National Dates & Events for June

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National Dates & Events July 2011

National Dates & Events in June 2011

1. Prominent artist Devi Prasad, who was taught painting by masters including Nandalal Bose, passed away on 1st June, 2011 in New Delhi at the age of 89. Born in Dehra Dun in 1921, Devi Prasad joined Mahatma Gandhi’s Sevagram after his graduation from Santiniketan. He stayed in Sevagram till 1962 where he developed an art school and edited a journal. He was awarded the Lalit Kala Ratna award by Lalit Kala Akademi in 2007. He has published over 200 books and several articles on peace studies, child art and education and Tagore and Gandhi.

2. ‘Nataraja’ Ramakrishna ( 88 ), the Kuchipudi legend known for his ‘Andhra Natyam‘ and ‘Perini Shivatandavam,’ passed away on 7th June, 2011 in Hyderabad. Among the awards bestowed upon him were the Padma Shri in 1992, a doctorate from the Andhra University and a ‘Bharata Kala Prapoorna, apart from the NTR State Award. He is most known for reviving the 700 – year – old dance form ‘Perini Shivatandavam.’ He served as Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi.

3. The National Human Rights Commission ( NHRC ) has retained its “A” status in its accreditation with the International Coordinating Committee ( ICC ) of the National Human Rights Institutions ( NHRfs ), Geneva. The “Accreditation Sub – Committee of the ICC – NHRIs has recommended that the NHRC be reaccredited with “A” status. The decision, taken at the session of the ICC Sub – Committee on accreditation in Geneva from 23rd to 27th May was communicated to the NHRC on 10th June, 2011.

4. The National Foundation for Communal Harmony ( NFCH ) on 10th June, 2011 launched the Volunteers for Peace & Harmony ( V for Peace – n – Harmony ) program to create a network of volunteers. The launch of V for Peace – n – Harmony in 2011 coincides with the 10th anniversary of international year of volunteers ( IYV ) being celebrated by the United Nations.

5. Water jet – propelled Fast Attack Craft ( FAC ) INS Kabra, eighth in a series of 10 Car Nicobar-class FACs designed and built by the Kolkata – based Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers ( GRSE ) for the Navy, was commissioned by Vice – Admiral K.N. Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding – in – Chief of the Southern Naval Command, at the Kochi naval base on 8th June, 2011.

6. The rate of new HIV infections fell by more than 50 per cent in India between 2001 and 2009, double the average decline in the world, according to a report released by UNAIDS on 3rd June, 2011. “In India, the rate of new HIV infections fell by more than 50 per cent and in South Africa by more than 35 per cent; both countries have the largest number of people living with HIV on their continents,” according to the study entitled ‘ Nations at the Crossroads.’ The report said the global rate of new infections declined AIDS at 30 :  by nearly 25 per cent between 2001 and 2009.

7. The West Bengal Government Banerjee and the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha ( GJM ) on 7th June, 2011 signed an “official – level agreement,” paving the way for the setting up of a new elected body in the Darjeeling hill areas. The agreement was signed between GJM general secretary, Roshan Giri and the state home secretary, G.D. Gautama. The GJM reiterated that the new set – up would be formed “without diluting” its main agenda for a Gorkhaland state, though the demand had been set aside for now.

8. The Punjab Cabinet on 8th June, 2011 approved the Right to Service ordinance 2011 to ensure the delivery of citizen centric services like driving licence, arms licence, revenue record and copy of FIR etc to people with in the stipulated time limit. The ordinance was aimed at empowering the citizens with the right to get services from the government within a deadline on one hand and to ensure 100 per cent accountability of the officers of implementing agencies on the other.

9. The Tamil Nadu Assembly on 7th June, 2011 adopted a resolution against attempts to revive the Legislative Council, which was abolished in 1986 and sought to be resurrected thrice in 1989, 1996 and 2010. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa moved the resolution seeking to rescind an earlier decision of the Assembly to create a Legislative Council. The DMK regime had passed a resolution in the Assembly on 12th April, 2010 for the revival of the Qounci.
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10. The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on 8th June, 2011 passed a special resolution demanding that the Centre take action to get all those responsible for large – scale civilian deaths, during the Sri Lankan civil war, declared as ‘war criminals’ by the United Nations. The resolution, passed unanimously, also demanded economic sanctions against the island nation to pressure the country into giving equal status and dignity to Tamils.

11. The Great Indian Bustard, one of the heaviest flying birds in the world, is in danger of going extinct according to the latest edition of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) Red List’ for Birds unveiled on 7th June, 2011. The total number of threatened bird species has risen to 1253. In the space of a year another 13 bird species have moved into the threatened categories. In all, 189 species are now considered to be Critically Endangered.

12. Bengaluru International Airport ( BIA ) has been acknowledged as the ‘Best Emerging Airport, India Subcontinent’ for the second consecutive time by the Emerging Markets Airports Awards ( EMAA ) at the awards ceremony held in Dubai on 1st June, 2011.’

13. The Committee set up for comprehensive review of National Small Savings Fund ( NSSF ) headed by Shyamala Gopinath, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India submitted its report to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on 7th June, 2011.

14. The draft National Manufacturing Fblicy was on 10th June, 2011 given in – principle approved at a meeting of the High Level Committee on Manufacturing, held under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister and attended by the Finance Minister, Commerce and Industries Minister, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Ministers for Environment and Forests, Corporate Affairs, and the Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council.

15. The Central Board of Direct Taxes ( CBDT ) on 8th June, 2011 set up a committee to examine and suggest ways to recover income tax in cases where the assessees are not traceable or the assets available for recovery are far too short. The committee will look into Income Tax demand classified under the categories “Assessees not Traceable” and “No Assets / Inadequate Assets for Recovery”. The committee will have Anita Kapur, Director General of Income lax ( administration ) as its Chairperson.

16. The National Intelligence Grid ( NATGRID ), Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s ambitious project, was given in – principle approval by the Union government on 6th June, 2011. A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cleared the project that will facilitate robust information – sharing among law enforcement agencies to combat terror threats at home and abroad.

17. The Government – on 7th June, 2011 set up a high level committee, including Sam Pitroda and Nandan Nilekani, to monitor the implementation of the National Optic Fibre Network ( NOFN ) project. Under the project, the Government is looking to lay optic fibre cable network across the country to boost broadband uptake. A core team comprising executives from public sector units with optic fibre already in the ground including BSNL, RailTel and PowerGrid has been constituted. It will work out the details of implementing the project including revenue generation and technology issues. A special purpose vehicle will be set up to execute the project.

18. The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad ( IIM – A ) on 9th June, 2011 launched India’s first Eco – label – The Green Signal – which certifies environmental preferences adopted during the manufacturing of a product or a service. The broader parameters for assessing a product or service will be energy consumption, carbon footprints, water consumption, waste generation and management, and CSR commitments of the entity.General Studies Question Bank CD

19. The Union Cabinet on 9th June, 2011 approved extension of medical facilities to beedi workers under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana ( RSBY ). The beedi worker and his family ( unit of five ) will be covered and the total sum insured would be ₹ 30,000. The other benefits and procedures under the scheme will be the same as under RSBY

20. A committee on natural resources allocation has called for the creation of a national coal market to ensure, greater transparency in the allocation of the dry fuel and reduce the demand – supply mismatch. Pointing out the pitfalls of the existing allocation mechanism for the dry fuel, the committee headed by former Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla in June 2011 recommended establishing a national coal market by creating a platform – for commercial trading of coed by suppliers and buyers.

21. India’s first cruise vessel, AMET Majesty, belonging to the Chennai – based AMET Shipping was launched in Chennai on 8th June, 2011. AMET Shipping Pvt Ltd of the AMET Group, which is in to maritime training, has invested ₹ 100 crore in procuring the 35 – year – old cruise vessel Arberia from a Greek owner.

22. Union Sports Ministry on 9th June, 2011 earmarked ₹ 258.39 crore for preparation of athletes under “Project Opex 2012” for London Olympics. Ajay Maken , Minister of State ( I / C) for Youth Affairs & Sports, stated that based on the approved funding norms, which are at par with CWG – 2010 scales, with further up scaling in certain areas such as lodging, nutrition & scientific support, daily allowance etc, the budget has been estimated for about ₹ 258.39 crore for the period April, 2011 to August, 2012

23. The Government of India and the World Bank on 14th June, 2011 signed three agreements to for cleaning Ganga River and to Strengthen Rural Livelihoods and Biodiversity Conservation in India. The. River cleaning project is to the tune of US $ 1 billion ( approximately ₹ 4,600 crore ) loan and credit that will form part of the Bank’s long – term support for cleaning the Ganga River. Two Biodiversity Conservation agreements are for a credit of US$15.6 million and US$8.14 million grant.

24. The historic Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill, 2011 was passed in the West Bengal Assembly on 14th June, 2011. The Bill proposes to return land to the unwilling farmers of Singur in “equivalent quantum of land” as the land by virtue of this Act will stand transferred to and vest in the state government, free of any lease or allotment. “The Bill mentions ‘non – commissioning and abandoning’ of the project by Tata Motors and goes on to state that “no employment generation and socio – economic development has taken place and people in and around the area have not benefited in any manner.

25. Now, lawyers can practise, as a matter of right, in all courts and forums, including tribunals or any quasi-judicial authority. Fifty years after the Advocates Act, 1961, came into force, the Centre has notified Section 30 of the Act — with effect from 15th June, 2011 — to enable advocates to practise anywhere fulfilling a long-pending demand of lawyers.
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26. A hub of the Central Reserve Police Force’s CoBRA ( Commando Battalion for Resolute Action ) and a training centre are being set up at Salboni in Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal. The area falls within the Maoist – affected Jangal Mahal region that spans parts of three districts in southwest West Bengal. The hub will be spread over 143 acres, Alok Raj, Inspector – General ( Operations ), CRPF, said in Kolkata on 14th June, 2011.

27. The Madras High Court on 15th June, 2011 said it is for the government to decide as to which building would be comfortable for establishing the State Secretariat. The First Bench consisting of Chief Justice M.Y Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam made the observation while dismissing a writ petition seeking to forbear the authorities from re – shifting the Secretariat and the Tamil Nadu Assembly from the new ₹ 1100 – crore Secretariat building at the Government Estate to Fort St. George.

28. On 17th June, 2011, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd celebrated the golden jubilee of the fighter plane it built 50 years ago. The ‘Maruf or the spirit of tempest first took to air on 17th June, 1961 and served the nation for two decades until it was taken off in the 1990s. It was used in the 1971 war with Pakistan to liberate what is today Bangladesh. It was taken off service in the 1990s mainly for want of a powerful engine.

29. Bangalore has been chosen as the fifth global location for Switzerland’s science and technology initiative – Swissnex on 17th June, 2011. Swissnex is an initiative of science education and research of Swiss Ministry of Home Affairs and the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

30. India and China are all set to resume defence exchanges after about a year, and a major general serving in J&K is leading a group of delegates to China from June 20.

31. The Government has decided to extend the validity of the Duty Entitlement Pass Book ( DEPB ) scheme for three months till September 30. The DEPB is a reimbursement of basic and special Customs duty paid by an exporter on an imported input used Jn the export product. The benefit is given by way of a grant of duty credit against the export product at specified rates.

32. Rupay, dubbed as – India’s answer to MasterCard and Visa, was unveiled on 19th June, 2011 when Bank of India gave the first batch of automated teller machines ( ATM ) – cum – debit cards to Unique Identification ( UID ) number holders in Pagdha village of Maharashtra’s Thane district.

33. According to a Price Waterhouse Coopers report titled ‘Banking In 2050 India could become the third largest banking sector by 2050 after China and US, leaving Japan, UK and Germany behind. Indian banking sector in general and the Reserve Bank of India were applauded post financial crisis for fiscal prudence.

34. The Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center ( RGCI ) has signed an agreement with New Zealand’s international healthcare IT provider Med tech Global for digitisation and provision of electronic medical record ( EMR ) software.

35. The Union Cabinet on 23rd June, 2011 approved an ambitious program that wouid usher in radical legal reforms aimed at, among other goals, disposal of pending cases in three years, from the current average of 15 years, and establishment of an All India Judicial Service. Known as the “National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms,” it seeks to operatiohalise a number of plans to ensure expeditious and quality justice.

General Studies Question Bank CD36. The Union Cabinet on 23rd June, 2011 approved the extension of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana ( RSBY ) to all the registered domestic workers in the country. The scheme is expected to cover approximately 47.50 lakh domestic workers in the country. The Scheme envisages smart card based cashless health insurance cover up to ₹ 30,000 / – in any empanelled hospital anywhere in the country. The insurance coverage would be extended to all registered domestic workers in the age group of 18 – 59 years.

37. Sonia Gandhi – led National Advisory Council ( NAC ) on 23rd June, 2011 approved the draft National Food Security Bill, 2011 which aims to make provision of food support to people facing hunger a duty of the state. The bill guarantees subsidised foodgrains to at least 90 per cent of rural households, and 50 percent of urban households.

38. The Indian Navy on 24th June, 2011 signed a MoU with Indira Gandhi National Open University ( IGNOU ), launching ‘Sagardeep‘ – a project registering existing sailors training institutes as Community Colleges. This will enable them to obtain a Bachelor’s degree whilst in service thus addressing professional certification needs of higher learning and ‘in service training’ of sailors.

39. The Government on 23rd June, 2011 set up a new task force to review measures for reforming management of the defence forces that were suggested by the Kargil Review Committee. The task force, being headed by former bureaucrat Naresh Chandra, comes almost a decade after Ataf Behari Vajpayee government appointed the Kargil Review Committee headed by strategic affairs analyst, the late K. Subrahmanyam. Several suggestions of the Kargil committee have not yet been implemented.

40. Goa on 24th June, 2011 became the first state to have a diabetes registry, which was launched in P&naji in association with Denmark’s Novo Nordisk Education Foundation ( NNEF ).

41. Acknowledging great revival story, UNESCO has removed the famous Manas Wildlife Sanctuary of Assam from the World Heritage List in Danger following significant improvement in wildlife conservation. The decision to remove the ‘danger tag’ was announced during the 35th session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in Paris on 22nd June, 2011.

42. The Rajiv Gandhi Adhivakta Prashikshan Yojna ( Rajiv Gandhi Advocate’s Training Scheme ), which envisages selection of 10 young practicing Advocates from each state every year or being imparted professional training, was launched on 27th June, 2011.

43. Salaried taxpayers with total Income up to ₹ 5 lakh have been exempted from filing Income Tax return for assessment Year 2011 – 12 which will be due on 31st July, 2011. According to the scheme notified by the Central Board of Direct Taxes on 23rd June, 2011, individuals having total income up to ₹ 5,00,000 for 2010 – 11, after allowable deductions, consisting of salary from a single empfoyer and interest income from deposits in a saving bank account up to ₹ 10,000 are not required to fife their income tax return.

44. The implementation of XBRL ( extensible Business Reporting Language ) has been made mandatory from 1st April, 2011, is expected to bring in more transparency in how companies declare their financials.

45. Vinay Mittal has taken over as the new Chairman, Railway Board and ex – officio Principal Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Railways, on 30th June, 2011. He replaces Vivek Sahai who superannuated from this post on June 30. Prior to this, Mittal was serving as General Manager, South Eastern Railway since 12th January, 2011.

46. Ranjan Mathai, presently Ambassador in Paris, was on 27th June, 2011 selected to take over as the new Foreign Secretary for a term of two years following the retirement of Nirupama Rao on 31st July,2011.

47. The 1st ever post independence Socio – Economic and Caste Census 2011 began on 29th June, 2011 from the Sankhola village of Hazemara block in West Tripura District. It is a door – to – door census in the entire country. The results relating to the identification of poor households would be utilized in the 12th Rve Year Plan ( 2012 – 13 to 2016 – 17 ).

48. India’s campaign to get the Western Ghats declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site received a setback, with the United Nations committee postponing the decision to 2012, and asking the government to furnish more information. This came even as Karnataka — one of the five States ( Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Karnataka ) where the Ghats are located.

49. In just nine months since the launch of the Aadhaar project in Maharashtra, UIDAI has issued one crore Aadhaar numbers. 52 year old, N. K. Chheda from Maharashtra has the distinction of being the resident whose Aadhaar number was generated on reaching this milestone on 30th June, 2011.

50. The Government plans to expand the eligibility criteria for the Indian Forest Service examination, to include Indian fnstitute of Forestry Management graduates and other science and technology graduates. This decision was taken considering the recommendations of the J.C. Kala Committee to improve IFS recruitment over the next 20 years.

51. The Tenth Quarterly Survey Report on “Effect of Economic Slowdown on Employment in India” covering the,period January to March 2011 brought out by Labour Bureau was unveiled on 29th June, 2011. The survey is an assessment of the impact of economic slowdown on employment in India in the period January to March 2011, July 2011

52. The Navy on 1st July, 2011 inducted its first batch of three Fast Interceptor Crafts adding strength to its nascent Sagar Prahari Bal ( sea protection force ) tasked to protect naval assets and bases on both the East and West coasts and island territories of the – country.

53. In a project, aimed at preserving. electronic public records generated through e – governance initiatives of the Central government, Pune – based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing ( C – DAC ), on 2nd July, 2011 signed a MoU with the National Archives of India ( NAI ), New Delhi, for development of software for the purpose. This MoU has been signed as part of the project of  ‘Centre of Excellence for Digital Preservation’ ( CEDP ) sanctioned by the Department of Information Technology, MCIT, Government of India.

54. The Committee appointed by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, to draft a New Legislation replacing the existing Persons with Disabilities ( Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation ) Act, 1995, presented the final draft of the new law, “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities BUI, 2011.

55. A new Indian Coast Guard region with Kolkata as its headquarters would become operational before the end of this year. The new Coast Guard North East Region, being set up in Kolkata, will become operational by the end of 2011. Presently, the Indian Coast Guard has four regions – North West, West, East and Andaman and Nicobar headquartered in Gandhinagar, Mumbai, Chennai and Port Blair, respectively.

56. The Railways plan to high-speed trains connecting small towns of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to the national capital New Delhi under the proposed Regional Rapid Transport System ( RRTS ) to reduce travel time to just about an hour.

57. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau ( WCCB ), India on 28th June, 2011 launched its ‘Friends of the Wild Initiative’ calling for enrolment of volunteers from all walks of life above the age of 21. The objective of the initiative is to conserve the country’s rich flora & fauna.

58. A 15 – member House Committee comprising members of the ruling coalition as well as the Opposition was constituted on 29th June, 2011 to discuss the proposed Legislative Council for West Bengal on which a resolution was moved by the State Government in the Assembly on 28th June. The proposal to revive the West Bengal Legislative Council after 42 years was referred to the Committee for further discussions following reservations expressed by the Opposition. The Committee would be headed by Partha Chatterjee .

59. In a significant move that could lead to higher and stable foreign inflows, the government has allowed a new class of foreign investors — that would include individuals and bodies such as pension funds — to invest up to $10 billion in domestic mutual funds from August 1.

60. Currently, only foreign institutional investors ( FIIs ) and sub – accounts registered with the market regulator SEBI and non – resident Indians are allowed to invest in mutual fund schemes in the country.

61. India was tanked 62nd in the 2011 edition of the Global Innovation Index rankings from being 56th in 2010 and 41st in 2009 issued on 1st July, 2011 by the leading international business school INSEAD and its knowledge partners, Alcatel – Lucent, Booz & Company, CII and the World Intellectual Property Organisation ( WIPO ).

62. Despite a 7 per cent hike in its output, India slipped by a step to be the fourth largest steel producer in the world in 2010, according to World Steel Association on 30th June, 2011. India produced 68.3 million tonnes of steel in 2010 as against 63.5 million tonnes in 2009. The US, which produced 80.5 million tonnes as against 58.2 million tonnes in the previous year, overtook India and Russia to emerge as the third largest producer in 2010. China with an output of 626.7 million tonnes ( 573.6 mt in 2009 ) and Japan with an output of 109 million tonnes ( 87.5 mt ) remained the top two producers of steel in 2010. Toted globed steel output stood at 1,413.5 mt, up from 1230.9 mt in 2009′.

63. The Supreme Court on 5th July, 2011 declared the appointment of Sedwa Judum and special police officials ( SPOs ) from among locals to counter Maoists in difficult terrain as unconstitutional. It ordered that the practice be stopped and such SPOs and units disarmed and disbanded.

64. The Union Cabinet on 7th July, 2011 approved the proposed to increase the annued allocation under MPLAD Scheme from ₹ 2 crore to ₹ 5 crore to each Member of Parliament with effect from the Financial Year 2011 – 12. The enhanced annual allocation involves a total annual expenditure of ₹ 3950 crore i.e. an enhancement of ₹ 2370 crore per annum from the earlier ₹ 1580 crore per annum.

65. India has impressively brought down its maternal and infant mortality rates, an indication that it is close to achieving the Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs ) set by the United Nations though the toted fertility rate ( TFR ) has remained static after showing a decline during the past few years.The maternal mortality ratio ( MMR ) came down to 212 ( 2007 – 09 ) from 254 in 2004 – 06. The MDG target for India is to bring down maternal deaths to 109 by 2015.

66. The West Benged government and the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha ( GJM ) on 8th July, 2011 signed a draft of Memorandum of Agreement ( MoA ) that will be forwarded to New Delhi for tripartite talks been the state government, GJM and the Union government.

67. The Government of India and World Bank on 5th July, 2011 signed a US$200 million.agreement to strengthen the capacity of gram panchayats and municipalities in Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram. The Kerala Local Government and Service Delivery Project will fund improvements in local infrastructure to help Kerala usher in greater decentralization at the local level.

68. The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, inaugurated the North East Craft Museum at Guwahati. This is the only Handicrafts Museum in the North East which has artifacts from all the North Eastern States.

69. Cho – Lhamu Lake, located over 18,000 feet above sea level in Sikkim, has been declared the highest lake in the country after a survey conducted by the Central Government. The Wetland Atlas prepared by the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests has stated that Cho – Lhamu is the highest lake in the country and the sixth highest in the world, State Tourism Minister Bhim Dhungel said in Gangtok on 7th July, 2011.

70. Delhi government on 7th July, 2011 won the United Nations Public Service Award for its Mission Convergence program in the field of improving the delivery of public services. The program, initiated in 2008 and implemented by Samajik Suvidha Sangam, seeks to address urban poverty. Meanwhile Swanchetan, an NGO, has been conferred the United Nations Public Service Award for gender category in 2011, making it the first civil society organisation from India to be chosen for the prestigious award.

71. The committee set up to revive the New Pension System ( NPS ) has suggested sweeping changes in its architecture. It has proposed bringing in the postal department, telecom companies, pension fund managers, fast moving consumer goods ( FMCG ) companies and third-party corporate agents for selling the product. The committee, chaired by former SEBI Chairman G N Bajpai.

72. Indian Railways is all set to roll out its own e – ticketing service, which will have no room for travel agents and will be reserved for individual users. Unlike the e – ticketing service of IRCTC, the new service by Indian Railway will have no role of travel agents and commercial organisations. Only individual users will be allowed to book on the ported. Travel agents in the IRCTC service have been accused, of blocking tickets to sell them at a premium. Under the new railway e – ticketing service, individual customers would need to register themselves for the first tune for availing the services. The number of transactions per user ID will be limited to 8 per month. On offer is also a service for booking tickets on the mobile platform.

73. The Rural Urban Distribution of Population of the Census 2011 was released by Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh on July, 2011. The first figures of Census 2011, released on 31st March, 2011, had shown that India’s overall population had increased from 1.02 billion to 1.21 billion, but for the first time, the growth during the past decade had been actually lower than the preceding 10 years.

74. Three bomb explosions in 15 minutes. Eighteen dead and more than a hundred injured on 13th July, 2011. The biggest explosion occurred at the Opera House business district in the south of the city, in an area known as a hub for diamond traders.

75. Another blast, described by the authorities as low intensity, hit the Zaveri Bazaar, an area with many jewellery shops, also in the city’s south. The third hit the Dadar district in the city centre. None of the bombs had been triggered remotely. Police said they were made with ammonium nitrate, an ingredient for fertiliser.

76. The United Liberation Front of Asom ( ULFA ) on 12th July, 2011 declared a unilateral indefinite ceasefire to ensure that the ongoing political negotiation between the insurgent outfit and the Centre can continue in a peaceful atmosphere.

77. India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle proved its versatility and reliability once again when the PSLV – C17 put the communication satellite GSAT – 12 in a perfect orbit on 15th July, 2011. The lift – off took { dace on schedule at 4.48 pm from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharikota, 90 km from Nellore. GSAT – 12 weighs 1,310 – kg and is the latest communication satellite built by ISRO.

78. The Ministry of Communications & Information Technology observed 16th July, 2011 as the first Common Service Centre Diwas. 16th July will now be observed as Common Service Centre ( CSC ) Diwas every year. This day has been chosen as CSC Day to mark the incorporation of CSC e – Governance Services India Ltd on this day in 2009. The CSCs are overseen by 22 Service Centre Agencies ( SCAs ) across the country.

79. The Government on 11th July, 2011 decided to set up a Task Force to review the existing processes, procedures and practices in the national security system and suggest measures where necessary for strengthening of the national security apparatus and in non – conventional areas having a bearing on the overall security situation. The Task Force has been set Up under the chairmanship of Naresh Chandra, former Cabinet Secretary.

80. The Navy’s ninth fast attack craft INS Koswari was commissioned at Visakhapatnam in Eastern Naval Command on 12th July, 2011. Conceived, designed and built indigenously at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers ( GRSE ) Ltd. of Kolkata, the ship is named after an island off Tuticorin.

81. Hindustan Shipyard Ltd ( HSL ) launched a patrol vessel, Rani Rashmoni, for the Indian Coast Guard at Visakhapatnam on 15th July, 2011.. The company had so far launched 118 vessels from its slipways, including Rani Rashmoni, and it had built 164 vessels of various types including 11 well – head platforms. It had achieved turnover of ₹ 662 crore and profit’ after tax of ₹ 56 crore.

82. The Chairman, National Commission for Schedule Tribes, Dr. Rameshwar Oran along with other members presented the Fifth Report of the Commission to the President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Pat &, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on 13th July, 2011.

83. Congress leader Ahmed Patel was on 16th July, 2011 declared elected unopposed for the fourth time to the Rajya Sabha while BJP’s actor – turned politician Smriti Irani also made it to the upper house of Parliament for the first time, without any contest. BJP’s another candidate Dilip Pandya was also declared elected unopposed to the thirq feat for the upper house from Gujarat. The three leaders were elected unopposed as no other candidate had filled the form to challenge them for tpe three Rajya Sabha seats.

84. The foundation stone of the Amartya Sen Research Centre, a fesearch wing of the Pratichi Institute, set up by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, was laid in Kolkata on 14th July, 2011. The Nobel Laureate wat present on the occasion. The Pratichi Institute, which has been conducting empirical research in primary education and health, has been set up by the Pratichi foundation from the Nobel Prize money won by Sen. Making it mandatory for India Inc to disclose its CSR activities to stakeholders, the Government 8th July, 2011 released a set of guidelines for all businesses – including MNCs. Observance of these would be voluntary. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs also renamed CSR as Responsible Business ( RB ).

85. The Reserve Bank of India ( RBI ) on 15th July, 2011 directed all the foreign entities, including non – government organisations ( NGOs ) and news, agencies, operating in the country through branch offices to obtain clearance from it within three months under the FEMA Act. The Government on 16th July, 2011 decided to lift the over four – year – old ban on wheat exports, even as shipment of the grain is not viable at current global prices. The government had banned wheat exports since early 2007 to boost domestic supply and contain inflation. A tripartite agreement on the Darjeeling hills was on 19th July, 2011 signed between the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha ( GJM ) and the centred and West Bengal governments for creating the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration ( GTA ), aimed at restoring peace in the hills after two nearly decades of uncertainty. The accord was signed by Home Secretary G D Gautama, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri and K. K. Pathak, joint secretary from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

86. The Union Cabinet on 21st July, 2011 decided to move an official amendment to the Constitution ( One hundred and Tenth Amendment ) Bill, 2009, for enhancing reservation for women in panchayats at all tiers from 33 per cent to 50 per cent to ensure better demographic representation to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. DRDO successfully flight tested its latest surface to surface Missile TRAHAAR’ from Launch Complex III, off Chandipur Coast, ITR, Balasore, Odisha on 21st July, 2011. The Missile with a range of 150 kms, comparable to ATACMS Missile of United States of America, fills the vital gap between Multi Barrel Rockets and Medium Range Ballistic Missiles. Prahaar is capable of carrying different types of warheads, operates as battle field support system to the Indian Army.

87. The Supreme Court on 21st July, 2011 appointed two committees — one with five members and the other with three — which wilt decide on the security, inventory, preservation and opening of kallara ( secret vault ) B in the Padmanabhaswamy tempie in Thiruvananthapuram. The five – member panel would be headed by C.V. Ananda Bose, Director – General of the National Museum.

88. India on 19th July, 2011 began construction of its 25th atomic power plant and announced to build four more indigenous 700 MW units than planned earlier. The first pour of concrete for the 700 MW indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor ( PHWR ), the seventh nuclear plant at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station ( RAPS ), took place at Rawatbhata about 65 km from Kora. The ceremony, which signals the beginning of the construction of a nuclear plant, was attended by Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited ( NPCIL ) CMD Shreyans Kumar Jain.

89. A study by Global Intelligence Review, an independent Mumbai – based think tank, on 21st July, 2011 placed India at the fourth place in the bi – annual Geopolitical Power Index ( GPI ) for the second half of 2011, down one notch from the January to June period. The survey said the operation to eliminate top al – Qaeda terrorists, including Osama bin Laden, underscoring Washington’s ability to project hard power across geographies, the US remained the most influential nation on the index. India’s image suffered a jolt due to the Union government’s timid foreign-policy leadership and ineffective counter – terrorism strategy

90. Sam Pitroda, advisor to the Prime Minister on public information infrastructure and innovations, was on 17th July, 2011 appointed advisor to the Mamata Banerjee government on ‘Resurgent Bengal’. ‘Resurgent Bengal’ is to be the dossier for the state’s development to be followed by the Mamata Banerjee – led Trinamool Congress government. To this end, Pitroda will assist Banerjee and her team in creating a knowledge city in Kolkata, the state’s capital.

91. The Union Cabinet on 21st July, 2011 approved the proposal for the enactment of a new legislation in the form of the Benami Transactions ( Prohibition ) Bill, 2011 to replace the existing Benami Transactions ( Prohibition ) Act, 1988 and for its introduction in Parliament.

92. The Union Cabinet on 28th July, 2011 approved the proposal for the enactment of a new legislation in the form of the Lokpal Bill, 2011. The Bill provides for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Bill keeps outside its purview a serving Prime Minister, the higher judiciary and the conduct of MPs inside Parliment.

93. National Institute Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development ( NIESBUD ) a premier Institute under the Ministry of MSME ( Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises ) on 28th July, 2011  launched a major project for Entrepreneurship and Skill Development of 35,000 youth of the country by December 2011 in the states of West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Punjab, J & K, Gujarat and Union Territory of Chandigarh.

94. The Government on 29th July, 2011 unveiled a new draft bill putting in place a transparent, legal framework aimed at giving adequate compensation to land owners and ensuring rehabilitation of those displaced. The Draft National Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation & Resettlement BUI, 2011 ( LARR 11 ) will undergo revisions based on the feedback received from stakeholders and is likely to be introduced in the ongoing session of the Parliament.

95. The Union Cabinet on 30th July, 2011 gave’ its approval for inclusion of the more Ministries in the Governing Council and Executive Committee of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan ( SSA ), as well as in Executive Committee of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan ( RMSA ) respectively.

96. India registered a 20 per cent increase in tiger population last year, says a report, ‘Status of tigers, co – predators and prey in India – 2010,’ released by Jagdish Kishwan, Additional Director – General ( Wildlife ), Ministry of Environment and Forests in New Delhi on 28th July, 2011. There are 1571 to 1875 tigers in India today which constitutes about 60 to 65% tiger population of the world.

97. The Government on 26th July, 2011 unveiling a pilot project the database by National Academy Depository would facilitate online verification of academic awards issued by boards and universities, thereby identifying attempts made to use fake and forged academic certificates.

98. Four years after the Indian security establishment first admitted the large – scale diversion and theft of ammonium nitrate which has been frequently used in bomb blasts since 2006 — the government on 28th July, 2011 declared “ammonium nitrate or any combination containing more than 45 pet cent of ammonium nitrate” as an explosive substance under the Explosive Act 1884, thereby curtailing its sale.

99. Pragya, a Class XII student, and Aparajita Aggarwal of Class XI of Bal Bharati School in New Delhi, have been credited with the discovery of asteroid 2011 – MV 9 — a find confirmed by the Minor Planets Centre in USA in July 2011.

100. The Union Human Resource Development Ministry on 29th July, 2011 clarified that madrasas are protected under Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution, and hence the Right of the Children to Free and Compulsory Education ( RTE ) Act does not come in the way of continuance of such institutions or the rights of children enrolled there. Madrasas imparting religious instruction do not fall under the ambit of schools as defined under section 2 ( n ) of the RTE Act.

101. The Medical Council of India on 25th July, 2011 informed the Supreme Court of its proposal to hold a national eligibility-cum-entrance test ( NEET ) for MBBS admissions from 2012 – 13, and that the core syllabus for NEET – UG  ( undergraduation ) had been put on its website.

102. National Institute Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development ( NIESBUD ) a premier Institute under the Ministry of MSME ( Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises ) on 28th July, 2011 launched a major project for Entrepreneurship and Skill Development of 35,000 youth of the country by December 2011 in the states of West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Punjab, J & K, Gujarat and Union Territory of Chandigarh.

103. The Bar Council of India on 27th July, 2011 elected senior advocate Ashok K. Parija from Odisha as its chairman to succeed the former Solicitor – General, Gopal Subramaniam. Senior advocate and Bar Council member from Madhya Pradesh, Zafar Ahmed Khan has been elected as vice – chairman. The Bar Council of India is a statutory body that regulates and represents the Indian bar.

104. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 29th July, 2011 between Society of Integrated Coastal Management ( SICOM ) and M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation ( MSSRF ) for the conservation and development of Vedaranyam Coastal Zone project in Tamil Nadu. The cost of the project is around ₹ 10 crores for a period of three years. The project is being undertaken under the World Bank assisted Integrated Coastal Zone Management project.

105. Securities and Exchange Board of India ( SEBI ) Chairman U. K. Sinha on 28th July, 2011 announced key changes in the Takeover Code governing mergers and acquisitions of companies in the country. It has raised the ownership trigger for a mandatory open offer in a company to 25 per cent from 15 per cent. These changes are based on the recommendations of the Takeover Regulations Advisory Committee ( TRAC ) under the chairmanship of  C Achuthan.

106. The Union Cabinet on 28th July, 2011 approved the constitution and operation of a National Social Security Rind for unorganised workers with an initial allocation of ₹ 1,000 crore. The fund will support schemes for weavers, toddy tappers, rickshaw pullers, beedi workers etc.

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