National Events

Nuclear liability bill passed

1. Nuclear liability bill which was adopted by Rajya Sabha has been approved by the process of Voice vote.

2. The liability has now become 3 times then what it was in the past and now holds a value of rupees 1500 crore's in total.

3. Special accidental care will now be provided for the employees operating in the various sections of the nuclear plants.

4. The decision and the passing of the bill had been strongly opposed by the BJP leaders as
they found it insignificant.

5. Lok Sabha has passed Civil liability for nuclear Damage bill 2010 to open up country's $150 billion nuclear power market.

Note :

28 nuclear power generating country's had the liability law but India and Pakistan were the only countries which did not have any such law.
Indo-US to set up clean energy research centre

6. Government of India and U.S. Department of Energy signed an agreement for setting up joint clean energy research and development centre during the US President Barack Obama's visit to New Delhi to facilitate joint research and development and deployment for clean energy technologies. Initial priority areas to be addressed will be solar energy, second generation biofuels and building efficiency.

7. The agreement will be valid for 10 years to be renewed for periods of five years so long as Bilateral S&T agreement is in force.

8. Government of India and US will provide equivalent of US$ 5 million each year for 5 years. According to the deal, the Centre will involve active participation of academic and private sectors of both countries working in a consortia mode.


2. Restrictions on Transactions with Iran

3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 27 December 2010 imposed further restrictions on transactions with Iran.

4. RBI mentioned that all current account transactions including trade deals with the west Asian country had to be settled outside the Asian Clearing Union (ACU).

5. Note: The ACU involves the central banks of India, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Myanmar, Iran, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

6. United States has pressed hard for governments and companies to stop dealing with Tehran though United Nations sanctions do not forbid buying Iranian oil.


Ban on Chinese milk products

India extended the ban for another six months on import of Chinese milk and milk products including chocolates and chocolate products and candies, confectionery, food preparations with milk or milk solids as an ingredient.

1. The ban came into existence on December 1, 2008 for one year and was extended for a period of six months on December 23, 2009.

2. Chinese milk products were banned after traces of melamine - a chemical which can cause problems such as kidney stones


Cyclone pact with World Bank

1. India and the World Bank signed an agreement on January 14, 2011 in New Delhi to mitigate cyclone impact in India.

2. The World Bank will provide a credit of $255 millions for the first phase of the plan to mitigate the impact of cyclone in India.

3. The project is aimed at upgrading the early warning and communication systems in the coastal areas.

4. The programme will be started with Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

5. The cyclone warning will be broadcast through public address systems in the villages using

6. CDMA/GSM based remote public alert and communication systems.

7. Moreover, 148 multipurpose cyclone shelters and bridges for swift movement from cyclone hit areas will be built under this programme.


Article 21 for Foreigners

A bench of Supreme Court, acting on a writ petition from Aiad Amar Saad Mohamed on 16 March 2011 ruled that Article 21 of the of India (Right to life and liberty would be applicable even to a foreign national staying in India.

The court gave this judgment while staying deportation of a Libyan researcher Mohamed whose visa is due to expire on 17 March 2011


Court rejects the plea to make property a fundamental right

1. The Supreme Court has dismissed a public interest litigation petition seeking a dire( to make right to property' a fundamental under the Constitution.

2. Though the 'right to property' was deleted the 44th Constitution Amendment in 1978 it was challenged only in 2007 in the context of acquisition of large extents of land for special Economic Zones, and the court issued notice to the Centre.

3. The right to property, existed as a fundamental right Article 19 (1) (f) on April 24, 1973 when the court decision in the Kesavananda Bharati case was pronounced.


No Executive PIL

The Supreme Court of India would not entertain Public interest Litigation petitions dealing with policy decisions of the government. Justice P. N. Bhagwati and Justice V. R. Krishna lyer were among the first judges to admit PIL's in the court.


NOTE :

Public interest litigation is introduced in a court of law, not by the aggrieved party but by the court itself or by any other private party. Public interest litigation is the power given to the public by courts through judicial activism.


CJA covered under RTI Act

In a highly significant judgment that pitted the Delhi High Court against the Supreme Court of India, the Chief Justice of India's office has been brought within the ambit of the Right to Information.


Use of Narco Analysis Brain Mapping Unconstitutional

1. Supreme court has said in a verdict that use of narco analysis,brain mapping and polygraph without prior consent of accused or witnesses is unconstitutional and against 'right to privacy'.

2. Article 20 (3) aims to prevent the forcible conveyance of personal knowledge that is relevant to the facts in issue.

3. The results obtained from each of the impugned tests bear a testimonial character and they cannot be categorised as material evidence.


NOTE :

Article 20 provides protection from conviction for offences in certain respects; including the rights against ex post facto laws, double jeopardy and freedom from self-incrimination.


Voting Rights for NRIs

Parliament had in the monsoon session passed the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2010 to allow NRIs to vote in Indian elections and now government has issued a gazette notification in this regard.


Only Six National Parties In India

1. The number of national parties in the country has come down to six from seven. The total number of State parties is 52 and registered unrecognised parties, 1112.

2. Now, the six recognised national parties are the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Communist Party of India (CPI), the CPI (M), the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Nationalist Congress Party. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which was earlier considered a national party, will henceforth be only a recognised State level party in Bihar, Jharkhand and Manipur.

3. Its recognition in Nagaland has been withdrawn in view of its poor performance in the 2008 Assembly election there.

4. For getting national party status, a political party should have recognition in at least four States.


Border Dispute of Assam and Nagaland

1. The Supreme Court of India directed the decades old Assam Nagaland border issue to be resolved through mediation.

2. Prior to 1957, Naga Hills was a District in the State of Assam. In 1957, an area in the State of Assam, known as the Naga Hills Tsuensang Area was made a Union Territory.

3. On 4 September 1962, due to popular demand for a separate state, the State of Nagaland Act was passed by the Parliament establishing the State of Nagaland


Supreme Court and Gutka ban

Supreme Court on 7 December 2010 ordered a ban on the sale of tobacco, gutka and pan masala in the plastic pouches from March 2011.


PM announces JPC on 2G spectrum scam

1. The government has set up 30 members Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to investigate the 2G spectrum scam. The previous years winter session in parliament ended with only ten working hours on record due to the JPC demand for 2 G scam by opposition.

2. PC Chacko who represents Thrissur in Kerala in the Lok Sabha is made the chairman of the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on the second generation mobile spectrum allocation issue.

3. The JPC is having 20-members from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha. JPC would be based on proportional representation.


15th Census of India, 2011

1. 15th Indian National census began on May 1, 2010. The census was conducted in two phases. The second phase began on February 9, 2011 to collect information for National Population Register following which all Indians will be provided with identification card containing all vital information.

2. C. Chandramouli is the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India who headed the 15th Census of India. 2011 Census data were collected in 16 languages and the training manual was prepared in 18 languages.


Provisional Data of Census 2011

1. Total Population of India has increased from 102.7 crore in 2001 to 121 crore in 2011.

2. The decadal growth rate of population has reduced from 21.34% (2001) to 17.64% (2011). In 2001 census the growth rate of Nagaland was highest (64.41%) however in 2011 census the growth rate of Nagaland was negative 0.47%.

3. The overall sex ratio has increased from 933 (2001) to 940 (2011). However sex ratio among children has declined from 927 (2001) to 914 (2011).

4. The sex ratio in most of the states has increased but in the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar and Gujarat has reduced. The sex ratio was found maximum in Kerala (1084) followed by Pondicherry (1038). Daman & Diu has the lowest sex ratio 618 in Census 2011.

5. The Literacy rate of India has increased from 65.38% (2001) to 74.04% (2011).

6. The population density of India has increased from 324 (2001) to 382 (2011).


LIC to act as registrar for UID project

1. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to act as a registrar for the delivery of the unique 12-digit identity numbers to customers, making it the first institution other than State governments to sign up with UIDAI.


Tembhli- first Aadhar village in India

1. UID is to be based on demographic and biometric data, that is, photograph, fingerprints (all ten fingers) and iris scan of an individual and hence. Prevents duplication. The UID number has been branded `Aadhaar' (foundation)

2. Ranjana Sonawne has become the first Indian to get the UID (Unique Identification).

3. Tembhli in Nandurbar district was chosen because this is a symbol that, this scheme will first benefit the tribals and the needy people in this country.

4. Maharashtra will be the first State to get the UIDs, (Unique ldentification) the rest of the country will get them within a span of four years.


National Voter's day

1. Indian Election Commission has decided to celebrate 25th January as National Voter's day which marks the foundation day of Election Commission.

2. On that day young voters who attained the age of 18 years on January 1, 2011 were given Electors Photo identity cards (EPIC).


India elected to U.N. Security Council

1. The General Assembly elected Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa to serve as non­permanent members of the Security Council for two-year terms starting on 1 January 2011.

2. The newly elected countries have replaced Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda.


Financial Action Task Force

India becomes the 34th full fledged member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a 34 member inter governmental body that devises policies at both national & international levels to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

FATF membership will enable Indian authorities to access information on suspect accounts in nations such as Switzerland & UK.


India to head UNSC panel on combating terror

Hardeep Puri, India's permanent representative in the UN is elected to chair the key counter-terrorism committee (UNSCR 1373) and international security committee (UNSCR 1566). India will also chair two other committees on Somalia and Eritrea.

The 1373 committee has to monitor countries' implementation of the UNSC resolution 1373 i.e. undertake efforts to counter terrorism within their territories.

The UNSCR 1566 provides an internationally recognized definition of terror and calls on countries to prosecute terrorists who aid and abet terrorists.


India Joins Nairobi Convention

The Union Cabinet of India on 4 November 2010 appr­oved the proposal to accede to the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007.

1. The Union Cabinet decided this to address the problems arising from the increasing number of ship wrecks which causes environmental hazards and poses threat to navigation safety of India.

2. The Union Cabinet also decided to amend the Part XIII of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 to widen the scope of removal of ship wrecks and to facilitate the process of becoming the party of Nairobi Convention.

3. On 16 May 2007, the International Maritime Organisation(IMO), headquarter at London held a conference in Nairobi (capital of Kenya) and adopted a final draft of a convention on wreck removal , which was called the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007.

4. Nairobi Convention provides for strict liability, compulsory insurance and direct action in case any ship wreck takes place beyond the territorial sea of coastal states.

5. Nairobi Convention intends to improve navigation safety and maritime security besides dealing with ship wreck. So far, 64 countries have adopted the convention

6. The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 is aimed at to serve the Indian Mercantile interests. Part XIII of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 specify rules and regulations in case of ship wreck.

7. A Wreck, under the Nairobi International Convention is defined

(i) as a sunken or stranded ship or

(ii) any object that is lost at sea from a ship and that is stranded, sunken or adrift at sea or (iii) a ship that is about to sink or strand


9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

1. The 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention was held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on ?- 9 January 2011 with a special focus on north eastern states of India.

2. Sir Anand Satyanand, Governor General of New Zealand was the chief guest for the 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

3. PBD-2011 looked into the continuation of an annual Lecture series under the theme of of  "Engaging the Global Indian.


98th Science Congress

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the Indian Science Congress in Chennai. The theme of the 98th Science Congress is "Quality Education and Excellence in Science Research in Indian Universities

It focused on topics like climate change and food security, rural livelihood security, clean energy, stem cell therapy, child health care, green building technologies, and science education in rural areas.

India's first Nobel Laureate in the sciences, Dr C V Raman, was a proud student of Presidency College, Chennai, so was Professor S. Chandrasekhar. 2012-13 will be the centenary year of the Indian Science Congress and PM asked the Ministry of Science and Technology to designate 2012-13 as the Year of Science in India.

The 99th Science Congress will be held in Bhubaneswar in 2012. The main theme of the next congress will be "Science and Technology For Inclusive Innovation - Role of Women". Vigyan Jyot

To spread the message of "science for a billion people"; Vigyan Jyot, a nationwide inspirational drive, flagged off from Sri Venkateswara College in New Delhi. Represented by a flaming torch, the Vigyan Jyot travelled to 10 cities and ended its journey in Chennai where the 98th Indian Science Congress was held at SRM University.

The Vigyan Jyot initiative has been conceptualised and organised by science and technology organisation MMActiv and the 98th Indian Science Congress.

The Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry, the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and the National Service Scheme are also supporting the initiative.

The thrust areas of the event include chemistry, nanotechnology, agriculture, biodiversity, biotechnology, energy system, environmental science, medical sciences, electronic sector, climate change, space science and technology and transportation.


Devas-Antrix deal

1. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on the basis of a recommendation from the Space Commission, decided to terminate the controversial deal between ISRO's commercial wing Antrix and Devas citing national security and Government cannot afford to grant the S-Band to any one including Antrix because of strategic reasons.

2. The annulment comes in the wake of a raging controversy over the deal for handing over 70 MHz of S-Band spectrum to the private firm for Rs 1,000 crore on which the CAG has already initiated action.

3. According to certain estimates, this deal may have resulted in a loss of Rs two lakh crore to the exchequer


Mother Express

1. Mother Express', an exhibition train to commemorate the birth centenary of Mother Teresa, was inaugurated at the Sealdah station.

2. The train, comprises three air-conditioned coaches in which photographs, write-ups on the life and message of Mother Teresa, would travel all over the country in the next six months.


Railbandhu

Rail Bandhu, a first in-house magazine to be published by the Railways, free of cost will be launched on Rail Diwas on April 16 2011, by Minister Mamata Banerjee. As a pilot project, the Rail Bandhu (rail friend) will be launched in Northern Railway and distributed in high­end trains like Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express.


China and Tagore Gallery

The Chinese Government has decided to donate Rs. 53.6 lakh for the establishment of a gallery on "Rabindranath and China" at the Tagore House Museum (Jorasanko Thakurbari).


Schemes to mark 150th birth anniversary of Vivekananda

The Central Government has set up a national committee under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda between January 2013 and January 2014. As part of the celebrations, the Government also approved schemes worth Rs.100 crore for service-oriented programmes to be implemented across the country for 2010-14.


Book on first Chief of ASI

1. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is bringing out an illustrative book on its first chief, John Marshall, under whose directions excavations were carried out in Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. The book will also mark 150 years next year of the organisation, which undertakes archaeological researches and protection of the country's cultural heritage.

2. He was appointed by Lord Curzon. In 1913, he began the excavations at Taxila, which lasted for twenty years.

3. He laid the foundation stone for the T museum in 1918. He then moved on to other sites, including Buddhist centres of Sanchi and Sarnath­work revealed to the world the true age of Indiancivilisation especially Indus Valley Civilization and Mauryan age (Ashoka's Age).


ASI and Ta Prohm temple

1. The Archaeological Survey of India started Rs.17-crore project in 2006 on conservation of the Ta Prohm complex, third most visited site after Angkor Wat and the Bayon temple Angkor region.

2. Ta Prohm a monastic complex built in the= 12th century by Jayavarman VII, most famous the Khmer rulers in honour of his mother.


Rs. 150 coin

1. With the Income Tax Department celebrating 150 years (from 1860 to 2010) of taxation­country the government will issue coins 150 in denomination. The special coins which also includes=. denomination is released by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

2. The Rs 150 coin is prepared from an -­copper, nickel, silver and zinc. Sathyameva Jayathe' and `India' would be engraved­front side of the coin while the back side feature a portrait of `Chanakya and lots honeybee'. The Rs 5 coins will also be in a similar fashion.


Rupee joins elite club

1. The Indian currency has joined the elite of the US dollar, the European euro, the pound sterling and the Japanese yenblend of the Devanagari `Ra' and Roman its unique symbol.

2. Designed by IIT Bombay post- graduate D. Udaya Kumar, the symbol was approved the Union Cabinet to distinguish the currency of the over $ 1-trillion economy from the rest as the rupee or the rupiah of Pakistan Lanka and Indonesia.

3. Unlike the pound sterling among the four currencies with distinct identities, the Indian currency symbol will not be printed or embossed on paper notes or coins. It would be included in the `Unicode Standard' and major scripts of the world so as to ensure that it is easily displayed and printed in the electronic and print media.


Solar-powered postal delivery rickshaws launched

4. The Department of Posts introduced solar­powered postal delivery rickshaws as pilot programme 'Soleckshaw' which would run in Ajmer (Rajasthan). Developed jointly by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Kinetic Motors, 'Soleckshaw' are pollution-free rickshaws that run on inexpensive solar battery.

5. Introduction of 'Soleckshaw' was part of the Government's efforts to modernise the India Post services under Project Arrow, where post offices across the country are being modernised and digitafized.

6. "A carbon footprint is the measure given to the amount of greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels, measured in units of carbon dioxide (i.e. kg). The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research leaflet on the Soleckshaw calls it a zero-carbon emission vehicle but no product can have a zero carbon footprint.


Thyagaraj Stadium First Eco Friendly Stadium

1. Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs M.S. Gill and Delhi Chief Minister' Sheila Dikshit jointly dedicated the newly built, The Thyagaraj Stadium, first-ever green stadium, the venue for netball event during the Commonwealth Games.

2. Only stadium in the country constructed on the `green building' concept. Not only the stadium has been constructed using fly-ash bricks, it also boasts of features like water conservation through use of recycled water, rainwater harvesting system the idea behind all of this is to leave behind minimal carbon footprint.

Green Building: It refers to a structure that is environmentally responsible and resource efficient through out a building's life cycle


IS0 certification for Rashtrapati Bhavan

1. Rashtrapati Bhavan was presented with International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 14001:2004 Certificate for having emerged as the country's first urban habitat with excellent environmental management systems.

2. A year after she assumed office, Ms. Pa initiated a project, "Roshni Programme;" which was aimed at making the President's Estate plastic-free zone and pushed for introduction energy-efficient practices. Bureau veritas India (BVI) delivers certificates.


National Green Tribunal opened

1. India launched the National 6reen Tribunal becoming the third nation to have a special dedicated court on environmental issues after Australia and New Zealand.

2. The former Supreme Court judge, Lokeshwar Singh Panta, will be its chairperson.

3. The tribunal, headquartered in New Delhi, will have four circuit branches in four regions of the country.

4. These benches will be mobile and they won wait for people to come, but will have sittings in different parts of the country. It is aimed at expediting the hearing nvironmental cases in the country.Anybody and everybody can approach the NGT for civil damages arising out of non implementation of various laws of environment.

5. There is no limit to the compensation which the,. can award to aggrieved parties. Under the prevalent Public Liability Insurance Act, the district collector can award a maximum compensation of Rs 25,000. With the launch of NGT, the National Environment Appellate Authority ceases to exist and all the cases will be transferred to the tribunal.


Project 15 B

1. The government has cleared 'Project-15B', to indigenously construct four guided-missile stealth destroyers for around Rs 30,000-crore at Mazagon Docks.

2. It has an aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov or INS Vikramaditya, three additional Talwar-class stealth frigates in Russia, as also two fleet tankers in Italy under construction.

3. Project-15B, which will be undertaken at MDL after the three Kolkata-class 6,700-tonne destro­yers already being constructed there under a long-delayed Rs 11,662-crore project are finally delivered in 2012-2014, is understood to have been cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security.


IAF's gigabyte digital information grid

1. IAF's gigabyte digital information grid - the AFNET (Air Force Network) outlines the two-fold aim of the'NetworkforSpectrum'approach of the government - to facilitate the growth of national tele-density on the one hand, and ensuring the modernisation of defence communications with a state-of-the-art communication infrastructure. The estimated Rs.1,000-crore project was implemented by the IAF in collaboration with the public sector Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, and private sector IT major HCL and network specialist CISCO.


India set for building prototype gravitational wave detector

2. Indian gravitational astronomy research got a major boost with the approval of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) to fund a Rs.2-crore proposal for building a prototype gravitational wave (GW) detector. This three-metre-long optical interferometer­based detector is the first step in the four-phase strategy recommended by a consortium of Indian gravitational astronomy researchers towards building a four-km class Indian Interferometric Gravitational Wave Observatory (IndIGO) by the year 2020.

3. The building of the prototype, led by C.S. Unnikrishnan and G. Rajalakshmi of the TIFR, is expected to be completed in three years. Mega Container Terminal proposal gets clearance The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved the proposal for construction of a Container Terminal at Chennai Port involving an investment of Rs. 3,686 crore.

4. The earlier proposal of ‘dirty' cargo ( coal minerals) is being shifted to the Ennore p be taken up again.

5. With the proposal to begin construction elevated highway in process now - connecting the port, touching all National Highway terminating on the outskirts of the city - vehicles will have unhindered access to the round-the-clock,

6. The terminal will be able to handle ultra container vessels and deep draft vessels. enable Chennai Port to compete with intern ports and reduce the need for trans-shipment from Singapore and Colombo.

7. The first phase of the project will be completed 2013 and the project will be completed by Neutrino project approved at Bodi West Hills in Theni

1. After denying permission to the Depart Atomic Energy (DAE) to locate the India Neutrino Observatory (INO) at Singara in district in Tamil Nadu, the Union Mini Environment and Forests (MoEF) accord environmental and forest clearance for I the project in the Bodi West Hills (BWH) in district, also in Tamil Nadu.

2. The INO will be a major underground experimental facility to study the elusive electrically and nearly mass-less fundamental part nature called neutrinos. The Singara site was rejected by the M the grounds that it was not cleared by t Nadu Forest Department (TNFD) as it fall buffer zone of the Mudhumalai Tiger and close to the elephant corridor between Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats.


World's largest aircraft landed in India

The first commercial landing of the I Airbus A380 - the largest aircraft of ti - took place at the newly inaugurated 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport. A major feature of the new T3 is its A380-compatible runway and passenger boarding bridges. Incidentally, it was the Kingfisher Airlines which first flew in the A380 to India in 2007


First seaplane service launched

1. In a boost to coastal tourism, Mr. Praful Patel, Civil Aviation minister launched the first seaplane service in the country at the Juhu aerodrome and named it 'Jai Hans'

2. The amphibian plane will run on the Andaman and Nicobar islands. A joint venture has been formed between Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited (PHHL) and the Andaman and Nicobar administration on an equal profit-sharing basis.

3. The Cessna 208A seaplane, which has a seating capacity of eight passengers and two pilots, is Canada-made, six years old and costs around Rs. 8 crore.

4. It can travel up to 250 km an hour and can land on calm waters. It can also land using the wheels configuration.


Kolkata Metro gets railway zone status

1. Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee laid the foundation stone to mark the conversion of the Kolkata Metro Railway into the 17th independent zonal railway - 38 years after the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, laid the foundation stone for the Metro project in 1972.

2. The Metro Railway was a project of the Indian Railways so far. Now it will have its own construction infrastructure, and its employees will enjoy parity with their colleagues in other zones.

3. Commencement of expansion work for the Joka­BBD Bag Metro Rail Project (Phase-1) of the Joka-Majerhat section was also inaugurated.


Mumbai monorail Corridor

1. With an estimated cost of Rs.3,000 crore, the Mumbai monorail corridor, when commissioned, will be the world's second longest such corridor, built at one-fourth the cost of the world's longest.

2. The 19.54 km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail corridor will be second only to Japan's 23.8 km Osaka monorail corridor. It will halt at 18 stations compared to 19 in Osaka.

3. Krishna Tribunal grants highest share of waters to Andhra Pradesh

4. The Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II allocated the highest share of Krishna river waters to Andhra Pradesh but distributed the surplus waters, which was hitherto flowing into the State. The shares of other basin States (Karnataka and Maharashtra) were also raised.

5. The tribunal asked the Centre to set up a Krishna Water Decision-Implementation Board' with representation from all the three States.

6. Since the decision of the tribunal has the force and decree of the Supreme Court, no appeal against the award can be filed in any court except before the tribunal itself. The order of the tribunal can be reviewed or revised after May 31, 2050.


Norman Barloug Institute

Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, announced the setting up of the Norman Borlaug Institute of South Asia that would facilitate Availability of new and improved seeds and offer new technology to farmers. The institute is likely to be set up on a 500-'acre plot at Pusa in Bihar.

It is being established in collaboration with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (or CIMMYT) and will work in close coordination with Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture based in Texas and other research centres in South Asian countries.


India Show 2011

1. Confederation of Indian Industry in Association with High Commission of India, Singapore has organized "The India Show 2011" from 14 - 16 January 2011 at Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Singapore.

2. The objective of The India Show Singapore is to enable scaling up ambitions and set new targets for the economic engagements in terms of further removing trade barriers and encourage business.


Nalanda University bill

3. Union Cabinet has cleared bill seeking to revive the ancient seat of learning at Nalanda in Bihar by establishing an international university at an estimated cost of Rs. 1005 crore. Singapore had recently promised 4-5 million for the Nalanda University's library through private donations from that country.

4. The university would in the beginning have six schools for different studies, but the Board of governors had envisaged opening another school for information technology.

5. The Nalanda Mentor Group, chaired by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, will function as the interim governing board for one year or till the constitution of the Governing Board, whichever is earlier. Singapore's foreign minister George Yeo is also a member of the Mentor Group.

6. The university will collaborate with other old universities, including the AI-Azhar University of Egypt, Oxford and Cambridge Universities in Britain and Harvard University in the US. It would also collaborate with China.

7. Some buildings in Nafanda were constructed by the Nlauryan emperor Ashoka. Nalanda - was sacked by Turkish Muslim invaders under Bhaktiyar Khalji in 1193.


GANDHI project for Dandi

Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh launched the Green Action for National Dandi Heritage Initiative project in the historic coastal village in south Gujarat. The Rs. 25-crore project is intended to design a plan for integrated development and heritage conservation, embodying the Gandhian values of village development and environmental conservation, of Dandi and surrounding villages. It was at Dandi where Mahatma Gandhi launched his salt Satyagraha March 1930 followed by Dharsana Raid which was leaded by Nightingale of India Sarojini Naidu.


Nod for National Innovation Council

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has given nod for the setting up of a 17-member panel National Innovation Council headed by Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, to give shape to the Government's decision to observe the current decade (2010-2020) as the Decade of Innovation. The Council will have a mandate to evolve an Indian model of innovation that focuses on inclusive growth and creating an appropriate eco-system conducive to fostering inclusive innovation.


Sabla for Adolescent girls

The Centre launched the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls known a `Sabla' aimed at enhancing their nutritional an economic status.

The scheme will be run along with the Integrate Child Development Services (ICDS) project in anganwadi centres in 200 select districts targeting girls in the age group 11-18.

Adolescent girls will be provided take-home rations. States can also opt for serving cooked meals, the standards of which will have to be se The cost of the scheme will be shared equally b the Centre, the States and the Union Territories on provision of nutrition - including 600 calorie and 18-20 gm of protein which will cost Rs. 5 beneficiary per day for 300 days a year for school girls in the age group 11-14 and all others age 15-18.


Swavalamban Pension Scheme for Unorganised Sector Workers

1. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherje launched a pension scheme for workers in the unorganised sector who do not have access t the social security net. Under the scheme - which is name­'Swavalamban' - subscribers would get Rs.1,000 from the government each year for subscription amount of Rs.12,000 per year. The scheme will remain valid for this financial year and for the next 3 consecutive fiscals.

2. It will be managed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India. A subscriber can enter the scheme at the age of 18 years and will be eligible for pension after turning 60. In the budget of 2011-12 a subscriber under Swavlamban Scheme will now be allowed to exit at the age of 50 years instead of 60 years, or a minimum tenure of 20 years, whichever is later. The validity of scheme is also increased to this financial year and next 5 consecutive fiscals in the budget 2011-12. Only 2 states - Haryana and Karnataka - have responded to the scheme

3. Social Security Fund for unorganised workers The Government has decided to set up a National Social Security Fund for workers in the unorganised sector.The National Social Security Fund for workers in the unorganised sector would cover weavers, toddy tappers, rickshaw pullers and bidi workers with an initial allocation of Rs. 1000 crore.


Nod for cash scheme for pregnant women and lactating mothers

1. To improve maternal and child health, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) - a monetary scheme for pregnant women and lactating mothers of 19 years of age for first two child - on a pilot basis in 52 districts in this Five-Year Plan. Each pregnant and lactating woman will receive Rs. 4,000 in three installments between the second trimesters of pregnancy until the child is six months old.

2. Each beneficiary has to open an individual account (if she does not have one already) in the nearest bank or the post office for cash transfer.

3. The scheme, to be implemented through the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme infrastructure and personnel, will cost Rs. 1,000 crore. The scheme will be fully funded by the Centre and Rs. 390 crore and Rs. 610 crore have been allocated for 2010-11 and 2011­12 respectively.

4. Government employees and Central and State Public Sector employees have been excluded from the scheme as they are entitled to paid maternity leave.


Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana

1. Rajasthan (Sri Ganganagar), has become the first state in the country to launch the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY), which aims to achieve all-round, integrated development of selected villages through convergent implementation of all relevant Central and State schemes in them.

2. The programme also aims to meet the village's needs, where a majority of the population belongs to the scheduled castes, through provision of "gag­filling" funds for which Central assistance will be provided at the rate of Rs 10 lakh per village, with the State Government also expected to make a suitable, preferably matching, contribution.

3. The pilot scheme has been taken up for implementation in five States, of which four are Bihar, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Assam. The pilot scheme will be implemented in two districts of Rajasthan -- Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh.


strong>UPA-II to unveil'slum-free India dream scheme

1. UPA-11's ambitious programme to make the nation slum-free within five years is finalised by housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry.

2. In 2009 the government had announced the launch of Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) aimed at making cities slum-free, addressing the problems of slum-dwellers and urban poor in a definite and holistic manner.

3. Besides, slum-free city planning, the states were asked to frame legislation to accord property rights to slum-dwellers, and also formulate detailed project reports for the release of funds. The ministry has re-drafted the RAY scheme to focus on upgrading slums, redevelopment, rehabilitation and constructing new houses after factoring in the views of concerned stakeholders, states and the expert committee, which is headed by Deepak Parekh.

4. The ministry constituted the expert panel to estimate "reliable" urban slum population. As per the committee's findings, around 93.06 million people will live in slums in cities by next year. National Initiative on climate Resilient Agriculture

5. Union Minister for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Shri Sharad Pawar has launched 'National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture' in 100 most vulnerable districts in 27 states of India.

6. This initiative will primarily enhance the resilience of Indian Agriculture covering crops, livestock and fisheries.


Food Security bill

1. The Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) has expanded the concepi of below the poverty line (BPL)-PDS beneficiaries, virtually doubling their number to 75 per cent of the population, designating them as "priority households" and making them eligible to receive 35 kg of subsidised foodgrains (Re. 1 per kg for millets, Rs. 2 for wheat and Rs. 3 for rice) every month.

2. The remaining 25 per cent - described as "general households" - will be entitled to 20 kg of foodgrains per household at a price pegged at 50 per cent of the Minimum Support Price (MSP).

3. Dr. Jean Dreze, a member who played a key role in the first NAC, is dissented with the NAC recommendations.the population in two phases, with 90% rural and 50% urban population included.

4. The Rangarajan Committee suggested that 46°/ M of the rural population and 28% of the urban population be entitled to 35 kg of rice at Rs. per kg or wheat at Rs_ 2 per kg per household month. The figures were arrived at by adding 10% beneficiaries (to cover those on the margins) the Tendulkar Committee's poverty estimates 41.8 per cent of the rural poor and 25.7 per cent of the urban poor.


Cabinet approves Bill for women's protection at workplace

1. The Union of Women Workplace environment for women at work place, both the public and private sectors, in the organised and unorganised sectors.

2. Cabinet approved the Protection against Sexual Harassment Bill, 2010, that ensures a a safe

3. Domestic help have been kept out of the purview of the proposed law that also proposes a fine of Rs. 50,000 if found violating the provisions of the law.

4. Under the proposed Bill, every employer required to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee. The Complaint Committees required to complete the enquiry within 90 days and a period of 60 days has been given to the employer/District Officer for implementation the recommendations of the Committee.


Rangarajan panel differs with NAC on food security bill

1. The C. Rangarajan Committee on the proposed food security bill has favoured legal entitlement of subsidised foodgrains to the poor (below the poverty line), but has rejected the National Advisory Council's (NAC) recommendation that above the poverty line (APL) households be partially covered, saying it is not feasible at the current levels of grain production and procurement. The NAC had recommended 75% coverage of Cabinet nod for judicial accountability bill

2. The Union Cabinet approved a bill providing a mechanism to deal with complaints against judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court. It will also mandate the judges of the High court and the Supreme Court to declare their as and liabilities, including those of their spouses and dependents.

3. The bill to replace the Judges Inquiry Act retains its basic features, contemplates setting u a national oversight committee with which : public can lodge complaints against erring judges, including the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justices of the High Courts.

4. The five-member committee will be headed by a retired Chief Justice of India, appointed by the President, and have a serving Judge of the Supreme Court and a serving High Court Judge, both nominated by the Chief Justice of India; the Attorney-General; and an eminent person nominated by the President.

5. This marks a change from the earlier proposal, in which the committee was to be headed by the Vice-President and to have the Chief Justice of

6. India, a High Court judge and two distinguished jurists not involved in regular practice of law.

7. At present, there is no legal mechanism for dealing with complaints against judges, who are governed by `Restatement of Values of Judicial Life,' adopted by the judiciary as a code of conduct without any statutory sanction.


Cabinet clears Educational Tribunals Bill

1. The Union Cabinet cleared a bill seeking to create a mechanism to provide for speedy resolution of matters relating to disputes in institutions of higher education.

2. The Bill proposes to set up a two-tier structure of Educational Tribunals at the national and State level to adjudicate on the entire gamut of disputes that arise in the higher education system.

3. The State tribunals will adjudicate matters concerning teachers, employees and students of institutions in the respective States.

4. The national tribunal would deal with all matters concerning regulatory bodies in higher education and also matters involving institutes located in two or more States.

5. The Bill also provides for imprisonment up to three years or fine of Rs. 10 lakh or with both to those who fail to comply with the orders of the State or the National Educational Tribunals.


Bill on whistleblowers tabled in l.ok Sabha

1. The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, 2010 introduced by Minister of State for Personnel Prithviraj Chavan, provides for setting up a regular mechanism to encourage disclosure of information on corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants, which cause "demonstrable losses" to the government.

2. The Bill brings under its ambit employees of Central and State governments, public sector firms, local authorities and societies, among others.

3. According to its Statement of Objects and Reasons, the Bill seeks to provide punishment for false or frivolous complaints as well.


Underweight Children in India

In a new report "Commonwealth or Common Hunger" Save the children, an NGO claims the 64 % of the world's underweight children live in 54 Commonwealth countries and India has both the highest number and highest proportion of underweight children


Population stabilisation by 2070

With the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) continuing at 2.8 per cent, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has pushed back the target date for achieving population stabilisation to 2070 from 2045, stipulated in the National Population Policy (NPP) 2000.


Mullaperiyar Dam

A five member Empowered Committee was constituted to go into the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam on Periyar river to decide and make an on the spot inspection of Dam from 17th to 19 Dec. 2010.


Floating disaster Response base

1. The country's first floating disaster response base of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), anchored on the banks of the Brahmaputra, Guwahati, was inaugurated.

2. The base of the NDRF's 1st Battalion has 45 trained personnel, including three deep divers, a fleet of 12 Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) speedboats, four rubberised speedboats and equipment such as earthquake collapse structure search and rescue equipment and life detecting equipment.


Extension of Visa on Arrival Scheme

1. Government of India has decided to extend the "Tourist Visa-on-Arrival (TVOA)" scheme to tourists from Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Laos w.e.f 1 January, 2011.

2. The said facility with a maximum validity of 30 days with single entry facility shall be granted by the Immigration Officers at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata airports.

3. Tourist Visa-on-Arrival scheme for citizens of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore is already in place since January, 2010.


Mobile number portability

1. The Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is operational in India from Jan 20, 2011. The MNP scheme was first launched in Haryana in November 2010.

2. In this service the mobile user can switch to other service provider without changing the mobile numbers within the local service area.

3. Both prepaid and postpaid tele-users have the facility to switch to other favourable tele­operators.

4. The subscriber need to send a SMS from his mobile to 1900 for getting unique porting code for switching over to the other service provider .


Blackberry Controversy

1. Research in Motion (RIM) Canada, the maker of Blackberry has finally surrendered to Indian security agencies' demand for access to their server.

2. The company has proposed for lawful access to its services including the messenger as well as the enterprise with immediate effect and the company would have to set up a server in India if it does not work to the satisfaction of Indian agencies.

3. The security agencies already had access to voice data, SMS and general emails sent through Blackberry devices but Blackberry email and messaging services that are highly encrypted were major concerns for the security agencies.

Nuclear reactor connected to power grid

1. The fourth unit of the 220 MW Kaiga Generating Station (KGS-4), located in Uttar Kannada district

2. of Karnataka, is connected to the southern powergrid, after the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board-- - (AERB) granted clearance to it.

3. KGS-4, which achieved first criticality o November 27 last, the country's nuclear power capacity has gone up to 4,780 MW, with 2 reactors in operation.

4. Kaiga is situated on the left bank of Kali River­. The site will have six reactor units of pressurize heavy water reactors each of 22MW.

5. The installed capacity of Kaiga station i third largest after Tarapur (Maharashtra) an Rawatbhatta (Rajasthan). The unit is fuelled byindigenous Uranium.

6. Centre approves 9 solar power projects for Haryana­ roved the establishment projects with a cumulative 8.8 megawatts in Haryana r Producers (IPPs). These missioned by September


Energy Development

Agency (HAREDA) had earlier invited proposal: from IPPs for installation of solar power generation-plants of 100-kilowatt to 2-MW capacity in the--state under the Jawaharlat Nehru National Solar Mission.

As part of the energy conservation drive launched by the state government, two 100-K Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) projects we commissioned at Omax Auto Ltd's Manesar a Dharuhera units at a cost of Rs 2.60 crore each


Guinnesse book of world record by Kuchipudi dancers

1. A representative from the Guinnesse Book World Records, who was present to witness t dance performed by 2800 kuchipudi dance announced that it was the new Guinness World record for the largest Kuchipudi dance.

2. The dance, 'Hindola Thillana', was performed artistes from 15 countries and different parts Andhra Pradesh at the concluding program of the three-day of 2nd International Kuchipudi Dance Convention at the GMC Balayogi Stadium, Gachibowli.

3. It was 11-minute performance which wasscripted and choreographed by eminent exponent of the classical art form, Vempati Chinna Satyam.


Loharinag Pala hydel project

The 600 MW Loharinag Pala hydel project currently being constructed by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) on the Bhagirathi river near Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand, will be scrapped due to religious sentiments and opposition by environmental activists.

It has been decided to declare the 135-km stretch between Gomukh and Uttarkashi an eco-sensitive zone under the Environmental Protection Act, 1986. Once this change is made, no development projects will be allowed in the zone.

The decision was taken by the same three­member Group of Ministers -- Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh -- who had recommended earlier that the dam could not be scrapped due to the financial implications involved.

A technical committee will beset upto recommend dismantling and safeguard measures to protect the eco-geological balance of the area. It will also determine NTPC's losses. The GoM has recommended that the Union government will also compensate NTPC and bear the cost of maintaining the safeguards.


Posco Project

1. POSCO, South Korean steel Company and India's largest ever Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), on 1 February 2011, got the approval of the Union Environment Ministry of India for its proposed steel and iron plant at Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa.

2. The Environment ministry also gave environmental and CRZ clearance to captive port planned to be constructed near Paradip. However, the ministry withheld forest clearance to the project complex. The total cost of the POSCO project is more than 54000 crore rupees.


Oil spill as vessels collide

A minor oil spill resulted from a collision of two­ merchant vessels, MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia-III, off the Mumbai.

The Indian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Mumbai sent ICG Ship Kamala Devi for rendering assistance. The­ oil spill from MSC Chitra has caused massive' damage to the 25-km mangroves stretch in and around the city.


'Guardian of the sea'

1. Coast Guard (CG) got "a state-of-the art" Pollution Control Vessel (PCV), "the first of its kind in South Asia" in terms of sophistication of technology.

2. Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan commissioned the ship 'Samudra Prahari' or 'Guardian of the Sea'.

3. The 95-metre PCV was designed and built by Surat-based private shipping company ABG Shipyard Ltd. The ship is equipped with the most advanced and sophisticated pollution response equipment for mitigating marine oil spills in the Indian­ Exclusive Economic Zone.

4. It is also equipped with the advanced navigational and communication sensors and equipment­and is capable of embarking helicopter.


Narmada Bachao Andolan completes 25 years

"In the Narmada valley The fight is still on" - thus sang the people of Bhadal in Madhya Pradesh, where Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader­Medha Patkar was heading a prayer meeting as part of the activities marking the completion of 25 years of the people's movement.


MCI plea to WMA on Ketan Desai

The MCI has approached the World Medical Association (WMA) to "withhold the move to hand over charge of the prestigious body to its former president Ketan Desai as he stands indicted in India on charges of corruption.

WMA is an international organisation of physicians and represents medical councils across the world. Dr. Desai was elected to the post in October 2009 through an election at the WMA annual meeting in New Delhi,.


Indian Desert" M.M. Bhandari was felicitated on the occasion.

1. Bihar signs pact with World Bank to help Kosi flood victims.

2. In a step to alleviate the plight of millions of people affected by the 2008 Kosi floods, the Bihar government signed a $220-million agreement with the World Bank. The government will chip in with $39 million for the $259-million Bihar Kosi Flood Recovery Project aimed at supporting the State's recovery efforts, reducing risks of flooding and boosting emergency responses in the event of future disasters.


Plant to clean chambal

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has laid the foundation stones for a plant costing Rs. 149.59 crore for cleaning of the Chambal river (a tributary of Yamuna) waters under the National River Conservation Project as well as for three other projects in Kota.

Six sewage pumping stations and two sewage treatment plants of the capacity of 30 million litres per day (MLD) and 6 MLD will be constructed under the project, in addition to the laying of sewage pipelines of a total length of 143 km across the city. The work is likely to be completed by May 2013.

Chambal forms the boundary between MP and Rajasthan.


Bishnois to save flora and fauna of Thar

The Bishnoi community has joined She scientists researching on the flora and fauna of the desert in afirst time ever joint biodiversiry brainstorming on the arid lands of the Thar in Rajasthan and Kutch in Gujarat .

The 2 day workshop in Sun City was organized to mark the 280th anniversary of Khejrali, the sacrifice made by scores of Bishnoi men and women for protecting the desert's precious Khejri trees in Khejrali village situated 25 kms from Jodhpur.


Eminent taxonomist and author of "Flora of Project Read

The Rajasthan Government and education NGO Pratham have signed a MoU for improving the quality of education in the government schools in the State. Eleven blocks in an equal number of districts have been selected under the project. The project, named "Read Rajasthan", will cater to one lakh students in 3,100 schools.


Point Calimere conservation efforts

Conservation efforts at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary will get a boost once the process of transferring 20,186 hectares in the Great Vedaranyam Swamp to the Forest Department is completed. Created in 1967 for conservation of blackbuck in Nagapattinam district, Point Calimere, encompassing 17.26 km of sandy coast, saline swamps and thorny scrub around the backwater(; and a resting and migratory route for lakhs o( birds.

In 2002, the Point Calimere coastal area, comprising 38,500 hectares, was declared a Ramsar site and a place of international importance for conservation of wetland. Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) set up a study centre for migratory birds in Point Catimere last year.


Safety net for five ecosystems

Five ecosystems have been identified in the Kerala to be designated as Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS).The ecosystems identified by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board are Kalasamala at Kunnamkulam, Thrissur; Connoly'sTeak Plantation in Nilambur, Malappuram; Paliyeri Mookambika kavu at Karivallur, Kannur; Pathiramanal Island in Alappuzha; and Iringole kavu in Perumbavoor, Ernakulam.

Experts have identified a grove of critically endangered tree species Syzigiumtravencoricurn at Kalasamala. The Connoly's Teak Plantation is considered as the first teak plantation in the world.

Methyisocyanate is an organic compound used for production of pesticides and adhesives,

Centre approves Rs. 9,600 cr for highways in J&K The Centre has approved an outlay of Rs. 9,625 crore for the National Highways project in Jammu and Kashmir, involving the development and upgradation of roads and construction of two new tunnels (10-km-long Qazigund-Banihal and Chenani-Nashri tunnels) on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. Sukna Scam

Lieutenant-General P K Rath, one of the four generals indicted in the Sukna (Darjeeling, West Bengal) land scam, got a severe reprimand and is set to lose two years' senior-,,`y and 15 years of service for pension.

This is the first time a three-star general has faced such ignominy in the Indian armed forces.


Prasar bharti financial irregularities

The two-member Committee headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu commission which went into alleged financial irregularities in Commonwealth Games, has strongly indicted suspended Prasar Bharti CEO B S Lalli and Doordarshan Director General Aruna Sharma, accusing them of "collusion" with SIS a UK-based firm which benefited Rs 135 crore in the broadcast deal.


Bhopal tragedy

A court in Bhopal convicted all the seven accused, including the former chairman of Union Carbide, Keshub Mahindra, in the Bhopal gas tragedy case and awarded them a maximum of two years' imprisonment.

The verdict came 26 years after the tragedy on the night of December 2-3, 1984. Dozens of tonnes of poisonous methylisocyanate gas leaked out from the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) plant.

Warren Anderson, chairman of the U.S.-based Union Carbide group, who was named an `accused' in the tragedy, was absconding throughout the trial period.

Supreme Court has also issued a notice to Union Carbide, Dow Chemicals and others on centres's extraordinary petition seeking an additional compensation of Rs. 7,844 crore for victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy. Union Carbide is a wholly owned subsidary of the Dow Chemical Company.


Bofors Scam

A Delhi court has accepted CBI's plea for closure of criminal case against fugitive Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in the Bofors payoff scam, who has never appeared before - any court in India to face trial. The Bofors scandal was a major corruption scandal in India in the 1980s.

The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and several others were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors AB who were awarded the contract for the supply of 155 mm field howitzers.

The CBI had failed twice in getting him extradited-- first from Malaysia in 2003 and then from Argentina in 2007. He is accused of allegedly receiving a payoff for brokering the Bofors gun deal.


Godhra verdict

A special court in Ahmadabad people and acquitted 63 including main accused Maulvi Umarji, in the 2002 Godhra train burning incident that left 59 people dead mostly Kar Sevaks who were returning from Ayodhya on the Sabarmati Express.

This triggered the 2002 Gujarat communal riots which left over 1200 people dead mostly Muslims. The court was the first one to pronounce a judgment, among the nine trying the 2002 Gujarat riots cases.

The court accepted the prosecution's contention that there was a conspiracy behind the incident.


Ayodha Verdict

Sixty years after it first went to court, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has pronounced judgment in the Ayodhya title suit, saying Hindus and Muslims are joint title holders.

The three -judge bench ruled in a majority judgement that there be a three-way division of the disputed land - one-third for the Sunni ' Board, one-third for the Nirmohi Akhara and one-third to the party for 'Ram Lalla'.

The High Court has said that the portion below the central dome under which the idols of Lord Ram and other Gods are placed in a makeshift temple, belongs to Hindus.

The Nirmohi Akhara, would get the Ram Chabutra and Sita Rasoi.


Compensation for Kanishka Victims

The Canadian government has suggested a compensation of $20,000 to $25,000 to families of each of the victims in the tragic 1985 Air India Kanishka terror bombing that killed 329 people, mostly of Indian origin.


Kiran Kumar Reddy new Chief Minister

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Konijeti Rosaiah stepped down after l4-and-a-half months in office citing "advanced age and work pressure" and Speaker of the Assembly Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy was chosen by the AICC leadership to succeed him.

Republic Day celebrations peaceful in Kashmir India's Republic Day celebrations in Kashmir passed of peacefully even as BJP activist's attempts to hoist the flag at Lal Chowk and 'EktaYatra' were foiled.

Anurag Thakur hoisted the tricolour at the Police Training College in Kathua. Earlier in 1992 Murli Manohar Joshi unfurled the Tricolour at Lal Chowk, Srinagar, to show that (Jammu and Kashmir) was an integral part of the country.


Joint Parliamentary Committee

JPC is appointed to look, inquire into particular matter or subject, something which is important for nation. It is formed when motion is adopted by one house and agreed by the other house. The strength of JPC may be different each time. However the Lok Sabha members are double compared to Rajya Sabha members. In 1987 first JPC was formed to inquire into Bofors contract


Miscellaneous Points

UNESCO inscribes 3 Indian performing art forms, Mudiyettu, ritual theatre of Kerala, the Chaau dance of eastern states, Kalbelai folk songs and dances of Rajasthan in Representative list of Intangible Cultural heritage of Humanity in Nairobi. Amar Singh launched a new party `Akhil Bhartiya Lok Manch'. Bangladesh Govt has requested to rename the train linking West Bengal to Tripura via Bangladesh as ' Sonar Tori'. Earlier the name of the train as envisaged in the Railway Budget 2010 is 'Epar Bangla Opar Bangla'. Sonar Tori is a collection of poems written by Rabindranath Tagore, whose 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated in 2010. Maharastra will become first state in the country to have a real estate regulatory authority. Tamil Nadu Chief minister Karunanidhi inaugurated South-East Asia's biggest desalination plant at Minjur in Tiruvallur district The Supreme Court of India tentatively approves the Tamil Nadu government's new quota law, providing 69% of employment in educational institutions to scheduled castes and tribes and other backward classes. Polavaram Project is named Indira Sagar, it is a project envisaging the construction of dam across Godavari river. The United Nations has decided to recognize the Mahatma Gandhi Tanta Mukti Gaon Muhim (Dispute free Village Scheme) of Maharashtra Government. The government did not have to spend a single rupee for the implementation of the scheme. In April 2010, Khairlanji was recognised by the scheme as a dispute-free village. Mukhya Mantri Mahamaya Garib Arthik Madad Yojana is launched in Uttar Pradesh. Haryana has launched Play 4 India scheme for young persons to pursue career in sports Dadri-Toi village in Jhajjar district of Haryana was Chosen by the Panasonic India to set-up India's first Eco Idea factory. A commission on minority institutions granted minority status to Jamia Millia Islamia on 22 February 2011. With this order Jamia Milia University can reserve up to 50% seats for Muslims. The University will not have to give reservation to Dalits, Tribals and OBCs. At present, Jamia University gives 22.5% reservation to SCs% STs, 25% to students from the Jamia School and 3% to the physically handicapped. Moser Baer Clean Energy commissioned solar farm at Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu under Phase I of National solar Mission. President Prathiba Patil visited UAE and Syria for 9 days in November 2010. This is President Prathiba Patil's first State visit to a Gulf nation and the first visit by an Indian President to Syria.

The original colonial-era agreement gives Cairo the power to veto dams and other water projects in upstream countries. Though the Nile waters are divided by means of an agreement that dates back to 1929, Egypt and Sudan being upstream countries insist that the old agreement still holds. • Kenya, Burundi and the DR Congo were expected to sign it within the 12 months allowed by the accord.


Sanctions on Iran

President Barack Obama has signed into force the "toughest sanctions against Iran ever passed by the United States Congress" under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act.

The sanctions, imposed in addition to those adopted under the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1929, will make it "harder for the Iranian government to purchase refined petroleum and the goods, services and materials to modernise Iran's oil and natural gas sector".

The sanctions would further target the Iranian the Revolutionary Guards and banks that supported Iran's alleged nuclear programme.


Iran's first nuclear plant fuel loading

1. Iran began loading fuel into the core of its first nuclear power station (1,000-megawatt) at Bushehr, which is scheduled to begin generating electricity in May 2011.

2. Under Iran's agreement with Moscow-based Rosatom, the state-owned Russian company will supply uranium for the plant and take away spent fuel.


New cross-country gas pipeline

Iran's 7th cross-country gas pipeline was officially inaugurated in Aug 2010.

The project, which cost $1.7 billion, is regarded as the first phase of the proposed Iran-Pakistan­ Iran is the second- largest producer of petroleum in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Iran, Pakistan, and India conceptualized

The Peace Pipeline project in the 1990s to promote peace and increase security in the region.

The IPI gas pipeline is a proposed 2,775­kilometer pipeline for delivering natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India, though the signature of a final deal agreement has been delayed several times over price and political issues.

Iran's proven natural gas reserves stand at about 1,000 trillion cubic feet, of which 33 percent is located in associated gas fields and 67 percent in non-associated gas fields. Iran has the world's second largest reserves of natural gas after Russia.


Customs Union

The Customs Code, making the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan fully operational, came into force. It is the first step towards forming a broader EU-type economic alliance of former Soviet states. The Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus formally came into existence on January 1, 2010, but was unable to start working fully until the Customs Code came into effect. The disputed issues between Russia and Belarus, include export duties on Russian oil and petroleum products to Belarus and the import of foreign cars and aircraft into the Union's customs territory, delayed ratification of the Customs Code by Belarus India (IP1) gas pipeline, which is also known as the Peace Pipeline. The pipeline, which extends 902 kilometers from Assalouyeh in the southwest of Iran to Iranshahr in the southeast, will transfer natural gas from the South Pars gas field to some of Iran's southern provinces. The second section of the pipeline, which is to be about 400 kilometers in length, will be established by Iran's Khatam-ol-Anbia Construction Head­quarters at a cost of 200 to 250 million dollars.


Arctic Sea route

1. After 15 years, Russia has reactivated its Arctic Sea Route from Europe to East Asia.

2. Two Russian nuclear-powered icebreakers successfully accomplished an 11-day mission to escort a Russian tanker Baltica with 70 thousand tons of gas condensate on board from the Barents Sea port of Murmansk to the Bering Strait

3. The 114,564-tonne tanker Baltica is the first biggest super vessel to navigate from Europe to the Far East without going around South Asia.

4. The Arctic Sea route is almost twice faster than the Suez Canal route and about 15 per cent cheaper.

5. Murmansk remains ice-free year round due to warm North Atlantic drift ocean current. It is world's only fleet of nuclear powered Icebreakers. The Russian state-controlled shipping company Sovcomflot owns the Baltica tanker. Vanguard 2010, was taken place over the central province of Henan and the eastern coastal province of Shandong, which lie across the Yellow Sea from the Korean Peninsula. The exercise takes place after a week of heightened tensions in the region, following joint military exercises held by the United States and South Korea in the Yellow Sea.

6. China's territorial claims on the whole of the strategically-significant South China Sea, through which several important shipping routes pass, are disputed by several countries, including Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.


China's lunar probe

1. China's lunar probe Change-2 was successfully launched from control centre at the Xichang satellite launch site in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

2. Chang'e II was built as an° alternative to Chang'e I, which was launched in October 2007 and maintained a 16-month lunar orbit.

3. The series of Chang'e probes is named after a legendary Chinese Moon goddess.

4. The Shenzhou 8, Shenzhou 9 and 10 spacecrafts would dock with it in the second half of 2011 and 2012 respectively.


Russia, Norway sign Arctic border pact

Russia and Norway have signed an Arctic border pact i.e. The Treaty on Maritime Delimitation and Cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean, ending a 40-year dispute over an energy­ rich area in the Barents Sea and ended a 30­year moratorium on tapping oil and gas deposits in the area. Under the treaty Russia and Norway will equally divide the long-contested 176,000 sq. km. zone that lies off their Arctic coastlines and is believed to be rich in oil and gas. It is the second most important border pact post-Soviet Russia signed with its neighbours after the border delimitation treaty with China.


Vanguard 2010

China's five-day exercise of Air Force, called Ocean One

1. The Chinese scientific research ship Dayang Yihao, or Ocean One, set sail from Guangzhou starting a 376-day global trip that will take it across the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.

2. The ship will make stops in South Africa, Brazil, Panama and Ecuador.

3. The vessel will conduct research on hot liquid sulfides and deep-sea biological diversity.

Hot liquid sulfides, commonly known as "black chimneys" by researchers, can provide clues about the origins of life.


Mapping Satellite

China's first high resolution, stereoscopic mapping satellite for civilian use will be launched during the second half of 2011. The ZY-3 will be sent into space by the Long March-4B carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China.

The satellite is expected to "provide steady and reliable data sources for surveying and mapping on the scale of 1:50,000."

The ZY-3 project was kicked off in March 2008. Three ground stations in Beijing, Kashgar in far west Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Sanya in the southernmost island province of Hainan, will receive and transmit satellite data.

China successfully conducted its first stealth jet test flight on January 11, 2011. The name of this advanced fighter jet is Chengdu J-20 Black eagle.


China Tajikistan border dispute

Tajikistan's lower house of parliament ratified an agreement that was signed with China in 2002 for resolving a century-old border dispute. Under the agreement, China gains control over an area of 1,000 square kilometers, about 3.5 percent of the disputed 28,500-square-kilometer land that had been under discussion.

Tajikistan took control of the land after independence in 1991 but China had never accepted the ruling.

The two nations signed the border treaty in 1999, and added an amendment to it three years later, thus establishing a joint committee for demarcation.


Myanmar's rail line to China

Myanmar has started work on a railway line from its planned deep-sea port at Kyaukphyu to south-western China's Yunnan province.

The line, which will be completed in 2015, will transport Chinese goods for export, and also be used by China to expand its access to Myanmar's natural resources.


25 years of Schengen Agreement

Tocelebrate the 25 years ofSchengen Agreement, the state of Luxembourg in collaboration with the European Commission organized a number of festivities throughout June 2010. It was on 14 June 1985 that Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed the Schengen Agreement in the small town of Schengen, Luxembourg. The accord, and the subsequent convention adopted in 1990 to implement it, agreed to abolish systematic border controls between the countries, allowing free movement of persons. Schengen now comprises 22 countries of the 27 EU states besides Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.


First world statistical day

The United National Statistical Commission (UNSC) decided, with great enthusiasm during its 41st Session in February 2010, to celebrate first World Statistics Day on 20th October 2010 under the theme 'Celebrating the Many Achievements of Statistics: Service, Professionalism and Integrity: The date 20-10-2010 was chosen since the year rounding in '0' has always been an important year in official statistics.


World celebrates July 17

Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first African-­origin President, turned 92 on 17 July 2010, and the world celebrated the first international Anti Aparthied day in his honour.


World's longest rail tunnel

Nearly two decades after construction was begun, the 57 km (35 miles) Gotthard Base tunnel (GBT) has finally completed.

It will be the longest railway tunnel in the world and will cut the journey time from Zurich to Milan by 60 minutes to two-and-a-half hours.

Due to open for service in 2017, the GBT is expected to relieve pressure on congested Alpine roads that connect northern Europe and Italy and have suffered a huge increase in traffic since 1980. The GBT will be longer than the 53.8km Seikan rail tunnel in Japan and more than double the length of the longest road tunnel, the 24.5km­long Laerdal in Norway.


4-nation pact to fight terrorism

Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan agree to step up joint fight against terrorism and narcotics - at a quadripartite summit in the Russian Black Sea Resort of Sochi.


U.IV. forum on gender equality

The United Nations General Assembly has voted unanimously to create a new body for accelerating gender equality and women's empowerment. The body, to be known as "UN Women" (UNW), will bring the four existing U.N. bodies dealing with gender issues under a single umbrella.

The resolution also called for the appointment of an Under-Secretary-General to head UNW, and the establishment of an executive board to provide intergovernmental support to and supervision of its operational activities. Mr. Ban Ki Moon also named Deputy Secretary­General, Asha-Rose Migiro, to guide the transition process that would entail the dissolution of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), and '`merge their mandates and functions with those of the Division for the Advancement of Women and the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women," to create the UNW.

UN Women which is operational from, January 2011 has been created by -the General Assembly.


Kosovo's independence

The International Court of Justice rejected Serbian claims that the Kosovo's independence had violated its territorial integrity.

Serbia has continued to demand Kosovo be returned, arguing it has been the cradle of their civilisation and national identity since 1389, when a Christian army led by Serbian Prince Lazar lost an epic battle to invading Ottoman forces.

The first Chairperson of UN Women is Michelle Bachelet who was the first woman President of Chile. Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008, following the bloody 1998-99 war and ending of war after a 78-day NATO bombing campaign.


Prime Minister of Japan Announced Resignation

Japan's centre-left Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama­ resigned citing his inability to "communicate with the people" on two major issues: the United=- States military bases in Okinawa, Japan and

the public perceptions about the role "money"-­played in domestic "politics."

He is the fourth prime minister to leave in just-four years.Naoto Kan, famous for his lack of political lineage= elected Japan's Prime Minister.


U.K., France sign historic nuclear deal

Setting aside their historic rivalry, Britain and' France signed an unprecedented 50-year nuclear deal that would see them share nuclear facilities and jointly develop technology. They also agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force of up to 5,000 troops deployable at short notice and to cooperate in a range of other­ defence-related areas.

The agreement, propelled by the need to save= money on defence in the difficult economic situation.


UK and China

1. British Prime Minister David Cameron began a-~ two-day visit to China, bringing the largest-ever trade delegation from Britain and committing-~ to double bilateral trade worth $105 billion by 2015.

2. His trade target received a boost during the first day of his visit, with Rolls-Royce signing a record $1.2-billion deal to sell jet engines to China. Eastern Airlines one of the biggest ever deals= signed by a British firm.


Basque separatists end armed campaign

Basque separatist group ETA declared a ceasefire in its bloody 42-year campaign for a . homeland independent of Spain, vowing to give= up guns and bombs for a democratic solution. - It is listed as a terrorist group by the United States and European Union.

1. ETA last announced a "permanent ceasefire" in March 2006 but months later reversed course and in December 2006 set off a bomb at a car park at Madrid's international airport, killing two men.


Turkey backs constitutional reform

1. The referendum on constitutional reforms results showed 58 per cent of voters backed reforms that grant Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government more control over the courts and military.


France German Competitiveness Pact

1. France and Germany presented a controversial six point plan i.e. Competitiveness pact that should help increase the EU competitiveness in the future through the harmonization of labour, tax, social and fiscal policies.

2. Moreover, it advocates scrapping the index-, linking of salary hikes to inflation increases, the introduction of a con-stitutional cap on public borrowing to ensure, or enforce, balanced budgets based on the German model, a fixed corporate tax rate for the region to remove "unfair" com-petition advantages as well as an increase of the retirement age in accordance with each countries' demography to reduce pressure on their welfare systems. Several EU member states and the Commission have already objected to it.


Bangladesh 5th amendment nullification

The controversial 5th Amendment to the Constitution is nullified by the appellate division of the Bangladesh Supreme Court. It was made in 1977, helped some elements to usurp the country's constitutional processes through martial law decrees. The 5th Amendment, incorporated in the Constitution during General Ziaur Rahman's tenure, was meant to provide constitutional legitimacy to governments in power - be they military-led or others - following the 1975 assassination of the nation's founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

This spirit was at the core of the original Constitution framed by the Constituent Assembly in 1972, a year after the Liberation War.


Changes in Sri Lankan Constitution

The Sri Lankan Cabinet approved changes to the 1978 Constitution, including an amendment that cleared the path for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek a third term in office.


China suspends contacts with Japan

China has suspended senior bilateral contact with Japan over the detention of a Chinese captain Zhan Qixiong accused of ramming his boat against Japanese patrol vessels in East China Sea near disputed Diaoyu islands called Senkaku.

China has also halted contact with Japan on the issues of increasing civil flights and expanding aviation rights.

The disputed Senkaku island is claimed by Japan and Taiwan-which lie in an area with rich fishing grounds that is also believed to contain oil and gas deposits.


"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law repealed

The United States Senate took a historic step forward as Congress passed a bill to repeal the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) law introduced in 1993, a ban on openly gay persons serving in the U.S. military.


U.N. norms on disappearances

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance enters into force on December 23, 2010. Almost four years after its adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Convention eventually reached the 20th ratification, which was necessary for it to come into effect.

Iraq was the 20th country that ratified this international treaty.

1. As many as 88 countries have signed the convention but only 21 have ratified it. Seven countries recognise competence of the Committee to receive individual and interstate complaints.

2. Japan only accepted interstate complaints. India and Maldives signed the convention on February 6, 2007. No other country from the region has signed, acceded or ratified it.


Asteroid fly by successful

The European spacecraft Rosetta performed a fly-by of a massive asteroid (Lutetia) taking images that could one day help Earth defend itself from destruction. Racing through the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter at 47,800 kph the $1.25-billion probe flew within 3,200 km of the huge potato-shaped rock. Most measurements suggest Lutetia is a "C" type of asteroid, meaning that it contains primitive compounds of carbon. But others indicate it could be an "M" type, meaning that it holds metals.

1. The aim of the fly-by of the asteroid, measuring 134 km in diameter, is to measure Lutetia's mass and then calculate its density.

2. The fly-by comes halfway through the extraordinary voyage of Rosetta, launched in 2004 on a 12 year, 7.1-billion-km mission.


Image of entire universe

1. The European Space Agency (ESA) has released the first-ever image of the entire universe which will give scientists new insight into how the stars and galaxies form.

2. The all-sky image, produced by space telescope Planck, can also tell how the universe itself came to life after the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago.

3. Planck will continue to map the Universe and will produce four all-sky scans till its mission ends in 2012.The satellite was launched last year by the ESA under a 600 million project to record the origins of the universe.


Sun power Aircraft

1. Solar Impulse HB-SIA is launched by Switzerland is a manned aircraft using only solar power through the night.

2. The 26 hour and nine minute flight of the four­engine plane did not merely set an aviation record but it spotlighted the role of renewable energy.

3. It was eloquent testimony to the vision aeronaut-psychiatrist-innovator Bertrand Piccard co-founder of the project.

4. The 11,628 solar cells on the 1,600 kg So Impulse delivered enough energy to power engines for take-off and for the aircraft to aloft for a day and more. It is a good option for the petrol aircrafts which were developed by Wrights Brothers in 1903.

5. The Lausanne-born Mr. Piccard made the fir non-stop, round-the-world balloon flight with brito Brian Jones a decade ago.


NASA's WISE completes survey of entire sky

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, WISE, completed its first survey of the entire on July 17, 2010. The mission has generate more than one million images so far, of everything from asteroids to distant galaxies


North Korean Military Attacks South Korean Island

The military of North Korea unexpected attacks the island of Yeonpyeong in South Korea, killing two civilians and two marines. This is the first t North Korea has fired on a civilian target since the suspension of the Korean War in 1953.


Sun Erupts with Most Powerful Solar Flare in 4 years

An X-class solar flare, the most powerful for solar flare, erupts and jams radio communications in China.

The Aurora Borealis, commonly known as northern lights, are more prominent due to­recent solar flare eruption.

The Aurora Borealis are visible farther s even into the northern tier of the United States


South Sudan will be New Country

South Sudan voted 99 per cent for independent in week-long referendum to determine whether the impoverished, war-ravaged region is recognised as the world's newest state in July 2011 with capital Juba and Salva Kiir as the President of Southern Sudan. Sudan is the largest country in African Continent. Sudan's northern part is predominantly Arab Muslim. The southern part is a mixture of some 200 different ethnic and religious groups with no one dominant group.

India is Sudan's third largest partner in the oil sector, and its companies account for a 25 per cent share of the African nation's oil off-shore industry.


Yemen

The political upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt have a serious impact on other parts of West Asia, including the Gulf, where Bahraini security forces battled protesters seeking political reform. Thousands of protesters converged at the symbolic Pearl Roundabout, a famous monument representing the six Gulf countries: Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Aspirations for economic justice, the rule of law, civil liberties and regional equality, seemed to have all coalesced when the uprisings, led by youth, in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, had successfully brought down entrenched dictatorships


Roma Gypsies

France has expelled thousands of Roma gypsies (a nomadic tribe) on the grounds that they are in France illegally and that they engage in crime and "aggravated begging". Italy has also engaged in large-scale dismantlement of Roma camps.

This minority group has already been facing discrimination in East European countries like Romania, Bulgaria or Hungary which are home to several Roma communities has prompted concern from the United Nations, the Vatican and the European Union.

The European Parliament (EP) in a resolution called on France to immediately suspend the expulsion of members of the Roma community to Romania and Bulgaria


Revolution in Libya

Libyan President Muammar Qadhafi threatened retribution against Libyans involved in the revolt, Mr. Qadhafi's supporters poured into Tripoli's Green Square. Protesters continued to hold Benghazi, Libya's second city, where the anti-Qadhafi revolt, commandeered by a well-organised cyber­networked core had begun. The rebellion in Libya was sparked by the detention, on February 15, 2011, of Fathi Terbil the 39-year-old human rights lawyer, based in Benghazi.

Mr. Terbil represents the families of around 1,000 inmates, who were killed in 1996 by the regime in Tripoli's Abu Slim prison. His detention preceded a planned protest on February 17, in which the families of these inmates were to have participated.

The revolt was also preceded by a peaceful two-year campaign for a new constitution, and demands for rule of law by a lawyers' syndicate, based in Benghazi.


Canadian Oil Company fined for duck deaths

Ontario Syncrude, the largest operator of oil sands projects in Canada, was ordered to pay $2.92 million for causing the deaths of 1,603 ducks.

The company failed to deploy scarecrows and loud cannons in April 2008 to prevent the migratory birds from landing on a tailings pond containing oily residue from one of its operations.


US confirms $64bn Saudi arms deal

US will sell $60bn of weaponry to Saudi Arabia which includes 84 new Boeing F-15 fighter jets, widely used in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus upgrades for the 70 they already own.

The proposed deal is one of the biggest single U.S. arms sales which clearly aimed at countering Iran's rising military might.


Global peace index 2010

1. The Institute of Economics and Peace released the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2010 which ranked 149 countries according to their degree of peacefulness. The Institute's stated aim of the GPI is to "provide insight on how countries, businesses and international organizations can help the world move towards peace."

2. New Zealand, most peaceful, is followed in the rankings by Iceland and Japan. Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan continue to rank as the world's least peaceful nations.

3. The research behind the GPI looks at 23 indicators grouped in three broad categories - ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society, and militarisation. Canada ranks at 14 on the GPI, The United Kingdom 31 and the USA is listed at 85. Among large developing nations, China and India rank 80 and 128 respectively, Pakistan (145) and Afghanistan (149).

4. Using a system of averages, the GPI report concludes that Western Europe is "markedly the most peaceful region", followed by North America then Central and Eastern Europe. Asia Pacific ranks fourth most peaceful region. The world's least peaceful region according to the report is Sub-Saharan Africa.


India below China, Pakistan in new Global Hunger Index

India has been ranked 67 out of 122 countries, much lower than neighbouring China Pakistan,

Sri Lanka and Nepal in the "2010 Global Hunger Index - The Challenge of Hunger: Focus on

the Crisis of Child Under-Nutrition." released by the International Food Policy Research Institute

(IFPRI), a United States-based policy think tank. The report was prepared in collaboration with the German Group, Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide. India has slipped from 65th position last year to 67 this year, despite an economic growth rate of about 8.5 per cent.

The reason given for India's low ranking was that it was not investing as much as its neighbours in basic indicators such as health, water, sanitation, education and women's social status. Because of the country's large population, India is home to 42 per cent of the world's under-weight children.

1. The neighbouring country Bangladesh has been ranked 68th. The GHI rated on the basis of three equally weighted indicators - prevalence of child mortality rate, under-weight children below five, and the proportion of undernourished (caloric deficient) people. The biggest contributor to the GHI is child under-nutrition, which accounts for almost half the score


Newsweek's best country list

India ranks 78th on the World's Best Countries' list compiled by Newsweek magazine, which placed nations on the basis of health, education, economy and politics. Among India's neighbours, China is ranked 59th, Sri Lanka is placed at 66th position, while Bangladesh and Pakistan has been placed at 88th and 89th spots respectively.


Corruption Perception Index

India has ranked 87th position in Transparent International latest Corruption Perception Index in which 178 countries were surveyed. India's score of 3.3 places it slightly above 91st ranked neighbour Sri Lanka and below China which is 78th with a score of 3.5. Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore have highest integrity Index of 9.3.


Economic Freedom Index 2010

India is ranked 124th among 183 countries in the Index of Economic Freedom 2010' prepared by The Heritage Foundation along with the Wall Street Journal.

The 10 components of economic freedom include freedom in business, trade, investment, fiscal and monetary actions, government spending, property rights, freedom from corruption and labour rigidities.

All of these components are given equal weight age and given a score on the scale of one to 100 which is later averaged out. India's economic freedom score is 53.8 classifying the country as a mostly 'unfree' economy. Its score is 0.6 point lower than last year due to a decline in freedom in areas such as business and monetary actions and higher level of corruption. Its ranking also dropped by one notch as compared to last year.

The top 10 countries are: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Denmark and Chile. The bottom 10: Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, Turkmenistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Venezuela, Burma, Eritrea, Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea.


India ranked second in Emigration

1. The World Bank released its Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 in December 2010.

According to the Factbook released, India continued to be the largest recipient of remittances in 2010.

Remittances rose from $49.6 billion in 2009 to $55 billion. The report also stated that India and

China received $51 billion in remittances which is almost a quarter of the worldwide remittance flows of $440 billion in 2010.

High-income OECD countries account for only $107 billion of the global remittance flow.

India was ranked the second largest number of emigrants after Mexico. 11.4 million people from

India went abroad in 2010 while 5.4 million came to India, making India No. 10 in the global list of nations attracting the most immigrants.

India is the second largest Asian country only after Saudi Arabia to attract most immigrants.


2010 Failed State Index

Somalia tops the list followed by Zimbabwe, Sudan & Chad. India is ranked at 87 place out of

177 countries. Norway in ranked at the bottom of the list.


Sri Lanka abandons Tamil version of its national anthem

The Sri lankan government has decided to scrap the tamil version of the national anthem in its official and state functions. This move may possibly further alienate the tamil minorities in the country.

directive to use only the Sinhalese version has been sent by the ministry as president Rajapakse pointed out that no country uses two versions of the same language.


Polish presidential election

Bronislaw Komorowski won Poland's runoff presidential elections to find a successor to Lech Kaczynski, who died in a plane crash in Russia in early April 2010.


Hung House in Sweden

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is re­ elected as the head of a minority government.


elarus Elections

Russia and the West offered contrasting reactions to presidential elections in Belarus, swept by the country's long-time authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko who ruled Belarus for the past 16 years.


yrgyzstan change in the form of government

The 2010 Kyrgyzstani uprising was a series of riots and demonstrations across Kyrgyzstan in April 2010 that led ultimately to the ousting of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

The uprising stemmed from growing anger against Bakiyev's administration, rising energy prices, and the sluggish economy, and follow the government's closure of several media outlets. The opposition leaders formed a new interim government led by former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva.

Bakiyev left the country for Kazakhstan, and then went on to Belarus.

The Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan announced preliminary results of the referendum in June 2010, which "approved" Luo Zhaao Otunbayeva as transitional president and interim prime minister.

Kyrgyzstan voted for a new constitution in a referendum. It is Central Asia's first parliament democracy.

1. Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva announced a new government structure at the first government meeting in Dec 2010. Otunbayeva quit as the prime minister of the interim government, and has transferred the power to social democratic party leader Almazbek Atambayev, who won a landslide victory for the post.


Mission Accomplished

1. President Barack Obama has confirmed that the US plans to withdraw significant number of combat troops from Iraq stating that the war was nearing an end.

2. The remaining force of 50,000 soldiers will train Iraqi security forces and provide security for ongoing US Diplomatic efforts.


New Government in Iraq

1. Prolonged warring and quarrels between rival political factions in Iraq had caused the issue of forming the next government to be headed by Noun Al Maliki.


Rolls Royce sued by Qantas

1. Australian flight safety officials have warned that manufacturing defects have been found in the Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines.

2. In the meanwhile, Qantas began court proceedings against Rolls Royce and was granted an injunction by the federal court of Australia which ensured that the airline could pursue legal action against the engine manufacturing giants.


Mosque near ground Zero

1. A New York city panel has cleared the way for the construction of a mosque near ground zero that has been causing a political uproar over religious freedom.

2. President Barack Obama, however, supported the right of having a mosque by asserting that Muslims have the same right to freedom of religion as everyone else in America.


Online route

1. Oxford English Dictionary that has been in print for over a century may never appear in, print for the future generations.

2. The word reference Bible is likely to loose its existence to its online version.


Miscellaneous

1. Kenyan voters approved a new Constitution in a referendum.

2. Russia and Britain sign a petroleum pact worth $7.8 billion. Russia's state owned oil firm Rosneft and British Petroleum signed it in London.

3. China has become the fourth largest offshore oil producers after the USA, UK and Norway.

4. Russia has extended the lease of a key military base in Armenia through 2044 in a decisive move to strengthen its military clout in the strategic region of the Caucasus and the Black sea.

5. Iran has launched its first domestically built unmanned bomber aircraft calling it an Ambassador of death to Iran enemies. The goal of the aircraft named Karrar or striker is to keep the enemy paralysed in its bases.

6. Iran also test fired its new liquid fuel surface to surface missile the Qiam-1 with advanced guidance systems and Fateh in Aug 2010

7. Julia Gillard become Australia's first women Prime Minister replacing Kevin Rudd following a sudden revolt against him.

8. No more time for sorrow' written by Robert Beeman. The author predict that terrorist will set off an atom bomb in the USA by 2013.

9. Tuvalu becomes 187th member of IMF (International Monetary Fund). The island is located in the Pacific Ocean.

10. Bangladesh handed over Ranjan Daimary of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland to India. The group was responsible for serial bombing in Assam in 2008.

11. National League for Democracy (NLD) party o Myannmar's democracy leader Aung San Sui Kyi was abolished after deadline to re-register as a political party was over.

12. EU-IMF provide a $ 1 trillion rescue package tothe Greece to resolve its debt crises.

13. Pakistan successfully test fired two short rang ballistic missiles, Shaheen I( range 650 Km) and Ghazani (range 290 Km) capable of carrying nuclear war heads and striking Indian cities.

14. Belgium became the Europe's first country to ban burqa.

15. Pakistan's National assembly passed a bill that takes away the President's power to dissolve parliament, dismiss a elected government and appoint the three services Chiefs. Pakistan's parliament passes 18th amendment which was later signed by President cutting President's powers.

16. US internet giant Google closed its business in China.

17. Russia abolished two of its eleven time Zones.

18. Barack Obama started his 10 days Asia tour from India and he visited Indonesia. South Korea, China, Japan and Russia.

19. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed to deploy Indonesian observers in both Cambodia and Thailand to resolve the border dispute.

20. Jhalanath Khanal, on 3 February 2011, became the new and the 34th Prime Minister of Nepal

21. President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, of the ruling National Resistance Movement party won the Presidential election

22. Myanmar's new parliament opened on 31 January 2011 in Naypyitaw, the capital of Myanmar.

23. Prime minister of Tunisia, Mohamed Ghannouchi, announced a new government named National Unity Government on 17 January 2011, after the Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was deposed recently.

24. Bahrain's King, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa AI Khalifa, declared the 3-month state of emergency to quell an uprising in the nation.


 Bilateral Issues

India and Bangladesh

1. India has decided to export 5 lakh tonnes of rice and wheat to Bangladesh despite ban on outward shipments of the foodgrains.

2. Both nations have also agreed to establish 'Border Haats' along the Meghalaya-Bangladesh border and open the Chittagong and Mongla ports to boost trade ties.

3. The two countries have signed $1 billion Line of Credit agreement and some important-pacts for power transmission.


India and Bangladesh- border redraw

4. India and Bangladesh have agreed to redraw their 4,100km boundary.

5. Straightening of the boundary would include ending the contentious issue of over 200 enclaves located in each other's territory.


India and Bangladesh water sharing

6. New Delhi and Dhaka have agreed to sign a 15-year interim accord on sharing the waters of common rivers Teesta and Feni.

7. This was decided at a Secretary-level meeting of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint River Commission (JRC).

8. The discussions included formulation of a working plan on the sharing of the waters of five other common rivers - Dharla, Dudhkumar, Manu, Khowai, Gumti and Muhuri.

Note:This was the first time the neighbours agreed on a framework on sharing of the waters of the Teesta.


India and Sri Lanka

1. India and Sri Lanka decided to extend their ties to areas such as defence, space and energy security besides strengthening the existing bonds through restoration of transport links, setting up additional consulates and initiating cooperation in the power sector by signing seven pacts by the two sides and a joint declaration issued here after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

2. New Delhi and Colombo decided to revive the joint commission mechanism, which will be headed by the two Foreign Ministers, and step up exchange of high-level defence officials.

3. They agreed upon an extensive aid package for northern and eastern Sri Lanka that includes a project to construct 50,000 houses and restoration of the railway infrastructure, a port and an airport.

4. India will build 1,000 houses for Tamils in Sri Lanka.


India-Sri Lanka ferry service

1. The Union Cabinet cleared the proposal for a passenger ferry service between India and Sri Lanka that will strengthen economic and cultural ties.

2. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between India and Sri Lanka for providing a joint mechanism for passenger transportation between the two countries.

3. It is proposed to start the passenger ferry service initially between Tuticorin and Colombo and subsequently extend it to other destinations, namely Rameswaram and Thalaimannar.

4. The Ministry of Shipping directed the Tuticorin Port Trust for the creation of infrastructure for the commencement of the service.


TAPI Pipeline

1. India on December 11, 2010 has entered into an energy lifeline that could redefine regional ties­and wheel in new economic dynamics through a natural gas pipeline all the way from Turkmenistan in Central Asia to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan.

2. Mr. Deora has termed TAPI as a new silk route between Central Asia and South Asia.

3. The TAPI project envisages constructing a 1,680 km of pipeline with a total gas capacity of 90 mscmd.

4. The length of pipeline in Turkmenistan, Afghan­istan and Pakistan up to Indian border is 145 km, 735 km and 800 km, respectively. The gas pipeline will enter India at Fazilka, Punjab.


India launches phase-II of African e-network project

5. India launched the second phase of the pan­Africa e-network, adding 12 more countries to the New Delhi-aided long distance education and tele-medicine programme.

6. Other countries that formally joined the network included Burundi, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Eritrea, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia and Uganda.

7. Eleven countries included in the first phase of the project launched last year were Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Seychelles.

8. It is organised by Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL), which is also implementing the $125-million project.


New Power deal between India and France

1. India and France signed a multi-million dollar agreement to build two nuclear power plants in India during French President Nicolas Sarkozy four-day visit to India

2. Areva SA, one of France's main nuclear power companies, will build European pressurized reactor of 9900 megawatts at Jaitapur in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.

3. It will be the largest nuclear power generating station in the world by net electrical power rating once completed.

4. Pacts were also signed for co-production of films and space cooperation in the field of earth science and climate. They sought to double bilateral trade to 12 billion Euros by 2012.


India and Russia

1. The last visit to India by one of the head of a P-5] country in 2010 turned out to be one of the mostsignificant, with 30 agreements and a meeting of minds on key political issues emerging from talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

2. The highlight of the 30 agreements was the consolidation and extension of strategic cooperation in the civil nuclear, hydrocarbons and space sectors.

3. In view of the increasing defense and security needs of India, an agreement on producing fifth generation fighter planes, worth over $30 billion was also signed between HAL and Russia Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi. The aircraft would called Perspective Multirole Fighter. It drawn upon the basic structural and system design of Russian FGFA Technology demonstrator with modifications to meet Indian Air force’s specification.

4. The intention to collaborate in the hydrocarbon sector was given a concrete shape by an intergovernmental agreement that will evolve into an extensive road map largely modelled on t Sino-Russia partnership in this sector.

5. The Memorandum of Understanding between Sistema, a telecom-petro giant with rights of two lucrative hydrocarbon fields, and ON Videsh progressed to a framework agreement on cooperation.

6. Three agreements in the space sector will give India access to the Russian satellite constellation the Global Navigation Satellite System.

7. The two sides also gave a firm shape to -a partnership in the pharmaceuticals sector, which India sees a $15-16 billion opportunity with the joining of hands by the private sectors of both countries for joint ventures in Russia.

8. The two countries have set a target to increase _ bilateral trade up to $20 billion by 2015.

9. India and Russia have decided to work together in the field of nuclear commerce.

10. The two countries will help to set up smaller : nuclear power plants in South Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

P-5 Countries are 5 permanent members of security council also known as big 5 which includes Russia, UK, USA, France and China.


Russia N-submarine to India

Russia has handed over a new nuclear powered submarine armed with torpedos and cruise missiles to India and the vessel has set sail for home with a mixed crew of Indian and Russian sailors.

1. The Akula class nuclear attack submarine on a ten year lease to the Indian Navy left its base on the Pacific coast.

2 With the expected induction of Nerpa by March 2011 end, it will be after 19 years that the Indian Navy would have a nuclear submarine in its fleet.

3. India's indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant is presently undergoing sea test trials.

4. Russia's Akula-II class submarine is considered to be the quietest nuclear submarine and during its trials by the Russian Navy since its acoustic noises have been further reduced by the Amur Shipyard, which was initially to deliver the submarine in 2007.


India joins multinational telescope project

1. India has joined the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) project, the next generation astronomical observatory that will be located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii and begin operations in 2018.

2. India has been granted observer status on the TMT Board.

3. Indian scientists will have access to the existing telescopes operated by Caltech, the nodal institution for TMT.

4. The TMT was proposed by American scientists after the enormous success of the first new technology telescope, the twin 10 m Keck Telescope, on Mauna Kea.

5. The TMT's primary mirror builds on the techno­logical and operational heritage of Keck.


India and Switzerland

1. India and Switzerland signed a protocol to the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement which contains the provisions on the exchange of information in accordance with the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) standards, which were negotiated in line with the parameters decided by the (Swiss) Federal Council.

2. The changes are very important for both countries since these enable India to extend the lowest withholding tax rate on dividends, interest, royalties and payments for technical services.

3. Both countries also decided to step up multilateral cooperation beginning with a study of glaciers during the Swiss Foreign Minister's meeting with Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.


India, Myanmar reaches security accord

1. India and Myanmar agreed to enhance security cooperation to deny sanctuary to insurgent groups in each other's territory.

2. The two countries also signed five agreements in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Myanmar's Senior General Than Shwe. Four agreements seek to build on the developmental assistance being already provided by India and the fifth pact pertains to mutual assistance on criminal matters.

3. In the area of energy, a budding area of coope-­ration, Myanmar welcomed the substantial additi­onal investment for the development of two off shore blocks and construction of a natural gas pipeline.

4. The flagship Indian private sector project by the Tatas to set up a heavy turbo truck plant at Magway came up for review. India also announced a grant of $10 million for agricultural machinery and Myanmar sough' follow-up on technical assistance for their manufacturing.

5. New Delhi also announced a project to set up silos to facilitate disaster relief operation_ particularly in the cyclone-prone delta areas. India renewed the agreement for providing satellite data to Myanmar


India & U.K.

1. India and the United Kingdom decided to give an impetus to their trade and security ties during high level talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his counterpart, David Cameron.

2. The Primp Ministers decided to ,;ten tin their cooperation in counter-terrorism and welcomed the development of broad-based cooperation in the defence sector.

3. India and the U.K. decided to constitute a joint CEOs Forum (to be co-chaired by Peter Sands and Ratan Tata) and an India-U.K. Infrastructure Group in order to double bilateral trade in the next five years_

4. Building upon past experience, the two sides also agreed to launch a new phase of the U.K.­India Education and Research Initiative.

5. In order to give a fillip to bilateral ties with the help of existing mechanisms, India and the U.K. also agreed to review the mandate, composition and structure of existing bilateral bodies in trade, investment and economic cooperation.

6. Both sides also agreed to explore initiatives that will create resources and incentives to help businesses deploy renewable energy, particularly for the poor.

7. The lone agreement signed between the two countries pertained to culture.


India and Mozambique

1. India and Mozambique signed three agreements and a credit band of 500 million United States dollars has been advanced to that nation state for works regarding the infrastructure, agronomics and power during a convention that featured President of Mozambique Armando Guebuza and Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh.

2. India will back the enactment in preparation and setting up organizations in Mozambique to back capacity building in the coal business and will as well back the ability formation for the defense and patrolling personnel of that nation state, the Prime Minister alleged.

3. Conveying worry over the assurance and aegis of sea lanes in Indian Ocean, Guebuza promised India it will accommodate all practical aid to safeguard them.


India and South Africa

1. At a summit-level meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting South African President Jacob Zuma resolved to step up bilateral cooperation as well as greater coordination at multilateral fora.

2. However, both sides decided to continue discussing resumption of full-fledged defence ties which suffered a setback after the blacklisting of a major South African firm from defence tenders. They also agreed on the need to expand the Brazil-Russia-liodia-China grouping to include South Africa.

3. The three agreements signed pertain to air services, agriculture and contacts between their think tanks.

4. It is to be noted that India and South Africa work closely in several international forums such as the United Nations, Non-aligned Movement. Commonwealth, WTO, G-20 and the IBS,A and BASIC groupings

5. Co-chaired by top business leaders Ratan Tata and Patrice Motsepe, an India-South Africa CEOs forum has been set up to give impetus to investment plans by companies from both countries.

6. India and South Africa have also decided in January 2011 to set a target of achieving $15 billion bilateral trade by 2015.


India and China

1. With Wen Jiabao's 3 days visit to India, both China and India celebrated the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic ties. During his visit India and China has agreed to raise the bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015. The two sides have decided to reduce the trade deficit which is in favour of China. The bilateral trade between India and China is expected to be around $60 billion in 2010 and trade imbalance is against India to the extent of $19 billion during 2009-2010.

2. Deals worth around $16 billion were signed between the corporate sectors including ICICI Bank Ltd. and Reliance Power Ltd.

3. Some 50 deals have already been signed, including a large one between the China Development Bank and Reliance Power.

4. The two sides agreed to take measures to promote greater Indian exports to China with a view to reduce India's trade deficit.

5. On the issue of stapled visas, which is a gesture that undermines India's authority over territories such as Arunachal Pradesh and Kashmir, China had agreed to let bureaucrats work out a solution.

6. An India-China CEO forum has been set up to make recommendations on expansion of trade and investment opportunities.

7. The hotline between two premiers has become operational.

8. India and China signed 6 pacts one in the field of green technology, two on exchange of data on hydrological data of common rivers, two on banking sector.

9. There were an MOU each between RBI and Chinese bank regulatory commission and EXIM bank of India and China Development bank.

10. The Government of India had an ambitious programme for development of civil nuclear energy to meet its growing energy needs, noting that its target was to increase our installed capacity more than seven fold to 35000 MWe by the year 2022, and to 60,000 MWe by 2032.


India Malaysia

11. India signed a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA) with Malaysia which gives its doctors, accountants, two ­wheelers , cotton garments and basmati rice greater access to the Malaysian market.

12. This is in return for faster duty cuts for refined palm oil and binding tariffs on three other palm products by 31 December 2018.


India and EU

1. The Eleventh European Union - India Summit was held in Brussels on 10 December 2010. The Republic of India was represented by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. EU was represented by Mr Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and Mr. Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, President of the European Commission.

2. They discussed bilateral, regional.and global issues of common interest and concern. In the context of overall EU-Indian interaction, leaders noted India's development priorities as well as the new dimension of EU, following the entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty.


India US nuclear deal

1. India and the U.S. signed the agreement on modalities for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, under the civilian nuclear deal between the two countries.

2. Pursuant to Article 6(iii) of the bilateral `123 Agreement' on civilian nuclear cooperation, the agreement was hailed as "a significant step which highlights the strong relationship and growing cooperation between India and the U. S.

3. Upon entry into force, it will enable reprocessing by India of United States-obligated nuclear material under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.


India signed Civil Nuclear agreement with Canada.

1. The agreement was signed by Manmohan Singh and Canada's PM Stephen Harper.

2. Canada is the 8th nation to enter into such an agreement with India.

3. Canada served nuclear ties with India in 1974 when India conducted its first nuclear test at Pokhran in 1974.

4. India's nuclear power programme is based on the CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) reactor.


India and South Korea

1. India and South Korea inked two landmark Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) to give a huge boost to strategic defence cooperation between the two nations.

2. The first MoU envisages an exchange of defence-related experience and information, a mutual exchange of visits by military personnel and experts, including civilian staff associated with the defence services, military education and training and the conduct of military exercises.

3. It also envisages an exchange of visits of ships and aircraft, as jointly decided between the two countries.

4. India will soon sign its ninth civil nuclear agreement with its negotiators having finalised the text with South Korea.

5. The countries with which India has signed similar pacts are Russia, the United States, France, Mongolia, Argentina, Kazakhstan, the United Kingdom and Canada.

6. South Korea recently joined the ranks of civil nuclear power exporters when it bagged $20 billion worth of orders from the United Arab Emirates beating stiff competition from the French company Areva for building four nuclear plants.

7. The civil nuclear pact was a result of the all­round comprehensive relationship being forged by India with East Asian and South East Asian countries.

8. India has signed a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CEPA) with South Korea which, in the first full year of operation in 2010, led to a 46 per cent growth in trade.


India and Venezuela

The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh Limited (OVL), along with its partners, entered into an agreement with the Venezuelan government to develop a $20-billion oil project in that country.


India and Czech Republic

Vice-President Hamid Ansari signed three agreements with the Czech Republic leadership on his four-day visit to this country. A Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation was set up and a new element of cooperation in agriculture, food- processing, nanotechnology and nano fibre optics was added to the bilateral cooperation agenda. Minister of State for Communications Sachin Pilot, who was accompanying the Vice­President on his Central Europe tour, signed for India two agreements on Social Security and Administrative Arrangement for the implementation of the pact on Social Security (to protect the contributions made by professional Indians who work in the Czech Republic) and on Economic Cooperation. A Protocol on Amendment of the Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments was signed by Indian Ambassador D.P. Srivastava.


India and Cuba- 50 Years of Friendship

A half century of friendship and excellent­relations between Cuba and India were recalled­at a function in New Delhi.

The meeting was taking place ahead of voting­on a resolution at the UN General Assembly on­ending the economic, financial and commercial embargo imposed by the U.S. against Cuba.

In 2009, 187 countries voted in favour of and only three against it - the U.S., Israel and Marshall Islands.-


India Mongolia joint military Exercises-Nomadic Elephant

The troops of India and Mongolia engaged in joint exercises called Nomadic Elephant, with­the two-week drill in counter-insurgency ending in Belgaum.


Varun

1. Indian and French navies comprising aircraft carriers, submarines, destroyers and frigates got together in the Arabian Sea to start the seven­day bilateral naval exercise called Varuna 10.

2. The last edition of the exercise, Varuna-2009, was conducted off Brest in northwestern France to coincide with the overseas deployment of Indian naval ships to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.


Indra

1. Russian and Indian troops completed a drill to kill a fictional terrorist leader in the Indian Himalayas as part of the Indra-2010 joint military exercises _ at Chaubattia, in Uttarakhand.

2. The Indian and Russian military have conducted joint INDRA exercises since 2003, including biannual peacekeeping drills.


Indradhanush

1. Indradhanush 2010, which began on 18 October 2010, is a joint UK-India air exercise held at the Kalaikunda airspace in West Bengal for acknowledging the defence co-operation between the UK and India.

2. The UK Royal Air Force participated with Typhoon (Eurofighter) for the first time and E3-D AWACS aircrafts along with the VC-10 Tanker.


 Books & Authors

Books Authors
The Masque of Africa V S. Naipaul
A Journey Autobiography by Tony Blair
Convenient Action : Gujarat's response to challenges of Climate Change Narendra Modi
My life with the Taliban Abdul Salam Zaeef
Global Crisis Recession & Uneven Recovery Y.V Reddy
Only time will tell Jeffery Archer
Conversations with Myself d Nelson Mandela
Life Keith Richards
The Bridge : The life & Rise of Barack Obama David Remnick
No more time for Sorrow Robert Beewan
The Appointment Herta Muller
The Sunset Club Ourselves Unborn : A History of Foetus in Modern America Khushwant Sihgh Sara Dubow
The March of Mobile Money : The Future of Life style Management Sam Pitroda & Mehul Desai
Fault Lines Raghuram G. Rajan
Shah Commission Report.- Lost & Regained Era Sezhiyan
Keeping the Faith : Memories of a Parliamentarians Somnath Chaterjee
Turn Around : A Public Sector Story Shiv Malik
The Fragrance of Forgotten Years Bilkees Latif
Kasab The Face of 26;11 Rommel Rodrigues
The Grand Design Shephen Hawking & Leonard Mlaodinow
Reclaiming the World : The New Feminist movement Catherine Radfern Kristin Aune
Being Tribal People's Participation in Rural Development in India Rhetoric & Reality Shereen Ratnagar Durgadas Roy
Losing Control : The Emerging threats to Western Prosperity Stephen King
Broom & Groom Kiran Bedi & Pavan Choudhary
 
Books Authors
Anklets at Sunset Ministhy Dileep
Orientalism, Empire and National Culture, India 1770-1880 Michael S. Dodson
Women of the Tagore Household Chitra Deb
The Plundered Planet : How to Reconcile Prosperity with nature Paul Collier
The Promise, President Obama, Year Onen Jonathan Alter
The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa Sasha Polakow Suransky
Adoor Gopalakrishnan : A life in Cinema Gautaman Bhaskaran
Luka and the Fire of Life Salman Rushidie
Makers of Modern India Ramchandra Guha
Jawaharlal Nehru : Civilizing a Savage World Nayantara Sahgal
Towards Freedom Documents & the movement for Independence of India
(1940) ,
K:N. Panikkar
The Emissary Aniruddha Banal
The China Syndrome: Grappling with Uneasy Relationship Harsh V: Pant
Troubled Periphery : Crises of India's Northeast Subir Shaumik
Siachen Glacier : The Battle of Roses Harish Kapadia
Before Memory Fades : An Autobiography Fali: S. Nariman
Brand New Worlds : India, China, Russia & Brazil are Reshaping Max Lendermah
The Absent State : Insurgency as an excuse for misgovernance Neelesh Mishra & Rahul Pandita
Saraswati Park Anjali Joseph
Patrons of Poor: Caste Politics & Policimaking in India Narayan Lakshman
Restoring Values E. Sreedharan & Bharat Wakhlu
Corporate Chankaya . Successful Management the Chankya way Radhakrishnan Pillai
The Security Umbrella Seema Johri
Mother Pious Lady : Making Sense o# Everyday India Santosh Desai
Celebrating Delhi Maya Dayal
Gloom behind the Smile Kamlesh Tripathi
Pyramid of Virgin Vipul Mitra
Ambani & Sons Hamish MC Donald
Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India Joseph Lelyveld
The Flinker Questions Howard Jacobson
Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his Struggle with India Joseph Lelyveld
American by Heart Sarah Palin

Awards & Honours

Nobel Prize

1. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel (Sweden), the inventor of nitroglycerin which is used for manufacturing dynamite, established the Nobel prizes in 1895.

2. The prizes are conferred in six fields. Nobel prize in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace were first awarded in 1901.

3. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Swedish Bank) instituted a closely-related award, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel and celebration of its 300th anniversary. The first such prize was awarded in 1969. Although it is not an official Nobel Prize, its announcements and presentations are made along with the other prizes.

4. These prizes are presented annually on December 10, the death anniversary of the founder and festival day of the foundation.

5. The Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway, separately from the other prizes. The Nobel Peace Prize is not awarded by a Swedish organisation but by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

6. The highlight of the Nobel Prize-Award Ceremony in Stockholm occurs when each Nobel Laureate steps forward to receive the prize from the hands of the King of Sweden.


Certain facts about Nobel Prize

1. Marie Curie (Polish) was the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes; the 1903 physics Prize, and the 1911 Chemistry Prize for radium and polonium

2. To date, the youngest Nobel Laureate Lawrence Bragg, who was just 25 years when he received the Nobel Prize in physics with his father in 1915.

3. The oldest Laureate to date is Leonid Hurwicz who was 90 years old when he was awarded 2007 Prize in Economic Sciences.

4. Jean-Paul Sartre, awarded the 1964 Nobel prize in Literature, declined the prize because he I hadconsistently declined all official honours.

5. Le Duc Tho, awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace prize jointly with US Secretary of State Henry Kissing They were awarded the Prize for negotiating Vietnam peace accord. Le Doc Tho said that he was not in a position to accept the Nobel peace Prize, citing the situation in Vietnam as his reason.


Indian Nobel Laureates

Name
Field
Year
Rabindranath Tagore Literature (Gitanjali) 1913
C V Raman Physics {Raman
Effect)
1930
Hargobind Khurana
(Indian descent)
Medicine (Genetic
Code)
1968
Mother Teressa Peace 1979
Amartya Sen; Physics.
(Chandrashekhar
limit)
1983
V S Naipaul
(of Indian Descent)
Literature 1998
V S Naipaul
(of Indian Descent)
Literature 2001

NOBEL PRIZE 2010

1. Nobel Prize Medicine- Robert Edwards, the British scientist whose pioneering research with his late colleague Patrick Steptoe led to the birth of the world's first "test-tube baby" in 1978, has won this year's Nobel Prize for medicine.

2. Nobel Prize Physics- Russian-born .Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of Manchester University were named joint winners of this year's Nobel Prize for Physics for their "groundbreaking" work on experiments with graphene, a new form of carbon with immense possibilities. Professor Novoselov, a British-Russian citizen, has been the youngest physicist since 1973 to win a Nobel. Professor Geim (51) is a Dutch citizen. Graphene is a form of carbon which is practically transparent thinnest, strongest and good conductor which could be used for producing transparent touchscreens, light panels and maybe even solar cells.

3. Nobel Prize Chemistry- American Richard Heck and Japanese researchers Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki won the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a chemical method (palladium catalyzed cross couplings) that has allowed scientists to test cancer drugs and make thinner computer screens.

4. Nobel Prize Literature- Mario Vargas Llosa (74), celebrated Peruvian-Spanish author and one of the most renowned novelists of his generation, has won the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat". His most powerful novels have contained commentary on historical and political conditions in his native Peru and other parts of Latin America. Mr. Llosa's first major international breakthrough came in 1963, with the publication of the novel "The Time of the Hero". However the book - which drew upon his military school experiences - also raised a controversy back in Peru and "a thousand copies were burnt publicly by officers" of the school.

5. Nobel Prize Economics- Peter Diamond and Dale Mortensen of the United States and British­Cypriot Christopher Pissarides won the 2010 Nobel Economics Prize for work on why supply and demand does not always meet in the labour market and elsewhere.

6. Nobel Peace Prize-Jailed Chinese political activist Liu Xiaobo, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The awardwent to Mr. Liu, for his calls for political reform, "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."


Right to Livelihood Award 2010

Right to Livelihood prize known asalternate Nobel Prize for 2010 is conferred on Erwin Krautler, a Catholic Bishop motivated by liberation theology, is one of Brazil's most important defenders of and advocates for the rights of indigenous peoples.


Abel Prize

The Abel Prize is an international prize presented annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. The prize is named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829). It has often been described as the "mathematician's Nobel prize. It comes with a monetary award of six million kroner. John Tate of USA has been given the Abel prize 2010 for vast and lasting effect on theory of numbers.


Pritzker prize 2010

The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually by the Hyatt Foundation to honor "a living architect.


Ramon Magsaysay Award 2010

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) announced this year's winners of what are touted as Asia's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The seven awardees who come from Bangladesh, China, Japan, and the Philippines are:

1. Tadatoshi Akiba from Japan

2. Christopher Bernido and Ma. Victoria Carpio-Bernido from the Philippines Huo Daishan from China

3. A.H.M. Noman Khan from Bangladesh

4. Pan Yue and Fu Qiping from China

They received a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President, and a cash prize Established in 1957 as a tribute to the Philippines' third president, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is "given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia who manifest the same sense of selfless service that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader". Tadatoshi Akiba, from Japan- He is being recognized for "his principled and determined leadership in a sustained global campaign to mobilize citizens, pressure governments, and build the political will to create a world free from the perils of nuclear war." Christopher Bernido and Ma. Victoria Carpio­Bernido, from the Philippines. They are being recognized for "their purposeful commitment to both science and nation, ensuring innovative, low-cost, and effective basic education even under Philippine conditions of great scarcity and daunting poverty." Huo Daishan, from China. He is being recognized for "his selfless and unrelenting efforts, despite formidable odds, to save China's great river Huai and the numerous communities who draw life from it." A.H.M. Noman Khan, from Bangladesh. He is being recognized for "his pioneering leadership in mainstreaming persons with disabilities in the development process of Bangladesh, and in working vigorously with all sectors to build a society that is truly inclusive and barrier-free." Pan Yue and Fu Qiping, from China. They are being recognized for "their exemplary vision and zeal, as public servants at two levels of the state bureaucracy, in advocating the inseparability of development and the environment in uplifting the lives of the Chinese people." Specifically, Pan Yue is being cited for "his bold pursuit of a national environmental program, insisting on state an private accountability, encouraging state-citizen dialogue, and raising the environment as an issue of urgent national concern." Fu Qiping is being cited in particular for "his enterprising leadershipand undeniable success in demonstrating how village-level economic development can be achieved without damage to the environment.


Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best origin full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations­Ireland, or Zimbabwe.

L.G. Farell for his book "Troubles" won "Lost ManBooker Prize in 2010.

British writer and journalist Howard Jacobson'snoveITheFinkIerQuestion,asemi-autobiographical comic take on Jewish identity, is the winner of 2010 Man Booker Prize.Mr. Jacobson, who lives in London, beat two of the bookies' favourites -_ Tom McCarthy's C and Emma Donoghue's Room - to win the £50,000 prize.


J.K. Rowling wins Danish award

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling has won Hans Christian 5,00,000 kroner ($93,352), Andersen Literature Prize.

The prize is given to a person who can be compared with Andersen, the Danish writer who is the author of "The Little Mermaid" and the "The Ugly Duckling".


Jnanpith Award

1. The Jnanpith Award is the highest literary award in India. It is presented by the Bharatiya Jnanpith, a trust founded by the Sahu Jain family the publishers of The Times of India newspaper The award was instituted in 1961, and its first recipient, in 1965, was the Malayalam writer Q Sankara Kurup. Any Indian citizen who writes in any of the official languages of India is eligible for the honor.

2. Prior to 1982, the awards were given for a sing single work by a writer; since then, the award has been given for a lifetime contribution to Indian literature. Jnanpith Award 2006- Konkani I itterateur Ravindra Kelekar was presented Jnanpith Award 2006.

3. Jnanpith Award 2007- Nlalayalam litterateur O.N.V. Kurup is chosen for Jnanpith Award for 2007.

4. Jnanpith Award 2008- Urdu poet Akhlaq Khan Shahryar is conferred with the Jnanpith Award for 2008.Rabindra Nath Tagore Award 2010 IromSharmilawhohasbeen observing afast-unto­death since November 4, 2000 for demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act - was given the Rabindranath Tagore Award-2010. The award is conferred on her in recognition of her determination and courage in her quest for peace. The award, instituted by the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), carries Rs.51 lakh in cash, a gold medal, a citation and a shawl.


Indira Gandhi peace prize 2010

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been selected for the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2010. Mr. Lula was selected mainly for promoting strong ties among the developing countries, promoting inclusive growth and for his contribution to the cause of India-Brazil partnership.


Indira Gandhi Award 2009

Composer A.R. Rahman and the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, located in Chhattisgarh's Narainpur, have jointly won the 25th Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for the year 2009 for their services in promoting and preserving national integration. The award consists of a citation and Rs.2.5 lakh. The award was instituted by the Congress in 1985 to recognise distinguished persons for outstanding contributions to the cause of national integration.


Lal Bahadur Shashtri Award

President Pratibha Patil presented the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award 2010 for Excellence in Public Administration, Academia and Management to Aruna Roy, social and political activist. She is prominent leader of RTI movement. She also received Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership. The award carries a prize of Rs. 5 lakh, a plaque and a citation. Ms. Roy is a member of the second National Advisory Council, set up by the Central government to advise it on social policies.


Shanti Swarup Bhatnager Prize 2010

1. The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology is awarded annually by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for notable and outstanding research, applied or fundamental, in biology, chemistry, environmental science, engineering, mathematics, medicine and Physics. It is the highest award for science in India. The award is named after the founder Director of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar. It was first awarded in 1958. Any citizen of India engaged in research in any field of science and technology up to the age of 45 years is eligible for the Prize. The Prize comprises a citation, a plaque, and a cash award of Rs. 500,000. In addition recipients also get Rs 15,000 per month up to the age of 65 years. For the first time three women figure in the list of nine scientists chosen for the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2010. The award for S&T Innovations for Rural Development 2009 will go to the Indian Oil Corporation's Research and Development Centre in Faridabad. The awardees for Biological Sciences are Sanjeev Galande of the National Centre for Cell Science, Pune and Shubha Tole of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

2. The others are Swapan K. Pati of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore; Sandeep Verma of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur ; G.K. Ananthasuresh of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; SanghamitraBandyopadhyayof Indian Statistical Institute. Kolkata (Engineering Sciences); Mitali Mukerji of Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi , Umesh Vasudeo Waghmare of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore and Kalobaran Maiti, Tata institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai (Physical Sciences). This year no award is being given in Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences and Mathematical Sciences.


DADA SAHEB PHALKE AWARD

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's highest award in cinema given annually by the Government of India for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema. It was instituted in 1969, the birth centenary year of Dadasaheb- Phalke, considered as the father of Indian cinema. The award comprises a Swarna Kamal (golden lotus) medallion, a cash prize of 1 million and a shawl.Raja. Music director Ilayaraja bagged the best background score award for the same filmThe only Tamil film to capture the spotlight w Pasanga, which bagged awards for its chief actors and screenplay dialogues, as well as its own language category.

The Awards returned to a two-tier format this yea regional juries making a shortlist considered by a. central team. The "recall" clause, which allowed the final jury to consider films left out by the lowertier also came into -play with the Marathi Natarang and the Bengali Houseful picking up awards.


M S SUBBULAKSHMI AWARD

Young Carnatic vocalists will now have another strong -reason to strive for excellence - award in the name of the 'queen of song'. ` Hindu Saregama M.S. Subbulakshmi Award was instituted this year. The occasion also marked the launch of '


Phalke Awards 2009

Veteran film maker D. Ramanaidu has been selected for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2009. Subbulakshmi sings to Tirupati Lord Balaji a seven-pack music album brought out by Saregama. M.S. Subbulakshmi is the first ever musician to be awarded Bharat Ratna.


NATIONAL FILM AWARDS 2009

Kutty Srank, a Malayalam drama starring Mammooty, expressing the different perspectives of three women about the man in their lives, was the biggest winner at the National Film Awards for 2009, sweeping the best feature film award as well as four other categories.

3 Idiots is chosen as the best film on national integration, Delhi-6, best film on social issues and the best debut film Lahore. Amitabh Bachchan bagged his third award for best actor, this time for his role as a dying 13-year old in Paa. The best actress award went to Ananya Chatterjee for her role in the Bengali film Abohoman, which also won the best direction prize for Rituparna Ghosh. The best film award in the non-feature category was shared by The Postman and Bilal. Oscar winner Resul Pookutty won an award for best audiography in Kerata Varma Pazhassi Asavari Pawar, a writer and daughter of known Kathak dancer Partap Pawar, received the award in the field of Art and Culture Singh, founder of Sterling Media, was giver `Business Award,' while solicitor firm Zai & Co's founder Saroshi Zaiwala receive the Pride of India Award given to U.K's first Asian judge Sir Mota Singh, the United Kingdom's first and Asian judge, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II received the 'Pride of India Award' 2009 instituted by the India International Foundation (IIF). Sir Mota Singh has held various positions in Kenya and the U.K. in the legal fields. Lord Swaraj Paul, is recipient of the `Pride of I Award' last year.

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan chairman Manek DalalOfficer of the Order of the British Empire, was awarded for his outstanding achievement in 'Administration 'Judiciary and Law Award.'Balwant `Bobby' Grewal, a philanthropist who walked from Amritsar to Kanyakumari and Edinburgh to London to raise funds for bowel cancer research in the U.K. and India - bagged the President's Award, while Sun Mark Ltd. founder Rami Ranger was given the `Business House Award.'


Ashok Chakra Award

The Ashok Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self­sacrifice away from the battlefield. It is the peace time equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra. The decoration may be awarded either to military or civilian personnel and may be awarded posthumously.

Major Laishram Jyotin Singh, who sacrificed his life in terror attack in Kabul, has been awarded the Ashok Chakra in year 2010, the highest peacetime gallantry award. It is probably the first time that the Ashok Chakra has been awarded to an officer for an act of bravery while on a foreign land. Commander Dilip Dhonde of Maharashtra is awarded Shaurya Chakra for becoming the first Indian to undertake a solo circumnavigation of the globe.


Jamnalal Bajaj Award 2010

President Pratibha Patil presented the Jamnalal Bajaj Awards for 2010 for outstanding contributions in social development. The objective of these awards is to encourage, recognise and reward outstanding people who have given their lives for Gandhian ideas.,. Chewang Norphel, a 74-year-old civil engineer from Ladakh, was presented the award for application of science and technology for rural development. His 'artificial glacier' has helped farmers in the dry and difficult region of Ladakh get water supply in April and May - the most crucial period of sowing.

Chunibhai Vaidya, a nonagenarian from Ahmedabad,wasgiven theaward foroutstanding contribution in the field of constructive work. The oldest living Gandhian, Mr. Vaidya has been active in many movements in Gujarat and Rajasthan for betterment of the poor and the marginalised. He has also authored several books.

The award for development and welfare of women and children was given to Shakuntala Choudhary, a nonagenarian from Assam. The award for promoting Gandhian values outside India was given to Lia Diskin from Brazil.


18th Rajiv Gandhi Sadhbhavana Award

1. Eminent Islamic Scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has been bestowed with Rajiv Gandhi National Sadhbhavana Award for outstanding contribution towards promotion of communal harmony, peace and goodwill.the awards carries a citation and cash award of Rs 5 lakhs.

2. Other recipients are Lata mangeshkar, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Swami Agnivesh, K R Narayanan, Nirmala Deshpande.


Whitley Awards 2010

Dr Angela Maldonado of Colombia is the winner of the Whitley Gold Award 2010 in recognition of her outstanding work to halt the illegal trade of night monkeys in the Colombian Amazon.


Miss Universe 2010

Miss Universe 2010, the 59th edition of the pageant, was held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on August 23, 2010. Ximena Navarrete, Miss Mexico, was crowned Miss Universe 2010 by outgoing titleholder Stefania Fernandez from Venezuela.


Miss World 2010

1. Miss World 2010, the 60th Miss World pageant was held on October 30, 2010 in Sanya, People's Republic of China after Vietnam backed out of the hosting contract.

2. Kaiane Aldorino of Gibraltar crowned her successor Alexandria Mills of the United States as Miss World 2010.

3. The site for 2010 Miss world at Veitnam lead to - a public debate about some national ecological reserves being devastated and people having to leave their homes due to increasing living casts.


Miss Earth 2010

Miss Earth 2010, the 10th edition of Miss Earth beauty pageant, was held at Vinpearl Land, Nha Trang, Vietnam on December 4, 2010. At the conclusion of the competition, outgoing titleholder Miss Earth 2009, Larissa Ramos of Brazil crowned her successor Nicole Faria of India.


Oscar Awards 2010

The 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2010 and took place February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. During the ceremony, Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) were awarded in 24 competitive categories.

The King's Speech won four awards, all in major categories: Best Picture, Best Director (Tom hooper), Best Actor (Colin Firth), and Best Original Screenplay(David Seidler). Inception also won four awards, all in the technical categories. Best Actress Award. is conferred in Natalie Portman for the movie Black Swan.

Umpire of the year

Emerging Player'

T-20 International performance of the year

Women's Cricketer of the y,ear

Associate & Affiliate player

Aleem Dar (Pakistan)

Stevan Finn (England)

Breden Mc Cullum of New Zealand

Shelley Nitschke (Australia)

Ryan ten Doeschate (Netherlands)

Padma Awards 2011

Padma Awards, the country's highest civilian awards, are conferred in three categories, namely. Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma­Shri. The awards are given in all disciplines/ fields of activities, viz. art, social work, public affairsscience and engineering, trade and industry. medicine, literature and education, sports, civilservice, etc. `Padma Vibhushan' is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; 'Padma Bhushan' for distinguished service of high order and `Padma Shri' for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.

The awards are conferred by the President of India at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan sometime around March/ April. This year the­President has approved 130 awards including 13 in the category of Foreigners/ NRIs/ PIOs:~ These comprise 6 Padma Vibhushan, 43 PadmaBhushan and 81 Padma Shri awards. There are= 17 ladies among the awardees.


Sangeet Natak Academy Awards

The General Council of Sangeet Natak Akademy the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, New Delhi elected two eminent personalities in the field of performing arts namely Girija Devi and Nataraj Ramakrishna as Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows (Akademi Ratna). Presently there are only 34 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. The General Council of the Akademi also selected thirty eight (38) persons from the fields of Music, Dance, Theatre and Puppetry for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2010. In the field of Music, nine eminent artists, namely Chhannu Lal Mishra and Yashpal for Hindustani Vocal Music, Budhaditya Mukherjee (Sitar) and Nityanand Haldipur (Flute) for Hindustani Instrumental Music, Suguna Purushothaman and Mysore Nagamani Srinath for Carnatic Vocal Music, Nagai R Muralidharan (Violin) and SrimushnamVRaja Rao(Mridangam)for Carnatic Instrumental Music, and M V Simhachala Sastry (Harikatha) for Other Major Traditions of Music have been selected for the Akademi Award 2010.

In the field of Dance, nine eminent practitioners, namely Malabika Mitra (Kathak), Kalamandalam K.G. Vasudevan (Kathakali), Phanjoubam Iboton Singh (Manipuri), Ratna Kumar (Kuchipudi), Aruna Mohanty (Odissi), Manik Borbayan (Sattriya), Uttara Asha Coorlawala (Creative & Experimental Dance), Kalamandalam Painkulam Rama Chakyar (Other Major Traditions of Dance & Dance Theatre - Kutiyattam) and S Rajeshwari (Music for Dance - Bharatanatyam) have been selected for the Akademi Award 2010. In the field of Theatre, eight eminent persons have been selected for Akademi Awards 2010. They include D Vizai Bhaskar (Telugu) and Atamjeet Singh (Punjabi) for Playwriting, Veenapani Chawla and Urmil Kumar Thapaliyal for Direction and Dilip Prabhavalkar, Banwari Taneja, Maya Krishna Rao and Swatilekha Sengupta for Acting. For their contribution to Other Traditional/Folk/ Tribal Music/ Dance/ Theatre and Puppetry, ten artists have been selected for the Akademi Award. They are Harbhajan Singh Namdhari for Gurbani Kirtan (Punjab), Nazeer Ahmed Khan Warsi & Naseer Ahmed Khan Warsi (Joint Award) for Qawwali (Andhra Pradesh),

Dwijen Mukherjee for Rabindra Sangeet (West Bengal), T Somasundaram for Folk Dance (Tamil Nadu), Krishna Kumari for Folk Music­ Bhakha (Jammu & Kashmir), Chanda Jagdish Tiwadi for Folk Theatre - Bharud (Maharashtra),

K Chinna Anjannamma for Tolu Bommalata - Shadow Puppetry (Andhra Pradesh), and K V Ramakrishnan & K C Ramakrishnan (Joint Award) for Pava Kathaka!i - Glove Puppetry (Kerala). Ashok D. Ranade will receive the Akademi Award 2010 for Scholarship in Performing Arts (Music) and Jaidev Taneja will receive the Award for Overall Contribution to Performing Arts (Theatre).


Golden Peacock Award

Bengali filmmaker Gautam Ghosh's film "Moner Manush"(The Quest), an Indo-Bangladesh joint production, bagged the coveted Golden Peacock Award for the Best Film at the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2010.

The Silver Peacock Award for the Best Director went to Susanne Bier of Denmark for her film `In a Better World'. 'Just Another Love Story' from India and 'The Boy' from New Zealand were the joint winners of the Special Jury Award.

The Best Actor Award went to the Turkish actor Guven Kirac for his role in the film 'The Crossing' while the Best Actress Award was won by Magdalena Boczarska of Poland for her role in `Little Rose.'


Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Award 2011

India's annual convention - three day long Pravasi Bhartiya Divas - to connect with its 27 million strong diaspora in over 150 countries concluded in New Delhi on 9 Jan 2011. Some of the awardees are Sir Anand Satyannd (Governor General of New Zealand, Prof. Veena (Australia), Ms. Lata Panda (Canada) etc.

TIME magazine's list of Top 25 Political Icons include two great Indian political icons- Mahatma Gandhi and Mughal emperor, Akbar. IIT professor-turned-activist Sandeep Pandey turned down NREGS Achievement Award's prize money.

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