A D V E R T I S E M E N T
trails in Global Hunger Index
The IFPRI’s Global Hunger index
ranks India in the “alarming” group (the categories: moderate, serious, alarming
and extremely alarming), below many failed States ruled by tyrants and despots.
The ranking considers the number of children under five who are underweight,
malnourished or wind up dead, particularly girls.
In Asia, everyone, except Bangladesh, which is just one rank below India, is
doing better. China is at number nine, Pakistan at 59, Nepal at 56. India is
bested by a host of tottering States, including Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Burkina
Faso, Sudan, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
India’s approach to hunger has been to throw a programme at every failing. There
is the world’s largest programme for nutritional, health and school needs of
children under six, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), which runs
1.4 million centres nationwide with a budget of Rs 7,806 crore for 2020-11.
Then, there is the world’s biggest cooked-meal programme, covering 119 million
children in government schools up to class VIII with a budget of Rs 9,440 crore.
India also has the world’s largest public distribution system (PDS) for
subsidised food, with a budget of Rs 55,578 crore, and the world’s biggest
cash-for-work programme, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA),
with a budget of Rs 40,100 crore.
Hunger in India is definitely not a problem of resources. However, hunger
persists despite spectacular economic expansion, and it is disproportionate to
Behind every story of hunger and malnutrition is a collective national apathy
towards the poor, an unreformed, struggling agriculture sector, the low status
of women and collapsing administration. In addressing hunger, the biggest
question remains: who’s in charge? Evidence abounds in leaky multi-billion
dollar, anti-hunger programmes: a quarter of the money spent on mid-day meals
never reaches the poor, a third in the NREGA and more than half on the PDS. The
failures of the PDS are especially acute. Only 36 per cent of its poor have
below-poverty-line (BPL) cards to access cheap food. Nearly 60 per cent of these
cards are with people who are not officially poor.
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
National Green Tribunal Notified
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) was officially notified on October 19, 2010
with its Chairperson, Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta taking charge of his office.
The tribunal is exclusively dedicated to environmental issues.
Established by an Act of Parliament (the National Green Tribunal Act of 2010),
it will have circuit benches across the country to try all matters related to
and arising out of environmental issues. The tribunal, which shall also consist
of other members, who are experts in the field of environmental and related
sciences, has been empowered to issue directions for the compensation and
restitution of damage caused from actions of environmental negligence.
This is the first body of its kind that is required by its parent statute to
apply the “polluter pays” principle and the principle of sustainable
The erstwhile National Environment Appellate Authority had ceased to exist with
the launch of the NGT.
Tobacco India Report
Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) for India, 2009-10, conducted on 99.9 per
cent of India’s population in 29 States, UTs of Chandigarh and Puducherry has
submitted its report. According to it, India’s obsession with tobacco continues
despite laws to tell the users of its lethal consequences. Though 64 per cent of
all adults believe tobacco leads to heart attacks, 35 per cent (one-third)
continue to consume tobacco in some form or the other.
Highlights of the report are:
—52 percent adults exposed to second hand smoke at home, highest in J&K (68%),
lowest in Chandigarh (15%); 29 percent exposed in public places.
—Cigarette smokers’ monthly expense is Rs 400, as against Rs 94 for bidi
—Monthly cigarette expenditure is highest in Arunachal (Rs 1,265), lowest in
Jharkhand (Rs 181.70).
—Mizoram has highest tobacco use (67%), while Goa (9%), Punjab (12%), and
Chandigarh (14%) have lowest.
—Mizo women are most addicted (62% use tobacco) as against least addicted in
Punjab (under 1%), Chandigarh, Himachal and Goa (under 5%).
—Most tobacco use is in East (45%), Northeast (44%), and lowest use is in North
India signs Convention on Supplementary Compensation at IAEA
On October 27, 2010, India signed the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC)
at the IAEA in Vienna that will enable the country to undertake nuclear
The convention sets parameters on a nuclear operator’s financial liability in
the event of a nuclear accident.
The convention was adopted in September 1997 and opened for signature at Vienna
a few days later at the 41st General Conference of the IAEA. The convention
provides for compensation in case of transnational implications of a nuclear
accident and has been signed by 14 countries. However, only four countries—USA,
Argentina, Morocco and Romania—have ratified it so far.
Upon entry into force, the convention would establish a uniform global regime
for compensation to victims in the event of a nuclear accident. The CSC provides
for the establishment of an international fund to increase the amount available
to compensate victims and allows for compensating civil damage occurring within
a State’s exclusive economic zone, including the loss of tourism and
It also sets parameters on a nuclear operator’s financial liability, time limits
governing possible legal action, requires that nuclear operators maintain
insurance or other financial security measures and provides for a single
competent court to hear claims.
All States are free to participate in the convention regardless of their
involvement in existing nuclear liability conventions or the presence of nuclear
installations on their territories. Notably, India is the only country to have
such a provision, which was added after wide political pressure.
The 8th ASEAN-India Summit was held at Hanoi, Vietnam on October 30, 2010.
Addressing the heads of the state of ASEAN countries, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh said the conclusion of a “services and investment agreement” between India
and ASEAN would be an important step in “our goal of comprehensive economic
With an aim to play a more significant role in the growing economies of the
region, India has been pushing its case for having a bilateral pact in services
and investment at the earliest. Through this pact, India wants to get a foothold
in all ASEAN countries for its growing pharmaceutical industry, besides allowing
ease in visa regimes for its IT professionals, healthcare workers and teachers
in Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Philippines,
Singapore and Thailand (ASEAN nations).
With an agreement in place for free trade in services and investment, India can
offer a bigger share of the pie to these countries in its infrastructure sector
that is poised for a major growth.
Addressing the other leaders at the summit, which came out with a five-year
‘Plan of Action’ outlining a roadmap for enhanced multi-faceted cooperation,
Manmohan Singh said: “India’s economy is expected to witness a sustained growth
rate of 9-10 per cent in the coming years, which would offer many opportunities
for trade and investment. Our experience of implementation shows that we need to
work very hard at all levels if we have to accelerate the pace of engagement as
outlined in the plan of action”.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Japan visit
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Japan on October 25, 2010. The visit ended
with the successful conclusion of negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic
Partnership Agreement (CEPA). As a first step in realising CEPA, both countries
agreed to a “sweeping” liberalisation of their bilateral visa regime.
The successful conclusion of CEPA is expected to elevate trade and economic
relations between the two countries to the next level. Though the trade between
the two nations remained almost stagnant for decades, it has been growing
rapidly since past three years. The agreement will foster new business
opportunities, enhance competitiveness of private sectors, and encourage closer
partnership between the private sectors in India’s teeming SMEs and Japan’s
infrastructure and hi-technology enterprises.
India is hoping that the CEPA coming into place will also balance out the trade
imbalance between the two countries. As of now, trade between the two countries
is strongly in favour of Japan.
India is also hoping that its generic pharmaceutical and IT sectors will benefit
largely as this agreement opens up the Japanese market for India. While Japan
exports marine products, iron ore and petroleum products to India, electrical
and electronic goods, iron and steel products, chemicals and auto components are
exported by India.
Since India-Japan CEPA is truly comprehensive for trade in goods, investment and
services, besides allowing movement of natural persons, it will improve the
India-Japan partnership and enhance their global partnership. This will also
mean that goods being traded will become cheaper, with the lifting of trade
Visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Malaysia
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Kaula Lumpur on October 27, 2010. The
highlight of the visit was agreement between India and Malaysia to forge new
ties on two of the most important issues for their economies—sealing the
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and contain the threat of
terrorism through establishment of a Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism,
besides collaboration in defence.
The two leaders said that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will be signed by
January 31, 2011 and this will be implemented by July 1, 2011.
Taking into account the India-ASEAN trade in goods agreement, that came into
effect from January 1, 2010, both sides have offered ASEAN plus market access in
goods. India and Malaysia have also agreed to provide access of each others’
services market across all modes and various sectors. The two countries will now
finalize areas of economic cooperation in infrastructure development, creative
industries, tourism, SMEs, business facilitation, science and technology and
human resource development.
Malaysia is the second largest trading partner for India within ASEAN, and India
is the largest trading partner for Malaysia in South Asia, excluding China.
Bilateral trade between the two countries is now estimated at $ 10.5 billion,
and this has doubled in the past five years.
The two leaders, while condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,
agreed to enhance cooperation in counter terrorism, through information sharing
and setting up a Joint Working Group on counter-terrorism. This is of great
importance for India as Malaysia is understood to be emerging as a logistics,
regrouping and fund raising hub for three militant groups—militants from Punjab,
Tamil Tigers and Al-Qaeda. Jamia Islamia, based in Indonesia, is an Al Qaeda
affiliate, and is helping the latter in logistics and fund raising there. India
and Malaysia have also agreed to enhance defence exchanges and cooperation
through regular exchanges between the defence ministers and senior defence
officials, chiefs of armed forces and regular service to service staff talks and
regular ship visits.
The two sides also signed as many as five agreements. These include MoU on
cooperation in field of traditional systems of medicine; MoU on Cooperation in
Terrorism; MoU for Cooperation in IT sector; Agreement between CSIR and UNIK of
Malaysia on Research and Development Collaboration; and, Cultural Exchange
India-Russia to jointly develop advance stealth jet
India and its old military partner Russia will soon ink a deal to jointly
develop an advance stealth fighter. Defence Minister A.K. Antony said during the
visit of his Russian counter-part A.E. Serdyukov on October 7, 2010, that he has
sorted out all issues regarding the joint development of the fifth generation of
fighter aircraft (FGFA).
Apart from this, the joint development of the multi-role transport aircraft (MTA)
will be the other major military programme between the two nations over the next
Notably, the announcement balances out the “perceived” tilt in India’s decision
to buy a series of aircrafts from the US. This includes medium haul
transporters, the C-130-J, long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, the
P8-I, and some VVIP jets from Boeing.
The FGFA will be the IAF’s frontline fighter from 2016-2017 onwards and will
cost the nation $25 billion, dwarfing the much-hyped $11-billion deal for the
purchase of another 126 fighters. With stealth technology, super manoeuvrability
and supersonic speed, it will match the F-22 raptor produced by the US.
In case of the MTA, the two nations formed a $600 million joint enterprise in
September 2010, for designing and producing it. The planes will be designed at
carrying load of around 20 tonne, with speeds in the region of 900 km, and will
be an asset on shorter runways in Ladakh and the North East. Design specialists
from Ilyushin, maker of best-selling transport plane, IL-76, will be on board.
N-deal with South Korea
India and South Korea have struck a deal to finalise an agreement on civil uses
of nuclear energy. This was a major success for India during the Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh’s Asia tour.
The issue came up for discussion during the bilateral meeting of the Prime
Minister with the President of the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-bak, at Hanoi,
on the sidelines of the 17th ASEAN Summit. The Korean President has invited the
Prime Minister to Korea in 2011 and the deal is likely to be signed then.
With this, Korea becomes the ninth country with which India will be signing the
nuclear agreement. Ever since the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) ended India’s
isolation from global nuclear commerce mainstream in 2008, India has signed
civil nuclear pacts with U.S.A, France, Russia, Canada, Mongolia, Kazakhstan,
Argentina and Namibia.
India strengthens ties with Vietnam
India has enlarged its scope of cooperation and relations with Vietnam—another
“not-so-happy” neighbour of China. Defence Minister A.K. Antony, during his
visit to Vietnam, announced a slew of measures to expand cooperation as part of
the nation’s “look east policy” aimed at engaging key countries situated east of
Under an arrangement, New Delhi will provide support to Vietnam to enhance and
upgrade the capabilities of its services in general and Navy in particular.
Apart from capacity building for repair and maintenance of its equipment, most
of which are of Russian origin, the armies of the two countries will also
cooperate in areas like IT and English training of Vietnamese Army personnel.
In return, Hanoi has offered maintenance and repair facilities at Vietnamese
ports and called for more ships of the Indian Navy to visit them. The navies of
the two nations often exercise together.
To take their ties to the next level, both the armies will also have joint
training in mountain and jungle warfare in India in 2011 and will also work
towards developing cooperation among defence institutes.
CWG Corruption probe
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appointed a high-level committee headed by a
former Comptroller and Auditor General, V.K. Shunglu, to go into allegations of
corruption related to the Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi in October 2010.
The developments came as opposition parties, which had held their fire during
the 12-day event, stepped up their demand for thorough probe into corruption
charges so that those guilty can be brought to book.
Third stage of Bihar polling completed:
was carried out affably in 48 electorates on 28th Oct 2010, estimating in the
third appearance of Bihar Assembly elections, which witnessed an approximated
53% voter responsive. Electorates like Amnour, Taraya, Ramnagar, Balmikinagar
and Patepur (Maoist followers) account about 45%-52% voting. Voters were carried
by boats in the littoral areas of Raghopur Assembly electorate in Vaishali
commune where the popular figure of Rabri Devi was in the tussle. The better
half of RJD spearhead Lalu Prasad Yadav is as well battling from Sonepur bench
in Saran constituency. More than 185 people were held during the balloting,
which saw miniature incidents of affray and fracas. Unlike on a number of
occasions before, this time Bihar polling did not see what it usually it
experiences in terms of riots, booth capturing and other forms of unrest and
violence that hampers the true and the honest spirit of competition. “Apart from
this, it was nonviolent and silky,” stated by Neelmani (DG of Police).
Approximately sixty cars were as well detained. In excess of one crore voters
will adjudge the future of six ministers (of the state) in the third stage. The
following round i.e. stage 4 will be carried out on Nov. 4 2010.
UID experiences technical hiccups:
to overcome the challenge posed by the huge figure of people (approximately 1.03
billions) in the country, the chief of the dept. stated that the 16 digit long
UID numbers will be released in the next year and half or so. He added that the
epicenter of its working will be in the city of Bangalore. An easy remedy to the
obstacles posed by the allotment of different IDs is to have a bench where every
formerly sanctioned UID are kept and a fresh one is given only afterwards
verifying that is actually a unique code. Fundamentally, we charge to break an
extremely tough difficulty in dispersed schemes once we have copies of the bench
(for dependability) and ought to accordingly respond/keep informed the table as
questions are asked. Taking the point in consideration, provided the millions of
accretion objects affiliated to the web, there is no scrutiny if a prime number
selected is the similar chosen by somebody else before. If this is to happen, it
is an aegis aperture of the aboriginal order for web; the possibly is,
nevertheless, acutely undersized. Population on another instance has proven to
be a major obstacle in the development and progress course of India. UID which
was anticipated to be a huge success and particularly curb this issue is yet to
combat the problem itself to even get kick started.
Haryana barricades polythene bags entry:
another attempt to safeguard the environmental and not add insult to the already
injured state of the planet, like the govt. of Delhi, Haryana govt. has also
decided to prohibit polythene bags in the state. The ban includes a complete
no-no of recycling, storage and usage (in any form) within the state. A
suggestion to this aftereffect has been supported by Bhupinder Singh Hooda (the
honorable Chief Minister of the state), an authorized agent said in the capital
on Saturday. The resolution was taken as it was empiric that fractional forbid
on use of polythene bags of a clearly defined array bracket did not crop the
needed consequences. There was consistent ambiguity over the array of poly bags
in exercise and it had as well been discovered that nibbling of a great number
of polythene bogs had resulted in deaths of cows on a regular basis, he said.
This type of thinking and resolutions are the only way through which we can
combat and better the ailing state of the plant Earth. If all other cities and
states like previously Delhi and now Haryana think about the hazards the
polythene bags can cost, we will be having better standards of health and
slips 10 spots to 88th on Global Prosperity Ranking
has slipped 10 places to the 88th spot, way below neighbouring China, in the
World Prosperity Index due to poor healthcare and
education systems coupled with weak entrepreneurial
While last year, India
stood at 78th position, according to London-based Legatum Institute that
compiled the index.
China is ranked 58th in the
list of 110 countries, which is topped by Norway. Other countries in the top
five are Denmark (2), Finland (3), Australia (4) and NewZeland (5).
The prosperity index is
based on 89 variables over 110 countries, grouped into eight sub-indices, and
claims to comprehensively rank the level of prosperity in 110 nations of the
It is done by taking into
account both economic growth and citizens’ quality of life, drawing on data from
various sources, including the Gallup World Poll 2009 and UN development Report.
The country ranked low on
education ground (89th in the Index), health (95th),
entrepreneurship and opportunity (93rd), and social Capital (105th).
Besides, economy (44th) and governance (41st) are two
measures on which India ranks highest.
to get its first AC double-decker train
new double-decker train arrives on a test trip at the Howrah station.
air-conditioned double-decker train is
expected to be launched on the Howrah-Dhanbad sector before the Diwali
few old double-decker coaches are still operational on
the Mumbai-Surat route currently, the new coaches that are built with a
“crashworthy design” will also have state-of-the-art facilities for passenger
at the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala, eight double-decker coaches were
recently brought to Howrah for conducting trial runs before the official
West Bengal had the experience of travelling in double-decker coaches when two
such coaches ran between Howrah and industrial-township Durgapur as part of the
Black Diamond Express.
China’s supercomputer world’s fastest
Engineers work on the Tianhe-1A supercomputer
at the National Center for
in China’s Tianjin Municipality in this
August 31, 2010 file photo.
China has overtaken the
U.S. as home of the world’s fastest supercomputer.
Tianhe-1A, named in honour of the Milky Way, is capable of sustained computing
of 2.507 petaflops — equivalent to 2,507 trillion calculations each second.
scientist who maintains the international
rankings visited it last week and said he believed it was 1.4 times faster than
the former number one, the Cray XT5 Jaguar in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. That topped
the list in June with a rate of 1.75 petaflops.
is home to more than half of the world’s top 500 supercomputers. China had 24 in
the last list, but has pumped billions into developing
its computational ability in recent years.
machines are used for everything from modelling
climate change and studying the beginnings of the universe to assisting
the northern port city of Tianjin, near Beijing, Tianhe-1A was developed by the
National University of Defence Technology. The system was built from thousands
of chips made by U.S. firms — Intel and Nvidia — but domestic researchers
developed the networking technology that allows information to be exchanged
between servers at extraordinary speeds.
signs nuclear liability treaty
Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh and his Malaysian counterpart, Md. Najib, applaud as Commerce and Industry
Minister Anand Sharma (left) exchanges files with Malaysian Health Minister Liow
Tiong Lai after signing an agreement at Putrajaya in Kuala
India and Malaysia signed
six pacts, with the accord for implementing the Comprehensive Economic
Cooperation Agreement (CECA) from July 1, 2011 being
the CECA with the India-Asean Trade in Goods (TiG) agreement that was
implemented from January 1, 2010, both the sides offer “Asean plus’ market
access in goods.
in Services, both the sides agreed on providing access to each others’ services
market across all modes and various sectors.
Malaysia would liberalise their respective investment regimes to facilitate
greater Foreign Direct Investment into each other’s territory.
sides would also finalise two-three other areas of economic cooperation from
among infrastructure development, creative industries, tourism, small and medium
enterprises (SMEs), business facilitation, science and technology, and human
resource development, said official sources
the sixth largest source country for inbound tourism to Malaysia ( six lakhs in
2009) while Malaysia is the 10th largest (1.15 lakhs in 2008).
Wikipedia to open first office outside US in India
Wikimedia, the owners of
online encyclopedia Wikipedia, plans to open its first non-US office in
India as it seeks to take advantage of the country’s
open Internet culture, the group told on 29th October, 2010.
“There is a lot of
enthusiasm for Wikimedia in India, a strong community within India and a general
commitment to free knowledge,” Wikimedia chief global development officer Barry
Newstead said in emailed comments.
“We hope to support Indians
to realise the vision of ‘a world in which every single person can freely share
in the sum of all knowledge‘.”
The planned investment in
India would be the first time the non-profit group,
whose user-generated encyclopedia is one of the biggest online brands, has
opened an office outside of its home US market.
The company is currently
looking for a location but is expected to open the office in the next few
Wikimedia co-founder Jimmy
Wales will be in India’s commercial capital Mumbai on 31st October, 2010 and
will address an open meeting where he will give further
details of the group’s strategy for the country.
200 top CEOs coming with Obama
With trade high on his
agenda, some 200 odd top US business chiefs, including soft
drink giant Pepsico’s India-born CEO Indra Nooyi , are expected to join
US President Barack Obama on his India visit next month.
Also expected are Honeywell
CEO David M Cote, who co-chairs the India-US CEO Forum with Tata group chairman
Ratan Tata .
So is Terry McGraw, CEO of
leading publishing house McGraw Hill, who took over from Nooyi as the chairman
of the US Indian Business Council , representing 300 top US companies last June.
Two more of 12 US forum
members, Louis Chenevert, CEO of aerospace major
United Technologies Corp, and Ellen Kullman, chief executive of chemicals giant
DuPont , may also be joining.
But there is no word yet
whether Citigroup’s Indian-American CEO Vikram Pandit is going.
USIBC has also organised a Business
and Entrepreneurship Summit in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai Nov
6 featuring a keynote address by Obama demonstrating his priority “on
creating jobs for America by cultivating deeper commercial ties with India, the
world’s largest free-market economy.”
USIBC said its goal is to
enhance two-way trade, now surpassing $50 billion, spur investment by India into
the US, create opportunities for greater US export-led growth of high technology
and high-end manufactured goods that will support India’s $1.7 trillion
infrastructure build-out, and foster new frontiers of technology collaboration.
Australia pays up for CWG damages
Australia has finally paid up Rs 10,000
for damage to property by its athletes before the
Commonwealth Games ended in New Delhi earlier this month.
An internal inquiry
conducted by the Commonwealth Games Organising
Committee into the incident has revealed that Australian
athletes had thrown a washing machine from
the seventh floor of Tower 21, occupied by the country’s contingent, just a day
before the closing ceremony on the intervening night of October 13 and 14.
The internal report,
however, has not identified the Australian athletes who were involved in the
incident, saying it would not serve any purpose.
However there were reports that Australian athletes had damaged property because
of their country’s loss to India in the cricket Test match. The Australian side
expressed regret over the incident, but vehemently denied that it had anything
to do with its Test match loss.
Tata to host Obama at Taj
Host Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata
Group, is believed to be meeting the US president and his team in an exclusive
He, along with trusted
lieutenant, R K Krishna Kumar will brief the US President on the more than
48-hour siege that Taj was under. During those horrific nights, more than 160
people, including guests and staff, lost their lives. Obama will be staying at one of the
suites of the hotels heritage wing to mark the second anniversary of the attack
. He and his wife Michelle Obama will be the first high-profile guests to occupy
the opulent suite since the hotel became entirely functional in August.
Later, Obama will be
delivering a keynote address to a select group of business leaders from US and
India at the Trident Hotel to promote better trade and
investment links between the two nations. Terry McGraw CEO of McGraw Hill
Companies will lead the US delegation. Other business leaders that make up the
elite guest list includeIndia-born CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi, GE’s Jeffrey
Immelt and Honeywell’s David Cote.
India Inc will be
represented by Wipro’s boss Azim Premji, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of RIL, Anand
Mahindra, MD of Mahindra & Mahindra and Adi Godrej, chairman of Godrej group.
plans to appoint officers in panchayats
panchayat development officers will be
assigned to monitor and execute implementation of various rural schemes of the
The government is working
on a proposal to appoint a development officer in each of the 2.4 lakh
panchayats to facilitate proper implementation of its schemes.
The government spends lakhs
of rupees for development in panchayats but there wasn’t enough back-up support
for implementation of schemes to accelerate rural development,
Joshi said at a national conference here of State Ministers in charge of
sanitation, reports IANS.
The panchayat development
officer should be a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) or a person with
similar qualifications.The officer would be assisted by people with technical
and accounting skills besides those relating to extension services.
Of the 244,000 panchayats
in the country, about 70,000 did not have a functional
Infosys Prize 2010 winners announced
Prof. Sandip Trivedi,
Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Prof. Chandrashekhar Khare, Prof. Amita Baviskar, Prof.
Nandini Sundar, Dr.Chetan Chitnis.
Dr Chetan Chitnis of New
Delhi- based International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)
is among the six scientists chosen for the coveted Infosys Prize 2010 awards,
instituted by the software major’s Infosys Science Foundation.
foundation announced the names of the winners recognising their outstanding
contribution to scientific researches that have
impacted the country. Chetan was chosen for the award for life sciences for
his pioneering work in understanding the interactions of the malarial parasite
and its host, leading to the development of a viable malaria
winners would be awarded a sum of Rs 50 lakh each, a citation
certificate and a gold medallion. The award ceremony would be held on January 6,
2011, in Mumbai where the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will be present, it
was announced at a press conference here.
Professor Chandrashekhar Khare
(from Mathematics Department, University of California, Los Angeles) won the
prize in Mathematical Sciences. Prof. Sandip Trivedi (from
Theoretical Physics Department, TIFR, Mumbai) bagged the award in the category
of Physical Sciences.
Prof. Ashutosh Sharma (from
Chemical Engineering Department, IIT, Kanpur) was selected for the award in the
category of Engineering and Computer Science.
The award in the category of Social Sciences is shared by Professor
Amita Baviskar (from Sociology Unit,
Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi) for Sociology and Professor Nandini
Sundar, Sociology Department, Delhi School of Economics, for Social
Tata shortlisted for Fortune award
Tata Group Chairman
Ratan Tata is among the eight world business leaders shortlisted by Fortune
for its ‘Business Person of the Year’ award. The winner will be named on
The others in the fray
are: Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett, Apple chief Steve Jobs, Ford
Motor CEO Alan Mulally, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman,
McDonald’s CEO James A. Skinner and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
international award for Indian nurse
A committed Indian nurse
has been honoured with the first
Excellence Award, in recognition of her
commitment for working on the frontlines of newborn care in resource-challenged
countries, where the majority of newborn deaths occur.
Kashinath Samant from Mumbai and Regina Obeng from Kumasi in Ghana were selected
from nominations sent from all over the world to receive the award at the
opening ceremony of the 7thInternational Conference of the Neonatal Nurses at
the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.
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)
leader Medha Patkar was heading a prayer meeting as part of the activities
marking the completion of 25 years of the people’s movement.
meetings, folk songs and dances formed part of the
struggle that asserted the right of the people to
their land, water and forests and set a precedent for the subsequent social
Haryana to ban use of polythene bags
Government has decided
to impose a complete ban on recycling,
storage and use of
in the state.
proposal to this effect has been approved by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder
Singh Hooda, an official spokesman said in Chandigarh.
decision was taken as it was observed that partial ban on use of polythene
carry bags of an officially specified thickness limit
did not yield the desired results.
Tendulkar back on top of ranking table after eight years
Sachin Tendukar has
reclaimed the number one position in the Test rankings after eight years,
following his successful run in the just concluded Test series against
Tendulkar was the highest run-getter
with 403 runs in the two-match series, which India won 2-0.
also scored his sixth double hundred and was adjudged Man-of-the-series.
Indian batting legend has now 891 rating points,
according to the latest ICC rankings list.
Virender Sehwag is the next best
Indian at number three with 819 points, behind Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara
education for medal winners: Sibal
With a view to promoting
sports, the Union Human Resource Development Ministry
announced free education for students who win medals
for India in the ongoing Commonwealth Games.
also asked the University Grants Commission and the Central Board of School
Education to formulate schemes of financial incentives
to support talented sportspersons and strengthen the sports infrastructure in
educational institutions, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal told journalists.
token of appreciation and for encouraging sports among students of all
categories, the cost of education of students who win medals in the
Commonwealth Games 2010 would be borne by the Centre
for the entire duration of their studies.” This would include tuition fee and
maintenance expenditure like hostel charges.
expenditure for college and university students would be taken care of by the
UGC, the CBSE would bear it for school
students irrespective of whether they were in CBSE-affiliated institutions or
not. The benefit would cover private institutions also.
support would continue as long as the medal winners wished to pursue studies.
The UGC and the CBSE would soon work out the
Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab out of IPL
Rajasthan Royals, which won
the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament in 2008, and Kings XI
Punjab will not be part of the Twenty20 event from 2011.
reconstituted IPL Governing Council terminated the
franchise agreements with Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt. Ltd. (Rajasthan Royals) and
K.P.H. Dream Cricket Pvt. Ltd. (Kings XI Punjab). The Council decided to issue a
show cause notice on a group of investors which holds the unincorporated joint
venture of the Kochi franchise, asking them to resolve their disputes and give
their group a legal entity that will hold the franchise rights. The investors
have been given 10 days to respond to the notice.
of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)
consulted Attorney-General Goolam Vahanvati and a senior Supreme Court lawyer
before terminating the two franchise agreements.
Tendulkar wins Sir Garfield Sobers Award
beaming Sachin Tendulkar displays the two
that he received at the LG ICC Awards in Bangalore.
Sachin Tendulkar capped a
fine year with the most coveted cricketing reward in recent times ‘The Sir
Garfield Sobers Cricketer of the Year’ Award as the
maestro glittered bright amidst a galaxy of leading players at the LG ICC Awards
night here on Wednesday. Tendulkar became the second Indian to win the award
after Rahul Dravid bagged it in 2004.
scoring 1,000 Test runs this year besides becoming the first
man to score a double hundred in ODI cricket while South Africa wilted
against him at Gwalior, Tendulkar scored another double at the awards function
as he also won the ‘LG People’s Choice Award.’Virender Sehwag. IIC
Rupee symbol gets Unicode character
The new Rupee symbol
has been made part of the official Unicode Standard.
Consortium, the organization
that is responsible for maintaining the Unicode Standard, today formally
announced Unicode Version 6.0 which includes
some 2000+ new characters and one among them is the official Rupee currency sign
Once the font families are
upgraded, you’ll be able to use the HTML code in your web pages to display the
new Rupee symbol or by pressing the Alt key followed by 20B9 in word processors.
The Unicode Consortium
approved the code U+20B9 which is the same range that is used for other currency
symbols like Euro, Franc and Peso.
Mukherjee wins Finance Minister of Asia award
Pranab Mukherjee has won
this year’s Finance Minister of the Year for Asia award given by London-based
daily newspaper Emerging Markets.
This is the second time
Mukherjee has been bestowed with the honour. He was rated as the best Finance
Minister in the world in 1984, a government statement said on 10th October,
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has won this year’s award for Finance Minister of the
Year for Asia. This year’s award is based on nominations from public and private
sector economists, analysts, bankers, investors and
other experts,” the release said.
The award is given by Emerging Markets, a part of the financial information
Euromoney Institutional Investor plc. It is also a
major daily newspaper of record for the World Bank and IMF.
scam may spill over into banking sector
The great Indian telecom
scam is threatening to spill over into the banking sector. And at stake is the
tax payers’ money that public sector banks have given
as loan to Unitech Wireless.
The telecom giant, now called Uninor, is being probed by the CBI, the CVC and
the Income Tax in the 2G spectrum scam.
The media has accessed to
documents that show that public sector banks including the
State Bank of India which has lent over Rs 8000 crore to the company. In
all, public sector banks have lent nearly Rs 9,830 crore to the company,
completely overlooking the risk factors involved.
Uninor could be in danger
of losing its telecom license itself after a draft CAG
report said Uninor was a real estate company and therefore not authorized to
operate in the telecom sector. Uninor is also under theIncome tax scanner for
alleged tax evasion in the 2G scam.
The fact is that the
CVC inquiry began in 2008, soon after
the 2G allocations. Most of the loans were given even as the spectrum scandal
was hitting the headlines.
sees 95,000 jobs lost in September
The US economy lost another 95,000 jobs in
September, as public sector cuts outpaced hiring by
the private sector.
According to the Labor
Department figures, the fall was almost double
August’s 54,000 job loss number.
The jobless rate held at 9.6%, but still
marks the 14th straight month it has been above 9.5%.
The jobs news sent stocks
slightly higher after
raising expectations the US Federal Reserve will take further action to pump
money into the economy.
Dow Jones index closed above 11,000 for the first time in five months,
rising 58 points to 11,006.48.
A total of 159,000
government lay-offs were made in September, with the private sector adding
64,000 positions, the weakest gain since June.
Of the public sector job
cuts, about 76,000 were in local government, with a large number of lay-offs
among teachers, analysts said.
“under-employment rate” – those who have given up looking for work or are
part-timers seeking full-time posts – rose to 17.1% in September from 16.7% in
dealt with global economic slowdown
An unique developmental
approach is followed by India in recent years. We are not waiting any more for
the phenomenon of ‘trickle down’ to happen with our significant growth
India has embarked on one of the largest efforts in history for direct
entitlement of the poor and massive asset creation in
the rural sector.
also rolling out 100,000 ‘IT kiosks’ with an eye on ‘e-governance’,
’e-education’,’ e-health’, telemedicine – as many as 83,635 have already been
rolled out in rural India.
passed the ‘right to education’ bill, allocated $24.3 billion in the last three
financial years for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural
Employment Guarantee Act and $10.7 billion on Bharat Nirman project for rural
power, roads, drinking water, telecom, irrigation and
substantive GDP growth will be accompanied by direct inclusion of the
underprivileged, who will in turn contribute to our rising growth trajectory.
current phase of globalization has shrunk the world and
made boundaries between countries irrelevant. At one level, it has reduced us to
a single entity, such that developments in one part of this global entity have
pronounced implications on the other part.
Will Need 1,000 Aircraft Over 20 Yrs
EADS’ unit Airbus expects the Indian aviation
market will require more than 1,000 aircraft in the next 20
years, its chief executive Tom Enders said.
“India next to China is one of the big growth hubs for
the aviation industry.”
Airbus’ India chief Kiran
Rao said the country’s demand, specifically for 1,032 planes,
over 20 years, was valued at $138 billion.
A burgeoning middle class,
driven by an economy that is growing at 8.5 per cent a year, has boosted demand
for air travel in India. New entrants in the country’s
airline sector and India’s plan to overhaul its defence systems also make India
an attractive market for Airbus and US rival Boeing.
Government data showed air
traffic through August this year rose more than 19 per cent in
US rival Boeing, which sees
India’s expanding aviation sector needing 1,150 commercial jets valued at $130
billion over 20 years, is set to sign a $5.8-billion defence deal with India
ahead of President Barack Obama’s November visit to the
Airbus had not sold any
planes in India this year but expected to see orders being booked from 2011
powerful women: Michelle Obama at top & 3 Indians Placed
US First lady Michelle
Obama tops the Forbes magazine’s list of ‘World’s 100
Most Powerful Women’ beating corporate honchos like India-born
Pepsi Co chief Indra Nooyi and heads of state like
the Queen of England to occupy the top slot.
Michelle, 46, ranked number
one in the overall list of 100 as well as in the political category.
Executive Irene Rosenfeld ranked second followed by media mogul Oprah
Winfrey who came in at the third spot.
Pepsi Co Chief Indra Nooyi
ranked 6th on the list. In the business category, Nooyi is ranked two. Two
Indian women, Axis bank Chief Executive Shikha Sharma and
ICICI bank head Chanda Kocchar also made it to the list.
Sharma is ranked 89th in
the list while Kocchar comes in at the 92nd spot.
Forbes divided the power
women candidates into four groups: politics, business, media and
Indian companies nominated for Platts Global Energy Awards
energy companies from India, including
Reliance Industries, have been chosen
as finalists in the Platts Global Energy Awards, an annual program recognising
exemplary industry leadership.
The seven companies are
Reliance Industries, HPCL, Coal India, Cairn India,
North Delhi Power Limited, Uhde India and GAIL India , a
press release issued on 7th October, 2010 stated.
North Delhi Power Limited
has been nominated in two categories–Power Company of the Year and Leading
Technologies–Commercial, it said.
Global Energy Awards highlight
corporate and individual innovation, leadership, and superior
performance in 17 categories spanning the entire energy complex.
Platts will also name the
2010 Energy Company of the Year and the winner of this award will be chosen from
the entire list of finalists by the program’s independent judges’ panel,
comprising of former regulators, past heads of major
energy companies, leading academics and international energy experts.
Bindra-Gagan set CWG record, give India first gold
Bindra during the 10m Air Rifle Pairs Men’s event in
Games in New Delhi.
Indian shooters Abhinav
Bindra and Gagan Narang fired in unison and shot a Games record 1193 in men’s
10m air rifle event to give the country its first gold medal
in the 19th Commonwealth Games here.
The pair together scored 1193 to break their
own record, which they had set four years ago in Melbourne, by notching up 1189.
World record holder Gagan, coming off a
none—too—impressive season, shot a spectacular sequence
of 99, 100, 100, 99, 100, 100 to total a grand 598, while Beijing
Olympic gold medallist, Bindra’s series read 100, 98
,99, 100, 99, 99 for a total of 595 in the first shooting event of the Games.
England’s James Huckle and Kenny Parr (1174)
won the silver medal while Bangladesh’s Abdullah Hel Baki and Md. Asif Hussain
Khan (1173) had to be content with bronze. Both teams,
however, were far behind the Indian duo of Bindra and Gagan.
opens the Games with a silver and bronze
Augustina Nkem Nwaokolo of
Nigeria flanked by India’s silver medal winner Ng. Soniya Chanu and
bronze winner Sandhya Rani Devi.
Ng. Soniya Chanu and A.
Sandhya Rani Devi opened India’s campaign in the weightlifting campaign with a
silver and bronze medal in the 48 kg. division of the
women’s section on the opening day of the nine-day programme
at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex here.
Games’ first gold medal, however, went to Nigeria
whose 17-year-old school student Augustina Nkem
Nwaokolo made a memorable international debut by setting three Games’ records.
slightly built Augustina proved too good for the
Indian duo, both 30 years of age, by outclassing them in both snatch and clean
and jerk for a record total of 175.
Nigerian successfully lifted 77kg in her third attempt for a new mark in snatch
event. In fact, she broke the previous record of 75kg, held by India’s N.
Kunjarani Devi since 2002, in her second effort when she lifted 76kg which she
improved up on in her third attempt with 77kg.
also broke Kunjarani’s clean and jerk and the total records when she lifted 98kg
on her second attempt. This gave her a total of 175kg which bettered Kunjarani’s
record of 167kg set in Manchester in 2002.
declared smoking-free city
Shimla, once the summer capital ofBritish India known for imported cigarettes
has been declared “smoking-free city”.
would be the fourth city after Kottayam in Kerala,Chandigarh and Sikkim to be
district headquarters would be made smoking-free by the end of May next year and
a sustain campaign would be launched against drugs, liquor and smoking.”
Raman’s son on a global expedition
power and the spirit of
adventure drive many to seafaring. They do not mind sailing between continents
through the high seas all alone
in their yacht, despite the uncertainties of weather and the
threat from pirates. Most seafarers who call at Kochi are elderly
foreigners who are armed with a sound mind and strong body.
Eighty-one-year-old Professor V. Radhakrishnan, eminent radio astronomer and
Trustee of the Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, might be among the few
Indians who have been criss-crossing the oceans in a yacht, that too designed by
him. The son of Sir C.V. Raman, he is on a mission to learn more on his chosen
field on his yacht ‘Eldemer.’
set sail from Kochi in a few days to Phuket in Thailand, ‘see what happens, and
then plan a longer voyage,’ planning to call at many continents while
circumnavigating the world. Though ‘Eldemer’ can accommodate six people,
Professor Radhakrishnan is taking along two people from Bangalore and two from Kochi on the
global expedition. He is not a novice in seafaring, having sailed from Britain
to Australia through the Atlantic and the Pacific, in 1965.
hits 33-month high, crosses 20,600 level
The BSE benchmark Sensex on
4th October, 2010 scaled a new high of 33-months, despite losing early gains and
ending up just 31 points as brisk selling in blue-chips like ITC, L&T and
Infosys suffered damages in the last-hour trade. Intra-day, the Sensex had
gained over 260 points before profit booking kicked
Extending the gains for the
third successive session, the 30-share barometer of the
Bombay Stock Exchange ended up by
30.69 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 20,475.73. During the day, the Sensex had
jumped by a whopping 261.7 points to touch 20,706.74, just 500 points short of
its record high of 21,206.77 — achieved on January 10,
In a similar trend, the
National Stock Exchange’s Nifty Index
finished the day higher by 0.26 per cent at 6,159.45. It had breached the 6,200
level during the day. Reliance Industries extended
Friday’s gain and ended 1.14 per cent higher at Rs 1,017.90.
to be the richest man on earth in 2014
With a net worth of $ 62
billion, Indian business tycoon Mukesh Ambani would be the richest man
on earth in 2014, according to a forecast issued by
the prestigious Forbes magazine.
“One of the predictions is
that Reliance Industries’ chief Ambani, who currently has a net worth of $ 29
billion, pips the world’s richest man Mexican businessman Carlos Slim to
topForbes’ rich list in 2014,” it said.
Ambani’s net worth swells
to $ 62 billion while Slim is “hit hard by Mexican political, financial
chaos,” according to the prediction by Forbes.
currently ranks fourth on Forbes’ list of the world’s
Forbes has listed a number
of events that could happen over the next 10 years in the field of politics,
energy, medicine, finance, society and technology. The publication asked its
staff and contributors toforecast some of the “noteworthy events” till 2020.
Facebook opens office in India
Operations Kirthiga Reddy at the
of the social networking site’s office in Hyderabad.
Social networking site Facebook started its operations in
India by opening an office in Hyderabad.
office is already humming with an initial landing team
from its headquarters in Palo Alto, California, and a team of recent hires from
India, the company said in a statement.
office is headed by a dynamic leadership team, including Kirthiga Reddy,
Director of Online Operations and Head of Office India and Manoj Varghese,
Director of User Operations.