Friday, August 31, 2012



  Answer Key for 4 Series & Cut Off Mark


Q.Nos. 6,8,10,69 & 104 Cancelled. Five marks added to each candidate.
Q.No. 17 having two answers (1&2) as per Commn's Orders in C.No. 298/CD/2012, dated: 13/06/2012.

Q.Nos. 14,36,38,40 & 99 Cancelled. Five marks added to each candidate.
Q.No. 47 having two answers (1&2) as per Commn's Orders in C.No. 298/CD/2012, dated: 13/06/2012. 

Q.Nos. 9,74,126,128 & 130 Cancelled. Five marks added to each candidate.
Q.No. 137 having two answers (1&2) as per Commn's Orders in C.No. 298/CD/2012,dated:13/06/2012. 

Q.Nos. 39,96,98,100 & 134 Cancelled. Five marks added to each candidate.
Q.No. 107 having two answers (1&2) as per Commn's Orders in C.No. 298/CD/2012, dated:13/0/2012.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cabinet nod for ban on child labour below 14

The Union Cabinet on August 28 approved a proposal for amending the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, to ban employment of children aged up to 14 in any form of industry.
It will be an offence to employ such children not only in factories or industries but also in homes or on farms, if their labour is meant to serve any commercial interest.
The Ministry of Labour is likely to introduce the amendment bill in Parliament soon.
Quoting the National Sample Survey Organisation’s figures, official sources said the amendment would benefit 46 lakh children, who have been working in various industries now, and they can concentrate on education.
The Cabinet also approved another amendment to define children aged 14-18 as “adolescents” and prohibit their employment in mines, explosives industries, chemical and paint industries and other hazardous establishments.
The government’s decision is in line with the convention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which prohibits any form of child labour until the age of 14.
Since the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or RTE now stipulates compulsory and free education of children up to the age of 14, the upper age limit in the Child Labour Act has been kept at 14.
The RTE, which makes education the fundamental right of a child, was passed by Parliament on August 4, 2009. It sets forth the modalities of free and compulsory education for children aged 6-14. The Act came into effect on April 1, 2010.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Reservation to Women in the Legislature

During the years several steps have been taken for empowerment of women and one such step was to provide reservation for women in Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies. The Government put a step forward and introduced a Bill, namely, the Constitution (One Hundred Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008 in the Rajya Sabha on the 6th May, 2008 to provide inter alia for, as nearly as may be, one-third (including the number of seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election to the House of People and to the State Legislative Assemblies and the Legislative Assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi shall be reserved for the women. Afterwards, the Chairman, Rajya Sabha on the 8th May, 2008 referred the Bill to the Departmental Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, and Law and Justice for examination and report. Giving this information in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister of Law & Justice, said that the Committee presented its 36th Report on the Bill to the Rajya Sabha/ laid in the Lok Sabha on the 17th December, 2009. The Rajya Sabha passed the Bill on 9th March, 2010. The Bill is to be passed by the Lok Sabha and is also required to be ratified by the Legislatures of not less than one-half of the States by resolution.

Schemes for Slum Dwellers and Urban Poor

The Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja has said that the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) is implementing the following schemes for slum dwellers and urban poor across the country:

(i) Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) launched on 3rd December, 2005, the Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) and Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programmes (IHSDP) are being implemented which focus on basic services to the urban poor and integrated development of slums. Under BSUP, 65 select cities in the country are covered and the remaining cities are covered under IHSDP. Under BSUP scheme, 527 projects have been approved with total project cost of Rs. 30188.69 crores for construction of 1017252 Dwelling Units (DUs). Under IHSDP scheme, 1084 projects in 928 cities have been approved with total project cost of Rs. 12048.50 crores for construction of 570951 Dwelling Units (DUs).

(ii) Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) aims at providing gainful employment to the urban unemployed and under-employed poor, through encouraging the setting up of self employment ventures by the urban poor living below the poverty line, skills training and also through providing wage employment by utilizing their labour for construction of socially and economically useful public assets. This scheme is applicable to all cities and towns in the country. During the 2011-12, 353,803 beneficiaries were covered under   skills training and 79,804 beneficiaries under urban self employment programme components of SJSRY.

(iii) In pursuance of the Government’s vision of creating a Slum-free India, a new scheme ‘Rajiv Awas Yojana’ (RAY) has been launched on 02.06.2011.Under the Scheme financial assistance is being provided to States that are willing to assign property rights to slum dwellers for provision of decent shelter and basic civic and social services for slum redevelopment, and for creation of affordable housing stock. The scheme is expected to cover above 250 cities, across the entire country by the end of 12th plan (2017).The States would be required to include all the mission cities of JNNURM, preferably cities with more than 3 lakh population as per 2001 Census; and other smaller cities, with due consideration to the pace of growth of the city, of slums, predominance of minority population, and areas where property rights are assigned. Funds have been released to 34 States/UTs under Slum Free City Planning Scheme - the preparatory phase of Rajiv AwasYojana. The list of 185 cities in which preparatory activities are being undertaken are as per Annexure-I. In addition, 8 pilot projects with total project cost of Rs. 446.22 Crores involving Central Assistance of Rs. 197.09 Crores have been approved under RAY for construction of 8400 dwelling units. The first installment of Rs. 65.69 Crores has been released to the concerned states as per Annexure-II.

 (iv) The Affordable Housing in Partnership Scheme, which is intended to encourage public private partnerships for the creation of affordable housing stock has been dovetailed with RAY. Under this scheme, central support will be provided at the rate of Rs 50,000 per unit of rental/affordable dwelling unit or 25% of the cost of civic infrastructure (external and internal), whichever is lower. Under this Scheme, which is applicable to all cities covered under RAY, 8 projects have been sanctioned with a central assistance of Rs. 7.2 Crore for construction of 5776 Affordable dwelling units.

(v) To enable the urban poor to obtain credit for home loans at affordable rates, the Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP), which provides 5 % interest subsidy on loans up to Rs. one lakh, is being implemented. This scheme has been dovetailed with RAY.  As on date, 10,215 beneficiaries have been benefitted.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha  Kumari Selja said, for proper utilization of funds under these schemes, the Ministry of HUPA is regularly monitoring the progress through quarterly/monthly physical and financial reports, periodic review meeting at state/regional/city level and field visits by Ministry’s officers and monitoring agencies.

Implementation of SJSRY in Andhra Pradesh

The Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) Kumari Selja has said that the revamped Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) has five major components:-
(i)           Urban Self Employment Programme (USEP)-Targeting individual urban poor for setting up of micro-enterprises.
(ii)        Urban Women Self-help Programme (UWSP)-Targeting urban poor women self-help groups for setting up of group-enterprises and providing them assistance through a revolving fund for thrift & credit activities.
(iii)      Skill Training for Employment Promotion amongst Urban Poor (STEP-UP)-Targeting urban poor for imparting quality training so as to enhance their employability for self-employment or better salaried employment.
(iv)      Urban Wage Employment Programme (UWEP) -Assisting urban poor by utilizing their labour for construction of socially and economically useful public assets, in towns having population less than 5 lakhs as per 1991 census.
(v)        Urban Community Development Network (UCDN)-Assisting the urban poor in organizing themselves in self- managed community structures so as to gain collective strength to address the issues of poverty facing them and participate in the effective implementation of urban poverty alleviation programmes.

          In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha  Kumari Selja said, the scheme is implemented through the State Governments. Ministry monitors their performance regularly to ensure that benefits of the scheme reach to all sections of the urban poor. Regular training of the functionaries of State, District and Urban Local Bodies are held to orient them towards better implementation of this scheme. Statement showing year-wise, State-wise achievement of SJSRY during the last two plans are at Annexure-I & II. The Statement showing physical targets set and achieved under the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) in the State of Andhra Pradesh during the last five years is at Annexure-III.  The Ministry does not set district-wise targets.

Thorium Reserve in the Country

Exploration activities carried out by Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent unit of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), has resulted in establishing 3.74 million tones of Monazite in Andhra Pradesh which contains about 3,36,600 tonnes of thorium oxide equivalent to 2,96,000 tonnes of thorium metal. 
These reserves are explored and established. 
Indian three stage nuclear power programme is aimed at long term energy independence including use of thorium resources in the third stage. In order to realize this goal, presently, the first stage of programme is accomplished through the nuclear reactors based on natural uranium fuel. The second stage envisages setting up of Fast Breeder Reactors. A Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor is planned at Kalpakkam. The utilization of thorium would be technically possible only in the third stage. Since the country is still in the first stage of the nuclear power programme, the requirement of Thorium by 2020 is quite modest.

Location of Nuclear Reactors in India

In India, nuclear power reactors are set up and operated on twin unit concept with dedicated safety and process systems, operating personnel and the management for operating these units. Each reactor has independent safety and process systems. At the same site, additional twin units module with independent safety and security of operating island are considered to reduce requirement of land for exclusion zone. This also helps in meeting the objective of minimizing the displacement of population.

The nuclear reactors planned to be set up at Jaitapur are the Evolutionary Pressurized Water Reactors (EPRs). The EPR design has been based on the proven design, safety principles and manufacturing technologies employed in “N4” reactors in France and “KONVOI” reactors in operation in Germany. N4 & KONVOI reactors are under successful and safe operation for the last many years. The EPRs planned at Jaitapur incorporate the operational feedback from “N4” & “KONVOI” reactors. Currently, EPRs are under construction in Finland, France and China which may become operational in the next 2 to 4 years. The operational experience from these reactors will also be available before the commissioning of Jaitapur nuclear power project. As regards the cost, the discussions on the techno-commercial offer of AREVA. France are focused on arriving at mutually acceptable capital cost and tariff levels.

Following the Inter-Governmental Agreement between India & France in 2008, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and AREVA, France signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up Nuclear Power Reactors at Jaitapur on February 4, 2009. A General Framework Agreement (GFA) and Early Works Agreement (EWA) were signed between NPCIL and AREVA on December 6, 2010. The GFA covers installation of the initial set of 2x1650 MW EPR including scope of work, division of responsibility, design, materials, technology, services and life time fuel supplies. The EWA relates to preliminary works related to design, engineering and regulatory aspects.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

PJ Kurien elected the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

PJ Kurien was unanimously elected the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh moved the motion for the election of Kurien.
Kurien has been the member of national parliament for the last three decades representing Idukki, and Mavelikkara Lok Sabha constituencies. Since 2005 he is a member of the Rajya Sabha.
The Deputy Chairman is elected in the meeting of the Rajya Sabha as decided by Chairman of the Rajya Sabha from amongst the members of the Rajya Sabha. He is supposed to resign from his original party because as a Deputy Speaker, he has to remain impartial.
Deputy Chaiman of Rajya Sabha acts as the Presiding Officer in case of leave or absence of the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, the Vice-President of India.

PERSONS IN NEWS 2012 (International)

(Useful for UPSC Civil Services Mains)

Alana Seebarran

Alana Seebarran of Guyana has been crowned as the Miss India Worldwide 2012 in the 23rd edition of the pageant held in Suriname capital of Paramaribo. 

Alberto Contador

Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador on February 6, 2012 Received a two-year ban for doping during the 2010 Tour de France and was stripped of his victory in the race. Contador tested positive for the banned anabolic agent clenuterol.

Bosusco Paolo

Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo was finally released by te Odisha State Organising Committee of the outlawed Communist Party of India  (Maoist) in Kandhamal district on April 12, 2012

Chandra Bahadur Dangi

Nepal's Chandra Bahadur Dangi was declared the world's shortest living  man at a ceremony in Kathmandu on February 26, 2012 Dangi, who measured at just 21.5 inches (54.6 centimetres), snatched the title from Junrey Balawing of the Philippines.

Christian Wulff

Germany's President Christian Wulff resigned on February 17, 2012 in a scandal over favours he allegedly received before becoming head of state, creating a major domestic distraction for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she grapples with Europe's debt crisis.

Charles Taylor

A U.N. –backed war crimes court sentenced the former President of Liberin, Charles Taylor, to 50 years in jail on May 30, 2012 for arming rebels in Sierra Leone in return for "blood diamonds" Taylor, 64 was earlier convicted of all 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front during the country's brutal 1991-2001 civil war.


(Useful for UPSC Civil Services Mains)

The 160th Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) convened in Vienna, Austria, on 14 December 2011, under the Chairmanship of its President, HE Eng Rostam Ghasemi, Minister of Petroleum of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Conference reviewed recent oil market devel-opments, as presented by the Secretary General, in particular supply/ demand projections, as well as the outlook for 2012. The Conference noted, further, that, although world oil demand is forecast to increase slightly during the year 2012, this rise is expected to be partially offset by a projected increase in non-OPEC supply. The Conference decided that its next Ordinary Meeting will convene in Vienna, Austria, on 14 June 2012.

International Conference on climate change, Sustainable agriculture and Public leaderhsip
A two-day International Conference on Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture and Public Leadership was held in New Delhi. The main objective of this conference was to bring scientists, teachers, researchers, economists, managers and policy makers from around the w orld on a single platform to discuss various aspects of climate change, sustainable agriculture and public leadership and develop a consensus containing a set of valuable recommendations, as a way forward for addressing the issues related to the future climate scenario, Indian agriculture and food security.

First Interpol Global Programme on Anti-Corruption and Asset Recovery
The first Global Programme on Anti-Corruption and Asset licovery for Investigators and Prosecutors (13-18 February,-2012) hosted by the CBI, was at-tended by 39 police officers, Birvestigators and prosecutors from various INTERPOL member countries from across the world, including Australia, Afghanistan, China, Hongkong, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, jfcrcenesia, Fiji, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Philippines and facia
The main purpose of the Global Programme was to enhance knowledge and skills of investigators and prosecutors in nc icing assets of mass corruption, and making effective use rf 1 egal assistance in international and trans-border investigations. Of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, and former Governor of California Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger.


(Useful for Civil Services Mains Exam)
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, the renowned Indian-American scientist whose pioneering work in Molecular Biology won him the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has been knighted in the New Year Honours List 2012. He has been conferred knighthood “for services to Molecular Biology”. Ramakrishnan, a US citizen, is based at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2010.

Jordan Romero
Jordan Romero, a US teenager became the youngest person to successfully climb to the summit of the seven tallest mountains on Earth’s seven continents. He beat the record previously held by British climber George Atkinson, who completed the ascents at age 16.

Neha Shekhawat
Flight Lieutenant Sneha Shekhawat is the first woman pilot to lead an Air Force contingent at the 63rd Republic Day parade. She was assisted by three other women Flying Officers Heena Pore, Anupam Chaudhary and Pooja Negi. Shekhawat, from Sikar in Rajasthan, is at present posted with the IAF squadron at Hindon in Ghaziabad air base.

Sebastian Edathy
Indian-origin MP in Germany Sebastian Edathy will head 11- member parliamentary inquiry committee that will investigate the racist-motivated murders across the country by a neo-Nazi cell evading detection for more than a decade. It will be the highest assignment in the political career of Edathy, who became a Social Democratic Party (SPD) member of Bundestag in 1998.

Mae Jemison
Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to go into space in 1992, has been chosen to head the 100-year Starship project. Jemison's project will explore what it would take for a multi-generational mission beyond the solar system.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Miss China crowned Miss World 2012

China's Yu Wenxia has been crowned the 2012 Miss World.

This is the second time Miss China has been awarded the title. The last time was in 2007 when Zhang Zilin took the honor.

The first runner-up is Sophie Elizabeth Moulds of Wales and the second runner-up is Jessica Michelle Kahawaty of Australia.

The 23-year-old Yu is a music student who says she wants to become a music teacher.

This is the first time for the Inner Mongolian city of Ordos to host the international beauty pageant.

The city is one of the richest regions in China thanks to its abundant natural resources. It hopes the world event will raise its profile for economic development and tourism.

Sanya, another Chinese city, has hosted the contest several times.

India's Vanya Mishra made it to the top seven spot but failed to progress further. She, however, did bag the titles of Miss Social Media and Miss Beauty with a Purpose.

In the semi-finals, the contestants were asked to perform on the music of their country and Vanya chose to dance on "Dil cheez kya hai" from 1981 film "Umrao Jaan", which landed her a spot in the top seven finalists.
Rita Faria was the first Indian to bag the title in 1966, followed by Aishwarya Rai (1994), Diana Hayden (1997), Yukta Mookhey (1999) and Priyanka Chopra (2000). China has already hosted the competition five times.

Miss World contest has several preliminary rounds, the winners of these major rounds of the pageant are:
1. Beach Fashion: Miss Wales
2. Talent Champion: Miss China
3. Top Model: Miss Sudan
4. Beauty with a Purpose: Miss India
5. Social Media Award: Miss India

Friday, August 17, 2012

Welfare Schemes for Women

Many welfare schemes for women are implemented by Government of India, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. The details of major schemes under implementation by Ministry of Women and Child Development for the welfare of women are as under :

i. RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL CRECHE SCHEME FOR THE CHILDREN OF WORKING MOTHERS (RGNCS) provides day care facilities to the children in the age group 0-6 years from families with monthly income of less than 12000/-. In addition to being a safe space for the children, the crèches provide services such as supplementary nutrition, pre-school education and emergency health care, etc.

ii. CENTRAL SOCIAL WELFARE BOARD: The main women welfare related schemes and programmes being implemented by CSWB are family counselling centres, awareness generation programme and condensed courses of education for women.

iii. NATIONAL MISSION FOR EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN (NMEW) is an initiative of the Government of India for empowering women holistically. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme sanctioned in April 2011 and acts as an umbrella Mission with a mandate to strengthen inter-sectoral convergence.

iv. WORKING WOMEN’S HOSTEL (WWH) Scheme envisages provision of safe and affordable hostel accommodation to working women, single working women, women working at places away from their home-towns and for women being trained for employment.

v. SUPPORT TO TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME (STEP) for Women was launched as a Central Sector Scheme during 1986-87. It aims at making a significant impact on women by upgrading skills for self and wage employment. The target group includes the marginalized assetless rural women and urban poor.

vi. RASHTRIYA MAHILA KOSH (RMK) with a corpus of Rs.100 crore extends micro-finance services to bring about the socio-economic upliftment of poor women.

is a Conditional Cash Transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating (P&L) women introduced in the October 2010 to contribute to better enabling environment by providing cash incentives for improved health and nutrition to pregnant and nursing mothers.

viii. SWADHAR SCHEME: The Ministry of Women and Child Development had been administering Swadhar scheme since 2001 for Women in difficult circumstances. Under the Scheme, temporary accommodation, maintenance and rehabilitative services are provided to women and girls rendered homeless due to family discord, crime, violence, mental stress, social ostracism. Another scheme with similar objectives/target groups namely Short Stay Home (SSH) is being implemented by Central Social Welfare Board.

ix. UJJAWALA is a comprehensive scheme for prevention of trafficking and rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


On August 12, 2012, London bade a flamboyant and madcap farewell to the Olympic Games with a romp through British pop and fashion, bringing the curtain down on more than two weeks of action that ended with USA topping the sporting world with 46 gold medals.

During a special eight-minute segment, the stadium was bathed in the colours and sounds of Brazil, as the Olympics looked ahead to 2016 when Rio de Janeiro is the host city.

The Olympic flag was handed to Eduardo Paes, Rio’s Mayor, before International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge described the London Games as “happy and glorious” and declared them closed—the words taken from Britain’s national anthem to the queen.

The main stadium was the setting for some of the most spectacular moments of the Games, including Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt defending the 100, 200 and 4x100 metres titles he won in Beijing, the latter in a world-beating time.

British supporters will also cherish memories of the venue, where Somali-born runner Mo Farah won the 5,000 and 10,000 double to deafening roars and was celebrated as a symbol of the capital’s multi-culturalism.

The hosts won 29 golds to take third place in the rankings, their best result for 104 years, helping lift a nation beset by severe spending cuts and worried about social stability a year after violent riots swept parts of the capital.

Many will remember London 2012 for the record-breaking exploits of American swimmer Michael Phelps, who took his life-time medal haul to 22 including 18 golds, making him the most decorated Olympian in history. His tally helped the United States to the top of the Olympic table with 46 golds to second-placed China’s 38, reversing the order of the Beijing Games in 2008.

Opening Ceremony
On July 27, 2012, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth declared the London Olympics open after playing a cameo role in a dizzying ceremony designed to highlight the grandeur and eccentricities of the nation that invented modern sport.

Children’s voices, intertwining from the four corners of her United Kingdom, ushered in an exuberant historical pageant of meadows, smokestacks and digital wizardry before an audience of 60,000 in the Olympic Stadium, and a probable billion television viewers around the globe.

Many of them gasped at the sight of the 86-year-old queen, marking her Diamond Jubilee this year, putting aside royal reserve in a video where she stepped onto a helicopter with James Bond actor Daniel Craig to be carried aloft from Buckingham Palace.

A film clip showed doubles of her and Bond skydiving towards the stadium and, moments later, she made her entrance in person.

More than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries competed in 26 sports over 17 days of competition in the only city to have staged the modern Games three times.

Most of them were there for the traditional alphabetical parade of the national teams, not least the athletes from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen competing in their first Olympics since their peoples overthrew autocrats in Arab Spring revolutions.

Brunei and Qatar were led in by their countries’ first ever female Olympians and so, along with Saudi Arabia, ended their status as the only countries to exclude women from their teams.

At the end of a three-hour extravaganza, David Beckham, the English soccer icon who had helped convince the IOC to grant London the Games, stepped off a speedboat carrying the Olympic flame at the end of a torch relay that inspired many ordinary people around Britain.

Past Olympic heroes including Muhammad Ali, who lit the cauldron at the 1996 Atlanta Games, and British rower Steve Redgrave, the only person to win gold at five successive games, welcomed the flame into the stadium.

Yet it was not a celebrity but seven teenage athletes who lit a spectacular arrangement of over 200 copper ‘petals’ representing the participating countries, which rose up in the centre of the stadium to converge into a single cauldron.

India’s Performance

India’s tally of two silver and 4 bronze medals was its best tally in Olympics. 81 athletes from India had competed in 13 sports.

Sushil Kumar became the first Indian to get back-to-back Olympic medals. He won silver medal in 66kg Freestyle Wrestling. He had won a bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics.

Subedar Vijay Kumar Sharma of 16 Dogra Regiment bagged silver medal in 25m rapid fire pistol event.

Yogeshwar Dutt, 2010 CWG gold winner, won India its fourth Bronze medal in 60kg freestyle Wrestling.

Five-time world champion MC Mary Kom won a bronze medal in women’s boxing (51 kg) event. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2009), Arjuna Award (2003) and Padamshree (2006) awardee, Mary Kom is the first Indian women boxer to qualify for Olympics. The 29-year-old boxer from Manipur came back from a two-year sabbatical after the birth of her twins to clinch her fourth successive world title in 2008, a feat that got her the sobriquet ‘Magnificent Mary’.

Ace marksman Gagan Narang opened India’s account in London Olympics by clinching a bronze medal in the men's 10 meter air. The burly Indian, who narrowly missed the final in Beijing, raised his gun above his head as his many compatriots in the crowd cheered loudly at the country's first medal of the Games.

Beijing Games gold medalist Abhinav Bindra, however, could not defend his title and crashed out of the event.

Saina Nehwal won women’s singles bronze in badminton when her opponent Wang Xin of China broke down with a knee injury after taking the opening game. Nehwal, ranked fifth in the world, became only the second Indian woman to win a medal in an individual Olympic sport.

22-year-old Irfan from Kerala did not win any medal but produced the best effort by an Indian in an Olympic walking event, finishing 10th in the 20km race, with a national record to boot.

In Hockey, India finished last in their group. This was the first time in Olympic history that India lost all their group matches.

History of India in Olympics
The first authentic Indian team took part at the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games in athletics and wrestling. A National Olympic Committee was finally formed in 1927.
India's greatest successes at the Olympics have come in men’s hockey. They won every men’s title from 1928 to 1956. In 1960 they reached the final but lost to Pakistan to end the sequence. India were an ever present on the men’s hockey medal podium until 1976 and their last gold medal success in this sport came at the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games.

Indian shooters have challenged for medals in the new millennium. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won silver in the men’s double trap in Athens 2004. Shooter Abinav Bindra became India’s first individual gold medalist when he won the 10m air rifle at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

At the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris, Norman Pritchard had won silver medals in the men’s 200m and the now discontinued 200m hurdles. He was the first medal winner born in India but confusion surrounds his nationality as India was then under British rule.

Wenlock was the official mascot of the Games. The mascot was created and designed by iris, a London-based creative agency. Wenlock is an animation depicting two drops of steel from a steelworks in Bolton. It was named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, which held a forerunner of the current Olympic Games.

Saturday, August 11, 2012



Friday, August 10, 2012

36th International Geological Congress to be held in India in 2020

The 36th International Geological Congress will come to India in 2020 after a period of 56 years. The last International Geological Congress was held in India in 1964 in Delhi. Dr. Vishwapati Trivedi, Secretary, Ministry of Mines today presented the bid before the International Union of Geological Science (IUGS) Council consisting of 121 member countries and 128 votes were cast in favour of India against 51 votes to Canada, which had offered Vancouver as the venue of IGC 2020.

Schemes to Save the Girl Child

The Government recognizes that the problem of declining child sex ratio in India is not an isolated phenomenon but must be seen in the context of the low status of women and the girl child as a whole, within the home and outside. While its immediate reasons can be traced to increasing son-preference as well as advances in technology that has encouraged sex selective abortions, concern of safety and security of the girl child along with the practice of dowry are no less responsible for it.

Accordingly, the Government has undertaken a number of measures to improve survival and status of girl children in the country. While programmes for improvement of nutrition benefit all children including girl children, like the Integrated Child Development Scheme, National Rural Health Mission, Mid-day meal scheme etc., specific interventions for girl children include implementing the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, pilot cash transfer scheme of ‘Dhanlakshmi’, setting up a Sectoral  Innovation Council for improving child sex ratio and acting upon its recommendations, and the pilot scheme ‘Sabla’ for a comprehensive Intervention for adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18, with a focus on out of school girls in select 200 districts of the country.

Of these, ‘Dhanlakshmi’ provides conditional cash incentive, and the scheme does not discriminate on the basis of caste and economic status of parents. It is a pilot scheme being implemented in 11 blocks in seven States of the country.

Welfare of Disabled Persons

To provide comprehensive services to the Persons with Disabilities at the grass root level, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment facilitates creation of the infrastructure and capacity building at district level for awareness generation, rehabilitation, training/guiding of grassroots level functionaries, through setting up District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRCs). The amount sanctioned to these centres during the financial years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 is Rs. 201.08 lakh, Rs. 590.77 lakh and Rs. 410.09 lakh respectively.

A Central Sector Scheme namely “Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse” for Social Defence Services is being implemented for identification, counseling, treatment and rehabiliation of addicts through voluntary organizations, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban Local bodies and organizations/institutions fully funded or managed by State/Central Government are also eligible for financial assistance under the scheme.

Innovation Programme

The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has taken initiative in consultation with National Innovation Council (NIC) to set up a dedicated fund with an initial contribution of Rs.100 crores in the name of “India Inclusive Innovation Fund” for promoting grass root innovations. It is expected that promoting innovation would also improve the competitiveness and efficiency of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). The scheme is at the stage of approval.

The amount allocated for “India Inclusive Innovation Fund” for the current year (2012-13) is Rs.100 Cr.

The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP) is the nodal programme of the Government to develop global competitiveness among Indian MSMEs. An amount of Rs.500 crores approx as GOI Contribution had been allocated for NMCP during XIth Plan. NMCP targets at enhancing the entire value chain of the MSME sector through the following schemes:

• Lean Manufacturing Competitiveness Scheme for MSMEs;

• Promotion of Information & Communication Tools (ICT) in MSME sector;

• Technology and Quality Up gradation Support to MSMEs;

• Design Clinics scheme for MSMEs;

• Enabling Manufacturing Sector to be Competitive through Quality Management Standards (QMS) and Quality Technology Tools (QTT);

• Marketing Assistance and Technology Up gradation Scheme for MSMEs;

• Setting up of Mini Tool Room under PPP Mode;

• National campaign for building awareness on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR);

• Support for Entrepreneurial and Managerial Development of SMEs through Incubators.

In addition, Government operates a number of schemes for the MSME sector which inter alia improve competitiveness. These schemes include Credit Guarantee Scheme, Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme, Performance and Credit Rating Scheme, Cluster Development Programme, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme.

New Scheme for Life Saving Drugs

The Pharmaceutical Policy as amended from time to time also envisages making available quality medicines at affordable price to the masses. For fulfilment of this goal, a Campaign in the name of ‘Jan Aushadhi’ has been launched in 2008. The aim of this campaign is to make available quality medicines at affordable prices for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged. Under this campaign, less priced quality unbranded generic medicines will be made available through Jan Aushadhi stores which inherently are less priced but are of same and equivalent quality, efficacy and safety as compared to branded generic medicines. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has informed that they have taken the initiative for Free Supply of Essential Medicines in Public Health Facilities in the country. Some of the salient features of this scheme is as under:

• Government proposes to start an Initiative for Free Supply of Essential Medicines in Public Health Facilities in the country aiming to provide affordable health care to the people by reducing out of pocket expenses of medicines.

• The initiative aims to increase share of public health in health care from a current level of 25-30% to around 50%.

• This initiative will promote rational use of medicines and reduce the consumption of inessential, unscientific and hazardous medicines.

• The initiative is based on the Tamil Nadu model where free medicines procured in bulk by the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC), in generic name, directly from the manufacturers is supplied through an IT enabled supply chain management system to the public.

• An MoU would be signed with the States which will involve the following:-

o State would be encouraged to set up TNMSC like institutions or use any existing institution with sufficient autonomy for bulk procurement of essential drugs in generic names directly from the manufacturers in generic names. Strict instructions shall be issued to Medical Officers in Public Health facilities to prescribe generic medicines.

o The drugs would be supplied by the district ware houses through an IT enabled supply chain management system.

o States will involve Rogi Kalyan Samitis to ensure that free supply of medicines in public health facilities is properly and effectively implemented.

Installation of American Nuclear Reactor in India

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a confidentiality agreement between Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC), USA and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) was initially signed in 2009. An amendment to extend the term of the earlier signed MoU till May, 2014 was signed on June 12, 2012. The amendment also includes a clause ot sign an Early Works Agreement.

The review of safety provisions in design of AP – 1000 systems to withstand extreme natural events like earthquakes and Tsunamis, post Fukushima incident, has been carried out in the vendor country. Westinghouse Electric Company has made a presentation on the same to the Indian side. The Design Certification of the AP – 1000 reactor was issued by United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) in December 2011, after the Fukushima accident.

Implementation of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Yojana

The Minister of Panchayati Raj Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo has said that the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Yojana (RGSY), implemented in districts not covered by the Scheme of Backward Regions Grants Fund (BRGF), focuses primarily on providing financial assistance to the States / UTs for Training & Capacity Building of elected representatives (ERs) and functionaries of Panchayats so that they can perform the functions devolved upon them and the schemes entrusted to them effectively.  Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha today, he said that assistance is also provided for Satellite based training infrastructure for Distance Learning for the ERs and Functionaries of the Panchayats and, in respect of the Hill States and States in the North Eastern Region, for capital expenditure on establishment of Panchayat Resource Centers / Training Institutes at Divisional / District level. There is a small component of Infrastructure Development under which assistance is provided to States / UTs for construction of Panchayat Ghars at Gram Panchayat level. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has already proposed higher allocations for capacity building during Twelfth Five Year Plan.

Interlinking of Rivers

The Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) (erstwhile Ministry of Irrigation) had formulated a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for Water Resources Development as early as 1980 envisaging inter-basin transfer of water from surplus basins to deficit basins/areas which comprises  two components, namely, Himalayan Rivers Development Component and Peninsular Rivers Development Component. The National Water Development Agency (NWDA) was set up under the Ministry of Irrigation in 1982 for carrying out various technical studies to establish the feasibility of the proposals of NPP and to give concrete shape to it. NWDA has already identified 14 links under Himalayan Component and 16 links under Peninsular Rivers Component.  Out of these, Feasibility Reports of 14 links under Peninsular Component and 2 links under Himalayan Component (Indian portion) has been prepared. The  present status of links identified for preparation of Feasibility Reports is given below:-
Peninsular  Rivers Development Component

1.         Mahanadi (Manibhadra) - Godavari (Dowlaiswaram) link    - FR completed
2.         Godavari (Polavaram) - Krishna (Vijayawada) link *       -FR completed     (Taken         by  the  state as per   their own proposal)
3.         Godavari (Inchampalli) - Krishna ( Pulichintala)link                 - FR completed
4.         Godavari (Inchampalli ) - Krishna (Nagarjunasagar) link         - FR completed
5.         Krishna (Nagarjunasagar) - Pennar (Somasila ) link                - FR completed
6.         Krishna (Srisailam) - Pennar  link                                                            - FR completed
7.         Krishna (Almatti) - Pennar link                                                      - FR completed
8.         Pennar (Somasila) - Cauvery (Grand Anicut) link                     - FR completed
9.         Cauvery (Kattalai) – VaigaiGundar link                                   - FR completed
10.       ParbatiKalisindhChambal link*                                            - FR completed
11.       DamangangaPinjal  link*                                               - FR com­pleted & DPR started
12.       Par – TapiNarmada link*                                             - FR completed & DPR started
13.       Ken – Betwa link*                                                                                     - DPR (Phase-I) Completed                                                                                                            
14.       PambaAchankovilVaippar link                                             - FR completed.
15.       Netravati - Hemavati Link                                                               - PFR completed
16.       Bedti - Varda link                                                                             - FR work taken up

Himalayan  Rivers Development Component
1.        Kosi-Mechi link                                                                    - Entirely lies in Nepal
2.        Kosi-Ghaghra link                                                               - S&I works taken up
3.        Gandak-Ganga link                                                             - S&I works completed
4.        Ghaghra-Yamuna link                                                        - FR completed (for
                                                                                                              Indian portion)
5.        Sarda-Yamuna link                                                             - FR completed (for
                                                                                                              Indian portion)
6.        Yamuna-Rajasthan link                                                     - S&I works completed
7.        Rajasthan-Sabarmati link                                                   - S&I works completed
8.        Chunar(at Ganga)-Sone Barrage link                             - S&I works completed
 9.        Sone Dam - Southern Tributaries of Ganga link                       - S&I works taken up
10.      Manas-Sankosh-Tista-Ganga (M-S-T-G) link                 - S&I works taken up
11.      Jogighopa(at Brahmaputra)-Tista-Ganga at Farakka
         (Alternate to M-S-T-G) link                                                    - S&I works taken up
12.            Ganga (Farakka)-Sunderbans link                                   - S&I works completed
13.            Ganga-Damodar-Subernarekha link                               - S&I works completed
14.      Subernarekha-Mahanadi link                                           - S&I works completed
*    Priority links
PFR- Pre-Feasibility Report; FR- Feasibility Report; DPR- Detailed Project Report
S&I - Survey & Investigation in Indian portion

The Implementation of Inter Linking   of   Rivers   (ILR)  involves various steps such as  preparation  of   FRs   of  links, negotiation and consensus among concerned States, agreement with neighbouring countries if link involve area lying in other countries, preparation of DPRs of the projects and structures identified for the link, clearance from appraisal agencies which include clearance by Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF), clearance by Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), techno-economic clearance by Technical Advisory Committee of MoWR, investment clearance by Planning Commission and funding of the project

The  initial cost of the Inter Linking projects as per PFR/FR was 5.60 Lakh crore at 2002 Price Level.
      Costs of individual project have not yet been finalized. The present cost including the cost of land required to be acquired for the project can be estimated only after the completion of DPR of the projects.
   The State Government of Bihar  has submitted six Intra state link proposals
1.         KosiMechi [entirely lie in India] 2.         BarhNawada   3.  KohraChandravat (now Kohra-Lalbegi)  4.    Burhi Gandak – None – BayaGanga  5.         Burhi GandakBagmati [Belwadhar] 6.            KosiGanga
         The PFRs of all six links have been completed and sent to State Government of Bihar. On the request of Bihar Government the preparation of DPR of two links i.e. 1. Kosi – Mechi, 2. Burhi Gandak – None – Baya – Ganga is under preparation.
          As desired by Govt. of Bihar, NWDA has completed the Preliminary Project Report (PPR) of Burhi Gandak-None-BayaGanga link and sent the same to Govt. of Bihar and CWC on 31.05.2012.
         Preparation of Preliminary Project Report (PPR) of KosiMechi link is under progress.
         Further 3 additional proposals ,viz. i) Development of Bagmati Irrigation & Drainage Project – Phase-II (Barrage near Kataunjha in Muzaffarpur District) and Adhwara Multipurpose Project with Kosi-Adhwara-Bagmati link, ii) Transfer of Ganga water to South Bihar through Pump Canal Scheme at Buxer & iii) Development of Badua-Chandan Basin, from Bihar have also been received. These are being examined for their suitability for further studies.
         The State Government of  Rajasthan has submitted two Intra state link proposals i.e. 1. MahiLuni link 2. WakalSabarmatiSei – West BanasKameri link.
         PFR of Intra-State link of Rajasthan viz. WakalSabarmatiSei – West BanasKameri link have been prepared and sent to Govt. of Rajasthan. The PFR of Mahi-Luni is in progress.        
            The report on interlinking of rivers was submitted by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in April, 2008.  The conclusions/recommendations given by NCAER in its report mention various benefits of Interlinking of river programme such as additional benefits of Irrigation & Power, increase in growth rate of agriculture, growth of direct & indirect employment, improvement in the quality of life of people in rural areas and mitigation of floods & drought. The recommendations also include certain action points like setting up National Commission for Basin Management, improving cost recovery from irrigation projects & formation of Water Users Association. At present, no interlinking project under National Perspective Plan is under implementation.  Therefore, the stage has not come for taking decision on the action points suggested in the report.

Implementation of Water Policy

National Water Policy is finalised and adopted by National Water Resources Council. Several States have formulated their State Water Policies, by and large as per the provisions of National Water Policy. The States implement these policies as per their requirement and priorities.

The third Minor Irrigation Census has counted 5.56 lakh tanks and storages in India. The storage capacity of these tanks and storages was not surveyed.

The average annual water availability for the country has been assessed as 1869 billion cubic meters (BCM). Due to topographic, hydrological and other constraints, the utilizable water has been estimated to be about 1123 BCM comprising 690 BCM of surface water and 433 BCM of replenishable ground water. The National Commission for Integrated Water Resources Development (NCIWRD), in its report in 1999, had assessed that the annual water requirement by the year 2025 and 2050 will be about 843 BCM and 1180 BCM respectively.

Thursday, August 9, 2012



Tuesday, August 7, 2012




1.  The limit of overseas investment in government bonds/securities has been raised
     from $15 billion to _________.

     a) $20 billion
     b) $25 billion
     c) $30 billion
     d) $35 billion
     e) None of the above

2.  According to “World Investment Report 2012″, the total FDI inflow in India in 2011 stood at              ________.
     a) $67 billion
     b) $87 billion
     c) $52 billion
     d) $78 billion
     e) None of the above

3.  According to The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, India ranks at ____.
     a) 42nd
     b) 36th
     c) 56th
     d) 53rd
     e) 62nd

4.  Which country tops the overall rankings in The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012?
     a) Sweden
     b) Singapore
     c) Netherland
     d) Switzerland
     e) None of the above

5. The World Bank Group have entered into an agreement with which among the following industrial bodies to establish the India Wildlife Business Council (IWBC)
     to promote tiger and biodiversity conservation for sustainable development?
     a) Industrial Development Bank of India
     b) Indian Industries Association
     c) Confederation of Indian Industry
     d) The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India
     e) None of the above