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Japan - Land of the Rising Sun

 Yukio Hatoyama – new PM


 Kuril Islands – source of dispute with Russia
 World’s second and Asia’s largest economy
 Oldest still ruling Royal House in the world
 Monarch sits on Chrysanthemum Throne
 No standing army
 No manufacture, supply or storing of nuclear weapons
China - 3rd Largest by Area
 Hu Jintao – President; Wen Jiabao – PM
 Is building GWADAR port in Pakistan, also Karakoram
Highway to Pakistan
 World’s largest FOREX reserves - more than $1 trillion
 Built THREE GORGES DAM on Yangtze River, world’s
largest hydro-electric dam
 Built world’s highest railway – linking Lhasa in Tibet
with Golmund; nicknamed Qing-1
 Manufacturing hub of world
 Third largest economy
Thailand

 King Bhumibol Adulyadej completes 60 years in


power, world’s longest reigning monarch
 Thaksin Shinawatra deposed as PM in a military coup
 Abhisit Vejjajiva new PM
 Bangkok – capital, Baht - currency
 Never colonised
Myanmar - Stratocracy

 General Than Shwe – Leader No.1, visited India in 2006


 Aung San Suu Kyi – pro-democracy leader under house
arrest since 1990
 Capital moved from Yangon to Pyinmana (aka
Naypyidaw)
 32.7% of BPL population
 Ruled by army since 1948
Sri Lanka / Bhutan

 Mahinda Rajapakse – Prez


 Peace talks between SL government and the LTTE were
brokered by NORWAY
 Bhutan - world’s first no-smoking country
 King Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the Chief of State
since Dec., 2006
 First democratic elections held in Bhutan in March 2008
 Prime minister Jigme Thinley of Bhutan since April 2008
Pakistan - First Islamic Republic

 Asif Ali Zardari – Prez; Yusuf Raza Gilani – PM


 Balochistan leader, Akbar Khan Bugti, killed by Pak
military
 Proposed Iran gas pipeline to India via Pakistan
 NWFP – stronghold of al-Qaeda & Taliban
 Sri Lankan cricket team attacked
Afghanistan

 Hamid Karzai – Prez elect


 NATO forces battling resurgent Taliban in the south
 Taliban headed by Mullah Omar
 Durand Line – boundary line with Pak is source of dispute
Iran

 Mahmoud Ahmedinejad – Prez


 Ayotallah Khameini – Spiritual Head
 Secret nuclear weapons program
 World’s 2nd largest gas producer & 4th largest oil exporter
 Has developed missiles like HOOT, a torpedo; Shahab,
Fajr, and Shaegah series.
Iraq - Mesopotamia

 Jalal Talabani – Prez; Nuri al-Maliki – PM


 Saddam gets death penalty for Dujail Massacre (1982)
 Abu Ayyub al-Masri, al-Qaeda chief in Iraq, successor
to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
 Moqtada al-Sadr – head of Mahdi Army, Shiite militia
group
Israel - World’s first Jewish State

 Tel Aviv – capital; Knesset – parliament


 Benjiman Netanyahu – PM
 Mossad – secret service
 Owns Barak missile system, supplied to India
 Is building a Barrier Wall to separate it from Palestinian
areas
Lebanon Jordan

 Nicknamed Switzerland of  Hashemite Kingdom


the Middle East  King Abdullah II – HoS
 Emile Lahoud – Prez;  Lost West Bank to Israel
Fuoad Siniora – PM
in 1967 War
 Beirut – Capital; Nicknamed  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,
Paris of the Middle East
slain al-Qaeda leader in
 Was a French Colony Iraq, belonged to Jordan
Syria Turkey

 Bashar al-Assad – Prez  Recep T Erdogan – PM


 Accused of interference  Nicknamed Sickman of
in Lebanon & Iraq Europe
 Indicted by UN in killing of  Controversy over
former Lebanese PM, Armenian Genocide
Rafiq Hariri
 Occupies part of Cyprus
 Part of new “Axis of Evil”
 Kamal Ataturk made
Turkey a fiercely secular
country
 Sought membership of EU
Sudan - Largest African Nation

 Prez Omar al-Bashir


 Darfur Genocide – 4 lakh dead over 4 years
 Janjaweed, Govt-backed Arab Muslim militia against
non-Arab Muslims
 Civil war in the south between Arab Muslims &
Christians – Africa’s oldest still running civil war
South Africa - Rainbow Nation
 Jacob Zuma new President
 Second largest HIV infected population after India
 Desmond Tutu, recipient of Gandhi Peace Prize (’06)
 Launched centenary of Gandhiji’s launching of
Satyagraha Movement in that country
 3 capitals - Pretoria (administrative), Bloemfontein
(judicial), and Cape Town (legislative)
 Name of Pretoria changed to Tshwane
 South Africa is venue for World Cup Soccer 2010
Africa in a nutshell

 Africa Union – HQ at Addis Ababa, 53 members


 Uganda – Prez is Yoweri Museveni, accused of
genocide against Acholi Tribe
 Operation Atlanta anti-piracy operation off the coast of
Somalia
 15th NAM summit in Egypt in July 09
 Libya Muammar Gadaffi’s marathon speech in UNO in
September 2009.
Brazil - 5th largest country by area

 Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva is Brazil prez again


 Largest ETHANOL producer
 Member of BRIC & IBSA
 Brasilia – Capital (named after a wood type)
 Rio Di Janeiro to host 2016 Olympics
South America in a nutshell

 Venezuela reelected Hugo Chavez as prez


 Eva Morales is elected Bolivia prez
 Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) – Marxist militant
group in Peru
 Peru’s prez is Alan Garcia
 Michelle Bachelet is president of Chile
 Alberto Fujimori, former President of Peru, sentenced
to jail term on charges of corruption
USA - 300 million pop
 Democrats win control of H of R & Senate
 Barack Obama first Afro-American to be President
 Robert Gates is new defence secretary
 Hillary Clinton new Secretary of State
 Largest exporter & importer – overall; biggest seller of
military equipment
 Ben Bernanke – new Federal Reserve chief
 Refuses to sign Kyoto Protocol & shuns International
Criminal Court
 Sarbanes-Oxley Act – for corporate governance
 Fence built on U.S. border with Mexico to curb illegal
immigration & drugs trade
Central America in a nutshell

 Panama agrees to a new wider Panama Canal


 Felipe Calderon is prez of Mexico
 Daniel Ortega, former Marxist leader, prez of Nicaragua
 Cuban prez Fidel Castro handed over power to Raul
Castro (his brother)
 Sugar Bowl of the World
Europe in a nutshell

 Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, is ranked


World’s Most Powerful Woman by Forbes
 Hungary PM Gordon Bajnai
 Romania & Bulgaria join EU (EU membership - 27)
 Silvio Berlusconi is the PM of Italy
 Italy hosted G-8 summit in July 09
 NATO’s 60 years observed
World Trade Organisation

 Successor to the GATT


 Established on Jan 1, 1995
 WTO HQ – Geneva, Switzerland
 DG – Pascal Lamy (France)
 WTO has 153 members
 Vietnam is 150th member
International - Who’s Who

 Ban Ki Moon (S. Korea’s foreign minister) succeeds Kofi


Annan (Ghana) as new Secretary General of the UN
 Margaret Chan (China) is new DG of WHO
 Barack Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize
 Science fiction writer Arthur Clarke passes away
 Deep Joshi wins Magsaysay Award
International - Who’s Who

 Indra Nooyi – PepsiCo CEO, also ranked world’s most


powerful business woman
 Shashi Tharoor – former UN Under Secretary General
for Communications & Public Information and now Union
Minister of State for External Affairs
 Tharoor – author of The Great Indian Novel, Riot – A
Novel, India: From Midnight to the Millennium, Bookless
in Baghdad, & Show Business
International - Who’s Who

 World Bank – HO at Washington, Prez - Robert


Zoellick (US)
 IMF – HO at Washington, MD – Dominique Strauss
Kahn (Germany)
 ADB – HO at Manila, Prez – Haruhiko Kuroda (Japan)
 European Commission – HO at Brussels
 WEF - Founder Chairman Klaus Schwabb (Germany)
Business - Facts & Figures
 IOC – India’s largest company by revenue
 RIL – India’s largest company by market capitalisation
 Toyota – largest auto company
 Intel – largest chip-maker
 Diageo – largest spirits company (owns Smirnoff, JW)
 McDonald’s – largest fast food chain
 Vodafone – largest mobile company by revenue
 Bharti Airtel – crosses 11 crore subscribers in India
Economy / Business
 HCL acquires Axon
 1.6 million employed in IT in India (2007)
 Mobile number portability to be introduced
 Provident fund companies can invest 15% of their corpus in shares
 New Pension Scheme (NPS) launched in April 2009
 Natco and strides Arcolab are permitted to manufacture generic
version of Tamiflu
 Roche holds patent on Tamiflu
 G-20 accounts for 90% of global output
 NCDEX largest agricultural commodity exchange by volume
 International Finance Reporting Standards to be implemented by
companies by April 2011
 IMF projects GDP growth of 5.4% for India
Agriculture

 India second largest producer of pepper


 No.1 in milk production
 Among the world top producer of Tea
 Largest coconut producer in world is India
 Second largest producer of fish
 Green Revolution a success in rice and wheat
 India lags behind in production of pulses, oil seeds
 11th plan aims at 4% GDP growth rate in agriculture
Personalities
 Nandan Nilekani Chairman of Unique Identification Authority
(UIA)
 C. Rangarajan Chairman of Prime Ministers Economic
Advisory Council
 Angela Markel re-elected Chancellor of Germany
 Mohan Bhagwat new chief of RSS
 Iran’s President Md. Ahmedinejad denies truth of Holocaust
 Col. Gadaffi’s marathon speech in UNO
 President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela wins referendum
 Ramesh Pokhariyal new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand
 R. K. Pachauri head of TERI and IGPCC
Awards
 Nobel Prize - Chemistry for Venkatraman
Ramakrishnan (Indian American)
 Nobel Literature - Herta Muller (Romania)
 Deep Joshi - Magsaysay Award, 2009
 2009 Man Booker Prize - Hilary Mantel, (UK)
 2009 Man Booker International Prize - Alice Munro
(Canada)
Sports
 Castrol 2009 Cricket of Year - Gautam Gambhir
 2016 Olympics - Rio De Janiero
 2010 FIFA World Cup - South Africa
 2014 FIFA World Cup - Brazil
 2012 Olympics - London
 2011 World Cup Cricket - India / Sri Lanka / Bangladesh
 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games
 2010 Delhi World Cup Hockey
Important Government Programmes
 National Highway Development Programme (NHDP), largest Highway
Development Programme ever in India
 National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) target
group the rural poor
 Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) proposed by former
President Abdul Kalam
 Swarna Jayanti Gramin Swarojgar Yojana (SJSY) replaces Integrated
Rural Development Programme
 Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) 1985 covers Diphteria,
Pertusis, Tetanus, Polio,& Tuberculosis
 Integrated Child Development Programme (ICDP)
 Bharat Nirman - Rural infrastructure
 Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) - Urban
infrastructure
 Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) big boost to power production