Current Affairs : September 6, 2011

Report submitted by the Expert panel on Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram

  • The panel of Experts for the decision on the safety, recording and opening the kallara (vault) B in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram communicated to the apex Court that 1 year was necessary to accomplish the full work
  • It communicated that a sum of Rs. 2.98 Crore would be required in order to meet all the expenses on videography, photography, providing infrastructure and to beef up security cover
  • In order to check whether there was a need to open the Secret Vault B, the Supreme Court appointed the panel on July 21, 2011
  • The aim of the Panel was to organize account of treasure and take videography and photography, to scrutinize which articles could be used for regular use in the temple and which could be kept for public view
  • The panel was to sketch a long term plan for maintenance of the treasure and to set up safety measures
  • In its interim report, the panel has noted that regarding the opening of kallara/vault B, a devaprasnam was carried on and the kallara ‘B’ was not opened
  • Orders from the court were now awaited concerning the opening of the vault
  • The panel, however opined that the opening of kallara B was required to ascertain the quantity and quality of the items stored inside, for inventory management, for ascertaining security measures, and for documentation of all artefacts/treasure items
  • Panel suggested to take 3D images of the objects in all the kallaras
  • As the jewellery was stored in iron boxes, there was a possibleness of corrosion, the items would then be needed to be put in wooden boxes
  • The panel also suggested for appointing a Gold purity analyser by the Court for the evaluation of gold jewellery
  • Panel recommended for digital mechanism to put in place for the jewellery
  • The panel demanded for observation via closed circuit cameras and also desired that an LCD TV be established



Impeachment motion against Justice Sen dropped by Lok Sabha

  • Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court escaped impeachment by the Lok Sabha

  • When the Law Minister Salman Khurshid conveyed to the House the information about Justice Sen’s resignation, the House before which the impeachment business was put, dropped it after a Sense of the House was sought by Speaker Meira Kumar relating to dropping the proceedings against Sen
  • The Members responded in agreement after which the Speaker declared that the House agrees
  • Justice Sen is the first Judge who has been impeached by the Rajya Sabha
  • The Lok Sabha was to impeach Sen for misconduct and misappropriation of funds in the capacity of a Court Receiver, over which he was impeached by an overwhelming majority in the Rajya Sabha earlier
  • The proceedings of the impeachment motion were set in process when over 50 Rajya Sabha MPs moved such a motion
  • Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Mohd. Hamid Ansari set up a special committee constituted to look into the allegations levelled against Justice Sen
  • The Committee found the charges of financial abnormalities against Justice Sen to be truthful


SEBI has Power to direct unlisted firms: SAT

  • Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) mentioned that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has broader powers under the SEBI Act to issue instructions to even unlisted firms in order to defend interest of investors in the securities market
  • This observance by the SAT was in reaction to a Sahara Group contention that the jurisdiction to control an unlisted public company rests not with the SEBI but with the Central Government
  • The issue was raised in front of SAT after SEBI instructed two Sahara Group firms (Sahara India Real Estate Corp and Sahara Housing Investment) to refund money to investors in the company’s OFCD (Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures) scheme
  • Earlier in July 2011, the Supreme Court had instructed SAT to accelerate the case with in a period of 8 weeks and also settle on the jurisdiction to control such instruments
  • The Sahara counsel pointed out Section 55 A of the Companies Act, which makes a distinction between listed and unlisted public companies with relation to the issue and transfer of securities


India’s GDP Growth for the 2011-12 fiscal anticipated at 7.5-8% by the Rating Agency Moody’s

  • Global rating agency Moody’s projected India’s GDP growth for the 2011-12 fiscal at 7.5-8%
  • It also mentioned soaring domestic interest rates together with the present global uncertainties as the near-term factors that could affect its economic growth
  • Moody’s also owns about 29% of ICRA Ltd, one of India’s leading credit rating agencies
  • The rating agency is of the view that increasing domestic interest rates and an uncertain global economic atmosphere would perhaps diminish India’s near term GDP growth. However, the report cited that a recurring slowdown is not likely to change its credit outlook
  • Moody’s analysis was in synchronisation with the outlook held by the RBI on inflation
  • Inflation was probable to moderate to about 7% by the end of the fiscal in March 2012. The agency spotlighted on the concern over investment slowdown, a key matter that India Inc. mentioned for giving rise to a break in additional rate hikes by the RBI
  • India is not resistant to an international growth slowdown, the report yet cited that the intensity of domestic demand and the diverseness of the economy offer a buffer against a retardation in globally uncovered sectors


India and Israel Decide to augment Tourism Cooperation


  • India and Israel decided to augment cooperation in Tourism Sector
  • This decision came amidst a meeting b/w Stas Misezhnikov, Tourism Minister of Israel and Union Tourism Minister, Subodh Kant Sahai held in New Delhi
  • As per the Israeli Minister, hoteliers of Israel are interested to set up hotels in India
  • Mr. Misezhnikov also called for increasing the number of flights b/w India and Israel
  • Tour operators and travel agents of India and Israel will interact with one another to enhance bipartisan touristry b/w both countries
  • The potential for encouraging package tours also to be considered
  • Tourist traffic from Israel to India was 40581 in 2009, which rose to 43539 in the year 2010
  • An accord b/w India and Israel on mutual assistance in the field of tourism was signed in New Delhi in May, 1993. Both the countries have rectified this agreement
  • India Tourism Office located in Frankfurt is responsible for promoting India as a tourist destination in the Israeli market
  • India Tourism Office take part in International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) which is held in Tel Aviv to demonstrate India’s tourism destinations and products to the tour operators and consumers of Israel
  • India is recognized in Israel as an ancient nation with strong cultural traditions and Israelis perceive India as an beautiful, substitute tourist destination


UNCTAD: India’s GDP to develop 8.1% in 2011

  • As per UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), Indian economy likely to expand by 8.1% in 2011
  • This would be the fastest growth rate in the world after China
  • In its global release of Trade and Development Report 2011, the UNCTAD opined that the Indian economy will grow by 8.1% in 2011, against to 8.6% in 2010, despite down in developed nations and many other countries
  • Different agencies and their projections about the growth of Indian Economy for the year 2011-12


$3 million by World Bank for protecting Tigers in Nepal

  • World Bank rendered $3 million in order to protect Tigers in Nepal

  • Fund to be worn-out under Strengthening the Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection Project
  • Project to be run for 4 years concentrating on preserving tiger habitat, checking the hunting down and illegal trade of tigers and supporting research
  • As per latest figures Nepal has 155 tigers
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