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NATIONAL AFFAIRS 2011 January

(A.P.) - The Inter-University National Youth festival-2011 has been conducted at Sri venkateswara University Campus, Tirupathi. Jaipur (Rajasthan) - Asia's largest and most acclaimed 6th edition of the jaipur literature festival was completed here. Many literary figures were attended including Turkey's Nobel Prize for literature winner orhan Pamuk. The former Maharashtra C.M., Ashok Chawan has been named as one of the 13 accused in the FIR filed by the CBI in the Adarsh Housing Society Scam. Indian Railways has inaugurated Indian first Green Railway Station at Manwal on the Jammu-Udhampur Rail route. The entire power supply in this station will be provided by the Solar Energy. Clearing the way for the recommencement of High Technology defense and aerospace exports to India, United states has put an end to a restrictive control mechanism, that was in place since 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests to 9 Indian stateowned defense and aerospace organisations like DRDO and ISRO. Chief Minister N.Kiran Kumar Reddy, inaugurated 21st Horticulture Expo2011 at the People's Plaza, in Hyderabad. Famous Poet, Astavadani, National Literature Parishat Member Laxminarsimha Passed away at Prasant Nager in Sddipet. Union minister of science and technology and human resource development, Kapil Sibal, was inaugurated a "Geospatial World Fourm-2011" at Hyderabad International Convention Centre. Geospatial World Forum 2011, a four day meet was inaugurated in Hyderabad. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi conferres Rachapudi Kamakshi Memorial Gold Medal for young Geospatial Scientist 2010 on Thiyam Tamphasana Devi, IIT Guwahati A Satya Rao succeeds A Chandrasekhar Reddy as the new Press Secretary to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy. A Satya Rao is the Additional Director of Information and Public Relations Department. The entire Andhra Pradesh government employees observed the first day of their three day pen down, tool down and chalk down stike for the implementation of the recommendations of 9th Pay Revision Commission (PRC). Minister for Land Development and Water Resources of Uttar Pradesh Ashok Kumar Dohre was removed from the ministry and also expelled from party for his behaviour and conduct. A bi-monthly magazine on Hyderabad police, 'Protector' was launched by New Media in association with Hyderabad police. The magazine aims at building up of positive image and to protect the functioning of police. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expanded his Council of Ministers by introducing three new faces and upgrading five Ministers. Beni Prasad Verma, Ashwani Kumar and K C Venugopal were entered newly into the Cabinet.

The Supreme Court described the black money matter as "pure and simple theft of national money". A list of 26 names who had accounts with Liechtenstein Bank was provided to Supreme Court by Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam. The Brand Trust Report, India Study 2011 survey conducted by Trust Research Advisory (TRA) in Mumbai lists Nokia as the most trusted brand in India. Tata, Sony, L & G and Samsung occupied the rest of top five positions. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) for the whole country. The service charge of MNP was made as Rs.19. "International English Language Teaching and Development Conference" Started at Hyderabad. It was three days conference, co ducted by the British Council and EFLU. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's 115th birth anniversary held at the Parliament House in New Delhi. PM Manmohan Singh, senior BJP leader L.K.Advani Participated in that. Additional Collector of Nashik district 'Yashwant Sonawane' was burnt alive by a kerosene mafia in Manmad, Nashik. Indonesian President 'Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono', Who was the chief gust of the 62nd Republic day celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi Internationally renowned music composer A.R. Rahman received the 'Crystal Award', in the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum (WEF)' at Davos in Switzerland. Quit India Movement Fighter Susheel Dara died at Mahishadal in West Bengal. He was 99 years old. He was born in 1911 March 2. A fire broke out on 'INS Vindhyagiri' after it collided with a foreign merchant vessel at the harbour. It was carrying family members of the naval personnel, who were celebrating 'Day at Sea'. The All India Women lawyers Conference-2011 was held at Hyderabad. Conference was organized by All India Federation of Women Lawyers. Sabarimala pilgrimage, around 100 pilgrims died and scores of others were injured on Friday night in a stampade at Pulmedu,in Idukki district,Kerala. The Wage Boards for Working Journalists and Non-journalists and other newspaper employees submitted its recommendation to Labour Secretary of Government of India. Justice GR Majithia, Chairman of the Wage Board recommended 2.5 times pay hike to employees. Bangalore will host World Sanskrit Book Fair-2011 from January 7 to 10 being organised for the first time in 300 years. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) launched a State -level workshop on system of rice intensification (SRI Paddy) at Hyderabad on 5/1/2011. The Srikrishna Committee has recommended a United Andhra Pradesh with Constitutional measures for socio, economic and political empowerment of Telangana as the "best way forward to "continue the development of all three regions. Srikrishna Committee gave 6 options .The Committee found the fifth option the "Second best"

February Government sources indicated that civil servants in Central ministries and departments have signed on to the Results Framework Document (RFD); initiated by the Cabinet Secretariat, will, for the first time, begin receiving performance-related incentives. These annual performance-related incentives will, depend on whether the concerned civil servants have scored well over 70 per cent in the evaluation scheme, and there could be as much as 40 per cent increase of the basic pay for the top scorers. The Fourth Pay Commission first made such a promise 22 years ago. The secretary of that department will have to justify the evaluation before a panel of experts before it is finalised. The RFD's objective is to improve governance, increase efficiency, transparency and accountability especially the last two, given the spate of financial scandals in the government recently.

The Bombay High Court on 22 February upheld the death sentence awarded by the Trial court to the lone surviving

gunman, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab in the 26/11 Terror Attack Case. The 2-day Indian Seed Congress (ISC)-2011 has commenced in Hyderabad.

The Governing Board of the new Malinda University on 21 February laid down a road map to make the institution functional tentatively by 2013. The University will start with seven schools, primarily

in humanities. Goya Saharawi has been appointed as the first ViceChancellor of the Malinda University, to be set up just about 10 km away from the historic location of the Malinda University in Bihar. Amartya Sen is the chairperson of the Governing Board. Accepting the pre-planned conspiracy theory of the prosecution, A Special Fast Track Court appointed by the Gujarat High Court on the orders of the Supreme Court on 22 February convicted 31 accused and acquitted 63 others in the Godhra train burning case.

Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh on 22 February announced the government's decision to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee

(JPC) to look into the 2G spectrum allocation scam in both the houses of the parliament As a part of the efforts to rescue stranded Indians from turmoilridden Libya, Indian Naval Ships INS Jalashwa and INS Mysore set sail from Mumbai on 26 February. INS Jalashwa is a Landing Platform Dock type of amphibious platform, is particularly designed for sea lift

missions and is also capable of undertaking humanitarian missions. INS Jalashwa could carry nearly 2,500 people, while the INS Mysore could carry 800-1,000 people. The State government of Andhra Pradesh and Brighton Equipment Corporation of USAon23 February inked a Memorandum of Understanding for Rs.2, 900-crore nuclear power plant at Nakkapally in Visakhapatnam district. The MoU was signed at the Secretariat in the presence of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. Officials told that about one lakh people would get employment once the plant was completed in five years. They termed it one of the biggest foreign direct investment units in the State in recent times.

Sulabh International, a leading Indian NGO working for promotion of environmental sanitation globally, has announced to launch sanitation drive with its innovative cost-effective toilet technology in ASEAN region. Sulabh plans to set up a sanitation centre in the Cambodian Capital at a cost of 500,000 dollars that could be used to showcase its path breaking technology. Sulabh international founder is Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak.

Union minister of state for defence M.M.Pallam Raju said, Nizampatnam,Guntur dt. A.P. was identified for setting up Coast Guard Academy.

In one of the Biggest Findings of hidden treasure from a religious place, Orissa's Endowment Department officials and the police stumbled upon 522 silver slabs weighing about 18 tones from a mutt in Puri .As per the present market price, the value of the metal is estimated to be around Rs. 90 crore. The huge stock of silver was found from four Sinduka (wooden containers) placed inside a room, closed from all sides by brick walls, in the Emar Mutt in front of the Sri Jagannath Temple.

Ms. Mamta Benarji has introduced the 2011-12 Railway Budget on 25 February in the parliament. The highlights of the budget are

No hike in passenger fare and freight rates. 1. Highest ever Plan outlay of Rs. 57, 630 crore proposed for Railways. 2. Rs. 9,583 crore provided for new lines. 3. 1300 km new lines, 867 km doubling of lines and 1017 km gauge conversion targeted in 2011-12.

4.

56 new Express Trains, 3 new Shatabdis and 9 Duronto trains

to be introduced. 5. AC Double Decker services on Jaipur-Delhi and AhmedabadMumbai routes. 6. New Super AC Class to be introduced. 7. A new portal for e-ticketing to be launched shortly. Booking charges will be cheaper with a charge of only Rs. 10 for AC classes and Rs.5 for others. 8. Pan-India multi-purpose smart card "Go India" to be introduced. 9. 236 more stations to be upgraded as Adarsh Stations. 10. 47 additional suburban services in Mumbai and 50 new suburban services proposed for Kolkata. 11. A special package of two new trains and two projects for the States managing trouble free run of trains through out the year. 12. Anti Collision Devise (ACD) sanctioned to cover 8 zonal railways. 13. 14. 15. GPS Based 'Fog Safe' Device to be deployed. All India Security Help line on a single number set up. All state capitals in the North-East except Sikkim to be

connected by Rail in next seven years. 16. A Bridge Factory in J & K and a state-of-art Institute for Tunnel and Bridge Engineering is proposed at Jammu. 17. A Diesel Locomotive Centre will be set-up in Manipur. 18. A Centre of Excellence in Software at Darjeeling proposed under the aegis of CRIS. 19. Rail Industrial Parks at Jellingham and New Bongaigaon proposed. 20. 700 MW gas-based power plant to be set up at Thakurli in Maharashtra. 21. A scheme for socially desirable projects, 'Pradhan Mantri Rail Vikas Yojana' with Non-lapsable fund proposed. 22. 10,000 shelter units proposed for track side dwellers in Mumbai, Sealdah, Siliguri, Tiruchirapalli on pilot basis.

23. 24.

Concession of 50% to press correspondents with family Senior Citizens concession to be hiked from 30 % to 40 %.

increased to twice a year. 25. Scholarship for Girl child of Group-D railway employees increased to Rs.1200 per month. 26. Recruitment for 1.75 lakh vacancies of Group 'C' and 'D' including to fill up backlog of SC/ST initiated, 16,000 ex-servicemen to be inducted by March 2011. 27. 28. A separate sports cadre to be created. 2011-12 declared 'Year of Green Energy' for Railways.

29. Freight loading of 993 MT and passenger growth of 6.4 % estimated for 2011-12. 30. Gross Traffic Receipts at Rs.1, 06,239 crore, exceeding one lakh crore mark for the first time estimated. 31.

Ordinary Working Expenses assessed at Rs. 73,650 crore.

Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was detained at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi on for allegedly carrying a huge sum of undeclared foreign currency. A new organisation, Anti-Corruption Citizen's Forum (ACCF), an initiative by a group of concerned citizens including former judges and

former IAS officers was formed inHyderabad on 13 February with the objective of curbing the menace, build pressure groups and urge the government to take action. Among those in the core group that worked to form the ACCF were former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court A. Lakshmana Rao, former Supreme Court judge B. P. Jeevan Reddy, former High Court Judge Reddappa Reddy and former Lok Ayukta Justice Ramanujam, former IAS officers K. R. Venugopal, K. Padmanabhaiah and C. Umamaheswara Rao. A.P.Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy performed the ground breaking' ceremony for three Tata Group projects in Hyderabad on 14

February promoted Hyderabad onto the global aerospace map.Involving an investment of Rs. 1,000 crore and providing direct and indirect employment to 9,000 persons, the three aerospace manufacturing projectsat Adibhatla village in Ranga Reddy district are Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructure, (joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems (TAS) and Lockheed Martin), Tata Aerospace Systems (JV of TAS and

Sikorsky Aircraft) and Nova Integrated systems (Tata enterprise). They are expected to go on stream by 2011 end. The A.P State Legislative Assembly has set a record of sorts by becoming the first in the country to digitise video records of all the debates in the House from 1996.The debates, digitised in DVD format, will shortly be uploaded on the Internet. Members can now take a copy of some of the historic debates or the debates in which they took part and upload it on YouTube or any other site on the Net.

Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had given the conditional clearance for the 4000-MW Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) at Bedabahal in Orissa.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 19 February laid the foundation stones of the country's second National Institute of Design (NID) at Jorhat,Assam and the Assam centre of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RGIPT) atSivasagar.The first National Institute of Design was set up in Ahmedabad 50 years ago.

Giving in to opposition demands, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced governments decision to set up a JPC into the 2G spectrum scam, saying the country could "ill afford" disruption of the crucial Budget session of Parliament.

Axis bank has formally launched the first ETM (Enywhere Teller

Mechine)service in Vijayawada on15 february with the bank already tying up with over 120 merchants as POS(Point Of Sale) terminals to provide its new service to its customers. The bank has plans to extend this service all over the State by March next year by roping in nearly 500 merchants as POS terminals by that time.ETM service is more convenient as the card holder need not look for a bank' ATM. The expert group of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the task force of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) broadly agreed to settle their turf war over the jurisdiction of medical education. The National Commission for Human Resources in Health

(NCHRH) will get to lay down the minimum standards of medical education, while all health-related research will come under the purview of the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER), promoted by the HRD Ministry. The First Urine Bank in India has started in a village Musiri near Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu.

A group of naval divers on board INS Nireekshak, the Navy's

only diving support and submarine rescue vessel, set a new national record last week by diving to a depth of 233 metres in the seas off Kochi coast, bettering a record of 218 metres attained by Navy divers in March 2007.INS Nireekshak, a 3,600-tonnes ship that was commissioned into the navy in 1995, is capable of diving up to 300 metres. The Centre on 18 February annulled the controversial deal between the Indian Space Research Organisation's commercial arm Antrix Corporation and Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia.The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Manmohan

Singh, paved the way for annulling the agreement by declaring that the government will not be able to provide the orbit slot in S-Band to Antrix for commercial purposes, including for its existing contractual obligations, in view of strategic requirements. Japan is to extend an aid of Rs.2, 557 crore (Yen 46.401 billion) to India for three projects through its Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) programme. The projects pertain to cleaning the Yamuna in the national capital, crop diversification promotion in Himachal Pradesh and biodiversity conservation and greening in Tamil Nadu. The current aid quantum is part of the 2010 Japan International Cooperation Agency

(JICA) ODA loan package. The 71 st session of the Indian History Congress was held at the Gaur Banga University in Malda,West Bengal.

The two day Ministerial Conference of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) was held in New Delhi.

The Andhra Pradeshs 12th annual Nandi Drama Festival got off to a colourful start at Nandyal on19 February. C. Pardhasaradhi, Commissioner, Information and Public Relations and Managing Director of AP State Film, Television and Theatre Development Corporation, formally inaugurated the festival.

The Supreme Court has stated in a case that -If a sessions judge passes an erroneous or patently unjustified order, the High Court concerned can suo motu question its correctness by an administrative decision.

The Gigantic Industrial exhibition 'win-2011' being organised at Istanbul from feb 3-6.India has been named as "Partner Country" for

the exhibition over 44,000 firms and 60 other countries are taking part in the show. The annual Flemingo festival on Feb 15 & 16 would be conducted to mark the arrival of migratory birds for their winter sojourn to Nelapattu Birds Sanctuary near sullurpet.

Orissa Cheif Minister Naveen Patnaik has inaugurated the 3-day AllIndia Teluguconference here Khammam (A.P.) This only district from Andhra Pradesh has been selected for the Central-sponsored 'Bal Bandhu' Scheme. This scheme has been introduced for-protection of children's rights in areas of civil unrest 'through the intervention of the community and enabling the children access education, health, nutrition

and safety provisions. The central government has selected 10 dt's across five states for implementing of the scheme.

The Union Health Minister inaugurated the newly - constructed Central Days Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) Bhavan in Hyderabad.

Prime Minister inaugurated the 5-day Common Wealth Law Conference, largest event of its kind in the common law world in Hyderabad from February 5-9.

The one-man justice (Rt) ShivRaj Patil Committee that looked into the processes and procedures followed by the department of telecommunications in the allocation of licenses and spectrum between 2001 and 2009 has identified officially responsible for serious lapses in implementing the telecom policy transparently and fairly. Shivraj Patil submitted the report to the Union Communications Minister Kapil Sibal.

The annual Surajkund Mela, that highlights the finest handloom and handicraft traditions of the country has started from February 1st, at surajkund village near South Delhi. Uzbekistan is the partner country of 25th Surajkund Craft Mela2011. The magic of vibrant Andhra Pradesh is the theme state

for this year mela. Magsaysay award winner and activist Sandeep Pandey has decided to return the'Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) Achievement Award, that was presented to him in 2009, February to the government, as no action has been taken yet in a 2009 incident in which dalit workers were beaten

by the husband of a former panchayat leader when the workers had come to inspect the NREGS documents related to their wages. A huge amount of foreign currency around Rs 7 cr was seized during the raids at a transit home of 17th Karmapa Ugyen Trinely Dorje at Sidhbari (Dharmasala), Himachal Pradesh.

The Shunglu Committee submitted its interim-report on irregularities in awarding broadcasting rights during common wealth Games. It strongly indicting the suspended Prasar Bharati CEO, B.S. Lalli and Doordarshan D-G Aruna Sharma for colluding with U.K. based broadcasting firm SIS live during the CWG's-2010, that resulted in a loss of Rs. 135 cr to the Government, and called for strict action against

them under IPC and the prevention of corruption Act. United State's renowned Duke University has decided to set up its branch in Andhra Pradesh.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the Chief Minsters conference on Internal security in New Delhi and warned that serious challenges and threats to the country's internal security still persist from left-wing extremism, cross-border terrorism and religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence.

The central bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 2nd February arrested the former Union communications and Information technology Minister, A.

Raja and two officers who had worked under him, for their role in the grant of licenses and allocation of 2G-spectrumduring 2008 in violation of establishing guidelines and procedures. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says - the centre proposes to create a Biometric data base of all workers covered under the Mahatma Gandhi NREGS. It will be used to authenticate work applications, work site attendance and wage payments.

The Pepperdine University of California, U.S.A., Considered one of the top-20 universities in the world has proposed to setup its campus in the Andhra Pradesh state with an investment of $ 1,000 cr.

Census-2011 termed as the largest peace time mobilisation in the world, will see the massive exercise of population enumeration across the country simultaneously between February 9 and 28. RegistrarGeneral and Census CommissionC.Chandramouli said that the biggest ever census attempted in the history of mankindto enumerate the

country's 1.2 billion population would be conducted across 35 states and U.T's. The exercise will mark a mile stone, as the first ever National Population Register (NPR) will also be prepared.

The population enumeration has already been done in the snowbased areas ofHimachal Pradesh, J&K and some other parts of the country.

The IIM-Ahmedabad has been placed 11th in the Financial Times Global MBA ranking of the world's top 100 business schools in 2011.

Speaking at the 11th Delhi sustainable development summit, P.M. Manmohan Singh said that - India is set to reduce the emissions intensity of our GDP by 20% etween 2005 and 2020 and India had setup a National Action Plan on Climate change which will have 8 national missions to look into different areas of sustainability and energy efficiency.

The department of posts announced a strategic partnership with the unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) for registration and distribution of Unique Identification (UID) cards to the citizens.

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman, Nandan Nilekani who also headed the 'Technology Advisory Group for Unique Projects' (TAGUP) submitted the report to the Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee.

Railway Minister Mamata Benarjee announced the setting up of a wagon componentFactory near Nandigram, West Bengal.

The Rail coach factory in Kapurtala rolled out 15 coaches of the country's first jerk-free Duranto express train to be run on the Mumbai -Secunderabad section.

The United Liberation front of Assam (ULFA) said that its

general council had endorsed the resolution of the Central Executive Council (CEC) to sit for talks with the centre without any pre-conditions. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted the tactical aircraft transport C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at the Hindon Air force station, Ghaziabad.

If was manufactured by Lockheed Martin, USA and it can be

used for troop deployment, special operations, air-to-air refueling & disaster relief etc. Notorious psychopath killer Nalla Nagender Reddy, 29, who had been on the run since May 2009, was shot dead in a police encounter in Benguluru early on (2/1/2011). A native of Subashnager in Nizamabad.

An Army helicopter crashed at near Nasik residential area in Maharasta on (2/2/2011), Killing pilot Major 'Bhanu Chandar Gupta' and co-pilot Major 'Atul Garje'. Bhanu native of 'Vijayanagaram' in Andhra Pradesh. Atul Garje native of

'Maharastra'. University of Hyderabad singned a MoU with Norway's largest and oldest public institution, University of Oslo. The thrust areas of the association include collaborative research, exchange of scholars and informaion.

The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board organised a workshop as part of World 'Wetlands Day' It was Inaugurated by A.Surendar Raj, joint chief environment engineer.

Palamuru University got Guinness World Record, said by VC Gopal Reddy for the 'largest barefoot walk', 2500 people in

various age groups participated in university campus. The existing Guinness record involving 1,141 participants was held by Infinitus Company Ltd, China. Maa TV launches two new channels named 'Maa Movies' and 'Maa Junior' on Friday at Hyderabad. Film actor Ram Charan was inducted as a Director on the board of the channel network.

17th Legal Conference of Common Wealth Nations started at Hi-tec Convenction Center in Hyderabad on 5/2/2011. After 40 years First Legal Conference held in India.

"Indian School of Business" Ranked 13th Place for Global MBA Ranking-2011.The "Financial Times" has released the Global MBA Rankings.

14 youths, travelling atop Himagiri Express train, were killed when they hit against an over head bridge near the Rosa station in Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh

Cracker unit blast occurred at 'Shornur' near 'Palakkad' in

Kerala on (1/2/2010). Two sisters were killed by Lashkare Terrorists at Sopora, Baramulla District in Kashmir

The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, has been placed 11th in The Financial Times Global MBA Ranking of the world's top 100 business schools in 2011.

The population enumeration phase of Census 2011 that is to start on February 9 and continue till February 28 will feature several firsts in the history of census in India. For publicising the Census 2011, the Union Home Ministry has roped in cricket

star 'Sachin Tendulkar' and film actor 'Priyanka Chopra' to campaign free of cost. Deputy General Rigistar Mr. Banerjee said, the UNICEF partner of Census 2011- has roped in the two personalities and they will be seen in ads with the slogan You count, so we count.

March

The Gujarat government has banned Joseph Lelyveld's controversial book, Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His struggle with India, which allegedly calls the Father of the Nation a racist and bisexual. A resolution to ban the sale, distribution and reprint of the book was moved in the Assembly on by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and promptly supported by Leader of the Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil of the Congress. o Census 2011 o India's population has jumped to 1.21 billion, an increase of more than 181 million during 2001-11, according to provisional data of Census 2011 released on 31 March. Though the population is almost equal to the combined population of the U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan (1,214.3 million), the silver lining is that after 1911-21 the past decade (2001-11) witnessed the addition of smaller population than the previous decade's growth. o Of the total provisional population of 1,210.2 million, the number of males stood at 623.7 million and females at 586.5 million. The percentage growth in 2001-11 was 17.64 males 17.19 and females 18.12. India's population accounts for 17.5 per cent of the world's.
o

Registrar-General and Census Commissioner of India C. Chandramouli released the provisional data in New Delhi, in the presence of Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai. o Among the States and the Union Territories, Uttar Pradesh is the most populous State with 199 million people, followed by Maharashtra with 112 million people. Lakshadweep is the least populated at 64,429 people. o The percentage decadal growth rates of the six most populous States have declined during 2001-11 compared with 1991-2001. The overall sex ratio nationwide has increased by seven percentage points to 940 against 933 in Census 2001. Kerala with 1,084 has the highest sex ratio followed by Puducherry with 1,038. With 618, Daman and Diu has the lowest ratio. o The provisional data showed that the child sex ratio [0 to 6 years] came down to 914 females per 1,000 males against 927 in Census 2001. It showed a continuing preference for male children in the last decade. o The literacy rate has gone up from 64.83 per cent in 2001 to 74.04 per cent, an increase of 9.21 percentage points. o Andhra Pradesh has retained its place as the fifth most populous State in the country with a head count of 8.46 crore, recording an 11.10 per cent growth rate over 2001 census. The increase in population was 84.55 lakh. o The provisional 2011 census figures showed a male population of 4.25 crore and 4.21 crore that of female. The State registered 11.10 per cent growth rate as against 14.59 per cent in 2001, down by 3.49 per cent. The declining trend started in 2001, apparently because of the implementation of the small family' norm. The State recorded a sex ratio of 992 females (for every 1,000 males) as against 978 in 2001, a 14-point increase during the decade. The density of population also increased from 277 to 308 persons per sq. km. The literacy rate went up from 60.47 per cent to 67.77 per cent. Proportion of children in the age group of 0-6 years to total population came down from 13.35 per cent in 2001 to 10.21 per cent. o The census figures showed that Nizamabad retained its top position with regard to the sex ratio in the State with 1,038 females for every 1,000 males. In 2001, the sex ratio in the district was 1,017.Behind Nizamabad were Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts with 1,016 (1,009 in 2001) and 1,014 (same in 2001) females, respectively.The lowest sex ratio was recorded in Hyderabad with 943 females, while Ranga Reddy and Mahbubnagar had 955 and 975 females, respectively, for 1,000 males. o Ranga Reddy had overtaken East Godavari in terms of population with a decadal growth rate of 48.15 per cent. Ranga Reddy topped the table with a population of 52.96 lakh, while East Godavari was
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second with 51.51 lakh persons. On the other hand, West Godavari recorded the lowest growth of 3.45 per cent. o The density of population was found to be the highest in Hyderabad with 18,480 persons per square km., against 17,649 persons in 2001. Ranga Reddy had only 707 persons per sq. km, while the lowest in the category was Adilabad with 170 persons per sq. km. The density was equally low at 175 and 188 persons in Khammam and Kadapa districts, respectively. o The literacy rate was the highest in Hyderabad at 80.96 per cent (percentage of literates to total population above 7 years of age). Ranga Reddy accounted for 78.05 per cent and Krishna 74.37 per cent in the category. o The proportion of child population in the age group 0 to 6 to total population was the highest in Kurnool at 11.79 per cent.The lowest was Karimnagar with a percentage of 8.47. o The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned Rs.1,237 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund to Andhra Pradesh during 2010-11.The State occupied third position in the country in terms of assistance sanctioned under RIDF during the year after Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. o The Gujarat Information Commission for the first time released a Braille version of the Right to Information Act and its rules in Gandhi Nagar for the benefit of the visually challenged. According to Chief Information Commissioner R.N. Das, Gujarat is the first State to bring out a Braille version. He said the Commission was also working on bringing out an audio CD for the visually challenged and other differently abled people. o State bank of India started its first ATM center in Andhra Pradesh for the Blind in Hyderabad. This is the second ATM center for the blind in the country. o India has emerged as the largest arms importer in the world, overtaking even China, claims a report by a Swedish think-tank, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). India accounted for 9% of all international arms imports between 2006 and 2010 making it the worlds largest weapons importer. o Sixteen charges of corruption and irregularities have been slapped by a Rajya Sabha constituted panel against Chief Justice of the Sikkim high court Justice P D Dinkaran, who is facing impeachment proceedings in Parliament. The committee comprising Supreme Court Justice Aftab Alam, Karnataka high court Justice K S Khehar and eminent jurist P P Roy issued the charge sheet to Dinakaran on March 16 and has sought his response by April 9. o Nirmal Gram Puraskar, the incentive award which, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj gives annually to the Panchayati Raj

Institutions to take up sanitation promotion schemes somehow doesn't seem to be a motivating factor anymore with the number of panchayats getting the award declining drastically over the years. Only 2,808 gram panchayats and just one block panchayat have been chosen for the 2010 award, which will be given away by President Pratibha Patil at a function in New Delhi on 22 March. Instituted in 2005, the award is given to Panchayati Raj Institutions which attain full sanitation coverage with a totally open, defecation-free environment. o The Union government has decided to declare April 14, 2011 as a holiday on account of the birthday of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar for all its offices, including industrial establishments. o The country's oldest lioness, Rehana (23), has died in the government-run zoo Van Vihar, Bhopal on March 21. The lioness was not well for sometime, following a digestive system failure. o The foundation stone for Sankhya, the National Museum of Statistics at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus would be laid by former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on March 30. UoH ViceChancellor Seyed E. Hasnain described the proposed museum as one of its kind in the world. Eminent statistician and the man behind the project, C.R. Raosaid statistics was poised to play a crucial role in the coming days. o Excavations conducted by the State Department of Archaeology and Museums, Andhra Pradesh at pre- Satavahana historic site of Kotilingala in Karimnagar district has unearthed antiquities datable to 4th century BC to 2nd century AD, throwing new light on history of Telemann region. Located on the right bank of Godavari River, Kotilingala was the capital of Assakajanapada, considered one of the 16 great janapadas of early India. The site and its neighbourhood had contacts with Magadha during the time of Buddha, as attested by Suttanipata, according to P. Chenna Reddy, Director of Archaeology and Museums. The site yielded coins issued by pre-Satavahana kings. Coins of Chimukha, the founder of Satavahana dynasty and those cast in lead copper issued by later kings were found. o Andhra Pradesh continues to occupy first rank in egg production and broiler production in the country with an annual production of 1,940 crore eggs and 18 crore broilers. o India's top nuclear bodies said they would revisit all safety aspects of atomic plants in the country and analyse the nuclear crisis arising in Japan after the tsunami as it had offered new lessons to finetune existing emergency preparedness. This was the general practice adopted by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the NPCILwould closely work with the Department of Atomic Energy and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to revisit the safety aspects. Nuclear experts says, in the International Nuclear Event Scale, the Three Mile Island accident was at level 5, Chernobyl was at level 7, whereas the current Japanese incident is at level 4.

A High power committee headed by N.R.Madhava Menon constituted to evolve a comprehensive policy for autonomy of central educational institutions has called for sweeping changes in the higher education system. o Recommendations: It recommends that the office of the Visitor for central universities be done away with and the powers transferred to the Chancellor; and that all legislative framework under which these universities are established be uniformly revised and brought under a common Act. The committee recommends that every central educational institute establish an office of ombudsman to intervene in times of crisis and find solutions acceptable to the stakeholders so that minor disputes do not disrupt the academic calendar and peace. The committee says the central educational institutes should be free to decide the fees to be charged, the scholarships to be granted and the recoveries to be made, subject to the government's broad policy guidelines. And to improve the performance of teachers, it recommends that all faculty members be subjected to a review once in five years by a committee appointed by the executive council. The committee suggests that the Indian Institutes of Management be allowed to grant degrees to make them more autonomous. o The 20th international World Wide Web Conference will be held in Hyderabad from March 28 to April 1. o Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced Rs 2,370-crore bonanza for MPs byraising allocations under Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme(MPLAD) scheme from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore, even as he expressed concern over inflation and recalled the steps to bring back funds stashed abroad. o The Supreme Court on March 7 allowed passive mercy killing of a patient in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) by withdrawing the life support system with the approval of a medical board and on the directions of the High Court concerned. A Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra, however, did not accept the plea of Pinky Viranai seeking permission to withdraw life support to her friend, Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug, who has been lying in a PVS in the KEM hospital Mumbai for 37 years
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President Pratibha Patil launched the Sanchar Shakti' project of the Department of Telecommunications, a suite of mobile value-added services (VAS) to provide a variety of useful information to women and women's self-help groups about government schemes and health and social issues, besides inputs related to and training in livelihood, over the mobile phone. Financed by the Universal Service Obligation Funds (USOFs), the unique ICT scheme envisages empowering women,

especially in rural areas, with the help of NGOs and other national and international organisations working for the uplift of women. Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal said: The Sanchar Shakti scheme includes four categories of projects aimed at rural women SHGs giving subsidised VAS subscription; setting up mobile repair, modem repaid centres in rural areas; and installing solar-based mobile charging centres in rural areas. To mark the International Women's Day, Air India, for the second

consecutive year, is operating on March 7 night an ultra long haul flight from Delhi to Toronto, with an all-women crew. The Pune-based stud farm owner and real estate agent, Hasan Ali

Khan, who has been under the scanner for alleged money-laundering was interrogated and later taken into custody by officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March7. The Second Vishwa Kannada Sammelan has begun on 11 March

in Belgaum . The first sammelan was organized in Mysore in 1985. Following the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission

(NHRC), the Orissa government has banned the practice of bartan system under which upper caste families extract work from barbers and washer men during important family occasions in return for just 15 kg of paddy for the whole year. The age-old practice has ended with the Panchayat Raj Department issuing the notification abolishing it. Somali pirates on March 9 freed all crew members of a hijacked ship M.V. Rak Afrikanaincluding 11 Indians, who have since been shifted to a Spanish naval ship. In yet another step towards modernizing India's postal services, Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal on 10 Marche launched e-post office,' the e-commerce portal of India Post that will provide various postal services online. The portal will enable customers to transact postal business anytime and from anywhere through Internet and by using either debit card or credit card.

More than 500 Indian nationals, including a large number of women

and children, stranded in strife-torn Libya, arrived New Delhi from Tripoli in the early hours of 27 February, while more people are crossing over land to neighbouring Tunisia. These people returned under the multimode Operation Safe homecoming,' launched by India to evacuate 18,000 Indian nationals in Libya. The sixth BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) ministerial meeting on climate change was held in India. Defence Minister A.K. Antony has inaugurated the country's first

titanium sponge plant (TSP) on the Chavara complex of the public sector Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML)near kollam. The TSP is a joint venture of KMML, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory. The VSSC has fully funded the Rs.147-crore TSP project. With the inauguration of TSP, India becomes the 7th country in the world having the technology for producing titanium sponge, which is the raw material for titanium metal. The country's first Coast Guard Academy is going to be set up

in Kerala. Chief Minister of A.P. N. Kiran Kumar Reddy launched the first phase of Carbon Black Projectestablished at Pudi village in Visakhapatnam district at a cost of Rs.1,500 crore by the Continent Carbon Company. It is expected to provide jobs to 3,000 people As chairman of the working group on consumer affairs, Gujarat

Chief Minister Narendra Modi has recommended that futures trading in essential commodities be banned and that organised retail in agri-produce be encouraged to make a dent in food inflation. The working group, comprising the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, was set up in April last. Mr. Modi submitted its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 2 March. Among the 20 specific recommendations is a suggestion to set up a ministerial coordination mechanism at the national and regional levels for coordinated policymaking and for evolving a single national agriculture market.

A federal district court in New York has issued summons to the

Indian National Congressin connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, acting on a Sikh rights group's petition charging it with conspiring, aiding and abetting organised attacks against the community. The law suit was filed by the Sikhs for Justice,' which has offices in New York and India. The Sikh group has charged the Congress with conspiring, aiding, abetting and carrying out organised attacks on the Sikh population of India in November 1984.The proceedings are still at the pre-trial stage in New York. Senior Congress leader and Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath is a defendant in the lawsuit. In a major blow to the Centre, the Supreme Court quashed the

appointment of P.J. Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).A Bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar set aside his appointment acting on the writ petitions filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, the former Chief Election Commissioner, J.M. Lyngdoh, and others. And within hours of the judgment, Mr. Thomas stepped down from the post. Mr. Thomas had been appointed CVC pursuant to a recommendation made by a high power committee (HPC) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, who was a HPC member, disagreed with the decision. The other member was Home Minister P. Chidambaram. The Union Cabinet on 3 March cleared a Bill seeking to prevent sexual abuse of children, with provisions for stringent punishment for such offences. The proposed legislation aims at protecting children against offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment, pornography and provides for establishment of special courts for trial of such offences. Section 7 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011, does not provide for any punishment if the consent for sexual act has been obtained with a person between the age of 16 and 18. The second Vishwa Kannada Sammelan is going to be held

in Belgaum.

The recent excavations at Kondapur, one of the well-known, early,

historic Satavahana sites in Medak district, approximately spread over 81 acres represent the Brahmanic culture in addition to Buddhist culture. The excavations have been continuing here for the past one year, headed by G. Maheswari, Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, with a team of about 15 members. Election commission announced the Assembly elections in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry would be held from April 4 to May 10. A special fast track court in Ahmedabad on 1 march sentenced 11

convicts to death and 20 others to life imprisonment in the 2002 Godhra train burning case. The court, however, gave the convicts 90 days to appeal against the judgment in the Gujarat High Court. The Haryana Government has constituted a Commission of

Inquiry headed by Justice T. P. Garg, a retired Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to inquire into the killing of Sikhs in the November 1984 riots in Haud-Chillar village of Rewari district. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that the Commission would also inquire into the damage caused to properties of Sikhs living there. The Commission would submit its report to the State Government within six months from the date of its first sitting and its headquarters would be at Hisar. Setting a New benchmark in e-governance, Haryana has achieved the rare distinction of being the first State in the country to successfully hold the annual B-1 test totally online for its police force for the fourth consecutive year since 2008. Officials said on that the objective, fair, transparent and instant online system facilitates simultaneous and instant screening of more than 6,000 constables at more than 25 different centres set up all over the State. The protests for cancellation of the project took place at

the Kakarapalli area of Andhra Pradesh, where the 2,640 megawatt thermal power project covering 800 hectares has been proposed by East Coast Energy (ECE). At least two protestors were killed, allegedly as a

result of police firing, and five others sustained injuries as police teargassed them.

April The Supreme Court refused to lift the ban on sale of tobacco products such as gutka and pan masala in plastic sachets. The bench clearly stated that the stay on the use of plastic sachets for Guthka could not be vacated. o Committee on Zonal Cultural Centres headed by Mani Shankar Aiyar presented its Report to the Union Culture Minister Kumari Selja on 11 April 2011. The recommendations will be processed by Ministry of Culture and appropriate steps will be taken to revamp the functioning of the ZCCs to further enhance their outreach. o India will overtake China in terms of population by 2025, an analysis of the provisional Census, 2011 data suggests. With more than 1.2 billion people, India has about 17.5 per cent (every sixth person in the world is an Indian) of humanity. China is the only country with a larger population, with 144 million more people. The United Nations has estimated that the Indian population grew at an annual rate of 1.43 per cent during 2005-10. In comparison, China registered a much lower annual growth rate of 0.7 per cent during the corresponding period. In fact, the population growth is now almost on a par with that of the developed nations. Demographers expect India's population to surpass that of China. At that time, India is expected to have a population of more than 1.4 billion, which will begin to drop in subsequent years. o The provisional Census 2011 figures suggest that two contrasting demographic nations are emerging in the country with all four south Indian States Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu already having achieved the replacement level fertility of 2.1 children per women required to initiate the process of population stabilization, while the four large north Indian States Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have still a long way to go before they achieve the required level. Replacement level fertility is the number of children a woman should have to replace herself and her mate for a stable population, and it has been fixed at 2.1 globally due to child mortality. A stable population is that where fertility and mortality are constant. This kind of population will show an unvarying age distribution and will grow at a constant rate
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The Central Advisory Board on Culture, in a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister in his capacity as the then Culture Minister had suggested a review of the functioning of theSeven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) with their headquarters at Patiala, Udaipur, Nagpur, Thanjavur, Allahabad, Kolkata and Dimapur over the last 25 years. To review the functioning and performance of the seven ZCCs, the Ministry of Culture, had constituted a Committee on ZCCs. The committee included Mani Shankar Aiyar (Chairman), Dr. Sitakant Mahapatra and Amol Palekar. o The Union Sports Ministry formed a committee, headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, retired Chief Justice of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana to fine-tune the draft National Sports Development Bill. The committee will also include badminton legend Prakash Padukone and former sprinter Ashwini Nachappa, who is also the Vice-President of Cleansports India. o A five-member high-powered committee, led by Dr V Mohini Giri submitted final draft ofNational Policy on Senior Citizens 2011 to the Indian Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The committee recommended that recipients of national honours like Padma awards or gallantry awards in the armed forces or national recognition for arts and culture must be given lifelong healthcare facilities for free on the lines of Central Government Health Services. The National Policy on Senior Citizens 2011calls for the setting up of a department of senior citizens and also a National Council for Senior Citizens. Rates of monthly pension will be increased to Rs 1000 per person and revised at intervals to prevent its deflation. Covering the oldest under the National Old Age Assistance which would provide additional grants in case of disability and loss of adult children was also suggested. o Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal on 11 April said the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) would give fresh licences and renew the old ones for 10 years instead of the current norm of 20 years. The government was also planning to come out with a National Spectrum Act for better management of this scarce resource, while merger and acquisition (M&A) rules would also be liberalised to help consolidation of the mobile telecom sector. Mr. Sibal said all these important norms and guidelines would be part of the National Telecom Policy 2011 (NTP-2011), which is likely to come into effect by this year-end. The DoT was also looking at introducing a new licensing regime to replace the Unified Access Service Licence System. o A State Innovation Council' for Andhra Pradesh will be set up for evolving a new process, and structures to enhance the delivery of services and improve the governance. Union government had already set up a 15-member National Innovation Council under the chairmanship of Sam Pitroda, following a suggestion by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy during the Secretaries' conference in January. The Council will prepare a road map for the Decade of Innovations 2010-2020. The Centre
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for Good Governance will serve as a Nodal Agency for the State Council comprising a small expert group with government and outside members from relevant and crucial sectors. The tasks to be assigned to the Council include evolving an Indian model of innovation, with focus on inclusive growth, public service delivery, delineating policy initiatives, exploring new strategies and alternatives for innovations and collaborations and encouraging universities, R&D institutions to innovate. o The Maharashtra Assembly late on 13 April unanimously approved 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies. The government had promised reservation for women in elections to panchayat samitis, zilla parishads, municipal councils and municipal corporations in the State. o The Supreme Court on 15 April granted bail to rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen, observing that no case of sedition was made out against the rights activist, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court in Chhattisgarh. Dr. Sen sought bail and suspension of the life sentence awarded by the trial court on charges of conspiring to commit sedition and providing assistance to those said to be Naxalites. The High Court had rejected his bail petition during the pendency of the hearing of his appeal against the trial court verdict. 11. 12.

Chief Minister of A.P, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has launched the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG)- Sabala in Hyderabad on 15 April in seven districts Visakhapatnam, West Godavari, Ananthapur, Chittoor, Adilabad, Mahbubnagar and Hyderabad on a pilot basis for the empowerment of adolescent girls. Introduced by the Union government in 200 districts across the country with Anganwadis as nodal centres, the scheme would improve self-development, nutrition and health status of girls in the age group of 11 to 18, create awareness about hygiene, reproductive and sexual health. o The Supreme Court on 18 April banned the employment of children in circuses and directed the Union government to take immediate steps to rescue those engaged in such employment to implement the fundamental right of children under Article 21A [right to education]. o The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) gave permission to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to interrogate Puducherry Lt. Governor Iqbal Singh for his reported links to Hasan Ali Khan, a Pune

stud farm owner, alleged to be the country's biggest money launderer and tax evader. o The latest data of the Planning Commission indicates that poverty has declined to 32 per cent in 2009-10 from 37.2 per cent five years ago. The preliminary estimates are based on the formula suggested by the Tendulkar Committee for computing the number of poor. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on 20 April told reporters that the 2009-10 data shows a decline in poverty from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 32 per cent in 2009-10 as the per the preliminary data worked out by the Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen. The Tendulkar Committee had suggested that poverty be estimated on the basis of consumption based on the cost of living index instead of caloric intake. It said that the basket of goods should also include services such as health and education. The new poverty line, as suggested by the Tendulkar Committee, is different for rich and poor States, and for rural and urban areas within a State. The National Sample Survey, which conducts large sample surveys every five years, will launch its next round in 2011-12. Estimates of poverty are important because the cheap grains under the proposed Food Security law will be provided based on these numbers. o The Full Planning Commission meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed on 21 April, to work towards a growth target of 9.0-9.5 per cent for the 12th Plan (2012-17). It endorsed the objectives and challenges outlined by the Commission for the five-year period involving special focus on policy and governance reforms and redesigning of government programmes. o The Planning Commission gave a presentation on the ongoing 11th Plan and objectives of the 12th Plan which include 100 per cent literacy, inclusive growth and development of physical and social infrastructure within the overall target of fiscal consolidation. According to the Commission's presentation, for aiming at 100 per cent adult literacy, the 12th Plan (2012-17) would have to increase expenditure on health from 1.3 per cent to at least 2.0-2.5 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product).The country was estimated to have recorded an annual growth rate of 8.2 per cent during 11th Plan as against the target of nine per cent. In particular, the economic performance was impacted by the global financial crisis and drought. o The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure on 20 April approved the Scheme of National Rollout of e-District Mission Mode Project at a cost of Rs 1663.08 crore to be implemented in all 640 districts (including the 41 districts where e-District Pilot Projects have already been initiated) of the country for a period of 4 years. National e Governance Plan (NeGP) was approved by the Government in May 2006, with the vision of Make all Government Services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man.

One person was killed in police firing and several were injured as the protest against thenuclear power plant in Jaitapur located in Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra, turned violent on 18 April. Thirty protesters including Shiv Sena MLA Rajan Salvi were arrested in this incident. o Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh, along with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, on 27 April 2011 launched a programme giving tribals the right to harvest bamboo as a forest produce in Gadchiroli. Transit passes were handed over to tribals of Lekha Mendha village thereby according them the right of harvesting and managing bamboo. It will bring about a change in the life of tribals and other forest dwellers. o The state government of Maharashtra announced on 15 April 2011 that women would be allowed entry inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Sri Mahalakshmi temple in Kolahapur from now on. It was decided to allow special puja by women at a specified time and to fix specific hours for women to enter the sanctum sanctorum. According to the priests of the temple, only women belonging to royal families were allowed entry to the temple which was opposed by the women activists o Government panel that was set up to recommend rules for pricing of all natural resources has declared that all future allocations of airwaves must be done through auctions. The government panel is headed by former finance secretary, Ashok Chawla.In the draft report of the government panel, it has also called for spectrum trading to be permitted amongst telcos. This panel was set up in the backdrop of the 2G spectrum scam, rampant cases of illegal mining, controversies related to pricing of natural gas, and the potential that shale gas and other natural resources of Indias economy. In addition to airwaves, the committee also examines other natural resources such as oil, gas, coal, mining, other minerals, water and land owned by the government. o The Supreme Court of India on 19 April 2011 declared Khap panchayats illegal and termed them as kangaroo courts. A bench of the Supreme Court gave the Judgement stating that honour killings, khap panchayats in northern India and katta panchayats in Tamil Nadu were illegal and barbaric. The Supreme Court termed honour killings as shameful and asked for the harshest punishment who perpetrates this kind of crimes. The Supreme Court also directed State Governments to initiate action against any official such as District Magistrate or SP who does not prevent the incident in spite of having prior knowledge. o 11 of its 21 members of the of the Public Accounts Committee(PAC) on 2Gspectrum issue recorded their vote to reject the draft report circulated to the members by the Lok Sabha Secretariat on 27 April. Those who rejected the draft report said they intended to send recorded rejection slips to the Speaker as well as PAC Chairman
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Murli Manohar Joshi. ` o Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare called off his fiveday hunger strike on 9 April morning after receiving a gazette notification from the Centre on the constitution of a joint committee, comprising members from the government and civil society, for preparation of the draft Lokpal Bill. The notification said the Joint Drafting Committee would commence its work forthwith and evolve its own procedure to prepare the proposed legislation. It is supposed to complete its work the latest by June 30, 2011.The 10-member Joint Drafting Committee will have five Cabinet members Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (chairman), Home Minister P. Chidamabaram, Law Minister Veerappa Moily (convener), Telecom and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and Water Resources Minister Salman Khurshid.Apart from Mr. Hazare, civil society will be represented by the former Law Minister, Shanti Bhushan (co-chairperson), the former Supreme Court Judge, Justice N. Santosh Hegde, lawyer Prashant Bhushan and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal. o Concerned over the sharp decline in the child sex ratio as reflected in the provisional Census figures, the Centre reconstituted the Central Supervisory Board set up under the Pre-conception & Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 (PC & PNDT Act).Chaired by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and co-chaired by the Minister of Women and Child Development, the Board consists of exofficio members; 10 non official members The new Board will have 35 members including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare as the chairperson; Krishna Tirath, Minister of State (Women & Child Development) as Co-Chair; o In an effort to conserve water and ensure its optimum utilisation in the country, the union cabinet approved a comprehensive charter for the National Water Mission, one of the eight missions in the National Action Plan for Climate Change. The objective of the National Water Mission is 'conservation of water, minimising wastage and ensuring its equitable distribution both across and within states through integrated water resources development and management'. Its five goals include setting up of a comprehensive water database in public domain and assessment of the impact of climate change on water resources, promotion of citizen and state actions for water conservation, focused attention to vulnerable areas, increasing water use efficiency by 20 percent, and promotion of basin level integrated water resources management. An apex board will be set up at the central level with the minister of water resources as its chairman while at the state level, a monitoring committee headed by the principal secretary or the secretary will be constituted. o Andhra Pradesh government has amended some rules in the Panchayat Raj Act providing50 per cent reservation for women in Panchayat Raj institutions. According to the amendments in the AP Panchayat Raj (Reservation of seats and offices of Gram Panchayats,

Mandal Parishads and Zilla Parishads) Rules, 2006, half the seats in these institutions would henceforth be earmarked for women. Previously, women had a one-third quota in these institutions.

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May

Union Government on 28 May 2011 decided to set up a high level committee under the chairmanship of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to tackle the menace of black money. The members of the committee include the director, Enforcement Directorate(ED), DirectorGeneral, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Director-General (Currency), and other top tax and revenue department officials. The commissioner of income tax (Investigations) of the CBDT would be its member secretary. The panel was set up to examine tightening of laws to curb the growth of black money as well as to suggest ways to declare illegally generated wealth as national asset. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone for the construction of apermanent bridge over river Ravi at Basohli in Kathua district of Jammu region. The bridge upon competition will link Jammu & Kashmir with the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. The construction of the bridge is likely open up new areas for development and tourism in Kathua and Doda districts and along the Ranjit Sagar Dam. The 592 meter bridge is to be built by the Border Roads Organization of the Ministry of Defence at a cost of 145 Crore rupees and will open up an alternative route to National Highway 1A and to the Kashmir Valley via Basohli, Bani, Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Chhatroo and Anantnag, boosting development and better connectivity. The Bridge is scheduled to be completed by September 2014. The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) shortlisted Western Ghats for inclusion in the World heritage List. This will help in protecting this biodiversity rich area from land-use change and other development activities. The UNESCO shortlist comprised four sites in Maharashtra (Sahyadri)- Kas Plateau, Radhanagri wildlife sanctuary, Chandoli national park, Koyna wildlife sanctuary. The other sites which are shortlisted by UNESCO are spread across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra. The Union Cabinet of India gave approval for conducting the Below Poverty Line (BPL) Census in rural and urban areas. The Census would be conducted by the Ministry of Rural Development in association with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) and the Registrar General of India (RGI). The BPL Census would pave the way to identify the households living below the poverty line in rural and urban areas of the country. The entire process will be completed by December 2011. The results of the BPL Census would be utilized in the

12th Five Year Plan (2012-13 to 2016-17). The enumeration of castes will also be done simultaneously along with the BPL census. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare decided to provide free nutritious food, transportation and treatment to all pregnant women who visit government facilities for delivery. Moreover, free health care services will also be given to the newborn babies. The ministry took this decision with the objective of improving the maternal and infant mortality in India. This scheme will be launched on 1 June 2011 from Mewat, Haryana. It will apply for all women from the subcentre to the district level hospital levels, covered under the National Rural Health Mission. Whatever the costs involved in transporting pregnant women to and from medical centres, it will be incurred by the government of India. A memorandum of Understanding was signed between OP Jindal Global University and the National Institute of Administrative Research of the Lal Bahadur National Academy of Administration, Mussorie. The MoU will provide for exchange of faculty, hosting of visiting academic delegations, research scholars, training of IAS officers and organisation of conferences. The National Institute of Administrative Research of the Lal Bahadur National Academy of Administration, Mussorie is the premier national-level training institution for IAS officers. India and the World Bank signed IDA (International Development Association) credit of 162.7 million dollars for Rajasthan Rural Livelihoods Project, which will finance livelihood opportunities for some 400000 village households in 17 districts of Rajasthan. The funding for the Rajasthan Rural Livelihoods Project will help improve economic opportunities for rural communities, especially women and marginal groups, in 9000 villages of the state. J Jayalalithaa was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 16 May 2011 by Governor SS Barnala along with 33 cabinet ministers at the Madras University. Her party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) stomped to victory in the state elections, landing 203 of the 234 seats in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. The DMK and the Congress parties contested the election jointly, and were hammered, with the DMK delivering one of its worst performances ever, managing barely 22 seats. Tarun Gogoi from the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) was sworn in Assam Chief Minister for the third consecutive term on 18 May 2011 by Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik at the Raj Bhavan in Guwahati. Gogoi contested and won the election from the Titabar constituency. Data on infant deaths across states in India was released in May 2011. The data revealed that infant mortality rate for India as a whole stood at 50 in 2009, down by 30% compared to a decade ago. The rate is much higher than developed countries but the

pace at which it is declining is encouraging. The data, a part of the latest Sample Registration Survey (SRS) report released by the Census office at New Delhi covered a sample of 15 lakh households or nearly 72 lakh persons. The survey was done in 2009. Kerala continues to top the rankings by having the lowest Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of 12 among all Indian states. Delhi is the only major state which has registered a worsening of the IMR over the past decade, driven by an increase in infant mortality in the rural areas. Three states Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra emerged as front runners in reducing baby deaths over the past decade. Tamil Nadu reduced infant mortality by a whopping 46%, West Bengal by 37% and Maharashtra by 35%. The Working group of NAC (National Advisory Council) drafted a detailed note on land acquisition and relief and rehabilitation. The two bills that the Working Group proposed to merge are the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2009 which proposed amendments to the Land Acquisition Act 1894 and the resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill, 2009 a statutory framework for Rehabilitation and Resettlement of persons and affected by any development project. Human rights activist Binayak Sen was appointed member of the Planning Commission's 40 member Steering Committee on Health, which will advise the panel on the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). He will represent the Bilaspur-based healthcare organisation, Jan Swasthya Sahyog. His experience of having worked as a paediatrician in Chhattisgarh's tribal belt will enable him to provide his input on the health of tribal children. It will be expected to suggest effective initiatives for the monitoring and evaluation of health programmes and recommend measurable indicators for the 12th Plan. Karnataka on 12 May 2011 became the first state in India to launch an e-payment system for commercial tax payers. With e-payment system in place, the dealers can remit their commercial taxes anytime, anywhere. They need not approach an office of Commercial Taxes Department (CTD) in person. At present, eremittances can be made from six banks-SBI, SBM, SBH, Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India. The CTD collection is more than Rs 2,000 crore per month and till now, these collections were made through cheques by the dealers. Supreme Court of India stayed the Allahabad High Court Judgment on Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid dispute according to which two-thirds of the disputed site was given to Hindu Claimants while keeping aside the rest for Muslim groups. A bench of Supreme Court comprising Justices Aftab Alam and RM Lodha gave the stay order after hearing the petitioners Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and guardian of the idol of Lord Ram. The Supreme Court reasoned that by dividing the disputed land among the groups the high court gave a very new dimension to the case. The partition of land was never sought by any party as a solution. The Supreme Court termed the High Court judgment as surprising and strange. The Allahabad High Court

had given the judgment on 30 September 2010 which gave two-thirds of disputed Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid site to Hindu Claminants while keeping aside the rest for Muslim groups. The Supreme Court of India directed the high courts and trial courts in India to award the death sentence to people convicted in crimes related to honour killings. A bench of Supreme Court comprising Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra gave the judgment. The bench stated that honour killings come within the category of rarest of rare cases deserving death punishment. The bench observed that death penalty is needed to stamp out the barbaric and feudal practice of honour killings. A division bench of the Bombay High Court ruled that dying declarations could not be accepted as truth and set aside the life imprisonment given to Ashok Jadhav by a trial court. The wife of Ashok Jadhav, Sangita had suffered 98 percent burns in June 2002 and gave two dying declarations stating that her husband had set her on fire following a quarrel. Bombay high Court stated that there was no circumstantial evidence to prove the authenticity of the statements. The dying declarations made in this case lack any trustworthiness. The Central Information Commission (CIC) overturned its own decision and ruled that the Supreme Court cannot refuse information on judicial matters if an applicant has asked for it under the Right to Information Act. At present, information disclosure related to a persons own case could be applied to the Supreme Court under the RTI act. However, in case of a third party, the Supreme Court ruled that application must be made under court rules. According to Rule 2 of the Supreme Court, the applicant must establish good cause before the court if he wants information regarding any case. But CIC objected to that by saying it goes against the RTI act. Information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi gave the order stating that all citizens have the right to access information under Section 3 of the Right to Information Act. Mamata Banerjee terminated the Left Front's 34-year stranglehold on West Bengal. The Banerjee-led alliance was set to capture over two-thirds majority by winning over 225 seats in the 294 seat assembly. Banerjee, railway minister at the Centre, did not contest the elections. Jayalalitha wrested power with a landslide victory over DMK in the T.N assembly elections. Congress added to Left's discomfiture by snatching power in Kerala by a slender margin while it scored a spectacular hat trick in Assam bagging a near two-third majority to retain power. However, the party surrendered power to a rebel, Rangasvamy in Puducherry who left the party only a few months ago and teamed up with AIADMK to secure two-thirds majority in the 30-member assembly. The Congress was humiliated in Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh. YS Jagan Mohan Reddywon with a majority of around 5. 45

lakh votes and his mother Vijayamma won in Pulivendula with a majority of around 85 thousand votes. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), in collaboration with the Centre for Science Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) and Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd decided to host a World Education Summit (WES) 2011 from 13 to 15 July 2011 inNew Delhi. IGNOU will give away World Education Awards during the summit under the categories of School Education, Higher Education, Vocational and Skills Education, Government Initiatives and Private Initiatives. These awards were instituted with the aim of felicitating and acknowledging unique and innovative initiatives in the field of education globally. Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorji Khandu on a flight from Tawang died along with four others after their helicopter crashed in bad weather in the mountains. The Pawan Hans helicopter carrying among others Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Dorjee Khandu had gone missing on 30 April 2011. The search operation that followed came to an end on 4 May 2011 when Dorjee's body was found among the wreckage of the Pawan Hans at 15,000ft near Luguthang, 60 km from Tawang town. Luguthang is one of the world's highest villages and India's remotest polling station. The chopper was spotted in a place between Kyela and Lobothang in the north east of the Sila pass in the mountainous region of Arunachal Pradesh. A total of five people including the pilot perished in the crash of single-engined EuroCopter B8 of Pawan Hans. Khandu who was born in Tawang District of North East Frontier Agency on 3 March 1955 belonged to Monpa tribe. Khandu had worked in the military intelligence and participated in the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971. He had received a gold medal for meritorious service during the war.He belonged to the Indian National Congress and was the sixth Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh. The Postal Department on 3 May 2011 launched the new social security scheme for Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) to provide post-retirement financial security to over 2.73 GDS. The Postal Department decided to deposit Rs.200 per GDS per month. Union Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot launched the Service Discharge Benefit Scheme (SDBS) for GDS .The scheme has been designed to benefit the GDSs working mainly in the rural, remote and farflung areas across the country. Some modifications in the NPS-Lite scheme were made under the SDBS to suit the needs of the GDS. The new Foreign Contribution Regulation Act came into force on 1 May 2011. Under the new law, no political party can receive foreign funds as donation. The legislation is set to prevent powers which want to use foreign funds to divide India on religious basis. According to the new law, in case, any organisation receives funds over Rs. 10 lakh, the bank will immediately inform the government to enable the agencies to track the funds.

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Intel on 5 May 2011. The MoU was signed with an objective to announce a national initiative for empowering teachers through in-service programmes. The programme will be delivered through IGNOU Institute of Competency Advancement of Teacher (iCAT) centres.

June

The Election Commission of India on June 17 launched the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management- an advanced resource centre of learning, research, training and extension for participatory democracy and election management. The first phase of this premier institute was inaugurated jointly at the Commission premises in New Delhi by Chief Election Commissioner of India Dr. S. Y. Quraishi and Election Commissioner from Kenya Mr. Ken Nyaundi. The two Election Commissioners Shri V.S. Sampath and Shri H. S. Brahma, also were present. o The Indian Government created an email id, bmfeedback@nic.in on 15 June 2011, to help the Indian public in taking part in the tackling of the Black Money issue. The Indian public can send their ideas on tackling the issue of black money to this email id. The email was created on the server of the National Informatics Centre .The government of India already constituted a committee headed by Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman,Prakash Chandra to devise new strategies to deal with black money. o India signed three agreements with the World Bank for cleaning the Ganga River on 14 June 2011. World Bank agreed to provide one billion US Dollars (approximately Rs 4,600 crore) for the Ganga river cleaning project. It also agreed for a credit worth approximately 24 million dollars for the two projects, i.e. strengthening Rural Livelihoods and Biodiversity Conservation of India. The Ganga faces great challenges from expanding population, urbanization and industrial growth. To stop the flow of untreated municipal sewage and industrial effluent into the Ganga River by 2020 is the objective of Ganga project. o The Government will shortly be launching a scheme to make available contraceptives at door steps, in a bid to boost population control efforts. Speaking at the 53rd Convocation of the International Institute of Population Sciences in Mumbai on june 17, the Union Health & Family Welfare Mr. Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the ASHA health volunteer would promote the use of contraceptives at the household level in

targeted districts. Under the scheme, the Centre will make available contraceptives free of cost at the Block level, from where ASHA volunteers will pick up their supplies. He said the funding to the health sector is going to be increased from the present level of less than 1 per cent of GDP to 2 to 3 percent of GDP during the 12th Fiver Year Plan (2012-17). o The Maritime States Development Council (MSDC) on june 14, urged those coastal states of the country that are yet to constitute maritime boards to complete the task at the earliest. The 13th Maritime States Development Council Meeting held at Hyderabad.Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat are the three coastal states which have their Maritime Boards. The Union Minister for shipping,G K Vasan said the meeting agreed that all the ports, including major and non-major, will give priority for berthing of Navy and Coast Guard vessels. Keeping in view the security aspect at various ports, it was agreed that all the ports dealing with EXIM cargo (Export- Import) should install Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS). The functioning of VTMS should be manned by appropriately qualified and trained personnel. o The West Bengal Government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on 7 June 2011 signed a pact to set up a new elected body in the Darjeeling hill areas. The elected body will have full administrative, executive and financial powers and will be more autonomous in nature than DGHC.Till this body was set up, a five member committee will constitute a board of administrators for supervising the development process in the Gorkha hills. o The Kolkata Metro was included in the Indian Railways' logo on 13 June 2011, as the 17th star on the logo. It followed the notification by the Union Ministry of Railways, onKolkata Metros inclusion as the 17th Zonal Railway. The notification was issued on 29 December 2010.The Railway Board decided to include a 17th star in the existing Indian Railways' logo to mark the inclusion of the Metro Railway as the 17th Zonal Railway. The Indian Railways' logo contains an image of a steam engine encircled by a number of stars symbolising the number of Railway zones. Before Kolkata Metros inclusion, the number of stars was 16 on the Indian Railways' logo. o The Union Cabinet of India on 9 June 2011 lowered the age limit for the purpose of pensions from 65 to 60 years. The decision taken by the cabinet will be effective from 1 April 2011. It is like to benefit an additional 72.32 lakh people in the age-group of 60-64 years. The decision would lead to an additional expenditure of 1736 crore rupees.In 2007, the government had launched the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension scheme to provide assistance to senior citizens falling in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.The Union Cabinet also decided to raise the rate of pension to persons of 80 years and above from 200 rupees to 500 rupees.

The Cabinet Committee on Security of India on 6 June 2011 cleared a proposal to buy ten C-17 heavy lift military aircraft from the USA. It is considered the biggest defence deal ever entered between the two countries. The deal is worth of 4.1 billion US dollars. Under the deal, the US defence Company Boeing, will invest 30 percent of the contract amount for setting up defence facilities in India.The C17 aircraft can lift two T90 tanks and artillery guns and it can be also used for airlift of troops and cargo to operating bases anywhere in the world. It can also perform tactical airlift, airdrop missions and medical evacuation. The C 17 aircraft has the capacity to carry over 130 fully-equipped troops. o Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on 6 June 2011 gave its nod for National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID). NATGRID would be a repository of information ranging from train and air journey to Income Tax and bank accounts of individuals. NATGRID will facilitate sharing of such kind of information with law enforcement agencies to combat terror threat.The NATGRID will have access to 21 categories of database like air travel, railway, bank account details, income tax, credit card transactions, visa and immigration records.Following the Mumbai terror attack on 26 November 2008, Home ministry had proposed a blue print for countrys internal security, which included the formation of NATGRID. o The UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on 1 June 2011 launched the Janani-Shishu Suraksha Programme at Mewat in Haryana. Janani-Shishu Suraksha programme was sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The programme was launched for pregnant women with the objective to effectively address the problem of maternal and child mortality.Under the Janani-Shishu Suraksha programme, pregnant mothers can avail government health institutions for free deliveries. Both the mother and her child will get free treatment, free drugs and consumables, diagnostics, user charges besides free provision of blood and transportation.The free facilities will comprise delivery including C-section, special diet, diagnostics etc. o The food ministry prepared a new food security bill, reworking an earlier version. In August 2010 the UPA government had dismissed the previous draft of the Food Bill after it was found wanting by the Congress leadership. The Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council, had made number of recommendations, including keeping the countrys food distribution system open for all, regardless of poverty status. The new bill provides for legal entitlement for both priority and general categories. Under the new bill, entitlements for BPL households are wholly in line with the NACs draft food bill which was made public on 7 June 2011.All BPL households would be given 7 kg per person or 35 kg per family of government-held grains at a subsidised price of R1 a kg for millet, wheat for R2 a kg and rice for R3 a kg. Those above the poverty line would get 3 kg of grains per person, though the NAC had recommended 5 kg per person. These would be available at half the price at which the government buys from farmers, also called
o

minimum support price (MSP).The new bill also provides for cash benefits to meet enhanced food requirements of pregnant women, who would get Rs 1000 for first six months of pregnancy, and lactating women, as well as children up to 14 years o The Union government of India on 31st May 2011 ordered security audit of all important installations comprising nuclear stations, military bases and oil refineriesacross the nation. The order was issued after a high-level meeting held by the Union Home Ministry following the terrorist attack on a naval base in Pakistan. A jointteam of local security heads and Intelligence Bureau will survey and assess the level of security of the important installations. The security audit will cover all nuclear plants, oil refineries, Indian Space Research Organisation installations, military camps and airports.