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Current Events 2007

International Events:

India and China team Up to tackle West on Climate Pact (8, Dec 2007)

India and China along with other G-77 countries begun a strong campaign against the pressure mounted at Bali by the industrialized countries to trash the existing global climate change treaty called the UN Framework Convention on Climate change.If the industrialized countries have their way it could see India taking on green house gas emissions which it contends would slow down the country's economic growth.

India is demanding that the process of reviewing the industrialized country's failure to reduce their emissions despite existing binding commitments be carried on separately than the discussion on the long term future commitments. But the industrialized countries have been pushing hard for a merger of both the issues.

India,China may win battle for Climate fund (6, Dec 2007)

India and China are close to bringing an international fund to help developing and poor countries adapt to climate changes revived.The two emerging economies along with other developing and poor nations have forced the agenda onto the table at the UN global meet on climate change in Bali.

The move hopes to revive fund which has been defunct for almost a decade.The fund at present made out of a 2%cess on the carbon trade is meant to help non industralized countries adapt to emerging threats from climate change such as protecting coasts against rising sea level.But the kitty for the poor countries has gathered a mere $67 million in the past decade.

World headed for ecological disaster-HDR (28, Nov 2007)

The warning against carbon emissions just got more urgent.The UN Human Development Report said on Tuesday that unless the global community agrees to cut emissions by half by 2050 the world will face huge economic setbacks and ecological catastrope.The poor nations would be hit the hardest as they are the least equipped to face nature's fury manifest in devastating storms and droughts.

Fidel Castro in grave condition (17, Jan 2007)

Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro is in very grave condition after three failed operations and complications from intestinal infection. Cuba has released little information on Castro's condition since he temporarily ceded power in July 2006 to his brother, Defence Minister Raul Castro. This prompted much speculation in the country and around the world.

Emergency declared in Bangladesh (12, Jan 2007)

A state of emergency was declared in Bangladesh prior to general elections on January 22. President Iajuddin Ahmed stepped down as head of Bangladesh's interim government due to pressure from the Awami League led alliance. Night curfew was imposed in the country fearing violence in the wake of the decision of the alliance led by Awami League chief to stay away from the elections, pressing for the removal of Ahmed as head of the interim government to ensure free and fair polls.

Clashes in Bangladesh (8, Jan 2007)

There were renewed clashes in Bangladesh between police and political activists two weeks before parliamentary elections. At least 50 people were injured and 30 detained on the second day of a transport blockade called by former Prime minister Sheikh Hasina's multi party alliance, which is boycotting the January 22 polls. As the violence spread, caretaker President Iajuddin Ahmed summoned army chief Lieutenant General Moiuddin U.Khan to review the situation.

National Events:

Expulsion must for ragging- SC (11,Dec 2007)

Concerned over the tardy implementation of its previous orders ,Supreme Court directed educational institutions to adopt a zero tolerance policy to ragging and expel students found guilty of maltreating freshers.Laying down explusion of offenders in ragging cases as the minimum punishment the court said that this was needed to end the menace that could lead to extreme torture and harrassment and even loss of life.

Forest Rights Act to be enforced from Jan 1 (8,Dec 2007)

The UPA Government decided to operationalize the controversial Forest Rights Act by January 1 .The environment ministry issued guidelines to demarcate critical wildlife habitats as provided in the Forest Rights Act in order to ensure rights of people in the existing tiger reserves,national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

Child Marriages in Ajmer in single day (8,Dec 2007)

Despite India banning child marriages in 1929 the practice still continue without any check.Rajasthan which witnesses many such marriages on Akha Teej every year witnessed the marriages of 25 child couples in a mass ceremony in Ajmer district.It was attended by thousands of people and overlooked by government machinery.

No more funds for Ganga Cleaning (6,Dec 2007)

The Supreme Court took a serious view of the level of pollution in the Ganga despite the ambitious Ganga Action Plan spending Rs 1000 crore and directed the Centre not to release more funds without the states showing utilization certificates for the earlier grants.

Tobacco lobby blocks move on gory warnings (30,Nov 2007)

The govenment move to have pictures of cancerous tumours on cigarette packs and other products to scare people away from smoking has been scuttled by powerful tobacco lobby.The group of ministers headed by Mr Pranab mukarjee has decided to relook at the pictoral warnings.

Lakhs of Cases Pending in Indian Courts (30,Nov 2007)

As many as 37.1 lakh cases were pending in India's 21 high courts as of June 30,2007. On the same day 2.5 crore cases were pending in lower courts. Of the 792 posts of judges sanctioned for high courts 206 are vacant.Of the sanctioned strength of 15,399 judges in lower courts,3,031 are vacant. Indian judicial system is facing severe problems of lack of infrastructure,abnormally low salaries for the judges and unfilled lower court posts with corruption at all levels.The government is not focussing on how to pull the judiciary out of the current mess.Each passing year parliament and state assemblies pass more and more laws yet no-one in the government appears to give thought to the fact that number of judges should be increased to cope with increased number of litigants and that retraining of judges in new laws is necessary.

India's political map is set to be redrawn (29,Nov 2007)

The country's electoral landscape may change soon with a significant fallout for some of the leading players.With the gazette notification of delimitation of 25 states placed in Parliament and nine chief ministers having already written to PM demanding its implementation,the stage is set for a complete alteration of many parliamentary and assembly constitutencies nursed as family boroughs by politicians.

What is delimitation?

Delimitation is the process of fixing the boundaries of constituencies.The boundaries are redefined from time to time by the Delimitation Commission to reflect new population patterns.

How will it affect politics this time?

While the total number of LS and assembly seats remains the same in each state,new states will come up and boundaries of old ones redrawn.

There will be more urban constituencies ,fewer rural ones.

Reserved seats to go up from 116 to 126

280 die in Indian road accidents every day (27,Nov 2007)

Indian roads are lethal as it is evident with official figures revealing that nearly 280 people die in road accidents every day.Among the metros Delhi tops the chart with 1,717 persons dying on its roads in 2005. Among cities,Chennai is second behind Delhi with 1,055 dead,followed by Bangalore,Mumbai,Kanpur,Hyderabad,Jaipur and Kolkata.In Delhi nearly 1/4th of the victims were pedestrians a testimony to the city's culture of reckless driving as well as poor road etiquette.

Amethi gets an ordinance factory (27,Nov 2007)

The UPA government has sanctioned an ordinance factory for Rahul Gandhi's Amethi constituency.This comes after a new NIFT was sanctioned for the Rae bareli constituency of his mother,Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi.

Indian wins Commonwealth top Job (25,Nov 2007)

Career diplomat Kamlesh Sharma was unanimously chosen as the new commonwealth secretary general after a close race to emerge as the first Indian to hold the coveted post of the 53-member grouping.Currently India's high commissioner to the UK 66 -year old Sharma was chosen after an intense campaign.

Indo- US Nuclear Deal ( 23, July 2007)

The Indian and US officials finalized the draft 123 agreement on civil nuclear cooperation. This is has been referred to the respective government for review. The draft would come up before the Cabinet Committee on National Security for approval in India and it would go to the president in the US. It has taken two years and two days from July 18, 2005 –the date of the joint statement of Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh and President George W Bush on enhancement of Indo-US cooperation including civil nuclear cooperation at the White House to finalize the draft. This is the fastest negotiation on such civil nuclear cooperation.

India to get reduced aid from US ( 23, July 2007)

India is now transforming country not a developing country according to USAID.The change in nomenclature rids India of decades old label.USAID has decided to reduce the already marginal US assistance to India and eventually eliminate it because of India’s thriving economy. India will be one of the biggest losers under secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s new aid plan that is tilted towards strife –torn countries such as Iraq, Afganistan and Pakistan. US aid to India is slated to be cut to $ 81 million in 2008.

Dadua, North’s Veerappan gunned down ( 23, July 2007)

Bringing to an end a three decade long reign of terror, the Special Task Force on Sunday gunned down dacoit Shiv Kumar Patel alias Dadua dreaded as the Veerappan of North. Five of his associates were also killed in the late night encounter in the Jhalwal forests in Chitrakoot district. He had a cash reward of Rs 5 lakhs on his head.

Pratibha Patil becomes India’s first woman president ( 23, July 2007)

Pratibha Patil is India’s first female president elect. She was also the first woman Governor of Rajasthan. She won the election by defeating her nearest rival ,Bhairon Singh Shekhawat by over 3,00,000 votes. She will be sworn in on July 25.

India’s own space university ( 23, July 2007)

India’s first space university is all set to start in August for country’s satellite and rocket programme.ISRO is setting up Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology that is expected to meet the high technology requirements of ISRO.It would initially operate from the campus of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre of ISRO which will create a full-fledged infrastructure for IIST near Kerala state capital in about 2 years.

Actress Shilpa Shetty faces racist abuse (17, Jan 2007)

Actress Shilpa Shetty has been facing severe racist abuse on a British reality show Celebrity Big Brother. Fellow participants literally drove the actress to tears calling her all sorts of offensive names. These unwarranted for racist attacks have triggered outrage at the highest levels of government in both countries. The Indian government has taken up the issue with Britain though Shilpa continues to face insults on the show.

Navjot Singh Sidhu behind bars (12, Jan 2007)

Former cricketer and BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu surrendered at a court in Chandigarh in a road rage case of 1988 which led to the death of one person. Sidhu was sentenced to a three year prison term by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He is being kept at the Patiala jail in the MP ward but according to the jail officials, no special facilities would be provided to him.

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