Saturday, June 30, 2012

New Delhi to Host the Second Intergovernmental Committee Meeting for Nagoya Protocol

The Second Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ICNP-2) is being held in New Delhi from 2-6 July, 2012.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) is a new international treaty adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan on 29th October, 2010, after six years of intense negotiations.

The CBD, one of the two agreements adopted during the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, is the first comprehensive global agreement which addresses all aspects relating to biodiversity. The Convention, while reaffirming sovereign rights of nations over their biological resources, establishes three main goals: (i) conservation of biological diversity, (ii) sustainable use of its components and (iii) fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources. A framework for implementing the third objective of the CBD, which is generally known as access and benefit sharing (ABS) is provided for in the Convention.

All living organisms: plants, animals and microbes, carry genetic material that has potential uses for developing a wide range of products and services for human benefits, such as in development of medicines, drugs, cosmetics, enzymes, agricultural and horticultural products, environmental techniques etc.

ABS refers to the way in which genetic resources may be accessed, and the way in which benefits that result from their use are shared between the people or countries using the resources (users) and the people or countries that provide them (providers). Prior to the CBD, biological resources were considered as common heritage of mankind. The CBD, while reaffirming sovereign rights of States over their natural resources, stipulates that the authority to determine access to genetic resources rests with the national Governments and is subject to national legislation. Further, access where granted, has to be on mutually agreed terms (MAT) and subject to prior informed consent (PIC) of the Party providing such resources. Each Party is also required to take measures to ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits on MAT arising from the commercial and other utilisation of genetic resources with the Party providing such resources. The CBD also recognises the importance of traditional knowledge associated with biological diversity, and stipulates that Parties subject to their national legislation, respect, preserve and maintain this traditional knowledge, and promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of holders of their knowledge and encourage equitable sharing of benefit arising from use of such knowledge.

As a megadiverse country rich in biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge, and with a rapidly advancing biotechnology industry, India has contributed effectively in ABS negotiations.

The objective of the Nagoya Protocol, namely, the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, is also one of the three objectives of the CBD. The Nagoya Protocol on ABS establishes a clear framework on how researchers and companies can obtain access to genetic resources and to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, and how benefits arising from the use of such material or knowledge will be shared. The Protocol also sets out clear obligation for Parties to provide that users of genetic resources within their jurisdiction respect the domestic regulatory framework of Parties from where the resource has been accessed.

An Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP) has been established by Parties to the Convention as an interim governing body to undertake the preparations necessary for the first Meeting of the Parties, at which time it will cease to exist. The first meeting of ICNP was held in June, 2011, in which India has been elected as one of the two Bureau members to represent Asia Pacific region. This is helping India to steer the discussions under ICNP. The second meeting of ICNP is being hosted by India in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi from 2-6 July, 2012.

The Nagoya Protocol has been signed by 92 countries, and as on date ratified by five countries. India signed the Protocol on 11th May, 2011, and is in the process of completing interministerial consultations necessary for ratifying the Protocol. The Protocol will enter into force 90 days after its 50th ratification. The first meeting of the governing body of the Protocol (CoP-MoP) will be held concurrently with the next meeting of governing body of the CBD (CoP).

The ICNP-2 will discuss issues such as: capacity building of developing countries for implementation of the Protocol, awareness raising, modalities of ABS clearing house, procedures and mechanism to promote compliance with the Protocol, agenda for the first CoP-MoP, rules of procedure for CoP-MoP, and global multilateral benefit sharing mechanism.

The ICNP-2 meeting will be inaugurated by Ms. Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of Environment & Forests, on 2nd July, in Vigyan Bhawan. The meeting will be attended by nearly 600 delegates from all countries of the world representing Governments, academia, UN bodies, civil society organizations, and indigenous and local communities.

The recommendations of the ICNP meetings will be considered by the CoP-11 to the CBD being hosted by India in Hyderabad in October 2012.

First Skill Development Programme for SLPEs Held by DPE in Bhopal

The first Skill Development/Training programme conducted by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India for the Executives and the Employees of State Level Public Enterprises (SLPEs) was held in Bhopal on 28th June.

It will be recalled that the Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Shri Praful Patel had written to the Chief Ministers of all States in May 2012 on the issue of sharing of experiences of public sector enterprises of both the Center as well as the State. As a follow of, the Department of Public Enterprises have develop the skill development/training programme for the executives and employees of SLPEs to help in improving/upgrading the skills of managers/executives/employees of State Level Public Enterprises (SLPEs) and consequently enhancing the overall productivity of these enterprises.

The scheme is to be implemented during the 12th Five Year Plan starting with the Annual Plan 2012-13. Under the Scheme, the fund will be given as grant-in-aid to institutes/bodies/CPSEs who will be responsible for organizing the training programme. In general, allocation of funds will depend on request from States/UTs. It is a modest intervention to supplement the efforts of the States/UTs.

While the focus of the training will be on upgrading the skills of key personnel, it will also include institution building. In the latter category, issues such as, corporate governance, raising resources from capital market and pricing policies will be dealt with. The combination of the two will help achieve excellence in the overall performance of SLPEs.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Madhya Pradesh gets United Nations Public Service Award

Madhya Pradesh (MP) has been conferred upon prestigious United Nations Public Service Award at New York in United State of America (USA). MP minister of state for public services management Brijendra Pratap Singh and deputy secretary of his department Manohar Dube received the award at a grand function in US.

 A delegation from MP will also participate in inter-ministerial conference tomorrow. MP has bagged the award in second prize category for "Improving the delivery of public services", they added.

UN department of economic and social affairs received 471 entries from all over the world and MP clinched the prestigious award for outstanding implementation of public service delivery guarantee act, they said.

Objective of the award is to promote values and quality of public service at local, national and international levels. Through it, recognition and honour are also accorded as awards for international level innovations, officials said.

So far, about 1.25 crore applications had been received under Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act in MP. Under the Act, fine is recovered for failure in delivery of public services to citizens. Fine is imposed on the erring officials. In MP, 336 public service centres are being opened under Public Private Partnership (PPP) Mode to make the implementation of public service delivery guarantee act 2010 more effective.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Clean India Campaign Launched for 100 Monuments in Delhi

Under 12th five year plan of Indian Government  Clean India Campaign was launched on 19 June 2012 at Qutab Minar, Delhi by Tourism Ministery to improve Indian heritage and to attract more tourists. There were 100 heritages likely to be cover under the project of Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC). The project involves garbage clearance, drinking water facilities, maintenance of parking lots and toilets and proper signage at the heritage complex. It also includes tourist help desks and volunteers for good management among tourists. There were number of facilities available for physically challenged person.
Delhi Government also planned to advertise the campaign message on train tickets.Radio jingles and posters were also released.
The project was launched with the plan to attract 6 million more foreign tourists. Currently, foreign tourist rate is 5.7 million in a year.

Samaras sworn in Greek Prime Minister

Greek conservative party head Antonis Samaras was sworn in as Prime Minister on June 20 at the helm of a three-party coalition that will uphold the country’s international bailout commitments. The move ends a protracted political crisis that had cast grave doubt over the country’s future in Europe’s joint currency and threatened to plunge Europe deeper into a financial crisis with global repercussions.

World leaders weigh stimulus vs austerity at G-20

With major European economies on the brink of collapse, leaders concluding an annual Group of 20 meeting sought Tuesday to reassure the world that they would find a way to put out the debt-fueled economic wildfire that has threatened banks, wiped out jobs and toppled governments across the continent.
But the presidents and prime ministers gathered in this seaside resort seemed content to delay any major decisions for a while longer, releasing only a general statement that stopped short of committing any nations to greater spending unless conditions worsen and urging fiscal responsibility.
For months, governments and economists have weighed two different paths to ease the financial crisis- spending more to try to stimulate growth or slashing budgets. European leaders headed home without announcing any significant agreements, and they aimed to meet again later this month in Brussels, with a goal of adopting a more detailed plan.
Still, the battle lines in the stimulus-versus-austerity debate were clearly drawn among the 24 heads of state gathered in a heavily guarded convention hall lined by a moat. The conservative leaders of the United Kingdom, South Korea and Germany came out decisively for austerity, warning that budget cuts were crucial to restoring fiscal order and worldwide confidence.
“The countries in crisis will have to find measures that might be painful and politically unpopular in the short term, but nonetheless they must pursue this path,” South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said Monday.
On the other side were left-leaning governments such as those in Argentina, Brazil and France that have denounced the German-imposed austerity plan for struggling countries such as Spain and Greece and pushed for more stimulus spending.
President Barack Obama said European leaders “grasp the seriousness” of their debt crisis and are moving with a “heightened sense of urgency” to find a solution.
After the summit, Obama said the economic problems in Europe won’t be solved by the G-20 or the United States, but by European nations. He said he was confident they could do that, but acknowledged the difficulty of getting all the separate legislatures to agree.
That the leaders adopted only some general policies is typical of G-20 declarations, said Jacob Kirkegaard, a research fellow at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics.
“On the big issue of the hour, of weeks and months, the G-20 communique is not going to make a big difference,” Kirkegaard said. “The communique will repeat the mantra about strong, balanced, global growth. With each member state free to do whatever they want, that’s the way to paper over those differences.”
Indeed, the statement’s reassuring words failed to sooth troubled world stock markets, which remained mixed and nervous Tuesday.
Germany must shoulder a large share of the contributions to bail out economically weaker European countries that overspent for years. In exchange, Germany has been insisting on steep cutbacks from aid recipients such as Greece.
Those cutbacks have led to dramatic economic hardship for voters in Greece and other countries. A growing number of European countries have been advocating spending and growth, not austerity, and the G-20 statement made limited mention of such a possibility.
“We are united in our resolve to promote growth and jobs,” the document said. “Strong sustainable and balanced growth remains the top priority of the G20, as it leads to higher job creation and increases the welfare of people across the world.”
The statement threw support specifically behind greater government spending in countries that can afford it, if conditions get significantly worse. Countries with “sufficient fiscal space stand ready to coordinate and implement discretionary fiscal actions to support domestic demand.”
The plan also hinted at flexibility by asking that governments “take into account evolving economic conditions,” which could open the way for more latitude in troubled countries such as Greece.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande noted that the summit’s final declaration also pledges to avoid new protectionist measures until the end of 2014 and that China has agreed to let currency fluctuate more freely, according to market forces.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel repeated Tuesday that Greece has to uphold its side of the bargain.
“It’s obvious that the reforms that were agreed in the past are the right steps and that they therefore must be implemented,” she said, though she avoided directly answering the issue of giving Greece more time.
Merkel said the G-20 leaders had a “very balanced” discussion on growth, though she stressed once again that growth “is not just about money.”
“We need the right mix of budget consolidation ... and at the same time efforts for growth,” she said.
The statement said the Obama administration pledged to prevent sharp tax increases and government spending cuts from kicking in at the end of the year, as scheduled under current law, to avoid sending the U.S. into another recession.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the U.S. was “encouraged” by European leaders’ plans to confront the continent’s economic crisis.
Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Geither said Europe will now focus on helping Greece stay afloat, designing a more integrated financial system and improving economic growth.
“And all of us, of course, have a huge interest, a huge stake in the success of their efforts,” he said.
Repeatedly, the G-20 plan stresses shoring up banking systems. It calls for a “more integrated financial architecture, encompassing banking supervision, resolution and recapitalization, and deposit insurance.”
The cost of bailing out Spain’s 1.1 trillion ($1.39 trillion) economy would likely outstrip current global ability, even after the International Monetary Fund announced late Monday that a round of contributions had increased its lending capacity to $456 billion. The countries making the biggest IMF contributions will be Japan, at $60 billion; Germany, at $54.7 billion; and China, at $43 billion. The United States is notably not contributing in the latest round.
Associated Press writers Michael Weissenstein in Los Cabos, Mexico; Christopher S. Rugaber and Jim Kuhnhenn in Washington; Geir Moulson in Berlin; and Sarah DiLorenzo in Brussels contributed to this report.

Red list has 132 species of plants, animals from India

The Red list of threatened species, prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has listed 132 species of plants and animals as Critically Endangered, the most threatened category, from India.
Plants seemed to be the most threatened life form with 60 species being listed as Critically Endangered and 141 as Endangered.
The Critically Endangered list included 18 species of amphibians, 14 fishes and 10 mammals. There are also 15 bird species in the category. The agency listed 310 species as Endangered ones, including 69 fishes, 38 mammals and 32 amphibians. Two plant species were reported to be extinct in the wild, including the Euphorbia mayuranthanii of Kerala. A leaf frog species and six plants were recorded as extinct, according to the latest assessment.
Of the total 63,837 species globally assessed, the IUCN classified 3,947 as Critically Endangered, 81 as Extinct, 63 as Extinct in the Wild. In the lower risk categories, there were 5766 species in Endangered, 10,104 in Vulnerable and 4,467 in Near Threatened categories. Scientific data regarding 10,497 species was not available and hence classified as Data Deficient, the report said.
The threat level of as many as seven Indian bird species had increased in the last one year, say experts.
According to the latest figures, 15 species of Indian birds, including the great Indian bustard, Siberian crane and sociable lapwing are there in the list of Critically Endangered birds. In the lower risk categories, the agency included 14 bird species as Endangered and 51 as vulnerable ones.
Compared to the previous year, the conservation status of Baer's Pochard had been uplisted to the Critically Endangered from the Endangered and the Long-tailed Duck to Vulnerable from the Least Concerned, said P.O. Nameer, South Asian coordinator, in situ, Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Species Survival Commission of the IUCN.
This year, Saker Falcon has been listed as Endangered against the previous year's rating of Vulnerable. The threat perspective faced by the River Lapwing resulted in its classification as the Near-Threatened from the earlier Least Concerned. River Tern, a wetland-dependent species found in Kerala among other places has been moved to the Near-Threatened category from the Least concern and Black-bellied Tern to the Endangered from the Near-threatened in the latest list, Dr. Nameer said.
Sinhoe's Storm-petrel, which was first sighted in India in Chavakad last year, has also been classified as the Near-Threatened. Last year, the species was classified as the Least concerned, he said. 

Fishes of Kerala
Four fish species from Kerala, including the Pookode Lake Barb and Nilgiri Mystus, are included in the Critically Endangered fishes of India. The agency listed 39 species from Kerala as endangered, including the Periyar Latia, Nilgiri Danio, Cardamom Garra, Periyar Garra and Anamalai Sucker Catfish.
The Imperial White Collared Yellow Catfish, Santhampara Loach, Nilgiri Barb, Hump Backed Mahseer, Periyar Barb and Peninsular Hill Trout are among the endangered fish species of Kerala, according to C.P. Shaji, Principal Scientific Officer of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board.
The number of Critically Endangered species from Kerala has dropped to four from seven of last year whereas the endangered list had gone up to 39 from the 37 of the previous assessment

Five Northeastern States and Himachal Pradesh appraised as Most Environmentally Sustainable States

The Environmental Sustainable Index (ESI) 2011 released on 14 June 2012, appraised five northeastern states (Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Mijoram, Arunachal Pradesh) and Himachal Pradesh as the most environmentally sustainable states in the country. The index was released by Centre for Development Finance (CDF), affiliated to Institute for Financial Management and Research.

Among larger states, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal performed poorly on maximum of environmental indicators while Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka received high ratings. States with rich natural resources like Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar were rated moderate in the chart.
To gauge the environmental quality of the various states, ESI had referred to 41 key environmental indicators which were classified into nine thematic sub indices with respect to policy formulation. The sub indices included air quality and pollution, water quality and availability, land use and agriculture, forests and biodiversity, waste management, energy management, health impact, population pressure and environmental budget.

Supreme Court of Pakistan debarred Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raja Gilani from Office

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on 19 June 2012, debarred Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raja Gilani from his office. The court's ruling also disqualified Gilani as the member of the National Assembly, the lower house of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament). Gilani was convicted for violating the article 63(1) (g) (contempt of court) of the constitution of Pakistan on 26 April 2012 by the Supreme Court. The court’s verdict came following Gilani’s refusal to probe cases of corruption against Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.
The three-judge Bench of the apex Pakistani court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry held Gilani, Pakistan's longest serving Prime Minister, ineligible for the post since 26 April 2012 when the court awarded him a symbolic 30-second sentence for the contempt of court. The court also instructed the President to take necessary measures under the Constitution to ensure continuation of the democratic process through the parliamentary system of government.

Earlier the Speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly, Fehmida Mirza had ruled that Gilani can't be disqualified as the PM of the country as the conviction for the contempt of court awarded to him does not merit Disqualification.
Born on 9 June 1952, Yusuf Raja Gilani, had been the member of Pakistan's National Assembly from Multan-IV constituency since 1988. In 2008 general elections he led Pakistan People Party (PPP) to a victory, to took over as the 16th Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

What was the case?
The Supreme Court of Pakistan had instructed the Prime Minster Yusuf Raja Gilani to ask Swiss authorities to reopen cases of multi-million dollar graft cases against the President Asif Ali Zardari, which the Prime Minister refused to follow, citing constitutional immunity enjoyed by the president as the reason.
Asif Ali Zardari was accused of laundering an estimated 12 million dollar, received as the kickback by the companies looking for customs inspection contracts, to his Swiss Bank account, when his wife Benazir Ali Bhutto was the Prime Minister of the country during 1990s.

Credit Rating Agency Fitch downgraded India’s Credit Outlook Rating

International credit rating agency Fitch revised the credit outlook of India to negative on 18 June 2012. The agency cited rampant corruption and stalled reform existing in the country as the reason behind the move to downgrade the country's credit rating. The rating agency, however, maintained the India's sovereign rating at 'BBB-'.
Fitch also downgraded the credit outlook of seven PSUs namely NTPC, SAIL, IOC, PFC, GAIL, REC and NHPC. The agency downgraded the credit outlook after considering a broad range of factors, such as, macro economic policy, economy, public finances. Negative credit rating means that over the next 12-24 months there is a possibility that India's rating could be downgraded.
The agency in its report opined that with the fragile state of economy and a large subsidy bill India is likely to miss its fiscal deficit target of 5.1 percent for 2012-13. It predicted India’s fiscal deficit to be 5.6-5.9 percent of GDP. The agency also lowered the GDP growth projection of India for fiscal year 2012-13 from 7.5 percent to 6.5 per cent.
The Union Finance Ministry, however, rejected the agency’s rating and pointed out that foreign institutional investors (FII) have reposed their faith in the Indian economy and have already invested a net 12.3 billion dollar in the first five months of the calendar year 2012 compared to 8.3 billion dollar in the full calendar year of 2011.
Another credit rating agency Standard & Poor's had also revised the India’s credit outlook to negative in April 2012. S&P’s in its most recent report on India’s credit outlook released on 12 June 2012 had warned that given its sluggish growth rate and stalled economic policy reforms,  India could be the first among the BRIC grouping nations to lose investment-grade rating.

What the sovereign rating 'BBB-' means:
BBB- is the last rating in the ratings which falls under investment grade. If India gets its credit outlook downgraded further, then it will be rated at BB+. The BB+ rating considered highest speculative grade by market participants. It is also the first rating at the junk level.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni Appointed as a Brand Ambassador of Nepal Cricket Association

Indian Criket Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was appointed as a brand ambassador of Nepal Cricket Association, Nepal on 17 June 2012.The announcement was made by Posta Bahadur Bogati, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal.
Dhoni will promote and develop cricket in Nepal.  Dhoni also advised Nepal cricket officials to get permission from International Cricket Council to construct a stadium. The stadium would likely to promote cricket in the country.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was born on 7 July 1981 in Ranchi, Bihar. At present, he is the captain of the Indian ODI, Twenty20 team and Indian Test team. India won the 2011 Cricket World Cup under his captaincy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Indian American Professor Anjani Jain appointed Associate Dean at Yale School of Management

The Yale School of Management on 18 June 2012announced the appointment of Indian American professor Anjani Jain as senior associate dean for the full-time MBA programme as part of the school's expansion programme. He will contribute to the Yale SOM curriculum as a senior lecturer.
Anjani Jain a graduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad will join Yale on 1 July 2012. He holds a PhD. from the University of California, Los Angeles, Graduate School of Management. Jain spent the last 26 years at Wharton and served as as vice dean of its full-time MBA programme for ten years. He also worked in the capacity of the vice dean of the MBA programme for executives. He in the past served in multiple leadership roles at the Wharton School of the, University of Pennsylvania.
He taught a range of courses and conducted important research in production and operations management.  Jain was recognized for his contributions to African-American students with the Howard E. Mitchell Award.
Within the scope of a senior associate dean for the full-time MBA programme, Jain will focus on Yale's flagship full-time MBA programme. He will be expected to assume lead responsibility for admissions, career development, and student and academic services.
The Yale School of Management introduced a Master of Advanced Management programme and participated in the launch of the Global Network for Advanced Management, a collective effort by 21 international business schools to understand the challenges posed by complex global markets.

Nik Wallenda Successfully crossed Niagara Falls on a Tightrope

American Stuntman Nik Wallenda became the first person to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope on 15 June 2012. Wallenda took more than 25 minutes to complete his 1800-feet long precarious journey. No person in the past 100 years has accomplished this daredevilry act. Wallenda started the walk from the U.S. side of the falls and finished it to the Canadian side.
Born at Florida in US on 24 January 1979 Wallenda describes himself as an aerialist, high wire artist, acrobat and daredevil. The six-time Guinness World Record holder Wallenda has to his credit the world record for the longest distance and greatest height ever travelled by bicycle on a high wire, the record which he created during a stunt in New Jersey in year 2008.
Stunts of any sort were legally prohibited on Niagara Falls for more than 100 years. Nik Wallenda had to wrangled with the US and Canadian authorities for two years to get the permission to perform the daredevil task.  On 23 September 2011, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill giving Nik Wallenda final permission to cross Niagra Falls on a tightrope.

Beatles Classic- 1968 Animated Film Yellow Submarine re-launched on Blu-ray and iTunes

The Beatles classic- 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine was re-launched on Blu-ray and iTunes for the first time in June 2012. The Yellow Submarines feature cartoons of The Fab Four (Beatles) battling the evil Blue Meanies and their army of odd monsters in the mythical, peaceful world of Pepperland. The DVD of Yellow Submarine was released in 1999 but went out of circulation.
The re-launched version of the Yellow Submarine includes 15 of the Beatles' most popular songs. Due to the delicate nature of the hand-drawn original artwork, all of the digital clean-up of the film's restored photochemical elements were done by hand, frame by frame.
As per the story, an evil-The Blue Meanie reared its ugly head in an imaginary world called Pepperland located 80,000 leagues beneath the sea. The Blue Meanie and his consort of cohorts: The Butterfly Stomper, the Apple Bonkers, the Snapping Tummy Turks and the Terrible Flying Glove were stripping Pepperland of its color and vibrancy, and filling it with bluedom.
To drive Blue Meanie away, Fred is given command of the Yellow Submarine to go in search of someone who can defeat the Blue Meanie. During his quest, Fred chances upon Ringo, and eventually Paul, John and George, and together they set out on a trippy, time-traveling, phantasmagorical adventure, encountering many strange creatures while trying to find their way back to Pepperland.
The Beatles group had a three-picture deal with United Artists and the first two- A Hard Days Night (1964) and Help! (1965), were worldwide hits.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


1. Which of the following bodies finalizes the Five Year Plan proposals?
(a) Planning Commission
(b) Union Cabinet
(c) National Development Council
(d) Ministry of Planning
2. Who among the following is the Chairman of the Planning Commission?
(a) President (b) Speaker of Lok Sabha
(c) Prime Minister (d) Union Minister of Planning
3. The Planning Commission in India was set up in (Stenographer's Exam, 1992)
(a) 1947 (b) 1950
(c) 1951 (d) 1952
4. Planning in India derives its objectives from
(a) Fundamental Rights
(b) Directive Principles of State policy
(c) Fundamental Duties
(d) Preamble
5. The concept of Five Year Plans in India was introduced by
(a) Lord Mountbatten (b) Jawaharlal Nehru
(c) Indira Gandhi (d) Lal Bahadur Shastri
6. National Development Council was set up in
(a) 1948 (b) 1950
(c) 1951 (d) 1952
7. The first attempt to initiate economic planning in India was made by
(a) Balwantrai Mehta (b) Vallabhbhai Patel
(c) M. Visvesvaraya (d) Jawaharlal Nehru
8. The period of the First Five Year plan was from
(a) 1950-51 to 1954-55 (b) 1951-52 to 1955-56 (c) 1952-53 to 1956-57 (d) None of these
9. The mian objective of First Five Year Plan was
(a) Industrial growth
(b) Economic growth
(c) Development of agriculture including irrigation and power projects
(d) Self reliance
10. Which one of the following is the task of the Planning Commission? (NJ0.A. 1991)
(a) Preparation of the plan (b) Implementation of the plan (c) Financing of the plan (d) Both (a) & (b)
11. Which of the following Five Year Plans was terminated one year before its completion?
(a) Second (b) Third
(c) Fourth (d) Fifth
12. Economic Planning is a subject (Assistant Grade, 1991)
(a) In the Union List (b) In the State List
(c) In the Concurrent List (d) Unspecified in any special list
13. Which of the following are not members of the National Development Council?
(a) The Prime Minister (b) the President
(c) Chief Ministers of states (d) Members of the Planning Commission
14. The Second Five Year Plan laid more stress upon
(a) Agriculture ' (b) Industrialization (c) Removing poverty (d) Self reliance
15. Attainment of economic self reliance and removal of poverty were the main objectives of
(a) First Five Year Plan (b) Fourth Five Year Plan (c) Fifth Five Year Plan (d) Sixth Five Year Plan
16. For internal financing of Five Year Plans, the government depends on (NJ)A. 1991)
(a) Taxation only
(b) Taxation and public borrowing
(c) Public borrowing and deficit financing
(d) Taxation, public borrowing & deficit financing
17. In which of the Five Year Plans, preference was given to the weaker sections of the society?
(a) Second (b) Third
(c) Fourth (d) Fifth
18. The Eighth Five Year Plan gave priority to (P.C.S. 1994)
(a) Industrial growth
(b) Promotion of exports
(c) Increasing agricultural productivity
(d) Employment generation
19. Which of the following is not true regarding the trends during and after the Seventh Five Year Plan process in India?
(a) During this period, Gross Domestic Product (GNP) grew at an average rate of 5.6% per year.
(b) Food grain production grew by 3.23%.
(c) To reduce unemployment and consequently the Jawahar Rojgar Yojana were initiated.
(d) Major objectives of the plan were to achieve self-reliance and adopt measures for raising consumption standard of people living below the poverty line.
20. The period of which of the following plans recorded the lowest annual growth rate of national income?
(a) Second (b) Third
(c) Fifth (d) Sixth
21. The National Development Council gets its administrative support from
(a) Planning Commission
(b) Finance Commission
(c) Administrative Reforms Commission
(d) Sarkaria Commission
22. The Five Year Plans of India intend to develop the country industrially through (N.D.A.1991)
(a) The public sector
(b) The private sector
(c) The public, private, joint and Cooperative sectors
(d) Increasing collaboration with non resident Indians
23. The Planning Commission is (P.C.S. 1994)
(a) A Ministry (b) A Government department
(c) An Advisory body (d) An Autonomous Corporation
24. During the Eighth Five Year Plan, India registered the highest annual growth rate of
(a) 7.2% (b) 6.8%
(c) 5.6% (d) 4.5%
25. The strategy of rolling plan was adopted during the Prime Ministership of (Railways, 1994)
(a) Lal Bahadur Shastri (b) Indira Gandhi
(c) Morarji Desai (d) Rajiv Gandhi
26. What was the proposed total Public Sector outlay of the Ninth Plan (in crores of rupees)?
(a) 5,80,000 (b) 7,89,000
(c) 8,59,000 (d) 9,98,000
27. Which of the following is not a target of the Tenth Five Year Plan?
(a) Reduction of Poverty ratio by 5% by 2007.
(b) Increase the working efficiency of those public sector enterprises which have been working below capacity since long
(c) Cleaning of all major polluted rivers by 2007
(d) Reduction in the decadal rate of population growth between 2001 and 2011
(e) Increase in literacy to 75% by 2007
28. According to the Tenth Plan targets, the infant mortality rate. (IMR) is to be reduced (by 2007) to (number per 1000 live births)
(a) 65 (b) 55
(c) 45 (d) 35
29. Who among the following authored the book 'Planned Economy for India' in 1934?
(a) D.R. Gadgil (b) M.N. Roy
(c) M. Viswesvaraya (d) V.K.R.V Roy
30. The Planning Commission implemented three Annual Plans instead of Five Year Plans between.
(a) The Third and Fourth Plan
(b) The Fifth and Sixth Plan
(c) The Sixth and Seventh plan
(d) The Seventh and Eighth Plan
31. What is the correct sequence of the following strategies used for Five Year Plans in India?
1. Balanced growth
2. Rehabilitation of the economy
3. Industrial development
(a) 1,3,2 (b) 2,1,3
(c) 2,3,1 (d) 3,2,1
32. The steel plants at Durgapur, Bhilai and Rourkela were established during the period of (N.D.A.1990)
(a) First Five Year Plan (b) Second Five Year Plan
(c) Third Five Year Plan (d) Fourth Five Year Plan
33. Which of the following gives an accurate measurement of economic development through Five Year Plans?
(a) Development of education and health services.
(b) Development of railways and roadways.
(c) Rise in national income and per capita income.
(d) Development of industrial towns and industrial estates.
34. In which year was the Rolling Plan introduced?
(a) 1951-52 (b) 1976-77
(c) 1978-79 (d) 1984-85
35. Eighth Five Year Plan covered the period (Bank P.O.1994)
(a) 1990-95 (b) 1989-94
(c) 1991-96 (d) 1992-97
36. Planning in India as it is at present can be termed as
(a) State Planning (b) Centralized Planning (c) Decentralized Planning (d) Indicative Planning
37. During the Seventh Five Year Plan, which of the following heads of development accounted for the largest outlay of funds?
(a) Energy
(b) Transport
(c) Rural Development and Agriculture
(d) Education, Health and Family Planning
38. out of the following, during which Five Year Plan, was the total expenditure on agriculture the highest?
(a) First Five Year Plan (b) Second Five Year Plan (c) Third Five Year Plan (d) Fourth Five Year Plan
39. A special feature of the Sixth Plan was
(a) Decentralization (b) Area Planning
(c) Bottom to top planning (d) Top to bottom planning
40. The term 'Hindu rate of growth' refers to the 3.70% per annum growth rate achieved by the Indian economy over the first six Five Year Plans'. The term was coined by (I. Tax & Central Excise, 1991)
(a) J.N. Bhagwati (b) K.N. Raj
(c) Raj Krishna (d) Sukhamoy Chakravarty
41. A re-assessment of the resources of the Centre, States and the Union Territories, has reduced the total Public Sector outlay for the Tenth Five Year Plan from Rs. 15,92,300
(a) Rs 14,57,000 crore (b) Rs 14,86,200 crores (c) Rs 15,25,600 crore (d) Rs 15,77,100 crores
42. The Eighth Plan had proposed to create how many million additional employment opportunities annually? (Bank, P.O. 1992)
(a) 3 to 4 (b) 6 to 7
(c) 8 to 9 (d) 10 to 12
43. Which of the following statements is correct? (G.I.C.A.A.O.1993)
(a) Planning Commission is a constitutional body
(b) The Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Planning Commission.
(c) The Minister of Planning is always necessarily the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission
(d) The draft plan is prepared by the National Development Council
44. The Gandhian economy was based on the principle of (S.S.C. 2001)
(a) State Control (b) Competition
(c) Trusteeship (d) rural cooperation
45. Economic planning is an essential feature of (C.B.I.1994)
(a) Dual economy (b) Mixed economy
(c) Capitalist economy (d) Socialist economy
46. Which of the following is true? (U.D.C.1995)
(a) Financial planning is more important than physical planning
(b) Physical planning is more important than financial planning
(c) Physical and financial planning are equally important
(d) Physical and financial planning are complementary
47. The main model that formed the basis of the strategy of the Second Five Year Plan was formulated by
(a) V.K. R.V. Rao (b) PC. Mahalonobis
(c) Dr.Gadgil (d) P.R.Brahamandas
48. Which of the following Five Year Plans registered the maximum growth rate? (Railways, 1992)
(a) First Five - Year Plan (b) Second Five - Year Plan
(c) Fourth Five - Year Plan (d) Seventh Five - Year Plan
49. A major shift in the Eighth Five Year Plan from it preceding ones was (Railway, 1995)
(a) The concentration of investment in infrastructural sector
(b) Major investment in agriculture with a view to promoting exports
(c) Major investment in sectors where industrial sickness has been a chronic problem
(d) The significant reduction in public sector outlays
50. The Tenth Five Year Plan has a high target of achieving a GDP growth rat« of (by 2007)
(a) 7 percent (b) 8 percent
(c) 9 percent (d) 9.3 percent

2. (c)
3. (b)
4. (b)
5 (b)
6. (d)
10. (a)
12. (a)
15 (c)
16. (d)
22. (c)
23. (c)
24. (b)
25 (c)
27. (b)
28. (c)
29. (c)
30. (a)
32. (b)
33. (c)
34. (c)
37. (a)
38. (d)
39. (b)
40. (c)
45. (d)
46. (d)


1. Microfinance institutions (MFI) were classified as a new category of non-banking financial company (NBFC) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in November 2011. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
I. The margin cap for NBFC-MFIs is fixed at 12 per cent.
II. Interest on individual loans must not exceed 24 per cent per annum
III. Loan processing charges should not exceed one per cent
a) I only
b) I and II only c) II and III only
d) III and I only*
e) I, II and III

2. Only two supercomputers from India have made it to the TOP500 List of the world’s most powerful supercomputers unveiled in November 2011. They are based at which of the following locations?
I. Tata Computational Research LaboratoriesII. Centre for Development of Advanced Computing
III. Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology
IV. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
a) I and II
b) I and III*
c) II and III
d) II and IV
e) III and IV

3. Which of the following statements about opening bank accounts for beneficiaries of MGNREGS and other social security schemes is/are correct?
I. RBI has asked banks to ensure opening of Aadhaar-enabled banks accounts
II. Aadhaar identity cards are accepted as valid documents under the Know Your Customer norms for opening bank accounts
III. RBI has said accounts based on the Aadhaar unique national identification number should also be opened for residents of villages with population of less than 2,000 for promoting financial inclusion
a) I only
b) I and II only
c) II and III only
d) III and I only
e) I, II and III*

4. Which of the following has affirmed its ‘BBB- with stable outlook’ credit rating for leading banks such as State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Bank of India in December 2011?
a) Standard & Poor’s*
b) Moody’s
c) Deloitte
e) Fitch

5. Insurance companies have to complete a minimum of how many years of functioning for becoming eligible to list on stock markets according to guidelines issued by IRDA in December 2011?
a) 2 years
b) 3 years
c) 5 years
d) 7 years
e) 10 years*

6. The revised Companies Bill, 2011 was cleared by the Union Cabinet on December 1, 2011. Which of the following statements about its features on the status of independent directors (IDs) on company boards is/are correct?
I. IDs will not be liable for legal action in case of malpractices by the companies
II. At least 50 per cent of a company’s board should consist of IDs if the company has executive chairman
III. A person would not be able to hold the directorship in more than 20 companies
a) I only
b) I and II only*
c) II and III only
d) III and I only
e) I, II and III

7. India Telecom 2011 was organised in New Delhi in December 2011. Which of the following statements about targets set by the National Telecom Policy (NTP) is/are correct?
I. Broadband connections available on demand by the year 2015
II. Broadband access to all village Panchayats through optical fibre by the year 2014
III. 100 per cent rural teledensity by 2020
a) I only
b) I and II only
c) II and III only
d) III and I only
e) I, II and III*

8. India was elected Chairman of International ____ Council in December 2011.
a) Tea
b) Sugar*
c) Coffee
d) Spices
e) Rubber

9. Which of the following will be set up by the government to enhance the research and innovation capabilities of the Indian biotech industry?
a) Biotechnology Industry Innovation Forum
b) Biotechnology Industry Regulatory Authority
c) Biotechnology Industry Entrepreneurship Initiative
d) Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council*
e) Biotechnology Industry Research & Development Fund

10. Which private sector company is a member of the Afghan Iron and Steel Consortium that has won mining rights for iron ore in Bamiyan province of Afghanistan?
a) JSW Steel
b) Jindal Steel and Power Ltd
c) Monnet Ispat
d) All the above*
e) None of the above

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ghazal king Mehdi Hassan passes away

India-born Ghazal legend Mehdi Hassan, the melodious voice behind evergreen hits like 'Patta patta, boota boota' and 'Kab ke Bichhare', died on June 13  following multiple organ failure at the age of 84.

Hassan, who had millions of fans in India and Pakistan, had been admitted to the Agha Khan Hospital in the southern port city of Karachi some days ago.

Hassan was born into a family of traditional musicians at Luna village in India's Rajasthan state in 1927. His family migrated to Pakistan at the time of Partition in 1947. Hassan cut back on his performances in the late 1980s due to illness.

Hassan, who last performed in India in 2000, wanted to visit the country again, a dream which remained unfulfilled.

Arif had even received the visa in April for Hassan's treatment in an Indian hospital but they could not travel as singer's condition deteriorated.

Considered one of the most successful ghazal singers of Pakistan, Hassan was trained in classical music by his father Ustad Azeem Khan and his uncle Ustad Ismail Khan who were both well respected classical musicians.

He started to perform at a young age and his first concert was on Dhrupad and Kheyal with his elder brother.

Hassan was bestowed with the title of Shahenshah-e-Ghazal (The King of Ghazal singing) by his fans for infusing a new breath of life in the art form.

Major Incentives in Scholarship Schemes for Minorities

The Prime Minister’s New 15-Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities is an initiative of the Government to bring the people of minority classes in the mainstream of development.
 This Programme for the Welfare of Minorities was announced in June, 2006 under the Ministry of Minority Affairs to ensure a more focused approach towards issues relating to the minorities. The purpose was to facilitate the formulation of overall policy and planning, coordination, evaluation and review of the regulatory framework and development programmes for the benefit of the minority communities.
An important aim of the new programme is to ensure that the benefits of various government schemes for the underprivileged reach the disadvantaged sections of the minority communities. In order to ensure that the benefits of these schemes flow equitably to the minorities, the new programme envisages location of a certain proportion of development projects in minority concentration areas. It also provides that, wherever possible, 15 percent of targets and outlays under various schemes should be earmarked for the minorities.
The objectives of the programme are: Enhancing opportunities for education; Ensuring an equitable share for minorities in economic activities and employment, through existing and new schemes; enhanced credit support for self-employment and recruitment to State and Central Government jobs; Improving the living conditions of minorities by ensuring an appropriate share for them in infrastructure development schemes; and Prevention and control of communal disharmony and violence.
Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) have been notified as minority communities under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
Scholarship Schemes for Students of Minority Communities
Three scholarship schemes for minority communities namely, pre-matric scholarship from class-I to X, post-matric scholarship from class XI to PhD and merit-cum-means scholarship for technical and professional courses at under-graduate and post-graduate levels have been launched. It is felt that the scholarship will encourage parents from minority communities for educating their children. The scheme will form the foundation for their educational attainment and provide a level playing field in the competitive employment arena. Empowerment through education, which is one of the objectives of this scheme, has the potential to lead to upliftment of the socio economic conditions of the minority communities.
Scholarships are awarded to the students who have secured not less than 50 percent marks in the previous final examination and annual income of their parents/guardian from all sources does not exceed Rs 1 lakh and 2 lakh for school and higher education respectively. 30 percent of scholarships are earmarked for girl students. In case sufficient number of eligible girl students is not available, then the balance earmarked scholarships may be awarded to eligible boy students. As the number of scholarships for minorities available in a year is fixed and limited it is necessary to lay down preference for selection giving weightage to poverty rather than marks.
Another scheme of merit-cum-means based scholarship to students belonging to minority communities is to enable them to pursue professional and technical courses. Every year 20000 scholarships are distributed among the students of minority communities throughout the country.
Online Scholarship Management System (OSMS)
An Online Scholarship Management System (OSMS) for merit-cum-means based
scholarship scheme has been introduced as a pilot project from the current financial year i.e. 2011-12 through the website of the Ministry of Minority Affairs Students may apply online. For this they should visit the website through URL The OSMS has proved to be useful, both from the user and the stakeholder point of view. This is the first time that in a Government Scholarship Scheme such a system has been introduced.
Significant Achievements in Minority Affairs
In pursuance with the recommendations of the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM), the Government have carved out a sub-quota of 4.5 percent effective from 1st January, 2012 for backward classes of minorities from out of 27 percent quota of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). This reservation is available to those minority communities who are included in the Central list of OBC published by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment from time to time. The reservation will be for the Central Government jobs and services and also admissions to Central Government educational institutions.
For educationally empowering minority communities, the Ministry of Minority Affairs within a short span of four years in the 11th Plan, have awarded more than One crore scholarships to minorities, out of which 50.34 percent has been awarded to girls students. Among other achievements during the year 2011-12, 29.23 lakh pre-matric scholarships were awarded of which 53.80 percent went to girl students; 4.38 lakh post-matric scholarships were awarded of which 55.65 percent went to girl students ; and 29579 Merit-cum- Means scholarships were awarded of which 38.06 percent went to girl students.
 Increased Budget
Union Budget 2012-13 has provided major incentives for the uplift of students of minority communities. The outlay for scholarship schemes for the students belonging to the Minorities has been increased significantly. The Ministry of Minority Affairs has got an outlay of Rs. 3,135 crore as Central Plan Outlay in the Union General Budget 2012-13. This is an increase of Rs. 385 crore over the Revised Budget Estimates for the FY 2011-12 (which stands at Rs. 2,750 crore).
Provision for Pre-Matric Scholarship has been increased from Rs. 540 crore to Rs. 810 crore;  Post-Matric Scholarship gets Rs. 450 crore – up from Rs. 405 crore; Merit-cum-means Scholarship scheme gets Rs. 198 crore - as against Rs. 126 crore in the Revised Budget Estimates for the 2011-12. Provision for Maulana Azad National Fellowship for Minority students has been enhanced from Rs. 47 crore to Rs. 63 crore.
New Initiatives
The Budget 2012-13 also provides Rs. 4.50 crore for a new scheme to provide free cycles to girl students of class IX with the objective of retention of minority girl students from class IX onwards.
Another new scheme of Skill Development Initiatives has been provided Rs. 18 crore in the Budget to allow urban and rural livelihoods to improve for inclusive growth by providing skill to the Minority communities who do not posses any, to allow them to gain employment.
Rs. 45 crore each have been provided for Scheme for promotion of education in 100 Minority Concentration towns/cities; and Village Development Programme for 1,000 villages not covered under Minority Concentration Blocks/ Minority Concentration Districts.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs also gets Rs. 19.70 crore as Non-Plan provision so that the total finances available with the Ministry for the FY 2012-13 are Rs. 3,154.70 crore.

The Right of Every Child: The Right to Education

The most recent estimates suggest 127 million boys and 88 million girls are involved in child labour with 74 million boys and 41 million girls in the worst forms.
          National laws or regulations in countries differ from one to another. Some countries may permit the employment of 13-15 year olds in light work which is neither prejudicial to school attendance, nor harmful to a child’s health or development. In yet other countries children in the ages 12-14 can apply for light work. Still other countries prescribe a minimum age of 14 for becoming employed.
India’s Latest Approach to Child Labour: 12th Plan
The strategy for dealing with Child Labour during the 12th Five Year Plan Period has been formulated based on the suggestions given by the members of the working group in the two meetings conducted on 27th May and 8th July 2011 The broad highlights of the suggestions are:

·               The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act should be strengthened and amended.
·               The problems of working children of the migratory families should be addressed. Child labour survey should specifically capture migration of children. Residential schools should be opened in each Metro and Mega cities and also in every district.
·               It is important to run residential schools for rehabilitation of child labour.
·               The NCLP (National Child Labour Project) Scheme should expand further to a large geographical coverage.
·               Emphasis should be given to the monitoring and tracking of NCLP school children.
·               The convergence approach should be followed to enhance social protection and   welfare measures for working children.
·               The NCLP Scheme should be realigned in the light of Right to Education Act 2009. The teachers of the NCLP Special schools should be properly trained.
·               Three tier Monitoring Committee at the District, State and National level should be made for effective implementation and monitoring of the NCLP Scheme.
The NCLP Scheme
The NCLP Scheme (National Child Labour Project), which began with a modest number of only 12 districts, has been progressively extended to various parts of the country with the coverage of 271 districts in 21 States of the country. It is functioning in 18 districts of Tamilnadu also.
There have been demands from various States for expanding the coverage of NCLP Scheme to more districts, there is, therefore, a need to expand the Scheme in all the 600 districts in the country.

Right to Education

       India’s landmark Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) has been hailed universally as an essential foundation to ensure that all children are in school and out of child labour. Education for all was unanimously agreed as a target towards reaching the goal of elimination of child labour, in addition to scaling up efforts through poverty reduction, social protection and building political commitment to tackling child labour.
The 12th Plan Proposal of the Planning Commission calls for an effective alignment of the NCLP Scheme with the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE Act, 2009). Accordingly, the NCLP Schools will serve as Special Training Centre for un-enrolled and out-of-school children in accordance with the provisions of Section 4 of the RTE Act and Rule 5 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Rules, 2010. For this purpose, all such children will be admitted to a neighborhood school of the State Government/local authority. After such admission, the children will undergo the special training for being mainstreamed into the regular school in an age appropriate class.
World Day Against Child Labour 2012
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is commemorating World Day Against Child Labour here on 12 June, 2012. The theme for this year is- “JUSTICE FOR CHILDREN – END CHILD LABOUR”. The aim of commemorating this day is to highlight the need to protect the rights of the child and eliminate child labour and other violations of fundamental rights of children, in all forms.
The World Day Against Child Labour was launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2002 to generate awareness about the practice of child labour in different sectors. ILO estimates that there are 21.8 crore child labourers worldwide. The Government of India’s 2001 census estimated that 1.27 crore are involved in child labour. This means that about  3.6% of the total labour force in India is constituted by children! By entering the labour market prematurely, they are deprived of education and training that can help to lift them, their families and communities out of a cycle of poverty. As child labouers they are exposed to physical, psychological or moral suffering that can cause long term damage to their lives.
This year the World Day Against Child Labour will provide a spotlight on the right of all children to be protected from child labour and from other violations of fundamental human rights. In 2010 the international community adopted a Roadmap for achieving elimination of the worst forms of Child labour by 2016. This document stressed that child labour is an impediment to children’s rights and a barrier to development. World Day Against Child Labour 2012 will highlight the work that needs to be done to make the roadmap a reality.

Election to the Office of President of India, 2012 (14th Presidential Election)

The term of office of Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India, ends on 24th July, 2012. An election to fill the vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of the outgoing President shall need to be completed before the expiration of her term. The law provides that the notification for election shall be issued on, or as soon as conveniently may be after, the sixtieth day before the expiry of term of office of the out going President.

        Article 324 of the Constitution read with the Presidential and Vice –Presidential Elections Act, 1952, and the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974 vests the superintendence, direction and control of the conduct of election to the office of the President of India in the Election Commission of India. The Election Commission is mandated to ensure that the election to the office of the President of India, which is the highest elective office in the nation, must be a free and fair election and the Commission is taking all necessary steps for discharging its constitutional responsibility.

        The President is elected by the members of the Electoral College consisting of:
(I)               elected members of both Houses of Parliament, and
(II)              elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of all States including National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

(The nominated members of either Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha or Legislative Assemblies of the States are not eligible to be included in the Electoral College and therefore, they are not entitled to participate in the election).

     The Seven-Judges Bench of the Supreme Court of India unanimously held in 1974 in the case of Presidential election that “the Electoral College as mentioned in Article 54 is independent of the Legislatures mentioned in Article 54. None of the Legislatures mentioned in Article 54 has for the purpose of that Article any separate identity vis-a-vis in the Electoral College. The Electoral College compendiously indicates a number of persons, holding the qualifications specified in the Article to constitute the electorate for the election of the President and to act as independent electors…”

            Article 55 (3) of the Constitution provides that the election shall be held in accordance with the System of Proportional Representation by means of single transferable vote and the voting at such election shall be by secret ballot.

A nomination paper of a candidate has to be subscribed by at least fifty electors as Proposers and at least fifty electors as Seconders. An elector can subscribe to only one nomination paper of a candidate as either a Proposer or a Seconder. The security deposit for the election is Rs. 15,000/- (Rupees fifteen thousand only), which is required to be made along with the nomination paper. 

Obama nominates Indian-American on US Court of Appeals

US President Barack Obama has nominated Indian-American, Srikanth Srinivasan to a key judiciary position and termed him as a trailblazer. 

Srinivasan has been nominated to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit along with Caitlin Halligan.

"Caitlin Halligan and Sri Srinivasan are dedicated public servants who will bring their tremendous experience, intellect, and integrity to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit," Obama said.

"This important court is often called the Nation's second-highest court, and it stands more than a quarter vacant. Srinivasan will be a trailblazer and, like Halligan, will serve the court with distinction and excellence," Obama added.

Born in Chandigarh and brought up in Kansas, Srinivasan is the Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the US.

"He is a highly-respected appellate advocate who has spent a distinguished career litigating before the US Supreme Court and the US Courts of Appeals, both on behalf of the United States and in private practice," the White House said.

Srinivasan began his legal career by serving as a law clerk for Judge J Harvie Wilkinson on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit from 1995 to 1996.

He then spent a year as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General before clerking for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor during the Supreme Court's 1997-98 term.

He was an associate at the law firm of OMelveny & Myers LLP in Washington, DC, from 1998 until 2002. In 2002, he returned to the Solicitor General's Office as an Assistant, representing the US in litigation before the Supreme Court.

In 2007, Srinivasan became a partner with OMelveny & Myers LLP. In 2011, he was named the Chair of the firms Appellate Practice Group. He was named as the Principal Deputy Solicitor General in August 2011.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Nadal wins 7th French Open title

The man they call “Rafa” won his record seventh French Open title on June 11, returning a day after getting rained out to put the finishing touches on a 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic, and deny Djokovic in his own quest for history the “Novak Slam.”
The match ended on a Djokovic double-fault, a fittingly awkward ending to a match that had plenty of stops and starts, including a brief delay during the fourth set Monday while what else? a rain shower passed over the stadium.
They waited it out and Nadal finished where he has for seven of the past eight years- Down on the ground, celebrating a title at a place that feels like home. He broke the record he shared with Bjorn Borg and improved to 52-1 at the French Open.
After serving his fourth double fault of the match, Djokovic dropped his head and slumped his shoulders, an emotional two-day adventure complete, and not with the result he wanted.
Nadal won his 11th overall Grand Slam title, tying him with Borg and Rod Laver on the all-time list.
Djokovic failed in his quest to become the first winner of four straight major titles in 43 years.

13th IIFA Awards

The International Indian Film Academy Awards, also known as the IIFA Awards are presented annually by the International Indian Film Academy to honour both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in Bollywood, the Hindi language film industry. Instituted in 2000, the ceremony is held in different countries around the world every year. This award ceremony has been organised by Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd – one of India’s premier event management and entertainment agencies - since its inception. The first awards were presented in 2000 at The Millennium Dome in London, United Kingdom. From then on the awards were held at locations around the world signifying the international success of Bollywood. The award ceremonies are held in various places around the world.

The 2012 IIFA Awards, officially the 13th International Indian Film Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the International Indian Film Academy honoring the films of 2011 took place on June 9, 2012, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.

List of Awards: 
Best Actor
Ranbir Kapoor (Rock Star)
Best Actress Vidya Balan (The Dirty Picture)
Best Movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobra
Best Director Zoya Akhtar (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobra)
Best Story Zoya Akhtar (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobra)
Best Supporting Actor Farhan Akhtar (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobra)
Best Music Director AR Rahman (Rock Star)
Best Female Debutante
Best Supporting Actress Parineeti Chopra (Ladies vs Ricky Bahl)
Best Male Deutante Vidyut Jamwal (Force)
Best Negative Role Actor Prakash Raj (Singham)
Best Comic Role Actor Ritesh Deshmukh (Double Dhamaal)
Best Male Playback Singer Mohit Chauhan (Naadan Parindey - Rockstar)
Best Lyrics Irshad Kamil (Naadan Parindey-Rockstar)
Best Female Playback Singer Shreya Ghosal (Teri Meri - Bodyguard)

LIV ULLMANN Honoured for her outstanding contribution to international Cinema
REKHA Honoured for her outstanding achievement in Indian Cinema
RAMESH SIPPY Honoured for the outstanding contribution to Indian Cinema Award

Technical awards

Best Action: Jai Singh Nijjar for Singham
Best Special Effects: Red Chillies VFX for Ra.One
Best Choreography: Bosco-Caesar for Senorita from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Best Cinematography: Carlos Catalan for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Best Costume Design: Niharika Khan for The Dirty Picture
Best Dialogue: Rajat Aroraa for The Dirty Picture
Best Editing: Anand Subaya for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Best Makeup: Vikram Gaikwad for The Dirty Picture
Best Production Design: Sabu Cyril for Ra.One
Best Screenplay: Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar
Best Sound Re-Recording: Anuj Mathur and Baylon Fonseca for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Best Sound Recording: Resul Pookutty and Amrit Pritam Dutta for Ra.One