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May 21st Current Affairs

National Issues

The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill 2011 has been referred to a 15-member Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha. A resolution to this effect has been adopted by voice vote amidst arguments and counter arguments over the procedure to move a motion in this regard.

The Centre has directed all the states and Union Territories to complete automation of fair price shops (FPS) by March 2014. Union Food Minister K V Thomas said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha that automation of FPS is part of the exercise of end-to-end computerisation of public distribution system (PDS). There are over 5.06 lakh FPS in the country.

Glowing tributes were paid to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 21st death anniversary. It was on this day in 1991 that Rajiv Gandhi fell to the prey to the terrorists design at Sriperumbudur in Tamilnadu.

The Government is in the process of bringing out a National Competition Policy that will act as a guide for ministries and state governments on competition issues.

This was stated by Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily while speaking at the annual day workshop organised by the Competition Commisssion of India (CII) in New Delhi.

Mr. Moily said the proposed Policy had already been circulated to various ministries and departments for their comments and thereafter it would be put before the Cabinet for approval.

The Government is planning to invest more than Rs 7000 crore for the conservation and cleaning of river Ganga.

Environment Minister Jayanti Natarajan said the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), constituted for the purpose under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, is fully operational. She said the Centre had already sanctioned projects worth more than Rs 2,600 crore.

The Government is going to formulate a National Employment Policy. Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said his ministry had consulted different departments in the regard.

This policy will include all the sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, construction and infrastructure.

The Minister said the Government would spend Rs 5,240 crore on ITIs and skill development centres in the 12th Five Year Plan. More than Rs 1,000 crore will spend each year.

The Labour and Employment Minister said the Government had identified 34 Naxal -affected districts for providing more employment opportunities through skill development. A scheme of more than Rs 2,000 crore is being prepared for this.

In Andaman and Nicobar islands, a land mark achievement has been made under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) by enrolling all the children of the Primitive tribe Onges in to school.

The Primary Scholl established exclusively for the Onges tribe in Little Andaman has been upgraded to Elementary school to ensure uninterrupted education to one of the rarest primitive tribes in the country.

Economic Issues

The statement on quarterly review of the trends and receipts and expenditure in relation to the Budget at the end of third quarter of 2011-12 was tabled by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament. The statement said, uncertainties prevailing in the global economy at the time of presenting the Budget for 2011-12 turned out to be on the negative side and has impacted growth performance of the economy .

This, coupled with prevailing high international crude prices, has resulted in higher expenditure on subsidies for petroleum and fertilizer products. Also moderation in growth has impacted direct tax revenue receipts.

The volatility in capital market has resulted in recalibration of government's disinvestment strategy. The statement said, all these factors have a combined impact of deterioration in fiscal performance when compared to the Budget estimates 2011-12.

Accordingly, the fiscal deficit and revenue deficit estimates have been revised as 5.9 per cent and 4.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Products respectively in the revised estimates for 2011-12.


Maria Sharapova retained the Italian Open title with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 victory over Li Na in a match interrupted twice by rain.

Li appeared to be on course for victory as she stormed into a 6-4, 4-0 lead but 24 unforced errors from the French Open champion allowed Sharapova to take the next six games and the set.


Eminent actor Suchitra Sen was honoured with West Bengal's highest award Banga Bibhusan.


Tomislav Nikolic has been elected President of Serbia with liberal incumbent Boris Tadic admitting defeat soon after the polls closed.

The contest had been seen as a vote on EU membership and the newly-elected President promised that Serbia will not stray from its European path.



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