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October - 2013


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A member of All India Services shall be eligible to obtain medical treatment outside India  The Government has eased norms and allowed member of All India Services and 

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their dependent family members to get medical treatment abroad at State’s cost. A member of All India Services – Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) – can also be airlifted outside the state in cases of a medical emergency, under the new rules by Ministry of Personnel. As many as 4,737 IAS officers, 3,637 IPS officers and 2,700 IFoS personnel are working across the country. A member of All India Services shall be eligible to claim reimbursement of the cost of medical treatment obtained inside or outside India. An IAS, IPS and IFoS officer may avail medical treatment outside India for himself or for a member of his family for a limited number of conditions. They include complex or high-risk cardio-vascular surgery, bone marrow transplant and for complex medical and oncological disorders, such as leukemia and neo-plastic conditions. They may also get treatment abroad for complex high-risk cases in micro-vascular and neuro surgery and extremely complex ailments. However, a screening committee will decide on recommending cases for treatment abroad. An attendant of member of services will also be entitled for to and fro air fare. The scale of expenditure and the eligibility for treatment is identical to the scale of expenditure and the eligibility of an official of the Indian Foreign Service of the corresponding grade in the Ministry of External Affairs. Earlier, reimbursement of cost of medical treatment incurred abroad by All India Services officer was not allowed. Until now, such benefits were available only to members of Parliament and officers of the Indian Foreign Service when posted abroad.

A brief comment The decision of the Government has come under severe criticism from various quarters. Some notable arguments against the move are as follows.

n For a government reluctant of providing universal health cover for all, the decision that members of the All India Services and their families will be eligible for medical treatment abroad at the taxpayer‟s expense is certainly a case of misplaced priorities. Even in 1946, the report of the Health Survey and Development Committee headed by Sir Joseph Bhore, on which the national health system was


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It may be recalled here that to provide even a basic package of free health care to Indians, after co-opting a regulated private sector for the purpose, India needs to double the number of doctors and nurses by 2025. The country falls well short of the modest WHO norm of 23 health workers per 10,000 people, with only 19 workers available. Rather than take up this challenge to provide even a basic package of free health care to www.vetriias.com

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to be built, recommended that “public funds should, as far as they are available, be devoted to the development of the health service.” At a time when the economy is in a bad shape, the fiscal deficit is widening and the Rupee is constantly depreciating in relation to other currencies, the decision to allow officers of the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service and their family members to avail medical treatment abroad at government expense will lead to a severe burden on the exchequer. With a committee of specialist government doctors sitting in judgment over eligibility for treatment abroad in terms of the specific diseases and medical conditions and the span of treatment for reimbursement, one cannot dismiss the possibility of a nexus developing between the influential bureaucrats and the senior medical personnel. It indeed is only a matter of time before other Central services and even State services start demanding similar privileges. Next, the judges of high courts and the apex court would predictably expect such privileges to be extended to them. No one knows where all this will end. The earlier rules which were in force for nearly three decades did not include airfare, and the government reimbursed the medical expenditure only to the extent the same treatment would cost in a private ward at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. That was still logical, but the new rules clearly go overboard. Predictably, as it happens in our country, the floodgates of misuse would open. The ailments for which members of the IAS, IPS or their families are now eligible for treatment abroad are those for which treatments need to be widely available in a country with over 1.2 billion people, but are not. Complex or high risk cardiovascular surgery, bone marrow transplants, treatment for leukemia, neoplastic conditions, micro-vascular and neurosurgery (and others left unspecified) should be available in the public health system, ideally at the district level. That prospect is now distant, since the people who wield power in everyday decision-making have no incentive to do this: they can get treated abroad, and pass on the cost to the exchequer. It is not only a question of expenditure at the expense of the taxpayer. The country’s medical infrastructure has improved considerably over the years and many patients from abroad come to India to avail of its medical facilities and high quality of doctors. Yet, the message that is going out to the world is that our own bureaucrats do not trust the country‟s medical facilities and our doctors to deliver the requisite expertise and quality of services.


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Indians, it is unfortunate that the Government has agreed to foot the bill for reverse medical tourism for a select few.

CyclonePhailin Phailin Cyclone  India recently withstood the fury of cyclone Phailin in eastern coastal regions of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh indicating better disaster preparedness as a similarly deadly cyclone had killed 10,000 people 14 years ago in 1999.  Cyclone Phailin, the worst cyclone to hit the eastern coast of India in 14 years, had its landfall near Gopalpur, Odisha on October 12, 2013 with wind speeds of up to 210 km.  It has affected 1.2 crore people and left a trail of devastation across a 400-km arc along the Indian coastline across Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.  It has thrown everyday life completely out of gear in 14 districts and has had a severe impact on business in the two states. How was India prepared?

 Compared to the super cyclone in 1999, this time both Odisha and AP were much  

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better equipped for the impending crisis. Since the warning came four days ahead of the cyclone, the administration in the two states had enough time to react to it. It is remarkable that in 1999, the cyclone took a toll of almost 10,000 people, while this time the casualty has been below 20. The Meteorological Department had already forewarned accurately about the cyclone, its intensity, probable location and time of landfall etc. Improved observation data, better computational facilities and refined models led the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to come up with so highly accurate predictions. Massive evacuation of people from the coastal areas has already been done timely. It is regarded as India‟s biggest evacuation in its history, with 8 lakh people in the line of devastation moved to safer areas. Some 2,300 personnel of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) were spread across the two states. Five columns of the Army had moved and 18 IAF helicopters were on standby for relief and rescue work.

About Phailin

 What does Phailin mean?*

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It‘s the Thai word for sapphire.

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 What is it, actually?  Phailin has been described as a very severe cyclonic storm at level 6 by IMD. 

This is a level below a super cyclone, when the maximum sustained wind speed is above 220 kilometres per hour. Where did it come from?  Phailin began as a deep depression in the Malay Peninsula on 8 October. The Malay Peninsula comprises areas such as the southernmost tip of Myanmar, Peninsular Malaysia, and Southern Thailand. When and where did Phailin make landfall in India?  Some 45km south of Gopalpur, a port town in Ganjam district of Odisha between 6pm and 8pm on 12 October. Gopalpur falls between Paradip in Odisha and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. What was be the impact on landfall?  IMD‘s forecast talked about a storm surge up to 12 feet. Other than high velocity winds, severe rains in excess of 25cm is expected across the costal districts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Which districts were affected most?  Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Jagatsingpur, Kendrapara, Nayagarh, Khurda, Balasore and Bhadrak (in Odisha); Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram (in Andhra Pradesh). Costal districts of West Bengal were also on alert. Have there been worse ones?  The Odisha super cyclone on 29 October 1999. With a wind speed between 260kmph and 300kmph, the super cyclone killed some 10,000 people.

The damage

 In terms of human casualty, about 20 Ives have been reportedly lost so far. The

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exact quantum of the damage caused by Phailin, including damage to crops and livestock, is yet to be ascertained.  The damage to business along the coast in Phailin‘s wake is estimated to be large, though it has not yet been ascertained. Paradip Port, one of the busiest in the eastern coast, faced gale force winds of up to 180 km and waves reached a height of nearly 5 metres at the mouth of the port when the cyclone struck. A decision to let all vessels sail off by the evening on Friday, October 11, saved major casualties at the Paradip Port.  There is also a threat of flooding in several areas.  Electricity poles have been uprooted in many places and this is likely to take days to be restored. This is a serious setback to Odisha‘s power system.

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 India rolled out its biggest disaster relief operation in history, successfully evacuating more than a million people out of harm‘s way before Cyclone Phailin swept through the coastal states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, ravaging crops and infrastructure and flattening hundreds of thousands of houses.  Although the loss of life was minimal compared to death tolls in their thousands left by previous cyclones, the challenging tasks of rescue and rehabilitation remain with warnings of impending floods in Odisha.  There are other looming challenges, including the threat of disease. One of the biggest concerns is the availability of potable water.  At the end, one has to remember that such disasters are about livelihoods as well as lives. Over the two decades many parts of India—including Andhra Pradesh—will be increasingly exposed to disasters. The focus on how deadly disasters can be should not obscure the fact that many homes, hospitals, shops and schools will have been badly impacted in ways which will drive people into poverty.

Comment Any loss of human life is sad, but the relatively low toll from cyclone Phailin is a testimony to the efforts of the state and central governments in preparing for the cyclone and anticipating what would be needed. This is a model for how administrations can and must respond to crises.

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By the same token, it highlights how inadequate the preparedness in the Uttarakhand tragedy was. Taken together, the two events establish quite clearly that while governments can do nothing to prevent natural calamities, how they prepare for them and react to them can make a massive difference to the toll they exact.

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs More Information What is a tropical cyclone?

 A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a low-pressure centre, which produces strong winds and flooding rain.

 A tropical cyclone feeds on heat released by the condensation of moist air.

 The latent heat gets converted into kinetic energy and feeds the strong winds emerging out of it.  Cyclonic storms have counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.  Developed over warm water bodies “ocean and seas” they lose their strength once they move over land.  They also help in the global atmospheric circulation mechanism by carrying heat and energy away from tropics towards temperate latitudes.

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 Tropical cyclones are formed in eight basins  Northern Atlantic,  Northeastern Pacific,  North Central Pacific,  Northwestern Pacific,  Northern Indian Ocean,

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What are the different types of tropical cyclones?


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 Southwestern Indian Ocean,  South and Southwestern Pacific and  Southeastern Indian Ocean.

 Each basin has a different naming system.  In the North Atlantic Ocean, Northwest Pacific Ocean east of the International

Date Line and South Pacific Ocean, they are called hurricanes.  Typhoon is the name given to a tropical cyclone formed in the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline.  In the southwest Pacific Ocean and southeast Indian Ocean, it is called a severe tropical cyclone.  Similarly, tropical cyclones in the north Indian Ocean and southwest Indian Ocean are called severe cyclonic storm and tropical cyclone respectively. Cyclone prone areas in India and World

What is a storm surge?

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rise of water caused by the low-pressure system of a tropical cyclone.  During the cyclone, high-speed winds start pushing on the ocean‘s surface which piles the water up higher than sea level.  The low-pressure centre of the cyclone adds to the surge and the combined effect causes flooding.

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 A storm surge is an offshore


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Why are cyclones named? Tropical cyclones are named to provide ease of communication between forecasters and the public. Apart from this, they can often last a week or longer and the same basin can have more than one cyclone, hence giving a name reduces confusion. Naming of cyclones started in early 20th century when an Australian forecaster named the cyclone after politicians whom he disliked. Now, cyclones are given names contributed by member nations of the World Meteorological Organization. The new names include those of men, women, and flowers and so on. In the North Atlantic and Northeastern Pacific, feminine and masculine names are alternated in alphabetic order during a given season. What is the process of naming cyclones?

 The regional body responsible for monitoring a tropical cyclone in a particular

basin makes a list of cyclone names for the particular basin.  There are five such bodies which keep 10 pre-designated lists of cyclone names.  The names are proposed by the member countries.  For instance, the names of cyclones in the northern Indian Ocean are contributed by  Bangladesh,  India,  Maldives,  Myanmar,  Oman,  Pakistan,  Sri Lanka and  Thailand.

Super cyclone 1999 The super cyclone of 1999 On October 29, 1999, a super cyclone with a wind speed of 300 mph had struck Odisha, making it probably the greatest cyclonic disaster ever recorded in the last century. It was first detected when it was at its low pressure stage over the gulf of Siam by the IMD cyclone surveillance system on the morning of October 24, five days before it made landfall. Winds of up to 260 kph raged for over 36 hours. Coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Ganjam were forced to evacuate their homes.

Paradip)

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 Landfall point  Between Ersama and Balikuda in Jagatsinghpur district (southwest of

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Info about Super cyclone 1999


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 Time of landfall  10.30 am, October 29, 1999  High wind speed  The wind speed of the super cyclone was so high that the anemometer, a

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Article by M.SHUNMUGAM DIRECTOR – VETRII IAS STUDY CIRCLE vetriiias@gmail.com

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device used for measuring wind speed, at the IMD office and at Paradip had failed to record it Eye of storm:  Paradip Three days of torrential rain  The super cyclone centred over coastal areas of Odisha for three days was accompanied by torrential rain as a tidal surge of about 7 to 10 metre that swept more than 20 km inland. Diameter of cyclone:  200 km Originated from  1999 super cyclone had originated from about 550 km east of the Andaman Islands as a depression Storm Surge  While the impending storm Phailin may cause a storm surge of about 1.5-2 metre this time, the state witnessed it at 7 -10 metre in 1999. Districts and towns affected  The storm in 1999 led to 45 cm to 95 cm of rainfall and affected 14 coastal districts, 28 coastal towns and two major cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Death toll  While the official death toll then was 9,885 people, unofficial sources estimated the toll to be above 50,000. An estimated 1,500 children were orphaned. Of the total casualty, Jagatsinghpur district alone had accounted for 8,119 people. Affected people  At least 13 million people, including 3.3 million children, 5 million women and nearly 3.5 million elderly people were affected in 1999. Injured people  The storm had left 7,505 people injured Livestock lost  3,15,886 head of cattle Roof snatched  16,50,086 houses damaged, 23,129 houses washed away, 7,46,337 houses fully destroyed and 8,80,620 houses partially damaged (Source: UNDP and Odisha Disaster Management Authority)


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India too a target of NSA’s Prism Programme - A revelation  Recently, certain prominent sections of the Indian media reported that the U.S.‘s National Security Agency (NSA) and the American surveillance programmes such as PRISM targeted India too, among many other countries.  It may also be recalled here that recently, public assertions were made by Indian and American officials that no content was taken from India‘s internet and telephone networks by the American surveillance programmes.  These revelations have come from a top secret document disclosed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

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the American agency to gather key information from India by tapping directly into the servers of tech giants which provide services such as email, video sharing, voice-over-IPs, online chats, file transfer and social networking services.  Further , much of the communication targeted by the NSA is unrelated to terrorism. Instead, much of the surveillance was focused on India‟s domestic politics and the country‘s strategic and commercial interests.  This is the first time it‘s being revealed that PRISM, which facilitates extensive, indepth surveillance on live communications as well as stored information, was used by the world‘s largest surveillance organization to intercept and pick content on at least three issues related to India‘s geopolitical and economic interests. They are: Nuclear, Space and Politics.  This document is strong evidence of the fact that NSA surveillance in India was not restricted to tracking of phone calls, text messages and email logs by Boundless Informant, an NSA tool that was deployed quite aggressively against India.  As politics, space and nuclear are mentioned as ―end products‖ in this document, it means that emails, texts and phones of important people related to these fields were constantly monitored and intelligence was taken from them, and then the NSA prepared official reports on the basis of raw intelligence.  It means, they have been listening in real time to what our political leaders, bureaucrats and scientists are communicating with each other.

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 According to the available information,, the PRISM programme was deployed by

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs An analysis

The most recent revelations are deeply worrisome, to state the obvious. It does not amount to occasional snooping, it actually means full scale spying upon India. It was, thus, rather surprising how India chose to downplay the issue. India seems to have conveniently taken the line put forward by the U.S that it was just monitoring the ―patterns of communication‖ through the Internet and it did not amount to espionage. In the past few days, media reports have revealed how the NSA systematically tapped conversations between Indian government officials and elected representatives, whether it be through phone calls, e-mail, texts, chat or Skype videos. The main reason for this is that the U.S. believes it has the right to collect economic and strategic rent from India in return for the lifting it did on the nuclear deal between 2005 and 2008. In the face of relentless American demands, the Indian government has yielded ground across a wide range of issues, from civil nuclear energy, the Montreal Protocol, and greater intellectual property protection, to defence purchases, NATO’s intervention in Libya, and sanctions on Iran. In return, it is ironical that the U. S. has only intensified its effort to spy on India, suggesting this relationship is a one-way street. India must protest against the NSA‘s outrageous surveillance programmes. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has led the way, calling U.S. actions a breach of international law. The U.S. cannot carry on with its illegal activities and pretend everything is normal by simply endorsing India as its strategic partner.

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There are 145 avian species in the country facing various levels of threat according to a list compiled for the current year by IUCN, an international conservation organization.

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Among the birds that face a bleak future is the great Indian bustard.

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By some estimates, less than 250 representatives of this heavy, terrestrial species survive today.

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Beleaguered Bustards

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Research insight points to the peculiarities of its grassland habitat, growing pressures from cattle grazing and expanding farming activity as significant causes for its depletion.

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A comeback for the great Indian bustard, as well as the lesser florican and Bengal florican belonging to the same family, will now depend on a conservation programme that is based in science and quickly builds community support.

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Rajasthan has the largest known population of the great Indian bustard and has done well to allocate resources to aid a dedicated effort.

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“Competition from cattle for the grasses here brings the bird in conflict with humans, often with tragic results”.

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A fodder supply scheme to spare the grassland and thus aid the bustard will go a long way in the restoration of bird populations and insect diversity, which are inter-linked.

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Forest officials in Karnataka and elsewhere have also unwisely changed the open landscape into plantations of exotic tree species, dealing a blow to the bird.

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The mistake has been realised in Nannaj sanctuary of Maharashtra, and bustards have reappeared in areas where the trees have been removed; unregulated tourism, however, continues to be an impediment here.

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There is apprehension that the new law on land acquisition may work against grassland birds, since cultivated lands are eligible for higher compensation, and farmers may remove grasses.

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Ultimately, a landscape approach to conservation is what can save India‘s critically endangered wildlife.

Elections for Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council The recent elections in Northern Province

H Recently, along with the Northern Province Sri Lanka‟s Central and North Western provinces went through poll on September 21, 2013. The attention, however, was on the Northern Province as it was witnessing its first ever provincial council election.

H The Northern Province is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but did not have any legal status until 1987.

H Between 1988 and 2006 the province was temporarily merged with the Eastern Province to form the North Eastern Province. www.vetriias.com

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provincial councils. The councils with specified powers were created as a result of the Indo-Lanka Accord, 1987.

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H When the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka established


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H The capital of the Northern Province is Jaffna. H The Sri Lankan Civil War had its roots in this province. It is also known as Sri Lanka‟s Tamil country.

H Elections were held to all the Provincial Councils for the first time in 1988. H The elected North East Provincial Council (NEPC) was constituted on 5th December 1988. It had only a brief existence as it was dissolved in June 1990.

The outcome of the Provincial Council elections

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majority NWP and the CP securing about 60% of the vote. The surprise was the NP where the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was expected to win but the outcome turned out to be a massive landslide. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) secured two -third majority in the elections to the Northern Province Council. The TNA won 30 out of 38 seats (28 direct and 2 bonus seats) while ruling United People’s Freedom Front (UPFA) got seven seats and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) won one seat. It is clear that TNA has got a decisive victory. This proves people are definitely with TNA. This must be properly understood by the Sri Lankan government as well as India and other international community. The victory has been remarkable given the fact that the Northern Province is still under army occupation and according to international observers, the army worked for the ruling alliance candidates. The TNA speaks of Tamils‟ right to self-determination in its manifesto — which drew strong criticism from some who sensed a call for separatism. However, TNA has clarified that the manifesto speaks of right to self-determination only through a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka.

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 As expected the Rajapakse government won fairly handsomely in the Sinhalese


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 Still recovering from the aftermath of a three decade-long conflict that ended in

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2009, the Provincial Council (NPC) elections on September was indeed a landmark event for Sri Lanka‘s Northern Province. This is the first time since 1988 that provincial council elections were being held in Northern Sri Lanka. In the four years since the war ended, people have encountered a range of issues such as  Heavy militarisation;  High surveillance by the military intelligence;  An absence of employment opportunities; and  Complaints related to disappearances. People have voiced their concerns at every available opportunity on these issues. Often in denial, the Sri Lankan government has instead stressed its investment in infrastructure — visible in the form of newly-laid roads, pavements, transport connectivity, functional schools and hospitals. The high voter turnout and the enthusiastic participation of various political parties demonstrate the continuing commitment of the people of Sri Lanka to democratic values and elections for representative bodies at various levels, including the Provincial Councils. With these elections, the Tamil population in the Northern Province got a new democratic voice to articulate its political will. The Tamils have emotionally reaffirmed the war crimes accusations they have been making against the regime. They have also rejected what they perceive to be an oppressor Sinhala State. President Rajapakse in the meantime held his position in the hearts of the Sinhalese as the NWP and CP results showed. There is now a dangerous bifurcation in the country; a long repressed Tamil voice has found utterance for a message whose intensity is unlikely to diminish at least till there is a change at the Centre. But that is unlikely any time soon. These polls also mark the beginning of a new challenge. The powers vested with the Governor of the province — who is appointed by the President — it would be a real challenge to run the Council. Welcoming elections to three Sri Lankan provincial councils, including the Northern, India has said that the Sri Lanka Government there has honoured its commitment while asserting that it was looking forward to implementation of other important commitments such as 13th amendment of the Constitution.

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Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) of India Mars Orbiter Mission

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Mars orbiter to be launched in November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).  This will be India‟s first mission to Mars.  If successful, ISRO would become the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after Roscosmos, NASA, and ESA.  The Mars Orbiter Mission probe will lift off from ISRO‘s launch facility at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket in November 2013.  The window for the MOM to launch is short: October 28 until November 19.  Scientists believe this is the optimal timing and trajectory for a Mars mission.  Every two years, a narrow window opens up, which allows an optimal trajectory to be achieved for a Mars mission by  The mission is a “technology combining the least amount of fuel demonstrator” project aiming to develop the with the shortest journey time. technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.  The main objective of this first Indian mission to Mars comprises the following major tasks:  Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars.  Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.  Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.  The secondary objectives are scientific, and include the study of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and the Martian atmosphere.

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 The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), informally called Mangalyaan, is a planned

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 The 15 kg scientific payload consists of five instruments:  Atmospheric studies  Lyman-Alpha Photometer (LAP) — a photometer that measures the relative abundance of deuteriumand hydrogen from Lyman-alpha emissions in the upper atmosphere.  Measuring the deuterium/hydrogen ratio will allow to estimate the process of water loss to outer space.  Methane Sensor For Mars (MSM) — will measure methane in the atmosphere of Mars, if any, and map its sources.  Particle environment studies  Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyzer (MENCA) — is a quadrupole mass analyzer capable of analyzing the neutral composition of particles in the exosphere.  Surface imaging studies  Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS) — will measure the temperature and emissivity of the Martian surface, this can allow mapping surface composition and mineralogy of Mars.  Mars Color Camera (MCC) — will provide images in the visual spectrum, providing context information for the other science instruments. Mangalyaan-Mars-Mission2 Key facts

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planet Mars with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit. The Mission is primarily technological mission considering the critical mission operations and stringent requirements on propulsion and other bus systems of spacecraft. One of the main objectives of the first Indian mission to Mars is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission. The satellite will carry compact science experiment instruments, totaling a mass of 15 kg. There will be five instruments to study Martian surface, atmosphere and mineralogy. The main theme of MOM appears to be to seek to reveal whether there is methane, considered a ―precursor chemical‖ for life, on the red planet. Methane sensor, one of the five payloads on board the spacecraft, would look to detect the presence of Methane. ISRO has said that the Rs 150-crore spacecraft would be launched on November 8 at 16 hours, 14 minutes and 45 seconds (4.15 pm), weather permitting.

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Q Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is India‟s first interplanetary mission to


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Q After leaving the earth‘s orbit, the spacecraft will cruise in deep space for about ten months using its own propulsion system and will reach Martian transfer trajectory in September 2014. Q The spacecraft subsequently is planned to enter into a 372 km by 80,000 km elliptical orbit around Mars. Importance of Mars mission to India Human missions to Mars, at least initially, are and always have been focused heavily on scientific exploration. This includes the search for evidence of life as well as the search for liquid water, mineralogy mapping expeditions, resource collection, comparative planetology, and more. Understanding Mars can also tell us many things about our own planet, from geology to climatology, with much greater accuracy than simply focusing on Earth can do. The important science question for the Mars exploration is how past water activity on Mars has influenced the planet‘s environment over time. While there is no liquid water on the surface of Mars today, the record of past water activity on Mars can be found in the rocks, minerals, and geologic landforms, particularly in those that can only form in the presence of water. Understanding Mars can also inform us about the formation and structure of other worlds in our solar system. The present MOM craft will carry thermal infrared imaging spectrometer to map Mars‘ surface composition and mineralogy. These findings — coupled with the information gleaned from the NASA‘s Curiosity Rover — will give us a better understanding of Mars‘ surface, in preparation for the first human visitors to the Red Planet.

A Golden Dream o Archaeologists and treasure hunters go back a long way. Both in real life and in popular culture, they have often been inseparable, if not one and the same.

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gold as much as he did excavation. Action film hero Indiana Jones, in movies set in the first half of the 20th century, was both a professor in archaeology and an adventurer in search of lost relics. o Last week, the Archaeological Survey of India gave cause for much mirth and some puzzlement as it began excavation work in search of gold at the ruins of a fort of Raja Ram Baksh Singh in the Buxar area after the head priest of the Shobhan Temple in Unnao, Shobhan Sarkar, claimed he was informed in his dream of a treasure of gold at the site by the Raja.

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o Heinrich Schliemann, who dug up “Priam’s treasure” in the 19th century, loved

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o Folklore, maps, diaries, and fragments of documents have all triggered treasure o

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hunts in real life and in novels and movies, but the dreams of a sadhu have never been known to form the stuff of archaeological activities. After criticism from allies and Opposition parties for ordering excavation work on the basis of such intangibles, and for encouraging superstition and undermining science, the Central government seems to have persuaded the ASI to issue a rejoinder. ASI officials now claim the excavation is being undertaken on the basis of scientific reports and the historical importance of the site. Apparently, preliminary investigations of the Geological Survey of India indicated the presence of nonconducting metals or alloys at the site. But, the clarification raises more questions than it answers. Whether or not the digging was based on unverifiable dreams or on measurable scientific data, the excavation at the fort site was given extraordinary priority by the ASI, acting on the orders of the Union Culture Ministry. Actually, matters gathered pace after Mr. Charan Das Mahant (Union Minister of State for Food Processing) was reported as saying that the sadhu had told him that the gold reserves were so huge that they could come in handy at a time when there is a “crisis with the rupee.” That the preliminary findings of the GSI could raise the interest levels of the ASI in this manner is rather surprising. Surely, the sadhu and Mr. Mahant will be feted and felicitated for their efforts if gold is indeed found at the fort site. But if the gold hunt turns out to be futile and the dig unearths little of archaeological significance, the ASI‘s credibility will stand greatly eroded.

Leveling the playing field

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struck down an arbitrary proviso in current government policy that had become an impediment in the mandatory reservation of three per cent of jobs for this important section of the population.  In disposing of an appeal from the Union of India, the court has pronounced that the quota should be computed uniformly across all grades of employment, thereby removing a discrepancy in the 2005 government order.  That order restricted reservation in A and B category posts only to those that have already been identified as appropriate for the disabled.  The question of identification of jobs has for some time remained a grey area: whether governments should first ascertain the type of work the disabled can take up and then enforce reservation.  Currently, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment undertakes the exercise of job identification every three years, without restricting the freedom of establishments to recruit disabled persons to work in areas they deem fit.

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 The latest Supreme Court ruling on the rights of persons with disabilities has

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 The other important question in the instant case was whether quotas should be computed against vacancies that arise from time to time, or with respect to the total strength of the cadre.  Significantly, the Supreme Court has interpreted the relevant provision in the 1995 Persons with Disabilities Act as pertaining only to the filling up of vacancies, whereas the Delhi High Court had earlier opined that the quota should be computed for the total strength of the cadre.  Going beyond the current ruling, it is essential that the legal and administrative approach to disability in India be brought in line with enlightened global norms.  The principles of non-discrimination and equality of opportunities should be codified unambiguously and implemented as part of official policy.  The expansion of employment prospects for the disabled is closely linked to the spread of educational opportunities and the removal of physical and attitudinal barriers that prevent the disabled from realizing their potential.  The impediments to secure employment for the disabled are not vastly different from those that hamper the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.  The one area that is perhaps the most critical to the advancement of the disabled is improvements in access to the built-environment, public transport and pedestrian pathways.  The notorious inaction on the part of governments is due in no small measure to the absence of penal provisions for non-implementation of the 1995 law.

Message behind the Peace Nobel In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has given another leg up to the goal of ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction.

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The organization has done a commendable job since it came into being in 1997 as the custodian of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

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In 2005, the Peace Prize went to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Though it is tempting to see the 2013 Prize as an acknowledgement simply of the OPCW‘s difficult and ongoing mandate to monitor the destruction of Syria‟s chemical munitions,

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As many as 189 countries are party to the CWC‘s ban on chemical munitions; under the treaty‘s terms, they are obliged to declare and destroy any stockpiles they possess within a clear timeframe. Unlike the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which gives the United States, Russia, China, France, and Great Britain special status, the CWC is nondiscriminatory. Unfortunately, as the Nobel Committee observes in its citation for the OPCW, ―certain states have not observed the deadline, which was April 2012, for destroying their chemical weapons. This applies especially to the U.S. and Russia.‖ The U.S. has sought another decade to destroy its arsenal, while Russia is expected to complete the process only by 2018. The irony of thrashing out a deal to eliminate Syria‘s CW stocks while lagging behind on their own commitments must not be lost on both countries. For its part, India has complied fully with the treaty, having eliminated its chemical stockpile four years ago. Apart from living up to their disarmament commitments, the big powers must also ensure there is no interference with the OPCW‘s functioning. The organization relies both on technical and diplomatic expertise to fulfill its objectives. Yet, it has been impeded by partisan politics in the past. In the run-up to the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration managed to oust OPCW Director-General José Maurício Bustani when it emerged the Brazilian diplomat would stand in its way. Mr. Bustani had sought to engage Saddam Hussein, with a view to ensuring Iraq‘s accession to the CWC. By bottling the OPCW and using entities like the U.N. Special Commission for Iraq to further its own interests, the U.S. has done no service to the goal of eliminating WMDs. The role of the OPCW in Syria — given the limited time it has for its mission — will now be thrown into sharp relief. The stakes are high and the organization must be allowed to do its job without coercion or meddling from outside. The quick and effective elimination of Syria‘s chemical weapons would reinforce the world‘s faith in multilateralism and vindicate the Nobel Committee‘s choice for what is arguably its most prestigious prize.

Awareness of Right to Information

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knowledge in different areas. It has indispensible function in the growth of societies in any nation.  In Indian democratic social structure, freedom of information is the requirement of overall development due to its influential power. Free flow of information and its utilization improves the condition of nation, and public life is made comfortable.

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 Information is essential to resolve many issues, decision making, and increasing


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 In any nation, if people have liberty to pass information and there is security of  

        

human rights, then their many complex problems can be solved. It totally depends on freedom of expression and information. To fully understand the concept of right to information, many countries have enacted the law for this to give liberty to its public. The thought of the right to information is related to freedom of information. Freedom of information denotes rational freedom. Both intellectual freedom and the right to information are human rights which guard life of people and enhance human development. Conversely, human rights must be protected by a democratic system in countries. To maintain democratic state, members of the society must participate in the decision-making process and they need the right to information. The Right to Information Act (RTIA) open ups a new prospect in Asian countries for the free of information. The Indian Parliament passed the Right to Information Act, 2005 and provides power to Indian citizens to obtain any type of information from the Government as their right. This regulation is very broad and includes all areas of governance. Right to information act enable the citizens know about government functions at Union, State and Local level in addition to recipients of government funding. The Right to Information Act is mainly intended to empower the Indian citizens, make government functionaries answerable, control corruption, and build a strong democratic nation. People can use this act to control misleading of government activities. Under Right to Information Act, citizens have the power to ask for such information from any public authority. Public has power to inspect work, documents and records; taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; and take certified samples of material held by the public authority or held under the control of the public authority. The Public Information Officer is not allowed to alter any information and is bound by this act to provide answer to the applicant‘s quires. The Right to Information Act is very powerful tool for the growth of the nation.

Bhakra Dam Turns 50  The Bhakra Dam is also called as the “Temple of a resurgent India” by first

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 About Bhakra dam  Built on river Sutlej,  Highest gravity dam in the India,

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prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhakra Dam completes 50 years Tuesday.  A golden jubilee event is planned at Nangal, 110 km from here, by the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB).  A commemorative stamp on the dam will also be released on the occasion, a BBMB spokesman said Monday.


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 The 225.55-metre high concrete dam was termed as a technological marvel

when it was completed in 1963.  Nehru dedicated the dam to the nation Oct 22, 1963.  Nehru was so involved with the project that he visited the site 13 times during its construction phase.  The dam itself is now located in Himachal Pradesh, close to the PunjabHimachal border, 13 km from Nangal town.  The dam‘s reservoir, named ‗Gobind Sagar‟ after tenth Sikh guru,  About Gobing Sagar  Gobind Sagar, is about 96.56 km long, covering an area of about 168.35 sq km.  It is the largest reservoir in India, the BBMB spokesman said.  Built at a cost of Rs.245.28 crore in 1963, the canal system of the Bhakra Dam irrigates 135 lakh acres agricultural fields of food grain states Punjab and Haryana.  The water from the dam helped during the Green Revolution in these states in the 1960s.  The water from the dam also reaches parts of Rajasthan.  The 1,361 MW electricity generated at its two power houses supplies power to Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh through the northern grid.  Nehru held discussions on the Panchsheel Agreement with Chinese Premier Chou En Lai near the dam site.

IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change Recently, the UN‘s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the “Summary for Policymakers”, the first part of its Fifth Assessment Report. The Fourth Assessment Report was released in 2007. This report has concluded that there is more certainty than ever before that earth is warming under human influence. The report goes on to warn that only substantial and sustained reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will limit the disaster of climate change.

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IPCC scientists say that global warming has resulted in an average sea level rise of 19cm since 1901 and an increase in surface temperature by 0.85 degrees Celsius between 1880 and 2012.

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In this latest report, the IPCC has raised the likelihood of human activities causing global warming from ―very likely‖ in its 2007 report to ―extremely likely‖ — moving from being 90% sure to 95% sure.

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The report gives temperature rise projections for the end of this century to 0.3-4.8 degrees. The report puts the blame for warming on the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) more than methane, hydro fluorocarbons (HFC) and black carbon — which are present in smaller quantities in the air and exist for much shorter periods. This finding is likely to help India and other developing countries relying heavily on agriculture and cattle rearing. These counties have increasingly come under pressure from the developed nation for the methane emissions from cattle gut as well as from practices of submerged paddy farming. Developed countries have been pressuring emerging nations to cut emissions of these short-lived gases while the latter have been demanding the West undertake more meaningful cuts in CO2 levels. These issues are sure to be raised when policymakers from across the globe gather in Warsaw in November 2013 to discuss finer points of the report, which will be the basis of a new global climate deal in Paris in 2015.

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1. Global warming is unequivocal. 2. Many observed changes since 1950s have been unprecedented over millennia and the period between 1983 and 2012 is likely the warmest in 1,400 years. 3. Global temperature rise may exceed 1.5°C by the year 2100. 4. It is ‗extremely likely‘ that human influence has been dominant cause of warming since 1950. 5. Oceans will continue to warm, affecting circulation. 6. There has been 0.19m rise in sea level during 1901–2010. By 2100, rise is likely to be 0.26-0.98m. 7. There is an alarming retreat of Arctic sea ice, with the north snow cover n down 11.7% per decade. 8. Frequency & duration of heat waves is likely to increase. 9. For India, Monsoon winds are likely to weaken, but rain will intensify. 10. Monsoon season is likely to lengthen. 11. Extreme rain may become more intense and frequent. 12. The current slowdown in global warming will not affect long-term rise in temperatures. For instance, the global temperatures have on average risen by 0.12 degrees Celsius per decade since 1951 but the warming rate in the 1998-2012 period is considerably lower at 0.05 degrees C. 13. The IPCC report has blamed methane and nitrous oxide too for the global warming, but it named CO2 as the factor most important.

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The main findings of the Report

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14. The carbon dioxide concentrations have increased by 40% since preindustrialized times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emission (such as deforestation). 15. The latest report identifies radiative forcing, the difference between the amount of heat coming into the climate and the amount reflected back, as the immediate cause of warming. 16. Radiative forcing is expressed in watts per square metre (W/m^2 ), a unit of energy. A rise indicates that heat is building up in the system. 17. Total radiative forcing from man-made sources since 1750 (i.e., before industrialisation) has risen from 0.29-0.85W/m^2 in 1950 to 0.64-1.86W/m^2 in 1980 to 1.13-3.33W/m^2 in 2011. The average has jumped from 0.57 to 1.25 to 2.29, respectively—a four-fold increase in 60 years. The best estimate for total man-made radiative forcing in 2011 is 43% above 2005 levels. 18. The atmospheric concentrations of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at lea 19. st the last 800,000 years. The largest contribution to total radiative forcing is caused by the increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 since 1750. 20. Cumulative emissions of CO2 will largely determine global mean surface warming by the late 21st century and beyond. The most optimistic of four scenarios in the report sees an average temperature rise of 1 degree C by 2100 over 2000 levels, ranging from 0.3 to 1.7 degrees C. This is the only scenario that can safely meet a UN target of 2 degree C, which also factors in warming from the start of the Industrial Revolution to 2000.

About the IPCC

    

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international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis. Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information. It is open to all member countries of the United Nations (UN) and WMO. Currently 195 countries are members of the IPCC.

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 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading


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 The IPCC provides an internationally accepted authority on climate change, producing reports which have the agreement of leading climate scientists and the consensus of participating governments.  It has provided authoritative policy advice with far-reaching implications for economics and lifestyles. Governments have been slow to implement the advice.  The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was shared, in two equal parts, between the IPCC and Al Gore.

Slum free cities

       

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inclusive in the world.  Second, the enumeration of the urban poor and their places of habitation are grossly incomplete and thus inaccurate. Data from 2,613 of the 4,041 statutory towns show that the population living in slums has increased by 25 per cent in the last decade, reaching 65.4 million in 2011. The figures would have been much higher — and the disparity would have appeared even wider — had the enumeration been diligent and complete. Other estimates place the population living in slums at over 90 million. It would be incorrect to attribute migration as the principal reason for the increase in slums. As the expert group on urban poverty and slums for the formulation of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan has clearly stated, slum proliferation is a result of the failure of housing policies. For instance, the interest subsidy scheme, which is meant to provide financial assistance to lower income groups to secure housing and enable construction of three lakh units, has so far reached only 13,485 beneficiaries. Similarly, many State governments have failed to implement the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy‟s recommendation to allocate 15 per cent of land in residential projects for housing the poor. This leaves a large number of others in a more vulnerable condition: health and sanitation facilities hardly reach non-notified slums, and they are prone to forced eviction. “In-situ rehabilitation of existing slums without any discrimination is imperative”. Following the failure of many earlier schemes, the government launched a new one entitled Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) in 2011. “RAY has promised slum free cities in future, and commits to rehabilitate existing slum dwellers in the same place where they are living, provide secure tenure and improve access to services and sanitation”. The States governments should implement this ambitious scheme across cities without delay and dilution. The key challenge is to provide serviced land for social housing.

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 Recently released census figures on urban slums reveal two distressing facts.  First, that Indian cities are amongst the most unequal and least

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 Realizing this, the National Advisory Council, in its suggestion to improve RAY, has

recommended that cities should earmark about 25 to 40 per cent of land in their development plans for social housing.  Without this important measure, it would be difficult to prevent the formation of new slums.  Sustainable and equitable urban development is possible only when our cities adequately address the issue of housing the poor.

Acquittal of the Laxmanpur Bathe convicts by Patna HC: The issues involved The context

 On October 9, 2013, the Patna High Court acquitted all the 26 persons convicted by a lower court in the 1997 Laxmanpur Bathe case of massacre of 58 Dalits.  The HC judges found the prosecution witnesses not reliable and gave the benefit of doubt to all the 26 convicts.  Of the 26 convicts, 16 were earlier sentenced to death, and the 10 sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court. A backgrounder

 Laxmanpur Bathe is a village in Arwal district in Bihar on the river Son,  It is located about 125–km from Patna.  It is most known for the massacre that took place on December 1, 1997, where 58

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Dalits were allegedly killed by members of the Ranvir Sena, a militia of upper caste landlords of the state.  On 7 April 2010, the Additional District and Sessions Judge Vijai Prakash Mishra of the Patna Civil Court sentenced 16 men to death and 10 to life imprisonment for the massacre.  While pronouncing the verdict, sessions judge Mishra described the December 1, 1997, killing as a stigma on civil society and rarest of rare cases of brutality. On October 9, 2013, Patna High Court acquitted all 26 accused persons due to lack of evidence.

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The benefit of doubt given by the HC to the people who were already convicted by the trial court has generated outrage and been criticized widely. The main issues involved are as follows.

 In India, sloppy investigation and shoddy prosecution have been part of an      

 

extremely inefficient and slow justice delivery system that has allowed conviction rates to stay at alarmingly low levels. Criminals have repeatedly gotten away with murder and massacre. While reinforcing each other, money power and muscle power have turned out to be among the biggest beneficiaries of the doubt perceived by the judiciary. Almost inevitably, in cases where the victims are poor, landless peasants and Dalits, the perpetrators have remained beyond the reach of law. If a high-profile case such as the Laxmanpur Bathe massacre can collapse in this manner, India‘s criminal justice system can infuse little confidence in its people. In the immediate case, the conviction in the lower court itself came after the intervention of the High Court, which expedited the trial more than 11 years after the massacre. However, the period between the massacre and the conviction was very long. Both Ranvir Sena and Maoist groups carried out a series of attacks and reprisals in rural Bihar. As a result, several witnesses in the Laxmanpur Bathe massacre case turned hostile. The HC chose to ignore the testimony of the available witnesses. As reports of celebrations among the ―upper castes‖ and the renewed fear among the families of the victims in the area emerge, it again seems demonstrated that more than two decades after the enactment of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the ―system‖ seems to condone such violence.

Comment Ending such violence isn‘t just about enacting laws — the wider socio-economic order has to change. But, in Bihar, there have been indications that even that delayed justice after massacres won‘t be had.

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Now, given that the Patna High Court‘s order seems to fit into a pattern where lower court convictions in such massacres are overturned, would not these dispossessed

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These are very serious issues. When justice is not seen as being done in a case of brutal massacre, India‘s under-classes can hardly be blamed for losing faith in a system that invariably works to the advantage of the privileged and the powerful.


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sections find it easier to believe rhetoric of the Maoist kind, which holds that the state is fundamentally inimical to their interests and well-being?

The Raghuram Rajan panel suggests a ‘Multi Dimensional Index (MDI)’ The main findings and suggestions of the Raghuram Rajan panel on backwardness of Indian states. A six-member expert committee constituted by the Centre on fixing a new criterion for determining the backwardness of Indian states recently gave its report, claiming Odisha, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh are the least developed states in the country. The report recognises Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as the most developed states in the country. Panel The panel was led by Raghuram Rajan, former Chief Economic Adviser in the Finance Ministry and now the Governor of Reserve Bank of India. The other members of the expert committee have been

   

Shaibal Gupta, a member of the Asian Development Research Institute in Patna; Bharat Ramaswami, professor, Indian Statistical Institute; Najeeb Jung, Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University; Niraja G. Jayal, a professor at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University; and  Tuhin Pandey, adviser, Planning Commission.

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The panel was formed by the Centre to finalise the new criteria to determine backwardness of states for granting special category status and was asked to submit its report in two months.

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The panel was set up in the wake of the demand for special category status for Bihar by its Chief Minister Mr. Nitish Kumar, who held a rally in Delhi to push for this in March 2013. The committee was asked to look at the gap between a state‘s statistics and the national average in terms of per-capita income and other human development indicators, and evolve a composite development index. The Raghuram Rajan panel report has suggested for ending the ‗special category‘ criteria for providing additional assistance to poorer states and suggested a new methodology for devolving funds on states based on a „Multi Dimensional Index (MDI)‟. The MDI of backwardness will be constructed to rank India‘s on the basis of few basic indicators, such as,

       

Monthly per-capita consumption expenditure, Education, Health, Poverty rate, Female literacy, Urbanisation rate, Financial inclusion and Physical connectivity.

Based on the MDI scores, the 10 least developed states are Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The seven most developed states are Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttrakhand and Haryana. The committee has suggested that depending upon their MDI scores the 28 states be split into three categories –

 Least developed  Less developed  Relatively developed

overall central funds. Of the balance, three-fourths will be allocated based on need

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 The report recommends that each state get a fixed basic allocation of 0.3% of

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As regards the allocation of funds, the report suggested that:


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and one-fourth based on the state‘s improvements on its performance. A review will be conducted once in five years.  As per the panel‘s recommendations, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh will get a larger share than their current share of total central assistance to state plans and centrally-sponsored schemes. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are expected to lose substantially. States will have an incentive to better their governance. Comments The report provides a sound basis of how to go forward in providing muchneeded financial assistance to the backward and more backward and most backward states of India because it captures in a better way the degree of backwardness and shows a way forward of how to devolve funds. The recommendation to scrap the term /Special Category Status/, introduced in 1969, is logical as states will find their needs met through the new methodology. Showering central funds to least developed states could become a perverse incentive for them to stay backward. So, states that strive to shed backwardness must be rewarded more. A larger proportion of the allocation should go towards improvement in the states‘ performance. There are certain significant anomalies in the report. Though the Finance Commission takes into account the backwardness of states, their relative inability to raise taxes as well as the progress they make on fiscal discipline, the Rajan panel has decided to use another set of 10 variables. Some of these have been criticised in a dissenting note in the report — Bihar, for instance, has half Orissa‘s per capita income, but is considered less backward; Gujarat has the third-highest per capita income if one removes city-states like Delhi, but it is considered ―less developed‖ by the Rajan panel.

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The Rajan panel recommendations cannot be implemented easily — the 14th Finance Commission will likely raise the share of fiscal transfers it controls and the NDC will not take kindly to such massive shifts where 19 out of 28 states lose out.

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Higgs Boson What is a Higgs field? What is a Higgs boson?

 The Higgs field is like a giant vat of molasses spread throughout the universe.  Most of the known types of particles that travel through it stick to the molasses, which slows them down and makes them heavier.  The Higgs boson is a particle that helps transmit the mass-giving Higgs force field, similar to the way a particle of light, the photon, transmits the electromagnetic field.

How long have physicists been looking for the Higgs boson?

 More than two decades. It started with the LEP experiments at CERN in the

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1990s, continued with the Tevatron experiments at Fermilab and now continues with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments at CERN.  A discovery of the Higgs boson would be just the beginning of a new era of particle physics research. Scientists would then focus on understanding in detail the interactions of the Higgs boson with other particles, testing the predictions made by theorists and looking for unexpected phenomena.

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What would the world look like without the Higgs boson or a similar particle?

 You wouldn‘t recognize the world. Without the Higgs boson or something like it giving mass to the basic building blocks of matter, electrons would zip about at the speed of light.  They would not form unions with protons or other would-be nuclei to make atoms.  No atoms means no chemical reactions, no molecules, no ordinary matter as we know it, no template for life. We would not exist.

How do physicists create a Higgs boson?

 A high-energy particle accelerator such as the Tevatron or LHC can recreate the extreme energies of the very early universe, generated shortly after the Big Bang.  Scientists collide particles at these energies to produce other particles, including a Higgs boson, using Einstein‟s famous relation E=mc2.  At the Tevatron or LHC, only about one collision per trillion will produce a Higgs boson. How do physicists know when they‟ve found a Higgs boson?

 The Higgs boson, like other heavy particles, decays into lighter particles,     

which then decay into even lighter particles. This process can follow a certain number of paths, and it‘s more likely to decay through some paths than others. The decay paths also depend on the particle’s mass. Physicists compare the decay paths they observe after a particle collision to the decay paths they‘ve simulated with computers and mapped out for a possible range of Higgs masses. When they observe a decay path that looks similar to the one they‘ve predicted – when they see a match – it‘s a good sign that the particle that decayed is the particle they predicted. By adding up the energy of all the lighter particles appearing in a particular decay path, scientists can determine the Higgs boson’s mass.

How is the Higgs boson related to the Big Bang?

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energy zooming through the universe.  Scientists theorize that fractions of a second later, part of the radiation energy congealed into the Higgs field.

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 About 13.7 billion years ago, the Big Bang sent massless particles and radiation


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 When the universe began to cool, particles acquired mass from the Higgs field, slowed down and began to bunch up to form composite particles and, eventually, atoms.

How did the Higgs boson get the nickname “the God particle”? Nobel laureate Leon Lederman, a Fermilab physicist, wrote a book in the early 1990s about particle physics and the search for the Higgs boson. His publisher coined the name as a marketable title for the book. Many scientists dislike the nickname.

What countries are involved in the Tevatron‟s CDF and DZero experiments?

 CDF: Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.  DZero: Brazil, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States. How is Fermilab involved in the LHC? Fermilab supports CERN‘s CMS experiment by providing about 1,000 US CMS scientists and engineers, computing facilities, office and meeting space as well as the LHC Remote Operation Center. Fermilab helped design and build the CMS detector as well as equipment for the LHC accelerator. Fermilab scientists are analyzing data taken by the LHC and working on upgrades for both the detector and the accelerator. About one third of the approximately 900 members of the two Tevatron experiments, CDF and DZero, are also members of the two largest LHC experiments, ATLAS and CMS.

UPSC G.S PRELIMS & MAINS NEW BATCH STARTS ON:

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For more details contact: 9500005522 / 9600124042

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10th NOV, 2013, SUNDAY


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UPSC G.S PRELIMS & MAINS NEW BATCH STARTS ON: 10TH NOVEMBER, 2013 VETRII’S STAR FACULTY TEAM SUBJECT

FACULTY

GEOGRAPHY

INDIAN POLITY & GOVERNANCE, ETHICS

HISTORY

ECONOMICS

INDIA & WORLD, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY & ORGANISATIONS

SOCIAL ISSUES

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ETHICS (PSYCHOLOGY)

CURRENT AFFAIRS

M. SHUNMUGAM (DIRECTOR- VETRII IAS STUDY CIRCLE) (FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM) N. VINOBA BHOOPATHY (JOINT DIRECTOR)

P. SARAVANA MOORTHY (JOINT DIRECTOR) (FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM) C. SIVANATHAN S.P. RAJKUMAR (FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM)

C. SIVANATHAN V.R. MARAGATHAVALLI (MADURAI KAMARAJAR UNIVERSITY) U.M. VINOTH (DIRECTOR – VINOTH IAS ACADEMY) PETER DOMINIC (LOYOLA COLLEGE) M. YASAR MOHAMED SHA (ANNA UNIVERSITY) R. HARIHARASUDHAN (WE SHINE ACADEMY) S. PREM ANAND (ANNA UNIVERSITY)

GUEST LECTURE BY V.R. SUBBULAXMI M.A, ECONOMICS

(147TH RANK, 2009 – IAS)

34

CSAT

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T

he Nobel Prize winners of 2013 in the different categories were announced in the month of October 2013. Nobel Prizes are announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences every year in the memory of Alfred Nobel.

The Nobel Prize winners of 2013 in the different categories were as follows: Category

Name of the Person

 James Rothman 1. Physiology or Medicine

 Randy Schekman  Thomas Suedhof  Peter Higgs

2. Physics  Francois Englert  Michael Levitt 3. Chemistry

 Martin Karplus  Arieh Warshel  The Organisation

4. Peace

5. Literature

for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

 Alice Munro  Eugene Fama

6. Economics

 Lars Peter Hansen  Robert Shiller

Contribution

 For their groundbreaking

work on how the cell organises its transport system.

 For

the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles.

 For the development of

multi scale models for complex chemical systems.

 For its extensive efforts to eliminate weapons.

 Master

chemical

of contemporary story.

the short

 For their work on creating

a deeper knowledge of how market prices move.


Nobel Prize

Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Here's a look at the achievements being honored by this year's Nobel Prizes, the $1.2 million awards handed out since 1901 by committees in Stockholm and Oslo. NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

 The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) wins the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE

 The literature prize was given to Canada's Alice Munro, hailed by the awardgiving Swedish Academy as a "master of the contemporary short story."  The 82-year-old author is often called "Canada's Chekhov" for her astute, unflinching and compassionate depiction of seemingly unremarkable lives.  She is the author of a series of story collections chronicling the lives of girls and women before and after the 1960s social revolution, including "The Moons of Jupiter," 'The Progress of Love" and "Runaway."

NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY

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computer models that predict complex chemical reactions that can be used for tasks like creating new drugs.  Their approach combined classical physics and quantum physics.  The winners are  Martin Karplus of the University of Strasbourg, France, and Harvard University;  Michael Levitt of the Stanford University School of Medicine, and  Arieh Warshel of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

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 The chemistry prize was given to three U.S.-based scientists for developing

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Nobel Prize

Vetrii’s Current Affairs In-depth: Taking the experiment to cyberspace

Chemical reactions occur at lightning speed; electrons jump between atoms hidden from the prying eyes of scientists. The Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2013 have made it possible to map the mysterious ways of chemistry by using computers. Detailed knowledge of chemical processes makes it possible to optimize catalysts, drugs and solar cells.

    

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on a daily basis. With the help of the methods that Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel began to develop in the 1970s, they examined every tiny little step in complex chemical processes that are invisible to the naked eye. In order for you, the reader, to get an idea of how mankind can benefit from this, we begin with an example. Put your lab coat on, because we have a challenge for you: to create artificial photosynthesis. The chemical reaction occurring in green leaves fills the atmosphere with oxygen and is one prerequisite for life on Earth. But it is also interesting from an environmental perspective. If you can mimic the photosynthesis you will be able create more efficient solar cells. When water molecules are split oxygen is created, but also hydrogen that could be used to power our vehicles. So there is ample reason for you to get engaged in this project. If you succeed, you could contribute to solving the problem with greenhouse effect.

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 Chemists all over the world devise and carry out experiments on their computers


Nobel Prize

Vetrii’s Current Affairs NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS

 The physics prize was awarded for a theory about how subatomic particles get their mass.  The theory made headlines last year when it was confirmed at the CERN laboratory in Geneva by the discovery of the elusive Higgs particle.  The prize was shared by two men who proposed the theory independently of each other in 1964:  Peter Higgs of Britain and  Francois Englert of Belgium. In-depth: Here, at last! The awarded mechanism is a central part of the Standard Model of particle physics that describes how the world is constructed. According to the Standard Model, everything, from flowers and people to stars and planets, consists of just a few building blocks: matter particles. These particles are governed by forces mediated by force particles that make sure everything works as it should.

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particle: the Higgs particle.  It is connected to an invisible field that fills up all space.  Even when our universe seems empty, this field is there. Had it not been there, electrons and quarks would be massless just like photons, the light particles.

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 The entire Standard Model also rests on the existence of a special kind of


Nobel Prize

Vetrii’s Current Affairs

 And like photons they would, just as Einstein’s theory predicts, rush through space at the speed of light, without any possibility to get caught in atoms or molecules.  Nothing of what we know, not even we, would exist.

NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE

 The medicine prize, the first of the 2013 awards, honored breakthroughs in understanding how key substances are moved around within a cell.  That process happens through vesicles, tiny bubbles that deliver their cargo within a cell to the right place at the right time.  Disturbances in the delivery system can lead to neurological diseases, diabetes or immunological disorders.  The prize was shared by Americans James E. Rothman of Yale,  Randy W. Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley; and  German-American Dr. Thomas C. Sudhof of the Stanford University School of Medicine. In-depth: Body cargo Proper functioning of the cells in the body depends on getting the right molecules to the right place at the right time. Some molecules, such as insulin, need to be exported out of the cell, whereas others are needed at specific sites inside the cell.

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39

Molecules produced in the cell were known to be packaged into vesicles (pictured in blue), but how these vesicles correctly deliver their cargo was a mystery.

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Nobel Prize

Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Randy W. Schekman discovered genes encoding proteins that are key regulators of vesicle traffic. Comparing normal (left) with genetically mutated yeast cells (right) in which vesicle traffic was disturbed, he identified genes that control transport to different compartments and to the cell surface. James E. Rothman discovered that a protein complex (pictured in orange) enables vesicles to fuse with their target membranes. Proteins on the vesicle bind to specific complementary proteins on the target membrane, ensuring that the vesicle fuses at the right location and that cargo molecules are delivered to the correct destination. Thomas C. SĂźdhof studied how signals are transmitted from one nerve cell to another in the brain, and how calcium controls this process. He identified molecular machinery (pictured in purple) that senses calcium ions (Ca2+) and triggers vesicle fusion, thereby explaining how temporal precision is achieved and how signaling substances can be released from the vesicles on command.

NOBEL PRIZE IN ECONOMICS US trio wins Nobel Prize for Economics The three "have laid the foundation for the current understanding of asset prices. It relies in part on fluctuations in risk and risk attitudes, and in part on behavioural biases and market frictions," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. Fama and Hansen are both professors at the University of Chicago, while Shiller is a professor at Yale University in Connecticut. The economics prize is the only Nobel not originally included in the last will and testament of the prizes' creator, Swedish scientist and philanthropist Alfred Nobel.

Last year, US scholars Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley won for their work on the functioning of markets and how best to match supply and demand.

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Americans have dominated the list of economics laureates, with 17 out of 20 laureates coming from the US in the past 10 years.

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It was established in 1968 by the Swedish central bank to celebrate its tricentenary, and first awarded in 1969. The other prizes have been awarded since 1901.


Nobel Prize

Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Nobel Prize Facts On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace - the Nobel Prizes. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden's central bank) established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Science

561 Nobel Prizes! Between 1901 and 2013, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 561 times. Nobel Prize

Number of Prizes

Number of Laureates

Awarded to one Laureate

Shared by two Laureates

Shared by three Laureates

Physics

107

196

47

30

29

Chemistry

105

166

63

22

19

Medicine

104

204

38

31

34

Literature

106

110

101

4

-

Peace

94

100+25

63

28

2

Economic Sciences

45

74

22

16

6

Total:

561

875

334

131

90

A small number of individuals and organizations have been honoured more than once, which means that 846 individuals and 22 unique organizations have received the Nobel Prize in total. www.vetriias.com

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850 Laureates and 25 organizations have been awarded the Nobel Prize between 1901 and 2013. Of them, 74 are Laureates in Economic Sciences.

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875 Nobel Laureates


Nobel Prize

Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Years when the Nobel Prize Have Not Been Awarded

 Since the start, in 1901, there are some years when the Nobel Prizes have not been awarded.  The total number of times are 50.  Most of them during World War I (1914-1918) and II (1939-1945). In the statutes of the Nobel Foundation it says:  "If none of the works under consideration is found to be of the importance indicated in the first paragraph, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation's restricted funds." Nobel Prize

Year

Physics

1916, 1931, 1934, 1940, 1941, 1942

Chemistry

1916, 1917, 1919, 1924, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1942

Medicine

1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1925, 1940, 1941, 1942

Literature

1914, 1918, 1935, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943

Peace

1914, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1948, 1955, 1956, 1966, 1967, 1972

Economic Sciences

-

Only 45 Nobel Prizes to Women!

 Between 1901 and 2013 the Nobel Prize and Prize in Economic Sciences have been awarded 45 times to women. Nobel Laureate Birthdays

 Among the Nobel Laureates, the two most common dates for birthdays are 21

 Jean-Paul Sartre, awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature, declined the prize because he had consistently declined all official honours.

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Two Nobel Laureates have Declined the Nobel Prize!

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May and 28 February.


Nobel Prize

Vetrii’s Current Affairs

 Le Duc Tho, awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. They were awarded the Prize for negotiating the Vietnam peace accord. Forced to Decline the Nobel Prize!

 Four Nobel Laureates have been forced by authorities to decline the Nobel Prize. Adolf Hitler forbade three German Nobel Laureates, Richard Kuhn, Adolf Butenandt and Gerhard Domagk, from accepting the Nobel Prize.  Boris Pasternak, the 1958 Nobel Laureate in Literature, initially accepted the Nobel Prize but was later coerced by the authorities of the Soviet Union, his native country, to decline the Nobel Prize. Three Nobel Laureates Have Been under Arrest at the Time of the Award

 German pacifist and journalist Carl von Ossietzky  Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi  Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo The Youngest Nobel Laureate Category/Year

Lawrence Bragg

Category

Physics 1915

Name

Date of birth 31 March 1890

Year of Award

Age of Nobel Laureate

Physics

William Lawrence Bragg

1915

25

Chemistry

Frédéric Joliot

1935

35

Frederick Banting

1923

32

Literature

Rudyard Kipling

1907

42

Peace

Tawakkol Karman

2011

32

Physiology Medicine

or

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25

Name

Page

Age


Nobel Prize

Vetrii’s Current Affairs Economic Sciences

Kenneth J. Arrow

1972

51

The Oldest Nobel Laureates Age

Name

90

Category/Year

Leonid Hurwicz

Category

Economic Sciences 2007

Name

Year of Award

Date of birth 21 August 1917

Age of Nobel Laureate

Physics

Raymond Davis Jr.

2002

88

Chemistry

John B. Fenn

2002

85

Peyton Rous

1966

87

Literature

Doris Lessing

2007

88

Peace

Joseph Rotblat

1995

87

Economic Sciences

Leonid Hurwicz

2007

90

Physiology Medicine

or

"Family Nobel Laureates" As you may notice, the Curies were a very successful 'Nobel Prize family'. Marie Curie herself was awarded two Nobel Prizes.

 Irène-Joliot-Curie

 Gerty-Cori

 Pierre Curie

 Frédéric Joliot

 Carl Cori

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 Marie-Curie

44

Married couples


Nobel Prize

Vetrii’s Current Affairs

 Alva-Myrdal  Gunnar Myrdal Mother & daughter

 Marie-Curie  Irène-Joliot-Curie Father & daughter

 Pierre-Curie  Irène-Joliot-Curie Father & son

 William-Bragg

 Niels-Bohr

 Lawrence Bragg

 Aage N. Bohr

 Arthur-Kornberg

 Manne-Siegbahn

 Roger D. Kornberg

 Kai M. Siegbahn

 Hans von EulerChelpin

 Ulf von Euler  J.J.Thomson  George

Paget

Thomson

Brothers

 Jan-Tinbergen  Nikolaas Tinbergen

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UPSC G.S PRELIMS & MAINS


Nobel Prize

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UPSC – MAINS – OPTIONAL PAPERS Subject

Faculty

Geography

M. Shunmugam

Public Administration

N. Vinoba Bhoopathy

History

P. Saravana Moorthy

Sociology

C. Sivanathan

Political science

S.P. Rajkumar

Psychology

U.M. Vinoth

UPSC G.S PRELIMS & MAINS NEW BATCH STARTS ON: 10TH NOVEMBER, 2013 VETRII’S STAR FACULTY TEAM SUBJECT

FACULTY

GEOGRAPHY

INDIAN POLITY & GOVERNANCE, ETHICS

HISTORY

ECONOMICS

INDIA & WORLD, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY & ORGANISATIONS

SOCIAL ISSUES

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ETHICS (PSYCHOLOGY)

CURRENT AFFAIRS

M. SHUNMUGAM (DIRECTOR- VETRII IAS STUDY CIRCLE) (FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM) N. VINOBA BHOOPATHY (JOINT DIRECTOR)

P. SARAVANA MOORTHY (JOINT DIRECTOR) (FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM) C. SIVANATHAN S.P. RAJKUMAR (FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM)

C. SIVANATHAN V.R. MARAGATHAVALLI (MADURAI KAMARAJAR UNIVERSITY)

M. YASAR MOHAMED SHA (ANNA UNIVERSITY)

CSAT

R. HARIHARASUDHAN (WE SHINE ACADEMY) S. PREM ANAND (ANNA UNIVERSITY)

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PETER DOMINIC (LOYOLA COLLEGE)

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U.M. VINOTH (DIRECTOR – VINOTH IAS ACADEMY)


POLITICAL WATCH President’s assent to Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act, 2011

 The President of India gave his

 

assent to Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill. With this the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill became an Act. The Lokayukta Act is aimed at curbing corruption in the Uttarakhand state. The Act has under its purview, the Chief Minister, ministers, MLAs and government servants, including IAS and IPS officers, will come under the ambit of the Lokayukta. Former chief ministers, former ministers and retired officers will also be within the ambit of the Lokayukta. However, the judges of the Uttarakhand High Court will are not under the purview of Lokayukta.

(Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act). The plan to build storage facilities under MGNREGA will need an amendment in Schedule 1 of MGNREGA.

Co-operative societies do not come under RTI” – Supreme Court Supreme Court held in a decision that the Co-operative societies do not fall within the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act. The decision was given while the apex court annulled a Kerala government circular to bring all such societies within the scope of the RTI Act. Supreme Court’s justification?

Govt proposes to build storage facilities for steady flow of foodgrains under Food Security Act

The bench held that the Cooperative societies are subject to the control of the statutory authorities like Registrar, Joint Registrar, the Government, etc. but it can’t be said that the State exercises any direct or indirect control over the affairs of the society which is deep and all permeant.

The Central Govt is planning to set up intermediate grain storage facilities at block level in each state.

The power exercised by the Registrar over the societies is merely supervisory and regulatory.

Objective: To ensure steady flow of foodgrain under the National Food Security Act.

The mere supervision or regulation as such by a statute or otherwise of a body would not make that body a public authority within the meaning of Section 2(h)(d)(i) of the RTI Act.

Funding: Entirely centrally sponsored. Centre will provide Rs 450 crore while the land for construction will be given by the states that are willing to come up with these facilities. The proposed storage facilities will be constructed under the MNREGA

CCEA approves Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)


Political Watch

Vetrii’s Current Affairs

 Improve the overall quality of

Supreme Court directs government to set up mechanism to monitor clinical trial of untested drugs

existing state higher educational institutions by ensuring adherence to the prescribed norms and standards and adoption of accreditation as a mandatory quality assurance framework. Rectify regional imbalances in access to higher education through high quality institutions in rural and semi urban areas as well as creating opportunities for students from rural areas to get access to better quality institutions. Establish higher education institutions in unserved and underserved areas. Improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities to socially disadvantaged communities; encouraging inclusion of women, minorities, SC/ST and OBCs as well as differently-abled persons. Ensure adequate availability of quality faculty in all higher educational institutions and ensure capacity building at all levels Build an enabling atmosphere in higher educational institutions to devote themselves to research and innovation. Integrate skill developments efforts of the government with the conventional higher education system through optimum interventions.

The Supreme Court directed government to put in place a mechanism to monitor the clinical trials of untested drugs on humans.

Future grants to RUSA would be performance based and outcome dependent. Commitment by States and institutions to certain academic,

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2013 which seeks to replace the archaic

 

The Centre has been directed by the court to convene a meeting of Chief Secretaries or Health Secretaries of all the states to frame a law for regulation of clinical trials of drugs by multinational pharma companies. The apex court directive came during a hearing of a PIL filed by an NGO which alleged large-scale clinical drug trials across the country by various pharmaceutical firms using Indian citizens as guinea pigs in those tests. The NGO had alleged that the clinical trials by several pharmaceutical firms were conducted indiscriminately in various states. Previously, the court had said that uncontrolled clinical trial of drugs by multinational companies was creating “havoc” and lambasted the Centre for failing to stop the “rackets” which caused deaths. It had earlier ordered that all drug trials will be done under the supervision of the Union Health Secretary. The Centre had admitted that 2,644 people died during clinical trials of 475 new drugs during the period of 2005 to 2012

Land Acquisition President’s assent

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gets

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The key objectives of RUSA are:

administrative and governance reforms will be a precondition for receiving funding

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for reforming the state higher education system.


Political Watch

Vetrii’s Current Affairs

What are the key features of Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2012? The historic law would ensure that farmers are provided just and fair compensation and that no land is acquired forcibly. The Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament. The bill was brought as the archaic Act of 1894 had various shortcomings including silence on the issue of resettlement and rehabilitation of those displaced by acquisition of land. A key provision of the legislation is to get the consent of 80% of the landowners in case the land is acquired for private purposes and in case the land is acquired for public projects then at least consent of 70% of the landowners will be mandatory. The law also proposes that the farmers and the landowners should be compensated up to 4 times the market value of land in rural areas and 2 times the market value in urban areas.

Union Cabinet decides to withdraw the Ordinance on convicted lawmakers In the wake of Congress vicepresident Rahul Gandhi censuring the government, the Union Cabinet has decided to withdraw the controversial ordinance on convicted lawmakers, as well as the Bill that sought to amend the

Earlier, the Union Cabinet had approved an ordi nance to reverse the apex court ruling which held that an MP or an MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more. To negate the Supreme Court order, the government moved to amend the law and brought the Representation of the People (second amendment) Bill, 2013 in Rajya Sabha during the last session. However, the bill could not be passed. Failing to get the Bill passed, it had brought the ordinance

Apex court: Citizens have right to cast negative vote

 Conferring the right to cast negative

vote, the Supreme Court of India in a judgment held that citizens have the right to reject all candidates contesting an election.  The apex court also directed the Election Commission of India to provide none of the above options at the end of the list of candidates contesting an election in a constituency.  A bench headed by Chief Justice held that negative voting would foster purity and vibrancy of elections.  It would also encourage participation as people who are not content with the candidates in the contest would also participate to express their opinion by rejecting contestants. Supreme Court: The apex court held that being a Democracy the voters should be given choices. It is of the view that voters will be

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49

As per Rural Development Ministry, the Rules will be notified within two months and an advisory panel will formed shortly to vet the said rules in consultations with various stakeholders.

Representation of the People Act on which it was based.

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land acquisition law dating back to 1894 has become law with President giving assent to it.


Political Watch

Vetrii’s Current Affairs

The bench noted that the option of negative voting is prevalent in 13 nations. Even in India parliamentarians are given a choice to press the button for abstaining while voting takes place in the Parliament. As per the bench, the right to reject candidates in elections is a part of fundamental right conferred by the Constitution in article 19 (freedom of speech and expression). Current provisions for expressing dissatisfaction? Under the existing provisions of Section 49(O) of the Representation of People Act, “If a voter does not want to cast his vote, he has to inform the presiding officer of his intention of not voting, who in turn would make an entry in the relevant rule book after taking the signature of the said elector”. The problem with this provision is that it violates the concept of secret ballot.

Bill proposed to curb unethical practices in biomedical, health research Government has proposed Biomedical and Health Research Regulation Bill, 2013 in order to regulate biomedical and health research involving human participants, whether in conventional areas, or in new evolving specialized fields. The Bill seeks to ensure ethical research in all institution with proper care and a compensation policy for human participants. With this Bill, all research on

President gives assent to the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill, 2013 President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill, 2013 which amends Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959. What is Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959? Section 3 of the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959, which has been periodically amended, lists certain offices of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State, which do not disqualify the holders thereof for being chosen as, or for being, a Member of Parliament. Subclause (ii) of clause (ba) of section 3 of the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959, exempts the Chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes from such disqualification now.

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Voters using negative voting will be able to convey clear message to political parties and candidates as to what the voters think about them.

human participants will come under the government scanner by way of the proposed Biomedical and Health Research Authority.

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empowered by this right of negative voting.


ECONOMY WATCH CCEA approved National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 3 October 2013 approved the implementation of the National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) during the 12th Plan Period with financial allocation of 3507 crore rupees. This would help in enhancing production of oilseeds by 6.58 million tonnes. This would also bring additional area of 1.25 lakh hectares under Oil Palm cultivation with increase in productivity of fresh fruit bunches from 4927 kg/ha to 15000 kg/ha and increase in collection of tree borne oilseeds to 14 lakh tonne. Implementation of the proposed Mission would enhance production of vegetable oil sources by 2.48 million tonnes from oilseeds (1.70 million tonnes), oil palm (0.60 million tonnes) and tree borne oilseeds (0.18 million tonnes) by the end of the 12th Plan Period. The implementation strategy in the Mission would place,

 Emphasis on increasing the Seed    

Replacement Ratio (SRR) with focus on varietal replacement; Increasing irrigation coverage under oilseeds from 26 percent to 38 percent; Diversification of area from low yielding cereals crops to oilseeds crops; Inter-cropping of oilseeds and use of fallow land; Area expansion under oil palm and TBOs;

 Increasing availability of quality

planting materials of oil palm and TBOs;  Enhancing procurement of oilseeds and collection and processing of TBOs.  Recommended varieties and proven technologies would be demonstrated in a cluster approach through mini kits and frontline/cluster demonstration.  The cluster approach would ensure participation of all categories of farmers, irrespective of the size of their holdings, social status and would demonstrate visible impact of technologies in enhancing productivity and production. NMOOP is built upon the achievements of the existing schemes of

 Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds. Oil Palm and Maize (ISOPOM),

 Tree Borne Oilseeds Scheme and

Oil Palm Area Expansion (OPAE) programme during the 11th Plan period.

Implementation of these schemes have shown

 Increase

in production and productivity of oilseeds,  Area expansion with increased production of FFBs under oil palm  Augmented availability of quality planting materials,  Pre-processing technologies and awareness about TBOs.


Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Economy Watch

The Reserve Bank of India on 4 October 2013 fixed the reference rate of rupee,

 Against US dollar at 61.4050 and  The euro at 83.6790. The exchange rates for the pound and yen against the rupee were quoted at 99.2857 a pound and 63.25 per 100 yen, based on reference rates for the dollar and cross-currency quotes at noon. The reference rate is based on the noon rates of select banks and the SDR-Rupee rate would be based on this rate.

SEBI approved Major Reforms to Attract Overseas Investors

 SEBI has announced new Foreign

 

 

India's foreign exchange (forex) reserves fell by 1.11 billion US dollars to 276.26 billion US dollars for the week ended on 27 September 2013 as compared to 277.38 billion US dollars in the previous week due to a sharp drop in the value of foreign currency assets, official data showed. The forex reserves has declined sharply after a significant gains in the previous two weeks. The reserves had increased by 277.38 billion US dollars and 544.7 million US dollars respectively in the previous two weeks. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Weekly Statistical Supplement, India's foreign currency assets, the biggest component of the forex reserves, dropped by 1.29 billion US dollars to 247.92 billion US dollars for the week ended 27 Sep 2013. The foreign currency assets, expressed in the US dollar term, include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies held in reserve, such as the pound sterling, euro and yen. However, India's reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) jumped by 177.7 million US dollars to 2.19 billion US dollars and the value of the special drawing rights (SDRs) increased by 1.1 million US dollars to 4.42 billion US dollars. The value of India's gold reserves remained unchanged at 21.72 billion US dollars during the week under review.

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Portfolio Investor regulations for easier registration process and operating framework for investors from abroad. The new class of investors - FPIs will encompass all Foreign Institutional Investors, their subaccounts and Qualified Foreign Investors. They will be divided in three categories as per their risk profile. The Know Your Client - KYC requirements and other registration procedures will be much simpler for FPIs compared to current practices. The SEBI has also decided to grant them a permanent registration. SEBI also approved setting up 'Designated Depository Participants which will register FPIs on behalf of the market regulator subject to compliance with KYC norms.

India's Forex Reserves dropped by 1.11 Billion US Dollars to 276.26 Billion US Dollars

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RBI fixed the Reference Rate of Rupee against US Dollar at 61.4050

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Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Economy Watch

7 October 2013 reduced the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate to 9 per cent from 9.5 per cent to improve liquidity in the system.  In a release issued from Mumbai the RBI stated that the decision was taken after a review of evolving liquidity conditions. MSF allows banks to borrow money from RBI at a higher rate when there is a significant liquidity crunch.  The RBI further stated that it conducted open market purchase operations of 9974 crore rupees with the aim of injecting liquidity into the system.

Direct Tax Collection increased by 10.66 Percent to 301250 Crore Rupees

Jet-Etihad deal Approved by SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India)

 Jet-Etihad deal was approved by  

 As per the data released by the

 

Union Ministry of Finance, Government of India on 7 October 2013, Gross collection from direct taxes that include personal income tax and corporate taxes, increased by 10.66 percent to 301250 crore rupees. Collections from personal income tax increased by 16.15 percent to 106231 crore rupees However, there was a sluggish increase in corporate taxes due to slowdown in growth that has hit general demands in the country. Gross collections of corporate taxes increased by 7.93 percent to 192308 crore rupees during the period under review. Net direct tax collection was registered at 250959 crore rupees for the first six months of the current financial year 2013-14

  

 

SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India) on 1 October 2013. Jet Airways had proposed to sale 24 percent stake to Abu Dhabibased Etihad. The Jet-Etihad deal was announced in April 2013 and because of objections from regulators the deal was stuck half-way. The proposal will now be considered by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had also asked for changes in the original deal. The two parties had informed the fair trade regulator about the changes in the deal and approval from the CCI is expected soon. SEBI informed the Finance Ministry about its decision on 25 September 2013. With this deal in place, Jet eventually has a 51 per cent stake in the company, Etihad 24 per cent and the public the remaining 25 per cent.

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 The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on

as compared to 226653 crore rupees recorded in the same period last fiscal 2012-13, registering an year-on-year increase of 10.72 percent.  Difference in gross and net tax collection is due to refunds.  Wealth tax collection increased by 5.27 percent to 499 crore rupees during the period under review,  While the collection of Securities Transaction Tax (STT) dropped by 6.45 percent to 2210 crore rupees.

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RBI reduced the MSF Rate to 9 Percent from 9.5 Percent


Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Economy Watch

CCEA Approved for Continuation of Integrated Textile Parks Scheme in 12th Five Year Plan The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 3 October 2013 approved continuation of the scheme for Integrated Textile Parks in the 12th five year plan.

Parks for Exports Scheme (APES) and Textile Centre Infrastructure Development Scheme (TCIDS).  The scheme targets industrial clusters or locations with high growth potential, which require strategic interventions by way of providing world-class infrastructure support.

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Decisions

About Integrated Textiles Parks

 The primary objective of the

scheme for Integrated Textile Parks is to provide the industry with world class infrastructure facilities for setting up their textile units.  The product mix in these parks would include apparels and garments parks, hosiery parks, silk parks, processing parks, technical textiles including medical textiles, carpet parks, powerloom parks.  The Scheme for Integrated Textiles Parks seeks green field investments in textiles sector on a public private partnership basis with the objective of setting up world class infrastructure for Textiles industry.  The Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) was approved in the 10th Five Year Plan (July 2005) to provide the industry with worldclass infrastructure facilities for setting up their textile units by merging the erstwhile Apparel

India and Japan also decided to set up A Joint Monitoring Committee which comprises,

 The Ministry of Railways, Planning     

Commission, The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of External Affairs for the Indian side and The MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), The METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industries), The MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), The MOF (Ministry of Finance), EoJ (Embassy of Japan in India) and

JICA from Japan-India and Japan on 9 October 2013 signed MoU to do a joint feasibility study of High Speed Railway system on the MumbaiAhmedabad route. The aim of the Joint study is to prepare a feasibility report of High Speed Railway system on the MumbaiAhmedabad route with speed of 300350kmph. The study will take 18 months to complete. The study will include traffic forecasting, alignment surveys and

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It also gave its nod for an additional grant of 10 crore Rupees to be given to existing parks for setting up apprael manufacturing units. 50 crore Rupees have been allocated for the purpose.

India and Japan Signed MoU to study Mumbai-Ahmedabad Rail Route

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CCEA also approved sanction of new projects for utilizing 717 crore Rupees the balance left in the 12th five year plan allocation, after meeting committed liabilities of the sanctioned 61 parks.


Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Economy Watch

Indian Railways Carried 511.00 Million Tonnes of Freight During April–September 2013

 As per the data released by Ministry

of Railways on 10 October 2013,  Indian Railways carried 511.00 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during the first half of fiscal 2013.  The freight carried shows an increase of 29.65 million tonnes over the freight traffic of 481.35 million tonnes actually carried during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 6.16 per cent.

IFC Launched 1 Billion Dollar offshore Rupee Bond Programme to Strengthen India’s Capital Markets

What are the off shore rupee bonds ?

 These are bonds denominated in

rupees but issued in international markets.  Investor has to convert its currency into rupees before investing.  The return and final redumption is also in rupees.

Why are such off shore bonds are important ?

 They are an important way of

internationalising indian currency.  It will improve acceptance of the Indian currency in setting trade.  A deep market for local currency will help reduce dollar needs of the economy.  The diversity fund raising options for Indian borrowers. About IFC

 IFC, a member of the World Bank

 International Finance Corporation

  

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(IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, on 7 October 2013 launched a 1 billion Dollars offshore bond programme to strengthen India’s capital markets and attract greater foreign investment.  Under the programme, IFC will issue rupee-linked bonds and use the proceeds to finance private sector investment in the country.  This programme will help bring depth and diversity to the offshore rupee market and pave the way for an alternative source of funding for Indian companies.  IFC’s offshore bond programme will pave the way for an alternative source of funding for Indian companies.

Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries. Established in 1956, IFC is owned by 184 member countries, a group that collectively determines its policies. IFC works in more than a 100 developing countries allows companies and financial institutions in emerging markets to create jobs, generate tax revenues, improve corporate governance and environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives.

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undertake comparative Study of High Speed Railway Technology and System.

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Economy Watch

China and EU Signed a Bilateral Currency Swap Agreement

prices had shot up 18.18 per cent in August 2013.

 China on 10 October 2013 signed a

This is the highest inflation in Seven months. Wholesale Price Index (WPI) indicates the inflation in the Country. It is also called as Head Line Inflation .It shows all India inflation data.

WPI basically consists of Primary Articles, Fuel and Power items and Manufactured Products covering all important items transacted in the economy.

Inflation Increased to 6.46 percent in September 2013; Highest in Seven Months Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for all commodities in the month of September 2013 stood at 6.46 percent as compared to 6.1percent in August 2013 and 8.07 percent during the corresponding September of the 2012. This data was released by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Government of India on 14 October 2013. Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for all commodities (Base year 2004-2005) released by the Government on 14 October 2013 shows that the food inflation at 18.40 per cent in September over the same month September 2012. The food

 The weightage of primary articles in WPI is 20.12percent.  The index for Primary Articles rose by 1.5 percent to 251.6 (provisional) from 247.8 (provisional) for the August 2013. The Index contains Food articles, non food articles and Minerals. Fuel and Power

 The weightage of fuel and power in

WPI is 14.91 percent.  The index for this major group rose by 2.6 percent to 207.5 (provisional) from 202.3 (provisional) for the August 2013.  The main reason for the increase in this index was higher price of,  Light diesel oil (11percent),  Furnace oil (8percent),  Aviation turbine fuel (7percent),  Naphtha (7percent),  Petrol (6percent),  Lubricants (3percent),  Kerosene and bitumen (3percent each),  High speed diesel (2percent) and  LPG (1percent).

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Primary Articles

Page

350 Billion Yuan (45 billion Euro) currency swap agreement with the European Union, marking a major step in internationalising its currency. The agreement signed between the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and the European Central Bank (ECB). The pact aimed to support bilateral trade and protect financial stability. The agreement lasts three years and can be extended if both parties agree. The new arrangement will provide more liquidity to the Renminbi market in the Euro area, promote overseas use of the Yuan, and help facilitate trade and investment. So far China has signed currency swap deals totaling 2.2 trillion Yuan (358 billion US Dollars) with 22 countries and regions to push the international use of its Yuan.


Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Economy Watch

 Top five ISPs in terms of market

products in WPI is 64.97 percent.  The index for this major group increased by 0.7 percent to 151.0 (provisional) from 150.0 (provisional) the August 2013. About Wholesale price index (WPI) WPI index is the most widely used inflation indicator in India. This is published by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Government of India. The base year for calculating WPI is 2004-05. WPI captures price movements in a most comprehensive way.

It is widely used by Government, banks, industry and business circles.

Total Broadband Subscriber Base in India increased to 15.24 Million

 As

per the latest telecom subscription data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on 31 July 2013, total Broadband subscriber base in India increased from 15.19 million at the end of June 2013 to 15.24 million at the end of July 2013.  This is a monthly growth of 0.33 percent. Yearly growth in broadband subscribers is 3.79 percent during the last one year (July 2012 to July 2013).  At present, there are 161 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) which are providing broadband services in the country.  Out of these, 121 ISPs (having 98.48 percent market share) have provided broadband subscription data for the month of July 2013, for the rest of the ISPs data from previous month has been retained.

share (based on subscriber base) are:  BSNL (9.97 million),  Bharti Airtel (1.43 million),  MTNL (1.10 million),  Hathway (0.37 million) and,  You Broadband (0.32 million).

CCEA increased the Minimum Support Price of Wheat by 50 Rupees per Quintal

 The

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 17 October 2013 enhanced the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat by 50 rupees per quintal to 1400 rupees for the fiscal, starting April 2014.  The CCEA accepted the recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.  The MSP of red gram and mustard was also hiked by hundred rupees per quintal each. About Price)

MSP

(Minimum

Support

 MSP

is the rate at which government buys the grain from farmers.  The government took this step to encourage farmers to cover more area under the crop in the ongoing rabi season.  The crop's sowing begins in October and harvesting begins from April onwards. The government procures wheat from farmers during AprilJune.

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 The weightage of manufactured

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Manufactured Products


Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Economy Watch

UPSC G.S PRELIMS & MAINS NEW BATCH STARTS ON: 10TH NOVEMBER, 2013 VETRII’S STAR FACULTY TEAM SUBJECT

FACULTY

GEOGRAPHY

INDIAN POLITY & GOVERNANCE, ETHICS

HISTORY

ECONOMICS

INDIA & WORLD, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY & ORGANISATIONS

SOCIAL ISSUES

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ETHICS (PSYCHOLOGY)

CURRENT AFFAIRS

M. SHUNMUGAM (DIRECTOR- VETRII IAS STUDY CIRCLE) (FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM) N. VINOBA BHOOPATHY (JOINT DIRECTOR)

P. SARAVANA MOORTHY (JOINT DIRECTOR) (FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM) C. SIVANATHAN S.P. RAJKUMAR (FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM)

C. SIVANATHAN V.R. MARAGATHAVALLI (MADURAI KAMARAJAR UNIVERSITY) U.M. VINOTH (DIRECTOR – VINOTH IAS ACADEMY) PETER DOMINIC (LOYOLA COLLEGE) M. YASAR MOHAMED SHA (ANNA UNIVERSITY)

CSAT

R. HARIHARASUDHAN (WE SHINE ACADEMY) S. PREM ANAND (ANNA UNIVERSITY)

GUEST LECTURE BY V.R. SUBBULAXMI M.A, ECONOMICS

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(147TH RANK, 2009 – IAS)

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  TECHNO WATCH   Indian Railways Installed New Technique to Detect Faults in Coaches, Wagons & Locos

 Indian Railways on 4 October 2013

adopted first ever unique modern technology for maintenance of its passenger coaches, wagons and locomotives in its continuous endeavour to enhance safety in Railway operations. The new maintenance technique which uses acoustic method of diagnostics is known as Acoustic Bearing Detectors (ABD) & Wheel Impact Load Detectors (WILD). When used in combination together they are known as Online Monitoring of Rolling Stock (OMRS) systems. This technique involves placing arrays of microphones and sensors that record the audible noise and forces generated by the running coaches, wagons and locomotives. Conventional method to maintain passenger coaches, wagons and locomotives is to physically examine when these are in stationary condition at the maintenance depots. Under the new technique, the faults in the Rolling stock can be detected while on run which is a big advantage as it will make maintenance faster reducing turn around time for Rolling stocks thereby ensuring availability of high

number of wagons/coaches etc. for operation. The OMRS equipment is so sensitive and accurate that it is often able to indicate the specific sub-component that is not behaving the way it should and therefore causing abnormal noise. Moreover, this can be monitored remotely using mobile communication facilities. In the conventional method, it is nearly impossible to detect this problem unless major assemblies are completely dismantled and checked in the maintenance depot. One such system, which is a combination of ABD, OMRS & WILD systems, is installed near Bakkas in Lucknow division of Northern Railway as a pilot project. It has successfully detected a number of wheel bearing faults avoiding the problem of wheel bearing becoming hot which results in the stoppage of the train at the station or worse still-in between two stations. WILD have been installed in 15 locations across the country in the initial phase and these have also detected faulty vehicles that have caused higher than normal impact force on the rails. These 15 locations are; Ajni, Asansol, Mughal Sarai-I, Mughal Sarai – II, Barwadih, Vishakhapatnam, Arakkonam, Gunakal, Mahalimarup,


Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Techno Watch

The researchers revealed that the ability of honeybees to find the flowers can be hindered by the chemical in diesel exhaust. The tests revealed that the diesel exhaust degraded the floral scent chemicals on which the honey bees foraged. The study revealed that the specific group of chemicals found in diesel exhaust, known as NOx was responsible for diminishing the response of insects towards the floral scents. The researchers revealed that the results of their study made it clear that the quality of air should be improved. Dr Tracey Newman, the neuroscientist of the University of Southampton explained that they started the research because they were aware of the impacts of airborne pollutants on human health, which hinted towards the fact that they may also have an impact on other things. In order to study about the chemical effects of pollution on the pollinators, the researchers created a mixture of the volatile, or smelly, chemicals which scented like oilseed rape. Thereafter, the researchers made use of the diesel-powered generator in order to create the mixture of air and

This lab-made air pollution was mixed with the floral scent mix. The tests revealed that there was a considerable loss of two main components of the floral odour mixture. The two odour chemicals lost during this had chemically reacted with a component of the diesel exhaust, mono-nitrogen oxide, also called NOx. In order to examine this, the researchers discovered whether the bees were affected due to the change or not. Dr Tracey Newman explained that bees needed to decipher the chemical messages that they got from the flowers. This had to be done so that they could give their best yield of nectar. The pollinators learnt recognizing the scents of nectar-rich flowers, which in turn enabled them to forage better. The study primarily highlighted the need to bring down pollution and also improve the quality of the air. This will not just help in protecting the pollinating insects but will also help in improving the human health.

Walking at Least 7 Hours a Week Can Bring Down the Risk of Breast Cancer: Research The American Cancer Society revealed that the post-menopausal women who walk for one hour every day can significantly bring down their chances of developing the symptoms of breast cancer. In the study, 73000 women were followed for 17 years and it was found that

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Ability of Honeybees to Find the Flowers Affected by Diesel Exhaust: Research

exhaust which was alike the levels of exhaust found on roads.

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Dongargarh, Bilai, Hospet, Bina, Itarsi and New Katni.


Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Techno Watch

The study published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention closely studied 73000 women out of 97785 aged 50-74. These women were recruited by the American Cancer Society between 1992 and 1993 so that the researchers could monitor the incidences of cancer in that group. Out of all the women, 47 percent said that the only recreational activity that they did was walking. The researchers eventually found out that the women who walked for at least seven hours in a week had 14 percent lower risk of breast cancer in comparison to the ones who walked for just three or four hours in a week.

Geological Survey of India Acquired Research Vessel Samudra Ratnakar for Deep Sea Research The Geological Survey of India acquired a ship named Samudra Ratnakar for around 600 crore Rupees for the purpose of undertaking deep-sea surveys as well as exploration of the minerals lying in the depths of oceans. Features of Samudra Ratnakar

 Samudra Ratnakar was delivered in the month of September 2013 by

 

The GSI also entered into an agreement with Shipping Corporation of India for the management, operations as well as maintenance of Samudra Ratnakar. At present, Samudra Ratnakar is docked at Kandla port and will be dedicated to the nation by Mines Minister Dinsha Patel in the third week of October 2013. It is important to note that as of now, the GSI has already surveyed over 95 percent of 2012 million sq km Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), including around 105000 sq km of territorial waters (TW) of India. These surveys were conducted in the northern part of Indian Ocean, coastal waters of Arabian Sea, Andaman-Nicobar and Bay of Bengal through the fleet of three ships and vessels namely R V Samudra Manthan, R V Samudra

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The American Cancer Society also revealed that it was for the first time that reduced risk of breast cancer was directly linked with walking.

the Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea. It is furnished with latest technological instruments. The Geological Survey of India has the plans of keeping around 50 scientists on board Samudra Ratnakar for the collection of data from the deep sea. With Samudra Ratnakar’s induction, the Geological Survey of India for the first time entered into an endeavour to explore deep-sea waters for survey. Samudra Ratnakar has the capacity of 2700 DWT. It can sail at a stretch for around 45 days and will be docked at the Chennai port.

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these women had significantly lowered their risk of breast cancer by simply walking for at least 7 hours in one week.


Vetrii’s Current Affairs R

V

Samudra

The Geological Survey of India maintains its dedicated multidisciplinary marine wing with the offices in Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Gandhinagar, Mangalore, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Cochin.

LG Announced Starting Mass Production of World's First Flexible OLED Panel for Smartphones LG on 7 October 2013 announced that it would start the mass production of world's first flexible OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panel for the smartphones. The South Korean company announced that the first handsets of these kinds would feature in the year 2014. It is important to note that Samsung made the similar announcement in the recent past. Samsung had announced that its first product, which will be the special edition of the Galaxy Note 3, would be launched in October 2013 itself. Both the companies already make use of the technology in order to offer the curved OLED television sets.

It is important to note that earlier LG had developed the flexible e-ink display, which was the world’s lightest, weighing a mere 7.2g 6 inch screen. This is the largest among current smartphone OLED displays.

US Scientists Developed New Blood Test to Detect Gastrointestinal Disorders

 Scientists

from Cedars-Sinai Medicla Centre, Los Angeles, for the first time developed a blood test to determine if a person is suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or another serious condition such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  Researchers conclusively identified a test for antibodies that form against a particular protein, vinculin, found in the guts of patients.  The study and results of the research work were presented on 11 October 2013 at the American College of Gastroenterology's 78th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego, California. Anti-vinculin antibodies were significantly elevated in IBS patients as compared to those with IBD or those who were healthy.

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The Display Division of LG indicated that the handset screens of the new devices will curve from the topto-bottom and not from side-to-side. Samsung, in the meanwhile, had described that their smartphone devices’ screens would curve side-to-side. The panel of the devices will be actually unbreakable and bendable.

LG explained that the new display would be vertically concave from top to bottom with a radius of 700mm, which would in turn open up a whole world of design innovations in the smartphone market.

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Kaustubh and Shaudhikama.

Techno Watch

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Techno Watch

About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

 Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder characterised by diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain. However, millions of patients are never diagnosed correctly.  A simple blood test at the first sign of symptoms means patients who have IBS could get effective treatment sooner.  Food poisoning has been identified as a significant risk factor for developing this disorder which is characterized by a cluster of symptoms including diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain.

Chinese Scientists Developed Li-Fi Technology; Internet through Lightbulbs Scientists from Fudan University, Shanghai successfully developed Li-Fi Technology-a new cheaper way of getting connected to internet by using signals sent through light bulbs instead of radio frequencies as in ‘Wi-Fi’. According to the School of Information Science and Technology at Fudan University, researchers modulated Internet signals to a 1watt LED lamp.

About Li-Fi Technology The LED-based alternative to WiFi, dubbed Li-Fi, or Light Fidelity, refers to a type of visible light communication technology that delivers a networked, mobile, high-speed communication solution in a similar manner to Wi-Fi. As with radio waves, light is also a type of electromagnetic wave. The basic rule for sending and receiving Internet signals via light waves is similar to that for radio waves. Light-emitting diodes are switched on and off much faster than the eye can detect, which makes the light source appear to be continuous. By adding a microchip to an LED bulb to control on and off switching, the data will flow as binary code: an on LED is a logical "1" while when off it is a logical "0". The term Li-Fi was coined by Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh in the UK and refers to a type of visible light communication technology that delivers a networked, mobile, high-speed communication solution in a similar manner as Wi-Fi.

Scientists Developed the World's First Bionic Man

 Scientists developed the world's first robot human (Bionic man) made entirely of prosthetic parts.

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The new blood test has the potential to distinguish IBS from IBD and reduce the need for unnecessary testing, expense and years of suffering.

Under the light, four computers were able to access the Internet.

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Until this study, there had been no accurate biomarkers identified specifically for IBS.


Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Techno Watch

 The bionic man can walk, talk and

 The robot was modeled in some

has a beating heart. Bionic man was assembled from prosthetic body parts and artificial organs donated by laboratories around the world. The bionic man also has a nearly complete set of artificial organs including an artificial heart, blood, lungs (and windpipe), pancreas, spleen, kidney and functional circulatory system. He also sports a cochlear implant, speech recognition and speech production systems. The scientists equipped the bionic man with a sophisticated chatbot programme that can carry on a conversation. It also has a pair of robotic ankles and feet from BiOM in Bedford, Massachusetts, designed and worn by bioengineer Hugh Herr of MIT's Media Lab, who lost his own legs after getting trapped in a blizzard as a teenager. To support his prosthetic legs, the bionic man wears a robotic exoskeleton dubbed Rex .It was made by REX Bionics in New Zealand. He lacks a few major organs including liver, stomach and intestines, which are too complex to replicate in a lab. His brain can mimic certain functions of the human brain and he has a retinal prosthesis. Roboticists Rich Walker and Matthew Godden of Shadow Robot Co in England developed the bionic man.

physical aspects after Bertolt Meyer, a social psychologist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, who wears one of the world's most advanced bionic hands.  The total cost for development of the robot is around 1 million US Dollars.

 

UPSC G.S. PRELIMS & MAINS NEW BATCH STARTS ON:

10th NOV, 2013, SUNDAY

For more details contact: 9500005522 / 9600124042

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ART & CULTURE

Handwoven Pashmina Shawls of Kashmir Accredited With the Geographical Indication Mark

 The handwoven Pashmina shawls 

 

of Kashmir were accredited with the Geographical Indication (GI) mark. The Chief Minister of Kashmir Omar Abdullah, on 5 August 2013 launched the Kashmir Pashmina GI mark, which will now be imprinted on all handwoven Kashmiri Pashmina Shawls, in the form of label. This GI Mark will be imprinted at Testing and Quality Certification Centre. The GI Mark labels will be attached to Kashmiri Pashmina shawl after it has been tested on weaving technology, spinning method, originality of fabric as well as fineness of thread. The mark of Kashmir Pashmina will also provide details of the manufacturer as well as quality of shawl. The label will also carry a number, which will be verifiable from official website.

Impacts

 This move will help in restoring the

handicrafts of Kashmir.  It will also help in economic prosperity of the artisans.  At the same time, it will also help in removing the fake handicrafts sold in the name of Kashmir.  As an initial action, fake Pashmina shawls would be replaced by Kashmir patent hand woven original Pashmina shawls.

 In order to stop fake as well as

unscrupulous trade in handicrafts sector, the testing lab at Craft Development Institute (CDI) at Nowshera will be used.  The Government of Kashmir has already achieved the GI for six handicrafts, which will have same testing facilities. What is Geographical Indication (GI)?

 Geographical Indication of any

good is defined as aspect of the industrial property that refers to geographical indication referring to any country or a particular place situated therein.  It is basically a sign or a name which is used on certain products which relate specifically to a geographical location or the origin, which can be a town, region or the country.  Using GI can act as the certification of the product and that it holds certain qualities and enjoys certain reputation because of its geographical origin.  India, which is also a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 and it came into force from 15 September 2003.


Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Art & Culture

 

 

Chandresh Kumari Katoch on 2 September 2013 inaugurated an exclusive exhibition on Indian embroideriesnamed Resurgence. The exhibition showcases revival of India’s weaves and embroideries. It is worth noticing that India has huge untapped potential of craftsmen and artisans and such platforms pave way for the restoration of the indigenous handicraft and enhance inter-state cultural discourse. Indian handicrafts usually get a lot of recognition from all over the world. The exhibition known as Resurgence has been opened from 2 September 2013 to 15 September 2013 at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

Punjab and Haryana High court on 10 September 2013 stayed the release of Hindi movie Grand Masti on the grounds of vulgar dialogues and obscene content besides scenes that degrade women.

It was scheduled for release on 13 September, in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. The High Court had directed the Central Board of Film Certification, Union ministry of information and broadcasting and Maruti International Films Private Limited, Mumbai, to file their replies on the allegations made in the petition by 20 September 2013.

of

Film

 The

 Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the Release of Grand Masti

Board

Central Board of Film Certification (often referred to as the Censor Board) is a statutory censorship and classification body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. It is tasked with regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952. Films can be publicly exhibited in India only after they have been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification. The Board, consists of non-official members and a Chairman (all of whom are appointed by Central Government) and functions with headquarters at Mumbai. It has nine Regional offices, one each at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Cuttack and Guwahati. The Regional Offices are assisted in the examination of films by Advisory Panels. The members of the panels are nominated by Central Government by drawing people from different walks of life for a period of 2 years. The Certification process is in accordance with The Cinematograph Act, 1952, The Cinematograph (certification) Rules, 1983, and the guidelines issued by the Central government u/s 5 (B). At present films are certified under 4 categories  U: Unrestricted Public Exhibition  U/A: Unrestricted Public Exhibition - but with a word of caution that Parental

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 The Union Minister for Culture

CBFC (Central Certification)

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Union Minister for Culture Inaugurated Exhibition on Indian Embroideries


Vetrii’s Current Affairs

Art & Culture

discretion required for children below 12 years  A: Restricted to adults  S: Restricted to any special class of persons

Cinema, New Currents, Korean Cinema Today, Korean Cinema Retrospective, World Cinema, Wide Angle, Open Cinema, Flash Forward, Midnight Passion and Special Programs in Focus.

Thirteen Indian Films Chosen to be Showcased at Busan International Film Festival

Delhi’s Humayun’s Tomb Unveiled after Years of Restoration Work

BIFF is held every year at Busan and BIFF 2013 will see around 301 films from 70 countries across the world. About the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)

 The

  

Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) was earlier known as Pusan International Film Festival, PIFF. It is held annually in Haeundae-gu, Busan (also Pusan), South Korea. BIFF is one of the most important festivals in Asia. The first PIFF was held from 13-21 September 1996. At that time, it was also the first international film festival in South Korea. The objective of BIFF is introduction of new films as well as fresher directors, primarily from Asia. Another important feature of BIFF is that the festival has special appeal towards the young audience because it also promotes the young talent. The BIFF is organized in various categories which include Gala Presentation, A Window on Asian

Aga Khan is the name used by the Imam of the Nizari Ismailis since 1818. The restoration work took around seven years and was a part of the The Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Project. The task of restoration was done by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, in partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India, and with the support of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. The restoration work took place on the public private partnership (PPP) model and it is first of its kind on the India’s heritage site. The project was funded primarily by the Aga Khan Trust. Ratish Nanda was the Project director of this restoration work.

What all restoration took place at Humayun’s Tomb?

 The

restoration project which comprised of areas of Sundar Nursery, Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti and Humayun's Tomb complex was signed in the year 2007.  In order to execute this project, plasterers, tile-makers, stone-

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Satyagraha and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag are among those films to be showcased at the film festival in South Korea.

The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh and His Highness the Aga Khan, a Swiss-born philanthropist and Muslim spiritual leader, unveiled the restored Humayun’s Tomb of New Delhi on 18 September 2013.

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Around 13 Indian films were chosen to be showcased at the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in South Korea.


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  

  

 

 The wells were also re-excavated

and incorporated into the rain water harvesting and irrigation system. Restoration work also took place on the edging stones, sandstone benches, water channels and walkways. Humayun’s Tomb also got two handcrafted Egyptian lamps with Islamic motifs in the main chamber and the west gate. These are much similar to the ones in Akbar's Tomb and the Taj Mahal in Agra. In order to hand these lamps, the 80-foot scaffolding was built. The lamps were hung from 16thcentury iron hook which had the original lamp with gold tassel and went missing during Jat capture of Delhi. The lamp has inscriptions from Quran which is made of brass.

About the Humayun’s Tomb

 The construction of Humayun’s

 

Tomb started in the year 1569, fourteen years after the death of Humayun. The tomb was built on the order of senior widow of HumayunHamida Banu Begam, also known as Haji Begam. It is the first distinct example of proper Mughal style, which was inspired by Persian architecture. The mausoleum is a synthesis of Persian architecture and Indian traditions-the former exemplified by the arched alcoves, corridors and the high double dome, and the latter by the kiosks, which give it a pyramidal outline from distance. The tomb stands in the centre of a square garden, divided into four main parterres by causeways

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carvers and traditional masons were employed. The architectural elements were corrected and restored by the workers. The dome made of white marble, before restoration, allowed water to infiltrate into double-dome chamber. The stone joints were filled with the lime mortar, which is prepared by mixing the marble dust with lime. In order to restore original water disposal system, around a million kilos of concrete was used. The layer of concrete was then laid on flat roof which surrounds the dome. Restoration of the decorative starshaped patterns on the facade of the 68 mini-mausoleums on the ground level was also done. It is at this place that the 160 members of Mughal dynasty including Dara Shikoh are buried. After four years of restoration, the tiles on roof canopies were restored in order to match the original five colours. 42.6m tall arches were also reconstructed. The gardens of the complex were also restored with the water flowing through all the fountains. The project of garden restoration was taken up by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in association with the Archeological Survey of India in the year 1997 in order to mark the 50th anniversary of India's independence. All the water channels were re-laid almost exactly as before. More than 2500 trees as well as plants were introduced in the area according to the original landscape of the Humayun’s tomb.

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  

 

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee is composed of 21 state parties which in turn are elected by the General Assembly.

Other UNESCO Sites in India

                      

What is UNESCO World Heritage Site?

 

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the place which is listed by UNESCO as special cultural or physical significance.

The list of the World Heritage Sites is maintained by the International World Heritage Programme, administered in turn by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

   

World

Heritage

Agra Fort Ajanta Caves Ellora Caves Taj Mahal Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram Sun Temple, Konârak Kaziranga National Park Keoladeo National Park Manas Wildlife Sanctuary Churches and Convents of Goa Fatehpur Sikri Group of Monuments at Hampi Khajuraho Group of Monuments Elephanta Caves Great Living Chola Temples 12 Group of Monuments at Pattadakal Sundarbans National Park Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi Humayun's Tomb, Delhi Qutub Minar and its Monuments, Delhi Mountain Railways of India Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) Red Fort Complex The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur Western Ghats Hill Forts of Rajasthan

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(charbagh), in the centre of which originally ran shallow waterchannels. A baradari (pavilion) occupies the centre of the eastern wall and a hammam (bath chamber) in the centre of northern wall. Mirak Mirza Ghiyath was the architect of the Humayun’s Tomb. The tomb was constructed at a cost of 15 lakh rupees (1.5 million). It holds special significance because it was the first garden-tomb in India. Humayun’s Tomb was a source of inspiration for other architectural innovations including the Taj Mahal. Located near crossing of Mathura Road and Lodhi Road, Humayun’s Tomb is the first example of Mughal architecture in India. Various Mughal rulers lie buried in the Humayun’s Tomb. It is important to note that Bahadur Shah Zafar also took refuge in this tomb during the first war of independence (1857). Humayun’s Tomb is the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was designated the status of World Heritage Site in the year 1993. The World Heritage List includes 981 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage.

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KVIC president Devendra Desai explained that the Union Government of India along with Asian Development Bank decided to launch various programmes for development of Khadi. It was also announced that all the Khadi clothes being sold at the Khadi Bhandars across India should carry the exclusive mark from the year 2014. Devendra Desai is also the Saurashtra Rachnatmak Samiti (SRS) President. The mark will be dedicated on 30 September 2013 in New Delhi.

It is important to note that the Government of Gujarat already offers a discount of 10 percent on the Khadi produced in the state. The Centre, in the meanwhile, withdrew the rebate and instead of that introduced the Marketing Development Assistance policy for Khadi producers.

ASI and Google Signed Agreement for Launching 100 Heritage Sites Online

 The Union Ministry of culture

Khadi mark will be alike the hallmark which authenticates gold. The Khadi mark will ensure the guarantee of genuine Khadi, which is hand-spun, hand-woven and natural fibre. It is important to note that the production as well as sale of the Khadi clothes saw an increase at the national level as well as in Gujarat. Devendra Desai, in the meanwhile, also announced the discount for the state customers on the purchase of Khadi for four months starting from 2 October 2013. This will mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the primary face of Khadi in India. Various designs have been introduced in the Khadi clothes, with the focus on the younger generation. Also, Khadi achieved the target of generation of 4 crore Rupees sales for the 2013-14 financial year in the

launched on 3 October 2013 a unique project to put 100 most important Indian heritage sites online. The sites include the Taj Mahal, Khajuraho, Ajanta and Ellora caves. Under the project Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) signed an agreement with Google to create 360 degree online imagery of 100 of India’s most important heritage sites. According to the agreement detailed imagery of the identified heritage sites will be placed over the Internet for public viewing. The imagery of the heritage sites will be available on Google Maps and the World Wonders site within the Google Cultural Institute. This will facilitate people to virtually view and explore these areas. The project will make the experience of visiting heritage sites online more enjoyable and also bring them to the notice of billions of people connected globally via the Internet.

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The Khadi and Village Industry Commission (KVIC) announced on 29 September 2013 that Khadi will get a new push in context with its brand identity with the introduction of an exclusive mark from 2014 onwards.

state of Gujarat. The sales target of Khadi clothes in 2014-15 financial year is more than 5 crore Rupees.

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Khadi and Village Industry Commission Announced Introduction of Exclusive Khadi Mark


Vetrii’s Current Affairs Survey

of

 Archaeological Survey of India is

 

the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the India. Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI. It regulates all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972. For the maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance the entire country is divided into 27 Circles. There are 3678 Monuments are declared as protected by the ASI, out of which 20 are World Heritage sites. Recently 6 forts of Rajasthan have been declared as World Heritage site by UNESCO under serial nomination as Hill forts of Rajasthan.

Europalia-India Cultural was Jointly Inaugurated

Festival

The Europalia-India cultural festival was on 4 October 2013 jointly inaugurated by the President Pranab Mukherjee and the King of the Belgium in Brussels. The largest Indian cultural festival abroad in recent years will feature different aspects of Indian culture ranging from history to arts, literature, architecture and Indian philosophy.

The cultural ball called EuropaliaIndia will last till it coincides with the Republic Day of India in January 2014. During its next four months journey across the European field to over 200 venues, these mega India cultural festivals will unfold the essence of India's for the European continent. A Brilliant endeavor to intimately engage Europe-India in a never before cultural encounter is bound to make interactions spill over to socio-political and economic sphere of both these important region.

UPSC G.S PRELIMS & MAINS NEW BATCH STARTS ON:

10th NOV, 2013, SUNDAY UPSC – MAINS – OPTIONAL PAPERS Subject Geography Public Administration History Sociology Political science Psychology

Faculty M. Shunmugam N. Vinoba Bhoopathy P. Saravana Moorthy C. Sivanathan S.P. Rajkumar U.M. Vinoth

Hostel facilities available

For more details contact: 9500005522 / 9600124042

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Archaeological

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UPSC G.S PRELIMS & MAINS NEW BATCH STARTS ON: 10TH NOVEMBER, 2013

VETRII’S STAR FACULTY TEAM SUBJECT

FACULTY

GEOGRAPHY

M. SHUNMUGAM (DIRECTOR- VETRII IAS STUDY CIRCLE) (FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM)

INDIAN POLITY & GOVERNANCE, ETHICS

HISTORY

N. VINOBA BHOOPATHY (JOINT DIRECTOR)

P. SARAVANA MOORTHY (JOINT DIRECTOR) (FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM)

ECONOMICS

INDIA & WORLD, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY & ORGANISATIONS

C. SIVANATHAN

SOCIAL ISSUES

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

S.P. RAJKUMAR

(FACULTY OF MANITHANEYAM)

C. SIVANATHAN V.R. MARAGATHAVALLI (MADURAI KAMARAJAR UNIVERSITY)

ETHICS (PSYCHOLOGY)

CURRENT AFFAIRS

U.M. VINOTH (DIRECTOR – VINOTH IAS ACADEMY) PETER DOMINIC (LOYOLA COLLEGE) M. YASAR MOHAMED SHA (ANNA UNIVERSITY)

CSAT

R. HARIHARASUDHAN (WE SHINE ACADEMY)

GUEST LECTURE BY V.R. SUBBULAXMI M.A, ECONOMICS

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S. PREM ANAND (ANNA UNIVERSITY)

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ENVIRO WATCH LEGENDARY Himalayan Yeti, also known as Abominable Snowman or Meh-Teh (locally) is discovered as the sub-species under Brown bear. It is the hybrid of polar bears and brown bears.

Committee constituted to study the impact of Hydel projects in Uttarakhand. The Ministry of Environment and Forests constituted a committee to study the impact of hydel projects in Uttarakhand to check whether environmental degradation caused by hydro-electric projects at Alaknandha and Bhagirathi rivers led to Uttarakhand floods. The committee headed by Prof.Ravi Chopra, Director of Peoples science Institute, Dehradun.‟

TomTato plant

 Plant which produces Tomato and

Potato launched in UK and described as a “Veg plot in a pot”.  The plant can grow more than 500 sweet cherry tomatoes and produce white potatoes.  These hybrid plants are individually handicrafted and not a product of genetic engineering.

Ecologically Sensitive Area - (1/3)rd of Western Ghats declared as Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA)

 The Ministry of Environment and

Forests approved Kasturirangan Panel report on Western Ghats and declared 37% of the Western Ghats as ESA,  The panel recommended on developmental activities like mining, quarrying, thermal power plants, polluting industries over the entire range.  The ESA is spread over 6 states Gujarat, Karnataka, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and under the statutory protection Environment Protection Act, 1986.  All other projects in the ESA are allowed only with the prior approval of Gramsabhas of the zone. The decisions based on 2 reports K.Kasturirangan, a member of Planning Commission and Madhav Gadgil, an ecologist. Bio-diversity richness, fragmentation of forests and human population density are the 3 main criteria taken into consideration. The Ecologically Sensitive Area is Bio-Climatic unit in Western Ghats where in human impact have locally caused irreversible changes in structure of biological communities and their natural habitats. This ESA is the largest protected Forests in India with 1500 km linear distance from Tapti river in North to Kanyakumari in South.


Vetrii’ Current Affairs

Enviro Watch

Government of India proposed supporting to set-up Plastic Parks:

National Green Tribunal banned digging of the earth:

 The GOI proposed to support for

 The NGT banned digging for

Green Mode Transport banned in West Bengal: The West Bengal Government announced ban on Cycles, Hand-Carts, Pull-Carts, Tri-Cycles and other nonmotorised transport in 174 major and minor roads in August 2013. The centre urged State Government not to ban cycle in the State. The centre is aggressively campaign to promote clean and green mode of transport in cities and promoying dedicated tracks for cycles as per National Urban Transport Policy 2006.

CERC Central Regulatory Commission

Electricity

New Chairman Mr.Gireesh B. Pradhan is appointed for CERC-Central Electricity Regulatory Commission which is an apex body for electricity regulations and statutory body under section 76 of Electricity Act, 2003. Tariff Regulations for Electricity generated Central Goverment sponsored companies, regulations of inter-state electricity transmissions and its tariff regulation, license issues are the few functions of CERC.

Oil spill in Urban Coast Oil spill occurred in the Urban Coast near Mumbai, due to the leakages from pipelines in an installation of Oil and Natural Gas (ONGC) Corporation. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests constituted a team to inspect the oil spills. Also Maharashtra Pollution Control Board sought report from the Directorate of Industrial Health and Safety. Several fishermen said that fish would be dead or unfit for consumption and fishing not possible for few weeks. Experts said the impact on marine life is always there and as oil spills have occurred earlier, impact on mangroves can also be witnessed.

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making brick and roads without prior environmental clearances across the country.  Earlier, it has banned sand mining from river-beds without environmental clearance.

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setting up Plastic Parks for promotion of down stream plastic processing industry. The scheme to be implemented by the Department of Chemicals and PetroChemicals. The department envisages setting up Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which could provide infrastructure and common facilities for the industries the centre has decided to provide „Grant-in-Aid‟ upto 50% of project cost (not exceeding 40 crores per SPV) to be set-up. The scheme is introduced to increase the investments in the plastic industries and therefore increasing plastic exports. India‟s plastic market is very large but with small, tiny and medium fragmented industries and its share in global market is very low. By adapting this scheme innovate methods and technology can be implemented like waste management and recycling of plastic products.


WORLD WATCH ‘Time to Act’ United Nations Declaration against Sexual Violence The 68th session of General Assembly of the United Nations on 25 September 2013 signed a declaration pledging new action to end sexual violence in conflict zones. The declaration was titled ‘Time To Act’. Ministers from 113 countries signed the declaration in General Assembly of the United Nations held in New York. It also declared that it will adopt a new International Protocol in 2014 to help and ensure that evidence collected can stand up in the court.

Iraq Ratified Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

 Iraq Government on 27 September

2013 ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) at 68th session of UN General Assembly at New York, US.  Iraq's ratification of the treaty raised the number of countries that have adhered fully to the treaty to 161. About CTBT The Comprehensive Nuclear-TestBan Treaty (CTBT) bans nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth's surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground. So far 183 States have signed the Treaty of which 161 have now also ratified it.

The Treaty establishes a CTBT Organization (CTBTO), located in Vienna, Austria to ensure the implementation of its provisions, including those provisions for international verification measures To enter into force, the CTBT must be signed and ratified by 44 specific states, only 36 of which have done so including France, Russia and Britain. The remaining eight are China, the United States, India, Pakistan and North Korea, Israel, widely believed to have atomic weapons; Iran, suspected of wanting them; and Egypt.

United Nations Security Council Voted to Eliminate Syria's Chemical Weapons

 The

United Nations Security Council on 27 September 2013 approved unanimously a resolution with binding obligations on the Syrian government to eliminate its chemical weapons.  The resolution was passed by a voice vote by all 15 members of UN Security Council that paved the way for dismantling the weapons of mass destruction in Syria.  The UNSC resolution enshrines the plan approved by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, making it legally binding.  The agreement allows the start of a mission to rid Syria’s regime of its estimated 1000-tonne chemical arsenal by mid-2014, significantly


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World Watch

accelerating a destruction timetable that often takes years to complete.  The resolution makes it legally binding for Syria to comply with the US-Russia plan on elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.  According to estimates Syria has more than 1000 tonnes of Sarin, Mustard and VX gases which have to be destroyed by Mid 2014.

Gambia withdraws Commonwealth

from

the

 The Gambian Government on 2

October 2013 announced that it is pulling out of the Commonwealth with immediate effect.  Gambian, a West African country joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1965.  The Gambian also stated that it will never be a member of any neocolonial institution that represents an extension of colonialism.  The last country to be withdrawn from the Commonwealth group was Zimbabwe in 2003.

 Leaders of member countries shape

Commonwealth policies and priorities. Every two years, they meet to discuss issues affecting the Commonwealth and the wider world at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).  All members have an equal say regardless of size or economic stature. This ensures even the smallest member countries have a voice in shaping the Commonwealth.  The last two countries to join The Commonwealth - Rwanda and Mozambique have no historical ties to the British Empire.

India and USA Defence Cooperation India and United States of America (USA) signed a joint declaration in defence cooperation in research in defense, defense technology transfer, codevelopment and co-production of defense articles and services and protecting each other’s sensitive technology and information. Joint declaration

voluntary association of 54 countries, many of them former territories of the British Empire.  It was established in 1949. Fiftyfour countries are members of the Commonwealth.  These Countries are from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse – they are amongst the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries.

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 The Commonwealth of Nations is a

common security interests and place each other at the same level as their closest partners. This principle will apply with respect to defense technology transfer, trade, research, co-development and coproduction for defense articles and services, including the most advanced and sophisticated technology.  Both countries will work to improve licensing processes, and, where applicable, follow expedited license approval processes to facilitate this cooperation.

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 The United States and India share

About Commonwealth Nations


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World Watch

committed to protecting each other’s sensitive technology and information.  The U.S. continues to fully support India`s full membership in the four international export control regimes, which would further facilitate technology sharing.

Syria Joined UN Chemical Weapons Convention Syria on 14 October 2013 officially joined the United Nations Chemical Weapons Convention, which outlaws production and use of chemical weapons. Syria is the 190th country to join the convention. Only six states have yet to sign the international treaty. The move comes as international inspectors are working to destroy the chemical weapon stockpile of the Assad regime in Syria. The six UN States are not signed the CWC are 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Israel Myanmar Angola Egypt North Korea South Sudan

India Signed Agreement with IFAD for the Jharkhand Tribal Empowerment Livelihood Project

 The Objective of the project is to

enable rural households to take-up sustainable livelihood opportunities.  The project shall benefit small rural producers, women, scheduled caste households and youth in the hill districts of the State of the Jharkhand.  The goal of the project is to reduce poverty in the hill districts of the State of Jharkhand.  The new project has four main components:  Community Empowerment  Integrated Natural Resource Management  Livelihood Project  Project Management

Bangladesh Cabinet Ratified Extradition Treaty with India Bangladesh Cabinet ratified an extradition treaty with India to enable the handing over of suspects and convicted prisoners between the two countries. According to the agreement, only persons with charges like murders, culpable homicide and other serious offences would come under the purview of the deal While offenders of small crimes awarded with imprisonment for less than one year will also not be wanted under the treaty. India and Bangladesh signed the extradition treaty on 28 January 2013 and the Union Cabinet of India has already ratified the treaty. Only Bangladesh Parliament want to ratify it.

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India signed the agreement for credit of 51 million US Dollar with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for the Jharkhand Tribal Empowerment Livelihood Project (JTLEP).

Objective of the Jharkhand Tribal Empowerment Livelihood Project (JTLEP)

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 The U.S and India are also

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Current affairs oct 2013 - Vetrii IAS Study Circle