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August 7 to 12 Current Affairs

International Issues

The Jet Airways tied up with the HDFC bank in order to launch the ‘Jet Privilege-HDFC Bank Credit’. This is a range of credit cards which will offer benefits and rewards in the form of JP Miles.

This is being regarded as a another unique travel option aimed at making air travel for economical. The credit card would be offered in world, platinum and titanium variants on the Master card platform.

The Jet Priviledge-HDFC Bank World Credit Card allows members to enjoy several lifestyle benefits, including six JP Miles for every rupees one fifty spent and another ten thousand JP Miles with in the first ninety days.

The partnership will enable cardholders to sum up all their spends into one account with rewards in the form of JP Miles. The bank issues nearly ninety thousand cards a month and now its customer base stands at five point seven million.

The ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) handed over power to the newly elected National Assembly on 8 August 2012 in a night ceremony in Tripoli, Libya. NTC Chairman, Mustafa Abdel Jalil passed on the responsibility to the oldest member of the new two hundred member assembly, Mohammed Ali Salim.

Later, the congress members took an oath led by Mohammed Ali Salim. The new assembly will appoint a new interim Prime Minister to form the government and a sixty member panel to draft the new constitution of Libya. The NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil and the oldest member of the body, Mohammed Ali Salim, also signed documents during the event.

NTC was announced in the city of Benghazi, Libya on 27 February 2011 to act as the political face of the revolution.

The 31st edition of Summer Olympics will be held in Reo de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. The city was made the host of the event in 121st IOC session. The games are scheduled to be held fron 5 August to 21 August 2016.

National Issues

Naresh Chandra Committee, a 14-member task force on national security, submitted its report to the government on 8 August 2012. The committee was set up by the Union government on 21 June 2012 to suggest ways to revamp of defence management in the country.

Naresh Chandra, a former bureaucrat, headed the committee which members included former military officers, intelligence chiefs, diplomats and strategic analysts. Air Chief Marshal (retired) S. Krishnaswamy, General (retired) VR Raghavan, the former Department of Atomic Energy chief Anil Kakodkar, Admiral (retired) Arun Prakash, the former R&AW head KC Verma, the former Union Home Secretary V.K. Duggal, G Parthasarathy, former diplomat, and senior journalist Manoj Joshi were the other members in the committee.

The main objective behind the constitution of the committee was to contemporarise the Kargil Review Committee’s recommendations, which was tabled in the Parliament on 23 February 2000. Besides, the task force was also asked to examine the state of country's border management and restructuring system.

The Kargil Review Committee (KRC), headed by the late K. Subrahmanyam, had submitted its report a decade back. The recommendations made by the committee had paved the way for the setting up of a Group of Ministers which had suggested massive reforms in the country's security management system. The KRC is considered to be the first major attempt at revamping the country's security after Independence.

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during the Month of July 2012 stood at 5.25 lakh as compared to 5.14 lakh in July 2011 and 4.67 lakh in July 2010. This translated into FTAs growth of 2.1 percent in July 2012 over July 2011 as compared to a growth of 10.1 percent registered in July 2011 over July 2010. 

FTAs during the period January-July 2012 were 37.62 lakh with a growth of 6.6 percent, as compared to the FTAs of 35.29 lakh with a growth of 10.7 percent during January-July 2011 over the corresponding period of 2010.

India’s industrial output plunged to 1.8 per cent in June 2012 compared to 9.5 per cent growth registered during June 2011. For the first quarter, the index of industrial production (IIP) declined 0.1 per cent against 6.9 per cent growth in the same quarter of fiscal 2011-12. The figure released by the Central Statistics Office of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on 9 August 2012.

Manufacturing sector at -3.2 per cent and mining sector at 0.6 per cent largely hurt the overall IIP growth in June 2012. Manufacturing sector had recorded 11.1 per cent growth and mining sector output declined by 1.4 per cent in June 2011.

The capital goods category recorded a decline of 27.9 per cent in output in June 2012, while, the category had seen a 38.9 percent growth in the same month in 2011.

Basic goods output grew 4.1 per cent in June against 7.8 per cent growth in the June 2011. Growth of Intermediate goods remained unchanged at 1.6 per cent.

Consumer durables witnessed a growth of 9.1 per cent. However, consumer non-durables declined 1 per cent in June against a growth of 4.3 per cent in the same month last year.

Power sector registered a marginal 8.8 per cent growth in June 2012, higher than 8 per cent growth recorded in the same month in 2011.

The weak number of IIP could force Reserve Bank of India to cut policy rates at the next mid-quarter monetary policy review meeting slated for mid-September. Thus far the central bank has been counting on tight monetary policy to keep inflation in check. RBI had left the key policy rates unchanged in its mid-quarterly monetary policy review in July 2012.

(Index of Industrial Production IIP) is compiled using data received form 16 source agencies including Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP); Indian Bureau of Mines; Central Electricity Authority; Joint Plant Committee; Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas; Office of Textile Commissioner; Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals; Directorate of Sugar; Department of Fertilizers; Directorate of Vanaspati, Vegetable Oils & Fats; Tea Board; Office of Jute Commissioner; Office of Coal Controller; Railway Board; Office of Salt Commissioner and Coffee Board.

The Union government allocated 150 crore rupees as interim relief for the flood affected people of Uttarakhand. The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Vijay Bahuguna also demanded a special relief fund from the Centre.

Uttarakhand government has enhanced immediate relief amount to 5400 rupees from earlier announced 2700 rupees for the people hit by national calamity. Besides, this 20 crore rupees has already been sanctioned for relief purpose.

The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council( BCCC) in its report submitted to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, asked TV channels to be extra-cautious while showing violence against women. BCCC received almost half of the complaints related to obscene scenes during its first year of functioning.

BCCC stated that during the period from 20th of June 2011 till the 2nd July 2012, out of the 717 specific complaints received, 47 per cent were on obscenity and nudity while 16 per cent were regarding depiction of violence.

The BCCC directed some channels that since these programmes were not suitable for telecast during general viewing hours, they should suitably modify the content and air such programmes during restricted viewing hours. The main concern was use of vulgar language by participants and the alleged obscene acts performed by them during the shows.

BCCC is the non-news television industry’s self-regulatory body. It was formed in July 2011.

The Supreme Court of India directed the government to make all the medical records of Bhopal Gas victims computerised and issue health booklets and smart cards to each victim. The court’s directive came as it seek to ensure better healthcare and proper implementation of relief and rehabilitation programme for thousands of victims of world’s worst industrial disaster.

An Empowered Monitoring Committee will be set up to carry out the court’s order. The committee will undertake the tasks such as making medical surveillance operational, computerisation of medical information, publication of ‘health booklets,’ etc. It will also ensure that ‘health booklets’ and ‘smart cards’ are provided to each victim irrespective of where such victim is being treated.”

A parliamentary panel on agriculture asked the government to ban all field trials of GM crops until it develops until it develops a better system of monitoring and oversight.

In the 389-page report submitted in the parliament on 9 August 2012, the panel also demanded a complete probe into how permission was granted in 2009 for the commercialisation of Bt brinjal (also known as aubergine, or eggplant).  

Bt Brinjal was developed by Pune-based Mahyco (Maharashtra Hybrid Company) in a joint venture with US seed giant Monsanto.

The Genetic Engeneering Appraisal Committee had cleared the commercialization of Bt Brinjal on 14 October 2009, though soon after its clearance it was caught amidst bitter controversies ranging from its environmental impacts to ethical concerns such as corporate control of the food supply and intellectual property rights. Bt cotton was the only GM crop before Bt Brinjal which had got clearance for commercialization.

Bilateral Issues

The first meeting of the India-CELAC (The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Troika foreign ministers was held in New Delhi on 7 August 2012. The CELAC Troika was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile Alfredo Moreno Charme, the pro-tempore President of CELAC. 

The Foreign Minister of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro and the Vice Foreign Minister of Cuba, Rogelio Sierra participated in the meeting as members of the Troika. The Indian delegation was led by the External Affairs Minister of India, SM Krishna.

The meeting was held with the objective of strengthening India-CELAC relationship.

The Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs Didier Reynders visited India from 1-5 August and 8-12 August 2012. During his visit, he discussed bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Besides that, A MoU was signed between Ministry of Railways, Government of India and the Ministry of Mobility of Kingdom of Belgium on 2 August 2012.

Economic Issues

According to the FDI data released by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 10 August 2012, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow in India declined to 5.4 billion dollar in the April-June quarter of fiscal 2012-13. The figure stood at 12.2 billion dollar during the same period of fiscal 2011-12.

On a cumulative basis FDI flows into India registered a fall of 53 percent as it was estimated at 7.7 billion dollar in the first quarter of the financial year 2012-13 compared to 16.3 billion dollar during the corresponding period of previous year.

Overall foreign investment, however, remained on positive trajectory with inflows estimated to have declined nearly 83 percent to 2 billion dollar, compared to 11.6 billion dollar in April-June 2011.

With poor show on investment front and higher trade deficit, India’s balance of payment is likely to aggravate further. As per the RBI data released on Balance of Payment for the last quarter of fiscal 2011-12, the trade deficit exceeded 50 billion dollar (10.6 per cent of GDP) and current account deficit rose to 21.7 billion dollar (4.5 per cent of GDP).

India’s current account deficit (CAD) was at 30-year record high of 4.2 per cent of the GDP in 2011-12. CAD occurs when country’s total imports and transfers exceeds its total exports and transfers. High level of CAD leads to the deterioration in the value of a currency, while it also hurts the economy.


Indian female Boxer Mary Kom got India its fourth medal in the London Olympics 2012, giving the country its biggest medal haul in the history of modern Olympics. The ace pugilist, however, knocked out of the Olympic Games flyweight (51 kg) semi-finals after she suffered an 11-6 defeat in the hand of Britain’s Nicola Adams.

Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom popularly called Mary Kom or Magnificent Mary got her place secured at London Olympics 2012 after winning 2012 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship held in Qinhuangdao, China from 9 May to 22 May 2012. 

Sushil Kumar, the star Indian grappler, won India its sixth medal on the very last day in London Olympics 2012. The wrestler bagged the silver after his Japanese opponent Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu overpowered him 3-1 in the gold medal bout in the 66-kg freestyle category on 12 August 2012.

With this victory Susheel Kumar also got his name written in the sports history annals of the country as became the first ever Indian sportsperson to win individual medals in two successive Olympic Games. Kumar had won a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Rory Mcllroy won the US PGA Golf Championship at Kaiwah island on 12 August 2012, claiming his second major title with a record-setting eight-shot victory. With this victory Mcllroy also became world number one player surpassing Luke Donald.

23-year Mcllroy, hit a six-uneder 66 to finish 13 under, while, David Lynn and Ian Poulter finished second and third respectively. Tiger Woods, four-time winner of the title, faltered to a level par 72 and two under total.

The 30th Summer Olympics (London Olympics 2012) concluded in London on 12 August 2012. The 17-day event was inaugurated at Olympic Stadium at the Olympic Park in East London on 27 July 2012. London Olympics witnessed nearly 10500 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees participating in as many as 26 sports events.

At the end of the game US topped the medal tally with a total of 104 medals (46 Gold+29 Silver+ 29 Silver) followed by China, which bagged a total of 88 medals (38 Gold+27 Silver+23 Bronze). Great Britain with 65 medals (29 Gold+17 Silver+19 Bronze), Russia with 82 medals (24 Gold+26 Silver+32 Bronze) and South Korea with 27 medals (13 Gold+8 Silver+6 Bronze) finished third, fourth and fifth respectively. India with a total of 6 medals (2 Silver+4Bronze) finished 55th on the medal tally.

India had sent 83-member team to the London Olympics 2012, which is the largest ever contingent sent by Indian Olympic Association in the Olympics. 

India’s total number of medals in London Olympics 2012 stood at a record haul of six medals. 

Shooter Vijay Kumar bagged the silver medal in the 25 m Rapid Fire event, while MC Mary Kom, five-time world women's boxing champion, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal and rifle shooter Gagan Narang won India bronze medals. Gagan Narang opened India’s account at the medal tally after he won bronze in shooting event on 30 July 2012.


Raghuram Rajan, former chief economist of International Monetary Fund (IMF) was appointed as the Chief Economic Advisor in the Finance Ministry. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet cleared the appointment of Rajan as the new CEA on 10 August 2012. The position was lying vacant since Kaushik Basu demitted the office on 31 July 2012.

Raghuram Rajan has already been serving as the ‘Honorary Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister’, the position he was given in November 2008. He also headed High Level Committee on Financial Sector Reforms in 2007.

Science & Technology

India on 9 August 2012 successfully test-fired domestically built surface-to-surface two stage Agni-II ballistic missile. The missile was launched from a test range at Wheeler Island off Odisha coast. The nuclear capable missile with a strike range of 2000 km was first test fired on 11 April 1999. The missile was inducted in the Army on 17 May 2010.

The missile was launched by the strategic force command of Indian Army as a routine users’ trial. The objective of the launch was to train the user team to launch the missile. Agni-II is 20 metres long and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead weighing one ton.

Agni-II was developed under the joint work of advanced systems laboratory, the missile development laboratory of the DRDO, Defence Research Development Laboratory and Research Centre Imarat, while it was integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad.

The Agni-II missile belongs to the genre of medium range ballistic missiles developed by India under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. The missile was made operational by the Indian Army in March 2010.

Scientists for the first time found evidence of another oxidant named X, which plays an important role in the formation of gaseous sulphuric acid in the atmosphere. Until now there was a misconception that the combination of OH(hydroxyl radical) oxidant with sulphur dioxide was the reason behind the formation of gaseous sulphuric acid is formed in the atmosphere.

The results are published on 9 August 2012 in Nature. The new oxidant is capable of oxidizing suphur dioxide. Experiments done by Scientists showed that the concentration of ‘X’ also does not remain constant during the day.



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