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2013 - August 29 to 31 - Current Affairs

International Issues

The second ADMM (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting) Plus meeting was held in Brunei on 29 August 2013. The Ministers issued a joint Declaration at the end of the meeting in which it has been decided that the ADMM Plus countries will establish practical measures that reduce vulnerability to miscalculation and avoid misunderstanding and undesirable incidents at sea. Among other decisions taken at the meeting of the ADMM Plus, was the establishment of an additional (sixth) Expert Working Group on Humanitarian Mine Action which will be co-chaired by India with Vietnam. 

ADMM Plus was established in 2010. It was built with the objective of developing synergy and cooperative frameworks to enable nations to address the complex security challenges. This forum is convened every two years. The Minister of State for Defence Shri Jitendra Singh represented India at the meeting. 

India’s stance at ADMM Plus meeting: 

India stated that terrorism represents a major threat to the peace, stability and security of the entire region. India urged that the global regime against terrorism needs to be strengthened through the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN. India stressed on to combine efforts to ensure that terrorist sanctuaries, safe havens and the networks for financing to terrorist groups are dismantled. 

India supported that the reconciliation process must be Afghan- led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, within the framework of the Afghan constitution and internationally accepted redlines.The recent attack against our Consulate in Jalalabad will not deter us in our efforts to assist Afghanistan in the reconstruction and development efforts. 

India supported calls for stopping of violence and commencement of an inclusive national dialogue to resolve the conflict through peaceful political means in Syria. India expressed deep concern about the nuclear test conducted by North Korea in February 2013. India also stressed on the need to discuss maritime security in this region.

The Chinese and Pakistani air forces on 28 August 2013 decided to hold a joint exercise in a region bordering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. 

The exercise, code-named Shaheen (Eagle)-2, is another cooperative project between the two air forces after the Shaheen-1 drill in Pakistan in March 2011. 

The drill between the two close allies is being held ahead of an India-China military exercise planned for November 2013. The exercise, codenamed Hand-in-Hand, is scheduled to be held in China's Chengdu Military Command area from November 4 to 14 2013. India and China are expected to field about 150 troops each for the exercise, which is likely to focus on anti-terrorism manoeuvres. 

Air India launched its direct flights to Sydney and Melbourne on 29 August 2013, after a wide gap of 22 years. The flight had more than 60 domestic transfer passengers as well as over 40 international transit passengers, out of which 20 were from London. 

30 August was declared as the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances by the UN General Assembly expressing its concern by the increase in the number of involuntary or enforced disappearances in different parts of the world. The UN General Assembly declared this day by its resolution 65/209, on 21 December 2010. 

The UN General Assembly, by this same resolution also welcomed the adoption of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. 

The involuntary or enforced disappearances are a result of abduction, detention or arrest or other factors or reasons. Also, there are growing numbers of reports which include ill-treatment, harassment as well as intimidation of the witnesses of these disappearances or of the persons or the relatives who have disappeared. 

What is Enforced Disappearance ? 

Enforced disappearance has been used a lot in order to spread the terror in the societies. This gives the feeling of insecurity within a society. Enforced disappearance not just affects the disappeared person or the relatives and witnesses, but also the cumulative society. 

Enforced disappearance is a global-level issue and is not restricted to a few areas of the world. Initially, enforced disappearance was a product of the military dictatorship but now it has also entered into situations of internal conflict, primarily the political repression of the opponents. 

The major concerns of enforced disappearance include: 

• ongoing harassment of the relatives of the victims, legal counsel, witnesses as well as human rights defenders 

• use by the States of counter-terrorist activities as excuse of breaching the obligation 

• widespread impunity of the enforced disappearances 

• target groups include people with disabilities as well as children. 

Every year on 30 August, the organisations like Amnesty International and United Nations play a pivotal role in creating awareness about enforced disappearance. Awareness is raised regarding enforced disappearance as a crime. It is explained to the people that enforced disappearance should not be used as tool for dealing with the situations of conflicts. 

On this day, at various places, the activists share the personal stories as well as experiences about enforced disappearance through the public event as well as media. The victims of enforced disappearance are brought out openly to share their stories and experiences. 

India on 31 August 2013 announced an aid of 5000 crore rupees to Bhutan. The aid includes economic stimulus package of 500 crore rupees. The decision to provide an aid to Bhutan was taken by the Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India after his talk with his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay at New Delhi. 

The Butanese Prime Minister is on six day visit to India and during this visit issues related to political security, developmental assistance and matters of mutual concern was also discussed between the two nations to strengthen bilateral relations. 

During the meet, the India also ensured the Bhutanese Prime Minister about its commitment to install an additional 10000 Mega Watt of power generating capacity in Bhutan. At present three Indian projects are under process in Bhutan. 

National Issues

National Sports Day was observed across the country on 29 August 2013 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand. National sports day celebrated every year on 29 August to bring awareness about sports in public. This year, events like walkathon and football tournaments were held across the country for the first time as part of the National Sports Day celebrations. 

On the occasion of National Sports Day, a scheme known as Come and Play has been launched for general public to make optimal use of Sports Authority of India stadia. National coaching camps are being organised by the concerned federations in these stadia so that state-of-art facilities could be made available to sportspersons to enable them to achieve excellence in sports. 

Major Dhyan Chand: 

• Major Dhyan Chand is an iconic Indian hockey player who is remembered as a magician of Indian hockey. He was the prime member of Indian hockey team which brought three Olympic gold medals in field of Hockey - in 1928 (Amsterdam), 1932 (Los Angeles) and 1936 (Berlin). 

• He was honored with Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1956 for his outstanding contribution to Indian Hockey. 

• Major Dhyan Chand’s birthday, 29 August is celebrated as National Sports Day in India. Major sports awards like Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna, Dronacharya awards are presented on this occasion to the sportsperson who has shown tremendous commitment towards the game and made the Country proud. 

• Dhyan Chand has scored more than 400 goals during his international career, which ended in 1948. 

Union Minister for Human Resource Development M M Pallam Raju on 29 August 2013 launched the RTE anthem- a new initiative to spread the message of RTE Act among Public. 

The Union Government has developed RTE anthem- in an attempt to help children imbibe the message of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. 

The RTE anthem was written by renowned lyricist Javed Akhtar and sung by Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan. National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) supported the HRD Ministry in creating the anthem. 

The video of the anthem features children from different parts of the country and reflects the pan-India essence of RTE. The anthem depicts child-centered principles and entitlements and has been shot in Government schools. 

The anthem will be dubbed in English and 15 regional languages (Assamese, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Naga, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu) to generate constructive awareness among the community and stakeholders for the implementation of RTE. 

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 mandates eight years of elementary education to all children in the 6 to 14 years age group. 

Meeting of the Consultative Committee of Parliament attached to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on Maternal Health was held in New Delhi on 29 August 2013. The meeting was presided over by the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad. 

The objective of the meeting was discussion of the issues on maternal health. 

Issues such as implementation of a number of strategies and interventions for improved maternal health outcomes were discussed during the meeting. Reduction in the Maternal Mortality in India was also discussed. It is important to note that the Maternal Mortality Rate declined from 301 per 100000 live births in 2001-03 to 254 in 2004-05. 

It further dropped down to 212 in 2007-09. The rate of this decline has also shown an increasing trend from 4.1 percent annual rate of decline during 2001-03 to 5.55 percent in 2004-06 and further to 5.8 percent in 2007-09. 

The Lok Sabha on 29 August 2013 passed the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011, also called the Land Acquisition Bill. The bill was passed by a majority of 216 votes out of 235 votes. 19 members voted against the bill. 

Aim of the Bill: The aim of the bill is providing fair compensation to people whose land has been taken away for setting up the buildings or factories. The aim of the bill is to bring in more transparency to the process of land acquisition, thereby bringing assurance of rehabilitation to the affected people. Primary 

Features of the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011: 

• The Bill established new rules and regulations for compensation of the land acquired for industry as well as infrastructure projects. 

• The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 stipulates mandatory consent of minimum 70 percent for acquisition of land for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects, as well as 80 percent for acquisition of land for the private companies. 

• The Bill seeks for compensation of around 4 times the market value of the land in rural areas as well as two times the value in the urban areas. 

• The Bill includes a total of 107 clauses. • The Bill will provide protection to the farmers as well as the rights of the farmers. 

• The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 replaced the century-old India's Land Acquisition Act of 1894 which had various shortcomings. 

• The new Land Acquisition Bill will apply when Government will acquire the land for its own control, hold or use; or when the Government will acquire the land for transferring it to use of private companies for stated public purpose. The bill will also apply in case the Government acquires the land for the purpose of immediate and declared use by private companies for public purpose. 

• The Bill, after being enacted into law, will affect the rural Indian families who have farms as their primary source of livelihood. The Bill will also have an effect on the urban households where land is acquired for industrialisation and urbanisation. 

• The Bill however, exempts the land acquisition for the linear projects like ports, railways, irrigation canals as well as highways. 

• In order to safeguard the food security as well as for preventing the arbitrary acquisition, the Bill also directs all the states for imposing the limits on those areas which are under the agricultural cultivation and can still be acquired. 

• In the case where the land is not utilised even after acquisition, the Bill empowers all the states to return such a land either to the State Land Bank or to the owner. 

• The Bill also proposed that no land can be acquired in the Scheduled Areas without Gram Sabhas’ consent. 

• The Bill proposed that no person shall be dispossessed unless all the payments have been made as well as alternative sites for purpose of rehabilitation and resettlement have been prepared. 

• The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 proposed several benefits such as land for employment, land, housing as well as annuities, which will accrue apart from one-time cash payments to people whose land has been acquired. 

• Under the law of this new Bill, Wakf land will not be acquired. 

The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on 29 August 2013 gave his assent to the Companies Bill 2013. With this, the Companies Bill will now become the law and replace the 60-years-old regulations which governed the country till now. The new bill provides changes to the functioning of the companies’ operation. The Companies Bill 2013 will replace the Companies Act 1956. 

The Companies Act of 1956 replaced the first Companies Act that was created in 1919 (the pre-independent India). The Act of 1956 has been amended 25 times in all these years since its formation. The Companies Bill 2012 was passed in Rajya Sabha on 8 August 2013 (during the monsoon session of the parliament). 

Earlier, the bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 18 December 2012. With the President’s assent, the Companies Bill 2012 became the Companies Act, 2013 (New Act). Lawmaking Procedure in India The legislative proposals are brought before either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha in the form of a bill. The bill is actually a draft of the legislative proposal. 

After being passed by both the Houses of the Parliament, the Bill is sent to the President of India for assent. After receiving the assent from the President of India, a bill becomes an Act of the Parliament. 

The Government of Gujarat created seven new districts, which took the number of districts in Gujarat to 33 from 26. The seven new districts were Aravalli, Botad, Chota Udeipur, Morbi, Mahisagar, Gir-Somnath and Dwarka and these came into effect on 15 August 2013. 

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi announced the creation of districts as well as talukas in the year 2012 during the Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra (VYVY) prior to Gujarat state elections. Though the formation of districts was done, but talukas formation is yet to be done. 

At present, there are eight districts in Saurashtra, seven districts in South Gujarat, six in North Gujarat and five in Central Gujarat. The district Aravalli is carved out of Sabarkantha district in North Gujarat. The district headquarters are in Madosa. Gir-Somnath was carved out of Junagadh district. Its headquarters are at Veraval. 

Botad was carved out of Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar districts. Chhota Udaipur is the tribal belt and it was carved out of Vadodara. Mahisagar district was carved out of Panchmahal and Kheda districts with headquarters in Lunavada. Morbi was carved out of Rajkot, Surendranagar and Jamnagar. Dwarka was carved out of Jamnagar district with the headquarters in Khambhalia. 

The Union Government of India on 30 August 2013 approved denotification of six Special Economic Zones (SEZs) projects, including one textile sector and five IT SEZs. The decision was taken during a meet of the Board of Approval, BoA, headed by Commerce Secretary SR Rao. The decision of denotification was taken after the companies approached the Government to surrender their projects in different parts of the country. 

The BoA also considered four new proposals for establishing SEZ with a total investment of over 6451 crore rupees after they approached the Government to develop new zones. Out of the four, only two proposals were cleared, while the other two were deferred for the next meeting pending certain clarifications. 

The Supreme Court of India, in the last week of August 2013, cleared the project of Indian Railways, Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project passing through Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) after hearing under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. 

With this clearance, the construction of Phase – II of Dedicated Freight Corridor from Vadodara to JNPT has been cleared. Other crucial clearances are also in line for this project. This has been possible because of sensitivity and full commitment of project authorities. 

What is Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project? 

Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project is the part of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL), which is a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Railways. DFCCIL made efforts for minimum disturbance to the ecologically and environmentally sensitive areas by taking detours as much as possible and further by its sensitivity, resolve and commitment towards protection of Environment and its surroundings wherever the corridor has to pass. 

The Dedicated Freight Corridor approached all possible authorities in order to receive the final nod from the Apex Court of India. The aim of DFC was to get approvals from the office of Principle Chief Conservator of Forest, Maharashtra, the State Board of Wildlife (SBWL), followed by clearance from the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL).

For this purpose, it also incorporated all the stipulations suggesting measures to minimise threat and disturbance to wildlife before submitting the application to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), constituted by the Supreme Court of India.

CEC had recommended the proposal of Freight Corridor to pass through the National Park after conducting a detailed inspection of the site with the project and the state forest officials. CEC, while making recommendation about the proposal, also added a few stipulations as mitigation measures, which were accepted by the DFCCIL. DFCCIL, in the meanwhile, will also facilitate free movement of wild animals, chain link fencing for protection, and as a contribution towards the environment and wildlife protection, funds for the upkeep and improvement of SGNP apart from compensatory afforestation in the region. 

The Union Government of India on 31 August 2013 planned to enhance the fund outlay for different schemes related to technical textile sector to more than 700 crore Rupees during the 12th Plan. The Increase in the fund outlay was aimed at promotion of the technical textile sector. 

It is important to note that the market size of the technical textiles in India has grown to 91236 crore Rupees approximately in 2013-14 fiscal year from around 42000 crore Rupees in 2007-08. This depicted an annual growth rate of 11 percent. The sector is estimated to reach the potential of 1.58 lakh crore Rupees by 2016-17 fiscal year. 

With the projected growth of this amount, the employment in this industry is also estimated to increase at 13 percent annually to 26 lakh by 2016-17. It is also important to note that the export target which is set for technical textile sector in 2013-14 fiscal year was 50 billion US dollar. For the purpose of overall development of textile sector, 11952 crore Rupees was sanctioned under the 12th Plan, out of which 2400 crore Rupees will be given in 2013-14 financial year only. 

Bilateral Issues

India on 28 August 2013 suggested Myanmar to set-up a Joint Border Working Group (JBWG) to address the issues of demarcation of border between the two countries. The decision was taken following the attempt of construction of a defence post near an undermarcated border pillar by Myanmar’s Army. 

The suggestion to set-up a JBWG was conveyed to Myanmar through India's embassy in Yangon. 

Earlier, the Myanmar’s Army tried to erect the post near pillar number 76 in Moreh, Manipur on the border in a bid to defend against Indian farmers who were allegedly trying to harvest land claimed by Myanmar. 

The construction activity being undertaken by the Myanmar’s army was stopped by the Indian border guarding forces following the understanding that there cannot be any construction within 10 metres of unverified border pillars. 

Geographical demarcation of Indian Border with Myanmar :

Myanmar shares its border with north-eastern Indian states namely Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. Myanmar acts as a zone of only land passage from India to South East Asia. 

Background of India Myanmar Relations :

India and Myanmar shares cordial bilateral relations as neighbors. The relationship between the defence forces of the two countries has been good and the armies of both sides have been substantive since 1990s. 

India also holds a relationship of supplying arms-equipment to Myanmar Armed Forces. 

Armed forces of Myanmar are officially known as Tatmadaw. 

The Union Cabinet of India on 29 August 2013 approved the Social Security Agreement between India and Canada. The agreement will benefit 40 thousand Persons of Indian Origin in Quebec province. 

India has similar agreements with countries including Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Malaysia and Belgium. 

The Social Security totalization agreement between India and Canada was signed on 6 November 2012. 

The Social Security Agreement between Canada and India is expected to enter into force in 2014, once both nations have completed their legislative procedures. 

Economic Issues

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 29 August 2013 gave its approval for continuing the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) during the 12th Plan period with a major focus on power-looms in accordance with the Budget announcement for the financial year 2013-14. 

The total budget outlay for continuation of the scheme will be about 11900 crore rupees, out of which 2400 crore rupees have been allocated for the financial year 2013-14. 

The major features of the scheme are as following: 

• To promote indigenous manufacturing of the textile machinery, Interest Reimbursement (IR) on second hand imported shuttleless looms shall be reduced from 5 percent to 2 percent. On the other hand, for new shuttleless looms capital subsidy would be raised from 10 percent to 15 percent, IR from 5 percent to 6 percent, Capital Subsidy from 10 percent to 15 percent and margin money subsidy from 20 percent to 30 percent with an increase in subsidy cap from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 1.5 crore. 

• Capital subsidy for handloom and silk sectors would be increased from 25 percent to 30 percent. In addition to this, margin money subsidy cap would be increased from Rs.45 lakh to Rs. 75 lakh in respect of MSME and Jute sectors. 

• Sectoral cap of 26 percent will be applicable only for the spinning segment and sectoral caps for all other segments have been removed to enable balanced growth across the value chain. 

• A pilot project for Hire-Purchase of new shuttleless looms shall be introduced with a plan outlay of Rs.300 crore within TUFS to enable poor powerloom weavers, having limited capacity to make capital investments, to upgrade their looms through payment of easy installments. 

These features will help induce capital investment in the textile sector to achieve growth in the fibre, yarn, fabric and garment production chain. 

It will generate 11.5 percent annual growth in volume terms in cloth production and 15 percent in value exports by increasing domestic value addition and technological depth and by enhancing the global competitiveness of textiles products to generate an additional employment to 15.81 million workers. 

Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme(TUFS) is one of the flagship schemes of the Ministry of Textiles and has helped the industry to garner investments of Rs. 2.43 thousand crore. The scheme was launched in 1999 and has been instrumental in helping India achieve new heights in the development of the textile sector and particularly in the spinning segment. 

The Finance Minister in his Budget Speech of February, 2013, had announced continuation of TUFS in the 12th Plan with a major focus on modernisation of the powerloom sector. Higher subsidies for weaving / powerloom sector have accordingly been planned in the continued TUFS. 

The Union Government of India on 30 August 2013 gave its approval to three projects under the Electronic Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) scheme. The total value of these three projects is 200 crore Rupees. The proposals for approval of the Government were sent by the Madhya Pradesh State Electronics Corporation (MPSEDC) and the Electronic Industries Association of India (ELCINA). 

The Electronic Industries Association of India (ELCINA) had sent its proposal for the greenfield cluster, the cost of which was 104.48 crore Rupees. This cluster is aimed at a location of Khushkhera in Bhiwadi (Rajasthan). The Madhya Pradesh State Electronics Corporation (MPSEDC), on the other hand, submitted its proposal for two projects at Bhopal and Jabalpur at the approximate cost of 46.46 crore Rupees and 42.92 crore Rupees respectively. 

Assistance under the Electronic Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) Scheme

According to the Electronic Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) scheme, the financial aid will be limited to 50 percent of the overall cost of the project with the condition of ceiling of 50 crore Rupees for every 100 acres of land. 

According to this condition of the scheme, ELCINA sought the financial aid of 47.41 crore Rupees over the area of 100.7 acre of land. 

This project is backed by Rajasthan Government through Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation. The ELCINA project will finish off by March 2015. Its commercial operations will begin from April 2015. The project will employ 14000 people as well as 19700 people indirectly. 

MPSEDC, which is the MP Government undertaking, proposed to develop the greenfield EMC in Badwai, Bhopal on the coverage area of 50 acres at the approximate cost of 46.46 crore Rupees. It received the financial aid of 22.26 crore Rupees from the Union Government of India. Apart from this, it received the grant of 24.63 crore Rupees from the Central Government for its greenfield EMC in Purva village, Jabalpur, which will be developed on the area of 40 acres of land. The timeline for MPSEDC project is to start in 3 months after final approval. Both the projects will give employment to 4500 people as well as 13000 people indirectly. 

Electronic Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) Scheme is the part of Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme under the National Policy on Electronics (NPE) 2012. The most important objective of NPE is achieving the turnover of approximately 400 billion US dollar by the year 2020, which also involves the investment of approximately 100 billion US dollar as well as employment of approximately 28 million people by the year 2020. 

Reserve Bank of India on 28 August 2013 has decided to open a forex swap window to meet the entire daily dollar requirements of three public sector oil marketing companies (IOC, HPCL and BPCL). The decision was taken based on the assessment of current market conditions. 

Under this Forex Swap Facility Reserve Bank will undertake sell/buy of USD-INR forex swaps for fixed tenor with the oil marketing companies through a designated bank. The swap facility gets operationalized with immediate effect and will remain in place until further notice. 

The decision will help in reducing the volatility in the rupee market that has continuously fallen weak against dollar in past few months, reaching to the market value of 68.82 against US doallr. 

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of India decelerated even more to 4.4 percent, the slowest rate of expansion in 4 years, i.e., since 2008 economic meltdown. The GDP growth stood at 4. 4 percent in the first quarter (April-June) of the fiscal year 2013-14. The reason for this drop is poor performance of the manufacturing as well as mining sector. 

In the first quarter of 2012-13, the economic growth resulted out of GDP expansion of 5.4 percent. In the fourth quarter (January-March) of 2012-13, the GDP growth again fell down to 4.8 percent. In the first quarter of 2013-14 fiscal year, the actual performance of the economy came out to be much lower than anticipated. A total of seven out of eight sectors displayed contraction in growth or the lower rate of expansion. 

As a result, there is a need for combined action by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Union Government of India. The GDP data released by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) revealed that mainly mining sector was responsible for bringing down the economic growth of India. In this sector, the rate of growth was 2.8 percent in April-June quarter in comparison to 0.4 percent in same period during 2012-13 fiscal year. 

The manufacturing sector also brought down the growth. This was seen at 1.2 percent from 1 percent in same quarter during 2012-13 financial year. Significant decrease was also observed in other sectors such as transport and hotels, power generation as well as construction. 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 30 August 2013 permitted the premature encashment of 8 percent savings (Taxable) Bonds for individual investors who are 60 years and above in age. The facility would be available after a minimum lock-in period of three years from the date of issue of the bond. In case of joint holders, any one of the holders should fulfill the conditions of eligibility. 

RBI in its notification also clarified that partial encashment of amount invested on a single application will not be permitted. It also directed the Urban Co-Operative Banks to stop giving donations to trusts and institutions where the bank’s directors or their relatives hold positions or have interests. 

Business Issues

Kerala based Federal Bank Limited launched the electronic version of conventional passbook, called FedBook, on 30 August 2013. FedBook allows the customers to download it easily as well as also install this application on the smart devices such as smartphones. 

Features of FedBook:

• FedBook is easily downloadable. 

• It can also be carried on the tablet computers or the smartphones. 

• It enables the customers to easily view the transactions in various bank accounts online or offline for 24 hours a day. 

• At present, the FedBook is only available on the Android operating system. The Federal Bank Limited unveiled that FedBook will also be available for other platforms. 

• The FedBook application is very secure, user friendly as well as enables real-time access to the transactions, thereby freeing the customers from restrictions of the bank holidays or the business hours. 

• The application FedBook also has the filter called “Search,” which enables the certain transactions or facility to tag the personalised remarks to their transactions. 

• FedBook will enable banking become easier and handier and will also add the new dimension to net banking. About the Federal Bank Limited 

• Federal Bank Limited is the major commercial bank of India in the private sector. 

• The headquarters of Federal Bank Limited are based at Aluva, Kochi, Kerala. 

• It is the fourth largest commercial bank of India in terms of its capital base. 


Justice K.N Basha, a retired judge of the Madras High Court, took charge as the chairman of the Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal on 28 August 2013. He was appointed by the Director of the Department of Industrial Policy And Promotion of The Union Ministry of Industry And Commerce. 

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) elected Sockalingam Sam Kannappan, Chairman of Enforcement Committee of Texas PE Board as its zonal Secretary/treasurer. Sockalingam Sam Kannappan is an Indian-American. Sockalingam Sam Kannappan was elected as the Secretary and Treasurer of Southern Zone (SZ), which has a total of 18 boards under its control. 

National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is an American National Professional Engineers (PE) Board which co-ordinates 50 national PE Boards, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. Different engineering organisations from Japan, Mexico, Canada and other nations work along with NCEES. NCEES has the role of conducting examination for fundamental (FE) and Professional Examination (PE) the four zones. 

Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court was on 30 August 2013 appointed as the new Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. He was appointed by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. 

Irish writer Seamus Heaney died at the age of 74 on 29 August 2013. He had won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. Seamus Heaney was born in Northern Ireland. He published his first collection of poems, Death Of A Naturalist in 1966. He went on to become one of the English language’s leading poets. 

British broadcaster and writer David Frost died on 31 August 2013 aboard the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth where he was scheduled to give speech. He was 74 years old. He interviewed historic figures like Henry Kissinger, John Lennon and Richard M Nixon. 


The International Sepaktakraw Super Series 2013 kicked off in New Delhi on 29 August 2013. The tournament will be held from 29 August to 1 September 2013. 

Bayern Munich defeated Chelsea in the final at the Eden stadium in Prague on 30 August 2013 to win UEFA Super Cup 2013. The final was decided through a 5-4 penalty shoot-out which went in the favour of Bayern Munich. The match was evenly poised at 2-2 even after extra time. 

Bayern Munich had lost their 2012 Champions League final to Chelsea. Fernando Torres had given Chelsea the lead before Franck Ribery equalised. Eden Hazard restored Chelsea's lead.

Bayern's Javi Martinez scored a dramatic 121st-minute equaliser to take the game to penalties. David Alaba, Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm, Franck Ribéry and Xherdan Shaqiri scored penalties on behalf of Bayern Munich. Romelu Lukaku's failed to turn penalty into goal for Chelsea. 

India's Bhuvana Kalva won her maiden 10000 US dollars ITF women singles title on 31 August 2013 after she registered an impressive 6-4, 7-5 victory over sixth-seeded Akari Inoue of Japan at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association complex. Bhuvana Kalva is from Andhra Pradesh. She is 18-year-old. She also defeated top seed Ankita Raina and third seed Keren Shlomo of Israel en route final. Her title win fetched her 12 ranking points while Akari, won 8 ranking points. Akari, had won the doubles title along with Hua-Chen Lee on 30 August 2013. 


GSAT–7, the first Indian exclusive defence satellite was successfully launched on 29 August 2013 by the European space consortium Arianespace’s Ariane 5 Rocket from the Kourou Spaceport of French Guiana. This launch will push ahead India’s maritime security. Indian Navy will use the multi-band home-built communication spacecraft that is expected to become operational by September 2013. 

GSAT–7 has been built at an expense of 185 crore rupees and will act as the country’s maiden dedicated spacecraft for defence applications. It was launched during 50-minute launch window that started at 2 am and was injected into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit of 249 km perigee (nearest point to earth), 35,929 km apogee (farthest point to earth) and an inclination of 3.5 degree with respect to the equator after completing a flight of 34 minutes. Its frequency bands will enable space based marine communications and will cover the Indian landmass as well as surrounding seas. 

From 31 August to 4 September 2013, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will perform three orbit-raising operations for placement of the satellite into the geostationary orbit of 36000 km above the equator. Further, it would be positioned in its orbital slot of 74 degree East Longitude by 14 September 2013 and the communication transponders of the satellite will be switched on. 

The frequency bands of GSAT–7 will help space-based marine communications and cover the Indian landmass as well as surrounding seas. Earlier, Inmarsat provided satellite communication to ships. Inmarsat is a major global satellite communication service provider. 

About GSAT–7 :

• It is an advanced communication satellite that will help by providing low bit rate voice to high bit rate data communication 

• Payload of the GSAT–7 is designed to provide communication capabilities to users in distant oceanic regions 

• Its solar arrays generate 2900 W of electrical power Lift-off mass of GSAT–7 was 2625 kilogram and technological elements fixed with the ISRO’s 2500 kilogram satellite bus included an antenna. To keep the satellite functional during the periods of eclipse, satellite carries A108 Ampere-Hour Lithium-Ion battery. 

440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) and thrusters has been used in the propulsion subsystem. ISRO uses the Spaceport of French Guiana for heavy launches because its GSLV rocket with the indigenous cryogenic stage is under its development phase and before being used for heavy launches and declared operational, it requires two successful flights. ISRO can’t launch heavy satellites like GSAT-7 as its home-grown GSLV rocket, with indigenous cryogenic stage, is still in works and needs two successful flights before it’s declared operational. French Guiana is an overseas region of France on the North Atlantic coast of South America. 

Science & Technology

Scientists from Lund University, Sweden in the last week of August 2013 discovered a new super-heavy chemical element, which can be a part of the periodic table in the coming future. The atomic number of the super-heavy element is 115 and is made by combining atoms of calcium americium. The scientists have not named it yet but for time being it will be referred as, Ununpentium. 

The element was discovered by an international team of researchers, who conducted an experiment at GSI Research facility in Germany for confirmation of the earlier measurements done by the Russian research group. 

Process of Creation:

Scientists shot a beam of calcium (with 20 protons) into a thin strip of americium (with 95 protons), for creation of the element. Till the time it doesn’t get a name, scientists will refer it as Ununpentium (a greek and latin combination of the words that represents atomic number of an element, one-one-five). Ununpentium belongs to the group of manmade elements. 

Before being acknowledged, the findings of the research of the newly discovered super-heavy element will be reviewed by a committee that comprises members of international unions of pure and applied physics and chemistry. 

The researchers have also identified the structure as well as the properties of the super-heavy element’s atomic nuclei. 

In 2011, scientists approved three new elements for being added into the Periodic Table with their atomic numbers 110, 111 and 112. and were named Darmstadtium (Ds), Roentgenium (Rg) and Copernicium (Cn), respectively.



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