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11 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 3 μήνες)

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UNIQUE

IAS ACADEMY

CURRENT AFFAIRS OCTOBER 2013

US to continue its Bond Buying Stimulus


The US Federal Reserve had decided to continue buying bonds at an $85
billion monthly pace for now, expressing concerns that a sharp rise in borrowing
costs in recent months could weigh on the US economy.

Bond Buying Stimulus (ie Quantitative Easing)


The

Central Banks encourage people to spend, not save, by cutting the
interest rates. But when the interest rate is already low, the Central Bank resort to
pump money into the economy directly. This is called Quantitative Easing.


It is mainly done by banks
by buying assets


usually government bonds


using money it has simply created out of thin air.
The institutions selling those
bonds (either commercial banks or other financial businesses such as insurance
companies) will then have “new” money in their ac
counts, which then boosts the
money supply.


It was first tried by the Central Bank of Japan to get it out of a period of
deflation following its asset bubble collapse in 1990s.

Working of QE:


The Central Bank purchases the government bonds from Private

sector
companies or institutions. This increases the demand for the government bonds,
which increases the value of the bonds, thereby making it a less attractive
investment. Therefore the companies would look into other areas for investment,
which boosts
the economy of the country.

Shale Gas & Oil Exploration


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved shale
gas and oil exploration programme to boost domestic output. India is estimated to
hold around 63 trillion cubic feet of recoverab
le shale gas

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The potential areas were the Shale Gas & Oil can be explored in India are
Cambin Basin in Gujarat, the Assam
-
Arakan basin in northeast India, and the
Gondwana Basin in central India
.

Eklavya Model Residential Schools


Union Government on 16 September 2013 sanctioned a total of 158 Eklavya
Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) for Tribal students out of grants under Article
275(1) of the Constitution of India in 23 states. out of these 111 schools have
become fully functiona
l with all facilities.


The objective of EMRS is to provide quality middle and high level
education to Scheduled Tribe (ST) students in remote areas, not only to enable
them to avail of reservation in high and professional educational courses and as
jobs i
n government and public and private sectors but also to have access to the
best opportunities in education at par with the non ST population.


The EMRS take their place along the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, the
Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas and the
Kendriya Vidyalayas. These
institutions are established to provide quality residential schools for all the sections
of the society in nook and corner of the country.

UNESCO World Heritage Site


Japan’s Mount Fuji, known for its perfectly cone shaped volc
ano has been
granted the status of a World Cultural Heritage Site by the UNESCO World
Heritage Committee. Fujisan, is the highest mountain in Japan. Mount Fuji is a
member of the traditional Japanese “Three Holy Mountains”, along with Mount
Tate and Mount
Haku, all of which are in Central Japan.


The designation by UNESCO means that the site is protected under
international law


acts of hostility cannot be directed against it, it can’t be used in
support of military effort, and it can’t be made the object

of a ‘reprisal’, under the
Geneva Convention.

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PRISM (Project of America)


PRISM is a clandestine national security electronic surveillance programme
of the United States National Security Agency (NSA). The program is under
operation since 2007. It is bas
ically a data collection programme of the US
government and is officially known
as US



984XN. The program is operated
under the supervision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
(FISA).


PRISM’s creation was enabled under President Bush by the Protect America
Act of 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which legally immunizes
private companies that cooperate with US government agencies in intelligence
collection, and it was
once again renewed by Congress under President Obama for
an additional five years, through December 2017.

US Supreme Court rules on Human Genes


The Supreme Court in the United States of America has ruled that
companies cannot patent human genes. The court has struck down patents held by
Myriad Genetics Inc. on two genes linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian
cancer. This ruling will help i
n offering genetic testing for breast cancer risk, more
affordable and widely available to the patients.

Assertion of Electoral Franchise by Sri Lankan Tamils


Recently over seven lakh people in Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority north got to
vote in a long await
ed election. The election is being held after the end of a three
decade long conflict in 2009 and since the first provincial council elections in
1988. The councils with specified powers were created as a result of the 13
th

Amendment, an outcome of the Ind
o


Lanka Accord, 1987.


In the election manifesto of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) they spoke
of Tamil’s right to self


determination in its manifesto that came in conflict with
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the people who favoured separatism. The poll results declared a convinc
ing victory
for TNA, Sri Lanka’s main ethnic Tamil Party.


The newly elected council will seek to address the various problems which
are being faced by the people of the Ethnic Tamils in the Northern, Central and
Southern Provinces. The major criteria are

1.

Address the gaps in resettlement of people displaced during war

2.

Resolve controversies around land taken over for high security zones

3.

Bring economic development

4.

Empower woman


headed households

5.

Push for withdrawal of army.

India Overseas Investment Corpor
ation (INOIC):


The government is setting up a company


India Overseas Investment
Corporation (INOIC)


under the finance ministry on the lines of a sovereign
wealth fund to lend financial muscle for securing access to overseas natural
resources. With INO
IC, India will join a select group of economies such as US,
Russia, China, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Qatar and UAE that
have pushed overseas acquisitions and business through such funds.

The Prime objective of the INOIC is the making it po
ssible to access critical
natural resources including Oil, Gas, coal, fertilizers, etc. rather than management
of excessive forex reserves, stabilization of volatile commodity receipts, which are
the prime objective of the Conventional Sovereign Wealth Fun
d (SWF).


Definition of Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF)

Pools of money derived from a country's reserves, which are set aside for
investment purposes that will benefit the country's economy and citizens. The
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funding for a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) comes
from central bank reserves that
accumulate as a result of budget and trade surpluses, and even from revenue
generated from the exports of natural resources. The types of acceptable
investments included in each SWF vary from country to country; countries wi
th
liquidity concerns limit investments to only very liquid public debt instruments.


The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their
Rehabilitation Bill, 2012


The Bill prohibits the employment of manual scavengers, the manual
cleaning of sew
ers and septic tanks without protective equipment, and the
construction of insanitary latrines. It seeks to rehabilitate manual scavengers and
provide for their alternative employment. Each occupier of insanitary latrines shall
be responsible for convertin
g or demolishing the latrine at his own cost.


If he fails
to do so, the local authority shall convert the latrine and recover the cost from him.
Offences under the Bill shall be cognizable and non
-
bailable, and may be tried
summarily.


The National Commis
sion for Safai Karamcharis (a statutory body) shall
monitor the implementation of this Act, inquire into complaints of contravention of
the Act and advice the central and state government on effective implementation of
the Act
.


The one reason the stringe
nt provisions of the earlier law (Employment of
Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act of 1993)
did not take effect was that the main violators of the law included government
authorities. The current legislation sees protectiv
e gears and safety precautions for
the workers as an alternative to mechanization, and using these protective gears
means it would not come under the definition of a “Manual scavenger”. This is
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seen as a escape clause for local and railway authorities to c
ontinue to deploy
workers in manual scavenging.

LADEE


NASA has successfully launched the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust
Environment Explorer (LADEE), latest robotic explorer to moon, atop a Minotaur
V rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. It wa
s change of venue for
NASA, which normally launches moon missions from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
LADEE will assist the scientists in learning the composition of the moon’s ever so
delicate atmosphere and how it might change over time. Also to study whether
dust
actually levitates from the lunar surface.

Orbital Sciences Corporation:


Orbital Sciences Corporation is the latest private commercial entity to dock a
craft with the International Space Station (ISS). Orbital successfully launched its
maiden unmanned cargo carrying craft Cygnus from Wallops, Virginia, via its
newly minted Anta
res rocket.


The mission is intended to demonstrate Cygnus capsule ability to
communicate, maneuver and safely link up with the station.

Difference between SpaceX and Orbital


SpaceX, was founded by Billionaire Elon Musk in 2002, while Orbital is a
30 ye
ar old industry with hundreds of satellite launches, including NASA’s recent
LADEE moon probe.


SpaceX, can lift heavier payloads, but Orbital provides a larger pressuried
volume, which is that astronauts can unload the Cygnus craft directly. The
SpaceX’s

Dragon Capsule can only be unloaded by a robotic arm, a far more
complex procedure.

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SpaceX vehicle is designed to return to Earth, which allows to bring home
some of the science on board the station. While the Orbital’s vehicle is designed to
allow us t
o pack it full of trash and be destroyed upon re


entry.

Countering Naxalism through Welfare Schemes (Gadchiroli Model)


The Ministry of Home affairs has come up with a new approach, in order to
tackle the Maoist problem, they have advised the Police Off
icers posted in those
states to look upto the “Gadchiroli Model” adopted by the Gadchiroli SP Suvez
Haque, which had led to a record 23 Maoists being killed in the year since he
joined.


One of the Scheme “Gram Bhet” is one in which Policemen comprising t
he
civic action team, visit every village and note local problems such as borewell
problem, absentee teachers or the electricity pole problem and report it to the
concerned authorities. This familiarity with the policemen have lead to the
confidence buildi
ng measures between the villagers and the police force.


Another scheme “Navjeevan Yojana” is one which has been started by the
officers visiting Naxal leaders. This scheme is a joint effort of the administration
and the police in which the vocational tra
ining is provided to the locals to enable
them to get employment opportunities in urban coffee outlets and as guards.


There are also some developmental steps like focusing on the forest products
and eliminating the middle men who devour the profit and prevent its percolation
to the locals. There are also efforts to open ultra


small bank branches in remote
locations alon
g with some already existing 22 branches.

Public Transport in Reducing Pollution:


A recent study has revealed that the notion of using public transport has
reduced substantially, with bus ridership 60% in 2000 to 41%. Delhi needs an area
the size of 310 football fields for parking its vehicles, due to which it has one of
the highest par
ticulate matter (PM10) levels in South Asia.

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India granted “Authorizing Nation” status under the CCRA


India has been recognized as “Authorizing Nation” under the international
Common Criteria Recognisation Arrangement (CCRA) to test and certify
Electroni
cs and IT products with respect to cyber security. India has become 17
th

nation to earn such recogni
tion.


So far India was having the status of ‘Consuming Nation’ with respect to
certification of Electronics and IT products. The Status of ‘Authorizing Na
tion’
will enable India to test IT and Electronics Products and issue Certificates which
will be acceptable internationally.

Seekho aur Kamao


The scheme of ‘Seekho aur Kamao’ is a Skill Development initiative
launched by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

It is a 100% Central sector scheme
for “Skill Development of Minorities” to be implemented from the current
financial year. “Seekho aur Kamao” targets the youth from 14


35 years of age
and aims to improve employability of existing workers, school dropou
ts etc.
belonging to minority communities and ensure their placement. It also aims to
conserve and update traditional skills of minorities and establish their linkages with
market.

Jiyo Parsi


This is a social initiative, launched by the Ministry of Minority Affairs for
containing population decline of Parsis in India. It is a 100% central sector scheme.
The total fertility rate of Parsis has gone down below one in the country .


The target gro
ups would include Parsi married couples of Child bearing age,
who seek assistance, and Adults/Young men/Women/Adolescent boys/girls for
detection of diseases resulting in infertility with consent of their Parents/legal
Guardians.

NEERI develops Technology

to Clean Polluted Industrial Water

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The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute has developed a
technology to destroy a variety of pollutants and aid in ‘clean up’ of polluted
water. ‘Electro Oxidation Technology’ was recently implemented by

NIA
(Nandesari Industries Association) for the treatment of chemical industry
wastewater.

Kanoon Lugat


Kanoon Lugat, is an Urdu law dictionary released in Mumbai. The
dictionary, encompasses 52,000 legal terms, has been translated in Urdu for the
first
time. It is translated by Supreme Court advocate Muhammad Irshad Hanif.
Hanif has also translated the India Penal Code and the Indian Evidence Act in
Urdu, and published two books


‘Taziraat


e


Hind’ and ‘Qanoon Shahadat


e


Hind’.

Shanti Swarup Bha
tnagar Award 2013


This award is the most coveted national recognition for young scientists and
engineers for their R&D work done in India. The Prize was instituted in 1957 in
the honour of late Dr. (Sir) Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, an eminent scientist, foun
der
Director and principal architect of CSIR.

List of Winners:

Biological Science
: Dr. Sathees Chukkurumbal Raghavan, IISc, Bangalore

Chemical Sciences:

Dr. Yamuna Krishnan, NCBS, Bangalore

Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences
: No award

Enginee
ring Sciences:

Dr. Bikramjit Basu, IISc, Banglaore; Dr. Suman
Chakraborty, IIT, Kharagpur

Mathematical Sciences:

Dr. Eknath Prabhakar Ghate, TIFR, Mumbai

Medical Sciences:

Dr. Pushkar Sharma, NII, New Delhi

Physical Sciences:

Dr. Amol Dighe
, TIFR, Mumbai, Dr. Vijay Balakrishna
Shenoy, IISc, Banglore.

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US Open 2013


Rafael Nadal won the 2013 men’s single US Open title


Serena Williams won the 2013 women’s single US Open title


Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek

won the 2013 men’s doubles US Open
title.


Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka won the 2013 women’s doubles US
open title.

Juvenile Delinquency


It is the broad based term given to juveniles who commit crimes. Juveniles
are defined as those people who h
aven’t reached adulthood or the age of maturity.
The Age of Maturity is generally defined by the Law of the country. Most legal
systems prescribe specific procedures for dealing with juveniles, such as juvenile
detention centers and courts.


In India, a j
uvenile delinquent is a person who is typically under the age of
18 and commits an act that otherwise would have been charged as a crime if they
were an adult.

CMS (Central Monitoring System)


Central Monitoring System is the mass surveillance system that

allows
India’s security agency and Income Tax officials a centralized access to Indian
telecommunication network and the ability to listen in on and record VoIP (Voice
over IP), SMS, MMS and Voice calls.


Home Ministry is the nodal authority to sanction
such an interception. It
draws its origin from the US PRISM programme by NSA.

Monocrotophos:


Monocrotophos is an organophosphate (OP) insecticide, developed by Ciba


Geigy (now Novartis) and first registered in 1965.
WHO has classified
Monocrotophos as
highly hazardous, and has been responsible for deaths resulting
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from accidental or intentional exposure. It is highly toxic orally, as well by
inhalation or absorption through the skin.


Early symptoms of poisoning may include excessive sweating, headache
,
weakness, giddiness, nausea, vomiting, hyper salivation, abdominal cramps,
diarrhea, blurred vision and slurred speech.


Recently, the Monocrotophos was found in the mid day meal provided by a
government run school in the district of Saran in Bihar, whi
ch resulted in the death
of 23 school children.

Rotterdam Convention


The 1998 Rotterdam Convention was established in order to monitor and
control the trade in certain hazardous chemicals. It is also called the Rotterdam
Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous
Chemicals and Pesticides in Int
ernational Trade.

The convention was meant as an instrument that could provide importing
parties with the power to make informed decisions on which chemicals they want
to receive and to exclude those that cannot be safely managed. A process termed
Prior I
nformed Consent (PIC) is regulated under the convention.

The Convention covers some of the important hazardous chemicals and
pesticides like,


Endosulfan


Moncrotophos


DDT


Ethylene Oxide


Mercury compounds (Also governed by Minamata Convention on
Mercu
ry)

Cheriyal Scroll Painting:

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Cheriyal Scroll
Paintings is

a highly stylized version of nakashi art made in
Cheriyal, Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh, India. The scrolls of narrative format
from mythology and folklore, expressed through a rich scheme of

colors.


Although cherial scroll paintings has a Geographical Indications (GI) tag,
there continues to be a looming threat to its sustainability.

Security Policy 2013


With the aim to provide a secure and robust cyberspace for Indian internet
users including the business and government, the government has unveiled
National Cyber Security Policy, 2013.

The main aim of the National Cyber Security Policy is to protect info
rmation
and information infrastructure in cyberspace, build capabilities to prevent and
respond to cyber threats, reduce vulnerabilities and minimize damage from cyber
incidents through a combination of institutional structures, people, processes,
technolo
gy and cooperation.

The policy provides a roadmap for a secure computing framework in the
country. The decision of the government to set up a National Critical Information
Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC), which will act as a 24x7 centre to ward
off cyber security threats in strategic areas such as air control, nuclear and space, is
also a positive move.

The existing agency, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), will
handle all public and private infrastructures.
The policy is also significant

for India
because India as a country is vulnerable to cyber crime.

Key highlights of the National Cyber Security Policy, 2013:

1.

To create a national level nodal agency that will co


ordinate all matters
related to cyber security in the country.

2.

To encourage organizations to develop their own security policies.

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3.

To ensure the organizations to earmark a specific budget to implement
their security policies and initiatives.

4.

Aims at encouraging open standards that facilitate interoperability and
data

exchange among different IT products and services.

5.

A legal framework to address cyber security challenges arising out of
technological developments in cyber space.

6.

To enforce a periodic audit and evaluation of adequacy and effectiveness
of security of in
formation infrastructure in India.

7.

The policy will encourage and mandate use of tested, validated and
certified IT products in all sensitive security areas.

Ban on Animal Testing for Cosmetics


In a landmark achievement India has announced that it will i
mplement a ban
on animal testing for cosmetics, which makes India the first country in South Asia
to do so.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has approved the removal of any
mention of animal tests from country’s cosmetics standard.


India has joined t
he 28 member states of European Union and Israel among
the nations that have already banned performing tests on animals to check the
safety of cosmetic products or their ingredients. A manufacturer will be given
approval to test only after complying with t
he BIS non


animal standards.

End of Telegram Services


India has put a full stop to the 163 years old telegram services. The service
closed because of mounting financial losses and becoming redundant in an era of
mobile phones and the internet. The firs
t trial telegraph line was established
between Kolkata and Diamond harbor in 1850. In the USA, the main service
provider of telegram (Western Union) was shut down in 2006.

Global Innovation Index, 2013

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Global Innovation Index (GII) recognizes the key rol
e of innovation as a
driver of economic growth and prosperity and acknowledges the need for a broad
horizontal vision of innovation that is applicable to both developed and emerging
economies, with the inclusion of indicators that go beyond the traditional

measures
of innovation. It is being published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World
Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).


The GII relies on two sub


indices,

1.

The Innovation Input Sub


Index and

2.

The Innovation Output Sub


Index.

The five

Innovation Input Sub


Index pillars are:

a.

Institutions

b.

Human Capital and Research

c.

Infrastruture

d.

Market Sophistication

e.

Business sophistication

The two Innovation output Sub


index pillars are:

a.

Knowledge and technology outputs

b.

Creative outputs.

India is r
anked at 66
th

rank, losing two places from the earlier GII. China has
been ranked as 35
th

and other emerging economies like Brazil and Russia are
also placed ahead of India.

Interface Region Imaging Spectograph (IRIS)

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NASA has launched a satellite (IRIS) with the mission to explore a little
studied region of the sun and to better forecast space weather that can disrupt
communications system on Earth. The main mission of this of project is to observe
the movement of sola
r movement.


The mission would help explain what causes the ejection of solar material,
including solar wind, but also solar eruptions that can disrupt human technology.

Goldilocks Zone:


Goldilocks Zone is also called the habitable zone or life zone. It

is an area of
space in which a planet is just at the right distance from its home star so that its
surface is neither too hot nor too cold.

Project Loon:


Project Loon is Google’s audacious “moon shot” visionary programme

to
bring mobile internet connectivity to the billions without via balloons. It is
basically a Research and Development project being developed by Google with the
mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas.


The project uses high


alt
itude balloons placed in the stratosphere at an
altitude of about 20km to create an aerial wireless network with up to 3G like
speeds.
The balloons are to be made of Polyethylene plastic.

QR code


QR or Quick Response Codes are a type of two


dimensional

barcode that
can be read using smart phones and dedicated QR reading devices, that link
directly to text, emails, websites, phone numbers and more. A QR code consists of
black modules (square dots) arranged in a square grid on a white background,
which ca
n be read by an imaging device (such as a camera) and processed using
Reed


Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted;
data is then extracted from patterns present in both horizontal and vertical
components of the image.

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Whereas a Barcode is an optically machine


readable label that is attached
to an item and that records information related to that item.

Asset Management Company (AMC):


An asset management company is a company registered under the
Companies Act, 1956.
The Sponsor creates the asset management company and
this is the entity, which manages the funds of the mutual fund (trust). The mutual
fund pays a small fee to the AMC for management of its fund. The AMC acts
under the supervision of Trustees and is subje
ct to the regulation of SEBI.


AMC’s offer their clients more diversification because they have a larger
pool of resources than the individual investor. Pooling assets together and paying
out proportional returns allows investors to avoid minimum investmen
t
requirements often required when purchasing securities on their own, as well as the
ability to invest in a larger set of securities with a smaller investment.


Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony, 2013


The second Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony has bee
n conferred on
music maestro Zubin Mehta. The first Tagore Award was conferred on sitar
maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar in 2012.


DAILY NEWS

01


10


2013

1.


Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be declared saints on April 27,
2014.

2.

The nation’s capital was
gripped by uncertainty at the start of the week as
Congress was on the brink of denying the Obama White House a critical line
of financing, therby pushing the federal government into across the board


shutdown. The rigid stalemate is set to kick in unless

the Republican


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controlled House relents on the demand that certain provisions of President
Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare reform policy be defunded before they
give government finances a new lease of life. If the shutdown happens the
“non


essentia
l services” will be hit, while the essential services will be
continued. It will be the first shutdown in about 17 years.

3.

The Reserve Bank of India, said that India’s CAD for the first quarter ended
June 2013 has widened to 4.9 per cent of GDP (21.8 billi
on dollars)
compared to 4 per cent in the same period of the previous financial year
(16.9 billion dollars).

4.

FIR have been registered against National Spot Exchange Ltd. (NSEL)
promoter Jignesh Shah and others in connection with the Rs. 5600 crore
payment

crisis at the crippled exchange and began raiding their offices,
residences and warehouses across the country.

02


10


2013

1.

The Tamil Nadu Government has demanded appropriate amendments to
ensure food security for all, with respect of the National Foo
d Security Act,
2013. The main irritant is that the time limit for identification of eligible
households has been fixed as one year from the commencement of the Act,
which is based on the Socio


Economic Caste Census (SECC), whose result
is yet to be rele
ased by the Centre.

2.

The Change of Government in Iran, follows Tehran’s decision of not
accepting rupee payment beyond 45 per cent margin for purchase of crude
oil, India has opened negotiations with the new government in Iran to
explore and work out other mechanisms, includin
g payment in other
currencies that could include rouble or yen.

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3.

A Bangladesh War crimes tribunal awarded death penalty to Salauddin
Quader Chowdhury, a top ranking opposition leader, for murder and
genocide during the country’s Liberation War in 1971. He
became the first
sitting MP (of the Main Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party BNP) to be
convicted at the war crime Tribunals.

4.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has found Propylene, a chemical used to make
household plastic containers, on Saturn’s moon Titan.
Titan is the biggest
natural Satellite in the Solar system. Huges is a Spacecraft satellite sent by
ESA to observe the Titan.

5.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took a major leap in the economic
reform of the country, by raising the national sales tax to 8

per cent from 5
per cent. The tax increase is set to raise an additional 8 trillion yen a year. To
soften the blow he has also announced a economic stimulus package worth 5
trillion yen. Japan has one of the heaviest debt load in the industrial world
whic
h is past 1,000 trillion yen. The country also runs a huge annual budget
deficit of 10 per cent of GDP.

6.

Newly released census data shows families living in slums have a far better
child sex ratio than the urban Indian average (the child sex ratio (0
-
6 yea
rs)
of an average slum household is 922 girls for every 1000 boys, compared to
905 for urban India). Over a third of India’s slum dwellers live in
unrecognized slums. Scheduled Castes (SCs) are over


represented in
slums. The literacy rate in slums is now

up to 77.7% but still lags behind the
urban average.

The census defines a slum as “Residential areas where dwellings are unfit
for human habitations” because they are dilapidated, cramped, poorly
ventilated, unclean or “any combination of these factors w
hich are
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detrimental to the safety and health” and covers all 4,041 statutory towns in
India.

The census designated slums in three different ways


notified, recognized
and identified. While the first two are designed as slums by some official
authority,
identified slums do not have legal status as a slum, but must
consist of at least 60 to 70 tenements with at least 300 people.

The top 5 States with high slum residents are

a.

Maharashtra

b.

Andhra Pradesh

c.

West Bengal

d.

Uttar Pradesh

e.

Tamil Nadu.

03


10


2013

1.

President Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize
by a Russian Advocacy group for his key role in preventing a US Missile
strike on Syria and initiatives to dismantle Damascus’ chemical weapons.

04


10


2013

1.

Amid the continuing political turmoil in coastal Andhra and Rayalseema that
followed the Congress Working Committee (CWC) resolution of July 30
requesting the Centre to form a separate state of Telangana, the Union
Cabinet gave its seal of approval to a Ho
me Ministry proposal to divide
Andhra Pradesh.

2.

President Pranab Mukerjee met with Belgium Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo
at which the two countries decided to deepen their already strong economic
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engagement in critical infrastructure, nuclear energy, Informa
tion
technology and higher education. The Belgium Prime Minister reiterates his
government’s commitment to India’s case for a permanent seat in the United
Nations Security Council. In a special gesture King Philipe received Mr.
Mukerjee at the tarmac of th
e airport, something the King does not do
normally as per protocol.

3.

The government, approved acquisition of 20 per cent stake by ONGC
Videsh (OVL) and Oil India Ltd. (OIL) in a giant Mozambique gas field,
which is estimated to hold as much as 65 trillion
cubic feet of gas.

4.

Kalanamak rice, known for its aroma and distinct taste, has now been
awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Deriving its name from the
black husk (kala) and a mild salty (namak) taste. It is considered as one of
the finest variet
ies in the international market.

05


10


2013

1.

Vo Nguyen Giap, the legendary general who masterminded the defeat of the
French military at Dien Bien Phu and led North Vietnam’s forces against the
US has died aged 102 at a military hospital in Hanoi. His v
ictory at Dien
Bien Phu triggered France’s departure from Indo


China was a self taught
leader regarded as one of the great military geniuses of the post World War
II era. He was known as Red Napoleon.

2.

ONGC announced that it had drawn up plans to start c
ommercial production
of shale gas next year. ONGC plans to start drilling for unconventional shale
hydrocarbon resource in Gujarat, sometime this month. The company is
getting technological support for the venture from ConocoPhilips. Cambay
in Gujarat is o
ne of the basins that has been identified as potentially bearing
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shale resources. Shale extraction uses hydraulic fracturing, which involves
blasting water, sand and chemicals underground to release trapped oil and
gas.

It is mainly found in the sedimenta
ry rocks areas. As per available data, six
basins


Cambay (in Gujarat), Assam


Arakan (in the North East),
Gondawana (in central India), KG onshore (in Andhra Pradesh), Cauvery
onshore and Indo


Gangetic basins


hold shale gas potential.

3.

Twitter revea
led its highly anticipated stock offering, with the hugely
popular messaging platform seeking to raise up to $1 billion on Wall Street.

4.

India launched its first indigenous vaccine to protect children from Japanese
encephalitis. Until now, the country has
been importing the vaccine from
China. The Vero cell


derived purified inactivated JE vaccine


JENVAC,
which received manufacturing and marketing approval from the Drug
Controller General of India, is the first vaccine to be manufactured in the
public pr
ivate partnership mode between the Indian Council of Medical
Research and Bharat Biotech. The vaccine will provide increased
immunogenicity and long term protection as a result of unique
manufacturing technologies.

Japanese encephalitis, a mosquito borne
viral infection, is the most common
cause of viral encephalitis in eastern Uttar Pradesh.


Bharat Biotech will pursue a dual pricing strategy for JENVAC to cater to
the needs of government and private agencies. While the price is expected to be
around Rs.

160 per dose in the open market, the price for government is still being
negotiated.

06


10


2013

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1.

Tamil Nadu stands first in recording biometric details of the highest number
of people (who are aged above 5 years) as part of the NPR (National
Populati
on Registry) enrolment. The NPR began in June 2011 and it is to be
wound up by December 2014.

2.

Neerja Mathur is likely to be appointed as the first woman chairperson of the
Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

3.

Software company Tata Consultancy Services (TC
S) has tied up with Saudi
Aramco and General Electric (GE_ to set up the first all Female BPO centre
in Saudi Arabia. The centre will create job opportunities for 3000 women.
TCS and GE will own 76% and 24% equity respectively, in the new venture.

07


10



2013

1.

The magnetic poles of the sun


which are like the ends of a giant bar
magnet


are about to flip, that is, the polar north will become the polar
south and vice versa. The change is periodic, taking place once every 11
years or so. The flip also correspond
s with peak activity during the 11 year
solar cycle. This is when sunspots


intense magnetic field fluctuations that
appear as dark spots on the solar surface


are highest in number. The
periodic reversal was linked to the motion of plasma flow’s inside
the sun.
the flow of this hot, electrically


charged material tosses and turns one
component of the magnetic field into another, eventually changing the sun’s
dipole field. The process is technically known as Solar Dynamo Mechanism.

08


10


2013

1.

Tamil

Nadu gets its first Spices Park at Muthupatti near Sivaganga. It is
aimed at creating infrastructure and processing facilities for turmeric and
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chilli produced in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is the second largest producer of
Turmeric.

2.

Karan Thapar, well known
television journalist, has won the International
Press Institute (IPI) India award for Excellence in Journalism. Mainly for his
sharp interviews on the Devil’s Advocate programme on CNN IBN.

3.

The 2013 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine has been awarded

to three
scientists, all based in the United States, for working out how biological
cells organize and transport the many molecules they need to function.

a.

James E Rothman,

b.

Randy W. Schekman

c.

Thomas C. Sudhof

The Nobel Assembly’s citation read that the aw
ard was “for their
discoveries of machinery regulating
vesicle

traffic, a major transport
system in our cells”.

4.

Arundhati Bhattacharya, became the first woman chairperson of the State
Bank of India (SBI). She succeeds Pratip Chaudhri. She will hold the of
fice
for 3 years.

09


10


2013

1.

Dugong, the sea grass eating marine mammal found in the Gulf of Mannar
and the Palk Bay, is under threat from increased human activity.

2.

Tamil Nadu now has an exclusive sanctuary for spotted deer with the State
government
notifying the formation of Gangaikondan spotted Deer
Sanctuary.

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3.

The supreme court judgement to add a button to the EVM has put a seal of
approval on the distinction made between the right to vote, which it
confirmed was a statutory right, and the act of e
xercising that right by the
casting of a vote which it confirmed as a constitutional right as enshrined in
Article 19(1)(a), the right to freedom of speech and expression. It then added
a constitutional lusture to ‘negative voting’ by declaring “not allowi
ng a
person to cast vote negatively defeats the very freedom of expression and the
right ensured in the Article 21, i.e., the right to liberty”.

4.

The Union Cabinet approved a notification to establish a separate
development board for Hyderabad


Karnataka region in Karnataka. The
region was given special status under Article 371J of the Constitution by
Parliament. The Districts to be benefitted are:

Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur,
Koppal, Yadgir and Bellary.

5.

Britain’s Peter Higgs and Belgium’s Francois Englert won the Nobel Prize
for physics for predicting the existence of the Higgs Boson particle that
explains how elementary matter attained the mass to f
orm stars and planets.
Without the Higgs mechanism, all particles would travel at the speed of
light, and atoms would not exist. The Royal Swedish Academy of Science
said the prize went for their work fundamental to describing how the
universe was construc
ted.

6.

A vaccine against Malaria could be introduced in the world’s worst hit
countries in 2015, after the latest trial of a treatment produced by Britain’s
biggest drug company reduced the number of cases of the disease
experienced by babies. It was develo
ped by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

10


10


2013

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1.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd., launched the world’s first smartphone with a
curved display, a variant of the Galaxy Note, which moves the Asian giant a
step closer to achieving wearable devices with flexible


e
ven unbreakable


screens.

2.

John Bardeen, has been awarded the Physics Nobel Prize Twice. He is the
only person to receive so.

3.

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 2013, was received by Martin Karplus,
Michael Levitt and Arien Warshel. The overview of their res
earch is, they
married the two ways of modeling ie., chemical reactions and the theoretical
models used in either quantum or classical physics for simulation, to
generate a universal method to study all molecules


from biological to
industrial chemical pr
ocesses. Computer models mirroring real life have
become crucial for most advances in chemistry today.

12


10


2013

1.

OPCW (UN backed Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons),
an obscure body, won the Nobel Peace Prize for its work to rid th
e world of
chemical weapons. The Hauge based OPCW was founded in 1997 to
implement the Chemical Weapons Convention signed on January 13, 1993.

2.

Thousands of people living in vulnerable areas along the coastline in Odisha
and Andhra Pradesh were evacuated,
several trains cancelled and armed
forces put on standby as the ‘very severe cyclonic storm’, Phailin, with a
wind speed close to that of a super cyclone is set to cross the coast.

3.

Cooperative Societies will not come under “public authority” as defined
un
der Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act and hence are not liable
to provide information to the general public under this law, the Supreme
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Court has held. The powers exercised by the Registrar of Cooperative
Societies and others under the Cooperati
ve Societies Act are “only
regulatory or supervisory” and will not amount to dominating or interfering
with the management or affairs of the society so as to control it.

15


10


2013

1.

The
Nobel for Economics 2013

was awarded to Eugene F. Fama, Robert J.

Shiller and Lars Peter Hansen,
for finding a way to predict prices of assets
like stocks and bonds
. This award was officially known as the Sveriges
Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

16


10


2013

1.

The Environment Ministry ha
s decided to turn approximately 60,000 square
kilometers of the Western Ghats across six States into an Ecologically
Sensitive Areas (ESA), banning mining, quarrying, thermal power plants
and polluting industries over the entire range. All other projects w
ould be
allowed only with the prior consent of Gram Sabhas (village councils) in the
zone. The decision has been taken in regard with the two reports on the
Ghats, one headed by Madhav Gadgil and the other by Planning
Commission member K. Kasturirangan.

The Biodiversity richness, fragmentation of forests and human population
density have been used to demarcate these forest patches that would turn
into a no


go zone for mining, thermal power plants and other dirty
industries. The type of industries banned

would be those included in the ‘red
list’ issued by the government under the Environment Protection Act. These
are usually considered to be the most polluting of the lot.

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2.

Swtizerland, the country most noted for its anonymous numbered bank
accounts and ti
ght banking secrecy became the world’s 58
th

nation to sign
the Multilateral convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax
Matters. It was prepared by the Paris based Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD).

3.

India signed an agreement with Finland to produce indigenous ethanol to
promote use of clean technologies and cut down the oil import bill. ONGC
and Finnish clean technology firm Chempolis will set up a pilot project to
produce ethanol, bio


chemicals and

bio


coal from biomass residual
matters.

4.

The FDI policy in the Pharmaceuticals companies which allows brownfield
Investment has come under fire from various ministries (Finance, commerce
and Health & Family Welfare), while the Prime Minister’s Office is

pitching
for the Brownfield Investments. India in the previous years have lost a lot of
high profile companies to foreign companies like Ranbaxy brought out by
Daiichi Sankyo, Shantha Biotech by Sanofi


Aventis and Nicholas Piramal
by Abbott. These scena
rio has raised the concerns of providing affordable
medicines not only for the domestic purposes also for the African countries.

17


10


2013

1.

Eleanor Catton, from New Zealand won the Man Booker Prize 2013 for her
novel “The Luminaries”. She became the
youngest novelist (28 years old)
and her novel became the longest winning novel (852 pages).

18


10


2013

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1.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has adopted a report on the
Activities of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, which commented that the
Board does
not have an independent legal status. It has failed to develop
“safety policy, standards, codes and guides.” Its human resources are
limited. A substantial number of radiation facilities, including 91 per cent of
the medical X


ray units in India, operate
s outside its ambit. Its emergency
preparedness is “inadequate,” and it has been ‘slow in adopting international
benchmarks and good practices’ in nuclear and radiation operation.

22


10


2013

1.

President Pranab Mukherjee appointed the acting Chief Just
ice of Madras
High Court Rajesh Kumar Agarwal as the regular Chief Justice of the Court.

2.

As part of a State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT)
initiative to help students improve academic performance and handle stress
better, mobile coun
seling psychologists have been appointed to conduct
awareness programmes in schools. A mobile counseling van has been
provided for this work.

3.

The Indian Meterological Department announced the onset of the NorthEast
Monsoon. The South West Monsoon has with
drawn from the country, Bay
of Bengal and Arabian Sea. It withdrew from the entire country on October
21, then the North East Monsoon rains commenced over Tamil Nadu and
Kerala and other southern parts of the country.

4.

The Supreme Court allowed the Union g
overnment to conduct five clinical
trials that were approved this year after ensuring proper mechanism and
procedure to ensure the safety of patients along with audio


visual
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recording of participants maintaining the principle of confidentiality and
prese
rvation of documentation.

5.

The Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited said it had received the approval of the
Central Drugs Standard control Organisation (CDSCO) to manufacture and
market Synriam
TM

for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in adults
caused by the
Plasmodium vivax parasite. This medicine provides quick
relief from most Malaria
-

related symptoms, including fever, and has a high
cure rate of over 95%. It conform to the recommendation of the World
Health Organisation for using combination therapy in
Malaria.

6.

India, agreed to initiate an exercise for a free trade agreement with the
Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia to enhance economic
ties. Under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA),
the two sides aims to significantly

reduce duties on the maximum number of
tradable goods besides liberalizing norms for sevice and investments. It als
aims at facilitating movement of professionals.

7.

Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII), a subsidiary of Southeast Asia’s fourth
largest bank
Maybank, formally launched its first branch in the country in
Mumbai.

23


10


2013

1.

India’s first spacecraft for the exploration of another planet, the Mars Orbiter
Mission, will blast off from Sriharikota aboard the Polar Satellite Launch
Vehicle (PSLV)
. The aircraft carries five instruments. One instrument is a
sensor specifically tuned to detect methane, a gas that on Earth is largely
produced by living organisms, such as bacteria in the stomachs of cows and
other hoofed animals. Various research from
the ground based telescopes
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reported finding methane in Mar’s atmosphere. But the “Curiosity Rover”
which came down safely in the Gale Crater was not able to detect Methane
in the Martian atmosphere.

There was a speculation that since the Carbondi Oxide a
bode the lower part
of the planet, the methane even if produced might have escaped to the upper
regions of the Mars atmosphere, there by making it not possible for the
Curiosity rover to detect the Methane in the surface. Also the rover is able to
look int
o only a small fraction of the planet for the presence of Methane.

The Indian Mars Mission (Mangalyaan) will be able to search for methane
all over the planet. Also the methane sensor of the Indian Mars orbiter will
be able to detect the gas only if its c
oncentration was more than about 10
parts per billion. If the Indian planetary probe provide a positive result, it
will revitalize the quest for Martian Methane. The next attempt to find and
map methane will be made with Europe’s ExoMars mission that is sc
heduled
for 2016.

2.

Brunei’s sultan (Hassanal Bolkiah) announced that a new Islamic criminal
law that could include penalties like amputation for theft and stoning for
adultrery will be enforced in six months. Also the Shariah Penal Code will
be applied onl
y to Muslims only. Muslims comprise about two


thirds of
the population of Brunei, which is a tiny, oil rich Monarch country.

24


10


2013

1.

Solar Power industry uses the semiconductor material, like silicon or
Gallium arsenide, which absorbs sunlight a
nd forms the basis of solar
panels. It converts electromagnetic energy in the form of sunlight to
electrical energy. In a new research the scientists have demonstrated a
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technique to increase the amount of electrical current produced by a solar
panel simpl
y by augmenting its light


facing surface with aluminum
nanostructure. The aluminum nanocylinders are studded along with gallium


arsenide (Ga


As), this leads to the scattering of light in the visible part of
the spectrum. The scattered light then trav
els a longer path inside the
semiconductor, thereby absorbing more photons and converting it into
current. It is also important that the metal nanocylinders do not absorb the
light themselves, which happened to be the limitations in the usage of the
Silver

and Gold nanostructures. The usage of aluminium nanostructures also
reduces the cost of the project and increasing its efficiency.

2.

The extradition treaty between Bangladesh and India came into effect, with
the handing over of the instruments of ratificat
ion of the much awaited pact.
The two countries will now be able to exchange convicts or undertrials as
and when required. The treaty will allow exchange of convicts sentenced for
more that a year in prison but will not be applicable to political prisoners

and
asylum seekers.

3.

India and China agreed that in any face off on the Line of Actual Control
(LAC) they will not use force or threaten to use force against each other and
prevent exchange of fire or an armed conflict. This was among a set of
confidence
building measures contained in the Border Defence Co


Operation Agreement (BDCA) between India and China, signed by both
sides at the Conclusion of talks between Prime Minister Manmohan singh
and Chinese Premier Li Kequiang at the Great Hall of the People
. The
BDCA was among nine agreements signed by both sides, of which an MoU
on strengthening Co


Operation on Trans Border Rivers was another
significant agreement.

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25


10


2013

1.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has given its nod to
Singapo
re Airlines (SIA) to set up a full service airline in India in
partnership with Tata Group that would entail an initial foreign investment
of $49 million.

2.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation had become to export
military products to friendly
nations. The DRDO has planned to export
Sonars to Myanmar.

26


10


2013

27


10


2013

1.

The Brazilian Government is pushing for the law, know

as Marco Civil, that
could end American control over Internet data, after the revelations of
massive surveillance of its citizens and spying of President Dilma Rousseff’s
personal phone and e


mail by NSA. The new law will force Google,
Facebook and othe
r Internet companies to store locally gathered data inside
Brazil. Ironically the new law can change the way the Internet is governed
and cause losses worth billions of dollars for US based firms. The Tech
firms are of the opinion that it leads to the balk
anization of the Internet and
turn into chaos.

28


10


2013

1.

The legendary playback singer Manna Dey, died due to prolonged illness.

29


10


2013

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1.

Scientists have developed a new method for 4D printing which enables
production of objects fixed in one s
hape that can later be changed to take on
a new shape. The researchers have incorporated ‘shape memory’ polymer
fibres into the composite materials used in traditional 3D printing, which
resulted in the production of shape


changing objects.

4D printing
uses 3D printing


a process that works in a similar way
to a laser printer, building a solid object from a series of layers with
each one printed directly on top of the previous one. But 4D printing
takes 3D printing one step further by allowing 3D printe
d materials to
be programmed to self assemble into different shapes over time.

30


10


2013

1.

Turkey opened the world’s first underwater rail link between two continents,
connecting Asia and Europe. The engineering feat spans 13 km to link
Europe with Asi
a some 60 meters below the Bosphorus Strait, called
Marmaray, it will carry subway commuters in Europe’s biggest city and
serve high speed and freight trains.

2.

The RBI, has asked the banks to charge customers for transaction SMS alerts
on the basis of usag
e, instead of imposing a fixed fee, to ensure equity and to
be reasonable.

3.

The RBI plans to launch soon a 10 year savings instrument that will offer
inflation


linked returns to small investors as an alternative in gold. The
inflation


indexed securitie
s for retail investors will be linked to the new
(combined) Consumer Price Index (CPI), the interest on these securities
would comprise a fixed rate plus inflation.

Personalities

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Tony Abott
:


Tony Abott

has been sworn in as the Prime Minister of Australia. He led the
Liberal/National coalition to victory over the Labor government. On the same day
of his swearing in he ordered the ending of the carbon tax and the halting of
asylum seeker boats.

Justice V
. Eswaraiah


Justice Vangala Eswaraiah, former Acting Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh
High court has been appointed as the Chairperson of the National Commission for
Backward Classes.

Darmar Murugesan


The former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Darmar
Murugesan, has been
appointed as the member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for
a five year term. The chairman of the NHRC is Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.

Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh


She was appointed as the Regional Director of World Health
Organisation’s
South East Asian Regional Organisation (SEARO). India has regained the post
after a gap of 44 years. She has previously worked in WHO as Executive Director
of Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments and Member of the
Cabinet of the
Director


General in Geneva.

Ray Dolby


Ray Dolby, the US engineer who founded Dolby Laboratories and pioneered
noise reduction in audio recordings, has died. He founded the Dolby Laboratories
in London in 1965. The company grew to be an industry leader i
n audio
technology, cutting background hiss in tape recordings and later bringing out
“surround sound”.

King Philippe I:

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King Philippe I became Belgium’s seventh monarch after his father Albert
abdicated. Belgium has a constitutional monarchy in which th
e king plays a mostly
ceremonial role. The monarch is still involved in government formation talks by
picking go


betweens and brokers to set up multiparty coalitions reaching across
the linguistic divide.

Maharaj Kishan Kaushik:


Hockey India (HI) has a
ppointed Olympic gold medallist Maharaj Kishan
Kaushik as the men’s hockey team coach replacing the sacked Michael Nobbs. He
served as the coach of the women’s team which won the Bronze medal at the Doha
Asian Games in 2006.

Phumzile Mlambo


Ngcuka:


The

United Nations has appointed former South African Deputy President
Phumzile Mlambo


Ngcuka as the head of the gender equality body UN Women
or UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. She will
replace Michelle Bachele, a former Preside
nt of Chile.

Rana Kapoor:


Rana Kapoor, Managing Director and CEO of Yes Bank, has taken charge
as the President of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India
(ASSOCHAM). During his one year term, he would promote the five point agenda
on s
ecuring sustainable growth for India

Sujatha Singh


Senior most Indian Foreign Service Officer, Sujata Singh, has been
appointed as India’s next foreign secretary after incumbent Rajan Mathai. She will
be third woman to head the services after Chokila Iye
r and Nirupama Rao.

Amar G. Bose:


Amar G. Bose, the visionary engineer, inventor and billionaire entrepreneur
whose namesake company, the Bose Corporation, became synonymous with high


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quality audio systems and speakers for home users, auditoriums and automobiles
has died. He focused relentlessly on acoustic engineering innovation.

C.P. Srivastava:


He was the Secretary General Emeritus of the International Maritime
Organisation (IMO).
He has died recently. He was an institutional builder and
international administrator with a Midas touch. His leadership in IMO is mainly
associated with the success of the

1.

1978 Tanker Safety and Pollution Prevention (TSPP) Conference, and the
development.

2.

Adoption of the International Convention on Standards of Training,
Certification and Watch keeping fro Seafarers (STCW), 1978.

3.

The International Convention on Maritime Se
arch and Rescue (SAR),
1979

4.

The Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety
of Maritime Navigation (SUA), 1988

5.

Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of
Fixed Platforms located on the Continental Shelf.


Pra
n Krishan Sikand:

India’s legendary actor Pran Krishan Sikand, popularly known as Pran, has died.
He played some of Bollywood’s most memorable villains in a career that spanned
six decades. He was presented with Dadasahed Phalke Award.