Current Affairs : February 16, 2010

Appointments:
President of the All India Students Federation (AISF) – Paramajit Singh Dhaban
Mr Paramajit Singh Dhaban has been elected as the new national President of the All India Students Federation (AISF) in the 27th National Conference of AISF.

Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court – Justice Nisar Ahmad Kakru
Justice Nisar Ahmad Kakru who is a judge of Jannu & Kashmir High court has been Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court by President of India. (as per clause (1) of article 217 of the Constitution of India)

America’s new special envoy to OIC – Rashad Hussain
Rashad Hussain is an Indian-origin lawyer and has been selected as America’s new special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. This is a key post and Rashad Hussain is entrusted with deepening and expanding the partnerships with Muslims across the world, an important element of Obama’s foreign policy. Rashad Hussain is a respected member of the American Muslim community.

Awards:
Alumni Award by the University of Hawaii Alumni Association- Ashok Kumar Malhotra
Indian-American Ashok Kumar Malhotra is a noted professor of philosophy at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oneonta, will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Hawaii Alumni Association.

National Updates:
Educational Development Index – Punjab leads
National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) has conducted a survey which says that based upon Education Development Index which is prepared by NUEPA, Punjab pushes Delhi on second to lead with 0.917 points in school infrastructure index compared to Delhi.

Economy:
RBI’s HR audit:
HR audit is a diagnostic tool which examines the organization’s HR policies and procedures to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of employees and suggests solution wherever required. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) embarks on its biggest ever human resources (HR) audit programme to take a complete re-look at its man management practices. Read This article on Business Standard

MOU for Biomass Gasifier Systems:
In order to facilitate the rice mills to avail the special financial package expeditiously a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between State Bank of India, Patna and M/s Beltron Telecommunication Ltd, Patna. Through this technical & financial mechanism, about 500 rice mills would be able to avail the benefit by setting up biomass Gasifier systems during 2010 which will lead to the saving of about 20-25 million liters of diesel annually and at the same time avail the benefits of a reliable power supply.

What is Biomass gasification?
Biomass gasification is basically conversion of solid biomass such as wood, wood waste, agricultural residues etc., into a combustible gas mixture normally called producer gas. They can be utilized for thermal and electrical applications. The required biomass yield can be obtained from energy plantations grown on wastelands. Further all types of agricultural wastes viz Rice husk, Coconut shells, briquettes of various agricultural residues, maize crops branches and twigs of plants are the possible fuel stocks for the Gasifier. Government of India (MNRE) Provides subsidy for these gasifiers as below:

Industries / Institutions

  • Thermal : Rs.2.00 lakhs / 300 KWe
  • Electrical Dual Fuel : Rs.2.50 lakhs / 100 KWe
  • 100% Gas engine : Rs.15.00 lakhs / 100 KWe (educational Institution)
  • Rs:10.00 lakhs / 100 KWe (Commercial / Industries purpose)

Gasifier installed under MNRE / State subsidy

  • Industries / Institution : 2670 KWe (Thermal) 2140 KWe (Electricity)
  • Village Panchayat (Small Capacity) : 634 KWe (65 Nos.)

India World:
Partners in Population and Development
The Partners in Population and Development (PPD) is an intergovernmental alliance of twenty-four ‘developing’ countries. This is the only organization in the world which is fully dedicated to South-South partnerships. Headquarters are at Dhaka.

The 23 countries are Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia Pakistan Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, Benin, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal , South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

A meeting of the Executive Committee of Partners in Population and Development (PPD) was held under the chairmanship of Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad at Dhaka. India, China, Tunisia, Kenya and Bangladesh are the members of the Executive Committee. Indian Health Minister is the current Chair of the Executive Committee as well as the Board of the organization.

In this meeting India has announced 10 fellowships at the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi to the participants from Member Countries for building their capacity.

Bangladesh: Vested Property Return (Amendment) Act
Vested Property Return (Amendment) Act has been given a cabinet nod in Bangladesh. This act is now going to be passed in the Bangladesh Parliament (Jatiyo Sangshad) in the next session and is related to amend the law for restoring property seized from minority groups, mainly Hindus.

The Vested Property Act has been always a controversial law in Bangladesh because it was a tool for the Government to confiscate property from individuals it deemed as an enemy of the state and has been under criticism for being a tool to confiscate the lands of the minorities mainly Hindus. It was renamed in 1974.
Its notable that family property of Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen had been confiscated by the Pakistan government, however the government announced in 1999 that it is finding ways to return that property. The law has been highlighted by the U.S. Department of State and Amnesty International as a major human rights concern that has contributed to internal displacement, emigration and disenfranchisement

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