National Dates & Events in April 2011
1. The CBI on 2nd April, 2011 filed its first charge – sheet in the 2G spectrum allocation case before a Special Court here naming nine individuals and three companies. It said the wrongful acts of the accused deprived the exchequer of possible revenues amounting to ₹ 30,984.55 crore.
2. Ajay Maken, Union Minister of State ( I / C ) for Youth Affairs and Sports, inaugurated Youth Employability Skill ( YES ) Project at Imphal. Manipur, on 4th April, 2011 by enrolling 100 youths for skill development. Under the Project, skill relating training would be given to the youths in the North – Eastern Region to boost their chances of finding jobs or starting their own enterprises.
3. Sangeet Natak Akademi chairperson Leela Samson and Member of Parliament Kapila Vatsyayan launching the Akademfs first Hindi quarterly magazine, “Sangna”, in New Delhi on 4th April, 2011
4. NHA1 has come out with a ‘Secret Service Fund’ that is aimed at rewarding whistle-blowers and cleansing the system of corruption in April 2011. The fund with an allocation of ₹ 10 lakh for 2011 – 12 will be used to offer cash rewards to informants providing authentic information, regarding corruption and irregularities.
5. Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh on 6th April, 2011 signed a memorandum of understanding to set up Aryabhatta Geo – Informatics and Space Application Centre ( AGiSAC ) in Himachal Pradesh collaboration with the Gandhinagar – based Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geo – Informatics ( BISAG ) to facilitate use of geo – spatial technologies for decision – making and planning of developmental activities in the hill State.
6. Andhra Pradesh on 9th April, 2011 launched Jeevan Dhara, a concept outlet to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the poor, in the state. The Jeevandhara programme is expected to reduce state’s expenditure on the overall healthcare for branded medicines, patient coverage and popularisation of the use of unbranded generic medicines.
7. The Union Government has revised the minimum wages, payable for any work, coming under the schedule of employment, by ₹ 15 per day and fixed the new National Floor Level Minimum Wage ( NFLMW ) at ₹ 115 instead of ₹ 100/- per day effective from April 1.
8. The, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 7th April, 2011 approved the constitution of a National Clean Energy Bind ( NCEF ) along with guidelines and modalities for approval of projects to be eligible for financing under this fund. The fund was set up to serve as a separate non – lapsable corpus for funding green energy projects with the broader objective of cutting down India’s carbon footprint.
9. The President of India on 5th April, 2011 has sanctioned the constitution of a Committee to review the role, functioning and structure of the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau ( CEIB ) in the changed economic scenario.
10. The Union Cabinet on 6th April, 2011 approved the Comprehensive Mission Document of the National Water Mission. The National Water Mission is one of the 8 National Missions which form the core of the National Action Plan for Climate Change. The Mission Document for National Water Mission was drafted by the Ministry of Water Resources through consultative process with involvement of State Governments, concerned Central Ministries, Non – Governmental Organizations, academicians and other stakeholders.
11. The Indian Railways recorded the highest – ever rolling stock acquisition / production of more than twenty thousand units during fiscal 2010 – 10. Indian Railways acquired 16,638 wagons, produced 3079 passenger coaches and 497 locomotives ( 267 diesel & 230 electric ) which all total to 20214 rolling stock units in the year 2010 – 11.
12. A study by the World Gold Council, India: Heart of Gold’, states Indian households hold the largest stock of gold in the world at 18,000 tonnes. Gold purchases in India accounted for 32 per cent of the global total in 2010.
13. The Supreme Court on 15th April, 2011 granted bail to Dr. Binayak Sen, observing that no case of sedition was made out against the rights activist, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court m Chhattisgarh. A Bench of Justices H.S. Bedi and C.K. Prasad, after hearing senior counsel Ram Jethmalani for the petitioner and senior counsel U.U. Lalit for the State, granted bail to Dr. Sen.
14. The Union Government has reconstituted the Central Supervisory Board set up under the Pre – conception & Pre – natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 ( PC & PNDT Act ) to address the sharp decline in the child sex ratio as reflected in the provisional Census figures.
15. A three – day India Water Forum ( IWF ) was organised by The Energy and Resources Institute ( TERI ) and the Ministry of Water Resources to discuss water issues faced by the country 13th and 15th April, 2011 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. ‘Water Security and Climate Change : Challenges and opportunities’ was fheme of the IWE.
16. The Supreme Court on 11th April, 2011 gave a reprieve to the 44 deemed universities ( DUs ) facing de – recognition on the basis of the deficiencies pointed out by the Tandon Committee, by extending the status quo order ( viz., restraining the government from taking further action on the basis of the report ). This would mean that these DUs would be at liberty to take admissions for the academic year 2011 – 12.
17. Former Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam M Ramesh on 15th April, 2011 announced that Nagpur will be promoted as the tiger capital and a gateway to tiger land. The Navy has started preparations to take charge of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya ( Admiral Gorshkov ) from Russia, with the first batch of officers and sailors having commenced training there ahead of its induction next year. The Navy has sent a 152 – member crew for training on the 45,000 – tonne aircraft carrier in St. Petersburg, Russia.
18. Assam Rifles, the oldest Para – Military force in the country, celebrated its 176th anniversary on 9th April, 2011. Assam Rifles is the only para – military force to have taken part in both the World Wars and all operations in Independent India. Since is humble birth in 1835 as a civil protection force, known as the ‘Cachar Levy’ during the British Colonial rule, the Assam Rifles has metamorphosed into a tough paramilitary force, providing peace and political stability in the insurgency – ravaged region as well as safeguarding tenuous frontiers.
19. Four Indian students are among 60 from 29 countries who have been awarded the prestigious Gates Scholarship for post – graduate studies at the Cambridge University in April 2011. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it enables academically gifted postgraduates with a strong interest in social leadership and responsibility to study at Cambridge. Those selected include Sukrit Silas from Delhi, Divya Venkatesh from Bangalore, Raghu Mahajan from Chandigarh and Anand Shrivastava of Madras.
20. The Union Telecom Ministry, on 11th April, 2011 announced the basic contours of the National Telecom Publicy 2011 ( NTP – 2011 ), which will include for the first time, audit of spectrum held by telecom players, spectrum sharing, reduction in the tenure of renewed telecom licences from 20 years to 10 years, and liberalising of merger and acquisition norms. Sibal had taken over from scam – tainted telecom minister A Raja on January 1. The details will take a year to finalise to take all stakeholder opinion on board.
21. According to data from the IMF, India’s GDP grew 10.4 per cent in 2010 versus China’s 10.3 per cent. This is the first time that India’s growth has overtaken that of China, since the latter initiated reforms in the 1980s, a decade ahead of India.
22. The Government on 12th April, 2011 announced it would issue biometric PAN cards to taxpayers across the country to weed out the duplicate and fake ones. The proposed new biometric “Permanent Account Number” ( PAN ) cards would bear the I – T assessee’ fingerprints ( two from each hand ) and the face.
23. The Indian Space Resource Organisation ( ISRO ) successfully launched PSLV ( Fblar Satellite Launch Vehicle ) C16, carrying the remote sensing satellite Resourcesat – 2 and two auxiliary satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on 20th April, 2011.
24. The Union Cabinet on 20th April, 2011 approved the signing of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing ( ABS ) by India. The Nagoya Protocol would also contribute to the other two objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity ( CBD ) relating to conservation and sustainable use, since benefits accruing from utilization of genetic resources would act as incentive to biodiversity – rich countries and their local communities to conserve and sustainably use their biodiversity.
25. The Conference of Co – operative Ministers of States and Union Territories organised in New Delhi on 20th April, 2011 unanimously resolved to take steps for revitalising the cooperative sector which is facing the challenge of tough competition on the one hand and government issues on the other. The Conference has been organised in the backdrop of United Nations Declaration to observe 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives.
26. The Indian Council of Medical Research ( ICMR ) has invited research proposals from scientists across the country to study the superbug or the drug resistant bacteria. The announcement comes soon after the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced a national anti-microbial policy to help address the issue of superbug, which became international news after the presence of such bacteria ( NDM – 1 ) was reported in British medical journal ‘The Lancet‘.
27. The Supreme Court on 18th April, 2011 banned the employment of children in circuses and directed the Union Government to take immediate steps to rescue those engaged in such employment. A Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A.K. Patnaik, passing orders on a petition filed by the Bachpan Bachao Andoian.
28. The Union Cabinet on 20th April, 2011 approved the proposal to set up an Empowered Committee for identifying technology and investors for setting up two Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication ( Fab ) Manufacturing Facilities in the country.
29. The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure has approved the scheme of National. Rollout of e – District Mission Mode Project on 21st April, 2011. The estimated toted project cost for the nation – wide rollout of e – District MMP is H663.08 crore spread over years 2011 – 2012 to 2014 – 2015. The Government of India’s share is estimated to be ₹ 1233.08 crore and States’ share₹ 430 crore. The project will be implemented in all 640 districts ( including the 41 districts where e – District Pilot Projects have already been initiated ) of the country for a period of 4 years.
30. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research ( CSIR ), India signed the TKDL ( Traditional Knowledge Digital Library ) Access Agreement with the Japan Patent Office ( JPO ) on 20th April, 2011. The Agreement would help prevent misappropriation of India’s traditional knowledge at JPO. It also successfully concludes the arrangement of protection of India’s traditional knowledge with ‘trilateral offices’ like United States Patent & Trademark Office, European Ratent Office and Japan Patent Office.
31. To demarcate the functional responsibility of the Airports Authority of India ( AAI ) as an ‘aerodrome operator’ and air navigation service ( ANS ) provider, the government on 17th April, 2011 announced separation of the air navigation wing from the airport operator. The decision follows recommendations of the Ajay Prasad Committee for formulation of next generation futuristic Air Navigation Services Master Plan. The Committee had opened that the present structure does not clearly demarcate its functional responsibility of an ‘aerodrome operator’ and of ANS provider.
32. The Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices ( CACP ), a statutory body which advises the government on pricing policy for major farm items, on 18th April, 2011 has suggested private sector participation in foodgrains procurement to boost the purchase process. It also favoured export of 3 – 5 million tonnes ( MT ) of rice and wheat to cash in the booming international markets. CACP Chairman Ashok Gulati.
33. Air India’s Board of Directors on 21st April, 2011 constituted an independent committee, headed by Justice ( retd ) D.N. Dharmadhikari of the Supreme Court to address the wage and human resource – related issues after the merger of Indian Airlines Ltd and Air India Ltd. The committee will examine the principles of integration across various cadres and determination of level and seniority.
34. Two Indian cities have made it to the list of top globed cities index by die Annual Citi / Knight frank Wealth Report and the next decade is likely to witness significant improvements from emerging market cities particularly in the Asian behemoths. New York has topped the overall cities index ranking released on 21st April, 2011, followed by London and Paris. New Delhi and Mumbai were ranked 37 and 38 in the list. The 2011 Wealth Report assessed key markets across the world in terms of their provision of investment opportunities and their influence on global business leaders and the political elite.
35. The first Meeting of the National Mission of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan ( RMSA ) was held under the Chairmanship of Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal on 25th April, 2011. The National Mission is the apex body to take decisions on implementation, monitoring and evaluation of RMSA so as to implement the program efficiently and effectively.
36. To promote Indian creativity globally, a non – profit organisation, Creative Services Support Group that focuses on dance, opera, fashion, music, theatre, design, cinema, literature, education, architecture and other sectors was launched in New Delhi in April 2011. Founded by Image Foundry Studios director Anand Kapoor.
37. Madhya Pradesh has become the first state to link Aadhaar, the 12 – digit number issued by UIDAI, to the subsidised food grain scheme. The objective of the new arrangement is to eliminate fake beneficiaries of the subsidised food grain scheme.
38. Mendha – lekha in Naxal – affected Gadchiroli district on 28th April, 2011 became the first village in the country to become eligible to own, cut, use and sell bamboo — declared minor forest produce by the Forest Rights Act. Mendha – Lekha is the also the first village to get community rights over its forest under FRA. In a program attended by, among others, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh handed over the transit pass required to transport bamboo out of the village.
39. The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee ( PAC ) and BJP veteran Murali Manohar Joshi submitted the committee’s controversial draft report to the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on 30th April, 2011.
40. State – owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd was on 21st April, 2011 conferred the ‘Outstanding PSU of the Year1 award by All India Management Association ( A1MA ). The company has been earlier ranked the number one gas utility in Asia and number two gas utility in the world by Platts, an eminent petroleum research and publishing house.
41. The first phase of the nuclear power plant project at Jaitapur in Maharashtra has been approved with additional safety measures and a “generous new compensation package” to be announced soon. The decision to approve the setting up of two 1,650 – MWe reactors at Jaitapur was taken at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 26th April, 2011.
42. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs ( CCEA ) on 28th April, 2011 approved the revised cost estimate of ₹ 2,288.06 crore for the National Automotive Testing and R & D Infrastructure Project in place of the original approved cost estimate of ₹ 1,718 crore.
43. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 28th April, 2011 approved the Project for cleaning of River Ganga to be implemented by the National Ganga River Basin Authority ( NGRBA ) at an estimated cost of ₹ 7000 crore.
44. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 28th April, 2011 approved a Ministry of Health & Family Welfare proposal for second phase of the Intensified Malaria Control Project for seven North Eastern States ( except Sikkim ) under National Vector Borne Disease Control Program with support from Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria at a cost of ₹ 17.22 crore.
45. The Supreme Court, acting on a report of the Centred Empowered Committee ( CEC ), on 29th April, 2011 directed suspension of the 19 mining leases in Karnataka in the Bellary region and restrained these mines from carrying on operations until further orders.
46. The government has given its approval for the fifth Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region ( PCPIR ) in the country which will come in Tamil Nadu. According to the Tamil Nadu government on 30th April, 2011, the project has got an in – principle approval from the Cabinet Secretary and would go to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for approval.
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