2013 - September 13 to 22 - Current Affairs


International


The United States and Russia on 14 September 2013 agreed on the process of dismantling Syria's chemical weapons arsenal. The break- through was announced after three day talks between the US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva. The USA and Russia have agreed that Syria's chemical weapons must be destroyed or removed by mid-2014. USA outlined a six-point framework under which Syria must hand over a full list of its stockpile within a week. If Syria fails to comply, the deal could be enforced by a UN resolution backed by the threat of sanctions or military force. 

The USA-Russia deal sets a deadline of mid-2014 for dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons and an outline for compliance of requirements by Syria. It also has a clause stating that in case Syria falls short of its commitments, both Russia and the United States would jointly seek review at the United Nations Security Council. USA stated that in case of non-compliance US and Russia might request a Security Council resolution under Chapter 7, which can authorize both military and non-military sanctions. 

The agreement did not include any automatic use of force if Damascus fails to comply. It added that violations by Syria would be referred to the UN Security Council for review which if approved, would take the required concrete measures. 

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the US-Russian deal on Syria's chemical weapons and hoped it will lead to efforts to end the appalling suffering of Syrians. 




International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer was observed on 16 September 2013 across the world to bring awareness about the depletion of Ozone layer in the atmosphere. This event commemorates the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987. The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 since then International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated on September 16 every year. 

The theme for the year 2013 is A healthy atmosphere, the Future We Want. 

About Ozone: Ozone is a special form of oxygen with the chemical formula O3. Ozone constitutes a very small part of our atmosphere, but its presence is nevertheless vital to human well-being. Most ozone resides high up in the atmosphere, between 10 and 40km above Earth's surface. This region is called the stratosphere and it contains about 90 percent of all the ozone in the atmosphere. Ozone in the stratosphere absorbs some of the Sun’s biologically harmful UltraViolet radiation (UV). 

About The Montreal Protocol: The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was designed to reduce the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances like Chloro Floro Carbons(CFCs) in order to reduce their abundance in the atmosphere, and thereby protect the earth’s fragile ozone Layer. The original Montreal Protocol was agreed on 16 September 1987 and entered into force on 1 January 1989. The Montreal Protocol has been hailed as a prime example of successful international cooperation to protect the global commons. In addition to protecting the ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol is also contributing to protect the global climate. 



The British government on 12 September 2013 announced that it was planning to sell a majority of its stake in the Royal Mail (the postal service of UK) through an initial public offering (IPO). Royal mail is one of the U.K.'s largest and oldest postal service in decades. The initial public offering is expected to take place in the coming weeks and the stock will be listed on the London Stock Exchange. 

About Royal Mail: 

• Royal mail is the postal service in United Kingdom (UK). 
• It is 497 years old and it was owned by the Government of UK 
• Royal Mail is the only company currently capable of providing postal service. 



Germany, in the month of September 2013 extended financial and technical assistance to India for the Green Energy Corridors. This assistance includes Financial Assistance of Euro 250 Million as Reduced Interest Loan. 

The technical assistance extended by Germany includes: 
• Euro 2 million for Indo-German Energy Programme – New component on Green Energy Corridors.
• Euro 2 million for Integration of Renewable Energies into the Indian Electricity System (I-RE). 

The information about financial and technical assistance was disclosed during the Indo-German Annual Negotiation meeting held in New Delhi in July 2013. Germany, in the meanwhile, also indicated towards concessional loans from KFW of up to one billion euro for financing the Green Energy Corridors project under Indo-German Bilateral Development Cooperation Programme over the next six years. 

The Green Energy Corridors project will help in integrating renewable energy into the National grid. It comprises of both inter-state and intra-state schemes for evacuation of power from wind and solar projects. 



The Chinese companies which included COFCO, Sinograin, and Chinatex signed 13 new letters of intent on 16 September 2013 with the U.S. agricultural exporters in order to buy 4.83 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans worth 2.8 billion US Dollars. 

The letters of intent were signed at a ceremony which was hosted by U.S. Soybean Export Council. At the ceremony, letters of intent were signed with the representatives from Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Columbia Grain and others. It was decided that the shipping of the soybeans will take place in the current marketing year only which started on 1 September 2013. It will take place before the next South American crop starts marketing in the markets in March 2014. It is important to note that these letters of intent are not the binding sales contracts. 

These are honoured by the trading partners like US and China. The volume of purchase agreements which were signed on 16 September 2013 is merely a part of the annual demand of China for the U.S. soybean. China is the top most soybean importer of the world and it bought over 21.5 million tonnes of oilseed from US in 2012 season. From all the origins of the oilseeds, China bought 59.5 million tonnes. It is estimated that in the present season, China will import 69 million tonnes of oilseed from all the origins. 



Afghanistan in the month of September 2013, for the first time directly sent Afghan dry fruits to India using the Chabahar port. Before this, Afghanistan used to send their goods using Karachi port of Pakistan. Because of the political restrictions and high storage cost, Afghanistan was facing problems in exporting their goods to India. 

To overcome this problem the Indian embassies in Kabul and Tehran had been working closely with the Governments of Afghanistan and Iran for the past few months to ensure that the shipment goes through the Iranian Chabahar port. 

India officially confirmed participation in the Chabahar port project in May 2013, when External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid visited Tehran for the 17th meeting of the India-Iran Joint Commission. 

About Chabahar port: 

• Chabahar port is a sea port in Chah Bahar in southeastern Iran. 
• It is located between Indian Ocean and Omen Sea. 
• The port was partially funded by India. 

India-Iran Joint Commission: 

India and Iran hold regular bilateral discussions on economic and trade related issues within the framework of India-Iran Joint Commission. The 17th India-Iran Joint Commission meeting was held from 3-5 May 2013 in Tehran. 



The five permanent UN Security Council members: US, Russia, Britain, France and China met on 17 September 2013 in New York to discuss a resolution on making safe Syria's chemical weapons. A resolution is seen as a key step in a US-Russia brokered plan under which Syria will disclose its weapons within a week and eliminate it by mid-2014. France, the UK and US want a resolution carrying the threat of military action but Russia opposes the resolution. 

In the current draft, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be condemned for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Also, the Syrian civil war would be referred to the International Criminal Court for possible war crimes indictments. The draft is also written so that its provisions are under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, which covers the Security Council's authority to enforce its decisions with measures such as sanctions or the use of force. 

The UNSC permanent members meeting came after U.N. investigators confirmed the use of sarin nerve agent in 21 August 2013 poison gas attack outside the Syrian capital. The United States, Britain and France stated the long- awaited U.N. report proved beyond any doubt that Syrian Government forces were responsible. 

A UN report on the attack published on 16 September 2013 confirmed that the nerve agent Sarin had been used in a rocket attack there, although it did not apportion blame. 



The French Senate (Upper House of the Parliament in France) on 18 September 2013 voted 197-146 overnight in order to approve the ban on beauty pageants for children below the age of 16 years. 

Also, the Legislation included imposing the fine as well as punishment in form of imprisonment. This amendment was taken up on the basis of a report entitled Against Hyper-Sexualisation: A New Fight For Equality. 



Ben S. Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve System of United States of America (USA) on 18 September 2013 announced that Federal Reserve would continue its fiscal stimulus programme. It sent a positive signal to the developing countries around the world and hence the stock markets in emerging world markets made an upsurgeon 19 September 2013. 

The emerging world market was earlier of the view that US Federal Reserve withdrew its fiscal stimulus programme. In such a case, the Dollar will shift from the emerging economies of the world to the US. However, with this announcement, the outflow of the Dollar will be reduced considerably. 

About Fedreal Reserve System: 

• The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. 

• It was founded by Congress in 1913 to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. 

• The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is a federal government agency. 

• The Board is composed of seven members, who are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The full term of a Board member is fourteen years. 

• The Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Board are also appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The nominees to these posts must already be members of the Board or must be simultaneously appointed to the Board. 

• The term of The Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Board positions are four years. 



India, on 19 September 2013 was recognised as the Authorizing Nation under the International Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement (CCRA) to test and certify Electronics and IT products with respect to cyber security. With this, India became the 17th country to be given such recognition. 

The International Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement (CCRA) at present has 26 member countries which have received Authorizing Nation recognition. Some of these include USA, UK, Germany, South Korea, France, Japan, Canada, Australia, Turkey and Malaysia. 

As of now, India had the status of Consuming Nation with respect to certification of Electronics and IT products. The benefit of having the status of Authorizing Nation will help India to test the IT and Electronics products and issue Certificates which will be acceptable internationally. 

The recognition would also remove the bottleneck which as of now had prevented international companies from submitting their products for testing and certification in India. The recognition imparted to India will also enable investment in setting up infrastructure and labs in public and private sectors in India for testing Electronics and IT products. Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Directorate of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity) has been operating Common Criteria Certification (CC Certification) scheme in India for the last 5-6 years. 

Under this mechanism, the STQC undertakes certification of Electronics and IT products after evaluation of the products at its lab in Kolkata. After receiving recognition, the certificates issued by STQC Directorate shall now be acceptable internationally by all CCRA member countries. 



International Day of Peace observed on 21 September 2013 across the world to recognise the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. The International Day of Peace is also a day of ceasefire. 

The theme for the year 2013 is Education for Peace. 

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. 

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/67 of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session, which was held annually. The first Peace Day was observed in September 1982. 

In 2001, the General Assembly by unanimous vote adopted resolution 55/282, which established 21 September as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire. 

The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace. 



The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrated its 83rd national day on 23 September 2013. On this day, unification was done by the King Abdulaziz Al Saud in the year 1932. Thereafter in the year 2005, economic development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gained momentum through coronation of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. 


National


Union Government on 16 September 2013 sanctioned a total of 158 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) for Tribal students out of grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India in 23 states. out of these 111 schools have become fully functional with all facilities. 

Highest number of 22 schools have been sanctioned for Gujarat followed by Madhya Pradesh (20) and Rajasthan (17). Chhattisgarh and Odisha have been sanctioned 16 schools each. 

All the facilities for a proper study atmosphere like sufficient number of class rooms, computer and science laboratory, library, recreation room, hostels for students and housing facilities for the teaching and other supporting staff are made available in the EMRSs. Further, the school buildings have been made accessible to students with disabilities. 

About Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS): 

The objective of EMRS is to provide quality middle and high level education to Scheduled Tribe (ST) students in remote areas, not only to enable them to avail of reservation in high and professional educational courses and as jobs in government and public and private sectors but also to have access to the best opportunities in education at par with the non ST population. 



Hindi Diwas was celebrated across India on 14 September 2013 for commemorating the occasion of adoption of Hindi as the official language of Constituent Assembly on 14 September 1949. 

Objective of celebrating the Hindi Diwas:
It is worth noticing that on 14 September 1949, Hindi language was accorded the status of Official Language of the Union by the Constitution-makers of India. Since then, every year, 14 September is observed as the Hindi Diwas. On the occasion of Hindi Diwas, the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee also conferred the awards in different categories for the excellence in different fields pertaining to Hindi at a function in Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. On the occasion, Rajbhasha Awards were conferred upon the Ministries, Departments, PSUs and Nationalised Banks. 

Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi as the Official Language of the Union: On 14 September 1949, Hindi was adopted as an official language of the Constituent Assembly. The decision of using Hindi as the official language was ratified by the Constitution of India that came into effect on 26 January 1950. 

Under the Article 343 of the Indian Constitution, the Devanagri script of Hindi was adopted as the official language. After the declaration, non-Hindi speaking states received a grace period of 15 years till the year 1965 in order to witch over to Hindi language completely. It was declared that Hindi would be the only working language of the Union Government of India as well as the State Governments. 



The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first Engineers Conclave-2013 on 17 September 2013 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The first Engineers Conclave-2013 is jointly organised by the Indian National Academy Engineering (INAE) and the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). 

Theme of the First Engineers Conclave-2013: 

The themes of the Conclave are “Manufacturing of Aerospace systems” and “Transforming Sundarban through engineering interventions.” During the inaugural event, the President of India explained that emphasis needed to be given to various dimensions such as process innovation, product innovation, business model innovation and new technology innovation and that the strong capabilities in designing and building machine tools were particularly critical. 

In order to achieve development, there was a need of developing close partnerships between industry and universities and research institutions. 



Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on 18 September 2013 approved a National Highway from Jhajjar in Haryana to Dwarka in Delhi via Dhansa border. 

On its construction, around 100 crore rupees would be spent from Central Roads Fund for Inter-State Connectivity. The Ministry has also enhanced budget allocation for maintenance of National Highways in Haryana from 44 crores to 110 crores rupees. 

Union Ministry also cleared various important road projects and allocated Central funds for the construction of flyovers, bridges and maintenance of roads and National Highways in Haryana. The Union Government allocated 100 crore rupees to build a six-lane flyover at Hero Honda chowk on NH8 (Delhi-Jaipur Road). The deadline for the project is 15 months from September 2013. 



The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 20 September 2013 approved the proposal for continuation of Comprehensive Powerloom Cluster Development scheme in the 12th Plan period to promote the textiles sector. The scheme with an outlay of 110 crore rupees will be implemented through a Public Private Partnership mode. 

Objective of the scheme: The scheme is aimed at creating a world class infrastructure to assist entrepreneurs to set up their units with modern infrastructure, latest technology and adequate training and human resource development inputs along with appropriate market linkages. 

About the Comprehensive Powerloom Cluster Development Scheme (CPCDS):

The Government of India in November 2008 launched the Comprehensive Powerloom Cluster Development Scheme (CPCDS) for development of Powerloom Mega Clusters at Bhiwandi (Maharashtra) and Erode (Tamil Nadu) as a Central Sector Plan Scheme during the 11th Five Year Plan. The scheme started, with a budget provision of 70 crore rupees for each cluster to assist the entrepreneurs to set up world-class units with modern infrastructure and latest technology. 

Government of India further announced development of two more Powerloom Mega Clusters at Bhilwara (Rajasthan) in 2009-10 and at Ichalkaranji (Maharashtra) in 2012-13. 



The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on 17 September 2013 notified that it banned industrial expansion in 8 industrial clusters. The ministry imposed moratorium on environmental clearance for eight new industrial projects- Indore and Singrauli (Madhya Pradesh), Vapi (Gujarat), Ghaziabad (UP), Ludhiana (Punjab), Patancheru-Bollaram (Andhra Pradesh), Panipat (Haryana) and Jharsuguda (Orissa). 

The ban came in light of the survey which was conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in 43 identified Critically Polluted Areas. The survey was conducted from February-April 2013. The survey revealed that the Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) at these eight locations ranged from 70-80. The CEPI is based on the Environmental Quality Monitoring. 

The CEPI mechanism was adopted by CPCB in the year 2009 and it indicates the environmental quality at any given location by considering the water, soil and air pollution. Areas which have the aggregated score of 70 and above are the critically polluted industrial clusters. In the meanwhile, the areas with the scores between 60 to 70 are severely polluted areas. On the basis of this survey, moratorium was lifted off from 10 areas where the CEPI score was below 80 and reflected the decreasing pollution trend. These areas included Asansol (West Bengal), Bhiwadi (Rajasthan), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Dhanbad (Jharkhand), Korba (Chhattisgarh) and Manali (Tamil Nadu). 

The CEPI score is an indicator of the fact that despite implementing the action plans for a time of 2.5 years, there was no significant improvement in environmental quality. Thereafter, the Ministry imposes or lifts off moratorium with the immediate effect or as notified. 



The Union Cabinet on 20 September 2013 approved three proposals of the National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy. The policy is to promote inclusive, equitable and contextualized opportunities for promoting optimal development and active learning capacity of all children below six years. 

The three proposals:
  • The first proposal is to implement and monitor the policy through National and State Early Childhood Care and Education Councils. 
  • The second one is to develop National Early Childhood Care and Education Curriculum Framework and Quality Standards and circulate to the States and Union Territories for preparation of Action Plans and implementation by them. 
  • The third proposal is to delegate power to the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development to make necessary changes. The Policy would help to 158.7 million children under six years of age who need holistic and integrated early childhood care. In particular it would enable preschool education inputs for their optimum development to realize their potential. 

The vision of the National ECCE Policy is to promote inclusive, equitable and contextualized opportunities for promoting optimal development and active learning capacity of all children below six years of age. The Policy focus is on early preschool learning for every child below six years. 

The key areas of this policy are universal access with equity and inclusion, quality in ECCE, strengthening capacity, monitoring and supervision, advocacy, research and review. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development is the nodal Ministry to implement the National ECCE Policy. 



The Union Cabinet on 20 September 2013 approved setting up of a nine million tonne refinery-cum-petrochemical complex by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, HPCL's, in Barmer, Rajasthan. 

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) would setup the refinary as a Joint Venture (JV) with Government of Rajasthan under the name HPCL-Rajasthan Refinery Limited (HRRL). 

The proposed refinery will be a subsidiary of HPCL with its equity of 74 percent to be held by HPCL and 26 percent to be held by the Government of Rajasthan. The cost of the project is estimated at 37230 crore Rupees. The project cost is proposed to be sourced with a debt or equity ratio of 1.5:1. 

In this regard HPCL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 14 May, 2013 with Government of Rajasthan. HPCL has subsequently also signed a Joint Venture agreement with Government of Rajasthan on 11 July, 2013 on these terms for setting up the refinery as a joint venture. The proposed refinery will process 4.5 MMT of Mangala Crude and 4.5 MMT of Arab or other crude oil. 

Setting up of the refinery facilitates direct and indirect economic benefit to the economy of Rajasthan, which shall, besides industrialization, result in substantial increase in income, output, employment and tax earnings of the State. 



The Telecom Commission in the month of September 2013 proposed to make use of only India-made products for the Bharat Mobile scheme, the rural mobile phone project. As per the Bharat Mobile scheme, all those households where at least one member of the family completed 100 days of employment under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) in 2012 will be entitled to get the phone. 

Under the Bharat Mobile scheme, women will be given more preference. The scheme will be completed by 2016. The Telecom Commission, in the meanwhile, suggested that wage employment scheme like MNREGA should not be the criterion for the selection of households. Instead, selection should be made on the entitlement-based scheme. The telecom Commission decided that after the specification of the mechanism for identification of beneficiaries, the proposal will be placed before Union Cabinet of India for approval. 

Carrying out the Bharat Mobile scheme

• After the finalisation of the blueprint, all the telecom companies will be asked to bid for Bharat Mobile scheme. 

• The State Governments in the meanwhile, will be asked to provide the list of the eligible citizens from each village. 

• The selected operator will then provide the mobile phone, access to the service centres as well as a connection. 

• The mobile services will be provided free of cost to the rural areas and the operators will, in turn, get the subsidy from the Union Government of India. 

• Phone distribution will be done by operators along with the district administration. 

• The phone will also include the authentication software for ensuring that the intended users will only be able to make use of the services. 

• The phone will provide access to the land records, health records as well as payment transfers. 



The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh and His Highness the Aga Khan, a Swiss-born philanthropist and Muslim spiritual leader, unveiled the restored Humayun’s Tomb of New Delhi on 18 September 2013. Aga Khan is the name used by the Imam of the Nizari Ismailis since 1818. The restoration work took around seven years and was a part of the The Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Project. 

The task of restoration was done by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, in partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India, and with the support of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. The restoration work took place on the public private partnership (PPP) model and it is first of its kind on the India’s heritage site. The project was funded primarily by the Aga Khan Trust. Ratish Nanda was the Project director of this restoration work. 



Union Cabinet on 20 September 2013 cleared a proposal for regulating and monitoring the quality of care and education provided to children at play schools and crèches across the country. The move is expected to directly benefit 158.7 million children who are under the age of six. 

The Cabinet approved the draft policy of the National Early Childhood Care and Education (NECCE) for setting up of a national council to establish guidelines for the standardisation of teaching and learning aids, trained manpower, sanitation and hygiene norms etc. in play schools and day care centres. 

The new policy proposes to set standards for the care givers which will follow a set curriculum framework. It will move towards self registration to regulation. The approved policy also specifies the minimum qualification required to be teachers at such centres, which will now have to be registered with the Government under this policy. 

Under the policy, a curriculum framework and quality standards have to be developed. The policy would be implemented through National and state ECCE Councils but the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development will have the power to make necessary changes in it. 



The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman Nandan Nilekani on 20 September 2013 launched its multi-lingual website to reach out to various sections of the society from the UIDAI Tech Centre Bangalore. The website, www.uidai.gov.in, will now appear in five regional languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi and Tamil in addition to Hindi and English.

UIDAI is planning to systematically add additional language microsites to facilitate ease of access to all sections of the society. The second phase of the launch will include microsites in Assamese, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi and Telugu. Presently, people can view their demographic data captured at the time of enrolment in 13 languages.

UIDAI prints the Aadhaar letter in 13 languages across the country and also provides an option to residents to update data in these languages. Till date over 35 crore Aadhaar letters in 13 languages, have been dispatched to residents across the country. UIDAI has a mandate of enrolling 60 crore residents for Aadhaar across the country by 2014. Until mid of September 2013, over 42.5 crore Aadhaars were generated. 


Bilateral


India and Chile on 13 September 2013 agreed to enhance their cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy at Ankara during India’s Minister of New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah's visit to Chile. India plans to add over 30 GW of renewable energy to its energy mix in the next 5 years alone. He also dwelt on the success of the wind programme as well as the significant cost reductions in solar energy through the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). 

Chile is almost entirely dependent on imports for its energy needs and is therefore extremely keen to diversify its energy mix by introducing a large component of renewables. It has considerable potential in wind, hydro, solar and geothermal energy. India has considerable achievements and strengths in the sector of renewable energy and noted that India had made large strides in the same. 

India offered its support and expertise to Chile in setting up renewable projects. It offered the services of Indian experts and institutions like Centre for Wind Energy, Solar Energy Centre, Alternate Hydro Energy Centre for resource assessment of renewable energy sources, training of personnel and also preparation of projects for exploiting these technologies in Chile. 

It also offered training slots in India to Chilean scientists, engineers and technicians through the Indian Technical And Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme. 



The President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf paid an official visit to India since 9 September 2013 to 13 September 2013 at the invitation of the President of India. During this visit, India and Liberia held discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest with the Prime Minister of India. 

On 12 September 2013, the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for the year 2012 was conferred upon President Sirleaf. The Prize was awarded to her for serving as an example and inspiration to women in Africa and beyond and for ensuring the return of peace, democracy and development in Liberia. 

The following agreements were signed during the visit: 

a) Agreement on Establishment of Joint Commission between India and Liberia 

b) MoU between Foreign Service Institutes of India and Liberia 

c) MoU on cooperation in the field of Oil and Gas between India and Liberia 

d) Agreement between Exim Bank and Government of Liberia for a Line of Credit of 144 million US dollars for funding a power transmission and distribution project in Liberia.



The Union Ministry of Science and Technology, and RIKEN, Japan’s largest research organization have signed Ministry of Understanding (MOU) on 14 September 2013 for Launching joint Research programs in applied science. The Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed by Prof. NOYORI, President of RIKEN and Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science& Technology (DST) and Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Bio- Technology (DBT). 

MoU Signed for Joint Research programs in the fields of: 

1.Biology, Life sciences and Material sciences. 

2.Genome related research including systems Biology. 

3.Computational science including development of bioinformatics tools, Detection tools for security and other areas of mutual interest. 

The cooperation will facilitate exchange and foster collaborations between Japan and India, in the field of applied science. The RIKEN-DBT&DST Joint Research program will also focus on supporting the exchange of researchers, postdoctoral fellow and doctoral students besides doing joint research programs. 

About RIKEN: RIKEN is Japan's largest comprehensive research institution renowned for high-quality research in a diverse range of scientific disciplines. Founded in 1917 as a private research foundation in Tokyo, RIKEN has grown rapidly in size and scope, encompassing a network of world-class research centers and institutes across Japan. 

About the Department of Biotechnology (DBT): Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is a part of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology of Government of India. DBT emphasizes in the fields of modern biology and biotechnology in India. The department has made significant achievements in the growth and application of biotechnology in the broad areas of agriculture, health care, animal sciences, environment, and industry. 

About the Department of Science and technology (DST):Department of Science and Technology (DST) is a part of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology of Government of India. It was established in May 1971, with the objective of promoting new areas of science and technology. It will also act as nodal department for organizing , coordinating and promoting S&T activities in India. 



India and China on 16 September 2013 agreed to initiate steps to include Media cooperation as part of 2014 celebrations being observed to commemorate Friendly Exchanges between these two countries. The agreement was a part of the first meeting of the India-China Media Forum being held in New Delhi. The meeting took place between Manish Tewari, Minister for Information & Broadcasting of India and Cai Ming Zhao, Minister of State Council Information Office of China. 

Major points agreed upon during the meeting: 

• As a part of the agreement, India and China agreed to proactively consider steps to promote high level media exchanges and facilitation between the two nations. 

• Apart from this, it was also agreed to outline a roadmap to include specific projects and proposals as part of the initiative under the Media domain to be considered under activities to mark the commemoration of the Friendly Exchanges. 

• During the discussions between the two delegations it was also agreed to explore possible areas of cooperation in the field of Capacity Building, Co-production Agreements related to Films, sharing of the experience of institutionalizing Digitisation in the Broadcasting sector and enhanced participation during the Film Festivals being held in both countries. 

• It was also suggested that all possible areas could be identified under the aegis of the Working Group set up between the two countries. 

• In view of the vibrant Media and Entertainment industry in both countries, both sides also agreed to share experiences with regard to strategy, policy initiatives, innovation and implementation across different media platforms. 

During the meeting, Cai Ming Zhao, Minister of State Council Information Office of China also extended an invitation to Manish Tewari (Minister of I&B, India) to visit China in 2014 as part of the celebrations to observe 2014- as the Year of Friendly Exchanges. It is important to note that the Chinese minister is on the visit to India to participate in the first meeting of the India-China Media Forum being held in New Delhi on 16 September 2013. 



Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 16 September 2013 signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Comisión Nacional de Valores, (CNV) Argentina to promote mutual assistance and exchange information related to securities markets in both the countries. 

The MoU was signed by U.K. Sinha, Chairman, SEBI and Alejandro Vanoli, Chairman, Comisión Nacional de Valores, Argentina during the 38th IOSCO annual conference being held in Luxembourg. 

The MoU between SEBI and CNV seeks to promote mutual assistance and exchange of information with a view to facilitate the development of deeper and broader capital market, enhance greater cross-border activities and attain closer regulatory co-operation between two jurisdictions in a mutually beneficial manner. 

The MoU also seeks to establish and implement technical assistance and training program, for an effective development of regulatory framework for securities markets in the two jurisdictions. 

About CNV: Comisión Nacional de Valores, (National Securities Commission) (CNV) is an independent agency of Argentina with jurisdiction throughout the Republic. CNV aimed to provide the public offer by ensuring the transparency of markets and the correct formation of prices in them, and the protection of investors.

CNV's action is projected on companies issuing securities to be publicly placed on secondary markets and securities intermediaries in these markets. CNV's action also projected on the public offering of forward contracts, futures and options on their markets and clearing houses, and their intermediaries. 



Russia and Government of India on 21 September 2013 agreed on collaboration to jointly develop and manufacture civilian aircraft and helicopters for especially for emergency relief and medical purposes. Russian Government also offered to set up manufacturing facilities in the India for joint production of defence hardware. 

Russia and Government of India also reached an understanding for setting up two major projects in a joint venture for producing civil choppers and aircraft. This was decided during the 7th India Russian Forum on Trade and Investment meet between Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Rogozin and Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov in St. Petersburg.

Anand Sharma and Dmitry Rogozin agreed on collaboration to jointly develop and manufacture civilian aircraft and helicopters for especially for emergency relief and medical purposes. And both Russia and India stated that these two aircraft projects should not be seen only for domestic use but will also explore the possibilities of third country exports. 

For production of Civilian Aircrafts: One of the projects under collaboration for civilian aircrafts or helicopters envisages the setting up of the joint venture for manufacturing in Indian factories different modifications of light helicopters Ka-226T for medical, rescue and other purposes. The Russiangovernment also mooted a new proposal involving IL-112V. 

For Setting up of manufacturing facility: Russia also proposed to India for setting up manufacturing facilities in the country for production of defence equipment in various fields. The opportunity could also be used to make India as the export base for such defence hardware. 

India and Russia have also developed a framework for tracking key priority projects at the Ministerial level. The sectors covered under this joint understanding include automobile, industrial and road-building machinery, chemical and petrochemical industry, civil aircraft construction, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, energy, diamonds, IT, automobiles, and agro and processed foods. 


Economy

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (of India) on 13 September 2013 released the document Economic Outlook 2013-14 in New Delhi. The economic growth forecast of India for the current fiscal 2013-14 was lowered to 5.3 percent from 6.4 percent projected earlier. 

The PMEAC had in April 2013 projected 6.4 percent growth for Indian economy for current financial year. RBI too had earlier lowered its growth projection for this fiscal to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent. The Economic Outlook condition listed out host of measures including further liberalisation of FDI norms to improve economy. 

The other major highlights of Economic Outlook India are as following: 

• The PMEAC expects the agriculture sector to grow by 4.8 percent in the current fiscal up from 1.9 percent, while the industrial growth has been pegged at 2.7 percent as against 2.1 percent in 2012-13. 

• The growth of services sector, however, is projected to decelerate to 6.6 percent in current fiscal from 7.1 percent a year ago. 

• In order to promote growth, the advisory council suggested that the government should liberalise FDI investment norms, resolve tax concerns of the industry, fast track public sector investment and initiate measures to contain fiscal deficit. 

• Referring to the external sector, the advisory council expressed hope that the Current Account Deficit (CAD) in 2013-14 will come down to 70 billion US dollars or 3.8 percent of GDP, from 88.2 billion US dollars or 4.8 percent a year ago. 

• As regards rupee, it was hoped at the current level it is well corrected. Stability is returning to the foreign exchange market. As capital flows return and as CAD begins to fall, this tendency will strengthen. 

• Admitting that rupee depreciation will put some pressure on inflation, the advisory council stated that On balance, WPI inflation by end March 2014 will be around 5.5 percent as against the average of 7.4percent in 2012-13 and 5.7 percent for March end 2013. The wholesale and retail inflation widened in recent months primarily on account of higher weightage of food items in CPI. The retail inflation in August 2013 stood at 9.52 percent, while the WPI numbers in July was at 5.79 percent. 

• The trade deficit, PMEAC said, would come down to around 185 billion US dollars in 2013-14, against an estimated 195.7 billion US dollars in 2012-13. 

• Between 2010-11 and 2012-13, the combined impact of higher net oil and net gold imports on the CAD (Current Account Deficit) was almost 57 billion US dollars or 3 percent of GDP. 

• The CAD may go even below 70 billion US dollars in 2013-14 if the recent trends in exports and imports are maintained through the year. 

• Net Capital flows are projected to fall to 61.4 billion US dollars in 2013-14 against an estimated 89.4 billion US dollars in 2012-13 putting pressure on the country's forex reserves. 




The Union Cabinet of India on 12 September 2013 approved a proposal to invest 4.3 billion US dollar in the bonds of the World Bank Group. The investment has been planned to receive additional cheaper funding from the multilateral agency for infrastructure related projects. 

• The RBI will make investments in the bonds that will be floated by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). IBRD is the lending arm of World Bank. 

• RBI will get returns on the investments made on the bonds. The tenure of the bonds would vary from time to time. The decision was taken in the backdrop of the borrowing headroom of India, which was reaching its upper limit. The planned investments would bring in larger sums for infrastructure financing in the country. During the same meet, an in-principle approval to the proposal of setting-up of two semiconductor manufacturing facilities was also given by the Union Cabinet. 

• These manufacturing facilities would play a major role in controlling the import of electronic products like chipsets. The Government would make an investment of about 25000 crore rupees and the government support level for development of these units will be decided following the negotiations with the chip makers. 



Index of Industrial Production (IIP) with base year (2004-2005=100) released the data on Industrial output on 12 September 2013. The general Index for the month of July 2013 stands at 2.6 percent higher as compared to in the month of July 2012 due to improved performance of manufacturing and power sectors. 

Manufacturing sector: The manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75 percent of IIP, grew by 3 percent in July 2013 as compared to zero growth in the month of July 2012. During April-July 2013, the sector saw a decline of 0.2 percent as compared with a contraction of 0.6 percent in April-July 2012. Among the 22 industry groups in the manufacturing sector, 11 recorded positive growth in July 2013. Power sector Power generation increased by 5.2 percent in July 2013 as against a growth of 2.8 percent in July in 2012. Power generation in the April-July grew 3.9 percent compared with an expansion of 5.5 per cent in April- July 2012. 

Mining: Mining output declined by 2.3 percent as compared to July 2012. 

Consumer goods: As for use base classification the growth rates in July 2013 over July 2012 are 1.7 percent in basic goods, 15.6 percent in capital goods and 2.4 percent in intermediate goods. The consumer durables declined by 9.3 percent and non durables increased by 6.8 percent. The overall growth in consumer goods declined by 0.9 percent. Consumer goods output contracted by 0.9 percent in July 2013 as compared with the expansion of 0.7 percent in the same month of 2012. 

About Index of Industrial Production (IIP): It is an index which shows the performance of various sectors in an economy. It is released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation of Government of India. It has 8 core industries. They are Coal, Crude Oil, Natural Gas,Petroleum Refinery products, Fertilizers, Steel, Cement and Electricity.

IIP is a composite index: The all India IIP is a composite indicator that measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to that in a chosen base period. It is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) with the time lag of six weeks from the reference month. IIP is compiled using data received from 16 sources of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Indian Bureau of Mines, Central Electricity Authority, joint Plant committee, Ministry of Petrolo9em and Natural Gas, office of Textile Commissioner, Department of Chemical and Petrochemicals, Directorate of Sugar, Department of Fertilizers, Directorate of Vanaspati , Vegetable Oils and Fats, Tea Board; Office of Jute Commissioner, Office of Coal Controller and Railway Board; Office of Salt Commissioner and Coffee Board. 

About Central Statistical Office: The CSO is one of the two wings of the Department of Statistics. Other wing of Department of Statics is National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)). It is responsible for coordination of statistical activities in the country and maintains statistical standards. Its activities include compilation of National Accounts, conduct of Annual Survey of Industries and Economic Censuses, compilation of Index of Industrial Production, as well as Consumer Price Indices. It also deals with various social statistics, training, international cooperation, Industrial Classification etc. 



Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 12 September 2013 issued the new Guideline to make Know Your Client requirements (KYC) easy for foreign investors. These guidelines related to registration and disclosure norms for low risk foreign investors. SEBI classified foreign investors into three categories depending on their risk profile like category I, category II and category III. 

Category I includes: Government and Government related foreign investors such as Foreign Central Banks, Governmental Agencies, Sovereign Wealth Funds, International, Multilateral Organizations and Agencies. 

Category II includes: 

• Regulated broad based funds such as Mutual Funds, Investment Trusts, Insurance / Reinsurance Companies. 

• Appropriately regulated entities such as Banks, Asset Management Companies, Investment Managers/ Advisors, Portfolio Managers. 

• Broad based funds whose investment manager is appropriately regulated. 

• University Funds and Pension Funds 

• University related Endowments already registered with SEBI as FII/Sub Account 

Category III includes: 

All other eligible foreign investors investing in India under PIS route not eligible under Category I and II such as Endowments, Charitable Societies/Trust, Foundations, Corporate Bodies, Trusts, Individuals, Family Offices. 

Category I investors have been exempted from submission of documents like financial statements and board resolution papers. Their top management, partners, directors, trustees and authorised signatories would not be required to submit proof of identity, proof of address and photographs, submission of the list, identity proof, address proof and photographs for their ultimate beneficial owners. SEBI decision to reclassify foreign investors as per their risk profiles was recommended by a committee headed by former Cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar. 



The Union Government of India on 17 September 2013 hiked the import duty on gold from 10 percent to 15 percent. The hike is aimed at protecting the domestic industry. The import duty on Silver was also increased from 10 percent to 15 percent. 

Before the hike in import duty, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) took several steps to limit the imports to meet genuine domestic demands for jewellery and export purposes. Gold jewellery imported during 2012-13 stood at 5.04 billion US Dollar. In the April-June quarter of the current financial year 2012-13, it was 112 million US Dollar. 

Value of the gold imports decreased to 650 million US Dollar in August 2013 in comparison to 2.2 billion US Dollar in July 2013. The government hiked the import duty on gold August 2013 for the third time in 2013 as a part of the measures to contain the widening current account deficit. The duty on silver and platinum were also increased to 10 per cent in August 2013.Earlier the import duty on gold was hiked from 4 percent to 6 percent in January 2013. India is the largest importer of gold in the world, which is mainly utilised to meet demand from the jewellery industry. 

Import of gold is mainly responsible for the rise in Current Account Deficit (CAD) and impacts the foreign exchange reserves of the country as well as the value of rupee. Current Account Deficit (CAD) touched a high of 4.8 per cent of GDP in the 2012-13. What is Current Account Deficit? Current Account Deficit occurs when a country's total imports of goods, services and transfers are greater than the country's total export of goods, services and transfers. 



The Union Minister of Finance, P. Chidambaram, on 18 September 2013 announced the strictness measures such as a complete ban on the creation of non-plan and plan posts, as well as a slash in the non-plan expenditure by 10 percent. The austerity measures were announced in order to contain the non-developmental expenditure as well as for the promotion of fiscal discipline. In order to cut the rising fiscal deficit of 4.8 percent of the GDP in 2013-14, the strictest of all measures include an overall halt on the new appointments. It is important to note that this is the strictest measure on the part of the UPA Government despite being in the election year. In the recent job-slashing drive, even the Indian Railways, this is the biggest Government job provider, has not been spared. 

The Finance Ministry issued a 4-page memorandum which stated, “Posts that have remained vacant for over a year are not to be revived except under very rare and unavoidable circumstances and after seeking the clearance of the Department of Expenditure.” This implies that there will be no recruitment now till the betterment of the economy. In the meanwhile, the Finance Ministry also stated that there should be maintenance of discipline in the fiscal transfers. The Union Government of India from now will not be transferring any funds for the schemes which are under the planned expenditure, until and unless the States release the funds of equal amount. 

The Finance Ministry issued warning that even the release of the grants-in-aid will be monitored very strictly. Apart from this, all the State Governments will have to now on, furnish the monthly returns of Plan expenditure on Central, Centrally-sponsored and State plans together with the reports on the amount which is outstanding in the Public Accounts. The Central Government as well as its employees were asked to travel in the economy class, apart from the officials in upper scale. The upper scale officials are allowed to travel through the executive class. 

However, all the employees have been issued advice to travel with the cheapest tickets available. Other instructions issued by the Finance Ministry included not buying the new cars, not rushing for procuring avoidable items and no advance payment unless sanctioned by the Dept of Expenditure on compassionate grounds. The Union Minister of Finance explained that by tightening the belt, the Indian economy would pick up by 2014. These measures have been announced at the time when the fiscal deficit of India reached 62 percent of the Budget target in merely four months time period, i.e., from April-July 2013-14. 



Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 19 September 2013 announced that banks can open their branches in tier 1 centers without taking its permission in each case. But RBI imposed some conditions to open branches. 

According to 2011 census Tier I center are those with population above 1 lakh. 

RBI passed the guidelines under following conditions: 

• Banks should open 25 percent of their branches in a financial year in Un-banked tier-V and tier-VI centers as earlier. 

• Total number of branches in tier –I center’s can’t exceed the number of branches opened in tier-2 to tier-6 centers during a year. 

• If the banks are unable to open all tier – 1 branches during that year, they can carry it over for next two years 

• If the banks unable to open requisite branches in tier- II to tier- VI centers for some reason, it should necessary rectify the shortfall in the next financial year. 



Net direct tax collections for the current financial year (2013-14),up to 17th September 2013 increased 238325 crore Rupees from 211641 crore Rupees compared to 2012-13 ,up to 17th September 2012, showing a growth of 12.5 percent. This data was released on 18 September 2013 by Department of Revenue of Finance Ministry of Government of India. 

Corporation tax: Corporate tax collections were increased to 146610 crore Rupees from 135791 crore Rupees compared to 2012-13, which is a growth of 7.97 percent. 

Income Tax: Income tax collections were increased to 89006 crore Rupees from 65752 crore Rupees compared to 2012-13, which is a growth of 21.08 percent. 

Securities transaction tax (STT) and wealth tax: The collection of securities transaction tax (STT) and wealth tax stood at 2210 crore Rupees and 309 crore Rupees. Out of the above net collections, contribution by way of advance tax up to the September quarter was 114324 crore Rupees which is an overall growth of 9.14 percent. Advance tax collections from corporate were 103374 crore Rupees, which is a growth of 7.97 percent. Advance tax collections under personal income tax head is 10946 crore Rupees, showing a rise of 24 percent. According to released data the top five advance tax payers were Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), State Bank of India (SBI), Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and HDFC Bank. 




The Government of India on 18 September 2013 signed an agreement with Latvia on Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income. The Agreement and the Agreed Note were signed by Salman Khurshid, External Affairs Minister of India and Mr. Edgars Rinkevics, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia. Latvia is the third Baltic country with which DTAA has been signed by India. Earlier DTAAs were signed with Lithuania and Estonia. 

The DTAA provides that business profits will be taxable in the source if the activities of an enterprise constitute a permanent establishment (PE) in the source state. The Agreement provides for fixed place of permanent establishment (PE), building site, construction or assembly PE, service PE, Off-shore exploration/exploitation PE and agency PE. 

Double Tax Avoidance Agreement contains following provisions: 

• Dividends, interest and royalties and fees for technical services income will be taxed both in the country of residence and in the country of source. The low level of withholding rates of taxation for dividend, interest and royalties and fees for technical services (10 percent) will promote greater investments, flow of technology and technical services between India and Latvia. 

• The Agreement incorporates provisions for effective exchange of information between tax authorities of the two countries in line with latest international standards, including exchange of banking information and supplying of information without recourse to domestic interest. 

• The Agreement included an article on assistance in collection of taxes. This article also included provision for taking measures of conservancy. The Agreement incorporates anti-abuse (limitation of benefits) provisions to ensure that the benefits of the Agreements are availed of by the genuine residents of India and Latvia. 

• The Agreement will provide tax stability to the residents of India and Latvia. It will also facilitate mutual economic cooperation between India and Latvia. About Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA): Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) is a bilateral agreement between two countries. The main objective of DTAA is to avoid taxation of income in both countries (means double taxation of same income). 



Bhartiya Mahila Bank, the first nationalised bank for women expected to be operational from November 2013. Bhrtiya Mahila Bank In its first advertisement on 18 September 2013 announced that the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) will recruit 115 vacancies from female candidates only. 

Main Objective of Bhartiya Mahila Bank: 

The main objective of Bhartiya Mahila Bank is to focus on the banking needs of the women and promote economic empowerment. It will also addresses the gender related issues and helpful in financial inclusion. 

Headquarter of Bharitiya Mahila Bank and branches: • The proposed bank will be headquartered in New Delhi. • It will start with 6 branches in North, South, West, Central and North Eastern part of the country. Bharatiya Mahila Bank proposes to complete the first six branches at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Indore and Guwahati by October 15. 

About Bharitiya Mahila Bank: • The bank aims to service women and women-run businesses, support women’s self-help groups and their livelihoods and promote further financial inclusion in a country where only 35 percent of Indian adults have access to a bank account. 

• An only-for-women bank first time in India. 

• The announcement to set up all Women’s bank was made by Finance Minister of India P Chidambaram in the Budget speech 2013-14. 

• The Cabinet cleared the proposal for setting up of all-women bank on August 2013. 

• The government has approved 1000 crore Rupees seed capital for Bhartiya Mahila Bank. 

• Reserve Bank of India gave its in-principal approval for the Bharatiya Mahila Bank in June 2013 and the banking company is being set up. 



The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 20 September 2013 increased the repo rate or the short term lending rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 per cent from 7.25 per cent with immediate effect. This means that the Repo rate has been increased by 0.25 percent. The Governor of RBI, Raghuram Rajan while reviewing the monetary policy for the first time as a Governor, however, brought down the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate by 0.75 per cent to 9.5 per cent. 

The MSF rate is the one at which the other banks can borrow from the Central Bank. The cash reserve ratio (CRR) remained unchanged at 4 percent. The cash reserve ratio (CRR) is the portion of the deposits which the banks need to maintain in cash with the RBI. 

The RBI, in the meanwhile, also brought down the minimum daily maintenance of CRR from 99 percent of the requirement to 95 percent with effect from 21 September 2013. All these changes were a part of the monetary policy review for September 2013. The next monetary policy review of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is scheduled for 29 October 2013. 


Business

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), Department of Micro & Small Scale Enterprises and Textile, Government of West Bengal (MSSET) and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) entered in the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (TRI-MOU) for a larger cause of growth and development of the MSME sector in West Bengal. 

Major Highlights of the MoU: 
• The MoU was was exchanged at Synergy MSME 2013, the Mega Conclave of MSME’s being organized by the Government of West Bengal from 16-21 September 2013 at the Milan Mela Ground, Kolkata with the ICSI being one of the partner organizations. 

• As per the MoU, ICSI would organise guidance to participants on incorporation and management of MSMEs under the Companies Act and the LL.P Act: clinics for advice on finance, law and Corporate Governance, based on the theme How to incorporate a company and comply with legal requirements. This will be done in order to provide one-to-one support to the visiting entrepreneurs at the Conclave along with an Info Kiosk for general info dissemination and sharing and providing of knowledge. 

• Apart from this, ICSI in association with ASSOCHAM will also organise plenary session in the Conclave on Company Law and Corporate Governance. 

• ICSI and ASSOCHAM will support MSSET in organising seminars or trainings by group or cluster of MSMEs and will develop a simple, easy to understand summary of Company Law to be put on the MSSET website. 

• ICSI will also develop a check list of statutory compliances required by MSME. 



The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on 17 September 2013 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to construct solar power projects on premises of the Delhi Metro. The production of solar power will help DMRC partially fulfill its energy requirements as well as reduce carbon footprints. 

As per the MoU, the DMRC and SECI will collaborate for the development of solar projects which includes ground, rooftop and other possible mountings of solar panels at identified DMRC sites. 

SECI is a not-for-profit company under the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, whose objective is to develop Solar Technologies and solar power plants across the country. 



Tata group on 19 September 2013 announced that it entered into an agreement with the Singapore Airlines for initiating the full-service carrier in India. For this purpose, Tata Group and Singapore Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the new airline. The new airline will be New Delhi based and will be operating under the full-service model. 

In the newly formed airline company, Tata Sons will own 51 percent and Singapore Airlines will own 49 percent. Tata group already entered into the partnership with the AirAsia Bhd in order to initiate the low-cost airline in India. In order to seek the approval for establishment of new airline in India, Tata Sons has already applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). 

At the start-up level, the board will have two members nominated by Tata Sons and one nominated by Singapore Airlines. Prasad Menon will be the Chairman of this new airline, as nominated by the Tata Sons. The other details such as the branding, products and services as well as the management team of the new airline will be announced after some time. 


Awards

Bollywood actor John Abraham was on 16 September 2013 conferred the Pride of the Nation award for his attempt to raise the sensitive issue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination through his role as a RAW agent in Madras Café film. The award was presented by Anti Terrorist Front chairman Maninderjeet Singh in New Delhi. All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) is an anti-terrorist organisation led by Maninderjeet Singh Bitta. In Madras Cafe film John Abraham made a courageous attempt to unravel the conspiracy behind the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. 

The film "Madras Cafe" is set in the late 80s and early 1990s, during the time of Sri Lankan civil war and the assassination of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Madras Cafe is Indian political action thriller film directed by Shoojit Sircar and produced by John Abraham and Ronnie Lahiri. The main role of an Indian intelligence agent in the film is played by John Abraham, while Nargis Fakhri, who is the female lead, plays an international reporter. The film also deals with the subject of terrorism, and was shot in India and Sri Lanka. 



Abhinav Shiv Tiwari's OASS, a movie on human trafficking, was named the best film at the second edition of the Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF) on 15 September 2013. It also won the best screenplay, and Divya Chhetri was awarded the best actress for the same movie. The Snow Leopard trophy for Best Film comprises a cash prize of 200000 rupees to be shared between the director and the producer of the film. 



National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) was awarded Indira Gandhi Official Language Award for propagation of Rajbhasha ( Official Language) in the company by the Union Government of India on Hindi Divas on 14 September 2013. On 14 September Hindi was adopted as an official language of the country. 

About Indira Gandhi Official Language Award: 

To promote the official Language in the country, the Government of India introduced Indira Gandhi Official Language Award from 1986-82.This award grants to the various Ministries/Departments, Banks and Financial Institutions, Public Sector Undertakings and employees. 

About NTPC

• NTPC is India’s largest power company. 

• It was set up in 1975 to accelerate power development in India. 

• NTPC is emerging as a diversified power major with presence in the entire value chain of the power generation business. NTPC is also performs the functions of consultancy, power trading, ash utilization and coal mining. 

• NTPC became a Maharatna company in May 2010, one of the only seven companies to be awarded Maharatna status. 

• The other Maharatna companies are Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Coal India Limited (CIL), GAIL (India) Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited Oil, Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). 



Pakistani schoolgirl and education rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai and American singer, human rights and social justice activist Harry Belafonte were jointly awarded with Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2013 on 17 September 2013 in Dublin, Ireland. The Ambassador of Conscience Award is the human rights group's highest honour, recognizing individuals who have promoted and enhanced the cause of human rights through their life and by example. 

About the award: 

The Ambassador of Conscience Award is Amnesty International's most prestigious human rights award. It is given to individuals who show exceptional leadership in the fight to protect and promote human rights and human conscience. 

The Award, inspired by a poem written for Amnesty International by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, aims to promote the work of Amnesty International by association with the life, work and example of its Ambassadors. 

Amnesty International named Vaclav Havel its inaugural Ambassador of Conscience award in 2003. Vaclav Havel was a human rights defender, the last President of Czechoslovakia, and the first President of the Czech Republic. 



Union Labour and Employment Minister Sis Ram Ola on 18 September 2013 presented the Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar & National Safety Awards for the Performance Year 2011 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. 

194 applications for Vishvakarma Rashtriya Puruskar and 187 applications for National Safety Awards were received for the Performance Year 2011. 

116 awards were for Vishvakarma Rashtriya Puruskar, and in different categories of National Safety awards there are 63 winners and 35 runners-up awardees. 

About the Vishvakarma Rashtriya Puraskar and National Safety Awards: 

• The Vishvakarma Rashtriya Puraskar and National Safety Awards scheme was launched in 1965 to motivate the brilliant workers and industrial units who deliver their best to curb mishaps and increase in the industrial (occupational) safety measures and work for the promotion of the interests of both the management. 

• The Vishvakarma Rashtriya Puraskar (VRP) was earlier known as Shram Vir National Awards. The Vishvakarma Rashtriya Puraskar and National Safety Awards are operated by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. 

• These awards were started off in the year 1965. 

• These Award schemes are operated by its technical wing, i.e., the Directorate General Factory Advice Service and Labour Institutes (DGFASLI), Mumbai. DGFASLI renders the advice as well as services to the workers, their representatives as well as managements in the factories. 

• VRP is awarded in recognition of outstanding suggestions given by a worker or group of workers and implemented by the management during the previous calendar year resulting in improvement in quality, productivity and working conditions such as safety, health and environmental conservation in the industrial undertakings where Suggestion Schemes are operational. 

• The recipients of the award are given cash prize and a certificate of merit in three categories 

• VRP is awarded in the form of cash prize and a certificate of merit in three categories: Class ‘A’ – Five (5) of 75000 Rupees each, Class ‘B’ – Eight (8) of 50000 Rupees each and Class ‘C’ – Fifteen (15) of 25000 Rupees each. 

• There are 28 puraskars being shared by 116 winners out of a total of 194 applications received from different industries for the Performance Year 2011. 

• The NSA is given in recognition of outstanding safety performance of industrial establishments, construction sites, ports and installations under AERB to stimulate and maintain the interests of both the management and the workers in accident prevention programmes. 

• The awards are given under twelve schemes, out of which ten are meant for Factories, Construction sites and Installations under AERB and two are for Ports. 

• Under each award, a Shield and a Certificate of Merit is given to each of the Award Winners and Runners-up. The establishments are classified in different schemes on the basis of working of highest man-hours. 

Criterion for the Awards: 

• Lowest Average Frequency Rate over a period of three consecutive years ending in the contest year as compared to the National Average for that group of industries. 

• Accident Free year based on man-hours worked during the contest year. 

• For the Performance year 2011, the total number of NSA Award Winners and Runners-up in all the ten schemes added up to 98 (63 winners and 35 runners-up), which were selected out of 187 applications received under various schemes. 



Miss Nigeria, Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola, 21, won the Miss Muslimah World contest which was organised by the World Muslimah Foundation in Jakartha, Indonesia on 18 September 2013. The annual Muslim event was held exclusively for Muslim women, who are assessed not only for their appearance (in Islamic dress) but also for their piety, religious knowledge and understanding of the Quran. 

More than 500 Muslim women entered the contest online, with 20 finalists chosen by judges. Entrants were asked to talk people through their path to the religion and what wearing a headscarf meant to them. 

About the Miss Muslimah World Pageant: 

The Miss Muslimah World is an Islamic beauty pageant held every year at Indonesia. The contest was launched as a response to the Miss World pageant. 

This is an annual Muslim event which is held exclusively for Muslim women, who are assessed not only for their appearance (in Islamic dress) but also their piety, religious knowledge and understanding of the Quran. 

The contest was first held in 2011 under a different name and was only open to Indonesians, but after the media began comparing it to Miss World, it was rebranded as a Muslim alternative to the world-famous show. Because of its popularity, organisers accepted foreign contestants this year for the first time, with Iran, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Nigeria and Indonesia represented. Indonesia is the world's most populous Islamic country. 

Previour winners: 

Nina Septiani- Miss World Muslimah 2012 

Dika Restiyani- Miss World Muslimah 2011. 

About the World Muslimah Foundation: 

World Muslimah Foundation (WMF) is a friendly Muslim women’s organization provides a conceptual model and specific techniques that guide the sisterhood among Muslim become more communicate and fun in ways that will enhance understanding of Islam and encourage members to be confident to find their essential skills. 

Founded in 2011, World Muslim Foundation has emphasis to deliver effective ways to reduce poverty and creating better generation primarily on the core issues of educations, empowerment and appreciation. 



The President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 20 September 2013 presented the National Communal Harmony Award for the year 2011 and 2012. 

National Communal Harmony Award for 2011: 

Odisha's MD Janab Haji Abdul Bari and Mizoram’s Khamliana jointly awarded for the year 2011 individual category. Both are social activists. The Jury has not found any organisation suitable for this award for the year 2011. 

National Communal Harmony Award for 2012: The Foundation for Amity and National Solidarity, Delhi awarded for Organisational category. The foundation formed in 1984.The Foundation works for spreading amity and communal harmony 

About National Communal Harmony Award: 

• The National Communal Harmony Awards were instituted in 1996 by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), an autonomous organization set up by the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs of India, for promoting communal harmony and national integration. 

• National Communal Harmony Award is given every year for two categories. They are Individual and Organisation. Award is given every year for outstanding contribution for continued promotion of communal harmony or national integration over a period of time. 

• The Awards consisted of a citation each and cash amount of 2 lakh Rupees for an Individual and 5 lakh Rupees for an Organization. 



Tigmanshu Dhulia won the best director award for Paan Singh Tomar movie at the 11th Norway Bollywood Film Festival at Loreskog cinema center in Oslo on 17 September 2013.  

While filmmaker Rahul Mittra bagged the Best Producer award for his Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns, Jimmy Sheirgill got the best actor award for the same film. 



Indian freedom fighter Jawaharlal Darda was posthumously conferred a Lifetime Achievement Award at UK's House of Commons on 12 September 2013. The Award was given for his contribution during India's independence movement and its journey afterwards. Britain's Minister for Business Engagement with India Gregory Barker and Virendra Sharma, Chair of the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group jointly presented the award to late Jawaharlal Darda's son, Vijay Jawaharlal Darda, MP and Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Lokmat, the most widely circulated Marathi language newspaper. 

Jawaharlal Darda joined the country's freedom movement and became an active Congress leader and also founded the Lokmat group of newspapers in Maharashtra in 1971. 

Jawaharlal Darda also served as minister in Maharashtra for several years and was founder-editor of his newspaper group, which has now grown to a state-wide chain in Marathi and English. 


Apointments
Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant, Judge of the High Court of Uttarakhand was on 19 September 2013 appointed as the new Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court. He was appointed by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. 

Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant took over from Justice T.Nandakumar Singh, who is the Acting Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High court since March 2013. 



P. Sudhakar took over as the Chairman & Managing Director of the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) on 16 September 2013. He was working with ECIL since 1979 and was holding the Office of the Director (Technical) and acting CMD, prior to this appointment. 



The National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) on 16 September 2013 appointed Saji Cherian as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company. Before Saji Cherian the post was held by Anjani Sinha. Saji Cherian was previously the head of Listing Issuer Services at MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX). He had also worked with Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) as General Manager and at Madras Stock Exchange and Cochin Stock Exchange as Executive Director. 

About National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL): 

National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) is the national level, institutionalized, electronic, transparent spot trading platform for commodities. It is a structured market place, set-up to transform the commodity market by way of reducing the cost of intermediation and thereby improving marketing efficiency. 

Its state-of-the-art technology facilitates risk free and hassle free purchase and sale of various commodities. NSEL provides customized solution to farmers, traders, processors, exporters, importers, arbitrageurs, investors and other stakeholders pertaining to commodity procurement, storage, marketing, warehouse receipt financing, etc. 

NSEL commenced Live trading on 15 October 2008. At present, NSEL is operational in 16 States in India, providing delivery-based spot trading in 52 commodities. 



Jawaid Akhtar, the Chairman of Coffee Board of India, was elected as the Chairperson of the International Coffee Council at the meetings of the International Coffee Organization which took place on 9 September 2013 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 

The 111th session of the Council and the meetings took place from 9 September 2013- 12 September 2013. At the same time, Conradin Rasi of Switzerland was elected as the Vice-Chairperson of the International Coffee Council. The Council also appointed Juan Esteban Orduz of Colombia as the Chairperson of the Consultative Forum. 

About the International Coffee Organization (ICO): 

• The International Coffee Organization was established in 1963 in London. 

• It was initiated with the United Nations (UN) to increase cooperation among the nations which produce, distribute and consume coffee. 

• The International Coffee Organization was formed as a result of the five-year International Coffee Agreement signed in 1962 at the UN in New York. 

• Till the year 2011, it comprised of 39 members, which included 33 exporting nations, 5 importing countries and one importing community, i.e., the European Union. 

• The highest body of the ICO is International Coffee Council. It meets two times a year and the Private Sector Consultative Board of ICO includes 16 representatives from coffee production and consumption industries. • The members of ICO represent 97 percent of the world coffee production and more than 80 percent of the world consumption. 



Indian cricketer Virat Kohli was appointed as the brand ambassador of the Border Security Force (BSF) on 22 September 2013. It is important to note that any central force in India has appointed its brand ambassador. 

BSF is the second largest paramilitary force of India that guards two crucial Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh. Virat Kohli was roped in for bolstering the appeal of 2.5 lakh personnel capable strong BSF. 

BSF director general Subhas Joshi explained that he was appointed as the brand ambassador because his name (Virat) meant huge and symbolised the force. Virat Kohli was honoured in the presence of Minister of State for Home Affairs R.P.N. Singh. 

The BSF director general, in the meanwhile, also explained that Virat Kohli’s association with BSF will play a key role in enhancing the public image of BSF. Virat Kohli is the 25-year old cricketer who made his debut in the year 2011 in the Test series against the West Indies. 

About the Border Security Force (BSF): 

The Border Security Force (BSF), a border patrol agency of the Government of India was established on 1 December 1965. 

BSF is a component of the paramilitary forces of India (PMF) and its primary role is to guard India's international borders during peacetime as well as prevent transnational crime. 

The BSF is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The BSF, apart from ensuring the border security, also has the responsibility of conducting the anti-Naxal operations in India as well as playing roles in maintenance of the internal security. 


Persons

The Guinness World Records stated that former musician and coal miner Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez of Spain certified as the world's oldest man died at the age of 112 on 13 September 2013. 



An Indian woman from south Dinajpur in West Bengal was declared the world's tallest woman. Siddiqa Parveen received the title from the Guinness World Records. This was announced in the new record book launched in the second week of 2013 in London. 

The entry said, the tallest woman living is Siddiqa Parveen, who was measured to be at least 7 feet 3.5 inches. The doctor estimates her standing height to be at 7 ft 8 inches. 

India already holds the record for being home to the world's shortest woman. Standing at 24.7 inches, Jyoti Amge has held the Guinness world record title for Shortest Living Woman since her 18th birthday on 16 December 2011. 



Indian-origin American, Nina Davuluri on 15 September 2013 became the first Indian-origin contestant to win the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She was initially named the Miss New York 2013 and subsequently won Miss America 2014 title. She is the first Indian-origin woman to be chosen as Miss America. 



Rohan Kokane, a 12 year old Indian roller skating enthusiast, made it into the 2014 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records released on 12 September 2013. He is one of the youngest new record breakers to make it into the Guinness Book. 



Tony Abbott was sworn in as Australia's new Prime Minister on 18 September 2013. Tony Abbott is the 28th Prime Minister of Australia. Tony Abbott, 55, took the oath at Government House in Canberra in front of Governor-General Quentin Bryce. His Conservative Party defeated former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's centre-left Labor Party in 7 September 2013 elections. Tony Abbott has immediately ordered the scrapping of Australia's carbon tax and the halting of asylum-seeker boats after being sworn in as Prime Minister. 

About Tony Abbott: 

• Tony Abbott was Born in England in 1957 to an Australian mother and an English-born father and he graduated in economics and law from Sydney University. 

• Leader of Liberal Party and main opposition Liberal-National coalition. 

• Rhodes Scholar, former student boxer and Catholic priest trainee. 

• Held employment and health and ageing portfolios in John Howard Government from 2001 -2007. 

• Tony Abbott was elected Member for Warringah at a by-election in March 1994. Prior to entering Parliament he was Executive Director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy from 1993-94. 

• From 1990-93 he was press secretary and political advisor to the Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson. His previous career was in journalism, where he wrote as a feature writer for 'The Bulletin' and 'The Australian'. 

• Tony Abbott became Leader of the Opposition on 1 December 2009. 



Hiroshi Yamauchi, the third president of Nintendo, died on 19 September 2013 in Japan. He was 85 years old and died because of pneumonia. He is the mastermind behind the most popular Nintendo game, Super Mario. Nintendo is a maker of Super Mario and Pokemon games along with Wii U home console. Nintendo was formed in the year 1889. 



India's industrialist Ratan Tata on 18 September 2013 nominated as a member of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a foreign-policy think tank. It is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States. 

About Ratan Tata: 

• Ratan Tata was the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, from 1991 until his retirement at the end of 2012. 

• He was also chairman of the major Tata companies, including Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels, and Tata Teleservices. 

• He is also a member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry. 

About Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: 

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is the foreign policy think tank located in United States. It was established in 1910. It is also globally renowned with policy research centres in Moscow, Beijing, Beirut, and Brussels as well as a program in Almaty, Kazakhstan in addition to its headquarters in Washington, DC. 



Dutch cyclist Sebastiaan Bowier broke the land speed record on a bicycle, riding in Nevada, US on 15 September 2013. Sebastiaan Bowier hit a speed of 133.78 kph. Sebastiaan Bowier reached a rip-roaring 133.78 kph in the high-tech recumbent bike developed by students from Delft University of Technology and VU University Amsterdam. 

This set a new world record, making him the world's fastest cyclist travelling 0.6 kph faster than the previous record holder, Canadian Sam Wittingham. 



Veteran Time magazine writer Nancy Gibbs on 17 September 2013 appointed as the Managing Editor of Time Magazine. Nancy Gibbs, 53, would be TIME’s 17th managing editor since its 1923 founding. She is the first woman to hold the position. 

Nancy Gibbs has been with Time Magazine since 1985 and she also served as deputy managing editor. 



Former BCCI Secretary Jaywant Lele passed away on 19 September 2013 in Vadodara after he sufferred a heart attack.



Former Indian tennis player Anand Amritraj on 21 September 2013 appointed as non-playing captain of the Indian Davis Cup by All India Tennis Association. The 61 year old Amritraj replaced S P Misra, who lost his job after eight top players revolted, calling for changes in Davis Cup playing conditions. The decision to appoint Amritraj was taken at All India Tennis Association's Executive Committee meeting in Goa on 21 September 2013. He will remain in job for year 2014. The committee decided that Zeeshan Ali will continue as the coach. The venue for the Chinese Taipei tie has not been decided as yet. The committee also decided that Davis Cup venue should be rotated from state to state to allow more states to get an opportunity to host the Davis Cup Tie. 

About Davis Cup: The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format. Davis Cup began in 1900 as a competition between USA and Great Britain. It’s now the world’s largest annual international team competition in sport, with 130 nations entering in 2013. 


Books

Kanoon Lugat, an Urdu law dictionary, a first of its kind in the country was released on 15 September 2013 in Mumbai. The dictionary, encompassing 52000 legal terms, has been translated in Urdu for the first time. Supreme Court advocate Muhammad Irshad Hanif authored the translation of this dictionary. The Urdu legal dictionary has a foreword written by former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir. 
Advocate Hanif has also translated Indian Penal Code and Indian Evidence Act in Urdu, besides publishing two books Taziraat-e-Hind and Qanoon Shahadat-e-Hind. With these books, the litigants would be more empowered with correct knowledge of the laws and would be in a better position to understand their lawyers, rights and liabilities, as well as the legal proceedings in the courts. 



A newly released book entitled Ikea on the Road to the Future revealed how the founder of the company, Ingvar Kamprad was compeled to hand over billions of Dollars to the sons after the family fued. The new book, which is scheduled to go on sale from 27 September 2013, is co-authored by former Ikea executive Lennart Dahlgren, journalist Stellan Bjoerk and economist Karl von Schulzenheim. 

The book is in contradiction with the official release of Ikea’s history which explains that Ingvar Kamprad handed over the complete empire to overseas foundations in the year 1982. However, the authors of the book claimed that Ingvar Kamprad, who founded Ikea in the year 1943, retained a certain percentage of sales depending upon his intellectual property rights for himself, which in turn triggered battle with his three sons. Ingvar Kamprad since 1970s has been living a self-imposed tax exile in Switzerland. 

However, in June 2013, he announced that he wanted to come back to Sweden. 87-year old Ingvar Kamprad hardly shares the podium in front of media with his sons. 


Sports

The Indian duo of N. Sriram Balaji and Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan won the ITF Men's Doubles Title at Sharam-Al-Sheikh, Egypt on 15 September 2013. In the title clash, the top seeded Indian duo defeated the fourth seeded Egyptian pair of Karim Hossam and Karim-Mohamed Maamoun, 6-4, 7-6. The Indian pair Balaji –Murugesan won their doubles title in 10000 dollar prize money category. 
About ITF Men’s Circuit:

The ITF Men's Circuit is a series of professional tennis tournaments held around the world that are organized by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for male professional Tennis players. The ITF Men’s Circuit provides the entry level of Professional Tournaments enabling players to eventually reach the higher level tournaments on the ATP World Tour. The ITF Men’s Circuit incorporates two prize money levels of Futures tournaments. 
Futures Tournaments are single week tournaments that offer either 10000 dollars or 15000 dollars each in prize money. They must be scheduled with a minimum total of 30000 dollars in prize money, so either three consecutive weeks of 10000 dollars each in prize money or two consecutive weeks of 15000 dollars each in prize money. 



The Indian wrestler Amit Kumar bagged Silver Medal in 55 Kg Free Style category in the 2013 Senior World Wrestling Championship being held at Budapest, Hungary on 16 September 2013. 



Indian wrestler Bajrang Kumar has bagged a bronze medal in the 60 kilogram freestyle category at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary on 17 September 2013. Bajrang Kumar recorded an overwhelming 9-2 win over Mongolia's Nyam-Ochir Enkhsaikhan to bag the Bronze. 

Earlier, Bajrang Kumar lost to Vladimir Vladimirov Dubov of Bulgaria, the eventual silver medallist, but came back strongly in the repechage. This is the first time India has won two medals in the Men's events at the World Championship level. Earlier, Amit Kumar had won a Silver medal in the 55 Kg freestyle category, after losing to Iranian Hassan Farman Rahimi. 



India retained its top position in the latest One Day International (ODI) rankings which were released by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai on 17 September 2013. India occupied the number one position with 123 rating points followed by Australia with 115 and England with 111 points. 

India’s Virat Kohli is at number four while skipper Dhoni is at number seven. Ravindra Jadeja tops the list of ODI bowlers along with Caribbean Sunil Narine and is followed by Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal. 

In the All rounders category, Ravindra Jadeja is placed third after Pakistan’s Mohammed Hafeez and Sakib Ul Hassan of Bangladesh. 

India is at the top of ODI format since February 2013 when it defeated England 3-2 at home to regain the top place. 

About International Cricket Council (ICC): 

• The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the global governing body for international cricket, encompassing men's, women's and youth participation and competition. 

• ICC was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa. 

• ICC is responsible for the administration of men's and women's cricket including the management of playing conditions and officials for Test Match and One-Day International (ODI) cricket and the staging of international cricket events for men, women and juniors. 



Kolkata’s Mohammedan Sporting club won the 126th Durand Foot ball tournament as it defeated ONGC 2-1 in the final at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on 19 September 2013. They have lifted the cup after 73 years having won it back in 1940.  

The last time Sporting won Durand Cup was before Independence in 1940 by defeating Warwickshire Regiment, and the last time they played a final in the capital was back in 1992. 

About Durand Cup

The Durand Football Tournament was started at Simla in the year 1888 by Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, who was then, the Foreign Secretary to Government of India. Durand is the third oldest football tournament in the world and oldest in Asia and India. 



India wrestling team on 20 September 2013 earned a maiden Wrestling World Cup berth on the back of its best-ever sixth-place finish in men’s freestyle at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. India finished the tournament in the men’s freestyle category with 23 points, which has catapulted the country to sixth in rankings behind Iran, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine and the USA. 

As per FILA rules, the top eight teams in the World Championship automatically qualify for the World Cup and Amit Kumar Dahiya’s silver medal in the 55kg and Bajrang Kumar’s bronze in the 60kg freestyle category ensured India its maiden World Cup appearance in 2014. 

Earlier, India’s best-ever finish in the World Championship in men’s category came in the year 2009 when it finished 10th, while year 2010 and 2011 saw them finish 13th and a lowly 31st. 



India's Deepika Kumari on 22 September 2013 settled for a silver medal at the Archery World Cup in Paris, France. In the final, Deepika lost to the Korean Olympic champion Ok-Hee Yun, 6-4, and had to settle for a Silver in the showpiece annual fixture, held after four stages. 

This was Deepika’s fourth successive World Cup Final appearance and second loss to Yun. Deepika Kumari had finished fifth in 2010 and won silver medals in both 2011 and 2012. She is from Ranchi, Jharkhand. She is 19-year-old. Deepika Kumari had defeated Ajejandra Valencia of Mexico in semifinal. 



Indian wrestler Sandeep Tulsi Yadav on 22 September 2013 won bronze medal in the 66kg Greco-Roman category at the Senior World Wrestling Championships in Budapest. Sandeep Tulsi Yadav defeated Serbia's Aleksandar Maksimovic, 4-0 to bag the bronze medal. 

This bronze medal is India’s first ever medal in the 66kg Greco-Roman category at the Senior World Wrestling Championships. 


Defence

India’s most deterrent nuclear capable ballistic missile, Agni-5 was successfully test fired from Chandipur Test Range in Balasore district off Odisha coast on 15 September 2013. 
Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Agni-5 can carry a single nuclear warhead of over 1000 kg and can strike with precision targets in China and Europe. The complex missile weighs about 50 tons and is 17.5 meters long. 
The first test flight of the Agni-5 on 19 April 2012 was a phenomenal success after which India joined the select club of the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China who have such capabilities. Agni-5 will give India the ability hit back or have second-strike capability even after a nuclear attack. The missile is India's fastest-travelling object and the first one to cross the Equator when launched from India. The versatile missile system has the capacity to be launched from a road mobile vehicle or even from a special railway bogey where it can be kept hidden and moved around at will. 
Agni-5 can be a very fast reacting missile which is a major asset for response to a nuclear strike. After about half a dozen successful tests, this latest missile system will be ready to be inducted into the arsenal of India's strategic forces. 


Science & Technology

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft on 12 September 2013 officially became the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun. During its journey Voyager 1 has travelled through plasma or ionized gas, present in the space between stars for about one year. 
At present the Voyager is in the transition region, outside of the solar bubble. This transition region still has evidences of the effects of the sun. The Voyager NASA mission is at a distance of 19 billion kilometer from home and thus a radio signal sent from the voyager takes 17 long hours to reach its receivers on the earth. Launched in 1977, Voyager was sent initially to study the outer planets, but then just kept on going. 
History: Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, were launched 16 days apart in 1977. Both spacecraft flew by Jupiter and Saturn. Voyager 2 also flew by Uranus and Neptune. Voyager 2, launched before Voyager 1, is the longest continuously operated spacecraft. It is about 9.5 billion miles (15 billion kilometers) away from our sun. 



A team of US scientists from Stanford University developed a new and better method of making use of the microbes for harnessing the electricity from the wastewater. The US scientists created a new battery for this purpose. 

The new study published in the Proceedings of the National Acadamy of Sciences (PNAS) on 16 September 2013 revealed that the scientists discovered a new methodology for producing clean energy by making use of the dirty water. The US scientists explained that their new technique can be used at the wastewater treatment facilities as well as for breaking down the organic pollutants in dead zones of the lakes and oceans where the fertilizer runoff has caused depleted oxygen, leading to suffocating marine life. 

About the newly developed battery: 

• The team of US scientists from Stanford University started off with a prototype which is equivalent to the size of the D-cell battery. 

• The battery comprises of two electrodes, one negative and one positive, and it is pushed into the bottle of wastewater which is filled with the bacteria. 

• As and when the organic material is consumed by the bacteria, all the microbes accumulate around the electrode which is negative, thereby throwing off the electrons, which are captured by the positive electrode. This process is called fishing for electrons. 

Craig Criddle, one of the lead authors of the study explained that one can see the microbes making the nanowires in order to dispose off their excess electrons. Scientists since a long time have knonw about the microbes, which are also known as exoelectrogenic. These microbes live in the environments which are airless and are also capable of breathing the oxide materials than the oxygen, in order to generate the energy. In the past as well, various research groups have made their efforts for trying various kinds of approaches in order to transform the microbes into bio-generators. However, it has always proven very difficult to harness the energy absolutely freely. The US scientists therefore explained that their new battery model is very simple and yet very efficient. It can harness around 30 percent of potential energy in wastewater, which is approximately the same rate like the solar panels that are commercially available. 

However, the scientists explained that there is less energy potential in the wastewater in comparison to the sun’s rays. But the process still has an added advantage that it can clean the water. This implies that the method can be used for the offsetting some energy which is consumed for treating the wastewater. 


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