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2012 April 9 to 11 Current Affairs

International Issues


Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Malaysia for co-operation in construction of the multipurpose 2.9 billion US dollar Padma Bridge project. 

Bangladesh's Communication Minister Obaidul Quader and Malaysian special envoy to India and South Asia on infrastructure Dato' Seri S. Samy Vellu signed the memorandum of understanding at a special ceremony in Kuala Lumpur which was witnessed by Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohammed Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak. 





A ten-day convention of agricultural scientists from SAARC countries  at Karnal in Haryana. The conference discuss the issues relating to increasing milk production, processing, quality control, marketing and food security in the SAARC countries.

The 21 representatives from seven counteries including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Myanmar participated in the convention.


National Issues


India has joined the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme, MDEP, an initiative to leverage resources and knowledge of nuclear regulators in reviewing new reactor designs. Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, AERB will represent India at the MDEP.

The AERB has become the first new member of the MDEP since its inception in 2006. An MDEP statement said that the Policy Group's decision to induct India is based on careful consideration of information provided by the AERB, concerning its role and duties as well as India's nuclear regulatory framework.





Government has distributed over 55 lakh scholarship to minority students under the Pre-Metric Scholarships scheme in the last fiscal. It has exceeded the target of 34 lakh scholarships.

According to an official release, the Minority Affairs Ministry has released over 615 crore rupees during the last financial year for the purpose. So far, over one crore, twenty-two lakh scholarships have been awarded till March this year under the scheme since its inception.





In Karnataka, the Energy Conservation Building Code, ECBC, will be implemented in all the government offices to make them energy efficient. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency, a statutory body under Union Power Ministry, will suggest ways to conserve electricity by following the code. 

The Power Minister in the state, Shobha Karandlaje said, this will help save about 16 million units of energy everyday.





The Centre has released around thirty eight crore, fifty-five lakh rupees to Karnataka under Post Matric Scholarship scheme to the students belonging to Scheduled Caste. About 48 lakh students are targeted to be covered during the year 2011-12 under the scheme across the country.

According to an official release, the Social Justice Ministry has allocatted over 6780 crore rupees so far to cover over 196 lakh beneficiaries in the Eleventh Five Year Plan. The Post Matric Scholarship is a single largest intervention by the Central government for educational development of scheduled caste students.





The Centre has earmarked ten thousand crore rupees for construction of residential facilities and upgradation of border posts for troops of Central Paramilitary Forces. Addressing a Central Reserve Police Force function in New Delhi, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Jitendra Singh said, the Ministry has decided to create additional facilities including for recreation of personnel of Central Armed Police Forces at their Border Outposts.

Mr. Singh said, a considerable amount of money will also be used for modernisation of border guarding forces and those involved in internal security Operations like Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Border Security Force and Sashastra Seema Bal, Central Industrial Security Force and National Security Guard.

On this occasion, the Minister also awarded gallantry medals to 84 CRPF personnel out of which 13 are posthumously, for displaying gallant action in the anti-naxal operations and counter-insurgency tasks in the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir.





Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal launched the country's first ever fourth generation mobile services in Kolkata. This launch is a major milestone for India and Bharti Airtel as it will result in India becoming one of the first countries in the world to commercially deploy the cutting-edge technology.

Compared to the existing 3G services that allow downloads speed of up to 21 mbps, 4G allows download speed of upto 100 mbps, which is almost 5 times higher than 3G.





Water Resource Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated the Weeklong Water Expo-2012 in New Delhi .





Centre has constituted a Committee for framing a policy on National Corporate Governance in the country. The committee under the chairmanship of Adi Godrej has been asked to suggest a comprehensive policy framework to enable corporate governance of highest quality . The other members of the committee include Chief Managing Director of Biocon Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Director General of FICCI Sidharth Birla.

The committee is expected to make its recommendations within six months from the date of its first meeting after wide consultations with all stakeholders in the corporate sector, academics and members of the public.





Assam registered a 14 per cent increase in the Rhinos population in last three years as per the Rhino census concluded on 8 April 2012. The number of Rhinos in the state is now over 2 thousand five hundred in the latest census. It was 2 thousand two hundred rhinos in 2009.

2290 rhinos were found in the Kaziranga National Park while 100 rhinos were found in Orang National Park and another 93 in Pobitora Sanctuary.





National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on 9 April 2012 declared its intent to double its concessional lending towards building new warehouses for food grain storage to Rs. 500 crore in Punjab. 

Lending for creation of new storage godowns is to be doubled to Rs. 500 crore in Punjab under NABARD Warehousing (Refinance) Scheme 2012.


Bilateral Issues


India and Qatar signed six agreements, including a pact on cooperation in oil and gas exploration. The agreements were signed following a delegation level meeting between the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Qatar’s visiting Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Both the leaders had discussions on a range of issues, including boosting trade and investment as well as energy ties between the two countries. Issues relating to the welfare of Indian workers in the Gulf country were also discussed. After the talks, Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and Qatar’s Energy Minister Mohammed Bin Saleh al-Sada signed a pact on establishing a cooperative framework to enhance bilateral cooperation in oil and gas.





Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is leading a delegation to US and Turkey to meet investors and explore other opportunities in the energy sector. Mr Shinde is going to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington in the US and Istanbul in Turkey from April 11 to April 21.

He would be visiting Istanbul to address the World Energy Leaders' Summit organised by World Energy Council. India which currently generates over 1,87,000 MW of electricity plans to add 76,000 MW in the next five years.





India and Afghanistan have signed a historic merorandum of understanding for mutual cooperation in the field of iron and steel sector. Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma and the Afghan’s Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani signed the MOU in Kabul in the presence of senior officials of the concerned ministries of the two countries.

The MOU aims at paving the way for institution and capacity building in the Afghanistan’s iron and steel sector. It will promote economic cooperation between the two countries and encourage public and private sector Indian companies to invest in mineral rich Afghanistan. The strategic partnership between the two countries will get further boost by the memorandum of understanding signed.





India and Pakistan will finalise a new visa agreement which will make it easier for certified businessmen from both sides to get a one-year multiple-entry non-reporting visa. Pakistani High Commissioner Shahid Malik said, this decision was taken at the meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.





India and Germany on 10 April 2012 decided to promote bilateral cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development through exploration of solutions to problems of mutual concern. A joint declaration to this effect was signed at a meeting in New Delhi between Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath and his German counterpart Peter Ramsauer.

The Joint Declaration envisages promoting discussion and strategies on integrated policies and principles for urban development and revitalization in the two nations.





India's handicrafts exports jumped to 2.7 billion US Dollars in the 2011-12 fiscal, despite slowdown in major importing markets like the US and Europe. In 2010-11, the exports stood at USD 2.3 billion dollars. The growth in the last fiscal was mainly driven by growing demand in new markets like China and Latin America. Executive Director Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts Mr. Rakesh Kumar said in New Delhi that the council expects exports to touch 300 billion US Dollars.

Moradabad, Jaipur, Saharanpur, Jodhpur and Narsapur are the major handicraft hubs catering to world markets, employing one million people.





In Jammu and Kashmir, an amount of 775 crore rupees have been spent under Mahatam Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MG NREGA) during the year 2011-2012 for accelerating the socio-economic development of rural and far-flung areas of the state.

This was stated by the Minister for Rural Development Ali Mohammad Sagar at a high level review meeting of the Rural Development Department.


Economic Issues


The government announced new Foreign Direct Investment, FDI norms for Foreign Institutional Investors, FIIs. Under the new norms, FIIs can now invest up to 23 per cent in commodity exchanges without seeking prior approval of the government. However, FDI will continue to require the approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. 

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion's, consolidated FDI policy and the new norms came in force. At present both type of foreign investments, 23 per cent through FII route and 26 per cent through FDI route in commodity exchanges require government approval.

This change aligns the policy for foreign investment in commodity exchanges, with that of other infrastructure companies in the securities markets, such as stock exchanges, depositories and clearing corporations.

DIPP has also decided that the consolidated FDI circular will be announced every year instead of six-monthly basis. The revised policy would be announced on 29th March next year.





The Reserve Bank of India has allowed all licenced banks to participate in the centralised electronic payment systems. In a notification issued in Mumbai, the RBI announced its decision to expand the sub-membership route to enable regional rural banks, RRBs and co-operative banks to participate in the national electronic funds transfer - NEFT system and real time gross settlement system - RTGS.

The RBI said this decision has been taken to popularise electronic transfer of funds. At present, the centralised payment systems can be accessed only by members that include public and private sector banks.

The centralized payment systems, NEFT is an electronic transfer of funds meant for retail customers while RTGS system facilitates high-value transfer of money with threshold limit of 2 lakh rupees.





The government has constituted a study team to examine the possibility of a common tax code for service tax and central excise, which could be adopted to harmonize the two legislations.

The team, to be headed by a retired Indian Revenue Service officer MK Gupta, was constituted by the Finance Ministry. An official release in New Delhi said that the government has asked the Study Team to submit its report by the end of September this year.





The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its flagship annual publication "Asian Development Outlook (ADO)" released on 11 April 2012 projected moderate increase in growth rate for India to 7 percent in 2012-13. The ADB stated that strong economic performance would depend on the country’s ability to push reforms agenda and address issues constraining investments. The government however estimated a growth rate of 7.6 per cent for 2012-13 fiscal.

Moderation in the growth of non-oil imports in 2012-13 and improved economic prospects in the advanced countries in 2013-14 is likely to help the current account deficit to improve to 3.3% in 2012-13 and further to 3% in 2013-14.





The government has made it mandatory for individuals with income of over 10 lakh rupees to file their tax returns for 2011-12 electronically. The Income Tax Department said that e-filing has been made compulsory for the person who is an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family, if his or its total income, or the total income in respect of which he is or it is assessable under the Act during the previous year, exceeds ten lakh rupees for assessment year 2012-13 onwards.





The government has set up a committee to review the scheme for electronic refund of service tax paid on taxable services used for export of goods.

The committee has been asked to evolve a scientific approach for fixing of rates for the refund. It will submit its report to the Central Board of Excise and Customs before 20th of June this year.

The committee to be headed by Director General of Service Tax Sanghamitra Panda, will also propose a revised schedule of rates for service tax refund.

It will take into account the revision of rate of service tax from 10 per cent to 12 per cent and also movement towards negative list approach to taxation of services.


Persons


Prakash Karat has been re-elected as the General Secretary of CPI(M). A 15-member politburo has been formed.





Former Tamil Nadu State secretary of the CPI(M) and three-time MLA, N. Varadarajan, died in Chennai on 10 April 2012. Known as NV in party circles, Varadarajan was one of the 32 members of the united Communist Party of India (CPI) who quit the party in 1964 and formed the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Tamil Nadu.


Sports


Top Indian squash player Saurav Ghosal won a 3-2 victory over Robbie Temple of England at the $120,000 El Gouna International Open in El Gouna, Egypt on 9 April 2012. 

Ghoshal defeated Robbie 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 in a match that lasted 85 minutes. Ghosal had earlier lost to Willstrop at the Canary Wharf Classic tournament in March 2012.


Science & Technology


Scientists identified two genes called OLFM4 gene and HOXB5 that increase the risk of common childhood obesity. The early Growth Genetics (EGG) Consortium made this finding. 

This finding will pave the way for preventive interventions and treatments for children based on their individual genomes. The scientists identified two novel loci, one near the OLFM4 gene on chromosome 13 and the other within the HOXB5 gene on chromosome 17.



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1 comments:

  1. Thank you very much

    Really helpful for all the aspirants

    ReplyDelete

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