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2012 January National Issues



The Indian Coast Guard ship ICGS Rani Abbakka, the 1st of a series of five inshore patrol vessels (IPV) built at Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, was commissioned at Visakhapatnam on 20 january. 

The ship, incidentally, is named after Abbakka Mahadevi, the legendary queen of Tulunadu, Karnataka who fought the Portuguese in the latter half of the 16th Century.



The International Conference on Nanoscience and Technology (ICONSAT - 2012) will be held from January 20 to 23, 2012 at Hyderabad, India. The conference is being organized by International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), Hyderabad. 

The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India is the official sponsor of this conference and the above event is a regular biennial feature under its Nano Mission initiative.



The first batch of RICs (Resident Identity Cards) was launched by the home ministry at Porthrapur village in Andaman and Nicobar Islands on 21 January 2012. 

The RIC cards were distributed to all persons above the age of 18 residing in the nine coastal states and four union territories under the National Population Register (NPR) scheme. The NPR scheme is aimed to provide valid identity to all people in these areas to strengthen the security along the country's coastline.



The Government of India and the World Bank on 20 January 2012 signed an IDA credit of 130 million US dollars to finance the project NERLP (North East Rural Livelihoods Project), to empower rural communities in the North East region to improve their livelihood opportunities. 

The NERLP will enhance the livelihoods of the rural poor, especially women, unemployed youth of the four participating states of Mizoram, Nagaland,Sikkim and Tripura.



The 15th World Sanskrit conference was held from 5 to 10 January 2012 in New Delhi. It was organized by Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan and International Association of Sanskrit Studies. Scholars and delegates attended the six-day event from 32 countries. The 14th World Sanskrit conference was held in Kyoto, Japan.



The Cabinet Committee on Security approved the setting up of a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) to counter terrorism effectively. The Ministry of Home Affairs proposed the NCTC. It will be a single window organisation that will gather and disseminate intelligence to central and state security organisations.



The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh inaugurated the 10th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas event that was held on 7-9 January 2012 in Jaipur. The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad Bissessar was the Chief Guest of the event. “The Global Indian: Inclusive Growth” was the theme of the event. 

Prime Minister announced a new Pension and Life Insurance Fund for overseas Indian workers in this event. Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs announced that next Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas-2012 will be held in Dubai for the Gulf region.



National Commission for Protection of Child Right (NCPCR) on 9 January 2012 directed the state governments to propose a system called Shiksha Samvad for holding regular dialogues between government officials and civil society on the implementation of the Right to Education Act.

In a letter, the commission, which is monitoring the Act, asked the state governments to institutionalize the system for regular reviews of the act. This will enable the local administration to keep a close watch on how the implementation of the Act is proceeding at the ground level. It will also allow the people to seek speedy redressal by raising the issues directly with the government officials.



The Cabinet Committee on Security on 12 January 2012 approved the setting up of a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) to counter terrorism effectively. The NCTC was proposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs. It will be a single window organisation that will gather and disseminate intelligence to central and state security organisations. A notification for the appointment of Directors and other members of core team of the NCTC will be issued soon.

The NCTC was created in the wake of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. It will work under the Union Home Ministry.



The Union Cabinet of India on 12 January 2012 approved the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) policy, with the objective of checking illicit production of psychotropic substances, curb drug abuse and stop trafficking of such items. The new policy will help in controlling the proliferation of black money. The Cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The NDPS policy will lead to reduction in crime and improvement in public health. It aims at social re-integration of victims of drug abuse.

The salient features of the policy are as follows:

(i) The policy recommends production of Concentrate of Poppy Straw (CPS) in India by a company or body corporate. This would enable India to retain its status of a traditional supplier of Opiate Raw Material (ORM) to the rest of world, while remaining competitive.

(ii) The consumption of poppy straw by addicts will be gradually reduced and finally stopped in a time frame decided by the States.

(iii) On the illicit cultivation of poppy and cannabis, the policy emphasizes use of satellite imageries for detection of illicit crop and its subsequent eradication and development of alternate means of livelihood in respect of cultivators in pockets of traditional illicit cultivation.

(iv) The private sector may be allowed production of alkaloids from opium. At present alkaloids from opium are produced only in Government Opium and Alkaloid Factories (GOAFs).

(v) Non-intrusive methods of regulating the manufacture, trade and use of such psychotropic substances will be introduced,

(vi) Emphasis will be laid on adequate access to morphine and other opioids necessary for palliative care, a strategy to address street peddlers of drugs, periodic surveys of drug abuse to gauge the extent, pattern and nature of drug abuse in the country, recognition of de-addiction centers,

(vii) There will be a time bound plan of action, detailing the steps to be taken by different Ministries/ Departments/ agencies, in response to the recommendations of the International Narcotics Control Board.

The policy attempts to curb the menace of drug abuse and contains provisions for treatment, rehabilitation and social re-integration of victims of drug abuse. Implementation of the provisions of the policy will lead to reduction of crime, improvement in public health and uplifting of the social milieu.

The NDPS Policy will serve as a guide to various Ministries and organizations and re-assert India`s commitment to combat the drug menace in a holistic manner.

Background: There are four broad aspects of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances –

(i) Administration of the NDPS Act and Rules framed there under,

(ii) Legal production, manufacturing, trade and use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific uses,

(iii) Drug (Illicit) supply reduction, and

(iv) Drug (Illicit) demand reduction.



India became free from bird flu, H5N1. The government made a declaration to this effect on 4 January 2012. The states were advised to have strict surveillance, especially in the vulnerable areas bordering the infected countries and in areas visited by migratory birds.

Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 is also known as bird flu , A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the influenza A virus .It can cause illness in humans and many other animal species.



The Supreme Court of India in the first week of January 2012 ruled that a person cannot be detained under the preventive detention law like National Security Act (NSA) without justifiable reasons. If it happens, it would impinge upon the individuals Constitutional right of personal liberty. The apex court observed that the State authorities have been granted the power to curb such rights under criminal laws as also under the laws of preventive detention. These laws are required to be exercised with due caution as well as upon a proper appreciation of the facts as to whether such acts are in any way prejudicial to the interest and the security of the State and its citizens, or seek to disturb public law and order, warranting the issuance of such an order.

Article 21 in the Constitution of India states that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

Article 22 in the Constitution of India has provision for protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.



The 10th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) was held on 7-9 January, 2012 at Birla Auditorium, Jaipur. Highlights of the 10th PBD are as following:

• The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad Bissessar was the Chief Guest of the event.
• The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh inaugurated the event.
• Over 1900 delegates from about 60 countries were participated this year’s PBD.
• The Global Indian: Inclusive Growth was the theme of the event and the focus was on India’s Social Development and the Overseas Indian community.


Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated in India on 9 January each year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India. The day commemorates the arrival of Mahatama Gandhi in India from South Africa. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs of the Government of India, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region of India.



The Central Information Commission(CIS) held in the first week of January 2012 that all information in possession of the office of the Chief Justice of India is not completely exempt from disclosure under the Right to Information (RTI) act. The CIC observed this while directing the Supreme Court to disclose communication exchange between Chief Justice of India and the Law Ministry on the question of proposed changes in appointment procedure for Judges.

The RTI act (The Right to Information Act, 2005) of Parliament received the assent of the President on the 15 June 2005.


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