Current Affairs : April 16, 2010

Appointments:
Dr. N.C.Saxena Committee:

Joint Committee of Ministry of Environment And Forests and Ministry of Tribal Affairs has been revised. Dr. N.C.Saxena, retired Secretary, Planning Commission will be Chairman of this committeeand Dr. Devendra Pandey, Fromer Director General, Forest Survey of India will be Co-Chairman.

Awards:
Prime Minister’s Awards for excellence in Governance for 2008-09
Prime Minister’s Awards for excellence in Governance for 2008-09 have been announced. These awards are given in individual, group and organization categories. The list of the winners is Here

National Affairs:
Failure of GSLV-D3
GSLV-D3, India’s 330 crore rupees mission to flight test the first indigenous cryogenic engine failed after the rocket GSLV-D3 powered by it crashed into the sea five minutes after a perfect lift-off.

Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan
Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan is a centrally sponsored scheme which was introduced from 2008-09 for creation of basic sports infrastructure in all village and block panchayats and for conducting sports competitions at block, district, state and national level in the country. The outlay for this scheme for 11th five year plan is Rs. 1500 Crores.

Railways: 169.77 kms of new line track was added every year since 1950-51
As per a written reply of Minister of State for Railways, Shri K.H. Muniyappa in Rajya Sabha,the route kilometers of Indian Railways have grown from 53,596 kms to 63,273 kms at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 0.29 per cent. The Running Track Kilometers grew from 59,315 km to 85,158 km at a CAGR of 0.64 per cent and the electrified route grew from 388 kms to 18,274 kms at a CAGR of 6.99 per cent. The freight rates (average rate per tonne km) increased from 3.16 paise to 89.04 paise during the above period at a CAGR of 6.03 per cent.

On an average 169.77 kms of new line track was added from 1950-51 to 2007-08.

Infloclip: The Vision 2020 document of the Railways envisages laying of 25,000 kms of new line by the year 2020. Accordingly, an enhanced target of laying 1000 kms of new lines has been indicated in the Budget 2010-11.

Accelerated Pulses Production Programme (A3P)
Government has approved the Accelerated Pulses Production Programme (A3P) under National Food Security Mission on Pulses from April 1, 2010 for the remaining period of 11th Plan. Under this plan 10 Lakh hectare of potential pulses area would be taken up. The intention is to demonstrate the impact of production and protection technologies in the farmers’ field for boosting the production and productivity of pulses. Government has been implementing National Food Security Mission on Pulses in 16 Major Pulses Growing states of the country.

Fact Box: Some Schemes in Budget 2010-11 for Agriculture Development

Rs. 400 crore provided to extend the green revolution to the eastern region of the
country comprising Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Eastern UP, West Bengal and Orissa.

Rs. 300 crore provided to organize 60,000 “pulses and oil seed villages” in rain-fed areas during 2010-11 and provide an integrated intervention for water harvesting, watershed management and soil health, to enhance the productivity of the dry land farming areas.

Rs. 200 crore provided for sustaining the gains already made in the green revolution areas through conservation farming, which involves concurrent attention to soil health, water conservation and preservation of biodiversity.

Banks have been consistently meeting the targets set for agriculture credit flow in the past few years. For the year 2010-11, the target has been set at Rs. 3,75,000 crore.

In view of the recent drought in some States and the severe floods in some other parts of the country, the period for repayment of the loan amount by farmers extended by six months from December 31, 2009 to June 30,2010 under the Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme for Farmers.

Incentive of additional one per cent interest subvention to farmers who repay short-term crop loans as per schedule, increased to 2% for 2010-11. (from PIB)

Business & Economy:
Carriers Data of Domestic Airlines:
Total domestic passengers carried by the Scheduled Airlines of India in the first quarter of 2010 was:
Air India (Domestic) 17.6%, Jet Airways 18.7%, Jet Lite 7.1%, Kingfisher 22.6%, Spice Jet 12.0%, Paramount 1.6%, Go Air 5.4% and IndiGo 15.0%. (PIB)

Medical Technology Park
There is a proposal to set up a Medical Technology Park a Integrated Vaccine Complex (IVC) at Chengalpattu, near Chennai for manufacture of medical devices and instruments and to address the growing vaccine demand of the country and to develop facilities for producing vaccines required by the Government.

2010 Bloomberg BusinessWeek annual rankings of Most Innovative Companies
Apple tops the 2010 Bloomberg BusinessWeek annual rankings of Most Innovative Companies again. Apple is folowed by Google. Apple, Google, Microsoft,IBM & Toyota Motor are top 5 companies this year. Two Indian companies have apperaed in the top 50 Most Innovative Companies of the world. They are Tata Group on Rank 17 and Reliance Industries on Rank 33. For the first time ever, more companies on our Top 50 are based outside the U.S. China’s rise is the fastest. A year ago, its only representative was Lenovo, at 46.

International Affairs:
Youtube Record: Lady Gaga
Access Hollywood says that Lady GaGa has broken a YouTube record passing one billion mark for video views from a single channel.

On Findings of Heraldo Munoz Commission
United Nations report into the assassination of the former prime minister of pakistan Benazir Bhutto has highly criticized the then military government of Gen. Parvez Musharraf. The report says that killing could have been prevented if adequate security measures had been taken. The report also says that authorities failed to investigate the crime properly. The report says that the versions of the story invloving Mr. Zardari and other members of the family simply had no basis, no evidence to be treated as credible.

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