Saturday, September 29, 2012

India’s heaviest satellite GSAT-10 launched

GSAT-10, the country's newest and heaviest satellite, was launched September 29th from the Kourou launchpad in French Guiana in South America. It will directly boost telecommunications and direct-to-home broadcasting among others.
The satellite, 9th in ISRO's present fleet, will be operational in November and add 30 transponders to the domestic INSAT system, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said soon after the launch.
The ISRO launched the 3.4-tonne spacecraft on the European Ariane 5 rocket as the agency cannot currently launch satellites of such mass on its own vehicles. The satellite and the launch fee cost the agency Rs. 750 crore.
The ISRO called its 101st mission "a grand success," adding that the satellite was in good health.
What the satellite brings:
It carries 30 communication transponders - 12 in Ku-band, 12 in C-band and six in extended C-band. The ISRO is currently leasing 95 foreign transpondes to meet domestic demand. The INSAT/GSAT system has 168 transponders.
The Ku band is vital for seven DTH TV operators and thousands of VSAT operators who provide phone and Internet broadband connections. Public and private telephone and television providers also use the C band.
GSAT-10 also has the second GAGAN payload which augments or finetunes the US GPS signals into far more accurate readings. GAGAN, a venture of the Department of Sapce and Airports authority of India, is primarily meant to benefit airlines and their aircraft flying into and out of India. GSAT-8, launched in May 2008, carried the first GAGAN payload.
The flight at 2.58 a.m. IST was preceded by a countdown lasting for 11.5 hours. By 3.19 a.m. it was visible to scientists waiting to capture its signals at Hassan.
"MCF took over command and control of the satellite immediately after the injection. Preliminary health checks on various subsystems such as power, thermal, command, sensors, control etc., have been performed and all parameters have been found to be satisfactory. The satellite has been oriented towards Earth and the Sun using the onboard propulsion systems," the agency said.
In the coming days, MCF scientists will perform routine manoeuvres to "raise" the elliptical orbit into a circular orbit with 24-hour rotation around the Earth and fixed at 83 degrees East slot over the Indian region at 36,000 km above ground. They will do this by firing the apogee motors on board the satellite in three steps.
Later the antenna, solar panels and other instruments will be deployed and switched on.
Built for 15 years, GSAT 10 will be co-located with InSAT-4A and GSAT-12.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Junior Assistants in Andhra Pradesh Board of Intermediate Education Result List

List of Candidates picked up for Verification of Original Certificates Notification No. 51/2011,Junior Assistants in Andhra Pradesh Board of Intermediate Education

India to Host COP – 11

India is hosting the eleventh Conference of the Parties (CoP-11) to the CBD in Hyderabad on 1-19 October, 2012. There will be three components of CoP-11: the sixth Conference of the Parties serving as Meeting of the Parties (CoP/MoP-6) to the CBD’s Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to be held from 1-5 October 2012; the CoP-11 to the CBD from 8-19 October 2012; and the High Level Segment of CoP-11 from 16-19 October 2012. These meetings will be held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC). CoP-11 is expected to be the largest such conference to be held in the country, with participation of thousands of delegates from all countries of the world, including Ministers/Vice-Ministers, Ambassadors, senior Government officials, heads and senior officers of UN and multilateral agencies, private sector, academia, civil society organizations etc. 

India is a recognised megadiverse country rich in biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge. With just 2.4% of the land area, India accounts for nearly 7% of the recorded species even while supporting almost 18% of human population as well as cattle population. The biotic pressure on our biodiversity is therefore immense. 

For India, conservation of its biodiversity is crucial not only because it provides several goods and services necessary for human survival, but also because it is directly linked with providing livelihoods to and improving socio-economic conditions of millions of our local people, thereby contributing to sustainable development and poverty alleviation. 

India is a Party to the CBD. The three objectives of the Convention are: conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. CBD is the first comprehensive global agreement addressing all aspects relating to biodiversity. It is a framework agreement that provides for flexible country-driven approach to its implementation. The Convention has near universal membership with 193 Parties. USA is the only major country which is not a Party to the CBD. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

India ranked 111th in economic freedom list

India ranks very low at 111th position in terms of economic freedom, behind countries like China, Nepal and Bangladesh, a global study has claimed in a worldwide index of 144 nations.

The annual ranking, titled 'Economic Freedom of the World: 2012', is topped by Hong Kong, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland (8.24) and Australia in the top-five.

The index has been prepared by Canada-based public policy think-tank, Fraser Institute, in cooperation with independent institutes in 90 nations and territories, and claims to measure the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries support economic freedom.

India's ranking has fallen from 103rd last year, while Hong Kong has retained its top slot, the report said.

Canada is ranked sixth on the list, while others in the top-ten include Bahrain, Mauritius, Finland and Chile. The countries with lowest level of economic freedom are -- Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Republic of Congo and Angola.

India shares its 111th position with two other countries, Iran and Pakistan, while those ranked lower include Guyana, Syria and Nigeria.

India has scored an overall rating of 6.26 in the economic freedom index as against an average global scrore of 6.83.

In the economic freedom index, China is at 107th position with a score of 6.35, Bangladesh at 109th with a score of 6.34 and Nepal is at 110th position (6.33).

The report said that Hong Kong offers the highest level of economic freedom worldwide, with a score of 8.90 out of 10, followed by Singapore (8.69), New Zealand (8.36), Switzerland (8.24), Australia and Canada (each 7.97), Bahrain (7.94), Mauritius (7.90), Finland (7.88) and Chile (7.84).

"Governments around the world embraced heavy-handed regulation and extensive spending in response to the US and European debt crises, reducing economic freedom in the short term and prosperity over the long term," the report noted.

"But the slight increase in this year's worldwide economic freedom score is encouraging. Impressively, all five continents are represented in the global top 10," it added.

The report noted that on an average, the poorest 10 per cent of people in the freest nations are nearly twice as rich as the average population of the least free countries.

Interestingly, the US, which is considered a champion of economic freedom among large industrial nations, continues its protracted decline in the global rankings. This year, the US plunged to its lowest-ever ranking of 18th, after being ranked at as high as second position in 2002.

The decline is attributed to higher spending and borrowing on the part of the US government.

The rankings and scores of other major economies include -Japan (20th), Germany (31st), Korea (37th), France (47th), Italy (83rd), Mexico (91st), Russia (95th) and Brazil (105th).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

FDI in multi-brand retail and aviation

India opened its retail, aviation, broadcasting and power sectors to foreign supermarkets on September 14, a major economic reform that has been stalled for months by political gridlock and came as part of a package of measures aimed at reviving growth.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India's largely unorganised retail sector will help curb inflationary pressure by easing supply side constraints and revive economic growth, analysts said.
However, some experts have the opinion that it could hamper firms hoping to set up shop in the world's second-most populous country.

key aspects of the policy:
States to decide on implementation
Individual state governments will decide whether to allow foreign supermarket chains to enter. The Congress party-led government hopes this will take the sting out of opposition from regional parties who say the policy will destroy jobs.
Opponents of the reform include Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal and the most powerful ally in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government.
FOR: Delhi, Assam, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Daman & Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli are in support of the UPA government’s move.
AGAINST:  Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura and Odisha have formally stated their opposition.
Sourcing from small companies
Foreign retailers will have to source almost a third of their manufactured and processed goods from industries with a total plant and machinery investment of less than USD 1 million. Supermarket chains will certify compliance with this themselves.
The government will reserve the first right to procure food produce from farmers before companies do, in order to provide stocks for its food subsidy schemes for poor households.
Minimum investments
Foreign retailers will have to invest a minimum of USD 100 million, and put at least half of their total investment into so-called 'back-end' infrastructure, such as warehousing and cold storage facilities.
This requirement has to be met within three years of a retailer setting up shop.
The aim is to meet one of the key justifications for opening the supermarket sector to foreign players -- revamping the country's crumbling infrastructure and unclogging bottlenecks.
The bottlenecks fan inflation, which has proved a major headache for the government and the Reserve Bank of India.
Policymakers argue opening the sector will help ease prices for a country where hundreds of millions live in dire poverty.
Big cities
Foreign retailers will only be allowed to set up shop in cities with a population of more than 1 million. In states where there are no cities with such a big population, individual state governments can choose where to allow foreign chains to open.
Critics of the new retail policy, including from opposition parties and domestic traders, say opening the doors to the likes of Wal-Mart will wipe out the country's small, family-run neighbourhood stores and trigger mass unemployment.
By restricting foreign firms to cities, the government hopes the supermarkets will become accessible to the country's swelling middle class, while protecting the livelihoods of shopkeepers in smaller towns and rural areas.

Indian Economy: FACTBOX
According to the latest Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) data, the Indian economy grew at a sluggish 5.5 percent in the April-June 2012 period as compared to 8 percent in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
The GDP growth had slumped to a nine-year low of 5.3 percent in the quarter ended March.
The decision to push forward the reform process has come at a time when business sentiments have taken a beating, GDP growth is near decade low, inflation remained stubbornly high and the government was criticised for "policy paralysis".
India an ideal FDI destination
A recent UNCTAD survey projected India as the second most important FDI destination (after China) for transnational corporations during 2010–2012. India has seen an eightfold increase in its FDI in March 2012.
As per the data, the sectors which attracted higher inflows were services, telecommunication, construction activities and computer software and hardware.
Mauritius, Singapore, US and UK were among the leading sources of FDI for India.
According to Ernst and Young, foreign direct investment in India in 2010 was USD 44.8 billion, and in 2011 experienced an increase of 13 percent to USD 50.8 billion.

  • 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail
  • 49 percent FDI in civil aviation 
  • FDI cap in broadcasting raised from 49 percent to 74 percent
  • Sale of equities in four PSUs including Hindustan Copper Ltd (9.59 percent), Nalco (12.15 percent), Oil India Ltd (10 percent) and MMTC (9 percent) 
  • Foreign investment in power exchanges
  • Delhi, Assam, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Daman & Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli are in support of the UPA government’s move
  • Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura and Odisha have formally stated their opposition

India ranks 7th in corporate governance in Asia-Pacific

India has been ranked in the seventh place in terms of corporate governance score in Asia Pacific region, says a report by global brokerage firm CLSA.
According to the CLSA Corporate Governance Watch 2012 list, produced in collaboration with the Asian Corporate Governance Association, India's corporate governance score has improved by 3 percentage points but ranking has remained the same. Among the market rankings, Singapore was at the top in 2012 followed by Hong Kong and Thailand in the second and third position respectively. In the fourth position there is a tie between Japan and Malaysia, the report said.
Others in the top include Taiwan at the 6th place, followed by India (7th), Korea (8th), China (9th), Philippines (10th) and Indonesia (11th). The report which analysed as many as 864 listed companies across Asia-Pacific markets, including Japanese and Australian firms, said that Infosys was the only Indian company that was featured in the top 20 corporate governance large caps. Moreover, there were just five Indian companies which got featured in the top 50 league table. Besides, Infosys the other four include HUL, Wipro, Titan Industries and Yes Bank.
The report, entitled "Tremors and cracks", noted that cracks in Asian corporate governance have become more apparent with corporate scores slipping since the previous CG Watch report was issued in 2010. Investors have faced issues ranging from relatively minor corporate transgressions to growing concerns about the reliability of financial statements and, at the extreme, outright fraud. "Corporate governance is largely about checks and balance," CLSA Head of Asia Research Amar Gill said in a statement, adding that "Investors will need to swerve and get a tighter grip when dealing with the cracks in governance and the tremors in Asian investing."

Barfi nominated as India's entry to Oscars 2013

Bollywood film "Barfi" has got an official entry to the Oscars, and actor Ranbir Kapoor said he has high hopes from the film even though at the moment it has not reached the nomination stage.

"So far in the history of Indian cinema, only three Bollywood films, including Mehboob Khan's "Mother India" (1957), Mira Nair's "Salaam Bombay" (1988) and Ashutosh Gowariker's "Lagaan" (2001), have made it to the nomination stage. Directed by Anurag Basu, "Barfi" features Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D'Cruz among others.

Friday, September 21, 2012

APPSC Assistant Social Welfare Officers Exam 2011 Solved Papers


GAAR Report submitted by the Shome Committee to the Finanace Ministry

The GAAR report was submitted on 1 September 2012 to the finance minister of India by the Shome Committee constituted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes, after the approval of Prime Minister of India. The committee in its report has tried to create a balance in between the investors being invited to the country and protection of the tax base from tax avoidance and evasion, using aggressive tax planning. The major findings of the GAAR’s committee to create a balance in between the investors and chances of tax avoidance and evasion includes:
1. Tax Evasion, Tax Mitigation and Tax Avoidance
2. Overcharging Principle Applicability of GAAR
3. Monetary Threshold
4. Arm’s Length Test
5. Test to Misuse or Abuse the Provisions of Act
6. Factors for determination of Commercial Substance
7. Grandfathering of existing Investments
8. GAAR will not override the CBDT circular 789 of 2000 with respect to the tax-treaty in between India and Mauritius
9. GAAR will not be applicable at places where so ever anti-avoidance provisions are in existence in the treaty of tax and any type of anti-avoidance rule exists in the Act
10. Impermissible Avoidance arrangements
11. Tax abolition in cases of gains that rises out by the transfer of listed securities
12. Foreign Institutional Investors
13. Corresponding adjustments
14. Implementation of the Onus on the revenue authority
15. Tax Withholding
16. Definition of the term Connected Person
17. Constitution of approval panel
18. Time limit for GAAR provisions
19. AAR to pass ruling within 6 months
20. Prescription of Statutory forms
21. Implementation issue
22. Reporting requirements

The committee in its findings has stated that the GAAR guidelines should be introduced in the country at the time of economic stability. Hence, it has recommended the postponement of its implementation by 3 years. Committee’s recommendation also states about the implementation of the findings with complete spirit and has laid emphasis on transition period of the taxpayers and preparedness of the administrators. To provide clarity on GAAR’s applicability provisions in different situations 27 illustrations were made and are mentioned under different conditions like:
1. Tax Mitigation- GAAR can’t be invoked
2. Tax Avoidance- SAAR is applicable hence GAAR is not invoked
3. Court Approved Amalgamations or demergers
4. Tax Avoidance- GAAR invoked
5. Tax Evasion can directly be dealt of law without invoking the GAAR
Following the Finance Act 2012, the introduction of the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) was done into the Income Tax Act, 1961. The committee briefly analysed the provisions of GAAR as per the inputs available from stakeholders and following the recommendations made the amendments in the Act were made for finalization of the guidelines for the Income Tax Rules, 1962.

Shome’s Committee:
The expert committee on GAAR (General Anti-Avoidance Rules) was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Parthasarsthi Shome with members, namely Shri N. Rangachary (Former Chairman of IRDA and CBDT), Dr. Ajay Shah (Prof. NIPFP) and Shri Sunil Gupta (Joint Secretary-Tax Policy and Legislation, Department of Revenue) for undertaking the consultations of stakeholders and finalization of guidelines for GAAR. The main objective of the committee was to get feedbacks from the stakeholders and prepare new guidelines or to amend the previous guidelines after examining the things finely.The committee was constituted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes after being approved by the Prime Minister of India.

The committee formed referred to following terms:
• To receive feedback from both public and stakeholders on the Guideline of GAAR mentioned on the website of Government of India.
• To rework on the guidelines following the feedback received and examining the same and then publish the same in form of second draft
• To find out and finalise, guidelines along with an road-map for implementation of GAAR and submit it to the government

Analysis of the GAAR provisions:
The provisions for the GAAR are mention in Chapter X-A (Section 95 to 102) of the Act. Presented provisions allow the authority of tax, despite of containing anything in the Act with clear declaration on the arrangements made for assesses (estimated value, nature or extent of amount of the fine) that has entered into the impermissible avoidance arrangement to face the consequences with regard to the tax liability determined by the arrangement.

Russia declassified the existence richest diamond field of the world

Russian government on 18 September 2012 declassified its diamond reserves formed after a 7 kilometer wide asteroid stroked the graphite rich area of Russia, about 35 million years ago. The most valuable secret of Russian Cold War was kept hidden from the rest of the world for more than five decades. The reserve was discovered by the Russians during the mid 1960s.
The huge deposits of hard diamond, which can fulfill the demands of the world for next 3000 years was discovered in the Popigoi crater in East Siberia in an asteroid with diameter of 120 kilometers. Russian scientists from the Novosibirsk Institute of Geology and Mineralogy claimed that the total quantity of the available diamond in the crater is more than 10 times of the total reserve of diamond that the world have.
These diamonds are an ideal material for industrial use and are twice harder than that of the technical diamonds generally used for industrial purposes. Declassification of the hidden reserves can’t be used as jewellery item, so will not have any impact in the jewel making industry of the world.

Thursday, September 20, 2012



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ninth World Hindi Conference held at Johannesburg

The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India with the support of Hindi Shiksha Sangh, South Africa and other stakeholders is organizing the Ninth World Hindi Conference [WHC] in Johannesburg, South Africa from 22-24 September, 2012.  The Conference will be held at Johannesburg, South Africa.  
The tradition of the World Hindi Conferences began with the first conference having been organized in Nagpur in the year 1975.  Since then, these conferences have achieved a global profile and momentum of their own.  The subsequent eight World Hindi Conferences were organized in different world cities, namely, twice in Port Louis (Mauritius), twice in India, Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago), London (UK), Paramaribo (Suriname) and New York (USA).   All these conferences have always attracted a galaxy of renowned scholars and followers of Hindi.  In keeping with this growing reach and popularity of this event, the Government has decided to organize the next conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, which would also be an apt recognition of India’s historic, close and growing ties with the whole of the African continent.  South Africa also carries the profound memories of Mahatma Gandhi’s association with that region.
The 9th World Hindi Conference would deliberate on a series of traditional and contemporary themes related with both classical and modern aspects of Hindi.  The theme of the conference this year will be “Bhasha ki Asmita Aur Hindi Ka Vaishvik Sandarbh”.  The conference would also have nine academic sessions on such subjects as Mahatma Gandhi’s linguistic vision; Hindi and modern technology; role of Indian epics in propagation of Hindi; contribution of foreign scholars in dissemination of Hindi; Mass media and Hindi, etc.
            The last eight World Hindi Conferences have been held at the following places:
First WHC  - Nagpur [India]  :  10-12 January, 1975
Second WHC - Mauritius  :  28-30 August, 1976
Third WHC - New Delhi [India] :  28-30 October, 1983
Fourth WHC - Mauritius :  2-4 December, 1993
Fifth WHC - Port of Spain [Trinidad & Tobago] : 4-8 April, 1996
Sixth WHC - London [UK] : 14-18 September, 1999
Seventh WHC - Paramaribo [Suriname] : 6-9 June, 2003
Eighth WHC - New York [USA] : 13-15 July, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2012

Justice Kabir to be the new Chief Justice of India

Justice Altamas Kabir will be the new Chief Justice of India. He will assume the new charge on 29th September. Born on July 19, 1948 at Kolkata, Justice Kabir did his LLB and MA from University of Calcutta. He was enrolled at the Bar on August 1, 1973 and was made a permanent judge of Calcutta High Court on August 6, 1990. Justice Kabir assumed the office of acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on January 11, 2005. He was elevated as Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court on March 01, 2005 and was made a judge of the Supreme Court of India on September 09, 2005. 
Justice Kabir was responsible for the computerization of the Calcutta High Court and the City Civil Court and other Courts in Kolkatta. He was appointed as Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority on January 14, 2010. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

MPSC Employment and Self Employment Officer Gr-B Screening Test-2012 Solved Paper

ISRO scores a centum

A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C21) blasted off from Sriharikota on September 9 and placed two foreign satellites in orbit, accomplishing the Indian Space Research Organisation’s 100th mission, a milestone in the country’s space journey.
After a 51-hour countdown, the PSLV lifted off at 9.53 a.m., two minutes behind schedule, to avoid any collision with space debris.
In the textbook launch, it carried SPOT-6, a 712-kg French earth observation satellite and injected it into an orbit of 655-km altitude, inclined at 98.23 degrees to the equator. Proiteres, a 15-kg Japanese microsatellite, was put into orbit as an additional payload. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of dignitaries watched the flight path on electronic screens, as the 44-metre tall PSLV accomplished its task, reinforcing the fact that it is the ISRO’s workhorse, with 21 successful missions in a row.
The four-stage ignition and the injection of the satellites into the orbit took 18 minutes and 37 seconds. As Proiteres separated at the final moment, the scientists erupted into joyous applause.
SPOT-6, an optical remote-sensing satellite capable of imaging the earth with a 1.5-metre resolution, is built by Astrium SAS, a European space technology company.
Proiteres is meant to study the powered-flight of a small satellite by an electric thruster and to observe Japan’s Kansai district with a high-resolution camera.
With Sunday’s mission, the ISRO has launched 62 satellites and 38 rockets. It has so far injected 28 foreign satellites into orbit, beginning with Germany’s 45-kg DLR-TUBSAT aboard the PSLV-C2 in 1999. SPOT-6 is the the PSLV’s biggest commercial lift so far. At a press conference, Dr. Radhakrishnan said the financial matters relating to the launch could not be disclosed, but the cost of the vehicle was recovered. The ISRO also sent its own payload, ‘Mini Resins,’ for demonstration of an instrument called Redundant Strap down Inertial Navigation System.
Manmohan Singh watched the historic 100th mission of the Indian space agency and scientists at Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) rocket's mission control room kept an eye on the rocket that escaped the earth's gravitational pull.

ISRO officials are hoping that the agency's 100th space mission will turn out to be a grand success.
The PSLV-C21 rocket is expected to deliver SPOT 6 and Proiteres into a 655 km polar orbit.
Remote sensing satellites send back pictures and other data. The SPOT and Indian remote sensing satellites are the two leading earth observation satellite series.
Interestingly SPOT 6 is the heaviest foreign satellite to be carried by a PSLV rocket since 1999 when ISRO started launching satellites owned by foreign agencies.
ISRO has been carrying foreign satellites since 1999 initially as an add-on luggage to its own satellite.
It was with Agile, a 350 kg Italian satellite, that ISRO started flying a full commercial rocket. Till date ISRO has launched 27 foreign satellites successfully and the Sunday mission would take the tally to 29.
The successful launch of SPOT 6 would make ISRO's PSLV rocket a strong contender to carry SPOT 7 planned by French company Astrium SAS soon.
According to ISRO, the satellite launch agreement between Antrix and Astrium is part of the long-term agreement signed between the two agencies in September 2008.
The space agency has also jointly built two heavy satellites - 3,453 kg W2M and 2,541 kg Hylas - for the French agency.
India has the largest constellation of remote sensing satellites in the world providing imagery in a variety of spatial resolutions, from more than a metre ranging up to 500 metres, and is a major player in vending such data in the global market.
With 12 remote sensing/earth observation satellites orbiting in the space, India is a world leader in the remote sensing data market. The 12 satellites are TES, Resourcesat 1, Cartosat 1, 2, 2A and 2B, IMS 1, Risat-2, Oceansat 2, Resourcesat-2, Megha-Tropiques and Risat-1. 

India’s first multi-lateral Social Science research collaboration with four European Nations

India has managed to enter into its first multi-lateral Social Science research collaboration with four European Nations by the approval of projects for networking and social science research cooperation in between the researchers of these nations on 5 September 2012. The French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) are the four bodies with which India has been successful in created tie-ups.

The social scientists will get national funds for creating collaborations with European Partners via a scheme. This is help in eradication of bureaucratic restrictions and obstacles. It’s expected to economise and rationalize the efforts of Europe towards production of high impact and quality research on social science that can address to the challenges forwarded by the global arena in terms of growth, economy, development, climate change, well being and health. As per the scheme the proposal can be made on any hemisphere of social science that can be of a help in understanding the social and individual behavior of a person and influence the policies beyond the boundaries. The targeted six proposals that have been awarded with the funds after being mapped in the month of May 2011, will deal in the aspects of wellbeing, ageing, bullying, mapping the cultural authority of science, globally accessible medicine, climate governance and pupil-safety.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Setting up of Commissions For Minorities

The National Commission for Minorities was established under the “National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992” on 5th July 1993 to look after the welfare of the five notified minorities. Further, as a follow up of the Sachar Committee recommendation for setting up of an Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) to look into the grievances of the deprived groups, the Government constituted an Expert Group to recommend the structure, scope and functions along with advice on an appropriate legislative framework of the proposed Equal Opportunity Commission. Giving this information in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister of Minority Affairs, said that the Expert Group submitted its Report along with a Draft Bill. The Report of the Expert Group was examined and a proposal for setting up of an Equal Opportunity Commission was considered. The Draft Equal Opportunity Commission Bill, 2011 has been circulated to various Ministries/Departments and comments of most of the Ministries have been received and the proposal is being processed.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kaushik Basu appointed as World Bank Chief Economist

On 5 September 2012, The World Bank appointed Kaushik Basu, as its chief economist and senior vice president. Basu, an Indian national and a Cornell University professor most recently served as chief economic adviser of the India's Union Ministry of Finance. He has to take over as the chief economist at the World Bank on October 1.

Kaushik Basu, 60, holds a doctorate from the London School of Economics and has also founded the Centre for Development Economics at the Delhi School of Economics in 1992 is also a founding member of the Madras School of Economics.
He had his wide contributions in the field span development economics, welfare economics, industrial organisation and public economics

He has earlier served as chairman of Cornell's economics department and was a director of its Center for Analytic Economics. He was awarded with one of the country's highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan in May 2008.

In his two-and-a-half-year stay in the Union finance ministry, Basu gave some constructive thoughts on food coupons and innovative ways to tackle corruption among other advices.

India ranked to be 59th in the report released by World Economic Forum

India slipped down with 3 ranks to 59th position from its previous year ranking in the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 released on 5 September 2012 by the World Economic Forum. The identified reason for this downfall is India’s disappointing performance in satisfying competitiveness for the basic factors.

Previously, India was far ahead to the nations like South Africa and Brazil has trailed down by 10 ranks and is 30 ranks behind the China. As per the details released by the forum, India still is strong in term of competitiveness on many other sections of comparison.

Switzerland managed to be on top of the list for consecutive four years followed by Singapore that ranked second and Finland was placed at third position. Among the members of BRICKS Nations, Russia was placed at 67th Position, South Africa got 52nd position and Brazil remained to be the 48th Nation.



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SAARC Social Charter India Country Report 2012


ReSchedule of Various APPSC Exams

AE’s in A.P. PH & MAE Sub-Service, Notification No. 49/2011, AE’s in Ground Water Department. AE’s in MAE A.P. MAE Sub-Service. Deputy Inspector of Survey in A.P. Survey & land Records Sub-service. (P.C.No.09), Notification No.11/12(Limited), Accounts Officer, Junior Accounts Officer, Senior Accountant  Notification No.7/12 written examinations  to be held on 23/09/2012 and 24/09/2012 are postponed to 03/11/2012 and 04/11/2012


  1.  India and Pakistan have agreed to increase their bilateral trade from existing  USD 2   billion   to     ____________ dollars by 2014.
        a) USD 4 billion
       b) USD 6 billion
       c) USD 7 billion
       d) USD 8 billion
       e) None of the above

  2.  Prithvi-II, India’s medium range surface-to-surface ballistic missile is capable of carrying nuclear warheads in a range of up to ________.
       a) 300 km
       b) 350 km
       c) 400 km
       d) 450 km
       e) None of the above

  3.  Which is the amount of subsidy provided by the governemnt on 14.2-kg LPG cylinder?
       a) Rs. 22.58 /-per cylinder
       b) Rs. 21.62 /-per cylinder
       c) Rs. 24.54 /-per cylinder
       d) Rs. 28.38 /-per cylinder
       e) None of the

  4.  The rate of duty on import of crude oils is:
       a) 1%
       b) 2%
       c) 3%
       d) 5%
       e) zero percent

  5.  Which one of following is the maximum speed limit (km/h) for cars over Yamuna Expressway highway?
       a) 100
       b) 110
       c) 115
       d) 120
       e) None of the above

  6.  In a bid to normalize the trade relations between India and Pakistan, the Indian banking regulator RBI gave its nod to which of the followings bank(s) to set up their branches in Pakistan?
       1. Bank of India
       2. Punjab National Bank
       3. State Bank of India
      a) Only 1      
      b) Only 2      
      c) Only 3      
      d) Both 1 & 2      
      e) Both 1 & 3

  7.  Presently, which bank is the largest issuer of credit cards in the country?
       a) SBI
       b) PNB
       c) IDBI
       d) HDFC
       e) ICICI

Tehran hosted the 16th NAM(Non-Aligned Movement) Summit

The 16th NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) summit was held at Tehran, Iran on 30-31 August 2012.The theme of the summit was Lasting Peace through Joint Global Governance. At the Tehran Summit , the Chairmanship of NAM was passed on from Egypt to Iran in accordance with the NAM’s practice of regional rotation.The NAM meeting in Tehran was held in three phases: preparatory senior officials meeting on 26-27 August, ministerial level meeting on 28-29 August, and the summit on 30-31 August. Heads of the government from over 100 countries participated in the Tehran Summit to discuss the new global challenges.

Venezuela was selected the host for the 17th NAM Summit in 2015. India expressed support for popular aspirations for a democratic order in Syria while cautioning against external intervention. India urged NAM to take a clear stand on Syria.

Girisha bags silver at Paralympic Games

Girisha Hosanagara Nagarajegowda gave India its first medal at the Paralympic Games after bagging silver in the men’s high jump F42 event in London. The 24-year-old from Karnataka, who has an impairment in his left leg, sailed over a height of 1.74m using scissors technique in the final of the event to finish second in the presence of an 80,000 capacity crowd.
Iliesa Delana of Fiji won the gold, while Lukasz Mamczarz of Poland settled for bronze. Although Delana finished on the same height of 1.74m as Girisha and Mamczarz but won gold on the basis of taking less jumps. 

India at Paralympics

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
1960 Rome did not participate
1964 Tokyo did not participate
1968 Tel Aviv 0 0 0 0
1972 Heidelberg 1 0 0 1
1976 Toronto 0 0 0 0
1980 Arnhem 0 0 0 0
1984 Stoke Mandeville/New York 0 2 2 4
1988 Seoul 0 0 0 0
1992 Barcelona 0 0 0 0
1996 Atlanta 0 0 0 0
2000 Sydney 0 0 0 0
2004 Athens 1 0 1 2
2008 Beijing 0 0 0 0
2012 London 0 1 0 1
Total 2 3 3 8



Tuesday, September 4, 2012



  • Parvin Sinclair appointed as  Director of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on Jan 2, 2012.
  • Dr. Bhalchandra Mungekar  appointed as President, Indian Economic Association.
  • Samir K. Brahmachari reappointed as Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He got extension for a period of two years.
  • Arvind Gupta appointed as Director General, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA).
  • Vice Admiral M.P. Muralidharan  appointed as Director General, Indian Coast Guard in Jan 2012. Earlier served as the first Commandant fo the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala.
  • M. Rafeeque Ahmed  appointed as  President, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) in Jan 2012, he is chairman of the Farida Group; was FIEO President from 2002 to 2004


1. Pranab Mukherjee has been recently elected as the ____ th President of India?
A) 12th
B) 13th
C) 15th
D) 14th
Answer- B) 13th
2. Which Indian Bank has taken step to form India’s first Mortgage guarantee entity just like other developed countries?
B) National Housing Bank
C) LIC Housing
Answer- B) National Housing Bank
3. Which only Indian President won the Presidential Election without any contest?
A) APJ Abdul Kalam
B) Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy
C) Rajendra Prasad
D) Pratibha Patil
Answer- B) Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy
4. Eminent Freedom Fighter and social activist Captain Lakshmi Sehgal passed away in Kanpur on 23 July 2012. She was one of the most important members of S C Bose’s Indian National Army. She contested Presidential election in 2002 against whom?
A) APJ Abdul Kalam
B) Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy
C) Rajendra Prasad
D) Pratibha Patil
Answer- A) APJ Abdul Kalam
5. Which Country is the largest producer of Cocoa, which is mainly used for Chocolate?
A) Ghana
B) Ivory Coast
C) Kenya
D) Zimbabwe
Answer- B) Ivory Coast
6. Leader of National Advisory Council, responsible for monitoring the implementation of the UPA government’s manifesto, the Common Minimum Programme (CMP)?
A) Sonia Gandhi
B) Kausik Basu
C) Pranab Mukherjee
D) Manmohan Singh
Answer- A) Sonia Gandhi
7. Who has been elected as the new Prime Minister of Egypt?
A) Hosni Mubarak
B) Hisham Kandil
C) Mohamed Morsi
D) None of these
Answer- B) Hisham Kandil
8. International donor conference on Afghanistan was held recently to donate funding for Afghanistan development. It was held in?
A) Kabul
B) Tokyo
C) Hong Kong
D) Singapore
Answer- B) Tokyo
9. Which country will host the 4th Champions League T20 in October this year?
A) India
B) Australia
C) South Africa
D) England
Answer- C) South Africa
10. QFI (Qualified Foreign Investment) is regulated in India by?
B) Financial Action Task Force
Answer- B) Financial Action Task Force

Monday, September 3, 2012


The APPSC has conducted the Group-I prelims examination on 27th May 2012 and announced the list of eligible candidates qualified for the Mains Exam. Subsequently as per orders of Hon’ble APAT, the key was published and there were objections to this key. After verification of all objections received the final answer key was published on 2nd Sep 2012. As per this key the Cut off mark is 91 and total of 845 candidates are proposed to be deleted from the list of eligible candidates announced earlier as they failed to secure the cut off marks as per the final answer key.

For More Details Click Here

India beat Cameroon to lift Nehru Cup for the third consecutive time

India lifted the Nehru Cup for the third consecutive time beating Cameroon 5-4 in a penalty shootout at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at New Delhi on September 2. This is India's third consecutive Nehru Cup title, infact they have just won the three.
For the Indian football team, this is a matter of pride since the Cameroon side is ranked much higher to them in the FIFA rankings. India is ranked a lowly 168 while their,  opponents are 59 in the world. Cameroon football team also took part in the Beijing Olympics 2008.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Group-I Services Notifn. No. 15/2011 and 18/2011 ltd. & General - Screening Test - Final Key

GROUP-I SERVICES RECRUITMENT NOTFN.NOS. 15/2011 and 18/2011 LIMITED & GENERAL- List of Reg.Nos. of the Additional Candidates qualified for Main Examination after application of Final Answer Key

GROUP-I SERVICES RECRUITMENT NOTFN.NOS. 15/2011 and 18/2011 LIMITED & GENERAL- List of Reg.Nos. of the Additional Candidates qualified for Main Examination after application of Final Answer Key 

National Monsoon Mission

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the implementation of the programme of the National Monsoon Mission at the Earth System Science Organisation (ESSO) for a period of five years.

The main objectives of the National Monsoon Mission are:

(i) To build a working partnership between the academic and R&D organisations both national and international and the operational agencies to improve the operational monsoon forecast skill over the country.

(ii) To set up a state of the art dynamic modelling framework for improving the prediction skill of:

a. Seasonal and extended range prediction system (16 days to one season)

b. Short to medium range prediction system (up to 15 days).

The Mission has a budget of Rs.400 crore for five years to support the research work related to the mission.

The National Monsoon Mission after its implementation will help to implement a dynamic prediction system for the prediction of monsoon in all time scales, short range to seasonal time scale at appropriate spatial scales with improved prediction skill. The forecasts based on this prediction system will cater to the needs of various sectors like agriculture, water resources management, power generation, disaster management, tourism and transport.

The programme will be undertaken through two sub-missions on two different time scales, (i) extended range to seasonal time scale to be coordinated by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) Pune/ESSO and (ii) short to medium range scale, to be coordinated by the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF)/ESSO. The Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)/ESSO will provide the ocean observations for assimilation and the India Meteorological Department/ESSO will implement the research outcome of the efforts in operational mode. The Mission will support focused research by national and international research groups with definitive objectives and deliverables to improve the models in the short, medium, extended and seasonal range scales at appropriate spatial scales. The Mission will also support observational programmes that will result in better understanding of the processes. The progress of the National Monsoon Mission will be reviewed and monitored by two committees. The Scientific Review and Monitoring Committee (SRMC) will review the research proposals from different research groups and monitor the progress of the research work. The Scientific Steering Committee (SSC), which is the apex body will steer the programme, advise and direct midcourse corrections, if any.


Prediction of monsoon rainfall variability in all spatial and time scales is very important for many sectors like agriculture, water resources management, power generation and natural ecosystems and thus economy of the country. The present statistical methods being used by the India Meteorological Department have some constraints to meet specific user requirements for forecasts on finer spatial and temporal scale. Therefore, it is necessary to make use of the state of the art dynamic models to improve monsoon prediction skills.

National Mission on Food Processing

Government has approved the launching of National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) main scheme through States/UTs during 2012-13. The basic objective of NMFP is decentralization of implementation of Ministry’s schemes, which will lead to substantial participation by State Governments/UTs. The NMFP is likely to add significantly to the Ministry’s outreach in terms of planning, supervision and monitoring of assistance through this scheme.

The major Progrmme/Schemes to be covered under NMFP during 2012-13 are:

(i) Scheme for Technology Up-gradation / Establishment /modernisation of Food Processing Industries.

(ii) Scheme for Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure for Non Horticultural Products.

(iii) Scheme for Modernisation of Abattoirs (no targets for 2012-13 & 2013-14)

(iv) Scheme for Human Resource Development (HRD)

a) Creation of Infrastructure Facilities for Running Degree/ Diploma / Certificate Courses in Food Processing Technology.

b) Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP)

c) Food Processing Training Centre (FPTC)

(v) Scheme for Promotional Activities

a. Organizing Seminars/Workshops

b. Conducting Studies/Surveys

c. Support to Exhibitions/Fairs

d. Advertisement & Publicity

Aamir Khan on Time magazine cover

Superstar Aamir Khan, fresh from the success of his debut TV show ‘Satyamev Jayate’, has been featured on the cover of Time magazine.
Aamir Khan features on the cover of the Asia edition of the magazine, which will be out next week. With a close-up picture of his face, the title for the cover reads: “Khan’s Quest” – He is breaking the Bollywood mold by tackling India’s social evils. Can an actor change a nation?”
The 47-year-old actor’s show, which wrapped up on August 15, highlighted social evils like female foeticide, sexual abuse and domestic violence. 
Other Indian actors to feature on the cover of the magazine are Parveen Babi and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mahatma Gandhi Suraksha Yojana

The Government has launched a scheme called ‘Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana’ (MGPSY) for Indian workers holding Emigration Check Required (ECR) passports and a valid work permit in an ECR country. This scheme encourages and enables Overseas Indian Workers to save for their return and resettlement and to save for their old age by providing a co-contribution from the Government. This also provides a free Life Insurance Cover against natural death during the period of coverage, under this scheme. However, there is no proposal to introduce a special package for Indian workers returning to India from conflict-ridden countries. There is also no plan to start a “Pravasi Bank” for Overseas Indians by the Ministry.

World’s Highest Railway Bridge Over Chenab River

The Railway bridge being constructed over the Chenab River in Jammu & Kashmir is planned to have a height of 359 meters from river bed level which, as per available information, is the highest railway bridge in the world.
            The railway bridge over river Chenab is a part of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla new line project which, on completion, is expected to connect Anantnag, Pulwama, Sopian, Badgam, Srinagar and Baramulla districts of Jammu & Kashmir State to the Railway network.
            Special quality structural steel is being used in the construction of the bridge involving very high degree of precision and latest welding technology.  Special painting scheme is being used for arch portion which is designed considering a number of additional parameters such as fatigue, seismic effect, blast load, global stability and composite action.  Various latest safety measures like measuring wind velocity, ground acceleration in case of earthquake, temperature monitor etc. are also being planned.
            The estimated cost of the bridge as per the contract agreement of 2004 is Rs. 512.74 crore.  The bridge falls in the Katra-Banihal section of the project which is targeted to be completed by December 2017.