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What Made the Headlines in 2013!

The year 2013 has been a silent witness to several landmark events. There were several bills passed by the Parliament, a few key court judgments, nature's fury and other news that made the headlines. Over all it was an eventful year. Here we wrap-up the main events of the year 2013 for you.

Bills Approved

Food Security Bill: The Indian National Food Security Act, 2013, aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India's 1.2 billion people.

Lokpal Bill: The landmark Jan Lokpal Bill, also referred to as the Citizen's Ombudsman Bill, was finally passed. This is an anti-corruption bill drafted and drawn up by civil society activists in India seeking the appointment of a Jan Lokpal, an independent body to investigate corruption cases.

Sexual Harassment of women bill: The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 has widened the definition of sexual harassment and its victims.

Ordinance on convicted lawmakers withdrawn: The Union Cabinet on October 2 decided to withdraw the bill that offered protection to convicted MPs and MLAs. The ordinance was controversial and the decision to withdraw it was taken after strong push by President Pranab Mukherjee and Rahul Gandhi.

Land Acquisition Bill: Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 is a legislation that regulates land acquisition and provides laid down rules for granting compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement to the affected persons in India.

Pension Bill: The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill, 2011, was passed by the Parliament. It will help extend pension cover to more citizens of the country through PFRDA's New Pension Scheme (NPS).


Homosexuality is still a crime! In a jolt to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, the Supreme Court held that Section 377consensual sex between adults of the same gender is an offence. Setting aside the Delhi High Court verdict of 2009, this judgment restored the controversial Article 377 even after 12 years of legal proceedings. This was a rude shock to the LGBT community in India.

Campa Cola Compound: In a major relief to over 100 families at Mumbai's Campa Cola society, the Supreme Court on November 13 put on hold the demolition of their illegal flats. The housing society in the southern part of Worli in South Mumbai has seven buildings and is occupied by around 230 families who have been residing there for over 25 years.

SC order on Cauvery water issue: The Supreme Court ordered Karnataka to release 2.44 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu for the purpose of irrigation of its standing crops in the delta basin. The apex court bench of Justice R.M. Lodha passed its order after it received the report of the expert committee that had surveyed Tamil Nadu


Nuclear-capable Agni-II missile makes successful test run: India test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni-II strategic ballistic missile from a military base in Odisha. This was a significant achievement that may boost our defense sector.

Mangalyaan's Mission: India's ambitious Mars Orbiter, Mangalyaan successfully was successfully launched by ISRO's PSLV Mars rocket from Sriharikota. The rocket standing around 44 meters tall and weighed around 320 tones. The Mangalyaan's Mission will look for the presence of methane, an indicator of life there. This was a successful Mars mission by India and was hailed by other countries like China and the US.

IAF biggest aircraft makes maiden landing: In September, C-17 Globemaster III, Indian Air Force's (IAF) biggest transport aircraft, made its maiden landing at Jaisalmer air base as part of the flying training schedule. The aircraft was procured from the US under a deal expected to be worth over Rs 20,000 crore. However, it is believed that aircraft of this size would require much bigger and advance runways and air bases. Hence, major work should be undertaken in this arena.


Direct subsidy transfer in states: The central government started the 2013 by initiating an ambitious direct cash transfer of benefits, which covered seven welfare schemes in 20 districts across the country, reducing staggering subsidy bill of Rs.1,64,000 crore. It's first of its kind scheme in India with the poor getting the cash directly sans middlemen, aimed to remove corruption to some extent.

Train fares hiked after a decade: For the first time in the span of 10 years, train fares were increased. Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said that this was needed to sustain the world's second-largest rail network. An amount of Rs.6,000 crore is expected to be made from the fare hike.

India and the world

Japanese Royal Couple in India: Japanese Royal couple, Emperor Akhito and Empress Michiko, arrived on a rare visit to India after 53 years. Last they had come to India in the year 1960, for their honeymoon, as the Crown Prince and Princess. The visit is seen as a strong foundation for making India-Japan relations, one of the major alliances of the near future.

Current Affairs January 2013

International Current Affairs January 2013

International News [January 2013]

  • No plans to run for Presidency in 2016: Hillary
    Virtually putting to rest all speculations about her contesting the next US presidential elections, outgoing secretary of state Hillary Clinton has said she has absolutely no such plans and is just focussing on finishing her term in office. "Well I have absolutely no plans to run for presidency. Right now, I am trying to finish my term as Secretary of State," she told CNN in an interview when asked about reports of her contesting the elections of 2016. "I don't know everything I'll be doing. I'll be working on behalf of women and girls, and hopefully be writing and speaking. Those are the things that I am planning to do right now."Clinton said she does not know what her new life entails for her, when there are no appointments for her.

  • New levels of horror in Syria, says UN
    The Syria war has reached 'unprecedented levels of horror', UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said after dozens of men were killed in a grim new massacre. Brahimi told the divided UN Security Council that it must now act to halt the carnage epitomised by the nearly 80 young men killed with a single bullet and dumped in a river in the battlefront city of Aleppo. Syrian rebels blamed President Bashar al-Assad's government for the killings, but state media said an Islamist opposition faction was to blame. Syria "is breaking up before everyone's eyes. Only the international community can help, and first and the foremost the Security Council," Brahimi told the council's 15 ambassadors, apologising for sounding like a broken old record. Twenty two months of conflict have now left well over 60,000 dead, according to the UN, which will seek $1.5 billion in humanitarian funding for beleaguered Syrians at a conference in Kuwait,

  • China urges Japan to foster normal ties
    China urged Japan to create conditions for the normal development of bilateral relations, saying the two sides should "properly handle tensions" over the sovereignty of the disputed Diaoyu islands. Foreign ministry spokesman Hong lei said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had suggested that a summit between Japan and China was necessary to mend bilateral relations hampered by recent territorial disputes, Xinhua reported. Hong said China attaches importance to developing relation with Japan, and stressed that Beijing hopes that Tokyo will make joint efforts to overcome major difficulties so as to push bilateral ties back to the track of normal development.

National [January 2013]

  • Power bills to go up for the next three months
    There's no escaping the price monster. Starting February 1, you'll have to pay more for power for the next three months as the Delhi Regulatory Commission has approved provisional 3% and 1.5% power purchase cost adjustment charges (PPA) for BSES and TPDDL areas, respectively for this period. So if you live in South and East Delhi (BSES areas) and consume 400 units a month, your bill will rise from Rs. 1840 to Rs.1895.20. In West and North Delhi (TPDDL areas), it will go up to Rs.1867.60. Not a big hike. But with new tariffs for 2013 to be out in the next few months, there will be no relief.

  • Cops file charge sheet, let minor accused off the hook
    As controversy rages around law governing punishment for juveniles in serious crimes, the Delhi Police appear to have given up their attempt to establish that the most brutal attacker in the December 16 gang rape is an adult. The police filed a supplementary charge sheet against him before a Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), a sign that they are prepared to settle for a light sentence for the youngster- a maximum of three years in a reformatory for a particularly vicious gang rape that resulted in the victim's death. Senior police officials told they were not optimistic of overturning a JJB finding in January that the accused individual is a juvenile. Until this point, the police have maintained that they are exploring all options to ensure the youngsters- described by them as the most brutal of the six assailants gets maximum punishments.

  • 'Aam aadmi' wants British pounds
    Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is going places- for funds. The Party is to start raising money through a UK chapter opened in January, according to unit's spokesperson. "Funding is a key aim but we'll be happy even if someone wants to give us 10 pounds," Raj Redij-Gill of Aam Aadmi Party UK told a newspaper. "We will seek funds from NRI's, not UK citizens," said Redij-Gill, alluding to the controversy over alleged foreign corporate funding of the BJP and Congress. All payments would be made online. The party was trying to change the way politics was done in India, he said. "We don't want someone's million pounds in anticipation of something to given to them in the future."
  • Kamal, Rushdie pay as TN, Bengal side with culture bullies
    Cultural intolerance stalked the world's largest democracy recently. The ban on Kamal Haasan's new movie was upheld, prompting him to consider moving to another country, and internationally acclaimed writer Salman Rushdie was stopped from attending Asia's largest book fair in Kolkata. J Jayalalithaa's Tamil Nadu government was quick to ban the screening of Haasan's new movie Vishwaroopam after certain Muslim groups thought it was religiously offensive. Mamata Banerjee's West Bengal government pressured the book fair organisers not to have Rushdie over, fearing that the presence of The Satanic Verses author would offend minorities. It was clear that politicians still looked at India's as many castes and communities purely as vote banks, and were willing to bullied by even the smallest and most violently intolerant groups.

  • BJP- backed group wins gurdwara polls
    In a political development that is likely to have an impact on Delhi politics, the BJP supported Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has swept the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections, defeating the congress backed Shiromani-Akali Dal (Delhi) group. SAD (Badal) won 37 of the 46 seats to take control after more than a decade as Majinder Singh, the party's candidate defeated SAD (Delhi) chief Paramjit Singh Sarna. Last year in November, the two Akali factions were involved in a violent clash that left 11 injured. The DSGMC is a cash rich body and its president is considered a powerful Sikh leader, who can attract voters in assembly and parliamentary elections. With about 10lakh Sikh Voters in Delhi, the outcome is likely to have an impact on 10-15 seats in the 2013 assembly elections.

  • Obama migration reforms to benefit Indian students
    US President Barack Obama unveiled a comprehensive immigration reform plan aimed among other things at holding on to bring foreign students such as those in India. An increasing number of whom are leaving the US after studies because of difficulty in obtaining permission to stay on, against a visa to work or start a business. "There are brilliant students from all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities," Obama said in Las Vegas. Once they finish school, he added, there is a good chance they will leave the US to start a business or create jobs in China, India, Mexico or somewhere else." Holding on to them as part of the effort to fix the legal immigration system would be one of the three broad principles of his plan, which tracked closely the one announcement by a bipartisan group of senators.

Business and Economy Current Affairs [January 2013]

  • Roshni Nadar to take over the reins of HCL
    The information technology industry is seeing the rise of an heiress to the top. Roshni Nadar Malhotra will take over the reins of HCL Corporation that controls two of India's leading IT companies as chairman, her father and current chairman Shiv Nadar. He did not mention any date for his 31 yr old daughter taking charge. In all likelihood, the MBA graduate who has worked as a media producer would step into her father's shoes only after Nadar, 67, retires. HCL Corporation is the holding company of HCL Technologies and HCL Infosystems, the two publicly listed firms of the group that also has other entities. Roshni is already CEO and executive director in the holding company. Both HCL Tech and HCL Infosystems continue to be professionally run by their respective CEO's and board of directors. While HCL Tech is India's fourth largest software services firm, HCL Infosystems is primarily a hardware company that manufactures personal computers and tablets.

  • Vodafone slams auction norms, seeks withdrawal
    Hectic lobbying has begun in the telecom sector to reduce the reserve price of spectrum with the government in the process of finalising modalities for auction of airwaves. Vodafone India has sought withdrawal of the recently issued guidelines for the round of spectrum auction terming them "illegal, discriminatory and benefitting one set of players". The company said the guidelines were "discriminatory" in nature, as they fix the reserve price of spectrum in the 900-MHz band at three times the price waves of 800-MHz, while the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had recommended both these had to be treated at par. "Fixing reserve price of 800 MHz band at comparatively low levels of benefits a certain set of telecom operators," the company said in a letter to telecom secretary R Chandrashekhar , while seeking the withdrawal of the guidelines. It said the auction of spectrum in the 900-MHz band includes spectrum that is currently being used by the company for Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata circles and since the same spectrum is already being used in its networks, it cannot be put out for auction.

Sports Current Affairs [January 2013]

  • Hockey India League postponed
    The player's auction for the Hockey India League (HIL) has been postponed from December 1 to December 16. Subsequently the league too has been postponed and will commence on January 17.
    "Some of the coaches involved with the league are busy as the FIH Champions Trophy starts in Melbourne from December 1, and couldn't have participated in the auction," HIL chairman Narinder Batra, said in a statement.
    "Since the franchises expressed concern that the coaches could not be present for the auction, to pick players, it was necessary to reschedule the event," said Batra. Almost all top players expected to compete in the HIL are representing their nations in the champions Trophy, which will see India, Olympic champions Germany, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Pakistan, New Zealand and hosts Australia compete for top honours.

  • Sunil Gavaskar asks to accept the cricket team as selected.
    Former Indian cricket team captain, Sunil Gavaskar has said that the team selectors should not be bogged down by dropping the non-performing players and has refused to point out at the selection of the team for the upcoming Asia Cup.
    After the controversial statement of the present Captain M.S.Dhoni, there were rising speculations that the selectors may drop some senior players following the team's poor performance in Australia. But even the selectors didn't make any major changes in the team's side.
    When asked by the media personals whether the players should be kept off from the next match if they showed poor performance Gavaskar said that yes such action should be justified.
    In his statement, Gavasker said "If you don't drop off the non performing players then it could mean that the team may lose the next matches. It does not matter whether some more prominent players are removed or not what matter is that the team should not be a bunch of non performing players. And if that's a case then all the cricket lovers must be prepared for the result of the future matches as well."

  • Real Madrid eyes 32nd Spanish title at Athletic
    The Real Madrid can still hold the Spanish league title with their victory at the Athletic Bilbao. In the score update the real Madrid is seven points clear of its top rival with only three games to play. Also even a Barcelona loss will also award the Spanish leader its record 32nd domestic crown.
    Barcelona's last three games are seen to serve as preparation for next month's Copa del Rey final against Athletic. These matches will be the last games for the coach Pep Guardiola's before he hands over the reins to assistant Tito Vilanova.

  • Manipur road named after Olympian winner Mary Kom
    A road in Manipur's Churachandpur district, 65km south of the state capital, was named 'MC Mary Kom road' at a felicitation function to honour the Olympic medallist. Mary Kom won a bronze at the London's 2013 Olympic.
    Mary Kom was honoured with numerous other awards that included a cash award of Rs.1.5 lakh, a mithun apart from getting cash reward of Rs. 5 lakh. So far she has received cash award of Rs 75 lakh from the Manipur government and Rs 10lakh from the Ministry of Tribal affairs.
    On the occasion the 29 yr old world champion appealed to bring peace and unity in the trouble torn state in order to bring more laurels in the future.

  • Leander paes roars- no one can step him from entering 2013 Olympics
    Leander Paes, India's No. 1 doubles player arrived for his Wimbeldon post match along with his daughter Aiyana and trainer Sanjay Singh. The champion then confirmed his participation the London's Olympic removing any doubt. He further said in his statement that he was ready to partner anyone that AITA, All India Tennis Association nominates to play with him i.e. Sania Mirza in the mixed and Vishnu Vardhan in the men's doubles.
    In his stament, Paes said-"I am here to play sport not politics and am looking forward to represent my country in the 2013 Olympics. However with bad luck I see games being played in games itself which is very disheartening. Still I am looking ahead to play my sixth Olympics for my country as I have played for last 22yrs for my country and countrymen.
    At first Paes refused to talk about any matter, later he cleared tougher questions regarding- Sania's press statement which slammed the demands made by Paes or how he will prepare for the quadrennial with Sania .

Current Affairs Febraury 2013

International Current Affairs Febraury 2013

International News [Febraury 2013]

  • World Bank bar Larsen & Turbo for six Months over Forgery
    The World Bank in the month of March 2013 barred Larsen & Toubro (L&T) from doing any business with it or the projects funded by it for a period of six months, as it found that a senior executive of the conglomerate indulging in fraud.
    The department has made L&T ineligible for being awarded of any contract of the World Bank Funded projects and also from receiving any loan proceeds made by the Bank or participating in any Bank-financed project. The department is supposed to continue till 6 September 2013.

  • India Proposed Hydrocarbon Pipeline from Kazakhstan
    India in the month of March 2013 proposed the idea of a hydrocarbon pipeline with Kazakhstan that is intended to bring fuel through a five-nation route.
    The concept of the pipeline, unveiled could be in future extended to Russia. Officials said currently most hydrocarbon pipelines from Central Asia are on an east-west axis. This pipeline will, like TAPI, be on a north-south axis, providing a new route to South Asia for hydrocarbons extracted from Central Asia.

National [Febraury 2013]

  • Criminal Law books brought out in Diglot form
    Imaan Media and Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. (IMPH) has brought out the authentic Urdu version in Persian Script as well as in Devnagri Script of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 known as Taziraat-e-Hind & QanoonShahadat-e-Hind in Diglot form.
    'These expositions of law have stood the test of time for over a century and half, but surprisingly there was no authentic translation of the key laws governing criminal jurisprudence in India', says Muhammad IrshadHanif, Advocate-on-Record, Supreme Court of India, under whose able stewardship IMPH has brought out these magnum opus.
  • No IPL in Tamil Nadu if Sri Lankans participate: Jayalalithaa
    Tamil Nadu will permit IPL matches only if the organisers promise that no Sri Lankan players, umpires, officials or support staff will participate, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday.
    Jayalalithaa said in a letter to the prime minister: "In view of the popular antipathy and anger in Tamil Nadu against the actions of the government of Sri Lanka, the government of Tamil Nadu is of the view that IPL matches involving Sri Lankan players, umpires and other officials should not be played in Tamil Nadu."

  • Italy marines return to face India charges
    India has claimed a diplomatic victory after Italy overturned its earlier refusal to return two marines charged with the murder of two fishermen they mistook for pirates off the country's Malabar Coast last year.The two marines, Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, have been bailed to the Italian embassy in New Delhi since the incident in February last year, but successfully applied to the India's Supreme Court to be allowed to return briefly to Italy to vote in the country's general election and to see their families over Easter.
  • Italian foreign minister quits protesting marines' return
    Italy's Foreign Minister GiulioTerzi Tuesday resigned out of disagreement with his government's decision to return two Italian marines back to India where they face trial for killing two fishermen.
    "My reservations had no impact and the decision was not mine. My voice went unheard," Terzi told the Italian parliament, reported Xinhua."I waited to hand in my resignations here in this parliament to express publicly my position that I cannot be part of this government anymore," he said.

Business and Economy Current Affairs [Febraury 2013]

  • P.Chidambaram announces more reforms to boost growth
    Announcing further liberalisation of FII investment norms, finance minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said the government is "steadily and surely" working on next generation of reforms to put the economy back on high-growth path.
    Addressing the National Editors Conference, he said that with liberalisation of FDI and other measures, the government has traversed considerable lengths to ensure fiscal consolidation with reforms.
    In a further liberalisation of norms for investment by FIIs in government securities and corporate bonds, he announced that the norms have been rationalised. "There were a number of sub divisions and in order to rationalise, it is proposed to merge the existing sub limits and create only two broad categories," he said.
  • FIPB Cleared Investment Proposal of Air Asia to Enter India's Aviation Sector
    The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) on 6 March 2013 cleared the investment proposal of Air Asia, the Malaysian budget carrier to launch the new airline along with Tata Group and Arun Bhatia's TelestraTradeplace.
    Crucial points to note:
    Air Asia has plans to own 49 percent in newly formed airline through its investment company Air Asia Investment Ltd (AAIL). Rest of the stake would be held by two Indian firms.
    After the deal, Air Asia will become the first foreign carrier that will enter the aviation sector of India after the Government altered rules in September 2012 to allow foreign carriers to have 49 percent stake in the domestic airlines.

Sports Current Affairs [Febraury 2013]

  • India Wins Cricket Series against Australia
    India completed a 4-0 Test cricket sweep of Australia with a six-wicket victory inside three days, winning four matches in a series for the first time since joining the elite ranks 81 years ago.
    Cheteshwar Pujara scored an unbeaten 82 on Saturday to guide India to the victory in New Delhi with two days to spare. Spin bowler Ravindra Jadeja earlier took 5-58 as India skittled Australia for 164 in its second innings to leave the home team needing 155 to win.

  • Deborah from India Won a Bronze Medal in Asian Cycling Championship 2013

    Deborah from India won a Bronze medal in the final of women's juniors of 500m cycle event in Asian Cycling Championship on 7 March 2013 in New Delhi. 19-year-old Deborah helped India claim its second medal in the Asian Cycling Championship 2013 which is ongoing.
    Deborah finished 500 meter time trial finals in 37.841 seconds. Gold medal was won by Korea's Jang Yeonhee and Yu Shiou Cheng of Chinese Taipei won the silver medal. The two remained ahead of Deborah with 37.159 and 37.834 seconds respectively.

Environment [Febraury 2013]

  • Rhino census in Kaziranga amid rampant poaching
    JORHAT: Kaziranga National Park authorities launched a rhino census for a headcount. The two-day exercise will be conducted in all the five ranges of the park — Kohora, Bagori, Burapahar, Agoratoli and Biswanathghat.
    More than 250 personnel from the state forest department, NGOs and media groups have been engaged in the operation. Park director Sanjiv Kumar Bora said the census operation is a scheduled one. "The headcount of rhinos in Kaziranga is a regular practice and is conducted to implement a fruitful conservation method. It is important to assess the number of the one-horned rhinos in the park at regular intervals,'' he said.

  • World Forestry Day for Raising Awareness about Value of Forests Observed Across the World
    21 March 2013 is observed as the World Forestry Day across the globe. This day is celebrated for rising as well as promoting awareness about the value of forests. Importance of ecosystem and the forests is stressed upon on this day.
    Various events are held in the world on this day in order to highlight contribution of forests. It is important to note that forests house 80 percent of the terrestrial biodiversity. India State of Forest Report 2011 revealed that Forest and Tree cover of India encompasses 78.29 million ha or 23.81 percent of geographical area of India.

Neighbors [Febraury 2013]

  • India joins hand with Pak, Lanka on sustainable development
    Joining hands with its South Asian neighbours Sri Lanka and Pakistan, India has appealed to the United Nations to ensure that economic prosperity, social cohesion and environmental protection remain in the core of its efforts in achieving sustainable development targets.
    Taking part in the UN General Assembly's debate on sustainable development goals (SDGs), Manjeev Singh Puri, the Acting India Permanent Representative to the UN stressed that issues like poverty eradication must be the overriding priority towards achieving the targets of sustainable growth.

  • Five Writers honoured with SAARC Literature Award 2013
    SAARC Literature Award was presented to five writers at Agra during the two days SAARC Festival of Literature on 10 March 2013. A poet-diplomat from India Abhay K was among the five writers to be honoured with the prestigious Literature Award.
    Other writers to be honoured with this award were FarheenChaudhary (Pakistan), Abdul Khaliq Rashid (Afghanistan), SumanPokhrel (Nepal) and novelist DayaDissanayake (Sri Lanka).

Indian Defense [Febraury 2013]

  • Raghuraj Pratap Singh resigned from the State Cabinet in wake of DSP Killing
    Pratapgarh district. He submitted his resignation to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav at Lucknow and Governor of the state, B.L. Joshi accepted his resignation.
    Issue that led to Resignation DSP Zia-ul-Haq was killed by a mob in Pratapgarh on 2 March 2013 when he rushed there after a village head was shot dead over a land dispute. Raja Bhaiya was accused for the attack on the DSP by his slain wife. The complaint was filed against Raja Bhaiya at the Kunda Police Station, where DSP Zia-ul-Haq was posted.
  • MukeshAmbani Became Richest Person of India for Sixth Consecutive Year
    MukeshAmbani retained his title as the richest person of India for the sixth consecutive year with the net worth of 21.5 million US Dollars, according to the annual rankings published by Forbes on 4 March 2013. The richest man in the world for fourth time in a row was Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim with the net worth of 73 billion US Dollars.
    In the overall list of the billionaires of the world, MukeshAmbani was ranked at number 22. Lakshmi Mittal, on the other hand was ranked at 41st position with the net worth of 16.5 billion US Dollars.
    The first in the list was Carlos Slim, followed by Bill Gates with the net worth of 67 billion US Dollars, Spain's Amancio Ortega with net worth of 57 billion US Dollars, Warren Buffett with the net worth of 53.5 billion US Dollars and Larry Ellison with the net worth of 43 billion US Dollars. A total of 55 billionaires from India appeared on the list of 1426 people from the world who have a minimum net worth of 1 billion US Dollars.

Current Affairs March 2013

International Current Affairs [March 2013]

  • No Oscar for Bombay Jayashri, Adele wins for original song
    Indian vocalist Bombay Jayashri, who was nominated in the best original song category at the 85th Academy Awards for her track "Pi Lullaby" from "Life of Pi", lost the trophy to British singerAdele, who took home the statuette for "Sky fall". However, "Life of Pi" won the best music – original score award.

    Written and sung by Jayashri, "Pi Lullaby" was also competing with other numbers like "Before my time" from "Chasing Ice" (music and lyrics by J. Ralph, "Everybody needs a best friend" from "Ted" (music by Walter Murphy; lyrics by Seth MacFarlane) and "Suddenly" from "Les Miserables" (music by Claude-Michel Schonberg; lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil).

  • Jennifer Lawrence, Day-Lewis bag best actor Oscars
    Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence won the best actor and best actress awards respectively at the 85th Academy Awards held here Sunday night. While Lawrence won for her role in "Silver Linings Playbook", Day-Lewis bagged it for "Lincoln". Other vying for best actor trophy were Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix, Denzel WashingtonThe nominations for best actress category were Jessica Chastain, Emmanuelle Riva, Quvenzhane Wallis and Naomi Watts.

National [March 2013]

  • India among top ten atomic countries of the world
    The development and security of the nation are two sides of the same coin and India has achieved its rank among the top atomic countries on its own, says S. Kailas, director, physics division of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai. Addressing at the National Science Day programme in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) here Thursday to honour Nobel Laureate, Sir C.V. Raman for the discovery of Raman Effect, Kailas said the shortage of energy resources is a major challenge and India would need to generate nuclear energy to fulfill the need.

  • India beat Australia by eight wickets in first Test
    India achieved the target of 50, losing two wickets in the second innings to beat Australia by eight wickets before lunch on the final day of the first cricket Test at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here Tuesday. Sachin Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 13, assisted by two big sixes, and Cheteshwar Pujara on 8.

    Earlier, Australia were all out for 241 in the second innings. Moises Henriques remained unbeaten on 81 and Nathan Lyon (11) was dismissed by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who finished with three for 72.Australia, resuming at 232 for nine, added just nine runs before being packed up in 30 minutes.

  • AL to supply 20 Cheetal choppers to Indian Army
    State-run defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Friday said it will supply 20 multirole Cheetal helicopters to the Indian Army at an estimated value of Rs.418 core. "We have signed a contract with the defence ministry to supply 20 Cheetal to the army over the next four years besides providing training to its pilots and technical crew," the company said in a statement here Friday.

  • India has 61.3 mn people over 20 years with diabetes
    An estimated 61.3 million people in India suffer from diabetes, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Friday. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), factors responsible for the increase in non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, are unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, harmful use of alcohol, obesity and tobacco use, the minister said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

Business and Economy Current Affairs [March 2013]

  • Exports of India Increased By 0.8 Per Cent in January 2013
    The exports of India increased by 0.8 percent in the month of January 2013 to 25.58 billion US dollars, comparatively; exports in January 2012 were 25.37 billion US dollars.

    Imports on the other hand, increased by 6.12 percent to 45.5 billion US dollars. During April to January 2012-2013, the overseas shipments of India dropped by 4.86 percent to 239.6 billion US dollars. The main concern for the country is however to widen the trade deficit.

    As a cumulative result, the exports depicted an arrest in decreasing exports. Now, the result is -4.9 percent.
  • Economic Growth of India Estimated to Fall To 5 Percent in 2012-2013 FY
    The Central Statistics Office (CSO) on 7 February 2013 revealed that the economic growth of India is estimated to fall to 5 percent in 2012-2013 financial year, which is a lowest figure in 10 years. A fall in the economic growth is because of the poor performance of the services, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

    The Central Statistics Office (CSO) in its advance forecast of the national income chopped off the gross domestic product (GDP) growth estimate to 5 percent for financial year which will end on 31 March 2013. This is much less than the GDP of 6.2 percent in 2011-2012 financial year. This is said to be the worst performance of economy of India since 2002-2003 when the economic growth was 4 percent.

Sports Current Affairs [March 2013]

  • India maintained their Number One Spot in the ICC ODI Championship Table
    India maintained their number one spot in the ICC ODI Championship table in the latest rankings issued in Dubai on 11 February 2013. Both India and England have same 119 rating points, but England lags behind on the basis of decimal points. Australia and South Africa follow the top two teams closely with 116 and 112 points respectively.

    Among the batsmen, South African run machine Hashim Amla is at number one followed by fellow countryman AB Devilliers. India's Virat Kohli is at number three followed closely by the skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Among the bowlers, Pakistan off spinner Saeed Ajmal maintains his top billing followed by Mohammad Hafeez. In the All rounder's category, Pakistan skipper Mohammed Hafeez is the leader followed by Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan.

  • Sachin Tendulkar equaled Sunil Gavaskar's record of 81 Centuries in First Class Cricket
    Sachin Tendulkar on 8 February 2013 equaled the record of Sunil Gavaskar of 81 first class hundreds in first class cricket at Mumbai. He managed to equal Gavaskar's record after scoring an unbeaten 140 runs in Irani Trophy against Rest of India in the first innings of the tournament of Mumbai team.

Science and Technology [March 2013]

  • Astronomers Discovered Six Speeding Stars Racing Through Milky Way
    Astronomers in the third week of January 2013 discovered six speeding stars which were racing through the space at a speed of 3.2 million kilometers per hour. These stars were ejected from the huge black hole which sits in the middle of Earth's galaxy, Milky Way.

    These stars represented the first-known hypervelocity stars that have mass just like that of Earth's Sun. The discovery is said to be very important because it would reveal how stars were formed in the dust-cloaked core of Milky Way.

  • First Complete Bionic Man of the World Unveiled at London's Science Museum
    First bionic man of the world called Rex was unveiled on 7 February 2013 at London's Science Museum. The bionic man was created using 1 million US dollar limbs as well as organs.

    Prosthetic legs and ankle came from MIT, synthetic blood from Sheffield University, spleens, pancreas and artificial kidneys from University College London, retinas from Oxford University and artificial lungs came from Swansea.

Environment [March 2013]

  • The Environment Ministry Constituted Committee to Examine Legal Cover for Elephant Habitats
    The Environment Ministry in the third week of February 2013 constituted a committee that will review better legal protection to elephant reserves as well as the corridors in India under the green laws which are already present. The committee was constituted after National Board for Wildlife raised concerns about absence of any legal cover for the elephant corridors and reserves.

  • Hydro Projects Worth 2500 MW accorded Clearance by the Ministry of Environment & Forest
    The Hydro Projects worth 2500 MW across various states were accorded clearance by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) on 5 February 2013. The projects include Tawang-II H.E. Project (800 MW) in Arunachal Pradesh, Teesta-IV H.E. Project(520 MW) in Sikkim to be executed by NHPC Limited and Luhri H.E. Project (775 MW) in Himachal Pradesh to be executed by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Limited. The National Board for Wild Life (NBWL) has accorded wild life clearance to Vishnugad Pipalkoti H.E. Project (444 MW) in Uttarakhand to be executed by THDC India Limited subject to clearance by the State Board of Wild Life.

Neighbors [March 2013]

  • Indian-origin science writer wins British Physics journalism prize
    Anil Ananthaswamy, a London based Indian origin writer, has won the inaugural Physics Journalism Prize sponsored by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

    The prize is designed to inspire the next generation of physicists by encouraging journalists to grapple with often complex topics and help spread excitement about the subject, according to an IOP release forwarded by the American Astronomical Society.

  • Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan visited India
    Prime Minister of Bhutan, Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley was on the home visit to India from 7 February to 9 February 2013. During his visit to India he met with President of Indian Union- Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Vice- President of India-Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister- Manmohan Singh, Minister of Finance-P Chidambaram and Foreign Secretary-Ranjan Mathai. His visit was aimed at improving India- Bhutan bilateral relationship.

Indian Defense [March 2013]

  • Union Cabinet approved DRDO for developing AWACS for IAF
    The Union Cabinet of India on 6 February 2013 gave approval to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for developing an indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) for IAF.

    AWACS allows IAF to keep a close watch on the enemy territory. The government granted an inprincipal approval to the proposal for developing an indigenous AWACS. The approval was granted in the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security.

Current Affairs April 2013

International Current Affairs [April 2013]

  • "The Orphan Master's Son" won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
    Adam Johnson's novel The Orphan Master's son won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2013. Last year, judges had failed to select a winner of the award for fiction for the first time in 35 years. The book carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.

    Johnson teaches creative writing at Stanford University. He spent time in North Korea to research his book. Other books in contention were, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, by Nathan Englander and The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey.

  • Indian-Origin Economist Raj Chetty Won John Bates Clark Medal For 2013
    Delhi-born Raj Chetty, the professor in the Department of Economy at the Harvard University won John Bates Clark medal for 2013, also called Baby Nobel. Raj Chetty's work was also cited by the US President Barack Obama in State of the Union Address.

    John Bates Clark medal is conferred upon the American economist whose age is below 40 years and the one who has made crucial contribution to economic knowledge and thought. Baby Nobel is one of the most prestigious awards of economy. Infact, it is second only after Nobel Prize in economic science.

    Raj Chetty, 33, is the first Indian-origin person to win this high honour. His areas of work include social insurance, tax policy as well as education policy.

National [April 2013]

  • Landmark verdict gives big boost to cancer patients
    'In a ruling that will help patients continue to buy several life-saving medicines as generic drugs, the Supreme Court on Monday held that the modification of a well known cancer-fighting drug is not a patentable new invention.

    The judgment allows suppliers to continue making generic copies of Swiss firm Novartis' Glivec or Gleevec, which has been shown to fight chronic blood cancer effectively. While the Novartis drug costs more than Rs 1 lakh per month, with doctors often advising patients to take it lifelong, the generic equivalents cost less than one-tenth. The ruling would be a relief to some 300,000 patients in India currently taking the drug.

    Observers say that the Court's judgment sets a precedent against the practice of "evergreening" — a strategy through which drug manufacturers introduce modifications of drugs to extend the five-year patents on them. They say that other "evergreening" patent applications could be rejected citing this judgment, helping to keep many life-saving drugs out of the patent regime and pushing down costs.

  • President rejects five mercy petitions, commutes sentence of two
    Out of seven people convicted for heinous crimes, President Pranab Mukherjee has upheld execution in five cases while commuting death sentence to life term in two others.

    Under Article 72 of the Constitution, the President has power to 'grant pardons, etc, and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases'.

    No more mercy files are pending to be cleared by the President.

  • President gives assent to anti-rape bill
    New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the anti-rape bill, providing enhanced punishment for rape, making stalking and voyeurism criminal offences and fixing the age of consent for sex at 18.

    "The President of India has accorded his assent to the Bill on April 2 (Tuesday) and it will now be called the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013," said a statement by the union home ministry Wednesday.

    The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha March 19, and by the Rajya Sabha March 21.

    The bill incorporates suggestions of the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, formed after the brutal Delhi gang-rape of Dec 16 last year, to make anti-rape laws stronger.
  • Union Government approved Decision to Double the Number of Judges in next 5 years
    The Union Government of India decided to double the number of sanctioned judges in India in next five years to ensure speedy disposal of cases. With this increase in the number of judges is expected to reach to a mark of 37000 in next five years.

    The Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar on 7 April 2013 during the release of comprehensive agenda for legal and judicial reforms announced that the Union Government of India approved the decision of increasing the judge population ratio from 15.47 per million to 30 per million. The comprehensive agenda was released at the conference of Chief Justices of High Courts and Chief Ministers.

    Increase in the number of fast track courts for trial of heinous crimes like offences against elderly, women and children is also under the plan of the central government. The funds for development of the infrastructure would be released under a centrally sponsored scheme on 75:25 bases.

Business and Economy Current Affairs [April 2013]

  • Andhra to supply nine food items for Rs.185 to poor
    Hyderabad, April 11 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh government Thursday launched a new scheme to supply a basket of nine essential commodities to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in the state.

    On the occasion of 'Ugadi', the Telugu New Year, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy launched the scheme, Amma Hastam, under which every BPL family will be supplied one pack a month through fair price shops for Rs.185.

    Minister for Civil Supplies D. Sridhar Babu said 2.25 crore white card ration holders will get the pack, with one kg of red gram, palmolein oil, whole meal flour, wheat, iodized salt, half kg sugar, tamarind, quarter kg chilli powder and 100 gm turmeric powder.
  • Sahara India Pariwar's Sahara Q Shop Entered into the Guinness World Records
    The retail business of Sahara India Pariwar called Sahara Q Shop entered into the Guinness World Records when it opened record 315 outlets in 10 states of India, just at one time on 1 April 2013.

    The commencement of these retail outlets was closely monitored by the Guinness World Records' officials in order to verify as well as register new world record of Sahara Q Shop. The certificate of the record was presented to Subrata Roy, the group chairman.

    The Sahara Q Shop stands against adulteration and quality consumer merchandise products at the fair prices. At present, Sahara has 550 operational stores. By the end of 2013-14, Sahara expects to open 10000 stores across India.

Sports Current Affairs [April 2013]

  • Sania Mirza Became One of the Four Vice-Presidents of Indian Tennis Players Association
    The Indian Tennis Players Association (ITPA) Secretary, Karti P Chidambaram on 14 April 2013 announced that the tennis star player, Sania Mirza became one of the Vice-Presidents of ITPA.

    Sania Mirza now became one of the four Vice-Presidents of Indian Tennis Players Association, which is a newly-formed body. Other three Vice-Presidents of the body are Somdev Devvarman, Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes.

    Former Davis Cup captain Jaideep Mukherjea is the President of the Association.Sania Mirza is the first female player from India who won a Grand Slam. She now plays in doubles only.

  • Indian Women Cricket Team won the ODI Series against Bangladesh Women 3-0
    Indian Women made a clean sweep in the three-match Bangladesh Women in India One Day International Cricket Series, 2012/13 against Bangladesh on 12 April 2013 after winning the third and the final match at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad. India defeated Bangladesh by 58 runs in the third match.

    Scores of the third Match India Women: 154 all out in 48.3 overs Highest run getters from India were Swagatika Rath scored 30 runs and Harmanpreet Kaur scored 29 runs Bangladesh Women: 96 all out in 41.1 overs

    Highest Run getter from Bangladesh was Salma Khatun scored 22 runs Before the ODI series, the Indian women also made a clean sweep T20 international series against Bangladesh Women with 3-0 on 5 April 2013.

Science and Technology [April 2013]

  • Scientists developed Device to detect Gastro-Intestinal Cancers
    Scientists developed a prototype of an advanced multi-bending cholangioscope to detect and cure Gastro-Intestinal Cancers. Earlier, most patients used to visit a physician when the disease was in an advanced stage. This new equipment has a video camera and can bend easily. It could detect cancers of bile duct, liver and pancreas. It will help in detecting the disease in early stage.

    The multi-bending peroral direct cholangioscope (PDCS) cannot be inserted free-hand into the bile duct. But a high success rate of direct insertion will be achieved if the endoscope is passed over a guide-wire and an anchoring balloon. In fact, pancreatic cancer is the third most prevalent gastro-intestinal cancer in India whereas liver cancer is the most common.

  • Union Government Approved Project for National Optical Fibre Network Creation in Gram Panchayats
    The Government of India approved the project for creation of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) connecting all the 250000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country through Optical Cable (OFC). The Union Government decided to fund the project through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

    The State Government on the other hand, will have the role of providing free Right of Way (RoW) for laying OFC. The project envisaged signing a tripartite MoU for free Right of Way (RoW) among the Union Government, State Government and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL).

    16 States/UTs signed the MoUs on 26 October 2012. These states and UTs were Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Manipur, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and 3 Union Territories viz. Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Puducherry. Under the MoUs, 140727 GPs will be facilitated with Optical Fibre Network in these States and UTs.

Environment [April 2013]

  • Supreme Court of India Ordered Relocation of Endangered Asiatic Lions from Gujarat to MP
    A bench led by Justice K S Radhakrishnan of the Supreme Court of India on 15 April 2013 ordered Gujarat to share the endangered Asiatic lions with its neighbouring state- Madhya Pradesh. The population of these Asiatic lions has almost become negligible but because of certain conservation efforts in the state of Gujarat in past 50 years, these endangered lions have been saved from extinction. At present, the population of these lions in Gir forests of Gujarat is 400.

    The political leaders in Gujarat resisted relocation of these lions, but Supreme Court ordered that they should be relocated in order to save them from elimination because of fire or epidemic. Conversationalists too had recommended establishment of second sanctuary outside Gujarat in order to make sure about genetic diversification.

  • CBI given the Charge to Probe into Rhino Killing in Assam
    The State Environment and Forest Minister of Assam, Rockybul Hussain on 7 April 2013 announced that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was given the charge of probing into the killing of Rhinos in the State. The decision was taken following a communication passed by the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions to the state.

    The decision of initiating a CBI probe into the killings of the rhinos from the centre came up following the repeated incidences of poaching and rhino killings in the Kaziranga National Park and other wildlife parks of the state.

    The details of the number of cases undertaken by CBI for probing into and the time-period of investigation were not cleared. Apart from this to protect rhinos from poaching activity, the National Tiger Conservation Authority of the Union Environment and Forests Ministry will undertake test flights of unmanned aerial vehicles over the sanctuary from today.

Neighbors [April 2013]

  • Visa on Arrival facility for PAK Senior Citizens of Pakistan initiated
    Indian on 1 April 2013 started Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility for the Senior Citizens of Pakistan. The Pakistani Senior Citizens in the age group of 65+ years would be allowed to take the Visa at Attari/Wagah Check-Post. This is going to be a single entry Visa and will allow a Pakistani resident in India for a maximum period of 45 days.

    The services of granting the Visa on arrival started from 1 April 2013 based on mutual agreements.

    The Visa on Arrival initially was scheduled to start from 15 January 2013 but was delayed citing technical problem in wake up of the killing of the two Indian Soldiers on the LoC by the Pakistani Army on 8 January 2013.

  • Indian-Origin Economist Raj Chetty Won John Bates Clark Medal For 2013
    Delhi-born Raj Chetty, the professor in the Department of Economy at the Harvard University won John Bates Clark medal for 2013, also called Baby Nobel. Raj Chetty's work was also cited by the US President Barack Obama in State of the Union Address.

    John Bates Clark medal is conferred upon the American economist whose age is below 40 years and the one who has made crucial contribution to economic knowledge and thought. Baby Nobel is one of the most prestigious awards of economy. Infact, it is second only after Nobel Prize in economic science.

    Raj Chetty, 33, is the first Indian-origin person to win this high honour. His areas of work include social insurance, tax policy as well as education policy.

Indian Defense [April 2013]

  • Indian Coast Guard Ship C-402 Commissioned in Mumbai
    The Indian Coast Guard Ship C-402 was commissioned in Mumbai by Sanjeev Dayal, Director General Police, Maharashtra, in the third week of April 2013. This is the second ship of series of thirty-six Interceptor Boats which were built and designed by Larsen and Toubro, Surat.

    About the Indian Coast Guard Ship C-402

    C-402 is 30-metre long interceptor boat which has 90 tonnes displacement.

    It can reach a maximum speed of 45 knots.

    C-402 is furnished with technologically-advanced navigation as well as communication equipment.

    It is also furnished with medium-range armament.

    Indian Coast Guard Ship C-402 is designed for close-coast patrol, search and rescue, high speed interception, low-intensity maritime operations and maritime surveillance.

  • SC allows Sterlite to operate Tamil Nadu plant
    New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday allowed the Sterlite Industries' smelting copper plant to continue operations in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin and asked it to deposit Rs.100 crore with the authorities to restore the environmental damages.

    The apex court bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyay said the amount was imposed in view of the pollution caused by the plant in the Tuticorin area from 1997 to 2011.

    "An amount less than this will not have the desired deterrent effect," Justice Patnaik said while pronouncing the judgment. The court said that its order directing the Sterlite Industries India Ltd. to pay damages of Rs.100 crore would not stand in the way of any other damage claims during that period by way of civil suit.

Current Affairs May 2013

International Current Affairs [May 2013]

  • India granted Observer Status by Arctic Council
    India on 15 May 2013 was successful in getting the observer status in the Arctic Council along with five other nations namely China, Italy, Singapore and South Korea. This step of the Arctic Council will give India a foothold in the resource rich Arctic Ocean with the melting of the ice. As India will get an access from navigation to oil and gas exploration. The observer status was assigned to India after a meeting held at Kiruna, Sweden.

  • India is the largest producer and consumer of Chickpeas in World
    Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) in its latest report for 2011 claimed that India is the largest consumer and producer of Chickpeas in the world. The second advance estimates for 2012-13 marked a record production of Chickpea is 8567.8 thousand tonnes.

National [May 2013]

  • National Food Security Law on Anvil
    Ministry for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution introduced amendments in the National Food Security Bill in the Lok Sabha on 9 May 2013 and placed the amended Bill for consideration and passing by the House.

  • Govt declares 2013 as Water Conservation Year
    The decision to declare the year 2013 as Water Conservation Year 2013 was approved by the Union Cabinet of India on 9 May 2013. A number of mass awareness activities will be undertaken during Water Conservation Year 2013 with emphasis on sensitizing the masses on water related issues, encourage them to conserve and use it judiciously.

  • New guidelines for Indira Awas Yojna
    The government on 13 May 2013 approved new guidelines for the Indira Awas Yojna Scheme for rural poor. Building Toilets has been made compulsory under the Indira Awas Yojna. Manual scavengers freed bonded labourers and tribal groups will be given preference in allotments.The allocation for each dwelling unit was increased from 45000 rupees to75000 rupees. In Maoist-affected and hilly regions, the allocation would now be 75000 rupees from the existing 48500 rupees. Landless labourers which were given 10000 rupees for

  • Expert Committee to measure Backwardness of states
    The Union Government on 15 May 2013 had set up an expert Committee under the supervision Raghuram G Rajan, Chief Economic Adviser to evolve a composite index to measure backwardness of states.The panel is set up in consistent to the Budget announcement, and it can also invite other experts as Special Invitees for discussions.

Business and Economy Current Affairs [May 2013]

  • India world's 3rd largest economy: OECD
    The Indian economy has probably recently surpassed Japan to be the third largest economy globally, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said. But, the OECD revised downwards its forecast for growth for India in 2013 to 5.3% from the previous 5.9% and said the recovery would be aided by the efforts being made to speed up approval for large projects as well as partial deregulation of foreign direct investment.

  • PM says fundamentals of economy are strong, invites investors
    Asserting that the fundamentals of the Indian economy were strong, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed confidence that the country would return to the growth of eight per cent per annum. The Prime Minister said opportunities for investment were abounding in India and invited investors to come to the country.

Sports Current Affairs [May 2013]

  • S.Sreesanth and other Cricketers arrested for Spot-Fixing
    Indian fast bowler, S. Sreesanth and his two team mates from Rajasthan Royals namely Ajit Chadila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by Delhi Police on 16 May 2013 on charges of Spot Fixing in Indian Premier League (IPL). The three cricketers were arrested from Mumbai and will be brought to Delhi for being produced in a Court. Apart from the three cricketers the police also arrested seven bookies. Both the cricketers and the bookies are charged under two sections of Indian Penal Code, Section 420 (cheating) and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy).

  • Sachin Tendulkar retires from T20
    Sachin Tendulkar announced retirement from Twenty20 cricket format on 26 May 2013, immediately after Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings to lift the title of Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. This 39 means that IPL Season 6 was the last IPL season played by Sachin Tendulkar.

Science and Technology [May 2013]

  • US Scientists created first Cloned Human Embryo
    A group of US Scientists in second week of May 2013 declared that they have succeeded in creating a cloned human embryo using the technique that helped in developing the cloned sheep in 1996. The scientists took fifteen years to create the cloned embryo. The team of scientists developed the embryo using skin samples of a woman's egg to develop an early cloned human embryo. Aim of this research is development of a source of stem cells not a baby. These can be helpful in repair of damage created after heart attack or brains of patients of Parkinson's disease.

  • Superbug H041 can be more deadly than AIDS
    Doctors have warned that the new sexually transmitted Sex-Superbug named H041 can be much more deadly than the AIDS virus. Recently, two cases of the sex-superbug were confirmed in Hawaii. Doctors have claimed that the superbug is the antibiotic resistant strain of gonorrhea. In 2011, the superbug was discovered for the first time in Japan and then it spread to Hawaii and now visible in Norway and California. As per Doctors, the H041 bacteria can be much more deadly than the AIDS Virus because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly and effect is more direct.

Environment [May 2013]

  • Trade of Peacock feathers banned
    The Environment Ministry of India decided to put a ban on the trade of peacock feathers as a measure to conserve the national bird of India- peacock. The government has no data regarding peacock population, but it is evident that the number of peacocks in India is dwindling because of poaching of the feathers which fetches good price in not just international markets, but also within Indian markets.

  • Hill Forts of Rajasthan and Himalayan National Park to be World Heritage
    Rajasthan and Great Himalayan National Park: India nominated cluster of six hill forts in Rajasthan as well as Great Himalayan National Park in Himachal Pradesh for World Heritage Sites for 2013. The UNESCO's World Heritage Committee will be held in Phnom Penh in Cambodia in June 2013 and conferring the status of World Heritage Sites on these places will be decided in this meeting.

Neighbours [May 2013]

  • India and China signed Eight Agreements
    China's new premier Li Keqiang's visited India on his first foreign trip to India from 19-22, May 2013 since taking his office in March 2013. Both the countries are looking for speeding up their efforts to settle a decades-old border dispute and strengthen economic ties. The leaders of both the countries had a thorough exchange of views on bilateral relations and regional and international issues of common interest in a sincere and cordial atmosphere and reached broad consensus.

  • 2014 declared as India-China Friendship Year
    2014 was declared as the Friendship Year by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for increased people-to-people interaction between India and China. 2014 was declared as the year of exchanges between the two countries in order to enhance friendship and understanding. As a measure, Li Keqiang declared that they would support Chinese enterprises to increase investments in India and help Indian products to have access to Chinese market.

Indian Defense [May 2013]

  • Indian National Defence University to be set up in Gurgaon
    Indian National Defence University, a dedicated first-of-its-kind institution for training and research in military studies will be set up in Gurgaon on 23 May 2013. The sprawling 200 acre campus will be set up in Binola village with an estimated cost of 300 crore rupees. The proposed institute will be equipped with training and research facilities on all aspects of national security as part of the strategic national policy-making. While one-third of its strength will comprise of civilian students, the remaining seats will be reserved for in-service defence personnel.

  • India test fires BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile
    India on 22 May 2013 successfully test fired the 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Navy's latest guided missile frigate INS Tarkash off the coast of Goa. The missile performed the high-level 'C' manoeuvre in the pre-determined flight path and successfully hit the target. Jointly developed by India and Russia, the BrahMos is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of 300 kg.

Current Affairs June 2013

International Current Affairs [June 2013]

  • China Developed the Fastest Computer of the World Called Tianhe-2
    A survey conducted by Top 500, revealed on 17 June 2013 that the Chinese supercomputer is the fastest computer of the world. This Chinese supercomputer is called Tianhe-2 and it replaced US machine called Titan, which was earlier said to be the fastest computer of the world.

  • India to be most Populous Country by 2028
    The UN report titled World Population Prospects was released on 13 June 2013, forecasted that India will be the most populous country of the world by 2028 leaving behind China. The report also claimed that by 2025 the world population will increase by one billion and reach to 8.1 billion from 7.2 billion at present. By 2050, the world population will be 9.6 billion as per the report.

National [June 2013]

  • Percentage of people below poverty line declines to 21.9
    The percentage of people below poverty line declined sharply to 21.9 in the financial year 2011-12 from 37.2 recorded in 2004-15, official data showed Tuesday. The decline was sharper in urban areas. In the financial year ended March 2012, percentage of people below poverty line in urban areas was 13.7 while in rural area it was 25.7, according to data released by the Planning Commission.

  • RBI leaves key rates unchanged; cuts growth forecast
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Tuesday left all key policy rates unchanged to support the battered rupee and said the recent liquidity tightening measures will be rolled back when stability returns to the currency markets. In the first quarter review of the monetary policy, the central bank cut growth forecast for the current financial year to 5.5 percent from its earlier projection of 5.7 percent, saying continued domestic as well as global uncertainties would hit the Indian economy.

  • Rashtriya Uchhtar Shiksha Abhiyan Launched
    The Union government of India on 8 June 2013 decided to launch National Higher education Campaign, Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, to focus on equity based development, improvement in teaching-learning quality and research. Under it, funds will be provided to public Universities and Colleges so that higher educational institutes do not rely heavily on the affiliation fees.

  • India launches satellite for better weather forecast
    India's advanced satellite Insat-3D, which was launched early Friday onboard Ariane-5 rocket from Kourou in French Guiana off the Pacific coast, will improve weather and monsoon forecasting system. "After a perfect lift-off at 01:24am from the European Arianespace spaceport at Kourou, the two-tonne advanced weather satellite was placed in the geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) 32 minutes later, about 36,000km above from earth," the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement here.

Business and Economy Current Affairs [June 2013]

  • Union Government of India proposed plan to raise FDI Limit in Key Sectors
    To promote India as an attractive destination for investment, the Union Finance Ministry on 18 June 2013 proposed sweeping changes in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) regime. The committee that was headed by the Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram recommended to raise the Foreign Direct Investment limit to 49 percent from 26 percent at present in almost all sectors like multi-brand retail, defence and telecom through automatic route.

  • Foreign Investment Promotion Board Approved Eight FDI Proposals
    The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) on 31 May 2013 approved eight FDI proposals, which include those of McKinsey & Company, ACME Solar Energy and GETIT Infoservices. These eight proposals are worth 696 crore Rupees. FIPB cleared ACME Solar Energy's proposal to get 275 crore Rupees foreign investment. The foreign investment worth 216 crore Rupees was roped in by clearance to GETIT Infoservices.

Sports Current Affairs [June 2013]

  • India Beat England by Five Runs to Win ICC Champions Trophy 2013
    Birmingham: India clinched the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 on 23 June 2013 against England at Edgbaston in Birmingham with a five-run victory. India made a total of 129 runs in 20 overs for seven wickets. It then restricted England to 124 for eight. Ravindra Jadeja was declared as the Man of the Match after he took two wickets and scored unbeaten 33 runs. He was also awarded with the Golden Ball for grabbing maximum number of wickets in the series.

  • Manjeet Singh bagged Silver Medal at 3rd China Open Boxing Tournament
    Manjeet Singh bagged a Silver medal for India at the 3rd China Open boxing tournament on 22 June 2013. In the final of the super heavy weight category (+91kg), the 21-year-old Indian went down to local lad Akepeer Yusuf. Although Manjeet lost in the final, he became the only Indian boxer to reach the final of the third China Open boxing tournament. It was his first international tournament.The boxing tournament was held in Guiyang, China.

Science and Technology [June 2013]

  • Genetic Engineering Approval Committee Gave Approval for Field Trials of 5 GM Crops
    The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) permitted certain companies as well as the research institutes for conducting the field trials of 5 GM (genetically modified) crops. The trials for development of genetically modified cotton, maize, castor, wheat and rice were permitted. The specialty of GM crops is that they are formulated for getting protection against the insects. Also, these crops are resistant to salinity and water. Also, they are more resistance to the use of nitrogen which is required by them for growing efficiently.

  • Early Tsunami Warning System installed in Rangachang
    Chief Scientist of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Vinith Kumar on 11 June 2013 announced that the Early Tsunami Warning System (ETWS) installed at Rangachang in Andaman and Nicobar Islands can predict a tsunami immediately after an earthquake. Vinith Kumar claimed that the new technology installed can predict the Tsunami within 3 minutes after the initial tremors are felt and can send alerts.

Environment [June 2013]

  • UNESCO declared Six Forts of Rajasthan as World Heritage Sites
    Six Forts of Rajasthan included in the list of World Heritage Site of UNESCO and won international recognition on 21 June 2013 in the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The six majestic forts include Amber (Jaipur), Kumbhalgarh, Chittorgarh, Jaisalmer, Ranthambhore (Sawai Madhopur) and Gagaron (Jhalawar).

  • Devap Air-Cooling System to be used in Nalanda University
    Architects building Nalanda International University at Bihar decided to make use of the Desiccant Enhanced Evaporative or the Devap air-cooling system. It is the first time that this kind of system will be used in India. The Devap system functions by making use of dessicant material which gets rid of the moisture from using by making use of heat. The system also makes use of the evaporative technologies which bring cooling by making use of up to 90 percent less energy in comparison to the older methods.

Neighbours [June 2013]

  • India-Myanmar set Three Billion Dollar Trade Target by 2015
    India and Myanmar set three billion dollar trade target by 2015 during the meeting of India's energy minister Anand Sharma with his Myanmar counterpart U Than Htay in New Delhi held on 6 June 2013. India conveyed the interest of Indian banks in setting up their branches in Myanmar. It also conveyed its interest in deepening cooperation in the fields of energy, oil and natural gas. Improving air, road and water connectivity between the two countries was also discussed during the meeting.

  • India and Nepal agreed to address Each Other's Security Concerns
    India and Nepal on 1 June 2013 agreed to address each other's security concerns and curb illegal activities across the open border. The agreement took place during the annual Home Secretary-level talks held in Kathmandu. Both nations agreed to increase vigilance and cooperation in border areas against criminal activities such as human and drug trafficking, smuggling of Indian counterfeit currency and trade in illegal substances.

Indian Defense [June 2013]

  • IAF launched Operation Rahat to rescue Pilgrims in Uttarakhand and HP
    Indian Air Force received its first of the ten Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Aircraft from United States on 18 June 2013. The first C-17 Globemaster landed at Hindan Airbase in India. The IAF signed a 4.1 billion US dollar deal with Boeing to get 10 C-17 Aircraft. The deal was signed after conducting a thorough study of its capabilities of being operational under all conditions and abilities to take-off from short runways with heavy loads

  • Indo-Russian INDRA 2013 military exercise will take place in October 2013
    Indo-Russian INDRA 2013 military exercise is scheduled to take place in October 2013 at Mahajan field firing range of Rajasthan in India. The joint Military exercise will involve over 250 servicemen from the Eastern Military District and the same number of troops will be involved from the Indian armed forces. Around 250 Russian servicemen from the Eastern Military District are already set to join Russo-Indian joint ground and naval drills at Indra-2013.

Current Affairs July 2013

International Current Affairs [July 2013]

  • European Union leaders reached an Agreement on 1.3 trillion Dollar Budget for 2014 to 2020
    All 27 member states of European Union collectively approved the deal in Brussels after providing a solution to British concerns about a rebate that remains intact.It is expected that the plan for 2014-2020 period is going to be approved by the European Parliament in July 2013. EU leaders also resolved to spend 8 billion dollar over the next two years to support job creation, training and apprenticeships for young people.
  • UN Security Council eased Sanctions against Iraq
    The UN Security Council eased sanctions against Iraq imposed after Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Iraq welcomed the move as a landmark decision and promised to enhance cooperation with Kuwait for its support and assistance to get the sanctions lifted. - See more at: http://www.jagranjosh.com/current-affairs/un-security-council-eased-sanctions-against-iraq-1372404831-1#sthash.bDfx7xxU.dpuf

National Current Affairs [July 2013]

  • India and Oman Bilateral Trade registered a 129 Percent Growth
    During the five-year period from 2008-09 to 2012-13, India-Oman bilateral trade increased by 129 percent as per the data released by Ministry of External affairs of India. India has been a major exporter to Oman and emerged as the fourth largest source of imports into Oman after Japan, USA and Saudi Arabia in 2012.The balance of trade is in India's favour due to increase in export of mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation.
  • Government banned Testing of Cosmetic Products on Animals
    Indian Government in the Month of June 2013 has banned the testing of Cosmetic product on animals and thus became the first country in South Asia to end such tests. Now, with the ban on testing and as per the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) any cosmetic product made in India will be free of animal testing.
  • Government to set-up 51 new low-cost Airports to Increase Air Connectivity
    The Union Government of India on 28 June 2013 decided to set up 51 new low-cost airports in Tier-II and Tier-III cities of the nation. The decision was taken with an aim to the give a boost to civil aviation sector and increase air connectivity to Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

Sports Current Affairs [July 2013]

  • IPL Spot Fixing Probe Report submitted to BCCI
    Earlier BCCI, appointed RN Sawani, a former IPS officer to probe into the spot-fixing issue. RN Sawani is the same officer, who probed into the 2000 match-fixing case. Sawani was given the task of examining in detail the charges levelled by Delhi Police against the three cricketers and the three IPL matches figured out by the police.

Current Affairs August 2013

International Current Affairs [August 2013]

  • World Bank to loan $100 mn for low-cost housing
    Thee World Bank will extend a $100-million loan for sustainable housing in India that can be used to purchase, build or upgrade low-cost dwellings, the finance ministry said Thursday.
    The state-run National Housing Bank will execute this project.

  • Import Duty On Gold, Silver Hiked To 10 Percent
    The Indian government Tuesday hiked customs duties on gold, platinum and silver to 10 percent to curb imports and lower the current account deficit.
    This led to a recovery in the rupee. The partially convertible rupee closed at 61.19 per dollar compared to 61.27 Monday.

  • India's DRDO launches explosive detection kit in US
    It looks like a little pocket sized cigar box, but it packs a mighty punch in the fight against terrorism. And now this nifty explosive detection kit, developed by the India's Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO), is all set to play its part in the US too.

National [August 2013]

  • India's first 'military' satellite launched successfully
    India's first 'military' satellite (GSAT-7) was successfully put into the geosynchronous transfer orbit early Friday by the European Space Agency's (ESA) heavy rocket, authorities said. It was launched in the early hours from its spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana off the Pacific coast.

  • Defining Moment' As IAF Inducts C-17 Heavy-Lift Transporter
    With Defence Minister A.K. Antony terming it a "defining moment", the Indian Air Force (IAF) Monday formally inducted the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III heavy-lift transport aircraft at a function here. Of the 10 C-17 aircraft ordered, three have been delivered to the IAF while two more will be delivered this year and the remaining five in 2014.

  • Core industries post 3.1 percent growth in July
    Eight key infrastructure sectors that include coal, power, crude oil, gas, cement and steel, posted a sluggish 3.1 percent growth in July, government data showed Monday.The eight core infrastructure industries — that have 37.9 percent weight in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) — had posted 4.5 percent expansion in the corresponding month of last year, and 0.1 percent growth in June 2013.

Business and Economy Current Affairs [August 2013]

  • Cabinet clears power projects worth over Rs.83,000 crore
    The Cabinet Committee on Investment has cleared a slew of project investments, in which it has given go ahead to 18 power projects worth Rs. 83,772 crore and nine other projects worth Rs.92,500 crore, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said here Tuesday.

  • Government sets up tax reform commission
    The government Monday set up a commission under the chairmanship of Parthasarathy Shome, advisor to finance minister, to suggest reforms in tax administration aimed at widening the tax base and enhancing compliance.The "Tax Administration Reform Commission" has been asked to submit its report and recommendations within 18 months, the finance ministry said in a statement.
  • FDI inflow to India rises to 16 percent in June
    Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into India rose by 16 percent year-on-year to $1.44 billion in June, government data showed Wednesday. Despite the year-on-year increase, this is the lowest monthly inflow of FDI in India so far in 2013.

Sports Current Affairs [August 2013]

  • Sports ministry finally confirms Sodhi for Khel Ratna
    Union Sports Minister Jitendra Singh found time from his busy schedule and cleared the national sports awards file Thursday without making any changes in the list finalised by the committee headed by former World billiards champion Michael Ferreira. Double-trap shooter Ronjan Sodhi will be getting the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the highest sports awards in the country. World championship bronze medal winning shuttler P.V.Sindhu and cricketer Virat Kohli are among the 15 sportspersons selected for the Arjuna.

  • Mehtra wins snooker gold at World Games
    Asian Snooker champion Aditya Mehta toppled tournament favourite Liang Wenbo of China 3-0 to clinch the men's gold medal at the World Games here on Tuesday. The top-ranked Indian became the first cueist from the country to become World Games champion, saod Salil Deshpande, joint secretary of the Billiards and Snooker Association of Maharashtra.

Science and Technology [August 2013]

  • Eastern India to get its first bio-bank by 2016
    Eastern India's first biobank, aimed at storing cancer tissues for further research and analysis, is slated to come up here by 2016, an official said Saturday. The Tata Translational Cancer Research Centre (TTCRC) will come up on a two-acre plot near the existing Tata Medical Centre-Cancer Hospital in New Town, Rajarhat, on the north-eastern fringes of the Bengal capital.

  • India gets its own national media centre
    A state-of-the art National Media Centre comparable to those in capitals across the world was inaugurated Saturday, with an impressive conference hall, workplace for the media, a library, cafeteria and high-speed internet. The four-storied Rs.60 crore facility, built over three years, is located at the heart of the capital, on Raisina Road – with many important government buildings a stone's throw away and in the vicinity of the Parliament House and Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Environment [August 2013]

  • SC Bans Green Nod For New Hydro-Power Units In Uttarakhand
    Expressing concern over the recent rain havoc in Uttarakhand, the Supreme Court Tuesday told the central and state governments not to grant environmental clearance for any hydro-power project in the hill state. "We direct the MoEF as well as state of Uttarakhand not to grant any further environmental or forest clearance for any hydroelectric power project in the state of Uttarakhand, until further orders," said the apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra.

  • 'India well ahead in tiger protection strategies'
    Noted tiger conservationist Belinda Wright said that the South African model of wildlife conservation is "not the model to follow" and that India is "ahead" in its protection strategies.

Neighbours [August 2013]

  • Climate change also causes spike in violence: Scientists
    A new study claims that there is scientific ground to predict that climate change, resulting in higher temperatures, would contribute to violence and conflict. Researchers from Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley report in the journal Science that even slight spikes in temperature and precipitation have greatly increased the risk of personal violence and social upheaval throughout human history.
  • BARC Develops 41 New Superior Crop Varieties
    The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has developed 41 new crop varieties under its Nuclear Agriculture programme, a top official said Tuesday. These include 15 varieties of groundnut, eight of mungbean (greengram), five of udad (blackgram), four of tur (pigeonpea), three of mustard, two of soyabean and one each of sunflower, chavali (cowpea), rice and jute.

Indian Defense [August 2013]

  • Indian Navy set to launch indigenous aircraft carrier
    The Indian navy will launch its first indigenous aircraft carrier Aug 12 at Kochi, making the country only the fifth in the world with capability to build such vessels. Talking to media persons here, navy vice chief Vice Admiral R.K. Dhowan said the 40,000 tonne indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) was one of its most prestigious warship projects and was unprecedented in terms of size and complexity.

  • India test fires n-capable Prithvi-II missile
    India Monday test-fired its home grown nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile from a military base in Odisha, officials said. The indigenously-developed ballistic missile with a range of 350 km was fired from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea in Balasore district, about 230 km from Bhubaneswar.

Current Affairs September 2013

International Current Affairs [September 2013]

  • Jhumpa Lahiri novel competes for Man Booker Prize
    Indian American author and Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri's new novel, The Lowland, has been shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker prize, organisers said Tuesday. Set in the 1960s, "The Lowland", provides a view of suburban streets of Calcutta (Kolkata) through the eyes of Subhash.
  • Gujarati film 'The Good Road' India's entry for Oscar
    Debut feature filmmaker Gyan Correa's Gujarati film "The Good Road" has been chosen to represent India in the best foreign film category at the Academy Awards.

National [September 2013]

  • 27,488 government posts for SCs/STs/OBCs unfilled
    A staggering 27,488 government jobs reserved for scheduled castes and tribes and other backward classes are lying vacant with the maximum discrimination against these categories being in the educational sector, an NGO said Wednesday.
  • India's Orbiter For Mars Mission Coming Soon
    India has built the orbiter for the country's maiden Mars mission in October-November, to take off from the spaceport at Sriharikota off the Bay of Bengal, an official said Wednesday.
  • Raghuram Rajan Takes Over As 23rd Governor Of RBI
    Raghuram Govind Rajan Wednesday took over as the 23rd governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Rajan, 50, who was chief economic advisor in the finance ministry, took charge at the Mint Street here from Duvvuri Subbarao, the RBI said in a statement.
  • Sikkim's First Airport To Be Ready By 2014
    Sikkim's first airport will be completed by end-2014 providing much-needed air connectivity to the landlocked state, Tourism Minister Bhim Prasad Dhungel said here Thursday.
  • UPSC criticized for removing Arabic, Persian from Civil Services exams
    The All India Association of Arabic Teachers & Scholars (AIAATS) and the All India Persian Scholars' Association (AIPSA) has criticized the UPSC for removing Arabic, Persian from Civil Services exams.

Business and Economy Current Affairs [September 2013]

  • India's exports rise 13 percent in August
    India's exports jumped by 13 percent to $26.14 billion in August, while imports declined marginally, helping to contain trade deficit at $10.9 billion, government data showed Tuesday.
  • Cabinet nod to plan to reduce urban poverty
    Aiming to reduce poverty and vulnerability of urban poor, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Tuesday approved restructuring of the Swarna Jayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) as the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) in the 12th Five Year Plan at a cost of Rs.6,405 crore, an official statement said.
  • Government sets up 7th Central Pay Commission
    An estimated eight million central government employees and pensioners can now look forward to higher emoluments with the constitution of the Seventh Central Pay Commission (CPC), which the government announced Wednesday.
  • Inflation, rupee may force RBI to keep rates on hold
    Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan is likely to maintain his predecessor Duvvuri Subbarao's "hawkish" policy and keep key rates on hold due to continued inflationary pressure and the volatility in rupee, analysts say.

Science and Technology [September 2013]

  • Indian Nuclear Plants Notch Top Performance In 2012
    The performance of Indian nuclear power plants as well as several fuel cycle facilities reached their highest levels last year, a top official said Wednesday.
  • Indian Satellite's Transponders Switched On
    All the 11 transponders of India's advanced multiband communication satellite (GSAT-7) have been switched on and are performing well, the space agency said late Wednesday.
  • Indian 'military' satellite put into earth's orbit
    India's first 'military' satellite was Wednesday put into the geosynchronous orbit, about 36,000 km above the earth, five days after it was launched Aug 30 on board an European rocket from Kourou in French Guiana off the Pacific coast.

Neighbours [September 2013]

  • India Contributes $1 Mn To Myanmar
    India Wednesday contributed $1 million to build 10 schools in Myanmar's Rakhine state where ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims have clashed.

Indian Defense

  • Defining Moment' As IAF Inducts C-17 Heavy-Lift Transporter
    With Defence Minister A.K. Antony terming it a "defining moment", the Indian Air Force (IAF) Monday formally inducted the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III heavy-lift transport aircraft at a function here.
  • Indian Navy gets Hawk trainer from HAL
    State-run defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Monday handed over the first naval variant of the advanced jet trainer (AJT) Hawk Mk-132 to the Indian Navy here.

Current Affairs October 2013

International Current Affairs [October 2013]

  • US shutdown not to hit Indian Mars mission
    The partial shutdown of the US government would not affect the Indian Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) scheduled for launch Oct 28, the Indian space agency said Saturday.

    "National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) authorities of the US have reaffirmed support to our Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft, scheduled for launch Oct 28," the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement here.

  • IFC to sell rupee-linked bonds of $1 bn
    The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's investment arm, plans to raise $1 billion by selling rupee-linked bonds to help finance private sector investments in India and strengthen capital markets. The programme, the largest in the offshore rupee market, was launched here Wednesday.

National [October 2013]

  • Bhakra Dam Turns 50
    Called the "Temple of a resurgent India" by first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhakra Dam completes 50 years Tuesday. A golden jubilee event is planned at Nangal, 110 km from here, by the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB).

    Union Minister for Water Resources Harish Rawat, Chief Ministers Parkash Singh Badal of Punjab and Bhupinder Singh Hooda of Haryana, will be among those to attend the golsden jubilee event.

    A commemorative stamp on the dam will also be released on the occasion, a BBMB spokesman said Monday.

  • Indian Air Force gets fourth airlifter
    The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received its Fourth Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, a large, versatile military transport aircraft capable of carrying heavy, oversize loads long distances and landing on rough and unprepared surfaces. Once India receives its full complement of ten aircraft, it will be the largest C-17 operator outside the US.

    The plane departed for India Oct 19 from Boeing's Long Beach, California, facility keeping the company on track to deliver a total of five advanced airlifters to the IAF this year. Boeing will deliver five more C-17s to India in 2014 to complete the contract, the company said in a media release.

  • Top 100 Rich Indians' Net Worth Raises To $250 Billion
    The total wealth of India's top 100 rich people rose to $250 billion this year as compared to $221 billion in the previous year, a research report showed.

    With personal wealth of $18.9 billion, Reliance Industries Limited chairman Mukesh Ambani tops the country's rich list followed by London-based Arcelor Mittal's chief L.N. Mittal with assets of $15.9 billion, according to the second edition of Hurun India Rich List released here Thursday.

  • Civil services aspirants want English dropped from exam
    Around 300 students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) staged a protest outside the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) office here Thursday, demanding exclusion of the English language from the civil service examination syllabus. The students demanded that the authorities either remove English or include other foreign languages back to the UPSC examination syllabus.

  • Reforms to Save India – Book on Indian administrative system
    S. Gokulraj's book "Reforms to Save India" suggests ways to clean up the systems that administer India.

    How do you eliminate the numbers game in Parliament? Elect a person in a true democratic way, suggests S. Gokulraj, author of "Reforms to Save India". "People are eager for a change. But, they need to be aware. They start voting from 18, select the MP or MLA and forget about it," he says. Gokulraj is an entrepreneur from Tirupur.

Business and Economy Current Affairs [October 2013]

  • Inflation to remain at elevated level this year: RBI
    Wholesale price-based inflation that jumped to 6.46 percent in September, is likely to remain around the same level in the second half of the current financial year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said Monday.

    In a note released ahead of the second quarter review of monetary policy 2013-14, the RBI said the persistent high consumer price-based inflation remained a concern.

  • Government to infuse Rs.14,000 crore equity in bank
    The government Wednesday said it will infuse Rs.14,000 crore equity capital in 20 public sector banks during the current financial year.

    "The Government of India has approved infusion of Rs.14,000 crore in the PSBs during financial year 2013-14, through preferential allotment of equity in its favour," the finance ministry said in a statement.

    The country's largest lender State Bank of India will get Rs.2,000 crore equity capital from the government. The Central Bank of India and IDBI Bank will get Rs.1,800 crore each.

  • India's current account deficit may fall to $45 bn: StanChart
    Standard Chartered Bank Thursday sharply lowered its forecast for India's Current Account Deficit to $45 billion from its earlier projection of $72 billion, due to positive foreign trade numbers.

    In a research note, the bank said it has revised downward its forecast on India's current account deficit to $45 billion, or 2.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product from $71.8 billion, four percent of the GDP, pegged in its earlier report.

Science and Technology [October 2013]

  • India's Mars Mission To Blast Off On November 5
    India's ambitious Rs.450 crore space mission to Mars has now been fixed for blast-off Nov 5, said a top Indian space agency official Tuesday.

    "The Mars mission has been fixed for Nov 5. The heat shield of the rocket (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-PSLV) has been closed and the final electrical checks will be carried out Wednesday," K.Radhakrishnan, chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told.

  • High Speed Rail Corporation of India launched
    Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge Tuesday launched the High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd (HSRC), a subsidiary of Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL) and tasked to develop High Speed Rail (HSR) Corridors in India to run passenger trains at speeds up to 350 km per hour.

    Inaugurated a two-day international technical conference on "High Speed Rail Travel; Low Cost Solution" here, the minister also unveiled the logo of HSRC that has been designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

Neighbours [October 2013]

  • Bhubaneswar, Imphal airports get international status
    The government Wednesday accorded international operation status to Bhubaneswar and Imphal airports. According to a statement of the Union Cabinet, which met here, declaration of these airports as international airports "will offer improved connectivity, wider choice of services at competitive cost".

Indian Defense

  • India successfully test-fires n-capable missile
    India Monday successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile from a military base in Odisha, a senior defence official said.

    The indigenously-developed ballistic missile with a maximum range of 350 km was fired from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea in Balasore district, about 230 km from Bhubaneswar.

Sports [October 2013]

  • Record five Indians in World Boxing quarters
    India created history at the AIBA World Boxing Championships here Tuesday when five of its boxers reaching the quarterfinals of their respective weight categories.

    It is the first time that five Indians have reached the last eight of the competition. Four from India made the quarters in the last edition.

  • Sania Mirza-Black win China Open title
    Sania Mirza and her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black eased past Vera Dushevina and Arantxa Parra Santonja to win the women's doubles title at the China Open here Saturday.

    Mirza and Black, seeded eighth, won the title clash 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and six minutes. They seemed a much superior unit against the Russian-Spanish combine.

Current Affairs November 2013

International Current Affairs [November 2013]

  • Nirupama Rao named visiting fellow at US varsity
    Former Indian ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, has accepted a one-year appointment as the Meera and Vikram Gandhi Fellow with the Brown-India Initiative at the Watson Institute for International Studies.

    Rao, who retired earlier this month after a 40-year diplomatic career, begins her appointment in January 2014, Providence, Rhode Island based Brown University announced Monday. While at Brown Rao will be writing a book focusing on how the advent of new media technologies are changing the way countries respond to policy-related situations.

  • Antony To Commission INS Vikramaditya In Russia Nov 16
    Defence Minister A.K. Antony will Saturday commission Indian Naval Ship Vikramaditya, the country's second aircraft carrier and its biggest warship, at the Sevmash shipyard in Russia.

    Antony will leave Delhi Friday for a four-day visit to Russia. He will also co-chair the 13th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu in Moscow Monday, said a defence ministry release.

National [November 2013]

  • Graft Hindering Efficient Performance Of Economy: President
    Corruption is one of the biggest factors that hinders efficient performance of our economy and there is a need to eliminate its interface in the delivery of services, President Pranab Mukherjee said here Friday.

    Speaking on the occasion of the Fourth UPSC Foundation Day Lecture on 'Governance and Public Service', the president said the success of a country's development programmes depends on the quality of public administration.

  • Talwars sentenced to life for double murder
    A day after they were held guilty, a CBI court Tuesday sentenced dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar to life imprisonment on charges of killing their daughter and domestic help in 2008.

    Lawyers of the distraught couple, who were immediately taken back to the Dasna Jail in Ghaziabad district, said they would appeal in a higher court against the ruling.

  • Over 32 million – a record – vote in Madhya Pradesh
    A record 32 million people – or the population of Peru – voted Monday in Madhya Pradesh in a largely peaceful exercise, with both the ruling BJP and the Congress claiming they will win.

    Only minor incidents of violence marred the polling that began at 8 a.m. to pick a new 230-member legislature barring three constituencies of Balaghat district where it started an hour earlier to foil Maoist designs.

  • International standard airport at Agartala by 2016
    The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has undertaken a Rs.300-crore project to modernise Agartala airport and upgrade it to international standards by 2016, officials said Tuesday.

    "Within 36 months, the modernisation projects of the Agartala airport would be completed. The Rs.300-crore project has already been sent to the AAI board of directors for approval," Sudhir Raheja, member AAI board (Planning) told reporters here.

Business and Economy Current Affairs [November 2013]

  • Indian Economy Grows 4.8 Percent In Q2
    Helped by the good performance of the farm and some infrastructure sectors, India's economic growth recovered marginally to 4.8 percent in the second quarter of the current financial year from 4.4 percent recorded in the previous quarter, government data showed Friday.
    According to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) here, the agriculture sector registered healthy growth of 4.6 percent, while manufacturing expanded at a sluggish 1 percent in the July-September quarter.

  • 20 FDI Proposals Worth Rs.916 Crore Cleared
    The government Tuesday said it has cleared 20 proposals of foreign direct investment (FDI) worth Rs.916 crore, including Singapore Airlines plan to start a full service airline in partnership with Tata Sons.

    Singapore Airlines has formed a joint venture with Tata Sons to run full service airline. In the joint venture, Singapore Airlines will control 49 percent while Tata Sons will have the majority stake of 51 percent.

  • India can grow at 8 percent: Ahluwalia
    India can achieve eight per cent growth provided difficult policy decisions are taken, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said here Saturday.

    He called for greater attention to linking economic policy making with external and internal security.

Science and Technology [November 2013]

  • 'India Must Be Part Of Global Mega-Science Projects'
    Stressing on the importance of critical research relevant to the country, eminent physicist and principal scientific advisor to the Indian government R. Chidambaram Friday said the nation needs to be a part of global mega-science projects.

    Speaking at Calcutta University's annual convocation here, Chidambaram referred to the studies regarding the recent path-breaking discovery of the Higgs Boson, and advocated India's participation in projects relating to origins of the universe.

  • India to sling Mars craft into Sun orbit Sunday
    ndia's maiden Mars craft will sling into Sun orbit early Sunday for a 280-day long voyage to reach the red planet Sep 24, 2014.

    "The Orbiter entered the final orbit of earth early Wednesday for its trans-injection into the Sun orbit Sunday at 00.49 a.m. for a nine-month journey to Mars through the interplanetary space, a senior space agency official said here.

  • India Leaps Into Interplanetary Space With Mars Mission
    India will be the first Asian country and the fourth entity in the world to leap into interplanetary space Tuesday with an exploratory mission to Mars, about 400 million km from planet Earth.

    "So far, only Russia, the US and the European Space Agency (ESA) have undertaken such missions to Mars. India will be the fourth and first in Asia," a top space agency official told IANS ahead of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) launch from Sriharikota spaceport, about 80km northeast of Chennai.

Indian Defense [November 2013]

  • Promote research, build indigenous base for defence: Antony
    Defense Minister A.K. Antony Monday called for the promotion of research and development in ordnance manufacturing to build a strong indigenous base in weaponry and ammunition.

    "We need to be able to develop a strong domestic defense base," Antony said at a function to give the Raksha Mantri Awards for Excellence for the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

  • Army Test Fires Advanced Version Of BrahMos Missile
    The Indian Army Monday test-fired an advanced version of the 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in Rajasthan, piercing the designated concrete structure.

    "An advanced version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile system was successfully test fired at the Pokhran test range," an official said.