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In their own long-term interest, all political parties must jointly agree to stop sponsoring criminal candidates  Criminality in politics, or more pointedly, criminals sitting in our Parliament and legislatures, is an issue that has for long been debated in many forums

 It has also been at the forefront of reform proposals sent by the Election Commission of India (ECI) to the government.

Remarkable Judgements

 The Supreme Court has importantly passed three orders that relate directly to the conduct of elections.

 The first relates to the distribution

of “freebies”, wherein the ECI has been asked to frame guidelines in consultation with political parties.  The second is directing the installation of the None-of-TheAbove (NOTA) button in the Electronic Voting Machines, which has already been implemented in the current round of Assembly elections.  The third is the court’s order of July 10, 2013 in the Lily Thomas vs Union of India matter, wherein the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional Section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

 The importance of these orders cannot be overemphasised.  The position that prevailed before this order was enacted was that all convicted

MPs and MLAs enjoyed a three-month period in which to appeal against their conviction, and during this period they crucially retained their memberships in Parliament or legislatures respectively.  What has changed is that while they still have the right to appeal, now they immediately cease to be members the House.  While previously they were able to file appeals within the stipulated three months without giving up their membership, they managed, in effect, to remain MPs or MLAs often for long years after their terms had expired.  Not only have these orders already impacted the elections under way but they will continue to have a profound impact on cleansing our political system.

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 The Lily Thomas matter was applied by the court prospectively and not  

 

retrospectively. The court would have had many reasons not to apply its order retrospectively, not the least of which is that it would possibly have thrown our current polity into disarray. Be that as it may, in the present and future, every parliamentarian or legislator who stands convicted for an offence that leads to a sentence of imprisonment for two years and more, will also be debarred from contesting an election for six years after his or her prison term ends. Moreover and equally importantly, there are offences which are already on the statute book and where conviction (even without sentence of imprisonment) leads to disqualification. These includes,

 Conviction for rape,  For promoting enmity and hatred between and among different classes or groups,

 Conviction relating to Bribery, and conviction under the Prevention of Corruption Act,  The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) and  The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA).

Criminals among MPs, MLAs

 Close on the heels of this order, the nation

witnessed the jailing of Lalu Prasad, the president of a once nationally recognised political party, the RJD, as well as Rasheed Masood, a former Minister and sitting MP of the Rajya Sabha.  While both stand debarred from contesting elections for six years after their jail terms are completed, in effect such a long banishment might well put an end to their political careers.

 Two vital orders of the Supreme Court in 2002 and 2003 made it compulsory

for all candidates to file information regarding any and all criminal cases pending against them, as well as figures of the combined wealth or assets of the candidates and their spouses, and indeed their educational qualifications.  With this information, the court hoped that voters could make informed choices about whom to vote for or not.  Most of my student audiences knew the statistics; that in the present Parliament as many as 30 per cent of sitting Lok Sabha MPs and 31 per cent of Rajya Sabha MPs have criminal cases pending against them, that the Bihar Assembly (2010) has a high of 58 per cent criminals among its MLAs, while the Uttar Pradesh Assembly (2012) has 41 per cent.

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 The Congress has 21 per cent declared criminals; the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 31 per cent. At the other extreme, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has 82 per cent criminals among its MPs and MLAs.  Is it any surprise then that student audiences inevitably ask what is the point of clean election processes if the end result is to elect tainted men and women?

An agreement that includes CBMs similar to those in the 1996 India-China pact, with the January 2004 IndiaPakistan joint statement additionally written into it, could have an impact beyond the LoC. When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in New York in September, they agreed to “find effective means to restore the ceasefire” in Kashmir. To this end, the Directors-General of Military Operations on both sides were asked to set up meetings between themselves to find ways to maintain “peace and tranquillity” on the Line of Control.

Ten years of ceasefire

 The Line of Control has remained peaceful since the 

  

third week of October but no one knows for how long it will remain so. Instead of marking 10 years of the ceasefire, a significant achievement in India-Pakistan relations, with a celebration, all there is to the anniversary is dreaded anticipation of the next violation. The ceasefire came into existence on November 26, 2003, There was no written agreement. After two decades of near-daily artillery fire exchanges, the guns just fell silent on the 740-km LoC and the AGPL on that Eid day a decade ago.

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 Soon after, India resumed building a fence on the LoC, a project it had begun much  

  

earlier but had to stop because of the artillery firing. Only in August 2005 were some terms of the ceasefire spelt out in a joint statement after officials from both sides met for talks on Conventional Confidence Building Measures. The statement reaffirmed the commitment to uphold the ceasefire. Both sides agreed to upgrade the then existing hotline between the two DGMOs by the end of September that year, and hold monthly flag meetings between local commanders in designated sectors. Most importantly, they agreed not to develop any new posts and defence works along the LoC. The arrangement worked well until 2008, the same year a democratically elected government took charge of Pakistan. From January that year to March 2009, there were, according to the annual report of India’s Ministry of Defence, 87 firing incidents on the LoC, of which 51 were ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

 Subsequent annual reports record only ceasefire violations by Pakistan: 33 in 2009 rising to 57 in 2010; and 61 in 2011. In 2012, the number spiked to 108.

 Officials on the Indian side are clear that the incidents are linked to cross-border infiltration.


 Compare this situation with that on the Line of Actual Control. No one disagrees that this border is under stress.  Unlike the LoC, the LAC has not been demarcated. There are several areas where claim lines are overlapping, so patrols encounter each other as each side patrols up to its respective claim.  The 1986-87 faceoff in Wandung prompted talks between the two sides leading to the first border agreement between India and China in 1993, on the “maintenance of peace and tranquillity along the line of actual control in the India-China border.”  The entire set of these agreements has acted as a cushion for tensions along the LAC.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Formalise the arrangement  Falling as it does in a bad year for the ceasefire on the LoC, its 10th anniversary may be the right time for India and Pakistan to consider formalising their unwritten ceasefire arrangement, with a layered set of border co-operation mechanisms for the two militaries similar to those that exist for the LAC so that the two sides deal with incidents rationally and with maturity.  Purists would argue that a formal ceasefire comes into existence only after hostilities, orally or in writing, and that as India and Pakistan were not at war in 2003, there was no need to do anything more than just agree to stop exchanging fire.

 However, as events have shown, that agreement has been violated time and again since 2008, and this year, went far enough to prevent dialogue between the two countries.  The weekly telephone calls between the DGMOs were sufficient when there were no incidents, but this hotline has proved inadequate at a time of crisis on the LoC.  It will also be argued that the India-China border management effort has worked well because the nature of their relationship, and between the two militaries, is different from that between India and Pakistan;  But if, as Prime Minister Singh and Prime Minister Sharif agreed in New York — for the first time using a phrase that has only ever been used in India-China relations — “peace and tranquillity” along the border are a prerequisite for moving ahead on the dialogue process, they should be doing everything to secure that.  All said and done, written agreements are far better for building stable relations between countries.  An agreement that includes CBMs similar to those in the 1996 India-China pact, with the January 2004 India-Pakistan joint statement (in which Pakistan agreed not to allow territory under its control to be used for terrorist activities against India) additionally written into it, could have an impact beyond the LoC.  The possibility that the two militaries would oppose it, or that the Pakistan Army will never answer to such an arrangement, are not good enough arguments against such a move.  In fact, they only prove the need for it. A formal agreement for peace and tranquillity on the LoC, authored on the Pakistani side by a popularly elected government, may even help Prime Minister Sharif regain some initiative on his India policy, and put a civilian stamp on it.

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Additional benches of High Courts will help reduce the costs of litigation, create new opportunities for people to seek justice, and provide more practice to lawyers The problem of access to justice is deep and pervasive in India and has affected the ability of the legal system and judicial process to respond to injustices. The crisis of delays that has engulfed the Indian judicial process calls for responses at multiple levels of decision-making. A range of reforms — legal, judicial and institutional — needs to be initiated for dealing with delays and ensuring access to justice. One such important reform is to expand and establish more permanent benches of High Courts in different parts of the country. Historical happenstance has caused the establishment of principal benches of High Courts in different cities in the country. While most States have the principal bench of the High Court located in the capital city, there are a number of States where the principal seat of the High Court is located in another city. Regardless of whether the principal bench of the High Court is in the State capital or not, the imperative of access to justice demands that we move towards establishing adequate benches of High Courts as and when the need arises.

Democratic decentralisation  One of the most important lessons of governance in post-Independent India is the recognition that centralisation of power — legislative, executive or judicial — has huge problems in a federal polity.  The passing of the 73rd and 74th amendment to the Constitution of India underscored the importance of democratic decentralisation and paved the way for the development of Panchayati Raj institutions.  However, the justice delivery mechanisms continue to be centralised and the existing court systems are based on a hierarchical governance structure, which may not be able to effectively address the problems of injustices in the Indian society.

 The stress that the civil and criminal justice system is facing is also attributed to

the lack of capacities of the appellate courts in dealing with disposal of cases. Establishing more benches of High Courts in more than one city in a State creates new opportunities for people to seek judicial remedies.

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 In fact, the Law Commission of India in its 230th Report dated August 2009

entitled, “Reforms in the Judiciary – Some Suggestions,” has persuasively argued for the creation of new benches of High Courts.  The report observed: “… It is also necessary that the work of the High Courts is decentralised, that is, more Benches are established in all States … It is also in the interest of the litigants. The Benches should be so established that a litigant is not required to travel long.” Duties of lawyers Lawyers need to promote access to justice. Access to justice is the fulcrum around which any effective legal system revolves. There is a real risk of Indian citizenry losing faith in the legal system and the judicial institutions if it is unable to get justice within a reasonable time frame and at reasonable expense. The existing legal and institutional mechanisms for promoting access to justice are not adequate and lawyers need to own up to some of the responsibility in bringing this state of affairs to pass. While there is an increasing acknowledgment of the urgent need for establishing more High Court benches, the proposals to do so tend to get embroiled in a mix of unwarranted controversies and petty politics. Lawyers in the cities where High Courts are located object to the establishment of additional benches. This problem of vested interests was squarely addressed by the 230th Report of the Law Commission of India, which noted: “Sometimes, some advocates object to [the] creation of new benches and selection of new sites for construction of new buildings. But they raise objections in their personal, limited interest. Creation of new benches is certainly beneficial for the litigants and the lawyers and a beginning has to be made somewhere … We must always keep in mind that the existence of judges and advocates is because of the litigants and they are there to serve their cause only.” Lawyers being officers of the court have duties and obligations to society at large. Rather than take a myopic, parochial view of the matter, they should adopt a holistic viewpoint and appreciate the sheer indispensability of access to justice to the health of the very legal system which sustains them, while forming their views and perspectives on the matter.

Prohibitive costs

− The Indian legal system is facing challenges at the level of justice delivery. A

number of people who are aggrieved are not able to seek justice because of the prohibitive costs of litigation and the delays that come along with them. − Establishing additional benches of High Courts will help in reducing the costs of litigation. − It will help in doing this by making available to citizens a wider range of new lawyers who were hitherto not involved in the appellate litigation process receiving opportunities to pursue their legal practice.

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− It is common knowledge that the government is the largest litigant in our

legal system. Most of the time, if there is an adverse order for the government at the level of the subordinate judiciary; it inevitably goes on appeal to the High Court. − This poses significant problems for High Courts where the principal bench is not located in the capital city of the State, where the seat of the government is located. − A large number of officers need to regularly travel to appear before the principal bench of the High Court and be continuously involved in the litigation process. Not only does this have complications and lead to judicial delays but also has unappreciated ripple effects on the fulfilment of regular functions of government departments and agencies, which bring additional costs and delays in their wake. − These problems can be addressed if we move towards establishing more benches of High Courts.

Legal education and legal profession The Indian legal profession is facing a number of challenges. There is need for democratisation of the legal profession and this will not happen until we improve the quality of legal education. Legal education that is currently offered in Indian law schools needs to be improved by providing greater access and opportunities for young law students and budding lawyers to have greater exposure to High Court practice. There should be a conscious effort to provide opportunities for law students to the extent possible to regularly observe court practice, not only in lower courts, but also in the High Courts.

This will not be possible if there are fewer High Courts in the country — only a limited few law schools and students who are located near the High Courts have access to it. Establishing additional benches will create new possibilities for lawyers to engage in practising law in those benches and this will have a direct consequence in improving the quality of the legal profession. The way forward There are a number of efforts currently being taken across the country for promoting access to justice. New proposals for establishing additional benches of High Courts are under consideration. One such proposal is that of establishing the Thiruvananthapuram Bench of the Kerala High Court, the principal seat of which is located in Ernakulam. This effort has been led by Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, and has received wide-ranging support.

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It would not be out of place to briefly mention here the controversy regarding the establishment of the permanent bench of the Madras High Court in Madurai. After several years of efforts, a Permanent Bench of the Madras High Court was created in Madurai a decade ago. It is worth noting that the proposal was strongly opposed at that time and, after a range of initiatives and a few litigations in the Madras High Court, it became a reality. It is rather unfortunate that a myopic vision and parochial considerations of vested interests have shaped many of the debates and discussions surrounding the need for establishing additional benches of High Courts in India which, viewed in the proper perspective, raises questions of existential importance for our legal system. This should change and the focus should be trained on what matter most, namely, promoting access to justice, reducing costs and delays, and improving efficiency of the government agencies in dealing with appellate litigation. Only then can we hope to instil faith among the Indian citizenry in the ability of the judicial process to deliver justice. This is an existential imperative for our legal system.

Those opposing statehood for Telangana are being oblivious to history The demand for a separate Telangana state is passing through twists and turns. The protracted political process of claims, counter-claims, movement and countermovement, coupled with electoral calculations by almost all political formations, have complicated the issue beyond a reasonable and satisfactory solution. The issue is on a chessboard. Every political move is dependent on the move of the other, and does not address the basic problems or ask where the political process went wrong. While a crisis of conflict of this kind calls for creative and constructive politics, manipulative politics has occupied its place. Politics, conceptually, is the science of analysing the problems of society and the art of solving them. This institutionalised form of collective power is an invention of society to resolve the contradictions that are thrown up in the course of change. Indian politics has remained premature, and too pragmatic, rendering the problem-solving mechanism difficult. The issue of Telangana and the way it has been handled is testimony to this.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs After considerable procrastination, the Central government moved a step forward towards the formation of the State of Telangana. But it has been accused of not taking both regions (Telangana and Seemandhra) into confidence, not making efforts to bring about a consensus, and imposing a unilateral and arbitrary decision.

Further, it is argued that whatever the decision, it should be fair and just to both regions, without suggesting what such a solution is. This is being oblivious to the historical process and the political failure to intervene at an appropriate time to avert the present situation. A blame game is on, forgetting that the seeds of the present crisis were sown at the time of the merger of the two regions itself. The fact that there was a Gentlemen’s Agreement at the time of the merger is reflective of the intrinsic tensions. After entering into the agreement on six conditions to fortify the merger, the leaders of Andhra Pradesh soon forgot the conditions. It is not only that the conditions were not honoured; legal battles were waged to subvert them. The Telangana people felt let down. Those who are more powerful believe that they are at liberty to do whatever they wish, forgetting that such violations lead to cumulative anger that flares up at one time or the other. It requires a deep sense of history and strong commitment to the unity of the people to avoid committing such mistakes. Rulers who lack vision always get trapped and start blaming history.

The issue of water Apart from the violations, the model of development that the rulers of Andhra Pradesh opted for has these trappings. One of the major causes for the present crisis is the technological choice made in the name of the Green Revolution in the mid-1960s. This technology, which was essentially irrigation-centric, proved to be counterproductive to all drought-prone regions across the nation, accentuating the regional imbalances. Indian socio-political history would have been different if only there had been a simultaneous technological breakthrough in water scarce, dry land cultivation. If one believed that this policy choice was inevitable to meet food scarcity, agriculture in the backward regions ought to have been heavily subsidised.

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Farmers who were dependent for centuries on open well or minor irrigation started tapping groundwater beyond capacity, spending huge private resources on borewells and electric pumps without any subsidy on electricity which landed them in a debt trap. The situation was further aggravated as the State started withdrawing subsidies under the pressure of global economic forces as a part of structural adjustment. This was so disastrous that more than two lakh farmers committed suicide. There were no instances of suicide in the irrigated belt. All suicides took place in water-deficit regions, sharpening subregional consciousness. One can see the manifestation of this phenomenon in multiple subregional demands for statehood, based on the logic that political power is a correction for regional imbalances and distortions of development. It is perhaps keeping in view such possibilities that the makers of the Constitution provided the simplest procedure for the formation of a new state. The flexibility built into the Constitution reflects not only the historical times but also a profound understanding of an evolving polity in a multiethnic, multi-linguistic, multicultural, multi-caste, and multi-class Indian society. Realising that it would be the backward and smaller regions that would demand statehood, approval by the State Assembly was not made mandatory. Referring the matter to the State Assembly is more a gesture to federalism than a constitutional requirement.

Article 371 D

n To pit Article 371D against Article 3, as is now being done, is more to litigate the

issue than solve it. n Article 371D is a provision made to divide the State into six zones to protect public employment for locals in the State of Andhra Pradesh. How can a provision meant for government employment in one State supersede a provision that forms a part of the basic structure of the Constitution?

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n Article 3 of the Constitution acquired critical significance in the wake of the neoliberal model of development that accentuated the sub-regional imbalances and shifted development from being state-centric to ruthless market force-driven, with no qualms about pursuing profit. n The market would rather put up with any level of human sacrifice than concede democratic aspirations. Claims on Hyderabad It is in the very nature of capital that it always moves to greener pastures and already developed industrial-friendly urban centres, widening the gap between the rural and the urban, leading to claims and counterclaims on urban spaces, forgetting that a huge population continues to live in rural areas. Hyderabad was not the bone of contention in the 1972 Jai Andhra agitation. Since huge investment went into the city, neglecting agriculture in both the regions, Hyderabad has become a lucrative site. The farming community which suffered on account of this perverted development is not inclined to share the water or agree to the legitimate claims of a backward drought-prone region.

The leaders of the bigger region are using pressure tactics to stall the decision, forgetting that they are the cause of the crisis. Telangana’s political leadership too has to share the blame, whatever its present political position. Added to it is the process of globalisation, and an obsession with growth and expansion of the service sector at the cost of industrial and agricultural development, creating an illusion that everybody’s future is tied to the city. One should realise that this flawed development reduced the share of agriculture to a mere 13 per cent of GDP and of industry to 16 per cent. This is an economic volcano which may explode at any point. Rulers are looking for a fascist alternative which can suppress all democratic aspirations and pave the way for rapacious global capital and callous market forces. Subregional demands are a historic search of backward droughtprone regions for a way out.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Subregionalism

G This is the context in which the rise of subregionalism needs to be understood. Not

that a separate state of Telangana is a panacea for all the problems of the region. But nor is keeping Andhra Pradesh together. G The aspiration for statehood has been simmering in Telangana for a very long time. It got expressed violently in 1969 when 360 youth died in police firing. G Indira Gandhi took a tough line at that point of time. Surprisingly, in 1972, the Andhra region wanted a separation. That was perhaps historically the right time to divide the State; it would have been a bloodless solution. G This time, the Telangana movement has gone far deeper. Hundreds of young people tragically took their lives as a form of protest. As the movement was picking up, the political leadership of both regions took it very lightly, underestimating the political aspirations of a backward region. G It has reached a point where the truth has to be faced. It is too late to think of alternative solutions. There is no single political force either in Andhra Pradesh or at the national level which can perform the miracle of keeping the people together or facilitate a friendly separation. That is the tragedy of Telugu-speaking people and the Indian political system.

The bureaucracy can never be immune to political interference as long as bureaucrats are willing to twist and bend before politicians to get the postings of their choice The Supreme Court’s recent move to set up a Civil Services Board for the management of promotions and emoluments, granting fixed tenure to Civil servants, and freeing them of the obligation to obey oral orders from the executive — though a boon to honest bureaucrats who are transferred frequently — has the potential to bring within its wake more harm than good.

Government to blame Serious issues with this judgment challenge the very core of democracy and that of Parliament’s legislative authority. The UPA government — which through incessant corruption has destroyed executive institutions — is to share the blame for this judicial enthusiasm.

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A society which evades its responsibility by thrusting upon the courts the nurture of its spirit will eventually cause its spirit to perish. By creating a governance vacuum, the UPA has voluntarily ceded its turf to the judiciary. It implies that an administrative policy paralysis suffered by the country in the hands of the present government has compelled the judiciary to go into matters pertaining to administrative reforms. First, the Supreme Court has assumed itself to be superior to Parliament and is directing Parliament to enact new laws which seems to be violative of the fundamental principle of Separation of Powers. Although the court has used this power very rarely, it is not a valid argument for using it even once, because assuming another democratic wing’s characteristic power has serious consequences. There is no clarity on how this petition was maintainable under Article 32. Article 32 is a judicial safeguard for the enforcement of fundamental rights. Administrative reforms, though abundantly desirable, cannot be classified as “fundamental rights” of a citizen, in a very basic application of constitutional law. The petitioners — former Union Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramanian, former Chief Election Commissioners T.S. Krishnamurthy and N. Gopalaswami, former Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Abid Hussain, former CBI Director Joginder Singh, former Manipur Governor Ved Prakash Marwah and 77 others — are a few individuals who claimed to know the exact mechanics that are most suitable for the functioning of the executive, in accordance with “public interest,” and asked the court to issue binding orders to the legislature to control the executive. So, fewer than 100 citizens — not legislative experts — essentially asked the judiciary to overreach into the domain of the executive. Are the four legs of a democracy not needed to be independent of one another any more? With due respect to the Supreme Court, by directing Parliament to make laws it is clearly undermining the legislative authority of Parliament. On legal reasoning, the court has been ambiguous at the very least. The Bench has relied heavily on various Administrative Commission reports — the 2004 Hota Commitee on Civil Service Reforms, the 2008 Second Administrative Reforms Commission, the 1997 Conference of Chief Ministers on Effective and Responsive Administration and the 1968 All-India Service Conduct Rules. By merely reiterating the reports of government-appointed bodies and directing Parliament to enact a new law, the judiciary has essentially ignored the limited scope of its power, that is, not to encroach upon the constitutional authority of the legislature. The order in passing refers to the 2006 judgment in Prakash Singh and Others v. Union of India to establish its jurisdiction to issue orders of this nature according to Article 32 read with Article 142.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Article- 142

❓ Article 142 deals with procedural aspects and the two words “complete

justice” cannot enlarge its scope. In construing the expression, “complete justice,” the scheme of the Article should be looked into. ❓ It is not right to construe words in a vacuum and then insert the meaning into an Article, explains Dr. R. Prakash in the treatise “Complete justice under Article 142” published in 2001.

Poor implementation

„ Now, we come to the question of implementation. the Supreme Court gave similar

orders on police reforms, directing State governments to implement the order in six months from its passage, but seven years hence none of the States has actually implemented the order.

„ State politicians can challenge its establishment on

the ground of intrusion into State rights. Even in States where Civil Service Boards have already been constituted — as in Uttar Pradesh — arbitrary transfers and postings are the prevalent norms. Since 2008, „ Uttar Pradesh has also had a transfer policy. But random transfers — often to punish “erring” officers — are the norm. The case of Durga Shakti Nagpal is the most recent example of the fact that even established boards have little force when facing political will.

„ Some of what the court suggests as safeguards are already available to civil servants

but they have been used rarely. For instance, an officer can record any minister’s oral instructions to him and send them to the minister for confirmation. „ One cannot really say if it is more the threat of transfer or the incentive of a patronclient relationship fairly early in their bureaucratic career that stops officers from using this provision. „ It is not certain that governments will do what the court has ordered. If the legislation asked for is not passed in three months, whom will the court haul up? The Chief Minister or the Speaker? That could provoke a constitutional crisis. Assuming that power comes with responsibility and accountability, should orders that are not enforceable be issued.

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FIR in Cognizable Offences is Mandatory: SC ò The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it is mandatory for the police to register ò ò ò ò ò ò ò

FIR if a complainant approaches it for the registration of a cognizable offence. The apex court constitution bench headed by chief justice P Sathasivam said that action will be taken against the police officer for his failure to register a First Information Report (FIR) on the complaint of a cognizable offence. The legislative intent is for compulsory registration of FIR in case of cognizable offence, said chief justice Sathasivam, speaking for the bench. Cognizable offences are those which attract punishment of three years or more in case of conviction and where an investigating officer can arrest an accused without warrant. The bench, also comprising justices B S Chauhan, Ranjan P Desai, Ranjan Gogoi and S A Bobde, said “Police officials cannot avoid to register the FIR and action must be taken against them if no FIR is registered”. It said that preliminary enquiry can be conducted in other cases to find out whether the offence is cognisable or not and such probe must be completed within seven days. The bench said there is no ambiguity in the law and the legislative intent is for compulsory registration of FIR in cognisable offences. The constitution bench delivered the verdict after a three-judge bench referred the case to the larger bench on the ground that there were conflicting judgements on the issue.

Cognizable and non cognizable offence

ò Offences can also be classified on the basis of “Cognizable offence”, and “Noncognizable” offence. In brief the difference between these two is

ò Cognizable offences: An offence, where a police offer can arrest without a warrant. ò Non-cognizable offences: An offence, where a police officer can arrest only with a warrant.

Cognizable offence

„ Cognizable offences are those where a police officer can arrest without warrant. „ And such cases, after arrest has been made, the accused will be produced before a magistrate, and he may require the police officer to investigate the matter. „ After investigation, if the case is made out, i.e. charge sheet filed goes against accused, the magistrate can order for arrest. „ During the pendency of trial, bail application can be moved before the concerned magistrate.

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„ Cognizable offences are both bailable, and non-bailable.

Examples of cognizable offences are

„ Offences of waging or attempting to wage war, or abetting the waging of war „ „ „ „ „ „ „ „ „ „

against the government of India. Wearing the dress or carrying any token used by a soldier, sailor or airman with intent that it may be believed that he is such a soldier, sailor or airman. Rioting armed with deadly weapon. Hiring, engaging or employing person to take part in an unlawful assembly or taking part in self. Being or expecting to be a public servant, and taking, and taking a gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act. Public servant obtaining any valuable thinks, without consideration, from a person concerned in any proceeding or business transacted by such public servant. Counterfeiting, or performing any pat of the process of counterfeiting Indian coin. Having possession of a counterfeit government stamp. Making or selling false weights or measures for fraudulent use. Negligently doing any act known to be likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life. Causing a disturbance to an assembly engaged in religious worships.

Non- cognizable offence

˘ Non cognizable offences are those, where a police officer cannot arrest without a warrant. ˘ In such offences for arrest, all the steps have to be followed like = Filing of complaint/F.I.R. = Investigation = Charge sheet, = Charge sheet to be filed in court = Trial = Final order of arrest if case has been made out. Examples of non-cognizable offences are

˘ Owner or occupier of land not giving information of riot etc. ˘ A public servant disobeying a direction of the law with intent to cause injury to any person.

˘ A public servant unlawfully engaging in trade. ˘ Bribery during elections. ˘ Making any false statement in connection with an election.

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˘ Absconding to avoid service of summons or other proceeding from a public servant, like where summons or notice require attendance in person etc, in a court of justice. ˘ Refusing to take oath when duly required taking oath by a pubic servant. ˘ Obstructing public servant in discharge of his public functions. ˘ Giving or fabricating false evidence in a judicial proceeding. ˘ False claim in a court of justice. ˘ Fraudulent use of false instrument for weighting. ˘ Selling any food or drink as food and drink knowing the same to be noxious. ˘ Offering for sale or issuing from a dispensary any drug or medical preparation known to have been adulterated. ˘ Voluntarily causing hurt on grave and sudden provocation, not intending to hurt any other than the person, who gave the provocation. ˘ Buying or disposing of any person as a slave. ˘ Dishonest misappropriation of movable property, or converting it to one’s own use.


India Signed Financing and Project Agreements with World Bank for Disaster Management The Union Government of India, the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Government of Puducherry signed the Financing and Project Agreements for World Bank assistance (IDA assistance) of 236 million US Dollar with the World Bank. The agreements were signed for Tamil Nadu-Puducherry Coastal Disaster Risk Reduction Project (CDRRP).

Major Highlights of the Agreements The objective of the Project is,  To increase the resilience of coastal communities in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry,  To a range of hydro-meteorological and geophysical hazards along with improving project implementation entities’ capacity to respond promptly and effectively to an eligible crisis or emergency.

The Project will have five components, which are-

1. Vulnerability Reduction; 2. Sustainable Fisheries; 3. Capacity building in Disaster Risk Management; 4. Implementation Support; and 5. Contingency Emergency Response. Expected Results of the Project The Project is expected to results in,  Increased community resilience and preparedness in coastal areas;  Improved multi-hazard resilient coastal infrastructure;  Enhanced performance of and livelihood opportunities from fisheries with increased safety at sea;  Increased institutional capacity for risk mitigation and response at the state level. The primary beneficiaries of the project would be approximately 150 coastal villages that would benefit from the risk mitigation infrastructures. Further, the project would enable a local reform process, which will ensure an improved performance in the marine fisheries sector, characterised by a sustainable flow of social and economic benefits to coastal fisheries communities and a healthy marine environment. Over 17000 families are expected to benefit from the construction of in-situ permanent multi-hazard resilient houses. Through a disaster management curriculum development for schools and training institutions,

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs It is Specific Investment Loan for a period of 5 years. The implementing agencies are Government of Tamil Nadu and Government of Puducherry.

Law Ministry said that Amendment of Article 371(D) is needed for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh The Union Law Ministry told to the Group of Ministers (GoM) about the necessity of amendment of Article 371 (D) of the Constitution of India for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

The GoM will seek the advice of Goolam Vahanvati, the Attorney General before they proceed with the Bill. As they want to enquire that a single bill on bifurcation is sufficient or a separate bill will be required to be amendment.

Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana scheme for Indian workers launched in Dubai Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana, a pension and life insurance fund scheme for blue-collar Indian workers in UAE was launched by the Union Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs. The scheme will cover 5 million overseas blue collar Indian workers who have the Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) category passports in 17 countries.

Article 371 D The Article 371D of Constitution of India writes Special provisions with respect to the State of Andhra Pradesh. Two-third majority of Parliament will be needed for the passage of the constitution Amendment Bill, which will be the biggest political inference in passage.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Emigration (ECR)



ECR passports are issued to those workers who have not passed Grade 10. Around 65 per cent of more than two million Indians in the UAE are blue collar workers and most of them are in the ECR category. Blue collar jobs are pertaining to wage-earning workers who wear work clothes or other specialized clothing on the job, as mechanics, longshoremen, and miners.

About Mahatma Gandhi Suraksha Yojana

 The workers have to contribute between 1000 rupees and 12000 rupees per annum towards the pension fund and 4000 rupees towards the return and resettlement fund. They will derive corresponding benefits when they go back home and during their old age. IWRC Indian Workers Resource Centre or IWRC is the support center for Indian workers in the UAE while Bank of Baroda is the official banking partner of the scheme to enroll the workers.


 Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY), a special social security scheme for overseas Indian workers on temporary work permit in 17 Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries.  The MGPSY is aimed at helping the workers to save money for their retirement, their return to India and resettlement and provides life insurance cover against natural death during the period of coverage.  It provides home and a life insurance cover for 1 lakh rupees during their work abroad.  The Government of India will contribute up to 2000 rupees every year for male workers and 3000 rupees every year to women workers for up to either five years or until the worker returns home, whichever is earlier.  It will be added to the Pension and Life Insurance (PLIF) account of each eligible subscriber.

National Innovation Council got approval of 75 percent Innovation Fund Corpus The National Innovation Council (NInC) got approval of 75 percent of the 500 crore rupees initial corpus of the upcoming India Innovation Fund (IIIF),

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs IIIF  IIIF is an Indian model of innovation.  It will have contributions from Ministry of Finance, public sector banks (PSBs) and multilateral agencies and  It is being mobilized by NInC (National Innovation Council).

 NInC will provide mutually reinforcing policies, recommendations and methodologies to implement and boost innovation performance in the country.

Objectives of IIIF To finance Enterprises focusing on the bottom of the pyramid that is, firms delivering goods and services to the poorest of the country.  The fund would be registered with Securities and Exchange of India (SEBI).  A pipeline of the potential investment prospects has been identified.  A specialised core team is also expected to be in place before the first closure. It is expected that the fund would be operational by the beginning of 2014.  The fund may increase eventual size of 5000 crore rupees in the long term.

About National Innovation Council (NInC)  The National Innovation Council (NInC) was set up by the Prime Minister under chairmanship of Sam Pitroda, an adviser to PM on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations (PIII).

 The task of the National Innovation Council include formulating Roadmap for innovation for 20102020 and creating framework for evolving an Indian model of innovation, with focus on inclusive growth, encouraging central and state governments , universities and R&D institutions to innovate and to encourage the multi-displinary and globally competitive approaches for innovations and others.  The Council will also promote the setting up of State and Sector Innovation Councils to help implement strategies for innovation in Stated and Specified sectors.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs National Lok Adalat settled over 28 Lakh cases pending in Courts across the Country

family matters and traffic challan cases are taken up by lok adalats.

The National Lok Adalat organised throughout the country settled a record 28.26 lakh cases pending in various courts.

The three Lok Adalat benches constituted in the Supreme Court settled 51 cases, while other benches across the country set a world record by amicably settling over 28 lakh cases. “For the first time, Lok Adalats was held across the country in all courts including the Supreme Court and High Courts aiming to dispose of lakhs of cases in a day.”

 The adalats, organized by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), state legal services authorities and district legal services authorities.  NALSA organizes lok adalats on a regular basis but this is for the first time that it has been organized on such a huge scale.

New Delhi to host 12th Edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2014 The 12th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas will be held in New Delhi from 7th to 9th of January 2014.

About Lok Adalats  Lok adalats are an alternative dispute resolution mechanism where parties are encouraged to amicably settle cases outside the formal court system.  Generally, cases where parties can reach an amicable settlement, including bounced cheque and bank recovery cases, civil suits, motor accident claims, service matters,

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs This was announced by Vayalar Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs on 5 Novemeber 2013 in New Delhi. The theme of the convention is – “Engaging Diaspora - Connecting across Generations- with a special focus on the younger generation.” Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the convention and President Pranab Mukherjee will give his valedictory address.

January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever. PBD conventions are being held every year since 2003.

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman will also be bestowed on 15 persons during the convention.

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (PBD) The PBD Convention provides a unique platform for overseas Indians to interact among themselves and with the Government of India and the Governments of various Indian States. It is a forum where the Government of India showcases investment opportunities in India and its potential in various sectors. The 11th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) was held at Kochi, Kerala from 7th to 9th of January 2013.

About Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.

These conventions provide a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities. These conventions are also very useful in networking among the overseas Indian community residing in various parts of the world and enable them to share their experiences in various fields. During the event, individuals of exceptional merit are honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to appreciate their role in India’s growth. The event also provides a forum for discussing key issues concerning the Indian Diaspora.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Prime Minister dedicated GAIL India Ltd's 1000 km Dabhol-Bangalore Natural Gas Pipeline to Nation Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh dedicated GAIL India Ltd's 1000 km Dabhol-Bangalore natural gas pipeline to the Nation. Prime Minister dedicated it to the nation during the inauguration of the 8th Asia Gas Partnership Summit (AGPS) Bangalore.

Pipeline has been constructed at an investment of 4500 crore rupees with a design capacity of 16 MMSCMD of natural gas which can produce 3000 MW of clean energy. The pipeline starts at Dabhol in Maharashtra and passes through Belgaum, Dharwad, Gadag, Bellary, Devanagere, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Ramanagaram, Bengaluru Rural and Bengaluru Urban districts. About Gas Authority India Ltd

About Dabhol-Bangalore Gas Pipeline


The Dabhol – Bangalore pipeline connects South India to the national gas grid for the first time.

 GAIL (India) Ltd was incorporated in August 1984 as a Central Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.  Gas Authority of India Limited is the largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company.  GAIL is a Maharatna Company.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Railways Minister Launched the High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd Railways Minister Kharge launched the High Corporation of India Ltd subsidiary of Rail Vikas (RVNL).

The Rapid Metro is the country’s first metro service to built on the publicprivate partnership model.

Mallikarjun Speed Rail (HSRC), a Nigam Ltd.

Objective of the HSRC is To develop High Speed Rail (HSR) Corridors in India to run passenger trains at speeds up to 350 Kilo Meter per hour.

Rapid Metro-India's First Private Metro service started operation from Gurgaon, Haryana  Rapid Metro-India's First Private Metro service started operation from Gurgaon, Haryana.  Rapid Metro is India's first fully privately financed Metro system connecting NH-8 to Delhi Metro via Cyber City, Gurgaon.

About Rapid Metro Rail System Rapid Metro is a metro rail system in the Indian city of Gurgaon, Haryana, linked with the Delhi Metro system's Yellow Line. Built and operated by Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon Limited (RMGL), the system is India's first fully privately financed metro. It was built at a cost of 1100 crore rupees and construction was completed in 30 months. Originally planned to open in 2012, the first phase of the system opened on 14 November 2013.

The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) provided the land and the infrastructure was built by Rapid Metro, a partnership between IL&FS and construction major DLF. The project has been leased to Rapid Metro for 99 years.

SC: Fix the tenure of bureaucrats to immunize them from the Political Influence The Supreme Court of directed the Government of India and the States to pass order within three months on giving the fixed tenure to civil servants. The Supreme Court has also directed to constitute a Civil Services Board at nation and state levels for management of the transfers, posting, reward, inquiries and process of promotion, punishment and disciplinary matters of bureaucracy. The decisions were taken to bring bureaucracy out from political interference and to give end to regular

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs transfers of the civil servants from political executive.

Objectives of fixed tenure of the bureaucrats It would help to promote the professionalism, efficiency and good governance. As the Supreme Court held that the condition of bureaucracy is deteriorated due to the interference from the political people. The court also said that the civil servants should not act on the verbal orders given by the political executives and all the actions taken by the political executives on the basis of written communication. The Court directed on a petition submitted by 83 former civil servants, like former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian, former Indian ambassador to the US Abid Hussain, former chief election commissioner, N Gopalaswami and others, demanding reforms to ensure bureaucracy to get them out from the political influences.

The committee is headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai. The committee has six other female members. Two members are outsiders and not connected with the Supreme Court. The panel is in consonance with the guidelines laid down by the apex court in its judgment in the Vishaka case for dealing with complaints of sexual harrassment at the workplace.

VVPATS to be used on large-scale for 1st time in the Country in Mizoram Polls  Election Commission decided to use Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) on a large-scale for the first time in the country in the Mizoram Assembly polls on 25 November 2013.

Supreme Court Set up Committee to Deal with Sexual Harassment Complaints The Supreme Court of India constituted a ten-member Gender Sensitisation and Internal Complaints Committee (GSICC) to deal with complaints of sexual harassment within its premises. The committee was constituted by the Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam.

 The VVPAT is a machine attached to EVMS which allows voters to verify that their vote has been cast in the way they wished.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs  As soon as the voter casts his vote, the VVPAT will show a small slip in a glass covered screen with the symbol and the candidate he has voted for in a form of a small ballot paper, which after 3 to 4 seconds would automatically fall into an attached closed box.  The VVPATs are being used in only ten assembly constituencies of Aizwal District of the total 40 assembly segments in Mizoram. The VVPAT system was first experimented in the Noksen Assembly bypoll in Nagaland on 4 September 2013 and Mizoram would be the first state where it would be introduced on a large scale.

About Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System (VVPAT)  The VVPAT system is a new initiative of the Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections.  The VVPT will enable electors to see a printout of their ballot -displaying the name, election symbol and serial number of the chosen candidate. However the voter cannot take the printout home.  In case there is a dispute about the voting and a petition is filed, the votes can be tallied electronically and physically with the ballot slips that fall into the compartment.  The cost of each VVPAT, manufactured by Bharat Electronic Ltd and Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) is estimated at about 12000 rupees.

 At present, EVMs are used for voting and counting is based on the results in the machines. In comparison the VVPAT will print a voter’s selection, thus also allowing for physically verification of the vote. Election Commission of India with an objective of free and fair polls, the VVPAT System is introduced. This new voting system is a step towards winning the public trust in election process.

About Election Commission of India Under article 324, the Constitution of India has vested in the Election Commission of India the superintendence, direction and control of the entire process for conduct of elections to Parliament and Legislature of every State and to the offices of President and Vice-President of India.

Election Commission of India is a permanent Constitutional Body. The Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25 January 1950.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Competition Commission of India Imposed Penalty on Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed the penalty of 41393 Rupees on Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors’ Association (TNFEA) (now known as Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association). The penalty was imposed after the information filed by Reliance Big Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. (RBEPL). Reliance Big Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. (RBEPL) alleged that Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association contravened the provisions of Section 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, 2002.

About the Competition Act, 2002 The Competition Act, 2002 was passed by the Parliament in the year 2002, to which the President accorded assent in January, 2003. It was subsequently amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007. In accordance with the provisions of the Amendment Act, the Competition Commission of India and the Competition Appellate Tribunal were established. The Competition Commission of India is fully functional body with a Chairperson and six members. The provisions of the Competition Act relating to anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position were notified on 20 May 2009.

EC issued Guidelines on use of Social Media in Election Campaigning The Election Commission of India issued a series of instructions to political parties and candidates on utilizing the Internet and social media websites for poll campaign and advertisements. In this regard an order sent to Chief Electoral Officers of the States and the Union Territories, and recognised national and regional political parties in the country. EC new regulations came in the interest of maintaining transparency and a level playing field during polls. EC regulations would henceforth apply to all kinds of social media like collaborative projects (Wikipedia, etc.), blogs and micro blogs (like, content communities (like YouTube), social networking sites (like Facebook) and virtual game-worlds (like Apps).

Instructions of Election Commission of India  Every candidate, at the time of filing the nomination, has to give their email IDs and accounts of their social networking sites, if any, for monitoring by poll or expenditure officials.  Contents of the advertisements issued by parties or candidates in such websites should be precertified by the appropriate authorities and all expenditure made towards such campaign or advertisement would be included in

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs the election expenditure accounts of candidates or parties.  The provisions of the code of conduct and related instructions issued by it would apply to the content being posted on the Internet, including the social media websites, by candidates and parties.  Payments made to social media websites for carrying advertisements, expenditure on development of content, and spending on salaries for staff hired to maintain the social media accounts of the parties and the candidates would be included in poll expenses.

About Bharatiya Mahila Bank Refer Economy watch of the this issue Although, the government has been asked by the Election Commission not to open its branches in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh and neither do publicity of the bank in these poll-bound states. As it will be the violation of the Model Code of Conduct in force in the two places.

The Election Commission’s order is significant in view of the upcoming Assembly polls in Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan and 2014 general elections.

Headquartered in Delhi, the bank has proposed to have 25 branches by 31 March 2014. The Bank will be set up with the initial capital of 1000 crore rupees. The finance minister had announced the setting up of the all-woman bank in his Budget speech of 2013.

Election Commission allowed the launch of 1st all-women Bharatiya Mahila Bank

The in-principal approval for the Bharatiya Mahila Bank was given by the Reserve Bank in June 2013. Usha Ananthasubramanian was appointed as the bank's Chairperson and Managing Director by the Government.

The Election Commission of India on 18 November 2013 has allowed the launch of the first all women Bharatiya Mahila Bank. The Government of India has organised the inauguration of the country’s first all women bank in Mumbai, which coincides with the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India.

Ajit Prakash Shah is New Chairman of Law Commission  Justice Ajit Prakash Shah took over as the new Chairman of the 20th Law Commission of India.  Justice Shah succeeds Justice D. K. Jain who resigned last month to take over as the President of

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.  Justice Shah started his career as a lawyer at Solapur district Court in Maharashtra and in Bombay High Court. He was Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.  The 20th Law Commission was constituted through a Government Order with effect from 1st September, 2012.  It has a three-year term ending on 31st August, 2015.

The Terms of Reference of the Twentieth Law Commission include the following: A. Review/Repeal of obsolete laws:  Identify laws which are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed;  Identify laws which are not in harmony with the existing climate of economic liberalization and need change;  Identify laws which otherwise require changes or amendments and to make suggestions for their amendment;  Consider in a wider perspective the suggestions for revision/ amendment given by Expert Groups in various Ministries/Departments with a view to coordinating and harmonizing them;  Consider references made to it by

Ministries/ Departments in respect of legislation having bearing on the working of more than one Ministry/Department;  Suggest suitable measures for quick redressal of citizens grievances, in the field of law. B. Law and Poverty:  Examine the Laws which affect the poor and carry out post-audit for socioeconomic legislations;  Take all such measures as may be necessary to harness law and the legal process in the service of the poor. C. Keep under review the system of judicial administration to ensure that it is responsive to the reasonable demands of the times and in particular to secure:  Elimination of delays, speedy clearance of arrears and reduction in costs so as to secure quick and economical disposal of cases without affecting the cardinal principle that decision should be just and fair;  Simplification of procedure to reduce and eliminate technicalities and devices for delay so that it operates not as an end in itself but as a means of achieving justice;  Improvement of standards of all concerned with the administration of justice.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs D. Examine the existing laws in the light of Directive Principles of State Policy and to suggest ways of improvement and reform and also to suggest such legislations as might be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble to the Constitution. E. Examine the existing laws with a view for promoting gender equality and suggesting amendments thereto. F. Revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify them and to remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities. G. Recommend to the Government measure for making the statute book up-to-date by repealing obsolete laws and enactments or parts thereof which have outlived their utility. H. Consider and to convey to the Government its views on any subject relating to law and judicial administration that may be specifically referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice.

Bharat Ratna to Rao & Tendulkar  The Government has decided to confer, the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award on eminent scientist Prof C.N.R.Rao and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar.

 Prof. C.N.R. Rao is an eminent scientist and a well recognized international authority on solid state and materials chemistry.  He has published over 1,400 research papers and 45 books.  Prof. Rao`s contributions have been recognized by most major scientific academies around the world through conferment of memberships and fellowships.  He has been honoured with several national and international awards.  Shri Sachin Tendulkar is undoubtedly an outstanding cricketer – a living legend who has inspired millions across the globe.  Sachin Tendulkar became the first sportsperson and the youngest ever Indian to be awarded the country’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna.  During the last 24 years, since the young age of 16 years, Shri Tendulkar has played cricket across

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs

 

the world and won laurels for our country. He has been a true ambassador of India in the world of sports. His achievements in cricket are unparalleled, the records set by him unmatched, and the spirit of sportsmanship displayed by him exemplary. The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister of India to the President of India. The holders of the Bharat Ratna rank 7th in the Indian order of precedence; however they do not carry any special title nor any other honorifics.

EC Clarification on “None of the Above” Option  The direction in the judgment dated 27th September, 2013 of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is to provide a NOTA option on the EVM and ballot papers so that the electors who do not want to vote for any of the candidates can exercise their option in secrecy.

 The Supreme Court held that the provisions of Rule 49-O under which an elector not wishing to vote for any candidate had to inform the

Presiding Officer about his decision, are ultra vires Article 19 of the Constitution and Section 128 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. As per the provisions of clause (a) of Rule 64 of Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, read with Section 65 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the candidate who has polled the largest number of valid votes is to be declared elected by the Returning Officer. Therefore, even if the number of electors opting for NOTA option is more than the number of votes polled by any of the candidates, the candidate who secures the largest number of votes has to be declared elected. Under the provisions of Section 53(2) of RP Act, 51, if the number of contesting candidates is equal to the number of seats to be filled, the Returning Officer has to declare all the contesting candidates to be duly elected. In the case of elections to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies, in cases where there is only one contesting candidate in the fray, the Returning Officer has to, in accordance with the provisions of the said Section 53(2), declare the sole contesting candidates as elected. The provision of NOTA option which is an expression of decision not to vote for the contesting candidates is not relevant in such cases.

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Bharatiya Mahila Bank launched by Prime Minister of India Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi Jointly inaugurated India’s first all-women bank, Bharatiya Mahila Bank in Mumbai on 19 November 2013,marking the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

 It will establish branches all overthe country and, in due course, some branches in abroad.  The Union Cabinet cleared the proposal for setting up of all-women bank on August 2013.

Objectives of the bank  To focus on the banking needs of women.  To promote their economic empowerment. The bank will commence operations with an initial capital of one thousand crore rupees. The Union Government appointed Usha Ananthasubramanian as the first chairperson and managing director of public sector Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB).

About Bharatiya Mahila Bank  The Mahila bank aims to service women and women-run businesses, support women’s self-help groups and their livelihoods and promote further financial inclusion.  An only-for-women bank first time in India.  Bhartiya Mahila Bank will be a universal bank and will provide every banking service and facility that is provided by comparable Public and Private sector banks.

 The Reserve Bank of India gave its in-principal approval for the Bharatiya Mahila Bank in June 2013 and the banking company was set up.  The Union government approved 1000 crore Rupees seed capital for the women-focused public sector bank, announced by Union finance minister P. Chidambaram in his 2013-14 budget speech.

CCEA approved continuation of Agriculture Export Plan of APEDA The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the continuation of the Agriculture Export Promotion Plan Scheme of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) during 12th Plan Period (2012-13 to 201617). It was a proposal of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for APEDA with four components namely infrastructure development, transport

Economy Watch

Vetrii’s Current Affairs assistance, market quality development.



The CCEA meeting was chaired by Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh.

About e-BRC Project electronic Bank Realization Certificate (e-BRC) project was launched on 5 June 2012,

The outlay of the scheme will be 1100 crore rupees during the 12th Plan period. The investments on the components are (Rupees in crore): Component


Infrastructure 43.35 Development Transport Assistance






116.00 125.00

Market 26.98 Development



Quality 6.68 Development




150.00 216.00 228.00

e-BRC Project Award




Directorate General of Foreign Trade’s e-BRC project has won the 2013 eASIA Award under Trade Facilitation category. The award was announced by Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (AFACT) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Purpose To electronically transmit foreign exchange realization details on exports from the respective banks to Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The project has created an integrated platform for receipt, processing and subsequent use of all Bank Realization related information by exporters, banks, central and state government departments. It was made mandatory with effect from 17 August 2012.

About Bank Realization Certificate  The Bank Realization Certificate is required for discharge of export obligation and to claim incentives under Foreign Trade Policy.  Earlier, this certificate was issued by banks manually.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs  BRC is also used by state government departments for refund of VAT.

About the Award  The award is administered by Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (AFACT).  Its principal focus is to facilitate international transactions, through the simplification and harmonization of procedures and information flows, and so contribute to the growth of global commerce.

 AFACT aims to support in the Asia Pacific region and its adjacent countries and economies policies and activities, especially those promoted by United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), dedicates to stimulate, improve and promote the ability of business, trade and administrative organizations, to exchange products and relevant services effectively through the simplification and harmonization of processes, procedures and

information flows in a non-political environment. Pan Asian e-Commerce Alliance (PAA) is the Association member of the AFACT and the member countries are:                   

Afghanistan Australia China Chinese Taipei Cambodia India Indonesia R. Iran Japan Malaysia Mongolia Pakistan Philippines Korea Singapore Sri Lanka Saudi Arabia Thailand Vietnam

Employment and Unemployment situation in Cities and Towns in India Eighth quinquennial survey on employment and unemployment was released based on the 66th round of NSS during July 2009 to June 2010. The report of the survey was estimated the employment and unemployment indicators of each of class 1 cities of India. The cities are categorized into different cities as per the population census 2001.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Categorization of cities and towns:  Class 1 Cities - with population one million and above  Class 2 towns - with population 50000 to one million  Class 3 towns - with population less than 50000 The employment and unemployment was measured on the basis of three different approaches and they were:  Usual status with a reference period of one year  Current weekly status with one week reference period  Current daily status based on the daily activity pursued during each day of the reference week.

As per the survey among the Class 1 cities, Banaras saw about 35 percent women got employed in maximum and Agra saw minimum of employment of women which was only 2 percent.

The key findings of the 66th round of NSS survey were:  The proportion of employed males of 15 years and above was 73 percent for class 1 cities and 74 percent for size class 2 towns and about 76 percent for size class 3 towns. For females of the same age group the corresponding proportions were - 17 percent for class 1 cities, 18 percent for size class 2 towns and nearly 21 percent for size class 3 towns  Between 2004-05 and 2009-10 the proportion of usually employed males of age 15 years and above decreased by 3 percentage points for

class 1 cities, 2 percentage points for size class 2 and 3 towns each. During this period, corresponding decrease for females was 3 percentage points in class 1 cities, 4 percentage points for size class 2 towns and 7 percentage points for size class 3 towns Among the class 1 cities, the Worker Population Ratio (WPR) for males of age 15 years and above in the usual status, was the highest in Surat and that was 87 percent and the lowest in Meerut with 49 percent. While for females, WPR was the highest in Varanasi of 35 percent and the lowest in Agra and that is 2 percent During the period 2009-10, the proportion of regular wage/salaried employees, in the usual status both among males and among females was higher than that of selfemployed persons or casual labourers in class 1 cities and size class 2 towns. For size class 3 towns, proportion of self-employed was higher than regular wage/salaried employees and casual labourers for both males and females Among male workers of age 15 years and above in the usual status about 52 percent in class 1 cities, about 43 percent in size class 2 towns and about 31 percent in size class 3 towns were regular wage/salaried employees. Corresponding proportions for females were 58 percent for class 1 cities, 42 percent size class 2 towns and 23 percent for size class 3 towns Among male workers of age 15 years and above in the usual status, about 39 percent in class 1 cities, about 40

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs percent in size class 2 towns and about 45 percent in size class 3 towns were self-employed. Corresponding proportions for females were 33 percent for class 1 cities, 41 percent for size class 2 towns and 47 percent for size class 3 towns  For males of age 15 years and above, the unemployment rate in the usual status remained at the same level between 2004-05 and 2009-10 in class 1 cities and it decreased by 1 percentage point for size class 2 towns and by 2 percentage points for size class 3 towns. For females, between 2004-05 and 2009-10, the unemployment rate in the usual status increased by 1 percentage point in class 1 cities and decreased for both size class 2 and size class 3 towns by nearly 2 percentage points each  Among the workers in the usual status, the tertiary sector had the highest share of workers in 2009-10 compared to other two sectors in all size class of towns. Among male workers of age 15 years and above in urban India, about 59 percent were engaged in tertiary sector, about 35 per cent in secondary sector and about 6 percent in primary sector. Corresponding proportions for females were about 53 percent, 33 percent and 14 percent  Among male workers of age 15 years and above according to the usual status in all class I cities, about 64 percent were engaged in tertiary sector, about 35 percent in secondary sector and about 1 percent in primary sector. Corresponding proportions for

females were about 67 percent, 31 percent and 2 percent, respectively  Among male workers of age 15 years and above according to the usual status in size class 2 towns, about 60 percent were engaged in tertiary sector, about 36 percent in secondary sector and about 4 percent in primary sector. Corresponding proportions for females were about 57 percent, 34 percent and 9 percent  Among male workers of age 15 years and above according to the usual status in size class 3 towns, about 54 per cent were engaged in tertiary sector, about 33 per cent in secondary sector and about 13 per cent in primary sector. Corresponding proportions for females were about 36 percent, 34 percent and 30 percent  Among male workers of age 15 years and above, according to usual status, the secondary sector registered nearly 3 percentage points decrease in the share of total workers during 2009-10 compared to 2004-05 for class 1 cities but increased for size class 2, size class 3 towns by 2 and 1 percentage points

First Ever Dual Cab Freight Diesel Locomotive Vijay Flagged Off by the Minister of Railways The Minister of Railways Mallikarjun Kharge flagged off the first ever Dual Cab 4500 HP Freight Diesel locomotive called Vijay from Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), Varanasi, Building of this WDG4D High Horse Power freight locomotive is a

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs breakthrough for DLW as well as for the Indian Railways.

Highlights of the Dual Cab 4500 HP Freight Diesel locomotive- Vijay  Vijay, the dual cab freight WDG4D is a trailblazer.  It is the first dual cab diesel electric freight locomotive to be built by Indian Railways.  The locomotive has been designed on a 21.7 metre platform to accommodate two cabs and this is about two meters longer than the single cab version.

 The cabs have full width front view.  Besides the obvious visibility advantages, the locomotive also has several features for crew comfort.  Vijay has been provided with air conditioned cabs. The AC unit is designed to heat up the cab during winters while cooling it during summers, thus maintaining a comfortable ambient for efficient working.  The loco also has TFT screen based integrated driver display. This feature which is similar to the one used in the aero planes allows the operating parameters to be displayed on a single screen.

 The system also provides alarm levels for the ease of the crew.  The display system naturally assists the crew through fault diagnostics. The system reduces eye fatigue, improves reliability and improves crew response.  The locomotive has been provided with an ergonomically designed control stand and seat. The seat is based on the excavator design (which needs 360 deg view and operability) has been provided with movement on three axis for operational flexibility.  The locomotive has also been provided with airplane type task light and automotive type auto wash wipers.  Vijay has been built around the 4500HP 710 G3B engine with inverter controlled three phase traction motor drive.  The inverter control uses the state of the art IGBT technology. This is the technology being used worldwide by the leading manufacturers i.e. GE, ABB, Alsthom etc.  The locomotive is provided with the latest Computerised Control Brake system which is the world standard. The brake system uses the latest in the electronics and communication to improve response times and to improve reliability.  The locomotive has been designed to implement the Indian Railways’ efforts at increasing the speed of loaded trains to 100kmph. It can run at 105 kmph and can be used to haul passenger trains in emergencies.  The cost of the locomotive is approximately 14.7 crore Rupees as

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs compared to 14.38 crore Rupees for the single cab version.

India Ranked 94th on Global Corruption Perception Index 2013

Government Introduced Risk Management System (RMS) for Trade Facilitation in Export Sector

India was ranked 94th out of 177 countries on Global Corruption Perception Index 2013, which was released by Transparency International on 3 December 2013.

Union Finance Minister inaugurated the IT based Risk Management System (RMS) for the Customs clearance of export goods at New Delhi. Objective Government has introduced RMS to enhance trade facilitation in export sector and to check smuggling of drugs, weapons and other illegal substances harmful to the country. RMS will also enable the Excise and Customs Department to enhance the level of facilitation and speed up the process of cargo clearance. The single window system of RMS will contribute to reduce in dwell time, by achieving the desired objective of reducing the transaction cost in order to make the business internationally competitive. The launch of RMS in exports covers 11 Customs stations at Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune and Tutocorin. It would be extended to all EDI Customs stations by year end. Benefits are expected to accrue to the trade in terms of faster clearances and reduced transaction costs thereby enhancing the global competitiveness of our export goods.

In the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, Denmark and New Zealand tied for first place with scores of 91. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia this year make up the worst performers, scoring just 8 points each. Transparency International has released its 19th annual Corruption Perceptions Index on 3 December 2013 at Berlin, Germany. The Index, which ranks the public sector of 177 countries across the world according to perception of corruption.

India’s Performance India's rank (94th) has remained unchanged from the last year,

Economy Watch

Vetrii’s Current Affairs According to the 2013 list, India has scored 36 points on a scale of 0-100, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means it is perceived as very clean. None of the countries have managed to get the perfect 100 score.

About Corruption Perception Index 2013 The index, the leading global indicator of public sector corruption, scores countries on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).

India has done better than countries like Thailand (102nd), Mexico (106th), Egypt (114th), Nepal (116th), Vietnam (116th), Bangladesh (136th) and Iran (144th).

The results of the 2013 index serve as a warning that more must be done to enable people to live their lives free from the damaging effects of corruption.

Top 10 Most Corrupt Countries

About Transparency International

Rank 175 175 175 174 173 172 171 168 168 168

Country Name Somalia North Korea Afghanistan Sudan South Sudan Libya Iraq Uzbekistan Turkmenistan Syria

Score 8 8 8 11 14 15 16 17 17 17

Transparency International is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to fighting corruption. It is best known for its Corruption Perceptions Index. Its secretariat Germany.





The organization is present in more than 100 countries. It came into existence in 1993.

Top 10 Least Corrupt Countries Rank 1 1 3 3 5 5 7 8 9 9

Country Name Denmark New Zealand Finland Sweden Norway Singapore Switzerland Netherlands Australia Canada

Score 91 91 89 89 86 86 85 83 81 81

RBI decided to include Medium Manufacturing Enterprises under Priority Sector  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed banks to treat loans given to medium manufacturing enterprises after 13 November 2013 as priority sector advance.  RBI stated that the step has been taken to provide enhanced liquidity support to the medium and small enterprises.

Economy Watch

Vetrii’s Current Affairs  The RBI also allowed incremental bank loans to medium services enterprises extended after 13 November 2013 to up to 100 million rupees and raised the loan limit given to micro and small service enterprises to 100 million rupees from 50 million rupees that will be treated as priority sector advance. This facility will remain open till 31 March 2014.  Under priority sector advance, most banks have to lend 40 percent of their loans to agriculture, micro and small enterprises, poor people for housing, students for education and other low income groups and weaker sectors.

RBI permitted foreign banks subsidiaries to acquire domestic private sector banks The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permitted the Wholly Owned Subsidiaries (WOS) of the foreign banks to acquire the domestic private sector banks. RBI also permitted the banks to set up branches anywhere in the country. As per the permission given by RBI, the foreign banks will have to seek permission of RBI to open branches in certain sensitive locations. The foreign bank subsidiaries have also been allowed to list on the local stock exchanges. Although, they will not be allowed to hold more than 74 percent in the private banks they may acquire. The order of the RBI also stated that the foreign banks that commenced banking business in India before August 2010 will

be given an opportunity to convert into a wholly owned subsidiary.

Key features of the Framework  Banks with complex structures, also the banks which do not provide adequate disclosure in their home jurisdiction, as well as the banks which are not widely held and banks from jurisdictions having legislation giving a preferential claim to depositors of home country in a winding up proceedings, would be mandated entry into India only in the WOS mode.  Foreign banks in whose case the above conditions do not apply can opt for a branch or WOS form of presence.  A foreign bank opting for branch form of presence shall convert into a WOS as and when the above conditions become applicable to it or it becomes systemically important on account of its balance sheet size in India.  Foreign banks, which commenced banking business in India before August 2010 shall have the option to continue their banking business through the branch mode. However, they will be incentivized to convert into WOS because of the attractiveness of the near national treatment afforded to WOS.  To prevent domination by foreign banks, restrictions would be placed on further entry of new WOSs of foreign banks/ capital infusion, when the capital and reserves of the WOSs and foreign bank branches in India exceed 20 per cent of the

Economy Watch

Vetrii’s Current Affairs capital and reserves of the banking system.  The initial minimum paid-up voting equity capital for a WOS shall be ` 5 billion for new entrants. Existing branches of foreign banks desiring to convert into WOS shall have a minimum net worth of 5 billion.  The parent of the WOS would be required to issue a letter of comfort to the RBI for meeting the liabilities of the WOS. About Corporate Governance  Not less than two-third of the directors should be non-executive directors;  A minimum of one-third of the directors should be independent of the management of the subsidiary in India, its parent or associates

directors are Indian resident in India


The branch expansion guidelines as applicable to domestic scheduled commercial banks would generally be applicable to WOSs of foreign banks except that they will require prior approval of RBI for opening branches at certain locations that are sensitive from the perspective of national security. Priority Sector lending requirement would be 40 per cent for WOS like domestic scheduled commercial banks with adequate transition period for existing foreign bank branches converting into WOS. On arm’s length basis, WOS would be permitted to use parental guarantee/ credit rating only for the purpose of providing custodial services and for their international operations. However, WOS should not provide counter guarantee to its parent for such support. WOSs may, at their option, dilute their stake to 74 per cent or less in accordance with the existing FDI policy. In the event of dilution, they will have to list themselves.

 Not less than fifty percent of the directors should be Indian nationals /NRIs/PIOs subject to the condition that not less than 1/3rd of the

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India declared free from Bird Flu India declared itself free from Notifiable Avian Influenza (H5N1), commonly called bird flu and notified the same to World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

New bird flu strains found A new bird flu strain H7N9 emerged in China in March last year, causing infections in about 134 people and killing 43, Another novel bird flu strain, H6N1, emerged this May in Taiwan. Unlike the H7N9 strain, the latest one has infected just one person, a 20-year-old Woman who presented with typical influenza-like symptoms.

India notified the outbreak of the Avian Influenza (H5N1) at poultry production unit, College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, Anjora, Durg and Government Poultry Farm, Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh.

Control measures Few measures were adopted in the outbreak was taken in form of stamping of the entire poultry population and it included the destruction of eggs, litters, feed and other infected materials within the radius of one kilometer around the location of the outbreak, Restriction of the poultry movement, disinfection and cleaning up of the infected premises and subsequently issuing of the Post Operation Surveillance Plan (POSP).

Besides the unknown transmission pathway, the concern is the unknown causal factor that made the six close contacts of the woman develops a respiratory-tract infection or fever. The fact that there is only one case of confirmed infection and that the woman has responded well to treatment indicate the strain has not yet acquired transmissibility and lacks the lethality required to cause a pandemic. Yet, H6N1 underlines the inevitability of strains emerging and acquiring the ability to jump from its animal host to humans. The Taiwan virus turns the spotlight on the need for laboratory studies to assess

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs the virulence and transmissibility of possible influenza viruses that may emerge through reassortment. The controversial research earlier by two groups of scientists who undertook experiments to create H5N1 mutant viruses in the lab very nearly divided the scientific community in 2011. The experiments were undertaken to understand possible ways in which the H5N1 virus might mutate and spread in humans. Such experiments were opposed on biosafety and biosecurity considerations. But these concerns have been allayed, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services introducing a review process before funding any such research. While it is currently reviewing experiments on H7N9, H6N1 may possibly be the next candidate. Although India is free from the bird flu, but regular surveillance will be continued across the country especially in the vulnerable areas that is bordered by the infected countries and in areas which are visited by migratory birds.

Google has set up election portal in India  Google on 28 November 2013 setup an election portal in India, the largest democracy of the world.  The portal will provide polls and politics related news to users in India.  The launched search engine will also provide information on the political parties.

 This portal will help the voters of India to get the answers on elections and voting-related queries to make an informed decision.  Initially, during the first phase of the launch will cover the videos and information related to state elections in Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.

 It will cover news from leading publications and broadcasters both in English and Hindi.  Contents hosted by YouTube partners on elections and links to Hangouts done by political representatives in the recent past, will be available for the users.

Ministry of External Affairs’ mPassport Seva Mobile App for iOS and Windows Phone Platforms  The Ministry of External Affairs launched the mPassport Seva mobile app for iOS and Windows Phone platforms.  It had already launched this application for the Android platforms.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs

 The application allows the users to search for the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or District Passport Cell (DPC) in a district where he/she has submitted the passport application.  This facility can also be utilised for the overseas citizens who wish to apply for the passport service in Indian Posts/Missions abroad.

About the app- mPassport Seva  The mPassport Seva mobile app facilitates the passport-related information on the smartphones to the users who have downloaded this application.  The application is basically an extended service of Passport Seva Project, which was executed in Public-Private-Partnership mode with Tata Consultancy Services.

 The application allows the Indian citizens to get the passport-related information on their smartphones.  It provides various other services such as locating the nearest passport office, status tracking as well as other general information.  The application also offers information on the steps involved in getting the passport-related service as well as related phone numbers.

 The mPassport Seva mobile app also offers the Fee Calculator feature which allows the users to search for the applicable fee depending upon the service and mode of submission.  The users can easily track status of the passport applications by giving information about their date of birth and file number.  The application is downloadable free of cost at the Windows, iOS and Android phones.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs World’s First Green Tested in Germany


Germany’s aviation company eVolo successfully tested the first helicopter which is noiseless and emission-free named- Volocopter. The Volocopter is an environmentally friendly and emission-free private helicopter.

Mangalyaan & Maven will complement each other in Mars findings ISRO and NASA will coordinate functions of their Mars OrbitersMangalyaan and MAVEN once both get into orbit of the Mars planet in September 2014. This was announced by ISRO scientists.

About the Green Helicopter The helicopter, named Volocopter, developed by the German company e-volo, two seat prototype made it earlier voage in kalsruhe, Germany. The Volocopter uses eighteen electrically driven rotos propel instead of one combustion engine which is environmentally friendly and emissionfree. The emission free Volocopter is a vertical take-off and landing manned aircraft, with rich features and incredibly quiet sound, absolutely no noticeable vibrations, new spring strut landing gear and extremely calm rotor plane that replace conventional aircraft .

NASA's Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutionN (MAVEN) was launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida, US on 18 November 2013. MAVEN is the second mission for NASAs Mars Scout Program and is likely to obtain critical measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere to help

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs understand the climate change over the red planet-Mar’s history. MAVEN carries eight instruments namely, 1. Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer, 2. Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph, 3. Magnetometer, 4. Solar Wind Electron Analyzer, 5. Supra-Thermal And Thermal Ion Composition, 6. Langmuir Probe and Waves antenna, 7. Solar Energetic Particles and 8. Solar Wind Ion Analyzer.

ISRO's PSLV-C25 successfully injected 1350-kg Mangalyaan Orbiter (Mars craft) into orbit around Earth some 44 minutes after launch at 2.38 PM from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on 5 November 2013 marking the successful completion of the first stage of the 450 crore Rupees mission.

India’s 1st Synthetic Rubber Plant inaugurated in Panipat, Haryana Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily inaugurated the first "Synthetic Rubber Plant" of the country at Panipat in Haryana.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs The country’s first e-SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) unit was set up by Indian Synthetic Rubber Ltd (ISRL), a joint venture promoted by Indian Oil, TSRC Corporation, Taiwan, and Marubeni Corporation, Japan. The plant will produce 120 kilo tonnes synthetic rubber annually, which would be used in industrial units for manufacturing automobile and daily need products. It is planned to increase the capacity of the plant to 220 KT in next two years. The project, which is estimated to cost 958 crore rupees, has been funded through debt raised from Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Mizuho Corporation Bank. Technology for the manufacturing unit is being provided by TSRC Corporation.

India successfully test fired Nuclear Capable Prithvi -2 Missile India successfully test fired its surface to surface ballistic missile Prithvi-ll from Chandipur in the Balesore district of Odisha. The test which is a part of the user training exercise of the Indian Army and it was conducted from lunch complex 3 of the ITR in Chandipur along the Odisha coast.

About Prithvi-II Missile  Inducted into India's Strategic Forces Command in 2003,  The Prithvi II missile is the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.  It is capable of carrying 1000 kg of warheads and thrusted by liquid propulsion twine engines, uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory.  The nine meter long Prithvi-II missile is equipped with advanced high accuracy navigation system and guided by an innovative guidance scheme.  The improved Circular Error Probability (CEP) achieved by the missile is a testimony to specify the efficacy of this missile system.  Prithvi uses an advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring capabilities and comes within metres of its target.

The last user trial of Prithvi-II was successfully carried out from the same base on 7 October 2013.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Four New Catfish species discovered in Kerala State Four new species of freshwater catfish recently discovered in Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala.

All the four species were discovered from the Manimala river by Mathews Plamoottil, Assistant Professor in Zoology, Government College, Chavara, and Nelson P. Abraham, Associate Professor, St. Thomas College, Kozhenchery, namely, 1. 2. 3. 4.

Horabagrus melanosoma, Mystus heoki, Mystus indicus and Mystus menoni.

The researchers have published their findings in the latest issue of two prominent scientific journals, Biosystematica and the International Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology. The International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) has also approved the names given by the researchers to the new species.

About Catfish  Catfish are freshwater, bottomdwelling fish.  Unlike other fish, they have no scales and are smooth skinned.  They are known for growing whiskers, called "barbels," at some point during their lifespan.  Catfish use their barbels as feelers as they swim along the bottom of the various bodies of water in which they live.  There are 2,900 species of catfish worldwide. They range in size from 1.5 to 2 in chesto more than 8 feet in length.

Biocon got DCGI Approval for Breast Cancer –Biosimilar Trastuzumab Indian Biotech Company Biocon announced that it had received market authorisation from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for its Breast cancer Drug- biosimilar Trastuzumab. The biosimilar trastuzumab will be marketed in India under the brand name of CANMAb by the company, and is expected to be available to Indian patients in the fourth quarter of FY14. The drug is jointly developed by Biocon along with US-based pharma company Mylan.

About Breast Cancer  Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in India, with over 100000 new patients

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs being diagnosed with this disease every year.  The cost of biologics in cancer treatment is high, which makes access unaffordable to a large number of patients.

About Biosimilar Trastuzumab  Biosimilar Trastuzumab will offer an alternative affordable option thereby enhancing access to treatment for cancer patients in India and the world over.  Biosimilar Trastuzumab drug is used for the treatment of Her 2+ metastatic breast cancer.  The Biosimilar Trastuzumab marketed in the brand name of CANMab.

Cadila developed the drug after 15 years research and it will be available in Indian market from December 2013. Mycidac-C has been licensed and approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). The drug, Mycidac-C is meant for the patients, who suffer from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Admiral Gorshkov Into Navy


The Defence Minister AK Antony commissioned the completely refurbished 44,500 tonne carrier Admiral Gorshkov into the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya at an impressive ceremony at sub zero temperature in the wind- swept Sevmash Shipyard in the beautiful city of Severodvinsk in Russia.

 CANMab is the first biological equivalent of Herceptin, a breast cancer drug manufactured by Swiss company, Roche.

Cadila Pharmaceuticals launched Mycidac-C, a lung cancer drug Cadila Pharmaceuticals launched a new lung cancer drug, Mycidac-C, which is priced 40000 rupees for 10 course injection. The drug is much cheaper than the drugs manufactured by the multinational companies.

About INS Vikramaditya  INS Vikramaditya, the floating airfield has an overall length of about 284 meters and a maximum beam of about 60 meters, stretching as much as three football fields put together.

Techno Watch

Vetrii’s Current Affairs  Standing about 20 storeys tall from keel to the highest point, the sheer sight of this 44,500 tonne mega structure of steel is awe inspiring.  The ship has a total of 22 decks.  With over 1,600 personnel on board, INS Vikramaditya is literally a ‘Floating City’.

  With a capacity of over 8,000 tonnes of LSHSD, she is capable of operations up to a range of over 7,000 nautical miles or 13000 kms.  To enable this 44,500 tonnes floating steel city to cut through the choppy seas with speeds of up to 30 knots,  She is powered by 8 new generation steam boilers generating a total output power of 180,000 SHP.  These boilers power four enormous propellers, each greater in diameter than twice the height of an average male.  Such a four propeller – four shaft configuration is another first in the Indian Navy.  The power generation capacity onboard is about 18 megawatts enough to cater to the lighting requirement of a mini city.  An extensive revamp of sensors including fitment of Long range Air Surveillance Radars,

Advanced Electronic Warfare Suite makes the ship capable of maintaining a surveillance bubble of over 500 kms around the ship. The ship has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft comprising an assortment of MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31,Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters. These fourth generation air superiority fighters provide a significant fillip for the Indian Navy with a range of over 700 nm and an array of weapons including anti-ship missiles, Beyond Visual Range airto-air missiles, guided bombs and rockets. The ship is equipped with state of the art launch and recovery systems along with aids to enable smooth and efficient operation of ship borne aircraft. Major systems include the LUNA Landing system for MiGs, DAPS Landing system for Sea Harriers and Flight deck lighting systems. The heart of the operational network that infuses life into the combat systems onboard the ship is the Computer aided Action Information Organisation (CAIO) system, LESORUB-E, with the capability to gather data from ship’s sensors and data links and to process, collate and assemble comprehensive tactical pictures. One of the most prominent equipment fitted on the super structure is the Resistor-E radar complex.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs About Resistor-E  Resistor-E is the automated system designed for providing air traffic control, approach/landing and short range navigation for ship borne aircraft.  This complex along with its various sub-systems provides navigation and flight data to ship borne aircraft operating at extended ranges from the mother ship.  The precision approach guidance system aids the fighters on approach to be directed down to a distance of 30 meters short of flight deck.  INS Vikramaditya also boasts of a very modern communication complex, CCS MK II, to meet her external communication requirement.  Installation of Link II tactical data system allows her to be fully integrated with the Indian Navy’s network centric operations.

Kitakyushu Airport, about 600 miles southwest of Tokyo on Nov. 23.  The spacecraft, the size of a small private jet, is the largest satellite ever built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.  From Kitakyushu Airport, the spacecraft was loaded onto a barge heading to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island in southern Japan, where it will be prepared for launch in early 2014 on an H-IIA rocket.  The satellite is designed to pool together precipitation measurements taken by a constellation of orbiting U.S. and international partner satellites, resulting in a single and comprehensive dataset of global precipitation every three hours.

Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory  USA has delivered a technical satellite to Japan that will measure the global precipitation.  Satellite has reached Japan after completing 7,300-mile journey from the United States to Japan, where it now will undergo launch preparations.  A U.S. Air Force C-5 transport aircraft carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory landed at

 The satellite will measure rain and snow using two science instruments:  

The GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) and The Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR).

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs  The GMI captures precipitation intensities and horizontal patterns, while the DPR provides insights into the three-dimensional structure of rain, snow and other precipitation particles.  Together, these two instruments provide a database of measurements against which other partner satellites’ microwave observations can be meaningfully compared and combined to make a global precipitation dataset.  The GPM mission is a partnership led by NASA and JAXA.  Goddard built and assembled the satellite. JAXA provided the DPR instrument and launch services.  The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo., built the GMI under contract to Goddard.  The GPM constellation is a network of satellites from multiple U.S. and international space agencies, including;   

   

NASA, JAXA, The U.S. department of defense’s defense meteorological satellite program, The U.S. national oceanic and atmospheric administration, The centre national D’etudes spatiales in france; The Indian Space Research organisation; and The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.

Iran Launched its Drone Missile ‘Fotros’  Iran unveiled a missile-equipped drone with a range of 2,000 kilometres.  Named as Fotros drone, it has an operational range of 2,000 kilometres and can fly at an altitude of 25,000 feet, with a flight time of 16 to 30 hours.

 The new drone could carry out reconnaissance missions or launch air-to-surface missile strikes.  In recent years, Iran has launched an ambitious drone programme, causing worry in the United States and the West.  Iran has pursued a military selfsufficiency program since 1980s, and frequently announces technological breakthroughs including the building of jet fighters, tanks, missile, submarines, torpedoes and drones.  In late September, the elite Revolutionary Guards announced the mass production of the “Shahed 129″ drone, which it said has a range of 1,700 kilometres, is

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs

capable of carrying eight missiles and can fly for 24 hours. In the same month, Iran unveiled a reconnaissance drone named “Yasseer,” which was said to be capable of flying for eight hours with a range of 200 kilometres and at an altitude of 4,500 metres. Yasseer was based on the US Scan Eagle drone, a model of which Tehran claimed to have captured in December 2012 and reproduced since then. The Iranian army also recently boasted that it was producing a series of drones called Rad-85. Iran claims that it managed to reverse-engineer the RQ-170 Sentinel, which it seized in December 2011 after it entered Iranian airspace from its eastern border with Afghanistan, and that it’s capable of launching its own production line for the unmanned aircraft.

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Kaziranga National Park will be the second park in the India to take such high security measures.

cultivate the genetically modified food crop.

About Kaziranga National Park  Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India.

 Kaziranga is a title of a remarkable success story of conservation of the One Horned India Rhinoceros and other wild lives in the North East India.  It is not only the homeland of the Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, but also provides shelter to a variety of wild lives.  It is a World Heritage Site; the park hosts two-thirds of the world's Great One-horned Rhinoceroses.

Bangladesh became the First South Asian Country to Approve the Commercial Cultivation of Bt Brinjal  Bangladesh approved the commercial cultivation of transgenic Bt brinjal. With this decision Bangladesh became the first country in South Asia to

 National Committee on Biosafety (NCB), the highest regulatory body for GM crops in Bangladesh, officially approved the Bt brinjal varieties.  With this step, Bangladesh becomes the 29th country in the world to grow GM crop.  In South Asia, India, Pakistan and Myanmar grow GM crop cotton.  With the NCB nod, Bangladesh becomes the first in the region to grow a GM food crop.  Four Bt brinjal varieties (Bt brinjal1, 2, 3 and 4) have been approved by the Bangladesh Government for limited scale cultivation with some conditions.  BARI (Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute) had developed these Bt brinjal varieties incorporating Indian company Mahyco’s

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs proprietary gene construct technology.  Maharashtra-based seed companyMahyco had transferred its Bt brinjal technology to BARI way back in 2005-06.

About Bt brinjal

CCEA approved scientific deep drilling in the Koyna intra-plate seismic zone in Maharashtra The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on approved the proposal to undertake scientific deep drilling in the Koyna intra-plate seismic zone, in Maharashtra.

 In GM crops, the genetic material (DNA) is altered for improvements in its qualities.  Bt Brinjal, for instance, has been inserted with a natural bacterial protein which makes it resist pests.

The total cost of the project is 472.3 crore rupees for five years.

 Bt brinjal contains a foreign Cry1Ac gene derived from a soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt.  This gene synthesizes a protein toxic to the fruit and shoot borer (FSB), a destructive pest.  The gene gives the crop a built-in resistance to FSB, reducing reliance on spraying pesticides.

The proposed scientific deep drilling investigation in Koyna region will provide a unique opportunity to understand the mechanism of reservoir-triggered earthquakes better and develop a forecast model and assess the earthquake hazard in a stable continental region.

Objective of the project  To undertake the investigations of 6-8 kilometers in a deep borehole in the Koyna-Warna region of Maharashtra.  For past five decade, the earthquakes have been occurring in the restricted area of 20x30 square kilometer, which includes the

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs earthquake of magnitude of 6.3 in December 1967.  Koyna–Warna area is the best site in the world, which acts as a natural laboratory to study reservoir-triggered earthquakes. Crucial insights will be provided by the project into Deccan volcanism and mass extinction, thermal structure and state of stress in the lithosphere and geothermal potential of the West Coast Belt as well as the geothermal record of climate change in the region.

A research laboratory will be set up at Karad as a part of the project, which will serve as the operational center for carrying out the research activities related to seismic, deep drilling, borehole investigations, core analysis and research in associated fields. The Ministry of Earth Sciences will implement the project through its Seismology Division/Centre for Seismology

in collaboration with the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI).

COP-19, UN Climate Change Conference 2013 Concluded at Warsaw, Poland The COP-19, UN Climate Change Conference 2013 concluded in Warsaw, Poland on 23 November 2013 by approving the new global treaty. The UNFCCC's 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) began on 11 November 2013 at Warsaw, Poland.

The 19th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the 9th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will be held from 11 to 22 November 2013 at Warsaw, Poland. In this conference, delegates from more than 190 countries are meeting to discuss the global climate change issues, plans and solutions.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Key issues at COP 19 1. Establishing a new climate action agreement in 2015 2. Green Climate Fund 3. Addressing Loss and Damage 4. Equity 5. Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) and Accounting The COP19/CMP9 began with calls for governments to harness the strong groundswell of action on climate change across all levels of government, business and society and make real progress here towards a successful, global climate change agreement in 2015. One of the key talking points in COP 19 will be the Global Climate Fund (GCF),

About Global Climate Fund (GCF) GCF is the mechanism being used to transfer money from the developed to the developing world to assist with the effects of climate change.

Each year it hosts the Conference of the Parties (COP) in a different city around the world in order to debate and discuss the most effective ways to combat climate change. The UN climate talks concluded with delegates reaching a compromise on how to fight global warming. After 30 hours of deadlock, they approved a way out for a new global climate treaty to be signed in Paris in 2015. It will replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol,

About Kyoto Protocol (1997) About UNFCCC The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was created in 1992.

Kyoto Protocol set developed countries to greenhouse gas emissions.

targets for cut their

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Negotiators agreed that all countries should work to curb emissions from burning coal, oil and gas as soon as possible, and ideally by the first quarter of 2015. Key decisions adopted conference include decisions on,



1. Further advancing the Durban Platform, 2. The Green Climate Fund, 3. Long-Term Finance, 4. The Warsaw Framework for REDD Plus, 5. The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage and other decisions.

G77+ and China group walked out of Loss and Damage talks at COP 19 The G77+ and China group of 133 Countries walked out of negotiations on “Loss and Damage” in the United Nations Climate Change conference in Warsaw, Poland on 20 November 2013. The walk-out followed the developed countries' refusal to change their position that the matter would be discussed only after 2015—the year when the world is expected to sign a new climate agreement. Loss and Damage refers to the demand for compensation from the countries for the damages caused by impacts of climate change which cannot be prevented even by adaptation. Rich countries, including the US and Australia, have been against setting up a separate mechanism on compensation on Loss and Damage.

The developed countries continued to demand that the issue be discussed only after 2015 in a closed door meeting of representatives.

Loss and Damage The issue of Loss & Damage –which is how countries should respond to climate impacts that are difficult or impossible to adapt to—has risen high on the negotiating agenda. This issue emerged at 2012’s COP in Doha, with negotiators deciding to create ―institutional arrangements‖ on loss and damage. To be effective, these institutional arrangements need to constructively tackle the needs of communities affected by climate impacts, including by systematically identifying harm, preventing loss and damage, engaging in recovery and response, and building solidarity in the face of unrecoverable loss and damage.

Mining within 1 km of National Parks and Sanctuaries in Goa banned  The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests banned mining within one kilometer area of the national parks and sanctuaries of Goa, anymore.  The decision was taken to take the state one step closer to restart iron ore excavation mining in a regulated style.  The issued order was released to resolve the issues that require a solution to restart regulated mining in the coastal state.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs  As per the order the area up to one kilometer beyond the boundaries of the National Parks and Sanctuaries in Goa can be declared as the Ecologically Sensitive Zone under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and mining activities can be banned as per the Act.

The Supreme Court of India has ordered the central and the state governments to decide the boundaries of the ESZs across the protected wildlife areas or as per the Court in the area of 10 kilometers periphery around them was to be accepted as the ESZs by default. As per the State Government, the boundaries of the six wildlife areas can be used as the limit of the ESZs because of the features. To study the proposals, the Ministry constituted a committee with Rajesh Gopal as its Chairman.

As per the Justice Shah Commission’s report the mining activities in the state across the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries were started without the clearance from the standing committee of the National Board of Wildlife that had been mandated by the Supreme Court. At present the Supreme Court of India is hearing the case related to the suspension of mining works in the state. Even, the Environment Ministry has started re-evaluating each and every mine for its environmental clearances under the green laws after suspending the works. The Goa state Government has also sent the proposals to the union government to declare the Ecologically Sensitive Zones (ESZs) around the protected wildlife area, following the earlier order of Supreme Court of India.

But the committee in its report suggested that in many cases the natural features across the boundaries of the ESZ ended within few hundred meters of the parks. The committee also recommended creation of the zone of the no-mining across the boundary up to 1 kilometer. The committee also recommended the ministry that the mining activities across the area should be banned in future. It also recommended that around two of the six sanctuaries should be phased out over the time to ensure that there was no loss of livelihood of people. The Ministry had also accepted the report of the committee and as per the recommendation the Bhagwan Mahaveer and Netravali Wildlife Sanctuaries mining, which can be phased out on the basis of the State Governments’ Plans. The draft notifications about the sanctuaries will be released by the ministry following the decision of the Supreme

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Court of India, as still the case is on in the Supreme Court.

National Tiger Conservation Authority approved fifth tiger reserve in Maharashtra

Tiger reserves in Maharashtra The four tiger reserves in Maharashtra are Melghat, Tadoba, Pench and Sahyadri. The state Government has issued a notification for the tiger reserve in Maharashtra.

 The National Tiger Conservation Authority approved the fifth tiger reserve of Maharashtra in Nagzira.

State law can’t prevail over Central law on Sand Mining: National Green Tribunal  The Nagzira tiger reserve will be developed between Bhandara and Gondia districts, which will be the home of surplus tigers of the state.  The tigers, who wander outside the Tadoba reserve territory, will go in Nagzira-Navegaon tiger reserve.  The Nagzira sanctuary, which was of 150 square kilometer and the Navegaon National Park, was of 130 square kilometer, which has been increased to 700 square kilometer to form a new tiger reserve.

National Green Tribunal ruled that state law can’t prevail over central rules on sand mining. NGT gave this judgment by dismissing the Madhya Pradesh government’s plea that its district level environmental committees be treated as competent authority for grant of clearance for such activity. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar refused to modify its 5 August 2013 order banning illegal sand mining across the country. The NGT bench stated that according to central law, environmental clearance (EC) can be granted only by

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).

It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multidisciplinary issues.

In its 5 August 2013 order, the tribunal had held that removal of sand without having requisite clearance from either MoEF or SEIAA, as per the area of the mining site, shall be illegal.

The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.

According to central law, sand mining on land measuring five hectares or more requires environmental clearance from MoEF, while clearance for areas less than that is given by SEIAA. What is National Green Tribunal (NGT)? The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18 October 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010

The Tribunal's dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts. The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavor for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same. New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai shall be the other 4 place of sitting of the Tribunal.

Objective of NGT For effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.


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National Museum Launched Project on Documentation

Institute Heritage

The National Museum Institute (NMI), New Delhi launched a project on researching and cataloguing various forms of performing and fine arts of the country.

patterns of traditional motifs created for various ceremonies, festivals and life-cycle occasions. About Sanjhi Sanjhi is a living traditional art form prevalent not just in Western Uttar Pradesh but in other parts of the country as well.

Objective The main aim of the project is developing an inventory on the intangible cultural heritage from across the country. Pilot projects: Under this program, pilot projects were already began at two regions of north Indiaď ƒ Western Uttar Pradesh and ď ƒ Ladakh. The institute also organised a community-led event at Sikhera village off Meerut and Gya on the highest plateau in Jammu and Kashmir. At Sikhera, NMI organised a programme of live creation of the living tradition of Sanjhi - a set of design

About National Museum Institute The National Museum Institute of the History of Art, Conservation and Museology was formed on 27 January 1989 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and was accorded the status of 'Deemed to be University' on 28 April 1989. The Institute has been one of the leading centers in the country for training and research in the field of art and cultural heritage. The Institute is situated within the premise of the National Museum with an objective that students can have direct exposure to the masterpieces of art and cultural heritage.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs President inaugurated Hornbill festival


President of India Pranab Mukharjee on 1 December 2013 inaugurated the Nagaland's traditional Hornbill Festival in Nagaland.

About Hornbill Festival  Hornbill (name of a bird) Festival, considered one of the biggest events in the state, showcases the rich tradition and cultural heritage of the Naga people.

The festival will have several traditional and modern cultural programmes, besides interesting competitions like 'Naga Chilli eating contest'. The hornbill festival for the first time inaugurated by the Former President Dr S Radhakrishnan on 1 December1963.

Union Minister of Minority Affairs launched National Portal on Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Union Minister of Minority Affairs on 11 November 2013 launched a National Portal on Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The portal was inaugurated to mark 125th birth anniversary of the great national leader- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

 In the festival, music and dance make for an enchanting display of their ethnicity and diversity.  To revive, protect and preserve this heritage and to enable visitors to understand it, the Hornbill Festival is celebrated through a collaborative effort of all Naga tribes. The 10-day festival began with sounding of the gong by the President. The President was also presented with traditional Naga gear like 'Dao' (a small sword), among others. He wore 'Tsula' (traditional head gear) and posed with the Dao to portray a ferocious Naga warrior.

About Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, (11 November 1888 – 22 February 1958) was a scholar and a great Indian freedom fighter, an eminent educationist and the first Education Minister of India.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs He was one of the greatest national leaders of his time in the cause of HinduMuslim unity as well as secularism and socialism.

About the National Portal This portal is an initiative to digitise the heritage of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and make his life and legacy available online. Along with a biographical account on Maulana Azad, the portal contains titles and information on over 20 books written by Maulana Azad, in Urdu and English, as well as information on over 45 books written on Maulana Azad in Urdu, Hindi and English. Portal also contains over 60 photographs – some of which are with contemporaries like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, C Rajagopalachari amongst others. The portal also has excerpts of rare writings by Maulana Azad – his address on the Mahatma’s Birthday on All India Radio, his message on the day that marked the anniversary of the JallianwalaBagh massacre, his insights on the history of philosophy – to name a few.

The national portal a one stop point collating all knowledge and resources available on Maulana Azad, is now available to the public.

Ministry for I & B Instituted New Centenary Award to Honour Contribution to Indian Cinema The Ministry for Information & Broadcasting announced the institution of a special award in the series of initiatives undertaken to commemorate the 100 years of Indian Cinema. The Centenary award would be given every year to an outstanding Indian film personality- A Film Icon, for his/her contribution to Indian Cinema at IFFI.

About the Centenary Award  The award reiterated the rich legacy of Indian Cinema where eminent personalities had contributed to its growth through different stages of its evolution.

Additionally, the portal enlists the institutions, scholarships and other initiatives named after the leader. The portal is a collaborative effort by the Union ministry of minority affairs, the Office of Advisor to the Prime Minister, the National Commission for Minorities, the Ministry of Culture).

 The award is the second in the series instituted by the Government to commemorate the centenary celebrations.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs 44th International Film Festival of India  The 44th International Film Festival of India was also be inaugurated to celebrate the 100 years of Indian cinema.  44th IFFI opened on 11 October 2013 and will close on 30 November 2013.

International Day of People with Disability was observed on 3 December International Day of People with Disability was observed across the world on 3 December 2013.

This is the 21st anniversary of International Day of People with Disability. Theme

 For the first time two International Film personalities, Susan Sarandon and acclaimed Iranian Filmmaker Majid Majidi shared the stage at the opening ceremony.  The 44th edition will also provide the platform to screen for the first time films on Nobel Prize winners, namely, Mandela, A long Walk to Freedom and Lech Walesa.  For the first time, a film produced and directed by an Afghan Director would be screened.  For the first time, a film on India’s great freedom struggle leader Basha Khan would be screened at the Festival.  Acclaimed Hollywood Actress Michelle Yeoh would be the Chief Guest for the closing ceremony of the Festival.  The festival would highlight for the first time Cinema from the North Eastern states of India.

The theme of the year is Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all. This day is observed annually to focus on the issues that affect people with disabilities worldwide. On this day, the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The awards were instituted by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, are given to outstanding achievers among persons with disabilities, as well as to individuals and institutions which do outstanding work for the empowerment of such persons. International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

In 1981, activists marked November 25 as a day to combat and raise awareness of violence against women more broadly; on December 17, 1999, the date received its official United Nations (UN) resolution.

International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women

The UN and the Inter-Parliamentary Union have encouraged governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities to support the day as an international observance.

The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The premise of the day is to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence; Furthermore, one of the aims of the day is to highlight that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.

For example, the UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) observes the day each year and offers suggestions for other organizations to observe it. The date of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women also marks the start of the “16 Days of Activism” that precedes Human Rights Day on December 10 each year.

UN FIGURES:  Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime.

For 2013, the official theme framed by the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, is Orange the World in 16 Days. Historically, the date is based on date of the 1960 assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic; the killings were ordered by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930–1961).

 Between 500,000 to 2 million people are trafficked annually into situations including prostitution,

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs forced labour, slavery or servitude, according to estimates. Women and girls account for about 80 per cent of the detected victims  It is estimated that more than 130 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM/C, mainly in Africa and some Middle Eastern countries.  The cost of intimate partner violence in the United States alone exceeds $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion is for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.

International Farming 2014




The United Nations recently launched the International Year of Family Farming (2014) in an effort to highlight the potential family farmers have to eradicate hunger, preserve natural resources and promote sustainable development. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) there are an estimated 500 million family farms – those that rely primarily on family members for labour and management – across the developed and developing world. These farms produce the food that feeds billions of people, the agency noted in a news release, adding that in many developing countries, family farms represent up to 80 per cent of all farm holdings.

“By choosing to celebrate this year, we recognize that family farmers are leading figures in responding to the double urgency the world faces today: improving food security and preserving the natural resources,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva stated at the launch, which was held at UN Headquarters in New York. Speaking on behalf of FAO, which is the lead UN agency for the year, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), he added that it is encouraging to see that family farming is still the main food provider for billions of children, women and men. Governments can empower family farmers, especially women and youth, by creating policies conducive to equitable and sustainable rural development. Private investors can ensure accountability and social and environmental responsibility throughout the value chain from farm to fork. Too much food is lost after harvest because small-scale producers aren’t able to store, process and transport their goods. Agricultural research and extension agencies and the knowledge community can tailor appropriate technologies for family farmers, and family farmers’ organizations, cooperatives and civil society as a whole can strengthen their role in promoting dialogue on this important issue.


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India welcomed deal Nuclear Programme



India welcomed the prospect of resolution of issues related to Iran's controversial nuclear programme through dialogue and diplomacy after Iran agreed to curb it under a deal with P5+1 Group of Nations.

Indian Point of view The agreement is consistent with India's position that the issue should be resolved diplomatically on the basis of recognition of Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy and in accordance with its international obligations as a nonnuclear weapon state.

Syed Akbaruddin, spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs,Government of India announced the statement in this regard.

About Iran's Nuclear Deal After four days of negotiations, representatives the US, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany (P5+1 group of nations) reached an agreement with Iran at Geneva to slow its controversial nuclear programme in return for about 7 billion Dollars in sanctions relief. Under the deal, Iran agreed to give better access to inspectors and halt some of its work on uranium enrichment. But Iranian negotiators insisted they still had a right to nuclear power. In return, there will be no new nuclear-related sanctions on Iran for six months. Under the deal, Iran will also stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent, the level at which it can be used for weapons research, and reduce its stockpile of uranium enriched beyond this point. The agreement -described as an "initial, six-month" deal - could build trust and confidence between Iran and the international community.

Earlier, India had welcomed the earlier agreement reached on 11th November 2013 between Iran and the IAEA on practical measures for enhanced IAEA verification activity at Iranian nuclear sites. However, sanctions on oil exports from Iran will continue, affecting India and other countries. India has slashed import of crude oil from Iran by over 26.5 percent in the financial year ended 31st March 2013 as US and European sanctions made it difficult to ship oil from the Persian Gulf nation.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs 3rd BRICS International Competition Conference

mandate of second BRIC Leaders Summit in April, 2010 in Brasilia, Brazil.

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India inaugurated 3rd BRICS International Competition Conference (ICC) on 21st November, 2013 at New Delhi.

The objective of the 3rd BRICS ICC is to discuss various issues and challenges in competition enforcement in BRICS countries and take the agenda of cooperation among the BRICS competition authorities forward from the earlier two conferences.

The 2-day conference is being organised by Competition Commission of India (CCI) on behalf of BRICS countries in pursuance of the Beijing Consensus, New Delhi Declaration and Action Plan adopted at Fourth BRICS Leaders Summit in New Delhi on March 29, 2012.

During the two day conference, discussions would focus on issues and challenges in setting up an affective agency, enforcement vis-à-vis state owned enterprises, public procurement and creation of competition culture. A separate session has been provided for experience sharing by mature jurisdictions on the subject of role of Competition regulation in innovation and economic development.

The theme of the 3rd BRICS ICC is “Competition Enforcement in BRICS Countries: Issues and Challenges”. The conference is organized biennially by one of the BRICS competition authorities on behalf of the all the BRICS competition authorities. The first BRICS Competition Conference was organized in Kazan, Russia in September, 2009 following the first BRICS Summit in June 2009 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The second BRICS ICC was organised in Beijing, China during 20-22 September, 2011 by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), China as per the

Competition Commission of India (CCI) will also sign a MoU with European Union (EU) on competition issues. A Delhi Accord shall be signed with BRICS competition authorities on the second day of the conference on 22nd November, 2013.

11th ASEM Meeting



 Foreign ministers of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) countries began their two-day meet in (Oberoi Hotel) Delhi, India.  ASEM is a gathering of 49 countries and two international organisations – the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs  The ASEM group constitutes about 60 percent of the world‟s population, 52 per cent of the global GDP, and 68 percent of world trade.  The theme of the 11th ASEM Foreign Ministers‟ Meeting is „ASEM: Bridge to Partnership for Growth and Development‟.  This is the first time India is hosting an ASEM Foreign Ministers meeting.  Meeting was today inaugurated by Vice President Hamid Ansari, and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid would chair the meeting.  In his inagural address Ansari said, “ In today‟s context, the strategic importance of the Asia-Europe partnership is evident. I believe we should look to optimize ASEM‟s potential with a sense of greater urgency. We should endeavour to take it beyond being a forum for political dialogue only, make it reach out to the people of Member States and create wider stakeholding amongst economic partners and civil society. We should invest its outcomes with tangible deliverables.”  ASEM has an unparalleled edge in terms of membership, capacity, economic influence, intellectual depth, strategic expertise and political leadership.  ASEM`s outcomes must accord greater visibility to these strengths, he said.  India was invited to join the ASEM in 2007.  The ASEM ministerial meetings are biennial and alternate with summit meetings.

 A summit meeting was held last year in Laos and this year India is hosting the foreign ministers‟ meeting.The next ASEM summit is set to be held in Brussels in autumn 2014.

ABOUT ASEM: The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation bringing together the 27 European Union member states,

European countries, and the European Commission with 20 Asian countries and the ASEAN Secretariat. The ASEM dialogue addresses political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between our two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership. The initial ASEM partnership in 1996 consisted of 15 EU member states and 7 ASEAN member states plus China, Japan, Korea and the European Commission. ASEM saw the first enlargement during the 5th ASEM Summit in 2004 in Hanoi (Vietnam), where the 10 new EU

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs Member States (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) and three new ASEAN countries (Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar) became officially part of the ASEM process. The second round of enlargement in 2008 during the 7th ASEM Summit in Beijing (China) brought in Bulgaria, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Romania and the ASEAN Secretariat, increasing total ASEM membership to 45 partners.

Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Viet Nam, Russia, and United Kingdom, were elected by secret ballot at UN Headquarters in New York. Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

In October 2010, the 8th ASEM Summit of Heads of Government and State in Brussels (Belgium) welcomed three member states to the ASEM process: Australia, New Zealand and Russia. This third round of enlargement increased total ASEM membership to 48 partners. During the 9th ASEM Summit of Heads of Government and State in Vientiane (Laos) in November 2012, ASEM was joined officially by Bangladesh, Norway, and Switzerland. This latest round of enlargement brings the total ASEM membership to 51 partners.

14 Countries Elected to UN Human Rights Council The UN General Assembly elected 14 countries to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) for a period of three years beginning on 1 January 2014. Algeria, China, Cuba, France Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the former

The Council, composed of 47 members, is an inter-governmental body within the UN system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them. All of its members are elected by the world body‟s General Assembly, and it has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva. The Council‟s membership is based on equitable geographical distribution and seats are distributed as follows:  13 seats for African States,  13 seats for Asian States,  8 seats for Latin American and Caribbean States,

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs  7 seats for Western European and other States,and 6 seats for Eastern European States. The other members of the Council and the end of their terms are as follows:  Argentina (2015), Austria (2014),  Benin (2014), Botswana (2014), Brazil (2015), Burkina Faso (2014),  Chile (2014), Congo (2014), Costa Rica (2014), Côte d‟Ivoire (2015), Czech Republic (2014),  Estonia (2015), Ethiopia (2015),  Gabon (2015), Germany (2015),  India (2014), Indonesia (2014), Ireland (2015), Italy (2014),  Japan (2015),  Kazakhstan (2015), Kenya (2015), Kuwait (2014),  Montenegro (2015),  Pakistan (2015), Peru (2014), Philippines (2014),  Republic of Korea (2015), Romania (2014),  Sierra Leone (2015),  United Arab Emirates (2015), United States (2015), and Venezuela (2015).

African Nations Sign Agreement for Common Currency Heads of state in East Africa signed a monetary-union deal, setting the clock on a 10-year timeline for the establishment of a regional single currency. The five nations in the East African Community regional economic bloc have decided to adopt a common currency. The presidents of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda met in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to sign a

protocol for the creation of a monetary union to be established in 10 years. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, the new chairman of the EAC, says the monetary union will lower transaction costs in the region by eliminating losses incurred in exchange rates.

The EAC began 13 years ago with the goal of creating a common customs union, market, monetary union and a political federation of East African states. After establishing the Customs Union in 2005, and the Common Market in 2010, East African countries have reached the third stage toward a united political federation: the Monetary Union Protocol. Progress has been slowed, however, due to concerns of the member countries about the impact of the bloc‟s decisions on their individual economies. Member states will also establish the East African Monetary Institute, which will take charge of all the monetary and exchange-rate policies, while the statistics body will produce regular inflation figures to guide price stabilization. They have also decided to issue the common new generation East African Passport, a modern regional travelling document likely to replace their national ones.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs The current East African passport apparently is only valid within the five countries and thus holders also had to depend on their respective national passports when travelling abroad. However, the new regional travelling document, to be released in 2015, will be an international one which means is likely to replace national passports.

Gabriela Isler is Miss Universe 2013 A 25-year-old Venezuelan Gabriela Isler was crowned Miss Universe 2013. Gabriela Isler became the 62nd Miss Universe. She currently works as a talent on the Venevision TV Network.

The deal marks an important touchstone in the region‟s transition from a collection of conflict zones to one of the world‟s most promising destinations for investment.

ABOUT EAS: The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organisation of the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The second place went to Miss Spain Patricia Yurena Rodriguez and third to Miss Ecuador Constanza Baez.

The Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community was signed on 30 November 1999 and entered into force on 7 July 2000 following its ratification by the original three Partner States – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Last year‟s winner Olivia Culpo of the United States placed a diamond crown on the head of Isler.

The Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi acceded to the EAC Treaty on 18 June 2007 and became full Members of the Community with effect from 1 July 2007.

Event was held at Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia.

It is the seventh Miss Universe win for Venezuela. All 86 contestants initially appeared on stage in red and black cocktail dresses. The 62nd edition of the beauty pageant was judged by prominent faces like American singer- songwriter Steven Tyler, Russian-born supermodel Anne Vyalitsyna, simply known as Anne V, American model and actress Carol Alt, chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, Farouk Shamifounder of the hair-care and spa products

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs company, Farouk Systems and retired American figure skater Tara Lipinski. Manasi Moghe from India makes it to the 10 finalists. Miss Nicaragua Nastassja Bolivar Miss Nicaragua wins best national costume at Miss Universe 2013. Miss Poland, Paulina Krupinska, was awarded Miss Photogenic, and Miss China, Jin Ye, was awarded Miss Congeniality, each winning a $1,000 cash prize and a gift from Diamond Nexus. The Miss Universe pageant is one of the top three pageants in the world run by the Miss Universe Organization. Started in California in 1952 by clothing company Pacific Mills, it was acquired by Trump in 1996 and currently owns it in joint partnership with NBC Universal to select women who “personify the combination of beauty and intelligence that defines the 21st century.

2014 Winter Games in Sochi from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.  The Soyuz-FG rocket and SoyuzTMA capsule, emblazoned with the symbols of the Sochi Games and the Olympic rings, blasted off today.  Two Russian astronauts will take the unlit torch on a space walk on Saturday.  Russia‟s Mikhail Tyurin, NASA‟s Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata of Japan carried the torch, which will remain unlit throughout the flight for safety reasons, onto the rocket.

PAST WINNERS:        

2012 Olivia Culpo, United States 2011 Leila Lopes, Angola 2010 Ximena Navarrete, Mexico 2009 Stefania Fernandez,Venezuela 2008 Dayana Mendoza, Venezuela 2007 Riyo Mori, Mexico, Japan 2006 Zuleyka Rivera, Puerto Rico 2005 Natalie Glebova, Canada

Russian Rocket Takes Olympic Torch to Space  Russia has launched a rocket carrying an Olympic torch for the

 The Olympic symbol will be handed over to fellow cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky, who

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are already on the orbiting station, when they go on the spacewalk. While the red-and-silver torch, designed to evoke the feathers of a Firebird from Russian folklore, is taken outside space station 250 miles above Earth, the flame will remain lit on the ground below.The journey will take six hours. The torch will return to earth on Monday, and will travel across Russia before being used to light the Olympic flame at Sochi‟s stadium on Feb. 7. The space flight is part of what will be the longest torch relay before a Winter Olympics, which President Vladimir Putin hopes will boost Russia‟s image and show what it can achieve, more than two decades after the Soviet Union collapsed. The Olympic torch has gone into space twice before, in 1996 and 2000, but it has never been taken on a space walk. As part of its 65,000-km (40,000mile) relay, the torch has traveled to the North Pole on an atomicpowered ice breaker. It will still go to the peak of Europe‟s highest mountain, Mount Elbrus, and the depths of Siberia‟s Lake Baikal before reaching Sochi on the Black Sea for the start of the Games on February 7. The torch-bearing trio‟s arrival at the orbital station, a $100 billion project of 15 nations, will briefly swell its crew to nine people – the most on board the outpost since America‟s last shuttle mission in 2011.

Current Affairs November 2013  

Current Affairs November 2013

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