Thursday, December 29, 2011



Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011





Saturday, December 17, 2011


NOTIFICATION NO. 39/2008 & Supplemental No.10/2009 

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

IAS Main Exam 2011 Solved General Studies Paper- I

General Studies Paper – I

1. Answer any three of the following in about 250 words each:         20x3=60

(a) ‘Essentially all that is contained in part IV- A of the Constitution is just a codification of tasks integral to Indian way of life.’ Critically examine the statement.


Article 51A of the part IV-A of the Indian Constitution lists the fundamental duties of the citizens which were added to the Indian Constitution by the 42nd Amendment Act. Fundamental duties are restrictions on the citizens, but they are not enforceable in a court of law. They act more like a lighthouse to guide citizens’ conduct and bring it in conformity with the Indian way of life. They include abiding the constitution and respecting its ideals and institutions such as the National Flag and the National Anthem. Fundamental Duties also include cherishing and following the noble ideals that inspired our freedom struggle, upholding the sovereignty and integrity of the nation, rendering national services, promoting harmony and brotherhood, renouncing practices derogatory to the dignity of women, safeguarding public property, developing scientific temper etc.

Incidents like destruction of public property by violent mobs and protestors, delivering of hate speeches to cause disharmony and rift among communities, mounting corruption, declining child sex ratio, reports of practices like sati which still is continuing in some parts of the country point towards the fact that the republic has not succeeded completely in instilling the values contained in part IV-A, in the hearts and minds of the Indian citizens.

These values should be taught from the early childhood through a free, fair, secular, and non-discriminatory education system. The society also needs role models from all walks of life such as politics, business, administration, judiciary, academia etc.  so that national identity becomes paramount and the values are most cherished.

(b) ‘The exercise of executive clemency is not a privilege but is based on several principles, and discretion has to be exercised in public consideration.’ Analyse this statement in the context of judicial powers of the President of India.


Article 72 of the Indian Constitution empowers the president to pardon, remit, commute, respite and reprieves a person of any offence. Supreme Court has held that pardoning power of the President is subject to judicial review and it should not be handled dishonestly in the public interest.

The question of executive clemency has come into focus due to the recent decision of the President’s rejecting the mercy plea of those, convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and Tamil Nadu assembly’s passage of a resolution over it. The Afzal Guru case has also not yet been resolved which also is giving political colour to the whole issue.

Supreme Court in its 1989 judgement laid down several principles or ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ with respect to the executive clemency. The apex court observed that the delay in making a decision on the death penalty leads to adverse psychological impact on the convicted and it amounts to the court’s inhuman and brutal treatment. Thus inordinate delay can form the basis for clemency. It also observed that the nature of crime needs to be taken into consideration before granting executive clemency. The conduct of the convicted cannot form the basis for granting clemency and the time calculated should be from the date the final verdict was given on the case if it needs to form the ground for clemency.

Constitution should be amended to provide the time limits within which mercy petition are to be decided. Importantly, the political parties should restrain from politicising the power of the President which is supposed to be used in the public consideration.

(c) Discuss the extent, causes, and implications of ‘nutrition transition’ said to be underway in India.

Nutrition Transition can be referred to as the increased consumption of unhealthy foods compounded with increased prevalence of overweight in middle-to-low-income countries. It has serious implications in terms of public health outcomes, risk factors, economic growth and international nutrition policy.

Extent: As developing societies like India industrialise and urbanise, and as standards of living continue to rise, weight gain and obesity are beginning to pose a growing threat to the health of the citizens. Repeated episodes of malnutrition, followed by nutritional rehabilitation, are known to alter body composition and increase the risk of obesity. Food balance data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) show that the change in energy intake in Asian countries has been small, but there have been large changes in consumption of animal products, sugars and fats in countries like India. There is a progressive increase in the intake of protein, and probably fats. The increase in the intake of protein and fats is due to the phenomenal increase in the consumption of milk and milk products and an increase in the intake of animal products. On the other hand consumption of pulses and legumes has fallen drastically in India.

Causes: In India, the demographic and epidemiological transition, the forces of internal migration and urbanisation, the changes in food consumption patterns and low physical activity patterns to an epidemic of obesity and other NCDs (Non-communicable Diseases). There is also a  decrease in the energy expenditure in occupational activities, increased urbanisation, universal use of motor cars, mechanisation of most manual jobs outside the occupational sphere and increasing leisure time have aggravated this trend in India.

Implications: There is a large increase in the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the developing countries specially the countries under transition like India. Approximately 40% of the deaths in the developing countries take place due to NCDs.

(d) Bring out the salient features of the PCPNDT Act, 1994, and the implication of its amendment in 2003.

Pre Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique Act, 1994 was enacted to arrest the declining sex ration. It is a subject of discussion now because; an all-time low child sex ratio of 914 was reported in the 2011 provisional census data.

The main purpose of enacting the act is to ban the use of sex selection techniques before or after conception and prevent the misuse of prenatal diagnostic technique for sex selective absorption.

Offences under this act include conducting or helping in the conduct of prenatal diagnostic technique in the unregistered units, sex selection on a man or woman, conducting PND test for any purpose other than the one mentioned in the act, sale, distribution, supply, renting etc. of any ultra sound machine or any other equipment capable of detecting sex of the foetus.

The act was amended in 2003 to improve the regulation of the technology used in sex selection.

Implications of PCPNDT Act, 1994 amendment:

1. Amendment of the act mainly covered bringing the technique of pre conception sex selection within the ambit of the act

2. Bringing ultrasound within its ambit

3. Empowering the central supervisory board, constitution of state level supervisory board

4. Provision for more stringent punishments

5. Empowering appropriate authorities with the power of civil court for search, seizure and sealing the machines and equipments of the violators

6. Regulating the sale of the ultrasound machines only to registered bodies

2. Answer one of the following in about 250 words:        20x1=20

(a) Trace the salient sequences of events in popular revolt that took place in February 1946 in the then Royal Indian Navy and bring out its significance in the freedom struggle. Do you agree with the views that the sailors who took part in this revolt were some of the unsung heroes of the freedom struggle?


Royal Indian Navy revolt of February 1946 took place in the background of Quit India Movement and Second World War. This was a very turbulent phase in India’s freedom struggle. The popular revolt shook the very foundation of British Raj and made it abundantly clear that their time in India was numbered.
In November 1945 some students from Forward Block, Students Federation of India and Islamia College participated in a protest march over the INA trials. They tied together League, Congress and red flag, as a symbol of anti imperialist unity.

In February 1946, Muslim League students took a protest march in which some Congress students also participated against the seven year sentence to INA prisoner Rashid Ali.

In February 1946, naval ratings of HMIS Talwar went on strike to protest against racial discrimination, unpalatable food, INA trials, and abuse by superior officers. This was followed by city people joining in through mass strikes, hartals, meetings, attacks on police stations, railway station etc. Other parts of the country also expressed support in the form of strikes by Royal Indian Forces in Calcutta, Puna and Bombay.

The upsurge showed that the fearless action by the masses, revolt in armed forces had psychological affect on masses and it also prompted British to extend some concessions but above all it marked the end of British rule in India.

Sailors who took part in the struggle were the unsung heroes as they did not get the level of publicity as that of the INA trials and in the pages of history; they remain anonymous and unknown.

(b) Evaluate the influence of three important women’s organisations of the early twentieth century in India on country’s society and politics. To what extent do you think were the social objectives of these organisations constrained by their political objectives?


Bharat Stree Mahamandal, All India Women’s Conference and Women’s India Association were some of the important women’s associations of the early twentieth century. Bharat Stree Mahamandal was the first women's organisation in India founded by Sarala Devi Chaudhurani in Allahabad in 1910. One of the primary goals of the organisation was to promote female education which was not well developed at that time. The organisation opened several offices in Lahore, Allahabad, Delhi, Karachi, Amritsar etc. to improve the condition of women all over India.

All India Women’s Conference was founded in 1927 by Margret cousins having Sarojni Naidu, Lady Dorab Tata as its founding members. It worked towards women’s education, abolition of purdah system, legislative reform, abolition of child marriage, harijan welfare, family planning, and rural reconstruction. These women’s organisations worked for a society based on principles of social justice, integrity, equal rights and opportunities.  They wanted security for every human being; the essentials of life not determined by accidental births but by planned social distribution.

Their efforts led to several legislative reforms in Sharda Act (1929), Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act (1937), Factory Act (1947), Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act etc. AIWC efforts also led to setting up of The All India Women’s Education Fund
Association, and Lady Irwin College of Home Science.

Social and educational reforms effort by the women’s associations helped in preparing the Indian women to participate in the freedom struggle. With Mahatma Gandhi women availed an opportunity to get into the scene of freedom struggle.

3. Answer any one of the following in about 250 words:    20x1=20

(a) Critically examine the design of National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) scheme. Do you think it has a better chance of
success than the Swarna Jayanti Swarojgar Yojna(SGSY) in achieving its objectives?


NRLM is the rechristened version of Swarna Jayanti Swarojgar Yojna (SGSY). It is a Ministry of Rural Development programme. It aims to reduce poverty by enabling the poor household to access gainful self employment and skilled wage employment opportunity resulting in a sustainable livelihood.

NRLM is based on three pillars

1. Enhancing and expanding the existing livelihood options of the poor

2. Building skills for the job market

3. Nurturing self employed and entrepreneurs

NRLM plans to give special focus on the poorest households who are currently dependent on the MGNREGA. The design of
NRLM is more likely to succeed because its implementation is in a mission mode which enables it shift from the present allocation based approach to demand based approach. This enables the states to formulate their own livelihood based on poverty reduction action plans. It also focuses on targets, outcomes, and time bound strategy. The monitoring would be done against the targets of the poverty outcomes. NRLM will have continuous capacity building, imparting of requisite skills and creating linkages with livelihood opportunities for the poor, including those emerging from the organised sector.

NRLM funds will be directly released to the state level agencies and DRDA based on the detailed district wise annual action plan.  It will involve the Self Help Group in the implementation which increases the likelihood of its success. National Skill Development Council will also coordinate in the skill development part in the implementation of NRLM. In order to ensure institutional arrangement for skill development for self employment and wage employment, dedicated training institute for rural BPL youth i.e Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) are being set up with the aim of having at least one such institution in each district in India. These RSETIs will be set up with the partnership of banks. This will help in achieving the objectives of NRLM.

(b) Highlight the structure, objectives and role of the Advertising Standard Council of India. In what way has the August 2006
government notification made it more effective?


The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), established in 1985, is committed to the cause of Self-Regulation in Advertising, ensuring the protection of the interests of consumers. The ASCI was formed with the support of all four sectors connected with Advertising, viz. Advertisers, Ad Agencies, Media (including Broadcasters and the Press) and others like PR Agencies, Market Research Companies etc. Its main objective is to promote responsible advertising; thus enhancing the public's confidence in Advertising. ASCI thus aims to achieve its own overarching goal i.e., to maintain and enhance the public's confidence in advertising.

The Board of Governors (16 members) ensures equitable representation of Advertisers, Agencies, Media and other Advertising Services, the individual member firms being leaders in their respective industries or services. The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) (21 members) has 12 Non-Advertising professionals representing civil society, who are eminent and recognised opinion leaders in their respective disciplines such as Medical, Legal, Industrial Design, Engineering, Chemical Technology, Human Resources and Consumer Interest Groups; 9 are advertising practitioners from our member firms.

ASCI is represented in all committees working on advertising content in every Ministry of the Government of India. ASCI’s Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising is now part of ad code under Cable TV Act’s Rules. Violation of ASCI’s Code is now treated as a violation of the government’s rules. ASCI’s membership of The European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) ensures that it gets valuable advice, learning and even influence at the international level.
The Consumer Complaints Council is ASCI's heart and soul. It is the dedicated work put in by this group of highly respected people that has given tremendous impetus to the work of ASCI and the movement of self-regulation in the advertising.

In August 2006, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a notification deeming it necessary for all TV commercials in India to abide by the ASCI code. This effort of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has made the advertising self-regulatory movement in India stronger and more effective.

4. Comment on any five of the following in about 150 words each.    12x5=60

(a) Salient recommendations of the RBI-appointed Damodaran committee on customer service in Banks.


The Damodaran Committee on bank customer services has recommended active involvement of the boards of banks to guarantee customer satisfaction. The committee held that customer service and grievance redress should be included as a mandatory parameter in the performance appraisal report of all employees.

The committee has suggested that an agenda on the level of implementation of the Bank's Code of Commitments to Customers and an overview on the grievance redress mechanism in the bank should be placed before the bank every quarter before the Customer Service Committee.

The committee suggets that every board should ensure they have comprehensive policies for customer acceptance, care and severance. The banks should show sensitivity for small customers by ensuring that the pricing (bank charges) does not act as a deterrent for the small person to do banking transactions.

Emphasising on 'customer centricity', the committee recommended that bank boards should evolve human resources policies which should recruit for attitude and train for skills.

(b) Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS).


It is a scheme by the Central Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. Its funding pattern is up to 90 percent; it is funded by the Central Ministry. The Grant in Aid is released on the basis of recommendations received from the State Government, UTs through State Multi-Disciplinary grant-in-aid committee concerned or any other agency designated by the Ministry. Beneficiary could be an individual, a family, a community, women and Children.

The voluntary organisations are assisted in running rehabilitation centres for leprosy cured persons and also for manpower
development in the field of mental retardation and cerebral palsy. They are also assisted in establishment and development of special schools for major disability areas, viz. Orthopaedic, speech, hearing, visual and mental disability. The NGOs are extended assistance for setting up projects of vocational training to facilitate the disabled persons to be as independent as possible by acquiring basic skills. The Ministry, under the Scheme supports both recurring and non-recurring expenditure of projects by NGOs up to 90 percent.

(c) Evolution of ‘Green Benches’ in our higher judiciary.


The Supreme Court of India interpreted Article 21 which guarantees the fundamental right to life and personal liberty, to include the right to a wholesome environment and held that a litigant may assert his or her right to a healthy environment against the State by a writ petition to the Supreme Court or a High Court. Public interest litigation has been used by the higher judiciary to ensure environment protection and safeguard public interest.

Till 1980, not much contribution was made by the courts in preserving the environment. One of the earliest cases which came to the Supreme Court of India was Municipal Council, Ratlam, vs Vardhichand AIR 1980 SC 1622. Thereafter, series of cases were filed before the Supreme Court and there was a dynamic change in the whole approach of the courts in matters concerning environment.
India has now become the third country in the world to start a National Green Tribunal (NGT) which is a judicial body exclusively meant to judge environmental cases. The National Green Tribunal has been established under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same. The predecessor to the NGT, the erstwhile National Environment Appellate Authority has been superseded by the NGT.

(d) Distinction between ‘Department Related Parliament Standing committees’ and ‘Parliamentary Forum’.


Departmental Standing Committees were created in 1993 to exercise control over the executive; particularly financial control. There are now 2 such committees having 31 members each; 21 from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha. Members from the Lok Sabha are nominated by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, while members from the Rajya Sabha are nominated by the Rajya Sabha Chairman. A minister cannot be nominated as a member of the committee. These committees consider the demand for grants of the concerned ministry. They submit the reports based on which the discussion on budget takes place.

Parliamentary Forums on the other hand are ad hoc in nature and are constituted for specific issues to make the Members of the Parliament aware of the seriousness of the particular situation and to enable them to adopt a result-oriented approach towards these issues. The Parliamentary fora do not interfere in or encroach upon the jurisdiction of the concerned Departmentally Related Standing Committees or the Ministry/Department concerned. Members of these fora are nominated by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, as the case may be.

(e) Benefits and potential drawbacks of ‘cash transfers’ to Below Poverty Line Households.


Cash transfer has come into discussion due to the leakages in several government schemes like the Public Distribution System. It has been successful in Latin American countries. Cash transfer has some benefits in terms of better targeting of public subsidy, reducing diversion, preventing corruption, and eliminating wastages in transportation and storage of goods like food grains. It also gives flexibility to the citizens in terms of buying the public goods and services. Cash transfer is also suitable for migrating population that moves in search of work.

Cash transfer on the other hand can only succeed if an appropriate IT infrastructure exits, through which cash can be transferred directly to the account of the beneficiary which becomes a challenge in the poor financial inclusion. Cash can be more prone to diversion if proper safeguards are not taken. Moreover cash transfer can work if the public delivery system is in place for e.g. how giving cash for health services will make any difference if there are no hospitals, medicines and doctors in the villages. Factoring inflation into cash transfer is always been a challenge.

(f) New initiatives during the 11th Five Year Plan in the National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB).


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) endorsed and approved a budget of INR 12,500 million for the XI five-year (2007-12) plan period. The enhanced funding and financial allocation to the tune of nearly two-thirds of the previous plan period is indicative of the high political commitment accorded to blindness control activities in the India. With the federal nature of the Indian Constitution, the States are largely independent in matters relating to health delivery. The Central Government’s responsibility consists mainly of policy making, planning, funding, guiding, assisting, evaluating and coordinating the work of state health ministries so that health services cover every part of the country and no state lags behind for want of these services. The NPCB is striving to enhance the capacity of health institutions, health personnel and the community at all levels to address issues under the programme. In the approved XI five-year plan period, schemes with existing/enhanced financial allocation are being implemented along with new initiatives to reduce blindness.

5. Examine any three of the following in about 150 words each.        12x3=36

(a) The impact of climate change on water resources in India.


The impact of climate change on water resources in India is evident through erratic monsoon, more frequent floods and droughts, stronger cyclones and rivers changing their course frequently. The severity is also due to the prevailing more than 7000km of coastline.

The changed rainfall pattern has adversely affected ground water recharge, wetlands both coastal and terrestrial.  Climate change has resulted in melting of Himalayan glaciers. It has the potential of making the Himalayan Rivers swell first and then turning them into seasonal rivers, threatening the source of freshwater. It can also lead to salt water intrusion and threatening aquaculture and coastal agriculture. 

The impact has been severe also because, India is still an agricultural country with its large population being dependant on weather related livelihood through agriculture, forestry, pisciculture etc.

(b) Measures taken by the Indian government to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Indian government has used INS Talwar to foil several bids by pirates near the Gulf of Aden. Indian government is coordinating the anti piracy measures at the international level with China, European countries and with the Gulf countries.
Indian government has placed surveillance radars in countries like Maldives and Srilanka to secure the sea lanes in the Indian Ocean. It has signed agreements with Madagascar, Seychelles and Mauritius for anti piracy measures. Government has also taken measures in strengthening the coastal security by equipping and reforming the coast guards. However, incidents like unmanned vessel drifting in the ocean and reaching the coast of Mumbai have highlighted the holes in our coastal security which needs to be plugged.

Supreme Court has recently asked the Central Government to formulate separate piracy law for trying the pirates and to take care of the compensation to the victim’s family. Currently piracy is being dealt under the provisions of Indian Penal Code.
(c) The significance of counter-urbanisation in the improvement of metropolitan cities in India.


Counter-urbanisation is a demographic and social process where people move from large urban areas or into rural areas, thereby leapfrogging the rural-urban fringe. It might mean daily commuting, but could also require lifestyle changes and the increased use of ICT (home working or teleworking). It is the process of migration of people from major urban areas to smaller urban settlements and rural areas.  Counter-urbanisation affects the layout of rural settlements. Modern housing estates locate of the edge of small settlements. Industrial units are sited on main roads leading into the settlement.

Counter urbanisation will reduce pressure on the metropolitan cities and its basic amenities like drinking water supply, sewage facilities, continuous supply of electricity, education facilities, etc as people move out due to following

(i) Increase in car ownership enabling their movement, growth in information technology (E-mail, faxes and video conferencing) meaning more people can work from home

(ii) Urban areas are becoming increasing unpleasant place to live. This is the result of pollution, crime and traffic congestion.

(iii) More people tend to move when they retire.

(iv) New business parks being developed on the edge of cities (on Greenfield sites) meaning people no longer have to travel to the city centre. People now prefer to live on the outskirts of the city to be near where they work.

(d) Problems specific to the denotified and nomadic tribes in India.

Post Independence the Criminal Tribe Act 1871 was replaced; and criminal tribe nomenclature was replaced with denotified tribe (DNTs) which is still considered derogatory. They have been discriminated; British government included some of the tribes like Gonds, Ho and Santhals under this categorisation as they had rebelled against the British Raj.

A major challenge in the intervention comes due dispersed nature of the tribes and having a nomadic culture surviving on shifting cultivation. This results in health and educational services a challenging task to deliver. It also makes the implementation of nutritional initiative like addressing iodine deficiency a challenging task. Preservation of their culture, script, practices also get hampered due to the same reason. Two different opinions arise with regard to the reservation for the DNTs to raise their social and economic conditions. One view supports providing reservation within existing group of SCs, STs and OBCs while the other view supports creating a new group for the reservation of DNTs.

6. In the context of the freedom struggle, write short notes (not exceeding 50 words each) on the following:    5x3=15

(a) 'Benoy-Badal-Dinesh' martyrdom.


On 8 December 1930, Benoy along with Dinesh chandra Gupta and Badal Gupta, dressed in European costume, entered the Writers' Building and shot dead Simpson, the Inspector General of Prisons, who was infamous for the brutal oppression on the prisoners. This inspired further revolutionary activities in Bengal. After Independence Dalhousie square was named B.B.D Bagh-after Benoy-Badal-Dinesh. 

(b) Bharat Naujavan sabha


Bharat Naujavan Sabha was an association of Indian youths which was established at a convention held in April 1928 at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. The aims of the Sabha were to create a youth wing of peasants and workers with a view to usher in revolution in the country and overthrow the British rule. Bhagat Singh was its secretary and principle organiser.

(c) 'Babbar Akali' movement


The Babbar Akali movement, which emerged in the wake of the Akali Movement, and was an underground terrorist movement established in the Jalandhar Doab in 1921. Members fought pitched battles with police and committed acts of violence.

7. Comment on the following in not more than 50 words each:             5x6=30

(a) Phase-IV of the tiger monitoring programme in India.


Phase-IV of the tiger monitoring programme by by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) means initiating intensive, annual monitoring of tigers at the tiger reserve level, across 41 protected areas in India. This programme is to estimate numbers of both tigers and their prey. This programme is planned to be commenced from November 2011.

(b) Why the Central Statistical Office has notified a new series of Consumer Price Index from this year?


The Central Statistical Office has notified a new series of CPI with its base year of 2010 for rural, urban areas and for the nation as a whole. It will give a comprehensive picture of inflation at the national level for retail prices. Government also proposes to use it for giving dearness allowance for government employee in the seventh pay commission.

(c) Composition and functions of the National Executive Committee of the National Disaster Management Authority.


The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Disaster Management Authority comprises the Union Home Secretary as the Chairperson, and the Secretaries to the GOI in the Ministries/Departments of Agriculture, Atomic Energy, Defence, Drinking Water Supply, Environment and Forests, Finance (Expenditure), Health, Power, Rural Development, Science and Technology, Space, Telecommunications, Urban Development, Water Resources and the Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as members.

(d) The Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009 and why it has been in news recently?


Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009 provides that the property of corrupt persons can be attached even when the probe is under way, if the authorised officer concludes that the acquisition of the property was the result of the offence committed by the accused. Bihar implemented it and some officials came under this Act. Its constitutional validity was questioned in Supreme Court which refused to stay this act.

(e) The Telecommunications Ministry’s proposed Spectrum Management Commission.

Spectrum Management Commission is a new entity to manage and regulate spectrum allocation. The Commission will subsume Wireless Planning Coordination wing of the Department of Telecom and will get wider powers including dispute settlement, pricing and regulations related to spectrum. While the DoT will continue to be the licensor, all issues pertaining to spectrum allocation will be brought under Spectrum Management Commission.

(f) The Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to sanitation.

CLTS is an innovative methodology for mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation (OD). Communities are facilitated to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of open defecation (OD) and take their own action to become ODF (open defecation free). CLTS focuses on the behavioural change needed to ensure real and sustainable improvements. It invests in community mobilisation instead of hardware, and shifting the focus from toilet construction for individual households to the creation of ’open defecation-free’ villages.

8. Attempt the following in not more than 50 words each.        5x4=20

(a) Distinguish either between the ‘Moatsu’ and ‘Yemshe’ festivals of Nagaland or the ‘Losar’ and ‘Khan’ festivals of Arunachal Pradesh.


Moatsu Festival is celebrated in Nagaland by the Ao tribe. It is observed every year in the first week of May. During this Nagaland festival, a number of rituals are performed. After sowing the seeds, the Aos observe Moatsu Mong.

The Pochury Tribe celebrates their greatest festival, Yemshe in the month of October every year. During the Yemshe festival, the arrival of the new harvest is celebrated with full fun & fair. The Losar Festival also called as the New Year Festival and it is the most important festival celebrated in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. Losar is celebrated by the Monpas that forms the major portion of population in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.
In the Khan festival of Arunachal Pradesh, the social and cultural beliefs of the local tribes can be witnessed. Regardless the different casts and creed, the local tribes unite in the Khan celebration.

(b) Write a sentence each of any five of the following traditional theater forms:

(i) Bhand Pather: It is the traditional theatre form of Kashmir, which is a unique combination of dance, music and acting. Satire, wit and parody are preferred for inducing laughter.

(ii) Swang:
It is a popular folk dance-drama or folk theatre form in Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. Swang incorporates suitable theatrics and mimicry (or nakal) accompanied by song and dialogue. Swang theatre is
traditionally restricted to men, who also play the female roles.

(iii) Maach:
It is a traditional Hindi theatre form of Madhya Pradesh. It shares the secular nature and characteristics of other north Indian genres like Nautanki and Khyal. Based on religious, historical, romantic, or social themes, it was invented and developed by prominent artists like Guru Gopalji, Guru Balmukund, Kaluram Ustad, and Radhakrishan Ustad.

(iv) Bhaona:
It is a unique festival of Vaishnava theatrical performance in Assam. The performance is marked by a continuous shifting between the classical and the folk, the mundane and the spiritual, providing thousands of spectators a rare aesthetic experience.

(v) Mudiyettu:
It is ritualistic dance drama performed after the harvest of summer crops in Kerala. In 2010, Mudiyettu was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

(vi) Dashavatar:
Dashavatar is the most developed theatre form of the Konkan and Goa regions. The performers personify the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu-the god of preservation and creativity.

(c) What are the major different styles of unglazed pottery making in India?


There are three different styles in unglazed pottery making in India. They are - the paper-thin, scrafito and highly polished. Black pottery is another famous form of unglazed pottery in Indian villages and it resembles the Harappan pottery style. In the paper thin pottery, the biscuit coloured pottery is decorated with incised patterns.

(d) List the classical dance forms of India as per the Sangeet Natak Akademy.

Sangeet Natak Akademi currently confers classical status on nine Indian dance styles which are Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Gaudiya Nritya, Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Oddisi, kuchipudi, Sattriya, and Manipuri.

9. Comment on following in not more than 50 words each:        5x5=25

(a) Nisarga-Runa technology of BARC.


The Nisarga-Runa technology developed at BARC converts biodegradable solid waste into useful manure and methane. It can be deployed for the dual objectives of waste management as well as for livelihood creation among the urban underprivileged. The 'Nisargruna' technology adopts biphasic reactor system wherein the first reactor is operated under aerobic and thermophilic conditions. As a result of the first feature, the universal problem of odour from waste processing biogas plants is eliminated and the second feature leads to a faster process. Unlike conventional single phase digesters, which take 30-40 days, a 'Nisargruna' plant can digest organic solid waste between 18-22 days.

(b) The first aid that you can safely administer to a person standing next to you at the bus stop who suddenly faints.


I would first take the person away from the crowd to an open and safe area. Then I would sprinkle some water on his/her face to bring him/her back to consciousness. If the person does not gain consciousness then mouth to mouth respiration and administering CPR can be considered as the next step. His/her family members or friends should be immediately informed about his/her ill health by a phone call from the contact details from the mobile phone or the purse of the person and can gather information on the person’s medical condition and then accordingly he/she can be taken for medical supervision.

(c) The Kaveri K-10 aero-engine.


Kaveri K-10 engine is being developed to be used in the Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas. It is being developed in collaboration of French firm, Snecma.  It will have less weight and more reheat thrust to meet the requirements of the Indian Army.

(d) Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) technology

Molecular breast imaging (MBI) is three times more effective than mammograms, and far less costly than other nuclear-medicine imaging. Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) uses a dedicated dual-head gamma camera and 99mTc-sestamibi in women having dense breast patterns and additional risk factors for breast cancer.

(e) E-governance initiatives by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)


UPSC has taken the initiative for getting the forms of several examinations like civil services filled online. It also displays the status of the application form for every candidate on its website. UPSC publishes the syllabus and tentative schedules of various UPSC conducted examinations on its website helping students to plan in advance. UPSC also publishes the various court orders and notifications on the web site and information regarding the RTI petitions on its website.

10. Who are the following and why have they been in the news recently? (each answer should not exceed 20 words): 2x7=14

(a) Lieutenant Navdeep Singh


Lieutenant Navdeep Singh laid down his life fighting terrorists during an anti-infiltration operation along LOC in Gurez Sector of north Kashmir.

(b) Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar


He was an exponent of Dagar vani Dhrupad, which is one of the most pristine and richest forms of Indian classical music. He represented the 19th generation of Dagar Tradition.

(c) Lobsang Sangay

He is the Tibetan Prime Minister in exile. He is a Harvard graduate and a political successor of Dalai Lama.

(d) P.R. Sreejesh


P.R. Sreejesh is Hockey Goalkeeper in the Indian Hockey team. He is from Kerela.

(e) Nileema Mishra


She is one of the Magsaysay Award winners for 2011.. She is a lender to the poorest in Maharashtra. She was recognised for her purpose-driven zeal to work tirelessly with villagers in Maharashtra.

(f) V.Tejeswini Bai


Tejeswini is a Kabbadi player from Karnataka who has represented India from 2005 to 2010 and captained Indian team for four years.

(g) Aishwarya Narkar


Aishwarya Narkar is a Marathi actress who also works in the Hindi TV serials. She has received National Film Award from the
President of India.

Monday, December 5, 2011


The Written Examination for the post of Assistant Director (Research) in A.P. Tribal Welfare State Service is scheduled to be held on 05/02/2012 in Hyderabad Centre only.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Indian Geography E-Book


Disaster Management India


Monday, November 28, 2011

Multiple-planet solar system discovered

Planetary scientists have discovered what they claim is an unusual multiple-planet solar system containing a ‘super-Earth’ and two Neptune-sized planets orbiting in resonance with each other. A team led by Bill Cochran of The University of Texas at Austin, used NASA’s Kepler spacecraft to discover the multi -planet system.

The planets have been designated b, c, and d. All three planets orbit much closer to Kepler-18 , a star similar to the sun , say the scientists.

Planet b weighs in at about 6.9 times the mass of Earth, and is twice Earth’s size and considered a super-Earth with a 3.5-day period; planet c has a mass of about 17 Earths, is about 5.5 times Earth’s size and orbits Kepler-18 in 7.6 days. Planet d weighs in at 16 Earths, at 7 times Earth’s size, and has a 14.9-day orbit.

New planet found with water and ice

Astronomers have discovered a mysterious little dwarf planet which they believe is covered in ice and may sport the wispy remnants of an atmosphere. The planet, nicknamed “Snow White”, lies outside Neptune and is orbiting the Sun as part of the Kuiper belt—the ring of icy bodies that orbit the sun beyond Neptune.

Officially known as 2007 OR10, it is actually red, half of its surface is covered by water ice that probably spewed from ancient cryo-volcanoes, researchers said.

It’s believed that the dwarf planet’s reddish hue likely comes from a thin layer of methane, the last gasps of an atmosphere that has been bleeding off into space for eons.

Asia’s largest solar farm commissioned

Moser Baer energy Limited (MBCEL) has successfully commissioned the 30 MW solar farm at Gunthawada, District Banaskantha, Gujarat. It is the largest solar energy farm of Asia, built on 305 acres of land, using 2,36,000 thin film modules. The project will generate 52 million KWh energy per year, and will help save about 50,000 tonnes of carbon emission annually.

Major Himalayan Rail Projects

The Planning Commission is considering the early execution of five major railway projects in the Himalayan region, as it has directed the railway ministry to prepare a blueprint of the estimate on funds, technical inputs and prospective time for their completion. The commission plans to allocate funds for the projects in the 12th Five Year Plan that starts from April 2012.

The railway projects include the 125-km Rishikesh-Karanprayag railway line involving a project cost of Rs 4,295 crore, the 154-km Rs 2,791-crore Tanakpur-Bageshwar line (both in Uttarakhand), the Rs 13,631-crore Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch railway link covering 233 km in Jammu and Kashmir, the 498-km Bilaspur-Mandi railway link in Himachal Pradesh and the 110-km Rupai-Parasuramkund railway link in Arunachal Pradesh.

These five main railway projects are part of the 14 such Himalayan-region projects that have been hanging fire for long because of strategic issues.

World’s Highest Webcam Installed on Everest

The world’s highest webcam has been installed in the Nepalese Himalayas, beaming live images of Mount Everest back to scientists studying the effects of climate change on the planet’s tallest peak.

The solar-powered camera, set at 5,675 metres on Kala Patthar, a smaller mountain facing Everest, will withstand temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius and operates during daylight hours.

The device, developed by German surveillance firm Mobotix, is more than a kilometre higher than the previous record for a high-altitude webcam set by a 4,389-metre-altitude camera at the base camp of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina.

The image is updated every five minutes, allowing climatologists to track the movement of the clouds around the mountain’s summit.

The camera uses a wireless connection to transmit images to the Ev-K2-CNR Pyramid Laboratory, located at an altitude of 5,050 metres. The footage is then analysed by scientists in Italy who hope to learn more about climate change and global warming using the images in conjunction with meteorological data gathered from Everest.

The exact height of the world’s tallest peak is also being re-measured in a separate Nepali project attempting to end confusion on the issue.

Sanskriti Awards, 2011

Vinayak Lohani, a graduate from IIT Kharagpur and an alumnus of IIM Calcutta, is the recipient of Sanskriti Award for social achievement. Inspired by the ideals of Swami Vivekananda, Lohani had set up an organisation in 2003 to take care of destitute and street children.

Murad Ali, a sixth generation Sarangi player from Moradabad, hailed as one of the most promising Sarangi players in the country, has been chosen for the award in the category of performing arts.

Bangalore-based Abhishek Hazra (Art), an assistant editor with the periodical ‘Tehelka’, Rana Ayyub (Journalism) and a Kashmiri poetess and short story writer Shahida Shabnum (Literature) are the other recipients of the award.

Sanskriti Awards are given to people in the 25-35 years age group, in the fields of literature, journalism, art, performing arts and social achievement.

Nobel Prizes, 2011

For Peace: Declaring women’s rights vital for world peace, the Nobel Committee awarded its annual Peace Prize to three indomitable campaigners against war and oppression. Africa’s first freely elected female head of State Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf shares the prize with compatriot Leymah Gbowee, who led a “sex strike” among her efforts against Liberia’s civil war and Arab activist Tawakul Karman, who hailed the award as a victory for democracy in Yemen.

For Literature: Tomas Transtromer, a Swedish poet whose surrealistic works about the mysteries of the human mind won him acclaim as one of the most important Scandinavian writers since World War II. His works have been translated into more than 50 languages and influenced poets around the globe, particularly in North America. Born in Stockholm in 1931, Transtromer started writing poetry while studying at the Sodra Latin school in Stockholm.

For Medicine: American Bruce Beutler and French biologist Jules Hoffmann, who studied the first stages of immune responses to attack, share the award with Canadian-born Ralph Steinman, whose discovery of dendritic cells in the 1970s is key to understanding the body’s next line of defence against disease. Their work has opened up new avenues for the development of prevention and therapy against infections, cancer and inflammatory diseases

However, Steinman was not lucky enough to taste the fruit of his success. He won the Nobel for medicine for work on fighting cancer, but died of the disease himself just three days before he could be told of his award.

For Physics: American Saul Perlmutter shares the award with US-Australian Brian Schmidt and US scientist Adam Riess, for their studies of exploding stars that revealed that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Working in two separate research teams during the 1990s, Perlmutter in one and Schmidt and Riess in the other, the scientists raced to map the universe’s expansion by analysing a particular type of supernovas, or exploding stars. They found that the light emitted by more than 50 distant supernovas was weaker than expected, a sign that the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate.

For Chemistry: Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman, for his discovery of quasicrystals, a mosaic-like chemical structure that researchers previously thought was impossible. Shechtman’s discovery in 1982 fundamentally changed the way chemists look at solid matter. Contrary to the previous belief that atoms were packed inside crystals in symmetrical patterns, Shechtman showed that the atoms in a crystal could be packed in a pattern that could not be repeated. Since then, quasicrystals have been produced in laboratories and a Swedish company found them in one of the most durable kinds of steel, which is now used in products such as razor blades and thin needles made specifically for eye surgery.

For Literature: Americans Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims share the prize for work that helps governments and central banks weigh up responses to crises, though it offers no immediate answer to current global problems.

For Economics: Americans Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims shared the Nobel prize in economics, for work that helps governments and central banks weigh up responses to crises, though it offers no immediate answer to current global problems.

The economics prize is the only one of the six Nobels that was not originally included in the 1895 will of the creator of the prize, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel. It was created by the Swedish central bank, the Riksbank, in 1968, to commemorate its tercentenary and was first handed out in the year 1969.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vivek Express is the longest running train in India

Vivek Express is the longest running train in India, and 8th longest in the world. This weekly train runs a total distance of 4,286 km from Dibrugarh in upper Assam, to Kanyakumari at the southern tip of Tamil Nadu, that will be covered in 82:30 hours. There are 52 halts spanning across a total of 615 intermediate railway stations Himsagar Express was previously the longest running train in India.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Manmohan discusses civil nuclear deal with Barack Obama

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has declared that there were “no irritants” in Indo-US ties as he met the US President, Mr Barack Obama, here and discussed the ways to implement the civil nuclear deal.
Dr Singh, who met Mr Obama for the first time after latter’s trip to India last November, also talked about strengthening the bonds of strategic ties put in place during the historic visit of the US President to India in November last year.
“I am very happy to report to you that today there are no irritants whatsoever in our working together in multiplicity of areas both bilaterally and on global issues,” he said in his opening remarks.
Emerging after their over an hour-long meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN and East Asia Summits, Dr Singh said that he explained to Mr Obama the law of the land on liability issue regarding the civil nuclear deal.
“I explained to him that we have a law in place. Rules have been formulated. These rules will lie before our Parliament for 30 days. Therefore, we have gone some way to respond to the concerns of American companies and within the four corners of the law of the land, we are ready to address any specific grievances,” the Prime Minister said.
He also said India was ready to ratify the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage.
“I also told him (Obama) that we’ll ratify the Supplementary Convention... that’s where the matter stands,” he said.
Recalling the “historic visit” of Mr Obama to India during the same time last year, Dr Singh said: “In the last one year, we have made progress in every direction, strengthening our bilateral cooperation in investment, trade, higher education, clean energy and defence.”
The Prime Minister noted “we have strengthened in many ways the path set out during the historic visit, whether it’s civil nuclear cooperation, whether it’s humanitarian relief, in disaster management, or maritime security, all the issues which unite us in our quest for a world free from war.”
In his opening remarks, Mr Obama referred to his “extraordinary” trip to India during which the two sides strengthened the bonds of friendship, commercial links and security cooperation.
“We continue to make progress on a wide range of issues. The bonds between our two countries are not just at the leadership level but also at personal levels,” he said.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for us to continue to explore how we can work together not only on bilateral front but also at multilateral level,” Mr Obama said, identifying some of the issues as maritime security, non-proliferation and terrorism.
The two leaders exchanged pleasantries while expressing immense happiness on meeting each other once again.
Ahead of the meeting, India asserted that its domestic laws with regard to nuclear liability and compensation will have to prevail and any contention otherwise would not be realistic after the Fukushima incident.
The sources said the rules should address concerns that any foreign company could have as these make it clear that liability cannot be unlimited or unending.

G Ramaswamy, President, ICAI Elected as IFAC Board Member

G Ramaswamy, President, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has been elected as the Board Member of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) at the IFAC Council Meeting held at Berlin, Germany yesterday ( 17th November 2011). IFAC is a global organization for the accountancy profession, dedicated in serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 167 members and associates in 127 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.

IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament viz., The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 in the year 1949 for regulating the profession of Chartered Accountants in the country. The main functions of the Institute are prescribing qualifications for membership, holding examination and arranging practical training of candidates, enrolment of members, publication and maintenance of register of members qualified to practice the profession, carrying on activities for development of the profession and regulation and maintenance of status and standard of professional qualification of the members. The Institute, which functions under the administrative control of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, has 5 Regional Councils and 126 branches covering the length and breadth of the country. In addition, it has also set up 21 chapters outside India.

India re-elected to U.N.’s International Law Commission

India was today re-elected to the International Law Commission for a five year term beginning January 1, 2012.
U.N. General Assembly re-elected India’s Narinder Singh as a member of the Commission.
A member of the ILC since 2007, Singh is currently legal adviser and Head of the Legal and Treaties Division of Ministry of External Affairs.
He has served as coordinator of the meeting of legal advisers of foreign offices of the U.N. member states since 2002.
Over the past two decades, Singh has represented India in a number of key conferences on international law and has been a regular participant in the work of the Sixth Committee of the U.N. General Assembly that deals with legal affairs.
ILC consists of 34 members who must be experts on international law. They are elected by the General Assembly from a list of candidates nominated by governments of member states in the U.N.
The other candidates elected from the Asia-Pacific Group come from Japan, China, Jordan, Korea, Indonesia, Qatar and Thailand.
The Commission was established by the General Assembly in 1948 for the “promotion of the progressive development of international law and its codification.”

Central Advisory Committee Meeting on PMAGY

The first Central Advisory Committee (CAC ) on Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)) met here today under the Chairpersonship of Shri Mukul Wasnik ,Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment to review the functioning of the PMAGY. The meeting was Co-chaired by Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister Rural Development and was attended by the Chairman National Commission for Scheduled Castes Shri P.L Punia, Shri Badri Ram Jakhar, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha and the Ministers in-charge of SC Development from the States of Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. Representative of various central Ministries were also present in the meeting.

The Minister, SJ&E while reviewing the implementation of the Scheme urged upon the States to accelerate the pace of implementation in the States and the gap between the socio –economic parameters of SCs and others should be bridged within the stipulated time period . The Minister, Rural Development said that the selected villages must fulfill the ‘Nirmal Gram Puruskar’ under the Total Sanitation Campaign.

The Finance Minister, in his Budget Speech, 2009-10, delivered on 6.7.2009, announced launching of a new Scheme, namely “Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana”, on pilot basis, to cover 1000 villages with more than 50% SC population.

In pursuance of above, Government of India have, in March, 2010, approved a pilot Centrally Sponsored Scheme called, "Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)" for integrated development of 1,000 SC-majority villages. The Scheme is presently being implemented in five states viz. Assam (100 villages), Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu (225 villages each).

The Scheme intends to achieve these objectives primarily through convergent implementation of existing schemes of Central and State Governments in the selected villages, and by providing Gap-filling funds from PMAGY in which Central Government’s contribution will be at the average rate of Rs. 20.0 lakh per village (revised recently from the earlier Rs. 10 lakh per village), with State Government making a suitable, preferably matching, contribution, for meeting specifically identified developmental requirements of the selected villages which cannot be met under the existing schemes of the Central and State Governments.

The Scheme also has a provision for financial support for strengthening of administrative machinery for its planning and implementation, capability building of key personnel, developing a proper management information system etc.

Full admissible Central assistance of Rs. 101 crore, under the Scheme, was released to the 5 States till last year. The central component for the ‘gap-filling’ has been recently revised upwardly to Rs. 20 per village. The Ministry has already released the additional amount to the PMAGY States, except Assam, to which Rs. 3.00 crore out of Rs. 10.00 crore has already been released.

The CAC, for PMAGY was constituted on 23.8.2011 with the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment and Minister Rural Development as Chairman and Co-chair of the Committee.

India and British Columbia to Extend Cooperation in the Field of Renewable Energy

Ms. Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, Canada met Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy in New Delhi and held detailed discussions on Cooperation between India and British Columbia in the field of Renewable Energy. Both the Ministers were accompanied by High Level Delegations.

Dr. Farooq Abdullah gave an overview of the progress made by India in different fields of Renewable Energy. It was observed that India has already signed an Umbrella Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Canada in the field of Energy including Renewable Energy and it was agreed the two sides would explore Cooperation between Institutions of repute of India and British Columbia in identified fields. Fuel Cells, Storage batteries, Bio-Energy and Small Hydro Programs were identified as possible areas of Cooperation.

British Columbia side informed that they are holding a Global Conference in Energy on 12-15 March, 2012 and requested India to depute a delegation to this Conference where Renewable Energy will be one of the focus areas of Cooperation. India agreed to explore the possibility of sending a business delegation to the Conference on receipt of invitation.

Scheme for Anti-Erosion Measures Approved

The Planning commission has given investment clearance for “Anti Erosion measures to protect Moisa and Belguri village from erosion of River Gangadhar”, Assam, with an estimated cost of Rs.14.97 Crore The project will be completed by the financial year 2012-13 and Plan account would be closed by 31st March 2013. Project may accordingly be executed as per the approved outlays in the State Annual Plans.

The project proposes to provide 600 m long revetment and RCC porcupine screens along the bank as well as across the bank at various locations. The project area consisting of thickly populated village of Moisa, Belguri, Agomoni, Pub-Kaldoba, Bhangaduli, Maragadadhar are situated at the right bank of river Gangadhar at a distance of about 48 km from district headquarter town of Dhubri and 300 km from Guwahati. The scheme will benefit an area of 2267 ha comprising of cultivated and homestead land.

Eurasian Union emerging to integrate Soviet era economies

Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have agreed to create a Eurasian Union, an economic body designed to reintegrate the former Soviet economies.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Kazakhstan and Belarus counterparts, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Alexander Lukashenko, signed a package of agreements to promote Eurasian economic integration at a summit in Moscow on November 18.
The three countries set up a customs union last year that will pave the way for a “single economic space,” a closer-knit union, next year. The Eurasian Union, which would have its own executive body, would mark a further step in economic integration on the lines of the Brussels-based European Union.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin first formulated the idea of a Eurasian Union to act as a bridge between Europe and Asia in a newspaper article published shortly after he announced plans to return to the Kremlin as President in the 2012 elections.
Mr. Medvedev said at the signing ceremony that Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus will build a new economy as the countries that share common history and similar development patterns. He said the new union would be open to other countries to join, but only on the basis of “a roadmap that may take a year, two years or 15 years to cover” to qualify for membership.
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have already applied to join the customs union, and Ukraine is mulling the option.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Agni - IV successfully test fired

Giving a boost to India's strategic defence preparedness, missile technologists successfully test-fired the 3,000 km plus nuclear weapons capable ballistic missile, Agni 2 prime, which has now been renamed as Agni-IV, from Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast on November 15.
The advanced surface-to-surface ballistic missile fired from a road mobile launcher zeroed in on to the pre-designated target in the Bay of Bengal with a high degree of accuracy after a flight duration of about 20 minutes.
Designed to increase the kill efficiency of the vehicle with a higher range performance, the missile was equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, including indigenously developed ring laser gryo and composite rocket motor.
The missile's payload was reduced from 1,000 kg to 800 kg to give the missile better range.
The two stage surface-to-surface missile is 20 meters-tall and weighs 17 tonnes.
All the radars, telemetry and electro-optical instruments tracked the entire flight of the missile until its splash down.
Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister V.K.Saraswat, Chief Controller, Defence Research and Development Organisation (Missiles and Strategic Systems) Avinash Chander and Advanced Systems Laboratory Director Sekharan were among those present.
Dr. Saraswat told The Hindu that it was a 'copybook' launch, which met all the mission objectives. He said the launch demonstrated the complete maturity of India in surface-to-surface missile technoogy. It also confirmed the capability of the country in strategic defence, he added.
Mr. Chander described the launch as a breakthrough in the missile capability of India.

Saturday, November 12, 2011



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011