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CONTENTS
INDEX P.No.
National 1 International 4 India and World 9 Science and Technology 10 Economics 14 Sports & Awards and Honours 17 Social issues & Development 18 Political issues, Human Rights & Governance 20 Monthly Special Focus 23 NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION Civil War in Syria Coup in Egypt Shale gas shakes up International Geopolitics STEM CELLS The Arctic Council: Is There a Case for India? UN Report on Global Climate MONTHLY QUESTIONS 35 PERSONALITIES 38 TIT BITS 40

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* Indian Railways Launch SMS Based Ticket Booking System: The Minister of Railways Shri Mallikarjun Kharge launched SMS based ticketing system. While addressing a gathering on the occasion, Shri Kharge said that this user-friendly service which will be effective from today i.e 28th June 2013, is being introduced in order to further improve the customer convenience and empower the common man who does not have access to internet and cannot afford to buy smart phones. Since the mobile penetration in India has increased rapidly and more than 80 per cent people have mobile phones, this new system will be helpful in enabling booking of tickets by masses themselves. Ticket booking through non-internet based mobile, introduced as a pilot project by Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a Public Sector Undertaking of the Ministry of Railways, will also help Railways in overcoming the menace of touting whereby unsuspecting people are fleeced by such elements. This will particularly be useful for labourers and workers staying away from their home and who have to book tickets for travel to their native place. The key features of ticket booking on mobile: Ticket can be booked within minutes; basic mobile phones are sufficient; no internet connection is required; The user will get ticket details on SMS instantly. SMS along with valid ID in original can be used for travel, no printout is required. * New Areas Included in National Capital Region: The National Capital Region Planning Board has approved the inclusion of Bhiwani and Mahendragarh districts of Haryana and Bharatpur district of Rajasthan in the National Capital Region. Board also approved the Rajasthan Government request for identification of Jaipur as Counter Magnet Area. The Board also approved the Sub-Regional plan for UP sub-region. The Minister stated that the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) has recommended setting up of the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) for implementation of RRTS which in Phase-I will connect Delhi-Panipat (111 km), DelhiAlwar (180 km) and Delhi-Meerut (90 km). The matter will be taken up by the Cabinet shortly. The work on the three corridors would start soon and would be completed by 2016. NCRPB would contribute Rs. 200 crore to begin the work on one of the lines. The Board is a unique example of inter-State and inter-agency coordination spread over four federal states and 108 cities & towns.

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62% urbanisation level of NCR is expected to reach about 73% by 2021 as per the revised Regional Plan2021. *GI Tag Granted To Toda Embroidery: The Geographical Indication (GI) certificate for unique Toda embroidery of hilly Nilgiris District in Tamilnadu has been handed over to a representative of the tribal community. The GI accorded in March would insulate the embroidery from being duplicated besides ensuring uniform pricing for the products. Nearly 400 Toda tribals are actively involved in the embroidery business and produce a wide range of products like shawl, table mat, wall hangings, bags and shopping bags and the certificate allowed the products to display the specific geographical location or origin. *Cabinet approves Gandhi Heritage Sites Mission: The union cabinet recently approved the establishment of the Gandhi Heritage Sites Mission to conserve and restore the sites associated with the Father of the Nation. The mission will aim at preserving for posterity 39 core sites as well as other 2,000 important sites earlier identified by the panel under the chairmanship of Gopalkrishna Gandhi, a former governor of West Bengal, and a grandson of the Mahatma. *Hill Forts of Rajasthan Included In World Heritage List: The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO in its 37thSession has approved for inscribing 6 hill forts of Rajasthan on the World Heritage List. The 6 forts are as follows:Name of Fort District Chittaurgarh Fort Chittaurgarh KumbhalgarhFort Rajsamand RanthambhoreFort SawaiMadhopur JaisalmerFort Jaisalmer Amber Fort Jaipur Gagron Fort Jhalawar The Hill Forts of Rajasthan is a serial nomination consisting of six sites located on rocky outcrops of the Aravalli mountain range. They represent Rajput military hill architecture, which are exceptional examples of centres of Rajput power and control, are reflections of courtly culture and patronage of arts and music, their mercantile business, etc. The structural remains/ruins range from 8th to 19th century A.D. and comprises multi-gated approaches through massive and high fortification walls, palaces, temples, memorials and water reservoirs. The extensive fortifications up to 20 kilometres in circumference exploit the contours of the hills, and specifically the river at Gagron, the dense forest at Ranthambhore, and the desert at Jaisalmer. The nomination dossier on Hill Forts of Rajasthan

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comprising five forts namely Chittaurgarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranthambhore Fort, Amber Fort and Gagron Fort was prepared by State Government of Rajasthan and was sent to World Heritage Centre in January, 2011.

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* Nicaragua Congress approves ocean-to-ocean canal plan: The Nicaraguan Congress has approved a proposal to have a canal built linking the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. A Hong Kong-based company has been granted a 50year concession to build the waterway, which will rival the Panama Canal.

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near Costa Rica would require its approval, which is unlikely given recent land disputes with Nicaragua. A canal through the drainage areas would be more expensive and raise environmental concerns and disputes over water. Some of those concerns are already emerging. As has been the case for centuries since around the time of the first proposal for a Nicaraguan canal, in 1825 Panama also appears to be several steps ahead. Its recent expansion effort to accommodate larger supermax cargo ships makes it a more appealing option now and in the future. Many experts say Nicaragua is going to have a hard time convincing investors that there are enough ships to support a second Central American canal. * UN adopts treaty to expand access to books for visually impaired: United Nations has adopted a landmark copyright treaty to enhance access to books for millions of people who are blind or visually impaired. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 314 million blind and visually impaired persons in the world, 90 per cent of whom live in developing countries. However, the World Blind Union estimates that of the million or so books published worldwide every year, less than five per cent are made available in formats accessible to visually impaired persons. The treaty, called the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled, requires parties to adopt national law provisions that permit the reproduction, distribution and making available published works in accessible formats without having to seek permission from copyright holders in each case. It also allows the exchange of accessible format works across borders by organizations that serve people who are blind, visually impaired, and print disabled. This will increase the availability of accessible works as different countries will be able to each produce accessible versions of materials, which can then be shared with each other instead of duplicating efforts by adapting the same work. The treaty also ensures authors and publishers that the system will not expose their published works to misuse or distribution to anyone other than the intended beneficiaries. * UN takes over from African troops in Mali: The international assistance force for Mali has been transformed into a peacekeeping mission. The transfer of authority from the forces of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) took place during a ceremony in Bamako, capital of the West African country, the entire north of which was

The $40bn (25bn) plan has been criticised by environmentalists, who say cargo ships will create a permanent risk to Lake Nicaragua. Challenges The challenges for Nicaraguan canal planners have always been enormous, and the current project is nothing if not ambitious. It would entail slashing through around 180 miles of thick tropical terrain roughly triple the length of the Panama Canal and then pumping a virtual sea through a series of locks deep enough for massive cargo ships. The law approved recently granting a 50-year concession to the HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co., owned by a Beijing-based entrepreneur, does not include details on a location. It was introduced into the Nicaraguan Congress only last week, and supporters there have provided more enthusiasm than details. But in past proposals for transoceanic canals, most recently in 2006, Nicaragua has laid out two possible sites: along the San Juan River, near the border with Costa Rica, and through several large drainage areas that support much of the countrys agriculture. Several international treaties have held that a canal

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occupied by radical Islamists for nearly a year. The conflict, which began in early 2012 with a rebellion of ethnic Tuareg groups, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and prompted the Government to request assistance from France to halt the southward march of the extremists, as AFISMA gradually built strength. In April, the Security Council approved the 12,600strong MINUSMA to take over from the African-led force, authorizing the blue helmets to use all necessary means to carry out security-related stabilization tasks, protect civilians, UN staff and cultural artefacts and create the conditions for provision of humanitarian aid. With its launch, MINUSMA becomes the third largest peacekeeping operation of the UN among the 16 currently deployed across the world, according to its authorized force levels. * US Senate Passes Landmark Immigration Bill: The United States Senate has passed the comprehensive immigration reform bill that will provide a pathway to citizenship to some 11 million illegal immigrants, including over 240,000 Indians. The landmark legislation of the Obama administration received bipartisan support as it passed with 68 votes for and 32 votes against it. Bill is called as The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. It was introduced into the United States Senate of the 113th United States Congress on April 16, 2013. Illegal immigration is a controversial issue in the United States. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives before it can be sent to US President Barack Obama to sign it into law. The bill would allow the nations unauthorized immigrants to get temporary legal status after they passed a criminal background check, paid a fine and paid whatever back taxes they had outstanding. If they successfully maintained a clean record and held a job, they could apply for a green card in 10 years and U.S. citizenship three years later. The bill would revamp the legal immigration system to increase the number of temporary work visas for foreigners trained in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. There would also be an increase in work visas for foreigners who work in the agricultural industry, and a new class of visa would be created to bring in people to work lower-skilled jobs in construction, retail, hospitality and insurance. The bill backed by President Barack Obama, would invest $46bn in new funding to increase border security and revamp the US visa system. The measure also requires 20,000 new Border Patrol agents, the completion of 1,226km of fencing and the deployment of an array of high-tech devices along the US-Mexico border.

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On January 28, 2013, a bi-partisan group of eight Senators also called Gang of Eight announced principles for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). *Free Medicine Scheme launched by centre: Union Health Ministry launched the initiative called Free Drug Service and Free Diagnostics Service aimed at providing free generic drugs at government health care centres. The scheme was one of the governments keystone projects of the 12th Five Year Plan. The free generic drugs scheme was proposed after a 2011 report of the High Level Expert Group which stated that 76 per cent of the out-of-pocket expenditure on health is on drugs. Now public can avail free drugs and free diagnostics services at the government health centres and hospitals. However it requires on the part of States to adopt the scheme. To access the funds under the scheme, the states have to follow certain guidelines given by the Ministry. The directions for accessing the funds make it mandatory for a state to have a clearly notified policy of providing free essential drugs and diagnostics to all patients coming to public sector facilities at least up to district hospital level. The state should have adopted Standard Treatment Guidelines and provide for prescription audits to ensure rational use of drugs and it should name the initiative as National Health Mission-Free Drug Service or National Health Mission-Free Diagnostic Service or its translation in Hindi or regional language. The state should have a robust procurement, logistics and supply chain system that is backed by Information technology. It must have differential facility-wise Essential Drug list/diagnostics list depending on the nature of the facility and a sound drug regulatory and quality assurance system. *Friends Of Syria Group To Give Support To Rebels: Ministers from the 11 members of the Friends of Syria group recently agreed to provide urgently all the necessary materiel and equipment to the rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The meeting was held in Qatar was attended by - France, Germany, Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Britain and the United States. The Group of Friends of the Syrian People (also called Friends of Syria Group) is an association of Western and Arab countries, opposed to President Bashar Assad. They agreed at talks in Qatar to give urgent military support to Syrian rebels fighting for his overthrow, and to channel it through a Western-backed rebel military command. They also condemned the intervention of Hezbollah militias and fighters from Iran and Iraq, demanding

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that they withdraw immediately. They said that the growing sectarian nature of the conflict and the foreign interventions threaten the unity of Syria (and) broaden the conflict across the region. They also expressed strong concern at the increasing presence of terrorist elements and growing radicalization in Syria. *World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: UN on World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, (17 June) urged the countries that they must work collectively to build resilience and prepare themselves against drought. This years theme was Dont let our future dry up, which highlighted water scarcity. Recently, Namibia declared a national drought emergency as 14 per cent of the population became food insecure. Last year, the United States experienced its worst drought since the 1950s, affecting 80 per cent of agricultural land. *African Union suspends Egypt over Morsi's ouster:

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Commission, is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It said in a statement The overthrow of the democratically elected president does not conform to the relevant provisions of Egypts constitution, and therefore falls under the definition of an unconstitutional change of government. It Calls on all Egyptian stakeholders to embrace the spirit of dialogue and mutual accommodation and to refrain from any acts of violence and retribution. AU stresses the obligation of all Egyptian stakeholders to work towards the fulfillment of the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people as embodied in the February 2011 Revolution. AU said in statement that it encourages the Egyptian political actors to persevere on the path of national reconciliation that will contribute to a smooth preparation for elections leading to a return to constitutional order. In this regard, Council urges the new Egyptian authorities to engage, without delay, in inclusive consultations towards the adoption of a consensual time frame for the organization of free, fair and transparent elections; Earlier, in March it suspended the Central African Republic after rebels overthrew the government. *Barak Obama Unveils Action Plan To Combat Climate Change: The 21-page plan would expand production of solar and wind energy and includes billions of dollars in loan guarantees to develop cleaner fossil-fuel and other energy technologies. It lists the following actions; Cuts Carbon Pollution in America: In 2012, U.S. carbon pollution from the energy sector fell to the lowest level in two decades even as the economy continued to grow. To build on this progress, the Obama Administration is putting in place tough new rules to cut carbon pollutionjust like we have for other toxins like mercury and arsenic so we protect the health of our children and move our economy toward American-made clean energy sources that will create good jobs and lower home energy bills. For example, the plan: Directs EPA to work closely with states, industry and other stakeholder to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants; Makes up to $8 billion in loan guarantee authority available for a wide array of advanced fossil energy and efficiency projects to support investments in innovative technologies; Directs DOI to permit enough renewables project like wind and solar on public lands by 2020 to power more than 6 million homes; designates the first-ever hydropower project for priority permitting; and sets a new goal to install 100 megawatts of renewables on federally assisted housing by 2020; while maintaining the commitment to deploy renewables on military installations; Expands the Presidents Better Building Challenge, focusing on helping commercial, industrial, and multi-family buildings cut waste and become at least

The African Union suspended Egypt's membership in the organization in response to the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian military. AU decides to suspend the participation of Egypt in AU activities until the restoration of constitutional order. African Union - AU The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. The AU was established on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa and launched on 9 July 2002 in South Africa to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The AUs secretariat, the African Union

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20 percent more energy efficient by 2020; Sets a goal to reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030 more than half of the annual carbon pollution from the U.S. energy sector through efficiency standards set over the course of the Administration for appliances and federal buildings; Commits to partnering with industry and stakeholders to develop fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles to save families money at the pump and further reduce reliance on foreign oil and fuel consumption post-2018; and Leverages new opportunities to reduce pollution of highly-potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons; directs agencies to develop a comprehensive methane strategy; and commits to protect our forests and critical landscapes. Prepares the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change. Even as we take new steps to cut carbon pollution, we must also prepare for the impacts of a changing climate that are already being felt across the country. Building on progress over the last four years, the plan: Directs agencies to support local climate-resilient investment by removing barriers or counterproductive policies and modernizing programs; and establishes a short-term task force of state, local, and tribal officials to advise on key actions the Federal government can take to help strengthen communities on the ground; Pilots innovative strategies in the Hurricane Sandyaffected region to strengthen communities against future extreme weather and other climate impacts; and building on a new, consistent flood risk reduction standard established for the Sandy-affected region, agencies will update flood-risk reduction standards for all federally funded projects; Launches an effort to create sustainable and resilient hospitals in the face of climate change through a public-private partnership with the healthcare industry; Maintains agricultural productivity by delivering tailored, science-based knowledge to farmers, ranchers, and landowners; and helps communities prepare for drought and wildfire by launching a National Drought Resilience Partnership and by expanding and prioritizing forest- and rangelandrestoration efforts to make areas less vulnerable to catastrophic fire; and Provides climate preparedness tools and information needed by state, local, and private-sector leaders through a centralized toolkit and a new Climate Data Initiative. Lead International Efforts to Address Global Climate Change. Just as no country is immune from the impacts of climate change, no country can meet this challenge alone. That is why it is imperative for the United States to couple action at home with leadership internationally. America must help forge a truly global solution to this global challenge by

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galvanizing international action to significantly reduce emissions, prepare for climate impacts, and drive progress through the international negotiations. For example, the plan: Commits to expand major new and existing international initiatives, including bilateral initiatives with China, India, and other major emitting countries; Leads global sector public financing towards cleaner energy by calling for the end of U.S. government support for public financing of new coal-fired powers plants overseas, except for the most efficient coal technology available in the worlds poorest countries, or facilities deploying carbon capture and sequestration technologies; and Strengthens global resilience to climate change by expanding government and local community planning and response capacities. *Chandigarh-born "trailblazer" Indian-American legal luminary Srikanth 'Sri' Srinivasan has made history with the US Senate unanimously confirming him as the first South Asian judge on the powerful appeals court for the American capital.

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(Each Test will be of three hours duration from 2.00 5.00 p.m.) FOLLOWING THE +VE FEEDBACK FROM THE STUDENTS FOR PRELIMS TEST SERIES. We have planned to provide complete model solutions also for GS MAINS TEST SERIES... WHY JOIN TEST SERIES @ CrackingIAS only? Nobody else PROVIDES such a set of potential questions with proper evaluation. Now with model solutions too. & Many from our class notes. (In total 500+ marks based on our guidance). Few illustrations (The same trend we have been maintaining since 2007 Mains) MAINS 2011 GS QUESTION Bring out the salient features of the PCPNDT Act, 1994, and the Implications of its amendment in 2003. (20 MARKS) Trace the salient sequence of events in OUR TEST PAPER QUESTION Cracking IAS IAS EXPRESS May 2011. P.no.12 + Mains 2011 Test no.1 question.no.1 of III + Discussion. Cracking IAS Indian History
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the popular revolt that took place in February 1946 in the then Royal Indian Navy and bring out its significance in the freedom struggle. Do you agree with the view that the sailors who took part in this revolt were some of the unsung heroes of the freedom struggle?. (20 MARKS) Mudiyettu (2 MARKS) Book. + Mains 2011 Test no.11 question. No. (b) of I + Discussion.

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Cracking IAS IAS EXPRESS + Test no. 1 question no.12 of III.. Rahim Fahimuddin Cracking IAS IAS Dagar (2 MARKS) EXPRESS October 2011 Mains special + Test no. 10 question no.(b) of 20. SAGA-220 (2 Cracking IAS IAS Express + Test MARKS) no.1 question.no.2 of III In optional Subjects Political Science, Public Administration & Sociology we have 100% coverage.

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* 5th IBSA Women's Forum Resolution was approved by India, Brazil and South Africa: India, Brazil and South Africa approved the fifth India Brazil South Africa (IBSA) Womens Forum Resolution, in New Delhi on 16 May 2013. The main points of the resolution are as following: o The joint resolution stated that the three countries are committed to recognizing the key role of government with the support of civil society to ensure and accelerate all efforts towards achieving gender equality and empowerment of women. o It also acknowledges the Forums shared commitment to various international conventions on rights of women and girls. o The resolution recommends the following- to end violence against women and girls; to work towards economic empowerment of women, especially rural and marginalized women; to promote gender responsive budgeting, and equitable and sustainable development. Through this Resolution the three countries commit to working for womens empowerment and for fighting gender-based discrimination and violence against women in all forms. The platform of the IBSA is for enhanced efforts for continuously engendering the policies and programmes of the three countries and for mainstreaming the marginalized sections. The violence perpetuates discrimination against women, and there are increasing instances of growing violence against women, which strengthens the need for concerted efforts to fight such discrimination and injustice. IBSA platform has the three largest democracies from the southern continent and their joint efforts through this forum will go a long way in mainstreaming the debate of womens issues. * 8th India-Seychelles Joint Commission Meeting: The Joint Commission exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest during the meet. Review of the ongoing cooperation between the two nations in different fields was also done and views were exchanged for expanding and strengthening the perimeter of the cooperation between the two sides. *7 airports put on terror alert after intelligence warning: With intelligence sleuths sounding alert over possibility of terrorists penetrating the country through sea route, police stepped up security in 49 villages, along the coast of Bay of Bengal in Krishna district. Seven island villages are located in Nagayalanka, KITE4education.com

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Challapalli and Kaikalur Rural mandals. The marine police station set up in Gilakaladindi, Varlagondi and Palakayatippa hamlets have intensified patrolling up to 20 nautical miles in the sea. *Bodhgaya blasts in Bihar: Timers used to explode ammonium nitrate packed bombs: The bombs that targeted the world renowned pilgrimage town of Bodhgaya and Mahabodhi temple complex had a mix of ammonium nitrate and sulphur and were neatly packed in small cylinders, a preliminary report has said. A team of the National Security Guard (NSG), which picked up samples from the area, has sent a report to the Union Home Ministry, saying the low-intensity bombs worked like improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and were triggered through analog clock timers. *India & Germany Sign Agreement on Development Cooperation: India and Germany signed an agreement on financial and technical cooperation in the field of; energy, environment and management of natural resources. *India & Iraq Sign Pact to Enhance Cooperation in Energy Sector: India and Iraq are set to enhance co-operation in energy security, bilateral trade commerce the infrastructure development among others. An agreement to this effect was signed by the Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily with his Iraqi counterpart Abdul Karim Luaibi in Baghdad at the end the India-Iraq Joint Commission on technical co-operation in Baghdad recently. In the energy sector, Iraq will supply more crude oil to India to meet its growing energy needs. Iraq is the second largest supplier of crude oil to India. Countries emphasized the need for further strengthening the relationship between the two countries by increasing economic cooperation. Indian companies have the expertise to participate in many projects which were coming up in Iraq, especially in areas such as refineries, petrochemicals, fertilizers, etc. India will also be interested in gas based projects and importing LNG from Iraq besides India can share its knowledge and expertise in agriculture, infrastructure technology, pharmaceuticals, etc. India also offered to train Iraqi personnel in oil and gas sector in the training institutes in India. India also offered to work with Iraqi Public Sector India & World - News 9

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Undertaking in order to exchange ideas and expertise that could help them in becoming more efficient and profitable. *India finishes phase I of Sri Lanka railway project: The Indian Railways have completed phase I of a 43-km rail link from Medawachchiya to Madhu Road in Sri Lanka at a cost of $81 million. According to IRCON, a subsidiary of the Indian Railway, train services on the line resumed on May 14 after a gap of 23 years. The train from Medawachhiya will take 30 minutes to cover the distance. The tracks on the section were completely destroyed during the devastating civil war in the region. The reconstructed track is designed for a speed potential of up to 120 kmph. India will construct around 252 km of railway lines in the Northern Province of the island nation to be executed by IRCON. *India gets observer status in Arctic Council: India recently signed up to the Arctic Council as an observer, a step that gives it a foothold in the future of the resources-rich Arctic Ocean as the ice melts and everything from navigation to oil and gas may be up for grabs. India joined China, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Singapore in the council. The council comprises eight Arctic nations: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US. India has lobbied assiduously for a place in this body for some time. In November, at the ASEM meeting in Laos, the government lobbied hard with the Nordic countries. India's research station in the Arctic, Himadri, is operated by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research. It was set up in 2008. The Arctic region is estimated to hold 13 percent of the worlds undiscovered oil reserves and 30% of undiscovered gas deposits. Norway is the third largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia and Russia and it also has expertise in deep sea oil extraction. The eight Arctic nations are: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. India along with China, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Singapore were granted observer status by the Arctic Council on May 15. Norway is also pushing India to conclude the trade agreement with the four-nation European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The EFTA members are Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. *India joins worldwide community of C-17 operators: The Indian Air Force today flew its first KITE4education.com

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heavy-lift strategic transport aircraft Boeing C-17 GLOBEMASTER III to home, becoming the newest operator of the leading airlifter. This first aircraft was transferred today after completion of a flight test programme at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, California, that began following the January 22 delivery. Noting that nations turn to the C-17 for the capability to perform a wide range of operations, from peacekeeping and disaster relief to troop movements from semi-prepared airfields, Dunehew said this aircraft will provide the Indian Air Force with the versatility to augment airlift capability. With this, Boeing has now delivered 254 C-17s, including 222 to the US Air Force and a total of 32 C-17s to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. *India restores subsidy on LPG, kerosene to Bhutan: Two days after Bhutan's future prime minister reiterated his support to India, New Delhi has decided to restore the subsidy on cooking gas and kerosene for the tiny Himalayan kingdom. The diesel subsidy, amounting to Rs 150 crore per annum, is borne by Indian Oil as part of its underrecoveries reported to the petroleum ministry. IOC cut the subsidy on kerosene and LPG on July 1, a fortnight before Bhutan went to polls, following an advice from the MEA to revise prices because it would not reimburse the subsidy component on the two fuels. *India turns down Afghanistans arms plea: India has turned down Afghanistans request for supply of lethal weapons, saying it was neither in a position nor willing to contribute lethal weapons right now, days after Afghan President Hamid Karzai raised the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. *India, Albania sign agreement for avoidance of double taxation: The DTAA provides that business profits will be taxable in the source state if the activities of an enterprise constitute a Permanent Establishment (PE) in the source state. The agreement provides for fixed place for permanent establishment building site, construction and installation the permanent establishment, service and agency permanent establishment. The agreement incorporates para 2 in Article 9 concerning Associated Enterprises. This would enhance recourse to Mutual Agreement Procedure to relieve double taxation in cases involving transfer pricing adjustments. Dividends, interest and royalties and fees for India & World - News 10

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technical services income will be taxed both in the country of residence and in the country of source. The low level of withholding rates of taxation for dividend (10 percent), interest (10 percent) and royalties and fees for technical services (10 percent) will promote greater investments, flow of technology and technical services between the two countries. The agreement further incorporates provisions for effective exchange of information between tax authorities of the two countries in line with latest international standard, including exchange of banking information and supplying of information without recourse to domestic interest. The agreement also contains an Article on Assistance in Collection of Taxes. This article also includes provision for taking measure of conservancy. The agreement incorporates antiabuse (limitation of benefits) provisions to ensure that the benefits of the agreement are availed of by the genuine residents of the two countries. The agreement will provide tax stability to the residents of India and Albania and will facilitate mutual economic cooperation between the two countries. It will also stimulate the flow of investment, technology and services between India and Albania.

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FOLLOWING THE +VE FEEDBACK FROM THE STUDENTS FOR PRELIMS TEST SERIES. We have planned to provide complete model solutions also for GS MAINS TEST SERIES... WHY JOIN TEST SERIES @ CrackingIAS only? Nobody else PROVIDES such a set of potential questions with proper evaluation. Now with model solutions too. & Many from our class notes. (In total 500+ marks based on our guidance). Few illustrations (The same trend we have been maintaining since 2007 Mains) MAINS 2011 GS OUR TEST QUESTION PAPER QUESTION Bring out the salient Cracking IAS IAS features of the EXPRESS May PCPNDT Act, 1994, 2011. P.no.12 + and the Implications of Mains 2011 Test its amendment in no.1 question.no.1 2003. (20 MARKS) of III + Discussion. Trace the salient Cracking IAS sequence of events in Indian History the popular revolt that Book. + Mains took place in February 2011 Test no.11 1946 in the then question. No. (b) of Royal Indian Navy I + Discussion. and bring out its significance in the freedom struggle. Do you agree with the view that the sailors who took part in this revolt were some of the unsung heroes of the freedom struggle?. (20 MARKS) Mudiyettu (2 Cracking IAS IAS EXPRESS + Test MARKS) no. 1 question no.12 of III.. Rahim Fahimuddin Cracking IAS IAS Dagar (2 MARKS) EXPRESS October 2011 Mains special + Test no. 10 question no.(b) of 20. SAGA-220 (2 Cracking IAS IAS Express + Test MARKS) no.1 question.no.2 of III

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* CSIR To Launch Its Fastest Supercomputer in Bangalore: The supercomputer will have a speed of 360 tera flops, making it the fourth fastest machine in the country and will be housed in the CSIR Fourth Paradigm Institute (CSIR-4PI). The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has decided to re-position its Bangalorebased Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation (CMMACS) to deal with data intensive scientific discovery, which has emerged as the fourth paradigm of science. The supercomputer based in the Bangalore-based 4PI will form the backbone of the new venture which will connect CSIR laboratories located in Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Srinagar, Chennai, Chandigarh, and Nagpur. Each of the laboratories will have computing facilities between 10 and 50 tera flop capacity will be linked to the supercomputer using the National Knowledge Network thus connecting 200 scientists and over 1,000 students in the identified domain areas. CSIR has identified five domain areas earth system sciences, medical informatics, biomedical informatics, chemical sciences and Physical sciences. * HIDDEN LAYER - DUAS LAYER - A new part has been discovered in the eye. Till now it was thought that cornea, the transparent, circular part at the front of the eye, has five layers. But it has now been found that a sixth one, named Duas layer after the scientist who found it, exists at the back of the cornea. The new-found body part is a skinny but tough structure of 15 microns. Researchers believe that a tear in this layer is the cause of keratoconus, an eye disease where the cornea bulges and becomes cone-shaped. The finding would help advance understanding of a number of diseases of the cornea. * Indian IPv6 Test Lab Got Approval From International IPv6 Committee: Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Lab setup by Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), technical arm of Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications & IT, has earned a unique distinction of being approved by the IPv6 Ready Logo Committee under IPv6 Forum, an International body. This achievement is significant for TEC and the country as only five other labs in the world have KITE4education.co

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achieved this milestone. India has thus joined Europe and a select group of countries which include USA, Japan, China and Taiwan having IPv6 Ready Logo test lab facilities. The announcement to this effect was made on 25th June. TEC has setup the IPv6 Ready Logo test lab as per standards prescribed by IPv6 Ready Logo Committee and addresses Conformance as well as Interoperability testing for various equipment with IPv6 implementation. Background: The internet and the internet facing devices are moving to new addressing scheme IPv6 since IPv4 addresses are no longer available. The Government has taken several policy initiatives so that the service providers, content providers and the customer premises equipment vendors are encouraged to move to IPv6 address implementation. Setting up testing infrastructure is one of the objectives of NTP-2012. Establishment and designation of TEC lab as IPv6 Ready Logo lab is one such step which shall enable indigenous vendors/developers to avail the facility of internationally recognized test lab in India. Availability of approved TEST BED shall promote end-user confidence in using IPv6 Ready Logo approved products. TEC will play an instrumental role in the Interoperability and testing of IPv6 products as a major piece of the India IPv6 Strategy roadmap announced by the India Government in building the New Internet infrastructure as interoperability creates genuine end-user confidence in new technologies. Mr.Latif Ladid is IPv6 Forum President. ABOUT IPv6 Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the latest revision of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet. IPv6 was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to deal with the longanticipated problem of IPv4 address exhaustion. IPv6 is intended to replace IPv4, which still carries the vast majority of Internet traffic as of 2013. As of late November 2012, IPv6 traffic share was reported to be approaching 1%. *Chandra Observatory Discovers Blackholes In Andromeda Galaxy: According to NASA, astronomers while using data from NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory, discovered an unprecedented 10

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bonanza of black holes in the Andromeda Galaxy, one of the nearest galaxies to the Milky Way. Using more than 150 Chandra observations, spread over 13 years, researchers identified 26 black hole candidates, the largest number to date, in a galaxy outside our own. Many consider Andromeda to be a sister galaxy to the Milky Way. The two ultimately will collide, several billion years from now. The black hole candidates belong to the stellar mass category, meaning they formed in the death throes of very massive stars and typically have masses five to 10 times that of our sun. Seven of these black hole candidates are within 1,000 light-years of the Andromeda Galaxys center. That is more than the number of black hole candidates with similar properties located near the center of our own galaxy. This is not a surprise to astronomers because the bulge of stars in the middle of Andromeda is bigger, allowing more black holes to form. This new work confirms predictions made earlier in the Chandra mission about the properties of X-ray sources near the center of M31. Many of the Andromeda observations were made within Chandras Guaranteed Time Observer program. * Japans Green Signal To First iPS Cell Based Trial: Japan has given the green light to the worlds first clinical trial using stem cells harvested from a patients own body. Japans Health Ministry has given a preliminary approval for the first-ever human study of a treatment that reprograms the patients own cells to regenerate damaged tissue. It would be the worlds first clinical research for induced pluripotent stem cells, known as iPS cells. The study would focus on the cells use in eye disease. The proposed iPS study would focus on people suffering from a form of age-related macular degeneration, a disease of the eye where the retina degenerates, causing loss of vision. The research team would reprogram patients skin cells to become iPS cells, which would be induced to develop into retinal cells. The retinal cells would then be implanted in the patients eyes. The study will concentrate on making sure the treatment doesnt cause serious safety risks for patients. The initial group of patients will be those for whom existing medical treatment has failed. The research team will start preparing for implants as soon as the health ministry authorizes the study. The team is aiming to perform the first human implant as early as the next fiscal year, beginning April 2014. Following the government approval, the Riken KITE4education.co

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Center for Developmental Biology will start the worlds first clinical trial using iPS cells as soon as next summer. iPSCs iPS technology is a relatively new process whereby mature cells are reprogrammed to develop, like embryonic cells, into other kinds of tissueon a fast track for development. iPSCs were first produced in 2006 from mouse cells and in 2007 from human cells in a series of experiments by Shinya Yamanakas team at Kyoto University, Japan. For her iPSC research, Dr. Nancy Bachman, of Oneonta, NY, was awarded the Wolf Prize in

Medicine in 2012 (along with John B. Gurdon). iPSCs are an important advance in stem cell research, as they may allow researchers to obtain pluripotent stem cells, which are important in research and potentially have therapeutic uses, without the controversial use of embryos. Because iPSCs are developed from a patients own somatic cells, it was believed that treatment of iPSCs would avoid any immunogenic responses. 11

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There are still many unknowns and concerns about the process (that is going to start in Japan) in particular that the transformed cells will keep on multiplying, producing cancerous growths in patients. * NASA Launched IRIS Spacecraft To Study Sun: NASA has launched Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. It was placed in orbit by an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket. The aim of the mission is to study the solar atmosphere. IRIS will help scientists understand the mysterious and energetic interface between the surface and corona of the sun. IRIS will observe how solar material moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through a little-understood region in the suns lower atmosphere. This interface region between the suns photosphere and corona powers its dynamic million-degree atmosphere and drives the solar wind. The interface region also is where most of the suns ultraviolet emission is generated. These emissions impact the near-Earth space environment and Earths climate. * NASA Launched IRIS Spacecraft To Study Sun: NASA has launched Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. It was placed in orbit by an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket. The aim of the mission is to study the solar atmosphere. IRIS will help scientists understand the mysterious and energetic interface between the surface and corona of the sun. IRIS will observe how solar material moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through a littleunderstood region in the suns lower atmosphere. This interface region between the suns photosphere and corona powers its dynamic million-degree atmosphere and drives the solar wind. The interface region also is where most of the suns ultraviolet emission is generated. These emissions impact the near-Earth space environment and Earths climate. *Carbon capture technique produces hydrogen fuel, offsets ocean acidification: Scientists Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have discovered a new technique to remove and store atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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The team displayed a system that utilizes the acidity normally produced in saline water electrolysis to advance silicate mineral dissolution while generating hydrogen fuel and other gases. The resulting electrolyte solution was demonstrated to have a much higher hydroxide concentration that showed itself to be extremely absorbent and retentive of atmospheric CO2. Carbon sequestration is the process of capture and long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and may refer specifically to The process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir. When carried out deliberately, this may also be 12

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referred to as carbon dioxide removal, which is a form of geoengineering. The scientists believe that the carbonate and bicarbonate generated in the newly discovered process could be utilized to moderate ongoing ocean acidification. *Even with Defects, Graphene Is Strongest Material in the World: Columbia Engineering researchers demonstrate that graphene, even if stitched together from many small crystalline grains, is almost as strong as graphene in its perfect crystalline form. This work resolves a contradiction between theoretical simulations, which predicted that grain boundaries can be strong, and earlier experiments, which indicated that they were much weaker than the perfect lattice. GRAPHENE Graphene is an allotrope of carbon. In this material, carbon atoms are arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern. Graphene can be described as a one-atom thick layer of the mineral graphite, (many layers of graphene stacked together effectively form crystalline flake graphite). Amongst its other well-publicised superlative properties, it is very light, with a 1-square-meter sheet weighing only 0.77 milligrams. The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2010 was awarded to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester for groundbreaking experiments regarding the twodimensional material graphene. Graphene consists of a single atomic layer of carbon, arranged in a honeycomb lattice. In its perfect crystalline form, graphene (a one-atom-thick carbon layer) is the strongest material ever measured. For all it's strength, a perfect sample is graphene is impractical as it is laborious to create and too small to be of any great use. To create larger samples of graphene, scientists can use a technique called chemical vapor deposition (CVD), in which single layers of graphene are grown on copper substrates in a high-temperature furnace. Currently, sheets of graphene as large as a television screen can be grown using CVD. The potential commercial and industrial uses for graphene are futuristic and include a television screen that can roll up like a map or, the researchers speculate, an elevator into space connecting an object in orbit to Earth with a long cord of ultrastrong graphene. Graphene is strong, lightweight, conducts electricity and resists rust. Uses KITE4education.co

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Graphene repels water and when mixed with polymer works as a rust-proofing coating. Graphene repels water and is highly conductive, a combination that keeps steel from coming into contact with water and slows down the electrochemical reactions that oxidize iron. At SUNY Buffalo chemists designed a polymer coating containing this exotic form of carbon. They painted steel with the coating and then dipped the coated metal in a brine to see if it would stay rust-free. It did -- for an entire month. Such a coating could eliminate rusted cars forever. Graphene transmits the heat energy from an electrical current to make sound. At the University of Texas researchers put a layer of graphene less than a single nanometer thick onto glass and two different types of plastic. Next, they ran an alternating current through the layers, which produced sound. The GRAPHENE SPEAKERS are thin and because they transmit the heat energy from the electrical current to make sound, rather than vibrating a diaphragm, they can be made into any shape. Computer chips with graphene super capacitors could make batteries obsolete. A capacitor stores charge between two plates, and discharges quickly; they are common in electronics and used to power camera flashes. Capacitors can store a lot of charge, and supercapacitors, which are typically made with layers of ordinary carbon, can store more. But capacitors still can't hold much power per unit of weight. That is why batteries are used for electronics. Microscopic bits of graphene oxide bind to radioactive contaminants and could make cleaning up nuclear waste safe and cheap. The first integrated circuit made of graphene was made by researchers at IBM. Silicon semiconductor chips give computers their brainpower. They process the 1s and 0s of binary code that are the fundamental building blocks of digital information. But graphene has the potential to process those 1s and 0s much faster than silicon because it conducts electricity better, all while using less power and generating less heat. That means a laptop could operate 50 times faster and need no cooling fans. Sheets of graphene can crumple up like paper, but they are difficult to flatten out. At Duke University scientists recently attached graphene to a prestretched rubber sheet and found that when the sheet was relaxed, the graphene still adhered to the rubber even though it was crumpled up. That led them to layer the graphene with polymer, which expanded and contracted when a current was run through it a key component in building artificial muscle. Graphene foam can pick up small concentrations of 13

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the nitrates and ammonia found in explosives. A sensor developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute the size of a postage stamp could one day be a regular part of the kit carried by bomb squads. By controlling the size of pores in graphene, it's possible to make it into a kind of "filter" that sorts DNA molecules by size. That capability could allow researchers to sequence DNA at a lower cost than current techniques to about $1,000 per person. Currently, sequencing a person's genome costs three to five times that, according to San Francisco-based Life Technologies, which rolled out a machine last year that does the job. Unfortunately, the machine itself is $149,000. Australian researchers found a way to make fibers from a composite material made of graphene that's stronger than Kevlar. Adding an equal amount of graphene and carbon nanotubes to a polymer produced a super-strong fiber that could be spun into the fabric used to make bulletproof vests. The fibers could also be used to strengthen other materials. Photodetectors are computer chips that convert photons from light into electrical signals. Every digital camera has one and they are made of silicon. Frank Koppens and his colleagues at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona dotted a layer of graphene with lead sulfide and created an ultrasensitive and flexible photodector that could lead to thinner cameras and more lightweight night vision goggles.

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*Special cell set up for speedy implementation of projects: Ethiopias 547-member parliament has ratified the new Nile River Cooperative Framework Agreement treaty. It strips Egypt and Sudan of its rights over the major share in the Nile river waters. Ethiopian parliament unanimously endorsed an accord which is already signed by five other Nilebasin countries Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi. However the move comes amid a rising tension between Ethiopia and Egypt after Ethiopia last month started to divert Nile waters for a massive $4.2 billion hydro-electric dam dubbed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Egypt fears that the dam will reduce its share of the Nile water that provides almost all of water needs this desert nation. Earlier, 10 member Experts panel concluded that the dam will not significantly affect water flow to Egypt and Sudan. Egypt has dismissed the studys findings and has called for further assessments. Ethiopias Renaissance Dam has been under construction for two years on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopias Benishangul-Gumuz region near Sudan. The first phase of the Grand Renaissance Dam is expected to be completed in 2016 and will generate 700MW of electricity, making it Africas largest hydroelectric dam scheme. Ethiopia plans to export electricity from the dam to Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya. The Blue Nile joins the White Nile in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to form the Nile, which then flows through Egypt. Egypt says its historic rights to the Nile are guaranteed by two treaties from 1929 and 1959, which allow it 87% of the Niles flow and give it veto power over upstream projects. *Special cell set up for speedy implementation of projects: Recently a meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, to discuss an institutional mechanism to track stalled investment projects, both in the public and private sectors and to remove the implementation bottlenecks in these projects on a fast-track basis. On the direction of the Prime Minister, a Special Cell has been created in the Cabinet Secretariat. This Cell would be in the nature of a Project Monitoring Group for all large projects, both public and private and would pro-actively pursue them so that these investment projects are commissioned on time. Suitable officers may be identified at the earliest KITE4education.com

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and priority projects may be quickly identified to be taken for tracking. The Administrative Ministries, in consultation with the Finance Ministry, and the Finance Ministry on its own also were tasked with the identification of such priority projects. The Cabinet Secretariat was directed to hold a meeting with Chief Secretaries of States to have State Governments on board with this new mechanism.

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*Telecom Commission endorses 100% FDI in telecom sector: The Telecom Commission, the highest decision-making body of the department of telecom (DoT), approved 100% foreign direct investment in the telecom sector. Once ratified, the new policy will allow foreign telecom operators to buy out existing Indian partners, as they will no longer need to have a minority shareholder in the country. Telecom Commission approved to hike foreign direct investment limit for telecom sector to 100 percent from 74 percent currently. The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) is likely to soon move a cabinet note for 100 percent FDI in telecom services. At present, FDI limit in the sector is 74 percent and 49 percent can be invested through automatic route. But to take it upto 74 percent, Foreign Investment Permission Board (FIPB) nod is required. In case 100 percent FDI is approved, 49 percent investment would still be allowed through automatic route. Telecom Commission is the highest decisionmaking body in the telecom ministry. All eyes are now on the cabinet, which has to approve this as well. Allowing full foreign ownership will ease the huge burden on the telecom sector, which was sitting on a debt of Rs1, 85,720 crore in 2011-12. It will ensure that fresh funds flow in. ECONOMICS - News 14

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The Commission also discussed creation of Telecom Finance Corporation (TFC) to address the sectors funding challenges and sought a detailed project report on it. The TFC is proposed to be set up on the lines of sectoral finance bodies such as Power Finance Corporation and Tourism Finance Corporation of India. The proposed TFC is targeting financing Rs 38,000 crore in a five-year period. *USA clears sale of shale gas to India: The U.S. Department of Energy recently granted conditional authorisation to domestic producers of America to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the US. This is a significant development as it opens up the prospects of export of shale gas to energy-starved India. Indian viewpoint The Department of Energy (DoE)s conditional authorization has been given to Freeport LNG Expansion, LP and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC (Freeport) to export domestically-produced LNG to non-FTA countries from the Freeport Terminal on Quintana Island in Texas. The Freeport facility in Texas is conditionally authorised to export at a rate of up to 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day (Bcf/d) for 20 years. The commencement of supply is expected to start from 2017-18. However, companies from countries such as China, Japan and Britain have already large stake in this Texas based company. Therefore, in the immediate term, India is unlikely to benefit immediately from this grant of licence. The decision nonetheless paves the way for India to get its companies seek similar licences for import of the much-needed gas from the U.S. in large quantities from other terminals. It may be recalled here that India does not have a free trade agreement with the U.S. The DEA granted the first authorisation for the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, to export LNG to non-FTA countries in May, 2011 at a rate of up to 2.2 Bcf/d. GAIL (India) has executed an LNG off-take agreement with Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC, for import of 3.5 million metric tonnes (mmtpa) per annum LNG from the U.S.A. Future prospects The U.S. Department of Energy is now processing several other applications in this regard. Through diplomatic channels, India is pushing for U.S. export of shale gas to India. The demandsupply gap of natural gas in India, estimated at around 2.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) per annum at present, is likely to go up to nearly 4 tcf per annum by 2016-17. The demand of natural gas is expected KITE4education.com

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to be about 8 tcf per annum by the year 2030. Adequate supply of natural gas would result in cheaper electricity, lower subsidies on urea and other nitrogenous fertilizers, and a more economical fuel for a variety of industrial and consumptive gas usages. Indian companies have already made some large investment in the U.S. in this regard. Recently, GAIL booked 2. 3 mmtpa capacity in the Cove Point LNG Terminal proposed to be commissioned by Dominion Cove Point LNG LP in 2017. Indian companies are scouting for more tie-ups and ownership stakes. Besides, other Indian companies, including Reliance Industries in the private sector, had bought stakes in oil and gas exploration and production companies. This trend would receive a huge boost if export of natural gas was permitted to India. According to another study, roughly 20 per cent of the $133.7 billion invested in U.S. tight oil and shale gas from 2008 to 2012 has come from abroad, with Indian companies accounting for a total investment of nearly $4 billion so far.

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* Parimarjan Negi Won Continental Chess * Brazil Won Confederation Cup Football Title: Neymar (Brazil) was voted the player of the Association Open: Indian young Grand Master Parimarjan Negi has won the Continental Chess tournament. Brazil won the its first Confederations Cup title in Association Open title in Washington. Saudi Arabia in 1997, then again in Germany in 2005 Negi has earlier won the Spring open International chess tournament in Dallas, Texas, in March and he and in South Africa in 2009. was Joint winner at the Cappelle de Grande in France, Spain was trying to win the tournament for the first where nearly 85 Grand Masters participated in time. February. The FIFA Confederations Cup is an international association football tournament for national teams, * Vandana Gandhi Won Emirates Women Award currently held every four years by FIFA. It is contested by the holders of each of the six FIFA 2013: Vandana Gandhi, Founder and CEO of Middle confederation championships (UEFA, CONMEBOL, East's only ISO certified nursery chain, British Orchard CONCACAF, CAF, AFC, OFC), along with the FIFA Nursery, made India proud recently by becoming the World Cup holder and the host nation, to bring the first ever Indian woman to receive Dubai Government's coveted "Emirates Woman Award" for business number of teams up to eight. Since 2005, the tournament has been held in the nation excellence. that will host the FIFA World Cup in the following Started in 2003, Emirates Woman Awards is an initiative by Dubai Quality Group (DQG) to encourage year, acting as a rehearsal for the larger tournament. women, both UAE nationals and residents, to be Brazil hosted the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup actively involved in social and economic development from 15 to 30 June. initiatives in the country. * Hornbill conservator Aparajita Datta gets Whitley British Orchard Nursery is the first nursery chain to be ISO 9001:2008 quality certified. Award: Conservator Aparajita Datta has won the Whitley Award, also called "Green Oscar", for her work to save threatened hornbills in the forests of Arunachal *20-year-old Indian badminton player K Srikanth (from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh) won mens singles Pradesh. Datta leads a programme to conserve hornbills in the title at the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold. Eastern Himalaya at the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), an NGO set up in 1996 to *Legendary Bollywood actor Pran was today honoured promote science-based wildlife conservation in India. with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award. Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, presented the award at a ceremony at the Royal *President Presents National Youth Awards: It is for the first time the National Youth awards have been given Geographical Society in London. by the President of India. National Youth Awards, instituted in the year 1985 are * India to host T-20 world cup 2016 & ODI world conferred on youth each year who have demonstrably cup in 2023: The International Cricket Council in its excelled in youth work in different fields of youth annual conference in London has announced that India developmental activities and social service. will host: The award carries a pure silver medal, a certificate and T-20 World Cup in 2016, a cash prize of Rs. 40,000/- in case of individual The new ICC World Test Championship in February awardee and Rs. 2.00 lakhs for voluntary organization. and March 2021, The selected young individuals are expected to possess The 50-over World Cup in 2023. leadership qualities and use them in successfully The three competitions were allotted to India by ICC at carrying out voluntary activities in the field of Youth its annual conference which finalised its global events Development. from 2015 to 2023. Bhavishya Educational and Charitable Society, According to an ICC, the first edition of the World West Bengal won award in organisational category. Test Championship will be staged in 2017 by England and Wales in June-July 2017 while the second edition will be held in India in February-March 2021. Sri Lanka hosted the last World T20 in SeptemberOctober 2012, losing to the West Indies in the final. Bangladesh is due to hold the tournament next year, though doubts have been raised over its readiness. After India hosts in 2016, the World T20 will go into a four-year cycle, with Australia lined up for the event in 2020.

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SOCIAL ISSUES & DEVELOPMENT - News
* Cabinet Approves Mental Health Care Bill 2012: The Union Cabinet cleared the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 that makes access to mental health care a right of all persons. The new Bill, when passed by Parliament will repeal the Mental Health Act, 1987, which had vested extraordinary power in the hands of the treating psychiatrists. There was enough evidence of misuse and unscrupulous families collaborating with psychiatrists in addition to badly functional or nonfunctional Central and Mental Health Authorities primarily because of lack of funds. Bill provides for setting up Central and State Mental Health Authorities, which would act as administrative bodies, while the Mental Health Review Commission would be a quasi-judicial body to oversee the functioning of mental health facilities and protect the rights of persons with mental illness in mental health facilities. Appeals can be made to the Mental Health Review Commission, which will also review all admission beyond 30 days and free care for all homeless, destitute and poor people suffering from mental disorder. The Bill provides right to confidentiality and protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, in addition to right to live in a community and legal aid. It bans the electricconvulsive therapy without anaesthesia and restricts psychosurgery. Under the proposed new law, there is provision for voluntary admission with supported admission limited to specific circumstances. The Bill tries to address the needs of the families and caregivers, and the needs of the homeless mentally ill. Bill also has a provision wherein a person with mental illness can appoint a nominated representative to take decisions for him or her. Under the provisions of the Bill, government has an obligation to provide half way homes, community caring centres and other shelters for mentally ill people. This has been planned under the District Mental Health Programme in the 12th Plan. * Nutrition Summit in London a 'Historic Breakthrough': Leaders from around the world have signed an agreement Global Nutrition for Growth Compact at the recently concluded Nutrition for Growth summit, held in London. The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement hailed world leaders signing the Compact. Since KITE4education.com

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launching in 2010, the SUN Movement has expanded to 40 countries that together are home to 80 million stunted children equivalent to about half of all stunted children in the world. This was done with a purpose to fight the malice of malnutrition in children and reduce the number of child deaths. During summit, world leaders made commitments worth USD 4.15 billion, to tackle under nutrition by 2020. * President signs Food Security Ordinance: President Pranab Mukherjee today signed Food Security Ordinance, paving way for implementation of the controversial Food Security Bill. On June3, Cabinet decided to promulgate an ordinance to give nation's two-third population the right to 5 kgs of foodgrain every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg. With this, India will join select league of countries in the world that guarantee majority of its population foodgrains. At Rs 125,000 crore of government support, the food security programme will be the largest in the world. The Ordinance comes just weeks before the scheduled Monsoon session of Parliament and political parties demanding that the Food Security Bill be debated in both Houses before being passed. The Ordinance will have to be approved by both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha within six months of promulgation. The National Food Security Ordinance gives Right to the people to receive adequate quantity of foodgrains at affordable prices. The Food Security Bill has special focus on the needs of poorest of the poor, women and children. In case of non-supply of foodgrains now people will get Food Security Allowance. The bill provides for grievance redressal mechanism and penalty for non-compliance by public servant or authority. Features Of The Ordinance Upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population will have uniform entitlement of 5 kg foodgrains per month at highly subsidized prices ofRs. 3, Rs. 2, Rs. 1 per kg. for rice, wheat, coarse grains respectively . It will entitle about two thirds of our 1.2 billion population to subsidised foodgrains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). The poorest of poor households would continue to receive 35 Kgfoodgrains per household per month under Antyodaya Anna Yajna at subsidized prices of Rs 3, Rs 2 and Rs 1. It is also proposed to protect the existing allocation 59

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of foodgrains to the States/Uts, subject to it being restricted to average annual offtake during last three years. Corresponding to the coverage of 75% rural and 50 % of urban population at all India level, State wise coverage will be determined by the Central Government. The work of identification of eligible households is left to the States/UTs, which may frame their own criteria or use Social Economic and Caste Census data, if they so desire. There is a special focus on nutritional support to women and children. Pregnant women and lactating mothers, besides being entitled to nutritious meals as per the prescribed nutritional norms will also receive maternity benefit of at least of Rs. 6000/-. Children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years will be entitled to take home ration or hot cooked food as per prescribed nutritional norms. The Central Government will provide funds to States/UTs in case of short supply of food grains from Central pool, In case of non-supply of food grains or meals to entitled persons, the concerned State/UT Governments will be required to provide such food security allowance as may be prescribed by the Central Government to the beneficiaries. In order to address the concern of the States regarding additional financial burden, Central Government will provide assistance to the States towards cost of intra-State transportation, handling of foodgrainsand FPS dealers margin, for which norms will be developed. This will ensure timely transportation and efficient handling of foodgrains. The Bill also contains provisions for reforms in PDS through doorstep delivery of foodgrains, application of information and communication technology (ICT) including end to end computerisation, leveraging Aadhaar for unique identification of beneficiaries, diversification of commodities under TPDS etc for effective implementation of the FoodSecurity Act. Eldest woman of 18 years of age or above will be head of the household for issue of ration card, and if not available, the eldest male member is to be the head of the household. There will be state and district level redressal mechanism with designated officers. The States will be allowed to use the existing machinery for District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO), State Food Commission, if they so desire, to save expenditure on establishment of new redressal set up. Redressal mechanism may also include call centers, helpline etc. Provisions have also been made for disclosure of records relating to PDS, social audits and setting up of Vigilance Committees in order to ensure KITE4education.com

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transparency and accountability. The Bill provides for penalty to be imposed on public servants or authority, if found guilty of failing to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO). At the proposed coverage of entitlement, total estimated annual foodgrainsrequirement is 612.3 lakh tons and corresponding estimated food subsidy for 2013-14 costs is about Rs.1,24,724 crore. *Committee On Agricultural Marketing Submits Report: The Committee of State Ministers In-charge of Agriculture Marketing to Promote Marketing Reforms has submitted final report to the Agriculture Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar. It has called for an effective implementation of Model APMC Act in all the states. This committee was constituted in March, 2010 under the Chairmanship of Shri Harshvardhan Patil, Minister for Cooperation and Parliamentary Affairs, Govt. of Maharashtra. The mandate of the committee was to Persuade various State Governments/Administration of Union Territories to implement the reforms in agriculture marketing through adoption of Model APMC Act and Rules; Suggest further reforms necessary to provide a barrier free national market; Suggest measures to effectively disseminate market information and to promote grading, standardization, packaging and quality certification of agricultural produce. The committee has also recommended: the setting up of multiple and competitive marketing channels; independent regulatory authority to encourage private investors; need for viability gap funding to attract private sector investment; higher investment in marketing infrastructure under RKVY; waiver of market fee on fruit and vegetables; setting up of independent district level authority for registration and dispute settlement; and setting up grading units with trained manpower in the market. *Priyadarshni Awaas Yojna Launched In Haryana: Haryana Chief Minister Bhupender Singh Hooda launched Priyadarshni Awaas Yojna in the state at Karnal to provide affordable housing facility to the people living in rural areas. On the launch of this scheme, 28 families belonging to scheduled castes and two of backward class were given the benefit of the scheme. People eligible under Indira Awaas Yojna and those who get 100 square yard plot 19

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under Mahatma Gandhi Gramin Basti Yojna would also be included in the scheme. *1st Meeting of National Steering Group of Reconstructed ICDS Held: Designated as the Nodal Platform for Nutrition Coordination linked to the PMs National Council on Indias Nutrition Challenges, the National ICDS Mission Steering Group re-affirmed the highest priority towards presenting and reducing maternal and child nutrition. Outcomes Of Meeting: The Mission Steering Group approved the increase in the honoraria of Anganwadi Workers of Mini Anganwadi Centers from Rs. 1500/- to Rs. 2250/-. This will benefit the workers of a total 1,16,000 sanctioned mini- AWCs in the country. The Mission Steering group also endorsed a major village contact initiative under ICDS restructuring to reposition AWC as a vibrant child- friendly ECD Centre belonging to women and the community. For this, fixed monthly Village ECCE days will now be observed in all AWCs across the country from 19th August, 2013. This will also take the proposed National ECCE policy to the village level. ICDS Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme is a flagship programme of Government of India for the holistic development of the children which was launched in 1975 to address health, nutrition and development needs of young children and pregnant and lactating mothers (P&L). Over the years the scheme has been expanded with a view to universalize the programme so as to reach the benefits to the door steps of children in small clusters. However, universalization of the scheme has also brought with it huge challenges in terms of resources as well as challenges of management, delivery of services with quality and standards. NMSG appreciated the unique convergence initiative with MNREGA for AWC construction and provision of Crches and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare such as the Mother and Child Protection Card (MCPC). In the view of the imminent promulgation of National Food Security Ordinance, NMSG was exhorted to step up efforts to universalize maternity benefits especially to reach those of the most deprived communities through scaling up of the Indira Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) linked to better health care. Besides, it also committed itself to intensify nutritional support to young children and pregnant and lactating mothers as per stipulations. KITE4education.com

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NMSG also approved the action plan for Japanese Encephalitis/ Acquired Encephalitis (ES/AES) for 60 affected districts. This includes improved monitoring of feeding of children at the Anganwadi centers, special training to sensitise AWWs and their supervisers regarding the ES/AES and to provide additional THR to the under-nourished in the affected districts. *Government set up Committee On Indecent Portrayal of Women in Media: The Ministry of Women and Child Development has constituted a Committee to finalize modalities for media campaign against indecent portray of women in mass media. The Committee will be headed by Additional Secretary, M/o WCD, Smt. K. Ratna Prabha. The terms of reference of the Committee are as follows: Finalize modalities of a media campaign, through print and electronic media, to instill a sense of respect for women in all spheres of life. Suggest innovative campaign/ strategy to project women in a more positive, proactive and empowered manner, which can have maximum impact on the society and bring about an attitudinal/ behavioural change of people towards women. Draw up national campaign to sensitize families regarding the values of girls, through depicting women achievers, abhor civil practices like female foeticide, dowry, child marriages, etc. Identify areas of corporation between M/o WCD and M/O I&B on all such issues that demand sustained public interest campaigns in print, electronic as well as social media.

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* Cabinet approves electronic services bill: The government approved a bill that aims to provide access to all central and state government services such as passport, ration card and driving licences electronically, especially the Internet, within eight years. The ESD bill was brought before the Cabinet to bring it in sync with Citizens Charter Bill or The Right of Citizens for Time-Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011, which was approved by Union Cabinet on March 7. The Citizens Charter Bill envisages penalty of up to Rs 50,000 against a government official failing to perform his or her duties. * Constitutional Amendment finalized For IndiaBangladesh Boundary Pact: Government has approved a Constitutional Amendment Bill which will facilitate the implementation of the India-Bangladesh boundary agreement signed in 2011. Additional protocols for 1974 Land Boundary Agreement, signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs visit to Dhaka in September 2011, require a constitutional amendment for ratification as these involve exchange of land in 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 51 Bangladeshi enclaves on Indian soil. Bangladesh has already ratified the pact. Indian enclaves in Bangladesh are spread over 17,149 acres, while Bangladesh enclaves in India are located in 7,110 acres of land. *Ministry of I&B Reconstituted the Central Press Accreditation Committee: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting reconstituted the Central Press Accreditation Committee (CPAC) on 4 April 2013. The function of CPAC is to approve the applications for accreditation from the media, which is India as well as foreign. The tenure of Central Press Accreditation Committee will be two years from the first meeting onwards. * Odisha Legislative Assembly adopted a Resolution for Special Category Status: The Odisha Legislative Assembly on 4 April 2013 unanimously adopted a resolution requesting the Centre to award special category status to the state. It has also urged the Centre to provide additional grants and fiscal incentives for Odisha's development. Odisha Assembly for the second time adopted unanimous resolution seeking special category status. The first such resolution was passed on 18 November 1997. The special-category states get significant excise duty concessions and it helps these states attract large number of industrial units to set up manufacturing facilities within their territory. States like Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland etc. have been given special category status so far.

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* SC upholds 51% FDI in multi-brand retail: Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of governments decision allowing 51% foreign direct investment in the multi-brand retail sector. A bench of Justices R M Lodha, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph gave the ruling. The bench observed that there was no harm in giving the policy a chance. It saw merit in the policy that it would eliminate middlemen and help provide farmers a better price for their produce. It dismissed the petition filed against the 51 percent FDI in multibrand retail. As per the court, the policy will affect the lives of only 13.3% of the country's population living in 53 cities. *$84m WB Loan For Bihar Panchayat Strengthening Project: An agreement for credit of US$ 84 million from World Bank for the Bihar Panchayat Strengthening Project was signed today at New Delhi. Mr. Nilaya Mitash, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance signed on behalf of Government of India and Mr. Michael Haney, Operations Advisor, World Bank, India on behalf of the World Bank. On behalf of Government of Bihar, Mr. Amitabh Verma, Principal Secretary, Department of Panchayati Raj signed the documents. Gram Panchayat in action in Bihar The Objective of the project is to support the State Government in promoting inclusive, responsive and accountable gram panchayats in six districts, namely Patna, Nalanda, Bhojpur, Saharsa, Supaul and Madhepura. Successful experimentation and learning in these six districts can be scaled up to other districts under other Government programmes. The project now consists of the following components: Component 1: Gram Panchayat Sarkar Bhawan. Component 2: Capacity Building for Gram Panchayats. Component 3: Strengthening the State Government Capacity to Manage a Gradual Decentralization and Empowerment Process. Component 4: Panchayat Performance Grant. Component 5: Project Management and Coordination. With the goal to improve the autonomy, capacity and accountability of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), the Bihar Panchayat Strengthening Project shall invest on building systems and institutions of local selfgovernance and helping the state government design and implement new inter-governmental fiscal and administrative systems that allow more autonomy and demand accountability of the PRIs. *Committee on leveraging panchayat raj institutions calls on president: Recently on the occasion of Panchayat Raj day i.e. 24th April 2013, Ministry of panchayati Raj has unveiled the 20th Anniversary report of the Expert Committee on leveraging panchayats for efficient delivery of public goods and services. The

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Expert Committee is chaired by Former Union Minster of Panchayati Raj, Sh Mani Shankar Ayer. We are pleased to share the highlights of the report. The major observations and recommendations of the expert committee are: 1) The mandatory provisions of Part IX of the constitution i.e. panchayat elections under the aegis of State Election Commissions, constitution of State Finance Commissions and District Planning Committees has been undertaken across the states. 2) The devolution of Functions, Finances and Functionaries (3Fs) has been far from the letter and spirit of the constitution amendments. 3) The preparation of decentralised district plans as per Article 243G read with Article 243ZD of the constitution have not been progressed except few states. It is observed that the Manual of Integrated District Planning prepared by Planning Commission also didnt have much impact on the planning process. 4) The completion of 11th five year plan and the launch of 12th plan have not seen the blossoming of district planning without which panchayati raj institutions will remain an empty shell. It is only triggered initially with the support of BRGF but loses its pace subsequently. 5) Referring to various studies and reports committee observed that the inequality has been increased in the country over the period. The rich become richer and poor become poorer. Thus committee questions the rationality of the commitment of the government for inclusive growth. Committee observed that alleviation of poverty and growing inequalities remain unaffected because establishment of panchayat raj is not followed by structured, scientific, consistent and sustained process of devolution. th 6) 12 Plan does not delve in any significant measure on how key requirements of inclusion are to be achieved. Twelfth plan also fails to prioritise the role of panchayats and their representatives in achieving inclusive growth. Committee pointed out that 25 core indicators listed by the twelfth plan to reflect the vision of rapid, sustainable and more inclusive growth, panchayati raj institutions find no place at all. 7) Despite the increase in outlays in social sector over the period, Indias progress on the HDI is not very encouraging. This is mainly because institutional reforms lagged behind the economic reforms began in 1992. 8) The committee also tried to establish the correlation between Human Development Index (HDI) and Devolution index & India protection index. The analyses revealed that though correlation is positive but weak. It is inferred that given the weak devolution, panchayats are unable to influence the human development outcomes. 9) Committee concluded that devolution is an essential condition for human development. But it must be supported by factors such as accountable service delivery mechanism, clear delineation of roles and responsibilities of officials and functionaries, stringent monitoring mechanisms, increasing public awareness and capacity building of public functionaries at all levels. 10) The committee strongly opposed the observations

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made about the PRIs in the Annual Economic Survey 2012-13. The committee recommends that in all the future Annual Economic Surveys, there must be a separate chapter devoted to Panchayat Raj. Referring to the number of panchayati raj institutions and elected representatives including women, SCs, STs and OBCs. Committee observed that this is a great achievement in political empowerment, but it has made little impression on political circles, media perceptions, society as a whole and above all on the rural economy. Committee observed that it is not an absence of political will that is making panchayat raj stumble so much as the unevenness of panchayat raj outcomes that is stalling the evolution of required political will. Deficiencies in the capacity building also contribute to the poor performance. Much of the training imparted to panchayat functionaries bears little resemblance to the tasks they allowed to undertake in the absence of effective devolution. There is a little integration between departments and panchayats. Most of panchayat representatives get little opportunity for hand-on learning. Atmosphere in most line departments discourages evolution of working relationship with ERs, except at sarpanch (panchayat president) level. The consequence of this is distortion of panchayat raj in many parts of country into sarpanch raj. In the absence of real devolution there is no responsibility of elected representatives towards Gram Sabhas leading to poor attendance in the gram sabha and ward sabha meetings. To improve and strengthen the participation of gram sabha, committee recommends the centre must draft a model gram sabha law and urge states to bring appropriate legislations on the basis of this law. Committee also recommends that the reservation in PRIs for all categories (women, SC, ST, OBC) should be frozen for a minimum of at least two terms and preferably for three terms. Committee recommends that the 14th Finance Commission should change the pattern of untied grants from basic and performance grants to grants for incentivising states to devolve and grants for PRIs to be rendered transparent and accountable.

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NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION The National Capital Region (NCR) in India is a name for the metropolitan area which encompasses the entire Delhi as well as urban areas surrounding it in neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Delhi has been experiencing phenomenal growth of population since 1951 recording decennial growth rate of 52.44%, 52.91%, 52.98%, 51.45% and 47.03% during 1951-61, 196171, 1971-81 and 1991-01 decades respectively. One of the main causes for this spurt in the growth of population is migration into the city not only from the adjacent states but also from others such as Bihar, AP etc. The growth of population of Delhi has contributed to increasing congestion and shortages of civic amenities. It has been felt that as Delhi grows, its problems of land, housing, transportation and management of essential infrastructure like water supply and sewerage would become more acute. It was with this concern that the need for planning Delhi in the regional context was felt: 1956 Interim General Plan suggested that serious consideration should be given for a planned decentralization to outer areas & even outside the Delhi region. 1961 High Powered Board set up under Union Minister for Home Affairs 1962 Master Plan for Delhi emphasized Planning of Delhi in regional context 1973 High Powered Board reconstituted under Union Minister for Works & Housing 1985 Enactment of the National Capital Region Planning Board Act by the Union Parliament, with the concurrence of the participating States of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh,NCR Planning Board was constituted. THE 4 CONSTITUENT SUB-REGIONS OF NCR : The Haryana Sub-Region comprises of nine districts, that is, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Mewat, Rohtak, Sonepat, Rewari, Jhajjhar, Panipat and Palwal together constituting about 40% (13,413 sq. kms.) of the Region; The Uttar Pradesh Sub-Region comprises of five districts, that is, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budha Nagar, Bulandshahr, and Baghpat together constituting about 32% ( 10,853 sq. kms.) of the Region; The Rajasthan Sub-Region comprises of Alwar district constituting about 23% (7,829 sq. kms.) of the Region ; & The NCT of Delhi constituting about 5% (1,483 sq. kms.) of the Region.

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Civil War in Syria The United Nations on 13 June announced that the death toll in Syria is nearly 93,000, with more than 5,000 people killed a month as the situation in the country has deteriorated drastically over the past year. The Syrian civil war is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Syrian Baath Party government and those seeking to oust it. The conflict began on 15 March 2011, with popular demonstrations that grew nationwide by April 2011. These demonstrations were part of the wider Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring. Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end of Baath Party rule. The war degenerated into a stalemate in early 2013, with both sides making limited advances in different places. According to the UN, the conflict was becoming overtly sectarian in nature, though both the opposition forces and the Syrian government deny that sectarianism plays any key role in the conflict. According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country. To escape the violence, as many as 1.5 million Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring countries. In addition, tens of thousands of protesters have been imprisoned and there were reports of widespread torture and psychological terror in state prisons. International organizations have accused both government and opposition forces of severe human rights violations. However, human rights groups report that the majority of abuses have been committed by the Syrian governments forces, and UN investigations have concluded that the governments abuses are the greatest in both gravity and scale. A U.N. report stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that limited amounts of chemical weapons have been used in attacks in the civil war, but more evidence is needed to determine the exact chemical agents used or who was responsible. Thermobaric weapons may have been used by the government side during the Syrian Civil War. Since 2012, rebels have claimed that the Syrian Air Force (government forces) is using thermobaric weapons, also known as fuel-air bombs against residentialareas occupied by the rebel fighters, such as during the Battle of Aleppo and also in Kafr Batna. STARTING INCIDENT OF WAR The unrest began on 15 March (2011) in Damascus, in Aleppo, and in the southern city of Daraa, sometimes called the Cradle of the Revolution. Daraa had been straining under the influx of internal refugees who were forced to leave their northeastern lands, due to a drought exacerbated by the governments lack of provision. The protests were triggered by the incarceration and torture of several young students, who were arrested for writing anti-government graffiti in the city. Demonstrators clashed with local police, and confrontations escalated on 18 March after Friday prayers. With thousands protesting, the clashes resulted in several civilian deaths. On 20 March, a mob burned down the Baath Party headquarters and other public buildings. Security forces quickly responded, firing live ammunition at crowds, and attacking the focal points of the demonstrations. The two-day assault resulted in the deaths of fifteen protestors. SUPPORT TO OPPOSITION
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Turkey, once an ally of Syria, has condemned Assad over the violent crackdown and has requested his departure from office. In October 2011, Turkey began sheltering the Free Syrian Army, offering the group a safe zone and a base of operation. In 2012, the United States, United Kingdom and France provided opposition forces with nonlethal military aid, including communications equipment and medical supplies. A crucial line of support began in spring 2012 as Saudi Arabia and Qatarannounced they would begin arming and bankrolling the opposition. On 22 April 2013 the European Union lifted its embargo on Syrian oil to importbarrels directly from rebel groups. In the western Sunni-majority provinces of Iraq, soldiers and war supplies have been crossing from Anbar Province into Syria.Armed groups inside Iraq have formed a Free Iraqi Army and have been supportive of the Syrian uprising against the Assad regime. Some countries have cut ties with the Assad government including: the Gulf States, Libya, Tunisia, Britain, Spain, Turkey, Canada, the United States and Belgium. SUPPORT TO SYRIAN GOVERNMENT Russia has supplied the Syrian government with arms as part of a business contract signed before the uprising began. Most Syrian military equipment, including tanks, missiles, and artillery, was acquired from Russia, which continues sales and technical support. Western diplomats have frequently criticized Russias behavior, but Russia denied its actions have violated any international law. Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that Russia does not support either side. Iran, which sees Syria as a key regional ally, has not only provided the Assad regime with arms and technical support, but has also sent combat troops,specifically the Revolutionary Guards, to support Syrian military operations. Technical support has reportedly included unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to guide Syrian military planes and gunners in their bombarding of rebel positions. Coup in Egypt Military in Egypt ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Egypts first freely elected leader. The military overthrew the nations democratically elected Islamist president, tanks remained in the streets and scattered clashes left 10 people dead. The army said he had failed to meet the demands of the people. Mohammed Morsi became Egypts first Islamist president on 30 June 2012, after winning an election considered free and fair following the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak. However his term in office was marred by constant political unrest and a sinking economy. The chaos, including open sexual assaults on women in Egypts streets, has driven away tourists and investors, while opponents say Morsys rule was increasingly authoritarian. The upheaval comes after days of mass rallies against Mr Morsi and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement he comes from. Officials said 300 arrest warrants have been issued for Muslim Brotherhood members. Protesters accused them of pursuing an Islamist agenda and of failing to tackle Egypts economic problems. Morsi was in custody and under criminal investigation for insulting the judiciary over comments he made against judges during his final address to the nation. Prosecutors arrested Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhoods supreme guide, and issued a warrant for his deputy, Khairat Shater, the groups chief strategist and financier. Both are accused of inciting the deadly clashes this week between anti-government demonstrators and Morsi supporters that the military cited as the reason for deposing the president. The turning point in Mr. Morsis presidency came on Nov. 22, when he asserted unchecked executive authority through a constitutional declaration and, weeks later, rammed an Islamist constitution through to ratification. When mass protests erupted in response, Mr. Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood colleagues dispatched Brotherhood cadres to attack the protesters, and seven people were killed in the fighting. The armys roadmap for the post-Morsi era includes: Suspension of the constitution
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A civilian, transitional technocratic government Supreme Constitutional Court to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections A charter of honour to be drawn up and followed by national media The Egyptian military dominated the country for six decades and took direct power for a year and a half after Mubaraks ouster. The top judge of Egypts Constitutional Court, Adly Mahmud Mansour, has been sworn in as interim leader, a day after the army ousted President Mohammed Morsi and put him under house arrest. MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD The Muslim Brotherhood, is the Arab worlds most influential and one of th e largest Islamic movements, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. Founded in Egypt in 1928 as a Pan-Islamic, religious, political, and social movement by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna, by the end of World War II the Muslim Brotherhood had an estimated two million members. The Muslim Brotherhood is founded on the belief that Islam is not simply a religion, but a way of life. It advocates a move away from secularism, and a return to the rules of the Quran as a basis for healthy families, communities, and states. The movement officially rejects the use of violent means to secure its goals. However, offshoots of the group have been linked to attacks in the past, and critics blame the Brotherhood for sparking troubles elsewhere in the Middle East. Many consider it the forerunner of modern militant Islamism. WORLD REACTION Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates welcomed the change in leadership. Turkey cautioned that it was not a result of the will of the people. US President Barack Obama said he was deeply concerned by the events, and called for a swift return to civilian rule. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said a democratic transition must take place soon. Germany described the ousting as a serious setback for democracy and called on all sides to refrain from violence and arbitrariness. UN chief Ban Ki-moon noted the legitimate concerns of protesters, but said military inference was always of concern. INDIAs REACTION India has urged all political forces in Egypt to abjure violence, respect democratic principles and engage in a conciliatory dialogue to address the situation after suspension of constitution by the army. India is closely monitoring the evolving situation in Egypt, the external affairs ministry said in a statement. As the worlds largest democracy, India was amongst the first countries to welcome the Jan 25 revolution and the promise of genuine democracy in a large and important country like Egypt with which we have traditionally enjoyed close and friendly ties. According to external affairs ministry, about 3,000 Indian nationals are in Egypt. Shale gas shakes up International Geopolitics Shale is a common SEDIMENTARY ROCK found in most countries, so shale gas can hugely reduce the dependence of most countries (including India) on imported energy. The geopolitical clout of major gas exporters Russia, Iran, Algeria, Bolivia will fall dramatically. Some countries may start converting their transport fleets into gas-based ones, hitting the demand for and prices of petrol and diesel. The shale revolution is claimed to bring multiple benefits to the world community; it is expected to enhance global energy security, reduce import dependency and potentially lower the cost and energy price volatility. Besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it would create millions of employment opportunities as well as economic dividends to the key producing countries. However, major topic of discussion among public is regarding the shales alleged
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environmental dangers of fracking or regarding shales effect on the market price of natural gas. The major concerns emerge from the fact that it will affect the international oil market as Shale gas offers the means to vastly increase the supply of fossil fuels for transportation, which will cut the rising demand for oil which was accelerated by Chinas economic growth, dominating the policy decisions for a decade now. American side view Shale has long been known to contain natural gas, but this was not worth extracting with conventional technology. Now a new technology, fracking , plus horizontal drilling, have greatly increased shale gas productivity, so extraction is now viable at $3-4 /mmbtu. The new technology has been pioneered in the US so successfully that the US has overtaken Russia as the worlds biggest gas producer. US gas reserves have increased from 30 years consumption to 100 years consumption. Port terminals to import LNG (liquefied natural gas) into the US will instead export LNG to Japan. The same shale extraction technology of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing can be employed whether the rocks are oil-bearing or gas-bearing. For example, half a million barrels of oil a day from the Bakken field in North Dakota. According to the Harvard-based Belfer Center report Oil: The Next Revolution suggests that shale oil could be providing America with as much as six million barrels a day by 2020. The United States imported only 11 million barrels of crude oil a day in 2011. Given the potential for offshore and conventional domestic oil production, it is strongly indicated that by 2020, America could achieve near energy independence in oil. The major geopolitical impact of shale extraction technology doesnt lie in the fact that America will be more energy self-sufficient but the fact that it will drastically affect the international oil markets because of USAs sharp reduction in oil imports. This development will most likely reinforce the development of shale oil resources in China, Argentina, Ukraine and other places, which will put additional pressure on global oil prices. There is the potential of using natural gas for transportation, suggesting a realistic possibility for fleet and long-haul road transportation. But there is a possibility that the immense advantage of natural gas as a transportation fuel in America and Europe, both of which have developed a natural gas infrastructure in urban areas that takes piped natural gas into homes, offices and supermarkets, might get overlooked. Gradually the problem of providing connections to the remote places can be solved by home refuelling kits so consumers can fill up natural-gas powered cars in their own garages. Even though there are immense advantages to the shale oil and natural gas, so far, only US has experienced the first stage of low natural-gas prices while attracting the energy intensive industries such as chemicals and steel because of low gas prices. In the next stage of the shale revolution because of lower oil prices, it will grant the United States a greater range of options in dealing with foreign states. European States A greater variety of gas supplies from liquefied natural gas (LNG) originally destined for the United States has been dumped in European markets because of reduction in US import bill for the same. But by 2020, shale gas in the form of LNG is likely to begin arriving in Europe in significant quantities, and there is also the possibility that some domestic shale gas production. Europe will also benefit from the second stage of the shale revolution as oil prices come under pressure. This will have overall positive impact on European states which are dependent on Gulf countries for the oil and natural gas energy. But geopolitically, European Union (EU) is concerned regarding the energy independence of America, because there is the danger is that the United States will no longer have any direct interest in ensuring supply flows out of the Gulf and US will likely demand greater European investment in its own energy security. But EU can utilize this discomfortable position to its advantage by developing natural gas transportation as an energy security hedge. This would definitely increase pricing pressure on oil producers. Chinas position
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According to the U.S. Energy Departments Energy Information Administration, Chinas recoverable resources are larger than those of the United States at 36 trillion cubic meters. The main geostrategic advantage for China to produce shale gas for transportation is that the U.S. Navy controls the Pacific and most Chinese oil arrives by tanker. So the large-scale use of natural gas for transportation would protect China from much of the effect of a U.S. blockade. So, China has even greater incentives to develop its shale gas resources. Indias position India has large shale deposits, with good prospects in the Gangetic plain, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat. Tamil Nadu, Andhra and the north-east. India must get cracking on seismic surveys followed by allotment of exploratory blocks. Companies should be able to acquire blocks any time based on a predetermined revenue-sharing formula. Mukesh Ambani will probably be the first to start exploration, but others will follow quickly, including Anil Ambani (who is already in unconventional gas through coal-bed methane). Large shale gas discoveries should embolden India to convert transport fleets in all cities from petrol and diesel to CNG. That will reduce not only energy dependence but pollution too. Reliance has considered converting some KG gas into oil. Now that gas has become cheap relative to oil, it should go ahead. Other refiners Essar, IOC, BPCL and HPCL should consider this option too. For decades India has kowtowed to Gulf countries, notably Iran. It can now afford to act much tougher. Iran supported Pakistan in Indo-Pak wars, and blasted India for Pokharan-II , and demanded that India sign the NPT. Iran nationalised the Rostam and Raksh oilfields in which the ONGC had a stake. It reneged on a contract to supply cheap LNG top India after Ahmedinejad came to power. Despite this India has been deferential to this potentially powerful energy supplier. That must now change. India must tell all Gulf producers that it will pay gas prices linked not to oil but to the Henry Hub price. The best starting point is not Iran but Qatar, which has just completed a gigantic expansion to become the worlds largest LNG supplier. This is now in surplus. Qatar wants $10/ mmbtu. India must offer just $4. Once Qatar gives way, so will other LNG exporters, including Australia. Impact on Major Oil Producers Unfortunately, the development of Shale gas technology will have negative impact on major oil exporting countries in the Central and middle East Asian countries like Saudi Arabia and of course on Russia. The major reason behind this reasoning is that as the decade progresses, shale will be developed worldwide and natural gas infrastructures will be constructed. Under these circumstances it is difficult to see how the markets will avoid dropping oil prices. Conclusion Geopolitically, the emerging scenario is likely to reposit more power to the U.S. The U.S. would be wielding energy as an additional strategic resource-weapon, besides military, to squeeze the adversarial powers. Both, China and Russia may not be able to influence the energy market either by being the largest producer or the largest importer. But China might reduce its energy dependence. The fulcrum of future energy market is likely to shift to the North America; even the Middle East, which has 48 percent oil and 38 percent gas deposits, would not be in a position to leverage the dynamics of the global energy. This revolution might also generate a major global stimulus, which takes the Western economies off the fiscal deficits, while potentially destabilizing both the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. But overall, since there are only a few countries which have shale gas technology, doubts are raised whether those countries would develop their own cartel and dictate the energy market o n their terms. Would shale gas really reduce pressure from the energy market is another genuine concern. Nevertheless, whatever consequences of shale gas, it should be hoped that its development is not at the cost of other two vital dimensions of human needs i.e. water and food security.

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STEM CELLS Cells that are able to (1) self-renew (can create more stem cells indefinitely) and (2) differentiate into (become) specialized, mature cell types. Stem cells are cells found in all multi cellular organisms. Stem cells are the 'building blocks' of life. They have the remarkable potential to regenerate into different cell types in the body during early life and growth. Additionally, in many tissues they serve as an internal repair system, dividing limitlessly to replenish other cells over a lifetime. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain undifferentiated or become another differentiated type of cell with a more specialised function such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell or a brain cell. Stem cells can replicate any tissue in the human body. This feature makes them particularly critical in the regeneration of diseased and damaged tissues and organs They are found in various sources in the body including umbilical cord, bone marrow, peripheral blood and skin among many. Although most cells in the body, such as heart cells or skin cells are committed to conduct a specific function, stem cells are uncommitted and remain uncommitted, until they receive a signal to develop into a specialised cell. Their proliferative and self-renewal capacity, combined with their ability to become specialised, makes stem cells unique. Types of stem cells Unlimited stem cells (also known as embryonic stem cells) Limited stem cells (also known as adult stem cells). Unlimited stem cells are currently obtained with patients' permission from leftover three-day old embryos that would otherwise be discarded from fertility clinics. These embryos are created and exist entirely outside the body. Unlimited stem cells can develop into any kind of cell type or tissue in the body. Although a patient may need only a few embryos, in the process of creating them, several more are made. The ones which are not implanted in the uterus are eventually discarded. Each year it is estimated that couples undergo 120,000 cycles of fertility treatment using in vitro (outside the body) fertilization (IVF), and from these cycles 7,500 embryos are discarded. Each of these embryos can be used to create a large number of unlimited stem cells. Limited stem cells are rare cells that can be found in only some developed organs or tissues. Limited stem cells have been successfully used for some time now in bone marrow transplants (either with bone marrow stem cells or umbilical cord blood stem cells) and skin and hair transplants. There is also another potential way to get embryonic stem cells using an unfertilized egg and an adult cell from the patient. However, this is still being studied (known as somatic cell nuclear transfer or therapeutic cloning). The Difference Matters Unlimited stem cells offer significantly more promise in curing diseases and injuries than many limited stem cells can. Unlimited stem cells can develop into any kind of cell type or tissue and therefore have the potential to reverse numerous diseases and injuries. In addition, they can give scientists clues that will help them develop drugs that may help reverse or stop certain diseases. Limited stem cells have been successfully used for some time now and still have great further therapeutic potential. However, limited stem cells can only be used to repair the types of organs or
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tissues from where they came, and not every organ has been shown to contain them (and they are often difficult to obtain.) Also, unlimited stem cells can be replicated outside the body in a lab, so that they can ultimately help many patients, whereas limited stem cells cannot grow outside the body and have to be immediately frozen or transplanted into the patient. iPS Cells Recent publications have described the derivation of ES-like induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from adult mouse and human cells (Nakagawa et al., 2008; Takahashi et al., 2007; Yu et al., 2007). These researchers introduced specific sets of genes encoding transcription factors which are normally expressed in undifferentiated ES cells. The expression of these genes resulted in the reprogramming of the adult cells to a more ES -like or pluripotent state. While the initial studies

indicate that these cells share characteristics of true ES cells, more detailed work is needed to determine how closely they resemble ES cells. In addition, the reintroduction of these genes can have adverse consequences. For instance, the use of retroviruses and the potential for reactivation of introduced genes such as c-myc and Oct-4 can increase the risk of cancer. These issues will need to be addressed if iPS technology will have clinical applications.

Types of Stem Cells


Derivation Method EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS Removal of cells from ICM of blastocyst embryo from IVF. SCNT ES Cells Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. Transfer of somatic cell nucleus to enucleated egg, development to blastocyst, removal of ICM. Differentiate into all cell types. Stem cells can be matched to patient Risk of tumors (teratomas) from iPS Cells Reprogramming of somatic cells by introduction of specific regulatory factor genes. Adult Stem Cells Isolation from adult tissues.

Characteristics

Differentiate into all cell types. Excess of IVF embryos exist. Limited number of lines available for

Limitations

ES cell like characteristics. Stem cells can be matched to patient Doesn't require embryos. Unknown if cells can differentiate

Successful treatments demonstrated. Stem cells can be matched to patient Cells not found in all tissues.

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federally funded research. Immune rejection issues Risk of tumors (teratomas) from transplanting undifferentiated cells. Requires use of embryo.

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transplanting undifferentiated cells. Eggs difficult to obtain.

into all cell types. Risk of tumors (teratomas) from transplanting undifferentiated cells and from expression of introduced genes.

Produce a limited number of cell types. Difficult to identify, isolate and grow.

Types of Pluripotent Stem Cells 1) Embryonic stem cells from fertilized eggs are good models for research, but they have ethical issues, and will have tissue rejection problems (similar to bone marrow and kidney transplants). 2) Parthenote stem cells (derived from unfertilized eggs, "activated eggs") may be as pluripotent as embryonic stem cells, and have been the focus of BSCRF scientists for several years. Studies using monkey parthenote stem cells to treat Parkinsons disease have been very promising.

Parthenotes do not have the potential tissue rejection problems faced by stem cells derived from fertilized eggs. Unlike adult stem cells, parthenotes can potentially become any cell in the body. Less controversial than stem cells that are derived from fertilized eggs. 3) Induced Pluripotent stem cells (derived by adding proteins that reprogram adults cells, reverting them to their embryonic state) "These new cells are expected to live for a very long time while retaining the ability to form all of the different tissues found in a human body. Stem Cell Discoveries Snag Nobel Prize in Medicine 2012 Two scientists who discovered the developmental clock could be turned back in mature cells, transforming them into immature cells with the ability to become any tissue in the body pluripotent stem cells are being honored with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The Nobel Prize honoring Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka was announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. ThE duo's work revealed what scientists had thought impossible. Just after conception, an embryo contains immature cells that can give rise to any cell type such as nerve, muscle and liver cells - in the adult organism; these are called pluripotent stem cells, and scientists believed once these stem cells become specialized to carry out a specific body task there was no turning back.

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The Arctic Council: Is There a Case for India? It is an acknowledged fact that the melting of the Arctic sea-ice is offering both opportunities and challenges for the international community. The opportunities accrue in the form of new found oil and gas deposits, unexploited marine living resources and shorter shipping routes connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. The challenges arise from the adversarial impacts of the melting ice on the livelihoods of the peoples and communities of the Arctic, disturbance in the delicate marine biodiversity of the region and the shrinking of the permafrost (permanently frozen soil) that would release large volumes of greenhouse gases which could further aggravate global warming. The challenges also arise from competing territorial claims by the littoral states over the Arctic sea-ice, safety of shipping routes, restructuring of militaries to defend Arctic territory which have a major geopolitical and geostrategic focus. At another level, several non-littoral states are exploring opportunities to get engaged into the evolving politico-economic-strategic dynamics of the Arctic region. The Arctic Council Established in 1996, the Arctic Council is an intergovernmental group of Arctic states i.e. Canada, Denmark (Greenland and Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, the US and the Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants. The Council promotes cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, on common Arctic issues, in particular issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic. The Council members meet biannually, and the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council rotates every two years. However, it has no regulatory powers for compliance and enforcement mechanisms. There are six working groups (a) Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP); (b)Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP); (c) Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF);(d) Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR); (e)Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME); and (f) Sustainable Development Working Group(SDWG). The Council has provision for observer status for states and is open to (a) Non-arctic states; (b) inter-governmental and inter-parliamentary organizations, global and regional; and (c) nongovernmental organizations. The five permanent observers are: Britain, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. There are four ad hoc observers i.e. China, Italy, the EU and South Korea whose presence at each meeting must be approved by member states. In 2009, the Arctic Council had rejected a bid by the ad hoc members to become permanent observers at the Council meetings but decided to continue discussing the role of observers in the Arctic Council. The next full ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council is due in 2011 in Denmark. The Arctic littorals have established research stations for scientific studies on climate, weather, geology and atmospheric sciences. Besides, non-littorals such as China, India, Japan, and South Korea have also set up scientific research stations at Ny-Alesund, Norway. The Arctic littorals through the Arctic Council, have engaged in bilateral and multilateral discussions to devise strategies to mitigate the adversarial impact of the Arctic ice melt and develop framework for cooperation. At a recent meeting on March 30, 2010, the Foreign Ministers from the Council member countries met and discussed issues relating to shipping regulations, maritime boundaries, search and rescue responsibilities, and negotiating territorial disputes in the Beaufort Sea and the Barents Sea.

Ad hoc Observers Take the Lead


China has engaged in Arctic studies since 2000 and Chinese scientists, scholars, policymakers and legal experts have participated in international seminars and conferences focusing on commercial, legal and geopolitical issues relating to the Arctic. Some Chinese scholars have openly advocated that the government must adopt proactive policies to understand the politico-strategic impact of the Arctic sea-ice melt and prepare for the commercial and strategic opportunities that would arise. In one such articulation it has been argued that any country that lacks comprehensive research on Polar politics will be excluded from being a decisive power in the management of the Arctic and therefore be forced into a passive position.
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Professor Guo Peiqing of the Ocean University of China has observed that Circumpolar nations have to understand that Arctic affairs are not only regional issues but also international ones. In essence China is actively participating in Arctic affairs and thus attempting to establish its strategic position. It has successfully managed to engage Canada and Norway in a formal bilateral dialogue on Arctic issues. The EU has watched with interest the scramble for the Arctic resources and the possibility of commercial transport. It has so far exhibited a low profile on current territorial disputes. Since 2008, EU has been striving to obtain permanent observer status in the Arctic Council. However, it has faced stiff opposition from Canada due to EU policy of banning seal products. In 2002, Republic of Korea established a research station Dasan at the Ny Alesund and has been actively engaged in research on issues relating to climate and marine species ecology. A South Korean ministry official has observed `Being an observer of the Arctic Council will help us enter the discussion among the Arctic nations over preservation and development of the area. That will also help our government brainstorm policies on development of marine transportation, Japan filed for Arctic Council membership in April 2009. An official at the Foreign Ministrys Ocean Division has stated that If Japan is admitted as an observer of the council, well have the advantage of being able to collect information on matters of concern to each country related to the utilization of the Arctic CircleWe aim to join the council [with observer status] at its ministerial meeting in two years time. Indian Initiatives Indias engagement in the Arctic dates back to nearly nine decades when it signed the Treaty between Norway, the United States of America, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Ireland and the British overseas Dominions and Sweden concerning Spitsbergen on February 9, 1920 in Paris which entered into force on August 14,1925. The Treaty is also referred to as the Treaty concerning the Archipelago of Spitsbergen or the Svalbard Treaty. At that time, India was part of the British overseas dominions and The Right Honourable the Earl of Derby, K.G., G.C.V.O., C.B., Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom had signed the treaty at Paris. India has watched with interest the evolving climate change induced developments in the Arctic region. On July 30, 2007, India established a scientific research station Himadri at Ny Alesund which conducts its operations under the guidance of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. So far India has undertaken seven expeditions to the Arctic. It has also placed orders for a dedicated vessel for polar expedition which is expected to join the NCAOR in 2012. Policy Options The world is looking towards the Arctic as an arena of great opportunity. Further, the effects of ice-melt showcase the beginning of new politics in the Arctic region pivoting on resources and routes. The claimant states are beginning to take hardened positions due economic and strategic interests. Non-Arctic states too are devising proactive policies for the Arctic by establishing scientific research stations, resource assessment and exploitation studies, acquisition of ice capable ships, northern sea route transportation planning, and studies in Arctic politics, law and diplomacy. The Arctic cannot be at the margins of Indias mental map and New Delhi must find its way to the center of the evolving Arctic order and issues which will challenge and define the High North politics in the 21st Century: oil and gas to ensure energy security, marine living and non-living wealth for resource security, new shipping routes shaping global trade patterns, great power competition and above all climate change, global warming and its consequences that will result in melting of sea ice and permafrost and impact on people and ecosystems even in thetropics. By virtue of the Svalbard Treaty, India is a stakeholder in the region. It will be prudent for New Delhi to: (a) Forge relationships with the Arctic Council members and argue for a permanentmembership of the Council by virtue of the 1920 Svalbard Treaty. (b) Broaden cooperation with Nordic countries and establish bilateral dialogues anddiscussions
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to understand the evolving politico-strategic developments in the Arctic region. (c) Engage in policy related research on the politics of the High North andformulate an Arctic Strategy. (d) Undertake Arctic resource assessment and exploitation studies. (e) Regular expeditions to the Arctic and consolidate scientific research. (f) Develop technological capability to exploit Arctic living and non-living resources. (g) India is a strong advocate of global nuclear disarmament and can play a vital rolein promoting the idea of a nuclear free Arctic. UN Report on Global Climate Released UN recently launched a The Global Climate 2001-2010, A Decade of Extremes Report prepared by World Meteorological Organization. According to report, the world experienced unprecedented high-impact climate extremes between 2001 and 2010 and more national temperature records were broken during that period than in any other decade. Report says the first decade of the 21st century was the warmest for both hemispheres and for both land and ocean temperatures since measurements began in 1850. High temperatures were accompanied by a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice, and an accelerating loss of the ice sheets of the worlds glaciers. Rising concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are changing our climate, with far reaching implications for our environment and our oceans, which are absorbing both carbon dioxide and heat. Extreme Floods, droughts and tropical cyclones were all experienced across the world throughout the decade, and more than 370,000 people died as a result of these, representing a 20 per cent increase in casualties from the previous decade. FLOODS were the most frequently experienced extreme events over the course of the decade. Eastern Europe, India, Africa, and Australia were particularly affected, as well as Pakistan, where 2,000 people died and 20 million were affected by floods in 2010. DROUGHTS however, affected more people than any other kind of natural disaster due to their large scale and long-lasting nature. Some of the highest-impact and long-term droughts struck Australia, East Africa, and the Amazon Basin, with negative environmental impacts. TROPICAL CYCLONES were also prominent throughout the decade, with more than 500 cyclone-related disaster events killing nearly 170,000 people, affecting over 250 million, and caused estimated damages of $380 billion. The report incorporates findings from a survey of 139 national meteorological and hydrological services and socio-economic data and analysis from several UN agencies and partners. The release of the report coincides with the first session of the Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services, which oversees the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services an international initiative to improve and expand scientifically-based climate information to help society cope with the climate and human induced climate change.

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MONTHLY QUESTIONS
1. Distinguish between Bioaccumulation and biomagnifications. The term bioaccumulation refers to the net accumulation over time of metals within an organism from both biotic (other organisms) and abiotic (soil, air, and water) sources. The term biomagnification refers to the progressive build up of some heavy metals (and some other persistent substances) by successive trophic levels meaning that it relates to the concentration ratio in a tissue of a predator organism as compared to that in its prey. 2. Short notes on Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI). GPOI was launched as the U.S. contribution to the broader G8 Action Plan for Expanding Global Capability for Peace Support Operations, adopted at the 2004 G8 Sea Island Summit. Initially proposed as a five-year program (fiscal years 2005-2009), GPOIs mandate was renewed for a second five-year period (fiscal years 2010-2014). The primary objectives for the programs first five years (Phase I) included training 75,000 peacekeepers and building regional capacity to conduct peacekeeping operations. In Phase II, program emphasis has shifted from the direct training of peacekeepers to assisting partner country efforts to build sustainable, indigenous peacekeeping training capacity. GPOI is funded through the Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) account, which is managed by the U.S. Department of States Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. 3. Short notes on Pinaka rockets. Pinaka is a MULTI BARREL ROCKET LAUNCHER produced in India and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Army. The Pinaka system has a maximum range of 3940 km and can fire a salvo of 12 HE rockets in 44 seconds, neutralizing a target area of 3.9 km2. The system is mounted on a Tatra truck for mobility. Pinaka was in service and in large use during the Kargil War, where it was successful in neutralizing enemy positions on the mountain tops. It has since been inducted into the Indian Army in large numbers. 4. Short notes on Space Vison India 2025. SPACE VISION INDIA 2025 1.Satellite based communication and navigation systems for rural connectivity, security needs and mobile services 2.Enhanced imaging capability for natural resource management, weather and climate change studies 3.Space science missions for better understanding of solar system and universe 4.Planetary exploration 5.Development of Heavy lift launcher 6.Reusable Launch Vehicles - Technology demonstrator missions leading to Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) 7.Human Space Flight 5. Short notes on OPEN SKY POLICY IN INDIA. Open skies is an international policy concept which calls for the liberalization of rules and regulations on international aviation industry most specially commercial aviation opening a free market for the airline industry. In April 1990, the Government adopted open-sky policy and allowed air taxi- operators to operate flights from any airport, both on a charter and a non charter basis and to decide their own flight schedules, cargo and passenger fares. 6. Write a brief notes on Indus Water Treaty. The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-sharing treaty between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank (then the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development). The treaty was signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960 by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Mohammad Ayub Khan. The treaty was a result of Pakistani fear that since the source rivers of the Indus basin were in India, it could potentially create droughts and famines in Pakistan, especially at times of war. KITE4education.com Monthly Questions 35

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The Indus System of Rivers comprises three Western Rivers the Indus, the Jhelum and Chenab and three Eastern Rivers the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi. The treaty gives India excluive use of all of the waters of the Eastern Rivers and their tributaries before the point where the rivers enter Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan has exclusive use of the Western Rivers. Pakistan also received one-time financial compensation for the loss of water from the Eastern Rivers. The countries agree to exchange data and co-operate in matters related to the treaty. For this purpose, treaty creates the Permanent Indus Commission, with a commissioner appointed by each country.

7. Short notes on Babu Jagjivan Ram National Foundation. It is an autonomous organization that is functional under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. Babu Jagjivan Ram National Foundation was established on 14th March, 2008 as an autonomous body under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, with the main aim of propagating the ideals of the late Babu Jagjivan Ram, on social reform as well as his ideology, philosophy of life, mission and vision to create a casteless and classless society. It works for uplifting the unprivileged class and scheduled castes and bring attitudinal change in the society to abolish caste based prejudice and untouchability. 8. Short notes on Composite Leading Indicators (CLI). The OECD system of Composite Leading Indicators (CLIs) is designed to provide early signals of turning points in business cycles - fluctuation in the output gap, i.e. fluctuation of the economic activity around its long term potential level. This approach, focusing on turning points (peaks and troughs), results in CLIs that provide qualitative rather than quantitative information on short-term economic movements. 9. Short notes on GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATORS. GI is a name on goods to indicate their specific geographical location or origin. Geographical Indications of Goods are defined as that aspect of industrial property which refers to the geographical indication referring to a country or to a place situated therein as being the country or place of origin of that product. Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to the fact of its origin in that defined geographical locality, region or country. Under Articles 1 (2) and 10 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, geographical indications are covered as an element of IPRs. They are also covered under Articles 22 to 24 of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, which was part of the Agreements concluding the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations. India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15th September 2003. Benefits of Geographical Indications It confers legal protection to Geographical Indications in India. Prevents unauthorised use of a Registered Geographical Indication by others It provides legal protection to Indian Geographical Indications which in turn boost exports. It promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory.

10. Short notes on Infrastructure Debt Fund (IDF). IDFs are investment vehicles which can be sponsored by commercial banks and NBFCs in India in which domestic/offshore institutional investors, specially insurance and pension funds can invest through units and bonds issued by the IDFs. IDFs would essentially act as vehicles for refinancing existing debt of infrastructure companies, thereby creating fresh headroom for banks to lend to fresh infrastructure projects. IDF-NBFCs would take over loans extended to infrastructure projects which are created through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) route and have successfully completed one year of commercial production. Such take-over of loans from banks would be covered by a Tripartite Agreement between the IDF, Concessionaire and the Project Authority for ensuring a compulsory buyout with termination payment in the event of default in repayment by the Concessionaire. 11. Short notes on Multi-Sectoral Development Programme. MsDP which is an area development programme, is a Centrally Sponsored flagship scheme launched in the 2008-09 in the 90 identified MCDs falling in 20 States/UTs. The programme aims to address development KITE4education.com Monthly Questions 36

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deficit in MCDs by creating socio-economic infrastructure and providing basic amenities. The restructuring has been done to make the programme more effective and focused for the upliftment of the minorities. 12. What are the environmental risks associated with Hydraulic Fracturing?. Natural gas is in many respects a clear and efficient burning fuel and has the potential to lower carbon emissions with fuel switching plays. However, risks remain since shale gas development around the world has met with fierce opposition from local residents and environmental groups due to environmental concerns over the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process. Fracking involves drilling a well bore into the reservoir rock formation and then forcing water, sand and chemicals into the well at high pressure to create fractures or fissures in the rock. Once the fracture is open, the released gas flows out of the fractures and into the well bore. In addition to shale gas, the process has recently been applied to extract gas from coal seam and tight sand deposits. With the impact of fracking operations still under study, the jury is out on the extent to which the process may be harmful to the environment. Some specific concerns being raised by environmental groups, media, and regulated companies are as follows:Groundwater Contamination Some have asserted that fracking chemicals used in the process could leak into underground rivers and reservoirs and ultimately into drinking water supplies. The health effects of long-term exposure to chemicals commonly used in fracking are being evaluated by regulatory agencies. Gasification When gas migrates into groundwater, the build-up of pressure due to gasification may lead to tremors or explosions. Aquifer gasification due to shale gas development has been cited as a potential cause for recent minor seismic activity in the United Kingdom, though these claims are largely uncertain at this point and being investigated. Water Usage Risks Fracking can be water intensive depending on the water management methods used. This may pose risks in water restricted areas. Surface Water and Soil Risks Risks may also arise from the volume of chemicals that need to be stored at the drilling site and from the liquid and solid waste produced during drilling and fracking. Spills and Blow-outs Well blow-outs can cause spills that could spread into the surrounding soil and into wetlands, streams and waterways. There are also concerns that wastewater kept in storage ponds could overflow in high rains.

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PERSONALITIES
*Vedantam Satyanarayana Sarma: Eminent Kuchipudi dancer Vedantam Satyanarayana Sarma died. Sarma, a famous male exponent of female roles in the Kuchipudi dance tradition, was known for his acts as Satyabhama and Usha. He established the Kuchipudi Kalakshetra and was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1961, Padma Shri award in 1970 and Kalidas Samman in 1981. He also acted in a few Telugu films as a dancer. * Padma Shri Awardee Professor Bratindra Nath Mukherjee, the renowned historian and an epigraphy expert died at his residence in Kolkata on 4 April 2013. * Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for the Chicago Sun-Times as well as the film critic, died. *Actor Richard Griffiths, the Vernon Dursley of Harry Potter died on 28 March 2013 at University Hospital in Coventry, central England. *Anthony Lewis: Two-time Pulitzer winner Anthony Lewis, whose New York Times column championed liberal causes for three decades died. Note: The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award which is given to Journalists for their achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. The award was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American (Hungarian-born) publisher Joseph Pulitzer, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City. *B Ashok Reddy, the Infotech Enterprises President was elected as the new chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Andhra Pradesh, for 2013-14. *BABA KALYANI, chairman and managing director, Bharat Forge Limited, has been nominated by the government to be the chairman chairman of the India-Japan Business Leaders Forum (IJBLF). The forum will leverage the developing trade and investment between the two countries for greater cooperation between their businesses. *Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi was sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Nepal on 14 March 2013. Khil Raj Regmi will be the head of interim government which will have its elections by 21 June 2013. He took over the office from Baburam Bhattarai. *Harmanpreet Kaur: Harmanpreet Kaur was named as the Captain of the Indian women's Cricket team for KITE4education.com

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the limited-overs series against Bangladesh, on 28 March 2013. Harmanpreet Kaur began her international cricket career with the ODI against Pakistan in 2009. She is the middle-order batswoman of the Indian women's Cricket team. *Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi resigned on 26 March 2013 in the wake of a dispute with India over the 2012 killing of two Indian fishermen by two marines while there are on anti-piracy duty. *Justice Retd. Mir Hazar Khan Khoso: Justice Retd. Mir Hazar Khan Khoso took oath as the sixth caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan on 25 March 2013 in Islamabad. The oath was administered by President Asif Ali Zardari at the ceremony which was held at Aiwan-e-Sadr. Justice Retd. Mir Hazar Khan Khoso is the sixth caretaker PM of Pakistan. He will lead Pakistan in the general elections scheduled on 11 May 2013. *Kallam Anji Reddy, the main behind Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, the second-largest drugmaker of India died on 15 March 2013 at Hyderabads Apollo Hospital. *Kartar Lalvani: NRI entrepreneur Kartar Lalvani has been conferred with the Healthcare Businessman of the Year Award 2013 at the Asian Business Awards ceremony. The founder-chairman of Vitabiotics, UK's largest supplier of minerals and vitamin supplements to the retail trade, received the honour. AMIT BHATIA, chief of the Swordfish group of companies and son-in-law of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, was declared the Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013. The Lifetime Achievement Award 2013 went to Indian-origin entrepreneur SUDHIR CHOUDHRIE. *Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced his government's resignation after a cabinet dispute with Shi'ite group Hezbollah over preparations for a parliamentary election and extending the term of a senior security official. Mikati became premier in 2011 after Hezbollah and its partners brought down the unity government of Saad al-Hariri. Tensions over Syria have put him at odds with the militant group which brought him to power and which strongly backs President Bashar al-Assad's battle against rebels and protesters. *Malala Yousafzai, signed 3-Million Dollar deal 38

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for Publishing her Life Story: The Book which is titled I am Malala is supposed to Publish later in this year. It is going to be published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson in the UK and Commonwealth and by Little, Brown in the rest of the world. *Navneet Kaur Dhillon: was crowned Ponds Femina Miss India 2013 on 24 March 2013 in the grand finale of 50th edition of the beauty pageant in Mumbai. 20-year-old Navneet Kaur belongs to Punjab and is a media student at present. Navneet Kaur was also given the title Miss Glowing Skin. *PIETRO MENNEA, the Italian athletics died in Rome on 21 March 2013. He was 60 years of age. Pietro Mennea was also called ARROW OF THE SOUTH. *Rahi Sarnobat clinched the first gold for India in International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Korea on 5 April 2013. She defeated Kyeongae Kim 8-6 in 25m pistol final. She is the first pistol shooter from India who won the Gold in World Cup.

IAS EXPRESS

JUNE 2013

succeeding Adi Godrej, Chairman of the Godrej Group. *The new leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Xi Jinping on 14 March 2013 was appointed as the President of China. *The President of Bangladesh, Zillur Rahman passed away on 20 March 2013 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

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*S Gopalakrishnan, the co-founder and Executive Co-Chairman of Infosys, on 5 April 2013 was elected as the President of the industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the year 2013-14. He is KITE4education.com

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* A panel headed by the Department of Personnel & Training secretary PK Misra has cleared the name of SK ROY for the post of the chairman of the LIC. Mr. Roy is currently the zonal manager in LIC for East. Roy joined the LIC in 1981. On May 31, 2013, he assumed charge as Managing Director of LIC along with Thomas Mathew and Sarkar. * John W Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda was elected by United Nations General Assembly as President of its upcoming 68th session. Ashe is presently Antigua and Barbudas Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. Made up of all the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the General Assembly provides a forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the UN Charter. 68th session is significant as the world body would launch an agenda for sustainable development for all. Looking forward to bring to fruition many outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), he said the theme he has chosen for the 68th session will be the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage. * Norway has become the first European and first NATO country to make military service compulsory for both genders. * The Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University (IGDTU) has become the countrys first-ever technical university for women after it was upgraded in May 2013 from the previous Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology which was set up in 1998. On 12 June the Norway celebrated a century since Norwegian women won the right to vote. * The Reserve Bank of India has imposed fine on three private sector banks - Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank for violation of KYC (know your customer) norms. Penalty of Rs.5 crore on Axis Bank, Rs.4.5 crore - on HDFC Bank and Rs.1 crore on ICICI Bank imposed by RBI. In April this year, a web portal Cobra Post had sent its undercover reporters to banks posing as persons connected to politicians and seeking to launder large amounts of black money. Although no transactions were conducted, the clandestinely shot videos revealed that bank officials were willing to be accomplices in the process of money laundering. *5th June was declared as the World Environment Day on the recommendations made by UN Conference on Human Environment in 1972. *According to latest UN Report India is expected to become the worlds largest country, passing China KITE4education.com

IAS EXPRESS

JUNE 2013

around 2028, when both countries will have populations of 1.45 billion. After that, Indias population will continue to grow and Chinas is expected to start decreasing. Meanwhile, Nigerias population is expected to surpass that of the United States before 2050. The 49 least developed countries are projected to double in size in 2050. *At the 2013 Global India Business Meeting, currently being held at Belfast UK, Mr Sanjiv Goenka was honoured with the coveted 2013 Indian Business Leader of the Year award. *Australia has been ranked the world's happiest nation among developed economies for the third year running. Top position went to Australia, because of the overall strength of its economy, in the Better Life Index compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sweden, Canada, Norway and Switzerland were also in the top five. *AVINASH CHANDER was appointed as the new Director-General of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). *China launched its 5th manned space mission Shenzhou-10 (Divine Craft) with three astronauts, including a woman. Wang Yaping, 35, is the second Chinese woman to go into space after Liu Yang last year. At present, the US and Russia are the other two nations to send independently maintained space stations into orbit. This is the second such mission to build Chinas first Spacelab which was expected to be fully ready by 2020 by which time Mir, which currently orbiting was expected to complete its mission. This would make the Chinese Spacelab the only such station in the space. *China 'launches' satellite destroyer in new space race as Pentagon claims rocket was highest for forty years: A Chinese rocket launched on Monday has raised concerns in the United States over the possibility of an anti-satellite missile test. While China claims the launch carried a sciences payload to study our planets magnetosphere. The rocket, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in western China, reached an altitude of 6,250 miles above Earth, making it the highest suborbital launch worldwide since 1979, according to reports; the vehicle then re-entered the atmosphere above the Indian Ocean. U.S. intelligence fears the rocket could be used in the future to carry anti-satellite payload. This concern began in 2007 when China launched a missile that destroyed one of its own defunct satellites in orbit. The event created an important amount of orbital debris, risking other satellites circling the Earth. TIT BITS - News 40

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*Dr Laxman Singh Rathore, Director General of Meteorology & Permanent Representative of India with World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has been elected as Co-Vice Chairman of Intergovernmental Board of Climate Services (IBCS) during its first meeting held at Geneva during 1st to 5th July 2013. Dr. Rathore was recently elected as member of the Executive Council of the WMO and has earlier served a term as Vice President of Commission of Agriculture Meteorology. With the appointment of Rathore, India is poised to play a crucial role in implementation of Global Framework of Climate Service (GFCS). WMO launched GFCS as key outcome of World Climate Conference (WCC)-3 aiming to enables better management of the risks of climate variability and change and adaptation to climate change, through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice on the global, regional and national scale. The four priority areas of the GFCS are Agriculture and Food Security, Disaster Risk Reduction, Health and Water. As is known that Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) was the principal outcome of WCC-2 and it won the nobel prize for distinguished services in understanding climate change and creating awareness on the subject. *Government gives nod for two major ports in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh: The new port in West Bengal, which will have a capacity of 54 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), requires an investment of around Rs. 7,820 crore. The other new port in Andhra Pradesh, whose projected capacity is around 50 MTPA, will entail an investment of about Rs. 8,000 crore, the Minister said. The new ports will be notified as Major Ports under the Indian Ports Act, 1908. Major ports come under the central government, while minor ports are operated by state governments as well as by the private sector. There are at present 12 Major ports -- KolkataHalida, Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Ennore, Chennai, V O Chidambaranar (formerly Tuticorin), Kochi, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru (JNPT) and Kandla. The move to set up new ports comes after several years. The need for a port at Sagar in West Bengal was felt as the existing ports at Kolkata and Haldia were facing capacity constraints. The location for port in Andhra Pradesh has not yet been finalized and the state government has identified three locations - Nakkapalli in Visakhapatnam, Ramayyapatnam in Prakasam and Dugarajapatnam in Nellore. The new major ports are likely to be set up on KITE4education.com

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JUNE 2013

public-private partnership (PPP) mode and will cater to increased imports of coal and oil besides boosting the local economy and generating jobs. *HASAN ROWHANI was declared the winner of Irans presidential elections. Present President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in power for a second and final term. He is barred from seeking a third consecutive term. Reformist President Mohammad Khatami appointed Rowhani as the countrys first nuclear envoy. *Hugo Chavez, former President of Venezuela, was posthumously awarded the Simon Bolivar National Award of Journalism 2013. The National Journalism Prize Foundation said that its jury voted unanimously to give Chavez the prize because he gave voice to the oppressed of the world and fought a constant battle against media lies. *Indias highest Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) will be set up at Nyoma, Leh district of Jammu & Kashmir at a height of about 14000 feet. This region is extremely cold and dry and therefore, it is a challenge to promote stable agriculture there. The KVK will seek to improve fodder production, provide health care to the roaming animals, introduce vegetable production under protected environment and impart training to women on animal care, etc. *Indian telecom network becomes the 2nd largest in the world (after China) with total subscriber base of over 670 million at the end of July 2010 Indian telecommunications sector is the second largest wireless network in the world. With this overall teledensity in the country has reached over 58% mark. In last five years not only urban tele-density has risen from 26% to more than 125%, but rural tele-density has also increased phenomenally from 1.73% to over 27%. The telecom sector is also the second highest FDI attracting sectors in India, attracting 8.53% of the total FDI inflows into India during Apr 2000 to July 2011. The amount of FDI attracted by telecommunications sector during this period was US$ 12.3 billion, according to DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion) statistics. *June 12 is World Day Against Child Labour. The theme this year is, No to Child Labour in Domestic Work. The United Nations action plan has proposed that the ILO and its member states continue to pursue the goal of effective abolition of child labour by committing themselves to eliminate all its worst forms by 2016. *MARYLAND becomes the 18th US state in the union to abolish the death penalty and the sixth state in as many years to do so. Maryland has become the first southern US state to abolish the death penalty. *Pilatus, PC 7 Mk II aircraft was formally inducted TIT BITS - News 41

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into the IAF. A total of 75 aircraft have been contracted from Pilatus, Switzerland. *Prof. Satish Dhawan Endowed Fellowship Started In USA: The Department of Space/Indian Space Research Organisation has established an endowed fellowship at the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories of the California Institute of Technology, California, USA. This fellowship is established in honor of Prof. Satish Dhawan, who was the former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation during its formative period 1972-1984. *The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa alThani has transferred the throne to his 33 year old son Sheikh Tamin. *The Indian Air Force (IAF) is at the helm of relief and rescue operations following Uttarakhand's floods. Air Commodore Rajesh Isser is Task Force Commander of OPERATION RAHAT, designed to aid those affected. This is the biggest civilian rescue operation carried out by any air force using helicopters across the globe. *The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh dedicated the newly constructed railway line between Banihal (Jammu region)-Qazigund (Kashmir valley) section to the nation by flagging off the first DEMU train from Banihal through the Pir Panjal tunnel- the longest transportation tunnel of India, from Banihal Railway station in Jammu & Kashmir recently. The Kashmir Valley railway ( Qazigund-Baramulla section) is a 119 km long modern railway line that became completely operational in October 2009. So far it is an island railway, not yet connected to the Indian Railway network. It connects Baramula in the western part of Kashmir to Qazigund at the other end of the Valley, via Srinagar. With this challenging project which is dedicated to the nation, the extension of this railway line beyond the Pir Panjal Mountains in to the Jammu region has been achieved with trains running on the new railway section of Qazigund-Banihal. The 17.7 km long rail link paves way for the future railway connectivity of Kashmir region with the national railway network. On 28th December, 2012, the first trial run train was operated on this section of Qazigund-Banihal which is 17.7 kms long, of this 6.5 km is on cutting and embankment including bridges. *The union cabinet revived two railway locomotive projects in Bihar by starting new bidding process. The proposals for an electric locomotive factory at Madhepura and a diesel locomotive factory at Marhaura in Saran district were revived as the request for bids for these two projects had lapsed.

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JUNE 2013

*The US President Barak Obama has appointed highprofile Washington, D.C. attorney Cliff Sloan as the special envoy for closure of Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention centre. The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a detainment and interrogation facility of the United States military located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.

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*The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari released Dr. Yoginder K. Alaghs book The Future of Indian Agriculture at Delhi. *Tomas Brunegard, chairman of Swedens Stampen Media Group, is the new president of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. *World Oceans Day has been celebrated every 8 June since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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