Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tyler Armstrong became the youngest person to reach the Summit of Aconcagua

Tyler Armstrong on 27th December 2013 became the youngest person to reach the summit of Aconcagua, the highest mountain of America. The nine year old boy of United States climbed the mountain in the Argentine Andes with his father and Tibetan Sherpa, Lhawang Dhondup. In 2012, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa's highest peak. More than 100 people have died attempting to conquer Aconcagua, which rises 6962 metres above the sea level. Before Tyler, Matthew Moniz from the United States was the youngest person to climb the mountain at the age of 10 in the year 2008.

Frances top court approves millionaire tax

French President Francois Hollande’s proposal to tax salaries above 1 million euros at 75 per cent for this year and next has got approval from the top court. The initial proposal to tax individual incomes was ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Council almost exactly one year ago. But the government modified it to make employers liable for the 75% tax on salaries exceeding 1m euros (£830,000). The levy will last two years, affecting income earned this year and in 2014.

Football clubs in France threatened to go on strike earlier this year over the issue, saying many of France's clubs are financially fragile and say the plans could spark an exodus of top players who are paid huge salaries.

The Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain has more than 10 players whose pay exceeds 1m euros, including the Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

There has also been a chorus of protest from businesses and wealthy individuals who have condemned the tax - including film star Gerard Depardieu, who left the country in protest.

Polls suggest a large majority in France back the temporary tax.

Unlike many other countries in Europe, France aims to bring down its huge public deficit by raising taxes as well as some spending cuts.

The highest tax rate in the UK is 45% and is applied to individuals.

China has opened its Satellite System completely for Asian neighbours

China on welcomed the Asian countries to use its home grown BeiDou Navigation System for navigation system for free on 27th December. China is intended to widen the use of its home grown BeiDou Navigation System, which already has 16 satellites. China is keen to develop BeiDou satellite as an alternative to the American Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russian GLONASS.

GPS has been active since the 1970s and has satellites in orbit. The satellites have been operating for more than two decades. BeiDou launched the first of its current generation satellites only five years ago.GPS (Global Positioning System) comprises 30 satellites, while BeiDou already has over sixteen and is going to have another forty in orbit by the time the network is complete in 2020, at a cost of another 6 billion dollar. The greater the number of satellites, the easier it is for the system to calculate location, time and velocity of moving objects.

Arvind Kejriwal sworn-in as 7th Chief Minister of Delhi

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal was sworn-in as seventh Chief Minister of Delhi. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung. Besides Kejriwal, six other Cabinet Ministers of new government were also sworn in at historic Ramlila Maidan. The Ministers are Manish Sisodia, Somnath Bharti, Rakhi Birla, Satyendra Jain, Saurabh Bharadwaj, Girish Soni.

Soon after assuming charge, Kejriwal held a press conference and announced that he would keep key portfolios including Home, Finance, Power, and Vigilance.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Union Government launched e-inclusion project to spread e-literacy

The Union Government on 24th December launched e-inclusion project to make people e-literate. The project is an initiative to make at least one individual in every household e-literate. Union minister of Communications and Information Technology, Kapil Sibal also launched the book on e-inclusion after launching e-inclusion and e-literacy through Common Services Centres in New Delhi. IT training will be provided to the economically weaker sections of the society including rural SC, ST and women under this project. The project will help people to participate in the knowledge based activities and access the financial, social and government services by the use of internet.

Siddarth Birla took charges as President of FICCI

Sidharth Birla, Chairman of Xpro India Limited took the charge as the President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on 21 December 2013. Sidharth Birla succeeded the HSBC India Country Head Naina Lal Kidwai. Chairperson and Managing Director of Bharat Hotels, Joytsna Suri elected as Senior Vice-President of FICCI and Chairman of Ambuja Neotia group, Harshavardhan Neotia as Vice-President of FICCI

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar became the ambassador of US

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar became the Ambassador of US in December 2013. He is the successor of Nirupama Rao and his position in Beijing will be taken by Ashok k. kantha. 

Jaishankar, who has played a key role in negotiation of US-India nuclear agreement, was named as the next Ambassador to the USA on 14 September 2013. He previously has served as India’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China from 2009 to 2013

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport of Hyderabad received Sword of Honour award

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA),Hyderabad awarded the Sword of Honour for safety management in London in the second week of December 2013. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport Ltd is operated by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) and it is first airport in India to receive this award.

The airport received award in recognition of its effective implementation of occupational health and safety management systems from the British Safety Council for health and safety works at the airport.The Sword of Honour is considered to be Oscar of the Safety World. The Organization has achieved 5-star certification in the British Safety Council’s audit Programme.

First human artificial heart implanted in France

The first human artificial heart implantation performed in Georges Pompidou Hospital, Paris on 18 December 2013 was successful.

The artificial heart designed by the French biomedical firm Carmat and developed by the Dutch based European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).

The artificial heart can give patients up to five years of extra life, which replaces the real heart. The previous heart assistance devices are created mainly for temporary use.

The artificial heart uses biomaterials including bovine tissue and an array of sensors to mimic the contractions of the heart. The patient has to wear a belt of lithium batteries to power the heart.

Inside the heart, surfaces that come into contact with human blood are made partly from bovine tissue instead of synthetic materials which can cause blood clots.

The artificial heart weighs as little as less than a kilogram (900grams), almost three times heavier than an average healthy human heart.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

First Ministerial Level Talk held for BCIM Trade Corridor

India, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar in the third week of December 2013 held the first ever official-level discussions on the ambitious corridor to link India and China with Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The BCIM corridor faced a rapid boost for the first time after it was discussed with ministerial level talk. The four member countries namely, Bangladesh, India, China, and Myanmar proposed the establishment of the BCIM Forum for regional cooperation. 

Over the next six months, each country will come up with a joint study report proposing concrete projects and financing modalities, before the next meeting of the four nations in June 2014. 

The next meeting would be hosted by Bangladesh.

Presently, the four countries come up with an ambitious proposal that included developing multi-modal transport, such as road, rail, waterways and airways, joint power projects and telecommunication networks.

As a first step, the four countries will identify realistic and achievable infrastructure projects to boost physical connectivity.

The  linking of all four countries by road has further strengthen the notion that this corridor would subsequently open up the whole of the northeastern region of India to Southeast Asia and China and turn it into a significant channel of trade.

Election Commission recognized Aam Aadmi Party as state party

The Election Commission recognized Aam Aadmi Party as a state party and reservedsymbol of broom in Delhi on 19 December 2013.

As per laid norms, a party may be recognized by the Election Commission if the party wins at least three percent seats. The AAP outperformed in Delhi assembly election and won 28 seats in the 70-member House and took over 25 per cent of vote shares, which satisfied the criteria required to become state party.

Bolivia launched country’s first telecommunications Satellite Tupak Katari

Bolivia on 20 December 2013 launched the country’s first telecommunication satellite Tupak Katari. The satellite has been named upon an indigenous national hero, who fought the 18th century Spanish colonial rule.  
The rocket carrying the satellite blast off from a base in China. Bolivia is one of the last countries in South America to have its own satellite. 
Ivan Zambrana is the Director of the Bolivian Space Agency. He said that the satellite should be fully operational by March 2014 and help to bring down communication cost and improve television and Internet services for people living in rural areas.

Taishan, fourth research station of China, opened in Antarctica

China built a new research station in Antarctica called Taishan. It was China’s fourth research station in the southern pole. The aim of the research station would be to provide a base for research on bio-ecology and remote satellite sensing.

The Taishan camp will be used from December to March every year and is located near the United States' McMurdo Station, Italy's Zucchelli Station and a recently built South Korean station. The other three research stations of China in Antarctica are Great Wall, Zhongshan and Kunlun. China’s first research station, Great Wall Station was opened in 1985.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Amitabh Bachchan named Star of the Millennium

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan was honoured with the Star of the Millennium award at the Big Star Entertainment Awards 2013 here. He says he was "embarrassed" when the audience stood for him as he received the award.
The 71-year-old received the award for his movie `Satyagraha` at the event held at the Andheri Sports Complex here on 18th December. The gala also saw some sizzling performances by actors Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Sunny Leone, Elli Aavram, Nakuul Mehta and Mukti Mohan.
The fourth edition of Big Star Entertainment Awards was co-hosted by funnyman Sunil Grover and actor Shreyas Talpade. The duo had the audience in splits with their entertaining on-stage camaraderie. 

Europe launched Gaia satellite from French Guiana

Europe launched the Gaia satellite – one of the most ambitious space missions in the history. Giga lifted on a Soyuz rocket from Europe's Spaceport from the Kourou in French Guiana at 6:12 local time on 19th December 2013. It will map the precise positions and distances to more than a billion stars. 
This will give the first realistic picture of how the Milky Galaxy has been constructed and will also detect thousands of unseen objects like asteroids and new planets. 
The satellite is carrying two telescopes that will throw light on to a huge, one billion-pixel camera detector connected to a trio of instruments. It has been developed to sample the ultra-stable and supersensitive optical equipment to pinpoint. 
Giga’s journey will take about a month as it will travel about one and half kilometers to the observatory station from the earth. 

Sahitya Akademi Award for Katyayani Vidmahe

Noted literary critic and activist Katyayani Vidmahe won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award for 2013 in Telugu category. She won the award for her book ‘Sahityaakashamlo Sagam.’ The Sahitya Akademi announced the awards in Delhi on 18th December.

Katyayani Vidmahe hails from Warangal and she is currently working as Telugu professor in Kakatiya University. She was the eldest daughter of well known critic late Ketavarapu Ramakoti Sastry. Sastry worked as a professor at Osmania and Kakatiya universities. 

Kapil Dev selected for Col. CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award 2013

Kapil Dev, the Former Captain and legendary All-rounder of Indian Cricket Team on 18 December 2013 selected for the BCCI’s prestigious Col. CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award for the year 2013.

Kapil Dev had played 131 Tests for India taking 434 wickets. He was the first player to complete 5000 runs and 400 wickets in Tests.

He played 225 ODIs, in which he took 253 wickets and scored 3783 runs. His most memorable contribution to Indian cricket was the victory in the 1983 World Cup.

Sunil Gavaskar won this award for the year 2012. Other cricketers to have bagged the coveted award include, Mohinder Amarnath, Ajit Wadekar, Mohinder Amarnath, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Lala Amarnath, Syed Mushtaq Ali and Capt. Vijay Hazare.

Kolkata ranked top in public transport among Indian cities

Kolkata was ranked top in public transport among Indian cities, according to a study of the International Association of Public Transport (UTIP) released on 16th December. Kolkata was ranked 31st which was the highest among the six cities studied in India. The study was made by the IAPT in association with Arthur D Little, a management consultant based in Boston, for 84 cities across the world. The study was titled Future of Urban Mobility 2.0. According to the study, although Kolkata had the slowest mode of commuting but in public transport it was regarded as the most progressive city in the country. The other cities studied by the IAPT are Mumbai (41), Chennai (54), Hyderabad (55), Bangalore (65) and Delhi (79).

Moreover, Kolkata fared better than several cities in developed countries including New York (35), Toronto (38) and Melbourne. The Study has placed Hong Kong as the best city in public transport followed by Stockholm and Amsterdam. The cities with the worst mode of public transport were Baghdad, Hanoi and Atlanta. The parameters that were taken into account included share of trips made in public transport, smart card penetration, road density, frequency of public transport and initiatives taken in the public sector.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

With expanding Urbanisation, Villages thinning out revealed by Census 2011

According to the rural data of the Census 2011 released on 10 December 2013, the rural population is increasingly getting concentrated in a narrow band of villages ranging from the size of 2000 population to the size of 10000 population. The Census further revealed that close to 50% of the rural population now lives in just 1.2 lakh villages. The remaining 50% lives in 4.8 lakh villages. 

According to the Census 2011, out of 640930 villages 597483 villages were inhabited whereas 43447 villages were deserted. In the previous Census held in 2001, there were 5.93 lakh villages with inhabitants and there were 44865 deserted villages.

Between 2001 and 2011, the share of rural population living in villages with less than 2000 population went down from 46 percent to 41 percent. To the contrary the share of population living in the biggest villages (with over 10000 population size) went up marginally from 8.55 percent to 8.68 percent between the two census counts. 

There were 670 more big villages in 2011 than in 2001. Uttar Pradesh has the most number of 10000+ villages. Kerala stands next in having bigger villages.

Village size
 Census 2001
Census 2011
 Less than 2000



Between 2000 and 9999
Above 10000

Some Statistics related to Rural-Urban data: Census 2011
Population in Crores

• For the first time since Independence, the absolute increase in population is more in urban areas that in rural areas
• Rural–Urban distribution: 68.84% & 31.16%
• Level of urbanization increased from 27.81% in 2001 Census to 31.16% in 2011 Census
• The proportion of rural population declined from 72.19% to 68.84%

State wise data on level of urbanization and rural population
• Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal are respectively the states with the highest rural population in India. 
• In percentage terms Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Orissa, Meghalaya are the most rural states.
• Sikkim, Mizoram and Goa are the states with least rural populations.
• Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the states with highest absolute (total) urban population. 
• The bottom three states with least urban population are Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
• Meghalaya (27%) & Bihar (24%) witnessed the highest growth of rural population among States in 2001-11.
• Four States saw decline in Rural Population during 2001-11.These are Kerala (by 26%), Goa (19%), Nagaland (15%) &Sikkim (5%).

WTO revises Bali draft to address Indias concerns

In a major victory for India, the WTO has agreed to allow countries to provide subsidy on staple food crops without any threat of punitive action. The organisation has issued a revised draft of the Bali package, which addresses India's concerns on food security. After tough negotiations over the past four days in the face of India's unrelenting stand on the food security issue, the 159-member WTO reached a historic agreement that will boost global trade by 1 trillion dollars.

The draft has proposed an interim solution with a peace clause of four years during which a permanent mechanism will have to be finalised.

Significantly, it would not preclude developing countries from rolling out their own food security programmes as it will include only existing programmes -- key concerns for India that is implementing the Food Security Act.

However, developing nations will be bound to notify the World Trade Organization's Committee on Agriculture if they are in danger of capping the 10 per cent subsidy limit. It also prohibits any market distorting activities and will be monitored closely by the WTO.

Fulfilling the major concerns of the US and the EU, the draft text has also called to put in place the Trade Faciliation pact over the next two years for which a preparatory committee would be set up. The pact will put in binding rules to ensure easier movement of goods, adding $ 1 trillion to the global GDP according to a study.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Miss Venezuela, Alyz Henrich became Miss Earth 2013

Miss Venezuela Alyz Henrich on 7 December 2013 was crowned with the pageant of Miss Earth 2013 at the Versailles Palace, Philippines. She was crowned with the pageant of Miss World by Tereza Fajksova, the Miss Earth 2012 from Czech Republic. This was the 13th edition of the annual Miss Earth.

With this winning, Alyz Henrich has joined the roster of beauty queens and will be an ambassador for environmental preservation.  

Other winners are:

• Miss Earth Fire: Miss Korea Catharina Choi
• Miss Earth Water: Miss Thailand Punika Kulsoontornrut
• Miss Earth Air: Miss Austria Katia Wagner

India's participant for the pageant was Sobhita Dhulipala, who failed to make it in the list of top 16. arlier, she won the Miss Photogenic and the Miss Eco Beauty Title contests.
For the crown of the Miss Earth, 88 beauties competed from across the earth. The show was presented by popular television show host, Oli Pettigrew and Singapore-based fashion model, Linda Black.

The contest began in 2001 to promote the preservation of the environment. Nicole Faria is the first Indian contestant to have won the title in 2010.

Nelson Mandela passes away

Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary of South Africa died on 5th November. He was of 95 years old. He died in his house at Johannesburg following a long illness. He was also known as Madiba in South Africa. He was receiving intensive medical care at home for a lung infection after spending three months in hospital.

His death was announced by the South African President, Jacob Zuma. He announced that Mandela will receive a full state funeral and the flags would be flown at half-mast until the state funeral. Nelson Mandela was one of the world's most revered statesmen for preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years.

He was the first black South African to hold the office of President from 1994 to 1999, and the first elected in a fully representative multiracial election. 

Malala Yousafzai awarded 2013 United Nations Human Rights Prize

Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt last year, has been awarded the 2013 UN Human Rights Prize, an honour previously given to icons like late Nelson Mandela in recognition of outstanding achievement in human rights. 

The prize is awarded every five years and has previously been bestowed on Amnesty International and former US president Jimmy Carter. 

"The Prize is an opportunity not only to give public recognition to the achievements of the recipients themselves, but also to send a clear message to human rights defenders the world over that the international community is grateful for, and supports, their tireless efforts to promote all human rights for all," the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a statement. 

Apart from Yousafzai, the other five winners of the award are son of freed slaves who works to eradicate slavery Biram Dah Abeid of Mauritania, campaigner from Kosovo for the rights of short statured people Hiljmnijeta Apuk, President emeritus of the World Federation of the Deaf Liisa Kauppinen, Former President of the Morocco Association for Human Rights Khadija Ryadi and Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice. 

The award ceremony would take place at the UN headquarters here on December 10 as part of the annual commemoration of Human Rights Day, which would this year include the observance of the 20th anniversary of the creation of OHCHR and the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

8th Asia Gas Partnership Summit

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated 8th Asia Gas Partnership summit organised by gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). While inaugurating the summit Singh dedicated 1000 kilometer long Dabhol-Bengaluru gas pipe line in order to meet the increasing gas demand of the country and said that due to environment concern gas requirement should be diversified.
The two-day conference with the theme 'Asian Gas Market: Challenges and Opportunities in the Changing Paradigm' will have six business sessions and a special session and feature some of the best speakers and experts in their areas".

Dhoni, the second Indian to win ICCs People Choice Award

After receiving Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, ICC World ODI XI, ODI Player of the Year, one more feather has been added to Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Cap by winning ICC’s People Choice Award’2013. Dhoni has become the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to receive International Cricket Council’s (ICC) LG People’s choice Award. Moreover, he has turned out to be third cricketer after Tendulkar (2011) and Sri Lanka veteran Kumar Sangakkara (2012).
Every year International Council Cricket (ICC) honours best international cricket players under 13 categories. They are Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, ICC Test Cricketer of the Year, ICC Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year, ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year, ICC Men's Twenty20 International Performance of the Year, ICC Women's Twenty20 International Cricketer of the Year, ICC Spirit of Cricket, David Shepherd Trophy for ICC Umpire of the Year, ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year, ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year, ICC Test Team of the Year, ICC ODI Team of the Year, and LG People's Choice Award.

Since 2004 ICC awards held every year which has been institutionalised by International Cricket Council. The LG ICC Awards ceremonies have been previously held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008), Bengaluru (2010), London (2011) and Colombo (2012).  LG people choice award was introduced at the 2010 LG ICC Awards in Bengaluru and is voted upon by close to 188,000 cricket fans around the world. The short-list was nominated by an elite panel of cricket experts, which is headed by ICC Cricket Committee Chairman and former India captain Anil Kumble.

e-BRC project finds top position in eASIA 2013 Award

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade’s electronic Bank Realization Certificate (e-BRC) project has bagged eAsia 2013 award in Trade Facilitation category.
e-BRC project launched on June 5, 2012 created an integrated platform for receipt, processing and subsequent use of all Bank Realization related information by exporters, banks, central and state government departments. It was made mandatory with effect from August 17, 2012. Hence, now Bank Realization Certificate is must for discharge of export obligation and to claim incentives under Foreign Trade Policy. Earlier these certificates were issued by the banks manually. BRC is also used by state government departments for refund of VAT.

e-BRC project allows banks to upload Foreign Exchange realisation information relating to merchandise goods exports on to the DGFT server under a secured protocol. So far 89 banks operating in India, including foreign banks and cooperative banks have uploaded more than 64 lakh e-BRCs on to the DGFT server. This initiative has reduced the cost of transaction for exporters by eliminating their interface with bank (for issuance of BRC purposes) and enhanced the productivity of banks and DGFT. At the state level, Commercial Tax Departments of Maharashtra, Delhi, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have signed MoU with DGFT for getting e-BRC data for VAT refund purposes. Many other states are in the process of signing MOUs. e-BRC project is a success story involving multiple stake holders, each with a different technology platform. This project is a good example of power of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) to improve service delivery.

Top winners of other categories of eAsia 2013 awards administered by Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (AFACT) are as below:

• e-Business in public sector category Vietnam’s FPT Information System (FIS) project Building and deploying electronic customs clearance system (e-customs) for Vietnam Customs.

• e-Business in private sector category  Taiwan’s CyberSoft Digital Services Corp. project The Best Practice of Secure Mobile Payment for Electronic Business.

• Bridging digital device category Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry (III) project The APEC Digital Opportunity Center Project.

SpaceX launches new communication satellite for Asia

A new communication satellite which will provide television and cable TV services to countries such as India and China has been successfully launched aboard the first commercial rocket by private US company SpaceX, after two delays. 

The new 3.2-tonne SES-8 satellite launched yesterday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and will provide TV and communications coverage for the South Asia and Asia Pacific regions. The satellite will be placed in geostationary orbit, meaning it will orbit at a fixed point above Earth, in sync with the Earth’s rotation. The California-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) successfully completed its first geostationary transfer mission, delivering the SES-8 satellite to its targeted 295 x 80,000 km orbit. 

Falcon 9’s flight met 100 per cent of mission objectives, lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40). The satellite was built for satellite operator SES to serve its growing customer base in India and South East Asia. The launch was originally scheduled for early this year, but has been delayed by technical issues with the rocket. 

Approximately 185 seconds into flight, Falcon 9’s second stage’s single Merlin vacuum engine ignited to begin a five minute, 20 second burn that delivered the SES-8 satellite into its parking orbit. Eighteen minutes after injection into the parking orbit, the second stage engine relit for just over one minute to carry the SES-8 satellite to its final geostationary transfer orbit. 

“The successful insertion of the SES-8 satellite confirms the upgraded Falcon 9 launch vehicle delivers to the industry’s highest performance standards,” said Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX. “We appreciate SES’s early confidence in SpaceX and look forward to launching additional SES satellites in the years to come,” Musk said in a statement. SpaceX has nearly 50 launches on manifest, of which over 60 per cent are for commercial customers. 

China successfully launched unmanned Lunar Probe- Chang'e-3

China on 2 December 2013 successfully sent an unmanned lunar probe with a robotic rover to soft land on the Moon, and to explore moon’s surface. The probe Chang'e-3 was launched into orbit aboard an enhanced Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre

The mission was the 25th launch of the Long March-3B, which is the most powerful launch vehicle in the Long March fleet. Chang'e-3 comprises a lander and a Moon rover called "Yutu" (Jade Rabbit).

The Chang'e-3 mission is the second phase of China's lunar program, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to Earth. It follows the success of the Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 missions in 2007 and 2010.The lunar probe will land on the Moon in mid-December 2013 according to the plan. So far, only the United States and the former Soviet Union have soft-landed on the Moon. India's Chandrayaan-1, which was credited to have discovered water in the lunar surface made a hard landing on the Moon.

India Ranked 94th on Global Corruption Perception Index 2013

India was ranked 94th out of 177 countries on Global Corruption Perception Index 2013, which was released by Transparency International on 3 December 2013.
In the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, Denmark and New Zealand tied for first place with scores of 91. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia this year make up the worst performers, scoring just 8 points each. 
Transparency International has released its 19th annual Corruption Perceptions Index on 3 December 2013 at Berlin, Germany. The Index, which ranks the public sector of 177 countries across the world according to perception of corruption.

Top 10 Most Corrupt Countries
Country Name
North Korea
South Sudan
Top 10 Least Corrupt Countries
Country Name
New Zealand