INTERNATIONAL

China, Russia, Pakistan discuss Afghanistan situation

Officials from China, Russia and Pakistan on 3 April 2013 held talks on the issue of coordination between their positions on Afghanistan.The officials from three nations  backed  the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that is grouping to play a great role in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO Forces in 2014. These talks were held to enhance coordination. The talks followed a similar meeting India, China and Russia held in Moscow recently, reflecting the delicate balancing act — and increasingly complicated regional dynamics — as different countries look to push their interests in the lead up to 2014.

Malaysia PM Dissolves Parliament

On 3 April Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has dissolved the Parliament ahead of a general election.This dissolution will pave the way for the 13th general election.The elections have to be held before June 2.The Barisan Nasional coalition that has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957 is expected to face a stiff challenge in the polls from the opposition three-party Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Pact).

Tammam Salam named as Lebanon new Prime Minister

On 6 April well-known Sunni lawmaker Tammam Salam has been named Lebanon’s new prime minister , after receiving overwhelming parliamentary support.His appointment comes after previous prime minister Najib Mikati resigned and effectively brought down his Hezbollah-dominated government.

China, Australia Signed Direct Currency Exchange Agreement

On 10 China and Australia have signed a currency swap agreement in a bid to promote bilateral trade and investment.The agreement makes the Australian dollar the third major currency to directly trade in China’s mainland foreign exchange market, after the US dollar and the Japanese yen.Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard discussed bilateral security issues with China’s President Hu Jintao.

China Pledges $548 million Aid To Cambodia

On 10 April China has pledged $548 million in aid to Cambodia for infrastructure and irrigation systems.Agreements covering $500 million in soft loans and $48 million in grants were signed during Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen .

Nepal Peace Process Ends

On 13 April Nepal’s much delayed peace process with end of the decade long civil war has finally reached conclusion.Though the peace process had started on 2006, the Special Committee was formed in 2008 to oversee the army integration process.The last meeting of the cross-party Special Committee decided to accept application of 47 Maoist combatants to quit the Nepal Army training.

Nicolas Maduro Wins Venezuelan Presidential Election

Nicolas Maduro,Socilist Party member who became Hugo Chavez’s protege, was declared the winner of Venezuela’s presidential election on 14 April 2013.Maduro secured 50.8% of votes  while opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski won 49.0%.Maduro got 3 lakhs votes of majority than Henrique.

New Zealand Approved Gay-Marriage Bill

On 17 April New Zealand’s parliament has approved the bill to legalise same-sex marriage.New Zealand has become the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so. No other country in the Asia-Pacific region allows gay marriage.Cheers and applause ring out in parliament building after 77 of 121 members vote to allow gay couples to wed.New Zealand is now the 13th country to legalise gay marriage.

U.S Senate Rejects Gun Control Bill

On 18 April The US Senate has rejected a strong gun control bill.US Senators supported the measure with just 54-46 votes , falling short of the 60 votes required to pass the amendment.The legislation was considered the best hope for gun control sought by President Obama in the wake of the mass shooting at Newtown Elementary School last year.Among them, a vote to ban assault weapons was rejected by 40 votes to 60, while a measure to limit the size of gun clips received just 46 votes in its favor.

US House of Representatives Passed CISPA

On 18 April The US House of Representatives has passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA).The aim of CISPA is to fight with the cyber threats, by enabling the law enforcers to get access to the web data.This is the second time Cispa has been passed by the House.Senators threw out the first draft, saying it did not do enough to protect privacy.Senators had earlier rejected the first draft of this bill on the grounds that it wasn’t providing enough for protecting the privacy.

Napolitano Re-elected as Italy’s President

On 21 April  Italy’s Parliament re-elected Giorgio Napolitano as the Italy’s President for second 7-year term .Giorgio Napolitano will be the first Italian president to be re-elected to serve a second term.He got 738 votes, far more than the 504 needed for victory.More than 1,000 national and regional lawmakers had convened to elect the next Italian president, with the overwhelming majority of them ultimately backing Napolitano.The People of Freedom party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi got second place in Italy elections.He is the first President of Italy to have been a member of the Italian Communist Party and the first to be elected to a second term as President.Giorgio Napolitano is the 11th President of the Italian Republic since 2006.

Horacio Cartes Elected as Paraguay’s new President

On 22 April Businessman Horacio Cartes of the Colorado Party has been declared Paraguay’s new president.The electoral board announced that Cartes had 46.1 percent of the vote and his main rival Senator Efrain Alegre of the ruling Liberal Party 36.9 percent.The conservative Colorados held Paraguay’s presidency for 60 years until leftist former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo was elected in 2008.

French Parliament Approved Gay Marriage Law

On 23 April France parliament approved a new law to allow gay marriage. Parliament passed the bill by 331 votes for and 225 against.France has become the 14th country to allow gay marriage..

UK Approved Caste Discrimination Bill

On 25 April Britain has outlawed caste discrimination, after the House of Lords voted for legal protection to be given to the most vulnerable, mainly in the Indian and Sikh communities.The UK now looks set to become the first country in Europe to outlaw discrimination based on caste.

Cuba and Venezuela Signed 51 Cooperation Projects

On 28 April Cuba and Venezuela have signed at Havana accords for 51 joint projects worth two billion U.S. dollars.At the close of 13th Cuba-Venezuela Intergovernmental Meeting , Cuban President Raul Castro and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the deals for projects in such areas as education, health, sports, cultur, food production, construction, transport, communications, energy and support of social missions.Havana and Caracas agreed to jointly invest two billion dollars to develop these projects and also signed a memorandum to establish a bilateral medium- and long-term economic agenda.The investment also covers joint ventures in vital and strategic economic areas in both countries.

Pakistan court bans Musharraf from contesting polls for life

A four-judge bench of the Peshawar high court headed by chief justice Dost Muhammad Khan imposed the life  ban while dismissing Musharraf’s appeal challenging the rejection of his nomination papers for May 11 general election.The lifetime ban was imposed because Musharraf had abrogated the Constitution twice and detained judges during the 2007 emergency.


INDIA & WORLD

India and Singapore Signed MoU on Air Services

On 2 April India and Singapore signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral air services arrangement in the presence of Civil Aviation Minister, Shri Ajit Singh and Minister of Transport of Singapore, Mr Lui Tuck Yew in Singapore.

India, Azerbaijan ink 3 key pacts

Aimed at creating the necessary legal framework in areas of extradition, India and Azerbaijan on 04 April 2013 inked three key pacts which also included treaties for mutual legal assistance in criminal and civil matters.Visiting Justice Minister of Azerbaijan Fikrat Mammadov held a meeting with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde where the extradition treaty was signed.

India and Tanzania Signed Agreement To Explore Mineral Wealth

On 6 April India and Tanzania have signed an agreement for forging an alliance to explore mineral wealth in the African nation.The agreement was signed by the Union Minister of Steel, Beni Prasad Verma and Sospeter Muhongo, the Minister of Energy and Minerals, United Republic of Tanzania at Der es Salaam.

India and Russia signed Regulation of Co-operation Agreement

On 10 April India and Russia signed a Regulation defining the structure, functions and procedure of the Joint Commission at Moscow.The agreement was signed by Vladimir Puchkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters and Sushil kumar Shinde, the Union Minister of Home Affairs.

Two Day India-China Counter-Terrorism Dialogue on Afghanistan ended

The two-day India-China counter-terrorism dialogue ended on 12 April 2013 in Beijing China. The two nations discussed upon the ways to step up cooperation to counter terror in Afghanistan as a follow up plan after the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in 2014.

India – Mauritius Signed MoU on Electoral Cooperation

On 12 April India and Mauritius signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi on cooperation in the field of Election Management and Administration. The MoU was signed by Chief  Election Commissioner of India, V.S. Sampath and the Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius, Mohammad Irfan Abdool Rahman.

India – Mauritius Signed MoU on Electoral Cooperation

On 12 April India and Mauritius signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi on cooperation in the field of Election Management and Administration. The MoU was signed by Chief  Election Commissioner of India, V.S. Sampath and the Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius, Mohammad Irfan Abdool Rahman.

Bangladesh Inks $1.6 Billion Power Deal with India

On 20 April India and Bangladesh signed its biggest-ever joint venture agreement with India involving investment of $1.6 billion for 1,320 MW coal-fired power plant which is expected to be operational in the next five years.The two country’s signed three deals under a pact to run the plant at Rampal of Bagerhat while the two others were Power Purchase Agreement and Implementation Agreement.A supplementary joint venture agreement floating the company was signed by Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) chairman Abdual Wahab Khan and NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Arup Roy Choudhury while the two others agreements were signed by officials concerned of the two countries.

Indian origin boy won spelling championship

12 years old Indian origin boy won the very popular spelling competition beating another 30 competitors, held at Singapore. The name of the competition was R.B.H- The Straight Times National Spelling Championship. The name of the boy is Ashwin Shiv Kumar, who won the top place in this championship on 27 April 2013 . He is the student of 6th grade at Anglo-Chinese school. He was awarded by 5000 Singapore Dollars, as a prize he got. He passed through 10 stages and won the competition.


NATIONAL

Prez Pranab Mukherjee clears anti-rape bill

President Pranab Mukherjee had given his assent to the anti-rape bill which provides for life term and even death sentence for rape convicts besides stringent punishment for offences like acid attacks, stalking and voyeurism.Mukherjee accorded his assent to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill-2013 on 03 April 2013.This is called as the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013.The law, passed by Lok Sabha on March 19 and by Rajya Sabha on March 21.

Union Government Approved Project for NOFN Creation in Gram Panchayats

On 12 April 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).

Government Approved For 13 Power Projects

On 22 April The Cabinet Committee on Investment cleared 13 power projects that involves investment of 33000 crore rupees. The projects on which the investments will be made include one hydro and two thermal project as well as ten transmission projects. 25 oil and gas blocks with investment commitment of about seven billion US dollars also got approval during the same meet. Of these 16 blocks were given conditional clearances, while nine blocks were approved without any condition. Approval of these projects was pending due to the objections raised by the Ministry of Defence over national security.

Mukherjee Gives Assent To Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill

On 25 April President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2013.Sexual harassment at workplace is a violation of women’s right to gender equality, life and liberty.It creates an insecure and hostile work environment, which discourages women’s participation in work, thereby adversely affecting their economic empowerment and the goal of inclusive growth. (ANI)


STATES

Andhra Pradesh Government launched Online Services named Parishkaram for Entrepreneurs

Andhra Pradesh Government on 1 April 2013 launched the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation’s online services for entrepreneurs and grievance redressal system. The platform is proposed to be a link between the APIIC and entrepreneurs   which would make the process of application and registration of land for setting up industries a paperless one.

EC issues notification for Karnataka assembly polls

The Election Commission on  April 10  issued the notification for the Karnataka Assembly polls.The nomination papers will be scrutinised on April 18. The last day for withdrawing the nominations is April 20. The votes polled on May 5 will be counted on May 8.

Himachal Govt To Connect All Gram Panchayats With Broadband

On 12 April Himachal Pradesh government signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Department of Telecommunication, Govt of India (GOI) and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) for providing broadband connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of the state by establishing of an optical fiber network.

Himachal celebrates 66th anniversary

On 15 April 2013 Himachal Pradesh celebrated 66th Himachal Day.Himachal Pradesh came into existence on 15 April 1948 with the merger of 30 princely states.During the function, the Chief Minister announced many schemes for the state which are under development phase like Mukhyamantri Adarsh Krishi Gaon Yojana, Skill Development Allowance. In the skill development Allowance, the government would provide 1000 rupees per month to educated unemployed youths and 1500 rupees to persons with disabilities of the state.

India’s first automatic toll collection system launched in Maharashtra

The country’s first interoperable RIFD(Radio Frequency Identification Device )-based electronic toll system was rolled out on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai National Highway and the system would allow vehicles fitted with electronic tags to sail through six toll plazas automatically.

Tamilnadu Planned Rs.7000 crore Underground Hydel Power Station

On 25 April Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa announced the government planned a Rs 7,000 crore underground hydel power station in Nilgiris district besides the ongoing related schemes,which in all will cost over Rs 20,000 crore.The first unit of North Chennai Thermal Power plant, third unit of Vallur project and 2x 500 MW each of Tuticorin Power project would start generating power between March 2014.The first unit of North Chennai Thermal Power plant, third unit of Vallur project and 2x 500 MW each of Tuticorin Power project would start generating power between this year May and March 2014


CONFERENCES

PM  inaugurated CII national conference

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  inaugurated the two-day national conference and annual general meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi on 03 March 2013.Around 1,500 industrialists from across the country will attended the meeting. The theme for this year’s deliberations is “India tomorrow: Imperatives of growth, security and governance”.

Conference of CM’s of States & Chief Justices of High Courts held at New Delhi

Conference of Chief Ministers of States & Chief Justices of High Courts held at New Delhi on 7 April.The conference presided over by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir, aims to address pressing issues related to the country’s justice delivery system that’s often criticised for being tardy.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the joint conference.Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has called upon the judiciary and executive to work together to make the Indian judicial system an arrear free.

Hyderabad will host ICSE conference in 2014

The 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE2014, will be held in Hyderabad, India from 1 June 2013 to 7 June 2013. India is home to some of the largest software companies in the world, and Hyderabad is one of the main centers for software development in India.This conference is going to be a premier software engineering conference that is going to provide a forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, experiences and concerns in the field of software engineering.This is the first time conducted in India.

UNWTO Conference Held in Hyderabad

United Nations World Tourism Organisation ( UNWTO) Commission’s Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development and 25th Joint Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia, Pacific and South Asia will be held at Hyderabad from 12th to 14th of this month.The conference attended by dignitaries belonging to 29 countries spread across in East Asia & Pacific and South Asia, eight UNWTO affiliate members, two regional organizations as well as industry organizations. The UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai along with his team of senior delegates presented at the meeting .The delegates discussed the market trends of the region in the year 2012 and tourism prospects for the year 2013.The next Joint Meeting would be held in Philippines and the 21st Session of General Assembly of UNWTO will be held in Cambodia.


AWARDS & HONOURS

National Awards for State Industries

On April 1st ,the state of  Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) got the National Awards .In the Research & Development Efforts in MSMEs category includes three Awards (First, Second and Third) for Micro and Small Enterprises and have gone to entrepreneurs from Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana respectively.Three National Awards (First, Second and Third) for Micro Enterprises in Outstanding Efforts in Entrepreneurship category  Haryana , West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh got first,second and third respectively.Three National Awards (First, Second and Third) for Small Enterprises. First Award has gone to an entrepreneur from Himachal Pradesh.  Second Award has been given jointly to four entrepreneurs from Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.  Third Award has been given jointly to three entrepreneurs from Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka.This awards will be presented by the President Pranab Mukherjee.

Desmond Tutu Won Prestigious “2013 Templeton Prize “

On 4 South Africa’s Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has won “”2013 Templeton Prize “” for his life-long work in promoting love and forgiveness.The prize was announced at the foundation’s headquarters in West Conshohocken in Pennsylvania and is valued at $1.7-million (about Rs.15.6-million).Last year’s prize was awarded to the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

ICSI National Awards for Excellence in Corporate Governance – 2012

Chairman of the Awards Jury of the ICSI (Institute of Company Secretaries of India) and former Chief Justice of India Shri Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah in New Delhi on 05 April 2013 presented the ‘ICSI National Awards for Excellence in Corporate Governance -2012’ to two ‘Best Governed Companies’:

1.      Indian Oil Corporation Limited; and

2.      HCL Technologies Limited.

The Awards were presented during the ongoing 2nd CSIA International Corporate Governance Conference.

ICSI Life Time Achievement Award for the year 2012 was presented to Shri Deepak S. Parekh, Chairman, Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd. for translating excellence in Corporate Governance into reality.Certificates of Recognition were presented to the Top Five Companies. These are :

1.          CMC Limited

2.      Engineers India Limited

3.      ONGC Limited

4.      Persistent Systems Ltd.

5.      Powergrid Corporation of India Limited

Barfi! wins top honours at The Times of India Film Awards

Barfi movie was the top winner at the maiden edition of The Times of India Film Awards, bagging the Best Film, Best Director (Anurag Basu), Best Actor (Ranbir Kapoor), Best Actress (Priyanka Chopra) and Best Debut Female (Ileana D’Cruz) trophies. The award for the Best Debut Male went to Ayushmann Khurrana for Vicky Donor, which also won the Best Supporting Actor award for Annu Kapoor and the Best Supporting Actress trophy for Dolly Ahluwalia. Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur got the Critics’ Choice award for Best Film. Abhishek Bachchan, who won the Best Actor in a Comic Role award for Bol Bachchan, dedicated the honour to his wife Aishwarya.

Pran gets Phalke Award

On 12 April 2013,Hindi film actor Pran Krishan Sikand will be conferred with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2012. The 93-year-old actor, popularly known as Pran, will be the 44th recipient of the top-most film award in the country.Pran, who has acted in over 400 films in his six-decade-long career.The award, named after the father of Indian cinema Dada Saheb Phalke, will be conferred on Pran on May 3, which will also mark the 100 years of cinema this year.

New York Times won four Pulitzer Prizes

The New York Times won four Pulitzer Prizes on 15 April 2013, including the award for investigative reporting for stories that detailed how Wal-Mart used bribery to expand in Mexico.The Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was awarded the public service Pulitzer for its reporting on off-duty police officers’ reckless driving.The Pulitzer in breaking news photography went to The Associated Press for its coverage of the civil war in Syria.The Pulitzers, journalism’s highest honour, are given out each year by Columbia University on the recommendation of a board of journalists and others. Each award carries a $10,000 prize except for the public service award, which is a gold medal.

Raj Chetty won John Bates Clark young economist award

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.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.

Telugu writer Ravuri Bharadwaja honoured with Jnanpith award

Telugu writer Dr Ravuri Bharadwaja got the country’s prestigious Jnanpith award for 2012 for his contributions to Telugu literature over 60 years.He got this award for his novel “Pakudurallu”.He is the third  recipient of the country’s highest literary award from Andhra Pradesh, after Dr  Viswanatha Satyanarayana in 1970 for his Srimad Ramayana  Kalpavriksham and Dr C. Narayana Reddy in 1988 for his book Viswambhara. Eighty six-year-old Dr Bharadwaja was chosen for the award by a selection Board chaired by poet Sitakant Mahapatra, said a statement of the Jnanpith award committee.

RGIA is Named the Best Airport in India

On 17 April The GMR Group operated and managed Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) has been rated as the No.1 airport in India, the fifth best regional airport in Asia and also as the eighth best airport in the 5 to 10 mppa capacity.The ratings were given at the recently concluded Skytrax-World Airport Awards held at the Passenger Terminal Expo in Geneva.

Manmohan Singh, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi Named Among Top 5 Most Influential Asians

On 17 April Congress president Sonia Gandhi (2nd Rank), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (4th Rank) and AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi (5th Rank) have been named among top 5 in the world’s 100 most influential list of Asians topped by China’s new President Xi Jinping.Among the other key Indians to make the grade included Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani for owning Indias most valuable company in ninth place, followed by President Pranab Mukherjee at 19th place and steel magnate Lakshmi N Mittal at 20th position.Indian entries dominated the Top 100 with 39 names, followed by 15 from China and six from the Philippines.While Infosys co-founder Narayan Murthy was named Philanthropist of the Year, industrialist Adi Godrej bagged Entrepreneur of the Year award for his contribution to Indian industry and Ravi Ruia, vice-chairman of the Essar Group, won in the Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability category, for his company’s high sustainability ratings

NRI Kartar Lalvani Received Queen’s Award

On 20 April Vitabiotics, a company founded by NRI entrepreneur Kartar Lalvani, has received the coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation for its research on vitamins.’Vitabiotics’, UK’s largest supplier of minerals and vitamin supplements to the retail trade, won the award for the development of its Pregnacare range and in recognition of its successful Pregnacare clinic research.

Saina Nehwal Selected for ‘Yudhvir ‘ Award

Yudhvir Foundation has selected ace badminton player Saina Nehwal for the 22nd Yudhvir Memorial Foundation Award for the year 2013, which was being given every year to honor the individuals who excel in some field of human endeavor. The award was established in the name of late Yudhvir, founder editor of the Hindi Milap daily in 1991 after his demise.Saina Nehwal was selected for the Award as she won a medal in Olympics in badminton and also the first to win the Asian Satellite Badminton tournament (India Chapter) twice keeping the country’s image high abroad.The previous Yudhvir awardees include Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Classical maestro Pandit Jasraj, Space Scientist Prof. UR Rao, Amar Chitra Katha founder late Anant Pai and eminent film maker Shyam Benegal and others.

Asha Bhosle, Mala Sinha to get Phalke Academy awards

The Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards will be bestowed on singer Asha Bhosle, actress Mala Sinha, late filmmaker Yash Chopra, and late superstar Rajesh Khanna among several others at a ceremony in Mumbai on April 30.Asha, who has regaled music lovers with her melodious voice in her over six decades old career, will receive the Phalke Ratna Award from the academy, while Mala Sinha, who has acted in “”Pyaasa”", “”Maryada”" and “”Hariyali Aur Rasta”" will get the Golden Era Award.

Major Anup Joseph awarded Kirti Chakra, 12 others get Shaurya Chakra

Major Anup Joseph Manjali was on Saturday awarded the second-highest peacetime gallantry award Kirti Chakra by President Pranab Mukherjee for killing three foreign militants in Jammu and Kashmir. 12 defence personnel were awarded the Shaurya Charkra for their acts of bravery including Captain A Rahul Ramesh and Naik Krishna Kumar who were given the honour posthumously.

Seven South African Indians get National Orders

The awards(National Orders)are presented on the Freedom Day of South Africa that is celebrated on April 27 to mark the day on which Nelson Mandela took over as the country’s first democratically-elected President in 1994. Among the recipients of the order was veteran Indian diplomat Enuga Sreenivasula Reddy who had led the fight against apartheid at the UN since 1963 received the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo(Silver).The second highest award called the Order of the Baobab was presented to Lenasia-based community worker Suraya Khan, popularly known to all as “Aunty Bibi”, while the same order in Silver went to journalist and community activist Yusuf Abramjee and pioneering skin cloning plastic surgeon Dr Ridwan Mia. Prof Quarraisha Abdool Karim received the Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze for her internationally acclaimed research into HIV Aids.


SPORTS & GAMES

Rahi Sarnobat won a Gold medal in 25-M Pistol Event

Rahi Sarnobat clinched the first gold for India in International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Korea on 5 April 2013. She defeated Kyeongae Kim 8-6 in 25m pistol final. She is the first pistol shooter from India who won the Gold in World Cup.

Indian Women’s Cricket Team Won the Twenty20 International Series against Bangladesh

The Indian women’s cricket team finished the Twenty20 International series against Bangladesh Women with 3-0 clean sweep in Vadodara in the final match on 5 April 2013. India won the final match by 10 runs against Bangladesh. The T-20 International series against Bangladesh began on 2 April 2013.

Nanjappa wins bronze in men’s 10m air pistol at World Cup

India’s Prakash Nanjappa won a bronze medal in the men’s 10m air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup at Changwon, Korea on 06 April 2013.This is Nanjappa’s first ever medal in an ISSF competition. He had also finished eighth at the men’s 50 metre pistol final. He scored 180.2 points.The gold was won by Vietnam’s Xuan Vinh Hoang, the 2012 Asian champion, with a total score of 200.8 points while the silver went to China’s Wang Zhiwei, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, who shot 200.1.

Narayanan Srinath Won Asian Junior Chess Title

On 6 April India’s International Master Narayanan Srinath won Asian Junior chess title that concluded at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.Sahaj Grover of Delhi was second, as he also remained undefeated just like Srinath.Top seed Grandmaster Salem Saleh of UAE finished third losing to Srinath and to a Vietnamese.Vo Thi Kim Phung (Vietnam) won the Asian Junior girls blitz championship title.

Rupesh Shah Won ONGC 12th Asian Billiards championship

On April 7 the world champion Rupesh Shah won the 12th Asian Billiards championship at Indore Tennis Club,Indore.He defeated Alok Kumar .It is is the 10th Asian Billiards title for Rupesh Shah.Rupesh Shah already qualified for 2013 World Championship as the defending champion.

Serena Williams Won Family Circle Cup Tennis Title

On 7 April The top-ranked Serena Williams (USA) won the Family Circle Cup Tennis title after defeated Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) in the final at Charleston (South Carolina).Williams successfully defended her title by claiming her third overall Charleston crown.She earned her 49th career singles title.

India got Silver in World Youth Weightlifting Championships 2013

Jamjang Deru gave India the first medal in the World Youth Weightlifting Championships as he won a silver in the 50kg boys category at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Deru won the silver in clean and jerk with an effort of 110 kg and finished fourth in the total lift with 195kg. He lifted 85kg in snatch.In the same category, Deepak Lather finished 12th in total lift with an effort of 174kg (80+94).

India Women Complete Clean Sweep Over Bangladesh

India Women completed a 3-0 One-Day International series clean sweep over Bangladesh Women with a 58-run victory in the final match in Ahmedabad.India batted first in the third match and posted 154.

Pakistan bans two umpires over spot-fixing

Pakistan cricket authorities on 13 April 2013  banned two umpires.The allegations against the umpires first came up after a television sting operation last year. The PCB set up an inquiry committee led by PCB  Chairman Zaka Ashraf soon after and passed on its findings to the board’s integrity committee to determine the punishments.Nadeem Ghauri, the Pakistan umpire, has been handed a four-year ban by the PCB after its integrity committee found him guilty of being willing to accept money for favourable umpiring decisions. His colleague Anis Siddiqi was banned for three years.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso wins Chinese Grand Prix 2013

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso won the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix on 14 April 2013.Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton  got second and third positions respectively.Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel got a 4th position.But Force India’s Paul di Resta got 8th Position.

Adam Scott Won Augusta Masters Golf Tournament

Australia’s Adam Scott won the 77th Masters (2013 Masters Tournament), become the first Australian golfer to capture the green jacket.It was Scott’s first major championship and the first time an Australian has won the Masters.

Chandigarh win Hockey India sub-junior men’s national championship

Chandigarh defeated Punjab 2-1 to lift the 3rd Hockey India Sub-Junior Men National Championship (North Zone) title at Sonepat on 15 April 2013.Meanwhile, Haryana won the 3rd Hockey India Sub-Junior Women’s National Championship (North Zone) after getting the better of Chandigarh, 3-1 in the final.

Amit won gold, three other Indians bag a bronze each

Amit Kumar clinched a gold medal in men`s 55kg category while three other grapplers bagged a bronze medal each for India in the Senior Asian Wrestling Championship in New Delhi on 20 April 2013.In the women`s category, Vinesh (51kg) and Babita Kumari (55kg) won their bronze medal bouts while Bajrang (men`s 60kg) pocketed a bronze, to end the day three of the championships on a high after two medal-less days.

Sebastian Vettel Won Bahrain Grand Prix Title

On 21 April The Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel from Germany won the Bahrain Grand Prix 2013 by defeating Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Kimi Raikkonen got second postion.Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes took fifth position and Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was successful in grabbing the eighth position in the listings

Novak Djokovic Won Monte Carlo Masters Title

On 21 April World Number One Novak Djokovic won his first Monte Carlo Masters title.Djokovic defeated Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the final.The Serbian inflicted Nadal’s first defeat in Monte Carlo in 47 matches and avenged last year’s final defeat to lift his first Masters title.

Amit Kumar Dhankar won Gold

Amit Kumar Dhankar won India’s second gold medal of the championships in Men’s 66kg Freestyle at KD Jadhav Stadium in New Delhi on 22 April 2013. India topped the medals tally in Freestyle division with 2 gold and 2 bronze medals.India finished top of the Men’s freestyle rankings with 2 golds and 2 bronze medals. India got 48 points to br crowned champion for the first time in the history of the Asian Wrestling Championships.India finished with nine medals – 2 gold, 1 silver and 6 bronze.

Chris Gayle Hits Cricket’s Fastest-ever Century in IPL Match

On 23 April Chris Gayle, the West Indies opener, hit the fastest ever century in the history of cricket by reaching 100 in merely 30 balls during Royal Challengers Bangalore-Pune Warriors IPL match.Gayle scored a total run of 175 runs in merely 66 balls, which included 17 sixes and 13 boundaries. It is important to note that this is the most number of runs scored in any T20 innings. This was also his fourth century in the IPL career.

Lancashire’s Jordan Clark hits 6 sixes in 1 over

Lancashire all-rounder Jordan Clark had become only the fifth professional player to hit six sixes in one over, achieving the feat in a second XI match against Yorkshire on 25 April 2013.

Clark joins an illustrious list that contains former West Indies all-rounder Garfield Sobers (1968), India’s Ravi Shastri (1985), South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs and India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh (both 2007).

Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championship in Patiala

Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championship in Patiala on 25 April 2013.

Men: 4x100M relay: Andhra Pradesh (K Pavan Kumar, E Gopi, Md Baba, M Manikanand  Raj) 41.06 seconds, 1; Tamil Nadu ‘A’ (Silambarasan, Al Ameen, Vijayakumar, Balamurugan) 41.10, 2; Kerala ‘A (Anuroop John, Jeris Jose, Rahul G Pillai, Renjith KG) 41.39, 3.

Women: 4x100M relay: Chhattisgarh (Niksy Joseph, Shilpa, Priya PK, Sini S) 47.40 seconds, 1; ONGC ‘A’ (Mounika Gaddam, Meghna Shetty, Purnima Hembram, Duteechand) 47.78, 2; Kerala ‘A’ (Merlin K Joseph, Neethu Mathew, Neethu Rajan, Rengitha C) 48.24, 3.

Dhoni fined for slow over rate

Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was fined $20,000 for his team’s slow over rate in their 14-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in a Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter in Chennai on 28 April 2013.

India Open Super Series Badminton Tournament Winners

Men’s Singles:-On 28 April World number one Lee Chong (Malaysia) won the men’s singles title at India Open Super Series badminton tournament at NewDelhi.In the final Lee Chong defeated Kenichi Tago of Japan and got the title.

Women’s Singles:-Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand won the women`s singles title after defeated Juliane Schenk of Germany in the final .

Rafael Nadal Won Barcelona Open Tennis Title

On 28 April Rafael Nadal from Spain won the Barcelona Open Tennis title for the eighth time.In the final at Barcelona ,Nadal defeated Nicolas Almagro from Spain.It was Nadal’s 54th career title and fourth this year

Maria Sharapova Won Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Title

On 28 April Maria Sharapova from Russia won Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Title.She defeated China’s Li Na in the final at Porsche Arena in Stuttgart, Germany.It was her 16th consecutive clay court title.


ECONOMY

India Joins The Madrid Protocol System

On 8 April India joined the International Registration of Marks at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) by depositing the instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol.India is the 90th member to join the international trademark system.India is the 90th member to join the international trademark system and the treaty will enter into force with respect to India on 8 July 2013.The Madrid Protocol system provides for the international registration of trade marks by way of one application that can cover more than one country. The opportunity of having a single registration to cover a wide range of countries gives advantages, both in terms of portfolio management and cost savings, as opposed to a portfolio of independent national registrations.

Yamaha to Develop Cheapest Bike of the World in India

Yamaha, the Japanese two-wheeler company on 9 April 2013 announced that it will soon roll out the cheapest motorcycle of the world in India. The price of this bike would be around 500 US dollar or 27000 Rupees approximately.

WTO cuts 2013 global trade growth forecast to 3.3%

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 10 April 2013 cut its forecast for global trade growth in 2013 to 3.3 percent, from the previous prediction of 4.5 percent.

Gujarat Tops in Attracting Private Investment

According to the “”Composition of Outstanding Private Investments Across States “” report released by Assocham ,Gujarat has ranked on top for attracting investment across the country — cornering about 14 per cent of total outstanding private sector investment worth over Rs 75 lakh crore as of December 2012.Odisha ranks second with private investment commitments worth over Rs 8 lakh crore.With a share of about 9.4 per cent and 9.3 per cent, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra both have attracted private investments worth over Rs 7 lakh crore respectively.The private sector accounts for over 62 per cent of total outstanding investments worth about Rs 122 lakh crore attracted by India as of December 2012.Of the total investments from private sources worth over Rs 75 lakh crore, the domestic private sector accounts for a majority share of about 58 per cent.Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Assam account for a share of less than even one per cent in the total private investment commitments attracted by India.

IMF slashed Economic Growth Rate of India to 5.7 percent from 5.9 percent for 2013

IMF(International Monetary Fund) in its latest release on 16 April 2013 of the World Economic Outlook (WEO) slashed the growth projection of India from its earlier prediction of 5.9 percent to 5.7 percent for the calendar year 2013.

Ambani Brothers 20th Richest in World

Mukesh and Anil Ambani, India’s leading industrialist brothers, have been together listed as 20th richest in the world in the Sunday Times Rich List 2013.The Walton family of the US, who own Supermarkets (Walmart), are the richest in the world with a 90 billion pounds fortune in 2013 as against 51 billion pounds last year.The Hinduja brothers, Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, Chairman and Co-Chairman respectively of the Hinduja Group, are 47th richest in the world with a fortune worth 11 billion pounds in 2013 as against 9 billion pounds last year.

Spain Unemployment Rate Hits New Record

On 24 April According to the National Statistics Institute data ,Spain’s unemployment rate soared to a new record of 27.2% of the workforce in the first quarter of 2013.The total number of unemployed people in Spain has now passed the six million figure, although the rate of the increase has slowed.The jobless rate, which stood at 7.9% in mid-2007, has risen relentlessly since the collapse in 2008 of a Spain’s labour-intensive property boom.

India became the world’s eighth most powerful nation

According to Delhi-based Foundation for National Security Research (FSNR),  the world’s 10 most powerful countries, India had been ranked 8th. India is ranked eighth in 27 countries. Professor Satish Kumar says that we study about the selection of powerful countries on several grounds. Some of these countries had to fulfill the necessary criteria. For instance, were the countries, whose population was more than 5 million. The level of GDP was over U.S. $ 500 billion. India is one of such countries.Study states that the United States is the world’s most powerful country and China stood in 2nd position.

India’s GDP likely to improve to 5.7% in 2013: IMF

According to International Monetary Fund’s(IMF) ‘Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific’ report ,the GDP of India in 2013 is 5.7% and in 2014 it is 6.2%.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Cicada’s Insect Wing’s Kills Bacteria

Human eye cells have been grown on cicadas’ wings after it was found that the wings’ surface kills bacteria and boosts cell growth.Dr Greg Watson, a researcher at James Cook University in Cairns, began looking more closely at cicadas after noticing, while out on a walk more than a decade ago, that their wings took much longer to decompose than their bodies.It is the first time scientists have found that tiny features found on a natural surface, rather than chemicals, kill bacteria.

Supreme Court of India Rejected Novartis’ Patent Plea for Cancer Drug Called Glivec

The Supreme Court of India on 1 April 2013 rejected the plea of Novartis, the Swiss drug maker, to patent the updated version of cancer drug called Glivec. A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai dismissed the patent plea to Novartis on the basis that there was no inventiveness or novelty in the new version of the drug. In its ruling, the Supreme Court of India declared that because the application for patent on beta-crystalline salt did not meet any inventiveness or novelty standard, therefore the company’s plea for patent was dismissed.

World’s first solar plane to fly across US

A first of its kind ultra-lightweight plane powered completely by the sun is set to fly coast-to-coast this spring.The Solar Impulse plane will stop in Dallas city in Texas during its historic cross-country journey that begins on May 1.The plane, which requires zero fuel and relies solely on solar panels and battery power, would be the world’s first plane powered purely by solar energy.

Obama Announced $100 Million “Brain Initiative” Project

On 2 April US President Barack Obama has announced the “BRAIN Initiative” a $100 million brain-mapping project.The BRAIN initiative will attempt to find ways to treat Alzheimer’s disease and strokes while also aiding in job growth.

Carbon aerogel world’s lightest material

Chinese scientists have developed the world’s lightest substance — carbon aerogel — with a density only one sixth of that of the air.Scientists at Zhejiang University produced the solid material which has a density of only 0.16 mg/cubic centimetre, breaking the previous record of the world’s lightest material held by graphite aerogel.The graphite aerogel was developed by German scientists last year with a density of 0.18 mg/cubic centimetre.

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Detected Evidence of Dark Matter

On 3 April NASA scientists announced the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) placed on the International Space Station (ISS) may have detected the elusive dark matter. The scientists made the announcement after they observed an excess of positrons in the Cosmic Ray Flux, which can be the reason of the presence of elusive dark matter.

100 billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy

Scientists have proposed a new method for finding Earth-like planets in our Milky Way galaxy and they anticipate that their number may be up to a whopping 100 billion.The strategy devised by researchers at The University of Auckland uses a technique called gravitational microlensing, currently used by a Japan-New Zealand collaboration called MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics) at New Zealand’s Mt John Observatory.

German Shipyard Launches World’s Largest Private Yacht

On 5 April A German shipyard has launched “”Azzam”" , the world’s largest private yacht at 590-feet long, which also happens to be among the fastest vessels, costing a whopping USD 609 million.The luxury private vessel ‘Azzam’ – with a beam 68-feet high – overshadows previous longest superyacht, The Eclipse, by 57-feet. Designed  by Nauta Yachts in Italy and constructed by German company Lurssen Yachts, Azzam is almost two football fields long and rivals the size of some cruise ships.It took four years to complete the superyacht from concept to construction.With 94,000 horsepower generated from two gas turbines and two diesel engines, the Azzam can reach speeds of over 55.5kph, which makes it one of the fastest yachts in the world.

New Camera System That Can Captured Images From 1 km Away

In the month of April the team of researchers from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh , developed a New Laser powered Camera System that can take image of any object from a distance of about one kilometer by creating high-resolution 3D images.The technique on which the camera is based is called ‘Time-of-Flight (ToF)’ navigation systems for autonomous vehicles. In this principle of photography, to capture the image of the far away object, a laser beam is bounced on the object and measure the time that is taken by the beam of light to be back to the detector.

India test-fires nuclear capable Agni-II missile

The medium-range, nuclear capable Agni-II missile was successfully test-fired with a strike range of more than 2,000 kms from the Wheeler Island off Odisha coast on 07 April 2013.The trial of the surface-to-surface missile was conducted from a mobile launcher from the Launch Complex-4 of Integrated Test Range (ITR).The 20-metre-long Agni-II is a two-stage, solid-propelled ballistic missile. It has a launch weight of 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of 1,000 kgs over a distance of 2,000 kms.The state-of-the-art Agni-II missile was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) and integrated by the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in Hyderabad.Agni-II is part of the Agni series of missiles developed by DRDO which includes Agni-I with a 700 km range, Agni-III with a 3,000 km range, Agni-IV with 4,000 km range and Agni-V with a more than 5,000 km range.

NASA Approved “TESS” Project

NASA has approved a The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a $200 million mission to search for Earth-size planets orbiting the nearby stars.Led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with seed funding from Google, TESS was one of 11 proposals selected for NASA funding in September 2011, down from the original 22 submitted in February of that year.TESS, along with the Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER), had been selected for launch in 2017.

The project will come into full swing within the next four years.

Pakistan Tests Nuclear-Capable Hatf-IV Missile

Pakistan successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable Hatf-IV ballistic missile on 10 April 2013. The missile has a range of 900 km and it can also hit targets in India. Hatf- IV ballistic missile is also called Shaheen-1.

Indian Astronomer Discovered Blue Super-Giant Star

An Indian scientist Dr. duo Ananda Hota and his Taiwanese colleague Dr. Youichi Ohyama have discovered a blue super-giant star located in the constellation Virgo, far beyond our Milky Way Galaxy. Over 55 million years ago, the star emerged in an extremely wild environment, surrounded by intensely hot plasma (a million degrees centigrade) and amidst raging cyclone winds blowing at four million kilometres per hour.This star is  in small IC 3418 Milky Way Galaxy and it is about 5.5 billion light-years away from Earth.

Astronomers find most Earth-like planets yet

NASA scientists announced on 19 April 2013 that they discovered two earths like plants which are 1200 light years far from earth. NASA discovered the five plants which are rotating around Kepler 62 star using the Kepler Space Telescope.  Two of the five planets orbiting a sun-like star called Kepler-62 are squarely in what astronomers call the habitable zone — not too hot, not too cold and possibly bearing water. These two plants are named as a Kepler-63e and Kepler 62f.

China Tested Self Developed Biofuel Flight

On 24 April China successfully conducted a first test flight powered by self-developed biofuel made mainly from palm oil and recycled cooking oil.An Airbus A320 operated by China Eastern Airlines landed at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport ,after completing an 85-minute journey using aviation biofuel produced by Sinopec, the country’s top oil refiner.The success made China the fourth country after the United States, France and Finland to boast independent production of bio-jet-fuel.


PERSONS IN NEWS

A) APPOINTMENTS

Jonty Rhodes named South African tourism ambassador in India

Former cricketer Jonty Rhodes was named as the brand ambassador of South African Tourism in India.

Chitra Ramkrishna Took Over as NSE chief

On 1 April Chitra Ramkrishna took over as National Stock Exchange (NSE) new Managing Director and CEO .As MD and CEO of the NSE, Ramkrishna succeeds Ravi Narain who would assume the role of non-executive Vice Chairman .She is the first female head of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in its nearly 20-year history of operations as a bourse.

Rakesh Bhatia is Catholic Syrian Bank’s new MD & CEO

Rakesh Bhatia had taken over as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Syrian Bank.He was previously the Global Head of HSBC’s Trade and Receivables Finance Division.

2 Indians selected for Yale fellowship programme

Abhik Sen, Managing Editor, The Economist Group, and Prodyut Bora, State General Secretary of BJP in Assam, have been selected as the two Indian representatives for 2013 Yale World Fellows Program.About 16 people have been selected for the programme.Since 2002, the university has welcomed a group of exemplary mid-career professionals from a wide range of fields and countries for an intensive four-month period of academic enrichment and leadership training.With the selection of Sen and Bora, the total number of Indian fellows stands at 13.

Infosys’ S Gopalakrishnan is the new CII President

S. Gopalakrishnan (Kris), co-founder and executive co-chairman, Infosys Technologies Limited, had been elected as the President of CII for the year 2013-14. He succeeds Mr Adi Godrej as the new President.

S.C. Sinha Appointed as NHRC Member

On 5 April National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief S.C. Sinha has been appointed as a member of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) .S C Sinha, a 1975 batch Haryana cadre officer.He will now get a five year term at NHRC.

Krishna Kumar Natrajan appointed as the New Chief of NASSCOM

Krishnakumar Natarajan, CEO and Director of Mindtree on 8 April 2013 was appointed as the Chairman of Nasscom for the year 2013-14. He succeeded N Chandrasekaran, MD and CEO of TCS, who was the Chairman for the year 2012-13.

First Woman director for IICT

On April 8,Dr. Mannepalli Lakshmi Kantam, had been appointed as Director of the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), the first woman scientist to head any of the 37 laboratories belonging to Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in the country.

Kenyatta sworn in as Kenya’s president

Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as Kenya’s fourth president on 09 April 2013, becoming the second sitting president in the world to be indicted for crimes against humanity and creating a challenge for western governments keen to sustain links with a strategic east African ally.

PJ Kurien elected Chairman of Asian forum of Parliamentarians

On April 11 Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, PJ Kurien  was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the prestigious Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) during the during the 73rd Executive Committee Meeting of AFPPD at Bangkok. He replaced Yasuo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan as the Chairman of AFPPD. PJ Kurien at present is also the Chairman of the Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development.

Five new judges sworn-in

Five new judges to the Andhra Pradesh High Court were sworn-in by acting Chief Justice N.V. Ramana in Hyderabad on 12 April 2013.The new judges who were administered the oath of office and secrecy are: Challa Kodanda Ram, A. Rajasekhar Reddy, P. Naveen Rao, A.V. Sesha Sai and S.V. Bhatt.

Two Judges Sworn in Supreme Court

On 12 April with two more judges sworn in the strength of the Supreme Court has risen to 30.Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir.While Justice Sikri was the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Bobde was the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court. The sanctioned strength of the apex court is 31 judges including the CJI.

Sunil Kumar Takes over as Managing Director of CRIS

On 16 April 2013,Sunil Kumar took over as the Managing Director of Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS).

Shri Asoke Kumar Mukerji appointed as the Permanent Representative of India to the UN

On April 17,Shri Asoke Kumar Mukerji, took charges as the  Ambassador/Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations at New York.

CRPF gets first woman Special DG

On April 18, Senior IPS officer Aruna Bahuguna appointed as the Special Director General of the country’s largest paramilitary force CRPF. This is the first time a woman officer is occupying the second top post in the hierarchy of the force. She is a 1979-batch IPS officer. She was till now serving as the Chairman of the AP police housing corporation. Bahuguna is expected to take charge at the force headquarters in New Delhi within 15 days.

Abdul Hamid elected Bangladesh President uncontested

Abdul Hamid is to be Bangladesh’s 20th president after no other candidate was nominated in the poll to replace President Zilliur Rahman who died on 20 March 2013. Abdul Hamid was elected uncontested as the 20th President of Bangladesh.

Sunil Bharti Mittal Appointed as Vice Chairman of ICC

On 22 April Sunil Bharti Mittal , the Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC),which is  one of the world’s oldest global business organisations.With the appointment as the Vice Chairman of ICC, Mittal became the third business person from India in the history of ICC to be appointed on the ICC Executive Board.

Ajay Devgn, Runa Laila named SAARC ambassadors for HIV/AIDS

Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn, Bangladeshi singer Runa Laila and Oscar-winning Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy have been named as SAARC Goodwill Ambassadors for HIV/AIDS.A  meeting of the selection committee was held recently at the SAARC Secretariat and of the 10 nominations received from the member states, the three celebrities were nominated.

Takehiko Nakao is new ADB President

On 27 April Takehiko Nakao has been unanimously elected president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) by the Board of Governors at New Delhi.He succeeds Haruhiko Kuroda, who resigned in March to take up his assignment as Bank of Japan governor.Nakao assumed office as ADB’s ninth president on 28 April.

Gulzar’s appointment as chancellor elates Assam University

Lyricist-writer and Padma Bhushan awardee, Gulzar has been appointed the new chancellor of Assam University.Established in 1994, the Assam University campus is situated in Dargakona, about 20 km from Silchar.

B)RESIGNS

Kerala minister resigned following domestic violence complaint by wife

Kerala Forest minister K.B.Ganesh Kumar resigned his post on 02 April 2013 due to domestic violence complaint by wife in the local police station.He is only one Congress person in the Congress- UPF Coalition Alliance government in Kerala.

Cyprus Finance Minister Michalis Sarris Resigns

On 3 April Cyprus Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has resigned citing his role as chairman of Laiki Bank, whose failure was a major contributor to the island’s near financial meltdown, as one of the reasons behind his decision.

UP Goverment suspends cabinet minister Raja Ram Pandey

The Uttar Pradesh government on 13 April 2013 removed cabinet minister of Khadi and Gramudyog, Raja Ram Pandey for making sexist comments.Pandey had promised to “build roads as smooth as Hema Malini’s and Madhuri Dixit’s cheeks” besides giving the state’s roads “a facial” while addressing a function in Pratapgarh on 12 April 2013.UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, who is now in charge of 63 ministries, has taken charge of Pandey’s ministry.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad Resigned

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigned on 13 April 2013 after falling out with president Mahmud Abbas. Salam Fayyad was tasked with the role of caretaker for the current government until a new prime minister is appointed.

Supreme Court bids farewell to Justice Aftab Alam

On April 19,the Supreme Court bid farewell to Justice Aftab Alam marking the end of his five and a half year tenure at the Supreme Court. Justice Alam enrolled as an Advocate on March 27, 1973. He practised in the Patna High Court and was designated as Senior Advocate by the Patna High Court on February 1, 1984. He was appointed as Judge of the Patna High Court on July 27, 1990 and was later transferred to the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, where he was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice on June 06, 2007. He assumed office as Supreme Court judge on November 12, 2007.

C)DEATHS

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Oscar winner and novelist, died

Oscar, the Booker Prize winner novelist and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, author of “Heat and Dust” and many other books set in India, died on 03 April 2013.Jhabvala also worked on several movie adaptations with filmmakers James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, winning two Academy Awards for her screenplays for 1985 movie “A Room With a View” and “Howards End” in 1992.Jhabvala was born in Germany but emigrated with her family to Britain during the Nazi regime. She later married an Indian architect and moved to India, where she began to write about her life there.Jhabvala collaborated with Merchant and Ivory on more than 20 movies including “The Remains of the Day” and “Mr. And Mrs. Bridge.”

Bratindra Nath Mukherjee passes away

A Padmashri winner, Professor Bratindra Nath Mukherjee, renowned historian and an expert in epigraphy who deciphered several ancient scripts, died in Kolkata on 04 April 2013.

Britain’s First Female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Died

Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first and still only female prime minister has died on 8 April at London.Thatcher was the Prime Minister of Britain from 1979 to 1990 from Conservative party of Britain and was the first lady to hold the post of Prime Minister.She was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and is the only woman to have held the office. A Soviet journalist called her the “”Iron Lady”", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. “This first volume of Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs book(1993), which encompasses the entirety of her career as Prime Minister.

Test-tube baby pioneer dies

British scientist Robert Edwards, 87, who won the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work in in vitro fertilisation, leading to the birth of the first test- tube baby, died in London on 10 April 2013.He born in Yarkfire in North England on 27 September 1925.Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe both proceeded to achieve in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), resulting in the birth of Louise Brown, the first “test-tube baby”, on 25 July 1978..

Polio Vaccine Developer Koprowski Died

On 11 April Dr Hilary Koprowski , a Polish researcher who developed the first successful oral vaccination for polio died  in Philadelphia. He was 96 years of age.He was a Polish virologist and immunologist and was known for developing the first effective polio vaccine. In 2006, he was conferred with the record 50th grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Justice Chinnappa Reddy dead

Justice O Chinnappa Reddy, one of the  highly respected members of the Indian judiciary, died at his jubilee hills residence in Hyderabad on 13 April 2013. He was born at Gooty in Anantapur district on September 25, 1922.Justice Reddy was appointed as judge of the Supreme Court from January 17, 1978 and continued in the post for about 10 years.He retired on 24 September 1987.After his retirement he became chairman of the Karnataka BC commission.

Playback singer PB Srinivas passes away

Veteran playback singer PB Srinivas who rendered more than 3,000 songs in eight languages died  in Chennai on 14 April 2013.He debuted as a singer with Hindi film Mr. Sampath in 1952. His last song was from the 2010 Tamil film Aayirathil Oruvan.

Ex-CEC, governor VS Rama Devi dead

Former Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh Governor V S Ramadevi, the only woman to head the Election Commission, died in Bangalore on 17 April 2013.Born on March 15, 1934, Ramadevi was the Chief Election Commissioner of India from November 26, 1990 to December 11, 1990. She was the only woman who became the CEC. She was succeeded by T N Seshan.She had served as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh from July 26, 1997 to December 1, 1999 and as the Governor of Karnataka from December 2, 1999 to May 20, 2002.

Dina Thanthi MD Sivanthi Adithan dead

Veteran journalist and managing director of Tamil daily Dina Thanthi B Sivanthi Adithan died in Chennai on 19 April 2013.He was also head of the Indian Olympic Association before Suresh Kalmadi took over and is the former vice president of Olympic Council of Asia. At the time of his death, Sivanthi Adithan was the life president of IOC and president of the Volleyball Federation of India.Sivanthi Adithan was honoured with Padmashree in 2008.

Mathematical Genius Shakuntala Devi Died

On 21 April The ‘human computer’ ‘mental calculator’, mathematics whizard Shakuntala Devi died at Bangalore.Her name was recorded in Guinness Book of World Records for her ability of making calculations at lightning-speed.In the year 1977, she calculated the 23rd root of digit number 201 in just 50 seconds.Some of her books were Puzzles to Puzzle You, Mathablit, Astrology for You, Fun with Numbers and Awaken the Genius in Your Child.

Former England Captain Mike Denness Died

On 19 April Michael Henry Denness, popularly known as Mike Denness, the former England captain died in London.Mike Denness played county cricket for Essex and Kent. He scored over 25000 runs in the first-class career.He was the captain of Kent to six domestic trophies between 1972 and 1976.He was among first few inductees into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.He was also named as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1975.

Former Chief Justice of India J S Verma dead

Former Chief Justice of India J S Verma, who headed the government-appointed committee to frame a tough law to tackle crime against women in the wake of the December Delhi gangrape incident, died  in Gurgaon on 22April 2013.Justice Verma was the 27th Chief Justice of India and served from March 25, 1997 until his retirement on January 18, 1998.He began his legal career in 1955 and became a Judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court in June-1973. He became Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court in June,1986 and also served as Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court from September, 1986 to mid-1989.Justice Verma was also a former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission.He was also the first Chairperson of News Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Veteran violinist Lalgudi Jayaraman died

Celebrated violinist and composer Lalgudi Jayaraman, who carved out a niche for himself in the Carnatic music with his unique style, died in Chennai on 22 April 2013. Jayaraman, who began his music career at the age of 12 as an accompanying artist, later achieved fame as a solo violinist and also had success as a composer in four languages – Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Sanskrit.Considering his contribution to the field of music, he was conferred with several awards including Padma Shri in 1972 and Padma Bhushan in 2001.He was also feted with state Vidhwan of Tamil Nadu and also fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Legendary Singer Shamshad Begum Died

On 23 April Legendary singer Shamshad Begum died in Mumbai . She was 94 years of age. She was one of the first few playback singers of the Hindi film industry. She was conferred with the O P Nayyar award for contribution to Hindi film music, in the year 2009.In 2009 again, she was conferred with the third-highest civilian honour of India, Padma Bhushan.

Sripathi Rajeswara Rao dead

Former Telugu Desam Minister Sripathi Rajeswara Rao who founded the All India NTR Fans Association several decades ago, died of kidney ailment at NIMS in Hydearabad on 28 April 2013.

Sailendra Nath Roy died  In Zip-Line Ponytail Stunt

Sailendra Nath Roy, a 49-year-old police officer, was attempting to cross the River Teesta in the state of West Bengal on 28 April 2013 on a 180m (594ft) wire above the water.After attaching his shoulder-length hair to a pulley on the wire, Mr Roy had completed around half the distance but then became entangled and found himself unable to move.After sometime he dead. Mr Roy achieved the Guinness World Record after covering 82.5m (271ft) on a zip-line while attached by his hair in 2011 at the Neemrana Fort, a heritage hotel in the desert state of Rajasthan.

Nuthakki Bhanu Prasad Passes away

On 29 April 2013 the Scientist, Padma Shri award recipient died in Hyderabad.He got Padma shri award in 1959 for his Contribution  in field of India’s Atomic reactor.The Petrotech 2003 Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Padmashri Dr. Nuthakki Bhanu Prasad for his contribution to India’s Upstream Petroleum Industry.He is also worked as a Chairman of ONGC.

D)VISITORS

Indian PM schedules UAE visit in August

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will pay a “stand Alone visit” to the United Arab Emirates in early August, the first by an Indian prime minister to the Gulf nation since Indira Gandhi visited nearly three decades ago.

PM Manmohan Singh leaves for Germany on a three-day visit

On April 10, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had left India on a three-day official visit to Germany, where he will co-chair inter – governmental consultations and witness the signing of a series of agreements on education, science and technology and renewable energy.The PM is leading a high-level delegation to Berlin that includes five cabinet ministers: Salman Khurshid (external affairs), Anand Sharma (commerce), Farooq Abdullah (renewable energy), MM Pallam Raju (human resource development) and S Jaipal Reddy (science and technology).

Prime Minister of India Visited Germany: Important Documents Signed

Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh visited Germany from 10 April 2013 to 12 April 2013 for participating in second round of Inter Governmental Consultations with Germany.

During his visit, certain documents were signed. These documents are as follows:

1.Joint Declaration of Intent regarding promotion of German as a foreign language in India

2.Intergovernmental MoU between India & Germany on Cooperation in the field of Higher Education

3.Joint Declaration of Intent on Indo-German cooperation in the area of Civil Security Research

4.Joint Declaration for the bilateral “”Kooperations Program” of the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection and the National Seeds Association of India and the German Association of Plant Breeders

5.Joint Declaration of Intent on the Establishment of an Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure for Cooperation in Standardisation, Conformity Assessment and Product Safety

6.Joint Declaration of Intent on Indo-German Development Cooperation regarding the Establishment of Green Energy Corridors

Vice President Hamid Ansari Visited Tajakistan

The Vice-President of India, Hamid Ansari visited Tajikistan from 14 April to 17 April 2013.During the visit he was accompanied by a high-level delegation that included Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries and four Members of Parliament.On 15 April , the Vice President met the President  Emomalii Rahmon and Oqil Oqilov the Prime Minister of Tajikistan.

E)MISCELLANEOUS

Down’s syndrome boy sets Everest record

A 15-YEAR-OLD American had become the first teenager with Down’s syndrome to reach Everest Base Camp, according to his father, in an attempt to inspire different attitudes towards disabilities.Eli Reimer, from Oregon, reached the 5364-metres high camp in Nepal’s Himalayan mountains in mid-March after 10 days of trekking.Tom Whittaker, a British mountaineer, became the first person with a disability to summit the peak in 1998 after a car crash almost two decades earlier had forced him to have his foot amputated.

Abhilash Tomy Becomes First Indian To Sail Round The World

Indian Navy’s Lt Cdr Abhilash Tomy became the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe, solo and non-stop, over a 150-day voyage.He was addressed a function after welcoming Lt Cdr Abhilash Tomy whose boat INSV Mhadei reached the Gateway of India after commencing its historic journey from the same spot on November 1 last year.He has sailed around 23,100 nautical miles, crossing the Indian, Southern, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.Lt Cmdr Abhilash Tomy is the first Indian and the second Asian to do so. Lt Cdr Tomy, a maritime pilot, switched off his boat’s engine soon after leaving Mumbai harbour and switched it on again on 6 April to get the boat alongside the Gateway of India.

K Vishwanath Name in Limca Book Of Records

Legendary director K.Vishwanath is the only Telugu person in the ‘Person of the year – 2013′ announced by the famous Limca books of Records. This list which contained several other prominent names like Mani Ratnam, Kamal Haasan, Santosh Sivan, Prabhu Deva, Sreekar Prasad and Naseeruddin Shah was released on the occasion of Indian cinema completing 100 years. Tabu, Vidya Balan, Shabana Azmi, Kajol and Ranbir Kapoor are also on this list.

Nepali TV Anchor Made Guinness(World) Record for Longest Talk Show

A TV anchor in Nepal set a world record of longest television talk show by staying on air for 62 hours and 12 minutes.The 36 years old Rabi Lamichhane lived in America and came back to Nepal after hosting the program ‘Lord Buddha Was Born in Nepal’.Lamichhane broke the world record of Pavlo Kuzheyew and Tetiana Danylenko of 22 hours. They made that record in 2011 at the Independence Day anniversary of Ukraine.  According to the rules of Guinness World Record Lamichhane got the break of five minutes after every hour.

Mahatma Gandhi figured among the Top Three Leaders of the World

As per the 16th Annual Global CEO survey, Mahatma Gandhi figured among the top three most admired leaders of the world.In this list Winston Churchill , Steve Jobs(Co-founder of Apple)  and Mahatma Gandhi got the first,second and third places respectively .

Egypt PM sentenced to one-year jail

On April 17,Egypt’s Misdemeanor Dokki Court sentenced  Prime Minister Hesham Qandil to one year in prison and ordered his removal from job, accusing him of failing to implement a verdict to return a privatised company to the state.

Chidambaram, Aamir in Time’s 100 most influential global list

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and actor Aamir Khan have been named by Time magazine among the 100 most influential people in the world in its annual list of global achievers that also includes teenaged Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and US President Barack Obama.

pakistan former president musharraf arrested

The Islamabad High Court on 18 April 2013 ordered Musharraf’s arrest for detaining senior judges when he imposed emergency rule in 2007.So, Pakistani police arrested Musharraf on 19 April 2013.

Gates’ foundation to put $1.8bn to eradicate polio

Bill Gates announced in Abu Dhabi on 25 April 2013 his foundation will contribute $1.8 billion to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a third of the total funds needed. He announced this contribution  in Global Vaccine summit in Abu Dhabi.

8 killed as bomb targets Syria’s prime minister

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halki survived a bomb attack on his convoy in Damascus on 29 April 2013.8 members(including PM’s car driver and Personal security) are killed in the blast.


PLACES  IN  NEWS

7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Indonesia

A powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the Papua province in Indonesia on 06 April 2013.But there was no damage or injuries. It occurred in a north east to Capital of Papua province, about 75 kilometers (46 miles) in depth.

A Powerful earthquake in Iran

On April 9, A powerful earthquake was strucked close to Iran’s only nuclear power station, killing at least 37 people and injuring 850 as it destroyed homes and devastated two small villages.Its epicentre was 89 km south-east of the port of Bushehr.The magnitude of the earthquake on Richter scale is 6.3.

Strong earthquake hits Japan

A strong earthquake estimated at magnitude 6.3 strucked the  western Japan, on 13 April 2013.In this event 23 people were injured in that 7 are serious.The earthquake was centered on Awaji Island, just south of Kobe, at a depth of 15 kilometres.The quake was in the area where a magnitude-7.2 temblor killed more than 6,400 people in 1995.

Musharraf disqualified from parliamentary polls

Courts in Pakistan have disqualified former president Pervez Musharraf for contesting parliamentary elections for suspending the constitution and imposing emergency in 2007 during his rule.

Earthquake of Magnitude 7.8 Jolted Iran and Pakistan

Earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale struck on 16 April 2013 in Iran killed more than 40 people leaving behind several injured. Epicenter of the quake was near Pakistan-Iran Border in the southeastern city of Khash. The tremors of the quake were felt across India, Middle East and Pakistan.

Fertiliser plant explosion in the US

On April 18, massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the Town of West, in Central Texas. It is 120km far from Dallas town in the Texas state. In this explosion 15 were died and 200 people were injured

Delhi gets “Dildaar Delhi” tagline

Delhi got its own tagline “Dildaar Delhi”. Penned by Amit Anand, a cashier in a small confectionery shop in Keshavpuram, the tagline was selected out of 12,000 entries of a competition organized by Delhi government and Delhi Tourism department.

German Bakery blast: Himayat Beg sentenced to death

On April 18, a Pune court sentenced Indian Mujahideen operative Mirza Himayat Inayat Baig to death in the German Bakery bomb blast case.The terror attack on the popular pune joint had killed 17 people and injured 64 in February 2010. On 15 April 2013, Pune sessions court special judge NP Dhote had held Baig guilty in the case.

China hit by strong earthquake

On 20 April ,China was hit by strong earthquake and killed at least 157 people and injured more than 5,700.The magnitude 7.0 quake hit a remote mountainous area of southwestern China’s Sichuan province at 8:02 a.m. (0002 GMT), close to where an earthquake killed almost 70,000 people in 2008.The quake struck in Lushan county, near the city of Ya’an, at a depth of 12 km (7.5 miles)


ABBREVIATIONS

CII            —-        Confederation of Indian Industry

MSME            —-        Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises

SCO            —-        Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

AMS            —-        Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

ICSI            —-        Institute of Company Secretaries of India

TESS            —-        Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

WIPO            —-        World Intellectual Property Organisation


BOOKS IN NEWS 

Vice President Released Book titled Religion, Law & Society-Across the Globe

On 12 April 2013,The Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari  released a book titled Religion, Law & Society – Across the Globe. The book is authored by Prof. Tahir Mahmood.


COMMITTEES

Uday Kumar Committee To Act as Single Window Clearance for Film Projects

On 15 April the Government of India announced creation of an inter-ministerial panel that will work as a ‘single window’ clearance system for international and domestic film projects.The committee will be headed by I&B Secretary Uday Kumar Varma .The constitution of the committee is expected to mainstream a proactive mechanism and coordination process of granting permissions through a single window provision. Apart from the I&B secretary, the committee will have joint secretaries from the ministries of I&B, Home Affairs, Tourism, External Affairs, Culture, Railways, Aviation and Defence on board.


IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES

World Health Day was Celebrated on 7th April

World Health Day is celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO).

National Safe Motherhood Day Observed across the Country

National Safe Motherhood day was observed across India on 11 April 2013 to create awareness on proper healthcare and maternity facilities to pregnant and lactating women.


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