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June 1st Current Affairs

International Issues


An emergency law giving Egyptian security forces almost unlimited power to detain suspects and try them in a special courts, has ended after 31 years.

It has been in place without interruption since the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Lifting the law was a key demand of activists in last year's uprising against President Hosni Mubarak.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued a statement to reassure the country that it will continue to carry its national responsibility in protecting the country until the transfer of power is over.


National Issues


In order to address the issue of major investment projects being delayed for a variety of reasons, the Prime Minister has approved the setting up of an Investment Tracking System to ensure speedy implementation of such projects.

While implementation of public sector projects of over Rs 1,000 crore will be tracked by the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, those in the private sector would be monitored by the Department of Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance.

The decision to fast track investments would provide fresh impetus to the economy, which is grappling with slowdown.





Civil Aviation minister Ajit Singh announced that the Dharhmadhkari Committee has recommended that the pay scales of the employees in Air India will be related to profit earned by the Company.

Making an announcement after receiving the report in New Delhi, he said, the issue of seniority and pay levels is to be decided in 45 days.

Mr. Singh said that the report will be an uniform pay policy for the employees of Indian Airlines and Air India. The Minister said, a four-member committee will be formed to implement the recommendations of the Report.





Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, IRDA has proposed to make it mandatory for health insurers to provide policy cover to people up to 65 years and settle all claims within a month.

In its draft guidelines for health insurance companies, the IRDA said that insurers will have to provide cashless facility to policy holders undergoing treatment in a particular hospital even after it is removed from the list of preferred service providers.

The draft also talks about portability, under which a policy holder can migrate to another health insurance providing company, without losing any benefit.





The Union Science and Technology Ministry has sanctioned a biotechnology park for Sikkim.

The park will be established at Pakyong in East district at an estimated cost of five crore rupees.


Bilateral Issues


Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith inaugurated the third Indo-Bangladesh trade Fair on May 31st, in Dhaka showcasing the products of Indian and Bangladeshi companies.





India signed an Agreement with the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain for the Exchange of Information with respect to taxes (TIEA). The Agreement was signed by Shri Namo Narain Meena, Minister of State for Finance (Expenditure and Financial Affairs) on behalf of Government of India and H.E. Kamal Ahmad, Minister for Transportation and Acting CEO of the Economic Development of Bahrain on behalf of Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The Agreement is based on international standards of transparency and exchange of information. It incorporates provisions for effective exchange of information including banking information between tax authorities of the two countries. It has been provided that the Exchange of Information shall be on request and without regard to the domestic interest.

The Agreement will enhance mutual co-operation between the two countries by having effective exchange of information in tax matters.


Economic Issues


India's exports grew by a mere 3.2 per cent year-on-year to 24.4 billion US dollar in April 2012 mainly due to demand slowdown in western markets like Europe.

Exports stood at 23.6 billion US dollar in April last year, according to data released by the Commerce Ministry.

Imports during the first month of the current fiscal grew 3.8 per cent to 37.9 billion US dollar, leaving a trade deficit of 13.4 billion US dollar.

The sectors which registered healthy export growth in April include engineering, electronics, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.


Persons


Air Marshal Arup Raha AVSM VM takes over as AOC-IN-C, Western Air Command, IAF .

He graduated from the National Defence Academy, Pune with the President’s Gold Medal in 1973. He was commissioned in the Flying Branch in Dec 1974. He has to his credit nearly 3400 hours of flying mainly on fighter aircraft.





Vice-Admiral Satish Soni assumed office as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command in Kochi.


Awards


Legendary singer Bob Dylan was conferred with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour given in the US.

The 71-year-old vocalist was among the 13 recipients of America's highest civilian honour at the White House and President Barack Obama, who presented the award, said he is a big fan of the musician.





A Karnataka microfinance organisation, which provides affordable loans to the poor to help them plan their energy needs, has won the prestigious Ashden Gold Award, given annually by Ashden, a British charity, for promoting universal access to sustainable energy.

The Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) was awarded the £40,000 prize money at a ceremony.



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