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2013 - October 19 to 23 - Current Affairs


Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia elected to seats as non-permanent members by the United Nations Security Council in the 15-member Council on 17 October 2013. These members have been elected for two-year term which would start from January 2014. The New Council members will replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo. 

Non-permanent members Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, the Republic of Korea and Rwanda will remain on the Council until the end of 2014. India had served as a non-permanent member at the council in 2011-2012. There are six principal organisations of UN which maintains peace and security of the world. 

The Organisations are-General Assembly, the Security Council, The Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice and the Secretariat. 

Structure of Security Council

Article 23 of chapter V of United Nations Charter provides for the composition of United Nations Security Council. The council is composed of 15 members. There are 5 permanent members of Security Council and 10 non –permanent members. 

Five permanent members are

China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Ten non-permanent members are elected for 2 years term by General Assembly and these members can not be immediately re –elected. 

Objective of the Security Council

The Objective of UNSC is to maintain peacekeeping operations, the establishments of international sanctions and the authorization of military action. The powers of UNSC are exercised through United Nations Security Council resolutions. 

All Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security. 

The United States agreed on a deal with Romania for making use of its air base- Mihail Kogalniceanu air base, as a transit point for the American forces leaving Afghanistan. The deal was reached at the bilateral talks at the Pentagon. 

The deal will enable the US to switch the flight operations to Romania from Kyrgyzstan's Manas air base. It is important to note that the US lease on Kyrgyzstan's Manas air base will expire in July 2014. The US has already planned to withdraw most of the 52000 troops from Afghanistan by 2014 end. 

The deal in context with the use of Romania's Mihail Kogalniceanu air base was reached during negotiations between the US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel and Romanian Defence Minister Mircea Dusa. The Mihail Kogalniceanu air base is near the Black Sea town of Constanta. 

In June 2013, Kyrgyzstan voted in order to end the US lease on Manas in July 2014. It is worth noticing that the US pays 60 million US Dollar every year in order to lease the base. The base has remained operational since 2001. 

World Osteoporosis day was celebrated across the world on 20 October 2013. Osteoporosis occurs when there is a loss in the peak bone mass and loss of calcium leading to hip, knee and shoulder fractures. 

World Osteoporosis Day is observed annually on 20 October, and launches a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. It is organised by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF). 

World Osteoporosis Day involves campaigns by national osteoporosis patient societies from around the world with activities in over 90 countries. World Osteoporosis Day was launched on 20 October 1996 by the United Kingdom’s National Osteoporosis Society and supported by the European Commission. Since 1997, the day was organised by the International Osteoporosis Foundation. 

In 1998 and 1999, the World Health Organization acted as co-sponsor of World Osteoporosis Day. The Deficiency of vitamin D and lack of mineral-rich food are the other causes of calcium loss in the bones. For this, doctors advise exposure to sun. Similarly, people suffering from arthritis, liver diseases or who sweat excessively too are prone to bone diseases. The bone diseases among women are a common occurrence, but of late, Osteoporosis, is fast affecting men, mostly after they turn 60. It is estimated that there will be around 36 million people in the world suffering from the disease by the end of this year. 

Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day was observed on 21 October 2013 across the world to create awareness of the need to prevent iodine deficiency. presently, one third of the world population is exposed to the risk of iodine deficiency disorders. 

Over 740 million people in 130 countries are facing the health problem. In India, more than six core people are suffering from iodine deficiency disorders including endemic goiter and 88 lakh people from mental or motor handicaps. 

Importance of Iodine: A lack of iodine in the diet may lead to mental retardation, goitre, or thyroid disease. Iodine is required for the synthesis of the thyroid hormones like T- 4 and T-3 and it is essential for normal growth, development and well-being of all humans. It is a micronutrient and normally required around 100 to 150 micrograms for normal growth and development. 

India efforts: In 1984, the Government of India adopted a policy decision with the goal of Universal Iodization of Salt. 

The sustained efforts of Salt Commissionerate over the last two decades in implementing the policy initiatives and the cooperation of the salt manufacturwers have resulted in significant progresss on Salt Iodisation Status in the country. The National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme has been included in the Prime Minister's 20-point programme. 

The Government of UK on 21 October 2013 announced that it decided to build the first nuclear plant of UK (called Hinkley Point C (HPC) power plant) in over two decades time along with a French energy firm EDF, and two Chinese companies. The nuclear plant will be established at south-west England and it will be the first one in Western Europe ever since the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan. 

EDF along with two other Chinese partners- CGN and CNNC signed the deal in order to invest 16 billion Pounds in the nuclear plant- Hinkley Point C (HPC) power plant. This nuclear plant will meet approximately 7 percent of the energy needs of UK in the long term. It is important to note that while the Britain will establish its first nuclear plant, Germany, on the other hand, is set up for decommissioning all the nuclear power plants by the year 2022. 

Chatham House, the international body, in the meanwhile, revealed that the nuclear contribution to electricity across the world dropped down from 17 percent in 1990s to 10 percent at present. There is also an involvement of the Government subsidy, which means that the deal will have to get a nod from the European Commission. 


The largest Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower of India was inaugurated outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai on 18 October 2013. The tallest ATC tower stands at the length of 84 metres or around 30 storey building. 

The tower was inaugurated by the Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. Because of its height, the ATC tower will enable all the controllers in having easy and nonstop view of complete operational area. It will also help in optimising the separation of the air traffic, while enhancing the traffic handling capacity at the same time. 

The ATC tower is spread over an area of 2800 square metre area and is also equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as electronic flight strips that can reduce the workload of controllers and enhance safety and capacity of the airport. 

It is important to note that India is the 9th largest aviation market of the world and has the traffic increasing at 10 percent annually. The designing of the ATC was done by Hong Kong-based architectural firm HOK as well as the international engineering designer ARUP. These were chosen after the global competition. 

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) changed the investment guidelines for pension fund on 17 October 2013. 

The following changes made in the investment guidelines for Pension Fund by PFRDA
• Investments in debt securities by pension funds should have residual tenure of not less than three years 
• Debt securities selected for investments should have a minimum residual maturity period of three years from the date of investment by the Pension Fund. 
• The debt securities must have an investment grade rating from at least two credit rating agencies. Apart from ratings by agencies, pension funds should undertake their own due diligence of assessment of risk associated with securities before investments. 
• Credit Default Swaps (CDS) on corporate bonds are also eligible derivative instruments 
• Rated asset backed securities (ABS) are eligible securities for investments provided they have a residual maturity of not less than three years and have an investment grade rating from at least two rating agencies. 

It also explained that both National Pension System (NPS) Lite and private sector schemes follow the government pattern of investment and hence investment guidelines as applicable to the government sector and any subsequent amendments to investment guidelines of government sector will be applicable to these schemes as well. 

Fund managers for managing pension corpus of government employees: 
• LIC Pension Fund Ltd 
• SBI Pension Funds Pvt. Ltd 
• UTI Retirement Solutions Ltd 

Fund managers for managing pension corpus of Private sector employees

• LIC Pension Fund Ltd 
• SBI Pension Funds Pvt. Ltd 
• UTI Retirement Solutions Ltd 
• HDFC Pension Management Company Ltd 
• ICICI Prudential Pension Funds Management Company Ltd 
• Kotak Mahindra Pension Fund Ltd 
• Reliance Capital Pension Fund Ltd 
• DSP BlackRock Pension Fund Managers Pvt Ltd 

About Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA): 

• The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority was established by the Government of India on 23 August 2003. 

• The main objective of the PFRDA is to promote old age income security by establishing, developing and regulating pension funds, to protect the interests of subscribers to schemes of pension funds and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. 

• The PFRDA shall consist of a Chairperson and not more than five members, of whom at least three shall be whole-time members, to be appointed by the Central Government. 

Bangalore topped the list of best business destinations in India as per the study done by Global Initiative for Restructuring Environment and Management on 21 October 2013. It was ranked on the basis of socio-economic and infrastructure factors. 

Chennai is at the second position, followed by Mumbai and Pune. Ahmedabad was placed at 8th position behind Indore (5th), Bhubaneshwar (6th) and Coimbatore (7th). Nagpur and Kochi are at ninth and tenth positions, respectively, while Hyderabad was ranked 12th. In the NCR region, Noida is at the 17th position while Gurgaon ranks 19th. Kolkata was placed at 18th position. Visakhapatanam is at 21st place. 

The study ranked the cities based on factors such as human capital, energy, water, transport, housing, healthcare, climate, office space availability and city culture, amongst others. These include basic eco-socio-economic factors critical in determining the growth of the city. The ranking offers companies across industries and sectors with valuable for future investment opportunities. 

India Post on 22 October 2013 released a commemorative postage stamp on the Golden Jubilee of Bhakra Dam. A two-inch stamp marking the 50th anniversary of Bhakra Dam was released in Nangal by Union minister of water resources Harish Rawat. 

The dam was dedicated to the nation by the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru on 22nd October in 1963. 

India Post earlier issued a commemorative postage stamp on Bhakra Dam on 15th Dec 1988 on its silver jubilee. Bhakra dam is the first structure in India which will have two commemorative postal stamps in its name. 

About Bhakra dam

The Bhakra dam, located at a gorge near the upstream Bhakra village in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh, is India’s second tallest at 225.55 m (740 ft) high next to the 261m Tehri Dam. Its reservoir, known as the “Gobind Sagar”, stores up to 9.34 billion cubic metres of water. Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab are getting water for irrigation from the Bhakra Dam. 

Envoys of four nations- South Africa, Qatar, Slovenia and Namibia presented their credentials to the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on 23 October 2013. The credentials were presented by the envoys. 

These were

• France Kosinyane Morule, High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa 
• Ahmed Ibrahim Abdulla Al-Abdulla, Ambassador of the State of Qatar 
• Darja Bavdaz Kuret, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia 
• Pius Dunaiski, High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia 

Meaning of the Credentials

Credentials basically refer to the testimonials or the evidences which concern to the one’s right to confidence, credit or authority. 

The Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar on 23 October 2013 announced that the Indian Railways decided to increase the speed of the superfast trains to 160-200 kmph. The existing superfast trains of India- Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durontos will get an increase in the speed. These trains will undergo a minor push in the speed in next few years. 

Apart from this, the Indian Railways planned to increase the technical capability of the present infrastructure. An increase in the speed of the train will lead to less travel time. As a beginning, the Shatabdi routes from Delhi to Bhopal and Lucknow will be tried. Thereafter, this will be forwarded to Duronto and Rajdhani. 

After implementation of this, the superfast trains of India will run at the semi high speeds before the year 2017. It is important to note that India, at present, has one of the largest rail networks in the world. 

However, there are not many high-speed rail lines which can support the speed of 200 kmph or more. Various high speed corridors were proposed, but they have not been implemented. At present, the fastest train of India is the Bhopal Shatabdi with the top speed of 150 kmph. 


The Sixth India- Brazil Joint Commission Meeting was held in Brasilia on 14 -15 October 2013. The main issues discussed in the meeting were the entire gamut of India-Brazil Strategic Partnership including Political, Economic and Commercial, Agriculture, Science and Technology, Defence, Cultural, Hydrocarbon etc. 

The Sixth India- Brazil Joint Commission Meeting was co-chaired byLuiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Minister of External Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil, and Salman Khurshid, External Affairs Minister of Republic of India. 

Highlights of the Sixth India- Brazil Joint Commission Meeting

• The Ministers welcomed the signature of a bilateral protocol to the Brazil-India Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement that amends its Article 26, regarding the exchange of information. The protocol is a further step in the global effort to establish an international financial system based on co-operation between countries, transparency and effective exchange of information in tax matters. 

• Both Ministers discussed the issue of the ratification of the bilateral Agreement on Mutual Assistance on Customs Matters which will strengthen cooperation between customs authorities, in order to enforce customs laws and regulations 

• They signed an Agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, which will enhance prospects of a closer cooperation between Brazil and India in legal assistance matters. 

• They also renewed the Agreement on Cooperation between their respective diplomatic academies, the Foreign Service Institute and Instituto Rio Branco, signed in 2007.The agreement has offered so far a most valuable opportunity for the new generations of Brazilian and Indian diplomats to deepen mutual understanding and better know each other's values and traditions. 

• Brazil expressed its interest in implementing the new program for the interchange of professors between the two diplomatic academies, still in 2013. 

About India and Brazil international relations

• India and Brazil were established their diplomatic relations in 1948. 

• Although the two countries are divided by geography and distance, they share common democratic values and developmental aspirations. 

• Both countries enjoy cordial and friendly relations, which are characterized by regular exchange of visits at all levels, shared values and convergence of views on issues of mutual interest. 

• Both are large developing countries, each an important player in its region, both stable, secular, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, large democracies as well as trillion-dollar economies. 

• Shared vision of India and Brazil enabled forging of close cooperation and coordination in the multilateral arena be in IBSA, BRICS, G-4, BASIC, G-20 or other organizations. 

The 14th India-Russia Annual Summit was held at Moscow on 21 October 2013. The summit was co-chaired by the Prime Minister of the India Dr. Manmohan Singh and the President of the Russia Vladimir V. Putin. 

During the meeting they discussed priority areas of bilateral cooperation and noted common positions on current international and regional issues. Both sides stressed their continued commitment to promote and strengthen in every possible way their special and privileged strategic partnership.

During the 14th India-Russia Annual Summit, India and Russia signed bilateral Documents on transfer of Sentenced Persons, in the Field of Energy Efficiency, in the field of Standardization and Conformity Assessment between Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Federal Agency on Technical Regulation and Metrology, in the Fields of Science and in the area of Biotechnology.

List of Bilateral Documents signed during 14th India-Russia Annual Summit
S.NoName of the DocumentDetails/Scope
1. on Transfer of Sentenced PersonsThe Treaty shall facilitate the process of social rehabilitation of persons sentenced in the other country by providing them the opportunity to serve out their remaining sentences (under certain conditions) in their country of nationality. It is expected to boost consular cooperation between the two countries.
2.MoU in the Field of Energy EfficiencyThe MoU shall enhance cooperation in the field of energy saving and energy efficiency, including through joint implementation of activities and projects by organisations/companies of both the countries. The forms of cooperation envisaged include exchange of best practices in smart grids, energy audits, energy efficient building designs, industrially efficient technologies, etc.
3.MoU in the field of Standardization and Conformity Assessment The objective of this MoU is to facilitate closer technical cooperation in the field of standardization through exchange of information, practices and expertise. It is expected to have beneficial effects for trade and commerce where standards/conformity assessments form an integral basis for transactions.
4.Programme of Cooperation in the Fields of Science, Technology and Innovation The Programme aims to deepen cooperation in the field of innovation and S&T through implementation of Joint Programs and projects/exchanges involving educational, R&D and industrial institutions. The joint projects may also facilitate transfer of technology. The broad areas of cooperation include ‘sunrise’ sectors such as IT, nano-technology, environmental sciences and alternate energy. This Programme shall also reinforce the existing robust exchanges between the scientific institutions of the two sides.
5.Programme of Cooperation in the Area of Biotechnology for the period 2014-2017The Programme aims to broaden cooperation in the field of biotechnology and encourage industrial R&D & related investment flows. This is intended to be achieved through implementation of Joint Programs and projects/exchanges, etc.

India and China signed 9 MoUs/agreements including the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) to maintain peace and tranquility on the Line of Actual Control, on 23 October 2013 during the official visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to China.

List of Agreements/MoUs signed between India and China during PM’s Official Visit to China:
S. No.Name of Agreement / MoUGist of Agreement / MOU
 1. Agreement on Border Defence Cooperation An additional confidence building measure to ensure peace and tranquility on the border.
 2. MoU on Nalanda University Cooperation on Nalanda as part of East Asia Summit process.
MOU to Strengthen Cooperation on Trans-Border Rivers
Provides for expanded cooperation on trans-border rivers.
 4. Cultural Exchange Programme 2013-15A listing of cultural exchanges till 2015.
MoU on Cooperation in Road Transport and Highways
 Enabling agreement for cooperation in the roads sector.
MoU on Power Equipment Service Centres in India
 Provides for establishment in India of Chinese power equipment service centres.
 7. Agreement between Delhi-Beijing on Establishment of Sister City Relationship Establishes sister city relations between Delhi and Beijing.
 8. Agreement between Bengaluru – Chengdu on Establishment of Sister City Relationship Establishes sister city relations between Bengaluru and Chengdu.
Agreement between Kolkata – Kunming on Establishment of Sister City Relationship
Establishes sister city relations between Kolkata and Kunming.

The 2nd meeting of the India- Philippines joint commission on bilateral cooperation was held on 21 October 2013 in Manila. The meeting was co-chaired by the Albert F. Del Rosario, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines and the Salman Khurshid, Minister of External Affairs of the of India. 

During the meeting they discussed on political, defense, security, economic and cultural cooperation, and reviewed the progress of the Joint Working Groups on Trade and Investment, Tourism, Agriculture, Health and Medicine, Joint Committee on Renewable Energy and of the Joint Defense Cooperation Committee. 

Highlights of the 2nd India-Philippines Joint Commission meeting
• The Ministers affirmed their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reiterated their commitment to expand and deepen cooperation in counter terrorism. In this regard, they agreed to convene the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism in New Delhi in 2014 to discuss all issues related to terrorism and other transnational crimes. 
• India and Philippines agreed to commence negotiations on Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Criminal Matters (MLAT) in December 2013 and consider a Transfer of Sentenced Persons Agreement (TSP). 
• The Ministers welcomed the convening of the 2nd meeting of the India-Philippines Joint Defense Cooperation Committee (JDCC) in November 2013 in New Delhi. 
• They also committed to increase exchanges in military training and education. • The Ministers agreed to step up cooperation in combating non-traditional threats through exchange of experiences and capacity building in the areas of disaster management, food security and pandemics. 
• The Philippines side welcomed the cash support of 100000 US Dollar provided by the Indian Government for disaster relief following the recent devastating earthquake in the Philippines. 
• The Ministers committed to increase bilateral trade and investments between India and Philippines and to fully maximize the potential of the Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment to bring their bilateral trade to an even higher level. 
• They welcomed the results of the 2nd Meeting of the Joint Working Group on Tourism and agreed to review the 1949 Bilateral Air Services Agreement. 
• The Ministers agreed to convene the 2nd Meeting of the Joint Working Group on Agriculture and the 2nd Meeting of the Joint Working Group in Health and Medicine as soon as possible. 
• They also agreed that the 1987 Agreement for Cooperation in Science and Technology must be tapped and implemented through a Program of Cooperation. 
• They also agreed to discuss a new Executive Program on Cultural Exchange for the years 2014 to 2016. 
• The Ministers agreed that the 3rd Meeting of the Joint Commission will be held in 2015 in New Delhi. 

India and Bangladesh on 22 October 2013 inked an agreement for enhanced trade facilitation and for combating evasion of duties and taxes. The agrrement was signed during the India-Bangladesh Joint Group of Customs meet in Dhaka. 

The agreement was signed by India's Revenue Secretary Sumit Bose and Md. Ghulam Hussain, Chairman of the Bangladesh National Board of Revenue. This was the ninth meeting under the Secretary-level Joint Group of Customs. The next meeting will take place in New Delhi in 2014. 

About the Agreement

• Under the agreement, India and Bangladesh identified 16 Land Customs Stations of high bilateral trade for synchronisation of working hours and days, and extension of Car Pass System thereby allowing movement of trucks for unloading up to the point of Land Custom Station. 

• India- Bangladesh also agreed to allow custom officials of both countries to cross the borders to each other's land Custom Stations for coordination and resolving operational issues. 

• Both countries also agreed to keep the Land customs Stations at Petrapole and Benapole and Agartala and Akhaura operational for 7 days a week from 1st january, 2014. 

• They also agreed to improve institutional linkages between their customs administrations at operational and policy levels to facilitate trade and protect revenues. 

The extradition treaty between India and Bangladesh came into effect on 23 October 2013 with the handing over of the instruments of ratification. 

The treaty came into effect after Bangladesh Home Secretary C.Q.K. Mostaq Ahmad and Indian High Commissioner Pankaj Saran signed the documents in Dhaka. 

The treaty was signed between two nations on 28 January 2013. With this treaty in place, India will now be able to extradite ULFA leader Anup Chetia from Bangladesh. Under the treaty the two countries will be able to exchange convicts and undertrials as required. 

The treaty provides for extradition of convicts sentenced to more than one year of imprisonment, but is not applicable to political prisoners and asylum seekers. Both countries can cancel the treaty at six month's notice. 

The treaty will allow India to extradite ULFA leader Anup Chetia, while it will allow Bangladesh to take back fugitive criminals from India like Sazzad Hossain and put them to trial. 

The 2nd Meeting of the Philippines-India Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation was held on 21 October 2013, in Manila. The meeting was co-chaired by Albert F. Del Rosario, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and Salman Khurshid, Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India. India and Philippines held comprehensive discussions on political, defense, security, economic and cultural cooperation, and reviewed the progress of the Joint Working Groups on Trade and Investment, Tourism, Agriculture, Health and Medicine, Joint Committee on Renewable Energy and of the Joint Defense Cooperation Committee. 

They emphasized that the opportunity to meet regularly at high level is important, to reflect their growing and dynamic bilateral partnership. The Ministers agreed that the next meetings of the Policy Consultations and Strategic Dialogue will be held in Manila, in 2014. 

Moscow, the Capital of Russia hosted the 14th India-Russia Annual Summit on 21 October 2013. Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh and the President of Russia Vladimir Putin co-chaired the summit. During the summit both nations discussed priority areas of bilateral cooperation on current international and regional issues. Both nations emphasised their continued commitment to promote and strengthen their special and privileged strategic partnership. 

India and Russia signed many bilateral Documents including transfer of Sentenced Persons, in the Field of Energy Efficiency, in the field of Standardization and Conformity Assessment between Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Federal Agency on Technical Regulation and Metrology, in the Fields of Science and in the area of Biotechnology during the summit. 

India and China signed nine agreements/Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) including the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) on 23 October 2013. The main objective of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement is to avoid border tensions and army face-offs along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by deciding that neither side will use military capability to attack the other side nor tail patrols along the border. 

The other agreements/Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) were Management of Trans- Border Rivers, MoU on Nalanda University, Cultural Exchange Programme 2013-15, MoU on Cooperation in Road Transport and Highways, MoU on Power Equipment Service Centres in India, Agreement between Delhi-Beijing on Establishment of Sister City Relationship, Agreement between Kolkata – Kunming on Establishment of Sister City Relationship. 

Highlights of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA): 

• India and China shall carry out border defence cooperation on the basis of their respective laws and relevant bilateral agreements. 

• Both countries agreed to exchange of information including information about military exercises, aircrafts, demolition operations and unmarked mines-and take consequent measures conducive to the maintenance of peace, stability and tranquility along the line of actual control in the India-China border areas. 

• Both countries agreed to work jointly to combat smuggling of arms, wildlife, wildlife articles and other contrabands. 

• Both countries agreed that they shall not follow or tail patrols of the other side in areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control in the India-China border areas. 

• In case a doubtful situation arises with reference to any activity by either side in border areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control, either side has the right to seek a clarification from the other side. In such cases, the clarification shall be sought and replies to them shall be conveyed through any of the mechanisms established under this Agreement. 

• Both countries agreed that if the border defence forces of the two sides come to a face-to-face situation in areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control, both sides shall exercise maximum self- restraint, refrain from any provocative actions, not use force or threaten to use force against the other side, treat each other with courtesy and prevent exchange of fire or armed conflict. 

• Both countries shall implement this Agreement without prejudice to their respective positions on the alignment of the line of actual control as well as on the boundary question. 

The Ministry of Power of the Government of India and the National Energy Administration of the Government of China on 23 October 2013 signed the deal to further strengthen and deepen cooperation in the energy sector under the India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue. 

The energy cooperation and the proposal for setting up Chinese Power Equipment Service Centres (PESCs) in India was discussed at the SED Working Group Meeting on Energy that took place in Beijing on 26 September 2013. 

India has become a strategic market for Chinese power equipment manufacturers and that 18 GW of thermal power projects were commissioned under India’s 11th Five Year plan using Chinese-manufactured equipment and about 40GW of power projects are currently under construction using Chinese-made equipment. 

Important Provisions of Cooperation Programme: 

1. The service centres would be adequately provided with equipment, personnel, spares and other facilities so as to enable them to provide all requisite spars and services support within India. 

2. The PESCs will be set up in India on market principles. The costs and terms of servicing power equipment will be decided between the PESCs and the end user. 

3. The companies will make themselves fully conversant with the relevant rules/regulations/statutes/approvals and processes being applicable for setting up of such PESCs in India. 

4. The PESCs would be directly responsible for provision of requisite services to the Indian power generating companies on mutually acceptable terms and conditions (between the PESCs and the Indian power generating companies) and in accordance with applicable Indian laws/rules/statutes and this MoU shall not in any-way confer any special or preferential status/treatment to the PESCs. 


India's foreign exchange (forex) reserves gained 1.51 billion US dollars to touch 279.24 billion US dollars for the week ended 11 October 2013. As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Weekly Statistical Supplement, India's Foreign Currency Assets (FCA), the biggest component of the forex reserves, increased by 1.52 billion US dollars to 250.85 billion US dollars for the week under review. 

RBI said the FCA expressed in US dollar terms included the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies held in reserve, such as the pound sterling, euro and yen. The value of India's gold reserves remained the same. 

However, India's reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) declined by 4.7 million US dollars to 2.19 billion US dollars and the value of the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) fell by 9.6 million US dollars to 4.43 billion US dollars. For the week ended 4 October 2013, the country's reserve with IMF had risen by 7.2 million US dollars to 2.19 billion US dollars and the value of the SDRs increased by 14.7 million US dollars to 4.43 billion US dollars. 

The Finance Ministry on 23 October 2013 announced that it would infuse 14000 crore Rupees capital in 20 public sector banks during the current financial year, i.e. 2013-14. The government had infused 12517 crore in 13 public sector banks in the financial year that ended in March 2013. 

Beyond the capital support from the government, public sector banks have the headroom to raise 10000 crore from the market though rights issue, qualified institutional placement (QIP) or follow-on public offer (FPO) without diluting the existing government stake. 

The largest lender of country State Bank of India will get 2000 crore equity capital from the government. 

The Central Bank of India and IDBI Bank will get 1800 crore each. 

The government will provide 1200 crore equity capital to Indian Overseas Bank, and Bank of India will get 1000 crore. 

Punjab National Bank and Union Bank of India will get 500 crore each. 

United Bank of India will get 700 crore, Vijaya Bank 250 crore, and Syndicate and UCO Bank will get 200 crore each. 

Other lenders that will be benefited from the government's equity infusion programme include Allahabad Bank 400 crore; Andhra Bank 200 crore; Bank of Baroda 550 crore; Bank of Maharashtra 800 crore; Canara Bank 500 crore; Corporation Bank 450 crore; and Dena Bank700 crore. 

Objective of Capital Infusion

The capital infusion had been done with the twin objective of adequately meeting the credit requirement of the productive sectors as well as to maintain regulatory capital adequacy ratios in public sector banks (PSBs). The government of India, as the majority shareholder, is committed to keep all PSBs adequately capitalized. 


The proposed aviation venture of TATA with Singapore Airlines(SIA) has got corporate Affairs Ministry’s approval to use the name “Tata SIA Airlines Ltd.” which plans to offer full-service passengers sevices on domestic and international routes. 

Tata Group had applied on the ministry’s electronic platform,MCA21, to register this name. Tata Group will hold 51% stake in the company while Singapore Airline would have 49%. The two Partners are making the initial investment of USD 100 million to launch the airline,which may take off next year, after getting all clearances. 

Earlier attempts by TATA Group to enter in Aviation Business: 
In February this year, Tatas had announced a partnership with Malaysia’s AirAsia for a low-cost carrier in India, wherein Arun Bhatia’s Telestra Tradeplace was third partner. It was the third attempt by Tatas and SIA to enter the Indian civil aviation sector.

Tatas have a long history of association with civil aviation in India. JRD Tata had started Tata Airlines in 1932, which was later in 1946 renamed as Air India and was subsequently nationalised in 1953. 

Syndicate Bank has launched 5 products keeping in mind the needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). These products will cater the credit needs of these industries. 

The products are- 

These products would be tailor made schemes, to meet the credit requirements of transport operators,weavers,cashew industry etc. On the commemoration of its 88th foundation day, the bank has also opened 88 branches in different states of the country taking the total number of its branches to 3,135. 

The business of Syndicate Bank has touched Rs.3.46-lakh crore at the end of the second quarter of this fiscal(2013-14).Sudhir Kumar Jain is the current Chairman and Managing Director of the Syndicate Bank. 

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp, on 21 October 2013 won two oil blocks in Myanmar in Onshore Blocks Second Bidding Round-2013. The firm won Blocks B-2 (Zebyutaung- Nandaw) and EP-3 (Thegon-Shwegu), as per the list of winners released by Myanmar’s Energy Ministry. 

OVL has stakes in the A-1 and A-3 gas discovery blocks and three offshore acreages in Myanmar. Other Indian companies Cairn India, Oil India Ltd (OIL), Jubilant Offshore Drilling and Prize Petroleum failed to win any block. Myanmar awarded 13 onshore blocks in total. 

Besides OVL, Italy’s Eni, Pakistan’s Petroleum Exploration (PVT) and Canada’s Pacific Hunt Energy Corp each winning contracts to operate two blocks while Petronas of Malaysia, Brunei National Petroleum Co, CAOG Sarl of Luxembourg, Bashneft of Russia and PTT Exploration and Production of Thailand won one block each. The present PSCs (Production Sharing Contracts) in Myanmar stipulate a three-year exploration period followed by 20 years for production, with the royalty rate set at 12.5 per cent. 

Tata Steel on 21 October 2013 won a new contract to supply Britain's Network Rail with more than 95 percent of its rails for at least five years. It could supply more than 1 million tonnes of rail under the contract. The company's Scunthorpe plant is the present supplier to Network Rail. It produces steel for construction and infrastructure. The plant's future would have been affected had the contract not been renewed. 

Established in 1907, Tata Steel is among the top ten global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of over 28 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). It is now one of the world's most geographically-diversified steel producers, with operations in 26 countries and a commercial presence in over 50 countries. 

The Tata Steel Group, with a turnover of 24.82 billion US dollars in Financial Year 2012- 2013, has over 81000 employees across five continents and is a Fortune 500 company. Tata Steel’s larger production facilities include those in India, the UK, the Netherlands, Thailand, Singapore, China and Australia. Operating companies within the Group include Tata Steel Limited (India), Tata Steel Europe Limited (formerly Corus), NatSteel, and Tata Steel Thailand (formerly Millennium Steel). 

Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and Government of Bihar signed a Gas Cooperation Agreement (GCA) for Natural Gas Infrastructure and City Gas Distribution on 23 October 2013. The Gas Cooperation Agreement was signed in the presence of Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, Renu Kumari Kushwaha, Minister for Industries and B. C. Tripathi, Chairman and Managing Director of GAIL India Ltd. 

Highlights of the Gas Cooperation Agreement (GCA)

• GAIL and the Bihar Government will evaluate the feasibility for cooperation for the development of the use of eco-friendly fuel, especially natural gas, in the state as well as development of natural gas distribution and city gas infrastructure in identified urban areas and cities after obtaining due authorization from the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). 

• GAIL and Industries Department, Bihar will also work towards promotion of joint venture for City Gas Distribution projects for domestic, commercial, industrial and transport sectors with the participation of GAIL or its wholly owned subsidiary GAIL Gas Limited and concerned departments of the Bihar Government, other state agencies or private players. 

• Natural Gas Demand Assessment and Preliminary Techno Economic Feasibility Study will be undertaken for evaluation of medium and long term gas demand potential for the state for industrial, commercial, transport and residential sectors; assessment of pipeline infrastructure and associated facilities required for supply of natural gas including optical fibre network and evaluation of natural gas supply options to Bihar on a long-term and competitive basis. 

GAIL is constructing the 2050 Kilo meters gas pipeline from Haldia in West Bengal to Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh of which about 621 Kilo meters will pass through 14 districts of Bihar. 

The mainline of the Haldia Jagdishpur will cover 4 districts of Bihar such as Kaimur, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Gaya and 10 districts for the spur lines. GAIL will explore the possibility of City Gas Distribution in major towns of Bihar along this pipeline route. The GAIL India Ltd had in the past signed similar agreements with several states like West Bengal, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. 

About Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL): 
• GAIL (India) Ltd was incorporated in August 1984 as a Central Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG). 
• Gas Authority of India Limited is the largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company. 
• GAIL is a Maharatna Company. 

Yahoo on 23 October 2013 announced to close its Egypt office in Cairo. Despite this decision, the Middle East and Africa remain important markets for the company. It will continue to operate offices in Amman and Dubai. Yahoo Inc. is an American multinational Internet corporation. Its headquarters are in Sunnyvale, California. 

It is globally known for its Web portal, search engine Yahoo Search, and related services, including Yahoo Directory, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Groups, Yahoo Answers, advertising, online mapping, video sharing, fantasy sports and its social media website. It is one of the most popular sites in the United States. 

According to news sources, roughly 700 million people visit Yahoo websites every month. Yahoo itself claims it attracts more than half a billion consumers every month in more than 30 languages. Yahoo was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 and was incorporated on 1 March 1995. On16 July 2012, former Google executive Marissa Mayer was named as Yahoo CEO and President, effective 17 July 2012. 


Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar was presented the first national Yash Chopra Memorial Award at a star studded function in Mumbai on 19 October 2013 by the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting. 

The award is a tribute to the legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra on the eve of his first death anniversary. The award carries a cheque of 1 million rupees and a citation. 

Yash Chopra the memorial award will be given annually to people in recognition of their outstanding contribution in the field of art and culture. The Yash Chopra Memorial Award has been instituted by the TSR Foundation of T. Subbarami Reddy. Yash Chopra was a victim of dengue in Mumbai on 21 October 2013. 

Lata Mangeshkar was conferred several national and international honours, including Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, three national film awards and the One Time Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2008 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of India's Independence. Lata, had started her singing career in 1942.She has continued singing for over seven decades, which includes over a thousand Hindi movies. Moreover, She has given her voice in 36 Indian and foreign languages. 

The Government of Israel on 21 October 2013 selected New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as the first ever recipient of the 1 million Dollar Genesis Prize- an award popularly dubbed the Jewish Nobel Prize. The Genesis Prize Foundation stated Bloomberg was honoured as the first winner for his long record of public service and philanthropy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the prize to Bloomberg in May 2014 in Israel. 

About Genesis Prize: 

The Government of Israel, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Genesis Philanthropy Group launched the annual international Genesis Prize. The Genesis Prize is awarded to individuals who have achieved international recognition in their professional field, the worlds of science and the arts. 

The objective of the Genesis Prize is to emphasize across the Jewish community and the world at large the importance of Jewish values to the fulfillment of human potential and to the betterment of the world. This, in turn, is intended to strengthen the Jewish identity of the millions of young Jews across the world, who are rapidly assimilating and losing connection to the Jewish people and their rich heritage. Each year, the Genesis Prize Laureate will be awarded 1million Dollars. Funded by Genesis Philanthropy Group, the Prize will be presented annually by the Prime Minister of Israel at a ceremony in Jerusalem. 

About Michael R. Bloomberg: Michael R. Bloomberg was born on 14 February 1942 in Boston and raised in a middle class home in Medford, Massachusetts, Michael Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins University. Michael R. Bloomberg is the 108th Mayor of the City of New York. He was first elected in November 2001, two months after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He was re-elected in 2005 and 2009. 

Aung Suu Kyi on 23 October 2013 received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought at Strasbourg, France. She was chosen by the European Parliament in 1990. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought announced by the European Parliament in 1990 when she was under house arrest. 

About the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought: 
• The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year by the European Parliament. 
• The prize was set up in 1988 to honour individuals or organisations for their efforts on behalf of human rights and fundamental freedoms. 
• The Sakharov Prize for free speech is awarded annually in memory of Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.

Persons / Appointments

Four Indians, Chanda Kochhar, Chitra Ramkrishna, Shikha Sharma, Naina Lal Kidwai have made to 2013 Fortune magazine's global list of top-50 women business leaders. 

The list was released on 20 October 2013 by Fortune magazine, US. ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar has been ranked 4th, followed by National Stock Exchange chief Chitra Ramkrishna at 17th, Axis Bank's Shikha Sharma at 32nd and HSBC's Naina Lal Kidwai at 42nd place among the Indians on the international list of most powerful women in business. 

This list is topped by Brazilian energy giant Petrobras' CEO Maria Das Gracas Foster, followed by Turkish conglomerate Sabanci Holding's Guler Sabanci at the second place and Australian banking giant Westpac's CEO Gail Kelly at the third. 

Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO of India's largest private sector bank, has moved up one position from her fifth position on the 2012 list, while NSE chief Ramkrishna has made it to the list for the first time. Shikha Sharma and Naina Lal Kidwai were ranked 37th and 40th, respectively, on Fortune's international list for most powerful business women 2012. Chitra Ramkrishna, a newcomer to the International Power 50 list, Fortune stated she has made history as the first woman to head an exchange in India. 

A separate list for most powerful business women in the USA, also complied by Fortune magazine, continues to be topped by technology giant IBM's Ginni Rometty, while PepsiCo's Indian-origin CEO Nooyi has retained her second position. DuPont's Ellen Kullman is ranked third, followed by Lockheed Martin's Marillyn Hewson. 

Fortune list has been compiled broadly on the basis of four criteria – 
1.The size and importance of the business headed by the person in the global economy; 
2.The health and direction of the business; 
3.The arc of the business leader's career; and 
4.Social and cultural influence. 

Fortune is a global business magazine published by Time Inc, US and the first magazine issued in 1930.

Moscow State Institute of International Relations, the diplomatic school of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia conferred an Honorary Doctorate to Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India on 21 October 2013. Honorary Doctorate conferred to Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India during the visit to Russia. He became the first Indian to receive an honorary doctorate from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. 

While accepting the Honorary Doctorate the Indian Prime Minister lauded the special Indo-Russian friendship and told that Russia has stood by India at moments of great international challenge, when our own resources were limited and our friends were few. Following India’s independence and consistently since then, India and Russia have built a sound partnership. 

About Moscow State Institute of International Relations: 
• Moscow State Institute of International Relations is the diplomatic school of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. 
• It was founded on 14 October 1944. 
• It is the oldest and the most renowned school in Russia for preparing specialists in international relations and diplomacy. 

Rajendra Kashyap was appointed as the Financial Commissioner (Railways) and ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India on 21 October 2013. 

The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) on 21 October 2013 unanimously elected Kanwar Deep Singh as the president of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) for a four-year term. He was succeeded by Dinesh Reddy, Andhra Pradesh's Director General of Police (DGP). 

About Kanwar Deep Singh: 
• He is the Chairman emirate of the Alchamist Group of Companies 
• He is the member of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) of the Indian Parliament. He belonged to Trinamool Congress Party. 
• He is a pioneer of industrial, educational and health care reform in India. 
• He received the jewel of India award from International Solidarity in New York 

Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal (60), the acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court appointed as the regular Chief Justice of Madras High Court on 21 October 2013. He was appointed by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. 

Justice Laxmikanta Mahapatra was on 21 October 2013 sworn in as Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court at Raj Bhava in Imphal, Manipur. 


Ding Junhui of China won the 2013 Indian Open Snooker title with a 5-0 victory over Aditya Mehta of India in New Delhi on 18 October 2013. Ding Junhui, world number four, 26, scored two century breaks as he earned the 50000 Pounds first prize. 

Aditya Mehta, 72nd in the world, became the first Indian player to make the last four of a major ranking event when he reached the semi-finals on 17 October 2013 and he was also first Indian ever to reach the final of the event. 

Jorge Lorenzo won the Australian Grand Prix on 20 October 2013 at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Phillip Island. The strong contender Marc Marquez was disqualified for delaying a compulsory pit stop. Lorenzo of Yamaha, won a race shortened to 19 laps by 6.9 seconds from Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and veteran Valentino Rossi. 

Marquez was disqualified five laps from the finish after staying on the track one lap longer than permitted before he took a pit stop. He couldn’t gain any points from the race which allowed Lorenzo to close his lead in the championship standings to 18 points with two rounds remaining. Compulsory bike changes were required for the first time in Motor GP history in the race. It was reduced from 27 to 19 laps because of safety concerns over the tires on the resurfaced Phillip Island circuit. 

India's ace Squash player Dipika Pallikal on 20 October 2013 won the Macau Open title at Macau, China. In the title clash Dipika stunned former World Number One Rachel Grinham of Australia, 12-10, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9. This was Dipika Pallikal's seventh Women's Squash Association title. 

The Macau Open 2013 is a squash tournament held in Macau, China on 15 to 20 October 2013. It is part of the PSA World Tour and the WSA World Tour. The prize money for the Macau Open is 35000 Dollars. 

About Dipika Pallikal: 
• Dipika Pallikal (Born on 21 September 1991 at Chennai) is an Indian squash player. She is the first Indian woman to break into the top 10 in the WSA rankings. 
• She is also first squash player to receive prestigious Arjuna Award from Government of India. 
• Her first WSA World Tour title came in 2010 at the Indian Challenger No5 as she beat the top two Sharon Wee and Emma Beddoes. 
• In 2013 Pallikal claimed the Meadowood Pharmacy Open title in Canada in February for her sixth WSA title. 
• Dipika Pallikal’s present world rank is 17 (Dated 21 October 2013). Highest World Ranking:10 (December 2012) 

Indian Table tennis player Bhavina Hashmukhbhai Patel won silver medal at 2013 ITTF Para table tennis Asian regional championships in Beijing on 21 October 2013. With this victory Bhavina Hashmukhbhai Patel became the first Indian to win a silver medal at the ITTF Para table tennis Asian regional championships. Bhavina Hashmukhbhai, lost to top-seed Zhang Miao of China 6-11, 9-11, 2-11 in the final of the women's singles Class 4 Second. 

Earlier, Bhavina defeated second-seeded Ji Nam Jun from Korea 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 in the semifinals and Taipei’s Ya Chu Lee 11-2, 11-8, 11-6 in the quarterfinals. Bhavina Hashmukhbhai Patel emerging table tennis player from Gujarat.

North Zone and South Zone were declared joint winners of the Duleep Trophy 2013-14 after the fifth day's play of the final match was called off due to bad weather in Kochi on 21 October 2013. Only 10 overs, on the second day on 18 October were possible in the five-day match as wet ground conditions at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium due to persistent rain played spoilsport. Harbhajan singh captained the North Zone team and South Zone led by Abhinav Mukund. 

It was the fourth instance in the history of Duleep Trophy when the title has been shared. Previous instances were West Zone/South Zone in 1963-64), North Zone/West Zone in 1988-89 and Central Zone/West Zone in 1997-98. East Zone won the Duleep Trophy in 2012-13 on the basis of their first innings lead against Central Zone at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. 

About Duleep Trophy

The Duleep Trophy (named after KS Duleepsinhji) was started by BCCI in 1961-62 as a zonal rather than a state first-class competition. The original format was that five teams, drawn from the five zones, played each other on a knock-out basis. From 1993-94 the competition converted to a league format. 

Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza came into the top 10 of the world women's doubles by gaining two spots to ninth place in the latest WTA Team Rankings issued on 21 October 2013. Sania Mirza jumped from 11th spot to 9th spot. The 26-year-old Sania moved up as a result of other players dropping points. 

Sania Mirza had won back-to-back titles as she lifted the China Open trophy, followed by another triumph in Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo in the month of October 2013. Her partner Cara Black of Zimbabwe too gained a position to be at number 13. 

Science and Technology

The first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) was on 22 October 2013 synchronised with the southern regional electricity grid. Earlier, the nuclear reactor achieved criticality on 13 July 2013. 

The power generation in the nuclear reactor will be increased in stages to attain full capacity of 1000 MW by end of 2014. As the nuclear plant is synchronized to the southern grid, the power generation will now be increased to 500 MW, 750 MW, 900 MW and then finally 1000 MW. 

Nuclear Power Corporation of India is constructing two 1000 MW units at KNPP jointly with Russia at Kudankulam in Tiruneveli district, 650 km from Chennai. The Kudankulam nuclear power plant which was to be commissioned on December 2007 got inordinately delayed because of protests by locals.

Kudankulam is the first pressurized water reactor belonging to light water reactor category in the country. 

About KKNPP: The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) is an Indo-Russian joint venture for establishig a nuclear power station with 2 units (KKNPP-1&2) of 1000 MWe Pressurized Water Reactors of VVER design at Kudankulam in Tamilnadu. 

Synchronization in power plants: When two power supplies are to be connected to a common distribution, voltages, frequencies and phase angles of both power plants should be adjusted to equal values (or grid values). Synchronization supports the generation and transfer the electricity. 

Scientists developed the world's first robot human (Bionic man) made entirely of prosthetic parts. The bionic man can walk, talk and has a beating heart. Bionic man was assembled from prosthetic body parts and artificial organs donated by laboratories around the world. 

The bionic man also has a nearly complete set of artificial organs including an artificial heart, blood, lungs (and windpipe), pancreas, spleen, kidney and functional circulatory system. He also sports a cochlear implant, speech recognition and speech production systems. The engineers equipped the bionic man with a sophisticated chatbot programme that can carry on a conversation. 

It also has a pair of robotic ankles and feet from BiOM in Bedford, Massachusetts, designed and worn by bioengineer Hugh Herr of MIT's Media Lab, who lost his own legs after getting trapped in a blizzard as a teenager. To support his prosthetic legs, the bionic man wears a robotic exoskeleton dubbed Rex. It was made by REX Bionics in New Zealand. He lacks a few major organs including liver, stomach and intestines, which are too complex to replicate in a lab. His brain can mimic certain functions of the human brain and he has a retinal prosthesis. Roboticists Rich Walker and Matthew Godden of Shadow Robot Co in England developed the bionic man. 

The robot was modeled in some physical aspects after Bertolt Meyer, a social psychologist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, who wears one of the world's most advanced bionic hands. The total cost for development of the robot is around 1 million US Dollars. 

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 22 October 2013 announced that it will launch India’s first mission to Mars -Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) on 5 November 2013 from Sriharikota space station. 

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), 'Mangalyan', would be launched onboard PSLV C25 on 5 November 2013 at 14:36 hours from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. Mars Orbiter Mission is India's first interplanetary mission to planet Mars with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit. 

Mission Objectives: 
one of the main objectives of the first Indian mission to Mars is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission. 

A. Technological Objectives: 
• Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars. 
• Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management. 
• Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations. 

B. Scientific Objectives: 
• Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments. 

1. Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP) 
2. Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM) 
3. Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA) 
4. Mars Colour Camera (MCC) 
5. Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometre (TIS) 

About Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM): 
Primary objectives of the Mars mission are to demonstrate India’s technological capability to send a satellite to orbit around Mars and conduct meaningful experiments such as looking for signs of life, take pictures of the red planet and study Martian environment. The main aim of MOM to be to seek whether there is methane, considered a precursor chemical for life, on the red planet. 

Methane sensor, one of the five payloads (scientific instruments) on board the spacecraft, would look to detect the presence of methane. The XL version of the Indian Space Research Organisation's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) would be used for launching of the mission. The satellite will carry compact science experiment instruments, totalling a mass of 15 kg. 

There will be five instruments to study Martian surface, atmosphere and mineralogy. After leaving the earth’s orbit, the spacecraft will cruise in deep space for about ten months using its own propulsion system and will reach Martian transfer trajectory in September 2014. The spacecraft subsequently is planned to enter into a 372 km by 80000 km elliptical orbit around Mars. 

Researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Perth,Australia, in October 2013 revealed that they found tiny particles of gold in the eucalyptus trees. 

The researchers explained that the discovery of hidden gold in trees can help the future prospectors to find out more about the precious metal. 



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