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2011 January International Issues

World’s first hack-proof software developed.

Scientists have developed what they claim is the world’s first hack-free software which can protect systems from failure or malicious attacks.

The microkernel has been developed by a team led by Australia’s ICT Research Centre of Excellence’s spinout company — Open Kernel Labs. It is a small operating system (OS) kernel that regulates access to a computer’s hardware.

A new high-tech stealth fighter, built by China which could threaten American air supremacy may well have been built with US technology.

Nighthawks were the world’s first stealth fighters — planes hard for radars to detect. But on March 27, 1999, during Nato’s aerial bombing of Serbia in the Kosovo war, a Serbian anti-aircraft missile shot one of the Nighthawks down.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to implement the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) to provide India and neighboring countries with the Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) service, S.V. Kibe, Brahmprakash Professor in the ISRO Headquarters, Bangalore, said.

At present, two space navigation systems operate in the world — the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS). ;The Galileo of Europe and China's COMPASS (Beidou) are likely to start working in five to 10 years.

After a gap of 19 years, India has joined the United Nations Security Council as its non-permanent member for a two-year term, hoping that the seat at the high table will not only cement its place as a key global player but also pave the way for becoming a permanent member of the powerful wing of the world body.

On January 1, India, along with Germany, Portugal, South Africa and Columbia, became a non-permanent member of this 15-member body.

India in global top 10 in research article output

This was stated by Michiel Kolman, senior vice-president, Global Academic Relations at Elsevier, while presenting the data of the ‘SciVal country map' of India at the Indian Science Congress at Kattankulathur

Elsevier is a company which publishes medical and scientific literature. It is a part of the Reed Elsevier group.

Dr. Kolman said India was strong, based on leadership articles, in

  1. chemistry (35 per cent), 
  2. engineering (18 per cent), 
  3. mathematics and physics (11 per cent) and 
  4. biology (10 per cent).

India was in the global top 10 in article output and it was growing at an impressive 8 per cent. It, however, lagged behind China and Brazil.

India was ranked in the top 20 in quality of articles. The most productive institutions in the country were the IITs, the IISc, and the CSIR institutions. The only university among the top 10 was the University of Delhi, Dr. Kolman noted.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has entered into a tie-up with the international news agency,Thompson Reuters' Indian subsidiary to provide market information to farmers.

The one year programme is being introduced in Tamil Nadu from January as a pilot project by NABARD with Reuters Market Light (RML), a unit of Thomson Reuters India, contracted to provide information to farmers through Short Message Service (SMS)

The Prince of Wales named Prince Charles is planning to build a shanty town for 15,000 poor people living in India, inspired by the one he saw in the Oscar-winning movie Slum dog Millionaire. As a part of the plan, schools, shops and 3,000 homes will be built.

Russia and the United States have enacted a historic nuclear cooperation pact that will enable the two countries to collaborate in atomic technologies for the first time in the history of their relations.
The agreement entered into force after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle exchanged respective diplomatic notes in Moscow.

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. 

Indian scientists traverse shortest path to South Pole
India's first scientific expedition team to the South Pole took a different but short route to reach the earth's southernmost point — in just eight days. The path has never been tried before by any other country.
The team led by Rasik Ravindra, director of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), had left Maitri, India's second permanent research station on the Antarctica, on Nov 13, 2010 and planted the Indian flag at South Pole on Nov 22.
The eight-member team travelled 2,350 km distance (one side) between Maitri, and South Pole in arctic trucks braving the difficult weather conditions and traversing the tough terrain with snow-capped sharp razor-edged hills of 1-2 metre height.

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. 

The daughter of Sikh immigrants from Punjab, Indian-American Namrata “Nikki” Randhawa Haley proudly recollected her Indian heritage while being sworn in as the first woman and non-white Governor of South Carolina.

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”.

Holly wood Actor  Arnold schwarzenegger resigned  for California Governor Post. 

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.

Saudi Arabia,  the top oil exporter is planning to host the World's largest gold factory  by the end of 2011 

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) called for replicating Sulabh International's low-cost sanitation model in Pakistan, as being implemented in other countries, particularly Africa. USAID is the US Government's agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid.

The governing Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV)  elected Nguyen Phu Trong as the new General Secretary in succession to Nong Duc Manh. Mr. Trong, Chairman of Vietnam's National Assembly until now, was chosen the party's highest functionary for a five-year term.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is expected to retain his position at the helm of government following his inclusion as a prominent member of the party's new 14-strong Politburo.

“WikiLeaks banker” Rudolf Elmer was arrested shortly after a Zurich court found him guilty of coercion and breaking Switzerland's strict bank secrecy laws in an earlier case. He is in police detention and will be questioned

2010 is warmest year on record

Average temperatures globally last year were 0.53 Celsius higher than the 1961-90 mean that is used for comparison purposes, according to World Meteorological Organisation.

NASA to launch Earth-observing satellite mission

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced  that its newest Earth-observing research mission is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on February 23.

The “Glory mission,” which will improve understanding of how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect the Earth's climate, will also extend a legacy of long-term solar measurements needed to address key uncertainties about climate change.

It will join a fleet called the Afternoon Constellation or “A-train” of satellites. This group of other Earth-observing satellites, including NASA's Aqua and Aura spacecraft, flies in tight formation.

Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in Belarussian president, for a fourth term

Miss "Nebraska Teresa Scanlan" Selected for the new Miss America-2011 at the Planet Hollywood Resort &Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

35th International Circus Festival Held at Monte Carlo

The governing Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) elected Nguyen Phu Trongnew General Secretary. as the

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.



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