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2012 - October 1 to 14 Current Affairs


International Affairs
  • Radical preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri and four other terror suspects were extradited on 5 October from the UK after Britain's high court ruled they had no more grounds for appeal in their year’s long battles to avoid facing charges in the United States.Scotland Yard said the suspects had been brought to an air force base in eastern England from Long Lartin Prison, where two planes provided by US authorities were waiting to fly them to America. 
  • At least 46 students were killed and several others injured when unidentified gunmen wearing military uniform attacked a hostel in northern Nigeria on 3 october. The massacre has taken place on Nigeria's 52nd Independence celebration. police sources said gunmen invaded the hostel of Mubi Polytechnic in northern state of Adamawa, killing 46 students. A lecturer said that the gunmen wore military attire and told the students to identify themselves by name.
  • Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili conceded defeat on 1 October, in parliamentary polls that handed a victory to an opposition coalition led by billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili.Although Saakashvili remains president, the defeat of his United National Movement to Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition in the elections spells the end of his nine years of largely unchallenged dominance over Georgia.
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Help Age International report said India's population is likely to increase by 60 per cent between 2000 and 2050 but the number of elders, who have attained 60 years of age will go up by 360 per centand the government should start framing policies. The report says,"India has around 100 million elderly at present and the number is expected to increase to 323 million, constituting 20 per cent of the total population, by 2050" .The UNFPA in its study in India, which was conducted in seven states, found that around one-fifth of the elderly live alone or with spouses only in both rural and urban areas. According to the report, by 2050, India and China will have about 80 per cent of the world's elderly living there, and India is likely to pip China in the number of centenarians.
  • Six years after the formal end of the civil war, Nepal’s “peace process” has concluded with the integration of a little over 1,450 former Maoist fighters into the Nepal Army (NA). The cantonments where the former combatants of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) resided have closed down, Maoist weapons are under state control, and the PLA has ceased to exist ending the state of “one country, two Armies”. Over the past five years, there has been a gradual reduction in the number of combatants in the cantonments. About 32,000 individuals had initially registered in the camps in early 2007. But the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) verified only 19,602 of those as combatants and disqualified over 4,000 persons for being under-age or joining the Maoist Army after the ceasefire began. The “disqualified” were discharged from the cantonments in early 2010. In November 2011, a seven-point agreement was signed between the parties, which stipulated that a maximum of 6,500 former combatants could be integrated in a specially created general directorate under the NA. In April 2012, the Nepal Army had also taken charge of the cantonments as well as containers that included over 3,000 Maoist weapons. 
  • The Indian Union Cabinet on 3 October, approved the ratification of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing signed by India. The Nagoya Protocol has been signed by 92 countries. Five countries have also ratified the Protocol. India signed the Nagoya Protocol on May 11, 2011. The country is hosting the eleventh CoP to the CBD in Hyderabad this month. India is one of the identified mega diverse countries rich in biodiversity. With only 2.4 per cent of the earth's land area, it accounts for 7-8 per cent of the recorded species of the world. It is also rich in associated traditional knowledge, which is both coded as in ancient texts of Indian systems of medicines such as Ayurveda, Unani and Sidha, and also non-coded, as it exists in oral undocumented traditions. The genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge can be used to develop a wide range of products and services for human benefit, such as medicines, agricultural practices, and cosmetics. India is a Party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which is one of the agreements adopted during the Rio Earth Summit held in 1992. One of the three objectives of the CBD relates to Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), which refers to the way in which genetic resources may be accessed, and benefits resulting from their use shared by users with countries that provide them. The CBD prescribes that access to genetic resources is subject to national legislation. Accordingly, India after extensive consultative process had enacted the Biological Diversity Act in 2002 for giving effect to the provisions of the CBD, including those relating to CBD. However, in the near absence of user country measures, once the resource leaves the country providing the resources, there is no way to ensure compliance of ABS provisions in the country where it is used. Towards this, a protocol on access and benefit sharing has been negotiated under the aegis of CBD, and adopted by the Tenth Conference of Parties (CoP-10) held in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010.India has participated actively and contributed meaningfully in the ABS negotiations which formally started about six years back. The objective of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS is fair and equitable sharing of benefits, arising from the use of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies. 
  • Japan PM reshuffles cabinet, names new finance minister:Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda reshuffled his cabinet on 1 October, naming Koriki Jojima, a senior member of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), as new finance minister. Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba was among heavyweight names keeping their posts in the reshuffle as Noda looks to move past a damaging row with China and boost his flagging popularity. The reshuffle came, as the prime minister's poll numbers remain dreary after a costly battle over legislation to double sales tax. Noda elevated Makiko Tanaka to the cabinet as new education minister, a woman with pro-Beijing credentials reflecting her father's status as the prime minister who normalised ties with China in 1972. 
  • Bhagat Singh road in Pakistan:Pakistani authorities have renamed a road crossing in Lahore after freedom fighter Bhagat Singh to acknowledge his revolutionary spirit and his role in the movement against the erstwhile British rulers of the subcontinent. The Shadman Chowk of Lahore will now be known as Bhagat Singh Chowk. Bhagat Singh was hanged in March 1931 in the Lahore Jail, which stood at the spot where the roundabout was built later. While authorities have changed the Hindu names of several places in the old quarters of Lahore over the years, the decision to rename a busy roundabout after Bhagat Singh has been appreciated by some local residents as a bold move. 
  • Global biodiversity meet begins:The mega 19-day, global biodiversity event -- the 11th Conference of Parties (COP) to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) -- kick-started on 1 October with the inauguration of a meeting on the implementation of Cartagena Protocol on Bio-safety by Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan. While 9,000 delegates from 193 countries participated in the deliberations, the five-day sixth meeting relating to Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-safety (COP MOP), saw the presence of around 2,000 delegates from 150 countries. At COP MOP, a host of issues will be discussed and decisions adopted for ensuring the safe transfer, handling and use of Living Modified Organisms(LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology. Besides providing further guidance on operation of Bio-safety Clearing House (BCH), it will also adopt means of mobilising additional financial resources for implementation of the Protocol, a framework and action plan for capacity building and encourage parties to expedite domestic ratification to the Supplementary Protocol on liability and redress, among others. At COP-11 beginning October 8, delegates will review the progress of the ‘Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020’ and address ways to strengthen its implementation. 
  • Consensus reached on setting up BRICS Bank:Think tanks of five member--Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa- BRICS bloc, representing the emerging economies, reached consensus on creating a BRICS development bank to complement existing global financial institutions like World Bank .
  • India calls for total elimination of Chemical Weapons, WMDs:India on 2 October stressed the importance of total elimination of chemical weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and called for universal adherence to international legal norms and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Speaking at a special meeting of the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in New York to mark 15 years of the CWC, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said India viewed the Convention as a unique, multilaterally negotiated and non-discriminatory disarmament instrument, which served as a model for elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. The Minister told the meeting that the international legal norms against the use of chemical weapons anywhere must not be breached. 
  • Russia rejects Pak plea for Kashmir mediation:Russia on 4 October ruled out playing a role in resolving the Kashmir problem, saying India and Pakistan were capable of settling their outstanding issues themselves. 
  • Pak SC gives govt more time to amend Swiss draft:Pakistan Supreme Court 5 October objected to contents of a fresh draft of a letter to be sent to Swiss authorities over graft charges against President Asif Ali Zardari and gave government time until October 10 to finalise it in accordance with its order that sought revival of the cases.
  • The Philippine government and the country’s biggest Muslim rebel group announced on that they had agreed on a plan to end a decades-long separatist insurgency that has killed more than 1,50,000 people. The agreement would see the establishment of a new semi-autonomous Muslim area in the resource-rich southernPhilippine region of Mindanao, which the 12,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) regards as its ancestral homeland. In this regard, Philippines President Benigno Aquino told this framework agreement would pave the way for a final and enduring peace in Mindanao. The two sides said they were aiming for a final peace deal to be achieved before the President’s term ends in the middle of 2016. Mr. Aquino said a final agreement would have to be approved by a plebiscite. Such approval is not certain in the mainly Catholic country. A planned peace deal during the term of previous President Gloria Arroyo crumbled in 2008 at the final moment amid intense domestic opposition. There are roughly four million Muslims in Mindanao. They see it as their ancestral homeland dating back to Islamic sultanates established before Spanish Christians arrived in the 1500s.Muslim rebel groups have been fighting for independence or autonomy in Mindanao since the early 1970s.The rebellion has claimed more than 150,000 lives, most in the 1970s when all-out war raged, and left large parts of Mindanao in deep poverty. The MILF is the biggest and most important remaining rebel group, after the Moro National Liberation Front signed a peace pact with the government in 1996.Mindanao is home to vast untapped reserves of gold, copper and other minerals, as well as being one of the country’s most important farming regions. 
  • A court in the Maldives on, ordered the arrest of the country’s first democratically elected President, Mohamed Nasheed, who has challenged the legality of a criminal trial against him. The court issued the arrest warrant after Mr. Nasheed failed for a second time to show up before a special three-judge bench set up to try him for abuse of power when he was in office. Earlier in the day, Mr. Nasheed said he was challenging the legality of the judicial process against him.
  • The Pakistani army has said that the Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai(14) who shot in the head by Taliban gunmen on 9 October, is being sent to the UK for medical treatment. The girl has until now been at a military hospital in Rawalpindi, with doctors saying her progress over the next few days would be "critical". The girl wrote a diary about suffering under the Taliban and was accused by them of "promoting secularism”. The Pakistani army said Ms Yousafzai's trip was being sponsored by the United Arab Emirates. The teenager - who has been campaigning for education for girls was attacked on 9 October as she was returning home from school in Mingora in north-western Swat. The Taliban has warned they will target Malala Yousafzai again.
  • Kuwait’s ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on 6 October, dissolved parliament, a step toward ending months of political mess and calling the second elections this year that could again swing in favour of opposition groups led by Islamist factions. The move by Kuwait’s Western-allied emir, announced on state-run media, followed a failed attempt last month by the government to overturn a voting district law that appeared to favour the opposition. New elections must now be held within 60 days.
  • Incumbent Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has won the presidential electionwith 54.42 percent of the vote. With 90 percent of the votes counted, Chavez, who will serve a third six-year term starting from January 2013, defeated opposition challenger Henrique Capriles, who represents the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition and gained 44.97 percent of votes.
  • Arabic on 10 October 2012 made its official debut among one of the Languages at Pope Benedict’s weekly general audiences. This is an exercise and attempt of Vatican to expand its reach to Christians and Muslims in Middle East. Speaking Arabic during the audiences that is broadcasted across the world on radio and television may bring down the fear of Christians in Middle East comforting them to stay back on the land that is a home for many of the holy places for Christians. It is likely that this act of Pope’s address to the world in Arabic language would help in improving the strained relations with the Muslim world. The relations between the Christians and the Muslim world turned sour after Pope’s speech at Regensburg in 2006, which made the Muslim world feel that his message was an attack on Islam. On occasion of the 50th anniversary of the second Vatican Council, Pope for the first time addressed people in Arabic.
  • Libyan premier Mustafa Abu Shagur was dismissed on 8 October, after the General National Congress rejected his proposed "crisis" cabinet of just 10 ministers, days after his first line-up was also turned down. The embattled Abu Shagur, who had been given 72 hours to come up with a new cabinet, was relieved of his duties and the GNC will have to elect a new prime minister within the next three to four weeks. Before he had even put forward his second cabinet list in just four days, a motion of no confidence in Abu Shagur was signed by 126 assembly members. That was rejected by the GNC president. But when his pared-down list was put to the vote, 125 members of the 186 members present in the 200-seat GNC did not express "confidence" in his choices, against 44 members for and 17 abstentions. Under GNC rules, the assembly will now elect a new premier. 
  • Election Commission of India and the United Nations Development Programme UNDP on 11 October signed an MOU for cooperation in election management, particularly for supporting elections and democratic process in other countries. The MOU was signed by Shri Akshay Rout, Director General from the Commission and Ms. Lise Grande, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator from UNDP’s side in the presence of Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri V S Sampath, Election Commissioners, Shri H S Brahma and Dr Nasim Zaidi and UNDP Under Secretary General and UNDP Associate Administrator, Ms. Rebeca Grynspan. Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sampath observed that transparency and strict enforcement have been the strength of ECI, which have lent total credibility to Indian elections. He underlined the Commission’s commitment to work along South-South cooperation and extend support to electoral process wherever there is a need.ECI and UNDP have been working jointly in recent months to harness ECI’s competence in election management to the benefit of several countries. The collaboration is specially built around Commission’s one-year-old India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management, IIIDEM, which offers courses for international election practitioners. Election Commission has signed MOUs with fourteen countries for sharing electoral practices and extending electoral assistance.

  • Wealth of China's super rich declines:As the Chinese economy slowed down due to steady fall in exports, the wealth of some of the country's richest people registered a decline in the past year. According to the Hurun Rich List, China has 251 people worth $1 billion or more, 20 fewer than last year. However, the number of Chinese billionaire has increased many folds compared with 2006, when there were only fifteen. It is the first time in seven years that the number of billionaires in China has fallen. The Chinese economy has slowed in recent months with growth falling to a three-year low of 7.6 per cent, compared with the previous year. Of the 1,000 richest people tracked by Hurun, nearly half saw their wealth shrink in the past year, BBC reported. Topping the list this year is Zong Qinghou, from the beverage company Wahaha, who is worth $12.6 bn. 
  • Aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov will be handed over towards the end of next year, Russia said on10 October as India conveyed its "serious concern" over the prolonged delay and asked it to adopt a "wartime approach" for ensuring its early delivery. The issue came up at a meeting here between Defence Minister AK Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov during which Moscow said the 45,000-tonne aircraft carrier had suffered a "big malfunction" in its engine and could be handed over only in "fourth quarter of 2013". 
  • India had signed the contract for buying the second-hand warship, now rechristened INS Vikramaditya, in 2004 and it was supposed to be delivered in 2009. Due to recurring escalation in price, it was rescheduled to be delivered in December this year but the present problem has pushed it back by almost one more year. "We have handed over the revised overhaul and transfer schedule to the Indian side and we believe that transfer of the ship will take place in the 4th quarter of the 2013," Serdyukov told reporters at the joint press conference after the meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IR-IGMTC). 
  • Global Hunger Report 2012: India ranked at 65th position:The report on Global Hunger Index for seventh year was released on 11 October 2012 by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide. The basic theme of the report for the 2012 Global Hunger Index -- The Challenge of Hunger: Ensuring Sustainable Food Security under Land, Water, and Energy Stresses. IFPRI that calculated the global hunger Index analysed the measures based upon multidimensional angles. The published report have shown a proportional growth in hunger reduction of people worldwide but recorded the progress speed was tragically slow and alarming. The report in its findings recorded twenty countries across the world mainly from South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to be highly alarming and have highest level of hunger, and showcased the sufferings of millions of poor. As per the report, the nations that had showcased an absolute progress between 1990 Global Hunger Index to 2012 Global Hunger Index were Bangladesh, Angola, Malawi, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Niger, and Vietnam. Whereas there are 15 countries that have managed to reduce it by 50 percent or more. As per the report, India instead of its fast paced economic growth in past two decades has lagged behind in improving its record in Global Hunger Index chart. In the list of 79 countries in the global Hunger Index, India was ranked 65th behind China that was placed at 2nd place position, Pakistan at 57th and Sri Lanka at 37th position. The report also points out the three countries Bangladesh, India and Timor-Leste constitutes to the highest occurrence of underweight children under the age group of five years, which records to more than 40 percent in each country. India was ranked second with 43.5 percent of the children less than five underweight in the list of the 129 countries compared for underweight child, after Timor-Leste. Countries like Ethiopia, Niger, Nepal and Bangladesh followed the chart.

National Affairs
  • Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on 28 september, ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into rampant rhino poaching in the Kaziranga National Park.The probe will cover poaching during the past three years from now. The state government also announced cash reward of Rs 5 lakh to anyone giving clues to poachers. Earlier, the Union Environment and Forest Minister Jayanthi Natarajan had expressed shock at the growing incidence of rhino poaching in Assam with the flood-hit Kaziranga having lost four rhinos during the past 48 hours to poachers. She had ordered an investigation by a team of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau officials.
  • Goa Government is the first government in India to introduce a policy for housewives by introducing cash compensation for every woman who is housewife and a mother as well. The compensation will be Rs.1000 every month for those household with less than 3 Lakhs annual income. Overall 1.25 lakh families will be benefited with this move.
  • In order to give encouragement to the talented sportsmen of the University system and promote sports in Universities, the Union Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal on 5 October launched hockey and cricket league under the Association of Indian Universities (AIU). Association of Indian Universities has been organising the Rohinton Baria Cricket Trophy, the Inter University Hockey Tournament and other events for promotion of sports in the Universities throughout the country.It was after an offer made by the NDTV Group for assisting in sponsoring sports events, it was decided to organise every year, a National Level University Cricket League (UCL) and University Hockey League (UHL).The University Cricket League would be played among 8 top University teams in the T 20 format, from amongst those who qualify through a zonal competition. Similarly the University Hockey League would be played among the top 8 teams selected through the zonal competitions.
  • An agreement between Government of India and the World Bank for loan of US$ 500 million (equivalent) from World Bank for the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) was signed on 6 october. The agreement was signed by Shri Prabodh Saxena,Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Onno Ruhl, Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank. The Objective of the project is to help India to achieve increased and more equitable access to good quality secondary education through support of the Government’s ongoing program for secondary education as delineated in the (RMSA) Framework. The project would support all activities detailed in the RMSA Framework, for which financial and technical norms have been determined. The Bank’s support is being provided through a Sector Wide Approach, so there are no separate components, but this section describes the different types of activities which will be supported with the Framework. RMSA represents a systemic shift in the way secondary education is planned, managed and financed in India.
  • The Cauvery basin districts and Karnataka’s capital Bangalore on 6 October, witnessed a complete shutdown on in response to the bandh called by the Kannada Okkoota, a federation of organisations, in protest against the release of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu. The bandh , which evoked mixed response in the northern and coastal districts was peaceful. Interestingly, Kodagu district, birthplace of the Cauvery, also witnessed mixed response.
  • U.N. Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet, is in Rajasthan on 6 October to launch the first-ever knowledge hub for elected women representatives living in rural areas of South Asia, visited Barrod village of Behror panchayat samiti to observe the functioning of the village panchayat and interact with rural women to motivate them to strive for getting their rights. Ms. Bachelet had served as President of Chile from 2006 to 2010. In her address to the huge gathering, Ms. Bachelet said though men and women may have a different outlook, they should be complementary to each other to ensure development of society without gender-based discrimination. “Women elected representatives have a better leadership potential and better grasp of issues [for which] they can organise women and achieve great results,” she affirmed. The U.N. Women functions as a United Nations entity for women’s empowerment and gender equality. The knowledge hub, named the Regional Centre for Excellence, will train 65,000 elected women representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions in 16 districts of five States in India to become more effective leaders.The hub comprising three important components of mobile application, web application and community radio can be accessed by women through an interactive tool, Wi-Net, developed on android platform.
  • The government has said that on 2 October, it will soon set up smart cities in the country with all ultramodern facilities like intelligent and integrated transport system, broadband and carbon neutralizers. Addressing a joint press conference in New Delhi with visiting Austrian Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology Mrs Doris Burse, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath said that initially two such smart cities will be created in every state under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, JNNURM.
  • After a long wait, Siddipet Gollabama and Mangalagiri sarees and fabric (A.P) have finally got Geographical Indication status. According to the GI registry at Chennai, the application for GI status was filed by Mangalagiri Sarees and Fabrics Apex Society in 2010. Mangalagiri sarees and material for duppattas, gent’s shirts, kurtas and salwar kameezes are also covered. Mangalagiri sarees and fabrics are made of pure, sturdy and durable cotton. The Nizam border in the sarees and churidars are peculiar to the Mangalagiri region in Guntur district. The fabric is woven on a pit-loom. There is no gap in the weave at the edge of the material, which again is unique. The application for GI status for the Siddipeta Gollabama saree was made by the Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society Limited, Siddipet. Siddipeta Gollabama is a handwoven cotton saree carrying the distinctive motif of Gollabama the milk maid carrying a pot of milk on her head and another in her hand. Each pallu of a Siddipet Gollabama saree has about 13 to 15 Gollabama motifs in green, violet, red and orange colours. The sarees are again hand woven and are comfortable to wear.
  • The Nirmal Bharat Yatra “to make the country open-defecation-free and to ensure proper sanitation in rural India” began on 5 October, from Sevagram in Wardha district of Maharashtra in presence of the Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh. The Yatra has been organised by Wash United and Quicksand Design Studio jointly “to increase awareness about cleanliness among people through different awareness programs “which would be carried out as the Yatra progresses. The Yatra will travel almost 2,000 km through villages from Maharashtra to Bihar and will end in Bettiah town in the West Champaran of Bihar on November 19.Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ramesh termed the open defecation as the blot on Indian society and said, that this Nirmal Bharat Yatra is connected with the dignity of Indian women. Actress Vidya Balan is the brand ambassador of the Nirmal Bharat Yatra and Sachin Tendulkar will also take part in it.
  • Altamas Kabir sworn in as Chief Justice of India:Justice Altamas Kabir, senior most Judge of the Supreme Court, was sworn in as the 39th Chief Justice of India. Justice Kabir will have tenure of a little over nine months until July 18, 2013. Justice Kabir (64), who hails from Kolkata, was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court on September 9, 2005. He became a Judge of the Calcutta High Court in 1990. He was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court on March 1, 2005 and elevated to the Supreme Court in September 2005. During his tenure as a Supreme Court judge, Justice Kabir delivered several landmark judgments, particularly relating to human rights and election laws.
  • Punjab Government started a massive door-to-door Cancer Detection Campaign. The Pilot trial of the project will start in Faridkot district of Punjab from October 2012 for a complete month and will be implemented across the state in December 2012. The Cancer detection survey involving fifty thousand personnel aims at detecting the cancer at its initial stage in a population of over 1.25 crore. The Chief Minister of Punjab, Prakash Singh Badal declared during his high-level meet of senior officials of World Health organization, departments of health and family welfare and medical education and research and more organizations about the official launch of the project. He also emphasized on the fact that he will not allow scarcity of funds to effect this prestigious campaign.
  • Govt to develop two smart cities in every state:The government is planning to develop two ‘smart’ cities with a host of modern features like intelligent transport and carbon neutral status in each of the states in the second phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Kapil Sibal said medium-sized cities with half a million to one million populations will be developed as smart cities and the government has sought the expertise of Austrian Institute of Technology for the purpose.
  • Dhanapal set to get elected new T.N. SpeakerTamil Nadu Deputy Speaker P. Dhanapal has been named the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's nominee for the post of Assembly Speaker. The 61-year-old Mr. Dhanapal represents the Rasipuram (reserved) constituency of Namakkal district. In the past, he was elected from the Sankari constituency four times. During the previous AIADMK regime (2001-2006), he held the portfolio of Food and Cooperation for one-and-a-half years. As the ruling party has a strength of 152 members in the House of 234, his election as Speaker is only a matter of formality. 
  • 1.35 lakh committed suicide in 2011; highest in W Bengal, TN:More than 1.35 lakh people committed suicide in the country in 2011 of which the highest number were reported in West Bengal followed by Tamil Nadu. Family Problems and illness, accounting for 24.3 per cent and 19.6 per cent respectively, were the major causes of suicides while poverty was to be blamed in 1.7 per cent of the cases, according to government data. Love affairs (3.4 per cent), drug abuse/addiction (2.7 per cent), dowry dispute (2.4 per cent) and bankruptcy (2.2 per cent) were among the other causes. 
     
  • Delhi has reported the highest number of suicides (1,716) among UTs, followed by Puducherry (557). Seven UTs together accounted for 1.9 per cent of total suicides in the country. The number of suicides in the country over the decade (2001?2011) has recorded an increase of 25 per cent -- from 1,08,506 in 2001 to 1,35,585 in 2011. West Bengal reported the highest number of suicides (16,492) accounting for 12.2 per cent of the total suicides last year followed by Tamil Nadu (15,963), Maharashtra (15,947), Andhra Pradesh (15,077) and Karnataka (12,622). They accounted for 11.8 per cent, 11.8 per cent, 11.1 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively of the total suicides in the country. These five states together accounted for 56.2 per cent of the total suicides reported in India, the NCRB said.The remaining 43.8 per cent suicides were reported in the rest of 23 states and seven Union Territories, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Uttar Pradesh, country's most populous state (16.5 per cent share of the population) has reported comparatively lower percentage of suicidal deaths, accounting for only 3.6 per cent of such deaths. Fifty-three mega cities accounted for 13.5 per cent of the total suicides in the country. 
     
  • The Supreme Court on 3 October directed the Centre and state governments to provide basic infrastructure, including drinking water and toilets, in all schools within six months. A bench headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan fixed the time limit and asked the governments to take steps to provide the basic facilities in schools across the country. The bench said that all its previous directions pertaining to providing infrastructure should be implemented within the time frame fixed by it. On October 18 last year, the apex court had directed all states and union territories to build toilets, particularly for girls, in all government schools. The court passed the order on a PIL seeking its direction to Centre and state governments to provide basic facilities of drinking water and toilets in schools. The apex court had earlier stated that it was imperative that all schools provide toilet facilities, as empirical researches indicated that wherever toilet facilities are not provided in schools, parents do not send their children (particularly girls) to schools. The court had also observed that not providing the infrastructure was a violation of the right to free and compulsory education of children guaranteed under Article 21-A of the Constitution.
  • Gujarat polls on December 13, 17 and Himachal on November 4The election commission on 3 October announced the dates for the crucial assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The Gujarat elections will be held in two phases in the month of December, chief election commissioner VS Sampath announced. The dates for polling in Gujarat are December 13 and December 17. The EC announced one-phase poll in Himachal Pradesh on November 4. The counting for both the states will be held on December 20. The CEC announced that the candidates would be required to have a separate bank account for polls. While Gujarat has 182 assembly constituencies, 13 of which are reserved for SCs and 26 for STs, Himachal Pradesh has 68 assembly seats, with 17 reserved for SCs and 3 for STs.
  • Ministry of Rural Development Launched Nirmal Bharat Yatra :Ministry of rural development on 3 October 2012 started a campaign named Nirmal Bharat Yatra, which focuses on making the country free from open defecation. The yatra will begin from Wardha District of Maharashtra from 3 October 2012 and will go through Indore, Kota, Gwalior, and Gorakhpur and end up in Bettiah district of Bihar on November 17, covering about 2000 km of distance. The Indian Bollywood actress Vidya Balan is the brand ambassador of the campaign. The campaign is being promoted by several NGOs and private companies and it is going to be completed at a cost of over Rs 12 crore and is going to target over 9 crore people to spread awareness about sanitation. The well known NGOs that are participating in the programme are Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council. According to the Studies conducted by World Health Organisation and UNICEF it was found that with 626 million people defecating in the open, India has largest population without access to toilets. The Yatra is about demand generation and sensitization about the sanitation issues as open defecation is a blot on our society. The single biggest cause of malnutrition in India is poor sanitation and hygiene. Sikkim has already achieved the ODF (Open Defecation Free) status and the States like Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Maharashtra are on way to achieve the sanitation goals in coming one to two years. 
  • Tribal march for land rights:More than 50,000 tribal have started their march on foot to Delhi from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, demanding land rights. The tribal under the umbrella of a Gandhian organisation, Ekta Parishad, started the march after their talks with Union government's representative including Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Minister of State for Industry and Commerce failed. Ramesh, Scindia, Social Justice Minister Mukul Wasnik and Panchayati Raj Minister Kishore Chandra Deo met the tribal led by activist PV Rajagopal but failed to pacify them or arrive at an agreement. 
  • A. Raja, Kanimozhi, Kalmadi on parliamentary panels:The former Union Minister, A. Raja, Kanimozhi and Suresh Kalmadi have been made members of the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Energy, Home Affairs and External Affairs respectively. Raja, who was arrested in the 2G scam case on February 2 last year, is on bail since May 15 this year. Kalmadi, an accused in the Commonwealth Games scam case, spent about nine months in jail before being released on bail on January 19 this year. DMK MP Kanimozhi, also an accused in some cases related to the 2G spectrum allocation, has been nominated to the Standing Committee on Home Affairs. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi has been made a member of the Standing Committee on Finance, headed by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha. In the reconstitution of various committees, Tiruchi Siva of the DMK has been made Chairman of the Standing Committee on Industry, while Brajesh Pathak of the BSP has been made Chairman of the Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare.  
  • The government has given its green signal to Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) to go ahead with eight big and unique projects proposed by it involving an outlay of Rs.3,300 crore. These projects will be implemented through PPP mode with assistance from aiding institutions, mainly Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). These projects included one taken up with Rs.370 crore aid from JICA to improve the catchment area of Hussainsagar and ensure its cleanliness. The second project that will also be funded by JICA, aims at implementing Intelligent Transport System (ITS) for Outer Ring Road within Hyderabad metropolitan area involving an expenditure of Rs.900 crore. The third one is taken up for a “transit-oriented development” of the lands available within the core area of the city for a mixed use for residential and commercial activities designed to minimise the need for private transport and maximise the access to public transport such as buses and trains. HMDA commissioner Neerabh Kumar Prasad said Moosapet, Saroornagar and Khanamet (near Hitech City) had been identified to implement the first phase of this project. An integrated commuter terminal would be developed at Secunderabad railway station using the land of the old Gandhi Hospital to ease the congestion as witnessed now. Two radial roads would be constructed under Musi improvement plan — originating from Nagole Bridge to Singaram and Gourelly. A Science City would be developed with state-of-the-art technology at a cost of Rs.100 crore over 30 acres of land. Similarly, a Hyderabad Habitat Centre would be set up (Rs.200 crore) on the lines of the one existing in New Delhi. Sites for locating these two were not yet finalised. Besides, the works of the next phase of the ORR and the remaining 26 out of 33 radial roads taken up would be grounded soon. The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to ban the gutka industry in the State from April next year, an official spokesman said on 3 October. 
 
  • Andhra Pradesh produces 13.5 lakh tones of fish a year:Andhra Pradesh ranks second in terms of growth in fish production with a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of eight per cent and with over 13.5 lakh tonne of fish production annually, according to a study by Assocham. The study titled 'A prize catch in Indian export basket' estimated that the country’s fish production would cross 13 million tonne by 2016 from the current nine million tonne. The current CAGR is 3.5 percent. The apex industry body, however, suggested to the government to take measures to improve infrastructure and offer incentives to tap the immense potential of the fisheries sector. "Indian marine waters are home to over 1,700 fish species, including 200 commercially significant species," said R. Sannareddy, chairman, southern regional council, Assocham. 
  • Cabinet gives green signal to revised Companies Bill:Looking to better serve the interests of all stakeholders, the government approved amendments to Companies Bill 2011, including changes related to spending on CSR activities. The revised Companies Bill, which is expected to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament, has limited the number of companies an auditor can serve to 20. It has also brought in more clarity on criminal liability of auditors.
  • The Union Cabinet on 11 October, approved the introduction of Amendments to the "Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986" in Parliament. Some important amendments proposed are as follows: (i) Broaden the scope of the law to cover the audio-visual media and material in electronic form. (ii) Penalties to be enhanced to a maximum of three years of imprisonment and fine of between Rs.50,000 to Rs.1,00,000 for first conviction, and imprisonment of not less than two years, but which may extend to seven years, and a fine between Rs.1,00,000 to Rs.5,00,000 for second conviction. (iii) Police officers not below the rank of Inspectors authorized to carry out search and seizure, in addition to State and Central Government officers authorized by the State or Central Government. These amendments seek to ensure that more effective protection is provided against indecent representation of women by covering newer forms of communication like internet, multimedia messaging etc., beyond the print and audio-visual media. This would aid in addressing the problem of increased objectification of women thereby ensuring dignity of women. The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 was enacted with the objective of prohibiting indecent representation of women in any advertisement or publication. However, since the existing legislation lacks the focus that is necessary to protect women from exploitation, particularly in the face of the increasing use of advanced technology and communication devices in our everyday life, it was felt that the scope of the Act may need to be amended. Extensive consultations have been held with stakeholders including lawyers and civil society organizations on the draft Bill, before its finalization. 
  • The Union Cabinet discussed the Draft Twelfth Five Year Plan document (2012-2017), and approved the proposal to place the Plan Document before the National Development Council. The Plan proposes an acceleration of growth over the plan period to reach 9 percent in the terminal year, yielding an average growth rate of 8.2 percent for the plan period as a whole. It emphasizes that the growth must be both inclusive and sustainable, and to achieve these objectives it proposes a comprehensive game plan in terms of policies and programmes. The estimates show resource availability for the Twelfth Plan at Rs.80,50,123 crore in current prices for the Centre and States taken together. This implies the public sector resources for the Twelfth Plan (2012-2017) would be 11.8 per cent of GDP. To achieve the targeted growth rate, the fixed investment rate should increase to 35 per cent of GDP (at constant prices) by the end of the Twelfth Plan, yielding an average fixed investment rate of 34 per cent of GDP (at constant prices) for the Twelfth Plan period as a whole. The projected average rate of gross domestic capital formation in the Twelfth Plan is 37 per cent of GDP, the projected gross domestic savings rate is 34.2 per cent of GDP and the net external financing needed for macro-economic balance would average around 2.9 per cent of GDP. The Plan emphasizes a broad definition of inclusiveness, which encompasses a spread of benefits to the weaker sections, including especially the SC/STs, OBCs and Minorities, and also regional balance in development.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the introduction of Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Amendment Bill, 2012 in Parliament. The Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959 was enacted in the year 1959 and with the passage of time some of its provisions have become obsolete and require modifications. With this in mind, the Act is being amended. Employment Exchanges will be renamed as "Employment Guidance and Promotion Centres" as the focus is now on vocational guidance and career counseling besides registration, submission and placement etc. Establishments in the private sector employing between 10-24 persons are being brought under the purview of the Act for the purpose of submission of returns. This is likely to result in a more realistic estimate of employment in the organised sector. The employer is being mandated to furnish information relating to the result of selection against the vacancies notified within thirty days from the date of selection, to make the registration data more rational. The definitions of employee and employer are being broad based to include contract labour that has worked for more than 240 days in a year.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to further amend the Competition Act, 2002, with a view to fine tune it and to meet the present day needs in the field of competition, in the light of the experiences gained in the actual working of the Competition Commission of India in the last few years. Major amendments approved by the Cabinet relate to changing the definition of “turnover”, “Group”, reducing the overall time limit of finalization of combinations from 210 days to 180 days and insertion of a new Section 5A enabling the Central Government to lay down, in consultation with the Competition Commission of India, different thresholds for any class or classes of enterprises for the purpose of examining acquisitions, mergers and amalgamations by the Commission. The other amendments relate to procedural aspects in working of the Commission. 
  • The Union Finance Minister and Leader of the Indian Delegation P. Chidamabaram participated at the 26th Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) in Tokyo on 12 October. He represented the Constituency consisting of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka. By siting the global economic slow down, he told that they should continue to act collectively to restore confidence, rekindle growth and create jobs. It is, therefore, appropriate to take stock of the progress made in realizing their goals so that we should be better prepared to face the emerging challenges. 
  • Prime Minister had set up a committee under the chairmanship of Dr. C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister to look into all the issues relating to the deregulation of the sugar sector. The committee has completed its task, after several rounds of deliberations, consultations with stakeholders, and discussion with Chief Ministers of major sugar-producing states. The report was submitted to the Prime Minster on 10-10-2012. A major recommendation of the committee relates to revising the existing arrangement for the price to be paid to sugarcane farmers, which suffers from problems of accumulation of arrears of cane dues in years of high price and low price for farmers in other years. The committee has also recommended dismantling of the levy obligation for sourcing PDS sugar at a price below the market price. States should be allowed henceforth to fix the issue price of PDS sugar, while the existing subsidy to states for PDS sugar transport and the difference between the levy price and the issue price would continue at the existing level, augmented by the current level of implicit subsidy on account of the difference between the levy price and the open market price. This will free the industry from the burden of a government welfare programme, and indirectly benefit both the farmer and the general consumer since the industry passes on the cost of levy mechanism to farmers and consumers. 
  • Union minister for HRD (human resource development) Kapil Sibal will visit Meghalaya on October 12 to lay the foundation stone for construction of permanent campus of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Sohra. The NIT campus at Sohra would be built in an area of about 200 acres which is already in the possession of the State Government has been allotted to the NIT. NIT director Prof DK Saikia said that the NIT Sohra is among the 30 NITs in the country. NIT Sohra has been established by HRD ministry as an institute of National Importance to play catalyst role in the development of the state. 
  • The President on 11 October, 2012 performed the Bhoomi Puja of Swami Vivekananda Value Education and Cultural Centre in Belgaum, Karnataka. He visited the room where Swami Vivekananda had stayed for four days during his visit to Belgaum in October 1892. He also unveiled a plaque for restoration of Swami Vivekananda memorial. The President said there is need to restore faith in humanity in the minds of our youth. If the youth of India, who are more than fifty percent of population, can imbibe the soaring idealism, the approach of rationalism, love of the universal, abandon all dogma and prejudice and serve mankind, India will find its rightful place in the world. 
  • Suvarna Soudha, the second secretariat building in Karnataka, was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee in Belgaum on 11 October, marking the fulfillment of the long-cherished dream of the people of the region. Mr. Mukherjee said that with the inauguration of the Suvarna Soudha, the administration and governance would come closer to the people of the region, and this would lead to economic growth and removal of regional disparities. 
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to continue the sharing pattern of costs between the Central and State/UT Governments in the ratio of 75:25 during the year 2012-13 in respect of State sector component of the Scheme for setting up of 6,000 model schools at block level as benchmark of excellence. For the year 2012-13, an amount of Rs.1080.00 crore has been allocated for the Scheme. Any financial liability arising due to continuation of sharing pattern of 75:25 would be taken care of within the said allocation. As each school will have 560 students, total number of beneficiaries for 3,500 schools will be 19.60 lakh students. The programme is to be implemented through State Implementing Societies set up by State/UT Governments for this purpose. Till March, 2012, a total of 1,954 model schools have been approved in 22 States and financial sanctions amounting to Rs. 1790.76 crore has been issued for setting up of 1,587 model schools in 21 States. The Model School Scheme was launched in November, 2008 in pursuance of the announcement of the Prime Minister in his Independence Day speech of 2007. The objective of the Scheme is to set up one senior secondary school each in 6,000 blocks as benchmark of excellence. 3,500 of these schools are to be set up under State/UT Governments in Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs) and the remaining 2,500 schools are to be established under PPP mode in blocks which are not educationally backward. The State Sector component of the scheme is operational since the launch of the scheme in November, 2008. 
  • Signing of A Tripartite MoS among Central Government, Govt. of Assam and Factions of DIMA Halam Daogah was taken place in New Delhi. After realizing the futility of violence, both the factions of DHD came forward and expressed their willingness to give up violence and seek solutions to its problems peacefully within the framework of the Constitution.The MoS provides for enhanced autonomy for the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council in Assam and also a special package for speedier socio-economic and educational development of the area for which the Council has been set up. Under the Memorandum of Settlement, a Committee will be constituted to deal with the matters relating to the 6th Schedule Councils. The DHD shall dissolve itself as an organization within a reasonable time as a precursor to the Government initiating further process to implement the agreed decisions of this agreement. As part of the restructuring and empowerment process, the existing North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) will be renamed as the Dima Hasao Autonomous Territorial Council (DHATC). A Special economic package of Rs 200 Crore (Rs. 40 crore per annum) over and above the Plan fund over the next five years will be provided to the DHATC to undertake special projects by the Council. The State Government of Assam has agreed in principle to set up a Development Council with a suitable package for preservation and promotion of culture, language, etc. 
  • Uttar Pradesh government decided to ban gutkha, which is pan masala mixed with tobacco, as per the order of the Allahabad high court order and the Food Security Act passed by the parliament. However, the order will come into effect from April 1, 2013. Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said that six months time has been given to find other source of employment for the people rendered jobless due to ban. The Allahabad high court had on September 18 ordered the UP government to restrain manufacturing, sale and distribution of 'gutkha' in the state and inform the court after 14 days steps taken to implement the order. Fixing October 10 for filing compliance report to implement the Central government's directions under the Food Safety Act, the court in its order, passed on a public interest litigation filed by Indian Dental Association, also said that if the state government failed to act within the stipulated time, it might consider passing an order banning gutkha.
  • Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on 11 October, met Jan Satyagrah activists in Agra and agreed to their demands for framing a National Land Reforms Policy, defusing a crisis that could have been triggered by their march to the national capital.The march, which started on October 2 from Gwalior, was discontinued after Ramesh signed an agreement with Jan Satyagrah leader P V Rajagopal for brining in land reforms and addressing the issues of the landless poor in the country. Jai ram Ramesh said while addressing thousands of landless poor in Agra, the government was "committed" to bring the draft of the policy within the time frame, A task force will be set up under the Rural Development Minister to take the process forward and the first meeting will be held on October 17.Government also agreed to the demand for setting up Fast Track Land Tribunals for speedy disposal of the cases pending in revenue and judicial courts.
  • The report 'Children in India 2012-A Statistical Appraisal', conducted by the Central Statistical Organisation, said Crime against children rose by an alarming 24 per cent last year in the country, with Uttar Pradesh topping the list. The highest number of crimes against children was reported from Uttar Pradesh (16.6 per cent) followed by Madhya Pradesh (13.2 per cent), Delhi (12.8 per cent) and Maharashtra (10.2 per cent). According to the report, there was an increase of 43 per cent in kidnapping and abduction cases in 2011 while rape cases where the victims were children rose by 30 per cent in the same period. While UP and Delhi together accounted for 47.6 per cent of kidnappings and abductions of children reported in the country last year, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra together accounted for 44.5 per cent of child rape cases. The report also said that procuration of minor girls (862 cases) last year recorded an increase of 27 per cent and foeticide reported an increase of 19 per cent as compared to the previous year. As many as 113 cases under prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 were reported in the country in 2011, out of which the highest were in West Bengal (25) followed by Maharashtra (19), Andhra Pradesh (15), Gujarat (13) and Karnataka (12). The study also reveals that the conviction rate at national level for crimes against children stood at 34.6 per cent. The conviction rate for 'infanticide' (other than murder) was highest at 46.9 per cent followed by cases under murder (45.5 per cent). The study observed that the increasing trend in the incidence of juvenile crimes is a matter of concern.
  • The East Godavari Collector Neetu Prasad has declared medical emergency in the district on 8 October and directed the Kakinada Government Hospital authorities to create special facilities to treat cases of swine flu. As the laboratory tests confirmed that P Durga Rao of Chinaboddu Venkatayapalem village of Tallarevu mandal died of swine flu on Wednesday last week, wide ranging tests were conducted in the village by a special team of doctors led by District Medical and Health Officer, Dr. Padmvathi in the village. They opened a medical camp and treated about 40 persons who were suspected to be suffering from swine flu. Seven persons, five of them from the family of the dead person were shifted to Kakinada for advanced medical treatment as they were suspected to have contracted the disease from him. 
  • Ruling AIADMK MLA P Dhanapal on 10 October became the first Dalit Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Assembly and said he would strive to uphold the ethos of the House. Party supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa led the Assembly in greeting the 61 year-old Dhanapal, who was elected unopposed. Pro-tem Speaker C K Thamizharasan announced election of Dhanapal, who represents Rasipuram in the assembly, amidst loud thumping of benches by AIADMK members.
  • The postal department of India had increased the rates of Speed post deliveries by 42-56% from 1 October 2012. Domestic charges were increased from Rs 12 to Rs 17, including service tax, and the 'One India' tariff escalated up from Rs 25 to Rs 39. It is first time since 2007 that the rates have been revised. The biggest users of Speed Post are institutional users, law firms and corporate entities that dispatch bulk mails. Many Banks, uses this service to send credit card statements and also credit cards. The difference is particularly distinctive with respect to foreign dispatches. A person is supposed to pay Rs 600 to a courier and merely Rs 150-odd to Speed Post delivery. 
  • Now, railway passengers can track trains on real-time basis. Railways have launched online application RailRadar, which is an interactive map on Google that can facilitate passengers to track movements of all trains running across the country. The passengers can locate the trains on real-time basis on both internet and their cellphones. RailRadar, developed by a Railway PSU Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) in collaboration with RailYatri, is a live tracker of all passenger trains traffic in real time. The interactive map will help users to find the exact geographical location of about 6,500 trains on a Google map on real-time basis, an official said. The system enables a colour-coded method as trains highlighted in blue indicate those that are running on time, while the red markers indicate trains that are delayed or running behind schedule. An official said if you click on a particular train, the map will show the exact route of the train including all the stoppages and the current location of the train on real-time basis. RailRadar can be accessed through the railway website, trainenquiry.com. To know the current status of the train, a passenger can enter a train name or number and the system will inform whether the train is delayed or running on time. The interactive map zooms in and out to get train and station detail. Users can search for a particular station or train to get specific details of trains around the station or running status of a train, location, its route and stoppages. RailRadar gives an overview on train on time and delay status. In case of an accident or unplanned activity, the site would be able to provide users with an overview of situation and train status across the country.

 Bilateral Relations
  • Minister of Railways and the Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Dr. C.P.Joshi and visiting Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation & Technology of Austria Doris Burse signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 1 october,in New Delhi for strengthening long-term relationship and bilateral cooperation on road infrastructure and road transportation technology matters. Speaking on the occasion, the Railway Minister said that Austrian companies have been involved in some major projects in India, both in Road and Railway projects. Starbag, a construction major have done a project in New Delhi and have secured a contract worth 83 million EUROs from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.The company along with its Indian counterpart Afcons has jointly been awarded the Rohtang pass tunnel worth 250 million EUROs. Likewise Austrian company is designing a railway arch bridge in Jammu & Kashmir.Dr. Joshi said that a Memorandum of Understanding regarding Technologies Specific Cooperation in the field of Railways was signed between the Ministry of Railways, India and Federal Ministry for Transport Innovation & Technology of Republic of Austria in October, 2011.He said that the areas of cooperation have been identified in the fields of Tunneling Technology, Training and upgrading of skills like a psychological qualification test for locomotive drivers, Track maintenance as well as track monitoring & mechanised laying of track, Signaling & Telecom and Traction and Rolling Stock.
  • India and Austria signed MoU to strengthen bilateral cooperation on Rail and Road:A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on 1 October 2012 between Indian and Austria to strengthen the long-term bilateral cooperation and relationship on rail and road infrastructure. The MoU was signed in between C.P. Joshi- the Minister of Railways and Road Transport of India and Highways and the Doris Burse-the Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology of Austria during her visit to India. The identified areas of cooperation as declared by C.P. Joshi are tunnelling technology enhancement, training and skill up gradation like locomotive drivers’ psychological qualification test, track monitoring as well as maintenance. The memorandum also includes provisions of mechanised track laying, traction and rolling stock and telecom and signalling. As per the provisions of the MoU, there has been an agreement on establishing and encouraging relationship for communication and cooperation that is effective and continue for a long term. The understanding also includes exchange of information related to infrastructural development for roads, their management, administration, road safety and different areas of mutual interests that includes intelligent Transport Systems related to road transport technologies.
  • The Defence Minister AK Antony will embark on a three-day visit to Indonesia,beginning on 15 Oct 2012, to take part in the first Ministerial level biennial defence dialogue between the two countries. The defence dialogue mechanism at the highest level was agreed upon during the visit of Indonesian President SusiloBambangYudhoyono to India in January last year. The defence ties between India and Indonesia have been progressing steadily ever since the two sides signed the Agreement on Defence Cooperation in the year 2001. The Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy regularly carry out Coordinated Patrols along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). The Armies of the two countries held the first joint exercise in India this year. There are regular training interactions between the Armed Forces of the two countries. Besides meeting the Minister of Defence of Indonesia, Shri Antony is also expected to call on President Yudhoyono and meet the Foreign Minister of Indonesia. The Defence Minister will return home on 17 Oct 2012. 
  • The twelfth meeting of the India-Russia Inter-governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation was held in New Delhi on 11 October. The Indian delegation was led by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony and the Russian delegation was led by Shri AE Serdyukov, Defence Minister of the Russian Federation. The two sides expressed readiness to take all necessary measures to further expand the cooperation on a mutually beneficial basis. The Commission endorsed the Protocols of the meetings of the Working Group on Shipbuilding, Aviation and Land Systems, (WG SALS) and the Working Group on Military Technical Cooperation (WG-MTC) which was held in New Delhi on 27-28 August 2012 and 30-31 August 2012 respectively. The Commission appreciated the work done by the Co-Chairmen and Members of both the Working Groups and noted with approval the significant progress made in promoting bilateral military technical cooperation between the two countries.
  • Union Minister of Urban Development Kamal Nath and Ms. Nicole Bricq, Minister for Foreign Trade, Government of France signed an Administrative Agreement in the field of Sustainable Urban Development in Paris on 8 October. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Kamal Nath expressed appreciation for the related work in the field of Sustainable Urban Development carried out in France and felt that India could benefit immensely from the French experience. Kamal Nath stated that both India and France would benefit from the Agreement, as it would provide an enabling platform for the officials, professionals, business leaders and local self-governing bodies to meet and share knowledge and best practices in the urban sector. He expressed the hope that this Joint Declaration would lead to enhanced cooperation and deepen the engagement between the two countries. He invited the international firms including French firms to participate in the process of making cities greener and more sustainable. Kamal Nath also participated in a business roundtable organized by the MEDEF International. The roundtable was attended by leading infrastructure companies. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister highlighted the immense challenges and opportunities that exist in the urban sector in India today. He informed that India would soon launch the next phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and that the Government of India is keen to encourage Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in urban sector, especially in larger cities, which would ease the process of investment and involvement in the burgeoning urban sector in India. 
  • A trade mission, led by Washington governor Christine Gregoire, signed a ‘joint statement of interest’ with the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government for collaboration on trade, commerce and culture between the two states. The current trade mission, which is on a reciprocal visit to a 25-member delegation’s visit from Andhra Pradesh to Washington to promote Brand Hyderabad in particular and the state in general in 2010, comprised 50 members, including 10 companies that are into the information technology (IT) services business. The signing of the statement of interest is aimed at forging relationships in IT, biotechnology, skills development, agriculture, horticulture, clean energy, and health and hygiene. As part of the mission, Gregoire visited the Manikonda campus of Infotech Enterprises Limited, a Hyderabad-based provider of engineering services and Solutions Company. The commercial port city of Seattle in Washington state is home to multinationals like aircraft manufacturer Boeing, which is one of the clients of Infotech, Microsoft, Starbucks Coffee Company and e-commerce player Amazon.
  • Visiting US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on 10 October met corporate India leaders and discussed the recent American policy measures like the quantitative easing and the economic climate in the country. A majority of the business leaders mentioned that the recent decision of the Federal Reserve to inject third round of liquidity injection and its implications were discussed. Business leaders said that Bernanke explained what the strategy for QE3 (quantitative easing 3) was and assured us that the implications are not going to be as large as people fear. Finance Minister P Chidambaram during interactions with Geithner had expressed his concerns over the impact of the QE3 on commodity prices, as that will have a direct bearing on the government's and the RBI's efforts at controlling inflation and boosting growth here. Mortgage major HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh said the recent spate of reforms in the country, the need for the government do to reduce subsidies and boost growth were also discussed. Others present at the meeting included CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee, Kotak group's Uday Kotak, Venu Srinivasan of TVS Group, Ishaat Hussain of Tata Sons and the US Consul General in Mumbai, Peter Haas. Both the visiting US officials had a series of meetings with top government officials, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram on 9 October in New Delhi apart from industry bodies and will be winding up their India visit with a series of meetings in the financial capital.
  • Japan and India on 10 October 2012 launched a joint research project into pricing structures in LNG markets. Japan’s industry minister Yukio Edano and Deputy chairman of Planning commission of India Montek Singh Ahluwalia, signed the agreement on joint research in Tokyo. Resource-poor Japan is on the hunt for cheaper energy, with the situation further worsened by the shuttering of all but two of its nuclear reactors amid public distrust following tsunami-sparked meltdowns at Fukushima. Japan is the world’s top importer of liquefied natural gas. India's expanding economy also demand more and more energy keeping this in view both the countries agreed for a research project to study price structure.

Economic Affairs
  • Sonim Technologies, holder of the Guinness World Record for the 'World's Toughest Phone' on 3 october, gave the team responsible for initiating such an incredible phenomena in the field of telecommunication.company said it was the hard work of a team of 77 skillful engineers in Bangalore who worked with teams in China and the USA. The team successfully designed the tough mobile which is intended to appeal more to construction workers, builders, site engineers and workmen.
  • The government on 4 October, decided to move ahead with its proposal to hike foreign investment ceiling in the insurance sector to 49 per cent from the present 26 per cent. A decision in this regard was taken by the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The government also gave the green signal to foreign investment in pension funds and said the FDI limit could go up 49 per cent in line with cap in the insurance sector. Allowing FDI forms a part of the amendments to Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill, which was approved by the Union Cabinet. TheFinance Minister clarified that state-run insurance companies will remain in the public sector. With the Cabinet approving the proposal, the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill is likely to be taken up by Parliament for passage in the forthcoming Winter Session. The Bill introduced in Rajya Sabha in December 2008 proposes to increase the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the insurance sector to 49 per cent. The Insurance sector was opened up for private sector in 2000 after the enactment of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (IRDA Act, 1999).
  • The Supreme Court on 5 October, stayed until further orders all mining operations, including transportation of mined iron ore and manganese in leases, in Goa. The Forest Bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam, K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar granted the stay on a writ petition filed by the Goa Foundation, an environmental action group, and asked the Central Empowered Committee to give its response in four weeks. The court made it clear that no mineral, whether lying at a mine head or stockyard, would be transported until further orders.The Foundation pointed out that the Justice M.B. Shah commission, appointed in November 2010, said illegal activities in mining had been going on in the State since 2000. All 90 mines were functioning without the mandatory permission from the National Board for Wildlife and 33 of them were located within 1.5 km of wildlife sanctuaries. 
  • The International Monetary Fund has lowered its forecasts for global economic growth to 3.3 percent this year and 3.6 percent in 2013 from earlier forecasts of 3.4 percent and 3.9 percent respectively. For India, growth forecast is seen at 6 percent versus a previous forecast of 6.6 percent for the year 2013.The IMF expects the euro zone economy to shrink by 0.4 percent this year and then grow 0.2 percent in 2013.Chinese growth for 2013 is seen at 8.2 percent, versus a previous IMF estimate of 8.4 percent and Brazilian growth at 4 percent versus 4.7 percent. 
  • ADB lowered India's growth projection to 5.6 pc from 7pc projected earlierciting falling global demand and impact of delayed monsoon on agricultural production. India, however, can reverse the trend of falling growth by promoting economic reforms and taking steps to improve investment climate, said the ADB's Asian Development Outlook 2012 Update. 
  • India, China consumer market to touch $10 trn: BCGChina and India combined will add up to a $10 trillion consumer market by 2020, says 'The $10 Trillion Prize', a book by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The book further says that consumer spending in China and India will triple by the end of the decade. According to Boston Consulting by 2020, Chinese consumers will spend $6.2 trillion annually on consumer goods while Indian consumers spend would be around $3.6 trillion. The book also finds that China which had only one billionaire in 2001 witnessed a tremendous growth and the number grew to 115 by 2012. Similarly, the number of billionaires in India grew to 55 in India from 4 in the year 2001. The book written by BCG consultants Michael J Silverstein, Abheek Singhi, Carol Liao, David Michael also said that China already has three of the world’s top 10 companies by market value. In 2000, there were eight Chinese companies and one Indian company in the Fortune 500. By 2010, there were 46 Chinese companies and eight Indian companies. Further, it said by 2015, around one billion people in the country would have cell phones. Around to $350 billion in payment and banking transactions will flow through those phones – more than the total Indian credit- and debit-card market today. According to the BCG global consumer survey, 36% of Chinese and 19% of Indians expect to increase their discretionary spending over next 12 months 
  • Deepak Parekh panel for hiking power charges, rail fares:Suggesting big-ticket reforms to attract investment in the infrastructure sector, a high-level committee, on 3 October, recommended increasing electricity charges and rail fares. The high-level committee on financing of infrastructure, which is headed by HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh, also pitched for 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the telecom sector. The limit at present is 74 per cent. The panel also suggested raising prices of natural gas. These recommendations are aimed at attracting Rs.51.46 lakh crore for funding the infrastructure sector during the XII Plan (2012-17), according to the report, which was presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier. The government, the report says, should draw “a time-bound action plan...with a view to improving the enabling environment for private investment, which is expected to finance about 47 per cent of the projected investment during the XII Plan. The share of private sector in infrastructure funding was 37.53 per cent during the XI Plan, the report says, adding that the contribution of public sector is estimated to decline to 53.32 per cent during the XII Plan from 62.47 per cent in the previous Plan. 
  • Total premium collections of life insurers dip 3.2 pc at Rs 39,357.6 c:Total premium collections of life insurers dipped by 3.18 per cent in April- August period this year at Rs 39,357.6 crore, according to Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). During the first five months of current financial year the largest public life insurer Life Insurance Corporation of India's (LIC) premium collection also declined by 3.2 per cent at Rs 29,893.21 crore, the insurance regulator's data showed 
    HDFC Bank on 4 October 2012 tied up with Indian Oil Corporation where rural Petrol Pump Outlets of Indian Oil will act as HDFC Bank Business Correspondent (BCs). It is unique and first kind of tie-up, where an oil distribution company is coming up with the bank to make available modern banking services to the people of remote areas. The Indian oil is going to make it possible through Kisan Seva Kendra which is an retail outlet model pioneered by Indian Oil to cater to the needs of customers in the rural segment. HDFC Bank planned to cover 1000 Kisan Seva Kendras in a phased manner and each of these outlets will be able to serve around 1,500 customers. The Kisan Seva Kendra outlets will offer banking services such as preliminary processing of loan applications, disbursal and collection of small value deposits, sale of micro-insurance, mutual funds and other investment instruments. HDFC plan is to bring 10 million families into its banking Fold.
  • Govt approves draft of 12th Five Year Plan:The Union Cabinet on 4 October 2012 approved the 12th five-year plan with its aim to renew Indian economy and use the funds from government in improving the facilities of education, sanitation and health. This plan has seen a three-fold increase in the budget constraints when compared to that of the 11th five-year plan. The plan would infuse a huge fund of Rs 47,70,000 lakh crore and this will help to accomplish the economic growth to an average level of 8.2 percent. 12th five-year plan is guided by the policy guidelines and principles to revive the following Indian economy, which registered a growth rate of meager 5.5 percent in the first quarter of the financial year 2012-13. The plan aims towards the betterment of the infrastructural projects of the nation avoiding all types of bottlenecks. The document presented by the planning commission is aimed to attract private investments of up to US$1 trillion in the infrastructural growth in the 12th five-year plan, which will also ensure a reduction in subsidy burden of the government to 1.5 percent from 2 percent of the GDP (gross domestic product). The UID (Unique Identification Number) will act as a platform for cash transfer of the subsidies in the plan. The plan aims towards achieving a growth of 4 percent in agriculture and to reduce poverty by 10 percentage points, by 2017. The formulated draft of the plan would be presented for final approval before the National Development Council (NDC) that is headed by the Prime Minister having the Cabinet Ministers and Chief Ministers on board. National Development Council (NDC) is the apex decision- making body and authority to signal the five-year plan in the nation.
  • The World Steel Association gathered in New Delhi from October 9 2012 through October 11 2012 for its 46th annual convention to renew its authorities and present an outlook of the industry status. This meeting, was attended by top executives from almost 70 steel companies. During the board meetings, the industry position towards industrial safety was discussed, and the Safety Excellence awards were delivered. The association also presented an update of its steel consumption projection for 2012 and 2013. The new forecast anticipates a 2% global steel consumption growth, which clearly opposes the expansion of more than 6.3% in 2011. The debt crisis worsening in the Eurozone and the slowdown in the growth of emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil account for such decrease. It is expected for the situation to gradually improve in 2013 with a global steel consumption expansion rate of 3.1%. 
  • The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) presented on 9 October, the 2011 Carbon Footprint Report for the Indian Aviation Industry, in line with India’s initiatives to address the climate change challenge. The report was released at the 49th Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Asia Pacific Regions being held in New Delhi. Compiled for the first time in such a detailed format, the report was prepared in cooperation with the major airlines and airports of the country and with the support of the European Union/India Civil Aviation Cooperation Project is another milestone for the Indian Civil Aviation strategy of developing a sustainable aviation framework. Some of the key points in the report are- 
    1. The carbon footprint of Indian scheduled airlines for domestic and international operations was 12,704,000 tonnes of CO2; a 6% increase in comparison to 2010.
    2. The carbon footprint of foreign airlines serving international destinations from Indian airports, based on fuel uplift from India, reached 3,623,000 tonnes of CO2.
    3. CO2 emissions from Indian scheduled airline operations as well as from foreign airlines to international destinations represent less than 1% of the country’s total CO2 emissions. This number is significantly lower than the global average contribution of airlines, which represent approximately 2% of global anthropogenic emissions. Secretary General of International Civil Aviation Organisation, Mr. R. Benjamin while unveiled the Report. While, DGCA Arun Mishra was participated in this occasion.
     
     
  • The National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) an organization of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Government of India, engaged in training, research and other interventions with the objective of promotion of entrepreneurship and development of small and micro enterprises in the country, on 8 October, has inked MoU with the Sun Online Learning India Pvt. Ltd. for promoting the E-learning initiative developed by the Company for career planning and career enhancement. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today between Arun Kumar Jha, Director General, NIESBUD and Kris Srikkanth, the former Captain of the Indian Cricket Team and Director of the Company. The digital learning package consists of two Modules : Employability Skills and Entrepreneurship Skills. The understanding between the two organizations besides promoting the Initiative among the associates of the Institute is also expected to contribute towards promotion of entrepreneurial culture among different strata of the society through their holistic development.
  • The Government decided to upgrade five airports -- Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Mangalore, Lucknow and Varanasi -- to the international level. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCI), at its meeting, approved a proposal for the upgradation of the five airports, which have the required infrastructure in place like large terminal, immigration and customs facility to handle international operations. An international airport is one that can accommodate international flights that requires separate layers for immigrations and customs including high-end facilities at the terminal like aerobridges and mandatory runway length to accommodate jets. Currently, all of the five airports are servicing at least one international operation from airlines like Air India Express, FlyDubai, Air Asia, Thai Airways and Mihin Lanka.
  • Unitech has agreed to sell its stake in the joint venture, which operates under the "Uninor" brand, for "a nominal amount", it said in a statement to Indian stock exchanges on 11 October. The company declined to comment on terms and conditions. Unitech, the Indian partner of Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor ASA, has agreed to sell its share of their mobile phone joint venture.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has decided to introduce electronic IPOs from January 1, 2013. The facility to submit the application forms would be available in more than 1000 locations which are part of the nationwide broker network of the stock exchanges and where there is a presence of the brokers’ terminals (broker centre). In the first phase, around 400 broker centres would be covered by January 1, 2013 and the remaining centres would be covered by March 1, 2013. Accordingly, details of locations including name of the broker, contact details such as name of the contact person, postal address, telephone number and e-mail address of the broker, where the application forms shall be collected, will be disclosed by the stock exchanges on their websites at least 15 days before the dates specified by SEBI for introduction of electronic IPO. SEBI also asked stock exchanges to ensure that the details disclosed on their websites are regularly updated. 
  • World bank and the Government of India on 5 October 2012 signed a loan agreement of 500 Million US Dollar for Secondary Education Project named Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan(RMSA). The project is going to help in achieving increased and good quality secondary education as directed in the framework of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, the flagship government of India program for gradual Universalisation of secondary education. The agreeement was signed by Prabodh Saxena, the joint secretary, department of economic affairs and Onno Ruhl, the country director of World Bank. Like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the Department of School Education and Literacy of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) under Government of India is launching Rastriya Madhyamic Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) with an aim to achieve Universal Access and Quality Secondary Education. Under Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan, the responsibility to develop Secondary-Education Management Information system (SE-MIS) is given to the Department of Educational Planning, National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), New Delhi.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slashed India’s growth forecast to 4.9 per cent for 2012 due to low business confidence and “sluggish structural reforms.” The IMF had in July projected a growth rate of 6.1 per cent for the current year. During the first quarter ended June 2012, Indian economy expanded by 5.5 per cent. “India’s activity suffered from waning business confidence amid slow approvals for new projects, sluggish structural reforms, policy rate hikes designed to rein in inflation, and flagging external demand,” IMF said in the World Economic Outlook (WEO) released in Tokyo ahead of the IMF-World Bank 2012 Annual Meetings. In India, the report said, “growth weakened more than expected in the first half of 2012, an outcome of stalled investment caused by governance issues and red tape, and a deterioration in business sentiment against the backdrop of a rising current account deficit and the recent rupee depreciation.” Compared with the region’s growth performance in recent years, the near— and medium—term outlooks are less buoyant, the report said. The report has projected 6 per cent growth for the next year (2013), compared to an earlier 6.5 per cent projection. For 2012—13 fiscal, the IMF said that growth is projected to average 5—6 per cent in 2012—13, more than one percentage point lower than in the April 2012 WEO.
  • Number of millionaires may rise 53% to 84,000 in India by 2017: reportAs many as 84,000 Indians are expected to become millionaires by 2017, according to a global wealth report. "India is likely to see a substantial jump of 53 per cent in the number of millionaires to 84,000 by 2017," Credit Suisse Research Institute's Global Wealth Report said. According to the report, the number of millionaires in emerging economies is expected to jump substantially in the next few years. China could see its number double by 2017 to almost 2 million, it said. However, the report warns that India still sees a significant amount of poverty. “While wealth has been rising strongly, and the ranks of the middle class and wealthy have been swelling, not everyone has shared this growth and there is still a great deal of poverty," the report said. The report states that 95 per cent of India’s population has wealth below $10,000. In comparison, only a small proportion of the population (just 0.3 per cent) has a net worth over $100,000. According to Credit Suisse, India has 237,000 members of the top 1 per cent of global wealth holders. There are 1,500 Ultra-High net-worth individuals (UHNW) with wealth over $50 million and 700 members with more than $100 million. Falling growth rate has seen India shedding $700 billion from its household wealth during mid-2011 to mid-2012 period, the steepest in Asia, the report said, adding that this amounts to 50 per cent of the total erosion that the continent has seen."There's no question that the economic uncertainties of the past year - particularly those affecting the Eurozone - have cast a huge shadow over household wealth," Credit Suisse said. From mid-2011 to mid-2012, aggregate global household wealth fell by 5.2 per cent in current dollar terms to $223 trillion due to the economic uncertainties, particularly those affecting the Eurozone. During the period under consideration, Eurozone members suffered the largest losses, led by France ($2.2 trillion), Italy ($2.1 trillion), Germany ($1.9 trillion) and Spain ($870 billion). Moreover, there was also a significant rise in household debt, which rose in aggregate by 81 per cent from 2000-2012. However, despite the setbacks in 2007 and the recent slowdown, household wealth has grown strongly over the past decade. The global aggregate doubled from $113 trillion, recorded at the start of the millennium, the report said. A similar kind of uptrend was witnessed in the case of India as well, where aggregate wealth more than tripled during 2000 to 2011.
  • The report further states that household wealth is expected to rise by almost 50 per cent in the next five years from $223 trillion in 2012 to $330 trillion in 2017 and the number of millionaires worldwide would reach 46 million in 2017

Science and Technology
  • Scientists have discovered a bacteria that has the ability to withstand incredible amounts of toxicity and can be the key to creating 24-carat gold. Researchers from the Michigan State University have found that the metal-tolerant bacteria 'Cupriavidus metallidurans' can grow on massive concentrations of gold chloride or liquid gold, a toxic chemical compound found in nature. The researchers fed the bacteria unprecedented amounts of gold chloride, mimicking the process they believe happens in nature. In about a week, the bacteria transformed the toxins and produced a gold nugget.
  • The International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) will host the sixth international conference on Legume Genetics and Genomics (ICLGG) in Hyderabad. The six-day conference will begin on October 2. About 500 delegates from 44 countries are expected to attend the conference to discuss advances in the area of legume genetics and genomics. William D. Dar, Director-General of ICRISAT; Swapan Datta, Deputy Director-General (Crop Science) of ICAR; and Rick Dixon, Plant Biology Division Director and Senior Vice-President of Noble Foundation, the USA, will address the conference. Earlier editions of the conference have been held in the US (twice), France, Australia and Mexico. 
  • Scientists have decoded the deafness geneScientists of UK claim to have discovered a gene responsible for deafness and hearing loss, paving way for new treatments for the syndrome. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have found a new genetic mutation responsible for deafness and hearing loss associated with Usher syndrome type 1.Usher syndrome is a genetic defect that causes deafness, night-blindness and a loss of peripheral vision through the progressive degeneration of the retina, they said."In this study, researchers were able to pinpoint the gene which caused deafness in Usher syndrome type 1 as well as deafness that is not associated with the syndrome through the genetic analysis of 57 humans from Pakistan and Turkey," said Zubair Ahmed, assistant professor of ophthalmology and lead investigator on this study. The findings were published in the journal 'Nature Genetics'. 
  • A newly discovered comet may become one of the brightest lights in the sky even outshining the Moon, astronomers including an Indian-origin scientist have claimed. Russian astronomers recently spotted the comet 2012 S1 (ISON) 90 million km from the Earth. It is currently a faint glow streaking between Saturn and Jupiter, but as the Sun's gravity draws the comet closer, dust and ice will be blasted off, giving it a highly-reflective tail. Depending on how big the tail gets, the 3-km wide comet may become more visible for a few months in late 2013 and early 2014. 
  • India on 4 October test-fired its nuclear-capable Prithvi-II ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km from a test range near Balasore as part of a user trial by the Army. The flight test of the surface-to-surface missile was conducted at around 0907 hrs from a mobile launcher from Integrated Test Range's launch complex-III at Chandipur. The state-of-the-art Prithvi is the first ballistic missile developed under the country's prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMPD) and has the capability to carry 500 kg of both nuclear and conventional warheads with a strike range of 350 km. The missile uses advanced inertial guidance system with maneuvering trajectory. The test-fire of the sophisticated short-range ballistic missile, which has already been inducted into the armed forces, was a user trial by the Army and monitored by scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The sleek missile is handled by the strategic force command (SFC), a defence scientist said, adding the trial was conducted to gauge the effectiveness of the weapon in a real time situation. The whole exercise was aimed at studying the control and guidance system of the missile besides providing training to the Army. The missile is 9 metre-long and one metre in diameter with liquid propulsion twin engine. 
  • 'Dhanush', the Naval variant of the missile 'Prithvi', with a range of 350 km, was successfully flight tested from INS Shubhadra, in the Bay of Bengal between Paradeep and Puri coast on 5 October. Integrated Test Range(ITR) sources said the missile was test fired from INS Shhubhadra at about 1110 hrs and the test fire met all mission objectives. All the operations for the launch were carried out by Naval personnel. 
  • Australia on 5 October unveiled a colossal radio telescope that will allow astronomers to detect distant galaxies and explore the depths of the universe with unprecedented precision. The Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope, at the remote Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in the Western Australian desert, is made up of 36 antennas, each 12 metres in diameter. The Aus$140 million ($140 million) facility can survey the sky much faster than existing telescopes, with the antennae sensitive to faint radiation from the Milky Way, giving it the ability to detect distant galaxies. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s ASKAP director Brian Boyle said studying the radio waves would tell astronomers unique details about the cosmos. The telescope is part of Australia’s contribution to the broader $2.5-billion SKA project, jointly hosted with South Africa and New Zealand, which will have far greater capabilities. It will be 50 times more powerful than current radio telescopes and will explore exploding stars, black holes, dark energy and traces of the universe’s origins some 14 billion years ago.
  • The Navy on 8 October, successfully test-fired the 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, capable of carrying a conventional warhead of 300 kg, from a warship off the Goa coast. The cruise missile was test-fired from guided missile frigate INS Teg, the Indian Navy's latest induction. The INS Teg, which has been built at the Yantar shipyard in Russia, had fired the missile successfully during pre-induction trials in Russia last year. The two remaining warships of the project namely INS Tarkah and INS Trikand will also be armed with the lethal missile in vertical launch mode. Defence officials said, the two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant, has already been inducted into the Army and Navy, and the Air Force version is in final stage of trial. Brahmos Aerospace, an Indo-Russian joint venture company, is also working to develop the air as well as the submarine launch version of the missile system and work on the project is in progress.
  • Nasa's Swift satellite on 7 October, has found evidence of the presence of a previously unknown stellar-mass black hole in our Milky Way galaxy. Named Swift J1745-26 after the coordinates of its sky position, the nova is located a few degrees from the centre of our galaxy towards the constellation Sagittarius, Nasa said. While astronomers do not know its precise distance, they think the object resides about 20,000 to 30,000 light-years away in the galaxy's inner region.
  • AROGYA” , an exhibition showcasing the strength, efficacy and affordability of the AYUSH systems of medicine which include Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homeopathy was inaugurated in Hyderabad on 12 October. The last Arogya fair at Hyderabad was held in November 2005. India has signed several MoUs for bilateral cooperation in the area of traditional medicine and setting up Ayurveda chairs and AYUSH information centres in various countries, such as South Africa, Malaysia and Trinidad & Tobago. AYUSH has been adopted as one of the core strategies under NRHM to augment effective provisioning of healthcare services. AYUSH services are being introduced at various levels, i.e. in the Primary Health Centres, Community Health Centres, Sub-District and District Hospitals across the country. The aim is to utilize the AYUSH doctors in implementation of the national health programmes. The Department of AYUSH has set up a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library in collaboration with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). This initiative, well acknowledged by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), is a patent compatible instrument for patent search and prevention of wrong patenting of products based on traditional knowledge.
  • The Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh inaugurated the “International Seminar on Energy Access” at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. Prime Minister said in this regard that, the government aims to provide 24x7 electricity to all households in the country and affordable access to electricity in the next 5 years. Government is striving to light up around 20 million rural households with solar home lighting by 2022. Renewable energy technologies provide probably the most sustainable and economic options for energy access. At present renewable power represents about 12 per cent of the total installed generating capacity in India. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, launched under the aegis of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change aims to install 20 Gigawatt of grid connected solar power by 2022. The links between access to energy and the various Millennium Development Goals are now well established and they are well documented. Meeting these goals that are fundamental to an existence of minimum dignity and well being all over the world requires access to affordable energy. The United Nations General Assembly has designated 2012 as the “International year of Sustainable Energy for All” and the 2 days seminar is organized in recognition of the importance of energy access for sustainable economic development and supporting achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. About 30 countries are participating of which 26 Ministers in the ministerial level delegation included the Prime Minister of Guiana, Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius from about 26 countries.
  • Drug multinational Sanofi on 9 October, launched the country's first indigenously manufactured reusable insulin pen, specially tailored for diabetics in India. In another instance of reverse innovation, the insulin pen, which has been developed by Sanofi's medical device development team at Frankfurt, and manufactured in Gujarat, will also be exported to south-east Asia, Latin America and Africa. India becomes the first country outside Frankfurt (Germany) where the reusable insulin device will be produced.The reusable insulin injection is competitively priced at Rs 650, 20% cheaper than what the MNC was importing till now. Most MNCs in the country are importing these insulin devices, with Sanofi becoming the first company to manufacture it locally.
  • Soyuz launches second pair of European Galileo satellites: Two navigation satellites from Europe’s Galileo programme blasted off on 13 October from French Guiana aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. The rocket lifted off from Kourou Spaceport at 1815 GMT and launched the satellites into orbit after three hours, 45 minutes in flight. Galileo is a joint initiative of the European Space Agency and the European Union, which will provide a European version of the US GPS navigation system. The two 700-kilogramme satellites launched on Friday from South America join a first pair of satellites launched by a Soyuz rocket in October 2011. The ESA described the launch as a “significant milestone.” The four satellites launched on Arianespace’s VS03 (on Friday) and (last year’s) VS01 missions will form an operational mini-constellation that enables a validation of the Galileo system. Deployment of the full Galileo system of 30 satellites will take several years.

Awards
  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 5 October participated in the occasion of thepresentation of Federation of Indian Export Organisation’s Niryat Shree and Niryat Bandhu awards ceremony in New Delhi. He urged exporters to focus on products of high export intensity, which currently have low penetration abroad, and said India had been a part of global efforts to restore growth and reform financial systems. The President gave away 52 awards — 46 Niryat Shree Awards to exporters for their performance in 12 categories, which cover agriculture, plantation products; chemicals, drugs, pharma and allied products; engineering; gems and jewellery, handicrafts, carpets; textiles, leather, service providers; and 6 Niryat Bandhu Awards to Export Promotion Councils and Banks for their support to the exporting community. Among the Niryat Shree awardees who were presented a gold trophy was MIOT Hospitals Limited for being the highest foreign exchange earner in the country among all service providers. The award was received by company chairperson Mallika Mohandas. Reliance Industries too was awarded a gold trophy for earning the highest foreign exchange. PC Jewellers was awarded a silver trophy in the Gems and Jewellery category. In the Niryat Bandhu category for banks, the winners were Canara Bank (gold trophy) followed by Bank of India (silver) and Punjab National Bank (bronze).
  • ISRO Scientist Tessy Thomas Conferred with Lal Bahadur Shastri Award:President Pranab Mukherjee on 1 October 2012 conferred the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award 2012 to ISRO scientist Tessy Thomas at an award function in Rashtrapati Bhawan. The award was given on the eve of Birth anniversary of Former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri. Tessy Thomas 48 years old is the Key Scientist for Agni-V in Defence Research and Development Organisation Hyderabad. She is the first woman scientist to head a missile project in India. Tessy Thomas was an associate Project director (mission) for Agni-I, II and III systems. She was associated with the Agni Programme since their developmental stages. She has designed the guidance scheme for long-range missile systems, which is used in all Agni missiles. Presently, she is the Project Director of Agni -IV, which is a major project with state of the art technologies. The Agni-IV was successfully flight tested on 15th November, 2011.
  • Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, renowned Burmese opposition leader and chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Burma, received an honorary doctorate from the University of San Francisco on 29 september,2012 in recognition for her years of extraordinary work giving voice to the marginalized and strength for the oppressed. In December 2007, the University honored the Buddhist monks of Burma at a commencement ceremony with an honorary doctorate for their courage, compassion, and commitment in seeking to protect the human and democratic rights of the Burmese people in the face of a harshly brutal military dictatorship. It was this proven commitment to social justice that led the local Burmese community to select USF as the venue location for this historic visit by the 67-year-old Nobel laureate, who spent 15 years under house arrest for opposing military rule. This trip to the United States marks her first return since she worked at the United Nations in New York City from 1969 to 1971.
  • The Government of Spain has conferred on 11 October, the Great Cross of Civil merit on Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy. This is the highest possible honour accorded by the Spanish Government to somebody who is not Head of State or Government. Dr. Abdullah has been honoured for his efforts to promote sustainable economic development through the promotion of renewable energy. The honour was received by Dr. Abdullah from Mr. Gustavo de Aristegui, the ambassador of Spain in a function in the Spanish Embassy. Dr. Abdullah thanked the Spanish Government for conferring this honour on him. He accepted it on behalf of the people of India and hoped that one day he would be able to see his vision of every India household electrified become a reality. Spain is the 4th largest producer of wind generated power and is top-ranked worldwide in terms of photovoltaic solar power capacity. The Solar Platform of Almeria (PSA), run under the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness is considered one of the largest and best R&D facilities for Concentrating Solar Power Technologies (CSP Technologies). The Order of Spanish Civil Merit was created by Queen Isabel II in the XIX century to honour Spaniards and foreign citizens with exceptional qualities who have performed great services for their communities and contributed to a better understanding between nations.
  • 11 exceptional personalities including, Flutist Hariprasad Chaurasia, santoor player Shivkumar Sharma, sarod player Amjad Ali Khan and Manipuri dance guru Rajkumar Singhajit Singh were conferred the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships by President Pranab Mukherjee on 9 October in New Delhi. They receive a purse of money of Rs.3 lakh and a citation. Other fellows include mridangam player Umayalpuram Kasiviswanatha Sivaraman, Kalamandalam Gopi (kathakali artist), Padma Subrahmanyam (Bharatnatyam dancer), Chandrasekhar Basavanneppa Kambara (Kannada poet, playwright and folklorist) and Manipuri theatre personality Heisnam Kanhailal. Currently, the Sangeet Natak Akademi has 40 living fellows. Altogether, 36 artists received the Akademi awards for their contribution to performing arts and music.
  • The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize-2012. In this regard the Norwegian Nobel Committee praised the 27-nation EU for rebuilding after World War Two and for its role in spreading stability to former communist countries after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989."The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe," Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland said in Oslo. The prize, worth $1.2 million, will be presented in Oslo on December 10.Giving the award to an organization is not unprecedented. Something called the International Peace Bureau won all the way back in 1910, and other past recipients include the International Red Cross, Doctors With Borders, and UNICEF.
  • Chinese writer Mo Yan won the 2012 Nobel prize for literature on 11 October, for works which combine "hallucinatory realism" with folk tales, history and contemporary life grounded in his native land. The prize, awarded by the Swedish Academy, is worth 8 million kronas ($1.2 million).Mo, who grew up in Gaomi in Shandong province in the northeast of the country and whose parents were farmers, sets his works mainly in China.
  • Two Chennai-based auto component makers, Lucas-TVS and Rane (Madras), have bagged the Deming Grand Prize for quality excellence. The coveted prize (originally established as the Japan Quality Medal) is given by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers. Lucas-TVS and Rane (Madras) now join an elite group of 25 companies worldwide, including three companies from India (Wabco TVS, M&M Farm Equipment and Rane TRW), which have won this honour for excellence in total quality management (TQM). The Deming Grand Prize is given to companies for TQM approach in business processes with a focus on customer orientation, improvement and employee involvement. Lucas-TVS, which make auto electricals, launched the TQM movement in 1998; it secured the Deming Application Prize in 2004 for its TQM commitment and appreciation. The Deming Grand Prize is the next higher level of award. Rane (Madras), which makes steering and suspension systems, had earlier won the Deming Application Prize in 2007.
  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2012 to Serge Haroche, College de France and Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France andDavid J. Wineland, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and University of Colorado Boulder, CO, USA "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems". Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland have independently invented and developed methods for measuring and manipulating individual particles while preserving their quantum-mechanical nature, in ways that were previously thought unattainable.
  • The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has on 8 October, decided to award The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 jointly to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent. The Nobel Prize recognizes two scientists who discovered that mature, specialised cells can be reprogrammed to become immature cells capable of developing into all tissues of the body. Their findings have revolutionised our understanding of how cells and organisms develop. John B. Gurdon discovered in 1962 that the specialisation of cells is reversible. Shinya Yamanaka discovered more than 40 years later, in 2006, how intact mature cells in mice could be reprogrammed to become immature stem cells. Surprisingly, by introducing only a few genes, he could reprogram mature cells to become pluripotent stem cells, i.e. immature cells that are able to develop into all types of cells in the body. These groundbreaking discoveries have completely changed our view of the development and cellular specialisation.
  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2012 to Robert J. Lefkowitz Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA and Brian K. Kobilka Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA “for studies of G-protein–coupled receptors". Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka are awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for groundbreaking discoveries that reveal the inner workings of an important family of such receptors: G-protein–coupled receptors. The Prize amount of SEK 8 million, to be shared equally between the Laureates. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, founded in 1739, is an independent organization whose overall objective is to promote the sciences and strengthen their influence in society. The Academy takes special responsibility for the natural sciences and mathematics, but endeavours to promote the exchange of ideas between various disciplines.
Sports
  • Michael Schumacher on 3 October has announced that he will retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season. Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher has confirmed he will retire for good at the end of current Formula 1 season. Schumacher holds the record for number of championships and for grand prix wins, with 91. He began his career in 1991 and won two titles with Benetton then five for Ferrari. He initially retired in 2006 but made a comeback with Mercedes in 2010. That comeback had not lived up to expectations, with just one podium finish.
  • World champion Sebastian Vettel won at the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix for the fourth year in succession on 6 october.This is the Vettel’s 34th career pole.
  • The government said on 4 October that University and college sports persons who bring laurels to the country in national and international events will be provided free education till the highest level. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal told in this regard, "Any sports person, who brings laurels to the country, will be given free education up to the highest level".
  • Punjab registered a 2-1 victory over Air India and claim the second Hockey India Senior Men's National championship title on 1 october held in Bangaluru.
  • Europe retained Ryder Cup after beating the U.S. 14.5-13.5 in front of vociferous support for the home team in the biennial golf event. Martin Kaymer made a clutch par putt on 18 at the Medinah Country Club to secure the return of the trophy, and Tiger Woods conceded the final hole to Francesco Molinari to give the Europeans an outright win. Europe were buoyed by both a good start to the round and some late-hole struggles by the Americans, and they have now won five of the last six Ryder Cups.
  • East Bengal regains Federation Cup: East Bengal regained the Federation Cup after a season, outclassing Dempo SC 3-2 in the final here at the Kanchanjungha Stadium. East Bengal lifted the title for the eighth time in 16 final appearances.
    World Squash Federation President (WSF) N Ramachandran of India was re-elected to the post for a further four-year term. Mr Ramachandran, who has been striving to ensure that Squash was included as a medal sport in Olympics, was unanimously re-elected President the at the 42nd WSF AGM held in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • West Indies on 7 October 2012 won the finals of ICC World Twenty20 Championship after defeating the Sri Lankan team by 36 runs at R. Premadasa Stadium. West Indies batting first in the match scored 137 runs for six wickets down. In response to the target, the Lankan team finished off at a score of 101 runs allowing West Indies to win the tournament. The West Indies team won a world cup title after 33 years. Before this the team won the 1979 ODI World Cup after defeating the English team in the final. In fact, West Indies also won the 1st edition of World Cup in 1975 after defeating Australia in the final match.Australian all-Rounder Shane Watson on 7 October 2012 at the conclusion of T-20 World Cup in Premadasa Stadium named player of the tournament. It was his outstanding form in T-20 World cup that helped Australian Team getting into semi-final before they were knocked out by West Indies. Shane Watson is also the only Player in the tournament who got four consecutive man-of-the-match awards.
  • The Australian Women Cricket team on 7 October 2012 defeated England by four runs to retain the Women T-20 world cup title. It is Australia’s second win in women T-20 World cup. Before this Australia had won T-20 World Cup in 2010.Australia Batted first and made 142 runs in 20 overs with 6 wickets in hand, In response to that England women cricket team managed to make only 138 runs in 20 overs losing the tournament to Australia. England captain and opening batswoman Charlotte Edwards was on 7 October, named the player of the ICC women’s World twenty20 after leading her side to the final.
  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) on 10 October 2012 suspended all the six umpires for their alleged involvement in their willingness to fix the T20 matches by the TV Sting Operation. The statement released by the governing body of ICC after the meet of its full member board cleared that the umpires named in the sting would not be appointed in any format of international or domestic cricket matches, until the ongoing investigations doesn’t reach to a conclusion. Due to the matters of urgency, the board that recruits and nominates the umpires would directly look into the matter. Umpires alleged for their willingness to fix the match in the TV sting were Nadir Shah from Bangladesh, Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui from Pakistan and Maurice Winston, Gamini Dissanayake and Sagara Gallage from Sri Lanka.
  • Former India cricketer and captain Anil Kumble on 11 October 2012 was named the new head of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) cricket committee, replacing former West Indies skipper Clive Lloyd. The International Cricket Council's (ICC) cricket committee is a 16-member committee, which meets twice a year to consult on playing matters and offer recommendations to the ICC on technical aspects and rules of the sport. Anil Kumble also heads the Board of Control for Cricket in India's board's technical Committee. Anil Kumble, is 41 years old and has 619 Test and 337 One-Day International wickets to his name.
  • Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek faltered at the final hurdle as they suffered an upset straight-set defeat at the hands of Alexander Peya of Austria and Brazil’s Bruno Soares to finish runners-up at the ATP Japan Open held in Tokyo. The fourth-seeded Austrian-Brazilian pair defeated top seeds Paes and Stepanek 6-3, 7-6(5) in an hour and 46 minutes in the $1,280,565 hard court event to win their second ATP World Tour doubles titles in as many weeks. Kei Nishikori made history by becoming the first Japanese player to win the ATP Japan open tournament since 1972 when he defeated young Canadian star Milos Raonic in the men’s singles final.
  • World No. 2 Novak Djokovic defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6(4), 6-2 to win the China Open for a third time. The 25-year-old Serb defeated the world No.7 to maintain his unbeaten record at the ATP 500 tournament in Beijing and take the winner’s prize of $530,570.While, Women’s singles title was won by Victoria Azarenka by beating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-1. The mens doubles was won by Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan duo. Mike Bryan has become the most decorated tennis player in doubles history after he joined forces with his brother Bob to win the China Open. It is the 84th ATP-level title of his career, edging him ahead of Australian Todd Woodbridge who retired with 83 titles. Bob Bryan has 82 titles to his name.
  • India’s top male shuttler Parupalli Kashyap won his maiden national title, while 2008 winner Sayali Gokhale cracked the defending champion PV Sindhu to clinch the crown for the second time in the women’s singles at the 77th Senior National Badminton Championship on 4 October in Srinagar. London Olympics quarterfinalist Kashyap, won over Ajay Jayaram 21-18, 21-17 in a 45-minute battle.
  • The World No. 5 ranked Justin Rose captured the inaugural World Golf Final in Turkey with a one-stroke victory over Lee Westwood. Rose, who beat Tiger Woods in the semi-final, led from the first hole against estwood after a 25-foot birdie.
  • The termination of Deccan Chargers franchise from the Indian Premier League was officially confirmed by the BCCI on 13 October, after its appeal was upheld by the Bombay High Court. The Chargers were suspended by the BCCI on 12 October. after owners, Deccan Chronicle Holding failed to come up with the bank guarantee of Rs 100 crore by the deadline time of 5PM.Justice CK Thakkar, the arbitrator appointed by the HC to work out a mutual agreement between the two parties, ordered a status-quo on Friday, meaning BCCI's decision to terminate the franchise was not formally completed.

Persons
  • B. Satyanarayana Reddy (86)- Socialist party leader and former Governor of Uttar Pradesh and Odisha died in hyderabad on 6 october. A bachelor, who dedicated his life for public service and served for long in the Janata Party, he was a staunch follower of Rammanohar Lohiya and Jayaprakash Narayan. He had served as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh between 1990 and 1993 and later as Odisha Governor. A Telangana protagonist, Satyanarayana Reddy served as an inspiration for those in the Telangana movement.
  • Lt. General (Retired) Kuldeep Singh Brar who led the controversial Operation Blue Star to flush out terrorists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984, was stabbed near a hotel in Central London on 1 october night by unidentified attackers and he suffered minor injuries. He was taken to hospital and later discharged.Police said they had registered a case of assault. Gen. Brar has been on the hit list of several extremists and militant organisations. He enjoys “Z” category security, but was thought to have been without any protection at the time of the incident as he was on a private visit and had not informed the Indian mission in London of his movements. Gen. Brar, 78, was decorated for his role in liberating Bangladesh after the 1971 India-Pakistan war.
  • Historian Hobsbawm passes away :Eric Hobsbawm, one of the most eminent British historians who closely followed the fluctuating fortunes of the Left movement in India and influenced many Indian scholars over decades, died on 1 October in London, at the age of 95. Hobsbawm's works included the widely read and referenced books on world history, titled 'The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789-1848', 'The Age of Capital; 1848- 1875', 'The Age of Empire: 1875-1914', and 'The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991'. A lifelong Marxist, Hobsbawm last visited India in 2005, when he met several people, including CPM leaders, at a luncheon hosted by K Natwar Singh, former Minister for External Affairs.
  • SSB Pranay Sahay -The Government gave the temporary charge as head of the world's largest paramilitary force CRPF to Director General of border guarding SSB Pranay Sahay. The top post at the about 3-lakh personnel force, the country's mainstay for anti-Naxal operations, fell vacant three days back after K Vijay Kumar retired on September 30.
  • Justice Subhashan Reddy- was sworn-in as the new Lokayukta of Andhra Pradesh by Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan in Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad on 12 october. Justice Reddy took oath of office in the name of god. He will hold the office of Lokayukta for five years. He succeeds Justice S. Ananda Reddy.
  • Vijay Mallya – On 13 Oct a local Hyderabad court has issued non-bailable warrants against Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya and four directors for failing to appear before it in a cheating case filed by airport operator GMR. The metropolitan magistrate court's order was in response to a petition filed by GMR Hyderabad International Airport, which accused Kingfisher Airlines of dishonouring cheques worth Rs 10.5 crore issued towards airport charges.
  • Lance Armstrong - U.S. antidoping authorities issued a blistering report on 11 October, accusing seven-time Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong of being at the center of "a massive team doping scheme, more extensive than any previously revealed in professional sports history." The 202-page report, which includes new testimony from 11 former teammates of Mr. Armstrong, is the culmination of a years long and highly contentious investigation into professional cycling and the methods behind the success of one its greatest teams. The report was issued by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in support of its decision in August to ban Mr. Armstrong from competition for life and strip him of his titles.
  • S.Vishwanathan - S. Viswanathan on 8 October 2012 was appointed as a managing director of State Bank of India. His appointed came by the Central Government of India. Viswanathan, was earlier serving as a deputy managing director of State Bank of India. Prior to that, he was heading the state-run bank’s investment banking arm, SBI Capital Markets Ltd. The appointment of S. Viswanathan takes effect from the date of taking over charge of the post until April 30, 2014, that isthe date of his attaining the age of superannuation or until further orders, whichever is earlier. Following the appointment, SBI has now four managing directors, including Diwakar Gupta, who the chief financial officer, Hemant Contractor, who is in charge of international operations and A. Krishna Kumar, who looks after national banking.

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