INTERNATIONAL

UN Imposed New Sanctions on North Korea

On 7 March The UN Security Council approved a new regimen of sanctions against North Korea for conducting an underground nuclear test recently, imposing penalties on North Korean banking, travel and trade in a unanimous vote that reflected the country’s increased international isolation. The resolution, which was drafted by the United States and China, was passed in a speedy vote hours after North Korea threatened for the first time to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States and South Korea.

Obama Signed ‘ Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act 2013 ‘

On 8 March the US President, Barack Obama signed the reauthorization of the ‘Violence Against Women Act 2013′ on the eve of International Women’s Day. The Violence Against Women Act was first passed in 1994. Reauthorised since then, the new Act offers support to the organisations which serve to the victims of domestic violence.

Uhuru Kenyatta Won Kenya Presidential Election

On 9 March In Kenya, Deputy Prime Minister Kenyatta has won presidential election with a slim margin of 50.03 percent of votes. He defeated his rival Raila Odinga.

Japan & Ten EU Countries Exempted from US ‘Iran Sanctions Act’

On 13 March The US has renewed the exemptions for Japan and ten European Union countries from tough American sanctions imposed on nations buying oil from Iran.The third six-monthly exemption to Japan, under the Iran Sanctions Act.The 10 European Union countries, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the UK, have also qualified for a renewal of the exemption from sanctions because they have not purchased Iranian oil since July , 2012.

Pakistan Parliament Completes Full 5 Year Term

On 16 March Pakistan’s Parliament has made history by becoming the first National Assembly in the country’s history to complete a full term of five years, with the conclusion of the House’s 50th session, setting the stage for the holding of elections.Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari announced that general elections would be held on 11 May 2013.

Cyprus Gets New Bailout Deal

Cyprus secured a 10 billion ($16.2 billion) bailout from its international creditors on 24 March 2013.Eurozone finance ministers had also approved a new bailout plan for Cyprus, putting an end to uncertainties over the fate of the Mediterranean island country in the euro area.The new bailout program includes deep restructuring of the country’s two biggest banks, Bank of Cyprus and Popular Bank of Cyprus.Under the new agreement, all bank deposits under •100,000 will be secured and guaranteed by the state.

South Africa, China Sign Deals To Boost Cooperation

On 26 March South African President Jacob Zuma and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in Pretoria ahead of the fifth BRICS Summit.The two leaders signed a number of agreements, focusing on trade, tourism, education and social cooperation.The two sides agreed on future collaboration on research and development initiatives, manufacturing, marketing and the construction of cross-border infrastructure throughout the continent.

North Korea Declares ‘State of War’ with South Korea

On 29 March North Korea declared that it had formally entered a “state of war” with South Korea.The announcement was made in a joint statement attributed to all government bodies and institutions.The two Koreas have thus technically remained at war for decades.


INDIA & WORLD

India, South Korea Hold Security Talks

On 1 March 2013 India and South Korea hold discussions over emerging dynamics of global and regional security, cooperation in cyber security, defense and space sectors and reviewing bilateral ties. Arvind Gupta,Director General of IDSA, led the Indian side while Lt.G (retd.) Bang, Hyo-Bok president of KIDA and former vice army chief,represented the Korean side in the talks.

India,UK Signed MOU To Strenghen Cooperation In Earth Sciences

On March 1, India and UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their cooperation in Earth Sciences and environmental research by sharing information on meteorology,hydrology and climate variability.The MoU between the Earth System Science Organisation of the Ministry of Earth Sciences and UK’s Natural Environment Research Council was inked in New Delhi in the presence of Science and Technology Minister S Jaipal Reddy .

India and Bhutan signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement

On 4 March India and Bhutan signed the double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA), a move that will facilitate exchange of information on banking between the two nations and help check tax evasion.This is the first ever DTAA for Bhutan with any country. The treaty was signed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his Bhutanese counterpart Lyonpo Wangdi Norbum, on behalf of the Royal Government of Bhutan.

India and Republic of Portugal Signed a Social Security Agreement

On 4 March A Social Security Agreement (SSA) was signed between India and Republic of Portugal ,after the both countries meeting end at NewDelhi.The agreement was signed by Vayalar Ravi, the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs and Paulo Sacadura Cabral Portas, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs of Portugal.

India World’s Third Largest ‘Spam Spewing Nation’

On 6 March According to statistics from SophosLabs ,India has been placed third on the list of the countries distributing spam across the world.US is still firmly on the top, distributing more spam than any other country in the world.China took the second spot and India the third, with 8.2 percent and 4.2 percent of the world’s spam.

India’s Tourism Industry Competitiveness 65th in World

According to the fifth Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report by the WEF, India has moved up by three notches to 65th out of 140 countries in terms of the competitiveness of the travel and tourism industry.India has been ranked in the 11th place in the region and 65th overall, gaining three positions since the last edition.

India and Romania Signed Two Agreements

On 8 March India and Romania signed on Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income.The agreement was signed after External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid held talks with his Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean on the entire gamut of bilateral relations, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

India and Bhutan Signed $100m Currency Swap Agreement

On 8 March India and Bhutan signed a currency swap agreement for up to $100 million to further economic co-operation between the two countries.The currency swap arrangement was signed between the Reserve Bank of India and the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan (RMAB).

Iran and Pakistan Launched Gas Pipeline Project

On 11 March Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari was officially inaugurated the final construction phase of the multi-billiondollar Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.The 1,244-mile pipeline would each day transport more than 750 million cubic feet of natural gas to Pakistan from Iran’s South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf.This Project was started from Chabahar city in Iran to Karachi in Pakistan with $7.5 Billion. Initially they have an idea to extend this project to New Delhi in India but India was dropped from this project in 2009.

Britain & India Signed Agreement To Support R&D Projects

On 13 March Britain and India have signed an agreement to launch a joint programme to encourage industry and business in the two countries to work together towards commercialisation of research leads in a range of key areas, including energy and health care.As part of the deal, Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA) sponsored by the Indian government’s Department of Science and Technology and UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will support UK and Indian businesses and academics in joint R&D and innovation projects over a three-year period.

India Ranks 136 in Human Development Index

On 14 March According to the Human Development Report 2013 released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ,India has been ranked 136 among 187 countries evaluated for human development index (HDI).Norway (1st rank), Australia (2nd rank) and the Netherlands (3rd rank) lead the Human Development Index (HDI).The other countries ranks are:- Netherlands (4th rank) , Japan (10th rank), Denmark (15th rank) , South Korea (12th rank).

China Unveils 5-Point Formula To Improve Ties With India

On 18 March China’s new President Xi Jinping has unveiled a five-point formula to improve relations with India, and that the resolution of the boundary dispute between the two nations won’t be easy and pending its final settlement ‘peace and tranquility’ should be maintained on the border without affecting the overall ties. The Xi Jinping 5 Points are :- 1. “First,to maintain strategic communication and keep bilateral relations on the right track. 2. Second, we should harness each other’s comparative strength and expand win winwin cooperation in infrastructure, mutual investment and other areas. 3. Third, we should strengthen cultural ties and constantly increase mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples. 4. Fourth, we should expand coordination and collaboration in multilateral affairs to jointly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries and tackle global challenges. 5. Fifth, we should accommodate each other’s core concerns and properly handle problems and differences existing between the two countries.

India – Egypt Signed Seven Agreements

On 19 March In a bid to deepen ties and strengthen economic bonds, India and Egypt signed 7 agreements after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy held bilateral talks in New Delhi.The seven agreements included a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the field of cyber security, cooperation in the field of protection of intellectual property rights and prevention of illicit traffic of antiquities besides others.The two leaders also agreed to enhance cooperation in Defence and in international forums like UN.

India Signed Social Security Agreements With 18 Countries

On 20 March India has signed Social Security Agreements (SSAs) with Belgium,France, Germany (social insurance for posted workers only), Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Hungary, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Republic of Korea, Norway, Germany, Finland, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Austria and Portugal.Bilateral labour Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) have also been signed with United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia and Bahrain for ensuring protection and welfare of overseas Indian workers.

India Votes Against Sri Lanka at UNHRC

On 21 March India has voted for the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.The UN Human Rights Council adopted a US-sponsored resolution on human rights violation in Sri Lanka.The 47-member Geneva forum adopted the resolution with 25 countries in favour, including India.13countries opposed it, including Pakistan. 8 abstained and one delegation was absent.The US-backed resolution that addresses alleged war crimes by Lankan forces during the country’s civil war with the Tamil Tigers.The 26-year civil war that ensued, which ended with the LTTE’s military defeat in 2009.

Japan Grants India $2.32 Billion Aid For Infrastructure Building

On 27 March India and Japan have agreed to promote their bilateral strategic and global partnership especially in economic and security areas, with Tokyo granting a $2.32 billion aid for infrastructure building. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida ,External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid discussed about both countries bilateral issues the meeting held at Tokyo .During the meeting Kishida unveiled a 220 billion yen (USD 2.32 billion) aid to India for infrastructure building and a 71-billion-yen loan ($753.17 million) for the subway project in India’s financial capital Mumbai.


NATIONAL

Cabinet Approves Bill for Time-Bound Services to Citizens

On 7 March the government gave its nod to a Bill aimed at providing time-bound delivery of services like passports, pensions and birth and death certificates, among others, to the citizens.The Right of Citizens for Time- Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011, was approved by the Union Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh .

President Released the Commemorative Postage Stamp on Sahir Ludhianvi

On 8 March the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee released the Commemorative Postage Stamp on Sahir Ludhianvi on occasion of his birth anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.Sahir Ludhianvi died on 25 October 1980 and was a renowned Urdu poet.He fought for recognition of lyric writers through the Film Writers Association.

India’s First All-Women Post Office

After announcing India’s all women public bank, the central government on 08 March 2013 started an all women post office in New Delhi on the occasion of the International Women‘s Day. Communications & Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal inaugurated the post office at Shastri Bhawan – the hub of central government offices in central Delhi. All the employees in these post office are women only.

Cabinet Approved Electronic Delivery of Services Bill

On 18 March the Union Cabinet approved a bill that aims to provide access to all central and state government services such as passport, ration card and driving licences electronically.The Bill requires public authorities to deliver all public services electronically within a maximum period of 8 years.

Cabinet Approved Food Security Bill

On 19 March the union cabinet has approved the National Food Security Bill which aims to give the right to food to around 67% of India’s 1.2 billion people.The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011 and had been sent to a parliamentary standing committee for further consideration.In the bill, the government had proposed 7 kg of grain per month per person to priority households and at least 3 kg of foodgrain at half the price for general households.

Rajya Sabha Passed Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013

On 21 March the Rajya Sabha passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013 that provides for capital punishment in cases of brutal rape, and also deals with several other crimes against women.On 19 March Lok Sabha passed the Bill with an aim of providing a strong deterrent against rapes and gang rapes, the Bill states that an offender can be sentenced to rigourous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 20 years, but which may extend to life, meaning imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life and with a fine.

Supreme Court upholds Death for Yakub Memon

On 21 March the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case that had claimed 257 lives and left 713 injured.The Supreme Court also upheld the conviction of actor Sanjay Dutt under the Arms Act in the terror attack and sent him to five years in prison.The capital punishment of the other 10 death row convicts was commuted to life sentence by a bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan which also upheld the life term awarded to 16 out of 18 convicts.

68 million Indians Living in Slums

On 21 March According to the first such census report on slum households prepared by the Registrar General of India, approximately 68 million Indians are living in slums. In all 1.73 crore census houses have been reported in houselisting blocks, categorised as slums in India, comprising 1.37 crore slum households.The report also noted that in 19 cities with million-plus population, 25 per cent of households live in slums.A majority-71 per cent- of these are located in six states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, west Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.90 per cent of slum households use electricity, 70 per cent slum households have television, 72.7 per cent have telephone facility while 10.4 per cent households have computer or laptop in their house.


STATES

HPCL signed MoU for Rajasthan Refinery

On 14 March Min of Petroleum & Natural Gas Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Rajasthan Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at Jaipur for setting up a Rs 37,320cr refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Barmer, Rajasthan. The project will be a joint venture between HPCL and Rajasthan State Refinery Limited, apart from other equity partners.The MoU was signed by Subhash Pant, Secretary Mines and Petroleum, Government of Rajasthan and K.Murli, Director (Refineries) of HPCL.

Madhya Pradesh Spice Park Inaugurated in Guna

On 16 March In Madhya Pradesh, Union power ministry inaugurated a Spice Park in Mawan area of Guna district. This spice park has been built at a cost of fifty five crore rupees.

Delhi Launched a Comprehensive Five-In-One Vaccine

On 12 March the Chief Minister of Delhi,Sheila Dikshit launched a comprehensive five-in-one vaccine in order to provide protection to children against certain diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria and pertusis.The CM announced that instead of three injections, now there will be a requirement of only one injection for providing protection against the diseases.

Karnataka State Assembly Elections Schedule Released

On March 20 The Election Commission of India has announced the dates for Karnataka Assembly Elections 2013.The elections will be a single-phase election and counting would take place on May 8.The Polls would be held on May 5.

Three High Courts Opened in Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya

Tripura, Meghalaya and Manipur on 23 March 2013 got their own High Courts. Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Judge of Chhattisgarh High Court took oath as the first Chief Justice of Manipur High Court on 23 March 2013. Justice Deepak Gupta along with three other judges would be administered the oath to the High Court of Tripura .Justice Meena Kumari took oath as the first Chief Justice of Meghalaya. With the opening of the three high Courts in the North Eastern states of India, the total number of high Courts in India has gone up to 24 from previous 21.

Arunachal Pradesh Became the First State to Introduce e-GPF

Arunachal Pradesh became the first state to introduce e-GPF or electronic GPF.The state Finance Department facilitated the online access to 34000 GPF accounts through its redesigned Web site, which was launched by Chief Minister of Arunachal Pardesh Nabam Tuki.

Housing stock, Amenities and Assets in Slums Report

On 29 March Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation released the report on Housing stock, Amenities and Assets in slums based on Houselisting & House Census, 2011.Registrar General presented the important features of the report and outlined its importance.In all 1.73 Crore Census houses have been reported in the House listing Blocks categorized as Slums in India, comprising 1.37 Crore slum households.There are 19 cities with million plus population where more than 25% households live in slums.A majority (71%) of these are located in six States namely, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.Out of these 19 cities, five cities namely, Vishakhapatnam, Jabalpur, Mumbai, Vijayawada and Meerut have more than 40% slum households.Out of total slum houses, 92.7% are occupied and 7.3% are vacant.84.9% Census Houses are used for residence/residence-cum-other use.58.4% residential census houses are in good condition, 37.5% are livable and rest 4.0% are in dilapidated condition.70.2% Slum households are owned.

Punjab, Haryana, Delhi Top in Well Being Index

According to the Tata Strategic Management Group Survey report , Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have been ranked at the top of the Well Being Index,while southern states, Gujarat and most of the north-eastern states emerged as the most secure ones for women in the Female Security Index.The states of Punjab, Delhi, HP, Haryana and Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh were ranked at the top of the Well Being Index. On the Female Security Index, Chennai and Bangalore were at the top.


CONFERENCES

24th Arab League Summit Held in Doha

The 24th summit was held in Doha (Qatar) from 21 to 26 March 2013.A total of 15 heads of state of Arab countries attended the summit.The Arab League currently consist of 21 countries, after Syria was suspended form the league due to excessive violence during the Arab Spring. However, the Syrian opposition umbrella organization, the Syrian National Coalition, will attend this year’s summit and will be offered a seat formerly occupied by Damascus.The Arab League summit called for an international conference in the framework of the United Nations for Syria’s reconstruction. The Qatari leader meanwhile proposed a mini- Arab summit, led by Egypt and leaders of Fatah and Hamas, in Cairo as soon as possible to achieve Palestinian national reconciliation. He also called for Arab countries to establish a fund of 1 billion U.S.dollars to support the Palestinians, pledging that his country will offer a quarter of the amount. The Arab League was formed in 1945.

5th BRICS Summit Held in Durban

The 5th BRICS Summit was held in Durban, South Africa from 26 to 27 March 2013. The summit an international relations conference attended by the head of states or heads of government of the five member states Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.Theme of the summit was , “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation”.BRICS Leaders President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff ,Russian president Vladimir Putin,Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singhm,Chinese president Ji Xinping, South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma also discussed swap arrangements among the national currencies as well as reserve pooling. BRICS nations have decided to establish a new development bank to finance infrastructure projects and to create a USD 100 bn contingency fund to tackle any financial crisis in emerging economies, in what is seen as a major win for India’s campaign to reform global financial architecture. BRICS Summit took place in South Africa for the first time. BRICS, originally “BRIC” before the inclusion of South Africa in 2010, is the title of an association of emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).


AWARDS & HONOURS

Indian-Origin Writer Anil Ananthaswamy Won “ British Physics Journalism “ Prize

On 1 March Anil Ananthaswamy, a London based Indian origin writer, has won the inaugural “Physics Journalism” Prize sponsored by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The Edge of Physics”, has won the prize for his article “Hip Hip Array,” which focuses on the Square Kilometre Array, an  international project to design and build the largest radio telescope ever conceived.

Pranab Mukherjee Honoured with the “Bangladesh Liberation War Award “

On 4 March The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee was conferred with the Liberation War Honour Award by the President of Bangladesh, Zillur Rahman. The award was given away to Pranab Mukherjee for contributions to the Liberation War.

Indian Women Selected For State Dept Award For Environment Awareness

On 5 March Dr Shubhalaxmi Vaylure has been selected for the US State Department’s International Exchange Alumni Member of the Month for March for her dedication to build greater environmental awareness in India. Shubhalaxmi first came to the US in 2003 as part of the Fulbright Indo-American Environmental Leadership Programme which took her to the University of Montana to study educational nature centers.Upon eturning from this programme, she drew inspiration from her Fulbright programme as she implemented innovative educational programs at the Mumbai Conservation Education Center.

Arun Jaitley, Karan Singh, Sharad Yadav Best Parliamentarians

On 6 March Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, Congress veteran Karan Singh and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav have been selected for the ‘Outstanding Parliamentarian Award’.Jaitley, who is Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, gets the award for the year 2010, Karan Singh for 2011 and Sharad Yadav for 2012. The Indian Parliamentary Group had instituted the award in 1994 which is conferred each year.

Tagore Award For Ravi Shankar

President Pranab Mukherjee presented the first annual Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony to late Pandit Ravi Shankar at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 07 Marchi 2013.Sukanya Shankar, wife of Ravi Shankar, received the award.

Stree Shakti Award For ‘Nirbhaya’

President Pranab Mukherjee presented the ‘Stree Shakti’ award on International Women’s Day( 08 March 2013) for ‘Nirbhaya’. ‘Stree Shakti’ award as a tribute to her courage and strength.The award was recevied by her family members.As a measure of recognition of achievements in individual women in the field of social development, the government had instituted of 6 national awards which are called ‘Stree Shakti Puraskar’. The awards are in the name of the eminent women personalities namely Devi Ahalya Bai Holkar, Kannagi, Mata Jajabai, Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang, Rani Lakshmi Bai and Rani Rudramma Devi (which is open to both men and women). Nirbhaya was honoured with the Sree Shakti award of Rani Lakshmi Bai.The Rani Rudramma Devi Award for the year 2012 was awarded to Smt. Pranita Talukdar from Assam. She was honoured for her commendable work for the overall development of women.

US Bravery Award for Nirbhaya

The Delhi gang-rape victim, Nirbhaya was honoured by the US government with an International Women of Courage Award for 2013.In this year this award was given to 10 women in Washington on March 8, which is also International Women’s Day.

National Tourism Award Winners 2011-12

National Annual Tourism Awards for 2011-12 was announced by Tourism Ministry on 12 March 2013. The Ministry announced 86 awards in 36 Categories. The awards presented by President of India on 18th March. Winners of National Tourism Awards for 2011-12 :-

Best State/ UT Comprehensive Development of Tourism (Rest of India): – Andhra Pradesh (First Prize) – Rajasthan (Second Prize) – Gujarat (Third Prize)

Best State/ UT Comprehensive Development of Tourism –(North East, Jammu and Kashmir) – Jammu & Kashmir

Best Civic Management of a Destination Category ‘B’ City – Municipal Council of Mandav (Mandu),District Dhar, Madhya Pradesh

Best Heritage City – Warangal City, Andhra Pradesh

Best Airport ( Class X Cities) – Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad

Best Airport (Rest of India) – VishakhapatnamAirport, Vishakhapatnam The special National Tourism Awards for Yann Martel, author of the book, Life of Pi, for promoting the county (Puducherry and Munnar) through the film as well.

Tan Twan Eng Declared Winner of 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize

Tan Twan Eng on 14 March 2013 was announced as a winner of the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize. With this, he became the first Malaysian author to win the most prestigious literary prize of Asia.Tan Twan Eng won the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel The Garden of Evening Mists.

Poetess Sugathakumari Selected For Saraswati Samman Award

On 17 March Sugathakumari, the Malayalam poetess was selected for the Saraswati Samman 2012 for the poetry collection Manalezhuthu, which means The Writing on the Sand in English. The Saraswati Samman is constituted by K. K. Birla Foundation.

60th National Film Awards

On 18 March The prestigious 60th National Film Awards for the year 2012 were announced in New Delhi.Irrfan has won the Best Actor award for his powerful performance in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ and Marathi actress Usha Jadhav has won the Best Actress award for ‘Dhag’.

The List of Award Winners :-

Best Feature Film: Paan Singh Tomar

Best Actor: Irrfan for Paan Singh Tomar and Vikram Gokhale for Anumati (Marathi)

Best Actress: Usha Jadhav for Marathi film Dhag

Best Child Artist: Virendra Pratap for Dekh Indian Circus (Hindi) and Minon for 101 Chodiyangal (Malayalam)

Best Popular Film for wholesome entertainment: Vicky Donor (Hindi), Ustad (Malayalam)

Best Animation Film: Delhi Safari

Best Children’s Film: Dekh Indian Circus

Best Film on Social Issues: Spirit (Malayalam)

Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film On National Integration: ThanichallaNjan (Malyalam)

Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director: Chittagong (Hindi) and 101 Chodiyangal (Malayalam)

Best Special Effects: Eega (Telugu)

Best Hindi Film: Filmistan Best Telugu Film: Eega

Reliance Industries Bags ‘Refiner of the Year Award’

On 23 March Reliance Industries has been awarded the prestigious ‘International Refiner of the Year’ 2013 at HART Energy’s 27th World Refining & Fuel Conference at San Antonio, Texas, USA.This is the second time that RIL has received this Award for its Jamnagar Refinery, the first being in 2005.

Indian Manish Kumar Among 28 Naturalised at White House Ceremony

Manish Kapoor from India was one among the lucky 28 to be granted the American citizenship at the White House in the presence of the US President, Barack Obama.List of 28 service members, who were naturalised at the White House ceremony included three from South Asia Manish Kapoor, Nazo Raoufi from Afghanistan and Mohammed Hossain from Bangladesh.

Paris Honours Nelson Mandela

On 26 March the city of Paris made antiapartheid hero Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen, but refused to grant an honour to Venezuela’s late leftist firebrand leader Hugo Chavez.

2013 Abel Prize To Belgian Pierre Deligne

Belgian mathematician Pierre Deligne who is regarded as one of the most celebrated mathematicians of the 20th century, has been chosen for this year’s prestigious Abel Prize in Mathematics.Award is given to him for his “seminal contributions to algebraic geometry and for their transformative impact on number theory, representation theory and related fields.

Veteran Lensman Pranlal Patel Honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award

On 28 March The 2nd National Photo Awards- 2011-12 were conferred by the Speaker, Lok Sabha, Ms. Meira Kumar to eminent photojournalists at a function held in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.The Life-Time Achievement Awards were given to eminent photographers Shri Pranlal Patel, Shri T.S. Nagarajan and Shri T.N.A. Perumal.In the Professional Category, the ‘Best Professional Photographer of the Year 2011-12’ has been given to Shri Salil Bera.


SPORTS & GAMES

Duty Free Dubai Tennis Championship-2013

Men’s Singles: On 2 March Serbian Novak Djokovic won the ATP Dubai Open Tennis Men’s singles title after defeated the Czech Republican Tomas Berdych in the final at Dubai .

Women’s Singles : This title was won by Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic). In final she defeated the Sara Errani(Italy).

ATP Mexican Open 2013 Tennis Tournament Winners

Men’s Singles: Rafael Nadal won ATP Mexican Open 2013 Tennis Title after he defeated the top seed and defending champion David Ferrer on 2 March 2013 in the final. This is the 38th clay court title of Nadal.

Women’s singles : In the women’s singles Italy’s Sara Errani won the title after defeated Carla Suarez-Navarro (Spain) in the final.

Services Won Santosh Trophy Title

On 3 March Services team won the final of the 67th Santosh Trophy in Kochi at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium by beating hosts Kerala .The Man of the Match title was clinched by Services striker Lalian Mawia. The Services team bagged their third Santosh Trophy title

Delhi Won Vijay Hazare Trophy

On 3 March Delhi team won Vijay Hazare Trophy after defeated Assam in the final at the ACA-VDCA stadium.

All England Open Badminton Championship Winners

Women’s Single’s : On 10 March Tine Baun (Denmark) won the women’s singles title after defeated Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the All England Open Badminton Championship at Birmingham.

Men’s Singles : Chen Long won the singles title after defeating Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia at Men’s singles final.

Laureus World Sports Awards 2013

“On 11 March Laureus World Sports Awards 2013 were organised in Rio de Janeiro.The Prestigious awards were claimed by sports stars- Jessica Ennis, Usain Bolt , Andy Murray and Sebastian Coe.

The List of the Awardees :- Laureus ‘World Sportsman of the Year ‘ -Usain Bolt Laureus ‘World Sportswoman of the Year ‘ – Jessica Ennis Laureus ‘World Team of the Year’ – European Ryder Cup Team Laureus ‘World Breakthrough of the Year ‘ – Andy Murray Laureus ‘ World Comeback of the Year’ – Feliz Sanchez Laureus ‘World Action Sportsperson of the Year’ – Felix Baumgartner Laureus ‘ World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability’ – Daniel Dias

Ukrainian Women Won World Chess Championship

On 13 March Women’s chess team of Ukraine won the World Chess Team Championship. The second place went to team from China, and the third to the Russian , Fifth place to India.

India Won Eight Medals in Asian Grand Prix Archery Championship

On 14 March India won a total of eight medals in the inaugural Asian Grand Prix Archery Championship at Bangkok . India won two gold, two Silver and four bronze.

Australia Won Azlan Shah Trophy

On 17 March Australia, the World Champions won the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament title for the seventh time after defeated defeated Malaysia in the final.

Kimi Raikkonen Won Australian Grand Prix

On 17 March Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen won the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne.It was the 20th Grand Prix win for Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion.

Indian Wells Tennis Tournament Winners

Mens Singles : On 18 March Rafael Nadal of spain won the Mens singles title after defeated Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the final at California .This is Nadal’s third Indian Wells ATP Masters title and first hard court title since 2010.

Women’s Singles :- Maria Sharapova defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the women’s final in straight sets to win her second Indian Wells ATP Masters title.

Swiss Open Badminton 2013 Winners

Men’s Singles :-  On 18 March Wang Zhengming from china won the Swiss Open Badminton Men’s singles title after defeated Du Pengyu in the final at basel.

Women’s Singles:- In the Women’s singles Wang Shixian from china got the title after defeating Ratchanok Inthanon (Thailand) in the final.

West Zone Won Deodhar Trophy

On 13 March Defending champion West Zone won the Prof. D.B. Deodhar Trophy for the 12th time after defeated North Zone’s challenge in the final at the Nehru Stadium.

Neha Tripathi Won Sixth Leg of Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2013

Kolkata’s Neha Tripathi won sixth leg of Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2013 in Panchkula on 21 March 2013. This is the third victory of Neha Tripathi in 2013 season. With this victory, Neha Tripathi overtook Smriti Mehra in the Hero Order of Merit 2013.

Sebastian Vettel Won F1’s Malaysian Grand Prix

On 24 March Three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix 2013 at the Sepang International Circuit.


ECONOMY

Nine Indian Women in Forbes Asia Power Business Women List

On 1 March ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochchar, Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and film producer Ekta Kapoor are among the nine Indian women named in Forbes magazine’s inaugural ‘Asia Power Businesswomen list’.The list also includes Britannia Industries Managing Director Vinita Bali ; HT Media Chairman and Editorial Director Shobhana Bhartia ; AZB & Partners Founder and Senior Partner Zia Mody ; Axis Bank CEO and Managing Director Shikha Sharma ; and Tractors & Farm Equipment Chairman Mallika Srinivasa; Kapoor, TV and movie producer.

Mukesh Ambani Is Richest Indian on Forbes’ list

As per an annual ranking published on 4 March 2013 by business magazine Forbes,Mukesh Ambani has retained his title as India’s richest person for sixth year in a row,with networth of $ 21.5 billion.In the overall rich list of world’s billionaires, Mukesh Ambani is ranked 22nd, while the second-richest Indian Lakshmi Mittal is at 41st position with a networth of USD 16.5 billion.Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim has topped the rankings with a networth of USD 73 billion, followed by Bill Gates (USD 67 billion), Spain’s Amancio Ortega (USD 57 billion), Warren Buffett (USD 53.5 billion) and Larry Ellison (USD 43 billion) in top five.

Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad Airports Among Top 5 in the World

Airports of Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad are among the top five airports in the world providing international standard services.Airports Council International (ACI),a global body of airports, has adjudged Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport as second best after Seoul’s Incheon airport in the category of airports handling 25-40 million passengers per annum (MPPA) for their service quality for the year 2012.Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport was adjudged the third best in this category.Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International airport (RGI) has bagged the second position for their service quality in the category of five to 15 MPPA. Japan’s Nagoya airport was adjudged the best in this category. Seoul’s Incheon ranked first, Singapore’s Changi second and Beijing was placed at the third spot.

RBI to Launch Plastic Currency Notes in 5 Cities

On 12 March The Union Government and RBI decided to introduce one billion pieces of 10 Rupees bank notes made of plastic on a field trial basis in five cities.A 10 Rupees note in polymer/plastic on a field trial basis will be introduced first; Minister of State for Finance .The field trail is supposed to be conducted in five cities of Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Bhubhaneswar and Shimla with varied geographical locations and climatic conditions.As per the RBI, the primary objective of introduction of polymer notes is to increase its life, it could also help in combating counterfeiting.

Gujarat Tops in FMCG Consumption

On 12 March According to the ‘Evolution of Indian Rural Markets During 2004-05 to 2009-10’ report released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) , Gujarat has garnered maximum growth in per capita food and non-food consumption expenditure across the country between FY05 and FY10 with growth rate of about 28% and 33% respectively. Besides registering a growth of about 24.69%, Gujarat has also topped in terms of household consumption of fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) during the fiveyear period.West Bengal has seen least growth of just about 1.6% and about 8% in per-capita food and non-food consumption expenditure, respectively.The per capita food and non-food consumption expenditure across India has increased at over 14% and 17%, respectively, between FY05 and FY10.

India Top Rice Exporter in FY 2011-12

On 13 March As the export price of Indian rice was more competitive than the Thai rice, India has displaced Thailand from the position of top exporter of rice during 2011-12, Minister of State Commerce and Industry was informed to Rajya Sabha.In 2010-11, the rice exports stood at 24.71 lakh tonnes from 21.56 lakh tonnes in the previous fiscal.Rice exports were at 74.67 lakh tonnes during April-December 2012 against 71.75 lakh tonnes in the full fiscal year of 2011-12.

India 5th in World Billionaire Rich List

According to the Knight Frank “Wealth Report 2013”, India stands 5th among the top 10 countries with the largest number of billionaires with 122 and the number is expected double by 2022.Mumbai has secured the 7th spot in the list of top global cities with a High Net Worth Individual HNWI population.Presently, the city has 2,105 HNWIs and is expected to touch 4,988 with a 137 per cent rise by 2022. Delhi is not too far behind Mumbai; it ranks 11th with a current HNWI population of 1,945 which is likely to grow by 120 per cent and reach 4,278 by 2022. In the cities that that matter to HNWI’s , New York and London are the first two places in the list.

India May Become 5th Largest Manufacturing Nation

According to the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) report titled ‘People productivity-Key to Indian manufacturing competitiveness’, India may become the 5th largest manufacturing nation from 9th position at present, if the country is able to increase the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25 per cent.The National Manufacturing Policy envisages that India’s manufacturing sector should increase its share of GDP from 15 percent at present to 25 percent by 2022, in line with global peers.It will help India become the fifth-largest manufacturing nation.

Hindujas are Britain’s Richest Asians

Leading NRI businessmen Srichand Hinduja and Gopi Hinduja, Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group, have emerged as the richest Asians in Britain in 2013.After playing second fiddle for years to steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, the Londonbased Hinduja brothers have come out top this year with net wealth assessed at 12.5 billion pounds – up 3 billion pounds on the 2012 figure.

Mumbai Falls to 66th Rank Among Leading Global Financial Hubs

According to the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), Mumbai which is India’s financial capital has slipped to 66th rank in the list of leading financial centres around the world, with New Delhi failing to even make a mark.GFCI offers profiles,ratings and rankings for 79 financial centres around the world positioned Mumbai at the 66th place, which is down three places from last year when it was ranked 63rd on the much coveted list.Mumbai is the only Indian city on the list. London topped the list, followed by New York ranking second in the list. Hong Kong and Singapore in the third and fourth place respectively.

RBI Cuts Repo Rate by 25 Base Points

On 19 March The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 per cent from 7.75 percent in its midquarter review of the monetary policy. Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.5 per cent from the earlier 6.75 per cent and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 8.5 per cent with immediate effect.The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) has been retained at 4 per cent.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Spinning Black Hole Observed for the First Time

The Spinning black holes are first identified by Paranal Observatory astronomers in Chile.The enormous black hole at the center of the spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is spinning about 84 percent as fast as Einstein’s general theory of relativity allows it to, researchers determined. NGC 1365, located about 56 million light-years from Earth.

Pinaka’ Rockets Successfully Test-Fired

On 1 March Indigenously developed ‘Pinaka’ rockets were successfully test-fired by Indian army from a multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL) by an armament establishment from a base at Chandipur-on-sea, about 15 km from Balasore.’’Pinaka’ is an area weapon system with a range of 40 km.’Pinaka’ system can fire a salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds ,adding that the battery of six launchers can neutralise at a time a target area of 3.9 sq km.

Large Meteorite Found in Antarctica

On 1 March the international group of researchers has discovered the18-kg meteorite in eastern Antarctica, the largest found in that area in 25 years.

Astronomer Measured Exact Distance to Our Closest Neighbouring Galaxy

On 7 March Astronomers have for the first time accurately measured the distance to one of the Milky Way’s neighbouring galaxy and it is just 163,000 light-years away.

Japan Pioneers Gas Extraction From Seafloor Methane Hydrate

On 12 March Japan has become the first country in the world to extract natural gas from frozen methane hydrate successfully off the central coast. According to the Japanese study, it was estimated that around 1.1tn cubic metres of methane hydrate existed in the offshore deposits. This is equal to the gas consumption of Japan in more than 10 years.

World’s Largest Telescope Inaugurated in Chile

On 13 March The world’s largest radio telescope has been inaugurated in Chile on a mountain high above the Atacama Desert, wielding unprecedented power to peer into the remotest regions of the  universe.The ceremony attended by President Sebastian Pinera and other dignitaries.The ALMA space observatory consists of 66 antennae creating a telescope array 16 kilometres in diameter.

UAE Inaugurated World’s Largest CSP Solar Power Plant

On 17 March United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan inaugurated the 100-megawatt solar plant “Shams 1 “ in the desert of Abu Dhabi,the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant in operation.Covering an area of 2.5 square km, the 600-million-U.S. dollars project incorporates the latest in parabolic trough technology and features more than 258,000 mirrors mounted on 768 tracking parabolic trough collectors, capable of delivering green electricity to 20,000 homes.

India Successfully Test Fired World’s First Underwater Supersonic Cruise Missile

On 20 March India has successfully test fired its submarine-launched version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile of the over 290 km-range in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of the southern port city of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).The launch of Missile is counted as the first test-firing of an underwater supersonic cruise missile anywhere in the world. The missile travelled its complete range of over 290 km.

Big Bang Radiation Map Unveiled

On 21 March The European Space Agency (ESA) has unveiled the most detailed map yet of relic radiation from the Big Bang,revealing new data it hopes will shed light on the creation and expansion of our Universe.The map results suggest the universe is expanding more slowly than scientists thought, and is 13.8 billion years old, 100 million years older than previous estimates.

India and US Agreed for Future Cooperation in Moon and Mars Missions

On 23 March India and the US agreed for cooperation on future missions to the Moon and Mars after successful collaboration in Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission. The highly successful Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission which was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in October 2008 led to strong evidence of the presence of lunar water.

Crew Reaches Space Station in Less than 6 Hours

On 29 March An astronaut from the U. S.with three Russian cosmonauts took a short cut to reach space station and saved around 45 hours of journey. The crew took only 5 hours and 45 minutes to reach the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.This is for the first time that any crew has used this express route to reach space station in the minimum possible time.Three members on this Russian Soyuz are Chris Cassidy from NASA, Alexander Misurkin and Pavel Vinogradov from Russia.

NTPC Commissioned New Solar Power Project in Andaman & Nicobar

On March 30,NTPC Ltd has commissioned a 5-MW solar photo-voltaic power project at Port Blair in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.It is the first grid-connected solar photo-voltaic project in these islands and also the first greenfield renewable solar PV project of NTPC.

New Indian Ship ‘ASWC Kiltan’ Launched in Kolkata

INS Kiltan is an anti-submarine warfare corvette of the Indian Navy built under Project-28. It is the third of four Kamorta class corvettes under various stages of induction with the Indian Navy. The ship was built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata and launched on 26 March.The ship takes its name from the Kiltan island, a coral island that is part of India’s archipelagic Union Territory of Lakshadweep.The Kiltan is to be armed with a range of indigenously developed cutting edge weapons and sensors including a medium range gun, torpedo tube launchers, rocket launchers and a close-in weapon system.


PERSONS IN NEWS

A) APPOINTMENTS

Nagaland , Tripura , Meghalaya new CM’s

On 5 March Neiphiu Rio of Naga People’s Front (NPF) party was sworn in as Chief Minister of Nagaland for the third straight term. – On 5 March Mukul Manda Sangma of Congress party was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya for the second term. – On 6 March ManikSarkar of CPM party was sworn in as chief minister of Tripura for the fourth consecutive time .

Panabaka Lakshmi Assumes Additional Charge of Textiles

On 5 March Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaka Lakshmi assumed additional charge as Union Minister of State for Textiles.Lakshmi was minister of state for textiles until she was shifted to petroleum and natural gas ministry in the same rank after the reshuffle in end October 2012.

IAEA Chief Amano Wins Second Term

The UN atomic agency’s board of governors on 06 March 2013 approved giving Japanese director general Yukiya Amano a new four-year term without even resorting to a vote.

Nicolas Maduro sworn in as Venezuela’s Interim President

On 8 March Venezuelan Vice- President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in as Venezuela’s acting president, despite the Opposition resistance as it is being considered to the violation of the country’s constitution.

New Governors For 5 States

On 9 March President Pranab Mukherjee appointed new Governors for 5 states – Former CBI Director, Ashwani Kumar appointed as Governor of Nagaland. – Congress veteran SC Jamir appointed as Governor of Odhisa . – Governor of Tripura DY Patil transferred to Bihar – Bihar Governor Devanand Konwar shifted to Tripura – Nikhil Kumar, who was serving as Governor of Nagaland, has been transferred and appointed as Governor of Kerala .

Aung Suu Kyi Re-elected As Opposition NLD Leader

On 10 March Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been re-elected head of the new executive board of the National League for Democracy at a landmark maiden party congress.

Jorge Bergoglio Elected As 266th Pope

On 13 March Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina is selected as the new leader for 120 crore Catholics across the world.George was the Buenos Aires Archbishop and he was chosen as the new Pope by 115 qcardinals.He changed his name as Francis- 1.He is the 266th Pope (head of the Roman Catholic Church).Francis-1 is the first Pope from the Jesuit community. He is also the first pope from Latin America. He is also the first pope to be selected from a non European country in the modern history.There are five Indian also among the cardinal electors.

Xi Jinping Took Over As China’s New President

On 14 March Xi was elected as President by 3000-strong National People’s Congress, which also endorsed his appointment as the Chairman of the Military Commission. China’s parliament formally elected Xi Jinping as president, four months after he took charge of the Communist Party.

Khil Raj Regmi Sworn as Nepal PM

On 14 March Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi was sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Nepal .Khil Raj Regmi will be the head of interim government which will have its elections by 21 June 2013. This is the first time in Nepalese political history that a sitting Chief Justice is being named as the Head of the Government.

Sundar Pichai To Take Over as Google’s Android Chief

Google on 13 March 2013 , announced that Andy Rubin, who was heading the company’s Android division, is stepping down. He will be replaced by SundarPichai, an IITian, who also heads Google’s Chrome division.

Li Keqiang Appointed as China’s new Prime Minister

On 14 March Li Keqiang was appointed prime minister at the annual session of China’s National People’s Congress.Mr. Li is the latest Communist Party leader. He succeeds Wen Jiabao in a position that entails steering the economy and government operations through the State Council, or cabinet.

Bobby Ghosh is Time International Editor

Eminent Indian journalist Bobby Ghosh had been named the new editor of Time International. Ghosh was appointed on 15 March 2013 as the first non-American world editor in TIME’s history.

Indian American Appointed Vice Chairman of Illinois Innovation Council

On 18 March Indian-American politician Raja Krishnamurthy has been appointed vice chair of the Illinois Innovation Council by the Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Krishnamurthyis currently the president of Sivanathan Laboratories.

Mir Hazar Khan Khoso Sworn in as aretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan

On 25 March Justice Retd. Mir Hazar Khan Khoso took oath as the sixth caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan on 25 March 2013 in Islamabad.

Renee Ramaswamy Nominated to the National Council of the Arts

On 22 March Renee Ramaswamy, founder of the Ragamala Music and Dance Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to the National Council of the Arts for a fiveyear term.

Obama Appoints First Woman Secret Service Director

On 26 March President Barack Obama chose veteran agent Julia Pierson as Secret Service director, the first woman to lead the male-dominated agency.

Ralph Waters new World Cup 2015 Chairman

Ralph Waters has been named new chairman of the local organizing committee for the 2015 World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Waters was previously the deputy chairman of the committee and succeeds James Strong, the previous chairman.

B)RESIGNS

UP minister Raja Bhaiya Resigned

UP’s food and civil supplies minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, who is an accused in the murder of a deputy superintendent of police, on 04 March 2013 met chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and tendered his resignation.

Odisha Law Minister Raghunath Mohanty Resigned

A senior Odisha minister, Raghunath Mohanty, resigned on 16 Marchi 2013, after his daughter-in-law accused him of torturing her for dowry.

Mukesh Ambani To Exit Board of Bank of America

Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani will step down as the board of director of Bank of America He has served on the Bank of America board since March 2011 and became a director prior to the establishment of the global advisory council.

Five Cabinet Ministers Resigned

On 20 March the 5 Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party Cabinet ministers resigned from the Union Council of Ministers, which were accepted by the Pranab Mukherjee President of India. Pranab Mukherjee, also allocated the charge of Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry to Srikant Jena who is Minister of State in the same ministry.The five cabinet ministers are :- (i) M K Alagiri ( Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers) (ii) S S Palanimanickam (Minister of State (Finance) ) (iii) S. Gandhiselvan (Minister of state for Health and Family Welfare) (iv) S. Jagathrakshakan (Minister of State for Commerce & Industry) (v) D. Napoleon (Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment).

Italy Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi Resigned

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi resigned on 26 March, over his government’s decision to return two marines to India to face trial for the murder of local fishermen while on anti-piracy duty.

C)DEATHS

Venezuelan President Chavez Died

On 5 March Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died at Caracas .Hugo Chavez was the President of Venezuela from 1999 till his death in 2013. He Served as the President of Venezuela for three times.A coup attempt was made in Venezuela in April 2002 to overthrow Hugo Chavez from his office.

Former West Bengal Governor Viren J Shah passed away in Jordan

On March 9th,the former West Bengal Governor and industrialist Viren J Shah died in Jordan. He was also member of the Rajya Sabha twice from 1975 to 1981 and from 1990 to 1996. He was the Governor of West Bengal from 1999 to 2004.

Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman Died

On 20 March Bangladesh President Mohammad Zillur Rahman, died at Singapore .Rahman, was made the ceremonial head of the state in 2009 after Awami League was elected in the landmark December, 2008, general elections.

Pietro Mennea, the Italian Athlete Died

Pietro Mennea, the Italian athletics died in Rome on 21 March 2013. Pietro Mennea was the gold medal winner in the 200m at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Nigerian Author Chinua Achebe Died

On 22 March Renowned Nigerian author Chinua Achebe has died at the age of 82 .One of Africa’s best known authors, his 1958 debut novel Things Fall Apart, which dealt with the impact of colonialism in Africa, has sold more than 10 million copies.

Two Time Pulitzer Winner Anthony Lewis Dies

On 25 March Anthony Lewis, who has died aged 85, was a New York Times columnist and author who twice won a Pulitzer Prize, the highest award in American journalism.Anthony Lewis was a prominent public intellectual, who wrote for The New York Times op-ed page and The New York Review of Books, among other publications.

Grammy Award Winning Producer and Engineer Phil Ramone Died

On 30 March Phil Ramone, the Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer who applied his platinum touch to recordings with Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon, has died at the age of 72.Ramone won 14 Grammy awards and worked with Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, Elton John and Tony Bennett.

D)VISITORS

President of India Visited Bangladesh

President of India, Pranab Mukherjee visited Bangladesh from 3 – 5 March .During the visit he met with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and discussed the Teesta and land border issues.

President Mukherjee Visited Mauritius

The President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, visited Mauritius from 11 to 13 March .During the visit he attended the Mauritius 45th Independence anniversary celebrations as a Chief Guest. He met the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Rajkeswur Purryag , Prime Minister, Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam and discussed the bilateral double taxation avoidance convention.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim Visited India

Jim Yong Kim the President of World Bank, visited India from 11th to 13th March.During the visit Jim Yong Kim met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P.Chidambaram and discussed India’s major initiatives aimed at fostering equitable growth. This is the Kim’s first visit to India after taking over as President of the World Bank Group 2012 July.

Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi Visited India

Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi visited India from 18 to 20 March .During the visit Morsi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in NewDelhi and discussed the forge closer cooperation in economic and other fields.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Visited South Africa

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited South Africa from 25 to 28 March.During the visit he attended the BRICS Summit and met Russian president Vladimir Putin and discussed about the substantive progress being made on the other remaining phases of the joint nuclear energy programme between India and Russia at Kudankulam. Manmohan Singh also met China new president Xi Jinping and discussed the issue of Beijing’s proposal to construct three dams across the Brahmaputra river on its side.

E)MISCELLANEOUS

Salman Rushdie Named in Al-Qaida’s ‘Most-Wanted List

Indian-origin British author Salman Rushdie had been named in the ‘most-wanted list of Islam critics to kill’ released by al-Qaida in the new issue of its English online magazine. A fatwa was issued against Rushdie by Iran’s late leader Ayotollah Khomeini in 1989 over passages in his book The Satanic Verses.

Maldives Ex-President Nasheed Arrested

On March 5,Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed had been arrested, to face charges of abuse of power during his tenure, after he failed to appear for a hearing and evaded two arrest warrants. He is charged with illegally ordering the arrest of a senior judge, a move that led to his fall from power in 2012.

Czech Senate Accuses President Vaclav Klaus of High Treason

On 5 March Czech President Vaclav Klaus dismissed a decision by lawmakers to press high treason charges against him as politically motivated.The Senate’s actions were prompted by an amnesty granted by President Klaus , which will free over 6,000 prison inmates and halt the prosecution of prominent business executives and officials charged with asset stripping, bribes and fraud.

12 Year Old Neha Ramu has IQ Higher than Albert Einstein

On 5 March Neha Ramu, 12-year-old Indianorigin girl in UK has stunned everyone after she scored an incredible 162 on her IQ test – even higher than Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.The score puts the tween in the top one per cent of brightest people in the UK and means she is more intelligent than physicist Hawking, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and scientist Albert Einstein, who are all thought to have an IQ of 160.

Navneet Kaur Dhillon Crowned Femina Miss India 2013

On 24 March Navneet Kaur Dhillon was crowned Femina Miss India 2013 in a star studded grand finale of the 50th edition of the beauty pageant.The first and second runners-up were Sobhita Dhulipala and Zoya Afroz respectively.


PLACES  IN  NEWS

Strong Earthquake in Taiwan

On 27 March a strong earthquake struck central Taiwan , killing at one person and injuring 19 as it damaged buildings on the quake-prone island.The Central Weather Bureau said the magnitude-6.1 earthquake was felt throughout the island.The U.S. Geological Survey placed the magnitude at 6.0.Nantou is a rural county about 250 kilometres south of Taipei.


ABBREVIATIONS

BRICS   - Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa

NABARD  - National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development

AWACS  - Airborne Warning And Control System

CMIE  - Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy

OECD  - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

AICTE  - All India Council for Technical Education

NDMA  - National Disaster Management Authority

DTC  - Direct Taxes Code

AAPSO  - Afro-Asian Peoples’Solidarity Organization

TIEA  - Tax Information and Exchange Agreement

DTAA  - Double taxation Avoidance Agreement

AFSPA  - Armed Forces Special Powers Act

NOIDA  - New Okhla Industrial Development Authority

IAAI  - International Airports Authority of India.

FBI  - Federal Bureau of Investigation


BOOKS IN NEWS

Vice President of India Released Walking With Lions: Tales from a Diplomatic Past

The Vice President of India, M. Hamid Ansari released a book titled Walking with Lions: Tales from a Diplomatic Past, written by K. Natwar Singh, the former Union Minister for External Affairs on 1 March 2013. This was Published by Harper Collins India.

Yuvraj Singh “The Test of My Life” Book Released

On 19 March Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh launched his new memories Auto biography book ‘The Test of My Life’. The Test of My Life is a book that talks about Yuvraj Singh’s battle with cancer and his love for cricket. The book was launched in Mumbai where all his fellow cricketers came to show their support.

Taliban Shooting Victim Is Publishing A Memoir : ‘I Am Malala’

Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl shot by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education, is to tell her life story in a book due out later this year.In a deal reportedly worth around $3 million. The book will be entitled “I Am Malala”.


COMMITTEES

Govt Appoints Mukul Mudgal Committee To Probe Wal-Mart Lobbying Activities

On 5 March The union government has appointed a one-man Inquiry Committee, headed by former Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court Justice Mukul Mudgal, to inquire into reports on the US lobbying activities of Wal-Mart for access to India market. The Committee has to submit its report within three months and it is being provided administrative and functional support by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in its probe.


IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES

May 1 – International Labour Day

May 3 – World Press Freedom Day

May 3 – International Energy Day

May 3 – World Asthma Day

May 4 – Anti – Tobacco Day

May 4 – World Athletics Day

May 8 – World Red Cross Day

May 11 – National Technology Day

May 13 – National Solidarity Day

May 17 – World Telecommunication Day

May 20 – World Metrology Day

May 21 – Anti – Terrorism Day

May 24 – Commonwealth Day

May 31 – World No Tobacco Day


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