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National Dates & Events in January 2011

1. The Srikrishna Committee has favoured maintaining the status quo of a united Andhra Pradesh and described the demand for a Telangana State as the “second best option”. In its report, which was made public on 6th January, 2010, the Committee found the option of a united Andhra Pradesh the “most workable” in the circumstances and in the best interests of the social and economic welfare of people. “In this option, it is proposed to keep the State united and provide constitutional / statutory measures to address the core socio – economic concerns about the development of the Telangana region, ” it said. The report was submitted to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on December 30.

2. The Former Minister of State for Environment & forests, Jairam Ramesh, on 7th January, 2011 announced Coastal Regulation Zone ( CRZ ) Notification, 2011 and Island Protection Zone ( IPZ ) Notification, 2011 in New Delhi.

Objectives include :

  1. protection of livelihoods of traditional fisherfolk communities,
  2. preservation of coastal ecology; and
  3. promotion of economic activity that have necessarily to be located in coastal regions.

The recommendations of an expert committee comprising of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, Sunita Narain, Dr. Shailesh Nayak and J.M. Mauskar.

3. The Union Cabinet on 6th January, 2011 approved the implementation of Phase I of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project ( NCRMP ) for Andhra Pradesh and Odisha at an estimated cost of Rupee 1496.71 crores to address the vulnerability of coastal community who are generally poor.

4. Defence Minister A.K. Antony on 4th January, 2011 laid the foundation stone for the National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding ( NIRDESH ) under the Department of Defence Production at Kozhikode, Kerala. NIRDESH would concentrate on enhancing self – reliance in production capabilities relating to all kinds of warships, submarines and other related platforms required by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard.

5. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 8th January, 2011 announced a special facility to provide life – long visa – free entry into the country to the Indian diaspora.General Studies Question Bank CD

6. The government has decided to merge the Overseas Citizen of India ( OCI ) and the Persons of Indian Orgin ( PIO ) cards into a swingle facility. The objective is to provide them rights of residency and participation in business and educational activities in the country.

7. India on 3rd January, 2011 formally took its place in the UN Security Council ( UNSC ) as a new non – permanent member for a two – year term. Along with India, Germany, South Africa, Columbia and Portugal too took their places at the 15 – member UNSC. Regarded as a key emerging political and economic power, India would be the president of the powerful Security Council in August 2011 and November 2012, during its two – year term. India is also likely to be given a key responsibility of heading one of the two key counter – terrorism committees of the Council during its term.

8. The 98th Indian Science Congress concluded at the SRM University, near Chennai, on 7th January, 2011. ‘Quality Education and Excellence in Science Research in Indian Universities’ was the focal theme of the Congress hosted on an estimated outlay of Rupee 12 crore. There were 17 plenary sessions and 14 sectional programs dwelling on the focal theme, including six lectures by Nobel laureates, attended by more than 8,000 delegates. Prof. K.C. Pandey was the General President of the Congress. The 99th Indian Science Congress will be held in Bhubaneswar from 3rd, to 7th January, 2012.

9. As many as 96.5% of all children aged 6 – 14 years were enrolled in schools in 2010, a survey by NGO Pratham revealed on 14th January, 2011. The Annual State of Education Report ( ASER ) 2010 covered seven lakh children in 14,000 villages in 522 districts.

10. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the merging of the Overseas Citizen of India ( OCI ) and the People of Indian Origin – ( PIO ) cards to facilitate visa – free travel to India, rights of residency and participation in business and educational activities in the country at the Ninth Pravasi Bharatiya Oiwas ( PBO ) at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi organised from 7th to 9th January, 2011. The Prime Minister also announced the extension of the Indian Community Welfare Rind to all Indian Missions from the present 42. Dr. Singh said the government would soon give effect to a law that allowed Non – Resident Indians ( NRIs ) to register themselves as voters.

11. Union Minister for Earth Sciences, Human Resource Development, Science & Technology and Communications & Information Technology Kapil Sibal laid foundation stone for India’s 3rd Research Base at Antarctica – ” Bharati “ on 11th January, 2011 at New Delhi.

12. The Ministry of Environment & Forests on 16th January, 2011 announced its decision to remove the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society ( ACHS ) building in Mumbai. The Ministry has decided to remove the entire structure since “it is unauthorised and no clearance whatsoever under the Coastal Regulation Zone ( CRZ ) Notification, 1991 was obtained.

13. India Post released commemorative, postage stamp on 15th January, 2011 in Ahmedabad on ‘Doot’, a magazine completing a centenary of uninterrupted publication. Doot is a magazine published from Gujarat since January 1911 by the Catholic Church. General Studies Question Bank CD

14. In a minor expansion of his Council of Ministers on 19th January, 2011 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh introduced three new faces, upgraded five Ministers and shuffled the rest of the pack. The top four jobs Finance, Home, External Affairs and Defence were left untouched. The reshuffle involved only the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party MPs. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham and the Trinamool Congress were left out of the exercise.

15. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set up an expert committee to rework the archaic Factories Act of 1948, giving a big push to labour reforms to ensure the safety of workers. The committee led by Planning Commission member Narendra Jadhav has chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu as a member.

16. The Indian Council of Medical Research ( ICMR ) confirmed the first case of human infection caused by Crimean – Congo Hemorrhagic Fever ( CCHF ) virus in Ahmedabad. A six – member team of specialists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases ( NICO ) visited Ahmedabad on January 20. Tests conducted at the National Institute of Virology ( under ICMR, Pune ) have confirmed the presence of the CCHF virus in blood as well as urine samples of a patient.

17. The Union Govememnt on 21st January, 2011 reconstituted the National Advisory Committee on Accounting Standards ( NACAS ), a panel whose advice forms the basis for deciding the accounting standards and policies to be followed by companies. The reconstituted NACAS will be chaired by M.M. Chitale, chartered accountant, and will have eleven members besides the chairman. Currently, NACAS has the mandate to advice the Government only on accounting standards and accounting policies. It does not look into auditing standards or quality of the audits undertaken by chartered accountants.

18. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched the pan – India Mobile number portability ( MNP ) service on 21st January, 2011. MNP enables mobile users to retain their telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another, which was launched in Haryana circle in November, will now be available to about 700 million mobile subscribers ( both GSM and CDMA ) across the country.

19. In order to push research in space technology and surveying activities in various parts of the state, Gujarat government will set up Geospatial Technology Park, which will be the first of its kind in India. Chief minister Narendra Modi made the announcement in Hyderabad where Gujarat was given the award for the ‘Premier Geospatial State of India for the best use of space technology through the medium of Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications & Geoinformatics ( BISAG ).

20. The Government on 19th January, 2011 notified the appointment of Anand Sinha, an executive director of the Reserve Bank of India ( RBI ), as one of the Deputy Governors of the Central Bank.

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21. The Bihar Government on 27th January, 2011 decided to set up a commission to study the condition of economically and socially backward sections of forward castes, a promise made by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the ruri – up to the Assembly elections. The five – member “Upper Caste Commission” would include a chairman and a vice – chairman.

22. The Indian Navy launched, the second sail – training ship INS Sudarshini, built by Goa Shipyard Ltd on 26th January, 2011. Built for worldwide operations, INS Sudarshini is a steel – hulled, round – bilged, three – masted sailing ship with 18 sails having a sail .area of approximately 1035 square metres. With a very high endurance, it can be deployed at sea continuously for at least 20 days. The vessel can accommodate more than 60 people. It can be under sail or propulsion power. INS Tarangini, Navy’s first sail training ship, was also constructed by GSL.

23. The nation’s military might, cultural diversity, technological achievements and ecological challenges were oh display at the Rajpath as the country celebrated its 62nd  Republic Day in New Delhi on 26th January, 2011. The day began with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leading the nation in paying tribute to martyrs at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was the chief guest of the day. Interestingly, the chief guest at the nation’s first Republic Day parade in 1950 was the then Indonesian President Sukarno.

24. Pt. Bhimsen Joshi passes away : Legendary Hindustani vocalist Bhimsen Joshi passed away at the age of 87 in Pune on 24th July, 2011. A recipient of the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, Joshi was the most – celebrated exponent of the ‘Kirana gharana’ of Khansahib Abdul Karim Khan. Born on 4th  February, 1922 at Gadag in Dharwad district of Karnataka.General Studies Question Bank CD

25. India on 3rd January, 2011 formally took its place in the UN Security Council ( UNSC ) as a new non – permanent member for a two – year term. Along with India, Germany, South Africa, Columbia and Portugal too took their places at the 15 – member UNSC. Regarded as a key emerging political and economic power, India would be the president of the powerful Security Council in August 2011 and November 2012, during its two – year term. India is also likely to be given a key responsibility of heading one of the two key counter – terrorism committees of the Council during its term.

26. The Andhra Pradesh Micro Finance Institutions ( Regulation of Money Lending ) Act, 2011, which aims at curtailing coercive practices by microfinance institutions, has come into effect from 1st January, 2011. The Act makes registration of all MFIs mandatory.

27. The Power Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant – 2 at Tarapur nuclear power station was commissioned by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 7th January, 2011.

28. The reprocessing plant is being described as a significant milestone in India’s three – stage indigenous nuclear program. Reprocessing is essential in the transition to the second stage of fastbreeder reactors ( FBR ) which India has begun. In the subsequent third stage, the use of thorium in advanced reactors will be undertaken. Tarapur site is home to the oldest boiling water reactors in the world and India has built its own reactors as well.

29. The Supreme Court – appointed Central Empowered Committee ( CEC ) on 7th January, 2011 recommended cancellation of mining leases to the Obulapuram Mining Company ( OMC ) ( owned by Karnataka governemnt ministers G. Janardhana Reddy and G. Karunakara Reddy ) for having openly flouted various environmental laws in mining operations in the Bellary Reserve Forest area.

30. The International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) expects the Indian economy to grow by 8.8% during the current financial year, up from 7.4% a year ago, mainly driven by robust growth in the farm sector and pick – up in consumption. The multilateral lending agency, however, expressed concerns over rising prices and underlined the need for controlling inflationary expectations by monetary actions by the Reserve Bank of India.

31. The fourth unit of 220 MW Kaiga Generating Station ( KGS – 4 ) located in Uttar Kanada district of Karnataka was connected to the southern power grid on 19th January, 2011, after the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board ( AERB ) granted clearence to it. With the synchronisation of KGS – 4 with the grid, India’s nuclear power capacity has gone up to 4780 MW, with 20 reactors in operation. The installed capacity of Kaiga station is now 880 MW, making it the third largest after Tarapur ( 1400 MW ) and Rawatbhata ( 1180 MW ). The unit, fuelled by indigenous uranium, will supply electricity to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

32. In order to push research in space technology and surveying activities in various parts of the state, Gujarat government will set up Geospatial Technology Park, which will be the first of its kind in India. Chief Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement in Hyderabad where Gujarat was given the award for the ‘Premier Geospatial State of India1 for the best use of space technology through the medium of Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications & Geoinformatics ( BISAG ).

33. The Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, on 25th January, 2011 said the Government has constituted a multi – disciplinary committee to get studies conducted to estimate the quantum of illicit funds generated by Indian citizens. He also spelt out a five – point strategy that the Government was adopting to address the issue of black money. Three institutions the National Institute of Public Finance and Fblicy ( NIPFP ), National Institute of Finance Management ( N1FM ) and National Council of Applied Economic Research ( NCAER ) have been tasked with conducting the studies.

34. The final report on branding West Bengal by Saffron Brand Consultants was on 16th January, 2011 submitted to the state government. Saffron Chairman Wally Olins, who has been tasked with positioning London for the 2012 Olympics, had met Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee last year on finalising the broad contours of the strategy. Saffron will guide the state government in the rollout, but the implementation agency will be the state government.

35. The Obama administration on 25th January, 2011 removed nine Indian space and defense related companies including those from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defense Research and Development Organisation ( DRDO ), from its export control ‘Entity List’. The DRDO companies removed from the entities list :  Bharat Dynamics Ltd ( BDL ), Armament Research and Development Establishment ( ARDE ), Defense Research and Development Lab ( DRDL ), Missile Research and Development Complex; Solid State Physics Laboratory.

36. The Gulmarg resort in Jammu and Kashmir was on 30th January, 2011 rated by CNN International as Asia’s seventh best ski destination. Appi Kogen in Japan’s Honshu island tops the list as the best ski resort in Asia, followed by Niseko in Hokkaido, also in Japan. This resort is famous because of its “Gulmarg Gondola,” the highest cable car in the world at a height of 3,979 m. The resort provides a panoramic view of the whole Vale of Kashmir and of Nanga Parbat, one of the highest peaks of the Himalayas, at 8, 126 m.

37. India has launched year – long activities and programs in Canada to showcase the country’s rich art and culture, as well as its rise as an economic power. Indian high commissioner SM Gavai on 27th January, 2011 launched the ‘Year of India in Canada’ with a major investment in Canada – India Centre for Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy at the Carleton University.

38. India Is home to three of the world’s 50 Greatest Cultural Destinations, including the top one – Agra, where the famous Taj Mahal is located. According to a special supplement on Greatest Cultural Destinations brought out by British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph and travel experts Page & Moy on 24th January, 2011 the other two cultural destinations in India are Jaipur in Rajasthan and Lucknow in UP Besides Taj Mahal, the other places recommended for visit are the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, himad – ud – Daulah, Vrindavan and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Jaipur is at 27th and Lucknow 32nd in the list.

39. A joint venture firm between NTPC Ltd and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd has been, incorporated on  January, 2011 under ‘Anushakti Vidhyut Nigam Ltd’. The venture is slated to commence operations with the execution of a 700 – MWe indigenous pressurised heavy water reactor – based project shortly.

40. The commercial operation of India’s first seaplane – Jed Hans – began on 24th January, 2011 at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The seaplane took its first trip to Havelock Island in the Andamans.

41. The seaplane service which has come up as a joint venture between the public sector Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited and Andaman and Nicobar administration will connect Port Blair with Havelock, Diglipur.

42. The status of tigers in India continues to be grim. The country, once home to 40,000 big cats, is left with only 1,200 – 1,500, according to the last census ( 2008 ) conducted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority. Going by the Wildlife Protection Society of India’s ( WPSI ) crime database, India has lost 58 more in 2010. Of the 58 deaths, 30 were poaching and seizure – related. Madhya Pradesh with 10 losses leads the chart, followed by Assam ( 9 ) and Maharashtra ( 7 ).

43. Prices of ethanol, a renewable fuel being blended with petrol, may be linked to petrol prices after making adjustments for ethanol’s calorific value, mileage and tax incentives. The expert compiittee on ethanol pricing, headed by, Planning Commission member Saumitra Chaudhuri, submitted its report on 28th January, 2011. It has suggested that the price for sugar companies in the current quarter should be Rupee 26.76 per litre. This is below the Rupee 27 announced by a group of ministers last year. The new price will be up for a quarterly review, based on the previous quarter’s price of petrol.

44. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation ( ONGC ), the country’s biggest energy explorer, on 28th January, 2011 said it had struck shale gas reserves in its maiden well in West Bengal. This is the first time shale gas has been discovered in sedimentary shale gas rocks outside the US and Canada. Exploration of shale gas, an unconventional energy source, has witnessed a surge in North America in recent times and is making substantial contribution to total gas production. In the US, shale gas contributes nearly 17 per cent of total gas produce.

45. The Government on 24th January, 2011 decided to remove Suresh Kalmadi from the position of the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, CWG, Delhi, 2010 and the position of Chairman, Executive Board of the organizing, CWG, 2010 and Lalit Bhanot from the position of Secretary General of the Organizing Committee, CWG, 2010 and from the position of Secretary General, Executive Board of the Organizing Committee, CWG, Delhi 2010 with immediate effect.

46. Manna Dey won the award for Lifetime Achievement at the 56th Idea Filmfare Awards 2010 presented at the YashRaj Studio in Mumbai on 29th January, 2011. “My Name is Khan” won the Best Actor award for Shah Rukh Khan, Best Actress for Kajol and Best Director award for Karan Johar. “Dabaang” won the Best Film award as well as the Best Music award for Sajid Wajid & Lalit Pandit. Best Lyrics award was won by Gulzar for ‘Dil to Bachcha Hai Ji’ for ” Ishqiya “. Vikramaditya Motwane & Aditya Kashyap won the Best Story as well as Best Screenplay awards for “Udaan”. Best Debut ( Female ) went to Sonakshi Sinha for ” Dabaang “. “Band Baaja Baaraat” won the Best Debut ( Male ) award for Ranveer Singh and Best Debut ( Director ) award for Manish Sharma. Special Awards were given to Amitabh Bachchan for completing 40 years and to Madhuri Dixit for completing 25 years in Bollywood.

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