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2011 January 15-17 Current Affairs


INTERNATIONAL


Russia begins New START ratification 

The Russian Parliament moved closer to endorsing the New START nuclear arms treaty with the United States, voting in second reading a ratification Bill that counters the strings the U.S. Senate attached to its ratification of the landmark pact.

The draft Bill, approved by the State Duma Lower House in a 341-to-nil vote, affirms Russia's right to withdraw from the New START if the U.S. or “any other state or a group of states” deploy missile defences “capable of substantially reducing the effectiveness of Russia's strategic nuclear forces”.


Instant remittance product launched

Federal Bank and UAE Exchange have jointly launched a new product ‘FED FLASH,' a real-time account-credit product, which significantly reduces lead time by taking on conventional methods of remittance.

The product was unveiled here recently in the presence of Shyam Srinivasan, MD & CEO of Federal Bank, and Sudhir Kumar Shetty, COO, Global operations, UAE Exchange, among others.



National


IMD: 2010 was the warmest year since 1901

India Meteorological Department has declared that 2010 was the warmest year since 1901.

According to the department, the annual mean temperature averaged over the country as a whole was 25.8023 degrees Celsius last year. This translates to an increase of 0.93 degrees over the average for the 30-year period from 1961-1990.

The previous record was achieved in 2009, when the annual mean temperature averaged over the country in its entirety was 25.7876 degrees Celsius.


Qatar to supply more LNG to India

Qatar on Friday agreed to increase supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to meet India's requirements and also facilitate participation of Indian companies in the oil and gas sector. The Gulf nation has also shown interest in cooperation in the area of banking supervision and exchange of information to combat money laundering and terror financing.

“In the hydrocarbon sector, Qatar conveyed readiness to increase supply of LNG to meet India's requirements and to facilitate the participation of Indian companies in the oil and gas sector in Qatar,” said an official statement issued after discussions of the India-Qatar High Level Monitoring Mechanism (HLMM), co-chaired by T.K.A Nair, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Khalid Bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah, Minister of State for International Cooperation of the State of Qatar.



World Bank agrees to support national programme to mitigate cyclone impact

India and World Bank signed an agreement through which the latter will provide a credit of $255 million for the first phase of the national programme to mitigate the impact of cyclones.

The programme, which would ultimately cover all the vulnerable areas along the eastern and western coasts of the country, is slated to begin with Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

The project will aim at upgrading the early warning and communication systems in the coastal areas, boost the ability of the communities there to respond to disaster, and improve their access to emergency shelters. It will also seek to strengthen the disaster risk management capability at Central, State and local levels.




Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) Global Summit-2011

The Union government is working out a formula for ensuring national minority status for the Jain community, Union Law Minister M.Veerappa Moily said here on Saturday.

Speaking at the inaugural function of Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) Global Summit-2011, he said, “We are definitely working out a formula to execute it as early as possible.”



BUSINESS


L&T ships first nuclear equipment to U.S.

Larsen & Toubro delivered the first four dry shielded canisters for Transnuclear Inc. of the U.S., an Areva company. These canisters form a part of orders of 50 such units for three leading American nuclear power plant operators to be manufactured in accordance with the U.S. code of Federal Regulations and Nuclear Safety Class I standards


Aircel partners Facebook

Aircel introduced an innovative way through the new Facebook Voice Updates on Aircel which lets people connect to its users' family and friends on Facebook in their own voice, even without internet access on their mobile phones, which makes it an easy access for a large audience anytime anywhere, says a release.


MARG joins hands with Ireland firm

MARG has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ireland-based construction major Lagan Construction. Both the companies will collaborate with each other to strengthen the development of construction of roads, airports, water and sewage treatment plants in India.



Persons


K. Rajagopal passes away

He was the chairman of Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) from 1975 to 1977 and again from 1992 to 1994. He was the chairman of the Indian Cotton Mills' Federation (ICMF) from 1980 to 1982 and was also a committee member of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (1980 to 1982).



Awards



A.R. Rahman wins Critics' Choice award

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. It is also expected to get Rahman his second Golden Globe this year.

Boyle, who went on to score eight Oscars with his Slumdog Millionaire, collaborated with Rahman again for 127 Hours, a biopic on the life of mountain climber Aron Ralston.




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