Quick Current Affairs: February – March 2009

Goafest 2009
China will achieve 8% growth
RBI Task force on the diamond industry
Mega Tourism Circuit of Orissa
Mumbai Students win Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC),
Narayanmurthy a comic book Hero
Nano Europa at 79th Geneva Auto Show
Housing Start-up Index (HSUI)
MiG-23 BN Phased Out
NASA’s Kepler Mission

1. Goafest 2009, the annual awards festival for advertising excellence in the country will kick off on 2nd April. “As per the theme for this year, the discussion will be on what brands and clients should do to ride the market conditions during a slowdown,” said Colvyn Harris, Chairman Goafest and CEO JWT India.

2. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has assured that China will achieve 8% growth this year despite a deepening financial crisis, setting out export support and spending programmes to shore up the economy.

3. The Reserve Bank of India’s task force on the diamond industry has asked banks to examine the possibility of providing loans to distressed units against the inventory of polished diamonds. Such assistance is expected to provide liquidity support to units that are badly hit by the global slowdown in demand, and cash flow problems.

4. The Orissa government has planned a mega tourism circuit covering five districts of South Orissa including Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Rayagada and Koraput.

5. Five students of city college in Mumbai have come up with a business plan that aims to distribute food packets among slum dwellers.According to the plan, healthy food will be distributed to slum dwellers at a nominal cost of Rs 5. The five management students of the NMIMS college in north west Mumbai recently won the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC), held at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, for their business plan ‘Ahaar’ to provide meals to slum dwellers.

6. N R Narayana Murthy has several firsts to his credit. It’s time to add one more: that of a comic book hero. ACK Media, the publisher, will follow this up with stories of famous personalities like cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and former Indian President and Bharat Ratna award winner, APJ Abdul Kalam.

7. On the sidelines of unveiling the European version of Nano- christened as Nano Europa-at the 79th Geneva Auto Show, Tata Motors’ Ratan Tata (chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors) has said that the aforesaid car will be hitting the European market by 2011.

8. The Reserve Bank of India is planning to start a housing start up index. A standing committee will be constituted to launch this initiative, monitor its progress, commission and overview the surveys for constructing start-up coefficients and consider increasing the scope and coverage of HSUI over time. Housing Start-up Index (HSUI) will be based on newly built residential units in urban India and will be compiled on a quarterly basis.

9. After serving the Air Force for nearly three decades, single-engine strike aircraft MiG-23 BN was given a farewell at a formal ‘phasing out’ ceremony at the Halwara airbase in Punjab on March 6, 2009. Wing Commander Y.J. Joshi and Squadron Leader T.R. Sahu flew the aircraft on its last flight at the ceremony presided over by Chief of the Air Staff Fali Homi Major.

10. NASA’s planet-hunting spacecraft, Kepler, rocketed into space on March 6, 2009 night on an historic voyage to track down other worlds in a faraway patch of the Milky Way galaxy. It’s the first mission capable of answering the age-old question: is there another Earth out there? Kepler, named after the 17th century German astrophysicist, set off on its unprecedented mission at 2049 EDT (0349 GMT), thundering into a clear sky embellished by a waxing moon. Its mission will last at least three-and-a-quarter years and cost 600 (m) million US dollars (475 (m) million euros). The goal is to find any Earth-like planets circling stars in the so-called habitable zone, orbits where liquid water could be present on the surface of the planets.

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