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5/28/2011

BRAIN TREE
CURRENT AFFAIRS & GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

15th November, 2009 to 30th November, 2009
1. U.S. Space agency NASA has signed an agreement with ISRO to use data from Indian Satellite Oceansat-2, for various American agencies for research activities, including weather forecasting. The signing ceremony was done in Washington on the sidelines of 6 th Plenary Session of the Group on Earth observations. (GEO). The number of billionaires in India almost doubled in the past 12 months to 52 due to recovery in global stock markets according to US magazine, Forbes.  The head of India’s biggest Company Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, is once again the wealthiest person in India. Net worth $32 billion, an increase of 54% from 2008.  In second place is steel magnate, Lakshmi Mittal who is worth $30 billion, up 46% from a year earlier.  Anil Ambani is in third place with $17.5 billion, 40% higher than before. U.P. was the first state in the country to have an airline of its own in India. On 10th April 1995, the U.P. Air made its inaugural flight from Lucknow to Dehradun. The ‘P5+1’ proposal is made by the U.S. and its 4 other partners ( All 5 permanent members of UN Security Council ) + Germany to Iran. It involves Iran shipping out 1200 kilos of 3.5% Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) to Russia, where it would be further enriched to 20%. The 20% LEU would then be sent to France for fabrication into fuel rods eventually, the rods would be shipped to Iran for use in the TRR ( Tehran Research Reactor ), which produces medical isotopes Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki recently visited India and Iran recently disclosed a new enrichment facility at Fardoo, Iran. Sugar Cane Farmers are protesting against the Sugarcane Control ( Amendment ) Order 2009 Ordinance.  The ordinance has changed the sugar cane pricing policy with an amendment to the Sugar ( control ) Order, 1966 though an ordinance.  Under the new system, the centre fixes a uniform FRP ( Fair & Remunerative Price ) and the States would have to bear the burden if there is difference between FRP and the SAP (State Advised Price).  Earlier, the government had a centrally declared Statutory Minimum Price (SMP) for sugarcane. While some states used to declare a higher SAP Millers are opposed to this anomaly as they will have to pay the high SAP to farmers.  The bone of contention is that sugar cane shortage may not exist every year as the current year. It is only in the current year that millers are ready to pay a higher price to farmers owing to shortage of production ( of sugarcane ). Moreover, Agriculture is a state subject and the farmers want the SAP price considered.  The government has decided to restore status quo ante on the state governments power to declare SAP for sugarcane that mills will pay to farmers as in the past. The only difference will be that the centres Minimum Support Price ( MSP) will be called FRP ( Fair and Remunerative Price ) in the case of sugarcane.  The controversy erupted when the centre proposed an FRP of just under Rs. 130 a quintal of sugarcane at a time when the market price was above Rs. 200. Bangladesh P.M. Sheikh Hasina has been chosen for the prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize for peace, Disarmament and Development this year. Six women have made it to the list of 100 richest Indians this year. Ms. Jindal Savihi retains the tag of richest Indian woman with a net worth of $ 12 billion, ranked seventh.

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BRAIN TREE, Level-III, 3-6-432, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad - 500 029. Ph: 040 - 27644110 / 66754110 / 9248161505

5/28/2011

BRAIN TREE
CURRENT AFFAIRS & GENERAL KNOWLEDGE  Indu Jain – Ranked 19th – Bennett Coleman & Co’s Chairperson. 15th November, 2009 to 30th November, 2009  Anu Aga- Ranked 55th – Thermax Group.  Kiran Mazumdar – 73rd – Biocon. Shaw Biocon is developing the world’s first oral Insulin.  Shobhan Bhartia – Ranked 76 – Hindustan Times.  Vidya Murkumbi – Ranked 93rd – Renuka Sugars. Net worths were calculated using stock prices and exchange rates as of October 16th 2009. The CCEA decision to change the WPI – based inflation figures made available weekly into monthly is being implemented from this month. However, the data on the prices of primary articles and commodities are to be released every week.  The decision to switch to a monthly release of WPI data is clearly promoted by a desire to move towards the international practice of relying on a representative consumer price index for policy purposes.  Secondly, it is more practical to capture the changes in the prices of manufactured goods over a month than over a week..  Thirdly, the weekly release leads to volatility in the financial markets. The WPI, in vogue 1942 had certain merits such as :  It could give a true picture of the economy at short intervals.  It is a significant pointer in a situation where several lead indicators such as unemployment rate and capacity utilization are absent. The first two women / lady combatants of the Navy, Sub Lieutenants Seema Rani Sharma and Ambica Hooda were awarded with the ‘wings’ creating history at the Southern Naval Command, Kochi. The former Orissa CM, J.B. Patnaik, and educationist D.Y. Patel of Maharasthra have been appointed governors of Assam and Tripura respectively. The former replaces Syed Sibte Razi and the latter replaces Dr. Kamla who has been appointed Governor of Gujarat for the remainder of her term. Indian President, Pratibha Devi Singh Patil made history by becoming the first woman head of state to fly in a fighter jet. She flew in a Sukhoi for a 30 minute Sortie at the Airforce’s Lohegaon base in Pune. Dilip Rao Saheb Deshmukh is the new chief of the Company Law Board. Tobin Tax : A financial transactions tax is an idea to deter financial speculation. Mr. Tobin argued that currency speculation money moving internationally to bet on fluctuations in exchange rates – was having a disruptive effect on the world economy. To reduce these disruptions, he called for a small tax on every exchange of currencies.  Such a tax would be a trivial expense for people engaged in foreign trade or long term investment; but it would be a major disincentive for people trying to make a fast buck ( or euro, or yen ) by out guessing the markets over the course of a few days or weeks.  James Tobin ( Late), the Nobel winning Yale economist floated this idea in 1972.  The Turmer –Brown proposal was picked up by Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister of Britain’s top financial regulator – Adair Turner’s advise, and presented at the group of 20 meeting of leading economies this month. This proposal, a modern version of Tobins idea, would apply a ‘Tobin Tax’ to all financial transactions – not just those involving foreign currency. It would be a trivial expense for long – term

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BRAIN TREE, Level-III, 3-6-432, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad - 500 029. Ph: 040 - 27644110 / 66754110 / 9248161505

5/28/2011

BRAIN TREE
CURRENT AFFAIRS & GENERAL KNOWLEDGE investors, but it would deter much of the churning that now takes place in our hyperactive financial markets. 15th November, 2009 to 30th November, 2009

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The government has reconstituted the scientific Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister. It now has 32 members, with four more on the existing panel. Eminent scientist C.N.R. Rao will continue as the Chairman.  The new entrants are : Chairman and M.D. of TVS Motor Company, Venu Srinivasan, the former Director – General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, R.A. Mashelkar, and two from the Mumbai based TIFR ( Tata Institute of Fundamental Research ) – Mustansir Barma, Director and Sujatha Ramadorai of the School of Mathematics at the Institute.  The Secretary, Department of Science and Technical, would continue as member – secretary. The 2009 meeting of the heads of Common-Wealth began at Port of Spain inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth-II. CHOGM is a 53 member strong group. Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Patrick Manning played host. In the new phase of the global strategic partnership between India and the United States the two leaders ( PM & President respectively) unveiled new initiatives to intensify cooperation on ‘counter-terrrorism’, ‘climate change’, ‘agriculture’ and ‘education’.  A MOU was signed between the two countries to “enhance cooperation on energy security, energy efficiency, clean energy and climate change”. Signed between External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna and U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, it is planned to “bring together joint ideas on energy efficiency, renewable energy and green technologies to stimulate the India – US. Energy Dialogue.  Another MOU was signed to intensify cooperation in agriculture and food security, calling for an expansion of the current partnership.  Under the umbrella of a new framework called the “Obama – Manmohan Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative”, the two sides have promised to increase university linkages and junior faculty development exchanges between India and the U.S. The funding for this initiative is to be from both countries.  The India – U.S. counter terrorism cooperation initiative, explained by the joint statement as a move to expand collaboration on counter – terrorism, information sharing and capacity building was initialed by Meera Shankar, India’s Ambassador in Washington and Timothy Roemer, U.S. Ambassador to India. President Barack Obama announced the end of a 22 – year old ban on the entry of people with HIV into the U.S. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has followed up promptly, by publishing the rule in the Federal Register.  The ban in the U.S. was enacted in 1987 amidst widespread fears that HIV, like tuberculosis, was a communicable disease and spread through physical or respiratory contact.  Though U.N. AIDS and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) concluded in 2004, that HIV/ AIDS related travel restrictions have no public health justification, the ban remained. Although President George Bush amended the immigration and Nationality Act last year the HHS did not remove it from the list of communicable diseases. An incident of tritium intake by some workers of the Kaiga Atomic Power Station in Karnataka led to an investigation which concluded that a small quantity of ‘tritiated’ heavy

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BRAIN TREE, Level-III, 3-6-432, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad - 500 029. Ph: 040 - 27644110 / 66754110 / 9248161505

5/28/2011

BRAIN TREE
CURRENT AFFAIRS & GENERAL KNOWLEDGE water was added to a water cooler, possibly from a heavy water sampling Vial. Affected persons were administered ‘diuretics’, which accelerated the process of removal of tritium from the human body by urination. 15th November, 2009 to 30th November, 2009  Increased tritium in human body can cause annual radiation exposure to marginally exceed the AERB- specified limit of 30 millisievert (msv).  Kaiga -1 reactor uses natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as both coolant and moderator. Heavy water has two atoms of deuterium and one atom of oxygen D 2O. During the reactors operation, small quantities of heavy water got converted into tritium, which is in liquid form but highly radioactive. Lata Mangeshkar has been conferred Frances highest civilian award, the Insignia of ‘Officer de la Legion d ‘Honneur’ ( officer of the Legion of Honour ). Satyajit Ray and Amitabh Bachan have been earlier conferred this award. The ‘Legion d’ Honneur’ (Legion of Honour ) is the highest distinction that is conferred by the French Republic on a French citizen as well as a on a foreigner. The legendary singer has sung more than 30,000 songs in a career spanning six decades. President Pratibha Patil inaugurated the 62 nd World Newspaper Congress in Hyderabad. More than 900 participants from 87 countries, including publishers, CEOs, MDs Chief Editors, senior newspaper executives have registered for the event. Apart from the Congress, the 16th World Editors Forum and Info Services Expo-2009 are being organized at the Hyderabad International convention centre.  Xavier Vidal - Folch, President, World Editors Forum, presented the 2009 WAN – INFRA Golden Pen of Freedom to Najam Sethi, Editor-in-Chief of Pakistani newspapers Friday Times and Daily Times. Fluroscent Tube Lights convert an electric discharge in the mercury vapour present in the tube, into visible light at the phosphor coating inside the tube. But this discharge cannot take place of its own when the normal supply voltage is applied, because this voltage is not sufficient to cause ionization of the gas in the tube. In order to strike this discharge, an ingenious combination of a set of filaments ( at the ends of the tube), a choke ( Inductor Coil) and a starter is used. Astronomers have found a mega ring around Saturn. They believe its genesis is a small distant moon of the be-ringed planetary giant.  Phoebe, saturnian satellite measuring 214 km across, probably provides the record breaking tenuous circle of dusty and icy debris.  The largest ring identified so far in the solar system, the circle starts about six million km from Saturn and extends outward by another 12 million km, within the orbit of phoebe.  The ring could also explain the mysterus of ‘Iapetus’, Saturn’s bizarre two – tone, black-and-white moon. A connection between Saturn’s outer moon, Phoebe and the dark material on Iapetus might be evidence cause of the new ring.  Until now, the champion planetary rings in the solar system were the so called “gossamer rings” surrounding Jupiter, the solar system largest planet, and Saturn’s and ring. DISCLAIMER

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BRAIN TREE, Level-III, 3-6-432, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad - 500 029. Ph: 040 - 27644110 / 66754110 / 9248161505

5/28/2011

BRAIN TREE
CURRENT AFFAIRS & GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

The information presented above has been collected from a variety of sources. Brain Tree exercises due care and caution in collecting the data before publication. Inspite of this, if any omission, inaccuracy or printing errors occur with regard to the data, Brain Tree will not be held responsible or liable.

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BRAIN TREE, Level-III, 3-6-432, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad - 500 029. Ph: 040 - 27644110 / 66754110 / 9248161505