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2012 - October 26 to 28 Current Affairs


International Issues 

Indian and US naval forces have come together to carry out a joint drill off the coast of Mumbai. The three-week-long exercise between the two countries codenamed INDIAEX 2012 started on October 19 and is scheduled to get over by November 13.

Cooperation between the US submarine rescue system and Indian submarines is being demonstrated in the excercise. Four Indian submarines are taking part in the exercise . This is the first exercise of its kind between the two sides which have so far been practising joint operations under the UN mandate in the Malabar series of joint drills.



The Commonwealth countries have called for increasing the efficiency of public administration and transparency in governance to spur development and socio-economic growth for benefit of the people. The outcome of the three-day Conference of Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) concluded in New Delhi, stressed on the important role of public policy in improving governance and strengthening public administration in support of national development objectives and to meet international challenges.

The Commonwealth nations also acknowledged the need for developing countries to address challenges posed by a globalised economy. The Forum welcomed India’s offer to host the annual Commonwealth Symposium on Public Service Excellence from 2013. It also acknowledged the value of using information and communications technology such as the Commonwealth Connects online platform to build peer networks of influence for collaborative working and knowledge sharing. The CAPAM conference was attended by Ministers and senior officials from 21 countries besides India.


National Issues 

The Centre has decided to provide 20 rupees per kilogram subsidy on the import of pulses to the states. It will be paid to the designated importing agencies up to a maximum of the number of BPL card holders in a particular state. The move comes in wake of mismatch between demand and supply of pulses, lower acreage under pulses in the current fiscal, and delayed monsoon.



The overall infant mortality rate (IMR) in the country has come down to 44 in 2011 as against 47 in 2010. According to latest figures released by the Registrar General of India, the infant death count per 1000 live births for rural areas dropped by three points from 51 to 48 while in urban areas it decreased to 29 from the previous year's figure of 31.

An official release said, Goa and Manipur recorded the lowest IMR of 11 infant deaths followed by Kerala with 12 infant deaths per 1000 live births. Madhya Pradesh has the highest IMR of 59 per 1000 followed by UP and Odisha with 57 each. The IMRs in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Meghalaya stood over the national average of 44.



The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved a 1,200 crore rupee proposal for procuring 10,000 anti-tank guided missiles for the Army from Russia. The CCS cleared the proposal to acquire Russian-origin 10,000 Konkurs-M anti-tank guided missiles for the Mechanised Infantry and Infantry battalions of the Army. The Konkurs-M are part of the weapon systems being procured by the force to augment the anti-tank arsenal in the Army.

The Union Cabinet has approved a National Policy aimed at transforming India into a leading manufacturing hub of electronic system and design and manufacturing (ESDM) sector. The policy envisages creation of an environment for electronics and manufacturing of indigenously designed and manufactured chips in the country with a focus on cyber security. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) also approved the disinvestment of 10 per cent stake of the paid up equity capital in the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC). The government presently holds 90 per cent of the shares in the Corporation.



The CCEA has cleared a proposal of Rs.3150 crore package for development of backward regions of Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. It approved continuing the state component under the Backward Regions Grant Fund in Bihar with an allocation of 1500 crore rupees in 2012-13. It also gave its nod for continuing with the special plan for Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput (KBK) districts in Odisha with an allocation of 250 crore rupees.

The CCEA approved the continuation of additional central assistance of 1400 crore rupees for drought mitigation efforts in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for the current financial year.



The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) has approved a Railway Ministry's proposal to extend the new broadgauge line from Imphal Road (Tupul) to Imphal with an updated cost of 4444 crore rupees. 25 per cent of the total cost will be funded by railways from general budgetary support and 75 per cent from Finance Ministry.

The project will cover Imphal East, Tamenglong and Senapati districts of Manipur. This line will connect Imphal with the national mainstream and make possible direct movement of freight and passengers from this region to other parts of the country. The project is expected to be completed by March 2016.



Centre has issued fresh guidelines prohibiting schools from announcing community, castes or tribes of students and labeling students as belonging to reserved category. This follows reports of discrimination against students admitted under Right to Education, RTE. The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Human Resource Development said, schools will prescribe procedures and mechanism to deal with complaints. It will be obligatory on the part of school to dispose of complaints within 60 days from the date of receipt or submission of complaint. The move comes amid complaints from some states that students who got admission from the weaker sections under the 25 per cent quota under Right to Education were being discriminated.

The fresh guidelines seeking to ensure non-discriminatory school environment said a school cannot discriminate against a child belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups in admission by breach of the policy of reservation in admissions or by denying or limiting access to any benefit arising from such enrollment provided by the school. The schools will also ensure that no child in this group is discriminated against by segregating them from others in playground or canteen or any provision of mid day meal, or any other amenities provided by the school including toilets and drinking water facilities.



The Centre and 16 States and Union Territories have signed an agreement to connect every Gram Panchayat with a broad band connection. The agreement was signed by the Department of Telecom and the Special Purpose Vehicle 'Bharat Broadband Network Limited' in the presence of the Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology Kapil Sibal in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion Mr. Sibal said the entire cost of about 20 thousand crore rupees for the project will be funded by the Centre. He said it will cover around 1,40,000 Gram Panchayats across the country.

The project will be implemented in States and Union Territories including Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jhharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Puducherry.

The National Optical Fibre Network aims at connecting all the 2 lakh 50 thousand Gram Panchayants in the country with high speed optical fibre network by December 2013. Mr. Sibal asked the States to provide incentives to the manufacturers of electronic appliances to make the products affordable to aam admi. He said the states should start preparing the digitized data to be uploaded on the electronic highway system.



Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a draft amendment to the Quality of Service of Broadband Service Regulations, 2006 (11 of 2006) on financial disincentives, and sought comments of stakeholders.

The Regulations seek to prescribe a financial disincentive on Broadband Service providers for non-compliance with the benchmark of the Quality of Service Parameters at a rate not exceeding Rs 50,000 per parameter for the first non-compliance and Rs 1,00,000 per parameter for subsequent noncompliance of the benchmarks.


Bilateral Issues 

India and Spain signed five pacts in various sectors including mutual agreement on strong measures to curb black money and prevent tax evasion. The two countries also agreed to amend the existing protocol for avoidance of double taxation. India and Spain also inked a Memorandum of Understanding for enhancing Defence cooperation. 

Agreements were also signed for technical cooperation between the Railways of both countries, Road transport sector and for the joint production of films.

The pacts were signed following delegation level talks between visiting King of Spain Juan Carlos 1 and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi. Defence minister A K Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and Transport Minister C P Joshi with their respective Spanish counterparts inked the pacts in the presence of King Juan Carlos 1 and Prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Talks were also held between External Affairs minister S.M Krishna and the visiting dignitary. King Juan Carlos 1 was earlier accorded a ceremonial reception and guard of honour at the Rashtrapathi Bhawan this morning. The King of Spain also paid floral tributes at Rajghat, the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi.


Persons 

An Italian court sentenced former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to four years in jail for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his Mediaset television company. Berlusconi has the right to appeal the ruling, two more times before a definite sentence, and will not have to serve any time in jail until his final appeal is heard. Prosecutors had asked for a jail sentence of three years and eight months.


Sports 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India - BCCI has released the list of central retainership contracts mentioning names of 37 players. Veteran Sachin Tendulkar, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh feature in the elite Grade A and will be paid an annual retainership fees of Rupees one crore.

 The only new name added to this list is that of spinner R Ashwin while his counterpart Harbhajan Singh has been demoted from Grade A to B. While Harbhajan Singh has been struggling throughout the year; 26-year-old Ashwin has proved his mettle. He has grabbed 49 wickets in eight Tests since making his debut in November last year. In the ODIs, he has scalped 56 wickets in 40 matches and has 12 wickets from his 15 Twenty20 International appearances.

The list of Grade B players who are paid 50 lakhs per year mentions eight players namely Rohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Umesh Yadav.

The Grade C contracts have been given to 20 players who will be entitled to receive an annual payment of Rupees 25 lakhs.



Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull has won the Formula One Indian Grand Prix on October 28,2012. The win at the Budh International Circuit is his fourth consecutive title this season. Fernando Alonso of Ferrari finished second.


Science & Technology 

Scientists in Canada have unearthed the first fossils of a feathered dinosaur ever found in the Americas. The 75-million-year old fossil specimens, uncovered in the badlands of Alberta, Canada, include remains of a juvenile and two adult ostrich-like creatures known as ornithomimids. Until now, feathered dinosaur skeletons were recovered exclusively from fine-grained rocks in China and Germany.

The ostrich-like dinosaurs in the original Jurassic Park movie were portrayed as a herd of scaly, fleet-footed animals being chased by a ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex. However, the new research published in the prestigious journal Science reveals this depiction of these bird-mimic dinosaurs is not entirely accurate, the ornithomimids should have had feathers and wings.



Microsoft has launched the latest version of its flagship operating system Windows 8, which is designed to work across PCs, tablets as well as smartphones. Windows 8 can be controlled using touch (with tablets) and with mouse and keyboard (desktops). Microsoft India Chairman said that the new operating system comes with a new start screen and adds more colours. The old start menu is replaced by tiles which showcases users' content that can be updated in real time.


Revised list of Cabinet Ministers

Cabinet Ministers
Serial NumberPortfolioName of Minister
1.Prime Minister(External website that opens in a new window)
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions(External website that opens in a new window)
Ministry of Planning(External website that opens in a new window)
Department of Atomic Energy(External website that opens in a new window)
Department of Space(External website that opens in a new window)
Dr. Manmohan Singh
2.Minister of Railways(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal
3.Minister of Finance(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Palaniappan Chidambaram
4.Minister of Agriculture(External website that opens in a new window)
Minister of Food Processing Industries(External website that opens in a new window)
Shri Sharad Chandra Govindrao Pawar
5.Minister of Defence(External website that opens in a new window)Shri A.K. Antony
6.Minister of Home Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Sushil Kumar Sambhajirao Shinde
7.Minister of External Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Salman Khurshid
8.Minister of Science and Technology(External website that opens in a new window)
Minister of Earth Sciences(External website that opens in a new window)
Shri Jaipal Sudini Reddy
9.Minister of Health and Family Welfare(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad
10.Minister of New and Renewable Energy(External website that opens in a new window)Dr. Farooq Abdullah
11.Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas(External website that opens in a new window)Dr.(Shri) M. Veerappa Moily
12.Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Vayalar Ravi
13.Minister of Civil Aviation(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Ajit Singh
14.Minister of Labour and Employment(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Mallikarjun Kharge
15.Minister of Human Resource Development(External website that opens in a new window)Dr. M. Mangapati Pallam Raju
16.Minister of Communications and Information Technology(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Kapil Sibal
17.Minister of Commerce(External website that opens in a new window)
Industry and Minister of Textiles(External website that opens in a new window)
Shri Anand Sharma
18.Minister of Road Transport and Highways(External website that opens in a new window)Shri C. P. Joshi
19.Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Ajay Maken
20.Minister of Culture(External website that opens in a new window)Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch
21.Minister of Shipping(External website that opens in a new window)Shri G.K. Vasan
22.Minister of Urban Development(External website that opens in a new window)
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)
Shri Kamal Nath
23.Minister of Water Resources(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Harish Rawat
24.Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment(External website that opens in a new window)Kumari Selja
25.Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers(External website that opens in a new window)Shri M. K. Alagiri
26.Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Praful Manoharbhai Patel
27.Minister of Coal(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal
28.Minister of Law and Justice(External website that opens in a new window)Ashwani Kumar, Shri
29.Minister of Minority Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)Khan, Shri K. Rahman
30.Ministry of Mines(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Dinsha J. Patel
31.Minister of Tribal Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)
Minister of Panchayati Raj(External website that opens in a new window)
Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo
32.Minister of Steel(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Beni Prasad Verma
33.Minister of Rural Development(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Jairam Ramesh
 
Ministers of State with Independent Charge
Serial NumberPortfolioName of Minister
1.Ministry of Women and Child Development(External website that opens in a new window)Smt. Krishna Tirath
2.Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Jitendra Singh
3.Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution(External website that opens in a new window)Prof. Kuruppassery Varkey Thomas
4.Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Srikant Kumar Jena
5.Ministry of Environment and Forests(External website that opens in a new window)Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan
6.Minister of Information and Broadcasting(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Manish Tewari
7.Minister of Tourism(External website that opens in a new window)Chiranjeevi, Dr. K.
8.Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region(External website that opens in a new window)
Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)
Shri Paban Singh Ghatowar
9.Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Bharatsinh Madhavsinh Solanki
10.Minister of Power(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia
11.Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(External website that opens in a new window)Shri K.H. Muniyappa
12.Minister of Corporate Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Sachin Pilot
 
Ministers of State
Serial NumberPortfolioName of Minister
1.Ministry of External Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)Shri E. Ahamed
2.Ministry of Human Resource Development(External website that opens in a new window)Dr. Shashi Tharoor
3.Ministry of Home Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Ramachandran Mullappally
4.Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions(External website that opens in a new window)
Prime Minister Office(External website that opens in a new window)
Shri V. Narayanasamy
5.Ministry of Commerce and Industry(External website that opens in a new window)Smt. Daggubati Purandeswari
6.Ministry of Human Resource Development(External website that opens in a new window)
Ministry of Defence(External website that opens in a new window)
Shri Jitin Prasada
7.Ministry of Railways(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
8.Ministry of Textiles(External website that opens in a new window)Smt. Lakshmi Panabaka
9.Ministry of Finance(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Namo Narain Meena
10.Ministry of Finance(External website that opens in a new window)Shri S.S. Palanimanickam
11.Ministry of Road Transport and Highways(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Sathyanarayana Sarvey
12.Ministry of External Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)Smt. Preneet Kaur
13.Ministry of Agriculture(External website that opens in a new window)
Ministry of Food Processing Industries(External website that opens in a new window)
Tariq Anwar, Shri
14.Ministry of Railways(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy
15.Ministry of Tribal Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)Smt. Ranee Narah
16.Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Porika Balram Naik
17.Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury
18.Ministry of Road Transport and Highways(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Tushar Amarsinh Chaudhary
19.Ministry of Communications and Information Technology(External website that opens in a new window)Dr. (Smt.) Kruparani Killi
20.Ministry of Coal(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Pratik Prakashbapu Patil
21.Ministry of Water Resources(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Vincent H Pala
22.Ministry of Minority Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Ninong Ering
23.Ministry of Rural Development(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Pradeep Kumar Jain Aditya
24.Ministry of Planning(External website that opens in a new window)
Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)
Shukla, Shri Rajeev
25.Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Food Processing Industries(External website that opens in a new window)
Ministry of Food Processing Industries(External website that opens in a new window)
Shri Charan Das Mahant
26.Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas(External website that opens in a new window)
Ministry of Home Affairs(External website that opens in a new window)
Shri Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh
27.Ministry of Communications and Information Technology(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Milind Murli Deora
28.Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Srikant Kumar Jena
29.Minister of Urban Development(External website that opens in a new window)Smt. Deepa Dasmunsi
30.Minister of Labour and Employment(External website that opens in a new window)Shri Suresh Kodikunnil
31.Minister of New and Renewable Energy(External website that opens in a new window)Shri S. Jagathrakshakan
32.Ministry of Power(External website that opens in a new window)
Minister of Civil Aviation(External website that opens in a new window)
Shri K. C. Venugopal
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