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June 4th Current Affairs

International Issues

The World Economic Forum meeting on West Asia, North Africa and Eurasia begins in Istanbul. The theme of the forum is Roadmaps for Reform, Pathways to Inclusive Growth.

More than 1,000 leaders of governments, business, media and non-government organizations are scheduled to participate in the event.

The Upper House of Afghanistan’s Parliament, Mesrano Jirga, approved the long term strategic cooperation agreement between Afghanistan and United States.

Chairman of the House said that the agreement is in the interest of Afghanistan and pressure from the neighbouring countries will not stop the Afghan parliament from approving the agreement.

House of representatives Wolesi Jirga had already approved. The pact covers areas like security, governance and economy and spells out the terms for Afghan-U.S. relations after the departure of all international combat troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

It commits U.S. aid for Afghanistan for at least a decade after foreign combat forces leave.

The OPEC Fund for International Development Fund (OFID) is to provide a loan assistance of twenty million dollars to Nepal. The assistance is for the implementation of the Rural Connectivity and Community Development Project. The agreement to this effect was signed between Nepal and OFID at Vienna in Austria.

The rural connectivity project co- financed by the Asian Development Bank aims at improving the connectivity of rural communities, enhancing economic and employment opportunities and increasing access to market and social sectors.

The loan assistance from OFID will be utilized to promote rural, economic and social development through small scale infrastructure and capacity building sub- projects.

The Rural Connectivity and Community Development project will be implemented in eighteen districts of the country and is expected to be completed by December 2016.

The United Nations nuclear agency, the IAEA begins a week of discussions over Iran's nuclear programme.

The meeting in Vienna will focus on the Parchin military base near Tehran where IAEA scientists suspect Iran may have conducted secret weapon's test.

Iran has repeatedly denied western accusations that it is seeking to develop a nuclear bomb.

The head of the UN nuclear agency called on Iran to sign a deal giving greater transparency on its nuclear drive and announced that new talks with Tehran would be held this week.

At the opening of a week-long meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency board in Vienna, Yukiya Amano also urged Tehran to allow access to a suspect military site near the capital.

National Issues

The government has set up a high-level board to boost the manufacturing sector. The panel will be headed by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.

The decision to set up the board comes within days of Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh set up the Investment Tracking System to give a push to mega projects of over 1,000 crore rupees in the backdrop of economic growth sliding to nine-year low of 6.5 per cent in 2011-12.

The Manufacturing Industry promotion Board, set up to give a big push to operationalise the National manufacturing Policy would also coordinate among central ministries and state governments.

The policy seeks to raise share of the manufacturing sector in the GDP to 25 per cent from the present 15-16 per cent in the next decade.

Cricket star Sachin Tendulkar took oath as Member of the Rajya Sabha. The Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Mr. Hamid Ansari administered the oath of membership in his chamber.

On this occasion, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Mr. Narayana Swami and the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla was also present among others.

In Madhya Pradesh, 3,520 crore rupees have been spent on different employment-oriented schemes under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) during the year 2011-12.

Madhya Pradesh is ahead of many states in respect of expenditure under MNREGA. The state has been at the third place in the country in respect of expenditure of funds under the scheme during the year 2011-12.

Employment worth 100 days has been provided to two lakh 44 thousand rural families during the period.

Several steps have been taken in the state for the smooth implementation of MNREGA. Rules have been prepared for complaint redressal and stress is being laid on social audit.

The process for appointing 1291 sub-engineers is under progress for increasing quality of construction works and completing them within the stipulated time-limit.

Under MNREGA, decision has been taken to appoint Village Employment Assistants in every Gram Panchayat.

The number of tourists visiting Gujarat has gone up in last two years, as per the latest data available the number of tourists in the year 2011-2012 was 2.23 crore, an increase of 25 lakh, as compared to the 1.98 crore in the year 2010-2011.

After the launch of 'Khushboo Gujarat Ki' campaign, in the last two years there has been an increase of tourists by 54 lakh. In 2010-11 also, tourists arriving in Gujarat has increased by 28 lakh to 1.98 crore, as against 1.70 crore in 2009-10.

The Centre has approved Rs 1,200 cr for promoting Gujarat’s coastal tourism. "The Centre will allocate the amount of fund in a span of five years and an amount of Rs 306 crore will be released in the current year itself.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has decided for creation of a common facilitation centre in each district from the MPLADS funds for the convenience of Members of Parliament. The modification of MPLAD Guidelines in this regard has been approved by the Minister of State (I/C) for Statistics and Programme Implementation Shri Srikant Kumar Jena.

According to the modified guidelines, an MP would be entitled for setting up of MPLADS Facilitation Centre in the Nodal District for which space/room would be provided by the DC/DM in the premises of Collectorate/DRDA. The capital cost of setting up such facilities including equipments, furniture, etc. shall not exceed Rs. 5 lakhs and will be met from MPLADS funds.

The main function of this facilitation centre would be to provide to the Members of Parliament all the information at one place relevant for the effective implementation of the scheme. If a District has been opted by more than one MP, the Facilitation Centre will provide service to all these Members of Parliament. This facilitation centre should work under the direct control of the District Authority and should have persons on contract with adequate computer operating knowledge to manage the Centre. 

The strength and number of these persons managing the Centre would be minimum one and can be more than one in case the nodal district is serving more than one M.P. However, the district authority can decide upon the number of persons required for the facilitation centre in consultation with the MPs. 

The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has sanctioned Rs. 25.75 lakh to the Government of Odisha on account of reimbursement of expenditure incurred by the State Government on conducting sports competition during 2011-12 under the Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA).

PYKKA which aims at development and maintenance of playfields in village and block panchayats across the country and organizing annual sports competitions from block to national levels is implemented through the State Government /UTs.

Economic Issues

The Captains of Industry outlined 12 point action agenda for reviewing the economic growth of the economy including moratorium on additional expenses on doles.

Following a meeting in New Delhi, the commerce body FICCI called for expediting the implementation of goods and services tax, GST.

It has urged the government to ease the monetary policy and bring down interest rates by 200 basis points and cash reserve ratio by 100 basis points.

The monetary policy is to be unveiled by the government on the 18th of this month.

FICCI have also called for pushing through FDI policy reforms in areas where action is possible outside the Parliament. It has called for extending the price decontrol mechanism for oil products.


Internationally-acclaimed sand artist from Odisha Sudarsan Pattnaik has been congratulated by President Pratibha Patil and a host of other dignitaries for winning the Copenhagen Sand Art Championship 2012.

Mr. Pattnaik won the first prize in the Copenhagen International Sand Sculpture Championship 2012, held in Denmark. Nine artists took part in the championship from various countries including Canada, Russia, Bulgaria, Ireland, England, Germany, Ukraine and Ghana. Mr. Pattnaik created a 20-foot-high sand sculpture on “Save the Ocean”.



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