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2013 - January 24 to 28 Current Affairs

International Issues 

China on 27 January 2013 successfully performed the second interceptor missile test. The test was -said to be of the defensive nature without targeting any other country. This is for the second time that China announced testing such a missile. 

Likewise, the anti-missile interception test was conducted successfully on 11 January 2010 earlier. No detailed information was revealed. 

As per the Czech Republic Presidential election results declared on 25 January 2013, Milos Zeman won and thus became the country’s first elected President through direct elections. He won 55 percent as compared with 45 percent of Karel Schwarzenberg. 

Milos Zeman is the former Prime Minister of Czech Republic and head of the Citizens’ Rights Party while Karel Schwarzenberg is foreign minister in the present centre-right coalition government. Zeman succeeds Vaclav Klaus. 

National Issues 

India celebrated its 64th Republic Day on 26 January 2013. Unfurling of National flag, the rich cultural heritage, and nation's achievements in various fields were the highlights of Republic Day Parade at Rajpath in Delhi. 

The well-turned out and synchronised military and police formations led by General Officer Commanding (Delhi) Lt General Subroto Mitra marched proudly to the tunes of bands through the Rajpath where President Pranab Mukherjee, the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces, took salute for the first time after assuming office in July 2012. The impressive march-past was watched by Chief Guest, King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk. 

The Union Cabinet of India on 24 January 2013 approved a one-man committee to probe into the lobbying activities of Wal-Mart. 

The decision came following the reports of media in relation to Wal-Mart. The committee has been directed to submit its report within three months. 

The Election Commission of India celebrated the 3rd National Voters’ Day across the country on 25 January 2013. The theme for the 3rd NVD is Inclusion. NVD functions were held at more than 6.5 lakh locations across the country covering nearly all 8.5 lakh Polling Stations. Around 46000 Educational Institutions also celebrated National Voters’ Day. 

Around 4867 Youth Voter Festivals have been held across the states to engage youth in the registration process.The National Function to mark the 3rd National Voters’ Day was held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. 25th January is also the foundation day of the Commission, which came into being on this day in 1950. 

The Commission’s objective through NVD is to increase enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones, to make universal adult suffrage a complete reality. The National Voters’ Day is also utilized to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process. 

Bilateral Issues 

India and Bangladesh on 28 January 2013 signed two landmark agreements on extradition of criminals and terrorists and liberalising the visa regime. However, refusal provisions were incorporated into the extradition treaty. If extradition of someone poses a threat to national security, a nation has the right to refuse the deportation request. 

Moreover, no political detainee will be brought under the purview of the extradition treaty. In case of a controversy during an extradition process, the matter will be resolved according to the laws of the country concerned. The other agreement has provision for a friendlier visa regime for citizens of Bangladesh. Businessmen will be provided a five-year, multiple-entry visa. Those travelling on medical grounds will be eligible for a two-year, multiple-entry visa, which could be extended for one more year. 

Three attendants of a patient will also be given visa. Until now, India was granting Bangladeshi tourists visas for up to six months and had allowed one person to accompany a patient. 

Economic Issues 

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 25 January 2013 revised the mechanism of the Offer for Sale (OFS). The board took the decision of revising the norms because the deadline for the promoters of the listed companies to offload their stake for meeting the minimum public shareholding norm of 25 percent by June 2013 is approaching. 

These revisions would make the norms much more efficient, transparent and economical. The quantity for cumulative bidding would be made available online for the market across the trading session at different intervals to take care of the orders that carries 100 percent upfront margin and also of the orders which have been placed without the upfront margin. The indicative price of the market would be disclosed for the market across the trading session and is calculated on the basis of bids and orders. 

The Union Minister for Commerce on 28 January 2013 launched an eBiz portal at the CII Partnership Summit in Agra. The portal is India’s Government-to-Business (G2B) portal developed by Infosys in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Model. 

This Mission Mode Project will mark a paradigm shift in the Government’s approach to providing Government-to-Business (G2B) services for India’s investor and business communities. 

Business Issues 

Toyota Motor acclaimed the title of top selling automaker of the world in 2012, recording the highest sales and beating its arch rivals Volkswagen and General Motors. 

On 28 January 2013, Toyota Motor announced that it sold 9.75 million vehicles across the world group-wide in 2012, which is a record in itself for the Japanese automaker. 


The President of India has approved the conferment of Padma Awards-2012. This year the President has approved 109 awards including one duo case (counted as one) and 14 in the category of Foreigners/ NRIs/ PIOs/ Posthumous. These comprise 5 Padma Vibhushan, 27 Padma Bhushan and 77 Padma Shri Awards. 

There are 19 ladies among the awardees. Padma Awards, the country’s highest civilian awards, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. 

The Awards are given in all disciplines/ fields of activities, viz. art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. 

‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year. 


Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on 26 January 2013 won the Women’s Singles title of the Australian Open Tennis tournament at Melbourne. The World Number One defeated Li Na of China, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final to win the title for the second successive time. 

The match lasted for 2-hour and 40-minutes which featured 16 service breaks, with Li losing her service nine times. Top seeded American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan won the men's doubles title. Americans Mike and Bob Bryan won their record 13th Grand Slam doubles title, defeating the Dutch team of Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling 6-3, 6-4. 

Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated Andy Murray of UK in four sets to win Australian Open 2013 final. The tournament was held in Melbourne. It was Djokovik’s third consecutive Australian Open title and fourth overall. 


Shah Rukh Khan, the Bollywood superstar topped the inaugural Forbes India Celebrity 100 list. The ranking was given based on the popularity as well as income of the biggest entertainers of India. Second on the list was Salman Khan and MS Dhoni followed in the third position. 


India on 26 January 2013 successfully test fired an underwater ballistic missile, K-15(code-named Bo5), with a strike range of around700 kilometres, from an underwater platform in Bay of Bengal. The medium range K-5 ballistic missile was test-fired from an underwater pontoon and all parameters of the test firing were met. 

The major features of K-15 are as following: K-15 is the 10-metre tall Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile(SLBM). India is only the fifth nation to have SLBM. The other four nations are Russia, China, France and USA. The process of integrating K-15 missile with INS Arihant, the indigenously built nuclear submarine will start now. India is also in the process of developing K-4 missile with a range of 3000 km. 



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