Current Affairs : June 22, 2011

UN Secretary General: Ban Ki-moon re-elected

  • Ban Ki-Moon was unanimously elected for a second term by the 192 Nations United Nations General Assembly
  • The second 5 year term for Mr. Ban starts from January 1, 2012
  • Mr. Ban has termed his re-election as a "very great honour beyond expression."

Uttar Pradesh Govt to amend Criminal Procedure Code for rape linked incidents

  • Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to amend Criminal Procedure Code for rape related incidents to avert crime against women
  • Amendment for absolute trials of rape cases in 6 months
  • Offences of assault on women will be made non-bailable
  • Ordinance to this effect has been forwarded to the Governor

USA uncovers Graphic new warning labels for cigarette packs

  • USA unveiled graphic new warning labels for cigarette packs
  • Images comprise photographs of horribly damaged teeth and lungs and a man exhaling smoke via a tracheotomy opening in his neck
  • They will be hard to miss as they cover up the top half of cigarette packets, front and back
  • Most comprehensive alteration to America’s smoking warnings since tobacco companies were forced to add the mandatory surgeon general’s warning in 1965
  • US authorities given additional power to control the tobacco industry after President Barrack Obama signed new anti-smoking legislation into law two years ago

World Heritage Site: Manas National Park

  • The Manas National Park, Assam once again became World Heritage Site following removal of the ‘in danger’ tag by the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee
  • Decision taken at 35th meeting of the World Heritage Committee held in Paris
  • Manas National Park was put in the UNESCO’s ‘in danger’ list following large scale destruction of wildlife and infrastructure during the height of Bodo insurgency in the late ’80s and early ’90s
  • Spread over 500 square km in Bodoland Territorial Council in the foothills of Bhutan
  • Got the World Heritage Site status in 1985
  • Now Assam has 2 World Heritage Sites, the other one being Kaziranga National Park
  • Manas home to a great variety of wildlife, including endangered species: tiger, pygmy hog, rhinoceros and elephant
  • Put on the List ‘in danger’ in 1992, seven years after it had entered UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List

5 more Indian languages included in Google

  • 5 more Indian languages included by Google to its translation services
  • Google now supports 5 new experimental alpha languages-
    • Bengali
    • Gujarati
    • Kannada
    • Tamil
    • Telugu

PF accounts accessible online from July 2011

  • Online account accessibility for Employees Provident Fund beneficiaries from July 2011
  • Possible for the beneficiaries to know particulars of the contributions made and balance amount available in their accounts through EPF website

Rs 110 crore released by Union Govt to improve pulses production

  • The Union Govt has discharged Rs 110 Crore  to the states to improve pulses production in the rain-fed areas of 60,000 villages
  • Rs 300 crore set aside for this purpose under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana for this financial year
  • To persuade farmers take up pulses cultivation, the Government in recent times raise the MSP (Minimum Support Price) of pulses by up to Rs 400 for the year 2011-12

Magiciam Gopinath Muthukad wins Merlin Award

  • Magician Gopinath Muthukad of India won this year’s International Merlin Award
  • Known as the Magicians’ Oscar
  • Kerala-based magician second Indian to be chosen to receive the Merlin Award
  • For exceptional contributions to Magic in 2011 bestowed by the US-based International Magicians Society
  • Earlier, P.C.Sorkar Junior received the award

Government empowers IT Department to begin legal action in cases of Tax evasion

  • The Government authorizes the Income Tax Department to commence legal action in tax evasion cases
  • Cases where the Indian investments are positioned overseas
  • The CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) issued order that Income Tax department does not need any consent from superior authorities to commence legal action
  • Step taken in the ground of CBDT receiving for the first time investment data of few Indians who had accounts in Germany’s Leichestein bank recently

Govt to conduct new survey in Manual Scavenging

  • Government to conduct a new survey to know the exact number of persons caught up in manual scavenging in the country
  • Meeting to evaluate the operation of NSKFDC (National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation)
  • PM Manmohan Singh had recently assured that the country will soon be made free of manual scavenging
  • NSKFDC is assigned to work for the rehabilitation of Safai Karamcharis, Scavengers and their dependents by providing working loan at concessional rates of interest
  • Mr. Mukul Wasnik: The Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment

PMO to supply RTI applicant Correspondence b/w PM and Raja

  • The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) will provide to an RTI applicant the correspondence between Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and former Telecom Minister A Raja in connection with 2G spectrum allocation

Annual Plan worth Rs 22,124 Crore to Bengal finalized by the Planning Commission

  • The Planning Commission finalized a yearly plan of Rs 22,124 Crore to West Bengal for the year 2011-12
  • Focus of the development initiatives: health, education and employment generation

Food Security Bill to ensure Right to Food: NAC approves the draft

  • NAC (National Advisory Council) accepted the draft Food Security Bill
  • It attempts to make certain Right to Food to the poorest of the poor in the country
  • The Bill recommends: 35 kgs of food grains for below poverty line household per month at subsidized rates
  • Entitles 75% of country’s population to highly-subsidized food grains
  • As per the Draft Bill: two types of households are eligible for discounted grain:
  • priority households- below the poverty line (BPL)- cover about 40% of the total population- entitled every month to 35 Kg and will pay 3 rupees per Kg of rice and 2 rupees per kg of wheat
  • general households-Lower Middle Class families- constitute the other 30% – will have the right to 20 Kg at a price not exceeding 50% of the Minimum Support Price paid to farmers for the food grains
  • Bill envisages a strong grievance redressal and monitoring system from the Centre to the block levels
  • Includes formation of an independent and empowered district grievance redressal officer
  •  NAC chairman: Sonia Gandhi

India necessitates for a substantive dialogue amongst all the nations owning nuclear weapons

  • India necessitates for a substantive dialogue amongst all the nations possessing nuclear weapons
  • To fabricate trust and confidence and for cutting down the strikingness of nuclear weapons in international affairs and security doctrines
  • The Global Zero Summit beginning in London Wednesday evening
  • PM Dr Manmohan Singh extended support for the ambition of a world free of nuclear weapons
  • As per Dr Singh, the aim of nuclear disarmament can be accomplished by a gradual process insured by a worldwide assurance and a settled all-party framework that is global and non-preferential
  • Reformist steps are required for the de-legitimization of nuclear weapons
  • India has been firm in its stand for global, non-prejudiced confirmable nuclear disarmament
  • Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi presented a farsighted action plan for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free and Non-Violent World Order. This action plan sets out a roadmap to accomplish nuclear disarmament in a time bound fashion
  • The Summit draws together more than 100 prominent Global Zero leaders and senior Government officials for policy discussions for bringing all countries possessing nuclear weapons to the table to discuss all-party nuclear arms reduction for the first time in history

Agro-met and Fishery Advisory Service information brought profits to the farmers and fishermen

  • The Agro-met and Fishery Advisory Service has harvested in economic profits to the farmers and fishermen in the country
  • Information furnished to the farming society has earned them an economic benefit of Rs 50,000 Crore  annually
  • The fishermen have made Rs 34,000 Crore profit annually
  • Earth System Science Organization furnishes valuable Agro-met information
  • The data concerning latent fishing zones and weather increased productivity thereby benefiting them
  • Agro-met services are now extended to 550 districts and will cover all the districts by next year
  • About 2 million farmers are availing this service on their mobile phones

World Bank sanctions $99 million package for Nepal- India project

  • World Bank sanctions $99 million package for Nepal- India Electricity Transmission and Trade Project
  • To help Nepal to extenuate its national energy crisis
  • It will provide Nepal with around 100 MW of electricity
  • Cross- border transmission project

Women’s Reservation Bill: All party meet ends

  • All party meeting on Women’s Reservation Bill concluded
  • Ms Meira Kumar (Lok Sabha Speaker) stated consultations in this regard to continue in order to arrive at a consensus on the bill

UK to provide Aid worth £ 1 billion to Bangladesh

  • UK to provide £ 1 billion aid to Bangladesh over the next 4 years to support programmes for cutting down poverty, fortifying Education sector and other social sectors and to deal with issues associated with Climate Change

Sri Lankan governing party defeats opposition sponsored bill on RTI

  • The ruling party in Sri Lanka United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) utilized its majority in the Sri Lankan Parliament to defeat an opposition sponsored bill on Right to Information
  • Sri Lanka’s major opposition United National Party’s (UNP) moved a private member’s bill which furnished liberty of access to official Information
  • Ruling Party in Sri Lanka: President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s  United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA)
  • Opposition Party in Sri Lanka: United National Party’s (UNP)

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