Current Affairs : March 22, 2010
World Water Day 2010
The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro.
Awards & Honours:
Phalke Academy Award: Shriram Tamrakar
Shriram Tamrakar is a film reviewer who was earlier honored as Best Film Reviewer by the Madhya Pradesh Film Development Corporation in 1992. He has been selected to be awarded Phalke academy Award Dadasaheb Phalke Academy in Mumbai.
Sarsawati Samman: Surjit Pattar
Saraswati Samman is an annual award for outstanding prose or poetry literary works in any of the 22 Indian languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and is considered as highest literary honor for the country. The award was instituted in 1991 by the K. K. Birla Foundation.
The 2009 award winner is Surjit Pattar distinguished Punjabi poet for his book of poems entitled ”Lafzan Di Dargah”. 2008 winner was Lakshmi Nandan Bora for his novel Kayakalpa written in Assamese .
Number of Tigers in India:
In India, only 3500 tigers are left, out of which 1411 are wild. 13 tigers have been killed in 3 months of 2010. in 2009 60 tigers died across various reserves of the country. (noted from PIB)
Maharastra: Worli-Haji Ali sealink
Worli-Haji Ali sealink is a proposed project of Rs. 4301 crore which shall be completed till 2014. The state government gives a go ahead to Reliance Infrastructure-Hyundai consortium for construction of this sealink.
Transport Ministry: 7 Regional Offices
To speed up the functioning and achieve the target of 20 kms per day, the Road Transport Ministry has come up with the plans to open 7 regional offices at Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Chennai and Bhopal , thus decentralizing the work.
Each regional office will be headed by a Chief Engineer. Projects under the National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) come under NHAI and the rest are under the ministry.
NHAI plans to award over 200 projects, worth Rs 2 lakh crore, by the end of 2010-11To streamline the process and avoid frivolous bidding,
NHAI has revised the norms, including raising the net worth criteria of the bidder.
A few days after Roads and Transport Minister Kamal Nath took charge, he had set a target of building 20 km of road a day.
The Minister Kamal Nath announces that his ministry will achieve its target by June 2010, however its worth notable that first five years of the UPA rule (from 2004) had seen construction at the pace of four km a day
Golden Chariot: Extended Journey to Kerala:
From March 15, 2010 the Golden Chariot luxury train has extended its itinerary and now it covers Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala. In kerala it will cover Alapuzza and Kochi. in Alapuzza, passengers will be taken on a houseboat cruise on the backwaters of Kumarakom
Golden Chariot is run by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation collaboration with Indian Railways.Golden Chariot has 19 thematically designed coaches. Its 44 cabins have amenities like wi-fi, plasma TV and attached baths.
Mizoram : Annual Plan 2010-11
Annual plan for Mizoram for 2010-11 has been finalized at Rs 1,500 crore. It shows a 20 per cent increase from last year’s Rs 1250 crores.
Bihar : First Bihar Diwas:
Bihar is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size and 3rd largest by population. The state observes first Bihar Diwas officially. It marks the 98th anniversary of separate statehood status to Bihar. Its worth notable that Bihar remained a part the Bengal Presidency of the British Raj until 1912. First it was separated from Bengal and finally from Orissa on March 22, 1912. In 1935, certain portions of Bihar were reorganized into the separate province of Orissa.
Haryana: Kabaddi Academy:
Haryana Government announces a Kabaddi Academy at Sirsa.
Himachal Pradesh: Nalwar Cattle fair
A week long State level Nalwar Fair of Sundernagar begins on March 22, 2010.
Factbox: Some cattle fairs in India:
Rajasthan: Pushkar Camel Fair : Pushkar Fair the world’s largest camel fair is celebrated in the month of November(Kartik).
Bihar: Sonepur Cattle Fair : It is Asia’s largest cattle fair.Famous for the cattle fair specially for the elephants. A person can buy elephants, camels, goats, buffaloes, horses etc. in this fair.
Uttar Pradesh: Dadri Cattle Fair : A famous a largest cattle fair celebrated at Dadri, 5 kms from Balia town in the state of Uttar Pradesh
Rajasthan: Nagaur Cattle fair: It is second largest cattle fair in India. Held in the month of January-February every year
Business & Economy:
Mysore: Bank Note paper mill
Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Finance, Government of India laid the foundation stone of a new banknote paper mill at Mysore in the premises of the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt. Ltd. (BRBNMPL).
The banknote paper mill is a joint venture between the BRBNMPL, the note printing unit of the Reserve Bank of India and the SPMCIL, a Government of India Undertaking – the two agencies which are collectively responsible for printing of all currency notes in the country. This plant, located in close proximity of the note printing press in Mysore, will suitably have production capacity of 6000 metric tonnes with an additional line of equal capacity to be installed in the second phase.
Data on Counterfeit Notes:
RBI Governor D Subbarao reveals the following data at the Foundation Stone laying function for the Bank Note paper mill Mysore.
Fake notes in India were 8 per one million notes in circulation in 2008-09 and this situation is not alarming looking at the stats of other countries. While in Australia, counterfeit notes detected were around seven pieces per million notes in circulation (2008-09), in Canada it was 76 (2008). In New Zealand, the number was as low as 0.71 counterfeits per million notes in circulation (2008-09), whereas in Switzerland it was ten. As for Euro, there was roughly about one counterfeit per 14,600 bank notes in circulation (2008). (Noted from RBI Governor’s speech)
Reserve Bank of India: Polymer Notes:
RBI plans to print One billion polymer bank notes in the Rs ten denomination on experimental basis. The currency notes would be circulated in five cities in the country on an experimental basis. These currency notes could be recycled. A detailed study would also be taken up as it has high dispensable carbon footprints. If found successful. the same would be circulated across the country. (RBI Governor Dr D Subba Rao)
RBI : Latest Moves (revision)
RBI has raised the repo rate by 25bps to 5% and reverse repo rate by 25bps to 3.5% recently. This has surprised the markets as it was due to be announced on April 20, 2010.
Please note that last hike in both the repo and reverse repo rates was way back in December 2008.
This is a sequel to the earlier action of RBI on January 29th, 2010 where CRR was hiked by 75bps to suck out Rs.36, 000 crs from the system.
The idea behind this move is balancing both the economic growth and inflationary trends.Inflation has been in news headlines in past few months for constantly being on the uptrend. The headline WPI inflation of 9.9% (y-o-y basis) in February 2010 exceeded RBI’s baseline projection of 8.5% for end-March 2010. Prices of non-food manufactured goods accelerated from -0.4% in November 2009 to 0.7% in December 2009.
This movement is followed by banks hiking their interest rates , however there may be no immediate effects. In April RBI will announce its annual policy.
India US ESG Meeting:
Indo-US Army Executive Steering Group (ESG) meetings are held at venues alternating between India and the US to coordinate various joint training events between the two Armies. In this series 14th annual meeting was held at Western Command Headquarters at Chandimandir.
Fact Box: Commands of the Indian Army:
The Indian Army is administratively divided into 7 tactical commands, each under the control of different Lieutenant Generals.The Indian Air Force is divided into five operational and two functional commands. Each Command is headed by an Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Air Marshal. The Indian Navy operates four Commands. Each Command is headed by a Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief in the rank of Vice Admiral.
The 7 commands of Indian Army are as follows:
Central Command, headquartered at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Eastern Command, headquartered at Kolkata, West Bengal
Northern Command, headquartered at Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir
Southern Command, headquartered at Pune, Maharashtra
South Western Command, headquartered at Jaipur, Rajasthan
Western Command, headquartered at Chandimandir
Training Command, headquartered at Shimla, Himachal Pradesh