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May 28 to 29 Current Affairs

International Issues


Afghanistan government has signed an agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for the launching a country-wide programe to free Afghanistan of the manace of narcotics. Afghanistan’s Minister of Counter Narcotics Zarar Ahmad Muqbel Osmani and Uri Fedotov, head of UNODC signed an agreement in Kabyl


National Issues


Haryana Government has formulated a policy to provide affordable houses to the families living Below the Poverty Line. Stating this at chandigarh, Minister for Housing, Mr Satpal Sangwan said that under this policy private colonizers in the licenced area would transfer 50 per cent plots of the size of 50 sq meter meant for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) to the Housing Board at a subsidized rate of 500 rupees per sq. yd. for construction of flats for BPL families.





The government has announced a new scheme, One MP-One Idea to encourage people to come out with sustainable and scalable solutions for local problems in areas such as health, education and banking. Under it, people will receive cash awards of 2.5 lakh rupees , 1.5 lakh rupees and 1 lakh rupees for the first, second and third best innovative solutions through their Member Parliament Local Area Development funds.

Besides, a certificate of appreciation will be given to the next five best innovations. Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation Srikant Kumar Jena in a statement said in order to foster, a grass-root bottoms-up approach to innovation and development and to arrive at solutions for local problems which are sustainable and scalable, there is a need for seeking out and campaigning for ideas that have the potential to solve challenges.

Mr Jena said One MP - One Idea competition may be held in each Lok Sabha constituency annually to select the three best innovations for cash awards on the specific request of an Member Parliament to promote such a scheme in his or her constituency. He said the scheme will inspire people to find innovative solutions to social and developmental problems.





The government is to restructure the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation, NMDFC, which is tasked to disburse loans for development of minorities, by the end of this year.

This was stated by the Secretary in the Ministry of Minority Affairs Surjit Mitra after inaugurating the annual conference of the State Channelising Agencies, SCAs, of the NMDFC in New Delhi.

He said the restructuring process is aimed at reducing the dependency of NMDFC on SCAs and expanding its scope in development of minority community during the 12th plan period.

Mr Mitra emphasised the need to further extend micro credit and micro financing schemes to benefit the poorest people belonging to the minority community in the country. He called upon the states to cooperate and synergise their efforts with the Centre to enhance concessional finance to the minorities living below the poverty line for self-employment.





Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Prof K V Thomas says the centre is planning to bring in a legislation to standardise food products packaging, to avoid consumer misleading.

Prof Thomas said a conference of the State Legal Metrology Department Ministers and officials will be convened at New Delhi soon to discuss the matter.

He said the Bureau of Indian Standards has recently finalised the Indian Standard on basic requirements for street food vendors.





The Ministry of Defence has started the process of bringing about amendments to The Works of Defence Act, 1903 to accommodate the needs of the changing times. Disclosing this at a meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to his ministry, the Defence Minister Mr. AK Antony said all stakeholders will be consulted and the process will be completed at the earliest.

The 109 year old Act provides for imposing restrictions on use and enjoyment of land in the vicinity of Works of Defence so that such land may be kept free from buildings and other obstructions.

Members of Parliament, cutting across party lines, strongly put across the view that the Act of 1903 is proving to be a painful one for those civilians living close to defence depots because of its stringent and restrictive provisions. While agreeing with the concerns expressed by the MPs, Mr. Antony informed that defence establishments especially the defence depots were set up over a century ago in deep jungles or vacant lands far away from human habitations. However, over the years human activity and habitation have expanded and in certain areas these have come very close to the depots.





Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has formed a four-member committee to examine the profitability of routes of cash-strapped Air India and suggest ways to rationalise them in order to make them profitable for the national carrier. The decision came after Mr Singh in his review found that the national carrier is operating domestic and international flights on some non-profitable routes.





A two day international conference on the role of communication media in inculcating scientific temper and awareness, has begun in New Delhi on May 29.





The Public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has signed tripartite general contract for designing and developing the multirole Transport Aircraft in India. HAL informs that the contract was signed with United Aircraft Corporation and Multirole Transport Aircraft Limited of Russia in Bangalore.

Under the contract HAL will design and develop multirole transport aircraft as part of Joint Venture with the Russian partners. This follows an inter Governmental Agreement that was earlier signed between Indian and Russian Governments. Under the agreement it was agreed that both the countries will jointly design, develop and produce Multirole aircraft on 50:50 share basis.

The aircraft is useful for cargo and troop transportation and airdrop of supplies. Once the project is succcessful, it will provide self-reliance to the country, in the production of aircrafts of this size.


Bilateral Issues


India signed a memorandum of Understanding, MoU, for a credit line of 500 Million US dollars to Myanmar. The MoU was signed between the export-import bank of India and Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank.

A total of nine MOUs have been inked by both the countries in several areas including border area development, setting up Myanmar Institute of Information Technology and establishment of Advance centre for Agricultural research and Education at Yezin Agriculture University.

MoUs have also been signed for establishment of a rice bio park at the Model integrated farm at country’s new capital and for establishing of border haats across the border between India and Myanmar.

Memorandum of Understanding on setting up of a Trade and Investment forum has also been signed and Cooperation between Indian council of world affairs and Myanmar institute of strategic and international Studies. Kolkata University and Dagon University Yangon have also signed an MoU for cooperation in higher studies and research.

Three agreements have been inked by both the neighboring countries. These include air services agreement, culture exchange programme 2012-2015 and for cooperation between Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi and Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies.

Agreements were signed by foreign Minister S M Krishna and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai from Indian Side while Myanmar was represented by its Minister of Transport, Dy Minister of Culture and Dy. Foreign Minister.





India and Myanmar announced that they have agreed to launch a trans-border bus service from Imphal to Mandalay and both sides will finalise all modalities to enable its early operationalisation soon.

In a joint statement issued after the delegation level talks, the two leaders also welcomed the signing of the new Air Service agreement which would enhance direct air connectivity and facilitate easy business interaction, tourism and people-to people exchanges.

India also announced that it would undertake the task of repair and upgradation of 71 bridges on the Tamu- Kalewa friendship Road between Manipur and Myanmar. It would also undertake the upgradation of the Kalewa-Yargyi road segment to highway standard while Myanmar would undertake that of upgradation of the Yargyi-Monywa stretch to highway standard by 2016.

This project would help in establishing trilateral connectivity from Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar by 2016. They welcomed the finalisation of the site of the Land Customs Station at Zorinpui (Mizoram).

The two sides also decided to constitute a Joint Working Group to determine the technical and commercial feasibility of cross-border rail links and the commercial feasibility of direct shipping links between the two countries.


Awards


Austrian Director Michael Haneke has bagged the Cannes film festival's top prize for the second time as his movie Love has been named the winner of the Palme d'Or. Haneke previously won the award in 2009 for The White Ribbon.

Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen won the best actor prize for The Hunt, while the best actress prize was shared between Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan for Romanian movie Beyond the Hills.

British Director Ken Loach collected the Jury Prize for The Angels' Share.


Sports


India finished at the top of the medal tally at the Hari Ram Grand Prix wrestling tournament held in New Delhi. India finished with two golds, three silvers and five bronze at the end of the tournament.

Praveen Rana clinched the gold medal after Manoj settled for the bronze in the freestyle 66kg category, while Pawan Kumar won the bronze in the 84kg. Earlier in the day, Gursharan Preet Kaur bagged the bronze in the 72 kg category.





Services have won this year's Santosh Trophy. In the finals played at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack this evening, Services defeated Tamil Nadu 3-2. Earlier, rains delayed the start of the play.

Services win the trophy a second time after a gap of nearly 51 years. They had reached the finals in 2008 too, but faced defeat. Tamil Nadu had last figured in the Santosh Trophy final in 1971 and after 40 years,they reached the finals for the second time.


Persons


Fifa is set to appoint top human rights lawyer Luis Moreno Ocampo as the first head of the new ethics committee's investigation arm. Ocampo, 66, has experience of leading war crimes investigations at the International Criminal Court. The Argentine is expected to be confirmed next month and will investigate allegations of corruption or ethics rules breaches.

Fifa's single-chamber ethics committee failed to gather enough evidence to prosecute allegations of vote-rigging during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests. A report by Fifa's anti- corruption adviser, Swiss professor Mark Pieth, called Fifa's past investigation of corruption allegations unsatisfactory with sanctions imposed both insufficient and clearly unconvincing.



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