May 10th Current Affairs

May 10th Current Affairs

International Issues


The US Federal Reserve has given the go-ahead for state-owned Chinese banks to enter the US banking market.

The US central bank approved an application by China's biggest bank - the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China - to buy an 80 percent stake in the US branch of the Bank of East Asia.

It is the first time a Chinese state-controlled company has been approved to acquire a US bank. This comes just days after high-level economic talks between the US and China in Beijing. The Federal Reserve also allowed two other Chinese financial institutions to increase their presence in the US.





Jordan's parliament has passed a law to encourage multiparty political system in the country. The move is one of the key reform measures announced by the Jordanian King Abdullah II, as the nation goes to polls before the end of this year.

The new electoral law in Jordan allows parties based on political affiliation to contest in elections. The earlier system encouraged formation of dozens of small parties who voted on the basis of tribal affiliation.


National Issues


Government has said it is taking steps to expand additional food grain storage facilities in the country. Minister for Food and Consumer Affairs K.V. Thomas said this while addressing a national workshop on Best Practices in Targeted Public Distribution System, TPDS and Food Fortification in New Delhi.

Mr. Thomas said storage capacity of about 64 million tonnes is currently available with Food Corporation of India, FCI and additional capacity of 15.2 million tons is being created under the Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee scheme through private entrepreneurs, and Central and State Warehousing Corporations.





The Government is trying to build a consensus on some of the contentious clauses in the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill. This was stated by the Law Minister Salman Khurshi while talking to reporters outside Parliament.





The Centre is providing financial and technical assistance to the States to supplement their efforts to provide adequate and safe drinking water to all rural habitations.

The centrally sponsored scheme National Rural Drinking Water Programme, NRDWP has empowered state governments to plan, design, approve and implement rural drinking water supply schemes.





Gram panchayats have been given the power to take up any work in their jurisdiction on the basis of the decision arrived at in gram sabhas under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, MGNREGA . The Centre has recently unveiled the expanded version of MNREGA.

Rural Development minister Jairam Ramesh, who tabled a copy of the new notification in Parliament, said the purpose was to give supremacy to gram panchayats to meet the exigencies of states and the livelihood needs of people in rural areas.

It will be upto the gram panchayats to decide which work to take up, irrespective of the prioritis of MGNREA schedule list.





The Government said it is committed to provide subsidized food grains to address malnutrition and hunger in the country.

This was stated by Food and Consumer Affairs minister K V Thomas while addressing a workshop on 'Best Practices in Public Distribution System and Food Fortification' in New Delhi .

Mr Thomas said that his government has undertaken various measures over the last decade to bring effectiveness and transparency and to improve the reach of the food-based social safety nets including PDS . He said that country has reached a comfortable position in food grain production and its procurement.

The workshop aims at to provide a concensus and a follow up plan for implementing 'best practices' in strengthening Targated Public Distribution System,TDPS and integrating food fortification.





The Central Ground Water Board has taken up pilot projects on aquifer mapping across the country. This will help in a better assessment of the country's ground water resources and the quality of water.

Pilot projects on aquifer mapping have initially been taken up in parts of Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

Based on the outcome of these projects, the successful techniques will be replicated in other areas of the country.





Parliament has passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Amendment Bill, 2012. The Lok Sabha approved the legislation , which the Rajya Sabha had adopted earlier. Children with severe disability will be its main beneficiary. They will have the option to receive education at home.

Piloting the Bill, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal termed it as a historic piece of legislation. He said that it will have a great impact on quality education to disabled children in the age group of 6 to 14 years studying in Class I to VIII. Mr. Sibal informed the House that a committee will be set up to frame the guidelines for implementing the scheme.

Mr. Kapil Sibal assured the states of full support from the Centre to implement the act. The bill received unanimous support in the House.





The Centre has declared Tuberculosis, TB as a mandatory notifiable disease with immediate effect. Notification of TB cases by all healthcare providers will help patients better access to quality diagnosis and treatment.

The Health and Familiy Welfare Ministry in its statement said that this will facilitate early diagnosis, rational treatment, prevention of complications, drug resistance and reduction of deaths due to TB.

It will also facilitate the National TB Control Programme to plan resources and control measures commensurate with the actual burden of disease for larger interest of the public and the nation as a whole.

It said, in order to ensure proper TB diagnosis as well as to address the problems of emergence of spread of Drug Resistant TB, it is essential to have complete information of all TB cases.





The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari released the book “Prithvi Sukta” written by Shri N.C. Joshi, Secretary, Rajya Sabha at a function. Addressing on the occasion, he said that Prithvi Sukta, which is part of the Atharva Veda is in the tradition of hymns to the forces of nature contained in a chronologically much earlier work, the Rig Veda. 

Understanding the treasures of planet earth and means to exploit and utilise them in a sustainable manner has been central to human civilization. Our earth system with its complex inter-linkages between the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere and the ecosphere provides us with water and land resources, ecological, water and energy resources. The Atharvaveda, and its Prithvi Sukta, has an entire hymn of sixty three verses dedicated to Mother Earth.





The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the proposal for implementation of Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) in whole Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj (CSM) Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh comprising five tehsils and also includes this as an additional district to already approved list of 52 districts.

The expenditure for three tehsils of CSM Nagar (Musafirkhana, Amethi and Gauriganj) is already included in the proposal approved by the CCEA. Addition of two remaining tehsils of Tiloi and Salon to cover full CSM Nagar which would require additional funding of Rs. 11 crore for 32000 more beneficiaries. This will be met within the approved allocation of Rs. 520 under BE 2012-13.

The Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), a centrally sponsored conditional maternity benefit schemes was approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in its meeting on 20.10.2010.





The Naval Commander’s Conference was conducted at New Delhi from 08-10 May 12. The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri inaugurated the conference and complimented the Indian Navy on its all round performance.

The Naval Commander’s discussed several important issues during the conference, including Operational Readiness, Coastal Security, Infrastructure Development, Information & Cyber Security as also Foreign Cooperation initiatives.

The necessity for the Indian Navy to incorporate quantum enhancement in technology, ranging from nuclear propulsion to advanced weapon platforms and networked systems, was highlighted by the CNS, especially in view of the recent induction of INS Chakra, the impending arrival of INS Vikramaditya and the P8-I Long Range Maritime Surveillance aircraft.

The CNS expressed satisfaction at the modernisation and capability enhancement of the Indian Navy, which was proceeding as per the Maritime Capability Perspective Plan. The CNS highlighted the fact, that 4-5 major warships and submarines were likely to be commissioned every year over the next five years and that Naval Aviation was poised for major growth in the years ahead.

Considering the ongoing expansion programme of the Indian Navy, a new ‘Safety Organisation’ to enhance safe operations of ships, submarines and aircraft was also discussed.

As 2012 is being observed as the ‘Year of the Ex-Serviceman’, several measures for enhancing the welfare of naval veterans and their widows were discussed for implementation. These include ‘Pension Adalats’ across the country, especially in rural areas and strengthening the delivery of the Ex-servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS).

The CNS concluded the conference by complimenting all personnel of the Indian Navy for their professionalism and patriotism, and exhorted them to continue to meet the maritime security challenges being faced by the nation.





The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the amendments in the special Scholarship Scheme for Jammu & Kashmir by including students who pass the Class XII or equivalent exam from CBSE-affiliated schools located in Jammu & Kashmir. Earlier this scheme was open to only those students who passed the Class XII or the equivalent exam from the J&K Board.

This would increase the inclusivity of the scheme and would make many more students eligible to avail of the benefit under this scheme. This revision would be effective from the academic year 2011-12.





The Planning Commission fixed the total Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) for the Ministry of Women and Child Development at Rs. 18,500 crores for the year 2012-13. 

Out of this, Rs.15,850 crores were earmarked for the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme. Of the remaining Rs. 2650 crores, the WCD Ministry, in consultation with Planning Commission, has allocated Rs. 400 crores for the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) for this year.


Economic Issues


The Finance Ministry has extended the income tax exemption for 46 lakh subscribers of over 2,700 private Provident Fund Trusts till March 31st, 2013.

Subscribers of these private PF trusts were facing the threat of their retirement funds coming under tax net as Budget 2012-13 was silent on this issue.

A Finance Ministry official said, the amendment has been incorporated in the Finance Bill which was approved by the Lok Sabha.

In 2006, the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram had made it mandatory for all private PF trusts to seek exemption certificates from the Labour Ministry within a year for enjoying the tax benefits.





India’s exports for the months of April 2012 have registered a growth of 3.2%, at US $ 24.50 billion. Shri Rahul Khullar, Commerce Secretary, informed that during April 2012 the imports were US $ 37.9 billion with a growth of 3.8% and a Balance of Trade stood at US $ (-)13.4 billion, during the same period.


Awards


The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has been selected for 2012 Templeton Prize, which honours a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.Established in 1972, it is one of the world's largest annual monetary awards given to an individual.

According to the organizers, the award would be given in a ceremony at Saint Paul's Cathedral in London.He will receive the 1.8 million US Dollar prize for his work in encouraging scientific research and harmony among religions. The event will be attended by thousands and broadcast on the Internet.





The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has given cash awards worth over two crore rupees to 158 sportspersons who won medals in international sports events during 2010-11 and 2011-12. The awards were distributed by the Youth Affairs and Sports minister Ajay Maken to over 20 winners present at a function in New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Maken said, the ministry has set aside fifty lakh rupees to sportspersons who win gold in Olympics, thirty thousand for silver and twenty thousand for brozne medalists. The awards were presented to sportspersons belonging to archery, athletics, badminton, boxing, chess, weight lifting, and winter sports.

The cash awards under the scheme- special awards for winners of medals in international events and their coaches- are aimed at incentivising the sports persons who win medals in international events like Olympic Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.





Election Commission of India has been awarded the National Innovator Star Trophy by EMPI-Indian Express for Electronic Voting Machine. The Award was given by Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission at a function on 4th May 2012 at the India International Centre, New Delhi.

The Award was given to ECI for ‘Transforming Electoral Processes by Implementing Electronic Voting in the World’s Largest Democracy’. It was received by Dr Alok Shukla, Deputy Election Commissioner on behalf of the Commission.

Electronic Voting Machine has been developed with specialised hardware and software to incorporate requirements that would be friendly to diverse Indian users and meet the stringent constitutional requirements viz. tackling aspects of secrecy, authentication by contestants, avoidance of incorrect/duplicate voting, protection against manipulative interests of individuals, political parties, and election mangers at the election site and during transportation, and building in redundancies in case of failures.

The Jury for the Award comprised of Mr Arun Maira and Shri N Vittal, Padma Bhushan.


Sports


The Indian duo of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna has stormed into the Men's Doubles quarterfinals in Madrid Open Tennis tournament.

In the pre-quarterfinals played, the seventh seeded Indian pair defeated the Mexican-German combine of Santiago Gonzalez and Christopher Kas, 6-1, 7-6.

The Indo-Czech pair of Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek will take on the French duo of Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfilis in the Men's Doubles pre-quarterfinals.

In the Women's Doubles section, the Indo-Aussie pair of Sania Mirza and Anastasia Rodionova had earlier crashed out of the tournament.



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