[Current Affairs] National - January 2013

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  • Three focuses of Isro, viz., Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (Vssc), Thiruvananthapuram, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (Lpsc), with grounds in Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore and
    Mahendragiri and Satish Dhawan Space Centre (Sdsc), SHAR, Sriharikota, have new Directors (Mr. S. Ramakrishnan, Mr. M. Chandradathan and Dr. M.y.s. Prasad individually) from January 1, 2013. Mr. S. Ramakrishnan, Distinguished Scientist of Isro and until now Director, Lpsc, has expected the workplace of the Director, Vssc. He assumed control over the charge from Mr. P. S. Veeraraghavan, the turning in Director. Vssc is the lead place for the outline and improvement of launch vehicle innovations for the Indian Space Programme. Mr. M. Chandradathan, Distinguished Scientist and until now Director, Sdsc Shar, Sriharikota, is selected as Director, Lpsc with facilities in Thiruvananthapuram, Mahendragiri and Bangalore. He assumed control over the charge from Mr. S. Ramakrishnan, who is designated as Director, Vssc. Dr. M.y.s. Prasad, Distinguished Scientist and Associate Director of Sdsc Shar, Sriharikota has accepted the workplace of Director, Sdsc Shar. He assumed control over the charge from Mr. M Chandradathan, who has been delegated as the Director of Isro's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre. Sdsc Shar with two launch cushions is the spaceport of Isro.
  • Previous Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, who broke with Sharad Pawar's Ncp a year ago to challenge the Presidential elections against Congress candidate Pranab Mukherjee, started his own particular National People's Party (Npp) on 6 January and held hands with Bjp-advanced Nda. Starting the Npp at the "national level," in New Delhi Sangma said, it has been animated for long as a recognised gathering from Manipur. Sangma had formerly held hands with Nda after he assembled a coalition of north-east parties in front of the 2004 race. Sangma who unsuccessfully challenged the Presidential surveys a year ago as a petitioner of the Tribal Forum of India said that his gathering might give because of tribal and ladies issues. He reported that previous Union minister Arvind Netam will be working president of the new gathering.
  • The legislature is set to take off its aspiring plan of exchanging money to beneficiaries of select plans in 20 areas on 1 January 2013, however sustenance, fertiliser and fuel subsidies won't be secured in the introductory stage. According to the take off arrangement, more regions and plans might be secured under the plan throughout the course of 2013. all 26 plans are primed for rollout. On 1 January 2013 the seven plans in which payout is expected in the (20 chose) locale, the cash will be exchanged through the immediate profit exchange framework utilizing the UIDAI stage. On the other hand, Government cleared up that subsidies identifying with cooking gas (Lpg), lamp oil, diesel, sustenance and manures won't be incorporated in the first stage of the rollout. The plan is set to be taken off in 43 areas by 1 March 2013, 20 districts from January 1, 11 districts from February 1 and 12 districts from March 1. By finish of 2013, the immediate money profit exchange will be taken off in all the districts of the nation. The subsidies might be exchanged to the beneficiaries' financial balances in the event that they don't have an Aadhaar number.
  • Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on 6 January started the Aadhar-empowered Direct Benefits Transfer Scheme (Dbts) for MGNREGP and Social Security Pensions at Gollaprolu village in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. East Godavari (Eg) is one of the four areas in Andhra Pradesh where the plan tends to be started as a major aspect of the across the nation take off of Dbts in the first stage. EG has the refinement of accomplishing 99 for every penny enrolment for Aadhar and the same amount as 43.32 lakh persons were as of now issued Uid cards. To stamp the launch of the plan, the Union Rural Development Minister paid the annuity sum to Nilla Satyanarayana, a physically tested individual, utilizing a micro Atm.
  • Team structured to survey ladies' wellbeing in Delhi  - The Ministry of Home Affairs has shaped an uncommon team to research the issues of ladies' security in the capital each fortnight. The 13-member form, to be headed by the Home Secretary, will additionally customarily survey the working of the Delhi Police. Its members are the Chief Secretary; the Police Commissioner, the Special Commissioner (Traffic) and the Special Commissioner (Law & Order); the administrator of the Delhi Commission for Women; the New Delhi Municipal Council executive; the Transport and Excise Commissioners; the Corporation Commissioners of East Delhi, North Delhi and South Delhi; and the Joint Secretary (Union Territory) in the Home Ministry.
  • Foreign Tourists Not Allowed To Work as Journalists on Tourist Visa - Service of Home Affairs on 2 January 2013 requested foreign vacationers not to enjoy in the journalistic exercises on their visitor visas. The request was issued by the Ministry in the wake of watching that a considerable measure of tourists going by India on their vacationer visa are additionally included in blanket the occasions and in addition journalistic exercises in India. The Home Affairs official cleared that visitor visa was not the fitting visa for blanket journalistic exercises by outsiders. Vacationer visa is issued to the outsiders who don't have living arrangement and in addition occupation in India and the essential goal of their visit is diversion, easy visit for gathering relatives and companions and additionally touring. Any viable movement on this visitor visa was not allowable. Service of Home Affairs additionally solicited the Ministry of External Affairs to impart directives to the Indian Missions or Posts abroad. The Ministry likewise requested that the State Governments and also concerned powers of India might as well strictly comply with the request.
  • Chief Justice of India Inaugurated First Fast-Track Court in Delhi for Hearing Rape Cases - Chief Justice of India (Cji) Altamas Kabir initiated the first fast track court in Delhi on 2 January 2013 for managing the law violations against females. The foremost fast track court is one around other four fast track courts which might manage the instances of wrongdoing against the ladies. This court is situated up in the Saket Court Complex and the first case to be caught here is that of the Delhi gangrape which occurred on 16 December 2012. Other fast track courts might work from 3 January 2013 at Rohini, Tis Hazari and Dwarka in New Delhi. In the first assault case which might be caught in the fast track court, the Delhi Police chose to submit a 1000-page chargesheet in the justice court in Saket on 3 January 2013 after which it might move to fast track court where listening to will occur on day by day trial premise. In December 2012, the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court reported that all the instances of wrongdoing against ladies in Delhi might be managed in the fast track courts.
  • Regional Passport Office sets national record - The Regional Passport Office, Hyderabad, has become the first RPO in the country to deliver more than 5 lakh passport services, on 4 January. During 2012, the RPO, Hyderabad, received about 5.73 lakh applications (20 % more than 2011) and provided about 5.5 lakh passport services.
  • Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde launched Pilot Project of Crime and Criminal Tracking System - Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on 4 January 2013 launched Pilot Project of Crime and Criminal Tracking Systems. The Government launched the project to make use of technology in bringing greater transparency and accountability into government functioning, as Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) is supposed to be an important step forward in this direction which requires a significant change management effort. The pilot launch of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) Project would create a nation-wide environment for the real-time sharing of crime and criminal information and connect approximately 14000 police stations throughout the country apart from higher offices in police hierarchy.
  • Political lack of determination extended in Jharkhand on 8 January, with Chief Minister Arjun Munda submitting his acquiescence to Governor Syed Ahmed. On 7 January, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (Jmm) proclaimed the withdrawal of its uphold to the Bjp-advanced government. Mr. Munda proposed that the Governor break down the Assembly to expedite crisp races. He has been asked by the Governor to proceed as overseer boss priest. Mr. Munda said the choice was taken as no national gathering approached to furnish an elective government after the Jmm chose to haul out of the administration, which was structured in September 2010. Both the Jmm and the Bjp have 18 seats each in the 81-part Assembly.
  • The Andhra Pradesh government has banned the assembling and deal of gutkha and skillet masala in the state with instantaneous impact, as per the State Health and Family Welfare Department. The boycott has made Andhra Pradesh the fourteenth state in the nation to take the step towards annihilating tobacco utilize, cutting down screens on the 12 gutkha assembling units in the state. Different branches, incorporating vigilance and requirement, business expense, transport, labour, civil organization, panchayat raj and police will work together to authorize the boycott. As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (Gats 2010), discharged by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in October 2010, something like 29 percent of the mature person populace in AP devours tobacco items in some structure or the other. Around them, 15 percent utilization smokeless tobacco, while 17.4 percent are smokers. Masters indicate that around the 3,095 concoction parts discovered in the tobacco items, incorporating gutkha, 28 were ended up being cancer-causing agents which cause disease. While it is extensively realized that gutkha reasons oral tumor in the long run, relatively few clients are conscious that its instantaneous impacts are on the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal frameworks. The non-nourishment grade operators and chemicals show in gutka can likewise prompt heart ambushes and fruitlessness, masters cautioned.
  • The Prime Minister on 9 January, revealed the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 in the vicinity of Mr. Praful Patel, Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises and Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Dy. Administrator, Planning Commission. The key end destinations of the National Mission for Electric Mobility (NMEM) are National vigor security, moderation of the inimical effect of vehicles on nature's domain and development of local assembling proficiencies. The NEMMP 2020, the mission report for the NMEM that was affirmed by the National Council for Electric Mobility (NCEM) on 29th August, 2012, sets the vision, lays the targets and furnishes the joint Government – industry vision for understanding the immense potential that exists for full run of proficient and ecologically benevolent electric vehicle (counting half breeds) innovations by 2020. The NEMMP 2020 is a generally explored archive and depends on in-profundity essential information based study led together by the Government and the Industry which shows that high dormant interest for earth neighborly electric vehicle innovations exists in the nation. According to these projections, 6-7 million units of new vehicle deals of the full go of electric vehicles, on top of resultant fluid fuel funds of 2.2 – 2.5 million tones could be accomplished in 2020. This will likewise bring about considerable bringing down of vehicular discharges and diminish in carbon dioxide discharges by 1.3% to 1.5% in 2020 as contrasted with a the present state of affairs situation. The NEMMP 2020 projections additionally demonstrate that the investment funds from the reduction in fluid fossil fuel utilization as an aftereffect of movement to electric versatility alone will far surpass the backing gave subsequently making this a profoundly financially practical suggestion. Accordingly on all checks empowering the speedier appropriation of crossover & electric vehicles and their production in India is a clever venture for our destiny eras. NMEM is around the most noteworthy intercessions of the Government that guarantees to change the auto standard of the what's to come by reducing the reliance on fossil fills, expanding vigor effectiveness of vehicles and by giving the intends to realize extreme target of cleaner transportation that is good with satisfactory renewable vigor era. This Intervention will additionally assist energize the Indian Automotive Industry to movement to more up to date, cleaner advances with the intention that it raises its future focused preference around earth economical items, high end advances, development and information. The execution and take off of the NEMMP 2020 will be finished through different particular plans, intercessions, arrangements that are right now under definition and will be recognized by the Government in the close future.
  • The Union Cabinet on 10 January, sanctioned the overhauled cost gauges of Rs.1457.56 crore for reproduction and finishing of the Salma Dam Project (3x14 Mw) in Afghanistan by M/s Wapcos Ltd. towards civil, hydro-mechanical, electro-mechanical and different parts of the dam work fulfillment of the dam in December 2014 or two years from the date of regard of updated cost gauges. The consumption on the activities will be met from the Non-Plan head of 'aid to Afghanistan' plan of the Ministry of External Affairs. The Cabinet had endorsed the proposal in June 2010 for the modified cost gauges of Rs.854.86 crore up to December 2010. The venture has enrolled physical advancement of 60 percent. The venture is being executed by M/s Wapcos, a focal PSU under the Ministry of Water Resources. The neighborhood groups of Western Afghanistan would straightforwardly profit from the task. The accessibility of force and water through the activity upon its auspicious finishing will expedite general monetary improvement of Afghanistan's Western area and create goodwill for India in Afghanistan. The fruition of this activity will address the issues of vigor necessity and watering system needs in Western Afghanistan.
  • The Union Cabinet on 10 January approved the declaration of the National Institute of Design (NID) by Parliament by law as an 'Institution of National Importance'. The Union Ministry of Tourism will organise an International Tourism Mart at Guwahati from eighteenth to twentieth of January, 2013. Declaring this at a public interview in New Delhi, Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi said that this won't just be the first ever International Tourism occasion to be organised in the north-eastern area, additionally the first International Tourism Mart to concentrate on a particular locale of India. He said "It will unite the tourism business crew and enterprisers from the eight north eastern States of India and West Bengal. The occasion has been arranged and booked to expedite communication between purchasers, venders, media, Government orgs and others. The Minister educated that in the ballpark of 100 agents incorporating tourism Ministers, Tourism Secretaries, Tour specialists, Hoteliers and Media Representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Combodia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lao Pdr, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America and Vietnam will be going to the store. He said these agents will participate in one-two-one gatherings with dealers from the north eastern locale and West Bengal. Mr. Chiranjeevi said this will empower tourism item suppliers from the area to connect with global and residential purchasers and push tourism in the area. The north east locale of India including the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, is supplied with differing vacation destinations and items. The fluctuated geography of the district, its greenery, the ethnic neighborhoods with their rich legacy of aged customs and lifestyles, celebrations, abstractions and makes, make it an occasion goal holding up to be investigated. Recognizing the bordering characteristics of West Bengal with the north east, the state has been incorporated in the Mart.
  • The Union Cabinet on 10 January sanctioned the presentation of a Bill in the Parliament for announcing Lakhipur-Bhanga stretch (121 kms.) of the Barak River as a National Waterway. It likewise gave its regard for readiness of projects/schemes for improvement of base offices on this stretch of the waterway at an expected cost of Rs.123 crore with execution in two stages. Inland Waterways Authority of India (Iwai) set up under IWAI Act, 1985 will be the bringing about org for this undertaking. The foremost stage of the activity might be finished by 2016-17 accompanied by the second stage which is prone to be finished by 2018-19. The establishment to announce Lakhipur-Bhanga extent of the Barak River as National Waterway will bring about unified advancement of the conduits for delivery and route and transportation of load to the North Eastern Region especially in the states of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. The Government of India has so far pronounced five conduits as National Waterways. These are:-(i) Allahabad-Haldia extend of the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly waterway framework (1620 km); (ii) Dhubri-Sadiya extend of Brahmaputra River (891 km); (iii) Kottapuram-Kollam extend of West Coast Canal in addition to Udyogmandal and Champakara Canals (205 km); (iv) Kakinada-Puducherry extend of the trench plus designated extends of Godavari and Krishna Rivers (1078 km); and (v) designated extends of East Coast Canal, Brahmani River and Mahanadi Delta (588 km). The Lakhipur-Bhanga extend of the Barak River might be the sixth National Waterway.
  • The Union Cabinet on 10 January, has endorsed the proposal of the Ministry of Rural Development to give a quality and competitive house and additionally considering various requests from the stakeholders for expanding the unit cost, keeping in perspective the steep expand in expense of materials. The endorsement is that-Enhancement of unit support under the Indira Awaas Yojana (Iay) from Rs. 45,000/-to Rs. 70,000/-in plain territories and from Rs. 48,500/-to Rs. 75,000/-in hilly/difficult/lap area; The Iay is a lead plan of the Ministry of Rural Development and points at tending to rustic lodging issues by providing grant for consortium / upgradation of home units of BPL families particularly giving necessity to Scheduled Castes/scheduled Tribes, liberated reinforced labourers and physically challanged persons with fiscal support of Rs. 45,000/-in plain territories and Rs. 48,500/-in bumpy /challenging zones.
  • The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee discharged a Commemorative Postage Stamp on 'silk Letter Movement' at a function in New Delhi on January 11, 2013.speaking on the event, the President said that the tributes of people and assemblies, for example those connected with the Silk Letter Movement, constitute a radiant section of India's history of Freedom battle and need to be recognized and acknowledged. The President said that he is cheerful that the Department of Posts has done its spot throughout the years and has issued postage stamps to recognize the commitment of different aggregations and developments which in their own specific courses donated to the general deliberation to free India.
  • Distinguishing the vitality of silver screen as a capable apparatus for the improvement and advancement of different vacationer ends, Union Tourism Minister K.chiranjeevi declared, some drives for advertising "Film Tourism" through movies shot in India. Proclaiming this in New Delhi on 11 January, the Minister said that a "Land of Pi" campaign might be started soon over all media, incorporating print, on the web, electronic and open air, to push Puducherry and Munnar as traveler ends of the line. The extensively acclaimed film "Life of Pi" has been mostly shot in the delightful regions of Puducherry (Pondicherry) and Munnar in Kerala. To empower viewers of the film to visit the two areas demonstrated in the film, Mr. Chiranjeevi held a gathering a month ago with the Secretaries of Tourism of Puducherry and Kerala in addition to Tour Operators of the locale, promptly after it was watched that the film had highlighted attentiveness to the two districts. K.chiranjeevi has recently declared exceptional National Tourism Awards for Mr. Ang Lee, Director and Mr. Yann Martel, writer of the Book "Life of Pi", for pushing India through the film.

  • President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on 12 January, inaugurated the celebrations to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.The Finance Minister P. Chidambaram released a set of Commemorative Coins and presented the first set to the President Pranab Mukherjee. The coins are of Rs.150 and Rs. 5 denomination. The Government of India decided to undertake the commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. A National Committee under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was constituted to approve policies/plans, programmes and supervise and guide the Commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda including preparatory activities leading up to the Anniversary year in 2013-14. A National Implementation Committee was also constituted in 2010 under the Chairmanship of the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to implement the decisions of the National Committee. On Pranab Mukherjee assuming the office of President of India, Defence Minister Shri A.K. Antony has been appointed Chairman of the said National Implementation Committee.
  • Foreign Exchange Earnings from Tourism shows an Increase of 21.8 Percent During 2012 Foreign Tourist Arrivals also Goes up by 5.4 Percent during the Year Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from Tourism during the year 2012 showed an increase of 21.8% as compared to FEEs of 2011. Foreign Tourist Arrivals ( FTAs) in the country also registered an increase of 5.4% during the year 2012 as compared to FTAs of 2011.
The following are the important highlights regarding FTAs and FEEs from tourism in India during the year 2012:
  1. FEEs from tourism in rupee terms during 2012 were Rs.94, 487 crore with a growth of 21.8% as compared to the FEEs of Rs.77, 591 crore with a growth of 19.6% during the year 2011 over 2010.
  2. FEEs from tourism in terms of US$ during 2012 were US$ 17.74 billion with a growth of 7.1% over 2011.
  3. FTAs in India during 2012 were 66.48 lakh with a growth of 5.4% as compared to the FTAs of 63.09 lakh during the year 2011.
  4. Ministry of Tourism compiles monthly estimates of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) on the basis of data received from major ports and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism on the basis data available from Reserve Bank of India.
  • National Aluminum Co Ltd (Nalco) Commissioned its First Wind Power Project in AP - National Aluminum Co Ltd (Nalco) in the Month of January 2013 authorized its first wind power activity at Gandikota in Kadapa locale of Andhra Pradesh. Nalco which is the Government-claimed maker and merchant of aluminum items had contributed around 275 crore rupees for the 50-Mw Suzlon-raised undertaking. Nalco marked a force buy concurrence with the State's energy transmission utility Transco and has started immunization of force to the State matrix. The windmill venture had gained leeway from the Ministry of Forests and Environment. Likewise, setting up of the second wind power is at stake which should be of 50 Mw, and will be arranged in Jaisalmer locale of Rajasthan. The expense of this activity is evaluated to be around 190 crore rupees. Nalco, an impressive warm power customer for its aluminum purifying in Odisha, is grateful to produce renewable vigor under power regulations. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the Indian Wind Turbine Manufactures Association (Wtma) had reported that open part units have so far made around 1135 Mw of wind power tasks in the nation, plus sun oriented power tasks of 27 Mw.
  • News Broadcasting Standards Association Issued Guidelines for Reporting of Sexual Crimes - The News Broadcasting Standards Association (Nbsa) on 7 January 2013 issued certain guidelines for the Tv slots to practice watchfulness and affectability, while reporting the rape cases. Keeping in perspective, the Section 228a of the Indian Penal Code (Ipc), Nbsa guided Tv slots to keep the personality of the victimized individuals included in rape, revolting. The guidelines were an aftereffect of the Zee News Tv talk with of the victim of Delhi gangrape chump. The name of victimized individual was additionally uncovered in one universal production. Nbsa while issuing guidelines pronounced that the news diverts would have done well to remember that the scope and also reporting of wrongdoing can impact the mentality of viewers, consequently likewise making huge effect on discernment of their brains for such unlawful acts. The news channels were encouraged to adjust the right to security of the survivor and also his/her family with the people investment. Channels were in this way required to discharge the personality from schmucks of rape, hostility and roughness. The issued guidelines announced that in reporting of such sexual criminal acts on ladies, chumps of adolescent culpable and kid misuse, the protection ought to be regarded and name, photos and other private portions ought not to be revealed. The Tv stations were steered to practice affectability, sound judgment and also attentiveness, particularly while unveiling the parts of rape on the grounds that these portions re-traumatized the survivor.
  • National Data Centre for Uidai to come up in Gurgaon - The Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda on 7 January 2012 established the framework stone of the state-of-the craft National Data Centre of Unique Identification Authority of India (Uidai) at Maneshar, Gurgaon in Haryana. The inside that will spread in a region of five-sections of land might serve as the respiratory framework for the Uidai and might store all the essential biometric and demographic informative data of the occupants, soon after the 12-digit Aadhaar Number is issued. The improvement work of the Uidai focus might be finished by mid 2014 and is being created as a green information focus and withstands to all the worldwide measures and guidelines.
  • Railway fares hiked for first time in 10 years; increase across all classes - Ahead of the rail budget for 2013, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on 9 January announced a fare hike with effect from January 21-22 midnight. Addressing a press conference Bansal said that having hiked the railway fares now, the government will not increase the tariff in the budget. This is the first railway fare hike in ten years.
  • The eighth Annual Status of Education Report, Aser 2012 was released in New Delhi on 17 January by the Minister of Human Resource Development, Dr. M.m. Pallam Raju. Talking on the event the Hon'ble Minister said that the center of the present twelfth Five Year Plan is on nature of instruction granted in schools. He said that the nature of the instructors in schools must be enhanced and base should be reinforced. Liking the pattern in change of foundation in schools incorporating sanitation and mid-day suppers, he said that the pattern of the young lady's selection going down is a matter of concern. Communicating fulfillment over the exhibition of a few states, the Minister said that after the institution of Rte Act a few states are doing great in essential and basic training however states from north-east districts need to get up to speed. Expressing that desire level of the parents and the children is going up. The report says that the enlistment level for the 6-14 age aggregation pressed on to be extremely high in rural areas. In 2012, 96.5% of all the youngsters in this age aggregation in rustic regions were enlisted in schools. The extent of the youngsters in the age assembly of 6-14 who are not enlisted in schools has gone up somewhat from 3.3% in 2011 to 3.5% in 2012. The increment is biggest in Rajasthan and UP. The report likewise says that study results were level yet enduring in the years expediting 2010. Anyhow over the nation, kids' capability to read basic content and do fundamental number-crunching has declined since then. Broadly, private schools enlistment has expanded (6-14 age gathering). In afterward five years, the nation may have 50% of the youngsters going to private schools even in the rural areas.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee introduced the 28th Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) Congress in Hyderabad on 17 January. Talking in the event he says, Private sector companies and Government organizations may as well hold hands to battle visual deficiency. Referring to the World Health Organisation information, the President said by 2020, there might be 76 million visually impaired individuals showing that surface impedance might twofold in 1990-2020. India had a verifiable convention of keeping tabs on eye-mind as its antiquated sage-cum-surgeon, Shushruta was the father of cataract surgeries, he said.
  • The Supreme Court on 19 January banned new infringement of ways, asphalts and sideways by development of religious structures or establishment of statues of open figures. The peak court's governing locations a regular danger in all Indian urban communities and towns where unapproved religious structures -frequently meagerly camouflaged instances of area snatch -have sprung up on open and private land and are impeding streets and hindering occupants. The request can engage civil and government forms to anticipate unapproved developments being completed under the clothing of religious structures as frequently nearby political hobbies and religious assumptions render powers vulnerable. As well as religious structures, the court additionally administered on establishment of statues. "From this time forward, states ought not give consent to introduce any statue or erect any structure on open ways, asphalts and sideways and other open utility places," requested a seat of Justices R M Lodha and S J Mukhopadhaya. The request was passed on a requisition testing the Kerala government's authorization to a private social order to introduce the statue of open figure on a movement island on a national interstate at an occupied convergence where vehicles needed to slither as a result of existing infringements.
  • President's rule was at long last encroached in Jharkhand on 18 January, a day after the Union Cabinet acknowledged Governor Syed Ahmed's report proposing that the Assembly be kept in suspended liveliness. Provincial associate JMM had withdrawn support to the Arjun Munda government on January 8, decreasing it to a minority. President Pranab Mukherji has marked the declaration under Article 356(1) of the Constitution, encroaching Centre's control for the third time, on an appeal from the Union Home Ministry. Previous Director General of CRPF, Vijay Kumar and previous Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta have been delegated counselors to the senator.
  • Prompted by nationwide outrage over the Nirbhaya gang rape incident, New Delhi, the law ministry on 17 January has approved Rs 80 crore for recruitment of 2,000 more judges across the country for fast-track courts. In a letter to state governments and high courts on January 9, the Centre asked them to increase the strength of subordinate judiciary from the current 18,000 to 20,000 with the additional judges to be deployed in fast-track courts. The law ministry took Cabinet approval in the last week of December when India was rocked by mass protests over Nirbhaya's gang rape that saw activists, lawyers, officials and jurists pointing to how victims were disadvantaged by long trials that allowed accused to influence witnesses. Sources said the government was working on another proposal to allow states to use funds available for morning and evening courts to further increase the number of fast-track courts, a demand raised by various sections of society to expedite trial of pending cases, particularly those of sexual assault and heinous crimes.
  • Govt. raises LPG cap to nine cylinders per year - The government on 17 January raised the cap on supply of subsidised LPG cylinders to nine bottles from six per year and allowed oil companies to hike diesel prices by a “small quantum” periodically. There will be no change in LPG and kerosene rates, Oil Minister M. Veerappa Moily told in New Delhi after the meeting on Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA). Consumers will get a quota of five subsidised cylinders between September 2012 and March 2013 and from April 1, 2013, they will be entitled to nine cylinders per annum.Mr. Moily said that the oil companies have been permitted to raise diesel prices by a small quantum periodically till such time that they are able to cover Rs. 9.60 per liter loss they incur on the fuel.
  • The Supreme Court on 21 January, banned tourists from taking the Andaman Nicobar Trunk Road that passes through the area where the Jarawas live. The road is used to reach the Limestone Cave. The court has already banned all commercial and tourism activities within a five-km radius of the Jarawa Tribal Reserve on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and H.L. Gokhale passed the order, taking on record the Andaman and Nicobar Administration’s January 17 notification to comply with the court directives issued last year. Except 30 villages notified in the schedule, the notification declares a buffer zone the area up to a five-km radius, adjacent and contiguous to the Jarawa Tribal Reserve Area ,starting from the Constance Bay in South Andaman to Lewis Inlet Bay in Middle Andaman. No person shall operate any commercial or tourist establishment directly or indirectly in the buffer zone. Furthermore, no one shall carry out any activity, which may be prejudicial to the safety, security and interests of the Jarawas in any of the settlement villages. The Bench directed that only government officials, persons residing in the reserve and vehicles carrying essential commodities for the Jarawas would be allowed on the Trunk Road.
  • A special CBI court on 22 January, sentenced former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala to ten years rigorous imprisonment for illegal selection of over 3,000 junior basic trained (JBT) primary school teachers in 1999-2000 by replacing the original selection lists compiled from 18 Haryana districts with fake ones.
  • The government on 24 January, said it will set up a committee to look into the allegations that US retail giant Walmart indulged in lobbying activities in India to gain entry in the country's market. Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot said the government will set up a committee to look into the matter. As per the proposal, the government will set up one-man commission to be headed by a retired High Court Chief Justice or a judge. The move comes over a month after the proceedings of Parliament during the Winter Session were paralysed over the allegations that the US retail giant indulged in lobbying here to gain entry into the Indian market. According to the proposal of the Corporate Affairs Ministry, the Commission, to be set up under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1951, will submit its report within three months of its constitution. The Terms of Reference include probe into "recent media reports regarding their lobbying activities" and "whether Wal-Mart undertook any activity in India in contravention of any Indian law". Under the Commission of Inquiry Act, it is obligatory on part of the government to table the probe report as well as the action report in Parliament.
  • 24 January is celebrated as the National Girl Child Day every year by the Government of India with an objective to raise consciousness of Indian society towards the girl children. The Women and Child Development Ministry observed National Girl Child Day on 24 January 2013. 24 January is celebrated as the National Girl Child Day every year since 2008 by the Government of India. The primary objective of the National Girl Child Day is raising awareness and consciousness of the society towards the girl child. The primary aim is to ensure that every girl is respected and valued in Indian society. On this day, the Women and Child Development Ministry take up multi-pronged approach for addressing as well as working towards the trend of diminishing child sex ratio in India. The initiatives like these ensure that girl child is born as well as nurtured in a way that it gives them equal opportunities as well as rights like those to the boys. On the National Girl Child Day, the aim is to address issues related to health, education and nutrition of the girl child.
  • The Election Commission of India celebrated the 3rd National Voters’ Day across the country on 25 January 2013. The theme for the 3rd NVD is “Inclusion”. 25th January is also the foundation day of the Commission, which came into being on this day in 1950. The Commission’s objective through NVD is to increase enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones, to make universal adult suffrage a complete reality. The National Voters’ Day is also utilized to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process.
  • The West Bengal Government on 22 January 2013, the day of Neta Ji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary, declared that it would give a heritage status to his ancestral house at Kodalia in South 24 Parganas district.
  • India celebrated its 64th Republic Day on 26 January 2013. Unfurling of National flag, the rich cultural heritage, and nation's achievements in various fields were the highlights of Republic Day Parade at Rajpath in Delhi. The impressive march-past was watched by Chief Guest, King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk. The Army showcased its impressive weaponry which included main battle tank- ARJUN, Super Sonic Cruise Missile Brahmos Weapon System and Multi Barrel Rocket System -Pinaka. Display of above 5000 kilometer range Agni-V missile, Mobile Integrated Network Terminal and mini version of INS Vikramaditya also remained the centre of attraction during the function. 19 tableaux from various States and Central Ministries also mesmerized the spectators.
  • The Justice Verma panel, which is a 3-member commission created to review the laws for sexual crimes submitted the report to the Government of India on 23 January 2013. Justice Verma panel was created after the brutal gang rape of the Para-medical student on 16 December 2012. Former Chief Justice of India, Justice JS Verma headed the commission and reviewed the laws on sexual crimes which exist already. The report was prepared by the panel in its 30-day deadline. The Justice Verma panel recognised failure of governance as primary cause of sexual crimes. The panel additionally criticised the police, government and also the public for the lack of interest and also recommended changes in the entire society. 
  • SC, ST sub-plans Act in force - Andhra Pradesh SCSP and TSP Act came into effect on 25 January. A gazette notification has been issued to the effect after Governor ESL Narasimhan signed the papers. With this, Andhra Pradesh becomes the first state in the country to give effect to such Act. The Bill was passed in both the A P Legislative Assembly and Council in December 2012. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who participated in the Jaipur Chinthan Shivir, urged the AICC to bring such an Act at national level for the uplift of Scheduled Castes and Tribes in the country. It is expected that the provisions of the Act would make available an additional amount of about Rs 3,000 crore every year for SCSP and another Rs 1,200 crore for TSP. There are three salient features of the SC Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) -- Earmarking of funds for the SCs and STs in proportion to their population, giving the funds to a nodal agency and appointing a separate Finance Secretary to release the funds allocated to SCSP and TSP. The recommendation of the Sub-Committee to establish an ombudsman to monitor utilization of funds was not accepted since there is the Lokayukta to handle complaints and the nodal agency, comprising ministers in charge of concerned portfolios, to oversee the implementation.
  • Union Home Ministry issued Strict Guidelines for Regulating Surrogacy in India - The Union Home Ministry in India issued stricter guidelines for those visas which are used by the foreign nationals interested in surrogacy. This is said to be the archetypical step by the Home Ministry to regulate surrogacy in India. The new guidelines indicated that single foreigners as well as the gay couples would not be eligible for having the Indian surrogate. Only those foreign man and woman, who are married for at least two years, would be granted the visas. The Union Home Ministry stated that they had noticed a few foreign nationals visiting India for the purpose of surrogacy on their tourist visa, which is not appropriate. Back in July 2012, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had decided in the circular sent to foreign embassies that the foreigners were entitled to enter India for surrogacy only on their medical visas and no other kind of visas. Also, it was mandatory for the foreign nationals to fulfill a few criterions. The circular was notified on 17 December 2012 by the Foreign Regional Registration Office in Mumbai and was also sent to the fertility clinics. The guidelines are issued when the legislation for regulating the fertility clinics is waiting for tabling in the Parliament. This legislation is called the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Regulation Bill 2010.
  • SC, ST sub-plans Act in force - Andhra Pradesh SCSP and TSP Act came into effect on 25 January. A gazette notification has been issued to the effect after Governor ESL Narasimhan signed the papers. With this, Andhra Pradesh becomes the first state in the country to give effect to such Act. The Bill was passed in both the A P Legislative Assembly and Council in December 2012. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who participated in the Jaipur Chinthan Shivir, urged the AICC to bring such an Act at national level for the uplift of Scheduled Castes and Tribes in the country. It is expected that the provisions of the Act would make available an additional amount of about Rs 3,000 crore every year for SCSP and another Rs 1,200 crore for TSP. There are three salient features of the SC Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) -- Earmarking of funds for the SCs and STs in proportion to their population, giving the funds to a nodal agency and appointing a separate Finance Secretary to release the funds allocated to SCSP and TSP. The recommendation of the Sub-Committee to establish an ombudsman to monitor utilization of funds was not accepted since there is the Lokayukta to handle complaints and the nodal agency, comprising ministers in charge of concerned portfolios, to oversee the implementation.
  • The Union Cabinet on 31 January paved the way for further consideration of Lokpal legislation in Parliament as it approved most of the modifications recommended by a Rajya Sabha Select Committee on its draft Lokpal Bill. The Cabinet approved 14 of 16 recommendations made by the committee. These include the mode of appointing the Lokpal and CBI director. The Cabinet, however, delinked the Lokpal from the institution of Lokayukta at the state level. Contrary to provisions of the earlier draft, states will continue to appoint Lokayuktas. The Cabinet accepted that the CBI director will be appointed by a panel comprising the prime minister, the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha and the chief justice of India. But it dropped related recommendation that CBI officials involved in probing cases under Lokpal supervision will not be transferred by the government. Therefore, though the CBI will be under the Lokpal, the government will have the authority to transfer them. The Cabinet decisions were announced by Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy. Non-religious charitable institutions receiving government funds too will come under the Lokpal purview, though the Upper House panel did not favour this. As per the decision, the nine-member Lokpal will be selected by a panel comprising the prime minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, the chief justice of India and an eminent jurist who will be in turn selected by the first four. The decision to leave out Lokayukta appointment came after states vehemently opposed and accused the Centre of “usurping the rights of the states in the Lokayukta appointment.” Owing to opposition, the controversial bill got stuck in the Upper House. After the enactment of the bill by the Centre, states will have to appoint their Lokayuktas within a year.


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