Sunday, December 30, 2012


BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summits
  • 4th BRICS Summit 2012 – New Delhi, India
  • 5th BRICS Summit 2013 – Durban, South Africa
G-8 Annual Summits
Group of Eight (G8) CountriesFrance, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Russia.
  • 37th G8 Meeting 2011 – Deauville, France
  • 38th G8 Meeting 2012 – David camp, USA
  • 39th G8 Summit 2013 – County Fermanagh, UK
  • 40th G8 Summit 2014 – Russia
G-20 Summits
  • 7th G 20 Meeting 2012 – Los Cabos, Mexico
  • 8th G 20 Meeting 2013 – Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • 9th G 20 Meeting 2014 – Brisbane, Australia
SAARC Summits
SAARC – South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
  • 17th SAARC Summit 2011– Addu, Maldives
  • 18th SAARC Summit 2013 – Kathmandu,Nepal
ASEAN Summits
ASEANAssociation of South East Asian Nation
  • 19th ASEAN Summit 2011 (November) – Bali, Indonesia
  • 20th ASEAN Summit 2012 (April) – Phnom penh, Cambodia
  • 21th ASEAN Summit 2012 (November)– Phnom penh, Cambodia
ASEAN-India Summit
  • 9th ASEAN-India Summit 2011 – Bali, Indonesia
  • 10th ASEAN-India Summit 2012 – Phnom penh, Cambodia
East Asia Summit (EAS)
EAS meetings are held after annual ASEAN leaders’ meetings.
  • 6th East Asia Summit 2011 – Bali, Indonesia
  • 7th East Asia Summit 2012 – Phnom penh, Cambodia
IBSA Summits
IBSA Dialogue Forum - India, Brazil, South Africa.
  • 5th IBSA Summit 2011 – Pretoria, South Africa
  • 6th IBSA Summit 2013 – India
APEC Summits
APEC – Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • 23rd APEC summit 2011 – Honolulu, USA
  • 24th APEC Summit 2012 – Vladivostok,Russia
  • 25th APEC Summit 2013 – Medan/Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 26th APEC Summit 2014 – China
  • 27th APEC Summit 2015 – Philippines
  • 28th APEC Summit 2016 – Lima, Peru
OPEC Seminars
OPECOrganization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
  • 4th OPEC International Seminar 2009 – Vienna, Austria
  • 5th OPEC International Seminar 2012 – Vienna, Austria
NAM Summits
NAM – Non-aligned Movement
  • 16th NAM Summit 2012 – Tehran, Iran
  • 17th NAM Summit 2015 – Caracas,Venezuela
SCO Meetings
SCOShanghai Cooperation Organization
  • SCO Meeting 2011 – Astana, Kazakhstan
  • SCO Meeting 2012 – Beijing, China
  • SCO Meeting 2013 – Kyrgyzstan
NATO (North Atlantic treaty organization) international conference on Afghanistan will be held in Chicago (USA)

Asian Development Bank (ADB) Annual Meetings
Annual meeting of the board of governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) held every year.
  • ADB Annual Meeting 2012 – Manila, Philippines
  • ADB Annual Meeting 2013 – New Delhi, India
WTO Ministerial Conferences
  • 8th WTO Ministerial Conferences 2011 – Geneva, Switzerland
  • 9th WTO Ministerial Conferences 2013 (Expected) -Bali, Indonesia
Other Important Summits
  • United Nations framework convention on Climate, 2011 – Durban, South Africa
  • 10th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change – New Delhi, India
  • Arab summit 2012 – Baghdad, Iraq
  • Nuclear security summit 2012 – Seoul, South Korea
  • 12th Annual summit of European Union and India – New Delhi, India
  • G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting – Mexico City, Mexico
  • Friends of Syria Meeting – Istanbul,Turkey
  • 5th Ministerial level India-UK Economic Financial Dialogue – New Delhi
  • United Nation Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 – Rio de janeiro,Brazil
  • 17th National youth Festival – Mangalore, Karnataka
  • World Economic Forum – Davos, Switzerland
  • World Polio Summit 2012 – New Delhi, India
  • India, Russia Inter-Governmental Commission meet 2012 – New Delhi, India
  • The sixth conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians held in Islamabad on 4th November 2012.
  • E-9 countries review meeting held in New Delhi on 9th and 10th November 2012.The E-9 countries are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria and Mexico.
  • The 8th meeting of the India-UK Joint Working Group (JWG) on counter terrorism was held on 20 November 2012 in New Delhi.
  • The 3rd Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit organized by East West Institute, a New York based think-and-do tank, kick-started in the New Delhi on 30th October 2012.
  • South Korea will host the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2014.
  • The XI Conference of Parties (CoP-11) on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) being hosted by India at Hyderabad starts on 1st October 2012.
  • The 9th World Hindi Conference to be held in Johannesburg ,South Africa from 22-24 September 2012.The first world Hindi Conference was held in Nagapur from 10-12 January 1975.
  • The APEC Russia 2012 Summit is the 24th annual gathering of APEC leaders of 21 countries.Leaders from the member economics are currently meeting on Russky Island off the Coast of Vladivostok, Russia from September 2-9 ,2012 .
  • The world’s largest meeting on HIV/AIDS opened on 22nd July in Washington.
  • The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Summit held in HICC, Novotel Hyderabad. The summit was held between 22 August 2012 to 25 August 2012.
  • 7th ASEAN education Ministers meeting on July 4 with the 1st Asean plus three education Minister Meeting and the 1st East Asia Summit Education Minister meeting from July4-5 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
  • A One day International conference in Kabul took place on June 14,2012 to discuss ways to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan and boost regional cooperation.
  • 101 st session of International Labour Conference organized by International Labour Organization(ILO), concluded on June 14 ,2012 in Geneva.
  • The Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments took place in Brazil on 20-22 June 2012
  • India To Host Alternative International AIDS conference
  • World Agriculture Congress mega event will be hosted by the Hyderabad city for the first time in the country.
  • The 6th Summit of the Americas was held At Cartagena, Colombia on 14 and 15 April 2012.
  • The Russia, India and China (RIC) trilateral conference was held in Mascow on 13 April 2012.
  • The seventh meeting of the India-Russia Joint Working Group was held in New Delhi on 11 April 2012.
  • Two-days national agricultural conference held at New Delhi.
  • The international exhibition-cum conference ” Indian Aviation 2012 held at Hyderabad from 14-18 March 2012.
  • The 23rd Arab summit was held on 29 March 2012 Baghdad, half of the Arab world’s 22 heads of states had to meet for the summit in former president Saddam Hussain’s palace, but only few leaders gathered.
  • India, the independence accreditation agency organized its 1st world summit on Accreditation from 25 -28 March 2012 in New Delhi.
  • The I’st World summit on Accreditation is going to be held in March 2012 at New Delhi.
  • A seven days Turkey World Trade Bridge International Business Summit is going to be organized by the confederation of Businessman and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON) and the Indo-Turkish Business Association (ITBA) from 3 June to 10 June 2012 in Istanbul.
  • AIMA’s second Knowledge summit was held in Bangalore on 7March 2012.
  • The 9th three day International conference & exhibition was hosted by the society of Petroleum Geophysicists (SPG),which was inaugurated on 16 feb 2012 in Hyderabad.
  • The 44Th session of Indian Labour conference was held on 14 and 15 Feb 2012, under the chairmanship of Shri Mallikajun Kharge, Union minister of Labour and Employment.
  • The Association of South East Nations (Asean ) summit had held in New Delhi on 12 Feb 2012 with the theme of India and Asean partners for peace, progress and stability.
  • The 12th India – EU summit was held in New Delhi on 10 Feb 2012.
  • The 4th ” International Conference on Luminescence and its Application’s” (ICLA) 2012 conference had been organised by the Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies on 8 Feb2012 in Hyderabad.
  • The 15th National conference on e-Governance conference had been inaugurated by the chief minister of Odisha M.Naveen Patnaik on 8 Feb 2012
  • The 10th International Kimberlite conference meeting was held from 6 to 11 Feb 2012 at Bangalore (GSI).
  • The 58th annual meeting of the Indian Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons (IACTS) was held from 8 to 12 Feb 2012 in Kolkata
  • The national conference on Governance’ was held on 29 Jan 2012 at the NCUI auditorium in New Delhi.
  • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated 15th Global Sanskrit Meetings in New Delhi on 4 January 2012.
  • 99th Science Congress Conferences were inaugarated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Bhuvaneswar, Odisha on 3 January 2012.  


  • Israeli Scientist Daniel Hillel has won World Food Prize 2012 .
  • ITC conferred world business & development award 2012.
  • Life Time Achievement Award for Ratan Tata by Rockefeller Foundation
  • Vijay Kumar conferred Himachal Gaurav award
  • Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Puraskar for DR Mehra,
  • Ashoke Sen wins Yuri Milner Prize.
  • Sachin Tendulkar was presented the Wisden India Outstanding Achievement award.
  • Ondaatje Prize 2012 for Rahul Bhattacharya.
  • Sudarshan Pattnaik won the Copenhagen Sand Art Championship-2012.
  • Binayak Sen and Bulu Imam honored with the International Peace Award by the Gandhi Foundation at the House of Lords.
  • Shalini Singh won Prem Bhatia award
  • Kulandei Francis won Magsaysay award.
  • Miss China Wenxia Yu won the title of Miss World 2012
  • Mamta Kalia gets Sita puraskar.
  • Shiv Bhatia gets Rashtriya Ekta Puraskar.
  • Mr. Baba Kalyani was conferred an honorary ‘Doctor of Science’ (honoris causa) by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee at the 58th Annual Convocation of IIT Kharagpur.
  • Paraguay’s Highest Civilisation Award ‘National Order of Merito de Comuneros’ for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  • Lifetime achievement award for Waheeda Rehman at Mumbai Film Festival.
  • Bangladesh honours Jagjivan Ram as 1971 war hero.
  • Hilary Mantel wins Booker Prize for 2012.
  • Gulzar gets Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration 2012.
  • C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award for Sunil Gavaskar.
  • Sharmila Tagore was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by the Edinburgh Napier University.
  • Member of Order of Australia – Sachin Tendulkar
  • IT giant Infosys founder, N.R. Narayan Murthy honoured with Hoover Medal for promoting science at Global Humanitarian Technology Conference in Washington.
  • Aishwarya Rai was honoured with French Civilian Award
  • Dr Madhav Chavan has won the WISE Prize, which has been likened to a “Nobel prize for education”.
  • Urdu Scholar Gopi Chand Narang Awarded Moortidevi Award for 2010
  • Chinese movie ‘11 Flowers’, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Wang Xiaoshuai has won the prestigious NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) award at the 18th Kolkata International Film festival (KIFF).
  • President of the Republic of Liberia Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf got the Indira Gandhi peace prize for 2012 for her Excellency, Peace,Disarmament and Development.
  • “Andhey Ghorey Da Daan” a Punjabi film directed by Gurvinder Singh and produced by National Film Development Cooperation was bagged the Golden Peacock award of the International Film Festival of India, IFFI.
ICC Awards 2012
  • Emerging Player of the Year – Sunil Narine
  • LG People’s Choice Award – Kumar Sangakkara
  • ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year – Virat Kohli
  • ICC Test Cricketer of the Year -Kumar Sangakkara
  • ICC Cricketer of the Year – Kumar Sangakkara
IIFA Awards 2012
13th IIFA Awards 2012 schedule from 7th Jun to 9th Jun, 2012 as held in the beautiful city of Singapore . The list of winners has just been announced and as expected, Ranbir Kapoor and Vidya Balan have once again won the Best Actor and Best Actress award respectively. The Best movie and director too have been predictable this year, as Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which swept the IIFA 2012 technical awards, has won in both categories.
Winners of IIFA Awards 2012
Best Actor – Ranbir Kapoor (Rockstar)
Best Actress – Vidya Balan (The Dirty Picture)
Best Movie – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Best Director – Zoya Akhtar (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara)
Best Story – Zoya Akhtar and Reema Katgi (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara)
Best Music – A R Rahman ( Rockstar)

84th Academy Awards

The 84th Academy Awards Ceremony/ Oscars was hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science ( AMPAS). The ceremony which took place at the Hollywood Highland center in Hollywood, California on 26 Feb 2012 honoured the best film and performances of 2011. The ceremony was hosted by Billy Cristal who hosted this ceremony for the ninth time. Best Motion Picture: The Artist ,Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist Best Actor : Jean Dujardin, The Artist ,Foreign Language Film : A separation , Original Screenplay: Woody Allen Best Actress : Meryl Streep, Iron Lady , Adapted screenplay:Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash Best Supporting Actor :Christopher Plummer, Beginners, Cinematography : Hugo. Art direction: Hugo Best Supporting Actress :Octavia Spencer, The Help .Original Score : The Artist. Visual Effects: Hugo Film Editing: The girl with the dragon tattoo. Sound mixing:Hugo. Sound Editing: Hugo. Costume Design:The Artist Original Song: Man or Muppet, from Muppets. Make Up: The Iron Lady . Live Action Short Film:The Shore Animated Feature Film: Rango. Animated Short: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Documentary Features: Undefeated. Documentary Short: Saving Face.

Nobel Prize 2012 Winners
  • Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 – Serge Haroche and David Wineland
  • Nobel Peace Prize for 2012: European Union
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012: Robert J Lefkowitz and Brian K Kobilka
  • Nobel Prize in Literature 2012: Chinese author Mo Yan
  • Nobel Prize in Economy 2012: Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley
  • Nobel Prize in Medicine 2012: John Gurdon, Shinya Yamanaka

Vijay, Heena clinch gold medals in shooting nationals

London Olympics silver medallist Vijay Kumar on December 30 clinched the gold medal in the men’s rapid fire pistol event at the 56th National Shooting Championship in New Delhi.
While Vijay shot 572 and 25 in the finals to win the top prize in his event, Punjab’s Heena Sidhu bagged the gold in the women’s air pistol competition after she shot 383 + 99.5 in the qualifiers and finals respectively.
Harpreet Singh (569 + 21) of Navy clinched the silver in the men’s rapid fire pistol event ahead of Army’s Pemba Tamang who shot 572 and 18.
In Heena’s event, Annu Raj Singh won the silver with scores of 383 + 96.8 while the bronze went to Priyanka Susvirkar of Railways who shot 378 + 100.8.
In the 3-position men’s event, Surendra Singh Rathod of Army won the gold with scores of 1158 + 97.9.
The silver went to Sanjeev Rajput who scored 1154 + 97.6 while the bronze was won by Chain Singh of Army for shooting 1150 + 100.4.
Aribam Dicky Sharma of Army bagged the gold in the 3-position junior men’s event. The silver went to Brahma Puri of Gujarat while H Sanahal Singh of Army had to be satisfied with a bronze.
In the air pistol junior women’s meet, Shreya Gawande of Maharashtra won the gold, with Punjab’s Malaika Goel and MP’s Surabhi Pathak winning the silver and bronze respectively.
Gawande won yellow metal in the air pistol youth category too, with Goel of Punjab and Haryana’s Manjeet finishing second and third respectively.

London Olympics Heroes Honoured in Queen's 2013 New Year Honours

London's Olympic champions on 29 December 2012 had been generously rewarded for their exploits in a special New Year Honours list, with Bradley Wiggins and Ben Ainslie receiving knighthoods.

Bradley Wiggins with his historic Tour de France triumph is the first British cyclist to be awarded with the honors. He had won a fourth Olympic gold medal and first on the road. On the other hand Ben Ainslie became the most successful Olympic sailor of all time with his fourth successive gold.

Along with Bradley Wiggins and Ben Ainslie, inspiring British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford is also knighted as he once again masterminded a stunning medal haul as well as leading Team Sky to a one-two in the Tour de France.

The fourth knighthood went to David Tanner, the performance director for British Rowing, who also overseen a record medal pull as Britain's rowers won four golds and nine medals in all.

Four Olympic stars are made CBEs, including the king and queen of British athletics, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis, after they lit up the Olympic Stadium.

London was the a final performance or effort for cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who added a second Olympic gold and is made a CBE after playing a trailblazing role for women sprinters on the track.

Rower Katherine Grainger receives the same honour in the year she finally made it gold with Anna Watkins in the double sculls following three successive silvers.

Three of Britain's double gold medallists have been awarded OBEs - dressage star Charlotte Dujardin and cycling couple Jason Kenny and Laura Trott - along with tennis' Andy Murray, who was both a gold medallist and a grand slam winner in 2012.

Long jumper Greg Rutherford, another gold medal winner in the Olympic Stadium on that Super Saturday, has been given an MBE. Also honoured with MBEs are 51-year-old three-day eventer Mary King, who won team silver in London, and gymnast Louis Smith, now a three-time Olympic medalist.

About New Year Honour

The New Year Honours is a part of the British honours system, where New Year's Day, 1 January, is marked by naming new members of orders of chivalry and recipients of other official honours. A number of other Commonwealth Realms also mark this day in this way.

The awards are presented by or in the name of the reigning monarch British honours are published in supplements to the London Gazette.
Honours have been awarded at New Year since at least 1890, in which year a list of Queen Victoria's awards was published by the London Gazette on 2 January.

Indian I-League football Club Mohun Bagan banned for Two Years

I-League football club Mohun Bagan on 29 December 2012 slapped with a two-year suspension by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for abandoning their violence-marred I-League match against East Bengal on 9 December 2012.

As per the AIFF’s Statement Mohun bagan had breached Regulation 22, the 123-year-old club, had been withdrawn from the current I-League season, with all its past and future matches in the 2012/13 null and void. In effect, this season will have 13 teams now.

The I-League Core Committee of All India Football Federation (AIFF) received the detailed Report dated 26th December 2012 of the Justice A K Ganguly relating to I-League Match No. 68 between Kingfisher East Bengal (KEB) and Mcdowell Mohun Bagan (MMB) played at Yuba Bharati Stadium, Salt Lake City Kolkata on 9 December 2012.

Justice Ganguly in his report has concluded that the decision of MMB for not playing the match after the interval cannot be supported on the grounds of Force Majeure and accordingly MMB has breached Regulation 22 of the I-League Regulation 2012-2013.

The I-League core committee is going to meet on 9 January 2013 to decide if the quantum of punishment on Mohun Bagan is enough or if additional fine and suspension were needed.

About Mohun Bagan Football Club

• Founded in 1889, Mohun Bagan is the oldest football club in India.
• It is the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield final, in 1911, beating East Yorkshire Regiment.
• It have won the erstwhile National Football League thrice — in 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2001-02 — and their best performance in the re-christened I-League has been a runner-up finish in 2008-09.

China launches world’s longest high-speed rail

China launched service on the world’s longest high-speed railway on 26 December 2012 with trains scheduled to run 2,298 kilometres between Beijing and Guangzhou in about eight hours.Travelling at an average speed of about 300 km per hour, the service would cut the journey time from more than 20 hours by conventional trains.

Technology events that made headlines in 2012

The year 2012 was by no means a year of quantum leaps in the world of technology. Yet, technology news consistently hit headlines — be it globally where tech policy debates in the U.S. Senate pitted big entertainment companies, and their lobbies, against Internet users, or closer home, where Internet service providers arbitrarily cut access to simple video-sharing sites and the streets swelled in protests against the perceived affront to ‘free speech’ online by a draconian law.
As we bid adieu to this eventful year, we bring you a selection of technology news that we read through the year, updates on some of them and some perspective on the way forward. By no means exhaustive, the list is a mix of news both Indian and global, of gadgets and technologies and praxis and policy. The list is not ranked in any particular order.
Free speech on the Web
The IT Act, a legislation that governs all things Internet in India, was in the news for all the wrong reasons. The low point indeed was the arrest of two young girls in Mumbai, for their innocuous status update about a bandh enforced by the Shiv Sena, following the death of Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Earlier this year, a Jadavpur University professor was arrested for merely sharing on email a cartoon with a satirical take on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee's style of functioning; cartoonist Aseem Trivedi's website was shut down and he was arrested; and more recently, a Twitter user was arrested in Puducherry for making corruption allegations against Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s son, Karthi, in a tweet. Following the Mumbai arrests, netizens and rights activists took to the streets to protest the arbitrary use of the legislation.
Earlier in June, another spate of protests were held, led by the online hackers collective Anonymous, following a John Doe order by the Madras High Court over a piracy complaint leading several Internet service providers to block online content and video-sharing sites. An annulment motion was introduced in Parliament, following which the government promised a review of the law and the Intermediaries Guidelines (2011). Internet firms too supported this call after Union IT and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal used these guidelines to lay the onus of “pre-screening” posts and messages for “offensive and hurtful” content.
Most recently, the government, in a bid to increase awareness among law enforcement authorities, has issued guidelines on registering complaints under the controversial section.
The flip side: misinformation
All along, the government argued that the internet must be regulated, like all other media, because it too could be misused to spread misinformation or hate. Them, and other advocates of tighter controls on the Web, were somewhat vindicated when the near-mass exodus of northeast Indians from cities such as Bangalore and Pune was attributed to misinformation and false rumours spread via SMS and social networks. Messages and false rumours on a communal backlash triggered wide-spread panic, leading thousands to pack up, leaving behind their jobs and livelihoods, and head home. Though some arrests were made for sending out these SMSs and rumour mongering on the web, the jury is still out on whether technology was the culprit, or it merely exacerbated existing fears and insecurities on the ground.
And 'Clicktivism'
2012 also proved that social media had arrived as a means to build public opinion, gather support and actually organise mass protests and gatherings. Most recently, Twitter and Facebook were used effectively to coordinate protests in Delhi over the gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student. Other campaigns such as Kony2012 proved that ‘clicktivism’ — a term used moWstly in the pejorative to talk about movements that revolve around the click of a mouse — was here to stay. And whether it’s your neighbourhood pothole or weightier concerns such as female foeticide or rape laws, online petitions have become the norm.
The SOPA opera
This story, about a U.S. policy decision to crack down on copyrighted content, proved two things: one, the Internet is truly global in nature, and two, the controls of the Internet are indeed with the U.S. That the proposed legislations — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act — equipped the U.S. government to act against any website hosting content that it believes infringes copyrights, even those hosted overseas, made it a global issue. It pitted big entertainment businesses against the internet user across the world. Further, the fact that this action could involve the domain name system, which lies at the technological core of the internet, also had huge implications for the stability of the web.
Both legislations were repealed after Internet users — led by major internet corporations, giving it a 'entertainment/media houses vs web business' angle — rose in protest. Several Internet services, most notably Wikipedia, blacked out their sites and services to protest the clampdown.
Around the same time, the U.S. government also shut down the popular file-sharing site MegaUpload, again in an attempt to stop alleged copyright violations, rekindling the debate on IP and piracy.
IP wars in courtrooms
The buzz around ‘smart’ devices this year was less about innovation and more about courtroom battles. Most notably, tech major Apple and Korean electronics giant Samsung were locked in over 50 patent lawsuits in 10 countries. Some of these lawsuits were over features as trivial as the shape of the screen, an interface layout or even the unlock feature. Though Apple — which sued Samsung for infringing both design and utility patents — won a major round with Samsung having to pay over $ 1 billion in damages, Samsung managed to dodge a ban on the sales of its products. Samsung too has been suing Apple, among other mobile players, with its wireless patents (on 3G/4GLTE).
The loser, of course, at the end of the day is the consumer who can only hope that companies throw their weight behind innovation, a key product of which could also be affordability.
iHits and iFlops
No tech wrap-ups can be complete without the glitzy Apple releases. Minus showman Steve Jobs, Apple’s launches lost their sheen. However, the iPhone 5 did managed to impress with its sleeker body and slicker interfaces. Later, the iPad Mini, the much-awaited compact version of the iPad that aims at capturing the low-end market, also created a buzz.
But by far, the most-talked-about tech dud of the year was the iOS6, which did away with Google Maps. Apple’s own maps were buggy and all over the place, so much so that entire websites were dedicated to recording the faux pas the Maps threw up. Deserts located in towns, cities mapped in the ocean and so on; the quick and untested release irked Apple users, so much so that many refused to upgrade until a Google Maps app was released earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Google released turn-by-turn navigation and traffic updates in 15 major cities in India, reinforcing its position as the top choice as far as internet maps go.
Facebook's IPO/Instagram outrage
Social media giant Facebook finally went public this year. Months within it hitting the one billion user mark — making it the third most populous country, after India and China — Facebook’s shares opened at $38. The shares have reportedly fallen by a fourth over the last six months.
In another fiasco, weeks within acquiring the hugely popular photo application Instagram, Facebook announced a tweak in its ‘Terms of Service’. Its declaration that the company could monetise user content by selling user’s photographs to advertisers created quite a stir among Instagram users. The wide outrage online led Facebook to revoke this policy and tender an apology of sorts.
Oppa, Gangnam Style!
In July this year, a short music video uploaded in South Korea made headlines for its catchy tune, hilarious video and choreography, and its subversive subtext. Last week, ‘Gangnam Style’, by Korean pop star Psy, became the first video ever to cross the 1 billion views mark on YouTube. Now, whether it's his apologies to the United States for an anti-war song he sang long before he became a viral hit or his controversial appearance in a Japanese Manga comic, Psy himself has become the headline!

Vice President Inaugurates International Urdu Marsia Conference

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari inaugurated the “International Urdu Marsia Conference” held on 28 December at New Delhi. Addressing on the occasion he said that Marsia can be written and heard by heart only. A fully developed Marsiya is always an epic. He hoped that the seminar will help in getting more people associated with Marsia.

The word ‘Marsiya’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘Risa’, meaning a great tragedy or lamentation for a departed soul.Marsiya (or elegy), is nearly always on the death of Hasan and Hussein and their families, but occasionally on the death of relatives and friends. It is usually in six-lined stanzas with the rhyme aaaabb. The recitation of these elegies in the first ten days of Muharram is one of the greatest event in Muslim life

National Water Resources Council Adopts National Water Policy (2012)

The National Water Resource Council has adopted the National Water Policy (2012). The consensus in this regard was made during 6th meeting of the council held here in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh.

This has been stated by the Union Water Resource Minister Shri Harish Rawat while addressing the media persons today itself. Shri Rawat said earlier there were apprehensions expressed by some of the States about the proposed National Water Framework Law and it was apprehended that it would infringe upon the rights of the States on water. Some States suggested that principles for allocation of river water be laid down. Reservations were expressed by States on Inter Basin Transfer of water. Many States called for speedy resolution of inter State disputes.

However, after elongated discussions there were broader consensus on the issues of community management of water resources, climate change adaptation strategy particularly increasing water storage through revival of traditional water harvesting structures and water bodies and efficient use of water, Shri Rawat added. He said states have been assured that the proposed National Water Framework law and the law on River Basin Management would be drafted only after extensive consultation with States so as to ensure that the powers of the States are not curtailed in any manner. He he said we have also proposed consideration of a National Policy Guidelines for water allocations in the next meeting of the Council.

Earlier in the morning session, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister presided over the 6th Meeting of the National Water Resources Council. Delivering his opening remarks, the Prime Minister stated that the National Water Policy (2012) was an effort to focus on the human cause in the water sector and would lay a road map for the future based on the fundamental principles of equity, sustainability and good governance. He called for a paradigm shift in the approach for judicious and wise management of scarce water resources. Recalling the deliberations in the National Development Council meeting held yesterday, he stated that outlays for the water sector had been increased substantially and this need to be matched with equally effective outcomes through better management.

Later, explaining the salient features of the draft Policy, Shri Harish Rawat, Minister of Water Resources said that the draft National Water Policy (2012) was the result of wide consultations held with all the stakeholders including consultations with Members of Parliament, academia, NGOs, corporate sector and Panchayati Raj Institutions. Enumerating the challenges in the water sector, he called for an integrated approach of governance based on certain basic principles so that concerns get addressed adequately in the different parts of the country ensuring equity and social justice.

The National Water Resources Council meeting was attended by several Chief Ministers, Union Ministers and State Ministers. Chief Ministers of Assam, Punjab, Mizoram, Goa, Maharashtra, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh participated in the Meeting. Several States were represented by their Ministers who also spoke during the Council meeting.

Shihab Ghanem became the First Arab to receive India’s Tagore Peace Prize

Emirati poet and translator Shihab Ghanem became the first Emirati and Arab to win the Tagore Peace Prize.

Tagore Peace Prize is instituted by the Indian government to commemorate the birth anniversary of India’s poet, philosopher and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Shihab  Ghanem is officially going to receive the Tagore award by the Asiatic society in a ceremony to be held in Kolkata on 6 May 2012.

Ghanem was awarded the accolade in recognition of his creative literary and translation works, both in Arabic and English, and for promoting human understanding and values of love and peace Tagore had advocated.

The award is given to one person every two years. Ghanem was chosen due to the promotion of the human values of love and peace via his poetic works. 

Ghanem had written 31 Arabic poems and 36 English poems and had published 45 books mainly in Arabic verse.

Women Scientists Scheme

The women Scientists Scholarship Scheme (WSSS) undertaken by the Ministry of Science and Technology has yielded tangible results for inducting women scientists in the field of Science. The number of scholarships awarded so far subject wise are: Biotechnology (60), Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (92), Engineering Sciences (176), Physical & Mathematical Sciences (199), Chemical Sciences (221), Life Sciences (820), Livelihood Generation and Development of Rural Technology (300) and Self employment in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) (310). Out of all Women Fellowship Scientists, about 35% women got position in different sectors like R&D institution, Colleges, Universities, Public Sectors, Intellectual Property firms etc. The total amount dispensed under the scholarship schemes till date is Rs. 205 crores.

Oriya Novelist and Academician Pratibha Ray selected for 2011 Jnanpith Award

Renowned Oriya novelist, Pratibha Ray on 27 December 2012 selected for the prestigious Jnanpith award for the year 2011 for her contribution to the field of Indian literature. 

Pratibha Ray is the first Oriya woman and fourth Oriya writer to get the coveted award. Earlier Gopinath Mohanty (1973), Sachidananda Routray (1986) and Sitakant Mohapatra (1993) were conferred the honour. The award carries a cash prize of 7 lakh rupees, a citation and a bronze statuette of Godess Saraswati. 

A Brief Insight into Pratibha Ray’s Career

• Pratibha Ray was born in Alabol, a village in Jagatsingpur district of Odisha.

• Ray's literary journey started at nine, she received recognition as a writer with her first novel Barsa Basanta Baishakha in 1974 followed by Aranya, 1977, Nishidha Prithivi, 1978, Parichya, 1979, Aparichita, 1979 (a film was made and won Best Film-Story award from the state government),Punyatoya, 1979, Meghamedura, 1980, Ashabari, 1980,Ayamarambha, 1981, Nilatrishna, 1981, Samudrara Swara, 1982.

• Ray's Shilapadma in 1983 won her the Orissa Sahitya Academy Award, 1985, while Yajnaseni (1984) got her the Moorti Devi Award in 1991 and Sarala Award in 1990.

• Ray has 20 novels, 24 short stories, 10 travelogues, two poetry collections and a number of essays to her credit.

•  Ray's writings have been translated into English, other foreign languages as also a number of other Indian languages.

• Other renowned works of the eminent writer include Yjnaseni (1985), which won Jnanpith Trust's Moorti Devi Award in 1991, Mahamoh (1997), Shilapadma (1983), Uttarmarg (1988), Magnamari (2003), among others. 

She described Odisha's first Jnanpith awardee (1973) Gopinath Mohanty as her role model and favourite among Oriya novelists.

Pratibha Ray is one of the most widely read Oriya novelists and short story writers. Her novels and stories are deeply and persuasively grounded in the great tradition of story-telling.

4th World Telgu Conference Inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee in Tirupati

 President Pranab Mukherjee on 27 December 2012 declared open the 4th World Telugu Conference in the presence of thousands of Telugu-speaking people from across the world in the temple town of Tirupati of Andhra Pradesh.

Marking the occasion President released Teluguvari Charitra, a coffee table book brought out by EMESCO and another on gold coins of Srivari Hundi on Tirumala, while Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan released Teluguvani, another book.

The event was also marked with the felicitation of 14 eminent Telugus.

People were asked to pass on the rich Telugu culture, heritage and tradition to the next generation with a resolve to preserve and promote the honey-laced aura of the language. The inaugural also saw the laying of a foundation stone for an international convention centre.

The deliberations of the three-day conference should come out with recommendations on preserving and promoting the language.

The purpose behind the conference is to give a new dimension and vision for the upkeep of Telugu, tracing its history and while naming prominent persons and their contributions and various literary movements.

President Mukherjee also praised Telugu and recalled its antiquity dating to 1,500 and 1,000 years BC and the contribution of poets - from Nannayya to Viswanatha and its golden age during the 11th and 17th centuries.
The President earlier honoured 14 distinguished Telugu personalities from all over the world and laid the foundation-stone for construction of an international convention centre at Tirupati.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy announced that a separate ministry would be created in the Secretariat for protection and promotion of Telugu, and with this telgu is goin to be  introduced as a medium of instruction in primary education up to Class X. Also the Sangitha, Nataka, Lalitha, Sahitya and Rangasthala akademis would be revived.

About World Telgu Conference:

World Telugu Conference is held for promotion of Telugu language. Literary exemplary personalities attend and share their views on spreading and preserving the rich language.
First World Telgu Conference was held in Hyderabad in year 1975. It was the then Minister of Education, Mandali Venkata Krishna Rao instrumental in starting it. Eminent singer M. S. Ramarao made his debut at the conference. It was also attended by Sankarambadi Sundarachari, who penned the anthem Maa Telugu Thalliki, and the actor-singer Tanguturi Suryakumari.

Security and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) appointed S Raman as Whole Time Member

Indian Market Regulator SEBI on 28 December 2012 appointed S. Raman as Whole-time Member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Prior to this appointment, Raman, had served as Chairman and Managing Director of Canara Bank from September 2010 to September 2012 and had also served as Executive Director of Union Bank of India from October 2008 to August 2010.

As per the Finance ministry Raman is going to hold the post of SEBI whole-time member for a period of five years from the day he assumes charge or up to 65 years of age or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
With this appointment, SEBI has three wholetime members, including Prashant Saran and Rajeev Kumar Agarwal.

MS Sahoo appointed as Secretary of Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI)

MS Sahoo, the former member of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) on 27 December 2012 had been appointed secretary of the Institute of Company Secretaries. The appointment of MS Sahoo is going to be effective from 1 January2013.

A Brief Insight into MS Sahoo’s Career:

• MS Sahoo had over three decades of rich work experience in self-employment, private sector, public sector, regulator and government in varied functional areas such as reforms, policy, regulations, research and analysis.
•  Before joining the ICSI, he was an eminent legal practitioner in the field of securities laws. 

• He was a Whole Time Member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) during 2008-11. 

• He served as the Joint Secretary (non-functional), Director and Joint Director in the Ministry of Finance, as the Chief General Manager with SEBI, and as Economic Adviser with National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE). 

•  As an officer of Indian Economic Service (1985 batch), he served the Government of India for 22 years.  He played a key role in designing of major reforms in securities market, including dematerialization of securities, trading of derivatives, corporatisation and demutualization of exchanges, building regulatory and market infrastructural institutions, enforcement process / actions. 

M S Sahoo was instrumental in development of human resource capacity in securities markets through various interventions such as NSE’s Certification in Financial Markets (NCFM), National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) and a number of reputed publications.  He has served / serves as a member on several expert committees / boards and professional groups.

About ICSI (Institute of Company Secretaries of India):

ICSI is the only recognized professional body in India to develop and regulate the profession of Company Secretaries in India. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India awards the certificate of bestowing the designation of Company Secretary(CS) to a candidate qualifying for the membership of the Institute. It was in 1960 that the Company Law Board started a course in Company Secretaryship leading to the award of Government Diploma in Company Secretaryship.

President Mohamed Morsi signed Egypt's Controversial Constitution

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on 25 December 2012 signed into law a new Islamist-drafted constitution which will help end political disorder and allow him to focus on fixing the weak economy.

Mohamed Morsi signed a declaration enforcing the charter late after the official announcement of the result of a referendum approving the basic law, Egypt's first constitution since Hosni Mubarak's overthrow.

The passing of the constitution meant Egypt could now move to a new stage that should bring security and stability for the people.

 The body, known as the Shura council, will temporarily be able to pass laws until a new parliament has been elected within the next few months, after the adoption of an election law. 

Two-thirds of the members of the 270-seat council were elected earlier this year in a vote in which only 12 per cent of registered voters participated. The remaining 90 were appointed by Mohamed Morsi, the Islamist president.

It was expected to draft a law for legislative elections for the dissolved lower house that have to be held by the end of February 2013.

The National Salvation Front opposition coalition said it would vie for seats in the parliament, which has powers under the new charter that could hamper Morsi’s ability to govern.

Maharashtra Government decided to Implement National Commission on Food Processing

The Maharashtra Government in the month of December decided to implement the National Mission on Food Processing which is directed to enhance the standard of small food processing units in the State. 

The mission is a Centrally-sponsored programme and it is going to provide micro credit, facilitate technology transfer and handhold the units in building capacity. It will also undertake skill upgradation through institutional training, which is meant to ensure sustainable employment opportunities to the people. 

The basic purpose of the programme is decentralisation of implementation of schemes through participation by State governments which also aims to reduce the gap in requirement and availability of skilled manpower in the food processing sector. 

The State Cabinet on 27 December 2012 approved the programme and appointed Maharashtra Agro Industries Development Corporation as the nodal body for implementing it. 

Under the scheme, the Centre provides 75 per cent while state's share is 25 per cent. For the current fiscal, the State Government made a provision of 5.5 crore rupees for the mission, while the Centre would be providing 16.5 crore Rupees.

Sectors in food processing such as fruits and vegetables, milk products, meat, poultry, fishery, oilseeds products, rice milling, pulse processing and other agri-horticultural sectors such as food flavours and colours, oleoresins (plant extracts) and spices would be covered under the programme. 

The chief secretary of Maharashtra is going to oversee the programme implantation in the state.

Kamal Nath appointed as the new ex-officio Member of Planning Commission

Prime Minister’s Office on 26 December 2012 re-constituted the Planning Commission and appointed the Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Minister - Kamal Nath as its new ex-officio member, replacing Jairam Ramesh.

The decision was taken with the view to lay down government emphasis on the Urban Development and schemes like MNREGA, already in existence for rural development. 

The other ex-officio members of the Commission are Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M K Alagiri, Communications Minister Kapil Sibal, Law Minister.

Tony Greig, Former Captain of England Cricket Team and Commentator Died

Tony Greig, 66, the former captain of England cricket team and renowned commentator passed away in Sydney on 29 December 2012 following lung cancer. Greig was diagnosed with the ailment in October 2012. 

Key elements of Tony Greig’s life:

•Tony Greig was born in Queenstown in South Africa. 
•He was awarded with the Best Cricketer of the Year award in 1975. 
•Greig had the test career of 58 matches and he scored 3599 runs while claiming 141 wickets. 
•He played 22 ODIs and scored 269 runs while grabbing 19 wickets. 
•He is said to be the leading international all-round player for England. 
•In his captaincy career, the best performance was in 1976-1977. 
•After the end of his cricketing career in 1977, Greig became a successful and renowned commentator.

Bihar became the Fastest Growing Indian State between 2006 and 2010

As per the data released by the Planning Commission of India, Bihar became the fastest growing state in India at 10.9 per cent between 2006 and 2010 while Gujarat’s growth rate declined to 9.3 per cent and it lagged behind Bihar and other four states- Orissa, Maharashtra, Haryana, Chhattisgarh in terms of growth rate. Bihar was the slowest growing state during 2001-05 period with GDP figure of 2.9 percent whereas Gujarat was the fastest growing state between 2001 and 2005 with figure of 11 percent.
Chhattisgarh grew from 7.7 per cent in 2001-05 to 10 per cent growth between 2006 and 2010  while Haryana grew from 8.4 per cent to 9.7 per cent, Maharashtra from 8.2 per cent to 9.6 per cent and Orissa from 7.8 per cent to 9.4 per cent between 2006 and 2010.   
The period between 2004-05 and 2011-12 registered an average increase of 300 per cent in consumption in rural areas, minimizing the gap between rural and urban area thus highlighting the inclusive growth.