Current Affairs Update : May16, 2009

Politics : UPA Sweeps
The various permutations and combinations of all the channels and the newspapers seemed to have gone to waste. All were right in stating that the UPA would lead but no one had expected the UPA to literally sweep the polls.
The much feared Left is routed out in its own ‘home’ state – West Bengal. This means that the Left will no longer be a part of the ruling Govt and that in itself is the single best news for the stock markets.
With one single party expected to come to the centre, FIIs will also be queuing up to have a slice of the pie of India, which now once again looks juicy.
1. The Supreme Court has held Haryana guilty of non-compliance with the apex court’s order to release 125 cusecs of water to Delhi’s Nangloi water treatment plant.
What was the issue?
On May 10, 2000, the Supreme Court had directed Haryana to give 125 cusecs of water to Delhi. But contending that Haryana did not comply with this order for the last two years, the DJB (Delhi Jal Board) filed a contempt petition before the apex court last February.

What SC said?
The court asked Haryana’s principal secretary and chief engineer of its irrigation department to be present in court on July 14 (the next date of hearing) to explain why contempt of court proceeding should not be launched against them for ignoring the apex court’s May 2000 order to release water.

2. SC awards 1 crore compensation for medical negligence
The Supreme Court has ordered Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, to pay a compensation of Rs 1 crore to a software engineer of Infosys, who found himself paralyzed waist down following the carelessness of the doctors in performing a major surgical operation.

What had happened?

The victim, Prashant S Dhananka, 39, who has been restricted to wheelchair since the surgery on September 19, 1990, had asked for Rs 7 crore as compensation as he has been made handicapped forever and his chance of marrying and having a family have vanished forever.

Supreme Court settled for an almost seven-fold increase in the Rs 15 lakh amount granted by the Andhra Pradesh high court.

The SC respected the way in which Prashant appeared in person and fought his case in a brilliant way.

3. Supreme Court Said NSA On Varun was overkill
Supreme Court has ordered charges dropped against Varun Gandhi, who had been on parole for a month following his arrest under the stringent National Security Act by the Uttar Pradesh state government in March.

What court said?

“The state government shall forthwith withdraw the detention order against Varun Gandhi under the NSA (National Security Act),” ruled Supreme Court

The court had initially ordered Gandhi’s release on April 16 on the condition he refrain from making any speeches that could inflame communal tensions in Hindu-majority India.

1. Centre sanctioned 400 crore to Tripura
The Ministry of Home Affairs has sanctioned Rs 400 crore for the purpose and the National Projects Construction Corporation has been entrusted with the task of flood lighting the border giving due concern to growing anti-India activities across the border.

What is the Issue?
Tripura Shares a 856 km border with Bangladesh out of which 640-km border has so far been fenced.The fencing work had started in 2001 and was to be finished in 2007 but couldnot be completed in some areas due Opposition from Bangladesh and in some areas from villagers.

2. Jharkhand national games postponed
The National Games has been postponed from its earlier scheduled date of June 1-14 and it will now be held from November 21 to December 5 in Jharkhand.

Are they really organizing the games?

After the National Games was allotted to the state in 2002, the organisers had announced four dates — November 15, 2007, December 1, 2008, February 14, 2009 and June 1, 2009 — but each time it was postponed “citing incomplete infrastructure” .

3. Mig 27 crashes in Rajasthan
An Indian Air Force fighter MIG-27 Friday crashed in a village in Jodhpur in the Rajasthan,Leaving 7 people injured. The pilot was on a routine practice when the mishap happened.

Guess What are called Flying Coffins?


Openning of 62nd cannes festival
THE biggest and most opulent film festival in the world 62nd Cannes Film Festival opened on May 13, 2009. It opened with “Up”, the new 3D animation from Pixar Studios.
About Cannes :

Cannes which is in France is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. Cannes is the home of numerous luxurious houses and mansions as well as many high-end gated communities. The city is also famous for its various luxury stores, fancy restaurants, and prestigious hotels.

India & World:
1. ADB says no to India S2.9 billion India Development Plans

The Asian Development Bank has blocked its lending programme for India because of so called ” Misunderstanding ” of China . Beijing was unhappy with India’s plan to use some of the funding on projects in the Arunachal Pradesh, which according to China is disputed region.

What happened exactly ?

The Bank had a scheduled meeting of the Asian Development Bank board for March 27 to discuss financial assistance for the next three to five years with the country and it was deferred by a board member ( President however didn’t name China). However Bank’s President Kuroda said the assistance programme for India would be discussed at “a later date.”

Some Points :
1. Haruhiko Kuroda is ADB President.
2. China deferred approval of the ADB’s three-year partnership strategy for India.
3. India was the biggest recipient of ADB lending last year, with almost 2.9 billion dollars.
4. The United States has often been critical over what it sees as the bank favouring lending to China and India, considered middle-income countries.
5. The Japan is the biggest donor to ADB followed by US, and the two countries are jointly the largest shareholders.
6. ADB has the 67-members out of which 48 members are from the Asia-Pacific region, with 19 from elsewhere around the world.
7. The Asian Development Fund, funded by ADB’s donor member countries, offers loans at very low interest rates and grants that help reduce poverty in its poorest borrowing countries.
2. India ranks 23rd in Global IP index
According to a survey conducted by European legal firm Taylor Wessing LLP, India stands at the 23rd position and is followed by neighbouring China in ‘IP competitiveness’ in its Global Intellectual Property Index 2009. There are total 24 countries. India is followed by China (bottom). UK Tops the list followed by Germany & US
see the list here :
What is this Index?

This index is related to protection and enforcement of intellectual property practices. The index provides an assessment of the best and worst jurisdiction to obtain, exploit, enforce and attack particular types of IP: trademarks, patents, copyrights, domain names and design rights.

3. Entrance Test for pashupati nath priests
When there was monarchy in Nepal, the King had the right to appoint anyone as the priest of the temple and people were bound to accept that. But Nepal’s government had yesterday issued a regulation enabling Nepalese citizens and other to become the priests and chief priest of the famed Pashupatinath temple, one of the eight holiest Hindu shrines.

As per new regulation framed by ministry of culture and state restructure there any person, who is qualified, can become the priest without any nationality bar. The Pashupati area development trust has decided to fill the vacancy for the posts of chief priest and priests of the temple by issuing a notice in national dailies to appoint them on the basis of free competition. Anyone, including Nepalese and Indian nationals, who are qualified can apply for the jobs.
Many religious organisation here including ”antrarashtriya hindu samvad kendra” have criticised the decision of the Nepal government and urged the Nepal government to maintain centuries old traditions

Business & Economy :
1. NTPC Rihand gets Greentech Platinum Safety Award 2009
Rihand Super Thermal Power Project of NTPC has bagged the Greentech Platinum Safety Award-2009 for maintaining high degree of industrial safety practices at Rihand project. Prior to this, the project has been conferred with Greentech Gold Safety Award for the year 2006, 2007 and 2008 and Greentech Silver Safety Award for the year 2004.

Other Awards NTPC Rihand has won:
Award of Honour from National Safety Council, USA in the year 1987,
Safety Award from National Safety Council, UK in the year 1994, 1998 and 1999
National Safety Award of Govt. of India in the year 1990, 1994 and 1999,
Safety Award from National Safety Council, 1999, 2000 and 2005,
NTPC Safety Awards in the years 1991-92, 1993-94, 96-97, 97-98.

2. NTPC and SBI sign agreement 8500 crore
NTPC Limited and State Bank of India have signed a loan agreement for Rs. 8500 crore, largest ever loan facility from SBI in New Delhi The loan has a door to door tenure of 10 years and the interest rate is linked to SBAR (State Bank Advance Rate).

3. Bajaj gets patent for shock absorbers.
Bajaj Auto has received patent for its invention — multi-spring vehicle shock absorber — used in its motorcycles, with which it hopes to counter cheap Chinese copycats. The Indian Patent Office has granted the company its “SNS” invention with patent no. 234044 on May 1, 2009. This technology was first introduced on Bajaj CT 100 in July 2005 and subsequently in other models such as Discover, XCD, Platina, and Boxer-S.

What is this invention?
This invention comprises use of at least two spring elements disposed in parallel arrangement over a damper body in a vehicle shock absorber to share
vehicle/ rider load and provide superior riding comfort compared to conventional single spring shock absorbers.

Why Bajaj applying for patents in several countries?
Bajaj Auto has applied for patent in several countries for this unique technology and is taking necessary steps to counter the menace of Chinese manufacturers unscrupulously marketing cheap copies of the technology in Nigeria and in Kenya and Uganda.

4. Exports down by 33%
India’s exports are expected to have fallen an annual 33 percent in April, similar to the drop seen in March.

5. India emerged as third largest steel producer:
India has emerged as the third largest steel producer in the world, leaving behind Russia and the US, in the first quarter of 2009. As per the World Steel Association estimates for the January-March period of 2009, India reported 1% increase in output at 13.17 million tonnes for three months ended against the year-ago period.

China and Japan have the first two ranks . China recorded a steel production of about 126 million tonnes, while Japan had 17.60 million tonnes in the three months

Ranking Order: China > Japan > India > Russia > US

6. BRIC summit next month in Russia:
Russia will host the first stand-alone summit of the world’s fastest emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, next month.

The first summit of these nations, clubbed as the BRIC, was held in July 2008 in Hokkaido, Japan on the sidelines of the G-8 summit.
What is BRIC?
The term BRIC was first used in 2003 in a forecast published by the Goldman Sachs investment bank that named Brazil, Russia, India and China as the fast emerging economies likely to assume key global role.

7. Bharti Airtel becomes world’s 3rd largest country operator:
Bharti Airtel’s subscriber base has crossed the 100 million mark, making it the world’s third largest ‘in-country’ mobile operator. The milestone makes every fourth mobile phone user in the country a customer of Bharti Airtel.

About : Bharti Airtel wasFounded in 1995 as Bharti Tele-Ventures. Sunil Mittal is the Chairman

Science & Technology :
Hybrid Electric Buses in October 2010
Taking inspiration from the Beijing Olympics held last year, the Delhi government, too, is keen to display its commitment towards the conservation of environment to the world.
It plans to introduce ‘hybrid’ electric buses during the Commonwealth Games to be held in October 2010. These hybrid buses will run on CNG and electric energy, and the government plans to station them at all 11 Games venues to transport athletes and spectators.
Delhi State AIDS Control Society, Government of Delhi
The Delhi State AIDS Control Society is an autonomous body of Delhi Govt. which became functional from 1st November,1998, is a nodal agency which is responsible for implementing the National AIDS Control Programme funded by Govt. of India. The main objective of the society to prevent and control HIV transmission and to strengthen state capacity to respond to long-term challenge paused by the epidemic. The society is implementing various components through various department/ institute of Govt. and Non-Government.
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