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Home » Current Affairs » Current Affairs of September 2010

Current Affairs of September 2010

A D V E R T I S E M E N T
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RBI’s mid-term review

The RBI, in its first mid-quarter review of its monetary policy, increased repo and reverse repo rates leaving the cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged as it battles to contain inflation.

The central bank noted that food inflation has risen to 15.10 per cent for the week ending September 4, thus making it necessary to rein in liquidity. As a result, RBI raised short-term borrowing rate (reverse repo) by 0.50 percentage points to 5 per cent and lending rate (repo) by 0.25 percentage points to 6 per cent. The increased rates aim to make financing costly thus curbing consumption.

However, the RBI said that inflation rates have reached a plateau. The apex bank also signalled banks to raise fixed deposit rates and also noted that the government was on target to contain the fiscal deficit.

 

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Unique Identification Authority of India

The Union Cabinet has cleared a new law providing for strict penal action and hefty fines going up to Rs 1 crore to guard against misuse of data collected for allotment of a Unique Identity Card or a Aadhar number to Indian citizens.

The proposed legislation, titled the National Identification Authority of India Act, seeks to give statutory powers to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UDAI), created as an attached office under the Planning Commission.

The decision to enact a legislation was taken after fears were expressed over the privacy and security of data collected by the UDAI. In addition, several civil rights groups had also pointed out that actions of the UDAI could well be questioned in the absence of a legal framework.

This scheme of providing unique identity number to the citizens of the country took off on September 29 when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh presented the first such number at a function in the tribal district of Nandurbar in Maharashtra.

 

Job scenario in India improves

According to the Ma Foi Randstad Employment Trends Survey, there is optimism in the economic scenario across all sectors of India and most of the new jobs have been created are in services. Conducted among 650 companies across 13 industry segments that included eight Indian cities, the survey revealed 418,000 jobs were created between January and June, 2010, with the healthcare sector creating 121,000 jobs, and another 63,000 in the hospitality sector. The top five sectors leading the boom are healthcare, hospitality, real estate and construction, information technology and IT-enabled services, and education, training and consulting.

Real estate and construction leads with the highest growth in number of people employed. It also expects growth in average salary by about four per cent, followed by pharma (3.5 per cent) and healthcare (3.4 per cent) during the third quarter.

The estimated proportion of experienced workforce is the highest in the pharma sector, 87 per cent. Healthcare is estimated to have the highest percentage of freshers,at 38 per cent. Kolkata has the highest estimated percentage of experienced workforce, at 82 per cent, and New Delhi the highest estimated percentage of freshers (35 per cent).

 

Fund to boost innovation

The National Innovation Council (NIC), a body to promote new ideas for inclusive development, has announced the setting up of a Rs 1,000 crore fund to encourage innovation.

“A major portion of the fund will come from the private sector and not the government,” the chairman of the council, Sam Pitroda, said.

One of the council members and renowned film-maker, Shekhar Kapur, also mooted the idea of starting a television reality show that would provide a platform for the young minds to showcase their innovative ideas for solving the problems of the economy.

Set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the council is aimed at energising innovation initiatives so as to make them part of the national effort aimed at reducing poverty, improving governance and making development more inclusive.

The aim of NIC is to herald a mindset change and create a push at the grassroots level so that more and more people are involved in shaping a national-level innovation strategy.

The council’s mandate also includes formulating a roadmap on innovation for the 2010 to 2020 period, focusing on inclusive growth.

 

Munda sworn in as Jharkhand Chief Minister

On September 11, 2010, BJP leader Arjun Munda became the eighth Chief Minister of the 10-year-old Jharkhand State, as leader of a coalition with, among others, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Munda, who is having a go at the top job for the third time, will have two deputies — Sudesh Mahato of the All Jharkhand Union and JMM patriarch Shibu Soren's son, Hemant Soren.

Although the function at the Governor's house showed the deep rift in the BJP over the tie-up with the JMM—the BJP's partner last time in a government that lasted only for five months—Munda said he would focus on strengthening the party's grass-root level.

 

Visit of President of Mozambique

On September 30, 2010, during a meeting between President of Mozambique Armando Guebuza and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, India and Mozambique inked three pacts and a credit line of $500 million was extended to that country for infrastructure projects, agriculture and energy.

The two countries have also decided to create a partnership based on greater political engagement, deepening of economic cooperation, strengthening of defence and security cooperation, specially to secure sea lanes against piracy, and cooperation in capacity building and human resource development.

India would also support establishment of training and planning institutions in Mozambique to support capacity building in the coal industry, besides supporting capacity building for the defence and police forces of that country, the Prime Minister said.

Expressing concern over the safety and security of sea lanes in the Indian Ocean, Guebuza assured to provide all possible assistance to protect them.

 

Dhaka okays crucial highway link to Kolkata

In major development, Bangladesh has finally agreed to start the construction of a highway that will not only provide transit facilities, ensuring easy movement of goods, but also drastically shorten the circuitous route—crucial from the military point of view—between north-eastern States and the port city of Kolkata.

The project—to be primarily financed by India—is part of the larger Asian Highway network project connecting the Asian nations. The highway project between India and Bangladesh had been hanging fire for more than five years, with Dhaka stalling it for one reason or the other—primarily due to pressure from Pakistan and China.

The change came after the Sheikh Hasina Government came to power and in July 2009 Indian negotiators managed to push Bangladesh to ink the inter-governmental agreement.

The first route will enter from Bengal into Bangladesh at the existing Benapole land port on the border and run across eastwards via Jessore and Dhaka; passing through Sylhet, located on the north-eastern edge of Bangladesh, it will enter Assam/Meghalaya.

The second axis will start from North Bengal and enter Bangladesh at Panchgarh and run southwards via Srirajganj to Dhaka and further southeast to Cox Bazar and Chittagong before entering into Myanmar. India will be able to use both routes.

Once ready, the highway will solve India’s major problem of moving goods into north-eastern States of Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur. At present, it can take up to five days for a truck from Kolkata to reach these areas, adding up to the costs, besides the time delay.

 

Crucial military pact with South Korea

Signalling a dramatic change in its strategic positioning, especially vis-à-vis China, India, on September 3, 2010, entered into a crucial joint research and manufacturing agreement with South Korea to co-develop and co-produce military equipment.

Both countries are neighbours of China and have a rather testy and tense relationship with it.

On the military front the importance of the agreement can be gauged from the fact that India has such agreements for co-developing and co-producing military equipment with its traditional “friend” Russia and other ally, Israel. It also has product-based cooperation for joint production of key military equipment with the French and Italians. Following the agreement, experts have placed India-South Korea military relations at par with Indian relations with Russia and Israel.

Memorandums of Understanding were signed following a 90-minute discussion between high-level delegations led by Defence Ministers, AK Antony and Kim Tae-young, respectively. This was the first-ever visit of an Indian Defence Minister to South Korea.

 

Visit of Polish Prime Minister

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk visited India on September 7, 2010. The Indo-Polish defence cooperation figured prominently during talks between the visiting dignitary and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Since most of the Indian military hardware was acquired in the 1970s from the then Soviet Union, Poland, which was a key ally of former USSR, has the spares and the technology for upgrading the equipment with the Indian forces.

Poland is keen to sell tank recovery vehicles to India. The proposal was made during Antony’s visit to Warsaw in April for a meeting of the joint working group (JWG) on defence cooperation between the two countries.

A tank recovery vehicle is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to repair battle or mine damaged as well as broken down vehicles during combat operations, or to tow them out of the danger zone for more extensive repairs.

Apart from making these vehicles available to India, Poland has shown interest in providing to New Delhi its sophisticated military hardware up-gradation and maintenance technology. It is also interested in joint ventures with Indian companies.

Poland can also help India upgrade Indian T-72 tanks, BMP II infantry combat vehicles and a variety of air defence systems purchased from the former Soviet Union.

But more than defence ties, it is the prospect of a quantum jump in economic ties with Poland that excites New Delhi. Poland, a key member of the European Union (EU), is considered by India as a gateway to Europe and Central Asia.

 

Allahabad High Court Verdict on Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi dispute

On September 30, 2010, the much-awaited judgement of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court unanimously ruled that the idols of ‘Ram Lalla’ in the makeshift temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya cannot be removed.

The three-judge Bench of Justices S.U. Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and Dharamveer Sharma separately delivered the historic verdict. In a 2-1 majority verdict, Justices Khan and Agarwal decreed that the 2.7-acre land comprising the disputed site should be divided into three equal parts and be given to Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the party representing ‘Ram Lala Virajman’ (Ram deity).

However, the third judge Justice D.V. Sharma ruled that that the disputed site is the birth place of Lord Ram and that the disputed building constructed by Mughal emperor Babur was built against the tenets of Islam and did not have the character of the mosque. The Bench directed maintenance of status quo at the site for three months and invited suggestions from all the parties for demarcation of the land.

The judges also dismissed the claims of the Sunni Central Waqf Board over the Babri Mosque due to limitation or becoming time barred as well as the claim of the Nirmohi Akhara.

With a 2-1 majority, the Bench held that all the three parties, namely Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara were joint titleholders of the property in dispute. Both Justices Sudhir Aggarwal and SU Khan made it clear that the share of the Muslim parties shall not be less than one third of the total area of the premises. “...If while allotting exact portions some minor adjustment in the share is to be made then the same will be made and the adversely affected party may be compensated by allotting some portion of the adjoining land,” observed Justice Khan.

The area under the erstwhile central dome where the idols are placed in the makeshift temple has been allotted to the Hindus. The inner courtyard has been given to both the communities “since it was being used by both since decades and centuries”, noted Justice Aggarwal.

The ‘Ram Chabootra’, ‘Sita Rasoi’ and ‘Bhandar’ area in the outer courtyard will go to the Nirmohi Akhara. The outer courtyard is once again to be shared by the Nirmohi Akhara and the Muslim parties.

Highlights

—2.7 acre disputed site to be divided in three equal parts.
—Two portions to be handed over to Hindus, Muslims will get one.
—All three parties—Muslims (Sunni Waqf Board), Nirmohi Akhara and the parties representing ‘Ram Lalla Virajman’—declared joint title-holders.
—The portion below the central dome, where the idol of Lord Rama is presently kept in makeshift temple, belongs to Hindus.
—All three parties may utilise the area to which they are entitled to by having separate entry for egress and ingress of the people without disturbing each other’s rights. The parties may approach Centre which shall act in accordance with the directions and also as contained in the SC verdict.

Historical Background

The ‘first title suit’ was filed on January 19, 1885. It was submitted by Mahant Raghubirdas in the court of Faizabad sub-judge, seeking permission for “puja” (worship) rights over a “chabootra” (platform) in front of the mosque which he claimed was Ram’s birthplace.
In his February 24, 1885, order, the judge said: “It (chabootra) was so close to the existing masjid that it would be contrary to public policy to grant a decree authorising plaintiff to build a temple as desired by him.”

Sub-Judge Hari Kishan said: “It is most unfortunate that a masjid should have been built on land specially held sacred by the Hindus, but as the event occurred 356 years ago, it is too late now to remedy the grievance. All that can be done is to maintain the status quo. In such a case as the present one any innovation could cause more harm and derangement of order than benefit.”

Then Raghubirdas moved to the Faizabad district judge, Colonel J.E.A. Chambier, who, after a spot inspection, dismissed the appeal on March 17, 1886, on the same grounds.

Raghubirdas then filed an appeal before the Oudh Judicial Commissioner, W. Young, who also declined his plea in his judgment of November 1, 1886.

Young observed: “This spot is situated within the precincts of the grounds surrounding a mosque erected some 350 years ago, owing to the bigotry and tyranny of the emperor who purposely chose this holy spot, according to Hindu legend, as the site of his mosque.”

 

PM and Sonia Gandhi inaugurate UID:

The Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh and UPA Arch Sonia Gandhi shaped a record by accordingly ablution the world’s aboriginal ID activity on September 29th 2010 forth with Nilekani, the arch man of the ministry is acclimated to accommodate Unique Identification Numbers for India’s citizens (cumulatively well in billions), by rendering them the aboriginal collection of twelve digit figures to ten clannish. The PM as well as the UPA Chief were collectively congratulated in the presence of former Infosys headman. This ID Card is assumed to be nation’s biggest ever tech adeptness action alleged ‘Aadhaar’(base), that is due to be issued to all Indians to accommodate them within a lucrative nationally accurate and absolute individual antecedent of character affidavit through an authenticity vault and that will help to accomplish supply processes transparent. Biometric following abstracts include fingerprints and an iris browse getting acclimated for the aboriginal time wherever in the planet.

 

Yamuna raises its bar, causes menace:

The baptize akin in the river rose to 206.70 accent recently, 1.87 accent aloft the crisis mark of 204.83 accent and is acceptable to go up added as neighboring Haryana would absolution added water in the river, a chief official of the flood ascendancy administration said. Waters from the flood reached into vicinities like of the local areas as well (Yamuna and Sonia Vihar, Usmanpur, Jaitpur are a few). A large number of localities that reside in the areas forth the banks of the river were apparent lined up on the footpaths on the ITO arch with whatsoever they had of their possessions. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had on Friday requested the inhibiters not to get into agitation and said all basic measures are getting put into abode to accommodated any possible occurrence. Over 100 cadre from National Disaster Response Force, were soon deployed to abetment the bounded authorities. The ascent Yamuna has affected the Northern Railways to abolish 25 trains and absent 36 others. The cancelled train were prominent ones (Kalka and Brahamaputra Mail, Shalimar, A.A. and G.N. Express, etc). The 90 trains that have to be detoured included the most heavily commuted ones and this has disrupted the life of the general public paralyzing their usual movements, a Northern Railway spokesmen stated.

 

A.N. Tiwari is new Chief Information Commissioner

Information Comm A N Tiwari has been appointed as the new Chief Information Comm to succeed incumbent Wajahat Habibullah whose five-year term as head of the transparency panel ended.

A 1969-batch IAS officer who was also a former Secretary of Department of Personnel and Training, official sources said.

Tiwari, who joined the Central Information Commission on 26thDecember 2005 will have a tenure of three months as his five-year term will end in December this year.

According to the RTI Act, “where the Information Commissioner is appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner, his term of office shall not be more than five years in aggregate as the Information Commissioner and the Chief Information Commissioner“.

In one of the path-breaking decisions, Tiwari as Information Commissioner brought the Income Tax returns of political parties under public scrutiny.

The Chief Information Commissioner is chosen by a committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition and a minister of the Union Cabinet.

 

Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowships, awards given

Veteran actor Shriram Lagoo, danseuse Yamini Krishnamurti and classical music exponent Kishori Amonkar were among a host of artistes honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowships and awards for the year 2009 by President Pratibha Patil.

Six eminent personalities were conferred Akademi Fellowships for 2009 and 33 artistes received the Akademi Awards.

The highest honour of Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna) was conferred on Lalgudi Jayaraman, Shreeram Lagoo, Yamini Krishnamurti, Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi and Kishori Amonkar.

They received Rs three lakh besides a citation and a shawl.

Presently, there are only 32 living Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

The eminent representatives from the fields of music, dance and theatre honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2009 received Rs one lakh.

 

Lights, Camera and Applause:

The 57th Edition of the National Film Award ceremony was concluded for the year 2009 in the month of September. The awards were given away in three groups namely, finest Feature Motion Picture Class led by Chairpersonship of Mr. Sippy, Non Feature Motion Picture Group led by Chairpersonship of Mr. Pandey, and Script on Movies beneath the Chairpersonship of Mr. S. Bandhopadhyay.

The following were the recipients of a few awards in various nominations:

Motion Picture: Malayalam flick – KuttySrank

I.G.A. for the Best first appearance movie : Hindi movie – Lahore for the Direction

Box office blockbuster (widespread entertainment): Hindi – 3 Idiots

N.D.A. for the Best motion picture on Patriotic Spirit: Hindi – Delhi 6

Best motion picture on Society’s Matters: Bollywood – Well Done Abba

Motion Picture for Kids: Tied between Keshu (Malayalam) and Putaani Party (Kannada)

Direction: Rituparno Ghosh for Abohoman

Actor: Amitabh Bachcha for Auro’s role

Actress: Ananya Chatterjee

Child’s Performance: Tollywood’s Pasanga

Male Singer: Rupam Islam in Bengali

Female Singer: Neelanjana Sarkar in Bengali

 

Sehwag is now ICC brand ambassador for 2010-11

Explosive Indian batsman Virender Sehwag is one of the four current leading cricketers, who have been chosen by the International Cricket Council as its ambassadors for year 2010-2011.

In all, the ICC has chosen five ambassadors, including Australian umpire Simon Taufel, for one-year period during which its flagship event ODI World Cup will be held jointly by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, England’s World Twenty20 winning captain Paul Collingwood, Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke are the other ambassadors.

For Sangakkara and Taufel, it is the third successive time that they have been appointed as ICC Ambassadors since the programme was launched in 2008 while Collingwood, Clarke and Sehwag have been appointed for the first time.

Previous ICC Ambassadors include Rahul David of India, JP Duminy of South Africa, Charlotte Edwards of England and Lisa Sthalekar of Australia.

 

1150 international athletes, officials to land in Delhi

Sporting power houses Australia and England will have their second batch of athletes and officials checking in among the 1150 who are set to land in New Delhi for the October 3 to 14 Commonwealth Games.

The Australian contingent is the largest one to arrive in New Delhi with their 146 member team comprising swimmers, table tennis, athletics, tennis and badminton players.

England’s contingent is the second largest with 97 athletes followed by Singapore with 75.

Pakistan’s squad of 58 athletes will have participants for hockey, squash, tennis, weightlifting, wrestling and boxing.

Among the other large contingents arriving are those ofBarbados (57), New Zealand (49), Maldives (43), Scotland(42), Seychelles (37) and Zambia (28), the CWG Organising Committee said in a statement.

 

Reliance Capital plans to enter banking

Reliance Capital plans to enter the banking sector once the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is ready with its final guidelines for new banking licence.

“We have always regarded banking as a high-priority sector with huge potential, and are evaluating different options contained in theguidelines,” said Anil Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Capital, while addressing the 24th annual meeting of the company here on 28th September, 2010.

Reliance Capital is the financial services arm of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG).

The company also reiterated its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) for Reliance Life, part of Reliance Capital, in 2011 depending on the finalisation of guidelines by the regulator, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). The IRDA is now at an advanced stage of finalizing the guidelines for the listing of life insurance companies.

 

4 Indians in US billionaires rich list

Four Indian-Americans are among Forbes 400 Richest People in America, a list topped by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The Indians who made the cut include Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla, outsourcing firm Syntel’s founder Bharat Desai, venture capitalist Kavitark Ram Shriram and software king Romesh Wadhwani.

While Desai ranks 252 with a net worth of $1.6 billion, Khosla occupies the 308th spot in the list with fortunes worth $1.3 billion. Shriram is at 288 with assets worth $1.45 billion and Wadhwani 290 with a total valuation of $1.4 billion.

The list is topped by Gates, who is the richest man in America for the 17th year in a row, with a net worth of $54 billion.

Forbes said the net worth of its rich list climbed 8 per cent this year to $1.4 trillion compared to $1.27 trillion last year.

 

Anil Ambani to buy stake in India commodity bourse

India’s market regulator has approved a proposal by billionaire Anil Ambani‘s group to buy a 26 per cent stake in a local commodities exchange, the Economic Times newspaper reaported on Saturday. The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group will buy the stake from Indiabulls Financial Services in the Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX), jointly founded by Indiabulls and trading giant MMTC.

The Anil Ambani group controls India’s No.2 telecom firm Reliance Communications and financial services firm Reliance Capital.

 

Peepli Live is India’s official entry for Oscars

Aamir Khan’s “Peepli Live”, a satire on media’s trivialisation of farmers’ suicide, has been selected as India’s official entry at the next year’s Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category.

“Peepli Live has been selected as India’s official entry for the Oscars out of 27 films,” Supran Sen, secretary general of the Film Federation of India said.

Written and directed by debutant Anusha Rizvi, the small budget film stars theatre actors and was shot in a small village in Madhya Pradesh.

“ Peepli Live is a reflection of India’s culture and ethos, even as it highlights the burning problem — farmer suicides.”

This is third time lucky for Aamir Khan Production as the actor’s previous films “Lagaan” (2001) and “Taare Zameen Par” (2007) were also selected to represent India at the Academy awards.

“Laagan”, which saw Aamir playing a farmer in British Raj, was shortlisted in a category of five but lost to Bosnian war film “No Man’s Land”.

 

‘World Statesman Award’ for PM Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been honoured with the 2010 ‘World Statesman Award’ by a US-based interfaith coalition for his commitment to democracy, freedom, human rights and peace in the service of humanity.

77-year-old Singh was awarded in absentia by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and Indian Ambassador to the US, Meera Shankar, accepted the award on behalf of the Prime Minister at a glittering ceremony here.

 

Railways to use five-digit numbering system for passenger trains

Indian railways will replace the existing four digit numbering system for passenger trains by a Five-digit system. Ministry of Railways in an official release stated that the five digit numbering scheme has become necessary in view of the four digit numbering system having got exhausted as the railways run more than ten thousandtrains everyday. Only a prefix of numeral “1″ will be added to the four digit numbers of the existing trains to make the transition smooth and simple.

The new numbering system will enable scientific and logical numbering of all trains on nationwide basis which was earlier confined to express trains only. The new system will come into effect from 20th December this year.

 

Manmohan welcomes new Oxford centre

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has welcomed the establishment of what is claimed to be Europe’s first major school of government at Oxford University, his alma mater.

  • The Blavatnik School of Government, funded with a £75 million donation from Russian-American industrialist and philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik, would train outstanding graduates from across the world in skills and responsibilities of government

  • The school will support over 40 academic posts at Oxford.

  • It will also draw on the teaching skills of a range of world leaders in education, business and government.

  • The first students will start in 2012 and student numbers will increase to approximately 120 within the next few years.

‘Global outlook’

“This global outlook will reflect the strongly international character of Oxford’s graduate community, two-thirds of whose number are from overseas. It will provide a highly practical series of courses, leading to a Master’s degree, with a unique balance of the humanities, social sciences, law, science, technology, health, finance, energy and security policy.”

 

Sensex hits 20000-mark

Upbeat foreign investors on 21st September, 2010, pushed the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index, Sensex, above the 20000-mark for the first time in 32 months, as they bet on companies that are driving the India growth story.

The barometer closed 95.45 points up at 20001.55, its best closing since January 15, 2008, when the index ended at 20251.09.

Similarly, the 50-share National Stock Exchange benchmark index Nifty breached the psychological 6000-mark and ended at 6009.05, up 28.60 points

Analysts said the rally in Indian market was propelled by strong inflows from overseas fund houses, which have made a net investment of over Rs.71, 000 crore in domestic stocks so far this year.

The continuing positive macroeconomic news from the domestic front is boosting the investor sentiment. The economy seems capable of registering a nine per cent annual growth rate and possibly moving on to an even higher trajectory.

 

Railways to honour Sushil

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee announced her decision to honour Railwayswrestler Sushil Kumar for his gold medal performance in World wrestling championship in Moscow by rewarding him with a purse of Rs. 10 lakh.

The Railway Minister said that Sushil would receive other awards too. Mamata complimented him for his spirit, drive and dedication and said that his victory was a victory for the ‘Rail parivar’ and dedication to the nation.

Sushil is posted as an Assistant Commercial Manager with the Northern Railway and is the third railwayman to secure a podium finish at the World wrestling championships after Bishambar Singh and Ramesh Kumar secured a silver and bronze in 1967 and 2009 respectively.

 

Sushil Kumar creates history, wins gold at World Championship

Sushil Kumar made history by becoming the first Indian to win a World wrestling championship gold medal when he overpowered home favourite Alan Gogaev to win the 66kg freestyle title in Moscow.The exciting 3-1 victory in the title-bout also made Sushil the first Indian grappler to bag Olympic and World championship medals. The 27-year-old already holds the Asian and Commonwealth titles.On his way to the final, Sushil convincingly defeated Anastasios Akritidis of Greece (6-0), Martin Sebastian Daum of Germany (4-1) and Batzorig Buyanjar of Mongolia (9-1) before rallying to beat reigning European champion Jabrayil Hasanov of Azerbaijan (4-3).

 

Saraswat: Agni-V will be test-fired in 2011

The three-stage missile will have a range of 5,000 kmDRDO working on next version of BrahMosAgni-V, the inter-continental ballistic missile being developed in India, will be test-fired in 2011,“Agni-V should be ready to be test-fired anytime next year. It is an intermediate-range ballistic missile,”Agni-V will be a three-stage solid fuelled missile that will carry a conventional nuclear warhead. It will reportedly have a range of more than 5,000 km. It will be a canisterisedmissile, providing it flexibility, to be launched from multiple platforms on land and sea.“Over the past 15 years, the successful launches of the Prithvi, Agni and BrahMos missiles have proved that the country’s missile programme has reached a mature level,

 

Free LPG connections for BPL families planned

The Centre is all set to launch a scheme of granting domestic LPG connections free of cost to the below poverty line (BPL) families.

The scheme, covering around 35 lakh families every year, is likely to be launched on October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti). The initiative was taken by Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Jitin Prasada.

Now, a consumer has to pay Rs. 1,250 as security deposit for getting an LPG connection and Rs. 150 for a pressure regulator. To get over the cost issue, the government will provide for subsidisation of the entire amount.

About 5.5 crore new LPG connections are proposed to be released till 2015 to touch the figure of 16 crore customers, with most connections being released in rural areas.

 

IIT soon to have foreign students & faculty

The Indian Institutes of Technology will soon have foreign students as well as faculty. Union Human resource Devolpment Minister Kapil Sibal while talking to reporters after meeting of the Council of IITs, the decisions are being taken to bring IITs at par with the international institutes .These institutes will be conducting medical courses.the number of foreign students will be limited to 25 percent and only for the post graduate coursesThetotal number of foreign faculty will be capped at 10 percent. The minister also informed that these admissions will not affect the present number of Indian students in the institutes. In another major decision, the minister said that medicine and medical research will be added to the field of IITs

 

Filmmaker D Ramanaidu gets Dada Saheb Phalke award

Movie moghul D Ramanaidu, a veteran producer with 130 films in a dozen languages in five decades, has been conferred the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award for 2009 for rendering outstanding contribution to the world of Indian cinema.

74-year-old Ramanaidu, the legendary and prolific film maker from Andhra Pradesh who has worked with a galaxy of actors, will be presented the honour during the National Films Award function scheduled to be held in October

The award consists of a ‘Swarn Kamal’, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl.

Over the last 47 years, he has produced over 130 films in several Indian languages and has found a mention in the Guinness Book of Records.

His film, “Surigadu” was selected for the Indian Panorama in 1993. “Asukh”, a Bengali film, won the National Award for the Best Film in 1999.

 

India ranks 77 in best countries for business

Despite the second highest growth in the world among major economies in 2009, India ranks 77 in Forbes Best Countries for Business list even as the US dropped from No. 2 to No. 9.

“India is developing into an open-market economy, yet traces of its past autarkic policies remain,” noted the US business magazine placing India ahead of Sri Lanka (83), China (90) and Pakistan (92) in its fifth annual ranking of 128 economies.

“Economic liberalization, including reduced controls on foreign trade and investment, began in the early 1990s and has served to accelerate the country’s growth, which has averaged more than 7 percent per year since 1997,” it said.

With the US economy teetering on the edge of a double-dip recession, business climate for entrepreneurs and investors in the US is starting to lag behind other countries’, Forbes said noting its fall from No. 2 to No. 9 in its annual ranking.

The ranking is based on 11 categories, including property rights, technology, corruption, red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.

 

Government to Strengthen Public Distribution System

The Union government has decided to release an extra 2.5 million tonnes of wheat and rice into the Public Distribution System (PDS) over the next six months in its bid to ensure food security, amid escalating inflationary trends.

The minister of agriculture, Mr. Sharad Pawar, at the end of a meeting of the Empowered Groups of Ministers (eGoM) which examined different dimensions of the proposed National Food Security Act, said that the additional stock will be released into the system at the price fixed for people Below the Poverty Line (BPL).

The government is currently taking stock to study the feasibility of implementing the proposed National Food Security Act, which is being backed by the National Advisory Council (NAC), to provide 35 kg wheat or rice to the BPL families every month at Rs. 3 per kg.

Under the Bill, if the Centre cannot meet the quota of food grain for every state in a given year, it would have to compensate the shortfall in cash. Theagriculture ministry is worried about the prohibitive costs that an expanded net of beneficiaries would entail, since according to estimates prepared by the Planning Commission, there are currently 6.52 crore families registered under the BPL category.

But despite of the government having 55 million tons of food stocks in its warehouses, with over 11,708 tons found damaged in various go-downs in July this year.

 

India is still a Poor Country: Various Reports!!

The expert group headed by Dr. Suresh Tendulkar, former chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, estimated that 37.2 per cent of Indians live below poverty line (BPL), 10 per cent higher than earlier estimated by the Planning Commission.

According to this estimate, 41.8 per cent of rural population lived on a monthly per capita expenditure of Rs. 447. In urban areas, the BPL population was 25.7 per cent, living on a per capita expenditure of Rs. 578.80; the figures are of 2004-05, drawn from the latest available major National Sample Survey (NSS) round.

Experts called it as ‘Starvation Line’ instead of poverty line. It is also evident that poverty in rural areas in much more acute; it is as high as 57.2 per cent in Orissa, 55.7 per cent in Bihar and 53.6 per cent in Madhya Pradesh.

Now, a new Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) worked out by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Oxford University in July this year, which will be incorporated in the forthcoming Human Development Report, shows that we are poorer than we thought. Even in countries with strong economic growth, the MPI analysis reveals the persistence of acutepoverty, as poverty is more than an economic phenomenon based on income levels.

This composite indicator of the New Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) takes into account the following ten markers of education, health and standard of living, child enrolment and years of schooling (education), child mortality and nutrition (health), Electricity, flooring, drinking water, sanitation, cooking fuel and assets (standard of living).

Going by these indicators about 645 million people, or 55 per cent of India’s population, are poor. Thus this research suggests that as compared with the 410 million multi-dimensionally poor people residing in 26 of the poorest African countries, there are as many as 421 million such poor in just eight of the poorest Indian States (Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal).

If we look at an important indicator such as the proportion of malnourished children, there seems to be virtually no improvement here over the years – 46 per cent in 2005-06 as compared with 47 per cent in 1998-99. Even with safe drinking water and sanitation, the situation remains hugely disappointing.

A study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) shows that the top 20 per cent of India’s population had 53.2 per cent share of the national income in 2009-10, up from 36.7 per cent in 1993-94. The bottom 60 per cent had a mere 27.9 per cent share in total income in 2009-10, down from 38.6 per cent at the start of the reform process.

 

Hindi is gaining popularity over Sanskrit among Germans

Hindi is gaining popularity among Germans over the once popular Sanskrit, with more and more of them preferring India‘s national language as the best medium of communication with a large section of the Asian community.

“Hindi and Sanskrit are being taught in several cities of Germany, including universities in Heidelberg, Leipzig, Humboldt and Bonn, for a few decades now. But off late, there has been a reduction in the number of those wanting to study Sanskrit.”

Germany has a tradition of teaching Hindi and Sanskrit, but the latter gained popularity ever since English philologist William Jones translated Kalidas’ much-celebrated play Abhijnanasakuntalam in 1789.

 

India could become the Largest Security Market

India could emerge as one of the largest markets for security systems in the next ten years, as per a report released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and KPMG.

The Assocham-KPMG report ‘Homeland Security in India’ predicts that by 2020, India, along with Britain, Germany and France, might outgrow the United States, which presently enjoys a 34% of the market share in this field. It predicts that UAE is expected to exhibit the fastest market growth in this sector, driven by a combination of economic growth along with increasing threats of terrorism faced by it.

As per current estimates homeland security expenditure projection as a percentage of global spending in case of India is 3.6%, France 3.4%, Germany 3.7%, Saudi Arabia 4.5%, UK 3.9%, China 5.2%, USA 33.3% as against 43% of other countries.

The report further notes that in the wake of India opening up its nuclear sector, nuclear market requirements will be extremely critical and India will have to spend a great deal to keep its nuclear installations completely fool-proof against all possible security threats.

 

Sachin becomes IAF’s honorary Group Captain

Senior Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar was on conferred with the Indian Air Force’s honorary rank of Group Captain to honour his cricketing achievements and contribution to the nation.

Tendulkar is the first sportsperson to be conferred a rank by IAF and the first personality with no aviation background to receive the honour.

In 2008, India’s World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev had received the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel of the Territorial Army.

The 37-year-old Tendulkar was inducted into the Air Force as its brand ambassador with IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik doing the honours in a glittering ceremony at the Air Force auditorium in New Delhi

 

‘Go India, Go for gold’ campaign launched

With 29 days to go for the Commonwealth Games, the organising committee launched a campaign to spread awareness about the mega event and muster support for the Indian sportspersons.

Under the campaign titled – ‘Go India! Go for Gold’ the OC in collaboration with HT Media and Muthoot Pappachan group will collect about one lakh hand imprints from citizens as a gesture of ‘high five’ in support of the Indian teams.

In the three-week campaign, canvases will be put up at various colleges, schools, markets, malls, and offices and it will culminate in a march on an undecided venue.

During that march, the canvases will put up on both sides of the road to form a wall, stretching up to 4-6 kms.

 

3G revenue is Rs.106000 crores for Govt.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has allotted 3G spectrum for commercial use on 1st September as per the timelines indicated in the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) and in the Letter of Intent issued after the bid amounts were deposited.

The 3G spectrum has been allotted to AirTel, Aircel, Vodafone, S Tel, Reliance, Idea Cellular and Tata Cellular Services who won the bids through the electronic auction conducted by the DoT spread over a period of 34 days in respect of 3G and 16 days in respect of BWA. The BWA spectrum has already been assigned to the successful bidders’ which are Aircel, Augere, Tikona, Qualcomm, Infotel and Bharti.

3G & BWA spectrum would enable users to have value added services like video streaming, mobile internet access, higher & faster data downloads. These services are expected to be launched early next year by the service providers.

The electronic auction conducted for 3G & BWA spectrum, the first of its kind in the country, has been historic in terms of its success.

 

Auto Sales Grow at 38%

The Indian auto market is amongst the fastest growing in the world. World famous automobile companies have been entering the market with India-specific products, much to the joy of customers.

The recent data shows that as the global economy emerges out of recession, the automobile sector in India has emerged to be amongst the best performing in the world. Market experts believe that auto manufacturing companies are betting big on India because of the massive growth potential in the economy, which is driving investments in the sector.

In July this year, compared to the same period last year, the Indian automobile industry has seen a growth of 38%, which is even more than that of China, the world’s largest car market. Significantly, the rise in sales is of commercial as well as private vehicles.

The benefits of such expanding interest in a particular sector find extension across the economy as increased foreign investment boosts real estate and strengthens its foreign exchange reserves, while expanding employment opportunities for its citizens.




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