2012 - October 31 Current Affairs


International Issues 

India will assume the month-long rotating Presidency of the UN Security Council beginning on November 01, 2012. before its term as non-permanent member of the powerful 15-nation body ends this year. India had last served as President of the UNSC in August 2011. Its two year term on the Council will end on December 31. 

Piracy is among the key issues that India could focus on during its presidency in November. India, seeking permanent membership of the Council, has also been stressing on reform and expansion of the UN body and it could focus on the issue during its Presidency.



National Issues 

The government has said that it will invest around 200 million US dollars in next four years to strengthen cyber security infrastructure. Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal said on sidelines of 3rd Worldwide Cybersecurity summit in New Delhi that priority for India at present is to protect its infrastructure like nuclear, aviation, banking infrastructure, among others. 

Mr Sibal said, global community must come together to resolve cyber security issues. The Minister said, threats to Cyberspace have increased dramatically in the past years affecting 431 million adult globally or 14 adults victims every second or one million cyber crime victims every day.



The Union Minister for Agriculture, Sharad Pawar said that 30 per cent funds of various agricultural schemes are being allocated towards development of women farmers with a focus on formation of Women Self Help Groups. Speaking at the Consultative Committee Meeting of his Ministry on 'Women in Agriculture' in New Delhi, Mr. Pawar said that rural women play a pivotal role in the entire gamut of agricultural operations ranging from land preparation to post- harvesting operations and their access to productive assets like seed, water, credit, subsidy needs to be enhanced. 

Mr. Pawar said that Agriculture Ministry has taken various steps to improve the condition of women farmers and there are number of schemes being implemented wherein there is a provision for women-specific activities. These include Gramin Bhandaran Yojana, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, National Food Security Mission and National Horticulture Mission. Mr Pawar said that other Ministries have also been working towards empowering women farmers.



The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has launched a National Transparency Portal for Public Distribution System. The portal has been developed with the objective of providing all PDS related information through a single platform in the public domain. It may be accessed at http://pdsportal.nic.in

The portal contains information relating to Fair Price Shops and ration cards attached to these shops. Information on FCI and State storage godowns with capacity utilization and data on Central Pool stocks is also published on the portal.



“SHILPOTSAV-2012” at Dilli Haat, is an annual event of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. It will be inaugurated by the Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment on 1st November, 2012. This is the sixth year of Shilpotsav. 

The Shilpotsav was started during the year 2007-08 by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment by way of collaborating with all the Apex Corporations and National Institutes under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, with an objective to provide a platform to the beneficiaries assisted under the developmental schemes of various Finance & Development Corporations and National Institutes to showcase their art & craft. 

The event also provides opportunity for publicity of Ministry’s schemes with live examples of success and triumph over the poverty and unemployment among the target group with assistance from the Ministry’s schemes.



The Eight core industries have a combined weight of 37.90 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). The combined Index was 139.5 in September 2012 with a growth rate of 5.1% compared to their 2.5% growth in September 2011. The modest growth in September, 2012 was on account of double digit growth witnessed in the production of Coal, Petroleum Refinery Products and Cement. 

During April-September 2012-13, the cumulative growth rate of the Core industries was 3.2 % as against their growth at 5.0% during the corresponding period in 2011-12.


Bilateral Issues

India is to provide an assistance of four crore and thirty-three lakh Nepali rupees for Palpa District in Western Nepal. A memorandum of understanding was signed in Kathmandu for providing the grant assistance under the Nepal-India Economic Cooperation Programme between the Embassy of India, Palpa District Development Committee and Shree Rambha Higher Secondary School. The grant assistance will be utilized for the construction of a three storied building for Shree Rambha Higher Secondary School.


Awards

The Indira Gandhi award for National Integration for 2011 has been given to noted film lyricist and poet Gulzar in recognition of his contribution to national integration. The award carrying five lakh rupees and citation, was presented by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at a function in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, Mrs Gandhi said that Gulzar, through his writings, has always promoted communal harmony and secularism. She said that characters portrayed by Gulzar depicted fight against communalism. 

Lauding the efforts by the 75-year old veteran film writer in promoting national integration, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said that Gulzar's writings have been giving message of social importance which is essential for national integration. Referring to the incidents of violence in parts of the country, Dr Singh said that religion, regionalism and communalism should not come in the way of unity and integrity of the country.


Persons 

Mr. Ashok Tomar has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Brazil. Mr. Tomar is presently Special Secretary at the headquarters.


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