Current Affairs : June 21, 2011

Cancellation of flights due to Ash Clouds in Australia

  • The Chilean ash clouds returned to Australia
  • Forced cancellation of flights
  • The clouds created by the eruption of the
    Puyehue volcano
    high in the Andes

  • As per the Airservices Australia the ash cloud is denser and larger than that which caused widespread disruption to flights last week

Talks regarding DTAA with Mauritius suspended for sometime but to be reviewed again

  • DTAA: Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)
  • The talks had been suspended for sometime but they are being revived again. 
  • At present, under the DTA, investments from Mauritius are exempted from tax in India
  • As a result of it a large amount of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) as also investment in the stock market come through companies registered in Mauritius
  • India has been receiving a revenue loss of over Rs 60 crore yearly year as a Result of DTAA

In Asian trade Oil mixed

  • Oil mixed in the Asian trade as persistent insecurity over Greece’s debt crisis hardened support from a recoil in US stocks
  • New York’s main contract Light Sweet Crude rose 21 cents to 93.47 dollar a barrel, while Brent North Sea crude eased eight cents to 111.61 dollar

Abyei Region, Sudan controversy: Finally an Agreement reached

  • Negotiators for North and South Sudan reached a landmark agreement regarding the future of the disputed Oil-Rich region of Abyei
  • The accord was signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa
  • The Agreement calls for:-
  • Complete demilitarization of the region
  • Deployment of Ethiopian peacekeepers
  • To establish a council to oversee security in Abyei
  • The council to comprise two members from both sides (North and South Sudan)             along with a representative from the African Union
  • The Agreement clears the way for the return of tens of thousands of displaced persons and establishes a basis for talks on Abyei’s final status to be held after the south secedes on July 9, 2011

All-party meeting on Women’s Reservation Bill convened by the Lok Sabha Speaker

  • Ms. Meira Kumar: The Lok Sabha Speaker
  • She convened an all-party meeting in New Delhi to discuss Women’s Reservation Bill
  • Bill likely to come up in the Lok Sabha in the Monsoon Session of Parliament
  • Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha last year
  • Ms. Meira Kumar In her letter to political parties asked them to take steps for early passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha
  • Bill grants 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs: S. Chandrasekharan appointed the new Secretary

  • Mr. S. Chandrasekharan is the new secretary in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
  • 1975 Batch officer of the Indian Railway Account Service

Pong & Bhakra dams: Water level rising on a regular basis

  • Water level in Pong and Bhakra dam is rising on a constant basis
  • A heavy inflow of water due to rain and snow melting in the catchment areas of the rivers on which these dams are situated
  • Level of water in the Pong Dam currently:1349.96 ft (about 64.68 ft higher on the same date last year) is highest in the past 8 years on the corresponding day
  • Level of water in the Bhakra Dam is 1577.42 ft (the highest in the past three years on the corresponding day)
  • Bhakhra Beas Management Board (BBMB) Power houses are experiencing maximum hydel power generation these days in a day

Reconstitution of the Press Council of India by the Government

  • The government has reconstituted the Press Council of India
  • 27 new members included for a 3-year term
  • The new members:
  1. From the category of owners and managers of big, medium and small Newspapers:

        Vijay Kumar Chopra, R Lakshmipathy, Sanjay Gupta, Gurinder Singh, V K Chopra


  2. From the category of editors:

        K S Sachidananda Murthy, Shravan Kumar Garg, Jagjit Singh Dardi, Sheetla Singh, Anil     Jugalkishor Agrawal and Bishambhar Newar


  3. MPs:

        Meenakshi Natrajan, Harin Pathak, Sanjay Dina Patil, Rajeev Shukla and Prakash     Javadekar

A separate budget for Agriculture from next financial year to be introduced by Chhattisgarh

  • Chhattisgarh Govt decided to introduce a separate budget for agriculture from the next financial year
  • Chief Minister of Chattisgarh: Dr. Raman Singh
  • The budget for agriculture and allied activities will be presented in the state assembly in addition to the main budget
  • Thus, Chhattisgarh becomes the 3rd state in India after Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh to present a separate budget for agriculture

9th and the final meet on Lokpal Bill ends

  • The 9th and the final meeting of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill ended in New Delhi
  • The Civil Society activists and the Government exchanged their versions on various aspects of the bill
  • HRD Minister of India: Kapil Sibal
  • Both the sides discussed salient features of the Bill
  • Differences remain on 6-key issues which will now be taken to the all party meeting next month before sending it to the Cabinet for final approval
  • The Govt’s draft doesn’t include Prime Minister within the ambit of the Bill, also the higher judiciary and conduct of MPs inside the House
  • Apart from this there are some differences on some procedural issues
  • Govt would convene an all-party meeting in July to discuss various aspects of the Bill

Noted Economist Suresh Tendulkar passes away

  • Suresh D. Tendulkar (8 May 1939 – 21 June 2011) was an Indian economist and former chief of National Statistical Commission
  • Succeeded C. Rangarajan as Chairman of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India (PMEAC)
  • Died on 21 June 2011, as a result of cardiac arrest at Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital (ABMH), Pune (India)
  • Education:
  • B.Com: Pune University
  • M.A: from Delhi School of Economics
  • Ph.D. (in Economics):Harvard University
  • Headed committee named as Suresh Tendulkar Committee to look into the people living under poverty line in India
  • Prof. Tendulkar’s ground-breaking role was his widespread work on poverty and assessment of people Below Poverty Line (BPL)
  • In his report submitted in November 2009 as Chairman of an expert group on the methodology for estimation of poverty constituted by the Planning Commission, he estimated that every third Indian is living in poverty and the number of the poor has shot up by nearly 10% to over 37%
  • The report pointed out that 41.8% of the rural population spends a meager sum of

    Rs. 447 a month on essential necessities like food, fuel, light, clothing and footwear.

  • He was also amongst the Reserve Bank of India’s central board of directors
  • Visiting fellow, Professor of economics at the Delhi School of Economics

Post Bank of India

  • Post Bank of India to be set up by the The Postal Department
  • To provide financial facilities, chiefly to persons in the rural areas
  • Radhika Duraiswamy: Secretary Department of Post
  • The Post Bank concept is already existing in many countries of the world
  • The Department of Post is working as the Registrar of UID
  • Nearly 5000 identified post offices in the country
  • People can go for their UID numbers in these Post Offices
  • Kolkata office sending UID data to people by speed post
  • Postal department opened about 5000 accounts of NAREGA workers
  • More than 50% of wages for NAREGA being distributed via post offices
  • Workers of unorganized sectors can open their accounts in post offices
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