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Two More Attempts at Civil Services Examination: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - April + May 2014


TWO MORE ATTEMPTS AT CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION


The Department of Personnel and Training, under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, have released a notification providing a relaxation in the number of attempts and maximum age-limit for the civil services examination.

Background

The Union Public Services Commission has introduced a series of changes in the Civil Services Examination in the recent years. Starting from the introduction of the CSAT paper in place of the Optional paper in the Prelims exam, the UPSC further made a major transformation in the Civil Services Mains Examination in 2013. However, the decision witnessed a major uproar among the aspirants, who did not welcome the changes.

Thus, the announcement of the civil services examination witnessed a simultaneous series of protests from the various sections of IAS aspirants. The main concerns of the aspirants, for which the protests were made
were-

  • The complete overhaul of the Mains examination came without any relaxation in the attempt and maximum agelimit criteria, to provide the candidates an appropriate time to adjust to the new syllabus. Since the New syllabus was announced late, by the UPSC, there was little time available for the candidates to prepare for the Exam. Thus, the candidates demanded additional attempts and age relaxations.

  • The demands were supported by the earlier examples when the changes in the UPSC Mains and Prelims were matched with an additional number of attempts for the candidates.

  • some sections of the student community also objected to the introduction of the English paper as a compulsory subject. It was alleged that it was done with an intention of sidelining the student belonging to nonenglish
    medium. However, later UPSC, through its notification, amended its decision and made the English paper qualifying in nature.

The Latest Notification:

A detailed Analysis In its latest notification, released recently, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has taken a major decision, announcing additional attempts and age relaxations for the candidates of various communities.

The relaxations given are as follows:

Additional Attempts for Various Categories

  1. Unreserved/General Category- While the earlier limit of attempts by the candidates of the unreserved category was 4, the latest notification by the UPSC has increased the same to 6. Thus, the candidates would be entitled to have 2 additional attempts. This also comes with a consequential maximum age-limit relaxation of two years, thus making the maximum age limit 32 years.

  2. SC/ST Category- The earlier age-limitation for the candidates belonging to the SC/ST category was 35 years. There was no specified restriction on the number of attempts available to this category. Thus, the candidates,
    hailing from the SC/ST category are able to take the civil services examination till they attain the maximum age-limit. The latest notification has increased the age-limit for the SC/ST category by 2 years, making it 37 years, with a consequential increase of 2 attempts.

  3. OBC Category- While the maximum age-limit for the candidates coming from the OBC section was 33 years, and the number of attempts being 7; the latest notification of the UPSC has increased the number of attempts and maximum-age by 2 respectively. Thus the new attempt limit is 9, with maximum age being 35 years.

  4. Physically Handicapped (P.H.) Category- previous agelimit for the candidates belonging to the PH category was 40 years, with 7 attempts for General and OBC Category PH candidates, and unlimited attempts for the SC/ST + PH candidates. However, the latest notification has increased the number of attempts to 9 for the General/OBC PH candidates. The age-limit has been increased by 12 additional years to each category, that is, for General PH candidates= 30+12 (42); for SC/ST PH candidates= 35+12 (47); and for OBC PH candidates= 33+12 (45).

(Answer Key) PPSC : IAS Preliminary CSAT Paper-2 : 2014

Punjab Public Service Commission

IAS Preliminary (CSAT) Exam 2014

(Answer Key) CSAT Paper-2

Exam : CSAT Paper 2

Subject : General Studies

Series :  A

Click Here To Download Answer Key

Courtesy : PPSC

(Answer Key) PPSC : IAS Preliminary General Studies Paper-1 : 2014

Punjab Public Service Commission

IAS Preliminary (CSAT) Exam 2014

(Answer Key) General Studies Paper-1

Exam : GS Paper 1

Subject : General Studies

Series :  A

Click Here To Download Answer Key

Courtesy : PPSC

(Download) PPSC : IAS Preliminary CSAT Paper-2 : 2014

Punjab Public Service Commission

IAS Preliminary (CSAT) Exam 2014

CSAT Paper-2

Exam : CSAT Paper 2

Subject : General Studies

Question Booklet Series :  A

Click Here To Download Paper

Courtesy : PPSC

(Download) PPSC : IAS Preliminary General Studies Paper-1 : 2014

Punjab Public Service Commission

IAS Preliminary (CSAT) Exam 2014

General Studies Paper-1

Exam : GS Paper 1

Subject : General Studies

Question Booklet Series :  A

Click Here To Download Paper

Courtesy : PPSC

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 April 2014

Course for safe roads

  • Indian roads have proved to be giant killers demanding immediate attention and remedial action, the Supreme Court observed recently and appointed a panel to suggest measures to prevent road accidents and to ensure accountability.

  • Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan, who retires as Supreme Court judge soon will be part of this panel along with S. Sundar, Former Transport Secretary and Dr. Nishi Mittal, formerly HoD, Traffic Engineering and Safety (TES)

  • A Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N.V. Ramana, gave this direction acting on a public interest writ petition (PIL) filed by renowned orthopaedician Dr. S. Rajasekaran.

  • The bench quoted figures furnished by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in the volume “Road Accidents in India 2010” highlighting the extent of increase of road accidents and fatal cases between 1970-2010.

  • It is reported that road traffic accidents in 2010 numbered 4,30,654 resulting in 1,26,896 deaths and serious injuries 4,66,600 that includes amputation of limbs. One serious road accident in the country occurs every minute; and one person dies in a road traffic accident every 4 minutes.

  • In his judgment Justice Gogoi said: “Road traffic accidents have the potential of being one of the largest challenges to orderly human existence necessitating immediate and urgent intervention.

  • The Bench asked the three-member panel to submit a report to the apex court after receipt of reports from Centre and States on the status of implementation and enforcement of various road safety laws.

Border Defence Cooperation Agreement

  • India and China recently held their first-ever Director General of Military Operations-level meeting, which discussed ways to implement the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement(BDCA)signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing in October.

  • And it was an eight-member delegation led by People’s Liberation Army(PLA)Deputy Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Qi Jiangua, which represented the Communist nation at the DGMO-level dialogue.

  • The two sides exchanged views on various issues of mutual interest such as maintenance of peace and tranquility along the LAC and enhancing mutual cooperation and understanding between the Armies of India and China. Measures for implementation of existing bilateral agreements were also discussed.

  • The take-away from the new BDCA, which has drawn heavily from the earlier bilateral agreements of 1993, 1996, 2005 and 2012 on border Confidence Building Mechanisms, were proposals for opening a hotline between their military headquarters, non-tailing eachother’s patrols along the LAC, holding meetings of border personnel in all the sectors, apart from organising small-scale tactical exercises involving the two armed forces along the LAC.

Hatf-III

  • Pakistan conducted a successful training launch of short range surface to surface ballistic missile Hatf III (Ghaznavi) recently.
  • The missile can carry nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 290 kilometres.
  • The successful launch concluded the field training exercise of strategic missile group of Army Strategic Forces Command.
  • As per the statement released by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the training launch was witnessed by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood, Director General Strategic Plans Division Lieutenant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Commander Army Strategic Forces Command Lieutenant General Obaid Ullah Khan, Chairman NESCOM Muhammad Irfan Burney and other senior military officials and scientists.

Download Free Gist of The Hindu, Yojana, Kurukshetra, PIB & Science Reporter (November 2013)

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No. of Booklets: 1 (November 2013)

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  • Gist of Kurukshetra

  • Gist of Press Information Bureau

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United Nations International Conference on Population & Development Beyond 2014: Civil Services Mentor - April + May 2014

UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT BEYOND 2014


The Background

Development is the expansion of the human opportunities and freedom. This is an understanding inherent in the commitment by all the UN member states. It represents the shared aspirations of governments and citizen to ensure that- all person are free from want and fear, and are provided with the basic opportunities and the social arrangements to develop their unique capabilities; and, participate fully in society.

In order to achieve these goals, the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was held in Cairo, Egypt, in 1994, with some 20000 delegates from various countries, UN agencies, NGOs and the Media organizations.

The Conference discussed and showed a remarkable consensus on the issues of socio-political-economic equality, including a comprehensive definition of sexual and reproductive health and rights of the Women and
children. Other issues discussed in the conference were- population growth, sustainable economic growth and sustainable development.

The Realization of Human Rights and Development

The vision of development, human rights and a world order based on peace and security remains at the foundation of the UN, since its inception in 1945.

Article 1(3) of the UN Charter states the main purpose of the UN- ‘to achieve international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedom of all, without any distinction on the basis of race, sex, language or religion’.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); The convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women (1979) and the convention on all Rights of the Child (1989), lay out an extensive list of civil, political and socio-economic-cultural rights that member states are obliged to respect, protect and fulfill.

More recently, a regional human rights protection system has emerged to complement the international efforts. Such regional systems provide human rights protection in the context of particular regions.

After the World Conference on Human Rights (1993), which affirmed that- all human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and inter-related, and claimed that- ‘the rights of the women are human rights,
and the human rights are women’s rights’.

The ICPD brought together the issue of development and human rights, in a compelling and operational manner.

International Conference on Population and Development (1994), Cairo

The Programme of Action of the ICPD affirmed that the right to development is universal and inalienable. It was seen as an integral part of the fundamental human rights. The ICPD viewed the Human person as the centre of the development. In affirming the centrality of human rights, with regard to population, the discussion was held on a variety of population issues, including- immigration, infant mortality, birth control, family planning and education of women, and protection of women from abortion services.

According to the official ICPD release, the conference delegates achieved consensus on the following four qualititive and quantitative goals:

1. Universal Education- Universal Primary Education in all countries by 2015. It also emphasized on urging the countries to provide a wider access to women for secondary and higher education, as well as vocational
and technical education.

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 22 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 22 April 2014

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  • Mr Garcia Marquez, widely considered one of the greatest Spanish-language authors of all time was eulogized in the dramatic art deco lobby by the presidents of both Mexico and Colombia, two countries linked by the writer through his birth, life, heritage and career.
  • ‘He will live on in his books and writings. But more than anything he will live forever in the hopes of humanity’ according to his admirers.
  • Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said the death was ‘a great loss not only for literature but for humanity. Various generations found answers to the questions of life in his stories and tales.’
  • At the end, attendees tossed up a flurry of yellow paper butterflies, one of Garcia Marquez's most famous literary images from One Hundred Years of Solitude, and his favorite color.

ND Tiwari : the biological father of Rohit Shekhar

  • After a six-year legal battle, the Delhi High Court today declared veteran Congress leader ND Tiwari as the biological father of Rohit Shekhar.

  • Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also injuncted Mr Tiwari from denying in public that Mr Shekhar is not his natural born son.

  • The court passed the order after taking into account newspaper reports in which Mr Tiwari had admitted that Mr Shekhar is his natural born son.

  • Rohit Shekhar, in 2008, had filed the paternity suit, claiming the veteran Congress leader and 67-year-old Ujjwala Sharma were his biological parents.

  • Earlier, the court had rejected the plea of Mr Tiwari that he be allowed to "explore" the possibilities of an "amicable" out-of-court settlement of the 2008 paternity suit, saying that the other parties were not agreeing to the proposal.

  • However, the counsel for Mr Tiwari had reiterated that he was still willing to go for mediation.

  • The court had also closed the right of Mr Tiwari to lead evidence as he failed to appear and testify in the case.

  • The court had on July 27, 2012 read out that the DNA report in the case according to which Mr Tiwari was shown as Rohit's biological father.

  • Mr Tiwari had given blood sample for the DNA test on May 29 last year at his residence in Dehradun following the apex court's order in the case, after repeatedly contesting against undergoing the test on various grounds.

(Result) Maharashtra-PSC : State Services Pre Examination - 2014

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Maharashtra Public Service Commission

(Result) State Services Pre Examination - 2014

Roll Numbers of Additionally Qualified Candidates

11-Ahmednagar

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 21 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 21 April 2014

Agreement between TCS and Mitsubishi

  • India’s largest software services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has signed an agreement with Japanese major Mitsubishi Corporation to form a single IT services unit.
  • The merger, in which TCS will hold 51 per cent stake and Mitsubishi 49 per cent, will create a new IT services company of significant scale in the Japanese market with annual turnover of over $600 million.
  • ITF brings its long-standing relationships with Japanese corporations, talented workforce and competencies in industries like retail, distribution and trading.
  • This will complement TCS’ deep domain knowledge, technology expertise and strong execution track record.
  • TCS’ Global Network Delivery Model (GNDMTM) capabilities will also enable the Japanese corporations’ globalisation ambitions.
  • The company will provide tremendous additional value to clients in Japan, while employees will secure the advantages of building their careers in a global organisation.

Rockets fired in southern Israel

  • Three rockets from Gaza were fired into Israel recently.

  • The projectile struck uninhabited areas in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council and set off sirens.

  • Few days back, Israel Air Force jets struck five terror targets in the Gaza Strip, following rocket attacks on southern Israel the previous night. The IAF hit sites in northern and central Gaza, including two Hamas posts. .

  • Also last week, a rocket siren went off in the Sha’ar Hanegev region, but an army spokeswoman later said no projectiles were detected in Israeli territory.

  • Last month, the air force stuck 29 targets across the Gaza Strip in response to Islamic Jihad rocket attack on the South. More than 30 rockets – fired in simultaneous barrages from northern and southern Gaza – exploded in Israeli territory. The Iron Dome anti-rocket battery stationed in Sderot shot down three projectiles over the town. The bombardment of the western Negev in March marked the largest flare-up of Gazan terrorism since 2012.

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 20 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 20 April 2014

FIR lodged against Ramdev

  • An FIR has been lodged against Yoga guru Ramdev for alleged violation of the model code of conduct and prohibitory orders by holding a press meet without the permission of the administration.
  • Ramdev addressed a press conference at the residence of a yoga centre coordinator after participating in a ‘yoga diksha’ programme recently.
  • He said the administration’s permission was not taken to hold the press conference due to which a case has been lodged against Ramdev and the coordinator.
  • The information has been sent to the Election Commission.

Cancellation of tax benefits to ten political parties

  • The Election Commission (EC) has sought withdrawal of tax exemption benefits to ten political parties from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on the grounds that they failed to submit their mandatory expenditure contribution reports on time to the poll body.

  • The EC, in its latest communication, has asked the CBDT to take action against the defaulting parties under provisions of Section 29C (Declaration of donation received by the political parties) of the Representation of the People Act in consonance with I-T laws

  • The EC has identified the ten parties as Nagrik Ekta Party, Dharamrajya Paksh, Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party, Sunder Samaj Party, Loktantrik Manavtawadi Party, Rastriya Mahila Janshakti Party (RMJP) and the Indian People Green Party as the defaulters in filing their contribution and donation receipt reports for the financial year 2012-13.

  • The stipulated time limit for this exercise was September 30, 2013 but all these parties defaulted in submitting the records to EC by an average of one-five months while one party (RMJP) did it within the time limit but the poll body found some discrepancies in their records and hence referred it to the CBDT.

Maritime Silk Road

  • China has for the first time released details of its recently announced “maritime Silk Road” plan, announcing that the Indian Ocean-focused initiative will prioritise building ports and improving infrastructure in littoral countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

  • China is also planning to establish free trade zones in Indian Ocean countries as part of the plan — a move that will reinforce China’s deepening economic presence in the Indian Ocean Region and in India’s neighbourhood.

  • The maritime Silk Road plan was unveiled in October last year when President Xi Jinping travelled to Southeast Asia. Since then, Chinese officials have highlighted the initiative as a key diplomatic priority for Mr. Xi’s government.

  • Nations from Malaysia and Singapore to India, Sri Lanka and the Gulf countries have all been sounded out about the plan. It had, however, remained unclear what the plan would actually entail.

  • The plan is expected to focus on infrastructure construction of countries along the route, including ports of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. China is already involved in port projects in the three countries, in Gwadar, Hambantota and Chittagong.

  • China hopes to “coordinate customs, quality supervision, e-commerce and other agencies to facilitate the scheme”, as well as set up free trade zones.

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 19 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 19 April 2014

High manganese level detected in the Selaulim reservoir

  • High manganese level has been detected in the Selaulim reservoir in Goa, which supplies drinking water to more than half of the coastal State. The government engineers have however said that there was “no reason” to worry.

  • The State Public Works Department has started monitoring the water content at the South Goa reservoir.

  • The manganese level in the water from the reservoir has risen up from 0.1 to 0.8 mg per litre.

  • The reservoir has an earth dam with concrete spillway and is on the Selaulim tributary of Zuari river.

  • The reservoir has production capacity of 214 MLD of water, which is supplied to entire South Goa and some parts of north district.

Pact between Green Trend and Bharatiya Mahila Bank

  • Trends in Vogue, Cavinkare’s arm that manages unisex hair salon network Green Trends, and Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) have entered into a pact that seeks to make the entrepreneurial plunge easier for women.

  • Budding women entrepreneurs who take up a franchisee of Green Trends (GT) can get two-thirds of their total investment (Rs.40-50 lakh) financed by BMB without any collateral.

  • Collateral security is the key in getting loans from banks for entrepreneurs. This agreement will help all prospective franchisees, especially women, across the country to get collateral-free loans.

  • The company helps franchisees choose right location, get good realty deal and select right vendors for supplying equipment and systems. It has lined up a string of vendors who could do the works in salons at a competitive rate than others.

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 18 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 18 April 2014

The curious case of ‘ Transsexual’ in TN

  • A woman, who was terminated from the Tamil Nadu police service last year after a medical examination report declared her a ‘transsexual,’ is set to get the job back, thanks to a Madras High Court order .
  • Allowing a petition challenging the termination, the court declared the petitioner as a female for all purposes. She has right to retain such sexual/gender identity.
  • Setting aside the termination order, Justice S. Nagamuthu directed the police to issue the consequential order within six weeks permitting her to join duty as a Grade II Police Constable (woman) with continuity of service.
  • She had the liberty to choose a different sexual/gender identity as a third gender in future based on the medical declaration, if a law was put in place recognising female to males (FTMs) as a third gender.

Ban on Amit Shah lifted

  • In a major relief to Narendra Modi’s close aide Amit Shah, the Election Commission (EC) has lifted its ban on his participation in Lok Sabha poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh after he assured the poll body that he would not disturb the public tranquillity and law and order.

  • The Commission allowed Mr. Shah to hold public meetings, public rallies and roadshows and take out public processions in U.P.

  • The EC had “censured” Mr. Shah for his controversial “revenge” remarks. On April 11, it had ordered the U.P. government to ban Mr. Shah and U.P. minister Azam Khan from campaigning in the state following their controversial remarks.

  • Mr. Shah had landed in a major controversy for his remarks that the general election was an opportunity to seek “revenge for the insult” inflicted during the riots in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh last year.

  • The Commission also noted that Mr. Shah had pledged that he will in no manner give cause to be accused as having indulged in any act of commission or omission which has the effect of prejudicially affecting the public tranquillity and law & order.

(Report) Revamping the Civil Services by Centre for Good Governance


Revamping the Civil Services


Civil service refers to the body of government officials who are employed in civil  occupations that are neither political nor judicial. The concept of civil service was  prevalent in India from ancient times. The Mauryan administration employed civil  servants in the name of adhyakshas and rajukas. The examination for civil servants in  those days too was very stringent as quoted by Kautilya’s Arthasastra. The expanse of the  territory and the need to hold it intact made it imperative for the Mauryan administration  to recruit civil servants based on merit. The concept of civil service again came into prominence when British in search of creating a framework to hold the territories of India, created the much coveted ‘Indian Civil Services’ or the ICS.

Many changes took place in Indian Civil services since Lord Cornwallis introduced it in  India. The Indian Civil services were created to foster the idea of unity in diversity . The  civil service was expected to give continuity and change to the administration no matter the political scenario and turmoil effecting the country. Indian civil service has also played the part of giving this continuous support to the nation. But what is appalling and
needs a serious consideration is the element of ‘change’. It can be said that the civil service as a whole has maintained its status quo instead of sweeping changes in social and economic scenario. Some may argue that it is the resilience of the civil service, but it is an obvious fact out in the street that the Indian civil service was not able to deliver service based upon the expectations of the people or the founding fathers of the Constitution.

The present paper deals about the problems effecting Indian civil service and the reform that is needed to make it vibrant and deliver according to the expectations. The civil service is an integral part of administration and the structures of administration too determine the way the civil service functions.

Gist of The Hindu: April 2014

Gist of The Hindu: April 2014

Weekly Current Affairs Update for IAS Exam VOL - 18 (31st March 2014 TO 6th April 2014)


Weekly Current Affairs Update for IAS Exam

VOL - 18 (31st March 2014 TO 6th April 2014)


Issue : VOL - 18 (31st March 2014 TO 6th April 2014)

File Type: PDF ONLY "NO HARD COPY"

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Covered Topics:


NATIONAL PORTAL OF INDIA

A GLINT OF INDIA

An Analysis of the Indian Electorate from 1998 To 2014 A comparison of the electoral data as per the final publication of summary revision 2014 with that of last four General Elections (from 1998 onwards) shows that the total electorate size of the country grew by 34.45% from 605,880,192 electors in 1998 to reach 814,591,184 in 2014. This growth was 21.31% relative to an electorate size of 671,487,930 in 2004. Among the 28 states and 7 union territories, Dadra & Nagar Haveli at 53.9% registered the highest rate of growth in electorate size during the period from 2004 to 2014, next followed by Puducherry at 39.1%. Among states, West Bengal registered the highest rate of growth at 31.7%. Among all states and UTs, Andaman & Nicobar Islands registered the lowest rate of growth at 6.7%, next followed by Jammu & Kashmir at 8.9%. In absolute numbers, Uttar Pradesh registered the highest growth in electorate size relative to 2004, while Lakshadweep the lowest.

Largest and Smallest Parliamentary Constituencies in Terms of Number of Electors As per the latest figures of electorate data available with the Election Commission of India, the largest five parliamentary constituencies of the country in terms of number of electors together constitute 1,16,51,249 electors while the smallest five together constitute 7,56,820 electors. The total electorate size in the largest five constituencies is thus 15.4 times of that in the smallest five constituencies. Malkajgiri in Andhra Pradesh with 29,53,915 electors has the largest number of electors while Lakshadweep with 47,972 electors has the smallest number of electors.

(Courtesy: http://india.gov.in)

Ministry of External affairs

Lankan president thanks PM for UN abstention

Days after India bucked domestic political pressures and signaled it would not slam Sri Lanka publicly and abstained on a crucial vote at the UN Human Rights Council, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse sent a warm thank you letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

India's abstention has reopened relations with Sri Lanka. Indian officials said it gives them greater flexibility to pressure Colombo on political devolution to the minority Tamils. This week, India's high commissioner to Sri Lanka Y K Sinha said in Colombo, "India considers early progress on devolution and a political settlement as being crucial to Sri Lanka to tackle mounting international pressure."

Sri Lanka, in a goodwill gesture, freed all the Indian fishermen held for crossing over into Lankan waters.

While India may have repaired ties with Colombo, India also has a greater responsibility now to hold Rajapakse's feet to the fire, particularly to restart devolution talks with the Tamil National Alliance

(Courtesy: http://www.mea.gov.in)

Planning Commission of India

Government of India's Resolution setting up the Planning Commission

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

CABINET SECRETARIAT`

RESOLUTION

New Delhi, the 15th March, 1950

1. For some years past, the people of India have been conscious of the importance of planned development as a means of raising the country's standard of living. This consciousness found expression in the appointment in 1938 of the National Planning Committee by the Indian National Congress. The work of the Committee was, however, interrupted by political and other developments in the beginning of the war, although much useful material has since been published. In 1944, the Government of India established a separate Department of Planning and Development and at its instance, the Central as well as the Provincial Governments prepared a number of development schemes to be undertaken after the war. Problems of planning were reviewed towards the end of 1949 by the Advisory Planning Board which was appointed by the Interim Government of India, an important recommendation of the Board being the appointment of a Planning Commission to devote continuous attention to the whole field of development, so far as the Central Government was concerned with it.

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 17 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 17 April 2014

Azam Khan, Amit Shah censured

  • The Election Commission has censured Narendra Modi’s close aide Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan for making controversial remarks during campaigning.
  • The EC’s decision came days after it banned the two leaders from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The EC also condemned their statements after going through their responses to the show causes issued to them.
  • The ban imposed on the two politicians will continue.
  • The poll body made similar observations against Shah in a separate order after going through his response.
  • Mr. Shah had landed in a major controversy for his remarks that the upcoming general election was an opportunity to seek “revenge for the insult” inflicted during the riots in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh last year.

New Indian Navy chief

  • The government on Thursday named Admiral Robin Dhowan as the new navy chief, 51 days after DK Joshi resigned on February 26, accepting moral responsibility for a rash of recent accidents.
  • Dhowan, who was commissioned on January 1, 1975, is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA. He has commanded leading warships such as INS Khukri, INS Ranjit and INS Delhi, apart from serving as the chief staff officer (operations) of the Mumbai-based Western Naval Command (WNC).
  • Dhowan was the second senior-most naval officer after WNC chief vice-admiral Shekhar Sinha, who joined the service in June 1974.
  • However, in spite of being the senior-most, Sinha has been superseded by the government since some of the worst naval accidents occurred under his watch, including the sinking of INS Sindhurakshak that killed 18 sailors on August 14, 2013 and the INS Sindhuratna mishap that killed two officers on February 26, 2014.

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 April 2014

Military operation to crush anti-government protests in Ukraine

  • Ukraine has launched a military operation to crush anti-government protests in the Russian-speaking eastern part of the country, deploying thousands of troops, armour and aircraft to Donetsk region where protesters seized government buildings in a dozen cities and towns.

  • The military, in armoured personnel carriers backed by aircraft, stormed a small airfield near Kramatorsk. Unconfirmed reports said between four and 11 protesters had been killed in the attack.

  • Following the attack, hundreds of unarmed Kramatorsk residents drove to the airfield to protest against the killing of civilians.

  • The Russian TV channel Rossiya-24, which has several reporters in eastern Ukraine, said about 500 government troops and 20 armoured personnel carriers entered the city of Slaviansk, not far from Kramatorsk.

  • A militia commander in Slaviansk, which is under full control of the protesters, told Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency that the city had been surrounded by Ukrainian tanks and armoured vehicles.

  • In Kiev, two presidential candidates representing eastern Ukraine were attacked by armed far right radicals. Oleg Tsarev, an independent, was severely beaten after appearing in a TV show called “Freedom of Speech.” The mob demanded that he and the other candidate, Mikhail Dobkin, withdraw from the elections scheduled for May 25.

  • Ukrainian authorities confirmed that a battalion of newly formed “National Guard” made up of “Maidan activists” had been deployed for action against pro-Russian protesters in the east.

Dying declaration of Dec. 16 gangrape victim

  • The Supreme Court has directed the Delhi Police to place before it the dying declaration of the December 16 gangrape victim along with other trial court records of the case in which four convicts were awarded death sentence.

  • Besides Mukesh (27) and Pawan (20), the Delhi High Court had also upheld the conviction and death penalty of Akshay Thakur (29) and Vinay Sharma (21).

  • While dismissing their appeals, the High Court had termed the offence as “extremely fiendish” and “unparallelled in the history of criminal jurisprudence” and said the “exemplary punishment” was the need of the hour.

  • The 23-year-old paramedic, on the night of December 16, 2012, was brutally assaulted and gangraped by six persons in a moving bus in South Delhi and thrown out of the vehicle with her male friend. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.

  • The prime accused in the case Ram Singh was found dead in Tihar Jail in March last year and the trial against him was abated.

  • The sixth accused, a juvenile, was on August 31, 2013, convicted and sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reformation home by the Juvenile Justice Board.

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 15 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 15 April 2014

Transgenders as third gender

  • The Supreme Court has recognised transgenders or eunuchs as third category of gender and directed Centre and States to grant them all facilities, including voters ID, passport and driving licence.
  • The Centre and States were also directed to take steps for bringing the community into the mainstream by providing adequate health care, education and employment.
  • A bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and A.K. Sikri directed the government to take steps for granting recognition to transgenders as a separate third category of gender after male and female.
  • The bench also said they are the citizens of the country and have equal rights to education, healthcare and employment opportunities like other people belonging to male and female gender.
  • The apex court expressed concern over transgenders being harassed and discriminated in the society and passed a slew of directions for their social welfare.

Scientific methods in crime detection

  • The Supreme Court has asked investigating agencies to adopt scientific methods in crime detection to save the judicial system from low conviction rates.

  • “The criminal judicial system in this country is at a crossroads. Reliable, trustworthy, credible witnesses to the crime seldom come forward to depose before the court and even hardened criminals get away from the clutches of the law. Even reliable witnesses for the prosecution turn hostile due to intimidation, fear and a host of other reasons. Investigating agency has, therefore, to look for other ways and means to improve the quality of investigation, which can only be through the collection of scientific evidence.”

  • Writing the judgment, Justice Radhakrishnan said there was a need to strengthen forensic science for crime detection. The judiciary needed to be equipped to understand and deal with such scientific materials.

  • The Bench gave this ruling while modifying the death sentence awarded to Dharam Deo Yadav, who murdered Diana Clare Routley, a 22-year-old girl from New Zealand who visited Varanasi in 1997. The trial court had awarded death sentence and it was confirmed by the Allahabad High Court.

Pulitzer Prize

  • Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, already among the most popular and celebrated novels of the past year, has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. One of the country’s top colonial historians, Alan Taylor, has won his second Pulitzer, forThe Internal Enemy — Slavery and War In Virginia.

  • The Washington Post and the Guardian have won Pulitzer Prizes in public service for revealing the massive U.S. government surveillance effort.

  • The newspapers’ disclosures about the National Security Agency's spy programs show the U.S. government has collected information about millions of Americans' phone calls and emails based on its classified interpretations of laws passed after the Sept. 11 attacks.

  • The Boston Globe has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize in breaking news, and The New York Times has won two Pulitzers in photography categories — Tyler Hicks was honoured in the breaking news category for documenting the Westgate mall terrorist attack in Kenya, and Josh Haner was cited for his essay on a Boston Marathon bomb blast victim who lost his legs.

  • The Center for Public Integrity won the award for investigative reporting for reports on how some lawyers and doctors rigged a system to deny benefits to coal miners suffering from black lung disease.

  • The Pulitzer for explanatory reporting was given to The Washington Post for reporting on the prevalence of food stamps in America.

  • Annie Baker's The Flick won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, a play set in a movie theater that was called a "thoughtful drama with well-crafted characters" which created "lives rarely seen on the stage".

  • The award for general nonfiction went to Dan Fagin’s Toms River, an acclaimed chronicle of industrial destruction in small New Jersey community. Megan Marshall’s Margaret Fuller, about the 19th century transcendentalist, won for biography; and Vijay Seshadri’s witty and philosophical 3 Sections received the poetry prize.

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 April 2014

Interceptor missile test

  • India for the first time will be testing a state-of-the-art interceptor missile at supersonic speed that will seek to engage and destroy an incoming target missile at a very high altitude of 120-140 km over the Bay of Bengal. Entirely new interceptor and target missiles have been developed by scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the upcoming engagement, to be conducted in exo-atmosphere (altitude above 40-50 km) on April 27 or 28. The test was originally planned to be conducted in November, 2013 but had been delayed since then.

  • Describing it as a “big challenge,” they said the interceptor’s “kill vehicle,” equipped with a dual seeker, would attack the payload (warhead portion) as it descends towards its intended target. The advantage of intercepting an incoming missile at such a high altitude was that the debris would not fall on the ground and there would be no collateral damage.

  • After some more trials, India plans to deploy a two-tiered Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system to protect important cities from external threats. In the first phase, incoming enemy missiles of 2,000-km range are envisaged to be waylaid and destroyed, while those with about 5,000-km range would be tackled by the interceptors in the second phase.

  • So far, six of the seven interceptor missile tests, carried out by the DRDO, have been successful. While two interceptions were conducted in exo-atmopshere (altitudes between 47 and 80 km) the rest were in endo-atmosphere (below 40 km altitude).

The recent U.N. Security Council meet

  • The U.N. Security Council recently metin emergency session amid growing violence in eastern Ukraine, with Western powers and Russia blaming each other for the deepening crisis.

  • Russia called the meeting hours after Ukrainian special forces exchanged gunfire with a pro-Russia militia in an eastern city, and at least one security officer was killed and five others wounded. Ukraine’s president accused its powerful neighbour of fomenting unrest, and announced that it would deploy armed forces to quash an increasingly bold pro-Russian insurgency.

  • Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin denied Western and Ukrainian claims that Moscow was behind the violence, and told U.N. diplomats that Ukraine has been using radical neo-Nazi forces to destabilize its eastern region.

  • Russia has tens of thousands of troops massed along Ukraine’s eastern border, and there are fears that Moscow might use the violence in the mainly Russian-speaking region as a pretext for an invasion, in a repeat of events in Crimea earlier this year.

India- China Strategic Dialogue

  • India has assured China of its commitment to consolidate strategic bilateral ties based on mutual trust as well as sensitiveness to each other's concerns and aspirations, as their top diplomats held the annual strategic dialogue here amid the Indian general elections.

  • Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh co-chaired the sixth round of the Strategic Dialogue with her Chinese counterpart Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin at the picturesque Diaoyutai guest house.

  • The talks were held as the long-running Lok Sabha elections, hailed as the world's biggest democratic exercise, got underway in India that will form a new government at the Centre.

  • Stating that the annual Strategic Dialogue is being held in less than a year, she told Liu that "it is symbolic of the fact that our relations are growing and our interactions are increasing".

  • China said it was "confident" that India will stay committed to strong bilateral ties irrespective of whichever party comes to power after the polls.

(Current Affairs) Sports | March: 2014

Sports

CRICKET

TENNIS

HOCKEY

FOOTBALL

BADMINTON

CHESS

GOLF

VARIOUS

CRICKET

Fastest Century in ODI by Corey Anderson

New Zealand’s Corey Anderson has made world record by his name by blasted the fastest century in One Day International. History was created at Queenstown Events Centre ground against West Indies on 1 January 2014. The left-handed Anderson brought up his hundred off just 36 balls, shattering the previous record held by Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi. Anderson remained 131 not out (47 balls). New Zealand posted a mammoth 283/4 in 21 over. Jesse Ryder too hit a quick ton, scoring 104 off 51 deliveries. Ryder’s 100 are the sixth fastest in ODI history. Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi had taken 37 balls for his ton. Afridi had set the record in 1996 in Nairobi against Sri Lanka. The 22-year-old Anderson, batting at number 5, reached the world record mark in the 18th over of the match, which was reduced to 21 over each due to rain. New Zealand won by 159 runs after keeping the visitors to 124/5 in 21 over. The assault by New Zealand batsmen destroyed West Indies bowling figures. Fast bowler Ravi Rampaul was the most expensive with an economy rate of 21.33. He was hammered for 64 runs from 3 over. All six bowlers went for more than 10 runs per over, the least being 11 by Nikita Miller (1/44 in 4 over).

Fastest Hundreds in One Day Internationals

  • Corey Anderson 36 balls
  • Shahid Afridi 37 balls
  • Mark Boucher 44 balls
  • Brian Lara 45 balls
  • Shahid Afridi 45 balls

(Current Affairs) Person in News | March: 2014

Person in News

APPOINTED

DEATH

ACCUSED/RESIGNED/CONTROVERSY

HONOUR

BOOKS/AUTHORS

VARIOUS

APPOINTED

Jamila Bayaz

Jamila Bayaz was appointed as the police chief of District One of Kabul province on 15 January 2014. She is the first woman in Afghanistan to be appointed as police chief of an entire district. She joined Afghan police force more than three decades ago and at present serving as Colonel in Kabul’s police force. The appointment of Jamila Bayaz is significant in more than one sense. Firstly, the appointment will pave the way for more Afghani women to rise through the ranks.

Secondly, her appointment as police chief to one of the core districts of Kabul testifies that women position in Afghan society is improving since the Taliban were driven out from power in 2001. District One of Kabul province houses the presidential palace and numerous ministries. Besides it houses the Central Bank of Afghanistan and is the main money and gold market of Afghanistan. Kabul province is divided into 22 districts. Each
number specifies the name of the district and is organized in ascending order in order of importance.

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 13 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 13 April 2014

Facebook’s list of censorship request and India

  • The Indian government has topped the list of global governments asking for censorship of content on social network Facebook, according to the ‘Global Government Data requests’ report released by the US-based company. This is the second such report from the world’s largest online social network and corresponds to the time period from July to December last year.

  • In terms of requests for user data information, the U.S. government topped the list yet again with 12,598 requests for user data. However, when it came to requests to remove content, the Indian government had made 4,765 requests. The Turkish government came second in that list with 2,104 requests.

  • Recently, almost all the leading online service providers, including Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo! and Microsoft have made an appeal under the collective ‘Reform Government Surveillance’ to ensure that the requests for user data and restrictions of services be done more rationally.

Climate panel on rising emissions

  • The U.N.’s expert panel on climate change has highlighted the disconnect between international goals to fight global warming and what is being done to attain them.

  • Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases must drop by 40—70 per cent by 2050 to keep the global temperature rise below the 2—degree C (3.6—degree F) cap set in U.N. climate talks, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said.

  • The opposite is happening now. On average global emissions rose by 2.2 percent or 1 gigaton a year between 2000 and 2010, outpacing growth in previous decades to reach “unprecedented levels” despite some efforts to contain them, the IPCC said.

  • The graphics divided the world into four categories low, lower—middle, upper—middle and high income countries. Participants in the closed—door session said many developing countries objected to using such income categories.

  • Counting all emissions since the industrialized revolution in the 18th century, the U.S. is the top carbon polluter. China’s current emissions are greater than those of the U.S. and rising quickly. China’s historical emissions are expected to overtake those of the U.S. in the next decade.

  • Global temperatures have already risen about 0.8 C since record—keeping started in the 19th century. The IPCC said the goal of keeping the warming below 2 C by 2100 would require a significant shift in the energy system, away from oil and coal, which generate the highest emissions. That would mean a near—quadrupling of energy from zero— or low—carbon sources such as solar and wind power.

(Notification) UPSC: CAPF (AC) Examination, 2014

UPSC

Central Armed Police Forces (Assistant Commandants) Examination, 2014

EXAMINATION NOTICE NO.08/2014-CPF

No.11/5/2013-E1(B) : The Union Public Service Commission will hold a Written Examination on 13th July, 2014 for recruitment of Assistant Commandants (Group A) in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) viz. Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). The Examination will be held in  accordance with the Rules for the Examination published by Ministry of Home Affairs in the Gazette of India dated 12th April, 2014. The date of holding the examination as mentioned above is liable to be changed at the discretion of the Commission. The tentative number of vacancies to be filled on the results of the examination is as follows :

Post Details:

  1. BSF - 68
  2. CRPF -  28
  3. CISF - 40
  4. ITBP  - NIL
  5. SSB - NIL
  6. Total  - 136

The number of vacancies mentioned above is liable to alteration. Reservation will be given effect to as per policy of the Govt.

(Current Affairs) Awards and Prizes | March: 2014

Awards and Prizes

56th annual Grammy Awards

The Recording Academy announced the 56th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on 26 January 2014. This year the Grammy Awards weren’t just about the music and they were also about making a statement in the same-sex marriage debate.

About Grammy Awards

The Grammy awards are the recording industry’s most prestigious award presented annually by The Recording Academy.The Recording Academy also known as The National Academy of Recording Arts &
Science in United States was established in 1957.

(Current Affairs) Science & Technology, Defence, Environment | March: 2014

Science & Technology, Defense, Environment

Potentially hazardous asteroid 2013 YP139 discovered

NASA discovered a new potentially hazardous asteroid named 2013 YP139 on 29 December 2013. It was confirmed by the NASA on 15 January2014. It was first discovered by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE). The Researchers at the University of Arizona used the Spacewatch telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory southwest of Tucson to confirm the discovery. The 2013 YP139 is about 43 million kilometers from Earth. On the basis of Infrared brightness, it is found to be 650 meters in diameter and extremely dark like a piece of coal. NEOWISE‘s sophisticated software picked up the moving object against a background of stationary stars. The asteroid circles the Sun in an elliptical orbit titled to the plane of solar system. It is possible for its orbit to bring it as close as 482803 km from Earth, a little more than the distance to the Moon. But it will not come that close within the next century. NEOWISE was originally called as Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) which made the most comprehensive survey to date of
asteroids and comets. In 2010 and early 2011, WISE discovered more than 34000 asteroids and characterised 158000 throughout the solar system. Its reactivation in September 2013 followed 31 months in hibernation.

(Free E-book) Weekly Current Affairs Update for IAS Exam VOL - 8


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NATIONAL PORTAL OF INDIA

A GLINT OF INDIA

Bharat Ratna Award

  • India has produced a legacy of brave hearts since times immemorial. Probably there is not enough space to measure their sacrifices. However, we cannot close our eyes to those people who have made our country proud by excelling in their own fields and bringing us international recognition. Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award, given for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of Public Service of the highest order. It is also not mandatory that Bharat Ratna be awarded every year.

  • The original specifications for the award called for a circular gold medal, 35 mm in diameter, with the sun and the Hindi legend "Bharat Ratna" above and a floral wreath below. The reverse was to carry the state emblem and motto. It was to be worn around the neck from a white ribbon. This design was altered after a year.

  • The provision of Bharat Ratna was introduced in 1954. The first ever Indian to receive this award was the famous scientist, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman. Since then, many dignitaries, each a whiz in varied aspects of their career has received this coveted award.

  • In fact, our former President, Shri A. P. J Abdul Kalam is also a recipient of this esteemed honour (1997). There is no written provision that Bharat Ratna should be awarded to Indian citizens only. The award has been awarded to a naturalized Indian citizen, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa (1980) and to two non-Indians - Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Nelson Mandela (1990).

  • In 2009, the award was conferred on famous Indian vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi. Recently, the PMO has decided to confer the award on eminent scientist Prof C.N.R. Rao and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.

HERE IS THE ENTIRE LIST OF RECIPIENTS OF BHARAT RATNA AWARDEES TILL DATE :

1. Shri Chakravarti Rajagopalachari in 1954
2. Dr. Sarvapali Radhakrishnan in 1954
3. Dr. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman in 1954
4. Dr. Bhagwan Das in 1955
5. Dr. Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya in 1955
6. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in 1955
7. Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant in 1957
8. Dr. Dhondo Keshave Karve in 1958
9. Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy in 1961
10. Shri Purushottam Das Tandon in 1961
11. Dr. Rajendra Prasad in 1962
12. Dr. Zakir Hussain in 1963
13. Dr. Pandurang Vaman Kane in 1963
14. Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri (Posthumous) in 1966
15. Smt. Indira Gandhi in 1971

(Courtesy: NATIONAL PORTAL OF INDIA)

Ministry of External affairs

Official Visit of the PM of Japan to India

  • The Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Shinzo Abe was on an official visit to India on 25-27 January 2014 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh as chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations. The two Prime Ministers held extensive talks during their Annual Summit on bilateral, regional and global issues on 25 January 2014 in Delhi.

  • The two Prime Ministers welcomed that the State Visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan to India from 30 November to 6 December 2013 further strengthened the long-lasting historically close ties and friendship between the peoples of India and Japan.

  • The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their resolve to further deepen the Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan as two democracies in Asia sharing universal values such as freedom, democracy and rule of law, and to contribute jointly to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world, taking into account changes in the strategic environment.

  • Prime Minister Abe elaborated his policy of "Proactive Contribution to Peace”. Prime Minister Singh appreciated Japan’s efforts to contribute to peace and stability of the region and the world.

  • Welcoming the successful outcome of the visit by Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera to India, the two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their determination to further strengthen bilateral defense cooperation. In this connection, they welcomed the decision of the two defense ministers to realize the visit of Indian Defense Minister to Japan within 2014. They also expressed satisfaction that the Trilateral Dialogue between India, Japan and the US has been held on a regular basis and also that the 3rd two plus two dialogue and the 4th Defense Policy Dialogue are to be held before the end of the year. They confirmed to hold the 2nd meeting of India-Japan Bilateral Talks on Cyber-affairs in spring 2014 with a view to further exploring possible areas of cooperation.

  • The two Prime Ministers welcomed the successful conduct of the second bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy (IN) and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in December 2013 off the coast of Chennai and shared their intention to conduct the joint exercise in the Pacific Ocean in 2014. They reaffirmed the importance of such exercises, and renewed their resolution to continue to conduct them on a regular basis with increased frequency. Prime Minister Abe appreciated India’s invitation to JMSDF for the next "Malabar” maritime exercise.

  • The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction with the holding of the 1st meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on the US-2 amphibian aircraft in December 2013 in Delhi and welcomed the 2nd meeting of the JWG which is scheduled for March 2014 in Japan.

  • Welcoming the expansion of the bilateral currency swap arrangement from 15 to 50 billion US dollars and signing of the contract for its entry into force in January 2014, the two Prime Ministers expressed their expectation that this expansion will further strengthen financial cooperation and contribute to the stability of global financial markets including emerging economies.

  • Prime Minister Singh appreciated the relaxation of Maximum Residue Levels (MRL) of Ethoxyquin on the shrimps imported to Japan to 0.2ppm by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan.

  • The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of investment for driving economic growth and job creation in their economies and ways to create enabling environments to mobilize investment and give a fillip to economic relations. They agreed to continue working towards a greater understanding of all financial and taxation related issues including Indian rupee denominated finance by JBIC and establishing a consultative mechanism between the two countries. They appreciated JETRO's business matching activities to strengthen business partnership and consolidate supply chains between the two countries. They expressed their expectation for introducing Japanese technologies and expanding investment through the implementation of "the Action Plan for India-Japan Investment Promotion” agreed between the Minister of Commerce and Industry of India and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan in September 2013.

  • Welcoming that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has deepened the bilateral economic relations, the two Prime Ministers expressed their expectation that both countries would continue to work closely to further expand trade in goods and services as well as investments.

  • The two Prime Ministers appreciated that both countries have signed the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Japanese Industrial Standards Committee (JISC). They expressed their hope to strengthen their cooperative relationship in this field further in order to facilitate trade and to harmonize activities within international standardization and conformity assessment.

  • The two sides welcomed the outcomes of the first India-Japan Joint Working Group on IT and Electronics held in New Delhi by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of India and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. The two Prime Ministers expressed their hope for the cooperation being further developed between IT and electronics industries of both countries through the framework. They expressed their intention to explore the proposal for setting up of Japanese Electronics Industrial Township in India. Both sides also expressed satisfaction with the ongoing cyber security dialogue between the CERT-In and JPCERT, Japan and emphasized further collaborative and proactive response against cyber-attacks at international level.

  • The two Prime Ministers appreciated the progress of zoning and planning of National Investment Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) stipulated in National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) of India. They expressed their expectation for investment by Japanese companies in NIMZs in general and in India-Japan joint projects such as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC) in particular.

  • The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance of bringing into force the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) at an early date. Prime Minister Singh reiterated India’s commitment to its unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. They also reaffirmed their commitment to working together for immediate commencement and an early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). Both sides expressed their commitment to work together for India to become a full member in the international export control regimes: the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement, with the aim of strengthening the international non-proliferation efforts.

  • The two Prime Ministers acknowledged that there is a high potential to be explored in the area of people-to-people exchanges between India and Japan and expressed their intention to make utmost effort for the expansion of exchange of peoples in various fields.

  • The two Prime Ministers welcomed Japan’s participation as a partner country in the India International Trade Fair in Delhi and the International Film Festival of India 2013 in Goa. They also expressed their expectation to enhance cooperation between the two countries on development of human resources, and matching activities in the area of content industry.

(Courtesy: Ministry of External affairs)

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 12 April 2014

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 12 April 2014

Heartbleed : the internet bug

  • Heartbleed is an Internet bug that has been widely employed in software that secures users’ personal information on the web.

  • In an advisory to users in the country, the Computer Emergency Response Team of India, a nodal agency, has categorised the problem’s severity as “high”.

  • Ominously named Heartbleed, this bug interferes with the regular function of software called OpenSSL by causing it to spill the secrets, it’s tasked with protecting, to malicious attackers.

  • When users key in their personal information on a website and hit ‘Enter,’ the data is on the Internet travelling between your computer and the site’s server. To safeguard it, the site uses OpenSSL (SSL refers to Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt it — turning it into an incoherent jumble of characters — using an encryption key.

  • With Heartbleed in the picture, OpenSSL allows malicious messages sent to the server implementing it to potentially hand over the encryption key to the attacker.

  • Companies like Amazon and Google have issued advisories to their customers stating that they have updated their systems and eliminated the threat. Kaspersky, a security firm, advised caution because a Heartbleed attack leaves no traces nor does it give users a chance to protect themselves.

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