April, 2013

Arab League agrees with on land swaps

The Arab League agrees to accept an arrangement which will allow Israelis and Palestinians to go ahead with land swaps to resolve their differences. This will be a marked departure from the current mindset of strictly stricking to the pre-1967-war positions. The 22-nation Arab League agrees to the land swap proposal following a meeting with US Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry in Washington, USA.

Japan and Russia announce that they will revive talks

Japan and Russia announce that they will revive talks on ending a long-standing territorial dispute. The announcement is made during visiting Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe’s talks with Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Besides, wary of China’s growing global influence, the two sides agree to shore up bilateral trade ties. As many as 20 economic cooperation agreements are signed between the two sides during Mr. Abe’s visit.

Myanmar displaced deadly religious unrest

A commission set up by the Government of Myanmar says that the Rohingya Muslims, displaced by deadly religious unrest in the country’s western State of Rakhine, are in need of urgent help. The commission’s report recommends flooding the area with troops to stem further conflict.

Infiltrating Chinse troops

The India-China standoff at Ladakh drags on, with infiltrating Chinese troops erecting another rent in the Daulat Beg Oldi sector in J&K.

India Open badminton championship

World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia wins the men’s singles title at the India Open badminton championship which ends in New Delhi, beating Kenichi Tago of Japan in the final. The women’s singles title is clinched by rising Thai star Ratchanok Intanon, who beats Julianc Schenk of Germany in the final.

CHOGM sheduled to be held in Colombo in Nov. 2013

The Commonwealth rules out any change in the venue of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), scheduled to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 2013, depite objections from several member countries who protested against Sri Lanka’s human rights records.

Iceland’s Pirate Party, a file-sharing activist

Iceland’s Pirate Party, a file-sharing activist movement, becomes the first of its kind in the world to win seats to a national parliament.

An India-Saudi Arabia joint working group

An India-Saudi Arabia joint working group is formed to help minimise the fallout of the Kingdom’s Nitaqat policy on Indians. Indian workers have been hit by the policy, which reserves a certain percentage of the total workforce in commercial establishments for Saudi nationals.

Gallantry awards 2013

Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee gives away the Gallantry Awards in New Delhi. Major Anup Joseph Manjali is honoured with the Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry award, for killing foreign militants in J & K.

India’s decade-long quest for a bigger slice of the hydrocarbons pie

India’s decade-long quest for a bigger slice of the hydrocarbons pie in central Asia gets a boost, thanks to a positive response from Kazakh President Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev at his meeting with visiting External Affairs Minister Mr. Salman Khurshid.

17th Federation Cup athletics championship – ONGC champion

The 17th Federation Cup athletics championship ends in Patiala, Punjab. ONGC claim the overall championship, with Kerala finishing second.

Serbia president apologies on good Serbrenica’s massacre

Serbia’s nationalist President Mr. Tomislav Nikolic formally apologies on behalf of his country for the infamous 1995 Srebrenica massacre. About 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in Srebrenica by Serbian forces during the Bosnian War in what was the worst mass killing on European soil since World War II.

Reports released by Google reveal

Reports released by Google reveal that India nearly doubled its requests to the Internet search giant for removal of content in the second half of 2012 as compared to the first six months. Google says that it complied with some, but not all, of India’s requests.

Southeast Asian nations step up efforts to engage China in talks

Southeast Asian nations step up efforts to engage China in talks to resolve maritime tensions, with Thailand calling on the region’s Foreign Ministers to agree to a common stance on the South China Sea.

Rangarajan committee’s gas pricing formula rejects

The Finance Ministry rejects the natural gas pricing formula suggested by the Rangarajan Committee, and instead suggests an alternative formula based on wellhead prices charged by suppliers in Oman, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Malaysia for long-term contracts.

New Prime Minister of Italy

Ending two months of political paralysis, Mr. Enrico Letta is appointed Prime Minister-designate of Italy.

FDI norms liberalised

In the first such deal after FDI norms were liberalised for the airline industry (September 2012), Indian carrier Jet Airways agrees to sell a 24 percent stake to Etihad Airways of UAE at a cost of   2058 crore ($379 million).

WI batsman Gayle fastest century in any format of the game

West Indies’ batsman Chris Gayle of Royal Challengers Bangalore smashes an unbeaten 175 off 66 balls in a match of IPL-6 in Bengaluru, helping his team thrash Pune Warriors by a record 130-run margin. In the course of his marauding innings, he scores the fastest century (off 30 balls) in any format of the game. He also belts 17 sixes, thus becoming the first cricketer to score over hundred runs in sixes alone.

CAG report unearths serious lapses in the implementation of the MGNREGS

A Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) report uneartsh serious lapses in the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). The CAG finds a significant decline in the per rural household employment generation, from 54 days in 2009-10 to 43 days in 2011-12. Besides, the report also underlines many cases of misappropriation of funds.

India boys championship

India’s Amit Dhankhar wins the Gold medal in 66 kg freestyle at the Asian Wrestline Championship in New Delhi. India win a total haul of nine medals (two Gold, a Silver and six Bronze) at the championship. The hosts also clinch the overall championship in freestyle.

Serbian Govt. approves a landmark agreement

The Serbian Government approves a landmark agreement to normalise relations with breakway Kosovo, which was once one of the provinces of Serbia.

EU Foreign Ministers agree of bloc’s trade

European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers agree to lift the last of the bloc’s trade, economic and individual sanctions against Myanmar, hailing “a new chapeter” with the once-embargoed state.

China rejects reports

China rejects reports in India that its troops had set up a tented post on Indian territory nearby Daulat Beg Oldi advanced landing ground in Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir.

Monte Carlo Masters tennis – Djokovic champion

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia wins the title at the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament in Monte Carlo, beating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the final.

Bahrain Grand Prix Formula One championship

Reigning world champion German racer Sebastian Vettel of Team Red Bull wins the Bahrain Grand Prix Formula One championship in Manama, Bahrain, Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus finishes second.

Shakuntala Devi solved complex mathematical

Shakuntala Devi, who solved complex mathematical equations mentally and defeated computers through the 1970s and 1980s, dies after a heart attack in Bengaluru.

Self-employed workforce shrinking 50.7%

The Central Government admits to lack of substantial increase in employment between 2004-05 and 2009-10, with the self-employed workforce shrinking from 56.4% to 50.7% to 50.7% of the total workforce.

Asian wrestling championship

Amit Kumar of India beats London Olympic Bronze medallist Kyong II Yang of North Korea in the final to claim the 55 kg freestyle Gold medal in the Asian wrestling championship at the K.D. Jadhav Stadium in New Delhi.

Nicolas Maduro is sworn in President of Venezuela

Venezuela’s acting President Mr. Nicolas Maduro is sworn in as the President of Venezuela in Caracas. He succeeds the late Hugo Chavez.

Giorgio Napolitano is re-elected in Italian President

Italian President Mr. Giorgio Napolitano is re-elected to the country’s highest office after Italy’s electrical college fails to elect his successor in five rounds of voting. This is the first time in the history of the Italion Republic that a President has been elected to two successive terms.

Powerful earthquake strikes the city of Ya’an

A powerful 7-0 magnitude earthquake strieks the city of Ya’an in Sichuan province, China with an epicentre at 13 km depth killing 207 persons and injuring over 11,500.

JPC report

The controversial JPC report makes several observations that contradict the Supreme Court’s orders and findings relating to the 2G scam. The report absolves Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh of any wrongdoing.

Russia launches bio-satellite

Russia launches bio-satellite BION-M1 (Orbital Noah’s Ark) packed with an array of mice and other small creatures to study the effects of long flights on living organisms.

Musharraf is arrested Islamabad

Former military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf is arrested in Islamabad for his involvement in the judges’ detention case. The Pakistani Senate passes a unanimous resolution calling  for his trial pertaining to high  treason, for derailing democracy and subverting the Constitution.

Western Ghats will have on the environment and proceed with it with extreme caution

The high-level working group (HLWG) headed by Planning Commission member Dr. K. Kasturirangan says that the government should reassess the impact Gundia hydroelectric power project in the Western Ghats (Karnataka) will have on the environment and proceed with it with “extreme caution”.

World’s most powerful batteries

Scientists at the University of Illinois, USA, announce that they have developed the world’s most powerful batteries till date. The micro-batteries are just a few millimetres in size, yet they have such power that one could use a cell phone powered by these batteries to recharge a dead car battery.

Malcolm Adiseshiah award

Jawaharlal Nehru University Professor Gopal Narayan Guru is selected for the Malcolm Adiseshiah award for distinguished contribution to Development Studies for 2013-14.

P.V. Sindhu upset victory over former World No. 1 Wang Shixian

Rising Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu pulls off an upset victory over former World No. 1 Wang Shixian of China to storm into the women’s singles quarterfinals of the Badminton Asia Championship in Taipei.

Defuse tension on the Korean peninsula

North Korea demands lifting of the UN sanctions and the end of the US-South Korea military drills as conditions for resumption of dialogue meant to defuse tension on the Korean peninsula.

Land acquisition Rehabilitation Bill

A consensus on the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2011 is reached after the government accepts key demands of the main opposition party regarding leasing of land and compensation reaching the original farmer-owners and that of the Left regarding rights of tenants.

Jnanpith award 2012

Famous Telugu writer Dr. Ravuri Bharadwaja is selected for the prestigious Jnanpith award for the year 2012.

ISSF – Shotgun world cup

India’s trap shooter Mansher Singh leads Indian trap shooters’ impressive display as he jointly holds the top spot after two rounds in the men’s trap qualifying event on the first day of the ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Al Ain, UAE.

A high-level panel headed by space scientist

A high-level panel headed by space scientist and Planning commission member Dr. K. Kasturirangan recommends ban on mining in 37% of Western Ghats including thermal power, major construction, and some hydel power projects.

India launches a new initiative to double the renewable energy capacity

India launches a new initiative to double the renewable energy capacity to 55,000 MW by 2017 by exploiting non-conventional energy sources such as solar, wind power and energy from biomass. Delivering the inaugural address at the fourth Clean Energy Ministerial Meet in New Delhi, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh expresses concern at the “painfully slow” progress of climate change talks.

NASA – Olympic medallist

National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) gives clean chit to Olympic medallist Vijender Singh who was alleged to have consumed recreational drugs with his sparring partner Ram Singh.

Powerful earthquak rocks the Iranian border

A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocks the Iranian border province of Sistan-Balochistan killing 35 people and injuring 150 in Pakistan which mainly bears the brunt of the earthquake.

Planning

The Planning Commission of India recommends switching to the international pricing formula for natural gas – which presently works out to $14.5 per MBTU. This is almost three times more than the present price of $4.2 MBTU.

Baby Nobel

New Delhi-born Mr. Raj Chetty, now a Professor of Economics at Harvard, USA, is named the 2013 winner of the John Bates Clark Medal that is often called the “Baby Nobel”.

The New York Times wins four Pulitzer prizes

The New York Times wins four Pulitzer prizes, including the award for investigative reporting The Sun Sentinel is awarded the public service Pulitzer. The Pulitzer in breaking news photography goes to The Associated Press. Inside Climate News wins the Pulitzer in national reporting. The Times is awarded for international reporting.

Boston Marathon celebration into a bloody scene of destruction

Two powerful explosions shatter the finish of the Boston Marathon in the US turning a celebration into a bloody scene of destruction, killing four people and injuring more than 100 with shredded and amputated limbs.

India and Tajikistan sign

India and Tajikistan agree to elevate their strategic partnership to a new level. The agreement is reached at a meeting between Tajik President Mr. Emomali Rahmon and visiting Vice-President Md. Hamid Ansari in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. It is decided that bilateral ties will be upgraded to a higher plane by expanding cooperation in serveral key areas, including information technology, health, energy, trade and commerce, and mining and agriculture.

Augusta Masters championship

Adam Scott of Australia wins the 77th Augusta Masters golf championship, USA and becomes the first-ever Australian to win the title and prestigious green jacket.

Forest to take urgent steps for reintroduction of the Asiatic lion from Gir Forests

The Supreme Court rules that the Asiatic lion needs a second home and directs the Ministry of Environment and Forests to take urgent steps for reintroduction of the Asiatic lion from Gir forests in Gujarat to Kuno sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh in order to save it from extinction due to catastrphes like epidermie, large forest fire, etc.

GCC countries meet in Saudi Arabia

National energy officials in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries meet in Saudi Arabia to discuss the risk of radiation spreading over the Gulf if Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant is damaged by another earthquake.

Inter-Ministerial expert panel

An Inter-Ministerial expert panel on the Brahmaputra also the government to intensity monitoring construction projects by China in the middle reaches and the Great Bend areas of the river.

Chinese Formula One Grand Prix

British world champion Lewis Hamilton sweeps to his first pole position for Mercedes in a qualifying session at the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai, China.

US Secretary of State visit to China

US Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry, on his visit to China following a series of meetings with China’s top leadership, comments that China and the US must together take steps in order to achieve the goal of a denuclearised Korean Peninsula.

Indian Women Cricket team whitewash against Bangladesh

Indian Women Cricket team register a 58-run victory over Bangladesh in the third and final ODI at Ahmedabad to inflict a 3-0 whitewash.

Venkat wins Silver and Bronze medal

Rahul Ragala Venkat of India bags a Silver and a Bronze in the boys’ 77 kg category in the Youth World Weightlifting Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Sixth routine counter-terrorism consultation between India and China

India and China identify common threat of international terrorist forces in South Asia and other regions during Sixth routine counter-terrorism consultation between India and China in Beijing.

IIP slumps to 0.6% in Feb.

Industrial growth measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) slumps to 0.6% in February, 2013, from relatively healthy expansion of 4.3% posted for the same month a year ago.

Curiosity’s laser-firing ChemCam

Nasa’s Mars rover Curiosity’s laser-firing Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument reveals a complex chemical composition of Martian dust that includes hydrogen, which could be in the form of hydroxyl groups or water molecules.

Entrepreneur of the Decade Award by AIMA

Reliance Industries Chairman Mr. Mukesh Ambani is conferred the Entrepreneur of the Decade Award by All India Management Association in New Delhi.

Indian football team places to 149

The Indian football team, after last month’s surprise big jump, lose six places to the 149th spot in the latest rankings released by FIFA.

Progress of the RTE Implementation

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), at a media round-table discussion on the “Progress of the RTE Implementation” in New Delhi describes the situation in India as national emergency, as 8 million drop out without completing basic schooling and calls for equipping the government and civil society to implement the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

Letter and Spirit

The Supreme Court of India, six years after ushering in police reforms, takes the first step for its implementation in “letter and spirit” by asking the States to furnish within a week status of the security commissions to be set up to insulate police from political interference.

Wisdon Cricketers’ – 150 years

Wisdon Cricketers’ Almanack completes 150 years of uninterrupted publication landmark.

Australia and China agree to push forward defence

Australia and China agree to push forward defence ties. The decision to expand defence relations is reached during the China visit of Australian Prime Minister Ms. Julia Gillard. It is also decided to elevate the two countries’ ties to “strategic partnership”, which is a level of engagement that Australia shares with only a few nations, including Indonesia and India.

Indo-German Inter-Governmental consultations

Foreign Ministers of India and Germany declare a common interest in preventing Iran from going further on the path of nuclear proliferation ahead of the Indo-German Inter-Governmental consultations in Berlin between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Ms. Angela merkel.

Earthquake strikes near Iran’s Gulf Port

A powerful 6.1-magnitude earthquake strikes near Iran’s Gulf port city of Bushehr killing at least 30 people and injuring over 800.

Asian Development Outlook 2013

In its report “Asian Development Outlook 2013”, the Asian Development Bank maintains that the Indian economy could row at an improved rate of 6 percent during 2013-14, provided reforms are put in place at a faster pace.

Britain’s fist woman PM passes away

Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first woman Prime Minister who led the Conservative Party for more than a decade, dies following a stroke in London.

Tension in the Korean Peninsula

North Korea withdraws workers from the border Kaesong industrial complex – home to 123 South Korean companies and more than 50,000 North Korean wokers – that is run jointly with the South Korea amid rising tension in the Korean Peninsula.

New Nasscom Chairman

Mr. Krishnakumar Natarajan takes over as NasscomChairman for the year 2013-14.

Rupesh Shah wins Asian billiards championship

Rupesh Shah of India wins the title at the Asian billiards championship that concludes in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

Wade Ormsby win the title of Panasonic India Open Golf

Wade Ormsby of Australia wins the title at the Panasonic India Open golf tournament in New Delhi.

Leakage in Japan’s power plant

A fresh leakage of radioactive water is detected at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant, where an earthquake driven nuclear leak had led to widespread panic in 2011.

Labanon new PM Tammam Salam

Mr. Tammam Salam is name the Prime Minister of Labanon after he wins a sweeping parliamentary endorsement.

Agni-II ballistic missile is successfully test-fired

The Agni-II ballistic missile is successfully test-fired from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast. The missile travels its entire range of 2,000 km range before splashing into the designated area in the Bay of Bengal.

First Indian to circumnavigate the globe

Lt. Cdr. Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy becomes the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe non-assisted. It takes him 150 days of continuous sailing abroad INSV Mhadei to achieve the milestone.

Rahi Sarnobar India’s first pistol shooter to win gold in a World Cup

Rahi Sarnobat scripts history by becoming India’s first pistol shooter to win Gold in a World Cup. She achieves this feat by winning the 25m sports pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Changwon, South Korea.

Irand and Global powers open nuclear talks

Representatives from Iran and the global powers open nuclear talks in Almary, Kazakhstan. The talks revive hopes of progress in setting limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment programme.

CII new President Infosys Co-founder Gopalakrishnan

Infosys co-founder and co-Chairman Mr. S. Gopalakrishnan takes over as the President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 2013-14. He succeeds Godrej Group Chairman Mr. Adi Godrej.

Highly intelligent robot

Reports reveal that Indian-origin scientist Ram Ramamoorthy has created a first-of-its-kind highly intelligent robot that can play rock-scissors-paper with humans. The two-foot high robot can respond to gestures and anticipate human actions with the help of Microsoft Kinect (a motion sensing device).

North Korea threat of an imminent nuclear attack on US

North-Korea issues a threat of an imminent nuclear attack on the US, prompting the latter to move its THAAD missile interceptor system to its military bases located at the Pacific island of Guam.

World’s lightest substance

Scientists at Zhejiang University, China announce that they have developed the world’s lightest substance till date. The solid material, named carbon aerogel, has a density of 0.16 mg/cc, which is equal to only one sixth of that of air. Aerogel is a material produced with semi-solid gel dried and solvent removed. It appears in a solid state with many internal pores filled with air and thus is ot minimal density.

Indian Premier League-VI

At the inaugural match of the Indian Premier League-VI (IPL-VI), defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders beat Delhi Daredevils by six wickets in Kolkata.

Officials from China, Russia and Pakistan hold talk

Officials from China, Russia and Pakistan hold talks in Beijing to coordinate their positions of Afghanistan. It is announced that they would back the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (CSO) grouping to play a greater role after the withdrawal of NATO forces in 2014.

Manipal University first entered China’s Beijing Institute of Technology

Karnataka-based Manipal University enters into a first-of-its-kind pact with China’s Beijing Institute of Technology, which is known for its work on China’s space programme. It will pave the way for closer collaboration on joint reserch projects.

UN makes history when it passes an unprecedented ATT

The United Nations makes history when it passes an unprecedented arms trade treaty (ATT) to better regulate the international sale of weapons. The adption of the treaty marks a major step forward in controlling the $70-billion flow of arms across borders, particularly restricting its movement to and from areas where groups are suspected of violation of human rights and other such crimes.

Law Bill on crime against women

Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee gives his assent to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013. It provides for stricter measures to check crime against women.

Free Trade Agreement

India and the Eurasian Economic Commission arrive at the decision that the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will hold talks with India in June 2013 for a free trade agreement (FTA) plus. This important decision is taken at the talks between Commerce and Industry Minister Mr. Anand Sharma and Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mr. Viktor Khristenko.

Magnus Carlsen wins the title World Chess Candidate Tournament

Magnus Carlsen of Norway wins the title at the World Chess Candidate Tournament in London. With this win, he earns the right to challenge India’s world champion Viswanathan Anand for the world title.

South Asian Triathlon championship

India win two medals including a Gold at the South Asian Triathlon championship held at Pokhara, Nepal. Pooja Chaurishi bags the Gold medal for India.

South & North Korea sign on act of Provocation

The Korean peninsula shows fresh signs of an escalation in tension with South Korean President Ms. Park Geun-hye stating that her country will come up with a strong military response to any act of provocation by North Korea.

Privately owned daily newspapers hit Myanmar’s streets for the first time

Privately owned daily newspapers hit Myanmar’s streets for the first time in decades. The comeback of these newspapers, long banned from publishing during the military’s regime, is greeted warmly by the country’s public.

Life saving medicines

In a ruling that will enable patients to continue buying several life-saving medicines as generic drugs, the Supreme Court holds that the modification of a well-known cancer-fighting drug is not a patentable new invention. The ruling comes in connection with a lawsuit field by Swiss pharma major Novartis, which attempted to patent its Glivec anti-cancer drug as a new medicine.