GK Compendium - 47

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February 1
India on Tuesday selected the French Fighter Rafale over the Eurofighter Typhoon in a
multi-billion dollar contract for the supply of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft
(MMRCA) -- the country's largest defence deal to date.
The Supreme Court set a three-month deadline for governments to decide whether or not
to grant sanction for prosecution under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday set new guidelines on distances within which the
Capital's private unaided schools will have to admit children from economically weaker
sections and disadvantaged groups in the 25 per cent reserved quota under the Right to
Education Act. Schools should adopt four distances -- 1 km, 3 km, 6 km and beyond that -
- for admitting poor children and those belonging to the disadvantaged groups.
The former Vice-Chief of the Army, Lt. Gen. Nobel Thamburaj, and two others were
booked on Tuesday by the CBI on the charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and
misconduct in an out-of-court settlement of a land dispute.
Veteran diplomat and writer A.K. Damodaran, 91, died in a hospital here on Tuesday
after a prolonged illness.
After promising to go beyond the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution to find
a solution to the Tamil ethnic problem, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has done a U-turn
and said the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) would now have to suggest a
In a new twist to the mystery surrounding the murder of Indian-origin businessman Avtar
Kolar and his English wife Carole in their Birmingham home three weeks ago, a man
charged with their killings has been found dead in his prison cell. The alleged suspect, 37-
year-old Lithuanian Rimvydas Liorancas, was found hanging in his cell on Saturday and
attempts to resuscitate him failed, according to prison authorities.
The United States has laid bare its intent to go all out in seeking the exit of the Syrian
regime led by President Bashar al-Assad, despite solid resistance from Russia which says
Washington must respect the principle of sovereignty.

Expanding its presence in the U.S., IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has
opened a new facility in Silicon Valley which is welcomed by the U.S. lawmakers and the
Californian government.
February 2:
Efforts to locate oil in the Kerala-Konkan offshore basin may have failed so far, but the
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) appears not about to give up. The Maharatna
firm has entered into collaboration with the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) here
for fluid inclusion studies that would help locate and tap the immense hydrocarbon
reserves in the South Ratnagiri and Kerala-Konkan offshore basins.
The release of the seventh part of author Taslima Nasreen's Nirbasan (Exile) at the
Kolkata Book Fair was cancelled on Wednesday following protests
The Chinese government has deployed additional security forces and restricted
communication in several towns of the north-western Sichuan province following clashes
last week between Tibetans and police forces, which left at least two people dead and
dozens injured.
Amid high drama at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Russia and China have
spiritedly opposed a European-Arab draft that seeks to topple Syrian President Bashar al-
Assad as the first step towards the establishment of democracy in the troubled Arab
Mitt Romney marched ahead with a commanding lead in the U.S. Republican race for the
White House after trouncing his main rival, Newt Gingrich, in a bitterly-fought Florida
primary on Wednesday.
Fortis Healthcare (India) on Wednesday said it had acquired a majority stake in
Singapore-based diagnostic firm RadLink-Asia Pte Ltd. for Singapore $62.9 million
(about Rs.245 crore).
Reparing early losses, the rupee gained 19 paise against the dollar and closed at a 13-
week high of 49.27
February 3:
Declaring the allocation of 2G spectrum by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance
(UPA) government "illegal" and an example of the arbitrary exercise of power, the
Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled all 122 telecom licences allotted on or after

January 10, 2008 to 11 companies during the tenure of the former telecom minister, A.
The number of malaria deaths worldwide in 2010 was 1.24 million, nearly double the
number previously estimated by the 2011 World Malaria Report (WMR). This is despite a
31-per-cent reduction in such deaths globally in the last five years.
A day after the organisers of the 36th Kolkata International Book Fair refused to release
the seventh volume of Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen's autobiographical
series Nirbasan (Exile), the book was launched at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair in Dhaka
without a hitch.
More than 100 people are reported missing after a ferry with more than 350, many of
them students, sank off the coast of Papua New Guinea
The Union Law and Justice Ministry has decided to challenge the Central Information
Commission (CIC) order directing it to disclose the 2007 advice tendered to A. Raja by
the then Solicitor- General, Goolam E. Vahanvati.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice, returnable in four
weeks, to the Odisha government seeking a report on the alleged destruction and burning
of 30 houses of Dalits by some upper caste persons in Lathore village of Bolangir District
on January 22.
Social networking giant Facebook has filed an initial public offering, which could raise as
much as $10 billion and could value the company between $75 billion and $100 billion.
For the second time in a month, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani was ordered by
the Supreme Court on Thursday to appear before it to be charged with contempt for
repeatedly refusing to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
A bloodbath at a football stadium in the Egyptian city of Port Said has triggered
cascading protests against the ruling military authorities and the security forces, which are
being accused of plotting the tragedy.At least 74 people were killed and hundreds
wounded when a large group of spectators wielding knives, sticks and clubs, and
apparently backing the winning Al Masry club from the host city, attacked supporters of
the rival Al Ahly team, which had travelled from Cairo.
Dense legal arguments over the validity of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) marked
the second and final day of the hearing in the Supreme Court here of WikiLeaks founder
Julian Assange's appeal against extradition to Sweden to answer allegations of sexual
misconduct brought by two women.

February 4
The Supreme Court on Friday took the Centre to task over the issue of age of the Chief of
the Army Staff, Gen. V.K. Singh, saying that the government decision-making process
went against the principles of natural justice and the Constitution.
Pakistan, whose judicial commission failed to visit India as scheduled to record the
statements of key officials linked to the investigation of the Mumbai attacks, indicated on
Friday that it could be sent before February 10.
Veteran environmental filmmaker Mike Pandey was on Friday honoured with the
prestigious V. Shantaram Life Time Achievement Award at the Mumbai International
Film Festival 2012.
Anita Rana, homemaker-turned-versatile social worker, leader of Janhit
Foundation received an award recognising her "Leadership in Community Initiatives for a
Green Economy" from United Nations Development Programme Country Director
Caitlin Wiesen. Later in the day, she received a certificate of appreciation for
her "Valuable Work in Support of Earth Day Network's Campaign --Women and the
Green Economy."
The fourth phase of the intensive Tiger Monitoring Programme,' envisaged by the Tiger
Task Force of the Union Government, began at the Kalakkad - Mundanthurai Tiger
Reserve (KMTR) in Tirunelveli on Friday.
In view of complaints from several States about attacks on media persons and covert
measures adopted to undermine press freedom, Justice Markandey Katju, chairman, Press
Council of India, has decided to send fact-finding teams to review the situation in various
Russia and Ukraine both took precautions on Friday to protect homeless people, scores of
whom have frozen to death on the streets of Europe during its brutal cold snap. As the
death toll from the weeklong tragedy rose to at least 169 on Friday, Russian Emergencies
Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered the creation of feeding and medical-assistance facilities
nationwide for the homeless.
Less than a week after a similar move by micro-blogging site Twitter, Internet major
Google has unveiled plans to make content on its blogger platform selectively available,
depending on the local rules of each country.
February 5:

A special court dismissed Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy's prayer for
summoning Union Minister P. Chidambaram as an accused for allegedly conspiring with
the then Telecom Minister, A. Raja, in the 2G spectrum issue.
In a fresh move to resolve the deadlock over the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project
(KKNNP), Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced in the Assembly that the State
government will constitute a panel of experts immediately to go into the safety system of
the proposed plant and "perceptions and apprehensions" of the local population.
Voting in favour of the United Nations Security Council resolution that called on Syrian
President Bashar Assad to step down, India said it supported the effort of the Arab
League for a peaceful resolution of the 11-month-old Syrian crisis.
The much awaited reports by two committees set up by the Government of India to
review the technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the controversial
Antrix-Devas agreement, on the basis of which the former Indian Space Research
Organisation Chairman, Madhavan Nair, and three other scientists were barred from
holding government posts, was made public late. It was found that the Space commission
and the Cabinet was not informed about the Devas deal
Activist Vandana Shiva and an Europe-based NGO have jointly opposed a patent
awarded to an American company on virus resistance traits taken from indigenous melon
varieties in India.The NGOs -- Navdanya and No Patent on Seeds -- contend that, armed
with this patent, the U.S. company (Monsanto) could block access to all breeding material
inheriting the virus resistance derived from the Indian melon.
Syrian forces unleashed a barrage of mortars and artillery on the battered city of Homs for
hours before dawn on Saturday, sending terrified residents fleeing into basements and
killing more than 200 people in what appeared to be the bloodiest episode in the nearly
11-month-old uprising.
February 6:
In their stinging indictments, two government-appointed committees, set up to
scrutinise the Antrix-Devas agreement, have highlighted serious procedural lapses on
the part of, and policy violations by, senior scientists of the Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO), all of which benefited a private company.
Diagnosed with lung cancer, Yuvraj Singh is undergoing treatment in the U.S., with
the tumour reportedly showing signs of malignancy.

M. Abdul Rahman, currently Director of Vocational Higher Secondary Education, has
been appointed Director of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
under the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
A month after the southern Chinese village of Wukan rose up in open rebellion
against the local Communist Party leadership over land grabs, Premier Wen Jiabao
has assured farmers their rights would be protected as Beijing looks to address rising
rural unrest ahead of a crucial leadership transition.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro presented two volumes of his memoir entitled "Time
Guerrilla" in a ceremony that marked his first public appearance since last April,
Cuban media reported.
February 7:
The recently-conducted waterfowl census in the irrigation tanks along the course of
the Tamirabharani has revealed that this region's water bodies were feeding over
36,000 water birds of 57 species.
Historian Sharda Dwivedi passes away.
In a step aimed at strengthening various counter-terrorism measures, the government
has decided to operationalise the ambitious National Counter Terrorism Centre
(NCTC) from March 1. Initially, the NCTC will be located in the Intelligence Bureau
and headed by a Director who will be an officer in the rank of Additional Director, IB.
It will have three units -- gathering intelligence, analysis of intelligence and carrying
out operations -- and each of these divisions will be headed by a joint director of the
A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the central Philippines, killing at
least 44 people and causing widespread panic, officials said.
Guns boomed as Queen Elizabeth on Monday celebrated the 60th anniversary of her
accession to the British throne kicking off the run-up to the official Diamond Jubilee
celebrations in June billed as the biggest event of the year, up there with the London
Violence flared afresh on Monday in Homs, lending greater credence to the
opposition's claim that emboldened by Russia and China's backing at the Security
Council, the Syrian regime has stepped up armed attacks against protesters in the
embattled city.

February 8:
In a day of dramatic developments that captured both the fragility of democracy in the
Maldives and also the maturity of its political institutions, President Mohammed Nasheed
resigned in the face of a mutiny by policemen that he said he did not want to put down by
force, handing over the reins of power to his Vice-President, Dr. Waheed.
In a major political embarrassment to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Karnataka
Minister for Cooperation Lakshman Savadi was caught watching pornography on his
mobile phone while the Assembly was in session
Three IITians are among the eight young scientists who have won the prestigious Scopus
award, instituted by the National Academy of Sciences and Elsevier, a leading provider of
scientific, technical and medical information products and services.
Science communicator R.D. Sharma (73), who was a senior officer in the Indian Council
of Agricultural Research, has passed away.
Dr. Abdul Waheed is the new Maldiavian President. He has previously served in the
United Nations and was the Vice-President of Maldives before Mohammed Anni
Nasheeds alleged coup.
After security review, Indian Embassy in Beijing to be inaugurated today
February 9:
With a record 62 per cent polling in the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly
elections on Wednesday, the biggest winners have been the voters, who braved the
inclement weather to cast their votes.
Violence, fuelled by a speculative media owing allegiance to one party or the other,
spread across the atolls of the Maldives after the deposed President, Mohammed
Nasheed, decided on Wednesday to take the issue to the streets. Reports reaching
Male indicate that members of his Maldivian Democratic Party have virtually taken
over administration on at least five islands.
India's indigenously developed micro-light pilotless target aircraft Lakshya-1' was
successfully test-flown from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, near here, on
Wednesday as part of a routine trial.

Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Director Sanjay Mohan has been arrested for
allegedly taking money from candidates who appeared for Teachers Eligibility Test
held last November
Prof. Tapas Kumar Kundu of Bangalore-based Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced
Scientific Research has won the G. D. Birla Award for his contributions in the field of
The Navy on Wednesday staged a network-centric exercise off the Southern coast and
displayed cooperation the Indian Air Force in its annual TROPEX (Theatre-level
Readiness and Operational Exercise). The display was witnessed by Defence Minister
A.K. Antony.
Representatives from 35 countries and over 250 companies will be participating in the
ninth edition of the three-day BioAsia, beginning here in Hyderabad.
The Pakistan Army resumed border coordination with the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) stationed in Afghanistan and the Afghan National Army
after a two-month freeze in relations following the NATO air strike on Pakistani
border outposts.
Chemplast Sanmar, manufacturer of PVC resins, chlorochemicals and piping systems,
is planning to delist its shares from stock exchanges.
10 February:
The Special Investigation Team probing Zakia Jafri's complaint has declared
Narendra Modi free of all charges in the 2002 Gujarat pogrom against Muslims. In a
"summary closure report" -- filed before the magistrate's court in Ahmedabad on
Wednesday -- the R.K. Raghavan-led SIT said there was no "prosecutable evidence"
against the Chief Minister Narendra Modi
In a landmark decision, the Election Commission on Thursday censured Union Law
and Justice Minister Salman Khursheed, who is also in charge of Minority Affairs, for
violating the model of code of conduct during an election rally in Uttar Pradesh on
January 8.
Veteran Hindi film music composer Rajesh Roshan has been decorated with the Lata
Mangeshkar award by the Madhya Pradesh Government.

Noted Jodhpur-based Unani medical practitioner Sajid Nisar has been selected for this
year's Hakim Abdul Hameed Award for outstanding contribution in the field of
natural medicine.
India and Bangladesh will take the first step towards revisiting the proposed Teesta
river treaty when officials exchange river flow data at a technical meeting of the inter-
governmental Joint Rivers Commission in Kolkata on Friday.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) will henceforth directly monitor the progress of
the construction of the Dedicated Freight Corridor -- virtually taking the job away
from the Railways.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) launched a programme here on
Friday to verify the Aadhaar-based authenticity of a person and to launch a platform
for connecting the person to banks.
Tea exports are estimated to have dropped by volume in the January-December 2011
period to 186.7 million kg from 193 million kg in the same period the year before.
Florence Green never saw the front line. Her war was spent serving food, not dodging
bullets.But Ms. Green, who has died at age 110, was the last known surviving veteran
of World War I
11 February:
In a setback to General V.K. Singh, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to intervene
in his plea, pointing out that the Army Chief, who accepted the government's decision
in determining his date of birth as May 10, 1950 on three occasions, could not go back
on his commitment. His writ petition was disposed of as withdrawn.
Seeking to create history and further consolidate people to people exchange, the
Indian Government and the industry have joined hands to put up a massive India
Show' at Lahore
The government on Friday sent a special envoy, M. Ganapathi, Secretary (West) in
the External Affairs Ministry, to Male.
Four BSF personnel, including a Commandant, were killed and two injured in an IED
blast by suspected Maoists in Malkangiri district of Odisha on Friday.
An earthquake of 5 magnitude shook the Uttarkashi region of Uttarakhand in the early
hours of Friday. Although cracks were reported from some houses in Barkot, no
major damage was reported, officials said.

Badrinath Prathi has been selected for "Significant Contribution Award 2012" by the
Indian Association of Physiotherapists.
On Thursday evening, cadres of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist)
opened fire on a Mahindra Scorpio vehicle in Chhattisgarh's troubled Sukma district
and killed Kartam Surya, a 29-year-old police constable, absconder from the law and
alleged rapist, who had come to symbolise the excesses of the State's counter-
insurgency campaign.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Friday "greater efforts" would be made by the
government to protect Tibetans' cultural traditions and religious freedom.
12 February:
The Union Law Ministry has reportedly accepted a proposal of the Election
Commission to amend the law to make bribing of voters, in cash or kind, a cognizable
offence. It has written to the Union Home Ministry asking for an ordinance to amend
IPC Section 171(B), under which the bribe giver is now booked, to make it a
cognizable offence.
After India did the ground work of talking long hours to all parties to the conflict in
the Maldives, the United States has stepped in to ensure that the new government
sticks to its professed mandate of forming a unity government.
Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner P. C. Meena ordered a ban on construction within
100 metres of the boundary of the Air Force Station Rajokri, falling in Dundahera
village, on the Gurgaon-Delhi border near the Toll Plaza.
The Madhya Pradesh Vishesh Nyayalaya Adhiniyam (Madhya Pradesh Special
Courts Bill) 2011 has received the presidential assent and will come into force on
February 15, 2012.The anti-corruption act equips the government with wide-ranging
powers to weed out corruption, including the power to confiscate illegally earned
properties of corrupt officials and use them as public assets.
In the face of mounting pressure from the international community and from some
friends, it appears that the former President, Mohamed Nasheed, has backed off from
his non-negotiable demand of holding early elections.
With six Cabinet members resigning in protest against an unpopular new austerity
package, continued clashes between police and demonstrators in the streets of Athens
and other major Greek cities, increasing pressure from Germany, France and other EU