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YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013 Price - 50/-
Roberto Azevedo, a Brazilian trade diplomat, has been chosen as the
next head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), ending a long se-
lection process that began in December. Azevdo, who has been Brazil's
ambassador to the WTO since 2008, saw off nine rival candidates for
the role. When he takes up his new post on 1 September, he will be-
come the WTO's first Latin American director general, and the sec-
ond to hail from the global south.
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
2 22 22
Meet RoboBee, a bug-
sized, bio-inspired flying
Harvard scientists have introduced what
may be the cutest flying robots ever: a bio-
inspired insect-sized aircraft dubbed
RoboBee that pushes flight-worthy craft
into their smallest wings yet.
To our knowledge this is the smallest fly-
ing robot so far, said Pakpong
Chirarattananon, co-lead of the paper in
Science describing the 80-milligram robot
with a 3-centimeter wingspan thats
hardly bigger than a penny.
Building such a tiny flying robot required
marshaling an enormous amount of in-
genuity -- and several engineering break-
throughs -- to overcome the challenges
of working on the sub-millimeter level.
Nuts and bolts prove unmanageable, and
turbulence becomes a much bigger issue
on such a small scale.
The researchers came up with a way to
build the robots by tracing out patterns
in flat sheets and then folding them into
the desired shape. This approach allowed
them to use different materials in sheets
that they could glue together with rela-
tive ease. The method is a bit like the
approach you use with origami,
Chirarattananon said. And that enables us to
create something thats small and precise.
2014 G8 Summit to Be
Held in Sochi
Russia will hold the 2014 Group of Eight
(G8) summit in its southern Black Sea re-
sort of Sochi, the city that will also host
the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the
Kremlin said on Monday. In connection
with Russias G8 presidency in 2014, I have
resolved to make the city of Sochi the
venue for the 2014 G8 meeting of the
heads of state and government, the rel-
evant decree signed by President Vladimir
Putin said.
Current Events
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Roberto Azevedo, a Brazilian trade diplomat, has been chosen as the next head of
the World Trade Organisation (WTO), ending a long selection process that began in
December. Azevdo, who has been Brazil's
ambassador to the WTO since 2008, saw off
nine rival candidates for the role.
When he takes up his new post on 1 Septem-
ber, he will become the WTO's first Latin
American director general, and the second to
hail from the global south.
Reuters leaked the news of his selection on
Tuesday evening, citing diplomatic sources.
The WTO is due to make an official announcement on Wednesday.
A respected figure in Geneva, Azevdo, 55, was widely seen as the insider's candi-
date, and was the preferred choice of developing countries and emerging econo-
The US, Japan, South Korea, and all 27 EU member states reportedly backed Azevdo's
Mexican opponent, Herminio Blanco, in the final round of the selection process.
Blanco, who holds a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago, served as his
country's trade minister from 1994 to 2000. He is widely known as an aggressive
and committed free trader, with a strong personality to match.
Those qualities earned Blanco the support of rich countries, but they may have scared
off some of the WTO's developing country members, says Simon Evenett, a profes-
sor of economics and trade at the University of St Gallen in Switzerland. Ultimately,
Azevdo won the backing of a majority of the WTO's 159 members, despite a lack of
support from many rich countries.
"Had Blanco won with transatlantic support behind him, plus the support of Japan
and Korea it would have looked like another rich-country stitch-up of an interna-
tional [organisation] job, and that would have been very unhelpful in terms of get-
ting progress at the WTO," says Evenett. "In that sense, the outcome that we have is
good for the organisation."
Nine candidates three women, and six contenders from non-OECD countries
were nominated for the post.
With his intimate knowledge of the ins and outs of the WTO, Azevdo should have a
fairly smooth transition into his new job, taking over from Pascal Lamy of France.
Lamy is coming to the end of his second term as director general, having taken up
the post in 2005.
The first item on Azevdo's agenda will be to prepare for the WTO's next ministerial
meeting, which will take place in Bali in December. Trade observers say the Bali
meeting will need to register some sort of progress in the WTO's Doha round trade
talks, which were launched in 2001 but have been at an impasse for years. Azevdo
agrees. The selection of a new director general "is a bit like a fireworks display", says
Evenett. "There's a lot of excitement and drumroll on the evening, and then the
next day, life goes on. We may be at that sort of moment with the WTO."
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
3 33 33
ew 17-million-digit
monster is largest
known prime
The largest known prime number has just
shot up to 257,885,161 - 1, breaking a
four-year dry spell in the search for new,
ever-larger primes. Curtis Cooper at the
University of Central Missouri in
Warrensburg made the find as part of the
Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search
(GIMPS), a distributed computing project
designed to hunt for a particular kind of
prime number first identified in the 17th
All prime numbers can only be divided by
themselves and 1. The rare Mersenne
primes all have the form 2p - 1, where p
is itself a prime number.
The new prime, which has over 17 mil-
lion digits, is only the 48th Mersenne
prime ever found and the 14th discovered
by GIMPS. The previous record holder,
243,112,609 - 1, which was also found by
GIMPS in 2008, has just under 13 million
digits. All of the top 10 largest known
primes are Mersenne primes discovered
by GIMPS. Until today, the most recent
addition to the list was found in 2009, but
it was smaller than the 2008 discovery.
Volunteer sifters
Though there are an infinite number of
primes, there is no formula for generat-
ing these numbers, so discovering them
requires intensive computation. GIMPS
uses volunteers' computers to sift through
each prime-number candidate in turn,
until eventually one lucky user discovers
a new prime.
Cooper runs GIMPS software on around
a thousand university computers, one of
which spent 39 days straight proving that
the number was prime. This was then
independently verified by other researchers.
Though there is little mathematical value
to finding a single new prime, these rare
numbers are prized in their own right by
some. "It's sort of like finding a diamond,"
says Chris Caldwell at the University of
Tennessee, Martin, who keeps a record of
the largest known primes. "For some rea-
son people decide they like diamonds and
so they have a value. People like these
large primes and so they also have a
Prime-hunting isn't a completely esoteric
pastime though, as these numbers under-
pin the cryptographic techniques used to
make online transactions secure.
Prizes for primes
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an
internet civil liberties group, is offering
prizes of $150,000 and $250,000 to the
discovery of the first prime with at least
100 million and a billion digits, respec-
tively. Previous prizes for primes 1 million
and 10 million digits long have already
been awarded.
Cooper will receive a $3000 prize from
GIMPS for making the discovery. Don't
expect to see the next largest prime any
time soon though. The problem becomes
harder over time, as larger primes are
both more rare and harder to check.
"Those two things work together to
spread them out as time goes on," says
Azerbaijani President
and his spouse watch
Azerspace-1 satellite
orbit launch
February 8 marked one of the most re-
markable events in Azerbaijan's indepen-
dence history as the country successfully
launched its first communications satel-
lite, Azerspace-1, into orbit. Azerbaijani
President Ilham Aliyev and the First Lady
Mehriban Aliyeva watched the launch live
from the new headquarters of
Azercosmos that the Head of State inau-
gurated earlier the same day. Prior to the
launch of the satellite President Ilham
Aliyev viewed the new headquarters of
Azercosmos, a first satellite operator in
Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.
Minister of Information and Communica-
tion Technologies Ali Abbasov told the
Head of State that Azercosmos provided
highly reliable and satellite-delivered
communication services and platforms to
broadcasting, broadband and govern-
ment customers.
In 2008, a presidential decree set up a
national space program. In the meantime,
the Ministry of Information and Commu-
nication Technologies came to an agree-
ment with Measat Satellite Systems, the
leading satellite operator in Malaysia, to
lease the GEO position at 46E orbital slot
and jointly operate the Azerspace/
2009 saw several tenders and as a result
the US-based Orbital Sciences Corporation
was opted to construct the satellite along
with the French Arianespace to launch it.
The minister told President Ilham Aliyev
that Azercosmos planned to launch a low-
Earth orbit satellite in 2015, and
Azerspace-2 satellite in 2016.
The spacecraft was put into orbit from
Guiana Space Center near Kourou in
French Guiana at 01.36 Baku time.
Azerspace-1 blasted off aboard Ariane 5
rocket made by French Arianespace com-
Arianespace was founded in 1980 as the
world's first commercial satellite launch
company. Its shareholders include the
French space agency CNES, Astrium and
all European space companies, represent-
ing 10 European countries.
As of October 1, 2012, the company had
315 employees, at its corporate headquar-
ters in Evry, at the Guiana Space Center
(CSG) - launch site for Ariane 5, Soyuz and
Vega - and at local offices in Washington,
D.C., Singapore and Tokyo.
Since its creation, Arianespace has signed
contracts with 80 customers worldwide
carrying out 211 Ariane launches, 29
Soyuz launches (four at CSG and 25 at
Baikonur via its subsidiary, Starsem) and
the first launch of Vega. More than half
of the commercial satellites in service to-
day were launched by Arianespace.
Based on impressive launch performance
and a large backlog of orders, Arianespace
is the world's leading launch company,
capturing much more than 50 percent of
the commercial satellite launch market
year after year.
With an anticipated service life of 15
years, Azerspace/Africasat-1a is based on
Orbital`s flight-proven GEOStar-2 plat-
The hybrid C- and Ku-band satellite will
generate approximately five kilowatts of
payload power and carry 36 active tran-
sponders, providing communications ser-
vices to Azerbaijan, Europe, Africa, Middle
East and Central Asia.
Azerspace/Africasat-1a will operate from
an orbital location at 46 degrees East lon-
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
4 44 44
gitude through an arrangement between
Azercosmos and MEASAT Satellite Sys-
tems of Malaysia, which owns the rights
to the orbital slot.
Azerspace-1 satellite will offer telecom-
munication services to Eastern Europe,
the Caucasus, Central Asia and North Af-
rica, providing digital broadcasting,
Internet access, data transmission, cre-
ation of VSAT multiservice networks and
communications. Some 20 percent of the
satellite`s resources will be used for
Azerbaijan`s needs, and the remaining 80
percent will be available for commercial
The launch of the spacecraft means that
all of the territory of Azerbaijan will be
covered with quality TV and radio broad-
casting, high-speed IP services, enabling
a stable and quality platform for programs
such as distance education and e-health,
eliminating communication problems.
The satellite separated from the carrier
rocket 33 minutes after the launch. It
placed itself into a geostationary orbit at
46 degrees East longitude 34.56 minutes
after blasting off.
President Ilham Aliyev congratulated the
people of Azerbaijan on the launch of the
country`s first communications satellite.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has
said he is ready to take the risk of becom-
ing the first human being sent into space
by Iran, national media reports. "I'm ready
to be the first Iranian to sacrifice myself
for our country's scientists," the official
IRNA news agency quoted him as saying
on the sidelines of an exhibition of space
achievements in Tehran on Monday. Iran
said it sent a monkey into space one week
ago, describing the launch as a successful
step towards Tehran's plan to send an as-
tronaut into space within the next five to
six years. The monkey named "Pishgam",
which means pioneer in Farsi, reportedly
travelled 120km and safely returned to
Earth. The launch added to Western con-
cerns about Iran's space programme be-
cause the same rocket technology could
potentially be used to deliver a nuclear
warhead on a ballistic missile. In 2010,
Iran said it launched an Explorer rocket
into space carrying a mouse, a turtle and
worms. Iran's space officials say Iran will
launch a bigger rocket carrying a larger
animal to obtain greater safety assurances
before sending a man into space. Space
tourist Anousheh Ansari was the first Ira-
nian to make a journey into space aboard
a Soyuz TMA-9 capsule from Baikonur,
Kazakhstan, in 2006. The 40-year-old tele-
communications entrepreneur paid a re-
ported $20m for a space station visit.
Sixty-seventh session of
the United Nations
General Assembly
The sixty-seventh session of the United
Nations General Assembly, opened on 18
September 2012. The President of the
United Nations General Assemblywas
chosen from the EEG (the smallest re-
gional grouping) with Serbia's then for-
eign minister Vuk Jeremi? beating out
Lithuania's Dalius ?ekuolis in an election.
Notably, the session led to United Nations
General Assembly resolution 67/19 which
granted Palestine non-member observer
state status.
The general debate of the sixty-seventh
session of the United Nations General
Assembly speaking schedule in the Gen-
eral Assembly Chamber from 25 Septem-
ber, 2012 were as follows:
Organisation and subjects
The order of speakers is given first to
member states, then observer states and
supranational bodies. Any other observ-
ers entities will have a change to speak at
the end of the debate, if they so choose.
Speakers will be put on the list in the or-
der of their request, with special consid-
eration for ministers and other govern-
ment officials of similar or higher rank.
According to the rules in place for the
General Debate, the statements should be
on of the United Nations official languages
of Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Rus-
sian or Spanish, and will be translated by
the United Nations translators. Each
speaker is requested to provide 20 ad-
vance copies of their statements to the
conference officers to faciltate translation
and to be presented at the podium.
Though there is no time limit for
speeches, a voluntary guideline of 15 min-
utes is requested.
In addition to commenting on issues of
individual national and wider interna-
tional relevance, the President of the Gen-
eral Assembly Vuk Jeremic chose the
theme: "Adjustment or settlement of in-
ternational disputes or situations by
peaceful means." Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon also said: "This year's General
Debate will be among [st] our busiest
ever. This reflects the tumultuous time in
which we live -- a time of turmoil and tran-
sition." The General Debate will com-
mence with the opening of the session on
25 September and continue until 1 October.
A multitude of issues, including adminis-
trative affais for the UN, are on the
broader preliminary agenda for the ses-
sion. There is also a day-by-day schedule.
2013 Grammy Awards
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards are be-
ing handed out this afternoon, and many
of them before this evening's telecast
from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
We're updating all the winners here as
they're announced:
Rihanna will premiere "Stay" on E! News
Album of the Year: Babel, Mumford &
Song of the Year: "We Are Young," fun.
featuring Janelle Mone
Best New Artist: fun.
Best Pop Solo Performance: "Set Fire to
the Rain," Adele
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw talk their Ve-
gas show
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
"Somebody That I Used to Know," Gotye
featuring Kimbra
Best Pop Instrumental Album: Impres-
sions, Chris Botti
Best Pop Vocal Album: Stronger, Kelly
Best Dance Recording: Bangarang, Skrillex
featuring Sirah
Best Dance/Electronica Album:
Bangarang, Skrillex
Best Rock Performance: Lonely Boy, The
Black Keys
Best Rock Song: "Lonely Boy," The Black
Best Rock Album: El Camino, The Black
Best Alternative Music Album: Making
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
5 55 55
Mirrors, Gotye
Best R&B Performance: "Climax," Usher
Best Traditional R&B Performance: "Love
on Top," Beyonc
Best R&B Song: "Adorn," Miguel
Best Urban Contemporary Album: Chan-
nel Orange, Frank Ocean
Taylor Swift talks opening the Grammys
Best R&B Album: Black Radio, Robert
Glasper Experiment
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: "No Church
In The Wild," Jay-Z and Kanye West fea-
turing Frank Ocean and The Dream
Best Rap Album: Take Care, Drake
Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
Pontoon, Little Big Town
Best Country Song: "Blown Away," Carrie
Best Country Album: Uncaged, Zac Brown
Padma Awardees 2013
Noted scientists Yashpal and Roddam
Narasimha, cricketer Rahul Dravid, actor
Rajesh Khanna and comedian Jaspal Bhatti
(both posthumous), and boxer Mary Kom,
are among the 108 eminent and illustri-
ous personalities named for India's high-
est civilian honours, Padma awards, this
year. According to a release from the
home ministry Jan 25, 2013, President
Pranab Mukherjee approved the names
of the 108 awardees, who include 4
Padma Vibhushan, 24 Padma Bhushan
and 80 Padma Shri. As many as 24 of the
awardees are women.
Among the Padma Vibhushan awardees
are Yashpal, Roddam Narasimha and art-
ist S. Haider Ali Raza. Among the Padma
Bhushan awardees are actors Rajesh
Khanna and Sharmila Tagore, Bhatti, in-
dustrialist Adi Godrej, as well as Dravid
and Mary Kom. Actor Nana Patekar, Urdu
poet Nida Fazli, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt,
boxer Dingko Singh, filmmaker Ramesh
Sippy, Magsaysay Award winner Nileema
Mishra, Olympic medallist Vijay Kumar are
among the Padma Shri awardees. The
country's top civilian awards are given
under various disciplines like arts, litera-
ture, social work, public affairs, medicine,
and sports. Padma Vibhushan is given for
exceptional and distinguished service,
Padma Bhushan for distinguished service
of high order and Padma Shri for distin-
guished service in any field.
President has approved the conferment
of 108 Padma Awards. These comprise
04 Padma Vibhushan, 24 Padma Bhushan
and 80 Padma Shri Awards. 24 of the
awardees are women and the list also in-
cludes 11 persons in the category of For-
eigners, NRIs, PIOs and Posthumous
awardees. Padma Awards, the countrys
highest civilian awards, are conferred in
three categories, namely, Padma
Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma
Shri. The Awards are given in various dis-
ciplines/ fields of activities, viz- art, social
work, public affairs, science and engineer-
ing, trade and industry, medicine, litera-
ture and education, sports, civil service,
etc. Padma Vibhushan is awarded for
exceptional and distinguished service;
Padma Bhushan for distinguished service
of high order and Padma Shri for distin-
guished service in any field. The awards
are announced on the occasion of Repub-
lic Day every year. The awards are con-
ferred by the President of India at a func-
tion held at Rashtrapati Bhawan some-
time around March/ April.
Padma Vibhushan
SN Name Discipline
State/ Domicile
1. Raghunath Mohapatra Art
2. S. Haider Raza Art
3. Prof. Yash Pal S & T
4. Prof. Roddam Narasimha S & T
Padma Bhushan
SN Name Discipline
State/ Domicile
1. Dr. Ramanaidu Daggubati Art
2. Smt. Sreeramamurthy Janaki Art
Tamil Nadu
3. Dr. (Smt.) Kanak Rele Art
4. Smt. Sharmila Tagore Art
5. Dr. (Smt.) Saroja Vaidyanathan Art
6. Abdul Rashid Khan Art
West Bengal
7. Late Rajesh Khanna Art
Maharashtra #
8. Late Jaspal Singh Bhatti Art
Punjab #
9. Shivajirao Girdhar Patil Public Af-
fairs Maharashtra
10. Dr. A. Sivathanu Pillai S c i e n c e
&Engineering Delhi
11. Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat S & T
12. Dr. Ashoke Sen S & T
13. Dr. B.N. Suresh S & T
14. Prof. Satya N. Atluri S & T
15. Prof. Jogesh Chandra Pati S & T
16. Ramamurthy ThyagarajanTrade and
Industry Tamil Nadu
17. Adi Burjor Godrej Trade and
18. Dr. N. Shamrao Laud Medicine
19. Mangesh Padgaonkar Literature
& Edu.
20. Prof. G. Ch. Spivak Literature
& Education USA*
21. Hemendra Singh Panwar Civil Ser-
vice M.P.
22. Dr. Maharaj Kishan Bhan Civil Ser-
vice Delhi
23. Rahul Dravid Sports
24. Ms. H. M. Chungneijang Mary Kom
Sports Manipur
Padma Sri
SN Name Discipline
State/ Domicile
1. Gajam Anjaiah Art
2. Swami G.C.D. Bharti Art
3. Ms. B. Jayashree Art
4. Smt. Sridevi Kapoor Art
5. Kailash Chandra Meher Art
6. Brahmdeo Ram Pandit Art
7. S. Vishwanath D. Patekar /Nana
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MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
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Patekar Art
8. R. N.Rao / Surabhi Babji Art
9. Lakshmi N. Sathiraju Art
Tamil Nadu
10.Smt. Jaymala Shiledar Art
11. Suresh D. Talwalkar Art
12. P. M. Nair alias Madhu Art
13. Apurba Kishore Bir Art
14. Ghanakanta B. Borbayan Art
15.Smt. Hilda Mit Lepcha Art
16.Smt. Sudha Malhotra Art
17. Ghulam M.Saznawaz Art
Jammu and Kashmir
18. Ramesh Gopaldas Sippy Art
19.Ms. Mahrukh Tarapor Art
20. Balwant Thakur Art
Jammu & Kashmir
21. Puran Das Baul Art
West Bengal
22. Rajendra Tikku Art
Jammu & Kashmir
23. Pablo Bartholomew Art
24. S. Shakir Ali Art
25.Sh. S.K.M Maeilanandhan S o c i a l
WorkTamil Nadu
26.Ms. Nileema Mishra S o c i a l
27. Ms. Reema Nanavati S o c i a l
28.Ms. Jharna D. Chowdhury S o c i a l
WorkBangladesh *
29.Late Dr. Ram Krishan S o c i a l
WorkUP #
30.Late Manju Bharat Ram S o c i a l
WorkDelhi #
31.Prof. Mustansir Barma S & T
32. Avinash Chander S & T
33.Prof. Sanjay G.Dhande S & T
34.Prof. (Dr.) Sankar K. Pal S & T
West Bengal
35.Prof. Deepak B. Phatak S & T
36.Dr. Mudundi R. Raju S & T
37. Prof. Ajay K. Sood S & T
38.Prof. K. Vijayraghavan S & T
39.Dr. Manindra Agrawal S & T
40.Dr. J. Gowrishankar S & T
41.Prof. S. Pandurang Kale S & T
42.Smt. Vandana Luthra Trade and
Industry Delhi
43.Ms. Rajshree Pathy Trade and
Industry Tamil Nadu
44. Hemendra P. Barooah Trade and
Industry Assam
45. Milind Kamble Trade and
46.Ms. Kalpana Saroj Trade and
47. Dr. Sudarshan K. Aggarwal Medicine
48.Dr. C. V. S. Ram Medicine
49.Dr. Rajendra A. Badwe Medicine
50.Dr. Taraprasad Das Medicine
51.Prof. (Dr.) T.V. Devarajan Medicine
Tamil Nadu
52. Prof. (Dr.) Saroj C. Gopal Medicine
53.Dr. Pramod Kumar Julka Medicine
54.Dr. Gulshan Rai Khatri Medicine
55.Dr. Ganesh Kumar Mani Medicine
56.Dr. Amit P. Maydeo Medicine
57. Dr. Sundaram Natarajan Medicine
58.Prof. Krishna C.Chunekar Medicine
59.Dr. Vishwa Kumar Gupta Medicine
60. Prof. (Capt.) M.Sharaf-e-Alam Litera-
ture & Education Bihar
61. Dr. Radhika Herzberger Literature
& Education AP
62. J. Malsawma Literature
& Education Mizoram
63. Devendra Patel Literature
& Education Gujarat
64. Dr. Rama Kant Shukla Literature
& Education Delhi
65. Prof. Akhtarul Wasey Literature
& Education Delhi
66. Prof. Anvita Abbi Literature
& Education Delhi
67. Nida Fazli Literature
& Education M.P.
68. Surender Kumar Sharma Literature
& Education Delhi
69. Dr. Jagdish Prasad Singh Literature
& Education Bihar
70. Late S. R. Kapoor Literature
& Edu. West Ben-
gal #
71.Prof. Noboru Karashima Literature
& Education Japan *
72. Christopher Pinney Literature
& Education UK *
73. Smt. Premlata Agrawal Sports
74. Yogeshwar Dutt Sports
75. Hosanagara N.Girisha Sports
76. Subedar M. Vijay Kumar Sports
Himachal Pradesh
77. Ngangom Dingko Singh Sports
78. Naib S. B. Lal Takhar Sports
79. Ms. Ritu Kumar F a s h i o n
Designing Delhi
80. Dr. Ravindra Singh Bisht Archaeol -
ogy UP
Note: * - indicates awardees in the category of
Foreigners / NRIs/ PIOs.
# - indicates awardees in the post-
humous category.
64th Republic Day
India celebrated its 64th Republic Day on
26 January 2013. Unfurling of National
flag, the rich cultural heritage, and
nation's achievements in various fields
were the highlights of Republic Day Pa-
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MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
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rade at Rajpath in Delhi. The well-turned
out and synchronised military and police
formations led by General Officer Com-
manding (Delhi) Lt General Subroto Mitra
marched proudly to the tunes of bands
through the Rajpath where President
Pranab Mukherjee, the Supreme Com-
mander of Armed Forces, took salute for
the first time after assuming office in July
2012. The impressive march-past was
watched by Chief Guest, King of Bhutan
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk.
Bhutan King to be the Chief
Guest at Indias Republic
Day for the Year 2013
Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel
Wangchuck is to be the chief guest at the
Republic Day parade for the year 2013.
The Bhutan King is also to be the chief
guest at the Confederation of Indian In-
dustry Partnership Summit-2013 to be
held at Agra from 27th to 29 January 2013.
Bhutan King's visit will contribute to fur-
ther strengthening and expanding the
close bilateral relations between India and
Bhutan. The unique and special relations
between the two neighbouring countries
are characterized by everlasting friend-
ship, deep understanding and mutual
11th Pravasi Bharatiya
The three-day 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Di-
vas (PBD) kicked off in Kochi on 7 January
2013. The event saw delightful response
from the people with more than 2000
registrations. The distinctive feature of
this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is that
this is the first time that there is going to
be an exclusive session on Middle East.
The organizing partner of this year sum-
mit is Indo-Canada Chamber of Com-
merce (ICCC).
Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs
Vayalar Ravi is leading the day-long
Middle-East session along with Chief Min-
ister of Kerala Oommen Chandy and Jo-
seph. The whole day event of 7th January
2013 would see discussions on problems
that people from Kerala face in the region.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will in-
augurate the annual flagship event on 8
January2013 and President Pranab
Mukherjee will deliver the valedictory
address on 9 January 2013and also con-
fer the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated
on 9th January every year to mark the
contribution of Overseas Indian commu-
nity in the development of India. January
9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this
occasion since it was on this day in 1915
that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest
Pravasi, returned to India from South Af-
rica, led Indias freedom struggle and
changed the lives of Indians forever.
PBD conventions are being held every
year since 2003. These conventions pro-
vide a platform to the overseas Indian
community to engage with the govern-
ment and people of the land of their an-
cestors for mutually beneficial activities.
These conventions are also very useful in
networking among the overseas Indian
community residing in various parts of the
world and enable them to share their ex-
periences in various fields.
During the event, individuals of excep-
tional merit are honoured with the pres-
tigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award
to appreciate their role in Indias growth.
The event also provides a forum for dis-
cussing key issues concerning the Indian
National Development
Council (NDC)
approves 12th Five Year
Countrys apex policy making body NDC
has approved the strategy to achieve av-
erage growth rate of 8 pc during the 12th
Five Year Plan (2012-17), generate 50 mil-
lion new jobs and increase investments
in infrastructure sector. I am very happy
that NDC (National Development Coun-
cil) has approved the 12th Five Year Plan.
We have marginally reduced the average
annual growth rate to 8 per cent (from
8.2 per cent). We expect with the growth
rate of 5.8 per cent this fiscal and little
over 7 per cent next fiscal, and with extra
effort in the remaining three more years
we can reach 8 per cent, Planning Com-
mission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh
Ahluwalia said in New Delhi on Thursday.
The voluminous document, containing
detailed policy strategy for the 12th Plan,
was approved at the full meeting of the
NDC chaired by Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh. The document has
pegged the aggregate Plan resources at
Rs 37.16 lakh crore during the five year
period starting 2012-13. Singh assured all
Chief Ministers that Centre has taken note
of the points raised by them, including
those in the written speeches. All these
points will be carefully considered by the
Planning Commission, he said, adding,
the Plan is not a rigid blue print.
It is a broad directional and
aspirational document, which must al-
low for modification on the basis of ex-
perience... We must now devote all our
energies to implementing the Plan, the
Prime Minister said. Moving away from
previous practice of presenting single
growth projection, the Planning Commis-
sion has come out with three different
economic scenarios for 12th Five-Year
Plan. As per the aspirational scenario
one of strong inclusive growth
Indias economic growth will be average
8 percent in the five years. The document
also cautions that in scenario of policy
logjam, the GDP growth could slow down
to 5-5.5 percent. The document proposes
to bring down poverty by 10 percentage
points by the end of the 12th Plan and
generate five crore new jobs in non-farm
sector. As regard the infrastructure sec-
tor, it says that efforts should be made to
increase investment in this sector to 9
percent of the GDP by the end of the Plan
period. The other targets include increas-
ing green cover by one million hectare
every year and adding 30,000 MW of re-
newable energy generation capacity in
the Plan period. It also seeks to reduce
emission intensity of the GDP in line with
the target of 20-25 reduction by 2020
over 2005 levels. Although the docu-
ment envisages 6.7 percent growth rate
in the current fiscal, it has been projected
at 5.7-5.9 percent in 2012-13 by the Fi-
nance Ministry. The strategy for the full
Plan would aim at raising agriculture out-
put to 4 percent and manufacturing sec-
tor growth to 10 percent. It also wants all
the states to set higher targets of growth
than what was achieved in the 11th Five
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
8 88 88
Year Plan.
Govt postpones GAAR
implementation by 2
years to 2016
Giving a big relief to overseas investors,
the government has postponed imple-
mentation of controversial GAAR provi-
sions by two years to April 1, 2016. Hav-
ing considered all the circumstances and
relevant factors, the government has
...decided that provisions of Chapter 10A
of the Income Tax Act (dealing with GAAR)
will come into force from April 1, 2016 as
against April 1, 2014, Finance Minister P
Chidambaram said in New Delhi on Mon-
day. The General Anti Avoidance Rules
(GAAR) provisions, introduced by the then
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the
Budget 2012-13, were aimed at checking
tax avoidance by overseas investors. The
proposal, however, generated contro-
versy, with investors expressing apprehen-
sions that it would result in unnecessary
harassment by tax authorities. The deci-
sion to postpone the implementation,
Chidambaram said, follows the recom-
mendations of the Shome Committee
which was set up by Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh in July last year to look
into investor concerns. The government,
Chidambaram further said, has accepted
major recommendations of the panel
with some modifications.
The GAAR provisions, the Minister also
clarified, would override the double taxa-
tion avoidance agreement (DTAA) benefits
if the arrangements were intended solely
to evade taxes. GAAR abbreviation stands
for general-anti-avoidance rules and it has
been introduced in India due to
VODAFONE case ruling in favour of this
company by the Supreme Court. The new
rules will come into effect from 01 April,
GAAR Implications in India
Indian Government is trying to give
powers to income tax authorities as
implementation of GAAR provides tre-
mendous powers to deny tax benefit to
an entity if a transaction has been carried
with the sole intention of tax avoidance.
Due to powers in the hand of taxmen, now
innocents may be harassed by them.
FII & FDI money coming to India
through Mauritius route will now become
Increased litigations.
Golden Globe Awards
The 70th annual Golden Globes took over
Hollywood on Sunday evening (January
13), with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
hilariously at the helm. Argo was the
nights biggest surprise, as director Ben
Affleck bounced back from an Oscar snub
earlier in the week to accept Globe wins
for director and Motion Picture - Drama.
The triumphs for Les Miserables were
easier to predict: the film took home stat-
ues for actor (Hugh Jackman), supporting
actress (Anne Hathaway) and Motion Pic-
ture - Musical or Comedy.
On the TV side of things, Homeland had
an even more impressive night than the
Showtime series did last year, adding a
Best Actor (Damien Lewis) win to its re-
peats for Best Drama Series and Best Ac-
tress in a Drama Series (Claire Danes). On
the same night that its second season
debuted on HBO, Girls and creator Lena
Dunham notched wins for best comedic
actress and Best Television Series - Musi-
cal or Comedy. Check out the full list of
Golden Globe winners below!
Best Motion Picture - Drama: Argo
Best Actress - Drama: Jessica Chastain,
Zero Dark Thirty
Best Actor - Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis,
Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Mu-
sical: Les Miserables
Best Actress - Comedy or Musical: Jen-
nifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Actor - Comedy or Musical: Hugh
Jackman, Les Miserables
Best Supporting Actress: Anne
Hathaway, Les Miserables
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz,
Django Unchained
Best Director: Ben Affleck, Argo
Best Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino,
Django Unchained
Best Animated Feature Film: Brave
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour
Best Original Score: Mychael Danna,
Life Of Pi (Indian Film)
Best Original Song: Skyfall, Adele
from Skyfall
Best TV Series - Drama: Homeland
Best Actress TV Series - Drama: Claire
Danes, Homeland
Best Actor TV Series - Drama: Damien
Lewis, Homeland
Best TV Series - Comedy or Musical:
Best Actress TV Series - Comedy or Musi-
cal: Lena Dunham, Girls
Best Actor TV Series - Comedy or Musi-
cal: Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Best TV Miniseries or Movie: Game
Best Actress - TV Miniseries or Movie:
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Best Actor - TV Miniseries or Movie:
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Best Supporting Actress - TV Series,
Miniseries, Movie: Maggie Smith,
Downton Abbey
Cecil B. Demille Award: Jodie Foster
Usha Mehra
The Government has set up a Commission
of Inquiry to identify lapses and fix respon-
sibility in the gang rape of a 23 year-old
girl in a moving bus in Delhi on Decem-
ber 16. According to a decision taken by
the Cabinet in its meeting, the one-per-
son Commission will be headed by former
Delhi High Court judge, Justice Usha
Mehra. The commission will suggest mea-
sures to make Delhi and NCR safer for
women. It will submit its report within
three months, which will be tabled in Par-
liament along with action taken by the
The Commission has been set up to en-
quire into various aspect of the shocking
incident of rape and brutal assault of a
young woman in Delhi on 16.12.2012,
identify the lapses, if any, on the part of
the police or any other Authority or per-
son that contributed to the occurrence;
and fix responsibility for the lapses and/
or negligence on the part of the police or
any other Authority or person. The Com-
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
9 99 99
mission shall suggest measures to improve the safety and secu-
rity of women, particularly in NCT of Delhi and NCR.
Chairman of the 20th Law
Commission Appointed
Justice D. K. Jain, Judge, Supreme Court of India, will be the
Chairman of the Twentieth Law Commission of India. Accord-
ing to the Notification issued here today, the appointment of
Justice Jain will be effective from any day after 24th January
2013 on his retirement from the Supreme Court. The Twenti-
eth Law Commission was constituted through a Government
Order with effect from 1st September, 2012. It has a three-year
term ending on 31st August, 2015.
Justice JS Verma Panel Report
The Justice Verma panel, which is a 3-member commission cre-
ated to review the laws for sexual crimes submitted the report
to the Government of India on 23 January 2013. Justice Verma
panel was created after the brutal gang rape of the Para-medi-
cal student on 16 December 2012. Former Chief Justice of In-
dia, Justice JS Verma headed the commission and reviewed the
laws on sexual crimes which exist already.
The report was prepared by the panel in its 30-day deadline.
The former CJI described that there were more than 80000 sug-
gestions from the length and breadth of India as well as abroad
after 5 January 2013 was declared as the deadline for receiving
comments from common man in order to refurbish the present
legislation that deals with the sex offenders.
Malala Yousafzai
The Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the
Taliban for campaigning for education for girls, was discharged
yesterday from the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham,
England after success in the first stage of her medical treatment.
Yousafzai was shot in October by Taliban forces on a school bus
in Mingora, in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. She was given emer-
gency treatment in Pakistan and then flown to Britain for treat-
ment at a specialist unit which deals with injured soldiers.
Ami Bera and Tulsi Gabbard
Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii has created history by not only be-
coming the first Hindu ever to be sworn in as a member of the
US House of Representatives, but also being the first ever US
lawmaker to have taken oath of office on the sacred Bhagavad
Gita. Currently, she was a Company Commander with the Ha-
waii Army National Guard.
Ami Bera and Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu ever elected to the
US House of Representatives
Ami Bera, an Indian-American physician from California and Tulsi
Gabbard, the first Hindu ever elected to the US House of Repre-
sentatives, created history as they were sworn in as members
of the 113th Congress. Raised by a Hindu mother and a Catholic
father in a multiracial, multicultural, multi faith family,
Gabbard, 31, the first American Samoan and one of the first
female combat veterans in US Congress, took her oath of office
Thursday on the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu scripture. Democrat
Gabbard, who represents Hawaii in the Congress previously
served on the Honolulu City Council and as a Hawaii state rep-
resentative. She was the youngest woman in the United States
to be elected to a state legislature.
Fiscal cliff in us
In the United States, the fiscal cliff is the sharp decline in the
budget deficit that could have occurred beginning in 2013 due
to increased taxes and reduced spending as required by previ-
ously enacted laws. The deficit-the amount by which govern-
ment spending exceeds its revenue-was projected to be reduced
by roughly half in 2013. TheCongressional Budget Office (CBO)
had estimated that the sharp decrease in the deficit would have
likely led to a mild recession in 2013 with the unemployment
rate rising to roughly 9 percent in the second half of the year.
The fiscal cliff was largely eliminated by the eleventh-hour pas-
sage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
100th Indian Science Congress
The theme selected for the centenary session is Science for
shaping the future of India. Annual Session of Indian Science
Congress has emerged as a major national event. The cente-
nary session held on 3rd 7th January, 2013.
Childrens Science Congress (Rashtriya
Kishore Vaigyanik Sammelan)
As a part of the Indian Science Congress, the Children Science
Congress is organized simultaneously to provide a unique op-
portunity to children to use their Scientific temperament and
knowledge and to quench their thirst for creativity by conduct-
ing scientific experiments. It generally comprises of a three days
event which encourages children to visualize science and stimu-
late their scientific temperament by giving the school children
a unique platform to showcase their innovation and creativity
in scientific projects. You are cordially invited to be a part of
Children Science Congress to be hosted by University of Calcutta
on January 4th, 5th and 6th, 2013 at Satyendra Nath Bose Na-
tional Centre for Basic Sciences, Salt Lake.
Womens Science Congress
The 100th Indian Science Congress is organizing a special
programme Women empowerment for the development of
the country. This programme is intended to showcase the con-
tribution of women in science and technology. Renowned
women scientists will be delivering lectures in this session. The
session will also deliberate on the role of Science and Technol-
ogy in empowering women and ways and means of tapping their
potential as innovators, implementers of innovations in addi-
tion to being beneficiaries of innovations.
14th Finance Commission
Former RBI Governor Y. V. Reddy will be the Chairman of 14th
Finance Commission; the 13th Finance Commission was headed
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
10 10 10 10 10
by former Finance Secretary Vijay Kelkar.
The Finance Commission has been asked
to submit its report by 31st October, 2014.
Finance Commission, a constitutional
body, is set up every five years. Besides
other things, the Commission lays down
principles governing the grants-in-aid to
states and other local bodies for a five-
year period beginning 1st April 2014.
As mandated by the Article 280 of the
Constitution, the Government has consti-
tuted the Fourteenth Finance Commission
consisting of Dr. Y.V.Reddy, former Gover-
nor Reserve Bank of India, as the Chair-
man and the following four other mem-
bers, namely: -
1. Prof Abhijit Sen
Member, Planning Commission (Member)
(Part Time)
2. Ms. Sushma Nath
Former Union Finance Secretary (Mem-
3. Dr. M.Govinda Rao
Director, National Institute for Public Fi-
nance and Policy, New Delhi
4. Dr. Sudipto Mundle
Former Acting Chairman,
National Statistical Commission (Mem-
Ajay Narayan Jha shall be the Secretary
to the Commission. The Commission shall
make its report available by the 31st Oc-
tober, 2014, covering a period of five years
commencing on the 1st April, 2015.
Khap panchayats diktat
on women dress code
and mobile unlawful : SC
The Supreme Court today ruled that Khap
panchayats diktat on dress code for
women and asking them not to carry
mobile is unlawful. A bench of justices
Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai
said such diktates are against the funda-
mental right to life and asked Khap
Panchayats , which are caste-based coun-
cils, to file their replies on the issue.
Burma military targeting
Kachin rebels
Military aircraft have been targeting rebel
areas in Burmas northern Kachin state
over the last five days. The footage, shot
by the humanitarian group Free Burma
Rangers, shows attack helicopters firing
on the ground and jets flying close to the
trenches of the rebel Kachin Indepen-
dence Army.
Higgs boson discovery
biggest scientific
breakthrough of 2012
The capture of the most wanted sub-
atomic particle in physics - Higgs boson -
has topped the chart of the years ten big-
gest scientific breakthroughs. Scientists
had been chasing the Higgs boson, nick-
named the God particle for more than
four decades. In July the team from the
European nuclear research facility at
CERN in Geneva announced the detection
of a particle that fitted the description of
the elusive Higgs. The boson is believed
to give matter mass via an associated
Higgs field that permeates space. With-
out the property of mass, the universe we
live in could not exist.
Scientists used the worlds biggest atom
smashing machine, the Large Hadron
Collider on the Swiss-French border, to
track down the missing particle.
Year End Review for the
Department of
Communications &
Information Technology
The Telecom sector has witnessed expo-
nential growth, especially in the wireless
segment, in the last few years. With
937.70 million telephone connections at
the end of September 2012, the Indian
telecom network is the second largest in
the world, only after China. Tele-density,
which shows the number of telephones
per 100 population in the country, was
77.04% at the end of September 2012.
The number of internet subscribers in-
creased from 22.39 million (including
13.35 million broadband subscribers) to
23.01 million (including 14.57 million
broadband subscribers) during the period
from January to June 2012. At the end of
September 2012, there were 15.08 mil-
lion broadband subscribers in the coun-
Telecom has evolved as a basic infrastruc-
ture like electricity, roads, water etc. and
has also emerged as one of the critical
components of economic growth required
for overall socio economic development
of the country. A study conducted recently
has found that, in India, 10% increase in
internet subscribers delivers, on an aver-
age, 1.08% increase in GDP. In the 10
states which had higher penetration of
Internet, the increase in growth was
higher at 2.36% on a average, for 10% in-
crease in Internet penetration. In the year
2009-10, these 10 states, referred to as
relatively developed States had internet
penetration rate of 2.76% compared to
the set of 9 Developing States having av-
erage internet penetration rate of only
0.61%. The study has also found that a
10% increase in mobile penetration de-
livers, on an average, 1.5% increase in
National Telecom Policy - 2012 (NTP-
2010) : The government approved Na-
tional Telecom Policy-2012 (NTP-2012) on
31st May 2012 which addresses the Vi-
sion, Strategic direction and the various
medium term and long term issues re-
lated to telecom sector. The primary ob-
jective of NTP-2012 is maximizing public
good by making available affordable, re-
liable and secure telecommunication and
broadband services across the entire
country. The main thrust of the Policy is
on the multiplier effect and transforma-
tional impact of such services on the over-
all economy. It recognizes the role of such
services in furthering the national devel-
opment agenda while enhancing equity
and inclusiveness. Availability of afford-
able and effective communications for the
citizens is at the core of the vision and
goal of the NTP-2012. NTP-2012 also rec-
ognizes the predominant role of the pri-
vate sector in this field and the conse-
quent policy imperative of ensuring con-
tinued viability of service providers in a
competitive environment. Pursuant to
NTP-2012, these principles would guide
decisions needed to strike a balance be-
tween the interests of users/consumers,
service providers and government rev-
Largest Kuchipudi
dance performance in
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
11 11 11 11 11
Hbad enters Guinness
In Hyderabad, a performance by 5,974
Kuchipudi dancers has found its way into
the Guinness Book of World Records for
being the largest Kuchipudi dance. The
artists of different ages performed to dif-
ferent songs at a time to set the record as
part of the 3rd International Kuchipudi
Dance Convention in Hyderabad last
night. The event was organised by Silicon
Andhra, a cultural organisation run by US-
based Telugus, at the GMC Balayogi sta-
dium. A representative of the Guinness
Book, who observed the event said it was
the largest Kuchipudi dance. Union Min-
ister D Purandeswari, who was present on
the occasion, appreciated the efforts of
the organisers and the dancers.
Rashtriya Gaurav Gram
Sabha Awards
The Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha
Purskar, 2012 was awarded to 16 best
performing Gram Panchayats and 170
Panchayats were felicitated representa-
tives of with Panchayat Sashaktikaran
Puraskar on the occasion of 3rdNational
Panchayati Raj Day. Four awards were
given to Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra
and Sikkim for cumulative raking and four
awards were given to Maharashtra,
Haryana, Rajasthan and Karnataka for in-
cremental raking. Approximately 1500
delegates such as State Ministers for
Panchayati Raj, Senior officials from State
Government Panchayati Raj Departments,
States elected representatives (ERs) from
the three tiers of PRIs, the national award
winning Panchayats as well as represen-
tatives from SCs/STs and Women attended
the function.
16th Summit of the Non-
Aligned Movement
(NAM) Summit
16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Move-
ment in Tehran closed with accepting a
600-page final document that mainly fo-
cuses on the Palestinian issue as well as
on Irans nuclear energy program, but
makes no mention of the Syrian civil war.
A Chinese state commentary qualifies the
summit as an important diplomatic ac-
complishment from Iran, having hosted
leaders and delegates of over 100 coun-
tries. 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned
Movement was held from 26 to 31 Au-
gust 2012 in Tehran, Iran.
Hizb ut-Tahrir
Three hundred Hizb ut-Tahrir supporters
protest in Jakarta ahead of Secretary of
State Hillary Clintons visit to Indonesia.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is an international Sunni
pan-Islamic political organisation. They
are commonly associated with the goal of
all Muslim countries unifying as an Islamic
state or caliphate ruled by Islamic law and
with a caliph head of state elected by
Muslims. The organization was founded
in 1953 in Jerusalem by Taqiuddin al-
Nabhani, an Islamic scholar and appeals
court judge (Qadi) from the Palestinian
village of Ijzim. Since then Hizb ut-Tahrir
has spread to more than 40 countries, and
by one estimate has about one million
members. Hizb ut-Tahrir is very active in
the west, particularly in the United King-
dom, and is also active in several Arab and
Central Asian countries, despite being
banned by some governments. The group
also has a growing presence in North
America, known as Hizb ut-tahrir America,
or HTA.
Oriya Novelist and
Academician Pratibha
Ray selected for 2011
Jnanpith Award
Renowned Oriya novelist, Pratibha Ray on
27 December 2012 selected for the pres-
tigious Jnanpith award for the year 2011
for her contribution to the field of Indian
literature. Pratibha Ray is the first Oriya
woman and fourth Oriya writer to get the
coveted award. Earlier Gopinath Mohanty
(1973), Sachidananda Routray (1986) and
Sitakant Mohapatra (1993) were con-
ferred the honour. The award carries a
cash prize of 7 lakh rupees, a citation and
a bronze statuette of Godess Saraswati.
Pratibha Ray was born in Alabol, a village
in Jagatsingpur district of Odisha.
ISRO scores on 100th
mission, PSLV rocket
launch successful
ISROs PSLV C21 rocket successfully
blasted off into space on its 100th mis-
sion on a cloudy on September 9, 2012.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was
among the cheering congregation of offi-
cials, scientists and media persons at the
Satish Dhawan Space Centre in
Sriharikota, AP. On this journey, the PSLV
C21 rocket ferried two dollar-paying for-
eign passengers a French Earth obser-
vation satellite Spot 6 and a Japanese mi-
cro satellite Proiteres into polar orbit.
The PSLV C21 was on its way to deliver
Spot 6 and Proiteres into a 655km polar
orbit inclined at an angle of 98.23 degrees
to the equator. SPOT and Indian remote
sensing satellites (launched earlier) are
the two leading earth observation satel-
lite series. SPOT 6 is the heaviest foreign
satellite ever to have been launched by
the ISRO, which has made launching sat-
ellites as a significant business activity
earning precious foreign exchange to the
The PSLV C21 cost Rs. 75 crore. away from
earth.More important, it has established
the country as a major player in the satel-
lite launching business, which started in
1999 as an additional baggage when ISRO
launched Indias own satellite. So far, ISRO
has launched 27 foreign satellites and the
two of this time total up its tally to 29.
India is also a major player in the space
with a the largest number of remote sens-
ing satellites that send back imagery in a
variety of spatial resolutions from more
than meter ranging up to 500 meters. This
rich collection of data also makes India an
important player in the data market. In-
dia has 12 remote sensing/earth obser-
vation satellites circling the earth which
makes it a leader in remote sensind data
market. The 12 satellites are :TES,
Resourcesat 1, Cartosat 1, 2, 2A and 2B,
IMS 1, Risat-2, Oceansat 2, Resourcesat-2,
Megha-Tropiques and Risat-1.
China has officially
opened the worlds
longest high-speed rail
China has officially opened the worlds
longest high-speed rail route, linking the
capital Beijing with the southern commer-
cial hub of Guangzhou. The first bullet
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
12 12 12 12 12
train left Beijing on Wednesday morning.
Trains will initially travel at 300km/h
(187mph), more than halving travel time.
A Chinese official has described the route
- parts of which were already in opera-
tion - as one of the most technically ad-
vanced in the world. The 2,298km route
will have 35 stops. They include such
major cities as Wuhan and Changsha. The
previously 22-hour journey will now take
less than 10 hours.
Nagaland enters
Guinness World Record
of Largest Electric
Guitar Ensemble
Nagaland today entered the Guinness
World Record of the Largest Electric Gui-
tar Ensemble surpassing England, with
368 musicians performing at Agri-Expo in
Dimapur today. England made the record
of 250 musicians in 2012 at Ricoh Arena.
The music was played on the song
Knockin on Heavens Door by Guns and
Roses. The result was announced by Ad-
judicator, India Nikhil Shukla. The event
was organized by Sky Entertainment in as-
sociation with the Government of
Nagaland Music Task Force.
Deathbed theory dreamt
by an Indian maths
genius is finally proved
correct - almost 100
years after he died
Theory came to Srinivasa Ramanujan in a
dream on his deathbed in 1920 - but has
never been proved & Discovery could now
be used to explain the behaviour of parts
of a black hole. Researchers have finally
solved the cryptic deathbed puzzle re-
nowned Indian mathematician Srinivasa
Ramanujan claimed came to him in
dreams. While on his death-bed in 1920,
Ramanujan wrote a letter to his mentor,
English mathematician G. H. Hardy, out-
lining several new mathematical functions
never before heard of, along with a hunch
about how they worked, Decades years
later, researchers say theyve proved he
was right - and that the formula could
explain the behaviour of black holes.
Weve solved the problems from his last
mysterious letters, Emory University
mathematician Ken Ono said. For people
who work in this area of math, the prob-
lem has been open for 90 years,
Ramanujan, a self-taught mathematician
born in a rural village in South India, spent
so much time thinking about math that
he flunked out of college in India twice,
Ono said.
Aaron Swartz, internet
freedom activist, dies
aged 26
Aaron Swartz, a celebrated internet free-
dom activist and early developer of the
website Reddit, has died at 26. The activ-
ist and programmer took his life in his
New York apartment, a relative and the
state medical examiner said. His body was
found. Mr Swartz began computer pro-
gramming as a chi ld, and at 14 co-
authored an early version of the RSS speci-
Messi wins record fourth
Ballon dOr
Lionel Messi added yet another record to
his stellar list of achievements over the
past 12 months on Monday when he won
an unprecedented fourth consecutive
Ballon dOr at a FIFA gala in Zurich. The
accolade seals Messis status as the great-
est player of his generation after he saw
off Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo
and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta
for the prize.
Central African
Republic ceasefire
Rebels fighting the government in the
Central African Republic have signed a
formal ceasefire following talks in Gabon.
The rebels and president agreed to the
formation of a unity government, which
will reportedly be formed on Saturday.
The Seleka rebel alliance took control of
northern and eastern CAR in a four-week
offensive starting on 10 December. It has
accused President Francois Bozize of
breaking previous peace deals. Fridays
ceasefire agreement was signed in
Gabons capital Libreville after three days
of talks mediated by neighbouring coun-
22 children to get
bravery awards
15-year-old Ramdinthara from Mizoram,
who sacrificed his life while trying to save
his friend from drowning, is the only child
to get the National Bravery Award post-
humously this year. Twenty-one others,
including four girls, will receive their
awards from Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh ahead of 63rd Republic Day. The
youngest among them is seven-year-old
Koroungamba Kuman from Manipur, who
showed outstanding bravery and saved his
younger sister from devastating fire which
broke out in his house.
The names of 22 bravehearts were an-
nounced by Indian Council for Child Wel-
fare (ICCW) in New Delhi on Friday. The
award is given every year to children who
show exemplary courage in difficult situ-
This year, 17-year-old Tarang Atulbhai
Mistry from Gujarat has been chosen for
the coveted Bharat Award for saving the
lives of four people who were drowning
in the 20-25 feet deep waters of Narmada
river after being swept away in the cur-
rent while taking bath on the occasion of
The prestigious Geeta Chopra award has
been conferred on a 17-year-old girl who
was instrumental in exposing the physi-
cal and sexual abuse of the inmates of a
childrens home in Delhi by the owner and
Unable to take on more abuse, she man-
aged to escape and approached an NGO,
who presented her before the Child Wel-
fare Committee.
Her plight forced the National Commis-
sion for Protection of Child Rights to send
a team which learnt of the physical, psy-
chological and sexual abuse of children,
selling of babies, forced labour and other
inhumane acts inflicted upon the hapless
destitute children.
11-year-old Gajendra Ram from
Chhattisgarh is being felicitated with
Sanjay Chopra award, for saving a child
from drowning in a 22-feet deep well.
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
13 13 13 13 13
Vijay Kumar Saini (17) of UP, Akanksha
Gaute (16.5) of Chhattisgarh and Hali
Raghunath Baraf (16.5) of Maharashtra
have been given the Bapu Gaidhani
Saini saved three persons from drowning
in the Ganges. Gaute, a black belt holder
in Karate with nine years of martial arts
training, valiantly fought three of the four
miscreants who attacked her and her fa-
ther when they were returning home,
while Baraf saved her sister from the jaws
of a tiger by attacking it with an iron rod
when they had gone in jungle to collect
Sapna Kumari Meena (14) from Rajasthan
is being felicitated for protesting against
her father, who was forcing her to get
married like her minor sisters.
She wrote to District Magistrate and ap-
pealed him to stop her wedding. Taking
prompt action, the District Magistrate di-
rected the Sub Divisional Magistrate to
stop her family members and prevent her
The other awardees include Devansh
Tiwari and Mukesh Nishad (Chhattisgarh),
Lalrinhlua (Mizoram), E Suganthan (Tamil
Nadu), Ramith K, Mebin Cyriac and Vishnu
M V (Kerala), Koroungamba Kuman
(Manipur), Samip Anil Pandit
(Maharashtra), Vishwendra Lohkna,
Satendra Lohkna and Pawan Kumar
Kanaujiya (UP), Stripleaseman Mylliem
(Meghalaya) and Suhai K M (Karnataka).
Kasturi Mohapatra, Secretary General of
ICCW while introducing the children to
media, said they were selected by a high
powered committee comprising repre-
sentatives of various Ministries and De-
partments, non-governmental
organisations as well as members of ICCW.
U R Rao joins Satellite
Hall of Fame
Former ISRO Chairman Prof U R Rao is
joining the highly prestigious Satellite Hall
of Fame in Washington. The rare honour
of Space Scientists was bestowed on him
by the Society of Satellite Professionals
International. It has also extended its
membership to him. An ISRO Press release
issued in Bangalore says that the Hall of
Fame recognises the invaluable contribu-
tion of the visionaries who have trans-
formed life for the better on planet earth
through satellite technology.
Election Commission of
India nominated Saina
Nehwal and Mary Kom
as the National Icons
The Election Commission (EC) of India on
22 January 2013 announced Saina Nehwal
and Mary Kom as the National Icons to
help promote, voter participation in In-
dia. Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom, both
are Olympic Bronze Medalists in the Lon-
don Olympics 2012, in Badminton and
Boxing respectively.
Apart from these two, Mahendra Singh
Dhoni, the Captain of the Indian National
Cricket Team and former President of In-
dia, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam are the existing
National Icons of the Board and they will
continue to be at the position.
The duo, Nehwal and Mary Kom are roped
in to be the National Icons to attract youth
voters in the age group of 18 to 19 years
in age. In its drive to revise the voters list
in 2012 by the poll panel they added 2.32
crore citizens to the national Voter List out
of which 93 lakh were the first time vot-
The third National Voters Day would be
observed by the Poll Panel on 25 January
2013 and some of the first-time voters
would be given their photo identity cards
on this day. The National Voters day is
celebrated on the foundation day of the
Election Commission.
Chinas Territorial
In recent years, China has become em-
broiled in a series of disputes over rights
to islands and seabeds in the South China
and East China seas. The areas are rich in
oil, gas, fishing and mineral resources. But
the conflicts are also driven by hard feel-
ings over the past, particularly Japans
decades of imperial conquest, and by
fears over the future, as the region ad-
justs to Chinas rise to superpower status.
Other nations in the region and the United
States have pushed for multilateral discus-
sions to ease tensions and resolve con-
flicts. But China has refused anything
other than bilateral talks on each issue
In November 2012, Beijing teamed up
with Cambodia, a close ally, to frustrate
plans by Southeast Asian nations to de-
velop a system for resolving such disputes.
In the summer and fall of 2012, tensions
ran highest between China and Japan over
a group of uninhabited islands in the East
Asian Sea that both countries claim. The
islands are known as the Diaoyu in China
and the Senkaku in Japan.
The trouble began on Aug. 15, when Japa-
nese authorities arrested 14 Chinese citi-
zens from a Hong Kong-based vessel af-
ter some of them staged a protest by land-
ing on one of the islands. The landing of
Japanese activists on one of the disputed
islands further intensified tensions. In re-
sponse, anti-Japanese protests, some vio-
lent, spread across China, apparently
chaperoned and approved by the police.
The governor of Tokyo, a well-known na-
tionalist, further angered Chinese activ-
ists by announcing that he wanted to buy
three of the disputed islands from their
owner, a Japanese citizen. He said he be-
lieved that Japans central government
was not doing enough to defend them.
The next week, the Japanese government
announced that it had bought all of the
islands from their private Japanese own-
ers for nearly $30 million. It said it acted
in the hope of forestalling further conflict,
but China accused Tokyo of stealing the
islands and dispatched two maritime en-
forcement ships in a show of force.
In late September, the Japanese Coast
Guard used water cannons to disperse
fishing boats from Taiwan near the islands,
which are also claimed by Taipei.
In October, China announced that it would
not send its finance minister or central
bank chief to the annual meetings of the
International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank in Tokyo. The decision was a
clear sign of Chinas displeasure with
Japans handling of the dispute over the
The last-minute cancellation, confirmed
by Japanese officials on Oct. 10, came as
a Japanese news agency reported that To-
kyo may try to defuse the standoff by of-
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
14 14 14 14 14
ficially acknowledging for the first time
that China also claims the islands.
On Oct. 11, a senior Chinese diplomat
made a secret visit to Tokyo to hold talks
aimed at defusing tensions between the
two countries, according to a Japanese
government spokesman. The spokesman,
Osamu Fujimura, said Luo Zhaohui, who
leads the Chinese Foreign Ministrys Asian
Affairs Department, met with Shinsuke
Sugiyama, the director general of the
Asian and Oceanic Affairs Bureau at
Japans Foreign Ministry.
According to a statement from the Japa-
nese ministry, the diplomats exchanged
opinions on the dispute and held prepa-
ratory talks for a higher-level meeting
between the two nations to take place at
an unspecified date.
In December, a Chinese military surveil-
lance plane entered what Japan consid-
ers its airspace near the disputed islands,
the Japanese Defense Ministry said. Japan
scrambled fighter jets in response, but the
Chinese plane left before they arrived, ac-
cording to Japanese authorities. The min-
istry said the planes incursion was the
first known violation of Japanese airspace
by a Chinese plane since they began keep-
ing records some 50 years ago. China con-
siders the airspace its own, because it is
laying claim to the islands that Japan has
controlled for decades. Tokyo lodged a
formal protest with Beijing, which swiftly
retorted that it was the Japanese who had
Deepak Parekh panel
Suggesting big-ticket reforms to attract
investment in the infrastructure sector, a
high-level committee, recommended in-
creasing electricity charges and rail fares.
The high-level committee on financing of
infrastructure, which is headed by HDFC
Chairman Deepak Parekh, also pitched for
100 per cent foreign direct investment
(FDI) in the telecom sector. The limit at
present is 74 per cent. The panel also sug-
gested raising prices of natural gas. These
recommendations are aimed at attracting
Rs.51.46 lakh crore for funding the infra-
structure sector during the XII Plan (2012-
17), according to the report, which was
presented to Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh. Suggesting a slew of reforms in
various sectors, including rail, power, coal,
gas supply and telecom highways, the re-
port says that the projected investment
of about Rs.51 lakh crore during the XII
Plan should not be taken for granted.
Naina Lal Kidwai
becomes first woman
President of FICCI
Naina Lal Kidwai on Saturday took over
as President of FICCI, becoming the first
woman to head the leading industry body.
FICCI said in a statement at the conclu-
sion of its Annual General Meeting in New
Delhi Kidwai, 55, is the first woman and
professional manager to be elected as
President of the chamber. Kidwai suc-
ceeds R V Kanoria of Kanoria Chemicals
& Industries Ltd. Chairman of Xpro India
Ltd and Digjam Ltd,Sidharth Birla, also has
been elected as Senior Vice-President of
Rangarajan Panel
The Rangarajan committee, set up to ex-
amine issues related to sugar decontrol,
has recommended complete decontrol of
the sugar industry. In its report, the com-
mittee has asked the government to re-
move levy sugar obligation (sugar for ra-
tion shops) and to do away with the regu-
lated release mechanism besides freeing
up the commodity's export and import.
The committee has recommended the
abolition of state advised price (SAP) - the
selling price of cane as fixed by state gov-
ernments - and the introduction of a
profit-sharing mechanism to arrive at a
uniform pricing for cane farmers. It has
suggested a dynamic two stage payment.
Mills would have to pay farmers the fair
and remunerative price fixed by the cen-
tral government at the onset of every crop
season. The report also advocates free-
dom for farmers to sell cane to any mill
irrespective of distance.
Whistleblowers Bill
The identity of whistle blowers is confi-
dential as per Department of Personnel
and Trainings Resolution dated 21st April,
2004. Therefore, data relating to whistle
blowers killed is not maintained centrally.
However, the Government has introduced
a Bill for protection of whistle blowers
which has been passed by the Lok Sabha
on 27th December, 2011 as the Whistle
Blowers Protection Bill, 2011 and is pres-
ently pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill
provides for adequate safeguards against
victimization of the person making disclo-
sure on any allegation of corruption or
willful misuse of power or willful misuse
of discretion against any public servant.
It is also provided that if the Competent
Authority is of the opinion that either the
complainant or public servant or the wit-
nesses, etc. need protection, the Compe-
tent Authority shall issue appropriate di-
rections to the concerned Government
authorities (including police) which shall
take necessary steps, through its agencies,
to protect such complainant or public ser-
vant or persons concerned.
India bags Kabaddi
World Cup in both
Men's, Women's
India has won the 3rd World Cup Kabaddi
Tournament for the third consecutive
time in Mens category and second
consective time in Womens category. In-
dian men thrahsed its arch rival Pakistan
with a decisive margin of 59-22 points
whereas, Indian eves out scored Malay-
sia by 72-12. Both the finals were played
at Guru Nanak Dev Stadium in Ludhiana.
Indian men won the prize money of Two
crore rupees and women won 51 lakh ru-
pees. However, the prize money for
women has been increased to One crore
rupees from the next year.
AIR Jalandhar Correspondent reports that
with these wins by India, the curtains
were drawn on this 15-daya kabaddi ex-
travaganza played all over Punjab.
Indian men registered a hat trick by dash-
ing Pakistan to the ground in every aspect.
At the end of the first half, Indian men
squad was leading with a point difference
of 34-9. Indias raider and stoppers
showed an extraordinary sport in collect-
ing points for their country. Whereas,
some of the Pakistan palyers tried their
best but could not break the Chakravyuh
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Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
17 17 17 17 17
of Indians and lost.
Womens final was virtually a one sided
show as Malaysian team was no match
against Indian eves. In men categories,
second and third prizes went to Pakistan
and Canada and in women category, it
went to Malaysia and Denmark, respec-
tively. The cultural show having bollywood
stars mesmerized the audience.
Hilary Mantel wins 2012
Man Booker Prize
The whittling has finished. The judges of
this years Man Booker Prize started with
a daunting 145 novels and have win-
nowed, sifted, culled, and in some cases
hurled, until there was only one left: Hi-
lary Mantels Bring up the Bodies. Hers is
a story unique in Man Booker history. She
becomes only the third author, after Pe-
ter Carey and J.M. Coetzee, to win the
prize twice, which puts her in the empy-
rean. But she is also the first to win with
a sequel (Wolf Hall won in 2009) and the
first to win with such a brief interlude
between books. Her resuscitation of Tho-
mas Cromwell and with him the histori-
cal novel is one of the great achieve-
ments of modern literature. There is the
last volume of her trilogy still to come so
her Man Booker tale may yet have a fur-
ther chapter.
The writing will have to wait a bit though.
She may have won before but the torrent
of media interest will still knock her back
as if shes been hit by a wave. In 2009 she
confessed to feeling as though she were
flying through the air, well, shes soar-
ing again. When she lands she wont have
time to think and she will talk into micro-
phones until her throat is sore. It comes
with the territory: everyone wants a bit
of the Man Booker winner.
The Man Booker International Prize rec-
ognizes one writer for his or her achieve-
ment in fiction. Worth 60,000, the prize
is awarded every two years to a living au-
thor who has published fiction either
originally in English or whose work is
generally available in translation in the
English language. The winner is chosen
solely at the discretion of the judging
panel and there are no submissions from
publishers. The Man Booker International
Prize is significantly different from the
annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction. In
seeking out literary excellence, the judges
consider a writers body of work rather
than a single novel.
2012 Nobel Prizes
Serge Haroch David J. Wineland
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 was
awarded jointly to Serge Haroche and
David J. Winelandfor ground-breaking
experimental methods that enable mea-
suring and manipulation of individual
quantum systems
Robert J. Lefkowitz & Brian K. Kobilka
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012 was
awarded jointly to Robert J. Lefkowitz and
Brian K. Kobilkafor studies of G-protein-
coupled receptors
Sir John B. Gurdon S h i n y a
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
2012 was awarded jointly to Sir John B.
Gurdon and Shinya Yamanakafor the dis-
covery that mature cells can be repro-
grammed to become pluripotent
Mo Yan
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 was
awarded to Mo Yanwho with hallucina-
tory realism merges folk tales, history and
the contemporary.
European Union (EU)
The Nobel Peace Prize 2012 was awarded
to European Union (EU)for over six de-
cades contributed to the advancement of
peace and reconciliation, democracy and
human rights in Europe.
NOBEL 2012
Alvin E. Roth Lloyd S.
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
18 18 18 18 18
Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2012
was awarded jointly to Alvin E. Roth and
Lloyd S. Shapleyfor the theory of stable
allocations and the practice of market
The Indian Grand Prix
Formula One championship leader
Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the
Indian Grand Prix on October 27, 2012,
edging out team-mate Mark Webber by
four-hundredths of a second for Red Bulls
third straight front-row sweep. McLaren
pair Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button
qualified third and fourth at the Buddh
International Circuit, ahead of the Ferraris
of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
Alonso trails Vettel by six points in the
drivers championship.
Vettel is primed for a fourth consecutive
win as he chases a third straight F1 title;
something only previously achieved by
Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael
Schumacher. Vettel also completed the
double of pole and race victory in last
years inaugural Indian GP.
Fortunately, I got the lap together. I was
very happy with the lap, Vettel said. Its
been a great weekend so far, no problem
with the car. Pole position, coupled with
his recent dominant form, suggests Vettel
will be very hard to stop in Sundays race
but he did add a note of caution. To-
morrow is the major exercise, Vettel said.
The McLarens were very quick on the
long runs in practice, along with the
Located 60 kilometers away from New
Delhi in the province of Greater Noida,
Buddh International Circuit, the newest
addition to the F1 family in October 2011
was conceived by the circuit architect
Hermann Tilke, reknown for all the latest
F1 circuits on the map Sepang, Yas Ma-
rina, Valencia... The Indian Grand Prix cir-
cuit, which required the displacement of
four million cubic tons of dirt, can wel-
come up to 130.000 spectators.
- Track Length 5,125 km
- Amount of laps 60
- Race distance 307,249 km
- Corners 15
- Top Speed 318 km/h
- Average Speed 210 km/h
- Lap Record Time 1:27.249 - Sebastian
Vettel (2011)
Flags of Formula One : Flags of Formula
One Marshals at various points around the
circuit are issued with a number of stan-
dard flags, all used to communicate vital
messages to the drivers as they race
around the track. A special display in each
drivers cockpit - known as a GPS marshal-
ling system - also lights up with the rel-
evant flag colour, as the driver passes the
affected section of track. Travelling at such
high speeds, it may be hard for a driver
to spot a marshals flag and this system
helps them identify messages from race
control more effectively.
Chequered flag : Indicates to drivers that
the session has ended. During practice
and qualifying sessions it is waved at the
allotted time, during the race it is shown
first to the winner and then to every car
that crosses the line behind him.
Yellow flag : Indicates danger, such as a
stranded car, ahead. A single waved yel-
low flag warns drivers to slow down, while
two waved yellow flags at the same post
means that drivers must slow down and
be prepared to stop if necessary. Overtak-
ing is prohibited.
Green flag : All clear. The driver has passed
the potential danger point and prohibi-
tions imposed by yellow flags have been
Red flag : The session has been stopped,
usually due to an accident or poor track
Blue flag : Warns a driver that he is about
to be lapped and to let the faster car over-
take. Pass three blue flags without com-
plying and the driver risks being
penalised. Blue lights are also displayed
at the end of the pit lane when the pit
exit is open and a car on track is approach-
Yellow and red striped flag : Warns driv-
ers of a slippery track surface, usually due
to oil or water.
Black with orange circle flag : Accompa-
nied by a car number, it warns a driver
that he has a mechanical problem and
must return to his pit.
Half black, half white flag : Accompanied
by a car number, it warns of unsporting
behaviour. May be followed by a black flag
if the driver does not heed the warning.
Black flag : Accompanied by a car num-
ber, it directs a driver to return to his pit
and is most often used to signal to the
driver that he has been excluded from the
White flag : Warns of a slow moving ve-
hicle on track.
Shome panel submits
final report on retro-tax
The Parthasarathi Shome panel appointed
by the government, submitted its final
report on the taxation of indirect transfer
of assets, provided for in the Budget 2012-
13, to finance minister P Chidambaram.
The draft report was submitted to the gov-
ernment early during the month and com-
ments were also invited. The draft had
made a case for prospective implemen-
tation of the provision while the waiver
of penalty and interest in case of retro-
spective implementation.
ICC World Twenty20,
2012 world cup West
Indies won by 36 runs
There was no fairytale finish for the host
nation, no culmination of a dream for its
brave captain. Instead, international
crickets most admired team walked away
with the spoils, as West Indies justified
pre-tournament favourite status by lifting
the ICC World Twenty20 2012 crown in
sensational fashion. West Indies first glo-
bal title since it won the ICC Champions
Trophy 2004 at The Oval in London thus
consigned Sri Lanka to a fourth consecu-
tive defeat in the final of an ICC tourna-
ment, a miserable run that dates back to
2007. A fourth of the way into the title
clash in front of a capacity 35,000-strong
crowd including Sri Lankan President
Mahinda Rajapaksa at the R Premadasa
Stadium on Sunday night, the West Indies
had all but batted itself out of the game.
Then, it found a timely hero in Marlon
Samuels. Batting like a man possessed,
Samuels single-handedly resurrected an
innings that had been stifled by the parsi-
mony of Angelo Mathews and the prolific
wicket-taking ways of Ajantha Mendis.
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
19 19 19 19 19
Samuels tore into Lasith Malinga, arguably
the best Twenty20 bowler of the past few
seasons, on his way to a stirring 78 off 56
deliveries. In the process, he carried West
Indies to 137 for 6.
It wasnt the most intimidating total, but
on a slowing surface that cried out to be
exploited by the spin resources at Darren
Sammys disposal, it needed some getting.
Through brilliance with the ball, commit-
ment in the field and fuelled by the de-
sire to do it for the Caribbean people, the
West Indies beat Sri Lanka at its own
game, bowling the host out for 101 to
complete an emotion-soaked and com-
prehensive 36-run victory.
Sri Lanka needed at least one of its top
three the experienced unit of Mahela
Jayawardena, its inspirational captain,
Ti llakaratne Di lshan and Kumar
Sangakkara to anchor the chase. Dilshan
was knocked over in the second over by a
beauty from Ravi Rampaul, and while
Jayawardena and Sangakkara did put on
42, they took 50 deliveries in doing so as
West Indies kept things remarkably tight.
Sangakkaras dismissal, trying to force the
tempo, set in motion an extraordinary
passage of play as wickets tumbled in a
rush. There is no greater advantage in a
cup final than scoreboard pressure; Sri
Lanka completely succumbed to it, espe-
cially after Jayawardenas second-gear
effort was terminated by Sunil Narine,
who sowed the early seeds of doubt by
ripping his first couple of deliveries past
Sangakkaras hopeful blade.
Sri Lanka completely lost its head after its
captains dismissal and played itself out
of contention through two silly run-outs.
The sound of silence gripped the stadium
but the West Indies, Gangnam Style and
all, couldnt be bothered. Until Samuelss
blitzkrieg, though, the West Indian innings
was headed nowhere. Runs came in a
trickle as Sri Lanka began brilliantly, keep-
ing up the pressure through Mathews and
Nuwan Kulasekara. Johnson Charles fell
prey to frustration in the first over from
Mathews, a wicket-maiden, after four dot
balls, while Kulasekara conceded only
wide in his first over to Chris Gayle.
The West Indies had limped to 12 for 1
after five, and when Ajantha snared Gayle
with a straighter one in his first over
Gayle had never looked like he was in any
control, taking 16 deliveries for a tortured
three the West Indies finished the Power
Play at 14 for 2, easily its lowest ever. The
first ten overs yielded just one four; oth-
erwise, forget the boundaries, even the
twos had completely dried up. At 32 for 2
after 10, Sri Lanka had a serious strangle-
In the final analysis, the 11th over proved
the most critical one of the game. It only
produced six runs, but it was the over in
which Samuels was reprieved, by
Kulasekara running round to his right from
long-off as the batsman tried to drive
Jeevan Mendiss leg-spin over the bound-
ary. Samuels was then on 20, out of 33
for 2. Taking that as the cue to stamp his
authority on the final, Samuels cut loose
in some style. His assault on Malinga had
to be seen to be believed. It wasnt as if
Malinga bowled too badly; Samuels,
though, was in the zone, unleashing a
bucketful of fury on the hapless bowler.
What was pleasing about Samuelss pyro-
technics was that he played fabulous
cricketing shots. There was one gorgeous
drive over cover and a top-edged pull,
both easily clearing the boundary rope,
but otherwise his breathtaking innings
was characterised by brilliant use of the
straight field.
Dwayne Bravo played no more than a bit
part in the only partnership of substance,
59 off 49 for the third wicket, until he was
adjudged leg before to Ajantha, but that
association had given the West Indies re-
newed hope. That hope burgeoned the
longer Samuels stayed at the wicket. Hav-
ing taken 21 off Malingas second over, he
smashed Jeevan for 14 in his second, then
picked up 19 off Malingas third, with two
more sixes and a peach of a cut-drive be-
hind point. In all, he hammered one four
and five sixes off Malinga alone, leaving
him with figures of none for 54 from four
overs. Contrast this with Mathews, who
bowled four overs for 11 and Ajantha, who
finished with 4 for 12 from his quota, and
it puts the Samuels innings in perspective.
Ajantha did cut a swathe through the
middle order, but even after Samuels fell
playing one stroke too many to give Akila
Dananjaya his only success, the West
Indies was far from finished. Sammy
dented Kulasekaras figures in the last over
by alternating between helter-skelter run-
ning and two beefy hits to pick up 16. At
the break, the West Indies total appeared
competitive but gettable. By the end, it
was a mile too far, again, for Sri Lanka.
58th Idea Filmfare
58th Idea Filmfare Awards were given
away on 20 January 2013 at YRF Studio,
Andheri. At the 58th Idea Fi lmfare
Awards, Barfi!, the much-acclaimed film
grabbed seven Black Lady awards while,
Kahaani bagged five awards. The award
for the Best Actor was given to Ranbir
Kapoor for his deaf-mute performance in
Vidya Balan, on the other hand was ad-
judged as the Best Actress for Kahaani.
Barfi! was awarded with the Best Film
award, while Kahaanis director Sujoy
Ghosh won the Black Lady for the Best
Director. The lifetime achievement award
was given away to Yash Chopra posthu-
mously. Yash Chopras wife Pamela col-
lected this award on his behalf.
Rest of the awards was as follows:
Critics Award for Best Actor: Irrfan Khan
for Paan Singh Tomar (Director:
Tigmanshu Dhulia)
Critics Award for Best Film: Gangs of
Wasseypur (Director: Anurag Singh
Kashyap )
Critics Award for Best Actor (Female):
Richa Chadda for Gangs of Wasseypur
Best Lyricist: Gulzar for Challa (Jab Tak
Hai Jaan: Director Yash Chopra)
Best Music Director: Pritam for Barfi!
Best Background Score: Pritam for Barfi!
Best Production Design: Rajat Podar for
Best Playback (Female): Shalmali
Kholgade for the song Pareshaan
Best Playback (Male): Ayushmann
Khurrana for the song Pani da Rang
Lifetime Achievement Award -Yash
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female):
Anushka Sharma (Jab Tak Hai Jaan)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male):
Annu Kapoor (Vicky Donor)
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
20 20 20 20 20
Indian Railways Bag the
Highest Ever 11
National Energy
Conservation Awards
for the Year 2012
The President of India, Pranab
Mukherjee, presented the 11 National
Energy Conservation Awards 2012 to
Indian Railways, the highest ever by any
Indian industry, for the remarkable
achievements by its Zonal Railways in En-
ergy Conservation initiatives during the
year 2012, at a function here today. In
order to intensify the energy conservation
initiatives, Ministry of Power has insti-
tuted National Energy Conservation
Award which is given on National Energy
Conservation Day on December 14 every
year. These awards are given to 11 major
category (like Railways, hospitals, office
buildings, industry, power plant etc.) cov-
ering 35 different subsectors of large and
medium scale industries mainly on the
basis of improvement in specific energy
and energy conservation initiatives.
Chairman, Railway Board, Vinay Mittal,
Member Electrical, Kul Bhushan and
other Railway officials were present
among others on the occasion.
Awards for the above including Railways
category are decided by Award Evalua-
tion Committee under Bureau of Energy
Efficiency (BEE) based on approved evalu-
ation criteria. Electrical Energy Manage-
ment (EEM) Department, Railway Board
is a permanent member of Award Evalu-
ation Committee. Total 87 awardees out
of total 773 applications were selected
(1st Prize 29 nos., 2nd Prize 26 and
Certificate of Merit 32 Nos.) for National
Energy Conservation Awards 2012.
To proliferate energy conservation mea-
sures on Indian Railways, for reducing the
energy intensity and electricity consump-
tion, Electrical Energy Management
(EEM) Directorate of Railway Board has
enunciated a number of policies for
implementation by Zonal Railways. To
give a focussed attention in this direction
the year 2011-12 was also declared as
The Year of Green Energy by Indian
Railways and dedicated efforts were made
for creating awareness for green energy
initiatives, tapping non-conventional en-
ergy resources, energy conservation mea-
sures etc. These efforts have resulted into
a reduction of 1.03 per cent of electricity
consumption for non traction application
(2458.34 Million unit during 2011-12 as
compared to 2483.96 Million units dur-
ing 2010-11) despite about five per cent
increase in connected load.
The eleven awards received by the Rail-
ways are as follow:-
A. Zonal Railway Category;
1. Northern Railway First
2. South East Central Railway Second
3. Central Railway Certificate of Merit
4. Western Railway do
B Office Building Category: (Open cat-
egory at National level)
(a) Category I (consumption less than
10 lakh unit/year)
5. DRM Office Ambala/Northern Railway
6. DRM Office Varanasi/Northern East-
ern Railway Second
7. DRM Office Jodhpur/North Western
Railway Certificate of Merit
(b) Category I (consumption more than
10 lakh unit/year)
8. DRM Office Ahemdabad/Western Rail-
way - First
C. Hospital category: (Open category at
National level)
(a) Category I consumption less than
10 lakh unit/year
9. Divisional Hospital, Izzatnagar, North
Eastern Railway First
10. Divisional Hospital Guntakal, South Cen-
tral Railway Second
11. Divisional Hospital, Bhopal, West Cen-
tral Railway Certificate of Merit
Direct Cash Transfer
scheme from Jan next
The ambitious electronic Direct Cash
Transfer scheme for beneficiaries of
subsidised items will be rolled out from
January next year and is expected to cover
16 states by April 2014, the government
announced on November 16, 2012. The
scheme, which is aimed at curtailing cor-
ruption and pilferage of subsidised items,
will be based on the payment platform of
Aadhaar which is also to be rolled out
speedily in line with it. These decisions
were taken at a meeting held by the Prime
Minister s Principal Secretary Pulok
Chatterjee with secretaries and represen-
tatives of various ministries and depart-
ments concerned. As per the roadmap,
the scheme will be rolled out in 51 dis-
tricts from January one next year. It will
cover 16 states from April one 2014, ac-
cording to a PMO statement. It was de-
cided that all departments engaged in
transferring benefits to individual benefi-
ciaries will quickly move to an electronic
Direct Cash Transfer system, based on an
Aadhaar Payment Bridge/Platform, the
statement said. They will identify the
schemes to move to this system and also
prepare a roadmap with timelines so that
the rollout is smooth and fast, it said. The
list of schemes, roadmaps and timelines
will be sent to the Planning Commission
and PMO by 20 November 2012.
UIDAI will set up a dedicated cell of tech-
nical experts in UIDAI to facilitate Aadhaar
enabled Direct Cash Transfers and help in-
dividual ministries. Department of Finan-
cial Services will go for universal financial
inclusion through individual bank ac-
counts for all in line with the roadmap.
UIDAI will rollout Aadhaar speedily in line
with the roadmap, it said. Departments
will work towards digitising their data-
bases quickly, particularly at the state
level, with the help of state governments,
Department of IT and NIC to ensure con-
The Prime Minister had recently consti-
tuted a National Committee on Direct
Cash Transfers under his chairmanship
and an Executive Committee on Direct
Cash Transfers to give a thrust to roll out
a cash transfer programme across the
country, leveraging the Aadhaar platform.
Dr. Singh will be holding the first meeting
of the Committee on November 26 where
the roadmap and timelines will be pre-
sented. The purpose of Fridays meeting
was to move forward and operationalise
Direct Cash Transfers for which many
steps need to be taken, the PMO state-
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
21 21 21 21 21
ment said. The necessary steps include
identification of areas where Direct Cash
Transfers can be introduced, establishing
mechanisms for preparing rollout plans
for these areas and ensuring rapid rollout
of Aadhaar to achieve better coverage of
at least 80 per cent. The steps also include
ensuring universal access to banking and
financial inclusion and setting up of
mechanisms to enable cash transfers to
actually take place.
To facilitate all this, there is a need to
constitute other committees including a
Technology Committee, a Financial Inclu-
sion Committee and Implementation
Committees within each Ministry so as to
ensure coordination and quick implemen-
tation, the statement said. The agenda
for the meeting was to explain to all com-
mittee members the rationale and pur-
pose of Direct Cash Transfers and the in-
stitutional architecture that has been put
in place for the rollout. Its agenda also
included finalisation of the constitution
and composition of the implementation
committees, identification of areas for
introducing Direct Cash Transfers and
make arrangements for finalising
roadmaps for rollout in each area, keep-
ing in view the roadmap already prepared
for Direct Cash Transfers of LPG Subsidy.
Second Quarter Review
of Monetary Policy
First of all, on behalf of the Reserve Bank,
I want to welcome you all to this Second
Quarter Review of Monetary Policy for
2. A short while ago, we put out the Sec-
ond Quarter Review. Based on an assess-
ment of the current macroeconomic situ-
ation, we have decided to:
Cut the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of sched-
uled banks by 25 basis points from 4.5 per
cent to 4.25 per cent of their net demand
and time liabilities (NDTL) effective the
fortnight beginning November 3, 2012.
The reduction in the CRR, will inject
around 175 billion of primary liquidity
into the banking system.
3. There is no change in policy interest
rate. Accordingly, the repo rate under the
liquidity adjustment facility remains at 8.0
per cent.
4. Consequently, the reverse repo rate
under the liquidity adjustment facility
(LAF), determined with a spread of 100
basis points below the repo rate, will con-
tinue at 7.0 per cent, and the marginal
standing facility (MSF) rate, determined
with a spread of 100 bps above the repo
rate, at 9.0 per cent.
Considerations Behind the Policy Move
5. Let me begin with an explanation of the
rationale behind this monetary policy ac-
6. The decision to cut the CRR and keep
the policy interest rate unchanged draws
from our assessment of the evolving li-
quidity situation and the growth-inflation
First on liquidity. Systemic liquidity defi-
cit has been high because of several fac-
tors: the wedge between deposit and
credit growth, the build-up of
Governments cash balances from mid-
September and the drainage of liquidity
on account of festival-related step-up in
currency demand. This high systemic defi-
cit will have adverse implications for the
flow of credit to productive sectors and
for the overall growth of the economy
going forward.
As regards the growth-inflation balance,
headline WPI inflation moderated from its
peak of 10.9 per cent in April 2010 to an
average rate of 7.5 per cent over the pe-
riod January-August 2012. During this
time, growth has slowed and is currently
below trend. This slowdown is due to a
host of factors, including monetary tight-
Since April 2012, the Reserve Banks mon-
etary policy stance has sought to balance
the growthinflation dynamic through
calibrated easing. The transmission of
these policy impulses through the
economy is still underway. In conjunction
with the fiscal and other measures re-
cently announced by the Government,
the Reserve Banks monetary policy
stance should work towards arresting the
loss of growth momentum over the next
few months. Yesterdays statement by the
Finance Minister reaffirming commit-
ment to fiscal consolidation will open up
space for monetary policy to restrain in-
flation and support growth.
Now coming to inflation. It turned up
again in September, reflecting the partial
pass-through of adjustment of diesel and
electricity prices, and elevated inflation
in non-food manufactured products. It is,
therefore, critical that even as the mon-
etary policy stance shifts further towards
addressing growth risks, the objective of
containing inflation and anchoring infla-
tion expectations is not de-emphasised.
Monetary Policy Stance
7. The policy document spells out the
three broad contours of our monetary
policy stance. These are :
first, to manage liquidity to ensure ad-
equate flow of credit to the productive
sectors of the economy;
second, to reinforce the positive impact
of government policy actions on growth
as inflation risks moderate; and third, to
maintain an interest rate environment to
contain inflation and anchor inflation ex-
8. As in the past, we have also given guid-
ance for the period forward.
9. In reducing CRR, the Reserve Bank in-
tended to pre-empt a prospective tight-
ening of liquidity conditions, thereby
keeping liquidity comfortable and sup-
portive of growth. The policy stance an-
ticipates the projected inflation trajectory
which indicates a rise in inflation over the
next few months before easing in the last
quarter. While there are risks to this tra-
jectory, the baseline scenario suggests a
reasonable likelihood of further policy
easing in the fourth quarter of this fiscal
year. Let me add though that this guid-
ance will, however, be conditioned by the
evolving growth-inflation dynamic.
Expected Outcomes
10. We expect that todays policy actions,
and the guidance that we have given, will
result in the following three outcomes:
first, liquidity conditions will facilitate a
turnaround in credit growth to productive
sectors so as to support growth;
second, as inflation risks moderate, the
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
22 22 22 22 22
growth stimulus of the policy actions an-
nounced by the Government will be rein-
and, finally, the policy action will anchor
medium-term inflation expectations on
the basis of a credible commitment to low
and stable inflation.
Global and Domestic Developments
11. As always, our policy action has been
based on a careful assessment of the glo-
bal and domestic macroeconomic situa-
tion. Let me comment first on the global
Global Economy
12. Over the last quarter, policymakers
around the world have confronted in-
creasingly difficult challenges. Globally,
even as the growth momentum has
slowed, governments have had to man-
age the balance between fiscal consoli-
dation and growth stimulus amidst visible
signs that the two objectives are in con-
flict with each other. As the advanced
economies deal with these tensions and
global demand conditions weaken,
emerging and developing economies are
also slowing down.
13. Liquidity infusions by central banks in
advanced economies during the quarter
have contributed to some stability in glo-
bal financial markets. It is important to
note though that liquidity infusions are
only a stop-gap measure intended to
maintain financial stability and arrest fur-
ther downturn. They cannot substitute for
robust structural solutions that can return
the advanced economies to the path of
recovery. At this stage, growth risks have
risen and could well overwhelm the posi-
tive effects of enhanced liquidity. More-
over, notwithstanding some muted soft-
ening recently, commodity prices are still
at elevated levels. Consequently, there is
a significant risk of liquidity-driven price
increases. Even as the global recovery pro-
cess moves forward, the months ahead
will be a period of heightened uncertainty
for the global economy.
Indian Economy
14. Let me now turn to the domestic mac-
roeconomic situation. Growth deceler-
ated over four successive quarters, from
9.2 per cent year-on-year in the fourth
quarter of 2010-11 to 5.3 per cent in the
fourth quarter of 2011-12. In the first
quarter of this year, growth was margin-
ally higher at 5.5 per cent. This slight im-
provement in GDP growth in the first
quarter was mainly driven by growth in
construction, and supported by better
than expected growth in agriculture. On
the demand side, the growth of gross
fixed capital formation decelerated, while
the slowdown in growth of private con-
sumption expenditure continued. The ex-
ternal demand conditions and crude oil
prices also remained unfavourable, ad-
versely impacting net exports.
15. Over the last quarter, global risks have
increased and domestic risks have be-
come accentuated owing to halted invest-
ment demand, moderation in consump-
tion spending and continuing erosion in
export competitiveness accompanied by
weakening business and consumer confi-
dence. The industrial outlook remains
uncertain. Notwithstanding the improve-
ment in rainfall in the months of August
and September, the first advance esti-
mates of the 2012 kharif production are
about 10 per cent lower than last years
16. On the basis of the above consider-
ations, the baseline projection of GDP
growth for 2012-13 is revised downwards
from 6.5 per cent to 5.8 per cent.
17. Moving on to inflation. Headline WPI
inflation remained sticky, at above 7.5 per
cent on a y-o-y basis, through the first half
of the current year. Furthermore, in Sep-
tember there was a pick-up in the mo-
mentum of headline inflation owing to the
increase in fuel prices and elevated price
levels of non-food manufactured prod-
ucts. This is, in part, attributable to some
suppressed inflation in the form of ear-
lier under-pricing being corrected. How-
ever, even after adjusting for this, the mo-
mentum remains firm.
18. While WPI primary food articles mod-
erated since July due to the softening of
prices of vegetables, prices of cereal and
protein items edged up. WPI food prod-
ucts inflation increased in September,
mainly due to the firming up of the prices
of sugar, edible oils and grain mill prod-
19. Fuel group inflation registered a sig-
nificant rise in September, reflecting the
sharp increase in prices of electricity ef-
fected from June, the partial impact of the
increase in prices of diesel in mid-Septem-
ber and significant increase in non-admin-
istered fuel prices on account of rising glo-
bal crude prices.
20. Non-food manufactured products in-
flation was persistent at 5.6 per cent
through July-September. This upside pres-
sure was a result of firm prices of metal
products and other inputs and interme-
diates, especially goods with high import
content due to a depreciating rupee.
21. Consumer price inflation, as measured
by the new CPI, remained elevated, re-
flecting the build-up of food price pres-
sures. CPI inflation excluding food and fuel
groups ebbed slightly during June-Sep-
tember, from double digits earlier.
22. Looking ahead, the path of inflation
will be shaped by two sets of counteract-
ing forces.
First, on the downside, slower growth and
excess capacity in some sectors will help
moderate core inflation. Stable, or in the
best case scenario, declining commodity
prices will reinforce this tendency. An
appreciating rupee will also help to con-
tain inflationary pressures by bringing
down the rupee cost of imports, especially
of commodities.
Balancing those downside forces are
some on the upside. Persistent supply
constraints may aggravate as demand re-
vives, resulting in price pressures. Global
financial instability could put downward
pressure on the rupee and that will add
to imported inflation. Also, the upsurge
in both rural and urban wages will exert
cost-push pressures on inflation.
Finally, as under-pricing in several prod-
ucts is corrected as part of the fiscal con-
solidation process, suppressed inflation is
being brought into the open. This correc-
tion is necessary and important. Never-
theless, it will result in higher inflation
23. Taking the above factors into consid-
eration, the baseline projection for head-
line WPI inflation for March 2013 is raised
to 7.5 per cent from 7.0 per cent indicated
in July. Importantly, inflation is expected
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
23 23 23 23 23
to rise somewhat in the third quarter be-
fore beginning to ease in the fourth quar-
Monetary and Liquidity Conditions
24. Let me now move on to monetary and
liquidity conditions. Money supply (M3),
deposit and credit growth have so far
trailed below the indicative trajectories of
the Reserve Bank indicated in the April
Policy and reiterated in the July Review.
Deposit growth has decelerated with the
moderation in interest rates, especially
term deposits. Credit growth has ebbed
with the slowdown in investment de-
mand, especially with regard to infrastruc-
ture, and lower absorption of credit by
industry, in general. Keeping in view the
developments during the year so far and
the usual year-end pick-up, the trajecto-
ries of the monetary aggregates for 2012-
13 are projected at 14 per cent for M3,
15 per cent for deposit growth and 16 per
cent for growth of non-food credit.
25. Liquidity conditions, as reflected in the
average net borrowing under the LAF at
486 billion during July-September, re-
mained within the comfort zone of (+/-)
one per cent of NDTL. However, liquidity
conditions tightened in October, mainly
on account of the bui ld-up in the
Governments cash balances and the sea-
sonal increase in currency demand, tak-
ing the average LAF borrowing to 871 bil-
lion during October 15-25, well above the
band of (+/-) one per cent of NDTL
Risk Factors
26. Now, let me highlight the risks to our
growth and inflation projections:
First, the downside risks to growth stem-
ming from the global macroeconomic
environment now seem likely to be stron-
ger than earlier thought. Domestically, a
revival in investment activity, which is key
to stimulating growth, depends particu-
larly on the recent policy announcements
by the Government being translated into
effective actions;
Second, despite recent moderation, glo-
bal commodity prices remain high. Also,
under recoveries in domestic prices of ad-
ministered petroleum products persist
and will need to be corrected. While cor-
rections are welcome from the viewpoint
of overall macroeconomic stability, we
will have to guard against their second-
round effects on inflation.
Third, the behaviour of food inflation will
depend on the supply response in respect
of commodities characterised by struc-
tural imbalances, particularly protein
Fourth, the persistent increase in rural and
urban wages, unaccompanied by com-
mensurate productivity increase, has
been and will continue to be a source of
inflationary pressures;
Fifth, the large twin deficits, i.e., the cur-
rent account deficit and the fiscal deficit
pose significant risks to both growth and
macroeconomic stability; and
Finally, while liquidity pressures pose risks
to credit availability for productive pur-
poses and could adversely affect overall
investment, excess liquidity could aggra-
vate inflation risks.
Developmental and Regulatory Policies
27. This review also includes developmen-
tal and regulatory policies which focus on
carrying forward the initiatives taken for
strengthening the financial system and for
efficiently providing financial services to
the widest sections of society. Let me
briefly indicate some of the important
initiatives in this regard.
28. I will begin with financial markets and
market infrastructure. Some important
measures contained in the policy are the
The settlement cycle of the primary auc-
tion in Treasury Bills (T-Bills) will be re-
duced from T+2 to T+1.
IRS contracts will be standardised to fa-
cilitate centralised clearing and settle-
ment of these contracts.
We will move towards developing a trade
repository for OTC derivatives.
29. Now let me move on to initiatives for
financial inclusion, credit delivery and
customer service. Drawing on extensive
consultation with banks, we have
rationalised the guidelines on priority sec-
tor lending. Important initiatives in this
regard are the following:
Loans up to 20 million to partnership
firms, cooperatives and corporates di-
rectly engaged in agriculture and allied
activities under partnership, rural co-op-
erative and corporate categories will also
be classified as direct finance to agricul-
Bank loans to Housing Finance Companies
(HFCs) for on-lending for housing up to 1
million per borrower will be included un-
der the priority sector, provided the in-
terest rate charged to the ultimate bor-
rower by the HFC does not exceed two
percentage points above the lowest inter-
est rate of the lending bank for housing
30. As regards the cooperative sector,
scheduled urban cooperative banks
(UCBs) have been allowed to undertake
repo transactions in corporate bonds.
31. Another important step relates to mi-
cro and small enterprises. The definition
of sickness of these enterprises is modi-
fied to facilitate early rehabilitation of
potentially viable sick units and to lay
down a procedure for assessing viability
of sick units in the sector.
32. Moving on to regulation and supervi-
sion, we are carrying forward the imple-
mentation of Basel III capital regulations
by issuing draft guidelines on capital re-
quirements for bank exposures to central
counterparties by mid-November 2012
and on composition of capital disclosure
requirements by end-December 2012.
33. Given the larger objectives of finan-
cial stability, and keeping in view interna-
tional best practices to ensure that banks
have sufficient provisioning buffer, the
provision for restructured standard ac-
counts is being raised from the existing 2
per cent to 2.75 per cent.
34. To address the issue of rise in NPAs
and restructured advances of banks, and
with a view to improving effective infor-
mation sharing among banks on credit,
derivatives and unhedged foreign cur-
rency exposures, banks are being advised
to put in place, by end-December 2012,
an effective mechanism for information
sharing. Any sanction of fresh loans/ad-
hoc loans/renewal of loans to new or ex-
isting borrowers with effect from January
1, 2013 should be made only after obtain-
ing/sharing necessary information.
35. Turning to unhedged foreign currency
exposures of corporates, which is a source
of risk to them as well as to the financing
banks and the financial system, we are
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
24 24 24 24 24
advising banks to put in place a proper
mechanism to rigorously evaluate the
risks arising out of unhedged foreign cur-
rency exposures of corporates, and price
them in the credit risk premium. Banks
are also being advised to consider stipu-
lating a limit on the unhedged position of
corporates on the basis of banks Board-
approved policy.
36. We are in the process of strengthen-
ing the regulatory framework for dealing
with Systemically Important Financial In-
stitutions (SIFIs) which may come under
stress and may require resolution. Accord-
ingly, the Government and the Reserve
Bank are setting up a High Level Working
Group to recommend a comprehensive
resolution regime for all types of finan-
cial institutions in India.
37. Before I close, let me note that the
persistence of inflation pressures, even as
growth has moderated, remains a key
challenge. Of particular concern is the
stickiness of core inflation, mainly on ac-
count of supply constraints and the cost-
push of rupee depreciation. Conse-
quently, managing inflation and inflation
expectations must remain the primary
focus of monetary policy. A central
premise of monetary policy is that low
and stable inflation and well-anchored
inflation expectations contribute to a con-
ducive investment climate and consumer
confidence, which is key to sustained
growth on a higher trajectory in the me-
38. Accordingly, over the past few quar-
ters, monetary policy had to focus on in-
flation, even as growth risks have in-
creased. As recent policy initiatives by the
Government start yielding results in terms
of revitalising activity, they will open up
space for monetary policy to work in con-
cert to stimulate growth. However, in do-
ing so, it is important not to lose sight of
the primary objective of managing infla-
tion and inflation expectations.
India ranked 7th largest
player in global services
India has been ranked by the World Trade
Organisation (WTO) as the seventh larg-
est player in the global services trade with
value of exports and imports aggregating
261 billion dollars in 2011. According to a
WTO report, with exports at 137 billion
dollar and imports at 124 billion dollar,
India is among the five countries out of
the top ten players which ended the year
2011 with a surplus of trade in commer-
cial services.The Indian economy is mainly
driven by services with the sector contrib-
uting over 55 per cent of the countrys
Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mysore gets countrys
first Intelligent
Transport System
The cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore
boasts of countrys first Intelligent Trans-
port System, launched yesterday with the
help of central government. At present
500 buses, 105 bus stops and six major
bus stands with 45 platforms are covered
under the system in Mysore city. It is
implemented in Mysore as a pilot project
at a cost of 23 crore rupees. AIR corre-
spondent reports that once successful,
the project will be replicated in other cit-
ies of the country.
GAAR amendments
finalised: Chidambaram
Finance Minister P Chidambaram dis-
closed that amendments to General Anti-
Avoidance Rules, GAAR, the law against
tax avoidance through foreign invest-
ments, have been finalised. He said that
the Finance Ministry has finalised the
amendments to the Chapter 10A of the
Income Tax Act. Chapter 10A of the In-
come Tax Act deals with taxation of invest-
GAAR which was proposed in 2012-13
budget with a view to preventing tax eva-
sion, evoked sharp reactions from foreign
as well as domestic investors who feared
that unbridled powers to taxmen would
result in harassment of investors.
The government later appointed a com-
mittee headed by tax expert Parthasarthi
Shome to look into their concerns.
Chidambaram, during a interview, spoke
on a variety of subjects including his opti-
mism on meeting disinvestment and spec-
trum sales target, confidence on pushing
through with reforms measures and the
relationship with RBI which he said was
not antagonistic. Speaking over the issue
of subsidised LPG Cylenders, Finance Min-
ister said that it is for Petroleum Ministry
to consider raising the cap. Chidambaram
also indicated that the proposal to set up
the National Investment Board for expe-
diting clearance to large projects will soon
come up for approval before the Cabinet.
Bodo-Muslim violence in
The situation in violence-torn Assam con-
tinues to be tense as the death toll
touched 44 but CM Tarun Gogoi claims
the situation is improving. According to
latest reports, more than 170,000 people
have fled their homes since July 19 after
fighting between indigenous Bodo tribes
and Muslim settlers in Kokrajhar and
Chirang. Security forces have been given
shoot-on-sight orders by the Assam gov-
ernment to confront with any unexpected
incident. Also, a curfew has been imposed
in the riot-hit areas.Indefinite curfew and
shoot-at-sight orders were in force in
worst-affected Kokrajhar district, while
night curfew was on in Chirang and Dhubri
districts. Notably, there has been severe
tension between indigenous groups and
Muslim Bengali migrants in Assam for
many years. In a high-level meeting held
on Tuesday, Bodoland Territorial Council
(BTC) Chief Executive Member Hagrama
Mohilary has blamed Assam government
for the ongoing violence in the state.
What is Bodoland Territorial Council?
The Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) is
a territorial privilege established accord-
ing to the Memorandum of Settlement of
February 10, 2003. BTC came into exist-
ence immediately after surrender of BLTF
(Bodo Liberation Tigers Force) cadres. The
BLTF laid down their weapons on Decem-
ber 6, 2003 under the leadership of
Hagrama Mohilary and Hagrama was
sworn in as the Chief Executive Member
(CEM) on December 7, 2003. The BTC has
12 electorate members each looking af-
ter a specific area of control called
somisthi. The area under the BTC jurisdic-
tion is called the Bodo Territorial Autono-
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
25 25 25 25 25
mous District (BTAD). The BTAD is to con-
sist of four contiguous districts
Kokrajhar, Baska, Udalguri and Chirang
carved out of eight existing districts
Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta,
Nalbari, Kamrup, Darrang and Sonitpur
an area of 27,100 km (35% of Assam).
That the BTAD is created under the sixth
schedule of the Constitution of India
has been opposed by some organiza-
How current ethnic clashes began in
According to Police and other sources,
clashes began when unidentified men
killed four youths on Friday night in
Kokrajhar, an area dominated by the Bodo
tribe. There are reports claiming that
armed Bodos attacked Muslims in retali-
ation, suspecting they were behind the
killings. Soon afterwards unidentified
groups set houses, schools and vehicles
on fire and started firing indiscriminately
from automatic weapons in populated ar-
eas. Bodoland demand gaining momen-
tum. The demand for a separate state of
Bodoland is slowly gaining momentum,
especially in view of possible talks be-
tween the Centre and the two factions of
NDFB (National Democratic Front of
Boroland). However, Assams main Oppo-
sition party AIUDF has urged Prime Min-
ister Manmohan Singh to dissolve the
Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and
place the districts witnessing violent
clashes under Governors rule.
All India United Democratic Front chief
and MP Badruddin Ajmal has also de-
manded scrapping of the Bodoland Au-
tonomous Treaty as it was against the in-
terest of the non-Bodos in trouble-torn
Bodoland Territorial Administered District
What is the actual reason behind the
Analysts say that the main cause of the
present clash between Bodo tribals and
immigrant Muslims is control over land.
Kokrajhar and Chirang were predomi-
nantly a Bodo tribal majority areas till
nineties. But there were migration of im-
migrant Muslims to the Gossaigaon sub
division areas in Kokrajhar district since
beginning of nineties. Immigrant Muslim
population has increased exponentially in
Gossaigaon sub division in last two de-
cades. Immigrant Muslims procured lands
from many Bodos in Gossaigaon areas and
outnumbered Bodos in many villages.
Over a period of time, there were migra-
tions of immigrant Muslims to Kokrajhar
town areas. These immigrant Muslims are
mainly agricultural labourers and daily
wage earners. The control over land by
immigrant Muslims in Bodo heartland and
increasing population of immigrant Mus-
lims in Kokrajhar and other districts of BTC
created fear psychosis among Bodos.
Kudankulam to start
prod by Dec
The controversy-hit Kudankulam Nuclear
Power Project (KNPP) will start produc-
tion by the first week of December, the
Union minister, V Narayanasamy said. He
said enriched uranium has been fed into
the core of the vessel and the lid was
closed. Now, the vessel is being
pressurised. After that, trial run will start.
That will go for about 20 days. Thereafter
the production is likely to start. Probably
in the end of November or first week of
December, he said in New Delhi in an
interview. Citing letters from Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister, Jayalalitha to the Prime
Minister, Manmohan Singh on power
shortage in which she had sought entire
1,000 MW of power from the plant to be
given to Tamil Nadu, Narayansamy said
Tamil Nadu would get 450 MWs of power
as per the agreement and he would re-
quest Singh to allot additional power to
the state.
Indias atomic power plant operator,
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd is
setting up the plant at Kudankulam in
Tami l Nadus Tirunelveli district.
Narayanasamy said the Centre is getting
support from ruling AIADMK on the
He said since law and order is a state sub-
ject, the state government has to support
us for the purpose of providing security
to the plant. Therefore I said the DMK
has supported us (as the project started
when they were in power in the state).
They are supporting us. Now the AIADMK
after coming to power, they are also sup-
porting us for the project. Therefore, we
have support from both of them. This is
what I said. But it was twisted by the me-
dia, the minister said. His reaction came
on media reports quoting Narayanasamy
that DMK has initially supported the
Kudankulam power project, but later
backed out. Rejecting the report,
Narayanasamy said, So many have tried
to divide Congress and DMK and now it is
medias turn.
Austrian skydiver Felix
Baumgartner smashes
sound barrier
Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner
broke the sound barrier during his jump
from the edge of space, but he did not
set a new record for the longest freefall,
a mission spokesperson said. The 43-year-
old Austrian achieved the fastest ever
freefall speed at 1,137 kilometres per hour
during the 4 minutes and 19 seconds of
descent from an altitude of 128,097 feet,
said spokeswoman Sarah Anderson on
Sunday.He was bidding to break records
set over 50 years ago by Joseph Kittinger,
now a retired US Air Force colonel who
made a freefall jump from 31,333 meters
in 1960. Kittinger was part of
Baumgartners backup team.Citing pre-
liminary figures, she said the whole jump
lasted nine minutes and three seconds,
including 4 minutes and 44 seconds after
he deployed his parachute to float down
to earth in theNew
Mexicodesert.Baumgartner had hoped
to be in freefall for more than five min-
utes before opening his chute, and had
also expected to jump from a lower alti-
tude 120,000 feet.The reason for the
shorter than expected freefall was not
immediately clear, although live commen-
tary during the unprecedented leap sug-
gested he opened his parachute at an al-
titude above the 5,000 feet level an-
nounced in advance.
President Barack
Obama defeats Romney
to win re-election
President Barack Obama has been re-
elected to a second term, defeating Re-
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
26 26 26 26 26
publican challenger Mitt Romney.
Americas first black president secured
more than the 270 votes in the electoral
college needed to win. In his victory
speech before supporters in Chicago, Mr
Obama said he would talk to Mr Romney
about where we can work together to
move this country forward. Mr Obama
prevailed despite lingering dissatisfaction
with the economy and a hard-fought chal-
lenge by Mr Romney. His Democrats also
retained their majority in the Senate,
which they have held since 2007.
The Republicans kept control of the House
of Representatives, which analysts say will
likely result in more of the gridlock that
characterised Mr Obamas first term, with
the House and the president at logger-
heads on most legislation. In his address,
the president challenged his opponents,
asking them to work with him. With only
Floridas 29 electoral votes still undecided,
Mr Obama won 303 electoral votes to Mr
Romneys 206.
The popular vote, which is symbolically
and politically important but not decisive
in the race, remains very close.
In 2008, they built a coalition forged in
the white heat of passion. In 2012, they
carefully constructed it, patiently persuad-
ing supporters to become voters. Both
candidates said this was a choice of two
visions, America has chosen.
One nation speech
Mr Obama congratulated Mr Romney and
Republican vice-presidential candidate
Paul Ryan on their hard-fought campaign.
We have picked ourselves up, we have
fought our way back and we know in our
hearts that for the United States of
America the best is yet to come, he said.
Mr Obama said he was returning to the
White House more determined, and
more inspired than ever about the work
there is to do, and the future that lies
He pledged to work with Republican lead-
ers in Congress to reduce the
governments budget deficit, fix the tax
code and reform the immigration system.
We are an American family and we rise
and fall together as one nation, he said.
In Boston, where his campaign was based,
Mr Romney congratulated the president
and said he and Mr Ryan had left every-
thing on the field and had given their all
in the campaign.
Referring to the struggling economy, Mr
Romney said now was not the time for
partisan bickering and political postur-
ing, and thatRepublicans and Democrats
must put people before politics. I so
wish that I had been able to fulfil your
hopes to lead the country in a different
direction but the nation chose another
leader and so I join with you to earnestly
pray for [Mr Obama] and for this great
nation, he said.
Under the US constitution, each state is
given a number of electoral votes in rough
proportion to its population. The candi-
date who wins 270 electoral votes - by
prevailing in the mostly winner-takes-all
state contests - becomes president.
On Tuesday, the president held the White
House by assembling solid Democratic
states and a number of important swing
states such as Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylva-
nia, Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia and
Wisconsin. His narrow victory in Ohio, a
critical Mid-Western swing state, sealed
the victory.
In other key ballots:
Voters in Maine, Maryland and Wash-
ington state approved same-sex marriage
in local referendums
Colorado and Washington state voted
to legalise recreational use of marijuana
California voters rejected a proposal to
abolish the death penalty
Puerto Ricans voted in a referendum on
whether to maintain their status as a US
free associated state. Early results sug-
gest a majority answered No, voting in
favour of becoming the 51st US state, if
Congress approves the move.
Billions spent
Mr Romney won North Carolina and Indi-
ana, both of which Mr Obama won in
2008, as well as the solid Republican
states. But he was unable to win in Ohio
or other states needed to breach the 270
threshold. Also on Tuesdays ballot were
11 state governorships, a third of the seats
in the 100-member US Senate and all 435
seats in the House of Representatives. Mr
Obamas victory came despite lingering
high unemployment - 7.9% on election
day - and tepid economic growth. But
voters gave him credit for his 2009 res-
cue of the US car industry among other
policy accomplishments, and rewarded
him for ordering the commando mission
that killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan
last year. He and Mr Romney, as well as
their respective allies, have spent more
than $2bn (1.25bn) - largely on adverts
in swing states.
Swing state
In United States presidential politics, a
swing state (also, battleground state or
purple state) is a state in which no single
candidate or party has overwhelming sup-
port in securing that states electoral col-
lege votes. Such states are targets of both
major political parties in presidential elec-
tions, since winning these states is the
best opportunity for a party to gain elec-
toral votes. Non-swing states are some-
times called safe states, because one can-
didate has strong enough support that he
or she can safely assume that he or she
will win the states votes.
Red states and blue states
Red states and blue states refer to those
states of the United States whose resi-
dents predominantly vote for the Repub-
lican Party (red) or Democratic Party
(blue) presidential candidates. This came
into use in the United States presidential
election of 2000 on an episode show on
October 30, 2000. According to AlterNet
and The Washington Post, the terms were
coined by journalist Tim Russert, during
his televised coverage of the 2000 presi-
dential election. That was not the first
election during which the news media
used colored maps to graphically depict
voter preferences in the various states,
but it was the first time a standard color
scheme took hold; the colors were often
reversed or different colors used before
the 2000 election. Since 2000, usage of
the term has been expanded to differen-
tiate between states being perceived as
liberal and those perceived as conserva-
tive. This reverses a long-standing conven-
tion, where the red symbols (such as the
Red Flag or Red Star) are associated with
Socialist and revolutionary movements,
and conservative movements often
choose blue as a contrasting color.
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
27 27 27 27 27
Malala Yousafzai : a
product of education
A 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the
head by Taliban gunmen has been trans-
ferred to a new military hospital with bet-
ter facilities. We take for granted the fact
that we do not have to fight for our edu-
cation, we do not have to struggle for it
and most importantly we do not have to
risk our lives for it. But there are many
for whom such struggles are a constant
reality. Many like Malala Yousafzai,who
have that privilege stolen from them and
for whom education is deemed unneces-
The issue regarding women being edu-
cated is one that has been prevalent
throughout the ages, stemming largely
from the belief that by educating a
woman you are doing more harm then
good, a view that still exists in fragments
today within our own society. Many
women will tell you that men feel intimi-
dated by their knowledge or expertise in
a certain field, indicating that the archaic
view of the man being the dominant
leader and omniscient, is still apparent
within us.
I can understand why the Taliban banned
the education of girls when they took over
the Swat Valley. They, like my great uncle
and many others in Pakistan, felt threat-
ened by the effect of educating a girl. You
see Malcolm X pretty much has summed
it up for us. When you educate a woman,
you dont just educate her, you liberate
her. You allow her to travel on a path of
self-discovery and you enable her to ques-
tion her position in society. You empower
her by giving her knowledge of what she
can become. And this is dangerous. It is
dangerous to the Taliban because it
means that they will not be able to im-
pose their patriarchal laws upon liberated
women, it means that if they do they will
be presented with a challenge and a force
greater then them. And their rule will be
effectively be diminished. It was a threat
and a risk they couldnt take.
So for those asking what Malala Yousafzai
has done to the Taliban, this is exactly
what she has done. At the tender age of
11, Malala started writing in order to ar-
ticulate her hopes and fears under a false
name. When her cover was blown and she
was threatened by the Taliban and its sym-
pathizers, she did not cease her writing.
In contrast she went public, so that by the
age of 14 she was a name and a force to
be reckoned with. You see by educating
Malala, her parents had given her her
greatest gift. They had enabled her to
understand her potential and to recognise
that her writing was a tool, it was the
sword of opposition to the men who had
taken away her privilege of studying. It
was her opportunity to stick her middle
finger up in defiance and to seek ven-
geance and boy, did she strike fear in their
hearts! Malala Yousafzai was a threat be-
cause her defiance was an inspiration to
others, others who lacked her bravery and
her strength of character and determina-
tion. It was an act of defiance that could
ignite a movement of opposition, an op-
position the Taliban desperately wanted
to quash, threaten and intimidate.
Their motive behind shooting Malala is a
simple one: shoot the leader and you
scare the followers. To them it is a mes-
sage of force, but in reality it is an act of
cowardice. It is an act which demonstrates
how pig-headed the Taliban really are. It
demonstrates their weakness and fragil-
ity. So weak that a young girl armed with
her writing can be seen as a great threat,
a threat so damaging to them that even
after shooting her they state that if she
does not die they will strike once more.
It is this latter thought that makes them
real fools. By believing that they have
eliminated a threat by shooting Malala,
or even, God forbid ,by killing her, they
are seriously deluded. This act will inspire
many more like Malala, frustrated with
the oppression of women that they en-
counter daily, frustrated with their lack of
human rights and frustrated by their gov-
ernments inability to protect them.
Malala Yousafzai (born 1998) is a school
student from the town of Mingora in Swat
District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest-
ern Pakistan. She is known for her educa-
tion and womens rights activism in the
Swat Valley, where the Tehrik-i-Taliban
regime had banned girls from attending
school in early 2009. During that period,
at the age of 11, Yousafzai came to promi-
nence through a blog she wrote for the
BBC detailing her life under the Taliban
regime, their attempts to take control of
the valley, and her views on promoting
education for girls. Later that year, the
Pakistani military would intervene, culmi-
nating in the expulsion of the Taliban from
the Swat Valley. Yousafzai has since been
nominated for several awards, and has
won Pakistans first National Peace Prize.
On 9 October 2012, Yousafzai was shot in
the head and neck in an assassination at-
tempt by a Taliban gunman while return-
ing home on a school bus. She remains
unconscious in critical condition.
Yousafzais activism was shaped in large
part by her father, Ziauddin, who is a poet,
school owner and an educational activist
himself, running a chain of schools known
as the Khushal Public School, named af-
ter a famous Pashtun poet, Khushal Khan
Khattak. Once, after Yousafzai stated to
an interviewer that she would like to be-
come a doctor, her father encouraged her
to become a politician instead. Ziauddin
has referred to his daughter as something
entirely special, permitting her to stay up
at night and talk about politics after her
two brothers had been sent to bed.
16th Summit of the Non-
Aligned Movement
(NAM) Summit
16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Move-
ment in Tehran closed with accepting a
600-page final document that mainly fo-
cuses on the Palestinian issue as well as
on Irans nuclear energy program, but
makes no mention of the Syrian civil war.
A Chinese state commentary qualifies the
summit as an important diplomatic ac-
complishment from Iran, having hosted
leaders and delegates of over 100 coun-
tries. 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned
Movement was held from 26 to 31 Au-
gust 2012 in Tehran, Iran.
Hizb ut-Tahrir
Three hundred Hizb ut-Tahrir supporters
protest in Jakarta ahead of Secretary of
State Hillary Clintons visit to Indonesia.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is an international Sunni
pan-Islamic political organisation. They
are commonly associated with the goal of
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
28 28 28 28 28
all Muslim countries unifying as an Islamic
state or caliphate ruled by Islamic law and
with a caliph head of state elected by
Muslims. The organization was founded
in 1953 in Jerusalem by Taqiuddin al-
Nabhani, an Islamic scholar and appeals
court judge (Qadi) from the Palestinian
village of Ijzim. Since then Hizb ut-Tahrir
has spread to more than 40 countries, and
by one estimate has about one million
members. Hizb ut-Tahrir is very active in
the west, particularly in the United King-
dom, and is also active in several Arab and
Central Asian countries, despite being
banned by some governments. The group
also has a growing presence in North
America, known as Hizb ut-tahrir America,
or HTA.
ISRO scores on 100th
mission, PSLV rocket
launch successful
ISROs PSLV C21 rocket successfully
blasted off into space on its 100th mis-
sion on a cloudy on September 9, 2012.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was
among the cheering congregation of offi-
cials, scientists and media persons at the
Satish Dhawan Space Centre in
Sriharikota, AP. On this journey, the PSLV
C21 rocket ferried two dollar-paying for-
eign passengers a French Earth obser-
vation satellite Spot 6 and a Japanese mi-
cro satellite Proiteres into polar orbit.
The PSLV C21 was on its way to deliver
Spot 6 and Proiteres into a 655km polar
orbit inclined at an angle of 98.23 degrees
to the equator. SPOT and Indian remote
sensing satellites (launched earlier) are
the two leading earth observation satel-
lite series. SPOT 6 is the heaviest foreign
satellite ever to have been launched by
the ISRO, which has made launching sat-
ellites as a significant business activity
earning precious foreign exchange to the
The PSLV C21 cost Rs. 75 crore. away from
More important, it has established the
country as a major player in the satellite
launching business, which started in 1999
as an additional baggage when ISRO
launched Indias own satellite. So far, ISRO
has launched 27 foreign satellites and the
two of this time total up its tally to 29.
India is also a major player in the space
with a the largest number of remote sens-
ing satellites that send back imagery in a
variety of spatial resolutions from more
than meter ranging up to 500 meters. This
rich collection of data also makes India an
important player in the data market.
India has 12 remote sensing/earth obser-
vation satellites circling the earth which
makes it a leader in remote sensind data
market. The 12 satellites are :TES,
Resourcesat 1, Cartosat 1, 2, 2A and 2B,
IMS 1, Risat-2, Oceansat 2, Resourcesat-
2, Megha-Tropiques and Risat-1.
2012 US Open 2012 US Open 2012 US Open 2012 US Open 2012 US Open T TT TTennis ennis ennis ennis ennis
In lawn tennis, Andy Murray of the United
Kingdom wins the Mens Singles of the
2012 US Open defeating Novak Djokovic
of Serbia to become the first British player
to win a Grand Slam singles title since Vir-
ginia Wade, and the first British man to
do so since Fred Perry.
Womens singles
Serena Williams def. Victoria Azarenka,
62, 26, 75
Mens doubles
Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan def. Leander Paes
/ Radek tpnek, 63, 64
Womens doubles
Sara Errani / Roberta Vinci def. Andrea
Hlavkov / Lucie Hradeck, 64, 62
Mixed doubles
Ekaterina Makarova / Bruno Soares def.
Kvta Peschke / Marcin Matkowski, 67(8
10), 61, [1210]
BCCI holds 83rd Annual
General Meeting in
The Board of Control for Cricket in India -
BCCI held its 83rd Annual General Meet-
ing - AGM in Mumbai on September 27,
2012. Apart from the appointment of the
new selection committee; the Indian
cricket board replaced Sourav Ganguly as
the head of the BCCIs technical commit-
tee. Former skipper Anil Kumble will be
the new incharge. Meanwhile, Ranjib
Biswal will be the chairman of the Na-
tional Cricket Academy.
Addressing a press conference later, BCCI
President N Srinivasan said that the IPL
Governing Council remained unchanged
with Rajiv Shukla being at its helm. He
however refused to comment on the de-
cision to terminate IPL franchise Deccan
Chargers as the matter is sub-judice but
informed that the Board is at liberty to
advertise for another franchise. He added
that the decision to go with nine teams
or add another one will be taken at a later
Mr. Srinivasan further said that there is
an increasing interest among former play-
ers to become national selectors. He
added that the selectors remuneration
has been increased so as to make them
more responsible.
Talking about the Boards finances, BCCI
President said that the Indian cricket
board has recorded a surplus of over Rs
382 crore in the last fiscal and the gross
revenue is Rs 849 crore. He informed that
BCCI has spent 160 crore rupees for in-
frastructure development this year.
Lakhdar Brahimi why is
in the news
Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. and Arab
League special envoy for the Syrian civil
war, arrives in Damascus; fighting goes on
in the east of the capital. Lakhdar Brahimi
is an Algerian veteran United Nations en-
voy and advisor. He is also a member of
The Elders, a group of world leaders work-
ing for global peace. He retired from his
duties at the end of 2005. Born in El Azizia
near Tablat about 60 Km in the south of
Algiers, Algeria, Brahimi is a member of
the Commission on Legal Empowerment
of the Poor, the first global initiative to
focus specifically on the link between ex-
clusion, poverty and law. He is also a
member of the Global Leadership Foun-
dation, an organization which works to
promote good governance around the
world. He is currently a distinguished se-
nior fellow at the Center for the Study of
Global Governance at the London School
of Economics and Political Science, and a
governing board member of the
Stockholm International Peace Research
Jordan to host World
Economic Forum in
Civil Services
MINERVA Samanya Adhyayan
YEAR 8; Issue 5; May 2013
29 29 29 29 29
Jordan will host the World Economic Fo-
rum (WEF) meeting on the Middle East
and North Africa (MENA) for the seventh
time at the Dead Sea, slated for May 24-
26, 2013. The meeting will include over
1,000 participants from governments,
businesses, civil societies and academia.
The announcement came on Monday as
His Majesty King Abdullah received WEF
Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus
Schwab in New York on the sidelines of
the UN General Assembly meeting, a
Royal Court statement said.
The King Abdullah II Fund for Develop-
ment (KAFD) and WEF signed a memo-
randum of understanding on Monday that
marks the official start of preparations for
the 2013 WEF on MENA.
King Abdullah said the ongoing develop-
ments in the MENA region warrant efforts
to shape the new regional context to posi-
tively support socio-economic develop-
ment and address youth issues, especially
youth unemployment; and to answer our
young peoples cry for a normal future, in
dignity and opportunity, in view of all the
developments and challenges taking place
in our MENA region.
Sochi 2014 slogan
The slogan is a universal solution that
reflects Russias national character, the
brand values of Sochi 2014, and also the
progressive and innovative approach to
organizing and hosting the Games, the
organizing committee said in a statement.
Its head Dmitry Chernyshenko says the
slogan is aimed to bring more foreigners
to Sochi and also make Russians proud.
The Sochi 2014 slogan says its impossible
not to take part, impossible not to watch,
impossible not to get excited and its
worth being proud because these are our
Games, he said, stressing that hot and
cool are also references to Sochis
unique sun-and-snow climate.
The London 2012 Olympics featured the
slogan Inspire a Generation, while visi-
tors in Vancouver were welcomed With
Glowing Hearts, a line from the national
WHO issues guidance
on new virus
The World Health Organization on
Wednesday urged health workers every-
where to report patients with acute res-
piratory infection who may have been in
Saudi Arabia or Qatar, following the dis-
covery of a new virus from the same fam-
ily as SARS.
The new virus shares some of the symp-
toms of SARS, another coronavirus, which
emerged in China in 2002 and killed
around a tenth of 8,000 people it infected
worldwide. So far scientists do not know
how contagious the new virus is, or
whether or not it spreads by contact be-
tween people.
WHOs clinical guidance to its 194 mem-
ber states said health workers should be
alert to anyone with acute respiratory syn-
drome and requiring hospitalisation who
had been in the area where the virus was
found or in contact with a suspected or
confirmed case within the previous 10
WHO has not recommended any travel
restrictions in connection with the new
virus, but said it was working closely with
Saudi authorities on health measures for
the haj. WHO said it was identifying a
network of laboratories that could provide
countries with expertise on coronaviruses.
Senkaku Islands dispute
Senkaku Islands dispute concerns a terri-
torial dispute over a group of uninhabited
islands known as the Senkaku Islands in
Japan and as the Diaoyu (in China) or
Tiaoyutai Islands (in Taiwan). Aside from
a 1945 to 1972 period of administration
by the United States, the archipelago has
been controlled by Japan since 1895. The
Peoples Republic of China (PRC) disputed
the proposed US handover of authority
to Japan in 1971 and has asserted its
claims to the islands since that time. The
Republic of China (Taiwan) also claims the
islands. The territory is close to key ship-
ping lanes, rich fishing grounds, and there
may be oil reserves in the area.
Japan argues that it surveyed the islands
in the late 19th century and found them
to be Terra nullius (Latin: land belonging
to no one); subsequently China acqui-
esced to Japanese sovereignty until the
1970s. The PRC and the ROC argue that
documentary evidence prior to the First
Sino-Japanese War indicates Chinese pos-
session and that the territory is accord-
ingly a Japanese seizure that should be
returned as the rest of Imperial Japans
conquests were returned in 1945. Al-
though the United States does not have
an official position on the merits of the
competing sovereignty claims, the islands
are included within the U.S. Japan Secu-
rity Treaty meaning that a defense of the
islands by Japan may compel support
from the United States military.
In September 2012, the Japanese govern-
ment purchased the remaining three of
the disputed islands that it did not already
own from their private owner, prompting
large-scale protests in China.
London Olympics 2012
concluded as US topped
the Medal Tally
The 30th Summer Olympics (London
Olympics 2012) concluded in London on
12 August 2012. The 17-day event was in-
augurated at Olympic Stadium at the
Olympic Park in East London on 27 July
2012. London Olympics witnessed nearly
10500 athletes from 204 National Olym-
pic Committees participating in as many
as 26 sports events.
At the end of the game US topped the
medal tally with a total of 104 medals (46
Gold+29 Silver+ 29 Silver) followed by
China, which bagged a total of 88 medals
(38 Gold+27 Silver+23 Bronze). Great Brit-
ain with 65 medals (29 Gold+17 Silver+19
Bronze), Russia with 82 medals (24
Gold+26 Silver+32 Bronze) and South Ko-
rea with 27 medals (13 Gold+8 Silver+6
Bronze) finished third, fourth and fifth
respectively. India with a total of 6 med-
als (2 Silver+4Bronze) finished 55th on the
medal tally.
India at London Olympics 2012
India had sent 83-member team to the
London Olympics 2012, which is the larg-
est ever contingent sent by Indian Olym-
pic Association in the Olympics. Indias
total number of medals in London Olym-
pics 2012 stood at a record haul of six
medals. Shooter Vijay Kumar bagged the
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silver medal in the 25 m Rapid Fire event,
while MC Mary Kom, five-time world
womens boxing champion, ace shuttler
Saina Nehwal and rifle shooter Gagan
Narang won India bronze medals. Gagan
Narang opened Indias account at the
medal tally after he won bronze in shoot-
ing event on 30 July 2012.
Indias mens hockey team badly disap-
pointed those who were expecting them
to reclaim the lost glory of Indian hockey.
The team in a show of disastrous perfor-
mance finished 12th and at the bottom
most as they lost all their six matches. It
was the worst-ever performance by the
Indian hockey team in the history of
Olympics. Prior to this the worst ever per-
formance of the Indian Hockey team came
in 1996 Atlanta Olympics when it had fin-
ished 8th.
Besides, major medal hopes for the coun-
try such as Beijing Gold medalist Abhinav
Bindra in shooting and Deepika in Archery
also could not meet with the expectations
of the people, as they squarely failed to
deliver a medal winning performance.
Beijing bronze medalist Vijender Kumar
also failed to recreate the magic in the
boxing ring as he lost to Uzbekistans
Abbos Atoev 17-13 in the quarterfinals.
Indias History in Summer Olympics
India started participating in Summer
Olympics from Paris Olympics 1900 after
Norman Pritchard, an Anglo-Indian, par-
ticipated in two events and claimed silver
in both the events. India first sent its con-
tingent to Summer Olympics in Antwerp
Olympics 1920 and has sent its team in
every Olympics since then. In the last 112
years of modern Olympics India has won
mere nine gold and 8 of them are in
hockey and one in individual shooting
event. After 6 medal haul at the London
Olympics 2012 total number of medals
won by India now stands at 26.
Major Medal winning Performances at
London Olympics 2012
Michael Phelps bagged 6 medals(4
Gold+2 Silver) in swimming, becoming the
most decorated Olympian ever with 22
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt clinched
three gold in three separate events (100
meter race, 200 meter race and 4X100
meter relay team race). He won the 100
metres gold medal with a time of 9.63
seconds, setting a new Olympic record for
that distance. He took 19.32 seconds to
clinch 200 meters gold. With a storming
victory in both 100 and 200 meters race
he became the only sprinter in the his-
tory to defend both Olympic titles.
Germany beat Netherlands 2-1 to win
mens hockey gold.
Mexico beat Brazil 2-1 to win Soccer
United States defeated Spain to win
mens Basketball gold
Andy Murray of Great Britain beat
Roger Federer of Switzerland to win ten-
nis mens singles gold
Russia defeated Brazil to win mens
volleyball gold
Dan Lin of China beat Malaysian Chong
Wei Lee to clinch Badminton mens singles
Mascot for London Olympics 2012
Mascots have been a part of Olympic
Games since Munich 1972, when Waldi,
a dachshund, was the symbol of the
Munich games. The mascots of London
Games were Wenlock and Mandeville.
While Wenlock is a mascot of Olympics,
Mandeville is mascot for Paralympics.
These are two ultra-modern one-eyed
Olympic Torch
Olympic Torch is the symbol of Olympic
Games which is lit in Olympia (modern
day Greece). The initial editions of Olym-
pics were organized without flame. The
tradition of torch was reintroduced in
Amsterdam Olympics 1928.
Olympic Medals
There were 4700 medals ( Gold, Silver,
Bronze) up for grab at the London Olym-
pics 2012. The Olympic medals weigh be-
tween 375-400 grams, they are eighty-five
mi llimetres in diameter and seven
millimetres thick. The gold medals are not
actually made of solid gold. They are in
fact 92.5 percent silver and 1.34 percent
gold, while the rest is copper. Metals used
in the medals were mined in Mongolia
and Utah in the United States.On every
medal there is the image of Nike, the Greek
Goddess of victory.
31st Summer Olympics
The 31st edition of Summer Olympics will
be held in Reo de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016.
The city was made the host of the event
in 121st IOC session. The games are sched-
uled to be held fron 5 August to 21 Au-
gust 2016.
Scientists at CERN
discovered a New Sub-
Atomic Particle called
Higgs Boson
Scientists at CERN, the European Organi-
zation for Nuclear Research, on 4 July
2012, discovered a new sub-atomic par-
ticle called Higgs Boson or Gods Particle.
The new discovery is being considered as
a gateway to a new era in understanding
the universes great mysteries including
dark matter.
Scientists had predicted the existence of
Higgs Boson, which is also referred to as
Gods Particle, in 1964. The particle was
named Higgs Boson after Peter Higgs and
Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. Pe-
ter Higgs was one of six authors who
wrote the revolutionary papers covering
what is now known as the Higgs mecha-
nism and described the related Higgs field
and boson.
The term God particle was first used by
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon
Lederman. The term is now a more popu-
lar term for Higgs Boson which explains
how the subatomic universe works and
got started.
Ramon Magsaysay
Award 2012
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation
(RMAF) announced today the six winners
of the 2012 Ramon Magsaysay Award. The
awardees were from Bangladesh, Cambo-
dia, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Tai-
wan. A press statement from RMAF said
hen Shu-Chu, from Taiwan, is being rec-
ognized for the pure altruism of her per-
sonal giving, which reflects a deep, con-
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sistent, quiet compassion and has trans-
formed the lives of the numerous Taiwan-
ese she has helped.
Romulo Davide, from the Philippines, is
being recognized for his steadfast pas-
sion in placing the power and discipline
of science in the hands of farmers in the
Philippines, who have consequently mul-
tiplied yields, created productive farming
communities and rediscovered the dignity
of their labor.
Kulandei Francis of India is recognized for
his visionary zeal, his profound faith in
community energies and his sustained
programs in pursuing the holistic eco-
nomic empowerment of thousands of
women and their families in rural India.
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, from Bangladesh,
is being recognized for her uncompro-
mising courage and impassioned leader-
ship in a campaign of judicial activism in
Bangladesh that affirms the peoples right
to a good environment as nothing less
than their right to dignity and life.
Cambodian Yang Saing Koma is being
recognized for his creative fusion of prac-
tical science and collective will that has
inspired and enabled vast numbers of
farmers in Cambodia to become more
empowered and productive contributors
to their countrys economic growth.
Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto, from Indone-
sia, is being recognized for his sustained
advocacy for community-based natural re-
source management in Indonesia, lead-
ing bold campaigns to stop illegal forest
exploitation, as well as fresh social enter-
prise initiatives that engage the forest
communities as their full partners.
Established in 1957, the Ramon
Magsaysay Award is Asias highest honor
and is widely regarded as the regions
equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
RMAF said the award celebrates the
memory and leadership example of the
third Philippine President of the Third
Republic, Ramon Magsaysay.
The award is given every year to Asian
individuals or organizations that manifest
the same sense of selfless service that
ruled the life of the late and beloved Fili-
pino leader.
RMAF President Carmencita Abella said,
The Magsaysay awardees of 2012 are six
remarkable individuals, all deeply in-
volved in creating sustainable solutions to
poverty and its accompanying
disempowerment, whether in the forests
or on farmlands, in exploitative industries
or in inadequate education. Working self-
lessly in unpretentious yet powerful ways,
they are showing how commitment, com-
petence, and collaborative leadership can
truly transform millions of individual lives
and galvanize progressive community ac-
IUCN released Red List
of Threatened Species
for Year 2012
International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN) on 19 June 2012 released
its latest update of the Red List of Threat-
ened Species. The report showed that of
the 63837 species assessed, 19817 are
threatened with extinction, including 41
per cent of amphibians, 33 per cent of
reef building corals, 25 per cent of mam-
mals, 13 per cent of birds, and 30 per cent
of conifers.
From India the IUCN listed 132 species of
plants and animals as Critically Endan-
gered, the most threatened category.
With as many as 60 different species as-
sessed as Critically Endangered and 141
species as Endangered, plants appeared
to be the most threatened life form.
18 species of amphibians, 14 fishes, 10
mammals and 15 varitites of birds were
assessed as critically endangered While,
310 species were included in the list of
Endangered species. The list of endan-
gered species includes 69 fishes, 38 mam-
mals and 32 amphibians. Two plant spe-
cies namely Euphorbia mayuranthanii of
Kerala were listed in the extinct in the wild
category, while a leaf frog species and six
plants were reported to be extinct.
On a global basis the IUCN classified 3947
as Critically Endangered, 81 as Extinct, 63
as Extinct in the Wild. In the lower risk
categories, there were 5766 species in
Endangered, 10104 in Vulnerable and
4467 in Near Threatened categories. Sci-
entific data regarding 10497 species was
not available and hence classified as Data
What is International Union for Conser-
vation of Nature (IUCN)?
The International Union for Conservation
of Nature (IUCN) is the worlds oldest and
largest global environmental organization.
Founded in 1948, today it is the largest
professional global conservation network
of the world. As of now the organization
has more than 1200 member organiza-
tions including 200+ government and
900+ non-government organizations. The
IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the
health of the worlds biodiversity. Head-
quartered in Gland near Geneva in Swit-
zerland, IUCNs vision is a just world that
values and conserves nature.
What is IUCN Red List?
Founded in 1969, IUCN Red List is the
most comprehensive, objective global
approach for evaluating the conservation
status of plant and animal species. The
goal of the IUCN Red List is to provide in-
formation and analyses on the status,
trends and threats to species in order to
inform and catalyse action for biodiversity
Smiling Armadillo to be
the official Mascot of
2014 FIFA World Cup,
A Smiling Armadillo is declared to be the
official mascot for the 2014 FIFA World
Cup in Brazil on 12 September 2012. The
reports state that FIFA has registered the
patent for this rare animal with the Euro-
pean Patent Office as a symbol to this ex-
treme sporting event. Officials declared
that internet poll will help in deciding the
name of this mascot. Brazuca the name
of the ball for the world cup 2014 to was
finalized by the opinion poll on internet.
The armadillo in Brazil is known by the
name of tatu-bola and is known for its
abilities of rolling itself in form of a ball
to with a leathery shell as a symbol of self
In the previous FIFA World Cup the mas-
cots were:
FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa-
Zakumi the green-haired leopard
FIFA 2006 World Cup in Germany-
Goleo named lion
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Taking the Armadillo as an official
mascot for the mega event was backed
by a NGO named Caatinga Association en-
gaged in protection of the biodiversity of
North Eastern Brazil.