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International Dates and Events in January 2011

1. Divers of Indian Navy and the US Navy conducted a Joint Salvage Exercise ( SALVEX ) off Port Blair in the Andaman Sea from 5th Januray, 2011 to 11th, January, 2011. INS Nireekshak, the diving tender of the Indian Navy and USS Safeguard, a specialised Salvage ship participated in the exercise. The aim of the exercise was to strengthen capability in niche techniques associated with diving and salvage.

2. World’s first Art Exchange was launched by Paris – based A&F Markets on 10th January, 2011 in Paris. The Exchange offers an opportunity for individuals and institutions to buy and sell shares of famous artworks. People from across the world, including India, will be able to invest.

3. US President Barack Obama on 7th January, 2011 started the process of making major changes in his administration by announcing the appointment of William Daley as his new Chief of Staff. Daley served as Commerce Secretary in the Clinton Administration and currently was an executive with JP Morgan Chase.

4. The Prime Minister of the Central Asian Republic has ordered that a peak in the Tian – Shan Mountains be named after his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev on 4th January, 2011 issued orders to name a 4500 meter high mountain “Vladimir Putin Peak”. Earlier, Kyrgyzstan had renamed one of the peaks after post – Soviet Russia’s first president Boris Yeltsin near the picturesque Issyk – Kul Lake in Tian – Shan Mountains.

5. Nigeria is frequently cited as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, but its central banker has won two international banking awards. Mallam Lamido Aminu Sanusi was on 6th January, 2011 named as the Central Bank Governor of 2010 for both the African continent and the entire world, by the prestigious Banker Magazine.

6. China and the US have joined hands to develop the world’s largest solar power plant in the country’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the state media reported on 6th January, 2011. First Solar Inc, a US – based renewable energy company, signed a MoU with China Guangdong Nuclear Solar Energy Development Co Ltd ( CGN SEDC ) to jointly develop the world’s largest solar power plant. First Solar, the world’s largest maker of thin – film solar PV modules, said it Will build a 2,000 – megawatt solar power plant with the’ Chinese company at Ordos in Inner Mongolia autonomous region in the next 10 years. General Studies Question Bank CD

7. India and World Bank on 14th January, 2011 signed an agreement through which the latter will provide a credit of $255 million for the first phase.

8. Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius adopt the United States dollar as the sole legal currency, reducing the use of the Netherlands Antillean guilder to Curasao and Sint Maarten. ( Bloomberg ).

9. Hungary took over the presidency of the European Union.

10. Mass graves are discovered in Cote d’Ivoire amid other political violence as United Nations peacekeepers come under increased tension in the country when allies of Alassane Ouattara call for a forceful removal of Laurent Gbagbo.

11. A 7.1 – magnitude earthquake streaks southern Chile, having its epicenter 96 km northwest of Temuco, not far from the location of the 2010 Chile earthquake.

12. US President Barack Obama signs the 9 / 11 health bill into law to cover the cost of medical care for rescue workers and others sickened by toxic fumes and dust after the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.

13. Greece is considering the construction of a fence along its border with Turkey to fend off an ongoing flood of economic migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

14. The second – largest party in Pakistan’s coalition, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, quits the government leaving it with a minority in parliament. Sudanese President Omar al – Bashir goes to Juba to meet with Southern Sudanese President of the Government Salva Kiir Mayardit ahead of Southern Sudan’s independence referendum.

15. 10 – year – old Canadian Kathryn Gray becomes the youngest person ever to discover a supernova.

16. Iran and India develop a stop – gap plan to continue the flow of oil from the former to the latter, and payments in the opposite direction, days after India withdrew from the Asian Clearing Union. The new plan involves payments through the EIH Bank, in Hamburg, Germany. China successfully tests the Chengdu J – 20 Black Eagle, one of its fifth generation stealth, twin – engine fighter aircraft programs. Researchers discover prisons spreading through airborne transmission on aerosol particles, in an animal testing experiment focusing on scrape infection in laboratory mice.

17. Thousands of people march through the cities of Amman, Ma’an. Karak, Salt and Irbidin and other parts of Jordan, objecting to the government’s inability to stop poverty and increased living costs.

18. Michael Ogio is elected Governor – General of Papua New Guinea, by Parliament, defeating Sir Bato Kakaraya, by a 65 to 23 vote margin. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is sworn in for a fourth time following the disputed presidential election.

19. An unmanned Japanese H – II Transfer Vehicle HTV – 2 Resupply Craft was launched atop the H – IIB rocket on a mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.
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20. Lebanon’s national unity Government collapsed on 11th January, 2011 after 11 ministers from coalition partner Hezbollah and its allies resigned. The decision was prompted by a dispute over the UN tribunal investigating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s murder. The announcement came as Prime Minister Saad Hariri, his son, was meeting US President Barack Obama in Washington. Tension has been high in Lebanon, amid indications that Hezbollah members could be indicted by the UN tribunal.

21. The opposition Republican Party on 6th January, 2011 formally took control of the US House of Representatives as the 112th Congress was ceremonially sworn in, with their top leader John Boehner elected as the Speaker. The Republicans trounced the Democrats in the recent Congressional polls, assuming a majority in the House and diminishing the Democrats’ lead in the Senate. Boehner defeated outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the Democratic Party – 241 to 173 votes. Pelosi was the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives. Democrats still maintain majority in the Senate, albeit a reduced one.

22. India and Bangladesh on 22nd January, 2011 opened a key joint land port at the northwestern tip of Banglabandha bordering Phulbari of West Bengal to boost bilateral trade. Phulbari – Banglabandha land port was opened at a cross – border ceremony attended by Indian finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and Bangladesh’s agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury. Mukherjee said that Phulbari – Banglabandha land port has more potential than Benapole – Petrapole as it is very close to Siliguri, the gateway to northeast India, Nepal and Bhutan.

23. Singapore has appointed career diplomat Karen Ian High Commissioner to India. Tan, who joined the Singapore Foreign Service in 1985, will take charge of her new post on 14th February , 2011.

24. The annual World Economic, forum ( WEF ) meeting was organised at Davos, Switzerland from 26th January, 201130th, Januray, 2011. A 130 – member delegation from India comprising high – ranking government officials, CEOs of major Indian companies, media and civil society representatives participated in the Summit. The theme of the WEF annual meeting 2011 was “Shared Norms for a New Reality”.

25. The International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) on 23rd January, 2011 said that the global economy will grow faster this year than expected. The IMF revised up its global growth forecast from 4.2% to 4.4%. Emerging economies, however, should see growth of 6.5% this year and a similar expansion in 2012. In its World Economic Outlook, the IMF said US growth was projected to reach 3%, up from the previous estimate of 2.3% published in October.

26. The BBC on 26th January, 2011 confirmed plans to close five of its 32 World Service language services. The Macedonian, Albanian and Serbian services will be axed, as will English for the Caribbean and Portuguese for Africa, in a bid to save £46m a year.

27. Brazil’s environment agency, Ibama, on 27th January, 2011 gave the go – ahead for initial work to begin on a huge hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the Amazon River. The 11,000 – megawatt dam would be the third biggest in the world after the Three Gorges in China and Itaipu, which is jointly run by – Brazil and Paraguay.

28. RIM : Research in Motion ( RIM ), the makers of BlackBerry, on 28th January, 2011 said there was no possibility of providing access to its enterprise mail service. The company also acknowledged that the ongoing security issues related to BlackBerry services had impacted its growth in the country.

29. India has topped a list of the most “over – regulated countries in the world” in a survey on Asian business and politics by Hong Kong – based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd ( PERC ). The survey report released in January 2011 has rated India as the worst in terms of over – regulation, scoring 9.16 points out of 10, followed by China with 9.04 points. Hong Kong received the best score in the survey with 0.98 points, while Singapore was second with 1.08 points. In general, regulations were complex and non – transparent, while standards and certifications procedures were onerous in India, according to survey findings.

30. World’s first Art Exchange was launched by Paris – based A&F Markets on 10th January, 2011 in Paris. The Exchange offers an opportunity for individuals and institutions to buy and sell shares of famous artworks. People from across the world, including India, will be able to invest.

31. China and the US have joined hands to develop the world’s largest solar power plant in the country’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the state media reported on 6th January, 2011. First Solar Inc, a US – based renewable energy company, signed a MoU with China Guangdong Nuclear Solar Energy Development Co Ltd ( CGN SEDC ) to jointly develop the world’s largest solar power plant. First Solar, the world’s largest maker of thin – film solar PV modules, said it will build a 2,000 – megawatt solar power plant with the Chinese company at Ordos in Inner Mongolia autonomous region in thq next 10 years.

32. India and World Bank on 14th January, 2011 signed an agreement through which the latter will provide a credit of $255 million for the first phase of the national programme to mitigate the impact of cyclones. The agreement is expected to benefit over one million people living in the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, who face the wrath of cyclones year after year.

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33. Russia and the United States have enacted a historic nuclear cooperation pact that will enable the two countries to collaborate in atomic technologies for the first time in the history of their relations. The agreement entered unto force on 11th January, 2010 after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle exchanged respective diplomatic notes in Moscow.

34. The UN ended its peace mission in Nepal on 15th January, 2011. As Nepal remained in a political deadlock, the UN’s blue flag was lowered at the Kathmandu office of the UNMIN, which was established by the world body as a special political mission in 2007 to manage the arms and armed personnel of the Maoists and the Nepal Army. The UNMIN closure makes the fate of the 19,000 Maoist combatants confined in the cantonments uncertain as there was no clear roadmap regarding the future monitoring, integration and rehabilitation of the former Maoist combatants.

35. The Forum of Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar ( BCIM ) on 19th January, 2011 agreed on the need to improve the cooperation mechanism, which would feature a multi – track initiative with track I coordination, to promote regional prosperity and harmony. The two – day, ninth meeting of the Forum, which concluded in the Kunming city of the Yunan province, agreed to rename the “Forum of Bangladesh China, India and Myanmar on Regional Economic Cooperation” as “Bangladesh China India and Myanmar Regional Cooperation Forum,” Launched in 1999, the Kunming initiative, which later evolved into the BCIM Forum, has so far been a track II initiative.

36. The annual World Economic Forum ( WEF ) meeting was organised at Davos, Switzerland from 26th January, 201130th, January, 2011. A 130 – member delegation from India comprising high – ranking government officials, CEOs of major Indian companies, media and civil society representatives participated in the Summit. The theme of the WEF annual meeting 2011 was “Shared Norms for a New Reality”.

37. Brazil’s environment agency, Ibama, on 27th January, 2011 gave the go – ahead for initial work to begin on a huge hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the Amazon River. The 11,000 – megawatt dam would be the third biggest in the world after the Three Gorges in China and Itaipu, which is jointly run by Brazil and Paraguay.

38. US President Barack Obama on 28th January, 2011 named two Indian – Americans – Vivek Murthy and Islam Siddiqui – for key posts in his Administration. Murthy has been appointed as member of the advisory group on Prevention, Health, Promotion and Integrative and Public Health. Siddiqui would be Obama’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator.

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