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2012 April 6 to 8 Current Affairs

International Issues

The US economy added 120,000 jobs during March, lower than estimates suggested, while the unemployment rate fell slightly to 8.2%. Analysts had predicted a fourth straight month with job growth of more than 200,000.

President Barack Obama's electoral prospects are widely seen as linked to the economy and the jobs market. Employment has been rising for the past six months, but the jobless rate has been stuck above 8% since early 2009.

According to a report released by the United Nations, the largest increases in urban population are expected in countries like India, China, Nigeria, US and Indonesia. 

The country will add another 497 million to its urban population by 2050. The report titled ''2011 Revision of the World Urbanization Prospects' says, urban population in Africa will increase from 414 million to over 1.2 billion by 2050 while that of Asia will soar from 1.9 billion to 3.3 billion. It says, the projected increase in urban population in India and Nigeria between 2010 and 2050 will be higher than that of the past 40 years.

Sweden has been rated as the top Information and Communication Technology-friendly country in the world, followed by Singapore, Finland and Denmark. The United States is ranked eighth while India is on 69th position in the Network Readiness Index or the NRI prepared by the World Economic forum.

Five GCC countries figure in top 40 with Bahrain leading the pack at 27th rank in the Network Readiness Index.

Among the emerging economies, China is 51st while Russia is 56th, Brazil 65th, India 69th and South Africa 72nd. According to the forum, these countries are economically competitive on a global level but have been slow to adopt the latest technologies.

Nearly 150 Pakistan Army soldiers, including some senior officials, got buried under the snow when an avalanche hit their camp in the Siachen sector.

The avalanche hit a battalion headquarters at Gyari in the Siachen sector of Pakistan in the Karakoram range of the Himalayas.

The Siachen glacier is known as the world’s highest and coldest battlefield. More Indian and Pakistani soldiers have been killed by adverse weather than hostilities in the sector.

In Nepal, the meeting of Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants decided to vacate the temporary camps of the former Maoist combatants and hand them over to Nepal Army and Armed Police Force .

The committee has decided to hand over 12 of the15 cantonments to the Nepal Army and three to Armed Police Force .According to committee member and Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun, the office bearers of the special committee secretariat have reached the cantonment sites as part of the programme to vacate the cantonments.

Foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea have agreed to do everything in their power diplomatically to stop North Korea from launching a missile, which it calls a satellite. Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba met his Chinese and South Korean counterparts, Yang Jiechi and Kim Sunghwan, in the Chinese city of Ningbo.

The meeting lasted for about 2 hours, and the 3 ministers agreed to strongly press North Korea to exercise self-restraint in launching the rocket. The Japanese and South Korean Foreign Ministers said the rocket launch, if it happens, would violate UN Security Council resolutions, and goes against the trend toward dialogue, and that they strongly urged the North to exercise self-restraint.

Afghan government has signed a deal on the conduct of night raids by US special forces, bringing the operations under Afghan leadership.

Under the agreement signed by the Afghan Defence Minister and the US Commander, US forces will play a supporting role in the raids. The deal will also allow Afghan judges to review the operations and decide whether to hold detainees after the raid.

The US military say night raids are a valuable way of finding and detaining suspected militants.

But many Afghans say the raids violate privacy and disrespect women. The operations, currently carried out by Nato and Afghan special forces, have been a growing cause of friction between the Afghan government and the US military. The agreement comes ahead of the planned withdrawal of US and other foreign troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari visited the shrine of sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti in Ajmer. Mr Zardari reached Ajmer from Jaipur where Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot welcomed him.

National Issues

Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari inaugurated the 11th Annual International Conference organized by the Raijv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre. 

The Centre has emerged as a premier cancer treatment facility not only in India but in the South Asian region. It has kept pace with rapidly changing scientific and technological advances in cancer diagnostic and treatment.

On the occasion of the World Health Day on April 7, the Union Health & Family Welfare Minister, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad launched a health magazine programme called “Swasth Bharat“ to be telecast/ broadcast through 30 regional kendras of Doordarshan and 29 stations of All India Radio covering 27 states.

Minister for Rural Development, Jairam Ramesh has said that the Government will introduce some new features in National Rural Livelihood Mission, NRLM, to benefit poor people and women. He said, the Government is trying to connect at least one woman from each poor household with Self Help Groups, SHGs, and the bank credits in next five years. Mr. Ramesh was addressing a Colloquium on Micro Finance and Livelihoods at Jaipur.

He said that the number of such women would be raised from the present 3 crore to 7 crore in a period of five years. He said that NRLM would adopt flexibility in the implementation of its policies to avoid difficulties in taking important decisions in accordance with the guidelines.

Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde laid the foundation stone of 765 and 400 KV powergrid pooling systems in Angul and Sundargarh districts of Odisha. These will be built at a total cost of 9,500 crore rupees.The projects aim to meet power transfer needs of a large number of new generating units.

The pooling centres, being set up by Powergrid Corporation of India, form part of one of the 11 high capacity power transmission corridors planned in different parts of the country in a phased manner. A total 9000 MVA power will be pooled at Angul and Sundargarh. Shinde said these sub-stations will facilitate evacuation of power from new generation units coming up in these districts for transfer of power to Odisha.

Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh addressed a Sainik rally at Tonk in Rajasthan. This rally was attended by a large number of veterans and war widows.

Indian Army has declared year 2012 as ‘Year of the Veterans’ and this programme was organised under this series.

The ambitious project of Union Railways of Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) factory at Haldia is likely to be commissioned by the end of November this year. 

The unit will be spread over 42.5 acres of land.

The government will set up 10 spice parks across the most strategic locations in the country by the end of this year to promote export of spices. Spice Board of India, the nodal organization of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has taken a decision to this effect. The Board has earmarked an investment of 167 crore rupees in these spices parks.

Out of which, 75 crore rupees have already been invested in three such parks in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, Puttady in Kerela and Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Spice parks consists of units like processing, packaging and certification. The other parks will be completed during the year in states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Kota in Rajasthan.

The Board has completed the construction of Spice Park in Rampura Bhatia Village of Ozian Tehsil near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The park has common infrastructure and processing facilities for the seed spices especially cumin and coriander.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi launched Rastriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan, RMSA, at a function in Guwahati.

The objective of the mission is to provide a secondary school within a radius of 5 kilometer and a Higher Secondary school within a radius of 7 to 10 kilometer of every habitation. Another aim of the mission is to ensure universal access to education for children in the age group of 14 to 18 years.

Maximum number of attacks on Scheduled Castes in 2010 were reported in Uttar Pradesh.

According to the Annual Report of the Home Ministry for 2011-12, the State recorded 19.2 per cent of the total incidents in the country.

The country witnessed a drop of 2.6 per cent in crimes against SCs during the said period.

The highest number of crimes against Scheduled Tribes, was recorded in Madhya Pradesh followed by Rajasthan.

A government sub-committee set up to look into probable sources of funds for urban transport projects in the 12th Plan recommended creation of a national fund, resource for which can be generated through taxes on vehicles and petrol consumption. 

The Sub-Committee on Financing Urban Infrastructure in the 12th Plan report suggested investments to the tune of Rs 87000 crore in the Five Year Plan duration.

Bilateral Issues

The Annual India-US Bilateral Naval exercise ‘Malabar’ commenced in the Bay of Bengal. Frontline units from the navies of the two countries took part in the 10-day exercise.

The Indian Navy is represented by indigenously built guided missile frigate INS Satpur, guided missile destroyers INS Ranvijay and INS Ranvir, missile corvette INS Kulish and fleet tanker INS Shakti. Maritime patrol aircraft Tu-142M and other rotary wing aircraft will also take part in the event.

The US Navy is represented by three US war ships, including aircraft carrier USS Carl Vision, guided missile cruiser USS Bunkerhill, guided missile destroyer USS Halsey, logistics ship UNNS Bridge and a submarine. Malabar' 2012 will be the 16th in the series of structured bilateral India US naval exercise since 1992.

A delegation of MPs led by Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj will travel Sri Lanka to assess the resettlement and political process in war-torn areas. The delegation will visit with an aim of reinforcing India's commitment towards ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils.

The 15-member multi-party delegation with representatives from Congress, BJP, DMK, AIADMK and Left parties will be in Sri Lanka from April 16 to April 21.

Economic Issues

The government plans to raise India's share in the global foreign direct investment to 5 per cent by 2017 by streamlining policies for attracting investments.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, DIPP has set a goal 'to increase FDI inflows to India by improving its global share from 1.3 per cent in 2007 to 5 per cent by 2017. A report of the DIPP said that India has already emerged as one of the most preferred destinations for foreign investment and 'this eminent position will need to be sustained'.


Uzbekistan have taken a two-nil lead over India in the Asia Ocenia Group I Davis Cup Tennis tie. At Namangan in Uzbekistan, India lost both the opening singles in lop-sided contests.

Rookies Sanam Singh and Yuki Bhambri lost in straight sets against Denis Istomin and Farrukh Dustov respectively.

International Cricket Council, ICC released the test rankings in Dubai. India retains its third position behind England and South Africa.

In Boxing, India's Vijender Singh on 8 April 2012 qualified for the London Olympics in the 75-kilogram category. He is the first Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics for the third time in succession. In the Asian Olympic qualifier at Astana in Kazakhstan, Vijender reached the semifinals after defeating Chuluntumur Tumurkhuyag of Mongolia in the quarterfinals.

Vijender Singh is also the first Indian to win an Olympic and World Championships medal(bronze in both events).


Veteran Communist Party of India leader and former Minister Pramode Gogoi passed away at Guwahati. He was 82. Gogoi was a National Executive member of CPI, besides the President of AITUC. 

He was elected to the Assam Assembly five times from Sibsagar Constituency. From 1996 to 2001, late Gogoi was a Cabinet Minister of State for Water Resources.

The Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika has died after suffering a heart attack. He was 78.

Malawi's Vice President Joyce Banda took over power as President in the southern African country following the official announcement of the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika.

One of China’s best-known dissidents and astrophysicist, Fang Lizhi died in exile in the US on 6 April 2012. He had become a force to reckon with prominent during the 1989 pro-democracy movement. 

He was compelled to spend 13 months hiding out in the US embassy after the tanks moved in to crack down on the student demonstrators on Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989. He was known as China’s Sakharov, a reference to the famous Soviet physicist and dissident, Andrei Sakharov.


BSES Yamuna Power limited (BPYL) won the prestigious 54th British International Safety Award. BYPL has been selected for this award given the steps taken by it for the safety of its over 11 lakh consumers and safety and health of its employees. The list of award winners was announced in London. The award will be presented in May 2012. BPYL is the first Indian discom to be selected for this award.

BYPL distributes power to an area spread over 200 sq kms with a population density of 5953 per sq km. It’s 11.9lakh customers are spread over 14 districts across Central and East areas of Delhi including Chandni Chowk, Daryaganj, Shankar Road, Patel Nagar, G T Road,Paharganj, Karkardooma, Krishna Nagar, Mayur Vihar, Yamuna Vihar, Laxmi Nagar, Nand Nagri and Karawal Nagar.



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