Current Affairs: January 11, 2012

EC asks Government to withhold 4.5% minorities sub quota

  • The Election Commission asks the government to withhold the 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities in the five poll bound states for now.
  • The direction will remain in force till the poll process is over in these states.
  • The decision to give this share to the minorities from the 27 per cent OBC quota was taken in last month.
  • The opposition parties alleged that this is a violation of Model Code of Conduct.

Government lowers the Minimum Export Price of Onion

  • Bowing to the demand of traders and farmers, the Commerce Ministry has lowered the minimum export price of onions by $100 a tonne to $150 a tonne to boost exports.
  • This order will boost outbound shipments which have declined in recent times.

Pakistan: Army coup fears loom large

  • Pakistan Government calls for an urgent session of Parliament in the wake of a warning from the Supreme Court.
  • The Supreme Court has said that action could be taken against the President and the Prime Minister for failing to reopen high-profile corruption cases.
  • At the same time, Pakistan Army warns Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of grievous consequences for his recent criticism of the military and the ISI.
  • In another move, the Pakistan Army brought in Brigadier Sarfaraz Ali as the new commander of a Rawalpindi-based army unit that has traditionally played a vital role in military coups.
  • Prime Minister Gilani sacked Defence Secretary Naeem Khalid Lodhi with immediate effect for gross misconduct and illegal action. Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi was given additional charge of the post of Defence Secretary. The Army officials have warned that the army will not cooperate with the new Defence Secretary.

National Billiards and Snooker Championship Begins in Pune

  • The National Billiards and Snooker Championship begin in Pune from January 12, 2012.
  • Indian billiards and snooker players including former world champions Pankaj Advani and Geet Sethi will be seen in action at the event.
  • Over 1,000 players from 24 states will participate in the tournament organised by the Billiards and Snooker Association of Maharashtra.

No Bailouts for Private Airlines: says Government

  • Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh rules out any possibility of a bailout package for private airlines by the government.
  • He asserts that government is only responsible for Air India which is a public sector undertaking. However, government can not keep on pouring in money to bailout Air India and the management needs to restructure its business management to become more competitive.

India to Provide 100 Million USD Credit to Mali

  • Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure is in New Delhi for a state visit. An agreement was signed between India and Mali via which India will provide 100 million US dollar line of credit to Mali for Power Transmission projects.
  • India and Mali also sign pact on cooperation in the field geology and mineral resources to intensify cooperation in this area.
  • India has chosen Mali among the nine countries for economic and infrastructure development cooperation.

Kamla Prasad Bissessar visits her ancestral village

  • Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago Kamla Prasad Bissessar visits her ancestral place at Bhelpur village in Buxar district of Bihar.
  • Her parents migrated to Trinidad & Tobago 122 years ago, her close relatives still live in the village. She was given a warm welcome by the villagers.

Daniel Ortega sworn in as President of Nicargua for third term

  • Daniel Ortega, who won with a landslide margin in November 2011 elections , has been sworn in as President of Nicaragua for a third term.
  • The main opposition party boycotted the ceremony in Managua, saying the poll was fraudulent and unconstitutional.

Gujarat: 4 Day International Kite Festival Begins

  • In Gujarat, the four-day international kite festival begins at river Sabarmati in Ahmedabad.
  • Governor Dr. Kamala Beniwal and Chief Minister Narendra Modi kicked off the festivities at a ceremonial function.
  • International Kite festival has put Gujarat on the tourist map of the world.

Sheikh Hasina visits Agartala

  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visits Tripura’s capital for the first time.
  • She emphasized the need of strengthening bilateral relations with India.
  • Addressing the business delegation from India and Bangladesh at Agartala, in Tripura, she said that South Asian Regions have a common problem that is poverty and united strategy is needed to fight against this problem.

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