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May 15th Current Affairs

International Issues


The Gulf Co-operation Council, GCC has decided to continue the move towards a closer political, economic and military union.

The Six nation group reiterated its commitment for closer ties with Bahrain and providing financial assistance to Morocco and Jordan. The Gulf Arab leaders summit in Riyadh agreed to continue the discussions towards setting up of the Gulf Union.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told that the aim is for all GCC countries to join, not just two or three countries. The proposal of Gulf Union was mooted at the last summit in December by Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in the wake of threats to regional security and stability with the Arab Spring around and growing clout of Iran. 

The evolution of GCC into a Union has the potential to make it an economic powerhouse with the combined output of the group around $1,400 billion in 2011.





Chandra Bahadur Dangi, a 72-year-old Nepali was crowned the "world's shortest man" by Guinness Book of World Records. Dangi, hails from a remote valley in southwestern Nepal, and stands just 54.6 centimetres (21.5 inches) tall.





Russia's spacecraft Soyuz TMA-04M, with a crew of three, blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. According to Russia's Federal Space Agency Roscosmos, the Soyuz rocket, carrying the manned spacecraft, was launched from the Gagarin launch pad with two Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin and a NASA astronaut Joe Acaba.

The spaceship is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station at 8:39 Moscow Time in an automatic mode.


National Issues


Air India's Board has approved a plan to monetise 5,000 crore rupees over 10 years to support its Financial Restructuring Plan. The decision to this effect was taken at the Board's meeting held in New Delhi.

In its statement, Air India said that it is considering appointing top real estate consultants with wide experience in operating in India and abroad to help monetise its assets, spread all across the country and abroad. It plans to make the appointment by the end of June.





The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI has limited the duration of advertisements on Television channels to 12 minutes per hour. The TRAI said that as per the Standards of Quality of Service Regulation 2012, any shortfall of advertisement duration in any clock hour cannot be carried over.

TRAI has also specified in its statement that the minimum time gap between any two consecutive advertisement breaks should not be less than 15 minutes, while in case of movies, this time gap should be a minimum of 30 minutes. These conditions shall not apply live broadcast of a sporting event.





The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI has recommended a financial support of 2,750 crore rupees to BSNL to sustain its rural wireline connections, installed before April, 2002. 

TRAI said in New Delhi that the amount of support may be 1,500 crore rupees for the first year and 1,250 Crore rupees for the second year. BSNL had requested a support of 2,580 crore rupees per year.





A State e-Governance Management Team (SeMT) has been constituted in Haryana to extend technical and professional support to various government departments in conception and implementation of various e-governance initiatives.





The Indian Embassy in UAE has decided to hold “Open Day” on June 3 to address the grievances of the expatriate Indian community regarding consular, community and other matters at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai. 

The Open Day at Embassy will be held on June 3 from 3-4 pm and at the Consulate General of India, Dubai between 10-11 am on the same day. Any Indian national, desirous to meet the Ambassador regarding his grievance can do so without prior appointment during the respective Open Day. 

The move comes in the wake of decision taken at the Gulf region Ambassadors meeting by the External Affairs Minister SM. Krishna to reach out to the large NRI Community in UAE.





Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said that Performance Audit of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, MGNREGA for all the States will be placed before Parliament in November this year.

The Performance Audit of MGNREGA will cover the period from 2007 to 2011 and it must be underlined that Rural Development Ministry spends about 40,000 crore rupees each year on the job guarantee scheme. 

The Minister also informed that from this year, it will be compulsory for every Gram Panchayat to be certified by a Chartered Accountant, drawn up from a district level panel prepared by Comptroller and Auditor General, CAG.





Government has decided to set up a call centre with a portal for receiving RTI applications. The Department of Personnel has invited proposals from call centres and IT agencies for setting up of such a call centre.

According to Ministry of Personnel, complete proposals can be sent to them by 10th July, 2012. The proposal provides for operating and maintaining an RTI call centre that will facilitate voice calls, SMSs and inter-voice response system managed calls.





In Arunachal Pradesh, Government is implementing a pilot project under the title “Sharing a Cup of Tea Mission '' for small and marginal tea growers in the state. 

This scheme is being implemented for the first time in the state. This pilot project is specifically engineered to assist financial assistance in the from of supplying of tea saplings to small and marginal tea farmers. Free tea sapplings were distributed to the selected farmers of East Siang District under this scheme.





Government has introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to ensure transparency in public procurement. The bill titled "Public Procurement Bill-2012" was introduced in the House by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

It seeks to regulate award of government contracts of over fifty lakh rupees. The objective of the Bill is to ensure fair and equitable treatment of bidders promoting competition, enhancing efficiency and economy and maintaining integrity and public confidence in the procurement process. The Bill also provides a jail term ranging from six months to five years for public servants found guilty of demanding and accepting bribes from bidders of government contracts.


Awards


The Kaiga generating Station (KGS) units 1 and 2 have been chosen for the Power Line Award 2012 in the best performing nuclear power station category.


Persons


Dr. Aziz Quereshi has assumed the charge of Uttarakhand Governor, in Dehradun. At a simple ceremony held at Raj Bhawan, Chief Justice of Nainital High Court Justice Barin Ghosh administered the oath of office to Dr. Aziz Qureshi.





The French President elect, Mr. Francois Hollande, will be sworn in as the country's President. He will attend an inauguration ceremony at the Elysee Palace with outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.Soon after his inauguration he will name his cabinet.



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