Special Current Affair for IBPS Exams : In The News Part - 9

Special Current Affair for IBPS Exam

Topic: In The News [Part-9]

Mamnoon Hussain

Mamnoon Hussain was elected as the 12th President of Pakistan on 30 July 2013. 73-year old Mamnoon Hussain belonged to the PML-N Party.
He will be administered the oath on 9 September 2013. Mamnoon Hussain succeeded Asif Ali Zardari. Mamnoon Hussain competed against the ex-judge Wajihuddin Ahmed of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Raza Rabbani of Pakistan People’s Party was withdrawn as a competitive candidate.

KK Paul

Former Delhi police Chief, KK Paul on 8 July 2013 took over as the new Governor of Meghalaya, after he was administered the oath of office and secrecy by the Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, T Meena Kumari at a simple function held at the Durbal Hall of the Raj Bhavan in Shillong.

A.R. Rather

Abdul Rahim Rather, the Finance Minister of Jammu and Kashmir on 21 July 2013 appointed as the new Chairman of GST Panel by the Empowered Committee of States’ Finance Ministers on GST. Abdul Rahim Rather preceded Sushil Kumar Modi who had resigned from the post after a split in the JD (U)-BJP Government in Bihar, in which he was the Deputy Chief Minister and the Finance Minister.

The name of Abdul Rahim Rather’s was proposed by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit who herself hold’s the Finance portfolio.

Anil Chait

Lieutenant General Anil Chait, took over as Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) on 1 July 2013. The General Officer in his career spanning over 39 years held various coveted Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. The General Officer has a vast operational experience across the entire spectrum of conflict.

Anil Chait has been responsible for the study on the Restructuring of the Strike Corps, making it into a transformational trailblazer for FORCE-2025. As Commandant Army War College the General Officer set up Study Centre for domain specialization and transformation of the College into a Centre of Excellence for training leaders to win the Nation’s Wars. He was conferred distinguished service award of ParamVishishtSeva Medal in 2013.

Lt Gen (Retd) AK Singh

Lt Gen (Retd) AK Singh, on 8 July 2013 took over as the new Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. AK Singh was administered oath by the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Arun Mishra at a formal swearing-in-ceremony at Raj Niwas in Port Blair. Lt Gen Singh, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ex-general officer, Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, was commissioned into one of the oldest Regiments, the 7th Light Cavalry on the 17th June 1973. The prior task of AK Singh is to provide security and balanced development, while keeping ecological concerns to the fore, would be his focus area.

Bhim Sain Bassi

Bhim Sain Bassi, a senior IPS officer of 1977 batch was appointed as the next Police Commissioner of Delhi on 16 July 2013. He would take charge of Delhi police as its commissioner on 1 August 2013. The 57 year old Bassi will succeed Neeraj Kumar, who is due to retire on 31 July 2013. Bassi will take the charge of his office as the 20th Commissioner of Delhi Police.

Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil

Senior parliamentarian Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil on 4 July 2013 was appointed as the new governor of Sikkim. Dadasaheb Patil has represented Maharashtra’s Satara in the Lok Sabha as an MP. He is also a former IAS officer, and will replace presently serving governor of Sikkim BP Singh. 73,years old Dadasaheb Patil was elected to the 13th and 14th Lok Sabha from the Karad constituency in Maharashtra on the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP ticket).

Najeeb Jung

Najeeb Jung, the vice chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University on 1 July 2013 appointed as the 20th Lt Governor of Delhi. Njaeeb Jung has replaced Tejendra Khanna, who was the 1961 batch Indian Administrative Service officer and the last Lt Governor of Delhi. Najeeb jung is presently the Chairman of a Core Committee of Vice-Chancellors appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (India) to examine various aspects of higher education.

He is also the Member of the Special Task Force setup by the Ministry of Home Affairs (India) to suggest developmental options for the Jammu region of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. He is the Member of the Senate of the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, (IITK) and several other Committees at the national level.

Suresh Chandra Mohanty

The Institute of Cost Accountants of India on 23 July 2013 announced that Suresh Chandra Mohanty was elected as the new president of the body. Suresh Chandra Mohanty replaced Rakesh Singh. With this, he became the 56th President of the Institute. Mohanty was elected for the 2013-14 time period. In the meanwhile, AS Durga was elected as the new Vice-President of ICAI.

R. Chandrasekhar

Nasscom, the IT software services industry body on 5 July 2013 appointed R. Chandrasekhar, the former Secretary Department of Telecommunications (DoT), as its president. 60 years old, R. Chandrashekhar will be succeeding current Nasscom President Som Mittal, whose tenure expires in January 2014.

R. Chandrashekhar retired from DOT in March 2013 and had also declined an offer to head the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) which is India’s premier technical intelligence agency.


Pran Kishan Sikand

The winner of Dadasaheb Phalke Award and a veteran actor Pran died on 12 July 2013 in a Hospital at Mumbai. He died at the age of 93 due to multi-organ failure after prolonged illness and is now survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Pran Kishan Sikand was admitted to Lilavati Hospital, Bandra, after being diagnosed with pneumonia. Born in Old Delhi on 12 February 1920, Pran got his first break in a Punjabi Film, Yamla Jat in 1940, in the undivided India. But his debut in Bollywood happened with the film Ziddi, in which he acted along with the evergreen hero of bollywood Dev Anand in 1948.
Pran served the Bollywood for a career span of more than six decades in more than 350 films and is known for his brilliant performances in films like Ram aur Shyam, Aansoo Ban Gaye Phool, Half-Ticket, Madhumati, Purab aur Paschim, Karz, Zanjeer and Amar Akbar Anthony and many more.

Honours received by Pran

  • He was conferred with Dada Saheb Phalke Award on 12 April 2013, which was received by him on 10 May 2013 at his residence

  • In 2001 he was awarded with India’s third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan

  • In his career span, he received four film fare awards

  • He was awarded the title of Villain of the millennium by Stardust in 2000

  • In 2010 he was named among the Top 25 Asian Actors of All times by CNN

Ottavio Quattrocchi

Controversial Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, who was a key figure in the Bofors payoffs scandal, on 13 July 2013 died in Milan, Italy following a stroke. He was 74 years old.Ottavio Quattrocchi was an Italian businessman who was being sought until early 2009 in India for criminal charges for acting as a conduit for bribes in the Bofors scandal.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had named Quattrocchi in a chargesheet as the conduit for the Bofors bribe. The case against him was strengthened in June 2003.

On the basis of the Interpol warrant he was detained in Argentina on 6 February 2007. The CBI had come under attack for putting up a half-hearted effort towards his extradition. In 1984, a tender was issued for Howitzer guns for the Indian Army. After evaluation, the French Sofma gun was found to be the best in terms of price and features. The Army required a range of 30 km. Army chief Krishnaswamy Sundarji had favoured the Sofma because during field trials it showed its range as 29.2 km against 21.5 for Bofors. Moreover, Bofors was permitted to alter its bid without re-tendering. As a result, inspite of the objections of the army and others, the order went to Bofors. The Bofors scandal hit limelight after a 1987 report on Swedish radio. It claimed that Bofors had paid bribes to secure the contract.

Arun Nehru

Arun Nehru, the cousin of Rajiv Gandhi as well as the Minister for Internal Security during his government, died in Gurgaon on 25 July 2013.

He was 69 years of age. Arun Nehru is survived by his wife Subhadra and two daughters. Arun Nehru was born in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on 24 April 1944. He is said to be an eminent Indian politician, columnist as well as psephologist. He was a close adviser as well as Minister of State for Internal Security, when Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister in 1984.

SN Hanumantha Rao

SN Hanumantha Rao, the former Indian Test umpire passed away on 29 July 2013 at a private hospital in Karnataka. He was 83 years of age. He is survived by his wife, two sons as well as a daughter.

Career of SN Hanumantha Rao

• He was the umpire in nine Test matches from 1978 to 1983 against England, Pakistan and West Indies.

• He also umpired two ODIs against Sri Lanka and England.

• Apart from this, he remained an umpire in 16 first class matches.

• He debut as the Test umpire was from 1 December 1978 to 6 December 1978 in Mumbai, in a match between India and West Indies.

• His final umpiring in the Test match was also in the India-West Indies match, from 12 November 1983 to 16 November 1983 in Ahmedabad.

Ilya Segalovich

Ilya Segalovich, the co-founder of Yandex, the largest search engine of Russia, died on 27 July 2013 at a London hospital due to brain cancer. He was 48 years of age. Ilya Segalovich was earlier diagnosed with stomach cancer and cured positively due to chemical therapy. Eventually he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

He was the co-founder of Russian search engine Yandex. Yandex was found in the year 1997. Yandex enjoys 62 percent of the search engine market in Russia, in comparison to 25.6 percent of Google. The name of Yandex was proposed by Ilya Segalovich. He derived the idea of the name from the phrase- Yet Another Index.

Douglas Engelbart

Douglas Engelbart, the U.S. inventor who was known as the father of the computer mouse died on 3 July 2013 at age of 88. Douglas Engelbart, was a technologist who laid out a vision of an Internet decades before others brought those ideas to the mass market. He was a scientist and engineer who devoted himself to find ways to use computers to improve people’s lives. He resolved to change the world as a computer scientist after coming across a 1945 article by Vannevar Bush, the head of the US Office of Scientific Research, while scouring a Red Cross library in a native hut in the Philippines. Engelbart took a teaching position at the University of California, after returning from England. He took a job at SRI in 1957, and by the early-1960s Engelbart led a team had begun to seriously investigate tools for interactive computing.

Khurshed Alam Khan

Former Union Minister Khurshed Alam Khan died at the age of 95 on 20 July 2013. He was the father of Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. He served as the Minister if State in the Governments led by former Prime Ministers of India, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. As an Union Minister, he had held portfolios of education, textiles, tourism, transport besides external affairs. He was one among the people, who were responsible in creation of Jamia Milia Islamia University as an independent University, through a parliamentary law. Khurshed Alam Khan, was the son-in-law of late President Zakir Hussain

Amar Gopal Bose

Amar Gopal Bose, the man behind Bose Corporation died on 12 July 2013 in Wayland, Massachusetts. He was 83 years of age. He was the Indian-American entrepreneur as well as academic. He founded Bose Corporation in 1964.

Life Sketch of Amar Gopal Bose

He was born on 2 November 1929 in Philadelphia. He earned his bachelor’s, masters and doctoral degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He then, also remained the professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for more than 45 years.

He was the founder as well as chairman of Bose Corporation. Bose Corporation was found in the year 1964. Forbes 400 listed him as the 271st richest man in the world, in the year 2007. He had the net worth of 1.8 billion US dollar. In the year 2011, he had the net worth of 1.0 billion US dollar.

Amar Gopal Bose was initially involved in audio experience as well as sound technology, which prompted him for revolution in acoustics. He found that hi-fi technology was not up to the mark, which compelled him towards the research of psycho-acoustics. He discovered that the music in concert hall sounded good because around 80 percent of the sound was indirect. It bounced off the walls as well as ceiling before reaching the ears. This was known as psycho-acoustics.

Psycho-acoustics is the study of sound perception. He, in turn, incorporated the principles of psycho-acoustics into Bose Corporation.

Among the first products to come out from Bose Corporation, based on the new principles of psycho-acoustics research, was the Bose 901 Direct/Reflecting speaker system, which came in the year 1968. Actually, he started researching on speaker technology in the year 1956 after completing the Ph.D. from MIT.

Bose Wave radio and the Bose noise-canceling headphones were among the later inventions of Bose Corporation. These were adopted by the commercial pilots as well as military pilots. The software program of Bose helped the acoustic engineers to reproduce the sound from any place in the large hall, even before the building of the site.

This system was used for creation of sound systems for various places such as the Sistine Chapel, Staples Center in Los Angeles as well as the grand mosque in Mecca- Masjid al-Haram. In the year 1982, the top automakers of the world- Mercedes and Porsche, also started installing Bose audio systems in the vehicles. Bose speakers and music systems remain favourite for automobile sector in the world even today.

Obaid Siddiqi

National Research Professor at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Obaid Siddiqi, died in a Bangalore hospital on 26 July 2013. He was 81. Siddiqi, met with a road accident which caused him severe brain injuries. Siddiqi was honoured with several awards, including Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, BC Roy Award for Biomedical Research and Firodia Award for Basic Sciences. At the invitation of Homi Bhabha, he established the Molecular Biology Unit at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay in 1962. He mapped the fine genetic structure of the pabA gene and found polarised negative interference in crossing-over. Later he showed that recombinant bacteria inherit labeled DNA of biparental origin.

Mahasundari Devi

Madhubani painting artist Mahasundari Devi died at a private hospital in Ranti, near Madhubani on 4 July 2013. Mahasundari Devi took to painting when she was a child and acquired proficiency in the art form under the guidance of her aunt, Devsundari Devi. She was renowned for her mastery over Sikki work, ‘sujani’ craft, clay work and paper mache apart from Mithila painting. She had won over two dozen national and state awards. She won the prestigious Padmashri and Shilp Guru award in year 2010. She did her last painting in 2011.

Jagdish Raj

Jagdish Raj, the Bollywood actor who held the Guinness World Record for being the most type-cast actor, died on 28 July 2013 at Mumbai. He was 85 years of age. He died because of respiratory arrest. He is survived by his daughters Roopa Malhotra and Anita Raj as well as a son. Jagdish Raj was born in the year 1928 in the town of Sargodha, British India (now in Pakistan). He is accredited with the Guinness World Record for being the most type-cast actor. Typecasting in acting is a term used wherein an actor is identified strongly for playing a specific role or character or trait. Jagdish Raj held the world record of playing the role of a policeman 144 times on the silver screen.


Kumar Mangalam Birla

The Chairman of Aditya Birla Nuvo, Kumar Mangalam Birla resigned from the Reserve Bank of India’s Central Board on 23 July 2013. The resignation is said to avoid the conflicts because Aditya Birla Nuvo applied for the bank license to RBI. Aditya Birla Nuvo is one of the 26 firms which have applied for bank licenses with RBI. Kumar Mangalam Birla has remained on the central board of RBI from past six years. It is important to note that Kumar Mangalam Birla was also nominated as the member of the Directors of the Central Board of the RBI in 2006.The Reserve Bank of India will be granting new bank licenses by March 2014. India, at present has 26 public sector banks, 22 private sector banks and 56 regional rural banks.

Salman Khan

Salman Khan on 24 July 2013 was charged with Culpabale Homicide, not amounting to murder by the High Court of Mumbai in the hit-and-run case. Culpabale Homicide, not amounting to murder, offence carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail. Salman Khan on his part pleaded not guilty. The Court exempted, Salman Khan from appearance in the trial because he was away from the country for two months.

Earlier, Salman Khan was charged with offence of causing death by rash and negligent driving, which carried a maximum punishment of two years in jail by the Metropolitan Magistrate. But his offence was enhanced to culpable homicide charge in June 2013 after the Metropolitan Magistrate examined the 17 witnesses in the case.

Salman Khan on 28 September 2002 ran over his Toyota Land Cruiser, while driving on a group of people sleeping on the pavement outside a bakery in Bandra suburban area of Mumbai. In the accident, one person was killed leaving behind four others injured.

Shahzad Ahmed

A trial court on 30 July 2013 awarded life term to Batla House encounter convict Shahzad Ahmed for killing MC Sharma and injuring two others.

Batla House encounter had taken place in 2008. Shahzad was also fined 95000 rupees of which 40000 rupees would be paid to family of slain inspector MC Sharma and 20000 rupees to injured cop Balwant. Additional sessions judge Rajender Kumar Shastri pronounced the judgment after listening to the arguments of the prosecution and the defence.

Batla House encounter officially known as Operation Batla House, took place on 19 September 2008, against Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists in Batla House locality in Jamia Nagar, Delhi. Encounter specialist and Delhi Police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, who led the police action was also killed during the incident.


Rathindranath Tagore:

The Unsung Hero

Visva-Bharati University, in the last week of June 2013, published a book as well as dedicated a museum to Rathindranath Tagore- the eldest son of Rabindranath Tagore. The museum is called Guha Ghar, while the book is titled Rathindranath Tagore: The Unsung Hero.

About the book- Rathindranath Tagore: The Unsung Hero

  • The book titled Rathindranath Tagore: The Unsung Hero is edited by Rabindra Bhavana. It is published by Rabindra Bhavana, Visva Bharati.

  • This book consists of critical articles on Rathindranath Tagore as artist, craftsman, litterateur, translator as well as a scientist.

  • The book has selection of English as well as Bengali writings of Rathindranath Tagore.

  • The book is very important because it compiles his speeches as well as articles as the first vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati University for the very first time. One of the speeches also includes the one which he delivered in 1951 when Visva-Bharati University was transformed into central university. Another speech also includes the one when Rathindranath Tagore welcomed the Chinese premier- Chiang Kai-shek.

  • Apart from the articles and speeches, the book also includes the paintings and manuscripts related to Rathindranath Tagore’s life.

About the Guha Ghar Museum

  • The museum called Guha Ghar is actually the studio-apartment where Rathindranath Tagore stayed as well as worked in Santiniketan.

  • For the very first time, Guha Ghar has been opened for the visitors. Guha Ghar was actually designed in the form of a cave that had a lake as well as garden in its proximity.

  • The Guha Ghar Museum includes the wood-work, tools as well as furniture designed by Rathindranath Tagore, whose interest was in making wood materials as well as carpentry.

About Rathindranath Tagore

  • Rathindranath Tagore (1888-1961) was the eldest son of Rabindranath Tagore.

  • He was an architect, agriculturalist, writer, painter and master-carpenter.

  • He was also the first vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati University, after this University became the Central University.

  • He studied Agricultural Science from Illinois.

  • He taught genetics to the students at Santiniketan.

An Uncertain Glory

An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions authored by Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen was released in the third week of July 2013. The book has been published by Penguin Books India.

Jean Drèze, the development economist and Amratya Sen, an economist, a philosopher and a Nobel Prize winner together have presented a far reaching analysis of the conditions of contemporary India with a compilation of the wealth of illuminating data. The book includes achievements of India since independence and the successful maintenance of the world’s largest democracy. The authors have also argued about the prevalent flaws in the development strategy of the nation. In particular, it overlooks the central role of human capabilities - both as an end in them and as a means of further progress.

About the Authors Jean Drèze

  • Jean Drèze became an Indian citizen in 2002 and has lived in India since.

  • Dreze has taught at the London School of Economics and the Delhi School of Economics,

  • At present he is a Visiting Professor at Allahabad University.

  • He has co-authored Amartya Sen in books named Hunger and Public Action and India: Development and Participation

  • He has also been a co-author of the Public Report on Basic Education in India

Amaryta Sen

  • Amaryta Sen is an Indian economist and philosopher, who won Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 1998 for making contribution to welfare economics and social choice theory.

  • He is a professor at Thomas W. Lamont University

  • He also is a Professor of Philosophy and Economics, at Harvard University.

Some of the books authored by him includes

  • The Argumentative Indian

  • Inequality reexamined

  • The Idea of Justice

  • Poverty and Famines

  • Commodities and Capabilities

  • Hunger and Republic Action

  • Development as Freedom

  • Choice, Welfare and Measurement

  • Rationality and Freedom

  • Identity and Violence the illusion of Destiny


The Vice President of India Hamid Ansari on 13 July 2013 released a book entitled Smritiyan authored by Garima Sanjay. Garima Sanjay is a professional author & documentary filmmaker by profession. Smritiyan, the book describes that Life in general throws challenges before, we can fulfill our aspirations. At times we beat those challenges, but sometimes, especially in case of our personal and emotional lives, we’re unable to face these challenges and we simply give up and compromise with the situation and accept our failure. In such a situation, we blame our luck; or someone, whom we perceive as a villain in our life for our failures.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Indian American author Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland has been listed among 13 novels longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013. The longlist for the prize, one of the English language’s top fiction awards, names 13 writers from seven countries. The “Man Booker dozen” 2013 comprises an diverse list of 13 novels that will astonish and intrigue in equal measure. There are 13 outstanding novels range from the traditional to the experimental, from the first century AD to the present day, from 100 pages to 1000 and from Shanghai to Hendon.

The Lowland, is story set in India and America, which is going to be published in September 2013 and is one of the highly anticipated books of the fall. It is being pitched as an easy frontrunner in London’s literary circles.

Shahar Sone Chala

Shahar Sone Chala, a collection of selected Hindi poems penned down by Sat Pal was released on 15 July 2013 by Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi. This is the third book written by him. The poems of the book reflect the realities of life and underline the importance of peace, brotherhood and harmony in life. It also highlights the different aspects of society. At present Sat Pal is the information officer of Sheila Dikshit. His previous two books are Hindi satire.

Tarikh-I-Firoz Shahi

A book entitled Ziauddin Barni’s Tarikh-i-Firoz Shahi brought out by Rampur Raza Library; Rampur (UP) under Ministry of Culture was released on 28 June 2013 by the Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari. The book is a historical publication and would benefit the students and researchers. Ziauddin Barni belonged to the elite society of medieval India and was able to achieve the status of Secretary (Nadeem) to Sultan Mohammad Bin Tuglaq (1325-51 AD). There are two versions ofTarikh-i-Firoz Shahi. The first version appeared in the fifth year of Firoz Shah Tuglaq, the second revised edition in the seventh year. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan edited and published the second version of it in 1866. Rampur Raza Library has published the first version of Tarikh-i-Firoz Shahi in 2013.



A strong earthquake ripped through China’s northwestern Gansu Province. The quake, measuring 6.6 on Richter scale, shook the area at the junction of the Minxian County and Zhangxian County. The epicenter, with a depth of 20 km, was 170 km away from the provincial capital Lanzhou. A 5.6-magnitude quake jolted the same area later in the morning. Communication was cut off in 13 towns of Zhangxian County. The Minxian County government stated that most of the townships in the county have been affected by the quake. The townships of Meichuan and Puma were seriously hit. Many homes in the quake-hit region collapsed. The earthquake was also felt in Tianshui city and the provincial capital city of Lanzhou besides in the cities of Xi’an, Baoji and Xianyang in neighboring Shaanxi Province.

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who exposed the widest US global surveillance operations, was on 25 July 2013 awarded German Whistleblower Prize 2013 worth 3900 Dollars in absentia. Snowden has exposed the substantial and unsuspecting monitoring and storage of communication data by US and other western intelligence agencies, which cannot be accepted in democratic societies. It was the top secret National Security Agency documents that were leaked by Snowden since the beginning of June 2013 which in turn made it possible and unavoidable intensive investigations to establish whether the operations of domestic and foreign intelligence services have violated the existing rules applicable to them. Snowden has undertaken great personal risks in leaking the documents on the operations of the US and other western intelligence agencies, aware of the current criminal prosecution of whistleblowers in security areas. Even after proving that the espionage operations partly or to a large extent were protected by the law, Snowden has helped in exposing such a dangerous situation, which cannot be accepted in democratic societies.

About Whistleblower Prize

The whistleblower prize which was instituted in year 1999 by German section of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) and the Association of German Scientists is awarded once in two years to honour persons, who “expose in public interest grave social injustices and dangerous developments for individuals and the society, democracy, peace and environment. German chapter of the global anti-corruption organisation Transparency International joined the prize for the first time this year.

Mahabodhi Temple

Multiple blasts rocked the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar on 7 July 2013 one of the holiest Buddhist shrines. Nine, low intensity bombs rocked the temple premises leaving injured two monks (one from Tibet and the other was a Myanmar national) at 5 am. The sanctum sanctorum and the Bodhi Tree of the temple – that is believed to be the place, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment didn’t, suffered any damage. To invest into the terror attacks, a five-member NIA team that comprises a DIG and two SPs reached was sent to Bodh Gaya by a special plane from New Delhi. Of the nine blasts that rocked Mahabodhi temple, four took place inside the temple complex, three in Karmapa Monastery and one near the 80 feet Buddha statue and the bus stand each.

About Mahabodhi Temple and its Importance

The history of Bodhgaya is about 2500 years old. In the sixth century B.C., Prince Siddhartha Gautama attained supreme enlightenment at this holy place and became the Buddha. In tribute of this event Emperor Ashoka set-up the Vajrasana (Diamond Throne) of polished sandstone representing the seat of enlightenment in 3rd century B.C. Further a Thereafter, he built a stupa in veneration of the Buddha, which remained there up to the second century A.D. The original structure of Mahabodhi Mahavihara temple was completed in seventh century A.D. during the reign of Gupta kings. The gold painted statue of Buddha in the sanctum shrine of the Temple is made of Black stone built by the Pala kings of Bengal. The Buddha is seen seated in the Bhumisparsa Mudra or the Earth touching posture. The Mahabodhi Mahavihara has now been declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO on the 27th June 2002.

World Population Day

World Population Day was observed on 11 July 2013 across the world. The theme for the year 2013 is ‘Focus is on Adolescent Pregnancy’. In 1989, in its decision 89/46, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) declared 11 July as the day that should be observed as World Population Day by the International Community. The UNDP recommended 11 July as world Population Day, in order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes and the need to find solutions for these issues. The 2013 World Population Day is being observed with an aim of raising awareness on the issue of adolescent pregnancy with the hope of delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted and every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. The 2013 aim has been proposed because as per reports about 16 million of girls under 18 years of age give birth to a child every year. Apart from this about 3.2 million undergoes an unsafe abortion and about 90 percent of the pregnant adolescents in the developing world are married. In case of India, pregnancy among adolescent is a serious challenge, as the latest National Family Health Survey data reports that about 3.5 percent girls in India gets married before attaining age of 18 years. This problem gives rise to early child bearing tendency among girls.

World Population Day in India

Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare observed the World Population Day by organising a Walk towards Population Stabilization from India Gate to Vijay Chowk. The walk was followed by a National Dialogue on Population Stabilization for a Better Tomorrow at Vigyan Bhavan. The Walk was flagged off by Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of NCT of Delhi.

About Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh

The Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK) (National Population Stabilisation Fund) has been registered as an autonomous Society established under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. JSK has to promote and undertake activities aimed at achieving population stabilisation at a level consistent with the needs of sustainable economic growth, social development and environment protection, by 2045.

Nisha Desai Biswal

Nisha Desai Biswal, an Indian-American woman was nominated for the Post of Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia by US President Barack Obama on 18 July 2013. Nisha Desai Biswal, held the post of the Assistant Administrator for Asia at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) at the time her of nomination to the post of Assistant Secretary of state.

Nisha Desai Biswal will oversee the US Foreign Policy and relations at the State Department for India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This is the first time an Indian-American is heading the South Asia Bureau, a new milestone for the community.

Archaeological Survey of India

Culture Ministry of India on 2 July 2013 entrusted ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) with the restoration of the Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhand which was damaged due to the recent floods. Kedarnath Mandir (Kedarnath Temple) is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to the God Shiva and is located on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshay trutya) to Kartik Purnima (usually November,the autumn full moon) every year. Kedarnath was the worst affected area during the 2013 flash floods in North India.

Free Trade LPG Scheme

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on 24 July 2013 approved a Free Trade LPG (FTL) Scheme for selling five Kg LPG cylinders through Company Owned Retail Outlets (COCO) of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). Under the scheme, COCO Retail Outlets will sell 5 kg LPG cylinders at Non-domestic (commercial) prices. The LPG sold under the scheme will be called as Free Trade LPG (FTL).

A five-kg cylinder will cost between 362 rupees and 375 rupees. The scheme will be launched on a pilot basis in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore where these cylinders will be sold with or without domestic pressure regulator (DPR). The decision was taken in view of the fact that over the years, a new category of consumers have emerged especially in big cities who are mobile and do not want a permanent LPG connection but still require LPG for their needs. Such customers need flexibility for getting the LPG cylinders as per their convenience and their needs can also be fulfilled by smaller quantities of LPG. The prospective customer at the time of first sale would only be required to give a copy of Voter I-Card, Driving license, Pan Card, Aadhaar Card, Bank Pass book, Employees ID, Passport, Student ID or any other such document that can act as a proof of identity. At the time of first sale cost of equipment (DPR plus cylinder), cost of product at prevailing Non- domestic 5kg cylinders price and administrative charges will be payable. At the time of subsequent refill only the cost of product will be payable.

Angelina Jolie

The Forbes, which released its list on 30 July 2013, declared that Angelina Jolie was the Hollywood’s highest paid actress. She had the estimated earnings of 33 million US dollar. She defeated Jennifer Lawrence, the 2013 Best Actress Oscar winner, who had the estimated earnings of 26 million US dollar.

Angelina Jolie also defeated Kristen Stewart in the list. Kristen Stewart had the earnings of 22 million US dollar. Angelina Jolie rose from the third place on the list of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses. At the fourth position was Jennifer Aniston who had the earnings of 20 million US dollar. At the fifth position was Emma Stone with the earnings of 16 million US dollar.