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Thursday, 29 September 2011

CURRENT AFFAIRS WEEK: 19 Sep 2011 to 25 Sep 2011

SEBI issued Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers Regulations, 2011

Securities and Exchange Boar of India (SEBI) on 23 September 2011 notified the new takeover rule under which an entity buying 25% stake in a listed firm will have to mandatorily make an open offer to buy an additional 26% shares from the public. The notification follows the decision taken at SEBI's board meeting in July 2011.
The new norms mark an increase in the open offer size for public shareholders from 20 per cent currently. The trigger for making such an offer was raised from 15 per cent under the existing regulations.
According to SEBI no acquirer shall acquire shares in a target company which taken together with shares or voting rights held by him entitle them to exercise 25 per cent or more of the voting rights unless the acquirer makes a public announcement of an open offer.
The new regulations, titled as The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 will come into effect from October 2011.
As per the new rules there would be no separate provision for non-compete fees, which allows promoters to higher price than the public shareholders, and all shareholders should be given the exit option at the same price. SEBI, as part of the new code, allowed voluntary offers subject to certain conditions.
Regarding control and offer size, SEBI mentioned that the existing definition of control would be retained and the minimum offer size shall be increased to 26% of the target company.
Accepting the recommendations of a SEBI-appointed panel on the matter, the regulator also decided to abolish the non-compete fees that acquirers generally pay to the sellers in merger and acquisition deals. While the recommendation on trigger was accepted, the suggestion for offer size has been kept lower due to intense opposition from industry and other market participants.
The panel had opined against non-compete fees for promoters which often worked out as high as 25% of the deal value.
A SEBI panel on new takeover regulation had in 2010 recommended an open offer for buying up to 100% in the target company, while suggesting an increase in the trigger limit to 25%.

India and Zimbabwe Agreed to Expedite the Ratification Process of BIPA

India and Zimbabwe on 21 September 2011 agreed to expedite the ratification process of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) during the visit of Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Jyotiraditya Scindia. 

 BIPA aims at boosting bilateral investments. The BIPA was signed between India and South Africa in February 1999 but hasn’t come into force. The Bilateral trade between India and Zimbabwe stood at 125 million US dollars in 2010-11. India and Zimbabwe also launched a chamber of commerce during his visit.

The First Strategic Economic Dialogue between India and China was held in Beijing

India and China held their first Strategic Economic Dialogue in Beijing on 26 September 2011. India and China agreed to deepen bilateral investment cooperation, further open up markets to each other and improve the investment environment.
India and China also agreed to strengthen cooperation on energy efficiency and conservation, as well as on environmental protection. In order to promote sustainable development, the two sides agreed to cooperate in the renewable energy sector. The two sides agreed to host the next SED in 2012 in India.
Strategic Economic Dialogue will increase mutual understanding and trust between India and China. Through this dialogue, both nations could share their experience to achieve economic development. Although the bilateral trade crossed 61 billion US dollars in 2011, India was left with deficit of over 40.9 billion US dollars due to accelerated exports from China.

India Signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Estonia

India signed DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) with Estonia on 19 September 2011 and forged a pact to work with it in the field of information, communications and technology (ICT).  The DTAA and the pact on ICT was signed during the visit of communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal to Estonia. Kapil signed the DTAA with Estonian Minister of Finance Jurgen Ligi. 
 India will also set up a Chair on Cyber Security in Tallinn University and a Chair on Indian languages, history and literature in another of Estonia’s universities.
 The government of Estonia also announced 20 scholarships for Indian students that enroll with Estonian universities for accredited doctoral programme leading to a PhD degree in information and communication technology, environment technology, biotechnology, material technology power engineering or health.
  Sibal travelled to Helsinki, Finland, to participate in a summit on information and network security for emerging markets following his visit to Estonia. Estonia is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe.

India and South Africa Agreed to Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation in the MSME

India and South Africa agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprise) sector. This was agreed in a bilateral meeting between Jyotiradiya M Scindia, Minister of state Commerce and Industries and Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister for Trade & Industry, government of South Africa. South Africa houses many prominent centres of learning and excellence. The MSME sector accounts for a large share of industrial output, employment and exports in both countries. There are immense opportunities of cooperation and strategic alliances in MSME sector, which could be in the form of joint ventures, technology collaborations or marketing tie-ups.

The total trade between the two countries in the financial year 2010-11 was 10.6 billion US dollars, higher than bilateral trade target of 10 billion US dollars by the year 2012, set during the visit of South African President Jacob Zuma to India in June, 2010. A revised bilateral trade target of  15 billion US dollars has been set for the year 2014 during the meeting of Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Government of South Africa held on 10 January, 2011. South Africa is India’s 2nd largest trading partner in Africa. There is, however, ample scope of diversifying the existing trade basket by bringing in many more manufactured goods.

There is active contact between India and South Africa in multilateral fora, particularly at the NAM, Commonwealth, G-77, G-20, NAASP and WTO. Both countries are part of the IBSA trilateral initiative. Both countries are currently non-permanent members of the UN Security Council (2011-2012). SA rendered pro-active support in the NSG decision to enable full civil nuclear cooperation with India. SA recently participated in the BRICS summit held in China in April, 2011.

ONGC, Coal India, NMDC awarded by the Government for Best Performance

ONGC, Coal India (CIL) and NMDC were awarded by the government for best performance in different categories on 20 September. The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) Secretary, Bhaskar Chatterjee gaveaway the awards.
Best financial performance award in Maharatna and Navaratna category was given to ONGC. In Miniratna category, the best financial performance award award has been given to Goa Shipyard.
Good Corporate Governance award in Maharatna and Navaratna category was also given to ONGC. Good Corporate Governance award in Miniratna category, the same award was given to Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd. K Balachandan MD, CPCL received the award.
The company of the year award in Maharatna category was given to CIL. The same awards for the Navaratna category were given to NMDC and Oil India.
50 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) listed on the stock exchanges as on 30 August 2011 contributed about 22 per cent of the total market capitalisation. The CPSE with the highest market capitalisation was Coal India at Rs 236,832 crore (BSE) and Rs 237243 crore (NSE) as on 31 August.

CURRENT AFFAIRS WEEK: 12 Sep 2011 to 18 Sep 2011

NASA'S Kepler Discovery Confirmed First Planet Orbiting Two Stars

NASA's Kepler mission on 15 September 2011 made the first unambiguous detection of a circumbinary planet -- a planet orbiting two stars -- 200 light-years from Earth. The planet is cold, gaseous and not thought to harbor life, but its discovery demonstrates the diversity of planets in our galaxy. Previous research has hinted at the existence of circumbinary planets, but clear confirmation proved elusive. Kepler detected such a planet by observing transits, where the brightness of a parent star dims from the planet crossing in front of it.
 A research team led by Laurance Doyle of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, used data from the Kepler space telescope, which measures dips in the brightness of more than 150000 stars, to search for transiting planets. Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone, the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist on the surface of the orbiting planet.
 Scientists detected the new planet in the Kepler-16 system, a pair of orbiting stars that eclipse each other from our vantage point on Earth. When the smaller star partially blocks the larger star, a primary eclipse occurs, and a secondary eclipse occurs when the smaller star is occulted, or completely blocked, by the larger star.
Astronomers further observed that the brightness of the system dipped even when the stars were not eclipsing one another, hinting at a third body. The additional dimming in brightness events, called the tertiary and quaternary eclipses, reappeared at irregular intervals of time, indicating the stars were in different positions in their orbit each time the third body passed. This showed the third body was circling, not just one, but both stars, in a wide circumbinary orbit.
This discovery confirms that Kepler-16b is an inhospitable, cold world about the size of Saturn and thought to be made up of about half rock and half gas. The parent stars are smaller than our sun. One is 69 percent the mass of the sun and the other only 20 percent. Kepler-16b orbits around both stars every 229 days, similar to Venus' 225-day orbit, but lies outside the system's habitable zone, where liquid water could exist on the surface, because the stars are cooler than our sun.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt was elected Denmark’s First Woman Premier

Danish opposition leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt emerged victorious in the elections held on 15 September 2011 and will take over as the country's first female Prime Minister. She belongs to the Social Democrats party. The result ended the center-right government's 10 years in office.
Thorning-Schmidt succeeded Lars Lokke Rasmussen who submitted his resignation to Queen Margrethe on 16 September 2011.
Helle Thorning-Schmidt became a social democrat during her studies in Belgium and joined the Danish Social Democrats in 1993. From 1994 to 1997 she led the secretariat of the Danish delegation of social democrats in the European Parliament. After her time in Brussels she worked as an international consultant with the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions until being elected MEP in 1999.
 She was a Member of the European Parliament in the 1999–2004 period. During the five year term, she was a member of the Employment and Social Committee and the Constitutional Committee of the European Parliament. She also co-founded the Campaign for Parliament Reform (CPR).
In the 2005 Danish parliamentary election Thorning-Schmidt was elected to the Folketing (national parliament of Denmark). Since 2005 she has represented a constituency in a part of the Danish capital Copenhagen called Osterbrokredsen.
She led the Social Democrats through the 2007 Danish parliamentary election where her party suffered modest losses and was forced into a third term in opposition. The party was also unable to regain its position as the largest party in the Folketing.
In the 2011 parliamentary election, she was relected to parliament. Although the ruling Liberal Party became the largest party and gained a seat and the Social Democrats lost a seat, the opposition parties combined obtained more seats than the government coalition.

Amendments to National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro –Sciences, Bangalore Bill 2010

The Union Cabinet of India on 15 September 2011 approved Amendments to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore Bill, 2010. The Amendments are based on the recommendations of the Department --related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health arid Family Welfare. 
 The salient features of the proposed amendments are as follows:

(a) No change in Clause 4 (Incorporation of Institute) of the Bill is proposed in view of legal advice obtained from the Department of Legal Affairs.

(b) As regards Clause 5 (Composition of the Institute), it is proposed that:

(i) The President of the Institute shall be nominated by the Central Government from among the members other than the Director of the Institute.

(ii) The Institute shall consist of the Chief Secretary or his nominee, not below the rank of Secretary, to the Government of Karnataka, ex-officio.

(iii) The Institute shall consist of the following members namely:

(i) Seven persons of whom one shall be non-medical scientist representing the Indian Science Congress Association and one each from biological, behavioural and physical sciences of repute from any university to be nominated by the Central Government in such manner as may be prescribed;

(ii) Four representatives of medical faculty of Indian universities of whom one shall be from NIMHANS to be nominated by the Central Government in such manner as may be prescribed;

(c) Under sub-clause 7(1) (Powers and Functions of President), the following may be substituted:

There shall be a President of the Institute who shall be nominated by the Central Government from among the members other than the Director of the Institute.

In October 2010 the Cabinet approved (i) declaring NIMHANS as an institution of national importance on the lines of AIIMS/ PGIMLR. and (ii) introduction of NIMHANS, Bangalore Bill, 2010 in Parliament with such modifications of drafting nature as may be considered necessary. In pursuance thereof, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences. Bangalore Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 7 December, 2010 for declaring NIMHANS as an institution of national importance. The Chairman, Rajya Sabha referred the aforesaid Bill to the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare for examination and report within three months. The fifty-third report on NIMHANS, Bangalore Bill. 2010 of the Committee was presented to the Rajya Sabha on 4 March, 2011 and a copy of the report was also laid on the Table of Lok Sabha on 4 March 2011.

Twenty-Second World Mining Congress and Expo Held at Istanbul, Turkey

Twenty-Second World Mining Congress and Expo was held at Istanbul, Turkey between 11-16 September 2011. World Mining Congress & Expo is a unique opportunity for companies and manufactures to showcase their latest achievements and equipment technologies to a wide audience especially to those officials and specialists from all over the world.

The officials are responsible for future developments and key decisions of the mining sectors of their countries.

Leila Lopes from Angola crowned Miss Universe 2011 in Sau Paulo

Leila Lopes from Angola was crowned Miss Universe on 12 September 2011 in Sau Paulo, Brazil.
Lopes is a business management student in Great Britain, where she was crowned Miss Angola UK on 8 October 2010, the official representative of the Angolan community in the United Kingdom to the 2011 Miss Angola pageant.
Lopes, Angola’s first winner, outdid  88 other competitors to win the title during the 60th anniversary of the world’s biggest beauty pageant. She was crowned by Ximena Navarrete of Mexico winner of the 2010 Miss Universe pagant.
The first runner-up was 23-year-old Olesia Stefanko of Ukraine and the second runner-up was Priscila Machado of Brazil. The third was Miss Philippines and the fourth Miss China.
Contestants from 89 nations on six continents participated in globe’s biggest beauty contest which was held in Brazil for the first time. The contest was hosted by NBC Today anchor Natalie Morales and the Bravo network’s Andy Cohen.

Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the Spirit of Cricket Award at the LG ICC Awards 2011

The LG ICC Awards 2011 were presented in association with FICA on 12 September 2011 taking into account performances by players and officials in the period between 11 August 2010 to 3 August 2011.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the Spirit of Cricket Award. Dhoni was chosen for the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award for his fine gesture of recalling Ian Bell after the England batsman was run out under controversial circumstances during the second Test at Trent Bridge in July 2011. This award is voted by the members of the Emirates Elite Panels of ICC Match Referees and Umpires.
However iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar missed out the Cricketer of the Year honour which he had won in 2010. England's Jonathan Trott won the Cricketer of the Year award after beating competition from his national team-mate Alastair Cook and South Africa's Hashim Amla, besides that of Tendulkar. Trott had an extraordinary 12 months as a batsman. He compiled 1,042 runs at an average of 65.12, including four centuries and three half-centuries in 12 tests. In addition, he played 24 ODIs, hitting 1064 runs at an average of 48.36 with two centuries and nine 50s. The previous winners of this award includes India's Rahul Dravid (2004), Andrew Flintoff of England and South Africa's Jacques Kallis (joint winners in 2005), Ricky Ponting of Australia (2006 and 2007), West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul (2008), Mitchell Johnson of Australia (2009) and Tendulkar (2010).
India's opening batsman Gautam Gambhir also missed out the ODI Player of the Year Award which was won by Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara. Sangakkara had a superb year of ODI cricket. During the performance period, he played 25 ODIs and compiled 1049 runs at an average of 55.21, including one century and seven half-centuries.

As wicketkeeper, he also took 36 wickets comprising 26 catches and 10 stumpings. He had led Sri Lanka to the ICC Cricket World Cup final in Mumbai. Sangakkara also became the second-ever recipient of the LG People's Choice Award. Sangakkara was voted to the award by the general public.
Engliah cricketer Alastair Cook won the Test Cricketer of the Year Award.

Up-and-coming West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo was named as the Emerging Player of the Year 2011.
Netherlands all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate was chosen the ICC Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year for the second successive year. The Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year award serves to recognise and reward the efforts in all international matches of the outstanding cricketers from the teams outside the ICC Full Members.
New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee was chosen for the ICC Twenty20 International Performance of the Year in recognition of his five wickets for 18 runs against Pakistan in 2010.
West Indies all-rounder Stafanie Taylor won the ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year Award.
Pakistan's Aleem Dar won the David Shepherd Trophy for third time after being named ICC Umpire of the Year.

Nitin Dossa elected President of the Federation of Indian Automobile Associations (FIAA)

Nitin Dossa, the executive chairman of the Mumbai-headquartered Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) was unanimously elected president of the Federation of Indian Automobile Associations (FIAA). He was elected president at the annual general meeting of FIAA held on 9 September 2011. He is to hold this position for a period of two years.
Dossa is the chairman on the WIAA-Castrol Institute of Motoring. He is involved with other sports associations. Dossa also holds the position of president of the Vintage & Classic Car Club of India.
He is the first Indian to be unanimously elected vice president of the Paris-based Alliance Internationale de Tourisme (AIT), a world body of mobility.

Maulana Azad Dental Institute bagged the FICCI Excellence Award for their Contribution to Healthcare

The Maulana Azad Dental Institute bagged the FICCI Excellence Award on 8 September 2011. The health care operational award was given away by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry after rounds of assessment. Maulana Azad Dental Institute is the first dental institution, catering to more than 2.5 lakh patients annually across the country.
There were only four hospitals-Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya ( Delhi), Gandhi Nagar District Hospital (Gujarat), Ernakulam District Hospital, Kerala and Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences which had qualified for the final round in the government sector category.
The parameters which went on to decide the winner were initiatives and outcomes reflecting innovation, academic research and training, accreditations, environmental conservation and patient satisfaction.
The FICCI health care operational award aims at felicitating organisation for their contribution to the industry by innovating for increased efficiency and improved performance of health care at large.

Rajasthan Government Launched Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojana

The Rajasthan state government on 12 September 2011 launched the ambitiousJanani Shishu Suraksha Yojna in all the 33 districts. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot launched the scheme at Dudu near Jaipur. The Scheme aims to bring down maternal and child mortality rate in the state. Under the scheme, the government will provide free treatment and transport facility to pregnant women and sick infants. Along with this, all the pregnant women would be provided medicines and other consumables before, during and till 6 months after the delivery. Likewise, the sick infants would be provided all medicines free up to 30 days of their birth. The pregnant and infants would also be provided free transport facility from home to health institute. Over 5300 women die every year in Rajasthan due to complications in delivery, while 98 thousand 500 infants die within a year of their birth in the state. 

One lakh 18 thousand private ambulances, taxies and other vehicles have also been listed in the concerned areas of all the districts to provide transport facility from the remote villages to the hospitals. 
The UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had inaugurated the Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojana in Mewat Distrcit of Haryana on 1 June, 2011. JSSK supplements the cash assistance given to a pregnant woman under Janani Suraksha Yojana and is aimed at mitigating the burden of out of pocket expenses incurred by pregnant women and sick newborns.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


  • Mamata Launches Kisan Credit Card Scheme For Farmers

    Posted on : Sep 03,2011

    The West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee on 19th August launched a Kisan Credit Card scheme for farmers in the State. Talking to reporters, Ms. Banerjee said that, this Kisan credit card will solve the problem of farmers taking loan from outside. She said that the facility of these loans can be availed from the districts head quarters. The loans can be procured from NABARD and Nationalized Banks. The farmers will be able to acquire a loan of 50,000 rupees, at an interest rate of 7%. Under this Mission, all willing farmers including tenant farmers, sharecroppers and oral lessees will get the cards during the current fiscal year. The farmers cultivating their own agricultural lands will be given Kisan credit cards directly while others would be organised in groups for these cards. Official sources said that the Agriculture Department will sponsor loan applications of farmers up to Rs. 50,000 per farmer to the bank branches, which banks have assured these would be processed within 10 days.

  • Double Taxation Agreement With Switzerland
    Posted on : Sep 03,2011
    Government has signed a tax information exchange agreement with Switzerland to gain access to banking data in that country. This data will be provided on demand and will be available from 1st of April this year.  This information was given by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee while replying supplementaries in the Lok Sabha on 19th August. The agreement assumes importance in the wake of the reports that some Indians and corporate firms have stashed their black money in Swiss banks.  On Avoidance of double taxation agreement with Switzerland ,he said it will come into force after that country completes the internal process. He said such agreements have been renegotiated with 21 countries and signed with 18 other countries

  • Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award Announced
    Posted on : Sep 03,2011
    Mrs Mira Kagti of Assam, Dr. S.A. Thasleem Sulthana of Andhara Pradesh and Dr.Mallika Nadda of Himachal Pradesh have been awarded the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award for the year 2010.  The Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva award is given every year to three individuals who make outstanding contribution in the field of Child Protection, Child Development or Child Welfare.  The Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award was instituted on 20th August,1994, the 50th Birth Anniversary of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who had deep love and concern for children. The Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award carries a cash prize of one lakh rupees and a citation each.

  • The Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project
    Posted on : Sep 04,2011
    The Centre has sanctioned a 1,500 crore rupee Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project for coastal states to put in place better cyclone forecasting, tracking and warning systems.  The first phase of the Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project is being launched in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The major initiatives under the project are to upgrade cyclone forecasting, tracking and warning systems, cyclone risk mitigation and capacity building in multi-hazard risk management. The government also plans to construct multipurpose cyclone shelters, including shelter-cum-godown, approach roads, bridges to habitation and embankments, including construction and renovation of saline embankments.

  • India Georgia Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement
    Posted on : Sep 04,2011
    India and Georgia on signed a double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) to prevent tax evasion and exchange banking information. A Finance Ministry release said, the DTAA agreement provides for business profits to be taxable in the source state if the activities of an enterprise has a permanent establishment there. The DTAA agreement also provides for sharing of information to other agencies with the consent of supplying state. This DTAA Agreement is to provide tax stability to the residents of India and Georgia and will facilitate mutual economic cooperation between the two countries. India has entered into DTAAs with about 70 countries.

  • Parliament Approves SBI Subsidiary Amendment Bill Posted on : Sep 07,2011 The Parliament has given its seal of approval to a bill that seeks to improve the performance of the subsidiary banks of the State Bank of India with the Rajya Sabha adopting the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Bank Laws) Amendment Bill 2011 on 30th August. It was passed by the Lok Sabha earlier. The bill amends the State Bank of Hyderabad Act 1956 and the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks Laws) Amendment bill 2011. The Upper House adopted the bill after incorporating an opposition amendment by voice vote amidst slogan shouting by NDA members protesting against the appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat.

  • Lok Sabha Passes National Academic Depository Bill 2011
    Posted on : Sep 08,2011
    The Lok Sabha on 5th August passed the National Academic Depository Bill 2011 by voice vote amidst din. The Academic Depository Bill seeks to create a national database of academic qualifications in electronic or DMAT format, which will authenticate and reissue certificates. The database will help the administration effectively deal with forged certificates and fake degree rackets. Academic Depository Bill will also enable online verification and easy retrieval of particulars of academic qualifications. Students will also be benefitted from the new provision as they need not worry about spoilage of certificates over time and getting their certificates attested. The database will be established in an electronic format by an identified registered depository, with all institutes, including school boards, the Indian Institutes of Technology, the National Institutes of Technology and polytechnics from different States having linkages to the depository.

  • UNCTAD Trade And Development Report 2011
    Posted on : Sep 08,2011
    The Indian economy is likely to expand by 8.1 per cent in 2011, the fastest growth rate in the world after China, UN agency said on Tuesday.
    In its global release of Trade and Development Report 2011, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 6th september said the India economy will grow by 8.1 per cent in 2011, against to 8.6 per cent in 2010, despite slowdown in developed nations and many other countries.
    According to UNCTAD, only China will surpass India. The East Asian giant is likely to register a growth of 9.4 per cent in 2011 compared to 10.3 per cent in 2010.
    "In South Asia, India continues to pursue rapid economic growth (close to 8 per cent), based mainly on strong domestic consumption and investment, but also on the positive contribution of net exports," the report said.
    UNCTAD's projection for India in 2011 is a tad lower than International Monetary Fund's forecast of 8.2 per cent growth. The government expects the Indian economy to grow by around 8.5 per cent in 2011-12, while the RBI has projected the GDP growth of 8 per cent this fiscal.
    The World Bank had in June said India's economy would expand by 8 per cent in 2011-12, while theAsian Development Bank projected a growth of 8.2 per cent during the current financial year.
    UNCTAD said the global economic growth in 2011 will slow down to 3.1 per, compared to almost 4 per cent last year and added that developing economies could be affected by recession in developed nations

  • India Japan Global Partnership Summit
    Posted on : Sep 08,2011
    A three-day India-Japan Global Partnership Summit, IJGPS concluded in Tokyo on 7th september. The policymakers, opinion leaders and business captains will exchange ideas on strengthening economic ties between the two Asian nations, besides greater regional integration. The organiser of the India Japan Global partnership summit, the India Centre Foundation said, India and Japan have great potential for furthering areas of cooperation through joint partnerships and infrastructure and knowledge projects. It said, the India Japan Global partnership summit provides an opportunity to exchange ideas on a prospective roadmap for India and Japan to collaborate with each other and global partners to promote sustainable economic growth and peace in Asia and the rest of the world.

  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau Gets Chief Dave Cameron Award 2010
    Posted on : Sep 08,2011
    Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, WCCB, has been selected for Chief Dave Cameron Award 2010 for excellence in Environmental Crimes Enforcement and Education by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). An official release said that the Chief Dave Cameron Award is presented to full-service law enforcement agencies that work to enforce environmental laws and educate the public. The Chief Dave Cameron Award will be presented to the organization next month at the IACP Conference at Chicago, USA. WCCB, is a statutory body of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India for combating organized wildlife crime and trans-boundary illegal trade was recently selected for the prestigious Chief Dave Cameron Award award

  • Dr Bhupen Hazarikas Birthday Celebrated As Peoples Music Day Posted on : Sep 08,2011 In Assam, a number of functions are being organized across the State today to mark the 86th birthday of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award winning multifaceted genius, legendary singer, poet and cultural icon Dr. Bhupen Hazarika.  The day is also being observed as the ‘people’s music day’ (Gana Sangitor din) all over the State. Music competitions on ‘Bhupendra Sangeet’ have been organized by different cultural organizations to mark the occasion. Dr. Bhupendra Hazarika is at present recuperating from his heart ailment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai.  State Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has extended warm wishes to Dr Bhupen Hazarika on his 86th birthday. In a message to the music maestro, Mr.Gogoi said, Dr Bhupendra Hazarika had made unparalleled contribution to the State's cultural arena and enriched its national life like few others had done before.  The Chief Minister said, Dr Bhupendra Hazarika has established the State's unique culture through his music in the global arena and his creations will always be a source of endless inspiration for the people of Assam.  Born in 1926 at Sadiya in Assam, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, an extremely academically prolific person, was conferred the highest award of the State Government ‘Asom Ratna’ for the year 2008. Bhupen Hazarika has been the only person in the past 40 years to propagate the better cinema movement for integrating all the seven north-eastern states, including tribal culture.

  • ‎26 Climatic Zones To Be Turned As Tourist Spots
    Posted on : Sep 09,2011
    Centre has said that 26 climatic zones across the country will be turned into advantageous tourist spots for increased tourist inflow. Talking to reporters in New Delhi the Union Tourism Minister Mr.Subodh Kant Sahai said that his ministry is eyeing just half percent of the world tourists to be diverted to India which is an exponential five to six million people. For this, the minister said, infrastructure are being developed in public private partnership. Mr.Sahai informed that he is in consultation with state governments for creating a land bank for constructing budget hotels. Mr. Sahai added that his ministry has taken another initiative to hold business to business events on annual basis from the next year. The mart will be organised either in Hyderabad or Delhi.

  • Prevention And Control Of Non Communicable Deseases
    Posted on : Sep 10,2011
    Entire country will be covered under the Prevention and control of non-communicable deseases cancer, diabeties and heart diseases in the next five-year Plan. Addressing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee, attached to his ministry, the Health Minister, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad said that 100 districts are being covered under the Prevention and control of non-communicable deseases programme at present. The Health Minister said that over 50 percent deaths in the country occur due to these diseases which are non-communicable in nature. Mr. Azad asserted that early detection and timely treatment of such non-communicable diseases will lead to increase in the cure rate and also reduce the risk factor

  • Declaration On Green Economy And Sustainable Mountain Development
    Posted on : Sep 19,2011
    In Nepal , 150 policy makers, scientists, and development experts from the world’s mountain regions have endorsed the Kathmandu Declaration on Green Economy and Sustainable Mountain Development.  The declaration was the outcome of the three-day International Conference on Green Economy and Sustainable Mountain Development held in Kathmandu that concluded on 10th september.  According to Press release, the key recommendations in the Kathmandu Declaration on Green Economy and Sustainable Mountain Development included the recognition of benefits deriving from mountains, incorporation of the value of ecosystems services in national development planning and decision making, the establishment of global, regional, national, and local mechanisms to compensate and reward mountain communities for the services they provide, the establishment of favourable conditions for improving markets for mountain ecosystem goods and services, access to resources and property rights for mountain women, indigenous communities, and marginalised groups.

  • The National Hindi Diwas Awards
    Posted on : Sep 23,2011
    Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is among 57 institutions and individuals who bagged award on National Hindi Diwas on 14th september. The National Hindi Diwas awards were conferred at an impressive function by the President Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil at Vigyan Bhavan on 14th september.In National Hindi Diwas awards first prize was bagged by Labour Ministry, second prize by Law Ministry and third prize by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.  Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil said that new softwares are being developed for propagation and popularization of Hindi language. She said that Hindi is playing a vital role in preserving and protecting one thousand seven hundred dialects and languages. Mrs. Patil said that Hindi plays an important role in ensuring inclusive development in the country. The President said that the government has taken a series of measures for the promotion of Hindi language and is providing additional incentives for use of Hindi to translate technical writings.  Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram urged the Heads of the Department of Central government to work relentlessly for the propagation and promotion of Hindi. Minister of State for Home, Mr. Jitender Singh and M. Ramachandran were also present on the occasion.

  • Govt Invites Comments On Draft Of National Food Security Bill
    Posted on : Sep 23,2011
    Government has invited public comments on the draft of National Food Security Bill. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Food Distribution today placed the draft National Food Security Bill on its website. The salient features of the National Food Security Bill include the coverage of three fourth of the rural population and half of urban households.  Proposed monthly entitlement for each person in the bill is 7 kilogram of food grains. The Government has also proposed three rupees a Kg rice while two rupees a Kg wheat for the priority households.  The National Food Security Bill also includes legal right for the people living in starving conditions to take home ration. The Ministry has prepared the draft after consultations with various departments including National Advisory Council and Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to the Prime Minister

  • National Institute Of Mental Health And Neuro Sciences Bangalore Bill 2011
    Posted on : Sep 23,2011
    The Cabinet approved Amendments to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore Bill, 2010. The Amendments are based on the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare. The Minister said that the salient features of the proposed amendments in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore Bill, 2010include the nomination of Institute's President by Central government and provision of seven persons of whom one will be non-medical scientist representing the Indian Science Congress Association. The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore Bill, 2010was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 7lh December last year for declaring NIMHANS, Bangaluru as an institution of national importance. In another decision, the cabinet approved the proposal of Finance Ministry to withdraw the reduced interest rate of 9 per cent with regard to National Small Saving Fund loans. The proposal also has the provision for State governments to revert to 9 per cent interest rate as and when it compiles with the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management targets. The Union Cabinet also gave its nod for laying the Action taken Memorandum on the recommendations contained in the 16th Annual report of the National Commission for Minorities for the year 2008-09 in both the Houses of Parliament. The recommendations were examined in consultation with various Ministries and departments before finalising. In another decision, cabinet approved the promulagation of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Marine Fishing Amendment regulation 2011 by the President. The approval will strengthen the coastal security in the coastline of islands in an effective manner as registration of all fishing vessels will be streamlined.

  • Abhishek Singhvi Reappointed As Chairman Of Lokpal Standing Committee
    Posted on : Sep 25,2011
    Mr. Abhishek Singhvi has been reappointed as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice, paving the way for early consultations over the Lokpal Bill.  The 31-member Standing Committee is among the several Parliamentary Committees reconstituted by Speaker Meira Kumar in consultation with Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari. The Standing Committee has been asked to give its report within three months. The term of the earlier Standing Committee headed by Mr. Abhishek Singhvi was over on the 31st of last month. While the Rajya Sabha has renominated most of the members on this Standing Committee as also on other Committees, the Speaker decided the composition from the Lower House in consultation with political parties.

  • SAARC Energy Ministers Review Draft On Energy Cooparation
    Posted on : Sep 23,2011
    The 4th SAARC energy ministers meeting on 15th september reviewed the draft SAARC inter governmental framework agreement on Energy co-operation.  Addressing a press conference at the end of day long ministerial level conference, Bangladesh’s state minister for energy Mohammad Enamul Haque said the draft SAARC inter governmental framework agreement on Energy co-operation was reviewed and it is expected that the agreement will be finalized soon. 
    The ministerial meeting also adopted the SAARC Regional Energy Trade study. 
    The ministers also decided to conduct studies for technical standardization and Harmonisation to facilitate electricity exchange among the Saarc nations. Earlier addressing the inaugural session in the morning, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed on the need for SAARC member countries to collectively address the challenge of energy needs. She said, that as we embark on ensuring regional
    economic integration and inter-dependence, there is a huge potential to share knowledge, technology and resources in the energy sector to facilitate sustainable development.  Union Power Minister Sushil kumar Shinde who led the Indian delegation at the meeting said that the countries in the region are taking some concrete steps to establish basic inter-connections on a bilateral basis which will form the building blocks of the ultimate goal of a regional grid-connectivity. He also expressed India’s willingness to share its best practices and energy efficiency programmes with the member countries.

  • Mission Purna Shakti To Empower Women
    Posted on : Sep 26,2011
    With the aim to empower women, MOS for women and child development Krishna Tirath on 17th september launched Mission Purna Shakti from Pali in Rajasthan. She said that women are playing an important role in development of the country and govt. is committed for educational,social and financial empowerment of women. 
    She stressed on the need of education among rural women. Mission Purna Shakti will work through active participation of women and govt will provide training and assistance in skill development through self help groups.  These groups would provide special training to women for marketing their products. Mission Purna Shakti project will help in confidence building in women and provide chances of self employment.

  • National Conference On Agriculture For Rabi Campaign 2011
    Posted on : Sep 27,2011
    The two-day National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign 2011 concluded with a resolve to accord high priority to boost food production. The aim is to achieve the target of 245 million tonnes of food grains in the next Rabi season.
    According to an official release, the National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign reviewed production prospects during current Kharif season and strategy for the Rabi season. It sought cooperation of states in proper implementation of the new programmes and initiatives taken by the Ministry of Agriculture to improve the productivity of various crops.
    Expressing concern on the reports of fertilisers continuing to be sold above MRP, it urged states to exercise utmost vigilance to prevent smuggling of fertilisers. National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign also called upon the states to take proactive measures for infrastructure development in agriculture, diversification, reducing post-harvest losses, adoption of new techniques to maximise production and profitability of the agriculture sector.

  • World's first desert geopark opens in China BEIJING: The world's first desert geopark opened has opened in China, authorities said. The geopark was opened Monday in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, reported Xinhua.  Geoparks are places where rare geological landforms are preserved in an undisturbed state and where low impact recreation, scientific research, and educational activities can be pursued.  The Alxa desert geopark has a total planned area of 630.37 square km, a statement said.  The park will function as a museum and a scientific research area, allowing tourists and scientists to examine the formation and evolution of the Alxa desert.  In August 2009, the park was added to the Unesco Global Geoparks Network (GGN), where it was listed as the world's only desert geopark.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Salient Features of Indian Constitution

Salient Features of Indian Constitution
The Indian Constitution
The Indian constitution represents the vision and values of its founding fathers and is based on the social, political and economic ethos as well as, the faith and aspiration of the people. The Constitution of India was made by a Constituent Assembly which was specially convened to frame the Constitution of the country. The Constituent Assembly was set up under the cabinet Mission Plan of May 16, 1946.

Salient Features of Indian Constitution Written Constitution
  1. Written Constitution-In a federation there should be a written Constitution. The written Constitution is very essential for a federal so that whenever there is any dispute between the federal government and the federating units, it can be use as a evidence.   
  2. Largest Constitution - In sheer physical terms our Constitution is definitely the largest, bulkiest and most detailed constitution in the World. As originally passed, it contained 395 Articles and 8 schedules.Whereas, the constitution of U.S.A. originally contained 7 Articles, Canada 147 Articles, and Australia 128 Articles.
  3. Sovereign, Democratic & Republic
    A sovereign nation is initially supreme and independent of any outside control. The word socialist aims at the establishment of an egalitarian society in India. The term 'secular' means a state which has no official religion. The best definition of Democracy was given by Abraham Lincoln that, "it is a government by the people, of the people and for the people." The word republic signifies that the Head of our state is elected and not hereditary.
  4. Parliamentary type of Government
    In a parliamentary type of government the Head of the State is nominal, whereas the Prime Minister who is the leader of the majority in the Parliament is the real executive.The Indian constitution establishes in India a parliamentary type of government on the British Model.
  5. Partly Unitary and partly Federal
    India's constitution has been variously described as quasi-federal, federal with a strong unitary or pro-centre bias, federal in structure but unitary in spirit, federal in normal times but with possibilities of being converted into a purely unitary one during emergency.
  6. Partly Rigid & partly Flexible
    There are certain provisions which can be amended by a simple majority in the [parliament. While there are certain provisions whose amendment requires not only a special majority in Parliament but also ratification by at least one-half of the state legislature.
  7. Fundamental Rights
    Under Indian Constitution as originally enacted, the citizen of India had been granted the seven fundamental rights.A full chapter has been devoted to the description of these fundamental lrights running into 24 articles. These rights are mentioned in part III of the constitution and are justiciable.
  8. Fundamental Duties
    The 42nd Amendment to the Constitution added a new part to the constitution under the heading Fundamental Duties. It lays down a code of ten duties for all the citizens of India.
  9. DPSP
    The Directive Principle of State Policy concept has been borrowed from the constitution of Ireland. These principles are contained in part IV of our Constitution. The aim of these principles is to establish a welfare state in India on the socialistic pattern of society.
  10. Independent Judiciary
    The Indian constitution provides for an independent judiciary. The constitution made the supreme court as the custodian and protector of the constitution.The judgement of the supreme court are legally binding and there is no appeal against the judgement of the Supreme Court.
  11. A Secular State
    Under the 42nd amendment this word 'Secular' has been included in the preamble of our constitution. Thus, India has been now officially become a secular state.
  12. Single Citizenship
    The constitution of India grants only one citizenship to all citizens. In a federation sometimes a citizen gets double citizenship, one of the Union and the other of State in which a person lives.
  13. Universal Adult Franchise
    The Indian constitution originally granted universal adult franchise to all those men and women, who attained the age of 21 years.Under the 61st amendment6 of the Indian Constitution the age of voting has been reduced from 21 to 18 years.
  14. Official Language of India
    A provision was made in our constitution to declare Hindi in the Devanagiri script as the official language of India. Till that time English was to continue as the official language.

Notable peaks of the Himalayan system (includes outlying ranges)

Notable peaks of the Himalayan system (includes outlying ranges)
Peak Name
Other names and meaning
Elevation (m)
Elevation (ft)
First Western ascent
Sagarmatha (Nepali), "Head of the World",
Chomolangma (Tibetan), "Goddess mother of the snows"
Highest mountain on Earth, on the border between Nepal and Tibet Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China.
Chogo Gangri
2nd highest mountain on Earth. Located on the border between theTaxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, People's Republic of China and the Northern Areas of Pakistan.
Kangchen Dzö-nga, "Five Treasures of the Great Snow"
3rd highest mountain on Earth. Located on the border between Nepal andSikkim, India.
"South Peak"
4th highest mountain on Earth. Situated between Tibet Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, and Nepal, in the shadow of Mount Everest.
"The Great Black"
5th highest mountain on Earth. Situated on the border between, Tibet Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China and Nepal.
Qowowuyag, "Turquoise Goddess"
6th highest mountain on Earth. Situated on the border between Tibet Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, and Nepal
"White Mountain"
7th highest mountain on Earth. Situated in Nepal.
Kutang, "Mountain of the Spirit"
8th highest mountain on Earth. Located in the Gurkha Himal, Nepal.
Diamir, "Naked Mountain"
9th highest mountain on Earth. Located in the Northern Areas ofPakistan.
"Goddess of the Harvests"
10th highest mountain on Earth. Situated in Nepal.
"Beautiful Mountain"
11th highest mountain on Earth. Located in the Karakoram of Pakistan
Faichan Kangri
12th highest mountain on Earth. Located in the Karakoram of Pakistan.
13th highest mountain on Earth. Located in the Karakoram of Pakistan.
Xixiabangma, "Crest Above The Grassy Plains"
14th highest mountain on Earth. Located in Tibet Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China.
15th highest mountain on Earth. Located on the border between Tibet Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, and Nepal, it is the highest mountain under 8,000 meters.
17th highest mountain on Earth. Located in the Karakoram of Pakistan.
22nd highest mountain on Earth. Located in the Karakoram of Pakistan.
"Bliss-giving Goddess"
23rd highest mountain on Earth. Located in Uttarakhand, India. It is the highest peak entirely within India.
"Shining Wall"
A massive peak that towers above local terrain. Located in the PakistaniKarakoram.
Gankar Punzum, "Three Mountain Siblings"
World's highest unclimbed peak remains off limits to mountaineers. Located in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
"Mother And Her Necklace"
Considered by some to be one of the most beautiful peaks in the Himalayas. Located in the Khumbu, Nepal.