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2013 - July 24 - Current Affairs

International Issues

India has been ranked third in the Global Consumer Confidence Index. The latest survey by the Nielsen reveals that in the second quarter of the current financial year, India slipped one point behind Indonesia and Philippines in the overall consumer confidence levels. 

Indonesia emerged as the most optimistic country with 124 points followed by Philippines with 121 points and India came third with 121 points. 

According to the survey, 72 percent Indians are optimistic about their job prospects in the next 12 months. The job security is the major concern followed by the state of Indian economy. 

Analysts say that the pattern is a reflection of the concerns of the devaluation of the rupee and the continuing inflation for urban Indians over the past six months. 

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions measures is based on consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions among more than 29,000 respondents with Internet access in 58 countries. 

National Issues

Union Tourism Minister Shri K Chiranjeevi launched the Project “Clean India Campaign” at Taj Mahal, Agra on July 24, 2013. Taj Mahal is the second heritage site to be covered under this project. 

The first being Qutub Minar Delhi which has been adopted by India Tourism Development Corporation in June 2012. Clean India Campaign has been initiated by the Ministry of Tourism with the objective to increase tourist arrivals to the country and to improve quality of services and provide a hygienic environment in and around tourist destinations across the country. 

On the request from the Tourism Minister, the Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) has agreed to adopt and upkeep the environs of Taj Mahal Complex including up gradation of tourist facilities in the monument. 

The ONGC will directly fund the aforesaid works covered under the Clean India Campaign to Archaeological Survey of India. Under the Clean India project issues pertaining to the heritage site are taken care of which include including providing drinking water facilities, cleaning, providing uniform signage’s in and around the premises, placing of garbage bins , various repair/replacement work, management and garbage clearance, landscaping, tourist help desks and deployment of volunteers for better management amongst others. 

Clean India Campaign is a multi pronged action and comprehensive strategy to ensure an acceptable level of cleanliness and hygiene practices at tourist destinations for an inclusive and sustainable development of tourism through ownership and involvement of private and public sector stakeholders. This initiative aims to create a collective mindset that promotes cleanliness and hygiene by a balance of persuasion, education, sensitization, training, demonstration, regulation and involvement of every individual. 

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has issued the Telecommunications Mobile Number Portability (Fifth Amendment) Regulations, 2013. After implementation of Mobile Number Portability, the Authority had received complaints from the subscribers of corporate mobile numbers that their porting requests have been rejected by the donor operators under the category “Contractual Obligation” for want of permission/authorization from the company/ corporate for porting such numbers.

The Authority examined the complaints, and a need was felt to have a porting process for corporate mobile numbers where the users of mobile numbers are from the organisation, who is the owner of such mobile numbers. 

Accordingly, TRAI placed draft Telecommunications Mobile Number Portability (Fifth Amendment) Regulations 2013 on its website for consultation of the stakeholders. Based on the stakeholder’s comments and TRAI’s own analysis, TRAI has issued the Telecommunications Mobile Number Portability (Fifth Amendment) Regulations. 

Salient features of this amendment are as following: 

1. Upto 50 corporate mobile numbers of a service provider can be ported to another service provider through letter of authorization from the authorized signatory of the corporate mobile numbers, in a single porting request 

2. These amendments will become effective 90 days from July 24, 2013, as the Telecom Service Providers and MNP service providers will require time to carryout required changes in their system. 

3. Considering the activities involved and number of mobiles to be processed in single porting request, 48 hrs have been allowed for forwarding the porting request by the Recipient Operator, for corporate mobile numbers whereas 24hrs remain unaltered for individual porting requests. 

Shri Praful Patel, Union Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, on July 24, 2013, launched the ‘Indian Electrical Equipment Industry Mission Plan 2022’.  

The Mission Plan seeks to steer, coordinate and synergise the efforts of all stakeholders to accelerate and sustain the growth of the domestic electrical equipment industry. 

It identifies five key areas for action: 

(i) Industry competitiveness; 
(ii) Upgrading technology; 
(iii) Skill development; 
(iv) Promotion of exports; and 
(v) Conversion of latent demand. 

Detailed recommendations have been formulated for strategic and policy interventions in these five critical areas that need to be addressed by the industry, with support from the government. 

The Mission Plan envisages to make India the country of choice for the production of electrical equipment and reach an output of US $100 billion by balancing imports and exports. It has been evolved by the Department of Heavy industry through an elaborate exercise involving all stakeholders and with the support of the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers’ Association (IEEMA). 

Bilateral Issues

India-Israel bilateral trade has grown up from a mere 200 million dollars in 1992 to 4.4 billion dollars in 2012. The two countries are working on a Free Trade Agreement, FTA to give impetus to the trade and commerce ties. The bilateral trade and commerce ties is set to get a boost with the upcoming visit of a high level FICCI delegation to Telaviv beginning on July 27. 

The five-day visit of business delegation to Israel from July 27-31 is aimed at increasing the market access of Indian products and technologies and explore the emerging investment opportunities.

The 6th Session of the India-Belarus Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation was held on July 24, 2013. 

The session was co-chaired from the Indian Side by Dr. E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and Mr. Dmitry S. Katerinich, Minister of Industry of the Republic of Belarus. 

The two Ministers also signed a Protocol after the Meeting. It was decided by both the sides that necessary steps will be taken to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Textiles, India and the Belarusian State Concern for Manufacturing and Marketing of Light Industry Goods (concern “Bellegprom”) on Cooperation in the Field of Textiles, Clothing and Fashion Industries. 

The Republic of Belarus also asked India to recognise Belarus as a market economy country. The Indian side responded that the matter is under active correspondence between the sides. 

India is considering the issue of grant of market economy status to Belarus within the framework of India’s Antidumping Rules. The Indian side stated that the matter is being examined positively and the official decision would be taken before the next session of the Commission. 

Both the sides also agreed to create a Certification Centre of Belarusian companies and professionals in the field of software at the earliest possible time. 

The Belarusian Side will provide a draft concept of the Certification Centre of Belarusian companies and professionals in the field of software to initiate negotiations with the Indian Side. 

The Belarusian delegation proposed to hold the 9th meeting of the Business Council “India-Belarus” in 2013 to promote the collaboration of business representatives, as well as agreed to define the dates of the National Exhibition (exposition) of the Republic of India during 2013-2014 in Minsk. 

India and China focused on additional confidence building measures in the two-day talks between the representatives of the two countries that ended in New Delhi on July 24, 2013. They also discussed in detail the measures to make working mechanism along the border more efficient to achieve this objective. 

The two sides reviewed recent developments in the border areas to enhance peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control. An External Affairs Ministry release said the two delegations also discussed the possibility of introducing an additional route for the Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra. 

The meeting of working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs was led by Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Gautam Bambawale and seniors officials of Defence and Home Ministries from the Indian side. The Chinese side was represented by a composite delegation of its officials. 


Afghanistan's first and only female governor and a humanitarian worker from the Kachin minority in Myanmar are among this year's recipients of a Philippine leadership prize Magsaysay. Habiba Sarabi was honoured for helping build a functioning local government and pushing for education and women's rights in Afghanistan's Bamyan province despite discrimination and poverty. 

Lahpai Seng Raw helps rehabilitate damaged communities amid armed conflict in Myanmar. The Ramon Magsaysay Awards announced July 24, 2013, honours three individuals and two organisations for changing their societies for the better. 


India’s K. Jennitha Anto became the world chess champion for the disabled after winning the 13th IPCA World women’s individual championship in Velke Losiny, Czech Republic. 

Hailing from Tamil Nadu, Jennitha scored 4.5 points from nine rounds after winning three, drawing three and losing three games. 



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