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May 9th Current Affairs

International Issues

A major university Centre dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore has opened in Edinburgh, Scotland, to mark the Nobel Laureate's 150th birth anniversary. Indra Nath Choudhuri, Academic Director of the Indira Gandhi Institute, will be Scotland's first Chair in Tagore Studies.

The Scottish Centre for Tagore Studies (ScoTs) at Edinburgh Napier University's Institute of Creative Industries, will “promote Indian culture, education, philosophy, art and literature by highlighting Tagore's legacy''.

National Issues

The Government is considering formulation of a uniform hostage policy to deal with the increasing incidents of kidnaps and abductions. The Home Minister P Chidambaram said that the Centre will start consultations with the state governments in this regard after present hostage situation is resolved. 

Reiterating that dealing with terrorism, militancy and insurgency is a shared responsibility of the Centre and the States, the Home Minister said that the government has proposed to set up a nodal agency for this reason, which is still under debate.

India is fully committed to important steps to combat adverse effects of climate change. The Minister of Environment and Forests, Ms Jayanthi Natarjan said this while addressing a national seminar on India's 2nd National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, in New Delhi.

Releasing the report of the 2nd National Communication, she said that India is one of the first countries to make the report public and submit it well before time to the United Nations Secretariat on Climate Change. Ms Natrajan said, India has made tremendous progress in mitigating climate change and is adopting absolute transparency towards it. The Minister said, India has taken voluntary steps to stabilize climate change.

India has submitted its 2nd Communication in May this year. The salient features of the Communication report include results of wide ranging studies, specifically conducted at the national level, capturing diversity of India. The report also provides the green house gases profile for the year 2007 which is estimated to be of the order of 17,771 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent.

The government has prepared a Strategy Paper for doubling India's merchandise exports to 500 Billion US dollars by 2013-14. The Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Mr Jyotiraditya M Scindia said the country's trade deficit stood at around 185 billion US dollars at present. He said this is due to several factors including the depreciation in exchange rates and hike in the prices of imported petroleum products. 

Mr Scindia said that the government is trying to increase exports to Latin American countries, Africa and other countries to bridge the gap in the trade deficit. He said the country has already achieved 21 per cent growth in exports.

India has appealed to the Government of Pakistan to take all possible steps to protect the Constitutional rights of their minorities by ensuring their safety, security and well-being. Making a statement on the treatment of minorities in Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told that the government is aware of reports of persecution and intimidation of minority communities in Pakistan.

The government is taking up the issue with Pakistan. Mr. Krishna said, reports of kidnapping and killing of members of the minority communities and desecration of their places of worship in Pakistan, has come to notice. The External Affairs Minister emphasised that it is the responsibility of the Pakistan government to discharge its Constitutional obligations towards all its citizens including the minorities.

The Government has been implementing six generic schemes for the promotion and development of Handicraft sector and handicraft workers including those belonging to Schedule Cast and Schedule Tribe community in the country. 

Minister of State for Textiles, Panabaaka Lakshmi said the schemes are composite in nature and not gender, caste or area specific. Mrs. Lakshmi said these scheme include Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hastshilp VikasYojana, Design and Technology Upgradation Scheme, Research and Development Scheme, Human Resource Development Scheme and Handicraft Artisans Comprehensive Welfare Scheme.

The Bombay High Court allowed the destruction of INS Vindhyagiri , after the Navy said the warship might explode due the presence of ammunition which could not be removed from the vessel.

The ship has been grounded since it collided with a merchant vessel, m.v. Nordlake in January 2011.

Bilateral Issues

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade, DGFT, under the Union Ministry of Commerce, has revised the export and import list of items of the Indo-China border trade through Nathula in Sikkim.

The traders from Sikkim can now export seven more items, taking the total number of items in the export list to 36. Similarly, they can now import twenty items from that side of the border against the fifteen items mentioned in the import list earlier.

This year’s Indo-China border trade through Nathula in Sikkim, which could not start on the 1st May, due to heavy snowfall, is now expected to begin on the 21st of this month. The trade takes place from Ist May to 30th November every year. The border trade between the two Asian giants was revived in July 2006 since it had came to an abrupt halt in 1962 following the Indo-China War.

The Union Minister of Commerce Industry and Textile Shri Sharma informed that the bilateral trade between India and Germany has more than doubled over the last 5 years to reach nearly US$ 23.64 billion last year. 

After a bilateral meeting with Dr. Philipp Roessler, German Federal Minister of Economics & Technology of Germany in Berlin, Shri Sharma expressed confidence that the trade target of Euro 20 Billion by 2012 will be surpassed.


Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III) will be launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2014, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) P.S.Veeraraghavan has said.

The initial two phases of GSLV-Mk III — a solid propellant stage with a mass of 200 tonnes (S-200) and a L-110 restartable liquid stage .

The ISRO would launch GSLV-II, which has a cryogenic third stage developed by the ISRO, by October, 2012. GSLV-I had a Russian cryogenic engine. Objections by the United States prevented the transfer of cryogenic technology from Russia to India.


Ronnie O'Sullivan won the 2012 World Snooker Championship after beating Ali Carter 18-11 in the final at the Crucible Theatre. This victory gave O'Sullivan his fourth world title.

Indian athletes bagged four gold, one silver and four bronze medals, in the first leg of the Asian Grand Prix in Bangkok on 8 May 2012. Sajeesh Joseph bagged gold in the men's 800m in 1:47.78 while, MR Poovama clinched the women's 400m in 52.94.

The men's 4X400m relay team of Joseph Abraham, Jitin Paul, Shake Mortaza and MP Kunhu pocketed gold in 3:08.00 while the women team of Saraswati Chand, Debashree Majumdar, Ratandeep Kaur and Poovama also did the same.

Sahana Kumari got India a silver in women's high jump. Renjith Maheshwary got bronze in men's 4X100m relay, Sinimol Pualose pocketed bronze in triple jump women's 800m. Ghamanada Ram won bronze in men’s 800m.


The winner of the prestigious Abel Prize of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters for the year 2012 is 72-year-old Hungarian mathematician Endre Szemerédi of the Alfréd Rényi Institute

of Mathematics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, and Department of Computer Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in the United States.



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