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2013 - August - 16 and 17 - Current Affairs

International Issues

A part of the York Avenue leading to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, capital of Manitoba province, in Canada got its new name on 15 August 2013. 

The street was named Honorary Mahatma Gandhi Way, after the name of Mahatma Gandhi. The street was named so on the occasion of India’s 67th Independence Day. 

National Issues

National Rural Health Mission has approved a sum of 330 crore rupees for setting up of 19 Community Health Centres, 79 Primary Health Centres and 286 Sub-Centres in Haryana. 

The government is set to make changes in the current Foreign Direct Investment-FDI policy in the pharmaceuticals sector to protect domestic generic industry. The step is being taken in the wake of increasing acquisitions of homegrown companies by foreign players. 

A high level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decuded that Commerce and Industry Ministry will soon start a consultation process to address dangers inherent current model of FDI for the homegrown pharma companies. 

The Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on 16 August 2013 unveiled the National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme that will be implemented on pan-India basis, in New Delhi. This is the first such kind of a scheme launched in India. The scheme was proposed by the Union Finance Minister in 2012-13 Union Budget in order to allocate 1000 crore Rupees.

The objective of the scheme is to motivate the youth for acquiring vocational skills. In the first year of implementation, the scheme would facilitate benefit to around a million people. The scheme is branded as STAR (Standard Training Assessment and Reward) and is meant for promotional purposes which envisage the monetary reward, which in turn will in essence financially help those who wish to acquire a new skill or upgrade their skills to a higher level.

The major highlights of the scheme are as follows:

• A 1000 crore Rupees pan-India scheme launched by the Ministry of Finance 

• Branded as STAR – Standard Training Assessment and Reward 

• Objective is to benefit 1 million people 

• Scheme to be implemented by National Skill Development Corporation 

• Each tested and certified trainee to get an average of 10000 Rupees in order to cover training costs

About National Skill Development Corporation:

• National Skill Development Corporation is a body under the Ministry of Finance.

• It is one of its kinds public private partnership endeavour with 51 percent equity held by private sector and 49 percent by the Union Government. 

• Formed in 2010, NSDC is a professionally run not-for-profit company that includes 22 Sector Skill Councils and 87 training partners with over 2500 training centres spread across 352 districts in the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set up a panel to assess the status of Scheduled Tribes to ensure their upliftment, particularly in socio-economic, health and education fields. National Advisory Council member Virginius Xaxa will head the seven-member committee. 

An official statement said, the committee has been asked to submit its report in nine months. The panel will prepare a report on the overall socio-economic, health and educational status of the tribal communities of the country. 

The report will give an idea about the areas requiring government intervention to support the tribal communities. The committee will also suggest policy initiatives as well as effective outcome-oriented measures to improve development indicators and strengthen public service delivery to STs and other tribal populations. 

It will also look into the geographical pattern of their economic activity and explore what newer avenues of employment and livelihood are available to them. 

The Election Commission of India for the first time decided to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in the 4 September 2013 by-poll to the Noksen Assembly constituency in Nagaland. 

Bilateral Issues

India on Aug 16, 2013 assured Bhutan of assistance in financing, executing and monitoring its 11th Five Year Plan in a proficient and effective way. Special Secretary of Development Partnership Administration P S Raghavan and his six-member Indian delegation called on Bhuta Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay at the Gyalyong Tshokhag. 

Raghavan assured India's assistance in financing,executing and monitoring the 11th Five Year Plan. Prime Minister Tobgay thanked the delegation and said he looked forward to successful discussions. 

India earlier had assured Bhutan of its assistance and support in addressing the economic situation. The assurance was made when National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh called on Bhutan's new Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay in Thimphu. 

The first round of Bhutan-lndia Development Cooperation talks between the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Government of India are ongoing in Thimphu. 


Multi-millionaire businessman Horacio Cartes has been sworn in as the President of Paraguay in a ceremony in the capital, Asuncion. 

Senior IPS officer Dilip Trivedi on 17 August 2013 was appointed the Director General of CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. He succeeded Pranay Sahay who retired on 31 July 2013. CRPF is India’s largest paramilitary force. 


Rafael Nadal of Spain defeated Canada's Milos Raonic 6-2 6-2 in the final of the men's Rogers Cup on 11 August 2013 in Montreal, Canada. This is the Nadal’s third Rogers Cup title. He was also won Rogers cup in 2005 and 2008. 

With this victory Rafael Nadal completed his 25th ATP World Tour Masters title and lifted his eighth tour-level trophy of the season.



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