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OCTOBER - 2013
English Grammar in Use By Raymond Murphy
A self-study reference and practice book
IDIOMS AND PHRASES By DAVID HOLMES Pages – 525 size - 1.63mb
History of India and Indian National Movement
ENGLISH GRAMMAR english grammar.pdf
Math with Tricks and Shortcuts Math with Tricks and Shortcuts.pdf
Speed mathematics Speed mathematics.pdf
january,february,march,april and may 2013 CURRENT AFFAIR
January 2013 - june 2013 Current Affairs One Liner

Air Marshal Arup Raha to be next Chief of Indian Air Force
October 30th, 2013
Air Marshal Arup Raha who is presently the Vice Chief of Air Staff will be the next Chief of the Air
Staff of Indian Air Force. He will assume the position after the retirement of the present Chief of
the Air Staff NAK Browne on December 31, 2013. Air Marshal Arup Raha is presently the Vice Chief of
Air Staff.
Raha, during a career spanning over nearly 39 years, has held various command, staff and instructional
appointments. He has served as Air Attache at the Embassy of India, Ukraine. He has done
National Defence College, Staff College, Strategic Nuclear Orientation Course and Junior Commanders‘
Course. He also has the experience of commanding Central Air Command and Western Air Command.
Government of India appoints P.S. Raghavan as the next Russian Ambassador
October 30th, 2013
Government of India appointed P.S. Raghvan as the next Ambassador of India to Russia.
Raghvan, who is an IFS officer of 1979 batch, is presently serving as the Secretary in the Ministry of
External Affairs (MEA). He will take the position of outgoing Ajai Malhotra, who will retire on November
30, 2013.
GoI launches Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana for Indian workers in Dubai
October 30th, 2013
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affair launched a scheme namedMahatma Gandhi Pravasi
Suraksha Yojana in Dubai. The scheme is a pension and life insurance fund scheme for blue-collar
Indian workers in UAE.
What is Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY)?
MGPSY is a special social security scheme for overseas Indian workers who are on temporary work permit
in 17 Emigration Check Required (ECR) nations.
Aim: To help the overseas workers to save money for their retirement, their return to India and
resettlement and provides life insurance cover against natural death during the period of coverage.
Features of Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY):
 The subscribers of this scheme will be provided home and a life insurance cover for Rs. 1 lakh during
their work overseas.
Government of India will contribute up to Rs. 2000 every year for male workers and Rs. 3000 every
year to women workers for up to either five years or until the worker returns home, whichever is
earlier. It will be added to the Pension and Life Insurance (PLIF) account of each eligible subscriber.
 The workers have to contribute between Rs. 1000 and Rs. 12000 per annum towards the pension fund
and Rs. 4000 towards the return and resettlement fund. They will derive corresponding benefits when
they go back home and during their old age.
 Bank of Baroda is the official banking partner of the scheme to enroll the workers while the
Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC) is the support center for Indian workers in UAE.
 The scheme targets to cover 5 million overseas blue collar Indian workers who have the Emigration
Clearance Required (ECR) category passports in 17 nations.
What is Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) category?
Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) category passports are issued to those workers who have not
passed Grade 10. Around 65% of more than2 million Indians in the UAE are blue collar workers and
most of them are in the ECR category.
What are Blue collar jobs?
Blue collar is a term which is used to refer to wage-earning workers who wear work clothes or other
specialized clothing on the job, as miners, mechanics and longshoremen.
RBI hiked Repo Rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 %

October 30th, 2013
As per the Second Quarter Review of Monetary Policy 2013-14 released by the Reserve Bank
of India (RBI), the Repo rate has been increased by 25 basis points from 7.5% percent to 7.75% keeping
in view the surge in inflation and other factors.
Key points of the Second Quarter Review of Monetary Policy 2013-14:
Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate slashed by 25 basis points from 9% to 8.75%.
 Policy repo rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) hiked by 25 basis points from 7.5% to
 The liquidity provided through term repos of 7-day and 14-day tenor has been enhanced from 0.25%
of Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL) of the banking system to 0.5%.
 Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) untouched at 4%.
The GDP growth projection for 2013-14 has been reduced to 5% from previous 5.7%.
Sebastian Vettel bags Indian Grand Prix
October 30th, 2013
The Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the Indian Grand Prix organized at
the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, India.
Registering his third successive victory in the Indian Grand Prix he left behind four former world
champions Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
With his 10th victory of the season and 36th of his career, Vettel joined the elite club of Formula
One drivers — Michael Schumacher (six world titles), Juan Manuel Fangio (five) and Alain Prost (four) —
who have won 4 or more world titles. He also became the third driver in history, after Fangio and
Schumacher (he won five in succession), to win four world titles on the trot.
Researchers discover „mini-neural computer‟ in the brain
October 30th, 2013
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered that dendrites, the
branchlike projections of neurons, act as mini-neural computers by actively processing information to multiply
the brain‘s computing power.
They have shown that dendrites, which were thought to be passive wiring in the brain, do more than relay
information from one neuron to the next.
What are the findings by the University of North Carolina?
Conventionally, axons are where neurons generate electrical spikes, but many of the same molecules that
support axonal spikes are also present in the dendrites. Earlier research using dissected brain tissue had
shown that dendrites can use those molecules to generate electrical spikes themselves, but it was unclear
whether normal brain activity involved those dendritic spikes.
In the latest research, it has been found that dendrites effectively act as mini-neural computers, actively
processing neuronal input signals themselves. In experiments on mice, when the animals viewed visual
stimuli on a computer screen, the researchers saw an unusual pattern of electrical signals — bursts of
spikes — in the dendrite. This uncovered that dendrites fired spikes while other parts of the neuron did
not, meaning that the spikes were the result of local processing within the dendrites. This made the
researchers conclude that dendrites are not passive integrators of sensory-driven input; they seem to be a
computational unit as well.
How these findings may the researchers from the University of North Carolina may help?
The findings could not only change the long-standing scientific models explaining how neural circuitry
functions in the brain, but could also help scientists to better understand neurological disorders.
Election Commission clarifies NOTA option
October 30th, 2013
Providing clarification over the recently included NOTA (None Of The Above) option in EVM/ Ballot
paper in the upcoming polls as directed by the apex court, the Election Commission (EC) said that if
the number of electors who had voted for the NOTA option exceeded the votes polled by any of the

candidates, the candidate with the highest number of votes would be declared winner.
Clarification from the EC over NOTA option:
 As per the provisions of clause (a) of Rule 64 of Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, read with Section 65
of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the candidate who has polled the largest number of valid
votes is to be declared elected by the Returning Officer. Therefore, even if the number of electors opting
for NOTA option is more than the number of votes polled by any of the candidates, the candidate who
secures the largest number of votes has to be declared elected.
 In case the number of contesting candidates is equal to the number of seats to be filled, the Returning
Officer has to declare all the contesting candidates to be duly elected. In the case of elections to
the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies, where there is only one contesting candidate in the
fray, the RO has to, under the relevant provisions, declare the sole contestant as elected.
Co-operatives against plan to convert Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS)
into banking correspondents
October 29th, 2013
The members of co-operative societies are opposed to the ideo of converting Primary Agricultural
Cooperative Societies (PACS) into business correspondents for District Credit Cooperative
Banks as recommended by the Prakash Bakshi committee.
What are Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) ?
The Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) are the bottom-tier of three- tier Cooperative
credit structure operating in the country. These are Short Term Cooperative Credit
Structure functioning at the grassroots (Gram Panchayat) level. These are Primary Societies owned by
farmers, rural artisans etc. and intended to promote thrift and mutual help among the members; cater to
their credit requirements and provide credit-linked services like input supply, storage and marketing of
agricultural produce etc. These Cooperative Credit Institutions with their deep reach in the rural areas and
accessibility to the small and marginal farmers and the other marginalized populations have been playing
a vital role in dispensation of agricultural credit.
What are the Objectives of Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS)
 To cater to the credit need, mostly, farm credit and income generation activities of farmers, artisans
and other members.
 To extend selected banking services to members.
 To implement Kissan Credit Card Scheme for providing timely and adequate farm credit to members.
 To take up marketing of agricultural produce of member farmers.
 To cater to the consumer needs, mostly, essential commodities of members.
 To create awareness among farmers to adopt improved farming practices.
 To reach upto the unprivileged section of the community through SHGs, JLGs and TFGs.
Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) and Recommendations of Prakash Bakshi Committee:
The RBI constituted an Expert Committee chaired by NABARD Chairman Prakash Bakshi to review
the existing Short Term Cooperative Credit Structure (STCCS) focusing on structural constraints in
rural credit delivery system and explore various ways to strengthen the rural cooperative credit
architecture with appropriate institutions and instruments of credit to fulfill credit needs.
In one of its recommendations, the panel recommended that PACS should work only as Business
Correspondents (BCs) on behalf of banks and should not themselves act as financial intermediaries. In
addition, PACS should provide a range of other fee based financial and non-financial products. The
immediate consequence of such a change would be that all depositors and borrowers in villages would
become direct member clients of the Central Cooperative Banks (CCBs) or District Cooperative
Banks (DCBs).
Those opposed to the move suggest that such a transition would kill the PACS rather than saving them.

What is the current status of Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS)?
PACS are important structures that have been provding credit facilities mainly to the farmers in vallges
of India. It has the deepest penetration amongst all the other credit providing institutions. Currently,
India has 93,000 PACS — one for every seven villages. In contrast, commercial and Regional Rural Bank
(RRBs) have just 50,000 branches across rural and semi-urban India. During 2011-12, PACS lent to 3.09
crore farmers. The comparable numbers for commercial banks and RRBs are 2.55 crore and 82 lakh.
During 2011-12, for instance, PACS financed 67 lakh new farmers compared to 21 lakh for commercial
banks and 9 lakh by RRBs. Further, PACS have a reputation for lending to small and marginal farmers —
as co-operatives, they are owned and run by farmers.
Why Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) model is in trouble?
Despite all the above mentioned positive points, PACS are in trouble. The deposits of PACS are
continuously falling and has already declined far behind their lending obligations. As per Bakshi Committee
report, only about 10% of the agricultural loans issued by the PACS were supported through
deposits mobilised by PACS and the rest 90% had to be provided by CCBs. As on 31 March, 2011,
PACS in 25 states had mobilized deposits of Rs 37,238 crore. However, of this, Rs 28,210 crore came from
PACS of just three states — Kerala, Karnataka, andTamil Nadu. Excluding these three states PACS in
the rest of the country had mobilised only about Rs 7,000 crore as deposits whereas they had provided
loans aggregating Rs 47,000 crore. It is also a low margin yielding business which yields around 0.25%
net margin. Besides, the agricultural risk add to the worries. Between the high agricultural risk
(compounded by working in a small geography) and the low margin, PACS are not earning enough to
hedge against the bad years.
Other problems like politicisation, across the three tiers are also prevalent. Then, PACS‘ share in
agricultural credit is slipping. It has declined from 50% in the mid nineties to 17% now – with the rest
moving to commercial banks and RRBs.
As per Bakshi Committee report, this trend of marginalisation is going to continue. It cites the ongoing
financial inclusion drive as one of the reasons behind this. With financial inclusion programmes all
households will soon have savings bank accounts where deposits are protected byDICGC (Deposit
Insurance and Credit Guarentee Corporation). On the contrary, there is no such deposit insurance for
Nalanda University plan moves a step further as India inks MoUs with 7 nations
October 29th, 2013
In a recent international development, India inked MoUs with seven countries towards
realization of the concept of revival of Nalanda University in Bihar. The MoU was inked
between India and seven other nations
namely Australia, Cambodia, Singapore,Brunei, New Zealand, Laos
PDR and Myanmar. The agreements were signed during India‟s participation in the ASEAN-India
Summit and the East Asia Summit (EAS) held in Brunei. It is a forum for cooperation between various
countries of this region with ASEAN and includes Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New
Zealand, Russiaand the US, in addition to the ten ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations)
About Nalanda University revival plan:
The idea to revive Nalanda University was first proposed in 2005 by thenPresident A.P.J. Abdul
Kalam. India wanted to establish international institution that will promote the concept of an Asian
community by bringing together future generations in a common objective of making new discoveries of
old relationships to realize a unity of minds.
In this direction, the 2nd East Asia Summit held in 2007 in the city of Cebu, Republic of Philippines,

resolved to strengthen regional educational co-operation by tapping the East Asia Region`s centres of
excellence in education and for the revival of Nalanda University located in the state of Bihar in India to
improve regional understanding and appreciation of one another`s heritage and history;
In 2009, the 4th East Asia Summit held in Hua Hin, Thailand, supported the establishment of Nalanda
University and encouraged networking and collaboration between the proposed Nalanda University and
existing centres of excellence in the participating countries of the East Asia Summit to build a community
of learning where students, scholars, researchers and academicians can work together, symbolising the
spirituality that unites all mankind.
Keeping these decisions in view, the Government of India has established Nalanda University in the state
of Bihar by an Act of Parliament entitled `The Nalanda University Act, 2010 (No. 39 of 2010)`, as an
international institution for the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical and spiritual studies and to encourage
networking and collaboration between Nalanda University and existing centres of excellence, including in
the participating countries of the East Asia Summit.
Nalanda University will enable participating countries to build an academic community where students,
scholars, researchers and academicians can collaborate in developing Nalanda University as an
international centre of excellence.
What is in the MoU signed by India and the participating countries?
The MoU has the following key points:
 Nalanda University will be a non-state, non-profit, self-governing international institution and will have
full academic freedom for the attainment of its objectives.
 It will be located at Rajgir in Nalanda District in the state of Bihar in India (Host Country).
 It will have full legal personality in the Host Country.
 It will have the power to confer degrees, diplomas and certificates.
Objectives and Functions of Nalanda University
1. To establish an international institution of learning that will bring together the brightest and the most
dedicated students from all countries irrespective of gender, caste, creed, disability, ethnicity or
background and to give them the means needed for the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical,
historical and spiritual studies and thus achieve qualities of tolerance, accommodation and mutual
2. To build an Asian community of learning where the intellectual potential of every student can be
developed to the fullest extent possible, and to create an Asian community by strengthening regional
3. To impart education towards capacity-building of Asian nations in the domain of philosophy, language,
history and other areas of higher learning vital for improving the quality of their life and those of their
4. To contribute to the promotion of regional peace and vision by bringing together future leaders who by
relating to their past history can enhance their understanding of each other`s perspectives.
Funding for Nalanda University revival plan
 The funding for the establishment and operations of the University will be on a voluntary basis.
Governance Structure
 It will be governed by a Governing Board who will be drawn from amongst distinguished persons from
India and abroad. The President of India will be the Visitor of the University.
 The members on the Governing Board will include 5 representatives from participating nations of the
East Asia Summit to enhance their role in developing Nalanda University as an international institution
of excellence.
 The Vice-Chancellor appointed by the Governing Board will be the head of the varsity.
Fiscal Benefits
The University, its assets, income and other property, in the host country, will be:
 Exempt from all direct taxes. However, the University will not claim exemption from taxes which are in
fact no more than charges for public utility services;
 Exempt from customs duties and prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports in respect of

articles imported or exported by the University for its official use, subject to the provisions of pertinent
laws, rules and regulations, and provided that articles imported under such exemptions will be disposed
of in accordance with local laws of the Host Country; and
 Exempt from customs duties and prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports in respect of its
Privileges and Immunities
 The University, the Vice Chancellor and its academic staff, and where applicable their dependents and
members of the family, will be accorded such privileges and immunities in the Host Country as provided
in the Headquarters Agreement signed between Nalanda University and the Government of India.
Visa and Work Permits
 The Host Country will provide appropriate visas to the students, faculty and staff for travel to India to
study or work in the University.
National Commission for STs presents Sixth Report on the working of safeguards for STs to
the President of India
October 29th, 2013
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes chaired by Dr. Rameshwar Oraon presented the Sixth
Report on working of safeguard for Scheduled Tribes for 2010-11 to the President of India.
National Commission for Scheduled Tribes:
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes came into existence w.e.f. February 19, 2004 following the
amendment of Article 338 of the Constitution of India and introduction of a new Article 338A vide the
Constitution ( 89thAmendment) Act, 2003 which, inter-alia, enjoins upon the Commission to oversee the
implementation of various safeguards provided to Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution or under any
other law for the time being in force or under any other order of the Government and to evaluate the
working of such safeguards.
As per Article 338A, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes is mandated to present to the President
annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports on the working of the
safeguards extended to the members of Scheduled Tribes and to make in such reports suggestions as to
the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for effective implementation of those
safeguards and other measures for protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the
Scheduled Tribes. The latest Sixth Report of the Commission for the year 2010-11 is in pursuance to these
What is in the Sixth Report on working of safeguard for Scheduled Tribes for 2010-11?
Chapters and their Highlights:
 Chapter 1: ‗Organizational Set-up and Functioning of the Commission‘. It highlights some aspects of
the Commission‘s work and the steps taken for better performance, and recounts the constraints faced
by the Commission in performing its tasks effectively.
 Chapter 2: ‗Service Safeguards‘ . It talks about some significant aspects on reservation, dereservation
of posts and safeguards available to the Members of the Scheduled Tribes for appointment in
Government and Government controlled public institutions.
 Chapter 3: ―Drinking Water in Tribal Areas‖ . It discusses the steps taken in the past and future
proposals of the Government for providing tribal villages and habitations in the country with drinking
water facilities.
 Chapter 4: ―Critical Issues Concerning Scheduled Tribes‖. It reviews issues relating to Revision of lists
of Scheduled Tribes, Land acquisition, Land (Sub-Surface) Rights and Land Alienation;Education;
access to Health facilities; Tribal Sub Plan (TSP); National Tribal Policy; and the Mahatma Gandhi
National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
 Chapter 6: It presents representative cases pertaining to grievances and violation of safeguards of
Scheduled Tribes as Case Studies.
 Chapter 6: ―Consultation on Policy Related Issues‖. It presents the adherence to Clause 9 of Article
338A of the Constitution which mandates the Union and every State Government to consult the
Commission on all major policy matters affecting Scheduled Tribes.

 Chapter 7: Summary of Recommendations. In this all the recommendations made in each chapter of
this Report are summarised.
As per the constitutional provisions, the report of the Commission has to be laid in both houses of the
Parliament along with a Memorandum explaining the action taken or proposed to be taken on the
recommendations relating to the Union. Similar action has to be taken by the State Governments while
laying the Report in the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned, in relation to the recommendations
concerning the State.
Himachal is second state to introduce NVQF Scheme
October 29th, 2013
Himachal Pradesh has become the second state after Haryana to introduce Centre‘s National
Vocational Education Qualitative Framework ( NVQF) Scheme.
What is National Vocational Qualitative Framework ( NVQF) Scheme?
NVQF Scheme is a programme being implemented by the All India Council for Technical Education
(AICTE) and the National Skill Development Council (NSDC). Under this scheme, 70 skill development
councils would be set up and each council would be given specific trades. The scheme is being
implemented for students of Class IX to Class XI and every student would be required to clear four levels
to get the certificate. The programme has been initiated in 100 schools and each school would be required
to adopt two trades out of five — Information Technology, Education, Retail Security,
Automobile and Health Care.
All the schools implemeting this scheme will be provided with books of different trades prepared by
experts along with laboratory equipment and tool room for practical work.
The scheme is being funded by both the Centre and the state government in the ratio of 75:25 and it will
cover one hundred more schools under it.
India‟s foreign exchange reserves up by $1.9 bn to $281 bn
October 29th, 2013
As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India‘s Forex reserves increased for a third consecutive week
adding rasing it by $1.9 billion to touch $281.12 billion on account of growth in a key component.
In the previous week, the reserves had jumped by $1.51 billion to $279.24 billion. As per RBI, Foreign
Currency Assets (FCAs), which form the largest portion of the reserves, jumped $1.8 billion to $252.7
billion in the same period of review.
FCAs, expressed in dollar terms, include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies
such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves.
The gold reserves remained same at $21.765 billion, while the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) rose by
$25.6 million to $4.46 billion. The reserve position of India with the IMF also improved and rose by $12.7
million to $2.205 billion.
Swedish envoy unviels „Nobel Memorial Wall‟ in Kolkata
October 29th, 2013
Commemorating the centenary of legendary polymath Rabindranath Tagore (Gurudev) receiving
the Nobel Prize for Literature, Swedish Ambassador Harald Sandberg inaugurated the Nobel Memorial
Wall, a permanent structure set up in the Kolkata‟s Esplanade Metro Railway station, where portraits
of the seven Nobel Laureates from India, including Tagore, are displayed.
Author of Gitanjali and its ―profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse‖, Tagore was the first non-
European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.
France confers top civilian honor on Anjali Gopalan
October 29th, 2013
France conferred its highest civilian award „Chevalier de la Legion d‟Honneur‟ on social worker and
founder of NGO Naz Foundation Anjali Gopalan for her work on transgenders and HIV positive patients.
Who is Anjali Gopalan?

Anjali Gopalan (56) is an Indian Human Rights and Animal Rights activist, founder and executive
director of The Naz Foundation (India) Trust, an NGO dedicated to the fight against the HIV/AIDS
epidemic in India mainly focused on women and children.
She started her carrer as a social worker and worked on issues related to HIV/AIDS and marginalized
communities in New York, United States.
The Naz Foundation was founded by her in 1994 which has since then brought positive changes the lives
of transgenders, homosexuals and those with HIV positive.
Odisha to become a hub of Natural Gas business soon
October 29th, 2013
A pact to establish a mega LNG terminal was inked between the State owned GAIL and Paradeep Port.
With the realization of this project,Odisha will soon be highlighted on the world map of natural
gas business.
Under this project, GAIL will set up the terminal – Floating Storage Regasification Unit at a cost of
over Rs 3100 crore.
The gas terminal will have an initial capacity of 4 million tonne per annum in first phase. The storage
capacity of the unit will be 170,000 cubic metres. In the second phase, 4 million ton capacity will be added
enhancing its capacity to 4.8 million tons. It will be operational by 2017.
Globally, India is currently the 4th largest consumer of natural gas.The share of natural gas in the
country‘s primary energy market is projected to reach 22% by 2020 and 25% by 2035. The setting up of
the terminal is expected to promote industrial development, job creation and economic upliftment of the
World Bank to provide India $360 million credit for Uttar Pradesh Water Sector
Restructuring Project
October 29th, 2013
Government of India inked a pact with the World Bank for credit of $360 million for the development
second phase of Uttar Pradesh Water Sector Restructuring Project. The objectives of the project are :
1. To support the State in capacity building of Water Users Association, rehabilitation and modernization of
irrigation, development of Basin River planning strategies and flood management systems.
2. To improve the institutional and policy structure for integrated water resources management for the
entire State
3. To enhance agricultural productivity and water productivity by assisting farmers in targeted irrigation
What are the key areas of work in Uttar Pradesh Water Sector Restructuring Project?
There are six main areas to be worked upon in this project:
 Strengthening of State Level Water Institutions and Inter Sector Coordination
 Modernization and Rehabilitation of Irrigation and Drainage Systems
 Consolidation and Enhancement of Irrigation Institution Reforms
 Enhancing Agriculture Productivity and On-Farm Water Management
 Feasibility studies and Preparation Activities for the Next Phase
Project Coordination and Monitoring.
Shahrukh Khan is Goodwill Ambassador for South Korea
October 27th, 2013
Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan has been appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for
South Korea. He has been appointed as the public diplomat as well as an ambassador ofIndia‟s soft
As a Goodwill Ambassador he will visit South Korea before the maiden visit of South Korea President
Park Geun-hye. It must be recalled that India and South Korea have already inked a civil nuclear pact but
it is still not operational.
What does a Goodwill Ambassador do?

Goodwill Ambassador is basically an honorary title for an Ambassador of Goodwill given to an individual by
a country. The job of Goodwill Ambassadors is to deliver the goodwill or promote the ideals from one place
or entity to another. The goodwill ambassador may be an individual from one nation who lives or travels
to another nation for a diplomatic mission or for an international friendship mission. (S)he is an
ambassador of a nation‘s Soft Power.
Plastic Park sanctioned for Odisha
October 27th, 2013
Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers - Government of India approved for establishing a Plastic
Park at Siju Village, Kujanga Tehsil of Jagatsinghpur District in Odisha. In this direction, a Special
Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Paradeep Plastic Park Limited would be set up for funding of the
park. The Government of India will provide a grant of Rs 40 crore for this purpose.
Why the Plastic Parks are being created?
The Government of India intends to set up a number of plastic parks in the country as envisaged in
the the National Plastic Park Policy in 2010 which was modified in 2013. The national policy for plastic
parks seeks to organise the plastic manufacturing and processing industry by setting up “dedicated
plastic parks”.
At present, the industry is highly fragmented and disorganised. Most units are in the small and medium
category. While they are producing and processing plastic, there is no hub where one can source it at one
place. On the other hand, there are industries ranging from tooth brush and milk pouches to automobiles
and automobile spare parts and accessories which are regularly facing a problem of timely availability of
raw material both in basic or processed form. Therefore, such a park will function as a centre for
manufacturers of telecom or automobile and other users to source the material.
The policy intends to encourage competitiveness of the plastic industry by upgrading the quality of the
product to suffice the end uses of domestic industries and exports. Therefore, it will benefit both the
established players in the industry and the first generation entrepreneurs as long as it has competitive
edge. Thus, the policy will not have much financial incentive and is more of a facilitator
of infrastructure support for industrial units.
What are the recent modifications in the National Plastic Park Policy?
The policy has been modified to specify the role of state governments, the scheme will be demand driven
and the government will provide a one time grant. This grant will be given to the Special Purpose Vehicle
(SPV) set up by the State Government or any of its agencies such as State Industrial Development
Corporation (SIDC) in association with user enterprises representing the plastic sector / sub sector.
What is the funding pattern for setting up the Plastic Parks?
Government of India would provide grant funding up to 50% of the project cost subject to a ceiling of Rs.
40 crore per project. The remaining contribution in the SPV will be from the State Government or State
Industrial Development Corporation or similar agencies of State Government, beneficiary industries and
loan from financial Institutions. The equity contribution of the State Government or respective SIDC shall
be at least 26% of the cash equity of the SPV (excluding value of any land given as equity).
The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers
The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is the administrative unit of 3 departments:-
1. Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals
2. Department of Fertilizers
3. Department of Pharmaceuticals
The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is headed by Minister of Chemicals and fertilizers.
Russian Parliament approves Anti-Terror Bill
October 27th, 2013
In a move which aims to make terrorism punishment in Russia more sever, the lower house of the
country‘s Parliament, Duma passed a new Anti-Terror Bill which makes punishment for terrorism more
harsh and also holds terrorists‘ relatives liable to pay for the damages caused in attacks.
The upper house is expected to approve the Bill and then it will be forced into law by the assent of
President Vladimir Putin. The bill further provides that training for terrorist activities is punishable by up to

10 years in prison. Those participating in a militant group on foreign soils may face a punishment of up to
6 years.
Putin has taken a tough stance against the North Caucausus rebellion following two wars between the
Russian army and Chechen separatists.
Govt of Venezuela sets up Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness
October 27th, 2013
The government of Venezuela set up Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness to tackle sadness in the
people of the country. The focal role of the agency will be to coordinate all anti-poverty missions initiated
by the late President Hugo Chavez to eradicate poverty.
Oil-rich Venezuela has been running short of basic goods and medical supplies for a long time. The rate of
annual inflation is alarmingly at aorund 50% and the US dollar is valued at more than seven times the
official rate on the black market.
President Nicolas Maduro, who took to the office after the death of previous President Hugo
Chavez, blames the shortages on speculation and hoarding, but businessmen say they would face terrible
losses if they adhered to government price controls.
Odisha imposes fishing ban to protect nests of endagered Olive Ridley sea turtles
October 27th, 2013
The Odisha Government has imposed a seven-month fishing ban within 20 km from the river mouths
of Dhamara, Devi andRusikulya in Gamjamdistrict for safeguard nests of endangered Olive Ridley sea
The ban prohibits motor boats, trawlers and mechanised fishing boats in the region.
The ban on the 20 km span of the Dhamra-Rushikulya river mouth has been imposed in accordance with
Sections 2, 7 and 4 of the OrissaMarine Fishing Regulation Act, 1982.
As per Fisheries Department, prohibitory orders are being enforced every year to ensure the safety of
turtles. However, the fishermen are unhappy over the ban as the ban is affecting their livelihood.
Olive Ridley Turtles:
 Scientific name: Lepidochelys olivacea
 Also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle
 Found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific andIndian Oceans.
 Global population of annual nesting females of these turtles reduced to 852,550 by 2008.
 Considered endangered because of their few remaining nesting sites in the world.
 Largest breeding ground for these turtles: The Gahirmatha Beach in Kendrapara district of Odisha
(India), now a part of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary .
 Bhitarkanika Mangroves designated a Ramsar Wetland ofInternational Importance in 2002.
 World‘s largest known rookery of Olive Ridley sea turtles.
 Two other mass nesting beaches on the mouth of riversRushikulya and Devi.
President order to set up separate development board for Hyderabad-Karnataka Region
October 27th, 2013
President of India Pranab Mukherjee issued “State of Karnataka(Special Responsibility of
Governor for Karnataka-HyderabadRegion) Order, 2013”, allowing the Karnataka Governor to set
up a separate development board for the Hyderabad-Karnataka region under Article 371 J of the
Constitution. The region includes Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, Koppal, Yadgir and Bellary
districts. The order has come into effect with immediate effect.
Why a separate Development Board for these Karnataka-Hyderabad region?
There are 6 districts namely Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, Koppal, Yadgirand Bellary in the Karnataka-

Hyderabad region identified as backward districts and have been given special status in Article 371-J of
the Constitution of India (introduced through the Constitution (98thAmendment) Bill, 2012. Under this
Article, the President is empowered to entrust the state Governor to establish a separate board to ensure
equitable allocation of funds in the state‘s budget to meet the development needs of the region. The board
will promote employment from the region by providing reservations for local cadres in service; and
provide reservation in educational and vocational training institutions to the locals.
What is Article 371-J?
Article 371-J grants special status to 6 backward districts of Hyderabad-Karnataka region to:-
 Establish a separate Development Board
 Have a board which will see that appropriate funds are allocated for Development of the region.
 Have local reservation in education and Government jobs resident of the given area a
GoM discards proposal to impose duty on cotton exports
October 27th, 2013
The Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, rejected the proposal of
the Textile Ministry to impose a 10% duty on overseas sales of cotton beyond the declared exportable
surplus limit.
As per the GoM, there should be no restrictions on export of raw cotton and no duty on export. It
advocated a free market for cotton, and was of the view that any quantitative restriction or export duty
would harm farmers.
As per the Textile Ministry, it had proposed to impose the duty with a view to create a stable, transparent,
production and tariff-driven cotton market to balance the interests of stakeholders in the entire value
Currently, duty-free cotton exports are permitted after registering contracts with the Directorate-General
of Foreign Trade (DGFT), and there is no restriction on shipments.
As per the estimates of the Textile Ministry, for the 2013-14 marketing year (October-September), the
total production of cotton has been at 37-37.5 million tonnes and cotton exports at 10 million bales (of
170 kg each).
India is the world‟s second largest producer and exporter of cotton. It exports more than 70% its
cotton to China.
Mukesh Ambani remains wealthiest Indian
October 27th, 2013
As per the the China-based Hurun India Rich List, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani is
India‘s richest man with personal assets of $18.9 billion. Mr. Ambani retained the top rank for the second
consecutive year even after a wealth decline of 2%.
According to the list, the top rich persons are:
1. Mukesh Ambani : Chairman Reliance Industries
2. L.N. Mittal: Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world‘s largest steelmaking company based in
London ($15.9 billion)
3. Dilip Shanghvi : Founder of Sun Pharmaceuticals
4. Azim Premji: Chairman Wipro ($12 billion)
5. Shiv Nadar: HCL Technology‘s ($8.6 billion)
6. Kumar Mangalam Birla: Chairman Grasim Industries ($8.4 billion)
7. Adi Godrej: Chairman Godrej Group‘s ($8.1 billion)
8. Pallonji Mistry: Chairman Shapoorji Pallonji & Co ($8 billion)
9. Shashi & Ravi Ruia: Essar Energy ($7.6 billion)
10. Sunil Mittal: Chaiman Bharti Airtel ($7.3 billion)
11. Anil Ambani: Chairman Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group ($7.1 billion)
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who set up Red ChilliesEntertainment, was ranked 114th and has
personal assets of $400 million.
Tata Sikorsky produced first indigenous S-92 copter cabin
October 26th, 2013

Tata Sikorsky, the joint venture firm of Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Sikorsky Aircraft
Corporation of the U.S., manufacturedIndia‘s first 100% indigenous S-92 helicopter cabin at
its Hyderabadfacility.
The joint venture which came into existence in 2009 to produce S-92 cabins took three years to develop
and deliver 50 cabins at the facility.
At present, the facility manufactures all the 5,000 parts needed for the cabin in the Hyderabad facility.
As per the company, Global demand for S-92 helicopters is on the rise, and cabins for the same will be
sourced from Hyderabad.
What is S-92?
The Sikorsky S-92 is a four-bladed twin-engine medium-lift helicopter built by Sikorsky Aircraft for the
civil and military helicopter market. The S-92 was developed from the Sikorsky S-70 helicopter and has
similar parts such as flight control and rotor systems.
India lifts ban on military supplies to Nepal
October 26th, 2013
India revoked the ban it had imposed on Nepal to supply it military equipment. Marking the end of the
eight-year old ban, India has supplied some of the equipment, including vehicles and arms, it had
promised to provide to Nepal ahead of crucial polls to be held in November 2013.
India has already handed over around 360 vehicles, including 25 mine-protected vehicles, while arms and
ammunition, which are on anvil, will be supplied soon.
This is the first time that military equipment is being provided to Nepal by India after ending a ban on the
supply of such gear, including lethal arms, that was imposed when former King Gyanendra seized
executive powers in February 2005.
Nepal needs the equipment for arming its 62,000 troops who will provide security for the upcoming
constituent assembly polls. The country recently brought changes in its constitution to allow the army to
be mobilized to ensure free and fair elections.
So far, India has provided equipment including 216 light vehicles, 154 heavy vehicles and some arms.
Among the heavy vehicles are 58 trucks with a capacity of 7.5 tonnes, four ambulances and 25
WEF ranks India 101st on global gender gap index
October 26th, 2013
The Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) placed India at a low101st rank on a Global
Gender Gap Index which ranked 136 nations on how well resources and opportunities are divided
between men and women in four broad areas of economy, politics, education and health. Despite
India‘s improvement on the Index by four positions since 2012, the performance indicates poor state of
affairs in gender parity.
Key observations of Global Gender Gap Index :
 Ranked very high at 9th place for political empowerment
 Placed at second-lowest position (135th) for health and survival
 Ranked at a low of 124th for economic participation and opportunity
 Positioned at 120th for educational attainment
 Among five BRICS nations, it still remains lowest-ranked
Who are the top performing countries on Global Gender Gap Index 2013?
Top-10 positions on the global have been retained by:
1. Iceland
2. Finland
3. Norway

4. Sweden
5. Philippines
6. Ireland
7. New Zealand
8. Denmark
9. Switzerland
10. Nicaragua
Other major countries:
 Germany at 14th
 South Africa at 17th
 UK at 23rd
 Russia at 61st
 Brazil at 62nd
 China at 69th
The nations that have been placed below India also include Japan(105th), UAE (109th), Republic
of Korea (111th), Bahrain (112th) andQatar (115th).
Pakistan at 135th and Yemen at 136th are the countries ranked lowest.
How did India managed a high-ranking in political empowerment?
The high rank for political empowerment is mostly because of India getting the top-most score in terms of
number of years with a female head of state (President), as its political scores is not very good for factors
like number of women in Parliament and women in ministerial positions. While no country has reached
parity in terms of years with a female head of state, India has managed to get top rank for this indicator,
whereas 65% of countries have never had a female head of state over the past 50 years. As per WEF,
increased political participation has helped narrow the global gender gap across the world.
z8_GND_5296: New galaxy „most distant‟ yet discovered
October 26th, 2013
Scientists have discovered the most distant galaxy yet which is located at about 30 billion light-years
away. It was detected using the Hubble Space Telescope. The distant galaxy has been
named z8_GND_5296.
How did the astronomers calculated the distance of the most distant galaxy “z8_GND_5296″?
Astronomers analysed its color to measure how far it is located from the Earth. As Universe is expanding
and everything is moving away from us, light waves are stretched. This makes objects look redder than
they actually are. Astronomers rate this apparent colour-change on a scale that is called redshift. They
found that this galaxy has a redshift of 7.51, beating the previous record-holder, which had a redshift of
7.21. This makes it the most distant galaxy ever found.
FIPB nod to Tata-SIA airlines
October 25th, 2013
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) gave approval toTata-SIA Airlines Ltd. – an
upcoming joint venture of Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons entailing an initial foreign investment of
USD 49 million.
 This is Tata‘s second venture in the aviation sector after its tie-up with Malaysian carrier Air Asia in
February for a low cost passenger air service.

 The venture will have Tata Sons as the majority partner with a 51% stake, while Singapore Airlines will
hold 49%. The two firms, which plan to set up the airline with an initial investment of $100 million,
announced their J.V. agreement on September 20, 2013.
 The venture is viewed as a result of the decision taken by the government in September 2012 when it
allowed overseas airlines to invest up to 49% in local airlines. Earlier, foreign investors, but not airlines,
had been allowed to hold up to a 49% stake in local airlines.
Following the liberalization, Tata Sons announced a venture withMalaysia‘s AirAsia to form a local
airline. AirAsia will hold a 49% stake in it and Tata Sons 30%. The balance will be held by Arun Bhatia
of Telestra Tradeplace Pvt Ltd.
Speed of the superfast trains to be enhanced to 160-200 kmph: Indian Railways
October 25th, 2013
The Railway Board announced that the Indian Railways decided to increase the speed of the superfast
trains to 160-200 kmph.
The current superfast trains of India- Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durontos will get an increase in the
speed. Besides this, the Indian Railwaysplanned to enhance the technical capability of the
Initially, the Shatabdi routes from Delhi to Bhopal and Lucknow will undergo an increase in speed.
Thereafter, this will be implemented to Duronto and Rajdhani. Following this, the superfast trains of India
will run at the semi high speeds before the year 2017.
Although India has one of the largest rail networks in the world, there are not many high-speed rail lines
which can support the speed of 200 kmph or more. A number of high speed corridors were proposed, but
they have not been realized. At present, Bhopal-Delhi Shatabdi Express is the fastest train of India with
the top speed of 150 kmph.
Day set for India‟s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) „Mangalyan‟
October 25th, 2013
As per the announcement by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO),India‘s first mission to Mars -
Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) will be launched on November 5, 2013 from Sriharikota space station.
About India‟s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) „Mangalyan‟:
 The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has been named „Mangalyan‗
 To be launched onboard PSLV C25 on November 5, 2013 at 14:36 hours from the first launch pad of
Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
 India‘s first interplanetary mission to planet Mars with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars in an
elliptical orbit.
 It will reach Martian transfer trajectory in September 2014. Subsequently, it is planned to enter into a
372 km by 80000 km elliptical orbit around Mars.
Objectives of India‟s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) „Mangalyan‟:
 The main objectives of the Mars mission are to showcase India‘s technological prowess to send a
satellite to orbit around Mars and conduct important experiments such as looking for signs of life, take
pictures of the red planet and study Martianenvironment.
 To develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an
interplanetary mission.
 Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound
manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion or capture.
 Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.
 Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.
 Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous
scientific instruments.
Key Payloads on PSLV C25:
 Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP)
 Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM)

 Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA)
 Mars Colour Camera (MCC)
 Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometre (TIS)
Indo-Bangladesh extradition treaty comes into effect
October 25th, 2013
The India and Bangladesh extradition treaty came into effect with the handing over of the instruments
of ratification. The treaty was signed in January 2013.
How would Indo-Bangladesh Extradition Treaty help?
With the treaty coming into effect, both the nations will be able to exchange convicts and under trials as
required. The treaty provides for extradition of convicts sentenced to more than one year of
imprisonment, but is not applicable to political prisoners and asylum seekers. Both the sides can nullify
the treaty at six month‘s notice. The treaty will facilitate India to extradite ULFA leader Anup Chetia, while
it will allow Bangladesh to take back fugitive criminals from India like Sazzad Hossain and put them to
Govt monitoring top 30 NPA accounts of banks: Finance Minister
October 24th, 2013
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram held that the government was keeping a close watch on the top
30 Non-Performing Assets (NPA) accounts of big borrowers (with loans of over Rs.1 crore) in each
public sector bank, and asked the lenders to set up separate verticals to recover money from written-off
As per the Minister, the current situation is not as bad as it was in 2000, when gross NPAs reached a high
of 14%. As of June 2013, the gross NPA of nationalized banks was 3.89%, and that of the State Bank
group at 5.50%.
Other public sector banks have been advised to set up separate verticals to recover as much as possible
from the accounts that were written off.
According to the Minister, the problem of NPAs has resurfaced after a normal period of 2009-10 and 2010-
11 due to slowdown in the economy. However, he hoped that once the economy starts picking up the
NPAs will come down.
Capital infusion of Rs.14,000 cr
The Finance Ministry has finalized the Rs.14, 000 crore capital infusion plan for public sector banks to
strengthen their capital base, and promised another share in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal. The
capital infusion would ensure that banks had 8% Tier-1 capital by the end of the current fiscal year.
More transparency expected from China with Trans-border River Agreement in place
October 24th, 2013
In another major confidence building measure betweenIndia and China, both nations inked Trans-
Border River Agreement (TBRA). The pact extends a previous MoU to provide hydrological date in the
flood season to cover a longer time period. Unlike the current agreement, the new one is not just about
sharing data, but has expanded the scope to discuss other issues of mutual interest.
Besides this, 2014 has been designated as a year of Friendly Exchanges between India and China and
both nations are to discuss with Myanmarways to mark the 60th anniversary of the Panchsheel.
What is the significance of Trans-Border River Agreement (TBRA) with China for India?
For India, this would specifically mean the hydropower projects that China is constructing on the
Brahmaputra. Construction of a 510 MW project has begun at Zangmu, and three other projects got the
approval in January 2013. India has asked for more transparency from the Chinese side on the number
and size of these projects.
Finally Suu Kyi receives 1990 Sakharov prize
October 24th, 2013
Myanmar‘s pro-democracy activist and parliamentarian Aung San Suu Kyi finally collected the EU
democracy prize that had been awarded 23 years ago while she was under house arrest. The Sakharov
Prize for freedom of thought, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, has been awarded annually
by the European Parliament since 1988.

About Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for
Democracy (NLD) inBurma. In 1988, she got caught up in Myanmar‘s pro-democracy protests when she
returned to care for her ailing mother after years of living and studying abroad. In 1990, she contested
general election as the leader of the NLD and won 59% of the national votes and 81% (392 of 485) of the
seats in Parliament. She remained under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 of the 21 years from 1989
until her most recent release in November 2010, becoming one of the world‘s most prominent political
prisoners. Suu Kyi was awarded the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990
and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
Presently, Suu Kyi is a member of parliament after the 2010 elections brought to power pro-reforms
President Thein Sein. She has expressed hopes of becoming Myanmar‘s next president, although this
would require constitutional changes ahead of the 2015 elections. She has urged the EU to push more
strongly for amendments to the Myanmar constitution, which according to her is hindering a full
democratization of the country.
The Sakharov Prize
 The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei
Sakharov, was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament as a means to honour
individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights
and freedom of thought.
 The first prize was awarded jointly to South African Nelson Mandela and Russian Anatoly
 The Sakharov Prize is usually awarded annually on or around December 10, the day on which the
Nations General Assembly ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, also celebrated
as Human Rights Day.
ONGC Videsh Ltd bags two oil blocks in Myanmar
October 24th, 2013
ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp, won two oil blocks
in Myanmar in Onshore Blocks Second Bidding Round-2013. As per the list of winners released by the
Myanmar‘s Energy Ministry, OVL won Blocks B-2 (Zebyutaung-Nandaw) and EP-3 (Thegon-Shwegu). The
company has stakes in the A-1 and A-3 gas discovery blocks and three offshore acreages in Myanmar.
Of the total 13 onshore blocks awarded by Myanmar, Italy‘s Eni,Pakistan‘s Petroleum Exploration (PVT)
and Canada‘s Pacific Hunt Energy Corp won two contracts each while Petronas
of Malaysia, Brunei National Petroleum Co, CAOG Sarl of Luxembourg, Bashneft of Russia and PTT
Exploration and Production of Thailand won one block each.
The current PSCs (Production Sharing Contracts) in Myanmar specify a 3-year exploration period followed
by 20 years for production, with the royalty rate set at 12.5%.
First known tilted planetary system discovered by NASA
October 24th, 2013
The US space agency NASA‘s Kepler space telescope discovered the first known tilted planetary system
in the Space which is angled 45 degrees to the line of sight from Earth. The planetary system features two
inner planets and one outer planet orbiting at a sharp tilt to their red giant host star called Kepler-56.
The host star is more than four times the radius of our Sun. Its mass is also 30% more than our Sun. It is
located at about 3000 light years from Earth.
These discoveries would allow scientists to get a detailed view of a distant system that provides a new and
critical test of our understanding of the structure of these solar systems.
„State Govts can‟t order suspension of films‟: Justice Mukul Mudgal on draft
Bill 2013

October 24th, 2013
The Empowered Committee on film certification chaired by Justice Mukul Mudgal has mandated that no
State government can order the suspension of a film.
As per the draft Cinematograph Bill, 2013 which suggest changes in the Cinematograph Act
 Only the Central government can suspend the screening of a film after it has been certified
by the Censor Board.
 The Central government can only invoke this clause only after a show-cause notice has been given in
writing to the film-maker setting out the grounds for proposing such a move and giving him/her
reasonable opportunity to respond.
 Entry 60 of List I of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution categorically places legislation relating to
sanction of film for exhibition in the domain of the Central government. Further, the specific language of
Entry 33 of List-II of the same Schedule provides that this entry is subject to the provisions of Entry 60.
 The internationally prevalent practice of classification of films for age-related classifications and
certifications must be accepted. As against the current practise of ‗U‘, ‗U/A‘ and ‗A‘ certification, the
Committee has proposed to break-up ‗U/A‘ by age to ‗12+‘ and ‗15+‘ while retaining ‗U‘ and ‗A‘. The
classification for restricted circulation has been retained.
 It also reviews certain definitions mentioned in the Cinematograph Act, 1952, to keep pace with
the sea of changes in film-making.
 The word „film‟ under the will not be confined to the “moving picture content of the film” but
will include songs and lyrics of the song. This has been done, in particular, to address the issue of
‗item songs‘ has drawn considerable ire.
Why did the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting set up Mudgal Committee?
Earlier this year, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry set up the Mudgal panel after the government
felt the need to update the Cinematograph Act, 1952 in the wake of the controversy over Tamil Nadu‘s
ban on Vishwaroopam. Other such film-ban instances happened with
films like Aarakshan and Madras Café which ran into trouble in some States. Questions were raised over
the decision of a particular State to invoke the law and ban the release of a certain movie,
notwithstanding that the Supreme Court in the Aarakshan case had held that once a film was certified
for viewing, the fig leaf of law and order could not be allowed to stand in the way.
First Genesis Prize “Jewish Nobel Prize” to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
October 24th, 2013
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has been selected for the inaugural Genesis Prize – an award
popularly dubbed the Jewish Nobel Prize given by the Government of Israel. Bloomberg has been
chosen for the award in recognition to his long record of public service and philanthropy. Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the prize to Bloomberg in May 2014 in Israel.
Genesis Prize – The J ewish Nobel Prize
The Genesis Prize is instituted by the Government of Israel, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the
Genesis Philanthropy Group. It is awarded to individuals who have achieved international recognition
in their professional field, the worlds of science and the arts. The award carries $1 million and
presented annually by the Prime Minister of Israel at a ceremony in Jerusalem.
The award seeks to emphasize across the Jewish community and the world at large the significance of
Jewish values to the fulfillment of human potential and to the betterment of the world. This way, it intends
to strengthen the Jewish identity of young Jews across the world who are rapidly assimilating and losing
connection to the Jewish people and their rich heritage.
India, China ink Border Defense Co-operation Agreement
October 24th, 2013
In a significant international development, India andChina inked a BDCA (Border Defence Cooperation

Agreement) which stipulates among a set of confidence building measures that in any faceoff
on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) they will not use force or threaten to use force against each other
and prevent exchange of fire or an armed conflict. The pact was signed by Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
The BDCA was among nine agreements signed by both sides, of which an MoU on Strengthening Cooperation
on Trans-border Rivers was another significant agreement.
The two sides also agreed that as large neighbours following independent foreign policies, the
relationships pursued by India and China with other countries must not become a source of concern for
each other. On the Indian side, this points to China‘s strategic ties with Pakistan, while China‘s main
concern would be India‘s relations with the United States.
India raised the issue of terrorism generating from Pakistan, and Chineseinfrastructure-building in
Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, as well as Indian concerns about China issuing stapled visas to people
from Arunachal Pradesh.
Highlights of the BDCA (Border Defence Co-operation Agreement) between India and China:
 The BDCA seeks to build a graded mechanism, starting with meetings between border personnel,
perhaps in all sectors.
 It has 10 clauses that seek to maintain peace, tranquillity and stability along the 4,000 km-long LAC.
 Periodic meetings will be held between officers of the regional military headquarters, specifically
between the Chengdu military region and India‘s Eastern Command, and Lanzhou military region and
the Northern Command.
 Higher-level meetings between the two ministries of defence will also be held, aside from the working
mechanism for consultation and co-ordination on India-China Border Affairs, and the India-China
Annual Defence Dialogue.
 Both the sides have reached an agreement not to tail each other‘s patrols in the areas where there is
common understanding of the LAC, and laying down the right to seek a clarification.
 The two sides are to set up meeting sites for border personnel, as well as telephone
and telecommunication links on the LAC. A hotline between the two military headquarters is also
being contemplated.
 Both have also agreed that in the event of a face-off in areas where they have differing perceptions of
the LAC, ―both sides shall exercise maximum self-restraint, refrain from any provocative actions, not
use force or threaten to use force against the other side, treat each other with courtesy and prevent
exchange of armed conflict‖.
 Joint celebrations by military personnel at the border on major national or military days and festivals,
organising non-contactsports, and joint small-scale tactical exercises.
According to India, the pact doesn‘t affect India‘s right to build infrastructure at the border. There is
recognition on both sides, like in all previous agreements — 1993, 1996 and 2005 — that ―the border is
asymmetrical, that what is on their side is different from our side. Each side will approach its security in its
own way.‖ With these agreements both the sides hoped that it would help maintain peace and tranquillity
in the border areas.
What is the border dispute between India and China?
On of the disputes is that China claims around 90,000 square km of land in Arunachal Pradesh, while India
says China is occupying 38,000 square km of territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the western
S&P BSE Sensex crosses 21,000 for first time since November 2010
October 24th, 2013
S&P BSE Sensex crossed 21,000 level for first time since November 2010. The benchmark is also Asia‘s
best performing index. Marking it highest intra-day level since November 2010, the S&P BSE Sensex rose
above 1 % to 21,002.50
What are the possible reasons for this upward trend, S&P BSE Sensex crossing 21,000 mark?
 Fresh buying by funds and retailers mainly influenced the positive sentiment.

 Foreign funds have bought $1.7 billion in Indian equities till date in October 2013. Thus, making total
purchases by foreign funds for the year to $15.35 billion.
“Exploring good practices in overcoming deprivation in India and UK” – includes case
on Super 30
October 24th, 2013
“Exploring good practices in overcoming deprivation in India and UK” – A research project on by
University of East London (UK) and TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences), Mumbai. Three case studies
selected from India for the research.
Objective: Mapping social innovation strategies in overcoming multiple deprivations in select locations in
India and UK.
Super 30 (Bihar) along with two other case studies (from Mumbai) one on slums and other on Hindu-
Muslim unity have been taken up for research.
Why Super 30 was selected for such a case study?
Super 30 was selected as case study for demonstrating how educationcould make a enduring difference
to deprivation. Time magazine had earlier adjudged mathematician Anand Kumar‘s school ―Super 30″ in
the list of Best of Asia 2010.
Manna Dey, the Legendary singer passed away
October 24th, 2013
Prabodh Chandra Dey ( a.k.a. ―Manna Dey―) (94) passed away.
Manna Dey was a versatile Indian playback singer. Manna Dey sang mainly in Hindi and Bengali. He also
recorded songs in several other Indian languages like Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Assameese, Oriya, Gujarathi,
Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam.
Debut as a playback singer in the film Tamanna (1942)
Career (years active) : 1942-2013
Recorded more than 4000 songs
Some key Awards:
 Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2007)
 Padma Bhushan (2005)
 Padma Shri (1971)
Dipika Pallikal clinches Macau Open Squash title 2013
October 22nd, 2013
India‘s star Squash player Dipika Pallikal clinched the Macau Open title held at Macau, China. Dipika
vanquished former World No.1 Rachel Grinham ofAustralia.
About Dipika Pallikal:
Dipika Pallikal is an Indian squash player known to become the first Indian woman to make to the top
10 WSA rankings. She is also first squash player to receive prestigious Arjuna Award.
“Frank”: World‟s first complete bionic man
October 22nd, 2013
What is Frank (Frankenstein) ?
Researchers from Zurich (Switzerland) have revealed the world‘s first walking, talking bionic man
called Frank, short for Frankenstein
Researchers have engineered the world‘s first robot human or Bionic man made entirely of prosthetic
parts. It can walk, talk and has a beating heart. The robot has been developed by Roboticists Rich Walker
and Matthew Godden of Shadow Robot Co in England.
To develop the Bionic man, scientists assembled prosthetic body parts and artificial organs donated by
laboratories around the world.
Key features of the complete Bionic Man Frank (Frankenstein):

 6 feet tall
 Fully functioning circulatory system
 Beating heart and lungs
 28 artificial body parts and synthetic organs.
 Artificial organs including an artificial heart, blood, lungs (and windpipe), pancreas, spleen, kidney and
functional circulatory system.
 Fitted with a cochlear implant, speech recognition and speech production systems.
 Equipped with a sophisticated chatbot programme that can talk.
 Robotic ankles and feet enable it to move
 Face is made of silicone and is a replica of Dr Meyer‘s
 Fitted with 200 processors
 70 circuit boards and 26 individual motors
 Wears a robotic exoskeleton dubbed Rex to support its prosthetics legs.
 However, the robot human lacks a few organs including liver, stomach and intestines, which are too
complex to replicate in a lab.
 Brain can imitate certain functions of the human brain and has a retinal prosthesis.
 Development cost: nearly $1 million.
 Frank (short for Frankenstein) has been named after Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley‘s 1818 novel
Prof. Ravi Chopra Expert panel to study the impact of Hydro-projects in Uttarakhand
October 22nd, 2013
A 17-member expert panel headed by Prof. Ravi Chopra has been constituted by the Union Ministry
of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to investigate whether the environmental degradation caused by
hydro-electric projects on Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers led to Uttarakhandfloods.
Tasks before the Prof. Ravi Chopra Expert Committee:
 To examine the extent to which the projects were responsible for the Uttarakhand floods.
 To examine the impact of the proposed 24 hydropower projects on the biodiversity of the region and
investigate the degradation caused by functioning as well as on-going hydro-projects.
 Recommend necessary environmental protective measures to extenuate the adverse environmental
impacts in respect of ongoing projects for which environment elearance have been given including
tourism projects and also opine necessary changes in project parameters.
 To draft a Himalayan Policy for Uttarakhand keeping in view the unique ecological, social and
cultural characteristics of the state and suggest environment friendly development activities.
It can be recalled, the in June 2013 Uttrakhand was struck by flash floods and landslides. The natural
calamity took the lives of thousands of people and rendered many other stranded. Rescue operations were
carried out with the help of Indian Army, Paramilitary Forces and IndianAir Force. The worst hit region of
Uttarakhand was Kedarnath, which is a famous Hindu shrine and attracts lakhs of tourists every year.
“Tata SIA Airlines Ltd.” – TATA-Singapore Airlines joint venture gets approval for its
October 22nd, 2013
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs approved the name “Tata SIA Airlines Ltd.” to be used for the
proposed aviation venture of TATA withSingapore Airlines(SIA) which plans to offer full-service
passengers sevices on domestic and international routes.
The initial investment in the project is estimated to be $100 million, with Tata Sons injecting $51 million
for a 51% stake and Singapore Airlines pumping in $49 million for the remaining 49%. This is the third
proposal in the aviation sector since the Government permitted 49% FDI in domestic airlines in September
Although Tata is already into a separate joint aviation venture with AirAsia and Telstra Tradeplace for a
low-cost airline, there will be no conflict of interest as the two airlines do not compete in the same
space. The Tatas have a long history of association with civil aviation inIndia. In 1932 JRD Tata had
started Tata Airlines, which was later in 1946 renamed Air India and was subsequently nationalized in

Saudi Arabia declines UN Security Council Seat
October 22nd, 2013
Showing disappointment over the inability of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to end the war
in Syria and act on other Middle East issues, Saudi Arabia refused an esteemed seat on the UNSC.
It cited the Security Council‘s failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, take measures to end
Syria‘s civil war and curb nuclear proliferation in the region as the reason behind its turning down the
membership. On the contrary, it accused the global body of perpetuating conflicts and grievances.
Saudi Arabia was one of five countries elected by the UN‘s General Assembly to serve a two-year term as
a non-permanent member on the 15-member Security Council.
First National Yash Chopra Memorial Award presented to Lata Mangeshkar
October 22nd, 2013
Legendary vocalist Lata Mangeshkar was presented the first national Yash Chopra Memorial Award by
theMinistry of Information and Broadcasting as a mark of tribute to the legendary filmmaker Yash
Chopra on the eve of his first death anniversary.
The Yash Chopra Memorial Award:
Instituted by the TSR Foundation of T. Subbarami Reddy.
It carries a cheque of Rs 1 million and a citation.
It will be presented annually to people in recognition of their outstanding contribution in the field of art
and culture.
India‟s Forex reserves reaches $279.24 billion
October 22nd, 2013
The foreign exchange (forex) reserve of India rose by $1.51 billion to touch $279.24 billion for the week
ended October 11, 2013.
According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India‘s Foreign Currency Assets (FCA), the biggest
component of the forex reserves, increased by $1.52 billion to $250.85 billion in the same week.
As per the central bank the FCA expressed in US dollar terms included the effect of appreciation or
depreciation of non-US currencies held in reserve, such as the pound sterling, euro and yen. The value of
India‘s gold reserves remained the same.
However, India‘s reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $4.7 million
to $2.19 billion and the value of the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) plunged by $9.6 to $4.43 billion.
What are Special Drawing Rights (SDR)?
SDR which are also called paper gold are international financing instrument created by the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1969 to coincide with the disfavor of the US dollar as the principal currency of
the world trade. Although called paper gold, an SDR is neither paper nor gold but an accountingentry.
It is not backed by any currency or precious metal, and is used only among governments and IMF for
balanceofpayments settlements.
SDRs are a measure of a country‘s reserve assets with IMF and, whereas not ‗money‘ in the strict sense,
have several characteristics of money as interestbearing assets, store of value, and means of settling
indebtedness. They are distributed among all member nations of IMF in proportion to each member‘s
quota of IMF dues based on the member‘s GNP.
SDRs are used mainly to supplement gold and convertible (hard) currencies in maintaining stability of
foreign exchange markets and are valued on the basis of the value of a basket of 16 major currencies with
periodically adjusted weightage reflecting each currency‘s importance in international trade.
New Li-Fi Technology developed by Chinese researchers
October 21st, 2013
Researchers from Fudan University, Shanghai have developed a new cheaper way of getting connected to
the internet through light bulbs instead of radio frequencies. The new technology is dubbed as Li-Fi (Light
Fidelity) and an alternative to currently popular Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity).
What is Li-Fi Technology and how does it work?
The term Li-Fi was coined by by Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh in the UK and refers to a
type of visible light communication technology that delivers a networked, mobile, high-speed

communication solution in a similar manner as Wi-Fi.
Light is also an electromagnetic wave just like radio waves. The researchers used LEDs (Light-Emitting
Diodes) which are switched ON and OFF so rapidly that the eye can not detect making the light source
appear continuous. The ON-OFF of the LED is controlled with a microchip and modulated into binary code
0 (OFF) and 1 (ON) in a manner similar as Wi-Fi.
SEBI study suggests reduction in STT to propel Capital Market
October 21st, 2013
As per a latest study conducted by the Development Research Group (DRG) of the Securities and
Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the spot-market has been dominating the futures and option markets
and the dominance of futures market over options has diminished after the increase in Securities
Transaction Tax (STT). The study suggests reducing the Securities Transaction Tax to give an impetus
to the capital market.
Objective of the study entitled “The Impact of Increased Derivatives-Trading in India on the Price-
Discovery Process” is to examine whether the introduction of financial derivatives led to better Price-
Discovery (PD) in India.
What is Securities Transaction Tax(STT)?
The Central Government levies Securities Transaction Tax (STT) on all transactions done on the stock
exchanges at rates prescribed it from time to time. This includes shares, derivatives or equityoriented
mutual funds units. The Government of India notified the Securities Transaction Tax Rules,
2004 and STT came into effect from October 1, 2004.
President‟s assent to Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act, 2011
October 21st, 2013
The President of India Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to theUttarakhand Lokayukta Bill. With this
the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill became an Act. The Lokayukta Act is aimed at curbing corruption in the
Uttarakhand state. The Act has under its purview, the Chief Minister, ministers, MLAs and government
servants, including IAS and IPS officers, will come under the ambit of the Lokayukta. Former chief
ministers, former ministers and retired officers will also be within the ambit of the Lokayukta. However,
the judges of the Uttarakhand High Court will are not under the purview of Lokayukta.
India‟s largest Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower unveiled at Mumbai Airport
October 21st, 2013
India‘s largest 84-meter tall Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower of India was inaugurated outside
the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai. It is spread over an area of 2800 square
meter area and is also equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as electronic flight strips that can
reduce the workload of controllers and enhance safety and capacity of the airport.
The height of the ATC tower will facilitate all the controllers in having easy and non-stop view of complete
operational area. It will also help in optimizing the separation of the air traffic, while boosting the traffic
management capacity at the same time.
Note: India is the 9th largest aviation market of the world and has the traffic growth of 10% annually.
Union Cabinet gives nod to proposal for construct all-weather Zojila Tunnel Project
October 21st, 2013
The Union Cabinet has given nod to the proposal for construction of a 14-km all-weather tunnel at Zojila
pass in Ladakh region. The project would require Rs 9000 crore investment to ensure undisrupted
round-the-year connectivity between Ladakh and Srinagar. The Zojila pass is located at an altitude of
11578 ft on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway (NH-1), which remains closed during the winter
season due to heavy snowfall and inclement weather.
Zojila tunnel along with another 6.5 km long tunnel at Z-Morh in Sonmarg will provide road
connectivity to Ladak and Srinagar areas round the year. Building the tunnel would take 7 years, and the

contract for collecting toll will be for 15 years.
G. B. Pradhan is the new Chairperson of the CERC
October 21st, 2013
Union Government of India appointed Gireesh B. Pradhan, former Secretary of Ministry of New and
Renewable Energy, as the Chairperson of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).
What is CERC?
Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is a statutory body functioning under section 76 of the
Electricity Act 2003. Previously, it was constituted under the Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act,
Functions of CERC:
 Tariff regulation of electricity generating companies owned or controlled by the Central Government
 Regulation of the inter-State transmission of electricity
 Determine tariff for Inter-State transmission of electricity
 Issue licenses to persons to function as transmission licensee and electricity trader with respect to their
inter-State operations
 Adjudicate upon disputes involving generating companies or transmission licensee
 Specify Grid Code having regard to Grid Standards
 Specify and enforce the standards with respect to quality, continuity and reliability of service by
 Fix the trading margin in the inter-State trading of electricity, if considered, necessary
 Discharge such other functions as may be assigned under the Act.
Supreme Court: Courts can‟t impose fine more than twice the amount in Bounced
October 21st, 2013
The Supreme Court, in a ruling, directed the Courts not to impose a fine of more than twice the amount in
bounced cheques even if they are taking a lenient view of the accused by not sentencing him
As per Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, a person (whose cheque has bounced)
shall without prejudice to any other provision of this act, be punished with imprisonment for a term which
may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to twice the amount of the cheque, or with both.
Outdoor Air Pollution a Leading Environmental Cause of Cancer Deaths: IARC
October 21st, 2013
As per the data from the WHO‘s specialized cancer agency –International Agency for Research on
Cancer (IARC), exposure to outdoor air pollution causes lung cancer and increases the risk for bladder
cancer. Air pollution is already known to increase risks for a wide range of diseases, such as respiratory
and heart diseases. The data highlighted that air pollution exposure levels increased significantly in some
parts of the world, particularly in speedily industrialising nations with large populations.
The data pointed that 223000 deaths from lung cancer in 2010 were caused by air pollution.
What are the main sources of outdoor air pollution?
As per the data, the main sources of outdoor air pollution are transportation, stationary power generation,
industrial, agricultural emissions and residential heating and cooking.
Which pollutants causing air pollution are of major concern?
Pollutants of major public health concern include particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen
dioxide and sulfur dioxide.
First National Yash Chopra Memorial Award presented to Lata Mangeshkar
October 21st, 2013
Legendary vocalist Lata Mangeshkar was presented the first national Yash Chopra Memorial Award by the
Ministry for Information and Broadcasting as a mark of tribute to the legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra on
the eve of his first death anniversary.
The Yash Chopra Memorial Award:
 Instituted by the TSR Foundation of T. Subbarami Reddy.

 It carries a cheque of Rs 1 million and a citation.
 It will be presented annually to people in recognition of their outstanding contribution in the field of art
and culture.
Government plans to launch interest rate futures
October 21st, 2013
In order to deepen its financial market, the Govt is all set to launch trading of government bond futures.
These interest rate futures would help banks and financial institutions and allow Indian policy makers with
an estimate to evaluate market predictions for their future rate decisions. The structure of the product has
yet not been decided by RBI.
What are Interest Rate Futures?
An Interest Rate Future is a financial contract which derives its value from the performance of an
underlying instrument, actually a debt obligation that pays interest. These are financial derivatives
(futures contract) between a buyer and a seller, where they both to lock in the price of the interestbearing
asset for a future date. Example: Treasury-bill futures, etc.
Interest Rate Futures moves in value as interest rates changes.
What is the basic objective of using Interest Rate Futures?
To hedge against the risk of interest rates moving in unfavourable direction, thus causing a cost the
What is the basic mechanism of Interest Rate Futures?
When the interest rates go up:
The buyer (of the interest rate futures contract) pays the seller an amount equal to the profit expected
when investing at a higher rate against the rate mentioned in the futures contract.
When the interest rates go down:
The seller pays off the buyer for the poorer interest rate when the futures contract expires.
Are Interest Rate Futures traded in India?
Yes, trading in the interest rate futures began in India on August 31, 2009.
Chanda Kochhar ranked 4th in Fortune magazine‟s global list of top-50 women
October 21st, 2013
ICICI Bank CEO and MD, Ms Chanda Kochhar has been ranked 4th in Fortune magazine‘s global
list of top-50 womenbusiness leaders. The list is topped by Brazilian energy giant Petrobras‘ CEO, Maria
Das Gracas Foster.
Other Indians making it to the list were:-
- National Stock Exchange chief Ms Chitra Ramkrishna (17th)
- Axis Bank‘s CEO Ms Shikha Sharma (32nd)
- HSBC‘s Country Head of India, Ms Naina Lal Kidwai (42nd)
New Zealand author Eleanor Catton wins 2013 Booker Prize
October 18th, 2013
New Zealand author Ms Eleanor Catton became the youngest winner of the Man Booker Prize for fiction.
She claimed the award for her novel ―The Luminaries‖.
―The Luminaries‖ is the longest book ever to win the Booker Prize .
Ms Eleanor Catton is the youngest author ever to win the Booker Prize.
India tops new Global Slavery Index
October 18th, 2013
“Global Slavery Index” published by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation, ranked India first in
terms of number of modern day slaves in the world. The index has ranked 162 countries based on 3
1. Estimated prevalence of modern slavery (including practices such as debt bondage, etc.)
2. A measure of child marriage (including forced marriage)
3. A measure of human trafficking in and out of a country (including sale or exploitation of children as well

as human trafficking and forced labour)
There are 29.6 million people in modern slavery globally out of which 13.3 to 14.7 million live in India.
Ranking as per number:
1. India
2. China
3. Pakistan
4. Nigeria
5. Ethiopia
6. Russia
7. Thailand
8. Democratic Republic of Congo
9. Myanmar
10. Bangladesh
These 10 countries account for 76% of the world‘s modern slaves.
Ranking as per % of population:-
1. Mauritania
2. Haiti
3. Pakistan
4. India
5. Nepal
6. Moldova
Govt proposes to build storage facilities for steady flow of foodgrains under Food Security
October 18th, 2013
The Central Govt is planning to set up intermediate grain storage facilities at block level in each state.
Objective: To ensure steady flow of foodgrain under the National Food Security Act.
Funding: Entirely centrally sponsored. Centre will provide Rs 450 crore while the land for construction will
be given by the states that are willing to come up with these facilities.
The proposed storage facilities will be constructed under the MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural
Employment Guarantee Act). The plan to build storage facilities under MGNREGA will need an amendment
in Schedule 1 of MGNREGA.
Wal-Mart gets clean chit in FEMA case
October 18th, 2013
World‘s largest supermarket chain Wal-Mart, got a clean chit from ED (Enforcement Directorate) in the
FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) violation case.
Why a clean chit to Wal-Mart in FEMA Case?
Since Government has allowed FDI in multi-brand retail and also made provision for retrospective
regularization of investments. Therefore, a case of violation couldn‘t be made against Wal-Mart.
What clean chit in FEMA Case means for Wal-Mart?
Now, Wal-Mart can go after its Indian plans more aggressively.
6 Tata Group companies, Bharti Airtel and Mahindra & Mahindra amongst most
transparent companies – Transparency International
October 18th, 2013
As per the anti-corruption watchdog ―Transparency International‖, 6 Tata Group companies, Bharti
Airtel and Mahindra & Mahindra were in its list of top 10 list of corporate entities among emerging market
economies in terms of transparency in corporate reporting.
1. Tata Communications
2. Tata Global Beverages and Tata Steel
3. Bharti Airtel
The companies across the emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India, Chinaand South Africa, were
ranked in a scale of 0-10 in terms of transparency.
The index was based on the unweighted average of results in 3 categories:-

1. Result for reporting on anti-corruption programmes
2. Result for organizational transparency
3. Result for country-by-country reporting.
China got the lowest rating of the BRICS economies. Indian firms perform best in the BRICS.
„Great Indian Bustard‟ in critically endangered stage
October 18th, 2013
As per the 2013 ‗Threatened Bird‘ list by theInternational Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the
Great Indian Bustard is listed under the category of Critically Endangered birds.
The Great Indian Bustard (Scientific name: ―Ardeotisnigriceps”) was once widely spotted across 11 Indian
states, but now only less than 250 birds are left all across India. The destruction of the habitat is a
primary threat to the bird‘s endurance. The Great Indian Bustard is endemic to the Indian
subcontinent. The Great Indian Bustard lives in short-grass plains and deserts in large arid landscapes.
Key reasons for the decrease in count of the Great Indian Bustard:-
1. Habitat destruction- The change of land use from grassland to farmland, thus shrinking the bird‘s
2. Poaching.
3. Degradation and disturbance in existing grassland habitat
4. Hunting
5. Lack of importance for natural grassland conservation in policy, law and PA network due to incorrect
perception on ecological value vis-a-vis forests
6. Lack of protection for many ‗lekking‘ and nesting sites
7. Lack of cooperation between different departments/stakeholders in GIB habitats
8. Lack of awareness and support from local communities
9. Livestock overgrazing and feral dogs
10. Disturbance by photographers — there is now plenty anecdotal evidence to demonstrate that
photography of the species causes substantial disturbance
In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court had directed the Ministry ofEnvironment and Forests to
take steps for the recovery of the Great Indian Bustard.
Status of the Great Indian Bustard
 The Great Indian Bustard is now confined to only eight pockets in 6 Indian states —
Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
 The largest population (~50%) can be found in Jaisalmer, Barmer, and Bikaner districts of Rajasthan
 Great Indian Bustard is the State Bird of Rajasthan.
 Bird may be already extinct in Madhya Pradesh.
“Co-operative societies do not come under RTI” – Supreme Court
October 18th, 2013
Supreme Court held in a decision that the Co-operative societies do not fall within the ambit of Right to
Information (RTI) Act. The decision was given while the apex court annulled a Kerala government
circular to bring all such societies within the scope of the RTI Act.
What was the contention given by the Supreme Court bench?
The bench held that the Co-operative societies are subject to the control of the statutory authorities like
Registrar, Joint Registrar, the Government, etc. but it can‘t be said that the State exercises any direct or
indirect control over the affairs of the society which is deep and all permeant. The power exercised by the
Registrar over the societies is merely supervisory and regulatory. The mere supervision or regulation as
such by a statute or otherwise of a body would not make that body a public authority within the meaning
of Section 2(h)(d)(i) of the RTI Act.
Plan to bring all Post Offices across India under the Core Banking Solution System
October 18th, 2013
The Central Govt has planned to add all the post offices throughout Indiaunder the
core banking solution system.
Objective: To bring more rural areas with AADHAAR seeded accounts.
Ms Nidhi Khare (the Adviser to the Planning Commission) held that the move will assist the people to

utilize the benefits of several schemes including Old Age Pension and MGNREGA via Direct Benefits
AADHAAR card may be utilized as an identity and residential proof for opening bank a/c for a person.
Cabinet cleared revised Preferential Market Access (PMA) for electronic equipments
October 17th, 2013
The Cabinet approved a revised version of the Preferential Market Access (PMA) policy that will apply
to the supply of electronic and telecom equipment that has security implications. Preferential Market
Access (PMA) policy linked to telecom equipment and other electronic products having security
implications has been cleared.
What is Preferential Market Access (PMA) policy?
PMA policy will severely restrict the market participation opportunities for foreign companies in key sectors
of the Indian economy. The policy requires certain domestic content percentages in public procurement
contracts and in commercial transactions where electronic products raise security concerns. It will give
support to Indian players and it will enable entrepreneurs to start their own product companies.
PMA provides for sourcing of sensitive telecom and electronic equipments and technology from domestic
manufacturers over security concerns. PMA makes it mandatory for the Government to procure a certain
percentage of its requirements from domestic manufacturers. The policy is designed keeping in mind the
security issues and threat of cyber espionage. It is envisaged to push manufacturing capabilities
in Indiaitself, thus reducing dependence on imports, especially in strategic fields like defence and
What does Govt fear? Why need for PMA policy?
Govt fears that there is a possibility of malicious codes being implanted during manufacturing, after
installation of the electronic items in the network, or some time in between. Thus, Department of
Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has stressed that PMA applies to procurement for both
government entities and entities that impact national security. In January 2013, the Department of
Telecom (DoT) circulated a list of 14 ―security-sensitive‖ telecom products, and proposed to mandate its
sourcing to Indian companies alone.
India‘s telecom industry at present relies heavily on imports to meet its requirements. As per TRAI,
products form only 3% of the market. India imports about electronic items worth US $40bn every
year. The National Electronics Policy forecasts such imports to touch a humongous USD 300 billion by
2020 if efforts are not made to produce hi-tech products in India.
Syria officially joins UN chemical weapons pact
October 17th, 2013
UN confirmed that it has received documents from Syria on joining the Chemical Weapons Convention.
 The convention requires all parties to declare and destroy all of the chemical weapons they possess.
 Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has the job is to implement the Chemical
Weapons Convention, a treaty which came into force in 1997 and which requires all member nations to
eliminate their chemical weapons stocks and related facilities.
 The Norwegian Nobel Committee recently awarded the OPCW the Nobel Peace Prize 2013 for ―its
extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons‖.
 OPCW was created in 1997.
 OPCW is based in The Hague, Netherlands
 Full name of the treaty: ―The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production,
Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction―
 The treaty entered into force in 1997.
 Syria is the 190th country to join the convention.
 Only 6 UN states have yet to sign the international treaty, they
are: Angola, Burma, Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan.
Indian Railways take measures to prevent misuse of „Izzat‟ Monthly Season Ticket
October 17th, 2013

Ministry of Railways has taken further steps to make sure that the ‗Izzat‘ Monthly Season Ticket (Izzat
MST) scheme actually reaches to the people belonging to low income category. These steps were taken in
an order to prevent misuse of the scheme.
Under the new measures, following has been decided:
1. Income certificates issued by the authority for issue of Izzat MST, will also be verified by local
Government Officials such as BDO, Tehsildar, etc.
2. A copy of the proof of residence such as Voter Identify Card, Driving License, Electricity Bill, etc. would
also be retained for issue of the ‗Izzat‘ monthly season tickets and the original should also be inspected.
3. There shall be no change in other conditions of the Izzat monthly season ticket.
What is „Izzat‟ MST (Izzat MST) Scheme?
 This scheme was announced by Ministry of Railways in the Railway Budget 2009-10.
 Under this scheme, uniformly priced Monthly Season Tickets (MSTs) at Rs. 25/- inclusive of all
surcharges which will be issued upto a distance of 100 Kms to persons working in unorganised sector
with monthly income not exceeding Rs. 1500/-.
Latest telecom subscriber database released by TRAI
October 17th, 2013
India‘s telecom subscriber base expanded marginally to reach 90.44 crore in July 2013, as per latest
telecom subscription data from TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India).
 Total number of subscribers: 904.46 million
 Net addition: 1.37 million subscribers during July
 Subscriber base from Urban areas: 548.85 million
 Subscriber base from Rural areas: 355.60 million
 Teledensity: 73.54 (Out of this urban: 60.68% and rural: 39.32%)
 Mobile Number Portability (MNP) requests: 97.82 million at end of July 2013 (was 95.59 million at
June 2013 end)
Eugene Fama wins Nobel in Economics for his Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH)
October 17th, 2013
American Economist Eugene Fama won the Nobel prize for economics for developing new methods to
study trends in asset markets. He is one of the three American Economists who won Nobel Prize for
Economic Sciences. He shared Nobel for Economic Sciences jointly with Robert Shiller and Lars Peter
Eugene Francis ―Gene‖ Fama is known for his work on portfolio theory and asset pricing. Fama is
as the father of the ―Efficient Market Hypothesis‖. In 1970 issue of the Journal of Finance, entitled
―Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work,‖ Fama gave the concept of EMH
(Efficient Market Hypothesis).
What is EMH (Efficient Market Hypothesis)?
It is a hypothesis, which says that no person can perform better than the Market itself without taking
more risk than the market, because every information is built in the market itself. In simple words we can
say: Financial markets are ―informationally efficient‖ i.e. that price of an asset reflects all information
about an asset. Thus, it is virtually impossible to regularly predict asset prices and ―beat the market‖ i.e.
generate returns that are higher than overall market on average without incurring more risk than the
As per this hypothesis, stocks on a stock exchange always trade at fair market value, thus it is impossible
for any investor to purchase an undervalued stocks or sell a stock for inflated prices. The only means by
which an investor can obtain higher returns is via purchasing taking more risk.
Reading the market is impossible because the stocks are already accurately priced and reflect all available
information. Therefore it is impossible to make profit with any trading strategy. Theoretically impossible to
make profit from any trading strategy. Thus, there is no way to identify a bargain stock or use past stock
price movements to predict future prices. The only way to earn higher returns than those of an index is by
purchasing higher risk investments.
So if Ramesh wants to buy a share of Infosys at Rs 3,000 per share he will not be able to make any
profit because as per the EMH the intrinsic value of a share of Infosys is Rs 3,000 per share, so Ramesh

will not be able to profit from a potential under-valued or over-priced share of Infosys.
3 forms of Efficiencies as per EMH (Efficient Market Hypothesis):-
1) Weak Form Efficiency
2) Semi-Strong Form Efficiency
3) Strong Form Efficiency
In weak-form efficiency, it is said that one can‘t predict future prices by analyzing prices from past i.e.
historical data. Thus, one cannot earn excess return for long time by his/her strategy based on historical
share prices.
In semi-strong-form efficiency, it is said that a share‘s price adjust itself to all publicly available new
information, thus one cannot earn one cannot earn excess return for long time by his/her strategy based
on publicly available information.
In strong-form efficiency, it is said that a share‘s price reflects all information, public and private, and no
one can earn excess returns for long time by his/her strategy based on all publicly available information
and historical data.
What do the critics say about Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH)?
EMH is highly controversial and often disputed.
There are several reasons why EMH may be incorrect:-
1. All investors come to know of information differently and will thus have different valuations of the
2. Stocks take time to respond to new information, investors who receive or act on this information first
can take advantage of it
3. Stock prices can be affected by human error and emotional decision making.
4. Investors like Warren Buffet have proven that they can profit from market consistently over long
periods of time
5. If EMH is true, then investors should place all their assets in index funds and thus they will earn same
returns as overall market and focus on minimizing their risk.
More regulatory reforms for insurance sector to spur growth: IRDA chief
October 16th, 2013
As per Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Chairman T. S. Vijayan, the
insurance industry will undergo another round of regulatory reforms, particularly focused on distribution
channel, to instill growth.
As per him, IRDA is focusing on bank channels and sub-broker level distribution and citizen service
centres (CSCs) for better growth prospects. The insurance penetration is expected to rise substantially in
the years to come. The insurance industry was going to witness major changes in the coming days.
Several insurance firms would be listed on stock exchanges and open up abundant opportunities in the
IRDA is concerned about the product design and miss-selling aims to make sure that products approved
by IRDA should have least chances ofmiss-selling.
What is Misselling?
Misselling is an intentional and ethically questionable practice of selling of products or services in
circumstances where the contract is either misrepresented, or the product/service is unsuitable for the
customer‘s needs. For example, selling life insurance to someone with no dependents is regarded as
misselling. In this case, the investor would arguably have little need for whole life insurance and,
therefore, an insurance salesperson describing the product as something the investor urgently needed to
protect his or her assets in the event of death could be considered a case of misselling.
Apex court appoints Mudgal Committee to probe IPL spot-fixing
October 16th, 2013
The Supreme Court has appointed a probe panel headed by former Chief Justice of
the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mukul Mudgal, to investigate spot-fixing in IPL matches. The panel
also has Additional Solicitor-General L. Nageswara Rao and BCCI member Niloy Datta as its members.
The committee was set up after Cricket Association of Bihar challenged the BCCI-appointed probe panel

findings, which cleared BCCI President N Srinivasan‘s son-in-lawGurunath Meiyappan and Kundra of the
charges of betting, in the apex court.
Nobel Peace Prize 2013 goes to OPCW
October 16th, 2013
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) won the Nobel Peace Prize
2013 for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons. The award was announced by Nobel
Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland.
What is OPCW? What are its award-winning efforts?
 The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an
independent, international body established in 1997 to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention.
It has a working relationship with the UN.
 The organization is currently working in destroying Syria‘s chemical weapons stockpiles which marks as
the first time the OPCW is working in a war zone.
 It conducts inspections of destruction procedures, as well as evaluating members‘ own declarations, in
order to examine that the convention is being followed.
 Its headquarters are in The Hague, Netherland and it consists of 189 member nations, covering around
98% of the global population. These member states have agreed to work together to create a world free
from chemical weapons.
 Current Director-General of the OPCW: Ahmet Uzumcu
Karan Thapar wins International Press Institute India award
October 16th, 2013
Karan Thapar, well-known television journalist, has been honored with the International Press Institute
(IPI) IndiaAward for Excellence in Journalism. The jury for this award chose Mr. Thapar ‗for his sharp
interviews on the Devil‘s Advocate programme on CNN IBN‘.
Apex court upheld Green Tribunal order on WGEEP report
October 16th, 2013
The Supreme Court dismissed the Kerala government appeal which challenged the jurisdiction
of National Green Tribunal (NGT) which directed the Kerala government to stick to the report of
the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), headed by Madhav Gadgil,while granting
environmental clearance. While the State wants both sustainable development
and environment protection to go hand in hand the apex court and the NGT intends to provide
protection to the Western Ghats as suggested in Gadgil committee report and wants the Kerala
government to adhere to it, the State is of the view that the tribunal‘s direction would hinder the
development process in the State and therefore sought quashing of the order and an interim stay of its
What were the highlights of WGEEP panel report?
In view of the environmental sensitivity and ecological significance of the Western Ghats region and the
complex interstate nature of itsgeography, as well as possible impacts of climate change on this region,
the Ministry of Environment & Forests Government of India constituted in 2010, a Western Ghats
Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) headed by Madhav Gadgil from IISC Bangalore. The Panel was asked
to perform the following functions:
 To assess the current status of ecology of the Western Ghats region.
 To demarcate areas within the Western Ghats Region which need to be notified as ecologically sensitive
and to recommend for notification of such areas as ecologically sensitive zones under the Environment
(Protection) Act, 1986.
 In doing so, the Panel shall review the existing reports such as the Mohan Ram Committee Report,
Hon‘ble Supreme Court‘s decisions, recommendations of the National Board for Wildlife and consult all
concerned State Governments.
 To make recommendations for the conservation, protection and rejuvenation of the Western Ghats

 To suggest measures for effective implementation for declaring specific areas in the Western Ghats
Region as eco-sensitive zones under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
Major Recommendations of WGEEP panel report:
 Develop and conserve thoughtfully: Development plans should not be cast in a rigid framework, but
ought to be tailored to prevalent locality and time specific conditions with full participation of local
communities; a process that has been termed adaptive co-management.
 Ecologically Sensitive Zones: Following the Pranob Sen committee‘s criteria, WGEEP proposes that
the entire Western Ghats region be declared as an Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA). Within this
Western Ghats ESA, WGEEP proposes to assign different regions, other than those covered by Wildlife
Sanctuaries or National Parks to one of the following three zones; Ecologically Sensitive Zone 1 (ESZ1),
Ecologically Sensitive Zone 2 (ESZ2), and Ecologically Sensitive Zone 3 (ESZ3).
 Community Participation: Ecological sensitivity is not merely a scientific, but very much a human
concern. In particular, a great deal of locality specific understanding of what has been happening and
what is desirable, is simply not part of any scientific databases and resides with local communities.
Hence, set of regulations tailored to the needs of the locality should be put in place if the area were to
be formally declared as being ecologically sensitive
 ESZ assignment: The 2,200 odd grids spanning the entire Western Ghats be assigned to (1) Protected
Areas, namely, Wild Life Sanctuaries and National Parks, and (2) ESZ1 (3) ESZ2 and (4) ESZ3 on the
basis of composite scores of ecological significance derived from the database generated by WGEEP.
treat Western Ghats regions of each state separately, Assigning ESZ1, ESZ2 and ESZ3 status only to
grids outside existing Protected Area
 Grass-roots involvement: It is inappropriate to depend exclusively on Government machinery for
constitution and management of ESZs. Instead, WGEEP suggests that the final demarcation of the
Zones (including those surrounding PAs, as also in context of the UNESCO Heritage Site proposal), and
fine tuning of regulatory, as well as promotional regime, must be based on extensive inputs from local
communities and local bodies, namely, Gram Panchayats, Taluk Panchayats, Zill Parishats, and Nagar
Palikas, under the overall supervision of the Western Ghats Ecology Authority (WGEA), State level
Ecology Authorities and the District Ecology Committees.
 Western Ghats Ecology Authority: WGEA should be a statutory authority appointed by the Ministry
of Environment and Forest, GOI under Environment (Protection) Act 1986 to focus on promoting
transparency, openness and participation in every way for development and sustainability of these
 On Mining and other issues: An indefinite moratorium on new environmental clearances for mining in
Ecologically Sensitive Zones 1 and 2, phasing out of mining from ESZ1 by 2015, Continuation of existing
mining in Ecologically Sensitive Zone 2 under strict regulation with an effective system of social audit,
No new red and orange category industries, which would include coal based power plants, should be
permitted to be established in Ecologically Sensitive Zones 1 and 2.
39 Serial sites of Western Ghats in recently updated World Heritage Sites list
The Western Ghats (Sahayadri in Hindi) is recognised as one of the world‘s eight ―hottest hotspots‖ of
biological diversity. The list declared in 2012 by the United Nations contains total 39 sites where Kerala
leads with 20 sites being inscribed in the heritage list followed by Karnatakawith ten, Tamil Nadu five
and Maharashtra four. The list includes the individual sites listed in the following table.
State Sites
1. Kaas Plateau
2. Koyna Wildlife Sanctury
3. Chandoli National Park
4. Rathnagiri National Park
Kerala-Tamil Nadu
1. Kalakad- Tiger Reserve
2. Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary
3. Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary

4. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
5. Kulathupuzha Range
6. Palode Range
7. Periyar Tiger Reserve
8. Ranni Forest Division
9. Konni Forest Division
10. Achankovil Forest Division
11. Srivilliputtur Wildlife
12. Tirunelveli North Forest Division
13. Eravikulam National Park   Â
14. Grass Hills National Park
15. Karian Shola National Park
16. Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctury
17. Mankulam Range,
18. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
19. Mannavan Shola
20. Silent Valley National Park
21. New Amarambalam Reserve Forest
22. Mukurti National Park
23. Kalikavu Range
24. Attapadi Reserved Forest
25. Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
1. Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
2. Talacauvery Wildlife Sanctuary
3. Padinalknad Reserved Forest
4. Kerti Reserved Forest
5. Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary   Â
6. Kudremukh National Park
7. Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary
8. Someshwara Reserved Forest
9. Agumbe Reserved Forest
10. Balahalli Reserved Forest
Later the government appointed a High-Level Working Group led by K. Kasturirangan to study the report
and provide suggestions.
K. Kasturirangan-led 10-member panel High-Level Working Group (HLWG) Presented its report
on Western Ghats to MoEF (Ministry ofEnvironment and Forests)
K. Kasturirangan-led 10-member panel High-Level Working Group (HLWG) prepared a report on
Western Ghats which suggests for ban on development activities in 60,000 sq km ecologically sensitive
area spread over Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Objective: K.Kasturirangan panel was formed to study and advise Govt on the earlier report of
ecologist Madhav Gadgil-led Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP).
Some Facts:
 Around 37% of the total area defined as the boundary of the Western Ghats is ecologically
 This area is of about 60,000 sq km and it spreads over the states of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka,
Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

What were the key suggestions made by the K. Kasturirangan led HLWG?
 K.Kasturirangan panel has moved away from the suggestions of the Gadgil panel.
 The HLWG has suggested a prohibitive regimen on those activities which have the most interference
and harmful impact on the environment.
 The report notes, ―environmentally sound development cannot preclude livelihood and economic options
for this region, the answer (to the question of how to manage and conserve the Ghats) will not lie in
removing these economic options, but in providing better incentives to move them towards greener and
more sustainable practices”.
 Promotion of Ecotourism along the ecologically-volatile Western Ghats to preserve the depleting
natural wealth of the area
 Economically empower the local population
 Incentivize green growth in the Western Ghats i.e. supervising forests and bettering their
productivity to ascertain inclusive growth and economical gains for local communities;
integrating forest accounts into state and national economic assessments; initiating an ecosystem
service fund to help villages around the forests; promoting sustainable agriculture and;
encouraging ecotourism for local benefits.
 Establish a Decision Support and Monitoring Centre for Geospatial Analysis and Policy
Support in the Western Ghats, which will supervise changes and propose state government on policy
reform and all such reports must be in the public domain.
 High-resolution map, delimiting ecologically sensitive areas, down to each village settlement, must
be put in the public domain so that people can be involved in taking decisions about environment.
 The HLWG report draws upon the basic framework suggested by WGEEP to use remote
sensing technologies to demarcate the ecologically sensitive areas of the Western Ghats but
with two key differences:-
First: it used satellite data, down to 24 m resolution, as against 9 km used by WGEEP.
This finer resolution was possible because of the collaboration with NRSC/ISRO, which used datasets to
distinguish vegetation types over the landscape of the entire Western Ghats.
Second: it distinguishes between the cultural and the natural landscape of the region.
Using remote sensing technology, it has found that the cultural landscape â€― which includes human
settlements, agricultural fields and plantations – covers 58.44% of the region.
The natural landscape ranges over the remaining 41.56 %.
Thus, HLWG moved away from the suggestions of the Expert Panel, which had recommended a blanket
approach consisting of guidelines for sector-wise activities, which would be permitted in the ecologically
sensitive zones.
What were the key suggestions made by the Madhav Gadgil led WGEEP earlier?
Earlier, the WGEEP had suggested that:
 Entire Western Ghats be declared as an ecologically sensitive area.
 3 levels of categorization for the regulatory measures for protection would be imposed.
 Establishment of the Western Ghats Ecology Authority for management of the Ghats.
 A blanket approach comprising of road map for sector-wise activities, which could be permitted in the
ecologically sensitive zones.
MS Swaminathan to be honored with Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for the
Year 2012
October 14th, 2013
Famous agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan has been selected for the Indira Gandhi Award for

National Integration for the year 2012.
About MS Swaminathan
 Indian geneticist and former member of Rajya Sabha.
 Contributed in revitalizing agricultural in the country and led the nation to achieve green revolution.
 Previously served as Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.
 Also served as Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Secretary to the
Government of India, Department of Agricultural Research and Education.
IFC launches $ 1 billion offshore rupee bonds to strengthen India‟s Capital Markets
October 14th, 2013
International Finance Corporation (IFC) launched a $1 billion offshore bond programme to
strengthen India‘s capital markets and attract greater foreign investment. Under the programme, IFC will
issue rupee-linked bonds and use the proceeds to finance private sector investment in the country.
How would offshore rupee bond programme help?
This programme would help bring depth and diversity to the offshore rupee market and provide an
alternative source of funding for Indian companies. These bonds will be denominated in rupees but issued
in international markets. An investor has to convert its currency into rupees before investing. The return
and final redemption is also in rupees. The programme would help in internationalizing the Indian currency
and will also improve acceptance of the Indian currency in setting trade. A thriving market for local
currency will help reduce dollar needs of theeconomy.
About International Finance Corporation:
 Established in 1956 as an arm of the World Bank Group.
 It is an international financial institution which offers investment, advisory, and asset
management services to encourage private sector development in developing countries.
 Aim: To create opportunities for people to escape poverty and achieve better living standards by
mobilizing financial resources for private enterprise, promoting accessible and competitive markets,
supporting businesses and other private sector entities, and creating jobs and delivering necessary
services to those who are poverty-stricken or otherwise vulnerable.
 It is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing
 It is owned by 184 member countries, a group which together governs its policies.
Malala Yousafzai wins EU‟s Sakharov Prize 2013
October 14th, 2013
Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai, who survived bullet-injury inflicted by the Taliban for
championing girls‘ education has won theEuropean Union‟s (EU) Sakharov Human Rights Prize
2013. Past winners of the Sakharov Prize include South African anti apartheid hero Nelson Mandela and
former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.
The Sakharov Prize
 The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei
Sakharov, was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament as a means to honour
individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights
and freedom of thought.
 The first prize was awarded jointly to South African Nelson Mandela and Russian Anatoly
 The Sakharov Prize is usually awarded annually on or around December 10, the day on which the
Nations General Assembly ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948,also celebrated
as Human Rights Day.

India Post joins hands with Wall Street Exchange to offer international electronic money
October 14th, 2013
The India Post unveiled instant electronic money transfer service in collaboration with Wall Street
Exchange, (a company of UAE‘s Emirates Post Group) in New Delhi.
India Post inked a pact with Wall Street Exchange for launch of anInternational Electronic Money
Transfer service through Instant Cash product of the Emirates Post Group. Instant Cash is a wholly
owned subsidiary of the Emirates Post Group, and its services are available in 59 nations through more
than 60,000 locations.
Key features of International Electronic Money Transfer service:
 Recipients will be able to collect their payment at any of the identified 17500 post offices by producing
the unique transaction number along with their identity and KYC documents.
 Instant payment will be made.
 The transactions will be safe and secure through established International Financial System
of Universal Postal Union.
 The service will be expanded throughout the country in a phased manner.
EC may not provide „NOTA‟ option in Bengal civic polls
October 14th, 2013
Though the apex court has directed the Election Commission to provide a „NOTA‟ (None Of The
Above) option to voters, the State Election Commission of West Bengal is yet to start on it for the
upcoming civic polls. It is likely that the State Election Commission may not be able to provide Electronic
Voting Machines (EVMs) with the option.
What is NOTA option?
On September 27, 2013, the Supreme Court had directed the EC to provide NOTA option on the ballot
papers and EVMs. The NOTA or None Of The Above option empowers the voter to exercise his/her vote
to reject all the candidates contesting the polls if he/she finds all the candidates undeserving.
What is the problem before the EC in implementing the NOTA option?
The EC is yet to clarify some points and course of actions on providing NOTA. One of them is, what would
happen if a high percentage of voters exercise NOTA option.
India may breach AMS commitments with the implementation of Food subsidy scheme:
October 14th, 2013
The newly-elected Director-General of WTO, Roberto Azevedo has asserted that India would soon be
breaching its Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) commitments to WTO (World Trade Organization)
due to its new food security programme and has sought a positive solution to the issue before the Bali
Ministerial to be held in December 2013 as some nations had expressed concern over the procurement
and distribution of highly subsidized food-grains.
India has asked the WTO to work out a solution to win legitimacy for its ambitious food security law that
promised highly subsidised food-grains to rural and urban poor. It wants to carry on with the subsidy
programme till a final solution is found. India is also ready so sign the Peace Clause in Article 13 of the
Agreement On Agriculture (AOA) as an interim mechanism till an acceptable final solution is arrived at.
India is also ready to commit that procured food-grains would not be released forinternational trade
the management of public stocks would be done in a transparent manner.
It must be recalled that the current India government is implementing the Food Security Act which entitles
82 crore people to 5 kg of food-grains per person in a month at the rate of Rs.1-3 a kg. The country needs
62 million tonnes of food-grains in a year to implement the law.

World observed International Day of the Girl Child October 11, 2013
October 11th, 2013
International Day of the Girl Child was observed globally on October 11, 2013 to recognize the
girls‘ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
The theme for the year 2013: Innovating for Girls‟ Education
The theme focuses on smart and creative use of technology, policies, partnerships and, most of all, the
engagement of young people, themselves, as the important tools and steps for overcoming barriers to
girls‘ learning and achievement. The day promotes girls‘ human rights and draws attention to gender
inequalities that persists between girls and boys and addresses the various forms of discrimination and
abuse suffered by girls around the world.
GSK‟s malaria vaccine trial successful
October 11th, 2013
Britain‘s pharmaceutical giant GaxoSmithKline (GSK) has successfully
conducted the trial of the RTS,S vaccine developed by the company. In the results of the trial it was
found that the vaccine nearly halved the cases of malaria experienced by children aged between five and
seven months and cut the number of cases in babies aged 6 to 12 weeks by a quarter.
How would the RTS,S vaccine help?
Around 660,000 people die from malaria every year, most of them small children under the age of five.
There are about 219 million cases of the disease a year worldwide, and children who survive the serious
illness can suffer damage to their health and development in their lifetime afterwards. A vaccine, like
RTS,S, could significant reduce the number of cases and deaths from this disease.
Obama nominates Janet Yellen as the next head of US Federal Reserve Board
October 11th, 2013
Ms Janet L. Yellen as the new head of the Federal Reserve Board. She will replace Ben Bernanke as
Chair of the Federal Reserve Board. Prior to her nomination, Yellen served as vice Chairman of the Board
of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She would be the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve
Board and also the first Democrat to head the Board since 1979.
Chemistry Nobel 2013 to Levitt, Karplus and Warshel
October 11th, 2013
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2013 will be shared by Michael Levitt, a British and US citizen,
US-Austrian Martin Karplus and US-Israeli Arieh Warshel. As per Royal Swedish Academy of
Scienceswho announces the names for the awards, the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2013 have made
it possible to map the mysterious ways of chemistry by using computers.
What are the Nobel winning contributions of Levitt, Karplus and Warshel?
The trio has been credited for the development of multi scale models for complex chemical
They devised computer simulations to understand chemical processes. Their works laid the foundations for
new kinds of pharmaceuticals and contributed to exploring multiple options in cyber space.
Rothman, Schekman and Sudhof to share Nobel Prize 2013 for Physiology or Medicine
October 11th, 2013
The Nobel committee has announced the winners of the 2013 Nobel Prizefor Physiology or Medicine.
The Prize has been awarded to three scientists, James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas
C. Sudhof, all based in the USA for working out how biological cells organize and transport the many
molecules they need to function.
What were the discoveries of these scientists which won them medicine Nobel Prize?
 James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Sudhof have been awarded the Prize for the
discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic.

What are vesicles and how they work?
 Vesicles are tiny, membrane-enclosed sacs that bud off from one membrane and fuse with another
within the cell. The vesicles gather their cargo- membrane components and soluble molecules- from the
donor compartment during the budding process. They deliver the cargo to the target compartment by
 The cargo-carrying and delivery capacity of vesicles is important as molecules transported can‘t pass
through a membrane on their own.
 The principle of vesicle transport and fusion is the same in organisms as different as yeast and human.
 Vesicle transport is vital for a variety of physiological process – brain signaling to release hormones.
 Defective vesicle transport occurs in a various diseases including a number of neurological and
immunological disorders, as well as diabities
Nobel physics Prize 2013 goes to Englert and Higgs
October 11th, 2013
The Nobel Prize in physics has been announced to be given to physicists Francois Englert
of Belgiumand Peter Higgs of Britain for their theoretical discoveries on how subatomic particles
acquire mass.
What is the special contribution of Englert and Higgs to physics?
Both the scientists have been credited for their theoretical works onHiggs boson which they theorized in
1960s. They proposed a mechanism to explain why the most basic building blocks of the Universe have
mass. Their theories were confirmed last year by the discovery of the so-called Higgs particle or
also known as the Higgs boson, at the famous CERN(European Organization for Nuclear
Research) laboratory in Geneva. But it would still take decades for the scientists at CERN to confirm its
Mudgal committee proposes new Cinematograph Bill on governing cinema
October 11th, 2013
An empowered panel headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, former Chief Justice of the High Court
of Punjab and Haryana has proposed a modelCinematograph Bill to replace the Cinematograph Act
1952 to provide for a new legal framework for governing Indian cinema proposed a model
Cinematograph Bill, in a report submitted to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Why was the Mudgal Committee set up?
Earlier this year, the government set up the Mudgal panel after the government felt the need to update
the Cinematograph Act, 1952 in the wake of the controversy over Tamil Nadu‘s ban
on Vishwaroopam.Questions were raised over the decision of a particular State to invoke the law and
ban the release of a certain movie, notwithstanding that theSupreme Court in the Aarakshan case had
held that once a film was certified for viewing, the fig leaf of law and order could not be allowed to stand
in the way.
Union Cabinet approves National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility
October 11th, 2013
The Union Cabinet approved the National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility that recognizes
the need to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disabilities as well as to facilitate equal access to
electronics and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
How would the National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility help?
The policy will facilitate equal and unhindered access to electronics and ICTs products and services by

differently-abled persons (both physically and mentally challenged) and to facilitate local language support
for the same. This shall be achieved through universal access to electronics and ICT products and services
to synchronize with barrier free environmentand preferably usable without adaptation. The policy would
benefit differently-abled persons all over the country.
What are strategies envisaged for the implementation of this policy?
The following strategies are envisaged for the implementation of the policy:
 Creating awareness on universal electronics accessibility and universal design.
 Capacity building and infrastructure development.
 Setting up of model electronics and ICTs centres for providing training and demonstration to special
educators and physically as well as mentally challenged persons.
 Conducting research and development, use of innovation, ideas, technology etc. whether indigenous or
outsourced from abroad.
 Developing programme and schemes with greater emphasis for differently-abled women/children.
 Developing procurement guidelines for electronics and ICTs for accessibility and assistive needs.
The National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility is in line with theUnited Nations Convention on
the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which India ratified in 2007. UNCRPD, among
other things, says that “State Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with
disabilities, access on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to
transportation, to information and communications, including ICTs and systems and to other
facilities and services open or provided to the public”. Many nations who are signatories to UNCRPD
have legislation policy or a framework to ensure equality for those with disability. Electronics and ICTs are
key facilitators in extenuating hindrances faced by differently-abled persons and in helping them to
provide better opportunities for livelihood.
Prithvi-II missile test fired successfully from Odisha
October 11th, 2013
India successfully test-fired its indigenously built nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile with a strike
range of 350km from a test range at Chandipur, Odisha. The missile was randomly chosen from the
production stock and the total launch activities were carried out by the specially formed Strategic Forces
Command (SFC) and monitored by the scientists of DRDO as part of a practice drill.
About Prithvi-II Missile
 Indigenously developed by DRDO as the first missile to be developed under India‘s prestigious IGMDP
(Integrated Guided Missile Development Program)
 Nuclear capable
 350 km strike range
 Can carry 500kg to 1000kg of warheads
 Liquid propulsion twine engines
 Advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvering trajectory
 Inducted into India‘s Strategic Forces Command in 2003
India-Bangladesh power transmission link opened
October 11th, 2013
In a historic event, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the India- Bangladesh Grid
interconnection in Bangladesh through a video-conference. The key 71-km Baharampur-Bheramara
transmission link between the electricity grids of the two countries will boost the ties between the two
nations. The link would facilitate cross-border electricity transfer of up to 500 mega watt (MW) from India
to Bangladesh.
The grid interconnection between the two countries through a 500MWHigh Voltage Direct Current

(HVDC) between the eastern region of India and western grid of Bangladesh has being designed in such a
manner that it would enable control of power transfer in either direction up to the capacity of the HVDC
buffer, depending upon the availability and demand on either side.
Under the arrangement, a total of 500 MW of power is initially slated to flow from India to Bangladesh, of
which 250 MW would be from the Centre‘s unallocated quota of power (at rates notified by the Central
Electricity Regulatory Commission) and the other 250 MW to be contracted by Bangladesh from the Indian
electricity market. The capacity of the interconnection can be increased to 1,000 MW in due course.
Double food subsidy, grains to Bihar: Jairam Ramesh
October 11th, 2013
According to Union Minister for Rural Development, Bihar would get double foodgrain allocation and food
subsidy following the implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA). It would make Bihar the
biggest beneficiary of the NFSA and the state would start getting 56 lakh tonnes of foodgrains per annum
against its current allocation of 28 lakh tonne per annum. Similarly, the food subsidy allocation to Bihar
would increase to Rs 11,500 crore per annum from the current Rs 5,500 crore.
Other major beneficiaries of National Food Security Act (NFSA):
 Uttar Pradesh: 96 lakh tonnes of foodgrains per annum against its current allotment of 65 lakh
 Gujarat: 24 lakh tonnes from the current allocation of 13.5 lakh tonnes per annum
SEBI merges FIIs and QFIs into new FPIs category
October 10th, 2013
Stock market regulator, the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) announced Foreign Portfolio
Investor (FPI) regulations aimed at wooing foreign investors. SEBI, through these new rules, intends to
ease the registration process and operating framework for foreign investors. Under FPIs, SEBI has
included all Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) and Qualified Foreign Investors (QFI).
What are the key features of the new FPI regime?
Under the new FPI regulations, SEBI has merged all existing FIIs and QFIs in the new FPIs class.
The FPI class will be divided in three categories as per their risk profile.
1. Category I FPIs: It would enlist the the lowest risk entities including foreign governments and
government related foreign investors.
2. Category II FPIs: It would comprise of broad based funds, appropriately regulated entities, funds
whose investment manager is appropriately regulated, university funds, university related endowments,
pension funds etc.
3. Category III FPIs: It would cover all others not eligible under the first two categories
 SEBI has also approved setting up „Designated Depository Participants (DDPs)‟, which would
register FPIs on behalf of the market regulator subject to compliance with KYC norms.
 The new FPI regime makes the KYC norms and other registration procedure much simpler as compared
to existing process.
 FPIs will be granted permanent registration. Currently foreign investors are given only one year or five
year approval to invest in the country.
Arundhati Bhattacharya becomes first woman Chairman of SBI
October 10th, 2013
Arundhati Bhattacharya, Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of State Bank of India, has
become its first woman Chairman. She succeeds Pratip Chaudhuri who retired as Chairman on September
30, 2013. Bhattacharya, who joined SBI as a probationary officer in 1977, will be at the apex position of
the bank until March 2016.
The Govt. appointment Arundhati Bhattacharya as the new managing director of the State Bank
of India (SBI). Previously, Bhattacharya was the managing director of SBI Capital, the
merchantbanking arm of the bank.

Who is SBI‟s first woman MD (Managing Director)?
Ms Arundhati Bhattacharya is State Bank of India‘s first woman managing director.
Who was the first Woman MD (Managing Director) of a Public Sector bank in India?
The first woman MD of a Public sector bank in India was Ms Ranjana Kumar. The Government of India
appointed Ms Ranjana Kumar as the Chairperson and managing Director of the Indian Bank, she
became the first woman to become head of a public sector bank in India.
Some other ladies who are at present heading banks in India:
Public Sector Banks:
 United Bank of India: Ms. Archana Bhargav (Chairman & MD)
 Allahabad Bank: Ms Shubhalakshmi Panse (Chairman & MD)
Private Sector Banks:
 ICICI Bank: Ms.Chanda Kochhar (MD & CEO)
 Axis Bank: Ms Shikha Sharma (MD & CEO)
IGI and Birmingham airport ink „Sister Airport Agreement‟
October 10th, 2013
With an aim to further strengthen trade and tourism links between the two cities, the Indira
Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) and Birmingham Airport entered into an MoU called Sister Airport
While 36 million passengers and over half a million ton of cargo pass through IGI Delhi annually,
Birmingham Airport (UK) handles more than 9 million passengers a year and is the third largest airport
outside of London.
What is the objective of Sister Airport Agreement?
The objective of this Sister Airport Agreement is to build mutually cooperative and rewarding relationships
among progressive airports. It would help in the development of IGI Airport as an international air
transport hub. It would also help expand air transport networks worldwide. This agreement makes perfect
sense because of the strong ties already in place between the Midlands and India and would enhance
links between Birmingham and Delhi and promote tourism and business opportunities on both sides.
RBI cuts MSF rate by 50 bps to 9.0%
October 10th, 2013
The Reserve Bank of India has reduced one of the key short-term borrowing rate, the Marginal Standing
Facility (MSF), by 50 basis points to 9.0%. The step has been taken as the rupee has recovered 11.4%
after hitting an all-time low of 68.85 to the dollar on August 28, 2013.
What is MSF?
Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India in 2011-12 as part
of its monetary policy. Under this facility, banks can borrow funds from RBI at a fixed rate, which is,
normally, 1% or 100 basis points above the Liquidity Adjustment Facility-repo rate, against pledging
Government securities (G-Sec). Banks can borrow funds through MSF when there is a considerable
shortfall of liquidity. This measure was introduced by RBI to regulate short-term asset liability mismatches
more effectively.
“A4AI”: Alliance aimed at bringing down cost of internet access launched
October 8th, 2013
A number of government bodies, NGOs and private companies have formed a coalition named Alliance
for Affordable Internet (A4AI)which aims at reducing the cost of internet access worldwide. The
coalition will push for policy and regulatory reforms to bring down the cost of bandwidth in developing and
poor countries, where cost of internet access remains exorbitant.
What is the aim of A4AI (Alliance for Affordable Internet)?

The cost of having broadband connection and internet access is very high in developing countries
compared to developed ones. The coalition of A4AI aims to reduce the cost by advocating for open,
competitive and innovative broadband markets to help access prices fall to below 5% of monthly income
worldwide, a target set by the UN Broadband Commission. It this goal is met then the two-thirds of the
world that is presently not connected to the internet will be online. According
toInternational Telecommunication Union (ITU), by 2012, fixed-broadband prices represented 1.7%
of monthly gross national income in developed countries. In developing countries, the cost of broadband
connection accounts for 30.1% of average monthly income.
Who are the sponsors to A4AI (Alliance for Affordable Internet)?
The global sponsors of the A4AI are Google, UK Department for International Development, US Agency
for International Development and Omidyar Network, a firm that often invests in non-profit entities.
Besides these, Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, Cisco, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, the US
State Department and several other regional and international bodies are also members of A4AI.
FromIndia, Bangalore-based Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is part of the alliance.
Diesel exhaust disrupt honeybees‟ ability to locate flowers
October 8th, 2013
As per a latest research by a team of researchers at University of Southampton, exposure to common air
pollutants found in diesel exhaust pollution can affect the ability of honeybees to recognize floral odors.
Using floral odors, the honeybees locate, identify and recognize the flowers from which they forage. The
study found that diesel exhaust fumes change the profile of flora odor. These alterations may affect
honeybees‘ foraging efficiency and, ultimately, could affect pollination and thus global food security.
What did the research find?
The researchers found that when the diesel exhaust (particularly the NOx component) mixed with the
chemicals found in the odour of oil rapeseed flowers, the profile of the odors changed completely. When
the researchers used the same process with NOx gases (nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide), which is found
in diesel exhaust, they saw the same outcome, showing that NOx was a key facilitator in how and why the
odour‘s profile was changed. The changed chemical mix was then shown to honeybees, which could not
recognize it.
How honeybees‟ inability to recognize flower odor could affect us?
When honeybees collect nectar from various flowers they also pollinate them. Honeybee pollination can
significantly increase the yield of crops and they are vital to the world‘s economy: £430 million a year
to the UKalone. However to forage effectively they need to be able to learn and recognize the plants. The
results indicate that NOx gases — particularly nitrogen dioxide — may be capable of disrupting the odour
recognition process that honeybees rely on for locating floral food resources.
India tops the list of recipient of foreign remittances
October 8th, 2013
As per the World Bank report- Migration and Remittance Flows: Recent Trends and Outlook-
2013-16, India is the largest recipient of foreign remittances among developing economies in 2013.
Migration and Remittance Flows: Recent Trends and Outlook-2013-16 report:
 Non-Resident Indians (NRI) remitted a record $71 billion in 2013 compared to $70 billion in 2012.
 The remittances are likely to increase to $85 billion annually by 2015.
 India and China will represent nearly 1/3rd of total remittances to the developing world in 2013.
For India, nearly 40% of the remittances came from the gulf countries while 48% flowed from South
Asian countries.
 The developing world is expected to receive $414 billion in migrant remittances in 2013, an increase of
6.3% over year 2012. This is projected to surge to $540 billion by 2016.
 Globally, the world‘s 232 million international migrants are expected to remit earnings worth $550
billion in 2013 and over $700 billion by 2016.
The top recipients of officially recorded remittances for 2013 are:
 India – $71 billion
 China – $60 billion

 The Philippines – $26 billion
 Mexico – $22 billion
 Nigeria – $21 billion
 Egypt – $20 billion
As a percentage of GDP, the top recipients of remittances, in 2012, wereTajikistan (48%), Kyrgyz
Republic (31%), Lesotho and Nepal (25% each), and Moldova (24%). The volume of remittances in
India is larger than the income from IT exports. With the depreciation of the Indian rupee, a rise in
remittances is expected as NRIs take advantage of the cheaper goods, services and assets back home.
What is Remittance?
A remittance is a transfer of money by a foreign worker to his or her home country or simply sending
amount from one country to another.
Establishment of a Central Armed Police Forces Institute of Medical Sciences (CAPFIMS)
October 8th, 2013
The Union Cabinet has given nod to the proposal to establish a Central Armed Police Forces Institute
of Medical Sciences (CAPFIMS), along with a 500-bed General Hospital, a 300-bed Super Specialty
Hospital, a Nursing College and a School of Paramedics. The Institute shall be registered as a Society
under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and shall have a Governing Body and a Governing Council,
under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Why Central Armed Police Forces Institute of Medical Sciences (CAPFIMS) is being set up?
The CAPFIMS is dedicated to fulfil the basic medical needs of CAPF personnel and their families keeping in
view the nature of their service in which they have to stay away from their families for most of the
duration of their service.
The creation of the Institute will attract talented professionals in the CAPF and their retention, besides
providing in-house training/ specialization/Post Graduate /Super Specialty Post Graduate courses to
health care professionals. This will not only boost the morale of the force personnel, but also
provide required trained technical hands in the medical set up.
The cost of CAPFIMS is Rs. 1366.53 crore and is expected to be completed over a period of 5 to 6 years. It
will be established on a 48.80 acres land at Maiden Garhi, New Delhi.
GSI to induct Rs 600 crore Samudra Ratnakar for sea research
October 8th, 2013
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) will induct Rs. 600-crore state-of-the-art research
vessel Samudra Ratnakar built by Koreanmanufacturer Hyundai Heavy Industries for survey and
exploration of the seabed in Indian and international waters. It will be docked in Mangalore.
The Mangalore-based Marine and Coastal Survey Division has already conducted over 700 research
trips on its deep sea research vessel R.V. Samudra Manthan and twin coastal survey vessels, R.V.
Samudra Kaustubh and R. V. Samudra Shaudhikama.
Deep sea and coastal survey by GSI:
 Systematic multidisciplinary marine survey started after the acquisition of deep sea and coastal survey
vessels in 1983-84.
 The surveys were conducted within Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Territorial Waters
(TW) and adjoininginternational waters.
 Over 120 trained geologists, geophysicists and chemists are currently part of GSI‘s sea research team.
 Mangalore Division was the headquarters for all marine surveys and exploration in India by the GSI. In
addition, it has seven operational offices at Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai,
Cochin and Gandhinagar.
 Collection of bathymetric, magnetic, seismic and sediment distribution data within TW and EEZ of India

is the current focus of GSI.
 GSI uses dual frequency single channel echosounder, multibeam echosounder and side scan sonar
surveys to study the geomorphology of the seabed.
 It conducts petrological, palaeontological, chemical and geotechnical parameters of seabed sediments
understand the sediment distribution pattern, its characteristics and to assess the economic mineral
potential of the shelf and offshore regions.
 It also studies sea level changes, palaeoclimate, coastal changes and geological history of the ocean
Petroleum Ministry launches two new consumer empowering initiatives
October 8th, 2013
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has launched two new consumer empowering initiatives. These
 Sale of 5 kg LPG cylinders at market price
 Inter-Company LPG Portability scheme
Sale of 5 kg LPG cylinders at market price without any POA/POI:
The Petroleum Ministry has launched this scheme keeping in view the needs of a special group of
consumers like IT professionals, BPO employees, migrants who want LPG but in absence of proper proof of
address (POA) cannot access the same. Further, because of their highly irregular work timings, they may
not be able to visit the distributor or be at home to receive cylinders during normal working hours. For
some consumers, the need is in small parcels or arises at odd times of the day when distributors may be
closed. Through this programme, the 5 kg LPG cylinders will be sold at market price with merely any Proof
of Identity (POI) through Company Owned Retail Outlets (Petrol Stations). The sale of cylinders will be
done (Equipment + Product) at Non Domestic rates with /without regulator for the first time by charging
Rs. 1000/- plus applicable taxes for the cylinder and Rs. 250/- plus applicable taxes for regulator. The cost
of product and refills i.e. Cost of LPG will be as per non domestic rates applicable in the market. This
scheme has been launched in the cities of Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore on a pilot basis
through select Retail Outlets. Upon completion of the pilot, the facility would be extended to other towns
and cities too.
Inter-Company LPG Portability scheme
Under the portability scheme, a consumer can opt for the distributor of his choice within a cluster of LPG
distributors in the vicinity. The option is to be registered electronically on the website of the Oil Marketing
Company (OMC) to which the consumer is presently attached. This will bring great relief to consumers
who are unhappy with their LPG distributor or want to move to a distributor closer to his home.
India inks credit agreement with IFAD for Jharkhand Tribal Empowerment Livelihood
Project (JTLEP)
October 8th, 2013
India signed an agreement for credit of $ 51 million (equivalent) from IFAD for the Jharkhand Tribal
Empowerment Livelihood Project (JTLEP). JTELP would continue till September 2021.
What is JTLEP?
The Jharkhand Tribal Empowerment Livelihood Project (JTLEP) aims to enable rural households to take-up
sustainable livelihood opportunities. The project shall benefit small rural producers, women, scheduled
caste households and youth in the hill districts of the State of the Jharkhand. The goal of the project is to
reduce poverty in the hill districts of the State of Jharkhand. Jharkhand has a population of 33 million, of
whom 26% are members of scheduled tribes and 78% are rural. The project will be implemented in 14
districts in the state, focusing on approximately 30 sub-districts that have a rural tribal population of more
than 50% and at least half the population living below the poverty line. The new project has four main
1. Community Empowerment
2. Integrated Natural Resource Management
3. Livelihood Project
4. Project Management.
What is IFAD?

IFAD or International Fund for Agricultural Development is a specialized agency of the United
Nations which works for the eradication of rural poverty and improve food security by means of financial
services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources.
It was established in 1977 following the 1974 World Food Conference. The conference was organized in
response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa. It
resolved that ―an International Fund for Agricultural Development should be established immediately to
finance agricultural development projects primarily for food production in the developing countries.‖ The
conference agreed that the causes of food insecurity and famine were not so much failures in food
production but structural problems relating to poverty, and to the fact that the majority of the developing
world‘s poor populations were concentrated in rural areas.
IFAD‘s goal is to empower poor rural women and men in developing countries to achieve higher incomes
and improved food security.
IFAD will ensure that poor rural people have better access to, and the skills and organization they need to
take advantage of:
 Natural resources, especially secure access to land and water, and improved natural resource
management and conservation practices
 Improved agricultural technologies and effective production services
 A broad range of financial services
 Transparent and competitive markets for agricultural inputs and produce
 Opportunities for rural off-farm employment and enterprise development
 Local and national policy and programming processes
Note: Global poverty remains a massive and predominantly rural phenomenon – with 70% of the
developing world‘s 1.4 billion extremely poor people living in rural areas.
JENVAC: India‟s first indigenously produced Japanese Encephalitis vaccine
October 8th, 2013
India launched its first indigenously produced vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis (JE), a
viral infection that affects the central nervous system.
The vaccine named JENVAC has been jointly developed by the National Institute of Virology, Indian
Council of Medical Research and Bharat Biotech Ltd. under the public-private-partnership model for
the prevention and control of JE and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) that has killed more than 3000
people since last three years in the eastern part of India.
The Immunization Programme against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome
The immunization programme will be implemented in 60 priority districts for a period of 5 years as part of
the National Programme for Prevention and Control of JE and AES. Of 171 endemic districts in India, 118
districts are covered under JE immunization programme that has about Rs. 4000 crore outlay. Initially the
programme will focus on 5 worst affected states— Assam, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Uttar
Pradesh and West Bengal. JE kills around 1000 persons in a year, particularly between the months
of July and October. India currently imported its stock of live JE vaccine from China.
What is Japanese Encephalitis?
Japanese Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne viral disease. It leads to acute inflammation of the Brain.
What are the reservoirs and vectors of this virus?

 Domestic pigs and wild birds (herons) are reservoirs of the virus.
 Amongst the most important vectors of this disease are the mosquitoes Culex
tritaeniorhynchus and Culex vishnui.
 Abrupt onset of high fever
 Headache
 Behavioral changes
 Paralyses
 Unconsciousness, even slipping into coma
India re-elected to ICAO Council
October 8th, 2013
India has been re-elected to the new Council of International Civil Aviation Organisation
(ICAO) as one of the states making the largest contribution in facilitating global air navigation. The
elections were held at the 38th session of the Assembly of ICAO in Montreal.
What is ICAO?
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
Estblished: 1944, as a specialized agency of the United Nations to promote the safe and orderly
development of international civil aviation throughout the world.
Functions: It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity
and environmental protection, apart from serving as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation
among its 191 member states.
Term of the Council: 3 years
No. of Member: 36 members
Categories: 3 categories.
The Structure of present Council is as follows:
 PART I – (States of chief importance in air transport) –
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russian Federation, United
Kingdom and the United States. All of them have been re-elected.
 PART II – (States which make the largest contribution to the provision of facilities for
international civil air navigation) –
Argentina, Egypt, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway,Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore,
South Africa, Spain andVenezuela. Except Norway, Portugal and Venezuela, all others have been
 PART III– (States ensuring geographic representation)-Bolivia, Burkina
Faso, Cameroon, Chile, Dominican Republic,Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Poland, Republic
of Korea, United Arab Emirates and United Republic of Tanzania. Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic,
Kenya, Libya, Nicaragua, Poland and United Republic of Tanzania have been elected for the first time.
National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm gets approval from CCEA
October 8th, 2013
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved implementation
of the National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) during the 12th Plan Period and has
allocated Rs 3,507 crore for the purpose.
How would National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) help?
The mission would help in boosting the production of oilseeds by 6.58 million tonnes and will bring
additional area of 1.25 lakh hectares under oil palm cultivation.In addition to this, it would also lead to an
enhancement in productivity of fresh fruit bunches to 15,000 kg/ha from 4927 kg/ha and increase in

collection of tree borne oilseeds to 14 lakh tonne.
It would increase production of vegetable oil sources by 2.48 million tonnes from oilseeds (1.70 MT), oil
palm (0.60 MT) and tree borne oilseeds (0.18 MT) by the end of the 12th Plan period.
NMOOP is inspired by the accomplishments of the existing schemes of Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Oil
Palm and Maize, Tree Borne Oilseeds Scheme and Oil Palm Area Expansion programme implemented
during the 11th Plan period.
GoI appoints panel to define FDI and FII
October 5th, 2013
Government of India set up a four member committee headed by Arvind Mayaram, Economic Affairs
Secretary to clear the ambiguity between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Foreign Institutional
Investment (FII). The panel will look into the difference between them and it will also give definition of
FDI and FII.
Finance Minister of India in his Budget speech (2013-14) had proposed to follow
the international practice with regard to definitions of FDI and FII. He had said that if anyone investing
in a company 10% or less is considered as FII and above 10% is considered as FDI.
Indian Railways inks deal with RINL to build India‟s biggest Forged Wheel plant in
October 5th, 2013
The Indian Railways inked an agreement with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) to set up the
country‘s biggest Forged Wheel plant atLalganj, Raebarelli in Uttar Pradesh.
The Plant to be set with an investment of about Rs 1100 crore will manufacture 1 lakh Forged Wheels per
annum in the first phase. The capacity of the plant could be enhanced to double in the second phase to
produce 2 lakhs Forged Wheels. The factory likely to be operational in around 3 years, and would provide
direct employment to 500-600 local people and an indirect employment opportunity to about 2,000
The plant will bring down India‘s dependence on imports of high speed forged wheels for trains. Forged
wheels are stronger wheels required in the rolling stock for running longer trains at higher speed. The
forged wheel factory will require about 50,000-60,000 tonnes of steel, which will be sourced from RINL‟s
plant in Vizag.
CCEA approves Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)
October 5th, 2013
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved theRashtriya Uchchatar
Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for reforming the state
higher educationsystem.
Key features of RUSA in the 12th Five-year Plan
 RUSA will have a financial outlay of Rs 22,855 crore out of which Rs 16,227 crore will be borne by the
 Besides this, Centre will also allocate Rs 1800 crore for the existing scheme Sub-Mission polytechnics.
 Total financial contribution from Centre, including the existing scheme of polytechnics, will be Rs
 Ratio of Centre-State funding would be 90:10 for North-Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu and
Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh andUttarakhand and 65:35 for other States and Union Territories.
 Spread over two plan periods, RUSA aims for improving access, equity and quality in the state higher
education system.
 It also aims to incentivize States to step up plan investments in higher education.
What are the main objectives of RUSA?
The key objectives of RUSA are:
 Improve the overall quality of existing state higher educational institutions by ensuring adherence to

the prescribed norms and standards and adoption of accreditation as a mandatory quality assurance
 Rectify regional imbalances in access to higher education through high quality institutions in rural and
semi urban areas as well as creating opportunities for students from rural areas to get access to better
quality institutions.
 Establish higher education institutions in unserved and underserved areas.
 Improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities to socially disadvantaged
communities; encouraging inclusion of women, minorities, SC/ST and OBCs as well as differently-abled
 Ensure adequate availability of quality faculty in all higher educational institutions and ensure capacity
building at all levels
 Build an enabling atmosphere in higher educational institutions to devote themselves to research and
 Integrate skill developments efforts of the government with the conventional higher education system
through optimum interventions.
Future grants to RUSA would be performance based and outcome dependent. Commitment by States and
institutions to certain academic, administrative and governance reforms will be a precondition for receiving
Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) to be continued in 12th Five Year Plan: CCEA
October 5th, 2013
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved continuation of the Scheme for
Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) in the 12th five year plan. It also approved new projects for utilizing
the balance of Rs 717 crore left in the 12thfive year plan allocation, after meeting committed liabilities of
the sanctioned 61 parks.
What are the objectives of Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP)?
The main objective SITP is to provide the industry with world classinfrastructure facilities for setting up
their textile units. The product mix in these parks would include apparels and garments parks, hosiery
parks, silk parks, processing parks, technical textiles including medical textiles, carpet parks and
powerloom parks. SITP seeks green field investments in textiles sector on a public private partnership
basis with the objective of setting up world class infrastructure for Textiles industry. Each Integrated
Textile Park (ITP) would normally have 50 units. The number of entrepreneurs and the resultant
investments in each ITP could vary from project to project.
The ITPs may also be set up in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), in which case the special provisions of
SEZs would be applicable for them. In case these are set up outside SEZs, proposal may be pursued with
the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to declare the ITP as SEZ, if it is so desired.
The Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) was approved in the 10th Five Year Plan (July 2005)
to provide the industry with world-class infrastructure facilities for establishing their textile units by
merging the erstwhile Apparel Parks for Exports Scheme (APES) and Textile Centre Infrastructure
Development Scheme (TCIDS).
The ‗Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP)‘ was launched by merging two schemes,
namely, Apparel Parks for Exports Scheme (APES) and the Textiles Centre Infrastructure
Development Scheme (TCIDS).
Role of State Government:
 Providing all the requisite clearances, wherever needed, for setting up the ITP and providing the
necessary assistance for Power, Water and other utilities to the ITP.
 Assist in identification and procurement of suitable land.
 The State Government agencies like Infrastructure/Industrial Development Corporations may also
participate in the projects by way of subscribing to the equity of SPV or by providing grants.
Funding Pattern:
 The total project cost shall be funded through a mix of Equity/Grant – from the Ministry of Textiles,
State Government, State Industrial Development Corporation, Industry, Project Management Consultant
and Loan – from Banks/ Financial Institutions.

 The Government of India‘s (GOI) support under the Scheme by way of Grant or Equity will be limited
40% of the project cost subject to a ceiling of Rs. 40 crore.
 GOI support under the Scheme will be generally in the form of grant to the SPV unless specifically
decided to be equity.
 The combined equity stake of GOI/State Government/State Industrial Development Corporation, if any,
should not exceed 49% if the enhanced ratio of 40:60/49:51 is maintained.
 Central Government will be entitled to place a nominee on the Board of the Park as per scheme
 GOI support will be provided @90% of the project cost subject to a ceiling of Rs. 40 crore for first two
projects in the States ofArunachal
Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram,Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and & Kashmir.
Acidification and overexploitation pushing marine life to mass extinction: IPSO
October 5th, 2013
As per a report released by the InternationalProgramme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) the
increasing acidification of the oceans due to excessive absorption of carbon dioxide released mainly from
burning fossil fuels and overfishing is exposing marine organisms to intolerable evolutionary pressure
which may lead to their mass extinction. As per the report:
 The oceans are more acidic now than they have been for at least 300 million years which may result
into a mass extinction of key species. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed by the seas — at
least a third of the carbon that humans have released has been dissolved in this way.
 In absorbing carbon and heat from the atmosphere, the world‘s oceans have shielded humans from the
worst effects of global warming
 Overfishing and pollution are also imperilling marine life, on which billions of people depend for their
nutrition and livelihood.
 This acidification is unprecedented in the Earth‘s known history which has exposed organisms to
intolerable evolutionary pressure.
 Increased acidity is specially impacting coral as it dissolves the calcium carbonate skeletons that form
the structure of reefs, and rising temperatures lead to bleaching where the corals lose symbiotic algae
they rely on.
 Current efforts of the world governments‘ to curb carbon emissions are insufficient to save many reefs.
 There is a time lag of several decades between the carbon being emitted and the effects on seas,
meaning further acidification and warming of the oceans are inevitable, even if emissions are drastically
 Corals are vital to the health of fisheries, because they act as nurseries to young fish and smaller
species that provide food for bigger ones.
 The current ocean acidification is the highest for 300 million years from geological records.
 Governments should take measures to limit carbon concentrations in the atmosphere to no more than
450 parts per million of carbon dioxide equivalent.
 At least 70% of the world‘s fish populations are overexploited. To tackle this, local communities should
be given more control over their fisheries and favouring small-scale operators over large commercial
Accounts of 2.9 million Adobe customers compromised
October 5th, 2013
The network of the US –based software maker Adobe Systems which makes software such as
Photoshop, Reader and Creative Cloud, was hacked by cyber attackers exposing financial information of its
2.9 million customers.
The attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs, encrypted passwords, encrypted credit or debit card
numbers, expiration dates and other information relating to customer orders.
The company is informing customers whose credit or debit card information it believes to be involved in
the incident and is resetting relevant customer passwords to prevent unauthorized access to Adobe ID
accounts. It has also notified the banks processing customer payments for Adobe.
US debt crisis could destabilize global economy: IMF

October 5th, 2013
The International Monetary Fund has warned the US that its impending debt crisis could damage not
only its domestic economy, but the entire global economy.
IMF called it “mission-critical” and called for it to be resolved soon. According to IMF Chief Christine
 US must take corrective measures that do not hurt the recovery. At the same time, the US needs to do
more to make debt sustainable by containing the growth of entitlement spending and raising revenues.
 Japan also needs a credible plan to curtail its debt, which is approaching 250% of GDP and amounts to
about USD90,000 for every man, woman, and child in Japan.
 The fiscal and financial efforts must be complemented by structural reforms – to make sure that
to boost demand are supported by policies to boost supply.
 Increasing female participation in the labour force in Japan to match the G7 average would boost its
capita GDP by 4% by 2030.
 As G7 group of nations accounts for about 40% of world GDP, events in these regions has profound
implications for the rest of the world. This calls for engagement at international level.
US government shuts down as budget couldn‟t be passed
October 5th, 2013
Having unable to pass the annual budget, the USgovernment has been shut down for the first time in
past 17 years. The Democratic Party failed to break the impasse over the contentious President Barack
Obama‘s healthcare law which is the central issue behind the opposition.
Why has the US government shut down happened?
The US Congress failed to pass the budget due to disagreement between the Republicans, who have
majority in the lower house – the House of Representatives – and the Democrats, who control the upper
house, the Senate.
Since President Barack Obama‘s election, the parties have never come to a resolution on a US budget that
extends further than a few months. They‘ve just negotiated around the margins and come up with
Now, the Republicans are using budget deadlines to gain political leverage over contentious policies.
This time the issue was Mr Obama‘s healthcare reform programme-the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) continues to be very controversial for a range of reasons. The
Republican-controlled House of Representatives though approved budgets but eliminated funding of this
programme or wanted it delayed by one year. The Senate rejected these demands. It lead to a deadlock
situation and no budget bill could be agreed by both houses, resulting into the shut down.
How would US government shut down impact the US?
The shutdown affects more than 700,000 federal employees which have been furloughed with no
guarantee of back pay once the deadlock is over. National parks, museums, federal buildings and services
will all be closed. Pension and veterans‘ benefit cheques could be delayed.
However, workers like teachers, firefighters and doctors will continue to be paid, as they are paid for by
the state, not the federal government.
What could be economic impact of the US government shut down?
The impact would depend on how much time it takes for Congress to reach an agreement on the budget.
In past 30 years, the US government has experienced 18 shutdowns the latest in 1995, costing
the economy over $1bn. As per IHS estimates, the daily cost in lost output will be just $300m if the
shutdown lasts only a few days, which is too small for an economy whose annual output is 52,000 times
However, the daily impact of the economic shutdown may rise if it affects confidence and consumer
spending, especially with hundreds of thousands of workers left unpaid.
As per Goldman Sachs estimate, if the shutdown were to last about 3 weeks or so, it could deplete 0.9%

from US GDP this quarter.
It would also affect tourism with difficulties in renewing passports and driving licences thus hitting the
transport and travel industries.
The government workers may also have to draw from their savings or postponement mortgage payments
and any other spending until unpaid leave ends.
The main concern is if the shutdown extends to mid-October, when the legislative branch has to agree on
raising the federal government‘s borrowing authority. Congress will need to meet a crucial deadline on
October 17, 2013 to raise the government‘s $16.7 trillion debt ceiling - the limit at which it can borrow
money to pay its bills.
BCCI awards sponsorship rights to Star Private Ltd and ESPN for 2013-14
October 5th, 2013
The Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) awarded Star Private Ltd and ESPN with the cricket
sponsorship rights for all international series and the domestic tournaments in India for the year 2013-
14 at the base price of Rs 2 crore per fixture. The right was previously with telecom giant Airtel.
Sponsorship rights will extend to domestic events such as Irani Cup, Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Vijay
Hazare, Deodhar Trophy and Raj Singh Dungarpur Trophy. The new deal is close on the heels
of Airtel‟spartnership ending with the BCCI.
CCEA approves Jet-Etihad deal
October 5th, 2013
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave clearance to Jet Airways proposed sale
of 24% equity to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, setting stage for the biggest ever foreign investment in
the Indian aviation sector.
The deal is important to Jet, which is facing significant financial challenges, as it brings an equity capital of
Rs 2057.66 crore. The deal will also help the Indian civil aviation industry by enhancing capacity,
increasing competition and bringing down airfares.
The deal has already received clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and the
markets regulator SEBI. The clearance was given after both parties to the deal brought significant changes
in the Shareholders‟ Agreement (SHA) and Commercial Co-operation Agreement (CCA) after SEBI
and FIPB raised doubts that the deal might give an upper hand to Etihad in the matters of control of the
company. Indian government wanted to ensure that the ownership and major control of the company
remained with Jet Airways.
Current Account Deficit (CAD) in Q1 surges to $21.8 billion
October 4th, 2013
As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India‘s Current Account Deficit (CAD) for the first quarter ended
June 2013 has widened to 4.9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to 4% in the same period of
the previous financial year owing to a rise in imports and some decline in merchandise exports.
If we subtract the increase in gold imports of $7.3 billion in the first quarter of 2013-14 over the
corresponding quarter of the preceding year the CAD works out to $14.5 billion, which means 3.2% of
The merchandise exports decreased by 1.5% to $73.9 billion in the first quarter of 2013-14 compared
with a decline of 4.8% at $75 billion in the year-ago period.
On the other hand, merchandise imports increased by 4.7% at $124.4 billion as against a decline of 3.9%
at $118.9 billion, primarily owing to a sharp rise in gold imports in the first two months of the quarter.
Despite a net outflow in portfolio investment, led by Foreign Institutional Investor (FII) debt outflows, net
inflows under capital and financial account (excluding changes in foreign exchange reserves) rose by
25.2% to $20.5 billion in the first quarter of 2013-14 from $16.4 billion in first quarter of 2012-13.
While net foreign direct investment surged to $6.5 billion in the Q1 of the current fiscal from $3.8 billion in
the Q1 of 2012-13, net portfolio investment recorded a marginal outflow of $0.2 billion compared with an
outflow of $2 billion, primarily led by the debt component of FII investment.
However, net overseas borrowing by banks rose by 57.5% to $4.7 billion in the first quarter of 2013-14
from $3 billion in first quarter of 2012-13. Net External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs) at $0.4 billion
remained same.

Supreme Court directs government to set up mechanism to monitor clinical trial of untested
October 4th, 2013
The Supreme Court directed government to put in place a mechanism to monitor the clinical trials of
untested drugs on humans.
The Centre has been directed by the court to convene a meeting of Chief Secretaries
or Health Secretaries of all the states to frame a law for regulation of clinical trials of drugs by
multinational pharma companies.
The apex court directive came during a hearing of a PIL filed by an NGO which alleged large-scale clinical
drug trials across the country by various pharmaceutical firms using Indian citizens as guinea pigs in those
tests. The NGO had alleged that the clinical trials by several pharmaceutical firms were conducted
indiscriminately in various states.
Previously, the court had said that uncontrolled clinical trial of drugs by multinational companies was
creating ―havoc‖ and lambasted the Centre for failing to stop the ―rackets‖ which caused deaths. It had
earlier ordered that all drug trials will be done under the supervision of the Union Health Secretary. The
Centre had admitted that 2,644 people died during clinical trials of 475 new drugs during the period of
2005 to 2012.
IPCC report: Humans are dominant cause of Global Warming
October 4th, 2013
A latest report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on global warming claims that
it has evidence that since 1950 the atmosphere and oceans had warmed, and that scientists are now
―95% certain‖ that humans are the ―dominant cause‖.
As per the IPCC report:
 Warming patterns has been replicated across the climate system, as the amount of snow and ice has
diminished, the mean global sea level has risen and concentration of greenhouse gases has increased.
 In the absence of strong measures, the global warming is likely to exceed 2C by the end of this
This is the level at which the consequences become even more catastrophic and which world
governments have agreed to try to avoid.
 It is urgent to put a price on carbon emissions that was high enough to force power companies and
manufacturers to reduce their fossil-fuel use. IPCC is working on ―mechanisms‖ through which the
market could be used to reduce carbon emissions.
 The world had already burned more than half of the one trillion tonnes of carbon permitted if it is to
have a reasonable chance of limiting the temperature rise by 2C.
 Rapid industrialisation in the developing world is increasing global emissions so fast that the world is on
course to use up its entire carbon budget within 25 years.
 The effects of climate change include rising sea levels, more and hotter heatwaves, and changes to
rainfall meaning dry regions get less and wet areas receive more.
What skeptics have to say about climate change?
As per the skeptics who play down the idea of climate change the phenomena is a problem but not so
serious to be called a crisis. They point to an observation that there has been a slowdown in climate
change in past 15 years. As per the observation, the temperature rise has slowed from 0.12C per decade
since 1951 to 0.05C per decade in the past 15 years – a point seized upon by climate sceptics to discredit
climate science.
However, environmentalist point that it was the effect of El Nino in 1998 which made it unusually hot and
since then there have been a series of medium-sized volcanic eruptions that have cooled the climate. The
oceans have also played a significant role in rearranging the earth‘s heat by absorbing it. So, it just seems
to have cooled. Ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting
for more than 90% accumulated by the planet between 1971 and 2010.
Government appoints Ranjan Mathai as new Indian High Commissioner to UK
October 4th, 2013
The External Affairs Ministry appointed former Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai as India‘s High
Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Mr. Mathai (61) is a 1974-batch IFS officer who retired as Foreign

Secretary this year. He will succeed Jaimini Bhagwati. Apart from serving as India‘s Ambassador
to France, he also had postings inIsrael and Qatar among other places.
SEBI nod to Jet-Etihad deal
October 4th, 2013
The Securities Exchange Board of India(SEBI) has approved the Etihad Airways‘ plan to buy a 24% stake
in the Jet Airways as both carriers revised their deal to comply with conditions set by the markets
After studying the revised deal structure, SEBI was of the opinion that the Rs 2,058 crore transaction
would not trigger a mandatory open offer for purchase of shares from public shareholders and Etihad
would not be considered a promoter entity in Jet Airways. Jet promoter Naresh Goyal would eventually
have a 51% stake in the company, Etihad 24% and the public shareholding of the remaining 25%.
What are the key Terms and Conditions (T&C) in Jet-Etihad deal?
As per the T&C, Jet Airways need to seek prior approval of the government for any changes to be made in
the Shareholders‟ Agreement (SHA) with Etihad and also for any change in shareholding pattern of
the company. Earlier, the deal was given clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board
(FIPB) clearance with a rider that all shareholder disputes and disputes under the SHA would have to be
adjudicated under Indian law.
As per the latest clarifications, Etihad will take 2 seats on the 12 member board instead of 3 as was
previously proposed. The Indian partner,Naresh Goyal, besides appointing 4 board members, will have
the right to nominate the chairman, whereas Etihad will appoint a vice-chairman. Jet has also dropped a
clause from its earlier application of shifting revenue management to Abu Dhabi.
What was the issue with the Jet-Etihad deal?
Indian carrier Jet Airways had recently announced that it intends to sell its 24% shares to UAE
operator Etihad Airways to attract the $379-million investment rising form the deal. But the deal was
stuck after the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and stock market regulator SEBI raised
questions about ownership and effective control of the Indian airline passing into foreign hands. There
were apprehensions from Indian side that the deal would give the key controls of Jet to Etihad. SEBI had
highlighted some clauses of the Commercial Co-operation Agreement (CCA) that might give an upper
hand to Etihad. In this regard, SEBI had sought clarification from Jet on some matters of the prospective
deal including choosing candidates for senior management positions, consolidation of sales office and
general sales arrangements to support sales for Jet in the UAE. Also the right of Etihad to appoint a
will not have any significant impact on the issue of control. Indian government wanted to ensure
that the ownership and major control of the carrier remains with Jet Airways.
Why Jet-Etihad deal is important for Jet?
The deal is important to Jet, which is facing significant financial challenges. The deal will also help the
Indian civil aviation industry by enhancing capacity, increasing competition and bringing down airfares.
Airtel is among Africa‟s top ten most admired global brands
October 4th, 2013
Indian telecom company Airtel has found a place in the list of top ten global brands admired most
in Africa. As per a survey conducted by the African Business Awards, Airtel bagged 9th rank on the list,
beating Japanese car manufacturer Honda. The brand valuation is based on estimated proportion of
revenue that the parent company attributes to the brand on the African continent. Airtel is alsoIndia‘s
largest telecom company with 192.22 million subscribers.
Top 10 most admired global brands in Africa:
1. Coca Cola-US
2. Shell-Netherlands
3. Samsung-South Korea
4. Vodafone-UK

5. Nike-US
6. Toyota- Japan
7. McDonald‘s-US
8. Pepsi Cola-US
9. Airtel-India
10. Honda-Japan
Vice President releases postage stamp in memory of Baba Jumdev
October 4th, 2013
The Vice President of India, Mr. Hamid Ansari released a commemorative postage stamp in the
memory of Baba Jumdev.
Who was Baba Jumdev?
Baba Jumdev was a prominent spiritual leader and revered social activist who considered service of
humanity as the highest form ofreligion. For him, spiritualism meant cleansing the dogmatic and
ritualistic faith by adding essential moral and human dimensions to it, so that religion remains a source of
solace and betterment. He called upon his followers to be good human beings by adhering to compassion
and forgiveness. He advised his followers to speak the truth, and behave with dignity and cordiality
towards others. He was the founder of the„Parmatma Ek Sewak‟ community.
Land Acquisition Bill gets President‟s assent
October 3rd, 2013
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and
Resettlement Bill, 2013 which seeks to replace the archaic land acquisition law dating back to 1894 has
become law with President Pranab Mukherjee giving assent to it. As per Rural Development Ministry, the
Rules will be notified within two months and an advisory panel will formed shortly to vet the said rules in
consultations with various stakeholders.
What are the key features of Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2012?
The historic law would ensure that farmers are provided just and fair compensation and that no land is
acquired forcibly. The Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament. The bill was brought as the archaic
Act of 1894 had various shortcomings including silence on the issue of resettlement and rehabilitation of
those displaced by acquisition of land.
A key provision of the legislation is to get the consent of 80% of the landowners in case the land is
acquired for private purposes and in case the land is acquired for public projects then at least consent of
70% of the landowners will be mandatory. The law also proposes that the farmers and the landowners
should be compensated up to 4 times the market value of land in rural areas and 2 times the market
value in urban areas.
Iraq ratifies Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
October 3rd, 2013
Iraq ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), a treaty which provides for nuclear
disarmament and bans nuclear weapons explosions at any place under the jurisdiction or control of the
signatory. However, CTBT cannot enter into force until eight specific nations don‘t ratify it.
What is CTBT?
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is an internationalaccord which seeks to ban all nuclear
explosions in all environments for military or civilian purposes. It was adopted by the United Nations
General Assembly on September 10, 1996, but it has not entered into force due to the non-ratification
of eight specific states.
What is required for the CTBT to come into force?
There is a list of 44 states in Annex 2 of the CTBT. These ―Annex 2 states‖ are states that participated in
the CTBT‘s negotiations between 1994 and 1996 and possessed nuclear power reactors or research
reactors at that time. The treaty has to be ratified by these states. The treaty has been ratified only by 36

states including France, Russia and Britain.
Which are the eight States who have not signed/ratified CTBT?
These nations are China, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the United States who have signed but not
ratified the Treaty and India, NorthKorea and Pakistan who have not signed it.
What is the status of CTBT in the Middle East?
In the Middle East, Egypt, Israel, Iran, and Yemen have not yet ratified the CTBT, while Saudi
Arabia and Syria remain outside as non-signatories. Efforts to create a zone in the Middle East free of
nuclear weapons have failed to make progress, with a hoped-for meeting in late 2012 failing to take place.
Global Infant Mortality Rate came down to 37: UNICEF report
October 3rd, 2013
As per United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF) report on the global Infant Mortality rate (IMR) declined
from 61 deaths in 1990 to 37 deaths in 2011. Annual infant deaths decreased from 8.4 million in 1990 to
5 million in 2011.
Although India has more IMR than the global average, it has shown a minor decline in IMR in 2012
compared to 2011. It decreased from 44 deaths for every 1000 live births in 2011 to 42 deaths for every
1000 live in 2012. Some findings of the report:
 In India, Kerala has IMR of 12 which is least compared to other states.
 The worst is Assam with IMR 55.
 West Bengal also performed badly with IMR 32.
 Some improvement was seen in case of Uttar Pradesh and Odishawhose IMR declined from 57 in
to 53 in 2012 in both states.
 Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu registered a one-point decrease in IMR.
 Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir improved their IMR by 2
 Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Karnatakareduced their IMR by 3 points.
What are the main causes for high IMR in India?
Low awareness about health and reproductive rights, maternal anemia and malnutrition are the main
causes for high infant mortality rate in India. Infant Mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of
children less than one year of age per 1000 live births.
Pakistan‟s Indus Water Commission visited India
October 2nd, 2013
Pakistani delegation of Indus Water Commission headed by Mirza Asif Baig visited India to participate in
the 109th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission held under Article VIII (5) of the Indus Water
Treaty, 1960 in New Delhi. The team visited India to discuss India‘s proposed project on Chenab River
basin. India has planned to undertake 4 hydroelectric projects on the river: Ratle (850 MW), Miyar (120
MW), Lower Kalnai (48 MW) and Pakal Dul (1000 MW). Earlier, Pakistan had oppugned India‘s design
with regard to spillway, pondage and water intake.
Under Article VIII (5) of the Indus Water Treaty, 1960, the Commissioners are required to meet regularly
at least once a year, alternately in India and Pakistan and also when requested by either Commissioner.
As per the treaty, either side has to inform the other at least 6 months in advance, of any new projects to
be undertaken. Owing to this, India has informed Pakistan about the four projects in the Chenab basin.
What is Indus Waters Treaty?
After the partition of India-Pakistan, the issue of sharing of water of rivers originating from Indus basin
surfaced. India had all the advantage of using the waters of the all six main rivers originating from either
the Himalayan or the Chinese Tibet side. Pakistan was wary that since the sources of rivers of the Indus
basin were in India, it could potentially create droughts and famines in Pakistan, especially at times of

During the first years of partition the waters of the Indus were apportioned by the Inter-Dominion Accord
of May 4, 1948. As per this accord, India was required to release sufficient waters to the Pakistani regions
of the basin in return for annual payments from the government of Pakistan. The accord was meant to
meet immediate requirements and was followed by negotiations for a more permanent solution. However,
neither side was willing to compromise its respective position thus the issue reached a deadlock.
The Treaty:
Finally, head of both countries (India‘s then PM Jawaharlal Nehru and Pak‘s then President Mohammed
Ayub Khan) came to negotiation table to sign the Indus Waters Treaty brokered by the World Bank. As
per the treaty proposed by the World Bank, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, which constitute the eastern rivers, are
allocated for exclusive use by India before they enter Pakistan. However, a transition period of 10 years
was permitted in which India was bound to supply water to Pakistan from these rivers until Pakistan was
able to build the canal system for utilization of waters of Jhelum, Chenab and the Indus itself, allocated to
it under the treaty. Similarly, Pakistan has exclusive use of the Western Rivers Jhelum, Chenab and Indus
but with some stipulations for development of projects on these rivers in India. Pakistan also received
one-time financial compensation for the loss of water from the Eastern rivers. Now, as the moratorium is
over, India has secured full rights for use of the waters of the three rivers allocated to it. The treaty
resulted in partitioning of the rivers rather than sharing of their waters.
India wins its first Sultan of Johor Cup title
October 2nd, 2013
India vanquished Malaysia to clinch Under-21 Sultan of Johor Cup hockeytournament. It was a
title victory for India. Below is the roll of honour for the tournament:
 Champions: India
 Runner Up: Malaysia
 Third: Argentina
Most Outstanding Player: Mohd Fitri Saari (Malaysia)
Top Scorer: Mohd Shahril Saabah (Malaysia) – 8 goals
Most Promising Player: Harpreet Singh (India)
Best Goalkeeper: Lee Se Young (Korea)
Malala Yousafzai honored by Harvard University for humanitarian work
October 2nd, 2013
Malala Yousafzai, renowned teenager activist and proponent for girls‘ education who survived an
assassination attempt by the Taliban, has been honored with 2013 Peter J Gomes humanitarian award
given by the prestigious Harvard University.
Indian Newspaper Society elects Ravindra Kumar as its President
October 2nd, 2013
Ravinder Kumar, Editor of ‗The Statesman‘ newspaper has been elected as the president of the Indian
Newspaper Society (INS) for the year 2013-14.
About Indian Newspaper Society:
Founded in 1939 as Indian and Eastern Newspaper Society which was later renamed as the Indian
Newspaper Society (INS), formerly Indian and Eastern Newspaper Society, plays the role of a central
organization of the Press of India, an independent body authenticating circulation figures of
newspapers and periodicals in India. INS has a significant role in safeguarding and promoting the freedom
of press in India. Its headquarters are at Rafi Marg, New Delhi.
Who are the members of the INS?
INS membership comprises the owners, proprietors and publishers of print media who discusses and
suggest various measures to the government regarding the problems related to the newspaper industry. It
is a kind of pressure group which works to protect the interest of newspaper industry in particular and

print media in general.
Ranjib Biswal is the new IPL chairman
October 2nd, 2013
Chief of the Odisha Cricket Association, Ranjib Biswalwas appointment as the new Chairman of the
IPL who succeeds Rajiv Shukla, who resigned at the end of his tenure.
Biswal has been with the Indian cricket team as a ‗permanent manager‘ through some of its most
memorable triumphs, including the 2011 50-over World Cup win at home. He was also a part of the
contingent that triumphed in the Champions Trophy inEngland. The all-rounder has five first-class
hundreds and 153 wickets in 41 matches and has also been the National Cricket Academy (NCA) chairman
in the past.
N Srinivasan re-elected BCCI president
October 2nd, 2013
Narayanaswamy Srinivasan has been re-elected as the president of the Board of Control
for Cricket in India(BCCI) for a third term.
However he will not take charge immediately because of aSupreme Court directive who had restrained
Srinivasan from taking charge if elected in response to a petition by the Secretary of the Cricket
Association of Bihar (CAB), who sought to restrain Srinivasan from getting re-elected.
CAB, which is not recognised by the BCCI, had asked the court not to allow Srinivasan to contest for the
president‘s post on the ground that his son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, who was the team principal of
Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings, was charge-sheeted for betting in the
6th edition of the IPL Twenty20 tournament.
Rahul Dravid is brand ambassador for National Tobacco Control Campaign
October 2nd, 2013
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare named former Indian cricket team captain Rahul Dravid as
the brand ambassador for its National Tobacco Control Campaign. The national anti-tobacco control
campaign pursues the goal of World Health Assembly which 30% relative reduction in tobacco use
by 2025.
NGT bans digging of earth across the country
October 2nd, 2013
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned digging of earth acrossIndia for making bricks and roads
without prior environment clearance. It directed the Chief Secretaries of all states and union territories
to ensure that its interim order is implemented. The tribunal issued notice to Uttar Pradesh seeking its
response on a plea to direct the state government to stop extraction of earth for making bricks and roads,
allegedly going on in violation of a Supreme Court decision and directions of the Environment Ministry
to all states. Around a month back, the National Green Tribunal banned sand mining from river beds,
without environment clearance, across the country.
About National Green Tribunal (NGT)
Established: October 18, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
Aim: Effective and speedy disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of
forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and
giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith
or incidental thereto.
The NGT is:
 Specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving
multi-disciplinary issues.
 Not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by
principles of natural justice.
 Mandated to make and endeavor for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing
of the same.

„110 201‟: Supreme Court gets country‟s first customized pin code
October 2nd, 2013
The Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, allotted
a „Customized Pin Code‟ to theSupreme Court of India. The Pin Code allotted to the Supreme
Court is „110 201‟.
What is a PIN code and how is it used?
Postal Index Number (PIN) or PIN Code is a 6 digit code of Post Office numbering used by India Post. The
PIN was introduced on August 15, 1972 in the country. There are 9 PIN regions in the country. The first
8 are geographical regions and the digit 9 is reserved for the Army Postal Service. The first digit of the PIN
code indicates the region. The second digit indicates the sub-region, and the third digit indicates the
sorting district within the region. The final three digits are assigned to individual post offices.
India to commission its first strategic oil storage by January 2014
October 2nd, 2013
In an effort to shield itself from supply disruptions, India is building strategic oil storage facility. The first
such storage facility is expected to be commissioned in January 2014 at Vishakhapatnam. The facilities are
being built by state owned firm India Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL).
India is building underground storages at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Mangalore and Padur
in Karnataka to store about 5.33 million tonnes of crude oil. This is sufficient to meet nation‘s oil
requirement for 13-14 days.
Visakhapatnam facility would have the capacity to store 1.33 million tonnes of crude oil in underground
rock caverns. Huge underground cavities, almost ten storey tall and approximately 3.3 km long are being
Why India is building strategic oil storages?
India meets around 80% of its crude oil needs from imports. Dependence on oil import makes it
vulnerable to supply disruptions as well as changes in the prices of crude oil which could have
ramifications in India. To counter this, oil storages would serve as a stock to manage supply disturbances
as well as to buy and store oil when prices are low and release them to refiners when there is a spike in
global rates. With this facility, India will join countries like the US, Japan and China that have strategic
Google updates its search engine with „Hummingbird‟
October 2nd, 2013
Google has modified its Internet search engine to give better answers to the increasingly complex
queries posed by Web surfers. The change has come as part of an update called ―Hummingbird‖ that
Google Inc. has gradually rolled out in the past month without revealing the modifications.
Why Google updated its search engine with Hummingbird?
As per Google, Hummingbird is aimed at giving Google‘s search engine a better grasp at understanding
concepts instead of mere words. Increased reliance on the search engine have made people to enter even
lengthy questions into the search box instead of just a few words related to specific topics.
How could „Hummingbird‟ affect the websites?
The alteration in the search engines could make a major impact on traffic to websites. As per experts,
Hummingbird brings the most dramatic alterations to Google‘s search engine since it revised the way it
indexes websites 3 years ago as part of a redesign called “Caffeine”. The redesign is likely to affect the
analysis of about 90% of the search requests that Google receives.
Any rearrangement of Google‘s search rankings can have dramatic ramifications because they steer
majority of the Internet‘s traffic. Google directs about 66% of search requests in the U.S. and its share is
even bigger in some parts of Europe. The changes could also escalate the price of Google ads tied to
search requests if websites whose rankings are lowered under the new system feel they have to buy the
marketing messages to attract traffic. Google generates most of its revenue from the search ads and
other commercial pitches related to Web content. Its revenue is expected to approach $60 billion this

Anna Hazare receives Allard Prize for International Integrity
October 2nd, 2013
Indian social activist Anna Hazare has been honored with the inaugural Allard Prize
for International Integrity conferred by the University of British Columbia‘s Faculty of Law at a function
held in Vancouver, Canada.
The Allard Prize is one of the world‟s largest awardsrecognizing efforts to
fight corruption and to promote human rights.
The Allard Prize is awarded to an individual, movement or organization that has displayed extraordinary
courage and leadership in combating corruption, especially through promoting transparency,
accountability and the rule of law. The prize money for the award is $100,000.
Government notifies GAAR
October 2nd, 2013
The Union government of India notified GAAR (General Anti Avoidance Rules).
It is aimed at curbing tax avoidance by investors routing their funds through tax havens. GAAR will come
into force from April 1, 2016. It will be applicable to entities availing tax benefit of at least Rs. 3 crore. It
will scrutinize Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) that have claimed benefits under any Double Tax
Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
GAAR will not cover investments made by a non-resident by way of overseas derivative instruments or
through FIIs and investments made before August 30, 2010.
German polls: Angela Merkel victorious
October 2nd, 2013
Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel won a third term by in German elections. Her conservative
Union bloc – the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) won 41.5%
of vote, but just missed an absolute majority.
Ministry of Tourism launches campaign – 777 Days of Incredible Indian Himalayas
October 2nd, 2013
With an aim to attract more foreign tourists and bring into the notice of the world that a major part of the
Himalayan range is in India, the UnionMinistry of Tourism has launched -777 Days of Incredible
Indian Himalayas on the occasion of World Tourism Day- September 27.
The Ministry of Tourism has planned some incentives and programmes during the 777 days of the
campaign which include:
 The Ministry will meet 50% of Peak fee chargeable by Indian Mountaineering Foundation from the
climbing expeditions.
 Special adventure programmes like trekking, river rafting, Himalayan run, mountain and bike events
will be organized in collaboration with Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI).
Note: Around 73% of the Himalayan range lies in India.
Raghuram Rajan awarded with the Deutsche Bank Prize
October 2nd, 2013
Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan was awarded with the Deutsche Bank Prize for
Financial Economics 2013. The award has been given in recognition to his academic contributions in
macro economics research which influenced financial and macro-economic policies around the globe.
Raghuram Rajan revealed that the relationship between the financial sector and the rest of
the economy is so complex and it is not good enough to simply look at the size of the financial sector in
relation to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as is done so often. Raghuram Rajan also had forecasted
the financial crises of 2008 in 2005, three years ahead of global financial crises.
“TomTato”: Plant which produces potato and tomato unveiled in UK
October 2nd, 2013

A plant that produces both tomatoes and potatoes was launched in the UK market. The plant named The
TomTato has been developed by the horticultural mail order company Thompson & Morgan. TomTato has
the capability of growing over 500 sweet cherry tomatoes and also the white potatoes.
TomTato is not a result of genetic engineering, but it has been created by a technique known as grafting.
Many such plants had been created before but taste had previously been a problem. It is for the very first
time such plants have been produced commercially.
How the TOMTATO is made?
1. Tomatoes and potatoes can be grafted together because they are members of the same plant family,
Solanceae or nightshade, which also includes aubergines and chillies.
2. A piece of a size of a pinhead is sliced from each plant, checked for viruses and grown seperately ingel
and then compost. Once they are 2in tall, their stems are cut at an ideticak angle so they can be
grafted to each other.
3. The lower end of the potato, plant, containing the roots, and the top section of the tomato plant, which
will bear fruit, are clipped together for about a week until a natural join forms.
Miss Philippines Megan Young is Miss World 2013
October 2nd, 2013
Miss Philippines Megan Young was crowned Miss World 2013 at a pageant held at Indonesia‘s resort
island of Bali amid tight security due to threats of attack from Muslim conservatives. The pageant
witnessed participation of 127 contestants from various countries.
Miss France Marine Lorphelin and Miss Ghana, Carranzar Naa Okailey Shooter were positioned second
and third respectively. Miss India World Navneet Kaur Dhillon failed to make it to the Top 10 but won the
title of Miss Multimedia.
Navneet Kaur Dhillon bags Multimedia Award at the Miss World 2013
October 2nd, 2013
Pond‘s Femina Miss India World 2013 Navneet Kaur Dhillon won the Multimedia Award at the Miss World
2013 held in Bali, Indonesia.
The Multimedia Award is given on the basis that how participants presented their web section of the Miss
World website and a Facebook page through which they interact with fans through status updates, photos
and videos.
Union Cabinet decides to withdraw the Ordinance on convicted lawmakers
October 1st, 2013
In the wake of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi censuring the government, the Union Cabinet has
decided to withdraw the controversial ordinance on convicted lawmakers, as well as the Bill that sought
to amend the Representation of the People Act on which it was based.
Earlier, the Union Cabinet had approved an ordinance to reverse the apex court ruling which held that an
MP or an MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of
two years or more.
To negate the Supreme Court order, the government moved to amend the law and brought the
Representation of the People (second amendment) Bill, 2013 in Rajya Sabha during the last session.
However, the bill could not be passed. Failing to get the Bill passed, it had brought the ordinance.
TRAI recommends pan-India Mobile Number Portability in 6 months
October 1st, 2013
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended implementation of Mobile Number
Portability (MNP) across the country within 6 months. On implementation, this service will allow users to
retain their mobile numbers even when they change their service area. Currently, the MNP is available
within the same service area. The regulator suggested that service providers be given six months time to
implement full MNP in the country.
What is Mobile Number Portability?
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone
numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another.

Control-Alt-Delete was a mistake, admits Bill Gates
October 1st, 2013
Bill Gates, billionaire and co-founder of Microsoft, has admitted for the first time that using the key
combination of Control-Alt-Delete to log into a PC was a mistake. The awkward combination which is also
known as “three-finger salute” has been a characteristic of the Windows operating system since the
earliest days of personal computers.
What is the use of Control-Alt-Delete combination?
The function of the key combination Control-Alt-Delete differs depending on the context but it generally
interrupts or facilitates interrupting a function. For instance, in pre-boot environment (before
an operating system starts) or in DOS, Windows 3.0 and earlier version of Windows or OS/2, the key
combination reboots the computer. Starting with Windows 3.1, the command invokes a task manager or
security related component that facilitates ending a Windows session.
Apex court: Citizens have right to cast negative vote
October 1st, 2013
Conferring the right to cast negative vote, the Supreme Court of India in a judgment held that citizens
have the right to reject all candidates contesting an election. The apex court also directed the Election
Commission of India to provide none of the above options at the end of the list of candidates contesting
an election in a constituency. A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam held that negative voting
would foster purity and vibrancy of elections .It would also encourage participation as people who are not
content with the candidates in the contest would also participate to express their opinion by rejecting
What did the Supreme Court say regarding Negative Voting?
The apex court held that being a Democracy the voters should be given choices. It is of the view that
voters will be empowered by this right of negative voting. Voters using negative voting will be able to
convey clear message to political parties and candidates as to what the voters think about them. The
bench noted that the option of negative voting is prevalent in 13 nations. Even in India parliamentarians
are given a choice to press the button for abstaining while voting takes place in the Parliament.
As per the bench, the right to reject candidates in elections is a part of fundamental right conferred by the
Constitution in article 19 (freedom of speech and expression).
What are current provisions in Representation of People Act for expressing dissatisfaction?
Under the existing provisions of Section 49(O) of the Representation of People Act, if a voter does not
want to cast his vote, he has to inform the presiding officer of his intention of not voting, who in turn
would make an entry in the relevant rule book after taking the signature of the said elector. The problem
with this provision is that it violates the concept of secret ballot.
Sri Srinivasan becomes Judge of US Court
October 1st, 2013
Sri Srinivasan was sworn in as judge of the US Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit. The
court is the second most powerful court of the United States. Srinivasan has become the first Indian-
American to be on the bench of the US Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was born
in Chandigarh. His parents migrated to the United States in 1970s.
Bill proposed to curb unethical practices in biomedical, health research
October 1st, 2013
Government has proposed Biomedical and Health Research Regulation Bill, 2013 in order to
regulate biomedical and health research involving human participants, whether in conventional areas, or
in new evolving specialized fields. The Bill seeks to ensure ethical research in all institution with proper
care and a compensation policy for human participants. With this Bill, all research on human participants
will come under the government scanner by way of the proposedBiomedical and Health Research
Some key points about Biomedical and Health Research Regulation Bill, 2013:
 The Bill seeks to provide ways to safeguard ethical values in accordance with both local cultural values

and internationalbenchmarks so as to generate, maintain and reinstate public trust in research.
 As per the Bill, a Biomedical and Health Research Authoritywill be set up and it will be mandatory
to register all ethicscommittees in research institutions, colleges, universities and other organizations
involved in research with the Authority.
 The Biomedical and Health Research Authority will register, monitor and evaluate the performance
of ethics committee, develop performance appraisal systems and norms and mechanisms for
implementing transparency and accountability; and assess the need for providing protection to
vulnerable sections.
 The Bill will confer statutory powers on the Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research on Human
Subjects, drafted in 2000 by the ICMR‘s Central Ethics Committee on Human Research, under
thechairmanship of the former Chief Justice of India, Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah. The
guidelines were revised in 2006.
 Human participants in a research will be entitled to ―due remuneration, compensation or
for the time lost, besides reimbursement of travelling and other incidental expenses incurred in
connection with his participation in research.‘‘
 The ethics committee will decide the amount and it will also ensure that the amount is not such which
can be considered as inducement for participation in research.
 The investigator and the institution shall take necessary steps to protect the interest of special or
vulnerable groups while the ethics panel shall ensure that research participants are selected by the
investigator in such a way that the ―burden and benefits‘‘ are equally distributed.
 Consent of the human participant will be mandatory for using human biological materials or data.
 Approval from the ethics committee will be mandatory for using human biological materials or data for
the primary intended purpose. The ethics panel will separately examine any request for secondary use
of the human biological material or data.
 Bio-banking of the human biological material will not be allowed without consent of the human
participant which should be regulated by the specific principles of bio-banking.
 Researcher shall maintain strict confidentiality of all research data which might lead to identification of
the individual participant to avoid any consequent stigmatization and discrimination unless he/she is
under obligation to reveal the information to any official or the government department concerned
under the provisions of any law.
 The investigator must obtain voluntary, documented, informed consent of individual participants after
being fully informed of his involvement in the research and also to withdraw the consent given earlier.
 In case of an individual who is not capable of giving informed consent, for any reason, the consent of
his legal guardian or legally authorized representative will have to be obtained.
 In case of investigation/study involving a group or community, legally acceptable representative or
culturally appropriate authority of the group or community concerned may be contacted for permission.
 In no case shall a collective community agreement or the permission of a community leader or other
authority be considered as a substitute for an individual consent.
 Clinical studies involving systematic study of new drugs, medical devices, vaccines and cosmetics on
human subjects will be out of the purview of the Bill.
The decision to bring a new law for regulation of biomedical and health research comes in the backdrop of
the report of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, pillorying the government and the Indian Council of
Medical Research for failing to prevent deaths of adolescent tribal girls inAndhra
Pradesh and Gujarat during post-marketing surveillance of anti-cervix cancer HPV vaccine. The
surveillance had been jointly conducted by a foreign non-governmental organization, PATH, and the ICMR,
and was suspended by the Ministry following the deaths of the participants.
Currently, only clinical trials with new drugs are regulated under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and
this law is not applicable to the tremendous quantum of biomedical research being carried on in
universities, medical colleges and hospitals on subjects ranging from basic sciences and clinical research
to applied, operational or behavioural research.

Randall Oliphant becomes chairman of the World Gold Council
October 1st, 2013
Randall Oliphant, Executive Chairman of the Canadian gold producer New Gold Inc., has been appointed
as the Chairman of the World Gold Council (WGC) . He took over the charge from Ian Tefler.
What is World Gold Council (WGC)?
The World Gold Council is the market development organization for the gold industry. It is located in
United Kingdom (UK) and operates in India, the Far East, Europe and the US. Its operation domain
includes the investment, jewellery, technology sectors and engaging in government affairs. The WGC
seeks to provide industry leadership, whilst stimulating and sustaining demand for gold. It provides
insights into the internationalgold markets, helping people to better understand the wealth preservation
qualities of gold and its role in meeting the social and environmental needs of society. The Council has 23
members who include the world‘s leading and most forward thinking gold mining companies.
Nanomedicine for Blood Cancer developed
October 1st, 2013
The Kochi-based Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine has developed a nano-medicine
for drug-resistant blood cancer. This invention expected to significantly improve the treatment of
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), when used in combination with Imatinib, the standard
drug for the disease.
In another major invention, the institute has developed a mechanism that can efficaciously prevent
recurrence of glioma or brain tumour. This disease affects about 4 out of every 100000 people in India.
What is Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia?
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia is a form of blood cancer which affects around 2 out of every 100000
Indians annually.
“Raijin”: Australia‟s most powerful super computer unveiled
October 1st, 2013
Australia unveiled its most powerful super computer Raijin in Canberra. Raijin, is named after the
Japanese God of thunder and rain. It development cost $ 45.2 million and will cost $ 10.85 million
annually to operate. On the global scale, Raijin is considered the 27th most powerful computer. The
supercomputer is capable of performing the same number of calculations in an hour that 7 billion people
with calculators could perform in 20 years.
Centre to fund Rubber Plantation in Maoist Affected States approved
October 1st, 2013
Union Government has approved a proposal of funding Rubber Plantation in over 50000 acres of land in
Maoist-affected States under a special funded Central project.
Why Rubber Plantation project in Maoist-affected States?
The step has been taken to provide a sustainable source of income to people residing in Maoist-affected
regions which will prevent youth from joining the naxal movement.
Nokia unveils smartphone with 41 megapixel camera in India
October 1st, 2013
Nokia has launched the Lumia 1020 smartphone in India. It has a 41MP camera, which makes it the
smartphone with the highest megapixel in Indian market.
The phone has a Carl Zeiss lens and Nokia‘s proprietary PureView imaging technology. This camera also
has optical image stabilization as well as six element lens and uses oversampling technology to process
images. Its lossless zooming technology enables one to capture images first and zoom into it later without
losing clarity. Photos taken by most smartphones get pixilated upon zooming and cropping.
Survey ranks Mumbai as world‟s second most honest city after Helsinki
October 1st, 2013
As per a survey conducted in various cities across the world, India‘s financial capital Mumbai performed
better than some of the big of the world and stood as the second most honest city in the world.
How was the honesty survey conducted?

The experiment was carried out in 16 cities across four continents with 192 lost wallets, dropped in
crowded places like shopping malls, sidewalks and parks in cities as diverse as New York and Zurich. Each
of the wallets contained an amount equivalent to Rs 3,000 (in local currency), a cell phone
number, business cards and a family photo. It was to be observed that how many of the lost wallets are
returned back by their finders.
Results of the experiment:
 Helsinki, capital of Finland, topped the list of honest cities returning 11 of the 12 wallets.
 On an average, Mumbaikar returned 9 out of 12 wallets.
Zurich, returned only 4 out of 12 wallets.
 London, 7 of the 12 wallets came back.
 Warsaw and Berlin returned 5 and 6 wallets respectively.
 Prague, only 4 of the 12 wallets made it back.
 Madrid, 10 were never returned.
 Bucharest and Rio returned 1/3rd of the lost wallets.
 Budapest and New Yorkers returned 8 of the 12 wallets.
 Lisbon in Portugal was the most dishonest city with 1 wallet returned and that too by a foreigner.
 Globally, around 47% – or nearly half of the wallets were returned.
Liu Shiwen of China clinched Women‟s Table Tennis World Cup 2013
October 1st, 2013
Chinese table tennis player Liu Shiwen clinched Women‟s Table TennisWorld Cup 2013 after
beating teammate Wu Yang in the final play of the tournament held in Kobe, Japan. Liu had won the
World Cup in Guangzhou in 2009 and in Huangshi one year back. It was her third world cup victory.
President‟s assent to the Waqf (Amendment) Bill, 2013
October 1st, 2013
President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Waqf (Amendment) Bill, 2013.
What are the key stipulates of the Waqf (Amendment) Bill 2013?
The Waqf (Amendment) Bill 2013 brings some amendments in the Waqf Act, 1995 which was
introduced to provide for the better administration of Waqfs and for matters connected therwith or
incidental thereto.
As per the amendments:
 The powers of the Waqf Council, currently an advisory body at the central level, have been
strengthened. It can issue directions to waqf boards, who administer waqfs in each state.
 The composition of Waqf boards has been changed. It also establishes the procedure for removal of a
chairperson of a waqf board.
 States, which do not have a Waqf Board, are directed to establish it within one year.
 State-funded surveys of Waqf properties must be carried out.
 Kinds of powers that can be delegated by a waqf board to the chairperson or any other individual,
including the Chief Executive Officer of the Board have been restricted.
 The sale, gift, or total transfer of a waqf property will be treated as invalid.
 Maximum period of lease or mortgage of waqf properties has been extended, while establishing a more
restrictive procedure by which leases or mortgages are approved by waqf boards.
 It provides for imprisonment for those who occupy waqf property without authorisation.
 The circumstances under which state governments can issue directions to waqf boards have been
restricted. Boards cannot be superseded unless there is prima facie evidence of financial irregularity.
What is a Waqf property?
A Waqf is an unconditional and permanent dedication of property with implied detention in the ownership
of God in such a manner, that the property of the owner may be extinguished and its profits may revert to
or be applied for the benefit of mankind except for purposes prohibited by Islam. The grant is known
as mushrut-ul-khidmat, while a person making such dedication is known as Waqif.

What is Central Waqf Council?
Central Wakf Council, India is an Indian statutory body established in 1964 by the Government of
India under Waqf Act, 1954 (now a sub section the Waqf Act, 1995) for the purpose of advising it on
matters pertaining to working of the State Waqf Boards and proper administration of the Waqfs in the
Note: Although waqf is an Islamic institution, being a Muslim is not required to establish a waqf,
and dhimmis (non-muslims) may establish a waqf.
President gives assent to the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill,
October 1st, 2013
President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification)
Amendment Bill, 2013 which amends Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959.
What is Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959?
Section 3 of the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959, which has been periodically
amended, lists certain offices of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State,
which do not disqualify the holders thereof for being chosen as, or for being, a Member of Parliament.
Sub-clause (ii) of clause (ba) of section 3 of the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act,
1959, exempts the Chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
from such disqualification.
Why these amendments have been made?
The National Commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was divided into two
independent Commissions i.e. (i) the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes and (ii) the National
Commission for the Scheduled Tribes by the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.
Through this amendment Act, Article 338 of the Constitution was amended and a new article, namely,
Article 338A was introduced in the Constitution. With the bifurcation of the National Commission for the
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, consequential amendments are required in sub-clause (ii) of
clause (ba) of section 3 of the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959, so as to exclude the
Chairperson of the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes and the Chairperson of the National
Commission for the Scheduled Tribes from incurring any disqualification for being chosen as or for being a
Member of Parliament.
The Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003, came into force from February 19, 2004 and therefore, it
is proposed to give effect to the present amendment from the same date.
RBI eases trade credit rules to raise funds from overseas
October 1st, 2013
The Reserve Bank of India eased trade credit norms to raise funds from abroad. As per RBI‘s notification,
all types of firms can avail trade credit facility now from overseas for import of capital goods. The
relaxations in norms allow companies in all sectors to avail trade credit not exceeding $ 20 million up to a
maximum period of 5 years for import of capital goods as classified by the Director General of Foreign
Trade (DGFT).
Previously, only companies in the infrastructure sector were permitted to raise such trade credits.
However, Banks are not permitted to issue Letters of Credit/guarantees/Letter of Undertaking (LoU)
/Letter of Comfort (LoC) in favor of overseas supplier, bank and financial institution for the extended
period beyond 3 years.
PM approves setting up of 7th Central Pay Commission
October 1st, 2013
The Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh has approved the constitution of the Seventh Central Pay
Commission (CPC). If we go by the average time of 2 years taken by a Pay Commission to submit its
recommendations, it is expected that the recommendations of this Pay Commission will be implemented
with effect from January 1, 2016.
Key points on the Central Pay Commissions

 First CPC was constituted under the Chairmanship of Srinivasa Varadachariar in May 1946 and its
was submitted by 1947. The first Central Pay Commission was based on the basic idea of living wages
to employees.
 The 6th Central Pay Commission under the Chairmanship of B.N.Srikrishna was approved in July 2006.
 The 7th CPC will recommend on the salaries, allowances and pensions of around 80 (50 lakh employees
+ 30 lakh pensioners) employees/pensioners of the Central Government,
Including Defence and Railways.
 The CPC is constituted by the Union Government of India after almost every 10 years in order to revise
the pay scales of employees. The recommendations of Pay Commission are always followed by all the
states in India after a few changes.
M60-UCD1: Densest galaxy ever discovered
October 1st, 2013
Scientists have discovered the densest galaxy ever which they have named as M60-UCD1. The galaxy
was discovered using NASA‘s Hubble Space Telescope. Follow-up observations were done with NASA‘s
Chandra X-ray Observatory and ground-based optical telescopes, including the Keck 10-metre telescope in
About M60-UCD1:
Ultra-compact dwarf galaxy
Found in the Virgo cluster of galaxies
Packed with an extraordinary number of stars
About 54 million light years away from our own Milky Way
RBI directs Banks to end zero interest EMI schemes
October 1st, 2013
In a major blow to the banks and merchant establishments, the Reserve Bank of India has instructed
banks to stop offering zero interest EMI (Equated Monthly Installment) schemes for the purchase of
consumer goods in a bid to discourage them from offering such schemes or products.
RBI has asked banks to offer uniform interest rates and processing fee on EMI-based credit card schemes
for retail products. The RBI also directed banks to terminate their relationships with merchant
establishments which levied a fee on customers who make payments for goods and services through debit
Why RBI has instructed banks against offering zero interest EMI schemes?
As per RBI, the very concept of zero per cent interest is non-existent and is only used by banks and others
as a camouflage to lure and exploit gullible customers and it is passed on to the customer as processing
fee by banks offering zero per cent EMI schemes on credit card outstanding for purchasing retail products.
RBI wants banks to follow fair practice which, according to the central bank, demands the processing
charge and RoI (Rate of Interest) charged be kept uniform, product and segment-wise, irrespective of the
sourcing channel.