Current Affairs: January 2013 (Third Week)
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Bhutan King to be the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day Celebrations 2013
Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade for the year 2013. The Bhutan King is also to be the chief guest at the Confederation of Indian Industry Partnership Summit-2013 to be held at Agra from 27th to 29 January 2013.Bhutan King's visit will contribute to further strengthening and expanding the close bilateral relations between India and Bhutan. The unique and special relations between the two neighbouring countries are characterized by everlasting friendship, deep understanding and mutual trust.
Pranab Mukherjee imposed President’s rule on Jharkhand
Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India on 18 January 2013 imposed President’s Rule in Jharkhand. The decision came as a follow up of the recommendation made by the Union Cabinet of India on 17 January 2013 and fall of the state machinery in form of Government on 8 January 2013 after the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha the supporting party to BJP led Coalition Government withdrew its support from it.
The President imposed the Rule on the state following the provisions of imposition of President’s Rule on a state mentioned under Article 356 (1) of the Constitution of India, after the failure of Constitutional Machinery in the state.
Virat Kohli became the Quickest Indian and Second at World Level to complete 4000 ODI Runs
The Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli on 19 January 2013 completed his 4000 runs in One day International cricket tournament. He is the 12th Indian batsman and 84th at world level to reach this milestone. By scoring these runs in just 93 innings, he became the first and quickest from India and second at world level to accomplish this milestone. Viv Richards, the West Indies player reached this milestone in 88 innings in the year 1985 and is placed at the 1st position in the list of crickets to touch the mark of 4000 runs in less number of innings. Both Richards and Kohli played in 96 matches to reach the score. Before Kohli, the former Indian Captain Sourav Ganguly had this record of scoring the fastest 4000 runs in ODI in 110 matches and 105 innings.
Government of India declared use of MGNREGA linked Post Office Accounts for Direct Cash Transfer
The Union Government of India in the third week of January 2013 amended the August 2008 notification to allow MGNREGA beneficiaries to receive other Government benefits and deposits in their post office saving account. With this order of the Union Finance Ministry more than 3.5 crore post office accounts in existence has turned up to be ready for the Aadhaar-linked Cash Transfer Scheme of Government of India. Earlier, the accounts linked with the MGNREGA workers of the country were used for receiving the wages under the rural employment guarantee scheme. As per the guidelines of the August 2008 notification of the Union Finance Ministry of India no deposit other than NREGA can be made to these accounts.
The Aadhaar number would be used for authentication of the identities of the beneficiaries under the new Direct Cash Transfer initiative. This identification would be of a great help in transferring the benefits offered by the Government directly into the accounts of the beneficiaries. There exists of a total of 8.26 crore MGNREGA accounts in the country and out of this 43 percent (3.5 crore) of the accounts exists in post offices of India.
Rahul Gandhi appointed as the Vice-President of Indian National Congress
Rahul Gandhi on 19 January 2013 was formally elevated and was appointed at the position of party Vice-President of Congress at the Chintan Shivir organised at Jaipur in January 2013. With this appointment, Rahul Gandhi took over the second highest chair of the oldest political party of the nation, just after the party-president and her mother Sonia Gandhi. His appointment to the post came up following the decision made by the Congress Working Committee, the party's highest decision making body.
Congress Vice Presidents in the Post Independent India
• Arjun Singh in 1986 was designated as the first Vice-President of the party
• Jitendra Prasada was appointed as the party Vice-President in 1997
Barack Obama took Oath as the President of the United States of America for Second Term
Barack Obama on 20 January 2013 formally took oath as the President of the United States of America in the oath-taking ceremony at the White House East Room. Justice John Roberts made him take the oath in presence of his family along with a closed group.
The oath was taken in the brief oath-taking ceremony that was organised for meeting the constitutional guideline of taking the oath of the President and Vice-President on 20 January by noon. He took the oath as the President on the family Bible and repeated the same process of oath-taking on 21 January 2013 on the Bibles, which were used by Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln. He took the oath for the second time because 20 January 2013 was a Sunday and an official Holiday in United States.
Barack Obama, the leader of Democratic Party won the U.S. Presidential election on 7 November 2012 after defeating his close Republican competitor, Mitt Romney. He took oath as the President of world’s largest economy for the second time.
Saina Nehwal clinched Second Position in the Badminton World Federation Rankings
Saina Nehwal, the Olympics bronze medalist on 17 January 2013 clinched her career best second rank in the latest rankings released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). To clinch the second position in the latest rankings released, Saina scored 80091.7444 points and is leaded by the Chinese Li Xuerui, who has 94626.7153 points by her name.
Parupalli Kashyap the quarterfinalist in London Olympics was also successful in clinching his career best tenth position in men’s list and he has 51986.6900 points by her name. Kashyap is the only Indian player to be within the list of top-25 players in the BWF list.
Saina Nehwal regained her world number two position after an interval of two years. For the first time, she achieved this position in December 2010. On the day, when Saina Nehwal achieved the number two position once again she displayed a dominant performance on her journey to quarter finals against Pui Yin Yip of Hong Kong in the Malaysian Open Super Series and won it in the straight sets with 21-12, 21-9 points.
58th Idea Filmfare Awards: Barfi! Bags Seven Awards, Kahaani Scripts Five
58th Idea Filmfare Awards were given away on 20 January 2013 at YRF Studio, Andheri. At the 58th Idea Filmfare Awards, Barfi!, the much-acclaimed film grabbed seven Black Lady awards while, Kahaani bagged five awards. The award for the Best Actor was given to Ranbir Kapoor for his deaf-mute performance in Barfi!
Vidya Balan, on the other hand was adjudged as the Best Actress for Kahaani. Barfi! was awarded with the Best Film award, while Kahaani’s director Sujoy Ghosh won the Black Lady for the Best Director. The lifetime achievement award was given away to Yash Chopra posthumously. Yash Chopra’s wife Pamela collected this award on his behalf.
Mercedes to Launch New Formula One Car in February 2013
Mercedes decided to uncover its 2013 Formula One car for Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton on 4 February 2013 at the pre-season test start in Spain. The new F1 car called F1W04 would be launched at Circuito de Jerez. Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 world champion joined Mercedes from McLaren, replacing Michael Schumacher, the 7-times champion. The team of Mercedes was positioned at number 5 in constructors list of 2012.
The launch of new cars of other top teams will take place as follows:
•McLaren on 31 January 2013
•Ferrari on 1 February 2013
•Red Bull on 3 February 2013
•Toro Rosso on 4 February 2013
Union Government of India raised the cap on Subsidized LPG Cylinders from 6 to 9
The Union Government of India on 17 January 2013 hiked a cap on the subsidized LPG Cylinders from 6 to 9 and offered a partial relief to the consumers of LPG cylinders. This move of the Union Government would come into effect from April 2013.
As per the orders of the Government and the decisions made by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) the rate of the kerosene and LPG would remain unchanged and the quota on the five subsidized cylinders from September 2012 to March 2013 would be given to the consumers. Further, from 1 April 2013 onwards people would be entitled for nine cylinders per annum.
Subsidized rates of LPG for 14.2 kg cylinder in the market is 410.50 rupees and further requirement of any household beyond the cap of 6 cylinders costs 895.50 rupees per cylinder. As per the reports from Oil Ministry, it suffered a total subsidy loss of about 37411 crore rupees on cooking gas in 2012-2013 at 520.50 rupees per cylinder.
Toyota launched Five-Speed Automatic Fortuner in the Indian Market
The Japanese automaker Toyota Kirloskar Motor on 16 January 2013 launched a five-speed automatic version of the Fortuner SUV for 22.33 lakh rupees (ex-showroom New Delhi). The company is now also offering the Fortuner TRD Sportivo, which was launched as a limited edition in October 2012, as a regular variant in its lineup.
The earlier version of Fortuner the 4x2 AT was extremely popular and had been highly appreciated by the customers. Now, the new five-speed AT will further add to the drive quality and comfort. Toyota has also added a new colour to the Fortuner’s options list; pearl white mica which is available across all variants of the SUV. Bookings for the new variants will begin from 18 January 2013.
Prices for the New Edition of the Toyota Fortuner
Toyota Fortuner 4x2 AT (Five-speed AT) - 2233000- Rupees (ex-showroom Delhi)
Toyota Fortuner 4x2 AT TRD Sportivo (Five-speed AT) - 2293000 rupees (ex-showroom Delhi)
Toyota Fortuner 4x2 MT TRD Sportivo - 2196668 Rupees- (ex-showroom Delhi).
Air India directed by DGCA to Ground All Six Boeing 787 Dreamliners on Safety Concerns
Air India on 17 January 2013 grounded the fleet of all six Boeing 787 dreamliners after US federal agency asked its airlines to ground the Boeing 787 due to safety hazard.
The move for grounding the fleet came with decision made by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) who received a communication from the US watchdog Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pointing to problems with the battery on the aircraft.
The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) conducted an investigation of an in-flight Boeing 787 battery incident in Japan on 16 January 2013 which posed a question on a potential battery fire risk in the 787. In response to that Japan had grounded 24 Dreamliner owned by two of its airlines - ANA (All Nippon Airways) and Japan Airlines.
In September 2012, Air India had also experienced a fault in its Dreamliner's liquid cooling system and electrical power system, which had led to the grounding of all three of these planes at that time. After the faults were rectified, these aircraft have been flying regularly on select domestic and international routes.
Halimah Yacob Became First Woman Speaker of the Singapore Parliament
Halimah Yacob (58) became the first woman and the 9th Speaker of the Singapore Parliament on 14 January 2013. She replaced Michael Palmer, the former People's Action Party MP. Palmer got down from the post of Speaker of the Parliament and as an MP on 12 December 2012. Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong nominated her for the designation of speaker.
Halimah Yacob came down from her post of Minister of State (Social and Family Development) and was elected as the Speaker by Members of Parliament. In her role, she is expected to play an independent role during all the parliamentary debates, but she stressed the fact that she would remain ahead for the Singaporeans' concerns and would also share the views on various policies.
About Halimah Yacob
Halimah Yacob, 58, is an Indian-origin woman born in Singapore. She belongs to the People's Action Party. She has remained the Minister of State, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports from 21 May 2011 to 31 October 2012. She has also held office as the Minister of State, Ministry of Social and Family Development from 1 November 2012 to 13 January 2013.
Other important current affairs in a nutshell
· China appointed Wei Wei, a Career Diplomat as Ambasador to India.
· Om Prakash Chautala and his Son held guilty in Teachers Recruitment Scam.
· Kamal Nath Elected As the Leader of Indian Delegation for World Economic Forum 2013.
· SC of Pakistan ordered the authorities to arrest the Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on charges of corruption linked to him.
· India Pakistan Flag Meeting was held at Chakan-Da- Bagh in Jammu and Kashmir.
· New novel about Hitler, called Er Ist Wieder Da (He’s Back) authored by Timur Vermes became the Germany’s bestseller, replacing Winter Of The World.
· Astronomers discovered Magnetic Ropes in Venus’s Upper Atmosphere
· Golden Globe Awards 2013: Argo Won Best Picture and Best Director Awards (for details refer our earlier post).
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