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June 5th Current Affairs

International Issues

Indian women form the third largest female migrant workforce from South Asia in the Gulf countries but often end up in vulnerable situations while working for employers there as justice is out of their reach. 

The United Nations said this in it's report titled 'Migration of Women Workers from South Asia to the Gulf. The report said that the migration of women from South Asia to Gulf was likely to increase despite conditions that could lead to exploitation.

The report pointed out that recruitment in Gulf countries was carried out under the 'kafala' system under which contracts were very individualised and made women workers highly dependent on their employer.

The report said that insufficient pre-departure orientation makes single women migrant workers vulnerable to exploitation and human rights abuse, as they are often duped by agents or employers.

Pakistan conducted a successful test fire of the multi-tube, indigenously developed Cruise Missile Hatf-VII (Babur), having a range of 700 kilometers. According to ISPR statement, Babur Cruise Missile is a low flying, terrain hugging missile with high maneuverability, pin point accuracy and radar avoidance features.

It can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads and has stealth capabilities. It also incorporates the most modern cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation, which enhances its precision and effectiveness manifolds.

The missile was launched from a state of the art multi tube Missile Launch Vehicle which significantly enhances the targeting and employment options of Babur Weapon System in both the conventional and nuclear modes.

National Issues

The Centre announced a series of measures, including extension of 2 per cent interest subsidy by one year, as part of a 7-point strategy to achieve 20 per cent increase in exports. It has set a target of 360 billion US Dollars in the current fiscal.

Unveiling the annual supplement to the five-year Foreign Trade Policy in New Delhi, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma also said the government will soon come out with new guidelines to revamp Special Economic Zones and Export Oriented Unit schemes to further boost the shipments. The governments new announcements came in the backdrop of the uncertain global economic environment.

The Commerce and Industry & Textiles minister said, these measures will infuse necessary confidence in the exporting community and provide the required dynamism even in this gloomy time. He said, the government is watching the global economic developments closely and shall intervene effectively to ensure that Indian exports stay well on course for achieving the targets.

Mr. Sharma expressed confidence that exports would grow by 20 per cent in the current fiscal. India's exports grew by 21 per cent in 2011-12 to touch USD 303.7 billion.

The Public Sector Housing and Urban Development Corporation, HUDCO, has reopened its HUDCO Niwas Project for the current fiscal. The HUDCO Chairman and Managing Director Mr. V.P. Baligar said that the rate of interest will be 8.75 per cent for the general public while for SC, ST and Widows category it will be 8.5 per cent. 

The project was on hold for last two years. Mr. Baligar informed that HUDCO has registered a growth rate of 35 per cent in disbursement with releases of 6906 crore rupees during 2011-12 as compared to 5105 crore rupees during the 2010-said that HUDCO has also registered its highest level of gross profit of 937.91 crore rupees in 2011-12 as compared to 821.18 crore rupees in 2010-11.

With an aim to conserve energy and reduce its wastage by about 50 per cent, the Delhi Division of Northern Railways is installing automated lighting systems at some of the stations in the division. 

The system has already been installed on an experimental basis at one platform each of Nizamuddin, Faridabad and Meerut railway stations. Under the system, 70 per cent lights at platforms will go off after the departure of trains and with approaching trains, the lights will be automatically on.

World environment day is observed on June 5th across the globe to raise awareness among people about the importance of clean environment in the human life. 

The theme for the Day is Green Economy: Does it include you? To mark the day and create widespread awareness on the unique biodiversity of the country, the Government flagged-off the 'Science Express-Biodiversity Special' train in New Delhi.

Railways have increased the parcel and luggage rates by 25 per cent on all goods with immediate effect. With the action, railways aims to mop up 370 crore rupees as additional revenue in the current fiscal. Railways have earned 1600 crore rupees from parcel and luggage in 2011-12.

The last revision of parcel and luggage rates had taken place in 2006. The new rates are applicable to all goods including newspapers and magazines. Railways have increased the freight by 20 per cent in March.

The government unveiled 7-point strategy to boost exports which include extension of interest subsidy scheme by one year till 31st March 2013. India's exports grew by 21 percent in 2011-12 to touch USD 303 billion.

To encourage exports, the government came out with an interest subvention scheme under which 2 percent interest subsidy was given to handlooms, handicrafts, carpets and SME sector.

The EPCG scheme will also be available for those who had surrendered their benefits under the Status Holder Incentive Scrip (SHIS) scheme.

Union Rural Development Minister Sh Jairam Ramesh said that Planning Commission has agreed to provide Rs-1500 Crore in the 12th Five year plan for developing infrastructure in rapidly urbanizing areas known as census towns in the new version of PURA (Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas).

The Minister informed that the number of Census Towns in India has increased from 1,362 in 2001 to 3,894 in 2011, while the number of villages and the statutory towns have remained the same.

A Census town is described as a town having more than 5,000 populations with a density of 400 people per square kilometer and where the male population engaged in non-agricultural activities is more than 75 percent. Shri Ramesh said that 10 to 15 projects will be taken up this year in the states like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh in a public-private partnership mode to build and improve upon the physical infrastructure.

A two day conference on Gender Budgeting is being organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with National Gender Centre, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie on 6th and 7th June 2012. Around 30 senior and middle level officials from the Gender Budget Cells in the Central Ministries/Departments are expected to attend the conference.

With the aim to review the process of Gender Budget Statement Development by the Central Ministries, the theme of the conference is “Gender Budget Statement: Issues and Challenges”.

Eminent experts in the field of Gender Budgeting along with officials from the Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Finance will facilitate the workshop.

Bilateral Issues

The Indian Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force will conduct their first ever bilateral exercise during the visit of four Indian Navy ships to Japan from 5-9 June, 2012 as part of the scheduled Overseas Fleet Deployment. The exercise will be conducted off the coast of Japan on 09-10 June, 2012.

The conduct of bilateral naval exercises between both countries was decided during the visit of the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony to Japan in November, 2011. Both Navies will also conduct routine passage exercises (PASSEX) during the visit of Japanese ships to Indian ports this year.

The engagement between the Navies of India and Japan is part of the overall defence cooperation between both countries. Defence exchanges between India and Japan presently comprise annual Defence Minister level meetings, Defence Policy dialogue at Defence Secretary level and Army and Naval Staff Talks. 

India and Turkey has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for further developing relations in the field of sports and youth activities in order to promote and strengthen existing friendly relations and cooperation in the field of sports.

The MoU was signed by Shri Ajay Maken, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports on behalf of Government of India and by Mr. Suat Kilic, Turkish Minister for Youth & Sports, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Turkey in Ankara (Turkey).  Sh. Maken is currently on 3 days official visit to Turkey.

The MoU provides the framework for advancement of linkages and cooperation through sports and youth agencies of the respective Governments. The MoU also states that the Parties shall encourage and support exchanges of programmes, experiences, skills, techniques, information and knowledge in the several areas of cooperation in sports and youth activities, namely, training and competition of athletes and teams, training and technical assistance for coaches, exchange programmes and visits of sports leader, sports administrators, professional, technicians and sports support personnel and experts in the field of youth and sports, fostering youth tourism, organizing joint youth camps and friendly sports events and training, exchange and assistance programmes for sports sciences personnel and development of sports science.

Economic Issues

The government has set a target of 20 per cent growth in exports during the current financial year while Indian exports registered 20.9 per cent growth in last year to touch 303 billion US dollar.

Announcing the annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14 in New Delhi, Commerce and Industry and Textile Minister Mr. Anand Sharma unveiled seven-point strategy to boost exports which include extension of interest subsidy scheme till 31st March of next year.

The government came out with an interest subvention scheme under which 2 per cent interest subsidy was given to handlooms, handicrafts, carpets and SME sector. The seven point agenda include give a focussed thrust to employment intensive industry, to encourage domestic manufacturing for inputs to export industry, to encourage exports from the North Eastern Region and to provide incentives for manufacturing of green goods recognising the imperative of building capacities for envrionmental sustainability.

RBI asked banks to immediately stop charging penalty on pre-payment of home loans taken on floating interest rates.

"It has...been decided that banks will not be permitted to charge foreclosure charges\pre-payment penalities on home loans on floating interest rate basis, with immediate effect," the Reserve Bank said in a communication to banks.

The RBI noted that the Damodaran Committee had observed that foreclosure charges levied by banks on prepayment of home loans were resented by home loan borrowers.

This is particularly so considering that banks were found to be hesitant in passing on the benefits of lower interest rates to the existing borrowers in a falling interest rate scenario.


The Government has appointed Vice Admiral DK Joshi, presently Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) Western Naval Command, as the next Chief of the Naval Staff with effect from afternoon of August 31, 2012. The present Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral NK Verma retires from service on Aug 31, 2012.

Born on July 04, 1954 Vice Admiral Joshi was commissioned on April 01, 1974 in the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy. 

Freedom fighter and veteran Communist leader Bevinje Vishnu Kakkilaya died of brain haemorrhage. He was 93.

He was a member of the Rajya Sabha for two years representing the Madras Province and an MLA in the Karnataka Assembly for two terms. Mr. Kakkilaya led many agitations against injustice to farmers and labourers and played a key role in building the Communist Party of India and its students' wing, the All-India Students' Federation in the State. He was the secretary of the Karnataka State committee of the CPI.



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