Current Affairs : June 24, 2011

Export of 5 Lakh Tonnes of additional sugar under OPG (Open General License) allowed by the Centre

  • Central Government allowed export of 5 Lakh Tonnes of additional sugar under the Open General Licence
  • EGoM, headed by Pranab Mukherjee (Finance Minister) also decided to release 50 lakh tonnes of foodgrains for sale to above poverty line families
  • Sugar production in India which is the world’s 2nd largest producer is estimated to be 24.2 million tonnes in this season whereas the annual domestic demand for sugar is only 22.5 million tones

UK declares to construct 8 new Nuclear Power Plants

  • UK to build 8 eight new Nuclear Power Plants to avoid energy crisis
  • Secretary of State for Energy Chris Huhne announced the construction of the plants

New Home Secretary: Raj Kumar Singh    

  • Raj Kumar Singh appointed new Home Secretary
  • 1975-batch Bihar Cadre IAS officer
  • To take charge after the current officeholder, Mr. G K Pillai who retires on June 30, 2011
  • Mr. Raj Kumar Singh is currently Secretary Defence Production in the Ministry of Defence
  • Also served as Joint Secretary in MoHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) earlier
  • Mr. Raj Kumar Singh to serve a fixed tenure of 2 years from the day he assumes charge

Centre stretches ceasefire with NDFB(P), DHD(N)

  • Centre stretched ceasefire with illegitimate NDFB(P)-[National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive)] and DHD(N) [Dima Halam Daogah (Nunicha)] factions of Assam by another 6 months
  • Previously Suspension of Operations agreements b/w the Centre and the two outfits expires on June 30, 2011
  • Judgment to this effect taken after dialogue with leaders of the two outfits and the Union Home Ministry representatives
  • The two militant groups are at present engaged in political dialogue with the Centre to settle their issues harmoniously
  • Last round of talk was held in Guwahati last week with the Centre’s interlocutor, P C Haldar

Norms cleared by Government for setting up of IDF (Infrastructure Debt Fund)

  • Government cleared norms for setting up of Infrastructure Debt Fund (IDF)
  • Objective: It is aimed at enhancing flow of long term debt to fund infrastructure development
  • IDF may be set up either as a trust or company
  • A Trust based IDF will be regulated by the SEBI, while an Company based IDF will be regulated by the RBI
  • The IDF would attempt to attain resources from domestic and off-shore institutional investors, especially insurance and pension funds
  • IDF was proposed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in this year’s Budget
  • The requirement of infrastructure in the 12th Plan has been pegged at $ 1 Trillion

Proposals exchanged b/w India and Pakistan on conventional, nuclear confidence-building measures

  • India and Pakistan exchanged numerous proposals on conventional and nuclear confidence-building measures
  • Proposal for admitting cruise missile tests in the existent bilateral agreement on Pre-Notification Of Flight Testing Of Ballistic Missiles, signed in October 2005, was considered by the Indian side during talks b/w the Foreign Secretaries on peace and security
  • Making a reference to the recent nuclear accident at the Fukushima atomic plant in Japan after a disturbing Earthquake and Tsunami, Pakistani side proposed that the two sides could work together to address similar safety concerns
  • The existing agreement between India and Pakistan on pre-notification of missile tests covers surface-to-surface ballistic missiles
  • In the nuclear field, a leading Confidence Building Measure is the annual exchange of lists of nuclear installations of the two countries

Training Programme for young lawyers launched by Government

  • Government launched an aspirational Training Programme – Rajiv Gandhi Adhivakta Prashikshan Yojana
    for young lawyers practicing in Magistrate and Munsif courts
  • Objective: To give inspiration and support to young lawyers
  • Under the scheme 2 Months Professional Training will be given to the advocates so that they may serve the need of law professionals at the grass root level
  • Initially each year, 10 practicing young advocates from every state will be selected for imparting the training and subsequently their numbers will be increased in the coming years
  • Mr. Veerapa Moily: Union Law Minister

Congress Working Committee endorses Government’s approach on Lokpal Bill

  • CWC (Congress Working Committee) endorsed the Government’s approach to the Lokpal Bill
  • Working Committee held the undisputed view that the Government should not submit to the any other external pressure
  • The highest policy making body of the party met under the chairmanship of its President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi

DTAA amended by India and Singapore

  • India and Singapore amended their DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) for effective exchange of information in banking and taxation matters
  • The protocol amending DTAA was signed in New Delhi
  • India negotiated DTAAs and signed tax information swaping agreements with 44 countries to reinforce exchange of information concerning tax evasion, money laundering and other criminal activities

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