September, 2013

India claims FIDE title

Koneru Humpty of India claims the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix Chess title at Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The RBI reveals that India’s CAD

The Reserve Bank of India reveals that India’s current account deficit (CAD) for the first quarter of 2013-14 ended June 2013, has widened to 4.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) compared to 4% in the same period of the previous fiscal.

15th Asian Senior Rowing Championship

At the 15th Asian Senior Rowing Championship at Luan, China, Olympian Swam Singh Virk bags a Gold medal. India also win two Silver medals.

India blue win NKP Salve Trophy Cricket cup

India Blue outplay Delhi to win the N.K.P. Salve Trophy for the Challenger Series in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

First free trade zone in its financial capital Shanghai

In a move to liberalise its economy and bring in wider reforms, China launches its first Free Trade Zone in its financial capital Shanghai.

Iran rejects India’s plea

Iran rejects India’s plea for full rupee payment for oil import.

India and Pak talks on military conversation

PM Dr. Manmohan Singh meets and holds talks with his Pakistani counterpart Mr. Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s 68th Session. They agree to direct their respective Directors-General of Military Operations to restore peace along  the LoC. This will be the first military-to-military conversation between both the countries.

Miss world 2013

Ms. Megan Young of Philippines is crowned Miss World 2013 at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre in Indonesia. She is the first Miss Philippines to win this title.

Pacific Open tennis championship

Sania Mirza of India and Cara Black of Zimbabwe win the Toray Pan Pacific Open tennis championship women’s doubles title in Tokyo, Japan, defeating Hao-Ching Chan of Taiwan and Liezel Huber of USA.

US and Iranian talks on estrangement

US President Mr. Barack Obama and Iranian President Mr. Hassan Rouhani hold talks for the first time since 1979, ending three decades of estrangement between the two countries.

68th Session of the UN General Assembly

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, in his address at the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, unequivocally says that the epicentre of terrorism is in Pakistan

Asia Cup hockey

In the eight women’s Asia Cup hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, India defeat China to clinch the Bronze Medal.

Bangladesh beings importing electricity from India

Bangladesh begins importing electricity from India on an experimental basis, adding 50 MW to its national grid.

Five UN security council for resolution

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council agree on a resolution that will require Syria to give up its chemical weapons, but there will be no automatic penalties if the Syrians fail to comply.

Sign on Gujarath Power Plant

In a significant development, India and the US seal their first commercial nuclear power pact. The important deal is signed by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and US President Mr. Barack Obama in Washington. The two sides announce that the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) and US nuclear company Westinghouse have concluded a preliminary contract to develop a nuclear power plant in Gujarat.

Permission for negative voters

The Supreme Court gives voters the right to negative voting and instructs the Election Commission to provide ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) button in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan is presented with the Deutsche Bank Prize

RBI Governor Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan is presented with the Deutsche Bank Prize in financial economics in Frankfurt, Germany, in recognition of his ground-breaking research which has influenced financial and macro-economic policies around the world.

India wins Bronze medal in World Junior Chess

India’s Vidit Gujrathi wins a Bronze medal in the World Junior (U-20) Chess Championship in Kocaeli, Turkey.

Special court on Syria incident

A special court at The Hague, the Netherlands, confirms a 50-year sentence handed out to former Liberian President Mr. Charles Taylor for aiding rebels in neighbouring Sierra Leone, which left an estimated 50,000 people dead.

RBI’s new development index

A panel headed by RBI Governor Mr. Raghuram G. Rajan recommends a new development index for the States. The panel comes up with a new three-tier ranking system, dividing the State in three categories – least developed, less developed and relatively developed. Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan fall in the least developed group. The less developed group comprises Manipur, West Bengal, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Mizoram, Gujarat, Tripura, Karnataka, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh. The relatively developed cateogry includes Haryana, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Goa.

World’s first attention powered car

Scientists in Australia announce that they have developed the world’s first attention-powered car. The pioneering vehicle uses a headset to monitor brain activity and slow acceleration during periods of distraction. The technology behind the vehicle uses a neuro headset, which connects to brain activity, linked to the car’s engine via customised software. The headset measures the electrical activity in the brain.

New action on sexual violence

At the UN headquarters, ministers from 113 countries sign a declaration pledging new action to end sexual violence in conflict.

7th pay commission beneficiaries

The Union Government announces the constitution of the Seventh Pay Commission to revise salary and pension for about 80 lakh staff and pensioners.

RBI’s zero interest scheme

In a blow to banks and merchant establishments, the RBI instructs them to stop offering zero interest EMI (equated monthly instalment) schemes for the purchase of consumer goods. The apex bank says that such schemes only served the purpose of “alluring and exploiting vulnerable customers”.

ONGC win Petroleum inter-unit badminton tournament

ONGC win the Petroleum inter-unit badminton tournament, beating IOC in the final in New Delhi.

Cambodia’s Parliament approve a new PM Hun Sen

Cambodia’s Parliament approves a new five-year term for Prime Minister Mr. Hun Sen, after weeks of turmoil over his disputed election win.

MPs and MLAs from immediate disqualification, provided their appeal against – S.C

Negating a Supreme Court ruling, the Union Cabinet clears an ordinance that will protect convicted MPs and MLAs from immediate disqualification, provided their appeal against the conviction and sentence is admitted by a higher court within 90 days, and both the conviction and the sentence are stayed.

Maldives presidential elections postponed

In a hasty move markeing sharpening clash between democratic institutions in the Maldives, the country’s Supreme Court orders an indefinite postponement of the second round of presidential elections.

Importance of Aadhaar card

The Supreme Court, while holding that the Aadhaar card is voluntary and not mandatory, restrains the Centre from issuing these cards to immigrants living in India without proper papers. The apex court also makes it clear that no citizen should be denied benefits for non-possession of the card.

Korea Open tennis

Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland wins the women’s singles title at the Korea Open tennis championship, beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in the final in Seoul, South Korea.

Sepastian Vettel wins Singapore Grand Prix Formula one

Red Bull’s German racer Sebastian Vettel wins the Singapore Grand Prix Formula One championship in Singapore. Ferrari’s Spanish racer Fernando Alonso comes second.

India wins in Archery World Cup

India’s star archer Deepika Kumari wins a Silver medal at the Archery World Cup in Paris France.

China extends to Venezuela a credit line

China extends to Venezuela a credit line of $5 billion. The decision is reached at talks held between Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping and his visiting Venezuelan counterpart Mr. Nicolas Maduro in Beijing.

Angela Merkel become Chancellor

In her winning bid for a third term, Chancellor Ms. Angela Merkel clinches a surprise absolute majority in German elections with a stunning 41.5 percent score. It is the Conservatives’ highest vote share since the national reunification in 1990.

TNA massive victory in Sri Lanka NPC election

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) posts a massive victory in Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council election.

India-Pak talks on power projects

Indus Water Commissioners from India and Pakistan open discussions on four power projects that are coming up in Jammu & Kashmir.

17th Asian women’s volleyball tournament

Hosts Thailand win the 17th Asian women’s volleyball tournament, beating Japan in the final in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Huge people killed in Kenya

Islamist terrorists storm a shopping mail in Nairobi, Kenya, killing a large number of people including many of Indian origin.

Reunions of Korea

North Korea announces that it will indefinitely postpone proposed reunions of separated families with South Korea, scheduled to be held during September 25-30, 2013.

World’s largest solar project in Rajasthan

It is officially announced that India will build a 4,000 MW solar project, the world’s largest in Rajasthan. The project will come up in two phases in an area close to the Sambhar Lake.

Aamir Khan chosen for US award

Renowned actor Aamir Khan is chosen for a prestigious US Award by the America Abroad Media (AAM) for his TV show Satyamev Jayate.

RBI hikes the repo rate

The Reserve Bank of India hikes the repo rate (the rate at which banks borrow from the central bank) by 25 basis points to 7.50 percent. The apex bank also rolls back the marginal standing facility rate (at which banks borrow funds overnight from the RBI against approved Government securities) from 10.25 per cent to 9.50 percent.

Miss World Muslimah 2013

Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola, a contestant from Nigeria, reacts after being named World Muslimah 2013 at the 3rd World Muslimah annual award competition in Jakarta September 18, 2013. Twenty Muslim women from Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam and Nigeria competed in the finals of the pageant, held exclusively for Muslim women, which assessed not only the contestants` appearances but also their piety and religious knowledge.

Mohammedan sporting win Durand Cup football championship

Mohammedan Sporting win the Durand Cup football championship, beating ONGC in the final in New Delhi.

Telecommunication doubling penalty

With a view to having a strong deterrent against telecom service providers violating cell tower radiation limits, a panel formed by the Department of Telecommunications recommends doubling the penalty for such service providers to   10 lakh per site.

300-year-old mystery

Scientists at the University of Leeds, England, say that they have solved a 300-year-old mystery about the direction in which the centre of the Earth spins. They reveal that the Earth’s inner core, made up of solid iron, “super rotates” in an eastward direction, meaning it spins faster than the rest of the planet, and that the outer core, comprising mainly molten iron, spins westwards at a slower pace.

New PM of Australia

Conservative politician Mr. Tony Abbott is sworn in as the 28th Prime Minister of Australia. He replaces Mr. Kevin Rudd.

International donors pledge conference

At a conference in Brussels, Belgium, international donors pledge 1.8 billion as part of a “New Deal for Somalia”, despite many leaders questioning the strife-torn nation’s ability to put the fund to good use.

Lancet journal reports on mortality

The Lancet journal reports that India has made a steady progress in reducing the mortality rate of children below 5 years, which fell from 2.5 million in 2001 to 1.5 million in 2012 – a fall of 3.7 percent annually. The report, however, reveals that female child mortality continued to exceed male child mortality.

Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award

Pakistani education rights campaigner Ms. Malala Yousafzai and American singer and social justice activist Mr. Harry Belafonte are named as joint recipients of Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2013. The award is the noted human rights group’s highest honour, recognising individuals who have promoted and enhanced the cause of human rights through their life and by example.

World wrestling championship

Indian wrestler Amit Kumar  bags a Silver medal (men’s 55 kg freestyle) at the World Wrestling Championship in Budapest, Hungary. Bajrang wins a bronze medal for India (men’s 60 kg freestyle). India earn a maiden World Cup berth on the back of their best-ever sixth-place finish in men’s freestyle at the WWC. Grappler Sandeep Tulsi Yadav creates history by winning India’s first-ever medal (a Bronze, 66 kg) in the Greco-Roman category of the senior World Wrestling Championship.

Al-Qaeda issues its first specific guidelines

Global terrorist group al-Qaeda issues its first specific guidelines for Jihad, urging restraint in attacking other Muslim sects and non-Muslims, and in starting conflicts in countries where jihadis may find a safe base to promote their ideas.

Violence on Muslim minorities

In an attempt to bring to an end the deadly violence on Myanmar’s Muslim minorities, the Dalai Lama urges the country’s monks to act according to their Buddhist principles and shun violence.

Central govt. moves to clamp down on retail imports

The Central Government moves to clamp down on retail imports of gold and silver jewellery, riasing the import duty on these two to 15 percent from the earlier 10 percent. The move comes on the heels of the restrictions imposed on the import of gold bars and biscuits by wholesale traders.

World’s first-ever-self-healing polymer

Scientists at the CIDETEC Centre for Electrochemical Technologies Spain, announce that they have created the world’s first-ever-self-healing polymer that can spontaneously and independently repair itself without any intervention. The new material could be used to improve the security and lifetime of plastic parts in electrical components, cars and even houses.

Australia clinch ODI series against England

Australia beat hosts England by 49 runs in the fifth and final match in Southampton; with this win, Australia clinch the series 2-1.

Inspection on banned chemical weapons

UN inspectors confirm that banned chemical weapons have been used on a wide scale in the Syrian civil war and that sarin killed hundreds of people in one major attack. The UN experts, who went to Syria for inspection in August 2013, stop short of revealing who carried out such attacks.

High prices of Onions and other food items

Reports reveal that high prices of onions and other food items drove India’s headline inflation to a six-month high of 6.1 percent in August 2013.

New software

Scientists at the Illinois Institute of Technology, USA, announce that they have developed a new software which enables  touchscreen smartphone to identify its owner simply by the unique way he/she taps and swipes on the device. The software, named Silent Sense, uses the phone’s built-in sensors to record the unique patterns of pressure, duration, fingertip size and position

Japan begins nuclear reactor

Japan begins switching off its last operating nuclear reactor for an inspection, with no date scheduled for restart amid strong public hostility towards atomic power.

4th generation of Reactors

The state-run China Nuclear Engineering Group Corporation unveils the designs of its new fourth-generation High-Temperature Reactor and High-Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor. The new reactors are expected to be the answers for global concerns regarding costs and safety.

Agni-V successfully test-fired

In another milestone in defence capability, the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-V is successfully test-fired for its full range of 5,000 km from Wheeler Island off Odisha. This is the second successful launch of the nuclear weapons-capable missile.

Zimbabwe-Pakistan test series draw

Hosts Zimbabwe beat Pakistan by 24 runs in the second and final Test in Harare; the series ends 1-1.

Agreement on Intensive talks

After intensive talks in Geneva, Switzerland, the US and Russia reach an agreement on a timetable for swift elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons, with the provision that non-compliance by Syria will mean the UN Security Council steering the future course of action. The pact envisages that Syrian chemical weapons be either removed or destroyed by the middle of 2014.

SCO strongly opposes foreign military intervention in Syria

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) strongly opposes foreign military intervention in Syria and welcomes the Russian proposal for putting the chemical arsenals under international control.

Delhi gang rape case

Death penalty is awarded by a Delhi court to the four convicts of the infamous Delhi gang rape and murder case (December 2012). The court holds that the case, which shook the nation to the core, fits into the “rarest of rare” category.

Tamil Nadu win All-India Coromandel King Moin-ud-Dowla Gold cup cricket

Tamil Nadu win the all-India Coromandel King Moin-ud-Dowla Gold Cup cricket tournament, beating Delhi in the final played in Hyderabad.

FAO reveals on food produced in waste

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reveals that one-third of all food produced in the world gets wasted, which results in a loss of $750 billion a year.

India’s industrial production growth

Reports show that India’s industrial production registered a growth of 2.6 percent in July 2013 after staying in negative territory for a couple of months.

Smallest hand-held microscope

The smallest hand-held microscope yet, which can fit inside a needle, is developed by researchers at the University of Western Australia. The microscope, which can pinpoint cancer cells that are often missed during operations, captures 3D images using a tiny lens, less than a third of a millimetre.

Africa’s first female president

Liberia’s President Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is Africa’s first female president, is conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2012 by Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi.

SAFF Football championship

Afghanistan emerge winners at the SAFF Football Championship, defeating holders India 2-0 in the final in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Russia’s air defence missile

Russia announces its decision to sell Iran an improved version of the S-300 air defence missile and to build a second nuclear reactor at Bushehr.

Syria agrees to eliminate its chemical weapons stockpile

Syria agrees to eliminate its chemical weapon stockpile under international supervision, thus averting an impending crisis.

Union Govt. notifies changes in FDI

The Union Government notifies changes in the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, paving the way for larger overseas investments in sectors such as multi-brand retail and telecom. It also widens the definition of the term “control” for mergers and acquisitions involving overseas companies, a move that will provide more clarity to foreign investors.

Thomas Bach of Germany is elected President of IOC

Mr. Thomas Bach of Germany is elected President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), replacing Mr. Jacques Rogge. He becomes the 9th president in the 119-year history of the global sports body.

Russia support to Syria

Russia – the architect of a widely supported proposal to disarm Syria of chemical weapons – announces that it will soon submit an action plan which will lead to an international supervised destruction of the Syrian arsenal of posion gas.

India’s trade deficit $10.9 billion

Data revealed that India’s trade deficit narrowed to $10.9 billion in August 2013 on the back of a 13 percent growth in exports during the month.

Crash-Proof driverless car

Researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University, USA, come up with a “crash-proof” driverless car that can safely navigate its way through busy roads. The car features an innovative software and uses inputs from radars, lidars and infrared cameras.

New President of Pakistan

 Indian-born business tycoon Mr. Mamnoon Hussain is sworn in as the 12th President of Pakistan, succeeding Mr. Asif Ali Zardari.

US OPEN 2013

Men’s doubles : Leander Paes of India and Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic win the 2013  US Open men’s doubles title, beating Alexander Peya of Australia and Bruno Soares of Brazil in the final in New York. Paes(40) becomes the oldest man to win a Grand Slam crown.
Women’s doubles
 : The Czech duo of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka defeat the Australian pair of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the women’s doubles final.
Men’s singles
 : Rafael Nadal of Spain clinches the title beating Novak Djokovic of Serbia  in the final.
Women’s singles
 : Serena Williams of USA wins the title beating Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the final.
Vettal wins Italian Grand Prix Formula One championship
8 : Regning world champion German racer Sebastian Vettle of Team Red Bull wins the Italian Grand Prix Formula One championship in Monza, Italy. Spanish racer Fernando Alonso of Team Ferrari finishes second.

Pakistan Preisdent Asif Ali Zardari completed a full five-year term

Pakistan President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari steps down, after becoming the first democratically elected head of state in the chequered history of the country to have completed a full five year term.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The UK bestows the Lifetime Achievement Award on Indian-origin billionaire brothers Mr. Srichand and Mr. Gopichand Hinduja, the scions of the Hinduja Group, for their contribution to the Asian community there.

Tokyo chosen for 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is chosen to host the 2020 Olympic Games, ahead of Madrid (Spain) and Istanbul (Turkey). It is for the second time that Tokyo will host the world’s biggest sporting event.

Youngest person to fly around the globe

Australian pilot Mr. Ryan Campbell (19) becomes the youngest persons to fly a single-engine aircraft solo around the globe.

New PM of Australia

Conservative leader Mr. Tony Abbott is elected the next Prime Minister of Australia, as his party routs the Labour Party led by incumbent Prime Minister Mr. Kevin Rudd.

Census in UP & Bihar

Newly released Census data shows that the country’s workforce of the future will come from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, with the developed States like Tamil Nadu and Kerala already hitting their peaks.

Army is deployed in Muzaffarnagar

Army is deployed in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, after communal clashes engulf the town.

US Open mixed doubles 2013

Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Andres Hlavackova of Czech Republic win the 2013 US Open mixed doubles crown, beating Mexican Santiago Gonzalez and American Abigail Spears in the final in New York, USA.

G20 summit

The G20 Summit wraps up in St. Petersburg, Russia. The US and Russia fail to bridge their bitter differences over plans for military action against the Syrian regime. The Summit ends with a declaration that while G20 countries will not prolong the exit of fiscal stimulus, it will be done in a calibrated way and with clarity so as to prevent volatility in currency markets.

India’s external debt rising

Latest reports show that India’s external debt, which is on a consistently rising trend, touched $390 billion a the end of March 2013, reflecting a 13 percent rise year-on-year.

BRICS in progress of CRF

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) grouping makes progress towards the creation of a $100 billion Currency Reserve Fund (CRF) by announcing individual contribution. China will contribute $41 billion, while Brazil, Russia and India will chip in with $18 billion each. South Africa, the smallest economy in the grouping, will commit $5 billion to the CRF.

Union Govt. refers an Amendment Bill on the RTI Act

The Union Government refers an Amendment Bill on the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which seeks to keep political parties out of the purview of the Act, to a parliamentary standing committee for the purpose of “elaborate study”.

Mike Rodgers wins 100m title

American athlete Mike Rodgers wins the 100m title at the World Challenge meet in Zagreb, Croatia.

Raghuram Raja become as RBI Governor

Mr. Raghuram G. Rajan takes charge as the Reserve Bank of India’s 23rd Governor, succeeding Dr. D. Subbarao. The priorities that he sets out include measures to deepen securities markets, improve financial inclusion including for SMEs, and support and push for the rupee as an international currency.

Microsoft buys Nokia

Amkerican software giant Microsoft buys Finnish mobile maker Nokia at a price tag of $7.17 billion.

Scientists successfully Big Bang

Scientists successfully simulate the radiation created by the Big Bang – in just 10 milliseconds – in a laboratory, to better understand how structure evolved in the early universe. Physicists at the University of Chicago, USA, reproduce a pattern resembling the cosmic microwave background radiation using ultra-cold cesium atoms in a vacuum chamber.

Moortidevi Award 2012

Noted litterateur Mr. Haraprasad Das is conferred the Moortidevi Award for 2012 for Vamsha, a poetic recreation of the Mahabharata in contemporary idiom, which has been hailed as a post-modern masterpiece.

Russia and Iran dig in their heels to prevent a conflict in Syria

Russia and Iran dig in their heels to prevent a conflict in Syria, confronting a surge in activity in the US, even as the US signals its readiness to rapidly expand the scale of military strikes against Syria by ordering an aircraft carrier strike force to move in the direction of the Red Sea.

Rajya Sabha approves the Food Security Bill by voice vote

The Rajya Sabha approves the Food Security Bill by voice vote. The landmark Food Bill, dubbed a “game changer”, provides 67 percent of the country’s population with the legal right to subsidised food grains every month. The Bill had been passed by the Lok Sabha a week earlier.