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FREE WEEKLY CURRENT AFFAIRS NOTES @ http://utkristgroup.com
• The global ban, from August 2010, on the pernicious
cluster bombs cannot conceal the utter contempt the big
powers had for the post-World War II Geneva Conventions on
humanitarian law (laws of war) that seek to protect civilian
populations during combat operations. Worse, the obdurate
refusal of the major arms manufacturing and procuring countries
such as the United States, Russia, Israel, China, India, and
Pakistan to accede to the pact underscores the fact that a
minority of countries, some of them democracies to wit, stand
isolated on a concrete step to promote international peace and
• Scientists have discovered moon's biggest and deepest
crater-some 2,400 kms long and 9 km deep - using data from
a NASA instrument that flew aboard India's maiden unmanned
lunar mission Chandrayaan-I. The US Space agency's Moon
Mineralogy Mapper (M3) detected the enormous crater - the
South Pole-Aitken basin - that was created when an asteroid smacked into moon's
southern hemisphere shortly after the formation of earth's only natural satellite.
• U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked the General Assembly to pass a
resolution that would create a U.N. agency to focus solely on the well-being of
• To mark International Women's Day, U.N. AIDS
agency (UNAIDS) launched a new programme
called `Agenda for Accelerated Country Action
for Women, Girls, Gender Equality and HIV'
that requires governments to address gender
inequalities that put women and girls at risk to
contract HIV.
• The World Health Organisation unveiled a
landmark new measures to counter the misuse of
anti-malaria drugs, which is threatening
attempts to stifle some 250 million cases a year of
the disease. The UN health agency recommended
that all suspected cases of the mosquito-borne
disease should be tested and diagnosed before
treatment is given, instead of relying simply on
identifying symptoms such as fever. It also
unveiled its first ever procurement guidelines
for anti-malarial medicines, to expand
combination or multiple drug therapy and halt
single drug use that is helping the parasite
develop resistance to the new treatment
artemisinin. Some 865,000 die each year from
the debilitating mosquito-borne disease -- 85
percent of them children -- predominantly in Africa and Asia. At the moment, just 22

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percent of suspected cases in some of the most affected African countries are properly
diagnosed. More than one-third of 108 malaria-affected countries have managed to cut
malaria cases by half since 2000, according to a WHO report released in December. But
that progress is threatened by the recent emergence of artemisinin-resistant malaria on
the Thai-Cambodia border. Strains of malaria resistant to previously common drugs
such as mefloquine also emerged for the first time there and later spread into Africa.
Robert Newman is director of the WHO's global malaria programme.
• NASA's Mini-Sar experiment found more than 40 small craters, ranging in size from
one to nine miles, containing water ice on Moon.
• The UN has proposed to set up a expert panel to look into alleged human rights
violations during the last phase of the civil war in Sri Lanka, triggering a sharp reaction
from President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who rejected the move.
• Israel said that it has authorised a visit to the Gaza Strip by UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton through its territory.
• Information group IHS Jane's said that Iran is building a new rocket launch site a
short distance from an existing complex in the northern Iran (near the city of Semnan
east of Tehran) , and seems to be working with North Korea.
• A poll carried out for the BBC indicated that more than three-quarters of people across
the world believe access to the Internet is a fundamental right.
• Brazil differs with U.S. on Iran - Sanctions will have negative impact, says Brazilian
Foreign Minister Celso Amorim. Iran´s uranium enrichment activity at the Qom facility
was discovered in September 2009. The deal for Iran to swap its low-enriched uranium
for 20 per cent enriched uranium from the West, for use as medical radioisotopes,
was temporarily shelved after Iran declared that it would undertake such enrichment
• Japan's new centre-left rulers plan to lift the lid soon on secret Cold War nuclear and
military pacts with the United States that were denied for decades.
• USA is aiding Somalia in its battle to retake capital Mogadishu.
• Colombia's Constitutional Court has
decided to review an agreement giving US
forces access to seven Colombian military
bases after a group of lawyers filed a
complaint arguing it is unconstitutional.
• Spanish police said that they have
collaborated with the FBI to smash the
world's biggest network of virus-infected
computers, which hijacked over 13 million
PCs, stealing credit card details and other
data, and arrested three people who ran the
• The French military said that French frigate
Nivose has seized 35 pirates in three days
off of Somalia, claiming "the biggest
seizure" so far in the vital shipping lane.
• China has planned to widen the Karokoram
highway between its western province of
Xingjian and Pakistan.
• Myanmar's rail transportation department
has begun work on laying a railroad
connecting the country´s border town of Muse with Jie Guo in China's Yunnan

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province. A railway station will be built at Sone Kwe village near the Lashio-Muse
Union Road that passed close to the Chinese border. Muse accounts for 70% of the
border trade conducted by Myanmar through 11 trade points along its border.
• Nepal police arrested Thinley Gyatso, the representative of the Dalai Lama in Nepal, in a
bid to prevent anti-China demonstrations in Nepal on March 10, observed by Tibetans
worldwide as Tibetan Uprising Day.
• Obama calls for global fuel bank: President Obama reaffirmed the United States'
intention to push forward with dialogue on the three pillars of the non- proliferation
question - disarmament, non-proliferation and civil nuclear cooperation.
• The United States House of Representatives followed the Senate in passing a jobs bill of
$15 billion. The Hiring Incentive to Restore Employment Act (the "HIRE Act")
offers a payroll tax holiday for businesses that hire unemployed workers and an income
tax credit of $1,000 for businesses that retain them. The bill now remains to be signed
into law by Mr. Obama. While the bill is significantly smaller than the $787 billion
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act - more commonly known as the stimulus
package - that was passed approximately a year ago, it offers a range of supports
designed to boost new hiring. Apart from the tax holiday and credits, the bill also provides
for the extension of the Highway Trust Fund, "allowing for tens of billions of dollars in
infrastructure investment¨.
• Gay marriages goes legal in USA capital.
• Canada anthem may go gender-neutral. The original lyrics of the Canadian anthem
were penned in 1908 by Canadian poet Robert Stanley Weir, read "True patriot love
thou dost in us command." The version in current use was adopted in 1914.
• Cuba launches new cigar for women: The Cuban-Spanish company Habanos SA,
which promotes all brands of handmade Cuban cigars - considered the finest in the world
- launched the subtle-flavoured Julieta at the 12th Havana cigar festival this month.
• Iceland's Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said her centre-left government will
stay in office after a foreign debt deal she brokered was overwhelmingly rejected in a
• The UK Home Office has announced that men who have sex with "exploited" women
will face fines of £1,000 under a new law applicable from April 1. The law will
criminalize anyone who pays for sex with a prostitute who is "controlled"- such as those
with pimps, in brothels or who have been trafficked. It is a strict liability offence, which
means claiming ignorance of the (woman's) circumstances will be no defence, while men
who have sex knowing the woman was exploited could face rape charges. In other
measures, prostitutes will be able to avoid fines for loitering or soliciting if they agree to
attend sessions with relevant agencies to address the causes of what drove them on to
the streets. A new power for the police to arrest kerb-crawlers on their first offence,
rather than currently having to show they are persistent offenders, will also be introduced
by the government.
• Dutch religious leaders ordered a "broad, external and independent" investigation of
alleged sexual abuses of children by Catholic priests, and apologised to victims.
• Dutch anti-Islamist leader Geert Wilders scored major gains in local polls making him a
serious challenger for power in the June national polls.
• Thousands of people took to the streets in nearly 100 cities to protest against abortion
and demand the nullification of the new law recently approved in Spain regulating
voluntary interruption of pregnancy.
• Switzerland has probably become the first country in the world to sell extra small
condoms for boys as young as 12 years, though the official age of consent in the
land-locked nation is 16.
• Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb wartime leader told his genocide trial that the
conflict launched in Bosnia had been a "holy" cause against Muslim aggression.

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• George Papandreou, the centre-left Prime Minister of Greece, has proposed public
expenditure cuts and savings measures to reduce the budget deficit.
• Nigeria's acting President Goodluck Jonathan placed security agencies in the centre
of the country on red alert after deadly attacks in which over 100 people died. Residents
and local rights activists blamed the attacks on ethnic Fulani members who they said
were taking revenge after a deadly attack by the Berom people last month. Much of the
sectarian (ethno-religious) violence was centred around the village of Dogo Nahawa,
near the northern city of Jos.
• Darfur rebels have said that more than 200 civilians had been killed in clashes with
Sudanese government troops over the past week in the war-torn western region's
central Jebel Marra plateau.
• Breaking the deadlock in peace talks, Palestinian administration's top decision-making
body has authorised President Mahmoud Abbas to begin indirect negotiation with
Israel under US mediation.
• Iran's hardline press watchdog banned the best-selling reformist daily Etemad
(Confidence) and Irandokht (Daughter of Iran), a weekly run by the family of
opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi.
• Anti-terrorist prosecutor Armando Spataro said that two Iranians and five Italians were
arrested in Italy on suspicion of trafficking arms to Iran in violation of international
• A Malaysian magazine (Al Islam monthly magazine) apologized for upsetting
Christians after it published an article researched by two Muslims who pretended to be
Roman Catholics and took Communion in a church. Al Islam's article, published in
May2009, was meant to investigate rumours that Muslim teenagers were being converted
to Christianity in churches. The article said its two reporters had found no evidence of
• Some mullahs in Afghanistan are distributing condoms. Others are quoting the
Quran to encourage longer breaks between births.
• In a new twist, the four-member UN Commission, probing into the assassination of
Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, is now suspecting involvement of
Pakistani soldiers in the plot. Pakistan had sought a UN probe a year ago after its own
investigations and those by Scotland Yard failed to make headway into Bhutto's killing
Dec 27, 2007 in a gun and bomb attack as she left a political rally in the garrison town
of Rawalpindi.
• China rejects demand for revaluation of the Yuan.
• A senior Chinese leader, Li Zhaoxing inadvertently knocked off the very basis of China's
claim over Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Li, who is spokesman of the Chinese
parliament, did that by criticizing the love poems written by the India-born 6th Dalai
Lama in the 16th century. China has been claiming ownership over Tawang on the
ground that the 6th Dalai Lama was born there. By showing disrespect towards him, Li
has unsettled Beijing's raison d'etre for laying claim over Tawang and Arunachal
Pradesh as a whole.
• The child chosen by the Dalai Lama to become the Panchen Lama was "illegitimate and
invalid", Chinese authorities said about 15 years after they had rejected him. Beijing
had anointed another child as Panchen Lama in 1995.
• Gyaltsen Norbu, the Panchen Lama, the young man enthroned by Beijing as the
second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, has joined China's top legislative
advisory body.
• Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi faces expulsion from her own party
and is barred from standing in polls this year under the military junta's new election
laws. Anyone serving a prison term cannot be a party member for the polls under the
new political parties registration act.

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• Sri Lankan army is erecting a monument where LTTE chief V Prabhakaran was killed
near the Nandikadal lagoon in Mullaittivu district to depict its final victory over the
Tamil Tigers in 2009.
• The Sri Lankan government would amend the Act which deals with both local and
foreign NGOs to enable the agencies concerned to probe their activities and take
appropriate action against them.
• NEPAL: Deposed king Gyanendra, supported Kali Baba, aka Kalidas Dahal bid for HINDU
• The Maoists of Nepal are pushing for a presidential form of government and the
restructuring of Nepal into 14 autonomous states. But the two other biggest parties,
the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) of Prime Minister
Madhav Kumar Nepal and Nepali Congress (NC), want the prime minister to head the
government and are asking for different numbers of states.
• With just 80 days left, Nepal´s interim parliament reshuffled the schedule for the new
constitution for the 10th time after its 601 members failed to keep the first major date
in drafting the new statute.
• A month after the killing of Nepal´s controversial media tycoon Jamim Shah, who was
alleged to have been underworld don Dawood Ibrahim´s aide, the Pandora´s box the broad
daylight shooting in the capital´s VVIP area opened has claimed its first victim in the
government with the Home Minister for State, Rizvan Ansari, being forced to quit.
• After a prominent Maoist leader and a member of a former probe commission that had
indicted former king Gyanendra, it was the turn of Nepal´s former attorney-general
Laxmi Bahadur Niraula to defend Charles Sobhraj in Supreme Court with the hearing
yielding surprises galore.

• The latest US report on International Narcotics Trade released by the State department
said that seizures of heroin made in various parts of India in the recent past indicate
that most of the drug transiting through the country is bound for Europe.
• Condoling the loss of lives in the earthquake that hit Chile, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh pledged $5 million towards relief and rehabilitation measures.
• India along with Finland and other countries will join hands to set up a new reactor, the
JHR, which will start after the Osiris reactor is put to sleep at Saclay (France). With
the experience gained at the laboratories at Saclay (France) and helped subsequently by
the French, one of India's first three and lesser known reactors - Zerlina - was set up
at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Zerlina, which became critical in 1961, was to
provide the experience to set up the next generation of reactors Dhruva. The first
generation of Indian scientists learnt their lessons in practicality at Saclay (France),
Harwell (the U.K.), Chalk River (Canada) and Argonne, Oak Ridge (the U.S.).
• India and France are now finally close to inking the around Rs 10,000 crore project to
upgrade the Mirage-2000 fighter jets in the IAF combat fleet after protracted
• The 2006 Delhi Declaration forms a strategic energy partnership between India and
Saudi Arabia. Now, with the Riyadh Declaration, it has the opportunity to move the
partnership forward.
• India and Saudi Arabia vowed to jointly combat terrorism and money laundering as
they signed an extradition treaty and several agreements to raise their cooperation
to a strategic partnership.
• India has asked Saudi Arabia to persuade Pakistan to stop using terrorism as an
instrument to promote its objectives, in a significant move seen as aimed at leveraging
the uneasiness of the crucial Islamic country.

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Current Affairs Roundup¨ in Subject Box.

• Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a strong pitch for investments from Saudi Arabia
in infrastructure projects and a whole lot of other areas. He also pointed to the
institutional arrangements that are in place to facilitate bilateral trade and investment --
a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement, as
well as efforts for a India-Gulf Cooperation Council Free Trade Agreement. Negotiations
are on between the two sides on Saudis picking up a stake in a public sector (IOCL)
refinery at Paradip in Orissa.
• The United Arab Emirates has blocked an Indian shipment of 950 goats and sheep
after a number of animals were found to be infected with foot and mouth disease.
• Operations of the Indian medical mission in Kabul have been suspended as much of
its staff were either injured or killed in last week's terror attack.
• Air China has recently launched a direct flight between Chengdu in southwestern China
with Bangalore. This is the first non-stop air link between western China and India.
Bangalore has become the fourth Indian city after New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata
to have direct air links with China. Sichuan´s Chengdu city has managed to rope in
investment from Wipro and has now managed to connect with Bangalore.
• China welcomes Indian pharma firms after years of resistance: Chinese health
minister Chen Zhu said that Indian pharmaceutical companies were "more than welcome"
to sell their products in China.
• Who fired on Fazal Haq Qureshi, Hurriyat asked Pak Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir
with the conglomerate blaming Pakistan-based terrorists for the attack on the moderate
Kashmiri separatist leader.
• India plans to open a consulate in Jaffna town, an important step to spur New Delhi's
efforts in the reconstruction of Sri Lanka's war-ravaged north.

Policies, Legislations, Commissions, Committees and Executive Orders
• Budget 2010-11 announced setting up a new apex body (Financial Stability and
Development Council) to strengthen
and institutionalise the mechanism for
maintaining financial stability & will
monitor macro prudential supervision of
the economy, including the functioning of
large conglomerates, and address inter-
regulatory concerns. The budget
announced the decision to provide banking
facilities by 2012 to centres with a
population above 2,000 will promote
financial inclusion significantly. Around
60,000 habitations are to be covered in
the process.
• 46 per cent of the total plan
expenditure has been allocated to
infrastructure development. Highways,
railways, and power got a lion's share of
the allocations for 2010-11.
• FM in his budget speech said that the
government plans to set up a financial
sector legislative reforms commission
and an independent evaluation office to
assess public programmes.
• FM in his budget speech, said the Rajiv Awas Yojana, a housing scheme for slum-
dwellers and urban poor, is ready to roll. A 700 per cent hike in budgetary allocation

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should incentivise States willing to give slum dwellers property rights. Mumbai's
Dharavi is one of the Asia's largest slums.
• Jolted by losses to cultural diversity, the government plans to stop vulnerable
languages from falling into disuse by giving them importance in day to day lives. It plans
to provide facility for translation of all important government communication into minority
languages at different levels of administration. The minority affairs ministry may also
give priority for research fellowship to work on these vulnerable languages. Union budget
2010-11 has announced a scheme to help linguistic minorities. A modest opening has
allocated Rs 90 lakh has been made under "promotional activities for linguistic
minorities" and the scheme will be formulated this year. Most of these languages are
spoken either in hilly areas or Assam. The 1961 census identified 1,652 `mother
tongues' in the country. However, the 1991 census registered only those languages
that are spoken by 10,000 or more people. Justice Rangnath Mishra-headed
national commission for religious and linguistic minorities said that use of
population benchmark in 1990-91 census to register a language was a deviation from the
Constitution as it did not recognise such a condition. The commission pointed to the flaw,
arguing `Mahal' was the only language spoken in Minicoy Island of Lakshadweep but
the entire island population was less than 10,000, disqualifying Mahal from a place in the
census report.
• The Union government rejected the NSCN (IM), a Naga insurgent group, demand for
sovereignty for Nagaland and its territorial claims to portions of neighbouring
• The government said a National Accreditation Authority is on the cards for
regularising foreign education providers in the country.
• The Indian government has decided to set up a 'centralised database' to check terror
funding by integrating intelligence from different central security agencies. The data bank
would be created by the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) - a central
national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analysing and disseminating
information relating to suspect financial transactions.
• Seeking to smoothen the investment route in view of controversies pertaining mainly to
land acquisition and mining space, the Centre has formed an Inter-Ministerial Group
(IMG) to sort out contentious issues facing the steel industry by facilitating interaction
between the investors and the agencies involved. Several big ticket projects like that of
ArcelorMittal and Posco have been facing inordinate delays on account of problems in
acquiring land and other regulatory bottlenecks. The government plans to set up an
annual steel production capacity of 120 million tonnes by 2011-12.
• Ministry of home affairs appears to have embroiled itself in new Padma awards
controversy. In an indication of the "discretionary" process of choosing Padma
awardees, the government has admitted that not only did it accept 31
recommendations well after its deadline of November 20, 2009 but as many as 19
of these came from award committee members. While 12 names were recommended by
either the President, PM, V-P or HM. The President, Vice-President, Prime Minister
and Home Minister can make recommendations after the cut-off date. The home
ministry has also admitted that there was no change in process of selection despite a CIC
order asking the ministry to be more transparent. The information was given by MHA in
response to an RTI application filed by Subhash Chandra Agrawal. Incidentally, the
high level review committee under then Vice-President K R Narayanan -- set up on the
directions of the Supreme Court and whose recommendations were accepted by the
government in 1996 -- had advised the government to continue the practice of accepting
nominations only till September 30. In fact, ignoring the committee
recommendations, MHA in an RTI reply dated September 22, 2009, admitted that the cut-
off date for accepting recommendations was November 20 and four people -- President,
V-P, PM and HM -- could recommend names even later.

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• In an effort to better coordinate anti-Naxal operations, the government has set up
combined Special Operation Groups of State police forces and CRPF to take on Left
wing extremists.
• The coal ministry wants to take back the mines that were offered to the oil
ministry for tapping gas trapped in layers of coal -- called CBM, or coal bed
methane projects -- on the ground that companies have not made much progress even
10 years after they were given these acreages and the country needs more coal to fuel
the fast pace of economic growth.
• The Centre said it was mulling over giving more powers to the Press Council of India
(PCI) to tackle the 'paid news syndrome' that was influencing the functioning of a free
Press. The PCI, an autonomous body set up under the Press Council Act, 1978.
• The Sam Pitroda-led high-level committee, formed to suggest the restructuring of
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has submitted a detailed report to Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh.
• With the 10-digit mobile numbers on the brink of getting exhausted as 1.5-crore-
odd mobile subscribers are being added every month, the Telecom Regulatory Authority
of India has begun the process of finding a long-term solution to this complex issue. And
it might include 11-digit mobile number to ensure unhindered growth of mobile
penetration. The DoT allowed the use of mobile numbers beginning with `8´ after the
entire `9´ got exhausted besides doing away with `95´ STD dialling to make more mobile
numbers available to operators.
• Public-private tie-ups needed to check wastage of vegetables, fruits'- India
produces 10 per cent of the world's fruits and 13 per cent of vegetables, but loses
a significant quantity for lack of sound post-harvest technologies and proper storage,
handling and cold chain facilities. This staggering loss has affected India's agri business.
Sustainable supply chains needed to link farmer to marketing centres. It is estimated that
the growth rate in the food and grocery retail sector will dip to 8.8 per cent during 2009-
10 from 9.5 per cent during 2008-09. The food and grocery retail sector is worth Rs.
10.24 lakh crore. In this, the share of modern food chains is expected to rise, to 2.1 per
cent, to Rs. 21,000 crore. The Indian food market was estimated at $200 billion during
2006-07 and is expected to touch $310 billion in 2015. Food retail, dominated by 5
million retail outlets, is also likely to grow from $75 billion estimated in 2007-08 to $400
billion by 2025.
• The Kerala State government will ask the Centre to ban the use of Endosulfan in
cashew plantations in Kasaragod.
• Uttar Pradesh tops the list of States and Union Territories with the highest number of
900 child rape cases in 2008 followed by Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
• The Gujarat State government authorities have taken back 67,099 square metre land
which was allegedly encroached upon by Asaram Bapu's Ashram in Ahmedabad.
• Alarmed at spurt in trafficking in women and children in Orissa, the State
government has framed a special policy to combat the problem.
Judicial Pronouncements
• The Supreme Court has refused to disclose details regarding the decision on elevating
Karnataka HC Chief Justice P D Dinakaran under section 8(1)(e) of the Right to
Information Act, 2005. Section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act exempts from disclosure the
information under fiduciary capacity. RTI activist Subhash Agrawal, who also sought
to know whether the Chief Justice of India had consulted his colleagues "conversant with
the matters of a High Court", as recommended by a nine-member bench of the apex
court in 1993 on the appointment process, while recommending Dinakaran's name was
denied information on the ground that the information is not held by or under the control
of the Central Public Information Officer, Supreme Court of India.

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• Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhyay expressed concern over the future of Gujarat judiciary
when hearing the case of termination of ad hoc fast-track court judges. The high
court and the State government discontinued services of 56 judges in November 2009.
• A desire to get married the traditional way attracts young non-resident Indian couples to
tie the knot in India, but the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) may not be applicable to
NRI couples if they are domicile of a foreign country. The Bombay high court has
said that the HMA cannot apply to an estranged couple who were domiciled in the US.
Justice Roshan Dalvi quashed an order of the Pune family court which had said Indian
courts would have jurisdiction to hear a divorce case even if the couple had resided for a
single day in the city when they came to India for a holiday. The court was hearing a
petition filed by Michigan-based lady who had got a divorce from a US court. Her husband
came back to India and filed another divorce petition in a Pune court.
• Justice Kalidas Mukherjee, one of the two Calcutta High Court judges who upheld the
death sentence of don Aftab Ansari in the 2002 Amercian Center case, has received a
threat letter following which his security has been enhanced.
• The Delhi High Court asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to take "immediate
measures" to check noise pollution near the Delhi airport that is affecting people at
a hospital and a residential area nearby.
• A Delhi court sent Mohd Shahid Khan to 14 days judicial custody who is accused of
cheating Manoj Punamiya , a Mumbai-based businessman by taking Rs two crore
promising him a Rajya Sabha nomination.
• The Delhi High Court today directed the city government to close all industries, running
illegally in Delhi-Harayana border, to comply with a 2004 Supreme Court order.
• The Delhi HC directed the Centre to grant permanent commission to women
officers in all three wings of the armed forces and ordered reinstatement of
those who had approached the court on the matter.
Defence, Nuclear, Science and Technology
• A nano satellite "Jugnu" built by students and faculty of IIT Kanpur, was handed over
to the Indian Space Research Organisation.
• ISRO conducted the static test of its liquid core stage (L110) of GSLV Mk III launch
vehicle for 150 seconds at its Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) test facility at
Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.
• ISRO successfully tested in Sriharikota a new generation high performance sounding
rocket (advanced technology vehicle (ATV) ) marking a major step towards low-cost
access to space by India. India for the first time had tested air breathing propulsion
technology. The Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV- D01), weighing three tonnes at lift-
off, is the heaviest sounding rocket developed by the ISRO. It carries a passive scramjet
(supersonic combustion ramjet) engine combustor module as a test-bed for a
demonstration of the air-breathing propulsion technology. An ISRO release said the
rocket successfully flew at a velocity of more than Mach 6 (six times the speed of
sound) for seven seconds. These conditions were required for a stable ignition of active
scramjet engine combustor module planned in the next ATV flight.
• In march 2010, India will conduct fourth test of its Ballistic Missile Defence shield, by
launching an interceptor missile (Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile) to kill an
incoming "enemy¨ ballistic missile mid-flight in endo-atmosphere, at an altitude of less
than 20 km. While the incoming missile will lift off from the Integrated Test Range at
Balasore in Orissa, the interceptor will blast off from the launch complex on the
Wheeler Island, off Damra village. A variant of the Prithvi missile will mimic the
enemy´s ballistic missile trajectory. The Prithvi is a single stage, surface-to-surface missile
that uses liquid fuel. The AAD is a single stage anti-ballistic missile that uses solid
fuel. It is 7.5 metres long. The DRDO scored three successes in a row when its
interceptor missile tests conducted on November 27, 2006, December 6, 2007, and

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March 6, 2009, were on the target. V.K. Saraswat is Scientific Advisor to the Defence
• ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said that Indian Space Research Organisation's
budget is just three per cent of that of its US counterpart NASA.
• The Indian Navy has already initiated a detailed probe into the crash of its fighter
trainer Kiran Mk II aircraft in Hyderabad that took three lives, including those of the
two pilots on that aerobatic show. A case under the Aircraft Act 1934 has been registered
at the Bowenpally police.
• Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, R Chidambaram has said that
world scientific community has acknowledged that nuclear energy is a mitigating one in
the context of climate change threat, but to make it sustainable, completing the nuclear
fuel cycle is a must. By closing the nuclear fuel cycle with plutonium, the same amount
of uranium can produce 50 times more power and if we close the cycle with thorium, it is
much more".
• Soon, viruses to treat cancer? : Oncolytic virus, will see certain live viruses being
injected intravenously. These will then home into cancer cells, colonize and kill them. This
is the first time such trials will take place in India and the second time in the world where
success is anticipated. Early trials in UK have shown promising results. The Indian trials
will be in conjunction with Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon, and Memorial Sloan-
Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. Cancer, incidentally, is the biggest killer in
India after heart disease and it's estimated there are 1.5-2 million cases at any given
point in time.
• Biotech agriculture giant Monsanto has admitted that insects have developed resistance
to its Bt cotton crop. Field monitoring in parts of Gujarat has discovered that the Bt
crop is no longer effective against the pink bollworm pest ,which is now resistant to
the pest-killing protein of Bt cotton in four districts - Amreli, Bhavnagar, Junagarh
and Rajkot. The company is advocating that Indian farmers switch to its second-
generation product (Bollgard II) to delay resistance further. Monsanto's critics say that
this just proves the ineffectiveness of the Bt technology, which was recently sought to be
introduced in India in Bt brinjal as well. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu of the Centre for Sustainable
Agriculture said that Bollgard II has no additional toxin to combat pink bollworm, Bt toxin
is active only for 90 days, while pink bollworm is a late season pest.
• Extinct Indian snake preyed on dinosaur hatchlings: The remains of a snake named
Sanajeh indicus (Sanaj means ancient, jeh means gape) and dinosaur fossil and
dinosaur eggs provide unequivocal evidence that a particular species of snake that lived
about 67 million years ago at Dholi Dungri village, about 130 km from Ahmedabad,
devoured sauropods.
• The former President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, urged researchers to focus on isolating
the main causes of autism and spectrum disorders using the latest diagnostic
technologies. Mr. Kalam was speaking at the inauguration of `Learn 2010 ¬
International Seminar on Inclusive Education' organised by Sankalp, an NGO that
runs the Open School and Learning Centre for children with learning disabilities and
• RTI: PM, Sonia exchange notes - Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrote to Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh two months ago that she was of the firm opinion, like that of
NGOs, that there should be no amendments to the RTI Act and the existing one should be
properly implemented. The Prime Minister, in his response, said there was a need for RTI
amendments but all stakeholders would be consulted before any changes were made.
• Chief Justice of Canada and the first woman to hold the post, Justice Beverley
McLachlin, appears surprised by the RTI campaign in India for making public discussions
in the collegium on appointment of judges to the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
She felt that transparency in appointment of judges could be achieved by putting in place

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a system that inspired confidence. The Canada the Canadian government selects judges
from a panel of names recommended by a panel comprising judges, lawyers and laymen,
the latter two categories outnumbering the former. In Canada the process of selection
and the reason for recommending or not a name for judgeship can never be disclosed. In
Canada the retirement age of Supreme Court judges is 75 years while in India it is 65

Business and Indian Economy
• Dubai will host an international exhibition on eco-friendly technologies in the energy
sector March 9-11, 2010. The 12th Water Technology, Energy and Environment
Exhibition (WETEX) 2010 will be organised at the Dubai International Convention and
Exhibition Centre.
• US bank regulators closed Bank of Illinois of Normal, Illinois and Waterfield Bank of
Germantown, Maryland as deteriorating loans continued taking a toll on financial
• Google vice president and deputy general counsel Nicole Wong said that the Internet
giant has set no timetable for its operations in China but remains firm in its plan to end
censorship of Web search results there.
• Skinput device, the result of a collaboration between Microsoft and researchers at
Carnegie Mellon University, will apparently turn the human body into a giant
touchscreen by projecting buttons on it.

• India's biggest fuel retailer Indian Oil Corp said it is losing Rs 107 crore a day on selling
auto and cooking fuel below cost even as it awaits the government to announce clear
compensation package.
• The Essar Group, through its subsidiary Essar Minerals, Delaware, and Denham Capital,
an energy and commodities-focussed global private equity firm, announced that they had
signed a definitive agreement by which Denham would sell its ownership of Trinity
Coal Partners LLC to Essar for $600 million. Trinity is a leading U.S. coal
producer with operations in the Central Appalachian region.
• Wipro said it has entered into a seven-year strategic agreement with the US-based
insurance firm Main Street America Group for software solutions.
• Schneider Electric is to acquire the assets of the electronic security systems integration
business of Zicom Electronic Security Systems. The two businesses are the building
solutions group (BSG) and the special projects group (SPG) and Schneider will pay a
consideration of Rs. 225 crore. Zicom is the largest independent electronic security
systems integrator in India.
• Mukesh Ambani's ambitious plans to buy out LyondellBasell received a severe jolt with
the latter's board rejecting RIL's $14.5 billion bid to acquire the Netherlands-based firm
that is now coming out of bankruptcy.
• Kobelco Construction Equipment India Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary of Kobelco Group of
Japan, is setting up an equipment machinery facility at multi-product special economic
zone (SEZ) of Sri City at Tada in Andhra Pradesh.
• Russian aircraft manufacturing company United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has
bagged orders from airlines in India for supply of 18 of its latest An-148 series aircraft.
• The first of the new generation 140-seater Airbus A320 joined the Air India
fleet. The aircraft is the 74th of the 111 ordered by the national carrier as part of its fleet
acquisition. Air India has ordered 43 Airbus aircraft - 20 A321, 19 A319 and four A320.
Of these, 39 have now been received - 19 A321, 19 A319 and one A320. The remaining
A320 and A321 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by April. Air India has also ordered
68 Boeing aircraft of which 35 - eight B777-200LR, nine B777-300ER, and 18 B737-200

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- have been delivered so far. Major metros, State capitals and cities like Singapore,
Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai and Sharjah are among the destinations that will be
covered by the A321, A319 and A320.
• Highly placed sources said keeping AI-IA afloat will require an annual infusion of Rs
5,000 crore to keep paying the oil and airport charges and wages.
• US insurance giant AIG has accepted a deal to sell its Asian arm, AIA, to British insurer
Prudential for around 35 billion dollars.
• A 15-17% pay cut is on the cards for employees of the loss-making Air India-Indian
Airlines combine.
• A Cold War-era nuclear bunker in Britain has been put up for sale on online auction
site eBay. The shelter, in the Peak District National Park in central England, was fully
operational until 1991 when it was decommissioned as the Soviet Union collapsed.

• A study by researchers from the University of Fairbanks in Alaska showed that
methane, trapped in the permafrost -- soil at or below the freezing point of water for two
or more years - is bubbling out from the frozen Arctic much faster than expected and
could stoke global warming. Methane is the second most common greenhouse gas
from human activities after carbon dioxide.
• Switzerland's Aletsch glacier, the largest in the Alps, has been retreating for about
150 years.
• The World Glacier Monitoring Service in Switzerland analyses mass balance data
for just over 90 glaciers and says their average mass balance continues to decrease.
Since 1980, cumulative thickness loss of the reference glacier group is about 12 metres
of water equivalent, it says in its latest 2007/08 report. In Nepal, the International
Centre for Integrated Mountain Development says "mass-balance" measurements
would provide direct and immediate evidence of glacier volume increase or decrease.
• The world has become far too hot for the aptly named Exit Glacier in Alaska. At the
Kenai Fjords National Park south of Anchorage, managers have learned to follow the
Exit and other glaciers, moving signs and paths to accommodate the ephemeral rivers of
blue and white ice as they retreat up deeply carved valleys.
• A strong earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6, hit eastern Turkey killing 57
people and knocking down houses in at least six small villages.
• Scientists said that the massive earthquake which struck the west coast of Chile last
month has moved the entire city of Concepcion more than three meters (10 feet) to
the west.
• Rare rainfall in the United Arab Emirates caused traffic jams, car accidents, flooding
and school closures as parts of the Gulf desert state received record precipitation
• In the backdrop of climate change and other environmental challenges, Kerala
announced a Rs 1000-crore 'Green Fund' for the next five years while earmarking an
initial provision of Rs 100 crore in the budget for 2010-11.
• Inspired by the environment-related programmes undertaken by Costa Rica, the
Himachal Pradesh government is preparing a comprehensive environment plan for
submission to the World Bank.
• The much-awaited tiger census in the Sunderbans, where DNA sampling would be
made for the first time to establish the number of big cats, began on March 4, 2010.
• As the magnificent big striped cats are being repeatedly spotted in the jungles of
Sathyamangalam sanctuary, the Tamil Nadu State government will soon take efforts
to turn it into a tiger reserve.

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• Panna Tiger Reserve in eastern Madhya Pradesh was opened for tourists two days
after four armed dacoits were flushed out from it.

• Iraq war drama 'The Hurt Locker' dominated the Oscars with Kathryn Bigelow
becoming the first woman ever to win the Oscar for best director. Jeff Bridges &
Sandra Bullock won best actor and actress respectively.
• Indian-American Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been named the
India Abroad Person of the Year 2009 by the ethnic weekly newspaper. Kavya
Shivashankar, winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee 2009 was named the India
Abroad Young Achiever 2009. The India Abroad Gopal Raju Award for Community Service
2009 went to the South Asian Council for Social Services and its Executive Director
Sudha Acharya for the decade-old SACSS's support and empowerment of South Asian
immigrants in America. Priyamvada Natarajan, professor of astronomy and physics at
Yale University, was named the India Abroad Face of the Future 2009. Investment
banker, community leader and philanthropist Sreedhar Menon was awarded the India
Abroad Award for Lifetime Service to the Community 2009. Ajai Singh 'Sonny' Mehta,
the editor-in-chief of Alfred A Knopf, was given the India Abroad Award for Lifetime
Achievement 2009. 'Sonny' Mehta had published the former US President Bill Clinton
bestselling memoir, "My Life".
• Veteran actress Jaya Bachchan has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award
at a film festival in London for her "inspiring contribution to Indian cinema.¨
• Indian-American computer scientist Subhash Khot, well known for his 'Unique Games
Conjecture' has been selected for a USA´s prestigious $500,000 national science award.
• Veteran British-Asian filmmaker Yavar Abbas will be honoured with the Lifetime
Achievement Award by the South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) in London for
making films like India! My India!
• Sanjay Gupta, an Indian-American senior executive, has been chosen by the World
Economic Forum for its 2010 class of Young Global Leaders.

Person in News-World
• United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark has praised
successful implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee
Scheme in Rajasthan, saying it would improve the standard of life of people in the rural
areas and stop their migration to cities. She pointed out that the social security
programme launched in Egypt had been inspired by the NREGS. Ms. Clark is the
first woman to lead UNDP.
• Marking International Women's Day, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has appointed Ann-Marie
Orler as Police Adviser for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UN top
cop), which makes her the first woman to hold the top rank.
• Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe got re-elected.
• Ian Paisley the then Northern Ireland's First Minister steps down as MP of the House of
Commons, announcing he would not stand again in the forthcoming general election,
while defending his decision to go into a power-sharing government with Sinn Fein.
The securing of the deal at St. Andrews in 2006 led to Mr. Paisley serving as First
Minister and Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness as Deputy First Minister of Northern
• Cypriot authorities have found the body of former president Tassos Papadopoulos three
months after it was snatched from his grave on the Mediterranean island.
• A close associate of the Nehru-Gandhi family, Veteran British Labour politician Michael
Mackintosh Foot, died at the age of 96. He was a leading member of the India
League founded by Krishna Menon.

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• Gowher Rizvi, adviser and special representative to Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of
Bangladesh, was part of the team that negotiated the accord between New Delhi and
Dhaka recently.
• Rupert Murdoch (News Corp. chairman and chief executive), challenged tight controls
on media in the Middle East, calling censorship counterproductive and urging Arab leaders
to allow their citizens the freedom to unleash their creativity.
• Embattled US automaker General Motors announced its vice chairman Robert Lutz
would retire in May 2010.
• The former CEO of the now-defunct Yukos oil company, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is
in prison for fraud and tax evasion, said Russia's justice system was a production line of
guilty verdicts handed to anyone the State considered dangerous.
Social and Cultural
• Exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen said that she never penned any article for a
newspaper in Karnataka. She said that she have never mentioned that Prophet
Muhammad was against burkha.
• Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency chief Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha was granted
an year's extension of service by army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani due to his key
role in the ongoing war against terror.
• Abdul Qayyum, a man freed from Guantanamo more than two years ago is now a senior
commander running Taliban resistance to the US-led offensive in southern Afghanistan.
• Ibon Gogeascoechea Arronategui, the presumed military chief of the armed Basque
separatist organisation ETA was arrested in France.
• Abdul Zahir, the man chosen to be the fresh face of good Afghan governance in a
Marjah town just seized from the Taliban has a violent criminal record in Germany.

Person in News- India
Judicial, Political and Administrative
• A time-limit clause recently introduced by the government in conferring gallantry
medals is blocking Flying Officer K.P. Muralidharan, who is believed to have made the
supreme sacrifice in the India-Pakistan war in 1971.
• The Special Public Prosecutor R.K. Shah and his deputy Nainaben Bhatt, appearing for
the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team before the special court trying
the 2002 Gulberg Society massacre case, have submitted their resignations to SIT
chairman R.K. Raghavan, throwing the entire proceedings haywire.
• Manipur advocate- general N Kotishwar Singh was injured in an alleged incident of
"accidental firing"
• Controversy over the alleged suicide of senior CPM leader W R Varadrajan refused to
die down.
• Prabeer Kumar Basu assumed office as Union Agriculture and Cooperation
Secretary, replacing T. Nanda Kumar.
• Amy K Singh, an eminent attorney has been chosen for the US President's Advisory
Committee on the Arts.
• Leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has been cleared by the police in the MPs
expenses row involving scores of British parliamentarians across the political spectrum.
• Manjul Bhargava is a mathematician & the youngest full professor at Princeton
• Madhulika Sikka is National Public Radio's Morning Edition Executive Producer.
• Raju Narisetti is Washington Post Managing Editor.
• Abhijat Joshi is Otterbein College professor, best known as the co-writer of Bollywood
blockbusters "3 Idiots" and "Lage Raho Munnabhai".

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• Pierina Kapur, an Indian-origin woman surgeon in the UK's National Health Service
has been found guilty of misconduct after accidentally removing 90 per cent of a baby's
bladder during an operation described by a key medical panel as "catastrophic."
• Vatsala Sharma, a 23-year-old Business Studies graduate from Pilani in Rajasthan has
become Nepal's latest beauty queen and the first winner of the contest held for
Indians and people of Indian origin in the Himalayan republic.
• Noted industrialist G P Birla has died. G P Birla, the father of C K Birla, was the head of
GP-CK Birla group of companies which owns the Hindustan Motors, Orient Fans and
Orient Papers.
Social and Cultural
• Nagji Patel is a renowned sculptor.
• Aamir Khan, signed a deal with a UAE-based telecom service provider reportedly for
a staggering Rs 35 crore -- the highest a Bollywood celebrity has ever received for
• Recognising her stupendous feat of becoming the first Indian women to have
conquered the South Pole, Delhi government handed over a cheque of Rs five lakh to
Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu.
• Varun Mangamoori, a student of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, has
emerged the topper in the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2009, having scored in the
100th percentile.
• Titus Pal, a 27-year-old Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) scientist allegedly
committed suicide at Trombay in suburban Mumbai.
• Praveen Akhtar (26), wife of an Indian Air Force officer Sergeant Shamim Akhtar and
two minor daughters (Samita (5) and Sania (3) ) were found dead at their residence in
• Pravin Mahajan, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing brother & BJP leader
Pramod Mahajan, died in a Thane hospital.
• ULFA vice-chairman Pradip Gogoi finally walked out free from the Guwahati Central
Jail evening, heralding the beginning of a process to prepare the ground for peace parlays
with the Centre.
• The West Bengal Police, in a joint operation with the CID, arrested top Maoist leader
Venkateswar Reddy alias Telugu Deepak in Kolkata. Deepak is believed to be the
mastermind behind the Silda attack, wherein 24 EFR soldiers were killed.
• 49-year-old Mohammed Hanif Umerji Patel alias Tiger Hanif , a key 1993 Surat
terror bombing suspect, hunted by police worldwide for over 17 years, was arrested in
Bolton ( north England) grocery store. A city court will decide his extradition to India.
Former Gujarat minister Mohammed Surti was sentenced to 20 years in jail in 2008 for
his involvement in the 1993 twin Surat bombings. The court found Surti guilty, along with
11 others, in connection with the grenade blast near Surat railway Station.
• Major Dimple Singla was charged with accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from an
advocate, who was the counsel of an accused army official. The court held her guilty of
corruption, indiscipline, professional impropriety. She was court martialed for corruption
with imprisonment for 1 year.
• RK Birdi, the Border Security Force (BSF) commanding officer allegedly involved in the
killing of a teenager in Feb 2010 was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir police.

Places in News
• Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the government would establish a
National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology in Dehra Dun.

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• To save itself, Detroit plans to shrink: Detroit is drawing up a radical renewal plan
that calls for turning large swaths of this now-blighted, rusted-out city back into the fields
and farmland that existed before the automobile.
• A city in Kansas which is seeking to be a test hub for a high-speed broadband network
being built by Google has temporarily changed its name to... Google. Topeka mayor
William Bunten issued a proclamation declaring that, for the month of March, the Kansas
capital would be known as "Google, Kansas - the capital city of fiber optics."
• Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the death of scores of people in a stampede in
Bhakti Dham ashram in Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday and announced ex-
gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.
• Naxal-infested Malkangiri district in Orissa has become a major hub of illegal ganja
cultivation in the country with its tentacles spreading to far off places like Uttar
Pradesh.The Justice P.K. Mohanty Commission's report on the operational activities of
the Orissa drug mafia has elaborated that cannabis is illegally cultivated in Malkangiri and
some other naxal-infested districts of the State. Illegal ganja plantation on one acre of
land is said to fetch over Rs.1 crore.
• Three potsherds with Tamil Brahmi inscriptions have been discovered in an urn burial
site at Marungur, 17 km from Vadalur in Cuddalore district.
• Entry points to Shimoga in Karnataka, where curfew was extended following violence
were sealed. The funeral of Sadiq (23) and Abdul Lateef (35), killed in violence in the city,
were held under tight police security. Shimoga is Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa´s home

• International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre said that India
will host World Cup of hockey clubs in 2010.
• The 2010 CWG Organising Committee announced its partnership with SPIC MACAY to
reach out to the youth and encourage them to be part of the mega-event.
• After getting official recognition as national sport from the Canadian government in 2008,
cricket in Canada has now got its first winter league.
• Chandigarh golfer Ranjit Singh blasted a sensational seven-under 65 to grab the
opening round lead in the Aircel-PGTI Players Championship.
• India were ousted from the Davis Cup World Group following Somdev's crushing
defeat against Youzhny as the visitors lost the first round tie 2-3 to Russia.
• Abhijeet Gupta finished joint first at the Reykjavik International Open Chess
Tournament after playing out a quick draw with Hannes Stefansson in final round.
• World champion
Manavjit Singh
Sandhu lived upto
his top billing and
clinched the trap
gold in the ISSF
World Cup at
Acapulco, Mexico.
• Karun Chandhok
has become the
second Indian
after Narain
Karthikeyan to race in F1 after he signed the deal with Hispania Racing team for the
2010 season.

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