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May 8th Current Affairs

May 8th Current Affairs

International Issues

International Thalassemia Day is observed across the globe on May 8th. The day aims to raise public awareness on the prevention of Thalassemia and to highlight the importance of clinical care for its patients in all countries.  

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder in which the affected children are unable to maintain Haemoglobin in the normal range. Their bone marrow cannot form sufficient red cells and survival of these cells is also reduced. The genes for the disorder are passed on by parents to their children. 

In India it is estimated that about 3.4 percent of the total population is suffering from the disease. Every year 7 to 10 thousand children are born with Major Thalassemia in the country.

National Issues

The Lok Sabha has passed the Indian Medical Council Amendment Bill-2012. It seeks to extend the tenure of the Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India by one more year beyond the 14th of May this year. 

Earlier, the tenure of the Board was two years. Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad piloted the Bill. It was supported by a majority of the Members present in the House.

The 151st birthday of Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore is being celebrated across the country with enthusiasm. Several musical programmes, dance dramas, seminars have been organised to pay respect to Gurudev Tagore. West Bengal is geared up to celebrate the birth anniversary with a number of cultural programmes.

The Supreme Court struck down the government's policy of giving subsidies to Haj pilgrims and directed that it be progressively eliminate it within a period of 10 years.

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre and all the state governments on a plea seeking complete ban on use of plastic bags in the country. 

A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi also impleaded all the plastic manufacturing companies in the case. It also sought the government's response to put in place a proper mechanism for disposal of used plastic bags.

The government is likely to amend the death penalty clause in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) following observations of a Parliament Standing Committee.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, in view of the observations of the Standing Committee on Finance made in its report on the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2011, it is proposed to amend Section 31A of the NDPS Act and replace the words "shall be punishable with death" with the words "may be punishable with death.

The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari released the “Three volumes of Sumer Chand’s ‘Valmiki Ramayan’ in Hindi and Persian” brought out by Rampur Raza Library.

The Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre, New Delhi has been set up as an Attached Office under the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation and was inaugurated on 23.04.2012. 

The Centre has been set up to inter alia provide satellite imagery based inputs for assessing crop area and yield. These inputs will be used along with econometric & agro-meteorological parameters and ground observations to make crop forecasts in respect of selected crops. The Centre will also use remote sensing techniques to monitor and assess the drought situation in the country.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has constituted an Eminent Persons Advisory Group (EPAG). This will serve as a group of ‘wise persons’ to give broad inputs and advice on larger issues impacting markets and competition, good international practices, improved advocacy etc. to the Commission. EPAG will have interaction/meetings with the Commission two to three times in a year. 

The group has been constituted in a manner that CCI could benefit from the advice of eminent persons representing a wide arena from the Corporate Sector, Academics, NGOs, Regulatory Authorities, Reserve Bank of India, CAG etc. The following eminent persons have consented to be Member of the EPAG:

1. Shri N.R. Narayana Murthy- Former Chairman, Infosys
2. Shri V.N. Kaul- Former CAG
3. Dr. Rakesh Mohan- Ex Dy. Governor, RBI
4. Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw – CMD, Biocon
5. Dr. Bakul H. Dholakia- Former Director, IIM Ahmadabad
6. Dr. S.L. Rao – Ex chairman, CERC and Ex-Director General, National council of Applied Economic Research
7. Shri N.L. Mitra- Former Vice-Chancellor, NLSIU, Bangalore
8. Ms Rohini Nilekani – NGO activist, Bangalore

First meeting of the Group is tentatively planned in July, 2012.

Based on a survey carried out by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), it is estimated that 1.47 lakh Metric Tons (MT) of e-waste was generated in the country in the year 2005, which is expected to increase to about 8.00 lakh MT by 2012.

The Lok Sabha approved the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2012 that seeks to extend the tenure of the Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India till May 2013.

BHEL's Welding Research Institute (WRI) here has joined hands with Mumbai-based Hindustan Construction Co Ltd. (HCC) for building India's longest railway bridge over the Brahmaputra that would enhance connectivity between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

The country's longest rail-cum-road bridge estimated for completion by the end of year 2015 at a cost of Rs. 3,230 crore would be of strategic importance, reducing the time taken for travelling between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

The connectivity will also give a thrust to regional tourism, trade and commerce, according to Mr. Krishnan.

Bilateral Issues

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi. The two leaders discussed civil nuclear cooperation, terrorism, situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iran and security among other things. Mrs Clinton also briefed Dr Singh on her recent visit to China. The US Secretary of State also conveyed her country's expectations on the opening of FDI in retail sector as well as a new set of economic reforms by Indian government.

Both sides also talked about Iran and all aspects of Tehran's engagement with the international community including India. Dr Singh and Mrs Clinton also talked about the situation in Afghanistan and the ways to sustain development and stability in the war-torn country after the withdrawal of Western troops by 2014. The two sides also talked about their respective ties with Pakistan. 

Civil nuclear cooperation and regional security are among the key issues that are high on the agenda of talks between the visiting secretary of state Hilary Clinton and the External Affairs Minister SM Krishna in New Delhi. The two leaders review progress made in Indo-US strategic partnership ahead of the strategic dialogue between the two countries to be held in Washington on 13th of next month. A host of issues came up for dicussion during her meeting with the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh last evening. She briefed Dr. Singh on her recent China visit and conveyed her country's expectations on the opening of FDI in retail sector as well as a new set of economic reforms by Indian government.

Dr Singh and Ms Clinton also talked about the situation in Afghanistan and the ways to sustain development and stability in the war-torn country after the withdrawal of Western troops by 2014.The two sides also talked about their respective ties with Pakistan.


Yesteryear actress Sushma Seth and Miss India World Vinya Mishra were awarded with Kalpana Chawla excellence award on 6 May 2012 at Mavlankar Auditorium, New Delhi. The other awardees included Padmabhushan kuchipudi and bharatnatyam dancer Swapnasundari, IPS Officer Shalini Singh, who had won the police medal for meritorious service in 2012 and jewellery designer Puneeta Trikha.

The award instituted by PECOBA (Punjab Engineering College Chandigarh Old Boys Association was conferred by late astronaut's father Banarsi Lal Chawla Chawla. The awards are being given every year in the memory of Kalpana, who died in Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on 1 February 2003.


Vladimir Putin was sworn in as Russia's President for a third term. Mr. Putin served two terms as Russian President from 2000 and 2008 and shifted to the post of Prime Minister after ceding power to his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev. 

With the presidential term extended from four to six years, Mr. Putin, who turns 60 later this year, will serve till 2018 and will have the option of running for the fourth term.

Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande defeated incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy in decisive presidential runoff in France and will now become president though he has never held a government post at the national level. 

Hollande will be the second left-wing president, after Francois Mitterrand, founder of the French Socialist Party, served two seven-year terms as president from 1981.


World MotoGP champion Casey Stoner won his second consecutive race of the season at the Portugal Grand Prix to go top of the standings (66 points), one point ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (65).

Science & Technology

Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU), Hisar has developed an improved variety of sesame (Til) possessing high yield potential and resistance against diseases. Stating this, Dr. K.S. Khokhar, Vice-Chancellor of university said that improved variety of sesame (Til) named HT 9713 (HT 2) would benefit not only the farmers of Haryana but also the farmers of neighbouring states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that the variety had been identified for release in Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir states at the annual group meeting of the All India Coordinated Research Project on sunflower, sesame and niger held at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore recently.



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