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2014 - January 14 to 19 - Current Affairs


International Affairs 

Ahead of the drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, US President Barack Obama has announced to establish an Af-Pak Strategic Partnership Office (APSPO) to oversee smooth transition and promote normalized diplomatic presence in both the countries. In an executive order on 17th January, Obama said the APSPO has been tasked to perform the specific project of supporting executive departments and agencies in facilitating a partnership with the two South Asian countries. 

Obama said this is a temporary office and would be based in Washington, Islamabad and Kabul. It would promote security and stabilization and transitioning to a normalized diplomatic presence in both the countries, Obama said in his executive order. Meanwhile, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki reiterated that the Afghanistan Government needs to sign the bilateral security agreement as soon as possible.



Hery Rajaonarimampianina, a former Finance Minister of Madagascar on 17th January 2014 was declared as the new President of the nation. His election as the President came as the result of the elections conducted on 20th December 2013 with an aim to restore democracy in the nation. Hery Rajaonarimampianina was officially declared as the president of the country by Francois Rakotozafy, the president of the electoral court. 



The United Nations on 16 January launched the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, with senior officials urging that the observance be used to redouble efforts to achieve a durable peace between Israel and Palestine."The coming year will be crucial to achieving the two-State solution," Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said in his remarks to the UN General Assembly's Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. 

Eliasson said Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are working hard towards a peaceful, comprehensive settlement of all permanent status issues. That means a settlement that ends the occupation that started in 1967 and which would end the conflict. It also means securing an independent, viable and sovereign State of Palestine living alongside a secure State of Israel, where each side recognizes the other's legitimate rights, he added. 

Last November, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and requested the Committee to organize activities around the observance. UN officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, have noted that 2014 could be an important year in the Middle East peace process, if both sides are willing to take bold steps and refrain from actions that undermine progress in the peace talks that resumed last year.



Russia has persuaded Syria to agree to a prisoner swap and a local ceasefire in an effort to rescue a crucial peace conference plan. After talks in Moscow with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on 17th January, he had handed Mr. Lavrov a plan for a ceasefire in Syria’s biggest city, Aleppo, and was ready to exchange lists with rebel forces for a possible prisoner swap. Mr. Lavrov praised Syria’s readiness, “in response to our appeals,” to take “a series of humanitarian steps” to allow speedy delivery of assistance to “Eastern Ghuta and other areas, including the suburbs of Damascus and Aleppo.” The Syrian opposition has been demanding the end of government bombardment, the release of prisoners and relief aid to besieged areas as a precondition for its participation in the Geneva-2 international conference opening in Switzerland on 22 January. 


National Issues 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 13th January, laid the foundation stone for a 2,800 megawatt nuclear power plant near Gorakhpur village in the Fatehabad district of Haryana. The Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojna project will have four units, each of 700-MW capacity, and is to come up at a cost Rs 23,502 crore. 

Among those present on the occasion were Haryana Governor, Jagannath Pahadia, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Union Minister Kumari Selja and Sirsa MP, Ashok Tanwar. A total of 1,503 acres of land has been acquired for the plant, of which the lion's share of 1,313 acres belongs to Gorakhpur village.



The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad on 13th January, announced that not a single case of wild polio has been reported from any part of the country since the past three years. Azad said that 36 months ago the last case was reported on 13th Jan, 2011 when a two year old girl suffered polio paralysis in Howrah district of West Bengal. Until 2009, India accounted for more than half the world’s polio incidence. While 741 cases reported in 2009, 42 in 2010 and just one case in 2011. 

The Health Minister further stated that it is a matter of great pride for all of us. He said that this monumental milestone was made possible due to unwavering political will at the highest levels, commitment of adequate financial resources, technological innovations like the bivalent vaccine and tireless efforts of millions of workers, including more than 23 lakh vaccinators and volunteers, and more than 1.5 lakh supervisors. The official announcement of a polio free nation will be made on 11 February 2014, he stated.



Union Government on 17th January, asked all the Gram Panchayats in the country to hold special Gram Sabha meetings on various programmes relating to economic well-being of people on any day in January/ February-2014. It has been emphasized that in these meetings, officials in-charge of programmes relating to Agriculture, Horticulture, Dairy, Fisheries National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Backward Region Grant Found (BRGF), Watershed, Soil conservation, Irrigation, Electrification, Handlooms, Handicraft, Food processing, Small and Micro enterprises etc. should remain present. 



The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee launched the Pulse Polio Immunization programme 2014 at the Rashtrapti Bhavan, on 18 January, in the presence of the Union Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad and MoS (Health), Smt. Santosh Chowdhary. Six small children were administered polio vaccine by the President of India. Azad pointed out that in this round more than 17 crore children will be vaccinated. 

Also, 23 lakh frontline workers and volunteers will fan out in every nook and corner of the country to reach every child up to five years of age so that we maintain high immunity of our children against the polio virus. Besides setting up 102 polio vaccination posts along international borders, it has been decided that any case of wild polio shall be treated as public health emergency, the Health Minister added. Azad, addressing the gathering, stated that India has not recorded even a single case of wild polio in the last three years, which is a historic achievement. 

The Health Minister noted that the response to the last polio case in Howrah in West Bengal was razor sharp and is globally cited as the fastest response time. The Ministry stepped up surveillance so as not to miss even a single case of polio, he added. Azad stated that from a position when India had more than 2 lakh children getting crippled by polio each year, we have come to a time in history where not a single child has suffered wild polio for the last three years. This is monumental victory- and has paved the way for India`s formal certification by WHO as a polio free nation, he informed. He thanked various partners such as the State governments, lakhs of supervisor and vaccinators, volunteers, WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International, World Bank, USAID, DFID and many more who have made this achievement possible.


Bilateral Issues 

India and South Korea signed nine pacts aimed at imparting forward momentum to their bilateral ties that have seen intensification over the past four years. During a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting South Korean President Park Geun-hye in New Delhi on 16 January, India assured that work on the multi-billion-dollar Posco steel plant in Odisha would start in the coming weeks. 

As Dr. Singh noted, the Agreement on the Protection of Classified Military Information would boost defense engagement and take it beyond the purchase of South Korean defense equipment to an area where Seoul is strong — maintaining the sanctity of its land and maritime borders. 

Another forward looking aspect was exploring the possibility of setting up a Korean Industrial Park in India. South Korea is one of the few countries with a trade surplus with China and India’s intention is to not only to provide a new avenue for its industry suffering from sluggish growth in exports that account for half of the country’s GDP, but also get integrated in the global supply chain. 

The two sides also announced the conclusion of negotiations for revision of the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention. 

The two countries agreed to set up a CEOs Forum comprising captains of the industry and commerce from both countries to provide us with new ideas for deepening our economic collaboration. In order to further security cooperation, it was agreed to hold annual interactions between the national security structures of the two countries as also launch a Cyber Affairs Dialogue. 

In Science and Technology, both countries will build on the experience of working on many practical projects financed through a $10 million Joint Fund by inking a MoU on Joint Applied Research. They also plan to step up collaboration in the peaceful uses of space science and technology. India decided to extend a ‘tourist visa on arrival facility’ to South Korean nationals.



India and South Korea (i.e. Republic of Korea) in New Delhi on 17th January, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Digital Signatures for facilitating the effective and efficient paperless Bilateral Trade and Commerce. It was signed in the presence of Kapil Sibal, Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Mun-kee Choi, Minister for Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea. 

It was signed between the Controller of Certifying Authorities, Ministry of Communications and IT, Government of India and the Korea Internet & Security Agency, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea. Digital Signatures are being widely used in India and South Korea for various domestic applications relating to e-Governance, e-Trade, e-COO (Certificate of Origin), e-Tendering/ e-Procurement, e-IPO (Intellectual Property Office), e-Income Tax etc. 

However, a Certifying Authority recognized in Republic of Korea is currently not recognized in India and vice-versa. Hence, Digital Signatures created under regulatory regime in Republic of Korea are not recognized as legally valid in India and vice-versa. This causes impediment to the best practices of International Trade and Commerce. 

This MoU will see cooperation between the two countries which will finally lead to mutual recognition of digitally signed documents. This arrangement will further boost bilateral trade between the two countries and pave way for similar landmark Multilateral/ Bilateral arrangements.




The Union Minister of Steel, Beni Prasad Verma, taking forward his efforts to foster cooperation in mining and steel sector, interacted with a high-level delegation from Canada headed by Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Canada, Mr. Joe Oliver in New Delhi on 13th January. During the interaction, A Letter of Intent (LoI) was signed to further supplement the dialogue of co-operation in the iron and steel sector. 

Through the LoI, both countries plan to develop and expand mutual co-operation, inter-alia, through information exchanges in areas of mutual interest including iron-ore, coking coal and other steel making raw materials and encourage bilateral investment opportunities in iron and steel related business. Efforts made by the two countries would ensure raw material security and forge alliances with global entities for tapping new market. 

On the occasion, Mr.Verma held discussions with the Canadian Minister which aimed at expanding and strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries and also identifying areas of cooperation and assistance where India could be benefitted from Canada, endowed with a huge wealth of natural resources especially coking coal. They exchanged their views on prospects and growth of the iron and steel industry, as well as investment opportunities in raw materials, including pelletization plants and other associated industries in both the countries.



In a crucial bilateral meeting between Indian petroleum Minister Dr M VeerappaMoily and his Mozambique counterpart MsEsperanca Bias, Mozambique Minister for Mineral Resources e during Petrotech 2014 at greater Noida on 15 January, the two Ministers agreed to concluded a Memorandum of Understanding between India and Mozambique for accelerating the cooperation in hydrocarbon sector. 

Dr. Moily said that a draft of the MoU between the Indian and Mozambique governments have been framed and sent to the Indian High Commission at Mozambique. “We need to expedite the signing of this MoU as soon as possible.” Mozambique Minister invited the Indian ministerial delegation for the formal signing of this MoU, to document this G-2-G cooperation. 

Dr. Moily said that India will respond to the invitation very soon. Dr. Moliy urged the Mozambique minister to expedite the consortium related issues and also fast-track the development of the discovered assets. The Indian companies hold 30 per cent of the project, the operatorship of which lies with Anadarco. The visiting Minister for Mineral Resources exuded optimism that the deals relating the LNG project will fructify soon. This was one of the 11 bilateral meetings lined up during the Petrotech-2014, organized by ONGC. 

The Indian minister also said that India has large demand for natural gas including in the power sector where 18,000MW gas based power projects have been commissioned and another 10,000MW gas based power projects are under implementation. Keeping this in mind we need about 8 trains of LNG. Given the expertise of Indian upstream companies like ONGC in petroleum business, Mozambique asked for training their youth. Minister assured that India has the expertise to train oil and gas personnel in entire value chain .The meeting was also attended resented by Petroleum Secretary, ONGC CMD, OVL MD and other corporate honchos.



A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Ministry of Labor & Employment (MoLE) to enhance the collaboration within the framework of UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). 

The signing took place in New Delhi on 16 January, after a bilateral meeting held between the delegations led by between Minister of State (L&E), Government of India K. Suresh, and Minister Mr. Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Skills & Enterprise, United Kingdom. 

The key points of the memorandum are as follows: - Focus of this MOU is to collaborate and build partnership in the area of Skills Development and Employment Services. 

The MoU will be the guiding document for overall collaboration under which the following activities will be supported
  • Institutional capacity building of UK and Indian official and institutes handling skill development and employment services Sharing of technical expertise, building linkages and identification of gaps in the areas of skill development and employment services, improvement in curriculum, benchmarking of assessment, certification and training methods. 
  • Supporting development of employment services in India on the lines of National Careers Service, UK. Other beneficial projects, in the area of skill development and employment services, mutually agreed. 

As a first step, UKIERI will facilitate partnership of Indian stakeholders with the existing Career Services in the UK. Best practices from the UK will be shared with MoLE and other stakeholders to help develop the Indian model. A workshop in this regard would be jointly organized by MoL&E and UKIERI in February 2014. This initiative will be jointly funded by MoLE and UKIERI. The India cost will be borne by MoLE and the UK cost will be borne by UKIERI. 

UKIERI will support in providing UK experts for the Mentor Councils for upto 10 sectors through institutional partnership between the MCs set up by MoLE and the National Skill Academies in the UK. Each partnership will be jointly funded by MoLE and UKIERI. The Indian cost of the partnership will be borne by MoLE and the UK cost of the partnership will be borne by UKIERI.



India and UAE have agreed to promote cooperation in renewable energy, especially in the areas of solar energy and wind power. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed in Abu Dhabi on 18 January. The MoU was signed by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy of India and Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister ofState of UAE. 

Both the countries also agreed to form a Joint Working Group for better coordination through joint research on subjects of mutual interest, exchange and training of scientific and technical personnel, exchange of available scientific and technologies information and data, organization of workshops, seminars and working groups, transfer of know-how, technology and equipment, on non-commercial basis etc. 

Dr. Farooq Abdullah briefed the UAE Minister on the progress made by India in renewable energy with special reference to the National Solar Mission launched in 2010 under the National Action Plan on Climate Change. He also briefed the Minister on India’s efforts in promoting energy for remote and un-electrified areas. He congratulated the UAE for warm hospitality extended during the 4th Assembly session of IRENA.


Economic Issues 

Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by Union Minister of Finance P Chidambaram approved on 16 January 2014, the sale of 10 percent government stake in Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL). ONGC and OIL will buy a part of the government's stake in Indian Oil Corp for a total of 4700 crore rupees to 5000 crore rupees. It will help the government meet part of its disinvestment target of 40000 crore rupees set for the financial year 2013-14. 

The government opted to sell the 10% stake in IOC through block deal on stock exchange. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) rule for block deal says that the rate should be one per cent higher or lower than previous day's closing price. 

At present, Union Government of India holds78.92 percent stake in IOC whereas ONGC already holds 8.77 per cent stake in IOC. The 10% disinvestment in IOC was approved by the Cabinet last year.



The Union Government on 16th January, unveiled new policy guidelines for major ports, aimed at helping them leverages their land resources for commercial advantage. Participating in the `Ports in India` annual conference in Mumbai, Shipping Secretary Vishwapati Trivedi said the new guidelines provide necessary regulatory framework for land allotment by major ports. Mr.Trivedi said these guidelines have been drawn to help the ports to carry out leasing and licensing of port land in a transparent manner. 

Discretionary powers have been reduced and tender-cum-auction has been prescribed as the most preferred method of allotment, he added. Major ports in India have between them 2.64 lakh acres of land, which is a major resource. So far, the land utilization has not been optimum and often yielded lesser returns. 

The thrust of the new policy has been on linking the value of land with prevailing market rates. Under the new policy guidelines, land can be allotted only through licensing in custom bond areas by inviting competitive bidding, while land outside custom bond areas can be leased through tender-cum-auction. There is also a provision to license land outside custom bond areas, but it should be only for port related activities. 

The Boards of respective ports can approve leasing of land for a period up to 30 years. For leasing of land beyond 30 years and up to 99 years, approval of the Government has to be obtained through the mechanism of Empowered Committee. 

All the 12 major ports of the country are required to draw land use plan covering all land owned or managed by them. The new guidelines are applicable to all major ports in India except for the land relating to township areas in Mumbai, Kolkata and Kandla. 

The new policy guidelines for land management are part of the on going process of port reforms and liberalization. While Major Ports, owned by the Centre operate in a comparatively more regulated environment, the non-major ports, comprising state ports and private ports enjoy substantial degree of flexibility. 

The government has been working towards creating a level playing field for major and non-major ports. Earlier, in 2013, as a part of reform process in the Ports sector tariff setting in major ports was liberalized and indexed to inflation and minimum efficiency standards were prescribed for cargo terminals. 

The 12 major ports in India – Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Managlore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) handle approximately 61% of cargo traffic. The Government is committed to further augmenting the port capacity in the major ports sector.



The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) signed MoUs with FICCI on 17th January 2014. MoUs were signed to collaborate in the areas of Corporate Social Responsibility Competition Law, Corporate Laws, Corporate Governance, Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development of the industry and the economy. 

The two institutions have agreed on the following points:
  • To organize awareness programmes to promote various aspects of the new Companies Act 2013, especially Corporate Social Responsibility, across major cities in India; and 
  • To undertake capacity building measures in the endeavor to mainstream the adoption of CSR and responsible governance practices by the industry and any other corresponding activity. 

IICA and FICCI will also collaborate to: Conceptualise and develop agenda, course content and modules and Organise short term courses and training. 

IICA functions under the aegis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, also works with the Thomson Reuters to raise awareness on corporate regulations and governance for firms in India. 

Through this alliance the two will deliver a range of orientation programmes aimed at company Board Members, other senior officers from the corporate sector as well as officials from government, statutory and regulatory bodies. 

These programmes will be sector-specific and will cover range of topics including Corporate Governance, Board effectiveness and industry trends, opportunities and risk. The first orientation programme is being planned for the pharma sector.



India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) on 17th January 2014 signed an agreement with the Export-Import Bank of Korea (K-EXIM) for infrastructure finance. As per the IIFC’s statement the signed MoU covers cooperation in project and investment financing related to infrastructure as well as other finance areas of mutual interest. 

The Union government has already drawn up plans to make huge investments in infrastructure sector. The Korean government has also shown its keen interest in development of infrastructure in India as it has a variety of overseas experience. The MoU was exchanged between the S.B. 

Nayar, Chairman and Managing Director of IIFCL and Kim Yong-hwan, Chairman and President, K-EXIM. This MoU between the IIFCL and K-EXIM has been signed at the time of India visit of the South Korean President Park Geun-hye. IIFCL was incorporated under the Companies Act as a wholly-owned Government of India company in January 2006 and commenced operations from April 2006. 

It basically provides long term finance to viable infrastructure projects through the Scheme for Financing Viable Infrastructure Projects through a Special Purpose Vehicle called India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL), broadly referred to as SIFTI.



Oil-rich Sudan offered two oil and gas blocks to ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) on the sidelines of Petrotech 2014 on 14 January 2014. Sudan offered the on land Block 8 and Block 15 to the OVL on a nomination basis. 

Block 8 will have an oil discovery while Block 15 will have exploration acreage. OVL will evaluate the data and take 100 percent rights if it finds them feasible for investment. OVL, the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has been present in Sudan since 2003. 

In 2003, it acquired 25 percent stake in the Block 1, 2 and 4 of the Greater Nile Project (GNOP) and Sudan Crude Transport System.Greater Nile Oil Project (GNOP) is spread over an area of 49500 square kilometres in the Muglad Basin, located about 700 km southwest of the capital city of Khartoum. It also owns a 1504 km crude oil pipeline from the oilfield in Heglig to Port Sudan at Red Sea. 

Union Minister of Oil and Natural Gas, Veerapa Moily welcoming the offer from Sudan also held talks with his Azerbaijan counterpart Natig Aliyev on the sidelines of Petrotech 2014. The Azerbaijan minister welcomed Indian participation in both upstream and downstream projects.


Awards 

Andhra Pradesh was adjudged as the best State for Oil and Gas Conservation in view of the performance by the A.P. Civil Supplies and other Departments. Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily presented the award to Civil Supplies Commissioner Sunil Sharma in New Delhi on 17th January.



President of India, Pranab Mukherjee presented the Sunil Gangopadhyay Memorial Award of 2012 and 2013 on 11th January 2014 to two eminent Bengali poets, namely Nirendranath Chakraborty and Sankha Ghosh, respectively. The awards were given at a function at Raj Bhawan in Kolkata. The Sunil Gangopadhyay Memorial Award was instituted by a cultural organization The Bengal in 2012 following his death. Gangopadhyay had a talent of bringing in the historical research works into his writings.


Sports 

Nikhat Zareen, the 17-year-old Andhra Pradesh pugilist, won a gold medal in the third Nations Cup International Boxing Tournament in Novi Sad, Serbia on 12 January. She defeated Paltceva Ekaterina of Russia 3-0 in the 51kg final to follow up on her success in the Youth World Boxing Championship in Bulgaria in September, when she had finished runner-up. The bright young talent from the state of A.P. is now targeting a gold at the Youth Olympics to be held in China.



Anju Bobby George was declared winner of the World Athletics Championships final held in Monte Carlo in 2005. The decision was given by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) on 13 January 2014.The decision of the IAAF came following the disqualification of the Gold Medalist Tatyana Kotova of Russia for doping. At the World Athletics Final in 2005, Anju Bobby George won the Silver Medal with a long jump of 6.75 meter. 

The Gold Medal was won by Tatyana Kotova with a jump of 6.83 meter and the Bronze Medal was won by Grace Upshaw of the US. Anju from Kerala was the first Indian athlete who won the bronze medal in the World Athletics Championships held in Paris in 2003.She received the Arjuna award in 2003 and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2004.She was conferred Padma Shri in 2004.



Abhijeet Gupta won his second Parsvanth International Grandmasters chess tournament on 16th January 2014. Abhijeet Gupta won against Eldar Gasanov of Ukraine. In 2008, he won the Parsvanth International Grandmasters chess tournament for the first time. Indian Grandmaster Deepan Chakkravarthy beat Russian Grandmaster Alexander Evdokimov to finish third in the tournament. 

12th Parsvnath International Grandmasters Chess Tournament was held from 9 to 16 January 2014 by Delhi Chess Association. Grandmaster Aleksei Aleksandrov of Belarus won the 11th Parsvanth International Grandmasters chess tournament in 2013.



Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal won the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for 2013 on 13th January 2014. He beat Barcelona's Messi and France winger Franck Ribery in a polling conducted by FIFA. Ronaldo scored 69 goals for Real Madrid and Portugal Collectively in the year 2013.Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Order of Prince Henry, one of the Portugal’s highest honours in January 2014. 

The other awards are- FIFA Presidential Award 2013: Jacques Rogge (Belgium) FIFA Player of the Year (Men): Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) FIFA Player of the Year (Women): Nadine Angerer (Ger) FIFA Fair Play Award: Afghanistan.



The Netherlands clinched the Hero Hockey World League Final by crushing New Zealand 7-2 in the finals held in New Delhi on 18th January. Constantijn Jonkers scored the first goal to break the deadlock as the Netherlands took a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute after both the teams tested each other in the first 10 minutes of the final encounter.


Persons 

Veteran actor Anjali Devi died of a cardiac arrest in Chennai on 13th January. One of the earliest stars of the black and white era in South India.



Famous Bengali actress Suchitra Sen died in Kolkota on 17 January 2014. She was famously known as the Greta Garbo of Bengali cinema and had worked in more than 60 films, the most memorable being Aandhi in hindi and Deep Jwele Jai in Bengali. 


Science and Technology 

The Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Abhinav’, the third in the series of twenty Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs), designed and built by M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited, was commissioned on 15 January, at Kochi by the Director General of Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal. 

The 50 meter indigenous FPV displaces 290 tones and can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots with an endurance of 1500 nautical miles at economical speed of 13 knots, equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry and advanced communication and navigational equipment. She makes an ideal platform for undertaking multifarious close-coast missions such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and medical evacuation. 

The special features of the ship include an Integrated Bridge Management System (IBMS), Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS) and an integrated gun mount with indigenous Fire Control System (FCS). 

The ship has been named ICGS ‘Abhinav’, literally meaning ‘Modern’, and will be based at Kochi under the administrative and operational control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (West). The ship is commanded by Commandant (JG) Raman Kumar and has complement of 05 officers and 34 other ranks.


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