Current Affairs : February 7, 2012
Sharada Dwivedi, the famous Historian passes away
- Ms Sharada Dwivedi (69), Mumbai's well-known art and heritage historian, passed away. She was synonymous with the Mumbai's old-world charm. She wrote various books:
- Anchoring a City Line the History of the Western Suburban Railway and its Headquarters in Bombay (2000)
- Bombay, the Cities Within (1995)
- Banganga, Sacred Tank (1996)
- Fort Walks (1999)
- The Jehangir Art Gallery (2002)
- The Victoria Memorial School for the Blind(2002)
Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth's accession to the British Throne
- Queen Elizabeth (85) celebrated the 60th anniversary of her accession to the British throne. Queen Elizabeth is the longest-serving British monarch after her great-great grandmother Victoria.
- The day also marked the 60th death anniversary of her father George VI whose sudden demise on February 6, 1952 slung her to the throne.
Maldives President resigns
- Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed resigned accompanying weeks of public protests over his debatable order to arrest a senior Judge. Nasheed stepped down and handed over the presidency to the Vice President, Mohammed Waheed Hassan.
- India held that events in Maldives are an internal matter Maldives, to be resolved by the Maldivians and thus the nation as of now needs no outside assistance including that from India. India announced that it remains committed to extending the widest support and cooperation to the Maldivian Government in its attempt to encourage peace, progress, prosperity and well being of its people.
5 agreements inked by India and Mauritius in different sectors
- 5 agreements signed between India and Mauritius following delegation level talks between the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Prime Minister of Mauritius Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam. The agreements were signed in the field of Education, Textiles, Sports and Youth affairs, Science and Technology including an MoU on setting a Planetarium at the Rajiv Science Centre in Mauritius.
- India to also furnish a new economic package to Mauritius consisting of a Line of Credit of $250 million and a grant of $20 million. A portion of this grant to be used in establishing a hybrid planetarium at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre in Mauritius.
1 Mn tonnes of sugar export to be allowed, decides EGoM
EGoM (The Empowered Group of Ministers) resolved to permit further export of 1 Mn tonnes of sugar.
Why this decision ?
- In the view of surplus production
- To reduce export price of basmati rice to $700 a tonne from $900
- EoGM also sanctioned continuation of non-basmati rice exports of up to 4 Mn tonnes.
In 2011, the Govt permitted 1 Mn tonnes of sugar exports under the OGL (Open General Licence) for the 2011-12 marketing year, which commenced from October 2011.
- EoGm decided to permit the additional quantity as the country is all set to produce 26 million tonnes of sugar in the current marketing year, as against the yearly domestic demand of 22 Mn tonnes. Apart from unloading excess stock, the move is anticipated to relieve liquidity crunch that mills are confronting to make well timed payment to sugarcane producers.
Advance reservation in Railways Reservation increased from 90 to 120 days
- From March 10, 2012, the advanced reservation period in Railways increased from 90 days to 120 days. This decision was taken in order to cope with the demand for tickets. CRIS (Centre for Railway Information System) to make the essential changes in the software for this design.
- This 120 advance reservation period will help those passengers travel during festivals or summer vacation period. Nevertheless, there will be no change in case of some short distance trains like Taj Express and Gomti Express. There will also be no change in case of the limit of 360 days for foreign tourists.
TROPEX 2012 - Joint Naval Fleet Exercise
- The annual two-day Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) is being conducted off the Bay of Bengal, off Visakhapatnam coast. Major annual exercise is aimed at testing the Navy's readiness in addressing with eventualities.
Direct ATF import permitted by Government
- The Govt announced to permit airlines to directly import ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel) to in order to enable them save on high incidence of tax and permit.
- Air India to raise Rs 7,400 Crore by issuing bonds or other means.
- The Govt also apprised of the decision to allow foreign airlines pick up 49% stake in Indian carriers.
- The decisions on direct import of ATF and permitting foreign airlines to invest would go to the Union Cabinet for a final nod.
Budget on 16th March, 2012
- On March 16, 2012 Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will bring out the Union Budget for 2012-13 in the Lok Sabha.
- The budget session will begin on March 12, 2012 with President Pratibha Devisingh Patil addressing the joint sitting of members of both the Houses of Parliament.
- The rail budget will be presented on March 14, 2012-02-10
- The Economic Survey will be tabled on March 15, 2012
- First phase of the budget session will continue up to March 30, 2012-02-10
- Second part of the budget session will be held from April 24 to May 22, 2012
- The budget session, which generally starts in the third week of February, was delayed this time due to the ongoing Assembly elections in 5 states.
- The model code of conduct is in force till March 9, 2012 when the election process would be completed.
Economic challenges in USA will not result in Protectionism, desires India
- India showed desire that the present economic sufferings in the USA would not lead to protectionism held that the concerns of the Indian IT industry over anti-outsourcing measures declared by President Barack Obama lately will be turned to rapidly.
Indian IT industry in the US has contributed $15 bn in taxes alone in the last 5 years.
GDP growth pegged down at 6.9% for 2011-12
- The GDP growth is likely to be around 6.9% in 2011-12.
- The GDP growth was 8.4% in the last fiscal.
- The reason for the same is a sharp slowdown in manufacturing, agriculture and mining sectors
- The current estimate is a sharply lower than the 9 per cent growth projection for 2011-12 made by the government in its pre-Budget survey in February 2011.
- As per the advance estimates, mining and quarrying is likely to witness a decline of 2.2%, compared to a growth of 5% a year ago.
CTBT's 157th member nation: Indonesia
- Indonesia became the 157th nation to adopt the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty). Indonesia ratified the nuclear test ban treaty at the UN.
- The ASEAN completed its talks on the regional weapons free zone last year and the 10 member states are now completing ratification of that treaty.
- The Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty commits ASEAN's 10 member states not to develop, manufacture or otherwise adopt, own or have control over atomic weapons.
Aung San Suu Kyi now an qualified contestant to Myanmar's by-elections
- Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition NLD in Myanmar, established by the Union Election Commission as one of the qualified contestants for the by-elections on April 1, 2012.
- She will contest from the Yangon region's Kawmu township constituency for a seat of the House of Representatives, which is recognized as a pitiable and underdeveloped section sternly knocked by cyclone Nargis in May 2008.
- She will contest against Dr. U Soe Min, a candidate of the ruling USD Party.