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Former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral passes away Former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, who headed a rickety coalition government in the late 1990s, died after a brief illness. He was 92.Gujral left the Congress to join the Janata Dal in the late-1980s. He became Minister of External Affairs in the V P Singh-led National Front government in 1989. As the External Affairs Minister he handled the fallout of the Kuwait crisis following Iraqi invasion that displaced thousands of Indians. Gujral authored a foreign policy doctrine called the "Gujral Doctrine" (a set of principles to guide the conduct of foreign relations with India's immediate neighbours), which was widely acclaimed not only in India but also outside. Children of illegally wedded wife entitled to pension: govt Children born to illegally wedded wife of a central government employee are entitled to get family pension, according to a new order. The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, in an order issued, decided that pensionary benefits will be granted to children of a government servant or pensioner from "void or voidable" marriages. Earlier, children born out of such a wedlock of a government servant had no claim on family pension and the legally wedded wife was the sole recipient of the post-retirement benefit. However, the matter was re-examined in consultation with the Ministry of Law and Justice and Ministry of Finance and it was decided to amend the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972. The share of children from illegally wedded wife in the family pension shall be payable to them along with the legally wedded wife. Joint naval exercise with Russia INDRA, joint military exercise with Russia, is being held in Mumbai from November 28 to December 3. Destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, replenishment oiler Irkut and rescue tug Alatau of the Russian Federations Navy Pacific Fleet (PF) Task Unit and Indias INS Mysore and INS Tabar are participating in the exercise. INDRA began in year 2003 and is being conducted every two years. The main objective of this exercise is to enhance interoperability, which will be useful if both the navies are working against the common threat like the pirates in the Gulf of Aden. It will be helpful for wider cooperation and mutual understanding between two navies, said Captain Krishna Swaminathan, Commanding Officer of INS Mysore. Urban renewal mission a failure: CAG From basic guidelines to implementation and subsequent monitoring of projects, the Union Ministry of Urban Developments flagship programme the Jawaharlal National Urban Renewal Mission has failed on all counts, says the Comptroller and Auditor General in its latest report. Tabled in Parliament the performance audit of the Mission shows huge deficiencies. The CAG recommended that the government consider suitable incentives to states that have implemented the reforms envisaged under JNNURM guidelines. The Ministry of Urban Development and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation should introduce a zerotolerance policy at all levels with respect to irregular expenditure and diversion of funds. It also recommended identifying the deficiencies in the monitoring of the scheme, at both Central and State levels. The Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) audit into Centre's urban renewal programme. Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) has shown that 40% of states and Union Territories have failed to rationalize stamp duty to 5% for property registration. The defaulting states include Delhi, Haryana, West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala and Chhattisgarh. High stamp duty discourages property registration at actual or market value and thereby increases scope of black money in the realty sector. As per JNNURM norms, stamp duty was to be brought down to 5% or less, including surcharges by local municipal bodies, during implementation of the programme. T.N. tops the list in dengue deaths The number of deaths in the country this year till November 15 due to dengue has touched 216, with Tamil Nadu topping the list with the death of 60 people. It is followed by Maharashtra 59, Karnataka 21, Punjab 15, Kerala 13, West Bengal 9, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh 6 each and Delhi 4. A total of 35,066 cases were reported in the country till mid-November 2012.

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Maila Mukti Yatra launched Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj minister Jairam Ramesh launched a programme "Maila Mukti Yatra" under Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan. He informed that the Centre has earmarked Rs 1,500 crore to convert dry toilets into flush toilets under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. Sikkim is the first state in the country where the practice of open-area defecation has been eradicated and states like Kerala, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh also have done well. Tamil Nadu tops in domestic violence cases Tamil Nadu has got the dubious distinction of having the highest number of domestic violence cases in the country with the state recording 3,983 such cases in 2011. According to the latest data of the National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 9,431 domestic violence cases were reported across the country during the period, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath informed the Lok Sabha. Tamil Nadu reported the highest number of such cases against women with 3,983 cases followed by Gujarat with 3,266 and West Bengal with 1,661. In 2010, 11,718 cases were registered under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act while in 2009, 7,803, cases were registered. HIV claimed 60,000 less lives in India in 2011 India recorded around 60,000 fewer deaths due to HIV in 2011 compared to 2007 while the overall number of people living with HIV has fallen by almost 1.7 lakhs during the same period. There has been a 57% reduction in new HIV infections in India during the last decade with HIV prevalence among adults (15-49 years) dipping to 0.27% (2011) compared to 0.33% (2007). The total number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in India is estimated at 21 lakhs last year. Children (below 15 years) account for 7% of all infections, and 86% are in the 15-49 age bracket. Worryingly, of all the HIV infections, 39% (8.16 lakhs) are among women, most of whom being housewives. In 2011, among the states, Manipur has shown the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence of 1.22%, followed by Andhra Pradesh (0.75%), Mizoram (0.74%), Nagaland (0.73%), Karnataka (0.52%), Goa (0.43%) and Maharashtra (0.42%). Besides these, Odisha, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Chandigarh have shown estimated adult HIV prevalence greater than the national prevalence at 0.27%. Bihar second most poor state: Plan panel Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of poor population at 7.37 crore, followed by Bihar and Maharashtra in 2009-10. Bihar and Maharashtra had poor population of 5.43 crore and 2.7 crore respectively in the year 2009-10 based on poverty line fixed using the Tendulakar Committee formula, as per data provided by the Planning Commission in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. According to the Tendulkar Committee formula, besides traditional method of fixing poverty line on the basis of calorie intake, the expenditure on health and education is also factored in. The data also showed that the number of poor in the entire country during 2009-10 was 35.46 crore using the Tendulkar Committee formula for fixing the poverty line. In 2009-10, the commission estimated the number of poor in Madhya Pradesh at 2.61 crore, West Bengal 2.4 crore, Andhra Pradesh 1.76 crore, Rajasthan 1.67 crore, Odisha 1.53 crore, Karnataka 1.42 crore, Gujarat 1.36 crore and Jharkhand 1.26 crore in accordance with the formula. Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh had poor population of 1.21 crore each followed by Assam at 1.16 crore and Haryana at 49.96 lakh.

Obama appoints blind Indian-American to key post The Obama administration has announced to appoint a blind Indian-American to a key administrative post in an independent US agency devoted for people with disabilities. Sachin Dev Pavithran has been appointed as Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, the White House said, as it announced several other key administration appointments. Pavithran is Program Director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program at Utah State University's Center for Persons with Disabilities, a position he has held since 2011. Pavithran has more than 12 years of experience as a consultant on disability police and developing and training users of assistive technology and accessible websites. In 2007, the National Federation of the Blind awarded him the Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship. He received a BA, BS, and an MS from Utah State University. Page 2 of 4 1st December 2012

Imperial palace found at first Chinese emperor's cemetery The remains of a massive "imperial palace" have been uncovered at the mausoleum of China's first emperor, Qinshihuang, in the tourist city of Xian. Based on its foundations, the courtyard-style palace was estimated to be 690 meters long and 250 meters wide. Covering an area of 170,000 cubic meters, the palace was nearly one fourth the size of the Forbidden City in Beijing, the imperial palace of China's last two feudal dynasties of Ming and Qing (1368-1911). It is the largest complex ever found at the cemetery of Qinshihuang, known as China's first emperor as he united the country. The palace included 18 courtyard houses and a main building that overlooked the houses. The palace could shed light on the architectural styles of the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-207 BC) and showed emperor Qinshihuang's wish to continue to live in imperial grandeur even during his afterlife. The 56-square-km Mausoleum of Qinshihuang is the world's largest underground mausoleum and is famous for its terracotta warriors.

NASA spacecraft discovers 'ice' on Mercury A NASA spacecraft has confirmed the presence of abundant 'icy' water along with other frozen volatile materials within 'burning hot' Mercury's permanently shadowed polar craters. NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has been studying Mercury, the nearest planet to the Sun, in unprecedented detail since its historic arrival there in March 2011. Scientists have seen clearly for the first time a chapter in the story of how the inner planets, including Earth, acquired their water and some of the chemical building blocks for life. Spacecraft instruments completed the first measurements of excess hydrogen at Mercury's north pole, its reflectivity of polar deposits at near-infrared wavelengths and enabled the detailed models of the surface and near-surface temperatures of the planet's north polar regions. Given its proximity to the Sun, Mercury would seem to be an unlikely place to find ice. However, the tilt of Mercury's rotational axis is less than 1 degree, and as a result, there are pockets at the planet's poles that never see sunlight. Scientists suggested decades ago there might be water ice and other frozen volatiles trapped at Mercury's poles.

Business & Economy:

Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) launches its e-Passbook service Over 50 million provident fund subscribers can now access their account statements online as the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has launched its e-Passbook service. Active subscribers whose electronic challan-cum-return is already uploaded, can download their e-Passbook every month under the service launched by the EPFOs Central Provident Fund Commissioner RC Mishra. The facility shall be available on Also, the online downloading of PF account statement is not available as of now for members of PF trusts which are set up employers to manage their employees retirement benefit. Members can register themselves on the portal by using photo identification number, such as PAN, Aadhaar, National Population Registry, driving licence, passport, voter ID, ration card. They can use their mobile phone numbers as passwords. BSE launches carbon-based thematic index The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), has launched BSE Carbonex, the first carbon-based thematic index in the country, which takes a strategic view of organisational commitment to climate change mitigation. This index has been launched with the aim of creating a benchmark, and increasing awareness about the risks posed by climate change. The British High Commission in India through the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices Prosperity Fund supported the development phase of the index. ENDS Carbon, a specialist in environment, social and governance (ESG) ratings and benchmark services provider, has provided its expertise in assessing the companies with data sourced from the carbon disclosure project (CDP), a not-for-profit organisation which holds the largest and most continuous set of climate change data in the world.

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Ranbaxy stops production of generic Lipitor Ranbaxy Laboratories has stopped production of its generic version of cholesterol lowering drug Lipitor until it investigates the issue of potential glass particles in certain lots. The Indian drug major, had informed its customers of a voluntary recall of certain lots of the companys 10mg, 20mg, and 40mg dosage strengths of atorvastatin tablets (generic version of Lipitor), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) said in a statement. The lots of atorvastatin packaged in bottles of 90 tablets and 500 tablets are being recalled due to possible contamination with very small glass particles similar to the size of a grain of sand (less than 1 mm in size). Infosys to list its ADS on NYSE Infosys has announced that it will be transferring the listing of its American Depository Shares (ADS) to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) from the Nasdaq Global Select Market (Nasdaq). The company is also seeking to list its ADS on the Paris and London Exchanges of NYSE Euronext. NYSE Euronext is a leading global operator of financial markets and its equity markets represent one third of the worlds equities trading. Infosys ADS will begin trading on the NYSE Euronext markets on December 12. Until the transfer is complete the ADS will continue to trade in the U.S.

Lee is AFC Player of the Year South Korean footballer Lee Keun Ho was named the AFC Player of the Year. Andrew Flintoff survives knock down to win debut fight Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff beat American Richard Dawson on points after surviving a knockdown in his first professional fight at the MEN Arena in Manchester. The 34-year-old got a rousing reception from the 5,000 fans and won the first of four two-minute rounds before being caught by a left hook early in the second that sent him to the canvas. However, Flintoff got up to receive a standing eight count and battled back with a more composed performance against a flagging opponent for a 39-38 win on the referee's scorecard. Flintoff, coached by former world champion Barry McGuigan, had weighed in at 216lbs (97.98kg), 25lbs (11.34kg) lighter than Dawson, 23, who had won his previous two professional fights.

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