National Dates & Events in May 2011
1. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu was found dead in the remote and inaccessible Luguthang village, about 30 km from Tawang near the India – China border, on 8th May, 2011. The news of his demise came after five days of intense search operations since the Rawan Hans A350 – B3 helicopter carrying Khandu and four others went missing near the Sela Pass on 30th April while flying from Tawang to Itanagar.
2. The Union Government on 10th May, 2011 appointed a “Committee of Inquiry” headed by the former Western Air Command chief, Air Marshal ( Retd., ) PS. Ahluwalia, to “inquire into the circumstances of accident”. The Committee of Inquiry, which includes other retired officials of the Indian Air Force and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( OGCA ), will submit its report within three months.
3. The Prime Minister – appointed committee on Food and Public Distribution System ( F & PDS ) headed by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia on 2nd May, 2011 suggested that the current system of distributing PDS foodgrain per household should be replaced with per capita allocation.
4. The Supreme Court on 6th May, 2011 set up a team to survey and demarcate the ninety – nine Iron ore mines in Bellary – Hospet region of Karnataka to identify sites of alleged illegal mining. A Bench led by CJI S H Kapadia ordered forming of a team of representatives of the state’s Forest and Mines departments, the Lokayukta and the court – appointed Central Empowered Committee ( CEC ). The team would conduct survey and demarcation of the leased mines in the presence of representatives of the mining firms and if any encroachment was found, the mining in the entire leased area would stop. The apex – court directed the joint team to visit the site of all 99 mines to carry out demarcation.
5. The Ministry of Statistics & Program Implementation on 6th May, 2011 allowed MPs to spend a maximum of T10.00 lakhs per year, from their MPLAD funds, for giving assistance to the physically challenged. Such assistance can be given only for the purchase of tri – cycles and artificial limbs, for differently abied persons. All applications for such assistance will be examined and approved, by the Chief Medical Officer ( CMO ) of the district, to ensure proper eligibility. This change will come into effect from 1st June, 2011
6. A six – member committee, headed by professor N R Madhava Menon, on 1st May, 2011 recommended bringing in an overarching legislation governing all IIMs, allowing them to award degrees. Unlike central universities and HTs, the IIMs currently award only diplomas. IIMs have not been set up through an Act of Parliament, but through the ‘charitable societies’ route.
7. The Ministry of Home Affairs and the United People’s Democratic Solidarity ( active in North Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam ) on 2nd May, 2011 mutually agreed to extend the Suspension of Operations ( SoO ) Agreement for a further period of six months up to 31st October, 2011. Tripartite talks on the demands of UPDS are continuing.
8. The Howrah – Delhi Rajdhani is set to become the first train in India to have Wi – Fi connectivity that would enable passengers to access internet during their rail journey. Railways have awarded a contract of ₹ 5.3 crore for making equipping three rakes of the Delhi – Howrah – Delhi Rajdhani with the facility. While the satellite link – up cost is more than Tl crore, it would cost about ₹ 4 crore for the equipment to facilitate internet access, the Railway Ministry said on 2nd May, 2011.
9. A Navy patrol plane foiled a pirate attack on a Chinese merchant vessel, MV Bill City, off Karwar coast in the Arabian sea on 5th May, 2011. It flew warning sorties and coordinated with the NATO Task Force to complete the mission successfully. Receiving an SOS that the vessel was under attack, the Navy directed a TU124 aircraft which was on anti – piracy patrol and a Coast Guard ship to the spot, some 450 nautical miles ( 850 km ) west of Karwar.
10. The Goa police on 7th May, 2011 launched a Marine Commando Force, an elite team of trained policemen armed with sophisticated weapons lite AK – 47 rifles and bullet proof vessels to tackle terrorist attacks. The force would be known as ‘Sheshnag‘ and commandos would be sent for further training with Indian Navy’s academy, INS Mandovi.
11. The ‘Service Discharge Benefit Scheme ( SDBS ) for Gramin Dak Sevaks ( GDS ) was launched in New Delhi on 3rd May, 2011. The social security scheme, launched by Department of Posts, seeks to provide post – retirement financial security to over ₹ 2.73 lakh GDS by depositing ₹ 200 per GDS per month in their accounts. Permanent Retirement Account Number ( PRAN ) cards to some GDSs on the occasion. The monthly deposits by the government would constantly grow through investments in different schemes / securities by the pension fund managers ( PFM ) appointed by the PFRDA.
12. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit launched the cluster bus service in the city on 5th May, 2011. This is the first of its kind service in the country and will be run by corporate entities on the lines of those in London and Paris. All the low – floor orange – coloured buses under cluster service will have an onboard passenger information system.
13. Vice Admiral Sunif Lanba, a veteran warship commander, on 2nd May, 2011 took over as the first three – star Chief of Staff of the Vishakhapatanam – based Eastern Naval Command. Lanba is replacing Rear Admiral Karambir Singh, who will proceed to Port Blair on transfer as the Chief of Staff at the tri – services Andaman Nicobar Command.
14. Kapil Dev Tripathi, a 1980 batch IAS officer of Assam – Manipur cadre, on 8th May, 2011 took over as secretary in the Central Vigilance Commission. The CVC is an independent body, which advises the Government on vigilance – related matters and check corruption in various departments, among others. It is also probing severed scams, including cases relating to Commonwealth Games.
15. The President of India on 6th May, 2011 gave away “Certificate of Honour” and “Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Sammari for the years 2008 and 2009 to the Scholars of Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Pali / Prakrit to 51 recipients for the years 2008 and 2009 ( announced on the eve of the Independence Day, 2008 and 2009 ) and also 17 Presidential Awards for Classical Tamil for the years 2005 – 06 to 2007 – 08
16. Social activist Anna Hazare, whose fast for a stronger anti – corruption Lok Pal Bill last month made globed headlines, on 6th May, 2011 rejected the rupees one crore 2011 Rabindranath Tagore Peace Prize announced by the Indian Institute of Planning and Management ( IIPM ). The award carries a cash reward of one crore rupees, a gold medal and a citation. While announcing the award, 11PM Dean, ftofessor Arindam Chaudhuri, had said the anti – corruption crusader was selected for the award “to show strong solidarity” to his determined and non – violent protest against.
17. The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act ( FCRA ) 2010, which bans “organisations of political nature” from receiving foreign contribution, came into effect from 1st May, 2011. Till now, such organisations had to get prior clearances from the government. The Act has also done away with the system of granting “permanent” registration to any organisation. The legislation will ensure that every five years the organisations renew their registration so that the dormant ones can be weeded out.
18. Industry body FICCI on 3rd May, 2011 proposed the setting up of National Knowledge Functioned Hub ( NKFH ) to engage higher educational Institutions with the industry to produce quality engineering graduates and meet increasing requirement of skilled hands in the market. FICCI Capital Goods Committee Chairman K Venkataramanan said that the NKFH would facilitate industry – academia connect in tier – II and tier – IH institutions which are the source of bulk engineering graduates for the capital goods industry. Venkataramanan recommended that each capital goods company can adopt two to three institutions in its vicinity for sustained interaction and collaboration under the proposed initiative.
19. A new research hub dedicated to the study of India and other emerging powers and how different nations evolve to become leading political forces on the world stage was launched at the University of Cambridge in London on 12th May, 2011. The Centre for Rising Powers will bring together academics from different subject areas whose research touches on one of the most important questions in international relations.
20. India, along with 10 other countries, on 12th May, 2011 signed the Nagoya Protocohon Genetic Resources, with an aim to promote sustainable use of biological diversity, at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
21. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on 11th May, 2011 gave its approval to the Geological Survey of India to acquire a new research vessel for seabed survey and exploration for non – living resources.
22. The Union Cabinet on 19th May, 2011 gave approval for conducting the Below Raverty Line ( BPL ) Census in rural and urban areas. The Census would be conducted by the Ministry of Rural Development in association with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation ( HUPA ) and the Registrar General of India ( RGI ).
23. The Union Home Minister R Chidambaram on 17th May, 2011 unveiled the foundation stone for the construction of an Integrated Check Post ( ICP ) at Agartala in Tripura on the Indo – Bangladesh border in presence of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
24. The Ministry of Culture introduced in November, 2009, a new scheme by the name of “Visiting Fellows in Art, Culture & Heritage”. Later, to mark the Commemoration of the 15th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the scheme was on 17th May, 2011 renamed as “Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research”.
25. The former Minister of Railways, Mamata Baneijee, on 16th May, 2011 released ‘Rail Bdndhu’ – an onboard magazine of Indian Railways. The magazine will be distributed free on Rajdhani / Shatabdi Express trains and AC coaches of Duranto Express trains.
26. A group of 24 diaspora youth participants of 17th Know India Program ( KIP ) from seven countries ( from Fiji, France, Peru, South Africa, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and USA ) called on the Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs and Civil Aviation, Vayaiar Ravi in New Delhi on 16th May, 2011. The Program was conducted by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with State of Punjab. 21st May, 2011 was observed as Anti – Terrorism Day throughout the country. The day marks the death of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in a terrorist attack on 21st May in 1991.
27. Bihar’s first River Patrolling Fblice Station ( RPPS ) on the banks of the Ganges in Patna district on 20th May, 2011. The first – ever RPPS near Maujipur village under Fatuha police station has been built at a cost of ₹ 56 lakh.
28. India is moving fast to set – up its third major naval base after Mumbai and Cochin on the western coast at Karwar in Karnataka. Defence Minister A.K. Antony inaugurated an integrated defence – civilian township at Karwar on 21st May with 326 dwelling units under “Project Seabird”, also known as Karwar Project.
29. The Government on 17th May, 2011 decided to include natural gas and fertilisers in the list of core sector infrastructure industries, a move which will help in capturing performance of economy in a better way. Currently, the government evaluates performance of six key sectors – crude oil, petroleum refinery, cement, electricity, finished steel and coal – on a monthly basis.
30. The Petroleum Conservation and Research Association ( PCRA ) on 16th May, 2011 unveiled plans to set up a Carbon Credit Aggregation Centre ( CCA ) at the Pali textile cluster in Rajasthan. This will be the first of 16 such CCA centres proposed to be set up across the country and aim to introduce and popularise Clean Development Mechanism ( CDM ) initiatives in MSME ( Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises ) clusters under the Technology and Quality Upgradation Support scheme for MSMEs.
31. India on 17th May, 2011 got its first firm order to export the electronic voting machines ( EVMs ) to Namibia. The EVMs were designed by the Election Commission of India ( ECI ) in collaboration with two public sector undertakings ( PSUs ) — Bharat Electronics ( BEL ), Bangalore, and Electronic Corporation of India ( ECIL ), Hyderabad — which manufacture and sell them.
32. Communication satellite GSAT – 8, which will give a boost to direct – to – home services in the country, was successfully launched by Arianespace’ s – Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou in French Guiana in equatorial South America on 21st May, 2011. Weighing 3,100 kg at lift – off, GSAT – 8 is one of the heaviest and high – powered satellites built by the Bangalore – headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation ( ISRO ).
33. India is hosting the eleventh Conference of the Parties ( CoP-11 ) to the Convention on Biological Diversity ( CBD ), and the sixth Conference of the Parties serving as Meeting of the Parties ( CoP / MoP – 6 ) to the Cartagena Protocol on Bio – safety to be held on 1st to 19th October, 2012.
34. The United Progressive Alliance ( UPA ) Government decided on 22nd May, 2011 to reject Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s report recommending the dismissal of the Yeddyurappa – led Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP ) government in that State. The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs ( CCPA ).
35. An expert group constituted to plan a low – carbon growth for the country has concluded that India can comfortably reach its target of 20 – 25 per cent reductions in its emission intensity by the year 2020 compared to 2005 levels, even while pursuing a growth rate of 9 per cent.
36. The Railway Ministry on 21st May, 2011 approved an outlay of ₹ 251 crore for laying a 14 km railway track to connect Agartala with Akhaura ( via Gangasagar ) in Bangladesh. Northeastern Frontier Railway ( NFR ) is likely to undertake work for laying tracks by October next year.
37. State of the art ‘Kawach’ rockets being developed by Ordnance Factories Board ( OFB ) is likely to be inducted into Indian Navy sometime in 2013. The first trial has been conducted successfully while the second tried will be conducted later in 2011, informed OFB Director General and Chairman D M Gupta on 21st May, 2011. Kawach, to be launched from Navy submarines, will have a range of 40 km.
38. Bagha Jatin – Life and Times of Jatindranath Mukherjee’, a biography of freedom fighter Jatindranath Mukherjee, written by Paris – based scholar Prithwindra Mukherjee was released in New Delhi on 27th May, 2011. The book has been published by the National Book Trust, which is also coming out with biographies of Bengal revolutionaries Suijya Sen and Kalpana Dutta soon.
39. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on 23rd May, 2011 laid the foundation stone for the first cable stayed bridge in Jammu and Kashmir over river Ravi at Basohli in Kathua district of the state. The 592 meters long bridge will be constructed by IRCON and is expected to be completed by end 2014.
40. UPA Government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stepped into the third year of its second term on 22nd May, 2011. 79 – year old Singh, who got to the Prime Minister’s seat after Sonia Gandhi refused to assume the office in 2004, it has been hopping from one problem to another in the last over eight months.
41. The Supreme Court – appointed joint survey teams on 25th May, 2011 % completed the first phase of the survey of 63 of 99 iron ore mines in Bellary – Hospet region to identify sites of alleged illegal mining in Karnataka. The five teams, headed by Central Empowered Committee Chairman P.V. Jayakrishrtan.
42. The Government intends to expand its ambitious integrated National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke ( NPCDCS ) across the country in the 12th Five Year Plan.
43. The National Payments Corporation of India ( NPCI ) is making fast progress with the rollout of the uniform national payment card and launched the first such card with a regional rural bank on 23rd May, 2011 in Varanasi. India’s first Gramin bank ATM card was launched by NPCI for the Kashi Gomti Samyut Gramin Bank in association with Union Bank of India. The card, called Ru P & y Gamin Card, can be used by the Kashi Gramin Bank customers across any of the 87,000 – odd ATM networks in the country.
44. Himachal Pradesh on 22nd May, 2011 became the first state in the country to sign an agreement with the World Bank for securing carbon credits for its ‘Clean Development Mechanism’ ( CDM ) project in 11 watershed divisions under Mid Himalayan Watershed Development Project.r
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