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current affairs december 2013

Shri Devendra Kumar Pathak Appointed as Special DG, BSF[30/12/2013]

The competent authority has appointed Shri Devendra Kumar Pathak, IPS (AM:79), presently working as Special DG,CRPF to the post of special DG, Border Security Force with immediate effect and till the date of his superannuation or until further orders, whichever event takes place earlier.

Kejriwal takes oath as Delhi CM[28/12/2013]

AAP chief was sworn in as the seventh chief minister of Delhi amid thunderous applause at Ramlila Maidan on 28th December 2013.

Ashwin to get Polly Umrigar Award at BCCI awards function[26/12/2013]

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will receive the Polly Umrigar Award from the BCCI for being India’s best international cricketer of the year 2012-13.

New Directors General of NSG and CISF Appointed[26/12/2013]

Shri J.N.Choudhury, IPS(AM:78) as Director General, National Security Guard (NSG) with effect from the date of his joining the post and till his superannuation on 31.05.2015, or until further orders, whichever event takes place earlier.

Shri Arvind Ranjan, IPS (KL:77), DG, NSG as Director General in Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) from the date of taking over the charge of the post and till the date of his superannuation on 30.04.2015 or until further orders, whichever event takes place earlier. He will continue to hold the charge of the post of DG, NSG in addition to DG,CISF till joining of new incumbent or till further orders.

Deepika retains title for sixth consecutive time[25/12/2013]

Deepika Kumari of Jharkhand won her sixth straight individual women’s recurve title in the 34th senior National archery championship at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Wednesday. The 19-year-old recovered from early setbacks to retain the title with a 6-4 win over V. Pranitha of Gujarat.

CCI Approves Acquisition of Cement Plants of Jaypee in Gujarat by Ultratech [23/12/2013]

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the proposed acquisition of cement plants of Jaypee Cement Corporation Limited, comprising an integrated cement unit at Sewagram and grinding unit at Wanakbori in Gujarat by Ultratech Cement Limited (Ultratech). Jaypee Cement Corporation Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jaiprakash Associates Limited (Jaypee).

Both Ultratech and Jaypee are engaged in the manufacture and marketing of different varieties of cement across India. The combined capacity of sewagram and wanakbori plants is 4.8 MTPA.

President appoints Shri VK Duggal Governor of Manipur[23/12/2013]

The President of India has been pleased to appoint Shri Vinod Kumar Duggal, to be the Governor of Manipur with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Prestigious India Pride Award for IRCON[21/12/2013]

Another significant achievement, IRCON International Limited, the country’s largest construction, Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) of Ministry of Railways, has been awarded the prestigious India Pride Awards for Excellence in Central PSUs in India Image Enhancement. The Award was received by Shri Mohan Tiwari, CMD, IRCON, from Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju, Union Minister for Human Resources Development at a function in the capital. Shri Jagdambika Pal, Chairman, Committee on Public Undertakings, Lok Sabha, was among the other dignitaries to grace the occasion. The Award was instituted by Dainik Bhaskar group in 2009 to honour the PSUs in their areas of excellence.

IRCON had achieved a PBT of more than Rs. 1,000 crore in the fiscal 2012-13. During the last five years, the Company has achieved phenomenal growth and has recorded a compounded annual growth rate of 44.61% in terms of PBT with five-fold increase in foreign share of business. The Company has earned total foreign exchange of Rs. 2,117 crore in the last five years. IRCON has so far completed over 100 projects in more than 20 countries.

Javed Akthar, Mridula Garg chosen for Sahitya Akademi Awards[19/12/2013]

Bollywood lyricist-scriptwriter Javed Akhtar, Hindi novelist Mridula Garg and renowned Bengali poet Subodh Sarkar are among those selected for this year's Sahitya Akademi Award. Akhtar has been chosen for "Lava", his compilation of 55 Urdu poems. Mridula Garg for (Hindi- Miljul Man) and Subodh Sarkar for (Bengali- Dwaipayan Hrader Dhare) novel.

Smt Sushma Singh takes over as Chief Information Commissioner[19/12/2013]

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath of office of the Chief Information Commissioner to Smt. Sushma Singh at the Rashtrapati Bhawan today. She is the fifth Chief Information Commissioner of the Central Information Commission (CIC). Smt. Sushma Singh joined the CIC as Information Commissioner on September 23, 2009.

Prior to joining CIC, Smt. Sushma Singh served as Secretary to the Govt. of India in the Ministries of Information & Broadcasting, Panchyati Raj and the Development of the North East Region (DONER).

NTPC ties up EUR 55 million term loan facility with KfW-(Germany)[19/12/2013]

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has tied up a fixed interest term loan facility for EUR 55 million with KfW, the German government developmental financial institution to part finance the capital expenditure on Electro Static Precipitators and other selected packages of its Mouda Stage-II power project. An agreement to this effect was signed today by Shri G.K. Sadhu, Executive Director (Finance) on behalf of NTPC. The facility has a door to door maturity of 12 years including availability period of 4 years. The loan is on a standalone basis without sovereign guarantee reflecting the trust and confidence reposed by the German financial institution in NTPC’s strong credit quality and professional management. KfW has in the past provided financial support to the company’s renovation and modernization and emission reduction schemes.

NTPC Ltd also signed a Financing Agreement with KfW-Germany today to setup of Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Lab at NETRA under the aegis of Indo-German Research Cooperation through a Grant of Euro 5 million and matching contribution from NTPC. These world class labs are being setup with assistance from German R&D institutions M/s DLR, Cologne and ISE, Fraunhofer for characterization of Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic prototypes and components.

The MoU was signed by Shri Thomas Joseph, Executive Director, NTPC-NETRA, Mr. Peter Hilliges, Director (KfW) and Mr. Andreas Thermann, Deputy Director (KfW) in presence of Shri A.K Jha Director (Technical), NTPC and other officials from NTPC and KfW.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011[19/12/2013]

The Rajya Sabha passed the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 on December 17, 2013 and the Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha on 18th December 2013.

Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala Takes Charge as Chairman, NABARD[19/12/2013]

Dr Harsh Kumar Bhanwala today took charge as Chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).He succeeded Dr Prakash Bakshi, who retired in September 2013, after which Smt. Snehlata Shrivastava, Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, was given the additional charge of the said post.

Prior to this appointment, Dr Bhanwala was the Executive Director(ED) at India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL), a state-owned infrastructure lender.

He was also holding the charge of CMD, IIFCL for about six months. He was earlier looking after the Corporate Planning, Human Resource Development and Credit Enhancement initiatives as Chief General Manager at IIFCL. During his tenure at IIFCL, he also held the Chairmanship of the two subsidiaries of the company — IIFC (UK) Ltd., London, and IIFCL Projects Ltd., New Delhi.

Indian Railways Bags Highest Ever 22 National Energy Conservation Awards for the Year 2013[16/12/2013]

The President Shri Pranab Mukherjee gave away National Energy Conservation Awards-2013 at a function in New Delhi today. Indian Railways bagged 22 National Energy Conservation awards out of total awards of 112 during 2013 from 829 applicants which is the highest by any organisation. Ministry of Power has instituted “National Energy Conservation Award” which is given on “National Energy Conservation Day” on 14th December every year. The respective General Mangers of different Railway organisations received the awards along with other recipients. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Arunendra Kumar and Member Electrical, Railway Board Shri Kul Bhushan were also present on the occasion.

Vijay Diwas Celebrated[16/12/2013]

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony and the three Service Chiefs paid homage at Amar Jawan Jyoti on the occasion of Vijay Diwas - 2013 here today. Every year, this day is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Indian Armed Forces over Pakistan leading to the historic creation of Bangladesh.

The Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi and Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh laid the wreath along with the Defence Minister and paid tributes to the Martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice while fighting the enemy during the 1971 Operation.

China makes 'giant leap' with Jade Rabbit moon rover landing[15/12/2013]

China's Jade Rabbit rover vehicle drove onto the moon's surface on Sunday after the first lunar soft landing in nearly four decades, a huge advance in the country's ambitious space programme. The Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, was deployed at 4:35am (2035 GMT Saturday), several hours after the Chang'e-3 probe landed on the moon, said the official news agency Xinhua.

China is the third country to complete a lunar rover mission after the United States and the then-Soviet Union -- a decade after it first sent an astronaut into space.

$16-million statue of Mao unveiled in Shenzhen[14/12/2013]

A $16-million gold and jade statue of Mao Zedong was unveiled in the prosperous southern boomtown of Shenzhen on 13th December 2013, weeks ahead of his 120th birth anniversary. State media said the 80-cm statue, weighing 50 kg, was built by 20 artists over eight months. The gold statue is built on a white jade base.

Antarctica hits coldest temp ever recorded on Earth[12/12/2013]

A remote region in East Antarctica has set a new record for the coldest place on Earth, with temperatures dipping to a bone-chilling minus 93.2 degrees Celsius.

India win Women's Kabaddi World Cup[12/12/2013]

India clinched the women's Kabaddi World Cup championship for the third time in a row, defeating debutant New Zealand 49-21 in the summit clash played at Guru Gobind Singh sports complex in Jalandhar.

Tejas to officially replace MiG-21 FL jet[12/12/2013]

The indigenously developed light combat aircraft 'Tejas' would officially replace the MiG-21 FL fighter jet, Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne said on 12th December 2013.

"One major phase has passed over and now we look toward the new induction into the force. The LCA will replace the MiG-21," Browne told reporters at the headquarter of Eastern Air Command in Shillong. "We will get 40 aircraft and that will be the Mark-I type. Tejas will be battle ready by end of 2014," he said.

Defence minister AK Antony would officially hand over initiation of acceptance of the Tejas into the force at its birthplace in Bengaluru on December 20, the IAF Chief said.

International Mountain Day[11/12/2013]

United Nation observed on 11th December 2013 as International Mountain Day, an opportunity to promote the conservation and sustainable use of increasingly scarce resources from mountain areas.

Commissioning of Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV)ICGS Rajdhwaj [11/12/2013]

The Indian Coast Guard Ship Rajdhwaj, 50 meter long Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV), the 8th in the series of eight IPVs designed and built by M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders Engineers, Kolkata was commissioned on 11th December 2013 at Chennai by Shri GK Vasan, Union Minister of Shipping. Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal, Director General Indian Coast Guard, Inspector General SP Sharma, Commander Coast Guard Region (East) and other senior dignitaries of the Central and State Government were present on this occasion.

The IPV is equipped with the most advanced and sophisticated navigational and communication sensors and equipment. The ship is propelled to a maximum speed of 31.5 Knots by three MTU 4000 series Diesel engines of 2720 KW capacity at 2100 rpm each, coupled with three 71S2 Rolls Royce Kamewa Jets. At economical speed of 14 Knots, it has an endurance of 1500 nautical miles. The special features of the ship include an Integrated Bridge System (IBS), Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS), and an indigenously built 30 mm Gun Mount with Fire Control System. The ship is designed to carry one Rigid Inflatable Boat and two Geminis for Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Maritime Patrol.

The Government is promoting Organic Farming in India[10/12/2013]

The Government is promoting organic farming in the country through schemes like National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF), National Horticulture Mission (NHM), Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and also Network Project on Organic Farming of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Funds allocated under NPOF, NHM, RKVY and HMNEH during 2013-14 are Rs.427.00 lakh, Rs.1215.50 lakh, Rs.14015.00 lakh, and Rs.1162.05 lakh respectively. Besides, ICAR under Network Project on Organic Farming, with lead centre at Project Directorate for Farming Systems Research, Modipuram, is developing package of practices of different crops and cropping system under organic farming in different agro-ecological regions of the country. Presently, the project is running at 13 co-operating centres including State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) spread over 12 states. ICAR institutes including State Agricultural Universities impart training and organize Front Line Demonstrations (FLD) to educate farmers on aspects related to organic fertilizers.

Rs. 852.57 Crore Allocated for North-East States Under RKVY [10/12/2013]

Rs. 852.57 crore allocated for North East States under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. Assam (Rs. 440.03 crore) has been allocated highest amount followed by Mizoram(Rs. 132.01 crore). The state wise fund allocation to the north eastern States is given below:

S. No. Name of StateAllocation (2013-14) Rs. crore
1Arunachal Pradesh32.30

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) aims at achieving 4% annual growth in agriculture sector by ensuring holistic development of agriculture and allied sectors. To achieve this end, the States have been given complete flexibility to choose projects for achieving the desired growth in these sectors. Under this scheme Government of India does not fix targets, rather gives complete autonomy to state to customize interventions as per their requirements

IAF's First Supersonic Jet to be Aviation Folklore [07/12/2013]

The deafening roar of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-21 FL afterburner, an iconic delta-wing fighter aircraft that heralded the `supersonic era` in Indian Air Force (IAF) will no longer be heard after December 11, 2013, the day it is set to fly into the annals of military aviation history.

Four Mig-21 FL aircraft flown by pilots from the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), last abode of the venerable jets, will fly a `box formation` as Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne takes salute at the ceremonial parade to bid them adieu.

Armed Forces Flag Day Observed Throughout the Country[07/12/2013]

The Armed Forces Flag Day is being observed today through out the country. Every year, this day is observed to remember the sacrifices made by our gallant servicemen in defending the integrity of our borders and salute the martyrs, honour the brave, and express solidarity and support towards welfare of widows, children, disabled and sick ex-servicemen.

Tejas Light Combat Aircraft Fires Missile Killing the Target[07/12/2013]

Tejas, India’s first indigenously designed developed and productionised 4th generation plus Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) today (07-12-2013) achieved yet another milestone by launching an infrared seeking air to air missile that hit the target in a direct hit with precision and destroyed the target. The test, demonstrating required parameters was conducted off the coast of Goa in Arabian Sea, and has taken the aircraft closer to its induction in the Indian Air Force. Tejas, one of its kind combat aircraft, has been developed by DRDO with Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Bengaluru, as the lead laboratory and HAL as the production partner. Shri Avinash Chander, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and Secretary, Deptt of Defence R&D congratulating the team said “with this launch of missile from Tejas and successfully hitting the target in the first shot, we have demonstrated the total weapon system capability of LCA Tejas”.

Malala awarded 2013 UN Human Rights Prize[06/12/2013]

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

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

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

New National Competition Policy[06/12/2013]

Formulation of a National Competition Policy is under consideration of the Government. Giving this information in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of Corporate Affairs, Shri Sachin Pilot, said that the Government has introduced a Public Procurement Bill, 2012 in Lok Sabha in May, 2012. The Bill seeks to regulate public procurement by all Ministries/Departments of the Central Government, Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), autonomous and statutory bodies controlled by the Central Government and other procuring entities with the objectives of ensuring transparency, accountability and probity in the procurement process, fair and equitable treatment of bidders, promoting competition, enhancing efficiency and economy, maintaining integrity and public confidence in the public procurement process. The Bill at present is under examination by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela dies[06/12/2013]

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, a global symbol of resistance who liberated South Africa from much-despised apartheid regime and served as its first African president, died on 6th December 2013 at his home here after battling a protracted illness.

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