Sunday, March 3, 2013
Current Affairs: February 2013 (Last Week)
Useful for all competitive Examinations……..
ISRO's PSLV-C20 Rocket Successfully Launched SARAL and Six Other Satellites
Six foreign micro and mini spacecrafts as well as the Indo-French oceanographic study satellite, SARAL (Satellite for Argos-3 and Altika) were launched successfully by ISRO's PSLV-C20 rocket on 25 February 2013 from the spaceport at Sriharikota.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) of Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) flew from first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre and was successfully put into the orbit. The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee witnessed this launch from mission control centre at Sriharikota.
Satellites launched by PSLV-C20 rocket
• 410-kg SARAL with payloads - Argos and Altika
• Two micro-satellites UniBRITE and BRITE from Austria
• AAUSAT3 from Denmark
• STRaND from United Kingdom
• Micro-satellite (NEOSSat)
• Mini-satellite (SAPPHIRE) from Canada
These seven satellites were launched successfully by PSLV which depicted its versatility and recorded 22nd successful flight consecutive. ISRO also has plans to launch the Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle that has indigenous cryogenic engine, along with the India’s mission to Mars, both of which are scheduled for 2013.
SARAL, the unique satellite
• SARAL is said to be a very unique satellite which serves the research community.
• This satellite will assist the researchers in oceanographic studies.
• SARAL will study the sea surface heights and ocean currents.
• ARGOS-2 will help in collecting the data, while Altikameter will be responsible for measuring the height of sea surface.
• SARAL will also assist researchers in studying about the climatic developments.
• Its practical applications include study of migration of the marine animals, continental ice studies, protection of biodiversity and coastal erosion.
Railway Budget 2013-14: 67 New Express Trains Announced
Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on 27 February 2013 proposed the introduction of 67 new express trains and 26 new passenger trains. He also asserted the introduction of 22 new lines in 2013-14.
Highlights of the new Trains announced
• 67 new Express trains to be introduced.
• 26 new passenger services, 8 DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) services and 5 MEMU services to be introduced.
• Run of 57 trains to be extended.
• Frequency of 24 trains to be increased.
Metropolitan Projects/Sub-urban Services
• Introduction of first AC EMU rake on Mumbai suburban network in2013-14.
• Introduction of 72 additional services in Mumbai and 18 in Kolkata.
• Rake length increased from 9 cars to 12 cars for 80 services in Kolkata and 30 services in Chennai.
State wise break up of new Trains announced
• Karnataka gets 3 new lines, 8 express trains
• Goa gets 3 New Express trains
• Andhra Pradesh got 8 New Trains
• 13 New Trains for UP, 7 out of which went to Lucknow Only
Region Wise Break up of New Train Announced
• Eight new express trains, 11 originating trains and eight pass-through trains, six extension trains apart from 20 new lines and doubling projects fell in South Central Rail-way’s kitty in the Railway Budget announced.
• As per the budget, Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) will get a total of 17 new mail/express trains, of which 14 trains will serve either the city or state passengers.
• Further, 72 additional services of local trains, augmentation of AC local trains at WR, have also been announced.
Joint Parliamentary Committee formed to Probe into the VVIP Helicopter
The Government of India on 27 February 2013 announced constitution of Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe into the allegations in the VVIP helicopter deal from Agusta Westland and to identify the role of the middlemen in the purchase of the 12 helicopters.
The motion was moved by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath. The proposed JPC will constitute of 20 members from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha and submit the report of its findings within three months from the day of its constitution. The motion was adopted in the Rajya Sabha by Voice Vote.
World Number one Novak Djokovic won the ATP Dubai Open Tennis title 2013
World Number one Novak Djokovic on 2 March 2013 won the ATP Dubai Open Tennis title 2013. He defeated third seed Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych 7-5, 6-3 in the finals in Dubai.
India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and his French partner Michael Lloldra bagged the doubles crown defeating Serbian-Swedish duo of Nenad Zimonjic and Robert Lindstedt 7-6, 7-6 in straight sets.
Changes in Civil Services Exam Patterns Approved; General Studies to Have More Weight
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the changes in the exam patterns of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination. According to the new changes, more weightage will be given to the General Studies paper.
The decision was based on the recommendations of the committee which was constituted by the UPSC. The committee presented the report under Chairmanship of former chairman of UGC and was also examined by Department of Personnel and Training. It was later sent to the Prime Minister for seeking final approval.
As of now, the Main paper of civil services has General Studies Paper I and II which carry 300 marks each and includes compulsory as well as optional subjects. But after implementation of these changes, both these General Studies Papers will bear more weightage.
Civil Service examination is conducted by UPSC for selecting the candidates for three main All India Services which include Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Administrative Service.
National Science Day 2013 was Celebrated Countrywide
28 February 2013: National Science Day
National Science Day was observed on 28 February 2013. The theme of 2013 was Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security. The day is observed on the 28th of February every year to popularise science and its applications among school and college students. National Science Day is observed in honour of Nobel laureate and physicist CV Raman’s discovery of the Raman Effect, which he announced on this day in 1928.
Various activities like debates, quiz competitions, exhibitions and lectures were organised to mark the occasion.
Anupam Kher Awarded With City Proclamation Award in Los Angeles
Anupam Kher, the veteran Bollywood actor was awarded with the City Proclamation Award in Los Angeles in the last week of February 2013.
It is important to note that Anupam Kher was also nominated for Oscars 2013 for the Hollywood movie- Silver Lining Playbook. He has also acted in the Hollywood movies like Bend it Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice, The Mistress of Spices, American Blade, Hope and a Little Sugar, Midnight Children as well as in the television series.
First Smartphone into Space Launched Successfully From India
The Surrey Space Centre (SSC) of the University of Surrey on 26 February 2013 announced that STRaND-1, a nano-satellite carrying a smartphone was launched successfully into space from India. With this launch, India became the first country to successfully launch the first smartphone of the world.
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill approved by Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha on 25 February 2013 approved the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill. The bill seeks protection for women in all type of organised, unorganized as well as Private Sectors, including the sexual harassment of domestic help as well as agricultural workers.
Park Geun-Hye Sworn-In As the First Woman President of South Korea
Park Geun-hye sworn-in as the first woman President of South Korea on 25 February 2013. After swearing-in, she vowed for zero tolerance against nuclearised North Korea as well as economic prosperity of the country.
Park Geun-hye took charge of the office of the President of South Korea just a little over 50 years after Park Chung-hee, her father had taken over the office in 1961.
Life of Pi Bagged Maximum Awards at Oscars 2013 (85th Academy Awards)
The Oscars 2013 or the 85th Academy Awards ceremony took place on 24 February 2013. The annual Academy Awards were presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in order to honour the best films of the previous years, i.e., 2012. The Oscars 2013 ceremony was held at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. The awards were hosted by Seth MacFarlane. This is said to be the most viewed ceremony since Academy Awards 2004.
The main winners of the Oscars 2013 were Life of Pi, with four awards; Argo with three awards; Les Miserables with three awards and Django Unchained, Lincoln, Skyfall with two awards each. The list of the awardees of 85th Academy Awards is as follows:
List of the awardees of 85th Academy Awards: Click Here
Other important current affairs in a nutshell…..
* The Union Finance Minister announced new tax proposals while tabling the Union Budget 2013-14 in the Lok Sabha on 28 February 2013.
* The Vice President of India released a book titled Walking with Lions: Tales from a Diplomatic Past, written by K. Natwar Singh on 1 March 2013.
* Facebook Inc on 28 February 2013 announced that it agreed to buy advertising technology called Atlas Advertiser Suite, from the Microsoft Corp.
* Vice Admiral, Anurag G Thapliyal took over as the Director General of the Indian Coast Guard on 28 February 2013.
* The National Capital of India, Delhi emerged as worst place in terms of key parameters of environment in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI).
* Mozilla, the software community which is known for producing the Firefox web browser, launched Web-based Smartphone operating system on 24 February 2013....
* Arun Tadanki, the managing director for Yahoo India and South East Asia quit Yahoo on 25 February 2013. He became the Managing Director of Yahoo in May 2009.
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