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Current Affairs Category International Affairs National Affairs Economic Affairs Science and Technology Awards Persons Sports Bilateral Affairs Year 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 Page No 1 14 42 61 75 88 101 113

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

:: August 2011 International Affairs ::.

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The US credit rating was downgraded to AA+ from AAA by Standard and Poor's on 5 August 2011. This can increase the cost of borrowing for the US and setting off more panic selling in stock markets. This is the first time that Standard and Poor issued a negative outlook on the US government since it started rating the credit-worthiness of railroad bonds in 1860. The rating may be cut to AA within two years if spending reductions are lower than agreed to, interest rates increase or new fiscal pressures result in higher government debt. Lobsang Sangay was sworn in as the new Prime Minister (Kalon Tripa) of the Tibetan governmentin-exile at the central courtyard of Tsuglagkhang, the main temple in Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh). Sangay will have a five-year tenure. Sangay took over as the political head of the Tibet from Dalai Lama who on 10 March 2011 announced his decision to step down as political head of Tibetan government in exile. However, he (Dalai Lama) continues to be the spiritual head of Tibetan government in-exile. The U.S Senate on 2 August, passed legislation that heads off an unprecedented US financial default and begins the process of curbing the country's spiraling debt. Both the Senate and House of Representatives, which voted on 1, August, easily adopted the plan that raises the current $14.3 trillion cap on US borrowing, which expires at midnight. In tandem with increasing the borrowing limit, legislators approved more than $2 trillion of budget cuts over the upcoming decade. The administration had said that without the new borrowing authority, the government could not pay all its bills. Administration officials say a default would ensue that would severely damage the global economy.

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July 2011 International Affairs ::.

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Vietnam's lawmaking National Assembly appointed Truong Tan Sang as the communist country's new president following Vietnam's 13th National Assembly election. Sang is the ninth president for the country, the first being revered founding father Ho Chi Minh. Sang succeeded Nguyen Minh Triet, who served one term. The role of the president in Vietnam is mostly ceremonial, while the prime minister runs the country's day-to-day operations. Time magazine compiled and published in July 2011 the list 10 wives who were resolute even in troubled times. The Time magazine compiled and published in July 2011 the list of 10 wives who were resolute even in troubled times. India's 19th century queen Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, who fought the British valiantly in the 1857 war, was listed by the Time magazine in the list. The magazine compiled its list of 10 such women following the much talked about charge by Rupert Murdoch's wife Wendi Dang against the man who tried to throw a pie at her husband's face during the hearing of the phone-hacking scandal. Time Magazine's Top 10 Daredevil wives list is : Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama, Wendi Dang Murdoch ,Elin Nordegren, Rani Laksmibai, Eleanor Roosevelt, Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, Queen

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Isabella of Spain, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, June Carter Cash and Melin.

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World Health Organization-sponsored study on Major Depressive Episode (MDE) published in the BMC Medicine journal revealed that Indians are among the worlds most depressed. 9% of people in India reported having an extended period of depression within their lifetime, nearly 36% suffered from what is called Major Depressive Episode (MDE).WHO ranked depression as the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide and projected that by 2020, it will be the second leading cause. The World Investment Report 2011 was released by UNCTAD on 26 July 2011. According to the report, India's position among the top 20 FDI recipients fell to 14th position, from 8th in 2009.The country that saw the maximum FDI inflow in 2010 was the United States at $228 billion. China stood at 2nd position with inflows totalling $106 billion in 2010.The report stated that half of the top 20 host economies for FDI in 2010 were developing and transition economies.

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.:: June 2011 International Affairs ::.

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The Sri Lankan Central Bank Monetary Board announced that Chinese Renminbi would be included in the list of designated currencies permitted for international transactions through banks in Sri Lanka. People can now transact in Renminbi (for cross-border transactions) with banks authorized for such transactions. The other currencies in the designated list are Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar, US Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore dollar, Danish kroner, Euro, Norwegian kroner, British pound sterling, Swiss franc, Swedish kroner and Japanese yen. The Sri Lankan Monetary board reasoned that China was a leading player in international trade had economic connections with many countries. Recently, the Renminbi has evolved as a globally acceptable currency. Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted party won a third term in office in elections in Turkey. The United Nations on 21 June 2011 launched a drive, Sustainable sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015 to accelerate progress towards the goal of halving the proportion of the population without access to basic sanitation by 2015. The drive launched on 21 June was established by the General Assembly in a resolution adopted in December 2010 that called on Member States to redouble efforts to close the sanitation gap, one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015.The UN had recognised access to sanitation as a human right, a basic service required to live a normal life. However despite the recognition, some 2.6 billion people or half the population in the developing world still lack access to improved sanitation. American President Barack Obama, announced plans to withdraw 10000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2011. The pullout will continue at a steady pace until security is handed over to Afghan authorities in 2014. Afghan president Hamid Karzai welcomed US president Barack Obamas move to withdraw 10000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2011. Karzai was confident that Afghanistan's Nato-trained police and army could take control of the country from the forces. Syria's President Bashar al-Assad proposed holding of a national dialogue that will recommend sweeping reforms aimed at transforming the political scenario. The Syrian President pledged his commitment to fundamental reforms, including the drafting of a new Constitution. The changes would cover the political arena and would create greater media freedoms. The six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) celebrated its 10th anniversary on 15 June 2011 in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, by summing up its achievements and outlining its future direction. The six-nation SCO member states are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan

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and Tajikistan. India, Pakistan and Iran are with Observer status in the SCO. Afghanistan was poised to be upgraded from Dialogue Partner to Observer which would give it access to all discussions of importance at the SCO. The joint declaration of the summit included- establishing an inseparable international security community to guard information security, fighting the three evil forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and combating drug trafficking. The adoption of Astana Declaration gave the SCO member states a chance to review their progress so far and map out the way ahead. The member States of the ILO meet annually at the International Labour Conference, held in Geneva, Switzerland. Each Member State is represented by a delegation consisting of two government delegates, an employer delegate, a worker delegate and their respective advisers. This year the International Labour Conference meets on june 1-17 in Geneva for its 100th Session. President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, on 5 June 2011 left for Saudi Arabia for medical treatment and thus ended his 33-year rule over the nation. On 3 June 2011 he was injured in a rocket attack by the rival group.It created a political vacuum and a hope for the pro-democracy movement to achieve its objective. But at the same time it will fuel violence in the country because it is divided into armed tribes and to unify them under one command won't be an easy task. Germany announced its decision to phase out it's all the nuclear plants by 2022. This decision, prompted by Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster, will make Germany the first major industrialized nation to go nuclear-free. People of Germany are strongly opposed to nuclear power and took to streets after Fukushima to urge the government to shut down all reactors as soon as possible. Germany (Europe's largest economy) is determined to replace its nuclear power with renewable energy resources. Energy from wind, solar and hydroelectric power at present produces about 17 percent of the country's electricity.

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.:: May 2011 International Affairs ::.

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Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani inaugurated the second nuclear power plant at Chashma in Punjab and the third nuclear power plant in Pakistan. It is the second unit of Chashma Nuclear Power plant, CHASNUPP-2 built in collaboration with China. The second unit of Chashma Neclear Power Plant, CHASNUPP-2, is built in collaboration with China. According to a World Bank report named Global Development Horizons 2011-Multipolarity: The new Global Economy released on 17 May 2011, India will be among six nations who will account for more than half of the global growth by 2025. As per the report, the six countries- China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Brazil and Russia is likely to grow on average by 4.7 percent annually between 2011 and 2025. The United States on 18 May 2011 imposed sanctions on Syrian President Basher al-Assad and six other top aides for Human rights abuses. It also freezed assets of the Syrian officials that are in the United States. In addition to Assad, the sanctions targeted Vice President Farouq al-Shara, Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar and the Prime Minister Adel Safar.According to an estimate, 700 civilians were killed in two months of clashes between protesters and government forces. The US imposed these sanctions to spur pressure on Syrian government to stop its brutal crackdown on protesters.

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South Pacific island nation SAMOA, currently positioned to the east of the International Date Line on 9 May 2011 decided to forego a day (28 December 2011) and shift to the time zone on its west to facilitate trade with Australia and New Zealand. The island nation in the South Pacific is currently 21 hours behind both countries, Australia and New Zealand. This implies that that the nation loses two working days a week with them. However with its decision to move to the other side of the date line, Samoa will move three hours ahead. India ratified in the second week of May 2011, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its three protocols and the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime is the main international instrument in the fight against transnational organised crime. It recognises the need to foster and enhance close international cooperation in order to tackle those problems. The convention is further supplemented by three Protocols, which target specific areas and manifestations of organized crime namely Protocols to combat (1) trafficking in persons (2) migrant smuggling and (3) illicit trafficking in firearms. In the 2nd May 2011 Canadian Federal Election, Canada's Conservatives had a decisive victory making it a majority in Canada's Parliament. Conservative Party won 54% of the seats in the Parliament and secured a stable four-year term in power. It acquired 167 seats in the Canada's Parliament. The Liberals were reduced to a dismal third place. Ignatieff even lost his own seat in a Toronto suburb. Candian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper's victory, along with Conservative party's control of the Senate, put the Conservatives in firm control of the federal agenda for the first time since the early 1990s. Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 11 September 2001, terror attacks was killed on 1 May 2011 in his luxury hideout in Pakistan in a fire fight with U.S. forces. President Barack Obama broke the news in the White House on 1 May. Bin Laden was killed after a gun battle with Navy SEALs and CIA paramilitary forces at a compound in the city of Abbottabad in Pakistan. The operation was codenamed Operation Geronimo. He was shot in the left eye and killed inside a secured private residential compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by U.S. Navy SEALs in a covert operation. Abbottabad is home to three Pakistan army regiments and thousands of military personnel and is dotted with military buildings. The team returned to Afghanistan with bin Laden's body and the body later buried at sea. Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton were married at Westminster Abbey, London on 29 April 2011. 1900 guests watched the couple exchanging their vows, while millions of people around the world watched the ceremony live on TV. Prince William wore a military uniform, a tunic, with a crimson and gold sash and gold sword slings, from the Irish National Guards. On 29 April 2011, the day of wedding, Prince William was given the title of the Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus by Queen Elizabeth II. After marriage Miss Catherine Middleton became Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge. The title of duke is the highest rank below that of monarch in the British nobility. Vanuatu, a small island nation in the South Pacific is set to become the 154th member of the World Trade Organisation. Once the WTO's General Council approves the accession package in its next meeting, Vanuatu will have six months to complete the ratification. Russia and Algeria are the two main trade economies outside the WTO. Lobsang Sangay was on 27 April 2011 elected Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-exile. He would take over the political duties relinquished by spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. Sangay got 55 per cent votes out of 49189 votes. He defeated his nearest rival Tethong Tenzin Namgyal by 8646 votes. As many as 83399 exiled Tibetan settled in India, Bhutan, Nepal, Australia, United States, Japan, Russia

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and other countries exercised their franchise to elect the Prime Minister and 43 members of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile. The tenure of the newly elected Prime Minister would be five years. The leaders of two main Palestinian-factions, Fatah and Hamas on 4 May 2011 signed a reconciliation agreement. The agreement signed between the two factions paved the way for the formation of transitional national unity government followed by elections. The accord signed helped to end a four year feud between Fatah and Hamas and the signing of the account will be followed by preparations for the formation of an interim government. Three separate committees will be formed, which will plan for the upcoming polls as well as recommend internal reforms within the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). PLO is the umbrella group of the Palestinian factions. The pact is widely seen as fallout of the Egyptian uprising that resulted in the formation of military-led transitional government in Cairo that played a key role brokering the intra-Palestinian accord. Both factions aim at a new and viable Palestinian state on land occupied by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

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: April 2011 International Affairs ::.

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Ismail Omar Guelleh won the Presidential Elections in Djibouti according to the election results declared on 9 April 2011. Guelleh of the ruling People's Rally for Progress (RPP) party got 79.26 percent of the vote while the only opposition candidate Mohamed Warsama Ragueh could manage 20.74 percent votes only. Ismail Guelleh has served two Presidential terms already since 1999. Ivory Coast leader Alassane Ouattara's forces, backed by French and U.N. troops, captured his besieged rival Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan on 12 April at the climax of a deadly months-long crisis. Mr. Gbagbo, who has held power since 2000 and stubbornly refused to admit defeat in November's presidential election, was detained and taken to his rival's temporary headquarters, with his wife Simone and son Michel. Moscow named a Soyuz spaceship after Gagarin which last week brought a new team to the International Space Station (ISS). April 12 is marked in Russia every year as Day of Cosmonautics, but from this year on it will be celebrated throughout the world. The U.N. General Assembly has adopted a Russia-moved resolution declaring April 12 "International Day of Human Space Flight." The Economic and Trade Ministers of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations have decided in Sanya (China), to set up a liaison group to intensify cooperation and pledged to oppose trade protectionism. India, Brazil and South Africa drew comfort from Russia and China "endorsing" their candidature for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in the Sanya Declaration though Indian officials later sounded a cautionary footnote. Pakistan on 19 April claimed to have successfully conducted the first flight test of the newly developed short range surface-to-surface multi-tube ballistic missile `Hatf IX' (NASR). NASR has a range of 60 km and "shoot-and-scoot'' nuclear delivery capability. President Raul Castro was named first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party. Despite raising hopes during the gathering at Havana that a new generation of leaders was poised to take up important positions, Mr. Raul Castro announced that Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, 80-year-old long-time confidante, would be his No. 2. Ramiro Valdes, a 78-year-old Vice-President, was named to the No. 3 spot. Several younger people were added to the 15-member leadership group, but in lesser positions. Syria has lifted an emergency law that had been in force for 48 years following a spate of protests, which included a violent overnight clash between the security forces and protesters in the city of Homs on 19 April. A new law has been passed that allows the right to peaceful protests. Syria's emergency law

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had armed the government with pervasive powers, including making summary arrests, as well as a license to intrude in all aspects of a citizen's life. Human Rights groups estimate that at least 200 people have been killed in the protests, which started and spread nationwide from the southern city of Daraa one month ago. Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni found himself ranked above U.S. President Barack Obama in the Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world for the year 2010.Dhoni, ranked 52nd in the chart, was the only Indian sportsperson to make the list which also included four of his compatriots in "Titan of Industry" Mukesh Ambani (61), "Brain Mapper" V.S. Ramachandran (79), "Philanthropist" Azim Premji (88) and "Change Agent" Aruna Roy (89). Dhoni found himself way above Messi who was just below Obama at the 87th spot in a list topped by Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who became the "Spokesman for a Revolution" in Egypt. The other global celebrities included are U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is incidentally ranked higher than Obama at 43rd, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (6), and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (9). Exchange of gunfire across the Thai-Cambodia border continued. Cambodia's Ministry of National Defence said "the apparent goal of Thailand's military aggression is to take control over ... Tamone and Ta Krabei temples of Cambodia." These two temples, located "deep inside the Cambodian territory," are distinct from the border-temple of Preah Vihear. The internationally-adjudicated status of Preah Vihear as a Cambodian asset and its subsequent designation as a world heritage site are widely believed to be at the heart of hostilities. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan won the oil-rich country's presidential election. Russia proposed a plan to strengthen the safety standards in nuclear power plants of the world on 26 April 2011 with the objective of not allowing any nuclear catastrophe similar to Fukushima Daichi, Japan or Chernobyl to happen in future. The plan proposed by Russia includes the following points: 1) To make nations using nuclear energy more responsible. 2) Additional safety measures for nuclear reactors and a ban on the construction of reactors in quakeprone zones. 3) To give more powers to International watchdogs to enforce the safety rules to avoid any nuclear catastrophe in future. Armed forces of Syria shot dead 49 anti-government protesters on 22 April 2011. The demonstrations against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad have escalated in the month of April. A series of devastating tornadoes struck United States and at least 291 people died. As the storms wreaked havoc across a number of States including Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee, on 27 April, thousands were injured and left homeless and more than a million people were without power. The storms were said to be the worst in the U.S. since 1974, when tornadoes killed 315 people. The inaugural session of the fourth South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN-IV) was held in Colombo. Over 100 delegates from Sri Lanka and 30 from the other countries in the region will be attending the four-day conference. The SAARC sanitation summit has decided to establish a national body in each country to "coordinate sanitation and hygiene, involving all stakeholders" to enable access to sanitation to the 45 per cent of south Asians who still defecate in the open. The total number of people uncovered by sanitation initiatives remains unacceptably high in the region, at over 700 million. A majority of these people are in India. The Colombo Declaration, signed at the end of the fourth South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN IV) to tackle the biggest sanitation challenge in the world, decided to "develop time-bound plans and to allocate and mobilise resources for delivering on all the previous SACOSAN commitments."

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Kazakhstan's President of two-decades Nursultan Nazarbayev was re-elected for another five-year term winning an astonishing 95 per cent of the vote in April 3rd poll that saw a record 90-per cent turnout. Mr. Nazarbayev's three rivals received less than two per cent of the votes each. Mr. Nazarbayev is the most ardent and consistent supporter of closer economic ties with Russia in the former Soviet Union and was a driving force behind a customs union formed last year between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Singer Michel Martelly elected as president for Haiti republic. Local media sources said His popularity escalated him to a political victory. Martelly won by a landslide with 67.6% of the vote, soundly defeating his challenger, former first lady Mirlande Manigat, who received 31.5%. `

.:: March 2011 International Affairs ::.

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The United Nations is establishing its Humanitarian Response Depot in Subang, west of the capital Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The depot, located inside the Royal Malaysian Air Force base, will be completed in December. The Malaysian hub is the U.N agency's first humanitarian response depot in Asia and fifth in the world. It will stock generators, tents and high-energy biscuits which can be delivered quickly to disaster areas in the region. Thein Sein was sworn in as Myanmar's new president in a ceremony held in Naypyitaw, the country's capital since 2005. He replaces Senior General Than Shwe, Myanmar junta chief since 1992, as the new head of the state. Myanmar has been under the Junta's rule since 1988 when the army crushed a prodemocracy movement, killing up to 3,000 people. Tanks were deployed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, as top Generals pledged allegiance to the "revolution" and the country's main tribal leaders demanded President Ali Abdullah Saleh's exit. Sadiq al-Ahmar, who leads the Hashid tribal federation, the largest in deeply tribal Yemen and a crucial source of Mr. Saleh's power, told that it was time for the embattled President to make a "quiet exit". Operation Odyssey Dawn is the US code name for the international military operation in Libya by a coalition that is enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. It implements a no-fly zone that was proposed during the 2011 Libyan uprising to prevent government forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi from carrying out air attacks on rebel forces. The US passed complete military command of the operation to NATO and took up a support role on March 27, 2011.The British name for their military support of Resolution 1973 is Operation ELLAMY, the Canadian participation is Operation MOBILE, and the French participation is operation Harmattan. NATO's military activity is Operation Unified Protector. A powerful earthquake that toppled homes in north-eastern Myanmar has killed more than 70 people 25 March. The earth quake, measured at magnitude 6.8 by the U.S. Geological Survey, was centred just north of Tachileik town in Shan State near the Thai border. It was felt hundreds of km away in Bangkok and Hanoi. Japan is facing an unprecedented nuclear crisis, it struggled hard to avert multiple meltdowns at three reactors of Fukushima Daiichii nuclear power plant damaged by the devastating earthquake and tsunami. The Kyodo news agency said 1.80 lakh people were evacuated from a 20-km radius of the Fukushima nuclear plant. Already over 3.5 lakh people have already moved out of the region. Meanwhile, Scientists said Japan's strongest earthquake on record that triggered a destructive tsunami appears to have moved the main island by 2.4 meters and shifted the Earth on its axis. Fighting has been taken place in the West African state of Ivory Coast with thousands of people fleeing across the border to Liberia. The country has been in political turmoil ever since outgoing President

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Laurant Gbagbo refused to recognise his electoral defeat in the presidential poll held on November 28. Mr. Gbagbo's rival Allassane Ouattara To mark the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day on March8, UN Women announced a New Regional Programme to address the b widows of needsin India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The three-year programme, funded jointly by UN Women Swiss National Committee and Standard Chartered Bank, will be implemented in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka to reduce social ostracism faced by widows. This will be done by collecting data and evidence to highlight the stigma faced by them, by working with widows' coalitions so they can speak up and access public services, and finally by guaranteeing that discrimination and social practices against widows are reviewed and repealed. India has an estimated 40 million widows The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on March 8 gave its approval to a safeguards agreement for two new reactors chashma3 and chashma4 that Pakistan said China was building for it at Chashma. The `Type-66' agreement for the two reactors approved by the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors was identical to similar agreements already in place for Chashma-1 and Chashma-2. The Dalai Lama announced on 10 March that he would step down as "political head" of the so-called Tibetan government-in-exile but would remain as religious leader and continue to advocate "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet. The New "Parliament" will be elected when Tibetans across the world vote on March 20. By devolving his powers, the Dalai Lama hopes to give the "Prime Minister" a greater clout. Mexican Billionaire, Telecom Tycoon Carlos Slim remained the richest person in the world with $74 billion in assets, while NRI steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal ranked sixth and Indian industrialist Mukesh Ambani is placed ninth in the U.S. magazine Forbes annual list of world's top billionaires. Telecom tycoon Helu, whose worth increased by $20.4 billion from last year's $53.5 billion, is followed by Microsoft founder and now a full time philanthropist William Gates III (popularly known as Bill Gates) with a net worth of $56 billion. Investment guru Warren Buffet is at the third spot with assets worth $50 billion. Chairman of French luxury good outfit, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), Bernard Arnault has been placed at the fourth spot with net worth of $41 billion; he is the richest person in Europe. The fifth place has been taken over by Larry Ellison of Oracle. Mr. Mittal ranked sixth with $31.1 billion of wealth. Mr. Ambani, with net asset of value $27 billion, lost five places and was placed at the ninth position in this year's list. According to Forbes, the number of billionaires has increased from 49 to 55 in India, 69 to 115 in China, 25 to 36 in Hong Kong, and across Asia-Pacific it surged from 243 to 332. Other Indians among top 100 include, Wipro chief Azim Premji (36th spot with $16.8 billion), Shashi and Ravi Ruia (42nd place with $15.8 billion), Savitri Jindal (56th rank with $13.2 billion), Gautam Adani (87th spot with $10 billion) and K.M. Birla (97th spot with $9.2 billion) A Ferocious Tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded (8.9) slammed Japan's eastern coast on11 March, killing thousands of people as it swept away boats, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control. The epicenter of earth quake was located at 130km from Japan's Sendai city. Hours later, the tsunami hit Hawaii and warnings blanketed the Pacific, putting areas on alert as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast. The catastrophe claimed probably more than 10,000 lives. The appalling loss of life kept emerging from the hard-hit east coast of northern Honshu Island, where the monster wave destroyed more than 3,000 homes. Explosions took place in the Fukushim Daiichi nuclear power station, destroyed a building housing the reactor, radiation leak was also occurring. India voted in favour of sanctions against Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi, his relatives and associates. This is the first major vote for India after joining the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the next two years. The Council unanimously approved curbs on travel, freezing of financial assets, weapon

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sales and a reference to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi resigned on, as security forces clashed with protesters in Tunis demanding the removal of some Ministers of his interim government. The central bank of Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Bank, has removed Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus as the Managing Director of Grameen Bank.The microcredit pioneer won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 along with the Grameen Bank, which he founded. However, Grameen Bank's General Manager Jannat-e-Kownine told a news conference that Dr. Yunus would continue in office and that he would challenge the central bank order.

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Uganda's long-time president Yoweri Museveni has won another term; this allowed him to extend his 25-year hold on power. But the top opposition leader Kizza Besigye alleged the election was fraudulent and vowed to reject the results. Foreign election observers said there had been serious flaws with the voting process and the campaign. They said state resources were used to skew the elections in Mr. Museveni's favour. One of New Zealand's biggest cities, Christchurch lay in ruins on 22 February after a powerful earthquake toppled buildings and churches, killing at least 65 people in the country's worst natural disaster in decades. The extraordinary International Energy Forum (IEF) meeting was held in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas S. Jaipal Reddy was participated from India. Russia has successfully launched a next-generation navigation satellite for its Glonass Global Communication System. The Glonass-K satellite was hauled into orbit on 26 February from the Northern Plesetsk Space Centre by the upgraded Soyuz 2-1b launcher. This launch will increase the deployed Glonass grouping to 23 satellites, one short of the minimum needed to provide 100-per cent global coverage. Glonass will be integrated with the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), as well as with the European Union's Galileo system and China's Compass network when they are deployed. Under a 2007 accord, Russia agreed to share the Glonass signal with India. India will be the only country to have access to the military segment of the Glonass system, which will enable the Indian military to greatly improve the accuracy of its land-, sea-, air and space-launched weapon systems. In September the two countries signed a deal to jointly manufacture Glonass/GPS twin system receivers and other navigational equipment. Egypt's new military rulers have suspended the constitution, dissolved parliament and have set a sixmonth timeline for holding fresh parliamentary and presidential elections. Gay couples in Britain are to be allowed to "marry" and given the right to hold traditional weddings under unprecedented reforms that would end the historic legal definition of marriage. Burma's parliament on 16 February agreed to form a New Supreme Court with seven members. Burma started its First Three chamber Parliament sessions simultaneously on January 31 with The House of Representatives (lower house) and the House of Nationalities (Upper House) going in to sitting in Nay Pyi Taw, Burma's new Capital city. Pro-democracy activists in Libya, inspired by democratic transitions in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, are facing a harsh crackdown. Around 84 people were died in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi which is said to be the epicenter of the revolution. Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was detained at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi on for allegedly carrying a huge sum of undeclared foreign currency.

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A new organisation, Anti-Corruption Citizen's Forum (ACCF), an initiative by a group of concerned citizens including former judges and former IAS officers was formed in Hyderabad on 13 February with the objective of curbing the menace, build pressure groups and urge the government to take action. Among those in the core group that worked to form the ACCF were former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court A. Lakshmana Rao, former Supreme Court judge B. P. Jeevan Reddy, former High Court Judge Reddappa Reddy and former Lok Ayukta Justice Ramanujam, former IAS officers K. R. Venugopal, K. Padmanabhaiah and C. Umamaheswara Rao. A.P.Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy performed the `ground breaking' ceremony for three Tata Group projects in Hyderabad on 14 February promoted Hyderabad onto the global aerospace map.Involving an investment of Rs. 1,000 crore and providing direct and indirect employment to 9,000 persons, the three aerospace manufacturing projects at Adibhatla village in Ranga Reddy district are Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructure, (joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems (TAS) and Lockheed Martin), Tata Aerospace Systems (JV of TAS and Sikorsky Aircraft) and Nova Integrated systems (Tata enterprise). They are expected to go on stream by 2011 end. The A.P State Legislative Assembly has set a record of sorts by becoming the first in the country to digitise video records of all the debates in the House from 1996.The debates, digitised in DVD format, will shortly be uploaded on the Internet. Members can now take a copy of some of the historic debates or the debates in which they took part and upload it on YouTube or any other site on the Net. Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had given the conditional clearance for the 4000-MW Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) at Bedabahal in Orissa. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 19 February laid the foundation stones of the country's second National Institute of Design (NID) at Jorhat,Assam and the Assam centre of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RGIPT) at Sivasagar.The first National Institute of Design was set up in Ahmedabad 50 years ago. Giving in to opposition demands, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced government's decision to set up a JPC into the 2G spectrum scam, saying the country could "ill afford" disruption of the crucial Budget session of Parliament. Axis bank has formally launched the first ETM (Enywhere Teller Mechine)service in Vijayawada on15 february with the bank already tying up with over 120 merchants as POS(Point Of Sale) terminals to provide its new service to its customers. The bank has plans to extend this service all over the State by March next year by roping in nearly 500 merchants as POS terminals by that time.ETM service is more convenient as the card holder need not look for a bank' ATM. The expert group of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the task force of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) broadly agreed to settle their turf war over the jurisdiction of medical education. The National Commission for Human Resources in Health (NCHRH) will get to lay down the minimum standards of medical education, while all health-related research will come under the purview of the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER), promoted by the HRD Ministry. The First Urine Bank in India has started in a village Musiri near Tiruchi,Tamil Nadu. A group of naval divers on board INS Nireekshak, the Navy's only diving support and submarine rescue vessel, set a new national record last week by diving to a depth of 233 metres in the seas off Kochi coast, bettering a record of 218 metres attained by Navy divers in March 2007.INS Nireekshak, a 3,600-tonnes ship that was commissioned into the navy in 1995, is capable of diving up to 300 metres. The Centre on 18 February annulled the controversial deal between the Indian Space Research Organisation's commercial arm Antrix Corporation and Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia.The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, paved the way for annulling

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the agreement by declaring that the government will not be able to provide the orbit slot in S-Band to Antrix for commercial purposes, including for its existing contractual obligations, in view of strategic requirements. Japan is to extend an aid of Rs.2, 557 crore (Yen 46.401 billion) to India for three projects through its Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) programme. The projects pertain to cleaning the Yamuna in the national capital, crop diversification promotion in Himachal Pradesh and biodiversity conservation and greening in Tamil Nadu. The current aid quantum is part of the 2010 Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) ODA loan package. The 71 st session of the Indian History Congress was held at the Gaur Banga University in Malda,West Bengal. The two day Ministerial Conference of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) was held in New Delhi. The Andhra Pradesh's 12th annual Nandi Drama Festival got off to a colourful start at Nandyal on19 February. C. Pardhasaradhi, Commissioner, Information and Public Relations and Managing Director of AP State Film, Television and Theatre Development Corporation, formally inaugurated the festival. The Supreme Court has stated in a case that -If a sessions judge passes an erroneous or patently unjustified order, the High Court concerned can suo motu question its correctness by an administrative decision. Jordan's king Abdullah II sacked his Government in the wake of street protests and asked an ex-Prime Minister Marouf-Al-Bakhit to form a new cabinet, ordering him to launch immediate political reforms. The Jordanian more follows several large protests across the country-inspired by similar demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai who is flamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slowed political reforms. In a response of unrest in Egypt, the Palestinian Government in the west bank said it would hold local council elections as soon as possible. India donates huge $ 2,50,000 towards the setting up of an Anti-slavery memorial which will be located in the lawn of the U.N's head quarter in New york. This amount was handed over by India's permanent representative to the U.N., Hardeep Puri towards the trust fund for the permanent memorial to honour the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Ennise Sanborn (115), worlds oldest person died at Texas, United States. Since the death of Ennise Sanborn has occurred the oldest documented living person is 114 year old Besse Cooper of Georgia, U.S.A. who was born on August 26, 1896. In a response to the opposition's call seeking his immediate exit, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has agreed to quit in September this year, but on his own terms which include steering an orderly political transition in Egypt. Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh under opposition pressure to stepdown, said, he would not be president for life and would stepdown in 2013. Jhalanath Khanal, Chairman of the communist party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) has become a new Prime Minister for Nepal, after 7 months of uncertainity over selecting the Prime Minister post. Australia's biggest cyclone in a century named Yasi shattered entire towns, terrifying locals but causing no confirmed fatalities hit mainly in the Queensland State. Thein Sein, a military general-turned-civilian leader was elected as Myanmar's first President under its 2008 constitution on 4th February. The world's oldest woman 'Eunice Sanborn' has died in Texas on (31/1/2011) aged 115, King Abdullah-2 of Jordan dismissed Jordanian government on (2/2/2011). India has not invited China, Pakistan and Iran for the biggest-ever airshow in this region, Aero-India 2011, which was conducted in Bangalore with official representation from as many as 60 countries.

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In a major breakthrough that put an end to more than a month of uncertainty, India and Iran arrived at a settlement and agreed to use 'euro' to pay for Iranian crude oil through a german bank.

.:: January 2011 International Affairs ::.

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Thousands of Yemenis, apparently inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, staged a massive demonstration calling on president Ali Abdullah saleh to quit after being in power since 1978. The heroic response by employees of Mumbai's landmark Taj Hotel during the 28/11 terror attacks was inducted as a case-study headlined 'Terror at the Taj Bombay'. Customer-centric leadership at Harvard Business School that focuses on the staff's selfless services for its customers and how they went beyond their call of duty to save lives. Miss "Nebraska Teresa Scanlan" Selected for the new Miss America-2011 at the Planet Hollywood Resort &Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The former Swiss banker, Rudolf Elmer who handed over secret data to WikiLeaks was found guilty by Swiss court for seeking to blackmail the bank, making threats and violating banking secrecy laws The governing Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) elected Nguyen Phu Trong as the new General Secretary. Sri Lankan election officials rejected applications 86 new political parties including one by the jailed former army commander Sarath Fonseka. Democratic Party of Fonseka failed to meet the necessary requirements of election commission. Lawmakers in Britain's lower house of Parliament were banned using the Twitter micro blogging website while sitting in the chamber. The ban on Twitter was a result of complaint from Opposition Labour MP, Kevin Brennan. Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in Belarussian president, for a fourth term Three-day Islamic Congregation' Held on the banks of the river Turag in Tongi on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Congregation, held each year since 1966, is among the world's largest religious gatherings. The year 2010 ranked as the warmest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization, Geneva. Suicide bomb attacked at "Domodedovo Air port" in Moscow At least 35 people were Killed and about 60 Injured in a attack. 35th International Circus Festival Held at Monte Carlo Bilateral trade between India and China exceeded the two countries $60 billion target last year, driven largely by rising Indian imports of Chinese machinery that have left a record trade imbalance of $20 billion in China's favour. An Iranian passenger jet with at least 105 people on board crashed in bad weather near the north western city of Urumiyeh, at least 50 people were rescued. Democratic Congress woman Gabrielle Giffords, a three-term lawmaker, was shot in the head, one of 13 people wounded in the shooting at a public event in Tucson, Arizona Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is set to open its first overseas office outside of the United States in India, which will focus on expanding its database in Hindi and all other official languages of the country. After 19 years, India has joined the U.N. Security Council as a non-permanent member for a two-year term. On January 1, India, along with Germany, Portugal, South Africa and Columbia, became a non permanent member of this 15 member body.

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Newly sworn-in Brazilian first woman president Dilma Rousseff took charge in Brasilia on 2/1/2011 who beat opposition candidate Jose Serra in a run-off election last October with 56% of votes. Holly wood Actor Arnold schwarzenegger resigned for California Governoar Post. Saudi Arabia, the top oil exporter is planning to host the <="" factory="" gold="" largest="" world?s="">by the end of 2011

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

.:: August 2011 National Affairs ::.

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The Union Cabinet approved the proposal of Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) for setting up of a new company, called AGRlNDIA. The AGRlNDIA will be a registered company under the Companies Act, fully owned by Government of India in the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) with a share capital of Rs.100 crore and initial paid up capital of Rs.50 crore. AGRlNDIA would undertake the following major activities: Protection and management of intellectual properties generated in the system and its commercialization / distribution for public benefit. Production, marketing and popularization of ICAR`s products, processes and technologies in agriculture and allied sectors. Providing skilled services from ICAR, such as consultancies, contract research, contract service, customized capacity building, technical support for turnkey project etc. Setting up research and development farms and assist in setting up production units outside India, especially in Africa and in the Asia-Pacific region and perhaps other regions of the world such as Latin America. Foster public-private partnerships in research, education and other capacity building in agriculture and allied sectors.

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The Bombay High Court, has celebrated the 150 years of legal heritage, on 14 august 2011. It is in fact the second oldest High Court in India, established on August 14, 1862; just about a month after the Calcutta High Court was established, under the High Courts Act of 1861. The Madras High Court (15.08.1862) and the Allahabad High Court (11.06.1866) were the other High Courts established under the same act. Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) has formulated "e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project (MMP)" for implementation of e-governance in Panchayats as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the umbrella of National e-Governance Programme (NeGP). The scheme aims at supporting all the State Governments for making effective use of IT in Panchayats in the process of planning at grassroots level, bring out transparency in the working of the PRIs and help in increased accountability of these institutions. As on 31 March, 2011, 1,19,245 Village Panchayats have been provided internet connectivity. It is targeted to provide internet connectivity to all Panchayats by 2012. D V Sadananda Gowda, was elected Karnataka's 26th chief minister by BJP's legislator. Gowda, MP from Udupi-Chikmagalur emerged victorious over rival Jagadish Shettar's

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camp. In the secret ballot, Gowda polled 63 votes compared to Shettar's 55. Of 119 BJP MLAs, 117 voted . D. V. Sadananda Gowda born in 1953 hails from the Devaragunda family of Mandekolu Village of Sullia Taluk. :: July 2011 National Affairs ::.

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The Union Cabinet of India on 28 July 2011 approved the proposal for the enactment of a new legislation in the form of the Lokpal Bill, 2011. The Bill provides for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Lokpal will consist of a Chairperson and 8 members. Half of the members shall be judicial members. The Chairperson would be from the judiciary and only a serving or retired Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court would be eligible for being appointed as Chairperson. It will have its own Investigation Wing and Prosecution Wing with such officers and staff as are necessary to carry out its functions. The Lokpal shall inquire into allegations of corruption made in respect of Prime Minister, after he has demitted office; a Minister of the Union; a Member of Parliament; any Group 'A' officer or equivalent; Chairperson or member or officer equivalent to Group 'A' in any body/ Board/ corporation/ authority/ company/ society/ trust/ autonomous body established by an Act of Parliament or wholly or partly financed or controlled by the Central Government; However, the organisations created for religious purposes and receiving public donations would be outside the purview of Lokpal. The President of India, Pratibha Patil released a commemorative postage stamp on Vitthal Sakharam Page. The postage stamp was released in recognition of Page's illustrious contribution in the field of social service, culture, education & literature, economics, philosophy etc. His integrated Area Development Scheme, popularly known as Page Scheme for the integrated development of village areas and the amelioration of small landholders, traditional artisans and agricultural labourers was widely recognized in the field of social service. His persuasion to the Maharashtra Government to implement Employment Guarantee Scheme on a pilot basis in 1969 finally led to enactment of Employment Guarantee Act in the Maharashtra in 1977. The Supreme Court of India stated in its ruling that water allocated by a state for a particular region is not a matter of judicial review. A Supreme Court bench including Justice Markandey Katju and Justice CK Prasad gave the ruling. The bench gave the ruling while dismissing a plea for a direction for allocation of adequate water in Kachchh district in Gujarat. The Kachchh Jal Sankat Nivara had filed the petition asking for release of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam by the State government to the district. According to statistics for 2010 released by the Union tourism ministry, Andhra Pradesh gained the position of the most visited destination in the country recording 155.8 million domestic tourists. Lord Venkateswara temple of Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh attracts more domestic tourists than any other spot in the country. In terms of number of tourists Andhra Pradesh out did Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, which have Taj Mahal and Ajanta Ellora, respectively. Some 740 million tourists visited various destinations in the country in 2010 which is 10.7% more compared to the number of tourists in 2009. The number of domestic tourist visits to the states and Union Territories was 669 million in 2009 and 563 million in 2008. The growth in domestic tourist visits in 2010 was about 11% in comparison with 2009.

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BJP leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi was elected Chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST (Goods and Services Tax) on 18 July 2011. Modi was elected in place of the former West Bengal Finance Minister, Asim Dasgupta. A tripartite agreement was signed between the Centre, West Bengal government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha(GJM) at Pintail village near Siliguri on 18 July 2011 paving the way for the setting up of the Gorkhal and Territorial Administration( GTA), an elected body for the Darjeeling hills. The new set-up will have 50 members; 45 of them will be elected and the rest nominated. A Bill for this will be moved in the state assembly and it will be sent to the President for assent. Elections to the new body would be held within six months Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad launched a campaign against diabetes and hypertension in slums of Delhi n 19 July 2011. The mass screening programme will cover slum clusters in Delhi to detect people affected with diabetes and hypertension. The ministry decided to screen around five crore people before September 2011. The UN General Assembly will hold a special session to discuss means to control these diseases.The screening will be conducted for all pregnant women irrespective of their age and for all people who are above the age of 30 years. The Supreme Court of India held in its recent judgment that the prohibition imposed by the centre on non-iodised salt for human consumption is unconstitutional. The court however said that the ban will continue for six months. A bench of Supreme Court held that Rule 44-I of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1995 was unconstitutional. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act was intended to ban the use of adulterated and misbranded products. The government had made the consumption of only iodised salt mandatory on the basis that deficiency of iodine caused a lot of disorders like dwarfism, squint eye, lower IQ and mental retardation. 3 Serial bomb explosions occurred in financial capital Mumbai on July 14 - the first explosion in the Zaveri Bazaar, second in the Opera House business district and third blast in Dadar district. The explosions struck in Mumbai metropolis two days after the fifth anniversary of the serial train blasts had left 186 dead and 800 injured. The Ministry Of Rural Development entered into an agreement with the World Bank for soft loan worth US$1 billion (approximately Rs. 4,600 crores) to implement the National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP) under National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) at Krishi Bhawa, New Delhi. The distribution of project funds among the states would be based on the relative share of rural BPL population in the total states. NRLP will invest intensively in support implementation of NRLM in 100 districts and 400 blocks of 12 high poverty states (Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu), accounting for 85 percent of the rural poor in the country. The Supreme Court on 4 July appointed a high-level Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former apex court judge B.P. Jeevan Reddy to monitor the investigation and the steps being taken to bring back black money stashed away in foreign banks. Besides Justice Reddy, who will be the chairman of the SIT, the apex court also appointed its former judge, Justice M.B. Shah as the vice-chairman of the panel. A bench comprising Justices B. Sudershan Reddy and S.S. Nijjar directed that the High-Level Committee (HLC) constituted by the government to look into the issue of black money would

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The stock-taking by a panel of experts at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Kerela catapulted the shrine to the country's richest. According to the Supreme Court appointed seven members panel that began its findings on 30 June 2011, the value of recoveries at the temple touched close to Rs 1 lakh crore, more than Kerala public debt of Rs 70969 crore. There was found a three-and-a-half ft tall idol of Lord Vishnu studded with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, an 18-ft-long ornament used to adorn the deity. The value is likely to further rise with the opening of another secret vault. There were coins marked 1772 indicating they were from the era of former Travancore ruler Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma. The Supreme Court-appointed committee however refused to confirm reports about the value of the recoveries. The committee mentioned that the wealth belonged to the temple and it will be preserved where it was found. Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran on 7 July 2011 resigned from the Union Cabinet. He tendered his resignation following allegations by businessman C Sivasankaran that he misused his position as telecom minister from 2004 to 2007 and sought favours for granting a telecom license. Sivasankaran told the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that he was forced to sell his telecom business. CBI had submitted a 71-page status report on the scam probe in the Supreme Court which mentioned this allegation by Sivasankaran. Telecommunications Minister Kapil Sibal, who is looking at the legal aspects of the 2G scam, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to apprise him about the facts of the case. The Supreme Court on 5 July 2011 lifted the stay on the proceedings against Justice P.D. Dinakaran observing that Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran was deploying tactics to stall the impeachment proceedings initiated against him. The apex court asked the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Judges Inquiry Committee to reconstitute the panel entrusted with the task of probing into the allegations against the judge. The Supreme Court upheld the framing of fourteen charges of alleged corruption and misconduct against Sikkim high court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran by a three-member inquiry committee in the impeachment proceedings. Justice Dinakaran is facing charges of corruption and of having wealth disproportionate to his known source of income. The Union Cabinet of India in its meeting on 7 July 2011 decided to increase the development funds allocated to Members of Parliament under Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme from the existing 2 crore to 5 crore rupees from the financial year 2011-12. The meeting was chaired by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.The MPLAD scheme was launched in 1993-94. The project funded includes creation of infrastructure to provide education, public health, drinking water, sanitation and roads. It should be noted that under MPLAD scheme, funds are allocated to MPs of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Supreme Court on 5 July 2011 declared Salwa Judum as illegal and unconstitutional. The court ordered the immediate disarming of tribal youths who are deployed as Special Police Officers- either as Koya Commandos, Salwa Judum or any other force- in the fight against the Maoist insurgency. The court gave the ruling in response to writ petition filed by social anthropologist Nandini Sundar and others. The bench held that the policy of the Chhattisgarh state violated the rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of those who were employed as SPOs and used in counter-insurgency measures against Naxalites as well as of citizens living in the concerned areas.

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The Union Cabinet's Committee on Economic Affairs has decided to double the honorarium for anganwadi workers and helpers under the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme.Now the Anganwadi workers (AWWs) of regular anaganwadi centres will get 3000 rupees a month. Earlier they got 1500 rupees. Angadwadi helpers (AWHs) and Anganwadi workers of mini anganwadi centres will get now 1500 rupees as against 750 rupees. The honorarium will be effective from 1 April 2011.According to an estimate, there are a total of 11.71 lakh AWWs including workers in mini-AWCs and 10.97 lakh AWHs in India as on 31 December 2010.The Integrated Child Development Services scheme is a nationwide programme for early childhood care and development. It targets pregnant mothers and children below the age of six.

:: June 2011 National Affairs ::.

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The 1st ever post independence Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011 began on 29 June from the Sankhola village of Hazemara block in West Tripura District. It is a door-to-door census in the entire country. This gigantic exercise will pave the way to identify the households living below the poverty line in rural and urban areas of the country. The entire process will be completed by end of 2011-12. The results relating to the identification of poor households would be utilized in the 12th Five Year Plan. He said The BPL Census will be conducted by State governments/Union Territory Administrations with the technical and financial support of the Ministry of Rural Development. The Union Cabinet of India approved proposal of the law ministry for a National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms, providing for fast track courts to clear the backlog in the judicial system. The objective of the Mission is to increase access to justice by reducing delays and arrears in the system and enhance accountability through structural changes and by setting performance standards. The objectives are to be achieved in a time bound manner by 2015-16 through a mission mode approach. The Mission is planned to have a Mission Directorate, an Advisory Council and a Governing Council for overseeing the implementation of the Mission. The Union Cabinet on 23 June 2011 approved extension of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) to all the registered domestic workers in India. The scheme will likely cover approximately 47.50 lakh domestic workers in the country. The RSBY will provide for smart card based cashless health insurance cover of Rs.30000 per annum to BPL workers (a unit of five) in unorganised sector in any empanelled hospital anywhere in India. More than 2.34 crore smart cards were issued on 31 May 2011.The scheme has since then been extended to building and other construction workers registered with Welfare Boards constituted under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, street vendors, beedi workers and such MNREGA workers who have worked for more than 15 days during the preceding year. The Union Law Ministry decided to keep the Navodaya Vidyalayas in the country outside the ambit of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The decision was reached by the Law Ministry after hearing out the logic of Human Resource Development Ministry and consultation with the Attorney General (AG). The two key provisions of the RTE Act are- no screening and 25% reservation for economically weaker sections will not be applicable to 444 Navodaya Vidyalayas across the country. Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) conducts entrance examination in February every year and new session commences in July. However in the backdrop of legal constraint, the entrance examination could not be held thus far for 2011. The Union government decided to set up a high-powered task force to review the unfinished tasks and make further suggestions for implementation with a view to revamp of defence management in India.

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The government arrived at the decision ten years after the Kargil Review Committee and a Group of Ministers attempted the first major revamp. The 14-member task force will be headed by Naresh Chandra, a former bureaucrat who has held top administrative jobs in the Ministry of Defence and Prime Minister's Office. The panel is expected to start its work on 14 July and has six months to complete its report. The Naresh Chandra committee will contemporaries the Kargil Review Committee's (KRC) recommendations in view of the fact those 10 years have passed since the report was submitted. The formation of the task force marked the first comprehensive attempt at reviewing the entire gamut of defence preparedness and management in a decade. The Election Commission of India on June 17 launched the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management- an advanced resource centre of learning, research, training and extension for participatory democracy and election management. The first phase of this premier institute was inaugurated jointly at the Commission premises in New Delhi by Chief Election Commissioner of India Dr. S. Y. Quraishi and Election Commissioner from Kenya Mr. Ken Nyaundi. The two Election Commissioners Shri V.S. Sampath and Shri H. S. Brahma, also were present. The Indian Government created an email id, [email protected] on 15 June 2011, to help the Indian public in taking part in the tackling of the Black Money issue. The Indian public can send their ideas on tackling the issue of black money to this email id. The email was created on the server of the National Informatics Centre .The government of India already constituted a committee headed by Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman, Prakash Chandra to devise new strategies to deal with black money. India signed three agreements with the World Bank for cleaning the Ganga River on 14 June 2011. World Bank agreed to provide one billion US Dollars (approximately Rs 4,600 crore) for the Ganga river cleaning project. It also agreed for a credit worth approximately 24 million dollars for the two projects, i.e. strengthening Rural Livelihoods and Biodiversity Conservation of India. The Ganga faces great challenges from expanding population, urbanization and industrial growth. To stop the flow of untreated municipal sewage and industrial effluent into the Ganga River by 2020 is the objective of Ganga project. The Government will shortly be launching a scheme to make available contraceptives at door steps, in a bid to boost population control efforts. Speaking at the 53rd Convocation of the International Institute of Population Sciences in Mumbai on june 17, the Union Health & Family Welfare Mr. Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the ASHA health volunteer would promote the use of contraceptives at the household level in targeted districts. Under the scheme, the Centre will make available contraceptives free of cost at the Block level, from where ASHA volunteers will pick up their supplies. He said the funding to the health sector is going to be increased from the present level of less than 1 per cent of GDP to 2 to 3 percent of GDP during the 12th Fiver Year Plan (2012-17). The Maritime States Development Council (MSDC) on june 14, urged those coastal states of the country that are yet to constitute maritime boards to complete the task at the earliest. The 13th Maritime States Development Council Meeting held at Hyderabad. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat are the three coastal states which have their Maritime Boards. The Union Minister for shipping,G K Vasan said the meeting agreed that all the ports, including major and non-major, will give priority for berthing of Navy and Coast Guard vessels. Keeping in view the security aspect at various ports, it was agreed that all the ports dealing with EXIM cargo (Export- Import) should install Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS). The functioning of VTMS should be manned by appropriately qualified and trained personnel. The West Bengal Government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on 7 June 2011 signed a pact to set up a new elected body in the Darjeeling hill areas. The elected body will have full administrative, executive and financial powers and will be more autonomous in nature than DGHC.Till

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this body was set up, a five member committee will constitute a board of administrators for supervising the development process in the Gorkha hills. The Kolkata Metro was included in the Indian Railways' logo on 13 June 2011, as the 17th star on the logo. It followed the notification by the Union Ministry of Railways, on Kolkata Metro's inclusion as the 17th Zonal Railway. The notification was issued on 29 December 2010.The Railway Board decided to include a 17th star in the existing Indian Railways' logo to mark the inclusion of the Metro Railway as the 17th Zonal Railway. The Indian Railways' logo contains an image of a steam engine encircled by a number of stars symbolising the number of Railway zones. Before Kolkata Metro's inclusion, the number of stars was 16 on the Indian Railways' logo. The Union Cabinet of India on 9 June 2011 lowered the age limit for the purpose of pensions from 65 to 60 years. The decision taken by the cabinet will be effective from 1 April 2011. It is like to benefit an additional 72.32 lakh people in the age-group of 60-64 years. The decision would lead to an additional expenditure of 1736 crore rupees.In 2007, the government had launched the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension scheme to provide assistance to senior citizens falling in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.The Union Cabinet also decided to raise the rate of pension to persons of 80 years and above from 200 rupees to 500 rupees. The Cabinet Committee on Security of India on 6 June 2011 cleared a proposal to buy ten C-17 heavy lift military aircraft from the USA. It is considered the biggest defence deal ever entered between the two countries. The deal is worth of 4.1 billion US dollars. Under the deal, the US defence Company Boeing, will invest 30 percent of the contract amount for setting up defence facilities in India.The C17 aircraft can lift two T90 tanks and artillery guns and it can be also used for airlift of troops and cargo to operating bases anywhere in the world. It can also perform tactical airlift, airdrop missions and medical evacuation. The C 17 aircraft has the capacity to carry over 130 fully-equipped troops. Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on 6 June 2011 gave its nod for National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID). NATGRID would be a repository of information ranging from train and air journey to Income Tax and bank accounts of individuals. NATGRID will facilitate sharing of such kind of information with law enforcement agencies to combat terror threat.The NATGRID will have access to 21 categories of database like air travel, railway, bank account details, income tax, credit card transactions, visa and immigration records.Following the Mumbai terror attack on 26 November 2008, Home ministry had proposed a blue print for country's internal security, which included the formation of NATGRID. The UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on 1 June 2011 launched the Janani-Shishu Suraksha Programme at Mewat in Haryana. Janani-Shishu Suraksha programme was sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The programme was launched for pregnant women with the objective to effectively address the problem of maternal and child mortality.Under the Janani-Shishu Suraksha programme, pregnant mothers can avail government health institutions for free deliveries. Both the mother and her child will get free treatment, free drugs and consumables, diagnostics, user charges besides free provision of blood and transportation.The free facilities will comprise delivery including Csection, special diet, diagnostics etc. The food ministry prepared a new food security bill, reworking an earlier version. In August 2010 the UPA government had dismissed the previous draft of the Food Bill after it was found wanting by the Congress leadership. The Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council, had made number of recommendations, including keeping the country's food distribution system open for all, regardless of poverty status. The new bill provides for legal entitlement for both priority and general categories. Under the new bill, entitlements for BPL households are wholly in line with the NAC's draft food bill which was made public on 7 June 2011.All BPL households would be given 7 kg per person or 35 kg per

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family of government-held grains at a subsidised price of R1 a kg for millet, wheat for R2 a kg and rice for R3 a kg. Those above the poverty line would get 3 kg of grains per person, though the NAC had recommended 5 kg per person. These would be available at half the price at which the government buys from farmers, also called minimum support price (MSP).The new bill also provides for cash benefits to meet enhanced food requirements of pregnant women, who would get Rs 1000 for first six months of pregnancy, and lactating women, as well as children up to 14 years The Union government of India on 31st May 2011 ordered security audit of all important installations comprising nuclear stations, military bases and oil refineries across the nation. The order was issued after a high-level meeting held by the Union Home Ministry following the terrorist attack on a naval base in Pakistan. A joint-team of local security heads and Intelligence Bureau will survey and assess the level of security of the important installations. The security audit will cover all nuclear plants, oil refineries, Indian Space Research Organisation installations, military camps and airports.

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Union Government on 28 May 2011 decided to set up a high level committee under the chairmanship of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to tackle the menace of black money. The members of the committee include the director, Enforcement Directorate(ED), Director-General, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Director-General (Currency), and other top tax and revenue department officials. The commissioner of income tax (Investigations) of the CBDT would be its member secretary. The panel was set up to examine tightening of laws to curb the growth of black money as well as to suggest ways to declare illegally generated wealth as national asset. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone for the construction of a permanent bridge over river Ravi at Basohli in Kathua district of Jammu region. The bridge upon competition will link Jammu & Kashmir with the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. The construction of the bridge is likely open up new areas for development and tourism in Kathua and Doda districts and along the Ranjit Sagar Dam. The 592 meter bridge is to be built by the Border Roads Organization of the Ministry of Defence at a cost of 145 Crore rupees and will open up an alternative route to National Highway 1A and to the Kashmir Valley via Basohli, Bani, Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Chhatroo and Anantnag, boosting development and better connectivity. The Bridge is scheduled to be completed by September 2014. The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) shortlisted Western Ghats for inclusion in the World heritage List. This will help in protecting this biodiversity rich area from land-use change and other development activities. The UNESCO shortlist comprised four sites in Maharashtra (Sahyadri)- Kas Plateau, Radhanagri wildlife sanctuary, Chandoli national park, Koyna wildlife sanctuary. The other sites which are shortlisted by UNESCO are spread across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra. The Union Cabinet of India gave approval for conducting the Below Poverty Line (BPL) Census in rural and urban areas. The Census would be conducted by the Ministry of Rural Development in association with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) and the Registrar General of India (RGI). The BPL Census would pave the way to identify the households living below the poverty line in rural and urban areas of the country. The entire process will be completed by December 2011. The results of the BPL Census would be utilized in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-13 to 2016-17). The enumeration of castes will also be done simultaneously along with the BPL census. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare decided to provide free nutritious food,

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transportation and treatment to all pregnant women who visit government facilities for delivery. Moreover, free health care services will also be given to the newborn babies. The ministry took this decision with the objective of improving the maternal and infant mortality in India. This scheme will be launched on 1 June 2011 from Mewat, Haryana. It will apply for all women from the sub-centre to the district level hospital levels, covered under the National Rural Health Mission. Whatever the costs involved in transporting pregnant women to and from medical centres, it will be incurred by the government of India. A memorandum of Understanding was signed between OP Jindal Global University and the National Institute of Administrative Research of the Lal Bahadur National Academy of Administration, Mussorie. The MoU will provide for exchange of faculty, hosting of visiting academic delegations, research scholars, training of IAS officers and organisation of conferences. The National Institute of Administrative Research of the Lal Bahadur National Academy of Administration, Mussorie is the premier national-level training institution for IAS officers. India and the World Bank signed IDA (International Development Association) credit of 162.7 million dollars for Rajasthan Rural Livelihoods Project, which will finance livelihood opportunities for some 400000 village households in 17 districts of Rajasthan. The funding for the Rajasthan Rural Livelihoods Project will help improve economic opportunities for rural communities, especially women and marginal groups, in 9000 villages of the state. J Jayalalithaa was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 16 May 2011 by Governor SS Barnala along with 33 cabinet ministers at the Madras University. Her party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) stomped to victory in the state elections, landing 203 of the 234 seats in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. The DMK and the Congress parties contested the election jointly, and were hammered, with the DMK delivering one of its worst performances ever, managing barely 22 seats. Tarun Gogoi from the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) was sworn in Assam Chief Minister for the third consecutive term on 18 May 2011 by Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik at the Raj Bhavan in Guwahati. Gogoi contested and won the election from the Titabar constituency. Data on infant deaths across states in India was released in May 2011. The data revealed that infant mortality rate for India as a whole stood at 50 in 2009, down by 30% compared to a decade ago. The rate is much higher than developed countries but the pace at which it is declining is encouraging. The data, a part of the latest Sample Registration Survey (SRS) report released by the Census office at New Delhi covered a sample of 15 lakh households or nearly 72 lakh persons. The survey was done in 2009. Kerala continues to top the rankings by having the lowest Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of 12 among all Indian states. Delhi is the only major state which has registered a worsening of the IMR over the past decade, driven by an increase in infant mortality in the rural areas. Three states ­ Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra emerged as front runners in reducing baby deaths over the past decade. Tamil Nadu reduced infant mortality by a whopping 46%, West Bengal by 37% and Maharashtra by 35%. The Working group of NAC (National Advisory Council) drafted a detailed note on land acquisition and relief and rehabilitation. The two bills that the Working Group proposed to merge are the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2009 which proposed amendments to the Land Acquisition Act 1894 and the resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill, 2009 a statutory framework for Rehabilitation and Resettlement of persons and affected by any development project. Human rights activist Binayak Sen was appointed member of the Planning Commission's 40 member Steering Committee on Health, which will advise the panel on the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (20122017). He will represent the Bilaspur-based healthcare organisation, Jan Swasthya Sahyog. His experience of having worked as a paediatrician in Chhattisgarh's tribal belt will enable him to provide his input on the health of tribal children. It will be expected to suggest effective initiatives for the

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monitoring and evaluation of health programmes and recommend measurable indicators for the 12th Plan. Karnataka on 12 May 2011 became the first state in India to launch an e-payment system for commercial tax payers. With e-payment system in place, the dealers can remit their commercial taxes anytime, anywhere. They need not approach an office of Commercial Taxes Department (CTD) in person. At present, e-remittances can be made from six banks-SBI, SBM, SBH, Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India. The CTD collection is more than Rs 2,000 crore per month and till now, these collections were made through cheques by the dealers. Supreme Court of India stayed the Allahabad High Court Judgment on Ram JanmabhoomiBabri Masjid dispute according to which two-thirds of the disputed site was given to Hindu Claimants while keeping aside the rest for Muslim groups. A bench of Supreme Court comprising Justices Aftab Alam and RM Lodha gave the stay order after hearing the petitioners Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and guardian of the idol of Lord Ram. The Supreme Court reasoned that by dividing the disputed land among the groups the high court gave a very new dimension to the case. The partition of land was never sought by any party as a solution. The Supreme Court termed the High Court judgment as surprising and strange. The Allahabad High Court had given the judgment on 30 September 2010 which gave two-thirds of disputed Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid site to Hindu Claminants while keeping aside the rest for Muslim groups. The Supreme Court of India directed the high courts and trial courts in India to award the death sentence to people convicted in crimes related to honour killings. A bench of Supreme Court comprising Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra gave the judgment. The bench stated that honour killings come within the category of rarest of rare cases deserving death punishment. The bench observed that death penalty is needed to stamp out the barbaric and feudal practice of honour killings. A division bench of the Bombay High Court ruled that dying declarations could not be accepted as truth and set aside the life imprisonment given to Ashok Jadhav by a trial court. The wife of Ashok Jadhav, Sangita had suffered 98 percent burns in June 2002 and gave two dying declarations stating that her husband had set her on fire following a quarrel. Bombay high Court stated that there was no circumstantial evidence to prove the authenticity of the statements. The dying declarations made in this case lack any trustworthiness. The Central Information Commission (CIC) overturned its own decision and ruled that the Supreme Court cannot refuse information on judicial matters if an applicant has asked for it under the Right to Information Act. At present, information disclosure related to a person's own case could be applied to the Supreme Court under the RTI act. However, in case of a third party, the Supreme Court ruled that application must be made under court rules. According to Rule 2 of the Supreme Court, the applicant must establish good cause before the court if he wants information regarding any case. But CIC objected to that by saying it goes against the RTI act. Information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi gave the order stating that all citizens have the right to access information under Section 3 of the Right to Information Act. Mamata Banerjee terminated the Left Front's 34-year stranglehold on West Bengal. The Banerjee-led alliance was set to capture over two-thirds majority by winning over 225 seats in the 294 seat assembly. Banerjee, railway minister at the Centre, did not contest the elections. Jayalalitha wrested power with a landslide victory over DMK in the T.N assembly elections. Congress added to Left's discomfiture by snatching power in Kerala by a slender margin while it scored a spectacular hat trick in Assam bagging a near two-third majority to retain power. However, the party surrendered power to a rebel, Rangasvamy in Puducherry who left the party only a few months ago and

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teamed up with AIADMK to secure two-thirds majority in the 30-member assembly. The Congress was humiliated in Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh. YS Jagan Mohan Reddy won with a majority of around 5. 45 lakh votes and his mother Vijayamma won in Pulivendula with a majority of around 85 thousand votes. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), in collaboration with the Centre for Science Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) and Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd decided to host a World Education Summit (WES) 2011 from 13 to 15 July 2011 in New Delhi. IGNOU will give away World Education Awards during the summit under the categories of School Education, Higher Education, Vocational and Skills Education, Government Initiatives and Private Initiatives. These awards were instituted with the aim of felicitating and acknowledging unique and innovative initiatives in the field of education globally. Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorji Khandu on a flight from Tawang died along with four others after their helicopter crashed in bad weather in the mountains. The Pawan Hans helicopter carrying among others Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Dorjee Khandu had gone missing on 30 April 2011. The search operation that followed came to an end on 4 May 2011 when Dorjee's body was found among the wreckage of the Pawan Hans at 15,000ft near Luguthang, 60 km from Tawang town. Luguthang is one of the world's highest villages and India's remotest polling station. The chopper was spotted in a place between Kyela and Lobothang in the north east of the Sila pass in the mountainous region of Arunachal Pradesh. A total of five people including the pilot perished in the crash of single-engined EuroCopter B8 of Pawan Hans. Khandu who was born in Tawang District of North East Frontier Agency on 3 March 1955 belonged to Monpa tribe. Khandu had worked in the military intelligence and participated in the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971. He had received a gold medal for meritorious service during the war.He belonged to the Indian National Congress and was the sixth Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh. The Postal Department on 3 May 2011 launched the new social security scheme for Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) to provide post-retirement financial security to over 2.73 GDS. The Postal Department decided to deposit Rs.200 per GDS per month. Union Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot launched the Service Discharge Benefit Scheme (SDBS) for GDS .The scheme has been designed to benefit the GDSs working mainly in the rural, remote and far-flung areas across the country. Some modifications in the NPS-Lite scheme were made under the SDBS to suit the needs of the GDS. The new Foreign Contribution Regulation Act came into force on 1 May 2011. Under the new law, no political party can receive foreign funds as donation. The legislation is set to prevent powers which want to use foreign funds to divide India on religious basis. According to the new law, in case, any organisation receives funds over Rs. 10 lakh, the bank will immediately inform the government to enable the agencies to track the funds. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Intel on 5 May 2011. The MoU was signed with an objective to announce a national initiative for empowering teachers through in-service programmes. The programme will be delivered through IGNOU Institute of Competency Advancement of Teacher (iCAT) centres.

.:: April 2011 National Affairs ::.

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The Supreme Court refused to lift the ban on sale of tobacco products such as gutka and pan masala in plastic sachets. The bench clearly stated that the stay on the use of plastic sachets for Guthka could not be vacated. Committee on Zonal Cultural Centres headed by Mani Shankar Aiyar presented its Report to the Union Culture Minister Kumari Selja on 11 April 2011. The recommendations will be processed by Ministry of Culture and appropriate steps will be taken to revamp the functioning of the ZCCs to further enhance their outreach. India will overtake China in terms of population by 2025, an analysis of the provisional Census, 2011 data suggests. With more than 1.2 billion people, India has about 17.5 per cent (every sixth person in the world is an Indian) of humanity. China is the only country with a larger population, with 144 million more people. The United Nations has estimated that the Indian population grew at an annual rate of 1.43 per cent during 2005-10. In comparison, China registered a much lower annual growth rate of 0.7 per cent during the corresponding period. In fact, the population growth is now almost on a par with that of the developed nations. Demographers expect India's population to surpass that of China. At that time, India is expected to have a population of more than 1.4 billion, which will begin to drop in subsequent years. The provisional Census 2011 figures suggest that two contrasting demographic "nations" are emerging in the country with all four south Indian States -- Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu -- already having achieved the replacement level fertility of 2.1 children per women required to initiate the process of population stabilization, while the four large north Indian States -- Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh -- have still a long way to go before they achieve the required level. Replacement level fertility is the number of children a woman should have to replace herself and her mate for a stable population, and it has been fixed at 2.1 globally due to child mortality. A stable population is that where fertility and mortality are constant. This kind of population will show an unvarying age distribution and will grow at a constant rate The Central Advisory Board on Culture, in a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister in his capacity as the then Culture Minister had suggested a review of the functioning of the Seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) with their headquarters at Patiala, Udaipur, Nagpur, Thanjavur, Allahabad, Kolkata and Dimapur over the last 25 years. To review the functioning and performance of the seven ZCCs, the Ministry of Culture, had constituted a Committee on ZCCs. The committee included Mani Shankar Aiyar (Chairman), Dr. Sitakant Mahapatra and Amol Palekar. The Union Sports Ministry formed a committee, headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, retired Chief Justice of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana to fine-tune the draft National Sports Development Bill. The committee will also include badminton legend Prakash Padukone and former sprinter Ashwini Nachappa, who is also the Vice-President of Cleansports India. A five-member high-powered committee, led by Dr V Mohini Giri submitted final draft of National Policy on Senior Citizens 2011 to the Indian Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The committee recommended that recipients of national honours like Padma awards or gallantry awards in the armed forces or national recognition for arts and culture must be given lifelong healthcare facilities for free on the lines of Central Government Health Services. The National Policy on Senior Citizens 2011calls for the setting up of a department of senior citizens and also a National Council for Senior Citizens. Rates of monthly pension will be increased to Rs 1000 per person and revised at intervals to prevent its deflation. Covering the oldest under the National Old Age Assistance which would provide additional grants in case of disability and loss of adult children was also suggested. Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal on 11 April said the Department

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of Telecommunications (DoT) would give fresh licences and renew the old ones for 10 years instead of the current norm of 20 years. The government was also planning to come out with a National Spectrum Act for better management of this scarce resource, while merger and acquisition (M&A) rules would also be liberalised to help consolidation of the mobile telecom sector. Mr. Sibal said all these important norms and guidelines would be part of the National Telecom Policy 2011 (NTP-2011), which is likely to come into effect by this year-end. The DoT was also looking at introducing a new licensing regime to replace the Unified Access Service Licence System. A `State Innovation Council' for Andhra Pradesh will be set up for evolving a new process, and structures to enhance the delivery of services and improve the governance. Union government had already set up a 15-member National Innovation Council under the chairmanship of Sam Pitroda, following a suggestion by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy during the Secretaries' conference in January. The Council will prepare a road map for the Decade of Innovations 2010-2020. The Centre for Good Governance will serve as a Nodal Agency for the State Council comprising a small expert group with government and outside members from relevant and crucial sectors. The tasks to be assigned to the Council include evolving an Indian model of innovation, with focus on inclusive growth, public service delivery, delineating policy initiatives, exploring new strategies and alternatives for innovations and collaborations and encouraging universities, R&D institutions to innovate. The Maharashtra Assembly late on 13 April unanimously approved 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies. The government had promised reservation for women in elections to panchayat samitis, zilla parishads, municipal councils and municipal corporations in the State. The Supreme Court on 15 April granted bail to rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen, observing that no case of sedition was made out against the rights activist, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court in Chhattisgarh. Dr. Sen sought bail and suspension of the life sentence awarded by the trial court on charges of conspiring to commit sedition and providing assistance to those said to be Naxalites. The High Court had rejected his bail petition during the pendency of the hearing of his appeal against the trial court verdict. Chief Minister of A.P, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has launched the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG)- Sabala in Hyderabad on 15 April in seven districts -- Visakhapatnam, West Godavari, Ananthapur, Chittoor, Adilabad, Mahbubnagar and Hyderabad on a pilot basis for the empowerment of adolescent girls. Introduced by the Union government in 200 districts across the country with Anganwadis as nodal centres, the scheme would improve selfdevelopment, nutrition and health status of girls in the age group of 11 to 18, create awareness about hygiene, reproductive and sexual health. The Supreme Court on 18 April banned the employment of children in circuses and directed the Union government to take immediate steps to rescue those engaged in such employment to implement the fundamental right of children under Article 21A [right to education]. The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) gave permission to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to interrogate Puducherry Lt. Governor Iqbal Singh for his reported links to Hasan Ali Khan, a Pune stud farm owner, alleged to be the country's biggest money launderer and tax evader. The latest data of the Planning Commission indicates that poverty has declined to 32 per cent in 2009-10 from 37.2 per cent five years ago. The preliminary estimates are based on the formula suggested by the Tendulkar Committee for computing the number of poor. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on 20 April told reporters that the 2009-10 data shows a decline in poverty from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 32 per cent in 2009-10 as the per the preliminary data worked out by the Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen. The Tendulkar Committee had

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suggested that poverty be estimated on the basis of consumption based on the cost of living index instead of caloric intake. It said that the basket of goods should also include services such as health and education. The new poverty line, as suggested by the Tendulkar Committee, is different for rich and poor States, and for rural and urban areas within a State. The National Sample Survey, which conducts large sample surveys every five years, will launch its next round in 2011-12. Estimates of poverty are important because the cheap grains under the proposed Food Security law will be provided based on these numbers. The Full Planning Commission meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed on 21 April, to work towards a growth target of 9.0-9.5 per cent for the 12th Plan (2012-17). It endorsed the objectives and challenges outlined by the Commission for the five-year period involving special focus on policy and governance reforms and redesigning of government programmes. The Planning Commission gave a presentation on the ongoing 11th Plan and objectives of the 12th Plan which include 100 per cent literacy, inclusive growth and development of physical and social infrastructure within the overall target of fiscal consolidation. According to the Commission's presentation, for aiming at 100 per cent adult literacy, the 12th Plan (2012-17) would have to increase expenditure on health from 1.3 per cent to at least 2.0-2.5 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product).The country was estimated to have recorded an annual growth rate of 8.2 per cent during 11th Plan as against the target of nine per cent. In particular, the economic performance was impacted by the global financial crisis and drought. The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure on 20 April approved the Scheme of National Rollout of eDistrict Mission Mode Project at a cost of Rs 1663.08 crore to be implemented in all 640 districts (including the 41 districts where e-District Pilot Projects have already been initiated) of the country for a period of 4 years. National e Governance Plan (NeGP) was approved by the Government in May 2006, with the vision of "Make all Government Services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man". One person was killed in police firing and several were injured as the protest against the nuclear power plant in Jaitapur located in Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra, turned violent on 18 April. Thirty protesters including Shiv Sena MLA Rajan Salvi were arrested in this incident. Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh, along with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, on 27 April 2011 launched a programme giving tribals the right to harvest bamboo as a forest produce in Gadchiroli. Transit passes were handed over to tribals of Lekha Mendha village thereby according them the right of harvesting and managing bamboo. It will bring about a change in the life of tribals and other forest dwellers. The state government of Maharashtra announced on 15 April 2011 that women would be allowed entry inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Sri Mahalakshmi temple in Kolahapur from now on. It was decided to allow special puja by women at a specified time and to fix specific hours for women to enter the sanctum sanctorum. According to the priests of the temple, only women belonging to royal families were allowed entry to the temple which was opposed by the women activists Government panel that was set up to recommend rules for pricing of all natural resources has declared that all future allocations of airwaves must be done through auctions. The government panel is headed by former finance secretary, Ashok Chawla. In the draft report of the government panel, it has also called for spectrum trading to be permitted amongst telcos. This panel was set up in the backdrop of the 2G spectrum scam, rampant cases of illegal mining, controversies related to pricing of natural gas, and the potential that shale gas and other natural resources of India's economy. In addition

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to airwaves, the committee also examines other natural resources such as oil, gas, coal, mining, other minerals, water and land owned by the government. The Supreme Court of India on 19 April 2011 declared Khap panchayats illegal and termed them as kangaroo courts. A bench of the Supreme Court gave the Judgement stating that honour killings, khap panchayats in northern India and katta panchayats in Tamil Nadu were illegal and barbaric. The Supreme Court termed honour killings as shameful and asked for the harshest punishment who perpetrates this kind of crimes. The Supreme Court also directed State Governments to initiate action against any official such as District Magistrate or SP who does not prevent the incident in spite of having prior knowledge. 11 of its 21 members of the of the Public Accounts Committee(PAC) on 2Gspectrum issue recorded their "vote" to "reject" the draft report circulated to the members by the Lok Sabha Secretariat on 27 April. Those who rejected the draft report said they intended to send recorded rejection slips to the Speaker as well as PAC Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi. ` Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare called off his five-day hunger strike on 9 April morning after receiving a gazette notification from the Centre on the constitution of a joint committee, comprising members from the government and civil society, for preparation of the draft Lokpal Bill. The notification said the Joint Drafting Committee would "commence its work forthwith and evolve its own procedure to prepare the proposed legislation." It is supposed to complete its work the latest by June 30, 2011.The 10-member Joint Drafting Committee will have five Cabinet members -- Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (chairman), Home Minister P. Chidamabaram, Law Minister Veerappa Moily (convener), Telecom and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and Water Resources Minister Salman Khurshid.Apart from Mr. Hazare, civil society will be represented by the former Law Minister, Shanti Bhushan (co-chairperson), the former Supreme Court Judge, Justice N. Santosh Hegde, lawyer Prashant Bhushan and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal. Concerned over the sharp decline in the child sex ratio as reflected in the provisional Census figures, the Centre reconstituted the Central Supervisory Board set up under the Pre-conception & Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 (PC & PNDT Act).Chaired by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and co-chaired by the Minister of Women and Child Development, the Board consists of ex-officio members; 10 non official members The new Board will have 35 members including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare as the chairperson; Krishna Tirath, Minister of State (Women & Child Development) as Co-Chair; In an effort to conserve water and ensure its optimum utilisation in the country, the union cabinet approved a comprehensive charter for the National Water Mission, one of the eight missions in the National Action Plan for Climate Change. The objective of the National Water Mission is 'conservation of water, minimising wastage and ensuring its equitable distribution both across and within states through integrated water resources development and management'. Its five goals include setting up of a comprehensive water database in public domain and assessment of the impact of climate change on water resources, promotion of citizen and state actions for water conservation, focused attention to vulnerable areas, increasing water use efficiency by 20 percent, and promotion of basin level integrated water resources management. An apex board will be set up at the central level with the minister of water resources as its chairman while at the state level, a monitoring committee headed by the principal secretary or the secretary will be constituted. Andhra Pradesh government has amended some rules in the Panchayat Raj Act providing 50 per cent reservation for women in Panchayat Raj institutions. According to the amendments in the AP

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Panchayat Raj (Reservation of seats and offices of Gram Panchayats, Mandal Parishads and Zilla Parishads) Rules, 2006, half the seats in these institutions would henceforth be earmarked for women. Previously, women had a one-third quota in these institutions.

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The Gujarat government has banned Joseph Lelyveld's controversial book, Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His struggle with India, which allegedly calls the Father of the Nation a racist and bisexual. A resolution to ban the sale, distribution and reprint of the book was moved in the Assembly on by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and promptly supported by Leader of the Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil of the Congress. Census 2011 India's population has jumped to 1.21 billion, an increase of more than 181 million during 2001-11, according to provisional data of Census 2011 released on 31 March. Though the population is almost equal to the combined population of the U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan (1,214.3 million), the silver lining is that after 1911-21 the past decade (2001-11) witnessed the addition of smaller population than the previous decade's growth. Of the total provisional population of 1,210.2 million, the number of males stood at 623.7 million and females at 586.5 million. The percentage growth in 2001-11 was 17.64 -- males 17.19 and females 18.12. India's population accounts for 17.5 per cent of the world's. Registrar-General and Census Commissioner of India C. Chandramouli released the provisional data in New Delhi, in the presence of Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai. Among the States and the Union Territories, Uttar Pradesh is the most populous State with 199 million people, followed by Maharashtra with 112 million people. Lakshadweep is the least populated at 64,429 people. The percentage decadal growth rates of the six most populous States have declined during 2001-11 compared with 1991-2001. The overall sex ratio nationwide has increased by seven percentage points to 940 against 933 in Census 2001. Kerala with 1,084 has the highest sex ratio followed by Puducherry with 1,038. With 618, Daman and Diu has the lowest ratio. The provisional data showed that the child sex ratio [0 to 6 years] came down to 914 females per 1,000 males against 927 in Census 2001. It showed a continuing preference for male children in the last decade. The literacy rate has gone up from 64.83 per cent in 2001 to 74.04 per cent, an increase of 9.21 percentage points. Andhra Pradesh has retained its place as the fifth most populous State in the country with a head count of 8.46 crore, recording an 11.10 per cent growth rate over 2001 census. The increase in population was 84.55 lakh. The provisional 2011 census figures showed a male population of 4.25 crore and 4.21 crore that of female. The State registered 11.10 per cent growth rate as against 14.59 per cent in 2001, down by 3.49 per cent. The declining trend started in 2001, apparently because of the implementation of the `small family' norm. The State recorded a sex ratio of 992 females (for every 1,000 males) as against 978 in 2001, a 14-point increase during the decade. The density of population also increased from 277 to 308 persons per sq. km. The literacy rate went up from 60.47 per cent to 67.77 per cent. Proportion of children in the age group of 0-6 years to total population came down from 13.35 per cent in 2001 to

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10.21 per cent. The census figures showed that Nizamabad retained its top position with regard to the sex ratio in the State with 1,038 females for every 1,000 males. In 2001, the sex ratio in the district was 1,017.Behind Nizamabad were Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts with 1,016 (1,009 in 2001) and 1,014 (same in 2001) females, respectively.The lowest sex ratio was recorded in Hyderabad with 943 females, while Ranga Reddy and Mahbubnagar had 955 and 975 females, respectively, for 1,000 males. Ranga Reddy had overtaken East Godavari in terms of population with a decadal growth rate of 48.15 per cent. Ranga Reddy topped the table with a population of 52.96 lakh, while East Godavari was second with 51.51 lakh persons. On the other hand, West Godavari recorded the lowest growth of 3.45 per cent. The density of population was found to be the highest in Hyderabad with 18,480 persons per square km., against 17,649 persons in 2001. Ranga Reddy had only 707 persons per sq. km, while the lowest in the category was Adilabad with 170 persons per sq. km. The density was equally low at 175 and 188 persons in Khammam and Kadapa districts, respectively. The literacy rate was the highest in Hyderabad at 80.96 per cent (percentage of literates to total population above 7 years of age). Ranga Reddy accounted for 78.05 per cent and Krishna 74.37 per cent in the category. The proportion of child population in the age group 0 to 6 to total population was the highest in Kurnool at 11.79 per cent.The lowest was Karimnagar with a percentage of 8.47. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned Rs.1,237 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund to Andhra Pradesh during 2010-11.The State occupied third position in the country in terms of assistance sanctioned under RIDF during the year after Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The Gujarat Information Commission for the first time released a Braille version of the Right to Information Act and its rules in Gandhi Nagar for the benefit of the visually challenged. According to Chief Information Commissioner R.N. Das, Gujarat is the first State to bring out a Braille version. He said the Commission was also working on bringing out an audio CD for the visually challenged and other differently abled people. State bank of India started its first ATM center in Andhra Pradesh for the Blind in Hyderabad. This is the second ATM center for the blind in the country. India has emerged as the largest arms importer in the world, overtaking even China, claims a report by a Swedish think-tank, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). India accounted for 9% of all international arms imports between 2006 and 2010 making it the world's largest weapons importer. Sixteen charges of corruption and irregularities have been slapped by a Rajya Sabha constituted panel against Chief Justice of the Sikkim high court Justice P D Dinkaran, who is facing impeachment proceedings in Parliament. The committee comprising Supreme Court Justice Aftab Alam, Karnataka high court Justice K S Khehar and eminent jurist P P Roy issued the charge sheet to Dinakaran on March 16 and has sought his response by April 9. Nirmal Gram Puraskar, the incentive award which, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj gives annually to the Panchayati Raj Institutions to take up sanitation promotion schemes somehow doesn't seem to be a motivating factor anymore with the number of panchayats getting the award declining drastically over the years. Only 2,808 gram panchayats and just one block panchayat have been chosen for the 2010 award, which will be given away by President Pratibha Patil at a function in New Delhi on 22 March. Instituted in 2005, the award is given to Panchayati Raj Institutions which attain full sanitation coverage

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with a totally open, defecation-free environment. The Union government has decided to declare April 14, 2011 as a holiday on account of the birthday of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar for all its offices, including industrial establishments. The country's oldest lioness, Rehana (23), has died in the government-run zoo Van Vihar, Bhopal on March 21. The lioness was not well for sometime, following a digestive system failure. The foundation stone for Sankhya, the National Museum of Statistics at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus would be laid by former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on March 30. UoH Vice-Chancellor Seyed E. Hasnain described the proposed museum as one of its kind in the world. Eminent statistician and the man behind the project, C.R. Rao said statistics was poised to play a crucial role in the coming days. Excavations conducted by the State Department of Archaeology and Museums, Andhra Pradesh at preSatavahana historic site of Kotilingala in Karimnagar district has unearthed antiquities datable to 4th century BC to 2nd century AD, throwing new light on history of Telemann region. Located on the right bank of Godavari River, Kotilingala was the capital of Assakajanapada, considered one of the 16 great janapadas of early India. The site and its neighbourhood had contacts with Magadha during the time of Buddha, as attested by Suttanipata, according to P. Chenna Reddy, Director of Archaeology and Museums. The site yielded coins issued by pre-Satavahana kings. Coins of Chimukha, the founder of Satavahana dynasty and those cast in lead copper issued by later kings were found. Andhra Pradesh continues to occupy first rank in egg production and broiler production in the country with an annual production of 1,940 crore eggs and 18 crore broilers. India's top nuclear bodies said they would revisit all safety aspects of atomic plants in the country and analyse the nuclear crisis arising in Japan after the tsunami as it had offered new lessons to fine-tune existing emergency preparedness. This was the general practice adopted by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the NPCIL would closely work with the Department of Atomic Energy and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to revisit the safety aspects. Nuclear experts says, in the International Nuclear Event Scale, the Three Mile Island accident was at level 5, Chernobyl was at level 7, whereas the current Japanese incident is at level 4. A High power committee headed by N.R.Madhava Menon constituted to `evolve a comprehensive policy for autonomy of central educational institutions has called for sweeping changes in the higher education system. Recommendations: It recommends that the office of the Visitor for central universities be done away with and the powers transferred to the Chancellor; and that all legislative framework under which these universities are established be uniformly revised and brought under a common Act. The committee recommends that every central educational institute establish an office of ombudsman to intervene in times of crisis and find solutions acceptable to the stakeholders so that minor disputes do not disrupt the academic calendar and peace. The committee says the central educational institutes should be free to decide the fees to be charged, the scholarships to be granted and the recoveries to be made, subject to the government's broad policy guidelines. And to improve the performance of teachers, it recommends that all faculty members be subjected to a review once in five years by a committee appointed by the executive council. The committee suggests that the Indian Institutes of Management be allowed to grant degrees to make them more autonomous. The 20th international World Wide Web Conference will be held in Hyderabad from March 28 to April 1. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced Rs 2,370-crore bonanza for MPs by raising allocations

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under Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD) scheme from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore, even as he expressed concern over inflation and recalled the steps to bring back funds stashed abroad. The Supreme Court on March 7 allowed passive mercy killing of a patient in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) by withdrawing the life support system with the approval of a medical board and on the directions of the High Court concerned. A Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra, however, did not accept the plea of Pinky Viranai seeking permission to withdraw life support to her friend, Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug, who has been lying in a PVS in the KEM hospital Mumbai for 37 years

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· President Pratibha Patil launched the `Sanchar Shakti' project of the Department of Telecommunications, a suite of mobile value-added services (VAS) to provide a variety of useful information to women and women's self-help groups about government schemes and health and social issues, besides inputs related to and training in livelihood, over the mobile phone. Financed by the Universal Service Obligation Funds (USOFs), the unique ICT scheme envisages empowering women, especially in rural areas, with the help of NGOs and other national and international organisations working for the uplift of women. Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal said: "The Sanchar Shakti scheme includes four categories of projects aimed at rural women SHGs -- giving subsidised VAS subscription; setting up mobile repair, modem repaid centres in rural areas; and installing solar-based mobile charging centres in rural areas." · To mark the International Women's Day, Air India, for the second consecutive year, is operating on March 7 night an ultra long haul flight from Delhi to Toronto, with an all-women crew. · The Pune-based stud farm owner and real estate agent, Hasan Ali Khan, who has been under the scanner for alleged money-laundering was interrogated and later taken into custody by officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March7. · The Second Vishwa Kannada Sammelan has begun on 11 March in Belgaum . The first sammelan was organized in Mysore in 1985. · Following the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Orissa government has banned the practice of "bartan" system under which upper caste families extract work from barbers and washer men during important family occasions in return for just 15 kg of paddy for the whole year. The age-old practice has ended with the Panchayat Raj Department issuing the notification abolishing it. · Somali pirates on March 9 freed all crew members of a hijacked ship M.V. Rak Afrikana including 11 Indians, who have since been shifted to a Spanish naval ship. · In yet another step towards modernizing India's postal services, Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal on 10 Marche launched `e-post office,' the e-commerce portal of India Post that will provide various postal services online. The portal will enable customers to transact postal business anytime and from anywhere through Internet and by using either debit card or credit card. · More than 500 Indian nationals, including a large number of women and children, stranded in strife-torn Libya, arrived New Delhi from Tripoli in the early hours of 27 February, while more people are crossing over land to neighbouring Tunisia. These people returned under the multimode "Operation Safe homecoming,' launched by India to evacuate 18,000 Indian nationals in Libya. · The sixth BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) ministerial meeting on climate change was held in India. · Defence Minister A.K. Antony has inaugurated the country's first titanium sponge plant (TSP) on the Chavara complex of the public sector Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML) near kollam. The TSP is a

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joint venture of KMML, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory. The VSSC has fully funded the Rs.147-crore TSP project. With the inauguration of TSP, India becomes the 7th country in the world having the technology for producing titanium sponge, which is the raw material for titanium metal. · The country's first Coast Guard Academy is going to be set up in Kerala. · Chief Minister of A.P. N. Kiran Kumar Reddy launched the first phase of Carbon Black Project established at Pudi village in Visakhapatnam district at a cost of Rs.1,500 crore by the Continent Carbon Company. It is expected to provide jobs to 3,000 people · As chairman of the working group on consumer affairs, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has recommended that futures trading in essential commodities be banned and that organised retail in agri-produce be encouraged to make a dent in food inflation. The working group, comprising the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, was set up in April last. Mr. Modi submitted its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 2 March. Among the 20 specific recommendations is a suggestion to set up a ministerial coordination mechanism at the national and regional levels for coordinated policy-making and for evolving a single national agriculture market. · A federal district court in New York has issued summons to the Indian National Congress in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, acting on a Sikh rights group's petition charging it with "conspiring, aiding and abetting" organised attacks against the community. The law suit was filed by the `Sikhs for Justice,' which has offices in New York and India. The Sikh group has charged the Congress with "conspiring, aiding, abetting and carrying out organised attacks on the Sikh population of India in November 1984."The proceedings are still at the pre-trial stage in New York. Senior Congress leader and Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath is a defendant in the lawsuit. · In a major blow to the Centre, the Supreme Court quashed the appointment of P.J. Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).A Bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar set aside his appointment acting on the writ petitions filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, the former Chief Election Commissioner, J.M. Lyngdoh, and others. And within hours of the judgment, Mr. Thomas stepped down from the post. Mr. Thomas had been appointed CVC pursuant to a recommendation made by a high power committee (HPC) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, who was a HPC member, disagreed with the decision. The other member was Home Minister P. Chidambaram. · The Union Cabinet on 3 March cleared a Bill seeking to prevent sexual abuse of children, with provisions for stringent punishment for such offences. The proposed legislation aims at protecting children against offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment, pornography and provides for establishment of special courts for trial of such offences. Section 7 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011, does not provide for any punishment if the consent for sexual act has been obtained with a person between the age of 16 and 18. · The second Vishwa Kannada Sammelan is going to be held in Belgaum. · The recent excavations at Kondapur, one of the well-known, early, historic Satavahana sites in Medak district, approximately spread over 81 acres represent the Brahmanic culture in addition to Buddhist culture. The excavations have been continuing here for the past one year, headed by G. Maheswari, Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, with a team of about 15 members. · Election commission announced the Assembly elections in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry would be held from April 4 to May 10. · A special fast track court in Ahmedabad on 1 march sentenced 11 convicts to death and 20 others to life imprisonment in the 2002 Godhra train burning case. The court, however, gave the convicts 90 days to appeal against the judgment in the Gujarat High Court.

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· The Haryana Government has constituted a Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice T. P. Garg, a retired Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to inquire into the killing of Sikhs in the November 1984 riots in Haud-Chillar village of Rewari district. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that the Commission would also inquire into the damage caused to properties of Sikhs living there. The Commission would submit its report to the State Government within six months from the date of its first sitting and its headquarters would be at Hisar. · Setting a New benchmark in e-governance, Haryana has achieved the rare distinction of being the first State in the country to successfully hold the annual B-1 test totally online for its police force for the fourth consecutive year since 2008. Officials said on that the "objective, fair, transparent and instant online" system facilitates simultaneous and instant screening of more than 6,000 constables at more than 25 different centres set up all over the State. · The protests for cancellation of the project took place at the Kakarapalli area of Andhra Pradesh, where the 2,640 megawatt thermal power project covering 800 hectares has been proposed by East Coast Energy (ECE). At least two protestors were killed, allegedly as a result of police firing, and five others sustained injuries as police tear-gassed them. .:: February 2011 National Affairs ::.

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Government sources indicated that civil servants in Central ministries and departments have signed on to the Results Framework Document (RFD); initiated by the Cabinet Secretariat, will, for the first time, begin receiving performance-related incentives. These annual performance-related incentives will, depend on whether the concerned civil servants have scored well over 70 per cent in the evaluation scheme, and there could be as much as 40 per cent increase of the basic pay for the top scorers. The Fourth Pay Commission first made such a promise 22 years ago. The secretary of that department will have to justify the evaluation before a panel of experts before it is finalised. The RFD's objective is to improve governance, increase efficiency, transparency and accountability -- especially the last two, given the spate of financial scandals in the government recently. The Bombay High Court on 22 February upheld the death sentence awarded by the Trial court to the lone surviving gunman, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab in the 26/11 Terror Attack Case. The 2-day Indian Seed Congress (ISC)-2011 has commenced in Hyderabad. The Governing Board of the new Malinda University on 21 February laid down a road map to make the institution functional tentatively by 2013. The University will start with seven schools, primarily in humanities. Goya Saharawi has been appointed as the first Vice-Chancellor of the Malinda University, to be set up just about 10 km away from the historic location of the Malinda University in Bihar. Amartya Sen is the chairperson of the Governing Board. Accepting the "pre-planned conspiracy" theory of the prosecution, A Special Fast Track Court -- appointed by the Gujarat High Court on the orders of the Supreme Court -- on 22 February convicted 31 accused and acquitted 63 others in the Godhra train burning case. Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh on 22 February announced the government's decision to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to look into the 2G spectrum allocation scam in both the houses of the parliament As a part of the efforts to rescue stranded Indians from turmoil-ridden Libya, Indian Naval Ships INS Jalashwa and INS Mysore set sail from Mumbai on 26 February. INS Jalashwa is a Landing Platform Dock type of amphibious platform, is particularly designed for sea lift missions and is also capable of undertaking humanitarian missions. INS Jalashwa could carry nearly 2,500 people, while the INS

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Mysore could carry 800-1,000 people. The State government of Andhra Pradesh and Brighton Equipment Corporation of USA on23 February inked a Memorandum of Understanding for Rs.2, 900-crore nuclear power plant at Nakkapally in Visakhapatnam district. The MoU was signed at the Secretariat in the presence of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. Officials told that about one lakh people would get employment once the plant was completed in five years. They termed it one of the biggest foreign direct investment units in the State in recent times. Sulabh International, a leading Indian NGO working for promotion of environmental sanitation globally, has announced to launch sanitation drive with its innovative cost-effective toilet technology in ASEAN region. Sulabh plans to set up a sanitation centre in the Cambodian Capital at a cost of 500,000 dollars that could be used to showcase its path breaking technology. Sulabh international founder is Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak. Union minister of state for defence M.M.Pallam Raju said, Nizampatnam,Guntur dt. A.P. was identified for setting up Coast Guard Academy. In one of the Biggest Findings of "hidden treasure" from a religious place, Orissa's Endowment Department officials and the police stumbled upon 522 silver slabs weighing about 18 tones from a mutt in Puri .As per the present market price, the value of the metal is estimated to be around Rs. 90 crore. The huge stock of silver was found from four Sinduka (wooden containers) placed inside a room, closed from all sides by brick walls, in the Emar Mutt in front of the Sri Jagannath Temple. Ms. Mamta Benarji has introduced the 2011-12 Railway Budget on 25 February in the parliament. The highlights of the budget areNo hike in passenger fare and freight rates. 1. Highest ever Plan outlay of Rs. 57, 630 crore proposed for Railways. 2. Rs. 9,583 crore provided for new lines. 3. 1300 km new lines, 867 km doubling of lines and 1017 km gauge conversion targeted in 201112. 4. 56 new Express Trains, 3 new Shatabdis and 9 Duronto trains to be introduced. 5. AC Double Decker services on Jaipur-Delhi and Ahmedabad-Mumbai routes. 6. New Super AC Class to be introduced. 7. A new portal for e-ticketing to be launched shortly. Booking charges will be cheaper with a charge of only Rs. 10 for AC classes and Rs.5 for others. 8. Pan-India multi-purpose smart card "Go India" to be introduced. 9. 236 more stations to be upgraded as Adarsh Stations. 10. 47 additional suburban services in Mumbai and 50 new suburban services proposed for Kolkata. 11. A special package of two new trains and two projects for the States managing trouble free run of trains through out the year. 12. Anti Collision Devise (ACD) sanctioned to cover 8 zonal railways. 13. GPS Based 'Fog Safe' Device to be deployed. 14. All India Security Help line on a single number set up. 15. All state capitals in the North-East except Sikkim to be connected by Rail in next seven years. 16. A Bridge Factory in J & K and a state-of-art Institute for Tunnel and Bridge Engineering is proposed at Jammu. 17. A Diesel Locomotive Centre will be set-up in Manipur. 18. A Centre of Excellence in Software at Darjeeling proposed under the aegis of CRIS. 19. Rail Industrial Parks at Jellingham and New Bongaigaon proposed.

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20. 700 MW gas-based power plant to be set up at Thakurli in Maharashtra. 21. A scheme for socially desirable projects, 'Pradhan Mantri Rail Vikas Yojana' with Non-lapsable fund proposed. 22. 10,000 shelter units proposed for track side dwellers in Mumbai, Sealdah, Siliguri, Tiruchirapalli on pilot basis. 23. Concession of 50% to press correspondents with family increased to twice a year. 24. Senior Citizens concession to be hiked from 30 % to 40 %. 25. Scholarship for Girl child of Group-D railway employees increased to Rs.1200 per month. 26. Recruitment for 1.75 lakh vacancies of Group 'C' and 'D' including to fill up backlog of SC/ST initiated, 16,000 ex-servicemen to be inducted by March 2011. 27. A separate sports cadre to be created. 28. 2011-12 declared 'Year of Green Energy' for Railways. 29. Freight loading of 993 MT and passenger growth of 6.4 % estimated for 2011-12. 30. Gross Traffic Receipts at Rs.1, 06,239 crore, exceeding one lakh crore mark for the first time estimated. 31. Ordinary Working Expenses assessed at Rs. 73,650 crore. Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was detained at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi on for allegedly carrying a huge sum of undeclared foreign currency. A new organisation, Anti-Corruption Citizen's Forum (ACCF), an initiative by a group of concerned citizens including former judges and former IAS officers was formed in Hyderabad on 13 February with the objective of curbing the menace, build pressure groups and urge the government to take action. Among those in the core group that worked to form the ACCF were former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court A. Lakshmana Rao, former Supreme Court judge B. P. Jeevan Reddy, former High Court Judge Reddappa Reddy and former Lok Ayukta Justice Ramanujam, former IAS officers K. R. Venugopal, K. Padmanabhaiah and C. Umamaheswara Rao. A.P.Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy performed the `ground breaking' ceremony for three Tata Group projects in Hyderabad on 14 February promoted Hyderabad onto the global aerospace map.Involving an investment of Rs. 1,000 crore and providing direct and indirect employment to 9,000 persons, the three aerospace manufacturing projects at Adibhatla village in Ranga Reddy district are Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructure, (joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems (TAS) and Lockheed Martin), Tata Aerospace Systems (JV of TAS and Sikorsky Aircraft) and Nova Integrated systems (Tata enterprise). They are expected to go on stream by 2011 end. The A.P State Legislative Assembly has set a record of sorts by becoming the first in the country to digitise video records of all the debates in the House from 1996.The debates, digitised in DVD format, will shortly be uploaded on the Internet. Members can now take a copy of some of the historic debates or the debates in which they took part and upload it on YouTube or any other site on the Net. Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had given the conditional clearance for the 4000-MW Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) at Bedabahal in Orissa. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 19 February laid the foundation stones of the country's second National Institute of Design (NID) at Jorhat,Assam and the Assam centre of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RGIPT) at Sivasagar.The first National Institute of Design was set up in Ahmedabad 50 years ago. Giving in to opposition demands, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced government's decision to set up a JPC into the 2G spectrum scam, saying the country could "ill afford" disruption of the crucial Budget session of Parliament.

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Axis bank has formally launched the first ETM (Enywhere Teller Mechine)service in Vijayawada on15 february with the bank already tying up with over 120 merchants as POS(Point Of Sale) terminals to provide its new service to its customers. The bank has plans to extend this service all over the State by March next year by roping in nearly 500 merchants as POS terminals by that time.ETM service is more convenient as the card holder need not look for a bank' ATM. The expert group of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the task force of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) broadly agreed to settle their turf war over the jurisdiction of medical education. The National Commission for Human Resources in Health (NCHRH) will get to lay down the minimum standards of medical education, while all health-related research will come under the purview of the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER), promoted by the HRD Ministry. The First Urine Bank in India has started in a village Musiri near Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu. A group of naval divers on board INS Nireekshak, the Navy's only diving support and submarine rescue vessel, set a new national record last week by diving to a depth of 233 metres in the seas off Kochi coast, bettering a record of 218 metres attained by Navy divers in March 2007.INS Nireekshak, a 3,600-tonnes ship that was commissioned into the navy in 1995, is capable of diving up to 300 metres. The Centre on 18 February annulled the controversial deal between the Indian Space Research Organisation's commercial arm Antrix Corporation and Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia.The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, paved the way for annulling the agreement by declaring that the government will not be able to provide the orbit slot in SBand to Antrix for commercial purposes, including for its existing contractual obligations, in view of strategic requirements. Japan is to extend an aid of Rs.2, 557 crore (Yen 46.401 billion) to India for three projects through its Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) programme. The projects pertain to cleaning the Yamuna in the national capital, crop diversification promotion in Himachal Pradesh and biodiversity conservation and greening in Tamil Nadu. The current aid quantum is part of the 2010 Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) ODA loan package. The 71 st session of the Indian History Congress was held at the Gaur Banga University in Malda,West Bengal. The two day Ministerial Conference of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) was held in New Delhi. The Andhra Pradesh's 12th annual Nandi Drama Festival got off to a colourful start at Nandyal on19 February. C. Pardhasaradhi, Commissioner, Information and Public Relations and Managing Director of AP State Film, Television and Theatre Development Corporation, formally inaugurated the festival. The Supreme Court has stated in a case that -If a sessions judge passes an erroneous or patently unjustified order, the High Court concerned can suo motu question its correctness by an administrative decision. The Gigantic Industrial exhibition 'win-2011' being organised at Istanbul from feb 3-6. India has been named as "Partner Country" for the exhibition over 44,000 firms and 60 other countries are taking part in the show. The annual Flemingo festival on Feb 15 & 16 would be conducted to mark the arrival of migratory birds for their winter sojourn to Nelapattu Birds Sanctuary near sullurpet. Orissa Cheif Minister Naveen Patnaik has inaugurated the 3-day All-India Telugu conference here Khammam (A.P.) This only district from Andhra Pradesh has been selected for the Centralsponsored 'Bal Bandhu' Scheme. This scheme has been introduced for-protection of children's rights

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in areas of civil unrest 'through the intervention of the community and enabling the children access education, health, nutrition and safety provisions. The central government has selected 10 dt's across five states for implementing of the scheme. The Union Health Minister inaugurated the newly - constructed Central Days Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) Bhavan in Hyderabad. Prime Minister inaugurated the 5-day Common Wealth Law Conference, largest event of its kind in the common law world in Hyderabad from February 5-9. The one-man justice (Rt) ShivRaj Patil Committee that looked into the processes and procedures followed by the department of telecommunications in the allocation of licenses and spectrum between 2001 and 2009 has identified officially responsible for serious lapses in implementing the telecom policy transparently and fairly. Shivraj Patil submitted the report to the Union Communications Minister Kapil Sibal. The annual Surajkund Mela, that highlights the finest handloom and handicraft traditions of the country has started from February 1st, at surajkund village near South Delhi. Uzbekistan is the partner country of 25th Surajkund Craft Mela-2011. The magic of vibrant Andhra Pradesh is the theme state for this year mela. Magsaysay award winner and activist Sandeep Pandey has decided to return the 'Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) Achievement Award, that was presented to him in 2009, February to the government, as no action has been taken yet in a 2009 incident in which dalit workers were beaten by the husband of a former panchayat leader when the workers had come to inspect the NREGS documents related to their wages. A huge amount of foreign currency around Rs 7 cr was seized during the raids at a transit home of 17th Karmapa Ugyen Trinely Dorje at Sidhbari (Dharmasala), Himachal Pradesh. The Shunglu Committee submitted its interim-report on irregularities in awarding broadcasting rights during common wealth Games. It strongly indicting the suspended Prasar Bharati CEO, B.S. Lalli and Doordarshan D-G Aruna Sharma for colluding with U.K. based broadcasting firm SIS live during the CWG's-2010, that resulted in a loss of Rs. 135 cr to the Government, and called for strict action against them under IPC and the prevention of corruption Act. United State's renowned Duke University has decided to set up its branch in Andhra Pradesh. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the Chief Minsters conference on Internal security in New Delhi and warned that serious challenges and threats to the country's internal security still persist from left-wing extremism, cross-border terrorism and religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence. The central bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 2nd February arrested the former Union communications and Information technology Minister, A. Raja and two officers who had worked under him, for their role in the grant of licenses and allocation of 2G-spectrum during 2008 in violation of establishing guidelines and procedures. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says - the centre proposes to create a Biometric data base of all workers covered under the Mahatma Gandhi NREGS. It will be used to authenticate work applications, work site attendance and wage payments. The Pepperdine University of California, U.S.A., Considered one of the top-20 universities in the world has proposed to setup its campus in the Andhra Pradesh state with an investment of $ 1,000 cr. Census-2011 termed as the largest peace time mobilisation in the world, will see the massive exercise of population enumeration across the country simultaneously between February 9 and 28. Registrar-General and Census Commission C.Chandramouli said that the biggest ever census attempted in the history of mankind to enumerate the country's 1.2 billion population would be

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conducted across 35 states and U.T's. The exercise will mark a mile stone, as the first ever National Population Register (NPR) will also be prepared. The population enumeration has already been done in the snow-based areas of Himachal Pradesh, J&K and some other parts of the country. The IIM-Ahmedabad has been placed 11th in the Financial Times Global MBA ranking of the world's top 100 business schools in 2011. Speaking at the 11th Delhi sustainable development summit, P.M. Manmohan Singh said that India is set to reduce the emissions intensity of our GDP by 20% etween 2005 and 2020 and India had setup a National Action Plan on Climate change which will have 8 national missions to look into different areas of sustainability and energy efficiency. The department of posts announced a strategic partnership with the unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) for registration and distribution of Unique Identification (UID) cards to the citizens. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman, Nandan Nilekani who also headed the 'Technology Advisory Group for Unique Projects' (TAGUP) submitted the report to the Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee. Railway Minister Mamata Benarjee announced the setting up of a wagon component Factory near Nandigram, West Bengal. The Rail coach factory in Kapurtala rolled out 15 coaches of the country's first jerk-free Duranto express train to be run on the Mumbai -Secunderabad section. The United Liberation front of Assam (ULFA) said that its general council had endorsed the resolution of the Central Executive Council (CEC) to sit for talks with the centre without any preconditions. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted the tactical aircraft transport C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at the Hindon Air force station, Ghaziabad. If was manufactured by Lockheed Martin, USA and it can be used for troop deployment, special operations, air-to-air refueling & disaster relief etc. Notorious psychopath killer Nalla Nagender Reddy, 29, who had been on the run since May 2009, was shot dead in a police encounter in Benguluru early on (2/1/2011). A native of Subashnager in Nizamabad. An Army helicopter crashed at near Nasik residential area in Maharasta on (2/2/2011), Killing pilot Major 'Bhanu Chandar Gupta' and co-pilot Major 'Atul Garje'. Bhanu native of 'Vijayanagaram' in Andhra Pradesh. Atul Garje native of 'Maharastra'. University of Hyderabad singned a MoU with Norway's largest and oldest public institution, University of Oslo. The thrust areas of the association include collaborative research, exchange of scholars and informaion. The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board organised a workshop as part of World 'Wetlands Day' It was Inaugurated by A.Surendar Raj, joint chief environment engineer. Palamuru University got Guinness World Record, said by VC Gopal Reddy for the 'largest barefoot walk', 2500 people in various age groups participated in university campus. The existing Guinness record involving 1,141 participants was held by Infinitus Company Ltd, China. Maa TV launches two new channels named 'Maa Movies' and 'Maa Junior' on Friday at Hyderabad. Film actor Ram Charan was inducted as a Director on the board of the channel network.

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17th Legal Conference of Common Wealth Nations started at Hi-tec Convenction Center in Hyderabad on 5/2/2011. After 40 years First Legal Conference held in India. "Indian School of Business" Ranked 13th Place for Global MBA Ranking-2011.The "Financial Times" has released the Global MBA Rankings. 14 youths, travelling atop Himagiri Express train, were killed when they hit against an over head bridge near the Rosa station in Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh Cracker unit blast occurred at 'Shornur' near 'Palakkad' in Kerala on (1/2/2010). Two sisters were killed by Lashkare Terrorists at Sopora, Baramulla District in Kashmir The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, has been placed 11th in The Financial Times Global MBA Ranking of the world's top 100 business schools in 2011. The population enumeration phase of Census 2011 that is to start on February 9 and continue till February 28 will feature several "firsts" in the history of census in India. For publicising the Census 2011, the Union Home Ministry has roped in cricket star 'Sachin Tendulkar' and film actor 'Priyanka Chopra' to campaign free of cost. Deputy General Rigistar Mr. Banerjee said, the UNICEF ­ partner of Census 2011- has roped in the two personalities and they will be seen in ads with the slogan "You count, so we count".

.:: January 2011 National Affairs ::.

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(A.P.) - The Inter-University National Youth festival-2011 has been conducted at Sri venkateswara University Campus, Tirupathi. Jaipur (Rajasthan) - Asia's largest and most acclaimed 6th edition of the jaipur literature festival was completed here. Many literary figures were attended including Turkey's Nobel Prize for literature winner orhan Pamuk. The former Maharashtra C.M., Ashok Chawan has been named as one of the 13 accused in the FIR filed by the CBI in the Adarsh Housing Society Scam. Indian Railways has inaugurated Indian first Green Railway Station at Manwal on the JammuUdhampur Rail route. The entire power supply in this station will be provided by the Solar Energy. Clearing the way for the recommencement of High Technology defense and aerospace exports to India, United states has put an end to a restrictive control mechanism, that was in place since 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests to 9 Indian state-owned defense and aerospace organisations like DRDO and ISRO. Chief Minister N.Kiran Kumar Reddy, inaugurated 21st Horticulture Expo-2011 at the People's Plaza, in Hyderabad. Famous Poet, Astavadani, National Literature Parishat Member Laxminarsimha Passed away at Prasant Nager in Sddipet. Union minister of science and technology and human resource development, Kapil Sibal, was inaugurated a "Geospatial World Fourm-2011" at Hyderabad International Convention Centre. Geospatial World Forum 2011, a four day meet was inaugurated in Hyderabad. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi conferres Rachapudi Kamakshi Memorial Gold Medal for young Geospatial Scientist 2010 on Thiyam Tamphasana Devi, IIT Guwahati A Satya Rao succeeds A Chandrasekhar Reddy as the new Press Secretary to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy. A Satya Rao is the Additional Director of Information and Public Relations Department. The entire Andhra Pradesh government employees observed the first day of their three day pen down,

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tool down and chalk down stike for the implementation of the recommendations of 9th Pay Revision Commission (PRC). Minister for Land Development and Water Resources of Uttar Pradesh Ashok Kumar Dohre was removed from the ministry and also expelled from party for his behaviour and conduct. A bi-monthly magazine on Hyderabad police, 'Protector' was launched by New Media in association with Hyderabad police. The magazine aims at building up of positive image and to protect the functioning of police. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expanded his Council of Ministers by introducing three new faces and upgrading five Ministers. Beni Prasad Verma, Ashwani Kumar and K C Venugopal were entered newly into the Cabinet. The Supreme Court described the black money matter as "pure and simple theft of national money". A list of 26 names who had accounts with Liechtenstein Bank was provided to Supreme Court by Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam. The Brand Trust Report, India Study 2011 survey conducted by Trust Research Advisory (TRA) in Mumbai lists Nokia as the most trusted brand in India. Tata, Sony, L & G and Samsung occupied the rest of top five positions. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) for the whole country. The service charge of MNP was made as Rs.19. "International English Language Teaching and Development Conference" Started at Hyderabad. It was three days conference, co ducted by the British Council and EFLU. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's 115th birth anniversary held at the Parliament House in New Delhi. PM Manmohan Singh, senior BJP leader L.K.Advani Participated in that. Additional Collector of Nashik district 'Yashwant Sonawane' was burnt alive by a kerosene mafia in Manmad, Nashik. Indonesian President 'Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono', Who was the chief gust of the 62nd Republic day celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi Internationally renowned music composer A.R. Rahman received the 'Crystal Award', in the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum (WEF)' at Davos in Switzerland. Quit India Movement Fighter Susheel Dara died at Mahishadal in West Bengal. He was 99 years old. He was born in 1911 March 2. A fire broke out on 'INS Vindhyagiri' after it collided with a foreign merchant vessel at the harbour. It was carrying family members of the naval personnel, who were celebrating 'Day at Sea'. The All India Women lawyers Conference-2011 was held at Hyderabad. Conference was organized by All India Federation of Women Lawyers. Sabarimala pilgrimage, around 100 pilgrims died and scores of others were injured on Friday night in a stampade at Pulmedu,in Idukki district,Kerala. The Wage Boards for Working Journalists and Non-journalists and other newspaper employees submitted its recommendation to Labour Secretary of Government of India. Justice GR Majithia, Chairman of the Wage Board recommended 2.5 times pay hike to employees. Bangalore will host World Sanskrit Book Fair-2011 from January 7 to 10 being organised for the first time in 300 years. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) launched a State -level workshop on system of rice intensification (SRI Paddy) at Hyderabad on 5/1/2011. The Srikrishna Committee has recommended a United Andhra Pradesh with Constitutional measures for socio, economic and political empowerment of Telangana as the "best way forward" to

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"continue the development of all three regions. Srikrishna Committee gave 6 options .The Committee found the fifth option the "Second best"

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ECONOMIC AFFAIRS

.:: August 2011 Economy ::.

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The report on Customer Service in Banks by a committee chaired by M. Damodaran, former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was released. The Reserve Bank of India panel recommended an increased deposit insurance cover of Rs.5 lakh to encourage individuals to keep all their deposits in banks. The Damodaran panel mentioned that in case of sick banks, a possibility to enable customers immediately avail themselves of a part of their insured deposits before the final fate of sick banks is decided should be explored. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 4 August 2011 approved equity infusion of Rs.1200 crore into the national carrier Air India that is passing through critical financial crunch. Air India had so far received financial assistance amounting to Rs 2000 crore in the last two financial years while its cumulative loss and debt burden is around Rs 67000 crore. The airline has a debt of Rs.4695 crore on an equity base of Rs.2145 crore.

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The Union Cabinet of India on 28 July 2011 gave its approval for setting up a national level security fund (NSSF) for unorganized sectors named as National Social Security Fund. The fund is likely to benefit 43.3 crore workers in the unorganized sector. The National Social Security Board will administer the fund. The Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee announced the fund during the budget 2010-11. The Ministry of Labour & Employment will be the nodal Ministry for the operation of the Fund.According to an estimate done by the National Sample Survey Organisation total unemployment in both organised and unorganized sector is 45.9 crore workers. Out of them, 43.3 crore workers belong to unorganized sector. A large number of unorganized workers were having occupations like agarbatti-making, embroidery work, papad making and bidi making. The RBI hiked short-term lending and borrowing rates sharply by 50 basis points for the third time in three months to control high inflation, a move that would make all personal and corporate loans more expensive. The RBI has also revised its fiscal-end inflation projection to 7 per cent from 6 per cent earlier. With July 26 increase of 0.50 per cent, the short-term lending (repo) rate has been hiked to 8 per cent and the short-term borrowing (reverse repo) rate has also been increased by a similar margin to 7 per cent. It, however, has retained the cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 6 per cent. This is the 11th time since March, 2010, that the RBI has raised the interest rate to check inflation, which is currently ruling at over 9 per cent. According to the fourth advance estimates released by the Agriculture Ministry, India is

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set for a record food grains production in the 2010-11 crop year at 241.56 million tonnes. Wheat and pulses output are estimated to touch an all time high of 85.93 million tonnes and 18.09 million tonnes respectively. The record production was attributed to good monsoon, higher minimum support price to farmers and focussed policy approach, particularly to enhance production of pulses and oilseeds. Wheat output was estimated to be higher by 5.13 million tonnes in 2010-11. Pulses production enhanced by 3.43 million tonnes with gram at 8.25 million tones, urad at 1.74 million tonnes and moong 1.82 million tonnes recording significant increases. Rice output was estimated at 95.32 million tonnes as against 89.09 million tonnes harvested in 2009-10. Oilseeds production was estimated at 31.1 million tonnes against 24.8 million tonnes in the previous crop year with a record soyabean output of 12.66 million tonnes. Total foodgrains output for rabi and kharif in 2009-10 was 218.11 million tonnes. The highest production in recent years was 234.47 million tonnes in 2008-09.

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 22 July 2011 approved BP's purchase of 30% stake in 21 out of 23 oil blocks belonging to Reliance Industries in the Krishna Godavari basin for $7.2 billion. The deal will give Reliance access to BP's expertise in deep-water drilling and accelerate development and production at its fields, particularly the under-performing eastern offshore KG-D6. BP on the other hand will gain entry into the oil market where energy demand is growing at 5-8 per cent. According to a latest World Trade organization (WTO) report India achieved tenth rank in export of services worldwide and emerged as the 20th biggest merchandise exporter in 2010. India stood 12th and 22nd position globally in services and goods exports, respectively in 2009. India's goods exports went up by 31 per cent in 2010, helping the country to expand its market share to 1.4 per cent from 1.2 per cent in 2009. Engineering and petroleum exports contribute about 40% of India's total exports.The report ranked China first in terms of merchandise exports followed by the U.S. and Germany. In services export, the U.S. is on the top slot followed by Germany and the U.K. Eight Indian companies, including Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) featured in the list of the world's 500 largest companies compiled and released by Fortune magazine on 11 July 2011. The other Indian companies on the list are: SBI (282), BPCL (307), HPCL (354), Tata Steel (410), ONGC (413) and Tata Motors (442).Indian Oil is at the 98th spot, up from 125th place last year. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries also improved its ranking from previous year's 175 to 134th position. Indian Oil raked in annual revenues of USD 68,837 million while that of Reliance Industries stood at USD 58,900 million. Out of the eight Indian companies in the list, five are state-run entities. The oil ministry blocked Cairn India's plans to begin oil production from the Bhagyam oilfield which is the second biggest find in the Rajasthan block. Cairn had planned to put the Bhagyam oilfield into production by October to take total output from the Rajasthan block to 175,000 barrels per day. The ministry insisted that it will not approve further programme on Bhagyam unless Cairn calculates profits to be divided among

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stakeholders and the government after adding royalty to the cost.

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The Union government on 7 July 2011 cleared guidelines of the FM Radio Phase III expansion. The FM Radio Phase III expansion will allow private radio channels to broadcast news of All India Radio and enable revenue generation of Rs 1733 crore from the auction of license for services in 227 cities in the country. A meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also approved hiking of foreign investment limit in private FM radio broadcasting company to 26% from the current 20%. The FM Phase-III policy will extend FM radio services to about 227 new cities, in addition to the present 86 cities with a total of 839 new FM radio channels. The FM phase III policy will result in coverage of all cities with a population of one lakh and above through private FM channels. India dropped by one position to become the fourth largest steel producer in the world in 2010 with 68.3 million tonnes (MT) production, according to World Steel Association (WSA). The US became the third largest producer of the alloy with 80.5 MT output in 2010. It was the fifth largest steel maker in 2009.However; there was no change in the first two slots. With 626.7 MT production, China remained on top while with 109.6 MT output, Japan was the second highest producer in 2010. Russia became the fifth highest maker of the alloy in the world. It produced 66.9 MT steel in 2010.

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According to data released for the first time by the Reserve Bank of India in June 2011, foreign direct investment (FDI) by Indian firms jumped more than two-folds in financial year 2010-11 to $43.9 billion from about $18 billion in 2009-10. Indian overseas investment policies were liberalised over the years to promote exports and strengthen economic linkages with other countries. Outward FDI comprises investments in equity, loans and guarantees issued by Indian firms to their joint ventures or wholly owned subsidiaries (WoS). The biggest outward investment from India during May 2011 was by Gammon India Ltd, which pumped over $ 1.83 billion into its Panama-based joint venture, Campo Puma Orient SA. The Panamanian JV is engaged in the fields of agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing. In the same month Tata Steel invested $514.57 million in its Singapore-based subsidiary Tata Steel Asia Holdings PTE. The Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $132 million loan agreement for strengthening Bihar's power sector. The major portion of the ADB loan ($130.3 million) planned to be used to finance infrastructure such as transmission lines.The remaining ($1.9 million) is planned be used for strengthening the internal capacity of the Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB).The project is expected to be completed by 31 December 2015. There is a provision for providing/transmitting additional 472,579 megawatt-hours (MWh) to consumers annually by the end of 2015 and reduce system losses by 3% by 2016 in seven districts of Bihar. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hiked the repo rate on 16 June 2011, by 25 basis points; to 7.5 per cent from 7.25 per cent with immediate effect. As a result, the reverse repo rate stood automatically adjusted to 6.5 per cent and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate to 8.5 per cent with immediate effect. It implied an increase in the cost of borrowing, EMIs for home, auto and personal loans. Other key rates and ratios remained unchanged. Economic growth outlook remained unchanged at about 8% in

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the 2011-12 fiscal.According to the first mid-quarter review of RBI's Monetary Policy, 2011-12, this initiative was taken to maintain an interest rate environment that moderates inflation and checks inflationary expectations. Former finance secretary Ashok Chawla was selected by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for the post of chairman of India's anti-trust watchdog Competition Commission (CCI). The ministry sent Chawla's name for ACC (Appointments Committee of Cabinet) approval. Chawla succeeded Dhanendra Kumar, who retired on 5 June 2011.CCI was established in 2003 to replace the erstwhile Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission and Dhanendra Kumar was appointed as its first chairman in February, 2009. Unlike sector regulators, under India's new competition laws, the CCI will have the authority to punish companies for exploiting consumers, prevent a company from taking over another by withholding permission. Committee on Small Savings headed by RBI Deputy Governor Shyamala Gopinath on 7 June 2011 suggested raising interest rates on Post Office savings bank deposits to 4 per cent. The committee recommended linking returns on other small savings schemes with interest rates on government securities. It went on to suggest that Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) be withdrawn and the annual investme.nt limit for the popular Public Provident Fund (PPF) be raised to Rs.1 lakh from Rs.70000 at present.The committee recommended that interest rates for Post Office savings deposits be raised to 4 per cent from 3.5 per cent at present, in line with the Reserve Bank's decision to hike rates on savings bank deposits. A committee on natural resources allocation on 6 June 2011 called for the creation of a national coal market to ensure greater transparency in the allocation of the dry fuel and reduce the demandsupply mismatch.The committee pointed out the drawbacks of the existing allocation mechanism for the dry fuel. The committee headed by former Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla recommended establishing a national coal market by creating a platform for commercial trading of coal by suppliers and buyers. The committee suggested use of experience gained through the e-auction platform to create a common one for all buyers and suppliers, including the captive allotees that are permitted to sell. The committee highlighted that introduction of both captive mining and e-auctions were right steps taken in the direction of moving toward market-based allocation. State-run NMDC on 6 June 2011 agreed to team up with Australia's Minemakers Ltd to develop a phosphate mine in Wonarah in northern Australia. India's largest iron ore miner's decision to sign a memorandum of understanding with Minemakers is part of its strategy to focus on food and energy security by acquiring phosphate and coal mines. NMDC had signed an MoU with Nagarjuna Fertilisers for mining rock phosphate and potash in early 2011.As part of the MoU, NMDC and Minemakers decided to undertake a joint feasibility study into development of the Wonarah deposit. After completing the feasibility study, NMDC proposed to acquire 50% equity in the project and participate in the development of the project. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 3 June 2011 permitted urban cooperative banks (UCBs) to give loans to self help groups (SHGs). RBI's initiative is expected to promote financial inclusion in the country.The measure was adopted with a view to further expanding the outreach of UCBs and opening an additional channel for promoting financial inclusion. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data was released on 31 May 2011 by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. According to the data, the country's GDP (gross domestic product) growth slipped to 7.8 per cent in the fourth quarter (JanuaryMarch) of 2010-11. The slowdown was believed to be the result of inflationary pressures and the impact of a consequent on-going tight money policy and a poor showing by the manufacturing sector. Robust farm sector growth coupled with better showing by construction and financial services propped up the overall GDP growth for the entire 2010-11 fiscal year to 8.5 per cent from 8 per cent in the previous

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fiscal. The fourth quarter growth of 2010-11 was way lower than the 9.4 per cent expansion in the same three-month period of 2009-10.vThe Indian government on 28 May 2011 announced the setting up of a panel to examine tightening of laws to curb the growth of black money as well as to suggest ways to declare illegally generated wealth as national asset. The committee to be headed by the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) will also include the director, Enforcement Directorate(ED), Director-General, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Director-General (Currency), and other top tax and revenue department officials. The commissioner of income tax (Investigations) of the CBDT would be its member secretary. The committee will examine ways to strengthen laws to curb the generation of black money in the country, its illegal transfer abroad and its recovery

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The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh dedicated the world-class, 6-MMTPA Bina Refinery in Madhya Pradesh to the nation. The refinery was set up by Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd (BORL), which is promoted by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, with equity participation of 26 per cent by Oman Oil Company and about 1 per cent by the Madhya Pradesh Government. The refinery will produce Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Euro III and Euro IV Petrol and Diesel, Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) and Light Aromatic Naptha with sulfur as by-product. Also the project involves a crude supply system consisting of a Single Point Mooring system (SPM), Crude Oil Storage Terminal (COT) at Vadinar, District Jamnagar, Gujarat and 935 Km long cross country crude pipeline from Vadinar to Bina for supplying crude. State-run power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) announced the successful manufacture and testing of India's first turbo generator of 600 MW rating. The new state-of-the-art generator turbo generator will be supplied and installed at the upcoming North Chennai Thermal Power Project of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB). The turbo generators will cater to the requirements of thermal power stations with supercritical turbines of 660 and 700 MW ratings. The facility for assembly and testing of this series of generators has been designed and engineered in-house at BHEL's Haridwar plant. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-assisted North Eastern State Roads Investment Programme (NESRIP). North Eastern State Roads Investment Programme is centrally sponsored scheme of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDONER).The CCEA's approval will enable construction / upgradation/ improvement of a total of 433-km-long roads in six North-Eastern States at an estimated cost of Rs 1353.83 crore to be implemented over a period of five years (2011-2016).The State-wise road lengths are: Assam 74.70 km, Meghalaya 93.40 km and Sikkim 34.20 km in Tranche-I and Assam 62.90 km, Manipur 93.20 km. Mizoram 55.00 km and Tripura 20.30 km in Tranche-II. The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved Neyveli Lignite Corporation's (NLC) Rs 5907.11-crore lignite-based thermal power project in Tamil Nadu. The proposal for the project included installation of 1,000 MW lignite based thermal power project at Neyveli. The power generated from the new thermal power project (2x500MW units) will cater to the demand of the southern States. The project involves setting up of two units of 500 MW each at Neyveli in Tamil Nadu. The foreign exchange component of the power plant is R969.81 crore. NLC which is currently operating three thermal power stations at Neyveli and one at Barsingsar in Rajasthan with a total installed capacity of

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2,740 mega watts is also planning to set up a 2x500 MW project in Cuddalore district of the state. The Reserve Bank of India tightened the norms for foreign exchange risk cover. The RBI mentioned that only companies with a net worth of Rs 200 crore can use derivatives to hedge against risk of volatility in currency rates. The RBI had in February 2011 pegged the net worth limit at Rs 100 crore while allowing corporates to hedge against exchange rate risks associated with trade transactions and external borrowings. Public sector oil marketing companies sought Rs 30000 crore from the government as compensation to level up the revenue loss they suffered in 2010-11 by selling fuel at government-fixed cheaper rates. Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation together lost Rs 78,000 crore in 2010-11 by selling diesel, cooking gas and kerosene at subsidised rates, according to industry estimates. The government till date gave these firms only Rs 20,000 crore in compensation, while upstream oil companies have paid another Rs 25,000 crore. The revenue loss, termed as under-recoveries by these companies is expected to be more in the current fiscal 2011-12 because crude prices have jumped to over $120 a barrel in the international market from about $75 a year ago. India imports about 80% of its oil requirement. The Annual Monetary Policy for 2011-12 was presented by RBI Governor D.Subbarao on 3 May 2011. The Monetary Policy 2011-12 aim at maintaining an interest rate environment that moderates inflation and anchors inflation expectations. Also the policy targets to foster an environment of price stability that is conducive to sustaining growth in the medium-term, coupled with financial stability. The following are highlights of the Annual Monetary Policy 2011-12: o RBI increased the repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 50 basis points from 6.75 per cent to 7.25 per cent with immediate effect. o The reverse repo rate under the LAF, determined with a spread of 100 basis point below the repo rate, automatically adjusts to 6.25 per cent with immediate effect. o The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate, determined with a spread of 100 basis points above the repo rate, stands calibrated at 8.25 per cent. This rate will come into effect on operationalisation of the MSF. o The Bank Rate has been retained at 6.0 per cent. o The cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks has been retained at 6.0 per cent of their NDTL. o Reserve Bank of India (RBI) capped bank investments into liquid schemes to 10 per cent of the bank's net worth as of 31 March of the previous fiscal. o Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in May 2011 decided to accept the broad framework of regulations recommended by the Malegam Committee report on micro finance institutions (MFIs) The Reserve Bank declared that it would adhere to internationally agreed phase-in period (beginning 1 January 2013) for implementation of the Basel III framework. The Reserve Bank declared that it is studying the Basel III reform measures for preparing appropriate guidelines for implementation. Industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) proposed setting up of National Knowledge Functional Hub (NKFH). FCCI proposed the setting up of this body to engage higher educational institutions with the industry in order to produce quality engineering graduates and meet increasing requirement of skilled hands in the market.NKFH aims at facilitating industry-academia connect in tier-II and tier-III institutions which are the source of bulk engineering graduates for the capital goods industry.

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.:: April 2011 Economy ::.

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International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered India's economic growth rate forecast to 8.2 per cent for 2011 and warned that boom like conditions could lead to over-heating of the economy." The challenge for many emerging and some developing economies (is) to ensure that present boom-like conditions do not develop into overheating over the coming year," the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook report. However, it retained its projection for global economic growth at 4.5 per cent in 2011 and 2012, which is lower than 5 per cent growth it projected for 2010. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 13 April issued important recommendations related to manufacturing, infrastructure and green telecom to promote structured growth of the sector. It has also asked for making green measures as an integral part of the proposed National Telecom Policy 2011 and ensuring energy certification for all telecom products, equipment and services in the telecom network. A cluster of 30 units to manufacture hi-tech defense and space components, apart from a major facility for integration of missile subsystems, would be coming up at the Aerospace and Precision Engineering SEZ at Adibatla, near Hyderabad. The entire 100 acres, earmarked for the SEZ and another 100 acres in the non-SEZ area for developing ancillaries, have been allotted to the units by the co-developer -- SAMUHA Engineering Industries Limited -- formed by six aerospace and defense companies. SAMUHA would develop infrastructure like power, water, sewerage, greenery, and other common facilities along with APIIC. The BRICS nations inked a pact at Sanya (china), to use their own currencies instead of the U.S. dollar in issuing credit or grants among each other. Braving the slow economic growth and declining demand from the western markets, India's exports posted an impressive 37.1 per cent rise at $245.9 billion for the fiscal ending 2010-11. During March shipments posted an impressive 43.9 per cent growth at $29.1 billion. Engineering goods constituted the largest component of the exports entailing considerable domestic value addition and engineering exports crossed $60 billion, a growth of 84.76 per cent. Petroleum products exports were up 50.58 per cent at $42.45 billion. India's food production crossed 235 million tonnes during 2010-11 as per the latest estimates and this is the highest since Independence, S. Ayyappan, Director-General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, said on 23 April, on the sidelines of a function held in Mandya to mark the inauguration of a Jaggery Park. In 2010-11, the country produced 30.2 million tonnes of oilseeds, and 17.2 million tonnes of pulses -- which had never crossed the 15 million tonne-mark in the past -- apart from 94.5 million tonnes of rice and 84 million tonnes of wheat. Agriculture also recorded a 5.4 per cent growth -- a first again -- compared to the four per cent growth achieved all these years. On April 27, 2011 Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) announced two new oil and gas discoveries in Gujarat. ONGC has declared that it has 50 per cent interest in the block that it had won along with the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (40 per cent) and Sunterra (10 per cent) in the seventh round of bidding under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP). The pension regulator, PFRDA on April 2011 opposed any form of mandatory investments into infrastructure under the National Pension Scheme (NPS). PFRDA has put forth its opposition stance comes in the wake of the government's attempt to set up an infrastructure fund with retirement savings.

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PFRDA reiterated that in pension products the complete market risk is being borne by accountholders, and in such a situation directing investment is not proper on the part of the regulator. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a notification on 22 April 2011 to put into force the norms on creation of the defence mechanism by banks. The apex bank asked all the banks to create special buffers to be used by banks for making specific provisions for bad loans during system-wide downturns. The RBI expressed that it wants banks to create the counter-cyclical provisioning buffer to be set up out of any surplus available after complying with the stipulated 70% provision of coverage ratio (PCR) of the gross non-performing assets as of September 2010.The new guideline is basically in the context of Basel III requirements. The Basel III requires more aggressive capital provisioning, particularly when the going is good for banks. The RBI is always ahead of the curve when it comes to the implementation of prudential norms. President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on April 11 awarded Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) Meritorious Awards for 2009-10 to IOC, BHEL and HPCL, among others, for specialising in various fields. The (SCOPE) Award for environmental excellence was received by SAIL Chairman C S Verma. A K Datt, CMD, Bharat Electronics Ltd won the award in the category of corporate governance. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) CMD S Roy Choudhary was rewarded for corporate social responsibility. Petroleum major Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) received gold trophy for being the best among the human resource management category. The country's second largest stateowned Punjab National Bank was merited for Best Managed Bank and Financial Institution, whereas in the sector of R&D and technology BHEL was declared a winner. National Safai Karamcharis Finance Development Corporation (NSKDFC) MD Lalit Kohli was awarded for best managed Section 25 PSE. Felicitation trophies were presented to the chief executives of IOC, NTPC, ONGC and SAIL.

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The flagship Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) of the Union Textiles Ministry is all set to be resumed after being suspended on June 29 last year for want of funds. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 29 March approved the Ministry's proposal for provision of Rs.1, 972 crore for new projects during the remaining months of the current Plan period. In addition, the panel cleared an additional Rs.5,432 crore for the scheme to meet the liabilities towards the projects that have been already sanctioned. With this, the allocation for the scheme for the XI Plan has been enhanced to Rs. 15,404 crore from Rs.8,000 crore, a rise of Rs.7,404 crore. The restructured TUFS provides for higher capital subsidy along with interest reimbursement for installation of first handlooms. Five per cent interest reimbursement and 10 per cent capital subsidy would be provided on brand new shuttleless looms, while 5 per cent interest reimbursement would only be provided for second-hand looms and that too only those up to 10-year vintage. In a significant development, the Centre on 31 March announced allowing 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the agriculture sector, including seeds, plantation, horticulture and cultivation of vegetables. According to a circular by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion released on "Consolidated FDI Policy -- Circular 1 of 2011", 100 per cent FDI has been now allowed in development and production of seeds and planting material, floriculture, horticulture, and cultivation of vegetables and mushrooms under controlled conditions. The policy will come into effect from April 1. Besides, animal husbandry (including of breeding of dogs), pisciculture, aquaculture under controlled conditions and services related to agro and allied sectors have been brought under the 100 per cent FDI

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norm. Similarly, the tea sector has also been brought under the 100 per cent FDI norm. Andhra Pradesh tops the list of functional Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the country. This was stated by Union minister of state for commerce and industry Jyotiraditya Scindia in the Rajya Sabha. AP has 32 operational SEZs, followed by Tamil Nadu (22) and Karnataka (20) of the 130 SEZs in the country whose collective exports stand at Rs 2.2 lakh crore. Scindia said the total physical exports from the SEZs in the first three quarters of the current financial year 2010-11 was to the tune of Rs 2,23,132 crore. The Centre on 22 March introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha to facilitate implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a tax regime that would subsume levies such as excise, service tax and sales tax. The Bill, introduced by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, seeks to amend the Constitution with a view to conferring simultaneous powers on the Centre and the States to levy taxes on goods and services. It will also subsume State VAT/sales tax, entertainment tax (unless levied by the local bodies), luxury tax, taxes on lottery, betting and gambling as also tax on advertisements, cesses and surcharges levied by States. However, crude petroleum, diesel, petrol, aviation turbine fuel, natural gas and alcohol for human consumption have been kept out of the GST ambit. The Bill provides for creation of a GST Council to be headed by Union Finance Minister. The council will be empowered to recommend tax rates and exemption and threshold limits for goods and services. Besides, the Bill proposes a GST Dispute Settlement Authority to deal with grievances of the Centre and the States with regard to GST. The chairperson of the authority will be a retired judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court, who would be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of India. The home-grown Tata brand has been ranked as the first Indian brand to be in the top 50 club of global brands as per the latest Brand Finance's Global 500 2007 report. The group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries. The total revenue of Tata companies stood at $67.4 billion in 2009-10, with 57 per cent of this coming from business outside India. The Central Government on 24 March constituted the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) under the chairmanship of former Justice B. N. Srikrishna to rewrite and harmonise financial sector legislations, rules and regulations. Apart from Justice Srikrishna as the head, other members of the 11-member commission include former PFRDA Chairman D. Swarup, former Axis Bank chief P. J. Nayak and PMEAC member M. Govinda Rao. The Central Government said it would create a Rs.2, 500-crore corpus for technology modernisation of the micro, small and medium units by next year. At present, only textiles sector is availing these benefits under the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) wherein the units get 5 per cent subsidy on loans, for upgrading technology, from the government. The MSMEs account for 45 per cent of the country's manufacturing output and 40 per cent of exports. The sector employs 50 million people in 26 million units producing over 6,000 products. Nippon Life Insurance Company on 14 March signed a `definitive agreement' to acquire a 26 per cent stake in Reliance Life Insurance, one of India's largest private life insurers. Maruti Suzuki India on 15 March rolled out ten millionth car. The historic ten-millionth car, a metallic breeze blue coloured WagonR VXi (Chassis No 243899) rolled out from the company's Gurgaon plant. With this landmark achievement, Maruti Suzuki becomes the only Indian car company that makes its entry into the select club of automobile manufacturers across the globe which has crossed this milestone. Goldman Sachs Asset Management on 16 March announced that it has agreed to acquire Benchmark

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Asset Management Company, an asset management company in India. SBI official say-State Bank of India is on a mission to expand rural banking and is setting up `mini kiosks', which offer limited banking services in villages having a population of over 2,000 persons. These kiosks are being set up on the Private Public Partnership (PPP) model with an aim of building a robust network through private partnership. In urban areas, SBI has launched `One Rupee Bank,' scheme through which customers can open an account, deposit money etc using the kiosk. The Andhra Pradesh Government had allotted 1,381 villages to SBI, in which kiosks were to be set up by March 2012 as part of a major policy thrust towards financial inclusion by the Centre. The SBI has already covered 300 villages in 20 districts. In Guntur district, a rural kiosk was inaugurated at Didugu village in Tadepalli mandal. `One Rupee Bank,' branch concept and `Bank on Bike,' schemes which have been launched in Medak district have become hugely popular. In its pursuit to contain price rise in the economy the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 17 March hiked the short-term indicative rates by 25 basis points. Since last March, this is the eighth time the RBI increased the rates and this move of the central bank would increase the borrowing cost of customers. The central bank has increased the repo rate by 25 basis points from 6.5 per cent to 6.75 per cent and the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points from 5.5 per cent to 5.75 per cent with immediate effect. Repo rate is the rate at which banks borrow money from the central bank and reverse repo is the rate at which banks park their funds with the central bank. The Centre on 17 March announced relaxation in norms for according the Maharatna status to Central public sector enterprises, a step that help many CPSEs acquire this tag, which gives a company more financial autonomy. At present, four CPSEs (ONGC, Indian Oil Corp, SAIL and NTPC) have been given the Maharatna status. As per the new guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises, a company qualifying for the Maharatna status should have an average annual turnover of Rs.20,000 crore in the last three years, as against Rs.25,000 crore prescribed earlier. Similarly, a CPSE with an average annual net worth of Rs.10,000 crore and net profit of Rs.2,500 crore for three years in a row will qualify for the status. Earlier, companies required average annual net worth of Rs.15,000 crore and net profit of Rs.5,000 crore for three consecutive years were eligible for the tag. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on March 7 constituted a working group under the Chairmanship of Usha Thorat, Director, Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning (CAFRAL), to examine a range of emerging issues pertaining to regulation of the NBFCs (non-banking financial companies) sector. While examining a range of emerging issues pertaining to the regulation of the sector, the working group will focus on the definition and classification of NBFCs, addressing regulatory gaps and regulatory arbitrage, maintaining standards of governance in the sector and appropriate approach to NBFC supervision. Finnish Firm Neste Oil on March 8 opened the world's biggest renewable diesel plant in Singapore , taking advantage of massive palm oil production in nearby Malaysia and Indonesia. Clean diesel produced from the euro 550 million ($769 million) plant using feedstock such as palm oil and animal fat will be marketed in Europe, Canada and the U.S., which already have legislation in place supporting biofuels. With an annual capacity of 800,000 tonnes, the Singapore facility is the biggest renewable diesel plant in the world. The plant produces Neste Oil's patented NExBTL renewable diesel. The BML Munjal-led Hero Group on March 8 said it would <="" the="" b="" stake="" cent="" per="" 26="" entire="" acquire="">of Japan's Honda Motor Co in their joint-venture Hero Honda Motors Ltd (HHML) for over Rs.3,841 crore. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a separate business unit iON, an integrated information technology solution for SMBs. The iON solution, which carries TCS brand and provides on-demand

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business solutions using the cloud computing technology, will deliver IT in the third generation service model to SMBs. Using the pay-per-use business model, iON will help SMBs leverage world-class technology solutions as a key business differentiator. The Essar Group will take over Zimbabwe's state-owned Zisco Steel in a $750-million deal to revive production at the defunct firm that was once one of Africa's largest producers. The Bombay Stock Exchange plans to launch its small and medium enterprises exchange platform by the second-half of 2011 after getting approval from the capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on 28 February presented to Parliament India's budget for the coming financial year beginning in April. Following are the highlights of the budget: TAXES o Standard rate of excise duty held at 10 percent; no change in CENVAT rates o Personal income tax exemption limit raised to Rs 180,000 from Rs 160,000 for individual tax payers o For senior citizens, the qualifying age reduced to 60 years and exemption limit raised to Rs 2.50 lakh. o Citizens over 80 years to have exemption limit of Rs 5 lakh. o A new revised income tax return form 'Sugam' to be introduced for small tax papers. o To raise minimum alternate tax to 18.5 percent from 18 percent o Direct tax proposals to cause 115 billion rupees in revenue loss o Service tax rate kept at 10 percent o Customs and excise proposals to result in net revenue gain of 73 billion rupees o Basic customs duty on agricultural machinery reduced to 4.5 per cent from 5 per cent. SUBSIDIES

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Subsidy bill in 2011-12 seen at 1.44 trillion rupees Food subsidy bill in 2011-12 seen at 605.7 billion rupees Revised food subsidy bill for 2010-11 at 606 billion rupees

FISCAL DEFICIT

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Fiscal deficit seen at 5.1 percent of GDP in 2010-11 Fiscal deficit seen at 4.6 percent of GDP in 2011-12 Fiscal deficit seen at 3.5 percent of GDP in 2013-14

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Total expenditure in 2011-12 seen at 12.58 trillion rupees Plan expenditure seen at 4.41 trillion rupees in 2011-12, up 18.3 percent

REVENUE

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Gross tax receipts seen at 9.32 trillion rupees in 2011-12 Non-tax revenue seen at 1.25 trillion rupees in 2011-12 Corporate tax receipts seen at 3.6 trillion rupees in 2011-12 Tax-to-GDP ratio seen at 10.4 percent in 2011-12; seen at 10.8 percent in 2012-13 Customs revenue seen at 1.52 trillion rupees in 2011-12 Service tax receipts seen at 820 billion rupees in 2011-12 Revenue gain from indirect tax proposals seen at 113 billion rupees in 2011-12 Service tax proposals to result in net revenue gain of 40 billion rupees in 2011-12

GROWTH, INFLATION EXPECTATIONS ( Inflation remains principal concern )

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DISINVESTMENT

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Disinvestment in 2011-12 seen at 400 billion rupees Government committed to retaining 51 percent stake in public sector enterprises.

POLICY REFORMS

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To create infrastructure debt funds FDI policy being liberalised. To boost infrastructure development with tax-free bonds of 300 billion rupees Food security bill to be introduced this year To permit SEBI registered mutual funds to access subscriptions from foreign investments Raised foreign institutional investor limit in 5-year corporate bonds for investment in infrastructure by $20 billion Setting up independent debt management office; Public debt bill to be introduced in parliament soon Bills on insurance, pension funds, banking to be introduced. Constitution Amendment Bill for introduction of GST regime in this session. New Companies Bill to be introduced in current session

SECTOR SPENDING

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To allocate more than 1.64 trillion rupees to defence sector in 2011-12 ( 11% hike in defence allocation ) Corpus of rural infrastructure development fund raised to 180 billion rupees in 2011-12 To provide 201.5 billion rupees capital infusion in state-run banks in 2011-12 To allocate 520.5 billion rupees for the education sector. Rs.21,000 crore for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. To raise health sector allocation to 267.6 billion rupees (20% hike in health budget ) Rs.500 crore more for national skill development fund. Rs.54 crore each for AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) centres at Murshidabad and

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Mallapuram. Rs.58,000 crore for Bharat Nirman; increase of Rs.10,000 crore. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme wage rates linked to consumer price index; will rise from existing Rs.100 per day. Increased outlay on social sector schemes. ( Social sector allocation up by 17%) Infrastructure critical for development; 23 percent higher allocation in 2011-12. ( Rs 2,14,000 cr allocated for infrastructure sector )

AGRICULTURE ( Farm loans at 4 per cent )

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Removal of supply bottlenecks in the food sector will be in focus in 2011-12 Agriculture growth key to development: Green Revolution waiting to happen in eastern region. To raise target of credit flow to agriculture sector to 4.75 trillion rupees Gives 3 percent interest subsidy to farmers in 2011-12 Cold storage chains to be given infrastructure status Capitalisation of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) of 30 billion rupees in a phased manner To provide 3 billion rupees for 60,000 hectares under palm oil plantation Actively considering new fertiliser policy for urea Food storage capacity to be augmented - 15 more mega food parks to be set up in 2011-12; of 30 sanctioned in previous fiscal, 15 set up. Comprehensive policy on further developing PPP (public-private-partnership) mode.

ON THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY

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"Fiscal consolidation has been impressive. This year has also seen significant progress in those critical institutional reforms that will pave the way for double digit growth in the near future." Food inflation remains a concern Current account deficit situation poses some concern Economy back to pre-crisis trajectory. Development needs to be more inclusive growth.

Others Govt to move towards direct transfer of cash subsidy for kerosene, LPG and fertilisers. Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission, to be headed by former Supreme Court judge B Srikrishna, to complete its work in 24 months; to overhaul financial regulations. o Five-fold strategy against black money; 13 new double taxation avoidance agreements; foreign tax division of CTBT strengthened; strength of Enforcement Directorate increased three-fold. o Bill to be introduced to review Indian Stamp Act. o New coins carrying new rupee symbol to be issued. o Anganwadi workers salary raised from Rs.1,500 to Rs.3,000. o Mortgage risk guarantee fund to be created for economically weaker sections. o Housing loan limit for priority sector lending raised to Rs.25 lakhs. The Centre has decided to set up a six-member committee headed by T.V. Mohandas Pai of Infosys

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to study and recommend the criteria for selecting private partners for the setting up of 20 new Indian Institutes of Information Technology. Tata Motors on 1 March showcased concept small car `Pixel', based on the Rs.1 lakh car Nano, for the European market at the ongoing 81st Geneva Motor Show. The Andhra Pradesh government made a giant leap in the industrial map of the country, when Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy cleared industrial investment worth Rs. 25,672 crore on a single day last week at the State Investment Promotion Board meeting in Hyderabad. He cleared 25 units with an employment potential of 41,406 that is expected to bring revenue to the Government through the Value Added Tax (VAT) of Rs. 878.30 crore annually. These include Bharat Dynamics Limited and Bharat Electronics Limited units at Anantapur for manufacturing missiles, NTPC-BHEL power plant equipment project at Mannavaram near Srikalahasti in Chittoor district.

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Reliance Industries Ltd. On 21 February announced the sale of 30 per cent stake in its 23 blocks, including the giant KG-D6 gas fields, to British Petroleum of U.K. for $7.20 billion. It can be termed as one of the biggest foreign direct investments (FDI) in the energy sector; the deal was signed in London between RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani and BP CEO Bob Dudley, BP. The payments and combined investment could amount to $20 billion, one of the largest FDIs in the country. Steel Authority of India on 21 February said it planned to put up four 3-million tonne manufacturing facilities -- one each in Indonesia, Mongolia, South Africa and Oman -- at a cumulative investment of $12 billion. C. S. Verma is the SAIL chairman. The Amara Raja Group of companies has announced the setting up of a `Digital World City' at an investment of Rs.250 crore in the next 12-18 months on a 500-acre site in Chittoor district, A.P allotted by the State Government. The Group Chairman Ramachandra N. Galla, said the Digital City was being planned as the most attractive destination for companies in electronics and related sectors and would become the country's largest integrated electronics manufacturing park. Leading telecom service provider Bharti Airtel along with 16 other global telecoms on 23 February launched the Europe India Gateway (EIG) cable system that will enhance diversity and capacity between Europe and India. Bharti Airtel said the 15,000-km-long cable project has received investment of around $700 million and has a capacity to transmit 3.84 terabits per second. Panasonic India is setting up the country's first Eco Idea factory at village Dadri-Toi in Jhajjar district of Haryana. Panasonic India president Daizo Ito said Panasonic aimed to be the world's No. 1 `green innovation' company in the electronics industry by 2018 when it completed its centenary. According to the Financial Services Group City report-India is expected to be the world's largest economy by 2050, surpassing China and the U.S. Optimistic of commissioning First Phase of its proposed 6 million tones per annum steel project by March 2012 in Orissa, Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) said it would set up the biggest steel Plant in Orissa. JSPL Executive Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Naveen Jindal told that "The capacity of the proposed 6 million tones plant will be expanded to 20 million tones in the next 10 years," Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has released commemorative coins of the denominations of Rs.150 and Rs.5, at a function, organised to mark the completion of the year-long celebrations of `150 years of Income Tax' The reverse faces of the Rs. 150 and Rs. 5 coins, minted to commemorate

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`Income Tax -- 150 years of Building India,' bear the portrait of `Chanakya and Lotus with Honeybee' at the centre representing his famous lines, "..... Ideally, governments should collect taxes like a honeybee, which sucks just the right amount of honey from the flower so that both can survive..." The left and right peripheries of the coins are flanked with the words: "Income Tax -- 150 years of Building India" in both Hindi and English. The Rs. 150 coin is not only unique for its denomination but also for its size and metal composition. The 44-mm circular coin is made of 50 per cent silver. Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee tabled the economic survey 2010-11 in the parliament. The highlights are1. Robust growth and steady fiscal consolidations have been the hallmark of the Indian economy in the year 2010-11 so far. 2. The growth rate has been 8.6 percent in 2010-11 and is expected to be around 9 percent in the next fiscal year. 3. The growth has been broad based with a rebound in the Agriculture sector which is expected to grow around 5.4 per cent. 4. Manufacturing and Services sector have registered impressive gains. Savings and investment are looking up while exports are rising. 5. Food inflation, higher commodity prices and volatility in global commodity markets have been a cause of concern underscoring the need of fiscal consolidation and stronger reserves. 6. In order to check food inflation, it has suggested, the Government should improve the delivery mechanisms by strengthening the institutions and addressing corruption. 7. The Survey has observed that a rise in savings and investments and pick up in private consumption has resulted in 9.7 per cent growth of GDP at market prices (constant) in 2010-11. 8. Savings rate has gone up to 33.7 percent while the investment rate is up to 36.5 percent of GDP in 2009-10. 9. The Survey points out that the agriculture sector growth in the first four years of the 11th Plan (2007-12) is estimated at 2.87 per cent. 10. The food grain production went up to 232.1 billion tones from 218.1 billion tones in 2009-10. 11. With a relatively good monsoon the agriculture-sector is expected to grow at 5.4 per cent during 2010-11. 12. The rising food inflation and the critical role of agriculture underline the need for a larger investment in agriculture enrooted to the second green revolution. 13. The Survey reports that the industrial output growth rate was 8.6 per cent while the manufacturing sector registered a growth rate of 9.1 per cent in 2010-11. 14. During April-November 2010 telecom, crude oil production, civil aviation sectors performed well while the power generation, cement and fertilizer production, railway freight traffic and cargo handling at major ports have grown at comparatively lower rates. 15. Six core industries registered a growth of 5.3 per cent (provisional) in April-December, 2010 as against 4.7 per cent during the same period in 2009-10. 16. Economic Survey 2010-11 has highlighted the increasing role of infrastructure services which have been deepening rapidly with rising investments. 17. The telecommunications sector has done exceedingly well as the tele density has increased from 20.74 per cent in 2004 to 143.95 per cent in 2010 in urban areas. 18. While in the rural areas it has gone up from 1.57 per cent in 2004 to 30.18 per cent in 2010. 19. Lauding the role of services sector as the potential growth engine, the Survey has called for the policies to promote further opportunities in new areas in global demand such as accounting, legal, tourism, education, financial and other services beyond the IT and business process sectors.

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20. The Survey points out that the exports in April-December 2010 went up by 29.5 per cent while the imports during the same period registered a growth rate of 19 per cent. 21. The trade gap narrowed down to US $ 82.01 ban in the same period. Balance of payment situation has improved due to surge in capital flows and rise in foreign exchange reserves which have been accompanied by rupee appreciation. 22. During current fiscal foreign exchange reserves increased by US $ 18.2bn from US $ 279.4 ban in end April 2010 to US $ 297.3 ban in end December 2010. 23. The expenditure on Social sector programs has been stepped up by 5 percent point of GDP over the past five years. 24. The Survey points out that Gross Fiscal Deficit are 4.8% of GDP in 2010-11 as against 6.3 percent of GDP in the previous year. 25. The Revenue deficit in the current financial year has been 3.5 percent of GDP as against 5.1 percent in the previous year. 26. A call for reforms in the university and higher education and correcting the demand supply mismatch in the job market has been made in the report. 27. The Economic Survey sums up by stating that the real GDP growth is expected to reach the 9 per cent mark in 2011-12 and the next two decades may well see the economy growing faster than it has done any time in the past. 28. Finance Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Anam Rama Narayana Reddy submitted Budget 2011-12 in AP Assembly on 23 February. This is first Budget for Anam Ramanarayana Reddy as a Finance Minister of the State. It is estimated that this year Budget will cross Rs. 1.2 lakh crores. Following are the highlights of Andhra Pradesh Budget 2011-12: 1. Annual Budget Plan for 2011-12: Rs 1,28,542 Crores 2. Planned Expenditure: Rs. 47,558 Crores 3. Non- Planned Expenditure: Rs. 80,984 Crores 4. Estimation of Revenue Surplus: Rs. 3826 Crores 5. Estimation of Fiscal Deficit: Rs. 17602 Crores 6. GDP Forecast: 8.5 percent 7. Growth of Industry: 9.61 percent 8. Irrigation Projects / Sector: Rs. 15000 Crores 9. Jalayagnam: Rs. 15000 Crores 10. Higher Education: Rs. 3337 Crores Japan's gross domestic product fell an annualised 1.1 per cent in the fourth quarter in 2010, marking the first decline in five quarters due to a drop in exports, diminishing government stimulus programmes and weak consumer consumption, said the sources on 14 February .According to the data, Japan has now lost its position as the world's second largest economy to China. The World Bank has stated in its latest report that India can generate 68,000 MW of power, costing less than Rs.6 a unit from renewable energy sources, a step that can address the country's energy security concerns. Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Jaipal Reddy on 15 February, dedicated to the nation India's largest naphtha cracker plant at Indian Oil Corporation's (IOCs) Panipat Complex, Haryana.The complex has been commissioned in 46 months, which compares with the global standard for similar capacity plants and is ahead of average time taken in setting up similar units in India. With the completion of this petrochemicals complex, IOC has crossed a major milestone in realising its aspiration to emerge as an integrated and diversified company. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) ,Hyderabad has retained its number one position and has been ranked amongst the top airports in its category in the world for the second year in a row in the latest

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ASQ (Airport Service Quality) rankings of the Airports Council International (ACI).Besides RGIA, Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), has been ranked fourth. Both the airports are operated by the GMR group-led consortia. IGIA's ranking was in the group of 25-40 mppa (million passengers per annum). This niche league features the world's best airports like Incheon-Seoul; ChangiSingapore and Shanghai Pudong-China.The awards will be presented on April 7, 2011 during ACI conference at the ACI Asia Pacific Regional Conference and Exhibition to be held at New Delhi. As many as 153 airports across the globe, including six Indian airports participated in the ASQ survey in 2010. World's largest truck maker Daimler AG, which is setting up a state-of-the-art commercial vehicle facility at Oragadam near Chennai, will roll out the BharatBenz brand of trucks in 2012.Daimler will launch a range of Bharat Benz trucks from 6 to 49 tonnes, catering to different applications. India on 18 February adopted the New Consumer Price Index (CPI) that will reflect the actual movement of prices at the micro-level. As per the new series, the CPI has increased to 106 in January from a base of 100 in 2010 (inflation of 6 per cent).The Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, has introduced the new series of consumer price indices for all-India, and States and union territories separately for rural, urban and combined for the purpose of intra temporal price comparison with effect from January, 2011, with 2010 as the base year. G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Paris on 19 February reached a compromise deal to correct global economic imbalances and expressed concern over excessive commodity price volatility impacting the world food security.Pranab Mukherji attended the meeting from India. Japan's gross domestic product fell an annualised 1.1 per cent in the fourth quarter in 2010, marking the first decline in five quarters due to a drop in exports, diminishing government stimulus programmes and weak consumer consumption, said the sources on 14 February .According to the data, Japan has now lost its position as the world's second largest economy to China. The World Bank has stated in its latest report that India can generate 68,000 MW of power, costing less than Rs.6 a unit from renewable energy sources, a step that can address the country's energy security concerns. Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Jaipal Reddy on 15 February, dedicated to the nation India's largest naphtha cracker plant at Indian Oil Corporation's (IOCs) Panipat Complex, Haryana.The complex has been commissioned in 46 months, which compares with the global standard for similar capacity plants and is ahead of average time taken in setting up similar units in India. With the completion of this petrochemicals complex, IOC has crossed a major milestone in realising its aspiration to emerge as an integrated and diversified company. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) ,Hyderabad has retained its number one position and has been ranked amongst the top airports in its category in the world for the second year in a row in the latest ASQ (Airport Service Quality) rankings of the Airports Council International (ACI).Besides RGIA, Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), has been ranked fourth. Both the airports are operated by the GMR group-led consortia. IGIA's ranking was in the group of 25-40 mppa (million passengers per annum). This niche league features the world's best airports like Incheon-Seoul; Changi-Singapore and Shanghai Pudong-China.The awards will be presented on April 7, 2011 during ACI conference at the ACI Asia Pacific Regional Conference and Exhibition to be held at New Delhi. As many as 153 airports across the globe, including six Indian airports participated in the ASQ survey in 2010. World's largest truck maker Daimler AG, which is setting up a state-of-the-art commercial vehicle facility at Oragadam near Chennai, will roll out the BharatBenz brand of trucks in 2012.Daimler will launch a range of Bharat Benz trucks from 6 to 49 tonnes, catering to different applications.

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India on 18 February adopted the New Consumer Price Index (CPI) that will reflect the actual movement of prices at the micro-level. As per the new series, the CPI has increased to 106 in January from a base of 100 in 2010 (inflation of 6 per cent).The Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, has introduced the new series of consumer price indices for all-India, and States and union territories separately for rural, urban and combined for the purpose of intra temporal price comparison with effect from January, 2011, with 2010 as the base year. G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Paris on 19 February reached a compromise deal to correct global economic imbalances and expressed concern over excessive commodity price volatility impacting the world food security.Pranab Mukherji attended the meeting from India. India on 2nd February inked a revised tax treaty with norway for exchange of information to check tax evasion and prevent the flow of black money between the two countries. This new DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) will replace the existing double taxation avoidance convention (DTAC) that was signed between the two countries on decemeber 31, 1986. The National Association of software & service companies (NASSCOM) on 2nd February said, the Indian IT-BPO sector was estimated to grow 19% in the current financial year to reach $ 76 billion in revenues. Exports would continue to be the main stay of the industry with estimated growth of 18.7% to $ 59 billion revenue, while the domestic market is estimated to grow 16% to aggregate Rs 78,700 Cr in 2010-11. Direct employment is expected to reach nearly 25.40 lakh, an addition of 2.40 lakh employees in 2010-11. In a major breakthrough that put an end to more than a month of uncertainty. India and Iran on 3rd February arrived at a settlement and agreed to use EURO to pay for Iranian crude oil through a German bank named EIH Bank A ban on sale of Ayurvedic and other Herbal medicine will take effect across Europe from may 1st, following a E.U. directive, introduced as a response to growing concern over adverse effects of such alternative medicines. India's GDP (gross domestic product) growth stands revised upwards to 8 percent for 2009-10 from the 7.4 per cent expansion estimated earlier for the fiscal, mainly on the strength of better showing by sectors such as manufacturing and services. The Per capita income at 2004-05 prices is estimated at Rs 33,731 for 2009-10, up from 31,801 in 200809, showing an increase of 6.1% Per capita income at current prices rose 14.5% to Rs 46,492 in 2009-10 compared to Rs 40,605 crore in the previous fiscal. National income or the size of the economy rose 16.1% at current prices to Rs 60,95,230 crore compared to Rs 52,49,163 crore in 2008-09. United India Insurance Company has won the "Skoch Financial Inclusion Award -2010". Company Managing Director G.Srinivasan received the Award from K.C.Chakrabarthy, Deputy Governor Reserve Bank of India at Chennai Food inflation rose to 17.05 per cent for the week ended January 22, from 15.57 per cent in the previous week, driven by higher prices of vegetable, fruits and eggs. India's foreign exchange reserves fell marginally to $ 299.172 billion during the week ended from $ 299.395 billion in the previous week, said by Reserve bank of India.

.:: January 2011 Economy ::.

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According to the 'Quick estimates' for 2009-10, released by the C.S.O. (Central Statistical Organisation) on 31st January.

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Indian GDP growth for 2009-10 revised up to 8% from the 7.4% estimated earlier for the fiscal. It occurred mainly on the better showing by manufacturing and service sectors. The country's GDP at factor cost at constant (2004-05) prices in 2009-10 is estimated at Rs 44.94 lakh crores as against Rs. 41.63 lakh crores in 2008-09. However, at current prices, it is estimated much higher at Rs 61.33 lakh crores as against Rs 52.82 lakh crores in 2008-09. The per capita income in real terms (at 2004 - 05 prices) is estimated at Rs 33,731 for 2009-10 as against Rs 31,801 in 2008-09. At current prices, it is estimated at Rs 46,492 for 2009-10 as against Rs 40,605 for 2008-09. ONGC said it had struck natural gas reserves in its maiden well drilled to tap shale gas in West Bengal. This is the first time gas has been discovered in sedimentary shale gas rocks outside the U.S.and Canada. Y H Malegam committee constituted by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in October 2010 to recommend the practices of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) submitted its report and proposes the maximum interest rates as 24 percent. Industrial output in November 2010 was slower-than-expected, 2.7 percent from a year earlier, sharply lower than the previous month's revised annual growth of 11.3 percent, according to government data released. World Bank President Robert B.Zoellick signed a $220-million agreement with the Bihar government for "the Kosi Recovery Project to rebuild areas affected by the 2008 floods". The gems and jewelry exports posted 39% growth at around $23.5 billion in the first three quarters of this fiscal. These were $14.46 billion in the corresponding period in the previous year, according to data given by the Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)

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.:: August 2011 Science and Technology ::.

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Two teams of astronomers discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water in the reservoir is equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world's ocean. The water surrounds a huge feeding black hole, called a quasar more than 12 billion light years away. A quasar is powered by an enormous black hole that consumes a surrounding disk of gas and dust. Astronomers studied a quasar called APM 08279+5255. This quasar harbors a black hole 20 billion times more massive than the sun and produces as much as energy as a thousand trillion suns. Scientists at the University of Columbia in New York developed a portable blood test device which can diagnose an infection within minutes. The device could be used effectively to prevent HIV and AIDS. The device is in the form of mChip, costing 1dollar and looks like a credit card. Astronomers discovered that the planet named TrES-2b which is darker than any planet or moon in our solar system. This planet reflects less than one percent of the sunlight falling on it. The astronomers used NASA's Kepler spacecraft to make this observation. It orbits its star at a distance of only three million miles. The star heats TrES-2b to a temperature of more than 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. TrES-2b orbits the star GSC03549, which is located about 750 light-years away. It can be observed near the constellation Draco. NASA scientists announced that they had found the first evidence of flowing water on Mars. NASA confirmed that the evidence gathered by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter would be the first discovery of active liquid water in the ground on the red planet.

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:: July 2011 Science and Technology ::.

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Gujarat would house the largest solar energy park in Asia in two years with a power production capacity of 500 Mw. This would be set up with an investment of around Rs 8,000 crore flowing from companies such as GMR and Lanco, which have been assigned generation capacities under the Gujarat Solar Mission. The park, on the lines of an industrial estate, is being developed by Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd (GCPL), as the sectoral nodal agency, on around 2,000 hectares of wasteland bordering the Rann of Kutch, in Patan district. When commissioned, the project would provide 800 million units of power. India on July 25 signed a civil nuclear cooperation deal with South Korea, allowing a framework for Korean companies to participate in atomic power plant projects in the country. The agreement was signed after a meeting between President Pratibha Patil with her South Korean counterpart Lee MyungBak. South Korea has become the ninth country, which had signed nuclear agreement with India after it got the waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) in 2008. India registered a 20 per cent increase in tiger population in 2010, according to a report released on 28 July 2011 by Ministry of Environment and Forests. The report stated that the estimated population of 1,706 individual tigers represents a 20 per cent increase from the last survey in 2006, which estimated a

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number of 1,411 tigers. The assessment of tigers included 17 States with tiger population. The increase in the numbers happened because of the tiger populations in Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka have shown an increase in their density. However, the report warned that tigers are still in danger due to an overall 12.6 per cent loss of habitat.

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The national green tribunal ordered Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (HPPCL) to stop all construction work related to the Renuka Dam project. The dam on the Giri River will offer a storage capacity of 542 million cubic metres of water and an installed power capacity of 40 MW. The proposed Renuka Dam Project is one of the largest projects in the backward district of Sirmour in Himachal Pradesh. The state governments of Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 12 May, 1994 for the utilization and allocation of the waters of the Upper Yamuna . As a part of this agreement, a storage dam was to be constructed across Giri river, a tributary of the Yamuna, at Renukaji in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh. The ministry of environment and forests canceled Forest clearance to the project in October 2010. The assessment report mentions that about 308 families will be displaced and about 37 villages will be impacted because of the Renuka Dam project. A team of Scientists led by Paul Hartogh of Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research recently solved a 14-year mystery by discovering the source of the water in Saturn's upper atmosphere. The scientists discovered that giant jets of vapour from the planet's moon Enceladus is responsible for Saturn's water. Enceladus is Saturn's sixth largest moon and it is covered with ice and is providing water to Saturn. Construction work on two more units of 700 MW each at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) was inaugurated by Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee. During the inauguration, Banerjee mentioned that exploratory works unveiled uranium deposits at another site, Tummalapalle spread over 35 km. At present, the country is estimated to have a total reserve of about 175000 tonnes of uranium. The findings are deemed as a major development. DRDO successfully flight tested its latest surface to surface Missile `PRAHAAR' from Launch Complex III, off Chandipur Coast, ITR, Balasore, Orissa. The Missile has a range of 150 kms. The Missile is capable of carrying different types of warheads, operates as battlefield support system to the Indian Army. It is equipped with state of the art high accuracy navigation, guidance and electro mechanical actuation systems. The Missile system is developed to provide Indian Army a cost effective, quick reaction, all weather, all terrain, high accurate battlefield support tactical system. The development of Missile was carried out by the DRDO Scientists in a short span of less than two years. ITC's luxury hotels was accorded the highest rating (Platinum Rating) of greenest luxury hotel chain in the World for their environment-friendly efforts. The rating was given by US Green Building Council (USGBC). ITC hotels are energy efficient and utilise renewable energy. The Oldest commissioned ship of the Indian navy, Sharabh was decommissioned on 14 July 2011 after 35 years of service. INS Sharabh was commissioned in January 1976 at Gdynia, Poland. Neptune the eighth planet of the solar system completed its first orbit around the sun on 12 July 2011, 165 years after its discovery. Neptune is also the farthest planet from Sun. It was discovered by

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German astronomer Johann Galle on 23 September 1846. Neptune is blue-green in colour and it was named after Roman God of Sea. Neptune completes one revolution every 165 years.

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Doctors in Spain performed the world's first double-leg transplant, giving two new legs to a man whose legs were severed in an accident. The man lost both of his legs above the knee in an accident and the attempts to fit him with artificial limbs were not successful. Pedro Cavadas of La Fe hospital in Valencia performed the operation. He is the first doctor in the world to successfully transplant a jaw and a new tongue while doing a face transplant. India on July 15 successfully launched its latest, 1410 kg communication satellite GSAT-12 onboard a powerful Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C17, from Sriharikota. It is the 18th successful mission in a row for ISRO. GSAT-12 was injected into an elliptical Transfer Orbit of 284 km perigee (closest point to Earth) and 21,000 km apogee (farthest point to Earth). Subsequently, the onboard Liquid Apogee Motor would be used to place the satellite in a circular orbit. GSAT-12, aimed at augmenting the capacity in the INSAT system for various communication services like tele-education, tele-medicine and Village Resource Centres, would be co-located with INSAT-2E and INSAT-4A satellites. This was the second time in its 19 flights that the PSLV has been used for launching a communication satellite after Kalpana-1 in 2002. Giant glider-like aircraft completed the first night flight propelled only by solar energy on July 7th.Solar Impulse, whose wingspan is the same as an Airbus A340, flew 26 hours and 9 minutes, powered only by solar energy stored during the day. It was also the longest and highest flight in the history of solar aviation. The plane, which has 12,000 solar cells built into its 64.3-metre wings, is a prototype for an aircraft that its creators hope will carry out its first circum-navigation of the globe from 2012.Bertrand Piccard, the Swiss president of the project, best known for completing the first round-theworld flight in a hot air balloon in 1999, said the success of the flight showed the potential of renewable energies and clean technology. The Union government unveiled a new remote sensing data policy called the Remote Sensing Data Policy 2011(RSDP2011) which allows all data of resolutions up to 1 metre to be distributed on a nondiscriminatory basis. The new policy replaced the 2001 policy. Apart from opening up the remote sensing sector, the RSDP 2011 will remove restrictions to facilitate more users to get high resolution data for developmental activities. Restrictions as per the earlier 2001 policy, was removed. Now there is no bar on publishing of high resolution, remote sensing data of up to one metre resolution. After 134 flights over three decades, The space shuttle Atlantis' voyage will close when the final space fly to International Space Station(ISS) from Florida's Kennedy Space Centre on July 8. The shuttle began its long-career in the 1970s as a successor to the Apollo moon craft and was designed to be the first reusable space craft. The maiden flight in April 1981 by astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen aboard shuttle Columbia formally ushered in the new era with a two-day, six-hour mission and 36 orbits of Earth. Since then, shuttles have flown more than 800 million kilometres -- more than the distance between Earth and Jupiter -- and brought more than 350 people into orbit, launched crucial satellites, ushered in a new era of cooperation in space and built the International Space Station.

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:: June 2011 Science and Technology ::.

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The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), India on 21 June 2011 signed a memorandum of understanding with Rosatom Nuclear Energy State Corporation, of Russia, for cooperation in the activities to be pursued at the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) being set up by the DAE in Haryana. DAE Secretary and Atomic Energy Commission chairman Srikumar Banerjee, and Rosatom Director-General SV. Kirienko, signed the MoU in Vienna.The Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) is set to be consisted of four schools studying advanced nuclear energy systems, nuclear security, radiological safety, and applications of radio-isotopes and radiation technologies. UNESCO removed the in-danger tag from the Manas National Park, a World Heritage Site in Assam. The tag suffixed to the national park was removed at the 35th session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee in Paris that started on 20 June 2011.The in-danger tag was attached to Manas National Park in 1992 it was ravaged due to insurgency and political unrest. The removal of the tag was a huge achievement and recognised the hard work put in by the government and the people, to restore the lost glory of Manas. Manas National Park is a biodiversity hotspot in Northeast India. Mana has a number of additional epithets, including a national park, a tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1985. A 50-MW wind power project is to be set up in Tamil Nadu by April 2012. The project is to be set up by the subsidiary of Suryachakra Power Corporation Ltd, Suryachakra Green Power Pvt Ltd. Suryachakra Power Corporation Ltd entered into a memorandum of understanding with Winwind Power Energy Private Ltd (WPEPL) to set up 250 MW-capacity at Dharapuram in Tamil Nadu.WPEPL use agriculture waste, comprising output from sugarcane mills to fire the plants. The Scientists on 5 June 2011 discovered a werewolf gene which causes hair to grow all over the body. The discovery could provide a remedy for baldness. According to the Scientists, a genetic fault is behind a rare condition called hyper-trichosis also known as werewolf syndrome, where thick hair covers the face and upper body. Based on this finding, Scientists could use drugs to trigger a similar gene mutation in people to cause hair grow on bald patches.It should be noted that Werewolf syndrome is ery rare, in the past 300 years only 50 cases were recorded. Thick hair similar to wolf grows on upper part of the body and face of a human being under this syndrome. The World Environment Day is anually observed on 5 June. The theme of 2011 World Environment Day (WED) was Forests: Nature at your service. The 2011 WED theme explores the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems. The WED theme also supports this year's UN International Year of Forests. The United Nations has also announced 2011 as International Year of Forests. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced India to be the global host of World Environment Day 2011. Prithvi-II missile was successfully flight-tested on 9 June 2011 by the Strategic Forces Command personnel. It was flight-tested at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Orissa. Prithvi-II is nine metres tall. Its range is 350 kilometre. Prithvi-II is the first indigenously built surface-to-surface strategic missile. Prithvi-II is capable of carrying nuclear weapons and can carry payloads ranging from 500 to 1000 kg. It could be launched anywhere and it is equipped with a high accuracy navigation system. The Spices Board on 5 June 2011 launched a campaign to educate farmers, traders and exporters about aflatoxin, a naturally occurring toxin that degrades spices exported from India. The campaign was launched following rapid alerts issued by the European Union against aflatoxin in nutmeg and mace exported from India.Nutmeg and mace are important spices that find wide application in food industry and medicine, and hence monitoring their quality is of utmost importance. Countries from the EU and West Asia, and South Africa and Japan import large quantities of these products in the raw form and as

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value-added spice oils and oleoresins.The board launched a nationwide publicity campaign to create awareness on the need to get rid of the toxin. Exporters, scientists from the Indian Institute of Spices Research and Kerala Agricultural University, the board, and educated farmers will address the campaign meetings. In the meetings the major nutmeg- and mace-growing regions of Kerala, Konkan coast and Raigad district of Maharashtra will be focussed upon. A new report released by the International Energy Agency on 5 June 2011 stated that despite 20 years of effort, greenhouse gas emissions are increasing instead of decreasing. The IEA report revealed that energy-related carbon emissions topped 30 gigatons in 2010 which is 5 percent more than the previous record in 2008. If the emission increases further, it could lead to catastrophic climate shifts affecting global agriculture and water supplies. Moreover, it will set off more frequent and fierce storms besides causing an increase in sea levels that would endanger coastlines.The IEA report was released ahead of the Bonn summit to debate a new global warming accord taking place from 6 June to 17 June 2011. It should be noted that the World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June 2011 every year. The century's longest and darkest lunar eclipse has taken place on june 15 night. The awesome spectacle was visible all over the country, including the national capital. The total phase lasted 100 minutes. The last eclipse to exceed this duration was in July 2000. The next such eclipse will only take place in 2141. India's latest warship 'INS Kabra' was on June 08 commissioned at Naval Base in Kochi by Vice Admiral K N Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command. The ship is named after an island in Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. INS Kabra is the eighth of a series built at GRSE. Garden Reach Ship(GRSE), Kolkata.With a top speed of over 35 knots and manoeuvrability offered by her water-jet propulsion, the ship was ideally suited for high-speed interdiction of fast-moving targets and useful in search and rescue operations, he said.INS Kabra complies with the latest regulations of International Maritime Organisation on sea pollution control.

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.:: May 2011 Science & Technology ::.

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India successfully test fired indigenously developed air-to-air Astra interceptor missile with an 80 km range from Chandipur in Orissa first on 20 May and then again on 21 May 2011. Astra is one of the smallest missiles developed by the DRDO in terms of size and weight. Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air missile was test-fired with an objective to study the modifications incorporated in its main frame and flight systems. The missile was test-fired to gauge performance of its motor, propulsion system and the configurations of the vehicle and aero-dynamics performance. Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh on 24 May 2011 launched an elephant conservation programme, Hathi Mere Sathi on lines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The objective of the programme is to protect elephants as the mining projects in Central India pose great threat to Elephant corridors especially in the states of Orissa, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. The Government had in 2010 declared the Elephant as the National Heritage Animal of the country. There are over 26000 elephants in India, out which one third are held in captivity. India's advanced communication satellite GSAT-8 was successfully launched into its geosynchronous transfer orbit by Arianespace's launch vehicle Ariane-5 from Kourou in French Guyana on 21 May

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2011. India's GSAT-8 which is the largest and heaviest satellite built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its partners was one of the two satellites on the flight. The other, an even heavier satellite weighing five tonnes, was from Singapore and Taiwan. Weighing about 3100 Kg, GSAT-8 is configured to carry 24 high-power transponders and a two channel GPS-aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload. India's GSAT-8 is the 20th satellite designed and built indigenously by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to meet this country's requirements for space capacity in communications and broadcasting NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) launched Space Shuttle, Endeavour on 16 May 2011 from the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida for its final mission. The Space Shuttle, Endeavour carried a particle physics experiment to the International Space Station. The particle physics experiment is worth of 2 billion dollars. Once the Endeavour will be set in its orbit, it will deploy its payload, the 7.5-ton Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). An engineer from the University of Missouri developed a flexible solar sheet that captures more than 90 percent of available light. Today's solar planes only collect about 20 percent of available light. This new device was developed by using a thin mouldable sheet of small antennas called nantenna. It could harvest the heat from industrial processes and convert it into usable electricity. Within five years the new discovery could be incorporated into roof shingle products, or be custommade to power vehicles. Gujarat High Court ordered the release of 494 birds held captive in cages. Justice MR Shah passed the order in response to several petitions which raised the issue whether birds have a right to live freely or whether they can be kept in cages. The caged birds were confiscated by police under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and under section 12 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.The Gujarat high court in its judgment stated that it is the fundamental right of the bird to live freely in the open sky. To keep birds in cages is equal to illegal confinement of the birds. The researchers from the University of Toronto Mississauga discovered 47-million-year old fossil of a lizard called Cryptolacerta hassiaca provided the first anatomical evidence that the body shapes of snakes and limbless lizards evolved independently. The fossil of the lizard revealed that amphisbaenians are not closely related to snakes. Instead of they are related to lacertids, a group of limbed lizards from Europe, Asia and Africa. Discovery of this fossil deny the theory that snakes and other burrowing reptiles had a common ancestry. Actually, their body shapes evolved independently. Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh declared that the Union government had approved two more tiger reserves in Karnataka. Following the government's approval, B.R. Hills in Chamarajanagar district and Kudremukh in Chikmagalur district became the 40th and 41st tiger reserves in the country. The minister also observed that shifting of the 700 families living in the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary was one of the most successful examples of relocation in the India. The expert group on strategies for low carbon growth submitted its report. The expert group was headed by Kirit Parikh. The expert group was set up in the aftermath of the December 2009 Copenhagen Summit with the objective of suggesting a low carbon growth strategy including sectorspecific initiatives. The report by the expert group suggested a possibility of a higher range of emission intensity reduction up to 35% by 2020 over 2005 level. The Parikh expert group found that implementing the existing policies would make sure an emission intensity reduction of almost 25% at growth rate of 8% and a 24% reduction at 9% growth. The expert group further stated that fuel efficiency in transport sector, including the railways, emission cut in industries like steel, oil, cement and gas by adopting new technologies will be the part of a low carbon strategy. The Indian Union Ministry of Environment gave its approval to India's first Indian Institute of

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Technology (IIT) specialising in infrastructure development in Himalayan region in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. The IIT with 8000 students and 800 faculty members will be spread in an area of 500 hectares in Kamand region of the district. Of this land, 125 hectares will be forestland. The Union Minister of Environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh stated on 6 May 2011 that it had cleared the 400 MW Maheshwar hydroelectric power project on the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh. The ministry had given stop-work order after it was discovered that the Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation had failed to implement its resettlement and resettlement programme meant for people living in villages whose homes will be destroyed because of the construction of dam. The Narmada Bachao Andolan had spearheaded the protest against the project. Pig-nosed Turtles are facing extinction threat because of large scale poaching. The demand for tortoise meat is high because people think that it has aphrodisiacal qualities. Pig-nosed turtle is listed on the IUCN red list of threatened species. It was added to the list in 1996.Pig-nosed Turtle weigh over 20 kg and grows to about 70 cm in shell length. The turtle is best adapted to an aquatic lifestyle with the exception of marine turtles. Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) unveiled a supercomputer on 2 May 2011, which is to be India's fastest supercomputer in terms of theoretical peak performance of 220 TeraFLOPS (220 Trillion Floating Point Operations per second). The supercomputing facility named as Satish Dhawan Supercomputing Facility is located at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram.The new Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) based supercomputer named SAGA-220 (Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 TeraFLOPS) is being used by space scientists for solving complex aerospace problems. The supercomputer SAGA-220 was inaugurated by Dr K Radhakrishnan, Chairman, ISRO at VSSC.SAGA-220 Supercomputer is fully designed and built by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre using commercially available hardware, open source software components and in house developments. The first American in space, late Alan Shepard, was honoured with his own stamp on 4 May 2011 on the eve of the 50th anniversary of his flight. The success of Shepard's flight had helped lead America to the moon. Shepard later became the fifth man to walk on the moon. He died in 1998 at age 74.The Postal Service dedicated the Forever stamp to commemorate Shepard's suborbital flight on 5 May 1961. He is the first astronaut to be honoured, all by himself, on a stamp. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man to go to space and he had defeated Alan Shepard by one month. On 3 May 2011, the Department of the Environment and Forests of India declared of setting up a National Environmental Appraisal and Monitoring Authority (NEAMA) as a part of efforts to bring in institutional reforms and improve environmental governance. As a professional, science-based and autonomous entity tasked with environmental appraisals and monitoring of compliance, NEAMA is planned to mark a major improvement over the prevailing system of the institutional reforms and environmental governance.NEAMA is expected be more effective in addressing conflict of interest issues through separation of the processes of appraisal and approval. The appraised projects look for an approval of the Department of the Environment and Forests of India to ensure the principle of executive accountability. First Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Disease Control was organised in Moscow by World Health Organisation on 28 and 29 April 2011. At the conference mental disorders was included in the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) list at India's insistence. India achieved a major success on the global platform by pushing for inclusion of mental health in the list of non-communicable diseases. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad led the Indian delegation to Moscow.Mental health as a NCD was adopted in the Moscow Declaration on

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29 April 2011. It was agreed that that NCDs such as mental disorders significantly contribute to the global disease burden.

.:: April 2011 Science & Technology ::.

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Bourn Hall Clinic, the world's first IVF (In-vitro Fertilisation) clinic, has opened a centre at Kochi (Kerala) -- the first one outside the United Kingdom. They chose Kerala to begin with because of its high literacy standards and cost affordability coupled with high quality medical community and better health parameters. National Policy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance for the first time in the second week of April 2011 put a cap on how much antibiotics should be used into poultry products or seafood. Antibiotic shots are generally given to chickens to make chickens fatter and bigger. Eating these food products can have harmful effect on human beings by causing antibiotic resistance in humans. The policy has enlisted common antibiotics like oxytetracycline, tetracycline, oxolinic acid and trimethoprim to prescribe the tolerance limit for them.According to an estimate, 20 to 50 percent of all antibiotics used in India is inappropriate causing harmful effects on human beings. Nagpur will be promoted as the tiger capital and a gateway to tiger land. New tiger reserves have been approved in Maharashtra at Nagzira-Navegaon and Bor. Another major decision was to decentralise the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and set up three field offices and the first one would be opened in Nagpur. The PSLV-C16 scored a spectacular success on 20 April by putting three satellites into orbit with precision. It was the PSLV's 17th consecutive successful mission out of the 18 launches from Sriharikota. The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16) put three satellites in orbit ­ 1. India's 1,206-kg Resourcesat-2, 2. the Indo-Russian 93-kg Youthsat and 3. The 106-kg X-Sat from the Nangyang Technological University of Singapore. Resourcesat-2 is would be useful in monitoring the earth's resources, including crop yield before harvest, the snow-cover in mountains, the glaciers advancing or the changes in the coastal zones and the urban landscape; locating groundwater; and realigning roads in rural areas. The Youthsat's three payloads -- one from Russia and two from India -- would be useful in studying the solar X-ray and gamma ray fluxes, and the influence of the activities in the sun on the upper layers of the earth's atmosphere. The X-Sat, Singapore's first indigenous micro-satellite, is a remote-sensing satellite that can process the images it takes and send more refined images to the ground.

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earth. The ISRO would provide an orbiting communicator to the NASA for this mission, scheduled for 2016. Chandrayaan-2 would be put in an orbit around the moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) in 2013 and the project would cost Rs.462 crore. It would be a joint mission with Russia: while the spacecraft and the rover would be built by India, the lander would be from Russia. Union Minister for Environment and forests Jairam Ramesh launched a Bioremediation technology project in the Buddah Nallah of Ludhiana in Punjab. This is the first and the largest project of environment ministry across India under which bacteria are used for cleaning water bodies. There are five places across India where such Bioremediation projects have been launched. The project is expected to provide relief to thousands living along the Sutlej River as well as canals off the Harike barrage in Punjab and Rajasthan. Severe disorders among them were reported because of the water pollution. The cost of the project is calculated at 16 crore rupees and this cost will be fully funded by the Union Ministry for Environment and forests, Government of India. The Union Cabinet of India on 20 April 2011 approved the signing of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) by India. The Nagoya Protocol comprises a plan to protect biodiversity by setting targets for 2020. As per the protocol, nations agreed to make 10 percent of coastal and marine areas and 17 percent of the globe's land area into protected areas. Earlier, 13 percent of the globe's land area and 1 percent of coastal and marine areas are into protected areas. Nagoya is a city in Japan. According to a study done by the Scientists at Columbia University, the Antarctic ozone hole caused the series of droughts in Australia. The scientists concluded that the hole shifted wind and rainfall patterns across the Southern Hemisphere. Its effect has been strong over Australia. The scientists did an extensive research over the southward migration of the Southern Hemisphere jet stream. It should be noted that these high altitude winds determine weather patterns in both hemispheres. Ozone depletion is caused by chemical reactions in the stratosphere. The chemical reactions involved substances like Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), used in air-conditioning, aerosol and refrigeration. The amount of compensation being paid to the victims of the use of the pesticide Endosulfan was increased from 300 rupees to 2000 rupees per month in Kerala by the state government in the third week of April 2011. In 2010, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) proposed a nationwide ban on endosulfan. Endosulfan was used in Kasargode on cashew plantations for a considerable time. After various diseases were reported from the district the pesticide Endosulfan was banned. Endosulfan is used in 70 crops like fruits, vegetables and crops. The Conference of Parties to the Stockholm Convention in Geneva on 29 April approved the recommendation for elimination of production and use of Endosulfan and its isomers worldwide, subject to certain exemptions. The decision will not be binding on India unless specifically ratified by the country. However, the Indian delegation to the Convention concurred with the decision after its concerns about exemptions and financial assistance were addressed, The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee to the Convention, which recommended the ban last year, will work with parties and observers to come up with alternatives to Endosulfan. The Convention will also approve financial assistance to developing countries for replacing Endosulfan with alternatives. The conference took the decision after considering the risk profile and risk management evaluation for Endosulfan done by the Review Committee and the exemptions decided upon by contact group on

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endosulfan and new persistent organic pollutants. Endosulfan is the 22nd chemical to be listed in the Convention. Scientists, in the last week of April 2011, developed a new vaccine named Bapineuzumab jab, which is effective against the Alzheimer's disease not only in stopping but also reversing the damage caused to the brain due to the disease. The Bapineuzumab jab was discovered to be effective in preventing and reversing the build-up of Amyloid. It will slow down the progress of the disease. Amyloid is the name of the toxic protein that clogs the brain in Alzheimer's. Moreover, it destroys important connections between cells. The three drug firms namely Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Elan Corporation are involved in the making of vaccine. The testing process of the vaccine Bapineuzumap jab is likely to be completed towards the end of 2012. A team of Scientists in the last week of April 2011 led by professors Alice Parker and Chongwu Zhou at the University of Southern California, Viterbi School of Engineering for the first time created a synthetic synapse circuit whose behaviour is very much similar to the function of a brain cell. A synapse is a junction that allows a neuron to pass a chemical or electrical signal to another brain cell or nerve. The Scientists combined circuit design with nanotechnology to address the complex problem of capturing brain function. This Scientific breakthrough could have long term implications from healing serious brain injuries to develop prosthetic nanotechnology. A rapid molecular test kit has been invented to detect both TB and multi-drug resistant TB in just 90 minutes. The study was carried out simultaneously in India's Christian Medical College and in countries like Peru, South Africa, the Philippines and Uganda. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the launch of remote-sensing satellite the ResourceSat-2 has been tentatively scheduled for 10.12 a.m., April 20. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16) will launch the 1,206-kg satellite along with two other satellites -- YouthSat and X-Sat -- from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.ResourceSat-2, built by ISRO, is an advanced remote sensing satellite and designed for the study and management of natural resources.YouthSat, weighing 92 kg, is a joint Indo-Russian satellite for stellar and atmospheric studies. X-Sat is a microsatellite for imaging applications built by the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The countdown to the launch is expected to begin in the early hours of April 18. The Director General of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Robert S. Zeigler has said that the institute was discussing with the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) the possibility of developing an India specific programme of molecular genetic and breeding for rice. One possibility the Philippines-headquartered IRRI was looking at was the creation of a single centre in Hyderabad. The other was the setting up of a number of institutions which would be coordinated by the IRRI and the ICAR, Mr. Zeigler said in Hyderabad on 9 April on the sidelines of the forty-sixth annual rice research group meeting at the Directorate of Rice Research of ICAR. .:: March 2011 Science & Technology ::.

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According to the 2010 tiger census, whose results were declared on 28 March, there are approximately 1,706 tigers in the country, which includes about 70 in the marshes of the Sunderbans, which have never been scientifically surveyed before. The 2006 census had estimated that there were 1,411 tigers, without including any from the Sunderbans. Thus, India's wild tiger population has grown 12 per cent in

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the last four years. Thirty per cent of the tiger population lives in areas outside the government's reserves, giving conservationists a new challenge in the effort to protect them. Tiger occupancy areas shrunk from 9 million hectares to less than 7.5 million hectares over the last four years, this means that tiger corridors are under severe threat, especially in central India... in Madhya Pradesh and northern Andhra Pradesh. These are the two States that have fared the worst in the census, with tiger populations falling to 213 in Madhya Pradesh and 65 in Andhra Pradesh. The largest number of tigers lives in Karnataka ­ about 280 ­ and conservation efforts have been successful in the entire Western Ghats area, with Tamil Nadu and Kerala also seeing good results. While Kaziranga in Assam has 100 tigers, the largest in a single reserve, there are worrying signs from the North Eastern area. These forested hills are capable of supporting far more than the number of tigers that were found in the area, but poaching and the pressure of developmental activities have kept the numbers low. The 20th International World Wide Web conference began in Hyderabad on 28 March, bringing together researchers, technologists, practitioners, and other experts from 50 countries. With the theme `Web for all', the conference would discuss the web's future direction and help it become all-inclusive. Being jointly hosted by the International Institutes of Information Technology Bangalore and Hyderabad and the Institute of Information Technology, Mumbai, over 700 delegates were attending the five-day event. The conference would have three key-note speeches by former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, WWW inventor and director, World Wide Web Consortium, Tim Berners-Lee and Christos H. Papadimitriou, the C. Lester Hogan Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley. The U.S. Space Agency on 25 March said, NASA spacecraft Stardust has ended a 12-year run that helped the world better understand comets and plan for future deep space missions. An auroral and unusually big `supermoon' was seen lighting up the sky on 19 March , offering a visual treat to an enthusiastic audience of curious sky-gazers.The phenomenon was special, as the moon came closest to the earth in 18 years, becoming the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. The moon was around 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than the other full moons.The moon was only 3,56,577 km away. The phenomenon occurred in 1955, 1974, 1992 and 2005. India on 6 March successfully test-fired an Interceptor Missile, which intercepted an incoming `enemy' ballistic missile at an altitude of 16 km and pulverised it in "a direct kill." While the `hostile' missile took off at 9.32 a.m. from a launch complex at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Orissa, the interceptor blasted off at 9.37 a.m. from the Wheeler Island, off the Orissa coast. Both the missiles were made by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The attacker simulated the 600-km range of a ballistic missile and the interceptor sped up at 4.5 Mach. This is the DRDO's sixth interceptor mission, and five have been successful including a hat-trick in the first three. `India is next only to the U.S., Russia, France and Israel, which have the BMD capability," said Dr.Vijay Kumars Sarawat, who is the DRDO Director-General and architect of India's interceptor missile programme. Multinational pharmaceutical drug company MSD, the fully owned subsidiary of Merck & Co, has launched a diarrhoea-prevention vaccine RotaTeq for infants and children in India.RotaTeq is a pentavalent rotavirus vaccine that helps in preventing rotavirus gastroenteritis, a leading cause of severe and life threatening diarrhoea in young children. NASA said the launching of Taurus XL rocket carrying an Earth-observation satellite Glory from Vandenberg air force base in California was failed on 4 February. Scientists at the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasaragod, have developed an indigenous technology to extract virgin coconut oil from fresh coconut kernels. Oil extracted from fresh coconut kernels is called virgin coconut oil. India has applied to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) at Geneva in Switzerland for associate membership. This was stated by CERN official Rudiger Voss on 2 March. Mr.

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Voss said if India was granted associate membership, Indian researchers would be eligible for jobs at the CERN. Currently, researchers of institutes that collaborate with the CERN can only be deputed there for short periods of time. It will also open the gates for the private sector to the international research organisation. The CERN was established in 1954 by 12 European countries. At present, it has 20 member-States. Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on 2 March launched the country's first research centre on marine bio-diversity at Jamnagar in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, for the protection of the fragile coastal eco-system. The National Centre for Marine Bio-diversity (NCBM) would promote different kinds of research activities in respect of coastal and marine eco-systems and would also impart training and education to the youth for maintaining the ecological balance in the fragile coastal areas. The Gujarat port town was selected for the centre because of its closest proximity to the country's only National Marine Park spread over some 200 sq km area in the Gulf of Kutch. Mr. Ramesh said the centre would be his Ministry's first public-private partnership venture with the Reliance Industries, which had a major oil refinery in Jamnagar, sharing the 50 per cent cost of the initial project sanction of Rs. 20 crore. NASA's Glory spacecraft is scheduled for launch on March 4. Technical issues with ground support equipment for the Taurus XL launch vehicle led to the scrub of the original Feb. 23 launch attempt. Those issues have been resolved. Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect Earth's climate. The Taurus XL also carries the first of NASA's Educational Launch of Nano satellite missions. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) along with IAVI will soon establish and operate a laboratory in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, to meet one of the biggest challenges of designing and developing an efficacious AIDS vaccine -- elicitation of antibodies that are capable of neutralising a broad spectrum of HIV variants found in humans.

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.:: February 2011 Science & Technology ::.

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The Thailand scientists have successfully produced the world's First Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Vaccine .The Thailand Ministry of Science and Technology has introduced the world's first live attenuated dengue hemorrhagic fever vaccine developed by Thailand researchers Dr Suthee Yoksarn, a lecturer of Mahidol University, together with his team and Chiang Mai University have jointly developed four stereotypes of the live attenuated vaccine. NASA's Oldest and most Journeyed Space Shuttle, Discovery, was poised for launch on 24 February on its Final Mission, wrapping up a near three-decade legacy of orbital travel. When the storied spacecraft lifts off, it will mark the beginning of the end of the United States' space shuttle programme, with Discovery, first of the remaining three shuttles, headed for retirement this year. The closure of the shuttle programme will leave a gaping hole in the American space mission, forcing astronauts to rely on the Russian Soyuz space capsule for transport to the orbiting International Space Station. The shuttle will bring the first humanoid robot to the ISS. The Robonaut 2, or R2, is a joint project of General Motors and NASA and will stay behind when Discovery leaves as a permanent resident of the space station. Discovery first flew in 1984. Final flights for the other two in the fleet -- Atlantis and Endeavour -- are scheduled for later this year. The defence research and development organization (DRDO) has launched multi-repellent wipes that will be available to the public at large, with India's trajectory of malaria, dengue and chikungunya epidemics on the rise.

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The defence research and development organization (DRDO) has launched multi-repellent wipes that will be available to the public at large, with India's trajectory of malaria, dengue and chikungunya epidemics on the rise An international scientist team led by Flinders University, U.K. has developed a new mobile technology which is set to improve calls during disasters by allowing the transmission of signals without nearby cell phone towers. NASA's kepler mission has discovered a remarkable planetary system which has 6 planets around a sun-like star called 'kepler-II', including 5 small planets in a tightly packed orbits.Kepler Mission's main goal is to find small, earth size planets in the habitable zones of their stars. Princeton University Engineers have developed a new larger-sensing technology that may allow soldiers to detect hidden bombs form a distance. Indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) NISHANT has successfully completed a series of trails conducted by the army at chandan range, pokhran. British researchers have developed World's first accurate blood test for Human mad-cow disease (or) creetzfeldt-jacket-disease. The disease affects the brain, and is believed to have passed from cattle to humans through infected food. Scientist operating NASA's kepler planet-hunting satellite reported that they had identified 1235 possible planets orbiting other stars, potentially tripling the number of known planets.

.:: January 2011 Science & Technology ::.

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In an effort to recover the population of the endangered wild dogs (or) 'dhole', the central zoo authority has selected Indira Gandhi zoological park, visakhapatnam as the Conservation Breeding Centre for wild dogs (or) 'dhole' in the country and vandalur zoo in Chennai as the associate zoo in the pilot project. Astronomers have discovered what they believe is the most distant and ancient galaxy named UDFJ 39546284 thought to be more than 13 billion years old. Australian scientists have developed world's first hack proof software. A small operating system named SEL-4 Microkernel can defend the computer hackers to enter into the hardware. A study led by Alexis smith of keel university, Britain discovered an exo-planet has been found to be the hottest planet discovered so far with a record breaking temperature of 3,200° celsius. The planet named WASP-33b is also known as HD/5082. International conference on 'Recent Trends in Renewable energy Resources' (ICR2ER-2011) conducted by Indo-German Nachkontakt Association at Indian Institute of Chemical Technology in Hyderabad INS Deepak, an Italian-built fleet tanker, was commissioned into the Navy by Defence Minister A K Antony. In a groundbreaking achievement that could help scientists "build" new biological systems, Princeton University (USA) scientists have constructed for the first time artificial proteins that enable the growth of living cells. India's first indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) 'Tejas', Twentyseven years after it was conceived, the LCA project progressed further, with Union Defence Minister

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A.K.Antony handing over the 'Certficate of Release to Service' to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.V.Naik. Air temperatures of minus 61.2 degrees Celsius were reported in the settlement of Oimyakon in Russia's republic of Yakutia, known as the cold pole. The record low air temperatures of minus 67.7 degrees Celsius were registered in Oimyakon in 1933. In the 21st century, the lowest temperature was 64.5 degrees below zero. It was registered in 2002 The first Partial Solar Eclipse of the year occured on January 4 from 12:10 a.m. to 4:31 p.m. The maximum phase of the eclipse was at 2:21 p.m. The eclipse will be visible in the north-western States. The 98th Indian Science Congress opened at Kattankulathur near Chennai. Dr.Manmohan Singh presented awards of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) to 21 persons. In Three awardees from AP State are Rallapalli Rammurthi, D. Narayana Rao, Allam Appa Rao. Five Nobel laureatesMartine Chalfie, R.Timothy Hunt, Thomas Steitz, Venkata Ramakrishna, and AdaE.Yonath participated in the science congress. The 99th Indian Science Congress will be held in Bhubaneswar from January 3 to 7, 2012. India successfully flight-tested the indigenously developed micro-light Pilotless Target Aircraft 'Lakshya' from Test Range at the Gopalapur Air Defence Guided missiles (ADGM) College campus.

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AWARDS

.:: August 2011 Awards ::.

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The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has announced the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for the year 2010 to recognize the achievements of persons in the fields of Adventure. The following four persons have been selected for the Adventure Awards for the year 2010:1. Ms. Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu - Land Adventure, the first Indian woment to ski 900 Kms. From coast of Antarctica to the South Pole. 2. Ms. Mamta Sodha - Land Adventure, scaled Mount Everst in 2010, she has scaled island Peak, 20589 fts., Shri Kanth Peak 20422 fts, Mun Peak 16000 fts, Phawara Rang Peak 21441 fts. She has also climbed Mount Everest- Eco Expedition- 29038 fts, Nepal. 3. Shri Dilip Donde - Water Adventure, sailed Solo on INSV Mhadei undertaking Solo Circumnavigation of the earth round the "Three Great Capes" in 273 days 4. Late Col. Balwant Singh Sandhu - Life Time Achievement (Posthumously)

:: July 2011 Awards ::.

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National Communal Harmony Awards for 2009 and 2010 were presented to Dr. Mohd. Hanif Khan Shastri in the individual category for the year 2009. Dr Shastri is a Sanskrit scholar and has authored several books including Geeta Aur Quran men Samanjasya. Acharya Lokesh Munni received the award in the individual category for the year 2010. Acharya Lokesh Muni is a social worker and orator who has contributed towards communal harmony through his oratory and writings. The Centre for Human Rights & Social Welfare received the award in the organisation category for the year 2009. The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) conferred its national awards for outstanding lifetime contributions on the foundation of MoES. The award was conferred upon the former Director of the Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Agency, B. L. Deekshatulu, and the former Director of the Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, R. N. Keshavamurthy. Two Indians -Nileema Mishra, a lender to the poor in Maharashtra and US-trained Indian engineer Harish Hande who revolutionized the use of solar lights were among six people to have received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2011.The two Indians were honoured for their effort to harness technologies to empower their countrymen and create waves of progressive change across Asia. The other award winners Filipino charity group Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Hasanain Juaini, who set up an Islamic school for girls in Indonesia, fellow Indonesian Tri Mumpuni who promoted micro hydropower technology and Koul Panah who toils to restore democracy in Cambodia were the other winners of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2011. Former India striker Shabbir Ali, who took up full-time coaching after retirement on 26 June 2011, became the first footballer to win the prestigious Dhyan Chand award as recognition for his lifetime achievement in sports. Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was honoured posthumously with the highest Bangladesh award -- the Bangladesh Swadhinata Sammanona (Bangladesh Freedom Honour ) on

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25 July 2011. The award was meant to honour Indira Gandhi's for her outstanding contributions to Bangladesh's Liberation War fought in 1971. The award was received by her daughter-in-law Sonia Gandhi who visited Bangladesh at the invitation of Sheikh Hasina.

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Bangladesh will honour former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with its highest state award 'Bangladesh Swadhinata Sanmanona', for her outstanding contribution to the country's 1971 'Liberation War'. The daughter-in-law of Mrs Gandhi and Indian Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi will receive the award from President Zillur Rahman on July 25 at Bangabhaban presidential palace at a special ceremony. Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Akademi Awards for 2010 were presented by VicePresident of India, M. Hamid Ansari on 22 July 2011. The highest honour of Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) was conferred on eminent vocalist Girija Devi, renowned dance guru Nataraja Ramakrishna, Dhrupad maestro Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar, and Mridangam vidwan T. K. Murthy. The Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) and Akademi Award (Akademi Puraskar) are the most coveted national honours conferred on performing artists, gurus and scholars of the performing arts. The Sangeet Natak Akademi is the country's apex cultural body for music, dance, theatre and the arts.

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A female Pakistani DMG officer, Amna Imran Khan was awarded the Order National du Merite by President Nicholas Sarkozy of France. She was awarded the prestigious French knighthood for distinguished and extra ordinary services for strengthening and promoting cooperation between the Law Enforcement Agencies of Pakistan and France. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was honoured with Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French government by the Ambassador of France in New Delhi, Jerome Bonnafont. Aishwarya is the first Asian actress and the youngest Indian to win the honour. Other Indian celebrities, who were conferred with the honour in the past, include Sharmila Tagore, Habib Tanveer, Shah Rukh Khan, Raghu Rai, Upamanyu Chatterjee and Nandita Das. India's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Talmiz Ahmad has become the first Indian diplomat to be conferred the King Abdulaziz Medal of First Class for his contribution towards elevating Indo-Saudi ties. The honor was bestowed upon him at Jeddah by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal.

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Maharatna Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) received the prestigious Golden Peacock Environment Management Award for the year 2011. The award was presented to SAIL in recognition of it's initiatives and achievements in the field of environment management. The award was presented by Union Minister for Home Affairs Shri P. Chidambaram in New Delhi. SAIL in the last four years the company succeeded in reducing particulate emissions by 52%, specific water consumption by 11% and specific energy consumption by 5%, and increased solid waste utilisation by 18%. Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar became the first Indian to receive the Crans Montana Forum Award. The Crans Montana Forum Award was conferred upon him at a ceremony in Brussels.

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Minster of Communications & Information Technology and Human Resource Development conferred the Meghdoot Awards on postal employees for 2009 and 2010. Fifteen individuals including five women bagged the award. The Best Post Office award was given to Chandragiri Head Post Office, Andhra Pradesh. Sibal at the award ceremony mentioned that skill and capacity of 3.25 lakh Gramin Dak Sewaks will be developed through a comprehensive and time bound Rural Entrepreneurship Programme which is being finalized by Department of Posts and Ministry of Human Resource Development together. The scheme of National awards known as Meghdoot Awards was instituted in the year 1984 to provide encouragement to the postal employees by recognizing performance of high standard. Leading international business school INSEAD on 22 June 2011 honoured Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder, Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises, with its Business Leader for the World Award. Sunil Bharti Mittal was given the award for his success in having grown Bharti Enterprises from a manufacturer of push button phones to India's leading business conglomerate. The award is given to business leaders who have set new standards in building successful, sustainable, global enterprises that span multiple cultures, embrace diversity, and contribute to economic and social prosperity. India's famous magician Gopinath Muthukad received the International Merlin Award also known as the magicians' Oscar for the year 2011 on 23 June 2011 from Tony Hassini, President of the US based International Magicians Society. Gopinath Muthukad is the second Indian to be chosen to receive the Merlin Award after PC Sorkar Jr. On 14 June 2011, Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot presented the Anuvrat Ahimsa international peace award to noted Gandhian philosophy exponent Thomas Clough Daffern. The award consisted of a memento, a cheque for Rs.1 lakh and a certificate of merit.Dr. Daffern is a Director of London-based International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy. The institute works across several academic fields for study and application of peace and philosophy to various spheres of life. Two Indian companies Abellon Clean Energy Ltd. and Husk Power Systems have been awarded this year's Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, claimed to be Britain's most prestigious green energy awards. The awards were launched in 2001 to encourage greater use of local clean energy to address climate change and alleviate poverty. Irish writer Colum McCann's Let The Great World Spin, a novel set in the shadow of Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center, has won the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, one of the world's most lucrative book prizes. The prize is worth 100,000.

.:: May 2011 Awards ::.

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Professor Subhasis Chaudhuri of Indian Institute of Technology-Mumbai was selected for the prestigious G. D. Birla Award for Scientific Research. Prof. Chaudhuri who works in the Department of Electrical Engineering was chosen for the award for his important contributions in the area of electronic communications. The award, constituted by the K. K. Birla Foundation, carries a cash prize of Rs.1.50 lakh and is given to scientists below the age of 50. British-born Sierra Leonean novelist Aminatta Forna won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for her novel, The Memory of Love. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry announced the list of awardees for the 58th National Film Awards on 19 May 2011. Feature Films jury was headed by J.P. Dutta, Non-Feature Films jury was

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headed by A.K. Bir and Best Writing on Cinema jury was headed by Ashok Vajpeyi. The jury decided on the awardees to honour the best work of Indian Cinema for the year 2010. The list of the awardees in the different categories of the 57th National Film Awards is as follows: Best Feature Film: Adaminte Makan Abu directed by Salim Ahamed Best Direction: Vetrimaran for Aadukalam (Tamil) Best Actor: Dhanush for Aadukalam (Tamil) & Salim Kumar for Adaminte makan Abu (Malayalam) Best Actress: Mitalee Jagtap Varadkar for Baboo Band Baaja (Marathi) & Saranya Ponvannan for Thenmerkku Paruvakkatru (Tamil) Best Supporting Actor: J Thambi Ramaiah for Mynaa (Tamil) Best Supporting Actress: Sukumari for Namma Gramam (Tamil) Best Cinematography: Madhu Ambat for Adaminte Makan Abu Best Screenplay Original: etrimaran for Aadukalam Best Screenplay Adapted: Anant Mahadevan & Sanjay for Mee Sindhutai Sapkal (Marathi) Best Editing: T E Kishore for Aadukalam Best Music direction: Vishal Bhardwaj for Ishqiya & issak Thomas Kottakapally for Adaminte Makan Abu Best Lyrics: Vairamuthu for Thenmerkku Paruvakkatru Best Male Playback Singer: Suresh Wadkar for Mee Sindhutai Sapkal Best Playback Singer Female: Rekha Bhardwaj: Ishqiya Best Special Effects: V. Srinivas & M Mohan for Enthiran (Tamil) Special Jury Award: Mee Sindhutai Sapkal (Marathi) directed by Anant Narayan Mahadevan Philip Roth was announced as the winner of the fourth Man Booker International Prize at a press conference at the Sydney Opera House on 18 May 2011. Roth was chosen from a list of 13 eminent contenders. American novelist Philip Roth is a literary giant and one of the worlds most prolific, celebrated - and controversial - writers. Born in March 1933 in New Jersey, Roth is best known for his 1969 novel Portnoy's Complaint, and for his late-1990s trilogy comprising the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998), and The Human Stain (2000). WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation's top honour for exceptional courage in pursuit of human rights. Though the Peace Prize is awarded annually by the foundation, only three other people in its 14-year history have been awarded the gold award for courage in pursuit of human rights -- the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda. Super 30 founder Anand Kumar, whose initiative helped several students from underprivileged families make it to the IIT-JEE was chosen for the Education in Excellence Award-2011 to be awarded on Doha on 13 May 2011. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was chosen for the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding for 2009 for her enormous efforts toward sustainable and equitable development. The German leader, Merkel is known for her efforts for good governance and understanding and for the creation of a world better positioned to handle the emerging challenges of the 21st century.

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.:: April 2011 Awards ::.

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Aboubakr Jamai of Morocco, the co-founder and former managing director of the weekly newspaper

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Le Journal Hebdomadaire was presented the 2010 Gebran Tueni Award in Beirut, Lebanon. The award was conferred upon him in recognition of constant struggle in publishing some of the region's finest independent journalism while dealing with a monarchy that prefers to maintain control of the Moroccan media. The Gebran Tueni Award is the annual prize of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) that honours an editor or publisher from the Arab region. The New Delhi Railway Station received the National Tourism Award for the Best Tourist-Friendly Railway Station in India. The award was given for the station's development in the areas of passenger amenities and efficiency of operations. New Delhi station launched battery-operated vehicles to ferry senior citizens and the disabled. Creative Abby awards recognising the best of advertisements were given out during the Goafest 2011, Varca village in Goa. Ogilvy and Mather won the only Grand Prix and five gold metals. The Piyush Pandey-led agency's work on Cadbury Dairy Milk won the only Grand Prix awarded this year, in the integrated category. Mudra Communications bagged the maximum 37 medals. The Times of India's Aman ki Asha campaign won three awards at the Creative Abby awards-the finale of Goafest 2011. Indian novelist Vikas Kumar Jha has been chosen for the 2011 International Indu Sharma Katha Samman, for his novel `McCluskieganj `. Noted Hindi poet Vishwannnth Prasad Tiwari was selected for the 20th Vyas Samman for his poetry collection, Phir Bhi Kuch Rah Jayega. President Pratibha Patil on18 April decorated personnel of the armed services with awards that included the Kirti Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra, during the Defence Investiture Ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Indu Sharma, mother of Captain Deepak Sharma of the Corps of Signals, who lost his life fighting militants in Jammu and Kashmir in March last year, received the Kirti chakra. Major Rahul Gurung (Corps of Engineers/Assam Rifles) and Captain Vikrant Ajit Deshmukh (Madras) were also awarded the Kirti Chakra for fighting insurgents and terrorists in Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir respectively. The five personnel who were posthumously awarded the Shaurya Chakra included Major Deepak Yadav and Major Nitish Roy, who were killed during the terrorist attack on the Indian mission in Kabul in February last. Guardsman Krishan Kumar (Brigade of Guards), Sepoy Ravi Kant (Dogra), and Sepoy Sangat Singh (Mahar/Rashtriya Rifles) were also awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously. Pulitzer awards were announced for the year 2011. Pulitzers were awarded in 13 journalism categories and seven arts categories. The prize for fiction went to Jennifer Egan for A Visit From the Goon Squad. Bruce Norris won the award for drama for his play Clybourne Park. The history prize went to Eric Foner for The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. Ron Chernow won in the biography category for Washington: A Life. Madame White Snake, by Zhou Long, won for music. Kay Ryan took the prize for poetry for The Best of It: New and Selected Poems. The award for general non-fiction was awarded to Siddhartha Mukherjee for The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. Carol Guzy, a photographer from The Washington Post, became the first journalist to win four Pulitzer Prizes. Rights activist Binayak Sen, who was freed on bail by the Supreme Court in a case of sedition, has been chosen for the South Korean Gwangju Award for human rights for 2011. The managing director of Cheminnova group of companies, M. Vasudev Rao, has been presented the prestigious "Pride of India Leadership Award" for his outstanding contribution to the Pharma Industry in India. The award was presented by President of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth to Mr. Rao at a function organised in Mauritius by the NRI Institute and hosted by Government of Mauritius recently.

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VA Tech Wabag Limited, a leading global player in water and wastewater management has received the prestigious GWI Global Water Award in Berlin. Indian mathematician and theoretical computer scientist Ravi Kannan was awarded the 2011 Knuth Prize. For research in computer science it is a prestigious international recognition. Professor Kannan is a leader in algorithms research group at Microsoft Research Labs in India. He is the first Indian to receive the Knuth Prize. The Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM) Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT) awarded the prize to Professor Kannan. Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) bagged the prestigious Srishti Good Green Governance Award for 2010. Srishti Good Green Governance Award was given to RSP in recognition of its eco-friendly efforts to reduce pollutants and green house gas emissions. It was also rewarded for its measures of waste utilisation and water conversation as well for its initiatives to expand corporate social responsibility. State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd on 21 April 2011 was honoured with the Outstanding PSU of the Year award by All India Management Association (AIMA). The award was received by GAIL Chairman and Managing Director B C Tripathi from Home Minister P Chidambaram. The award was conferred upon GAIL in recognition of its outstanding performance and its contribution towards the growth of the nation, development of innovation & technology and building an equitable society. The company had been earlier ranked the number one gas utility in Asia and number two gas utility in the world by Platts which is an eminent petroleum research and publishing house. Social activist Anna Hazare was on 7 April 2011 announced the winner of the 2011 Rabindranath Tagore Peace Prize by the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM). IIPM entrepreneurship and National Economic Planning declared the award for Hazare to show solidarity to the modern Gandhi's determined and non-violent protest against corruption and the institution of a Jan Lokpal Bill. The award carries a cash reward of one crore rupees, a gold medal and a citation. The award is meant to honour people who selflessly work throughout his lifetime for the betterment of the society, working for the poor, the needy and the general public. The 2010 Rabindranath Tagore Peace Prize was won by social activist Irom Sharmila Chanu, the Iron Lady of Manipur. Kannada writer S. L. Bhyrappa was selected for the 20th Saraswati Samman for his novel Mandra on 5 April 201. Mandra depicts the world of North Indian classical music and its locale is Bombay, Delhi, Gwalior, Banaras, Malva and California. British astrophysicist Martin Rees, whose research delves deep into the mysteries of the cosmos, has won the 2011 Templeton Prize for career achievements affirming life's spiritual dimension. Announcing the award, the United States-based Templeton Foundation said Rees's insights into the mysteries of the Big Bang and so-called black holes in space have "provoked vital questions that address mankind's deepest hopes and fears. Pillitla prakash, a folk artist from Andhra Pradesh has elected for central government's "Bharath Vikas Ratna"award. Both information and broadcasting ministry and visveswarayya foundation have jointly constituted this award.

.:: March 2011 Awards ::.

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Carnatic vocalist Nisha P. Rajagopal has been chosen as the first recipient of ` The Hindu Saregama M.S. Subbulakshmi Award.' Presented by RmKV, the award, which was instituted on September 16, 2010, seeks to honour and recognise the merit of a young Carnatic vocalist aged between 25 and 35 pursuing music full-time.

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The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has chosen one of the living legends of mathematics, John Willard Milnor of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences in the University of Stony Brook, U.S.A, for the award of its prestigious Abel Prize for the year 2011. Professor Milnor will receive the Prize from His Majesty King Harald at an award ceremony in Oslo on May 24, 2011. The 2010 Chameli Devi Jain award for "Outstanding Woman Media Person" was presented to a former Tehelka correspondent from Thiruvananthapuram, Shahina K.K, at a function held in New Delhi for her "demonstrated ability to focus on issues that have deep social consequences impacting lives and concerns of ordinary people. Ms. Shahina, who has 13 years of experience in print and television media and is presently writing for Open magazine. Indian army chief general V.K.Singh becomes the first Indian officer to be inducted in to the `Hall of Fame' of U.S.Army War College. This distinction is extended by the US army to all officers from friendly foreign countries, which rise to the post of `chief' of their respective armies, after attending the coveted cource at US army War College. Medical Cadet Shikha Awasthi will become the first woman doctor to receive the Sword of Honour for overall excellence at the passing out parade of the 45th course of the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune on March 18 The prestigious UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit award for cultural heritage conservation was presented to Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad on March 15. He bagged the coveted award after edging out heritage sites in 43 countries. UNESCO appreciated the restoration of the palace and efforts to rescue `an extraordinary complex from years of abandonment. Director of Hindi film Peepli Live, Anusha Rizvi has been selected for the 14th Gollapudi Srinivas memorial national award for debut director category. Mauritius has conferred one of its highest honours, Grand Commander of the Order of the Star and the Key of the Indian Ocean (GCSK), on Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed. President of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth presented the award to Mr. Nasheed. Kuldip Nayar, noted journalist was conferred with Honorary Doctorate by Acharya Nagarjuna University at the 31st convocation held in Nagarjuna Nagar, Guntur, A.P. Mahasweta Devi, celebrated Bengali writer and activist was conferred the Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2010 in Mumbai for her contribution to national integration, democratic values and the socio-economic development of India. On the occasion of International Women's Day The Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Women and Child Development Smt. Krishna Tirath presented the `Stree Shakti Puraskar' 2010, given every year to eminent women for their dedication to the cause of women and the struggles in their own lives to bring about a more gender equitable society. The awards areRani Lakshmibai Award has been presented to Mrs. Pottabathini Padmavathi from Andhra Pradesh, who did not allow her disability to become and adversity and faced the challenge positively to learn music and become an established artist. Kannagi Award was bestowed upon Mrs Thagu Maya Bardewa from Sikkim, who has done great work helping people in distress, orphans, widows and destitute. Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang Award to Mrs. Rathnamma from Karnataka, for her extensive work for awareness generation on child labour and eradication of dowry, early marriage, untouchability and sexual harassment. Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Award was awarded to Mrs. Monika S. Garg an officer of the 1989 batch of Indian Administrative service from Uttar Pradesh for her outstanding work for empowerment of women

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through promoting their participation in Government Programmes. The Mata Jijabai and Rani Rudrama Devi awards were not given to anyone this year. Indian Oil Corporation has bagged the best performance award at the 21 st national meet of forum of women in public sector. This award is meant to further add value to their contribution and empowerment and in turn reach out to the masses of less privileged women in bringing about awareness. Indian Oil has taken many initiatives to empower women at all levels in the hierarchy. 83rd Oscar awards have been presented in Hollywood, California on 28 February. Some of the awards areBest picture - "The King's Speech" Best director - "The King's Speech" (Tom Hooper) Best actor - Colin Firth ("The King's Speech") Best actress - Natalie Portman ("Black Swan") Supporting actor - Christian Bale ("The Fighter") Supporting actress - Melissa Leo ("The Fighter") Original screenplay - "The King's Speech" (David Seidler) Adapted screenplay - "The Social Network" (Aaron Sorkin) Foreign language film - "In a Better World" (Denmark) Celebrated play back singer Asha Bhonsle was conferred on the Honorary D.Litt. (Doctor of Letters) degree from the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) in Nasik. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has been given Russia's highest award, the Order of St Andrew, to mark his 80th birthday for his "enormous work as head of state".

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:: February 2011 Awards ::.

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has awarded the prestigious Pushkin Gold Medal to Professor Arun Mohanty of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Moscow for his contribution to studies on Russia and promotion of bilateral cultural ties and friendship. The Pushkin Gold Medal is the highest honorary award given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the promotion of the Russian language and culture. More than 10 Indian scholars and public figures have been awarded the medal since its institution in 1977. Industrialist Sitaram Jindal announced the institution of Five Annual Prizes of Rs.1 crore each on behalf of the Sitaram Jindal Foundation, the aluminium magnate said these would be given away to people working in the categories of rural development and poverty alleviation, health including drugless therapy, education with an emphasis on moral fortification, science, technology and environment, and peace, social harmony and development. Union minister of urban poverty alleviation and culture Kumari Sileja was selected for the Eashwari Bai Memorial Award at Hyderabad. Dravidian University, Vice-Chancellor Cuddapah Ramanaiah received the prestigious `Amity Academic Excellence Award' at the International Business Horizon (INBUSH) conference held at the Amity Global Business School campus at Noida recently. Dr. K. Anji Reddy, Chairman, Dr Reddys Labs, was awarded with the Genome Valley Excellence award at the eighth edition of Bio-Asia, a Global Bio-Business forum, in Hyderabad on 22 February. A project on the use of geoinformatics in the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 in

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Maharashtra by the Tribal Research and Training Institute (TRTI), Pune has been given the national e-governance award, 2010-11(silver) in Aurangabad. Ajay Parida, Executive Director,M.S,Swaminathan Research Foundation, has been selected for the prestigious TATAinnovation fellowship of the Department of Biotechnology,Government of India. The King's Speech continued its regal progress through the awards season, winning the Best Film award at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards ceremony in London.Colin Firth(The kings Speech)and Natalie Portman(Black Swan) have bagged the Best actor and Best Actress Awards. Dr. Singh presented the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed awards to eminent journalist M.J. Akbar (the recipient for 2008) and noted Gandhian and freedom fighter Hema Bharali (for 2009) in Guwahati. V. Shanta, chairperson of the Cancer Institute, Adyar, Chennai, has been selected for the Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award for 2010.Dr. Shanta has been chosen in recognition of her tireless efforts for over five decades towards bringing solace to lakhs of men, women and children, afflicted with the dreaded disease in the country,Justice N.V. Ramana of the Andhra Pradesh High Court will present her the award at a function at Tenali, Andhra pradesh on March 5. A project on the use of geoinformatics in the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 in Maharashtra by Tribal Research and Training Institute (TRTI), Pune has been given the national e-governance award, 2010-11(silver) urangabad. Parida cutive Director,M.S,Swaminathan Research Foundation, has been selected for prestigious TATAinnovation fellowship he Department of Biotechnology,Government of India. King's Speech nued its regal progress through the awards season, winning Best Film award e British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards ceremony in London.Colin Firth(The kings Speech)and Natalie Portman(Black Swan) have bagged the Best actor and Best Actress Awards. Dr. Singh presented ,b> Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed awards to eminent journalist M.J. Akbar (the recipient for 2008) and noted Gandhian and freedom fighter Hema Bharali (for 2009) in Guwahati. V. Shanta, chairperson of the Cancer Institute, Adyar, Chennai, has been selected for the Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award for 2010.Dr. Shanta has been chosen in recognition of her tireless efforts for over five decades towards bringing solace to lakhs of men, women and children, afflicted with the dreaded disease in the country,Justice N.V. Ramana of the Andhra Pradesh High Court will present her the award at a function at Tenali, Andhra pradesh on March 5. Singer Yesudas gets Swathi Puraskaram, Kerala's highest music award. Actors Anushka, Thamanna and Arya have been elected for Tamil nadu Government's prestigious Kalaimani award for the year 2010. Pakistani-American writer H.M.Naqui has been selected for the D.S.C. South Asian Literature Award. His novel 'Home Boy' has been selected for the award. Salim's novel 'Kuluthunna Poola Thota' (Telugu) on background of AIDS, was selected for the Union Governments - Sahitya Academi Award for the year-2010. The 56th Film fare Awards ceremony has held in Mumbai . Some of the Awards are Best Film - Dabang Best Director - Karan Johar (My name is Khan) Best Actor in leading role - Shah Rukh Khan (My Name is Khan) Best Actress in leading role - Kajol (My name is Khan) Best Music composer - Sajid Wajid (Dabang) R.D. Burman Music Award - Sneha Khanwalkar (Love, sex and Dhoka)

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Life time Achievement Award - Mannaday 40 years of greatness award - Amitabh Batchan Udaan (Produced by Sanjay Singh, Anurag Kashyap and directed by Vikramaditya Motawane serewale) bagged total 7 film fare awards where as dabang got 5. Sydney peace foundation awarded the rare gold medal for significant contribution to peace and justice to the wiki leaks publisher Jualian Assange. This honour previously given only to the Dalailama, Nelson Mandela and japanese Buddhist leader Dai Sekn - Ikeda in the foundations 14 years history. The gold medal is different from the annual Sydney peace prize awarded by the Sydney foundation. The doyen of Indian statistics Prof. C.R.Rao conferred with Guy medal in gold of the Royal Statistical Society, U.K. He is the first Asian, first non-European and first non-American to get the coveted award. Pondicherry central University will confer honorary doctorates on cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Noble Laureate Venkataraman Ramakrishnan. Karnataka State Women University at Bijapur has conferred an award of Honoraray Doctorate to the Union Minister of State for HRD, D. Purandhareshwari. Doordarshan Hyderabad News Correspondent, Emani krishna Rao has bagged the prestigious Swiss TV award for his entry 'Lets Play Safe' dealing with stigma and discrimination attached to children living with HIV. The award was presented to him at Basel, Switzerland. This is the six major international award for him. nited India Insurance Company has won the skoch Financial Inclusion Award-2010. It is for successful implementation of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana in Kerala. The ONGC's Rajahmundry (AP) Asset manager, Mr. A.A.Khan was given Subir Raha Award for Business Excellence for 2010. The Engineering Staff college of India (ESCI), Hyderabad has won the Golden Peacock National Training Award for the forth time. The CEAT international cricketer of the year-shane watson (Australia) International Team of the yearAustralia. Natalie Portman' received the award for best female actor in a leading role for "Black Swan" at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. Emani Krishna Rao', Doordarshan News Correspondent at Hyderabad has bagged the prestigious Swiss TV award for his entry 'Let's play safe'dealing with stigma and discrimination attached to children living with HIV. The award was presented to him at Basel,Switzerland. This is the sixth major international award for Mr.Rao.

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.:: January 2011 Awards ::.

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Castrol Awards were announced for Indian cricket players at Bombay. Sachin Tendulkar was declared 'The Indian Cricketer of the Year', 'Test Cricketer of the year. M.S. Dhoni was declared the "ODI cricketer of the year". Virendra Sehwag was declared 'Batsman of the year' Harbhajan singh as 'Bowler of the year' Jaidev Unadkat as 'Junior Cricketer of the year' A.R.Rehman was awarded with World Economic Forum's, 'crystal award' at Dawos (switzerland). W.E.F presented him this award for giving wonderful music for the movies - Slumdog millionaire and

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Godavari Palimars Private Limited Director Dr. C. Rajendra Kumar Received the "Swamy Vivekananda National Award-2010" from Central Minister Ambika Soni at Delhi Siriport Auditorium. Central Excise Superintendent Rajasekhar Reddy received the "President Award" from Finance Minister Pranb Mukarji at Maneksha Center in Delhi. Now he is working at Visakhapatnam. Saeed Saleem Selected for "Central Literature Academy Award-2010" for his novel of "Kaluthunna Pulatota". Union Home Ministry announced the list of Padma Awards. They announced 128 awards of Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. Padma Vibhushan: 1. Kapila vatsyayana: Art; 2. Homai Vyarawalla:Art; 3. A.Nageshwar Rao:Art (A.P); 4. Parasaran Kesava Iyenger: Public Affaires; 5. Akhlaq-ur- Rehman Kidwai: Public Affairs; 6. Vijay Kelkar: Public Affaires; 7. Montek Singh Ahluwalia: Public Affaires; 8. Palle Rama Rao: Science and Engineering (A.P); 9. Azim Premji: Trade and Industry; 10. Brajesh Mishra: Civil Services; 11. Ottaplakkal N.V. Kurup: Literature and Education; 12. Siltakant Mahapatra: Literature and Education;and 13. L.C. Jain: Public Affaires. Padma Bhushan : From A.P : K.Anji Reddy (Reddy Labs) ; G.V.Krishna Reddy (GVK); S.P.Balasubramanyam (Play Back Singer); Padma Shri : From A.P : V.V.S.Laxman (Cricketer); Anitha Reddy (Social Work); Gajam Govardhan (weavers); Koneru Ramakrishna Reddy (Para Psychology); SriRamchandrudu (Literature); Siddiki (Agriculture); Major Laishram Jyotin Singh, an Army doctor who died fighting a suicide bomber in Kabul, was conferred the country's highest peacetime gallantry medal, "Ashok Chakra", posthumously at the 62nd Republic Day parade in New Delhi Raveendranath received the "President Award" from Finance Minister Pranb Mukarji in Delhi .He is working as an Inspector in Enforcement Directorate. Deepak Lalwani, a London-based NRI investment consultant specialising on India, has been presented with an "Order of British Empire" (OBE) honour. Prince Charles conferred the honour on Lalwani at Buckingham Palace, in recognition of his contributions to the financial services'' industry. Music composer A.R. Rahman bagged the best original song trophy at the 16th Critics' Choice Awards for his number "If I Rise" in Danny Boyle's film 127 Hours. Written by Rollo Armstrong and American artiste Dido, the song was performed by Rahman and Dido. Suprasannacharya Selected for the "Hussain sha kavi Puraskar" Award. This award has been given from 2001 year.

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Nine girls and 14 boys have been selected for the National Bravery Awards-2010. The children received the awards from Prime Minister of India. The youngest award winner this year is six-year-old Shrawan Kumar from Rajasthan. He rescued a one-year-old girl and her two-and-half-year-old sister from a burning hut in Sarneshwar village. Natalie Portman, who won the best actress Golden Glob for "Black Swan", 'Colin Firth' chosen best actor for his role in "The King", at an awards party in Beverly Hills, California Dr.C.V.Subbanna Satavadhani selected for the LokNayak Foundation Award. Former CM Rosaiah was presented the award at Kalabharathi Auditorium, Visaka. Former Indian leg spinner M V Narasimha Rao was awarded the prestigious Member of the Order of British Empire (MBE) for his contribution to cricket and humanity in Ireland. He led the Hyderabad Ranji team to title triumph in 1987 Ranji Trophy. Geospatial World Forum 2011 inaugurated in Hyderabad. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi conferres Rachapudi Kamakshi Memorial Gold Medal for young Geospatial Scientist 2010 on Thiyam Tamphasana Devi, IIT Guwahati Union Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal presented the Lifetime Achievement Award of Geospatial World Forum to the former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), K Kasturirangan. Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance has been awarded the SKOCH Financial Inclusion Award 2011 in recognition of its micro-insurance product catering the rural market by its plan called 'Sarve/Swayam Shakti Suraksha (SSS). The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The awardees organisations' missions range from protecting biodiversity to fighting poverty. Annette Bening' received the "American Riviera Award" from 'Kevin Costner' at the 2011 Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California The largest prostate gland weighing 650 grams was removed from a human body by Urologist Dr Rajendra Punjabi, has been recognised by the "Guinness World Records" at Roberts Nursing Home, Indore, India. 56 Idea Film Fare Awards Function held at Mumbai. 'Sharukh Khan' won the best actor award for "My Name is Khan", 'Kajol' won the best actress for "My Name is Khan", best film for "Dabangg", 'Karan Johar' won the best Director for "My Name is Khan". The living legend and doyen of Indian Statistics, 91years old Padmavibhushan "Prof C.S. Rao" is designated fro Guy Medal in Gold of the Royal Statistical Society, UK. IN the 115 years history of Royal Statistical Society he is 34th receipient of the award. He is the first Asian, first non European and first non American to receive the award Eminent Malaya, Kaula Lumpur University Vice- Chancelor Acharya Gowth Jasmok has been selected for the prestigious Dr.Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award for the year 2011, for his contribution to science and technology, according to A.Jagadeesh, Director of Dr Y Nayudamma center for Devolopment Alternatives. Indian President Pratibha Patil presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2011 to Sri Lankan industrialist Mano Selvanathan at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi. Mano Selvanathan is one of Sri Lanka's leading industrialists. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, Hyderabad, bagged the First prize in the 'Best Suggestor Award' category at the 21st Inssan National Convention held in Pune . Agricultural scientist K.V.Raman has been awarded as a prestigious Bharat Jyoti.

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Actor Salman Khan's blockbuster entertainer 'Dabangg' made its presence felt at the Chevrolet Apsara Awards by bagging eight awards in different categories. The National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) has bagged the special recognition award for innovative products, like cost-effective housing, at the recent 98th Indian Science Congress in Chennai. Tarun Tejpal, Editor of Tehelka, received the "Award for Excellence in Journalism for 2010" from Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily in New Delhi. Bollywood actor Vivek Oberai received the "Youth Icon Award" from Art of living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar as part of the Vivekananda birth anniversary celebrations on Wednesday (12/1/2011). The Institute of Economic Studies, New Delhi, one of the country's premier research institutes, has announced the "Udyog Rattan Award" to Vishal Manchala, Founder Director & CEO of Vast Technologies Private Limited. Also the company has been awarded the "Excellence Award" for the year 2010. His Excellency Mr. Korn Dabbransi, former Prime Minister of Thailand presented the award at the seminar on "Indo-Thai Economic cooperation" in Bangkok, Thailand. Film Director Bapu, Poet Mullapudi Venkata Ramana, both were selected "NTR Lalitha Kala Award" for 2010-11 Year. NTR Vignan Trust will give this award. TV actress Swetha Tiwari won the reality show 'Bigboss-4' at Lonavana. Swetha received winner's trophy and 1 crore rupees. She became the first women to win the title of the Big Boss. The others are: Kali 2nd place, Ashmit Patel 3rd place in Big Boss-4. G.V.Vishwanath won the 'Spellbrain India spelling championship award' in Hyderabad. He is a tenth standard student of Gitanjali Public School. He has spelled 21 words correctly in two-and-half minutes. Darla Nageswara Rao working in A.P.Govt. Central Press, Chanchalguda, Hyderabad, invented a new concept of Replica art of newspapers. He entered Global World Records. He has entered the Limca Book of World Records in 2006,2008,2009,2010. He replicated newspapers of five Indian languages with the same dimensions and two years later, he repeated the feat in 13 languages, including Arabic and Assamese. The London-bassed Indian writer, Ms Kishwar Desai has won UK's prestigious Costa First Novel Award 2010 for her book "Witness by Night" which addresses issues like unwanted girl child, gender prejudices and bias and men-woman equality. SAIL Chairman C.S.Verma received "ICWAI's Icon of the year award" as part of 52nd National Convention of ICWAI in Chennai.

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PERSONS

.:: August 2011 Persons ::.

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PC Alexander- a former IAS officer who served in Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's staff died of cancer. He served in the then Madras and Travancore-Cochin states before moving to the Central Government in 1955.P.C. Alexander was at different times Principal Secretary to two Prime Ministers- Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Indian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Governor of Tamil Nadu and, Maharashtra, and even a Rajya Sabha MP. D. Subbarao: The Union government on accorded a two-year extension to Reserve Bank of India Governor beyond his term ending September 2011. The extension will be with effect from 5 September 2011 until 4 September 2013.Dr. Subbarao was appointed the 22nd Governor of the apex bank in September 2008, for a three-year term. Justice Shivraj V Patil, Former Supreme Court Judge, was sworn in as the new Lokayukta of Karnataka on 3 August 2011. Justice Patil succeeded Justice N Santosh Hegde who vacated office after completing eventful five-year tenure. Justice Patil headed the one-man committee to inquire into the 2G spectrum allocation issue recently. Norman Anil Kumar Browne took charge as India\'s 23rd Chief of the Air Staff on 31 July 2011. He succeeded Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik. BS Yeddyurappa resigned as Karnataka Chief Minister on 31 July 2011. Karnataka CM B S Yeddyurappa submitted his resignation to the Governor, H R Bhardwaj following his indictment in illegal mining fraud by the Lokayukta. Sucheta(33), an Indian lady from Pune, has successfully crossed the 1,623 km stretch of the Gobi desert, the largest in Asia and the fifth in the world, in a multi-national expedition. Sucheta, who was part of a 13-member team led by Ripley Davenport, accomplished the expedition on 15 July, nine days before the stipulated 60-day deadline, braving rigours and heat of the sands in Mongolia. She became the first Indian woman to cross Gobi desert.

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ANAND KUMAR `Super 30' founder and mathematician Anand Kumar has been selected from around the world to speak at the University Scholars' Leadership Symposium, to be held in Thailand from August 1. JUSTICE P.D.DINAKARAN - Sikkim high court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran resigned on 29 July

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2011. He was facing impeachment on charges of corruption and judicial misconduct. 61-year-old Dinakaran would have demitted office next in 2012 on attaining the age of 62. He was prior to being transferred to Sikkim High Court, he was the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. Dinakaran is the third judge of the higher judiciary to face impeachment proceedings. The impeachment motion against Justice V Ramaswamy of the Supreme Court was defeated in the Lok Sabha in mid-nineties. The inquiry report of three- member committee appointed by Rajya Sabha Chairman against Justice Soumitra Sen of Calcutta high court is still pending.

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NIRMAL KUMAR VERMA - Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma took over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) on 29 July 2011. The Union government on 28 July 2011 appointed IAS officer Pulok Chatterji as principal secretary to the prime minister. Chatterji succeeded T K A Nair who served as Manmohan Singh's principal secretary for more than seven years. Retired Punjab cadre IAS officer T.K.A. Nair was appointed Adviser to the Prime Minister on 28 July 2011. He had served as the Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for seven years. He will take charge as Adviser to the Prime Minister from 3 October 2011.Nair, a retired IAS officer of 1963 batch, was given the rank and status of Minister of State in the PMO. The Union government on 23 July 2011 appointed senior advocate Rohinton Nariman as the SolicitorGeneral, the second senior most law officer of India. Nariman succeeded Gopal Subramanium who resigned from his post in early July 2011. USTAD RAHIM FAHIMUDDIN DAGAR- Dhrupad maestro, died on 27 July 2011 in New Delhi. Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar was a renowned practitioner of Dagarvani style of music that originated from the Vedas. For his outstanding contribution to Hindustani music, he was elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi (for 2010). He was also honoured with the Padma Bhusan Award. British singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse whose self-destructive habits overshadowed a distinctive musical talent was found dead in London. Winehouse won international acclaim with her albums Frank and Back to Black. She won a several prestigious awards, including five Grammys in 2008. Vasuki Sunkavalli(A.P) has been chosen to represent India at the Miss Universe contest this year. Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen's production company Tantra Entertainment holds the I Am She contest to select the Indian representative to the Miss Universe contest. Starting this year the I Am She pageant will also select the contestants for Miss Globe International and Miss Asia Pacific. NR Narayana Murthy was elected the chairperson of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) on 11 July 2011. He will replace former McKinsey chief Rajat Gupta. Gupta resigned from the PFHI in March 2011 after which YV Reddy took over as the interim chair. Gupta was accused of insider trading in the USA. Murthy will head a governing council including Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Shiv Nadar, Amartya Sen, YV Reddy, Miraj Chatterjee, AK Shiva Kumar and TK Nair.The objective of PHFI is to strengthen training, research and policy development in the area of public health. Pradeep Kumar - a 1972-batch Haryana cadre IAS officer was on 2 July 2011 appointed as the Chief

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Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). The appointment followed quashing of the appointment of P J Thomas as CVC by the Supreme Court in March 2011. His name was selected from the four short-listed names by the three-member high-level committee comprising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. Kumar will have a three-year term as he will have to demit office on attaining age of 65 years under the CVC Act.

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Shashikant Sharma - A 1976 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre on 7 July 2011 was appointed as the new defense secretary succeeding Pradeep Kumar. The position fell vacant after Pradeep Kumar was appointed central vigilance commissioner of India. Harun Rashid Khan took over as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India on 4 July 2011 succeeding Shyamala Gopinath who retired in June 2011.Khan has been appointed for a period of three years. Nishi Vasudeva - she became the first woman in the history of state-owned oil company to join the board of directors. Vasudeva joined the board of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), a Navratna PSU, as Director (Marketing).Vasudeva was selected for the board job at HPCL by government headhunter Public Enterprise Selection Board in December 2010. The Cabinet Committee on Appointments (ACC) gave its consent in July 2011. B.S.S.RAO - Secretary of Sri Lalithakala Academy Foundation and an art critic, B.S.S. Rao died on 4 July 2011 in Saraswathipuram, Karnataka. He was a patron of classical arts and music and a regular contributor to various newspapers. He took interest in the promotion of classical arts, particularly Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music. K. Srinath Reddy - Leading cardiologist, has been awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by Scotland's Aberdeen University for his pioneering work in the field of public health. Currently president of the Public Health Foundation of India and a former head of the Department of Cardiology at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, Dr. Reddy is regarded as a global leader in public health.

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Raj Kumar Singh took over as Union Home Secretary of India. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cleared his appointment. Singh succeeded Gopal Krishna Pillai who completed his two-year tenure. Christine Lagarde, French finance minister Christine Lagarde was appointed as the chief of International Monetary Fund. Lagarde became the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund. Lagarde succeeded Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned from the IMF in May to defend him against charges of sexual assault against a New York hotel maid. Jose Graziano da Silva, the former Brazilian Food Security Minister, will be the eighth Director General (DG) of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Jose Graziano da Silva, who has served as a senior regional official for FAO since 2006, will take up the post of DG on January 1 next year. Graziano da Silva is the first person from Latin America to head the United Nation's (UN) global

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body on agriculture. The Union government appointed M V Tanksale, executive director of the country's No. 2 state-run lender Punjab National Bank (PNB), as the new chairman and managing director of Central Bank of India. He will remain in office till 31 July 2013. Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha- on 27 June 2011,he was appointed Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (CISC). Sinha's name for the post was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, almost two months after the top tri-services post fell vacant. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of 1974-batch IFS officer Ranjan Mathai, presently Ambassador in Paris, as Foreign Secretary. He will succeed Nirupama Rao, IFS, on her retirement on 31 July 2011 to office for a term of two years. Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former Rwandan Minister for women's empowerment, became the first woman to be found guilty of genocide and incitement to rape by an international tribunal. Judges at the U.N. court for Rwanda sentenced Pauline Nyiramasuhuko to life in prison for genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and rape. Nyiramasuhuko was found guilty on seven of the 11 genocide charges she faced for atrocities committed in Rwanda's southern Butare region in 1994. Ban Ki-moon-The United Nations General Assembly on 21 June 2011 agreed to appoint former South Korean foreign minister Ban Ki-moon to a second consecutive term as the Secretary-General of the 192-member Organization. Ban's second term will run from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2016. He has been in office since January 2007. He had succeeded Kofi Annan of Ghana. Ban is the eighth person to serve as UN chief. Prof. Suresh Tendulkar -Eminent economist, who played a significant part in moulding the government's economic policy, died of a cardiac arrest in Pune on 21 June 2011. At the time of death, he was one of the directors of the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India. Prof. Tendulkar was a member of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) from 2004 to 2008. He was the Chairman of PMEAC from 2008 to 2009 when C. Rangarajan vacated the chief's position to enter the Rajya Sabha. Prof. Tendulkar's worked extensively on poverty and estimation of people below poverty line (BPL). In his report submitted in November 2009 as Chairman of an expert group on the methodology for estimation of poverty constituted by the Planning Commission, he estimated that every third Indian is living in poverty and the number of the poor has shot up by nearly 10 per cent to over 37 per cent. Kothapalli Jayashankar- Former Vice-Chancellor of Kakatiya University and ideologue for the separate movement died on 21 June 2011. He had been a guiding force for the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in channelising the aspirations of its cadres, particularly the youth, for creation of a separate State of Telangana. He played a key role in the TRS' negotiations with the Centre on 9 December 2009 that led to the announcement by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram that the Government of India would begin the process of creating a separate State. He worked as a member of National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector during 2004­2006. Sheikh Dr. Abu Muhammad Ayman al-Zawahiri ­He was appointed as the Amir (supreme leader) of the Al-Qaeda. He was Osama bin-Laden's long-standing lieutenant to lead al-Qaeda. The general command of al-Qaeda announced the appointment and this announcement was made public on 16 June 2011. Ayman al-Zawahiri is a 1959-born former Egyptian surgeon. Saif al-Adel (an Egyptian), the head of the al Qaeda Shura council, was acting as the interim leader of the al-Qaeda; after the death of Osama Bin Laden on 2 May 2011, till the appointment of Ayman al-Zawahiri. M F Husain-Celebrated Indian artist (painter), died in London on 9 June 2011. He was popularly known as MF and was regarded as `Picasso of India'. He was 95 years old.M F Husain was born on

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September 17, 1915 in Pandharpur of Solapur District of Maharashtra. In 1952, MF Husain's first solo exhibition was held at Zurich and soon he became popular in Europe and USA. Husain went on to become one of the highest paid painters in India. His paintings have fetched millions of dollars at the auction. In 1966, MF Husain was honored with Padma Shree by the Government of India. MF Husain's first film was `Through the Eyes of a Painter' in 1967. The film won a Golden Bear when it was shown at the Berlin Film Festival. He has also made two Hindi movies, (1) `Gaja Gamini' and (2) `Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities.' Nataraja Ramakrishna-Popular kuchipudi classical dancer, known for reviving and introducing Andhra Natyam and Perini Shivatandavam, died on 7 June 2011.Ramakrishna was born in Bali, Indonesia, where his parents had migrated from East Godavari. The family later returned to India and Ramakrishna started showing interest in classical dance forms. At the age of 18, he was given the title of Nataraja in Nagpur, which got added to his name Ramakrishna.He is well known for introducing the dance form of Perini Shivatandavam which highlighted the role of warriors under King Ganapathi Devudu of the Kakatiya dynasty. He was also credited with the revival of the Andhra Natyam dance form, a devotional temple dance tradition performed in Andhra Pradesh for over 400 years until it went virtually extinct.He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1992. He also received a doctorate from the Andhra University and a Bharata Kala Prapoorna apart from the NTR State Award. Suzanne Al Houby-Palestinian-born and UAE-based mother of two, Suzanne Al Houby, on 21 May 2011 became the first Arab woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the world's highest peak. Originally from Jaffa, Palestine, 40-year-old Al Houby reached the 8,848-metre peak at after spending 51 days scaling Mount Everest as part of a four-person team, three of whom successfully reached the summit. Since Mount Everest was first scaled by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, approximately 100 women have accomplished the feat. Devi Prasad-A prominent artist, died in South Delhi on 1 June 2011. He was also a pioneering studio potter, painter, designer, photographer, art educator and peace activist all rolled into one. After completing graduation from Shantiniketan he joined Mahatma Gandhi's Sevagram. He stayed at Sevagram until 1962 where he developed an art school and edited a journal. He was awarded the Lalit Kala Ratna award by Lalit Kala Akademi 2007.

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Ghulam Akbar Malik- He found the valuable manuscript of the Quran, dating back to the 12th century, during an excavation trip to the Pakistani city of Jhelum. Malik came across the 900 year old manuscript in the salt range and its adjacent territory that has been home to many archaeological discoveries. This 900-year-old manuscript is written on Papyrus, which was first invented and used by the Chinese before the invention of modern paper.As per the Malik, this ancient script of the Quran has been written by Sirajuddin abu Tahir Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Abdur Rasheed during the 12th century. Ajit Kumar Seth, A 1974 batch IAS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre was appointed the Cabinet Secretary of India. The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cleared the appointment. Prior to being appointed as Cabinet Secretary, he served as Secretary, Public Grievances and Co-ordination in the Cabinet Secretariat. Seth will serve for fixed two year tenure. He succeeded K M Chandrashekhar who is due to retire in June 2011. Ustad Mahmood Dholpuri-Eminent harmonium player and Padma Shri awardee Ustad Mahmood Dholpuri died in New Delhi on early morning on 25 May 2011. He was introduced to harmonium at an early age of 11 and went on to train with the masters of Dilli Gharana, including Ustad Nasir Ahmad

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Khan.Dholpuri regularly accompanied the most prominent vocalists of India, namely Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Kishori Amonkar, Girija Devi and Pandit Jasraj. Chidananda Dasgupta - Renowned film critic, historian and a pioneer of the film society movement in India, Chidananda Dasgupta, died on 22 May 2011. Father of actress and filmmaker Aparna Sen, he was born in Shillong in 1921The. In 1947, Chidananda, along with Satyajit Ray and Hari Sadhan Dasgupta, founded the Calcutta Film Society. More than a decade later, the Federation of Film Societies of India was set up on his initiative. He is credited as one of the early pioneers who carved a space for serious film criticism in India. Farmer leader Mahendra Singh Tikait who headed the Bharatiya Kisan Union passed away. He was largely successful in using the farmer power effectively to launch agitations that would rattle government in Lucknow and New Delhi. Tikait's most spectacular show was at Delhi's Boat Club lawns in 1988 when nearly five lakh farmers from western UP occupied the entire stretch from Vijay Chowk to India Gate. Rajiv Gandhi government was forced to accept his 35-point charter of demands that included higher remunerative prices for sugarcane and waiving of electricity and water charges for farmers. International Monetary Fund Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested and later refused bail in a sex assault case following an appearance in a New York City courtroom. The judge, Melissa Jackson, ordered Mr. Strauss-Kahn to be held without bail pending grand jury action on the case. K.V.KAMATH-The Board of Directors of Infosys Ltd met on 30 April 2011 decided to appoint K.V. Kamath as Chairman of Infosys after N.R. Narayana Murthy, steps down from his position as Chairman on 20 August 2011. The appointment of Gopalakrishnan as co-Chairman of Infosys reflected the company's desire to maintain continuity at the top of the company.The company's Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director S. Gopalakrishnan was also appointed as co-Chairman of the board. Chief Operating Officer S.D. Shibulal will take over Mr. Gopalakrishnan's duties. All the appointments are to take effect from 21 August 2011. Founder of Infosys, Murthy was appointed Chairman Emeritus. JARBOM GAMLIN-Following the death of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Dorjee Khandu in the Pawan Hans Chopper crash, Arunachal Pradesh Power Minister Jarbom Gamlin was sworn in as the new Chief Minister on 5 May 2011. The oath of office was administered by Governor General (retired) J.J. Singh at the Raj Bhavan. SIR HENRY COOPER(76)-Former British boxing legend, has died aged 76 on 1 May 2011. He was one of the sport's biggest personalities and was a cult figure both in and out of the ring.The heavyweight was best known for knocking down a young Cassius Clay now known as Muhammad Ali in 1963. He went on to enjoy a hugely successful professional career though he never won a world title and retired, aged 36, in 1971.He was the first to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award twice (in 1967 and 1970) and one of only three two-time winners in the award's history. In 1970 he cemented his reputation as one of the greatest post-war boxers by becoming British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight champion.He received knighthood in 2000. S.C. CHETAL-He took over as Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam on 29 April 2011. Before taking over as IGCAR Director, Chetal was its Director, Reactor Engineering Group. He contributed significantly to the design and development of the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) at Kalpakkam.The IGCAR is the architect of Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) programme and it has designed and developed the 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) under construction at Kalpakkam. G.S.CHATURVEDI-The Indian government on 2 May 2011 appointed Girish Chandra Chaturvedi as petroleum secretary and shifted incumbent S Sundareshan to the ministry of heavy industries. Chaturvedi who is 1977 batch IAS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre is currently the Special Secretary Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance. Chaturvedi is also presently serving as a special director

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general in the Commonwealth Games' organising committee.

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Lewis Binford, a renowned archaeologist and founder of the New Archaeology movement died at the age of 80 on 11 April 2011. Professor Binford revolutionised archaeology in the 1960s and 1970s by elevating its status from a descriptive study of antiquities to a scientific discipline devoted to anthropological understanding of ways of life of ancient societies. B. Muthuraman- Tata Steel Vice-Chairman has been elected new President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 2011-12. Mr. Muthuraman succeeds Hari Bhartia of Jubilant Organosys. Infosys Technologies CEO and Managing Director S. Gopalakrishnan has been elected Vice-President for 2011-12 Ram Reddy-Noted Telugu film actor, who played the villain's role in numerous films, died after a prolonged illness on 14 April. Leading global consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB) announced the appointment of India-born Rakesh Kapoor as the Chief Executive Officer. Pop star Jennifer Lopez has beaten off competition from younger beauties such as Beyonce Knowles and Anne Hathaway to be named the World's Most Beautiful Woman by People magazine. Rani Mukherjee- Bollywood actor received the 2011 YFLO ZOYA Young Women Achievers Award from Union Minister for Culture, Kumari Selja, organised by Young FICCI Ladies Organisation in New Delhi. Mohan Das Pai on 15 April resigned from Infosys and its board of directors, ending a 17-year association with the company. Mr. Pai is the second top executive in Infosys to leave the organisation in two years after Nandan Nilekani, one of its founders, quit to join the government. National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) announced the appointment of Rajendra S. Pawar as the new chairman of its Executive Council for the year 2011-2012. Rajendra Pawar is the Chairman and co-founder of NIIT Technologies. NASSCOM also appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tata Consultancy Services, N. Chandrasekaran as the ViceChairman for the year 2011-12. Pawar succeeded Harsh Manglik (Chairman and Managing Director of Accenture), who was the Chairman for 2010-11. Pawar is also a member of the National Council on Skill Development, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. He has previously served on the Prime Minister's National Task force Former Indian prime minister I K Gujral released his autobiography, Matters of Discretion: An Autobiography. Chilean poet Gonzalo Rojas, who was forced into exile after the 1973 military coup died on 25 April 2011 at the age of 93. His vast body of work includes his first poetry anthology The Misery of Man published in 1948, Against Death (1964), Dark (1977), Transtierro (1979), On lightning (1981) and From Water (2007). Nawang Gombu, the first man to scale Mt. Everest twice died in Darjeeling early on 24 April 2011 at the age of 79. Nawang was the first person in the world to summit Mt Everest twice, the first in India to conquer Nanda Devi (24,645ft) and the youngest to climb to a height of 26000 feet. The 1953 expedition made him the youngest climbing Sherpa, at the age of 16.Nawang Gombu was awarded the

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Padma Bhusan in 1966, the Arjuna Award in 1965 and the Tenzing Norgay Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Nawang Gombu had also received the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal. Satya Sai Baba - one of India's most influential spiritual leaders expired on 24th April 2011 in his home town of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh at the age of 85. He was on intermittent haemodialysis and on assisted respiration at his organisation funded by Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences at Puttaparthi. The Andhra Pradesh government has declared a three-day mourning and Anantpur will be closed on April 27, 2011. Former Sony President Norio Ohga, who transformed the music industry with the development of the compact disc format died on 23 April 2011. Timothy Roemer -United States Ambassador to India resigned on 28 April 2011. His resignation was cited as due to some personal considerations which made him to take the decision to go back to Washington. Roemer was nominated by US President, Barack Obama in May 2009. K.Balachandar, Film Director, one of the influential filmmakers and trendsetters in Indian cinema, will receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2010, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry announced on 29th April'11. Sujatha(58), who made waves in the south Indian film industry in the Seventies and Eighties, passed away in Chennai. The 58-year-old actor, who was undergoing treatment for a heart ailment, died of cardiac arrest. Known for restraint and subtlety in portrayal of varied emotions. Sujatha was introduced to the Tamil film industry by Director K. Balachander as the protagonist in "Aval Oru Thodarkathai." The actor has performed in over 300 films in all four south Indian languages and Hindi. Ajit Bhattacharjea(87)- one of the towering figures of Indian media was dead in New Delhi. Mr. Bhattacharjea is a leading figure of the right to information movement. Bhattacharjea was one of the founder members of the Guild and played a leading role in establishing it following the Emergency. In a career spanning 37 years, Bhattacharjea was the Editor of leading newspapers The Hindustan Times, The Times of India and Indian Express. After retirement, he held the post of Director, Press Institute of India. Pratip chaudhuri was appointed as the chairman of State Bank of India, the country's largest bank. Chaudhuri, who is presently working as the deputy managing director in-charge of international banking. Rangesh kona (Austin, Texas) - Austin based web engineer, a Telugu youth developed and released an application called U Twit More to web users which can bypass twitter 140 characters limit. U Twit More web application posts messages directly to Twitter. One can now post 1000 characters to twitter using UTwitMore application. Jacob Mathew, Executive Editor of the Malayala Manorama Group of Publications, has unanimously been elected president of WAN-IFRA at its annual general meeting held in Dublin, Ireland. He is the first Indian and second Asian, after Seok Hyun Hong of Korea, to be elected to this office. WAN-IFRA, based in Paris and Darmstadt, Germany, is a global organization of newspaper editors and publishers, representing more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. The World Association of Newspapers, founded in 1948, and IFRA, the research and service organisation of the news publishing industry, founded in 1962, merged in 2009 to form WANIFRA. Jacob Mathew is now a trustee of the Press Institute of India/Research Institute for Newspaper Development and is also on the Asia Board of the International Newspaper Marketing Association (INMA). Dr. Baruch S. Blumberg (85) - renowned scientist, who won the 1976 Nobel Prize in physiology or

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medicine for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus, has died in Philadelphia. :: Mar 2011 Persons ::.

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B.DHARMA BHIKSHAM(89), Veteran Communist leader, died after prolonged illness at a private hospital in Hyderabad. The 89-year-old CPI State council member, an active member of the Telangana armed struggle, was elected to Lok Sabha and was a member of the Assembly for three times. He was born in Suryapet in Nalgonda district in 1922. MJ AKBAR, Noted Journalist, wrote a book recently, "Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan" and was released by Honorable Vice President of India Dr. Hamid Ansari . Microsoft Corporation announced the appointment of ex-Oracle chief Bhaskar Pramanik as the chairman for Microsoft India. As Chairman, Pramanik will oversee Microsoft's sales, marketing and services subsidiary, provide overall leadership on all Microsoft assets in India. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has selected noted Bharatanatyam dancer Leela Samson, currently chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi and director of the Kalakshetra dance school in Chennai, as the new chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Popular Telugu villain, comedy and character artiste Nutan Prasad, born Tadinada Vara Prasad is no more. He was ailing for some time and breathed his last on30 march in Hyderabad. He is survived by wife, a daughter and a son. ADI GODREJ, Godrej Group chairman has taken over as the new chairman of the Indian School of Business, executive board on 2nd March in Hyderabad. He replaced the former chairman Rajat Gupta who is facing an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States on the charges of "insider trading". Chhavi Rajawat, an MBA, becoming the sarpanch of Soda village, 60 km from Japura raised the same kind of awe at the 11th Info-Poverty World Conference held at the UN. The two-day panel discussion at the UN held on March 24 and 25 was to highlight how civil society can implement its actions and discussed at length the role of society in fighting poverty and promoting development. Bob Christ(72), Australian born, who played villain roles in several films, died at a hospital in Bangalore. He acted in several bollywood hits such as Kaalia, Mard and Mr India. Mr. Christ has also acted in more than 200 films in many languages, including Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. Rajat Gupta, chairman, Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad, who faces charges of insider trading in the United States, has decided to step down from his post. Mr. Gupta asked the ISB executive board to relieve him of the responsibilities as its chairman and managing director emeritus until the matter pending with the Securities and Exchange Commission was resolved. Moshe Katsav, the former Israeli President, was sentenced to seven years behind bars after being convicted on two counts of rape and other offences in a scandal which has rocked Israel. The judges also handed him a two-year suspended sentence and ordered him to pay compensation of 100,000 shekels ($28,000). Elizabeth Taylor (79), Legendary Hollywood actress who captured hearts in National Velvet to launch a film career that spanned five decades, died in Los Angeles. Ms. Taylor won two Academy Awards for best actress, including in the 1966 classic who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, one of the many films she played opposite Richard Burton. Asha Bhosle, Indian playback singer was felicitated in the U.K's House of Commons in London for her outstanding achievements in music. NRI Labour MP Keith Vaz, who organised the felicitation dinner, described the 77-year-old Padma Vibhushan awardee as an "icon" who has made India proud.

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Navin Nischol(65) -Bollywood actor passed away in Mumbai, after a massive heart attack. A product of the Film and Television Institute of India, Mr. Nischol made a successful debut with Sawan Bhadon in 1970 and went on to star in several films like Victoria No 203, Dhund, Chhalia, Parwana, Budda Mil Gaya and later as a character actor in The Burning Train, and Major Saab among others. Jacques Chirac became the First French President since 1958 to go on trial on criminal charges. The 78-year-old former Head of States is accused of embezzlement, breach of trust and conflict of interest, based on allegations linked to his tenure as Paris Mayor -- before he began his presidency (1995 to 2007). Surekha Yadav became the Asia's first woman railway engine driver. Dr.karan singh -Dr.Manmohan Singh has released Dr. Karan Singh's book titled "Kashmir and Beyond: 1966-84," a compilation of letters written by Dr. Karan Singh and Indira Gandhi to each other on the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971, the Emergency and other burning issues of the time. Arjun Singh, 81-senior Congress M.P.and Former Union HRD Minister died on 4 February in New Delhi. He was the triple time chief minister for Madhya Pradesh. P.C. Chacko-congress leader from Kerala has been named Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the alleged scam in the grant of 2G spectrum and telecom licences from 1998 to 2009. > Krishna Prasad Bhattarai- The former Nepal Prime Minister and founding member of the Nepali Congress,died on 5 February. He was 87. Nirmal Chandra Jha took over as Chairman of Coal India Limited (CIL). He took over from P. S. Bhattacharyya who laid down office on February 28. Joeman Thomas-The government has appointed Joeman Thomas as the acting managing director of ONGC Videsh (OVL), the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).Thomas is director (exploration) in OVL and will hold the additional charge of the company after R S Butola moved to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) as chairman, the company said in a press statement here. Alberto Granado - an Argentine,the companion of "Che" Guevara died on March 5 in Cuba. He was 88. Prem chopra-veteran Hindi film actor was honoured with the Mother Teresa Award for his humanitarian work and five-decade-long career. The previous recipients include Rajeev Gandhi and the Dalai Lama. Shahbaz Bhattm, Pakistan's minister for Minority Affairs was gunned down near his residence in Islamabad on 2 March. The assassination is being linked to the Blasphemy issue that consumed the life of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer in the federal capital itself just two months ago as Mr. Bhatti advocated changes in the blasphemy law. Harish C.Mariwala elected as New FICCI President. Venkatraman Radhakrishnan, Eminent Astrophysicist, who is known for his work on pulsars, passed away in Bangalore. He will be the most remembered by the scientific community for his work on pulsars [neutron stars] and the structure of interstellar medium [the matter that makes up the space between stars]. He is the son of the great C.V.Raman.

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.:: February 2011 Persons ::.

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Amartya sen was honoured with the `Rabindra Smriti Puraskar' to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, in Kolkata. R.S. Bitola would be the new chairman of Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) Mikkilineni Radhakrishna Murthy (96) - Veteran Telugu film actor and founder of Praja Natya Mandali, passed away after suffering from urinary tract in Vijayawada. Murthy acted in nearly 150 films with N.T. Rama Rao and in almost all the Vitalacharya movies. The Andhra University conferred upon him the Kalaprapoorna title. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the public sector National Aluminium Corporation Limited (NALCO) Abhay Kumar Srivastava, in the bribery case. Mullapudi Venkataramana(80)-Noted Telugu story writer, Mullapudi Venkata Ramana, who won the hearts of people through the adorable child character, `Budugu', and a host of others in Telugu films, passed away in Chennai on 24 February after a brief illness. Pairing up with his long-time friend, Bapu, Ramana penned stories and dialogues for several movies. Enduring characters like Contractor (in Muthyala Muggu) and Tutti (Mister Pellam) that flourished from his pen, remain unforgettable. A versatile wordsmith, he was known for his writings laced with wit and humour. Bapu and Ramana worked in tandem for nearly six decades; the former giving artistic expression to the latter's writings. The writer-producer-illustrator-filmmaker duo made some of the most endearing films -- pure family entertainers. Ramana wrote for films like Sakshi, Mister Pellam, Radhagopalam, Budhi Manthudu and Andala Ramudu. Major Mitali Madhumita became the First Woman Officer to receive a Gallantry Award in the Army. She was honoured with 21 Army personnel for acts of bravery and distinguished service at the military station here Marc Grossman- He was appointed as the United State's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Silvio Berlusconi-Italian Prime Minister, he is to stand trial on charges of abuse of power and paying underage prostitutes for sex -- a crime in Italy despite the fact that prostitution is legal and the age of consent is 14. The trial is scheduled to open on April 6 according to a statement released by the judiciary. The Prime Minister will be tried by a bench of three woman judges. U.K. Sinha -Took charge as the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) Chairman from the outgoing chief, C. B. Bhave. G.R.Sufi - He was appointed as the first Cheif Information Commissioner (CIC) of J&K. Vivek Murthy - An Indian - American has been appointed to the Barack Obama's advisory group on prevention, Health, promotion and Integration & Public Health. Islam Siddique - An Indian-American was appointed as U.S. Presidents Chief Agricultural Negotiator. Oxygen Trinley Dorje: He is Tibetan Buddhism's third most important leader and 17th reincarnate in the centuries old succession of the karmapa lama and spiritual lead of the powerful karma-kagyu seet. A Huge amount of foreign currency of about Rs. 17 cr. has been seized from his sidhbaris (Dharmasala) Gyuto Tantric temple, H.P. by the police. K.Satchidananda Murthy (87) - died at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. Distinguished Philosopher, Prolific writer and policy maker in Higher Education. He was conferred with B.C. Roy National Award, Padma

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Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan (2001) Awards. Kamal Nath - Union Minister for Urban Development, has been Summoned by a New york court for his alleged role in the Anti-sikh riots in 1984. The summons related to a case field by a NGO which calls itself sikhs for justice in a New york court. Andre Agassi - This U.s. Tennis legend inducted into International Hall of Fame. Ram Baran Yadav - Nepal President, visited Tirupathi and Salarjung museum at Hyderabad. He arrived Andhra Pradesh during his 10-day India visit. Mathew Hayden - This Australian opening great batsman came to Chennai to promote his, ''standing My Ground'', which is his autobiography. U.K.Sinha - The central government appointed him as chairman of the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI). He will replace C.B. Bhave. K. Subramanyam (82) died on 2nd February. A top defense analyst, security & foreign policy thinker; He played a key role in drafting India's nuclear doctrine. At the time of death, He is the chairman, for Prime Minister Task force on Global Strategic Developments. Md.El.Baradi: Former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Chief and Pro-democracy reformer in Egypt. Presently leading the 'National Association for Change'. He is playing a key role in protesting movement against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and demanding his immediate step down. Rupert Murdoch - Media tycoon, launched ''The Daily'', an on-line News paper designed specifically for the Apple i-pad. The Daily will only be available for U.S. i-pad owners. International markets will get this facility in the near future. MS.Sushma Nath - The Government has appointed her as the New Finance Secretary. She is the first woman to be appointed for this post. Wajahat Habibullah - Assumes charge as National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Chairman. He has joined in place of Md.Shafi Qureshi. Habibullah was the former CIC of India. Marc Grossman- He was appointed as the United State's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Silvio Berlusconi-Italian Prime Minister, he is to stand trial on charges of abuse of power and paying underage prostitutes for sex -- a crime in Italy despite the fact that prostitution is legal and the age of consent is The trial is scheduled to open on April 6 according to a statement released by the judiciary. The Prime Minister will be tried by a bench of three woman judges. U.K. Sinha -Took charge as the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) Chairman from the outgoing chief, C. B. Bhave. World Famous Hollywood Music Director "John Bari" died in New Yark on from heart attack. He was composed the music for Bond Movies. He was 77 Years old. K.Subrahmanyam, the pre-eminent security and foreign policy thinker who played a key role in shaping government and public thinking on key issues and helped draft India's nuclear doctrine, died at New Delhi. He was 82 years old.

.:: January 2011 Persons ::.

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Mizra Waheed - London based kashmiri novelist, launched his debut novel 'The collaborator', with the Kashmir conflict as the backdrop, at Srinagar. The Book was published by penguin books, U.K., has

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already been listed among the top 10 novels of 2011. Warren Buffet & Bill Gates - These two richest people will visit India this year to seek support of wealthy Indians for Philanthropic activities. They are leading the 'Giving Pledge' Campaign that urges rich people to pledge at least half of their wealth to charity Surinder Jakhar, IFFCO chairman and son of Balaram Jakhar, died of injuries he sustained when his pistol allegedly went off accidentally at Abohar. The Government has appointed A. Sudarshan Reddy as new Advocate-General of the State, for the first time since the establishment of the AP High Court in Hyderabad Former union Minister and senior politician of Circar districts Bulusu Prabhakara Butchi Krishna SBPBK Satyanarayana Rao died at the age of 90 in Hyderabad. He served as Minister of State for Agriculture in Vajpayee government for two years between 1999 to 2001. Noted Telugu film director EVV Satyanarayana dies at the age of 53 due to heart attack in Hyderabad. He has directed 42 movies Pandit Bhimsen joshi, the doyen of Hindustani Classical Music, breathed his last at a private hospital in Pune He was 88 years old. Joshi was awarded the 'Padmashri' in 1972, the 'Padma Bhushan' in 1985 and 'Padma Vibhushan' in 1999. Bharata Ratna in 2009. Kotha Satchidananda Murthy, former Vice-Chancellor of Sri Venkateshwara University (1975-79) and Vice-Chairman of University Grants Commisssion (1986-89) died at St Joseph Hospital in Guntur. Swami Bhuddhanada Maharaj, general secretary, Bharat Sevashram Sangh,died at Hyderabad due to heart attack. He was 92 years old. T.Ashok Babu, scientist, Advanced Systems Laboratory (DRDO), Hyderabad, has been elected as vicepresident of the Indian Association of Special Libraries and Information Centres, Kolkata, for 2011-13. Oscar-nominated British director Peter Yates died. He was nominated in the best director and best picture categories both for cycling story 'Breaking Away' and backstage drama 'The Dresser'. Baldev Raj, Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam has been elected president of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE). The trust board of the Sri Seetharamachandra Swamy temple at Bhadrachalam has decided to appoint renowned Carnatic musician Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna as Asthana Sangeetha Vidwan. Senior Make-up-Man, Producer A.Pothuraju died in Chennai . He was a personal make-up-man of Anjalidevi. He was 80 years old. BJP chief Nitin Gadkari released a book, 'Secrets of RSS', authored by Ratan Sharda. Prof. K. Yadaqgiri appointed as a Director of Telugu Academy. He was a Kakatiya University Telugu Head of the Department. Venkat Changavalli's resigned as the chief executive officer of Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI). The GVK Group nominated industrialist K.Krishnam Raju as the director in-charge of EMRI. Indian singer and Composer Suchitra Mitra died of a cardiac ailment on 3 January 2011, in Kolkata. She was also a playback singer and acted in Bengali Films. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1974 The Pakistan Punjab's liberal Governor, Mr. Salman Taseer, was assassinated by his security guard. Iran Prince Ali Raja Pahalavi died at Bostan in USA. Mohiniyattam performer of Kerala enters the Guinness book of records for her 123 hours and 15 minutes long dance marathon. By this Hemalatha broke the record of Vettikotta Yadagiri of Hyderabad. Subhash Lalla, who allegedly had a role in the Adarsh Housing scam, resigned as a member of the

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Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission. Rajeev Agarwal assumed charge as the Chief General Manager of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd,Andhra Pradesh Circle. He succeeded T.N. Sushindra Kumar,Who retired on December 31. Air Marshal N.A.K.Browne assumed charge as Vice-Chief of the Indian Air Force. He succeeded Air Marshal P.K.Barbora, Who retired on 31/12/2010. Famous Poet 'Padmasri' Suragali Thimothy Gyanananda died at Kakinada.Central Government conferred him with 'Padmasri' on 2001. His famous novel is 'Amrapali'. He was also awarded Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Academy Award on 1975. Medical Student Servepalli Skanda Harshita was selected for 'Journal of Young Investigators', it belongs to USA. She is a final year MBBS student in Narayana Medical College in Nellore. Sailaja Suman was appointed as new Director of Doordarshan.

SPORTS

.:: August 2011 Sports ::.

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Veteran Indian batsman Rahul Dravid announced his retirement from both the Tests and ODIs. He announced his retirement after he was chosen for the ODI and T20 series in England. He became the second highest run-getter in Test cricket-12576 runs from 155 matches during the India-England test series. Dravid also equaled Sunil Gavaskar's record of 34 Test tons during the ongoing Test series against England. Dravid has to his credit over 10000 runs in both the Test and ODI cricket, with 10765 runs in 339 one-dayers who is the seventh highest scorer in that format. Aditya Mehta claimed his maiden National snooker title by defeating Alok Kumar 6-2 the best-ofeleven frame final at the Hash10 World Sim championships on 9 August 2011. McLaren's Jenson Button won the Hungarian Grand Prix on 31 July 2011. He has 11 Grand Prix races in a career that started with team Williams in 2000.Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was placed second in this event. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) set up an eight member Indian Court of Arbitration for Sports (ICAS). ICAS was set up under the Chairmanship of Dr. AR. Lakshmanan, former Supreme Court Judge and former Law Commission chairperson to resolve all sports related disputes in India. All sports related the International Court of Arbitration settles disputes in the whole world for Sports situated at Lausanne, Switzerland through a panel of eminent experts in the field of law, medicine, sports and others. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had given directions to the IOA to constitute the Indian court of Arbitration for Sports in order to resolve all sports related disputes within the territory of India. India's double-trap shooter and Asian Games gold medalist Ronjan Sodhi was ranked No.1 in the world, as per the latest rankings released by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) on 1 August 2011. Double trap marksman Ronjan Sodhi won gold in the World Cup Finals in Turkey in 2010. He had recently won the silver medal in the Beijing World Cup to clinch the Olympic quota place. After the Beijing World Cup he went on to win a bronze medal in the next World Cup in Maribor.Ronjan Sodhi from Punjab lad had won the World Cup gold medals in Belgrade in 2008 (with

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two world records to boot) and Lonato in 2010. .:: July 2011 Sports ::.

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Five-time national champion Vidya Pillai Tilakraj of Tamil Nadu defeated Arantxa Sanchis 3-1 (53-34, 43-53, 92-15, 54-15) in the final of the National billiards and snooker championship on 25 July 2011. America's Michael Phelps won gold in the 200m butterfly event in the World Swimming Championship in Shanghai on 27 July 2011. Uruguay won the Copa América foot ball cup for a record 15th time on 24 July 2011 by defeating Paraguay, 3-0, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. With the victory, Uruguay became the competition's most successful team. Former India striker Shabbir Ali, who took up full-time coaching after retirement on 26 June 2011, became the first footballer to win the prestigious Dhyan Chand award as recognition for his lifetime achievement in sports. Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was honoured posthumously with the highest Bangladesh award -- the Bangladesh Swadhinata Sammanona (Bangladesh Freedom Honour ) on 25 July 2011. The award was meant to honour Indira Gandhi's for her outstanding contributions to Bangladesh's Liberation War fought in 1971. The award was received by her daughter-in-law Sonia Gandhi who visited Bangladesh at the invitation of Sheikh Hasina. The Union Sports Ministry had announced the Arjuna and Dronacharya awards for the year 2010. The Dinesh Khanna-led Arjuna award panel had recommended increasing the number of Arjuna awards to 19 instead of the normal 15. The selection of cricketer Zaheer Khan and Ashish Kumar, who bagged the first medals for the country in gymnastics in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Swimmer Virdhawal Khade, Swimmer( paralympic category)Prasanta Karmakar , The captains of the men's and women's kabaddi teams, Rakesh Kumar and Tejaswini Bai, shooter Tejaswini Sawant, Archer Rahul Banerjee, boxer Suranjoy Singh, Greco-Roman wrestler Ravinder Singh, weightlifter K. Ravi Kumar, Hockey captain Rajpal Singh, badminton ace Jwala Gutta, volleyball player Sanjay Kumar, footballer Sunil Chetri, and wushu silver medallist in the Asian Games, Sandhya Rani Devi, were the others to be chosen for the Arjuna award.Five coaches were chosen for the Dronacharya award. The awardees are as follows: Ram Phal (wrestling), Devendra Kumar Rathore (gymnastics), I. Venkateswara Rao (boxing), Rajender Singh (hockey) and Kunthal Kumar Roy (athletics).Yashvir Singh, long-time coach of world champion and Olympic bronze medalist wrestler Sushil Kumar, withdrew his nomination on 21 July evening thereby clearing the route for Ram Phal, coach of Yogeshwar Dutt. Ace Indian shooter Gagan Narang, who won four gold medals at last year's Commonwealth Games, is selected for the country's highest sporting honour ­ the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. He also won the bronze medal in the World Championships last year. Gagan becomes the fifth shooter to be nominated for the Khel Ratna award which is the highest honour given for achievement in sports. He won two silver medals in the Asian Games in Guangzhou and is the first shooter from India to qualify for the London Olympics.

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) released the list of All time Greatest Test team. The ICC's list includes four Indian cricketers namely- batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag. Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag were included for opening slot while Indian batting maestro, Sachin Tendulkar found the place in middle order. Four Australians, two West Indians and one Pakistani also made it to Peoples' Dream XI as more than a quarter of million people voted on ICC's official website.Sir Don Bradman, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Brian Lara, Curtly Ambrose and Wasim Akram are the other players in the list. Japan lifted the women's football World Cup by defeating USA in a dramatic final in Frankfurt, Germany. Homare Sawa, is the captain for the team Japan. Karnataka's Uma Devi Nagaraj on 21 July deafeted the defending champion Meenal Thakur in a final, and won the women's billiards title at the Hash10-National championships in Chennai. This was Uma Devi's third National billiards title. She had earlier won in 2002 and 2008. The Indian trio of Deepika Kumari, Laishram Bombayla Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro settled for a silver medal in the Archery World Championship at Turin on 10 July 2011. This was the best finish by the women in the history of the Championships. Their previous best was a fourth place at Madrid in 2005, where they had lost to Russia in the bronze medal play-off. Fernando Alonso of Spain won the formula one British Grand Prix. The 29-year-old Spaniard had in the past won the British race for Renault in 2006. The victory marked Alonso's 27th career victory and it drew him closer to three-time winner of the British Grand Prix, Jackie Stewart's record world champion Vettel finished second. Jack Nicklaus was chosen as the greatest golf player of the last 100 years by the Golf monthly magazine's reader's poll. Nicklaus, whose 18 major titles are a record, won 58 per cent of the votes from a list of 20 golfers with nearest challenger Tiger Woods who won 16 percent. Third in the list was Spanish star Seve Ballesteros who won 8 per cent vote. Woods, won the greatest shot of the last 100 years for his chip-in from beside the 16th green at August National as he won the 2005 Masters. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on 6 July 2011 that Pyeongchang (South Korea) would be the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Pyeongchang is the ski resort area located 180km east of Seol. The Winter Olympics will likely put South Korea on the map as a winter sports hot spot. Only two of 21 previous Winter Games have been in Asia after Japan hosted the event in Sapporo in 1972 and again in Nagano in 1998. Fabiano Caruana of Italy by defeating Filipino Wesley emerged as the winner of the AAI International Grandmasters chess tournament on 2 July 2011.india's Sasikiran, finished runner-up in this tournament and another Indian Parimarjan Negi, was positioned on fifth. The ATP rankings released conferred the World No.1 position Novak Djokovic of Serbia who defeated Nadal in the Wimbledon final. His rise to the World No. 1 position was confirmed after he defeated Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in the Wimbledon semi-final. The Sports Ministry sacked India's athletics coach, Yuri Ogrodnik of Ukrain. Sports Minister Ajay Maken asked Sports Authority of India, SAI, to immediately relieve coaches attached to the Indian athletes who failed in the Dope test. An inquiry was also ordered into the whole doping episode.

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Measures were being taken by the National Anti Dope Agency (NADA) to prevent the occurrence of dope in sports and the agency decided to increase the frequency of the dope tests. Seven of the eight athletes tested positive for methandienone or methandrostenolone in the dope tests conducted at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala and the National Anti-Doping Agency approved the suspension of the guilty athletes. Australian Michael Jack Nobbs was appointed India's new hockey coach for five-year period. He succeeded Spaniard Jose Brasa. Nobb is a 57-year-old from the part of Australia's Hockey team for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. He also coached the Japan women's team. Nobbs' contract is set to run till the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and his pay cheque is fixed to start at 10,000 Australian dollars per month. Serbia's Novak Djokovic won his first Wimbledon title by defeating Rafael Nadal with 6-4 6-1 1-6 63. It was his 50th win in 51 matches and his fifth win over Nadal this year .He becomes the first Serbian man to win Wimbledon. It is his third Grand Slam title after two Australian Open victories. Petra Kvitova won her first Grand Slam title by beating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final. Kvitova was playing in her first major final and she is the first left-handed woman to win the Wimbledon title since Martina Navratilova in 1990. American twins Bob and Mike Bryan won a record-tying 11th Grand Slam men's doubles title together, beating Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Horia Tecau of Romania 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the Wimbledon final. The Bryan brothers won at Wimbledon for the second time and matched Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge's Open era record of 11 major titles. Kevita pesky(Chek republic) and Katarina Srebotnik(Slovekia) won the womens doubles title. In the mixed doubles final event, Miljar(Australia) and Iveta Bensova(Chek republic) defeated Mahesh Bhupathi(india) and Velina Veniva(Russia).

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Defending champion Saina Nehwal failed to complete the hat-trick of titles at the Indonesian Open Super Series after losing to Chinese World No. 3 Wang Yihan in the final. Fourth seed Saina, who won the title in 2009 and 2010, suffered a 21-12, 21-23, 14-21 loss to Wang yihan of China. Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland captured his first Major golf title with his victory in the 111th U.S. Open on 19 June 2011.The 22-year-old McIlroy became the youngest US Open winner in 88 years. This victory made him become the youngest Major winner since Woods at the 1997 Masters and the youngest US Open winner since Bobby Jones in 1923. Kerala won the overall trophy in the National Senior Athletic Meet held at Bangalore. Kerala became the champion in both categories i.e.men and women getting past Tamil Nadu and Punjab respectively. Meet record holder Mayookha Johny and Sajeesh Joseph were selected best athletes of the meet. Kerala improved its medal tally bagging 27 medals overall; out of which 13 were gold. Shyam Sundar of Chennai retained his Asian junior title, in the Asian Chess championship which concluded in Sri Lanka on 8 June 2011. He scored 7.5 points out of 9 rounds in the championship.IM Srinath won the silver medal. In the girl's section R Bharathi and J Saranya won the silver and bronze medals by scoring 7 points each.

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World No. 1 Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 6-1 at Roland Garros (French Open) and won the title for the sixth time on 5 June 2011. With the victory, the reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon champ Nadal equaled former tennis great Bjorn Borg's six titles at Roland Garros. The French Open final victory on 5 June 2011 enabled the Spaniard to move to an astounding 45-1 mark at the world's lone clay-court major.Rafael is a Spanish professional tennis player currently ranked No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Chinese tennis palyer Li Na's won the French Open women singles title on 4 June 2011 by defeating defending champion Francesca Schiavone. She became the first Asian to win grand slam singles title. She had reached the Australian Open final in January 2011 but was defeated by Belgian Kim Clijsters. The Chinese professional tennis player has won 5 WTA and 19 ITF singles titles. She is currently ranked World No. 4 by World tennis Association (WTA). Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel won the Monaco Grand Prix for Red Bull on 29 May 2011. The victory marked his fifth victory in six races. Vettel now has a 58-point lead over McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who scrambled to sixth place. Ferrari's double world champion Fernando Alonso finished second and ahead of McLaren's 2009 winner Jenson Button in third. Spanish soccer club Barcelona led by Lionel Messi defeated Manchester United 3-1 to emerge winners of the Champions League on 28 May 2011. With the victory Barcelona claimed the most prestigious club title in the world, and fuelled a debate about whether they are one of the best teams in soccer history. It was Barcelona's third Champions League title in six seasons and No. 4 overall. MS Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore to win Indian Premier League (IPL) season 4 title. The comprehensive 58-run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was attained at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on 28 May 2011.MS Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore to win Indian Premier League (IPL) season 4 title. The comprehensive 58-run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was attained at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on 28 May 2011. The winners of the first three seasons of IPL are as follows: Season 1: Rajasthan Royals Season 2: Deccan Chargers Season 3: Chennai Super Kings

.:: May 2011 Sports ::.

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India's middle-distance runner Ghamanda Ram won silver in 800m in the opening leg of the Asian Grand Prix meet in the Chinese city of Jiaxiang on 22 May 2011. Sajeesh Joseph, the second Indian in the race, finished fifth in 1:51.62. India's second medal came in women's discus throw where Seema Antil clinched bronze with a throw of 49.77m. Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel raced ahead of Lewis Hamilton to win the Spanish Grand Prix. It was Vettel's 13th career win and he now has 118 points to lead Hamilton who is on 77 points by 41 points. Vettel representing Red Bull won four of this season's five races. In this race he needed all his skill and nerve to edge out his McLaren rival by just six tenths of a second after 66 laps of the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona. The Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-4 in the Rome Masters final. With the victory at the Rome masters stretched his unbeaten start to the 2011 season to 37 matches. The second-ranked Djokovic won seven titles already this year, and beaten Nadal in all four finals they've

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played this year. Asian Games bronze medalist India's Virdhawal Khade bagged eight medals, including three gold medals at the 54th Malaysia open swimming championship in May 2011. Khade won gold medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle events and two silver medals in the 50m and 100m butterfly events at the National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur. Ashwin Menon won a bronze in men's 200m backstroke with a timing of 2:10.86s. Five-time World champion M.C.Mary Kom (48kg) beat Asian champion Kim Myong Sim of North Korea 4-3 in the final of the Asian Cup Women's Boxing tournament in Haikou, China. Star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal was defeated by world number three Xin Wang of China in the finals to finish runner-up in the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton tournament in Kuala Lumpur. Novak Djokovic won the third edition of Serbia Open on 1 May 2011. The ATP World Tour 250 event top seed, Djokovic captured his fifth title in 2011, and 23rd in his career when he defeated Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-6(4), 6-2. The victory marked his second victory at his hometown tournament. Djokovic had also won the inaugural Serbia Open in 2009.Novak won every tournament he's entered in 2011: the Australian Open, Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami and now Belgrade.

.:: April 2011 Sports ::.

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Formula one World champion Sebastien Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix with a dominant drive on 10 April to take an early grip on the Formula One season. Sania Mirza and her Russian partner Elena Vesnina clinched their second WTA title together, lifting the Family Circle Cup doubles trophy with a straight-set triumph over Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy at Charleston (USA). Shane Watson smashed a record 15 sixes in a career-best 185 not out as Australia clinched a threematch One-Day International series against Bangladesh with a nine-wicket win in the second ODI on 11 April. South African Charl Schwartzel has won the 75th U.S. Masters on 10 April. It is his first Major golf title at age 26. Sanjeev Rajput of India won the gold in free rifle 3-position event in the World Cup in Changwon, Korea and grabbed one of the Olympic quota places for the London Games in 2012. Alok Kumar of India defeated former world champion Praput Chaithanasukan of Thailand 6-0 to clinch the Asian billiards championship title at the Olympic Stadium in Kish Island, Iran. Haryana overpowered Bombay in a 3-1 victory to take the 56th Senior National women's hockey championship, at the KSHA Stadium, Bangalore on 14 April. Rafael Nadal beat fourth-seeded David Federer 6-4, 7-5 to win his seventh straight Monte Carlo Masters tennis title. The top-ranked Spaniard chalked up his 37th straight win at the clay-court event, where he has not lost since 2003. It was his 44th career title and 19th at a Masters event. Britain's Lewis Hamilton by defeating the World champion Sebastian Vettel won the formula one Chinese Grand Prix title at shanghai. Vettel of Germany, after opening season wins in Australia and Malaysia, leads the title race with 68 points with Hamilton second on 47 and Button third on 38. Former World junior champion and Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta defeated BPCL teammate Parimarjan Negi in a battle of nerves to clinch the Dubai International Open chess title in Dubai. He is the first Indian to win the Dubai Open title. Donna Urquhart of Australia, the top seed, defeated India's Joshna Chinappa in the final of the WISPA-Indian Challenger $16000 squash tournament at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai on

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23 April. Indian tennis players Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi won their second title of the season by clinching the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami(USA) to become No. 1 in the ATP World Tour doubles team rankings. Third-seeded Bhupathi and Paes rallied to beat the second seeded Belarusian-Canadian pair Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 6-7(5), 6-2, 10-5. Victoria Azarenka defeated Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4 to win the WTA's prestigious Sony Ericson open Miami hard court crown for the second time. Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated World No. 1 Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) to win the ATP Miami Masters crown and remain unbeaten in 2011.Djokovic has now won all 24 matches he has played this year, the best start to a season since Ivan Lendl began 1986, 25-0.The Serbian, ranked second in the world, has captured four titles, including the Australian Open, Dubai and, now, back-to-back elite Masters titles at Indian Wells and Miami, both with victories over Nadal in the finals. Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would soon become the latest high profile celebrity to get an honorary commission in the Territorial Army. Chief of the Army Staff General V.K. Singh made the offer when Dhoni called on him at the Army House, New Delhi. Over the past few years, actor Mohanlal and the former India cricket captain, Kapil Dev, were granted honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army while the Indian Air Force accorded honorary rank of Group Captain to Sachin Tendulkar last year. Anirban Lahiri of India won the inaugural $300,000 Panasonic Open golf tournament. World champion Sebastien Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix held in Sepang, Malaysia with a dominant drive on 10 April to take an early grip on the Formula One season. Carnatic vocalist Nisha P. Rajagopal has been chosen as the first recipient of ` The Hindu Saregama M.S. Subbulakshmi Award.' Presented by RmKV, the award, which was instituted on September 16, 2010, seeks to honour and recognise the merit of a young Carnatic vocalist aged between 25 and 35 pursuing music full-time.

:: Mar 2011 Sports ::.

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Sania Mirza and her Russian partner Elena Vesnina clinched the BNP Paribas Open women's doubles trophy after upstaging Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy in Indian wells. This was Sania's 10th WTA doubles title, Vesnina picked up her fourth. Novak Djokovic won the ATP Indian Wells title on 20 March, rallying to beat World No. 1 Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. India's Saina Nehwal won her first title of the year with a commanding 21-13, 21-14 victory over South Korean Sung Ji Hyun in the Wilson Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton in Basel on 20 March. It is Saina's ninth career title on the international circuit. She has won four Super Series titles, of which three came last year, three Grand Prix Gold titles and two Grand Prix tournaments. Levon Aronian of Armenia won the Amber blindfold and rapid chess tournament held in Monaco. World Champion Viswanathan Anand finished third in the tournament. Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand won the $300,000 SAIL Golf Open title at the Delhi Golf Club course on 27 March. Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei defended his all-England Open men's singles title defeating Lin Dan of China 21-17, 21-17.In the women's section, top-seeded Wang Shixian regained title for China, earning it for the seventh time in 10 years after a 24-22, 21-18 victory in the final against Eriko Hiros. Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal has won the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold title with a victory

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over the Korean player Ji Hyun Sung in Switzerland. Nehwal, who was ranked second in the tournament, won 21-13, 21-14 in 43 minutes in the women's singles final. Egypt has won the JSW-SDAT-WSF mixed team Squash World Cup held at Chennai by defeating defending champion England. Ramy Ashour and Raneem El Weleily have made it for Egypt. North zone has won the Devdhar Trophy by defeating West zone held in Jaipur. Chennai is all set to host for the first time the World Squash Federation's World Cup event, partially at the Indian Squash Academy and the final phase at a mega shopping mall from March 8 to 12 A.S. Suresh Krishna of Andhra Pradesh and Kyra Shroff of Maharashtra were became the New National grass-court tennis champions of India. Sachin Tendulkar became the First batsman to score Six Hundreds in the world cup tournaments ,after scoring 111 runs against South Africa. The 26-year old Kevin o'brien played an innings of brilliance and brutality and helped Ireland upset England in a World Cup Group B match during a feverish run chase at the Chinnaswamy Stadium,chennai. Kevin's hundred (113, 63b, 13x4, 6x6), the fastest in the premier event's history, sealed a three-wicket victory for Ireland over England. Chasing England's 327 for eight, Ireland scored 329 for seven in 49.1 overs.

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India's SSP Chowrasia won the Avantha Masters Golf Cup at Gurgaon. The triumph was worth 300,000 along with a diamond-studded trophy. This was the 32-year-old Kolkatan's second European Tour title following the 2008 Indian Masters in New Delhi. Gymnast Deepak Carmaker of Tripura made a clean sweep of gold medals at the 34th national games gymnastics competition in women's section. The 17-year-old showed enough grace and fluency on four apparatus -- vault, uneven bars, beam and floor -- to give her State Tripura five gold medals, including the overall crown. Guru Sai Dutt(A.P) and Arundhati Pantwane(Maharashtra) won the badminton singles men's and women's gold medals in the 34th national games. Two-time World under-8 chess champion Ivana Furtado of India secured her Woman FIDE Master (WFM) title after winning a silver medal in the under-12 girls' category at the World Youth chess championship in Greece recently. The 11-year-old chess prodigy from Goa had earlier become the Women Candidate Master (WCM). Caroline wozniacki of Denmark won the Dubai WTA tennis Championship by defeating Russia's Svetlanakuznetsova. Sameer Mon of Services won the 100 mts sprint title in the national championship. Karan Rastogi(Maharashtra) and Ratnika Batra(Delhi) won gold medals in men's and women's Tennis events respectively in the 34th national games. The 34th National Games has closed on 26 February at the Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium, Ranchi with a colourful closing ceremony. The competitions were held in 33 disciplines. Services emerged as the best sporting unit with a whopping haul of 70 gold, 50 silver and 42 bronze medals for a total of 162, a tally that surpassed its previous best of 59-46-37 achieved at the last Games in 2007. The second place was got by the Manipur with 48-37-33, with the total of 118 medals. Richa Mishra of Delhi and Virdhawal Khade of Maharashtra,(both are swimmers) were adjudged as the Best female and male athletes of the Games, were awarded IOA Trophies. Richa Mishra has won total 16 medals including

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11 gold medals. Services were given the Raja Phaedra Trophy which was received by Air Marshal J.N. Verma on behalf of the Services Sports Control Board. Manipur was adjudged as the best State and was given a trophy as well. Kerala will be the host of the 35th edition in seven cities spread across the State in December next year. Novac Djokovic of Serbia won the Dubai tennis championship by defeating Roger Federer. Spain's Alvaro Quiros won the Dubai Desert Classic Golf tournament on 13 february.Tiger Woods ended his challenge with a disappointing end in this tournament. Kenyan Mugu Antony Ngudu triumphed at the SDAT Chennai Marathon 2011, comfortably outpacing Indian rival Ramsingh, as he logged just over two hours and 15 minutes in covering the 42.2 km course, on 13 February. Union sports minister Ajay Maken on 13 february visited the Usha school of Athletics at Kinalur, near Kozhikode, and offered a Central assistance of Rs 5 crore to set up a synthetic track at the school. Virdhawal Khade of Maharashtra and Goa's Talasha Prabhu emerged the fastest swimmers of the 34th National Games held at Ranchi. A.V. Jayaveena, a 12-year-old sensation swimmer from Tamil Nadu, was the cynosure of all eyes at the 34th National Games at Ranchi. Jayaveena, who had clinched two bronze medals earlier, emerged with her first silver in her pet event -- 50m breaststroke. The 10th ICC Cricket World Cup was ushered in with joy and anticipation at the Bangabandhu Stadium, Dhaka on 17 February. Tamil Nadu bagged its second National Games gold, defeating Kerala 19-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-19 in the men's volleyball final at the Haribansh Tana Bhagat Indoor Stadium at Dhaka. Tamil nadu won the K.S. Subbaiah Pillai Trophy one day cricket tournament by defeating Hyderabad in Perinthalmanna,Kerala. Virdhawal Khade of Maharashtra and <="" b="">of Delhi are termed to be the best swimmers in the 34th National Games held in jharkand.Khade won two golds with record time on the final day to take home eight gold medals all with record time and a silver. Richa won 11 golds, four silvers and a bronze for a total of a whooping 16 medals. Such a wonderful performance earned them the tag of best swimmers. Tamil Nadu's teenage sensation A.V. Jayaveena won her third bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke while her elder brother Jayawant Vijaya Kumar earned a bronze in a tough field of 100m freestyle. Shooter Sanjeev Rajput was on the high picking up his sixth gold medal, third individual, in the men's 50m rifle three position. Defending champion Orissa retained the football gold edging past Manipur 2-1 in the women's football final at Jamshedpur. Spain's Alvaro Quiros won the Dubai Desert Classic Golf tournament on 13 february.Tiger Woods ended his challenge with a disappointing end in this tournament. Kenyan Mugu Antony Ngudu triumphed at the SDAT Chennai Marathon 2011, comfortably outpacing Indian rival Ramsingh, as he logged just over two hours and 15 minutes in covering the 42.2 km course, on 13 February. Union sports minister Ajay Maken on 13 february visited the Usha school of Athletics at Kinalur, near Kozhikode, and offered a Central assistance of Rs 5 crore to set up a synthetic track at the school. Virdhawal Khade of Maharashtra and Goa's Talasha Prabhu emerged the fastest swimmers of the 34th National Games held at Ranchi. A.V. Jayaveena, a 12-year-old sensation swimmer from Tamil Nadu, was the cynosure of all eyes at the 34th National Games at Ranchi. Jayaveena, who had clinched two bronze medals earlier, emerged with her first silver in her pet event -- 50m breaststroke.

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The 10th ICC Cricket World Cup was ushered in with joy and anticipation at the Bangabandhu Stadium, Dhaka on 17 February. Tamil Nadu bagged its second National Games gold, defeating Kerala 19-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-19 in the men's volleyball final at the Haribansh Tana Bhagat Indoor Stadium at Dhaka. Tamil nadu won the K.S. Subbaiah Pillai Trophy one day cricket tournament by defeating Hyderabad in Perinthalmanna,Kerala. Virdhawal Khade of Maharashtra and Richa Mishra of Delhi are termed to be the best swimmers in the 34th National Games held in jharkand.Khade won two golds with record time on the final day to take home eight gold medals all with record time and a silver. Richa won 11 golds, four silvers and a bronze for a total of a whooping 16 medals. Such a wonderful performance earned them the tag of best swimmers. Tamil Nadu's teenage sensation A.V. Jayaveena won her third bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke while her elder brother Jayawant Vijaya Kumar earned a bronze in a tough field of 100m freestyle. Shooter Sanjeev Rajput on the high picking up sixth gold medal, d individual, in the men's rifle three position. Defending champion Orissa retained the ball gold g past Manipur 2-1 in women's football final amshedpur. India bagged the overall championship in the fifth Common Wealth Taekwondo Championship, which concluded in Chennai. Tennis legend Andre Agassi inducted into international Hall of fame. Bubba watson won the $ 5.8 million farmers insurance golf open, claimed his second career US PGA title. Top Indian squash player, Dipika Pallikal, reached her career-best ranking in WISPA by rising to the 24th sport. An Anti-corruption tribunal of the ICC has banned former Pakistan captain salman butt, Md. Asif and Md. Amir for 10, 7 and 5 years respectively for their role in a spot-fixing betting scan during a test match against England at Lord's last year. South zone lifted the Duleep trophy after a gap of 15 years beating north zone by 7 wickets at visakhapatnam. Gaganjeet Bhullar won the PGTI players Golf Championship conducted in Kolkata. Japan's Takashi Uchiyama won the WBA super featherweight world title match against Takashi Miura in Tokyo. Former Indian allrounder Robin Singh will coach the United States cricket team in the qualifying rounds (America) for the under-19 World cup. Pakistan won the One-Day series against New zealand 3-2, second match dismissed due to the rain. Pakistan won their first one-day series since November 2008. Gordon Greednidge' received the 1979 CEAT player of the award from Sunil Gavaskar in Mumbai on 3/2/2011. Former England international and Manchester United full-back 'Gary Neville' retired from football on 2/2/2011 The tainted Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir together with their agent, Mazhar Majeed have been charged with corruption offences, Egland's prosecution service said on (4/2/2011).They were in the spot-fixing scandal that emerged last year.

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.:: January 2011 Sports ::.

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Novak Djokovic (serbia) claimed his second grand slam title at the Australian open by beating andy murray (britain) in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Gisela Dulko (Argentina) & Flania Pennetta (Italy) have won the Australian open women's double championship Katarina srebotnik (slovenia) & Daniel Nestor (canada) have won the Australian open Mixed double championship./li> Australia claimed the one-day international series against England with a 51-run win in the 5th match at the Gabba stadium, Brisbane./li> USA's Hikaru Nakamura wins Tata Steel Chess Title at Wijkaanzee, near Amsterdam. Viswanathan Anand placed second in this tournament./li> Japan won the Asia cup of food ball for a record forth time by defeating Australia 1-0 in Doha./li> South Africa won by 33 runs against India as part of 5th and final one day international mach at Centurian. Man-of the-Mach "Hashim Amla". South Africa clinched the dramatic five-mach ODI series 3-2. French Open champion Francesca Schiavone edged Svetlana Kuznetsova 4-6,6-1,16-14 in a four-hour and 44 minute marathon that shattered the women's record for the longest match at a grand slam in the open era. Samaresh Jung clinched the standard pistolgold in the 54th National shooting championship at the Dr.Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad. Sachin Tendulkar Newly appointed as a Brand Ambassador of Coco-cola, Company. Pandicherry University announced the Honour Degree for the Indian Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar. Belgian Star Player 'Justine Henin' announced that she had been forced to retire from professional tennis once again because of an elbow injury .Henin made a return to the WTA in early 2010, losing the final of the Australian Open in only her 2nd tournament back. Indian business man 'Ahsan Ali Syed' purchased (248 Crore) "Racing Santander ". It was a Spain Foot ball Club. Ahsan Ali Syed is the founder and chairman of western Gulf Advisory. Rajasthan Cricket Team won the "Ranji Trophy" against Baroda in Vadodara It won the Ranji Trophy for the first time in 77 years after getting the better of Baroda on first innings lead. Pakistan has won the series against New Zealand by drawing the second test at Basin Reserve. This is the first time that Pakistan has won the test series during the last four years. Pakistan has won their last test match against West Indies by 2-0 in 2006-07. India beat West Indies by 57 runs in the fifth women's One Day International (ODI) in Rajkot. India won the series against West Indies by 3-2 win. Belgian 'Kim Clijesters' won her first Australian Open crown with a 3-6, 6-3, 63 win over China's 'Li Na' at Melbourne Park. The title is Clijesters' fourth Grand Slam overall, Castrol Awards given for following Cricketers - Indian Captain M.S.Dhoni was declared the "Castrol ODI Cricketer of the year", Virendhra Sehwag "Castrol batsman of the year" and Harbhajan Singh "Castrol bowler of the year". Mohinder Amarnath was given the "Lifetime Achievement award" at the Castrol award function in Mumbai. American twins "Bob and Milke Bryan" won the 'Australian Open' against Indian Stars "Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander paes" with a 6-3,6-4 victory in the final.

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Thired seed "Novak Djokoveic" won the Australian Open against Britain's "Andy Murray" in Melbourne with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in the final. Indian made history at the Ratmalana courts in Colombo by clinching the boys title for the first time, beating defending champion Pakistan 2-1 in an exciting final of the "Asia junior squash championship" Japan won the Asian Cup -2011 against Australia at Khalifa Stadium in Doha Japan beat Australia 1-0 in the final. Left-hand opener Gautam Gambhir was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a record $2.4 million (11.04 crore for each year) on the first day of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in Bangalore. The 16th National Scouts and Guides jamboree concluded at Shankarpally in Hyderabad. Andhra Pradesh hosted a jamboree after a gap of 57 years. Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka won the Chennai Open Title with 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 over Belgian Xavier Malisse. Leander paes and Mahesh Bhupathi won the Chennai Open Doubles Title. They won over Robin Haase and David Martine in the Chennai Open final. They won their first title together in over six years, Lionel Messi and Marta were awarded for the 'World's best Foot-Ball players' Rafael Nadal won the World Tennis Championship Exhibition Trophy in Abu Dhabi by defeating Roger Federer. England won the Ashes Test Series 3-1 against Australia at Sydney. England Claims the series in Australia after a gap of 24 Years. England opener Alastair cook awarded 'Man of the Mach' and 'Man of the Series'

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BILATERAL AFFAIRS

:: August 2011 Bilateral Affairs ::.

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India- Japan CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) enters into force on 1 August 2011. This is India's third Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (after Singapore and South Korea) and India's first with a developed country. It covers more than 90% of trade, a vast gamut of services, investment, IPR, customs and other trade-related issues. Tariffs will be brought to zero in 10 years on 66.32% of tariff lines to give sufficient time to industry to adjust to the trade liberalization. Under the India-Japan CEPA, India will be benefited by Japanese investments, technology and excellent management practices that come with it. Japan can take advantage of India`s huge and growing market and resources, especially its human resources. The current bilateral trade between India and Japan is a little over 12.6 billion US dollars and it is expected that it will touch 25 billion US dollars by 2014.

.:: July 2011 Bilateral Affairs ::.

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The President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil visited South Korea on 24-27 July 2011 as a part of her two-nation tour, which also includes Mongolia. The state visit of the Indian President was aimed at accelerating India's cooperation with South Korea. During this visit, India and Korea signed the following agreements: 1. Agreement between India and Korea for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. 2. MoU signed between the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the Ministry of Culture, sports and tourism of Korea on Media exchanges. 3. Administrative Arrangement for Social Security arrangement. India and Mongolia signed three agreements, which includes defence cooperation, media exchanges and cooperation between their planning commissions during the visit of Indian President Prtibha Patil to Mongolia. India also announced that it would extend a 20 million US dollars line of credit for setting up an India - Mongolia Joint Information Technology, Education and Outsourcing Centre in Ulaanbaatar. Besides, India will also upgrade and modernize the Rajiv Gandhi Art and Production School and the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technology.This is the first Indian Presidential visit after a gap of 23 years; the last was by President R. Venkataraman. Mongolia is a land locked central Asian country. It is also described as land of the blue skies. The Government of India signed an Agreement and Protocol for Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (DTAA) with Government of Lithuania in New Delhi. Lithuania is the first Baltic country with which DTAA has been signed by India. The Agreement further incorporates provisions for effective exchange of information between tax authorities of the two countries in line with latest international standard, including exchange of banking information and supplying of information without recourse to domestic interest.

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India and Britain on 26 July 2011 confirmed trade deals worth billions of pounds after the talks concluded between Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in London. The talks were a part of the Economic and Financial dialogue between the two countries. The commercial ties are growing between UK and India. Around 3000 British firms were either investing in or planning to invest in India. The Second annual meeting of the India-US strategic dialogue was held in New Delhi on 19 July 2011 to strengthen the India-US global strategic partnership. The dialogue was held during the official visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India. The two nations issued a joint statement at the end of the dialogue. The main features of the statement are as following--

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India, the United States, and Japan plan to commence a trilateral dialogue at senior official level. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment for consultation, coordination, and cooperation on Afghanistan, and to work jointly in Afghanistan in capacity building, agriculture, and women's empowerment, expanding on work already underway. Both sides agreed to Afghan-led, Afghanowned, and inclusive reconciliation. The United States looks forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member. India-USA reiterated their commitment to further strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation, including through intelligence sharing, information exchange, operational cooperation, and access to advanced counter-terrorism technology and equipment. The two governments signed a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) on July 18.

The Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) between India and the USA was signed by Nasim Zaidi, Secretary, Civil Aviation and J Randolph Babbitt, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in New Delhi. BASA will facilitate reciprocal airworthiness certification of civil aeronautical products imported/exported between the two signatory authorities. BASA would encourage indigenous aircraft and aeronautical products industry and the US acceptance of Indian products will help their global acceptance. It would lessen the economic burden imposed on the aviation industry and operators by redundant technical inspections, evaluations and testing. The USA has signed BASA with 24 countries. India and the United States agreed to step up Science and Technology coordination in New Delhi. The areas where the coordination will be intensified include energy, agriculture, healthcare, nutrition and monsoon forecasting. This was agreed upon during a meeting between Assistant to the US President for Science & Technology John P. Holdren and Minister of State for Planning, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Ashwani Kumar. The meeting was held in the context of the ongoing Indo-US Strategic Dialogue. The Meeting stressed upon the need to work towards making agriculture resilient and for further research on forecasting various hazards like cyclones. Marking a major milestone in the cooperation between India and Kyrgyzstan, the Kyrghyz President Ms Roza Otunbaeva and the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony on 5 july inaugurated the Kyrghyz-Indian Mountain Biomedical Research Centre (KIMBMRC) at the Kyrghyz capital, Bishkek. The Centre will carry out research on the mechanism of short term and long term high altitude adaptation. The scientists will focus on molecular biology approaches to identify markers for screening of people for high altitude resistance and susceptibility to high altitude sickness and development of mountain maladies. The benefits of these studies

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will apply to a large population across the globe, as more and more people travel to the mountains every year. India's contribution to the project is Rs 6 Crores. The India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which will come into effect on 1 July 2011, is India's fourth bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, after Singapore, South Korea and Japan. The CECA envisages liberalization of trade in goods, trade in services, investments and other areas of economic cooperation. Trade between India and Malaysia has reached US$ 10 billion in 2010-11, an increase of 26% from the previous year. It is expected that the implementation of this agreement will boost bilateral trade to US$15 billion by 2015.

.:: June 2011 Bilateral Affairs ::.

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Foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited India on 26-27 June 2011. During his visit, Sheikh Abdullah and his Indian counterpart SM Krishna signed a bilateral MOU on periodic political consultations between the two foreign offices on bilateral issues as well as exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. Both nations agreed to work together to enhance the profile of India-UAE investment relations, especially in the infrastructure sector. They also agreed that the joint commission on Economic Cooperation Meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2011.Al Nahyan reiterated UAE's full support for India's candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. It is important to note that during 2009-10, India was UAE's largest trading partner with bilateral trade of US$ 43 billion. India and Slovenia signed three agreements on 14 June 2011. The agreement was also intended to boost the economic relations between Slovenia and India. Slovenia looked forward to strong political and business ties with India. The agreement is an outcome of the Slovenian Prime Minister, Borut Pahor's four-day visit to India. The agreement includedo An agreement on cooperation in the field of education, science and technology and research. o Mutual promotion and protection of investments o MoU between Bureau of Indian Standards and Slovenian Institute for Standards. The Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) was signed by India's Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherji and the Slovenian Economy Minister, Ms. Darja Radiae. Swiss parliament gave approval for amending its tax treaties with other countries, including India. This makes easier access for India, to collect information about the illegal funds held by the Indian nationals in Swiss private banks. The beneficiaries from the new amendments include India, Germany, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, and Poland. These countries are secured with easy legal assistance and information. Indian Finance Ministry and Swiss Federal Council signed a protocol to amend the double taxation agreement in the area of taxes on income on 30 August 2010. India and Japan on 6 June 2011 signed seven agreements in New Delhi under which Japan will provide soft loans worth 8632 crore rupees for a number of projects including the Bangalore Metro Rail. The loans are to be given under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).The agreements cover many sectors, including energy, power, financial services, urban transport, road safety and forestry.It should be noted that India is the highest recipient of ODA from Japan at present. India on 3 June 2011 extended duty-free market access to Afghanistan as part of its economic

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package for LDCs (Least Developed Countries). Under this scheme, the import of most products from the neighbouring nation will be allowed at zero duty.India's duty-free tariff preference (DFTP) scheme was launched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2008. The scheme provides preferential duty access on products including 92.5 percent of global LDC exports.Some of the products of interest for LDCs which are covered include cotton, aluminium ore, cashewnut, cane sugar, readymade garments, fish fillets and non-industrial diamonds. India on 31 May 2011 notified the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with the Government of Mozambique for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.The DTAA provides for effective exchange of information and assistance in collection of taxes between tax authorities of the two countries. It will also provide tax stability to the residents of India and Mozambique and facilitate mutual economic cooperation as well as stimulate the flow of investment, service and technology between India and Mozambique. India and Uzbekistan signed a total of 34 agreements during the visit of Islam AbduganievichKarimov(President of Uzbekistan) to India on 17-18 May 2011. The major agreements between India and Uzbekistan are as following: Memorandum of Understanding between ONGC Videsh Limited and Uzbekneftegaz on Cooperation in Hydrocarbon Sector. Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in Oil and Gas sector between Uzbekneftegaz and ESSAR group. Agreement of establishment of Joint Business Council between the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan. India and Uzbekistan also issued a joint statement on strategic partnership during this visit. The strategic partnership between India and Uzbekistan would include active cooperation in a wide spectrum of areas such as political, economic, counter-terrorism, education, health, human resource development, science and technology, tourism and culture.

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.:: May 2011 Bilateral Affairs ::.

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President of Uzbekistan Islam Abduganievich Karimov visited India on 17-18 May 2011. It was his fifth visit to India. Karimov is the President of Uzbekistan since 1990. He came to India to hold talks on strengthening security, energy links and communication. During this visit, India and Uzbekistan signed more than 30 agreements. India and Uzbekistan also issued a joint declaration in the course of this visit which asked for active cooperation in a wide spectrum of areas including political, counterterrorism, health, education, human resource development, science and technology and culture. Second Africa-India forum summit was held at Addis Ababa (capital of Ethiopia) from 24 to 25 May 2011 under the theme: Enhancing Partnership: Shared Vision. First Africa-India Summit was held in April 2008 in New Delhi. India signed two MoUs (Memorandum of Understandings) with Ethiopia to avoid double taxation and promote development of small industries. India has tried to assist in Ethiopia's development through capacity building support and offered lines of credit of more than 700 million US dollars during the last five years. India also decided to establish over 80 new institutions in Africa in areas as diverse as agriculture to English language teaching in its support for institutional capacity building. In addition, India will offer 22,000 scholarships and training slots to African students under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme. India and Uzbekistan signed an action plan on tourism cooperation in New Delhi on 16 May 2011

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in the presence of the First Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Rustom Azimov and Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai. The action plan envisages Exchange of tourists/media who would highlight the tourism potential of each other's country, setting up of joint ventures in an effort to promote the business of tourism and travel and establishing of the Representative offices in each other's country for easy and convenient accessibility of information and updates. India and Uzbekistan will also consider exchange visits of Tour operators and travel media to promote tourism between the two countries. India signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with the Republic of Colombia for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. The Agreement was signed by Sudhir Chandra, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes on behalf of the Government of India and by Juan Alfredo Pinto Saavedra, Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to India, on behalf of the Republic of Colombia. The DTAA provides that business profits will be taxable in the source State if the activities of an enterprise constitute a permanent establishment in the source State. Examples of permanent establishment include a branch, factory etc. Profits of a construction, assembly or installation projects will be taxed in the State of source if the project continues in that State for more than six months. The government of Sri Lanka declared its decision to release on 7 May 2011 a postal stamp and first day cover on Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary celebrations. The stamp, priced at LKR 5, will be released by Sri Lankan Minister for Postal Services Jewan Kumaranathunga at a function presided over by Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha, said Vikram Misri, Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Colombo. Tagore visited Sri Lanka thrice ­ in 1922, 1930 ad 1934 and was instrumental in the renaissance of its culture. Tagore wrote the national anthem for two countries ­ India and Bangladesh ­ and influenced the anthem in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan national anthem was written by Ananda Samarakoon while he was Tagore's disciple at Visva-Bharathi University. Samarakoon's first Shantiniketan stint ended after six months but he heralded a new brand of Sinhalese music influenced by Rabindra Sangeeth. A three-day joint celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore by India and Bangladesh began in Dhaka on 6 May 2011. The 3-day programme was inaugurated by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. Also present to grace the occasion was Indian Vice-president, Hamid Ansari. At the inaugural session, a replica of Padma Boat, used by Tagore during his frequent visits to Bangladesh, was handed over to Ansari. The Bangladeshi Prime Minister announced her government's decision to set up Rabindra University at Shilaidaha in Kushtia, where the Nobel Laureate spent a considerable period of his creative life. The government would also preserve the poet's memories in Patisar and Shahzadpur. Bangladesh also proposed to construct a Bangladesh House in Santiniketan. The programmes to commemorate the Nobel Laureate's 150th birth centuary in India were inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 7 May 2011.

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.:: April 2011 Bilateral Affairs ::.

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India and China on 13 April agreed to work towards removing all major irritants impacting bilateral relationship including the border issue and trade imbalance. At their first meeting this year, both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao agreed to set up a mechanism on

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coordination and consultation on border affairs, resume senior-level defense exchanges, initiate a highlevel economic dialogue for focused redress of investment and market access grievances and step up high-level contacts. India and Russia will review safety issues with regard to their ongoing nuclear cooperation programme in the light of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan. If necessary, additional features would be incorporated in the two Russian-origin nuclear plants under construction at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu and the next two that would shortly come up at the same site. China on 13 April 2011 stated that it would review its policy of issuing stapled visas to people of Jammu and Kashmir during the talk between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the President of China, Hu Jintao. India on its part lifted the deadlock on the defence exchanges which it imposed in 2010. India responded so after China refused a visa to an Indian general posted in Jammu and Kashmir. The relation between India and China has been a strained one because of the row over the stapled visas to people of Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev agreed on a three-year Joint Action Plan. It details specific milestones in hydrocarbons, civilian nuclear energy, space, IT & cyber security, high-tech and innovative technology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, agriculture and cultural exchanges. The two countries moved a step towards more intensive collaboration in nuclear energy with the signing of the Agreement on Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. They also inked a memorandum in the area of information security and India agreed to set up an IndianKazakhstan Centre of Excellence in the Eurasian University in Astana. A package of three agreements signed between the national companies of India and Kazakhstan will give India access to the North Caspian Sea region which is in close proximity to major discoveries. The agreements will enable ONGC Videsh (OVL) to acquire 25 per cent equity from Kazmunaigas (KMG). The India-Bangladesh border haats (markets) will be inaugurated in June this year that would boost bilateral trade. It has been decided to step up schedule for completion of border haats in Meghalaya for a formal launch in June. India and Bangladesh have agreed to take further steps to promote trade and economic cooperation. India has offered a tariff-free quota of 10 million pieces of apparel exports from Bangladesh, marking an increase of 25 per cent over previous years, while countervailing duties were lifted on all jute exports from Bangladesh. India has offered assistance in the construction of the bridge over river Feni, including the construction of the connecting road on the Bangladesh side. On the other hand, India has welcomed the offer of use of Chittagong and Mongola ports that would provide tremendous benefit for trade and development of Bangladesh and the North-East of India. To deal with the menace of terrorism effectively, the US signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Defence Research and Development Organization, DRDO, on 26 April 2011 for the use of an explosive detection technology. The device has proved a success in insurgency and militancy affected areas in India. The DRDO is further developing the Explosive Detection Kit to meet the standards set by regulatory institutions in America, before introducing it in US Army and Homeland Security forces. The explosion detection kit can detect explosives of any combination based on TNT, dynamite or black powder. The technology is being widely used by the Bomb Detection Squads of the Indian Army, paramilitary and police in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva came to India for his two day visit. Vejjajiva held a summit meeting with Manmohan Singh on April 5 at which both leaders agreed to give high priority to the proposed tri-lateral highway project linking India and Thailand through Burma. .In addition, the two prime ministers also agreed to take their already blooming relationship to the next level by

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finalizing bilateral agreements such as the Extradition Treaty, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Civil and Commercial Matters and the Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons. They stated that they looked forward to the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit to be held in New Delhi next year. Finally, the joint statement issued at the end of the visit said the two sides had also agreed to double their current bilateral trade of $6.7 billion by 2014. This target can likely be easily achieved as the two sides are at an advanced stage of negotiations for a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that should be finalized within the year. India and the four-nation European Free Trade Association (EFTA) have agreed to conclude the ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations by year-end. The EFTA states include Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It is an inter-governmental organisation that promotes free trade and economic integration between the four nations. Trade between Switzerland and India stood at $18 billion in 2010, up from $15 billion last year.

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:: March 2011 Bilateral Affairs ::.

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India and Africa, seeking to further strengthen the economic engagement, has set a target of $70 billion by 2015. India also reaffirmed its commitment to provide cheap medicines for the poor despite strong legal and diplomatic offensive launched by Western pharmaceutical companies. Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma inaugurated the seventh conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership, `Creating possibilities: delivering value', organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Exim Bank in New Delhi with the support of Ministries of Commerce and Industry and External Affairs. The Indo-Pak Semi Final cricket match, played under tight security in Mohali, Punjab India, on 30 March. Action on the field was accompanied by a display of "cricket diplomacy" as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani watched together in the stands. It was the first time a Pakistani leader has visited India since 2001 when then president Pervez Musharraf attended a summit that ended in acrimony. Singh said at a dinner with Gilani during the game that the countries "need permanent reconciliation to live together in dignity and honour". Gilani earlier told reporters that holding talks at the match would help bring" progress and improvement in relations". The Governing Board meeting of International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) held in New Delhi from March 21 to 24 launched the "ICRISAT South-South Initiative" (IS-SI) to boost India-Africa partnerships on agricultural research for development. Chair of the GB Nigel Poole launched the IS-SI platform at the conclusion of the India-Africa roundtable on agricultural development for a systematic partnership towards stronger and inclusive development cooperation between the two continents. India sought enhanced supplies of crude oil and agreement for supply of LNG from Nigeria even as the bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to touch $12 billion during 2010-11.The issues came up for discussion during the bilateral meetings between the visiting Nigerian Foreign Minister, Henry Odein Ajumogobia, and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Jaipal Reddy, in New Delhi. India and Brazil on March 8 decided to forge stronger trade and economic ties and decided to work towards achieving a bilateral trade target of $10 billion in the next few years against $7.73 billion in 2010.This was agreed at a meeting between Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and visiting External Relations Minister of Brazil Antonio Patriota in New Delhi.

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Foreign Minister of Thailand Kasit Piromya visited India and has advocated a closer security relationship with India -- intelligence-sharing in particular -- to check money-laundering and drugtrafficking and also said India and Thailand must cooperate in tackling piracy off the Somalia coast. It was his second visit to the country in just over a year. India has taken over as co-chair of the Asia Pacific Regional Review Group of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental policy-making body which sets global standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Macau is the other co-chair of the FATF group, which consists of more than 30 countries and has a ministerial mandate for establishing the standards. The Asia Pacific Regional Review Group is one of the four international cooperation review groups of the FATF, the other three being Europe-Eurasia, America, Middle East and Africa. India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are committed to achieving a trade target of $70 billion by 2012, up 40 per cent from $50 billion in 2010, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said at the first India-ASEAN business fair and conclave being held in New Delhi by the Commerce Ministry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). ASEAN trade ministers are here to attend the conclave. India and the 10-nation bloc also broadly agreed that the free trade agreement (FTA) to cover services and investment sectors would be in place by 2011end.

:: February 2011 Bilateral Affairs ::.

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Uruguay Vice-President Danilo Astori with his country's industry bodies visited India on 24 February to boost bilateral economic relations. Union commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said in this regard, "Enough scope is available for enhancing economic cooperation between the countries in the areas such as chemicals, agro-business, pharmaceuticals, textiles, automobiles, machinery, IT and plastics'. Sharma further said the Indian government had initiated a programme, `FOCUS: LAC', which provided incentives and financial assistance to support and encourage Indian exporters and companies to boost trade with LAC (Latin American and Caribbean) nations. Both sides also agreed to increase the number of products in the India-MERCOSUR preferential trade agreement. MERCOSUR is South America's leading trading bloc. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Uruguay's industry bodies have signed three pacts to enhance trade and cooperation between the nations in the presence of visiting Vice-President of Uruguay Danilo Astori. The pacts were signed between FICCI and three chambers of Uruguay -- Uruguayan National Chamber of Commerce and Services, Uruguayan Chamber of Industries and Uruguayan Chamber of Commerce and Export of Agriproducts in the presence of visiting Vice-President of Uruguay Danilo Astori. India's main exports to Uruguay include chemicals, plastics, electronic goods, pharmaceuticals, cars, tractors, and apparel, while it imports wool, woven fabrics, wooden articles, paper, raw hide and skin and leather. In 2009-10, the two-way commerce between both countries stood at $64.37 million India's Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara signed the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in Tokyo on 16 February. In this context Mr. Sharma proposed a two-way trade target of $25 billion by 2014, a doubling of the pre-CEPA level. The economic pact will come into force after the completion of national procedures.During the meeting Japan proposed the joint exploration with India for the development of Rare Earth Minerals.Tokyo also affirmed its commitment to "the steady implementation" of the DelhiMumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the related dedicated freight corridor. Describing the CEPA as New Delhi's most ambitious economic pact so far, an Indian official said the

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country's sensitive sectors "are fully protected." Agriculture, fruits, spices, wheat, basmati rice, edible oils, wines and spirits and also certain categories of industrial products in the auto and auto-parts sector were cited. Significant access to the Japanese market was now possible for Indian textiles, petrochemicals, chemical products, jewellery and cement. Japan would now extend its own "national treatment" in respect of Indian generic medicines. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is set to gain in a big way with Japan, the world's second largest market, agreeing to open up by removing import duty on generic drugs shipped from here. As part of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement signed between India and Japan on 16 February, for the first time ever Japan has committed to give the same treatment to the pharma industry here as it gives to the domestic industry. Union commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, and Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed have signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), at Putrajaya,the New Administrative Capital of Malaysia. The India-Malaysia trade target now was 15 billion dollar by 2015.

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:: January 2011 Bilateral Affairs ::.

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Bilateral trade between India and China exceeded the two countries $60 billion target last year, driven largely by rising Indian imports of Chinese machinery that have left a record trade imbalance of $20 billion in China's favour. The Government's efforts to boost onion supply suffered a setback, with Pakistan banning export of Onions

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