· The facility to maintain and train pilots for the MiG 29 K frontline fighter aircraft was inaugurated at the INS Hansa naval base in Goa by Vice-Admiral J.J. Bedi, Commander-in-Chief, Western Naval command.
· The Energy and Resources Institute and the Indian Mountaineering Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding to study, preserve and safeguard the Himalayan glaciers under the National Mission of Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system.
· The Government of India observed April 21 as Civil Service Day, presenting an occasion for civil servants to rededicate themselves to the cause of citizens and renew their commitment to public service and excellence.
May-2009 National Affairs
* UPA won the General Elections. It secured 263 seats out of 543. Congress secured 206 seats, Trinamool congress-19, DMK-18, NCP-9, National Conference -3, JMM-2 and AIMIM-1 among UPA.
* Naveen Patnaik sworn as the CM of Orissa for the 3rd time as Biju Janata Dal (BJD) secured a clear majority in the elections.
*The President of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), Pawan Kumar Chamling sworn as the CM of Sikkim for the 4th time.
*Meghalaya chief minister DD Lapang heading the Congress-led coalition United Meghalaya Alliance won the trust vote.
* Cyclone Aila has hit West Bengal and Orissa which brought heavy rains and nearly 60 people were dead.
* Sabitha Indra Reddy sworn as India’s 1st woman Home Minister of Andhra Pradesh
June-2009 National Affairs
* Prof Yashpal and his committee members submitted final report to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). They have suggested the scrapping of all higher education regulatory/monitoring bodies and creation of a super regulator: a seven-member Commission for Higher Education and Research (CHER).
They also recommended that the deemed university status be abandoned and that all deserving deemed varsities be either converted full-fledged universities or scrapped and a GRE like test be evolved for university education.
* Ramesh Pokhariyal is the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.
*Centre bans CPI (Maoist) : The Centre banned the Communist Party of India (Maoist), terming it a terrorist organization. It invoked Section 41 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the extremist outfit.
The CPI (Maoist) came into existence following the merger of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), the People’s War Group (PWG) and the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC).
* Liberhan Commission submitted report to the Prime Minister : The Justice Liberhan Commission, which probed the sequence of events that led to the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, submitted its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
* Inflation turns negative for first time since 1977-78 :
The annual rate of inflation (wholesale price index) turned negative and stood at -1.61 % for the week ended 6 June 2009.
*AP Govt. handed over Environment Protection Training & Research Institute (EPTRI) to the Centre.
* HRD Minister Kapil Sibal launched anti ragging helpline in New Delhi. The toll free number of this helpline is 1800-180-5522, and the e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. The other toll-free number 155222 is under implementation.
*Sukhoi 30 inducted into Air Force at Tezpur :
Super fast Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft has been inducted in the Tezpur Air Force Station of Assam. Initially, four aircrafts were introduced in the Air Force Station at a simple function.
July-2009 National Affairs
*Actress Nandita Das has been appointed chairperson of the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI).
* Nandan Nilakeni took over as the head of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIAI). Ramsevak Sarma took over as CEO of UIAI.
*The solar eclipse of 22 July 2009 was the longest total solar eclipse during the 21st century. This will take place again in 2132.Totality lasted for up to 6 minutes and 39 seconds, with the maximum eclipse occurring in the Pacific ocean at 02:35:21 about 100 km south of the Bonin Islands, southeast of Japan. In Gujarat, it lasted for 6 min and 30 seconds.
Mohanlal, an actor was conferred the honorary title of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army (TA), a citizen’s force of the Indian army.
* The deepest sea port at Ganagvaram was opened which is 20meters deep 1km from the sea coast.
*Two NSG centers were started at Mumbai and Hyderabad.
August-2009 National Affairs
* The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has set to make the Class X board examination optional for students who will continue in the same school for the senior secondary level.
* Cabinet has approved 50% reservation for women in Panchayat Raj Institutions. The center shall amend Article 243(d) to implement the reservation.
* India’s largest ICT event e-India 2009 was held at Hyderabad International Convention Center.
* AP Assembly has adopted a resolution urging the center to give SC status to Dalit Christians.
* Oil production was started in Cairn India’s on-land Mangala oilfield, Barmer, Rajasthan. This is the country’s biggest oil find.
* Law Commissions chairperson Justice AR Lakshmanan submitted 234th report to law minister Veerappa Moily.
o The Law Commission has framed a set of drastic recommendations to deal with rash and negligent driving, including increasing punishment from two years in jail to 10 as well as making the offence non-bailable.
o The Commission has suggested to amend Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code.
o It recommended inserting a provision in the Motor Vehicles Act for confiscation of vehicles fitted with LPG cylinders meant for home kitchen and arrest and prosecution of owners/drivers of such vehicles.
* A special cell to deal with the issues of women married to non resident Indians (NRI) will be formally established on August 27. The Commission chairperson Girija Vyas told that the NRI cell will function under the National Commission for Women (NCW).
* The Center has banned the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC). A new council will be formed in place of DGHC.
* AP Govt. has extended the ban on Maoists for a year from August 17th, 2009 to August 16th, 2010.
* 227th Law Commission Report:
The Law Commission has recommended amendments to the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) and other personal laws to the effect that a person whose marriage is governed by such legislation cannot marry again even after changing religion unless the first marriage is dissolved or declared null and void. The Commission was headed by Justice A.R. Lakshmanan. It also suggested that amendments be made in the Criminal Procedure Code to make bigamy a cognizable offence.
* Parliament has cleared ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2009’ which envisages free and compulsory education to children in the 6-14 age group with the Lok Sabha approving it by voice vote.
* Thiruvavalluvar’s statue was unveiled in Bangalore by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi after a period of 18 years it was put on.
* President Pratibha Patil inaugurated Armed Forces Tribunal
An exclusive court for members of the Army, Navy and Air Force, Armed Forces Tribunal, was established by the President.
The keenly awaited AFT will provide a judicial forum for redressal of grievances among the 1.5 million military personnel and over 2 million ex-servicemen.
September 2009 National Affairs
* The Cabinet has decided to release an additional installment of DA to Central government employees and dearness relief to pensioners… representing an increase of 5 per cent over the existing rate of 22 per cent of the basic pay/pension to compensate for price rise.
On the International Literacy day (September 8th), the Prime Minister launched National Mission for Female Literacy (Sakshar Bharat Mission). The mission’s aim is to make 70 million people ( 60 million of them women ) functionally literate by 2012 and reduce the gender gap .The center and state governments will contribute in the ratio of 75:25 respectively for this programme.
* Venkateswara Ayurveda Nilayam Limited secured a patent for its anti-diabetic herbo mineral composition VK4 DIACON and the process of preparing it, for a period of 20 years with effect from December 12, 2005 in accordance with Patents Act, 1970. It’s chairman is D V Sriramamurthy.
* Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy died in a chopper accident on September 2nd and Rosaish sworn as the new Chief Minister.
* The Executive Board of UNESCO has approved India’s proposal to set up a Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development as UNESCO Category I Institute at Delhi. This would be the first Category-I Institute of Unesco to be established in the Asia Pacific region.
* The Tirupati Tirumala Devastanam’s Laddu got its Geographical Indication patent rights.
* Operation Green Hunt was started in South Bastar of Chhattisgarh from September 17th. State Police and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) participated in the operation.
October 2009 National Affairs
* According to Registrar General of India, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) for the year 2008 was 53 per 1000 infants which were 57 per 1000 in 2006. The least IMR was in Kerala – 16 per 1000.
* The highest broad-gauge railway line from Anantnag to Kajigund in Kashmir was started by the Prime Minister. It was built on an altitude of 1772m.
* The Election Commission has recognised Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena as a State party in Maharashtra and will allot a permanent election symbol of the party’s choice.
* India has declared itself free from the Avian Influenza (H5N1). The notification was issued to the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) on October 22. A country can declare itself free from birdflu, if there is no outbreak for three months. With the declaration, the country can hope to revive its poultry trade.
India notified the outbreak of Avian Influenza (H5N1) in Assam (18 epicentres), West Bengal (11) and Sikkim (1) between November 2008 and May 2009.
* Indian Pilgrims were advised not to visit Pakistan as the country is witnessing terror attacks regularly.
* Pranab Mukherjee started National Skill Development Corporation in New Delhi. It’s a public private partnership organization which aims to develop skills for 30% people by 2022.
* Congress and NCP alliance has won in the general assembly elections of Maharashtra. Asok Chavan was elected as the Chief Minister. Congress won 82 seats, NCP -62 and BJP and Sivasena – 90 out of 268 seats.
In Haryana, Congress won 40 seats, Indian National Lokda(INLD) – 31 and BJP – 4. Bhupinder Singh Hooda was re-elected as the CM.
In Arunachal Pradesh too Congress stood out as the single major party. Dorjee Khandu was re-elected as the CM.
* Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests (MoEF) would jointly initiate “National Institute for Research on Climate and Environment” in Bangalore. The institute would use space-based and ground-based observation systems to create an indigenous “nucleus” for research into all issues relating to climate, including the impact of climate change on aspects of the economy such as agriculture and water.
* Two satellites would be launched between 2010 and 2011 to measure and monitor greenhouse gases. While a micro-satellite would be launched in 2010 to study aerosols, another dedicated satellite in 2011 would monitor greenhouse gases such as methane and trace gases.
* Vice-President Mohammed Hamid Ansari released a book, ‘Unleashing India, Water: Elixir of Life’ authored by Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily, which makes a strong case for a changeover from the existing conventional method of flow or flood irrigation to total coverage under drip and sprinkler methods. Mr Moily dedicated the book to former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy.
* 2010 was declared as the year of Tigers. ‘The Year of the Tiger’ will start on February 14th at Corbett National Park.
* The Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) has appointed Abdul Rahman as special Ambassador to Kashmir.
* On the eve of 50th anniversary of Panchayat Raj system, 2009-10 was declared as the year of “Gramasabha”. The NREG Act was renamed as Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
* Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were affected with severe floods.
* The Centre has declared dolphins a national aquatic animal in order to save the rare freshwater species from disappearing from the country’s aqua map.
.:: November 2009 National Affairs ::.
* The Union Public Service Commission has recommended to the government that a Civil Services Aptitude test replace the existing Civil Services (Preliminary) examination.
* Cyclone Phyan has hit Maharashtra and caused massive damage to the coastal districts.
* The Shipping Ministry has decided to set up a broad-based committee, comprising various agencies, for sharing information on traffic, port and issues related to ship and coastal security. The Committee will comprise the Ministry of Shipping, the Navy, Coast Guard, State police, Customs, members of State maritime boards and the maritime State concerned.
* The Union Cabinet has directed the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to make it mandatory for all oil marketing companies to sell petrol mixed with 5 per cent of ethanol.
* India announced that issuance of paper visas stapled to passports by the Embassy of China and its consulates in India would not be considered valid for travel out of the country.
* Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a report revealing that telephone users reached 50.93crore by the end of September 30th. Broadband users reached 7.7million, telephone users were 43.50% and Mobile phone users were 40.31%.
* Home Ministry banned the use of prepaid mobile connections in Jammu and Kashmir on security grounds.
* India has 25lakh cancer patients and one million new cases are diagnosed across the country every year. In Andhra Pradesh alone, nearly 3 lakh people suffer from the many forms of the disease. These figures were disclosed at a programme to mark National Cancer Awareness Day.
* The government will introduce Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b) pentavalent (five-in-one) vaccine in the routine immunisation programme from next year. It will replace the DPT and Hepatitis ‘B’ vaccines. The Hib vaccine will initially be introduced in 10 States that have an immunisation coverage of more than 80 per cent
* A special postage stamp in recognition of the contribution of Apollo Hospitals towards Indian healthcare was released by Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology A. Raja.
* Twenty-one judges of the Supreme Court, including Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, have declared their assets, giving details of movable and immovable property owned by them and their spouses in the Supreme Court website.
* Actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been appointed first Goodwill Ambassador of the ‘Smile Train,’ an international charity that provides free cleft lip and palate surgery to children in need.
* 62nd World Newspaper Congress and other annual events of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) have started in Hyderabad. Apart from the Congress, the 16th World Editors’ Forum and Info Services Expo-2009 are being organised at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre.
* Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference has been hosted in Chennai.
* The President, Pratibha Patil took off in Sukhoy-30 at an altitude of 8000m from Pune for half an hour.
* Unit 5 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project, a 220 MW pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR), started power generation at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan. With this, number of reactors in India are 18. The total atomic power capacity has reached 4330MW.
* South Indian Telugu film Sankarabharanam and Malayalam film Bhoothakkannady were screened at International Film Festival of India (IFFI) that was started in Goa.
* Acting on the letter written by the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court, the AP State government decided to suspend mining operations, including transportation of already mined material, in six iron ore mines in Anantapur district.
* According Liberhan Commission report, the demolition of the Babri Masjid was planned, systematic, and was the intended outcome of a climate of communal intolerance deliberately created by the Sangh Parivar and its sister affiliates, including the Bharatiya Janata Party. Report has indicted Advani, Joshi and Vajpayee.
* The Centre on Monday launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. It is one of the eight key missions of the National Action Plan on Climate Change and aimed at ensuring long-term energy security as well as ecological security.
* The mission recommends implementation in three stages leading up to an installed capacity of 20,000 MW by the end of the 13th Plan in 2022.
* 16th International Children’s Film Festival started at Hyderabad on November 14th. 70 movies from different countries were screened at the film festival.
December 2009 National Affairs
* A high-level task force for the information technology (IT) industry has recommended constitution of ‘National Electronic Mission’, a nodal agency for the electronics industry within the Department of Information Technology (DIT) with direct interface to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
* The report envisions a $140-billion electronics and $105-billion software and services industry by 2014. It is headed by Chairman and CEO of HCL infosystems.
* India has announced that it would reduce carbon emission intensity by 20-25% by 2020 on the 2005 levels through a number of policy measures that will include mandatory fuel efficiency standards for all vehicles by 2011, a model building code recommending to states and municipalities to shift to green buildings, amending the Energy Conservation Act to introduce the concept of an energy certificate for incentivizing energy efficiency in industry, regular reporting to Parliament on state of forests, and ensuring 50% of new thermal capacity are based on clean coal.
* Gujarat Government moved the controversial “The Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009″, the State Assembly which will make voting compulsory in all local body elections of the state. Women Reservation was also raised to 50% from 33%.
* Government said it will examine the report of Rangnath Mishra Commission that recommended 10 per cent reservation for Muslims and five per cent for other minorities.
* The Rajya Sabha approved the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2009 which was passed by the Lok Sabha. The Bill repeals and replaces the Competition (Amendment) Ordinance, 2009. The Bill provides for transfer of anti-competition cases pending before the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) to an appellate tribunal. With this, the commission would cease to exist, two years ahead of its scheduled closure.
* The Rajya Sabha approved re-naming the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGREGA).
* Indian National Congress established in 28 December 1885 in The Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit Mahavidyalays at Mumbai. Mr. VyomeshChandra Bannerji was 1st President of Indian national Congress and Mr. Allen Hume was the secretary. Now Indian Congress completed its 125 year of establishment.
* Shibu Soren will be sworn in as the CM of Jharkhand on December 30. Supporting Soren were 18 of his own party MLAs, 18 of BJP, two of JDU, five of AJSU and one of Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch (JMM).
* President Pratibha Patil sailed in INS Viraat in Mumbai for 3 hours.
* 92nd annual conference of the Indian Economic Association was held at Bhubaneswar.
January 2010 National Affairs
* There were atleast 199,132 farmer suicides between 1997-2008, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The share of the Big 5 states or ‘suicide belt’ in 2008- Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh remained very high at 10,797 or 66.6 percent of the total farm suicides in the country. Maharashtra remains the worst state in the nation for farm suicides.
* The brightest and biggest full moon of 2010 will be seen on Saturday. It will be around 15 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than other full moons during the year.
* The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the National Tobacco Control Programme to facilitate the implementation of tobacco control laws and to bring about greater awareness of tobacco’s harmful effects. The programme will be implemented in the remaining years of XI plan in 42 districts of the 21 states within the National Rural Health Mission framework with financial outlay of Rs. 182 crore, from 2010 – 2011.
* The 16th Edition of the Partnership Summit 2010 was held in Chennai, organised by the confederation of Indian Industry.
* The Environment Ministers meeting of the BASIC Countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) was held in New Delhi.
* A currency issued by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Bank of Independence has been made public in Bhopal on the eve of his 103rd birth anniversary.
* The Andhra Pradesh government signed three agreements with the world bank to receive loan assistance of Rs 3, 720 crore to fund three projects taken up at a cost of Rs 5699 crore to develop roads, provide safe drinking water and improve infrastructure in urban areas. This is the largest loan amount availed of from the bank in recent times, as the bank’s share for the Rs. 4,444 – Crore Nagarjuna Sagar modernization project is only Rs. 2,500 crore.
* Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari Constituted a three – member committee headed by supreme court judge V.S. Sirpurkar, that will investigate the grounds for impeachment of karnataka chief – Justice P.D.Dinakaran whose removal from office has been sought jointly by 75 Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha on corruption and land – grabbing charges. Justice A.R.Dave, cheif Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High court and eminent Jurist P.P.Rao are the other members of the panel.
* President Pratibha Patil released a commemorative postage stamp at a function to mark the platinum jubilee celebration of the Reserve Bank of India.
* The Andhra Pradesh Government unveiled a Rs. 10 crore plan to develop Kondaveedu fort as a major tourist destination in Guntur district.
* Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched ”Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) at the Solar Energy Conclave 2010, New Delhi.
The Key high lights of JNNSM:
To create an enabling policy frame work for the deployment of 20,000MW of Solar power by 2022.
To create favourable conditions for solar manufacturing capability for indigenous production and market leadership.
To promote programmes for off grid applications, reaching 1000 MW by 2017 and 2000 MW by 2022.
To achieve 15 million sq-meters solar thermal collector area by 2017 and 20 million by 2022.
To deploy 20 million solar lighting systems for rural areas by 2022.
* A boatload of sky watchers set sail from Kochi for the Maldives on board the MV Aquamarine, the country’s first eclipse cruise, to chase the Ring of Fire or the millennium’s longest annular solar eclipse.
* Union Environment and Forests minister Jairam Ramesh announced a Rs. 200 crore grant for the Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove biosphere as part of the World Bank’s Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project.
* The govt. announced that the state-run oil firms will start supplying Euro-IV grade petrol and diesel in 13 big cities from April 1st, 2010.
* A Bench of the Delhi High Court, comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justices Vikramjit Sen and S.Muralidhar held that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is a “public authority” and comes within the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act and it is bound to provide information about the declaration of asset details by Supreme Court judges.
* Kite fliers from across 34 countries are expected to participate during the International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad.
* President Pratibha Patil delivering the valedictory address at the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas (Jan, 9) on the day Mahatma Gandhi returned to India in 1915, pointed out that: Overseas Indian’s estimated at over 250 lakhs had come to be recognised as the “Knowledge Diaspora”. India’s remittances from Overseas Indians estimated at over $ 50 billion last year are the highest in the world.Of these about $ 20 billion comes from Overseas Indian workers in the Gulf consisting of temporary contracted skilled and semi-skilled workers.
February 2010 National Affairs
* Women Entrepreneurs 2010, a platform to promote Indian heritage weavers and women entrepreneurs was held in Delhi.
* The Department of posts released a commemorative stamp in honour of P.C. Sorcar (Senior), the Man who “took the magic of India to the rest of the world.
* The Union Cabinet approved the Women’s Reservation Bill, 2008 that seeks to reserve 33 percent seats for women in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.
The 108th Constitutional Amendment Bill was tabled in the Rajya Sabha in 2008 and was subsequently referred to the Parliamentary standing committee on Law, Justice and Personnel, which in its report submitted in December last year had recommended its early passage in the present form.
* Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram laid the foundation for the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari on the India-Pakistan Border, one of the 13 planned for eight states at a cost of Rs. 635 crore along various land routes to Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar.
* Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh presented a Rs. 1.13 lakh crore budget for 2010-11. This is the 16th budget presented by him and 1st one as a chief minister. The budget outlay is Rs. 8,516 crore higher than that of the current fiscal (Rs.1.05 lakh crore). The plan outlay is Rs. 40,313 crore and non plan outlay is Rs. 73,347 crore.
There was the revival of the Constituency Development Fund with allotment of Rs. one crore each to members of the Assembly and the Legislative Council.
* The Full Court, comprising 27 judges and headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan rejected the Law Commission’s suggestion that the Supreme Court be split into Constitution Bench in Delhi and Cassation Benches in the four regions.
* Perambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala was declared the country’s 38th tiger reserve.
* Seethampeta, located in the north – western part of Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh and home to the Konda Savaras has now become part of the Food and Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO) Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS). GIAHS has begun identifying and then documenting unique agricultural systems across the world to create ‘agricultural heritage’.
* The Cabinet Committee on security has approved the opening of an Officers Training Academy at Gaya in Bihar in addition to the one in Chennai.
* A five-judge constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held that “The Supreme Court and the High Courts have the power to order a CBI probe without a state’s consent into a cognizable offence allegedly committed within the state’s territory”.
* Palakkad district in kerala is the first fully electrified district in the country.
* The Union Minister for Environment and Forests JaiRam Ramesh had allocated all Rs. 12 crore of his MPLADS share from 2004 on “Giripragathi”, a programme for sustainable development of tribals in remote /hilly areas in Andhra Pradesh.
Giripragathi covers eight mandals, three each in Adilabad and khammam and two in warangal districts. Its total allocation over six years is Rs. 88 Crore.
* The World Bank has agreed in principle to extend Rs.1, 000 crore assistance to self-help groups under the third phase of Poverty Alleviation Programme in Andhra Pradesh.
* Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal took the decision to notify the Right of children to free and compulsory education Act, 2009. The date for it is fixed for April 1, 2010. From that date children in the 6 -14 age group will finally get their right to education.
* The Union Government announced the seven – point terms of reference of the five – member B.N.Srikrishna committee on the telangana issue.
* The 58th meeting of the North Eastern Council (NEC) was held in Gauwhati.
* The two – member committee comprising former Director of Special Protection Group (SPG) M.R.Reddy and former Director General of Civil Aviation H.S.Khola Submitted a 110 – page report to the Government of Andhra Pradesh on the cause of the Bell helicopter crash that killed former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy and four others.
* For the first time, the Union Government has agreed to formulate a general amnesty plan for kashmiri youth undergoing training in terrorist camps in Pakistan – Occupied Kashmir (POK)
* The Indian Navy’s Multilateral Milan 2010 exercise was held in Port Blair.
* The conference of the Chief Ministers on internal Security was held in Delhi.
* The West Bengal government announced a 10 per cent quota in jobs for the weaker sections among Muslims under the OBC category.
* The Andhra Pradesh High Court struck down the four per cent reservation provided by the State government to selected sections of Muslims in education and public employment.
* The Sustainable Development Summit, organised by the Energy and Research Institute was held in Delhi. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed
* All the judges of the Delhi High Court led by Chief Justice A.P. Shah made their assets and investments public by uploading the details on the court’s website.
* The Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Railways signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for developing health care infrastructure along the railway network across the country.
* The Government of India constituted a five – member committee headed by the former Supreme Court Judge, Justice B.N. Sri Krishna to hold wide ranging consultations with all sections of the people and all political parties and groups in Andhra Pradesh. The other members of the committee are: Professor (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, Vice.Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi; Dr. Abusaleh Shariff, Senior Research fellow, International Food Policy research institute, Delhi; Dr (Ms.) Ravinder kaur, Professor, Departmentof Humanities and social sciences. IIT Delhi; and Vinod K.Duggal, former home secretary.
* The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, MNREGS Sammelan 2010 was held in New Delhi.
* Defence Minister A.K.Antony announced that
1. The Indian Air Force has decided to procure 750 Akash missile systems from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) at a cost of about Rs 4,000 crore.
2. The cabinet committee on security had cleared a proposal to sanction Rs. 8,000 crore for further development of the indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)
March 2010 National Affairs
* Census 2011, the 15th census since 1872, billed as the largest census ever attempted in the history of mankind, is set to take off on April 1st, 2010. It will also involve the task of preparing, for the first time, the National Population Register (NPR).
* The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) approved the establishment of National Knowledge Network (NKN), which seeks to inter-connect all knowledge institutions in the country through high speed data communication network, at an outlay of Rs 5,990 crore to be implemented by NIC over a period of 10 years.
* A three-judge bench of Chief Justice of Supreme Court K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices J.M. Panchal and B.S. Chauhan lifted the stay on the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to provide four per cent reservation in jobs and education for backward members of the Muslim community. As many as 14 Muslim groups, identified as socially and educationally backward sections by the State Backward Commission, will now be eligible for the benefit. But the Supreme Court referred to a special bench the issue of its constitutional validity.
* The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal of the Labour Ministry to amend the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948, to provide medical facilities to unorganised workers in ESIC hospitals and recognised private hospitals under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY), a cashless health insurance scheme.
* Planning Commission in its mid-term review has reduced the power generation capacity addition target by over 20 percent to 62,374 mw for the 11th plan (2007-12) from the original 78,577 mw.
* The Union cabinet cleared the Prohibition of Unfair practices in technical, medical Educational Institutions and Universities Bill, 2010 that seeks to make capitation fee a cognizable offence. Two other Bills – The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutional Bill 2010, proposing to setup an independent regulatory body which will register, monitor and audit accreditation agencies and the Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010 providing an adjudicatory forum for speedy resolution of all issues that arise in the higher Education sector – were also cleared.
* The Union Government has officially confirmed its earlier decision to accord classical language status to Telugu. It has addressed a communication to the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) Mysore, and the University Grants Commission (UGC) to take steps immediately to give the status to Telugu. This decision was the outcome of efforts by the late Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy culminating in the adoption of a unanimous resolution in the Assembly on February 22, 2006.
* A commemorative stamp on former Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy is being issued by the Postal Department on September 2 to coincide with his first death anniversary.
* The Supreme Court appointed Central Vigilance Committee (CVC), headed by Justice D.P. Wadhwa, while submitting its report to a Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and K.S. Radha Krishnan slammed the Public Distribution System as one of the most corrupt sectors, saying the root cause of its failure in several states is political interference.
* As announced by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, A seven-member core committee of vice-chancellors has been set up to focus on central universities lagging behind in bench marks in academic and research performance.
* For the first time in 20 years, Jammu and Kashmir will have direct trunk dialing facility with Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK).
* Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the world’s first green legislature building, the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly Secretariat Complex.
* The Union Cabinet cleared the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010, for introduction in parliament. The bill seeks to allow foreign education providers to set up campuses in the country and offer degrees.
* The government of Andhra Pradesh has decided to waive the loans taken by weavers’ societies in the state from cooperative banks of APCOB and commercial banks. This waiver which will place an additional burden of Rs. 312 crore on the ex chequer, will indirectly benefit a large number of individual weavers.
* Under the Indian Important Bird Areas (IBA) Programme, 12 more Important Bird Areas (IBA) were identified in Kerala, which made it’s total gone up to 36. The Indian IBA programme is funded by the Royal Society for the protection of Birds.
* India’s first open jail for women was inaugurated at the Yerawada Central Prison in Pune by Maharashtra Home Minister R.R.Patil. The Open jail would be made to agricultural work on the 17 acres of land adjoining the prison. This would improve their physical and mental well being. They would also be eligible for remission in their punishment, for every one year served in the open jail, a year of their sentence would be reduced.
* The Government of Andhra Pradesh is set to bring Information Technology and IT Enabled Services (ITES) sectors under the Essential Services Maintenance Act. A bill to amend ESMA would be introduced in the Current Assembly session. The amendment, the Government felt necessary to spare the IT industry from disruption to their mission critical applications during agitations.
* The Union government has set up an independent eight – member expert committee under the chairmanship of Deepak Parekh to review the draft guidelines of Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), a housing scheme for slum dwellers and urban poor.
* The historic Women’s Reservation Bill, formally known as 108th constitutional amendment was passed in the Rajya Sabha with the House recorded its vote of 186 for and 1 against. Now the bill must be passed by the Lok Sabha and ratified by at least half the states for becoming effective.
* The Secretary – General of the Supreme Court has challenged the Delhi High Court Judgement that the office of the Chief Justice of India is a public authority that comes urthin the ambit of the Right to Information Act. This can termed as Supreme Court appealing to Supreme Court of its case.
* Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar inaugurated the Women’s Leadership Summit 2010 on Inclusive Growth and Empowering Women of Rural India in New Delhi.
* The Sam Pitroda led high – level committee formed to suggest the restructuring of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has submitted a report to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
* The first of the new generation Airbus A320 joined the Air India fleet. It has a host of latest facilities, including advanced weather Radar System, Enhanced Ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) and an LCD cockpit display system.
* National Socialist Council of Nagalim (ISak – Muivah) general Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Singalling the Seriousness of his organisation to final a solution to the six – decade old Nagaland issue.
April 2010 National Affairs
* The cut motions moved by the Opposition parties in the Lok Sabha against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s economic policies especially price rise, were defeated.Cut motion moved by Sushma Swaraj defeated by- in favour 162 and against 246.The cut motion moved by Gurudas Gupta was defeated by- in favour201 and against 289.
* The former chief of the Border Security Force, E.N. Rammohan, submitted his report to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on the April 6 massacre of 76 security personnel by Maoists in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.
* The 16-digit unique identification number to be assigned to each individual by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will come under the new name ‘AADHAR’ or foundation.
* The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh K. Rosaiah launched the Rs. 600-crore Dr. YSR Protected Drinking Water Scheme in Rayadurg of Anantapur dist.
* The 98th executive committee meeting of the All-India Council of Mayors (AICM) was held in Hyderabad.
* The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a proposal to set up 1,000 additional model schools as a benchmark of excellence in educationally backward blocks (EBBs) through State governments. These schools will have norms and standards equivalent to or better than Kendriya Vidyalayas. The requirement for the 1,000 schools has been estimated at Rs. 3,304 crore, the Centre’s share being Rs. 2,478 crore.
* The Navy plans to carve out an air enclave on the campus of the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) for sheltering the Navy’s future air assets, especially the medium range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
* The Commission on Centre-State relations headed by M. M. Punchhi, submitted its report to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.The panel was constituted by UPA-I in April 2007 to take a fresh look at the relative role and responsibilities of the various levels of government and Centre-State relations.
* The 59th year of birth of the Bhoodan Movement was celebrated at Bhoodan Pochampalli in Nalgonda district on 18th April. Acharya Vinoba Bhave had secured the first land donation on this day in 1951 at Pochampalli.
* The Andhra Pradesh government launched the Praja Patham, the month-long mass contact programme aimed at taking administration to the doorstep of people. K. Rosaiah started the programme at Katarivaripalem in Vetapalem mandal of Prakasam district. Praja Patham was a brainchild of the late YSR who wanted elected representatives to go to the people during the difficult summer months and redress their grievances pertaining to drinking water and Aarogyasri and other health related services.
* The draft Cinematograph Bill, 2010 could be introduced in the next session of Parliament in which the India’s film rating system is set for a revamp. The Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), better known as the Censor Board, will now be asked to certify films under the U, 12+, 15+, A and S categories. Under the current Cinematograph Act, 1952, there are three categories — U, A and UA.
* The government of Andhra Pradesh acquired the “hazardous material” handling vehicle for the Disaster Response & Fire Service (DSFS) Department at a cost of Rs. 5 crore to tackle nuclear, biological, chemical accidents besides the usual fires.
* The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly passed the Inter-District Recruitment Bill which bans inter-district recruitment and provides a quota for Scheduled Castes in government jobs in all districts.
* The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) launched the test phase of Unique Identity Number (UID) project in Medak and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh.
* The Union government has decided to soon declare the world’s largest river island of Majuli an eco-sensitive zone.
* A new Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Bill, likely to be introduced in the next session of Parliament, will bring the institution of CAG under the ambit of the Right to Information Act.
* Delhi Metro Rail Corporation started the country’s first Standard Gauge Railway line. This railway line width is 4ft 8inches.
* Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit dedicated a Rs.40 crore sub-station 66/11 kV ‘green’ grid sub-station constructed by the power distribution company, BYPL, in the record time of 13 months at the Commonwealth Games Village to provide uninterrupted power supply for the event.
* Addressing the nation to mark the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the States and Union Territories to work together as part of a common national Endeavour.
* The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 comes into effect from April 1st 2010, and will directly benefit close to one crore children who do not go to school. For the first time, education will become a constitutional right in India. According to this act private institutes should provide 25% reservation to economically backward students. Right to education was made fundamental right in 2002 by 86th amendment. The central and state governments should spend money in 55:45 ratio to implement this act.
* The plan outlay for Andhra Pradesh for 2010-2011 has been fixed at Rs.36, 800 crore, which is 9.86 per cent more than the outlay of Rs. 33,497 crore fixed for 2009-2010. The actual increase is Rs.3, 303 crore this year.
* The Union government has introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha, that provides for constitution of a National Council consisting of representatives from the Medical Council of India, the Dental Council, the Nursing Council etc., to determine the standards for the clinics, classify them, develop the minimum standards and their periodic review, compile, maintain and update a national register of clinical establishments.
* The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams(TTD) of Andhra Pradesh has deposited 4,475 kg of gold received by way of offerings in its temple Hundi in various nationalized banks. TTD deposited 3,000 kg gold with SBI, 1,125 kg gold with Corporation Bank and the rest 650 kilograms with Indian Overseas Bank and will be earning an interest of over 1.6 and 1.5 per cent respectively over the gold deposits.
* The government of Andhra Pradesh launched the fifth phase of the government’s land distribution programme all over the State from 14th April, 2010 coinciding with the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.An extent of 1.06 lakh acres will be distributed to 69,506 beneficiaries.
* According to a report released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Gujarat has been declared as the top contributor to the total hazardous waste generation in the country. Gujarat generates almost 29 per cent of the 62 lakh metric tonnes of hazardous waste generated every year. It is followed by Maharashtra (25 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (9 per cent).
* The government of India has reconstituted the National Integration Council (NIC) which will be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Set up in the early 60s by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the NIC held its first meeting in 1962. The council reviews matters relating to national integration and makes recommendations over such issues.
* According to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the first set of identity numbers will be issued in February 2011.
* During the sidelines of the 6th National Conference on Electoral Reforms organised by the National Election Watch in Bhopal, Chief Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla said that roughly 700 out of 1,000 registered political parties do not contest polls and the Election Commission has no power to de-register them.
* The Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court in its judgement upheld the intrinsic constitutional validity of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
* The United Progressive Alliance government decided to set up a Group of Ministers (GOM) on the issue of caste enumeration in Census 2011. The GOM would work out the modalities of doing a caste headcount along with Census 2011 while looking into the issue of the practicality of such census.
* The Central Board of Secondary Education launched worldwide, its self-designed international curriculum (CBSE-i) at Dubai’s Indian High School (IHS) that aims to compete with its western counterparts to produce the global citizen of tomorrow.
* World Telecom Development Conference was held in Hyderabad.
* The Chief Justice and all the other judges of Himachal High Court have declared their assets and properties.
* An Air India Express plane IX-812 from Dubai overshot the table-top runway at the Mangalore airport and plunged over a cliff into a wooded valley, killing 158 persons.
* Cyclonic storm Laila which brought heavy losses to farmers crossed the Andhra Pradesh coast near Bapatla in Prakasam district.
* Under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008, the depiction of new and more stringent pictorial warnings on tobacco products has been deferred by six months to December 1 from the earlier scheduled date of June 1 by the government of India.
* President Pratibha Devisingh Patil signed an ordinance empowering the government to dissolve the Medical Council of India, a regulatory body responsible for maintaining standards of medical education. The government created a seven-member Board of Governors that took over the functioning of the 30-member executive council, the highest decision-making body of the MCI. The Board of Governors is chaired by Dr. S.K. Sarin, Department of Gastroenterology, and G.B. Pant Hospital.
* The Union Health Ministry is all set to bring in an ordinance to supercede the regulatory body and appoint in its place a Board of Governors. In place of the present MCI team, the government intends to appoint seven eminent medical practitioners and health experts to do the job that the MCI is performing at present. The government would have no role in the new set-up.
* The Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by the former CBI Director, R.K. Raghavan, which investigated Zakia Jaffry’s complaint that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others orchestrated the 2002 riots, submitted its report to the Supreme Court.
* The Union Cabinet accorded in-principle approval for the setting up of an autonomous defence university in Gurgaon district of Haryana at a cost of about Rs. 300 crore on a 200-acre campus that is expected to provide inputs to strategic policy making. It will be set up under an Act of Parliament.
* The Bihar government signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the objective of accelerating State-wide improvements in maternal, newborn and child health.
* A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Articles 243 D (6) and243 T (6), providing for reservation of seats in any panchayat or offices of Chairpersons in panchayats and municipalities in favour of backward classes.
* According to a decision taken by the Maharashtra government all students up to Class VIII would be given promotion to the next class even if they did not perform well in examinations.
* The Visva-Bharati University at santiniketan celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.
* The Supreme Court in its judgement holding that gas is a national asset and the Centre’s pricing policy will prevail over any private agreement, has directed Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) of the Mukesh Ambani group to initiate renegotiations with Reliance Natural Resources Ltd. (RNRL) of the Anil Ambani group for fixing the price of gas to be supplied to RNRL.The bench thus rejected RNRL’s claim that it was entitled to get 28 mscmd of gas from the KG Basin at $2.34 mBtu in terms of a 2005 Memorandum of Understanding between Anil and Mukesh without any price approval by the government.
* A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held that a Governor cannot be removed on the ground that he/she is out of sync with the policies and ideologies of the Union government or the party in power at the Centre. Nor can he/she be removed on the ground that the Union government has lost confidence in him/her. The bench gave this ruling in a petition filed by the former Member of Parliament, B.P. Singhal.
* The Lok Sabha Speaker made the following appointments for various parliamentary committees Murli Manohar Joshi as the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee for 2010-11, Congress MP from Goa Francisco Sardinha as the chairman of the Committee on Estimates, V. Kishore Chandra S. Deo as the chairman of the Committee on Public Undertakings, Gobinda Chandra Naskar as the chairman of the Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
* The Supreme Court held that the Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme, under which every MP is allotted Rs. 2 crore a year for constituency development was nothing unconstitutional. It held that the scheme falls within the meaning of ‘public purpose’ aimed at fulfillment of the development and welfare of the State as reflected in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
* The Rajya Sabha passed a Bill proposing to create a 78-member Legislative Council for Tamil Nadu, 24 years after it was abolished.
* Parliament approved the increase in the gratuity limit for employees from Rs.3.5 lakh to Rs.10 lakh under the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2010.
* The Supreme Court held unconstitutional and violation of the ‘right to privacy’ the use of narco analysis, brain-mapping and polygraph tests on accused, suspects and witnesses without their consent.
* The tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal to prepare detailed project reports on linking of rivers that will benefit both the states.
* The Lok Sabha passed the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2010 which raises the ceiling of gratuity for employees in private sector to Rs.10 lakh from Rs.3.5 lakh. The Lok Sabha also passed the Employees’ State Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2009, to provide for medicare to workers in the unorganised sector, especially those below the poverty line (BPL).
* A special sessions court judge M.L. Tahaliyani pronounced Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving gunman of the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks along with nine other terrorists and 20 co-conspirators in Pakistan, guilty of waging war against India.
* The two day National Consultation for Second Generation Reforms in Legal Education was held in Delhi.
* UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation of the 8.8-km-long Rohtang tunnel at Dhundi near Manali(Himachal Pradesh).
* The first World Classical Tamil Conference was held in Coimbatore. President Pratibha Devisingh Patil presented the Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award to Asko Parpola for his work on the Dravidian hypothesis in the interpretation of the Indus script.
* The Group of Ministers (GoM) submitted their report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing the legal, medical, humanitarian, environmental and other aspects of the Bhopal gas leak disaster. The GoM recommended Rs. 1,500-crore package for the victims.
* The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) endorsed the setting up of the proposed National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) as an apex body entrusted with framing policy, and to bring within its ambit, medical education and other disciplines of higher education and research.
* The 75th conference of presiding officers of legislatives bodies from different parts of the country was held in Srinagar (J&K).
* The Planning Commission estimated four percent growth in the agriculture sector during the XII Plan (2012-17).
* The Representation of the People’s (Amendment) Bill aimed at NRIs for voting rights in India was cleared by a GoM headed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony and is likely to be presented soon before the Cabinet.
* The government of India has declared the Indian Mujahideen (IM), suspected to be a shadow outfit of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist outfit.
* Jharkhand came under Central rule with President Pratibha Patil accepting a recommendation of the Union Cabinet after the Congress and the BJP gave up efforts to form an alternative government following the resignation of Chief Minister Shibu Soren.
July 2010 National Affairs
* The first commercial landing of the Airbus A380, the largest aircraft of the world, took place at the newly inaugurated Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.
* As part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore a book was published on the Nehru-Gandhi family’s connection with Santiniketan Titled “Three Chancellors” compiled by Nilanjan Bandopadhyay.
* During the meeting of the Chief Ministers of the Naxal-affected States in New Delhi, the Union government asked Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal, worst affected by Maoist violence, to set up a Unified Command headed by the four States’ Chief Secretaries.
* The prestigious Mahatama Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), a UNESCO institute, will be unveiled on the birth annniversary of Gandhiji on October 2 in New Delhi. It will be the maiden category I institute of UNESCO to be located in Asia. Out of 11 such institutes, nine are situated in the developed world and two is in Ethiopia and Venezuela.
* The Union government has set up an oversight committee chaired by Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh to coordinate and monitor the clean-up of the Bhopal gas leak disaster site.
* The Union Health Ministry approved the revised draft that proposes a National Committee for Accreditation and a National Medical Education and Training Board that will register and accredit medical colleges and prepare curricula for all streams of education in the health sector.
* The Union Cabinet cleared the Nalanda University Bill 2010, paving the way for the establishment of Nalanda University in Rajgir, Bihar near the original Nalanda University site at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,005 crore.