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2013 - August - 24 to 28 - Current Affairs

International Issues

Global digital measurement and analytics comScore stated in its report that India is the world’s third largest Internet user after China and USA. At present, India has almost 74 million Internet users which is a 31 percent increase over March 2012. Significantly, three-fourths of its online population is under 35. The numbers are lower than other recent estimates, possibly reflecting comScore’s methodology that only factors in PC and laptop-based Internet usage. 

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) registered the number of Internet subscribers in India at 164.81 million on 31 March 2013. Seven out of eight users were accessing the Internet from their mobile phones. While the comScore report puts mobile and tabled-based Internet traffic at just 14 percent of the total. Mobile phone based Internet usage is a major component of Indian Internet usage. 

The foreign ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) on 23 August 2013 after consultations agreed on the following statement: 

IBSA reaffirms that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains an urgent and key issue for the international community, the resolution of which is a prerequisite for building a sustainable and lasting peace in the Middle East region. 

They support the mediation efforts undertaken by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and welcome the announcement of the resumption of direct final status negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. This is an encouraging development, one that has the potential for reverting the deadlock and paralysis that have plagued the peace process in recent years. 

They hope this renewed effort will lead to the full and overdue realization of a two-state solution based on 1967 borders. IBSA has noted with satisfaction the decision of Israel to release 104 Palestinian prisoners, which is a gesture that contributes to the spirit of cooperation surrounding the negotiations. 

IBSA is also pleased with the announcement made on 30 July by John Kerry indicating that the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are committed to reaching a comprehensive peace agreement within nine months. Such an agreement should culminate in the full realization of an independent Palestinian State. IBSA call on the parties to adhere strictly to this timetable. 

As IBSA reiterates its call for the Security Council to fully exercise its functions under the UN Charter, with regard to the Palestinian Question, we express our firm belief that the Council should provide sustained support to the peace process and work towards its full and satisfactory completion. 

During Afghan President Hamid Karzai's visit to Pakistan on 26 August 2013, the two countries agreed to deepen the bilateral relationship, with a particular focus on expanded trade, economic cooperation, and trans-regional projects for connectivity. Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to construct a dam over Kunar River in Afghanistan which will supply electricity to both the countries. 

The two nations also held talks on contentious issues particularly the on the issue of crossing of Taliban militants from Pakistan into Afghanistan. This is President Karzai’s first visit since the democratic transition in Pakistan and the formation of the new government in June 2013. 

The visit reflects the readiness on both sides to work together for the furtherance of shared objectives of peace, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond. 

Bangladesh Government on 25 August 2013 released the world's first zinc-enriched rice variety capable of fighting diarrhoea and pneumonia-induced childhood deaths and stunted growth. 

The National Seed Board of Bangladesh gave its approval to the country's first biologically fortified rice variety, which will be available to farmers for cultivation in the next aman season beginning June -November 2014. 

Aman season is monsoon season of Bangladesh (June to November) and the major crop of Aman season is rice. The zinc-enriched variety developed in Bangladesh has the maximum zinc content ranging from 20-22 ppm as against the world average of 14-16 ppm in other varieties. 

It also has a shorter maturity period of 100 days against 110-120 days for other fortified varieties giving the advantage of releasing the land for growing vegetables. 

National Issues

National Media Center was inaugurated at New Delhi by the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh and Chairperson of UPA, Sonia Gandhi on 24 August 2013. 

Following are the facts regarding the National Media Centre :

• The National Media Centre (NMC) was initially conceptualized by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India in 1989 to facilitate greater interaction between the Government and the media with a state-of-the-art equipped media centre. The National Media Centre has been planned on the model of media centres in some of the capitals of the world such as Washington and Tokyo. It will have offices of the PIB as well as special facilities for the media to enable the Government to interact closely with the media. 

• The National Media Centre located at 7-E, Raisina Road is in the centre of the city with proximity to Rashtrapati Bhawan, Government offices, Vigyan Bhavan and Parliament House - the news hub of Government activities. The location will cut distance and travel time between events for dignitaries and the media personnel. 

• The National Media Centre has a Press Conference Hall for 283 media persons, a briefing room for about 60 persons, 24 Work stations for the media, a library, media lounge and cafeteria. The press conference hall and media lounge are wi-fi enabled. 

• The project is aimed at further improving the dissemination of information about Government’s policies and programmes. The effort is to meet the requirements of the international and Indian media for their professional and communication needs within the overall Government of India framework of information dissemination. The facilities provided will dovetail with current technological advancement in visual and print media. 

Book entitled Ghalib & His Times was released by the Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari on 23 August 2013 at a function organised in New Delhi. 

The book has been brought out by the Ghalib Institute. The book portrays history through photographs and is a very valuable book for all to know the contemporary history. 

The World Bank assisted National AIDS Control Support Project was launched by the Department of AIDS Control, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in New Delhi on 24 August 2013. Over 99.5 percent of India’s population is free from HIV now. Accordingly the focus of the programme has been on prevention of spread of HIV, while ensuring access to treatment and care for all HIV infected persons. 

The cost of the project is 2550 crore rupees. National AIDS Control Support Project has been launched to help and accelerate the country’s AIDS prevention programme by targeting high risk groups (Female Sex Workers - FSW, Men who have Sex with Men - MSM, Injecting Drug Users – IDU), and vulnerable population (Migrants and Truckers) who are at high risk of getting HIV infection in New Delhi. 

The World Bank is supporting this project with an interest-free loan of 1275 crore rupees. The formulation of NACSP was a consultative process where in Civil Society Organizations, community groups, donor partners and international organizations contributed. 

The groups met in June-July, 2011 where in all the strategies were chalked out. NACSP will contribute to three of the five strategies of the National AIDS Control Programme IV: 

(i) the prevention component, 
(ii) the behaviour change component, and 
(iii) the institutional strengthening component. 

The two other components, namely, the provision of care, treatment and support to people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) and strategic information management systems (SIMS), including disease surveillance, will be supported by the national budget, with technical and financial support from other donors. 

The main support of the Project will be provided for the scaling up of HIV prevention interventions, with a focus on the high impact and cost-effective targeted interventions for population groups at high risk, and part of Information Education and Communication (IEC) including behavior change and demand generation. 

The Project will also support further strengthening of its project management including human resource support and technical support for TIs. By scaling up targeted interventions and prevention services, it is estimated that the project will cover about 90 percent of the high risk groups and avert about 3 million new infections by 2017. 

The project will also support the Department of AIDS Control in undertaking prevention programmes as well as expand communication and advocacy programmes that promote safe behaviour and discourage stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS. Of the total project cost of 510 million US dollars, 255 million US dollars will be financed by the World Bank through a credit from the International Development Association (IDA). 

The Rajya Sabha on 26 August 2013 passed The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 by voice vote. It seeks to amend the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and the Special Marriages Act, 1954 which provides for irretrievable breakdown on marriage as a ground for divorce as well as grants women the right to a share in the property of their husbands. 

Under the new bill, a provision has been made to restrict the grant of decree of divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage if the court is satisfied that adequate provision for the maintenance of children born out of the marriage has not been made consistently with the financial capacities of the parents. 

The bill allows wife to oppose grant of divorce on the basis that a dissolution of marriage will lead to grave financial hardships. The court can also restrict grant of divorce if it is not satisfied about adequate provision for maintenance of children born of marriage. 

The bill also has provisions that the court shall not hold marriage to have broken down irretrievably unless it is satisfied that the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of not less than three years before filing petition for divorce. 

As per the data released by Ministry of Tourism on 26 August 2013, the number of foreign tourists visiting India has shown a steady increase in the past three years. The number of foreign tourist visits has increased to 207.31 lakh in 2012 as compared to 194.97 lakh in 2011 and 179.10 lakh during 2010. This shows an increase of almost 16 per cent in the past two years. The highest number of foreign tourists inflow was recorded in Maharashtra at 51.20 lakh followed by Tamilnadu at 35.62 lakh and Delhi at 23.46 lakh in the year 2012. 

The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism has also shown a significant growth rising to 94487 crores rupees in 2012 as compared to 77591 crores rupees in 2011 and 64889 crores rupees in 2010. This marks an increase of around 46 per cent in the three year period from 2010 to 2012. 

The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) is estimated as 50448 crores rupees in the period January to June 2013. The number of Domestic Tourist Visits (DTVs) to States/UTs has also shown an impressive growth of around 39 per cent in the past three years. The number of DTVs in 2012 is estimated at 103.64 crores as compared to 74.77 crores in the year 2010. 

The Rajya Sabha on 27 August 2013 unanimously passed the Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013 to amend the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1951. The bill will turn over the order of Supreme Court to ban the people in custody or jail from contesting the elections. The amendment, after being approved by the Lok Sabha, will maintain rights of people in jail to contest polls. 

The Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013 being passed by the Rajya Sabha seeks to add the provision to sub-section (2) of section 62 of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1951. The sub-section (2) of section 62 states that a person is not ceased to be a voter while being in detention because his/her rights are only temporarily suspended. It is important to note that on 10 July 2013, the Supreme Court of India upheld the decision of Patna High Court that people in police custody cannot contest the polls. 

What is the Representation of People Act, 1951? 

The Representation of People Act, 1951 is the Act of Parliament of India, which explains about the conduct of the elections of both the Houses of the Parliament. 

The Act also explains about the qualifications and disqualifications for the membership of these houses, offences or the corrupt practices. The Act came into force by the provisional parliament under Article 379 of Indian Constitution. 

The Representation of People Act, 1951 was amended various times. The most notable amendment was the one which abolished election tribunals. The election petitions were thus transferred to the High Courts of India, the orders of which could be appealed to the Supreme Court of India. 

Lok Sabha on 26 August 2013 passed the National Food Security Bill 2013. The Bill was adopted by the House through a voice vote after a day-long debate. The Bill seeks to give legal rights to get subsidized grains every month to 67 percent of the overall population (of which 75 percent is rural and 50 percent is urban population). 

As per the provisions of the Bill, the responsibility to identify the beneficiaries and implement the program under the Targeted Public Distribution Scheme is the responsibility of the states. The passage of the Bill in Parliament will guarantee 5 kilograms of rice, wheat and coarse cereals per month per person at the highly subsidised rates of 1-3 rupees a Kg. During the passage of the Bill, an Amendment to Clause 8 of the Bill was suggested by the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj on which a revote was done. The amendment was declared null and void as the result of division displayed, 252 supports and 141 disagreements, making a total of 393 votes. Once the Bill gets its nod in the Rajya Sabha and President’s accent, India will join the selected league of countries that guarantee food grants to a majority of its population. 

Article 79 of the Constitution of Indian mentions about the provisions of the Constitution of a Parliament in the country: There shall be a Parliament for the Union, which shall consist of the President and two Houses to be known respectively as the Council of States and the House of the People. Earlier, the proposal to promulgate an Ordinance to implement National Food Security Bill in the country was passed by the Union Government of India on 3 July 2013, which was replaced by the Bill in the 2013 monsoon session of Parliament to make it a law. 

The Union Government of India on 26 August 2013 set up a commission under the chairmanship of Parthasarathy Shome to review tax laws and suggest ways for a stable and non-adversarial tax administration. The seven-member Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC) will have a 18-month tenure to suggest various measures including an appropriate organisational structure for tax governance. 

Commission members:

• Chairman: Parthasarathy Shome. 
• Full-time members: Y G Parande and Sunita Kaila 
• Part-time members: M K Zutshi, S S N Moorhty, M R Diwakar and S Mahalingam 

The Terms of Reference of the Commission:

• The Commission will review the existing mechanism and business processes of tax governance and recommend appropriate measures. It will also suggest measures for deepening and widening of the tax base and enforce better tax compliance. 

• The commission will review the existing mechanism of dispute resolution covering time and compliance cost and recommend measures for strengthening the same. This includes domestic and international taxation. 

• The Commission will also look into enhancing the predictive analysis to detect and prevent tax and economic offences. 

• The Commission will recommend measures to strengthen inter-agency information sharing between CBDT, CBEC, FIU, Enforcement Directorate, and also with the banking and financial sector. 

• The commission would also look at mechanism for grievance redressal, timely disbursal of tax refunds and duty drawbacks. 

The committee, which was proposed by the Finance Minister P Chidambaram in Budget 2013-14 seeks to review the application of tax policies and tax laws and submit periodic reports that can be implemented to strengthen the capacity of the tax system. 

The Union Government of India on 25 August 2013 announced that an estimated 614.3 lakh tonnes of food grains would be required to ensure successful implementation of the proposed Food Security Act (FSA) as against the existing requirement of 563.7 lakh tonnes for Targeted Public Distribution System. 

The Government has also stated that the procurement will be done after ensuring that the farmers get more for their produce. The current MSP (Minimum Support Price) decided for wheat is 12.85 rupees per kilogram. For paddy the MSP has been decided at 12.50 rupees per kilogram. The Government has also announced that for proper implementation of the Food Security Act, procurement operations would be further extended. 

The implementation of the proposed act will ensure food grains at highly subsidized prices to about 75 percent of village population. This Act will allow the Government to provide wheat available at 2 rupees per kilogram and rice at the rate of 3 rupees per kilogram. Access to highly subsidized food grains to small farmers under proposed Food Security Act and assured MSP for their produce will ease the burden on their earnings and allow them the option to spend the money so saved on other necessities. Hence it will help to improve their quality of life. Therefore, contrary to dissuading farmers from producing more, the Act will in fact encourage them to produce more. 

The government has set a target of 259 million tonnes of foodgrain production for the year 2013-14. Centre is implementing various crop development programmes and schemes through states for achieving production targets of various crops such as Rice, Wheat, Pulses and Coarse Cereals. 

Programmes including National Food Security Mission and Bringing Green Revolution in Eastern India and Crop Diversification are being implemented to increase production and productivity of different field crops. Demonstration on high yielding varieties, distribution of seed of improved varieties, resource conservation techniques and cropping system based training are being taken up to achieve the target. 

Bilateral Issues

Nouri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister of Republic of Iraq was on a state visit to India from 22 to 25 August 2013. During his visit and stay in India, he met with the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh and President of Indian Union, Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari and several other dignitaries. This was the first visit of Maliki to India. During his visit, he was accompanied by a high-level delegation that comprised ministers, senior officials and business leaders. 

Prime Minister Maliki was accorded a ceremonial welcome in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 23 August. The Prime Ministers of both the nations exchanged views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest and reached a broad consensus. The discussions enabled better understanding and appreciation of each other’s concerns and perspectives and helped in forging closer understanding at the highest political level. During the state visit of al Maliki to India, several MoUs were inked between the two nations. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) signed include: 

1. MoU in the field of Energy between the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq. – The MoU was signed between, Veerappa Moily, the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Abdul Kareem Luaibi Bahedh, Minister of Oil of Iraq. The MoU envisages cooperation in the areas of upstream and downstream oil & gas activities and related infrastructure. 

The areas includes are: 

• Conclusion of contract of Exploration Block-8 awarded to ONGC Videsh Limited • Offer of data of Middle Furat group of Fields for due diligence 
• Natural Gas 
• Petroleum Refineries 
• Training 

2. MoU between the Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq on Foreign Office Consultations. – The MoU was signed between, Ashok K. Kantha, Secretary (East), MEA and Nazar Al-Khairullah, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq. The signed MoU It enables high ranking officials from Foreign Ministries of both countries to discuss periodically bilateral and international relations of mutual interest. 

3. MoU between the Foreign Service Institutes of MEA and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq. – The MoU was signed between, Nengcha Lhouvum, Dean, Foreign Service Institute and Nazar Al-Khairullah, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq. This MoU It enables exchange of information regarding structure and content of training programmes for diplomats. 

4. MOU between the Ministry of Water Resources of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Water Resources of the Republic of Iraq on Bilateral Cooperation in Water Resources Development and management. – The MoU was signed between Alok Rawat, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resource Development and Ahmad Tahsin Ahmad Berwari, Ambassador of Iraq to India. 

The MOU envisages cooperation at the national, regional and international levels in the field of water resources management and development by collaboration and sharing of expertise in the following areas: 

• Project hydrology, practicing hydrology and hydrological modeling, applications of remote sensing & GIS in hydrology and water resources, integrated water resources development and management, flood and drought management, irrigation and drainage surface and groundwater management and development minor irrigation, modernisation/renovation of old irrigation schemes, hydrometeorology, watershed, lakes and wetlands development dam safety and surveillance, reservoir regulation, training and capacity building ,micro irrigation, any other field related to water resources management and irrigation as may be agreed upon between the parties. 

Apart from this, during his visit, the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, while addressing the gathering of Indian industrialists in Mumbai on 24 August 2013 called upon the Indian industries to invest in Iraq. He said that there existed huge investment opportunities in Iraq in the sector like energy, IT, refineries, fertilisers, infrastructure, health and education. Nouri al-Maliki also ensured that his government would speed up the visa procedures for investments and opening up of the branches of Indian Banks in Iraq and will provide all possible help to Indian industries willing to set up their projects in Iraq. 

The 2nd Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan H.E. Mohammad Karim Khalili, was on an Official Visit to India on 20-22 August 2013 upon the invitation of Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari. 

The Vice President of Afghanistan was accompanied by a high level Ministerial and official delegation from Afghanistan which includes Afghan economy minister Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, higher education minister Obaidullah Obaid and Afghan army chief of staff Sher Mohammad Karimi. His visit was aimed at implementing the commitments which were agreed between Kabul and New Delhi. Vice President Khalili's visit, after President Karzai’s visit in May 2013, carries forward the high-level engagement between the two countries. During this visit, India and Afghanistan held talks on security related issues. 


Bollywood actor and UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) Goodwill Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan on 23 August 2013 joined the UN and its humanitarian partners to promote The World Needs More global campaign. The campaign seeks to turn words into real assistance for communities affected by humanitarian crises. It was launched on 19 August 2013. 

Besides Amitabh Bachchan, international celebrities who have supported the campaign, includes Beyonce, Kid President, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Geena Davis, Trey Songz and Christina Applegate. The World Needs More campaign was produced in collaboration with Leo Burnett New York. It allows brands and the public to sponsor a word (such as Education, Inclusion, Strength, Empowerment or Dialogue) they believe the world could use more of. 

Gucci, Intel, Western Union, Barclays Bank, and Crescent Enterprises have already sponsored words. Amitabh Bachchan was appointed a Goodwill ambassador of UNICEF April 2005. Since 2002 he has supported UNICEF’s efforts in collaboration with partners to boost immunizations against polio especially in India. 

The Indian classical singer and music director, Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi passed away on 25 August 2013 in Bhubaneswar. He was 80 years of age. He is known as the vocalist of Jayadeva’s Gita Govind. He died because of cardiac arrest. He is survived by two sons. 

Former athlete Henry Rebello died in Gurgaon on 27 August 2013 after a long illness. He had represented India in the 1948 Olympic Games in London. 

Indian Weightlifting Federation President Birendra Prasad Baishya was appointed as the chairman of the Ethics Commission of the International Weightlifting Federation in Beijing in the executive board meeting. His term will be of four years. 


England cricket team won Ashes Test Series-2013 by 3-0 against Australia on 25 August 2013 at England. England and Australia drew the fifth Test as the Ashes series ended in a dramatic draw on the final day at The Oval on 25 August 2013. With this fifth test match draw England finished the five-match contest as 3-0 winners having triumphed in three successive Test series against Australia for the first time since the 1950s. (England won ashes series in 2009,2011, 2013). 

England retained the Ashes after the third Test match was drawn to give them an unassailable 2–0 lead in the series. England took an unbeatable 3–0 lead in the series with a 74-run win in the fourth Test at Chester-le-Street. Alastair Cook captained the England Side in the tournament, whereas, Michael Clarke captained the Australian team. Players of the series Ian Bell (England) and RJ Harris (Australia) Leading run-scorers 562 Ian Bell (Eng) - average 62.44 418 Shane Watson (Aus) - average 41.80 388 Kevin Pietersen (Eng) - average 38.80 Leading wicket-takers 26 Graeme Swann (Eng) - average 29.03 24 Ryan Harris (Aus) - average 19.58 22 Stuart Broad (Eng) - average 27.45 

History of Ashes Series:

The Ashes is a Test cricket series which has been played between England and Australia since 1882. The Ashes is played biennially between England and Australia taking turns to host it. The Ashes series consists of five Test matches; if a series is drawn, the country holding the Ashes retains series. 

The Ashes series is named after a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times, in 1882 after a match at the Oval in which Australia beat England on an English ground for the first time. 

The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. The English media dubbed the next English tour to Australia (1882–83) as the quest to regain the Ashes. 

India’s under-23 cricket team won the Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore on 25 August 2013, beating Pakistan by nine wickets in the final match. After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Pakistan’s under-23 team was all out for 159 in 47 overs and India chased down Pakistan’s total in 33.4 overs. India U-23 had earlier beaten UAE in semi-finals. 

India’s opening batsman Lokesh Rahul was awarded man-of-the-match for his 93 not out in the final. The U.A.E.’s Shaiman Anwar was named as player of the tournament for his two centuries, against Bangladesh and Singapore, as well as a half-century against Sri Lanka. Suryakumar Yadav captained the Indian Side in the tournament, whereas, Hammad Azam captained the Pakistan team. 

About The ACC Emerging Teams Cup: 

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Emerging Teams Cup has been created by the Asian Cricket Council for the specific cause of developing the talents of the most prominent young cricketers of Asia. The Emerging Teams Cup 2013 featured under-23 teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and the senior teams from Afghanistan, the U.A.E., Nepal and Singapore, which hosted the event. This was its inaugural edition. 

Indian tennis player Sania Mirza lifted the women’s doubles trophy at the WTA New Haven Open along with her partner Jie Zheng of China on 24 August 2013. Third seeded Sania and Jie defeated the second-seeded pair of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Katarina Srebotnik 6-3, 6-4 in the summit clash. This is Sania Mirza's 17th WTA doubles title and the third Title in 2013 and Jie Zheng's 15th WTA doubles title and the first in last two years. Each player had won New Haven once previously: Sania with Mara Santangelo in 2007 and Zheng with Yan Zi in 2006. 

About New Haven Open: The New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara is a professional tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts. It is a Premier tournament on the WTA Tour. Until 2010 the tournament was a part of the ATP World Tour 250 series of the ATP Tour. It is held annually at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center in New Haven, Connecticut, United States, just before the fourth and last Grand Slam tournament of the year, the US Open. 

Soumyajit Ghosh, the table tennis national champion defeated Anthony Amalraj 4-1 to retain his men's singles title at the Institutional Table Tennis Championships, which concluded in Dharwad on 27 August 2013. 

In the women’s category, the singles title was won by women's national champion K Shamini who defeated Poulomi Ghatak 4-0. Both men and women titles were thus retained by the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board. 


Malala Yousafzai on 27 August 2013 won the International Children’s Peace Prize 2013. She will receive the award from 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner and women's rights campaigner Tawakkol Karman at a ceremony in The Hague on 6 September 2013. The peace prize carries a cash value of 100000 euros (133000 US dollars) which is invested in projects relating to the winner's cause. 

The International Children's Peace Prize is an initiative of the Amsterdem-based Dutch KidsRights Foundation. It was launched in the year 2005 by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, when he chaired the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Rome. Since then, the prize has been awarded every year by a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. 

The prize is presented annually to an exceptional child, whose courageous or otherwise remarkable actions have made a difference in countering problems, which affect children around the world. The motivation behind the prize is to provide a platform to children to express their ideas and personal involvement in children’s rights. KidsRights feels that children should be recognized, awarded and motivated in their fierce efforts to improve their own situation and that of the children in their environment and even the world. 

The International Children's Peace Prize is sponsored by ABN AMRO and AkzoNobel. ABN AMRO is the main sponsor of the Children’s Peace Prize and AkzoNobel provides the project fund; the AkzoNobel Children’s Peace Fund. This fund supports local initiatives in the theme and country of the Children’s Peace Prize winner. Teenage activist Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban militant in October 2012 after she campaigned for girls' right to education. She was treated in Britain where she lives now. 

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. 2012 International Children’s Peace Prize’s winner was 13-year-old Cris Kesz Valdez for his work with street children of Philippines while he himself was destitute. Cris had received the prize from South African peace icon and Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu. 

24th National Photo Contest was organised by the Photo Division, a Media Unit of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on the theme Sustainable Energy for All on 22 August 2013 at All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society complex. A prize distribution ceremony was orgainsed to give away the prizes to the winners in the various categories. A Photo exhibition was also inaugurated on this occasion. 

Winners of the Photo Contest include Winners of Colour Section:

• Chinmoy Bhattacharjee of Kolkata won 1st Prize 
• Santosh Kumar Jana of Midnapur (E) won 2nd Prize 
• Rishabh Mittal of Indore bagged first won 3rd Prize Commendation Awards in Colour Section 
• Seshadri Moitra from Udaipur 
• Cretan Soni from Dhar 
• Shib Narayan Acharya from Jammu 
• Piyush Rangnekar from Indore 
• Banwari R. Rajput from Ahmedabad 
• Prachi Tiwari from Indore 
• Somnath Mukhopadhyay from Birbhum 
• Devendra Sharma and Puranjit Gangopadhyay from Kolkata 
• Prasanta Biswas from Kolkata. 

The jury of the photo contest included Bhupesh C. Little of EFIAP from Lucknow, Sunil Malhotra, an eminent news photo journalist from New Delhi, Hemendra A. Shah, an eminent photographer from Ahmedabad, Govind Bhattacharjee, Director General, CAG & a noted photographer and Debatosh Sengupta, Director, Photo Division. The jury met on 1-2 June 2013 to screen all the entries and selected three prize winning entries and ten for commendation prizes in colour section as well as two commendation prizes in Black & White section. 

Apart from this the Jury also selected 77 photographs (7 Black & White and 70 colour) for exhibition keeping in view the theme of the contest “SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FOR ALL”. A total number of 439 photographs were received from 105 entrants from 13 States and UT’s. The first prize carries cash of. 25000 Rupees, second prize 20000 Rupees and third prize 15,000 Rupees and commendation award 5000 Rupees along with a plaque and citation. 

Science and Technology

NASA-funded lunar research conducted by NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) on 27 August 2013 unveiled about the evidence of water which was locked in the mineral grains on the surface of the moon from unknown source that was present beneath the surface of the Moon. The scientists remotely detected about the presence of magmatic water, using the data from NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. Magmatic water is the water which has the source of origin from within the interior of the moon or on the surface of Moon. The findings represented the first detection of this form of water on the Moon. The previous studies had shown existence of the magmatic water in the lunar samples which were brought on the Earth by the Apollo program. M3 instrument imaged the lunar impact crater Bullialdus. The Bullialdus lies near lunar equator. 

The scientists wanted to study this particular area because it would have enabled them to quantify the amount of water in the rocks, in a better form. The crater’s location as well as the kinds of rocks on it enabled the scientists to get a better understanding about this. The central peak of Bullialdus is composed of the kind of rock which forms deep inside the lunar crust and mantle when magma is captured underground. Rachel Klima, a planetary geologist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md, explained that the rock which usually lives beneath the surface was excavated from the depths of the lunar surface. In comparison with its surroundings, it was found that central portion of Bullialdus contained considerable amount of hydroxyl - a molecule consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom. This proved that the rocks in the Bullialdus contained water which had the source somewhere beneath the surface of the Moon. In the year 2009, M3 had provided the first mineralogical map of the lunar surface. It had also discovered the water molecules in polar areas of the Moon. 

The water found on the lunar surface is considered to be the thin layer formed from solar wind which hits the Moon. Bullialdus crater lies in the region with unfavorable environment for solar wind in order to produce huge amounts of water on lunar surface. The detection of water from lunar orbit will enable the scientists to test some other findings from sample studies in much broader sense. For years, scientists believed that rocks from the Moon were dry and that there was no water. The water detected in Apollo samples was thought to be contaminated from Earth. 

Who conducted the research?: APL or Applied Physics Laboratory is the non-profit division of Johns Hopkins University. The paper which described about the detected of water on the Moon was co-authored by Joshua Cahill and David Lawrence of APL and Justin Hagerty of the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. The research was supported by NASA's Lunar Advanced Science and Engineering Program, the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) at Ames and the NASA Planetary Mission Data Analysis Program. NLSI is the virtual organization jointly funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate and NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington. 



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