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2013 - August 6th - Current Affairs

International Issues

Japan on 6th August unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a huge flat-top destroyer that has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier. 

The ship, dubbed “Izumo”, has a flight deck that is nearly 250 metres long and is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters. Japanese officials say it will be used in national defence, particularly in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions and to bolster the nation’s ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale natural disasters, like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011. 

Though technically a destroyer, some experts believe the new Japanese ship could potentially be used in the future to launch fighter jets or other aircraft that have the ability to take off vertically. 

China launches first Giant Panda channel. China Network Television has installed 28 HD video cameras in five gardens at the Chengdu Research Base of the Giant Panda Breeding in the southwest Sichuan Province. 

Turkey on 6 August 2013 successfully completed a trial run of a rail tunnel under the Bosphorus Strait connecting Istanbul's European and Asian sides, the first of several planned mega projects in the country's largest city to see the light of day. 

The 13.6 km (8.5 mile) tunnel, including a 1.4 km immersed tube tunnel is the deepest of its kind in the world at 56 metres. It passes under Turkey's Bosphorus Strait, the busy shipping channel linking the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea. The tunnel is part of a larger 5 billion US dollars Marmaray project which also includes an upgrade of existing suburban rail lines to create a 76 km line that according to the government will carry 1.5 million people a day across the city's two sides. 

Construction on the tunnel began in 2004 by a Japanese-Turkish consortium, with funding coming from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). 

The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 6th August,2013 agreed to provide $ 400 million for reconstruction and rehabilitation in the disaster-hit areas in Uttarakhand. In a meeting presided by Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar, it was decided that the money would be spent in works in sectors including the housing, tourism, irrigation, agriculture, education, and health sector. 

State Principal Secretary Rakesh Sharma said of the total money received, $ 95 million would be spent in the construction of roads. Also, $ 20 million would be given to the five hydro-power projects that are funded by the ADB and have been damaged due to the mid-June catastrophe. Ninety percent of the $ 400 million will be paid back by the Central government and 10 percent will be paid by the State government. 

National Issues

Delhi Government on 5th August, 2013 decided to bring a new legislation to ensure better safety compliance in installation and maintenance of lifts, escalators and walk ways in the national capital. A meeting of Delhi Cabinet presided by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit approved draft of the Delhi Lifts and Escalators Bill, 2013 which provides for stricter norms for their testing and certification and penalty for the violators. 

Mrs Dikshit said that the Bill will be sent to the Centre for approval and after getting nod, the Bill will be tabled in Delhi Assembly. Currently, inspection of lifts are done as per provision of the Bombay Lifts Act, 1939. In an another decision, the Cabinet also decided to upgrade the status of workers engaged in de-silting and cleaning of sewer lines. 

As per the decision, the workers engaged in manually cleaning of sewer lines would now be termed as semi-skilled workers instead of unskilled workers. They will now get minimum wages of 8,528 rupees per month in stead of 7,722 rupees. Similarly, the workers engaged in mechanical cleaning of sewer lines would now be termed as skilled workers instead of unskilled workers. They will now get 9,386 rupees against the current salary of 7,722 rupees per month. 

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. has said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Transparency International India (TII), the coalitions against corruption, to promote corruption-free, fair and transparent business practices in the company.

The Centre proposes to revamp the Mid-Day Meal scheme during the 12th Five Year Plan by extending it to unaided private schools in tribal, Scheduled Castes and minority-dominated districts. The revamped scheme will also cover the children studying in pre-primary classes located in the premises of primary schools, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor said.

The Centre would also revise norms of assistance by enhancing cooking cost by basing the Mid-Day Meal price index exclusively on the basket of items.

The expert committee headed by Ajay Shankar to formulate a new national textiles policy is likely to submit its report by October this year. The government constituted an expert committee in June to review the National Textiles Policy 2000, and formulate the National Textiles Policy 2013.

The policy will give a direction to the sector as a whole, and address the needs of the industry for 21st century trade operations. The panel is headed by National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) member secretary Ajay Shankar,” Minister of State for Textiles Panabaaka Lakshmi said.

Economic Issues

The Government on 6th August approved twelve Foreign Direct Investment (FDI ) proposals amounting around 344 crore rupees. These proposals has been approved on the recommendations of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

These include 160 crore rupees proposal of Sutures Private Limited and over 93 crore rupees proposal of Dia Vikas Capital.

Business Issues

Microsoft, on 6th August, launched its Office 365 for full-time and part-time university students in India with a subscription offer. The Office 365 University includes the complete set of Office applications and can be installed on two PCs or Macs.

Microsoft has priced it at Rs.4,199 for a four-year subscription and is available for students studying in accredited colleges and universities.


Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram Rajan has been appointed as the new Governor of Reserve Bank of India. He succeeds incumbent D Subbarao who retires in September. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on August 6th, 2013 approved the new Governor's appointment for a period of three-year. Mr Rajan had earlier served as Chief Economist of International Monetary Fund.


A play called The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning by Tim Price became the first play to win the James Tait Black prize for drama, the new theatre category of the oldest literary awards of Britain. The play is about Bradley Manning, an American soldier who was convicted of discharging the US state secrets to Wikileaks.


Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi, the chess player from India won the Denmark's Politiken Cup on 5 July 2013 at Copenhagen, Denmark by gaining 9 out of the total possible 10 points. He defeated the seventh seed, Italian Sabino Brunello in just 31 moves of Ruy Lopez. Earlier, he won the same tournament in 2009.



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