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National Issues - May 2011

The new Foreign Contribution Regulation Act came into force on 1 May 2011. Under the new law, no political party can receive foreign funds as donation. 

The legislation is set to prevent powers which want to use foreign funds to divide India on religious basis. 

According to the new law, in case, any organisation receives funds over Rs. 10 lakh, the bank will immediately inform the government to enable the agencies to track the funds.

Govt to conduct Economic Census in 2012. The govt will launch an economic census next year involving collection of data from entrepreneurial units in the country with a view to help in micro level planning and policy formulations, specially in the unorganised sector.

Honours for Kerala Tourism at New York festival. A promotional film of Kerala Tourism, has bagged the Bronze World Medal for cinematography at the New York Festivals.

The Postal Department on 3 May 2011 launched the new social security scheme for Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) to provide post-retirement financial security to over 2.73 GDS. 

The Postal Department decided to deposit Rs.200 per GDS per month. Union Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot launched the Service Discharge Benefit Scheme (SDBS) for GDS .

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorji Khandu from Tawang died along with four others after their helicopter crashed in bad weather in the mountains. 

The Pawan Hans helicopter carrying among others Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Dorjee Khandu had gone missing on 30 April 2011.

Govt constitutes a panel to review deemed exports policy. The government has said it has formed an expert committee to review deemed exports policy where there have been incidents of misuse of the scheme.

Karnataka became the first state in India to launch an e-payment system for commercial tax payers. With e-payment system in place, the dealers can remit their commercial taxes anytime, anywhere. 

They need not approach an office of Commercial Taxes Department (CTD) in person. At present, e-remittances can be made from six banks-SBI, SBM, SBH, Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India. 

The CTD collection is more than Rs 2,000 crore per month and till now, these collections were made through cheques by the dealers. 

Jayalalitha wrested power with a landslide victory over DMK in the T.N assembly elections. 

Congress added to Left's discomfiture by snatching power in Kerala by a slender margin while it scored a spectacular hat trick in Assam bagging a near two-third majority to retain power.

Mamata Banerjee terminated the Left Front's 34-year stranglehold on West Bengal. The Banerjee-led alliance was set to capture over two-thirds majority by winning over 225 seats in the 294 seat assembly. 

Data on infant deaths across states in India was released in May 2011. The data revealed that infant mortality rate for India as a whole stood at 50 in 2009, down by 30% compared to a decade ago. The rate is much higher than developed countries but the pace at which it is declining is encouraging.

Three states – Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra emerged as front runners in reducing baby deaths over the past decade. Tamil Nadu reduced infant mortality by a whopping 46%, West Bengal by 37% and Maharashtra by 35%.

The Union Cabinet of India gave approval for conducting the Below Poverty Line (BPL) Census in rural and urban areas. 

The Census would be conducted by the Ministry of Rural Development in association with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) and the Registrar General of India (RGI).

The results of the BPL Census would be utilized in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-13 to 2016-17). The enumeration of castes will also be done simultaneously along with the BPL census. 

Tarun Gogoi from the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) was sworn in Assam Chief Minister for the third consecutive term on 18 May 2011 by Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik at the Raj Bhavan in Guwahati. Gogoi contested and won the election from the Titabar constituency. 

Union Government decided to set up a high level committee under the chairmanship of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to tackle the menace of black money. 

The members of the committee include the director, Enforcement Directorate(ED), Director-General, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Director-General (Currency), and other top tax and revenue department officials. 

The commissioner of income tax (Investigations) of the CBDT would be its member secretary. 

The panel was set up to examine tightening of laws to curb the growth of black money as well as to suggest ways to declare illegally generated wealth as national asset. 

Mamata launches Rail Bandhu. The first on-board magazine of the Railways,Rail Bandhu, was launched by Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee.

It will be distributed free in the Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and AC coaches of the Durantos.



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