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June 15 and 16 Current Affairs

International Issues


India has voiced its strong support to the Istanbul Process to resolve the Afghan tangle.

Addressing the "Heart of Asia ministerial conference on Afghanistan, which concluded in Kabul, Minister of Law Justice and Minority Affairs, Salman Khurshid said the process should be Afghan owned. He called for measures to root out extremism, terrorism and drug trafficking.

He invited countries of the world to participate in forthcoming Afghanistan Investment Summit to be held in India on 28 th of this month.





US President Barack Obama has announced a new US strategy for sub-Saharan Africa, seeking to boost trade for strengthening democratic institutions.

Mr.Obama said, while Africa had made significant gains on democracy, corruption was endemic in many countries and the state institutions were weak.

Although Beijing has not been named in public, the BBC Washington Correspondent says, American officials have complained that Chinese investments come with no requirement for good governance.





Ladakh created a new page in the history of world cinema with the curtain raising ceremony of Ladakh International Film Festival. The 3-day festival was inaugurated by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

As many as 66 films on various subjects including documentary, art and feature films will be screened during the 3-day film festival to be chaired by renowned film maker Shyam Benegal and participated by reputed film personalities from national and international cinema fraternity. For the first time Ladkhi films are included in this mega event, which has tremendously encouraged the local film makers.


National Issues


In Haryana, Village Kurbanpur of district Ambala has become the first village of the country to make available the land records of all its farmers on satellite.

This new technique is the result of combined efforts of Haryana Space Application Centre, Hisar and NIC Haryana. Now the farmers sitting at their homes can download a copy of their land records from the year 1957 to till date and they need not go to a Patwari for it.

Specialists of National Informatics Centre (NIC), Ambala have shown the farmers their land records through projector and redressed their doubts regarding it.

This programme has been started as a pilot project in six villages of six districts of the state with the cooperation of Union Ministry of Rural Development. He said that after the completion of this pilot project by the year end of , this programme would be implemented in the entire State.





The government has decided to partially lift ban on emigration to Libya. A ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs release says, the decision follows consultations with External Affairs ministry and Indian Mission in Libya. The emigration to Libya was banned from 21st February last year following internal disturbances prevailing in that country.

In view of a growing demand for manpower in Libya in various sectors, doctors and para-medical staff will now be permitted to emigrate to Libya as the Libyan Health Ministry has approached Indian mission in Tripoli. Complete lifting of ban will be reviewed after considering the situation immediately after July 15th elections in that country.





The Uttar Pradesh, Government has made an elaborate action plan to curb Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, AES that are prevailing in the eastern part of the state for past 34 years. The Japanese Encephalitis occurs due to mosquito bites while AES is caused by the viruses present in contaminated water.

A water testing lab will soon be established in Gorakhpur at the cost of 70 crore rupees while 124 ventilators are being given to the hospitals in the area for better treatment of the disease.

Centre has sanctioned an amount of 525 crore rupees for sanitation and providing safe drinking water in 60 encephalitis affected districts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam.

Japanese Encephalitis, commonly known as Japanese Brain fever has claimed lives of over 20,000 children during past 34 years. In recent years, water-borne encephalitis has also surfaced which takes the life of adults as well. The disease has no treatment but only hygiene and safe drinking water can save the lives of the people. 





For the first time in the Country, the Tamil Nadu State Information Comission will print RTI replies in Braille. The State Information Comissioner Mr.K.S.Tripathi said that more than seven lakh visually challenged people would be benefitted through this initiative.

Every time the Information Commission receives a RTI application seeking information in Braille, the Comission prepares a reply in the printed format and forwards it to the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped where it will be converted to Braille.

Initially it was planned to provide copies free of cost but due to financial constraints, each page of information is charged One Rupee.





The government is implementing National Child Labour Project ,NCLP, in 266 districts across the country for rehabilitation of children rescued and withdrawn from work. A ministry of Labour and Employment release says, under the project, the rescued and withdrawn children are enrolled in the special schools, where they are provided with bridge education and vocational training before mainstreaming them into formal education system.

At present more than seven thousand special schools are running with more than three lakh children enrolled under the NCLP Scheme. For orphan children, Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, Integrated Child Protection Scheme.

Under the scheme financial assistance is being provided to state government and union territories for setting up and maintaining of Homes for children, including orphans living in difficult conditions.





The Ministry of Labour & Employment is implementing National Child Labour Project (NCLP) in 266 districts of the country including metros for rehabilitation of children rescued/ withdrawn from work. Under the Project, children rescued/withdrawn from work are enrolled in the special schools, where they are provided with bridge education, vocational training, nutrition, stipend, health care, etc. before mainstreaming into formal education system. 

At present about 7311 special schools are running with enrollment of 3.2 lakh children under the NCLP Scheme. For orphan children, Ministry of Women & Child Development is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme i.e Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) under which inter- alia financial assistance is being provided to State Government/UT Administration for setting up and maintenance of Homes for children in difficult circumstances including orphan children.





The Ministry of Minority Affairs has set a target of distributing 75 lakh Pre-matric Scholarships to the students belonging to Minority communities (from class I to class X) during the current FY 2012-13. Thus this target is more than double the number that was set as target during the last FY 2011-12 (34 lakh scholarships) – although the Ministry distributed a total of 55,28,557 scholarships during 2011-12. 

Another milestone in the implementation of this Scheme during 2011-12 was that 51.01% scholarships went to girl students – which means more girl students benefitted from this Scheme than the boys! For distributing these scholarships, the Ministry released an amount of Rs. 615.47 crore during 2011-12. The Plan Budget for Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme during 2012-13 is set at Rs. 900 crore.

Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme was started in 2008-09 and a cumulative total of over 1.22 crore scholarships have been awarded till 31.3.2012. Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme is one of the three scholarship schemes of the Ministry of Minority Affairs included under the Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities. 





The Ministry of Minority Affairs has set a target of distributing 9.5 lakh Post-matric Scholarships to the students belonging to Minority communities during the current FY 2012-13. Thus this target is more than 180% of the number that was set as target during the last FY 2011-12 (5.25 lakh scholarships) – although the Ministry distributed a total of 7,01,950 Post-matric scholarships during 2011-12. 

Another milestone in the implementation of this Scheme during 2011-12 was that 53.49 % scholarships went to girl students – which means more girl students benefitted from this Scheme than the boys! For distributing these scholarships, the Ministry released an amount of Rs. 362.99 crore during 2011-12. The Plan Budget for Post-matric Scholarship Scheme during 2012-13 is set at Rs. 500 crore.

Post-matric Scholarships of the Ministry of Minority Affairs are provided to students belonging to the Minority communities for studies from class XI up to Ph.D. level. The Scheme was launched in the year 2007-08 and a cumulative total of 18.09 lakh scholarships have been awarded till 31st March 2012. Post-matric Scholarship Scheme is one of the three scholarship schemes of the Ministry of Minority Affairs included under the Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities.


Bilateral Issues


India and America has entered into an agreement for collaboration in Diabetes Research. The agreement was signed between Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Ms. Kathleen Sebelius, US Secretary, Health and Human Services during the bilateral meeting between India and the US.

According to an official release,the primary aim of this collaboration is to initiate a health research relationship between the two countries to generate a better understanding and to identify innovative approaches for improving prevention and treatment of diabetes. The two countries will promote and develop cooperation in the field of basic, clinical, and translational research in the areas of diabetes.

Joint efforts will also focus on developing cost-effective tools and approaches to translate research results into policies and actions to improve the public health.

The release said that the agreement between India and the US is significantly beneficial in view of the rising burden of Non Communicable Diseases in both countries. This is the eighth agreement between the two countries in the field of health and medicine.





Shri Anand Sharma, the Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles, led a delegation of officials, CEOs, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) leaders and pharmaceutical companies, in Sao Paulo from 13-14 June 2012.

Shri Sharma participated in the pharmaceutical Round Table which covered a wide gamut of issues. Minister Sharma invited companies from Brazil to invest in India`s national infrastructure, manufacturing in Special Economic Zones and the food-processing sector.

India has plans for one trillion dollars investment in the infrastructure sector over the next five years to build roads, ports, airports and highways. In the pharma field, he explained Brazil and India could further strengthen their ongoing cooperation in making drugs and medicines available at affordable prices. 





India and Indonesia have decided to set a new trade target of $ 45 billion by 2015. “The bilateral trade has already reached more than $ 20 billion by February 2012,” Indonesian Ambassador Lt. General (Retired) Andi M. Ghalib said. He is here to boost tourism and education zone tie-ups. India would soon replace Japan as the third biggest trade partner after China and the US with the ASEAN major, he said.


Economic Issues


India's exports has fallen by 4.16 per cent. Imports too declined by 7.36 per cent. Director General of Foreign Trade Anup Pujari said exports came down to 25.68 billion US dollars in May compared to 26.7 billion US dollars in the same month last year. Slowdown in demand from the Western markets are the main cause for the fall.

Imports totalled to 41.9 US dollars in May 2012 down from 45.2 billion on year-on-year basis. gave this information to reporters in New Delhi. He said the trade deficit in May has shrunk to 16.3 billion US dollars from 18.5 billion US Dollars.





State Bank of India cut its lending rates by between 0.5 percent and 3.5 per cent, mainly for the small and medium enterprises, and the agricultural sector.

However, the interest rates on home and retail loans will remain unchanged. The base rate will also remain unchanged at 10 per cent.


Sports


Asian Olympic Committee President Sheikh Ahmad al-Sabah said Hambantota in Sri Lanka has been chosen to host the third Asian Youth Games in 2017.

He made the announcement at a press briefing at the Sri Lanka National Olympic Committee Auditorium in Colombo. This will be the biggest sporting event to be hosted by Sri Lanka.

The 2017 Asian Youth Games, the junior version of the Asian Games, will see the participation of over 5,000 sportsmen and women vying for honours in 12 sports disciplines, representing 45 countries.


Persons


Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda has been sworn in as the new Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The 51-year-old Bensouda took the oath of office at a ceremony in The Hague. 

Bensouda is the first woman and the first African to be chief prosecutor at the ICC, which some observers have criticized for pursuing only cases in African countries. 





Lt. Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag has been appointed the Commander of Eastern Army Command.


Awards


Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi finally has accepted her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, after spending more than 15 years under house arrest. In her acceptance speech during her first trip to Europe in nearly 25 years, Suu Kyi said said full political freedom in her country is still a long way off. She said absolute peace in the world is an unattainable goal. 





Eastern Condiments, a leading spice powder and masala manufacturer, has bagged the award for best performance in exports from the Spices Board for 2009-10 and 2010-11.





ITC Bhadrachalam and Bangalore International Airport received the first GreenCo Rating award at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) GreenCo Summit 2012. The first of its kind green rating in the world was initiated by the CII to push the green agenda in the country.


Science & Technology


China is about to launch its fourth manned space mission. It is sending a crew of three, including the nation's first female astronaut, to the orbiting Tiangong space lab.

Their Shenzhou-9 capsule is set to lift off from the Jiuquan spaceport on the edge of the Gobi desert. A Long March 2F rocket will put the astronauts on a path to dock with Tiangong in a couple of days' time. They will then spend over a week living and working in orbit before returning to Earth.

The mission is commanded by Jing Haipeng, who is making his second space flight after participating in the Shenzhou-7 outing in 2008 - the mission that included China's first spacewalk.



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