Thursday, May 23, 2013

Updated Current Affairs March 2013


INTERNATIONAL
UN Imposed New Sanctions on North Korea
On 7 March The UN Security Council approved a new regimen of sanctions against North Korea for conducting an underground nuclear test recently, imposing penalties on North Korean banking, travel and trade in a unanimous vote that reflected the country’s increased international isolation. The resolution, which was drafted by the United States and China, was passed in a speedy vote hours after North Korea threatened for the first time to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States and South Korea.
Obama Signed ‘ Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act 2013 ‘
On 8 March the US President, Barack Obama signed the reauthorization of the ‘Violence Against Women Act 2013 on the eve of International Women’s Day. The Violence Against Women Act was first passed in 1994. Reauthorised since then, the new Act offers support to the organisations which serve to the victims of domestic violence.
Uhuru Kenyatta Won Kenya Presidential Election
On 9 March In Kenya, Deputy Prime Minister Kenyatta has won presidential election with a slim margin of 50.03 percent of votes. He defeated his rival Raila Odinga.
Japan & Ten EU Countries Exempted from US ‘Iran Sanctions Act’
On 13 March The US has renewed the exemptions for Japan and ten European Union countries from tough American sanctions imposed on nations buying oil from Iran.The third six-monthly exemption to Japan, under the Iran Sanctions Act.The 10 European Union countries, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the UK, have also qualified for a renewal of the exemption from sanctions because they have not purchased Iranian oil since July , 2012.
Pakistan Parliament Completes Full 5 Year Term
On 16 March Pakistan’s Parliament has made history by becoming the first National Assembly in the country’s history to complete a full term of five years, with the conclusion of the House’s 50th session, setting the stage for the holding of elections.Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari announced that general elections would be held on 11 May 2013.
Cyprus Gets New Bailout Deal
Cyprus secured a 10 billion ($16.2 billion) bailout from its international creditors on 24 March 2013.Eurozone finance ministers had also approved a new bailout plan for Cyprus, putting an end to uncertainties over the fate of the Mediterranean island country in the euro area.The new bailout program includes deep restructuring of the country’s two biggest banks, Bank of Cyprus and Popular Bank of Cyprus.Under the new agreement, all bank deposits under •100,000 will be secured and guaranteed by the state.
South Africa, China Sign Deals To Boost Cooperation
On 26 March South African President Jacob Zuma and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in Pretoria ahead of the fifth BRICS Summit.The two leaders signed a number of agreements, focusing on trade, tourism, education and social cooperation.The two sides agreed on future collaboration on research and development initiatives, manufacturing, marketing and the construction of cross-border infrastructure throughout the continent.
North Korea Declares ‘State of War’ with South Korea
On 29 March North Korea declared that it had formally entered a “state of war” with South Korea.The announcement was made in a joint statement attributed to all government bodies and institutions.The two Koreas have thus technically remained at war for decades.

INDIA & WORLD
India, South Korea Hold Security Talks
On 1 March 2013 India and South Korea hold discussions over emerging dynamics of global and regional security, cooperation in cyber security, defense and space sectors and reviewing bilateral ties. Arvind Gupta,Director General of IDSA, led the Indian side while Lt.G (retd.) Bang, Hyo-Bok president of KIDA and former vice army chief,represented the Korean side in the talks.
India,UK Signed MOU To Strenghen Cooperation In Earth Sciences
On March 1, India and UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their cooperation in Earth Sciences and environmental research by sharing information on meteorology,hydrology and climate variability.The MoU between the Earth System Science Organisation of the Ministry of Earth Sciences and UK’s Natural Environment Research Council was inked in New Delhi in the presence of Science and Technology Minister S Jaipal Reddy .
India and Bhutan signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement
On 4 March India and Bhutan signed the double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA), a move that will facilitate exchange of information on banking between the two nations and help check tax evasion.This is the first ever DTAA for Bhutan with any country. The treaty was signed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his Bhutanese counterpart Lyonpo Wangdi Norbum, on behalf of the Royal Government of Bhutan.
India and Republic of Portugal Signed a Social Security Agreement
On 4 March A Social Security Agreement (SSA) was signed between India and Republic of Portugal ,after the both countries meeting end at NewDelhi.The agreement was signed by Vayalar Ravi, the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs and Paulo Sacadura Cabral Portas, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs of Portugal.
India World’s Third Largest ‘Spam Spewing Nation’
On 6 March According to statistics from SophosLabs ,India has been placed third on the list of the countries distributing spam across the world.US is still firmly on the top, distributing more spam than any other country in the world.China took the second spot and India the third, with 8.2 percent and 4.2 percent of the world’s spam.
India’s Tourism Industry Competitiveness 65th in World
According to the fifth Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report by the WEF, India has moved up by three notches to 65th out of 140 countries in terms of the competitiveness of the travel and tourism industry.India has been ranked in the 11th place in the region and 65th overall, gaining three positions since the last edition.
India and Romania Signed Two Agreements
On 8 March India and Romania signed on Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income.The agreement was signed after External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid held talks with his Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean on the entire gamut of bilateral relations, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
India and Bhutan Signed $100m Currency Swap Agreement
On 8 March India and Bhutan signed a currency swap agreement for up to $100 million to further economic co-operation between the two countries.The currency swap arrangement was signed between the Reserve Bank of India and the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan (RMAB).
Iran and Pakistan Launched Gas Pipeline Project
On 11 March Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari was officially inaugurated the final construction phase of the multi-billiondollar Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.The 1,244-mile pipeline would each day transport more than 750 million cubic feet of natural gas to Pakistan from Iran’s South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf.This Project was started from Chabahar city in Iran to Karachi in Pakistan with $7.5 Billion. Initially they have an idea to extend this project to New Delhi in India but India was dropped from this project in 2009.
Britain & India Signed Agreement To Support R&D Projects
On 13 March Britain and India have signed an agreement to launch a joint programme to encourage industry and business in the two countries to work together towards commercialisation of research leads in a range of key areas, including energy and health care.As part of the deal, Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA) sponsored by the Indian government’s Department of Science and Technology and UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will support UK and Indian businesses and academics in joint R&D and innovation projects over a three-year period.
India Ranks 136 in Human Development Index
On 14 March According to the Human Development Report 2013 released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ,India has been ranked 136 among 187 countries evaluated for human development index (HDI).Norway (1st rank), Australia (2nd rank) and the Netherlands (3rd rank) lead the Human Development Index (HDI).The other countries ranks are:- Netherlands (4th rank) , Japan (10th rank), Denmark (15th rank) , South Korea (12th rank).
China Unveils 5-Point Formula To Improve Ties With India
On 18 March China’s new President Xi Jinping has unveiled a five-point formula to improve relations with India, and that the resolution of the boundary dispute between the two nations won’t be easy and pending its final settlement ‘peace and tranquility’ should be maintained on the border without affecting the overall ties. The Xi Jinping 5 Points are :- 1. “First,to maintain strategic communication and keep bilateral relations on the right track. 2. Second, we should harness each other’s comparative strength and expand win winwin cooperation in infrastructure, mutual investment and other areas. 3. Third, we should strengthen cultural ties and constantly increase mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples. 4. Fourth, we should expand coordination and collaboration in multilateral affairs to jointly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries and tackle global challenges. 5. Fifth, we should accommodate each other’s core concerns and properly handle problems and differences existing between the two countries.
India – Egypt Signed Seven Agreements
On 19 March In a bid to deepen ties and strengthen economic bonds, India and Egypt signed 7 agreements after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy held bilateral talks in New Delhi.The seven agreements included a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the field of cyber security, cooperation in the field of protection of intellectual property rights and prevention of illicit traffic of antiquities besides others.The two leaders also agreed to enhance cooperation in Defence and in international forums like UN.
India Signed Social Security Agreements With 18 Countries
On 20 March India has signed Social Security Agreements (SSAs) with Belgium,France, Germany (social insurance for posted workers only), Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Hungary, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Republic of Korea, Norway, Germany, Finland, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Austria and Portugal.Bilateral labour Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) have also been signed with United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia and Bahrain for ensuring protection and welfare of overseas Indian workers.
India Votes Against Sri Lanka at UNHRC
On 21 March India has voted for the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.The UN Human Rights Council adopted a US-sponsored resolution on human rights violation in Sri Lanka.The 47-member Geneva forum adopted the resolution with 25 countries in favour, including India.13countries opposed it, including Pakistan. 8 abstained and one delegation was absent.The US-backed resolution that addresses alleged war crimes by Lankan forces during the country’s civil war with the Tamil Tigers.The 26-year civil war that ensued, which ended with the LTTE’s military defeat in 2009.
Japan Grants India $2.32 Billion Aid For Infrastructure Building
On 27 March India and Japan have agreed to promote their bilateral strategic and global partnership especially in economic and security areas, with Tokyo granting a $2.32 billion aid for infrastructure building. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida ,External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid discussed about both countries bilateral issues the meeting held at Tokyo .During the meeting Kishida unveiled a 220 billion yen (USD 2.32 billion) aid to India for infrastructure building and a 71-billion-yen loan ($753.17 million) for the subway project in India’s financial capital Mumbai.

NATIONAL
Cabinet Approves Bill for Time-Bound Services to Citizens
On 7 March the government gave its nod to a Bill aimed at providing time-bound delivery of services like passports, pensions and birth and death certificates, among others, to the citizens.The Right of Citizens for Time- Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011, was approved by the Union Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh .
President Released the Commemorative Postage Stamp on Sahir Ludhianvi
On 8 March the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee released the Commemorative Postage Stamp on Sahir Ludhianvi on occasion of his birth anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.Sahir Ludhianvi died on 25 October 1980 and was a renowned Urdu poet.He fought for recognition of lyric writers through the Film Writers Association.
India’s First All-Women Post Office
After announcing India’s all women public bank, the central government on 08 March 2013 started an all women post office in New Delhi on the occasion of the International Women‘s Day. Communications & Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal inaugurated the post office at Shastri Bhawan – the hub of central government offices in central Delhi. All the employees in these post office are women only.
Cabinet Approved Electronic Delivery of Services Bill
On 18 March the Union Cabinet approved a bill that aims to provide access to all central and state government services such as passport, ration card and driving licences electronically.The Bill requires public authorities to deliver all public services electronically within a maximum period of 8 years.
Cabinet Approved Food Security Bill
On 19 March the union cabinet has approved the National Food Security Bill which aims to give the right to food to around 67% of India’s 1.2 billion people.The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011 and had been sent to a parliamentary standing committee for further consideration.In the bill, the government had proposed 7 kg of grain per month per person to priority households and at least 3 kg of foodgrain at half the price for general households.
Rajya Sabha Passed Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013
On 21 March the Rajya Sabha passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013 that provides for capital punishment in cases of brutal rape, and also deals with several other crimes against women.On 19 March Lok Sabha passed the Bill with an aim of providing a strong deterrent against rapes and gang rapes, the Bill states that an offender can be sentenced to rigourous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 20 years, but which may extend to life, meaning imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life and with a fine.
Supreme Court upholds Death for Yakub Memon
On 21 March the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case that had claimed 257 lives and left 713 injured.The Supreme Court also upheld the conviction of actor Sanjay Dutt under the Arms Act in the terror attack and sent him to five years in prison.The capital punishment of the other 10 death row convicts was commuted to life sentence by a bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan which also upheld the life term awarded to 16 out of 18 convicts.
68 million Indians Living in Slums
On 21 March According to the first such census report on slum households prepared by the Registrar General of India, approximately 68 million Indians are living in slums. In all 1.73 crore census houses have been reported in houselisting blocks, categorised as slums in India, comprising 1.37 crore slum households.The report also noted that in 19 cities with million-plus population, 25 per cent of households live in slums.A majority-71 per cent- of these are located in six states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, west Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.90 per cent of slum households use electricity, 70 per cent slum households have television, 72.7 per cent have telephone facility while 10.4 per cent households have computer or laptop in their house.

STATES
HPCL signed MoU for Rajasthan Refinery
On 14 March Min of Petroleum & Natural Gas Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Rajasthan Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at Jaipur for setting up a Rs 37,320cr refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Barmer, Rajasthan. The project will be a joint venture between HPCL and Rajasthan State Refinery Limited, apart from other equity partners.The MoU was signed by Subhash Pant, Secretary Mines and Petroleum, Government of Rajasthan and K.Murli, Director (Refineries) of HPCL.
Madhya Pradesh Spice Park Inaugurated in Guna
On 16 March In Madhya Pradesh, Union power ministry inaugurated a Spice Park in Mawan area of Guna district. This spice park has been built at a cost of fifty five crore rupees.
Delhi Launched a Comprehensive Five-In-One Vaccine
On 12 March the Chief Minister of Delhi,Sheila Dikshit launched a comprehensive five-in-one vaccine in order to provide protection to children against certain diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria and pertusis.The CM announced that instead of three injections, now there will be a requirement of only one injection for providing protection against the diseases.
Karnataka State Assembly Elections Schedule Released
On March 20 The Election Commission of India has announced the dates for Karnataka Assembly Elections 2013.The elections will be a single-phase election and counting would take place on May 8.The Polls would be held on May 5.
Three High Courts Opened in Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya
Tripura, Meghalaya and Manipur on 23 March 2013 got their own High Courts. Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Judge of Chhattisgarh High Court took oath as the first Chief Justice of Manipur High Court on 23 March 2013. Justice Deepak Gupta along with three other judges would be administered the oath to the High Court of Tripura .Justice Meena Kumari took oath as the first Chief Justice of Meghalaya. With the opening of the three high Courts in the North Eastern states of India, the total number of high Courts in India has gone up to 24 from previous 21.
Arunachal Pradesh Became the First State to Introduce e-GPF
Arunachal Pradesh became the first state to introduce e-GPF or electronic GPF.The state Finance Department facilitated the online access to 34000 GPF accounts through its redesigned Web site, which was launched by Chief Minister of Arunachal Pardesh Nabam Tuki.
Housing stock, Amenities and Assets in Slums Report
On 29 March Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation released the report on Housing stock, Amenities and Assets in slums based on Houselisting & House Census, 2011.Registrar General presented the important features of the report and outlined its importance.In all 1.73 Crore Census houses have been reported in the House listing Blocks categorized as Slums in India, comprising 1.37 Crore slum households.There are 19 cities with million plus population where more than 25% households live in slums.A majority (71%) of these are located in six States namely, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.Out of these 19 cities, five cities namely, Vishakhapatnam, Jabalpur, Mumbai, Vijayawada and Meerut have more than 40% slum households.Out of total slum houses, 92.7% are occupied and 7.3% are vacant.84.9% Census Houses are used for residence/residence-cum-other use.58.4% residential census houses are in good condition, 37.5% are livable and rest 4.0% are in dilapidated condition.70.2% Slum households are owned.
Punjab, Haryana, Delhi Top in Well Being Index
According to the Tata Strategic Management Group Survey report , Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have been ranked at the top of the Well Being Index,while southern states, Gujarat and most of the north-eastern states emerged as the most secure ones for women in the Female Security Index.The states of Punjab, Delhi, HP, Haryana and Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh were ranked at the top of the Well Being Index. On the Female Security Index, Chennai and Bangalore were at the top.

CONFERENCES
24th Arab League Summit Held in Doha
The 24th summit was held in Doha (Qatar) from 21 to 26 March 2013.A total of 15 heads of state of Arab countries attended the summit.The Arab League currently consist of 21 countries, after Syria was suspended form the league due to excessive violence during the Arab Spring. However, the Syrian opposition umbrella organization, the Syrian National Coalition, will attend this year’s summit and will be offered a seat formerly occupied by Damascus.The Arab League summit called for an international conference in the framework of the United Nations for Syria’s reconstruction. The Qatari leader meanwhile proposed a mini- Arab summit, led by Egypt and leaders of Fatah and Hamas, in Cairo as soon as possible to achieve Palestinian national reconciliation. He also called for Arab countries to establish a fund of 1 billion U.S.dollars to support the Palestinians, pledging that his country will offer a quarter of the amount. The Arab League was formed in 1945.
5th BRICS Summit Held in Durban
The 5th BRICS Summit was held in Durban, South Africa from 26 to 27 March 2013. The summit an international relations conference attended by the head of states or heads of government of the five member states Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.Theme of the summit was , “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation”.BRICS Leaders President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff ,Russian president Vladimir Putin,Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singhm,Chinese president Ji Xinping, South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma also discussed swap arrangements among the national currencies as well as reserve pooling. BRICS nations have decided to establish a new development bank to finance infrastructure projects and to create a USD 100 bn contingency fund to tackle any financial crisis in emerging economies, in what is seen as a major win for India’s campaign to reform global financial architecture. BRICS Summit took place in South Africa for the first time. BRICS, originally “BRIC” before the inclusion of South Africa in 2010, is the title of an association of emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).

AWARDS & HONOURS
Indian-Origin Writer Anil Ananthaswamy Won “ British Physics Journalism “ Prize
On 1 March Anil Ananthaswamy, a London based Indian origin writer, has won the inaugural “Physics Journalism” Prize sponsored by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The Edge of Physics”, has won the prize for his article “Hip Hip Array,” which focuses on the Square Kilometre Array, an  international project to design and build the largest radio telescope ever conceived.
Pranab Mukherjee Honoured with the “Bangladesh Liberation War Award “
On 4 March The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee was conferred with the Liberation War Honour Award by the President of Bangladesh, Zillur Rahman. The award was given away to Pranab Mukherjee for contributions to the Liberation War.
Indian Women Selected For State Dept Award For Environment Awareness
On 5 March Dr Shubhalaxmi Vaylure has been selected for the US State Department’s International Exchange Alumni Member of the Month for March for her dedication to build greater environmental awareness in India. Shubhalaxmi first came to the US in 2003 as part of the Fulbright Indo-American Environmental Leadership Programme which took her to the University of Montana to study educational nature centers.Upon eturning from this programme, she drew inspiration from her Fulbright programme as she implemented innovative educational programs at the Mumbai Conservation Education Center.
Arun Jaitley, Karan Singh, Sharad Yadav Best Parliamentarians
On 6 March Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, Congress veteran Karan Singh and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav have been selected for the ‘Outstanding Parliamentarian Award’.Jaitley, who is Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, gets the award for the year 2010, Karan Singh for 2011 and Sharad Yadav for 2012. The Indian Parliamentary Group had instituted the award in 1994 which is conferred each year.
Tagore Award For Ravi Shankar
President Pranab Mukherjee presented the first annual Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony to late Pandit Ravi Shankar at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 07 Marchi 2013.Sukanya Shankar, wife of Ravi Shankar, received the award.
Stree Shakti Award For ‘Nirbhaya’
President Pranab Mukherjee presented the ‘Stree Shakti’ award on International Women’s Day( 08 March 2013) for ‘Nirbhaya’. ‘Stree Shakti’ award as a tribute to her courage and strength.The award was recevied by her family members.As a measure of recognition of achievements in individual women in the field of social development, the government had instituted of 6 national awards which are called ‘Stree Shakti Puraskar’. The awards are in the name of the eminent women personalities namely Devi Ahalya Bai Holkar, Kannagi, Mata Jajabai, Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang, Rani Lakshmi Bai and Rani Rudramma Devi (which is open to both men and women). Nirbhaya was honoured with the Sree Shakti award of Rani Lakshmi Bai.The Rani Rudramma Devi Award for the year 2012 was awarded to Smt. Pranita Talukdar from Assam. She was honoured for her commendable work for the overall development of women.
US Bravery Award for Nirbhaya
The Delhi gang-rape victim, Nirbhaya was honoured by the US government with an International Women of Courage Award for 2013.In this year this award was given to 10 women in Washington on March 8, which is also International Women’s Day.
National Tourism Award Winners 2011-12
National Annual Tourism Awards for 2011-12 was announced by Tourism Ministry on 12 March 2013. The Ministry announced 86 awards in 36 Categories. The awards presented by President of India on 18th March. Winners of National Tourism Awards for 2011-12 :-
Best State/ UT Comprehensive Development of Tourism (Rest of India): – Andhra Pradesh (First Prize) – Rajasthan (Second Prize) – Gujarat (Third Prize)
Best State/ UT Comprehensive Development of Tourism –(North East, Jammu and Kashmir) – Jammu & Kashmir
Best Civic Management of a Destination Category ‘B’ City – Municipal Council of Mandav (Mandu),District Dhar, Madhya Pradesh
Best Heritage City – Warangal City, Andhra Pradesh
Best Airport ( Class X Cities) – Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad
Best Airport (Rest of India) – VishakhapatnamAirport, Vishakhapatnam The special National Tourism Awards for Yann Martel, author of the book, Life of Pi, for promoting the county (Puducherry and Munnar) through the film as well.
Tan Twan Eng Declared Winner of 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize
Tan Twan Eng on 14 March 2013 was announced as a winner of the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize. With this, he became the first Malaysian author to win the most prestigious literary prize of Asia.Tan Twan Eng won the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel The Garden of Evening Mists.
Poetess Sugathakumari Selected For Saraswati Samman Award
On 17 March Sugathakumari, the Malayalam poetess was selected for the Saraswati Samman 2012 for the poetry collection Manalezhuthu, which means The Writing on the Sand in English. The Saraswati Samman is constituted by K. K. Birla Foundation.
60th National Film Awards
On 18 March The prestigious 60th National Film Awards for the year 2012 were announced in New Delhi.Irrfan has won the Best Actor award for his powerful performance in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ and Marathi actress Usha Jadhav has won the Best Actress award for ‘Dhag’.
The List of Award Winners :-
Best Feature Film: Paan Singh Tomar
Best Actor: Irrfan for Paan Singh Tomar and Vikram Gokhale for Anumati (Marathi)
Best Actress: Usha Jadhav for Marathi film Dhag
Best Child Artist: Virendra Pratap for Dekh Indian Circus (Hindi) and Minon for 101 Chodiyangal (Malayalam)
Best Popular Film for wholesome entertainment: Vicky Donor (Hindi), Ustad (Malayalam)
Best Animation Film: Delhi Safari
Best Children’s Film: Dekh Indian Circus
Best Film on Social Issues: Spirit (Malayalam)
Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film On National Integration: ThanichallaNjan (Malyalam)
Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director: Chittagong (Hindi) and 101 Chodiyangal (Malayalam)
Best Special Effects: Eega (Telugu)
Best Hindi Film: Filmistan Best Telugu Film: Eega
Reliance Industries Bags ‘Refiner of the Year Award’
On 23 March Reliance Industries has been awarded the prestigious ‘International Refiner of the Year’ 2013 at HART Energy’s 27th World Refining & Fuel Conference at San Antonio, Texas, USA.This is the second time that RIL has received this Award for its Jamnagar Refinery, the first being in 2005.
Indian Manish Kumar Among 28 Naturalised at White House Ceremony
Manish Kapoor from India was one among the lucky 28 to be granted the American citizenship at the White House in the presence of the US President, Barack Obama.List of 28 service members, who were naturalised at the White House ceremony included three from South Asia Manish Kapoor, Nazo Raoufi from Afghanistan and Mohammed Hossain from Bangladesh.
Paris Honours Nelson Mandela
On 26 March the city of Paris made antiapartheid hero Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen, but refused to grant an honour to Venezuela’s late leftist firebrand leader Hugo Chavez.
2013 Abel Prize To Belgian Pierre Deligne
Belgian mathematician Pierre Deligne who is regarded as one of the most celebrated mathematicians of the 20th century, has been chosen for this year’s prestigious Abel Prize in Mathematics.Award is given to him for his “seminal contributions to algebraic geometry and for their transformative impact on number theory, representation theory and related fields.
Veteran Lensman Pranlal Patel Honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award
On 28 March The 2nd National Photo Awards- 2011-12 were conferred by the Speaker, Lok Sabha, Ms. Meira Kumar to eminent photojournalists at a function held in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.The Life-Time Achievement Awards were given to eminent photographers Shri Pranlal Patel, Shri T.S. Nagarajan and Shri T.N.A. Perumal.In the Professional Category, the ‘Best Professional Photographer of the Year 2011-12’ has been given to Shri Salil Bera.

SPORTS & GAMES
Duty Free Dubai Tennis Championship-2013
Men’s Singles: On 2 March Serbian Novak Djokovic won the ATP Dubai Open Tennis Men’s singles title after defeated the Czech Republican Tomas Berdych in the final at Dubai .
Women’s Singles : This title was won by Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic). In final she defeated the Sara Errani(Italy).
ATP Mexican Open 2013 Tennis Tournament Winners
Men’s Singles: Rafael Nadal won ATP Mexican Open 2013 Tennis Title after he defeated the top seed and defending champion David Ferrer on 2 March 2013 in the final. This is the 38th clay court title of Nadal.
Women’s singles : In the women’s singles Italy’s Sara Errani won the title after defeated Carla Suarez-Navarro (Spain) in the final.
Services Won Santosh Trophy Title
On 3 March Services team won the final of the 67th Santosh Trophy in Kochi at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium by beating hosts Kerala .The Man of the Match title was clinched by Services striker Lalian Mawia. The Services team bagged their third Santosh Trophy title
Delhi Won Vijay Hazare Trophy
On 3 March Delhi team won Vijay Hazare Trophy after defeated Assam in the final at the ACA-VDCA stadium.
All England Open Badminton Championship Winners
Women’s Single’s : On 10 March Tine Baun (Denmark) won the women’s singles title after defeated Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the All England Open Badminton Championship at Birmingham.
Men’s Singles : Chen Long won the singles title after defeating Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia at Men’s singles final.
Laureus World Sports Awards 2013
“On 11 March Laureus World Sports Awards 2013 were organised in Rio de Janeiro.The Prestigious awards were claimed by sports stars- Jessica Ennis, Usain Bolt , Andy Murray and Sebastian Coe.
The List of the Awardees :- Laureus ‘World Sportsman of the Year ‘ -Usain Bolt Laureus ‘World Sportswoman of the Year ‘ – Jessica Ennis Laureus ‘World Team of the Year’ – European Ryder Cup Team Laureus ‘World Breakthrough of the Year ‘ – Andy Murray Laureus ‘ World Comeback of the Year’ – Feliz Sanchez Laureus ‘World Action Sportsperson of the Year’ – Felix Baumgartner Laureus ‘ World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability’ – Daniel Dias
Ukrainian Women Won World Chess Championship
On 13 March Women’s chess team of Ukraine won the World Chess Team Championship. The second place went to team from China, and the third to the Russian , Fifth place to India.
India Won Eight Medals in Asian Grand Prix Archery Championship
On 14 March India won a total of eight medals in the inaugural Asian Grand Prix Archery Championship at Bangkok . India won two gold, two Silver and four bronze.
Australia Won Azlan Shah Trophy
On 17 March Australia, the World Champions won the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament title for the seventh time after defeated defeated Malaysia in the final.
Kimi Raikkonen Won Australian Grand Prix
On 17 March Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen won the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne.It was the 20th Grand Prix win for Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion.
Indian Wells Tennis Tournament Winners
Mens Singles : On 18 March Rafael Nadal of spain won the Mens singles title after defeated Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the final at California .This is Nadal’s third Indian Wells ATP Masters title and first hard court title since 2010.
Women’s Singles :- Maria Sharapova defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the women’s final in straight sets to win her second Indian Wells ATP Masters title.
Swiss Open Badminton 2013 Winners
Men’s Singles :-  On 18 March Wang Zhengming from china won the Swiss Open Badminton Men’s singles title after defeated Du Pengyu in the final at basel.
Women’s Singles:- In the Women’s singles Wang Shixian from china got the title after defeating Ratchanok Inthanon (Thailand) in the final.
West Zone Won Deodhar Trophy
On 13 March Defending champion West Zone won the Prof. D.B. Deodhar Trophy for the 12th time after defeated North Zone’s challenge in the final at the Nehru Stadium.
Neha Tripathi Won Sixth Leg of Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2013
Kolkata’s Neha Tripathi won sixth leg of Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2013 in Panchkula on 21 March 2013. This is the third victory of Neha Tripathi in 2013 season. With this victory, Neha Tripathi overtook Smriti Mehra in the Hero Order of Merit 2013.
Sebastian Vettel Won F1’s Malaysian Grand Prix
On 24 March Three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix 2013 at the Sepang International Circuit.

ECONOMY
Nine Indian Women in Forbes Asia Power Business Women List
On 1 March ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochchar, Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and film producer Ekta Kapoor are among the nine Indian women named in Forbes magazine’s inaugural ‘Asia Power Businesswomen list’.The list also includes Britannia Industries Managing Director Vinita Bali ; HT Media Chairman and Editorial Director Shobhana Bhartia ; AZB & Partners Founder and Senior Partner Zia Mody ; Axis Bank CEO and Managing Director Shikha Sharma ; and Tractors & Farm Equipment Chairman Mallika Srinivasa; Kapoor, TV and movie producer.
Mukesh Ambani Is Richest Indian on Forbes’ list
As per an annual ranking published on 4 March 2013 by business magazine Forbes,Mukesh Ambani has retained his title as India’s richest person for sixth year in a row,with networth of $ 21.5 billion.In the overall rich list of world’s billionaires, Mukesh Ambani is ranked 22nd, while the second-richest Indian Lakshmi Mittal is at 41st position with a networth of USD 16.5 billion.Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim has topped the rankings with a networth of USD 73 billion, followed by Bill Gates (USD 67 billion), Spain’s Amancio Ortega (USD 57 billion), Warren Buffett (USD 53.5 billion) and Larry Ellison (USD 43 billion) in top five.
Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad Airports Among Top 5 in the World
Airports of Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad are among the top five airports in the world providing international standard services.Airports Council International (ACI),a global body of airports, has adjudged Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport as second best after Seoul’s Incheon airport in the category of airports handling 25-40 million passengers per annum (MPPA) for their service quality for the year 2012.Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport was adjudged the third best in this category.Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International airport (RGI) has bagged the second position for their service quality in the category of five to 15 MPPA. Japan’s Nagoya airport was adjudged the best in this category. Seoul’s Incheon ranked first, Singapore’s Changi second and Beijing was placed at the third spot.
RBI to Launch Plastic Currency Notes in 5 Cities
On 12 March The Union Government and RBI decided to introduce one billion pieces of 10 Rupees bank notes made of plastic on a field trial basis in five cities.A 10 Rupees note in polymer/plastic on a field trial basis will be introduced first; Minister of State for Finance .The field trail is supposed to be conducted in five cities of Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Bhubhaneswar and Shimla with varied geographical locations and climatic conditions.As per the RBI, the primary objective of introduction of polymer notes is to increase its life, it could also help in combating counterfeiting.
Gujarat Tops in FMCG Consumption
On 12 March According to the ‘Evolution of Indian Rural Markets During 2004-05 to 2009-10’ report released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) , Gujarat has garnered maximum growth in per capita food and non-food consumption expenditure across the country between FY05 and FY10 with growth rate of about 28% and 33% respectively. Besides registering a growth of about 24.69%, Gujarat has also topped in terms of household consumption of fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) during the fiveyear period.West Bengal has seen least growth of just about 1.6% and about 8% in per-capita food and non-food consumption expenditure, respectively.The per capita food and non-food consumption expenditure across India has increased at over 14% and 17%, respectively, between FY05 and FY10.
India Top Rice Exporter in FY 2011-12
On 13 March As the export price of Indian rice was more competitive than the Thai rice, India has displaced Thailand from the position of top exporter of rice during 2011-12, Minister of State Commerce and Industry was informed to Rajya Sabha.In 2010-11, the rice exports stood at 24.71 lakh tonnes from 21.56 lakh tonnes in the previous fiscal.Rice exports were at 74.67 lakh tonnes during April-December 2012 against 71.75 lakh tonnes in the full fiscal year of 2011-12.
India 5th in World Billionaire Rich List
According to the Knight Frank “Wealth Report 2013”, India stands 5th among the top 10 countries with the largest number of billionaires with 122 and the number is expected double by 2022.Mumbai has secured the 7th spot in the list of top global cities with a High Net Worth Individual HNWI population.Presently, the city has 2,105 HNWIs and is expected to touch 4,988 with a 137 per cent rise by 2022. Delhi is not too far behind Mumbai; it ranks 11th with a current HNWI population of 1,945 which is likely to grow by 120 per cent and reach 4,278 by 2022. In the cities that that matter to HNWI’s , New York and London are the first two places in the list.
India May Become 5th Largest Manufacturing Nation
According to the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) report titled ‘People productivity-Key to Indian manufacturing competitiveness’, India may become the 5th largest manufacturing nation from 9th position at present, if the country is able to increase the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25 per cent.The National Manufacturing Policy envisages that India’s manufacturing sector should increase its share of GDP from 15 percent at present to 25 percent by 2022, in line with global peers.It will help India become the fifth-largest manufacturing nation.
Hindujas are Britain’s Richest Asians
Leading NRI businessmen Srichand Hinduja and Gopi Hinduja, Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group, have emerged as the richest Asians in Britain in 2013.After playing second fiddle for years to steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, the Londonbased Hinduja brothers have come out top this year with net wealth assessed at 12.5 billion pounds – up 3 billion pounds on the 2012 figure.
Mumbai Falls to 66th Rank Among Leading Global Financial Hubs
According to the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), Mumbai which is India’s financial capital has slipped to 66th rank in the list of leading financial centres around the world, with New Delhi failing to even make a mark.GFCI offers profiles,ratings and rankings for 79 financial centres around the world positioned Mumbai at the 66th place, which is down three places from last year when it was ranked 63rd on the much coveted list.Mumbai is the only Indian city on the list. London topped the list, followed by New York ranking second in the list. Hong Kong and Singapore in the third and fourth place respectively.
RBI Cuts Repo Rate by 25 Base Points
On 19 March The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 per cent from 7.75 percent in its midquarter review of the monetary policy. Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.5 per cent from the earlier 6.75 per cent and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 8.5 per cent with immediate effect.The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) has been retained at 4 per cent.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Spinning Black Hole Observed for the First Time
The Spinning black holes are first identified by Paranal Observatory astronomers in Chile.The enormous black hole at the center of the spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is spinning about 84 percent as fast as Einstein’s general theory of relativity allows it to, researchers determined. NGC 1365, located about 56 million light-years from Earth.
Pinaka’ Rockets Successfully Test-Fired
On 1 March Indigenously developed ‘Pinaka’ rockets were successfully test-fired by Indian army from a multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL) by an armament establishment from a base at Chandipur-on-sea, about 15 km from Balasore.’’Pinaka’ is an area weapon system with a range of 40 km.’Pinaka’ system can fire a salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds ,adding that the battery of six launchers can neutralise at a time a target area of 3.9 sq km.
Large Meteorite Found in Antarctica
On 1 March the international group of researchers has discovered the18-kg meteorite in eastern Antarctica, the largest found in that area in 25 years.
Astronomer Measured Exact Distance to Our Closest Neighbouring Galaxy
On 7 March Astronomers have for the first time accurately measured the distance to one of the Milky Way’s neighbouring galaxy and it is just 163,000 light-years away.
Japan Pioneers Gas Extraction From Seafloor Methane Hydrate
On 12 March Japan has become the first country in the world to extract natural gas from frozen methane hydrate successfully off the central coast. According to the Japanese study, it was estimated that around 1.1tn cubic metres of methane hydrate existed in the offshore deposits. This is equal to the gas consumption of Japan in more than 10 years.
World’s Largest Telescope Inaugurated in Chile
On 13 March The world’s largest radio telescope has been inaugurated in Chile on a mountain high above the Atacama Desert, wielding unprecedented power to peer into the remotest regions of the  universe.The ceremony attended by President Sebastian Pinera and other dignitaries.The ALMA space observatory consists of 66 antennae creating a telescope array 16 kilometres in diameter.
UAE Inaugurated World’s Largest CSP Solar Power Plant
On 17 March United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan inaugurated the 100-megawatt solar plant “Shams 1 “ in the desert of Abu Dhabi,the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant in operation.Covering an area of 2.5 square km, the 600-million-U.S. dollars project incorporates the latest in parabolic trough technology and features more than 258,000 mirrors mounted on 768 tracking parabolic trough collectors, capable of delivering green electricity to 20,000 homes.
India Successfully Test Fired World’s First Underwater Supersonic Cruise Missile
On 20 March India has successfully test fired its submarine-launched version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile of the over 290 km-range in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of the southern port city of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).The launch of Missile is counted as the first test-firing of an underwater supersonic cruise missile anywhere in the world. The missile travelled its complete range of over 290 km.
Big Bang Radiation Map Unveiled
On 21 March The European Space Agency (ESA) has unveiled the most detailed map yet of relic radiation from the Big Bang,revealing new data it hopes will shed light on the creation and expansion of our Universe.The map results suggest the universe is expanding more slowly than scientists thought, and is 13.8 billion years old, 100 million years older than previous estimates.
India and US Agreed for Future Cooperation in Moon and Mars Missions
On 23 March India and the US agreed for cooperation on future missions to the Moon and Mars after successful collaboration in Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission. The highly successful Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission which was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in October 2008 led to strong evidence of the presence of lunar water.
Crew Reaches Space Station in Less than 6 Hours
On 29 March An astronaut from the U. S.with three Russian cosmonauts took a short cut to reach space station and saved around 45 hours of journey. The crew took only 5 hours and 45 minutes to reach the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.This is for the first time that any crew has used this express route to reach space station in the minimum possible time.Three members on this Russian Soyuz are Chris Cassidy from NASA, Alexander Misurkin and Pavel Vinogradov from Russia.
NTPC Commissioned New Solar Power Project in Andaman & Nicobar
On March 30,NTPC Ltd has commissioned a 5-MW solar photo-voltaic power project at Port Blair in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.It is the first grid-connected solar photo-voltaic project in these islands and also the first greenfield renewable solar PV project of NTPC.
New Indian Ship ‘ASWC Kiltan’ Launched in Kolkata
INS Kiltan is an anti-submarine warfare corvette of the Indian Navy built under Project-28. It is the third of four Kamorta class corvettes under various stages of induction with the Indian Navy. The ship was built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata and launched on 26 March.The ship takes its name from the Kiltan island, a coral island that is part of India’s archipelagic Union Territory of Lakshadweep.The Kiltan is to be armed with a range of indigenously developed cutting edge weapons and sensors including a medium range gun, torpedo tube launchers, rocket launchers and a close-in weapon system.

PERSONS IN NEWS
A) APPOINTMENTS
Nagaland , Tripura , Meghalaya new CM’s
On 5 March Neiphiu Rio of Naga People’s Front (NPF) party was sworn in as Chief Minister of Nagaland for the third straight term. – On 5 March Mukul Manda Sangma of Congress party was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya for the second term. – On 6 March ManikSarkar of CPM party was sworn in as chief minister of Tripura for the fourth consecutive time .
Panabaka Lakshmi Assumes Additional Charge of Textiles
On 5 March Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaka Lakshmi assumed additional charge as Union Minister of State for Textiles.Lakshmi was minister of state for textiles until she was shifted to petroleum and natural gas ministry in the same rank after the reshuffle in end October 2012.
IAEA Chief Amano Wins Second Term
The UN atomic agency’s board of governors on 06 March 2013 approved giving Japanese director general Yukiya Amano a new four-year term without even resorting to a vote.
Nicolas Maduro sworn in as Venezuela’s Interim President
On 8 March Venezuelan Vice- President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in as Venezuela’s acting president, despite the Opposition resistance as it is being considered to the violation of the country’s constitution.
New Governors For 5 States
On 9 March President Pranab Mukherjee appointed new Governors for 5 states – Former CBI Director, Ashwani Kumar appointed as Governor of Nagaland. – Congress veteran SC Jamir appointed as Governor of Odhisa . – Governor of Tripura DY Patil transferred to Bihar – Bihar Governor Devanand Konwar shifted to Tripura – Nikhil Kumar, who was serving as Governor of Nagaland, has been transferred and appointed as Governor of Kerala .
Aung Suu Kyi Re-elected As Opposition NLD Leader
On 10 March Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been re-elected head of the new executive board of the National League for Democracy at a landmark maiden party congress.
Jorge Bergoglio Elected As 266th Pope
On 13 March Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina is selected as the new leader for 120 crore Catholics across the world.George was the Buenos Aires Archbishop and he was chosen as the new Pope by 115 qcardinals.He changed his name as Francis- 1.He is the 266th Pope (head of the Roman Catholic Church).Francis-1 is the first Pope from the Jesuit community. He is also the first pope from Latin America. He is also the first pope to be selected from a non European country in the modern history.There are five Indian also among the cardinal electors.
Xi Jinping Took Over As China’s New President
On 14 March Xi was elected as President by 3000-strong National People’s Congress, which also endorsed his appointment as the Chairman of the Military Commission. China’s parliament formally elected Xi Jinping as president, four months after he took charge of the Communist Party.
Khil Raj Regmi Sworn as Nepal PM
On 14 March Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi was sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Nepal .Khil Raj Regmi will be the head of interim government which will have its elections by 21 June 2013. This is the first time in Nepalese political history that a sitting Chief Justice is being named as the Head of the Government.
Sundar Pichai To Take Over as Google’s Android Chief
Google on 13 March 2013 , announced that Andy Rubin, who was heading the company’s Android division, is stepping down. He will be replaced by SundarPichai, an IITian, who also heads Google’s Chrome division.
Li Keqiang Appointed as China’s new Prime Minister
On 14 March Li Keqiang was appointed prime minister at the annual session of China’s National People’s Congress.Mr. Li is the latest Communist Party leader. He succeeds Wen Jiabao in a position that entails steering the economy and government operations through the State Council, or cabinet.
Bobby Ghosh is Time International Editor
Eminent Indian journalist Bobby Ghosh had been named the new editor of Time International. Ghosh was appointed on 15 March 2013 as the first non-American world editor in TIME’s history.
Indian American Appointed Vice Chairman of Illinois Innovation Council
On 18 March Indian-American politician Raja Krishnamurthy has been appointed vice chair of the Illinois Innovation Council by the Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Krishnamurthyis currently the president of Sivanathan Laboratories.
Mir Hazar Khan Khoso Sworn in as aretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan
On 25 March Justice Retd. Mir Hazar Khan Khoso took oath as the sixth caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan on 25 March 2013 in Islamabad.
Renee Ramaswamy Nominated to the National Council of the Arts
On 22 March Renee Ramaswamy, founder of the Ragamala Music and Dance Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to the National Council of the Arts for a fiveyear term.
Obama Appoints First Woman Secret Service Director
On 26 March President Barack Obama chose veteran agent Julia Pierson as Secret Service director, the first woman to lead the male-dominated agency.
Ralph Waters new World Cup 2015 Chairman
Ralph Waters has been named new chairman of the local organizing committee for the 2015 World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Waters was previously the deputy chairman of the committee and succeeds James Strong, the previous chairman.
B)RESIGNS
UP minister Raja Bhaiya Resigned
UP’s food and civil supplies minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, who is an accused in the murder of a deputy superintendent of police, on 04 March 2013 met chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and tendered his resignation.
Odisha Law Minister Raghunath Mohanty Resigned
A senior Odisha minister, Raghunath Mohanty, resigned on 16 Marchi 2013, after his daughter-in-law accused him of torturing her for dowry.
Mukesh Ambani To Exit Board of Bank of America
Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani will step down as the board of director of Bank of America He has served on the Bank of America board since March 2011 and became a director prior to the establishment of the global advisory council.
Five Cabinet Ministers Resigned
On 20 March the 5 Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party Cabinet ministers resigned from the Union Council of Ministers, which were accepted by the Pranab Mukherjee President of India. Pranab Mukherjee, also allocated the charge of Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry to Srikant Jena who is Minister of State in the same ministry.The five cabinet ministers are :- (i) M K Alagiri ( Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers) (ii) S S Palanimanickam (Minister of State (Finance) ) (iii) S. Gandhiselvan (Minister of state for Health and Family Welfare) (iv) S. Jagathrakshakan (Minister of State for Commerce & Industry) (v) D. Napoleon (Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment).
Italy Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi Resigned
Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi resigned on 26 March, over his government’s decision to return two marines to India to face trial for the murder of local fishermen while on anti-piracy duty.
C)DEATHS
Venezuelan President Chavez Died
On 5 March Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died at Caracas .Hugo Chavez was the President of Venezuela from 1999 till his death in 2013. He Served as the President of Venezuela for three times.A coup attempt was made in Venezuela in April 2002 to overthrow Hugo Chavez from his office.
Former West Bengal Governor Viren J Shah passed away in Jordan
On March 9th,the former West Bengal Governor and industrialist Viren J Shah died in Jordan. He was also member of the Rajya Sabha twice from 1975 to 1981 and from 1990 to 1996. He was the Governor of West Bengal from 1999 to 2004.
Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman Died
On 20 March Bangladesh President Mohammad Zillur Rahman, died at Singapore .Rahman, was made the ceremonial head of the state in 2009 after Awami League was elected in the landmark December, 2008, general elections.
Pietro Mennea, the Italian Athlete Died
Pietro Mennea, the Italian athletics died in Rome on 21 March 2013. Pietro Mennea was the gold medal winner in the 200m at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Nigerian Author Chinua Achebe Died
On 22 March Renowned Nigerian author Chinua Achebe has died at the age of 82 .One of Africa’s best known authors, his 1958 debut novel Things Fall Apart, which dealt with the impact of colonialism in Africa, has sold more than 10 million copies.
Two Time Pulitzer Winner Anthony Lewis Dies
On 25 March Anthony Lewis, who has died aged 85, was a New York Times columnist and author who twice won a Pulitzer Prize, the highest award in American journalism.Anthony Lewis was a prominent public intellectual, who wrote for The New York Times op-ed page and The New York Review of Books, among other publications.
Grammy Award Winning Producer and Engineer Phil Ramone Died
On 30 March Phil Ramone, the Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer who applied his platinum touch to recordings with Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon, has died at the age of 72.Ramone won 14 Grammy awards and worked with Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, Elton John and Tony Bennett.
D)VISITORS
President of India Visited Bangladesh
President of India, Pranab Mukherjee visited Bangladesh from 3 – 5 March .During the visit he met with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and discussed the Teesta and land border issues.
President Mukherjee Visited Mauritius
The President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, visited Mauritius from 11 to 13 March .During the visit he attended the Mauritius 45th Independence anniversary celebrations as a Chief Guest. He met the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Rajkeswur Purryag , Prime Minister, Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam and discussed the bilateral double taxation avoidance convention.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim Visited India
Jim Yong Kim the President of World Bank, visited India from 11th to 13th March.During the visit Jim Yong Kim met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P.Chidambaram and discussed India’s major initiatives aimed at fostering equitable growth. This is the Kim’s first visit to India after taking over as President of the World Bank Group 2012 July.
Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi Visited India
Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi visited India from 18 to 20 March .During the visit Morsi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in NewDelhi and discussed the forge closer cooperation in economic and other fields.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Visited South Africa
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited South Africa from 25 to 28 March.During the visit he attended the BRICS Summit and met Russian president Vladimir Putin and discussed about the substantive progress being made on the other remaining phases of the joint nuclear energy programme between India and Russia at Kudankulam. Manmohan Singh also met China new president Xi Jinping and discussed the issue of Beijing’s proposal to construct three dams across the Brahmaputra river on its side.
E)MISCELLANEOUS
Salman Rushdie Named in Al-Qaida’s ‘Most-Wanted List
Indian-origin British author Salman Rushdie had been named in the ‘most-wanted list of Islam critics to kill’ released by al-Qaida in the new issue of its English online magazine. A fatwa was issued against Rushdie by Iran’s late leader Ayotollah Khomeini in 1989 over passages in his book The Satanic Verses.
Maldives Ex-President Nasheed Arrested
On March 5,Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed had been arrested, to face charges of abuse of power during his tenure, after he failed to appear for a hearing and evaded two arrest warrants. He is charged with illegally ordering the arrest of a senior judge, a move that led to his fall from power in 2012.
Czech Senate Accuses President Vaclav Klaus of High Treason
On 5 March Czech President Vaclav Klaus dismissed a decision by lawmakers to press high treason charges against him as politically motivated.The Senate’s actions were prompted by an amnesty granted by President Klaus , which will free over 6,000 prison inmates and halt the prosecution of prominent business executives and officials charged with asset stripping, bribes and fraud.
12 Year Old Neha Ramu has IQ Higher than Albert Einstein
On 5 March Neha Ramu, 12-year-old Indianorigin girl in UK has stunned everyone after she scored an incredible 162 on her IQ test – even higher than Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.The score puts the tween in the top one per cent of brightest people in the UK and means she is more intelligent than physicist Hawking, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and scientist Albert Einstein, who are all thought to have an IQ of 160.
Navneet Kaur Dhillon Crowned Femina Miss India 2013
On 24 March Navneet Kaur Dhillon was crowned Femina Miss India 2013 in a star studded grand finale of the 50th edition of the beauty pageant.The first and second runners-up were Sobhita Dhulipala and Zoya Afroz respectively.

PLACES  IN  NEWS
Strong Earthquake in Taiwan
On 27 March a strong earthquake struck central Taiwan , killing at one person and injuring 19 as it damaged buildings on the quake-prone island.The Central Weather Bureau said the magnitude-6.1 earthquake was felt throughout the island.The U.S. Geological Survey placed the magnitude at 6.0.Nantou is a rural county about 250 kilometres south of Taipei.

ABBREVIATIONS
BRICS   - Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa
NABARD  - National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
AWACS  - Airborne Warning And Control System
CMIE  - Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy
OECD  - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
AICTE  - All India Council for Technical Education
NDMA  - National Disaster Management Authority
DTC  - Direct Taxes Code
AAPSO  - Afro-Asian Peoples’Solidarity Organization
TIEA  - Tax Information and Exchange Agreement
DTAA  - Double taxation Avoidance Agreement
AFSPA  - Armed Forces Special Powers Act
NOIDA  - New Okhla Industrial Development Authority
IAAI  - International Airports Authority of India.
FBI  - Federal Bureau of Investigation

BOOKS IN NEWS
Vice President of India Released Walking With Lions: Tales from a Diplomatic Past
The Vice President of India, M. Hamid Ansari released a book titled Walking with Lions: Tales from a Diplomatic Past, written by K. Natwar Singh, the former Union Minister for External Affairs on 1 March 2013. This was Published by Harper Collins India.
Yuvraj Singh “The Test of My Life” Book Released
On 19 March Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh launched his new memories Auto biography book ‘The Test of My Life’. The Test of My Life is a book that talks about Yuvraj Singh’s battle with cancer and his love for cricket. The book was launched in Mumbai where all his fellow cricketers came to show their support.
Taliban Shooting Victim Is Publishing A Memoir : ‘I Am Malala’
Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl shot by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education, is to tell her life story in a book due out later this year.In a deal reportedly worth around $3 million. The book will be entitled “I Am Malala”.

COMMITTEES
Govt Appoints Mukul Mudgal Committee To Probe Wal-Mart Lobbying Activities
On 5 March The union government has appointed a one-man Inquiry Committee, headed by former Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court Justice Mukul Mudgal, to inquire into reports on the US lobbying activities of Wal-Mart for access to India market. The Committee has to submit its report within three months and it is being provided administrative and functional support by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in its probe.

IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES
May 1 – International Labour Day
May 3 – World Press Freedom Day
May 3 – International Energy Day
May 3 – World Asthma Day
May 4 – Anti – Tobacco Day
May 4 – World Athletics Day
May 8 – World Red Cross Day
May 11 – National Technology Day
May 13 – National Solidarity Day
May 17 – World Telecommunication Day
May 20 – World Metrology Day
May 21 – Anti – Terrorism Day
May 24 – Commonwealth Day
May 31 – World No Tobacco Day

Source: Times of India News

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Updated Current Affairs April 2013


INTERNATIONAL
China, Russia, Pakistan discuss Afghanistan situation
Officials from China, Russia and Pakistan on 3 April 2013 held talks on the issue of coordination between their positions on Afghanistan.The officials from three nations  backed  the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that is grouping to play a great role in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO Forces in 2014. These talks were held to enhance coordination. The talks followed a similar meeting India, China and Russia held in Moscow recently, reflecting the delicate balancing act — and increasingly complicated regional dynamics — as different countries look to push their interests in the lead up to 2014.
Malaysia PM Dissolves Parliament
On 3 April Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has dissolved the Parliament ahead of a general election.This dissolution will pave the way for the 13th general election.The elections have to be held before June 2.The Barisan Nasional coalition that has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957 is expected to face a stiff challenge in the polls from the opposition three-party Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Pact).
Tammam Salam named as Lebanon new Prime Minister
On 6 April well-known Sunni lawmaker Tammam Salam has been named Lebanon’s new prime minister , after receiving overwhelming parliamentary support.His appointment comes after previous prime minister Najib Mikati resigned and effectively brought down his Hezbollah-dominated government.
China, Australia Signed Direct Currency Exchange Agreement
On 10 China and Australia have signed a currency swap agreement in a bid to promote bilateral trade and investment.The agreement makes the Australian dollar the third major currency to directly trade in China’s mainland foreign exchange market, after the US dollar and the Japanese yen.Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard discussed bilateral security issues with China’s President Hu Jintao.
China Pledges $548 million Aid To Cambodia
On 10 April China has pledged $548 million in aid to Cambodia for infrastructure and irrigation systems.Agreements covering $500 million in soft loans and $48 million in grants were signed during Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen .
Nepal Peace Process Ends
On 13 April Nepal’s much delayed peace process with end of the decade long civil war has finally reached conclusion.Though the peace process had started on 2006, the Special Committee was formed in 2008 to oversee the army integration process.The last meeting of the cross-party Special Committee decided to accept application of 47 Maoist combatants to quit the Nepal Army training.
Nicolas Maduro Wins Venezuelan Presidential Election
Nicolas Maduro,Socilist Party member who became Hugo Chavez’s protege, was declared the winner of Venezuela’s presidential election on 14 April 2013.Maduro secured 50.8% of votes  while opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski won 49.0%.Maduro got 3 lakhs votes of majority than Henrique.
New Zealand Approved Gay-Marriage Bill
On 17 April New Zealand’s parliament has approved the bill to legalise same-sex marriage.New Zealand has become the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so. No other country in the Asia-Pacific region allows gay marriage.Cheers and applause ring out in parliament building after 77 of 121 members vote to allow gay couples to wed.New Zealand is now the 13th country to legalise gay marriage.
U.S Senate Rejects Gun Control Bill
On 18 April The US Senate has rejected a strong gun control bill.US Senators supported the measure with just 54-46 votes , falling short of the 60 votes required to pass the amendment.The legislation was considered the best hope for gun control sought by President Obama in the wake of the mass shooting at Newtown Elementary School last year.Among them, a vote to ban assault weapons was rejected by 40 votes to 60, while a measure to limit the size of gun clips received just 46 votes in its favor.
US House of Representatives Passed CISPA
On 18 April The US House of Representatives has passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA).The aim of CISPA is to fight with the cyber threats, by enabling the law enforcers to get access to the web data.This is the second time Cispa has been passed by the House.Senators threw out the first draft, saying it did not do enough to protect privacy.Senators had earlier rejected the first draft of this bill on the grounds that it wasn’t providing enough for protecting the privacy.
Napolitano Re-elected as Italy’s President
On 21 April  Italy’s Parliament re-elected Giorgio Napolitano as the Italy’s President for second 7-year term .Giorgio Napolitano will be the first Italian president to be re-elected to serve a second term.He got 738 votes, far more than the 504 needed for victory.More than 1,000 national and regional lawmakers had convened to elect the next Italian president, with the overwhelming majority of them ultimately backing Napolitano.The People of Freedom party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi got second place in Italy elections.He is the first President of Italy to have been a member of the Italian Communist Party and the first to be elected to a second term as President.Giorgio Napolitano is the 11th President of the Italian Republic since 2006.
Horacio Cartes Elected as Paraguay’s new President
On 22 April Businessman Horacio Cartes of the Colorado Party has been declared Paraguay’s new president.The electoral board announced that Cartes had 46.1 percent of the vote and his main rival Senator Efrain Alegre of the ruling Liberal Party 36.9 percent.The conservative Colorados held Paraguay’s presidency for 60 years until leftist former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo was elected in 2008.
French Parliament Approved Gay Marriage Law
On 23 April France parliament approved a new law to allow gay marriage. Parliament passed the bill by 331 votes for and 225 against.France has become the 14th country to allow gay marriage..
UK Approved Caste Discrimination Bill
On 25 April Britain has outlawed caste discrimination, after the House of Lords voted for legal protection to be given to the most vulnerable, mainly in the Indian and Sikh communities.The UK now looks set to become the first country in Europe to outlaw discrimination based on caste.
Cuba and Venezuela Signed 51 Cooperation Projects
On 28 April Cuba and Venezuela have signed at Havana accords for 51 joint projects worth two billion U.S. dollars.At the close of 13th Cuba-Venezuela Intergovernmental Meeting , Cuban President Raul Castro and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the deals for projects in such areas as education, health, sports, cultur, food production, construction, transport, communications, energy and support of social missions.Havana and Caracas agreed to jointly invest two billion dollars to develop these projects and also signed a memorandum to establish a bilateral medium- and long-term economic agenda.The investment also covers joint ventures in vital and strategic economic areas in both countries.
Pakistan court bans Musharraf from contesting polls for life
A four-judge bench of the Peshawar high court headed by chief justice Dost Muhammad Khan imposed the life  ban while dismissing Musharraf’s appeal challenging the rejection of his nomination papers for May 11 general election.The lifetime ban was imposed because Musharraf had abrogated the Constitution twice and detained judges during the 2007 emergency.

INDIA & WORLD
India and Singapore Signed MoU on Air Services
On 2 April India and Singapore signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral air services arrangement in the presence of Civil Aviation Minister, Shri Ajit Singh and Minister of Transport of Singapore, Mr Lui Tuck Yew in Singapore.
India, Azerbaijan ink 3 key pacts
Aimed at creating the necessary legal framework in areas of extradition, India and Azerbaijan on 04 April 2013 inked three key pacts which also included treaties for mutual legal assistance in criminal and civil matters.Visiting Justice Minister of Azerbaijan Fikrat Mammadov held a meeting with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde where the extradition treaty was signed.
India and Tanzania Signed Agreement To Explore Mineral Wealth
On 6 April India and Tanzania have signed an agreement for forging an alliance to explore mineral wealth in the African nation.The agreement was signed by the Union Minister of Steel, Beni Prasad Verma and Sospeter Muhongo, the Minister of Energy and Minerals, United Republic of Tanzania at Der es Salaam.
India and Russia signed Regulation of Co-operation Agreement
On 10 April India and Russia signed a Regulation defining the structure, functions and procedure of the Joint Commission at Moscow.The agreement was signed by Vladimir Puchkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters and Sushil kumar Shinde, the Union Minister of Home Affairs.
Two Day India-China Counter-Terrorism Dialogue on Afghanistan ended
The two-day India-China counter-terrorism dialogue ended on 12 April 2013 in Beijing China. The two nations discussed upon the ways to step up cooperation to counter terror in Afghanistan as a follow up plan after the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in 2014.
India – Mauritius Signed MoU on Electoral Cooperation
On 12 April India and Mauritius signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi on cooperation in the field of Election Management and Administration. The MoU was signed by Chief  Election Commissioner of India, V.S. Sampath and the Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius, Mohammad Irfan Abdool Rahman.
India – Mauritius Signed MoU on Electoral Cooperation
On 12 April India and Mauritius signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi on cooperation in the field of Election Management and Administration. The MoU was signed by Chief  Election Commissioner of India, V.S. Sampath and the Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius, Mohammad Irfan Abdool Rahman.
Bangladesh Inks $1.6 Billion Power Deal with India
On 20 April India and Bangladesh signed its biggest-ever joint venture agreement with India involving investment of $1.6 billion for 1,320 MW coal-fired power plant which is expected to be operational in the next five years.The two country’s signed three deals under a pact to run the plant at Rampal of Bagerhat while the two others were Power Purchase Agreement and Implementation Agreement.A supplementary joint venture agreement floating the company was signed by Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) chairman Abdual Wahab Khan and NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Arup Roy Choudhury while the two others agreements were signed by officials concerned of the two countries.
Indian origin boy won spelling championship
12 years old Indian origin boy won the very popular spelling competition beating another 30 competitors, held at Singapore. The name of the competition was R.B.H- The Straight Times National Spelling Championship. The name of the boy is Ashwin Shiv Kumar, who won the top place in this championship on 27 April 2013 . He is the student of 6th grade at Anglo-Chinese school. He was awarded by 5000 Singapore Dollars, as a prize he got. He passed through 10 stages and won the competition.

NATIONAL
Prez Pranab Mukherjee clears anti-rape bill
President Pranab Mukherjee had given his assent to the anti-rape bill which provides for life term and even death sentence for rape convicts besides stringent punishment for offences like acid attacks, stalking and voyeurism.Mukherjee accorded his assent to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill-2013 on 03 April 2013.This is called as the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013.The law, passed by Lok Sabha on March 19 and by Rajya Sabha on March 21.
Union Government Approved Project for NOFN Creation in Gram Panchayats
On 12 April The Government of India approved the project for creation of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) connecting all the 250000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country through Optical Cable (OFC). The Union Government decided to fund the project through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
Government Approved For 13 Power Projects
On 22 April The Cabinet Committee on Investment cleared 13 power projects that involves investment of 33000 crore rupees. The projects on which the investments will be made include one hydro and two thermal project as well as ten transmission projects. 25 oil and gas blocks with investment commitment of about seven billion US dollars also got approval during the same meet. Of these 16 blocks were given conditional clearances, while nine blocks were approved without any condition. Approval of these projects was pending due to the objections raised by the Ministry of Defence over national security.
Mukherjee Gives Assent To Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill
On 25 April President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2013.Sexual harassment at workplace is a violation of women’s right to gender equality, life and liberty.It creates an insecure and hostile work environment, which discourages women’s participation in work, thereby adversely affecting their economic empowerment and the goal of inclusive growth. (ANI)

STATES
Andhra Pradesh Government launched Online Services named Parishkaram for Entrepreneurs
Andhra Pradesh Government on 1 April 2013 launched the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation’s online services for entrepreneurs and grievance redressal system. The platform is proposed to be a link between the APIIC and entrepreneurs   which would make the process of application and registration of land for setting up industries a paperless one.
EC issues notification for Karnataka assembly polls
The Election Commission on  April 10  issued the notification for the Karnataka Assembly polls.The nomination papers will be scrutinised on April 18. The last day for withdrawing the nominations is April 20. The votes polled on May 5 will be counted on May 8.
Himachal Govt To Connect All Gram Panchayats With Broadband
On 12 April Himachal Pradesh government signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Department of Telecommunication, Govt of India (GOI) and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) for providing broadband connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of the state by establishing of an optical fiber network.
Himachal celebrates 66th anniversary
On 15 April 2013 Himachal Pradesh celebrated 66th Himachal Day.Himachal Pradesh came into existence on 15 April 1948 with the merger of 30 princely states.During the function, the Chief Minister announced many schemes for the state which are under development phase like Mukhyamantri Adarsh Krishi Gaon Yojana, Skill Development Allowance. In the skill development Allowance, the government would provide 1000 rupees per month to educated unemployed youths and 1500 rupees to persons with disabilities of the state.
India’s first automatic toll collection system launched in Maharashtra
The country’s first interoperable RIFD(Radio Frequency Identification Device )-based electronic toll system was rolled out on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai National Highway and the system would allow vehicles fitted with electronic tags to sail through six toll plazas automatically.
Tamilnadu Planned Rs.7000 crore Underground Hydel Power Station
On 25 April Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa announced the government planned a Rs 7,000 crore underground hydel power station in Nilgiris district besides the ongoing related schemes,which in all will cost over Rs 20,000 crore.The first unit of North Chennai Thermal Power plant, third unit of Vallur project and 2x 500 MW each of Tuticorin Power project would start generating power between March 2014.The first unit of North Chennai Thermal Power plant, third unit of Vallur project and 2x 500 MW each of Tuticorin Power project would start generating power between this year May and March 2014

CONFERENCES
PM  inaugurated CII national conference
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  inaugurated the two-day national conference and annual general meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi on 03 March 2013.Around 1,500 industrialists from across the country will attended the meeting. The theme for this year’s deliberations is “India tomorrow: Imperatives of growth, security and governance”.
Conference of CM’s of States & Chief Justices of High Courts held at New Delhi
Conference of Chief Ministers of States & Chief Justices of High Courts held at New Delhi on 7 April.The conference presided over by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir, aims to address pressing issues related to the country’s justice delivery system that’s often criticised for being tardy.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the joint conference.Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has called upon the judiciary and executive to work together to make the Indian judicial system an arrear free.
Hyderabad will host ICSE conference in 2014
The 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE2014, will be held in Hyderabad, India from 1 June 2013 to 7 June 2013. India is home to some of the largest software companies in the world, and Hyderabad is one of the main centers for software development in India.This conference is going to be a premier software engineering conference that is going to provide a forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, experiences and concerns in the field of software engineering.This is the first time conducted in India.
UNWTO Conference Held in Hyderabad
United Nations World Tourism Organisation ( UNWTO) Commission’s Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development and 25th Joint Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia, Pacific and South Asia will be held at Hyderabad from 12th to 14th of this month.The conference attended by dignitaries belonging to 29 countries spread across in East Asia & Pacific and South Asia, eight UNWTO affiliate members, two regional organizations as well as industry organizations. The UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai along with his team of senior delegates presented at the meeting .The delegates discussed the market trends of the region in the year 2012 and tourism prospects for the year 2013.The next Joint Meeting would be held in Philippines and the 21st Session of General Assembly of UNWTO will be held in Cambodia.

AWARDS & HONOURS
National Awards for State Industries
On April 1st ,the state of  Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) got the National Awards .In the Research & Development Efforts in MSMEs category includes three Awards (First, Second and Third) for Micro and Small Enterprises and have gone to entrepreneurs from Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana respectively.Three National Awards (First, Second and Third) for Micro Enterprises in Outstanding Efforts in Entrepreneurship category  Haryana , West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh got first,second and third respectively.Three National Awards (First, Second and Third) for Small Enterprises. First Award has gone to an entrepreneur from Himachal Pradesh.  Second Award has been given jointly to four entrepreneurs from Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.  Third Award has been given jointly to three entrepreneurs from Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka.This awards will be presented by the President Pranab Mukherjee.
Desmond Tutu Won Prestigious “2013 Templeton Prize “
On 4 South Africa’s Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has won “”2013 Templeton Prize “” for his life-long work in promoting love and forgiveness.The prize was announced at the foundation’s headquarters in West Conshohocken in Pennsylvania and is valued at $1.7-million (about Rs.15.6-million).Last year’s prize was awarded to the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
ICSI National Awards for Excellence in Corporate Governance – 2012
Chairman of the Awards Jury of the ICSI (Institute of Company Secretaries of India) and former Chief Justice of India Shri Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah in New Delhi on 05 April 2013 presented the ‘ICSI National Awards for Excellence in Corporate Governance -2012’ to two ‘Best Governed Companies’:
1.      Indian Oil Corporation Limited; and
2.      HCL Technologies Limited.
The Awards were presented during the ongoing 2nd CSIA International Corporate Governance Conference.
ICSI Life Time Achievement Award for the year 2012 was presented to Shri Deepak S. Parekh, Chairman, Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd. for translating excellence in Corporate Governance into reality.Certificates of Recognition were presented to the Top Five Companies. These are :
1.          CMC Limited
2.      Engineers India Limited
3.      ONGC Limited
4.      Persistent Systems Ltd.
5.      Powergrid Corporation of India Limited
Barfi! wins top honours at The Times of India Film Awards
Barfi movie was the top winner at the maiden edition of The Times of India Film Awards, bagging the Best Film, Best Director (Anurag Basu), Best Actor (Ranbir Kapoor), Best Actress (Priyanka Chopra) and Best Debut Female (Ileana D’Cruz) trophies. The award for the Best Debut Male went to Ayushmann Khurrana for Vicky Donor, which also won the Best Supporting Actor award for Annu Kapoor and the Best Supporting Actress trophy for Dolly Ahluwalia. Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur got the Critics’ Choice award for Best Film. Abhishek Bachchan, who won the Best Actor in a Comic Role award for Bol Bachchan, dedicated the honour to his wife Aishwarya.
Pran gets Phalke Award
On 12 April 2013,Hindi film actor Pran Krishan Sikand will be conferred with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2012. The 93-year-old actor, popularly known as Pran, will be the 44th recipient of the top-most film award in the country.Pran, who has acted in over 400 films in his six-decade-long career.The award, named after the father of Indian cinema Dada Saheb Phalke, will be conferred on Pran on May 3, which will also mark the 100 years of cinema this year.
New York Times won four Pulitzer Prizes
The New York Times won four Pulitzer Prizes on 15 April 2013, including the award for investigative reporting for stories that detailed how Wal-Mart used bribery to expand in Mexico.The Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was awarded the public service Pulitzer for its reporting on off-duty police officers’ reckless driving.The Pulitzer in breaking news photography went to The Associated Press for its coverage of the civil war in Syria.The Pulitzers, journalism’s highest honour, are given out each year by Columbia University on the recommendation of a board of journalists and others. Each award carries a $10,000 prize except for the public service award, which is a gold medal.
Raj Chetty won John Bates Clark young economist award
Delhi-born Raj Chetty, the professor in the Department of Economy at the Harvard University won John Bates Clark medal for 2013, also called Baby Nobel.John Bates Clark medal is conferred upon the American economist whose age is below 40 years and the one who has made crucial contribution to economic knowledge and thought.Baby Nobel is one of the most prestigious awards of economy. Infact, it is second only after Nobel Prize in economic science.Raj Chetty, 33, is the first Indian-origin person to win this high honour. His areas of work include social insurance, tax policy as well as education policy.
Telugu writer Ravuri Bharadwaja honoured with Jnanpith award
Telugu writer Dr Ravuri Bharadwaja got the country’s prestigious Jnanpith award for 2012 for his contributions to Telugu literature over 60 years.He got this award for his novel “Pakudurallu”.He is the third  recipient of the country’s highest literary award from Andhra Pradesh, after Dr  Viswanatha Satyanarayana in 1970 for his Srimad Ramayana  Kalpavriksham and Dr C. Narayana Reddy in 1988 for his book Viswambhara. Eighty six-year-old Dr Bharadwaja was chosen for the award by a selection Board chaired by poet Sitakant Mahapatra, said a statement of the Jnanpith award committee.
RGIA is Named the Best Airport in India
On 17 April The GMR Group operated and managed Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) has been rated as the No.1 airport in India, the fifth best regional airport in Asia and also as the eighth best airport in the 5 to 10 mppa capacity.The ratings were given at the recently concluded Skytrax-World Airport Awards held at the Passenger Terminal Expo in Geneva.
Manmohan Singh, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi Named Among Top 5 Most Influential Asians
On 17 April Congress president Sonia Gandhi (2nd Rank), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (4th Rank) and AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi (5th Rank) have been named among top 5 in the world’s 100 most influential list of Asians topped by China’s new President Xi Jinping.Among the other key Indians to make the grade included Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani for owning Indias most valuable company in ninth place, followed by President Pranab Mukherjee at 19th place and steel magnate Lakshmi N Mittal at 20th position.Indian entries dominated the Top 100 with 39 names, followed by 15 from China and six from the Philippines.While Infosys co-founder Narayan Murthy was named Philanthropist of the Year, industrialist Adi Godrej bagged Entrepreneur of the Year award for his contribution to Indian industry and Ravi Ruia, vice-chairman of the Essar Group, won in the Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability category, for his company’s high sustainability ratings
NRI Kartar Lalvani Received Queen’s Award
On 20 April Vitabiotics, a company founded by NRI entrepreneur Kartar Lalvani, has received the coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation for its research on vitamins.’Vitabiotics’, UK’s largest supplier of minerals and vitamin supplements to the retail trade, won the award for the development of its Pregnacare range and in recognition of its successful Pregnacare clinic research.
Saina Nehwal Selected for ‘Yudhvir ‘ Award
Yudhvir Foundation has selected ace badminton player Saina Nehwal for the 22nd Yudhvir Memorial Foundation Award for the year 2013, which was being given every year to honor the individuals who excel in some field of human endeavor. The award was established in the name of late Yudhvir, founder editor of the Hindi Milap daily in 1991 after his demise.Saina Nehwal was selected for the Award as she won a medal in Olympics in badminton and also the first to win the Asian Satellite Badminton tournament (India Chapter) twice keeping the country’s image high abroad.The previous Yudhvir awardees include Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Classical maestro Pandit Jasraj, Space Scientist Prof. UR Rao, Amar Chitra Katha founder late Anant Pai and eminent film maker Shyam Benegal and others.
Asha Bhosle, Mala Sinha to get Phalke Academy awards
The Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards will be bestowed on singer Asha Bhosle, actress Mala Sinha, late filmmaker Yash Chopra, and late superstar Rajesh Khanna among several others at a ceremony in Mumbai on April 30.Asha, who has regaled music lovers with her melodious voice in her over six decades old career, will receive the Phalke Ratna Award from the academy, while Mala Sinha, who has acted in “”Pyaasa”", “”Maryada”" and “”Hariyali Aur Rasta”" will get the Golden Era Award.
Major Anup Joseph awarded Kirti Chakra, 12 others get Shaurya Chakra
Major Anup Joseph Manjali was on Saturday awarded the second-highest peacetime gallantry award Kirti Chakra by President Pranab Mukherjee for killing three foreign militants in Jammu and Kashmir. 12 defence personnel were awarded the Shaurya Charkra for their acts of bravery including Captain A Rahul Ramesh and Naik Krishna Kumar who were given the honour posthumously.
Seven South African Indians get National Orders
The awards(National Orders)are presented on the Freedom Day of South Africa that is celebrated on April 27 to mark the day on which Nelson Mandela took over as the country’s first democratically-elected President in 1994. Among the recipients of the order was veteran Indian diplomat Enuga Sreenivasula Reddy who had led the fight against apartheid at the UN since 1963 received the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo(Silver).The second highest award called the Order of the Baobab was presented to Lenasia-based community worker Suraya Khan, popularly known to all as “Aunty Bibi”, while the same order in Silver went to journalist and community activist Yusuf Abramjee and pioneering skin cloning plastic surgeon Dr Ridwan Mia. Prof Quarraisha Abdool Karim received the Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze for her internationally acclaimed research into HIV Aids.

SPORTS & GAMES
Rahi Sarnobat won a Gold medal in 25-M Pistol Event
Rahi Sarnobat clinched the first gold for India in International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Korea on 5 April 2013. She defeated Kyeongae Kim 8-6 in 25m pistol final. She is the first pistol shooter from India who won the Gold in World Cup.
Indian Women’s Cricket Team Won the Twenty20 International Series against Bangladesh
The Indian women’s cricket team finished the Twenty20 International series against Bangladesh Women with 3-0 clean sweep in Vadodara in the final match on 5 April 2013. India won the final match by 10 runs against Bangladesh. The T-20 International series against Bangladesh began on 2 April 2013.
Nanjappa wins bronze in men’s 10m air pistol at World Cup
India’s Prakash Nanjappa won a bronze medal in the men’s 10m air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup at Changwon, Korea on 06 April 2013.This is Nanjappa’s first ever medal in an ISSF competition. He had also finished eighth at the men’s 50 metre pistol final. He scored 180.2 points.The gold was won by Vietnam’s Xuan Vinh Hoang, the 2012 Asian champion, with a total score of 200.8 points while the silver went to China’s Wang Zhiwei, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, who shot 200.1.
Narayanan Srinath Won Asian Junior Chess Title
On 6 April India’s International Master Narayanan Srinath won Asian Junior chess title that concluded at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.Sahaj Grover of Delhi was second, as he also remained undefeated just like Srinath.Top seed Grandmaster Salem Saleh of UAE finished third losing to Srinath and to a Vietnamese.Vo Thi Kim Phung (Vietnam) won the Asian Junior girls blitz championship title.
Rupesh Shah Won ONGC 12th Asian Billiards championship
On April 7 the world champion Rupesh Shah won the 12th Asian Billiards championship at Indore Tennis Club,Indore.He defeated Alok Kumar .It is is the 10th Asian Billiards title for Rupesh Shah.Rupesh Shah already qualified for 2013 World Championship as the defending champion.
Serena Williams Won Family Circle Cup Tennis Title
On 7 April The top-ranked Serena Williams (USA) won the Family Circle Cup Tennis title after defeated Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) in the final at Charleston (South Carolina).Williams successfully defended her title by claiming her third overall Charleston crown.She earned her 49th career singles title.
India got Silver in World Youth Weightlifting Championships 2013
Jamjang Deru gave India the first medal in the World Youth Weightlifting Championships as he won a silver in the 50kg boys category at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Deru won the silver in clean and jerk with an effort of 110 kg and finished fourth in the total lift with 195kg. He lifted 85kg in snatch.In the same category, Deepak Lather finished 12th in total lift with an effort of 174kg (80+94).
India Women Complete Clean Sweep Over Bangladesh
India Women completed a 3-0 One-Day International series clean sweep over Bangladesh Women with a 58-run victory in the final match in Ahmedabad.India batted first in the third match and posted 154.
Pakistan bans two umpires over spot-fixing
Pakistan cricket authorities on 13 April 2013  banned two umpires.The allegations against the umpires first came up after a television sting operation last year. The PCB set up an inquiry committee led by PCB  Chairman Zaka Ashraf soon after and passed on its findings to the board’s integrity committee to determine the punishments.Nadeem Ghauri, the Pakistan umpire, has been handed a four-year ban by the PCB after its integrity committee found him guilty of being willing to accept money for favourable umpiring decisions. His colleague Anis Siddiqi was banned for three years.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso wins Chinese Grand Prix 2013
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso won the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix on 14 April 2013.Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton  got second and third positions respectively.Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel got a 4th position.But Force India’s Paul di Resta got 8th Position.
Adam Scott Won Augusta Masters Golf Tournament
Australia’s Adam Scott won the 77th Masters (2013 Masters Tournament), become the first Australian golfer to capture the green jacket.It was Scott’s first major championship and the first time an Australian has won the Masters.
Chandigarh win Hockey India sub-junior men’s national championship
Chandigarh defeated Punjab 2-1 to lift the 3rd Hockey India Sub-Junior Men National Championship (North Zone) title at Sonepat on 15 April 2013.Meanwhile, Haryana won the 3rd Hockey India Sub-Junior Women’s National Championship (North Zone) after getting the better of Chandigarh, 3-1 in the final.
Amit won gold, three other Indians bag a bronze each
Amit Kumar clinched a gold medal in men`s 55kg category while three other grapplers bagged a bronze medal each for India in the Senior Asian Wrestling Championship in New Delhi on 20 April 2013.In the women`s category, Vinesh (51kg) and Babita Kumari (55kg) won their bronze medal bouts while Bajrang (men`s 60kg) pocketed a bronze, to end the day three of the championships on a high after two medal-less days.
Sebastian Vettel Won Bahrain Grand Prix Title
On 21 April The Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel from Germany won the Bahrain Grand Prix 2013 by defeating Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Kimi Raikkonen got second postion.Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes took fifth position and Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was successful in grabbing the eighth position in the listings
Novak Djokovic Won Monte Carlo Masters Title
On 21 April World Number One Novak Djokovic won his first Monte Carlo Masters title.Djokovic defeated Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the final.The Serbian inflicted Nadal’s first defeat in Monte Carlo in 47 matches and avenged last year’s final defeat to lift his first Masters title.
Amit Kumar Dhankar won Gold
Amit Kumar Dhankar won India’s second gold medal of the championships in Men’s 66kg Freestyle at KD Jadhav Stadium in New Delhi on 22 April 2013. India topped the medals tally in Freestyle division with 2 gold and 2 bronze medals.India finished top of the Men’s freestyle rankings with 2 golds and 2 bronze medals. India got 48 points to br crowned champion for the first time in the history of the Asian Wrestling Championships.India finished with nine medals – 2 gold, 1 silver and 6 bronze.
Chris Gayle Hits Cricket’s Fastest-ever Century in IPL Match
On 23 April Chris Gayle, the West Indies opener, hit the fastest ever century in the history of cricket by reaching 100 in merely 30 balls during Royal Challengers Bangalore-Pune Warriors IPL match.Gayle scored a total run of 175 runs in merely 66 balls, which included 17 sixes and 13 boundaries. It is important to note that this is the most number of runs scored in any T20 innings. This was also his fourth century in the IPL career.
Lancashire’s Jordan Clark hits 6 sixes in 1 over
Lancashire all-rounder Jordan Clark had become only the fifth professional player to hit six sixes in one over, achieving the feat in a second XI match against Yorkshire on 25 April 2013.
Clark joins an illustrious list that contains former West Indies all-rounder Garfield Sobers (1968), India’s Ravi Shastri (1985), South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs and India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh (both 2007).
Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championship in Patiala
Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championship in Patiala on 25 April 2013.
Men: 4x100M relay: Andhra Pradesh (K Pavan Kumar, E Gopi, Md Baba, M Manikanand  Raj) 41.06 seconds, 1; Tamil Nadu ‘A’ (Silambarasan, Al Ameen, Vijayakumar, Balamurugan) 41.10, 2; Kerala ‘A (Anuroop John, Jeris Jose, Rahul G Pillai, Renjith KG) 41.39, 3.
Women: 4x100M relay: Chhattisgarh (Niksy Joseph, Shilpa, Priya PK, Sini S) 47.40 seconds, 1; ONGC ‘A’ (Mounika Gaddam, Meghna Shetty, Purnima Hembram, Duteechand) 47.78, 2; Kerala ‘A’ (Merlin K Joseph, Neethu Mathew, Neethu Rajan, Rengitha C) 48.24, 3.
Dhoni fined for slow over rate
Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was fined $20,000 for his team’s slow over rate in their 14-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in a Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter in Chennai on 28 April 2013.
India Open Super Series Badminton Tournament Winners
Men’s Singles:-On 28 April World number one Lee Chong (Malaysia) won the men’s singles title at India Open Super Series badminton tournament at NewDelhi.In the final Lee Chong defeated Kenichi Tago of Japan and got the title.
Women’s Singles:-Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand won the women`s singles title after defeated Juliane Schenk of Germany in the final .
Rafael Nadal Won Barcelona Open Tennis Title
On 28 April Rafael Nadal from Spain won the Barcelona Open Tennis title for the eighth time.In the final at Barcelona ,Nadal defeated Nicolas Almagro from Spain.It was Nadal’s 54th career title and fourth this year
Maria Sharapova Won Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Title
On 28 April Maria Sharapova from Russia won Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Title.She defeated China’s Li Na in the final at Porsche Arena in Stuttgart, Germany.It was her 16th consecutive clay court title.

ECONOMY
India Joins The Madrid Protocol System
On 8 April India joined the International Registration of Marks at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) by depositing the instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol.India is the 90th member to join the international trademark system.India is the 90th member to join the international trademark system and the treaty will enter into force with respect to India on 8 July 2013.The Madrid Protocol system provides for the international registration of trade marks by way of one application that can cover more than one country. The opportunity of having a single registration to cover a wide range of countries gives advantages, both in terms of portfolio management and cost savings, as opposed to a portfolio of independent national registrations.
Yamaha to Develop Cheapest Bike of the World in India
Yamaha, the Japanese two-wheeler company on 9 April 2013 announced that it will soon roll out the cheapest motorcycle of the world in India. The price of this bike would be around 500 US dollar or 27000 Rupees approximately.
WTO cuts 2013 global trade growth forecast to 3.3%
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 10 April 2013 cut its forecast for global trade growth in 2013 to 3.3 percent, from the previous prediction of 4.5 percent.
Gujarat Tops in Attracting Private Investment
According to the “”Composition of Outstanding Private Investments Across States “” report released by Assocham ,Gujarat has ranked on top for attracting investment across the country — cornering about 14 per cent of total outstanding private sector investment worth over Rs 75 lakh crore as of December 2012.Odisha ranks second with private investment commitments worth over Rs 8 lakh crore.With a share of about 9.4 per cent and 9.3 per cent, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra both have attracted private investments worth over Rs 7 lakh crore respectively.The private sector accounts for over 62 per cent of total outstanding investments worth about Rs 122 lakh crore attracted by India as of December 2012.Of the total investments from private sources worth over Rs 75 lakh crore, the domestic private sector accounts for a majority share of about 58 per cent.Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Assam account for a share of less than even one per cent in the total private investment commitments attracted by India.
IMF slashed Economic Growth Rate of India to 5.7 percent from 5.9 percent for 2013
IMF(International Monetary Fund) in its latest release on 16 April 2013 of the World Economic Outlook (WEO) slashed the growth projection of India from its earlier prediction of 5.9 percent to 5.7 percent for the calendar year 2013.
Ambani Brothers 20th Richest in World
Mukesh and Anil Ambani, India’s leading industrialist brothers, have been together listed as 20th richest in the world in the Sunday Times Rich List 2013.The Walton family of the US, who own Supermarkets (Walmart), are the richest in the world with a 90 billion pounds fortune in 2013 as against 51 billion pounds last year.The Hinduja brothers, Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, Chairman and Co-Chairman respectively of the Hinduja Group, are 47th richest in the world with a fortune worth 11 billion pounds in 2013 as against 9 billion pounds last year.
Spain Unemployment Rate Hits New Record
On 24 April According to the National Statistics Institute data ,Spain’s unemployment rate soared to a new record of 27.2% of the workforce in the first quarter of 2013.The total number of unemployed people in Spain has now passed the six million figure, although the rate of the increase has slowed.The jobless rate, which stood at 7.9% in mid-2007, has risen relentlessly since the collapse in 2008 of a Spain’s labour-intensive property boom.
India became the world’s eighth most powerful nation
According to Delhi-based Foundation for National Security Research (FSNR),  the world’s 10 most powerful countries, India had been ranked 8th. India is ranked eighth in 27 countries. Professor Satish Kumar says that we study about the selection of powerful countries on several grounds. Some of these countries had to fulfill the necessary criteria. For instance, were the countries, whose population was more than 5 million. The level of GDP was over U.S. $ 500 billion. India is one of such countries.Study states that the United States is the world’s most powerful country and China stood in 2nd position.
India’s GDP likely to improve to 5.7% in 2013: IMF
According to International Monetary Fund’s(IMF) ‘Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific’ report ,the GDP of India in 2013 is 5.7% and in 2014 it is 6.2%.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Cicada’s Insect Wing’s Kills Bacteria
Human eye cells have been grown on cicadas’ wings after it was found that the wings’ surface kills bacteria and boosts cell growth.Dr Greg Watson, a researcher at James Cook University in Cairns, began looking more closely at cicadas after noticing, while out on a walk more than a decade ago, that their wings took much longer to decompose than their bodies.It is the first time scientists have found that tiny features found on a natural surface, rather than chemicals, kill bacteria.
Supreme Court of India Rejected Novartis’ Patent Plea for Cancer Drug Called Glivec
The Supreme Court of India on 1 April 2013 rejected the plea of Novartis, the Swiss drug maker, to patent the updated version of cancer drug called Glivec. A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai dismissed the patent plea to Novartis on the basis that there was no inventiveness or novelty in the new version of the drug. In its ruling, the Supreme Court of India declared that because the application for patent on beta-crystalline salt did not meet any inventiveness or novelty standard, therefore the company’s plea for patent was dismissed.
World’s first solar plane to fly across US
A first of its kind ultra-lightweight plane powered completely by the sun is set to fly coast-to-coast this spring.The Solar Impulse plane will stop in Dallas city in Texas during its historic cross-country journey that begins on May 1.The plane, which requires zero fuel and relies solely on solar panels and battery power, would be the world’s first plane powered purely by solar energy.
Obama Announced $100 Million “Brain Initiative” Project
On 2 April US President Barack Obama has announced the “BRAIN Initiative” a $100 million brain-mapping project.The BRAIN initiative will attempt to find ways to treat Alzheimer’s disease and strokes while also aiding in job growth.
Carbon aerogel world’s lightest material
Chinese scientists have developed the world’s lightest substance — carbon aerogel — with a density only one sixth of that of the air.Scientists at Zhejiang University produced the solid material which has a density of only 0.16 mg/cubic centimetre, breaking the previous record of the world’s lightest material held by graphite aerogel.The graphite aerogel was developed by German scientists last year with a density of 0.18 mg/cubic centimetre.
Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Detected Evidence of Dark Matter
On 3 April NASA scientists announced the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) placed on the International Space Station (ISS) may have detected the elusive dark matter. The scientists made the announcement after they observed an excess of positrons in the Cosmic Ray Flux, which can be the reason of the presence of elusive dark matter.
100 billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy
Scientists have proposed a new method for finding Earth-like planets in our Milky Way galaxy and they anticipate that their number may be up to a whopping 100 billion.The strategy devised by researchers at The University of Auckland uses a technique called gravitational microlensing, currently used by a Japan-New Zealand collaboration called MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics) at New Zealand’s Mt John Observatory.
German Shipyard Launches World’s Largest Private Yacht
On 5 April A German shipyard has launched “”Azzam”" , the world’s largest private yacht at 590-feet long, which also happens to be among the fastest vessels, costing a whopping USD 609 million.The luxury private vessel ‘Azzam’ – with a beam 68-feet high – overshadows previous longest superyacht, The Eclipse, by 57-feet. Designed  by Nauta Yachts in Italy and constructed by German company Lurssen Yachts, Azzam is almost two football fields long and rivals the size of some cruise ships.It took four years to complete the superyacht from concept to construction.With 94,000 horsepower generated from two gas turbines and two diesel engines, the Azzam can reach speeds of over 55.5kph, which makes it one of the fastest yachts in the world.
New Camera System That Can Captured Images From 1 km Away
In the month of April the team of researchers from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh , developed a New Laser powered Camera System that can take image of any object from a distance of about one kilometer by creating high-resolution 3D images.The technique on which the camera is based is called ‘Time-of-Flight (ToF)’ navigation systems for autonomous vehicles. In this principle of photography, to capture the image of the far away object, a laser beam is bounced on the object and measure the time that is taken by the beam of light to be back to the detector.
India test-fires nuclear capable Agni-II missile
The medium-range, nuclear capable Agni-II missile was successfully test-fired with a strike range of more than 2,000 kms from the Wheeler Island off Odisha coast on 07 April 2013.The trial of the surface-to-surface missile was conducted from a mobile launcher from the Launch Complex-4 of Integrated Test Range (ITR).The 20-metre-long Agni-II is a two-stage, solid-propelled ballistic missile. It has a launch weight of 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of 1,000 kgs over a distance of 2,000 kms.The state-of-the-art Agni-II missile was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) and integrated by the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in Hyderabad.Agni-II is part of the Agni series of missiles developed by DRDO which includes Agni-I with a 700 km range, Agni-III with a 3,000 km range, Agni-IV with 4,000 km range and Agni-V with a more than 5,000 km range.
NASA Approved “TESS” Project
NASA has approved a The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a $200 million mission to search for Earth-size planets orbiting the nearby stars.Led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with seed funding from Google, TESS was one of 11 proposals selected for NASA funding in September 2011, down from the original 22 submitted in February of that year.TESS, along with the Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER), had been selected for launch in 2017.
The project will come into full swing within the next four years.
Pakistan Tests Nuclear-Capable Hatf-IV Missile
Pakistan successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable Hatf-IV ballistic missile on 10 April 2013. The missile has a range of 900 km and it can also hit targets in India. Hatf- IV ballistic missile is also called Shaheen-1.
Indian Astronomer Discovered Blue Super-Giant Star
An Indian scientist Dr. duo Ananda Hota and his Taiwanese colleague Dr. Youichi Ohyama have discovered a blue super-giant star located in the constellation Virgo, far beyond our Milky Way Galaxy. Over 55 million years ago, the star emerged in an extremely wild environment, surrounded by intensely hot plasma (a million degrees centigrade) and amidst raging cyclone winds blowing at four million kilometres per hour.This star is  in small IC 3418 Milky Way Galaxy and it is about 5.5 billion light-years away from Earth.
Astronomers find most Earth-like planets yet
NASA scientists announced on 19 April 2013 that they discovered two earths like plants which are 1200 light years far from earth. NASA discovered the five plants which are rotating around Kepler 62 star using the Kepler Space Telescope.  Two of the five planets orbiting a sun-like star called Kepler-62 are squarely in what astronomers call the habitable zone — not too hot, not too cold and possibly bearing water. These two plants are named as a Kepler-63e and Kepler 62f.
China Tested Self Developed Biofuel Flight
On 24 April China successfully conducted a first test flight powered by self-developed biofuel made mainly from palm oil and recycled cooking oil.An Airbus A320 operated by China Eastern Airlines landed at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport ,after completing an 85-minute journey using aviation biofuel produced by Sinopec, the country’s top oil refiner.The success made China the fourth country after the United States, France and Finland to boast independent production of bio-jet-fuel.

PERSONS IN NEWS
A) APPOINTMENTS
Jonty Rhodes named South African tourism ambassador in India
Former cricketer Jonty Rhodes was named as the brand ambassador of South African Tourism in India.
Chitra Ramkrishna Took Over as NSE chief
On 1 April Chitra Ramkrishna took over as National Stock Exchange (NSE) new Managing Director and CEO .As MD and CEO of the NSE, Ramkrishna succeeds Ravi Narain who would assume the role of non-executive Vice Chairman .She is the first female head of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in its nearly 20-year history of operations as a bourse.
Rakesh Bhatia is Catholic Syrian Bank’s new MD & CEO
Rakesh Bhatia had taken over as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Syrian Bank.He was previously the Global Head of HSBC’s Trade and Receivables Finance Division.
2 Indians selected for Yale fellowship programme
Abhik Sen, Managing Editor, The Economist Group, and Prodyut Bora, State General Secretary of BJP in Assam, have been selected as the two Indian representatives for 2013 Yale World Fellows Program.About 16 people have been selected for the programme.Since 2002, the university has welcomed a group of exemplary mid-career professionals from a wide range of fields and countries for an intensive four-month period of academic enrichment and leadership training.With the selection of Sen and Bora, the total number of Indian fellows stands at 13.
Infosys’ S Gopalakrishnan is the new CII President
S. Gopalakrishnan (Kris), co-founder and executive co-chairman, Infosys Technologies Limited, had been elected as the President of CII for the year 2013-14. He succeeds Mr Adi Godrej as the new President.
S.C. Sinha Appointed as NHRC Member
On 5 April National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief S.C. Sinha has been appointed as a member of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) .S C Sinha, a 1975 batch Haryana cadre officer.He will now get a five year term at NHRC.
Krishna Kumar Natrajan appointed as the New Chief of NASSCOM
Krishnakumar Natarajan, CEO and Director of Mindtree on 8 April 2013 was appointed as the Chairman of Nasscom for the year 2013-14. He succeeded N Chandrasekaran, MD and CEO of TCS, who was the Chairman for the year 2012-13.
First Woman director for IICT
On April 8,Dr. Mannepalli Lakshmi Kantam, had been appointed as Director of the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), the first woman scientist to head any of the 37 laboratories belonging to Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in the country.
Kenyatta sworn in as Kenya’s president
Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as Kenya’s fourth president on 09 April 2013, becoming the second sitting president in the world to be indicted for crimes against humanity and creating a challenge for western governments keen to sustain links with a strategic east African ally.
PJ Kurien elected Chairman of Asian forum of Parliamentarians
On April 11 Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, PJ Kurien  was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the prestigious Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) during the during the 73rd Executive Committee Meeting of AFPPD at Bangkok. He replaced Yasuo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan as the Chairman of AFPPD. PJ Kurien at present is also the Chairman of the Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development.
Five new judges sworn-in
Five new judges to the Andhra Pradesh High Court were sworn-in by acting Chief Justice N.V. Ramana in Hyderabad on 12 April 2013.The new judges who were administered the oath of office and secrecy are: Challa Kodanda Ram, A. Rajasekhar Reddy, P. Naveen Rao, A.V. Sesha Sai and S.V. Bhatt.
Two Judges Sworn in Supreme Court
On 12 April with two more judges sworn in the strength of the Supreme Court has risen to 30.Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir.While Justice Sikri was the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Bobde was the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court. The sanctioned strength of the apex court is 31 judges including the CJI.
Sunil Kumar Takes over as Managing Director of CRIS
On 16 April 2013,Sunil Kumar took over as the Managing Director of Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS).
Shri Asoke Kumar Mukerji appointed as the Permanent Representative of India to the UN
On April 17,Shri Asoke Kumar Mukerji, took charges as the  Ambassador/Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations at New York.
CRPF gets first woman Special DG
On April 18, Senior IPS officer Aruna Bahuguna appointed as the Special Director General of the country’s largest paramilitary force CRPF. This is the first time a woman officer is occupying the second top post in the hierarchy of the force. She is a 1979-batch IPS officer. She was till now serving as the Chairman of the AP police housing corporation. Bahuguna is expected to take charge at the force headquarters in New Delhi within 15 days.
Abdul Hamid elected Bangladesh President uncontested
Abdul Hamid is to be Bangladesh’s 20th president after no other candidate was nominated in the poll to replace President Zilliur Rahman who died on 20 March 2013. Abdul Hamid was elected uncontested as the 20th President of Bangladesh.
Sunil Bharti Mittal Appointed as Vice Chairman of ICC
On 22 April Sunil Bharti Mittal , the Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC),which is  one of the world’s oldest global business organisations.With the appointment as the Vice Chairman of ICC, Mittal became the third business person from India in the history of ICC to be appointed on the ICC Executive Board.
Ajay Devgn, Runa Laila named SAARC ambassadors for HIV/AIDS
Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn, Bangladeshi singer Runa Laila and Oscar-winning Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy have been named as SAARC Goodwill Ambassadors for HIV/AIDS.A  meeting of the selection committee was held recently at the SAARC Secretariat and of the 10 nominations received from the member states, the three celebrities were nominated.
Takehiko Nakao is new ADB President
On 27 April Takehiko Nakao has been unanimously elected president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) by the Board of Governors at New Delhi.He succeeds Haruhiko Kuroda, who resigned in March to take up his assignment as Bank of Japan governor.Nakao assumed office as ADB’s ninth president on 28 April.
Gulzar’s appointment as chancellor elates Assam University
Lyricist-writer and Padma Bhushan awardee, Gulzar has been appointed the new chancellor of Assam University.Established in 1994, the Assam University campus is situated in Dargakona, about 20 km from Silchar.
B)RESIGNS
Kerala minister resigned following domestic violence complaint by wife
Kerala Forest minister K.B.Ganesh Kumar resigned his post on 02 April 2013 due to domestic violence complaint by wife in the local police station.He is only one Congress person in the Congress- UPF Coalition Alliance government in Kerala.
Cyprus Finance Minister Michalis Sarris Resigns
On 3 April Cyprus Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has resigned citing his role as chairman of Laiki Bank, whose failure was a major contributor to the island’s near financial meltdown, as one of the reasons behind his decision.
UP Goverment suspends cabinet minister Raja Ram Pandey
The Uttar Pradesh government on 13 April 2013 removed cabinet minister of Khadi and Gramudyog, Raja Ram Pandey for making sexist comments.Pandey had promised to “build roads as smooth as Hema Malini’s and Madhuri Dixit’s cheeks” besides giving the state’s roads “a facial” while addressing a function in Pratapgarh on 12 April 2013.UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, who is now in charge of 63 ministries, has taken charge of Pandey’s ministry.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad Resigned
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigned on 13 April 2013 after falling out with president Mahmud Abbas. Salam Fayyad was tasked with the role of caretaker for the current government until a new prime minister is appointed.
Supreme Court bids farewell to Justice Aftab Alam
On April 19,the Supreme Court bid farewell to Justice Aftab Alam marking the end of his five and a half year tenure at the Supreme Court. Justice Alam enrolled as an Advocate on March 27, 1973. He practised in the Patna High Court and was designated as Senior Advocate by the Patna High Court on February 1, 1984. He was appointed as Judge of the Patna High Court on July 27, 1990 and was later transferred to the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, where he was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice on June 06, 2007. He assumed office as Supreme Court judge on November 12, 2007.
C)DEATHS
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Oscar winner and novelist, died
Oscar, the Booker Prize winner novelist and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, author of “Heat and Dust” and many other books set in India, died on 03 April 2013.Jhabvala also worked on several movie adaptations with filmmakers James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, winning two Academy Awards for her screenplays for 1985 movie “A Room With a View” and “Howards End” in 1992.Jhabvala was born in Germany but emigrated with her family to Britain during the Nazi regime. She later married an Indian architect and moved to India, where she began to write about her life there.Jhabvala collaborated with Merchant and Ivory on more than 20 movies including “The Remains of the Day” and “Mr. And Mrs. Bridge.”
Bratindra Nath Mukherjee passes away
A Padmashri winner, Professor Bratindra Nath Mukherjee, renowned historian and an expert in epigraphy who deciphered several ancient scripts, died in Kolkata on 04 April 2013.
Britain’s First Female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Died
Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first and still only female prime minister has died on 8 April at London.Thatcher was the Prime Minister of Britain from 1979 to 1990 from Conservative party of Britain and was the first lady to hold the post of Prime Minister.She was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and is the only woman to have held the office. A Soviet journalist called her the “”Iron Lady”", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. “This first volume of Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs book(1993), which encompasses the entirety of her career as Prime Minister.
Test-tube baby pioneer dies
British scientist Robert Edwards, 87, who won the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work in in vitro fertilisation, leading to the birth of the first test- tube baby, died in London on 10 April 2013.He born in Yarkfire in North England on 27 September 1925.Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe both proceeded to achieve in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), resulting in the birth of Louise Brown, the first “test-tube baby”, on 25 July 1978..
Polio Vaccine Developer Koprowski Died
On 11 April Dr Hilary Koprowski , a Polish researcher who developed the first successful oral vaccination for polio died  in Philadelphia. He was 96 years of age.He was a Polish virologist and immunologist and was known for developing the first effective polio vaccine. In 2006, he was conferred with the record 50th grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Justice Chinnappa Reddy dead
Justice O Chinnappa Reddy, one of the  highly respected members of the Indian judiciary, died at his jubilee hills residence in Hyderabad on 13 April 2013. He was born at Gooty in Anantapur district on September 25, 1922.Justice Reddy was appointed as judge of the Supreme Court from January 17, 1978 and continued in the post for about 10 years.He retired on 24 September 1987.After his retirement he became chairman of the Karnataka BC commission.
Playback singer PB Srinivas passes away
Veteran playback singer PB Srinivas who rendered more than 3,000 songs in eight languages died  in Chennai on 14 April 2013.He debuted as a singer with Hindi film Mr. Sampath in 1952. His last song was from the 2010 Tamil film Aayirathil Oruvan.
Ex-CEC, governor VS Rama Devi dead
Former Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh Governor V S Ramadevi, the only woman to head the Election Commission, died in Bangalore on 17 April 2013.Born on March 15, 1934, Ramadevi was the Chief Election Commissioner of India from November 26, 1990 to December 11, 1990. She was the only woman who became the CEC. She was succeeded by T N Seshan.She had served as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh from July 26, 1997 to December 1, 1999 and as the Governor of Karnataka from December 2, 1999 to May 20, 2002.
Dina Thanthi MD Sivanthi Adithan dead
Veteran journalist and managing director of Tamil daily Dina Thanthi B Sivanthi Adithan died in Chennai on 19 April 2013.He was also head of the Indian Olympic Association before Suresh Kalmadi took over and is the former vice president of Olympic Council of Asia. At the time of his death, Sivanthi Adithan was the life president of IOC and president of the Volleyball Federation of India.Sivanthi Adithan was honoured with Padmashree in 2008.
Mathematical Genius Shakuntala Devi Died
On 21 April The ‘human computer’ ‘mental calculator’, mathematics whizard Shakuntala Devi died at Bangalore.Her name was recorded in Guinness Book of World Records for her ability of making calculations at lightning-speed.In the year 1977, she calculated the 23rd root of digit number 201 in just 50 seconds.Some of her books were Puzzles to Puzzle You, Mathablit, Astrology for You, Fun with Numbers and Awaken the Genius in Your Child.
Former England Captain Mike Denness Died
On 19 April Michael Henry Denness, popularly known as Mike Denness, the former England captain died in London.Mike Denness played county cricket for Essex and Kent. He scored over 25000 runs in the first-class career.He was the captain of Kent to six domestic trophies between 1972 and 1976.He was among first few inductees into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.He was also named as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1975.
Former Chief Justice of India J S Verma dead
Former Chief Justice of India J S Verma, who headed the government-appointed committee to frame a tough law to tackle crime against women in the wake of the December Delhi gangrape incident, died  in Gurgaon on 22April 2013.Justice Verma was the 27th Chief Justice of India and served from March 25, 1997 until his retirement on January 18, 1998.He began his legal career in 1955 and became a Judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court in June-1973. He became Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court in June,1986 and also served as Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court from September, 1986 to mid-1989.Justice Verma was also a former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission.He was also the first Chairperson of News Broadcasting Standards Authority.
Veteran violinist Lalgudi Jayaraman died
Celebrated violinist and composer Lalgudi Jayaraman, who carved out a niche for himself in the Carnatic music with his unique style, died in Chennai on 22 April 2013. Jayaraman, who began his music career at the age of 12 as an accompanying artist, later achieved fame as a solo violinist and also had success as a composer in four languages – Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Sanskrit.Considering his contribution to the field of music, he was conferred with several awards including Padma Shri in 1972 and Padma Bhushan in 2001.He was also feted with state Vidhwan of Tamil Nadu and also fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.
Legendary Singer Shamshad Begum Died
On 23 April Legendary singer Shamshad Begum died in Mumbai . She was 94 years of age. She was one of the first few playback singers of the Hindi film industry. She was conferred with the O P Nayyar award for contribution to Hindi film music, in the year 2009.In 2009 again, she was conferred with the third-highest civilian honour of India, Padma Bhushan.
Sripathi Rajeswara Rao dead
Former Telugu Desam Minister Sripathi Rajeswara Rao who founded the All India NTR Fans Association several decades ago, died of kidney ailment at NIMS in Hydearabad on 28 April 2013.
Sailendra Nath Roy died  In Zip-Line Ponytail Stunt
Sailendra Nath Roy, a 49-year-old police officer, was attempting to cross the River Teesta in the state of West Bengal on 28 April 2013 on a 180m (594ft) wire above the water.After attaching his shoulder-length hair to a pulley on the wire, Mr Roy had completed around half the distance but then became entangled and found himself unable to move.After sometime he dead. Mr Roy achieved the Guinness World Record after covering 82.5m (271ft) on a zip-line while attached by his hair in 2011 at the Neemrana Fort, a heritage hotel in the desert state of Rajasthan.
Nuthakki Bhanu Prasad Passes away
On 29 April 2013 the Scientist, Padma Shri award recipient died in Hyderabad.He got Padma shri award in 1959 for his Contribution  in field of India’s Atomic reactor.The Petrotech 2003 Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Padmashri Dr. Nuthakki Bhanu Prasad for his contribution to India’s Upstream Petroleum Industry.He is also worked as a Chairman of ONGC.
D)VISITORS
Indian PM schedules UAE visit in August
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will pay a “stand Alone visit” to the United Arab Emirates in early August, the first by an Indian prime minister to the Gulf nation since Indira Gandhi visited nearly three decades ago.
PM Manmohan Singh leaves for Germany on a three-day visit
On April 10, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had left India on a three-day official visit to Germany, where he will co-chair inter – governmental consultations and witness the signing of a series of agreements on education, science and technology and renewable energy.The PM is leading a high-level delegation to Berlin that includes five cabinet ministers: Salman Khurshid (external affairs), Anand Sharma (commerce), Farooq Abdullah (renewable energy), MM Pallam Raju (human resource development) and S Jaipal Reddy (science and technology).
Prime Minister of India Visited Germany: Important Documents Signed
Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh visited Germany from 10 April 2013 to 12 April 2013 for participating in second round of Inter Governmental Consultations with Germany.
During his visit, certain documents were signed. These documents are as follows:
1.Joint Declaration of Intent regarding promotion of German as a foreign language in India
2.Intergovernmental MoU between India & Germany on Cooperation in the field of Higher Education
3.Joint Declaration of Intent on Indo-German cooperation in the area of Civil Security Research
4.Joint Declaration for the bilateral “”Kooperations Program” of the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection and the National Seeds Association of India and the German Association of Plant Breeders
5.Joint Declaration of Intent on the Establishment of an Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure for Cooperation in Standardisation, Conformity Assessment and Product Safety
6.Joint Declaration of Intent on Indo-German Development Cooperation regarding the Establishment of Green Energy Corridors
Vice President Hamid Ansari Visited Tajakistan
The Vice-President of India, Hamid Ansari visited Tajikistan from 14 April to 17 April 2013.During the visit he was accompanied by a high-level delegation that included Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries and four Members of Parliament.On 15 April , the Vice President met the President  Emomalii Rahmon and Oqil Oqilov the Prime Minister of Tajikistan.
E)MISCELLANEOUS
Down’s syndrome boy sets Everest record
A 15-YEAR-OLD American had become the first teenager with Down’s syndrome to reach Everest Base Camp, according to his father, in an attempt to inspire different attitudes towards disabilities.Eli Reimer, from Oregon, reached the 5364-metres high camp in Nepal’s Himalayan mountains in mid-March after 10 days of trekking.Tom Whittaker, a British mountaineer, became the first person with a disability to summit the peak in 1998 after a car crash almost two decades earlier had forced him to have his foot amputated.
Abhilash Tomy Becomes First Indian To Sail Round The World
Indian Navy’s Lt Cdr Abhilash Tomy became the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe, solo and non-stop, over a 150-day voyage.He was addressed a function after welcoming Lt Cdr Abhilash Tomy whose boat INSV Mhadei reached the Gateway of India after commencing its historic journey from the same spot on November 1 last year.He has sailed around 23,100 nautical miles, crossing the Indian, Southern, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.Lt Cmdr Abhilash Tomy is the first Indian and the second Asian to do so. Lt Cdr Tomy, a maritime pilot, switched off his boat’s engine soon after leaving Mumbai harbour and switched it on again on 6 April to get the boat alongside the Gateway of India.
K Vishwanath Name in Limca Book Of Records
Legendary director K.Vishwanath is the only Telugu person in the ‘Person of the year – 2013 announced by the famous Limca books of Records. This list which contained several other prominent names like Mani Ratnam, Kamal Haasan, Santosh Sivan, Prabhu Deva, Sreekar Prasad and Naseeruddin Shah was released on the occasion of Indian cinema completing 100 years. Tabu, Vidya Balan, Shabana Azmi, Kajol and Ranbir Kapoor are also on this list.
Nepali TV Anchor Made Guinness(World) Record for Longest Talk Show
A TV anchor in Nepal set a world record of longest television talk show by staying on air for 62 hours and 12 minutes.The 36 years old Rabi Lamichhane lived in America and came back to Nepal after hosting the program ‘Lord Buddha Was Born in Nepal’.Lamichhane broke the world record of Pavlo Kuzheyew and Tetiana Danylenko of 22 hours. They made that record in 2011 at the Independence Day anniversary of Ukraine.  According to the rules of Guinness World Record Lamichhane got the break of five minutes after every hour.
Mahatma Gandhi figured among the Top Three Leaders of the World
As per the 16th Annual Global CEO survey, Mahatma Gandhi figured among the top three most admired leaders of the world.In this list Winston Churchill , Steve Jobs(Co-founder of Apple)  and Mahatma Gandhi got the first,second and third places respectively .
Egypt PM sentenced to one-year jail
On April 17,Egypt’s Misdemeanor Dokki Court sentenced  Prime Minister Hesham Qandil to one year in prison and ordered his removal from job, accusing him of failing to implement a verdict to return a privatised company to the state.
Chidambaram, Aamir in Time’s 100 most influential global list
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and actor Aamir Khan have been named by Time magazine among the 100 most influential people in the world in its annual list of global achievers that also includes teenaged Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and US President Barack Obama.
pakistan former president musharraf arrested
The Islamabad High Court on 18 April 2013 ordered Musharraf’s arrest for detaining senior judges when he imposed emergency rule in 2007.So, Pakistani police arrested Musharraf on 19 April 2013.
Gates’ foundation to put $1.8bn to eradicate polio
Bill Gates announced in Abu Dhabi on 25 April 2013 his foundation will contribute $1.8 billion to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a third of the total funds needed. He announced this contribution  in Global Vaccine summit in Abu Dhabi.
8 killed as bomb targets Syria’s prime minister
Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halki survived a bomb attack on his convoy in Damascus on 29 April 2013.8 members(including PM’s car driver and Personal security) are killed in the blast.

PLACES  IN  NEWS
7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Indonesia
A powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the Papua province in Indonesia on 06 April 2013.But there was no damage or injuries. It occurred in a north east to Capital of Papua province, about 75 kilometers (46 miles) in depth.
A Powerful earthquake in Iran
On April 9, A powerful earthquake was strucked close to Iran’s only nuclear power station, killing at least 37 people and injuring 850 as it destroyed homes and devastated two small villages.Its epicentre was 89 km south-east of the port of Bushehr.The magnitude of the earthquake on Richter scale is 6.3.
Strong earthquake hits Japan
A strong earthquake estimated at magnitude 6.3 strucked the  western Japan, on 13 April 2013.In this event 23 people were injured in that 7 are serious.The earthquake was centered on Awaji Island, just south of Kobe, at a depth of 15 kilometres.The quake was in the area where a magnitude-7.2 temblor killed more than 6,400 people in 1995.
Musharraf disqualified from parliamentary polls
Courts in Pakistan have disqualified former president Pervez Musharraf for contesting parliamentary elections for suspending the constitution and imposing emergency in 2007 during his rule.
Earthquake of Magnitude 7.8 Jolted Iran and Pakistan
Earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale struck on 16 April 2013 in Iran killed more than 40 people leaving behind several injured. Epicenter of the quake was near Pakistan-Iran Border in the southeastern city of Khash. The tremors of the quake were felt across India, Middle East and Pakistan.
Fertiliser plant explosion in the US
On April 18, massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the Town of West, in Central Texas. It is 120km far from Dallas town in the Texas state. In this explosion 15 were died and 200 people were injured
Delhi gets “Dildaar Delhi” tagline
Delhi got its own tagline “Dildaar Delhi”. Penned by Amit Anand, a cashier in a small confectionery shop in Keshavpuram, the tagline was selected out of 12,000 entries of a competition organized by Delhi government and Delhi Tourism department.
German Bakery blast: Himayat Beg sentenced to death
On April 18, a Pune court sentenced Indian Mujahideen operative Mirza Himayat Inayat Baig to death in the German Bakery bomb blast case.The terror attack on the popular pune joint had killed 17 people and injured 64 in February 2010. On 15 April 2013, Pune sessions court special judge NP Dhote had held Baig guilty in the case.
China hit by strong earthquake
On 20 April ,China was hit by strong earthquake and killed at least 157 people and injured more than 5,700.The magnitude 7.0 quake hit a remote mountainous area of southwestern China’s Sichuan province at 8:02 a.m. (0002 GMT), close to where an earthquake killed almost 70,000 people in 2008.The quake struck in Lushan county, near the city of Ya’an, at a depth of 12 km (7.5 miles)

ABBREVIATIONS
CII            —-        Confederation of Indian Industry
MSME            —-        Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises
SCO            —-        Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
AMS            —-        Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer
ICSI            —-        Institute of Company Secretaries of India
TESS            —-        Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
WIPO            —-        World Intellectual Property Organisation

BOOKS IN NEWS 
Vice President Released Book titled Religion, Law & Society-Across the Globe
On 12 April 2013,The Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari  released a book titled Religion, Law & Society – Across the Globe. The book is authored by Prof. Tahir Mahmood.

COMMITTEES
Uday Kumar Committee To Act as Single Window Clearance for Film Projects
On 15 April the Government of India announced creation of an inter-ministerial panel that will work as a ‘single window’ clearance system for international and domestic film projects.The committee will be headed by I&B Secretary Uday Kumar Varma .The constitution of the committee is expected to mainstream a proactive mechanism and coordination process of granting permissions through a single window provision. Apart from the I&B secretary, the committee will have joint secretaries from the ministries of I&B, Home Affairs, Tourism, External Affairs, Culture, Railways, Aviation and Defence on board.

IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES
World Health Day was Celebrated on 7th April
World Health Day is celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO).
National Safe Motherhood Day Observed across the Country
National Safe Motherhood day was observed across India on 11 April 2013 to create awareness on proper healthcare and maternity facilities to pregnant and lactating women.
Source: Hindustan Times