March, 2013

Pandit Hridaynath Lifetime Achievement Award

Popular singer Ms. Asha Bhosle is conferred the Pandit Hridaynath Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the domain of music.

Serena and Andy Murray wins the title at WTA Miami Open Tennis championship

Serena Williams of USA wins the title at the WTA Miami Open tennis championship, beating Maria Sharapova of Russia in the final in Miami, USA. It is the 48th title of her glittering career.
Andy Murray of Britain beating David Ferrer of Spain in the final in Miami, USA.

North Korea warning to the world community

North Korea issues a pointed warning to the world community, saying that nuclear weapons are the “nation’s life” and will not be traded even for “billions of dollars”.

Jantantra Yatra from the historic Jallianwala Bagh

Launching his Jantantra Yatra from the historic Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar (Punjab), anti-corruption crusader Mr. Anna Hazare announces that a Jan Sansad (People’s Parliament) will be held in New Delhi in about five months” time.

Kenya’s Supreme Court upholds the election of Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenya’s Supreme Court upholds the election of Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta as the country’s President, bringing to an end an election process that riveted the nation amid fears of a repeat of the 2007-08 post-election violence. In the election, Mr. Kenyatta defeats incumbent Prime Minister Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai.

Special ceremony on President’s Body Guard

Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee presents “Silver Trumpet” and “Trumpet Banner” to the President’s Body Guard during a special ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. A ceremonial practice that has been in place since 1923, the presentation is held only once during a President’s tenure.

T.N. act centre to stop friendly relation with Sri Lanka

The Centre rejects the Tamil Nadu Assembly resolution that asked India to stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly nation and to slap sanctions on the island country in the wake of the atrocities committed against Tamils there.

ODI series drawn between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

Bangladesh beat hosts Sri Lanka by three wickets in the third and final ODI in Pallekele, levelling the series at 1-1.

Thailand govt. and Muslim separatist leaders start peace talk

The Thailand Government and Muslim separatist leaders start peace talks. The talks are aimed at ending almost a decade of unrest in the country’s far south.

New figures reveal India’s CAD

The new figures reveal that India’s current account deficit (CAD) widened to a record high of 6.7 percent of GDP in the October-December quarter of the 2012-13 fiscal. The rise in CAD (the difference between the inflow and outflow of foreign capital) during the quarter was driven by a large trade-deficit.

5th Summit of BRICS countries

The 5th Summit of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) wraps up in Durban, South Africa, Brazil’s President Ms. Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping and South African President Mr. Jacob Zuma take part at the summit. At the Summit, the decision to set up a BRICS development bank is reached. Exports say that the bank, which will mainly focus on infrastructure financing, would liberate the BRICS nations from the total dependency on the US dollar.

ISRO successfully conducts an ignition test

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully conducts an ignition test of an indigenous cryogenic engine, in conditions simulating the high-altitude atmosphere. The test boosts the prospects of success of the GSLV-D5 launch to be carried out in July 2013.

Arab League summit in Qatar

Syrian opposition representatives take the country’s seat for the first time at an Arab League summit held in Qatar. It comes as a substantial diplomatic boost for the forces fighting the Syrian regime led by President Mr. Bashar al-Assad.

INS Kiltan is launched

The third anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvertte named INS Kiltan is launched in Kolkata. The corvette has been designed under the ambitious Project-28 (P-28) by the Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design.

Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia’s joint venture

Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia’s joint venture with the Tatas and Telstra group for a domestic airline moves a step closer to take-off, with the Centre according the formal goahead to the proposal.

Miss India 2013

Ms. Navneet Kaur Dhillon (20) from Patiala is crowned Miss India 2013 at the pageant held in Mumbai. Ms. Sobhita Dhulipala (20) from Visakhapatnam and Ms. Zoya Afroz (18) from Lucknow are adjudged the first and the second runner-up, respectively.

Cyprus will be infused with a 10-billion euro rescue fund

Eurozone member Cyptus reaches a last-minute deal with international lenders, which will help it avoid a dreaded financial meltdown. Under the deal, the troubled economy of Cyprus will be infused with a 10-billion euro rescue fund.

Test Series drawn between New Zealand and England

The Third Test between hosts New Zealand and England ends in a draw in Auckland. With this, the three-match series ends in a 1-1 draw.

South Africa win ODI series against Pakistan

Hosts South Africa beat Pakistan by six wickets in the fifth and final ODI in Benoni, thus taking the series 3-2.

India sweep the series against Australia

Hosts India beat Australia by six wickets in the fourth and final Test in New Delhi, thereby sweeping the series 4-0. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is named the Man of the Match while off-spinner R. Ashwin is adjudged the Man of the Series. This is the first time that India clinch a Test series 4-0.Malaysian Grand Prix Formula One title win Sepastian Vettel.German world champion Sebastian Vettel of Team Red Bull wins the Malaysian Grand Prix Formula One title in Sepang, Malaysia. His Australian teammate Mark Webber finishes second.

Musharraf returns in Pakistan after four years

Former military ruler Gen. (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf returns to Pakistan after four years of self-imposed exile in Dubai and London.

Maylana Syed President of AIMPLB

Maulana Syed Raabe Hasani Nadvi is elected unopposed as the President of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) for the fifth consecutive term.

Part on nuclear reactor – China

Reports reveal that China has entered into a pact for constructing a third nuclear reactor at Chashma, Pakistan. The international community, including the US, says that China’s move violates its promises under a global anti-nuclear weapons accord.

Current account defecit (CAD)

In a bid to bridge the widening current account deficit (CAD), which can be financed only through larger foreign inflows, Union Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram announces the rationalisation of FII (Foreign Institutional Investors) investment norms in both corporate and government bonds. Rationalisation will essentially mean doing away with the sub-limits in each of the segments open to FII investment and bunching them into two broad categories to attract more foreign inflows.

Successfully used gene disruption technique to change the eye colour of a mosquito

Researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA, announce that they have successfully used gene disruption technique to change the eye colour of a mosquito – a critical step toward new genetic strategies aimed at disrupting the transmission of diseases like dengue fever.

West Indies sweep the test series against Zimbabwe

Hosts West Indies beat Zimbabwe by an innings and 65 runs in the second and final Test of the series in Reseau, sweeping the series 2-0.

Russia and China agree to expand cooperation

Russia and China agree to expand cooperation in the energy sector and boost bilateral trade to $150 billion in coming years. The announcement about the agreement is made by Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Mr. Xi Jinping, during the latter’s Russia visit.

Emerging economic powerhouses

A study published by the Oxford University reveals that India may be one of the emerging economic powerhouses, but when it comes to poverty reduction the country lags significantly behind even its poor neighbours.

Govt. appointed panel, headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna

A government appointed panel, headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna, recommends the setting up of a super regulator body, merging oversight functions of market commodity, insurance and pension regulators, while leaving the banking business regulation under the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

European Central Bank warns Cyprus Bank

The European Central Bank warns that it is ready to pull the plug on emergency funding for Cyprus banks as its bnaking sector risks being thrown out of Eurozone.

Growing demand for oil and coal

According to a report, Indian conglomerates make 72 acquisitions abroad worth $11 billion in 2012. The new deals are driven largely by the need to satisfy India’s swelling consumer class and growing demand for oil and coal.

Abel Prize 2013

Belgian mathematician Mr. Pierre Deligne is chosen for the prestigious Abel Prize in Mathematics for 2013. He is awarded for his contribution to algebraic geometry.

Brah-Mos successfully the maiden flight of the submarine

The maiden flight of the submarine variant of the Indo-Russia Supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos, is successful. It marks a global first in the vertical launch of a supersonic cruise missile from a pontoon in the Bay of Bengal.

Sri Lanka clinch the series against Bangladesh

Sri Lanka clinch the series against Bangladesh with a seven wicket win in the second and final Test in Galle, Sri Lanka.

Five-point proposal introduce China new president

China’s new President Mr. Xi Jinping details five-point proposal to improve ties with India initiating cooperation in infrastructure and cultural ties.

India-Egypt agree to intensify their defence relationship

In a summit meeting between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Egyptian President Mr. Mohamed Morsy, both the countries agree to intensify their defence relationship. The two sides sign seven pacts intended to be the building blocks for a robust relationship in future.

Saraswati Samman 2012

Malayalam poetess Sugathakumari is chosen for the Saraswati Samman 2012 for her poetry collection Manalezhutbu (The Writing on the Sand).

60th National Film Award

The 60th National Film Awards are presented in New Delhi. Prominent winners are – Best Film : Paan Singh Tomar,  Best Actor : Irrfan Khan (Paan Singh Tomar)  and Vikram Gokhale (Anumati); Best Director: Tignanshu Dhulia (Paan Singh Tomar); Best Actress : Usha Jadhav (Marathi movie Dhag); Best Popular Film : Vicky Donor (Hindi) and Ustad Hotel Malayalam), etc. among others.

Rafael Nadal win Indian Wells ATP Masters title

Rafael Nadal of Spain beats juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to win his third Indian Wells ATP Masters title.

China the world’s fifth largest weapon exporter

China becomes the world’s fifth largest weapon exporter after the US, Russia, Germany and France. It accounts for five percent of global arms sales.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry constitutes a new committee

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry constitutes a new committee headed by economist Mr. Vijay Kelkar to put in place a policy on energy security and prepare a roadmap for enhancing domestic oil and gas production to reduce dependence on exports by 2030.

Approval of Anti-rape Bill

The Union Cabinet gives its approval to a diluted version of Anti-rape Bill dealing with sexual crimes against women.

Australia win the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey cup

Australia win the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia. In the final, they beat Malaysia 3-2. It is Australia’s seventh title at the tournament. India finish fifth, beating Pakistan in the play-off.

Reforms and tackling deeprooted corruption

China’s new Premier Mr. Li Keqiang on beginning his 10-year term issues a warning on the challenges faced by the Communist Party in pushing forward reforms and tackling deeprooted corruption. He describes the initial measures as the start of a “self-imposed revolution” to reduce bureaucracy and “curb government power”, to enable a greater role for the market and social forces.

Public Distribution System as recommended by the Parlimentary Committy

The Union Government decides to cut the entitlment of a beneficiary to subsidised grain from 7 kg a month to 5 kg under the public Distribution System, as recommended by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Food.

Shikhar Dhawan creates history by scoring the quicker hundred

Team India opener Shikhar Dhawan creates history by scoring the quickest hundred by a debutant (off 85 balls) in the course of his fine innings of 187 in the third Test against Australia at Mohali.

PPP led coalition govt. complete a full five-year term

Pakistan Peoples Party-led coalition government completes a full five-year term – a first in the 66 years of the nation’s existence.

Women’s rights against violance

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) announces the “historic” accord at the UN headquarters in New York for women’s rights stating that violence against women could not be justified by any custom, tradition or religious consideration.

Economic gains besides improving farms

A recent survey done by the National Council for Applied Economic Research finds that remote sensing has dramatically touched lives and yielded vast economic gain besides improving farm, fishing productivity and saving lives from cyclones.

First Asian Archery Grand Prix

The Indian men’s compound team win a Gold medal while the recurve trio bags a Bronze medal at the Asian Archery Grand Prix held in Bangkok, Thailand.
Indian archers win eight medals including two gold at the first Asian Archery Grand Prix that concludes in Bangkok, Thailand Both the Gold medals won for India are in the Compound division, through Chittibomma Jignas in the men’s individual event, and the team competition.

New Prime Minister of China

Mr. Li Keqiang, second ranked Politburo Standing Committee member of China’s Communist Party, is appointed as Prime Minister of China.

Xi Jimping is appointed as President of China

The Communist Party of China’s new leader Mr. Xi Jinping is appointed as President of China.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio new leader of Roman Catholic Church

Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina is elected as the new leader of Roman Catholic Church. He is the first Jesuit to become Pope. He is also the first from the Americas to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

Human Development Report

The Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for 2013 puts India’s HDI value for the last year at 0.554 and ranks it at 136th place among 187 countries.

World’s most powerful telescope

World’s most powerful telescope, ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/Sub Millimeter Array) with a vision 10 times sharper than that of the Hubble Space Telescope, becomes operational in Chile.

West Zone win Deodhar Trophy

Defending champion West Zone win the Prof. D.B. Deodhar Trophy for the 12th time making light of the North Zone’s challenge at the Nehru Stadium Guwahati.

WTO – ITA not to join negotiations

Some World Trade Organisation (WTO) members including India, who are part of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) group, decide not to join negotiations on broadening the scope of the ITA-citing protection of national interest.

World Bank President visit to India

World Bank President Mr. Jim Yong Kim concludes his three-day India visit. He indicates an assured annual funding of $3-5 billion for India for the next four years to push development projects and poverty eradication programmes.

IAEA Director General visit to India

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mr. Yukiya Amano on his second visit to India praises Indian civil nuclear programme as well as the country’s tightening of laws to check nuclear proliferation in New Delhi.

World Sports Award – Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis

Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt wins the World Sportsman of the Year Award for the third time and British athletics queen Jessica Ennis wins the World Sports woman of the Year Award, at the Laureus World Sports Award ceremony in Rio de Janeriro.

Top political advisory of China

The Communist Party of China elevates the role of the 11th Panchen Lama on a top political advisory body to make greater political contributions.

IIP released by CSO

Official data on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reveal that the overall industrial growth in January 2013 has been more than double as compated to an expansion of one percent witnessed in the same month in 2012. As a result, the cumulative IIP growth for the April-January period of 2012-13 fiscal stands pegged at one percent, down from 3.4 percent during the same period of the previous fiscal.

New Black Box-like device for cars that warns drivers

Scientists in England say that they have come up with a new black box-like device for cars that warns drivers of a breakdown in advance. When there is about to be a breakdown in the car’s systems, the driver will receive a phone call, text message or e-mail telling him/her that there is a fault with the car.

First Bangladeshi batsman to hit a double century

Mushfiqur Rahim creates history by becoming the first Bangladeshi batsman to hit a double century (200) at Galle, Sri Lanka during the first Test Match against Sri Lanka.

Asian cycling championship

South Korea top the medals tally with 26 medals (12 Gold, 7 Silver and 7 Bronze) followed by Malaysia with 16 medals (7 Gold, 3 Silver and 6 Bronze) in the Asian cycling championship in New Delhi. India with four medals (2 Silver and 2 Bronze) finish ninth.

Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project

The final phase of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project is launched in the Iranian port city of Chabahar ignoring the United States warning. The 900-km-lon Iran leg of the pipeline has already been constructed.

Exports grew by 4.25%

The Commerce Ministry reveals that exports grew by 4.25 percent to $26.26 billion in February, 2013.

Widening trade deficit

According to RBI, India’s Current Account Deficit (CAD) as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) rises to an all-time high of 5.4 percent in the second quarter of the 2012-13 fiscal on account of widening of trade deficit and slower growth in invisibles.

Cheetah robot

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, unveil a ‘cheetah’ robot which may soon outpace the real animal in running efficiency. The robot – about the size and weight of the real cheetah – wastes very little energy as it trots for upto an hour and a half 8 kmph. The key to the robot’s streamlined stride is its light-weight electric motors.

Denmark creates history by All England Open Badminton singles winner

Tine Baun of Denmark creates history by becoming the oldest All England Open Badminton singles winner of the open era to beat Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the final at Birmingham, England, Chen Long of China wins the men’s singles title, defeating Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the final.

China’s new leadership

China’s new leadership unveils the most significant government restructuring plan in more than a decade to reduce the government’s role and promote non-governmental and market forces.

Allahabad Maha Kumbh Mela

Around 60 lakh pilgrims converge at the Sangam, Allahabad for one last holy dip on the concluding day of the Maha Kumbh Mela, held every 12 years.

Saina Nehwal loses AEOBC semifinal

Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal loses to World No. 8 Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the All England Open Badminton championship women’s singles semifinal in Birmingham, England.

Uhuru Kenyatta wins Kenya’s presidency

Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta wins Kenya’s presidency with 50 percent of the vote, thereby narrowly avoiding a run-off.

Pakistan Premier Raja Pervez visit in Ajmer

Pakistan Premier Mr. Raja Pervez Ashraf pays obeisance at the historic dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer during his private India visit.

New Governor appointment of Nagaland, Odisha

Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee appoints former CBI Director Mr. Ashwani Kumar and senior Congress leader Mr. S.C. Jamir as Governors of Nagaland and Odisha, respectively.

Indian export to China falls

According to new figures released by China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) Indian exports to China falls by 30 percent in February, 2013.

First Women’s Government Medical College

United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi inaugurates first women’s Government Medical College of independent India at Khanpur Kalan in Sonepat, Haryana.

Gigantic flood on Mars

NASA scientists announce the discovery of evidence of “gigantic floods” on Mars that carved deep channels into the planet. The channels lie in Elysium Planitia, an expanse of plains along the Martian equator and the youngest volcanic region on the planet.

First Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony

Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar is honoured posthumously with the first Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony.

UN Security Council approves a new regime of sanctions against North Korea

The UN Security Council approves a new regime of sanctions against North Korea for conducting a nuclear test in February 2013, imposing new penalties on the country’s banking, travel and trade. The resolution, drafted by the US and China, is passed unanimously by a 15-0 margin in voting.

Union cabinet approves Bill for service delivery system

The Union Cabinet approves a Bill to promote transparency and account-ability in the government’s service delivery systems for its citizens. These services include delivery of passport, birth or death certificate, driving licence, and the like.

Canadian scientists unveil a pacemaker

In a first of its kind breakthrough, Canadian scientists unveil a pacemaker. Style device for severely anorexic patients. The technique – called deep brain stimulation (DBS) – requires the device to be implanted into the brain. It greatly improves the patients’ mood, weight and the desire to eat.

Venezuelan President passes away

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a charismatic and hugely influential socialist leader, passes away at the age of 58. He had been suffering from cancer for the past two years.

RBI raise fund through the ECB

The RBI allows companies which are under investigation by assorted law enforcing authorites to raise funds through the ECB window under the automatic route.

Woman of Courage award

The December 2012 Delhi gangrape victim, named Nirbhaya, Amanat, Damini, et al, is chosen for a posthumous “Woman of Courage” award by the US.

52,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme.

China increase defence budget 10.7%
China announces that it will increase its annual defence budget by 10.7 percent to 720.168 billion yuan ($115.7 billion). Alongside, the budget for public security spending is also hiked by 8.7 percent.

CAG report – many ineligible farmers were favoured

The Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG), in a report, points out that many ineligible farmers were favoured and a large number of deserving small farmers left out of the UPA Government’s much-touted

President receives Liberation War Honour

Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee receives Bangladesh’s “Liberation War Honour” at a grand ceremony in Dhaka.

Senior Women’s wrestling World Cup

India finish fifth in the senior women’s wrestling World Cup in Mongolia. China win the Gold while Mongolia settle for the Silver.

HIV/AIDS infected child during birth

In a medical breakthrough, an HIV/AIDS-infected child in the US is “functionally cured” after being exposed to the deadly virus during birth.

“Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors 2010 Study”

The “Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors 2010 Study” reveals that life expectancy at birth in India, which was 58.3 years in 1990, has gone up to 65.2 years in 2010.

Spinal cord implant

Scientists in the UK claim to have developed a revolutionary spinal cord implant that allows cripple people to walk again. The technique involves implanting wires near the spinal cord, linked to a generator. This gives off high-frequency electrical impulses, which the patient does not feel.

Servicess successfully wins Santhosh Trophy football title

Services successfully defined their Santosh Trophy football title, beating Kerala 4-3 (tie-breaker) in the final of the 2013 edition in Kochi, Kerala.

US Support Egyptian President

The US offers support for Egyptian President Mr. Mohamed Morsy, provided Egypt falls in line and follows the tough economic prescriptions as asked by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee three-day visit in Bangladesh

Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee kicks off his three-day Bangladesh visit. During his talks with Bangladesh Prime Minister Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Mr. Mukherjee says that India is committed to seeking an early resolution on the sharing of the waters of the river Teesta and the long-pending land boundary issue.

India-Bangladesh conduct Sampriti-III special forces exercise

India and Bangladesh conduct Sampriti-III, a joint special forces exercise, in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

Spending cuts descend – US economy

With the Democrats and the republicans failing to hammer out a bargain, self-imposed massive spending cuts descend  upon the US economy. The government falls short of putting in place an alternative deficit reduction plan to the $85 billion sequester, which will now generate across-the board cuts affecting everything from military  expenditure to school and hospital service.

Gross market borrowings

The Finance Ministry reveals that the Central Government’s gross market borrowing for 2013-14 is pegged at 5.79 lakh crore.