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January 2013 Current Affairs Study Material


Palestinian Authority to be Named ‘State of Palestine’

On 7 January Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has signed a decree changing the name of the Palestinian Authority to the “”State of Palestine,”" according to the organization’s official news agency.

Pakistani Supreme Court Orders Arrest of Prime Minister

On 15 January 2013 Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the prime minister in connection with a corruption case linked to power projects. The Supreme Court gave authorities 24 hours to arrest Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and 16 others.This is the first in the history of Pakistan to arrest a Prime Minister. The orders of the Court came following the allegations in connection with a corruption case linked to power projects, done during his office of the Water and Power Minister.

Obama Signed 23 Executive Orders on Gun Safety

On 16 January President Barack Obama announced 23 executive actions on gun control laws, making them stricter,which would come into effect immediately after his signatures. One of these measures include requiring the target shooters to keep their guns locked and also to ban military-style assault weapons, high capacity magazine as well as to make the background check mandatory.Obama announced that this was his attempt to keep children safe, keeping in view the massacre of Newtown where 20 first grade children along with six adults were killed.

140 Nations Agreed On Global Mercury Limits

On 19 January , More than 140 nations have agreed on the first legally binding treaty to curb mercury pollution.Delegates at UN discussed in Geneva approved measures to control the use of the highly toxic metal, which is widely used in chemical production and small-scale mining, in order to limit mercury emissions.The governments agreed to ban the production, export and import of a range of products containing mercury by 2020.The treaty has been discussed for four years, but it is only now that the negotiators agreed over the final version of the document. The treaty, known as the Minamata Convention on Mercury, provides controls and reductions across a range of products and processes where mercury is used, released and emitted.

Milos Zeman Elected as Czech Republic new President

On 25 January A leftist candidate Milos Zeman won the Czech Republic’s first presidential election decided by direct vote.Milos Zeman, a former prime minister and head of the Citizens’ Rights Party, won with 54.8% of the vote.He defeated Karel Schwarzenberg, an aristocratic foreign minister with the TOP09 party, who garnered 45.2%.Zeman replaces Vaclav Klaus, who must step down after serving the maximum of two terms.


India – Pakistan Exchanged Nuclear Unit’s Lists

On 1 January India and Pakistan exchanged their nuclear units’ lists , as it is customary since 20 years. The list which contains the names of nuclear units of two countries, are exchanged between India and Pakistan as a custom and part of an agreement which prevents them from aiming the nuclear installations of each others’ nations.

Thousands of  illegal Indian Migrants in UK

According to a 2012 UK Home Office report, India has been named along with Pakistan, China, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Brazil and Iran as the main sources of illegal immigration to Britain.What the report does not mention is how many of the 863,000 illegal migrants that it says are living in the UK are students. This is a contentious area because critics of the coalition government claim it is counting students among overall immigrants.

World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) report , India ranks lowest among the world’s major economies for its preparedness to tackle global environmental risks and second-lowest for economic risks.Switzerland is best placed among the world’s 10 major economies for adapting to or recovering from global economic and environmental risks.While India is ranked 9th in terms of its ability to tackle global economic risks, it comes last at 10th  position for environmental risks.However, India fared relatively better at 6th position in terms of the government’s risk management effectiveness.The US and China were ranked fourth and fifth respectively.

Indians Top the List of  Working in Dream Jobs

According to survey conducted by networking website LinkedIn,Indians have emerged at the top of the list of people working in their dream job.The dream job league table:1. India – 44 percent 2. Indonesia – 42 percent 3. United Arab Emirates – 35.7 percent 4. Germany – 33 percent 5. Brazil – 32 percent 6. Austria – 31 percent 7. Switzerland – 30 percent 8. USA – 29 percent 9. France, Canada, Sweden, South Africa – 28 percent 13. Singapore, Hong Kong – 27 percent 15. Australia – 26 percent 16. New Zealand – 25 percent 17. UK – 21 percent

India – Vietnam Signed on Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

On 15 January India and Vietnam signed an MoU aimed at building capacity for developing institutional framework and identifying thrust areas and opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises in this country.The MoU was signed here between the Ministry of Planning and Investments of Vietnam and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of India .

India  and Sri Lanka signed Anti-terror, Tax evasion Agreements

On 22nd January  India and Sri Lanka signed two separate agreements on combating international terrorism and avoidance of double taxation, eyeing elevation of  “robust” bilateral ties to building of a special economic partnership.The two key accords were signed after the 8th India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission meeting held at New Delhi , both countries  discussed enhanced cooperation in a range of areas including civil nuclear energy.At the meeting, the Indian side was led by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid while the Lankans were led by his counterpart G.L. Peiris.During the meet, both the parties also decided setting up of the Special Economic Zone at  Trincomali and a textile and pharmaceutical cluster in Sri Lanka.

International Tea Producers Forum formed

On 22 January India, along with five other tea producing countries, has formed the International Tea Producers Forum (ITPF) at Colombo.Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D Purandesari signed the joint communique on behalf of India along with representatives of Kenya, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Rwanda and  Malawi in Colombo.The ITPF will initially be an independent body but in future may get affiliated to Food & Agriculture Organisation of United Nations.

India , Bangladesh Signed Extradition and Visa Agreements

On 28 January  Bangladesh and India signed an extradition treaty and struck a deal to relax business visa restrictions between the neighbouring countries. However, refusal provisions were incorporated into the extradition treaty.Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde signed the agreement with his Bangladeshi counterpart Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir at the end of their bilateral talks.

India Dropped to 140th Rank in Press Freedom

According to the report Reporters Without Borders India has dropped nine places to the 140th rank in the list of 179 countries in the latest World Press Freedom Index.China (173rd, +1) shows no sign of improving. Its prisons still hold many journalists and netizens, while increasingly unpopular Internet censorship continues to be a major obstacle to access information.As last year, the list is topped by three European countries – Finland, Netherlands and Norway.Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea continue to be at the bottom of the list as has been in the last three years.


Govt Launched Direct Cash Transfer Scheme in 20 Districts

On 1 January  2013 The government launched its scaled down Cash Transfer Benefit (CBT) in 20 districts,but food, fertiliser and fuel subsidies will not be covered in the initial phase. All 26 schemes are ready for rollout. On 1 January 2013 the seven schemes in which payout is due in the (20 selected) districts, the money will be transferred through the direct benefit transfer system using the UIDAI platform.The scheme is going to be rolled out in 43 districts by 1 March 2013, 20 districts from January 1, 11 districts from February 1 and 12 districts from March 1. By end of 2013, the direct cash benefit transfer will be rolled out in all the districts of the country.

PA Sangma launched National People’s Party  

PA Sangma, who broke away with the NCP in 2012 to contest the presidential elections, though unsuccessfully, on 05 January 2013 launched National People’s Party (NPP), and chosen a book as its symbol. Sangma has chosen to align his party with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

President Released Stamps on Swami Vivekananda

On 12 January The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee released the Commemorative Postage Stamps, at the Commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, in New Delhi .

Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2012

On 17 January According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2012 report  has found that learning levels have dipped to an all-time low. So, almost half the 6-7 year-olds (Class I) in India cannot read even one letter in any language, over 57% cannot read any English while almost 40% cannot recognize numbers between 1 and 9.The 12.8% children between Class I and V could not read a single letter while 10.7% could not recognize numbers 1 to 9. The number of children in Class V who could read Class II text fell from 53.7% in 2010 to 46.8% in 2012. In 2010, seven out of 10 children could solve a two-digit subtraction problem with borrowing. This has come down to five out of 10 in 2012.


Odisha Launched ‘ Public Service Delivery System ‘

On 2 January The Odisha government launched the much-sought after ” Public Service Delivery System ” for citizens under the Odisha Right to Public Service Act, 2012.Under the new act, people will get services like issue of driving license, birth and death certificates, passport and trade license within a stipulated time.Odisha is among the 12th state to implement the law.

Haryana Government announced Kanyadan Scheme for Bride participants of Mass Marriages

The Government of Haryana on 3 January 2012 announced its plan of launching a Kanyadan Scheme in the state for brides participating in the mass marriage ceremony, which would be organised by any of the registered NGO or the Red Cross Society. The scheme would carry an incentive amount of 11000 rupees and would come into effect from 1 April 2012. The incentive amount of 11000 rupees would be given to brides from all castes, creeds, race, religion and the income category to which the girl belongs.

Arunachal Pradesh Collaborated with NSDL for Adoption of National Pension Scheme

On 9 January The state of Arunachal Pradesh entered into an agreement with signing of MoU with National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), permitting it to work as a Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA) for adoption of the National Pension System (NPS).National Pension Scheme NPS is an initiative of the Union Government of India and Arunachal Pradesh is the 26th State to adopt it.

Gujarat Tops List of Indian States on Economic Freedom Policy

According to the ‘ Economic Freedom of States in India ‘ report which was released by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor and present Rajya Sabha Member Bimal Jalan.The top state in India in (terms of) economic freedom in 2011 was western Indian state Gujarat. It displaced southern Indian state Tamil Nadu which had been at the top in 2009.Gujarat freedom index  has been rising fast and estimated at 0.64 points.  The biggest improvement has been registered by Madhya Pradesh with freedom index score rose from 0.42 in 2009 to 0.56 in 2011 enabling it to move up from sixth to third position.

Assembly polls in Tripura,Meghalaya and Nagaland on Febrauary

Assembly elections in Tripura will be held on February 14 and in Meghalaya and Nagaland on February 23 and their results will be out on February 28, the Election Commission announced on 10 January 2013.The EC also announced byelections to nine assembly constituencies in Mizoram, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab on February 23 and in Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra on February 24, but their results will be out together on February 28.

President’s Rule Imposed on Jharkhand

On 18 January Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India  imposed President’s Rule in Jharkhand under Article 356(1) of the Constitution.The President’s Rule for the third time since its formation 12 years ago.The decision came as a follow up of the recommendation made by the Union Cabinet of India and fall of the state machinery in form of Government on 8 January after the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha the supporting party to BJP led Coalition Government withdrew its support from it. The state was placed under President’s Rule in 2009 and 2010.

Three New High Courts for North East

The Centre has constituted three new High Courts in the northeast  Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura taking the total number of High Courts in the country from 21 to 24.According to Law Ministry sources, the strength of judges in each High Court will be as follows: Tripura 4 (including the Chief Justice), and Meghalaya and Manipur: three each (including the Chief Justice).


100th Indian Science Congress held in Kolkata

The 100th Indian Science Congress was held from 3 to 7 January in Kolkata (West Bengal) .The theme of the session is  ” Science for Shaping the Future of India ”  .The session was inaugurated       by  Pranab Mukherjee      the President of India  .In the session Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  released ‘ The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy(STI)  2013  ’ .On 4 January Former President Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam inaugurated a Children Science Congress as part of the 100th Indian Science Congress .The 100th Indian Science Congress (ISC 2013) is also organized a special programme “ Women empowerment for the development of the country” to showcase the contribution of women in science and technology.This is the 13th time the Indian Science Congress is being hosted by Kolkata

11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Kochi

11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) was held from 7- 9 January at Kochi (Kerala).Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag was the chief guest of  this official inaugural session.2000 delegates from 40 countries attended the convention.The theme for this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is “Engaging Diaspora – the Indian Growth Story”.On 7th January in the event they discussed on problems that people from Kerala face in the region.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurated the annual flagship event and released the postage stamp on Ghadar Movement on 8 January  and  President Pranab Mukherjee will delivered the valedictory address on January 9 and also presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards.Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on January 9 every year to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community in the development of India.The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the first of its kind involving the Indian Diaspora, was held in 2003 at  New Delhi.

Fourth Meeting of ASEAN and India Tourism Ministers held in Vientiane

The Fourth meeting of ASEAN and India Tourism Minister (4th M-ATM+ India) was held in Vientiane, Lao PDR from  21 to  January in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2013 (ATF2013).The Meeting was jointly co-chaired by H.E. Prof. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Information, Culture and  Tourism, Lao PDR, and H.E. Dr. K. Chiranjeevi, Minister for Tourism, Government of India.In the meeting Both the Ministers have signed the Protocol to amend the Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and India on Strengthening Tourism Cooperation.

World Economic Forum Summit Held in Davos

The 43rd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held from 23 – 27 January at Davos-Klosters in Switzerland.The annual forum, which has been running for over 40 years, provides a platform for decision-makers in politics, non-governmental organisations and businesses to gather and to exchange views on the world’s most pressing problems.The World Economic Forum (WEF) unites international political leaders, business leaders and journalists from across the globe to discussed and shape global, regional and industrial agendas with regards to economics, health and the environment.The WEF was founded in 1971 as a non-profit organization by the German Klaus Schwab, a business professor at the University of Geneva.


Malala won ” 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award “

On 3 January Malala Yousafzai, the teenaged Pakistani school girl shot by a Taliban gunman last year , has been awarded the ” 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award ” from Ireland for her courage and determination to speak out in support of equal access to education for children.Malala is the second Pakistani to get the award. In 2007, it was given to late Benazir Bhutto.

Malala honored with the French ” Simone de Beauvoir ”  Prize

On 9 January Malala Yousafzai (15), the schoolgirl from Pakistan shot by Taliban for campaigning girls’ education,  received France’s Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom in Paris. Malala’s father Ziaudin Yousafzai received the honour on her behalf. he award is accompanied with 2.5 million RupeTes honorarium.

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2013

On 9 January Pranab Mukherjee President of India presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Awards) 2013  to 14 people, included Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi  and  Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag, He was also the Chief Guest of 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013. In accordance to Tradition, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Awards) 2013 have been given to notable Indians living abroad.

The other awardees are Prof Dr Gurusharan Singh Chhatwal of Germany for science, Dr Rasik Vihari Joshi (Mexico) for Literature, Gilbert Canabady Moutien (Reunion Island) and Mohammed Rabeeh Karuvanthodi (Saudi Arabia) for business, Patricia Maria Rozario(UK) for Music, Dr Narendra Ramakrishna Kumar (USA) for Healthcare, Subash Razdan (USA) and Islmail Ebrahim (South Afrcia) for Public service.

Dr Satendra Kumar Singh (New Zealand), Australia India Society of Victoria (Australia) and Bava Pandalingal (UAE), Ashok Shambhomal Vaswani (Guinea), Indian Doctors Forum, Kuwait for community service, Tan Sri Ravindran Menon from Malaysia for Community service, are among others on the list of awardees.

Mamata Banerjee gets gift from PCB

Overwhelmed’ by the hospitality at the Eden Gardens during India-Pakistan second ODI in Kolkata, the PCB sent the gift as a silver-coated Quran to the Cricket Association of Bengal who handed it over to the CM during a function at the Netaji Indoor in Kolkata on 10 January 2013.

Mahaveer Golechha  Bags  Award for Alzheimer’s Drug

On 17 January The London-based Indian researcher Mahaveer Golechha, was selected to be felicitated for an award that includes his work on a drug that can be a potential cure of Alzheimer’s disease.In the study conducted by Golechha, he found discovered that naringin has essential anti-Alzheimer activity.

70th Golden Globe Awards –  2013

On January 13 The 70th Golden Globe Awards honored the best in film and television of 2012, was presented in California .

Best  Film –  : Argo

Best Actor – : Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

Best Actress – : Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)

Best Director - Ben Affleck (Argo)

Best  Musical or Comedy -: Les Miserables

Best Foreign Language Film – : Amour

Best Animated Feature Film -: Brave

Krishi Karman Awards  2011- 2012

On 15 January President Pranab Mukherjee  presented the Krishi Karman awards for the year 2011-12  at an award ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The awards were presented to the State Governments for their excellent performance in increasing the production of food grains in their respective states.

Awards in Different Segments :-

-  The Awards for Special Contribution to Total Food Grains Production  -  Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Manipur and Nagaland

-  Award for Contribution to Production and Productivity of Rice –  Bihar

- Award for Contribution to Production and Productivity of Wheat  - Haryana

- Award for Contribution to Production and Productivity of Pulses  - Jharkhand

- Award for Contribution to Production and Productivity of Coarse Cereals – Uttar Pradesh

58th Filmfare Awards

The 58th Filmfare Awards were held honoring the best films of 2012 from the Hindi-language film industry (commonly known as Bollywood). The ceremony was held on January 20, 2013 at Mumbai.

Best Movie     :- Barfi!

Best Actor :- Ranbir Kapoor (Film -Barfi!)

Best Actress :- Vidya Balan (Film – Kahaani )

Best Director :- Sujoy Ghosh (Film – Kahaani )

Lifetime Achievement Award :- Yash Chopra (After Death)

Prof C N R Rao awarded by Chinese Academy of Sciences

The Chinese Academy of Sciences was awarded Prof C N R Rao, National Research Professor and Honorary President of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCAR), the prestigious “International Scientific Cooperation Award 2012″. The award is designed to acknowledge outstanding scientists for their contribution to science and for promoting global networking of international science cooperation.

Padma Awards – 2013

President of India Approved the Conferment of 108 Padma Awards

On 25 January Pranab Mukherjee, the President of Union of India approved conferment of 108 Padma Awards. Four people have been conferred with Padma Vibhusan, twenty four are conferred with Padma Bhushan and 80 people would be receiving Padma Shree Awards. Out of all the awardees twenty-four are ladies and 11 people belong to categories like NRIs, PIOs, Foreigners and Posthumous awardees.

Padma Vibhushan

Raghunath Mohapatra, Art, Orissa

S Haider Raza, Art, Delhi

Prof Yash Pal, Science and Engineering, Uttar Pradesh

Prof Roddam Narasimha, Science and Engineering, Karnataka

Padma Bhushan

Sharmila Tagore, Art, Delhi

Dr (Smt) Saroja Vaidyanathan, Art, Delhi

Late Rajesh Khanna, Art, Maharashtra

Late Jaspal Singh Bhatti, Art, Punjab

Adi Burjor Godrej, Trade and Industry, Maharashtra

Prof Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Literature & Education USA

Rahul Dravid, Sports, Karnataka

H Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, Sports, Manipur

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