Current Affairs : June 18, 2011

Foreign Secretary-Level talks b/w India and Pakistan from June 23, 2011

  • India and Pakistan to hold Foreign Secretary-Level talks in Islamabad from June 23, 2011
  • The Indian side is expected to press for effectual feat against those behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks
  • This will be the 2nd meeting in 4 months
  • The Indian side probable to put its concern over the nexus b/w ISI and 26/11 attackers
  • Ms. Nirupama Rao (Indian Foreign Secretary) to meet her Pakistani counterpart Mr. Salman Bashir

Second term approved for Ban Ki-Moon by United Nations Security Council

  • The UNSC has approved a 2nd five-year term for its current Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon.
  • The 15 member Council voted by applause for Ban Ki-Moons’s second term from 2012-2016
  • For his Appointment, the 192-member General Assembly will vote on Tuesday June 21, 2011
  • This will be the final step to his appointment
  • No competitors against the former South Korean foreign minister
  • Ban, succeeded Kofi Annan in 2007 as the 8th Secretary General of the UN


8.2% growth for India projected in 2011: IMF

  • For 2011, IMF- International Monetary Fund projected 8.2 % growth in the Indian Economy
  • Statement appeared in the World Economic Outlook Report released in Washington


US ruminates sanctions against Syria

  • USA considering Economic sanctions against Syria’s oil and gas sectors
  • USA also considering to bring war crimes charges against Bashar al-Assad (Syrian president) as part of a larger diplomatic effort to force his Govt to end its crackdown on dissent


Tax incentive for exporters to be extended by Government

  • Govt extended the Tax incentive scheme for exporters, Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB), till September 30
  • The step will benefit the exports sector
  • Scheme gets an extension of 3 months from June 30 to September 30th 2011.
  • The Govt spends yearly about Rs 8,500 crore for re-reimbursing exporters on the taxes paid on import equivalent content of export products under the 14-year-old DEPB scheme
  • Under the DEPB, a Lion’s share of about 60% of the funds goes to exporters in the chemical and engineering sectors 

In MGNREGA scheme implementation Sikkim excels

  • Despite its geographically little size and small population, Sikkim stand out in implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) Scheme
  • About 3/4 of the one lakh rural households of the state have been provided with the job cards under the scheme so far
  • The Scheme started in the state five years ago
  • Rs 84 crore were used up under the scheme previous year while a sum of Rs 118 crore is expected to be spent this year under MGNREGA Scheme
  • Avg 85 days employment was provided to the beneficiaries last year with 46 per cent people getting 100 days job
  • No complaints have been acknowledged on implementation of the MNNREGS in Sikkim by the Courts so far

Institute of Election Studies launched in Delhi

  • The EC (Election Commission) launched the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIDEM) in New Delhi
  • A higher resource centre of Training, Research, Learning and an extension for participatory democracy and election management. 

    A national and international hub for exchange of good practices in election management

  • Inaugurated by the Chief Election Commissioner Dr S Y Quraishi at Nirvachan Sadan 

    IIDEM to work for

  • Increasing voter education
  • building human resource for a well organized conduct of free and fair elections in India
  • building mutually beneficial partnership with other nations
  • The institute has four components which include:
    • Training and Capacity Development
    • Voter Education and Civic Participation
    • Research, Innovation and Documentation
    • International Projects and Technical Collaboration
  • First course of IIDEM will be launched last part of June for the Electoral Commission of Kenya

Brij Bihari Pandey: The Oldest prisoner of India freed

  • India’s oldest prisoner, Brij Bihari Pandey (108) freed from the Gorakhpur Jail
  • He spent 24 years behind bars for committing multiple murders
  • Bihari (when 84) along with 15 others killed 4 people in Maharajganj district on June 15, 1987.

Ms. Pratibha Devisingh Patil: The President of India to declare her assets public

  • The President of India Ms. Pratibha Devisingh Patil decided to declare her assets
  • First time that a President of India will be making assets public though there is no law that mandates her to do it
  • The decision came after a proposal from the CIC (Central Information Commission) that the President of India should take a call on introduction of her and her family’s property details in public domain
  • The President actually is not required to declare his/her assets to any public authority, however, President Patil would declare it

Abhinav Bindra qualifies for London Games

  • Former Olympic Shooting Champion from India: Abhinav Bindra qualified for the next year’s London Olympic Games
  • Bindra qualified despite finishing a low 8th in the 10 m air rifle event of the Shooting World Cup in Munich, Germany
  • India’s first individual Olympic gold medalist, Bindra shot a qualification score of 596
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