Shares the Knowledge !

May 11th Current Affairs

International Issues

Saudi Arabia has built the world’s first underwater mosque off a north-western coast close to the Jordanian border. The mosque has been built by a group of private divers from Saudi Arabia, who used plastic pipes filled with sand under the sea off the coast in the north-western city of Tabuk.

The divers who built the mosque told that they have just completed the construction of the mosque. When they put the final touches on it, it was time for afternoon prayers and they performed group prayers in the first underwater mosque in the history.

Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and home to the holy lands of Makkah and Madinah. The concept of an underwater mosque has followed the trend of other underwater structures being developed in the Middle East.

Recently, Dubai World has announced the move to build an underwater hotel known as the World Discus Hotel. The hotel will take its name from its shape which will be comprised of submerged discs.

The Red Cross suspended most of its aid projects in Pakistan and recalled all of its foreign staff to the capital, following the brutal murder of a British worker.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had put on hold activities run from the southern port city of Karachi and the northwestern city of Peshawar, while it reviewed its operations after the killing of Khalil Dale.

The move suspends activities at all facilities run by ICRC apart from a physical rehabilitation centre in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Pakistan successfully test-fired Hatf III Ghaznavi missile. The missile has a range of 290 km and it can hit its target in India. The missile is capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The missile was launched at the conclusion of the annual field training exercise of Army Strategic Force Command.

National Issues

The Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad has constituted a committee to examine the drug approval procedures in the country. The three member expert committee includes Secretary of Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. V M Katoch and President of National Brain Research Centre, Dr.P.N Tandon. The Committee has been asked to examine the validity of the scientific and statutory basis adopted for approval of new drugs without clinical trial.

It will also outline appropriate measures to bring about systemic improvements in the processing and grant of statutory approvals. The committee will suggest steps to instituteonalise improvements in other procedural aspects of functioning of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, CDSCO. It will submit its report in two months.

The move follows the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the functioning of the, CDSCO. The report has pointed out certain irregularities particularly in the area of approval of new drugs without clinical trials.

Government has cleared a proposal worth over Rs 2,800 crore for procuring 75 Pilatus aircraft from Switzerland to train Indian Air Force rookie pilots.

The decision was taken at a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) last evening chaired by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Defence Ministry officials said the new Pilatus aircraft will replace the HPT-32 trainer aircraft which have been grounded for over two years after a fatal accident in 2009.

Recently, the Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence also highlighted the critical deficiency of trainer aircraft for the young IAF pilots The delivery of the planes are expected to begin by the middle of 2013.

The Rajya Sabha passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011 by a voice vote. The bill provides for protection of children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography and provides for establishment of special courts for trial of such offences.

Minister for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath expressed concern over the increasing number of incidents between 2001 and 2010.

She said the bill would contribute to enforcement of the right of all children to safety, security and protection from sexual abuse and exploitation. She said it provides for stringent action against the culprits.

The government has approved micro financial sector (development and regulation bill,2011). The decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting held in New Delhi which was chaired by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

The bill proposes to make it mandatory for micro-finance institutions to be registered with RBI and have minimum net-owned funds of 5 lakh rupees. In another decision, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs CCEA approved the proposal for implementation of Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojna in Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh.

The CCEA also approved the amendments in the special scholorship scheme for Jammu and Kashmir by including students who passed the class 12th or equivalent exam from CBSE affiliated schools in the state. Earlier, this scheme was opened to only those students who passed the 12th or the equivalent exams from the Jammu and Kashmir Board.

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Statistics and Programme Implementation Shri Srikant Kumar Jena has said growth rate of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for November 2011 was reported as 5.9% as First Revision on 10th February 2012. Subsequently the growth rate for November 2011 has been revised as Final Revision to 6.0% on 12th April 2012. 

Similarly, the growth rate for December 2011 was released as 1.8% as Quick Estimate on 10th February 2012 and has been subsequently revised to 2.5% as First Revision on 12th March 2012. 

The Government of India has declared year 2012-13 as the year of intensification of Routine Immunization. As per Immunization summary report of UNICEF and WHO, India’s birth cohort of 2.6 crores is the highest in the world.

Under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP), children are provided vaccination to prevent Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT), Polio, Measles, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis (Bacillus Calmette-Guérinie BCG), Hepatitis B and Tetanus for pregnant women. In addition, JE vaccine is provided in selected high disease burden districts of 15 states.

  • Various steps have been taken under Immunization programme to increase coverage and these include 
  • need based central funding and commodity assistance to States, 
  • support for logistics such as Alternate Vaccine Delivery (AVD)
  • capacity building of service providers at all levels, 
  • strengthening reporting and management of Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI)
  • Strengthen supportive supervision at all levels, 
  • involvement of ASHA for social mobilization of children, 
  • Carrying out immunization weeks in North Eastern States, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, 
  • Intensified IEC/Behavior change Communication, 
  • increasing community participation and Strengthening follow up of children through mother and child tracking system etc.

The Interest Subvention Scheme is being implemented by the Government of India since 2006-07 to make short-term crop loans upto Rs.3 lakhs for a period of one year available to farmers at the interest rate of 7 per cent per annum. The Government of India has since 2009-10 been providing additional interest subvention to prompt payee farmers. The additional subvention was 1% in 2009-10, 2% in 2010-11 and 3% in 2011-12. The Government has in the Budget speech of 2012-13 announced continuation of the scheme in 2012-13.

Interest Subvention is provided to Public Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks. Land Development Banks are not Cooperative Banks as defined in Banking Regulations Act, 1949 and are not covered under the Scheme.

More than 16.8 lakh children under five years died of infectious, but preventable, diseases in India in 2010 and more than half of them could not complete the first month of their life, a new study has claimed.

Of the total deaths, 52 per cent, or about 0.875 million, were among the children who died in the first 28 days of their life, according to the study published in The Lancet.

Pneumonia remained the leading killer, which accounted for 28.6 per cent of all deaths in children under five, followed by preterm birth complications (18.1 per cent) and diarrhoea (12.6 per cent).

India was also among the five countries that collectively accounted for 49.3 per cent (or 3.754 million) of 7.6 million children who died in the first 5 years of their life in 2010.

These countries — India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, and China — also accounted for half (2.4 million) of global deaths from infections and 53.3 per cent (1.636 million) of neonatal deaths.


The Former President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam gave away National Awards on Technology to the industrial/individual concern for developing indigenous technology. The Awards are instituted by Department of Science & Technology and Department of Bio-Technology to the successful commercialization of indigenous technology by an industrial/individual concern.

The National Awards have two components: (i) to the industrial concern, which has successfully commercialized indigenous technology and (ii) to the developer / provider of such technology. Each component carries a cash Award of Rs. 10.00 lakhs along with the Trophy. In addition to this Technology Development Board (TDB) has introduced cash Award of Rs. 5.00 lakhs to be given to maximum three SSI units which have successfully commercialized a technology based product.

The National Awards of Rs. 10.00 lakhs for the year 2012 was awarded to M/s Scanpoint Geomatics Limited, Ahmedabad, Gujarat for indigenous development and commercialization of Integrated GIS and Image Processing Software: IGiS developed jointly in collaboration with Space Applications Center, ISRO, Satellite, Ahmedabad.

Award to SSI units 2012 of Rs. 5.00 lakhs each was awarded to two companies, M/s Zen Technologies Limited, Sanathnagar, Hyderabad and M/s Diaonics Automation (I) Pvt. Limited, Nasik Road, Nasik for developing and commercialization of product. The DBT award was given to M/s Perfint Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., Chennai. The award for the best technology business Incubator was given to SIDBI Innovation and Incubation Centre (SIIC), IIT Kanpur.

In the function, the Chief Guest, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam also launched two new programmes in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The “Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA)” is a programme jointly created by DST and CII which seeks to leverage innovations taking place around the world by enhancing technology competitiveness of Indian Industry & Institutions through joint development, technology transfer and joint ventures. 

Whereas “Millennium Alliance” programme is jointly created by India and U.S. and here DST is partnering with USAID & FICCI to promote cost-effective and rigorously tested solutions for critical development challenges that have the potential for sustained global impact. 

Kerala has bagged the first Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Awards 2012 for the Best Destination for Families (Indian).

Managing Director of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Hotels and Resorts (KTDC) N. Prasanth received the award from Bollywood director Karan Johar at a function in Mumbai recently.

The 39 awards were given away in three major categories: destinations, hospitality, and travel service providers (including airlines, travel portals, and tour operators), both in the domestic and international circuits.

Switzerland has been selected as India's Favourite Destination, while Jammu & Kashmir has been chosen as the Best Emerging Destination – Indian, and Fiji as the Best Emerging Destination – International.



Post a Comment

Upsc - Civils Preparation

Exam Strategy
Tips and Tricks
Preparation and Guidance
Optional Subjects - Preparation
Optional Subjects - Guidance
Many more >>

Bank Exams Preparation

Bank, Currency, Money, RBI,
Budget, Planning, Stock Exchange
Insurance, Taxation, International Organizations
Economic Issues, Fiscal Policy, Committee or Commissions
Many more >>

Computer Knowledge

History, Generations, Terminology
Hardware, Software, Internet
Networks, Shortcut Keys
Many more >>

Interview Preparation

General Do's and Don'ts in Interview
Entry and Dressing up
How to prepare?, Qualities judged
Many more >>