International Dates and Events for March

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International Dates & Events Apr 2011

International Dates and Events for March 2011

1. Fiji has decided to delete the Queen’s head from all its coins and banknotes, amid diplomatic row over Britain’s support for the” removal of the country from the Commonwealth. She will be replaced by engravings of native trees and animals when a new batch of currency is issued in June, the Daily Mail reported on 3rd March, 2011. Fiji has been at loggerheads with Britain since the UK supported the Commonwealth in removing the group of islands from its 53 nation membership.

2. The US on 5th March, 2011 deposited its instrument of acceptance to join the International Renewable Energy Agency ( IRENA ), becoming its 63rd member. IRENA was formed in 2009 in response to growing international interest in the adoption of renewable energy technologies to meet the challenges of sustained economic growth, energy security and climate change. The organisation’s mission is to support and expedite member countries’ transition to greater renewable energy use by helping identify and facilitate adoption of appropriate and optimal policies, business practices and technologies. So far 148 countries are IRENA signatories. Headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, IRENA is the first truly international organisation based in an Arab country.

3. India has emerged as one of the top ten manufacturers of the world, even as the world manufacturing value addition ( MVA ) grew 5.3 per cent in 2010, according to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation ( UNIDO ) on 3rd March, 2011. As per UNIDO’s just released International Yearbook of Industrial Statistics 2011, world manufacturing is showing the first signs of recovery from the recent financial crisis.

4. The 11th U.S.-India Defence Policy Group ( DPG ) met in Washington during 3rd March, 20114th March, 2011 for extensive discussion on strengthening bilateral defence ties, particularly in the areas of maritime security, counter-terrorism, disaster relief, and personnel exchanges. The meetings were co-chaired by Pradeep Kumar, Defence Secretary, government of India and Michelle Floumoy, Under Secretary of Defence for Policy.

5. To mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on 8th March, 2011, UN Women announced a new regional programme to address the needs of widows in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The three-year programme, funded jointly by UN Women Swiss National Committee and Standard Chartered Bank, will be implemented in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka to reduce social ostracism faced by widows.

6. The oldest and most travelled space shuttle, Discovery, returned after its final space flight recently. The shuttle cruised onto the runway at the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, Florida on 9th March, 2011 wrapping up a rich, 27-year career in spaceflight that has spanned more distance and endured longer than any of the remaining three U.S. shuttles. General Studies Question Bank CD

7. France on 10th March, 2011 announced it was officially recognising Libya’s National Transition Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, further increasing the pressure on Muammar Qadhafi. Sarkozy has also placed the building of the former Libyan Embassy to Paris at the disposal of the council. France has become the first Western power to fully legitimise the rebellion.

8. Ministers of Egypt’s new government have been sworn into office in the capital, Cairo on 7th March, 2011. The cabinet includes new faces in key ministries, including Nabil Elarabi as foreign minister and Maj Gen Mansour el-Essawy as interior minister. Essam Sharaf was named as the new prime minister recently,; after demonstrators said his predecessor was unacceptable.

9. The United States Senate on 9th March, 2011 voted overwhelmingly to approve a legislation to make the first reforms to its patent system in nearly sue decades. The America Invents Act is aimed at improving patent quality and help reduce patent application backlogs. It will transition the US patent system to a first-inventor-to-file system and ensure that the USPTO has the funds necessary to process the backlog of more than 700,000 pending patent applications. The Bill now goes to the US House of Representatives.

10. Illinois on 9th March, 2011 became the 16th US state to abolish the death penalty, capping a decade of debate over the fairness of capital punishment in a justice system rife with wrongful convictions.

11.  10th March, 2011 was observed as the World Kidney Day ( WKD ). WKD is a globed health awareness campaign focusing on the importance of the kidneys and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

12. Tibetan supreme spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has decided to transfer his political authority and administrative powers to a leader directly elected by the Tibetan refugees, during his address to his people on the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day on 10th March, 2011.

13. A new Government is due to take power in the Irish Republic after the ruling Fianna Fail party’s heavy defeat in general election in February 2011. Ireland went to the polls just three months after receiving a 90bn euro bail-out from the EU and IMF. Opposition leader Enda Kenny is set to be elected prime minister when the new parliament meets in Dublin.

14. Nelson Mandela’s AIDS charity 46664 is to launch an international fashion label, the former South African president’s foundation announced on 9th March, 2011. It will be called 46664 Apparel after the number Mandela wore in jail. General Studies Question Bank CD

15. Bilateral Air Services Agreement ( ASA ) between India and Brazil was signed by the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs and Civil Aviation Vayalar Ravi and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil Antonio de Aguiar Patriota in New Delhi on 8th March, 2011.

16. Few women hold top positions in corporate houses worldwide, but the situation is even worse in India, as a mere nine per cent of senior management level positions in the country are occupied by the fairer sex, a survey has found. Globally, 20% of senior management positions are held by women, down from 24% in 2009, as per the latest finding of Grant Thornton’s International Business Report released on 10th March, 2011.

17. A Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU ) was signed between the Union Public Service Commission ( UPSC ) and the Public Service Commission of Canada in New Delhi on March 15, 2011 regarding cooperation to promote best practices. The MoU will facilitate sharing and promoting best practices through bilateral exchanges.India abstained from voting on a United Nations Security Council ( UNSC ) resolution approving “ail necessary measures,” including imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya on 18th March, 2011. The resolution was passed with 10 members, including the U.S., France, the U.K. and Lebanon, voting in favour and five — Russia, China ( both permanent members with veto rights ), Brazil and Germany, besides India — abstaining.

18. Egypt’s Interior Minister Mansour al-Issawi 15th March, 2011 dissolved its internal security agency, which had been blamed for decades of human rights abuses. The State Security Investigation Service ( SSIS ) will be replaced with a new “National Security Force”. The actions of the SSIS helped ignite the popular uprising that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

19. The massive earthquake that struck Japan 11th March, 2011 was so powerful that it accelerated the Earth’s rotation speed, shortening the length of the day by 1.8 microseconds, according to a new analysis by NASA.

20. A NASA spacecraft named ‘MESSENGER’ began orbiting Mercury on 17th March, 2011, becoming the first to fly around the solar system’s innermost planet. The spacecraft began its journey more than six years ago, travelling through the inner solar system and embarking on flybys of Earth, Venus and Mercury.

21. Banknotes carrying the image of the former king in Nepal have ceased to be legal tender from 15th March, 2011. Old notes can be exchanged for new ones depicting Mount Everest. Since Nepal has had its own currency, the king’s portrait or name has been inscribed on it. Nepal became a republic in May 2008.

22. Iran has launched a rocket into space carrying a test capsule designed to house an animal amid Western concerns over Tehran’s scientific advances. The Kavoshgar-4 rocket was launched on 15th March, 2011.

23. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will fund two Indian firms— Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech – to develop and sell vaccines for pneumonia and diarrhea that kills thousands of children every year, at less than half the current market price.

24. Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF ( World Wide Fund for Nature ) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

25. The Republic of Singapore Navy ( RSN ) and the Indian Navy ( IN ) conducted the annual Singapore Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise ( SIMBEX ) from 18th March, 2011 to 25th March, 2011. Hosted by Singapore, this year’s exercise was the 18th in the series of bilateral exercise held since 1994.

26. The United Kingdom based Global Risks Atlas on 25th March, 2011 described India as the 16th riskiest country to invest in for the security hazards it poses and rather embarrassingly clubs it with Niger, Bangladesh and Mali.

27. The Atlas is published by Maplecroft, a consultancy founded by Alyson Warhurst, chair of strategy and international development at Warwick Business School.
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28. China’s gross domestic product accounted for 9.5 per cent of the global total in 2010, almost twice as much as five years earlier, the Chinese government said on 25th March, 2011. The percentage was up from 5 per cent in 2005, and China’s GDP amounted to 40-2 per cent of that of the US, compared with 17.9 per cent in 2005.

29. Israel has decided to hand over ownership of a czarist-era landmark in the heart of Jerusalem to Russia, defusing a long-simmering dispute between the two countries ahead of PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow. The property known as Sergei’s Courtyard was built in 1890 to accommodate Russian pilgrims to the Holy Land.

30. Protests spread across Syria on 25th March, 2011, challenging the rule of the Assad family after their forces killed dozens of demonstrators in the south. Bashar al-Assad ( born 1965 ) is the President of the Syrian Arab Republic and the son of former President Hafez al-Assad.

31. India on 21st March, 2011 signed a tax information exchange agreement ( TIEA ) with Cayman Islands. This is the fifth TIEA entered into by India after the ones with Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Isle of Man.

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