INTERNATIONAL

Palestinian Authority to be Named ‘State of Palestine’

On 7 January Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has signed a decree changing the name of the Palestinian Authority to the “”State of Palestine,”" according to the organization’s official news agency.

Pakistani Supreme Court Orders Arrest of Prime Minister

On 15 January 2013 Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the prime minister in connection with a corruption case linked to power projects. The Supreme Court gave authorities 24 hours to arrest Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and 16 others.This is the first in the history of Pakistan to arrest a Prime Minister. The orders of the Court came following the allegations in connection with a corruption case linked to power projects, done during his office of the Water and Power Minister.

Obama Signed 23 Executive Orders on Gun Safety

On 16 January President Barack Obama announced 23 executive actions on gun control laws, making them stricter,which would come into effect immediately after his signatures. One of these measures include requiring the target shooters to keep their guns locked and also to ban military-style assault weapons, high capacity magazine as well as to make the background check mandatory.Obama announced that this was his attempt to keep children safe, keeping in view the massacre of Newtown where 20 first grade children along with six adults were killed.

140 Nations Agreed On Global Mercury Limits

On 19 January , More than 140 nations have agreed on the first legally binding treaty to curb mercury pollution.Delegates at UN discussed in Geneva approved measures to control the use of the highly toxic metal, which is widely used in chemical production and small-scale mining, in order to limit mercury emissions.The governments agreed to ban the production, export and import of a range of products containing mercury by 2020.The treaty has been discussed for four years, but it is only now that the negotiators agreed over the final version of the document. The treaty, known as the Minamata Convention on Mercury, provides controls and reductions across a range of products and processes where mercury is used, released and emitted.

Milos Zeman Elected as Czech Republic new President

On 25 January A leftist candidate Milos Zeman won the Czech Republic’s first presidential election decided by direct vote.Milos Zeman, a former prime minister and head of the Citizens’ Rights Party, won with 54.8% of the vote.He defeated Karel Schwarzenberg, an aristocratic foreign minister with the TOP09 party, who garnered 45.2%.Zeman replaces Vaclav Klaus, who must step down after serving the maximum of two terms.


 INDIA & WORLD

India – Pakistan Exchanged Nuclear Unit’s Lists

On 1 January India and Pakistan exchanged their nuclear units’ lists , as it is customary since 20 years. The list which contains the names of nuclear units of two countries, are exchanged between India and Pakistan as a custom and part of an agreement which prevents them from aiming the nuclear installations of each others’ nations.

Thousands of  illegal Indian Migrants in UK

According to a 2012 UK Home Office report, India has been named along with Pakistan, China, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Brazil and Iran as the main sources of illegal immigration to Britain.What the report does not mention is how many of the 863,000 illegal migrants that it says are living in the UK are students. This is a contentious area because critics of the coalition government claim it is counting students among overall immigrants.

World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) report , India ranks lowest among the world’s major economies for its preparedness to tackle global environmental risks and second-lowest for economic risks.Switzerland is best placed among the world’s 10 major economies for adapting to or recovering from global economic and environmental risks.While India is ranked 9th in terms of its ability to tackle global economic risks, it comes last at 10th  position for environmental risks.However, India fared relatively better at 6th position in terms of the government’s risk management effectiveness.The US and China were ranked fourth and fifth respectively.

Indians Top the List of  Working in Dream Jobs

According to survey conducted by networking website LinkedIn,Indians have emerged at the top of the list of people working in their dream job.The dream job league table:1. India – 44 percent 2. Indonesia – 42 percent 3. United Arab Emirates – 35.7 percent 4. Germany – 33 percent 5. Brazil – 32 percent 6. Austria – 31 percent 7. Switzerland – 30 percent 8. USA – 29 percent 9. France, Canada, Sweden, South Africa – 28 percent 13. Singapore, Hong Kong – 27 percent 15. Australia – 26 percent 16. New Zealand – 25 percent 17. UK – 21 percent

India – Vietnam Signed on Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

On 15 January India and Vietnam signed an MoU aimed at building capacity for developing institutional framework and identifying thrust areas and opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises in this country.The MoU was signed here between the Ministry of Planning and Investments of Vietnam and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of India .

India  and Sri Lanka signed Anti-terror, Tax evasion Agreements

On 22nd January  India and Sri Lanka signed two separate agreements on combating international terrorism and avoidance of double taxation, eyeing elevation of  “robust” bilateral ties to building of a special economic partnership.The two key accords were signed after the 8th India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission meeting held at New Delhi , both countries  discussed enhanced cooperation in a range of areas including civil nuclear energy.At the meeting, the Indian side was led by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid while the Lankans were led by his counterpart G.L. Peiris.During the meet, both the parties also decided setting up of the Special Economic Zone at  Trincomali and a textile and pharmaceutical cluster in Sri Lanka.

International Tea Producers Forum formed

On 22 January India, along with five other tea producing countries, has formed the International Tea Producers Forum (ITPF) at Colombo.Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D Purandesari signed the joint communique on behalf of India along with representatives of Kenya, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Rwanda and  Malawi in Colombo.The ITPF will initially be an independent body but in future may get affiliated to Food & Agriculture Organisation of United Nations.

India , Bangladesh Signed Extradition and Visa Agreements

On 28 January  Bangladesh and India signed an extradition treaty and struck a deal to relax business visa restrictions between the neighbouring countries. However, refusal provisions were incorporated into the extradition treaty.Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde signed the agreement with his Bangladeshi counterpart Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir at the end of their bilateral talks.

India Dropped to 140th Rank in Press Freedom

According to the report Reporters Without Borders India has dropped nine places to the 140th rank in the list of 179 countries in the latest World Press Freedom Index.China (173rd, +1) shows no sign of improving. Its prisons still hold many journalists and netizens, while increasingly unpopular Internet censorship continues to be a major obstacle to access information.As last year, the list is topped by three European countries – Finland, Netherlands and Norway.Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea continue to be at the bottom of the list as has been in the last three years.


NATIONAL

Govt Launched Direct Cash Transfer Scheme in 20 Districts

On 1 January  2013 The government launched its scaled down Cash Transfer Benefit (CBT) in 20 districts,but food, fertiliser and fuel subsidies will not be covered in the initial phase. All 26 schemes are ready for rollout. On 1 January 2013 the seven schemes in which payout is due in the (20 selected) districts, the money will be transferred through the direct benefit transfer system using the UIDAI platform.The scheme is going to be rolled out in 43 districts by 1 March 2013, 20 districts from January 1, 11 districts from February 1 and 12 districts from March 1. By end of 2013, the direct cash benefit transfer will be rolled out in all the districts of the country.

PA Sangma launched National People’s Party  

PA Sangma, who broke away with the NCP in 2012 to contest the presidential elections, though unsuccessfully, on 05 January 2013 launched National People’s Party (NPP), and chosen a book as its symbol. Sangma has chosen to align his party with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

President Released Stamps on Swami Vivekananda

On 12 January The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee released the Commemorative Postage Stamps, at the Commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, in New Delhi .

Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2012

On 17 January According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2012 report  has found that learning levels have dipped to an all-time low. So, almost half the 6-7 year-olds (Class I) in India cannot read even one letter in any language, over 57% cannot read any English while almost 40% cannot recognize numbers between 1 and 9.The 12.8% children between Class I and V could not read a single letter while 10.7% could not recognize numbers 1 to 9. The number of children in Class V who could read Class II text fell from 53.7% in 2010 to 46.8% in 2012. In 2010, seven out of 10 children could solve a two-digit subtraction problem with borrowing. This has come down to five out of 10 in 2012.


 STATES

Odisha Launched ‘ Public Service Delivery System ‘

On 2 January The Odisha government launched the much-sought after ” Public Service Delivery System ” for citizens under the Odisha Right to Public Service Act, 2012.Under the new act, people will get services like issue of driving license, birth and death certificates, passport and trade license within a stipulated time.Odisha is among the 12th state to implement the law.

Haryana Government announced Kanyadan Scheme for Bride participants of Mass Marriages

The Government of Haryana on 3 January 2012 announced its plan of launching a Kanyadan Scheme in the state for brides participating in the mass marriage ceremony, which would be organised by any of the registered NGO or the Red Cross Society. The scheme would carry an incentive amount of 11000 rupees and would come into effect from 1 April 2012. The incentive amount of 11000 rupees would be given to brides from all castes, creeds, race, religion and the income category to which the girl belongs.

Arunachal Pradesh Collaborated with NSDL for Adoption of National Pension Scheme

On 9 January The state of Arunachal Pradesh entered into an agreement with signing of MoU with National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), permitting it to work as a Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA) for adoption of the National Pension System (NPS).National Pension Scheme NPS is an initiative of the Union Government of India and Arunachal Pradesh is the 26th State to adopt it.

Gujarat Tops List of Indian States on Economic Freedom Policy

According to the ‘ Economic Freedom of States in India ‘ report which was released by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor and present Rajya Sabha Member Bimal Jalan.The top state in India in (terms of) economic freedom in 2011 was western Indian state Gujarat. It displaced southern Indian state Tamil Nadu which had been at the top in 2009.Gujarat freedom index  has been rising fast and estimated at 0.64 points.  The biggest improvement has been registered by Madhya Pradesh with freedom index score rose from 0.42 in 2009 to 0.56 in 2011 enabling it to move up from sixth to third position.

Assembly polls in Tripura,Meghalaya and Nagaland on Febrauary

Assembly elections in Tripura will be held on February 14 and in Meghalaya and Nagaland on February 23 and their results will be out on February 28, the Election Commission announced on 10 January 2013.The EC also announced byelections to nine assembly constituencies in Mizoram, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab on February 23 and in Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra on February 24, but their results will be out together on February 28.

President’s Rule Imposed on Jharkhand

On 18 January Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India  imposed President’s Rule in Jharkhand under Article 356(1) of the Constitution.The President’s Rule for the third time since its formation 12 years ago.The decision came as a follow up of the recommendation made by the Union Cabinet of India and fall of the state machinery in form of Government on 8 January after the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha the supporting party to BJP led Coalition Government withdrew its support from it. The state was placed under President’s Rule in 2009 and 2010.

Three New High Courts for North East

The Centre has constituted three new High Courts in the northeast  Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura taking the total number of High Courts in the country from 21 to 24.According to Law Ministry sources, the strength of judges in each High Court will be as follows: Tripura 4 (including the Chief Justice), and Meghalaya and Manipur: three each (including the Chief Justice).


CONFERENCES

100th Indian Science Congress held in Kolkata

The 100th Indian Science Congress was held from 3 to 7 January in Kolkata (West Bengal) .The theme of the session is  ” Science for Shaping the Future of India ”  .The session was inaugurated       by  Pranab Mukherjee      the President of India  .In the session Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  released ‘ The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy(STI)  2013  ’ .On 4 January Former President Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam inaugurated a Children Science Congress as part of the 100th Indian Science Congress .The 100th Indian Science Congress (ISC 2013) is also organized a special programme “ Women empowerment for the development of the country” to showcase the contribution of women in science and technology.This is the 13th time the Indian Science Congress is being hosted by Kolkata

11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Kochi

11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) was held from 7- 9 January at Kochi (Kerala).Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag was the chief guest of  this official inaugural session.2000 delegates from 40 countries attended the convention.The theme for this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is “Engaging Diaspora – the Indian Growth Story”.On 7th January in the event they discussed on problems that people from Kerala face in the region.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurated the annual flagship event and released the postage stamp on Ghadar Movement on 8 January  and  President Pranab Mukherjee will delivered the valedictory address on January 9 and also presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards.Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on January 9 every year to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community in the development of India.The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the first of its kind involving the Indian Diaspora, was held in 2003 at  New Delhi.

Fourth Meeting of ASEAN and India Tourism Ministers held in Vientiane

The Fourth meeting of ASEAN and India Tourism Minister (4th M-ATM+ India) was held in Vientiane, Lao PDR from  21 to  January in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2013 (ATF2013).The Meeting was jointly co-chaired by H.E. Prof. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Information, Culture and  Tourism, Lao PDR, and H.E. Dr. K. Chiranjeevi, Minister for Tourism, Government of India.In the meeting Both the Ministers have signed the Protocol to amend the Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and India on Strengthening Tourism Cooperation.

World Economic Forum Summit Held in Davos

The 43rd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held from 23 – 27 January at Davos-Klosters in Switzerland.The annual forum, which has been running for over 40 years, provides a platform for decision-makers in politics, non-governmental organisations and businesses to gather and to exchange views on the world’s most pressing problems.The World Economic Forum (WEF) unites international political leaders, business leaders and journalists from across the globe to discussed and shape global, regional and industrial agendas with regards to economics, health and the environment.The WEF was founded in 1971 as a non-profit organization by the German Klaus Schwab, a business professor at the University of Geneva.


AWARDS & HONOURS

Malala won ” 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award “

On 3 January Malala Yousafzai, the teenaged Pakistani school girl shot by a Taliban gunman last year , has been awarded the ” 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award ” from Ireland for her courage and determination to speak out in support of equal access to education for children.Malala is the second Pakistani to get the award. In 2007, it was given to late Benazir Bhutto.

Malala honored with the French ” Simone de Beauvoir ”  Prize

On 9 January Malala Yousafzai (15), the schoolgirl from Pakistan shot by Taliban for campaigning girls’ education,  received France’s Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom in Paris. Malala’s father Ziaudin Yousafzai received the honour on her behalf. he award is accompanied with 2.5 million RupeTes honorarium.

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2013

On 9 January Pranab Mukherjee President of India presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Awards) 2013  to 14 people, included Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi  and  Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag, He was also the Chief Guest of 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013. In accordance to Tradition, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Awards) 2013 have been given to notable Indians living abroad.

The other awardees are Prof Dr Gurusharan Singh Chhatwal of Germany for science, Dr Rasik Vihari Joshi (Mexico) for Literature, Gilbert Canabady Moutien (Reunion Island) and Mohammed Rabeeh Karuvanthodi (Saudi Arabia) for business, Patricia Maria Rozario(UK) for Music, Dr Narendra Ramakrishna Kumar (USA) for Healthcare, Subash Razdan (USA) and Islmail Ebrahim (South Afrcia) for Public service.

Dr Satendra Kumar Singh (New Zealand), Australia India Society of Victoria (Australia) and Bava Pandalingal (UAE), Ashok Shambhomal Vaswani (Guinea), Indian Doctors Forum, Kuwait for community service, Tan Sri Ravindran Menon from Malaysia for Community service, are among others on the list of awardees.

Mamata Banerjee gets gift from PCB

Overwhelmed’ by the hospitality at the Eden Gardens during India-Pakistan second ODI in Kolkata, the PCB sent the gift as a silver-coated Quran to the Cricket Association of Bengal who handed it over to the CM during a function at the Netaji Indoor in Kolkata on 10 January 2013.

Mahaveer Golechha  Bags  Award for Alzheimer’s Drug

On 17 January The London-based Indian researcher Mahaveer Golechha, was selected to be felicitated for an award that includes his work on a drug that can be a potential cure of Alzheimer’s disease.In the study conducted by Golechha, he found discovered that naringin has essential anti-Alzheimer activity.

70th Golden Globe Awards –  2013

On January 13 The 70th Golden Globe Awards honored the best in film and television of 2012, was presented in California .

Best  Film –  : Argo

Best Actor – : Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

Best Actress – : Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)

Best Director - Ben Affleck (Argo)

Best  Musical or Comedy -: Les Miserables

Best Foreign Language Film – : Amour

Best Animated Feature Film -: Brave

Krishi Karman Awards  2011- 2012

On 15 January President Pranab Mukherjee  presented the Krishi Karman awards for the year 2011-12  at an award ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The awards were presented to the State Governments for their excellent performance in increasing the production of food grains in their respective states.

Awards in Different Segments :-

-  The Awards for Special Contribution to Total Food Grains Production  -  Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Manipur and Nagaland

-  Award for Contribution to Production and Productivity of Rice –  Bihar

- Award for Contribution to Production and Productivity of Wheat  - Haryana

- Award for Contribution to Production and Productivity of Pulses  - Jharkhand

- Award for Contribution to Production and Productivity of Coarse Cereals – Uttar Pradesh

58th Filmfare Awards

The 58th Filmfare Awards were held honoring the best films of 2012 from the Hindi-language film industry (commonly known as Bollywood). The ceremony was held on January 20, 2013 at Mumbai.

Best Movie     :- Barfi!

Best Actor :- Ranbir Kapoor (Film -Barfi!)

Best Actress :- Vidya Balan (Film – Kahaani )

Best Director :- Sujoy Ghosh (Film – Kahaani )

Lifetime Achievement Award :- Yash Chopra (After Death)

Prof C N R Rao awarded by Chinese Academy of Sciences

The Chinese Academy of Sciences was awarded Prof C N R Rao, National Research Professor and Honorary President of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCAR), the prestigious “International Scientific Cooperation Award 2012″. The award is designed to acknowledge outstanding scientists for their contribution to science and for promoting global networking of international science cooperation.

Padma Awards – 2013

President of India Approved the Conferment of 108 Padma Awards

On 25 January Pranab Mukherjee, the President of Union of India approved conferment of 108 Padma Awards. Four people have been conferred with Padma Vibhusan, twenty four are conferred with Padma Bhushan and 80 people would be receiving Padma Shree Awards. Out of all the awardees twenty-four are ladies and 11 people belong to categories like NRIs, PIOs, Foreigners and Posthumous awardees.

Padma Vibhushan

Raghunath Mohapatra, Art, Orissa

S Haider Raza, Art, Delhi

Prof Yash Pal, Science and Engineering, Uttar Pradesh

Prof Roddam Narasimha, Science and Engineering, Karnataka

Padma Bhushan

Sharmila Tagore, Art, Delhi

Dr (Smt) Saroja Vaidyanathan, Art, Delhi

Late Rajesh Khanna, Art, Maharashtra

Late Jaspal Singh Bhatti, Art, Punjab

Adi Burjor Godrej, Trade and Industry, Maharashtra

Prof Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Literature & Education USA

Rahul Dravid, Sports, Karnataka

H Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, Sports, Manipur

Padma Shri

Hosanagara Nagarajegowda Girisha, Sports, Karnataka ,

Subedar Major Vijay Kumar, Sports, Himachal Pradesh

Yogeshwar Dutt, Sports, Haryana

B Jayashree, Art, Karnataka

Sridevi Kapoor, Art, Maharashtra

Ramesh Gopaldas Sippy, Art, Maharashtra

359 Gallantry and Other Defence Decorations Announced

On 26 January President Pranab Mukherjee has approved awards of 359 Gallantry and other Defence decorations to Armed Forces personnel and others on the eve of the 64th Republic Day Celebrations .This includes 01 Kirti Chakra, 11 Shaurya Chakra, 56 Sena Medal (Gallantry), 01 Bar to Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry), 03  Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry), 03 Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), 28 Param Vishisht Seva Medal, 03 Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, 06 Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, 44  Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, 12 Yudh Seva Medal, 02 Bar to Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty), 37 Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty), 01 Bar to Nao Sena Medal  (Devotion to Duty), 07 Nao Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty), 14 Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty), 04 Bar to Vishisht Seva Medal and 116 Vishisht Seva  Medal..Major Abup J Manjali of the Rashtriya Rifles was selected for the award of Kirti Chakra for his extraordinary bravery efforts in counter- terrorist operations  in Jammu and Kashmir.

Taiwan Business Magnate Launched Tang Prize (Asian Noble Prize)

On 28 January Samuel Yin , A business magnate  tycoon from Taiwan has launched  the Tang Prize(Asian Noble prize) for outstanding achievements in natural and social sciences.He announced that he would establish Tang Prize Foundation which would have an initial donation of 103 million dollar.Tang Prize Foundation was decided that the prizes under the Tang Prize Foundation will be awarded every alternate year to the international leaders in sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, the rule of law as well as the study of China.


 SPORTS & GAMES

 Kohli is CEAT ” International Cricketer of the Year “

On 4 January Vice-captain of Indian Cricket team Virat Kohli  was named the International Cricketer of the Year while Pakistan cricket team was named as the Best International Cricket Team in the 2011-2012 season at the CEAT cricket awards in New Delhi. Unmukt Chand, who led India to the U-19 World Cup win last year, got the inaugural Indian Youngster of the Year award.The Former Pakistan cricket captain Zaheer Abbas received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

 Uttarakhand won 63rd National Basketball Championship

On 4 January Uttarakhand won 63rd National basketball championship men’s title after defeated Punjab in the final at Ludhiana (Punjab).In the women’s section, Railways won the title against by first-time finalist Tamil Nadu in the final.

Tipsarevic won Chennai Open Tennis Title

On 6 January Second-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia has won the ATP Chennai Open Title after defeated Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain in the final at Chennai.Tipsarevic won the chennai open title for the first time in his career.

Nicol David won World Series Squash Title

On 6 January Nicol David won the World Series Squash Finals women’s  title after defeated England’s Laura Massaro in the final at London.In the men’s final, Egypt’s Amr Shabana came from behind to beat England’s Nick Matthew .

Australia Won Test Against Sri Lanka

Australia secured a five-wicket won in the third and final Test match against Sri Lanka on 6 January at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) .

Brisbane International Tennis Winners – 2013

Womens Single’s :Serena Williams (USA) won the WTA Brisbane International womens single’s title on 5 January with a straight sets demolition of Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Men’s Singles : In the Men’s singles Category Andy Murray from scotland won the title after defeated Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov .

Women’s Doubles :  Sania Mirza and her partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands won the women’s doubles trophy by winning against Kveta Peschke and Anna-Lena Groenefeld

Men’s Doubles : Marcelo Melo – Tommy Robredo won the doubles title after defeated Eric Butorac – Paul Hanley .

Pakistan won the Three – Match Series

On 6 January Pakistan won the three-match series by 2-1 against India.With this win over Pakistan, India lost the three matches one day series .Nasir Jamshed of Paksitan was declared as the Player of the tournament.MS Dhoni was once again chosen as the Player of the match.

Lionel Messi, the man of the four Golden Balls

Lionel Messi became the first four-time winner of the FIFA Player of the Year award after shattering the world record with 91 goals last year(2012) for Barcelona and Argentina.His 91 goals topped Gerd Mueller’s mark of 85 for Bayern Munich and Germany in 1972.

Bangar quits first-class cricket  

Former India player and Railways captain Sanjay Bangar  announced his retirement from first-class cricket after guiding his team to a 122-run victory over Bengal in the final league game of the Ranji Trophy on 01 January 2013 in Kolkata.He played 165 first class matches amassing 8342 runs at an average of 33.35 and has 300 wickets to his credit.

National Table Tennis Championship Winners

On 11 January Soumyajit Ghosh  became the youngest national champion after he defeated six-time winner Achanta Sharath Kamal in the summit clash of the 74th National Table Tennis Championship mens singles final at Raipur.Shamini Kumaresan won the womens singles title.Sourav Chakraborty and Ganeshan Sathiyan won the doubles title.In the Women doubles category K. Spoorthy and Nikhat Banu (AP) defeated Madhurika Patkar and Pooja Sahasrabudhe in the final and got the title.

Haryana girls retain U-20 hockey title

Haryana defeated Uttar Pradesh 1-0 to retain their under-20 women hockey national championship at the Gachibowli Stadium on 16 January 2013.

Kerala won 61st National Volleyball Championship Title

On 16 January Kerala defeated  Tamilnadu to retain the men’s title in the 61st Senior National Volleyball Championship at the Sawai Man Singh Indoor Stadium in Jaipur.In the women’s section, Railways defeated Kerala and won the title in the  final.

Malaysian Open Badminton Championship Winners

Men’s Singles: Lee Chong Wei (Indonesia) won the Men’s singles title after defeated  Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the final at Kuala Lumpur on 20 January.

Men’s Doubles: Mohd Ahsan (Indonesia) -Hendra Setiawan (China) defeated Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae (Malaysia) in the final.

Women’s Singles: Tai Tzu-ying (Thailand) won the women’s singles title after defeated Yao Xue (Korea)

Women’s Doubles: In the event Bao Yixin-Tian Qing (China)  won the title after defeated  Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Japan)

Lalith Babu takes top honours

Lalith Babu defeated Swapnil Dhopade in the final round to clinch the Chennai Super Kings International Grandmaster chess tournament that concluded at the Nehru Stadium in Chennai on 23 January 2013.Lalith Babu won Rs.200,000 and the trophy after becoming the first Indian player to claim the Chennai Open

Australian Open Tennis Tournament – 2013 Winners

Womens Single’s :- Victoria Azarenka of Belarus won the Women’s Singles title of the Australian Open Tennis tournament after defeated Li Na of China in the final at Melbourne on 26 January .

Men’s Singles:- Novak Djokovic   (Serbia) has won the men’s singles title after defeating Andy Murray (Britain) in four sets. This is Djokovic’s fourth Australian Open and over all six Grand Slam single title.

Women’s Doubles:-  Top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci won the title, defeating wild cards Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the final.

Men’s Doubles : Top seeded American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan won the men’s doubles title. Americans Mike and Bob Bryan won their record 13th Grand Slam doubles title, defeating the Dutch team of Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling .

Magnus Carlsen Won Tata Steel Chess Championship

Magnus Carlsen won Tata Steel 2013 Chess tournament title in the final at Netherlands  on 27 January .In the final round tournament, he scored 10 points , winning clear first ahead of second-place finisher Aronian (Armenia).World champion Viswanathan Anand at third position.

Mumbai won 40th Ranji Trophy Title

On 29 January Mumbai won its 40th Ranji Trophy title against Saurashtra by an inning and 125 runs in the final at Wankhede at Mumbai .Wasim Jaffar was declared Man of the Match. Ajit Agarkar was the captain of the winning team.


ECONOMY

Philippines introduced ‘sin tax’

A “sin tax” on cigarettes and alcohol was introduced in the Philippines on 01 January 2013, as part of a government bid to boost finances.Many stores started selling tobacco and drink at inflated prices before midnight , ahead of the official implementation of the tax hikes on January 01, hitting partygoers in the pocket.Tax on cigarettes will gradually be raised to 30 pesos ($0.72) per pack by 2017, roughly doubling the current price to around 52 pesos.Duty on alcohol will also increase gradually until 2017, increasing the price of a bottle of beer by 23.50 pesos, with varying levels for other drinks including wine and spirits.

LIC  Launched New Jeewan Nidhi & Flexi Plus Policies

The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India launched two new Insurence policies New Jeevan Nidhi, a pension scheme, and Flexi Plus on 3 January .New Jeewan Nidhi provides the facility of insurance coverage of full amount while the insured person keeps depositing premiums.The Flexi policy  is a unit linked insurance product. The plan not only provides a lump sum benefit on death but also maturity benefit irrespective of survival of the policy holder

Mukesh Ambani 18th richest man in world  

Indian business magnate Mukesh Ambani is the 18th richest person in the world with a personal wealth of $24.7 billion in 2012, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 100 wealthiest individuals. Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim remained the world’s richest person last year holding a personal fortune of more than $70 billion.Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the founder of fashion retailer Zara, Amancio Ortega, got a second and third places respectively.

Indian Companies Top Globally in R&D Investment

According to the European Commission report Indian companies have come on the top globally when it comes to growth in their research and development (R&D) investments, leaving their counterparts in the US and Europe far behind.Indian firms rank far below when it comes to absolute R&D investments made by them and the top-ranked company from the country.These are the only 14 Indian companies present in a list of top-1500 entities worldwide in terms of their annual R&D investments.The top-ranked Indian company is Infosys at 329th place and Japanese company Toyota Motor appears at the top of the ranking in the 2012 Scoreboard.

IMF forecasted Indian Economic Growth Rate to be 5.9 percent in 2013

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 23 January 2013 pegged India’s economic growth rate in 2013 at 5.9 per cent and projected a higher growth of 6.4 per cent next year in line with the gradual strengthening of global expansion.

World Bank’s “Global Economic Prospects 2013″ Report

According to the World Bank “Global Economic Prospects 2013″ report , India’s growth is expected to inch closer to that of China in near future, in which the economies of developing countries like India, China and Brazil are projected to be recovering and higher growth rate.The World Bank expects that by 2015, the growth rate of China would be 7.9% and that of India 7%.While the growth of the world economy growth is projected to inch up from 2.3% in 2012 to 2.4% in 2013, with the high-income countries remaining at the same level of growth of 1.3% in both 2012 and 2013, it is the emerging markets like India, China and Brazil that would show significant signs of recovery.They are expecting a recovery in India from 5.1% growth in 2012 to 6.1% growth in 2013.

India 119th on Economic Freedom Index

According to the ‘Heritage Foundation’ 2013 Index of Economic Freedom survey report , India has been ranked as the 119th freest country in the world and India’s economic freedom score stood at 55.2, as its institutional shortcomings continue to undermine the foundations for long-term economic development.The top ten countries in the list include Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzarland, canada, Chili, Mauritius, Denmark and US.

India second in steel production globally

India is second only to China in terms of steel production. In the last 5 years India’s production grew by 33 percent, thus making it behind China among the top 5 steel producing nation. World Steel Association (WSA) data has revealed that China’s production grew by 39 per cent during 2008-2012, India’s by 33 percent and India’s production grew constantly in the last five years from 57.8 MT in 2008 to 63.5 MT in 2009, 69 MT in 2010, 73.6 MT in 2011 and 76.7 MT in 2012

RBI cuts CRR, Repo Rates

On 29 January The Reserve Bank of India  slashed its key interest rates by 0.25 per cent and released 18000 crore rupees additional liquidity into the system to perk up growth through reduced cost of borrowing. RBI in its third quarter monetary policy review surprised the market by cutting short-term lending rate called repo, by 0.25 per cent to 7.75 per cent and Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by similar margin to 4 per cent.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

US approved First new Tuberculosis Drug

On 1 January The US Food and Drug administration  approved a Johnson & Johnson tuberculosis drug  in 40 years .This is the first new medicine to fight the deadly infection in more than four decades.The disease is rare in the US, but kills about 1.4 million people a year worldwide.

Spiral galaxy IC 2233

Astronomers had captured one of the flattest galaxies known in the universe, sitting like a silver needle in the haystack of space. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope produced a beautiful image of the spiral galaxy IC 2233, one of the flattest galaxies. The IC 2233 is located about 40 million light-years away from Earth. This galaxy was earlier discovered by British astronomer Isaac Roberts in 1894.

“Immune system ‘booster’ may hit cancer”

Japanese research where stem cells were used to clone and produce large numbers of a specialized type of white blood cell. These cells, known as cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), are produced by the immune system and are able to recognize specific markers on the surface of various tumour cells, causing them to launch an attack to kill the tumour cells.The researchers are succeeded in using stem cells  to “mass-produce” CTLs in laboratory conditions.

Chinese Biologists Discovered Antibiotic In Panda Blood

Chinese biologists have discovered that the blood of the endangered giant panda includes a compound called ” Cathelicidin-AM ” which acts as a natural antibiotic. The nature of the blood compound makes it an attractive treatment for so-called superbugs, those strains of disease that have become immune or resistant to traditional antibiotics.

India to make world’s largest solar telescope

India is likely to begin construction of the world’s largest solar telescope on the foothills of the Himalayas in Ladakh to understand the fundamental processes taking place on the Sun by year-end.A 2-metre class, state-of-the-art National Large Solar Telescope (NLST), built by Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), will permit Indian scientists to carry out cutting edge research aimed to study Sun’s atmosphere.

Internet emits 830 mt of carbon dioxide annually

According to Researchers from the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) and Bell Labs, Internet and other components of information communication and technology (ICT) industry annually produces more than 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, and is expected  to double by 2020

‘Lakshya’ Missile Successfully Tested

India’s indigenously developed, ‘Lakshya’ was sucessfully tested on 7 January .It was launched from the Integrated Test Range – ITR, at Odisha .25 meters in length, 100 km away from the target to the missile .

17 billion’ Earth-sized planets in Milky Way

The Milky Way contains at least 17 billion planets the size of Earth.Astronomers using NASA’s Kepler spacecraft found that about 17 percent of stars in our galaxy have a planet about the size of Earth in a close orbit.The Milky Way is known to host about 100 billion stars, meaning that about one of every six has an Earth-sized planet around it.

Brahmos cruise missile test fired in successfully

Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos scored once again in its 34th launch on 09 January 2013 off Visakhapatnam in the Bay of Bengal, hitting a decommissioned vessel with accuracy.As it took off vertically from a naval warship, reached an altitude of 14 km, levelled out and started cruising at three times the speed of sound, it performed “a double manoeuvre in S-form” and hit the decommissioned ship, about 290 km away.

Astronomers Found ” NGC 6872 ”  Largest known Spiral Galaxy

A team of astronomers from the United States, Chile and Brazil has crowned it the largest-known spiral galaxy, a spectacular behemoth five times bigger than our own Milky Way, based on archival data from NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) mission.The title-holder is now NGC 6872, a barred spiral found 212 million light-years away in the southern constellation Pavo. The distance between NGC 6872′s two huge spiral arms is 522,000 light-years, compared to about 100,000 light-years for the Milky Way.

Indian Scientists Discovered Molecule for Cancer Treatment

A team of Indian researchers, led by Dr Sathees C Raghavan of the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore, have identified a molecule which they claim will revolutionise the cure for cancer.The molecule has been named after “Sathees as SCR7” and a detailed account of it has been carried in the international scientific journal “Cell”".Scientists world over believe that the double strand break (DSB) of DNA is one of the most lethal form of DNA damage, resulting in drastic consequences such as genome instability, and cancer.

“Largest Space structure in the Universe:Large Quasar Group

An international team lead by astronomer Roger Clowes of the University of Central Lancashire in England discovered the largest known structure in the universe, a clump of active galactic cores that stretches 4 billion light-years from end to end.This is the largest Space structure in the Universe.This structure is known as a “Large Quasar Group(LQG)”.

Indian Scientists Discovered Molecule for Cancer Treatment

A team of Indian researchers, led by Dr Sathees C Raghavan of the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore, have identified a molecule which they claim will revolutionise the cure for cancer.The molecule has been named after “Sathees as SCR7” and a detailed account of it has been carried in the international scientific journal “Cell”".Scientists world over believe that the double strand break (DSB) of DNA is one of the most lethal form of DNA damage, resulting in drastic consequences such as genome instability, and cancer.

World’s First Global Renewable Energy Atlas Launched

On 13 January Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) launched the world’s first clean energy atlas at IRENA’S General Assembly , currently offers open-access information on solar and wind power throughout the world and the creators plan to expand to other renewable energy resources over the next two years.The atlas includes information on clean energy resources in 37 countries, including those which have no diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates.The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is working in partnership with the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) to build a qualitative and quantitative data framework for renewable energy in developing countries.

Ancient River Found on Mars

On 17 January The European Space Agency scientists have revealed a 1500 km long and 7 kilometre wide river that once ran across Mars.The images which were captured by the ESA’s Mars Express showed Reull Vallis, the river-like structure, which is believed to have formed when water ran from the surface of Mars in distant past. The structure which surprised the astronomers stretches for around 900 miles or 1500 km across the Martian surface and also shows various tributaries. These structures, it is believed, were formed somewhere around 3.5 billion years ago.

India Increased Rafale Fighter Jets’ Order

India could buy up to 189 of the Rafale fighter jets currently being used by France to bomb Islamist militants in Mali, sources close to negotiations on the multi-billion dollar deal .The possibility of an additional 63 jets being added to an expected order for 126 was raised by India .The Indian press has estimated the value of the deal for 126 Rafales at $12 billion (nine billion euros).A 50 per cent increase in the number of planes ordered would take it to around $18 billion, in a huge boost for the French defence industry.

‘Japan to replace Fukushima plant with world’s largest wind farm’

In the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan had decided to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm to replace the crippled nuke plant.The country plans to build a total of 143 wind turbines on platforms 16 kilometres off the coast of Fukushima by 2020, which is home to the stricken Daiichi nuclear reactor that hit the headlines in March 2011 when it was damaged by a severe earthquake and tsunami.The wind farm will generate 1 gigawatt of power once completed, and is part of a national plan to increase renewable energy resources following the post-tsunami shutdown of the country’s 54 nuclear reactors.The wind farm will surpass the 504 megawatts generated by the 140 turbines at the Greater Gabbard farm off the coast of Suffolk, UK – currently the world’s largest farm.

India, US finalise Rs 3,000 crore deal for jet engines

India and the US have finalised a Rs 3000-crore deal for supplying 99 jet engines to be used in the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’ being developed by the DRDO.Around two years ago, India had selected the American company General Electric over its rival European Eurojet 2000 for the LCA Mark II programme expected to be ready around 2014-15.The deal worth Rs 3,000 crore has been finalised with the US for procuring 99 engines for the LCA Tejas MkII.As per the contract, the order could be for 99 engines initially but India will have the option of ordering another 100 engines in the future.

INS Saryu Inducted into Indian Navy

On 21 January Air Marshal PK Roy, Commander-in-Chief, Andaman and Nicobar Command, commissioned INS Saryu into the Indian Navy at Goa .INS Saryu is the lead ship of the indigenous Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel (NOPV) Project designed and built by Goa Shipyard Limited, the ship aptly demonstrates the immense potential of the country’s indigenous designing and ship building capabilities.Capable of carrying a helicopter (ALH) onboard, the ship’s weapon and sensor outfit includes a SRGM 76.2 mm gun with an electro-optic fire control system, two 30mm guns as close in weapon systems, latest navigational and early warning radars, chaff launchers for self protection and an integrated ESM system to undertake all assigned missions.

MIT researchers Created Moisture – Powered Polymer

MIT ( Massachusetts Institute of Technology ) researchers  have created a new polymer film that can generate electricity by drawing on a ubiquitous source: water vapor.The new material changes its shape after absorbing tiny amounts of evaporated water, allowing it to repeatedly curl up and down. Harnessing this continuous motion could drive robotic limbs or generate enough electricity to power micro- and nanoelectronic devices, such as environmental sensors.

India Sucessfully Test Fired K-5 Ballistic Missile

On 27 January India successfully test fired medium range K-5 ballistic missile ,with a strike range of around 1500 kilometres, from an underwater platform in Bay of Bengal.K-5 is part of the family of underwater missiles being developed by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for the Indian strategic forces’ underwater platforms.

Iran ‘successfully sent monkey into space’

Iran on 28 January 2013 announced that it had successfully send a monkey to the space.It also declared that  the monkey come back to the Earth successfully.The rocket called Pishgam (meaning Pioneer) reached at a height of 120 km (75 miles) for a sub-orbital flight before “returning its shipment intact”. The first country to launch the primate into space was US.


PERSONS IN NEWS

A) APPOINTMENTS

Asif Ibrahim appointed as  chief Intelligence Bureau

Indian Police Service officer SA Ibrahim appointed as chief of the Intelligence Bureau on 01 January 2013 and he becoming the first from the country’s main minority community(Muslim Community) to hold the post. Ibrahim, an IPS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, has taken over as from Nehchal Sandhu who retired December 31. He will hold the post for two years.

Urjit Patel appointed as RBI deputy governor

On 02 January 2013 Urjit Patel, a consultant at Boston Consulting Group, had been appointed a deputy governor at the Reserve Bank of India, succeeding Subir Gokarn who was aiding the governor in shaping the monetary policy.

YV Reddy to head 14th Finance Commission

On 02 January 2013 former RBI governor YV Reddy was  appointed chairman of the 14th finance commission to suggest principles of sharing of revenues between the Centre and the states and insulate pricing of public utilities like electricity, water and public transport from policy fluctuations.

Ami Bera and Tulsi Gabbard Sworn In As US Lawmakers

On 4 January Indian American physician from California, Ami Bera, and the young Iraq war veteran from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard, created history after being sworn in as new members of the US House of Representatives.Bera is only the third Indian American  have ever been elected to the House of Representatives.Tulsi Gabbard is the first Hindu ever to won the Congressional election.

 Malala’s Father Appointed as Education Attache in Birmingham

On 3 January Malala’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai has been appointed as the education attache at the Pakistan consulate in Birmingham, England.The job is believed to be for up to three years.

Indian American  Srinivasan re-nominated as Federal Judge

On 4 January Srikanth  Srinivasan  a brilliant Indian American legal mind has been re-nominated by US President Barack Obama to serve as Federal Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit.In June 2012 he was nominated by Obama to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Justice D K Jain appointed new Law Commission chief

The Union Cabinet of India on 7 January 2013 appointed Justice D K Jain  as Chairman  of  20th Law Commission of India. He gives advice to the government on complex legal issues. Justice Jain, 64, will take over as the chief of the law panel on January 24 after retiring from the Supreme Court on the same day.

John Brennan as a  CIA director

U.S. President Barack  Obama announced on )7 January 2013  John Brennan wasnominated as  director of the American Intelligence Agency(CIA)  and Chuck Hagel as a Defense secretary. John Brennan played a key role in encounter the Osama Bin Laden.

Indian-origin politician to be Singapore’s first woman speaker

Indian-origin politician Halimah Yacob elected as  the first woman Speaker of Singapore’s Parliament on 08 Janauary 2013.She take charges from 14 January 2013.Halimah, a former labour lawyer, is a member of Parliament from the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).

Kulwant Singh Gill Took charge as new Commandant of  NDA

On 8 January Air Marshal Kulwant Singh Gill took charge as the new commandant of the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakwasla, Pune.The NDA provides three-year training in defence and academics to its cadets before they move on to their respective officers’ training academies for another one-year course and get commissioned into the armed forces.

R.K. Dubey Took Charge as Canara Bank’s new CMD

On 11 January R.K. Dubey has assumed charge as the Chairman and Managing Director of Canara Bank .Mr. Dubey was previously worked as a Punjab National Bank General Manager in 2008 and was appointed as Executive Director of Central Bank of India in 2010.

Rajkumar Goyal Took Charge as Central Bank of  India new ED

On 11 January Rajkumar Goyal has took charge as Executive Director (ED) of Central Bank of India (CBI).He was previously with the bank of India as the General Manager of Human Resources Department

Obama nominated Jack Lew as new Treasury Chief

On 11 January President Barack Obama nominated his chief of staff, Jack Lew, to become the next Treasury secretary and succeed Timothy Geithner.Last year, Lew was named Obama’s chief of staff, and before that he had served as the White House budget director.

First Gujarati in UK cabinet

Lord Dolar Popat has appointed a minister in the UK cabinet .He become the first Gujarati taking his place in the UK cabinet .Popat was appointed minister for business, innovation & skills and transport.

Mohan Pieris assumes duties as 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka

On 15 January 2013 ,Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa  appointed his cabinet’s legal advisor as the country’s new Chief Justice to succeed Shirani Bandaranayake. Rajapaksa sworn in new Chief Justice Mohan Peiris to replace Sri Lanka’s first woman chief justice who was impeached by the parliament in a controversial move.Peiris, a British qualified solicitor who retired in 2011 as the Attorney General was serving as the legal advisor to the Cabinet.

Ved Prakash is UGC chairman

Ved Prakash, serving as acting chairman of the University Grants Commission, had been appointed as its chairman on 18 January 2013.The chairman’s post remained vacant ever since S. Thorat retired in February 2011. Since then Mr. Prakash had been the acting chairman.

Obama Sworn in as the US President for Second Term

On 20 January US President Barack Obama Barack Obama was sworn in as the President of the country for a second four-year term.Obama as the 44th president of the United States and also he is the third consecutive president to win two terms, after Bush and Clinton. Joe Biden sworn-in for  second term as US vice-president.

Suchitra Ella, Founding Chairwoman of CII’s women wing

Suchitra K. Ella, Joint Managing Director, Bharat Biotech International, had been nominated as the Founding Chairwoman of the Indian Women Network of CII. The network aims to provide a platform for working women to come together and discuss issues and opportunities and share best practices. She is currently the Chairperson of CII Andhra Pradesh State Council for 2012-13. She had earlier been elected to the CII Andhra Pradesh State Council. She has been awarded the International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge award 2007 by the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and the FLO GR8 Women Achievers Award 2008 for entrepreneurial excellence.

B)RESIGNS

Jharkhand CM Arjun Munda resigned

Political uncertainty deepened in Jharkhand on 08 January 2013, with Chief Minister Arjun Munda submitted his resignation to Governor Syed Ahmed. On 07 January 2013, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) announced the withdrawal of its support to the BJP-led government.

Rajapaksa Dismissed First Woman Chief Justice of the Country

On 13 January Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka dismissed the first woman chief justice of the country, Shirani Bandarnayake after endorsing her impeachment by the Parliament that caught her guilty on the corruption charges.She appointed as a chief Justice on May 2011.

C)DEATHS

Violin maestro MSG passes away

M.S. Gopalakrishnan — legendary violinist known for his mastery of both the Carnatic and Hindustani systems of classical music — passed away on 03 January 2013 in Chennai.In his career spanning 75 years, he not only broke new ground as an accompanist, but also rose to become one of the best solo violinists in the country, along with Lalgudi G. Jayaraman and T.N. Krishnan. The three are considered the ‘violin trinity’ of south Indian classical music.Despite enviable success and accolades that came in the form of national honours such as the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, and innumerable titles, including the ‘Sangita Kalanidhi’ title awarded by The Music Academy, Chennai.

Pakistani singer Mehnaz Begum is no more

Renowned Pakistani singer Mehnaz Begum died on 19 January 2013.Mehnaz specialized in ghazal, thumri, dadra, khayal, drupad and reciting salam, noha and marsiya.Mehnaz was the daughter of popular sub-continental singer Kajjan Begum.She sang over 2,500 songs for radio‚ television and films in a variety of genres like ghazal, thumri, dadra, khayal and drupad.

D)VISITORS

Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag Visited India

Mauritius    President  Rajkeswur Purryag visited India from 3 – 10 January .During the visit Purryag met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee on 4 January in New Delhi. In Bihar , he visited his ancestral village , Bojeetpore near Patna.President Purryag  also the chief guest of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas .He attended the 3 days event 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Kochi (Kerala).

Vice President Hamid Ansari Visited Vietnam

Vice President Hamid Ansari visited Vietnam from 14 to 17 January.During  the visit Ansari met Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh and discussed the both countries bilateral issues , signed several agreements .Ansari attended the closing ceremony of the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the India-Vietnam diplomatic ties.

Bhutan King Wangchuck Visited India

The King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck visited India from 23-30 January.During the visit he attended the India’s Republic Day celebrations as a Chief Guest.Wangchuck  met President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and the United Progressive Alliance’s Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi.This is the fourth time since 1954 that a Bhutanese King will be a Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations.

E)MISCELLANEOUS

Ex-Haryana CM Chautala, son get 10 years jail

Former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay had been sentenced to 10 years in jail in connection with a teachers recruitment scam.Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar sentenced the Chautalas and seven others to 10 years in jail while one convict was given five years in jail and 45 others four years in jail.

Swaminarayan sect opens $100-million quake-proof temple near Hollywood

One of the biggest Hindu temples in the US, built at a whopping cost of $100 million near the Hollywood city in Los Angeles .The 68th Swaminarayan temple of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) had been built using 35,000 pieces of meticulously hand carved Italian Carrara marble and Indian Pink Sandstone.

Premlata Conquers Summit of Mt Vinson in Antarctica

On 17 January Premlata Agrawal, the oldest woman in India to have climbed Mt. Everest, has conquered Mt. Vinson in Antarctica in pursuit of the ‘Mountaineering Challenge’ of climbing the ‘Seven Summits’.She completed her Mt. Vinson expedition on January .The person successful in conquering all the seven summits is considered a member of the ‘Hall of Fame’ for mountaineers.Premlata will become the first Indian woman and one of the oldest in the world to conquer all seven summits.

Ex-ISRO chairman Inducted in to ‘ Satellite Hall of Fame ‘

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced its former chairman and Department of Space secretary Prof U R Rao by inducting him as the member of the prestigious ‘ Satellite Hall of Fame ‘ ,  Washington.Since 1987, the SSPI Hall of Fame has been recognising the invaluable contribution of the visionaries who have transformed life on planet earth for the better through satellite technology. Members of the Hall of Fame are recognised pioneers in communications, satellite related aerospace scientific research or development and delivery of applications for business, institutions and government via satellite.

David Headley sentenced for 35 years for 26/11 role(Mumbai attacks)

Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist David Headley was on 24 January 2013 sentenced to 35 years in jail by a Chicago court for his ‘unquestionable’ role in the massacre of 166 people in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Forbes India Celebrity 100 List

According to the Forbes India “” Celebrity 100 List “”  The Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, topped the inaugural Forbes India Celebrity 100 list.Forbes India estimates, the total earning of  Shah Rukh from October 2011 and September 2012 was 202.8 crore Rupees.The ranking was given based on the popularity as well as income of the biggest entertainers of India. Second on the list was Salman Khan and MS Dhoni followed in the third position.The special edition of Forbes India judged in eight different categories – directors, film actors, TV personailities, models, comedians, sports stars, authors and singers/musicians.The youngest celebrity in the list of Forbes India was Saina Nehwal, aged 23 years.

Switzerland best place to be born, India 66th

Switzerland has been called the best place in the world to be born in 2013 according to the The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister company of The Economist. The worst place for a baby to start life was violence-hit African country Nigeria. The survey included 80 nations and Australia ranked second followed by Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Singapore, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Canada and New Zealand were also ranked among top 10. India was ranked 66th place.The survey included significant parameters to judge the best country to be born and these factors included demography, geography, cultural and social characteristics, state of economy, future income per head as well as public policy.


PLACES  IN  NEWS

Strong Quake in Indonesia

On 22nd January  A strong, shallow earthquake rocked parts of western Indonesia early  killed 30 persons and panicking residents and ruining homes. Several other people were injured.Indonesia’s meteorology and geophysics agency put the preliminary magnitude at 6.0 and said the inland quake caused no tsunami. It was centered southwest of the city of Banda Aceh and 10 miles (6 kilometers) beneath the earth’s crust, according to the U.S. Geological Survey..

233 People Killed in Brazil Night Club Fire Accident

On 27 January The blaze in the university town of Santa Maria nightclub fire killed at least 233 people in southern Brazil .Most of those who died were suffocated by  toxic fumes that rapidly filled the crowded club after sparks from pyrotechnics used by the band for visual effects set fire to soundproofing on the ceiling.


ABBREVIATIONS

CBT————-Cash Transfer Benefit

EIU————–Economist Intelligence Unit

CBS————Central Bureau of Statistics

NLST———-National Large Solar Telescope

CEET———-Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications

CIA———–American Intelligence Agency

WEF———-World Economic Forum

PBS———Pravasi Bhartiya Divas

MSME——–Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

BWF———–Badminton World Federation


BOOKS IN NEWS

Swami Vivekananda “The Monk as Man ” Book Released

The renowned Bengali writer Shankar wrote a “The Monk as Man ” book on Swami Vivekananda ,who spread the message of India’s spiritual heritage across the world.In the book Shankar described Vivekananda used to emphasise greatly on physical strength and is known for the shocking statement ‘Better to play football than read the Gita’.

McChrystal  “My Share of the Task: A Memoir ” Book Released

General Stanley McChrystal, the former American commander in Afghanistan, wrote a “My Share of the Task: A Memoir,” book which was released on 7 January .In the book Chrystal explained that tensions between the White House and the Pentagon were evident in the Obama administration from its opening months in office.This book is not just for aficionados of military history or for students of American foreign policy .


COMMITTEES

Vijay Kelkar Committee for Fiscal Consolidation

The Vijay Kelkar Committee, which was appointed by Finance Ministry to suggest a roadmap for fiscal consolidation, has suggested immediate hike in fuel prices and complete deregulation of diesel prices by start of 2014-15 fiscal.It also suggested raising kerosene and LPG rates.Now the Kelkar committee recommendation is  still at proposal stage.

Justice Verma Committee Submitted Report

On 23 January The three-member committee included former Chief Justice of India, J S Verma, who headed the committee, Justice (Retd.) Leila Seth, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court and Gopal Subramanian, former Solicitor General of India , set up to suggest ways to make rape laws stronger in the country, has submitted its report with recommendations to enhance and amend existing laws dealing with cases of sexual crime.The Justice Verma panel recognised failure of governance as primary cause of sexual crimes.The Panel suggested Trafficking should be made punishable with imprisonment ranging from not less than 7 years to 10 years .There was a need for the separate Bill of Rights for women that will make sure that women would have their own rights for having sexual autonomy.”


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