international military
expenditures.

The United States significantly slowed its military
investments last year but remained by far the biggest
defence spender in the world. US defence spending went
up by only 2.8 per cent in 2010 to USD 698 billion, after
averaging growth of 7.4 per cent between 2001, when
SIPRI began publishing its reports, and 2009.

Despite the slowdown, the United States' spending increase
of USD 19.6 billion still accounted for nearly all of the USD
20.6 billion global increase last year.

The USA has increased its military spending by 81 per cent
since 2001, and now accounts for 43 per cent of the global
total. At 4.8 per cent of GDP, US military spending in 2010
represents the largest economic burden outside the Middle
East.

USA was followed by China ($119 billion), UK ($59.6 bn),
France ($59.3 bn), Russia ($58.7 bn), Japan ($54.5 bn),
Saudi Arabia ($45.2 bn), Germany ($45.2 bn), India ($41.3
bn, 2.7% of GDP, decline of -2.8% over 2009-10) and Italy
($37 bn).

The region with the largest increase in military spending last
year was South America with 5.8 per cent growth, reaching
a total of USD 63.3 billion.

In Europe, military spending fell by 2.8 per cent as
governments cut costs to address soaring budget deficits,
SIPRI said, noting that cuts were particularly heavy in the
more vulnerable economies of Central and Eastern Europe
and in Greece.



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29
World Bank launches new Education Strategy
2020

From its overarching goal of schooling for all' as its
education strategy in the past, the World Bank Group made
a paradigm shift in its new Education Strategy 2020 to
learning for all' in the developing countries. This is driven by
the conviction that the driver of development eventually is
what individuals learn, both in and out of school, from
preschool through the labour market.

In its Education Strategy 2020 unveiled in Washington on
April 12, 2011 with the accent of investing in people's
knowledge and skills to promote development, the World
Bank Group said since launching a project to build
secondary schools in Tunisia in 1962, it had traversed a
long way by investing $69 billion globally in education via
more than 1,500 projects in developing countries including
India over the years.

Its financial support for education has risen over the decade
since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were set,
surging to more than $5 billion in 2010. Alongside, its
private sector lending window, the International Finance
Corporation (IFC) began focusing on the education sector
since 2001, it has invested $500 million in 46 private
education projects.

The new education strategy reaffirmed its commitment to
helping countries get all children into school by the 2015
deadline for the MDGs. But with conditions in the world
changing rapidly from a record surge of young people at
the secondary, tertiary levels in West Asia and emerging
economies to the rise of new middle-income countries
anxious to boost their economic competitiveness by training
more skilled workforces developing countries must
transform gains in schooling into improved learning
outcomes.



Fukushima accident reclassified as a major
accident': The nuclear radiation crisis at the Fukushima
Daiichi plant in Japan was reclassified on April 12, 2011 as
a major accident with the same worst-case rating as the
1986 Chernobyl disaster. The level of the Fukushima crisis
was now provisionally raised from five' to the worst-
possible seven' on the International Nuclear and
Radiological Event Scale (INES). The previous rating of
five', assigned on the basis of radiation readings one week
after the March 11 temblor and tsunami, was the same as
that of the 1979 civil-nuclear accident in the U.S. The
Vienna-based IAEA said a score of seven' under the INES
framework would imply the occurrence of a major release
of radioactive material, with widespread health and
environmental effects, requiring the implementation of
planned and extended countermeasures.

International Contact Group on Libya meets: The
first meeting of an international contact group on Libya held
in Doha on April 13, 2011 has agreed to exert more
pressure on the regime of Libyan strongman Muammar
Qadhafi, but stopped short of expanding the list of countries
that formally recognise the opposition. The participants
discussed establishing a fund that will channel resources to
the opposition operating from Benghazi, Libya's second
largest city. British Foreign Minister William Hague, who co-
chaired the first session of the conference with Qatar's
leadership called for setting up a temporary financial
mechanism that would support the Transitional National
Council (TNC) of the opposition.

Russian copters for NATO in Afghanistan: Russia on
April 15, 2011 finalised a deal with NATO to supply two
dozen combat helicopters to Afghanistan and train local
pilots. Russia and NATO will set up a trust fund for the
supply and maintenance of Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters.
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said
cooperation in Afghanistan was one of the most tangible
achievements of the Russia-NATO Council. He recalled
that Russia trains Afghan anti-drug personnel and has
provided land and air transit corridors for the coalition forces
in Afghanistan.

UNSC passes anti-piracy resolution: The United
Nations Security Council on April 11, 2011 passed a
resolution that tackles the problem of piracy for the first
time. The UNSC Resolution 1976 adopted by the Security
Council strongly condemned the growing practice of
hostage-taking by pirates operating off the coast of Somalia
and expresses serious concern at the inhuman conditions
hostages face in captivity. It also recognised the adverse
impact of the act of hostage-taking on the families of the
victims. Resolution 1976, adopted under Chapter VII of the
UN Charter and co-sponsored by India, also called upon all
member countries to cooperate on the issue of hostage-
taking. The resolution urged states and international
organisations to share evidence and information for anti-
piracy law enforcement purposes. With these elements,
resolution 1976 is expected to help countries in dealing with
the scourge of piracy and hostage-taking.

Piracy reaches all-time high in the first Q of 2011:
Piracy at sea hit an all-time high in the first quarter of this
year with 142 attacks reported worldwide, a bulk of them off
the coast of Somalia where a sharp rise was witnessed in
the crime, the International Maritime Bureau said in its
global report on April 14, 2011. The figures for piracy
attacks and armed robbery at sea recorded this year were
the highest in the first quarter of any past year. IMB's Piracy


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30
Reporting Centre (PRC) is the only manned centre to
receive reports of pirate attacks 24 hours a day from across
the globe.

France returns ancient Korean books: France on
April 14, 2011 returned of ancient Korean royal books, 145
years after its troops looted them during a retaliatory raid on
an island west of Seoul in the earlier decades of the 20
th

century. The books, returned by the National Library of
France, were illustrated manuals on royal protocol written
during the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910). The books will be
housed at South Korea's National Museum. Technically
they are "on lease" for a five-year permanently renewable
term but Seoul believes France is unlikely to try to reclaim
them. The return of the books became the subject of intense
diplomatic wrangling after a South Korean historian working
at the National Library of France stumbled upon the
volumes in 1975.

Sweden is the most competitive country in digital
economy WEF: Sweden and Singapore are the most
competitive countries in the digital economy, according to a
study by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Nordic and
Asian economies are best at using information and
communications technologies (ICT) to boost their growth,
the WEF said on April 12, 2011. Finland is in third place,
Switzerland fourth and the United States fifth. The WEF said
ICT was "a key enabler of a more economically,
environmentally and socially sustainable world". The WEF
study focuses on the power of ICT to transform society in
the next decade through modernisation and innovation.
Meanwhile, led by Singapore in second place, the other
Asian Tiger economies highly placed are Taiwan and South
Korea in sixth and tenth position respectively. The report,
which covers 138 economies, looks at three areas. They are
the general business, regulatory and infrastructure
environment for ICT; the readiness of the three key
stakeholder sectors - individuals, businesses and
governments - to use and benefit from ICT; and the actual
usage of available ICT.

China launches 8
th
navigation satellite: China on
April 10, 2011 launched its eighth navigation satellite, which
will form part of its indigenous satellite-navigation set-up to
rival the American Global Positioning System (GPS). A
Long March-3A carrier rocket carrying the "Beidou" or
Compass navigation satellite was launched from the
Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China's
Sichuan Province. It will join seven other satellites already in
orbit to form a network which will eventually consist of more
than 30 satellites.

World Parkinson's Day observed: World Parkinson's
Disease Day was observed on April 11, 2011. It is estimated
that approximately 6.3 million people have PD worldwide.
India to participate in Venice Biennale: India will
feature in the prestigious Venice Biennale after a gap of 116
years in 2011. India will have its own national pavilion to be
inaugurated on June 3, 2011. India will be one of the 94
countries in this world famous art event that saw its
inception in 1895. The theme for the different national
pavilions this year is Illuminations. For the Indian pavilion,
art critic Ranjit Hoskote has been appointed the curator who
has selected four artists from different genres and locations
with differing perceptions and artistic expressions to
participate in the exposition.

NASA releases WISE data for Cosmos gazers:
NASA on April 16, 2011 released a trove of data from its
sky-mapping mission, allowing scientists and anyone with
access to the Internet to peruse millions of galaxies, stars,
asteroids and other hard-to-see objects. The mission's finds
include more than 33,000 new asteroids floating between
Mars and Jupiter and 20 comets. NASA launched the Wide-
field Infrared Survey Explorer, which carried an infrared
telescope, in December 2009 to scan the cosmos in finer
detail than previous missions. The spacecraft, known as
WISE, mapped the sky 1 1/2 times during its 14-month
mission, snapping more than 2 1/2 million images from its
polar orbit. The spacecraft's ability to detect heat glow helps
it find dusty, cold and distant objects that are often invisible
to regular telescopes.

Mitchell is Special US envoy for Myanmar: US
President Barack Obama on April 15, 2011 appointed Derek
Mitchell as a special envoy to Burma. His formal title will be
Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma,
with the rank of Ambassador, Department of State. The US
wants the military regime in Myanmar to free political
prisoners and end conflicts with ethnic minorities. Recently
pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released from
house arrest at the expiry of her detention order and the
junta held elections marking a move towards civilian rule.

Laurent Gbagbo captured in Ivory Coast: Ivory Coast
leader Alassane Ouattara's forces, backed by French and
U.N. troops, captured his besieged rival Laurent Gbagbo in
capital Abidjan on April 11, 2011 at the climax of a deadly
months-long crisis. Gbagbo, who has held power since
2000, has stubbornly refused to admit defeat in November's
presidential election to Ouattara.

Croat convicted of war crimes at ICJ: A commander
hailed by Croats as a hero of the Balkan conflict was
convicted of war crimes by International Court of Justice
(ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands on April 15, 2011 and
sentenced to 24 years in prison for a campaign of shelling,
shootings and expulsions aimed at driving Serbs out of a
Croatian border region in 1995. The conviction of General
Ante Gotovina was a blow to the Croatian view of its


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wartime generals as national heroes who reclaimed
Croatian land from a more powerful Serb force.

Worlds oldest man Bruening passes away: Walter
Bruening, a retired rail-worker who was the world's oldest
man, has died in the US state of Montana at the age of 114
on April 14, 2011. Breuning attributed his long life to eating
only two meals a day for the past 35 years.

Archaeologist Binford passes away: Lewis Binford,
founder of the New Archaeology movement and one of the
seniormost figures in world archaeology, passed away at
the age of 80 on April 11, 2011. Professor Binford brought
about a virtual revolution in archaeology in the 1960s and
1970s by elevating its status from a descriptive study of
antiquities to a scientific discipline devoted to
anthropological understanding of ways of life of ancient
societies. Professor Binford's field studies covered
archaeological sites in North America, Europe, Africa and
Middle East.

His major contributions include interpretation of differences
in prehistoric stone tool assemblages in terms of seasonal
variations in human activity early man as a mere
scavenger of leftovers from carnivorous kills rather than a
mighty hunter; and emergence of agricultural way of life due
to innovative initiatives of splinter hunter-gatherer groups
that moved away from their parent communities.




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Section C: AWARDS

INDIA

Vikas Jha wins Indu Sharma Katha Samman: Indian
novelist Vikas Kumar Jha was on April 11, 2011 chosen for
the 2011 International Indu Sharma Katha Samman, for his
novel McCluskieganj '. The award will be presented to Jha
at a function in the House of Commons in London on June
27, 2011. A post-graduate in Sociology, 47-year-old Jha is
the editor of Hindi magazine Rang Prasang.

Nandita Das receives French civilian award:
Actress-director Nandita Das has been conferred with the
Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, one of the highest
civilian awards of France, for her contribution to the
development of Indo-French cooperation in cinema. The
actress, known for her performances in films like Fire,
Earth and Bawander, on April 15, 2011 received the
award from French Ambassdor Jerome Bonnafont.

Kanishtha Dhankhar is PFMI World: The winners of
the Pantaloons Femina Miss India (PFMI) 2011 pageant
were declared in Mumbai on April 14, 2011. Mumbais
Kanishtha Dhankhar won the PFMI World while Ankita
Shorey was PFMI International. Delhis Hasleen Kaur was
crowned PFMI Earth.

Dharmendra is Bollywood Evergreen Hero': Actor
Dharmendra was conferred with the Bollywood Evergreen
Hero' award at the TSR-TV9 Film Awards 2010 in
Hyderabad on April 10, 2011. The awards were given by the
T. Subbarami Reddy Lalithakala Parishath. Shatrughan
Sinha was felicitated as Bollywood Dynamic Star. Subhash
Ghai (Star Director) and Juhi Chawla (Shining Actress) were
among the others from Bollywood to be honoured. N.
Balakrishna received the Best Actor Award and the best
actress award went to Priyamani. Akkinneni Nageswara
Rao was honoured with Pride of India Award.

41 CRPF men get gallantry medals on Valour Day:
41 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers were
presented gallantry medals on the occasion of Valour Day
on April 9, 2011 in New Delhi.

Valour Day is celebrated to commemorate a 1965 incident,
when an attack from an entire brigade of Pakistani Army
was repulsed by two companies of the CRPF 2nd Battalion.

CRPF Director General K Vijay Kumar also honoured the
three surviving officers of the Sardar Post incident
Inspector Har Dev Ram, S-I Bhawani Dutt and water carrier
Ratan Singh. The CRPF is also the first force in the world to
raise an all-women battalion.
WORLD
Moroccan journalist wins Gebran Tueni Prize:
Aboubakr Jama, co-founder and former managing director
of the weekly newspaper Le Journal Hebdomadaire, was
presented the 2010 Gebran Tueni Award in Beirut, Lebanon
on April 12, 2011. The annual prize of the World Association
of Newspapers and News Publishers honours an editor or
publisher from the Arab region. The award recognises
Jama's struggles in pursuing independent journalism while
dealing with a monarchy that, despite promises of reform,
maintains strict control on the Moroccan media. Gebran
Tueni, in whose name the award is given, was killed by a
car bomb in Beirut in 2005. WAN-IFRA, based in Paris and
Darmstadt (Germany), with subsidiaries in Singapore, India,
Spain, France and Sweden, is a global organisation of
newspapers and publishers. It represents 18,000
publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies
in more than 120 countries. It was created by the merger of
the World Association of Newspapers and IFRA, the
research and service organisation for the news publishing
industry.



CORPORATE & ECONOMY

Scope awards conferred on Public Sector Day

The SCOPE meritorious awards for the year 2009-10 were
conferred on their winners by the President Pratibha Patil on
the occasion of Public Sector Day organised jointly by
Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) and Standing
Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) on April 11,
2011. Arup Roy Choudhury is the Chairman of SCOPE
while Dr. U.D. Choubey is the Director General. The Public
Sector Flag was also released on the occasion.

SCOPE Gold trophy winners are:
Steel Authority of India Ltd. for Environmental
Excellence & Sustainable Development
Bharat Electronic Limited for Corporate Governance
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. for Corporate
Social Responsibility & Responsiveness
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. for R&D, Technology
Development & Innovation
Indian Oil Corporation Limited for best practices in
Human Resource Management
Punjab National Bank for best managed bank, financial
institution or insurance company
National Safai Karmacharis Finance & Development
Corporation for best managed PSE set up under section
25.


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Commendation certificates were given to:
NMDC Limited for corporate social responsibility &
responsiveness
Central Mine Planning & design institute Ltd. for R&D,
Technology Development & Innovation
Power Finance Corporation for best Managed Bank,
Financial Institution or Insurance Company

SCOPE felicitation awards were given to Maharatna
CPSES Indian Oil Corporation Limited, NTPC Limited, Oil
& Natural Gas Corporation Limited and Steel Authority of
India Limited.

The President also gave away certificates of conferment of
Mahartna status to Coal India Limited, conferment of
Navratna status to Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited and
conferment of Miniratna status to Pawan Hans Helicopters
Limited.

O&M wins highest no. of golds at Goafest
2011

With five golds and one Grand Prix, Ogilvy & Mather (O&M)
emerged as the winner at the Creative Abbies the final
and key set of awards declared at the Goafest 2011 on April
10, 2011.

O&M was followed by Leo Burnett and Mudra in second and
third spots respectively. O&M had five golds one Grand
Prix, eight silvers and 17 bronze metals. Mudra had a total
of 37 comprising two golds, 13 silvers and 22 bronze
metals. Leo Burnett total tally of 20 included three golds,
eight silvers and nine bronze trophies. Despite having the
maximum haul, Mudra was third in the pecking order based
on the number of golds it won.



FICCI Young Women Achievers Awards conferred:
Young FICCI Ladies Organization (YFLO), in association
with Zoya, conferred the Young Women Achievers Awards
2010 2011 in New Delhi on April 15, 2011. Every year
YFLO recognizes OUTSTANDING YOUNG WOMEN
ACHIEVERS who have excelled in their respective fields
and made a significant contribution to society. The primary
objective of these awards is to promote entrepreneurship
and professional excellence. 10 women under the age of 45
are chosen from diverse fields and are felicitated through
these awards. The awardees for this year were Rani
Mukherjee (Acting), Agatha Sangma (Politics), Sonal
Agrawal (Business), Namrata Joshipura (Fashion), Arushi
Mudgal (Performing Arts), Surinder Kaur (Sports), Anjali
Bhardwaj (Community Service), Manvi Dhillon (Media),
Reena Saini Kallat (Visual Arts) and Namita Devidayal
(Author).

National Architectural Design awards conferred:
The prize winning architects of the National Architectural
Design Competition for Rajaswa Bhawan were presented
with Citation and Cash Prize by Union Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee on April 16, 2011 in Delhi.

The first prize of Rs. 10 Lakhs was awarded to Architect
Siddharth Shirur of M/s Vistaar Architects & Planners of
Mumbai. The second prize of Rs. 5 Lakhs has been
awarded to Architect S. R. Sikka of M/s Sikka Associates
while the third prize of Rs. 3 Lakhs has been given to the
entry submitted by Architect Manit Rastogi of M/s
Morphogenesis.

Three consolation prizes of 1 lakh each were received by
Architect Nishant Lall of M/s Sen & Lall Consultants Pvt.
Ltd., Architect Sanjay Nayak of M/s Edifice Consultants Pvt.
Ltd. and Architect Virender Khanna of M/s Virender Khanna
Associates respectively. The winning entries were chosen
by a panel of jurors, from a total of 58 participants from all
over the country.

Four Indian students win Gates Scholarship: Four
Indian students are among 60 from 29 countries who have
been awarded the prestigious Gates Scholarship for post-
graduate studies at the Cambridge University in April 2011.
Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it enables
academically gifted postgraduates with a strong interest in
social leadership and responsibility to study at Cambridge.
Those selected include Sukrit Silas from Delhi, Divya
Venkatesh from Bangalore, Raghu Mahajan from
Chandigarh and Anand Shrivastava of Madras.

P.M. Belliappa conferred MBE: The British High
Commission presented the Most Excellent Order of the
British Empire (MBE) badge to P.M. Belliappa, president of
the Association of British Scholars (ABS), in Chennai on
April 11, 2011. The award recognises Belliappa's services
to environmental protection and for promoting Indo-U.K.
alumni relations through the ABS.




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Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
NEWS ROUND UP

National Telecom Policy 2011 announced

The Union Telecom Minister, Kapil Sibal, on April 11, 2011
announced the basic contours of the National Telecom
Policy 2011 (NTP-2011), which will include for the first time,
audit of spectrum held by telecom players, spectrum
sharing, reduction in the tenure of renewed telecom licences
from 20 years to 10 years, and liberalising of merger and
acquisition norms. Sibal had taken over from scam-tainted
telecom minister A Raja on January 1. The details will take
a year to finalise to take all stakeholder opinion on board.
The NTP will replace the 1999 policy that many regard as
being at the root of the 2G scam.

Highlights
Mergers, acquisitions should be further liberalised; but
each circle should have at least six firms
Spectrum sharing should be considered
Spectrum to be delinked from licence
Regular audit of spectrum by agencies
Licence to be renewed after 10 years, not 20 years like
earlier

Spectrum:
The telecom ministry has announced that in future 2G
spectrum will not come bundled with telecom licences and
that operators would have to pay market-driven prices for
spectrum.

The minister also announced the formation of a committee
to draft the National Spectrum Act, which will be headed by
retired judge Shivraj V. Patil.

The government will decide soon if TRAI, the telecom
regulator, or the CAG will be entrusted with the task of
auditing spectrum usage by telecom companies. Rival
companies have in the past accused each other of spectrum
hoarding and not using this scarce resource in an efficient
manner. The ministry will review the existing criteria under
which additional spectrum is granted after a mobile operator
acquires a specific number of subscribers.

Roll-out obligations: The department of telecom will also
review the existing rollout obligations of new telecom
companies, which it considers has got outdated. Under the
current norms, mobile operators are required to cover at
least 10 per cent of the district headquarters in each circle
within 12 months of the date of award of the licence.

M&A: The government is also considering easier merger
and acquisition (M&A) rules for telecom companies. The
liberalisation of M&A rules is expected to drive consolidation
in the industry, which is facing intense pressure on margins
due to tough competition and low tariffs. At present, there
are 10-12 operators per circle. Sibal said that while the M&A
guidelines need to be liberal, the number of competitors
(including state-run BSNL/MTNL) in a circle should not be
allowed to fall below six. At present, a telecom service
provider cannot hold more than 10 per cent stake in another
operator in the circle where it operates. There is also a lock-
in period of three years for companies which got licences in
2008. This means they cannot exit the venture before the
end of this period.

License period to be shortened: In a setback to old
telecom companies like Airtel, whose licence in some circles
is coming up for renewal in 2014, Mr Sibal said such
licences will now be renewed only for 10 years, instead of
the existing 20 years. These companies will need to apply
for renewal at least 30 months before the date of expiry of
their licences so that the department of telecom has
sufficient time to set up policy framework. These firms are
likely to pay a high market rate for spectrum when they
renew their licences.

TRAI issues recommendations to boost
telecom manufacturing

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on April
13, 2011 issued recommendations related to manufacturing,
infrastructure and green telecom to promote structured
growth of the sector. It has also proposed investments of
over Rs.1-lakh crore for technical upgradation and
improvement of manufacturing capabilities of the sector.

TRAI has recommended preferential market access to
domestic manufacturers and tax concessions in equipment
manufacturing policy. It has called for treating telecom
infrastructure as an essential infrastructure. It has also
asked for making green measures as an integral part of the
proposed National Telecom Policy 2011 and ensuring
energy certification for all telecom products, equipment and
services in the telecom network. The regulator said export
of domestic products should be actively encouraged and
telecom should be included in grant-in-aid programmes and
bilateral trade agreements.

It has also recommended setting up of Telecom Research
and Development Corporation (TRDC) at an investment
of Rs.15,000 crore, besides establishing a Telecom
Research and Development Park with a fund of Rs.5,000
crore for carrying out on-site R&D. It has also recommended
setting up of a Telecom Manufacturing Fund (TMF) with


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35
an initial amount of Rs.3,000 crore for providing venture
capital to Indian product manufacturers in the form of equity
and soft-loans.

It has also called for setting up of a Telecom Standards
Organisation (TSO) for carrying out all works related to
telecom standards, driving international standards and
drawing up specifications of the equipment to be used in the
Indian telecom networks, including security standards.
Pointing out that Indian market for semiconductor chips is
around $8 billion, TRAI has recommended setting up of two
fabrication units with government assistance.

Rural India has 12.1 mn active internet users
IMRB

The penetration of the internet in rural areas will see an all
time high this year. In a survey conducted by IMRB for the
Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the total
number of active internet users in rural area will rise by 98
per cent to touch 24 million by the end of this year from 12.1
million in December 2010. The survey said that the claimed
internet user category is also set to grow by 96 per cent to
reach 29.9 million by December 2011 from 15.2 million in
December 2010. (Active users are those, who have used
the internet at least once in the past one month. Claimed
internet users are those, who have used the internet
sometime but not necessarily in the past one month). As
many as 40% of the users access internet for
watching/downloading music, video, photos while 39% per
cent prefer to access internet for email, chat.

The study found three reasons for this growth. One of the
main reasons is the growing awareness about internet.
According to the research, about 69 per cent of the rural
population is aware of the internet as opposed to 16 per
cent projected in last years report. The second reason for
the growth of rural internet users is that access has become
easier. The report further added that CSCs (Common
Services Centers) and Cyber cafes continue to be access
points for the use of internet. The syndicated research is
based upon a primary research survey that interviewed
about 15,000 people from various age groups, across SECs
and genders from the states of Assam, Maharashtra,
Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar
Pradesh.

Government initiatives facilitated by DIT (Department of
Information Technology) such as National e-Governance
Plan (NeGP), State Wide Area Network (SWAN) and CSC
are increasingly maturing, said the survey. As per latest
reports provided by the DIT, there are about 90,000 CSCs
operational in various parts of India. With India having about
600,000 villages, each CSC on an average serves about six
villages approximately. Private sector initiatives such as
ITCs e-Choupal, HULs Project Shakti, Microsofts Project
Shiksha and Googles Internet bus among various others,
helped to create awareness and usage.


Insurance penetration at 5.2% of GDP in 2011
FICCI-BCG Report

Size: The insurance industry will continue to march with a
rapid growth to reach 350 to 400 billion dollars in premium
income by 2020, making India amongst the top three life
insurance markets in the next nine years, says a report by
FICCI and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) titled 'India
Insurance, Turning 10, Going on 20'.

The report highlights the importance of insurance in India's
economy, the progress made in the last decade, key
challenges associated with the sector and an action agenda
for insurance companies and the government. A bill to raise
the foreign direct investment cap in private insurance from
the current 26 per cent to 49 per cent is pending in
Parliament. The report calls for relaxing the ownership
norms.

Growth: There has been a vast increase in the coverage of
insurance. The total penetration of insurance (premium as
percentage of GDP) has increased from 2.3 per cent in
2001 to 5.2 per cent in 2011, says the report unveiled on
April 10, 2011. The number of life policies in force has
increased nearly 12fold over the past decade and health
insurance nearly 25fold.

The progress has been aided by the dramatic shift in the
availability of products such as better term, Unit-linked,
whole life, maximum Net Asset Value guarantee, auto
assistance, auto pay per km insurance, disease
management, wellness. In addition, there has been a vast
increase in coverage. The report estimates the total
insurance premium will be about Rs 17 lakh crore to Rs 22
lakh crore in 2020 (with life being Rs 15 lakh crore to Rs 20
lakh crore).

Profitability: The report also notes that insurers' priority for
growth at any cost has resulted in inefficient operating
models as compared to global benchmarks, in both life and
non-life sector. The claims cost in the case of non-life are
very high arising from four key reasons- third party liability
claims, health loss ratios (group health cross subsidy), fraud
in the case of auto and health and lack of supplier
(hospital/garage) management by insurers. The private
sector insurance industry is yet to attain profitability. Private
life insurers accumulated losses of Rs 16,000 crore till
March 2010. Similarly, the nonlife industry (both public and
private) has cumulative underwriting losses of nearly Rs
30,000 crore, according to the report.


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36
CACP calls for freer trade in foodgrains

The new chairperson of the Commission for Agricultural
Costs and Prices (CACP), Ashok Gulati, in the CACP report
on kharif prices, presented to the government in April 2011,
has gone beyond just recommending an increase in
minimum support prices (MSPs) of paddy and other kharif
crops.

The report has drawn attention to fundamental flaws in
official policies, which continue to hurt farmers and impede
agricultural growth. The CACP believes that regulations
imposed by the government on trade in agricultural products
prevent farmers from securing better prices and better
incomes. Freer trade, including external trade, says the
CACP, will benefit farmers. Many agricultural commodities,
including rice and wheat, are barred from being exported.
This means Indian farmers are not benefiting from rising
global commodity prices.

The governments godowns are filled with stocks higher
than the minimum buffer required for supply to the public
distribution system and maintenance of a reasonable food
security. The CACP has, therefore, recommended lifting the
curbs on exports and is in favour of allowing private traders
to directly buy produce from farmers.

Finance Ministry to introduce simpler IT return
form Sugam

The Union Finance Ministry is expected to soon unveil a
simpler income tax return form called Sugam to reduce the
compliance burden on small businessmen and
professionals. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in his
budget speech for 2011-12, announced the new simplified
return form Sugam' to reduce the compliance burden of
small taxpayers who fall within the scope of presumptive
taxation.

The new form is in line with the government's effort to make
filing of returns simpler and user-friendly. The filing of
returns for individual salaried people was simplified
significantly with the introduction of SARAL-II form. This has
enabled individuals to enter relevant details in a simple
format in only two pages.

Presumptive taxation involves the use of indirect means to
ascertain the tax liability, which differ from the usual rules
based on the taxpayer's accounts. Under presumptive
taxation, a person carrying on business will not be required
to get his accounts audited if the annual total sales, turnover
or gross receipts is less than Rs. 60 lakh. The presumptive
tax limit in the case of professionals was increased to Rs.
15 lakh from Rs. 10 lakh.

IMF lowers India's growth forecast to 8.2 % for
2011

International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered India's
economic growth rate forecast to 8.2 per cent for 2011 and
warned that boom like conditions could lead to over-heating
of the economy. The challenge for many emerging and
some developing economies (is) to ensure that present
boom-like conditions do not develop into overheating over
the coming year, the IMF said in its World Economic
Outlook report in April 2011. The multilateral lending agency
had earlier projected the country's economy to grow by 8.4
per cent in 2011.

IMF took note of the high inflation in India, recorded at 8.31
per cent in February, even as Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
expects it to come down to 8 per cent by March-end.
Further, it projected the Indian economy to grow at a
moderate 7.8 per cent in 2012 and cautioned that rising
commodity prices and disruptions to oil supply could pose
new risks to economic recovery.

However, the IMF retained its projection for global economic
growth at 4.5 per cent in 2011 and 2012, which is lower than
5 per cent growth it projected for 2010.

Indias rate of GDP growth higher than China
in 2010 IMF

Meanwhile India has overtaken China in growth for 2010.
According to data from the IMF, Indias GDP grew 10.4 per
cent in 2010 versus Chinas 10.3 per cent. This is the first
time that Indias growth has overtaken that of China, since
the latter initiated reforms in the 1980s, a decade ahead of
India.

At 10.4 per cent, the growth numbers for India are higher
than the official data. The reason for this is provided in the
method used by the IMF to arrive at its numbers. The IMF
estimates growth rates by converting the GDP of countries
in local currencies to $ at market exchange. So, if a
currency appreciates, this raises its GDP growth in $ terms,
and the country whose currency appreciates more will grow
faster in $ terms.

If Indias GDP was Rs 100 and the exchange rate 48.85,
this means Indias $ GDP is 2.05. If, however, the exchange
rate appreciates to 45.93, the same GDP will rise to 2.18.
While Indias currency appreciated 6.4 per cent in 2010,
from Rs 48.85 per $ in 2009 to Rs 45.93 in 2010, Chinas
currency appreciated only 0.9 per cent, from 6.84 per $ in
2009 to 6.77 in 2010. So Indias GDP growth got a push that
was higher than Chinas and thereby ended up beating the
latter.



GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 10 to 16, 2011 Current GK

37
Govt. deadline for digitisation of cable systems:
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has fixed March
31, 2012 as the deadline for digitisation of all cable systems
in the four metro cities Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and
Chennai. Phase II will cover cities, with a population of more
than one million and will be completed by March 31, 2013.
All urban areas which fall under municipal corporations will
be covered by September 30, 2014, and the rest of India by
December 31 the same year, the Ministry said on April 13,
2011. The TRAI had recommended that digitisation with
addressability be implemented in the cable TV sector on
priority.

Govt eases rules for bank top jobs: The government
has relaxed the norms for appointment to top jobs at public
sector banks in April 2011. To be eligible for the post of
chairman and managing director (CMD), a candidate will
now require at least 18 months of residual service, with six
months experience as an executive director (ED). Earlier, a
candidate was required to have at least two years of
residual service, with one-year stint as an ED.

Banks get more time on new NPA norm: The
government has given a six-month extension for classifying
non-performing assets (NPAs) using technology, without
human interference. The deadline of March 31 has been
extended by six months to September 30. Although most
banks have adopted the core banking solution (CBS), a few
are facing certain problems with the software. As a result,
some banks are yet to bring all their operations under CBS.

Government to issue biometric PAN cards: The
government on April 12, 2011 announced it would issue
biometric PAN cards to taxpayers across the country to
weed out the duplicate and fake ones. The proposed new
biometric Permanent Account Number (PAN) cards would
bear the I-T assessee fingerprints (two from each hand)
and the face. There could be an option to existing PAN card
holders to opt for the biometric cards, but it may not be
mandatory. The Finance Ministry and the I-T department
had put on hold the biometric PAN card project last year to
avoid duplication with the UID numbers, to be issued by
Nandan Nilekanis Unique Identity Authority of India. The
biometric PAN card was proposed in 2006 by the then
Finance Minister P Chidambaram to counter the problem of
duplicate PAN cards uncovered during I-T searches and
raids by police and other enforcement agencies.

RBI survey to gauge manufacturing growth: The
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on April 14, 2011 launched its
Industrial Outlook Survey for April-June, 2011 period to
gauge the progress of the manufacturing sector that has
pulled down industrial growth. The survey would give an
insight into the perception of the public and private
companies engaged in manufacturing activities about their
own performance and their prospects. The findings of the
Survey, being conducted by the Centre for Research
Planning and Action (CERPA), would provide useful forward
looking inputs for policymakers, analysts and businesses.
The survey is being conducted at a time when the countrys
manufacturing sector is witnessing slowdown with
expansion plummeting to 3.5 per cent in February, 2011,
from 16.1 per cent a year ago. The poor show from the
sector pulled down the countries index of industrial
production to 3.6 per cent in February.

Govt bans Nokia pushmail: The government on April
15, 2011 asked telecom service providers to bar Nokias
proposed pushmail service till it puts in place a legal
monitoring system. In view of the Intelligence Bureaus
report, DoT is requested to advice the Telecom Service
Providers not to launch Nokias proposed
pushmail/powermail service without putting in place
monitoring facilities to the satisfaction of the LEAs, Ministry
of Home Affairs said in a communication to DoT. Messaging
services from Nokia involve push email for companies and
consumers and enables mobile users to manage multiple
email accounts from widely used email services like Yahoo!,
Gmail, Rediff to Sify. The communique came at a time when
Blackberry services are under the governments scanner
due to the security related issue for not providing a solution
to intercept its Enterprise mail services. The government
had asked BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) to
come out with a satisfactory solution to intercept its
Enterprise mail services by March 31, which has been
already expired.

Top 5 control over half of the MF business: The
number of fund houses are increasing each year in the fast
growing Indian economy but when it comes about the size,
the top five players control over half of the country's mutual
fund business. An analysis of average assets under
management (AUM) by over 40 fund houses shows that the
top five players Reliance MF, HDFC MF, ICICI MF, UTI
MF and Birla Sun Life together control more than half of
the total assets managed by the MF industry in India. The
Indian mutual fund industry is valued worth Rs 7 lakh crore
as per the latest data available with the industry association
of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI). And putting together, these
top five fund houses own assets worth nearly Rs 4 lakh
crore, which is about 55 per cent of the average AUM of all
the fund houses.

Cement sector to grow in double-digits E&Y:
The 197-million tonne domestic cement industry is set to
clock double-digit growth from next fiscal with demand
outstripping even the 57-million tonne capacity addition
expected by 2013-14, says an industry report titled
Cementing India by Ernst & Young India. The Rs 77,800-
crore (as of March '10) domestic cement market; already


GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 10 to 16, 2011 Current GK

38
one of the fastest growing ones globally and the second-
largest among the emerging markets after China; is on
course to a double-digit growth path. The report places its
optimism on two factors mainly: the very low per capita
intake and the massive $1-trillion infrastructure push being
given by the government over the next five years.

Tatas bag deal to modernise Air force bases: A Tata
company has won the largest-ever defence contract
awarded to an Indian private sector company through a
competitive global tender. The Ministry of Defence signed a
Rs 1,094-crore contract called Modernization of Airfield
Infrastructure (MAFI) with Tata Powers Strategic
Electronics Division (Tata Power SED) for modernising 30
Indian Air Force (IAF) airbases across the country in March
2011. Tata Power SED has 42 months to execute this
strategically vital contract.

Security policy stresses on local IT products:
The government has issued draft of proposed National
Cyber Security Policy (NCSP) that identifies indigenous
development of IT products essential for curbing threats
from imported hi-tech products. The draft issued on April 10,
2011 has asked government to identify the most dangerous
classes of cyber security threats to the nation, critical IT
infrastructure vulnerabilities and the cyber security problems
and use these findings to develop and implement a
coordinated R&D effort focused on the key research needs.

Auto majors lose car market share in 2010-11:
Leading players like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor and Tata
Motors lost their market share in 2010-11 to mainly Ford
India and Volkswagen, says SIAM. According to figures
released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers
(SIAM) on April 10, 2011, the country's car market leader
Maruti Suzuki India's (MSI) market share in the passenger
car segment fell to 48.74 per cent in 2010-11 from 50.09 per
cent in 2009-10. MSI's domestic sales, however, increased
to 9,66,447 units from 7,65,533 units in the previous fiscal.
In 2010-11, the overall domestic passenger car sales rose
by 29.73 per cent to 19,82,702 units from 15,28,337 units in
the previous fiscal. Hyundai Motor India also saw its market
share declining to 18.10 per cent in FY 2011 from 20.61 per
cent in the previous year.

Indians work 8 hours a day OECD: Indians work
for 8.1 hours every day, more than the average figure for
the entire developed world, a new global survey conducted
by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) has found. The survey unveiled in
April 2011 shows that people in Mexico work for the longest
number of hours (10 hours) followed by Japan (9 hours)
while Belgium has been ranked lowest (7.1 hours). The total
work-time has been pegged at 594 minutes for Mexico, 540
minutes for Japan, 504 minutes for China, 498 minutes in
New Zealand and 496 minutes for the US.

RIL declines to comply with govt.s prioritisation
directive: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), the operator of the
KG-D6 gas block, on April 14, 2011 told the government it
cannot comply with its latest directive on prioritising gas
supply. The company said it was against cutting supply to
non-priority sectors such as steel, petrochemicals and
refineries to expand supplies to priority sectors such as
fertiliser and power. RIL said its contractual obligation does
not allow it to divert supplies from one sector to another and
a cut in allocation can only be done on a pro-rata basis. It
has asked the ministry to suggest how it can do so without
attracting penalty under the contract.

Metro earns Rs. 2 crore from carbon credits sales:
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation earned over Rs.2 crore
from the sale of its 82,000 Certified Emission Reductions
(CERs) under the carbon credits scheme by the Japan
Finance Carbon Limited for the years 2008 and 2009. The
DMRC was the first railway project in the world to be
registered by the United Nations under the clean
development mechanism which enabled it to claim carbon
credits for the use of regenerative braking system in its
rolling stock (trains). The regenerative braking process
involves regenerating electrical energy each time trains on
the metro network apply brakes. A three phase-traction
motor installed on the trains acts as electrical energy
generator whenever brakes are applied. This regenerated
electrical energy goes back into overhead electricity lines,
from where it is used by other accelerating trains on the
same service line. This system reduces 30 per cent
electricity requirement on the line.

Retail customers happy with Indian banks E&Y:
A survey by global consultancy firm Ernst & Young has
found that majority of retail customers in India are satisfied
with the country's banking system and that trust has
increased after its' astute handling of the 2008 global
financial crisis. According to the survey, 'A New era of
Customer Expectation', 75 per cent of the retail banking
customers in India said that their trust in the banking
industry grew in 2010. Unlike many other countries, India
was less affected by the meltdown, mainly on account of
conservative banking policies followed by the RBI.

Muthuraman takes over as CII President: The Vice-
Chairman, Tata Steel Ltd and Chairman, Tata International
Ltd, B. Muthuraman, has been elected President of the
Confederation of Indian Industry for 2011-12 on April 11,
2011. Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director,
Infosys S. Gopalakrishnan, been elected as Vice-President
of CII for 2011-2012.



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39

Section E: SPORTS

Sania-Vesnina win WTA title in Charleston: Sania
Mirza and her Russian partner Elena Vesnina won the WTA
Family Circle Cup doubles trophy with a straight-set triumph
over Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann
Shaughnessy with a score of 6-4, 6-4 at Charleston (USA)
on April 11, 2011.

Charl Schwartzel wins 75
th
U.S. Masters: South
African Charl Schwartzel birdied the last four holes to win
the 75
th
U.S. Masters at Augusta on April 9, 2011 by two
strokes over Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day.
Schwartzel captured a $1.44 million top prize and the green
jacket symbolic of Masters supremacy.

SSP Chowrasia is No. 1 ranked Indian Golfer: Indian
professional golfers are currently ruling the roost on the
Asian Tour Order of Merit with as many as five Indians
placed inside the top-10, thanks to their exceptional
performances in the first quarter of the 2011 season. SSP
Chowrasia maintains his stranglehold on the Order of Merit
where he has a comfortable lead with a earnings of USD
410,077. Chowrasia won the prestigious Avantha Masters
on home soil in February and followed that up with a tied
12th finish at the Panasonic Open in April 2011. Sujjan
Singh is in second place.

Anirban Lahiri wins Panasonic Open: Indias Anirban
Lahiri beat Mardan Mamat of Singapore to win the inaugural
$300,000 Panasonic Open in New Delhi on April 10, 2011.
The 23-year-old Lahiri got the top prize of $47,000. Mamat
was followed by Manav Jaini, Prom Meesawat (Thailand),
Ali Sher and Jyoti Randhawa.

Tendulkar is Wisden's Leading Cricketer for 2010:
Sachin Tendulkar was on April 13, 2011 named Wisden's
Leading Cricketer in the World for the year 2010. The Indian
batsman is the seventh recipient of the Wisden award.
Unlike the winners of Wisden's coveted five cricketers of the
year, it is possible to be named the world's best in the
almanack more than once. Tendulkar is making it an Indian
hat-trick, after Test opener Virender Sehwag took the
honour in each of the last two years.

India wins $175,000 for No. 1 Test side: India will be
handed USD 175,000 for finishing as the number one Test
side while also pocketing another USD 75,000 for finishing
as second-ranked ODI team this season, the ICC said on
April 15, 2011. Indian team (128 points) has been sitting on
top of the Test Championship table since December 2009.
South Africa (127 points) will pocket USD 75,000 for ending
in second position in the Test Championship table at the
cut-off date of April 1. Australia have earned USD 175,000
for finishing on top of the ODI table with 128 points at the
cut-off date. In the latest ODI rankings issued, Australia has
129 points, eight points more than India's (121 points).

Alok Kumar wins Billiards & Snooker Asian titles:
National champion Alok Kumar on April 14, 2011 became
the first cueist to achieve the rare feat of winning both the
Billiards and Snooker Asian titles when he blanked Praput
Chaithanasukan of Thailand 6-0 to win the Asian Billiards
championship at the Olympic Stadium of Kish Island in Iran.
Earlier, back in 2004 in Jordan, Alok had lifted the Asian
Snooker title by defeating his compatriot former World
Professional Billiards champion Pankaj Advani in the finals.

Rajput wins gold at Shooting World Cup:
Commonwealth Games bronze winner Sanjeev Rajput on
April 14, 2011 became the third Indian marksman to book a
berth for London Olympics after winning the gold medal at
the 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men Final at Shooting World Cup
in Changwon, Korea. World record holder Gagan Narang
was the first Indian shooter to book a place for the London
Olympics when he won the bronze medal in men's 10m air
rifle in the World Shooting Championships in Munich last
year. Hariom Singh had bagged the country's second quota
place and the first ever in the 50m rifle prone event for the
London Olympics when he finished sixth at the 50th World
Shooting Championship in Munich last year.

Vettel wins Malaysian GP: World champion Sebastien
Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang on April 10,
2011 to take an early grip on the Formula One season. The
23-year-old German steered his Red Bull car from pole
position to the chequered flag to win ahead of McLaren's
Jenson Button, the 2009 champion, and Nick Heidfeld who
finished third for Renault. Force India drivers Paul di Resta
and Adrian Sutil finished 10
th
and 11
th
respectively.

Kiptoo, Jeptoo win Paris marathon: Benjamin Kiptoo
and Priscah Jeptoo secured a Kenyan double in the Paris
marathon on April 10, 2011. Kiptoo was the first man home
in 2hr 06min 31sec, ahead of compatriot Bernard Kipyego
(2.07:14) and Ethiopian Eshetu Wendimu (2.07:28). Jeptoo
smashed her personal record by more than four minutes to
win the women's event in 2.22:52, almost two minutes
ahead of compatriot Agnes Kiprop (2.24:41).

Come And Play for CWG venues launched: In
order to ensure optimum utilisation of the newly-built and
renovated Commonwealth Games venues, the Union Sports
Ministry on April 15, 2011 unveiled a new scheme Come
And Play (CAP). Under this scheme, the stadia owned by
the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in the capital would be


GJ Tutorial For the Week: April 10 to 16, 2011 Current GK

40
opened for school children, sportspersons and common
people.

Force India sports academy to identify racing
talent: Force India, the racing sports venture of Vijay
Mallya, on April 13, 2011 launched Force India F1 Team
Academy to identify racing talent in the country, along with
providing vocational and academic training to young Indians
for pursuing a professional career in motor sports. Force
India will go about the Hunt for One from a Billion' on a
regional level wherein all participants will be given a week to
practice karting and then go through the selection process
with 14 of them selected for the National level.

Two Centres of Excellence in sports to come up in
Delhi: The government on April 15, 2011 announced the
setting up of two Centres of Excellence dedicated to football
and swimming in the national capital to raise the standard of
the two sports to international level. Sports Minister Ajay
Maken said that the two Centres will be set up at Jawaharlal
Nehru Stadium and Talkatora Swimming Pool Complex.

Spain retains No. 1 position in FIFA ranking: Brazil
climbed to third place in the latest FIFA world rankings
published on April 13, 2011, knocking Germany off the
podium and dropping South American rival Argentina one
place to fifth. Latest FIFA rankings (Top ten): 1. Spain; 2.
the Netherlands; 3. Brazil; 4. Germany; 5. Argentina; 6.
England; 7. Uruguay; 8. Portugal; 9. Italy; 10. Croatia.

1960 Rome Olympics football team felicitated:
Indian football players who took part in the 1960 Rome
Olympics were felicitated by the Union Sports Minister Ajay
Maken at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New
Delhi on April 13, 2011. Ten living members of the 1960
side which held France 1-1, gave a world-class
Hungarian team a run for its money in a 1-2 loss and fought
hard against Peru for a 1-3 defeat were felicitated. They
were P.K. Banerjee, Tulsidas Balaram, S. Narayan, O.
Chandrasekhar, F.A. Franco, Chunni Goswami, S.S. Hakim,
S.S.H. Hamid, Arun Ghosh and Simon Sunderraj. The
recognition included a cheque for Rs 1.5 lakh, a shawl and
a plaque.





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41
Weekly Current Affairs update
For the Week: April 17 to 23, 2011

Major news of the week


Section A: INDIA

PSLV-C16 puts 3 satellites in orbit
India, Kazakhstan sign 7 agreements during PM Singhs visit
New Delhi-Dhaka to strengthen economic integration
Essential Steps for Progress in Higher Education unveiled
India to sign of Nagoya Protocol on Access & Benefit Sharing
South-West monsoon will be normal IMD
Conference of Cooperative Ministers organised
ICMR invites scientists to study drug resistant bacteria
Navy sends INS Talwar to tackles pirates off Somali coast
SC bans employment of children in circuses
Govt. makes double fortified salt mandatory in midday meals
Uttarakhand selected 'first' tourism destination
The Darbhanga Gita-Govinda unveiled
Chandigarh Police the first to get UAV

Section B: WORLD
5 Indians in Time list of 100 most influential people in 2011
UNESCOs 2011 Global Monitoring Report released
National Coalition Party wins in Finland elections
Jonathan wins presidential election in Nigeria
Raul Castro named first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party
De Niro to head Cannes Film Fest jury
Christopher Painter appointed US cyber envoy
Whistle blower Bradley Manning to be shifted to new prison
Victoria Cross holder Nepalese passes away
British ex-PM Gordon Brown joins WEF
UK to hold referendum on Alternative Vote system
European Parliament condemns Pak for supporting Taliban
Pakistan test-fires short-range missile Hatf
Laos defers decision to build Mekong river dam
Earth Day observed
World Heritage Day observed
World Book Day observed
I Am Kalam screening at Buckingham Palace
FAO, World Food Programme launch food security platform
NASA awards contracts for space shuttle replacements
UN non-proliferation committee gets 10-year extension
Well-being survey puts India in 71st spot
Maritime Counter-Piracy Conference organised

Section C: AWARDS
Awards conferred on National Panchayati Raj Diwas
PMs Excellence Awards conferred on Civil Services Day
Rajeev Bhargava wins Dr Malcolm Adiseshiah Award
Super 30 founder is Europe journal's global personality
Pulitzer Prizes announced
Binayak Sen wins Korean human rights prize

Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
Exports register growth of 37.5% in 2010-11
Committee on Semiconductor Manufacturing set up
National rollout of e-District Mission Mode project approved
India and Japan Sign TKDL Access Agreement
Manufacturing sector profits most from employees PwC
Poverty rate declines to 32% Planning Commission
Refining capacity to reach 240 MTPA by March 2012
Navigation to be separated from AAI functions
Consultant appointed to set up modern silos
Central tax collection reaches Rs 7.92 lakh cr in 2010-11
CACP for private sector role in foodgrain procurement
CMIE projects 8.8% GDP growth in 2011-12
CIBIL launches credit score for consumers
SBI to discontinue teaser' home loans
Air India forms panel to study HR issues
New simpler forms for IT returns introduced
SEBI calls for higher stake for Sovereign wealth funds
Marine products exports at $2.67 bn
Inter-ministerial group to review pharma FDI policy
NSDC partners Everonn to skill' nine sectors
Railway Week celebrated
New Delhi, Mumbai in worlds top global cities index
MMTC to launch gold jewellery brand
FICCI and YES Bank study on health tourism unveiled
Asia to account for 50% of global GDP by 2050 ADB
British Petroleum to sue Transocean over oil spill
Amway's Yoginder Singh elected IDSA head

Section E: SPORTS

Dilshan appointed Lankan skipper
Malinga quits Test cricket
Former Windies skipper Alexander passes away
Nadal wins Monte Carlo Masters
Czech Republic enters Fed Cup final
Wimbledon prize money increased
Real Madrid wins Spanish Cup
Abhijeet Gupta wins Dubai Open chess
McLaren's Hamilton wins F1 Chinese Grand Prix
New Badminton clothing regulations postponed
Marathon runner Grete Waitz passes away


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42
Section A: INDIA

NEWS ROUND UP

PSLV-C16 puts 3 satellites in orbit

The Indian Space Resource Organisation (ISRO)
successfully launched PSLV
(Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle)
C16, carrying the remote sensing
satellite Resourcesat2 and two
auxiliary satellites, from the Satish
Dhawan Space Centre at
Sriharikota on April 20, 2011. The
launch was at 10.12 am, and the
satellites reached the orbit in 18
minutes from the time of launch.
The Sun Synchronous Polar Orbit
fixed for the vehicle was at 822 km (from the earth), reached
in 18 minutes. P. Kunhikrishnan was the Mission Director of
PSLV-C16

ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said that the mission
cost Rs 250 crore, including around Rs 135 crore on
developing the Resourcesat2 satellite and another Rs 90
crore for the launching vehicle.

The PSLV-C16 put three satellites in orbit India's 1,206-kg
Resourcesat-2, the Indo-Russian 93-kg Youthsat and the
106-kg X-Sat from the Nangyang Technological University
of Singapore.

Resourcesat-2
The Resourcesat-2, a 1,206-kg satellite would work with the
Resourcesat-1 launched in 2003, with three cameras to
monitor specific areas such as agriculture, water resources,
rural development, bioresources, coastal studies, urban
development, forest resource inventory and monitoring and
geological exploration.

The images from the satellite would be useful in monitoring
the earth's resources, including crop yield before harvest,
the snow-cover in mountains, the glaciers advancing or the
changes in the coastal zones and the urban landscape;
locating groundwater; and realigning roads in rural areas.

The information would be used for national requirements
and the data from ground stations out of India could be sold
to other countries. India has nine remote sensing satellites
in the atmosphere, delivering information on various
segments.

Resourcesat-2 also carries an additional payload known as
Automatic Identification System from Comdev, Canada, as
an experimental payload for ship surveillance in the VHF
band to derive position, speed and other information on
ships.

With the successful launch of Resourcesat-2, India now has
nine remote sensing satellites in service. They are the
Technology Experiment Satellite, the Resourcesat-2, the
Cartosat-1, 2, 2A and 2B, the Indian Mini Satellite-1, the
Radar Imaging Satellite-2 and the Oceansat-2. They make
the IRS system the largest civilian remote-sensing satellite
constellation in the world.

Youthsat
Youthsat, second in the Indian Mini Satellite series, intends
to investigate the relationship between solar variability and
thermosphere-ionosphere (upper layers of the atmosphere)
changes. The satellite carries three payloads, of which two
are Indian and one Russian. They would be useful in
studying the solar X-ray and gamma ray fluxes, and the
influence of the activities in the sun on the upper layers of
the earth's atmosphere.

X-Sat
X-Sat, also Singapores first satellite, is a mini-version with a
multispectral camera as its primary payload. The mission is
to demonstrate technologies related to satellite-based
remote sending and onboard image processing.

PSLV record
India launched its first remote sensing satellite, the IRS-1A,
aboard a Russian rocket in 1988. Many more followed,
especially after the PSLV became available. India now has
one of the largest constellations of remote sensing satellites
in operation, supplying data to users at home and across
the globe.

The PSLV was conceived as a rocket that would put 1,000-
kg remote sensing satellites into orbit. After the failure of its
first flight in 1993, the rocket was successfully flown a year
later and has not looked back since. In the course of 17
successful launches, it has put 47 satellites into orbit, 21 of
them Indian. Through a variety of weight-reducing measures
and increased propellant loading, the rocket's performance
has been steadily enhanced. In the flight on April 20, the
PSLV effortlessly carried three satellites that together
weighed over 1,400 kg.

The rocket has also proved capable of carrying out a range
of missions. Apart from launching remote sensing satellites
into polar orbit, it put the Kalpana meteorological satellite
into a near-equatorial orbit and took the Chandrayaan-1
spacecraft on the first leg of its journey to the Moon. Three
more launches of the PSLV are scheduled this year.

GSLV Challenge
In recent times, ISRO has suffered setbacks such as the
consecutive failures of the Geosynchronous Satellite
Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the scandal that erupted over a


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43
deal to provide S-band spectrum to a private company. The
space agency had gone to great lengths to ensure a
successful flight of the PSLVC16. The launch, originally
scheduled for earlier this year, was postponed for checks on
the Vikas liquid propellant engine. The engine was made by
MTAR Technologies Private Ltd., jointly with Godrej Boyce.

ISRO is preparing to launch the Communication Satellite,
GSAT-8, on May 19. The vehicle, weighing 3,200 kg would
carry 24 transponders in KU Band. Indeed, a key challenge
for the space agency will be to transform trouble-prone
GSLV, equipped with an indigenous cryogenic stage, into as
reliable a rocket as its predecessor.

Also Chandrayaan-2 would be put in an orbit around the
moon by a Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle
(GSLV) in 2013. It would be a joint mission with Russia:
while the spacecraft and the rover would be built by India,
the lander would be from Russia.

Meanwhile, NASA has asked ISRO to build an orbiter that
will provide the communication between the soil samples
collected from the far side of the moon and the earth. This
joint venture between the ISRO and the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, California, would be part of the
Moonrise missions planned by the NASA.

India, Kazakhstan sign 7 agreements during
PM Singhs visit

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) on April 16, 2011 signed definitive
agreements with KazMunaiGas (KMG), the national oil
company of Kazakhstan, for acquiring a 25 per cent
participating interest in the Satpayev exploration block. With
this, the company has marked its entry in the Kazakhstan
hydrocarbon sector. The agreement was one of the seven
initialled between India and Kazakhstan in Astana during
the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh's visit. The other
agreements include cooperation in the civil nuclear field,
agriculture, cyber security and healthcare.

The Satpayev exploration block is situated in a highly
prospective region of North Caspian Sea. The block
contains two prospective structures with 256 million tonnes
in estimated hydrocarbon resources. OVL has already got
the Cabinet's approval to invest $400 million in the block.

The package of three agreements signed between OVL and
KMG apart from the participating share assignment
agreement, include carry agreement and joint operating
agreement. Carry agreement spells out that OVL can sell
any discovery in Satpayev Block locally and use cash
generated from such transaction for purchases elsewhere.
This is mainly because there is no means to transport oil
from Kazakhstan to India. A Joint Operating Agreement on
running the exploration block was also signed by OVL and
KMG. Kazakhstan is important for world energy markets
because it has significant oil and natural gas reserves.

The agreement on atomic energy envisages a legal
framework for mutually beneficial cooperation between the
two sides in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. These include
fuel supply, nuclear medicine, reactor safety mechanism,
exploration and joint mining of uranium, design construction
and operation of nuclear plants. The Kazakh President
Nursultan Nazarbayev announced that his country was
ready to supply India with 2,100 tonnes of uranium.

The agreement between Ministries of Agriculture is for
cooperation in agricultural research and technologies, food
and agriculture production.


New Delhi-Dhaka to strengthen economic
integration

The Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma
called for further strengthening of economic integration
between the two countries during his visit to Bangladesh
from April 23-24, 2011. Increased Indian investments in
Bangladesh will provide employment and value addition for
Bangladesh exports to the rest of the world.

The two countries agreed to take further steps to promote
trade and economic cooperation. These include:-

(a) India has offered a tariff-free quota of 10 million pieces
of apparel exports from Bangladesh, marking an increase of
25% over previous years.
(b) Countervailing Duties lifted on all jute exports from
Bangladesh.
(c) Strengthening of infrastructure at borders, including
construction of Land Custom Stations and Integrated Check
Posts, particularly at Petrapole and Agartala such that trade
is facilitated. A Working Group on Infrastructure will
coordinate implementation.
(d) Stepping up schedule for completion of border haats in
Meghalaya for a formal launch in June 2011.
(e) India offered assistance for the upgradation of BSTI
such that their certification and level of standards improve.
It has also been agreed to provide training facilities for
capacity building.
(f) India welcomed the submission of DPRs by the
Bangladesh side for infrastructure projects under the US $ 1
billion LOC.
(g) India has offered assistance in the construction of the
bridge over river Feni, including the construction of the
connecting road on the Bangladesh side.
(h) India renewed its offer to export 300,000 tonnes of par-
boiled rice to Bangladesh


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44
(i) India welcomed the offer of use of Chittagong and
Mongola ports and noted that this will provide tremendous
benefit for trade and development of Bangladesh and the
North-East of India.


Science Advisory Council lists Essential
Steps for Progress in Higher Education

The Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (SAC-
PM) submitted its check-list on higher
education titled Essential Steps for
Progress in Higher Education on April 21,
2011. Prof. C.N.R. Rao, Chairman, SAC-
PM has called on the government to
declare higher education as a National
Mission for the next decade. It has asked
the government to prepare an action-
oriented document on higher education to
prepare the country to face many of the problems and
challenges in the higher education sector.

The check-list begins with a serious manpower planning
effort. It says it is necessary to handle the surge of young
students in the next two to three decades and to give them
direction to different areas of study, instead of all of them
going for standard university courses in science,
engineering and other subjects.

The Council wants the government to ensure that
undergraduate education is relevant to employment, well
rounded and at the same time sufficient for taking up higher
studies. Variety of course packages and flexible curricula
will be helpful in this direction. A group needs to be
appointed by MHRD to prepare a vision document, which
foresees the problems 20 years hence.

To make India a major contributor of higher quality research
and a global leader in science and technology, around ten
higher educational institutions could be provided all the
support required to enable them compete with the best of
institutions in the advanced countries.

About the present examination system, the Council has
called for a re-look at the entire examination system
including the system of final examinations, entrance
examinations, qualifying examinations, selection
examinations, and so on. For entrance examinations related
to admission to higher education institutions, the Council
recommends only one national examination, which should
be able to assess the eligibility of the candidates.

The Council suggests the administration of the education
system must be given to persons having interest in
education and background from that particular stream
instead of giving them to administrators trained in
bureaucratic practice.

Universities are overloaded with work related to the conduct
of examinations. Some of them are too large because of the
affiliated colleges. There should be guidelines as to the
maximum number of students in educational institutions.

State governments should be persuaded to support higher
education with greater care as well as investment.

Administrative autonomy, dedicated budget for R&D,
recruitment and promotion of faculty are some of the other
issues that require attention. It will be counter-productive to
allow uncontrolled increase in the number of government-
supported colleges and universities without careful
consideration of manpower requirements.

Greater importance to the teaching profession and accord
due respect to teachers is necessary. This would involve
providing good emoluments and amenities as well as
continuing education opportunities to teachers. It also
recommends High-quality continuing education and training
programmes for teachers at all levels should be provided on
a massive scale.

Cabinet approves signing of Nagoya Protocol
on Access & Benefit Sharing

The Union Cabinet on April 20, 2011 approved the signing
of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing
(ABS) by India.

The Nagoya Protocol would also contribute to the other two
objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
relating to conservation and sustainable use, since benefits
accruing from utilization of genetic resources would act as
incentive to biodiversity-rich countries and their local
communities to conserve and sustainably use their
biodiversity.

India would be hosting the next Conference of Parties (CoP)
to the CBD in October 2011. This will give India an
opportunity to consolidate, scale up and showcase its
strengths and initiatives on biodiversity before the world.

The ABS Protocol is open for signature from February 2,
2011 to February 1, 2012. So far six countries have signed
the Protocol including three megadiverse countries (namely
Brazil, Mexico and Colombia). As the incoming President of
CoP-11, it is expected that India would be one of the early
signatories to the ABS Protocol.

India is one of the identified megadiverse countries rich in
biodiversity. With only 2.4% of the earth's land area, India


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45
accounts for 7-8% of the recorded species of the world.
India is also rich in associated traditional knowledge, which
is both coded as in the ancient texts of Indian systems of
medicines such as Ayurveda, Unani and Sidha and also
non-coded, as it exists in oral undocumented traditions. The
genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge can
be used to develop a wide range of products and services
for human benefit, such as medicines, agricultural practices,
cosmetics etc.

India is a Party to the Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD) which is one of the agreements adopted during the
Rio Earth Summit held in 1992. One of the three objectives
of the CBD relates to ABS, which refers to the way in which
genetic resources may be accessed, and benefits resulting
from their use shared by the users with the countries that
provide them. The CBD prescribes that access to genetic
resources is subject to national legislation. Accordingly,
India enacted Biological Diversity Act in 2002 for giving
effect to the provisions of the CBD. However, in the near
absence of user country measures, once the resource
leaves the country providing the resources, there is no way
to ensure compliance of ABS provisions in the country
where it is used. Towards this, a protocol on access and
benefit sharing has been negotiated under the aegis of
CBD, and adopted by the tenth Conference of Parties (CoP-
10) held in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010.

The objective of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS is fair and
equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic
resources, including by appropriate access to genetic
resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant
technologies. It is expected that the ABS Protocol would
address the concern of misappropriation or biopiracy of its
genetic resources.

South-West monsoon will be normal IMD

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on April 19,
2011 predicted normal rainfall this
year. This brightened the prospects of
a higher farm output providing relief
from high food prices. IMD said
rainfall in the southwest monsoon was
expected to be 98 per cent of the
long-period average (LPA). This
means the monsoon will be normal for
the second consecutive year. Large
parts of the country were hit by a
drought in 2009.

The southwest monsoon is important as 60 per cent of the
countrys area under agriculture depends on rain. Almost 70
per cent of the total annual rainfall occurs during the
monsoon months (June-September). The output of major
crops such as paddy, pulses, oilseeds and sugarcane
depends on the quantum, timeliness and distribution of the
southwest monsoon. IMD said there was a very low
probability of either any deficiency or excess. Normal
monsoon is defined as 96-104 per cent of the LPA the
average from 1951 to 2000 which is 89 centimetres.

Drought in many states in 2009 had dragged down farm
sector growth to 0.4 per cent in 2009-10. Farm output is
projected to expand by 5.4 per cent in 2010-11. Agriculture
contributes a little over 17 per cent to the gross domestic
product. Also, it boosts the economy through higher
demand from those whose income depends on the farm
sector, the biggest employer in the country. During 2010-11,
foodgrain output was estimated at 235.88 million tonnes, the
highest ever, as compared to 218.11 million tonnes in the
previous year. All crops, except rice, saw record production.


Conference of Cooperative Ministers
organised

The Conference of Cooperative Ministers of States and
Union Territories organised in New Delhi on April 20, 2011
unanimously resolved to take steps for revitalising the
cooperative sector which is facing the challenge of tough
competition on the one hand and government issues on the
other. The Conference has been organised in the backdrop
of United Nations Declaration to observe 2012 as the
International Year of Cooperatives.

The major initiatives taken by the Central Government to
reform the cooperatives to make them vibrant, viable and
democratic institutions include:

(i) enunciation of National Policy on Cooperatives
(ii) enactment of the Multi-State Cooperatives Societies Act,
2002 and its proposed amendment to provide greater
functional autonomy to cooperatives; reduce Government
interference and to encourage them to become
professionally managed institutions
(iii) proposed amendment in Constitution of India with a
view to ensure the democratic, autonomous and
professional functioning of co-operatives and
(iv) approval of revival package for Short Term Cooperative
Credit Structure (STCCS) envisaging financial outlay of
Rs.13, 596 crores.

The Conference unanimously resolved to take action in the
following areas to strengthen the cooperative movement in
the country:
(i) Government of India and the States may take steps for
early passage of the Constitution (111
th
Amendment) Bill,
2009.


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46
(ii) States may initiate measures for bringing in legal,
institutional and systemic reforms on the lines of
recommendations made by High Powered Committee on
Cooperatives.
(iii) States may take steps to accelerate the pace of
implementation of revival package for short term
cooperative credit structure for having robust cooperative
credit institutions in the State for enhancing credit flow to the
farmers.
(iv) Government of India and the States will constitute
appropriate institutional mechanism to facilitate revival and
rehabilitation of sick cooperatives.
(v) To strengthen and revitalize the cooperative sector,
Government of India, States, cooperative institutions and
other stake holders will work in close collaboration to take
various measures and initiatives in the International Year of
Cooperatives, 2012.
(vi) The States will create conducive environment for
facilitating growth of micro-finance institutions and joint
liability groups for expanding the outreach of institutional
credit to farmers.

ICMR invites scientists to study drug resistant
bacteria

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has invited
research proposals from scientists across the country to
study the superbug or the drug resistant bacteria. The
announcement comes soon after the Ministry of Health and
Family Welfare announced a national anti-microbial policy to
help address the issue of superbug, which became
international news after the presence of such bacteria
(NDM-1) was reported in British medical journal The
Lancet.

The study would be jointly conducted by the Ministry and a
special task force set up for the purpose. A project
coordinator and the surveillance team set up in select
tertiary care hospitals will implement the surveillance of
antimicrobials. The ICMR has invited researchers to submit
proposals by May 15, 2011.

The research is vital to understand the unknown
mechanisms of drug resistance in various micro-organisms.
The applications have been invited for funding research
projects in genetic analysis of microbes to determine the
sequences of genes and reveal vulnerable areas in a
microbe's genome that could be used as potential drug
targets or aid in the development of better diagnostic tests.

Other areas include mechanisms of emergence and transfer
of resistance genes among pathogens in vivo (in the host),
and the distribution and dissemination of specific
antimicrobial resistance genes over time.

The investigations will also probe contamination of water
and soil by pesticides, heavy metals and antibiotic residues
and its relationship to drug resistance as well as role of
normal flora and probiotics in the emergence/control of drug
resistance.

The journal recently claimed the presence of antibiotic-
resistant superbug NDM-I in the public water supply of the
National Capital. The claim was denied by the Ministry as
well as the Delhi government.


Navy sends INS Talwar to tackles pirates off
Somali coast: The Navy has sent a warship towards the
Somali coast to keep a vigil on the hijacked merchant vessel
on which seven Indian sailors are being held as hostages,
despite payment of ransom by the owners of the ship. INS
Talwar, currently deployed on an anti-piracy patrol mission
off the Gulf of Aden, was diverted towards the coast in April
2011. After releasing eight other Indian sailors of the cargo
ship MV Asphalt Venture, the pirates who were holding
them hostage since last September have sought to hold the
other seven back. It is understood that they are seeking
release of 120 pirates held in Indian prisons following naval
action in the Indian Ocean during the past few months.

SC bans employment of children in circuses: The
Supreme Court on April 18, 2011 banned the employment
of children in circuses and directed the Union government to
take immediate steps to rescue those engaged in such
employment. A Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and
A.K. Patnaik, passing orders on a petition filed by the
Bachpan Bachao Andolan, said: To implement the
fundamental right of children under Article 21A [right to
education], it is imperative that the Central government
issue suitable notifications prohibiting the employment of
children in circuses within two months.

Govt. makes double fortified salt mandatory in
midday meals: The Union government on April 18, 2011
said it will promote the use of iron fortified iodised salt
(double fortified salt) to battle anaemia, one of the major
causes of malnutrition, particularly among women and
children. Wide prevalence of anaemia is a major public
health challenge and should be tackled urgently. Anaemia is
caused by inadequate intake and poor absorption of iron. It
can be prevented and cured by promoting consumption of
iron rich foods and iron supplements.

One cost-effective way of increasing iron intake is
fortification of salt with iron in addition to iodine. To begin
with, the Ministries dealing with food and nutrition
programmes such as the Integrated Child Development
Services and midday meal will make the use of double
fortified salt (DFS) mandatory. The Department of Food and


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47
Public Distribution will also examine the possibility of
supplying DFS through the Public Distribution System.
Uttarakhand selected 'first' tourism destination:
Uttarakhand was on April 23, 2011 selected as the first
tourist destination of India which would be developed in the
new Five-Year Plan. A total of 10 new destinations would be
developed in the country, said Union Tourism Minister
Subodh Kant Sahay. Centre would provide nearly Rs 200-
250 crore for the development of each tourist destination.
The government is developing investment plans for key
circuits/destinations. These plans will identify components
requiring investments through public-private partnership
(PPP) models. IL&FS was chosen as the infrastructure
partner to explore new destinations & bring new
investments in the PPP mode from home & abroad.

The Darbhanga Gita-Govinda unveiled: The
Darbhanga Gita-Govinda, a book authored by noted writer
and Rajya Sabha Member Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan was
released by the Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari on
April 20, 2011. The Darbhanga Gita-Govinda is the eighth in
the series of monographs by Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan on the
Gita-Govinda and the miniature painting tradition of India. It
exemplifies both the continuity and changes which take
place over time in comprehending the text as also its visual
representation.

Chandigarh Police the first to get UAV: Chandigarh
Police on April 20, 2011 became the first police force in the
country to acquire an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to
keep a strict vigil on the movements of criminals and trouble
mongers. It has procured the UAV named Golden Hawk for
four months on trial basis. UAVs, equipped with a high-
power small camera to record the activities on the ground,
are mainly used by armies around the world for surveillance
and reconnaissance purposes.




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Section B: WORLD
NEWS ROUND UP

5 Indians in Time list of 100 most influential
people in 2011

As many as five Indians including cricket captain Mahendra
Singh Dhoni, who inspired the country to its first World Cup
title in 28 years, are included in the Time magazine's list of
100 most influential people in the world for the year 2010
released in April 2011. Dhoni, ranked 52
nd
in the chart, was
the only Indian
sportsperson to make
the list which also
included four of his
compatriots in Titan of
Industry Mukesh
Ambani (61), Brain
Mapper V.S.
Ramachandran (79),
Philanthropist Azim
Premji (88) and
Change Agent Aruna
Roy (89). Dhoni is only
the second Indian sportsman after Sachin Tendulkar to find
place in Time list till date.

The list is topped by Wael Ghonim, the Google executive
who became the Spokesman for a Revolution in Egypt.
Wael Ghonim is followed by American economist and 2001
Nobel Economics Laureate Joseph Stiglitz (2
nd
), Netflix
Inc. CEO Reed Hastings (3
rd
), US comedian actress Amy
Poehler (4
th
), American social activist and educator
Geoffrey Canada (5
th
), Facebook founder Mark
Zuckerberg (6
th
), creator of Angry Birds, a puzzle video
game developed by Finland-based Rovio Mobile, Peter
Vesterbacka (7
th
), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (8
th
),
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (9
th
) and US real estate
developer and founder of Middle-East based Education for
Employment Foundation (EFE) Ron Bruder (10
th
) in the top
ten list.

Others in the list include President Barack Obama (86), US
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (43) and
Pakistans ISI Chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha (17).


UNESCOs 2011 Global Monitoring Report
released

Armed conflict is robbing 28 million children of an education
by exposing them to widespread rape and other sexual
violence, targeted attacks on schools and other human
rights abuses, says the UNESCOs 2011 Global Monitoring
Report released on March 1, 2011. The report, The hidden
crisis: Armed conflict and education, cautions that the world
is not on track to achieve by 2015 the six Education for All
goals that over 160 countries signed up to in 2000. Although
there has been progress in many areas, most of the goals
will be missed by a wide margin especially in regions
affected by conflict.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said that this
groundbreaking report documents the scale of this hidden
crisis, identifies its root causes and offers solid proposals for
change. The report is endorsed by four Nobel Peace Prize
laureates: Oscar Arias Snchez (Costa Rica), Shirin Ebadi
(Islamic Republic of Iran), Jos Ramos-Horta (Timor-Leste)
and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (South Africa)

Of the total number of primary school age children in the
world who are not enrolled in school, 42% 28 million live
in poor countries affected by conflict. This years report sets
out a comprehensive agenda for change, including tougher
action against human rights violations, an overhaul of global
aid priorities, strengthened rights for displaced people and
more attention to the ways education failures can increase
the risk of conflict.

Thirty-five countries were affected by armed conflict from
1999 to 2008. Children and schools are on the front line of
these conflicts, with classrooms, teachers and pupils seen
as legitimate targets. Hundreds of schools in conflict-ridden
countries were destroyed, damaged or looted during fighting
in 2009 and 2010 between government and rebel forces.
Insecurity and fear associated with sexual violence keep
young girls, in particular, out of school.

Armed conflict is also diverting public funds from education
into military spending, the report warns. Many of the poorest
countries spend significantly more on arms than on basic
education. Twenty-one countries spend more on the military
than on basic education; if they were to cut military
spending by just 10%, they could put 9.5 million more
children in school. Military spending is also diverting the
resources of aid donor countries.

The humanitarian aid system is failing children, warns the
report, which calls for a major overhaul in aid to education in
conflict-affected countries. Education accounts for just 2%
of humanitarian aid, and only a small fraction of requests for
humanitarian aid for education are met. Financing for
humanitarian pooled funds must be increased to US$2
billion to cover shortfalls in education financing.



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50
National Coalition Party wins in Finland elections:
The National Coalition Party led by Jyrki Katainen won the
highest number of 44 seats (20.4% vote share) in the
elections for the 200-member Parliament called Eduskunta
in the held on April 17, 2011. The Social Democrats led by
Jutta Urpilainen won 42 seats (19.1%) followed by 39
(19.1%) for Timo Soinis True Finns and 35 (15.8%) seats
for Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemis Centre Party. Left
Alliance (14 seats), Green League (9 seats), Swedish
People's Party (10 seats) and Christian Democrats (6 seats)
accounted for the rest. The True Finns Party, which
campaigned on a platform of stringent fiscal and
immigration controls in the European Union and held just
five seats in the outgoing Parliament, is almost certain to
become a part of a new governing coalition in Helsinki.
Finland's new political landscape might jeopardise
economic bailout packages for governments like that of
Greece or Portugal which are facing huge and
unmanageable deficits. The True Finns said they could use
their veto to block any EU legislation giving more aid to
ailing and failing European economies.

Jonathan wins presidential election in Nigeria:
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling
People's Democratic Party (PDP) has won the presidential
election with 58.89% of the votes polled, according to the
results announced by the electoral commission on April 18,
2011. His main challenger, ex-military ruler Muhammadu
Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change, got 31.98%
votes. Jonathan had become President of the country
following the demise of President Umaru Yar'Adua in May
2010.

Raul Castro named first secretary of Cuba's
Communist Party: President Raul Castro was named
first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party on April 19, 2011,
with his brother Fidel not included in the leadership for the
first time since the party's creation 46 years ago. Despite
raising hopes during the gathering that a new generation of
leaders was poised to take up important positions, Raul
Castro announced that Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, an
80-year-old long-time confidante, would be his No. 2.
Ramiro Valdes, a 78-year-old Vice-President, was named to
the No. 3 spot.

De Niro to head Cannes Film Fest jury: Robert De
Niro will be the head of the jury at the 64
th
Cannes Festival
from May 11 to 22, 2011. Jury members include Argentine
actress and producer Martina Gusman, Chinese producer
Nansun Shi, Norwegian critic, writer Linn Ullmann,
Hollywoods Jude Law and Uma Thurman, French director
Olivier Assayas, Chadian director Mahamat Saleh Haroun,
winner of Cannes' 2010 Jury Prize, and Hong Kong director
Johnny To. The festival features 19 films in competition for
the Palme d'Or.

Christopher Painter appointed US cyber envoy: US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on April 22, 2011
appointed a cyber envoy to handle issues related to Internet
and the World Wide Web. In this capacity, Christopher
Painter will bring together the many elements in the State
Department working on cyber issues to more effectively
advance US cyber interests.

Bradley Manning to be shifted to new prison:
Bradley Manning, a US Army serviceman suspected of
passing classified information to the whistle-blowing website
WikiLeaks, is being transferred to a new prison, the
Pentagon said on April 20, 2011. Manning was arrested in
May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed restricted
material to the website WikiLeaks. He was charged in July
that year with transferring classified data onto his personal
computer, and communicating national defense information
to an unauthorized source.

Victoria Cross holder Nepalese passes away: Tul
Bahadur Pun, a Nepalese soldier who won Britain's highest
military honour and later spearheaded the Gurkha rights
campaign, passed away on April 21, 2011. Pun was
awarded the rare Victoria Cross, Britain's greatest possible
decoration for bravery in the face of the enemy, for his
extraordinary heroics in Burma in June 1944. He single-
handedly stormed a Japanese machine gun position, under
heavy fire. The VC takes precedence over all other military
honours and Pun's death leaves just one living recipient
from World War II, and only eight in total. Pun's bravery won
him an invitation to Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953
and he had tea with her mother, queen Elizabeth.

British ex-PM Gordon Brown joins WEF: Former
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been appointed
unpaid chairman of a new policy group at the World
Economic Forum, the organisation announced on April 22,
2011. The WEF, which organises the annual meeting of
global business and political elites in Davos, said Brown had
"valuable insights into the global agenda" from his ten years
as British finance minister and three years as premier.
Brown will chair a new "policy and initiatives coordination
board," an informal group of heads of international
organisations and government representatives.

UK to hold referendum on Alternative Vote system:
United Kingdom's first referendum in more than 30 years
will be held on May 5 when people will decide whether to
abandon the current first-past-the-post voting system in
favour of Alternative Vote (AV), a form of Proportional
Representation, in which voters rank candidates in order of
preference. It is practised only in three countries
Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Opinion polls give a
significant lead to the no'' camp and barring a dramatic


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51
surge in the closing days of the campaign, the yes''
campaign looks set to lose. A defeat will be a huge personal
blow to the Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime
Minister Nick Clegg who has tried to sell the referendum as
a major victory for his party's campaign for more
comprehensive electoral reforms.

European Parliament condemns Pak for
supporting Taliban: The European Parliament (EP) on
April 22, 2011 two declarations against the Pakistan
government condemning it for its support to the Taliban and
instructed the European Commission to re-evaluate the size
of financial packages provided to Islamabad to eradicate
terrorists from its soil. These declarations came after
recognising the need for urgent measures to be taken for
the safety and security of EU, as Pakistan didn't stop
supporting the Taliban and has been involved in supporting
export of terrorism to EU countries. Expressing the EU's
worry, one declaration warned about infiltration of the
Taliban in Pakistan governmental structures especially
military, intelligence and security establishment and cited
U.S. President Barack Obama's 2009 warning of Taliban
snatching a nuclear weapon in transport or inserting
sympathisers in laboratories.

Pakistan test-fires short-range missile Hatf:
Pakistan on April 19, 2011 conducted the first test of Hatf-9
or Nasr missile, a newly developed short-range surface-to-
surface missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The
Pak military said the launch was aimed at boosting the
"deterrence value" of the country's strategic weapons
programme.

Laos defers decision to build Mekong river dam:
Laos announced on April 19, 2011 that it would defer a
decision on building the first dam on the lower Mekong river
in the face of opposition from its neighbouring countries
including its closest ally, Vietnam. Those opposing feared
the $3.5 billion Xayaburi dam would open the door for a
building spree of as many as 10 others on the Mekong's
lower mainstream, degrading the river's fragile ecology and
affecting the lives of millions who depend on it for their
livelihoods. Vietnam has urged at least a 10-year
moratorium on all mainstream dams on the river. But
hydropower is one of Laos' few major resources, and the
landlocked country has argued that revenue from the 1,260
megawatt dam will spur economic and social development.
Thailand agreed last year to buy 95 per cent of Xayaburi's
electricity output.

Earth Day observed: The Earth Day was observed
worldwide on April 22, 2011. The day intended to inspire
awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural
environment, was founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson
on April 22, 1970. While this first Earth Day was focused on
the United States, an organization launched by Denis
Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970,
took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141
nations. Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth
Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 175 countries
every year. In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22
International Mother Earth Day.

World Heritage Day observed: The International Day
for Monuments and Sites (informally known as the World
Heritage Day) was created on 18
th
April, 1982, by ICOMOS
(International Council on Monuments and Sites) and later
approved at the UNESCO General Conference in 1983.
This special day offers an opportunity to raise publics
awareness concerning the diversity of the worlds heritage
and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it,
as well as to draw attention to its vulnerability. The Cultural
Heritage of Water was the theme of the World Heritage Day
observed on April 18, 2011. Some recent World Heritage
Day themes include: 2010: Agricultural Heritage; 2009:
Heritage and Science; 2008: Religious heritage and sacred
places; 2007: Cultural landscapes and monuments of nature
& 2006: Industrial Heritage.

World Book Day observed: World Book Day and
Copyright Day is a yearly event on 23 April, organized by
UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. The
Day was first celebrated in 1995. The connection between
23 April and books were first made in 1923 by booksellers in
Spain as a way to honour the author "Miguel de Cervantes"
who died on that day. The idea for this celebration
originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George's
Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold.

I Am Kalam screening at Buckingham Palace:
After winning the Audience Choice Award at the Indian Film
Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), I Am Kalam, a film
directed by Nila Madhab Panda and produced by Smile
Foundation on a child's struggle to get an education
against all odds, is reportedly headed to the Buckingham
Palace after Prince Charles expressed an interest in
watching the movie. The film, which has won 11
international awards, is set in Bikaner, Rajasthan, and
revolves around the trials and tribulations of Chhotu.

FAO, World Food Programme launch global food
security platform: In order to maximise its food assistance
efforts, United Nation's bodies FAO and the World Food
Programme (WFP) on April 17, 2011 launched a new global
food security platform for effective co-ordination during
crises such as natural disaster and conflicts. Apart from
FAO and WFP, the global team comprises of International
Red Cross, Red Crescent Movement, non governmental
organisations (NGOs) among other humanitarian agencies.
FAO said that a food security clusters already exist and is


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52
helping in coordinating food security responses in more than
25 countries worldwide affected by crises like natural
disasters, conflicts, etc.

NASA awards contracts for space shuttle
replacements: NASA on April 19, 2011 announced it has
awarded nearly 270 million dollars to four US companies to
help their pursuit of making a spacecraft to replace the US
space shuttle. The companies winning contracts under the
NASA commercial crew development programme, or
CCDev2, include Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation
(developing DreamChaser shuttle), SpaceX (a company
that last year completed its first successful test of an
unmanned space capsule into orbit and back) and Blue
Origin.

UN non-proliferation committee gets 10-year
extension: The UN Security Council on April 20, 2011
unanimously adopted a resolution to extend the mandate by
10 years of the committee established pursuant to UNSCR
1540, which obliges states to implement measures to
prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
(WMD). Resolution 1540 is considered a landmark measure
because it was the first to recognise the nuclear threat from
terrorist and militant groups.

Well-being survey puts India in 71
st
spot: With only
17 per cent people describing themselves as "thriving",
India ranked 71, in a new Gallup study on overall well-being
conducted in 124 countries unveiled on April 20, 2011. The
study had asked people to rate themselves on a ladder with
steps labelled 0 to 10. People who rate their current lives a
7 or higher and say they expect their lives in five years to be
an 8 or higher are considered to be thriving. Those who rate
their lives between 4 or less, are considered "suffering",
while "struggling" respondents fall between the two groups.

Denmark topped as the most contented country as almost
two-thirds of its residents described themselves as thriving.
With having 69 per cent happy people, Sweden and Canada
ranked as the second most happiest countries, followed by
Australia (66 per cent), Finland and Venezuela (64 per
cent), Israel and New Zealand (63 per cent), Netherlands
and Ireland (62 per cent).

Maritime Counter-Piracy Conference organised:
Maritime industry has proposed a set of measures including
a stronger public-private effort to combat the increasing
incidence of pirate attacks on commercial and non-
commercial vessels. The continual loss of ships and their
cargoes, and the serious risk to the lives of mariners, is too
great for the international community to endure for much
longer, Diplomats and shipping industry representatives
said at the conclusion of the Maritime Counter-Piracy
Conference in Dubai on April 19, 2011. DP World, which co-
organised the meet, stressed the need for an increased
military presence in the waters off the shores of Somalia, in
the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.




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53
Section C: AWARDS

INDIA

Awards conferred on National Panchayati Raj
Diwas

The Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar 2011, e
Panchayat Puraskar 2011 and the Prizes for the National
Level Winners of Drawing Painting and Essay Competitions
held during the Year of the Gram Sabha (2
nd
October
2009-2
nd
October 2011) were conferred on their winners by
Union Minister of Panchayati Raj and Rural Development
Vilasrao Deshmukh on the occasion of National Panchayati
Raj Diwas on April 24, 2011.

Panchayat Empowerment & Accountability Incentive
Scheme (PEAIS)

Panchayat Empowerment Accountability Incentive Scheme
(PEAIS) was implemented by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj
(MoPR) in 2005-06 to motivate states to empower the
Panchayats by devolving Funds, functions and functionaries
(3Fs).

The scheme aims at encouraging the States for
empowering the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and
putting in place mechanism for transparency and
accountability of the PRIs. Performance of the States in
these respects is measured through a Devolution Index (DI)
formulated by an independent institution. A token award is
also given to the States, for which the annual provision is
currently at Rs. 10 crore.

This year in addition to the cumulative achievement of the
state, the DI study also took into account incremental
achievement since 1st April 2009.For 2010-11, the Indian
Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi was
engaged for the task of preparation of DI and ranking the
States.

Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar 2011

In order to appreciate and devise an appropriate structure of
incentives and to recognize and encourage the Panchayats
for outstanding performance through effective Gram
Sabhas, especially in respect of improvements in the social
and economic structure of the village, the Ministry of
Panchayati Raj instituted National level Awards for Best
Gram Sabhas and name it as Rashtriya Gaurav Gram
Sabha.

The prize money for this award is Rs 10 lakhs. The Award
money will be utilized by the Panchayats for public purposes
such as augmentation of civic services like primary
education, primary health care, safe drinking water, public
utilities; provision rural infrastructure in the Panchayat
jurisdiction etc.

This year the following Gram Sabhas and Gram Panchayats
have merited for RGGS 2011:


S.
N
o.
Name
of the
District
Name of
the
Block/Tal
uka
Name of
the Gram
Panchayat/
Gram
Sabha
Nominated
State Name of
the
Sarpanch
( recipient
of the
Award)
1 Belgau
m
Athani Shiraguppi Karnataka Vinesh
Iragouda
Patil
2 South
Goa
Sanguem Kirlapal
Dabal
Goa Rama
Sonugaonk
ar
3 Rajkot Padadhari Depaliya Gujarat Rasilaben
Dalsaniya
4 Rohtak Rohtak Assan Haryana Raj Singh
5 Jalgao
n
Chopda Chahardi Maharashtr
a
Sangitabai
Koli
6 Ajmer Shrinagar Aradaka Rajasthan Raheesa
Khatoon
7 South
District
Melli Mellidara-
Paiyong
Sikkim Ganesh
Rahi


e Panchayat Puraskar 2011

This Year a national award in the category of e panchayat
Puraskar has been instituted by MoPr in order to appreciate
the excellent achieving of various States in the
implementation of Model Accounting system for Panchayats
(MAS) and PRIASoft.

A prize money of Rs 50 lakhs for first prize, Rs 30 lakhs for
second and Rs 20 lakhs for third prize will be given to the
winning states.

It is expected that the prize money would be utilised for
further strengthening / development of MAS/ PRIASoft
initiative in the state viz., provision of computers, training to
concerned functionaries etc. The following States have
been selected for the e Panchayat Puraskar:


STATE PRIZE PRIZE MONEY
1 ODISHA FIRST PRIZE RS 50 LAKHS
2 MAHARASHTRA SECOND PRIZE RS 30 LAKHS
3 TRIPURA SECOND PRIZE RS. 30 LAKHS
4 PUNJAB THIRD PRIZE RS 20 LAKH
5 ASSAM THIRD PRIZE RS. 20 LAKHS



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54
Prizes for the National level winners of Drawing
Painting and Essay Competitions held during the Year
of the Gram Sabha (2
nd
October 2009-2
nd
October 2011)

LIST OF WINNERS OF DRAWING PAITING
COMPETITION AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL

S.
No.
Name of the
winner
Tehsil /
District
State Prize Money
1 Parasad
Dattatreya
Chavhan
Tehsil
Koregaon,
District.
Satara
Maharashtra Rs 25,000
2 Meghawi
Saini
Nasibpur,
Narnaul,
District
Mahendraga
rh
Haryana Rs. 15,000
3(1) Ajaz-Ul-Haq Akramabad
Village,
District
Doda
Jammu &
Kashmir
Rs. 10,000
3(2) Jyoti
Manoharrao
Mate
District
Aurangabad
Maharashtra Rs. 10,000

LIST OF WINNERS OF ESSAY COMPETITION AT
NATIONAL LEVEL

S.
No
.
Name of the
winner
Village/Tehsil/
District
State Prize
Money
1 Rini Joshi New Cera, District -
Pithoragarh

Uttarakhand
Rs.
25,000
2 Diana
Thomas
District-
Malkapuram,
Vishakapattanam
Andhra
Pradesh
Rs.
15,000
3 Kalluri Eswar
Datt Adarsh
Chillakur Village,
District-Nellore
Andhra
Pradesh
Rs.
10,000

Highlights of National Panchayati Raj Diwas
awards:

Maharashtra bags maximum awards: RGGS, PEAIS -3
rd

prize, 2 prizes for national drawing and painting and
Second Prize in e Panchayat Puraskar)
Haryana bags three awards (RGGS, PEAIS 5
th
in
incremental index and Winner of National Drawing
Painting Competition -2nd prize).
J&K bags one prize in Drawing and Painting competition.
Karnataka bags three awards (RGGS and 2 PEAIS
awards)
Odisha bags first prize in e Panchayat Puraskar.
Sikkim bags two awards (RGGS and PEAIS)
Rajasthan gets two awards (RGGS and 1st prize in
PEAIS Incremental devolution)
PMs Excellence Awards conferred on Civil
Services Day

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurated the
Civil Services Day in New Delhi on April 21, 2011 and gave
away the `PMs Awards for Excellence in Public
Administration for the year 200910 on the occasion. The
Civil Services is being celebrated since 2006.

Five initiatives in three categories individual, group and
organization were selected for the award.

Individual category: Bridging the Gap the Turnaround of
Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam, (Bihar)
Group category: (i) Success Story of Malkapur 24x7 Water
Supply Scheme (Maharashtra) and (ii) Education and
Training Centre Dreams to Reality, Navi Mumbai
Municipal Corporation, (Maharashtra).
Organization category: (i) Sickle Cell Anemia Control
Programme, of Government of Gujarat and (ii) Sustainable
Plastic Waste Management of Himachal Pradesh.

Under this scheme of awards, all officers of Central and
State Governments individually or as group or as
organization are eligible. The award includes a medal, scroll
and a cash amount of Rs.1 lakh. In case of a group, the
total award money is Rs.5 lakh subject to a maximum of Rs.
1 lakh per person. For an organization this is limited to Rs. 5
lakh.


Rajeev Bhargava wins Dr Malcolm Adiseshiah
Award: Prof Rajeev Bhargava, director and senior fellow,
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi,
will be the recipient of the Dr Malcolm Adiseshiah award this
year. The announcement was made by the Elizabeth
Adiseshiah Trust on April 19, 2011. The award is
announced on the birth anniversary of Dr Malcolm
Adiseshiah, distinguished economist and educationist who
passed away in 1994. The award will be presented to
Bhargava on November 21, the death anniversary of
Adiseshiah, during which he will deliver a memorial lecture.
The award consists of a citation and a cash award of Rs 2
lakh. The award is given to make economics research
attractive for scholars.

Super 30 founder is Europe journal's global
personality: Anand Kumar, who founded Super 30,
Bihar's free coaching centre which helps economically
backward students crack the IIT-JEE, was on April 20, 2011
selected by Europe's magazine Focus as one of the global
personalities who have the ability to shape exceptionally
talented people. He is the only Indian named in the list.
Focus is published by Italy's biggest publishing house
Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.


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55
WORLD
Pulitzer Prizes announced

The New York Times won Pulitzer Prizes on April 18, 2011
for its economics commentary and its reporting on Russia,
while The Los Angeles Times received the coveted public
service Pulitzer and the award for feature photography.

The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in
newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical
composition. It was established by Hungarian-American
publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia
University in New York City. Pulitzers are awarded in 13
journalism categories and seven arts categories. In twenty
of these, each winner receives a certificate and a
US$10,000 cash award. The winner in the public service
category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold
medal. Complete list of winners for 2011 is as follows:

Journalism

Public Service: Los Angeles Times
Breaking News Reporting: No award
Investigative Reporting: Paige St. John of Sarasota
Herald-Tribune
Explanatory Reporting: Mark Johnson, Kathleen
Gallagher, Gary Porter, Lou Saldivar and Alison Sherwood
of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Local Reporting: Frank Main, Mark Konkol and John J.
Kim of Chicago Sun-Times
National Reporting: Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein of
ProPublica
International Reporting: Clifford J. Levy and Ellen Barry of
The New York Times
Feature Writing: Amy Ellis Nutt of The Star-Ledger,
Newark, NJ
Commentary: David Leonhardt of The New York Times
Criticism: Sebastian Smee of The Boston Globe
Editorial Writing: Joseph Rago of The Wall Street Journal
Editorial Cartooning: Mike Keefe of The Denver Post
Breaking News Photography: Carol Guzy, Nikki Kahn and
Ricky Carioti of The Washington Post
Feature Photography: Barbara Davidson of Los Angeles
Times

Letters, Drama and Music

Fiction: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
(Alfred A. Knopf)
Drama: Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
History: The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American
Slavery by Eric Foner (W.W. Norton & Company)
Biography or Autobiography: Washington: A Life by Ron
Chernow (The Penguin Press)
Poetry: The Best of It New and Selected Poems by Kay
Ryan (Grove/Atlantic)
General Nonfiction: The Emperor of All Maladies: A
Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Scribner)
Music: Madame White Snake by Zhou Long (Oxford
University Press)
Special Citations: There are no special citations this year

Indian-American doctor's book wins Pulitzer in
non-fiction

Indian-American physician Siddhartha Mukherjee's
acclaimed book on cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies: A
Biography of Cancer, has won the prestigious 2011 Pulitzer
Prize in the general non-fiction category. According to the
Pulitzer citation, the book by the New York-based cancer
physician and researcher is an elegant inquiry, at once
clinical and personal, into the
long history of an insidious
disease that, despite treatment
breakthroughs, still bedevils
medical science.

The Pulitzer for general non-
fiction is awarded to a
distinguished and appropriately
documented book of non-fiction
by an American author that is
not eligible for consideration in any other category.

India-born Dr. Mukherjee is an assistant professor of
medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician at
the Columbia University Medical Centre. A Rhodes scholar,
he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford,
Harvard Medical School. In his book, Dr. Mukherjee
recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories and
deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and
peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful
adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be
easily vanquished in an all-out war against cancer. An
award-winning science writer, Dr. Mukherjee examines
cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a historian's
perspective and a biographer's passion.

Binayak Sen wins Korean human rights prize: Civil
rights activist Binayak Sen, recently freed on bail by the
Supreme Court in a sedition case, has been honoured with
the 2011 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, South Korea's
most prestigious award for those working on peace,
democracy and justice in Asia. The award was announced
on April 21, 2011 by 2011 Gwangju Prize Committee in
Seoul. The prize, which carries a sum of USD 50,000 is
awarded each year on May 18 on the anniversary of the
May 1980 Gwangju democratic uprising -- to a person or
organisation who has made significant contributions in the
field of human rights and democracy.



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Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
NEWS ROUND UP

Exports register growth of 37.5% in 2010-11

EXPORTS in 2010-11
Major Sectors (in $ billion) Growth (%)
Engineering 60.1 84.8
Oil 42.5 50.6
Gems & jewellery 33.5 15.3
Readymade garments 11.1 4.2
Manmade yarn & fabrics 4.2 16.1
Cotton yarn and made-ups 5.7 43
Textiles 21 14.5
Electronics goods 7.4 35.5
Drugs & pharmaceuticals 10.3 15.1
Chemicals 8.6 26
Plastics 4.6 38
Leather 3.7 12
Iron ore 4.5 25
Marine products 2.5 21
Carpets 1.1 53.3

IMPORTS in 2010-11
Major Sectors (in $ billion) Growth (%)
Oil 101.3 16.7
Pearls, gems & jewellery 28.2 72.8
Gold & silver 36.8 23.6
Fertilsers 6.7 0
Vegetable oil 6.5 16.5
Machinery 27.2 29
Electronics 21.7 3.5
Chemicals 14.9 25
Iron & steel 10.5 26.6
Ores & scrap 9.6 24.6
Resins & plastics 6.9 38

Indias merchandise exports for the year ending March 2011
touched US$ 245.9 billion registering a growth of 37.5%.
This was the first time export figure reached the US$ 200
billion mark. Imports for the same period grew 21.5% to
US$ 350.3 billion. The trade deficit figure has come down to
US$ 10.4.4 billion.

The government had set a target of achieving exports worth
$200 billion in the last financial year. It had also set an
ambitious goal of realising $450 billion in export of goods by
2014. In 2009-2010, exports ended up falling 3.6 per cent to
$178.6 billion and imports declined by 5.5 per cent year-on-
year at $286.8 billion.

Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Anand Sharma, in
his briefing about the trade performance for the financial
year 2010-11 on April 19, 2011, said the growth had mainly
come from newer markets such as Latin America and Africa
and not from traditional destinations of the US, Europe and
Japan. Recent bilateral trade agreements signed with South
Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and
Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) would
contribute in achieving the target of $450 billion in exports
by 2014. Highlights of Indias trade in 2010-11 are:

Engineering goods by far constituted the largest component
of exports. Entailing considerable domestic value addition,
engineering exports crossed US$ 60 billion registering a
growth of 84.76%.

Petroleum Products export were in the range of US$ 42.45
billion registering a growth of 50.58%

Gems & Jewellery sector which is a considerable employer
of people saw an export of US$ 33.54 billion showing a
growth of 15.34%

Drugs & pharmaceuticals sectors for which India has gained
a considerable global reputation saw total exports of US$
10.32 billion showing a growth of 15.08%.

Textiles exports were $21 billion registering a growth of
34.5% over 2009-10. Readymade garments exports
crossed US$ 11.1 billion showing a growth of 4.23%. Man-
made yarn & fabrics saw exports of US$ 4.2 billion
registering a growth of 16.1%. Cotton yarn fabrics saw an
export of US$ 5.66 billion registering a growth of 42.87%.

Exports of carpet, jute and leather which are the labour
intensive sectors assured considerable dynamism in growth.
Carpets exports reached $1.1 billion in 2010-11, the first
time they have exceeded the $1 billion-mark.

Exports of electronic goods grew 34.5 per cent at $7.4
billion.

Agricultural exports and allied sectors including tea, coffee,
tobacco, spices, cashew, oil meals, fruits and vegetables
and marine products crossed US$ 12.92 billion.

Iron Ore exports went down by 25% at US$ 4.5 billion.


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57
Committee on Semiconductor Manufacturing
set up

The Union Cabinet on April 20, 2011 approved the proposal
to set up an Empowered Committee for identifying
technology and investors for setting up two Semiconductor
Wafer Fabrication (Fab) Manufacturing Facilities in the
country.

The Empowered Committee comprising Adviser to PM on
Public Information, Infrastructure and Innovation; Chairman,
National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC);
Secretary, Department of Expenditure; Member (Industry),
Planning Commission; Dr. M. J. Zarabi, Former CMD,
Semiconductor Complex Ltd. (SCL) - Technical Expert and
Secretary, DIT - Member Convenor has been set up.

The Empowered Committee will identify technology and
potential investors for establishment of Semiconductor
Wafer Fabs, and thereafter ascertain their interest in setting
up of Semiconductor Fab facilities in the country; to assess
and recommend the nature and Quantum of Government
support such as equity/grant/ subsidy in physical/financial
terms that may be required. The Committee shall submit its
recommendations to the Government by 31.7.2011.

Background: A, earlier Committee comprising the Chairman,
National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC)
and others had made five recommendations:

(i) Set up Semiconductor Wafer Fabs;
(ii) Create policies for preferential access to "Manufactured-
in-lndia "Indian Products" electronics goods for all
government procurements and procurement by Government
Licensees;
(iii) Set up a dedicated "Electronic Development Fund";
(iv) Set up of a National Electronics Mission (NEM) and
(v) Encourage manufacture of specific high priority
electronic product line in India by providing capital grant and
creation of electronic manufacturing clusters.

Electronics hardware sector is capital intensive. The Rough
Order of Magnitude (ROM) of investment for the two wafer
fabs (Fab-1 and Fab-2) is estimated at to be Rs.25,000
Crore (approx. US$ 5 Billion).

The Indian electronics hardware industry and the Indian
economy would be the direct beneficiaries of the proposal.
The Semiconductor Wafer Fabs will have catalytic impact
on development of downstream and upstream products,
including ancillaries. It would have sizable impact on the
development of IT/ITES sector particularly in Very Large
Scale Integration (VLSI) design software, solutions and
services. It will also bootstrap innovation and R&D,
especially in the area of semiconductors and others. It will
help generating employment of the order of about 3 Crore
(direct and indirect) by 2020 across various levels of
competencies.

National rollout of e-District Mission Mode
project approved
The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure has approved the
scheme of National Rollout of e-District Mission Mode
Project on April 21, 2011. The estimated total project cost
for the nation-wide rollout of e-District MMP is Rs 1663.08
crore spread over years 2011-2012 to 2014-2015. The
Government of India's share is estimated to be Rs 1233.08
crore and States' share Rs 430 crore. The project will be
implemented in all 640 districts (including the 41 districts
where e-District Pilot Projects have already been initiated)
of the country for a period of 4 years. The approval is for an
outlay of Rs 1663.08 crore with an expenditure of Rs 541.22
crore in the Eleventh Five Year Plan and of Rs 1121.86
crore in the Twelfth Five Year Plan.

Back ground
The Government had in May 2006, approved the National e
Governance Plan (NeGP) with the following vision: Make
all Government Services accessible to the common man in
his locality, through common service delivery outlets and
ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such
services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the
common man.

To realize this vision, 27 Central, State and Integrated
Mission Mode projects (MMPs) along with 8 support
components were identified and approved under NeGP.
States have the flexibility to identify upto 5 additional state-
specific projects, which are particularly relevant for the
economic development of the State. NeGP also envisages
creation of the core IT infrastructure in the form of State
Wide Area Networks (SWANs), State Data Centres (SDCs)
State Service Delivery Gateways (SSDGs) and one lakh
Front Ends namely Common Services Centres (CSCs), in
rural areas across the country to deliver public services
electronically.

e-District is one of the 27 MMPs under NeGP, with the
Department of Information Technology (DIT), Government
of India as the nodal Department, to be implemented by
State Government or their designated agencies. The MMP
aims at electronic delivery of identified high volume citizen
centric services, at such district and sub-district level.

India and Japan Sign TKDL Access Agreement

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India
signed the TKDL (Traditional Knowledge Digital Library)
Access Agreement with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) on
April 20, 2011. The Agreement would help prevent


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58
misappropriation of Indias traditional knowledge at JPO. It
also successfully concludes the arrangement of protection
of Indias traditional knowledge with trilateral offices like
United States Patent & Trademark Office, European Patent
Office and Japan Patent Office.

This is considered significant as most of the international
patent applications get filed at least in one of these trilateral
offices. Rejection of a patent application at any one of these
offices would facilitate its rejection at any other International
Patent Office.

A recent study carried out by TKDL expert team has
revealed a sharp decline (44%) on filing of patent
applications concerning Indian systems of medicine at EPO
in particular on generic group concerning medicinal plant
preparation.

Misappropriation and bio-piracy are the issues of great
concern for 130 developing countries and this agenda is
being pursued at multilateral forums such as Convention on
Biological Diversity, TRIPs Council at World Trade
Organization and at World Intellectual Property
Organization. However, so far there has been no
consensus on ensuring protection of traditional knowledge.

TKDL, a collaborative project between CSIR and
Department of AYUSH, is a maiden Indian effort to help
prevent misappropriation of traditional knowledge belonging
to India at International Patent Offices. It has scientifically
converted and structured the Indias traditional knowledge
available in 148 ancient books on Indian Systems of
Medicine, into five international languages, namely, English,
Japanese, French, German and Spanish (30 million A4 size
pages), with the help of IT tools and a novel classification
system, namely, Traditional Knowledge Resource
Classification (TKRC).

Today, India through TKDL is capable of protecting about 2
lakh (0.226 million) medical formulations similar to those of
neem and turmeric. On an average, it takes five to seven
years for opposing a granted patent at international level
which may cost Rs 1-3 crore (0.2-0.6 million US$).

These unique international TKDL Access Agreements would
have long-term implications on the protection of traditional
knowledge and global intellectual property systems in view
of the fact that in the past, patents have been granted at
EPO and USPTO on the use of over 200 medicinal plants
due to the lack of access to the documented knowledge in
public domain.

Also, at any point in time, 40-50 patent applications based
on Indian traditional knowledge are awaiting grant of patent.

Manufacturing sector profits most from
employees PwC Study

Engineering and manufacturing generate the most
revenue and profits per employee followed by FMCG
and pharma space.
Overall, companies make an investment of Rs. 7,000 on
learning and development (L&D) per employee.
IT and ITeS have the lowest spend on learning and
development per employee.

Measuring Human Capital - Driving Business Results, a
PwC Saratoga India Survey 2010 on human capital
effectiveness was conducted amongst 37 Indian companies
across different industries recently.

According to the survey, with an average remuneration of
Rs 4.8 lakh and profit of Rs 6 lakh per employee, the human
capital return on investment is 1.79 for organisations in
India.

Indian companies make a pure profit of Rs 15 from every Rs
100 worth revenue generated by their employees.

According to the study, the engineering and manufacturing
sectors earn the most revenue and profit per employee.
This is followed by the FMCG and pharma sectors.

Companies make an investment of Rs 7,000 on learning
and development (L&D) per employee. Pharmaceutical
companies spent the highest (Rs 10,000) on learning and
development (L&D) per employee and delivered the highest
number of L&D hours per employee, while IT and ITeS were
found to spend the least on L&D per employee. IT/ITeS
witnessed the highest termination and resignation rate.

Poverty rate declines to 32%: The latest data of the
Planning Commission indicates that poverty has declined to
32 per cent in 2009-10 from 37.2 per cent five years ago.
The preliminary estimates are based on the formula
suggested by the Tendulkar Committee for computing the
number of poor. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman
Montek Singh Ahluwalia on April 20, 2011 said that the
2009-10 data shows a decline in poverty from 37.2 per cent
in 2004-05 to 32 per cent in 2009-10 as the per the
preliminary data worked out by the Planning Commission
member Abhijit Sen. The Tendulkar Committee had
suggested that poverty be estimated on the basis of
consumption based on the cost of living index instead of
caloric intake. It said that the basket of goods should also
include services such as health and education. The new
poverty line, as suggested by the Tendulkar Committee, is
different for rich and poor States, and for rural and urban
areas within a State. Estimates of poverty are important


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59
because the cheap grains under the proposed Food
Security law will be provided based on these numbers.

Refining capacity to reach 240 MTPA by March
2012: India's petroleum refining capacities is expected to
rise to 240 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) by March
2012 from the current 188 MTPA, attracting an estimated
investment of Rs 60,000-65,000 crore. The capacity
addition is believed to boost country's exports of petroleum
products, said Petroleum Secretary P Sundereshan on April
20, 2011. Currently, India's total demand for the petroleum
products is estimated at 140 MTPA. This creates a spare
capacity of 48 million tonnes per annum at the refineries.
The spare capacity will increase to around 90 million tonnes
per annum which will be exported.

Navigation to be separated from AAI functions: To
demarcate the functional responsibility of the Airports
Authority of India (AAI) as an 'aerodrome operator' and air
navigation service (ANS) provider, the government on April
17, 2011 announced separation of the air navigation wing
from the airport operator. The decision follows
recommendations of the Ajay Prasad Committee for
formulation of next generation futuristic Air Navigation
Services Master Plan. The Committee had opined that the
present structure does not clearly demarcate its functional
responsibility of an 'aerodrome operator' and of ANS
provider, a senior AAI official said.

Consultant appointed to set up modern silos: The
Planning Commission on April 17, 2011 appointed a
consultant to prepare a feasibility report for creating 20 lakh
tonnes capacity of modern foodgrains storage facilities like
silos in the country. The Committee headed by Planning
Commission Member Abhijit Sen has appointed Matt
Macdonald as consultant for creating modern silos. The
term of reference includes cost comparison between
modern silos and conventional storage, identification of
location and setting parameters for tender process. The
study is being commissioned in view of announcement
made by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his Budget
speech that the government has decided to construct 20
lakh tonnes of storage capacity in the form of modern silos.

Central tax collection reaches Rs 7.92 lakh crore in
2010-11: The central tax collection direct and indirect
reached about Rs 7.92 lakh crore in 2010-11, exceeding
even the revised estimate, on the back of strong economic
growth. The total Budget estimate for direct and indirect tax
collections was Rs 7.45 lakh crore for the last fiscal, which
was revised upwards to Rs 7.80 lakh crore. Higher tax
collection will not only provide the government resources to
fund development projects but also help reduce the fiscal
deficit. Of the total, the direct tax mop up was about Rs 4.50
lakh crore and indirect tax, about Rs 3.42 lakh crore.
CACP for private sector role in foodgrain
procurement: The Commission for Agriculture Costs and
Prices (CACP), a statutory body which advises the
government on pricing policy for major farm items, on April
18, 2011 has suggested private sector participation in
foodgrains procurement to boost the purchase process. It
also favoured export of 3-5 million tonnes (MT) of rice and
wheat to cash in the booming international markets. CACP
Chairman Ashok Gulati said that the export will not only
solve the problem of storage but will also benefit the
farmers. The government godowns have foodgrains stock
worth Rs 40,000-43,000 crore over and above the buffer
norm. The country is witnessing decline in procurement of
wheat and rice in the ongoing marketing season (October-
September).

CMIE projects 8.8% GDP growth in 2011-12: India's
GDP is projected to grow at a brisk pace of 8.8 per cent in
2011-12, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)
said on April 18, 2011. The domestic environment is
conducive for growth and private final consumption
expenditure is projected to grow by a healthy 7.5 per cent
and gross fixed capital formation by 14.6 per cent, said the
CMIE in its latest monthly review of the country's economy.
In 2010-11, the performance of India's economy has been
robust, it said, adding that the real GDP is estimated to have
grown by nine per cent during the fiscal. This has been
powered by a rebound in the agricultural sector following the
drought in 2009-10, and a sharp pick-up in private
consumption and gross fixed capital formation. In 2011-12,
the agricultural and allied sector is projected to grow by
3.1% on top of the 5.1% growth estimated in 2010-11. The
industrial sector, including construction, is likely to grow by
9.4% during 2011-12, as compared to 8.5% estimated in
2010-11.


CIBIL launches credit score for consumers: The
country's oldest credit information bureau, CIBIL, launched
its CIBIL TransUnion Score for retail consumers, on April
20, 2011. This score will be available for a fee of Rs 450,
will take into consideration factors such as the loan amount,
the nature of loan (secured or unsecured), the tenure,
delinquencies (repayment history or defaults if any), number
of loans, among others. The final score is arrived at based
on the weightage assigned to each of these aspects. It
ranges between 300 and 900 and provides a snapshot of a
consumer's credit history. CIBIL provides the score along
with the Credit Information Report, which is available
separately for a fee of Rs 142. While the report is an
analysis of 36 months of the consumer's repayment history,
the score uses that history and other information to indicate
the likelihood of default in future. While lenders have been
using the score for the past two years, now individual
borrowers can also access it.


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60
SBI to discontinue teaser' home loans: State Bank
of India has finally decided to toe the Reserve Bank of India
line on its much debated teaser' home loan scheme. SBI on
April 20, 2011 said it will discontinue the scheme from April
30. The withdrawal of teaser rates comes soon after the
new chairman Pratip Chaudhuri took over the charge at SBI.
The scheme was started by former Chairman, O.P. Bhatt.
SBI will replace teaser loans with a new floating rate home
loan product with effect from May 1. Teaser loans are
advances offered at a comparatively lower rate of interest
for the first few years, after which rates are re-set at higher
rates. SBI introduced the teaser home loan product two
years ago. Under the new floating rate structure, customers
can get home loans at a spread above the base rate,
currently at 8.5 per cent. Besides, the bank has waived
penalty on pre-payment and introduced a graded
processing fee, which will be charged only if the loan
application is passed.

Air India forms panel to study wage and HR issues
of merger: Air India's Board of Directors on April 21, 2011
constituted an independent committee, headed by Justice
(retd) D.N. Dharmadhikari of the Supreme Court to address
the wage and human resource-related issues after the
merger of Indian Airlines Ltd and Air India Ltd. The
committee will examine the principles of integration across
various cadres and determination of level and seniority.

New simpler forms for IT returns introduced: The Union
Finance Ministry has introduced simpler income tax return
forms Sahaj' and Sugam' aimed at reducing compliance
burden on salaried persons and small businessmen. Central
Board of Direct Taxes Chairman Sudhir Chandra in April
2011 said the new forms were major steps towards
simplification of income tax return filing. While Sahaj is for
salaried people, the Sugam return form is applicable to
small businessmen and professionals covered under
presumptive taxation. Under presumptive taxation, person
carrying on business are not required to get accounts
audited if the annual total sales, turnover or gross receipts is
less than Rs.60 lakh. The earlier limit of Rs. 40 lakh was
increased by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the
2010-11 Union Budget. The presumptive tax limit in case of
professionals was increased from Rs.10 lakh to Rs.15 lakh.
The Government also plans to notify a provision in early
June exempting people of salary income up to Rs. 5 lakh a
year from filing returns. However such salaried people
(earning up to Rs.5 lakh) will have to file the return if they
seek refund.

SEBI calls for higher stake for Sovereign wealth funds:
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has
mooted a proposal to allow sovereign wealth funds to pick
up a 20 per cent stake in an entity without invoking an open
offer. The stake buy should not lead to a change in
management control. Sovereign wealth funds are state-
owned investment funds that consist of all kinds of asset
classes debt, equity, commodities, and the like. This
proposal was made at the SEBI board meeting on March
25.

Marine products exports at $2.67 bn: Export of
marine products from the country were USD 2.67 billion
during the fiscal 2010-11 by registering a growth of 10.96
per cent in quantity, over the year-ago period. This is 20.42
per cent in rupee value and 25.55 per cent in USD
realisation compared to the previous fiscal, according to the
provisional export figures released on April 21, 2011. This
was the first time in the history of Marine Products Industry,
that India had crossed the USD 2.5 billion mark. A total
quantity of 75,2791 tonnes of marine products were
exported during April-March 2010-11 valued at Rs
12,100.48 crore against 67,8436 tonnes valued at Rs
10,048.53 crore over the year-ago period.

Inter-ministerial group to review pharma FDI
policy: The government on April 21, 2011 said it will form
an inter-ministerial group chaired by Planning Commission
member Arun Maira to examine the issue of imposing a
ceiling on FDI in pharmaceutical industry in the country.
Currently the government permits 100 per cent foreign
direct investment (FDI) via automatic route.

NSDC partners Everonn to skill' nine sectors: The
National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), a not-for-
profit company under the Ministry of Finance and Everonn
Education Ltd (EEL) have jointly launched International
Skills School' on April 18, 2011. Through the venture with
Everonn, 1.5 crore people will be imparted skills in 12 years,
across nine sectors textile and apparel, retail, hospitality,
automobile, healthcare, construction, IT and ITeS, basic
engineering and multimedia. Dilip Chenoy is the Managing
Director and CEO, NSDC while Dr. J.J. Irani is the
Chairman of Everonn. The International Skills School' will
impart training through 271 multi skill development centres
across the country.

Railway Week celebrated: The 56
th
Railway Week
celebrations were held across Indian railways from April 10
to 16, 2011 in commemoration of the first train run on Indian
soil on April 16, 1853 from Bombay to Thane.

New Delhi, Mumbai in worlds top global cities
index: Two Indian cities have made it to the list of top
global cities index by the Annual Citi/Knight Frank Wealth
Report and the next decade is likely to witness significant
improvements from emerging market cities particularly in
the Asian behemoths. New York has topped the overall
cities index ranking released on April 21, 2011, followed by
London and Paris. New Delhi and Mumbai were ranked 37


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61
and 38 in the list. The 2011 Wealth Report assessed key
markets across the world in terms of their provision of
investment opportunities and their influence on global
business leaders and the political elite.

MMTC to launch gold jewellery brand: Public sector
MMTC on April 19, 2011 announced plans to launch a new
gold jewellery brand, aimed at expanding its footprint in the
domestic retail market. Of the company's estimated turnover
of Rs 67,500 crore in 2010-11, precious metals are
expected to contribute Rs 50,000 crore. The company also
plans to set up more over 30 more retail outlets to sell the
branded jewellery. At present, it has about 15 outlets across
the country. Currently, the company has a silverware brand
named 'Sanchi.' At present, the PSU has a joint venture with
Gitanjali Group for gold and diamond jewellery retail.

FICCI and YES Bank study outlines roadmap to
boost health tourism: India needs to identify and
develop circuits to cater to health tourists, says a joint study
by industry chamber FICCI and YES Bank, released on
April 17, 2011. The study offers a 10-point prescription to
boost health and wellness tourism in India. Titled Health
and Wellness Tourism Advantage India', the study
recommends increasing the health tourist base in India
through appropriate marketing initiatives keeping in mind
good quality accommodation, hospitals and post treatment
recuperative centres. It also recommends that the
government should offer tax breaks to hospitals to promote
medical tourism

Asia to account for 50% of global GDP by 2050
ADB: Calling for improved economic collaboration among
India, China and Japan, an ADB report has said Asia could
re-emerge as engine of global growth by 2050 accounting
for over 50 per cent of the world GDP, up from 35 per cent,
at present. The report unveiled by the ADB on April 17,
2011 said Asian nations would account for 52 per cent of
the global economic output, followed by Europe at 18 per
cent and North America at 16 per cent by 2050. Besides
greater cooperation among the leading nations of India,
Japan and China, the report also called for open trading
system and peace and security for expediting growth.

British Petroleum to sue Transocean over oil spill:
Energy giant British Petroleum has filed lawsuits against
Swiss-based rig owner Transocean, suing it for USD 40
billion for failing to stop the calamitous Gulf oil spill last year.
It is also suing US firm Cameron International, the
manufacturers of the blowout preventer (BOP), BP said in a
lawsuit filed on April 20, 2011 in a New Orleans federal
court. The British company said they (Transocean and
Cameron) were largely to blame for the accident that killed
11 and spilled 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of
Mexico on April 20, 2010 in the worst offshore oil spill in US
history.

Amway's Yoginder Singh elected IDSA head:
Yoginder Singh, Vice- President - Legal & Corporate Affairs,
Amway India was elected for a second-term as the
Chairman, Indian Direct Selling Association on April 18,
2011. S. Subramanian, Finance Director, for Oriflame India
was elected for the position of Vice-Chairman and P.
Devadas from K-Link Health was elected for the position of
Secretary. The new Executive Committee shall be in force
for FY 2011-12. The elected members of the Indian Direct
Selling Association will each serve one-year term in their
elected positions.




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62
Section E: SPORTS
Dilshan appointed Lankan skipper: The 34-year-old
Tillakaratne Dilshan was on April 18, 2011 appointed the
captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team for the tour of
England from May 2011. Sri Lanka will play three Tests, a
one-off Twenty20 international and five ODIs. Dilshan takes
over from Kumar Sangakkara, who led Sri Lanka to the ICC
ODI World Cup final. Dilshan emerged as the highest scorer
in the World Cup with 500 runs at an average of 62.50. In
66 Tests, he has 3990 runs at 42.44 with 11 centuries. The
right-hander has also collected 5456 runs in 203 ODIs at
36.61 (strike rate 87.54). And in Twenty20 internationals, he
has 758 runs in 32 games at 29.15 (strike rate 120.70).

Malinga quits Test cricket: Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith
Malinga on April 22, 2011 quit Test cricket in a bid to
prolong his career in One-Day Internationals and Twenty20
matches. Malinga made his Test debut in July 2004 against
Australia and has taken 101 wickets in 30 tests at an
average of 33.15. He is currently playing for Mumbai Indians
in the Indian Premier League. He is the only bowler with two
World Cup hat tricks, against South Africa in the 2007 and
the other against Kenya in the 2011.

Former Windies skipper Alexander passes away:
Former West Indies captain and wicketkeeper Franz Gerry'
Alexander, who represented the team in 25 Test matches,
passed away at the age of 82 on April 23, 2011 at Kingston,
Jamaica. Alexander, who made his debut against England
in 1957, scored 961 runs at an average of 30.03, including a
top score of 108 against Australia.

Nadal wins Monte Carlo Masters: Rafael Nadal beat
his Spanish compatriot David Ferrer 6-4, 7-5 on April 17,
2011 to win his seventh straight Monte Carlo Masters tennis
title. It was his 44
th
career title and 19
th
at a Masters event.
Doubles title was won by Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan who
beat Juan Ignacio Chela & Bruno Soares 6-3, 6-2 in final.

Czech Republic enters Fed Cup final: Czech Republic
beat hosts Belgium in the semi-final 3-2 on April 16-17,
2011 at Charleroi, Belgium to meet Russia in the final of the
Fed Cup tennis tournament in November. The Czech team
comprised Iveta Benesova, Petra Kvitova, Lucie afov
and Kveta Peschke while the Belgian team consisted of Kim
Clijsters, Kirsten Flipkens, An-Sophie Mestach and Yanina
Wickmayer. Russia entered the final by beating Italy 5-0 in
the semi-final played at Moscow on April 16-17, 2011. The
winning team had Vera Zvonareva, Ekaterina Makarova,
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Svetlana Kuznetsova while
the Italian team comprised Francesca Schiavone, Flavia
Pennetta, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.
Wimbledon prize money increased: Wimbledon
organizers have increased the prize money for the winners
of this year's tournament to 1.1m, which amounts to a rise
of 10 per cent. The total prize fund for the 125
th
edition of
the tournament has also been increased and by 6.4% from
last year and is 14.6m. The singles runners-up will earn
550,000 pound, the beaten semi-finalists will get 275,000
pound and even a first-round loser pockets 11,500 pound
for their efforts. Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams
triumphed last year. Nadal had defeated Tomas Berdych of
the Czech Republic, while Williams got past Vera
Zvonareva of Russia.

Real Madrid wins Spanish Cup: Real
Madrid defeated archrivals Barcelona 1-0
after extra time in a dramatic finale on April
21, 2011 at Valencia to win the Spanish Cup
for the first time since 1993. A header from
Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the championship,
delivering coach Jose Mourinho's first trophy
since joining the club last May.

Abhijeet Gupta wins Dubai Open chess: Former
World junior champion and Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta
defeated BPCL teammate Parimarjan Negi in a battle of
nerves to clinch the Dubai International Open chess title in
Dubai on April 19, 2011. Abhijeet finished the tournament
on 7.5 points out of a possible nine and took the winner's
purse of $8000.

McLaren's Hamilton wins F1 Chinese Grand Prix:
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix
on April 17, 2011 at Shanghai followed by Red Bull drivers
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in second and third
positions respectively.

New Badminton clothing regulations postponed:
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has decided to
push back the date of implementation of its new clothing
regulations, which require female players to wear skirts or
dresses for Level 1 to 3 tournaments, to June 1, 2011

Marathon runner Grete Waitz passes away:
Norwegian race legend Grete Waitz, who won nine New
York marathons and a world title, passed away at the age of
57 on April 19, 2011. In addition to her nine New York
marathon wins between 1979 and 1988, she became
marathon world champion in Helsinki 1983 and won the
silver medal at the Los Angeles Olympics the following year.
Waitz also broke the 3000 metres world record twice in
1975 and 1977.



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63
Weekly Current Affairs update
For the Week: April 24 to 30, 2011

Major news of the week

Section A: INDIA

Indo-Pak commerce secretary-level talks held
Sai Baba passes away
Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan meeting held
Only Dassault, Eurofighter in IAF aircraft selection
New Delhi, Dhaka to restore abandoned rail lines
Work on Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra begins
Morocco, India to share expertise on food products
SC Bench delivers split verdict in BCCI case
SC stays impeachment of Justice Dinakaran
Creative Services Support Group launched
IAF to observe 2011 as Year of Consolidation
Map indicating coastal erosion in Orissa unveiled
AP launches project for cyclone-prone districts
MP is the first state to link Aadhaar to PDS
Gadchiroli village is first to get bamboo sales rights
Colloquium on Freedom of Expression held
Padmanabh Singh appointed ruler of Jaipur
M. M. Joshi submits PAC report to the Speaker
CBI chargesheets Kanimozhi in 2G case
Kalmadi, two others remanded in CBI custody in CWG case
ED grills Puducherry Lt Governor on Ali links
US ambassador Timothy Roemer resigns

Section B: WORLD
China census shows population ageing and urban
Thai-Cambodia clashes reach Preah Vihear
Rising food prices to worsen poverty ADB
Lobsang Sangay elected Tibetan exile leader
Gen David Petraeus is new CIA director
Leon Panetta is new US Defence Secretary
U.N. panel accuses Colombo, LTTE of war crimes
Israel rejects Palestinian unity govt. with Hamas
Ukraine marks 25
th
anniversary of Chernobyl
Pakistan tests Raad missile
France returns ancient Korean books
Elders visit N. Korea to resolve nuclear standoff
Australia, New Zealand mark Anzac Day
US Religious Freedom Commission critical of India
Stockholm Convention for ban on Endosulfan
Aronofsky to head Venice film festival jury
Russian space agency head replaced
Teleprompter inventor Schlafly passes away
Chilean poet Gonzalo Rojas passes away
Section C: AWARDS
K. Balachander selected for Dada Saheb Phalke Award
Indian mathematician wins Knuth Prize
Congolese activist wins World Childrens Prize
Swedish film She Monkeys wins Tribeca prize
Chaskielberg wins world photographer of the year award
CII Intellectual Property Awards conferred
GAIL receives Outstanding PSU of the Year award
AP minister wins Pride of India Leadership award
RSP bags Srishti Good Green Governance Award

Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE


Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline meet held
PM approves Jaitapur nuclear project
DGH review blames RIL for falling D6 gas output
ONGC reports two oil finds in Gujarat
FTA with EU not to go beyond TRIPS/domestic law PM
CCEA approves funds for automotive testing project
CCEA approves funds for Ganga River Authority
CCEA approves funds for Food Technology Institute
CCEA approves funds for Malaria Control Project
Negotiable warehouse receipt system launched
Govt. committee to track black money
SC suspend 19 mining leases in Bellary
Non-food credit up by 20.6% in 2010-11 RBI
India Corruption Study: 2010 unveiled
India ranks 48
th
on Networked Readiness Index
Indias electricity generation at 811 BU in 2010-11
Development fee at Mumbai, Delhi airports quashed
Cuddalore PCPIR proposal goes before CCEA
US firm gets DRDO technology for Explosive Detection Kit
HCL to develop system for CCI M&A cases
Rajendra Pawar is new NASSCOM Chairman
K V Kamath appointed Infosys Chairman

Section E: SPORTS



Duncan Fletcher appointed India coach
BCCI increases cash prize for World Cup win
IFA launches Premier League Soccer
Former footballer Abdus Sattar passes away
India win 2 golds at Belgrade boxing tournament


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64
Section A: INDIA

NEWS ROUND UP

Indo-Pak commerce secretary-level talks held

BREAKING TRADE BARRIERS

Bilateral trade is around $2 billion
Plan to initiate trade in electricity and petroleum products
Plan to sign a preferential trade agreement
Expansion of the Wagah-Attari land route
Dedicated corridors for passengers and freight
Faster clearance of cargo on the Wagah-Attari border
Movement of large containers and trucks
To explore trade in Bt cotton

India and Pakistan have agreed to remove trade barriers
and ensure easier movement of goods between the two
countries, while deciding to explore signing of a preferential
trade agreement. A six-page joint statement issued on April
28, 2011 listed 19 areas for boosting trade. The statement
was issued at the end of the 5
th
round of talks on
commercial and economic cooperation held in Islamabad on
April 27-28. The Indian delegation was led by Commerce
Secretary Rahul Khullar, while Pakistan was represented by
his counterpart Zafar Mahmood.

Pakistan would grant the most-favoured nation (MFN) status
to India. India has already given the MFN status to Pakistan.

The two sides agreed to expand trade in all petroleum
products. An expert group has been set up to discuss trade
arrangements, building of cross-border pipelines and use of
road/rail routes, including the Munabao-Khokrapar route.

The two sides also decided to trade electricity. A committee
of experts to look into this would meet in October.

Both countries also agreed to establish a working group to
address issues such as lowering of sector-specific trade
barriers. The group would meet by September this year.

The two also decided to expand trade through the Wagah-
Attari land route and to open a second gate, besides
creating dedicated routes for passenger and freight
movement. The new Integrated Check Post at Wagah would
be fully functional by October. The two countries also
pledged to increase trading hours on the Wagah-Attari
border, facilitate faster movement of cargo and allow
movement of large container trucks.

The two sides also decided to relax the process of granting
business visas.



Both would also seek to initiate trade in Bt cotton seeds to
help Pakistans farmers and textile industry.

The last round of bilateral trade talks was held in August
2007. The relations between the two were strained after the
terror attack on Mumbai in November 2008.


Sai Baba passes away

Sri Sathya Sai Baba (born November 1926) passed away
on April 24, 2011 at Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh. Born into
an ordinary family as Satyanarayana Raju in the Puttaparthi
village in the dry Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, on
November 23, 1926, he was to later become Satya Sai
Baba, the reincarnation of the saintly Sai Baba of Shirdi. It
was on October 20, 1940 at the age of 14 that
Satyanarayana Raju declared himself as the reincarnation
of Sai Baba of Shirdi.

Satya Sai Baba became famous for his magic tricks by
producing objects from thin air. But he was reviled by critics
and rationalists who campaigned against him with magic
shows.

In 1944, a small temple was built for Satya Sai Babas
devotees at Puttaparthi and in 1950 a sprawling ashram
popularly called the Prasanthi Nilayam was built, making it
his permanent abode. His divine preaching apart, Satya Sai
Baba pioneered many social service activities beginning
with a tiny general hospital at Puttaparthi which has now
transformed into the Satya Sai Institute of Higher Medical
Sciences, a 220-bedded super-speciality hospital.

The Satya Sai Central Trust manages all the service
activities and also runs the Satya Sai University (formerly
Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning) at Puttaparthi.
Besides, the trust also runs many schools and dispensaries
in different states while it has also completed large water
supply projects in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and
Maharashtra.

Volunteers from the Satya Sai Seva Organisation are known
for carrying out relief and rehabilitation work during natural
calamities not only in AP but also in other states.

Satya Sai Baba established three primary mandirs (spiritual
centres) in India Dharmakshetra in Mumbai, Shivam in
Hyderabad and Sundaram in Chennai. Besides, there are
Satya Sai centres located in over 114 countries in the world.



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In 1957, Satya Sai Baba went on a temple tour of north
India and made his only overseas trip to Uganda in June
1968.

Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
meeting held

The first Meeting of the National Mission of Rashtriya
Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) was held under the
Chairmanship of Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal on April
25, 2011. The National Mission is the apex body to take
decisions on implementation, monitoring and evaluation of
RMSA so as to implement the programme efficiently and
effectively. The RMSA was launched in March, 2009 as part
of the Central Governments commitment to make
secondary education of good quality available, accessible
and affordable to all young persons.

The objective of RMSA is to enhance access to and
improve quality of education at secondary stage, while
ensuring equity. The scheme envisages enhancing the
enrolment ratio from 52.26% in 2005-06 to 75% for classes
IX-X within 5 years by providing a secondary school within a
reasonable distance of every habitation, improving quality of
education imparted at secondary level through making all
secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, removal of
gender, socio-economic and disability barriers, universal
access to secondary level education by 2017, and universal
retention by 2020.

Broad physical targets include providing facilities for
opening of about 11,000 new secondary schools,
strengthening of about 44,000 existing govt. secondary
schools, appointment of additional teachers to improve Pupil
Teacher Ratio (PTR) and to provide subject specific
teachers.

Only Dassault, Eurofighter in IAF aircraft selection:
Indias purchase of 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft
(MMRCA) for some Rs 42,000 crore ($9.5 billion) entered its
final phase when four of the six vendors were officially ruled
out of the fray on April 29, 2011. The aircraft that the MoD
ruled out of contention include Boeings F/A-18 Super
Hornet; Lockheed Martins F-16IN Super Viper; the Russian
MiG-35; and the Swedish Gripen NG. The Ministry of
Defence (MoD) wrote to them, providing full details about
how their fighters had failed to meet the specifications laid
down by the Indian Air Force (IAF). Just two vendors did not
receive letters of rejection: Eurofighter Typhoon of EADS
and Rafale of French company Dassault.

New Delhi, Dhaka to restore abandoned rail lines:
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anand
Sharma called on the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Smt
Sheikh Hasina at Dhaka on April 24, 2011. Both sides
agreed that serious efforts are needed to restore the railway
lines that went into disuse after 1965 war. During the visit
India got further assurance on the use of Chittagong and
Mongola ports which will help in trade and development of
Bangladesh and the North-East of India. Similarly, there
was stepping up of schedule for completion of border haats
in Meghalaya for a formal launch in June 2011. India has
offered many trade concessions to Bangladesh. These
include, enhanced tariff-free quota of 10 million pieces of
apparel exports from Bangladesh, marking an increase of
25% over previous years. Lifting of countervailing duties on
Bangladesh Jute items, strengthening of infrastructure at
borders, including construction of Land Custom Stations
and Integrated Check Posts, particularly at Petrapole and
Agartala such that trade is facilitated.

Work on Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra begins: Ground
breaking ceremony of the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra (PBK),
which will be a prominent centre for Overseas Indians, was
held in New Delhi on April 28, 2011. Vayalar Ravi, Minister
of Overseas Indian Affairs and Civil Aviation said that the
PBK would develop into the hub of activities for sustainable,
symbiotic and mutually rewarding economic, social and
cultural engagement between India and its Diaspora. The
cost of construction of the Kendra has been estimated at
about Rs. 80 crore. The National Building Construction
Corporation (NBCC) has been appointed as the Consultant
and Project Manager on a turn-key basis from concept to
completion of the building. Overseas Indians estimated at
over 27 million are spread across every region of the world.

Morocco, India to share expertise: India has offered to
provide expertise in the area of standardization of products,
packaging and managing Food Distribution System to
Morocco. This was conveyed by Prof. K.V.Thomas, Minister
of Food to Abdellatif Maazous, Moroccan Minster for
Foreign Trade in New Delhi on April 28, 2011. Briefing
about the latest developments in the field of retail marketing,
consumer protection and standardization of goods in
Morocco, the visiting minister said that his country can
provide edible oil and pulses to India. He said that both the
countries can share technology and expertise in related
fields.

SC Bench delivers split verdict in BCCI case: A two-
judge bench of the Supreme Court on April 28, 2011
delivered a split verdict on a petition challenging
amendment in BCCI regulation to exclude IPL and T-20
tournaments from its purview and has referred the matter to
the Chief Justice for allocating it to a larger bench. The
petition, filed by former BCCI president A C Muthiah, had
alleged that the amendment was brought to favour the
cricket boards secretary N Srinivasan, owner of the
Chennai Super Kings team. While Justice Panchal
dismissed the petition filed by Muthiah, challenging the


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66
validity of the amendment in clause 6.2.4, Justice Mishra
allowed the petition holding that a BCCI officer-bearer
cannot have stake in the IPL team.

SC stays impeachment of Justice Dinakaran:
Paying heed to Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D
Dinakarans reasonable apprehension of bias against the
panel inquiring into his judicial misconduct, the Supreme
Court on April 29, 2011 stayed the impeachment process
against him. The probe panel led by Justice Aftab Alam of
the SC, which was appointed by Rajya Sabha Chairperson
Hamid Ansari, has framed 16 charges against Justice
Dinakaran, including possession of wealth disproportionate
to his sources of income and encroachment on public
property and land in Tamil Nadu. The SCs decision comes
after Justice Dinakaran complained to the SC about the
presence of senior advocate P. P. Rao on the panel. He
alleged that Rao was part of a delegation that met then CJI
K G Balakrishnan in 2009 to protest his elevation to the
Supreme Court.

Creative Services Support Group launched: To
promote Indian creativity globally, a non-profit organisation,
Creative Services Support Group that focuses on dance,
opera, fashion, music, theatre, design, cinema, literature,
education, architecture and other sectors was launched in
New Delhi in April 2011. Founded by Image Foundry
Studios director Anand Kapoor, CSSR is attempting to
herald a cultural exchange between India and Britain by
organising a two-day summit at Manchester beginning in
September.

IAF to observe 2011 as Year of Consolidation:
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, has said
the Indian Air Force which is in the process of
modernisation would observe the period as Year of
Consolidation at the Air Force Commanders Conference in
Delhi in April 2011. Over the past few years, the IAF has
added different platforms, radars and weapon systems in its
quest to look first and look farthest and the Air Chief
emphasised the need to consolidate the operational
availability of weapon systems and sensors on account of
times of transformation. Earlier this year, the IAF inducted
the first of the six C 130J Super Hercules transport aircraft.
It has completed the evaluation and report to procure 126
Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft, and a decision as to
which of the six competitors would get the deal is expected
to be taken by the government during the current financial
year. In addition, the IAF has ordered for two squadrons of
indigenous Akash surface-to-air missiles besides other
equipment. At a separate Army Commanders Conference,
the Chief of Army Staff, General V.K. Singh, underlined the
global and regional trend and said the strategic shift was
more in favour of balance of interests than balance of
power.
Map to indicate coastal erosion in Orissa unveiled:
The vulnerability of Orissas coastline and the extent of
coastal erosion which the state has witnessed came to the
fore with the release of Shoreline Change Assessment
Atlas of Orissa and Report of Shoreline Change. The
assessment atlas and shoreline report was released by the
Union minister for environment & forests Jairam Ramesh in
the states Kendrapara district on April 29, 2011. The
Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP), a
joint initiative of the Union ministry of environment & forests
(MoEF), World Bank and the Orissa government, being
implemented in the state on a pilot basis, is aimed at
developing an integrated approach to coordinate activities of
various government agencies and departments for
sustainable management and use of coastal resources. The
shoreline change assessment is done by Anna University
and is funded by the MoEF. Orissa is the third state to have
the Shoreline Change Atlas after Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.

AP launches project for cyclone-prone districts:
The AP state government on April 29, 2011 launched a
disaster mitigation project for nine coastal districts of the
state prone to cyclones, to be funded by an interest-free
loan of Rs 771.5 crore from the World Bank. The three-year
project in the state is part of the National Cyclone Risk
Mitigation Project-I initiated by the National Disaster
Management Authority that also covers Orissa in the
current phase. The second phase would cover states like
Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Funds for these
projects would be routed through the central government to
the respective state governments. The project involves four
components, namely, early-warning system, infrastructure
like shelters and roads, capacity building and knowledge
creation, and project management and implementation
support. Except for the infrastructure component, the
funding for all the other three components would be in the
form of a 100 per cent grant from the Centre. For the
infrastructure segment, the state government would have to
contribute 25 per cent of the project cost.

MP is the 1
st
state to link Aadhaar to PDS: Madhya
Pradesh has become the first state to link Aadhaar, the 12-
digit number issued by UIDAI, to the subsidised foodgrain
scheme. The objective of the new arrangement is to
eliminate fake beneficiaries of the subsidised foodgrain
scheme. MP has cancelled lakhs of bogus ration cards over
the last couple of years that were proving to be a drain on
the public distribution system. The first phase of issuing
cards in 5 districts was completed in April 2011.

Gadchiroli village is 1
st
to get bamboo rights:
Mendha-lekha in Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district on April
28, 2011 became the first village in the country to become
eligible to own, cut, use and sell bamboo declared minor
forest produce by the Forest Rights Act. Mendha-Lekha is


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the also the first village to get community rights over its
forest under FRA. In a programme attended by, among
others, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Environment
Minister Jairam Ramesh handed over the transit pass
required to transport bamboo out of the village.

Colloquium on Freedom of Expression held: A two
day International Colloquium on Freedom of Expression &
Human Rights was organised by the Press Council of India
(PCI) in New Delhi on April 28-29, 2011. Minister for
Information and Broadcasting, Ambika Soni said the
Government is committed in ensuring level playing field for
different segments of the media in order to promote a
sustainable growth process and a robust industry. The
growing number of newspaper readers within the country is
an indicator of the growth of the regional press in different
forms and dialects. In the broadcast sector, 653 satellite
channels had been granted permission till date, while the
FM Phase-III roll out shortly would ensure availability of 806
radio stations across 283 cities. Chairman, PCI, Justice G.
N. Ray said the endeavour of Press Council of India was to
ensure that media enjoyed the utmost freedom.

Padmanabh Singh appointed ruler of Jaipur:
Teenager Padmanabh Singh grandson of the erstwhile
Jaipur ruler, the late Brigadier Sawai Bhawani Singh
ascended the titular throne of the Pink City at a coronation
ceremony at the City Palace in Jaipur on April 27, 2011.
Brig. Singh, who died on April 17 at the age of 80, had
adopted Padmanabh, son of his daughter Diya Kumari, as
the heir to the Kachwaha Rajput dynasty at a grand
ceremony in November 2002.

M. M. Joshi submits PAC report to the Speaker:
The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and
BJP veteran Murali Manohar Joshi submitted the
committees controversial draft report to the Lok Sabha
Speaker Meira Kumar on April 30, 2011. Kumar has not
indicated so far if Joshis report is accepted or not. The UPA
members of PAC have already rejected the report. In the
draft report, the Joshi-led PAC had indirectly criticised the
Prime Minister apart from indicting the PMs Office, then
Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Department of
Telecom. The UPA members, along with SP and BSP, had
voted against the draft report. Eleven out of 21 members
had rejected the draft.

CBI chargesheets Kanimozhi in 2G case: The CBI on
April 25, 2011 chargesheeted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.
Karunanidhis daughter and Rajya Sabha member M.K.
Kanimozhi along with four others for criminal conspiracy
and receiving illegal gratification in the 2G spectrum case.
Kanimozhi, a 20 per cent stakeholder in Kalaignar TV Pvt.
Ltd., is the second DMK politician chargesheeted by the CBI
after the former Union Telecom Minister, A. Raja. The
others who figured in the supplementary charge sheet are
Kalaignar TV director and 20 per cent equity holder Sharad
Kumar; Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal, directors of
Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables; and Cineyug Films
director Karim Morani. The five accused, along with Raja
and DB Realty co-owners Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka,
have been indicted for alleged involvement in the transfer of
Rs. 200 crore from the DB Realty group to Kalaignar TV
between December 2008 and August 2009 by following a
circuitous route through Dynamix Realty, Kusegaon Fruits
and Vegetables Ltd. and Cineyug Films.

Kalmadi, two others remanded in CBI custody: The
CBI on April 26, 2011 got eight-day custody of the former
Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman
and suspended Congress leader, Suresh Kalmadi, along
with two other former Organising Committee (OC) officials
from a special court in New Delhi, for their alleged
involvement in the criminal conspiracy to award the
Games Timing, Scoring and Results system contract to a
Swiss company. The accused are said to have abused their
official position and awarded the contract to Swiss Timing
at an exorbitant rate of approximately Rs.107 crore, in a
most wrongful manner, restricting and eliminating all
competition, causing wrongful loss to the Government of
India and corresponding wrongful gain to Swiss Timing.
The Defence Counsel rebutted the allegation that Kalmadi
took the decision on the TSR contract noting that the file
had been vetted by different committees and that it was a
matter of record that the ultimate decision in the matter was
taken by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports under M.
S. Gill.

ED grills Puducherry Lt Governor on Ali links: A
five-member ED team from Mumbai on April 25, 2011
questioned Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Iqbal Singh at
his official residence in New Delhi on his alleged links with
Hasan Ali who is embroiled in one of the countrys biggest
money-laundering cases. Singh has clarified that though he
had recommended Alis case for expeditious issue of
passport, he never knew Ali personally. ED questioned
Singh on his association with Ali and Kashinath Tapuriah.

US ambassador Timothy Roemer resigns: Timothy
Roemer, the US ambassador to India resigned on April 28,
2011. 54-year-old Roemer, a political appointee, said he
has accomplished all of the strategic objectives set two
years ago and he wants to go back home to look after his
family. Roemer, who was nominated by US President
Barack Obama in May 2009, is expected to leave by June.




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Section B: WORLD
NEWS ROUND UP

China census shows population ageing and
urban

Chinas census shows its population grew to 1.34 billion
people by 2010, 73.9 million more than that of 2000, when
China conducted its fifth national census.

The figures released on April 28, 2011 reveal that Chinas
population has shown a sharp rise in the number of people
over 60 and is growing more slowly than in the past. Nearly
half of all Chinese now live in cities and people over the age
of 60 now account for 13.3% of the population, up nearly
3% since 2000. That could affect the economy, as the
number of potential workers, especially from rural areas,
could shrink.

The proportion of mainland Chinese people aged 14 or
younger was 16.6%, down by 6.29 percentage points from
the last census in 2000. The number aged 60 or older grew
to 13.26%, up 2.93 percentage points. The governments
strict controls on family size, including its one-child policy for
most urban families, have reduced annual population
growth to below 1% percent. The rate is projected to turn
negative in coming decades. The average household now
numbers 3.1 people.

Some demographers have said that the limits on family size
may now threaten Chinas economic future, with fewer
people left to pay and care for an older population, as well
as to work in the factories that have transformed the country
into the worlds second largest economy.

"The data from this census show that our country faces
some tensions and challenges regarding population, the
economy and social development," said Ma Jiantang, head
of the National Bureau of Statistics.

But state-run Xinhua news agency said President Hu Jintao
on April 26 reiterated that Chinas family planning policy
would remain unchanged and the low birth-rate be
maintained.

Thai-Cambodia clashes reach Preah Vihear

Fighting has erupted between soldiers from Cambodia and
Thailand along their disputed mountainous border.
Skirmishes broke out near the Preah Vihear temple on April
26, 2011. The violence follows four days of fighting around
the temple of Ta Krabey, 160km (100 miles) to the west. At
least 12 soldiers have been killed in the latest outbreak of
violence between the two neighbours. Parts of the Thai-
Cambodian border have never been formally demarcated,
causing continuing tensions and firing nationalist sentiment
in each country.

The 11
th
Century hill-top temple of Preah Vihear is a
particular flashpoint. An international court awarded the
temple to Cambodia in 1962 but both sides claim ownership
of the surrounding area. At least 10 people were killed in
clashes around the temple in February.

It comes after days of fighting around Ta Krabey and
another temple, Ta Moan, which stand in jungle areas
further to the west that both sides claim. Some 36,000
people have been displaced by the fighting, and the UN has
called for a ceasefire. On April 23, 2011 UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon said the border dispute could not be
resolved by military means and both sides needed to
engage in "serious dialogue".

Rising food prices to worsen poverty ADB

Resurgent global food prices, which averaged 10 per cent in
many economies and posted record increases in the first
two months of this year, may push nearly 30 million Indians
and 64 million people in the Asian region into extreme
poverty, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on April
26, 2011.

In a report titled Global Food Price Inflation and Developing
Asia, the Manila-based bank warned that a 10 per cent rise
in food prices would push as many as 23 million Indians
living in the rural areas and 6.68 million in the urban areas
to below poverty line (BPL) at $ 1.25 (around Rs. 55.65)
earnings a day. In case, the food price hike is to the extent
of 20 per cent, the resultant impact would push 45.64 million
in the rural areas and 13.36 million in the urban areas into
extreme poverty in India.

The report pointed out that while food prices were expected
to continue a gradual ascent in the wake of a spike in 2008,
the fast and persistent increases in the cost of many Asian
food staples since the middle of last year, coupled with
crude oil reaching a 31-month high in March, are a serious
setback for the region, which has rebounded rapidly and
strongly from the global meltdown. For poor families in
developing Asia, who already spend more than 60 per cent
of their income on food, higher food prices will further
reduce their ability to pay for medicare and their childrens
education, ADBs Chief Economist Changyong Rhee said.


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Left unchecked, the food crisis will badly undermine recent
gains in poverty reduction made in Asia.

Lobsang Sangay elected Tibetan exile leader
Harvard University academic Lobsang Sangay has been
elected prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile
and will take on the political role previously played by the
Dalai Lama. Lobsang Sangay won 55% of the votes cast by
Tibetans around the world. He defeated two candidates for
the role, Tenzin Tethong and Tashi Wangdi. Sangay will
inherit the spiritual leaders political powers when he
assumes office on August 15, the day the term of the
present House expires and the incumbent kalon tripa, or
PM, Samdhong Rinpoche, steps down. Sangay must now
assume the political functions of the Dalai Lama, who said
in March he wanted to devolve this responsibility to an
elected official. The Dalai Lama will retain his role as
Tibetan spiritual leader.

The elections were held in March and the result announced
on April 27, 2011 in Dharamsala, India, where the Tibetan
government-in-exile is based. Almost 83,400 Tibetan exiles
were eligible to vote and more than 49,000 ballots were
cast. The 42-year-old winner is an Indian-born legal expert
who has never lived in Tibet. His father fled Tibet in 1959,
the same year as the Dalai Lama. He says he will move to
Dharamsala to serve as prime minister and that he supports
the Dalai Lamas stance on ties with China.

Dalai Lama had announced that he wanted an elected
official to assume some of his responsibilities, saying that
such a move was in the best interests of the Tibetan people.
Analysts say he aims to ensure that even if Chinas
government tries to select the next Dalai Lama, the Tibetans
will have an elected leader they can look to who is outside
China and beyond the Communist Partys control.

Sangay has the daunting task of trying to keep the issue of
Tibet alive while the man who embodies the struggle for
Tibetan rights gradually steps back from the limelight. He
has been elected head of a government which no country
recognises and will face in China an opponent which has
shown no sign of wanting to compromise. A section of
Tibetans feels Sangay could be effective as he shares the
Harvard department with US President Barak Obama and
has a massive network of contacts to push Tibets case.

Gen David Petraeus is new CIA director: US
President Barack Obama on April 28, 2011 nominated
General David Petraeus, the US head of international
forces in Afghanistan, as the next Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA). Gen Petraeus, who will replace
Leon Panetta as CIA Director, will be replaced in
Afghanistan by Lt Gen Allen, currently deputy head of US
Central Command - the command unit covering central Asia
and the Middle East. Obama also nominated CIA director
Leon Panetta to take over as the next Defence Secretary
when Robert Gates retires in June. Panetta, a 72-year-old
Democrat from California, served as chief of staff to
President Bill Clinton between 1994 and 1997 and took over
as the Director of the CIA in February 2009. He is a
Democratic Party insider seen as close to Obama who
could be more receptive to deeper defense spending cuts
than outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover
from the Republican Bush administration.

U.N. panel accuses Colombo, LTTE of war crimes:
A United Nations (UN) advisory panel, led by former
Indonesian Attorney General Marzuki Darusman on April
25, 2011 submitted a report to the UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon, which found credible evidence that the Sri
Lankan military shelled civilians in no-fire zones and sought
to silence critics in a brutal fashion, during the war against
the guerrilla group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
in 2009. The report also accuses the LTTE of forcibly
recruiting ethnic Tamil citizens to fight for them; they also
killed other Tamils who tried to flee as the Sri Lankan army
surrounded them in the North of Sri Lanka during the war.
The Sri Lankan government has condemned the 196 page
report, dismissing it as flawed and biased. The panel said
there were credible allegations of serious violations of
international law by government forces and the LTTE,
some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes
against humanity.

Israel rejects Palestinian unity govt. with Hamas:
Israel has criticised a reconciliation deal between rival
Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas. The foreign
minister, Avigdor Lieberman warned that Israel would not
negotiate with the new unity government. Under the
agreement brokered in Egypt on April 27, 2011, an interim
Palestinian government will be formed and a date fixed for
elections. The Fatah party of the Palestinian Authority (PA)
President Mahmoud Abbas - which runs parts of the West
Bank - and Hamas, which governs Gaza, have been divided
for more than four years. Israel has threatened measures to
restrict the freedom of movement of Abbas and the
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and freeze the
transfer of taxes collected by Israel for the PA. Hamas has
carried out bombings and rocket attacks against Israel for
years and does not recognise its right to exist. The split
between Fatah and Hamas occurred when violence erupted
a year after Hamas won Palestinian elections in 2006.
Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007.

Ukraine marks 25
th
anniversary of Chernobyl:
Ukraine on April 26, 2011 marked the 25
th
anniversary of
the worlds worst nuclear accident - at the Chernobyl power
plant. An explosion at one of the plants reactors sent a
plume of radiation across Europe in 1986, harming or killing
possibly thousands of people. Ukrainian President Viktor
Yanukovych and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry
Medvedev, visited the site for a memorial ceremony. The


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anniversary comes amid renewed global protest over
nuclear power. The debate has been reinvigorated by the
threat of radiation from Japans crippled Fukushima plant in
the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami. It
was on 26 April 1986 that Number Four reactor at
Chernobyl, which was then in the Soviet Union, exploded.
The accident forced the evacuation of hundreds of
thousands of people from their homes in Ukraine, western
Russia and Belarus. Soviet officials held off reporting the
accident for several days. There is still a 30 km exclusion
zone around the plant. Soviet engineers encased the
damaged reactor in a temporary concrete casing to limit the
radiation but a new shield is needed. A conference of
donors in Kiev, Ukraine, in April 2011 raised 550m euros of
the 740m euros needed to build a new shelter and a storage
facility for spent fuel.

Pakistan tests Raad missile: Pakistan on April 29,
2011 successfully tested the nuclear-capable Hatf-VIII or
Raad ("thunder" in Arabic) cruise missile that has a range
of 350 km, with the military saying the weapon system
would give the country "greater strategic stand-off
capability" on land and at sea. The air-launched cruise
missile, which can carry a nuclear or a conventional
warhead, was tested at an undisclosed location.

France returns ancient Korean books: A second
batch of ancient Korean royal books that had been stored in
France for 145 years were returned on April 29, 2011, two
weeks after the first shipment, under a summit deal between
the two sides. Seventy-three of the 297-volume
"Oegyujanggak" books reached Incheon International
Airport in Seoul as scheduled. The texts featuring the
protocols of royal ceremonies and rites will be displayed at
the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. Oegyujanggak was
part of a royal library in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his French
counterpart Nicholas Sarkozy agreed in November last year
to the transfer of the royal texts that French troops looted in
1866 when they invaded Ganghwa Island in retaliation for
Koreans persecution of French Catholic missionaries. The
books had since been kept at the National Library of
France.

Elders visit N. Korea to resolve nuclear standoff:
Former US President Jimmy Carter has arrived in the North
Korean capital Pyongyang as part of a push to resolve the
stand-off over the countrys nuclear programme on April 26,
2011. Carter is taking part in a three-day visit by former
world leaders from a group known as the Elders. They hope
to meet North Koreas reclusive leader, Kim Jong-il and
heir-apparent Kim Jong-un. The group includes former
Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, former Irish President
Mary Robinson and former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro
Brundtland. Talks aimed at ending Pyongyangs nuclear
programme have been stalled for months. The Elders group
was formed four years ago by former South African
President Nelson Mandela. Members believe that their
unique experience as former leaders - and their
independence from any country or organisation - allows
them to help resolve some of the worlds most intractable
problems.

Australia, New Zealand mark Anzac Day: Australians
and New Zealanders on April 25, 2011 marked Anzac Day
to remember those who died fighting for their country. The
Anzacs were the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
who suffered huge losses at Gallipoli in Turkey in a failed
allied assault in 1915. New Zealand PM John Key has made
an address in the UK, while his Australian counterpart, Julia
Gillard, is taking part in a ceremony in South Korea. Anzac
Day has become one of the most revered occasions in both
countries. Gallipoli was the first time that Australia and New
Zealand had fought as independent countries and the heroic
defeat on the Aegean coast is widely seen to have forged
the nations character.

US Religious Freedom Comm. critical of India: The
US Commission for International Religious Freedom has, for
the second year in a row, placed India under its watch list of
religious freedom in April 2011, saying justice for the victims
of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, 2002 Gujarat riots and the 2007
Orissa violence remains slow and often ineffective. The
USCIRF is an independent federal body that monitors
religious freedom violations abroad and makes
recommendations to the US President. Also on its 2011
Watch List Countries are Afghanistan, Cuba, Indonesia,
Russia and Turkey. But two important panel members
Felice Gaer and William Shaw said the decision to include
India was ill advised. It ignores the logic of its own
observationsthat the Indian government and Supreme
Court have taken a range of commendable and significant
steps demons trating the will to prevent new outbreaks of
religiously motivated communal violence, they wrote.

Stockholm Convention for ban on Endosulfan: The
Conference of Parties to the Stockholm Convention in
Geneva on April 29, 2011 approved the recommendation for
elimination of production and use of Endosulfan subject to
certain exemptions. The decision will not be binding on India
unless specifically ratified by the country. The Persistent
Organic Pollutants Review Committee to the Convention,
which recommended the ban in 2010, will come up with
alternatives to Endosulfan. The Convention also approve
financial assistance to developing countries for replacing
Endosulfan with alternatives..

Aronofsky to head Venice film festival jury: Oscar-
nominated director Darren Aronofsky will head the jury for
this years Venice film festival, it was announced on April
27, 2011. Aronofsky won the Golden Lion at the festival in


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71
2008 for Mickey Rourke film The Wrestler, while Black
Swan opened last years festival. This years festival runs
from 31 August to 10 September. Aronofsky was Oscar-
nominated this year for Black Swan, which picked up the
award for Natalie Portmans performance as a leading
actress.
Russia space agency head replaced: Russia on April
29, 2011 replaced the head of its space agency, Anatoly
Perminov, who was reprimanded over a failed satellite
launch in December. Russia lost three satellites when a
rocket crashed into the Pacific Ocean. In December
President Dmitry Medvedev had fired Roscosmos deputy
chief Viktor Remishevsky and Vyacheslav Filin, deputy head
of the space rocket corporation Energia, over the loss of the
three Glonass-M navigation satellites. He also reprimanded
Perminov. An inquiry showed the Proton-M rocket failed to
reach orbit because of a fuel miscalculation.

Teleprompter inventor Schlafly passes away:
Hubert Schlafly Jr., a key member of the team that invented
the teleprompter, which feeds scripts to actors, politicians
and newsreaders, died at the age of 91 on April 27, 2011.
Schlafly was working at 20
th
Century Fox film studios in
1950 when he developed the teleprompter, which is also
known as the autocue. He had been asked by the company
to build a device that would help actors remember their
lines. Schlaflys prototype teleprompter, which debuted on
the set of a US soap opera, was placed beside a film
camera and used a motorised scroll of paper inside a
suitcase to assist the shows actors.

Chilean poet Gonzalo Rojas passes away: Chilean
poet Gonzalo Rojas, regarded as one of Latin Americas
greatest modern writers, died in Santiago on April 25, 2011,
at the age of 93. He won numerous literary prizes, including
the 2003 Cervantes Prize, the top award for Spanish-
language literature. Rojas was forced into exile for some
years after the 1973 military coup led by Gen Augusto
Pinochet. Rojas produced a huge body of work, with his
poems translated into several languages. His works
included The Misery of Man, Against Death, Dark and
On Lightning.




Recent Books
Federalism And Fiscal Transfers In India by C Rangarajan and D K Srivastava
Faith and Power: Religion and Politics in the Middle East by Bernard Lewis
Economic Diplomacy: Indias Experience (edited) by Kishan S Rana and Bipul Chatterjee
A Sea In Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout by Carl Safina
The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lanka & the Last Days of the Tigers by Gordon Weiss
Footprints On the Sands of Time; Indian Armys Unique Achievements
Jayalalithaa A Portrait by Vaasanthi
Patrons Of The Poor - Caste Politics And Policymaking In India by Narayan Lakshman
Contested Spaces, Citizenship And Belonging In Contemporary Times (edited) by Meenakshi Thapan
The Nowhere Nation by Ashok Mitra
Empires Apart - America and Russia From the Vikings to Iraq by Brian Landers
Business and Polity - Dynamics of a Changing Relationship by D.N. Ghosh
Hazard Ecology - Approaches and Techniques by B.W. Pandey
Inclusive Growth in Agriculture (edited) by M. Upender, B. Shiva Reddy, TLN Swamy
Billy Arian Singh - Tiger of Dudhwa by Shaminder Boparai
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro - Seriously Funny Since 1983 by Jai Arjun Singh



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Section C: AWARDS

INDIA

K. Balachander conferred Dada Saheb Phalke
Award for 2010

Director K. Balachander, one of the influential filmmakers
and trendsetters in Indian cinema, will receive the
Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2010, the Information
and Broadcasting Ministry announced on April 29, 2011.
The award is conferred by the Government of India for
outstanding contribution to the growth and development of
Indian Cinema. The award consists of a Swarn Kamal, a
cash prize of Rs.10 lakhs and a shawl.

K. Balachander has been film director, screen play writer
and producer for more than 45 years. He has written,
directed and produced more than 100 films in Tamil, Telugu,
Hindi and Kannada. Balachander is known for his distinct
film-making style and has the uncanny knack of spotting
talent. He has been responsible for bringing into limelight
many stars of the present day, including Rajnikanth, Kamal
Haasan, Prakashraaj and Vivek.

Born in Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu in July 1930,
Balachander came into prominence as a playwright with his
dynamic plays like Major Chandrakanth, Server
Sundaram, Naanal and Neerkumizhi. These plays
enjoyed huge popular and critical acclaim.

He entered the film industry in 1965 and shot into fame with
his very first film Neerkumizhi. Since then he has directed
and produced a number of movies which have won many
National Awards, awards from the State Govts. and other
organizations. Some of the prominent films he has directed
include Apoorva Raagagal, Avargal 47 Natkal, Sindhu
Bhairavi, Ek Duuje Ke Liye (Hindi), Maro Charithra, and
Rudraveena in Telugu and Bekiyalli Aralida Hoovu, in
Kannada.

He was conferred the Padma Shri in 1987 and was
honoured with the title Kalaimamani by the Tamil Nadu
Government in 1973. He has also won the Golden Nandi
award and Silver Nandi awards from Govt of Andhra
Pradesh and has also won the Filmfare award as Best
Director numerous times.

WORLD
Indian mathematician wins Knuth Prize: Indian
mathematician and theoretical computer scientist Ravi
Kannan was on April 26, 2011 selected for the 2011 Knuth
Prize, a prestigious international recognition for research in
computer science. Professor Kannan, who leads the
algorithms research group at Microsoft Research Labs
India, is the first Indian to receive the award. He is also the
first adjunct faculty of the Computer Science and
Automation department at the Indian Institute of Science.
The Association for Computing Machinerys (ACM) Special
Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory has
awarded the prize to Professor Kannan for developing
influential algorithmic techniques aimed at solving long-
standing computational problems.

Congolese activist wins World Childrens Prize:
Congolese childrens rights activist Murhabazi Namegabe
has won the $100,000 World Childrens Prize. The
Stockholm-based award foundation, on April 26, 2011, cited
Murhabazis dangerous struggle to free children forced to
be child soldiers or sex slaves in Congo. The foundation
says that since 1989, Murhabazi and his organisation BVES
have freed 4,000 child soldiers and more than 4,500 girls
who had been assaulted by armed groups. It says the
winner was decided in a vote among 3.2 million children
worldwide. Since 1999, the Swedish Childrens World
Association has awarded the annual Worlds Childrens
Prize for the Rights of the Child for outstanding contributions
in defending the rights of children and youth.

Swedish film She Monkeys wins Tribeca prize: A
Swedish film about two teenage girls whose friendship turns
to rivalry has won a top award at the Tribeca film festival in
New York on April 29, 2011. She Monkeys, directed by
Lisa Aschan and set in the world of equestrian acrobatics,
won the $25,000 (15,000) prize for best narrative feature.
Bombay Beach by Israeli director Alma Harel won the
$25,000 best documentary prize. Ramadhan "Shami"
Bizimana won the award for best actor in the Rwandan and
Australian film about genocide, Grey Matter. Carice van
Houten was named best actress in Black Butterflies, a
drama based on the life during apartheid of South African
poet Ingrid Jonker. British writer and director Jerry Rothwell
won the best feature film prize in the online competition,
voted for by visitors to the Tribeca website. Rothwell also
won a $25,000 prize for his film, Donor Unknown, about a
womans quest to find her biological father.

Chaskielberg wins world photographer of the year
award: Argentinas Alejandro Chaskielberg was named
Sony World Photographer of the Year for his series of
photographs titled High Tide. The 34-year-old won the
LIris DOr for his photos of a community of islanders living
on the Parana River Delta in his native Argentina.
Chaskielberg lived with the residents for two years to
document their lives for his series of striking pictures. He
was presented with the award plus a $25,000 (15,100)
cash prize at a London ceremony on April 27, 2011. The


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Open photographer of the year title was awarded to Chan
Kwok Hung for his dramatic image, Buffalo Race.
American photographer Bruce Davidson also collected the
award for outstanding contribution to photography. The 77-
year-olds past work has included following a Brooklyn gang
in the 1950s and chronicling the civil rights movement in the
early 1960s. Other awards presented at the ceremony
included the professional category winners covering current
affairs, to travel and fine art portraiture. Over 105,000
images were entered into the 2011 competition from 162
countries.

CORPORATE & ECONOMY

Intellectual Property Awards conferred

India celebrates the World Intellectual Property Day by
honouring some of the outstanding achievements for
development of Intellectual property in India. Confederation
of Indian (CII) in collaboration with Department of Industrial
Policy & Promotion (DIPP) & Indian Intellectual Property
Office, Govt of India on April 26, 2011 conferred awards to:

The Indian Owned Private Company securing highest
number of patents in last five years (103 patents) TATA
Steel Limited
The Public Sector Undertaking securing highest number
of patents in last five years (240 patents) Bharat Heavy
Electricals Ltd
The Educational Institution / University securing highest
number of patents in last five years (78 patents) IIT
Madras
An Indian Individual for securing highest number of
patents in last five years (23 patents) Lalit Mahajan
Securing highest number of registered Designs in last
five year (539 registered Designs) - Crompton Greaves
Ltd
Dipak Bharali of National Innovation Foundation GE
India Innovator award for designing accessory for
Jacquard Loom

GAIL receives Outstanding PSU of the Year award:
State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd was on Apr 21, 2011
conferred the Outstanding PSU of the Year award by All
India Management Association (AIMA). The company has
been earlier ranked the number one gas utility in Asia and
number two gas utility in the world by Platts, an eminent
petroleum research and publishing house. GAIL is Indias
principal natural gas company with activities ranging from
gas transmission and marketing to processing (for
fractionating LPG and propane); transmission of Liquefied
Petroleum Gas (LPG); production and marketing of
Petrochemicals like HDPE and LLDPE and leasing
bandwidth in Telecommunications. The company has
extended its presence in power, liquefied natural gas (LNG)
re-gasification, city gas distribution and exploration and
production through equity and joint venture participations.
GAIL owns and operates a network of around 8,000 km of
natural gas high pressure trunk pipeline with a capacity to
carry 180 million standard cubic meters of natural gas per
day.

AP minister wins Pride of India Leadership award:
Mauritius President Anirudh Jagannath on April 16, 2011
presented the prestigious Pride of India Leadership Award
2011 to Andhra Pradesh Information and Public Relations
Minister D K Aruna in Social Service category at a function
in Mauritius on Friday. The awards were instituted by the
Mauritius based NRI Institute to honour Indians who
rendered services in various fields.

RSP bags Srishti Good Green Governance Award:
Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) on April 26, 2011 won the
prestigious Srishti Good Green Governance Award for
2010. The award was conferred on RSP in recognition of its
eco-friendly efforts to reduce pollutants and green house
gas emissions and effluent discharge, as well as measures
to optimise waste utilisation and water conservation and
expand green and corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Srishti Publication publishes the magazine, "Creativity in
Nature", and "Prakriti ke roop rang".


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Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
NEWS ROUND UP

Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India
Pipeline meet held

The Ministerial-level Steering Committee of Turkmenistan-
Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline project met in
New Delhi on April 28, 2011. It was attended by S. Jaipal
Reddy, Minister, MoP&NG, Government of India, W
Shahrani, Minister of Mines, Afghanistan, Dr. Asim
Husasain, Advisor to PM on P&NR, Pakistan and B Nedirov,
Minister of Oil & Gas Industry and Mineral Resources,
Turkmenistan. It has been decided that the Gas Sales
Purchase Agreement (GSPA) between the four countries
should be finalized, so that it can be signed by 31st July,
2011.

The TWG also finalized the Terms of Reference of the
Transaction Advisor, who would facilitate the formation of
the consortium for execution of the TAPI project. As per the
Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement (GFPA) signed by all
the participating countries in December 2010, a consortium
of technically competent and financially capable
international companies would be formed for finance, design
and construction of the project.

While a transit fee is payable to the countries through which
the TAPI pipeline passes, transportation charges would be
levied by the consortium operating the pipeline. A
consortium of international companies with experience in
implementing such projects would operate the pipeline. The
consortium would take over the project after the
construction is completed, on reimbursement of cost basis.

The TAPI Pipeline project envisages the construction of a
1,700 km long pipeline which would originate from
Dauletabad field in Turkmenistan, travel through
Afghanistan and Pakistan before entering India. The
estimated cost of the pipeline is US $ 7.6 billion and it would
carry 90 MMSCMD (million standard cubic metres per day)
gas. Of this, 14 MMSCMD would be meant for Afghanistan
and 38 MMSCMD each for India and Pakistan.

The project was originally conceived in the 1990s by
Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. India was formally
admitted as a member of the TAPI project in April 2008. The
Government of India has nominated GAIL (India) Limited for
off-taking the Indian portion of the gas.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been designated
as the lead development partner of the project.

PM approves Jaitapur nuclear project

The first phase of the nuclear power plant project at Jaitapur
in Maharashtra has been approved with additional safety
measures and a generous new compensation package to
be announced soon. The decision to approve the setting up
of two 1,650-MWe reactors at Jaitapur was taken at a
meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on
April 26, 2011. Among those who briefed the Prime Minister
were S. Banerjee, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy;
S.K. Jain of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India that will
operate the plant at Jaitapur and National Security Advisor
Shivshankar Menon.

The government has also decided to introduce a bill in the
next session of Parliament creating an independent and
autonomous Nuclear Regulatory Authority of India (NRAI)
that would subsume the existing Atomic Energy Regulatory
Board (AERB). The AERB has been criticised for being
administratively subordinate to the very atomic energy
establishment whose operations it is meant to regulate.

The meeting also decided to make public the initial results
of the six safety review committees set up after the
Fukushima accident, as also the action taken on previous
safety reviews. The government will invite the Operational
Safety Review Team of the International Atomic Energy
Authority to assist in its own safety reviews and audit. All
reactors and technologies, whether indigenous or imported,
will, without exception, meet the safety standards that are
stipulated by the regulatory authorities.

Nuclear power at present contributes about three per cent
towards Indias energy needs. The government plans to
increase the contribution of nuclear energy to six per cent
by 2020 and 13 per cent by 2030.

JNPP details

Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP) derived its name From
Jaitapur lighthouse which is mentioned in many international
maps. The Jaitapur site is not considered earthquake-prone.
As per seismic zoning map of Government of India, Jaitapur
site falls within zone III. As per the Atomic Energy
Regulatory Board (AERB) codal requirement, there should
not be any active fault within 5 km radius from the proposed
site of an NPP. Further, based on the studies carried out by
various government institutes/ organisations, there is no
active fault found up to 30 km radius from JNPP site.
Hence, the site is not considered earthquake-prone.



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Generation Capacity of JNPP: One unit of 1650 MWe plant
operating at full capacity shall generate 36-39 million units
per day. Presently, generation capacity of six units is 1650
MWe capacity each. Evolutionary Pressurised Reactors
(EPR) from AREVA, France is under consideration of the
Government of India.

Number of Reactor Units: There will be six reactor units of
1650 MWe each at JNPP. The distance between each
adjacent reactor unit is planned to be 250-300 meters.

Completion of Project: 5 to 6 months time is required to
declare commercial operation after completion of
construction. The time required for completion of each unit
is approximately six years from the start date.
Approximately all the six units of 1650 MWe each will be
constructed in a twin-unit mode in phased manner and
implemented in a period of 15-18 years.

Life Span of Each Plant: The guaranteed life of the
proposed plant is 60 years.

Type of Fuel: This plant will be PWR-type, based on
enriched uranium fuel. The uranium will be supplied by
AREVA, France, which will be also supplying the reactor
units.

Source of Fresh Water: The fresh water requirement of the
plant units and the proposed residential complex of JNPP
will be met from a desalination plant facility installed by
(NPCIL).


DGH review blames RIL for falling D6 gas
output

An independent review of Reliance Industries (RILs) D6
block in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin off the east coast
has found the company responsible for the fall in gas
production from the countrys most-prolific field.

An independent review of the KG-D6 block commissioned
by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) recently
pointed out that the non-drilling of four additional wells has
caused the decline in production. The report, submitted to
the government in April 2011, says the slow pace of field
development by RIL is the reason for fall in production.

The report said non-drilling of four additional wells was
behind the fall in production. The report said 22 wells were
required to be on stream in the second year to produce 61.8
million standard cubic metres a day (mscmd) but the
company has only 18 wells in operation. Earlier Director
General of Hydrocarbons S K Srivastava said the DGH was
not satisfied with the reasons given by RIL and the
company.
Due to lower production, gas supply to critical sectors such
as power, fertilizer and steel has been affected. RIL has so
far signed up customers for 60.76 mscmd gas, while
production is around 50 mscmd. The government has given
priority to fertiliser plants, followed by LPG extraction units,
power plants and city gas distribution projects.

With production falling, RIL has cut supplies to customers
on a pro-rata basis. But the government has asked RIL to
divert gas from sectors such as steel and petrochemicals to
fertilizer and power in line with its gas-use policy.

ONGC reports two oil finds in Gujarat

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation on April 27, 2011 said it
had made two discoveries in Gujarat, taking the number of
oil and gas strikes to 24 in 2010-11. ONGC said it added
almost 237 million tonne of inplace oil and gas reserves in
the fiscal gone by. With this, its reserve replacement ratio
stands at 1.76. In other words, for every unit of oil or gas
pumped, the company has added nearly twice the quantity
to its reserves.

According to Chairman A K Hazarika, the first of the two
latest discoveries was made in block CB-ONN-2004/2 in
Gujarat. ONGC has 50% interest in the concession it had
won along with Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (40%) and
Sunterra (10%). The second discovery was made in a
nomination block in the western offshore, identified as Linch
Extn-I PML.

ONGC produced over 27 million tonne of crude in 2010-11,
marginally higher than the target. Gas production stood at
25.322 billion cubic metres, which too was a tad higher than
the target. It sold over 20 bcm (billion cubic metres) of gas
and produced over 3 million tonnes of value added products
in 2010-11.

FTA with EU not to go beyond
TRIPS/domestic law PM

The Trade and Economic Relations Committee (TERC) held
its 17
th
meeting on April 29, 2011 under the chairmanship of
the Prime Minister. The committee reviewed the status of
the India-European Union Bilateral Trade and Investment
Agreement (FTA) and discussed the various issues involved
in the negotiations. It was observed that concern has been
raised by various quarters about the Indian stand on issues
on Intellectual Property Rights, especially in the context of
the Indian Pharma products. The PM directed that the
Indian side shall not take on any obligation beyond TRIPS/
Domestic Law. The Committee also discussed proposals for
two new economic engagements through the mechanism of
FTA with Australia and with the Common Market of Eastern
and Southern Africa (COMESA).



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FTA with Australia: The Joint Study Group constituted for
studying the feasibility of a FTA with Australia has observed
that India and Australia produce highly competitive and
largely complementary goods for export to international
markets. While economic activity in each country has led to
substantial growth in bilateral goods trade, tariffs and non-
tariff barriers continue to raise the cost of imports, imposing
implicit taxes on businesses and consumers alike. A
comprehensive FTA between Australia and India would
benefit both countries and such liberalization would provide
impetus to economic activity and economic welfare in each
economy. The Committee accorded approval to the launch
of the FTA negotiations with Australia.

FTA with COMESA: The TERC also considered the
proposal for establishing a Joint Study Group to examine
the policy framework for enhancing the bilateral economic
relationship between India and COMESA and assessing the
feasibility of a comprehensive FTA/PTA covering trade in
goods, services and investment and accorded its approval
for the same. It was observed that bilateral trade between
India and COMESA has shown very good growth during the
last five years and the trade balance continues to be in our
favour.

Funds approved for automotive testing project

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on
April 28, 2011 approved the revised cost estimate of Rs
2,288.06 crore for the National Automotive Testing and R&D
Infrastructure Project in place of the original approved cost
estimate of Rs 1,718 crore.

NATRIP, the flagship project of Department of Heavy
Industry (DHI), was approved by the CCEA in July, 2005,
with a total investment of Rs.1718 crore, for up-gradation of
three existing automotive testing and R&D centers viz.
(Vehicle Research & Development Establishments) at
Ahmednagar, Automotive Research Association of India
(ARAI) at Pune and International Centre for Automotive
Technology (ICAT) at Manesar and for setting up of four
greenfield centers at Chennai, Indore, Silchar and Rae
Bareilly for automotive testing, homologation and R&D.

The completion of project will ensure that full bouquet of
automotive testing and R&D facilities are available for
introduction of higher emission and safety norms by 2015.
This will contribute to lowering of vehicular emissions and
improve vehicle safety. The Project will also lead to
manifold increase in the growth of the automotive sector
and its contribution to national economy.

Funds approved for Ganga River Authority
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on April 28,
2011 approved the Project for cleaning of River Ganga to be
implemented by the National Ganga River Basin Authority
(NGRBA) at an estimated cost of Rs. 7000 crore. The share
of Government of India will be Rs 5100 crore and that of the
State Governments of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,
Jharkhand and West Bengal will be Rs 1900 crore. The
World Bank has agreed in-principle to provide a loan
assistance of US $ 1 billion (approx. Rs 4600 crore) to the
Government of India for the NGRBA project, which will form
part of the central share of the project. The duration of the
project will be eight years.

NGRBA was constituted in February, 2009 as an
empowered planning, financing, monitoring and
coordinating authority for the Ganga River under the
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The objective of the
Authority, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, is to
ensure conservation of the river Ganga and to maintain
environmental flows by comprehensive planning and
management, adopting a river basin approach.

The project is envisaged as the first phase in a long-term
programme of World Bank support to NGRBA. The project
will support NGRBAs objective of Mission Clean Ganga.
The project has been designed keeping in view the lessons
learnt from the previous Ganga Action Plan and
International River clean-ups. The project will have three
components relating to (a) institutional development for
setting up dedicated institutions for implementing the
NGRBA program, setting up Ganga Knowledge Centre,
strengthening environmental regulators (Pollution Control
Boards) and local institutions (ULBs, etc) (b) infrastructure
investments including for municipal sewage, industrial
pollution, solid wastes and river front management, and (c)
project implementation support.


Funds approved for Food Technology Institute

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on April 28,
2011 approved revised cost estimates from Rs 244.60 crore
to Rs 479.91 crore for setting up of the National Institute of
Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management
at Kundli, Haryana. This increased cost will have a foreign
exchange component of $ 8.1 million. NIFTEM will be a
global centre of excellence integrating all facets of food
science, technology, entrepreneurship, research and
management and will be recognized as the focal point for
catalyzing the growth of the food processing industries in
India in the global context.
The Institute will cater to the needs of various stakeholders
such as entrepreneurs, industry, exporters, policy makers,
the government and existing institutions. It will develop
world-class managerial talent and entrepreneurship with
advanced know-how in food science and technology,
increase the importance of food hygiene and safety


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77
standards, facilitate business incubation services, collect
and disseminate information on national and international
market trends for food products.


Funds approved for Malaria Control Project

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on April 28,
2011 approved a Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
proposal for second phase of the Intensified Malaria
Control Project for seven North Eastern States (except
Sikkim) under National Vector Borne Disease Control
Programme with support from Global Fund for AIDS, TB
and Malaria at a cost of Rs 417.22 crore.

The programme is being run under the National Vector
Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) with support
from Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM -
Round 9).

The approval envisages continuance of the erstwhile Global
Fund Supported Intensified Malaria Control Project (IMCP-I)
(2005-10), with revised geographical focus in high-endemic
seven North-Eastern States for accelerated control of
malaria.

Human resources development, procurement and
distribution of commodities and drugs, information,
education and communication, behaviour change
communication (BCC) activities and planning, monitoring
and evaluation are the main components of the programme.

Further, it includes measures for improving behaviour
change communication, vector and parasite surveillance,
partnership development and capacity building.
The aim of the project is to reduce malaria-related mortality
and morbidity in project States by at least 30 per cent by
2015 as compared with the 2008 levels.

The project will cover a five-year period from October 1,
2010 to September 30, 2015.


Negotiable warehouse receipt system
launched

Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution,
Prof. K.V.Thomas launched the Negotiable Warehouse
Receipt System (NWRs) on April 26, 2011. Henceforth,
farmers can seek loans from banks against the warehouse
receipts issued to them against their storage. These
receipts issued by the warehouses registered with the
Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority
(WDRA) would become a fully negotiable instrument backed
by a Central legislation. The WDRA was setup by the
Government in October 2010 to regulate and development
of warehouses in the country.

The new initiative would help the farmers to avoid distress
sale and become a tool of trade and facilitate finance to the
farmers. It would also allow banks to improve the quality of
their lending services in agriculture sector, increase the
liquidity in the rural areas and encourage better price risk
management in agriculture commodities.

The Minister has directed the Central Warehousing
Authority to undertake extensive training programme for
scientific storage of goods to minimise losses. He also
called for linkages of registered warehouses should also be
provided with Agriculture Produce & Marketing Committee
(APMC) and Spot Exchanges so as to enable the farmers to
fetch better prices of their agriculture produce.


Govt. committee to track black money

The Union government on April 25, 2011 informed the
Supreme Court that it would set up a 10-member high-
powered supervisory committee to track black money and
their link to terror funding and drug syndicates.

The revenue secretary will head the committee, which will
include directors of the CBI, Enforcement Directorate (ED),
Intelligence Bureau (IB), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
and chiefs of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT),
Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Financial Intelligence
Bureau, Foreign Trade and Tax division as well as deputy
governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam said that this
committee will start work immediately. Every time any of the
investigating agencies comes across some information
about black moneyboth abroad and domesticit will be
shared with other investigating agencies and investigation
will be coordinated.

During the last hearing, the Supreme Court had asked the
Centre to respond to why an Special Investigation Team
(SIT) should not be set up to track black money as the
government appeared to have done nothing concrete and
why names of foreign bank account holders who had
stashed black money there not be disclosed.


SC suspend 19 mining leases in Bellary

The Supreme Court, acting on a report of the Central
Empowered Committee (CEC), on April 29, 2011 directed
suspension of the 19 mining leases in Karnataka in the
Bellary region and restrained these mines from carrying on
operations until further orders. The order was passed after


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78
taking into account the interim reports of the CEC
appointed by the court to look into violations of mining laws
by the companies. The reports said massive illegal mining
was conducted in the forest area in connivance with officials
and public representatives.

Karnataka has iron ore reserves of 8,277.5 million tonnes,
16.5 per cent of the countrys reserves. The huge resource
base of magnetite ore is in the Western Ghats, where
mining is banned. Most iron ore mining happens in Bellary,
Chitradurga and Tumkur districts. The state has granted
166 mining leases. It produces around 40 million tonnes,
which is about one-fifth of Indias production. Karnataka
exports about 30 million tonnes, one-third of the national
figure. The state imposed a ban on iron ore exports in July
2010.

Non-food credit up by 20.6% in 2010-11 RBI

Non-food bank credit grew by 20.6 per cent during 2010-11
as compared with 16.8 per cent during 2009-10, according
to the RBI on April 29, 2011. In 2010-11, banks extended
non-food credit aggregating Rs 6,27,347 crore (Rs 4,38,182
crore in 2009-10).

As per the RBIs sectoral deployment of credit data, credit to
the services sector, led by non-banking finance companies
(59 per cent increase or by Rs 62,136 crore), professional
services, transport operators and tourism, hotels and
restaurants, grew by 23.9 per cent during 2010-11,
compared with 12.5 per cent in the previous year.

Personal loans grew significantly by 17 per cent (or by Rs
99,739 crore) during 2010-11 as compared with 4.1 per cent
(or by Rs 23,154 crore) during the previous year, with all its
components barring credit card outstanding exhibiting high
growth.

Credit to industry, led by infrastructure, metals, food
processing, rubber, plastic and their products and
engineering grew by 23.6 per cent in 2010-11, compared
with 24.4 per cent in the previous year.

Credit growth to agriculture, however, decelerated to 10.6
per cent during 2010-11 from 22.9 per cent in the previous
year.

India Corruption Study: 2010 unveiled
The India Corruption Study: 2010 prepared by the Centre
for Media Studies was released in New Delhi on April 29,
2011. The study says that the grievance redress system in
the country is poor and public service providers lack
accountability. This is indicated by the fact that 95 per cent
of the households that were asked to pay a bribe ended up
doing so.

The report based on a survey of around 10,000 households
across 12 major cities claims that the general perception
about corruption in public services involving the aam admi
has shown a declining trend. However, people continued
paying bribes for services like the public distribution
scheme, medical assistance and water supply.

The bribe paid by households for various purposes ranged
between as low as Rs. 5 to as high as Rs. 800. For
example, to get an application form to apply for a ration
card, some households paid Rs. 5 while to get the BPL
ration card, without being eligible fore the same or not
having supporting documents, some households paid Rs.
800, the study quotes.

The estimation of bribe amount paid by the rural
households brings out an amount of Rs. 471.8 crore...The
percentage of rural households that paid bribe during the
last year was relatively higher in PDS (11.5 per cent),
followed by hospitals (9 per cent), schools (5.8 per cent),
water (4.3 per cent), the study said.

The study claims that the socio-economically weaker
sections were most affected by corrupt practices in public
services. Four to six per cent of rural households were
deprived of these public services as they could not afford to
pay bribe.

The study puts Rs. 156.8 crore as bribe that could have
been paid in PDS while for water supply services, rural
households could have paid Rs. 83.3 crore.


India ranks 48
th
on Networked Readiness
Index

India has slipped by five places on the INSEAD and World
Economic Forums Annual Global Information Technology
Report unveiled on April 29, 2011. India has moved to 48
th

rank on the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) featured in
the report, down from 43
rd
position last year. With coverage
of 138 economies worldwide, the Report is a
comprehensive international assessment of the impact of
ICT (information and communication technology) on the
development process and the competitiveness of nations.
NRI examines how prepared countries are to use ICT
effectively on three dimensions: the general business,
regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; the
readiness of individuals, businesses and governments to
use and benefit from ICT; and, third, their actual usage of
available ICT. While India was better on the readiness
component, ranking at 33, it ranked 67 on the usage
component. On the environment component, India ranked
58.



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79
Sweden and Singapore led the rankings by placing first and
second in the NRI, respectively. Finland (3) rose in the
rankings, followed by Switzerland (4) and the US (5). The
Nordic countries led in leveraging ICT. With Denmark in 7
th

and Norway in 9
th
place, all are in the top 10, except for
Iceland, ranked in 16th position. Led by Singapore in
second place, the other Asian economies continue to make
progress in the ranking, with Taiwan and Korea improving
five places to 6th and 10th, respectively, and Hong Kong at
12th.

The NRI uses a combination of data from publicly available
sources, as well as the results of the Executive Opinion
Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the
World Economic Forum with its network of partner institutes
(leading research institutes and business organisations) in
the countries included in the report.

Indias electricity generation at 811 BU in 2010-11:
India saw an electricity generation of 811 billion units in the
last fiscal, marginally lower than the set target, primarily on
account of shortage of coal and water. The country had
targeted an electricity generation of 830.8 billion units (BU)
in 2010-11. Latest figures from the Central Electricity
Authority (CEA) show that power generation stood at 811.1
BU in 2010-11. The figure represents a growth of over five
per cent as against 768.4 BU achieved in 2009-10 financial
year. The statistics exclude generation from plants having
capacity of 25 MW capacity. In the last fiscal, the electricity
generation from thermal power sources stood at 664.9 BU
compared to the target of 690.9 BU.
Develop. fee at Mumbai, Delhi airports quashed:
The Supreme Court on April 26, 2011 quashed the levying
of Airport Development Fee (ADF) by private airport
developers in Delhi and Mumbai on international and
domestic passengers. A bench of Justices Cyriac Joseph
and A K Patnaik set aside the policy of airport developers by
which passengers departing from Delhi airport had to pay a
fee of Rs 200 for domestic flights and Rs 1,300 for
international flights while fliers departing from Mumbai were
charged Rs 100 for domestic and Rs 600 for international
flights. The bench set aside the Delhi High Courts order
which had upheld levying of ADF. The court passed the
order on a petition filed by the NGO, Consumer Online
Foundation, contending that the fee was illegal, as it was
not approved by Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of
India (AERA).

Cuddalore PCPIR proposal goes before CCEA: The
government has given its approval for the fifth Petroleum,
Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR)
in the country which will come in Tamil Nadu. According to
the Tamil Nadu government on April 30, 2011, the project
has got an in-principle approval from the Cabinet Secretary
and would go to the Cabinet Committee on Economic
Affairs for approval. The proposed PCPIR is coming up on
250 sq km on the coastline of Cuddalore, around 200 km
south of Chennai. So far four PCPIRs have been notified by
the government, including Dahej in Gujarat, Haldia in West
Bengal, Paradip in Orissa and Vishakhapatnam in Andhra
Pradesh. Each notified zone is expected to bring in an
investment, both domestic and international, to the tune of
Rs 2 - 3 lakh crore. PCPIR is aimed at promoting large
investments in the chemicals sector in the country.

US gets DRDO tech for Explosive Detection Kit: A
USA based firm Crowe & Company, LLC on April 25, 2011
entered into a licensing agreement with DRDO to acquire
the technology of Explosive Detection Kit developed by the
High Energy Material Research Lab (HEMRL), Pune, one of
the constituent laboratories of DRDO. HEMRL has
developed the kit for quick detection and identification of
explosives that can detect and identify explosives based on
any combination of nitro esters, nitramines, trinitrotoluene
(TNT), dynamite or black powder. The explosive detection
kit comes packed in a box the size of a vanity case and in
miniature vials that can be kept in shirt pockets.

HCL to develop system for CCI M&A cases: The
Competition Commission of India (CCI) on April 28, 2011
selected HCL Technologies to develop an electronic system
ensuring confidentiality of sensitive documents given by
companies for merger and acquisition (M&A) scrutiny. HCL
would develop security firewalls to protect the electronic
data filed by industry. Confidentiality of data has been a
major concern of the industry after the government notified
provisions under the Competition Act, 2002, for CCI to
handle M&A scrutiny from June 1. While M&As officially
announced until June 1 would be excluded from this
scrutiny, all new ones where the acquirer has a minimum
turnover of Rs 4,500 crore or more will have to be vetted by
CCI.

Rajendra Pawar is new NASSCOM Chairman: NIIT
Ltd co-founder and chairman Rajendra S Pawar was on


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80
April 27, 2011 appointed as the next Chairman of IT industry
body National Association of Software and Services
Companies (NASSCOM) for the year 2011-12. He will
replace Accentures Harsh Manglik. Pawar (60) has
pioneered computer education market in India,
when he co-founded NIIT in 1981. The NIIT
Group now encompasses two businesses
NIIT Technologies Ltd, the software and
services arm, and NIIT Ltd, the leading Global
Talent Development Corporation. Besides NIIT,
Pawar is a member of Prime Ministers National Council on
Skill Development, a council chaired by prime minister. He
is a member of the Planning Commissions Task Force on
Skill Development. He did his schooling from the Scindia
School, Gwalior and graduated from IIT, Delhi in 1972
where he pursued B Tech programme in electrical
engineering. He worked at HCL Technologies before
starting NIIT in 1981.

K V Kamath appointed Infosys Chairman: Indias second
largest software firm Infosys on April 30, 2011 named K V
Kamath as the new chairman to succeed founder N R
Narayana Murthy, who retires in August. Kamath, 63, is the
non-Executive Chairman of ICICI Bank, the countrys largest
private sector bank. He is also an independent director on
the board of Infosys. The company also appointed current
CEO S. Gopalakrishnan as the Executive Co-Chairman
and promoted COO S D Shibulal as CEO and MD. Murthy,
who turns 65 in August, would become Chairman Emeritus.
These appointments will be effective August 21, 2011.




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Section E: SPORTS

Duncan Fletcher appointed India coach: The former
England coach, Duncan Fletcher, was on April 27, 2011
appointed coach of the Indian cricket team for a period of
two years by the Board of Control for Cricket in India
(BCCI). He takes over from the highly successful Gary
Kirsten. Eric Simons role as the bowling coach was also
extended.

The 62-year-old Fletcher was a path-breaking coach for
England from 1999 to 2007. During his tenure, England
registered its first Ashes triumph in 18 years and recorded
significant away Test series victories in Sri Lanka, Pakistan,
the West Indies and South Africa. As a player, he was a left-
handed batsman and bowled tight right-arm medium pace
for Zimbabwe. The highlight of his career was when he
skippered Zimbabwe to a stunning win over Australia in a
group match of the 1983 World Cup in England. He led from
the front too, scoring 69 not out and claiming four wickets
for 42.

BCCI increases cash prize for World Cup win: The
BCCI on April 27, 2011 increased the prize money
announced for the Indian Cricket team for World Cup
triumph from Rs one crore to Rs two crore each. "The cash
incentive to the members of the World Cup winning Indian
team has been increased from Rs 1 crore per player to Rs 2
crore per player," BCCI secretary and president-elect N
Srinivasan said in a media release.

IFA launches Premier League Soccer: The Indian
Football Association in April 2011 announced the launch of
Premier League Soccer (PLS), an innovative venture that
looks to bring together professional players from across the
world in a franchise-based system like cricket. The
tournament, which will be played in the January-March
period in 2012, will initially have six franchises chosen
through competitive bidding. The PLS will have six
franchises to be chosen through competitive bidding for 10
years with successful bidders paying a yearly franchise fee.
Only limited companies with a minimum net worth of Rs 10
crores could bid for a franchisee license. The tournament,
which will be conducted in association with Celebrity
Management Group, will have franchises from the six major
cities in the state Kolkata, Howrah, Barasat, Asansol,
Midnapore and Siliguri.

The PLS will look to bring together franchises and stadium
authorities in the different venues in a bid to upgrade the
infrastructure and provide the spectators all modern
amenities. Each team will have one icon player, three
overseas players, a minimum of five catchment-players, and
six players in the under-21 age-group. Each team will be
headed by an overseas coach having FIFA or UEFA A
license. The franchises are also required to have their own
youth development programme.


Former footballer Abdus Sattar passes away:
Former Olympian football star Mohammad Abdus Sattar,
who was part of the 1951 Asian Games gold winning team
and led Mohun Bagan to their maiden Rovers Cup victory in
1955, passed away at the age of 85 in Kolkata on April 25,
2011. Sattar also played in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

India win 2 golds at Belgrade boxing tournament:
17-year-old boxer Shiva Thapa won the gold in bantam
weight (56kg) category at the Winners Invitational
Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia. India won two golds and a
bronze medal. Commonwealth Games gold-medallist and
Asian Games bronze-winner Paramjeet Samota (+91kg) got
a gold, while Asian silver-medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg)
settled for a bronze. Shiva beat Bulgarias Detelin Dalakliev,
the world champion from the 2009 Milan edition, despite
trailing by a couple of points in the first two rounds.




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Weekly Current Affairs update
For the Week: May 1 to 7, 2011
Major news of the week

Section A: INDIA
Arunachal CM Khandu dies in air mishap
Gamlin appointed new Arunachal CM
Tagore souvenirs released on birth anniversary
PMs committee suggests per person PDS allocation
MPLAD funds for physically challenged persons allowed
Let IIMs award degrees Menon committee
Pact with United Peoples Democratic Solidarity extended
SC sets up team to survey Karnataka iron ore mines
AIIMS book on Organ Donation released
Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani to soon have Wi-Fi facility
HRD Min. to unveil framework to boost vocational education
Indian Navy saves Chinese ship from pirates
Army to set up jungle warfare training in Chhattisgarh
Audit soon of 17-lakh acres of Defence land holdings
India fast-tracking road projects on China border
Marine commando force launched by Goa police
Benefit Scheme for Gramin Dak Sevaks launched
Lighthouses to show new direction to costal tourism
India first cluster bus service launched in Delhi
S.C. Chetal takes over as new IGCAR Director
BJP renominates M. M. Joshi as PAC chairman
Sunil Lanba is new Eastern Naval Command Chief
K D Tripathi appointed as new CVC secretary
Maharashtra CM resigns as Rajya Sabha member
Journalist K. Kasturi Rangan passes away
Kanimozhi denies knowledge of money transfer in 2G scam

Section B: WORLD
Harper wins Parliamentary elections in Canada
Fatah, Hamas sign reconciliation agreement in Palestine
World Population Prospects unveiled
Asian Development Bank AGM organised in Hanoi
President Patil visits Mauritius
Britain says no to Alternative Vote
People's Action Party wins Singapore election
WEF meet on Africa organised
May Day observed
World Press Freedom Day observed
World Asthma Day observed
Portugal agrees to Euro 78 bn bailout
N. Korea, worst-rated in press freedom Freedom House
EU wins super-observer status at United Nations
S Korean parliament approves FTA with EU
Osama's death 3rd biggest news of 21st century
WHO for mental disorders as non-communicable disease
Tagore bust presented to Singapore institute
World Red Cross Day celebrated
Osama bin Laden killed in Abbottabad
Ouattara takes oath as Ivory Coast President
Lakshmi Mittal stays on top of UK rich list for 7th yr

Section C: AWARDS
President gives away Certificate of Honour to scholars
Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research announced
Hazare rejects IIPM Tagore Peace Prize
Lalit Kala Akademi chairman rejects UP govt.s award
Jailed Iranian journalist wins UNESCO prize
Cannes to honour jailed Iranian directors
Marco Bellocchio wins Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement
Indian nanny honoured by Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
Columbia journalism award for Al Jazeera English

Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
Monetary policy statement for 2011-12 unveiled
Indias foreign trade data unveiled
Plan Com for quota boost to domestic hardware production
Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010 comes into effect
Loans to NBFCs lose priority sector tag
RBI increases m-wallet limit
Inter-ministerial group discusses high inflation with RBI
India on US priority watch list on IPRs
FICCI proposes to set up National Knowledge Functional Hub
ISRO stakes claim to India's fastest supercomputer
Mumbai Airport calls AERA on restoring Development Fees
India, China to grow the most in APAC UN Agency
Business confidence falls 8% in October-March
R.K. Upadhyay appointed BSNL CMD
G. C. Chaturvedi appointed Petroleum Secretary
Rakesh Singh is interim LIC Chairman
Shekhar Shah appointed NCAER director-general
Balachandran is Pharmaceuticals Authority Chairman
Nirmal Chandra Jha is new Coal India Chairman

Section E: SPORTS
Sri Lankas T20 league to start in July-August
BCCI recommends Zaheer Khan for Arjuna award
Alastair Cook named England's new ODI skipper
Cricket South Africa reinstates Nyoka as President
Lee wins India Open badminton championship
Saina ends runner-up in Malaysian Open Grand Prix
Potro wins Estoril Open
Djokovic beats Nadal to win Madrid Open
Djokovic wins Serbia Open
AC Milan claim 18th Serie A title
Gurmeet sets new national record in men's 20km walk
Vettal wins Turkish Grand Prix
Suwannawat wins Asian Snooker Championship
Former world No. 1 golfer Ballesteros passes away
Lee Westwood retains No. 1 ranking in Golf


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83

Section A: INDIA

News round up

Arunachal CM Khandu dies in air mishap

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu was found dead in the remote and inaccessible Luguthang village, about
30 km from Tawang near the India-China border, on May 8, 2011. The news of his demise came after five days of intense
search operations since the Pawan Hans A350-B3 helicopter carrying Khandu and four others went missing near the Sela
Pass at 10.05 AM on April 30 while flying from Tawang to Itanagar.

Military career

A military intelligence man who participated in the 1971 Bangladesh war, Khandu had worked his way up as a local politician
helping set up schools and organising drinking water supplies in far-flung areas of the mountainous State. Khandu, 56, who
became the Chief Minister twice, was with the Army's intelligence wing for seven years and received a gold medal for
rendering meritorious services during the India-Pakistan war that led to the creation of Bangladesh. Khandu also led a
cultural troupe to the 1982 Asiad in Delhi from Tawang and it won a silver medal.

Political career

Born on March 3, 1955 at Gyangkhar village in Tawang district, Khandu belonged to the Monpa tribe and was a Buddhist with
little formal education.

His political innings started in 1983 when he was elected uncontested as the district vice- president of the West Kameng
district zilla parishad and worked in that capacity till 1987.

On September 21, 1996, he was elevated to Cabinet rank and given Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, Dairy Development
Department

In 1999, he was elected to the third Legislative Assembly and served as Power Minister from 1998 to 2006.

He also served as the Minister for Mines and held the portfolio of Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation and Disaster
Management.

Khandu revolted against Apang in 2007. When the Congress high command first refused to accept him as a replacement for
Apang as Chief Minister, Khandu went to New Delhi with most party legislators and stayed put for 10 days till the AICC
leaders relented.

Gamlin appointed new Arunachal CM

Governor, J.J. Singh, on May 9, 2011 administered the oath of offices to newly elected leader of Congress legislative party,
Jarbom Gamlin, as new the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh. Gamlin, who was the power minister in the late Khandu
government, was also the member of 13
th
Lok Sabha and also considered his close confidante.

Committee of Inquiry set up

The Union government on May 10, 2011 appointed a Committee of Inquiry headed by the former Western Air Command
chief, Air Marshal (Retd.) P.S. Ahluwalia, to inquire into the circumstances of accident. The Committee of Inquiry, which
includes other retired officials of the Indian Air Force and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), will submit its
report within three months.




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Tagore souvenirs released on birth anniversary

A National Committee (NC), has been constituted under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for the
150
th
Anniversary Commemorations of Rabindranath Tagore. A National Implementation Committee (NIC) under the
chairmanship of the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has also been set up to follow up the policy guidelines laid down by
the National Committee.

The inaugural function was organised on May 7, 2011 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The Chief Guest was the Planning
Minister of Bangladesh, Air Vice Marshal (Retd.), A. K. Khandker. This function also marked the formal launch of the Indo-
Bangla Joint Commemorations that had been announced in the Joint Communique of January 2010 after the visit of Ms.
Sheikh Hasina, the Bangladesh Prime Minister, to India.

Several commemorative souvenirs on Rabindranath Tagore, including a compilation of the digital prints of his paintings, a
DVD pack of his restored movies and stamps, were released in New Delhi on May 7, 2011 on the occasion of the 150
th
birth
anniversary celebrations of the Nobel laureate.

The first of the four commemorative volumes of Tagores paintings titled Rabindra Chitravali and a set of commemorative
stamps on Tagore, the second one after those released in 1961, were released. The paintings have been sourced from
National Gallery of Modern Art and Visva Bharati University, set up by Tagore at Santiniketan in West Bengal. The stamps
show Tagore writing, with the Upasana Ghar in Santiniketan as the backdrop, him performing in his play Valmiki Pratibha
and also one of his paintings.

Tagore Stories on Film, a DVD of five popular movies based on Tagore`s stories, restored by the National Film
Development Corporation (NFDC) was also released on the occasion. The movies are Kshudito Pashan (The Hungry
Stones), Teen Kanya (The Three Daughters), Char Adhyaye (Four Chapters), Notir Puja (The Dancer`s Prayer), with
which Tagore was personally involved, and Ghare Baire (Home and the World). The movies have English subtitles.

The Union government will facilitate setting up of new cultural complexes in different parts of the country as part of the
commemoration of Tagore's 150th birth anniversary. The government has revamped the Multipurpose Cultural Complexes
(MPCCs) scheme and renamed it as Tagore Cultural Complexes Scheme. Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina Wajed thanked the Indian government for accepting her suggestion to name the train that will run between
Kolkata and Dhaka Sonar Tori' (Golden Boat) after a collection of poems written by Tagore.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna released a special issue of India Perspective the ministrys publication, while Indian
Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) president Karan Singh released a special issue of the councils publication Indian
Horizons. The special issues of both magazines are devoted to Tagore.

National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), National School of Drama (NSD), Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA), Sahitya Akademi
(SA), Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA) and IGNCA organized exclusive functions to celebrate Tagore between 7-9 May 2011 at their
premises and select locations in Delhi.



PMs committee suggests per person PDS allocation: The Prime Minister-appointed committee on Food and Public
Distribution System (F&PDS) headed by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia on May 2, 2011
suggested that the current system of distributing PDS foodgrain per household should be replaced with per capita allocation.
According to National Sample Survey (NSS) data, lower income households have more members per family than higher
income households. The grain entitlement may be converted from a per-household to a per-individual monthly entitlement,
said the committee in its draft report. The committee, which had the chief ministers of Chhattisgarh and Assam as its
members along with the Prime Ministers Economic Advisory Council chairman C Rangarajan, said that the 6.52-crore ration
card cap fixed by the government on the basis of 1993-94 poverty estimates resulted into lower per family foodgrain
availability. Consequently, it has asked the government to notify the revised BPL figures based on latest poverty estimates of
the Planning Commission at the earliest.



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MPLAD funds for aid to physically challenged persons allowed: The Ministry of Statistics & Programme
Implementation on May 6, 2011 allowed MPs to spend a maximum of Rs. 10.00 lakhs per year, from their MPLAD funds, for
giving assistance to the physically challenged. Such assistance can be given only for the purchase of tri-cycles and artificial
limbs, for differently abled persons. All applications for such assistance will be examined and approved, by the Chief Medical
Officer (CMO) of the district, to ensure proper eligibility. This change will come into effect from 1st of June, 2011.

Let IIMs award degrees Menon committee: A six-member committee, headed by professor N R Madhava Menon,
on May 1, 2011 recommended bringing in an overarching legislation governing all IIMs, allowing them to award degrees.
Unlike central universities and IITs, the IIMs currently award only diplomas. IIMs have not been set up through an Act of
Parliament, but through the charitable societies route. The suggestions comes months after the HRD ministry rejected IIM-
Bs proposal to amend its Memorandum of Association its primary rulebook allowing it to confer degrees. The
committee, appointed to evolve a policy of autonomy for higher education institutions, also proposed a peer-based academic
review of departments/areas every five years and complete autonomy to boards to appoint IIM directors solely via a search
and selection committee. It has further recommended flow of liberal grants to IIMs to enhance their level of academic
activities to global standards, and funding of doctoral students.

SoO agreement with United Peoples Democratic Solidarity extended: The Ministry of Home Affairs and the
United Peoples Democratic Solidarity (active in North Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam) on May 2, 2011
mutually agreed to extend the Suspension of Operations (SoO) Agreement for a further period of six months up to
31.10.2011. Tripartite talks on the demands of UPDS are continuing.

SC sets up team to survey Karnataka iron ore mines: The Supreme Court on May 6, 2011 set up a team to survey
and demarcate the ninety-nine iron ore mines in Bellary-Hospet region of Karnataka to identify sites of alleged illegal mining.
A Bench led by CJI S H Kapadia ordered forming of a team of representatives of the states Forest and Mines departments,
the Lokayukta and the court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC). The team would conduct survey and
demarcation of the leased mines in the presence of representatives of the mining firms and if any encroachment was found,
the mining in the entire leased area would stop. The apex court directed the joint team to visit the site of all 99 mines to carry
out demarcation.

AIIMS book on Organ Donation released: The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad has
called for stepping up the drive to generate awareness about organ and tissue donation in the society. The Minister noted
that there is a huge gap between demand and availability of human organs and tissues. Azad on May 3, 2011 released a
book published by the Organ Retrieval Banking Organization (ORBO) of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, titled A
Tribute to Life. The book features the donors and their families who have taken the crucial decision of donating organs and
tissues of their near and dear ones and rendered yeomen service to society by saving lives of many other people in need.
The ORBO at AIIMS is striving to meet the needs of terminally ill patients by educating and motivating people to come
forward to donate organs and tissues after death.

Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani to soon have Wi-Fi facility: The Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani is set to become the first train in
India to have Wi-Fi connectivity that would enable passengers to access internet during their rail journey. Railways have
awarded a contract of Rs 5.3 crore for making equipping three rakes of the Delhi-Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani with the facility.
While the satellite link-up cost is more than Rs 1 crore, it would cost about Rs 4 crore for the equipment to facilitate internet
access, the Railway Ministry said on May 2, 2011.

HRD Ministry to unveil framework to boost vocational education: A national framework to promote vocational
education will be unveiled to meet the requirement of skilled hands for driving industrial growth, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said
on May 6, 2011. The National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework will address the needs and demands of various
sectors like automobile, telecom and entertainment industry to meet manpower requirements. The Ministry had in February
this year set up a GoM of education of various states to prepare a roadmap for implementation of the framework. At the
completion of the programme students will be awarded a CBSE vocational degree similar to the CBSE academic degree they
get today.

Indian Navy saves Chinese ship from pirates: A Navy patrol plane foiled a pirate attack on a Chinese merchant
vessel, MV Full City, off Karwar coast in the Arabian sea on May 5, 2011. It flew warning sorties and coordinated with the
NATO Task Force to complete the mission successfully. Receiving an SOS that the vessel was under attack, the Navy


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directed a TU124 aircraft which was on anti-piracy patrol and a Coast Guard ship to the spot, some 450 nautical miles (850
km) west of Karwar.

Army to set up jungle warfare training in Chhattisgarh: The Army is awaiting clearance from the Ministry of Defence
(MoD) to conduct training in jungle warfare to a brigade size force in Chhattisgarh. The land for setting up the training area,
also called the manoeuvre range, has been identified at Narainpur in Chhattisgarh and approval accorded in principle.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Central Command Lt. Gen. V.K. Ahluwalia said this at a press conference at the
Command's headquarters in Lucknow on May 6, 2011. Lt. Gen. Ahluwalia said the objective of setting up the training range
was only to impart training and not anti-Naxal operations. The area under the Central Command, which encompasses
Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, and parts of Madhya Pradesh, were affected by left wing extremism, but presently
the Army was not mandated to operate against such elements. Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand were the other two States in
the Command. The Army's role in this context was advisory and providing assistance in capacity building to the Union
government. The Command is celebrating its 48
th
Raising Day anniversary celebrations. It was the Chinese aggression in
1962 that led to the creation of the Central Command. It came into being on May 1, 1963. In fact, prior to May 1, 1963,

Audit soon of 17-lakh acres of Defence land holdings: More than 17-lakh acres held by 62 cantonments and the
Defence estates will soon be audited. Land records will also be digitised and indexed. Announcing this at the first
Performance Appraisal Conference of the Chief Executive Officers of the Cantonment Boards in New Delhi on April 4, 2011,
the Defence Minister, A. K. Antony, said issuance of no objection certificates (NoCs) for Defence land would be done strictly
according to the laid down policy. The minister added that all vacant pieces of Defence land would be constantly monitored to
avert encroachment.

India fast-tracking road projects on China border: With China making strides in building of infrastructure along the
border, India is fast-tracking the construction of strategic roads in the North East and Ladakh, completing much of the work
and aiming to finish bulk of projects in two years. Border Roads Organization (BRO) Director General Lt Gen S Ravi
Shankar on May 7, 2011 said high priority was being accorded to these projects which are closely monitored at the highest
level. About 63 per cent of work on 27 roads in Arunachal Pradesh and 12 in Ladakh is complete.

Marine commando force launched by Goa police: The Goa police on May 7, 2011 launched a Marine Commando
Force, an elite team of trained policemen armed with sophisticated weapons like AK-47 rifles and bullet proof vessels to
tackle terrorist attacks. The force would be known as 'Sheshnag' and commandos would be sent for further training with
Indian Navy's academy, INS Mandovi.

Benefit Scheme for Gramin Dak Sevaks launched: The Service Discharge Benefit Scheme (SDBS) for Gramin Dak
Sevaks (GDS) was launched in New Delhi on May 3, 2011. The social security scheme, launched by Department of Posts,
seeks to provide post-retirement financial security to over 2.73 lakh GDS by depositing Rs. 200 per GDS per month in their
accounts. Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) cards to some GDSs on the occasion. The monthly deposits by
the government would constantly grow through investments in different schemes/securities by the pension fund managers
(PFM) appointed by the PFRDA.

Lighthouses to show new direction to costal tourism: The government has identified about 13 lighthouses across
the Indian coastline that will serve as tourist spots and add a new experience in tourism. The proposal is to develop the
coastal land in and around these lighthouses with tourist facilities, including resorts and water sports under the public private
partnership mode. The initiative has been undertaken by the directorate general of lighthouses and lightships (DGLL) under
the ministry of shipping, which has awarded the work of compiling a detailed project report for each of the sites to
Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS).

Cluster bus service launched in Delhi: Chief minister Sheila Dikshit launched the cluster bus service in the city on May
5, 2011. This is the first of its kind service in the country and will be run by corporate entities on the lines of those in London
and Paris. All the low -floor orange-coloured buses under cluster service will have an onboard passenger information system
similar to that of Delhi Metro, global positioning system, temperature reader, clock, electronic display board, CCTV cameras
and electronic ticketing machines (ETMs). The first cluster will be run by Star Bus Pvt Ltd on 32 routes in south Delhi. It will
have a total of 231 buses, including around 20 air-conditioned ones. The remaining buses will be added to the current fleet of
50 within three months. All the buses are Euro-IV compliant.



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S.C. Chetal takes over as new IGCAR Director: S.C. Chetal took over as Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for
Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam, Chennai on April 30, 2011. He succeeds Baldev Raj. The IGCAR is the architect of
Fast Breeder Reactor programme and it has designed and developed the 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR)
under construction at Kalpakkam. Before taking over as IGCAR Director, Chetal was its Director, Reactor Engineering Group.
He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from New Delhi in 1970 and joined the prestigious Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
(BARC) Training School at Trombay that year. After completing the one-year course at the BARC Training School, he joined
the IGCAR in 1971 and had been engaging himself in Fast Reactor engineering. He contributed to the design and
development of the Fast Breeder Test Reactor at Kalpakkam. Chetal played an important role in the research and
development, design, engineering, materials and manufacturing technology of the PFBR.

BJP renominates M. M. Joshi as PAC chairman: Lok Sabha member and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli
Manohar Joshi was on May 2, 2011 nominated by his party for a second term as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee
of Parliament (the first one ended on May 1, 2011). By convention, the PAC is chaired by a member of the opposition. The
BJP is the largest opposition party.

Sunil Lanba is new Eastern Naval Command Chief: Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, a veteran warship commander, on
May 2, 2011 took over as the first three-star Chief of Staff of the Vishakhapatanam-based Eastern Naval Command. Lanba is
replacing Rear Admiral Karambir Singh, who will proceed to Port Blair on transfer as the Chief of Staff at the tri-services
Andaman Nicobar Command. The post, which till now was being held by a Rear Admiral-rank officer, has been upgraded in
view of Navy's increasing capabilities on the eastern sea board. The Navy has been strengthening its capabilities on the
eastern front as important assets such as the amphibious warfare vessel INS Jalashwa, nuclear submarine Arihant and an
important conventional submarine base, are based there. It is also planning to deploy its recently acquired Long Range
Maritime Reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft P-8I there.

K D Tripathi appointed as new CVC secretary: Kapil Dev Tripathi, a 1980 batch IAS officer of Assam-Manipur cadre,
on May 8, 2011 took over as secretary in the Central Vigilance Commission. The CVC is an independent body, which advises
the Government on vigilance-related matters and check corruption in various departments, among others. It is also probing
several scams, including cases relating to Commonwealth Games.

Maharashtra CM resigns as Rajya Sabha member: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on May 6, 2011
resigned as a member of the Rajya Sabha. Chavan was appointed as Chief Minister of Maharashtra in November last year
after the then incumbent Ashok Chavan resigned in the wake of allegations against him in the Adarsh Housing Society scam.
Prithviraj Chavan was elected unopposed to Maharashtra Legislative Council on April 27, fulfilling the constitutional
requirement of getting elected to the state legislature within six months of being sworn-in as Chief Minister. The Chief Minister
was never a member of the state legislature until now. An engineer by training, Chavan started his political career in 1991,
winning the Lok Sabha election in family bastion of Karad.

Journalist K. Kasturi Rangan passes away: Veteran journalist K. Kasturi Rangan passed away at the age of 78 on
May 4, 2011 in Chennai. Kasturi Rangan began his career as the New Delhi correspondent of The New York Times in 1963.
During his nearly-two decade tenure with the paper, he covered key issues, including the Nellie massacre in Assam and the
liberation of Bangladesh. While in New Delhi, he founded the Tamil literary magazine Kanaiyazhi, collaborating with eminent
writers such as T. Janakiraman, Asokamitran, Indira Parthasarathy and Sujatha (Rangarajan). The magazine was highly
regarded in serious literary circles and was an incubator for several creative attempts in Tamil literature, besides providing a
launch pad for promising young writers. He moved to Chennai in the early eighties and joined Dinamani as Associate Editor.
He later became the Editor of the publication. A Gandhian, Kasturi Rangan also ran Swachid, a journal that sought to
espouse Gandhian philosophy and values.

Kanimozhi denies knowledge of money transfer in 2G scam case: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's
daughter Kanimozhi on May 6, 2011 pleaded ignorance of the Rs.200-crore transfer from Dynamix Realty to Kalaignar TV.
Her lawyer, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, blamed the channel's managing director Sharad Kumar and the former
Telecom Minister, A. Raja, co-accused in the 2G spectrum scam case, for the money transfer. Kanimozhi, Rajya Sabha
member, holds a 20 per cent stake in the channel.





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Section B: WORLD

News round up

Harper wins Parliamentary elections in Canada

Prime Minister Stephen Harpers Conservative Party re-emerged as the largest party in Parliament in the 308-seat House of
Commons following general elections organised on May 2, 2011. The Conservative Party remained in power, moving from a
minority to a majority government by winning 167 of the 308 seats. The New Democratic Party won the largest number of
seats in their history and will form the Official Opposition for the first time. The Liberal Party won the fewest seats in their
history and party leader Michael Ignatieff was defeated in his own constituency. The Bloc Qubcois, which had always won
at least a majority of seats in Quebec in every election of their existence, lost nearly all their seats, and thus also their official
party status. Green Party leader Elizabeth May became the first Member of Parliament to represent the party.

Harper had advised the Governor General to dissolve parliament after the House of Commons passed a motion of non-
confidence against the government. The motion, introduced by the opposition leader Michael Ignatieff, approvingly cited and
affirmed the charge of contempt of parliament by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Harper, who took office in 2006, has won two elections but until now had never held a majority of Parliament's 308 seats,
forcing him to rely on the opposition to pass legislation. While his hold on the 308-member Parliament has been tenuous
during his five-year tenure, he has managed to nudge an instinctively centre-left country to the right. He has gradually
lowered sales and corporate taxes, avoided climate change legislation, promoted Arctic sovereignty, upped military spending
and extended Canada's military mission in Afghanistan.

Canadian federal election, 2011: Results
308 seats in the House of Commons of Canada: 155 seats needed for a majority
Turnout: 61.4%
Party Conservative Party New Democratic Party Liberal Party Bloc Qubcois Green Party
Leader Stephen Harper Jack Layton
Michael
Ignatieff
Gilles Duceppe Elizabeth May
Seats in 2011/vote share 167, 39.62% 102, 30.63% 34, 18.91% 4, 6.04% 1, 3.91%
Seats in 2006/vote share 143, 37.65% 37, 18.18% 77, 26.26% 49, 9.98% 0, 6.78%
Seat change +24 +66 -43 -43 +1


Fatah, Hamas sign reconciliation agreement

The leaders of two main Palestinian-factions, Fatah and Hamas have signed a reconciliation agreement paving the way for
the formation of transitional national unity government followed by elections. The accord signed on May 11, 2011 in Cairo,
ends a four year feud between Fatah and Hamas and will be followed by preparations for the formation of an interim
government. The two factions will also form a committee that will recommend internal reforms within the Palestine Liberation
Organisation (PLO) the umbrella group of the Palestinian factions.

The reconciliation deal is designed to unify the dueling governments that emerged after Hamas violently wrested control of
Gaza from security forces loyal to Abbas in June 2007 and left his Fatah controlling only the West Bank.

While Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said that the accord reflected a newly-discovered spirit of Palestinian assertion,
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas observed that the agreement did not oblige Hamas to recognise Israel.
Israel has rejected the pact and warned Abbas that he must choose between Israel or peace with Hamas, who aspires to
destroy Israel. Like the US and the EU, Israel considers Hamas a terrorist organisation and says it will not negotiate with a
future Palestinian government that includes the Iran-Syria backed militant group.




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World Population Prospects unveiled

World population projections: The latest numbers come from the UNs 2010 revision of the World Population Prospects.
The last revision was in 2008. The medium variant for 2010 the population projections based on national trends, which is
neither the best nor worst-case scenario produces a world population in 2050 of 9.31 billion, which is 156 million larger than
the 2008 revision. At the turn of the century, the world will have 10.1 billion people. On October 31 this year, the world will
have its seven billionth person.

Indias population growth: Indias population is projected to peak at 1.718 billion in 2060, after which it will decline. At its
peak, India will be the most populous country there has ever been or probably ever will be. According to population
projections released by the United Nations on May 3, 2011, Indias share in the worlds population will peak in 2030 after
which it will decline, and the growth in the worlds population from then on will be fuelled by Africa.

India Vs China: China at its peak in 2025 will have 1.395 billion people. In fact, when China peaks, India will have already
surpassed it in population. Indias population will begin to decline only in 2060, a full 35 years after China. By the turn of the
century, Indias population, though declining, will be almost double that of China.

Impact on India: Indias growing population is regarded by many as a time bomb, by others as a blessing. Both these
approaches miss the point. A huge population is in itself neither a boon nor a curse. It all depends on how productive it can
be made. Educating a billion-plus people and ensuring they are healthy would create a world-beating nation. A nation of the
same size with a huge population of the poor, malnourished and illiterate would be a disaster. The way to go should be clear:
invest heavily in developing human capital and the world will be at our feet.

Asian Development Bank AGM organised in Hanoi

ADB on May 6, 2011 concluded the 44
th
Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors in Hanoi, Vietnam and announced that the
2012 meeting would take place in Manila, Philippines. The meeting started on May 3 and gathered a record number of
around 4,000 delegates including finance ministers and other key policymakers, business leaders, academics and civil
society representatives.

Key issues at this years meeting included soaring food and fuel prices, infrastructure and connectivity, and climate change
as well as how Asia and the Pacific can ensure a prosperous future in coming decades. Record high commodity prices are
already pushing millions back below the $1.25 a day poverty line. Meanwhile, rising energy usage in Asia and the Pacific is
deepening the regions carbon footprint. These, along with economic and demographic issues, need to be tackled if
developing Asias 3.3 billion people are to improve their livelihoods in the immediate and the longer term.

Initial findings of ADBs upcoming study, Asia 2050Realizing the Asian Century, unveiled at the AGM on May 4, said Asia
and the Pacific could account for half of the world economy by 2050, up from around quarter now, if it deals with these issues
head on.

Participants included ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda with French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde; Indian Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee; Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda; and Deputy Managing Director of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) Naoyuki Shinohara.

The Board of Governors is ADBs highest policy-making body and the annual meetings are statutory occasions at which
Governors can provide guidance on ADBs administrative, financial, and operational priorities.

Meanwhile, the finance ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), China, Japan and
Korea, together known as ASEAN + 3, decided to initiate a study on the design of a possible crisis prevention function for the
Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM), a multilateral currency swap agreement.






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President Patil visits Mauritius

President Pratibha Patil went on a five-day state visit to Mauritius from April 23-27, 2011, during which she addressed the
countrys parliament and received a doctorate degree. Patil held meetings with her counterpart, Mauritius President Anerood
Jugnauth, and also with the island nations Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam during the visit.

The President addressed the 70-member National Assembly of Mauritius and was conferred a degree of Doctor of Civil Law
Honoris Causa by the University of Mauritius.

Her other engagements included unveiling a bust of former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi at the Indira Gandhi Centre
for Indian Culture and address a business meet.

A high-level group of 57 Indian business people also accompanied the President during the state visit. Mauritius is the single
largest source for foreign direct investment to India, accounting for 40 percent of FDI flows in the last ten years. According to
Reserve Bank of India, the amount of FDI flows from Mauritius to India was $49.11 billion from April 2000 to December 2009.
Last year alone, the FDI from Mauritius stood at $10.37 billion.

There had been a sharp increase in the use of Mauritius as a base for offshore entities targeting India, especially after the
signing of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement in 1998.

The bilateral trade volume currently stands at $460-470 million.

Reaffirming historical ties
India shares historical ties with Mauritius. President Patil revisited the milestones of history during her visit.

These include, the aapravasi ghat where the ship, Atlas, carrying the first batch of Indian indentured labourers reached on
November 2, 1834, setting in motion a process by which about half a million Indians were estimated to have been brought
into Mauritius over the next century or so, of whom about two-thirds settled permanently on the island. The People of Indian
Origin form over 66% of the population in Mauritius today. She then visited the Ganga Talao, the small lake imagined and
revered as the Ganga by those who carried its memory from their old home to the new. And finally, the Mahatma Gandhi
Institute, commemorating Gandhis brief stopover in Mauritius en route to India from South Africa, October 29 to November
15, 1901, while awaiting the departure of his ship SS Nowshera.

Mauritius celebrates its National Day on March 12, the date on which the Dandi march took off in 1930.

Britain says no to Alternative Vote: British voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to abandon the first-past-
the-post system in favour of Alternative Vote (AV), in which people rank candidates in order of preference. Up to 70 per cent
of those who voted in the referendum organised on May 5, 2011 said no to AV. The sheer scale of the defeat shocked the
yes camp led by the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, junior partners of the PM David Cameron's
Conservative Party in the coalition government. The referendum was called at the insistence of Lib Dems as part of their
demand for broader electoral reforms and a condition for joining the coalition. The Conservative Party campaigned on a no
platform, arguing that AV practised only in Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea was complicated, more expensive and
less fair than the first-past-the-post system. The Opposition Labour party was divided on the issue with its leader Ed Miliband
backing a change, while nearly half the party, including some senior figures, in the opposite bloc.

People's Action Party wins Singapore election: Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP) has returned to power
with an absolute majority winning 81 of the 87 seats in the general election results announced on May 8, 2011. Opposition
Workers' Party (WP) took the other six seats. PAP's overall vote share was reduced to 60.4 per cent from about 67 per cent
in the 2006 general elections. The PAP had faced issues related to influx of foreign workers, higher cost of housing caused
by high net worth expatriates, housing affordability, rising cost of living for the locals, the slower progress on transportation,
and the high salaries for the ministers in the prosperous city state.

WEF meet on Africa organised: Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, lead a high-level business
delegation to the 21
st
Meeting of the World Economic Forum on Africa under the theme From Vision to Action, Africas Next
Chapter held in Cape Town, South Africa from 4-6 May 2011. More than 900 participants from 60 countries, including


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several African Heads of state and government, Cabinet Ministers, Heads of International Organizations and Captains of
Industry attended this high profile event which provided a platform for interaction among key stakeholders on how to advance
Africas socio-economic development. The underlying theme for the meeting focused on how African countries, communities
and companies could move the continent forward in view of the unfolding global transformation.

May Day observed: International Workers' Day (also known as May Day) is a celebration of the international labour
movement and left-wing movements on May 1. It commonly sees organized street demonstrations and marches by working
people and their labour unions throughout most of the world. International Workers' Day is the commemoration of the 1886
Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when, after an unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they dispersed a public
meeting, Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for the eight hour workday, killing several demonstrators. In
1889 an international federation of socialist groups and trade unions declared the date of May 1 as Worker's Day to
commemorate the Haymarket Massacre of 1886.

World Press Freedom Day observed: World Press Freedom Day was observed on May 3, 2011. Every year, May 3
rd
is
a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend
the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their
profession. 3 May was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a
Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991. The 2011 World Press
Freedom Day was hosted by the US. The theme of this year's event is 21
st
Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers.
The event affirmed fundamental principles of media freedom in the digital agethe ability of citizens to voice their opinions
and access diverse, independent information sources20 years after the original declaration was made in Windhoek,
Namibia.

World Asthma Day observed: World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma
(GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. World Asthma Day takes place on the first Tuesday of May.
The theme of this year's event observed on May 3, 2011 was "You Can Control Your Asthma".

Portugal agrees to Euro 78 bn bailout: Portugal on May 5 2011 reached a deal with the European Union and the IMF
on a 78 billion euro 3-year bailout, the third euro zone member to do so after Greece and Ireland. According to the agreement
reached between Portugals caretaker Prime Minister Jose Socrates and the EU & IMF the deadline for Lisbons meeting
budget deficit goals will be extended.

N. Korea, worst-rated country in press freedom Freedom House: North Korea remained the worst-rated country
in press freedom in 2010, Freedom House, a Washington-based non-governmental organization advocating democracy,
freedom and human rights said on May 2, 2011. In its Press Freedom in 2010 Report, Freedom House also lowered South
Korea's range to Partly Free from last year's Free, citing increased censorship and the government's attempts to influence
media outlets. North Korea's ranking was 196
th
, the lowest of the countries surveyed. Out of the 196 countries and territories
assessed during 2010, 68 were rated Free, 65 Partly Free and 63 Not Free.

EU wins super-observer status at United Nations: The European Union on May 3, 2011 secured super-observer
status at the United Nations after overcoming objections from small states that they could see their influence eroded. A vote
was passed by the 192-nation UN General Assembly after high-powered lobbying by EU foreign affairs representative
Catherine Ashton and ambassadors from the 27-nation bloc. Other regional groups such as the Arab League, African Union
and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) may now seek a similar extra observer rights at the global body. The EU made
one attempt to get the extra powers at the General Assembly last year, but suffered an embarrassing defeat when small
states opposed a vote and sought extra time for negotiations.

S Korean parliament approves FTA with EU: South Korea's parliament on May 4, 2011 ratified a sweeping free trade
agreement (FTA) with the European Union, giving European firms a head start over the United States in Asia's fourth-largest
economy. The deal signed last October is due to take effect on July 1. Europe's parliament approved it in February. The
ruling Grand National Party, which holds a majority in the 299-seat parliament, passed the FTA bill in the absence of
opposition legislators. The pact was ratified in a vote of 163 against one. The main opposition Democratic Party had insisted
it would not approve the legislation until there had been a full study of the impact on the economy.



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Osama's death 3
rd
biggest news of 21
st
century: The killing of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden by US special forces
in Pakistan surpassed Britain's much publicised Royal Wedding to be ranked as the third biggest news of the 21
st
century,
according to a study whose findings were unveiled on May 6, 2011. The survey conducted by the Austin-based Global
Language Monitor said Osama's death news was placed at the third place behind the rise of China to first-tier nation status
and the election of Barack Obama as the US President which are placed at 1
st
and 2
nd
spot respectively. It said the Royal
Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29 was ranked 5th, just ahead of the media blitz surrounding the 2009
sudden death of Michael Jackson. The Wikileaks revelations was ranked 4th whereas, Japan's last month quake-tsunami
disasters was at 8th and Arab revolutions at 9th place respectively. There was no India-centric news among top 20.

WHO includes mental disorders as non-communicable disease: Mental disorders were included in the non-
communicable diseases (NCDs) list at the first Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Disease
Control organised by the World Health Organisation in Moscow on April 28-29, 2010 in Moscow. Mental health as a NCD was
adopted in the Moscow Declaration on April 29 which reads: Other NCDs such as mental disorders also significantly
contribute to the global disease burden. The principal non-communicable diseases are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes,
cancers and chronic respiratory diseases, which are the leading causes of preventable morbidity and disability, and currently
cause over 60 per cent of global deaths, 80 per cent of which occur in developing countries. By 2030, the NCDs are
estimated to contribute to 75 per cent of global deaths.

Tagore bust presented to Singapore institute: A made-in-India bust of poet-laureate Rabindranath Tagore was
presented to the Singapore-based Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on
May 5, 2011. The sculpture will be housed in Singapore's Indian Heritage Centre. Tagore's voyage to several East Asian
countries in the 1920s was aimed at renewing India's millennial cultural ties with this region.

World Red Cross Day celebrated: The World Reed Cross Day was celebrated on May 8, 2011. Red Cross Day was
celebrated for the first time throughout the world on 8 May 1948, the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant, the founder of
the Red Cross. It subsequently changed names several times and in 1984 became World Red Cross and Red Crescent
Day. In 1901 Dunant, received the first Nobel Peace Prize together with Frederic Passy. The International Federation of the
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in March 2011 announced that the 31
st
International Conference slated for
November 28-30 will take place in Geneva under the theme, Our World. Your Move. Meanwhile, marking the World Red
Cross Day, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said tax exemption will be allowed on donations to
and income of Indian Red Cross Society from June this year.

Osama bin Laden killed in Abbottabad: Osama bin Laden, leader of terror outfit al-Qaeda and alleged mastermind of
the 9/11 attacks in New York City, was killed in Pakistan in a Special Forces operation code-named Operation Geronimo on
May 1, 2011. Meanwhile native American leaders in the United States expressed outrage on May 4 that the name of
legendary Apache warrior Geronimo was used as a military codename during the commando raid that killed al-Qaeda head
Osama bin Laden. Geronimo, an Apache chief who lived from 1829 to 1909, was a famed warrior who fought in what is now
the U.S. State of New Mexico, battling U.S. and Mexican authorities as the American West was being settled. The elite U.S.
Navy SEAL team that stormed bin Laden's compound uttered the words Geronimo-EKIA' Geronimo Enemy Killed in
Action.' Meanwhile United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) Navi Pillay on May 5, 2011 called for a
full disclosure of the accurate facts to determine the legality of the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Pillay's
declarations come a day after US Attorney General Eric Holder told a Senate hearing the raid during which bin Laden was
killed was lawful and consistent with our values.

Ouattara takes oath as Ivory Coast President: Alassane Ouattara was sworn in as President of strife torn African nation
Ivory Coast on May 6, 2011. His appointment comes five months after the election and the post-result violence that left
hundreds dead when the loser incumbent Gbagbo refused to concede defeat. Ouattara spent much of that time barricaded
inside a hotel, surrounded by troops loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, who used the army to terrorise the population. Gbagbo was
removed militarily last month and is now under house arrest in a remote town 700 kilometers north of capital Abidjan.

Lakshmi Mittal stays on top of UK rich list for 7
th
yr: Indian-origin steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, with an estimated wealth
of 17.51 billion pounds, has retained his position as the richest person in the UK for the 7th year in a row in 2011, though his
wealth declined by 4.93 billion pounds during the last one year. The Sunday Times Rich List 2011 unveiled on May 8, 2011
shows that Mittal continues to top Britain's wealthiest with a personal fortune of 17.5 billion pounds.



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SECTION C: AWARDS

INDIA

President gives away Certificate of Honour to scholars

The President of India on May 6, 2011 gave away Certificate of Honour and Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman for the
years 2008 and 2009 to the Scholars of Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Pali/Prakrit to 51 recipients for the years 2008 and 2009
(announced on the eve of the Independence Day, 2008 and 2009) and also 17 Presidential Awards for Classical Tamil for the
years 2005-06 to 2007-08.

Certificate of Honour

Presidential Award of Certificate of Honour is announced on the eve of Independence Day every year in recognition of the
outstanding contribution by various scholars of eminence over 60 years of age, in the field of Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian or
Pali/Prakrit in recognition of their teaching experience, published work and their efforts in keeping the tradition of these
languages alive. Further from the year 2008 it has also been decided to institute one international award for Sanskrit to non-
resident Indians or persons of non-Indian origin on the same lines of as of award to an Indian. The total number of awards
from the year 2008 onwards would be 15 awards for Sanskrit, one international Award for Sanskrit, consisting of one time
monetary grant of Rs. 5 lakh to each awards, 3 awards each for Arabic and Persian and one award for Pali/Prakrit, each
carrying a monetary grant of Rs.50,000/- per annum for lifetime. A Sanad and a shawl is also presented to each of the
awardees by the President of India.

Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman

Young scholars of (Sanskrit, Pali/Prakit, Arabic and Persian) in the age group of 30 to 40 years, who have made a
breakthrough in the interdisciplinary studies involving contribution of these languages or the ancient Indian wisdom, to the
process of synergy between modernity and tradition are granted Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman on this occasion every
year. This Award carries a one-time cash award of Rs.1.00 lakh along with a Sanad and a shawl, which is presented by the
President of India. A maximum number of 5 young scholars of Sanskrit and one each in Pali/Prakrit, Arabic and Persian are
conferred with the award every year.

Presidential Awards for scholars in classical Tamil were instituted from 2005-2006 with provision of eight (8) awards each
year as under:-

(i) Three (3) awards, one for person of India national (Tholkappiyar Award) and two international awards, one each fro person
of India origin and another for Non Indian origin (Kural Peedam Award), for eminent scholars of Tamil as lifetime achievement
awards. The award consists of a one time monetary grant of Rs.5.00 lakh each, along with a Sanad and a Shawl.

(ii) Five (5) for scholars of Tamil in the age group of 30-40 years (Young scholar Award) with a one time financial grant of
Rs.1.00 lakh each, apart from a Sanad and a shawl.

A total of 17 scholars have been selected for these awards for the year 2005-2006, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.

List of Awardees for the year 2008

Certificate of Honour
The following scholars (or their representatives) of Sanskrit, Pali/Prakrit, Arabic and Persian received Certificate of Honour for
the year 2008:

Sanskrit
Prof. K. Hayavadana, Puranik, Dr. Vishnubhatla Subrahamanya Sastry, Dr. Uma Ramana Jha, Prof. (Dr.) Smt. Aruna Goel,
Nar Deo Shastri, Dr. M.E. Rangachar, Dr. Keshavrao Musalgaonkar, Saroja Bhate, Pandit Baikuntha Bihari Nanda, Pandit
Satya Narayan Shastri, Ananthakrishnan Sivarnamakrishna Sastry, Janardan Pandey, Pandit Purushottama Tripathi,
Bhabani Prasad Bhattacharya, Dr. Sitanath Acharya


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Pali/Prakrit
Prof. Gokul Chandra Jain,

Arabic
Dr. Zohurul Bari Azmi, Muhammad Burhanuddin Sambhali, Dr. Taqi UD Din Nadwi

Persian
Dr. Idris Ahmad, Dr. Syeda Bilqis Fatima Husaini, Prof. Marghoob Banihali

Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman
In addition, the President also gave away the Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman to the following scholar of Sanskrit: Prof. K.
Ramasubramanian

The List of Awardees for the year 2009

Certificate of Honour

Sanskrit
Prof. Kompella Ramasuryanarayana, Prof. (Dr.) Vachaspati Sharma Tripathi, Dr. Ramakant Shukla, Prof. Vishwa Murti
Shastri, Dr. N.S. Anatha Rangachar, Dr. N. Gopala Panicker, Dr. Sudyumna Acharya, Prof. Keshao Ramrao Joshi, Dr.
Bhagaban Panda, Dr. (Smt.) Kamal Anand, Pt. Badari Prasad Shastri, Pt. Annadur Rajagopala Chariar, Prof. Ram Chandra
Pandey, Prof. Ashok Kumar Kalia, Dr. Samiran Chandra Chakrabarti,

Sanskrit International
Prof Sheldon Pollock

Pali/Prakrit
Dr. Dharma Chandra Jain

Arabic
Prof. Shabbir Ahmad Nadvi, Prof. (Dr.) Shah Abdus Salam, Abullais Ansari

Persian
Prof. (Smt.) Rehana Khatoon, Dr. Mohd. Yaseen Quddusi, Prof. Syed Mohammad Tariq Hasan,

Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman

In addition, the President also gave away the Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman to the following scholars:

Sanskrit
Dr. Malhar Arvind Kulkarni, Dr. Sachchidanand Mishra, Dr. Narayan Dash, Dr. Sashibhusan Mishra

Persian
Dr. Asad Ali Khurshid


The Presidential Awards for Classical Tamil

The following scholars of Classical Tamil have been given The Presidential Awards for Classical Tamil for the years 2005-
06, 2006-07 and 2007-08:-

1. Tholkappiar Award (2005-06): Prof. Adigalasiriyar

2. Kural Peedam Award (2006-07): Dr. George L. Hart, USA


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3. Young Scholar Award:
(a) For the year 2005-06:
Dr. R. Aravendan (Thamotharan), Dr. Y. Manikandan, Dr.S. Kalaimagal, Dr. Va. Mu. Se. Muthuramalinga Aandavar, Dr. K.
Pajanivelou
(b) For the year 2006-07:
Dr. S. Chandra, Dr. Aranga Pari, Dr. Mu. Elangovan, Dr. M. Bhavani, Dr. R. Kalaivani
(c) For the year 2007-08:
Dr. A. Selvarasu, Dr. P. Velmurugan, Dr. A. Manavalagan, S. Chandrasekaran, Dr. S. Simon John


Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research announced

The Ministry of Culture introduced in November, 2009, a new scheme by the name of Visiting Fellows in Art, Culture &
Heritage. Later, to mark the Commemoration of the 150
th
Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the scheme was
renamed as Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research. Under the scheme, scholars of iconic stature were to be
invited to devote 2 years of their time to pursue research in one or more of the 17 cultural institutions covered by the scheme,
so as to produce a valuable work based on the resources available in the institutions, to make those known to the wider
public. A 3-part National Selection Committee (NSC), comprising eminent scholars in different cultural fields, was set up to
select the Fellows and the research projects to be taken up by them. In all, 13 scholars were selected as Tagore National
Fellows, in the first cycle of selections. Details of selected Fellows are attached.


Name of the Institution Name of Tagore National Fellow Title of the Project
National Museum, New Delhi Dr. Chhaya Bhattacharya- Haesner Preparation of a comprehensive and comparative
catalogue on the Painted Temple Banners from
Dunhuang (Central Asia) in the Stein Collection
of the National Museum, New Delhi.
Archaeological Survey of India, New
Delhi
Dr. M.L.K. Murty

Palaeolithic and Mesolithic in India: Ecology and
Cultural Systems.
Khuda Baksh Oriental Public Library
(KBOPL), Patna
Prof. Som Prakash Verma

Descriptive Catalogue of Illustrated Manuscripts
preserved at Khuda Baksh Oriental Public
Library, Patna.
National Library, Kolkata Prof. Gautam Bhadra

A Social History of Bengali Almanacs (1818-
1940s).
Raja Rammohan Roy Library
Foundation, Kolkata
Prof. P.B. Mangla

Public Library Service in Delhi: An Overview
National Museum, New Delhi Prof. Sadashiv V Gorakshkar

A Comprehensive Survey of Indian Metal
Sculptures from the 1
st
cent AD to 12
th
cent AD
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu
Sangrahalay, Mumbai
Prof. M.K.Dhavalikar

Heritage of a Metropolis : Art and Archaeology
of Mumbai (upto 1200 C.E)
Indian Museum, Kolkata

Dr. Asok Kumar Das

A Comprehensive Study of the Collection of
Drawings and Paintings in the Art Section, Indian
Museum, Kolkata
Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata

Prof. Barun De

A Catalogue of late Eighteenth and Early
Nineteenth Century Visual Materials in the
Victoria Memorial Hall, with a Introductory
Historical Reinterpretation of the Era in the Bay
of Bengal Hinterlands
National Gallery of Modern Art, New
Delhi
Ella Datta

Annotated Catalogue of NGMA Collection
Archaeological Survey of India, New
Delhi
Dr. K.S. Saraswat


Beginning of Agriculture in Trans-Ghaghara
Region: Middle Ganga Plain
Indira Gandhi Rastriya Manav
Sangrahalaya, Bhopal
Prof. Ravindra Kumar Jain

Processes and the Product : Anthropology,
Museology and Community
Archaeological Survey of India, New
Delhi
Prof. V.D. Mishra

Stone Age Cultures for the North-Central India




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Hazare rejects IIPM Tagore Peace Prize: Social activist Anna Hazare, whose fast for a stronger anti-corruption Lok Pal
Bill last month made global headlines, on May 6 2011 spurned the Rs one crore 2011 Rabindranath Tagore Peace Prize
announced by the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM). The award carries a cash reward of one crore rupees,
a gold medal and a citation. While announcing the award, IIPM Dean, Professor Arindam Chaudhuri, had said the anti-
corruption crusader was selected for the award to show strong solidarity to his determined and non-violent protest against
corruption.

Lalit Kala Akademi chairman rejects UP govt.s award: Hindi poet and Lalit Kala Akademi chairperson Ashok
Vajpeyi on May 6, 2011 refused an award by an Uttar Pradesh government body, accusing it of showing disrespect to some
other writers by scrapping their awards retrospectively. Vajpeyi has been chosen for the Rs 2.5-lakh Bharat Bharati award
for Hindi writing, one of 102 literary prizes that the Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan used to hand out every year. But this year,
the Sansthan has scrapped 99 of the prizes retaining only the top three: Bharat Bharati, Hindi Gaurav and Mahatma
Gandhi Sahitya Samman. Vajpeyi says these awards were cancelled though the jury had nominated the winners more than a
year ago. A letter Vajpeyi has written to the Uttar Pradesh principal secretary (language) hints at a second reason for his
refusal of the award, to be given out with the other two prizes by state urban development minister on May 19. Vajpayee has
also objected to the award being given by a minister instead of the Chief Minister or the Governor.


WORLD

Jailed Iranian journalist wins UNESCO prize: Imprisoned Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi is the laureate of this
years UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. A former editor-in-chief of the Azad newspaper and
contributor to the Tehran-based daily Hamshahari, the BBC Persian service, and the Persian/English news site Rooz,
Ahmad Zeidabadi is also a member of the Association of Iranian Journalists, and the elected president of one of Iran's largest
student organizations, the Iranian Alumni Association. He is also a professor of political science, and has lectured at
numerous academic institutions. Ahmad Zeidabadi is currently serving a six-year jail sentence following Irans disputed
presidential election in 2009.

Cannes to honour jailed Iranian directors: Jailed Iranian film directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof are to
be honoured at the Cannes Film Festival. Rasoulof's film Goodbye and Pahani's This Is Not a Film will be shown at the
festival, the organisers announced on May 9, 2011. Panahi will also be awarded the Carrosse d'Or - the Golden Coach
prize - by the French Film Director's Society (SRF) at the event. The film-makers were convicted in December for making a
film without permission and inciting opposition protests after the disputed 2009 presidential election that led to months of
political turmoil. Panahi has been a vocal critic of Iran's strict Islamic law and government system, while his films are known
for their social commentary. He is a winner of many international awards, most recently for his film Offside, which won the
2006 Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear award. The Cannes festival runs from May 111 to 22, 2011. Meanwhile, organisers of
the Venice Film Festival have announced plans to honour Italian director Marco Bellocchio at this year's event. The 71-
year-old will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in September for his tireless work exploring the shifting
boundaries between himself, cinema and history.

Indian nanny honoured by Raoul Wallenberg Foundation: Sandra Samuel, the Indian nanny who became famous
for showing exemplary courage in saving the life of a toddler risking her own during the 26/11 terror attacks on Nariman
House in Mumbai, was honoured by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation in Jerusalem. The public recognition of
Samuel's act was made at the Ceremony of Remembrance of the Day of the Holocaust and Heroism on May 1, 2011. The
Indian nanny captured worldwide attention as she barged into the Chabad house, amid shooting by terrorists all around her,
and rescued two-year-old Moshe Holtzberg from the clutches of death. She has been living with Moshe and his grandparents
in Israel since then, and was conferred an honourary citizenship by Israel last year.

Columbia journalism award for Al Jazeera English: The Middle-East based Qatari English news channel Al Jazeera
was on May 5, 2011 named as the winner of a prestigious journalism award from the New York-based Columbia University.
Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism said Al Jazeera English was being honored with the Columbia
Journalism Award which recognises an individual or organisation for singular journalism in the public interest.





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Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE

News round up

Monetary policy statement for 2011-12 unveiled

Key Rates
Short-term lending rate (Repo) hiked by 50 basis points (bps) to 7.2%
Repo Rate to be only effective policy rate to better signal monetary policy stance from now on
Reverse Repo to be fixed 100 Bps lower than the Repo Rate.
Short-term borrowing rate (Reverse Repo) up by 50 bps to 6.25%
Cash Reserve Ratio and Bank Rate left unchanged
Macro View
Economic growth projected lower at 8% for 2011-12
WPI inflation projection lowered to 6%
To contain inflation by curbing demand-side pressures
Favours aligning of fuel prices with international crude prices to avert widening of fiscal deficit
Banks
Interest rates on savings bank deposits hiked to 4% from 3.5%
Banks to get a new overnight borrowing window under Marginal Standing Facility at 8.25%
Likelihood of oil prices moderating significantly is low
Microfinance
Malegam Committee recommendations on MFI sector broadly accepted
Bank loan to MFIs on or after April 1, 2011 will be treated as priority sector loans

The RBI unveiled its monetary policy statement for 2011-12 on May 3, 2011. Following are the highlights:

Savings rate
The RBI hiked the deposit rate on savings accounts from 3.5 per cent to four per cent. Savings deposit rates have remained
unchanged since 2003, while all other rates had gone up. The spread between savings deposits and term deposit rates has
widened significantly. Savings accounts constitute around 2.3 per cent of the total deposits in the banking system.

Policy Rates
The RBI raised the repo rate by half a per cent to 7.25 per cent from 6.75 per cent. Similarly the reverse repo rate has been
raised by half a per cent from 5.75% to 5.25%. The bank rate and the cash reserve ratio rates remain unchanged at six per
cent each, respectively.

Growth forecasts
The RBI governor, Dr Subbarao revised downwards the GDP growth rate to 8 per cent from 8.67 per cent and raised the
inflation rate for March 2012 to six per cent with an upward bias.

Repo to be reference rate
The RBI has decided to anchor monetary policy through a single short term lending rate known as repo rate. Unlike in the
past, the rate at which the RBI borrows from banks (reverse-repo) will be the benchmarked 100 basis points below the repo
rates. RBI Governor D Subbarao said that this transition to a single independently varying policy rate is expected to more
accurately signal the monetary policy stance.

Micro finance institutions
The Reserve Bank has capped interest rates charged by micro finance institutions from small borrowers at 26 per cent, but
opened for MFIs the bank credit line which was curtailed following the crisis faced by the sector in October, 2010. The loan by
the banks to MFIs for on-lending to small borrowers will fall under 'priority sector' category if the RBI guidelines are met.
Broadly accepting the recommendations of the Malegam Committee, the RBI has fixed the loan amount for an individual
borrower at Rs 35,000 from an MFI. The expert panel had suggested the limit of Rs 25,000 with an interest rate cap of 24 per
cent.



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Debt-oriented mutual funds
The Reserve Bank has decided to limit bank investment in liquid schemes of debt-oriented mutual funds (DoMF) at 10 per
cent of their net worth. The RBI said that same money was circularly moving between the banks and the DoMFs, which could
potentially lead to systemic risk. It said the liquid schemes continue to rely heavily on institutional investors such as
commercial banks for investment. In turn, DoMFs invest heavily in certificates of deposit (CDs) of banks.


Indias foreign trade data unveiled


Indias Foreign Trade
EXPORTS & IMPORTS : (US $ Million) (PROVISIONAL)
APRIL-MARCH
EXPORTS
2009-10 178751.41
2010-11 245868.29
%Growth: 2010-11/ 2009-2010 37.55
IMPORTS
2009-10 288372.87
2010-11 350694.97
%Growth: 2010-11/ 2009-2010 21.61
TRADE BALANCE
2009-2010 -109621.46
2010-11 -104826.68

EXPORTS & IMPORTS: (Rs. Crore) (PROVISIONAL)
APRIL-MARCH


EXPORTS
2009-10 845533.62
2010-11 1118822.85
%Growth: 2010-11/ 2009-2010 32.32
IMPORTS
2009-10 1363735.55
2010-11 1596869.37
%Growth: 2010-11/ 2009-2010 17.10
TRADE BALANCE
2009-2010 -518201.93
2010-11 -478046.52

Union Commerce Ministry unveiled Indias foreign trade data on May 3, 2011. While exports grew 37.5% to $245.86 billion
imports went up by 21.6% to $350.69 billion in 2010-11. The Commerce Ministry also unveiled salient points of strategy for
doubling exports in next three years from US $ 246 billion in 2010-11 to US$ 500 billion in 2013-14.


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EXPORTS

Indias exports for the period April-March 2010 -11 was US $ 245868.29 million (Rs 1118822.85 crore) as against US $
178751.41 million (Rs. 845533.62 crore) registering a growth of 37.5 per cent in Dollar terms and 32.3 per cent in Rupee terms
over the same period last year.

IMPORTS

Indias imports for the period April-March, 2010-11 was US $ 350694.97 million (Rs. 1596869.37 crore) as against US $
288372.87 million (Rs. 1363735.55 crore) registering a growth of 21.6 per cent in Dollar terms and 17.1 per cent in Rupee
terms over the same period last year.

CRUDE OIL AND NON-OIL IMPORTS:

Oil imports during April-March, 2010-11 were valued at US$ 101689.2 million which was 16.7 per cent higher than the oil
imports of US $ 87135.9 million in the corresponding period last year.

Non-oil imports during April - March, 2010-11 were valued at US$ 249005.7 million which was 23.7 per cent higher than the
level of such imports valued at US$ 201236.9 million in April - March, 2009-10.

TRADE BALANCE
The trade deficit for April - March, 2010-11 was estimated at US $ 104826.68 million which was lower than the deficit of US $
109621.46 million during April -March, 2009-10.


Salient Points of Strategy for Doubling Exports in next Three Years (2011-12 to 2013-14)

THE TARGET

The target is to double the countrys merchandise exports in dollar terms over the next three years (2011-12 to 2013-14) from
US $ 246 billion in 2010-11 to US$ 500 billion in 2013-14.

To realize this, exports have to grow at a compound average growth of 26.7 % per annum.

The overall strategy to realize this goal is

Product Strategy

1. Build on our strength in sectors with great growth potential
engineering goods
basic chemical industries and organic and inorganic chemical industries
pharmaceutical industry (including biotech)
electronics

2. Promote light manufacturing exports with high value addition
leather products and textiles

3. Encourage high employment generating sectors
gems and jewellery
agricultural products

Market Strategy
Focus on markets in Asia (including ASEAN), Africa and Latin America.
Open up new vistas, both in terms of markets and new products in these new markets
Retain presence and market share in our old developed country markets;
Move up the value chain in providing products in these old developed country markets



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Technologies and R&D
Areas that hold out promise for high technology exports
Pharmaceuticals
Electronics
Automobiles
Computer and software based smart engineering
Environmental products; green technology and high-value engineering products
High end areas in electronics, aerospace, and engineering products

Building a Brand Image
thrust for quality upgradation
expanded certification of export products encouraged, where needed
Brand India promotion campaign for key export products

Essential Support
Essential policy support needed to realize the ambitious export targets for 2013-14 and beyond is:
Stable policy environment: Continuation of existing incentive schemes
Preferential access to new markets: putting in place conducive trading arrangements
Reduction in transaction costs: Implementation of recommendations of Task Force
Substantial step up in overall Plan support
Strengthening of trade related infrastructure, 2011 16:40 IST

Plan Com suggests quota to boost domestic electronic hardware production

The Planning Commission on May 2, 2011 recommended that 30 per cent of the governments procurement of electronic
hardware be reserved for domestic companies. The objective is to encourage domestic manufacture of electronic hardware.
The commission says the countrys manufacturing capacities for electronic hardware are woefully behind the demand and
would not expand unless a big push is given. According to the commission's estimates, the countrys capacity of electronic
manufactured goods stood at about $20 billion in 2009, whereas the demand was at $45 billion.

If the countrys capacity of manufacturing electronic hardware continues at the current rate and the demand also grows at the
present pace, the demand would expand to $400 billion and the capacity to $106 billion by 2030. The Commission fears that
by 2030, the import bill for electronic equipment could outpace the petroleum, oil and lubricants segment. During 2010-11,
India's import bill of this segment stood at $101.7 billion, while that of electronic equipment was at $36.8 billion.

The Commission has also suggested to the Cabinet to set up two plants to manufacture semiconductor wafers with a total
investment of Rs 7,500 crore to boost the countrys electronic hardware production.

Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010 comes into effect: The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)
2010, which bans organisations of political nature from receiving foreign contribution, came into effect from May 1, 2011. Till
now, such organisations had to get prior clearances from the government. The Act has also done away with the system of
granting permanent registration to any organisation. The legislation will ensure that every five years the organisations renew
their registration so that the dormant ones can be weeded out. The fresh rules are stringent and disallow organisations of
political nature from receiving foreign contribution. Further, to deal with bona fide mistakes of NGOs, provision has been
made for compounding of offences. The Act, which was passed by both Houses of Parliament, is aimed at consolidating the
law to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or
associations or companies. The new Act was necessitated in the wake of security concerns.

Loans to NBFCs lose priority sector tag: The Reserve Bank of India on May 5, 2011 clarified that bank loans to non-
banking finance companies (NBFCs), excluding microfinance institutions which are categorised as NBFC, would not be
classified as priority sector loans. This means that the NBFCs will have to pay a higher rate of interest on loans taken from
banks and their cost of funds will go up. NBFCs depend on banks for 80 per cent of their credit requirement. About 10-12 per
cent of the total bank loans are classified as priority sector loans. There would also be some reduction of credit flow to the
sector because some of these transactions were happening only because of priority sector classification. The objective
behind the RBI move is to bring parity between MFIs and NBFCs (other than MFIs such as housing loan, vehicle loan


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101
companies). Bank loans to microfinance institutions come with stringent conditions attached. For a bank loan to be classified
as priority sector loan, banks are required to ensure a margin cap of 12 per cent and an interest rate cap of 26 per cent by the
MFI. No such conditions are there for all other NBFCs. In such a scenario, banks would prefer giving loans to NBFCs rather
than MFIs.

RBI increases m-wallet limit: Relaxing the norms for making payments using the mobile phones, known as m-wallet, the
Reserve Bank of India on May 4, 2011 decided to increase the limit of money loading to Rs. 50,000 from the existing limit of
Rs. 5,000. Leading mobile operators such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone had tied up with State Bank of India and ICICI Bank
respectively to offer such facilities to their subscribers. The apex bank in its notification has also said that it would treat semi-
closed mobile wallet at par with the other semi-closed prepaid instruments. In the semi-closed mobile wallet, money can be
loaded on to a cell phone from a licenced company, which can be used to make payments. But it cannot be used to withdraw
money from the mobile.

Inter-ministerial group discusses high inflation with RBI: An inter-ministerial group (IMG) chaired by Chief
Economic Adviser Kaushik Basu on May 6, 2011 discussed ways to tackle high inflation with Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
Governor D Subbarao. Secretaries from finance, commerce and agriculture ministries who are part of the IMG also attended
the meeting. Recently, the RBI had hiked the key policy rates by 50 basis points to contain inflation, which is seen as an
aggressive stand which may slow down economic growth. With a view to check rising prices, the RBI has hiked key policy
rates nine times since March 2010. Although food inflation came down to 8.53% in April from the 20% level seen in February
last year, actual prices of food items continue to remain high. This is the third meeting of the IMG since its formation in
February to suggest measures to control spiralling prices, particularly that of essential items.

India on US priority watch list on intellectual property rights: United States on May 3, 2011 placed India,
Pakistan, China and nine other countries on the top priority watch list with regard to violations of intellectual property rights
(IPR). Countries on the Priority Watch List present the most significant concerns for the US regarding insufficient IPR
protection or enforcement, or otherwise limited market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection. Twelve
countries India, Pakistan, China, Russia, Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Israel, Thailand and Venezuela
are on the Priority Watch List. These countries will be the subject of particularly intense bilateral engagement during the
coming year, the US Trade Representative (USTR) said as it released its annual Special 301 Report on the adequacy and
effectiveness of US trading partners' protection of IPR.

FICCI proposes to set up National Knowledge Functional Hub: Industry body FICCI on May 3, 2011 proposed the
setting up of National Knowledge Functional Hub (NKFH) to engage higher educational institutions with the industry to
produce quality engineering graduates and meet increasing requirement of skilled hands in the market. FICCI Capital Goods
Committee Chairman K Venkataramanan said that the NKFH would facilitate industry-academia connect in tier-II and tier-III
institutions which are the source of bulk engineering graduates for the capital goods industry. Venkataramanan
recommended that each capital goods company can adopt two to three institutions in its vicinity for sustained interaction and
collaboration under the proposed initiative.

ISRO stakes claim to India's fastest supercomputer: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has
announced that it had built Indias fastest supercomputer in terms of theoretical peak performance of 220 Trillion Floating
Point Operations Per Second (TeraFLOPS). The supercomputer christened SAGA-220, built by the Satish Dhawan
Supercomputing Facility located at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, for about Rs 14 crore, was
inaugurated by ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan on May 2, 2011. The new Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) based
supercomputer, SAGA-220 (Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 TeraFLOPS) is being used by space
scientists for solving complex aerospace problems. SAGA-220 is designed and built by the VSSC using commercially-
available hardware, open source software components and in-house developments. The system uses 400 NVIDIA Tesla
2070 GPUs and 400 Intel Quad Core Xeon CPUs supplied by Wipro with high speed interconnect. The present GPU system
offers significant advantage over the conventional CPU-based system in terms of cost, power and space requirements. The
system is environmentally friendly and consumes only 150 Kw of power. This system can easily be scaled up to many
PetaFLOPS (1,000 TeraFLOPS).

Mumbai Airport approaches AERA on restoring Development Fees: The GVK-led Mumbai International Airport
(MIAL) on May 5, 2011 approached sectoral regulator Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) seeking permission to
charge Airport Development Fees (ADF) from passengers. The move follows the Supreme Court order, which ruled recently


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that only the AERA has the power to allow privately developed Delhi and Mumbai airports to collect the fee. AERA Chairman
Yashwant Bhawe informed that GVK had applied for the permission.

India, China to grow the most in APAC UN Agency: India and China will remain the fastest growing economies in
Asia-Pacific by expanding at respective rates of 8.7% and 9.5% in 2011, much above the average of the region, UN agency
ESCAP said on May 9, 2011. The UNESCAP report outlook for the Indian economy is healthy even as Reserve Bank and
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee have lowered the growth estimates for the economy for 2011-12. Both the RBI and
Mukherjee have pegged the Indian growth in this fiscal at 8% from the earlier estimates of 9%. ESCAP's projection for India is
higher than that for developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region, where growth is pegged at around 7.3% in 2011.

Business confidence falls 8% in October-March: A latest business expectation survey, carried out in March 2011
shortly after the Union Budget, shows a further dip of 8 per cent in the NCAER-MasterCard Index of Business Confidence
(BCI). In the previous survey, the BCI declined by 2 per cent compared to October 2010, so this is the second consecutive
decline since October 2010. According to the findings of the survey revealed on May 3, 2011, the public mood was affected
by scams and legal proceedings on corruption cases.The survey results provide strong indications of sluggish industrial
growth. As indicators of the short-term outlook, the findings point to the need for addressing uncertainties affecting the
business environment.

R.K. Upadhyay appointed BSNL CMD: The Government on May 2, 2011 appointed R.K. Upadhyay as the Chairman
and Managing Director of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. Upadhyay is a 1975 batch officer of Indian Telecom Services and
currently heads Telecom Consultants India Ltd. The Government had appointed a search-cum-selection panel under National
Knowledge Commission head, Sam Pitroda, with the objective of attracting the best talent for turning around the loss-making
telecom PSU. Over the past two months, the panel got in touch with as many as 20 candidates from the private sector but no
one showed interest for the post citing political and labour related issues.

G. C. Chaturvedi appointed Petroleum Secretary: G. C. Chaturvedi, special director general in the Organising
Committee of the Commonwealth Games 2010 took charge as petroleum secretary on May 4, 2011 from S. Sundareshan
who has taken over as new Secretary, Department of Heavy Industries. Sundareshan succeeds B.S. Meena, who demitted
office on superannuation on 30 April, 2011. Chaturvedis appointment comes at a time when Vedanta Resources Plcs
proposed acquisition of a majority stake in Cairn India Ltd for $9.6 billion is stuck. A group of ministers (GoM) has been asked
by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs to give its assent for government approval. State-owned Oil and Natural Gas
Corp. Ltd (ONGC) has made the resolution of a royalty payment dispute a precondition for the deals approval. ONGC is
Cairn Indias partner in a joint venture that runs the latters main oil asset in the countryblock RJ-ON-90/1 in Rajasthan.
ONGC wants to be compensated for royalty payments to the government that it has been making on the Rajasthan oil

Rakesh Singh is interim LIC Chairman: Rakesh Singh, an Additional Secretary in the Finance Ministry, has been
appointed as the acting Chairman of LIC. T.S. Vijayan, erstwhile LIC Chairman, has failed to get an extension as Chairman
although he still has two more years to reach superannuation. Vijayan is now being relegated to Managing Director, a post he
held before getting elevated as Chairman in 2006. His five-year term as LIC Chairman came to an end on May 2, 2011.

Shekhar Shah appointed NCAER director-general: Economic think-tank National Council of Applied Economic
Research (NCAER) on May 6, 2011 announced appointment of Shekhar Shah as its new director-general. Shah was the
World Banks Regional Economic Advisor for South Asia until recently. He will succeed Suman Bery. Shashanka Bhide,
senior research counsellor at NCAER has been officiating as Director-General since Berys exit. Unique Identification
Authority Chairman Nandan Nilekani is the President of NCAERs governing body.

Balachandran appointed Pharmaceuticals Authority Chairman: The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet
(ACC) on May 5, 2011 approved the appointment of G. Balachandran, presently Adviser, Inter State Council Secretariat, as
Chairman, National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and
Fertilizers, in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary in the vacancy of S.M.Jharwal, IES.

Nirmal Chandra Jha is new Coal India Chairman: Nirmal Chandra Jha was on May 4, 2011 appointed as Chairman of
worlds largest coal mining company, Coal India Ltd (CIL). Jha, who was appointed interim Chairman in March, succeeded
Partha S. Bhattacharyya, who retired on February 28.



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Section E: SPORTS

Sri Lankas T20 league to start in July-August: Some of the best players from India, Australia, Pakistan, West Indies
and South Africa are set to participate in a Twenty20 league that will be held in July-August this year. Five domestic teams
from Sri Lanka, captained by the likes of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, among others, will feature in the
tournament. Somerset Entertainment, a company that bought rights to Sri Lanka Cricket last year, will run the league, it was
announced on May 5, 2011.

BCCI recommends Zaheer Khan for Arjuna award: The BCCI on May 3, 2011 recommended pace spearhead
Zaheer Khan for the prestigious Arjuna award for his excellent showing in the cricket World Cup. The bowler, who took 21
wickets to finish the tournament as the joint-highest wicket-taker with Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, has been in good form over
the past one year. If Zaheer wins the award, he will join the likes of Salim Durani, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi Vijay Manjrekar
and team-mates Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Sachin Tendulkar amongst others. Gambhir was the
last male cricketer to have won the award, in 2009, while women's team bowler Jhulan Goswamy received the honour last
year.

Alastair Cook named England's new ODI skipper: Opening batsman Alastair Cook was on May 5, 2011 named
England's new ODI skipper and young paceman Stuart Broad was appointed Twenty20 captain. Cook took over from Andrew
Strauss, who has retired from ODI cricket while Broad replaced Paul Collingwood, who had led the national side to World
Twenty20 title last year. England is the only team to have different captains for all three formats of the game.

Cricket South Africa reinstates Nyoka as President: Cricket South Africa (CSA) on May 5, 2011 reinstated ousted
president Mtutuzeli Nyoka and is to order an independent investigation into its finances after a public spat over bonuses.
Nyoka was fired following a feud with the organisation's chief executive, Gerald Majola, over the payment of a 1.7-million-
rand ($248,000) bonus to Majola after the staging of the IPL in South Africa in 2009. Nyoka took CSA to court after the
federation passed a vote of no confidence in him at a special meeting in February.

Lee wins India Open badminton championship: Malaysias Lee Chong Wei on May 1, 2011 beat Denmarks Peter
Gade to win the Mens Singles title at the $200,000 India Open Super Series badminton championship in New Delhi. The
21-12, 12-21, 21-15 victory in 62 minutes was worth $15,000 for Lee. The Womens Singles title went to unseeded
Thailands Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, who scored a 21-13, 21-16 triumph over third seed Korean Bae Youn Joo. The Mens
Doubles title was won by Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirata of Japan who defeated Angga Pratama and Ryan Agung
Saputra of Indonesia 21-17, 21-9. Womens Doubles title was won by the Japanese team of Miyuki Maeka and Satoko
Suetsuna who beat their compatriots Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa. Mixed Doubles title was won by the Indonesian team of
Tantowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir who beat Fran Kurniawan and Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth also from Indonesia 21-18, 23-21
in the final.

Saina ends runner-up in Malaysian Open Grand Prix: Xin Wang of China beat Indias Saina Nehwal 13-21, 21-8, 21-
14 to win the womens singles title at the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton tournament at Kuala Lumpur on May 8,
2011. Men's Singles title was won by Chong Wei Lee of Malaysia who defeated Chinas Chunlai Bao 21-9, 21-19 in the final.

Potro wins Estoril Open: Juan del Potro defeated Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-2 at the Estoril Open for his first title
on clay in three years at Estoril, Portugal on May 1, 2011. Del Potro's title was his second of the season after winning on hard
court in Delray Beach, Florida, in February. The Argentine missed much of 2010 after a wrist surgery. Meanwhile Annabel
Medina Garrigues cruised past Kristina Barrois 6-1, 6-2 to win the women's singles title at the Estoril Open on April 30.

Djokovic beats Nadal to win Madrid Open: Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-4 to win the Madrid Open final in
straight sets on May 8, 2011. His win also ended Nadal's run of 37 straight wins on clay, stretching back to the 2009 French
Open.

Djokovic wins Serbia Open: Serbias Novak Djokovic defeated Spains Feliciano Lopez 7-6(4), 6-2 to win the Serbia
Open at Belgrade on April 30, 2011. This was Djokovic's 27
th
straight victory and fifth title this season. Meanwhile in Munich,
Nikolay Davydenko of Russia defeated Germanys Florian Mayer 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the final to win the BMW Open on April 30.



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AC Milan claim 18
th
Serie A title: AC Milan on May 8, 2011 claimed an 18
th
Serie A title following a 0-0 draw at Roma
that gave them an unassailable lead at the top of the table. Serie A is a professional league competition for football clubs
located at the top of the Italian football league system and has been operating for over eighty years since 1929. The 0-0 draw
ensured that with two rounds remaining Milan's nearest rival Internazionale (also known as Inter Milan) could only draw level
on points, and Milan holds the tiebreaker based on their better head-to-head record. The trophy will be presented at Milan's
next home game on 14 May. It was Milan's first Serie A title since 2004 and it ended a run of five successive Serie A titles by
their rival Internazionale. It was also the first league title for manager Massimiliano Allegri, winning in his first year with AC
Milan.

Gurmeet sets new national record in men's 20km walk: Gurmeet Singh of Jharkhand on May 3, 2011 set a new
national record in men's 20km walk by improving upon the earlier mark by nearly three minutes to hog the limelight in the
season-opening Indian Grand Prix at Patiala. Gurmeet clocked 1:20:35 to eclipse the earlier national record of 1:23:06 set in
2009 by Babubhai Panocha.

Vettal wins Turkish Grand Prix: World champion Sebastian Vettal, who started from the pole, led a Red Bull one-two
with Mark Webber finishing second at the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul on May 8, 2011. Fernando Alonso claimed Ferrari's
first podium finish of the season by securing the third position. Force Indias Adrian Sutil finished 13
th
while his team-mate
Paul Di Resta was unable to finish the race. India's Narain Karthikeyan, racing for Hispania, finished 21
st
, ahead of his
teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Suwannawat wins Asian Snooker Championship: Thailands Passakorn Suwannawat beat Indias Aditya Mehta to
win the title in the Asian snooker championship at the Yeshwant Club, Indore on April 30, 2011. Suwannawat displayed a
focused and skillful performance to outsmart 2008 runner-up Mehta 60 (33)-41, 0-77 (57), 76 (40)-20, 59-58, 69 (69)-66 (66),
24-87, 83 (70)-13, 72-61 in the best of 11-frame summit clash. This was the maiden continental title for the 25-year-old Thai,
who bagged the winner's purse of $3,500. Mehta got $1,750 as the runner-up. The losing semifinalists, Pankaj Advani and
Mohammad Rais Senzahi, took home $500 each.

Former world No. 1 golfer Ballesteros passes away: Former World No. 1 golfer Severiano Ballesteros of Spain
passed away at the age of 54 on May 7, 2011. One of the sport's leading figures from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s,
Ballesteros won five major championships between 1979 and 1988, the Open Championship three times, and the Masters
Tournament twice. He was also successful in the Ryder Cup, helping the European team to five wins both as a player and
captain against the US, and won the World Match Play Championship a record-tying five times.

Lee Westwood retains No. 1 ranking in Golf: Britains Lee Westwood on May 1, 2011 clinched the Ballantines
Championship by a stroke at Seoul and consolidated his world number one ranking. Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain came
second while Park Sang-hyun of South Korea finished.


REECENT BOOKS:
The Great Golden Sacrifice Of The Mahabharata by Maggi Lidchi-Grassi
Indira Gandhi: The Final Chapter by Suraj Eskay Sriram Niyogi
Towards The True Kinship: How The World's Religions Can Come Together by The Dalai Lama
Curry: The Story Of Britain's Favourite Dish by Stirabant Basu
Niche: Why the Market No Longer Favours The Mainstream by James Harkin
Tress Incredible: Ufe Sustaining Lives by Madan Mohan Pant
Lost Years Of The RSS By Sanjeev Kelkar
City Of The Lion By Carl Muller
Colonial Justice in British India: White Violence and the Rule of Law by Elizabeth Kolsky
Insurgent Sepoys: Europe views the Revolt of 1857 edited by Shaswati Mazumdar
An Odyssey in War and Peace by Lieutenant General J F R Jacob
Federalism And Fiscal Transfers In India by C. Rangarajan, D. K. Srivastava
Lata - Voice of the Golden Era by Mandar V Bichu
Biodiversity Conservation An Antidote to Climate Change by C.H. Basappanavar.



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Weekly Current Affairs update
For the Week: May 8 to 14, 2011

Major news of the week

Section A: INDIA

Assembly election results announced
Y S Jaganmohan Reddy wins by-election in AP
SC stays Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya
SC quashes Karnataka MLAs disqualification
India ratifies UN Conventions against crime & corruption
IT Ministry clarifies liability of intermediaries in IT Act, 2000
Vaccine Policy for govt. run Immunisation Programme
UN Decade of Action for road safety launched
RTI to have precedence over apex courts internal rules CIC
India signs Nagoya Protocol on Genetic Resources
Special issue of Think India Quarterly on Faiz released
Indias first hydropower engg institute in Uttarakhand
Army, Air Force joint exercise conducted
Govt. to assess impact of GDP growth on ecology
UN report praises NREGA
Gold plating of Tirupati temple shelved
CCEA approves GSI proposal for new research vessel
India signs DTAA with Colombia
India releases list of 50 most wanted fugitives
Jamia Millia issues new reservation norms
India, Pakistan resume talks on Tulbul project
New Tiger Reserves to come up in Karnataka
Bombay to replace Gujarat in nomenclature
Gujarat to place LED screens in villages
Parekh elected SCBA president
Bevan is new British High Commissioner to India
Talwar to head reconstituted MCI Board
Binayak Sen in Plan Comm health committee
P. Sridevan assumes office as IPAB Chairman

Section B: WORLD
US Defence Budget at $690 bn in 2012
2
nd
Pak nuclear plant at Chashma inaugurated
World Nursing Day observed
Indian PM pledges $500m to Afghanistan during PMs visit
Official UK inquiry into Iraq war to be revealed after Oct 2011
Nepal to see 1-year extension for Constituent Assembly
UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries organised
Centre for Rising Powers launched at Cambridge
Syria withdraws bid for UN Human Right Council
Chile approves Patagonia hydro project
Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus quits as MD
Obama seeks extension for FBI Director Mueller
Museveni sworn in as President of Uganda
Queen Elizabeth II reign 2
nd
longest in UK history
Section C: AWARDS
Technology Day awards presented
Samsung India Tagore Awards announced
Merkel chosen for Jawaharlal Nehru Award
Women bag top 2 positions in civil services exam
Govt. announces award named after Tagore
Orissa NGO wins Equator Prize
Julian Assange awarded Sydney Peace Prize
Whitley Award for IISER professor
Mouttappa wins Chevalier award
Kerala Tourism ad film wins honour at NY festival

Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
CCI releases regulation for M&As in corporate sector
Govt. to conduct 6
th
economic census as a central scheme
SC imposes two-month ban on endosulfan
Guidelines on clinical trials introduced
Parikh committee recommends higher tax on diesel vehicles
Electronic Service Delivery Bill, 2011 introduced
India, Australia to launch FTA talks in June
FDI in Limited Liability Partnership cos. allowed
Poscos Orissa project gets clearance for land acquisition
RBI sets up committee on forex facilities to individuals
Exports from SEZs up 43% in 2010-11
Credit cards transaction up over 22% in 2010-11
Home loan priority tag revised
India to invite bids for exploration of shale gas reserves
RIL stops gas supply to non-priority sector
PNGRB can now process CNG, city gas & PNG licences
ISMA lowers sugar output estimate to 24.2 mt
CSIR registers pvt co. to reap profits on patents
Karnataka launches e-payment for commercial tax payers
New Socio Economic Classification introduced
World Spice Organisation formed
Indo-US Chamber of Commerce to open its 1st office in NY

Section E: SPORTS

Gopi Chand, Saina part ways
Mary Kom clinches gold in Asian Cup
Pinki Jangra wins gold at Arafura Games
FIH to launch Project Chak De
Harikrishna & Harika win Asian Chess
Manchester United win EPL title
Barcelona secure La Liga Spanish title hat-trick
Tendulkar wins Polly Umrigar Award


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Section A: INDIA

NEWS ROUND UP

Assembly election results announced

A convincing victory for the Trinamool Congress in West
Bengal and the
Congress in Assam
gave new confidence
and authority to the
ruling United
Progressive Alliance
(UPA). These are
among the five
assemblies for which
election results were
announced on May 13, 2011. Although the victory in Kerala
was narrow, it marked another point in the ruling coalitions
winning run. However, the alliance lost badly in Tamil Nadu
and Puducherry. These elections were about bold,
unequivocal verdicts. Kerala was the exception.

While the provisional polling percentage for the 30-member
Puducherry Assembly was recorded as 83.62 per cent, it
was 75.21 per cent for the election to the 234-member
Assembly in Tamil Nadu, and 74.4 per cent in Kerala, which
has the Legislative Assembly strength of 140 members. In
the 126-member Assam Assembly election overall
percentage of voting registered at 76.3. West Bengal saw a
poll percentage of over 75%.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), second largest party in
the Parliament, got just five seats in the 828 seats that went
to the polls.

Equations within UPA generally favoured the Congress.
Although one of its allies (K Karunanidhis DMK) went out of
power and the other ally (Mamata Banerjees Trinamool
Congress) routed the 34-year Left rule, the Congress finds
itself in a position from which it can dictate terms to DMK
and use its power at the Centre to keep Banerjee in check.

The biggest victory came from West Bengal, where the
Trinamool alone crossed the half-way mark the longest
serving communist government. The Congress almost
tripled its tally from the 2006 elections.

V S Achuthanandan led a brave fight in Kerala. VS, as he is
popularly called, was initially denied ticket by the lobby led
by Karat and Kerala CPI(M) Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

The Congress, too, will have to do a tightrope walk in
Kerala, as it has a margin of just two seats. Already, the
partners have raised the price for support and started
demanding plum portfolios.



In policy terms, the Congress-led UPA will now have to
battle a newly empowered victorious ally, the Trinamool, on
land acquisition. Trinamool leader Banerjee is strongly
opposed to giving agricultural land to industry. But the
leverage the Congress has is Banerjees and West Bengals
dependence on the Centre for funds and cooperation. West
Bengal and Kerala are two of the biggest debt-ridden states
and Banerjees efforts at good governance cant succeed
without pro-active support from the Centre. As of now, the
Congress will continue its alliance with DMK at the Centre.
In Assam, the party is in a comfortable position. Following is
an account of election results in each state.

WEST BENGAL

The West Bengal state assembly election, 2011 was held in
six phases between 18 April and 10 May, 2011 for all the
294 seats of the Vidhan Sabha in the state of West Bengal
in India. The Trinamool Congress won an absolute majority
of seats. The election also marked the defeat for the longest
serving democratically elected Communist government in
the world after the 34-year rule of the Left Front government
West Bengal :294

2006 2011
Parties/Alliances % Votes Seats
%
Votes
Seats
Left Front+ 48.41 227 41 61
CPI (M) 37.13 176

40
AIFB 5.66 23

11
RSP 3.71 20

7
CPI 1.91 8

2
DSP (P)

1
Trinamool+ 41.61 52 49 227
Trinamool 26.64 30 39 184
Congress 14.71 21 10 42
SUCI

1
Others+ 9.98 15

6
Independents 4.22 6

2
GJM 0.5 3

3
SP

1


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With the grand alliance of the Trinamool and the Congress
sweeping the elections, the Left Front faced its worst-ever
electoral debacle. In an Assembly of 294, with the TMC-
Congress-SUCI alliance securing 226 seats (Trinamool 183,
Congress 42, SUCI one), the Left managed to get 63 seats
(CPM getting 40). The Congress benefited from the alliance,
with its tally jumping from 17 seats in 2006 jumping to 42 in
2011.

The Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was defeated
in Jadavpur constituency by the Trinamools Manish Gupta,
a former state chief secretary contesting his first election.
Gupta had been considered a close confidant of the CM in
his role as the states top bureaucrat. This is the first time
the CPM has been defeated in Jadavpur since the
constituency was formed in 1967.

Left front ministers who were trounced included the industry
minister, Nirupam Sen, the finance minister, Asim Dasgupta
, the sports minister, Kanti Ganguly, the urban development
minister, Ashok Bhattacharya, the housing minister, Gautam
Deb, the higher education minister. Sudershan
Roychowdhury, and the PWD minister, Kshiti Goswami. A
total of 23 ministers failed to get re-elected, including 14 at
the Cabinet level.

TAMIL NADU
Tamil Nadu :234

2006 2011
Parties/Alliances
%
Votes
Seats
%
Votes
Seats
DMK+ 41.78 150 40 31
DMK 26.46 96

23
Congress 8.38 34

5
PMK 5.65 18

3
AIADMK+ 45.54 77 53 203
AIADMK 32.64 61

150
DMDK [2] 8.33 1

29
CPI(M)[3] 2.65 9

10
CPI

9
AIFB [3] 0.31 0

1
MAMK

2
PT

2
Others+ 12.68 7 6 0

The fourteenth legislative assembly election was held on
April 13, 2011 to elect members from 234 constituencies in
Tamil Nadu. Results were released on May 13, 2011. Two
major parties Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and All
India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) faced
the election as coalitions of multiple parties with the DMK
front consisting of 8 parties and the AIADMK of 11 parties.
Actor Vijayakanths Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam
(DMDK) which had contested the previous elections
independently allied with AIADMK coalition

It was a grand win for J. Jayalalithaa and her AIADMK in a
contest that saw a huge amount of cash and promised
freebies. Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, won his Tiruvarur
seat with a big lead of over 50,000 votes but his son, M.K.
Stalin, managed to scrape through with a margin of about
2,400 votes. Almost all the DMK heavyweights lost and that
list includes the general secretary, K. Anbazhagan, in
Villivakkam in north Chennai.

KERALA
Kerala :140

2006 2011
Parties/Alliances
%
Votes
Seats
%
Votes
Seats
LDF+ 44.17 90 45 68
CPI (M) 30.45 61

45
CPI 8.09 17

13
RSP 1.44 3

2
JDS 2.44 5

4
Independents 6.03 5

2
NCP

2
UDF+ 36.78 40 46 72
Congress 24.09 24

38
Muslim League 7.30 7

20
KC (M) 3.26 7

9
KC (B) 0.62 1

1
KC (J)

1
SJD

2
RSP (B)

1
Others+ 19.05 10 0 0

The thirteenth legislative assembly election was held on
April 13, 2011 to elect members of the 140 constituencies in
Kerala. Election results were released on May 13, 2011.
The results proved to be one of the closest elections in
Keralas history, with the UDF beating the LDF by a margin
of 4 seats. The Congress-led UDF wrested power by
winning 72 of the 140 seats in the Kerala Assembly, but
buoyed by a spirited campaign by chief minister V S


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109
Achuthanandan the ruling the CPM-led LDF averted a rout
in the state lashed until recently by an anti-incumbency
wave. The LDF won 68 seats, drastically improving its
position from the defeat it had suffered in the Lok Sabha
elections in 2009 and local polls. BJPs attempts to open
account, however, came to a naught again.

The UDFs narrow victory raised fears of political
uncertainty, even in the Congress because it has won just
one seat above the number of 71 required to form the
government. The coalition comprises of several parties
representing strong interest groups as well as some tiny
parties with just one or two MLAs.

What compounds worries for Congress is the success of its
allies. The Muslim League which contested 25 seats won 20
while the Kerala Congress (M) led by K M Mani returned in
10 of its 15 seats. The Congress could secure only 38 of the
82 seats where it had fielded candidates.

UDF schemes to wrest a clean sweep by roping in leaders
of certain communal groups seem to have failed to yield
much dividends. On the other side, the strong campaigns of
VS against corruption, attack on women, against plundering
of the environment and a host of related issues appear to
have struck a chord among large sections of the people,
especially women.

ASSAM
The 17
th
Assam legislative assembly election was held in
two phases on 4 and 11 April, 2011 to elect members from
126 constituencies in Assam, India. The result was
announced on May 13, 2011. The election resulted in a
landslide victory for the Indian National Congress and its
incumbent Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who will be sworn in
for the third straight term.

Assam :126

2006 2011
Parties/Alliances
%
Votes
Seats
%
Votes
Seats
Congress 31.08 53 40 78
AGP 20.39 24

10
BJP 11.98 10

5
AIUDF 9.03 10

18
Independents 16.62 22

2
Others 8.47 4

1
BPF

12

The Congress won an absolute majority in the 126-member
state assembly, winning in 78 seats. The majority mark in
the Assam assembly is 64. Gogoi proved he is the
Congresss best mascot in Assam by leading the party to
victory from panchayat to Parliament in all the elections,
barring one, since 2001. He also showed, once again, that
the people of Assam have no alternative to him at this
juncture, when the state is seriously trying to buy peace with
rebel outfit ULFA.
The biggest surprise in this election was the All India United
Democratic Front (AIUDF), led by Badaruddin Ajmal. By
winning 18 seats, the AIUDF emerged as the largest
opposition party. Its 2006 tally was only 10. The party, which
champions the cause of Muslims, proved wrong the
predictions of all exit polls.
The main opposition, AGP, which went all out against
Gogoi, accusing his government of being neck-deep in
corruption, faced a humiliating defeat and managed only 10
seats.

PUDUCHERRY
Puducherry :30

2006 2011
Parties/Alliances
%
Votes
Seats
%
Votes
Seats
Cong+ 46.3 19

9
Congress 29.91 10

7
DMK 12.59 7

2
AIADMK+ 16.04 3

20
AIADMK 16.04 3

5
NR Congress

15
Others+ 37.66 8

1
Independents 13.92 3

1


The All India NR Congress (AINRC)-All India Anna Dravida
Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) alliance won 20 of the 30
constituencies in Puducherry, setting stage for the alliance
to forge a government. The 30 constituencies in the Union
Territory, comprising 23 constituencies in Puducherry, five
in Karaikal and one each in Yanam and Mahe, AINRC alone
won 15 seats, while the AIADMK won five. The alliance has
crossed the halfway mark of 16 seats to form the next
government.

The Indian National Congress (INC)-Dravida Munnetra
Kazhagam (DMK) alliance, ruling till now, won a total of nine
constituencies. INC has won in seven seats and DMK
candidates were elected in two seats.

N Rangasamy, former chief minister for the Union Territory
and chief of AINRC, won in Indira Nagar against V


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110
Aroumougam of INC for a margin of 16,677 votes. He also
marked a victory in Kadirgamam constituency against V
Pethaperumal of INC for a margin of 9757 votes.

Chief Minister V Vaithilingam won in Kamaraj Nagar,
defeating Nara Kalainathan of Communist Party of India.
Rangasamy formed AINRC after he was replaced by
Vaithilingam as Chief Minister of the Congress-led
government in Puducherry in 2008.

Puducherry recorded a turnout of 85.57 per cent of 805,000
votes during the polling held on April 13.

Y S Jaganmohan Reddy wins by-election in AP: Y S
Jaganmohan Reddy, founder of the YSR Congress and son
of former chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR), on
May 14, 2011 created a record in the electoral history of
Andhra Pradesh. He retained the Lok Sabha seat of
Kadapa, which he had won in 2009 on a Congress ticket, by
defeating the rival Congress and Telugu Desam Party
(TDP) candidates with a margin of 543,053 votes in a by-
election. The victory margin surpasses the earlier record win
by 500,000 votes of former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao,
when he got elected from Nandyal in a by-election in 1991.
Jagans mother, Vijayamma, also retained the Pulivendula
assembly segment defeating her nearest Congress rival,
her own brother-in-law, Y S Vivekananda Reddy, the states
agriculture minister, by 85,191 votes. Both elections were
necessitated by mother and son quitting the party and their
seats last November, later forming their breakaway party.
After YSRs death in a helicopter crash in September 2009,
Vijayamma was elected unopposed to the Assembly from
Pulivendula, the seat he had held. However, both mother
and son differed with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and
quit the party and also resigned from Parliament and
Assembly.

Supreme Court stays Allahabad High Court
verdict on Ayodhya

The Supreme Court on May 9, 2011 stayed the Allahabad
High Court verdict that directed division of 2.77 acres of
land of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in
Ayodhya into three parts among Hindus, Muslims and the
Nirmohi Akhara.

A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R.M. Lodha, admitting
a batch of appeals from both Hindu and Muslim
organisations, stayed the September 30, 2010 judgment of
the Lucknow Bench of the High Court and directed the
parties to maintain the status quo at the site.

Those who filed the appeals included the Sunni Central
Wakf Board, U.P.; the Nirmohi Akhara; the All-India Hindu
Mahasabha and Bhagwan Shri Ram Virajman.

The petitioners unanimously urged the apex court to stay
the High Court verdict and restore the status quo order
passed by the Supreme Court in 1994 and March 2002 in
respect of the activities on the 67.703 acres of government
land acquired in January 1993.

The Bench said the status quo at the disputed site would
remain as directed by the 1994 Constitution Bench and the
order passed on March 13-14, 2002.

The Bench, taking note of the 2002 order, directed that on
the 67.703 acres located in various plots detailed in the
Schedule to the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act,
1993, which is vested in the Central government, no
religious activity of any kind by anyone be permitted or
allowed to take place. The Bench, while directing the status
quo to continue, made it clear that the existing pujas in the
make-shift Ram Lala temple at the disputed site would go
on as usual.

SC quashes Karnataka MLAs disqualification

In a major setback to the BJP government in Karnataka, the
Supreme Court on May 13, 2011 set aside the Assembly
Speaker, K.G. Bopaiahs decision disqualifying 11 rebel
party MLAs and five Independents before the trust vote by
the Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, in 2010 declaring his
order as unconstitutional and against the principles of
natural justice.

The speaker had disqualified the rebel legislators on an
October 8, 2010 petition of the ruling party after they gave a
letter to Governor H R Bhardwaj on October 6, withdrawing
support to the BJP government and for expressing their lack
of confidence in the leadership of Chief Minister B S
Yeddyurappa. Along with the 11 legislators, five
Independents were also disqualified on the same grounds.

Regarding the position of five Independents, the Supreme
Court explained that there was nothing on record to show
that five Independent MLAs had expressed anything, which
indicated that while joining the Council of Ministers, they
actually had intended to join the BJP, which would make
them liable to the provisions of the anti-defection law.

India ratifies UN Conventions against
organised crime and corruption

India on May 12, 2011 ratified the United Nations
Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its
three protocols and the United Nations Convention against
Corruption.

Organised crime
The United Nations Convention against Transnational
Organised Crime is the main international instrument in the


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111
fight against transnational organized crime. It recognizes the
need to foster and enhance close international cooperation
in order to tackle those problems. The convention is further
supplemented by three Protocols, which target specific
areas and manifestations of organized crime namely
Protocols to combat (1) trafficking in persons (2) migrant
smuggling and (3) illicit trafficking in firearms.

Corruption
The United Nations Convention against Corruption
complements the United Nations Convention against
Transnational Organised Crime. The Convention introduces
a comprehensive set of standards, measures and rules that
all countries can apply in order to strengthen their legal and
regulatory regimes to fight corruption.

The Convention enumerates in detail the measures to
prevent corruption, including the application of prevention
policies and practices, the establishment of bodies for that
purpose, the application of codes of conduct for public
servants, and public procurement. It recommends promoting
transparency and accountability in the management of
public finances and in the private sector, with tougher
accounting and auditing standards.

Measures to prevent money-laundering are also provided
for, together with measures to secure the independence of
the judiciary, public reporting and participation of society are
encouraged as preventive measures. The Convention
recommends the State Parties to adopt such legislative and
other measures as may be necessary to establish a whole
series of criminal offences. These are:
Corruption of national or foreign public officials and
officials of public international organizations;
embezzlement, misappropriation or other diversion by a
public official of any public or private property;
trading in influence;
abuse of functions and illicit enrichment

In the private sector, the Convention calls for the creation of
offences of embezzlement and corruption. There are other
offences relating to laundering the proceeds of crime,
handling stolen property, obstructing the administration of
justice, and participating in and attempting embezzlement or
corruption.

IT Ministry clarifies on liability of
intermediaries under the IT Act, 2000

The government on May 11, 2011 responded to news items
in a section of media on certain aspects of the Rules notified
under Section 79 pertaining to liability of intermediaries
under the Information Technology Act, 2000.

These news items have raised two broad issues. One is that
words used in Rules for objectionable content are broad and
could be interpreted subjectively. Secondly, there is an
apprehension that the Rules enable the Government to
regulate content in a highly subjective and possibly arbitrary
manner.

The Department of Information Technology (DIT), Ministry
of Communications & IT has clarified that the Intermediaries
Guidelines Rules, 2011 prescribe that due diligence need to
be observed by the Intermediaries to enjoy exemption from
liability for hosting any third party information under Section
79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. These due
diligence practices are the best practices followed
internationally by well-known mega corporations operating
on the Internet.

In case any issue arises concerning the interpretation of the
terms used by the Intermediary, which is not agreed to by
the user or affected person, the same can only be
adjudicated by a Court of Law. The Government or any of
its agencies have no power to intervene or even interpret.

DIT has also reiterated that there is no intention of the
Government to acquire regulatory jurisdiction over content
under these Rules. It has categorically said that these rules
do not provide for any regulation or control of content by the
Government.

According to the DIT, the government adopted a very
transparent process for formulation of the Rules under the
Information Technology Act. The draft Rules were published
on the Department of Information Technology website for
comments and were widely covered by the media. None of
the Industry Associations and other stakeholders objected
to the formulation which is now being cited in some section
of media.

The Government has been forward looking to create a
conducive environment for the Internet medium to catapult
itself onto a different plane with the evolution of the Internet.
The Government remains fully committed to freedom of
speech and expression and the citizens rights in this
regard.

Under the Information Technology Amendment Act, the
definition of Intermediary includes telecom services
providers, network providers, internet service providers,
web-hosting service providers in the definition of
intermediaries. Furthermore, search engines, online
payment sites, online-auction sites, online market places
and cyber cafs are also included in the definition of the
intermediary.

Vaccine Policy calls for govt. to take over
Immunisation Programme

The draft National Vaccine Policy has recommended that
the government take ownership of the countrys Universal
Immunisation Programme (UIP) for ensuring vaccine


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112
security and equity by creating fiscal and legislative
provisions with appropriate support from external donors.

The draft policy unveiled on May 8, 2011 says that as such
funding depends heavily upon donor countries it is important
that India creates and strengthens its own mechanisms and
systems for long-term sustenance of programmes for
vaccine-preventable diseases. The draft policy also
recommends creation of a National Immunisation Authority
that could be supported by several cells responsible for
different functions, and a similar set up right up to the district
level.

The draft policy was commissioned in September last to
address issues such as strengthening of the institutional
framework, processes, evidence base and framework
required for decision-making for new vaccine introduction,
vaccine security, and regulatory guidelines. The nine-
member team was chaired by the former Director-General
of the Indian Council of Medical Research, N.K. Ganguly.

The UIP targets 2.7 crore infants and 3 crore pregnant
women annually and is one of the largest programmes in
the world. The country also has a vaccine industry that
caters to 43 per cent of the Expanded Programme for
Immunisation vaccines as well as some of the new vaccines
purchased by Global alliance for Vaccines and
Immunisation. Thirty-five per cent of the countrys
population buys the vaccines through the private market.

UN Decade of Action for road safety launched

The Decade of Action for Road Safety plan promoted by
United Nations (UN) to stabilize and then reduce the road
traffic fatalities worldwide by year 2020 was launched in
India along with 100 more countries on May 11, 2011.
Developed with the support of the World Health
Organization,(WHO) the plan for the Decade enjoins all
concerned agencies, organizations, and groups, including
all road users, to work together to strengthen preventive
programs, improve trauma care, and monitor progress
achieved. Road accidents and related tragedies have
alarmingly increased in the past decades.

In India the UN decade of Action for road Safety was
launched jointly by the International Road Federation (IRF)
Institute of Road Traffic Education, (IRTE), AIIMS Apex
Trauma Centre, Department of Road Transport & Highways,
Government of India in New Delhi.

As per the WHOs global status report on road safety, India
tops the global list of deaths in road accidents with 125,000
fatalities and at least 2.2 million serious injuries each year.
India accounts for 10 per cent of global road accident
deaths. The national campaign has been launched with the
target of reducing road accident deaths by 50 per cent by
the year 2012.
A scheme with the joint input of the Ministry of Health and
Family Welfare and the Ministry of Road Transport and
Highways for up-gradation of trauma care facilities on
National Highways has been drawn up. Trauma care
facilities in 140 State Government Hospitals along the
Golden Quadrilateral, North-South and East West Corridors
of National Highways will be upgraded. Fully equipped
ambulances will be provided at an interval of 50km on
completed sections of National Highways under the control
of N.H.A.I.

RTI Act to have precedence over apex courts
internal rules CIC: The Central Information
Commission (CIC) has ruled that in a conflict between the
Right to Information Act and the internal rules of a Public
Authority, the RTI Act must prevail. It would prevail even if
the internal rules pertain to the Supreme Court. CIC
Shailesh Gandhi passed this order in a case, in which
information on certain judicial records was sought from the
Supreme Court under the RTI Act. The First Appellate
Authority (FFA) in the court held that any information on
judicial records could be accessed only under Order XII of
the Supreme Court rules. The CIC held that the Supreme
Court could not cite internal rules to deny information if it
had been sought under the RTI Act. Further that information
could be denied only if the information sought was
prohibited under the RTI Act itself.

India signs Nagoya Protocol on Genetic
Resources: India, along with 10 other countries, on May
12, 2011 signed the Nagoya Protocol on Genetic
Resources, with an aim to promote sustainable use of
biological diversity, at the United Nations headquarters in
New York. The objective of the Protocol is to share the
benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources in a
fair and equitable way, which would promote sustainable
use of biological diversity but not exploit it or those who
claim a right over its components.

Special issue of Think India Quarterly on Faiz
released: A special issue of Think India quarterly on Faiz
Ahmad Faiz published by NGO VicharNyas was released by
the Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari on May 10,
2011. Think India quarterly is a journal devoted to ideas in
many disciplines and areas of human intellectual and
creative endeavour with accent on contemporary issues
facing India. Faiz (19111984) was a renowned Pakistani
poet and a member of the Anjuman Tarraqi Pasand
Mussanafin-e-Hind (All India Progressive Writers
Movement) and an avowed Marxist. In 1962, he was
awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union.

Uttarakhand varsity signs MoU for Indias first
hydropower engg institute: THDC India Ltd and
Uttarakhand Technical University (UTU) on May 12, 2011
signed MoU to run Indias first hydropower engineering


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113
institute which is coming up in Tehri district of the hill state.
The objective behind setting up of the THDC Institute of
Hydropower Engineering & Technology is to create a pool of
continuously upgraded skilled set of knowledge with special
thrust on construction and operation of Hydro Power
stations in Uttarakhand where there is an estimated
hydropower potential of 20,000-25,000 MW.

Six-day Army, Air Force joint exercise conducted:
Vijayee Bhava, a six-day long joint exercise of the Army
and the Air Force was conducted in the deserts of Bikaner
and Suratgarh near Pakistan border in Rajasthan from May
9 to 14, 2011. The exercise envisaged sustained massed
mechanised manoeuvres in a simulated environment by
composite combat entities, ably supported by air and
complemented by a wide array of weapon systems and
enabling combat logistics. According to the Army, it has
conducted 10 major exercises near the Pakistan border in
the last six years and this exercise will boost synergy
between the Indian defence forces.

Govt. to assess impact of GDP growth on ecology:
The government has decided to conduct an assessment of
the impact of GDP growth on ecology using Green
Accounting System and the process will be completed by
2015. The government will soon set up of an expert group
headed by environmental economist Partha Dasgupta to
provide a road map for Green National Accounting (GNA)
system to evaluate impact of economic growth on
environment by 2015. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh
on May 9, 2011 said that the expert group would be set up
jointly by the Planning Commission and Enviroment
Ministry. The GNA would help government bringing out
gross domestic product (GDP) growth data co-relating it
with impact on the environment.

UN report praises NREGA: The Government of India
was on May 10, 2011 complimented by the United nations
for its National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).
The UNs Global Assessment Report (GAR) praises
NREGA and asked other nations to emulate the programme
that has helped empower millions of marginalized. The UN
report gave credit to the success of the NREGA programme
to the impetus provided by strong political will and a
committed high-level bureaucracy. The second edition of
the GAR, which was released after two years, is a vital
resource document used for understanding and analyzing
global disaster risk and how communities worldwide can be
strengthened to cope with natural calamities such as
earthquakes, floods, drought and cyclones.

Gold plating of Tirupati temple shelved: Tirumala
Tirupati Devesthanam (TTD) on May 10, 2011 told the
Supreme Court that it has shelved the controversial decision
on gold plating of the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine of
Lord Venkateswara at Tirupati, the worlds richest temple.
The decision to reconsider the move was taken in deference
to the sentiments expressed by a large number of devotees
and the Andhra Pradesh High Courts judgement quashing
the earlier resolution passed by the TTD for the gold plating
exercise, the board told the apex court. The TTD said it had
no powers to carry out the exercise of drilling thousands of
holes in the inner recess adorning the deities in view of the
restrictions imposed by Section 2(a) of the Ancient
Monuments and Archeolgoical Sites and Remains Act,
1958.

CCEA approves GSI proposal for new research
vessel: India may soon get a new floating research
laboratory that would help scientists map and explore the
vast mineral resources embedded under the sea. The
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, at a meeting
chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on May 11,
2011 gave its approval to the Geological Survey of India to
acquire a new research vessel for seabed survey and
exploration for non-living resources. The CCEA has
approved the revised cost estimate proposal of the Ministry
of Mines for sanction of Rs 549.50 crore for the research
vessel which will replace RV Samudra Manthan. This new
multi-disciplinary research vessel fitted with state-of-the-art
equipment is meant for undertaking geological, geophysical
and geo-chemical mapping of the seabed. The data
generated, will be useful for creating and updating the
national database which will be useful for undertaking
research in the fields of earth science, oceanography and
offshore mineral resources and exploitation of mineral
resources embedded under the sea.

India signs DTAA with Colombia: India on May 13,
2011 signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement
(DTAA) with the Republic of Colombia for the avoidance of
double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with
respect to taxes on income. The Agreement further
incorporates provisions for effective exchange of information
and assistance in collection of taxes between tax authorities
of the two countries in line with internationally accepted
standards.

India releases list of 50 most wanted fugitives:
India on May 11, 2011 came out with a list of 50 most
wanted fugitives hiding in Pakistan. They include
underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, 26/11 mastermind and
Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and dreaded terrorist
Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi. The list, which was given to
Pakistan at the Home Secretary-level talks in March, has
Hafiz Saeed on top, followed by Major Iqbal, a suspected
serving Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officer, who also
figures in the FBI indictment in a Chicago court in
connection with the 2008 Mumbai attack.

Jamia Millia issues new reservation norms: Jamia
Millia Islamia on May 11, 2011 issued fresh reservation
norms, allowing 50 per cent seats to be kept aside for
Muslim applicants. The new rules will be applicable from the


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114
2011-12 academic session. This follows an amendment in
Statute 39 of the Jamia Millia Islamia Act, 1988, in
pursuance of the February 22 order of the National
Commission for Minority Educational Institutions. As per the
new rules, 30 per cent of the total seats in each course will
be earmarked for Muslim applicants, 10 per cent for Muslim
women applicants, 10 per cent for Muslim Other Backward
Classes and Scheduled Tribes, as notified under the Central
government list.

India, Pakistan resume talks on Tulbul project: After
a gap of four years, India and Pakistan on May 12, 2011
resume talks in Islamabad on the Tulbul navigation project,
also known as the Wular Lake project, in Jammu and
Kashmir. Work was suspended in October 2007 after
Islamabad imposed it as a pre-condition for talks at the
government-level. Before that, the matter was being
handled at the level of the Permanent Indus Commission.
India has sought an early resolution so that it can resume
work on the project, which is located on the Jhelum river in
Jammu and Kashmirs Baramullah district.

New Tiger Reserves to come up in Karnataka:
Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on
May 8, 2011 said that the Union government had approved
two more tiger reserves in Karnataka. B.R. Hills in
Chamarajanagar district and Kudremukh in Chikmagalur
district would become the 40
th
and 41
st
tiger reserves in the
country. The total number of tiger reserves in Karnataka
would go up to six. The state also has the most number of
tigers in the country.

Bombay to replace Gujarat in nomenclature:
Bombay will now be replaced by Gujarat in the
nomenclature of all the acts and rules in force in Gujarat,
the Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, announced in
Gandhinagar on May 1, 2011. Even after Gujarat was
carved out as a separate state on May 1, 1960, no step was
taken in the last 50 years to identify the acts and laws with
Gujarat. Some other acts which came into force only after
the formation of the State, however, carry the nomenclature
Gujarat act in the short title.

Gujarat to place LED screens in villages: In a bid to
make rural community abreast with the climatic changes,
commodity prices and keep them well-informed about the
government schemes for their respective villages, the
Gujarat government will place LED screens in the villages.
As a pilot project, the state chief minister Narendra Modi
launched Gujarat Swarnim Gram E-Broadcast Project in
Amreli district on May 6, 2011.

Parekh elected SCBA president: Senior advocate P.H.
Parekh has been elected president of the Supreme Court
Bar Association (SCBA) for 2011-2012. In the elections held
on May 11, 2011,. Parekh won by a margin of two votes
over his nearest rival, Adish Aggarwala. While Parekh got
757 votes, Aggarwala secured 755 votes. The present
president, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, got 735 votes.

Bevan is new British High Commissioner to India:
James Bevan has been appointed British High
Commissioner to India. He will take up his appointment in
November. He succeeds Richard Stagg and, like his
predecessor, has not served in the subcontinent.

Talwar to head reconstituted MCI Board: The Union
government on May 13, 2011 reconstituted the Board of
Governors of the Medical Council of India (MCI). The term
of the existing Board ended on May 14. The new Board will
be chaired by K.K. Talwar, former Director of the
Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,
Chandigarh. The reconstitution follows the promulgation of
an ordinance extending the term of the board, since the
supersession of the MCI, by another year.

Binayak Sen in Plan Comm health committee:
Months after being arrested on charges of sedition, Binayak
Sen has been included in the Planning Commissions
steering committee on health chaired by member Syeda
Hameed. Sen was recently released on bail by the Supreme
Court which found insufficient evidence against him to slap
charges of sedition. He will represent the Bilaspur-based
Jan Swasthya Sahayog, a NGO working in the field of
health. The committee will review the national health policy
of 2002 and recommend governance reforms in primary,
tertiary and secondary health care.

P. Sridevan assumes office as IPAB Chairman:
Justice Prabha Sridevan, a retired Judge of the Madras
High Court, on May 9, 2011 assumed charge as Chairman
of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB.) The
IPAB has been constituted to hear appeals against the
decisions of the Registrar under the Trade Marks Act, 1999,
Patents Act, 2003 and the Geographical Indications of
Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. IPAB has its
Headquarters at Chennai and conducts its circuit bench
sittings at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.





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Section B: WORLD
NEWS ROUND UP

US Defence Budget at $690 bn in 2012: A bill that
would provide $690 billion for the U.S. military complex in
fiscal 2012, including operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,
was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives
Armed Services Committee on May 12, 2011. The
legislation would authorize $553 billion for the Defense
Departments base budget, the same amount sought by
President Barack Obama in the request he sent to
Congress in February. The bill also includes $119 billion for
overseas contingency operations such as Iraq and
Afghanistan plus $18 billion for the Energy Departments
military-related nuclear activities. The Senate Armed
Services Committee is expected to take up its version of
the National Defense Authorization Act next month. The two
versions must be passed by the full House and Senate and
any differences must be ironed out before being sent to
Obama for his signature into law. Congress provided $668.6
billion for the U.S. military complex in fiscal 2011, which
ends on Sept. 30, down from the $709 billion requested by
Obama.

2
nd
Pak nuclear plant at Chashma inaugurated:
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani inaugurated the
second nuclear power plant at Chashma in Punjab on May
12, 2011, with an appeal to the international community to
stop discriminating between nations and allow Pakistan
access to nuclear technology for power generation. The
second unit of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant has been
built in collaboration with China and is expected to produce
330 MW of electricity and bring some relief from the power
shortages being faced across the country. This is the third
nuclear power plant in Pakistan, the first being in Karachi
which began commercial operations in 1972. Gilani said that
Pakistan would comply with the requirements of nuclear
safeguard agreements mandated by the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

World Nursing Day observed: May 12, 2011 was
observed as the World Nursing Day worldwide. In January
1974, the decision was made to celebrate the day on 12
May as it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence
Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of
modern nursing.

Indian PM pledges $500m to Afghanistan during
PMs visit: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
pledged a further $500m to Afghanistan over the next six
years following his talks with President Hamid Karzai during
his official visit to Kabul on May 12, 2011. This is in addition
to $1.5bn already promised. The funds will be spent on
agriculture, schools and roads. India is already building the
new parliament in Kabul - at a cost of $19m. The two
leaders held discussions on May 12 about regional stability,
counter-terrorism and the India-Afghanistan strategic
partnership, built on a shared mistrust of Pakistan. The
Indian prime minister also said he strongly backs the Afghan
governments efforts to reconcile with the Taliban. India
worries that any rapid reduction of the US presence in
Afghanistan could result in a country dominated by a
Taliban-influenced government friendly towards Pakistan.
Analysts say that India may now accept that the Taliban has
to be part of any political resolution to the war in
Afghanistan. But it also does not want Pakistan leading any
reconciliation process. The growing closeness between the
two countries has infuriated Islamabad, which also wants to
increase its influence in Afghanistan. Singh addressed a
joint session of Afghan parliament on May 13, 2011.

Official UK inquiry into Iraq war to be revealed
after Oct 2011: The official British inquiry into the Iraq war
will publish its conclusions by the end of the year but not
before October, Chairman John Chilcot said in London on
May 12, 2011. Chilcot had previously refused to say when
the five-member panel would publish its report on Britains
role in the 2003 US-led invasion. The inquiry was set up to
learn lessons from the conflict, in which 179 British troops
died. More than 100,000 Iraqi civilians died in the conflict,
according to the NGO Iraq Body Count.

Nepal govt. proposes 1-year extension for
Constituent Assembly: The Nepal government on May
12, 2011 proposed a second one-year extension for Nepals
Constituent Assembly, amid the failure of the interim
parliament to draft a new constitution in the face of a
deadlock among the political parties. The Communist-led
coalition government registered a constitution amendment
bill in parliament proposing a one-year extension for the
601-member Assembly, whose term was extended last year
in a bid to prevent a constitutional crisis after it failed to
promulgate a constitution for the new republic. Prime
Minister Jhalanath Khanal held a key meeting of his cabinet
which decided to amend the constitution so that the term of
the parliament could be extended beyond May 28, the
deadline for the promulgation of a new constitution

UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries
organised: The Fourth United Nations Conference on the
Least Developed Countries was organised in Istanbul,
Turkey from May 9 to 13, 2011. World leaders discussed
ways to fulfil long-term commitments to reduce poverty,
hunger and disease in the worlds 48 Least Developed
Countries (LDC). The LDCs include 33 in Africa, 14 in Asia
& Oceania, and one (Haiti) in the Western hemisphere.
Nepal currently holds the presidency of the LDCs. Climate


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change, in particular, poses a severe challenge to the
LDCs. While LDCs produce the least greenhouse gas
emissions compared with any other country grouping, their
agriculture-oriented economies are the most threatened by
the effects of a changing climate. Many are prone to
desertification, or are at risk from sea-level rise and tropical
storms. Others, like Nepal, depend on run-off from mountain
glaciers that appear to be receding.

Centre for Rising Powers launched at Cambridge:
A new research hub dedicated to the study of India and
other emerging powers and how different nations evolve to
become leading political forces on the world stage was
launched at the University of Cambridge in London on
May 12, 2011. The Centre for Rising Powers will bring
together academics from different subject areas whose
research touches on one of the most important questions in
international relations: How different powers rise to the top
of global politics, and how to predict the impact they will
have when they do so? The centres director is Amrita
Narlikar, an alumnus of St Stephens College, New Delhi,
and Jawaharlal Nehru University. The centres formal
launch was followed by an inaugural lecture by Joseph Nye,
Professor at Harvard University and one of the most
influential researchers in the field of foreign policy and
international relations.

Syria withdraws bid for UN Human Right Council:
Syria on May 11, 2011 gave up its bid for a seat on UN
Human Right Council after it failed to get sufficient support
from member states of the Asia Group because of its poor
human rights record in recent times. Susan Rice, US envoy
to the UN, Rice said Syria is in the process of killing its own
people on the streets, arresting thousands, and terrorising a
population that is seeking to express itself through largely
peaceful means. Syria officially gave up its seat to Kuwait.
The Asian bloc had been under pressure from Western
nations to withdraw Syrias nomination.

Chile approves Patagonia hydro project: Chilean
authorities on May 10, 2011 approved a 1.8-billion plan to
dam two rivers in Patagonia for hydroelectricity. The
HidroAysen project envisages five dams to tap the Baker
and Pascua rivers, an isolated area of fjords and valleys,
and generate 2.75 Giga Watts of power for Chile. The
government has championed the dams as vital to poverty
alleviation and growth, but public opinion has split, with
many saying the project is unnecessary and will devastate
an ecological haven.

Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus quits as MD:
The founder of the pioneering Bangladeshi micro-lending
Grameen Bank on May 13, 2011 decided to resign as its
Managing Director after a long-running row with the
government. Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus said he was
relinquishing his post to prevent undue disruption of the
banks work. Earlier in May the Bangladeshi Supreme Court
dismissed a final appeal by Yunus to overturn his sacking.
Authorities said he was over the legal retirement age, but
supporters say his dismissal was politically motivated. Prof
Yunus, 71, launched the Grameen Bank in the late 1970s to
offer microcredit to the poor. The Bangladesh central bank
removed Prof Yunus from his post in March 2011, saying
his continuing role at Grameen Bank violated laws that state
public servants must retire at the age of 60.

Obama seeks extension for FBI Director Mueller:
US President Barack Obama on May 12, 2011 asked
Congress to extend the tenure of FBI director Robert
Mueller for two years. Muellers 10-year term is to end on 4
September, but Obama said continuity and stability at the
FBI is critical at this time. Mueller was appointed by
President George Bush in 2001 and took office a week
before the 9/11 terror attacks. No previous FBI director had
been given an extension.

Museveni sworn in as President of Uganda:
Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of National
Resistance Movement Party was on May 11, 2011 sworn in
for the fifth time as the Head of State, at a ceremony in
Kampala, amid post-election tensions with the opposition.
He has been President of Uganda since 26 January 1986.
As Museveni was being sworn in, his key rival, the Forum
for Democratic Change (FDC) leader, Dr Kizza Besigye,
returned home following treatment in Kenya for injuries
suffered in a brutal attack by plainclothes police in a
Kampala street.

Queen Elizabeth II reign 2
nd
longest in UK history:
The reign of Queen Elizabeth II has become became the
second longest in British history, overtaking that of George
III. She was coronated on the death of her father, George VI
on February 6, 1952. Since then, she has reigned for a total
of 59 years and 110 days. She now ranks second only to
Queen Victoria, who died in 1901 after 63 years and seven
months on the throne, the Daily Telegraph reported on May
12, 2011. Among living heads of state in world, only King
Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who has occupied the
countrys throne since 1946, has served for longer.





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Section C: AWARDS

Technology Day awards presented

Former President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, on May
11, 2011 gave away national awards on technology to
industrial/individual concern for developing indigenous
technology. Technology Day is celebrated as a symbol of
quest for scientific inquiry and technological creativity and
the translation of that quest in the integration of science,
society and industry from 1998. The awards are instituted
by Department of Science and Technology (DST) and
Department of Bio-Technology (DBT) to the successful
commercialization of indigenous technology by an
industrial/individual concern.

National Award
The national awards have two components: (i) to the
industrial concern, which has successfully commercialized
indigenous technology and (ii) to the developer / provider of
such technology. Each component carries a cash award of
Rs. 10.00 lakhs along with the trophy.

The national awards of Rs. 10.00 lakhs for the year 2011
was awarded to Reliance Industries Limited, Hazira
manufacturing Unit, Surat, Gujrat for indigenous
development and commercialization of advanced donor
RELD1000 technology for high performance raffia grade
polypropylene production.

TDB Award
In addition to the National Award, the Technology
Development Board (TDB) has introduced cash Award of
Rs. 5.00 lakhs to be given to maximum three SSI units,
which have successfully commercialized a technology-
based product.

Award to SSI units 2011 of Rs. 5.00 lakhs each was
awarded to two companies, Top Gear Transmission, Addl.
MIDC, Satara, Maharashtra and NUMAC, MIDC, Hingna,
Nagpur, Maharashtra for developing and commercialization
of product.

DST, DSIR and DBT awards

Apart from these awards DST, DSIR and DBT awards were
also presented. The winning companies are: Kritikal Secure
Scan, Noida; Neurosynaptic Communication, Bangalore;
Aurora Integrated Systems, Bangalore and Veejay Lakshmi
Engineering Works, Coimbatore

The award for the best technology business Incubator was
given to Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, IIM,
Ahmedabad.

Dr. Kalam also launched products of these companies.
They are:

(i)
(a) Company Profile - Kritikal Secure Scan Pvt. Ltd., Noida
(U.P.) Kritikal Secure Scan a technology product
development company which provides high security and
surveillance based product in critical areas like Airport, VIP
Zone, and Hotels through computer vision and image
processing.

(b) Product Profile Zen Scan hold the distinction of being
completely developed in-house and is an under vehicle
scanner system that incorporate the latest security and
scanning technology complemented by the largest
installation base in India.

(ii)
(a) Company Profile - Neurosynaptic Communication Pvt.
Ltd., Bangalore - The company got Technology Pioneer -
2008 Award in the healthcare area for ReMeDi by the
World Economic Forum. It is the only Indian company to
receive this recognition in 2008 at World Economic Forum.

(b) Product Profile The company has a indigenously
developed a tele-medicine solution called ReMeDi, in
collaboration with T-Net Group of IIT, Madras and has
developed medical equipment that can record physical and
clinical parameter for the diagnosis of a patient remotely by
a Doctor. This helps a rural population gain access to
quality health care.

(iii)
(a) Company Profile - Aurora Integrated Systems Private
Limited, Bangalore, incorporated in 2006, is promoted by a
team of young entrepreneurs graduated from IIT with an
objective to develop and manufacture small Unmanned
Aerial Vehicles (UAV) primarily for civil and defence
markets. The team has expertise in embedded systems,
computer vision solutions, aircraft design, network solutions
and guidance & control systems.

(b) Product Profile Unmanned Arial Vehicle (UAV) is
designed for over-the-hill reconnaissance to provide image
intelligence in real time. It is hand launched with very long
capability that is ideal for providing increased situational
awareness. UAV is equipped with payloads, including front
and side locked electric optic camera(s) with zoom and
forward looking infrared. The UAV weigh upto 2 kg with
endurance of 1 hour, flying range of 10 km and cruise speed
of 55 kmphr. The product is ready for commercialization.

(iv)


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(a) Company Profile M/s Veejay Lakshmi Engineering
Works Limited, Coimbatore, incorporated in 1974, is in the
business of manufacturing textile machineries. The main
products being manufactured, with significant market stake,
are Two-for-One (TFO) twisting machine and Automatic
Cone Winding machine (ACW). The company is presently
the only manufacturer of the ACW machine in the country.

(b) Product Profile The company has indigenously
developed a new generation Automatic Cone Winding
Machine incorporating latest technology in mechatronics
and information technology. The Automatic Cone Winder is
used in Textile Spinning Mills for post spinning operation for
winding yarn from bobbins to cones and the yarn faults are
also identified and eliminated by both Electronic Yarn
Clearer and Splicer. All the new Electronic Yarn Clearers
can be integrated with the new machine.

Samsung India Tagore Awards announced

Samsung India and the Sahitya Akademi instituted the
Tagore Awards to recognise and felicitate the best literary
contributions of writers who have given their all to nurture
regional language writing in India. The second edition of the
awards organised in Mumbai in May 2011, honoured writers
in Assamese, Dogri, Marathi, Oriya, Rajasthani, Santali,
Tamil and Urdu for their works across different genres
including essays, poetry, biography or autobiography. List
Of Samsung Tagore Award winners:
Language: Assamese Genre: Short Stories Debabrata
Das for Nirbachita Galpa Year of Publication: 2007
Language: Dogri Genre: Poetry Santosh Khajuria for
Badlondian Bahaaraan Year of Publication: 2006
Language: Marathi Genre: Criticism
Prof RG Jadhav for Nivadak Samiksha Year of
Publication: 2006
Language: Oriya Genre: Poetry Brajnath Rath for
Samanya Asamanya Year of Publication: 2007
Language: Rajasthani Genre: Short Stories Vijay Dan
Detha for Bataan Ri Fulwari Vol.14 Year of
Publication: 2008
Language: Santhali Genre: Novel Somai Kisku for
Namalia Year of Publication: 2008
Language: Tamil Genre: Novel S Ramakrishnan for
Yaamam Year of Publication: 2007
Language: Urdu Genre: Poetry Chander Bhan Khayal for
Subah-e-Mashriq Year of Publication: 2008


Merkel chosen for Jawaharlal Nehru Award: New
Delhi: German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on May 9,
2011 chosen for the 2009 Jawaharlal Nehru Award for
International Understanding for her enormous efforts toward
sustainable and equitable development. The award carries
prize money of Rs.1 crore besides a trophy and citation.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Mother
Teresa, Kenneth Kaunda, Aung San Suu Kyi, Hosni
Mubarak, Josip Broz Tito and Nelson Mandela are some of
past recipients of the award.

Women bag top 2 positions in civil services exam:
The top two positions in the Civil Services Examination
2010, the results of which were announced by the Ministry
of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on May 11,
2011, have been bagged by women candidates. A total of
920 candidates 717 men and 203 women have been
recommended for appointment to the Indian Administrative
Service, the Indian Foreign Service, the Indian Police
Service and other Central Services. Chennai-based law
student S. Divyadharshini stood first in the examination.
Sweta Mohanty, who studied B. Tech in Hyderabad, took
the second rank. R.V. Varun Kumar, who has studied
dentistry in Chennai, is in third place. Among the top 25
candidates, five are women, 15 have an engineering
background, five are from the medical sciences and five
belong to Commerce, Management, Humanities, Science
and Social Sciences.

Govt. announces award named after Tagore: The
Indian government has decided to institute a Rs. 1 crore
award in the name of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore
on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his birth. The
government of India has decided to institute a prestigious
international award in the name of Rabindranath Tagore to
recognise very distinguished contributions towards the
promotion of international brotherhood and fraternity, said
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, inaugurating the year-long
celebrations on May 7, 2011. The first award is likely to be
presented next summer. Each year, a jury headed by the
Prime Minister will select a person of outstanding public
eminence whose life and work epitomises the high
universal ideals that Rabindranath Tagore stood for.

Orissa NGO wins Equator Prize: Orissa Chief Minister
Naveen Patnaik on May 13, 2011 felicitated B. Chittiama
and Mangaraj Panda, the members of Samudram Womens
Federation (SWF) that received the prestigious Equator
Prize for the 2010. As many as 25 groups from across the
world have been selected for The Equator Prize which is
awarded to recognise and celebrate outstanding community
efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation of
biodiversity. Winners of the Equator Prize 2010 received Rs.
2.24 lakh each. SWF is the only organisation from India to
receive the prize. The SWF, comprising 1500 members
across the State, is working on twin objectives
empowering women and protecting threatened nesting sites
of Olive Ridley Turtle. The organisation has taken up
conservation campaigns against ecologically destructive
pollution and fishing practices.

Julian Assange awarded Sydney Peace Prize:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was on May 11, 2011
awarded the Sydney Peace Foundations top honour for
exceptional courage in pursuit of human rights. Assange,


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an Australian former computer hacker who is fighting
extradition from Britain to Sweden over alleged sex crimes,
was praised and rewarded with the Sydney Peace Prizes
Gold Medal. Though the Peace Prize is awarded annually
by the foundation, only three other people in its 14-year
history have been awarded the gold award for courage in
pursuit of human rights the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela
and Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda. The
foundation paid tribute to Assanges determination to seek
greater transparency and accountability from governments
around the world, having challenged centuries old practices
of government secrecy. Assange is the founder of the
WikiLeaks whistleblowing website that has published
thousands of cables in which U.S. diplomats give their often
candid views on world leaders, to Washingtons acute
embarrassment. It has also leaked countless secret
documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Whitley Award for IISER professor: Ramana Athreya,
associate professor Indian Institute of Science Education
and Research (IISER), Pune, has been honoured with
Whitley Award, one of the worlds top prizes for grassroots
nature conservation, at the Royal Geographic Society in
London on May 12, 2011. The prize includes a project grant
of 30,000, donated by the Friends of the Whitley Fund for
Nature (WFN). It recognises Athreyas work with Eco-
Systems India to unite Arunachal Pradeshs culturally
diverse communities, forestry staff and government officials
to work together to safeguard the states scenic beauty and
wildlife. The top honour the 60,000 Whitley Gold Award
went to marine biologist Rachel Graham of Belize, for her
work to protect sharks and coastal biodiversity and
safeguard livelihood and food security of Belizes fishing
communities and its economically-important tourism
industry.

Mouttappa wins Chevalier award: The Consul General
of France in Puducherry, Pierre Fournier, conferred the
Chevalier dans lordre des arts et des letters (Knights of the
order of Arts and Letters) on musicologist J. Gaspar
Arokiaraj Mouttappa at the French Consulate at Puducherry
on May 12, 2011. Commonly known as the Chevalier
award, the honour has been presented to Mouttappa for his
contribution and commitment in serving the culture of both
France and India.

Kerala Tourism ad film wins honour at NY festival:
Your Moment is Waiting, a three-minute advertisement film
of Kerala Tourism has won the bronze medal for
cinematography and three certificates for Travel TV and
cinema advertising, film direction and music score at the
New York Indian film festival on May 12, 2011. The film,
conceptualised and created by Stark Communications, was
the only ad film from India to win an award this year at the
festival. The film has already won several awards at the
global level including three gold medals at the Pacific Asia
Travel Association (PATA) international awards and a
bronze at the Berlin Golden Gate awards. V Venu,
Secretary, Kerala Tourism, said the departments aim was
to break through the clutter in the area of tourism and
depict our destination in a different, true-to-life manner.


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Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
NEWS ROUND UP

CCI releases regulation for M&As in corporate
sector

The regulations pertaining to mergers and amalgamations
(M&A) were issued by the Competition Commission of India
(CCI) Chairman Dhanendra Kumar on May 12, 2011. The
regulations operationalise the sections 5 and 6 relating to
mergers and combinations of the Competition Act, 2002.

The CCI agreed to almost all demands by Corporate India
and significantly diluted the regulations when compared with
the revised draft put in public domain in February. Besides
sparing a bulk of routine transactions from knocking at its
doors for approval, the CCI took care of the concerns of
Indian multinationals by exempting M&As with no positive
impact on the domestic market.

Exempted
The regulations exempt companies from notifying M&A
deals to the CCI talks for which were initiated before June 1.

Deals in which the target companys assets and turnover
are less than Rs 250 crore and Rs 750 crore respectively
are exempted.

The CCI has also exempted certain routine M&A deals like
acquisition of shares or voting rights solely as an investment
or in the ordinary course of business; acquisition of stock-in-
trade, raw materials, stores and spares in the ordinary
course of business; acquisition of shares after a bonus
issue or stock splits or acquisition of shares by underwriter
among other transactions.

Time for decision
Scrutiny of all M&A deals will be completed by the CCI
within 180 calendar days.

Pre-condition for notifications
Under the Act, if the combined asset and turnover of the
merging entities exceeds Rs 1,500 crore and Rs 4,500 crore
respectively, the companies will have to seek approval of
the CCI.

Only when the target companys assets and turnover will
exceed Rs 250 crore and Rs 750 crore respectively, the
deal would have to be notified to the CCI.

Notice fees
Regulatory compliance has also been made much more
cheaper by drastically reducing the fee for filing the notice.
Companies will have to pay Rs 50,000 to fill form I (which
requires just preliminary information about the deal)
compared with Rs 40 lakh proposed in the February draft.

Govt. to conduct 6
th
economic census as a
central sector plan scheme

The Union Government on May 13, 2011 unveiled plans to
conduct the Sixth Economic Census as a Central Sector
Plan Scheme during 2012. The Ministry of Statistics and
Programme Implementation plans to carry out the fieldwork
of this Census during January to June 2012, in collaboration
with all State and Union Territory Governments. Dr. M. S.
Gill, Union Minister of Statistics and Programme
Implementation has reviewed the plan of action for the
conduct of the Sixth Economic Census.

The census would involve collection of data from
entrepreneurial units in the country. Data on sectoral activity
of the unit, number of workers, social group of the owner,
female owned enterprise among others would be collected
for micro level planning and policy formulations with respect
to various economic activities.

The unorganized sector has assumed greater importance
due to its significant contribution towards the Gross
Domestic Product and also in generation of employment.
The database would enable policy makers and analysts to
assess the impact of the economic liberalization process on
entrepreneurial activities, especially in the unorganized
sector.

The data at lower geographical levels like tehsil/village in
case of rural areas, and wards in the case of urban areas,
would also be a valuable input for local level planning
required under 73
rd
and 74
th
Constitutional Amendments.
Further, the information on number and distribution of
entrepreneurial units would provide the framework for
undertaking follow-up statistical sample surveys to assess
the individual contribution of various industrial sectors, in the
countrys GDP.

SC imposes two-month ban on endosulfan

The Supreme Court on May 14, 2011 imposed a two-month
immediate country-wide ban on the production, sale and
use of controversial pesticide endosulfan, awaiting the
report of an expert committee to study side effects of the
chemical. The court said its order was an interim measure in
view of the threat perception to human life. Meanwhile the
government is gearing up to find a cost-effective and
sustainable alternative for farmers, following the ban.



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While ordering the ban on endosulfan, a Supreme Court
bench headed by Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia also ordered
two separate detailed studies on the adverse effects of the
pesticide on human life and environment by two committees
headed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
Director General and the Agricultural Commissioner and
sought their reports within eight weeks. They will study the
impact of endosulfan on farming, its benefits and drawbacks
and also the kind of alternatives available.

The sense of urgency is also due to the upcoming kharif
season, which starts in June. India is the biggest producer
and consumer of endosulfan and the pesticide has large
usages in pulses, mustard, sunflower, fruits and vegetables
crops. The country annually produces around 12 million
litres of endosulfan, of which 5-6 million litres is used during
the kharif season. The alternative to endosulfan is priced 5-
10 times more than the pesticide.

The court passed its order on a petition filed by the
Communist Party of India (Marxist)s youth wing, the
Democratic Youth Federation of India, seeking a country-
wide ban on the sale and production of endosulfan in its
present form or any other derivatives in the market.

Guidelines on clinical trials introduced, firms
to pay for deaths, injuries

Companies conducting clinical trials in India will not be able
to get away in case any untoward incident occurs during the
tests. As per the new draft guidelines released on May 11,
2011, for the first time, it has been made mandatory for
companies to take the written consent of the volunteer,
stating his/her socio-economic status.

Also, companies will have to compensate if any untoward
incident happens during the trials.

The guidelines gain significance following the controversy
over the deaths of girls in Andhra Pradesh, allegedly during
the trials of the HPV vaccine for cervical cancer. Questions
regarding their socio-economic background and proper
consent not being taken have been raised.

Currently, pharmaceutical industries and contract research
organisations use multiple formats for reporting serious
adverse effects (SAE) during trials. The Drug Controller
General of India (DCGI) has made it clear that the
companies would have to provide details of serious adverse
effects as per a uniform format to the DCGI and the Director
General Health Services. As per the new regulations, all
cases of serious adverse effects will have to be reported to
DCGI within 14 days.

The new draft guidelines also make it mandatory for
companies to submit a causality assessment by an
investigator and the medical monitor of the companies or
research organisations.

The primary objective of the guidelines is to make sure
consent is voluntarily taken and compensation is given.

According to Health Ministry data, 670 deaths took place in
2010 during clinical trials; 132 deaths were reported in
2007, 288 deaths in 2008 and 637 deaths in 2009.

From January 2010 till now, permission has been granted
for about 117 global clinical trials (by international
companies) and 134 local (Indian) trials.

In 2009, 258 global and 195 local trials took place in India.
In 2008, approximately 246 global and 275 local trials took
place.

Parikh committee recommends higher tax on
diesel vehicles

An expert group constituted to plan a low-carbon growth for
the country has concluded that India can comfortably reach
its target of 20-25 per cent reductions in its emission
intensity by the year 2020 compared to 2005 levels, even
while pursuing a growth rate of 9 per cent.

This expert group, led by former Planning Commission
member Kirit Parikh, was constituted in the wake of the
2009 climate change conference in Copenhagen, to suggest
policies and initiatives for a low-carbon roadmap for India.
This group submitted its interim report on May 9, 2011.

The interim report says that just a proper implementation of
the existing policies by the government would enable India
to reduce its emission intensity the amount of
greenhouse gas emissions released per unit of GDP by
about 25 per cent by the year 2020 as compared to 2005
levels.

With a little extra effort, through new policy interventions
and vigilant implementation, India can bring down its
emissions intensity by 32-35 per cent. The report projects
two scenarios one with existing policies and another with
new interventions, and lists possibilities for growth both at 8
per cent and 9 per cent. The group has based its findings on
the study of five sectors power, transport, industry,
buildings and forestry.

The report says that diesel cars and SUVs owners should
pay higher tax when purchasing these vehicles. While
diesel is cheaper in India, diesel cars will cost more as the
committee suggest an up-front tax on vehicles to
compensate for differential fuel pricing.

The group also recommended mandatory vehicle rating
system and minimum efficiency standards for all vehicles.


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The committee views that the measures will lead to a 10%
reduction in fuel consumption along with improvement in air
quality, road safety, mobility and energy security.

Green building norms find prominence in the report. It says
that if 10% of the new buildings adopt the star rating
system, it would save 50% of emission, if 10% new
structures are energy conservation building code compliant,
it would save 30% of emission.

The government has announced to set up another high-
level expert group to evaluate impact of economic growth on
environment and suggest ways to introduce institutional
reforms and policy changes. This new panel to be
headed by environmental economist Partha Dasgupta
will provide roadmap for Green National Accounting (GNA),
which will analyze the impact on GDP growth on
environment by 2015.


Electronic Service Delivery Bill, 2011
introduced

The Electronic Service Delivery Bill, 2011, which aims at
delivering all public services to citizens in the electronic
mode, seeks to eliminate paperwork on a large scale and
cut red tape & corruption that plague governance in the
country. The draft Bill published by the Ministry of
Information Technology at its website in May 2011
incorporates a complaints mechanism and prescribes
penalties for failure to comply with the provisions.

It sets a five-year deadline for all public services to make
the online transition, with a further concession of three years
in some cases. The Bill envisages electronic submission of
forms and applications, issue or grant of any licence, permit,
certificate, sanction or approval, and receipt or payment of
money. The introduction of the Bill is timely given Indias
poor record of delivery of citizen services.

The draft provisions make it incumbent on the central and
State governments to publish a list within six months of the
date of enactment, and they would do well to pick the worst-
performing departments for inclusion first.

India needs a major initiative on electronic service delivery
and e-governance. That it has done little to use Information
and Communications Technology to help citizens is evident
from its 119
th
rank among 192 countries in the United
Nations E-Government Development Index 2010. Although
there is no standardised measure of e-governance, the
indicators used by the U.N. online service availability,
telecom infrastructure, and human capital suggest that
India is below the world average for the composite index.


India, Australia to launch FTA talks in June

Setting a target of doubling bilateral trade in five years, India
and Australia on May 12, 2011 agreed to start talks on a
comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) in June. This
was announced by Union Commerce and Industry Minister
Anand Sharma in a joint press conference with Australian
Trade Minister Craig Emerson at Canberra, Australia. A free
trade agreement will open up markets in goods and services
and facilitate investments in both countries.

Services is one area where India is seen benefiting the
most, as an FTA would offer more opportunities to Indian
professionals to work in Australia. India also expects to
make gains from greater market access for goods such as
pharmaceuticals.

Bilateral trade between the two economies was about $20
billion in 2009-10, tilted in favour of Australia because of
Indias need for natural resources. Australias main exports
to India include coal, gold, copper, fertilisers, manganese,
wool and aluminium. India is also a big contributor to
Australias lucrative foreign student market. India mainly
exports machinery & equipment, clothing, diamonds, iron
and steel products and medicines to Australia. In the nine
months to March, India had a trade deficit of A$9.6 billion
with Australia. Indias share is likely to go up once the FTA
was in place.

FDI in Limited Liability Partnership cos.
allowed

The government on May 11, 2011 allowed foreign direct
investment (FDI) in Limited Liability Partnership companies
but only in sectors like mining, power, roads and highways,
manufacturing activities, drugs and pharmaceuticals. These
are the sectors where 100 per cent FDI is allowed for
companies through automatic route. But LLPs engaged in
agricultural and plantation activities, print media or real
estate business are not allowed to have FDI, according to
the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic
Affairs.

LLP is a new business structure that has hybrid features of
a partnership firm and a corporate body a companys
limited liability and the flexibility of a partnership firm. The
LLP structure was introduced from April 2009. As on May 2
this year, as many as 4,679 LLPs were registered with the
Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The Cabinet further decided
that foreign institutional investors and foreign venture capital
investors would not be permitted to invest in LLPs.

LLPs will also not be permitted to avail of external
commercial borrowings. Besides, LLPs with FDI will not be
eligible to make any downstream investments. Also, the
Cabinet decided to allow claimants to seek assets of a


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123
deceased up to Rs 10 lakh against the present ceiling of Rs
2 lakh.

Poscos Orissa project gets clearance for land
acquisition: The environment ministry on May 2, 2011
gave the Orissa government the go-ahead for using 1,253
hectares forest land for the project. The final approval has
come six years after Poscos agreement with the state
government. This will be the biggest foreign direct
investment into the country to date. Posco had got the
environmental clearance in January, but with 60 riders. The
project was held up on the issue of use of forest land. The
final nod has also come with riders. One is that Posco
cannot export iron ore. Posco would also have to pay for
regeneration of an equivalent degraded forest land in a
district determined by the state government. The Orissa
government and Posco had signed an agreement on June
22, 2005, for setting up an integrated steel plant with a
capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum (with four million
tonnes in the first phase) at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur
district. The project requires about 1,621 hectares land, of
which about 1,253 hectares is forest land.

RBI sets up committee on forex facilities to
individuals: The Reserve Bank on May 10, 2011 set up a
committee for streamlining foreign exchange transactions
and also invited comments from public and other
stakeholders for improving facilities pertaining to
investments and repatriation of funds. The Reserve Bank,
while referring to the Monetary Policy Statement for 2011-
12, said in a statement that the Committee chaired by
former RBI Deputy Governor K J Udeshi has been set up to
streamline and simplify the procedures for facilitating
genuine foreign exchange transactions by individuals. The
individuals are categorised into residents, non-resident
Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and
expatriates employed in India under the Foreign Exchange
Management Act (FEMA), 1999.

Exports from SEZs up 43% in 2010-11: Exports from
special economic zones (SEZs) grew 43.11 per cent to Rs
3.15 lakh crore in 2010-11, according to the data of the
Export Promotion Council for EOUs on May 10, 2011.
During 2009-10, exports from SEZs stood at Rs 2.20 lakh
crore. The total investments in Special Economic Zones
(SEZs) as on March, 2011 are about Rs 2 lakh crore. The
sector has provided employment to 6 lakh people as on
March 31, this year. The council said that of the 584
formally approved SEZs, 377 have been notified and 133
are in operation. At present, these units in these zones
enjoy 100 per cent tax exemption on their income for the
first five years and 50 per cent in the next five years.

Credit cards transaction up over 22% in 2010-11:
Transaction through credit cards in the country went up by
22.15 per cent during 2010-11, touching Rs 75,515.68 crore
in value terms. Credit card transactions during the previous
fiscal had amounted to Rs 61,824.15 core, according to
latest data of the Reserve Bank unveiled on May 11, 2011.
The number of credit cards in circulation have, however,
declined by around 1.5 per cent to 1.80 crore as on March
31, 2011, from 1.83 crore in the same period of the previous
fiscal. Meanwhile, debit card transactions jumped by
46.46 per cent in the last fiscal to Rs 38,691.88 crore as
against Rs 26,418.11 crore in 2009-10. There were 22.78
crore debit cards in use in the country as on March 31,
2011, up over 25 per cent over the figure of 18.19 crore in
the year-ago period.

Home loan priority tag revised: The Reserve Bank of
India on May 9, 2011 raised housing loan limit to up to Rs.
25 lakh against the existing Rs. 20 lakh to be eligible for
classification as priority sector lending. This was announced
by the finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, in the Budget
2011-12. This change in categorisation is applicable to
housing loans sanctioned on or after April 1, 2011.

India to invite bids for exploration of shale gas
reserves: India will soon launch its first- ever bid round for
exploration of shale gas, oil regulator DGH Director General
S K Srivastava said at the 14
th
Energy Summit organised by
Assocham in New delhi on May 10, 2011. As per the
available data and studies undertaken, India has huge shale
gas potential. Six basins, namely Cambay, Assam-Arakan,
Gondawana, KG onshore, Cauvery onshore and Indo
Gangatic basins, have been identified. India has so far only
explored and produced conventional oil and gas as well as
unconventional sources like coal bed methane (CBM).
Shale gas, the gas trapped in sedimentary rocks below the
earths surface, is the new focus area in the US, Canada
and China as an alternative to conventional oil and gas for
meeting growing energy needs.

RIL stops gas supply to non-priority sector:
Reliance Industries (RIL) on May 10, 2011 cut natural gas
supplies to non-core users like refineries and steel plants
following orders from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural
Gas. With gas production from RILs block in the Krishna
Godavari (KG) basin seeing a decline to 50 million standard
cubic metres a day (mscmd) from 62 mscmd in March 2010,
the government has asked RIL to give priority to users in
fertiliser, LPG, power and city gas distribution sectors. This
meant cutting supply to users in the steel, petrochemical
and refining sectors.

PNGRB can now process CNG, city gas & PNG
licences: The Supreme Court on May 12, 2011 allowed oil
regulator PNGRB to process all pending applications for the
grant of licences to provide retail CNG to automobiles and
piped cooking gas to households in cities. The Petroleum
and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) had not been
able to issue a single city gas distribution (CGD) license
during its four-year existence as the government had not


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notified a crucial section of the PNGRB Act that gave the
multimember board powers to issue such authorisations.
Section 16 of the PNGRB Act was notified last year and on
May 12, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Dalveer
Bhandari allowed applications for CGD licences to be
processed by the multi-member board.

ISMA lowers sugar output estimate to 24.2 mt:
Indias sugar production in the 2010-11 crop marketing
season was estimated to be 24.2 million tonnes (mt), down
from the earlier estimates of 25 mt, the Indian Sugar Mills
Association (Isma), the countrys premier association of
sugar industry, said on May 14, 2011. However, the
marginal drop in output is not expected to have any
significant impact on prices as supplies are still expected to
be more than the annual demand of 22 mt.

CSIR registers pvt co. to reap profits on patents:
Aiming to monetise its numerous patents, the Council of
Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched a
private company to commercialise various technologies.
The company CSIR-Tech was registered in Pune on
May 2, 2011 with economist Vijay Kelkar as Chairman.
CSIR, countrys largest network of state-funded research
laboratories, holds nearly 4,000 patents, including those
registered in the country and abroad. CSIR Director General
Samir Brahmachari said that CSIR-Tech has been set up to
enhance the innovation capacity of CSIR and to explore
newer models of bringing processes, products and services
to the markets.

Karnataka launches e-payment for commercial tax
payers: Karnataka on May 12, 2011 became the first state
in the country to launch an e-payment system for
commercial tax payers. Reserve Bank of India Deputy
Governor Shyamala Gopinath said that such a system
would be adopted by other states. The system enables
dealers to remit their commercial taxes anytime, anywhere,
without physically approaching an office of the Commercial
Taxes Department (CTD). Right now, e-remittances can be
made from six banks SBI, SBM, SBH, Syndicate Bank,
Canara Bank and Union Bank of India. The system would
also help curb tax evasion. Gopinath also launched the
reconciliation portal of the CTD on the occasion.

New Socio Economic Classification introduced:
The Media Research Users Council (MRUC) and Market
Research Society of India (MRSI) have together introduced
a new Socio Economic Classification (SEC) system in May
2011. The changes in SEC, brought about after 25 years,
will mean that urban and rural consumers will now come
under one roof and households will be classified on the
basis of educational qualifications of the chief earner in the
household and the number of consumer durables owned by
the family. Occupation was considered as a subjective
indicator of socio-economic indicator and hence removed.
Experts point out that the earlier system needed to be
modified as the purchasing power among Indian consumers
has gone up significantly in the last two decades.

World Spice Organisation formed: In an effort at
connecting end-users to farmers and address food safety
and security laws at the farm level, stakeholders in the spice
industry have come together to form the World Spice
Organisation. The Kochi-based organisation is a common
platform for all stakeholders farmers, processors and end
users to come together and work for sustainable
development of the spice industry, WSO Chairman Philip
Kuruvilla said on May 10, 2011 in Kochi.

Indo-American Chamber of Commerce to open its
1
st
office in NY: Indo-American Chamber of Commerce
(IACC) will soon open its first office in New York, aimed at
facilitating cooperation between the US and Indian small
and medium enterprises. The chamber would also organise
the US-India Trade and Economics (UITE) 2011, wherein
members would deliberate on issues like infrastructure, real
estate, agriculture and finance. IACC would take a 50-
member business delegation to the US to participate in the
two-day summit starting May 25. IACC President Gautam
Mahajan on May 10, 2011 said that the chambers initiative
is aimed at encouraging investments and building a healthy
relationship with both the countries.




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Section E: SPORTS

Gopi Chand, Saina part ways: Indias ace woman
shuttler and World No. 4 Saina Nehwal will not be trained by
Pullela Gopi Chand anymore. Gopi Chand, who is also the
national coach, will be succeeded by Bhaskar Babu (SAI
coach). Under Bhaskars guidance, Saina won the bronze
medal in the Commonwealth Games in 2006, the
Philippines Open her first international title and the Asian
Satellite Badminton Tournament in 2006. In 2007, she went
on to win the senior nationals and the Chinese Taipei Open
Grand Prix. In 2010, two of Nehwals three successive titles
Indonesia and Singapore came with Bhaskar Babu
court-side, as did Hong Kong later. Nehwals first major final
loss at Malaysia Open in May 2011 was Babus latest
assignment.

Mary Kom clinches gold in Asian Cup: Five-time
World champion M C Mary Kom (48kg) clinched her first
gold medal of the year by finishing on top in the Asian Cup
Womens Boxing tournament in Haikou, China in May 2011.
Kom claimed the gold after beating Asian champion Kim
Myong Sim of North Korea 4-3 in the final. This was her first
tournament since her bronze medal at the 2010 Guangzhou
Asian Games. The other Indian in the fray, Pavitra (57kg)
had to face defeat in the final as she lost 6-11 to
Tossamalee Thonalan of Thailand. Earlier in the tournament
Neetu (60kg), Kavita Goyat (75kg), Laxmi Padiya (81kg)
and Kavita Chahal (+81kg) earned bronze medals for their
performances.

Pinki Jangra wins gold at Arafura Games: Pinki
Jangra (51kg) on May 13, 2011 was the lone Indian pugilist
to strike gold at the Arafura Games while two of her
compatriots settled for silver medals after losing in the finals
of the event in Darwin, Australia. The 21-year-old Jangra,
who beat Siona Fernandes of New Zealand 18-13, also won
the Best Boxer title. Among men, Vijender Singh (81kg)
and Akhil Kumar (56kg) settled for bronze medals after
losing in the semifinals.

FIH to launch Project Chak De: The International
Hockey Federation (FIH) on May 11, 2011 announced its
intention to make India a hub of hockey activities. Unveiling
its plan of reviving its erstwhile Project India, now called
FIH Project Chak De, the FIH has charted out the major
features of the initiative. Under the project, the FIH
promised five important tournaments to be held in India in
the next three years, creation of a professional Indian
league, administrative and international coaching support to
assist Hockey India and support to schools and academies.
FIH President Leandro Negre and Chief Executive Kelly
Fairweather on May 11, 2011 agreed to commit a few more
events to India apart from those already allotted following
the success of the World Cup and Commonwealth Games
2010.

Harikrishna & Harika win Asian Chess: Grandmaster
P. Harikrishna and double GM norm holder D. Harika made
it a grand Indian double in the Asian Individual Chess
Championships at Mashhad, Iran as they clinched the gold
in the open and womens sections respectively in May 2011.
There were more cheers for India in the womens section,
as apart from Harika, Eesha Karavade also won the bronze
medal.

Manchester United win EPL title: Manchester United
were crowned English Premier League champions after a
Wayne Rooney penalty earned them the point they needed
in a 1-1 draw away to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park,
Blackburn on May 14, 2011. The result meant Sir Alex
Fergusons side clinched a record 19
th
EPL title, going one
in front of arch-rivals Liverpool.

Barcelona secure La Liga Spanish title hat-trick:
Barcelona clinched their third Spanish La Liga title in a row
with a 1-1 draw at Levante on May 11, 2011. Their rivals
Real Madrid will finish as runners-up for the third season in
a row. Real are 19 points ahead of third-place Valencia.
Much of Barcelonas success has been built on the
phenomenal abilities of reigning world player of the year
Lionel Messi, who has weighed in with 31 league goals, on
his way to becoming the first player to score 50 goals in a
Spanish season.

Tendulkar wins Polly Umrigar Award: Batsman
Sachin Tendulkar is all set to add another trophy to his
already crowded cupboard with the BCCI on May 14, 2011
deciding to bestow the Polly Umrigar Award for Indias best
cricketer of 2009-10 on him. Tendulkar would be presented
the award during the fourth annual BCCI awards ceremony
on May 31. The other highlight of the ceremony will be the
felicitation of the Indian team that won the coveted cricket
World Cup after 28 years recently. Another highlight will be
the presentation of the C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement
Award. The recipient of the same will be announced on 27
May 2011. The winner will receive a trophy and cheque for
Rs. 15 lakhs.




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Weekly Current Affairs update
For the Week: May 15 to 21, 2011

Major news of the week

Section A: INDIA

Union Cabinet approves BPL Census
India, Uzbekistan sign 30 MoUs during Karimov visit
Foundation stone for Agartala Check Post unveiled
Air Marshal NAK Browne will be the next Chief of Air Staff
NAC draft Communal Violence Bill released
MPCC renamed Tagore Cultural Complexes
Govt. modifies Tagore Fellowship for Cultural Research
Government orders update of fugitives list
Allahabad HC stays land acquisition by Noida Authority
Rail Bandhu launched
Govt. to provide easy access to sanitary napkins
Anti-Terrorism Day observed
Committee on IITs calls for 5-fold rise in fees
17
th
Know India Programme organised
India must increase healthcare spend WHO
Silent Observer to check female foeticide
Bihars 1st River Patrolling Police Station launched
Tatas open cancer hospital in Kolkata
Lok Sabha Speaker unveils Tagore bust in Seoul
Theni neutrino observatory site gets clearance
75% of Himalayan glaciers on retreat ISRO
Defence Minister inaugurates Karwar township
India-Pak hold talks on Sir Creek dispute
BJP parades Karnataka MLAs before President
AG says Army Chiefs birth year is 1950
Kanimozhi denied bail, sent to Tihar jail
Kalmadi the brain behind TSR scam CBI
Mamata to return Singurs 400 acres to farmers
Mamata resigns as Railway Minister
Mamata Banerjee is new CM of West Bengal
Oommen Chandy sworn in as Kerala CM
Rangasamy sworn in as Puducherry CM
Gogoi sworn in as CM of Assam
J. Jayalalithaa sworn in as CM of Tamil Nadu
West Bengal Pro-tem Speaker sworn in
Shaan is Tobacco Control Ambassador of India'
Dramatist Sircar passes away
Photographer Benu Sen passes away
Kisan leader Tikait passes away

Section B: WORLD
PM Manmohan Singh to attend India-Africa Forum
World Summit on Information Society held in Geneva
World Meteorological Congress organised in Geneva
International Museum Day Celebrated
Endeavour docks with International Space Station
Bangladesh leases farmland in Africa
Conference on Devanagari organised
Singapore Indians get key portfolios in cabinet
Pakistans Shamsi airbase is under UAE control
Worlds largest womens university launched
Debt-hit Portugal gets 78 bn euro bailout
El-Arabi is new Secretary General of Arab League
King of Bhutan announces engagement
A. Raja in Times Top 10 Abuses of Power
Strauss-Kahn resigns as IMF Managing Director
US imposes sanctions against Syrian President Assad
Saudi diplomat shot dead in Pakistan
Trial of 97-year-old Nazi war criminal begins
Last WWI combat veteran Choules passes away
Section C: AWARDS
58
th
National Film Awards announced
Dr. Raghuvansh conferred Moortidevi Award
High Court judge wins PETA Compassionate Action award
Dr. Gullapalli N. Rao presented Kupfer Award
Sriram, Dabholkar win Doors to Diplomacy Award in US
Indian doctors win British Medical Journal awards
Gulshan Kumar creates wheelchair spinning record
Premlata is oldest Indian woman to scale Mt Everest
Delhi student scales Mt. Lhotse
Trisha Rays film wins Gold Remi at Houstons Worldfest
Coen brothers win $1m Dan David Prize
Philip Roth wins the Man Booker Prize

Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
World Bank for streamlining of anti-poverty schemes
India ranked 32nd in world competitiveness
SEZ Exports in 2010-11 grow 43%
Paperless compliance under Companies Act 1956 enabled
Govt policy to boost domestic electronic hardware industry
1% interest waiver on loan against warehouse receipts
India not for IPR beyond domestic law in FTA with EU PM
Consumer Price Index at 106 in April 2011
Tamil Nadu is top state in bio-fertilizer production
Govt. to offload equity in Scooters India Ltd
Govt. approves Neyveli Lignites power project
PCRA to set up Indias 1
st
Carbon Credit Centre in Rajasthan
25-paisa coins to be phased out by June 30
Natural gas, fertilisers included in core sector data
Petrol price hiked by Rs. 5 a litre
SC orders release of 5 mn tonnes of foodgrains
Star Alliance sets deadline for Air India to join
Indias seafood exports grow 25.5% in 2010-11
Govt. to set up of Debt Management Office
Testing centre for vehicles to be set up in Rohtak
CII for continuation of export incentive scheme
No. of Indian stocks in MSCI rises to 72
Indian EVMs get first export order
Sand artist is NALCO brand ambassador
Bharat-Oman Bina refinery inaugurated
Amit Mitra resigns from FICCI



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Section E: SPORTS


Shane Warne retires from international Cricket
West Indies beat Pakistan in first test
Australia wins Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
Sharapova wins Rome International
Somdev Devvarman rises to career best ranking
Djokovic wins Rome Masters
Natt, Gaudet to coach national basketball teams
Khade wins 3 golds at Malaysia Open Swimming
Porto wins Europa League
Orissa wins national womens football
Maradona to coach Dubai club
Annu Raj Singh wins silver in shooting World Cup


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Section A: INDIA

NEWS ROUND UP

Union Cabinet approves BPL Census

The Union Cabinet on May 19, 2011 gave approval for
conducting the Below Poverty Line (BPL) Census in rural
and urban areas. The Census would be conducted by the
Ministry of Rural Development in association with the
Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA)
and the Registrar General of India (RGI). The BPL Census
would pave the way to identify the households living below
the poverty line in rural and urban areas of the country. The
census would be conducted separately for rural and urban
areas, and would include criteria like caste and religion. The
entire process will be completed by December 2011. The
results of the BPL Census would be utilized in the 12th Five
Year Plan (2012-13 to 2016-17). The enumeration of castes
will also be done simultaneously along with the BPL census.

For rural as well as urban areas
The last BPL census was carried out in 2002. The survey
marks two firsts: firstly, in a break with past practice, the
Below Poverty Line (BPL) Census has been widened to
include urban areas; earlier, it was restricted to rural India.
Secondly, the caste headcount, which will be conducted
simultaneously with the BPL census, will be done for the
first time after 1931.

Identification of BPL households in urban areas
In an effort to refine the BPL census, the government has
redefined what constitutes poverty: BPL households in
urban areas would be identified through an inclusion
criteria, based on three factors place of residence, social
vulnerability (illiteracy, chronic disability or female headed
households etc.) and occupational vulnerability (those in the
most informal and least remunerative sectors).

Identification of BPL households in rural areas
For rural households the automatic exclusion criteria
includes owning at least one two-wheeler; a fishing board;
three-wheeler mechanised agricultural equipment; a kisan
credit card with a limit of Rs. 50,000; 2.5 acre irrigated land
with one irrigation equipment; having government
employment; earnings of more than Rs.10,000 per month;
and paying income tax.

The automatic inclusion criteria include households without
shelter; the destitute or those living on alms; primitive tribal
groups; legally released bonded labourers; and manual
scavengers.

The rest will have to satisfy the seven other deprivation
indicators on a scale from a minimum to seven, where the
order of priority in the BPL list will be from the largest
number of deprivations to the smallest number of
deprivations.

These factors are: households with only one room with
kucha walls and roof; households with no adult member
between 16 and 59 years of age; female-headed household
with no adult male; households with a disabled member;
households with no able-bodied adult member; SC and ST
households with no literate adult above 25 years of age; and
landless households deriving a major part of their income
from manual casual labour.

Union Rural Development Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has
been asked to factor in his colleagues' suggestions before
finalising the seven deprivation indicators.

How will the results be used?
The entire process would be completed by December 2011,
and the results of the BPL census would be utilised in the
12
th
Five Year Plan (2012-13 to 2016-17).

While the BPL lists would be placed in the public domain in
case anyone wishes to challenge inclusions or exclusions,
the data on caste and religion would be given to the
Registrar-General and kept confidential. The last BPL
census was conducted in 2002.

Apart from exposing fake BPL cardholders, the exercise is
expected to bridge the gap between the BPL estimates of
the Planning Commission and various state governments.
Currently, states find the Planning Commissions estimate of
the number of households under the BPL category a gross
underestimate.

The BPL census data would be used for the targeted
subsidy schemes and welfare measures of the Government,
as well as the Aadhar programme of the Unique
Identification Authority of India.

The Government, however, is likely to keep the individual
caste and religion data confidential, while overall figures
may be used in policy planning and released in the public
domain, if required.

What if the figures are challenged?

In the past, many Chief Ministers have challenged the BPL
figures for their States, claiming that the numbers of the
poor were much higher than those computed by the Centre.
If any State government challenged the figures that
emerged from the BPL census, it would have to sort it out
with the Planning Commission.


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India, Uzbekistan sign 30 MoUs

India and Uzbekistan have signed more than 30 bilateral
agreements in areas such as coal gasification, oil and gas,
banking, pharmaceuticals, textiles, science and technology,
standardisation, small and medium enterprises, and
tourism. The agreements were signed during the State visit
of the Uzbek President, Islam Abduganievich Karimov, to
India on May 18, 2011.

Coal: MoU signed was between Open Joint-Stock Company
Uzbeko mir (Uzbekcoal) and GAIL (India) for collaboration
in underground coal gasification in Rajasthan and Tamil
Nadu. Uzbekistan has developed advanced technologies in
coal gasification. The MoU envisages establishment of a
joint working group.

Oil & gas: ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and Uzbekneftegaz
(UNG), the National Oil Company of Uzbekistan inked an
MoU for joint cooperation in upstream oil and gas sector in
Uzbekistan as well as third countries. The MoU provides for
the formation of joint working group for identifying specific
oil and gas fields in Uzbekistan and in third countries for
exploration and production activities. Uzbekneftegaz also
inked an MoU with the Essar Group for cooperation in oil
and gas sector modernisation, gas transport system, and
electronic reading system.

Banking: In the banking sector, an agreement for
cooperation between Export Import Bank of India and
National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of Uzbekistan
was signed. The MoU envisages exchange of information in
areas of trade and financing of projects, especially in the
fields of road building, house construction and oil and gas
sector, which are backed by State guarantees. The two
sides will also pool their resources for collaborative research
and identification of projects in Uzbekistan.

DTAA: A protocol on introducing amendments in the
existing double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA)
signed on July 29, 1993 was agreed upon. The proposed
protocol amends the article on exchange of information on
India-Uzbekistan DTAA to meet internationally accepted
standards and other articles for rationalising the withholding
of tax rates in line with Indias treaty negotiations with other
countries to promote investment and cross border
movement of goods, services and technology.

Chemicals and fertilisers: In the chemicals and fertilisers
sector a memorandum of cooperation for supply of 50,000
tonne of urea and 10,000 tonne potassium chloride to India
was inked. The urea and potassium chloride is to be
supplied between 2011 and 2015. The agreement, one of
the four signed, was inked between Markazsonoat Export
and Birla Holding.
Tourism: An Action plan on Tourism cooperation between
the two countries was also signed during Karimovs vist.


Foundation stone for Agartala Post unveiled

The Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on May 17,
2011 unveiled the foundation stone for the construction of
an Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Agartala in Tripura on the
Indo-Bangladesh border in presence of Chief Minister Manik
Sarkar. The setting up of ICPs along Indias internal border
is a major initiative, which the Government of India has
taken as part of a Plan scheme with an initial outlay of Rs.
635 crores during the 11
th
Five Year Plan. The estimated
cost of Agartala ICP Project is Rs. 73.50 crore and the
project is likely to be completed by July, 2012. Government
of Bangladesh has also been apprised to create similar
infrastructure and facilities to bring about proper synergy.

The Department of Border Management has finalized the
Detailed Project Reports for all the 13 ICPs to be initially set
up on the borders between India and Bangladesh, Nepal,
Pakistan and Myanmar. The construction work of ICPs at
Attari on the Indo-Pakistan border, Raxaul and Jogbani on
the Indo-Nepal border has already started. The ICPs are
envisaged to overcome the infrastructural bottlenecks at the
various entry and exit points on the land borders of the
country. They are expected to provide facilities for the
effective and efficient discharge of sovereign functions such
as security, immigration, customs, quarantine, etc. while
also providing support facilities for smooth cross-border
movement of persons, goods and transport.

The Land Ports Authority of India Act, 2010 has been
notified in the Official Gazette on September 1, 2010. It will
be functional soon. This body will be vested with powers on
the lines of similar bodies like the Airports Authority of India.
LPAI has been envisaged as a statutory body for the
planning, construction, maintenance and management of
these ICPs.

The salient features of the ICP are a modular design,
dedicated lanes for each process, separate gates for traffic
across the border, least traffic conflicts, Self-evident routes,
guide signage and administrative and facility area.

Air Marshal NAK Browne will be the next Chief
of Air Staff

Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal NAK Browne will be the
next Chief of Air Staff on the retirement of Air Chief Marshal
PV Naik from government service on July 31, 2011. Born in
Allahabad on 15 December 1951, Air Marshal NAK Browne
was commissioned into the Fighter stream of Indian Air
Force on 24 June 1972. With about 3100 hours of flying to


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130
his credit, he has had a varied operational experience that
included flying Hunters, all variants of MiG-21s, Jaguars and
SU-30s.

An alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla,
Pune, he is a Fighter Combat Leader, who has also served
as an instructor at the Tactics and Air Combat Development
Establishment (TACDE) - a premiere flying establishment of
the IAF and the Tri-services Defence Services Staff College
(DSSC), Wellington. A graduate of the Air Command and
Staff College, Albama, USA, he had trained with the Royal
Air Force (RAF) in the United Kingdom, on Jaguar aircraft
and went on to command a Jaguar Squadron subsequently.

During his long and distinguished career spanning 38 years,
he has held various operational and staff appointments that
include - Joint Director at Air War Strategy Cell at Air
Headquarters, Chief Operations Officer and Air Officer
Commanding of a SU-30 base, Air-I at New Delhi based
Western Air Command (WAC) and Assistant Chief of the Air
Staff (Intelligence) at Air Headquarters.

He was also responsible for establishing the Indian Defence
Wing in Tel Aviv, Israel in April 1997 where he served as the
Defence Attache till July 2000. From March 2007 to 31 May
2009 he functioned as the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff
(DCAS) at Air Headquarters and was responsible for lAFs
major Modernization Programmes.

Before taking over as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS)
at Air Headquarters on 01 January 2011, he was the AOC-
in-C of Western Air Command, lAFs most vital operational
Command. Under his command and personal supervision,
the first ever landing of an AN-32 (fixed wing aircraft) took
place at Nyoma, Advance Landing Ground (ALG), located at
an altitude of 13,300 feet on 18 September 2009.

Air Marshal Browne is recipient of Param Vishist Seva
Medal (PVSM), Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM), Vayu Sena
Medal (VM) and is appointed as one of the Honorary ADCs
to the President of India.

NAC draft Communal Violence Bill released

The draft Communal Violence Bill, prepared by a Working
Group (WG) of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory
Council (NAC), goes beyond existing legislation in several
significant ways: it recognises identity-based or targeted
crimes and organised mass violence as special offences,
while placing accountability of public officials at the heart of
the law, with varying penalties for dereliction of duty. Finally,
it provides for the creation of a National Authority and State
authorities to ensure both accountability of public officials as
well as to ensure justice and reparation in the wake of
violence.
After months of discussions amongst civil society groups,
and with government representatives, the NAC has placed
the draft Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence
(Access to Justice and Repatriation) Bill, 2011 on its
website on May 20, 2011 for public comment.
Simultaneously, it has been sent to the Union Ministries of
Home Affairs and Law and Justice for their comments.

The NACs WG draft Bill seeks to address the shortcomings
in the governments draft bill.

The NAC Bill stresses that the proposed National Authority/
State authorities are not intended to supersede the existing
law enforcement machinery; neither will their advisories and
recommendations be binding on any state government.
Their authority will be to monitor, inquire into complaints,
receive or suo motu seek information, and issue advisories
and recommendations only when there is alleged inaction or
malafide action by public officials and governments.

The NAC says that the objective of the Bill is to create a
mechanism to make the administrative and criminal justice
system work, free from favour or bias or malafide intent, and
prepare a paper trail to ensure accountability of public
officials in a court of law.

The NACs WG wants the new law to cover religious and
linguistic minorities as well as Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes.

The draft bill specifically defines acts that could create an
intimidating or hostile environment against members of
groups , including economic boycott, denial of public
services, and forced migration. It mandates that public
servants must identify the creation of such a hostile
environment and prevent any communal and targeted
violence against such members of groups.


MPCC renamed Tagore Cultural Complexes

As part of the commemoration of Tagores 150
th
birth
anniversary, the government on May 17, 2011 decided to
revamp the Multipurpose Cultural Complexes (MPCC)
Scheme and replace it with an improved scheme, to be
known as the Scheme for Tagore Cultural Complexes.
Besides facilitating the setting up of new cultural complexes
of varying scale, in big and small towns, the newly-
introduced scheme will support the upgradation,
modernization and modification into state-of-the-art cultural
complexes, of the existing Rabindra Bhawans, Manchas,
Sadans, Rangshalas and other Cultural Centres created
across the country as part of a nation-wide programme that
was launched on the occasion of Centenary Celebrations of
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore in 1961.


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Under this new scheme, Central Government will support
not only those projects that are taken up by the State
Governments and Government-sponsored bodies, but also
those that are promoted by universities and reputed not-for-
profit organizations. Central Governments support will be
upto 60% of the project cost.

For about 15 years (1992-2007), Ministry of Culture was
operating a scheme for setting up of Multipurpose Cultural
Complexes (MPCCs), with a view to support State-
sponsored bodies in setting up integrated cultural
complexes for fostering activities in various cultural fields
like music, dance, drama, literature, fine arts, etc. In all,
about 50 MPCCs were sanctioned in different States/ UTs,
with Central assistance ranging from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2.5
crores for each project.

Government modifies Tagore National
Fellowship for Cultural Research

The Ministry of Culture introduced in November, 2009, a
new scheme by the name of Visiting Fellows in Art, Culture
& Heritage. Later, to mark the Commemoration of the 150
th

Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the scheme was
on May 17, 2011 renamed as Tagore National Fellowship
for Cultural Research.

The objective of this scheme was to invigorate the various
institutions under the Ministry of Culture which have vast
treasures in the form of manuscripts, documents, artifacts,
antiquities and paintings. It was meant to encourage serious
researches into our cultural resources so that the nation
stands to benefits from the results.

Under the scheme, scholars of iconic stature were to be
invited to devote 2 years of their time to pursue research in
one or more of the 17 cultural institutions covered by the
scheme, so as to produce a valuable work based on the
resources available in the institutions, to make those known
to the wider public. In all, 13 scholars were selected as
Tagore National Fellows, in the first cycle of selections.

The Ministry of Culture has issued a modified scheme of
Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research recently.

Following are the highlights of the modified Scheme:

Coverage of institutions increased: While the existing
scheme covers only 17 institutions under the Ministry of
Culture (MoC), including one supported by it, the modified
scheme will cover 29 MoC institutions, including all the three
National Akademies and seven Zonal Cultural Centres.
Apart from Ministrys own institutions, the modified scheme
will also cover other selected institutions that are not under
the Ministry of Culture, but have cultural resources waiting
to be explored. While eight such institutions stand covered
by the modified scheme, other Non-MoC institutions that
seek to take advantage of this scheme will be free to
approach the Ministry of Culture for their inclusion. Such
institutions whose name is approved by the NSC will keep
getting included in the scheme.

Application process modified: All the 13 Fellows selected
in the first round of selections, were selected by the NSC
from out of the applications received for the Fellowship.
Since it was felt that many top-grade scholars are reluctant
to apply as non-acceptance of their application may harm
their reputation, the modified scheme lays a greater
emphasis on Search and Invitation mode of selection.

Second category of scholars introduced: In the first two
rounds of its meetings, NSC felt that there are many
scholars who are not of iconic stature but have a standing
and can do research projects that may be very useful to the
cultural institutions in disseminating their resources. Hence,
the modified scheme incorporates a second category of
scholars, to be known as Tagore Research Scholars, who
will be paid a monthly honorarium of Rs. 50,000/- as against
the honorarium of Rs. 80,000/- per month payable to Tagore
National Fellows. Under this category, upto 25 awards will
be given in a year. These will be in addition to 15 Tagore
National Fellowships to be awarded each year.

Govt. orders update of fugitives list: The Union
government on May 20, 2011 directed the nations probe
agencies the CBI, the Intelligence Bureau (IB), and the
National Investigation Agency (NIA) to conduct a process
of comprehensive verification and correction upon the list.
This follows detection of grave mistakes in the 50 most
wanted list of terror fugitives given to Pakistan in March
2010. Two people included in the list of those wanted from
Pakistan were recently found to be in India. While Feroz
Abdul Rashid Khan alias Hamza, an accused in the 1993
Mumbai serial blasts case, was arrested in February 2010
and is lodged in Mumbais Arthur Road jail, Wazhul Kamar
Khan, an accused in the 2003 Mulund blast, was found to
be residing at his house in Thane. Meanwhile, the Union
Home Ministry has also asked all States, Union Territories
and investigating agencies to update their list of wanted
persons every three months and keep the Centre informed
about it. The CBI is the countrys designated National Crime
Bureau (NCB) in charge of Interpol matters such as issuing
of Red Corner Notices.

Court stays land acquisition by Noida Authority:
The Allahabad High Court on May 19, 2011 set aside
notifications issued for acquisition of more than 100
hectares of land by the Greater Noida Industrial
Development Authority in Gautam Buddh Nagar district for


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'planned industrial development in Greater Noida. The
Authority is planning to move the Supreme Court against
the HC verdict. Meanwhile the High Court on May 20, 2011
issued notices to the Centre and the state government,
seeking their reply on why a CBI inquiry should not be
ordered into the firing incident at Bhatta-Parsaul in Greater
Noida. The firing, which occurred in the backdrop of
farmers agitation demanding more compensation, had led
to four deaths, including two policemen. While the Mayawati
government denied instances of human rights violations in
Bhatta-Parsaul, the National Commission for Women
(NCW) said that there was merit in the charges of
molestation.

Rail Bandhu launched: The Minister of Railways,
Mamata Banerjee, on May 16, 2011 released Rail Bandhu
an onboard magazine of Indian Railways. The magazine
will be distributed free on Rajdhani/Shatabdi Express trains
and AC coaches of Duranto Express trains. An editorial
board has been formed for the execution of the magazine. It
comprises Shivaprasana, Chairman Passenger Amenities
Committee, Derek OBrien, Chairman Passenger Services
Committee, V.K. Jain, CCM/G/NR, Seema Sharma, Director
Information & Publicity Railway Board (who is also
coordinator for the Editorial Board) and Kalyani M.R., Editor
Indian Railway magazine. The editorial team which shall
assist the editorial board, publish, and design the magazine
is from M/s CMYK Printech.

Govt. to provide easy access to sanitary napkins:
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on May 16, 2011
approved a new scheme for ensuring easy access to
sanitary napkins as part of promotion of menstrual hygiene
among adolescent girls in the age group of 10-19 years in
rural areas. The girls will be provided a pack of six sanitary
napkins under the National Rural Health Missions brand
Freedays at a cost of Rs. one per piece by the Accredited
Social Health Activist (ASHA). In the first phase, the scheme
will cover 25% of the population i.e. 1.5 crore girls in the age
group of 10-19 years in 152 districts of 20 states. The ASHA
will get an incentive of Re. one on sale of each pack,
besides a free pack of sanitary napkins per month.
Evidence suggests that lack of access to menstrual hygiene
could contribute to local infections including Reproductive
Tract Infections (RTI). With specific reference to ensuring
better menstrual health and hygiene for adolescent girls,
Government of India is launching this scheme as part of the
Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) in the
Reproductive Child Health II Programme (RCH II).

Anti-Terrorism Day observed: May 21, 2011 was
observed as Anti-Terrorism Day throughout the country. The
day marks the death of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
in a terrorist attack on 21
st
May in 1991. The Day is
observed to generate awareness in the country among all
sections of people, about the danger of terrorism and
violence and their effect on the people, society and the
country as a whole.

Committee on IITs calls for 5-fold rise in fees: A
committee of experts appointed by the government has
recommended that the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)
be allowed to increase fees five-fold, so they are not
dependent on state funds and, therefore, have greater
autonomy. The committee, headed by nuclear scientist Anil
Kakodkar, in its 278-page report to the HRD ministry, has
recommended an increase in tuition fees from the current
Rs 50,000 per year to about Rs 2 lakh-2.5 lakh annually. A
hassle-free bank loan scheme without collateral should be
devised for IIT students. Every student whose parentss
annual income is less than Rs 4.5 lakh should be offered a
scholarship to cover fees, plus a monthly stipend. Each IIT,
it said, should progressively grow to have around 1,200
faculty from the 500-odd currently, and closer to 12,000
students the increased numbers being made up mostly
by Ph.D students.

17
th
Know India Programme organised: A group of 24
diaspora youth participants of 17
th
Know India Programme
(KIP) from seven countries (from Fiji, France, Peru, South
Africa, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and USA) called on
the Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs and Civil
Aviation, Vayalar Ravi in New Delhi on May 16, 2011. The
Programme was conducted by the Ministry of Overseas
Indian Affairs in partnership with State of Punjab. The
programme provides a forum for students and young
professionals of Indian origin to visit India, share their views
and bond closely with todays India. Earlier, the participants
met the President of India, Pratibha Patil and Chief Election
Commissioner, S.Y Quraishi. The 18
th
KIP is proposed to be
held during August - September, 2011 with Goa as the
Partner State. The KIP is organized for diaspora youth, in
the age group of 18-26 years is conducted by the Ministry of
Overseas Indian Affairs.

India must increase healthcare spend WHO: An
abysmally low government spending on health at USD 32
per capita characterises the poor state of healthcare in
India which is facing a double burden of diseases afflicting
both the poor and rich classes, says a new WHO report
released on May 17, 2011 in Geneva. While Indias life
expectancy has gone up to 65 years in 2009, up from 61
years in 2000. Global life expectancy was still higher at 68
years in 2009 as compared to 64 in 1990. While per capita
health expenditure is about USD 32 in poor countries,
including in India, it is around USD 4590 in rich countries
(more than 140 times). The high income countries
consequently have 10 times more doctors, 12 times more
nurses and midwifes and 30 times more dentists.


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Silent Observer to check female foeticide:
Maharashtra's Buldhana district, with a sex ratio of 842 was
one of the poorest performers in the State, according to the
2011 census. To tackle the rising number of female
foeticide, the district administration has taken a step
towards better reporting, and monitoring the use of
sonography machines to check the practice of illegal sex
determination. This has been enabled by a Pune-based
firm, Visionindia Software Exports Limited, through two of its
initiatives. Silent Observer, a device developed by ex
IITian Narendra Saini, helps the district authorities to check
the practice of sex selective abortions. The device is to be
embedded in the sonography machines and records the
activity of the tests conducted. Visionindia is in talks with
several State governments and district authorities to make
Silent Observer mandatory in all the registered
sonography centres.

Bihars 1
st
River Patrolling Police Station launched:
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on May 20, 2011 launched
Bihars first River Patrolling Police Station (RPPS) on the
banks of the Ganges in Patna district. The first-ever RPPS
near Maujipur village under Fatuha police station has been
built at a cost of Rs 56 lakh. The state government had
identified 18 places on the banks of important rivers for
setting up of RPPS in Bihar. Initially, it would start
functioning at five places covering a long stretch of the
Ganges, Kosi and Gandak rivers. The RPPSs would be set
up at Patna Rural (Fatuha), Naugachhia, Bagaha, Supaul
and Darbhanga.

Tatas open cancer hospital in Kolkata: Tata Sons
Chairman Ratan Tata on May 16, 2011 inaugurated the
Tata Medical Center, a state-of-the-art facility for the care,
treatment and rehabilitation of those suffering from cancer in
Kolkata. The hospital, set up at a cost of Rs 350 crore, is a
not-for-profit initiative that is aimed specifically at helping
cancer patients from the east and northeast of India and
also from Bangladesh. The healthcare Center is modelled
on the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), the renowned cancer-
care institution in Mumbai.

Lok Sabha Speaker unveils Tagore bust in Seoul:
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on May 18, 2011 unveiled
a bronze bust of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in
Seoul. Kumar, in Seoul for the G20 Speakers Conference,
conveyed Indias appreciation to President of Republic of
Korea Lee Myung-bak for the friendly gesture on the 150
th

anniversary of the poet-philosopher. The approximately four
feet high metal masterpiece, carved by renowned sculptor
Gautam Pal has been gifted to Korea by the Indian Council
for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

Theni neutrino observatory site gets clearance: The
India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO), a multi-institutional
effort to build a world class underground laboratory, at a
cost of Rs. 1,260 crore, to study neutrinos in the
atmosphere, will be set up in West Bodi Hills of Theni
district, 110 km west of Madurai. The Expert Appraisal
Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment and
Forests (MoEF) recommended an environmental clearance
for the site in May 2011. The approval comes after years of
negotiations with the State government, the Forest
department and activists and the rejection of two sites. The
INO is listed by the Planning Commission as one of the
mega science projects under the XI five-year plan. It will be
jointly funded by the Department of Atomic Energy and
Department of Science and Technology.

75% of Himalayan glaciers on retreat ISRO:
Himalayan glaciers, which were clouded in controversy over
various claims by IPCC authors and other experts about
their rapid retreat, will now gain a little more clarity. ISRO
satellite images taken by Resourcesat-1 over a period of 15
years (1989-2004) have revealed that 75% of the glaciers
have retreated while 8% have advanced and 17% are
stable. There has been a retreat of about 3.75km on an
average. The study included 2,190 glaciers. It was
commissioned by the ministry of environment and forests
(MoEF) and department of space (DoS) to break the myths
about Himalayan glaciers disappearing. The findings
revealed by Marine, Geo and Planetary Science Group
(MPSG), Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad in May
2011 will be published soon. The ISRO satellite imagery
also shows that the area under mangroves has improved
slightly. From 4,441 sqkm in 1993, it has improved to
4,956.2 sqkm in 2004-06.

Defence Minister inaugurates Karwar township:
India is moving fast to set-up its third major naval base after
Mumbai and Cochin on the western coast at Karwar in
Karnataka. Defence Minister A K Antony inaugurated an
integrated defence-civilian township at Karwar on May 21
with 326 dwelling units under Project Seabird, also known
as Karwar Project. The township will accommodate defence
and civilian employees posted at Karwar. It is part of the
Project Seabird which was aimed to transform Karwar into a
state-of-art major naval base on western coast with docking
facilities for an aircraft carrier-size vessel. Completed at a
cost of Rs 2400 crore approximately, the phase one of the
project has seen commissioning of base ship INS Kadamba
in 2005 and a ship-lift facility in 2006 along with a hospital
and the township which was inaugurated on May 21.

India-Pak hold talks on Sir Creek dispute: India and
Pakistan on May 20-21, 2011 conducted a two-day talk on
the Sir Creek issue as part of a bilateral dialogue process,
with the two sides holding parleys on the maritime boundary
dispute after a gap of four years. An eight-member
delegation led by Surveyor General of India S Subba Rao


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134
participated in the talks while the Pakistani side was headed
by Additional Defence Secretary Rear Admiral Shah Sohail
Masood. The talks which were held at the Defence Ministry
in the garrison city of Rawalpindi are part of the bilateral
dialogue process that recently revived after a gap of over
two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

BJP parades Karnataka MLAs before President:
The BJP on May 17, 2011 paraded its MLAs from
Karnataka before President Pratibha Patil seeking rejection
of Governor H R Bhardwajs recommendation for imposition
of Presidents rule in the state and demanded his immediate
recall. The Governor alleged that Constitutional mechanism
had broken down in the state because of the collusion
between the Speaker and the Chief Minister that led to
disqualification of rebel MLAs. Led by party President Nitin
Gadkari and other central leaders including Arun Jaitley and
Sushma Swaraj, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and 114
other MLAs presented themselves before the President and
handed over a memorandum containing their demands.

AG says Army Chiefs birth year is 1950: Attorney
General (AG) Goolam E Vahanvati has opined that 1950
should be treated as the year of Army Chief of Staff General
V K Singhs birth. AGs view had been sought by the Army
after it was found that Singh has two different dates of birth
May 10, 1950 and May 10, 1951 in various documents,
creating confusion regarding his date of retirement. The AG
has opined that Singhs date of birth should be treated as
May 10, 1950 which is mentioned in his UPSC application
form for the National Defence Academy and that tampering
with it at this point would lead to complications in the
succession line. If this view is taken into consideration,
Singh will retire on June 1, 2012. Defence Minister A K
Antony on May 20, 2011 said a decision on the issue would
be announced whenever it is taken by the government.

Kanimozhi denied bail, sent to Tihar jail: Kanimozhi,
DMK MP and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M
Karunanidhis daughter, was sent to the Tihar Jail on May
21, 2011 as the special CBI court rejected her bail plea in
the ongoing 2G spectrum scam case. She has been
accused of criminal conspiracy and accepting bribe for
allocating 2G spectrum to companies. Kalaignar TV
managing director Sharad Kumar was also denied bail and
taken to prison. Kanimozhi and Kumar each hold 20 per
cent stake in Kalaignar TV and have been accused of
criminal conspiracy and accepting a bribe of Rs 200 crore
from Shahid Balwas company, DB Realty, under the
Prevention of Corruption Act. Kanimozhi was an active brain
behind the money transfer made to Kalaignar TV, CBI had
said, accusing her of complicity in the entire transaction and
being in regular touch with former Communications Minister
A Raja. Special CBI Judge O P Saini dismissed the bail
applications of Kanimozhi and Kumar on grounds of the
magnitude of the crime, character of evidence on record
and the apprehension that witnesses might be influenced in
case the accused are released on bail.

Kalmadi the brain behind TSR scam CBI: The
CBI has squarely named arrested Commonwealth Games
chief organizer Suresh Kalmadi as the mastermind in
fixing and inflating costs of a timing, scoring and results
contract awarded to a Swiss firm that caused a loss of Rs
95 crore. In its first chargesheet in a Games-related case,
the CBI on May 20, 2011 countered Kalmadis claim that the
controversial contract awarded to Swiss Timing was cleared
by an executive board and the sports ministry, maintaining
that the Pune MP was the supreme authority in the
organizing committee, having overriding powers. Kalmadi
and other accused caused loss of Rs 95 crore to the OC by
favouring Swiss Timing which charged Rs 157.6 crore
compared to the Rs 62 crore bid by a Spanish company.

Mamata to return Singurs 400 acres to farmers:
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced
that her government will return the 400 acres, a part of the
1,000 acres acquired for the Tatas Nano factory in Singur,
to the unwilling farmers. Trinamool Congress says it was
acquired forcibly. Bannerjee also invited the Tatas to build
their factory on the remaining 600 acres. The Nano project
became a big political issue in 2008 when Banerjee sided
with the farmers and asked the state government to return
the land acquired forcibly. The Tatas were forced to shift the
project to Sanand in Gujarat. Experts say the main
impediment in returning the land is law. Under the Land
Acquisition Act, 1894, land once acquired for a public
purpose cannot be returned. However, a new legislation can
be passed.

Mamata resigns as Railway Minister: Trinamool
Congress leader Mamata Banerjee resigned as Railway
Minister on May 19, 2011. Banerjee took over as Railway
Minister of UPA-II government in May, 2009. She had also
held the ministry for less than two years in the NDA
government. Trinanool Congress General Secretary Mukul
Roy, currently Minister of State for Shipping, is being seen
as the front-runner for taking over the Railway Ministry.
Banerjee, who engineered the landslide victory of the
Trinamool Congress-Congress combine, was sworn in as
West Bengals first woman Chief Minister on May 20.

Mamata Banerjee is new CM of West Bengal:
Trinamool Congress President Mamata Banerjee was sworn
in as the first woman Chief Minister of West Bengal on May
20, 2011 in Kolkata. Governor M.K. Narayanan
administered the oath of office and secrecy to. Banerjee and
37 Ministers of the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance
government, which assumed power after more than 34


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135
years of Left Front rule. The Cabinet includes four Ministers
of State.

Oommen Chandy sworn in as Kerala CM: Oommen
Chandy was sworn in as Keralas 21
st
Chief Minister on May
18, 2011 in Thiruvananthapuram by Governor R.S. Gavai.
Along with Chandy, six floor leaders of the UDF coalition
were also administered the oath of office and secrecy by the
Governor. The UDF unseated the CPI (M)-led LDF by
securing a thin majority of 72 seats in the 140-member
House after April 13 Assembly polls. Those sworn in as
ministers were P.K. Kunhalikutty (IUML), K.M. Mani (Kerala
Congress-M), K.P. Mohanan (SJD), T.M. Jacob (Kerala
Congress-J), K.B. Ganesh Kumar (Kerala Congress-B) and
Shibu Baby John (RSP-B). Chandy is becoming the Chief
Minister for the second time after an interim term in 2004-
06.

Rangasamy sworn in as Puducherry CM: N
Rangasamy, who ended the 15-year-reign of his former
party, the Congress, in a stunning electoral debut for his All
India NR Congress, was sworn in as chief minister of
Puducherry for the third time on May 16, 2011. Rangasamy,
61, was administered oath of office by L-G Iqbal Singh,
making him the 18
th
CM of the Union Territory. Rangasamy
was Congress CM of Puducherry between 2001 and 2006,
and 2006 and 2008, when he was sacked following a revolt
in his cabinet. A few months before the polls, Rangasamy
floated his own party.

Gogoi sworn in as CM of Assam: Tarun Gogoi was on
May 19, 2011 sworn-in as the chief minister of Assam for
the third consecutive term by Governor JB Patnaik in
Guwahati. Gogoi, who was born on April 1, 1936, at
Rangajan tea estate in Jorhat district of Upper Assam, first
became the chief minister of the state in 2001; by defeating
the Prafulla Kumar Mahanta led Asom Gana Parishad
(AGP) government. He became the chief minister for the
second time in 2006, when the Congress formed the
government with support of Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF).
In 2011, putting to rest every speculation, the Congress
party stormed back to power with a thumping mandate,
winning 78 seats in the 126 member assembly.

Jaya sworn in as CM for third time: All India Anna
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Chief J
Jayalalithaa was on May 16, 2011 sworn in for the fourth
time as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu along with her 33
Cabinet ministers, which include 24 new faces. The new CM
has appointed a minister whose only job will be to
implement schemes promised by AIADMK in the 2011
assembly manifesto. S P Velumani, who won from the
Thondamuthur constituency, took over as the minister for
special programme implementation. Jayalalithaa-led
AIADMK swept the 13
th
Tamil Nadu Assembly elections,
winning 150 seats in the 234-member House.

West Bengal Pro-tem Speaker sworn in: Gyan Singh
Sohanpal, veteran Congress leader in the State, was sworn
in as the Pro-tem Speaker of the 15
th
West Bengal
Legislative Assembly by Governor M. K. Narayanan in
Kolkata on May 18, 2011.

Shaan is Tobacco Control Ambassador of India':
Singer Shaan was on May 10, 2011 announced as the
Tobacco Control Ambassador of India' by the Union
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Mumbai. The
singer also launched his music video on tobacco control
titled Life Se Panga Mat Le Yaar' on the occasion

Dramatist Sircar passes away: Well known dramatist
Badal Sircar passed away on May 20, 2011 in Kolkata. Born
in 1925 as Sudhindranath Sircar and later rechristened as
Badal, he was a civil engineer who worked as a town
planner before joining theatre. He formed the theatre group
Shatabdi and their first production was Evam Indrajit.
Some of his prominent works include Baaki Itihaas,
Pralap, Pagla Ghoda, Shesh Naai and Sagina Mahato,
among others. He received the Padma Shree in 1972 and
the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1968 and a Ratna
Sadasya fellowship. He declined Padma Bhusan in 2010.

Photographer Benu Sen passes away: Benu Sen, the
doyen of Indian photography, passed away in Kolkata on
May 17, 2011. He was only the third Master of
Photography (MFIAP) in the world and Secretary-General
of the Federation of Indian Photography (FIP) since 1997.
Born on May 26, 1932, in Calcutta, Benu Sen began his life
as a Ground Engineer (Aeronautical Engineering) at Dum-
Dum airport but soon left it to join the Indian Museum,
Calcutta, in 1963 as Head of the Department of
Photography. He retired from there in 1990. He was the
third man in the world to have received the rare honour of
Master of Photography (M.F.I.A.P.) from Federation
International de LArt Photographique.

Kisan leader Tikait passes away: Mahendra Singh Tikait,
a farmer leader from Western Uttar Pradesh who
spearheaded many a struggle uniting peasants in north
India, passed away on May 15, 2011 in Muzaffarnagar. 76-
year-old Tikait, who headed the Bharatiya Kisan Union, led
a number of mass movements against the state and central
governments to support the rights of the farmers. The BKU
had in 1988 laid a virtual siege to Meerut in pursuit of higher
prices for sugarcane, cancellation of loans and lowering of
water and electricity rates. The same year he had organised
a week-long protest in Delhis Boat Club to focus on the
plight of farmers.



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136
Section B: WORLD
NEWS ROUND UP

PM to attend India-Africa Forum

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will focus on strengthening
ties on development and bilateral trade during his visit to
Ethiopia and Tanzania the first ever by an Indian prime
minister. Singh is also expected to take up issues of
terrorism and piracy. Fifteen African nations will take part in
the summit of the second India-Africa Forum from May 24 to
25, 2011 at Addis Ababa, the seat of the African Union
(AU). The summit is expected to come out with the Addis
Ababa Declaration and an Africa-India Framework for
Enhanced Cooperation document, which would set the
roadmap for further consolidating the strategic partnership
between India and the African Union.

Indias Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma is
leading a 15-member CEOs delegation here. The trade
between India and Africa crossed $46 billion in 2010. The
minister also said that India has become one of the leading
investors in African countries. In sectors like oil and gas,
pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, IT, fertilisers and
infrastructure, Indian companies have invested $33 billion in
the region.

Sharma inaugurated the three-day India Show at
Millennium Hall, Addis Ababa on May 20, 2011. The theme
of the show was Africa & India: Partners in Progress
Friends Forever. He also released a special publication
entitled India-Africa Business Guide. India and Africa have
set a bilateral trade target of US $ 70 billion by 2015. The
India Show was only the second such Show in the African
continent after the one held in South Africa last year in
August at Johannesburg and Durban, and comprises of a
mega Trade Exhibition, a Business Seminar, and a
Cultural Programme.

Major exporting destinations for India in Africa are South
Africa, Mauritius, Nigeria, Egypt and Tanzania, and major
importing partners are Nigeria, South Africa, Congo and
Tanzania.

Major items of African exports to India are mineral fuel,
mineral oils and products, copper ores and concentrates
natural or culture pearls, precious or semi-precious stones,
coffee, coconut, edible fruit, etc. India, the largest importer
of rough diamonds, sources most of its requirement from
Africa.

Similarly Indias exports to the African market constitute a
wide variety of products that include mineral fuel, mineral
oils and products of their distillation, cotton, iron and steel,
nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical
appliances, meat of bovine animals, etc.

The Indian government is also taking measures to promote
bilateral trade. Its commitment to provide a duty-free
preferential tariff scheme for 49 least developed countries
(LDCs) including 33 African countries is a major step
acknowledged by developed countries in WTO negotiations.

The impact of Indian investment in Africa has contributed to
the welfare of African nations. Leading pharma companies
such as Ranbaxy and Zydus have provided low-cost generic
drugs

World Summit on Information Society held

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
Forum 2011 was organised from 16- 20 May 2011 in
Geneva, Switzerland. The Forum provided structured
opportunities to network, learn and to participate in multi-
stakeholder discussions and consultations on WSIS
implementation. The Forum was hosted by ITU and jointly
organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP. Kapil
Sibal, the Union Minister of Communications & IT,
Government of India addressed the inaugural session of the
WSIS Forum on May 16. The International
Telecommunication Union (ITU) completed 146
th
year of its
existence on May 17, 2011.

The WSIS is a two-phase United Nations (UN) summit that
was initiated in order to create an evolving multi-stakeholder
platform aimed at addressing the issues raised by
information and communication technologies (ICTs) through
a structured and inclusive approach at the national, regional
and international levels. The goal of WSIS is to achieve a
common vision, desire and commitment to build a people-
centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information
Society where everyone can create, access, utilize and
share information.

The UN General Assembly Resolution of December 2001
endorsed the holding of the WSIS in two phases. The first
phase took place in Geneva in December 2003 and the
second phase took place in Tunis in November 2005. In
2003, the number of participants was 11,000 representing
175 countries and in 2005 the number of participants was
more than 19,000 representing 174 countries. Since then, a
cluster of WSIS-related events was held on an annual basis
. In 2009, the cluster of WSIS-related events was rebranded
as WSIS Forum.



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World Meteorological Congress organised: The 16
th

World Meteorological Congress of the World Meteorological
Organisation (WMO) was organised at Geneva on May 16,
2011. India has supported the establishment of an
Intergovernmental Board for Climate Services that would
report to the WMO Congress and undertake the full and
sustained implementation of GFCS. India pledged to
support GFCS Secretariat with a grant of US $ 1,25,000.

International Museum Day Celebrated: The Union
Ministry of Culture on May 18, 2011 celebrated International
Museum Day. This day is an occasion to raise awareness
on how important museums are in the development of
society. Museum and Memory is the theme of International
Museum Day 2011. Memory is a preoccupation for
organisations beyond the museum community. The
International Councils of Museums (ICOM) has therefore
initiated close institutional partnerships with the UNESCO
Memory of the World Programme (World Documentary
Heritage), the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives
Associations (CCAAA), the International Council of Archives
(ICA), the International Council of Monuments and Sites
(ICOMOS) and the International Federation of Library
Associations (IFLA). IMD 2011 had focus on the African
continent whose cultural contribution to the world is often
unknown and deserves to be promoted.

Endeavour docks with ISS: The US space shuttle
Endeavour, with six astronauts on board including an Italian,
docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on May 18,
2011. The shuttle had blasted off on May 16 on a 16-day
mission to deliver a $2bn Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer
(AMS) that will conduct experiments to probe the origins of
the universe and a tray of critical spare parts. The mission is
being led by astronaut Mark Kelly. The shuttle will remain at
the station until May 30, returning to the United States on
June 1. On its return to Earth on 1 June, Endeavour will be
prepared for public display at the California Science Center
in Los Angeles. Endeavour was built to replace the
Challenger, lost in a 1986 launch accident. Staring in 1992,
the shuttle has flown 116.4 million miles in 24 previous
flights. Beyond Endeavour, the US space agency (NASA)
plans one further shuttle mission to the station in July.
America will then use Russian Soyuz capsules to fly its
astronauts to the ISS, before a number of US national
commercial carriers enter service and take up the role
sometime in the middle of the decade.

Bangladesh leases farmland in Africa: Bangladeshi
companies have leased thousands of hectares of farmland
in African countries such as Uganda and Tanzania in May
2011 as part of a government drive to improve food security
in the South Asian nation. The aim is to bring most of the
farms output back to Bangladesh to ease food shortages.
Bangladeshs 150 million citizens have been hit hard by
sharp increases in the price of rice, the staple grain, which
was up by an average 50 per cent year-on-year in April.

Conference on Devanagari organised: A two-day
conference and competition with the objective of
popularising the Devanagari script, which is common among
Hindi, Nepali and Sanskrit languages, was organised in
Kathmandu, Nepal on May 18-19, 2011. The preservation of
Devanagari script will not only strengthen cultural ties
between Nepal and India but also help in preserving Hindi,
Nepali and other languages spoken in the south Asian
subcontinent.

Singapore Indians get key portfolios in cabinet:
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on May 18,
2011 announced a post-election Cabinet, assigning several
key portfolios to leaders of the ethnic Indian minority and the
Chinese majority. The new cabinet features two Deputy
Prime Ministers, Teo Chee Hean and Tharman
Shanmugaratnam. Elevated as Deputy Prime Minister,
Shanmugaratnam would retain Finance and assume charge
as Manpower Minister and MAS Chairman. Vivian
Balakrishnan was assigned Environment and Water
Resources as his new portfolios. K. Shanmugam, while
being shifted from Home to Foreign Affairs, would retain
Law. On being promoted as a full-fledged Cabinet Minister
and inducted into the Prime Ministers Office, S. Iswaran
would also function as Second Minister for Home as also for
Trade and Industry. The ruling Peoples Action Party (PAP)
secured 81 of the 87 parliamentary seats but on a reduced
vote percentage of slightly over 60 in the May 7 general
elections.

Pakistans Shamsi airbase is under UAE control: A
Pakistani airbase long suspected of being the site from
which US drones are launched is under the control of the
UAE. Numerous reports have said that US drones are
based at the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan province.
Pakistan Air Force on May 19, 2011 admitted that the base
was funded and constructed by the UAE. Since the 1990s,
the airbase has been under the control of the UAE, which
handed it over to the US.

Worlds largest womens university launched:
Saudi Arabias King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz on May 16,
2011 inaugurated a state-of-the-art university for women,
claimed to be the worlds largest with a capacity to enroll
50,000 students. Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman
University (PNU), 25 km east of the Saudi capital of Riyadh,
has been built at a cost of USD 5.3 billion (20 billion Saudi
riyals) and is part of an ambitious education plan of the
Saudi government.

Debt-hit Portugal gets 78 bn euro bailout: EU
finance ministers on May 16, 2011 endorsed a 78 billion


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138
euro (USD 110 billion) financial rescue package for debt-
stricken Portugal, making it the third eurozone nation after
Greece and Ireland in 2010 to receive a bail-out since the
introduction of the common currency 10 years ago. The
assistance, which is envisaged to be provided over the next
three years, will come in equal parts from the European
Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) -- a temporary financial
safety net for eurozone nations -- the European
Commissions European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism
(EFSM) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The
EU-IMF bail-out came in response to a request for financial
assistance by Portugals caretaker Prime Minister, Jose
Socrates, on April 7 after his government reached a stage
where it could no longer borrow money from capital markets
at affordable interest rates. Portugal will have to pay an
interest rate of 5.7 per cent on the loan from the EU and the
IMF. In return for the assistance, Lisbon will have to
implement far-reaching structural reforms, including a
credible fiscal adjustment to restore fiscal sustainability,
especially by scaling down its budgetary deficit by 2013.

El-Arabi is new Secretary General of Arab League:
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil El-Arabi was on May 15,
2011 unanimously elected as Arab Leagues new Secretary
General, taking on a challenging task at a time when the
region is witnessing political upheaval. 76-year-old El-Arabi
replaces Amr Moussa, 73, who is running for the post of
Egyptian president after leading Arab League for a decade.
El-Arabi, who backed the uprising against longtime Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak, was chosen by consensus after
Qatar withdrew its choice Abdel-Rahman al-Attiyah for the
top post.

King of Bhutan announces engagement: Jigme
Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the 31-year-old Oxford-
educated bachelor crowned king of Bhutan in 2008,
announced his engagement on May 20, 2011. Wangchuck,
who helped usher in democracy in the Buddhist nation,
revealed his intention to marry 20-year-old student Jetsun
Pema during an address to Parliament. The wedding has
been scheduled for October. Bhutan is famed for the
invention of Gross National Happiness, which is used to
measure the progress and well-being of its citizens instead
of GDP other countries use to measure wealth.

A. Raja in Times Top 10 Abuses of Power: Former
Telecom Minister A Raja, at the centre of the 2G spectrum
scam, on May 20, 2011 earned the dubious distinction of
figuring in the list of Time magazines an ignominious club
of privileged leaders who stepped too far. The 2G scam is
ranked No 2 in the list of scandals and scams in the all-time
Top 10 Abuses of Power, only next to ex-American
President Richard Nixons Plumbers, a secret unit tasked
with digging up dirt on Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel
Ellsberg. Raja is ranked ahead of Libyan strongman
Muammar Gaddafi, North Korean leader Kim Jong-II and
Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Strauss-Kahn resigns as IMF MD: Dominique Strauss-
Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
jailed over allegations of sexual assault on a New York hotel
maid, has quit his official role four days after the incident.
The IMF said Strauss-Kahn had on May 18, 2011 informed
its Executive Board of his resignation. The Fund also
announced John Lipsky as acting Managing Director.
Strauss-Kahn was on May 19 asked to post $1 million as
bail money and $5 million as bond if he wished to leave
Brooklyns infamous Rikers Island prison, where he is being
held. Even as he was granted bail, a grand jury indicted
Strauss-Kahn on all charges brought against him by the 32-
year-old Guinea-born immigrant widow, who alleges that the
former IMF MD attempted to rape her.

US sanctions target Syrian President Assad: The
United States on May 18, 2011 imposed sanctions on
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for human rights abuses.
Assad is now in the company of the Libyan leader,
Muammar Gaddafi, and the President of Belarus, Alexander
Lukashenko.

Saudi diplomat shot dead in Pakistan: Motorcycle-
borne Taliban militants on May 16, 2011 shot dead a
diplomat from Saudi Arabia, Hasan M.M. Al-Kahtani, while
he was driving to work in Karachi. Claiming responsibility,
the Taliban said it was to avenge the killing of Osama bin
Laden and the continued drone attacks in Pakistans volatile
north-west.

Trial of 97-year-old Nazi war criminal begins: The
trial of the world's most wanted Nazi war criminal, 97-year-
old Sandor Kepiro, who is charged with complicity in war
crimes in Serbia in 1942, opened in Budapest on May 5,
2011. The former Hungarian military officer is still number
one on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's latest list of most
wanted Nazi war criminals. He is accused of complicity in
war crimes in a raid by Hungarian forces on the northern
town of Novi Sad between January 21 and 23, 1942.

Last WWI combat veteran Choules passes away:
The world's last known combat veteran of World War I,
Claude Choules, passed away on May 5, 2011 in Australia
aged 110. British-born Choules joined the Royal Navy at 15
and went on to serve on HMS Revenge. He moved to
Australia in the 1920s and served in the military until 1956.




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Section C: AWARDS

National Film Awards announced

58
th
National Film Awards for 2010 were announced on May 19, 2011. Feature Films jury was headed by J.P. Dutta, Non-
Feature Films jury was headed by A.K. Bir and Best Writing on Cinema jury was headed by Ashok Vajpeyi.

I. FEATURE FILMS

According to the jury, Malayalam film Adaminte Makan Abu was named the Best Feature Film for a simple yet evocative
articulation of humanist values that frees matters of faith from the constrictions of narrow parochialism. The concerns of Abu,
son of Adam, are timeless and universal in their scope.

Marathi film Baboo Band Baaja won the Indira Gandhi Award for the Best Debut Film of Director for its riveting tale of a
father reluctant to educate his son, a mother who fiercely believes in its liberatory value, and the son who is caught in the
crossfire, Baboo is an outstanding debut project by director. Complete list of winners is as follows:


S. No. Name of Award Name of Film Awardee Medal
& Cash Prize
1 BEST FEATURE FILM Adaminte Makan Abu
(Malayalam)
Producer: Salim
Ahamed

Director : Salim
Ahamed
Swarna Kamal

Rs 2,50,000/-
Each
2 INDIRA GANDHI AWARD FOR
BEST DEBUT FILM OF A
DIRECTOR
Baboo Band Baaja
(Marathi)
Producer: Nita
Jadhav

Director : Rajesh
Pinjani
Swarna Kamal

Rs 1,25,000/-
Each
3 AWARD FOR BEST POPULAR
FILM PROVIDING WHOLESOME
ENTERTAINMENT
Dabangg (Hindi) Producer: Arbaaz
Khan, Malaika
Arora Khan &
Dhilin Mehta

Director : Abhinav
Singh Kashyap
Swarna Kamal

Rs 2,00,000/-
Each
4 NARGIS DUTT AWARD FOR BEST
FEATURE FILM ON NATIONAL
INTEGRATION
Moner Manush
(Bengali)
Producer: Gautam
Kundu

Director : Goutam
Ghose
Rajat Kamal

Rs 1,50,000/-
Each
5 BEST FILM ON SOCIAL ISSUES Champions
(Marathi)

Producer:
Aishwarya Narkar

Director : Ramesh
More
Rajat Kamal

Rs 1,50,000/-
Each
6 BEST FILM ON ENVIRONMENT
CONSERVATION/PRESERVATION
Bettada Jeeva
(Kannada)
Producer:
Basantkumar Patil

Director : P.
Sheshadri
Rajat Kamal
Rs 1,50,000/- Each
7 BEST CHILDRENS FILM Hejjegalu
(Kannada)
Producer:
Basantkumar Patil
Swarna Kamal
Rs 1,50,000/- Each


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140

Director : P.R.
Ramadas Naidu
8 BEST DIRECTION Aadukalam (Tamil) Vetrimaran

Swarna Kamal
Rs 2,50,000/-
9 BEST ACTOR Aadukalam (Tamil)



Adaminte Makan Abu
(Malayalam)
Dhanush



Salim Kumar
Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
(Sharing)
10 BEST ACTRESS Baboo Band Baaja
(Marathi)


Thenmerkku Paruvakkatru
(Tamil)
Mitalee Jagtap
Varadkar


Saranya
Ponvannan
Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
(Sharing)
11 BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Mynaa (Tamil)

J. Thambi
Ramaiah
Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
12 BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Namma Gramam (Tamil) Sukumari Rajat Kamal
Rs 50,000/-
13 BEST CHILD ARTIST I am Kalam (Hindi)

Champions (Marathi)



Baboo Band Baaja
(Marathi)
1. Harsh Mayar

2. Shantanu
Ranganekar &
3. Machindra
Gadkar

4. Vivek
Chabukswar
Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
(sharing)
14 BEST MALE PLAYBACK SINGER Mee Sindhutai Sapkal
(Marathi)
Suresh Wadkar Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
15 BEST FEMALE PLAYBACK
SINGER
Ishqiya (Hindi) Rekha Bhardwaj Rajat Kamal
Rs 50,000/-
16 BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Adaminte Makan Abu
(Malayalam)
Cameraman :
Madhu Ambat


Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
17 BEST SCREENPLAY Aadukalam (Tamil)



Mee Sindhutai Sapkal
(Marathi)



Mee Sindhutai Sapkal
(Marathi)
Screenplay Writer
(Original) :
Vetrimaran

Screenplay Writer
(Adapted) :
Anant Mahadevan
& Sanjay Pawar

Dialogues :
Sanjay Pawar
Rajat Kamal
Rs 50,000/-



Rajat Kamal
Rs 50,000/-



Rajat Kamal
Rs 50,000/-
18 BEST AUDIOGRAPHY Ishqiya (Hindi)


Chitrasutram (Malayalam)

Location Sound
Recordist :
Kaamod Kharade
Sound Designer :
Subhadeep
Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each


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141



Ishqiya (Hindi)
Sengupta

Re-recordist of the
final mixed track :
Debajit Changmai
19 BEST EDITING Aadukalam (Tamil)

T.E. Kishore Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
20 BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN Enthiran (Tamil) Sabu Cyril Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
21 BEST COSTUME DESIGNER Namma Gramam (Tamil) Indrans Jayan Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
22 BEST MAKE-UP ARTIST Moner Manush
(Bengali)
Vikram Gaikwad Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
23 BEST MUSIC DIRECTION Ishqiya (Hindi)



Adaminte Makan Abu
(Malayalam)
Music Director
(Songs) : Vishal
Bhardwaj

Music Director
(Background
Score) : Issak
Thomas
Kottakapally
Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
24 BEST LYRICS Thenmerkku Paruvakkatru
(Tamil)
Vairamuthu Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
25 SPECIAL JURY AWARD Mee Sindhutai Sapkal
(Marathi)
Producer: Bindiya &
Sachin Khanolkar

Director : Anant
Narayan
Mahadevan
Rajat Kamal

Rs 2,00,000/-
26 BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS Enthiran (Tamil) V. Srinivas M
Mohan
Rajat Kamal

Rs 50,000/-
27 BEST CHOREOGRAPHY Aadukalam (Tamil)

Dinesh Kumar Rajat Kamal
Rs 50,000/-
BEST FEATURE FILM IN EACH OF THE LANGUAGE SPECIFIED IN THE SCHEDULE VIII OF THE CONSTITUTION
28 BEST ASSAMESE FILM Jetuka Patar Dare Producer: Md.
Noorul Sultan

Director : Jadumoni
Dutta
Rajat Kamal

Rs 1,00,000/-
Each
29 BEST BENGALI FILM Ami Aadu Producer: New
Theatres Pvt. Ltd
Director : Sonmath
Gupta
Rajat Kamal
Rs 1,00,000/-
Each

30 BEST HINDI FILM Do Dooni Char Producer: Arindam
Chaudhuri
Director :
Habib Faisal
Rajat Kamal

Rs 1,00,000/-
Each
31 BEST KANNADA Puttakkana Highway Producer:
Shylaja Nag &
Rajat Kamal



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142
Prakash Raj

Director :
B. Suresha
Rs 1,00,000/-
Each

32 BEST MALAYALAM FILM Veettilekkulla Vazhi Producer: B.C.
Joshi

Director : Dr Biju
Rajat Kamal

Rs 1,00,000/-
Each
33 BEST MARATHI FILM Mala Aai Vhhaychay Producer:
Samruddhi Porey

Director :
Samruddhi Porey
Rajat Kamal

Rs 1,00,000/-
Each
34 BEST TAMIL FILM Thenmerkku Paruvakkatru Producer: Shibu
Isaac

Director : Seenu
Ramasamy
Rajat Kamal

Rs 1,00,000/-
Each
35 BEST ENGLISH FILM Memories in March Producer: Shrikant
Mohta

Director : Sanjoy
Nag
Rajat Kamal

Rs 1,00,000/-
Each
36 SPECIAL MENTION Bettada Jeeva
(Kannada)

Aadukalam (Tamil)
Late Shivaram
Karanth

V.I.S. Jayaraman
Certificate only


Certificate only

II. NON- FEATURE FILMS

S. No. Name of Award Name of Film Awardee Medal
& Cash Prize
1 BEST NON-FEATURE FILM Germ

(Hindi)
Producer: Satyajit Ray
Film & Television
Institute, Kolkata
Director: Snehal R.
Nair
Swarna Kamal
Rs 1,50,000/- each
2 BEST DEBUT NON-FEATURE
FILM OF A DIRECTOR

Pistulya

(Marathi & Telugu)
Producer:
Nagraj Manjule

Director :
Nagraj Manjule
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 75,000/- each
3 BEST ETHNOGRAPHIC FILM Songs of Mashangva

(Tangkhul, Manipuri &
English)
Producer:
Oinam Doren

Director :
Oinam Doren
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
4 BEST BIOGRAPHICAL FILM Nilamadhaba

(English)
Producer:
Films Division

Director :
Dilip Patnaik
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
5 BEST ARTS and CULTURE
FILM
Leaving Home

Producer:
Jaideep Varma
RAJAT Kamal



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143
(English & Hindi)
Director :
Jaideep Varma
Rs 50,000/- each
6 BEST SCIENCE &
TECHNOLOGY FILM

Heart to Heart

(Manipuri & English)
Producer:
Rotary Club of Imphal

Director :
Bachaspatimayum
Sunzu
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
7 BEST PROMOTIONAL FILM Ek Ropa Dhan

(Hindi)
Producer: Meghnath
Bhattacharjee

Director :
Biju Toppo and
Meghnath
Bhattacharjee
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
8 BEST ENVIRONMENT FILM Iron is Hot

(English)
Producer: Meghnath
Bhattacharjee


Director :
Biju Toppo and
Meghnath
Bhattacharjee
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
9 BEST FILM ON SOCIAL
ISSUES
Understanding
Trafficking

(Bengali, Hindi &
English)
Producer:
Cinemawoman

Director :
Ananya Chakraborti
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
10 BEST EDUCATIONAL FILM

Advaitham

(Telugu)
Producer:
K. Vijaypal Reddy

Director :
Pradeep Maadugula
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
11 BEST FILM ON SPORTS

Boxing Ladies

(Hindi)
Producer:
Satyajit Ray Film &
Television Institute,
Kolkata

Director :
Anusha Nandakumar
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
12 BEST INVESTIGATIVE FILM A Pestering Journey

(Malayalam, Punjabi,
Hindi, English & Tulu)
Producer:
Ranjini Krishnan

Director :
K. R. Manoj
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
13 SPECIAL JURY AWARD

Kabira Khada Bazaar
Mein

(Hindi)
Producer:
Srishti School of Art,
Design & Technology,
Bangalore

Director :
Shabnam Virmani
RAJAT Kamal


Rs 1,00,000/- each
14 SHORT FICTION FILM

Kal 15 August Dukan
Band Rahegi

(Hindi)
Producer: Film &
Television Institute of
India, Pune

RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each


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144
Director :
Prateek Vats
15 BEST FILM ON FAMILY
VALUES

Love in India

(Bengali & English)
Producer: Overdose

Director :
Kaushik Mukherjee

RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
16 BEST DIRECTION Shyam Raat Seher

(Hindi & Engish)
Director : Arunima
Sharma

Swarna Kamal

Rs 1,50,000/-each
17 BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Shyam Raat Seher

(Hindi & English)
Cameraman:
Murali G.

Laboratory :
Film Lab
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
18 BEST AUDIOGRAPHY A Pestering Journey

(Malayalam, Punjabi,
Hindi English & Tulu)
Re-recordist (final
mixed track) :
Harikumar Madhavan
Nair
RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
19 BEST EDITING

Germ

(Hindi)
Editor : Tinni Mitra


RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
20 BEST NARRATION (for Writing
the Narration)
Johar : Welcome to
Our World (Hindi &
English)
Nilanjan Bhattacharya RAJAT Kamal

Rs 50,000/- each
21 Special Mention a. Ottayal (One
Woman Alone)
( Malayalam)

b. The Zeliangrongs
(Manipuri & English)

c. Pistulya
(Marathi & Telugu)
a. Director:
Shiny Jacob Benjamin


b. Director
Ronel Haobam

c. Child Artist: Suraj
Pawar


III. BEST WRITING ON CINEMA

S. No. Name of Award Name of Book Awardee Medal
1. BEST BOOK ON CINEMA From Rajahs and Yogis
to Gandhi and Beyond:
Images of India in
International Films of
the Twentieth Century
(English)
Publisher : Seagull
Books

Author: Vijaya Mulay


Swarna Kamal

Rs 75,000
2. SPECIAL MENTION 1. Cinema Bhojpuri
(English)

2. Thiraicheelai
(Tamil)

Publisher : Penguin
Books India Ltd
Author : Avijit Ghosh

Publisher : Trisakti
Sundar Raman

Author : Oviyar Jeeva
Certificate


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145
3 BEST FILM CRITIC Joshy Joseph (English)


and


N. Manu Chakravarthy
(Kannada & English)


Swarna Kamal

Rs 37,500


Swarna Kamal

Rs 37,500


Dr. Raghuvansh conferred Moortidevi Award: The 22
nd
Moortidevi Award for the year 2008 was presented to eminent
Hindi writer and thinker Dr. Raghuvansh for his outstanding work Paschimi Bhautik Samskriti Ka Utthan Aur Patan on May
16, 2011 by Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari. The Award has been instituted by Bhartiya Jnanpith in the year 1983
and is given annually for any thought provoking literature which depicts Indian philosophy and culture. The Award constitutes
a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh and a momento alongwith a citation.

High Court judge wins PETA Compassionate Action award: Gujarat High Court judge, Justice M.R. Shah, was on
May 18, 2011 selected by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India for the Compassionate Action Award
for declaring that caging birds is illegal and ordering freedom for 494 birds and other animals seized from bird-sellers by
police. The bird-sellers had petitioned the court requesting return of the animals to them after police confiscated parrots,
doves, love birds and munias as well as rabbits and dogs. On May 12, Justice Shah said that keeping the birds caged was in
violation of both the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Wildlife Protection Act and ordered that the birds be set
free.

Dr. Gullapalli N. Rao presented Kupfer Award: The US-based Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
(ARVO) has honoured the founder of L.V. Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), Dr. Gullapalli N. Rao, by presenting him with Kupfer
Award for distinguished public service and his outstanding accomplishments as a researcher, ophthalmologist, and
humanitarian, committed to moving forward the agenda of eliminating avoidable blindness by 2020. The award was
presented to Dr. Rao at the annual meeting of ARVO at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA in May 2011.

Sriram, Dabholkar win Doors to Diplomacy Award in US: Two Indian American students on May 20, 2011 won a
US State Department award for creating a website for cultural diplomacy with the Muslim world. Aparajit Sriram and Avanti
Dabholkar, 12
th
grade students in New Jersey, were selected for the 2011 Doors to Diplomacy Award that recognises the
web projects that best teach young people about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy.

Indian doctors win British Medical Journal awards: Two teams of medical professionals from India were awarded
top honours at the British Medical Journal Group Awards distributed on May 18, 2011. The award for Medical Team in a
Crisis Zone went to Doctors for You for their flood relief work in Bihar in 2008; and the award for Innovation in Health Care
went to Professor Subhashchandra Daga and his team at the Maharashtra Institute of Medical Education and Research
Medical College for their work in neo-natal health. The BMJ Group Awards, held in association with the Medical and Dental
Defence Union of Scotland recognise and celebrate excellence in healthcare across the globe.

Gulshan Kumar creates wheelchair spinning record: Delhi-boy Gulshan Kumar on May 16, 2011 broke the world
record for spinning his wheelchair the maximum times in a single minute. The 18-year-old differently-abled boy made 63
spins in a minute on a wheelchair, thereby breaking the existing world record of 32 spins previously held by Jeffrey of France
in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Premlata is oldest Indian woman to scale Mt Everest: Jharkhands Premlata Agarwal on May 20, 2011 became the
oldest Indian woman to scale the Mount Everest at the age of 45. Premlata, who is being supported by Tata Steel, is also the
first person from Jharkhand to go an expedition to the Mount Everest.

Delhi student scales Mt. Lhotse: A schoolboy from Noida has achieved a rare double; after being the youngest Indian to
scale Mount Everest, he has ascended the neighbouring peak Mt. Lhotse. Arjun Vajpayee, a class 12 student of the Ryan


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146
International School in Noida, reached the peak of the 8,516 metre Mt. Lhotse, worlds fourth highest peak, on May 19, 2011.
On May 22, 2010, he climbed the 8,848 metre-high Everest at the age of 16 breaking the record of Krushnaa Patil, 18, from
Maharashtra who became the youngest Indian to reach Everest in 2009.

Trisha Rays film wins Gold Remi at Houstons Worldfest 2011: NRI director Trisha Rays film Sugarbaby, about a
trio of street singers in Kolkata, won a Gold Remi for the Best Theatrical Feature Film at the Houstons Worldfest 2011 on
May 16, 2011. Sugarbaby is based on a novel by Brian Stewart. The movie is about three girls, Maria (Iheny from
Venezuela), Sally (Cristina from the US) and Tara (Jasmine, also from the US), who are street singers. One day they find an
abandoned baby and their lives change forever.

Coen brothers win $1m Dan David Prize: Movie directors Joel and Ethan Coen on May 16, 2011 received the $1m Dan
David Prize for a creative partnership unique in the history of film-making at the Tel Aviv University in Israel. The Prize is
awarded to people who have made an outstanding contribution to humanity. The awards, established by international
businessman and philanthropist Dan David in 2002, give three annual prizes in past, present and future categories. The
Coens join previous winners of the present award including former British PM Tony Blair and environmental campaigner and
former US Vice-President Al Gore. The prizes citation said their debut movie Blood Simple showed their abilities as young
film-makers whose grasp of film genres, dark comedy and the capacity to bring narrative complexity to apparently simple
plots became hallmarks of their future films. In 2008, they won Oscars for best directing, best screenplay and best picture for
No Country for Old Men, while in 1997 they picked up the writing award for Fargo

Philip Roth wins the Man Booker Prize: 78-year old US writer Philip Roth was on May 18, 2011 announced winner of
the fourth Man Booker International Prize. The award and 60,000 prize money is presented to a writer for their achievement
in fiction on the world stage. His body of work includes the 1997 novel American Pastoral, for which he received the Pulitzer
Prize. At 26, he wrote his first book Goodbye, Columbus. Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1933, Roths controversial 1969
novel Portnoys Complaint brought him worldwide attention. Time magazine included the work in a list of the best novels of
the 20
th
century. The judging panel was chaired by writer, academic and rare-book dealer Dr Rick Gekoski, writer and critic
Carmen Callil and award-winning novelist Justin Cartwright. The Man Booker International Prize, which is presented every
two years, has previously been awarded to Ismail Kadare in 2005, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Alice Munro in 2009



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Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
NEWS ROUND UP

WB for streamlining of anti-poverty schemes

The World Bank has suggested streamlining of some anti-
poverty schemes, such as the Public Distribution System
(PDS).

In a new report, the Bank said India spent about 2 per cent
of its gross domestic product (GDP) on social protection
schemes, but the overall returns to the spending have not
yet reached full potential.

The report, Social Protection for a Changing India,
commissioned by the Planning Commission in 2004, is the
Banks first comprehensive review of anti-poverty schemes
such as PDS, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment
Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Rashtriya Suraksha Bima
Yojana (RSBY), Indira Awaas Yojana among others was
released on May 18, 2011 by John Blomquist, World Banks
Lead Economist for Social Protection in India.

India spends more than its South Asian neighbours as well
as many other developing countries on social protection
schemes. However, the countrys overall report on this front
is mixed. There are pockets of good performance.

On PDS, the largest safety net for the poor, the World
Bank advocated consolidated cash transfers to prevent
leakages and diversion of grains. It also favoured private
sector participation in grain procurement. In 2001, the
Planning Commission had estimated leakage of below
poverty line grains at 58 per cent nationally, the report said.

India spends one per cent of the GDP on PDS and covers
25 per cent of poor households. Declaring that no country in
the world had a well functioning PDS, the report said India
was no exception.

Among other PDS reforms suggested were measures to
make fair price shops (FPS) financially viable, introducing
community-based FPS, as in Tamil Nadu, decentralisation
of grain purchases, strengthening monitoring of the scheme,
use of food coupons, as in the case of Bihar, Andhra
Pradesh and Rajasthan.

In schemes such as MGNREGS and RSBY, too, some
public policy and implementation gaps were seen.

The report suggested that India should aim for a 3 Block
Strategy comprising three core schemes of PDS,
MGNREGS and RSBY. Proposing integration of some
schemes, it says that the large number of Central and State
schemes could be streamlined over time to a core set of
flagship schemes with an element of choice and flexibility
for meeting the varied needs of States.



India ranked 32
nd
in world competitiveness

India slipped one rank, to 32
nd
position in overall
competitiveness among 59 nations, according to the World
Competitiveness Rankings, announced on May 18, 2011 by
the International Institute for Management Development,
Lausanne (Switzerland).

The US and Hong Kong are joint first followed by followed
by last years topper, Singapore. In 2010, the US and Hong
Kong ranked second and third, respectively. Sweden
jumped to fourth, from sixth in 2010, and Germany came
sixth. Apart from Hong Kong and Singapore, two other
Asian nations, Taiwan and Qatar, came in the top 10 list.
Venezuela was the least competitive.

Sharply different trends were observed in Indias ranking in
four major parameters. While the ranking relating to
economic performance, government efficiency and
infrastructure availability marginally improved, India slipped
on business efficiency, which pulled down its overall
ranking.

On government efficiency, which includes fiscal
management and business legislation, India did better than
last year improving its position from 30
th
in 2010 to 29
th
in
2011.

In economic performance, a macroeconomic evaluation of
the domestic economy and related to areas like trade,
investments, employment and prices, the position of India
improved by two ranks to 18
th
place.

In the case of infrastructure availability to meet basic,
technological, scientific and human resources needs of
business, the country improved its position to 50
th
rank in
2011, from the 54
th
position last year. This indicates the
considerable infrastructure investment of recent years have
started showing results, the statement said.

However, on the business efficiency parameter, relating to
productivity and management practices, India slipped from
17
th
rank in 2010 to 22
nd
rank in 2011.


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SEZ Exports in 2010-11 grow 43%

The Minister of State for Commerce Jyotiraditya M. Scindia
presented the EPCES Export Awards to EOUs and SEZ
Units for Outstanding Export Performance for 2008-09 on
May 18, 2011.

Exports from SEZs during 2010-11 were Rs. 3,15,867 crore
representing a growth of 43% over the previous year. The
contribution of exports from SEZs to national exports during
2010-11 is 28%. The SEZ sector is providing employment to
6,76,608 people in the country and the total investments in
SEZs are Rs. 2,02,810 crore as on March 31, 2011. The
EPCES (Export Promotion Council for Export Oriented Units
& SEZs) was set up in January 2003 and recognizes the
efforts of EOUs and SEZ Units by presenting Export Awards
for their excellent performance in exports every year since
inception. .

The EPCES recognises export efforts in fields of gem &
jewellery, engineering, plastic products, electronic,
computer hardware, services, readymade garments,
handicrafts, chemical & allied products, textile products,
food products etc. These awards would be presented for the
export performance in the year 2008-09 to 48 awardees and
some of the award winners are M/s Nokia India Pvt.Ltd.,
(Rs.10,317 crore), M/s Rajesh Exports Ltd. (Rs.10,453
crore), M/s Suzlon Wind Corpn.Ltd. (Rs.1554 crore), M/s
Su-Raj Diamonds & Jewellery Ltd. (Rs.1230 crore ), M/s
Jindal Saw Ltd. (Rs.1520 crore), M/s Moser Baer India Ltd.
(Rs.1316 crore), M/s Hindustan Zinc Ltd. (Rs.1315 crore),
M/s Infosys (Rs.1123 crore) etc.

Paperless compliance under Companies Act
1956 enabled

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs on May 20, 2011
announced a Green Initiative in Corporate Governance by
allowing paperless compliances by the Companies (after
considering sections 2, 4, 5, and 81 of the Information
Technology Act, 2000) for legal validity of compliances
under Companies Act, 1956 through electronic mode.

The Registrar of Companies has to issue a number of
certificates to the companies and other stakeholders as
required under the provisions of Companies Act, 1956 read
with Companies Regulation, 1956. At present these
certificates are issued physically under the manual
signature of Registrar of Companies and issued by post.

In order to cut timelines and an another step towards
Green Initiative it has been decided that all certificates and
standard letters issued by the Registrar of Companies will
now be issued electronically under the Digital Signature of
the Registrar of Companies. The Digital Certificates are
being developed and will be available for issue by 30th
June, 2011 in phased manner.

Meanwhile, the government on May 20, 2011 allowed
companies to hold annual general meetings (AGMs)
through video conferencing, with a view to provide larger
participation and for curbing costs, borne by the
shareholders to attend AGMs. Accordingly, a company
would have to send a notice informing shareholders about
the availability of participation through video conference,
and provide necessary information to enable shareholders
to access the available facility of videoconferencing, the
Corporate Affairs Ministry said in a notification. This is a part
of the MCAs Green Initiative Campaign for Corporate
Governance. Video conference facility enables all persons
participating in a meeting to communicate concurrently with
each other without an intermediary, and to participate
effectively in the meeting.

Govt policy to boost domestic electronic
hardware industry

The government plans to make procurement of at least 30%
of electronic hardware requirements of government owned
companies and departments from Indian companies to
shore up manufacturing capabilities in the country.

The Department of Information Technology (DIT), which first
mooted this proposal, has said its studies have shown that
the volume of electronic imports to India far exceeds the oil
import bill. Earlier, the DIT set up an industry-led task force
in 2009 chaired by HCL Infosystems chairman Ajay
Choudhry and former NASSCOM President Kiran Karnik to
suggest measures to stimulate electronic hardware
manufacturing. A key recommendation of this committee
was to give preference to domestically-manufactured
products.

The telecom sector will be the most impacted if this
proposal is implemented, as it accounts for maximum import
of electronic hardware. The communications ministry is of
the view that this proposal can complement telecom
regulator TRAIs recent suggestion that mobile phone
companies be mandated to source 80% of their network
equipment and other related infrastructure from domestic
manufacturers by 2020.

1% interest waiver on loan against warehouse
receipts

Leading banks have agreed to lower the rates of interest on
loans against warehouse receipts in a meeting with the
Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority
(WDRA) in May 2011. WDRA chairman Dinesh Rai said that
the banks have committed a reduction of at least 1% in the


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149
maximum interest rate for loans against NWRs (negotiable
warehouse receipts). The maximum interest rate for loans
against warehouse receipts will drop to 11-11.5% from 12-
12.5% charged now.

In April 2011, the government made receipts issued by
warehouses registered with the regulator full negotiable
instruments backed by a central legislation. This will allow
the holder of the receipt to trade them easily, increasing
their value as collateral for loans. The countrys biggest
public sector bank, the State Bank of India, had last year
offered loans against warehouse and cold storage receipts
to farmers at a concessional rate of 8%.

The WDRA was set up in October 2010 to regulate the
development of warehouses in the country and to prevent
post-harvest distress sale by farmers. A greater legal
backing to the warehouse receipts will help farmers get
loans and hold onto their produce till they get a better price.
The farmer can later sell their produce physically or transfer
the warehouse receipts when the prices firm up.

The regulator has registered 54 warehouses from the 336
that applied. The highest number was from Rajasthan,
followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya
Pradesh.

India not for IPR beyond domestic law in FTA
with EU PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has directed Indian
negotiators not to take Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
obligation, particularly in pharmaceuticals, beyond domestic
laws or as mandated in the TRIPS (Trade Related
Intellectual Property Rights) agreement of the World Trade
Organisation, while entering into a Foreign Trade
Agreement (FTA) with European Union (EU).

This was disclosed by the PMO following a meeting of the
Trade and Economic Relations Committee (TERC) held on
April 30, 2011. India is in advanced stage of negotiations
with the 27-nation EU bloc for an FTA, officially known as
Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement. The EU has
been demanding that India should enforce a stricter IPR
regime than what has been mandated in its domestic laws
and the WTO agreement on TRIPS.

EU is Indias largest trading partner with commercial
engagement of $74 billion in 2009-10. The proposed FTA is
expected to remove roadblocks and boost trade between
the two sides.

The TERC, headed by the Prime Minister, also approved
launch of negotiations for an FTA with Australia. It was
apprised to TERC that while there has been a substantial
growth in bilateral merchandise trade with Australia, tariffs
and non-tariff barriers continue to raise the cost of imports,
imposing implicit taxes on businesses and consumers alike.
It was felt that a comprehensive FTA with Australia would
benefit both the countries. Indias bilateral trade with
Australia stood at around $14 billion in the financial year
2009-10.

The TERC which comprises, among others, finance minister
Pranab Mukherjee, commerce and industry minister Anand
Sharma and external affairs minister S M Krishna, also
considered proposal for establishing a joint study group to
examine feasibility of comprehensive FTA/Preferential
Trade Agreement with the Common Market of Eastern and
Southern Africa.

India has already implemented free trade pacts with South
Korea and ASEAN and has signed comprehensive pacts
with Japan and Malaysia. The duties and barriers on trade
are significantly removed or eliminated under FTAs.

Consumer Price Index at 106 in April

Consumer Price Index in 2011
April March February
Rural 108 107 107
Urban 105 104 104
Combined 106 106 105
Base = 100 (April 2010)

The overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2011 was
at the same level as in March despite prices of fruits,
protein-based items and milk showing an upward trend. The
CPI, according to the new series, clocked in at 106 points in
April, from a base of 100 in 2010. According to the data
released on May 18, 2011, the general indices for rural and
urban consumers stood at 108 and 105 points, respectively.

These consumer indices have been released for five major
groups food, beverages and tobacco; fuel and light;
housing; clothing, bedding and footwear; and miscellaneous
items.

The new CPI was introduced to reflect the actual movement
of prices at the micro-level and help policy-makers like the
RBI in better framing of decisions. According to experts,
with the passage of the time, the new index would take over
Wholesale Price Index (WPI) as the main benchmark to
measure inflation.

Tamil Nadu is top state in bio-fertilizer production:
As per the latest firm data available on use of bio-fertilizers
on May 18, 2011, Tamil Nadu has overtaken Karnataka. In


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150
2009-10, Tamil Nadu produced 3733 tonnes of bio-fertilizers
followed by Karnataka, 3696 tonnes. The other major
producers of bio-fertilizers are Kerala (1937 tonnes),
Maharashtra (1861 tonnes) and Madhya Pradesh (1588
tonnes). Bio-fertilizers are products containing living micro-
organisms which are agriculturally useful. Studies on
benefits and usefulness of bio-fertilizers on agriculture
production reveal that on an average 10-20% increase in
production can be realised by use of bio-fertilizers. Use of
bio-fertilizers is being promoted through Integrated Nutrient
Management, enhancing awareness and field
demonstration. Financial Support for establishment of bio-
fertilizer production units is also provided under the National
Project on Organic Farming as back-ended subsidy of 25%,
restricted to Rs. 40 lakh, through NABARD.

Govt. to offload equity in Scooters India Ltd: The
Union Cabinet on May 19, 2011 approved the revival of
Scooters India Limited (SIL) through induction of a joint
venture partner identified through the Department of
Disinvestment. It is proposed to revive the company through
induction of a strategic partner by offloading the entire
Government equity of around 95%. The balance 5% equity
will remain with banks, financial institutions, corporate
bodies and others. The Lucknow-based SIL, which
manufactures and sells three wheelers under the brand
name of Vikram, has been recording operational losses
since 2002-03 and net losses since 2006-07.

Govt. approves Neyveli Lignites power project:
The government on May 19, 2011 approved the proposal to
set up Neyveli Lignite Corporation's Rs 5,907 crore lignite-
based thermal power project in Tamil Nadu. The Cabinet
Committee on Infrastructure approved the proposal for
installing 1000 MW lignite based thermal power project at
Neyveli.

PCRA to set up Indias 1
st
Carbon Credit Centre:
The Petroleum Conservation and Research Association
(PCRA) on May 16, 2011 unveiled plans to set up a Carbon
Credit Aggregation Centre (CCA) at the Pali textile cluster in
Rajasthan. This will be the first of 16 such CCA centres
proposed to be set up across the country and aim to
introduce and popularise Clean Development Mechanism
(CDM) initiatives in MSME (Micro, Small and Medium
Enterprises) clusters under the Technology and Quality
Upgradation Support scheme for MSMEs. The centre will
not only help over 506 textile units in Pali adopt clean
development mechanisms to reduce carbon emissions, but
will also facilitate carbon credit trading at national and
international commodity exchanges.

25-paisa coins phased out: The Reserve Bank of India
on May 18, 2011 asked the public to exchange 25 paise
coins and those with lower denominations with banks before
June 30, the day from which they would be demonetised or
cease to be a legal tender for payment. These will not be
accepted for exchange at bank branches from July 1, 2011
onward.

Natural gas, fertilisers in core sector data: The
government on May 17, 2011 decided to include natural gas
and fertilisers in the list of core sector infrastructure
industries, a move which will help in capturing performance
of economy in a better way. Currently, the government
evaluates performance of six key sectors crude oil,
petroleum refinery, cement, electricity, finished steel and
coal on a monthly basis. The new series, which will have
data for eight key sectors, would be released on June 10.
The addition will increase the weight of the core sector to
about 37 per cent in the IIP. Presently, the six infrastructure
industries have a weight of 26.7 per cent in the overall Index
of Industrial Production (IIP).

Petrol price hiked by Rs. 5 a litre: State-owned oil
marketing companies (OMCs) on May 14, 2011 announced
an increase of Rs.5 a litre in the price of petrol. This was the
biggest-ever increase in petrol prices and the eighth since
the prices were deregulated in June 2010.

SC orders release of 5 mn tonnes of foodgrains: To
ensure that no starvation death takes place and people are
saved from malnutrition as far as possible, the Supreme
Court on May 14, 2011 directed the Centre to release five
million tonnes of foodgrains immediately for distribution in
150 most poverty-stricken districts or other poorer segments
in the country. The Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and
Deepak Verma heard Gopal Subramaniam, Solicitor-
General; Mohan Parasaran, Additional Solicitor-General;
Colin Gonsalves, senior counsel for the petitioner (Peoples
Union for Civil Liberties), and other counsel for the
respective parties before passing the order.

Star Alliance sets deadline for Air India to join:
Lufthansa, a founding member of the Star Alliance, on May
17, 2011 said Air India needs to complete all formalities to
join the global airline grouping before the final deadline of
July 31. Lufthansa has been helping and guiding Air India to
complete all formalities for joining the alliance. Jet Airways
is likely to become second member of the Star Alliance.

Indias seafood exports grow 25.5% in 2010-11:
Indias Seafood exports grew by an impressive 25.5 per
cent year-on-year to USD 2.6 billion in 2010-11, surpassing
the target of USD 2.5 billion set by the government as
shipments to European and Japanese markets improved.
During 2009-10, Indias seafood exports were at USD 2.1
billion, according to figures released by the Marine Products
Export Development Authority (MPEDA) on May 17, 2011.
Of the countrys total seafood exports in the last fiscal,


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151
Europe accounted for 26 per cent, followed by Japan (20
per cent) and the US (17 per cent).

Govt. to set up of Debt Management Office: Joining
the debate over hiving off the debt management activities of
the Reserve Bank, Prime Ministers Economic Advisory
Council (PMEAC) Chairman C Rangarajan has favoured
setting up a separate Debt Management Office (DMO)
under the aegis of the central government. There are many
countries in the world where the public debt office is
managed only by the government. Therefore, even here, the
Reserve Bank can continue to play its role as a monetary
authority, without having the DMO under it, the PMEAC
Chairman said on May 17, 2011. The Reserve Bank has
opposed setting up a DMO under the Union government to
manage sovereign debt, saying only the central bank has
the requisite expertise to manage market volatility.

Testing centre for vehicles to be set up in Rohtak:
The Union Government in May 2011 sanctioned
establishment of a modern inspection and testing centre for
vehicles at Kanheli village in Rohtak district. Stating this
after a meeting with Union Road, Transport and Highways
Minister C. P. Joshi, Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda
said the Centre would ensure road worthiness of motor
vehicles. It could perform the inspection and testing of 1.25
lakh to 1.50 lakh vehicles every year.

CII for continuation of export incentive scheme:
Discontinuation of the tax rebate scheme DEPB from June
will make exports uncompetitive, thus affecting its growth
momentum, industry body CII said on May 16, 2011. Under
DEPB, exporters get refund of duties on import content of
their export products. The CII said that withdrawal of the
Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEBP) scheme would have an
adverse impact on the exports growth momentum achieved
in the last few quarters. Indias exports registered the
highest ever growth of 37.5 per cent at USD 245.9 billion
during 2010-11, demonstrating a robust demand for Indian
merchandises both in western economies as well as in new
markets like Latin America. The 14-year-old scheme is the
most popular among exporters, especially in the
engineering and automobiles sectors.

No. of Indian stocks in MSCI rises to 72: In its
quarterly review, the Morgan Stanley Capital Index (MSCI)
on May 19, 2011 decided to induct six Indian stocks into the
MSCI Emerging Markets Index from May 31. These stocks
are: Titan Industries, Dabur India, Asian Paints, Shriram
Transport, Bank of India and Mundra Port and SEZ. Indias
tally of stocks in the emerging market index has gone up to
72 from 64. Consequently, Indias weighting in the index has
also gone up 13 basis points to 7.24 per cent. Several
foreign index funds follow the MSCIs global indices while
allocating money, so this increase will mean higher
allocation for Indian equities from such funds. There is a
direct link between Indias weighting in the index and
allocation of foreign funds to Indian markets. Top 5
countries in terms of weightage are: China (17.82%
weightage, 146 stocks, 8 new additions), Korea (14.83%,
103, 4), Taiwan (11.73, 123, 0), India (7.24%, 72, 6) and
Malaysia (3.08%, 42, 3).

Indian EVMs get first export order: India on May 17,
2011 got its first firm order to export the electronic voting
machines (EVMs) to Namibia. The EVMs were designed by
the Election Commission of India (ECI) in collaboration with
two public sector undertakings (PSUs) Bharat Electronics
(BEL), Bangalore, and Electronic Corporation of India
(ECIL), Hyderabad which manufacture and sell them.

Sand artist is NALCO brand ambassador: National
Aluminium Company Limited on May 20, 2011 announced
the appointment of world-renowned Orissa-based sand
artist Sudarsan Pattnaik as its first brand ambassador.

Bharat-Oman Bina refinery inaugurated: PM Dr.
Manmohan Singh dedicated the Bina Refinery to the nation
at a ceremony held at Bina, Madhya Pradesh on May 20,
2011. The refinery has a capacity of 6 Million Metric Tonnes
Per Annum (MMTPA) and is equipped with state-of-the-art
technology to produce Euro III & IV petroleum products.
Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd (BORL), a company formed to
set up the Bina Refinery, is promoted by Bharat Petroleum
Corporation Ltd. BORL also has an equity participation of
26% by Oman Oil Company and about 1% by Govt. of
Madhya Pradesh.

Amit Mitra resigns from FICCI: Dr Amit Mitra on May
18, 2011 resigned from the post of Secretary General of
Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
on Wednesday to pursue a political career in West Bengal.
He defeated the former West Bengal Finance Minister, Asim
Dasgupta, by a significant margin in the recently concluded
Assembly elections. He contested as Trinamool Congress
candidate in the Kharadah constituency of North 24
Parganas. Dr Mitra spent more than 16 years with the
Chamber before moving on to play a larger role in State
politics and is tipped to become the State Finance Minister.
The new Secretary General of FICCI is expected to be
announced soon. The Director General FICCI, Rajiv Kumar,
is a frontrunner for the post.




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Section E: SPORTS

Shane Warne retires from international Cricket
Legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne played his
last professional cricket match on May 20, 2011 leading his
team Rajasthan Royals to a 10-wicket win over Mumbai
Indians in their final Indian Premier League game.

Warne made his first-class debut in February 1991 for his
Victoria, before being selected to face India in his first Test
11 months later. He took 708 wickets in 145 Tests for
Australia before retiring from international cricket in 2007.
His test record: 145 games, 708 wickets (average 25.41,
best 8-71), 3,154 runs (av 17.32, highest score 99), 125
catches At the time, the figure was a world record, although
it was broken by Muttiah Muralitharan less than a year later,
and the Sri Lanka spinner eventually finished with 800.
Warne also captured 293 wickets in 184 one-day
internationals. His ODI record: 194 games, 293 wickets (av
25.73, best 5-33), 1,018 runs (av 13.05, HS 55), 80 catches

Warne retired from the first-class cricket in 2008 after a spell
captaining English county side Hampshire. He joined the
IPL and under his captaincy, Rajasthan Royals won the
inaugural IPL title in 2008. His IPL career ended on a
slightly sour note after his $50,000 fine for his part in a row
with Sanjay Dixit, secretary of Rajasthan Cricket
Association, over the choice of wicket for a home game.

Credited with reviving the dormant art of leg-spin bowling,
Warnes phenomenal success led him to be named as one
of the five cricketers of the 20th century by leading
almanack Wisden in 2000, alongside Sir Jack Hobbs, Sir
Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Vivian
Richards.

West Indies beat Pakistan in first test: Skipper
Darren Sammy took five wickets and Ravi Rampaul claimed
four as the West Indies defeated Pakistan by 40 runs in the
first Test at the Guyana National Stadium in Georgetown,
Guyana on May 15, 2011. Chasing 219 for victory, Pakistan
were dismissed for 178 in their second innings on the fourth
day. Sammy finished with the impressive figures of five for
29 from 17 overs that helped him to earn the man-of-the-
match award, and Rampaul supported with four for 48 from
21 overs. The victory gave West Indies a 1-0 lead in the
two-match series, which concludes with the second Test,
starting on May 20 at Warner Park in St. Kitts

Australia wins Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: A golden goal
by Christopher Ciriello in the second half of the extra-time
enabled Australia to beat Pakistan 3-2 in the final at Ipoh,
Malaysia to win the Sulan Azlan Cup Hockey tournament for
the sixth time on May 15, 2011. The teams were
deadlocked 2-2 at the end of the regulation time. The
Aussies had last won the trophy in 2007. Ciriello (2) and
Glen Turner (1) were the goal scorers for Australia while
Sohail Abbas and Rehan Butt scored one goal each for
Pakistan. Australia took the lead twice which Pakistan
managed to equalise both times. Great Britain beat New
Zealand 4-2 defeat to pick the bronze medal. India slumped
to the sixth place following a 2-1 defeat against Korea. Host
Malaysia finished last in the seven-nation tournament.
Christopher Ciriello was Player of the final while Shakeel
Abbasi of Pakistan was Player of the tournament. Sohail
Abbas (Pakistan) and Rupinder Pal Singh (India) with six
goals each were the joint top-scorers in the tournament.

Sharapova wins Rome International: Russias Maria
Sharapova won her first tournament in almost a year when
she powered past Australias Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 to
win the Rome International on May 15, 2011.

Somdev Devvarman rises to career best ranking:
Indian Davis Cup player Rohan Bopanna on May 16, 2011
achieved his carrer-best rank of 11 in the ATP doubles chart
while Somdev Devvarman rose to number 66, his career
best singles rank. Veteran doubles stars Mahesh Bhupathi
(5) and Leander Paes (7) were changed. In the doubles
team ranking, Paes and Bhupathi continue to be number
two but Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam-ul-haq
Quereshi slipped to number seven from six. Meanwhile, in
the WTA charts, Sania Mirza was unchanged in singles (74)
but improved the doubles ranking by gaining a place to 26.

Djokovic wins Rome Masters: Novak Djokovic took his
unbeaten start to 2011 to 37 matches as he stunned world
number one Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4 to win the Rome Masters
on May 15, 2011. Djokovic has won all seven tournaments
he has played this year, including the Australian Open, and
must surely now be considered the favourite going into the
French Open which starts on May 22.

Natt, Gaudet to coach national basketball teams:
The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) on May 17, 2011
appointed Kenny Natt as the head coach of the mens
national team, while Pete Gaudet will shoulder the
responsibility of womens team. Natt has got 13 years
coaching experience in the National Basketball Association
while Gaudet is a veteran with more than four decades of
international exposure. Apart form the two, BFI has also
appointed Zak Penwell as the strength and conditioning
coach.

Khade wins 3 golds at Malaysia Open Swimming:
Asian Games bronze medallist Virdhawal Khade on May 18,


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2011 put up an impressive show at the 54
th
Malaysia Open
Swimming Championship by bagging eight medals,
including three gold. Khade won gold medals in the 50m,
100m and 200m freestyle events and two silver in the 50m
and 100m butterfly events at the National Aquatics Centre in
Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur. Ashwin Menon won a bronze in
mens 200m backstroke with a timing of 2:10.86s. Apart
from individual events, Khade won three silver medals in the
relay events.

Porto wins Europa League: Falcao fired Porto to
Europa League glory as the Colombia striker capped a
remarkable campaign by clinching his sides 1-0 win over
Braga in the all-Portuguese final in Aviva stadium in Dublin
on May 18, 2011. Andre Villas-Boas side arrived at the
Aviva Stadium already crowned as Portuguese champion
after a record-breaking domestic season.

Orissa wins national womens football: Orissa
defeated three-time champions Bengal 5-0 to clinch their
maiden title in the 19
th
edition of the Senior National
womens football championship at Pant Stadium in Bhilai on
May 18, 2011. Orissas leading goal scorer Sasmita Mallick
struck a brace (5
th
and 80
th
), while Jabamoni Soren (50
th
),
Pinky Magar (60
th
) and Shradhanjali Samantaray (71
st
) fired
in one each to complete the rout.

Maradona to coach Dubai club: Argentine soccer
legend Diego Maradona is to take over as coach next
season at Dubais Al-Wasl Football Club, the club
announced on May 16, 2011. The 50-year-old Maradona
was manager of the Argentina national side at last years
World Cup in South Africa, but was sacked after they lost 4-
0 to Germany in the quarter-finals.

Annu Raj Singh wins silver in shooting World Cup:
Annu Raj Singh on May 17, 2011 became the fifth Indian
shooter to book a berth in next year's London Olympics
after clinching the 10m Air Pistol silver medal at the ongoing
ISSF World Cup in Fort Benning, USA. Olena Kostevych of
Ukraine won the gold while Celine Goberville of France won
the bronze. Singh joins rifle shooters Ronjan Sodhi, Gagan
Narang, Hari Om Singh and Sanjeev Rajput, to clinch a
quota place for the London Olympics.




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Weekly Current Affairs update
For the Week: May 22 to 28, 2011

Major news of the week
Section A: INDIA

Africa-India Forum Summit organised in Addis Ababa
UPA-II government completes 2 years in office
GSAT-8 launched successfully by Arianespace
NAC unveils recommendations on Land Acquisition Act
India to host Convention on Biological Diversity on Oct 2012
Environment Ministry launches Haathi Mere Saathi
UPA govt. rejects Karnataka Governors report
ITBP sends Rs.11-crore bill for Kasab security
India-US Homeland Security Dialogue concludes
Indian cautions France over military sales to Pak
Rs 251 crore allocated for Tripura-Bangladesh railway line
OFB developing Kawach rockets for Navy submarines
Astra test-fired successfully for 2nd day in a row
NPCIL launches comics to dispel nuclear fears at Jaitapur
CRPF men in naxal areas will be eligible for service medals
CBDT to retain phone-tapping authority
World Bank praises rural job guarantee scheme MGNREGA
Railways increase concessions for senior citizens
1st phase of demarcation of Bellary mines over
Bagha Jatins biography released
India and Afghanistan sign MoU for cultural cooperation
First cable-stayed bridge in J&K launched
Health Min to expand NPCDCS across the country
CBI files chargesheet against CWG accused
Accident at Strategic Petroleum Reserve kills 3
Accident Investigation Committee to probe aviation mishaps
Jindal Law School signs MoU to train IAS officers
IIT Kanpur is No. 1 among Indian institutes in QS Asian 2011
Ajit K. Seth is new Cabinet Secretary
D Jayakumar appointed TN Assembly Speaker
Naresh Tikait is new President of Bhartiya Kisan Union
Mamata retains 9 portfolios in Bengal Cabinet
President rejects mercy petitions of Bhullar, Das
Film critic Chidananda Dasgupta passes away
Social activist Dr Rajnikant Arole passes away
Harmonium player Mehmood Dholpuri passes away
Section B: WORLD
NSG to consider Indias request for membership
16
th
NAM Ministerial Conference organised in Bali
Pak naval base at Mehran attacked
Grimsvotn erupts in Iceland
Astronauts in final shuttle space-walk at ISS
Arab League backs Palestinian membership at UN
Egypt eases blockade at Gazas Rafah crossing
North Sudan takes over border town Abeyi
G-8 to fund democracy in Middle-East
India elected to UN Human Rights Council
Russia tests ICBM missile Sineva
International Day of UN Peacekeepers observed
China sets up special cyber warfare unit
DISY wins Cyprus elections
Ivory Coasts President Ouattara inaugurated
Ecuador referendum gives Correa victory
Rouzier named Haitis new prime minister
Obama nominates Panetta as secretary of defence
British boy is youngest seven-summit climber
War-crimes accused Mladic arrested in Serbia
Abkhazia President Bagapsh passes away
Section C: AWARDS
Subhasis Chaudhuri wins G. D. Birla Award
Aditya Sudarshan wins MetroPlus Award
Doordarshan Annual Awards presented
Mukherjee, Jaitley conferred doctorates in UK
Aminatta Forna wins Commonwealth Writers Prize
Santiago Roncagliolo wins Foreign Fiction Prize
Terrence Malick wins Palme dOr at Cannes
Section D: ECONOMY & CORPORATE
RBI for holding company structure for banking groups
Bankers Committee on Rural Housing submits report
Group of Ministers refers Cairn deal back to CCEA
Trade unions oppose relaxation in labour laws for NMIZs
DoT supports 30% quota for Made-in-India in telecom
IMG on inflation favours FDI in multi-brand retail
India 32
nd
in World Competitiveness Rankings
India ranked 35
th
in the Global Talent Index
RBI disallows banks from giving loans against IDRs
Indias real GDP growth at 8.8% in 2011-12 CMIE
RBI eases overseas investment norms
RBI to release coin on 1,000 yrs of Brihadeeswara
Indias forex reserves at $308.534 bn on May 20
RBI limits NBFC stake in insurance JVs to 50%
RBI calls for 25% new branches in unbanked areas
RBI eases credit default swaps norms
Indian Bank records highest RoA among PSU banks
RBI asks banks to address ATM complaints within 7 days
Indias first rural bank ATM card launched in Varanasi
Incomes below Rs. 5 lakh exempted from filing IT returns
5.77 lakh villages have Village Public Telephones
Himachal is 1
st
state to sign MoU with World Bank on CDM
More foreigners than Indians receive patents in India in 10-11
Annual Conference of IT Commissioners organised
Gas prices should be market-driven Chawla Committee
Competition Commission of India penalises Multiplex owners
Duty-free apparel import quota from Bangladesh increased
Sanovi wins recovery management contract for UID
OECD projects global GDP growth for 2011 at 4.2%
Global accounting body calls for full IFRS adoption in India
McKinsey unveils Internet matters
M.D. Mallya elected Chairman of IBA
K Mehrotra appointed LICs interim chairman
Rajiv Kumar is new FICCI Secretary General
Section E: SPORTS

FIFA suspends Presidential candidate Bin Hammam
Bengal enter Santosh Trophy final
Salim Durani conferred Col. C K Nayudu Award
BPCL wins Aga Khan Hockey
Shooter Vijay Kumar wins silver and Olympic quota


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Section A: INDIA


Africa-India Forum Summit organised

Highlights
$5 billion line of credit for 3 years
Additional $700 mn for institutions, training programmes
$300 million for Ethio-Djibouti rail line
India-Africa virtual university with 10,000 new
scholarships
India-Africa business council
$2 million for African Union mission in Somalia
Increased access of African airlines to India
India-Africa food processing and textiles clusters
More than 22,000 scholarships to African students
An India-Africa centre for weather forecasting

India and Africa on May 25, 2011 underscored the need for
urgent and comprehensive reform of the UN system and
backed each others aspirations to become permanent
members of the Security Council with full rights.

The two-day Africa-India Forum Summit, co-chaired by
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Equatorial Guinea
President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, was organised in
Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on May 24-25, 2011.

The eight-page Addis Ababa Declaration adopted at the end
of Summit said the African members of the UN Security
Council and India affirm their commitment to coordinate
closely during Indias tenure as non-permanent member of
the Council.

Following is a description of the happenings at the summit:

India pledges $5 bn credit: Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh unveiled a slew of initiatives to help African nations
build local capabilities, continuing the Indian strategy of
treading softly on a continent where there is a scramble for
natural resources. India pledged a $5 billion line of credit for
development initiatives and an additional $700 million for
education and skill development in Africa. The $5 billion line
of credit will be for three years. A substantial chunk of the
credit line, $300 million, will be to support the development
of a new Ethio-Djibouti railway line linking Addis Ababa and
the port of Djibouti.

India-Africa Business Council: PM Singh announced the
setting up of a formal arrangement for better interaction
between businesses in India and Africa. I propose that we
jointly establish an India-Africa Business Council which will
bring together CEOs of major corporation from both sides,
he said. Among the major business groups with operations
in Africa are mobile phone service provider Airtel, the Tata
group, the Essar group, Reliance Industries, BHEL and
software training company NIIT.
Food & textile clusters: To boost engagement in the
agriculture and allied sectors, the prime minister announced
the formation of an India-Africa food processing cluster. This
would contribute to value addition and the creation of
regional and export markets. Furthermore, an India-Africa
Integrated Textile Cluster will support the cotton industry
and the processing of the raw material into high-value
products.

Environment: India and Africa asked the developed
counties to take ambitious actions to reduce their
greenhouse gas emissions and also provide finance and
technology to the developing counties so that they could
effectively address the impact of climate change. Strongly
pitching to preserve the integrity of the international climate
change regime, Africa-India Forum Summit 2011 reaffirmed
the importance of reaching an agreement on a second
commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.

Libya: India today sought cessation of all hostilities in Libya
and supported the African Unions (AU) efforts to find a
peaceful solution to the civil war. The Addis Ababa
Declaration talked about the Libyan crisis. We take note of
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970, 1973 on
Libya and stress that efforts to implement them should be
within the spirit and the letter of the resolutions, the joint
declaration read. NATO forces have already undertaken
military action in Libya, where a civil war-like situation
prevails, with Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi facing a
revolt in his country. India has called for an end to the
conflict in Libya and has spoken against the international
military action. At the UN Security Council, India abstained
from voting when the Libya resolution was put to vote.

Terrorism, piracy: India and Africa unequivocally
condemned terrorism and piracy in all its forms and
manifestation and called for active prosecution of authors of
such crimes. Both sides also supported each others claims
for permanent membership of the United Nations Security
Council. The Addis Ababa Declaration called on all
countries to ensure that acts of cross-border terrorism do
not occur and that their territories are not made a base for
terrorists.

Agriculture: India has decided to send teams of farm
experts to African countries to explore ways of helping the
dark continent to improve its agricultural practises. Indian
Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) teams would visit
Ethiopia, South Africa, Zambia and other countries of the
African continent. The objective is to study agriculture there
and explore role for India to help train manpower in the farm
sector there. A report would be submitted to the government
after the trip to chalk out how best India could help African
nations improve there agriculture.


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Education: The Indian PM announced establishment of an
India-Africa Virtual University with 10,000 new scholarships,
a total of 22,000 scholarships to Africa students, institutes
for English language training, information technology,
entrepreneurship development and vocational training,
among other things.

Bilateral deals signed during the Summit

With Ethiopia on taxation & business cooperation: India
and Ethiopia on May 25, 2011 signed two agreements in the
area of taxation and medium scale enterprises to bring
benefits to business communities to both sides. After wide-
ranging discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh and his Ethiopian counterpart Meles Zenawi, the two
accords were signed which are expected to help further
deepen economic exchanges between the two countries.
Addressing a joint press conference with Singh, Zenawi
rejected charges of land grab by Indian companies and the
country being used as a dumping ground. He said that it
was unutilised land that was being offered to Indian
companies which were using them for investment purposes.

Joint Business Council with Kenya: Kenya and India are
set to establish a Joint Business Council as a forum to
expand trade and investments between the two countries
following an agreement reached in talks at Addis Ababa
between Kenyas President Mwai Kibaki and Indian Prime
Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. The council will be the
structured avenue for joint projects to be undertaken
between the two countries and will also facilitate private
investors.

Ethiopia-Djibouti rail route: The Indian PM announced a
$300 million line of credit to help revive the Ethiopia-Djibouti
rail route. With Ethiopia in a state of no war, no peace, with
Eritrea, Djibouti remains the only viable outlet to the sea for
this landlocked nation of 85 million people.

Analysis
The second India-Africa summit at Addis Ababa has set the
stage for a comprehensive re-engagement between the
worlds largest democracy and an emerging continent. The
Declaration adopted at the summit envisage economic and
political cooperation, and also cooperation in a host of other
areas including science and technology, social and
infrastructure development, tourism, culture, and sports. As
a leading player in the global economy, it is natural for India
to seek participation in a resource-rich continent that Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh has described as the new
economic growth story. His announcement of a $5 billion
credit line over the next three years was the eye-catcher of
the summit, but clearly, African nations are interested in
enhancing their own skills and capabilities. India, with its
substantial technology knowledge pool, is well placed to
contribute to such capacity-building. This will also help in
better utilisation of Indian financial assistance of the
committed credit line, unused funds from a previous
financial package comprise $3.4 billion.

Following the first summit in 2008, India initiated several
such efforts, including the Pan-African e-Network Project
across 43 countries, which drew appreciation from the
beneficiary countries. That new proposals for capacity-
building discussed at this summit cover fields as diverse as
information technology, textiles, food processing, and
weather forecasting underscores the needs of a continent
seeking to stabilise itself economically and politically. As
important, it highlights Africas recognition of rising Indias
capabilities to assist other developing countries.

Reducing Indias ties with Africa to a rivalry with China is to
take a narrow view of history. Given the realities, it is also
meaningless Chinas $126 billion trade with Africa is way
ahead of Indias $ 46 billion. It is best for New Delhi to use
the present momentum to build its relationship with Africa in
ways that will be of optimal benefit to both sides.

India, Africa to boost bilateral trade

India and Africa on May 21, 2011 vowed to strengthen
trade-related capacity by concluding cooperation
agreements between India and African Regional Economic
Communities (RECs). This was decided at a meeting
between Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma
and the trade ministers of all African countries at Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia on May 22, 2011. It was decided that
trade ministers would meet prior to every India-Africa
forum summit and the India-Africa trade ministers
dialogue would be an annual event.

India Africa investments reached $90 billion while
bilateral trade topped $46 billion in 2010. Both sides on
Saturday agreed to increase trade to $70 billion by 2015
with greater focus on infrastructure, energy and capacity
building. India is particularly focused on Nigeria and Sudan
for greater cooperation on energy. India is heavily
dependent on these two countries for securing oil.

India also offered duty free tariff preference scheme for 33
least developed countries in Africa, which covers 94 per
cent of Indias total tariff lines. India and Africa is also
jointly setting up Africa-India Institute of Foreign Trade in
Kampala, Uganda.


UPA-II government completes 2 years in office

The UPA government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh stepped into the third year of its second term on May
22, 2011. For 79-year old Singh, who got to the Prime
Ministers seat after Sonia Gandhi refused to assume the
office in 2004, it has been hopping from one problem to


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157
another in the last over eight months. The only relief that
came for the party heading the ruling coalition at the Centre
was the recent results of the Assembly elections. The party
retained its government in Assam convincingly, managed to
wrest one in Kerala and was in a happy position in West
Bengal where the ally knocked the Left front out of power
after 34 years. The economy registered a growth of 8.6% in
2010-11. This was composed of 5.4% growth in agriculture,
8.1% in industry and 9.6% in services. Following are the
highlights of the second year of UPA-II.

I. GOVERNANCE & SOCIAL WELFARE

EDUCATION: There has been a significant reduction in the
number of out of school children at the elementary level.
More than 11 crore children are now provided hot cooked
meals under the Mid Day Meal Programme. The Right of
Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 came
into effect on 1
st
April 2010. Elementary education has now
become a fundamental right for all children in the 6-14 age
group. In higher education, all the sixteen new Central
universities, except that in Jammu have now commenced
academic activities. In 2010-11, three new Indian Institutes
of Management (IIMs), at Rohtak, Ranchi and Raipur
commenced their academic sessions. All the 10 new
National Institutes of Technology also started functioning
from July 2010.

HEALTH: The National Rural Health Mission has helped
strengthen healthcare delivery systems in the country. All
disease control programmes have also shown sustained
improvement. Progress in AIDS control and care is also
encouraging, with the annual new HIV infections in India
having declined by more than 50% in the last decade.
Construction of six new AIIMS-like institutions is in full
swing.

AADHAR: The unique identification project AADHAAR was
launched in September 2010. By April 2011, more than 50
lakh AADHAAR numbers have already been generated. The
AADHAAR project is expected to go a long way in helping
targeted delivery of benefits to the people. It will also enable
improvements in delivery of services across sectors and
greater financial inclusion. It will help our objective of
removing inequities in the society.

ENVIRONMENT: Environmental issues have acquired a
new urgency in recent years. During 2010-11 the National
Green Tribunal was established, projects worth Rs.2,500
crore were sanctioned under Mission Clean Ganga and the
Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission started its work.

INTERNAL SECURITY: The internal security situation has
shown improvement in the last couple of years. During
2010-11, we set up the National Intelligence Grid
(NATGRID) and fully operationalised the National
Investigation Agency The situation in the North-East
witnessed a marked improvement. Jammu and Kashmir is
slowly and steadily moving towards peace and harmony.
Left-wing extremism, however, remains a major problem.
The government has made efforts to address the
development deficit in the areas affected by left wing
extremism. An Integrated Action Plan for accelerated
development of 60 selected Tribal and Backward Districts
was launched in 2010-11.

DEFENCE: The focus on modernization of the armed forces
and indigenous production of advanced weapon systems
continued. During 2010-11, the indigenously developed light
combat aircraft Tejas was cleared for operations by the Air
Force and the first indigenously designed and built stealth
frigate - INS Shivalik was commissioned. Two regiments of
the indigenous main battle tank, Arjun, were operationalised
by the Army.

II. ECONOMY

AGRICULTURE: Farmers produced more than 235 million
tonnes of food grains in 2010-11, the highest since
independence. The National Food Security Mission has led
to substantial increases in the production of wheat, rice and
pulses. Under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, substantial
investments have been made in agricultural infrastructure
and several high growth and locally suitable projects have
been taken up in many states. The National Horticulture
Mission has resulted in increases in the production of fruits,
vegetables and spices. During 2010-11, a nutrient based
subsidy policy for P&K fertilizers was introduced, which is
expected to result in a more balanced use of fertilizers.

OIL & GAS: The natural gas output in 2010-11 was up 10
per cent to 52.22 billion cubic metre from the previous fiscal.
The crude oil output rose 11.9 per cent to 37.71 mt from the
earlier fiscal.

NUCLEAR ENERGY: With the commissioning of the 4
th
unit
at the Kaiga station in January 2011, India now has 20
operating nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 4780
MWe. Significant progress has also been made in nuclear
fuel security, with the identification of additional uranium
resources in Andhra Pradesh and Meghalaya. The process
of strengthening the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and
making it an autonomous and independent regulatory
authority has commenced. The year 2010-11 also saw the
highest ever capacity addition from renewable energy
sources in any one year, at 3157 MW.

POWER: On the power front, capacity addition has been
faster. There has been an increase of about 32 per cent in
installed generation capacity till April 2011, over 132,329
MW at the beginning of Eleventh Plan period in 2007. A
record 15,795 MW was added in 2010-11. Nonetheless,
unlike the Tenth Plan period when there was a 50 per cent
shortfall in capacity addition target of 41,110 MW, the


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158
challenge in the sector this time is of actual generation,
considering that coal availability has become a big issue.
There are not only environmental challenges in enhancing
production but the demand itself has shot up considerably.

TELECOM & 3G: While auction of spectrum for 3G telecom
services and broadband wireless access (BWA) was seen
as a success story for UPA II for fetching big bucks (over Rs
1 lakh crore), the process was actually a spillover from UPA
I. The 3G and BWA auction was planned for early 2008, but
executed only in 2010. Mobile number portability, which
allowed subscribers to switch from one operators platform
to another in the same service area, was rolled out early this
year and is seen as a big plus for the telecom sector.
However, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)
posted a loss for the first time, attributed to red-tapism and
mis-governance.

ROADS: The pace of national highways and border roads
construction had slowed from a high of almost 90 per cent
growth in 2007-08 to about 13 per cent in 2009-10.
According to the figures of the Ministry of Road Transport
and Highways, 1,825 km were constructed in 2010-11,
down from 2,738 km built in 2009-10. This may be due to
the lag effect of the economic slowdown, since road
construction takes three years and project award had
suffered during 2008-09.

RAILWAYS: The story in railways is not much different. Not
only did former railway minister Mamata Banerjee undo the
private investment initiatives taken under the first UPA
regime, the railways under her failed to meet its freight
loading targets for 2009-10 and 2010-11. The railways
carried 887 million tonne (MT) cargo in 2009-10, down from
a revised estimate of 890 MT; and 922 MT in 2010-11,
down from a revised estimate of 924 MT. Besides, the ratio
of railways spending to its earnings, an indicator of its
efficiency, has risen from 90.5 per cent to 95.3 per cent in
2009-10, though the revised estimates show it could
improve to 92 per cent in 2010-11. Banerjee took a plea that
this was primarily due to arrears of the Sixth Pay
Commission and an unprecedented 97 per cent increase in
staff and pension bills.

FINANCE: After much inaction, the government tabled the
Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, Pension Reforms Bill and
Factoring Services Bill. It also set up the Financial Sector
Legislative Reforms Commission to clean up financial sector
laws. The Direct Taxes Code timeline is on track for April
2012 rollout, but only after diluting some proposals. The
Goods and Services Tax, however, has already missed two
deadlines. The government fell short, by Rs 18,000 crore, of
the Rs 40,000-crore disinvestment target last year.

AVIATION: A new integrated terminal in public private
partnership mode became operational at the Indira Gandhi
International Airport at New Delhi, creating new benchmarks
for airport infrastructure being developed in the country. A
similar airport is under construction in Mumbai. The
modernization and development of Chennai and Kolkata
airports is also in progress. Air Indias performance
worsened, with the airline facing three strikes.

RETAIL: Despite years of consultation and multiple surveys,
theres been no headway yet on foreign direct investment
(FDI) in multi-brand retail. There are indications that foreign
investment may be permitted, but with riders.

III. SETBACKS

CAG ON TELECOM: The Comptroller and Auditor General
said the faulty method of selling 2G spectrum licences by
former telecom minister A Raja had cost the exchequer Rs
1.76-lakh crore. Following the tabling of the report in
November 16, 2010, the Opposition didnt allow Parliament
to function for the complete winter session, demanding a
joint parliamentary committee.

SUPREME COURT ON 2G: Sending a strong signal, the
Supreme Court on December 16, 2010, decided to monitor
the Central Bureau of Investigation in the 2G spectrum
scam. This was the third instance when the apex court took
the task of monitoring an investigation in its own hands. The
court also appointed a special court to hear the proceedings
on a daily basis.

RADIA TAPES: The publishing of the recorded
conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with
journalists and politicians in November 2010 revealed
behind-the-scenes negotiations that went on before the
selection of Cabinet ministers for UPA-II in 2009. These
conversations raised questions over how the UPA-II Cabinet
was decided.

TELANGANA PROTESTS: Early January 2010 witnessed
violent protests in Hyderabad for the demand of a separate
state of Telangana. Following the violence, Justice
Srikrishna was asked to examine and recommend on the
issue. The subsequent Srikrishna report in January 2011
suggested six options, none yet acted on.

LOK PAL AGITATION: The government was pushed on the
back foot after social activist Anna Hazare sat on a fast-
unto-death in demand for a joint committee on the Lok Pal
Bill at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on April 6, 2011. Hazare,
whose movement attracted massive support, broke his fast
after four days, with the government agreeing to all his
demands.

CVC APPOINTMENT: The appointment of P J Thomas as
the Chief Vigilance Officer was struck down by the Supreme
Court calling it illegal on March 3, 2011. Thomas was
appointed by a high-powered committee headed by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram


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159
and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj. Swaraj had
disagreed with the appointment of Thomas.

CWG CORRUPTION: In October 2010, media reports of
widespread corruption in the allotment of tenders during the
preparation for the Delhi Commonwealth Games forced the
PM to order a probe by ex-CAG V K Shunglu. It confirmed
widespread corruption.

GSAT-8 launched successfully

Communication satellite GSAT-8, which will give a boost to
direct-to-home services in the
country, was successfully
launched by Arianespaces Ariane
5 rocket from Kourou in French
Guiana in equatorial South
America on May 21, 2011.
Weighing 3,100 kg at lift-off,
GSAT-8 is one of the heaviest and
high-powered satellites built by the
Bangalore-headquartered Indian
Space Research Organisation
(ISRO).

Communications and
broadcasting: GSAT-8 is the 20
th
satellite designed and
built indigenously by ISRO to meet this countrys
requirements for space capacity in communications and
broadcasting. The 3,100-kg spacecrafts 24 transponders
will relay signals in radio frequencies known as the Ku-
band. These transponders will be used for Direct-To-Home
television broadcasts as well as to support communications
using small satellite dishes known as Very Small Aperture
Terminals (VSATs). Other Indian communication satellites
that are currently operational have about 150 transponders
working in various frequency bands. That capacity needs to
be augmented, given that two satellites, GSAT-4 and
GSAT-5P, were lost in consecutive failures of the
Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) last year.
Navigation: The GSAT-8 is also carrying a payload that will
broadcast data to increase the accuracy and ensure the
integrity of navigation based on signals from orbiting
satellites of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and
the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System
(GLONASS). The resulting improvement in accuracy and
reliability will allow aircraft, equipped with suitable receivers,
to make precision approaches for landing at all runways in
the country. Aircraft will also be able to fly more direct
routes to their destination, saving time and fuel. Such
space-based augmentation systems have begun functioning
in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Ground stations for the
Indian system, known as GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO
Augmented Navigation), a joint effort by ISRO and the
Airports Authority of India, have been put in place.

NAC unveils recommendations on Land
Acquisition Act

The UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory
Council (NAC) on May 25, 2011 finalised its
recommendations on the proposed amendments to the land
acquisition Act. Following are the recommendations made
by the NAC:

The landowners should get six times the registered value of
their land as compensation in lieu of land acquired for public
purposes.

The twin issues of land acquisition and rehabilitation and
resettlement should be combined under a single Bill named
National Development, Acquisition, Displacement and
Rehabilitation Bill.

Persons working on the land should be included in the
category of project affected persons, which would make
them eligible for receiving compensation.

The farmers should be given the right to annuity for a
certain number of years over and above the compensation
for the land acquired from him. The payouts should be
monthly instead of present system of annual payouts.

Consent of farmers should be compulsory for land
acquisition for projects by the private sector. 75 per cent of
the farmers and gram sabhass consent in writing should be
made must for acquiring land for development projects.

A commission should be set up to hear complaints related
to the land acquisition process.

India to host Convention on Biological
Diversity

India is hosting the eleventh Conference of the Parties
(CoP-11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),
and the sixth Conference of the
Parties serving as Meeting of
the Parties (CoP/MoP-6) to the
Cartagena Protocol on Bio-
safety to be held on 1-19
October, 2012.

The UN Decade on Biodiversity
(UNDB) for Asia and Pacific in
New Delhi on May 23, 2011.
The period 2011-2020 has been
proclaimed by the UN General
Assembly as the UN Decade on
Biodiversity (UNDB) to raise awareness about the
importance of and threats to biodiversity.



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160
The Decade coincides with the duration of the Strategic
Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 adopted by CoP-10 to the
CBD held in Nagoya, Japan in October, 2010. It contains 20
targets to help achieve the three objectives of the CBD and
the Millennium Development Goals.

The year 2012 would also be the year of 40th anniversary of
Stockholm Conference, 20th anniversary of Rio Earth
Summit (Rio + 20) and 10th anniversary of Johannesburg
Summit.

During the formal launch of the UNDB for Asia and Pacific,
the Minister for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh
unveiled the logo and slogan for CoP-11, which has been
developed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.


Environment Ministry launches Haathi Mere
Saathi campaign: Reaching out to the people, to
improve conservation and welfare prospects of the
elephant - Indias National Heritage Animal, the Ministry of
Environment and Forests (MoEF) in partnership with the
Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) on May 24, 2011 launched the
nationwide Haathi Mere Saathi campaign at the Elephant-8
Ministerial Meeting in New Delhi. The Minister of State for
Environment and Forests (I/C), Jairam Ramesh unveiled
the Campaign mascot, logo and website
(www.haathimeresaathi.org) on the occasion. The
increasing pressure on elephant habitats is a serious
concern. The Ministry will try and address this concern by
involving people in elephant conservation and welfare
through this campaign. Representing regions with all three
species of elephants, the participants at the E-8 Meet were
from India, Botswana, Republic of Congo, Indonesia,
Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Thailand.


UPA government rejects Bhardwaj report: The
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government decided on
May 22, 2011 to reject Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwajs
report recommending the dismissal of the Yeddyurappa-led
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in that State. The
decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political
Affairs (CCPA). However, the CCPA has asked the Union
Home Ministry to send an advisory to the Karnataka
government, bringing to its notice the issues that had been
mentioned by the Governor of Karnataka. These included
repeated instances of corruption, resignations of Ministers
following allegations of corruption, instances of illegal
mining, the report of the Central Empowered Committee on
Illegal Mining, complaints by the Lok Ayukta and reports of
discrimination against and oppression of minorities. The
Governors report had followed a Supreme Court order,
reversing the Karnataka High Courts decision of
disqualifying 11 BJP rebel legislators and five independents,
ahead of a trust vote in the Assembly.

ITBP sends Rs.11-crore bill for Kasab security: The
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force, which has been
guarding 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab over 18 months, has
slapped a bill of Rs.10.87 crore on the Maharashtra
government for guarding him at Arthur Road jail, Mumbai.
Medha Gadgil, principal secretary, Home, on May 24, 2011
said that state government received a request for
reimbursement of Rs 10.87 crore from the Director-General,
ITBP, New Delhi, R K Bhatia for expenses incurred between
March 28, 2009 and September 30, 2010.

India-US Homeland Security Dialogue concludes:
The India - USA Homeland Security Dialogue was held in
New Delhi on May 27, 2011. The Indian delegation was led
by the Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram and the US
one by Secretary, Homeland Security Department Janet
Napolitano. The two sides affirmed the importance of
cooperation for the security of the two countries and their
people; the threat of terrorism and other challenges,
including cyber security, counterfeit currency, illicit financing
and transnational crimes; and, the deepening technological
and economic partnership between India and the United
States. The leaders expressed satisfaction with the growth
in counter-terrorism and related security cooperation
between the two countries. They noted the contribution of
existing mechanisms such as the Joint Working Group on
Counter-terrorism, established in 2000, the Defense Policy
Group, the Joint Working Group on Information and
Communications Technology and the Aviation Security
Working Group and the Counter-terrorism Cooperation
Initiative of July 2010 in advancing India-U.S. cooperation.

Indian cautions France over military sales to Pak:
India has underscored its concern over the sale of military
hardware by France to Pakistan in the name of fighting
terror. Defence Minister A.K. Antony conveyed New Delhis
disquiet over the development when French Defence
Minister Gerard Longuet called on him in New Delhi on May
26, 2011. France had earlier supplied Agosta submarines to
Pakistan. India and France would soon undertake a joint
exercise named Shakti, similar to the bilateral Garuda
between the two air forces and Varuna between the
navies. Longuets visit came at a time when the French
Dassault Rafale is competing with the four-nation European
consortium Eurofighter for the 126 Medium Multi-Role
Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender of the Indian Air Force. As
for the delays in construction of six French Scorpene
submarines in Mazagon Docks, the French Minister said the
programme was on course and initial late run occurred
since the dockyard had to be modernised to build the
submarines. The project is three years behind schedule,
with the first submarine expected in 2015. In addition to the
MMRCA, the French are eagerly awaiting a decision by the
Indian government to clear the upgrade programme for the
Mirage2000 fighter aircraft. The Minister said the decision
was in the final phase. On his part, the French Ambassador


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161
Jerome Bonnafont said negotiations over the price were
over.

Rs 251 cr for Tripura-Bangladesh track: The Railway
Ministry on May 21, 2011 approved an outlay of Rs 251
crore for laying a 14 km railway track to connect Agartala
with Akhaura (via Gangasagar) in Bangladesh.
Northeastern Frontier Railway (NFR) is likely to undertake
work for laying tracks by October next year. While the
Department of North Eastern region (DoNER) ministry
would pay Rs 105 crore for construction of the rail link on
the Indian side, the Ministry of External Affairs will provide
Rs 146 crore to carry out the project on the Bangladesh
side.

OFB developing Kawach rockets: State of the art
Kawach rockets being developed by Ordnance Factories
Board (OFB) is likely to be inducted into Indian Navy
sometime in 2013. The first trial has been conducted
successfully while the second trial will be conducted later in
2011, informed OFB Director General and Chairman D M
Gupta on May 21, 2011. Kawach, to be launched from Navy
submarines, will have a range of 40 km.

Astra test-flight successful: For the second day in a
row, DRDO conducted a successful ballistic flight test of
indigenously developed Astra - Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-
Air Missile - from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in
Balasore district of Orissa on May 21, 2011. The missile is
envisaged to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at
supersonic speeds in the head-on mode at a range of 80 km
and in tail-chase mode at 20 km. Astra, which uses solid
propellant, can carry a conventional warhead of 15 kg.

NPCIL launches comics to dispel nuclear fears:
Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) has turned to
comic strips to dispel safety fears of villagers about atomic
energy. The move by the Government-run nuclear plant
operator came in a bid to address the opposition by locals
and activists to the planned nuclear power project in
Jaitapur in Maharashtra. The colourful pictorial comic dwells
on the benefits of atomic power and dispels misconceptions.
Titled `Ek Tha Budhiya: Kahani Ek Khushal Gaon Ki (The
story of a prosperous village), the comic narrates the story
of Jagdishpur, a village that had been underdeveloped due
to ignorance and superstition, but gets transformed for
good, all thanks to a nuclear power plant. The conversations
are written in simple Hindi.

CRPF men in naxal areas eligible for medals: The
government on May 22, 2011 decided to include areas hit
by Left-wing extremism for granting special duty medals to
the personnel of central para-military forces deployed there.
This follows a letter written by Director General of CRPF K
Vijay Kumar to Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar in
which he had asked for a special Left-wing extremism
medal as the situation in the Naxal affected areas was far
more challenging than in Jammu and Kashmir and
Northeast.

CBDT to retain phone-tapping authority: The Central
Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) will continue to enjoy the
power of telephone tapping despite a strong
recommendation by a Committee of Secretaries against it
following a controversy in the wake of the Niira Radia
episode. However, it is not immediately clear the conditions
the CBDT will have to fulfil before tapping telephones of any
individual. The move comes after a Committee of
Secretaries, headed by Cabinet Secretary K M
Chandrasekhar, had recommended that the CBDT be taken
off the list of agencies which can file phone-tapping
requests as tax evasion cases neither have criminal liability
nor any national security issue as these were only civil
matters.

World Bank praises MGNREGA: The governments
flagship rural job guarantee scheme is innovative and has
achieved quite high coverage but faces challenges like
uneven implementation across states and some evidence
of leakage of funds, a new World Bank report says. The
study Social Protection for a Changing India unveiled on
May 22, 2011 also says ensuring higher degree of
awareness among people about the process of applying for
work under the scheme and a strong monitoring and
evaluation system will help in more successful
implementation of the programme. The Mahatma Gandhi
National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has
significantly higher coverage compared to previous public
works programmes and impressive inclusion of scheduled
castes (31 per cent), scheduled tribes (25 per cent) and
women (50 per cent), it said, adding that MGNREGA serves
as a model for future reforms in other safety net
programmes.

Railways increase concessions for senior citizens:
Women aged 58 years will be eligible to avail 50 per cent
concession as senior citizens while men in the category will
get a 40 per cent cut in their train fares from June one. As
announced in the Railways Budget speech for 2011-12, it
has been decided to reduce the minimum age for availing
concession from 60 years to 58 years in case of women
senior citizens. However, the element of concession will
continue to remain at 50 per cent, the Ministry of Railways
said in a release on May 25, 2011. It has also been decided
to increase the element of concession in case of senior
citizens among men from 30 per cent to 40 per cent. The
minimum age will, however, continue to be 60 years in case
of men.

1
st
phase of demarcation of Bellary mines over: The
Supreme Court-appointed joint survey teams on May 25,
2011 completed the first phase of the survey of 63 of 99 iron
ore mines in Bellary-Hospet region to identify sites of
alleged illegal mining in Karnataka. The five teams, headed


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162
by Central Empowered Committee Chairman P V
Jayakrishnan, members Mahendra Vyas and M K Mattoo
completed demarcation of these mines. They have to
complete the demarcation process by June, on the basis of
which CEC will submit its report to the apex court on July 4.
The Supreme Court appointed the joint survey teams on
May 6.

Bagha Jatins biography released: Bagha Jatin Life
and Times of Jatindranath Mukherjee, a biography of
freedom fighter Jatindranath Mukherjee, written by Paris-
based scholar Prithwindra Mukherjee was released in New
Delhi on May 27, 2011. The book has been published by the
National Book Trust, which is also coming out with
biographies of Bengal revolutionaries Surjya Sen and
Kalpana Dutta soon.

Delhi, Kabul sign MoU for cultural cooperation:
India would provide capacity development support in
various areas to Afghanistan and cooperate with it in
promotion of art and culture, development of archaeological
institutions under a new MoU signed between the two
countries on May 27, 2011 in New Delhi. The MoU was
signed by Culture Minister Kumari Selja and Afghan Minister
for Information and Culture Dr Sayed Makhdoom Raheen.

First cable-stayed bridge in J&K launched: UPA
Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on May 23, 2011 laid the
foundation stone for the first cable stayed bridge in Jammu
and Kashmir over river Ravi at Basohli in Kathua district of
the state. The 592 meters long bridge will be constructed
by IRCON and is expected to be completed by end 2014.
The Basohli Bridge will be a cable stayed bridge similar to
the second Hooghly Bridge at Kolkata, Naini Bridge at
Allahabad and the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link at Mumbai.

Health Min to expand NPCDCS across the country:
The government intends to expand its ambitious integrated
National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer,
Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS)
across the country in the 12
th
Five Year Plan. This is being
done keeping in mind the increasing incidence of non-
communicable diseases in India said Union Health and
Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in New Delhi on
May 27, 2011. The Union government launched the
NPCDCS in July last year in 100 districts on an
experimental basis in 21 states. These were selected on the
basis of backwardness, inaccessibility and lack of
healthcare facilities.

CBI files chargesheet against CWG accused: The
CBI, in a 36-page charge sheet filed in a New delhi Court on
May 24, 2011, implicated the former chairman of the
Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Suresh
Kalmadi, Lalit Bhanot and V.K. Verma, besides seven
others, for making a wrongful pecuniary gain of nearly Rs.
20 crore in the award of the Timing, Scoring and Results
(TSR) system contract to Swiss Timing. Charging the
accused with awarding the contract to Swiss Timing, which
cost the government a total outgo of Rs.157.62 crore when
another bid was offered from MSL Spain that would have
cost the Organising Committee only Rs. 62.01 crore, the
charge sheet pegged the wrongful loss at Rs. 95.6 crore.

Accident at Strategic Petroleum Reserves kills 3: A
team of senior officials from Indian Strategic Petroleum
Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) visited the blast site near Mangalore
on May 27, 2011 where three people, including a Korean,
were killed and three others injured on May 26. The
deceased were trying to defuse misfired detonators near the
project site in Mangalore. Strategic crude oil reserve is
being set up to provide for emergency response mechanism
against short-term supply disruptions under various
scenarios. The underground rock caverns in the facility will
store 14-day supply of crude oil for the country in case of
supply disruptions. The government had approved building
of strategic crude oil reserve of 5 million tonnes at three
locations Mangalore (1.5 MT), Visakhapatnam (1 MMT)
and Padur in Udupi district (2.5 MT) in January 2005. A joint
venture of South Korea Engineering and Construction and
Karam Chand Thapar had bagged the Mangalore cavern
works for Rs 403 crore.

Accident Investigation Committee to probe
aviation mishaps: Separating the role of a regulator and
an investigator, the Union government on May 26, 2011 set
up an independent panel to probe major aviation accidents.
Till now, the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
was performing both the roles. Aiming at creating an
independent investigation system in the country to match
the growth in aviation and the corresponding increase in the
number of incidents or accidents, an Accident Investigation
Committee (AIC) has been established to work under the
supervision of the Civil Aviation Ministry. The move came a
day after a small plane crashed in Faridabad, on the
outskirts of the national capital, claiming 10 lives. The
committee, to be headed by the Director of Air Safety, would
have all its five members from the DGCA. It would identify
the causes of accident and assist the formal probe panels
such as courts or committees of enquiry.

Jindal Law School signs MoU to train IAS officers:
O. P. Jindal Global University (JGU) on May 25, 2011
signed a memorandum of understanding with the National
Institute of Administrative Research of the Lal Bahadur
National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, which is
the premier national-level training institution for IAS officers.
The MoU provides for exchange of faculty, research
scholars, hosting of visiting academic delegations, teaching
and training of IAS officers and organisation of conferences.
The JGU has already built a relationship with the National
Police Academy in Hyderabad and has collaborative
arrangements with the Foreign Service Training Academy,
the CBI Academy and other similar national institutions.


GJ Tutorial For the Week: May 22 to 28, 2011 Current GK

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IIT Kanpur is No. 1 among Indian institutes in QS
Asian 2011: Despite the language barrier, China is taking
over from India, in terms of their ranking among top Asian
Universities. According to the latest QS Asian University
Rankings 2011 unveiled on May 26, 2011, six Chinese
universities have made it to the top 30. Indias position
starts from 36 with IIT Kanpur. The low rankings, according
to QS, are because Indian universities have far too few staff
to teach their students by world standards, with no-so-good
faculty/student ratios. Indian institutes in top 50 include IIT
Kanpur (36), IIT Delhi (37), IIT Bombay (38), IIT Madras and
IIT Kharagpur. Japan was the best-represented nation, with
five of the top 10 and 57 of the top 200 universities, ahead
of China (40) and South Korea (35), Taiwan (16), India (11),
Thailand (9), Indonesia (8), Malaysia (7) and Hong Kong
(7). The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
(HKUST) climbed up from second place last year to top the
rankings in 2011.

Ajit K. Seth is new Cabinet Secretary: The
Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on May 24, 2011
approved the appointment of Ajit Kumar Seth, IAS (UP: 74)
Secretary (Coordination & Public Grievances), Cabinet
Secretariat, as the next Cabinet Secretary with effect from
14.06.2011 for a period of two years or till further orders,
whichever is earlier; and also his appointment as OSD in
the Cabinet Secretariat with effect from the date of his
assumption of charge to 13
th
June, 2011, in the rank and
pay of Secretary. Seth did his B.Sc (Hons.) and M.Sc. in
Chemistry from St. Stephens College, New Delhi and also
M. Phil in Life Sciences from th