Current Affairs

17-June-2009

Posted in Uncategorized by rajrohitsingh on June 17, 2009

NATIONAL

Ram Pradhan Panel Report

  • The report is on the the 26th Nov 2008 Mumbai Attacks
  • The Maharashtra Govt didnt table the report. It said it didnt agree with it
  • Instead it tabled an actions to be taken report which indicated areas where it didnt agree with the panel

C Rangarajan Committee

  • A high-level committee headed by C. Rangarajan that undertook a critical review of the estimates of domestic and national saving and investment in the economy has come up with several recommendations aimed at making them more robust and useful as policy inputs. Among other things, the panel calls for strengthening the existing methods of estimation through regular updating of the rates and ratios and the development of alternative data bases for cross validation of the est imates
  • According to the committee, investment in the Indian equity markets fell to 5.1 per cent of total household savings in 2006, from 9.2 per cent in 1994. A very large part of the investment in the capital market instruments comes from just three cities — Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. The strong urban orientation of investors has remained unchanged for decades, although the markets have grown exponentially, both in terms of volume and activities. Capital market reform and technology were expected to make investment in shares and debentures more accessible but that has not quite happened

Union Home Minister P. Chidambram says he favors bigger role for J&K police and wants to reduce the role of central troops in a step by step manner

Indian PM recently participated in the SCO & BRIC meeting.

  • While India is a member of BRIC, it has observer status in SCO
  • This was the first time that a PM from India attended the SCO meeting

INTERNATIONAL

Iranian Elections

  • Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was elected as Iran’s President for the second time in a row
  • But his opponent Mir Mousavi has disputed the results, calling the elections to have been rigged
  • Meanwhile Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini has asked for a partial recount of the votes
  • This was done following a written appeal by Mousavi and the widespread violent agitation carried out by his supporters
  • You can find a detailed analysis of the events here

Swine Flu

  • The flu has been declared to be pandemic by WHO
  • The first global flu epidemic in 41 years
  • The long-awaited pandemic decision is scientific confirmation that a new flu virus has emerged and is quickly circling the globe. It will trigger drug-makers to speed up production of a swine flu vaccine and prompt governments to devote more money toward efforts to contain the virus.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Industry posts 1.4% growth in April

  • Industrial production moved into the positive territory in April this year with a growth of 1.4 per cent.
  • The turnaround in the first month of the current fiscal, coming after months of contraction since September 2008, was primarily aided by an unexpected rise in electricity generation which grew by a robust 7.1 per cent as compared to a growth of 1.4 per cent in April 2008. Alongside was the impressive performance by the consumer durables segment in the manufacturing sector which clocked a growth of 16.9 per cent.
  • The performance of the industry during the month, however, was no match when compared with the 6.2 per cent growth notched in April last year. This was mainly because certain other crucial segments in the manufacturing sector such as consumer non-durables and capital goods showed decline in growth. Processed food items in the consumer non-durables sector, in particular, declined by a steep 34 per cent.
  • Apart from the higher electricity generation, contributing to the overall 1.4 per cent industrial growth during April this year was the manufacturing sector which grew by 0.7 per cent and the mining sector which witnessed a growth of 3.8 per cent

9-June-2009

Posted in Uncategorized by rajrohitsingh on June 9, 2009

NATIONAL

Karia Munda is deputy speaker of Lok Sabha

Habib Tanvir passes away

  • He was an eminent playwriter
  • The playwright won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1969, Padma Shri in 1983, Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1996 and the Padma Bhushan in 2002. Tanvir was also a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1972 to 1978.
  • His play Charandas Chor that was first produced in 1975 got him the Fringe Firsts Award at the Edinburgh International Drama Festival in 1982.
  • In 1959, he founded the Naya Theatre in Bhopal and it is set to complete 50 years this year

Commentary on motivation, manner, and timing of Governor R.S. Gavai’s grant of sanction to the Central Bureau of Investigation to prosecute Communist Party of India (Marxist) Kerala State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in a corruption case

  • Bommai case (1991) – in this case Supreme Court marked out the limitation in which Article 356 should be implemeted
  • Article 356 – Article 356 provides for the action to be taken by the President where he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of a State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution by making a proclamation in that behalf

Women’s Reservation Bill

  • Natchiappan Committee looked into this subject

INTERNATIONAL

Lebanese Election

  • The Hizbollah-led alliance has suffered a major setback, with its rival pro-Western combine narrowly winning Lebanon’s crucial parliamentary elections.
  • The March 14 coalition led by Saad Hariri, son of slain former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, won 71 seats, according to official results. The Hizbollah-alliance secured 57 seats in the 128-member Parliament
  • Analysts say the election results have two major implications. First, it is a setback to Iran and Syria, which are Hizbollah’s main allies in the region. Conversely, the United States, France and Saudi Arabia, the main supporters of the March 14 coalition, along with Israel, have reason to feel relieved with the results. Second, in the absence of a decisive mandate, Lebanon could face instability as the various political formations will now face the difficult task of forming a national unity government.

European Assembly elections

  • The European assembly is the only E.U. institution elected by universal suffrage
  • The conservative European People’s Party was expected to be returned as the biggest bloc. It has gradually gained power there over the years
  • Accordingly the European People’s Party secured 267 seats in the 736-member Strasbourg-based European Parliament.  The Socialists secured 159 seats with 81 seats for the Liberal Democrats, who came third in the polls, followed by the Greens with 51 seats
  • Conservative right-wing parties in several leading EU nations emerged victorious in the biggest trans-national election in the world

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

China Aircraft Center

  • Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC) has unveiled its manufacturing and assembling centre in Shanghai, the latest step towards China’s  goal to manufacture homegrown large aircraft.
  • By 2010, it would be able to produce 30 ARJ21-700 model planes a year, and the capacity will be expanded to 50 jets by 2012, he said.

Decline in World Trade

  • Global trade has been a principal casualty of the ongoing economic crisis. The World Trade Organization estimates trade to contract by 9 per cent this year.
  • Collapsing global demand and severe curtailment of trade finance by banks and other lenders have been the main factors responsible
  • Together they have created constraints to export growth, especially in many developing countries. Obviously developed countries have been affected equally if not to a greater degree
  • The financial crisis that morphed into an economic crisis started in the U.S. which still remains the epicentre of the crisis. Global economic recovery is dependent to a large extent on how soon the U.S. economy stabilises. The fall in demand and investment in the U. S. and Europe is a principal reason for the major setback in world trade

SPORTS

Federer wins French Open

  • Equals Sampras’ record of 14 grand slams
  • Only the fifth player to complete a career grand slam

Leander Paes of India and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy win the French Open Mens Double Eevent

2-June-2009

Posted in Uncategorized by rajrohitsingh on June 2, 2009

NATIONAL

Lok Sabha Speaker

  1. Meira Kumar set to become India’s first woman lok sabha speaker

Kamala Suraiya aka Madhavikutty (31 March 1932 – 31 May 2009)

  1. She was an Indian writer who wrote in English as well as Malayalam, her native language.
  2. Her popularity in Kerela is based chiefly on her short stories and autobiography. She was also a poet.

New Chief of Indian Air Force

  1. Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik on Sunday took charge as the 19th chief of the India Air Force from Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, who demitted office

INS Brahmaputra

  1. is the lead ship of her class of guided missile frigates of the Indian Navy. She is one of the recently inducted, indigenously built guided missile frigates fitted with a modern missile systems. She and her two sister ships, INS Betwa and INS Beas were built at the Garden reach shipbuilders (GRSE), Kolkatta
  2. The Brahmaputra along with three other Indian Naval ships aided the evacuation of Indian, Sril Lankan and Nepalese civilians from Beirut during the 2006 Israel Lebanon conflict under the code name Operation Sukoon

NIA gets its first 2 cases from Assam

  1. NIA was set up in the wake of Mumbai blasts.
  2. The Bill for constitution of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to be applicable to whole of India, citizens of India outside India and persons on shops and aircraft registered in India.
  3. Officers of the NIA to have all powers, privileges and liabilities which the police officers have in connection with investigation of any offence.
  4. The police officer in charge of a police station on receipt of the report of the offence shall forward it to the state government which in turn will send it to the Centre.
  5. If the Centre feels the offence is terror related, it shall direct the NIA for investigation.
  6. Provision for transfer of investigation and trial of offences to state government with Centre’s prior approval.
  7. NIA may investigate other offences connected with terror-related offences.
  8. A state government shall extend all assistance to NIA for investigation of terror-related offences.
  9. Provisions of the Act with regard to investigation shall not affect powers of the state government to investigate and prosecute any terror crime or other offences.
  10. The Centre shall constitute special courts for trial of terror-related offences.
  11. Special Courts may sit at any place for any of its proceedings.
  12. For speedy and fair trial, the Supreme Court may transfer any case pending with the special court to another special court in the same state or any other state, and the High Court may transfer such cases to any other special court within the state.

INTERNATIONAL

View on Pakistan and its fight against Taliban

  1. Ever since the Pakistan Army launched an operation against the Taliban in the Swat region of the North-West Frontier Province, there were fears of exactly the kind of consequences now unfolding across Pakistan: terror attacks targeting security forces and civilians alike, causing death and destruction, and shattering the national morale. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, an umbrella organisation of Pakistani militant outfits headed by the Waziristani warlord Beithullah Mehsud, has claimed responsibility for the deadly Lahore bombing that targeted the offices of the police and Inter-Services Intelligence.
  2. A day later, there were four more bomb attacks — three in Peshawar and one in the town of Dera Ismail Khan — targeting the police personnel and civilians. The Pakistani Taliban have warned of several more strikes if the Swat operations are not halted immediately. Clearly, the intention is to test Pakistan’s declared resolve to battle extremism and militancy. In recent weeks, a kind of national consensus has developed, fragile though it is, on the necessity of a military response against the militants who were challenging the Pakistani state. With the Army claiming good progress in Swat, and reportedly considering expanding operations into South Waziristan, the mother-region for the Taliban, terror is being used to create doubts about the wisdom of taking on the militants.
  3. The attack in Lahore has underscored that while Pakistan fights the Taliban, it can no longer ignore or downplay the networks between Taliban and Al Qaeda in the North-West Frontier regions and sectarian jihadist militant groups based in the Punjab hinterland. According to reports, the Punjab-based Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, for long a close ally of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, may have carried out the Lahore attack. Other outfits such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba are also believed to have links with Taliban and Al Qaeda.
  4. These groups owe their existence to Pakistan’s policy of nurturing Islamist militants for proxy wars in Afghanistan and Kashmir. They are now banned but it is not certain that the Pakistani establishment has severed all links with them. Ultimately, acting against these groups and reversing the radicalising effects of long years of state-sponsored militant Islam is the larger war that Pakistan must fight sooner than later.

Iran – Pakistan

  1. Iran has asked Pakistan to tackle Jundullah
  2. Iran has alleged Jundullah’s hand in the recent mosque bombings in its Zahedan province
  3. Jundullah is a Pakistan-based anti-Shia group
  4. This incident may affect Iran-Pakistan preliminary agreement on gas pipeline which has been christined as the ‘peace pipeline’

UN team to probe Isreal’s actions

  1. Ignoring opposition from Israel, a United Nations team has entered Gaza to investigate possible war crimes and other violations of international law during Israel’s assault on the coastal strip earlier this year
  2. The team is led by South African judge Richard Goldstone.

Nepal Politics : Maoists announce nationwide protests

  1. After constituent assembly chairman Subhash Nemwang rejected maoists resolution to discuss President Ram Baran Yadav’s decision to reinstate army chief in the House, Maoists have announced nationwide protests

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Indian Economy grew by 5.8% during January Marh 2009

  1. A better than expected growth in the fourth quarter of 2008-09 has lifted the GDP estimate for the whole year to a reasonable 6.7 per cent. According to the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) data released recently, the economy grew by 5.8 per cent during the period January-March 2009, the same rate it had registered during the preceding quarter, October-December 2008.
  2. After a fairly robust growth of 7.8 per cent during the first six months, the financial crisis intensified from September-October 2008, and the global economy was dragged down into one of the deepest recessions since the Second World War.
  3. According to the International Monetary Fund, the global economy as a whole is expected to contract during 2009, with the developed economies leading the fall. India, China, and some other developing countries were forecast to post positive growth but well below their recent trends.
  4. India’s growth rate of 6.7 per cent is below the CSO’s advance estimate of 7.1 per cent made in early February but is in line with the RBI’s estimate of 6.5-6.7 per cent announced in its annual policy statement in April. Interestingly, almost all other forecasts including those by the World Bank and the IMF, have placed India’s growth rate in the region of 5-6 per cent for 2008-09.
  5. India’s growth rate for the year looks reasonable, when compared with most other countries but it is the lowest in the past six years. During the last quarter, there was a modest recovery in agriculture and a strong growth in services. These have helped in partly compensating for the decline in manufacturing.

GM Files for Bankruptcy

  1. GM has officially filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in US
  2. US government will now own around 70% of GM
  3. Chrysler which had similarly filed for bankruptcy last month announced that the bankruptcy court has approved the sale of majority of its assets to Fiat.

31-May-2009

Posted in Uncategorized by rajrohitsingh on May 31, 2009

NATIONAL

Protem Speaker

President Pratibha Patil has appointed senior Congress MP Manikrao Gavit protem Speaker. He will administer the oath to the new MPs and perform duties until a Speaker is elected

NC Hills Council Chief Arrested

  1. Special Task Force commandos on Saturday arrested Mohit Hojai, chief executive member (CEM) of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) in Assam, for alleged links with the militant outfit, Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel faction).
  2. Sixth Schedule of our constitution deals with provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam
  3. Schedules are lists in the Constitution that categorizes and tabulates bureaucratic activity and policy of the Government

World Tobaco Day

  1. 31 st  May is world no tobaco day
  2. Pictorial warnings on the packs of all tobacco products will be mandatory from May 31, World No Tobacco Day.The products will have to clearly display a scorpion and lungs as warnings, covering at least 40 per cent of the principal display area of the pack. The products cannot carry any message that directly or indirectly promotes a specific tobacco brand or tobacco use in general

INTERNATIONAL

Asia-Pacific Community mooted

  1. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Friday proposed the formation of an “Asia Pacific Community” on the basis of dialogue among regional powers and the United States.
  2. Delivering the keynote address at the inaugural dinner of the eighth annual Asia Security Summit, being held here under the auspices of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mr. Rudd said Australia was planning to initiate the process later this year.

Pakistan army secures Mingora

  1. Security forces battling Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat valley in the North-West Frontier Province have secured Mingora, the main town in the region
  2. Hundreds of thousands of people who had to flee the town in recent weeks as the military launched Operation Rah-e-Rast against the Swat Taliban last month

Grassley Durbin Bill

  1. The bill provides for a legislation  “prohibits companies with having more than 50% of their workforce using H-1B and L-1 visas”
  2. The 50% visa restrictin in the Grassley/Durbin bill will impede the ability of Indian firms to bring largely young and mobile workers into the U.S. The restrictions will force them to increase the size of their permanent U.S. workforces, which will likely increase costs and hurt their ability to compete against U.S.-based IT services vendors
  3. Imposing this visa restriction may be no different, from the Indian perspective, than the U.S. imposing a tariff on imported steel to protect domestic makers

ECONOMY

  1. Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has painted  a grim scenario during 2009-10. The power deficit is set to rise further to up to 12.61 per cent of the total demand in 2009-10 despite record capacity addition of 12,770 MW planned for 2009-10
  2. During 2008-09, against the energy demand of 777,039 MU, 691,038 MU was available with an energy deficit of 11 per cent. Peak demand during the last fiscal was 109,809 MU compared to the availability of 96,785 MU and registered a peak power deficit of 11.9 per cent

29-May-2009

Posted in Uncategorized by rajrohitsingh on May 29, 2009

NATIONAL

Click here to see the Union Council of Ministers 2009

Rani Abbakka – First Inshore Vessel Launched from Vishakapatnam

  1. These vessels are developed in coordination with the Coast Guard, would significantly add to the country’s coastal surveillance capability.
  2. Security scenario post 26/11 had warranted extensive patrolling and enhanced surveillance along the coast.

INTERNATIONAL

Nepal Politics

  1. CPN (UML) leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, has taken over as the new Prime Minister of Nepal. In his maiden address to the nation on Tuesday, he appealed to all, particularly Maoist supremo Pushpa Kamal Dahal, alias Prachanda, to help him in his pursuit  to take the Nepalese democratic process forward. In the interest of peace, the Maoists, who will now be sitting in the opposition, must extend their cooperation to the new government. They should realise that people will never forgive a party that creates any kind of hindrance in the way of completion of the democratic process.
  2. Mr Nepal, who was elected by the Constituent Assembly last Saturday to head the new government, formally took over on Monday. He has the support of 359 members in a House of 601. The Himalayan nation had plunged into political uncertainty after UCPN (Maoists) leader Mr Prachanda resigned as Prime Minister on May 4 following a controversy over the dismissal of Nepal Army chief Gen Rookmangud Katawal. The removal of the top General was reversed by President Ram Baran Yadav as the Supreme Commander of the Nepalese Army. Mr Prachanda quit the government in protest against the presidential intervention as this upset his unholy plans.
  3. The name of Mr Nepal was proposed by Nepali Congress chief Girija Prasad Koirala, though Mr Koirala’s party is the second largest group in the Constituent Assembly. Mr Nepal’s party holds the third position, but he emerged as the consensus candidate of the alliance of the parties looking for Mr Prachanda’s replacement. Mr Nepal is not new to running the administration, as he was Deputy Prime Minister when his party led the minority government in 1994. He has the experience of handling various portfolios like Defence and Foreign Affairs. Interestingly, he also heads the committee set up for drafting the constitution of New Nepal by 2010. How far he will succeed in accomplishing the tasks before his country depends on the extent of cooperation he gets from the Maoists. The capacity of the Maoists to derail the democratic process cannot be underestimated, but it will be wise of them to strive to come back to power with democratic means

Pakistan Taliban have owned responsibility of terrorist attack in Lahore yesterday. Peshawar attacked today

BUSINESS

Microsoft has launched a new search engine called Bing

Tata Motors launched its World Truck

28 – May – 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by rajrohitsingh on May 28, 2009

NATIONAL

Amnesty criticizes tough crack down on terror

  1. Tough crackdown on terror in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, activities of anti-naxal force Salwa Judum and anti-Christian riots have been listed by Amnesty international among others as alleged human rights issues facing the country.
  2. Amnesty International is a global human rights NGO. Its general secretariat is in London. It was found by Peter Benenson in 1961

Indian Air Force inducts its first AWACS

  1. The project was signed in 2004
  2. The AWACS project is a tripartite contract between India, Israel and Russia. The $1.1 billion deal for the three AWACS was signed in 2004
  3. The AWACS, constituting the number 50 squadron, will be based in Agra
  4. With the induction of the AWACS, India has joined a club of only six other nations – the US, Russia, Britain, Japan, Australia and Turkey that operate such a sophisticated system.W
  5. ith its ability to detect aircraft, cruise missiles and other flying objects at ranges far greater than is possible through existing systems, the AWACS can also collate surface information about troop movements and missile launches even while “listening-in” to highly confidential communications between the enemy’s front line units.

Canada to soon sign a nuclear deal with India

Tomthy Roemer is the new US Ambassador to India

INTERNATIONAL

Alice Munro wins Man Booker International

  • The prize, different from the annual Booker Prize for Fiction, is awarded once every two years to a living author for his or her lifetime achievement

Bangladesh debates hydel project in India

  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Wednesday that an all-party parliamentary committee would visit the site of the controversial 1,500 MW Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydel Project in Manipur

Shell Law Suit

  1. Ken Saro-Wiwa was a Nigerian writer activist who protested against Shell’s anti environmental activities in Nigeria, and was executed along with nine others by Nigeria’s military leadership in 1995
  2. For the current trial, relatives of the Ogoni nine, as the executed leaders are known, will be present in court as plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the firm. They and the other plaintiffs allege that Shell was an active participant in atrocities and abuses carried out by Nigeria’s military police.
  3. The dispute between Shell and the Ogoni protesters stems from the company’s extensive interests in the Niger delta stretching back to 1958. It now owns about 90 oil fields across the country.From the early 1990s, non-violent protests began among Ogonis unhappy about the impact of oil exploration, which they said was destroying the environment that they depended on for fishing or farming.Clearance work to make way for pipelines was decimating the world’s third-largest mangrove forest. Oil spills were rife, polluting the land at a rate, campaigners said, equivalent to an Exxon Valdez oil disaster every year. Oil flares only made the pollution worse.

SPORTS

Barcelona (spain) defeat Manchester United(england) to win the European Champions League

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Walmart to open first store in India in Amritsar. Walmart is the world’s biggest retailer and is in India in partnership with Bharti enterprises