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June 11 Current Affairs

International Issues


The World Bank has said that 82 million children under the age of five, are malnourished in South Asia.

World Bank Country Manager for Nepal, Tahseen Sayed said that South Asia has the largest number of undernourished children in the world.


National Issues


The government has lifted ban on export of skimmed milk powder, SMP, to improve finances of dairy firms and help milk producers.

Earlier this month, the government had decided to lift export ban on SMP amid surplus availability of milk.

Directorate General of Foreign Trade, DGFT, said in a notification that the classifications of export and import items has been bifurcated and export of new entry namely skimmed milk powder has been made free.





In Uttar Pradesh, Union Minister for Coal, Mr. Sriprakash Jaisawal laid foundation stone for 1980 Mega Watt power plant at Ghatampur in Kanpur district. This power plant will be constructed

under a joint venture of Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited and Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited.

Mr. Jaiswal emphasized better infrastructure development for industrialization and to address the issue of unemployment. He said, this project will be completed by 2016 and it will improve the power situation in the state. 





In Madhya Pradesh, with a view to stop delays in payment of wages to labourers under Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), electronic fund management system of e- payment will be implemented soon in the entire state.

Under a pilot project in Gahal Gram Panchayat of Harda Janpad Panchayat, wages to labourers will be paid through e-payment by the end of this month.

E-payment system will end delays in payment of MNREGA wages. In electronic fund management system, a software will prepare list of payment to be made to labourers after feeding of information about works done by them in muster rolls.

The list will be verified through digital signatures by payment in-charge of implementing agency including Gram Panchayat Secretary and Sarpanchs.

The payment in-charge will post the list on the bank’s server through digital signatures. Within seconds, payment will be transferred to labourers’ bank accounts.

State’s Panchayats and Rural Development Minister Gopal Bhargava has said that problem of lack of funds in Gram Panchayats for payment of wages to labourers will also come to an end after introduction of this system.





The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is commemorating World Day Against Child Labour here on 12 June, 2012. The theme for this year is- “JUSTICE FOR CHILDREN – END CHILD LABOUR”. The aim of commemorating this day is to highlight the need to protect the rights of the child and eliminate child labour and other violations of fundamental rights of children, in all forms.

The World Day Against Child Labour was launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2002 to generate awareness about the practice of child labour in different sectors. ILO estimates that there are 218 million child labourers worldwide. The Government of India’s 2001 census estimated that 12.7 million are involved in child labour. 

Children constitute 3.6% of the total labour force in India. By entering the labour market prematurely, they are deprived of education and training that can help to lift them, their families and communities out of a cycle of poverty. As child labouers they are exposed to physical, psychological or moral suffering that can cause long term damage to their lives.


Bilateral Issues


Defence Secretaries of India and Pakistan begin their two-day talks on the Siachen issue in Islamabad.

The talks come in the backdrop of demands in Pakistan that the world's highest battlefield be demilitarised as soon as possible.

The Indian Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma has arrived in Pakistan for the discussions. The Pakistan side will be led by Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi.





A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between India and Canada during the visit of Dr. C.P. Joshi, the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways to Canada on the invitation from Mr. Denis Label, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure & Communication, Government of Canada from 10-13 June, 2012. 

The MoU will facilitate sharing and exchange of knowledge and technical expertise in the areas of infrastructure development, operation and maintenance of roads, Intelligent Transport System etc. India has shifted focus towards the Private-Public- Partnership Mode for undertaking development and up-gradation of national highways network across the country as also development of express-ways which are going to be access-controlled with all modern construction technology, Information Technology, including Electronic Toll Collection System. 

It is expected that there would be an increase in involvement and participation from the Canadian industry in India’s ambitious National Highways and the Expressways Development Project. It is sealing a long-standing bilateral relationship and providing for cooperation between the two countries in the roads and road transportation sector.


Economic Issues


The government is taking all necessary steps to ensure achieving the targeted GDP growth. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, despite global economic challenges, the growth rate during fiscal year 2012-13 is expected to be around 7 per cent.

Inaugurating the annual conference of the Chief Commissioners and Directors General of Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax in New Delhi, Mr Mukherjee dismissed concerns that India's growth rate may drop below 6.5 per cent. He expressed confidence that year 2012-13 would be the turnaround year for the economy.


Sports


Spain's Rafael Nadal beat Serbia's Novak Djokovic to win a record seventh French Open tennis title.

At Paris the number two seed won with a 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 score and Djokovic's hopes of becoming the third man to win four consecutive grand slams.

He also overtook Sweden's Bjorn Borg, who won six Roland Garros titles.


Persons


Mr. V S Sampath has taken over as 18th Chief Election Commissioner of India. A 1973 batch IAS officer, 62-year-old Sampath has succeeded SY Quraishi, who demitted office at the end of his six-year tenure. Mr Sampath will preside over the next Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

A low-profile bureaucrat, who has had stints in various capacities in Andhra Pradesh and Delhi, Mr Sampath was Power Secretary at the Centre before he was appointed Election Commissioner in April, 2009.

Born on January 16, 1950, Mr Sampath will be at the helm of the Commission till January, 2015 when he will turn 65.





The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Rajinder Pal Singh as Chairman of National Highways Authority of India. 

Shri Singh, an IAS officer of 1976 batch of Andhra Pradesh Cadre (Retired) will hold the office for a period of three years with effect from the date of assumption of charge or till the age of 65 years or until further orders, whichever is the earliest.


Defence


Indian Coast Guard Hovercraft H-187, the first of the series of twelve Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) designed and built by Griffon Hoverwork Limited (GHL), UK, was commissioned by Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan, the Director General Indian Coast Guard, at Okha in Gujarat. The commissioning ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Inspector General BS Yadav, Commander Coast Guard Region (North-West) and other dignitaries from Central and State Government.

The 21 meters long Air Cushion Vehicle displaces 31 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots. The ACV is capable of undertaking multifarious tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and rendering assistance to small boats/craft in distress at sea.

The Air Cushion Vehicle H-187 will be based at Okha under the Administrative and Operational Control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (North-West).

The hovercraft is commanded by Commandant Anurag Kaushik, who is a Communication specialist. The hovercraft has a crew of two Officers and 11 personnel. 



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