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May 16th Current Affairs

International Issues

Australia has announced to contribute 100 million annually US dollars for three years beginning in 2015 to support Afghan National Security Forces after they take responsibility for their country's security.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Defence Minister Stephen Smith said in a joint statement that they will take this commitment to the NATO and US-led International Security Assistance Force summit in Chicago.This follows Australia's commitment to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund of 200 million dollars over five years beginning in 2009-10.

Australia has 1,550 troops in Afghanistan and is the largest military contributor to the campaign outside NATO.

National Issues

The parliament gave its approval to the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Amendment Bill 2012 as the Lok Sabha passed. The Rajya sabha had passed the Bill earlier.

The amendments will allow the Central educational institutions to implement the 27 per cent quota for the OBCs in six years time-frame instead of the stipulated three years. It also seeks to exempt some institutions from implementing the OBC quota, where the maximum limit of reservation as fixed by the Supreme Court has been exceeded.

Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal said that the government has taken several important steps for the benefit of student community. He said students of reserved categories are by and large moving forward and we should be encouraged by this. Mr. Sibal said the government will always work to ensure that the students get high quality education.

Parliament has approved the Appropriation Bill and the Finance Bill for 2012 with the Rajya Sabha. 

Referring to the green revolution in the Eastern States, Mr Mukherjee said an additional seven million tonnes of rice has been added to the country's buffer stock, inviting appreciation from the world community. He said it happened due to the collective effort. He thanked the farming community and scientists for this. Mr Mukherjee admitted that there is a problem of storage of the record food production of 253 million tonnes. He underlined that the government has expanded the storage capacity network by more than 70 million tonnes.

Referring to fiscal consolidation, the Finance Minister said despite growing subsidies, the Indian economy is within less than 2 per cent of its GDP growth. Mr Mukherjee was confident that the GDP growth will be around 7.5 per cent. He sought the cooperation of all sections to strengthen the national economy.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has comprehensively revamped the scheme of Swarna Jayanti Shahari Raozgar Yojana, SJSRY. It is aimed at providing gainful employment to the urban unemployed and under employed poor living below the poverty line, BPL.

Housing and Urban poverty alleviation Minister said, the centre has allocated 78250 lakh rupees during 2011-12 for the scheme where as in 2009- 10 it was 48500 lakh rupees. She informed that as per the estimates of Poverty released by the Planning Commission the estimated number of urban people living below poverty line in the year 2004-05 was more than 807 lakhs.

The government has decided to set up a Technical Group to revisit the methodology for estimation of poverty and identification of poor. It will take into account multiple dimensions and indicators of poverty so that poor and deprived households can obtain the benefit of government programmes and schemes.

Minister of State for Planning, Science and Technology Dr. Ashwini Kumar said that the composition of the Technical Group and its term of reference are being finalised. He said that government is implementing number of poverty reduction and mitigation programmes including MNREGS and NRHM. Thirty three thousand crore rupees have been allocated for MNREGS in the year 2012- 2013.


veteran film actor Rekha took oath as Rajya Sabha member.



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