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2012 December 10 to 13 Current Affairs



International Issues 

10th December is Human Rights Day. This year the objective of this day is to highlight the rights of all people, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities and marginalised people as well as to make their voices heard in decision making processes. 

The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December in 1948. The Declaration is the recognition of dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human community as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. 



The UAE Cabinet on December 10th, 2012 approved the extradition agreement that the Gulf nation had signed with India for facilitating the transfer of Indian convicts to spend the remaining jail term in their home country. The agreement, which was signed by the two countries in November last year, is expected to help around 1,200 Indian prisoners who have been languishing in UAE prisons. 

As per the agreement, Indian prisoners in the UAE jails, those who have been sentenced, will have a choice to spend the remaining prison term in India. A similar agreement signed between the UAE and Pakistan was also ratified and the arrangement of transport procedures was discussed. 



HSBC is to pay US authorities 1.9 billion dollars in a settlement over a money laundering probe. The UK-based bank was alleged to have helped launder money belonging to drug cartels and states under U.S sanctions. 



National Issues 

The Government has decided to set up a National Museum of Indian Cinemas in Mumbai. 



The Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is implementing a Scheme on Special Area Demonstration Projects to demonstrate various Renewable Energy (RE) Systems including solar lights at places of National and International importance including religious and historical heritage sites in the country. 

Under the Scheme, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) is provided to meet the full cost of Renewable Energy Systems for World Heritage Sites and 50 to 100 per cent cost of procurement and installation of RE Systems for religious places depending on the number of devotees/visitors annually. So far 29 religious and historical heritage sites have been covered under this programme in 12 States. 



As per the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2012-13, brought out by World Economic Forum, a Swiss non-profit foundation based in Geneva, India ranks 59th amongst 144 economies in the Global Competitiveness Index for 2012-13, as against 56th position out of 142 economies covered in 2011-12. 

The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) measures the competitive performance of the economies around the world for doing business. It is a composite index that combines three component indices covering 12 different parameters (termed ‘pillars’). 



At the inaugural session of India Telecom 2012 in New Delhi, Dr Singh said, the New Telecom Policy-2012 envisages 70 per cent rural penetration by 2017 and 100 per cent by 2020. 



Bilateral Issues 

India and Ukraine on Dec 10th, 2012 signed five agreements to enhance cooperation including in areas of defence, Nuclear, Science and Technology and also to remove barriers in trade and commerce. The two countries also agreed to raise bilateral cooperation to Comprehensive partnership level. 

The pacts also include a Memorandum of understanding between the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India and the Ukranian Nuclear regulator for cooperation in nuclear safety, construction design, operation and nuclear waste management. 



Persons 

Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar has passed away. Ravi Shankar was awarded the highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 1999.He received three Grammy awards for his outstanding contribution to music. He continued to perform often with his daughter Anoushka. 



First Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Nityanand Swamy passes away. 



Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai has been re-elected as Chairman of United Nations Panel of External Auditors for 2013. The United Nations' Panel of External Auditors which comprises Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) engaged in auditing United Nations, its specialised agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, held its 53rd meeting which concluded on Dec 11, 2012 at the UN Headquarters in New York. 



Awards 

India has bagged three prestigious tourism awards, including the World's leading destination from World Travel Awards. Incredible India Campaign and Taj Mahal as the World’s leading tourist Board and Attraction are the other two awards won by the country. 



Defence 

India on Dec 12th, 2012 successfully testfired nuclear capable surface-to-surface Agni-I missile from the Wheeler island off Odishacoast in Bay of Bengal. It is designed to bridge the gap between indigenously built short-range Prithvi, already deployed in the army, and medium range Agni-II that has a range of more than 2,000 km. 

According defence sources, Agni-I can be blasted off from both road and rail mobile launchers. The 15-meter tall and of one meter diameter missile weighs around 12 tonnes and can carry both conventional and nuclear payload of about 1,000 kg. Agni-I missile has a specialised navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision. Agni-I has a strike range of 700-900 km. 

The main objective of the mission is to train the user team to launch the missile. It is powered by both solid and liquid propellants, which imparts it a speed of 2.5 km per second. 



The Deputy Director General of Coast Guard Inspector General Rajendra Singh commissioned Indian Coast Guard Ship H-188, the second in the series of twelve AIR Cushion Vehicles (ACVS) designed and built by Griffon Hoverworks Limited (GHL), UK at Haldia in West Bengal on December 12, 2012. The 21 metres long Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV) with 31 tonnes displacement can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots. 

The ACV is capable of undertaking multifarious tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and rendering assistance to small boats or crafts in distress at sea. 


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