CURRENT EVENTS – 2009

JANUARY Separate pay commission for armed force personnel 1 : In a move to redress the grievances of armed forces personnel over anomalies in pay structures, the Union Government decides to place officers in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and their equivalents in the other two services on a higher pay band and constitute a separate pay commission. Fastest man on earth Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, edges US swimming ace Michael Phelps to be voted the 2008 Athelete of the Year by the international media at Brussels, Belgium. Three fold salary hike 2 : The Union Government decides to bring in an ordinance giving a three-fold salary hike to judges, hereafter, the Chief Justice of India will get Rs. 1 lakh. Kilinochchi capture by troops In a major blow to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lankan troops capture the northern town of Kilinochchi, which has been the Tigers’ administrative and political headquarters. India signs agreement with Malaysia 3 : India signs an agreement with Malaysia aimed at improving the recruitment process of workers and their working conditions, besides promoting legal migration. Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Award Inaugurating the 96th Session of the Indian Science Congress in Shillong, Meghalaya, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh presents the Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Award to eminent scientist Dr. K. Kasturirangan. National Award – Braille Press 4 : Lok Sabha Speaker Mr. Somnath Chatterjee gives away the National Award for the Best Braille Press to Mr. A.K. Mittal of the All India Confederation of the Blind at a ceremony in New Delhi. Awami League leader Bangladesh’s Prime Minister elect Ms. Sheikh Hasina announces that veteran Awami League leader Mr. Zillur Rahman would be the country’s next President. Hopman Cup - Tennis Russia defeat Italy in the group stage at the Hopman Cup tennis in Perth, Australia. New C.M. for Jammu & Kashmir 5 : National Conference President Mr. Omar Abdullah is sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, nine other ministers are also sworn in along with him. Sub-Junior Archery championship 5 : Arjun Rao of Jharkhand bags two Gold medals in the 29th sub-junior National Archery championship in New Delhi. Nuclear Power expansion programme 6 : Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) approves a massive expansion programme to enhance its manufacturing capacity to 20,000 MW by 2012 and its foray into nuclear power equipment production such as generators, turbines and nuclear reactors. New P.M. for Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, leader of the grand alliance that won the December 2008 general elections in Bangladesh, is sworn in as Prime Minister of the country in Dhaka, the nation’s capital. Sri Lanka records against Bangladesh Sri Lanka register a record 465-run victory - the fifth largest win by runs in the history of the game - over Bangladesh in the second and final test of the series in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan is adjudged both Man of the Match and Man of the Series. Unparalleled fraud in Satyam 7 : In an unparalleled instance of fraud in India’s corporate history, B. Ramalinga Raju resigns as chairman of Satyam Computer Services India’s fourth largest IT company, after admitting that the accounts of the company were fudged to the tune of Rs. 7,106 crore over several years. Jawaharlal Nehru Prize - 2008 The Hindu Media Resoure Centre (HMRC) of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, is awarded the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Prize for 2008. 59th Senior National Basketball Championships Indian Railways win both the men’s and women’s titles in the 59th Senior National basketball championships in Surat, Gujarat. G.D. Birla Award - 2008 8 : Prof. Raghavan Varadrajan of the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, is chosen for the prestigious G.D. Birla Award for Scientific Research for 2008 for his work in the area of molecular biophysics. Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 9 : The seventh edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) comes to an end in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Devisingh Patil gives away the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards to 13 members of the Indian diaspora, including Vice-Presidents of two nations. Beighton Cup Championship Punjab and Sind Bank and Punjab Police are declared joint champions in the 113th All-India Beighton Cup hockey championship in Kolkata, West Bengal.

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National shooting championship 9 : Suma Shirur of Railways wins the women’s Gold in the 10m air rifle event of the National shooting championship in Thodupuzha, Kerala. INSA – Platinum Jubilee 10 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurates the platinum jubilee of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) in New Delhi. Qatar Open title Britain’s Andy Murray defeats Andy Roddick of USA 6-4, 6-2 in the final to retain his Qatar Open title in Doha, Qatar. Medium range missile - Akash 11 : In a boost to the country’s missile development effort , the Indian ir Force finally places an order with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for two squadrons of medium-range, surface-to-air missile Akash. NTPC - signs agreement with Mizoram The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) signs an agreement with the Mizoram government for the execution of the 460 MW Kolodyne Stage II Hydro Electric Project on the Kolodyne river in the State. Agreement between Russia and Ukraine Russia and Ukraine reach an agreement on resuming natural gas supplies to Europe after the latter agrees to allow international monitors in the country in the wake of allegations regarding misuse of the transit shipments. Vibrant Gujarat - 2009 12 : The “Vibrant Gujarat 2009” industrial summit opens in Ahmedabad, with top industrialists from the country and abroad promising over Rs. 9 lakh crore investment in the State. 66th Golden Globe Awards Slumdog Millionaire, a British movie with overwhelmingly Indian content and backdrop, emerges as a big winner at the 66th Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, USA, scooping up four awards including the Best Original Score for famous Indian music director A.R. Rahman. New Scholarships programme at University of Cambridge The University of Cambridge, the U.K., announces a new scholarship programme – Manmohan Singh Under-Graduate Scholarships – for Indian students in honour of the Prime Minister. Fastest Wicket taker Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis becomes the fastest to complete 50 wickets (in 19 matches) in ODIs as Sri Lanka crush Zimbabwe by 130 runs in a triangular series match in Dhaka, Bangladesh. World Footballer of the year 12 : Manchester United and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo is conferred the FIFA World

Footballer of the Year award for 2008 at a ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland. Dam in the Himalayas 13 : A study titled “Mountains of Concrete : Dam Building in the Himalays”, released in New Delhi, underscores the need for a comprehensive assessment of the impact of climate change on dam building in the Himalayas; it asserts that climate change is likely to have the most serious implications for dams. Australia beat South Africa in T20 Australia beat South Africa by six wickets in a T20 match in Brisbane, Australia. Marine Security 14 : The Central Government announces that it will shortly finalise a marine security blueprint that will put in place a coastal command structure to enhance protection of the country’s 7,516 km-long coastline. China becomes third largest economy China officially becomes the world’s third largest economy, as the country’s GDP grew by 13 percent in 2007 to $ 3.4 trillion - nearly three times of Indian economy. Bangladesh defeat Sri Lanka Bangladesh defeat Sri Lanka by five wickets in a triangular series ODI in Dhaka, Bangladesh. National shooting championship 15 : Vijay Kumar of Army claims the Gold in men’s 25m standard pistol event of the National shooting championship in Thodupuzha, Kerala. C r i c i n f o Te s t B a t t i n g a n d B o w l i n g performance 16 : Dashing Indian opener Virender Sehwag receives the ‘Cricinfo Test Batting Performance of the Year’ award while the ‘Test Bowling Performance of the Year’ award is given to South African pacer Dale Steyn, in New Delhi. Bravery Awards for 2008 17 : Indian Council for Child Welfare President Ms. Gita Siddarth announces the National Bravery Awards 2008 for 20 children in New Delhi. State of the World’s children - 2009 A UNICEF report titled “State of the World’s Children 2009” reveals that forty percent of the world’s child marriages take place in India. Printpack India - 2009 A six-day quadrennial event on printing and packaging technology titled “Printpack India2009” opens at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. Mini Ratna Status The Union Government grants ‘Mini Ratna’ status to Airports Authority of India (AAI), enabling it to invest up to Rs. 500 crore at any airport. National carrom championship B. Radhakrishnan of Tamil Nadu wins the 38th Senior National carrom championships men’s title defeating second-seeded M. Nataraj of

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Indian Airlines in the final while World No.1 I. Ilavazhagi of Tamil Nadu retains the women’s title defeating Rashmi Kumari of BSNL in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Sangeet Natak Academy Ratnas 18 : The General Council of the Sangeet Natak Academy elects four eminent personalities in the field of performing arts, namely Ms. Sitara Devi, Mr. Khaled Choudhury, Mr. R.C. Mehta and Mr. Bhupen Hazarika, as Sangeet Natak Academy Ratnas. India invest in S Tel Limited Bahrain-based integrated telecommunications company Batelco announces plans to invest in India in 2009 by purchasing a 49 percent stake in S Tel Limited. Study on the health of the Toto Tribal The Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science and Technology approves a proposal of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute, Kolkata to conduct a study on the health patterns and health management of the Toto tribal people in north Bengal. Russia and Ukraine agree on price of natural gas supply 18 : Russia and Ukraine agree on the price of natural gas supply to Ukraine for 2009 in Moscow, Russia, resolving the three-week standoff that left much of Europe freezing in the heart of a cold winter. President rule at Jharkhand 19 : President’s rule is imposed on Jharkhand, on the recommendation of the State Governor, ending political uncertainty in the State following Chief Minister Mr. Shibu Soren’s resignation. Maximum sentence limit for criminal offences Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Devisingh Patil gives her assent to the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill, which restrains the police from arresting a person for criminal offences for which the maximum sentence is up to seven year imprisonment. IT infrastructure project in Kolkata West Bengal Chief Minister Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee lays the foundation of the Rs.130-crore information technology infrastructure project in Kolkata. Tr i p l e p l a y s e r v i c e s o v e r a s i n g l e connection Bharti Airtel launches its Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service in New Delhi, thus becoming the first private company to offer “Triple Play Services” (telephony, broadband and entertainment services), over a single connection. Chinese new capital The Chinese government decides to make Yongchang the new capital of Beichuan county which was severely destroyed due to an earthquake in 2008.

Change in Madarasa certificate 20: In a bid to mainstream madrasa education, the Union Government decides to place madrasa certificates on a par with those issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and affiliates of the Council of Board of School Education (COBSE) in India. Vice-President of US Mr. Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the US by Chief Justice Mr. John Roberts in Washington, while Mr. Joe Biden is sworn in as the 47th Vice-President of the nation. President of Table-Tennis Federation Mr. Ajay Chautala is unanimously re-elected as the President of the Table Tennis Federation of India for another four-year term. Deputy C.M. of Punjab 21 : Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal is sworn in as Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister. Pilot project on alternative cropping system 22 : The Union Government sanctions a grant to Rajahmundry (Andhra Pradesh)-based Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI) to under take a pilot project on ‘Alternative Cropping System to beedi and chewing tobacco’ in various States. China’s GDP growth 22 : Latest reports put China’s 2008 GDP growth at 9 percent, which is the slowest in last seven years. Pension to Olympians The Union Government decides to give a monthly pension of Rs.8,000 each to Olympians Niranjan Das (Wrestling) and Goa Chand Seal (Swimming) with immediate effect under the National Welfare Scheme for Sports persons. India bans import of toys from China 23 : In order to protect the domestic industry from cheap imports and dumping, India bans import of toys from China. Payloads on Board Chandrayaan-I ISRO sources reveal that the Imaging X-ray Spectrometer, one of the 11 payloads on board Chandrayaan-1, received X-ray signals of aluminium, magnesium and silicon on December 12, 2008. Japan launches GOSAT Japan successfully launches the world’s first Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT), dedicated to monitoring greehouse gas emissions on the Earth, from Tanegashima, a small island in southern Japan. Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe in Test series Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by six wickets in the third and final ODI to clinch the three-match series 2-1 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Olympic sportsman & woman of the year Swimmer Michael Phelps is chosen as the US Olympic Committee’s Sportsman of the Year, while gymnast Nastia Liukin and swimmer Natalie Coughling tie in the voting for Sports woman of the Year.

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India sign agreement with Kazakhstan 24 : India and Kazakhstan sign a major agreement in New Delhi for supply of uranium and a comprehensive cooperation in civil nuclear energy programme. Free newspaper subscriptions to teenagers French President Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy promises to provide free newspaper subscriptions to teenagers for their 18th birthdays while announcing a ninefold rise in the state’s support for newspaper deliveries and doubling of its annual print advertising outlay. Padma Awards - 2009 25 : As many as 133 personalities – 10 for Padma Vibhushan, 30 for Padma Bhushan and 93 for Padma Shri – are chosen for the prestigious Padma Awards. Ashok Chakra & Kirthi Chakra Awards2009 The Union Government names eleven personalities for Ashoka Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award and 13 for Kirti Chakra. Best Producer of the year Award Slumdog Millionaire wins top honours from the Producers Guild of America, winning the Darryl F Zanuck Producer of the Year Award, in Los Angeles, USA. Padma Awards - 2009 In all 133 personalities from various fields were named on January 25th, 2009 including 10 for Padma Vibushan 30 for Padma Bhushan and 93 for Padma Shri. The details of Awards and Awardees. Pa d m a Vi b h u s h a n : S. Bahuguna, G. Madhavan Nair, Anil Kakodkar, Sister Nirmala, A.S. Gangully and others. Padma Bhushan : Shekhar Gupta, C.K. Prahlad, D. Jayakanthan, Isher Judge Ahluwalia, C.S. Seshadri, Ramachandra Guha, Sarojini Varadappan, Abhinav Bindra, Sam Pitroda, Satish Nambiar and others. Padma Sri : Aishwarya Rai, Vivek (Comedy Actor) M.S. Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Pankaj Advani, Aruna Sairam and others. Ashok Charka Award 2009 26 : After the terror attacks in Mumbai, six security personnel who laid down their lives fighting terrorists, when honoured with Ashok Chakra on the 60th Republic day. In all 11 security man were awarded posthumously Ashok Chakra at the investiture ceremony. Chief of the Anti-Terriorist squard of Maharashtra Hemant Karkare, Addl. Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte, Inspector of Anti-Extortion call of Maharashtra Crime Branch Vijay Solaskar and Asst. S.I. of Police Tukaram Ombale were given the award for sacrificing their lives while fighting with terrorists in Nov. 2008. Kirti Chakra Award The Constable Ambadas Ramchandra Pawar was thought to have died in the random firing by the two terrorists at the Chhatrapati Shivaji

Terminus here on Nov. 26. Wearing ordinary workday clothes, he was one among the 56 killed there. He was killed in the time of action and for this, he was posthumously awarded the Kirti Chakra. National Communal Harmony Award 26 : Mr. Dominic Emmanuel and Anjuman Sair-e-Gul Faroshan are selected for the National Communal Harmony Award for 2008 in New Delhi. Best CFO in public sector 27 : NTPC Director (Finance) Mr. A.K. Singhal is adjudged the Best Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in the public sector category by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. International conference on food security At an international conference on food security in Madrid, Spain, Mr. Jacques Diouf, the head of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, appeals to double global food production by 2050 to ward off mass hunger. IGNOU launches a one year post-graduate Inidra Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) launches a one-year post-graduate diploma course in pharmaceutical sales management. PGCIL signs agreement with World Bank Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) signs a $400 million loan agreement with the World Bank to fund a basket of transmission projects during the 11th Five-Year Plan. Ceat India Cricketer of the year 2008-09 Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer is declared the ‘Ceat India Cricketer of the Year 2008-09’ in Mumbai. Price cut for Petrolium products 28 : Harnessing the benefit of the falling crude oil prices, the Central Government cuts the retail prices of petrol, diesel and LPG by Rs. 5 a litre, Rs. 2 a litre and Rs. 25 a cylinder, respectively. UMPP in Jharkhand owned by Reliance Mr. Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Power Ltd. (RPL) bags the 4,000 MW Tilaiya Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Jharkhand. CCEA approves CMRP 29 : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approves the Chennai Metro Rail Project. Gopalaswami suo motu send to President 30 : The Chief Election Commissioner, Mr. N. Gopalaswami, suo motu sends a recommendation to the President that Election Commissioner Mr. Navin Chawla should be removed from office on the alleged ground of ‘partisanship’. Wildlife Awards -2008 Over 10 wildlife enthusiasts, comprising conservationists, non-governmental organisations, government officers, lawyers, journalists and academicians, are chosen for the Earth Heroes 2008 Wildlife Awards.

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Williams sisters win Aus. Open (Women’s Doubles) - 2009 30 : Serena and Venus Williams win their eight Grand Slam women’s doubles title and their third title in Australian Open defeating Ai Sugiyama (Japan) and Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia) 6-3, 6-3 in Melbourne. CNN-IBN sportsperson of the year Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra, the first Olympic individual Gold medal winner for India, is declared the CNN-IBN Sportsperson of the Year. SBI slashes interest rate on new home loans 31 : State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank, slashes interest rates on new home loans to 8 percent. Serena clinches Aus. Open (Women’s singles) - 2009 Serena Williams of USA clinches the 2009 Australian Open women’s singles title, defeating Dinara Safina of Russia in the one-sided final in Melbourne, Australia. FEBRUARY Ambikatanayadatta National Award 1 : The prestigious Ambikatanayadatta National Award, instituted by the D.R. Bendre National Memorial Trust, is confer red on S a h i t y a A k a d e m i P re s i d e n t M r. S u n i l Gangopadhyay. New Prime Minister of Iceland Ms. Johanna Sigurdardottir, one of the most experienced politicians of Iceland, is appointed the Prime Minister of the country, after Mr. Geir Haarde resigns as the premier following unprecedented economic instability in the nation. Aus. Open (Men’s singles) - 2009 World No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain clinches the 2009 Australian Open men’s singles title, beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final in Melbourne, Australia. First ever Indian pair win Aus. Open 2009 Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza of India become the first-ever Indian pair to win a Grand Slam mixed doubles title, crushing Andy Ram (Israel) and Nathalie Dechy (France) in the final of the event at the Australian Open 2009. IAEA sign life time agreement 2 : India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sign a safeguards agreement in New Delhi, which, when fully implemented, will serve as the framework for the importing of both nuclear reactors and the fuel to power them throughout their lifetime. CNN-IBN Indian of the year 2008 The Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, and Team Chandrayaan are declared the CNNIBN Indian of the Year 2008.

Twelve Indian languages in IT giant Microsoft 3 : IT giant Microsoft unveils several initiatives aimed at enabling Indian users to compute using 12 Indian languages. Two more medical institution in India 5 : The Union Cabinet approves two more AIIMS-like medical institutions, one in West Bengal and the other in Uttar Pradesh, at a cost of Rs. 823 crore each. The Cabinet also decides to upgrade five government medical colleges in five States to the level of AIIMS. 3G mobile services in New Delhi MTNL launches its 3G mobile services in New Delhi, offering facilities like faster Internet surfing and Data downloads, like TV, video on demand, video calls and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Ban-Ki-Moon conferred sustainable Development Award The UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban-Ki-Moon, is conferred the Sustainable Development Leadership Award at the 9th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS), organised by the Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi. Cuban-Russian signed agreement Cuban President Mr. Raul Castro concludes a week-long visit to Russia, having signed various crucial pacts aimed at revitalising bilateral ties. 9th consecutive win in ODI record Mahendra Singh Dhoni creates a record by leading India to their ninth consecutive ODI win - the most by an Indian team ever-as India beat Sri Lanka by 67 runs in the fourth match of the Wealthsurance series in Colombo. Highest wicket taker in Test Legendary Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, the highest wicket-taker in Tests with 769 wickets, becomes the highest wickettaker in ODIs too, as he bags his record breaking 503rd wicket (Gautam Gambhir) in the fourth match of the series against India, surpassing former Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram (502). Costliest players in Twenty-20 6 : English cricketers Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff become the costliest players in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) as they win record contracts – $1.55 million each – to play for Bangalore Royal Challengers and Chennai Super Kings respectively, at the auctions in Panaji, Goa. Largest stone dome in the world 8 : The Global Vipassana Pagoda, the largest stone dome in the world built without supporting pillars, is inaugurated by the Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Devisingh Patil in Mumbai. Worst wildfire disaster in Aus. More than a hundred people are killed and entire towns razed in the worst wildfire disaster in the history of Australia.

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India wins ODI series against Sri Lanka 8 : India win the Wealthsurance ODI series against Sri Lanka 4-1, even as Sri Lanka win the fifth and final match by 68 runs in Colombo. Swashbuckling Indian batsmanYuvraj Singh is adjudged the Man of the Series and Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Kumara Sangakkara is named the Man of the Match in the fifth ODI. Exercise Tropex 2009 9 : The Indian Armed Forces conduct the largest ever amphibious exercise “Exercise Tropex 2009”, on the Madhavpur beach in Gujarat. Grammy Award Indian tabla maestro Mr. Zakir Hussain wins the Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary World Music Album category for his collaborative album Global Drum Project. British Academy of film & TV arts awards Slumdog Millionaire sweeps the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards, winning seven prizes including the Best Music Score for Indian composer A.R. Rahman. Bharat Ratna Award - 2009 10 : Noted Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi (87) is presented the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, in Pune, Maharashtra. Saraswati Samman Award 2008 11 : Kayakalpa, an Assamese novel by Mr. Lakshmi Nandan Bora, is selected for the 18th Saraswati Samman-2008. The award, instituted by the K.K. Birla Foundation in 1991, is among the most prestigious literary awards in the country and carries a cash prize of Rs.5 lakh. Aero India - 2009 Aero India-2009, the much-awaited premier air show in Asia, gets off to a flying start in Yelahanka, Bengaluru. The event has 592 exhibitors, including 289 foreign exhibitors from 25 countries. President of Bangladesh Veteran politician Mr. Zillur Rahman is elected President of Bangladesh by the country’s election commission. Chairman of the Committee of Governors 12 : Mr. A.R. Kidwai, Chair man of the Committee of Governors, submits a crucial report on socio-economic development and empowerment of women in India to Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Devisingh Patil in New Delhi. Pak. Promises with India to register a case towards Mumbai attack Pakistan fulfils a big par t of its promise of cooperation with India on the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks by registering a case of terrorism against eight Pakistani suspects, and formally acknowledging that part of the planning for the attacks was hatched in Pakistan. Spain defeat England in Football Spain defeat England 2-0 in a friendly football match played in London (England).

Railway Budget - 2009 13 : Union Railway Minister Mr. Lalu Prasad presents the Interim Railway Budget 2009-10 in the Parliament, the high point of the budget being a 2% cut in fares. Australia wins Chappell-Hadlee Trophy Australia retain the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy after their 5th ODI of the series against New Zealand is abandoned due to rain in Brisbane, Australia. Earlier, both teams won two matches each. Backward districts of desert state 14 : A convergence programme to be operated jointly by the UN agencies and the Rajasthan Government for achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is launched in five backward districts of the desert State. US Congress approves tax cut and job creation The US Congress approves a $787 billion stimulus package to revive the battered economy of the nation through tax cuts and job creation. Saudi Appoint first ever women Dy. Cabinet Minister King Abdullah, the monarch of Saudi Arabia, appoints Ms. Noura al-Fayez as a deputy cabinet minister, thus making her the first ever woman to be appointed as minister in the history of the nation. Fastest Man on Earth Olympic champion Usain Bolt, billed as the ‘Fastest Man on Earth’, is named Jamaica’s Sportsman of the Year. 1st woman to fly the mighty Russian jet 15 : Ms. Suman Sharma, a 30-year-old Indian woman, becomes the world’s first woman to fly the mighty Russian MiG-35 fighter jet at the Aero India international air show in Bengaluru. Finance Ministers G7 nations hold meeting Finance Ministers from the G7 nations hold an important meeting in Rome, Italy, which renews calls for a concerted global response to the financial and economic crisis. Miss India - US Student A 19-year-old student from the US, Ms. Nikkitasha Marhawa, clinches the 18th Miss India Worldwide crown in Durban, South Africa. ABN Amro Open Tennis tournament Andy Murray of Britain wins the ABN Amro Open tennis tournament, defeating World No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain in the final in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. R u s s i a w i n s Pa t t a y a O p e n Te n n i s tournament Top-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia wins the Pattaya Open tennis tournament, beating India’s Sania Mirza in the final in Pattaya, Thailand.

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Pranab presents 12th Interim Budget 16 : External Affairs Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, who is incharge of Finance due to PM Dr. Manmohan Singh’s illness, presents India’s 12th Interim Budget in the Parliament. Peace from the Taliban in Swat 17 : Pakistan defends its decision to set up Islamic courts in a large part of the North West Frontier Province to buy peace from the Taliban in Swat, calling it a positive step towards restoring government’s rule in the militant-overrun valley. Universal value by US & Japan The US and Japan agree to intensify consultations and coordination with the Republic of Korea, Australia and India, which, according to them, share ‘universal value’. West Indies greats in ICC’s ceremony West Indies greats Vivian Richards, Andy Roberts and Michael Holding are formally inducted in the ICC’s Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Dubai. C.K. Nayudu Award 18 : The Col. C.K. Nayudu Award for lifetime achievement comprising a trophy, a citation and a cheque for Rs. 15 lakh is presented to former batting maestro Gundappa Viswanath at the BCCI Awards function for 2007-08 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Passes Money Laundering Bill 19 : The Rajya Sabha passes the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2008, which will strengthen the legal framework to tackle cases effectively. UNESCO’s latest list on languages 20 : With 196 of its languages listed as endangered, India tops the UNESCO’s latest list of countries having the maximum number of dialects on the verge of extinction. Indian archers win medals Indian archers win five medals, including a Gold, in the Asian Grand Prix championship in Bangkok, Thailand. New Power Projects at Rajasthan 21 : The Neyveli Lignite Corporation decides to setup four new power projects of 125 MW each in Bikaner district of Rajasthan. SPU in Himachal Pradesh Union Steel Minister Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan lays the foundation stone for SAIL ninth steel ’s processing unit (SPU) in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. EPF reccommends rate of interest 22 : The Central Board of Trustees of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) recommends a rate of interest of 8.5 percent for 2008-09. BSNL releases ‘Indian Golden 50’ plan Calling it “the beginning of an era of sub-Re. 1 tariff for calls between any two destinations across the country in the Indian telecom sector”, BSNL releases the details of the ‘Indian Golden 50’ plan.

Slumdog Millionaire wins 8 awards 22 : Slumdog Millionaire wins eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Director, Sean Penn wins Best Actor for Milk and Kate Winslet wins Best Actress for The Reader, Indian music maestro A.R. Rahman wins two Oscars while another Indian Resul Pookutty wins an Oscar for the Best Sound Mixing. Memphis Open Tennis Championship Victoria Azarenka of Belarus wins the Memphis Open tennis championship, beating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the final in Memphis, USA. Sri Lankans world record in Test Series Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene and Thilana Samaraweera post a world record stand of 437 for the fourth wicket in the opening Test of the series against Pakistan in Karachi, Pakistan. Cabinet approves for NTT with Japan subscribe 23 : The Union Cabinet’s Committee on Economic Affairs gives its approval for NTT Docomo Inc. of Japan to subscribe to and acquire 27 percent equity in Tata Teleservices Ltd. India plans its first astronauts into space India approves a £1.7 billion plan to launch its first astronauts into outer space by 2015. Memphis Open Tennis Tournament Andy Roddick of USA clinches the Memphis Open tennis tournament men’s title, defeating Radek Stepanck of the Czech Republic in the final in Memphis, USA. Delhi Laws Bill - 2009 24 : The Parliament passes the National Capital Ter ritory of Delhi L aws (Special Provisions) Bill, 2009, extending the moratorium on sealing till December 31, 2009. NASA’s orbiting carbon observator y lands in the Pacific Ocean NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory lands in the Pacific Ocean near Antarctica after failing to reach Earth’s orbit. Triple century by Younis Khan Pakistan skipper Younis Khan scores an 306 in the first Test against Sri Lanka, becoming only the third Pakistani cricketer to score a triple century. Indian grandmaster wins chess in France Indian grandmaster P. Harikrishna wins the Nancy Masters international chess tournament in France. IFFCO signs agreement in the Qatar 25 : The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) Ltd. signs an agreement with Qatar Fertiliser Company for setting up a joint venture for production of fertiliser and chemicals in Qatar. Iran tests power plant at Bushehr Iran tests its first nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

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Army Officers killed in Dhaka 25 : The Bangladesh Rifles mutinies in Dhaka, killing a large number of army officers. Union Govt. Unevils package to Export 26 : The Union Government unveils a Rs.325 crore package to exports of leather, textiles, gems & jewellary and food products. BSNL launches 3G mobile services 27 : State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) launches 3G mobile services in 11 cities and announces a rate of Re. 1 a minute for a video call in the Rs. 2,500 plan. Aus. free trade agreement with New Zealand ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand sign a free trade agreement to increase commerce. New Zealand beat India in T-20 New Zealand clinch the Twenty20 series against India 2-0, beating India in the second and final encounter by five wickets in Wellington, New Zealand. Dubai open tennis championship 28 : Novak Djokovic of Serbia clinches the title of the Dubai Open tennis championship, beating David Ferrer of Spain in the final in Dubai, UAE. Venus clinches 41st singles title Venus Williams of USA clinches the 41st singles title of her career when she defeats Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in the final to win the Mexican Open tennis tournament in Acapulco, Mexico. MARCH President rejects CEC’s recommendation 1 : Accepting the Centre’s advice, Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Devisingh Patil rejects Chief Election Commissioner Mr. N. Gopalaswami’s recommendation that Mr. Navin Chawla be removed as Election Commissioner. China’s Chang’e 1 impacts the moon China’s first lunar probe, Chang’e 1, impacts the Moon. India beat New Zealand in hockey test series India clinch the hockey Test series against New Zealand, beating the hosts 2-0 in the fourth and final match in Auckland, New Zealand. 15th Lok Sabha Election date announced 2 : The Election Commission of India announces that the general elections to the 15th Lok Sabha will be held in five phases – on April 16, 23 and 30, and May 7 and 13. RPL merger with RIL The Boards of Directors of Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) and its refinery subsidiary Reliance Petroleum Ltd. (RPL) approve the merger of the firms, creating one of the world’s largest petrochemical entities.

Geoff wins World Golf championship 2 : Geoff Ogilvy of Australia wins the World Golf Championship (WGC) title, beating Paul Casey of England in Arizona, USA. Nuclear agreement with US 3 : India receives a formal approval for an Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from the IAEA’s Board of Governors, thereby completing all of its major commitments stemming from the July 2005 nuclear agreement with the US. Director of FBI meets Home Minister The Director of the FBI of USA, Mr. Robert M u e l l e r, m e e t s H o m e M i n i s t e r M r. P. Chidambaram in New Delhi and discusses security and terrorism related issues. Terrorist attack in Lahore Seven Sri Lankan cricketers are wounded and six policemen killed in a terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan. New Chief Election Commissioner 4 : The Union Government announces the appointment of Mr. Navin Chawla as the new Chief Election Commissioner with effect from April 20, 2009. RBI - cuts repo rate The Reserve Bank of India cuts repo (lending rate) by 50 basis points to 5 percent and reverse repo (borrowing rate) by an identical margin to 3.5 persons with immediate effect. Asian cross-country championship India win three Bronze medals in the 10th Asian cross-country championship held at Manama, Bahrain. Inflation dropped to over 6 years 5 : Inflation updates released by the government reveal that the rate of inflation dropped to over a six-year low at 3.3 percent for the week ended February 21, 2009. Jamaican wins in world Athletics Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell wins the 100-m event at the World Athletics Tour Meet in Melbourne, Australia. Prithvi destroys Dhanush 6 : In a third successful mission, the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s interceptor missile, which is an advanced version of the Prithvi missile, destroys a Dhanush missile, which simulated the trajectory of a ballistic missile, 80 km over the Bay of Bengal. NASA launches pioneering telescope NASA launches a pioneering telescope, named Kepler, to survey a corner of the galaxy in the hope of learning if other planets like the Earth exist. Manipur beat Punjab - football Manipur beat Punjab 19-0 in a match of the 17th National women’s football championship in Neyveli, Tamil Nadu.

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CURRENT EVENTS - 2009

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14th World Conference on Tobacco 8 : The 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCOTH) is inaugurated in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Sachin scores 43rd ODI century Sachin Tendulkar scores his 43rd ODI century (an unbeaten 163 off 133 balls), as India beat New Zealand by 58 runs in the third ODI of the series in Christchurch, New Zealand, to take an unassailable 2-0 lead. Thailand open Golf championship India’s Jyoti Randhawa clinches the title at the Thailand Open golf championship in Phuket, Thailand. Obama lifts Bush’s restrictions on cell research 9 : US President Mr. Barack Obama lifts former President Mr. George W. Bush’s restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. Status to newly established educational institutions 10 : The Yashpal Committee on “Renovation and Rejuvenation of Universities” seeks an immediate end to the practice of according deemed university status to newly established educational institutions, under section 3 of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act. US senate passes omnibus bill The United States Senate passes a $410 billion omnibus spending bill. France will rejoin NATO 11 : President Nicolas Sarkozy announces that France will rejoin NATO’s military command. Fastest century by Sehwag Explosive opening batsman Virender Sehwag scores the fastest century (off 60 balls) by an Indian in ODIs, as India clinch the ODI series

against New Zealand by humbling them by 10 wickets in the fourth match in Hamilton, New Zealand; this is the first ODI series win for India on New Zealand soil in 33 years. First-ever Director-General of Air Force 12 : Air Marshal D.C. Kumaria takes charge as the first-ever Director-General (Operations) at Air Force Headquarters in New Delhi. Bill Gates the world’s richest man again A Forbes report reveals that Microsoft founder Mr. Bill Gates has become the world’s richest man again, overtaking investor Mr. Warren Buffet. G20 leaders agree global financial crisis 14 : In a crucial meeting in London the UK, G20 leaders agree on a broad framework to tackle the global financial crisis. India clinch ODI series India clinch the ODI series against New Zealand 3-1, even as New Zealand win the fifth and final encounter by 8 wickets in Auckland, New Zealand. India’s trade relations of offshore evidence 15 : Marine archaeologists unearth a stone anchor in the Gulf of Khambhat (off the Gujrat coast) with a design similar to the ones used by Chinese and Japanese ships in the 12th-14th century A.D., giving the first offshore evidence indicating India’s trade relations with the two Asian countries. Nawaz Shariff’s ‘long march’ In an unprecedented show of power, former Pakistan Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif defies a house arrest and leads a ‘long march’ from Lahore to Islamabad, demanding the restoration of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary.

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CURRENT EVENTS - 2009

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